Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Ranjan Panda in Live TV debates on World Water Day 2016!

Back to Back live TV Debates on Water: Plz watch if time permits -

Friends: I shall be in three live TV debates on different channels this evening (22 March), as per following details.

7.30 PM: MBC TV (over phone) - on water crisis in cities in light with yesterday's developments at Dhenkanal.

8.00 PM: Kanak TV - on general water crises of Odisha.

9.00 PM: Zee Kalinga TV - on Mahanadi pollution by NTPC Lara coal fired power plant and related inter-state dispute issues.

Time permitting, please watch.


Mahanadi River Waterkeeper
Convenor, Water Initiatives Odisha

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Mahanadi River Waterkeeper's 'World Water Day' Actions:

Happy to share with you a list of activities we are engaged in today at the Mahanadi River.

Our Actions of the Day!

1. Morning:

Discussion (pre-recorded) at All India Radio (AIR), Cuttack.

Half day long interaction with school children at Vikash School, Sambalpur.

2. Evening:

Discussion with villagers living on the vicinity of Hirakud Reservoir who have been deprived of water supply and other basic amenities despite sacrificing their lands and livelihood for the Dam half a century ago.  This will lead to an action plan to provide them justice.

Live TV discussion at 9 to 10 pm on Coal Pollution of Mahanadi and inter-state dispute issues due to NTPC's Lara TPP.

One more live TV discussion on Mahanadi waters. (time yet to be confirmed).

My Article on WWD:

This World Water Day, I dedicate my column in Big Wire to discuss about the abuse and discrimination faced by the Dalits (the untouchables) of India while accessing drinking water for their families.

Please read my latest published opinion piece to know how hyperbolic debates around the hypothetical Bharat Mata (Mother India) does not serve any real purpose, nor does the real India at the grassroots has been able to end the real life discrimination faced by the traditionally deprived communities of India.  Modern India, unfortunately, is no different.


This day, let's pledge to work towards ending all forms of water discrimination and divisions to be able to achieve a water equitable society.

Happy Water Day!
Stay Water Secured!!

Thanks and regards,


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Thursday, March 17, 2016

India below Pakistan in Happiness Index: The age of crowd justice has arrived?

Towards crowd justice system, barbarism and a banana republic: And India is below Pakistan in Happiness Index!

Ranjan Panda

A dalit being beaten up just for touching an upper caste fellow is nothing new in India.  What's new is an assembly suspending an MLA for not chanting 'Bharat Mata ki Jai.' As if this chant was part of the oath to be taken and the MLA refused to do so, hence failing to oblige to his constitutional duty. 

It is also new to see growing examples of Muslim and Kashmiri people being killed or beaten up, or even arrested for 'rumors' about their eating 'beef.' 

There are many such examples including the Patiala Court incidences where 'advocates' holding national flag and chanting 'Vande Mataram' abused women, beat up journalists, students, academicians and public.  An MLA too delivered crowd justice in front of the court premises, by beating up a political activist.

A pattern is visible. One rumour is spread or a dictum is given.  Rumour such as the 'beef eating' and dictum such as chanting the 'Bharat Mata ki Jai' (or else you are anti-national). 

And then, a group of people jump into action, street justice is meted, Parliament is made to debate, then some MPs/MLAs/Party workers issue many kinds of barbaric warnings against anyone who is anti-national according to them. 

Heads and tongues are wanted and rewards worth crores are offered for anyone who can bring these 'anti-national heads and tongues.'

TV debates aid these happenings, some even play party to fuel these acts of dividing the country.

Doctored videos, howling anchors and trending TRP become the norm of the hour.  Nation does not discuss vital issues like farmer suicides, robbery of banks by greedy corporate houses, drought, atrocities against tribals and dalits, fake encounters of tribals to benefit mining companies, so on and so forth. 

Some men in the highest ranks of power remain mute spectators, some play party to all this game.  Many of us too fall prey to the design and play our own part through bits and pieces. 

As the nation keeps engaging in all these barbaric and stone age happenings, the promises of economic progress, jobs to unemployed, etc. are conveniently forgotten; deadly bills such as the Aadhaar is passed in the parliament, Vijay Mallya is aided to leave the country, justice for Rohith Vemula and other students elude, fake certificate case of the HRD Minister gets further delayed in the courts of justice. 

Environment laws are tweaked to give rise to crony capitalism, Ambani registers highest ever profit due to global slump in crude oil price but consumers keep paying through noses for petrol and diesel, so on and so forth.

What also happens is that India's billionaire tally in the Forbes List rises up to be at the 3rd position, but India continues to remain a very underdeveloped country at the 130th position of Human Development Index. 

As acts of divisive forces and hate brigades keep increasing, India discovers itself lagging behind Pakistan, Bangladesh and China in the World Happiness Index.

Development, the rhetoric, slips to an illusion.  One suddenly discovers thyself cursed to be living in a stone age of 21st Century.  It's difficult to find out whether time has failed us or we have failed time!

(Note: This article is not in line with objectives of this blog.  However, some issues affecting the country have potential to impact all spheres of actions.  Hence, I thought of posting this one as a general piece of thought.  I regret the inconvenience to readers of this blog who don't expect such an article. Please bear with me.)