articles by Meena Menon

India

No Environment Impact Assessment for highway expansion in Goa: Violations continue as new draft seeking further dilutions released for comments

In a case involving the diversion of forest land to expand a highway near Goa’s Netravali Wildlife Sanctuary, there is no EIA nor a study examining possible alternatives. A group of local residents from Canacona have filed a public interest litigation (PIL) to oppose this diversion.

Opinion

How Uddhav Thackeray's govt implements lessons of war against coronavirus outbreak will be real test of his leadership

Let the government learn instructive lessons and hold on to this experience of the war against the coronavirus. That will be the real test of Uddhav Thackeray’s statesmanship and his true legacy to the state.

India

MHA's NPR manual excludes Muslim holidays for reference point to estimate date of birth of those who don't know when they were born

In the midst of a raging opposition, all over the country, to the Citizen Amendment Act (CAA), the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in its recently-released Instruction Manual for Updation of NPR 2020 for Enumerators and Supervisors, has used only Hindu and Sikh religious festival holidays as a reference point for people who may not know their exact date of birth

India

Crackdown on Ramachandra Guha, other CAA protesters, exposes govt's inability to deal with democratic protests

The image of historian and writer Ramachandra Guha being dragged away by the police, during what appeared to be a non-violent protest in Bengaluru, seems to typify the state reaction in the wake of the new Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). Every action has a reaction, but this time round, even simply shouting slogans or protesting at public places is not kosher.

India

In Rajura rape case, 17 minor Adivasi girls and their families await a seemingly elusive justice

While the country is aflame in more ways than one over the issue of sexual violence, a group of Gond Adivasi girls wait for justice in Rajura, in Maharashtra’s Chandrapur district. What happened to them is no less heinous than the cases that are dominating the headlines today.

India

NCRB 2016 data: Delayed NCRB report, added categories don't take away from grim reality of farmer suicides

The death of so many farmers in the country, now close to 3.5 lakh, has not led to radical policy changes to revitalise the agriculture sector. The farmer is once again caught in the grip of uncertain rains and debt, with little hope on the horizon. And the suicides continue, even if the NCRB introduces new categories and delays its own reports.

India

Aatish Taseer OCI row: For individuals of mixed Indian, Pakistani decent, a long (and tricky) road to citizenship

Writer Aatish Taseer’s Overseas Citizen of Indian Card (OIC) being withdrawn has focused attention on citizenship issues faced by children of Indian and Pakistani parents.

India

Imprisoned Resistance: New report on Kashmir situation post-Article 370, questions govt's ‘normalcy’ narrative

An 11-member team visited various parts of Kashmir last month. A report of their visit, Imprisoned Resistance, 5th August and its Aftermath, was released on 31 October.

India

UP second to MP with 4,669 rape cases, finds NCRB: Unnao, Chinmayanand cases damning indictment of Adityanath govt

The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) in its latest analysis released for 2017 has reported 4,669 cases of rape in Uttar Pradesh (second to Madhya Pradesh where at least 5,599 rape cases were reported) including 676 cases of gang rape, the highest in the country.

Politics

In The Cousins Thackeray, Dhaval Kulkarni pieces together Raj-Uddhav equation, legacy of the Shiv Sena

The most important point that emerges from Dhaval Kulkarni's book, The Cousins Thackeray, is that the Shiv Sena’s brand of identity politics has come to stay, despite its ups and downs, and found a warm home in Maharashtra.

India

Dahanu, a green zone in peril: Locals protest as taluka's environment protection authority faces the axe

Dahanu taluka has enjoyed special protection since 1991, when the MoEF — at the behest of the Supreme Court — passed a notification declaring it as ecologically fragile and restricting hazardous industries, among other things.

Life

Flood and Fury: New book analyses how myopic industries, govts facilitated the Kerala calamity in 2018

Journalist Viju B’s new book, Flood and Fury: Ecological Devastation in the Western Ghats, is an important and engaging read weaving together data with the actual ground situation. It goes beyond news reports, images of the flood, and the destruction brought about by it, to pinpoint how nature has been wilfully wrecked by humans.

World

Kerala-born, Karachi-based activist BM Kutty's demise further diminishes movement for peace between India-Pakistan

The movement for peace between India and Pakistan will be severely diminished by BM Kutty's demise, but his optimism and humour will remain as a guiding light. His life in Pakistan is also a reflection of a different relationship with our neighbour, of an era without visas and more trust and positivity, and that is the legacy he leaves behind.

India

As Bhima Koregaon case accused await bail hearings, families decry dehumanising jail conditions

Conversations with family members of those accused in the Bhima Koregaon case reveal the problems they face, from the lack of chairs and bedding in jail cells to the long wait for copies of data seized by the police

India

Beed: High hysterectomy rate among sugarcane cutters signals unethical medical practices, poor work conditions

Contractors who get these workers to cut cane, often urged the women to go in for the surgery so that they stop menstruating and it makes their lives easier, and they can work uninterrupted, among other reasons. Many of the women regretted having their uterus removed but felt they had little choice.

India

Maharashtra farmers' group agitates for 'freeing' GM seeds, but illegal varieties are rampant in India

About 1,000 Maharashtra farmers, under the aegis of the Shetkari Sanghatana, participated in a 'civil disobedience' movement in favour of GM seeds. They planted herbicide tolerant (HT) Bt cotton, which is not approved for cultivation or sale in India.

India

J&K human rights groups release report documenting decade-long torture of civilians by security forces

The report is the first comprehensive report on torture since 1990, in Jammu and Kashmir, which has testimonies of 432 victims recorded over a period of ten years.

long-reads

World Turtle Day: Two wildlife biologists are encouraging people to document species in India

Anuja Mital and Sneha Dharwadkar host a celebration every year on World Turtle Day, with a week-long spotting event. They also run a Facebook page called Freshwater Turtles and Tortoises of India, where they encourage people to post photographs of turtles and tortoises they have spotted all over India. Social media is a good outreach platform and we cannot conserve animals without the help of the community, they say.

India

Illegal limestone mining near Gir forest: NGT orders state govt to submit report on environmental damage

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has ordered the Gujarat government to submit a report of environmental damage due to illegal limestone mining in Gir Somnath and Junagadh districts of Gujarat after an NGO filed an application that these mines were operating without the required permissions.

India

Farm groups protest as PepsiCo sues Gujarat farmers for growing potato variety used to manufacture Lays chips

Potato farmers in North Gujarat are being sued under the Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Act, 2001, (PVP act for short), filed by the Indian arm of the multinational giant Pepsico India Holdings pvt ltd for growing a potato variety it uses to manufacture Lays chips.