Tuesday, May 23, 2017
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India Heading for One-Party Rule?
By Aijaz Zaka Syed
All politics is local, said US politician Tip O'Neil. Under Narendra Modi, nothing is local anymore. Writing for Aljazeera, Prof Apoorvanand of Delhi University explains how India is permanently in election mode these days and insurrectionary politics is keeping the nation in a perpetual state of agitation. "BJP is trying to convert all elections, be they for rural, municipal or district administrative bodies, into national elections," he argues. The party achieves this by harping on emotive issues like nationalism, security and perpetual tensions with Pakistan even in local body polls, and conflating support for the BJP and Modi with the support for the country. With the explosion of social media and TV channels, local election campaigns have started reaching every nook and cranny o...
Kashmir Times News Report
Trump and the Tramp's Tale..!
By Robert Clements
It was early one morning the people of New York, some of them anyway heard that the Statue of Liberty had been speaking to someone down below, the previous night. A drunk, who had made his home on the same island, told people next day, it was Trump, the lovely Liberty had been speaking to. "She was giggling," said the tramp, though nobody believed him, "She said, I told you so, I told you so, and Trump, he just put his head down and moaned and groaned!" "Trump, would do no such thing!" said some furious Republicans. "Why would he moan and groan?" "He said them mattresses in the Lincoln bedroom were pretty hard," said the drunk tramp, "and the Statue of Liberty, she giggled even more!" "But why would the President of the United States want to have a conversation with a statue?" asked t...
Kashmir Times News Report
Corruption Unlimited: Politicians in the dock
By Poonam I Kaushish
Political India is beginning to resemble a leaking sieve. As notorious tales continue to tumble out fast and furious about Messrs Lalu and parivar, Chidambaram and son Karti, Congress's Sonia's son-in-law Vadra and spiced with allegations against Aam Aadmi's Kejriwal. Trust our netagan to evoke "political vendetta" (sic), "malicious onslaught" and "baseless charges" yelling blue murder when cornered. After all, denial is always their last refuge! Their plunder is both grisly and horrifying. Take former Union Finance Minister and his son Karti who are in the CBI and Enforcement Directorate's crosshairs over involvement in the Aircel-Maxis deal wherein Karti allegedly received a $2 lakh payment as payoff. Alongside 'kickbacks' from other firms whose files were pending with the Foreign Inv...
Kashmir Times News Report
Lying Awake..!
By Robert Clements
Ever so often do I hear people telling me how they lay awake through the previous night. They make it sound like the end of the world. "You lay awake all night?" I ask laughing. "Yes," they say, "yes, don't laugh Bob!" "And did dragons and leopards and ghosts try to get at you?" "No!" they say and then start laughing with me. I was once like that. I thought it was the most terrible thing to lie awake. I tossed and turned and woke my poor wife, and walked the house and most probably woke everyone else. My wife would get up and give me a sleeping pill which started acting when dawn was breaking and it was time to rise. I still go through bouts of sleeplessness, but have started enjoying these moments. I look out of the window and see the trees swaying gently or during the monsoons; vi...
Kashmir Times News Report
Every story has two sides: Kashmir is no different
By Neha Saigal
I recently finished reading Shahnaz Bashir's "Scattered Souls", which is a collection of powerful short stories depicting the price that ordinary citizens living in Kashmir are paying because of excessive militarization. The Indian Government may justify this as much needed policing against the Kashmiri insurgents, to maintain internal security. But with all due to respect to the National Security Advisor, the Home Ministry and the Indian Army: How is any country going to maintain peace and security by further angering mobs and distancing civilians? After reading Bashir's book, I feel compelled to write this piece, the people in those pages are like ghosts. I say this as their everyday reality rarely crosses our mind, we are so caught up in playing the good patriotic Indian that we forge...
Kashmir Times News Report
Julian Assange, Sweden, and continuing battles
By Dr Binoy Kampmark
It had been, from the start, a cruel wait and see game. Lacking logic and consistency, the Swedish effort to extradite Julian Assange from the United Kingdom, not for formal charges but the pretext of questioning him over sexual assault and rape, collapsed on Friday. The Director of Public Prosecutions Marianne Ny and Chief Prosecutor Ingrid Isgren, in a press conference in Stockholm, were doing their best not to have Assange have the last, grizzly laugh. Abandoning the investigation had been a logistical matter, as they had been unable to serve the Australian with allegations during an interview at the Ecuadorean embassy in November 2016. It is worth pointing out that getting that interview had been a point of persistent refusal and stonewalling from the Swedish prosecutor's office. ...
Kashmir Times News Report
Indian IT sector facing major strains
Government doing nothing to deal with large lay offs
By Nitya Chakraborty
As the Narendra Modi Government is busy making preparations for its gala third anniversary at the centre later this month, reports are coming every day of big lay offs in the information technology companies in the country. The impact of the Trump administration's decision on the Indian IT sector has not been fully analysed yet but even before the total assessment is done by the Indian companies, the managements which have earned huge profits in the recent years through software exports and other IT related activities, have started firing its own employees at the first available opportunity. The Prime Minister is going all out for building a digital India but the main protagonists who will help in building that, are losing jobs in every part of the country. The situation has taken a seri...
Kashmir Times News Report
Peacocks and Garbage Dumps..!
By Robert Clements
Suddenly there's a flurry of activity in the capital; secret meetings, political parties in a tizzy, and rumours floating; the commotion is about who will be the next president of the country. Newspapers and TV channels have suddenly found something to pique their readers and viewers. But I'm a bit puzzled. The president of this country unlike that of the USA is just a constitutional head, a titular figure. What's the fuss about then? Around five years ago I'd been to Delhi and since it was an official visit, stayed for three days in one of the bungalows of the Rashtrapati Bhavan, the residence of the president of India. It was a spectacular place, and I was treated like royalty. The view in the mornings of peacocks and other birds moving around in the vast estate is unforgettable. I...
Kashmir Times News Report
Indian think-tank divided on joining Chinese OBOR
Investments will surge despite Delhi's cold shouldering
By Subrata Majumder
India considers Chinese OBOR (One Belt One Road) violates its sovereignty and territorial integrity by way of setting up China-Pakistan - Economic - Corridor (CPEC) - the flagship project of OBOR initiative. CPEC passes through Gilgit- Baltistan in Pakistan-occupied Indian territory in Kashmir. New Delhi refused to be bullied by the Chinese threat that India will be isolated while all its neighbours supported the OBOR. CPEC is one of the six projects of OBOR. The fact of the matter is that OBOR is a Chinese domestic challenge, and not a global issue. Impinged by unbalanced regional development, China embarked on OBOR as a correction mode for balanced growth in regional development between west and east of China. Beijing aims to connect undeveloped west to Europe through Central Asia on l...
Kashmir Times News Report
Ransomware and Yesterday's Open Palms..!
By Robert Clements
All over the world people look at their computer screens waiting for Ransomware or some cyber terrorware to pop out and devour them and their computers. In a home one evening, a father looked at his two children and sighed, "I guess we'll have to go back to the postmen age!" he said. "What's a postman dad?" asked his little daughter, "sounds like postmortem?" "Or posthumous?" giggled her brother. "Postmen," continued the father seriously, "delivered mail!" "Like email? Press enter and off it went?" "Well not exactly," sighed the father, "Postmen picked up mail from post offices, got onto cycles, then went from home to home delivering the letters!" "You mean there was no need to open the computer? No need to look into your mailbox?" asked both the children with excitement. "When th...
Kashmir Times News Report
BJP's cow obsession is hurting India
Sangh Parivar must learn from China
By Amulya Ganguli
Irrespective of whether China's One-Belt-One-Road initiative is aimed at enhancing its economic and military clout, the fact is that it has enabled China to move on from the chaotic days of the "let a hundred flowers bloom" campaign and the Cultural Revolution half a century ago to the modern world. The ideological tilt towards establishing a pristine communist society has been abandoned in favour of achieving its opposite where "to get rich is glorious", as the post-Mao messiah, Deng Xiaoping, said, using a phrase which even capitalists will be wary of saying. The advancement has ensured that China could host the Olympic Games despite its unsatisfactory human rights record and emerge as a country second only to the US in economic and military prowess. India, however, is seemingly movin...
Kashmir Times News Report
Be yourself..!
By Robert Clements
Today what the world needs are individuals. What we see more than before are clones. Though we are all created to look different, think different and speak different, we find safety in being similar, and therein lies the problem. In similarity comes lack of conviction and courage. We don't want to stand out and be different. We feel we're asking for trouble if we do so, and in a strange way cloning is thus taking place using a different process than the Dolly method. But do we want to be clones? This article sent to me by e-mail makes interesting reading: Tallulah Bankhead quipped, "Nobody can be exactly like me. Sometimes even I have trouble doing it. "But the truth is … we DO have trouble being ourselves, don't we? Especially in a world that wants us to conform. "To be nobody but yo...
Kashmir Times News Report
NDA's 3 Years: New India emerging
By Shivaji Sarkar
Three years of Narendra Modi Government is changing the economic paradigm. It is planning a New India campaign to continue beyond 2019. The mantra is connectivity - connecting with the marginalised and the poor through fast highways and roads, cyber routes, JAM - jan, dhan, aadhar and mobile for transferring the most coveted cash - to prosperity. It is working beyond economy with dividends at the political level as evidenced by the recent Assembly and civic body elections. The stress on development too has changed. Despite industry and investment orientation, the focus is moving towards the strengthening of the rural agro-based economy. The 'Make in India' to 'Skill India' and 'Stand Up India' are creating entrepreneurship while trying to increase the size of the market by including the...
Kashmir Times News Report
Take My Hand..!
By Robert Clements
Even now, nearly forty years after his death, from different households throughout the world flows out the rich, powerful voice of Jim Reeves. A strong baritone, he sang country, pop and gospel and even beat the Beatles in record sales for many years during the fifties and early sixties. But strangely, in the fullness of his voice there is a deep sadness that comes through and his love songs reflect an ache that seem to come from the very depths of his soul. As you listen to him singing "Losing Your Love" and feel his sorrow in "Give me One More Kiss" or his pain in "When I lost you," as we listen to Gentleman Jim, crying out, "If You Love Me Don't Leave Me" there is a responsive ache in our own hearts. "Am I Losing You?" shouts Jim in desperation and then takes his guitar, strums a few ...
Kashmir Times News Report
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