Sunday, August 20, 2017
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Africa's tropical forests at risk as global food demand grows
By Elsa Ordway
At a bare floored restaurant on the edge of the Dja Faunal Reserve in Cameroon, I asked the owner what there was to eat. She gestured to a poster on the wall. It was an illustrated guide of 44 animal species under threat from poaching and over-hunting, but for the restaurant it served as a menu. Each animal she pointed to was available to order. The Dja, and other forests in Central Africa's Congo Basin, are a breadbasket for millions of people living in the region. At nearly 2 million square kilometres, the area of tropical forest in the Congo Basin is the second largest in the world after the Amazon. Besides supplying bushmeat, these forests provide building materials, medicine, wild fruits, vegetables and spices. They also regulate the local climate and flow of water, play an importan...
Kashmir Times News Report
Health care of marginalized and deprived
Not to be left to the mercy of faith healers
By Dr. Arun MItra
The Madhya Pradesh government has decided to open outpatient departments (OPD) for astrologers and soothers who will give consultancy to the patients. In these outpatient departments, teams of experts and neo-astrologers will study the planetary combinations and changes reflected in the horoscopes of patients. The prognosticators will also analyze the diseases of the patients who come without horoscopes using the 'Prashna Kundali' technique. History of development of mankind in general and medicine in particular has taught us that during primitive ancient times when knowledge of causes and effects about the happenings around was hardly there, people attributed these events to some celestial power. Same was true for diseases. With no knowledge of how one fell ill, people thought that thes...
Kashmir Times News Report
Together, we can
By Kuldip Nayar
I vainly search for my favourite television anchors like Karan Thapar and, more recently, Barkha Dutt. I am told that they have been taken off. Who has done this is a matter of conjecture. Some say that it is the pressure of the Narendra Modi Government while a few others lament that it was the doing of the owners of the channel. Whoever has done it has acted as the censor. What surprises me is the absence of protests. In my time, there would be noise or a meeting to point out that the press has been muzzled or that critics have been silenced. Of course, it was a different story when the Emergency was imposed, but before that Prime Minister Indira Gandhi would not dare move against the press. She would look for supporters-and there were quite a few-but the number of critics was also larg...
Kashmir Times News Report
The pot of gold
By Robert Clements
I walked this morning with angry clouds looking down at me. There was an ill wind that rose in crescendo and then quietened itself but threateningly promising a pent up fury that could destroy. The otherwise beautiful morning sky was dark and the weatherman's forecast of an impending cyclone seemed about to happen. And then I saw the rainbow. It was the most wonderful sight on earth. The colours rose together in perfect symmetry stretching themselves from ground to sky using the dark backdrop of the sky to enhance their ethereal beauty. Oh what a splendid sight. Oh what a message. God telling the world not to despair. A heavenly father telling his earthly children to see and believe. I looked at the rainbow and closed my eyes and allowed the colours to envelope the whole sky. Soon my ...
Kashmir Times News Report
Aadhaar reminds of Orwell's 1984!
By Mohammad Ashraf
One of the most important aspects of a totalitarian or a fascist regime is indexing of the population so as to keep watch over their activities. It is virtually practical implementation of the famous slogan in 1984, the "Big Brother is Watching You" in a different form and shape. The pupil scan, the finger prints, the photograph and all other particulars for each citizen are being digitised. Additionally, DNA and many other biometric elements are being added. Subsequently, all activities are being linked to the Aadhar number. Imagine digitising the entire population of 1.25 billion people! It must be the biggest enterprise of this type in history. The digital India of the future! The data base must be massive. On the positive side it may be a big help in doing away with forms, application...
Kashmir Times News Report
License, ain't no problem sir..!
By Robert Clements
The instructor at the driving school looked up from the road map he was trying to read. "Don't worry sir," he said giving me a toothy grin, "we will get you a driving license within a week." "Within a week," I exclaimed, "I hardly knows the inside of a car right now." "It doesn't matter what you knows or don't know," said the instructor patiently, "you will have the necessary certificate within seven days." "What are the timings for my driving classes every day?" I asked. "We are not very particular," said the instructor, "we know how much people are pressed for time, we are very understanding. If you can come for the classes well and good, if not, it doesn't matter." "But how can I get a license if I don't attend your driving classes?," I asked quite confused. "Ah," said the instru...
Kashmir Times News Report
Freedom, Independence and others
By Anit Singh
The many ways in which our country differs from the erstwhile British colony makes a study in contrast. Independence Day was celebrated for the seventieth time. For millions that moment never arrived, for millions more it arrived and went without having much of an impact. Two decades after the economic liberalisation changed some of the scenario, the masses are still waiting for the India imagined while they wrote their school essays, the India they cheered, they celebrated and felt cheated out of. Amongst the ones left behind, the foremost are perhaps the dwellers of the forest, the non-Aryans, the people of the forests, who are now sitting on untold mounds of wealth through the complicity of history and economics that converted their centuries long coexistence with forests and de-fact...
Kashmir Times News Report
Jai Hind..!
By Robert Clements
Somewhere up in the skies two men, long dead, walked together. One with a cigar stuck in an arrogant, determined bull dog face, the other, bespectacled, with only loin cloth and walking stick, kept abreast. "Seventy years Mr Gandhi! Are you happy you freed your nation from me?" asked the cigar smoking white man. The bent man with walking stick looked down through the skies at the India he loved. "Yes," he said. "Look at the countries around, my half naked fakir," said bulldog face Churchill with a smirk, "at China, Korea, Malaysia, they have progressed far more than your people have." Gandhiji smiled, "My people are free, their minds unshackled. No dictator tells them what to do, no military ruler makes them shine his shoes, like you see in those countries!" "And that?" asked Church...
Kashmir Times News Report
Why feeling of insecurity among minorities
By Brij Bhardwaj
Celebration of freedom movement should be an occasion for showing the unity of the country, recalling the sacrifices made to achieve it and the achievements made by the country as a whole after freedom. But unfortunately it showed division in the country and attempts to rewrite history. There are many reasons for sense of insecurity being felt by minorities in the country. For instance representation of minorities which was poor in services, legislative bodies has been further reduced during the last three years. BJP has chosen to stop fielding any candidates from the minority community. They are also pursuing actively controversial issues like subject of Talaq among Muslims, issue of building temple on controversial site in Ayodhya and changes in article 370...
Kashmir Times News Report
Giving and taking directions..!
By Robert Clements
I remember getting out of my car somewhere in Washington D.C. and asking a youngster loitering on the road for directions to go towards Maryland. "Go straight brother," he told me. I got back into the car and told my brother what the boy had said. My brother promptly reversed the car and drove in the opposite direction. "What are you doing,?" I asked. "I'm doing the opposite for what he said," said my brother, "I could make out he was giving wrong directions." "Why?," I asked. "No reason," replied my brother, "some people just love doing it." How is it over here in our country?. Not very different, I am afraid. How often we ourselves have given wrong directions to someone, rather than saying we don't know. Unlike that American in Washington, its not that we are doing it for f...
Kashmir Times News Report
View from pakistan
Seven decades on
By Irfan Husain
I asked my late father - a well-known writer and Sanskrit scholar in undivided India - why he had taken the decision to migrate to the new state. "Well," he replied. "My Hindu and Sikh friends said they were not sure they could protect us at the height of the rioting. Also, I thought there would be more opportunities for you children in Pakistan." So what have we gained from Partition? I WAS three years old when our family came to Karachi from Delhi at Partition, 70 years ago. While I have no memory of the journey, I learned later that our train had been attacked on the way, and we had been saved only by the presence and courage of the handful of soldiers who escorted us. Hundreds of thousands who fled the madness on both sides of the new...
Kashmir Times News Report
Still looking for that Partition hero
Of an anonymous Sikh man who helped save a Muslim family from Amritsar during the tumult of Partition
By Mariam S. Pal
In August 2015, The Hindu's Open Page published an article I wrote, headlined "Where are those heroes of Partition?" There I told the story of how my Muslim family had fled Amritsar for Lahore in August 1947. Its pivotal character was a hero, an anonymous Sikh gentleman and friend who warned my grandfather and great-uncles that their lives and those of their loved ones were in danger. He came knocking on their door late at night, telling them they needed to leave town. The next morning the Pals left Amritsar, never to return. The very morning the article was published, it was tweeted and shared on Facebook extensively. As I sat at my desk in Canada, my inbox quickly filled up with mails from all corners of India. They told fascinating stories. Some readers thanked me for writing. Anothe...
Kashmir Times News Report
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