ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Maria Aurora Couto (1937–2022) and Her Fifty–Fifty Nationalism

Maria Aurora Couto, the Goan littérateur and cultural activist who passed away on 14 January 2022, brought out the facets of her cosmopolitan outlook and her abiding faith in the synthetic traditions of Goan/Indian culture. She remained steeped in the cultural demands of high nationalism embodying the values of her times.

Ecological Rift and Alienation: Field notes from Goa and Sikkim

Goa and Sikkim, two of the smallest states in India by area, are also places that have some of the richest plant and animal biodiversity, with Goa nestled between the Western Ghats and the Arabian Sea, and Sikkim being a part of the eastern Himalayas. Incidentally, their natural beauty also makes them ideal tourist destinations. Currently, Goa is about to see a resumption in mining activities, mining fields that were left abandoned for a decade will open up soon, and places like Mollem (an ecological hotspot) will be dug up in the name of “development projects” (Datta 2022). The mountains of Sikkim and North Bengal too are being dug up for the Sivok-Rangpo railway project, with plans of extending it to Gangtok at a second phase later on. In this paper, I explore the Marxist ecological tradition and the metabolic rift through primary field evidence from Goa, and parts of North Bengal and Sikkim. I present the observations from field visits to these places followed by an analysis of observations from the Marxian ecologist perspective, foregrounding the idea of ecological rift and alienation as discussed by John Bellamy Foster, Brett Clark, Richard York and Fred Magdoff.

Political Communication and Its Discontents

Contradictions between ideology and symbolism were quite evident in the recent state elections .

In Search of a Strong Opposition

Dreamscapes that provide an alternative to right-wing politics cannot be imagined but need to be realised.

Unfolding 60 Years of Political Process in Goa

Discussions on the concept of independence and liberation are essential in the democratisation of politics in Goa. The foundation of Goa’s electoral politics stems from the politics of liberation championed by the first Chief Minister of Goa, Dayanand Bandodkar. This article traces this history till the present, identifying the key phases in Goa’s politics.

Why India Needs a Coal Mines Environment Authority

Given India’s continued dependence on coal to supply power for industrial and residential consumers at affordable prices, the country needs a unified coal mines environment authority staffed with multidisciplinary expertise to assess and minimise the adverse environmental impacts of coal mines with an integrated approach to ensure more efficient, effective, and transparent environmental governance. This authority must be created by enacting a sustainable coal mining bill before private sector commercial coal mines commence operations.

Restoring Basilica of Bom Jesus, and the Role of Archaeological Survey of India

The Archaeological Survey of India's role in the protection of the 16th century Basilica of Bom Jesus monument in old Goa has come under attack. The rector of the basilica, in an open letter recently, has accused the ASI of “utter apathy” in restoring the structure. This has prompted the Goan government to swing into action by appointing a committee to overlook the restoration of the monument. What is of importance in this case is that the monument is still used as a church by the local community. Religious heritage buildings that are still in use by the community call for a different kind of restoration measures. The ASI needs to take the local stakeholders into confidence, and allow their participation in the protection of monuments.

Mormugao Port Modernisation

The proposed modernisation and expansion of the Mormugao Port in Goa has drawn widespread criticism for its failure to seriously assess its environmental impact and lack of thought to sustainability and social costs, while raising questions on the ownership claim over the project area itself. A three-day environmental public hearing recorded the concerns and grievances of the numerous stakeholders and civil society members who stand affected by the proposed project.

Goa’s Shifting Greens and Its Long History of Environmentalism

Moving the National Green Tribunal from Pune to New Delhi, for Goa, would have had severe implications for reshaping the reality of who could seek redressal over environmental concerns in Goa, at what cost, and how frequently.

India’s Second Dominant Party System

The conflation between nationalism and Hindutva has been the backbone of the new hegemony. That is why the Bharatiya Janata Party has been so happy with intellectuals trying to problematise the nation. That particular intellectual initiative simultaneously places the BJP in a position of immense advantage and ensures that “anti-BJP” would necessarily be equated with the anti-national! Independently, both ideas—Hindutva and development—are potent political discourses. By weaving them together with nationalism, Narendra Modi has bound them into an arsenal of his political offensive.

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