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Prince Manvendra Singh Gohil to be the chief guest at the Orange City LGBT Pride March on Feb 18

Painting_of_Manvendra_Singh_Gohil
Prince Manvendra Singh Gohil. (Picture Source: Wikimedia Commons)

The royal poster boy for gay rights in India – Prince Manvendra Singh Gohil – will be in Nagpur on February 18, 2017 for the second edition of the Orange City LGBT Pride March wherein he will be the chief guest. The march will be organised by the the Orange City Pride March committee with support from city NGO Sarathi Trust and some other organisations and volunteers.

A march for rights

Speaking about the march, LGBT rights activist Anand Chandrani, Chairman, Sarathi Trust says, “The basic intention behind the pride march is that our voice should reach people. A pride march is undertaken so that we can show the world that we exist in the society. During the pride march, the LGBT community comes out in the open in big numbers to tell the world that we have a right to live like others. The world may not accept us at times but we do exist!” Talking about the participation expected at the march, Anand adds, “Last year in March we had the first pride in Nagpur wherein 300 people participated. This year, we are expecting a participation from around 600 people. It’s great that this year parents and friends have come forward to support their loved ones who are from the LGBT community. Also, people will be coming from areas around Nagpur and cities like Delhi, Chandigarh, Chennai, etc.”

Bengaluru_Pride_2009_(15)
Picture for representational purpose. (Picture Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Why pride march?

Mumbai in January 2017 held its 8th Pride March wherein more than 10,000 people participated. On asking Anand the need behind such marches, Anand says, “In 2013, the Supreme Court criminalised section 377 again and the LGBT community was told that they are a miniscule fraction of country’s population. But then as per the Indian Constitution, every citizen has equal rights. Such marches enable us to show that we are not a minority, in fact we are a big number. It’s not that we do not exist, it’s just that we don’t show it! If 10,000 people from LGBT community came out during the march in Mumbai, imagine the number of people who didn’t come out!  The community is present everywhere in India.”

About the march

The total fund required for the Orange City LGBT Pride March this year is Rs 95,000 which is being accumulated through donations and crowd funding. While Sarathi Trust gave the initial amount of funding of Rs 10,000, several other members of the community too have contributed bringing the accumulated money to almost half of the required amount. But even if the complete amount is not accumulated, it will deter the not spirit of the LGBT community in Nagpur as per Anand. He says, “We are hopeful we will be able to gather the money we need. If we don’t gather the money by then, we’ll downsize some activities we have planned.” Informing about what exactly will happen at the march, Anand adds, “This year’s march will start from Samvidhan Square and will go to Lokmat Square from where it will come back to Samvidhan Square. We will start gathering around 3 pm at Samvidhan square. Then if somebody from the community or outside the community wants to speak something, they can do that. We will start walking towards Lokmat Square at around 4 pm and will be back to Samvidhan Square by around 6 pm. Throughout the march, people will be carrying posters, placards, banners, rainbow flags and balloons. We will also be chanting slogans about equality, against discrimination and against section 377.”

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Governance

Dharavi redevelopment to have dedicated areas for manufacturing: Devendra Fadnavis

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Nation Next Newsroom | Mumbai

Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said that Dharavi redevelopment will have dedicated areas for manufacturing…

Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis said that Dharavi is a great manufacturing cluster, has been kept in mind while planning its redevelopment.

Devendra Fadnavis

The Mah Deputy CM says that Dharavi is a great manufacturing cluster, has been kept in mind while planning its redevelopment.

As Dharavi redevelopment has been announced, doubts were raised on whether this locally evolved entrepreneurial hub will retain its spirit.  In a chat on Sansad TV with Sanjeev Sanyal, Member, PM’s Economic Advisory Council and a writer, on an Economic Sutra episode telecast on Nov 6, the Deputy Chief Minister had made it very clear how he foresees the future of Dharavi and Mumbai.

Saying that his government worked on clearing all the bottlenecks, he adds, “We understood that unless we have a place to rehabilitate people, which is nearby Dharavi, this project will not take off. We found out that there is around 42 acres of land which belongs to the Railways. We approached the Central Government and told them that we’ll free up your land. We’ll buy your land and we’ll give you a share in the profit and we entered into a definitive agreement and now they have handed it over to us.”

“The Dharavi Redevelopment project will be the most unique project ever done. In fact, this redevelopment was visualized by none other than Rajiv Gandhi in 1985 but nothing happened – until 2014 when Modiji came and we started governing Maharashtra. The redevelopment will be no less beautiful than BKC. Dharavi is just not a slum but it’s also a great manufacturing cluster, so what we did was that while planning this scheme we have created areas for this entire manufacturing industry along with planning for the rehabilitation of the people. Right now, this entire manufacturing sector is informal, but after this and over time they will come into the formal sector.”

Watch the full interaction here: https://youtu.be/FNeTrm0v0dw

Also, with Mumbai undergoing so many infrastructural changes, questions have been raised about retaining the quintessential character of “aamchi Mumbai,” which apart from being the financial capital of India is undoubtedly one of the most vibrant cities.

Speaking on the land issues, Fadnavis says, “The usable space in Mumbai is very little. It has length, but has limitations on the breadth so taking into consideration all these problems we wanted to design a very robust system for Mumbai for commuters and for vehicles. That’s why the all the new Coastal Road, which will decongest the western side of Mumbai. It will be a ring road type structure along the coast and this Western Expressway carries 60 percent of the Mumbai traffic right, so all that traffic will be mostly accommodated here.”

Commuting in Mumbai is a killer and every day Mumbaikars spend a lot of time on travel. Saying that he wants to reduce travel within Mumbai from anywhere to anywhere to an hour, Fadnavis explains, “Our Metro three is a very unique 40 kilometers of underground Network, which will be the lifeline of Mumbai. It is estimated to carry around 1.7 million passengers per day! All this work will be finished in two or three years and I want that from any place to any place in Mumbai one should reach within less than one hour – that is the planning. We are also trying to integrate the transportation system. Right now, our Suburban Railway is the lifeline of Mumbai. This Suburban Railway carries around 9 million passengers. The new Metro Network which we are creating will be carrying around 7 million or 8 million passengers, almost doubling the current number.”

Adding to this, the Deputy CM says that the 22 kilometers of Sea Bridge that will connect us to the hinterland, “so we have Mumbai, we have new Mumbai and that will be the third Mumbai that will be a land mass which will be bigger than Mumbai with new Mumbai airport. I think the future growth of Mumbai is on that side!”

Also read: Pritish Nandy’s ‘spirit of Dharavi’ tweet sparks off poverty porn debate

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Governance

Pritish Nandy’s ‘spirit of Dharavi’ tweet sparks off poverty porn debate

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Nation Next Newsroom | Mumbai

Dharavi comments of former parliamentarian and noted media and television personality Pritish Nandy on Friday, kicked off a storm…

Dharavi comments of former parliamentarian and noted media and television personality Pritish Nandy on Friday, kicked off a storm.

Dharavi

Is squalor for cameras, money more important than dignified living for the residents…  

Former parliamentarian and noted media and television personality Pritish Nandy’s Dharavi comments kicked off a storm when he said on Twitter that Dharavi, one of Asia’s largest slum, with an estimated population of 1 million, ‘is not actually a slum but a tribute to the great entrepreneurial spirit of the weakest and smallest person fighting for his or her livelihood in Mumbai. It is also a model in collective coexistence in one of the toughest cities in the world, where nothing else matters. Not caste. Not faith. Not where you come from. But trust and togetherness.’

While this may be true, what is equally true is the squalor and subhuman conditions that reign supreme in this slum. Netizens felt that Nandy, by romanticizing poverty in this manner, was only feeding poverty porn and tourism. Nandy clarified that he was seeking to keep the spirit of Dharavi alive by “researching the architectural grammar, the cultural history that builds integrated and interdependent societies like Dharavi that have survived and flourished over decades and make that the base for the new redevelopment plans. Not just look at the future but also build in the past.”

The Maharashtra Government had on November 29, opened the financial bids for Dharavi redevelopment project.  While 3 companies Adani Realty, DLF and Naman Group had submitted bids, the Adani Group clinched the project with a INR 5,069-crore bid. The timeline for the entire redevelopment of Asia’s largest slum, with an estimated population of 1 million, might take close to 17 years, the rehabilitation of slum dwellers should be complete in seven years. 

Also read: Anil Deshmukh’s bail plea on Dec 6; HC says plea should be heard on priority due to his ill health

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Crime

Anil Deshmukh’s bail plea on Dec 6; HC says plea should be heard on priority due to his ill health

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Radhika Dhawad | Mumbai
The Bombay High Court said ex-minister Anil Deshmukh’s bail plea should be heard on priority basis due to the senior leader’s health issues.

Anil Deshmukh

The Bombay High Court said, as per prima facie, 74-year-old former Home Minister of Maharashtra Anil Deshmukh’s bail plea should be heard on priority basis due to the senior leader’s health issues. Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh, appearing for the CBI, said that when Deshmukh’s bail plea was moved on medical grounds, then a fresh medical report needed to be called for. 

Singh said, “There is a compilation that has been given now. There are medical papers attached. We need to go through it. Even though this is not a bail application on merit of the case, it is still being circulated under medical issues. He is getting medical treatment as required. Moreover, medical issues are not static. We need a check on what his condition is right now.”

Deshmukh’s advocate Vikram Chaudhari said the senior NCP leader was being treated but has been suffering from several ailments that require constant treatment and care. Chaudhary said, ”He needs to be released. He is a chronic patient.”

Justice MS Karnik said that the court would hear the bail plea on merits. He said, “I am satisfied that we can proceed with the hearing on merits and give it priority. This is my prima facie opinion that priority should be given. One of the medical ailments (that Deshmukh is suffering from) is degenerative.” Deshmukh’s bail plea would now be heard on December 6.

The bench asked Singh whether he was ready to argue on the merits of the case immediately, to which Singh said he would require a week while Chaudhari said that he was ready to argue. However, Justice Karnik said, “We need to give them a fair opportunity.”

Also read: 10 lakh spectators across 50 km; PM Modi makes history with road show for BJP in Ahmedabad

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