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27 Oct 2016

Glare on China link to poaching

TT, Alipurduar, Oct. 26: A senior official from the Union ministry of environment and forest today said China was the destination of animal products from India and Beijing would be asked to rein in such rackets at an international conference in Bhutan the next month.
The Wildlife Crime Control Bureau under the ministry today organised a meeting at Madarihat for the people living in fringe villages under the Jaldapara wildlife division to make them aware of their active role in controlling poaching.
Agni Mitra, the deputy director, Wildlife Crime Control Bureau, eastern region, Bhaskar J.V, the divisional forest officer of Jaldapara wildlife division, and senior officers of the forest department took part in the meeting. "China has become the big destination of animal products. We are worried about it. From November 27 to December 1, Interpol will conduct a meeting on wildlife crime in Bhutan's Paro. Representatives of seven countries, including India and China, will participate in the conference. At the meeting, we will definitely mount pressure on China to control wildlife traffickers," said Mitra.
He said, at today's meeting, the villagers had been told about the animal parts, which were smuggled by poachers, and sought their help in keeping hunters away from forests.
DFO Bhaskar said the forest dwellers had at today's meeting promised that they would help the foresters by giving information of anybody found suspicious in their areas. "The meeting will definitely help the villagers a lot and it is true that without the help of the villagers, we will not receive any information about criminals. In the last case of AK-47 seizure, we received preliminary information from the villagers," he said.

TMC union to hold garden survey - Trinamul wing plans to check if tea estate dwellers get benefits from govt

TT, Siliguri, Oct. 26: The Trinamul trade union for tea garden workers will launch a survey to know if the benefits extended by the state government are reaching plantations, a move that is seen as an attempt by the ruling party to cement its base ahead of elections to the GTA next year and rural bodies in 2018.
"The state has extended a number of benefits to the tea population like crores of other residents of the state. They include food grains at cheaper rates, bicycles for students, financial assistance to girl students and students from the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, assistance to senior citizens and likewise. There is a clear instruction from the government that none of the prospective beneficiaries is left out and officials at different levels of administration are working on it," said Mohan Sharma, the chairman of the Cha Bagan Trinamul Mazdoor Union.
"Simultaneously, on behalf of the party, we intend to carry out a continuous exercise or a survey to find out whether all beneficiaries in the tea belt are getting necessary assistance and whether anybody is left out. If we find any such case, we will immediately bring it to the notice of the administration," Sharma, who is also the sabhadhipati of Alipurduar zilla parishad, said.
Senior Trinamul leaders based in north Bengal said even today, both Trinamul and its trade union lack necessary support base in the tea belt.
"Even today, the Joint Forum (which has 20-odd tea trade unions and doesn't include Trinamul's labour wing) is the strongest body representing tea workers. We have our trade union in the tea belt and there are units in most of the gardens. But it would take some more time to build a strong trade union throughout the tea belt, both in the hills and plains. That is why it has been decided that leaders of our party and the trade union who are functioning at different levels will take up the task of visiting each household and find out whether the family is getting all available benefits from the government," a Trinamul leader in Jalpaiguri said.
"The move, we feel, can help augment Trinamul's support base. We can also prove the sincerity of our party and the government to these people," he added.
Observers said the survey was important as GTA polls were slated to be held next year and elections to rural bodies were scheduled for 2018.
Party sources in Jalpaiguri said a similar exercise of checking the availability of doles from the state government would be carried out in small tea plantations as well.
Dima to reopen
Dima Tea Estate in Kalchini block of Alipurduar district will reopen on Thursday after trade unions have condemned the gherao of management staff on October 22.
The decision to reopen the estate was taken at a meeting in the office of joint labour commissioner in Siliguri.

E-platform for harass protest

Maneka Gandhi in Delhi on Wednesday. (PTI)
Ananya Sengupta, TT, New Delhi, Oct. 26: Maneka Gandhi today said her ministry would set up an online platform where any central government woman employee could directly file complaints of sexual harassment, effectively limiting the role of internal committees in handling such cases. 
The directly filed complaints would later be taken up with the ministries concerned for a "monitorable and transparent system" of redress, the women and child development (WCD) minister was quoted as saying.
The decision came at a meeting to review how the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013, was being implemented.
Sources said Maneka not only came down hard on some ministries for delaying probes into harassment cases, but also said she would watch them closely.
Maneka, the sources said, also asked the heads of internal complaints committees to explain why they had not addressed complaints.
Today's meeting came a few days after Maneka had tweeted that she would personally review the handling of such complaints. The tweet had followed complaints from several women to Maneka's ministry that their complaints were not being resolved.
"I am concerned that the complaints of sexual harassment are not being handled in a timely as well as sensitive manner," Maneka is believed to have told the meeting, adding that the harassment often continued over a period of time.
"It is only after it becomes unbearable that a woman comes out to complain," she said.
Government sources said some of those against whom complaints were pending with the internal committees were senior officers. In one case, a joint secretary-level officer in the railway ministry had filed a complaint. When a query was sent to the complaints committee asking why it had not taken any action, they had told the WCD ministry no complaint had been filed although Maneka's ministry had a copy of the complaint.
"Some of these cases have been pending for two years. Absolutely no action has been taken so far. This cannot go on," said an official in the WCD ministry.
Maneka said it was the duty of the internal complaints committee to decide on a complaint in the "shortest" possible time.
Besides the e-platform, Maneka suggested setting up an inter-ministerial committee. This committee would look into how complaints were being disposed of.
"This will enable a monitorable and transparent system of grievance redress under the act," the sources quoted her as saying.
It was also decided that all ministries and departments would submit a monthly report to the WCD ministry on the number of complaints received, the action taken and pending cases.
Maneka said the external member on the internal complaints committees would be chosen from a panel of persons handpicked by the proposed inter-ministerial committee to ensure that there is no conflict of interest.
The meeting also decided that the respective cadre-controlling authority of complainants would keep them under observation for five years so that they are not subjected to administrative harassment for daring to complain against a superior.

Dropout fear over school detention - Questions on impact of tweak on poor

BASANT KUMAR MOHANTY, TT, New Delhi, Oct. 26: An elementary education survey in rural Punjab has found that government schools cater largely to poor and Dalit children, raising the possibility that they could drop out in large numbers if the no-detention policy till Class VIII is tweaked.
The findings of the "Diagnostic Analysis of Elementary Education Scheme in Rural Punjab", done by the Niti Aayog, have come at a time when a proposal has been made to tweak the Right to Education Act to allow states to decide whether to promote all children till Class VIII or detain them according to learning outcome.
Although the no-detention policy has been seen as the principal factor for poor learning among children, the survey has pinned the blame on lack of facilities in schools and disinterest among parents and teachers.
However, the former director of the National Council of Educational Research and Training, Krishna Kumar, felt that dropout rates among poor children would increase if the no-detention policy were modified.
"Experts have always supported no-detention of children up to Class VIII. Detention means poor children may drop out in large numbers. It is their right to be in school till they turn 14 years of age as per the RTE Act. Who will protect their right?" Kumar asked.
The academic said there was no direct connection between the no-detention policy and poor learning outcome. "There is no guarantee that scrapping the policy will result in improvement of standards," he said.
The Central Advisory Board of Education had yesterday suggested an amendment in the no-detention provision in the RTE act. The government will take a final decision.
According to the Niti Aayog survey, which covered children of Classes V and VIII in 790 rural schools in six districts of Punjab, most students belong to poor and illiterate families. Some attend school just to have the mid-day meal and get the school uniform.
"Government schools are dominated by socially and economically disadvantaged categories due to obvious reasons. The general category students prefer to go to private schools," the survey said.
Kumar agreed with the findings, saying the situation was similar in the whole country.
Nearly 30 per cent rural households in Punjab belong to the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes. The average monthly household income is estimated at Rs 7,741.
The survey found that government school buildings, other infrastructure and furniture were poorly maintained. Cleanliness levels and sports facilities were dismal. Few teachers and lack of teaching aids were additional problems.
"Parents, too, have failed to realise the importance of education and least bother about the education of their wards. The teachers of government rural schools do not take interest in teaching due to the burden of non-academic work coupled with lack of interest among the parents," the study said.
Expectedly, students' academic performance was dismal. Many were not able to answer simple questions from the syllabus. Others could not write in Hindi, English or even Punjabi.

Hardened stance - There is a marked change in India's approach towards Pakistan

Kanwal Sibal, TT, 26 October 2016: Prime Minister Narendra Modi used the BRICS summit and the Bimstec outreach at Goa in mid-October to attack Pakistan (without naming it) on the terrorism issue with unprecedented verbal vehemence. He called it the mothership of terrorism to which terrorist modules all over the world are linked. 
Terrorism, he said, has come to define the fundamental character and nature of the neighbouring country. He exhorted BRICS and Bimstec countries to stand up and act decisively against the State sponsors of terror. He warned Pakistan to mend its ways or face isolation in the civilized world. All countries in South Asia and Bimstec, he said, pursue the path of peace, development and prosperity, barring one that embraces and radiates the darkness of terrorism. He castigated Pakistan for not only sheltering terrorists but also nurturing a mindset that loudly proclaims that terrorism is justified for political gains.
Even after the Mumbai terrorist attack and numerous others, India's leader has never employed such excoriating language against Pakistan. Using two international gatherings on Indian soil to lambast Pakistan delivered a message that India was losing hope of Pakistan mending its ways and that its patience was nearing exhaustion. China's president, Xi Jinping, whose government has put its protective arm around Pakistan on the issue of terrorism even in the United Nations security council, should have understood it.
China has been opposing India's efforts to put Pakistan on the mat in the relevant UN security council committee on the case of Lashkar-e-Toiba's Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi and the Jaish-e-Mohammed chief, Masood Azhar. China does not see the absurdity of its position that more information is needed to designate Azhar as an international terrorist when his outfit had been declared a terrorist organization in 2001 by the UN. China and others are aware of Azhar's background, his connection with the hijacking of IC-814 from Kathmandu in 1999 and his safe conduct back into Pakistan from Kabul by his Taliban accomplices.
Modi has conveyed the message implicitly that China's massive investment plans for Pakistan would be jeopardized if Pakistan continues to promote terrorism and India is compelled to react more forcefully than the limited surgical strikes that were undertaken after the Uri attack. Modi's references to Balochistan should already have increased China's concerns about its pet project. China, hopefully, is realizing that mounting India-Pakistan tensions over terrorism also carry the danger of seriously destabilizing India-China relations should China decide to intervene in favour of its "iron brother" in case of a major military strike by India after being provoked by an act from Pakistan. As of now, China is resisting India's message, judging by its spokesperson's statement after Goa that Pakistan is itself a victim of terrorism and that in combating terrorism Pakistan has made great sacrifices that need recognition by the international community.
To a lesser degree, Modi's message has also relevance for Russia, which is reluctant to publicly join India to note Pakistan's terrorist affiliations. What is more, it has lately taken initiatives that give comfort to Pakistan vis-à-vis India. Its decision to ink a defence agreement with Pakistan in 2014, sell weapons and hold inopportune military exercises with it shortly after the Uri attack have touched sensitive nerves in India. One can argue that the import of these exercises should not be exaggerated, given that India conducts limited military exercises with a strategic adversary like China. The difference, of course, is that with China the exercises are part of managing a conflictual relationship. With Russia, trust and geopolitical convergence have traditionally marked India's ties. Its military outreach to Pakistan cannot but be seen negatively; it sows doubts in our mind about Russian motives and the extent to which this reflects its increased strategic understandings with China as a reaction to improving India-US relations.
Russia, it is explained, is concerned about the presence of Islamic State elements in Afghanistan and the danger they pose to Central Asia and, eventually, to Russia itself. Consequently, it feels the need to engage Pakistan rather than continue to cold-shoulder it. The weakness of this explanation is that Russia has not been unresponsive to Pakistan's efforts to reach out to it, principally to drive a wedge between Russia and India by pushing it to be more even-handed in the subcontinent and not allow its policies as a great power to be dictated by India. Already, with the limited overtures Russia has made, Pakistani commentators are talking of Pakistan joining up with China and Russia to prevent its isolation, and so on.
Russia's initiative to start quadripartite talks involving Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and itself on the regional situation around Afghanistan was not linked to the entry of IS elements in Afghanistan. India was excluded, just as the Americans excluded India from their "quad" involving themselves, China, Pakistan and Afghanistan. This was more in the context of accommodating the Taliban in the power structure in Afghanistan with Pakistan's cooperation.
The Russian decision to supply weapons to Pakistan, such as attack helicopters, constituted a major political departure from earlier supplies of transport helicopters, although Russia has indirectly helped Pakistan's military capacity by providing the jet engines for the JF 17, a China-Pakistan joint venture for the production of combat aircraft. The explanation that these attack helicopters are intended to aid Pakistan in carrying out anti-terror operations is unpersuasive. The Americans use the same argument to justify the sale of F-16s to Pakistan, but are unable to persuade it to act against the Haqqani group, which targets the US forces in Afghanistan. If Pakistan will not be pressurized by the Americans to act against terrorist groups that help promote its geopolitical aims in the neighbourhood, a few Russian helicopters will not give Russia the leverage to persuade Pakistan to control the flow of terrorists from the region into Central Asia. Even China, which wields enormous influence in Pakistan, has issues with its ability to control Uighur militants operating from its territory. Russia is, therefore, hardly likely to obtain any worthwhile cooperation from Pakistan with regard to Islamic elements penetrating Central Asia from its soil.
Sergey Chemezov, a close associate of Vladimir Putin and the head of Russia's military technology conglomerate, Rostec, had clarified at Goa that there are no contracts or plans to deliver military equipment to Pakistan. This is reassuring. But by justifying the military exercises as important for targeting the IS that is spreading terror in the Middle East, India and Pakistan, he has been less comforting about the future.
Modi's broadsides on two formal occasions with major world leaders present signify a marked change of approach towards Pakistan. Boycotting the November summit of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation in Islamabad and inviting Bimstec countries instead of those of Saarc to the BRICS summit is sending a clear message about India's willingness to isolate Pakistan in the region. Having generated this kind of pressure on Pakistan, it is important that India does not relent and continues to resist any overture from Pakistan through back channels proposing a fresh start in overcoming differences. Pakistan has learnt through experience that India's staying power in pursuing a tough course towards the former is limited. The Modi government should disprove this.
The author is former foreign secretary of India sibalkanwal@gmail.com


26 Oct 2016

मगर विकास वोर्डको सभा सम्पन्न

डी के वाइबा, कालिमन्युज, कालेबुङ 26 अक्टोबर। मंगर विकास बोर्डको कार्यकारी समितिको सभा सम्पन्न भएको छ। विकास बोर्डका अध्यक्ष नवीन थापाको अध्यक्षतामा सम्पन्न भएको उक्त सभामा उनले मगर विकास बोर्डको सम्पूर्ण कार्यक्रमहरूको विवरण अनि भावी कार्यक्रमहरूबारे जानकारी गराएका थिए। यसबारे कार्यकारी समितिका सदस्यवर्गले भावी कार्यक्रमबारे आ-आफ्ना विचार राखेका थिए। 
कार्यकारी समितिको उक्त सभामा विभिन्न स्थानहरूमा सार्वनजिक भवन निर्माणार्थ सरकारलाई माग राखिने प्रस्ताव पारित गरिएको छ। यसका साथै वर्तमान अवस्थामा बेरोजार रहेका शिक्षित युवा युवतीहरूका निम्ति रोजगारमूलक प्रशिक्षण प्रदान गरिनुपर्ने पनि चर्चा गरिएको नवीन थापाले बताएका छन्। मगर जातिका निम्ति सिलगडीमा एउटा युवा होस्टेल निर्माणको आवश्यक्ता रहेको अनि यसबारे पनि सरकारलाई अवगत गराएर माग राख्ने कार्यकारी समितिले प्रस्ताव ग्रहण गरेको छ। 
सभामा अहिलेसम्म सरकारद्वारा प्राप्त कोष अनि यसको प्रयोगबारे सम्पूर्ण विवरण बोर्डका उपाध्यक्ष तुशर मगरले दिएका थिए। सभामा मगर जातिका विपन्न परिवारवर्गका निम्ति घर निर्माणको निम्ति अनुमोदिर राशी अनि गृह निमार्ण कार्यमा भइरहेको विषयमा पनि सभामा कार्यकारी समितिलाई जानकारी दिइएको थियो। सभामा मगर जातिका विपन्न परिवारहरूको निम्ति गृह निर्माणको सत्य तथ्य र आवश्यता जाँच्न गर्ने कमिटि गठन गरिने पनि प्रस्ताव पारित गरिएको छ। जुन कमिटिले गृह निर्माण सम्पूर्ण देख रेख गर्ने भएको छ। 
मगर विकास बोर्डको उक्त सभामा कालेबुङ महकुमा अधिनस्थ रहेका तीनवटा खण्डहरूका प्रतिनिधीहरू क्रमैले पप्पु थापा, रमेश मगर, दार्जिलिङबाट युवराज राणा मगर, खर्साङबाट सचिव मगर, तेजबहादुर मगर, शरण मगर, अनि ओम मगर उपस्थित रहेका थिए। सभामा अहिलेसम्म मगर विकास बोर्डले गरिरहेका कार्य अनि भविष्यमा गर्नुपर्ने कार्यहरूबारे अध्यक्ष नविन थापा मगरले निर्देश दिएका छन्। आजसम्म मगर बोर्डले गरिरहेको कार्यको सराहना गर्दै उनले भविष्यमा पनि जातिय हितार्थ अझै राम्रा कार्य गरेर उदाहरण पेश गर्नुपर्ने सदस्यवर्गलाई आह्वान गरेका छन्। 

जन आन्दोलन पार्टीका युवा प्रकोष्टको शहरमा पोष्टर् सफाई

डी के वाइबा, कालिमन्युज, कालेबुङ 26 अक्टोबर।जन आन्दोलन पार्टीका युवा प्रकोष्टले शहरमा टाँसेका पार्टीको पुराना पोष्टरहरू हटाउने कार्य गरेको छ। विभिन्न राजनैतिक कार्यक्रमहरूबारे पार्टीले टाँसेका पोष्टरहरू कार्यक्रम सकेपछि शहरमा मैलाका थाक मात्रै बनिरहेको अवस्थामा पार्टीले शहरलाई स्वच्छ अनि सुन्दर राख्नका निम्ति कार्यक्रम सकिसकेका अचाहिँदो पोष्टरहरू राजनैतिक दल तथा संघ संस्थाहरू आफैले निकाल्न आवश्यक रहेको अखिल भारतीय जन आन्दोलन पार्टीका युवा प्रकोष्ठका सचिव अमिर बस्नेतले बताएका छन्। 
‘हामीले विभिन्न कार्यक्रमलाई लिएर शहरमा व्यापक पोष्टरिङ गरेका थियौँ। कार्यक्रम सकिएपछि ती पोष्टरहरू अनावश्यक भएको कारण शहरमा मैला थुपारेर राख्नको साटो हामीले आफै टाँसेका पोस्टरहरू हटाएर शहर सुन्दर राख्ने सन्देश दिएका हौँ’ अमिर बस्नेतले भने। 
उनले आफ्नो शहरलाई आफैले स्वच्छ राख्न आवश्यक रहेको बताउँदै अन्यले पनि लगाएका पोष्टरहरू कार्यक्रम समाप्त भएपछि सफाई गर्नुपर्ने सुझाव दिए। 
यसक्रममा उनीहरूले अक्त पार्टीले टाँसेका अनावश्यक पोष्टरहरू हटाउने कार्य यहाँको डम्बर चौकबाट सुरू गरेका थिए भने शहरको विभिन्न स्थानहरूमा टाँसेका सम्पूर्ण पोष्टरहरू नै उनीहरूले हटाएका छन्।

16 वर्षिय किशोरिलाई 67 वर्षिय वृद्धले यौन शोषण गरेको आरोप

डी के वाइबा, कालिमन्युज, कालेबुङ 26 अक्टोबर। कालेबुङमा 16 वर्शिय किशोरीलाई यौन शोषण गरेको घट्ना प्रकाशमा आएको छ। पिढीता किशोरीलाई 67 वर्षिय आरोपित उर्गेन तामाङले विगत चारवर्षदेखि यौन शोषण गरेको आरोप रहेको छ। 
सन् 2012 देखि बारम्बार यौन शोषण गरेको आरोपमा पिढीत किशोरीको परिवार पक्षले कालेबुङ थानामा प्राथमिकी दर्ता गरेपछि आरोपित उर्गेन तामाङलाई पक्राऊ गरेर आज दार्जिलिङ जिल्ला अदालतमा पेशीको निम्ति पठाएको छ। 
पिढीता किशोरीलाई 14 सितम्बरको दिन यौण शोषण गरेपछि उक्त घट्नाको उजागर भएको हो। यद्यपी पिढीताले यौण शोषणको घट्नाबारे कसैलाई भने अथवा पुलिसमा सूचित गरे आरोपित उर्गेन तामाङले मार्ने अनि उनका माता पितालाई समेत हत्या गर्ने धम्कि दिएको कारण प्राथमिकी गर्नमा ढिलाई भएको प्राथमिकीमा उल्लेख गरिएको छ। 
कालेबुङमा थानामा प्राथमिकी दर्ता गरेपछि तत्कालै पुलिसले पहल गर्दै आरोपित् 67 वर्षिय उर्गेन तामाङलाई पक्राऊ गरेर पोक्सो कानुन 2012 को धारा 4 अन्तर्गत मुद्दा दर्ता गरेर गरेर न्यायलय पठाएको छ।

Punishment is Violent and Counterproductive

Robert J. Burrowes, KalimNews, Kalimpong, 26 October 2016: Punishment is a popular pastime for humans. Parents punish children. Teachers punish students. Employers punish workers. Courts punish lawbreakers. People punish each other. Governments punish 'enemies'. And, according to some, God punishes evildoers.

What is 'punishment'? Punishment is the infliction of violence as revengeon a person who is judged to have behaved inappropriately. It is a key word we use when we want to obscure from ourselves that we are being violent.

The violence inflicted as punishment can take many forms, depending on the context. It might involve inflicting physical injury and/or pain, withdrawal of approval or love, confinement/imprisonment, a financial penalty, dismissal, withdrawal of rights/privileges, denial of promised rewards, an order to perform a service, banishment, torture or death,among others.

Given the human preoccupation with punishment, it is perhaps surprising that this behaviour is not subjected to more widespread scrutiny. Mind you, I can think of many human behaviours that get less scrutiny than would be useful.

Anyway, because I am committed to facilitating functional human behaviour, I want to explain why using violence to 'punish' people is highly dysfunctional and virtually guarantees an outcome opposite to that intended.

Punishment is usually inflicted by someone who makes a judgment that another person has behaved 'badly' or 'wrongly'. At its most basic, disobedience (that is, failure to comply with elite imposed norms) is often judged in this way, whether by parents, teachers, religious figures, lawmakers or national governments.

But is obedience functional or even appropriate?

Consider this. In order to behave optimally, the human organism requires that all mental functions – feelings, thoughts, memory, conscience, sensory perception (sight, sound, touch, smell, taste), truth register, intuition… – must be developed and readily involved, without interference, in our life. If this happens, then all of these individual functions will play an integrated role in determining our behaviour in any given circumstance. This is a very sophisticated mental apparatus that has evolved over billions of years and if it was allowed to function without interference in each individual, human beings would indeed be highly functional.

So where does obedience fit into all of this? It doesn't. A child is genetically programmed to seek to meet their own needs, notobey the will of another. And they will behave functionally in endeavouring to meet these needsunless terrorized out of doing so. Moreover, they will learn to meet their own needs, by acting individually in some circumstances and by cooperating with others when appropriate, if their social environment models this.

However, if a child is terrorized into being obedient – including by being punished when they are not – then the child will have no choice but to suppress their awareness of the innate mental capacities that evolved over billions of years to guide their behaviour until they have'learned' what they must do to avoid being punished. For a fuller explanation of this, see 'Why Violence?'http://tinyurl.com/whyviolence and 'Fearless Psychology and Fearful Psychology: Principles and Practice'. http://anitamckone.wordpress.com/articles-2/fearless-and-fearful-psychology/

Unfortunately, as you can probably readily perceive, this process of terrorizing a child into suppressing their awareness of what they want to do so that they do what someone else directs is highly problematical. And it leads to a virtually infinite variety of dysfunctional behaviours, even for those who appear to have been successfully 'socialized' into performing effectively in their society. This is readily illustrated.

Perhaps the central problem of terrorizing individuals into obedience of conventions, commands, rules and the law is that once the individual has been so terrorized, it is virtually impossible for them to change their behaviour because they are now terrified of doing so. If the obedient behaviours were functional in the circumstances then, apart from the obviously enormous damage suffered by the individual, there would be no other adverse social or environmental consequences.

Unfortunately, when all humans have been terrorized into behaving dysfunctionally on a routine basis (in the Western context, for example, by engaging in over-consumption) then changing their behaviour, even in the direction of functionality, is now unconsciously associated with the fear of violence (in the form of punishment) and so desirable behavioural change (in the direction of reduced consumption, for example) is much more difficult. It is not just that many Western humans are reluctant to reduce their consumption in line with environmental (including climatic) imperatives, they are unconsciously terrified of doing so.

By now you might be able to see the wider ramifications of using violence and threats of violence to force children into being obedient. Apart from terrorizing each child into suppressing their awareness of their innate mental capacities, we create individuals whose entire (unconscious) 'understanding' of human existence is limited to the notion that violence, mislabeled 'punishment', drives socialization and society.

As just one result, for example, most people consider punishment to be appropriate in the context of the legal system: they expect courts to inflict legally-sanctioned violence on those 'guilty' of disobeying the law. As in the case of the punishment of children, how many people ask 'Does violence restore functional behaviour? Or does it simply inflict violence as revenge? What do we really want to achieve? And how will we achieve that?'

Fundamentally, the flaw with violence as punishment is that violence terrifies people. And you cannot terrorize someone into behaving functionally. At very best, you can terrorize someone into changing their behaviour in an extremely limited context and/or for an extremely limited period of time. But if you wantfunctional and lasting change in an individual's behaviour, then considerable emotional healing will be necessary. This will allow the suppressed fear, anger, sadness and other feelings resulting from childhood terrorization to safely resurface and be expressed so that the individual can perceive their own needs and identify ways of fulfilling them (which does not mean that they will be obedient). For an explanation of what is required, see 'Nisteling: The Art of Deep Listening'which is referenced in 'My Promise to Children'.https://nonviolentstrategy.wordpress.com/strategywheel/constructive-program/my-promise-to-children/

So next time you hear a political leader or corporate executiveadvocating or using violence (such as war, the curtailment of civil liberties, an economically exploitativeand/or ecologically destructive initiative), remember that you are observing ahighly dysfunctionalizedindividual. Moreover, this dysfunctional individual is a logical product of our society's unrelenting use of violence, much of it in the form of what is euphemistically called 'punishment', against our children in the delusional belief that it will give usobedience and hence social control.

Or next time you hear a public official, judge, terrorist or police officer promising 'justice'(that is,retribution), remember that you are listening to an emotionally damaged individual who suffered enormous violence as a child and internalized the delusional message that 'punishment works'.

You might also ponder how bad it could be if we didn't require obedience and use punishment to get it, but loved and nurtured children, by listening to them deeply, to become the unique, enormously loving and powerful individuals for which evolution genetically programmed them.

I am well aware that what I am suggesting will take an enormous amount of societal rethinking and a profound reallocation of resources away from violent and highly profitable police, legal, prison and military systems. But, as I wrote above, I am committed to facilitating functional human behaviour. I can also think of some useful ways that we could allocate the resources if we didn't waste them on violence.

If you share this commitment and working towards this world appeals to you too, then you are welcome to considerparticipating in the fifteen-year strategy outlined in 'The Flame Tree Project to Save Life on Earth'http://tinyurl.com/flametreeand to consider signing the online pledge of 'The People's Charter to Create a Nonviolent World'. http://thepeoplesnonviolencecharter.wordpress.com

Punishment can sometimes appear to get you the outcome you want in the short term. The cost is that it always moves you further away from any desirable outcome in the long run.

Biodata: Robert J. Burrowes has a lifetime commitment to understanding and ending human violence. He has done extensive research since 1966 in an effort to understand why human beings are violent and has been a nonviolent activist since 1981. He is the author of 'Why Violence?'http://tinyurl.com/whyviolence His email address is flametree@riseup.net and his website is here.http://robertjburrowes.wordpress.com

Cyclone could spare city, move towards Andhra-Odisha coast

HT, 26 Oct 2016, Kolkata: Meteorologists have good news for Kolkatans. The possibility of a washout or heavy rain being triggered by Cyclone Kyant on Diwali day, similar to what Kolkatans faced on Nabami, gradually seems to be fading.
Mets are also hopeful that soon after the system fades by mid-next week, the northerly winds would start blowing over Kolkata resulting in a dip in the mercury level. These winds usually bring the chill from north India. Over the past few days their passage had been blocked because of the depression over Bay of Bengal.
“Cyclone Kyant was seen inching closer more towards the Andhra Pradesh–Odisha border instead of the Bengal–Odisha border on Tuesday. On Saturday and Sunday we expect the sky over Kolkata to remain partly cloudy and there are chances of a thundershower. It won’t be a washout though,” said a senior official of the Indian Meteorological Department’s (IMD) regional office in Kolkata.
An Indian private weather forecasting agency had earlier predicted that the cyclone could hit north Odisha sometime later this week raising fears that there could be heavy rain in Kolkata on Diwali day.
Earlier this month a cyclonic circulation triggered heavy rain on Nabami night during Durga Puja. While smart showers lashed the city on all Puja days, the cyclonic circulation resulted in a complete washout on Nabami evening.
Experts at IMD’s cyclone warning division, who are tracking the cyclone round the clock, said the system was located about 680 km south-southeast of Gopalpur and 815 km east of Vishakhapatnam at around 11.30 am on Tuesday.
“The cyclone is sucking up moisture and heat from the sea surface and is gathering more strength. It would move southwestwards towards west-central region of the Bay of Bengal (close to the Andhra Pradesh– Odsiha coast) in the next 72 hours,” said M Mohapatra, head of the IMD’s cyclone warning division.
Meteorologists have divided the Bay of Bengal into around eight imaginary quadrants. While the northwest quadrant is closer to the West Bengal– Odisha coast, the west-central area is closer to the Andhra Pradesh–Odisha coast. The cyclone on Tuesday was spotted over the east-central region of the Bay which is closer to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands– Myanmar coast.
Met officials are, however, hopeful that Kyant will not pack as much intensity and punch as did its predecessors such as Phailin and Hudhud. The cyclone would, however, trigger heavy rains and gusty winds speeding up to 100 km an hour in the coastal areas from Thursday. Fishermen have already been warned not to venture out into the sea.
The cyclone has been named Kyant which means crocodile in Mon language that is spoken by Mon people living in Myanmar and Thailand.
Experts said this is the postmonsoon cyclone period and such developments are common. Cyclone Phailin and Hudhud battered the Odisha coast during the post-monsoon period in 2013 and 2014 respectively.


Quarry workers of Teesta LDP get compensation

Amitava Banerjee, HT, 26 Oct 2016, DARJEELING: It is finally good tidings for the 500-plus quarry workers working in nine quarries between the Stage 3 and Stage 4 of the Teesta Low Dam Project in Darjeeling district.
After more than five years of agitation, the NHPC has finally decided to provide them with a one-time compensation as the quarry workers have lost their livelihood since the commissioning of the two dams.
A meeting between the district administration, NHPC and Quarry Mazdoor Union (QMU, affiliated to Trinamool) was held in Darjeeling on Tuesday. “NHPC has agreed to pay a one-time compensation of Rs 48,453 each to the 500-plus quarry workers. The amount will be deposited in their bank accounts in the next 10 days,” said DM Anurag Shrivastava.
NHPC representatives abstained from commenting. Incidentally, the quarry workers have been agitating since the loss of their livelihood with the commissioning of the two dams, three years ago. Under the aegis of the QMU the workers have been agitating.
They have staged numerous dharnas and a shutdown of NHPC was also on the anvil.
The Teesta Low Dam (TLD) project, harnesses the Teesta River, which originates in Sikkim and flows through North Bengal, to create a 332 MW capacity-split into four stages. The first two stages for a total of 100 MW are in Sikkim while stage III of 132 MW and stage four of 168 MW are in West Bengal.
Stage 3 is a barrage with 132 MW installed capacity located near Rambi Ropeway, 8 km downstream from Teesta Bazar. Stage 4 is a dam with 168 MW installed capacity located 800 m upstream from the Coronation Bridge, 15 km downstream from Stage 3, both in the Darjeeling district.
“For the past three years the quarry workers have been suffering. Finally it is good news for them,” said TMC leader Sanjyog Gupta.



HT, 26 Oct 2016, Kolkata: OLKATA: Anushka Mondal, 16, and a Class 11 student of a South Kolkata school, was found dead near her residence at Netaji Nagar on Tuesday morning.
According to the police, Mondal was addicted to the Net and social media. She was undergoing counselling.
On Tuesday morning, her neighbours found her body lying in a pool of blood near her apartment. According to the police, Mondal may have fallen to her death from the terrace. She was sitting on the parapet and was busy with her phone when she fell.
Mondal was taken to Bangur Hospital where she was declared brought dead. According to her parents, Mondal was a meritorious student and had scored 95.5% marks in her last exam.
However, Mondal was addicted to Facebook and every morning went up to the roof with her mobile. Her parents had in the recent past tried to stop her from going to the roof but she did not listen. Mondal was taken to a clinical psychologist for counselling.
The police are not ruling out suicide. She was scolded several times by her parents and she could have jumped to her death. Clinical psychologist Dr Amit Chakravorty said the teen may have been suffering from oppositional disorder after clashing with her parents. According to Chakravorty, the police should explore all angles. The teen could have been suffering from depression and oppositional disorder could have led to her suicide.
However, the police are not ruling out that it could have been an accident.

Asok for removal of flyover stalls

TT, Siliguri, Oct. 25: Siliguri mayor Asok Bhattacharya today visited Mahabirstan area near Siliguri Town station and said steps should be taken to clear rampant encroachments under the DBCRD flyover in the locality.
He said illegal stalls had come up under the flyover and they were being patronised by Trinamul leaders.
"Several stalls have come up under the flyover. The land under the structure has been encroached on and none of the stalls has necessary approval or licence from the Siliguri Municipal Corporation. Some stall owners have even put up permanent structures, we believe, in violation of rules. The stalls are risky as they are located under the flyover and between pillars. We are not against hawkers but such encroachments need to be cleared. We will soon speak with police officers on this issue," he said during the visit.
After the construction of the flyover with a length of around 1km in 2007, connecting Hill Cart Road at Hashmi Chowk with the DBC Road at Tikiapara More, stalls have mushroomed under the structure to sell food items, plastic goods and garments.
During his visit, the mayor also trained guns at the ruling party.
"We have information that some local Trinamul leaders are patronising these traders and encouraging them to indulge in such illegal practices like encroachment. We won't allow it," said the mayor.
The stall owners have threatened a movement if an attempt is made to evict them.
"We have used tin, bamboo and wood to make the stalls but no permanent structure has come up under the flyover. All of us earn our living from the stalls. If the civic body makes any attempt to evict us, we will be forced to launch a movement," said Biplab Ghosh, the treasurer of Mahabirstan Kshudra Byabsayee Kalyan Samiti.
He said there were over 100 stalls under the flyover. Around 400 people are dependant on the stalls.
Reacting to Bhattacharya's allegations, Ranjan Sarkar, the leader of opposition at the SMC, said: "The mayor is indulging in politics and has levelled baseless allegation against us. No Trinamul leader is involved in the encroachment. The mayor should provide necessary proof to validate his point."

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