Tuesday, May 23, 2017
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RBI proposal on specialised banks makes sense
Highly skilled professionals are needed for the task
By Anjan Roy
The Reserve Bank is quietly launching a major restoration work, it appears. RBI has released a discussion paper on wholesale and long term banks which proposes to set up the eponymous new financial institutions. This is in effect bringing back to life the defunct structure of development finance institutions which we had before. The Industrial Finance Corporation of India (IFCI), Industrial Credit and Investment Corporation of India (ICICI) and the Industrial Development Bank of India (IDBI) were the three principal DFIs which had served the country in the early years of industrialisation. As the financial system evolved and still later with the emergence of universal banking, two of the more active DFIs converted themselves into retail banks and they are now familiar names in India's...
Kashmir Times News Report
Kashmir: Hard choices only
By Pervez Hoodbhoy
I RECENTLY received an extraordinary email from a troubled young Kashmiri in Srinagar. Days before the Indian authorities turned off the internet, Saif (not his real name) had watched on YouTube the 45-minute video documentary Crossing the Lines - Kashmir, Pakistan, India that I had helped make in 2004 and mostly agreed with its non-partisan narrative. A nationalist boy turned stone thrower, Saif is outraged by the brutality of Indian occupation. He is fortunate, he says. His 14-year-old second cousin lost his left eye to pellets. Saif continues to fight India but is worried. Protesters of his father's generation were largely nationalist, but today's are a mixed bunch. IS and Pakistani flags are often unfurled after Friday prayers, azadi demonstrations resound with calls for an Islamic ...
Kashmir Times News Report
Modi's target
By A.G. Noorani
EVER since the Jan Sangh was set up in 1951, one of its main aims was to wipe out Muslim law and enforce a uniform civil code. After its reincarnation in 1980 as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), this demand became one of its emblems. Once he became prime minister, Narendra Modi made Muslim personal law embodied in the Sharia a target of his campaign. He picked on the one feature that many Muslims themselves were moving towards reforming because they saw it as contrary to religious injunctions- the triple talaq. His concern for Muslim women's welfare was not very evident when, as Gujarat's chief minister in 2002, they were raped and murdered on his watch. Now he and his henchmen are posing as their liberators. Last year, Modi said, "Getting Muslim women their rights as per the constitu...
Kashmir Times News Report
China Pakistan Economic Corridor to hurt India on sovereignty issues
By TN Ashok
The recent diplomatic faux by China in withdrawing its ambassador Lou Zhaohui's statement on the controversial China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is actually symptomatic of a larger geo political malaise on China's ambitious $46 billion One Belt One Road (OBOR) project involving construction of highways, economic zones, railways networks etc. China's ambassador Luo Zhaohui had told a strategic affairs think tank meeting in New Delhi that his country was ready to rename the China Pakistan Economic Corridor as a pre- condition for Prime Minister Narendra Modi to attend the One Belt , One Road crucial meeting at Beijing on May 14 -15 this year. China wanted to placate India on its reservations on the project even though External Affairs Minister Ms Sushma Swaraj did not have any objec...
Kashmir Times News Report
Hindutva: The "Opium" of the people!
By Mohammad Ashraf
The ultimate goal of every religion is to explain the purpose of human existence to make it meaningful. Without religion a human being is just like any other animal. Every religion believes in an ultimate being, who is the creator, the sustainer and the retirbutor. Without belief in religion, life becomes meaningless. Just an animal existence without any purpose or goal. However, every religion also teaches the equality of all human beings before the ultimate Being. Unfortunately, the material greed and lust for power to rule over human beings totally distorts the sublime religious beliefs. It becomes a tool in the hands of the few rich to keep under millions of the teeming poor. This distorted use of religion had been explained by the great philosopher Karl Marx, the author of Das Kapit...
Kashmir Times News Report
Indian airlines losing space at home and abroad
Foreign carriers controlling passenger traffic
By Nantoo Banerjee
Every major international airline from almost every part of the world wants to expand operation in India, The country is witnessing the world's biggest air traffic growth at over 23 per cent since the end of 2015. In January, this year, the domestic air traffic grew to an all-time record of 25 per cent. Some of the Gulf countries are even lobbying with the government for permission to operate on India's domestic space making such unusual demand as allowing operational rights in highly security sensitive north eastern parts of the country. Unfortunately, airlines from India are struck with limited routes and limited passenger ferries to and fro the country. And, the domestic air traffic business is being increasingly cornered by foreign-linked airlines operating in and out of India on the ...
Kashmir Times News Report
Iran's Election
By Gwynne Dyer
The six-week campaign is over, and 55 million Iranians will vote in the first round of the presidential election on Friday. Or rather, most of those 55 million people will vote, but many will not, because there is great disillusionment with President Hassan Rouhani's promises to improve the economy - and therefore also with the international treaty on curbing Iran's nuclear weapons ambitions that was supposed to bring back prosperity. Donald Trump (who calls the treaty "one of the worst deals ever signed") is not alone in seeing it as a failure. Although Rouhani's main challenger in this election, hardline cleric Ebrahim Raisi, does not formally reject the deal, his whole campaign is focussed on the fact that the end of foreign economic sanctions did not bring Iranians the rapid economic...
Kashmir Times News Report
Corruption In Public Life
Politicians must alter outlook
By Dhurjati Mukherjee
Political corruption has once again come into sharp focus. Income tax raid on Lalu Prasad's associates, CBI raid on P Chidambaram's son Karti and allegations of corruption by Arvind Kejriwal from his ex-minister have hit the headlines this summer season. While Opposition may scream 'political vendetta', Government sends clear message that 'the day of reckoning has come for many. They all will be accountable.' Further, an aggressive electronic media has been after these leaders on the basis of tapes in the case of Lalu, documents in case of Karti and allegations by Kapil Mishra against Kejriwal. There can be no two opinions that these cases need investigation, but there should be no witch-hunting. While the allegations against Lalu of alleged investments in shell companies and benami d...
Kashmir Times News Report
Transgender Services
Dispel stigma, aid inclusivity
By Proloy Bagchi
One has to give it to a mayor for taking a very courageous decision: he will use the services of the transgender community for recovery of property tax from defaulters. For want of any more details, it is hoped the Mayor of Bhopal has seriously thought about the matter and brings about a change in the lives of the transgender community and people's perception about them. Surely, he knows that the defaulters are not going to be shamed by the appearance of a transgender at their door to cough up their dues to the municipal corporation. No, not in Bhopal, which perhaps hosts one of the largest transgender communities. However, if this is the intention it would be exploiting the transgender community's sexual aberration to the advantage of the civic body. This is precisely what had been don...
Kashmir Times News Report
South Indians Are Black
Tarun Vijay learned it sitting at Guru Golwalkar's feet
By Prof Shamsul Islam
BJP leader Tarun Vijay's take has two very serious repercussions. Firstly, it means that India is not one but divided into North and South Indias. Secondly, North Indians are White (or Aryans) whereas South Indians are Black (Dravidians) thus belonging to two different races. It also underlines superiority of North Indians who manage to live with Black Indians. Interestingly, Tarun by making this stand was corroborating the argument of Periyar that Brahmins of North had subjugated the Dravidians of South. Tarun Vijay, the former editor of RSS Hindi organ, 'Panchajanya', a prominent 'ideologue' of the organization (in-charge of the RSS project of spreading Hindutva politics in Tamil Nadu), ex-member of the Rajya Sabha, who also heads India-Africa Parliamentary Friendship Group, has come o...
Kashmir Times News Report
Irony of fate!
By S I Kazmi
What else could the period through which we are passing be if not an irony of fate, especially since the last about two years. Intolerance was there before as well but it seems to have surpassed many folds. It is irony of fate that religions which never and don't teach hatred between various communities are blatantly being misread and deliberate efforts are made to spread the vires of communalism for narrow gains. Secularism is apparently losing its meaning and is being treated an unworthy word in the present context. Nationalism and patriotism too are meaningless at the moment. If not an irony of fate then what is it that inspite of notable progress in various fields there is awful retrogression in tolerance? Casteism and communalism today have become the passwords for some miscreant...
Kashmir Times News Report
Kashmir, a way forward
By Mir Suhail
Kashmir is said to be paradise on earth. However when India started implementing its policy of "Kashmir bharat ka atoot ang hai (Kashmir is an integral part of India) ", Kashmir once the valley of red apples became the valley of blood. Successive Indian governments couldn't resolve the problem and Kashmiris kept the pot boiling. There is no solution in sight, unless through tripartite talks between India, Pakistan and Kashmir. Successive governments with spineless policies, tying the hands of the Kashmiri youths, deteriorated the situation so much so that the unarmed youths are killed like fireflies. What is most shocking is the Indian government's claim that Kashmiri stone throwing youths are getting funds from Pakistani agencies. Political analysts believe that Kashmir is slipping out...
Kashmir Times News Report
Indians' connect with Palestinians 'politically dented'
By Humra Quraishi
Why did Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, come calling in the midst of this May heat? Why he skipped visiting India two months back, in February, when he was visiting Pakistan and Bangladesh? Is this visit of Mahmoud Abbas part of the balancing diplomatic tactics? Are we supposed to overlook the crucial fact that this coming July, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is to pay a visit to Israel and with that add weightage to India's tilt towards Israel and Israeli -American lobbies? Not to be overlooked the fact that though he will be in Israel but he will not travel next door, to Palestine. A break from the past when Indian leaders visited only Palestine or both- Israel and Palestine. In fact, this will be the first time that an Indian Prime Minister will be visiting only Israel and with tha...
Kashmir Times News Report
A feminist's review of contemporary feminism
By Ayushman Jamwal
The core principle of the feminist movement is equality, but contemporary feminism seems to have lost touch with it, straight jacketing itself into a 'Carnival of Outrage'. Feminism advocates freedom, but it seldom encourages the responsibility that comes with it. In the patriarchal system, men are trained to understand the risks and dangers of the world and prime themselves to face them, as they are also victims of assault and abuse. Under the same system, women are never conditioned for the 'big bad world', but as feminism aims to break patriarchy, it does not equip women to face the challenges of freedom. Consider the political tussle over curfew timings for women in educational institutions. Women in the western world have been fighting against it since the 1960s and it has only rec...
Kashmir Times News Report
Militancy in Kashmir- How do we handle it?
By Vappala Balachandran
The BJP government in New Delhi has ignored two important facts in their strategy towards Kashmir: First, the Valley-Jammu divide which dates back to the pre-Independence era has constantly re-surfaced due to different reasons under changed circumstances. Originally this was not always a Muslim versus Hindu issue. It was more a Jammu versus Valley quarrel. The preponderance of Hindus in Maharaja's regime alienated the Valley Muslims. In 1932 Sheikh Abdullah established "All Jammu and Kashmir Muslim Conference" (AJKMC) for Muslims' rights. In 1939 he changed its name as "National Conference" when a fundamentalist pro-Pakistan group under Chaudhry Ghulam Abbas set up "Muslim Conference" with Jinnah's support. They demanded accession to Pakistan on 22 July, 1947. Sheikh Abdullah wrote in ...
Kashmir Times News Report
Diversity Day
By S Mukhtar
"Uncle." "Yes." "21 May - O, Diversity Day! What that, please say." "Dear, short-naming sometimes misleads…as here. Actually, Diversity Day is, as officially named, The World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development. The Day has been celebrated since 2001 and this year South Africa also joins the world in celebrating the Day." "Uncle, but why did the Day come up?" "Dear, look at the world's major conflicts: Three-quarters have a cultural dimension. Horrible! And so, for Peace and Stability and Development in the entire world, it was essential and urgent to bridge the gaps between cultures. Cultural diversity has to be recognised and accepted, dialogue among civilizations and cultures has to be encouraged, and mutual understanding and respect has but to be deve...
Kashmir Times News Report
Ummer Fayaz: Another Kashmiri icon
By Ali Ahmed
I can imagine the conversation young Ummer Fayaz might have had with his abductors in his last moments. He would likely have told them to take a hop - only more colourfully - though knowing fully well he might not make it out of captivity alive. This I can tell from reading the write up on him in the Indian Military Academy commemorative volume on his passing out course, that took the 'Antim Pag' ('Final Step' (as a Gentleman Cadet)) at the hallowed Chetwode Hall in December last year. He is described as one who could 'debate on any topic'. Being ex-NDA (National Defence Academy) to boot, he could not have been short of sting even with a gun to his head. Shamed when confronted with a mirror to their face, his captors hurriedly dispatched him to what shall surely turn out to be eternal glo...
Kashmir Times News Report
Of frequent Net Ban: A repressive and a vindictive new norm
By Mohd Asif Shah & Ayaz Nabi Malik
Ideally a State has to ensure and maintain its overall security and that of its citizens by protecting itself from foreign aggression and by guarding its citizens' lives and their property. To ward off and shoo away the external aggression, a State maintains a vigilant and a brave army at its borders. That done and the State turns inward to protect the lives and property of its citizens through strict legislations and regulations , the violators of which are equally taken to the task by its Judiciary and the Police. Normally a State should have a "non-interventionist policy" to let its denizens live their lives as per their wishes. It should intervene only when the social fabric, communal harmony and social security are jeopardized. Nothing short of that should encourage a State to poke i...
Kashmir Times News Report
Labour has the programme to build a New Britain
Corbyn's election manifesto is most popular
By Nathan Akehurst
At long last, we're talking about policy. It took the leaking of Labour's manifesto late on Wednesday evening to get there - an event which many believe was a work of tactical genius from inside Jeremy Corbyn's office. I am reliably informed it was not, and a river of leaks from party headquarters has characterised the last two years, but nonetheless the results were positive. The leak allowed headlines to be hogged by radical Labour policies like abolishing tuition fees, strengthening trade unions and nationalising the Big Six energy firms and the railways. The speed of the leak meant a slightly confused reaction from hostile tabloids. The Mail accused Labour of going "back to the 1970s," right below a feature on how keeping "girls' jobs and boys' jobs" separate is better for everyone. ...
Kashmir Times News Report
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