Wednesday, September 26, 2018
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Another Gulf War - The First Shots?
By Gwynne Dyer
The men who carried out Saturday's attack on the parade in Ahvaz, in Iran's southwestern province of Khuzestan, were well trained: four of them killed 25 people and wounded 70 others before they were shot dead. The question is whether they were trained by 'Islamic State', or by the backers of the low-profile Ahvaz National Resistance, which also claimed credit for the attack. 'Islamic State' is an independent ultra-extremist Sunni Muslim movement that kills Shias (most Iranians are Shia) on principle, so there are no big political implications if it was IS that planned the attack. If it was the Ahvaz National Resistance, however, then these were the opening shots in the next Gulf War, because the ANR is backed by Saudi Arabia and its smaller Arab allies like the United Arab Emirates and...
Kashmir Times News Report
Ayusman Bharat has several pitfalls
Universal healthcare still far off
By Dr Arun Mitra
"The social determinants of health like supply of clean drinking water, adequate sanitation system, proper housing, nutrition and sufficient wages to meet these day to day needs and health education are the primary factors related to healthcare. However these determinants are not integrated in government's policy making in practice." Like other slogans much expectations have been raised from the highly advertised National Health Protection Scheme (NHPS) - the Ayushman Bharat rolled out by the Prime Minister on 23rd September at Ranchi. It is said to be the biggest health insurance scheme in the world. It is therefore important that the scheme is reviewed to see whether it will provide universal comprehensive healthcare to the citizens of our country. The scheme will cover 10 crore famil...
Kashmir Times News Report
Climate Change
Post Flood Kerala in the age of climate change and peak oil
By Binu Mathew
"Climate Change create just not floods. Drought is another threatening proposition for Kerala. If a drought hits Kerala, most of Kerala will face even more mammoth challenge than the present floods. Most of the water sheds have been destroyed by the rapacious 'development'. Most of the cities and towns of Kerala draw drinking water from rivers. If there is slow down of inflow of water, saline water from the sea will rush upstream and people will be left without any drinking water." A month has passed since the mammoth Kerala floods. I've travelled through many flood affected areas and talked to many affected people. The loss is huge many of them are irreparable. Even after one month many people haven't come out of the psychological trauma caused by the floods. Many say they feel a heavi...
Kashmir Times News Report
Annihilate Caste
Protect the rights of Individual's choices
By Vidya Bhushan Rawat
"I will not call these marriages as 'inter-caste' marriages. Marriage is not a 'TRP' project. It is your personal choice and I am sure as we grow, more and more boys and girls will opt for it. The society has been killing people since ages but it has not reduced. Our so called activists may cry lot but people will go and you can't stop them unless you take one community to moon and other to ocean. If you are living together, these youths will rebel." She is a senior journalist from NDTV. Got many awards and is known for 'fair' reporting from Andhra-Telangana states but one tweet actually said so many things which she might have been trying to hide under the pretext of 'progressive'. Problem in this country is that 'progressive' have enjoyed patronage of power for long and how they are co...
Kashmir Times News Report
Communal Harmony
When the Devil quotes the Scriptures..
By Dr Akhileshwari Ramagoud
"Despite the hand of friendship extended by the RSS chief to the Muslims, it has been accompanied by a threat. And this shows RSS in its true colours, notwithstanding all the noises of tolerance, diversity, universal brotherhood that Bhagwat espoused in his three-day public relations show for Hindutva. Asked about building Ram Mandir in Ayodhya where once Babri Masjid stood, Bhagwat said it was for the government to decide on an ordinance or 'any other route', but he wished that a grand Ram temple be build at Ayodhya soon." Something is cooking in the RSS. Certainly, it is fishy (apologies to fish). Otherwise, why this turnabout? Why this change of heart? Out of nowhere. Even the Hindutva spokespeople have become civilized suddenly, giving up their abrasive, aggressive, intolerant rant a...
Kashmir Times News Report
Bhagwat's U-turn on constitution is a paradigm shift
Has RSS decided to change with time, or playing games?
By Harihar Swarup
If the 92-year-old RSS is seeking an image makeover, it is a welcome sign. The wind of change is blowing all over the world, and it is time the RSS, should also bring about reforms and shed its image of an obscurantist organization. Those who have not reformed with times, like our Communist parties, particularly the Marxist, have withered with times. The first indication of "Glasnost" within the monolith organisation came from the RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat in a lecture series to invited audience in Delhi's Vigyan Bhavan. In his lecture series, the Sar Sangh Sanchalak seems keen to steer the RSS towards a centrist political space and pitch it above divisive realm of power politics. Coming ahead of the general election, his elaboration, on the RSS vision of India hold new possibilities for r...
Kashmir Times News Report
Politicians fight only to win elections, Not for principles any more
By Brij Bhardwaj
With election managers becoming decision makers in major political parties, their ideology, their principles and their commitment to certain values are taking a back seat. Whiz kids decide how to win the polls. The political scene is changing for good. The grass root leaders, thinkers and political philosophers are becoming a thing of the past. Whiz kids have no use for the bygone election managers in the present times. What happened on the political scene in Europe and the USA in the last decade has now reached India. There is no place for those who follow Mahatma Gandhi's principles or those who considered the means as important as the end goal; they have no place in decision making in political parties now whether they are ruling or not ruling. Such people are being pushed to the bac...
Kashmir Times News Report
Anouncement timing after US official's visit curious
By Sushil Kutty
Bad behaviour is repeated until it is punished. With serial rapists and Pakistan, there is never a singular incidence of any really bad behaviour. Bad behaviour is in their DNA. But seems like Prime Minister Narendra Modi decided enough of the punishment, let's give Pakistan another chance to repeat the crime. Is it because he believes Navjot Singh Sidhu's Greek god is the real McCoy, with the best of Sparta and Athens in him? Apparently, Pakistan's newly-minted Prime Minister, Imran Khan, wants a "constructive dialogue" with India and Modi for some reason thinks the word "constructive" makes all the difference. Is Imran such a "fine-fine man", different from Nawaz Sharif, who is living his life in a cell partly because he appeared friendly with India? Well, Imran was definitely a fine-f...
Kashmir Times News Report
Saffron camp's NRC bogey is cynical election tool
Amit Shah intends to keep stirring the communal pot
By Amulya Ganguli
Chun chun ke nikaloonga (we'll throw them out one by one). This was BJP president Amit Shah's dire warning to the ghuspetiyas or the illegal immigrants from Bangladesh. They should be killed like kira, makaura (insects), threatened a BJP leader of Telangana, Raja Singh. Senior BJP leader Ram Madhav's prescription for them was "detection, deletion (of names) and deportation". The basis of these three steps which are intended to safeguard the country from these unwanted guests - the phrase about regarding them as gods (atithi deva bhavo) evidently does not apply to them - is the National Register of Citizens (NRC), which makes a list of those who are legal residents and those who are not. The exercise of detection is now on in Assam, but the state's chief minister, Sarbananda Sonowal, wan...
Kashmir Times News Report
The bakery industry of Kashmir: On the move upwards
By Dr Muzafar Maqsood Wani
There is nothing as tasty as a hot cup of tea and a slice of plain cake. Anyone in an office, a shop or at any of the Kashmiri home would vouch for this simple combo. Kashmir in the early 20th century had been under the influence of British. To escape the killing summer heat most of the English elite would come to camp in Kashmir and hence had an influence on changing the local culture by a margin. They influenced the local urban populace by introducing the concept of English style baking. They taught a few locals the nuances' of baking bread, cake and biscuits along with other delicacies. Those few guys who learnt the art passed it to others much to the likes of locals who developed a taste for bakery products much before the trend crept in the rest of the country. Despite rest of the c...
Kashmir Times News Report
Brazil's national election campaign turns bizarre
Left nominee Haddad fighting hard amidst violence
By Emile Schepers
With less than three weeks to go until the October 7 national elections, the political situation in Brazil remains extremely unsettled. The jailing of the most popular candidate of the left Lula de Silva has been followed by the serious wounding of the most popular candidate on the right, and now there are not-so-veiled threats of a military coup. Brazil's Workers Party (PT) has confirmed that its presidential candidacy for next month's election will be Fernando Haddad, jailed former president Luiz Inacio "Lula" da Silva's running mate. Mr Haddad, who will run with vice-presidential hopeful Manuela D'Avila of the Communist Party of Brazil, read a letter to PT supporters outside the Curitiba jail where Lula, barred from the contest, is being held. "I want everyone who would vote for me to...
Kashmir Times News Report
30 Minutes in Salisbury
By Gwynne Dyer
Salisbury is a nice old English town with a fine cathedral, only an hour and a half from London by train, but it doesn't see many Russian tourists in wintertime. It's not as cold as Moscow, but Russians tend to prefer Mediterranean destinations for holiday breaks in early March - unless, of course, they are planning to kill somebody. The person of interest in Salisbury was Sergei Skripal, a former member of the Russian military intelligence service who started selling information to the British in the mid-1990s and was caught and jailed by the Russians in 2004. He was pardoned and allowed to go to Britain as part of a spy swap between Western countries and Russia in 2010, and he settled in Salisbury. On 4 March of this year, Skripal and his daughter, who was visiting from Moscow, were f...
Kashmir Times News Report
Descent into utter despair, chaos on Kashmir
By Humra Quraishi
Why these shocked cum bewildered reactions from the so called experts and the sarkari forums they represent, on the Kashmiri's dismal response to the upcoming panchayat polls to the held in the state this coming Autumn! Experts ought to be aware of the very crux: the Kashmiri is much too aware of the fact that the political situation is not changing and with that the ground realities are turning more than tragic. Daily news -reports of killings and counter killings and the aftermath. Sandwiched sits the Kashmiri, between the military might and the militant! I had covered the 2002 elections in J&K. And though a considerably high percentage of Kashmiris had voted in those elections but they had made it loud and clear that they wanted to elect representatives so th...
Kashmir Times News Report
China struggles with belt and road pushback
By Dr James M Dorsey
China, in an implicit recognition that at least some of its Belt and Road-related projects risk trapping target countries in debt or fail to meet their needs, has conceded that adjustments may be necessary. "It's normal and understandable that development focus can change at different stages in different countries, especially with changes in government. So China can also make some strategic adjustments when cooperating with these countries, but it's definitely not a reconsideration of the B&R (Belt and Road) initiative," Wang Jun, deputy director of the Department of Information at the China Center for International Economic Exchanges told the Chinese Communist Party's Global Times newspaper. The Chinese concession, initially made public in an August 27 speech by President Xi Jinping an...
Kashmir Times News Report
Mallya meeting with F.M row to go on
By Satish Misra
Political war of words broke out between the Modi government and the Congress over loan defaulter and tax evader liquor baron Vijay Mallya's claim that he "had met the Finance Minister" before leaving India in March 2016 for Britain. While Congress president Rahul Gandhi claimed the BJP government had "colluded" with Mallya to facilitate his escape, Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal accused the opposition party of "lying" to cover up its "own sins" in the case. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, reacting to Mallya's claim of meeting him, had described absconding business sperson's claim as "factually false". Jaitley, however admitted that Mallya had briefly caught up with him in Parliament. Mallya, himself, said that there was no formal meeting. Technically, Mallya may be correct but his...
Kashmir Times News Report
Constructing Democratic Rights Activists as Conspirators
By Preeti Chauhan
The recent arrest of activists and intellectuals, and raids on various others connected with rights activism across five states in India is a grim reminder of the shrunken space for protest, criticism and dissent in our democracy today. This tendency to muzzle opposing voices has been on brazen display over the past four years though earlier governments had also tried to brand civil rights activists as 'Maoists' and as anti-development and anti-progress in a sense. The case against Dr. Binayak Sen, an office bearer of People's Union for Civil Liberties comes to mind who was also alleged to be a Maoist. The entire episode raises many questions on the motives of the government for this kind of concerted clampdown on human rights defenders. As of now, the charges against the activists seem ...
Kashmir Times News Report
Needed a comprehensive foreign trade policy
Indian cargo should be shipped in Indian bottom
By Nantoo Banerjee
India's nearly a trillion-dollar foreign trade seems to be benefiting foreign shippers, shipowners, seafarers and insurance companies more than the local service providers. Foreign vessels are reportedly carrying over 90 percent of Indian cargo. The shipping industry is equipped more with bulk carriers than modern container vessels. The share of Indian ships in the carriage of export-import cargo is well below 10 per cent. Over the last 25 years, India's planned expenditure on the shipping industry was just 1.78 percent of those on the railways and 2.3 percent on the roads sector. With almost zero budgetary support to Indian shipping in the last 25 years and policies that put local shipowners at a disadvantage compared to foreign shipping lines, the amount remitted out of India as freight...
Kashmir Times News Report
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