1,200 Dead; Up To 41 Million Affected In Asian Flooding

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By Andy Rowell for Oil Change International – As much of the North American media focuses on the ongoing unprecedented flooding and relief efforts in Texas and now potentially Louisiana, another tragedy is unfolding, which is going largely unreported, in Asia. Whereas the death toll in Texas stands at 20, the estimated death toll in South Asia is estimated at 1,200 after weeks of unusually strong monsoon rains affecting India, Bangladesh and Nepal. The Red Cross estimates that 14 million people have been affected by flooding in India; over 7 million in Bangladesh and 1.5 million in Nepal. The United Nations puts the total number of people affected by floods and lindslides at total nearly double that at 41 million. According to the Red Cross: “Vast swaths of land across all three countries are under water .. Hundreds of thousands of people have lost their homes and their livelihoods. Many medical facilities, schools, markets and other essential services are submerged.” And as the rains continue, many people are worried that the death toll – and the number affected – will rise. Although the monsoon is an annual event, this year’s rains have been seen as far worse than usual, which people are blaming our changing climate for making things much worse.

Protests In India Against Import Of Methane Gas

From timesofindia.indiatimes.com

By Staff of The Times of India – KOCHI: Njarackal policeremoved protesters from the Puthuvype LNG import terminal of the IOC on Wednesday after they allegedly disrupted the functioning of the plant. According to police, as many as 204 protesters were arrested and removed from the spot. The arrested persons were booked under sections 188, 283, 143, 145 147 and 149 of the IPC and were later let go on bail. District collector had given out instructions to ensure police protection for the smooth functioning of the terminal of Indian Oil Corporation. The district collector’s direction to the rural district police chief came in the wake of orders of the state and central governments, the Kerala high court and the National Green Tribunal. High court had on September 8 ordered the police to provide necessary protection to the LPG terminal in the special economic zone of Puthuvype. The order was applicable to all persons connected with the terminal, including the company’s property, employees and contractors. Varapuzha archbishop Joseph Kalathilparambil meanwhile condemned the arrest and police atrocity. “Abolishing people’s protest is not the right way. There are more than 1,000 families residing in a one kilometer radius of the project. The people are apprehensive about the project leading to disasters in the future.

China, India To Reach Climate Goals Years Early, As U.S. Likely To Fall Far Short

India’s renewable energy burst has put it eight years ahead of its 2030 goal, and China’s emissions from energy use appear to have peaked more than a decade early, a new report says. Credit: San Panthaky/AFP/Getty Images

By Marianne Lavelle for Inside Climate News – Slowing coal use in China and India has put the world’s two most populous countries on track to beat their carbon emission goals under the Paris climate agreement, according to a new analysis. Greenhouse gas emissions from both countries are growing more slowly than they predicted just a year ago, and the difference is substantial—roughly 2 to 3 billion tons annually by the year 2030. That would be enough to more than offset the relatively poor performance expected from the United States as President Donald Trump rolls back controls and puts the U.S. on track to miss its Paris pledge. The forecasts were issued by Climate Action Tracker, a consortium of three international research organizations, as negotiators from around the world met in Bonn, Germany, to carry out the global climate treaty’s work. “Five years ago, the idea of either China or India stopping—or even slowing—coal use was considered an insurmountable hurdle, as coal-fired power plants were thought by many to be necessary to satisfy the energy demands of these countries,” said Bill Hare, CEO of Climate Analytics, one of the research consortium members.

Treating India’s Suicidal Farmers

The yields of organic farms, particularly those growing multiple crops, compare well to those of chemically intensive agriculture, according to a new UC Berkeley analysis. (Photo by Kristin Stringfield)

By Moin Qazi for TRANSCEND Media Service – 8 May 2017 – India’s economy may be soaring, but agriculture remains its Achilles’ heel, the source of livelihood for hundreds of millions of people but a fraction of the nation’s total economy and a symbol of its abiding difficulties. Farmer suicides are a wrenching affliction that is as tragic as it is complex and is a serious threat to India’s most critical economic sector. They are not just a loss of human lives; they are actually debilitating scars on a nations’ development that can endure for decades perpetuating a vicious cycle. A study conducted across 13 States by the Union Agriculture Ministry throws up the all-too-familiar reasons that drive farmers to suicide. The Ministry’s agricultural economic research unit, Agricultural and Rural Transformation Centre (ADRTC) of the Institute for Social and Economic Change (ISEC), Bengaluru, investigated farmers’ suicides in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Kerala, Chhattisgarh, Punjab, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal. The story behind each death points to frequent crop failure, vagaries of the monsoon, absence of assured water resources, attacks of pests and diseases, debts, farming and social causes.

Gandhi’s Strategy For Success — Use More Than One Strategy

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By Mark Engler and Paul Engler for Waging Nonviolence – At the end of 1930, India was experiencing disruption on a scale not seen in nearly three quarters of a century — and it was witnessing a level of social movement participation that organizers who challenge undemocratic regimes usually only dream of achieving. A campaign of mass non-cooperation against imperial rule had spread throughout the country, initiated earlier that year when Mohandas Gandhi and approximately 80 followers from his religious community set out on a Salt March protesting the British monopoly on the mineral. Before the campaign was through, more than 60,000 people would be arrested, with as many as 29,000 proudly filling the jails at one time.

Agriculture To Demonetisation: Not ‘Make In India’ But Made In Washington

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By Colin Todhunter for Counter Currents – We don’t have to dig too deep to see where Modi feels at home. Describing itself as a major ‘global communications, stakeholder engagement and business strategy’ company, APCO Worldwide is a lobby agency with firm links to (part of) the Wall Street/US establishment and functions to serve its global agenda. Modi turned to APCO to help transform his image and turn him into electable pro-corporate PM material. It also helped Modi get the message out that what he achieved in Gujarat as Chief Minister was a miracle of economic neoliberalism, although the actual reality is really quite different. In APCO’s India brochure, there is the claim that India’s resilience in weathering the global downturn…

Demonetisation: Bhasmasur’s Dance Of Death

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By Vijaya Kumar Marla for Counter Currents – As per mythology, one demon king, Bhasmasur had undertaken tapas to attract the attention of Shiva. His tapas was so powerful that earth and heaven were shaken and pleased with his devotion, Parameshwar appeared before him. Bhasmasur asked for a boon from Shiva, that he should have the power to destroy anything he lays his hands up on. Having promised, Parmeshwar had no option but to grant it. This demon king wanted to test whether the boon really works and so, he chased the Lord himself to put his hand up on his head. Bhasmasur had left a trail of death and destruction in his wake.

Media Ignores Largest Labor Strike In World History

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By Jim Naureckas for FAIR. When tens of millions of workers go out on strike in the second-largest country in the world—and the third-largest economy in the world—resulting in what may be the biggest labor action in world history (AlterNet, 9/7/16), you’d think that would merit some kind of news coverage, right? Not if you’re a decision-maker at a US corporate media outlet, apparently. Not a single US newspaper found in the Nexis database—which includes most of the major papers, like the New York Times, Washington Post and USA Today—reported an original story on the strike. (Associated Press had a brief, 289-word report, which ran on the New York Times‘ website and was doubtless picked up by other papers.) The Wall Street Journal, whose full text isn’t on Nexis, also skipped the Indian strike story.

Over 150 Million People Participate In Largest Labor Strike In History

Indian workers participate in a rally during a nationwide strike called by trade unions, in Jammu, India, Sept. 2, 2016.The strike has been called against the government’s alleged anti labor policies. Activists also demanded higher minimum wages and provision of social security for workers from unorganized sectors.

By Eric Scott Pickard for Mint Press News – Mumbai, India – The All India Strike, conducted across India, is likely the largest labor strike in human history, with some estimates putting the figure of striking workers at 150 million. Occurring during the fanfare of the United State’s Labor Day holiday, a long weekend mostly known in American culture as a time to drink beer and grill hot dogs, the All India Strike has disrupted many public sector industries and brought Indian workers into the international spotlight.

Tens Of Millions Of Indian Workers Strike For Higher Wages

Activists of the Communist party of India (Marxist) shout slogans in Kolkata, India, during the nationwide strike. Photograph: Bikas Das/AP

By Michael Safi for the Guardian. A nationwide strike by tens of millions of Indian public sector workers has been hailed by union officials as “the world’s largest ever” industrial action, and cost the economy up to 180bn rupees (£2bn), according to an industry group. Last-minute concessions by the finance and labour ministries, including a 104-rupee rise in unskilled workers’ daily minimum wage, could not ward off the strike against what unions said were the “anti-worker and anti-people” policies of Narendra Modi’s government. State banks and power stations were shut and public transport was halted in some states on Friday, and 20 protesters were arrested in West Bengal after allegedly damaging government buses, police official Anuj Sharma told the AFP news agency. Schools and colleges in Bangalore were closed as a precautionary measure, and 4,200 buses sat idle in Haryana. Mumbai and Delhi avoided major disruptions but surgeries were delayed at a major hospital in the capital while nurses demonstrated outside.

India To France, Millions Rising Up Against Effects Of Western Domination

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By Vijay Prashad for AlterNet – Colonialism made us feel backward. It was always Europe that was advanced and enlightened, and it was always the East that was backward and wretched. Rather than honestly say that they had come to plunder, the colonial rulers said that they had come to school the East – it needed to be civilized. Every European colonizer used the phrase – the French called it mission civilisatrice, the Portuguese called it missão civilizadora and the English called it liberalism.

Has Dalit Uprising Given Birth To A Movement?

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By Mari Marcel Thekaekara for New Internationalist Blog. While most of India was busy celebrating its 70th Independence Day, many people were trying to comprehend and make sense of a sudden Dalit uprising in Gujarat. Gujarati Dalits had begun a huge march for dignity and respect culminating in a rally on 15 August, Indian Independence day. They were demanding justice for four young Dalit men who had been stripped, tied to a car and viciously thrashed for hours in public on 11 July, by cow vigilantes, known locally as gau rakshaks, for skinning a dead cow. Every single day I receive a report of collated Dalit stories. With sickening, mind boggling regularity I read about Dalits who have been raped, flogged, humiliated and murdered, every single day, in some part of the country. Yet this particular incident, the flogging of four young lads from the leather tanning community, for doing a job their forefathers have done ever since anyone can remember, that is, skinning two dead cows, created an uproar not just in Gujarat but in Dalit circles all over India.

Kashmir: Not A Bilateral Issue

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By Staff of Barrow Press – The U.S. has recently shown its official stance on Kashmir again, by avoiding any appearance of taking sides on the conflict and restating that it is up to India and Pakistan to resolve the issue. It’s been stated by other countries as well. But that’s hogwash. The interest of other countries in the Kashmir dispute is warranted and highly recommended. The Kashmir dispute is not simply to be left to India and Pakistan, and the interest of other countries does not represent unnecessary interference in the internal affairs of India

From Livelihoods To Deadlihoods

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By Ashish Kothari for Local Futures for Economics of Happiness – In India, economic development and modernity have transformed livelihoods into deadlihoods. They are wiping out millennia-old livelihoods that were ways of life with no sharp division between work and leisure, and replacing them with dreary assembly line jobs where we wait desperately for weekends and holidays. Economic progress, we are told, is about moving from primary sector jobs to manufacturing and services. And so the livelihoods that keep all of us alive – farming, forestry, pastoralism, fisheries, and related crafts – are considered backward.

China, Russia & India Unite Against US Intervention In Asia Pacific

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By Ankit Panda for The Diplomat. Two days ago, in Moscow, the foreign ministers of India, Russia, and China released a joint communique outlining areas of trilateral agreement between the three countries. As I discussed in The Diplomat, the three countries have met annually since 2002 to discuss issues of regional and global importance. While the trilateral hasn’t addressed the issue in the past, this year, the three foreign ministers included the South China Sea disputes in their joint communique. Specifically, the portion of the communique on the maritime disputes there said the following: Russia, India and China are committed to maintaining a legal order for the seas and oceans based on the principles of international law, as reflected notably in the UN Convention on the Law of Sea (UNCLOS). All related disputes should be addressed through negotiations and agreements between the parties concerned. I