Tuesday, July 25, 2017
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The march of folly
By A.G. Noorani
On May 22, the union home minister, Rajnath Singh, confidently announced that they had come up with a 'permanent solution'. This will not be accomplished by negotiating a settlement with Kashmiris and with Pakistan - it will be done by crushing militancy with brute force, and proclaiming to Pakistan that there is nothing left to discuss, that the Kashmir dispute is 'resolved'. The gains will be reaped in the 2019 general election. TWO thousand and seventeen is the year of anniversaries in Kashmir. July 8 marked one year since the killing of Burhan Wani; July 13 marked the anniversary of Martyrs' Day. On this day in 1931, the maharaja's troops shot 22 Muslims dead inside Srinagar's central jail, setting off a wave of resentment that engulfed Punjab, Delhi and Lucknow. It marked a turning...
Kashmir Times News Report
Real Giving..!
By Robert Clements
Today I shudder to see more and more photographs and pictures of donations and acts of giving. "Do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing!' say the holy scriptures. But do we listen? All I see are photos of acts of giving, circulated to everybody through whatsapp, email or Facebook! "Look what I've done!" shout the pictures shamelessly. But there are many who give very quietly, and whose names are never known; who give out of love: Here's a story: "Can I see my baby?" the happy new mother then gasped, the baby had been born without ears. Time proved that the baby's hearing was perfect. It was only his appearance that was marred. One day he rushed home from school and flung himself into his mother's arms, "A boy, a big boy … called me a freak." The boy's father ...
Kashmir Times News Report
Global climate policy in state of flux
By Martin Khor
The Paris Agreement, adopted by 195 countries with great fanfare in December 2015 and enforced in November 2016, symbolises the efforts of governments to cooperate to avert disastrous global warming that threatens human survival. On April 29, the 100th day of Donald Trump's presidency, thousands marched in Washington and other cities in the United States and around the world to protest against the administration's about-turn on climate policy. Trump signed an executive order at the end of March unravelling former President Barack Obama's Clean Power Plan, the centrepiece of his climate change policy. The US Environmental Protection Agency last week also removed climate change information from its website. Trump is soon expected to announce if the United States will exit the Paris Agre...
Kashmir Times News Report
Unemployment continues to grow in India in 3 years rule of BJP
By Yashwardhan Joshi
Three years down the line, unemployment remains one of the biggest concerns for the Narendra Modi government. Though India is the fastest growing economy in the world, it carries the unpleasant tag of 'jobless growth'. All surveys point in that direction. According to a labour ministry report, the unemployment rate in 2015-16 was at 5 per cent of the labour force, a five-year high. Another survey showed that only 1,35,000 jobs were added by certain sectors in a quarter in 2015. According to the latest government data, job creation for the nine months running up to December2016 for the eight labour intensive sectors of the economy was an abysmally low 2,31,000. What has gone wrong on the job creation front when everything else seems to be going right for the Modi government? Hasn't ...
Kashmir Times News Report
No peace yet in Iraq (or Syria)
By Gwynne Dyer
Not many of the estimated 900,000 people in refugee camps around Mosul, almost all Sunni Arabs, will be going home soon either. And in Syria, the eastern side of Aleppo, Syria's biggest city, fell last December after a four-year siege. It now contains a few tens of thousands of people rattling around in the ruins. The shooting was still going on down by the river last week when Iraq's Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi dropped by and prematurely declared that the battle for Mosul was over. He was misled by the various Iraqi army, police and militia units who were competing with one another to declare victory first, but now it really is over - and there is little left of Mosul. The siege began on 17 October of last year, so it lasted nine months - longer than the Battle of Stalingr...
Kashmir Times News Report
An Ordinary Day..!
By Robert Clements
She was beautiful. Now, she lay lifeless. Her fight with cancer; over. Victorious, she'd moved away from pain, to a life where I could feel her smile somewhere in the heavens. I had visited her as she'd battled with the terrible disease that devoured chunks of her young life everyday. Then one day, while holding her hand and silently crying I'd asked, "Tell me what you miss the most?" She'd looked at me with those beautiful expressive eyes of hers and whispered, "What I miss is an ordinary day!" At thirty-five she'd been a success in business, but it wasn't the excitement of a business deal she missed. She, was a young mother, but it was not the success of a child's report card she missed. She missed an ordinariness of a normal day. Rain and potholes. Delays and missed appointments. G...
Kashmir Times News Report
Clash of BJP's modern-medieval agendas
Education suffers as RSS dictates terms
By Amulya Ganguli
The Narendra Modi government appears to be simultaneously moving in two opposite directions. While the Union human resource development minister, Prakash Javadekar, wants to set up world class universities and allow students to work in reputed laboratories abroad before returning home to carry on their research, the Union minister for environment and science and technology, Harsh Vardhan, has said that scientists have been asked to verify the usefulness of the urine and dung of cows. The minister said that personally he was convinced about the virtues of cow's milk (which will be accepted by all those who are not lactose sensitive) and of cow's urine, which is unlikely to be endorsed by those outside the saffron brotherhood. But he, nevertheless, wants a certificate from the scientists ...
Kashmir Times News Report
Beef and Buffalo..!
By Robert Clements
India has a peculiar problem at the moment: Beef has been banned more or less throughout the country, and armed gangs roam, searching vans and trucks, thrashing those they think are carrying the flesh of cows and bulls. Unfortunately, apart from taking the law into their hands, most of those vehicles are not transporting beef but buffalo's meat. "This is getting embarrassing!" said a senior government official, "Our prime minister himself has said that this kind of attacking should be stopped!" "What do you plan to do?" I asked, "Increase the police force along highways and other roads?" "No, we plan to train the country to recognize the difference between buffaloes and cows! We have already started classes. You may peep in and see!" I looked into a class filled with cow vigilants, ruf...
Kashmir Times News Report
Courageous Civil Servants
By Kuldip Nayar
Government officers after retirement take to sanyas, but some courageous ones have spoken against the intolerant society that India is becoming. In their open letter they say: "It appears there is a growing religious intolerance that is aimed primarily at Muslims." Apparently, there has been no discussion or mention about the sentiments of this letter. The BJP, which sets the tone of society, probably did not want any discussion and let the matter die as it has. Yet, the fact remains that the Muslims do not get their due. They are 17 crores or 12 per cent out of India's total population of 1.2 billion. As Justice Rajinder Sachar's report has pointed out, the treatment meted out to them was worse than what the Dalits go through. The report is a decade old but none of its recommendations ...
Kashmir Times News Report
Praying for others
By Robert Clements
Was with a friend the other day and we talked about a great man of God. "Bob, d' you know the difference between that man and us?" asked my friend. "When we pray, we pray for ourselves and our families, but when he prays he prays for us and the rest of the world!" A voyaging ship was wrecked during a storm at sea and only two of the men on it were able to swim to a small, desert like island. The two survivors, not knowing what else to do, agreed they had no other recourse but to pray to God. However, to find out whose prayer was more powerful, they agreed to divide the territory between them and stay on opposite sides of the island. The first thing they prayed for was food. The next morning, the first man saw a fruit-bearing tree on his side of the land, and he was able to eat its fru...
Kashmir Times News Report
Official Rain Date..!
By Robert Clements
"It is raining heavily!" I told the weatherman. "You people know nothing," said the weatherman, "we have predicted the monsoons to be here only on the twentieth of July!" "Then what do you think fell on me this morning", I cried desperately. "Could have been your neighbor upstairs watering his plants", said the weatherman with a laugh. "Every year we have so many false alarms from people who say that rain fell on them or they felt a drizzle that we feel like reminding them to just read our weather reports and not worry. There are numerous vested elements who would like to spread false rumors about spotting rain clouds or feeling rain drops. Just follow our reports. We are professionals!" "Yes", I said, "but I am sure it was rain that fell on me this morning. The ground is still wet"....
Kashmir Times News Report
Absent Presidents
By Gwynne Dyer
Newspapers still need copy to hold the ads apart even when nothing much is happening. So I was quite pleased when I noticed that the presidents of two African countries, Nigeria and Zimbabwe, were both "missing in action": spending most of their time in hospitals overseas, while their spokespersons denied that there was anything wrong. Nigeria is Africa's most populous country, with the continent's biggest economy. Zimbabwe is dirt poor and dead broke, but its president, Robert Mugabe is Africa's longest-ruling leader. So you call the piece 'Absent Presidents', you do a few arabesques around the themes of absolute power and irresponsibility, and you get to go home early. There were even a couple of juicy quotes to lead with. One of the supporters of Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari...
Kashmir Times News Report
Anatomy of Basirhat violence
In Bengal they don't have to create the issue of 'Holy Cow' or 'Ram Temple', it is being provided by this misguided section of Muslim leadership.
By Ram Puniyani
In an insane act of violence two people lost their lives in Basirhat (West Bengal, 04 07 2017). From last quite some time the social media is abuzz that West Bengal is turning Islamist, Hindus are under great threat, their condition is becoming like that of Pundits in Kashmir. The section of TV media projected the view that West Bengal is not safe for Hindus but is a heaven for Muslims. Angry posts are also declaring that Mamata is appeasing Muslims, Islamist Radicals are growing in Bengal with support from the Mamata Government etc. This act of violence was provoked by a facebook post. (July 04, 2017) Once it was known in the area as to who has done the posting, they surrounded the house where the 17 year old boylived. The posting was derogatory to Muslims. As the atmosphere was buildin...
Kashmir Times News Report
Jhelum-post 2014 floods
Govt needs to prepare a comprehensive plan for carrying out works to prevent flooding of Kashmir valley in future Jammu and Kashmir government and its agencies do not appear to be serious in carrying out the dredging operations in Jhelum river basin and the flood channels in a manner that can prevent repeat of 2014 unprecedented floods in Kashmir valley. Unfortunately, the state government and its agencies connected with restoration of the flood channels have refused to learn any lessons and make efforts to save the people from similar situation in future. Though it is a fact that such unprecedented floods have occurred in the valley after a gap of about 111 years, yet lessons need to be learnt in the larger interest of the people. Many experts believe that the manner in which the dredgi...
Kashmir Times News Report
A simple thanks..!
By Robert Clements
A few years ago I looked at the papers one morning and saw pics of men and women huddled together, weeping, sobbing, shaking with uncontrollable sorrow; mothers and fathers looking at each other with eyes aghast, shaking their heads in denial, "How could this happen?" they cry out in grief, "How could a plane crash take away our dear one from us?" they scream silently, bodies racked in spasms of grief. I shudder but go quiet within; even as I weep with them there is a feeling of deep thankfulness; it was just a day before that my own child flew to Europe on an Air-France flight as part of a student exchange program; I look at pictures of those grieving relatives and my heart cries out in thankfulness that my child reached safe! How easy to forget being thankful for all we take for grant...
Kashmir Times News Report
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