Talukdar, R 2018, 'Sparking a debate on coal: Case study on the Indian Government’s crackdown on Greenpeace', Cosmopolitan Civil Societies: An Interdisciplinary Journal, vol. 10, no. 1, pp. 45-62.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Non-governmental organisations working on rights based issues in India have recently been in the firing line of the government. The controversial Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA), originally instituted during national emergency in 1976, has been further amended in recent times to arbitrarily restrict groups speaking out against human rights abuses and environmental problems in a rapidly industrialising economy. Yet again raising the spectre of the ‘foreign hand’, governments have proceeded to cancel the licences and freeze the foreign funds of NGOs. Using the case study of the crackdown on Greenpeace on account of its advocacy against coal development, this paper discusses the main instruments, tactics and arguments engaged in stifling the capability of NGOs to protest rights violations across the landscape. It analyses Greenpeace’s fight-back and the broader civil society response to the government’s crackdown on dissent. In labelling civil society groups as anti-national in an era of neoliberal economic growth, the government’s corporate bias stands fully exposed. In standing thus exposed through its crackdown on dissent, the government’s crackdown contributed to the sparking of two much needed debates in Indian society: about who benefits and who misses out from India’s economic growth, and about the social and environmental costs of coal.
Talukdar, R 2016, 'Hiding neoliberal coal behind the Indian poor', Journal of Australian Political Economy, vol. 2016, no. 78, pp. 132-158.
The opening up of extensive coal reserves in Central Queensland’s
Galilee Basin for mining and export has been strongly criticised for
environmental and social reasons that will be felt for generations to
come. If the proposed mines go ahead, it can lead to a blowout of
Australia’s carbon emissions, deplete groundwater, destroy native
vegetation and endangered species, affect the traditional rights of the
Wangan and Jagalingou people, and physically harm the Great Barrier
Reef and its associated coastal wetlands through port expansion and
increased coal traffic (Environmental Law Australia 2016).
Environmental and social costs aside, financial assessments have
cautioned that new Australian mines risk becoming stranded assets due to
a slump in coal prices, increasing affordability of solar technology, and
international momentum to reduce greenhouse emissions (Buckley and
Sanzillo 2013; Dennis 2015).