Friday, November 24, 2017
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Amnesty for stone-pelters
Release of first-time offenders is welcome, but more needs to be done under Juvenile Justice system for the detained teenagers
Union home ministry's recommendation to the Centre to withdraw cases against first-time stone-pelters and union home minister Rajnath Singh's suggestion to Jammu and Kashmir government to shift juveniles from jails to remand homes imbue some optimism about Centre's shift from extremely hard-line and belligerent policy in Kashmir to one of engagement. However, there is much more that the Centre could have done to make its new initiative more credible. It is not yet clear whether these developments are a consequence of the suggestions made by Centre's special representative Dineshwar Sharma or were already in the making. Secondly, concerns have erupted over the legitimacy and autonomy of the state government. Opposition leader in the state, Omar Abdullah, has rightly pointed out that this w...
Kashmir Times News Report
Echoes of hooliganism, absurdity
Row over Padmawati is misplaced; betrays the tacit patronage of the govt to lumpen elements and its hypocrisy
The row over Bollywood film Padmawati exposes three things. One is the increasing power and base of the fringe lunatics patronised by those in power. Second is the legitimization of threats and misogyny. And, third is the hypocrisy of a party that is tirelessly pursuing the agenda of re-writing history text books but chooses to use the bogey of historical distortions for what may well be an electoral game ploy. The film in question is a period film that relies on a poem from Indian literature Padmavat pivoting around a Queen Padmawati. According to historians, there is little historical evidence to show whether a queen of the same name actually existed at that point of time. Yet the initially feeble protests of Shri Rajput Karni Sena, who did not see the film, have spread like an epidemic...
Kashmir Times News Report
Perceptional flaws in assessments
While Kashmir situation cannot be assessed solely in terms of militancy statistics, the numbers show a rise not decline
The increasing incidents of insurgency are a cause for concern even as the security forces claim to have made remarkable successes in counter insurgency operations. The success factor is misleading because it is based on the number of killings of militants and not on the change in the ground situation. Over 190 militants are reported to have been killed in 2017 including foreign militants and those killed in alleged infiltration bids. However, at the same time, the Army's admission that 200 militants are still operating in the Valley is an indication that step up in military operations, killings of militants or handful of surrenders are not quite making a change. Infact, the overall number of militants have registered an increase. The government last year had put the number at 179. While...
Kashmir Times News Report
Tragic infant deaths in UP
Inaction on the part of Uttar Pradesh government in upgrading and expanding healthcare facilities has only led to more deaths
The continued deaths of children due to encephalitis and other diseases touching a score in one single day and reporting of more than two score of infants for admission on daily basis in Gorakhpur hospital in Uttar Pradesh is alarming. The recent casualty of children due to various diseases has surpassed the previous toll four months back when it raised a ruckus in the entire country. But unfortunately, the state government has refused to wake up from its deep slumber and respond to the medical emergency to meet the challenge. Most of the deaths in the past have been due to shortage of liquid oxygen and the government has not made any alternate arrangements for saving the precious lives of the children. The past track record shows that the hospital has been reporting on an average 20 deat...
Kashmir Times News Report
Earthquakes, Floods And Smog: Theirs And Ours
By Anuradha Bhasin Jamwal
People in a village along the borders in Poonch district watched a bus on a hill across the Line of Control rock ferociously before it fell into the gorge in October 2005 when a massive earthquake with its epicenter in Muzaffarabad rocked the sub-continent. They watched helplessly even as they were the closest inhabitants to the site of the ill-fated bus. The relations between India and Pakistan were about the friendliest in many years at that time - the peace process was on and both sides were finalizing details on opening of entry routes on the Line of Control as a Confidence Building Measure among other things. Yet, massive destruction on either side, especially in Pakistan Administered Kashmir, did not pave way for collaborating information and expertise in rescue, relief operations a...
Kashmir Times News Report
Look East promise
India needs to balance its diverse alliances as it looks forward to strengthening the East Asia pivot for economic gains
Prime minister Narendra Modi's visit to Manila for the ASEAN-India Summit, the East Asia and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Summit has brought India to the centre-stage in the Asian region for various reasons. The Look East policy formulated about a quarter of century back by India has been on the slow move till the last few years despite the fact that this was considered to be the best alliance for strengthening its ties with the Far East countries. This brings it to the fore that India has been ignoring for the past many years for economic partnership that could be seen as mutually beneficial for both the parties. In fact, Asian region now referred to as 'Indo-Pacific' corridor puts the ties with United States in centre-stage in India's Act East policy in all the three ...
Kashmir Times News Report
Saffron farmers in distress
Efforts to conduct research and increase production of this costliest spice has been bogged down by lack of foresight and proper perspective
The saffron farmers of Kashmir appear to be in severe distress like farmers of other traditional crops in the country as the crop failure is staring them due to various reasons. On the face of it, the saffron fields at this time of the year would present a colourful look as farmers prepare for harvest by picking up the full bloom flowers. But the barren look in the fields where few odd flowers are blooming, the farmers are a sad lot as the production is likely to be lowest in many years. The funding of a massive project involving about Rs 400 crore mission to improve saffron production in the state also does not appear to be of any help to the farmers since its inception almost ten years back. In fact, successive governments at the centre and J&K appear to be deeply involved in politics o...
Kashmir Times News Report
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