BHUBANESWAR: A Plant, endemic to Himalayan region, has been spotted in the Eastern Ghats of Orissa leaving biologists puzzled. Corallodiscus batalin, the species, is known to grow at an altitude of 600 metres to 3600 metres above the sea level. In the past, the botanists recorded it in the Himalayas of North Eastern India and China. Recently, it was found by a researcher group in Similipadar hills under Karlapat range of Kalahandi. Strange but true. Lately, there have been many instances of plants ‘moving’ due to climatic change. If this is a case of climate change forcing movement of plants needs a debate and further research. Interestingly, the species was not only discovered in Eastern Ghats, it was also found in Western Ghats indicating its distribution to the peninsular India. Plant biologists have recorded at least 18 species of Corallodiscus batalin genus in China besides its occurrence in India. A team of plant biologists from Institute of Minerals and Metals Technology and North Orissa University (NOU) discovered the plant in Similipadar, according to Current Science. Interestingly, a magazine on traditional Himalayan healing says that the species is used for kidney disorder in many parts of the world and has shown promising result in ailments. Plant biologist PK Dash said since the discovery extends the distribution of the species to peninsular India, it gives opportunities for scientists and researchers to explore the area for some more such findings which may come handy for modern drugs of herbal origin.
Monday, March 30, 2009
The developed countries (europeans/Americans/whites) exploited us for the last couple of centuries through colonisation, slavery, looting our societies while industrialising themselves. This they did with the help of the turncoat elites of our nations - many of whose descendents still lord it over us. And during their industrialisation, they belched billions of tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
Then as decolonisation took place, they, along with our elites felt that we needed to be developed - and so now our land, water, forests- all are being taken away for models of development which add to their wealth and wellbeing (and developing a small percentage of our population who seem to be doing much better). And this fossil fuel based development adds more carbon dioxide to the air.
And then we have climate change and global warming - because of all the CO2 that these people have put in the air while improving their life standards and driving their SUVs and cars. But look at the irony, it is our countries in the tropics which are going to become deserts or face massive floods, and its our water which is going to dry up with the dissappearing glaciers in the Himalayas and the Andes. And the poor are the vulnerable population who have no capacity to protect themselves from the ravages of global warming, who are going to die in millions and who are going to starve as food supplies become costlier because the rich people won't reduce meat in their diets and need bio-diesel for their cars.
And the carbon mitigation plans - based on markets and purchasing power- will convert all our cultivable land into carbon sink plantations and jatropha plantations - while the poor starve and live in hunger, and try to migrate - and start killing each other- while fortress Europe and Fortess America put walls around themselves so that environmental and climate refugees can't pour into their countries
The God/s, if there is one, has a real perverse sense of humor. Or a wicked sense of justice. He definitely seems to love the rich and the powerful and to dislike the poor. The poor don't inherit the earth - the rich and the powerful do.
Sunday, March 29, 2009
There are NROs who understand this, and are sensitive to the contexts of Orissa, and the needs of our common people. I think the main difference is in the manner one views and understand the notion of development and its relationships with democracy and human rights.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Activists float new partyThe Statesman
BHUBANESWAR, March 23: Releasing a “people’s manifesto” and floating the Lok Rajniti Manch, leaders of various people's movements across the state led by Mr Prafulla Samantra, Mr Lingaraj and others, today exhorted voters to question candidates and political parties on issues relating to water and agriculture. Also, they urged the people to question where the parties were obtaining crores to spend in the elections.
The activists said they had decided to field candidates in some of the assembly constituencies to establish the power of the common man. Mr Lingaraj will contest the Bargarh assembly seat, while Mr Kishore Das will fight for the Morada assembly seat in Mayurbhanj district. A few other social activists involved in people's movements may also be nominated, said Mr Samantra.
Significantly, most of these activists have been leading anti-displacement, anti-mining and tribal cause-related movements in the state. Mr Lingaraj is widely known for his struggle against the indiscriminate allocation of Hirakud waters to industrial houses. The peasants' movement of which he was a leader has led to violence in recent times in Sambalpur region.
The activists issued a set of questions to the people, imploring them to ponder - and even grill - their political leaders.
Here are some of the questions proposed: Is CM Naveen Patnaik and his government clean? If so, how is it that crores are spent, even on municipal election campaigns? Which minister or MLA has not added to his property and wealth over the last nine years? Doesn’t the common man pay bribes at every office, be it the block, tehsil, revenue, police, forest office? Why does the 'land grab' include valuable agriculture land? What is the motive for taking over such fertile land, and who benefits from it?
The activists challenge the claims of development made by the BJD and point out the discrepancy between "claims that the state had progressed and developed, and the fact that the state had become one of the poorest state in the country". The added: "More than 80 per cent of people in rural areas of the state have a per capita daily income of less than Rs 19. How can this be called progress and development?"
"The MNC and the rich, the politician and his masters, are the only ones who have progressed and amassed wealth while the poor have become poorer and the farmer has been deprived of land and water," they said.
They also announced that each one of them would collect donations, moving around on bicycles to muster the required amount for contesting the election.
Call for alternative political force Staff Reporter, The Hindu
|“People’s manifesto” released|
BHUBANESWAR: A group of leaders spearheading agitations at the grassroots level on Monday released a people’s manifesto calling upon people to fight elections based on the programmes.
Coming together in a forum, Loka Rajaniti Manch (LRM), these leaders have vowed to make a difference in the way elections. The forum has decided to field candidates for two Assembly seats.
While Samajbadi Jana Parishad leader, Lingaraj, would file his nomination from Bargarh Assembly constituency, Kishore Das of Nabakranti Abhijan, would fight election in Morada Assembly constituency in Mayurbhanj district.
The LRP declared that people’s movement leaders would involve themselves in campaigning for the candidates who would come forward to accept people’s manifesto.
“We want to defeat forces who have been sponsored by corporate houses. The objective behind fighting elections is to build up an alternative political force, which would raise issues such as displacement and betterment of downtrodden people,” said Prafulla Samantra of State unit of LRP.
He said LRP was a national level forum of leaders involved in people’s movements and the process of bringing them together started a year ago.
Mr. Lingarj, whose electoral prospects are said to be bright, will jump into electoral battle for the second time. “We don’t have enough money power to carry out a high profile campaign. I have touched 90 per cent of gram panchayats by bicycles and made people aware about the alternative model of development,” he said.Governments flayed
The forum leaders came down heavily on the successive state governments for adopting policy of globalisation. Especially in Orissa, the BJD-BJP alliance government had pursued fast industrialisation, which had caused more destruction than development, Mr. Lingaraj said.
Monday, March 23, 2009
Note on Environmental Impact of Industrialisation in Sambalpur-Jharsuguda Region by Chairman, Orissa Pollution Control Board
Dongaria Kondhs provoked by Vedanta Goons- one person probably dead
Reported by Surya Shankar Das
On the 18th of March, a motley group of contractors, mafia men, local supporters of Vedanta, etc. managed to get to the Niyamgiri hilltop on a SUV and a mobike. There they had an argument with Dongria Kondhs who fobade them from entering their sacred grove. The men did not heed their words and a clash between both groups became inevitable. The Vedanta men were beaten up badly and their vehicles were torched. One of them also suffered from serious injuries from axe blows. He was admitted in a hospital where he seems to have succumbed to the injuries two days later. This is an unfortunate fallout, that the people have been pushed to this extent. Their repeated pleas to the world has been repeatedly ignored by the company and state. Now they have been forced to use the axe which they had very clearly said they would if the need arises. While things have come to the point where they did use the axe, this will give the state police very good alibi to create a new phase of repression. People will be arrested, framed on false charges, And if that does happen a bigger casualty than Kalinga Nagar cannot be ruled out. If it doesnt happen while the elections are on then it will definitely happen when it is over. My sources have been informing me for more than a week that the mafia has been aggresively campaigning in villages like Kadamguda, Balabhadrapur, etc and they had even managed to dismantle the barricade in spirit at least. Road construction had begun and many villagers had been bought over to the company side. While all this happens at the ground Vedanta's press releases have been splashed all over the media. My sincere appeal to everyone to join hands and counter the media assault by Vedanta as well as find ways to protect the Dongrias from being pushed into such extreme situations where they have to wage medival wars to protect their home, habitat and religion.
The responsibility of the running the epgorissa website has been shifted to me as a new moderator and as a part of this responsibility, I plan to restart this blog and link it to the epgorissa website. I will try to bring in things as they happen onto this blog and provide links to papers and documents stored on epgorissa website.
New Moderator for EPGOrissa