Tribal rights in Lok Sabha 2019: The Adivasi won’t dance to political tunes anymore

QRIUS | TEJASWI SUBRAMANIAN | April 09, 2019

It is about time that the rights of the tribal communities are acknowledged and addressed as part of mainstream politics and governance.

With the recent detainment of Jean Dreze in Jharkhand, one really wonders how out of touch our democratic institutions are with the grassroots. The economist’s detainment, along with two other activists, who were allegedly holding a meeting on the right to food and pension without explicit and prior permission from the authorities, is a signal of an increasingly intolerant and hierarchical structure. It seems like this structure believes in the politicisation of every move and circumstance for the political gain of a few, at the cost of the rights of millions.

The targeting of Dreze, a renowned development economist, who helped draft the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (and later led protests owing to gaps in its implementation), and is known for rooting his work in grounded theory, is one such telling instance. Read more

Illegal mining at Bhagowal village; three tippers seized, 5 booked

The Tribune | April 10, 2019

The state government’s claims regarding the prevention of illegal mining were proved futile when a case of illegal mining was exposed in a nearby Bhagowal village.

In the village, the sand mafia with the help of a earth mover had been illegally excavating several tippers of sand daily while the department concerned was in deep slumber. Today, after getting information from residents of the area, mediapersons reached the spot and found that at various places, 10 to 12-ft deep ditches were dug and sand was excavated from there. Read more

Report card: Centre, states did little to improve air quality in 14 most polluted cities

Citizen Matters | Prerna Chatterjee

Election manifestos released recently by the BJP, Congress and CPI(M) seem to show some responsibility towards the declining environmental standards of the country. The Congress manifesto, for instance describes air pollution as a “national public health emergency”. The BJP manifesto promised to reduce pollution levels by at least 35% over the next five years in 102 cities. However, past experience shows that the promises made on paper remain largely unimplemented. Few elected representatives seem committed to improve air quality in their respective cities and constituencies. Read more

Aravallis broken beyond repair

Down To Earth | Jitendra, Shagun Kapil | 09 April 2019

Illegal mining has ravaged the mountain range in the past few decades. Down To Earth investigates the loss and traces the legal developments in Rajasthan, Haryana and Delhi

Abdal khan is a prisoner of geography. A resident of Nimli village in Rajasthan’s Alwar district, Khan, who claims to be over 100 years old, is mostly bedridden in his home nestled in the foothills of the Aravallis. He stays quiet most of the time, but a mention of the Aravallis triggers an outburst. “I have accompanied British officials on hunting tours on these hills. Where we are sitting now was once a thick forest,” he says. There are only a few like him alive, who can remember the once ecologically rich Aravallis and also witnessed its gradual demise. His youngest daughter, Dini Bi, who is half his age, lives some 50 km north in Banban village of the same district, also located in the mountain range, which has almost disappeared. While Khan laments the loss of forests, his daughter is not so mournful. “It was good when the mountain was there. But mining gave us jobs,” she says. Read more

FRA: Himachal Van Adhikar Manch announces one-day protest on April 11

Times of India | Seema Sharma | April 8, 2019

CHANDIGARH: Himachal Van Adhikar Manch has announced a one-day protest on April 11 at Seri Manch in Mandi to seek a speedy and just implementation of the Forest Rights Act (FRA) 2006. Its members said that despite the significance of this Act for the communities in Himachal Pradesh whose livelihoods are dependent upon agricultural and livestock rearing, the state government and bureaucracy have both failed to implement this Act efficiently on the ground. Read more

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