In india, minority groups, especially muslim religious groups are wrongly perceived as other in
society because of  fault intercultural communication. The cultural pluralism in indian society creates
the problem of acculturation, bilingualism, alienation, cultural determination, ethnocentrism, ethno-phobia and cultural shock, etc. Therefore, a cultural deviation facilitates clash, misunderstanding, and hostile behaviour. Each and every religious group has its own cultural practices in their daily lives and it signifies their particular habits and rituals. One may compare it with “tapestry of culture metaphorically – which is composed of many interconnected threads in which the whole is more than the sum of its parts.”  Everybody feels his/her cultural practices as superior and obviously one tries to evaluate and interpret other culture which is the basic cause of a competition between majorities versus minorities’ relationship. This ethnocentrism may be considered as cause of religious conflict of narrowness, intolerance, rejection and alienation of co-culture. Psychologically, religious groups of india suffer from “ethno-phobia - a prejudice against dominant group and it is the cause of trouble and unhappiness provoking social distance and violence against majority versus minority.”  There is immediate need of proper treatment care. But the political leaders tactically spread over this disease for their votes through provocation, and provision of benefits (economic advantages, employment reservation, and special education, etc) to particular religious groups. They use to propagate threat to dismissal of minority tactically because to get vote from majority or from minorities depending on the number of electorates in the particular constituencies. Thus, they willfully try to break the rule of oneness (harmony). Even they (who are also the protector of the constitution) quietly disobey the ‘secular nature’ of  the constitution.  Communal politics is increasing in west bengal, and people will have to face the causes and consequences of ethno-phobia in west bengal. Of course,  it is  common scenario throughout india. When everybody suffers from this disease, who would arrange treatment care?
Harasankar adhikari,

‘‘Greener, Cleaner World - Environment & Climate Change”
The German Consulate General Kolkata has extended its support for a Project in ‘ENVIRONMENT & CLIMATE CHANGE DIALOGUES AND ACTION - City of Kcrtkata’ in cooperation with the NGO Centre for Contemporary Communication. The project will focus on creating Environment and Climate Change Dialogues about the Vulnerability of the City of Kolkata, its key factors and major challenges. The project is funded by the German Federal Foreign Office.
The project aims to create awareness, knowledge and understanding about the climate change issues and various challenges faced among the citizens especially the youth with a medium of documentary, Q&A interactions and Projects in schools and colleges. Furthermore, to engage the decision makers i.e. Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) in the ‘Greener, Cleaner World’ - Dialogue and find ways to address this issue and make the city a better place to live.

Centre for Contemporary Communication (CCC) works with issues of the city’s rapid urbanization, susceptibility to climate change, and environmental sustainability. The NGO has been actively involved in addressing the climate change challenges and has initiated projects in schools and colleges to find solutions and find alternative ways to cope up with this mammoth task.

Germany and India agreed on cooperation in the field of environment protection in 1998. Development cooperation in the sector is specifically focused on natural resource management, climate change adaptation and mitigation, biodiversity, urban and industrial environment protection and innovative green technologies.
Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany, Kolkata

Aadhaar vs Citizens’ Rights
Since the launching of the biometric identification of citizens in 2009, the Government of India has been trying to bring all citizens under Aadhaar authentication and to make it mandatory for the giving of subsidies, benefits and other entitlements. The excessive enthusiasm of the Government in this matter raises some suspicions about its intentions. There are genuine doubts about the misuse of the large data base about the citizens by some vested interests and foreign agencies . The loss of the right to privacy of the people is another grave issue. When Aadhaar is made mandatory for various services and entitlements, there is the possibility of the exclusion of many people from the social welfare schemes. Bezwada Wilson, the national president of the Safai Karmachari Andolan holds that the identity project seeks to perpetuate the identity, of manual scavengers as such, when they painfully long to bury their demeaning identity forever. The notification making it mandatory for the rehabilitation of manual scavengers is a very serious problem, instead of a solution. Most importantly, the proposed role of Aadhaar appears to undermine citizens’ rights. The Act is feared as arbitrary and illegal as it creates an artificial, impermissible classification between those who have parted with biometrics and those who has not. This is violative of Article 14 of the Constitution which guarantees equality before the law and equal protection of the laws. Taking of a person’s finger print and the iris scan without clear consent of the concerned, is a physical invasion of his/ her bodily integrity.

Many public interest litigations were filed in the Supreme Court challenging the constitutional validity of making Aadahaar mandatory for many services and seeking the court’s help to shield the people from its invasion. Responding to these petitions, the Court has been pronouncing many bold opinions and orders since 2013. Following are some of the observations and orders of the Court :
“No person should suffer for not getting Aadhaar card” (September 2013).” No person shall be deprived of, for want of Aadhaar number in case he/she is otherwise eligible/entitled.” (March 2014). To reiterate its stand, in August 2015, the Supreme Court asked the Centre to give wide publicity that it is not mandatory for a citizen to get Aadhaar card; and asked the government to restrict its use to PDS and LPG distribution schemes only. Thereafter, in October 2015, the five-judge constitutional Bench declared : “We will also make it clear that Aadhaar card scheme is purely voluntary, and it cannot be made mandatory till the matter is finally decided by this court one way or the other”. Further, the court allowed to the limited use of Aadhaar number to just six services.

Despite the interventions of the Court referred to above, two months ago, the government hurriedly passed The Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Bill 2016 as a Money Bill. Taking such a route to pass the Bill raises further suspicion about the intentions of the Government. The former Union Minister Mr Jayram Ramesh challenged this in the Supreme Court. The government holds that preventing tax evasion by linking Aadhaar with PAN for filing Income Tax Returns is the intention of this Act. This argument may appear to be reasonable. However, it is widely believed that corruption can be checked more by the will of the government and strong administrative measures; and not through such new legislations. The response of the Supreme Court in the hearing of this petition appears to be lenient compared to its earlier position. Therefore, the unveiling situation causes greater anxiety about the outcome of the introduction of Aadhaar.
People’s Repoter, Mumbai

Vol. 49, No.49, Jun 11 - 17, 2017