ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Hampi Bazaar Demolition II

The heritage boundary is no longer an exercise of scholarly discourse but an antagonistic boundary between human rights and world heritage.

Misguided Education Policy in Rajasthan

An open letter to Vasundhara Raje, chief minister of Rajasthan, on why the Policy for Public Private Partnerships in School Education 2015 in Rajasthan will damage public education in the state.

Kaziranga Under Threat

Several highly polluting industries—stone quarries, oil refinery, parasitic rubber plantations—as well as encroachment from locals, are adversely affecting the biodiversity of the Kaziranga National Park in Assam. This article looks at how decisions taken in the past to establish regionalist claims over resources and industry have proved detrimental to the conservation efforts of Kaziranga.

Crouching Tiger, India's Forests

The polarising debate around Ustad or T-24 who killed a forest guard in Ranthambhore National Park, and was eventually relocated, will serve little to address complex problems of conservation. This article focusses on the scientific and societal considerations of wildlife conservation—the forest guards as well as the communities living inside and around wildlife habitats.

Hampi Bazaar Demolition I

Despite widespread support on the importance of participatory planning and local knowledge networks, a clear boundary remains between those who make decisions about world heritage and those living within heritage environments. The 2011 demolition of Hampi Bazaar was just one example which showed that heritage boundary was no longer an exercise of scholarly discourse but an antagonistic boundary between human rights and world heritage.

The Mystery of Sopore Killings

Sopore in north Kashmir is in grip of fear and anxiety after six people were killed in less than a month’s time. Separatist and militant groups blame the government and security agencies for the killings, while security forces claim the killers are renegade militants. Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar’s statement about using terrorists to neutralise terrorists has inevitably got linked to the situation, bringing back hoary memories of the mid-1990s, when the counter insurgency group Ikhwan ul-Muslimoon became a law unto itself. Ambiguous statements by militants have aggravated such fears, while the government has done nothing to allay apprehensions.

A Perilous Pilgrimage

Massive footfalls at pilgrim towns increase the risk of major accidents and disrupt the local ecology. The Kerala state government’s plan to make the Sabarimala temple town a national pilgrim centre, that includes devising a mass gathering and safe pilgrimage policy for pilgrims thronging the hill shrine, could serve as a model for the development of other pilgrim centres.

Mopa Airport Woes

A proposed new airport in North Goa has brought to the fore the old North Goa–South Goa feud. With the current Bharatiya Janata Party government determined to make the project a success, they could ride roughshod over concerns, environmental as well as political.

India's War Against Itself

Delhi's chest thumping journalists have become mere stenographers of power, forgetting to ask questions and interrogate official narratives. A journalist from Manipur recounts the events leading up to and around the 9 June 2015 “surgical strikes” by the Indian Army against insurgents and explains the event in its contexts.

Army's Trans-Border Raid in Myanmar

Some reasonably astounding claims have been made about the commando raid carried out by the Indian army on rebel camps in Myanmar. A long time observer of the region and military operations there separates the chaff to prise out the possible grain of truth.

State versus Municipal Funds

The skirmish over non-disposal of waste in Delhi in May 2015 opens up bigger questions about the state-municipal relation over funds allocation and disbursement.

Pilibhit Tiger Reserve

Home to a sizeable tiger population and several other endangered species, the Pilibhit Forest Division, an erstwhile timber yielding reserve forest, was notified as a tiger reserve by the Uttar Pradesh state government in 2014. To successfully protect and perpetuate the tiger species in this area, noted for its "exemplary wildlife values", the administrators will have to preempt discord that is likely to arise between the forest department and human communities whose livelihoods are affected by the creation of the new reserve.

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