Arundhati Roy: ‘The damage to Indian democracy is not reversible

Arundhati Roy

Editor’s Note: Arundhati Roy is the author of “The God of Small Things,” which won the Booker Prize in 1997 and “The Ministry of Utmost Happiness,” which was long-listed for the Man Booker Prize in 2017. Her collected political writing has been published as “My Seditious Heart” (2018) and “Azadi” (2020). She lives in New Delhi. The views expressed in this commentary are her own. View more opinion at CNN.

When two spokespeople from India’s ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) made derogatory comments about the Prophet Mohammed last month, it prompted an international firestorm.

The incident led to protests among India’s Muslim minority in several states. Some Muslim-majority nations summoned their India ambassadors. India’s foreign ministry said the comments did not reflect the views of the government, and the officials involved – one of whom later withdrew her remarks – faced disciplinary action.

But for India’s 200 million Muslims, these comments were not an isolated incident.

Rather, they were the culmination of the BJP’s “engineering hatred of a common enemy,” says bestselling Indian author Arundhati Roy.
Arundhati Roy: ‘The damage to Indian democracy is not reversible’

“India’s tragedy is not that it’s the worst place in the world – it’s that we are on our way there. We’re burning down our house. India is an experiment that is failing dangerously,” she told CNN.

“Many, many of my beloved friends – poets, writers, professors, lawyers, human rights activists and journalists – are in prison, most of them charged under a dreaded law called the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, all of them for speaking up for minorities, Dalits and forest-dwellers facing displacement and state terror.

“Among them are people I consider to be India’s most important minds. It makes one wonder what living as a free person in the time of fascism means. What does it mean to be a bestselling author when the world is breaking?” writes Roy.

In this email interview with CNN Opinion, Roy says Indian politics has something in common with the US Capitol riots, that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is stoking hatred, and talks about who the real power in India lies with. https://cnn.it/3yhH71w

Road plan poses further threat to pristine habitat

Road plan poses further threat to pristine habitat –

(CNS): The National Conservation Council has confirmed that the extension of a farm road in North Side will need an environmental impact assessment as the proposed route would take it through some of Cayman’s most pristine remaining forest land. Flying in the face of the PACT Government’s policy of limiting development in untouched habitat, the NRA wants to extend Hutland Road.

Experts at the Department of Environment believe that this land is some of the most bio-diverse habitat in the Cayman Islands, which could be placed under threat once it is made accessible.

Speaking at the National Conservation Council general meeting on Wednesday, DoE Director Gina Ebanks-Petrie explained that the working group of the NCC had reviewed the westward road extension proposed by the planning ministry.

(https://caymannewsservice.com/2022/07/road-plan-poses-further-threat-to-pristine-habitat/)

The Need For Strong Governance

Titanic was under the command of Captain Edward Smith, who went down with the ship
I often analyze systems of governance and Government in States, Countries, Territories, and Colonies. I attempt to analyze the efficiency with which the states is being run, and identify the weak and vulnerable points.
More often than not I walk away with the understanding that there is no one fully in charge of these entities. 
I often come away with the understanding that the helmsman is asleep at the wheel, or that the captain is on vacation.
In this era, living as we do under high stress and with escalating crime, stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, and the developing financial crisis driven by the invasion of Ukraine, countries need and must to be guided by a strong, intelligent hand.

Greta Thunberg calls out ‘forces of greed’ in surprise Glastonbury climate speech

 Greta Thunberg called out “the forces of greed” as she made a surprise climate speech at Glastonbury on Saturday (25 June). The 19-year-old campaigner, from Sweden, spoke from the Pyramid Stage in front of a backdrop that shows how global temperature have risen. “We are at the beginning of a climate and ecological emergency. 
This is not the new normal, this crisis will continue to get worse… until we prioritise people and planet over profits and greed,” she said. 

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OfReg commissions Value Of Solar Study for the Cayman Islands

OfReg commissions Value Of Solar Study for the Cayman Islands 

 OfReg Office has engaged RMI, https://rmi.org/ the renowned renewable energy consultants working to accelerate the transition to clean energy, to conduct a Value Of Solar Study specifically to address the unique aspects of the local distributed solar marketplace. The scope of the work is intended to assess the value of Photovoltaic (PV) generation from a utility and societal perspective in the Cayman Islands.
The study will include impacts on the transmission and distribution grid, energy costs, address rate design options, and the economic potential of local distributed solar energy systems. 

Young Europeans Sue to Stop Treaty That Fossil Fuel Giants Use to Foil Climate Action


“It just can’t be that the fossil fuel industry is still more protected than our human rights,” said a 17-year-old German whose family was displaced during last summer’s deadly floods.

As The Guardian reported, five plaintiffs between the ages of 17 and 31, all of whom have recently endured disastrous hurricanes, floods, and fires, are trying to persuade the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) that the 1994 Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) violates the right to life and the right to respect for private and family life—the second and eighth articles, respectively, of the European Convention on Human Rights.

The case marks the first time the ECHR will be asked to consider the ECT, an obscure agreement whose investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanism enables fossil fuel companies to sue governments over anticipated economic losses stemming from plans to move away from coal, oil, and gas.  

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Regenerative Rainmaking – How land management affects the soil and sky

Rainmaking Microbes

Microbes are everywhere, including in the clouds. Scientific studies are now showing that they play an important role in creating precipitation (reference links to multiple related articles are provided at the end of this article). Microbes from the soil and plants can go airborne and facilitate a process called bio-precipitation. These microbes include bacteria, fungi and tiny algae.
For a cloud to produce precipitation that falls to earth as rain or snow, ice particle formation in the clouds is required. Just a decade ago it was thought that only small mineral particles, or other inert particles, could serve as nuclei for condensation to occur. However, we now know that aerosols in the form of microbes can catalyze ice particle formation that trigger precipitation.
The evidence is building that vegetation and soils are a crucial source of atmospheric biological ice nucleators in precipitation. They may, in fact, be the most efficient ice-forming catalysts in precipitation, not airborne mineral particles. These “rainmaking” microbes are significant influencers of the water cycle. They can also travel long distances in the atmosphere for dispersal on a global scale.

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Right-Wing Judges Say It’s “Harmless” to Label Climate Activist a Terrorist

 A PANEL OF three Trump-appointed judges this week upheld an excessive eight-year prison sentence handed down to climate activist Jessica Reznicek, ruling that a terrorism enhancement attached to her sentence was “harmless.”
The terror enhancement, which dramatically increased Reznicek’s sentence from its original recommended range, set a troubling precedent. Decided by a lower court in 2021, it contends that Reznicek’s acts against private property were “calculated to influence or affect the conduct of government.” The appellate justices’ decision to uphold her sentence, callously dismissing the challenge to her terrorism enhancement, doubles down on a chilling message: 
Those who take direct action against rapacious energy corporations can be treated as enemies of the state. 

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The BIOT: A judicial vacuum now consuming Tamil refugees

The BIOT: A judicial vacuum now consuming Tamil refugees 
In October 2021, a group of 89 Tamil asylum seekers hoping to claim asylum in Canada was intercepted while traversing the
Indian Ocean and brought to a joint UK-US military facility on Diego Garcia, the only inhabited island in the Chagos
Archipelago, otherwise known as the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT). Nine months on – and after 30 other arrivals
this April – these people are still stuck on the remote Indian Ocean atoll, and dozens have begun a hunger strike.
Despite supposedly landing on a British Overseas Territory, these asylum seekers have no clarity about their future, because, in
legal terms, the BIOT is a “grey hole”, likened by one academic to Britain’s own Guantánamo. Simply put, a range of international
treaties do not apply to this territory, which allows British and American authorities to keep them in limbo.