The new rule

The new rule  two separate incidents have recently shown the sorry state of governance in India. One happened in Almora, Uttar Pradesh, while the other occurred in Gujarat. Both are states ruled by the Bharatiya Janata Party ( bjp ). Although on two different planks, both the events throw light on the intolerant attitude that persists in the world's biggest democratic set up.

First, let's take the case of Gujarat. On April 7, Pratap Save, a retired colonel and social activist, was arrested while protesting against the establishment of an environmentally damaging port planned for the Umbergaon district of south Gujarat by the Indo- us consortium Natelco-Unocal. Head of the non-government organisation ( ngo ) Kinara Bachao Sangharsh Samiti ( kbss ), Save breathed his last in Mumbai's Hinduja hospital on April 20. While the state government insists that Save died of natural causes, his colleagues in the kbss are certain that he succumbed to injuries inflicted while in police custody.

"They killed him just to please a multinational company,' says a bitter Harish Maachhi, a kbss leader, adding on a defiant note: "We will use whatever resources we have to ensure that the port does not come up here.' After Save's death, his wife Sunita has taken charge of kbss with renewed determination to stall the construction of the Maroli port, to be built at an estimated us $300 million. Today, kbss has the backing of a number of ngo s and prominent individuals whoare determined to fight against the project.

The site chosen for the Maroli port is ecologically very fragile and it comes under Category I of the Coastal Regulation Zone ( crz ) notification. Hence, no commercial activity can be carried out in this stretch without the prior permission of the ministry of environment and forests ( mef ). It is exactly for this reason that construction of Maharashtra's Wadhwaan port

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