|A petition to end tensions at the Line of Control from citizens on both sides of the LoC|
|Signatures given at the end. Should you want to add your signature to this petition, write to Anuradha Bhasin at anusaba[at]gmail[dot[com]. The petition with the final list of signatories will be sent to the heads of state in both India and Pakistan.
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari,
We, the people of Jammu and Kashmir on both sides of the Line of Control, have been observing with great concern the escalation of tensions at the LoC that have been building up gradually since June 2012 and have suddenly taken an ugly turn since the first week of January, 2013.
We express grave concern at the loss of lives of the soldiers and any casualties to civilians on both the sides. At the same time, we are also concerned about the...|
|Yashpal inspects industrial units|
| SRINAGAR, Dec 20 : The Sub-Committee Members (Industries related) on Envi¬ronment under the Chair-manship of MLA, Yashpal Kundal today visited Sam¬ba Industrial area and made surprise inspection of var¬ious Industrial Units to get on spot feedback about the impact of industrial activ¬ities on Environment and other allied matters.
Kundal was accompanied by District Development Commissioner, Samba Mubarak Singh, Chief Wild Life Warden, A.K Singh, Member Secretary ,Pollution Control Board, A K Tickoo, Director Environment, Mr Suresh Chug, Regional Direc¬tion ,Pollution Control Board, Showkat Chowdhry, Manag¬ing Direction, Mozoom, Director Agriculture, Gup¬ta, Chief Medial Officers, Samba, Special Secretary, J&K Legislative Assembly, M.R.Singh, Under Secretary, Abdul Qayoom Mir and other s...|
|Lost Lives: Face-To-Face with Meena, Jennifer, and other in Nicobar |
|Amidst the sheer beauty that surrounds the exotic Nicobar Islands, Syeda Hameed and Gunjan Veda encountered hope in the face crushing tragedy. They met Meena who was running a makeshift school for children after the tsumani destroyed everything familiar to them; they met three-year-old Jennifer, whose bright smile faded each time someone mentioned her mother, who had been swept away by the merciless seas; and they landed up as the wedding guests of Herbert and Christie, who were trying to start life afresh even as they mourned the loss of their parents. An excerpt from ‘Beautiful Country – Stories From Another India’.
The rough and rowdy Ten Degree Channel separates the Andaman group of islands from Nicobar. By ship, it takes sixteen hours to reach Carnic, the northernmost inhabited isla...|
|Naipaul deserves a prize from RSS|
|Karnad’s criticism is spot on|
|On the first day of the literature festival in Mumbai where V.S. Naipaul received a lifetime achievement award, the Nobel prize winner declared, apparently to the dismay of the audience, that he would not write any more on India. It was an announcement, however, which should have been greeted with cheers since it would have spared the readers of his “jaundiced” views, as another writer on India, William Dalrymple, said about the West Indian author of Indian origin.
As an example of Naipaul’s prejudiced outlook, which is obviously at variance with generally accepted opinions, Dalrymple quoted Naipaul’s observation that the Taj Mahal was “so wasteful, so decadent, and in the end so cruel that it is painful to be there for very long. This is an extravagance that speaks of the blood of the p...|
|Elie Wiesel to write book with Barack Obama |
|The Nobel Prize–winning author and Holocaust survivor talks about his friendship with the president
In an interview published today with the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel, who just turned 84, reveals that “[President Barack] Obama and I decided to write a book together, a book of two friends.” Haaretz describes their friendship:
Wiesel became friends with Obama in 2009, a few months after the Democratic candidate was elected. Obama’s staff invited Wiesel to join the president on a visit to the site of Buchenwald concentration camp in Germany. Wiesel had first arrived at the camp at the end of World War II, with his father and other prisoners, following a death march from Auschwitz. His mother and his younger sister were murdered there, while Wiesel and his fathe...|
|Two more books by Ashraf|
|M.Ashraf, the former Director General Tourism, presently writing columns for various English dailies has published two more books.
These are collections of a series of newspaper articles about Jammu and Ladakh. The books titled “Remembering Jammu” and “Travels in Ladakh” have been published by Gulshan Books and are now available in the market. These are collections of articles written by him in Kashmir Times under the columns “Jammu Nostalgia” and “Ashraf’s Adventures” over a period of two years or so.
The first book reminisces the good old days he spent in Jammu and the other is about his extensive travels to different parts of Ladakh on both sides of the Line of Control. The foreword of the Jammu book has been written by Sushma Choudhary, the former Additional Union Secretary and th...|
|New book takes a fresh look at the Baloch history|
|Author Naseer Dashti releases new book, ‘The Baloch and Balochistan’
The life of a researcher is one built on spontaneity and serendipity. The greatest of discoveries are often found when one least expects it, a reality that often leads researchers towards uncharted territory. Naseer Dashti, the author of the myth-busting new book, “The Baloch and Balochistan: A Historical Account from the Beginning to the fall of the Baloch State” (published by Trafford Publishing), understands this well.
“While going through written works on the Baloch history, it came to me that the accounts given by the authors and researchers have a certain bias in their assumptions about the origin and ancient history of the Baloch,” recalls Dashti. “Most accounts of the Baloch history appeared to be superfluous,...|
|Story of another Kashmir! |
|BOOK NAME: This is Kashmir|
|AUTHOR: Pearce Gervis
PUBLISHER: Cassell & Company Ltd - London
DATE OF PUBLICATION: 1954
“This the story of a country and a people, a country about the size of England and Scotland or the State of Minnesota, yet within whose frontiers may be found near-tropical heat and arctic snows, hot springs and glaciers. It is a land on which God had showered his blessings in the making, where the earth is good and can be made to grow much good, yet many of its people are near starvation; a land where precious stones are to be found, yet few of its people possess any; a land in which ‘the men are strong the women as fruitful as the soil,’ being those of many basic cultures and creeds. A land which writers have described as ‘the Happy Valley’ yet only those who visit it are happy, not those who dw...|
|Text of the Letter written by National Commission for Women (NCW) Chairperson Wajahat Habibullah to the Chief Minister Omar Abdullah|
|Jenab Omar Abdullah
Hon'ble Chief Minister
Government of Jammu and Kashmir
Jammu and Kashmir
Congratulations on your Government's decision to reduce the rates of fees that residents of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) are required to pay for obtaining information under the J&K Right to Information Act (J&K RTI Act), 2009. This Act is already being used extensively by citizens in J&K to seek transparency and accountability in decision-making - an electoral promise that you have dutifully fulfilled soon after taking over the reins of Government. I am only sorry that I could not participate more directly in this endeavour, as I had hoped. The reduced fee rates will no doubt encourage many more residents of J&K, from among women and youth in particular, to exercise their f...|
|Obama’s crash course with Iran |
|A new book charts the president's efforts at diplomacy, and the reasons they were destined to fail |
|IT IS HARD TO over-enthuse about this book. No one who wants to understand why the dispute over Iran’s nuclear activities has proved so intractable can hope to find a better-informed, more balanced or more readable account.http://www.lareviewofbooks.org/
At one level, Trita Parsi’s A Single Roll of the Dice is an account of what happened in the 18 months after President Obama came to office promising a fresh approach to Iran. At a deeper level it is an analysis of the many factors that have bedevilled Western handling of the nuclear issue, and which continue to this day to impede rational policy-making and fruitful diplomacy.
Dr. Parsi believes Barack Obama was sincere when, during the 2008 Presidential campaign, he suggested that the US should talk to its adversaries to resolve differe...|
|Making a mountain of mole hill|
|Media should conduct more responsibly|
|Before the police could give its version of the blast in a cab near Bijbehara that killed 3 women tourists from Mumbai and injured 5 others much harm had already been caused. The electronic media had widely flashed the news about the tourists having been targeted by the militants lobbing a grenade at the cab carrying tourists from Srinagar to Pahalgham, on Saturday last, having the potential to cause scare among the prospective tourists visiting Kashmir. To make the scoop more effective the media stressed on the timing chosen by the terrorist to strike when the defence minister AK Antony, the Army Chief Gen Vikram Singh and the defence Secy Shashi Sharma were on two day visit to Kashmir, drawing the inference that the same was aimed at rubbishing the claims of the authorities that militan...|
|Corruption: Uninterrupted and uninterruptible|
|Corruption has gained unprecedented proportions in Jammu and Kashmir and there is no punitive, remedial or reformative action available in the system. As the government doesn’t seem to be taking any notice, there is an urgent need of a campaign against corruption at the people’s level
Corruption has gained unprecedented proportions in Jammu and Kashmir and there is no punitive, remedial or reformative action available in the system. The youth in the state are frustrated and restive and they seem to have no role models in society and they totally feel bewildered.
Since the Jammu and Kashmir government and the government of India are not taking any notice of the prevailing situation of corruption, there is an urgent need of a campaign against corruption at the people’s level. We, under th...|
|Defence Minister’s assurances?|
|Defence Minister A K Antony, during his two-day visit to the State has assured the government of army’s support in maintaining peace in Jammu and Kashmir. He said efforts should be made to reduce visibility of armed forces as much as possible.
These two major issues should have been a rigorous demand from the main stream politicians, Hurriyat, other politicians and various opinions in Kashmir. The death and the circumstances of the death of Hilal Ahmad Dar in Bandipora which is reported to have been engineered by an “army informer” does not sit well with the principal role of the army in Jammu and Kashmir.
Although armies all over the world are known for a killing instinct, yet over the years armies have grown out of this psychology and are involved in peace keeping, development and e...|
|India on the crossroads: New societal benchmarks beckon|
|In his famed book ‘Untouchable’, author Mulk Raj Anand has sketched a contemporary frame presenting to us a complete profile of the novel’s protagonist, Bhaka. The story is all set up in the pre-Independence era when Mahatma Gandhi, popularly called ‘Bapu’ talks in one of his speeches, about a machine that cleans bathrooms automatically in the Western nations. One gets to know about our protagonist’s thoughts in this matter, when he reminisces over the possible outcome of such a scenario upon the introduction of the same in the Indian society.
The novel seems to regale at times with the supposed philosophical meanderings of Bhaka’s mind; nevertheless his clean manners impress everyone who reads this book. There is an endless rumination on his part on the supposed bene...|
|Book Review: ‘Impeachment’ by Anjali Deshpande|
|Bhopal’s killer gas fields|
|Impeachment by Anjali Deshpande, published by Hachette India, is a well-told fictional narrative skilfully woven around the aftermath of the shameful disaster commonly known as the Bhopal Gas Tragedy.
The novel is dedicated to Dr Heeresh Chandra, a name we have seldom heard in the 28 years since the tragedy. Who is this doctor to whom the book is dedicated? The author, in a conversation says that for her, this doctor of the dead is not simply unsung but the only true hero of Bhopal.
While reading Impeachment it is difficult to decide whether it is history claiming to be fiction or fiction masquerading as history. The novel recounts actual incidents that still haunt us, intertwined with the fictional private lives of activists that are also the arena of intense gender and caste politics....|
|The poet, his poems and his tales|
|Faiz Ahmed Faiz: His Life, |
|His Poems: The Way It Was Once by Ali Madeeh Hashmi/ Shoaib Hashmi;
pp 256; Rs 499; Harper Collins Publishers India, 2012
After a decade without a day job, and associating with Dastangoi for over six years, I can safely say that I am a career storyteller. And one of the things I have learned is that resumes don’t make a person, stories do. Often these stories are not our own stories, but stories we’ve heard amongst loved ones, extended families, friends, work places, milieu; stories we’ve grown up with, stories distilled deep enough to become an integral part of our existence. We may not often identify with our resume but with our stories, always – acquaintanceship strikes, the moment our stories resonate.
Ali Madeeh Hashmi’s lucid biography of his maternal grandfather, Faiz Ahmed Fai...|
|BOOK REVIEW: THE RED HOUSE |
|A familiar premise inspires surprising and deeply moving results, fulfilling the British novelist’s considerable promise.
Mark Haddon became a literary sensation with his debut (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, 2003), a critical and commercial success which relied for effect on a tricky narrative perspective—a protagonist who was not only unreliable, but autistic. He then succumbed to a severe case of sophomore jinx with A Spot of Bother (2006), a novel that suggested that the debut was the only gimmick that Haddon had in him. What surprises about his third novel is that it’s not only his best, it’s his most conventional, at least in terms of the plot. Following the death of their mother, a brother and sister, who hadn’t maintained much contact and had felt some estrang...|
|BOOK EXCERPTS: The strength of the naga woman|
|In the picturesque district of Mokokchung in Nagaland, Syeda Hameed and Gunjan Veda came face-to-face with the dynamic Ao women and took part in an event that celebrated their strength. In this excerpt from their book, Beautiful Country – Stories From Another India’, they unveil the exceptionally talented Ao Naga women and also talk about how the tiny northeastern district of Mokokchung has set an example for the rest of the country by caring and nurturing its girls.
A year and a half later, we returned to Nagaland, entering through the winding road which goes from Jorhat in Assam to Mokokchung District. The picturesque district with resplendent blue-green mountains is home to the Ao Naga. It is said that the term ‘Ao’ means ‘going’ or ‘gone’ and refers to the group of Naga migrants who ...|