|The unseen violence that impacts children|
|Since the December 16 gang rape incident in Delhi, the attention that sexual violence has received from the Indian public and authorities has been a welcome change. However, such recognition should not come at the cost of ignoring other forms of violence that may seem to be less scandalous and, in fact, 'normal'. The recent UNICEF report on violence against children does precisely this. It blows the lid off a camouflaged and under-discussed aspect of the issue: "hidden" violence.
The document is not only the largest-ever statistical analysis on the subject it but also presents unprecedented evidence from 190 countries around the world. As has been reported in the media, a quintessential take-away from the extensive study is that violence against children - physical, sexual and emotional ...|
|WB roll back safeguards for indigenous peoples|
|Activists warn of a harmful regression in the World Bank's safeguard policies, claiming that proposed changes being considered this autumn could weaken the rights of indigenous people, and others in danger of displacement and abuse as a result of Bank-funded development projects.
"This [version of the safeguards] will be dangerous backsliding into their bad legacy of treatment against indigenous people if it is approved," said Joan Carling, secretary-general of the Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP), a network that operates in 14 Asian countries.
According to the World Bank, "the proposed Environmental and Social Framework builds on the decades-old safeguard policies and aims to consolidate them into a more modern, unified framework that is more efficient and effective to apply and imp...|
|Postponing exams in flood-hit areas|
|Being unfair to students|
|The dreaded and unprecedented floods in history of one century that struck our state last month caused a large scale/massive devastation. It left 248 dead and thousands homeless besides economic losses worth crores of rupees. Like other sectors our vital sector of education was badly hit. Aside damage to infrastructure of many schools, the education of students suffered badly as most of the schools remained closed for almost entire month of September. No doubt the enormity of devastation was beyond the imagination of authorities and that restoration of life is bound to take some time but the rebuilding of damaged infrastructure and restoration of schools in flood ravaged areas for sake of students and society should have been government's top priority.
Government was supposed to tak...|
|Anti-BJP front a strong possibility|
|Ever since the massive victory of the Bharatiya Janata Party under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the Lok Sabha elections, a need for evolving a joint front against the "communal forces" is being strongly felt. Notwithstanding the failure of the non-Congress and non-BJP parties to form a third front in recent years, fresh efforts are being made to present a united front against the BJP.
First move was made in Bihar. The two erstwhile political rivals namely Janata Dal (United) supremo Nitish Kumar and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Laloo Prasad, after almost total defeat of their parties in the Lok Sabha polls, sunk their differences and decided to present a joint front along with the Congress against the BJP in the bypolls in 10 assembly seats that were held in Augu...|
|Will Obama deliver on promises to Modi?|
|The real outcome of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's recent American visit, described by official Washington as "extraordinarily successful" will depend on the extent to which India and the US will operationalise the many agreements they have signed. India is required to take follow-up action in the legislative and administrative domain, while the US has to unlock advanced technologies in defence and several other fields. The relationship between two of the world's largest democracies is characterised by many ups and downs generating a feeling that Washington has fallen short of fulfilling its commitments, while India has been slow to create conditions in which the "strategic partnership" could blossom.
Mr. Modi has brought Indo-US relations back on track and conveyed India's aspirations f...|
|AFRICA'S TRADE UNDER A CLOUD OF CHANGING CLIMATE|
|Worsening climate change could affect the region's economy|
|By Richard Munang and Jesica Andrews|
|The devastating effects of climate change are already being felt across the planet, including in Africa. The 2011 drought-induced famine in the Horn of Africa affected more than 10 million people, claimed 257,000 lives and cost over $1 billion in damages. The recent Africa Adaptation Gap Report by the UN Environment Programme warns that climate change could reduce total crop yields in sub-Saharan Africa by as much as 20% by 2070. Worse still, it could begin to affect Africa's trade potential. For example, a projected sea-level rise in Tanzania of 70 centimetres by 2070 could devastate the port city of Dar es Salaam, its largest and richest city and a major player in East Africa trade, and cost the country about $10 billion in property damages and related losses. Environmentalists warn tha...|
|Kashmir Elections-misplaced priority!|
|There appears to be some extreme urgency on the part of certain quarters within J & K and in Delhi to somehow hold the assembly elections at the earliest as the present house completes it tenure in December. These quarters are either unaware of the real ground situation or have some other aims of capitalising on the present discomfiture of the people. Kashmir has just gone through the most devastating floods in more than a century. The top most priority is to give succour to the traumatised people rather than force them virtually at the point of gun to partake in elections which do not have a very good reputation in Kashmir. Apart from a couple of times, the most of the elections are alleged by some to be sham elections. Generally the 1977 election held under Janata rule is supposed to ha...|
|State of fear|
|In the Techno-thriller, State of Fear, written by Michael Crichton, the eco-terrorist group, Environmental Liberation Front (ELF) wants to draw attention to its cause (global warming) by creating chaos, in the form of "natural" disasters throughout the world. An environmental lawyer, Peter Evans, has a millionaire client, George Morton, who contributes heavily to the National Environmental Resource Fund (NERF). Morton suspects his donations are being misspent, and they're. The eco-terrorists are in unsuspicious ways murdering anyone who interferes with their agenda. Morton publicly withdraws his money from NERF, an action which gets him killed in a car accident. Morton's will directs Evans to search for the truth about the environmental terrorists, which Evans and several others do. The i...|
|Will Congress be a history …?|
|Congress leaders may say people of Maharashtra are wrong in choosing the party and candidates in the latest assembly elections, they might also be saying that people of Haryana are also wrong and they have made a wrong decision by rejecting Congress. Not only this, the Congress leaders are saying that whole of the 83.40 crore electorates of India are wrong who rejected Congress and voted for BJP. They say people who voted for BJP and other opposition parties will realize soon that their decision was wrong. Some of the Congress leaders describe the decision of the people as an anti incumbency factor. Which in other words we can say that the people were fed up with their long miss rules and miss governance. They are citing many more reasons for the debacle of Congress in the recent parliame...|
|It's a slow process, this business of getting recognised as an independent state, but the Palestinians are making progress. In September of last year, Mahmoud Abbas, the long-overdue-for-an-election president of the Palestinian National Authority, was given permission to sit in the "beige chair", the one that is reserved for heads of state waiting to go to the podium and address the UN General Assembly.
And now, another Great Leap Forward. On Monday, the British Parliament voted by 274 to 12 to recognise Palestine as a state. It was a private member's bill, however, and ministers in Prime Minister David Cameron's cabinet were ordered to abstain. The bill cannot compel Cameron to actually recognise Palestine, a decision which the British Government will only take "at a moment of our choos...|
|The pretence of "Normalcy"!|
|The most repeated statement these days from the State Government is about the fast returning "Normalcy" to the flood devastated Kashmir and especially Srinagar. One of the barometers of the "Normalcy" is the forced opening of Schools. According to Government itself thousands of Schools have been damaged by the unprecedented floods. Even some of the most posh schools in Srinagar were under water for days on end. A local daily correspondent has done an investigative report which states that the flood hit schools are a time bomb of infections. According to him not only are the school buildings structurally unsafe but pose a serious risk to the health of the school children who are vulnerable to deadly infections, which can target even lungs and brain. However, the state authorities are forc...|
|Mubarak Mandi: Demolition of the Central Platform|
|Heritage preservation is both historic and scientific process and it cannot be carried out in adhoc manner and implemented like other construction and building processes. The main aim of the techniques is to maintain the time frame in terms of architecture and aesthetics of the monument or the building that is being exposed to the heritage conservation techniques so that the restoration process is able to restore to the asset to certain time frame.
But restoration of the heritage monuments has become largely an affair that loses the sheen of professionalism and sensitivity towards the cultural locale of the monument. It is a multidisciplinary issue that cannot be carried out by one set of professionals but requires the expertise of many like conservation architects, historians, conserva...|
|Mathematics : The creator of MOM|
|"It is not from space that I must seek my dignity, but from the government of my thought. I shall have no more if I possess worlds. By space the Universe encompasses and swallows me up like an atom; by thought I comprehend the world" ----Blaise Pascal
The greatest of mysteries in the Cosmos are beyond ordinary human understanding. The human beings seem insignificant and petty in cosmic perspective, yet they are curious and brave in explorations of Cosmos. On 24th September, 2014, India's maiden Mars Orbiter Mission(MOM) successfully entered Mars orbit after the journey of ten months, becoming the first nation to arrive on its first attempt and first Asian country to reach the Red Planet i.e. Mars, the red planet MARS with soaring volcanoes, great rift valleys, sand storms and perhaps...|
|Open letter to chief minister|
|Between arrogance and truth|
|Mr. Omar Abdullah,
Chief Minster of J&K,
I am prompted to write this following an action by your government to the publication of an article on 3rd October 2014, captioned "Tragedy of errors" on Op-ed page of Daily Greater Kashmir. Your law Department has served the said newspaper notice, threatening to stop its publication. Being chief executive of the State and head of administration, I presume that the notice has been issued with your consent and prior approval. In support of freedom of expression, I, therefore, deem it prudent to address this letter to highlight the truth about a very vital issue to you directly.
Mr. Omar Abdullah, as per the notice, the article written in the context of recent floods which has devastated the State in general and Srinagar ...|
|VIEW FROM PAKISTAN|
|The announcement of Malala's Nobel peace prize has unleashed a storm of nastiness that some of us seemed to have hidden away for very long. One maniac even went around asking on a popular chat group about the young girl's contribution to sharia and Islam as a religion, totally forgetting that reading and learning were the two key principles that Islam started with. In any case, any good formula of humanity and religion (not mullahism) would propose human empowerment, for which education is certainly a means.
There are people visibly perturbed about how others like Abdul Sattar Edhi deserved the prize more than she did. Hence, they conclude that the 17-year-old young woman is an extension of a foreign conspiracy. Some even argue that with the tag of this prize around her neck, she will re...|
|SIGNS OF THE TIMES|
|Jhelum's fury destroys Kashmir poet's home|
|It was more than painful seeing the recent|
|It was more than painful seeing the recent photographs of the near destroyed Raj Bagh situated home of Agha Ashraf Ali - father of the legendary Kashmiri poet, Agha Shahid Ali. On earlier occasions when I'd met Agha Ashraf Ali, I had seen it from close quarters - I'd sat in the covered verandah cum lounge, in the drawing room, in the garden …I still recall Agha Ashraf Ali detailing the fruit trees that grew in the compound and on one occasion he had even plucked several apples and later cut them into tiny bits … And as we had neared the gates of his home, not too far from the banks of the Jhelum, he'd gazed in that direction and spoke of his late wife, "I loved her intensely …she was from Uttar Pradesh and I'm a Kashmiri but we were happy and she adjusted well here in Kashmir. I feel she ...|
|'Rip Van Winkle' and Raman govt|
|Can an elected Panchayat deprive a section of its own people belonging to a minority community its constitutionally granted right to practise its religion - e.g. organise prayers or engage in religious propaganda and have sermons?
Or can it ever deprive them of their mandatory quota of grain under PDS (public distribution system)?
Anyone conversant with rudimentary understanding of law would reply in the negative. It appears that in Chattisgarh they do it differently. In fact, Sirasguda, Kunguda and many other villages in Jagdalpur and adjoining areas in the state are in the news for similar reasons.
Few days back a team of civil liberty activists belonging to PUCL had visited the villages and had come back with stories of intimidation faced by a section of the villagers - mainly belo...|
|Will clean India campaign go beyond symbolism|
|Imagine an India where streets are not littered with garbage, drains that don't overflow with filth, and fields that are not open spaces for defecation! Lots of us wanted to see such as India since Independence and some even tried too, but the image of a dirty, filthy India continued to endure.
Now one man, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has made this his mission: To clean India that it becomes a sight to behold. The man has the mandate and a will of conviction to make his and our dream come true.
On Mahatma Gandhi's birth anniversary, a symbolic date, he launched his dream project, 'Swachh Bharat Abhiyan'. He turned October 2, a national holiday, into a working day on which school children and government employees pledged to devote 100 hours a year to voluntary work for cleanliness and...|
|Tough times ahead for tainted politicians|
|Judicial treatment meted out to former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa is a proverbial tip of the iceberg as they are many known and unknown political leaders would have met the same fate if the political class, bureaucracy and judiciary had not been colluding.
Sentencing of former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa in a disproportionate assets case by a special court in Bangalore on September 27 to jail for four years and rejection of her bail application by the Karnataka High Court on October 7 after 10 days in a jail has sent shivers down the spine of politicians who not only believed but were convinced that law of the land would never catch them.
The High Court's rejection of bail came despite Special Public Prosecutor G Bhavani Singh telling the Court that "he has...|
|Film Review: Haider|
|Wheels within wheels: The many vicious cycles of revenge|
|Revenge is the theme of Vishal Bhardwaj's movie Haider. Vishal has wonderfully shown us how revenge can transcend all the layers of morality in the individuals and society. Revenge entwines all and creates conditions for bigger revenge. Smaller revenges feed bigger revenges, and hence a vicious circle is formed which leads to devastation.
Brother takes revenge against his brother as he was "robbed" of his beloved; nephew takes revenge against his uncle as he was "robbed" of his mother and father. Majority members of a society take revenge against a nation because they were promised a "referendum" which was not fulfilled. Army takes revenge since the minorities were persecuted, and above all Pakistan takes a revenge as "India snatched Kashmir from her". And the result is destructio...|
|'Nobel' Satyarthi : Meaning of peace widened|
|The nation is legitimately proud of the achievement of Kailash Satyarthi, relentless child rights activist, who has rescued around 80,000 children stuck in child labour - a selfless task that has received the Nobel Peace Prize for 2014. Among various kinds of children's problems - malnutrition, child mortality, sexual abuse, child labour, child marriage, school drop-out and so on - child labour is seen in many instances occurring not alone but along with one or more other forms of ill-treatment of children. It amounts to violence against children.
The country has reason to celebrate this extraordinary achievement of Satyarthi and his team as India has earned notoriety for child labour in the highly competitive international market. Some of India's products have been turned down for its...|