Tatsat Chronicle
Tatsat Chronicle
  Letter from the Editor-in-Chief  
  Dear Subscriber,  
  Possibly the best way to describe the ongoing craze for cryptocurrencies, bordering on lunacy, is to recall former Fed chairman Alan Greenspan’s immortal words, “irrational exuber¬ance”, which he used to describe the senselessness on Wall Street at the height of the dotcom mania in the early 2000s when billions of dollars were sunk into the blackhole of eyeballs and valuation. It’s bewildering that cryptocurrencies, which are noth¬ing more than sophisticated memes, would command market capitalisa¬tion of $1.7 trillion.  
  Speculators are free to bet their money on anything, but when some¬thing like cryptocurrencies starts entering the mainstream of the global economy without any regulations, then the global monetary system is sit¬ting on a ticking timebomb, which when it eventually explodes will leave a massive trail of destruction.  
  In this issue we also look at the pros and cons of increasing palm oil production in India. On one hand, it’s a highly profitable crop and can make the country self-reliant in edible oils; on the other, environmentalists are justified in their apprehensions that forest land might be diverted to plan¬tations in the Northeast, where the climate is most conducive for growing oil palm. Staying with the Northeast, we turn the focus on the continued implementation of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, 1958, especially in the light of the Oting incident on December 4 in which 15 innocent people were gunned down by the security forces in a case of “mistaken identity”. It would be prudent to call time on the draconian act, since it has long stopped serving any purpose.  
  Independent India will turn 75 on August 15, 2022. During this period, the country has made remarkable progress in many areas. But in one criti¬cal aspect it continues to lag: gender equality, especially representation of women in public spaces. In similar vein, we must ensure the protection of rights of our indige¬nous peoples like the forest-dwelling Van Gujjars of Uttarakhand. For cen¬turies, they have been friends of the forests, but modern laws have started treating them as enemies. This must stop.  
  Please browse through the round-up of Tatsat Chronicle newsletter till February 15, 2022.  
Top Story: Red Alert! Regulate cryptos
The cryptocurrency landscape is akin to a Wild West where anything goes. The amount of Indian money that has already been invested in the unregulated digital currencies poses a serious risk of derailing the country’s monetary policy and national security
Deep Dive: Oily dilemma
Oil palm cultivation can accrue financial benefits for farmers and help in attaining self-sufficiency in edible oils but, given the way regulations are flouted in India, civil society has reason to be concerned about diversion of forest land for plantations
In Focus: Unending trail of tragedy
The continuation of AFSPA in some north-eastern states despite significant reduction in insurgency-related violence defies logic even as justice remains elusive for the people of the region who have suffered large-scale human rights violations at the hands of the security forces
Case Study: Friends of forests
For centuries, the Van Gujjars, the nomadic cattle herders of Uttarakhand, have lived in harmony with nature, maintaining a wonderful balance, taking from the earth only what they needed for survival, but now their way of life is threatened by new laws
Commentary: High on rhetoric, disappointment for salaried class
When finance minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, started reading the opening lines of her fourth budget speech at sharp 11 am on February 1, the salaried class waited with bated breath, hoping for a desperately needed income tax break.
WHO and ILO Urge to Protect Workers’ Mental Health While Teleworking
The World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Labor Organization (ILO) have urged measures...
Kisan Morcha to Campaign Against the BJP in Uttar Pradesh
The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), a collective of 32 farmer unions that was formed in November 2020 to oppose the farm laws, has appealed to the farmers to ‘punish’ the BJP in the five poll-bound states.
Crypto Will Not Have the Value Authorisation by Government: Fin Secy
The Finance Ministry has said that digital assets other than digital currency issued by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will “never become legal tender”.
India’s Unemployment Rate Drops, Lowest Since March 2021: CMIE
India’s unemployment rate has come down drastically in January 2022. According to the Center for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE), the unemployment rate...
End Shameful Leprosy Discrimination in Law: UN Rights Expert
Ahead of World Leprosy Day on 30 January, the independent UN expert on human rights and leprosy Alice Cruz called for an end to more than 100 laws globally that discriminate ...
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