Sunday, January 11, 2009


Sebastian Rodrigues[1]


Movement of Indigenous People in Goa has reached critical stage. They have been waging relentless battle against unsustaining mining industry. Large scale extraction of iron ore has left Goa’s geography with dangerous repercussions to its water sources, agriculture, air, forest, rivers and life forms in general.

For the past couple of years Indigenous people are in the forefront of the movement to restore sustainability of their village economy and culture. This is the situation in other parts of India as well wherein Indigenous People as well other have waged glorious struggles in defence of the self sustaining economies and cultures.

Sometimes in the first week if November 2008 one of the family members of the protesting villagers of Colamb, Sanguem, Goa was called at the Quepem police station and warned by Police inspector on duty that if ‘trouble maker’ family member does not give up the protesting against mining company in his village then he will be sent tadi par. Tadi par has a text of its own. It has context of its own. It is sort to be explored as concept by itself in development context. It is an attempt in this paper to use it as metaphor of development as it is potent with large number of theoretical as well as practical possibilities.

The paper proposes initiatives toward generating metal sensitivity as one of necessary requirements of transformative agenda for sustainable futures.

I. Tadi Par As Text

Tadi par is a text. It is a form of punishment administrable to the criminals who cannot be convinced to change their behavior in by other forms of punishments by the State authorities. Tadi par is invoked rarely on the hardcore ‘criminals’ in the eyes of the state. As punishment it involves imposition of ban on the individual to reside in his or her locality. There is geographic cutoff with familiar location. It is a sort of exile. Tadi par is a Marathi word that means across the boundary. Boundary may be the village boundary, Tehsil boundary, or even district boundary. Juridical authorities of the state decide the nature of boundary. The origin of this word seems to be in the ancient form of punishments reserved to the non-conformist of their societies that invoked principle of ostracism was the most feared punishment as it deprives the individual with familiar surroundings, familiar people and most importantly familiar geography. Tadi par is a step ahead of principle of ostracism. It is not just social boycott of individual by the community but it is state enforced mechanism to sent person in exile even against the wishes of the community. Tadi means ‘boundary’ par means ‘across’. Tadi par means ‘across the boundary’.

II. Tadi Par In Context Of Goa

The invocation of threat of Tadi par comes at a time when Goa is battling relentlessly the imposed development pattern that is almost equivalent of highest class conquest of the State of Goa. Since its liberation from Portuguese colonial regime in 1961 Goa has been battling development model in place. It fought sometimes successfully sometimes not so successfully, but fight was always there. Lessons to learn were always there after every struggle.

One of the first struggles soon after Goa’s liberation was the heroic battle against Ciba Company from Switzerland fighting take over of 200 acres of tribal land in late 1960s at Dulapi and Mangado villages in Tiswadi Takula. This industry was set up by application of Police repression on the protestors. The agitation has resurfaced against the same plant in 2008 when the company after series of mergers has been re-named as Syngenta.

In the decade of 1970s Goa fought Indian corporate house of Birlas over the release of chemical effluents openly into Arabian Sea from industrial plant in Marmagoa taluka thereby causing large scale fish mortality. In the decade of 1980s Goa witnessed large scale upsurge of fishermen along the coast of Arabian Sea against mechanization of fisheries sector and introduction of trawlers in the Arabian Sea. This plant was force to shut down for more than one month and forced to install necessary precautionary safeguards.

Decade of 1990 witnessed large opposition to Tourism project across the State of Goa. Several projects that was sought to be bulldozed on people of Goa was fought. Some of these projects include Asian School of Management at Mandrem, Pernem that was luxury tourism project in the garb of education institution, golf courses in Arambol, Mandrem and Morjim in coastal Pernem taluka, Bambolim in Tiswadi taluka, Amthane in Bicholim taluka and Canaguinim at the coast of Quepem taluka. Japanese Holiday Township was battled in Arambol village in Pernem taluka. Japanese were to take over Arambol village as a part of its silver plan to relocate their elderly people to Goa by creating Japan like atmosphere in Goa. Due to protests all these projects were shelved.

Another luxury hotel project in Agonda beach in Canacona taluka was also battled by Toddy tapers there earlier in the decade of 1980s. The litigation is still ongoing and project till 2008 did not take off.

There was also resistance movements against expansion projects of Tatas owned Taj holiday village at Sinquerim, Bardez taluka in early 1980s when Common Wealth Heads of State CHOGM retreat was held in Goa at Taj five star hotel. Expansion stalled due to protests especially by Student Organization – Progressive Students Union (PSU).

Similarly there was resistance against expansion of Leela beach resort, another five star hotel in southern Salcete taluka by toddy tapers and other neighbors. Toddy tapper Michael Cardoza got his rights to tap coconut trees in mid 1990s.

Owner of the same hotel Capt. Nair entered one neighboring house of Goan widow, threatened her with his gun and dumped large number of cement bags in her house and forced to compromise by giving away her house for five star hotel expansion in the decade of 1990s.

In the decade of 1980s Progressive Student Union (PSU) was active in the struggles related to tourism. PSU carried with it ideas of the left with tools of class analysis to understand and act out their plans. Section of these students later on played important role to form tourism campaign group called Jagrut Goenkaranchi Fauz (JGF) in late 1980s. In English it can be translated as Vigilant Goans Army. JGF remained at the peak of its life in the decade of 1990s.

New economic policy unveiled by the Indian government in 1991 had direct bearing on the projects proposed for Goa. It has been agreement of the local elites in Goa as well global elites to develop Goa as pleasure commerce destination for the global rich. As a part of this agenda, golf course, exclusive foreign nationality townships such as Japanese township, Gambling spaces such as Casinos were proposed for Goa in the decade of 1990s. Goa was to get re-designed as tourism destination for the Super rich of the World. Casinos started operating in 2008.

American Chemical plant Du Pont was thrown out of Goa in 1990s after prolonged struggle from Keri, Ponda. Goa had its first martyr in the form of Nilesh Naik who was shot dead in Police firing. The same Keri plateau is inspiration to the movement against Special Economic Zones (SEZs) in Goa in 2008. All the SEZs plans for Goa has been stalled due to protests.

Development that unfolded in the first decade after the turn of the century demonstrated that the developers and demonstrators has again repackaged the same development model and are seeking to implement the same. Only difference between 1990s and 2000s is that in 2000s the developers are doing it in much more organized and sophisticated manner. The modus operandi adopted by the developers is formulation of Regional Plan 2011 that sort to convert the entire state of Goa for the housing, pleasure and entertainment of the super rich of India and the World.

Local elites were given free hand to further exploit the mineral wealth of the State of Goa. This exploitation continues amidst pitched battles against indigenous communities as well as other communities in Goa.

The major agitation in 2005-06 forced the State of Goa to withdraw the Regional Plan 2011 and put in place mechanisms to formulate Regional Plan 2021 with multi layered consultative process with some degree of transparency in place. However the draft plans re-introduces the ghosts of the Regional Plan 2011 with Airport to the Northern border of the State touching Maharastra – mainly to promote tourism, commerce and commodification of beaches of Southern Maharastra in much more aggressive manner, highway bifurcations from Darbandora upto Thivim – to transport future extracted mineral wealth of village in the middle of resistance: Advalpal, Sports city in Tiwadi taluka – with stadium and township with 8,500 flats over the agricultural lands, Hazardous waste treatment plant in Darbandora in Sattari taluka – to facilitate dangerous chemical industries in Goa, Large scale conversion of green areas into settlement zones – basically to promote housing for the rich that is threatening a major demographic destabilization that will outnumber local people of Goa.

The plan is a well orchestrate exercise to subvert spaces of freedom currently available and in its place institute rule of Capital to enslave everyone in Goa[2].

In fact large numbers of villagers are up in arms in the first decade of 21st century itself. Several villages are united to oppose the commercial housing projects in Goa popularly known as ‘Mega Projects’. Network of local resisting communities has evolved in 2008 known as Ganv Ghor Rakhon Manch (GGRM). In English it can be roughly translated as Village-house Defence Forum. Number of Mega Projects have been put on hold in 2008 due to this agitation.

Regional Plan 2021 also proposes couple of golf courses one in Canaguinim, Quepem and another at Arambol, Pernem: both these proposals are old ones and was fought successfully in the decade of 1990s through prolonged agitations.

The first decade of the 21st century also brought the issue of unscrupulous mining industry on the public agenda. Mining companies lost control over couple of newspapers and that allowed media reportage of the some aspects of the problems created by mining industry. People in the Goa’s mining belt began to get increasingly assertive and articulate on the ecological degradation in Goa’s hinterlands. Agricultural losses meant also the losses of livelihood. Tribal livelihoods were directly threatened with drying up of every spring, other people’s livelihood options diminished with drying up of traditional water well. Goa’s ecological genocide – ecocide - is on.

There are several beneficiaries from Goa’s ecocide. One of the biggest beneficiaries – historically - has been Japanese corporate sector that began importing Goa’s iron ore from 1948 onwards. Rise of Japan from crushed post World War II economy due to US nuclear bombings is in inversely related to Goa’s under development. Export to Japan that began while Goa was still Portuguese colony remained in the same format – dig and sell – for the past 60 years. Only change that has taken place is mechanized nature of mining sector over the past one and half decade.

In the decade of 1980s and 1990s Goa constituted 50% of India’s iron ore export and mostly going to Japan. There were other countries of destination too such as South Korea, Germany and United States of America (USA). Japanese corporate sector is major beneficiary for nearly 50 years till the time Chinese market opened up for iron ore exports. Japan utilized Iron ore for various reasons. Various gadgets including automobiles were mass manufactured and exported all over the world. Burgeoning middle class in different parts of the world including India consumed Japanese goods. For the rolled out cars from Japanese factories appetite for consumption was generated through advertisements. To accommodate cars and other vehicles new roads are being building, existing roads are in the process of widening through State patronage, sprawling parking locations are continuously built through Private as well as public authorities. More and more land is getting tarred in this process.

By the turn of the century China began importing Goa’s iron ore. Chinese demand created predatory race for mining in Goa’s hinterland. This is still on in 2008 though there are reports that Chinese demand is stopped amidst global recession. This however has not changed ground situation as far as predatory nature of open cast iron ore mining in Goa. Mining industry - that consisted of number of local elites as well as British Vedanta that has bought off mining company Sesa Goa from Japanese Mitsui – continues to pursue its goal of resounding death blow to nature and people, to water and rivers, to fish and forest, to Adivasis and Sustainable agricultural communities. These two sections of the companies are other beneficiaries in the process of extraction and resultant capital accumulation.

Global steel industry is another major beneficiary of Indian iron ore exports. It is in fact one of the major consumers of iron ore as it is used as major input for steel manufacture. And steel is consumed in major way by global middle class that constituted 1,728 million consumers in 2002 according to the statistics in slides from World Watch Institutes’ Gary Gardner in 2006[3]. World has been taken over by this consumer class infested with a disease called consumerism. In India and China too there are its victims, Indian middle class numbered 122 million consumers constituting 12% of the National Population. Chinese middle class is numbering around 240 million consumers constituting 19% of its population. Japan is ranking fourth globally with 121 million consumers constituting 95% of the Japan’s population. USA ranks top with 243 million consumers constituting 84% of its national population. Germany has 76 million consumers that constitute 92% of its population. Brazil has population 33% of its population as consumers constituting 58 million in numbers.

Rise of consumerism and consumer class is not merely economic phenomenon but essentially political project. Olli Tammileheto has interesting historical insight to narrate in his essay titled “History and politics of overconsumption”:

…by creating mass demand of luxury items it diverted people’s energies from risky political and collective activities to harmless individual aspirations.

During 20th century motor car was the most important of these political consuming objects. In Europe mass motorization was started by Nazis. Once in power they suppressed all genuine collective action of industrial workers. But existing workers’ quarters in Berlin and other big cities were big worry for them: the informal communities inside them could regenerate the movement. It was impossible to detonate them all and workers could not be gassed. Yet the Nazis invented an Endlösung for this problem: it was a new political technology called people’s car or Volks Wagen.

Hitler met the French car industrialist Renault in 1935. He explained why Nazis backed the People’s car so strongly. After the rearmament boom, workers were going to create troubles again. But Volkswagen will make the organizing more difficult. The ‘Cheapened vehicle’ was supposed to ‘diffuse the industrial labour force by transferring them from the factory location to the country.’ In 1938, Hitler laid the foundation stone for the Volkswagen factory near Braunschweig

It would indeed be great folly in analysis if one considers rise of global consumer class as merely economic phenomena. It is accompanied by the political project of domination and control of dissent. This one reason perhaps middle class is always moving away from struggle and in fact becoming such a reliable ally of the forces of domination.

This is a broad context to Tadi par as reflected in development discourse in Goa.

III. Tadi Par As Concept

Tadi par as a development discourse represents boundaries. It denotes boundaries of tolerance. It denotes boundaries of dead end both for the production process involved in predatory mining industry in Goa as well boundaries of tolerance towards creations of societies and cultures of unsustainability. Application of this terminology is also very significant step in the life of ongoing struggles in Goa particularly related to mining industry. Applicability of this term has dialectical connotations. It demonstrates on the one end the intensity of the struggle that has paralyzed one particular mining site for 11 months. Mining industry in its exploitative project for the past 60 years has largely remained unchallenged and unquestioned. On the other end the ‘Tadi par’ demonstrates that struggle has led the political system protecting powerful mining industry towards the brink of desperation. It has lost patience with constant protests and continues pressures on the industry. Tadi par as concept carries within itself positive attributes of milestones of a struggle that has reached at the present stage threatening the State institutions. Invocation of Tadi par is actually a junction, a cross road where in multiple ideas of development come to coalesces in confrontationist mode in Goa.

Tadi par as a concept thoroughly provokes radical re-examination of development route. It provokes one to introspect whether is it worth to dig out all the soil leave the place in dangerous scars with non-sustaining culture? It is also a radical point of departure in a way communities understood Power and State. Local peasant[5] for example wondered as to why the mamlatdar[6] who hitherto always promoted agriculture is now ordering the arrest of the villagers demanding closure of mines threatening their agriculture and livelihood. The invocation reflects ambitious aggression of State on People; in fact people are being looked upon as burden that has to be sent across the boundary - Tadi par. It also meant corporate power over communities imposed through State coercive structures.

IV. Tadi Par As Metaphor Of Development

Nothing explains the tremendous sense of urgency to tackle mining as the trade is gradually pushing the State of Goa towards Tadi par than the following pamphlet[7]:

Stop Mining Terrorism In Goa!

Perhaps you are aware, perhaps you are not aware that mining posses formidable threat to the Goas’ survival. Yet it is true; mining has been terrorising Goa over the past five decades. People of Goa have tolerated this all this while but they can no longer do so. Hence we share this message with you so that you can take it far and wide as a friend and well wisher of Goa and its People.

Due to rampant exports of iron ore to many countries in the World including China and Japan due to demand for steel, our villages in hinterlands – in the talukas of Bicholim, Sattari, Sanguem and Quepem – are facing terror attacks of the mining industry that is largely supported by the government in Power. The Goas’ monstrous mining industry that took birth in the womb of Portuguese Colonialism has only flourished after Goa’s liberation and integration with India. Today it constitutes Goa’s number one enemy that is destroying our water bodies every day. Our majestic green mountains of Western Ghats are being chopped down for exports. Villages in the mining belt are becoming increasing thirsty for water and ironically depending upon the very industry to quench their thirst. Pissurlem village in Sattari Taluka is only one example to this situation.

Mining has damaged agriculture – our paddy fields – and snatched food from our plates. It has silted our rivers so badly that fish no longer spawns, Kushavati river is only an example to this. Our villages are becoming increasing poorer while few mining companies are usurping entire profits. A coterie of people has evolved as contractors of the mining industry and providing their services for speedy destruction of Goa forever. Forever because none of them has ever created Single Mountain that they are robbing today from our future generations.

Our water supply stands badly threatened due to mining activities taking place in the catchment areas of Selaulim, Opa and Assanora Dams.

Our two main rivers are taken over by the mining industry for loading and transportation of ore. Mandovi has 37 loading points with 1500 trips of barges per year while Zuari has 20 loading points with 1800 trips per year. Trips are from loading point to Marmagao Harbour from where the ore is exported in giant ships. Several big open cast iron ore mines operate in the catchment areas on Mandovi and Zuari rivers leading to huge accumulation of silt. Each mine creates rejection between 1000 - 4000 tonnes!

Our protected Area forest too is targeted by the mining industry. After Supreme Court closed down nearly 150 large mines miners have gone to Supreme Court they are permitted to resume around 60 these mining leases. Goa has forest cover of 1224 sq. km in addition to 200 sq. km of private forest.

Number of protest has erupted in Goa today because of mining. However mining companies in collusion with State Police force is involved in beating up and arrests of the protestors in routine manner. Colamb, Advalpal, Cavrem, Sirgao, Pissurlem, Mayem, Usgao, Maina, Khola etc are some of the villages that has have rose to challenge mining industry and are constituting boiling points of directly affected Peoples’ Protests in Goa. Number of tribal villages too is directly at the receiving end of the mining invasion and has challenged the industry.

We request you to take the message out from Goa that mining industry is terrorizing Goa – its people and nature – and we want mining terrorism to stop and Goa to remain prosperous without mining.

Remember constitutes 0.11% of India’s land mass and involved in 35% of India’s iron ore export. We are doing this at the cost of our very survival as people and at the cost of our rivers and water bodies that are source of life. Mining is on project to transform Goa into desert wherein everyone will want to avoid this place forever. No tourism, No fisheries, No IIFI, No agriculture, lots of building with no water running in their taps, No longer green goa as mining converting Goa into bloody red, lots of fights over water and survival assets. Mining companies would have made their money by then- in fact they already have – and settled in Switzerland, France or other green pastures.

Yeah, it is good to know how much money Mining industry has already made over the past few years: In 2003-2004 total legal (there is a huge illegal export that goes unaccounted) iron ore export was 22,942 thousand tonnes fetching Rs.46,457 million. In 2004-2005 total legal iron ore export was 24,717 thousand tonnes earning Rs.61,174.575 million. In 2005-2006 total legal export was 25,314 thousand tonnes at the value of Rs.1,77,198 million.

In addition to this large number of Members of Goa Legislative Assembly (MLAs) has entered into mining business during the past 5 years. That has seriously eroded capacity of Goa legislature to even bother about ongoing mining terrorism.

With Goa’s mining companies earning such a huge income it is hard to explain as to why Goa needs to have deficit budgets. In 2003 budget deficit was 2,141.10 crore rupes, in 2004 it climbed up to 2,615.17 crore rupees, and in 2005 budget deficit short up to 3088.67 crore! It is all because mining industry is juicing out Goa in every possible way! With this earnings Goa would have been highly prosperous State. But it is all round loot of Goa at the behest of handful of Mining companies that Goa urgently has to get rid of.

Stop mining terrorism in Goa now!

Tadi par as a metaphor becomes even clearer one takes into account some basic facts besides that are mentioned in the above pamphlet. Here are some revealing facts from recently published State of India’s Environment: Citizen’s charter titled ‘Rich lands Poor People: Is ‘sustainable’ mining possible?’[8] It is interesting to note that in the title of the book itself the word sustainable has been punctured with single inverted commas – punctuation that has Tadi par implications. The applied punctuation suggests that sustainable mining is impossible – an inference that has been the experience of the communities in the mining belts across India for over the past 100 years.

Anyway as one glimpses through the book on page 141 one encounters Goa. It begins with an important observation:

Goa is India’s smallest state – spread over 3,70,200 ha, it accounts for just 0.11 per cent of India’s geographical area. It is however, one of India’s leading producers of iron and manganese: four per cent of India’s iron ore reserve and eight per cent of its manganese ore reserve are in Goa. In 2004-05, more than 15 per cent of iron ore produced came from Goa.

The state has about eight per cent of its total area under mining, the highest in the country. Some 400 mining leases have been granted in Goa till 2002-03, covering approximately 30,325 ha – this works out to almost five per cent of the total area leased out for mining major minerals in the country. Of these, 222 mining leases have been granted for extracting iron ore: this account for 56 per cent of the total area under mining.

Mining companies were operating large number of mining leases in the forest declared as Wild life sanctuaries. Mining was going on in Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary, Mhadei Wildlife sanctuary and Netravali wildlife sanctuary. At the behest of Goa Foundation petition of Supreme Court around 80 mining leases inside wildlife sanctuary was stopped. Of late however the miners have gone to the Supreme Court to asking for permission to resume mining inside Sanctuaries for 65 mining leases.

The book further provides some more important insights into Goa’s mining industry:

The value of mineral production in Goa, which has continuously increased since 2000-01, stood at Rs 829 crore in 2004-05; iron ore accounted for 99 per cent of this value…the state contributed one per cent of the value of minerals produced in the country.

But the mineral royalty received by the state government was a pittance – Rs 15 crore, Rs 18 crore and little more than Rs 17 crore respectively in 2002-03, 2003-04 and 2004-05. Revenues from mining account for a miniscule 0.8-1 per cent. While private miners are making windfall profits, the government and the people of the state are seeing none of it.

The book has interesting pieced together account on history and political economy of the mining trade of Goa:

The history of mining in Goa is intrinsically linked with its colonial past. When the Second World War ravaged Japan, leaving its economy in shambles, the country needed iron and steel to rebuilt itself. Goa, with its huge reserves, was well suited to meet this demand. Portugal realized that this market was a potential gold mine, and decided to tap it. Portugal also realized that it needed it needed to involve some local Goans and people from other Portuguese colonies in its plans; like all colonisers, it hoped that these agents would support its regime in order to protect their own interests. In fact, Chowgule and Dempo, who have huge stakes in Goa’s mining industry today, were migrants who worked for the earstwhile Portuguese dynasty.

Following this strategy, Portugal awarded mining leases in perpetuity to some Goans – mainly small businesspeople. Ever since, large-scale mining of iron ore and its subsequent hugely profitable export has been an integral part of Goa’s economy and – leaving an indelible impact on Goan society and environment.

It is also a colonial legacy that mining in Goa is still largely in private hands, even after the liberation of Goa and its integration into India. After the Indian Army took over Goa, the mine owners went to the International Court of Justice at Hague, which was to decide whether Goa was ‘Captured or Liberated’. The Indian government agreed to let it be termed as ‘liberation’, and this gave rights to the mine owners to carry on with the mining concessions granted by the Portuguese. In 1986, the concessions were abolished and converted into leases, which were deemed granted.

It is historical process by which Goa has been punished with Tadi par by mining companies. Exploitation and usury are hallmarks of this industry that has created concentration of political power of Goa state in the hands of few handfuls of mining companies.

There is further reference as to how mining in Goa has created situation of risk to the low ecological footprints communities:

Unrestrained iron ore mining, has devastated the lifeline of Goan society – its farmlands, forests, rivers, air and ground water – and Goa’s people are feeling the pinch. Most mines in Goa work below the ground water level. About 10 tonnes of water has to be pumped out for every tonne of ore mined. This leads to depletion of ground water in the surrounding areas. Surface water from the rivers also seeps and flows into the mining pits, leading to drying of the river downstream.

V. Metal Sensitivity – need for sustainable futures

While there has been a large amount amount of disruption of life and life supporting systems due to rampant mining activities, the aspect of consumption pattern - particularly of metals - has remained largely unaddressed amongst the milieu seeking to do way with anti-sustainable development patterns in operation. The daily routine of battle largely kept theoretical understanding of countering the exploitative process at the source of mining activities viz. stopping the operation of mines, campaigning against police repression on protestors etc something that is so necessary too.

However, those who are the consumers of the products from the mined minerals such as Iron Ore, Magnesium, Bauxite, Gold, Copper and all other types of minerals, are never questioned. There are multiple classes of people that are involved in conspicuous consumption of the products of the mined products for various reasons such as statement of a class, fashion, luxury and also as psychopathic greed. Today and also earlier it has been a practice to own jewellery – gold, diamond and silver etc – as a symbol of wealth. Possessions of these metals constitutes ‘security’ to some, status symbol to some, statement of class to still others, fashion to the well off classes, etc. There is need for radical need to question these consuming classes. There is need to reflect as to amount of mining is needed to carry on to make these fine products as class statements.

Consumption of Costly cars is another fad of the burgeoning global middle that is growing in leaps and bound India as well as in China. One peculiar habit of this class of people is to buy cars. After one car there is a trend to go for second and third cars. Amount of Iron Ore that gets concentrated in manufacture of these cars is not only enormous ecological scandal but also huge burden on the people in the mining global mining belts battling mining companies and State repressive mechanisms. The link needs to be strongly built between the consuming classes of the World and the mining companies-State nexus. This consumption pattern spearheaded by upper and middle classes also needs to be targeted in development related resistance discourse in theory as well as systematic practical application to address uncalled for irrational burden of car consumption by consuming classes. It is much wiser to divert the precious metal in improving Public transportation rather than promote through state patronage individual car consumption.

There is also need to be sensitive towards various daily use gadgets made up of metals and dependent upon electricity that is rapidly finding its ways in consumption patterns. Metal gadgets are entering the household consumption agendas in the same way that plastic entered household agendas by destroying India’s well known mud pottery in front of the onslaught of plastic industry. Large amount and variety of mineral are utilized for the manufacture of computers that has also already become household item in middle classes and upper middle classes. Communication systems that are evolving such as e-mail and World Wide Web is largely dependent upon for their applicability on metal consuming gadgets such as computers and mobile phones with economics of profitability being its driving force of their promotion. Evolution in communications technology has even evolved a term called ‘personal computer (PC)’ as one of the very basic concept in its functioning and appeal. The underlying message that one can derive is the computer for personal use. The term ‘Personal’ is distinctly different from ‘Family’, ‘Neighbourhood’ and of ‘Village’. The nature and ideology of these technological gadgets are reflected in their nomenclature itself. It targets individual and then transform and individual into consumer.

Construction industry uses huge amount of metal in the process. Moreover the construction as an industry – also known as real estate industry has transformed itself into profit driven industry. It is engaged in the project of housing and luxury hotel projects that are for the consumption of high spending upper and middle classes. There is a need for critical question on the entire matrix of Construction industry. There is a need to understand the magnitude of metal consumption at various levels by this industry.

There is also need to be metal sensitive when it comes to global war industry. The triple humiliating aspect of this industry is that first, it is an industry that is designed to kill human being in variety of ways, secondly, it is one of the largest consumers of metals and thereby ensures steady demand for ore and profitability of the mining industry. Thirdly, it is principally and legitimately financed through public funding by various state agencies. Consent is manufactured to legitimize this industry in the name of law and order and nationalism. Military agencies that includes Army, Navy and Air force of various individual countries as well as international agencies such as NATO, use large amount of metals for their various consumption needs such as trucks, tankers, ships, guns, bullets, protective gears, missiles, various kinds of ammunitions etc. Numbers of States are responsible for creation and promotion of non-state actors to engage in violence so that war industry continuously floats in profits through various kinds of conflicts all over the world. Peace and understanding is essentially valid option in the interest of sustainable future so that abuse of metals by war industry can be restricted. The metal sensitivity in war industry is all the more needed here due to one additional reason too. Number of countries has been considering nuclear option in war. This has led to creation of large networks of nuclear mines, nuclear plants, Military and Science. It is almost a nexus as the nuclear industry has managed to get itself state protection in number of countries and lage amount of public funding is directed towards building steady supply lines and utmost preparedness for nuclear attacks on so-called enemy country. This has been the phenomena especially after the Second World War when USA dropped couple of atom bombs on Japan in August 1945.

Even independent of war industry nuclear industry must be targeted even for civilian purposes. Nuclear mining is one of the most dangerous mining industries causing radioactive hazards. The worst case of nuclear mining in India is in Jharkhand’s Jadugoda Uranium mines. Due to passing of Indo-US nuclear deal, numbers of nuclear reactors that are facing opposition from conscious consumers of electricity in the West – Europe, America and Australia - are all set to relocate themselves in India. Couple new uranium mining sites are also getting cleared in spite of the opposition in Meghalaya and Andhra Pradesh States of India. Few sites are identified for nuclear reactors in number of Indian States including Maharastra. The State of Goa is going to be sandwiched between the two nuclear reactors – one to the South: Kaiga nuclear plant in Karnataka and one to the North : Ratnagiri in Maharastra.

Metal sensitivity is largely being able to be aware of once choices of consumption, one being able to critique and reflect on prevailing pattern of consumption related to metals, being able to reach out and connect with consuming classes and begin process of honest and frank communication, being able to decipher between need based consumption and greed based consumption, being able to willing to make serious effort to search for alternatives and challenge the profit based metal consumption to be replaced by need based metal consumption. To be able to connect loss of livelihood of the indigenous communities in Goa, Jharkhand, Orissa and other places in India, Philippines, Bolivia, East Timor and mines in other parts of the World to global consumption patterns based on overexploitation. It also means being able to disconnect with metal industry and connect with real people and community. It means being able to arrive at inner peace within an individual without greedy consumption of metals in various forms. It also means being able to find safer alternatives to nuclear power plants for electricity consumption. It also means serious re-thinking on our aspirations of life styles being more metal sensitive. Most importantly it means unlearning models of consumption based on greed. It means being willing to learn from various indigenous communities the models of life that is based on non-exploitative terms and integrating them into mainstream. It also means able to apply various societal and state agencies to influence metal sensitive development initiatives and alter existing consumption patterns that are leading the planet towards catastrophes such as nuclear radiation, industrial disasters and climate change. All the three looming catastrophes are caused by industrialization.

Non-industrial low ecological foot print communities such as Adivasi communities provide important lessons in peace, community spirit and non metal consumption pattern that have potentials for clues of solutions for greed based over consumption patterns. Metal sensitivity also means defending these communities. These communities have inhabited the planet and also used metals in most sensible and non exploitative manner towards nature as well as to human communities. It is only modern organised societies that are intensely involved in creating unsustainable future ever since industrial revolution for the past three centuries.


Declaration of Tadi par is an important dimension added in the process of existing development discourse in theory and practice. In theory it is less focussed concept. The category of boundaries opens up interesting tools of analysis for the enlarge understanding of the complex process in the middle of interplay. In practice it is of tremendous importance considering that it has been threatened to be invoked for challenging development model in place in Goa that is absolutely hostile to the sustainability of societies and cultures prevailing in Goa. It is possible to theoretically and practically to turn the concept of Tadi par on its head and systematically proceed evolve methodology to challenge waves of domination and exploitation.

For communities it is a challenge to face when one of its active people is targeted by the establishment and ordered Tadi par. The challenge is a form of protest the community will adopt in case the Tadi par is invoked in practice. So far community has faced all the challenges from the mining industry as well as from the oppressive state agencies in an ingenious manner. A possibility has opened up community to decide to reverse the process and invokes the Tadi par on its tormentors.

Invoking of Tadi par on the corporate and the oppressive state agencies is of absolute necessity with the wider emancipatory agenda to facilitate sustainability of cultures particularly of Low Ecological Footprint Communities on planet earth. Mining trade and global consumerism opens up greater need towards being increasingly metal-sensitve.


Dr. Bikram Dasgupta for arousing interest in me to look at ecological issues

Ramesh Gauns and Rama Velip explained me the meaning of Tadi par

Marko Ulvila invited me to write this paper to be for two days seminar on ‘Dialogues on Ecological and Sustainable futures’ held on 16-17 December 2008 in New Delhi.

Durgadas Gaonkar spared me from various meetings so to be able to concentrate and focus to write my thoughts out for this paper.

Motesh Antao, Purso Gaonkar, Shanto Velip, Dument D’Suza, Egyps D’Souza, Xavier Fernandes, Palmira Dias, Milagrine Amtao, Tedoz Antao and entire community Colamb, Sanguem, Goa and GAKUVED team for their infectious enthusiasm and courage.

[1] Currently is co-ordinator of Mand – an Adivasi-rights Resource Centre, An initiative of Gawda, Kunbi, Velip and Dhangar Federation (GAKUVED) based in Goa. E-mail:
[2] Rodrigues, Sebastian, ‘On Biases and Silences : Critique of Interim Report of Goa Regional Plan 2021 prepared by Task Force in April 2008’, Dulapi, 2008.
[3] Quated from ‘Cultures of Sustainability – Sustainability of Cultures: Africa-Asia-Europe Dialogue on the future of low ecological footprints communities: background papers and related documents’. Coalition for Environment and Development, Helsinki. 2008
[4] Tammilehto, Olli, ‘History and politics of Over consumption’, in ‘Cultures of Sustainability – Sustainability of Cultures: Africa-Asia-Europe Dialogue on the future of low ecological footprints communities: background papers and related documents’. Coalition for Environment and Development, Helsinki. 2008
[5] Purso Gaonkar in personal conversation with the author in November 2008.
[6] Quasi-Judicial officer
[7] Issued jointly by three mass based organisations namely Gawda Kunbi Velip and Dhangar Federation (GAKUVED), Ganv – Ghor Rakhan Manch (GGRM) and, Goa Federation of Mines Affected People (GOAMAP) in November 2008.
[8] Published by Centre for Science and Environment, Delhi, 2008.

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