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Articles by: Dr Walter Fernandes

Agnes Kharshiing and Amita Sangma, Photo: Northeast Now

Attack on Agnes Karshiing: Attempt to Gag Dissenting Voices

The murderous attack on the RTI activists and environmentalists Agnes Karshiing and Amita Sangma and their driver E. Kurbah in Meghalaya is only the latest case of people with power using force to suppress dissent. Most such attacks come from the government but in recent years private bodies have been taking over more and more of them. The khap panchayats getting young couples hanged[Read More…]

Sabarimala: Law Alone Cannot Transform the Social Order

Sabarimala: Law Alone Cannot Transform the Social Order

The controversy on women’s entry to the Sabarimala temple has once again drawn attention to the intricacies of social change. One speaks of social change in general, not merely of gender equality. One cannot but support the aspiration for equality that Sabarimala represents. But one is also left with the impression that it is one more case of people from[Read More…]

Nagaon: People check their names on the final draft of the state's National Register of Citizens after it was released, at a NRC Seva Kendra in Nagaon on Monday, July 30, 2018. (PTI Photo)   (PTI7_30_2018_000108B)

Assam’s National Register of Citizens: A Fact Based Analysis

The draft has some flaws, but talk of bloodbath, deportation does not measure up to the facts of the exercise. The final draft of the National Register of Citizens for Assam, published on July 30, is a good document with some shortcomings. But the real problem is the fear-mongering by many Indian media outlets outside the North East. Some TV channels have[Read More…]

Draft Forest Policy: Animals and Human Rights

Draft Forest Policy: Animals and Human Rights

A few days ago one saw animal rights activists rejoicing that a film actor was convicted of killing a protected species. The punishment accorded to such a prominent person showed them that none is above the law. This stand is fully understandable and acceptable. But what irked one was the fact that most people protecting wildlife and rejoicing at this punishment were[Read More…]

Dredging The Brahmaputra: Locking The Stable After The Horses Bolt

Dredging The Brahmaputra: Locking The Stable After The Horses Bolt

“Locking the stable after the horses bolt” is an old saying that seems to apply to many decisions concerning development in India. Among them are the decisions about river dredging and river cleansing. A decision has been taken to dredge the Brahmaputra to reduce floods and facilitate navigation and water transport. The Ganga is being cleaned for three decades and the present[Read More…]

Celebrating Murder

Celebrating Murder

  I was not yet nine but I distinctly remember the day when for the first time I witnessed people celebrating the murder of a person. In Mangalore my home town, on 31st January 1948 members of the RSS and Hindu Mahasabha distributed sweets to celebrate the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi the previous day. There have been many more such[Read More…]

Myanmar In Transition And India

Myanmar In Transition And India

It is two months since the government controlled by Aung San Suu Kyi took charge in Myanmar. The elections that brought her to power were free despite western fears that the military regime would not allow freedom. The question being asked today is “to what extent will Myanmar change?” Amid what look like earth shattering events is there continuity with[Read More…]