Guest Post by Sanjay Kumar
Death evokes strongest of human emotions. However, exploring and finding reasons behind a death is also part of our humanity. Legal codes in all countries demand criminal investigations of deaths due to the so called ‘unnatural’ causes. Medical sciences have advanced largely due to explorations of the other, ‘natural’ causes of death. Deaths due to completely avoidable reasons fall in a category of their own. How a society deals with such deaths is a good indicator of how it treats its living.
One hundred and eight people died in an explosion during a fire cracker festival in a temple in Kollam, Kerala on 10th April. According to reports, the district administration had not given permission for the event, citing hazards of firing crackers close to a densely populated area, and the fact that the fire cracking festivities were actually in the form of a competition. Yet, pressure from the powerful temple trust meant that the programme was held amid full police presence. The accident happened in one of the better governed states of India, which also boasts of a vigilant citizenry. Continue reading Public Burdens of Religion and the Lightness of Atheism : Sanjay Kumar
Copy of the Memorandum to The Chief Minister, Government of Odisha
In the continuum of brutal attacks on the struggle against forcible land acquisition for a POSCO steel plant in Odisha, the most recent case of blatant violence perpetrated by the corporate–police-goonda nexus in the region saw the murder of 4 people in Jagatsinghpur district.
On 2nd March, hired musclemen of POSCO with the full complicity of Odisha Police threw bombs at anti-POSCO activists in Patana village, in which 4 activists were killed and several others were seriously injured. Out of the 4, 3 were killed as a direct consequence of the police’s refusal to arrive at the spot for 15 hours after the bombing, or arrange for an ambulance to take the injured to a hospital.
Thervoy Kandigai Industrial Complex. The Government issued orders alienating 1127 acres of poramboke land in favour of SIPCOT for formation of a new Industrial Complex in Thervoy Kandigai village of Gummidipoondi Taluk, Thiruvallur District. The land development work is in progress now.
From the website of Industries Department, Government of Tamil Nadu
What this “land development work” involves, and the price that will be paid in human and ecological costs is something that MADHUMITA DUTTA encountered recently.
“A forest that was once ours is now private, a land that was once green now stands barren, a forest where we played, where we wandered freely is now fenced, men in uniform now guard the forest which we protected for generations.”
Thervoy Kandigai. A small nondescript village in Gummidipoondi Taluk of Thiruvallur district, 50 kms north of Chennai. Surrounded by dense shrubby forests, natural lakes, rice fields and undulating terrain with misty mountain range of Sathyavedu in Andhra as the back drop. This small dalit village of about 1000 families is in the eye of a storm. A storm that can blow away the dreams of Tamil Nadu government to hand over hundreds of acres of land to French tyre company Michelin, a big ticketed investment worth Rs 4000 crore for the state. Continue reading Anbulla kaadu (My beloved forest): Madhumita Dutta