Thursday, December 27, 2007

we know of shahrukh
we know of sachin
we know of madhuri
et all and bhel puri

we know of movies
we know of cricket
we know of songs
shot in forests

we know of rivers
which gets show in ad's
we ain't know anything
at that ain't cricket or movies

in this cricket craze days and movie enamoured ways, there are a few handful people who give their blood and sweat to protect india forests. this year sanctuaryasia award winner's list has these brave men and women.

we should bow our heads in salute to these honored folks, ullas karath, sasi kumar, ritwick dutta and others for they protect our future and our children's future.

hindu sunday edition had a good story on the sad state awaiting athirapally. titled "stubborn assault", it eloquently captures the sorry story of the vital chalakudy river with focus on the ill fated latest athirapally hydel dam.

how much can we hit a river. how much can we abuse a river. how much can we ask more and more and more from a river that we have killed. abuse has no meaning when it comes to india's river and chalakudy river is no exception.

rivers rivers,
flowing in india,
what do we do to you all

we kill ya,
we rape ya,
we filth ya,
we smoke the life out of ya

yet you giveth,
your water,
your energy,
your beauty

we don't care yet (and never),
for we meant 'development'
(chalakudy river in kerala. reduced to a trickle by a spate of dams and abused in numerous other ways in name of development. dying, dead and gone will be the 3 words describing india's lifeline rivers. picture courtesy the hindu)

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

as india withers and dithers on global warming, one thing will come and hit the rural indians direct in their face and stomach.

the hit will be from dying ganga river due to glacier withdrawal at alarming levels in the himalayas. the gangothri glacier is receding and to quote frontline, "The Gangotri glacier is receding. Along the trail, ominous rocks are like tombstones marking its retreat. “Gangotri in 1891... Gangotri in 1961… Gangotri in 1991.” Its shrinking length is recorded on the rocks that once were part of the glacier."

now we have to remember ganges river support hundreds of millions of rural indians (by drinking water, and a huge segment of urban elite (by drinking water and power supplies). and as the article points out, the crucial gangothri is under pressure not only due to global warming but also due to human pollution.

add to this is the zero efforts in improving and protecting rain fed areas of ganges along its course, changing rainfall pattern due to global warming, gleeful pollution from india that wants 'development' and finally indiscriminate efforts to dam ganga - all will make sure that the might river will be reduced to a whimper. a whimper that will benefit no one.

Friday, December 21, 2007

the pristine athirapally waterfalls pictured. this amazing place, the already dammed and abused chalakudy river all are under threat due to the ill planned construction of the the athirapally dam. development at any cost should be a huge no-no for a people intensive and ecologically dependent country like india.

we have our commerce minister turned SEZ minister turned global antiwarming minister turned politician. yep, it is not the other way around in which you will have politician turned minister.

why because he has turned his politician and elected officer role on its head and became an industry middlemen ranging against everybody who speaks of an alternate view of 'development'.

when SEZ's came bulldozing, he was there loud and clear that people has to sacrifice, when GAP Inc was using child labour or was culpable of neglecting labour conditions in its subsidiary he was telling that India is being robbed of jobs, when we talk about global warming he is saying it 'threatens' the growth of india.

he says india and china is being pressurised to control on emissions when america is acting with gay abandon ignoring its huge emissions. very valid point. what should be the reaction of india which will get slammed (and already getting slammed) by the effects of global warming.

shouldn't india stand up and take the leadership vacuum that should have been filled by america. shouldn't india stand up and say we are very concerned on global warming as our rivers, coastal regions, agriculture will get hit due to weather pattern changes and hence we are going solar, wind power, conservation, etc to cut down emissions.

instead our minister says that india is being pressurised in an unwanted way. he says india should convert from agriculture to manufacturing. oh right. manufacturing as in polluted chemical hubs of cuddalore, eloor, patacheru. oh yes we love that development of the poor and benefit of the rich.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

so what does our america returned, well settled, middlemen chief minister of orissa tells to the narmada dam activist and grassroots level activist.

"Patkar often tours the state and opposes mega industries here. She should understand that mega industries are essential for the growth of the poor state like Orissa as they would generate huge revenue and employment for poor people here,".

oh yeah right. of course. having mega industries means huge money for middlemen politicians, political brokers, 'poor businessmen' to whom precious lands in which tens of thousands of marginalised people live and crucial rivers flow is being donated free, of course employment as coolies or labourers in polluted factories...

of course our america returned chief minister will be knowing all this. but he does not care. why should he. when you are a son of a legend and the state is bitterly divided on political lines why should people welfare come into mind. only businessmen interests are of paramount importance.

so only he utters these utterly unreproducible lines well knowing the fact that brutal mining and raw materials offshoring to korea will not bring development at all but instead deplete faster in an unsustainable manner the crucial natural resources and also bastardizes the marginalised people.

yeah, who cares. as long as you can tell more and more lies, one day it may become the truth.

we have repeatedly blogged about the death of river cauvery. as river cauvery dies, so dies the language of the tamils, so die the civilisation of the tamils and so dies the very essence of tamil culture.

culture?...throw it up the dustbin we are hoture...
language?....throw it up to garbage we have english...
civilisation?...throw it out to landfill we are modern...
all we care is development...

i guess polluted and filthy development is what we care about. yeah, as long as gdp figure goes up, who cares about all these small 'irrelevant' details?
(the dead and polluted cauvery waters in erode, tamilnadu. as tamilinadu fights for cauvery waters brutally, it brutalizes and abuses the same cauvery like nobody in the world. development gone totally bad)

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

when no children beg
and no poor people displaced,

when most children in school
and less children in beach,

when the rivers flow pure
and children swim pristine,

when the air is breathable
and the water drinkable,

when laughter makes the noise
and the money makes the quiet,

then shall we call india
truly developed,

will that day come,
no not i or you can tell,
as fakism rules the fort.

(a boy begs in alapuzha. although figures from the government tell that poverty is coming down, it seems that poverty is coming down only for rich people. if the situation in the progressive and educated kerala is bad, you can imagine how bad it will be for the rest of the children in other parts of india)

hindu had 2 separate stories on the children's issue that is staring india. as this blog has pointed out the double digit gdp growth is a double whammy on our environment and marginalized communities.

and it's a triple whammy on children who are displaced or ignored in the hostility and the heat of the no-questions-asked/no-answers-given double digit gdp pursuit.

as well known reporter rasheeda bhagat points out in an eloquent manner "On the Human Development Index (measured on achievements in terms of life expectancy, education and income), we rank a poor 128th, qualifying for the tag of ‘medium human development’."

128th that is ladies and gentlemen. a lowly place among the 150 nations of the world. and the picture gets abysmal when it comes to education as she points out "But the number of children in the 14 to 18 age group is estimated at 9.29 crore by March 2007. While only 27 per cent of our children make it to higher secondary education (Classes 11 and 12), those reaching colleges and universities constitute a smaller percentage."

the government both at center and state levels has shred to pieces its vital role as a social organizer and protector and has turned into a gdp escalating, power sharing broker with businessmen. so only we have plummeting health care, abysmal children focus, zero women's development and almost nil environmental and rural focus.

development in india is not only flimsy as we can see but also 100% ignorant of the real needs of india.

Monday, December 10, 2007

whether it is sand plunder from the river by big mafia or by small time thieves, one thing is clear. the vital rivers, backwaters and the estuaries will get slammed by degradation so bad that the entire ecosystem will collapse. this blog had repeatedly highlighted the sorry state of rivers and the open thievery of sand mining. hindu has a picture that captures vividly how illegal sand mining is happening in a jolly way in the progressive state of kerala.

(sand mining, small, big and medium, develops india to a great extent!!!)

on the face of it, SEZ's (special economic zones) are a win-win-loss. win for the 'poor' industry and 'very poor' businessmen, win for the elected politicians who are now on the payroll of the poor industries and loss for the environment, agriculture and farmers.

now going a step further the 'liberal' and 'pro reform' UPA government is favoring a win-win-loser for degraded forest land in name of 'forest SEZ'. the idea is to involve the private industries in degraded forest land so that it can be planted with commercial trees fit for industries in terms of paper making, textiles, etc, etc.

this is called leasing out forest land to industries so that agro forestry can be done. the idea is 'revolutionary'. but only on paper. in many cases, these degraded forest land are close to main forests or these 'degraded' land can be a vital catchment for rainfall or these lands might be used by local marginalized communities for grazing, dead wood collection. there are many other uses too.

what the government ought to have done is to involve local panchayats and local communities so that they can come with viable plans to re energize these degraded forest land so that those local communities can benefit hugely in terms of water retention, in terms of cattle grazing or even agro forestry.

but from delhi and hand in glove with poor industries, these crucial lands is being parceled lock stock and barrel and will force out the local communities and the local environment out of a vital area of regeneration of degraded forest land.

we had SEZ, now forest SEZ and now what? perhaps a river SEZ, a ocean SEZ and finally india SEZ?

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

as india gets charmed with the masala bollywood that runs fictional and often hollywood copied stories, one film maker tells the real story of india through its documentaries.

granted there are many documentary film makers but there are very few documentary film makers who can tell the story of people's lives vis-a-vis marginalization and environmental disaster that often go hand in hand.

k.p.sasi is one of them. hindu profiled a writeup on him recently. as the report quotes, his latest movie “Resisting Coastal Invasions”, a 52-minute documentary, that captures both the magnitude of the threat and the heroism of the fishing communities.

amongst the 'development' disasters india is pursuing there are many along india's coast. polluting coal power plants, dangerous nuclear power plants, fake projects such as sethu samudram project, rich and elite tourism take over of the coastal areas, massive encroachments by resorts, disastrous shrimp and prawn farming (aquaculture) and the list is endless.

of course all these add to the rich people's wallet and to gdp. but for coastal fishermen, to hell with them. they have no place in india's 'development'.

Monday, December 03, 2007

when it comes to setting up new business or industry, we have heard of 'conducive environment', 'less bureaucratic environment', 'business friendly environment'.

now in india, for the first time we are hearing about 'peaceful environment' and 'peaceful industrialization'. and adding to this 'peacefulness', is the fake talk of development and jobs. yeah right. development of the south korean company and jobs as laborers and coolies for tribals whose land is being snatched in a brutal manner.

and the precise talk of 'peace' comes from none another than the giant of the chief minister the late biju patnaik. if the late chief minister was a dramatic personality, his son, the current chief minister is a mining personality. you show a land and he will propose it for mining, of course after talking 'peace' and evicting people by force. of course, the government is all for 'peace' after unleashing violence in first place.

funny is 'development' in india. with skewed growth coming at cost of majority of indians back, peace is indeed essential for the elite to become more elitist.

as a foot note, businessweek had a fancy story on orissa situation. the author and the magazine has no clue on the real situation in india and the fancy story ends on a fancy note. no wonder india's authorities are able to tom tom fake 'development' all over the world so easily.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

how bad can the not so communist but fake communist comrades go in making fake things on inside and true things on outside.

they can go to any bad level as the taslima case in west bengal points to. as arundathi roy, the booker prize winner and environmental/justice campaigner points out the communist government is plunging to deeper depths in taslima case.

as arundathi points out in the answer, this fake action by the communist government is absolutely unacceptable. instead of protecting a writer who is under assault from fundamentalist forces and communal sections, the communist government is fueling the fire.

shame has no meaning for the communists. as narmada burnt, as bhopal simmers, as numerous fake projects and SEZ's bulldoze, as the environmental disaster called nuclear deal is paraded naked, the communist elite led by mr.sitaram yechury and ms.brinda karat tells baby stories and fake points.

it's high time to call this bluff.

Karan Thapar: Listening to the story she told you about herself, do you believe that the West Bengal government’s behaviour has been unacceptable?

Arundhati Roy: Well, it has been ridiculously unacceptable. What can I say, you know. But here you have a situation where you are really threatening and coercing a person.