Northeast India is littered with concrete. From winding flyovers to towering churches on village hillsides to surveillance towers housing paramilitary forces, concrete is an integral to the region’s urban and rural landscapes and everything in in between. What can all this concrete tell us? What stories does it open up? What can questions about politics, power, development, and culture concrete rais
Potential for tourism to bring sustained development to the State is highly unlikely. Tourism depends on the surplus generated outside the particular region. This effectively means that activity is completely dependent on factors which are completely out control of the local circumstances.
After receiving the recent accolade of “Festival capital of Europe” – Meghalaya gets its first participatory festival of BAD ROADS.
Mission 2020, a Northeast Frontier Railways initiative to connect the capital cities of the northeast as well extend railway line to other parts, has for over a year now run into obstacles in Meghalaya. In particular, two ongoing projects – the Teteliya-Byrnihat line and the Byrnihat-Shillong line for which approximately Rs 4500 crore has been earmarked, have been put on hold. Initiated by the Khasi Students Union (KSU) there are now a host of dissenters against the railway extension plans, demanding that without a proper mechanism to check the influx of immigrants the railway project must not proceed. As a result, land surveys have been interrupted, NOCs from KHADC have not been provided and headmen have denied railway authorities access into villages. On the other hand, the state government sees the introduction of these railway lines as an important means to benefit the economy of the state – through tourism and reduced costs of goods, while committing to check influx through a number of administrative and legal ways including fencing the international border with Bangladesh. At the end of May the protests began to turn violent leading to altercations between the protesters and the police.
How to kill a river in Shillong? a report
Two years back I visited my alma mater, the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, to meet up with an old classmate of mine who is…
Eat Dust is no work of fiction, although one is left wondering at the bizarreness of the truth behind the loot. It is a book however that passes on timeless lore, like the story of Paikdev’s spring. As Hartman takes us over hills that once stood in Goa, to the court room, and river side, and traces his own story from Kenya to Goa, one gets a rich context for what is actually, and incredibly, unraveling in Goa.
There has a spurt of non-governmental organizations in the country. According to one estimate, India has more than 30 lakh NGO’s which is more than the number of schools in the whole country. These bodies are now performing the activities that the Government abdicated. But this is not a healthy scenario because at the end of the day they are not the mandated agencies and it encourages further outsourcing of development initiatives to private interest. This serves to weaken democracy because by virtue of being private initiatives the NGO’s are in principle not accountable to the public.
Ashwin looks at the Action Plans prepared by the Narmada Valley Development Authority in the 1990s and analyzes the ambition of a developmental project and the way a planning document looks at Project Affect Persons and at activists involved in the anti-dam struggle.
The opposition to uranium mining is not just a fight against the ill-effects of mining a dangerous substance but a struggle for democracy and the defence of the principles meant to safeguard humanity itself.
A pro-Hindutva sentiment prevails in the minds of the middle class Hindu citizenry of the country. But for once, they could (and still do) mask their affiliation to this ideology by justifying their vote for ‘development’. The operational logic to this class seems particularly straightforward, “as long as there is ‘development’ as Modi ji has promised (and is visiting foreign countries to that extent), we shouldn’t be troubled by marginal acts of violence or dissent.”
It is now only a matter of months until the Rio Olympics, an event inevitably wrapped up in the glamour of that most festive of world cities. The reality, however, is rather less glossy. Indeed, behind the fanfare, some of the city’s poorest people, many living in Rio’s notorious favelas, are being uprooted to make way for the games.
With all the world at stake, it’s not good enough for us to paste the word sustainable in front of the deceptive word development when what we really mean is “continue this exploitative and destructive way of life a little bit longer.” That destroys the words sustainable and development and, of course, contributes to the ongoing destruction of the world.