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Laboratory of Fascism : Capital, labour and environment in Modi’s Gujarat

Rohit Prajapati and Trupti Shah write: We are caught in a false debate, where Narendra Modi, the perpetrator of 2002 carnage is counter-posed with Modi the “development leader”. We call it a false debate, since for us, who have lived and grown in Gujarat, the two aspects are actually the same – that of fascism.

The ‘Gujarat Development Model’ rests on the twin pillars of authoritarianism and divisive politics

Atul Sood writes: Why are we not talking about the facts on the ground amidst the cacophonic discourse of the success of the Gujarat model? The need to impose Section 144 every time the Vibrant Gujarat Submit is organized symbolizes one pillar of ‘managing’ support for the model. The cultural narrative is the other pillar.

The Gujarat Model – An obituary and a warning

Whoever wins the Gujarat elections, its clear that as a political idea, the Gujarat development model is floundering, and may never be revived. It may have been a textbook case of what development should not be like, but given the powerful interests it serves, it’s still likely to haunt India’s policies for years to come.

Spotlight: The continuing trauma of the endosulfan victims

Hundreds of Endosulfan-affected people, this time from Karnataka, are threatening to sit on a fast until death from May 27 to demand better care from the government. Here are exhaustive reports from Down to Earth magazine, which first exposed the issue in 2001, chronicling one of the worst and longest-running pesticide poisoning episodes in history.

Six years later: A closer look at Fukushima

This day six years ago, tsunami waves crashed into Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant, leading to a meltdown, which by one estimate continues to leak an astounding 300 tons of radioactive waste into the Pacific daily. A selection of reports and a lead article by M.V. Ramana, on what some have called history’s worst environmental disaster.

Kaziranga: The park that shoots people to protect rhinos

In Kaziranga national park, rangers shoot people to protect rhinos. The park features in a new BBC investigation, which highlights some of the conflicts that characterise contemporary conservation, as the need to protect endangered species comes into contact with the lives and rights of people who live in and around the increasingly threatened national parks.

How viable (and sustainable) are solar PV systems? A debate

Post the Paris climate agreement, the world looks to solar energy more than ever to reduce carbon emissions and counter climate change, with multi-billion dollar solar programmes announced by just about every major country. But just how efficient,  and environmentally sustainable is the celebrated solar photovoltaic technology? Here’s what some leading voices have to say.

The political and economic fallout of the energy upheaval

With the production of ‘conventional oil’ having reached a plateau and fossil fuels in general under attack for their impact on the climate and the environment, the global oil industry is undergoing an unprecedented upheaval. Oil being the very lifeblood of all industrial societies, the geopolitical and economic consequences of these changes are already being felt.

Special: A look back at Kerala’s endosulphan disaster

Valiya Chirakula Pakshikal (Birds With Large Wings), directed by Dr. Biju, has been declared 2015’s Best Film on Environment. It explores the disastrous environmental and public health consequences of pesticide use, based on real-life events in Kasargode, Kerala. On this occasion, here’s a look back at the manmade disaster that continues to haunt Kasargode residents.

A Marathwada farmer’s wake-up call to India: try to understand why we die

Rajabhau Deshmukh, a farmer from Beed says: We’ve been reaping merely 20-30% of our average crop in the last few years. Even as bank loans, moneylenders’ debts, relatives’ credits and the interest keep gnawing at us, we’ve to somehow run our homes. To be honest, it seems we are not even allowed to fall sick.

Tribals in Odisha humour changing skies with mixed platters

Nauri grows 72 varieties of crop on his two-acre farm. “The benefit of mixed cropping is that even in extreme weather events, we get something out of the field. Some crops work well in drought, others in flood. Compare this with mono cropping which won’t even yield enough to eat in severe drought”, he explains.

Weathering The Change ­- A Farmer’s Diary of 2015

The rains have let us down terribly this year. There were farmers in our area who did not bother planting their rice crop when they realized that it wasn’t going to rain much this year and then there were others that took a chance and planted but didn’t bother harvesting since the crop was a disaster.

Winds of change – A view from Nersa

Morvarid Fernandez writes: Our crops failed, cattle graze the dry paddy straw, and fields remain fallow because there is not enough water. Bore wells are deeper, the lines longer, and the black blister bug – usually a bane – simply did not appear last year. The monsoon of 2015, you ask. But there just wasn’t one.

A Farmer’s Life Crisis — And India’s Farming Predicament

IndiaSpend reports: Indian farms depend too much on increasingly uncertain rainfall: while there was not enough rain during the pre-monsoon kharif season (July-October) last year, there has been vastly excess rainfall during this rabi season (October-March). For instance, Eastern Rajasthan, the farm belt of the desert state, had more than 14 times the normal rainfall during this pre-monsoon season.

Did Marx call the peasant an idiot? He was right, I am an idiot.

Chittoor-based farmer and activist Uma Shankari writes: After the year 2010, for the first time we’ve had good rains; in fact exceptionally good rains, a side effect of the Chennai disaster. My husband used to say, “If Chennai drowns, we’ll be saved”. This time it came true. We’ve not seen such heavy rains in twenty, thirty years.

Series: Weathering the change – Part 1

(Note: The weather is changing, adding to the woes of the Indian farmer, who is already in a state of crisis. Even as the pundits split hairs over climate change, for the farmer, it seems the writing is on the wall. In Weathering the change, we present a short series presenting the farmer’s perspective on the impact of these changes.)

Special: Nuclear power wanes as solar rises worldwide

India drastically lowers nuclear energy target Deccan Herald With little progress on ground since the 2008 Indo-US nuclear agreement, the government has drastically cut the nuclear energy target from 63,000 Mwe by 2032 to just about 14,500 Mwe by 2024. Quiet Burial For India-US Nuclear Deal? Amit Bhandari, Gateway House Solar power developers have offered