Saturday, July 31, 2010


The trite wisdom that a knife can be used for life-saving surgical exercise as well as for murderous assault applies equally to stones too. That is what one witnessed during the Palestinian intifada (‘shaking off’) against the Zionist State, which is being copied by our Kashmiri protesters now. And the lithic missiles anywhere are no less harmful than knives and sometimes as fatal as bullets too. Since the last one month or more Kashmir valley is again agog with agitations, this time in the ‘stony phase’. The unfortunate death of a nine year old boy, due to a tear-gas shell, served as further incitement to more incidents of stone-throwing in which mainly young persons, with no gender discrimination, participated and scores of police officers were also injured. The rubber and lead fired by the police, and possibly in some cases their own stones misdirected, have already taken more than a dozen lives of protesters or curious watchers and the valley is virtually in flames. Clearly a method is there behind this madness and it is reliably learnt that making martyrs has also become a lucrative business. The domestic power struggle between Abdullahs and Muftis is also said to be an important cause. However, one should not forget the root cause – the international India-Pakistan Dispute on the status and fate of Kashmir. Fundamentalist Muslims in Kashmir are as stubborn and crazy as those in other countries and had, in the name of their liberation struggle, the guts, and also no compunction, to cruelly and successfully carry out an ethnic cleansing in the valley, right under the nose of the mighty Indian Army, by expelling lakhs of Kashmiri Pandits, the original Hindu inhabitants there, and are now itching to do the same even to the armed might of the state. No doubt they are assisted to the hilt by the neighboring Pakistan but the question is how long we Indians are going to pamper these ‘spoilt children’ – by pumping lakhs of crores of taxpayers’ moneys to ‘develop’, ‘educate’, ‘suppress’ and ‘integrate’ them and also sacrificing thousands of lives – who anyway seem to be beyond any reform on the last count. We feel it is high time that India and Pakistan bilaterally, or better under international mediation, sit together, seriously negotiate and settle the dispute – if inevitable, even by some sort of partition of the accursed State §§§

Editorial 'COSTS OF DEVELOPMENT' in LAW ANIMATED WORLD, 15July 2010 issue


are being paid, nay extracted, in human blood – of innocent/ignorant poor folk of rural areas all over the third world and such development to benefit mainly the elite sections of the society and even causing extinction of marginal sections of the people. Sompeta Beela is no exception to this general rule of nauseating development in a globalization spree based mainly on privatization syndrome. Vast eco-rich wetlands, providing water for irrigating thousands of acres of paddy fields and coconut groves, source for various varieties of fish and abode for several kinds of birds from far and wide and sustenance for thousands of fishermen in the region, fit to be classified as a Ramsar Convention wetland area to be accorded international recognition, protection and upkeep, are sure to be destroyed by a potentially polluting Thermal Power Plant to be set up by Nagarjuna Construction Company. Well, could they not find barren lands in remote hinterlands for any such ‘development’ if warranted under the circumstances for benefiting the people? And how come eight institutes of repute have given a certificate of barren lands to these precious wetlands which are a source of livelihood to thousands of people? And when the matter of environmental clearance was still under consideration by the National Environment Appellate Tribunal why was the haste in conducting a foundation ceremony amidst anticipated popular indignation? Lo, after all this mayhem, with at least two precious lives sacrificed at the altar, now comes the Appellate Tribunal’s verdict quashing the said clearance; could it not have come a day earlier? Or was all this but the consequence of a preemptive move by the corporate cannibals to present a fait accompli before the forums of law? And why justice, even if and when it comes, is so delayed that it is often futile? It is very tragic and gruesome – this mode of development at the cost of innocent human blood and exploitation of marginal sections needs to be condemned by one and all and avoided with all scrupulous care. What we need is sustainable development, taking into confidence the people of the regions and avoiding even potential dangers to the environment as far as possible and not such bludgeoning inhuman course to fatten the purse of the capitalist rich §§§