Thursday, December 8, 2016
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Kashmir: Heaven in a heartless world
By Gowhar Naz
Speak your lips are free Speak it is your tongue —[Faiz Ahmad Faiz] Kashmir, a beautiful landscape, which has got admirers from all over the world is today crying for help. But its cries go unheard. Funeral after funeral. Troubled days and nights. Wounds burned and throbbed. Meaning to say, the valley is bleeding all the way. Instead of healing the wounds, people who claim it as 'the integral part' gave nothing but severe physical injuries and trauma to its habitants. Bullets, pellets and pava shells were used (and still) to kill, cripple and paralyse the innocents (mostly teenagers) raising voice against the State & Central Government for their different freedoms. Thousands and thousands of the youth became the victim of security forces. More than 120 people lost their lives. More o...
Kashmir Times News Report
SIGNS OF THE TIMES
The Day of Judgement has arrived
By Humra Quraishi
With J. Jayalalithaa buried and not cremated, I'm reminded of Khushwant Singh's wish of getting buried and not cremated. In Jayalalithaa's case the two main reasons are said to be that as a Dravidian party leader she didn't have to adhere to the Brahminical traditional ritual of cremation, as the Dravidian party is associated with the Periyar movement, which was anti -Brahminical in nature. Another reason is that much in keeping with the tradition of memorials for MGR and Anna Durai on the Marina Beach, she too was laid to rest there and a monument in her memory will come up in the days to come. Khushwant, of course, had his own reasons laid out for a burial. "Why I would opt to be buried is because I believe that one should give back to the earth what you have taken." He had even told ...
Kashmir Times News Report
Indo-Pak conflict and Kashmir
By Mohammad Ashraf
(Why should the fate of Kashmiris be tied up with the establishment of Indo-Pak friendship?) There are some very common refrains in regard to the solving of the most intractable and the longest pending political problem of Kashmir. In the global context, it is the necessity for a peaceful dialogue between the two neighbouring countries, India and Pakistan, to solve all outstanding issues including Kashmir. In the Indian context, Kashmir is no issue as it is settled as an integral part of the Union of India. The only issue for them is to recover the parts of the state illegally occupied by Pakistan and China. For Pakistanis, Kashmir is the core issue and according to them, without its settlement, there can be no peace in the sub-continent. For last 70 years the two newly created countrie...
Kashmir Times News Report
Armed Forces
Why Mamata Banerjee's suspicions of the Army shouldn't be dismissed as Paranoia?
By Ravi Nair
The recent dispute about the army deployment in Kolkata's toll plazas is indicative of a deeper malaise in civil and army relations in India. It is difficult to imagine that a colonel in the army was writing to inspectors of the Kolkata police about what they sought to do "routinely". Regular security meetings between the army and civil administration are held in all states. Apart from security assessments, these meetings also serve as clearing houses for more mundane matters, as the army claimed to have been doing in West Bengal. In addition, the union cabinet secretary has a military wing to ensure better coordination for a range of issues across India. Clearly, the most charitable explanation is that the eastern command of the army was grossly inefficient and inept in this instance. A...
Kashmir Times News Report
Supreme Court verdict on National Anthem Mandates Hindutva Nationalism
By Jaspal Singh Sidhu
Usual interpretation of the Indian Apex Court verdict on 'Jana Gana Mana', the National Anthem on 30 November, 2016 as curbing of individual's freedom could hardly fathom the real intention behind the judicial overreach which is meant to serve a larger purpose. The verdict is in tune with overall political-moral ethos of the time. And it lends an unambiguous support to the Hindutva brand of Nationalism whose cacophony has already spread over Indian firmament through chanting of 'Bharat Mata Ki Jai', 'Bande Matram' and 'Gau Mata Raksha' (protection of holy cow). The thinking behind the order, seems to be consistent with the prevailing political scenario which makes the people believe that the ongoing majoritarian rule is not an aberration but an accepted version of the 'modern democracy'. ...
Kashmir Times News Report
Congress remains ahead in Punjab Poll
By Yashwardhan Joshi
The contours of Punjab elections are changing and changing fast like a kaleidoscope, throwing up new patterns, showing off new colours. Elections are mostly about personalities and issues, and in Punjab there is dearth of neither. New issues keep cropping up, while new patterns of alliances emerge as politicians show their true colours like those of the Awaaz-e-Punjab. Two of their leaders--Independent MLA brothers Balwinder Singh Bains and Simarjit Singh Bains-- have joined the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), the very party they were dead against, while two others-- Navjot Kaur Sidhu and hockey icon and Akali defector Pargat Singh who were very vocal against the Congress-- have joined the grand old party. Cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu is expected to follow his wife, Navjot Kaur....
Kashmir Times News Report
The Simla Agreement: Help or Hindrance
By Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai
The mass uprising of the people of Kashmir against Indian military occupation has evoked two reactions from the Government of India. One is extreme repression and the second is the threat of war. On September 24, 2016, Mr. Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India made a formal statement with full authority: "Pakistan's 'awam' (people), I want to say to you, India is ready to fight you." He added, "We will isolate you. I will work for that." The world powers, including the US has exerted no influence in restraining this belligerent rhetoric. There is also not the slightest sign yet of even a beginning being made towards a meaningful peace process, eliminating the danger of war between these two nuclear countries. The present situation has made it abundantly clear that the status quo in ...
Kashmir Times News Report
Pakistan's New De-facto 'Chief Executive'
By B L Saraf
When General Pervez Musharraf overthrew the elected government of Nawaz Sharif, in October,1999 and captured state power, in Pakistan, he asked the Constitutional expert Sharifuddin Pirzada to draft Provisional Constitutional Order. "Musharraf designated himself as Chief Executive a position equivalent to the Prime Minister, ostensibly a humanized substitute for Chief Martial law Administrator and President Tarar was told to remain in office and act in accordance with Chief Executive's Advice." Ayesha Jalal in The Struggle For Pakistan - A Muslim homeland andGlobal Politics, page 312. Well, one may not necessarily believe it, a strong impression has been coming out that the Pakistan Army, like a business company, holds and manages the country as an asset. After all, the sub-continent has...
Kashmir Times News Report
Demonetisation shock therapy: State sponsored financial repression
By C R Sridhar
"You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. And what I mean by that is an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before." —Rahm Emanuel,Former White House Chief of Staff in the Obama administration. Naomi Klein in her bestselling book 'The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism' wryly observed "Extreme violence has a way of preventing us from seeing the interests it serves." Perhaps the small coterie of advisors close to Prime Minister Modi, driven by the ideology of disaster capitalism, took Klein's observation seriously. On November 8 the shock to the financial system was administered by Mr. Modi by demonetising 500 and 1000 rupee notes. India is an overwhelmingly paper currency country: some 90% of the transactions are done with cash. India's cash-to-GDP r...
Kashmir Times News Report
How long will the country remain under Modi's spell?
By Manish Dubey
The prime minister's appeal to ignore temporary hardship in lieu of a better post-demonetisation tomorrow has resonated with the public, but it remains to be seen how long this support will last. Our neighbourhood barber reported a huge drop in footfall. The vegetable vendor doesn't say much, but he must be hurting too. Several people have - hopefully temporarily - switched to large stores that accept card payments. Debi (name changed), our otherwise reliable nanny, returned from her Odisha village later than expected. She needed the extra time to withdraw money to leave behind with her elderly, widowed mother. It was on her fifth trip to the bank (12 km away) - including two trips made on foot because she wanted to save on travel fare - that she was able to withdraw money. But for our i...
Kashmir Times News Report
Column
Italy: "I say no"
By Gwynne Dyer
"Today saying No is the most beautiful and glorious form of politics....Whoever doesn't understand that can go screw themselves." It could have been Donald Trump before the US election two weeks ago, or Boris Johnson during the Brext campaign in Britain last June, but it was actually Beppe Grillo, founder and leader of Italy's populist Five Star Movement. Grillo unhesitatingly compares his movement to "Trumpismo" in the United States, and the Five Star Movement (M5S) is currently running neck-and-neck with Prime Minister Matteo Renzi's Democratic Party in the opinion polls. Moreover, if Renzi loses the referendum on changing the Italian constitution that takes place this Sunday, there may be an election in Italy quite soon. Matteo Renzi wanted to replace the elected Senate with a small...
Kashmir Times News Report
Demonetisation: Voices from Varanasi, Modi's constituency
By Shwetank Mishra
Many of Varanasi's famous looms have stopped running due to the cash shortage and the city's small vendors are also struggling with falling sales. Varanasi: Like in many parts of the country, the centre's sudden decision to demonetise Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes on November 8 has created widespread chaos and confusion in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's constituency Varanasi as well. Many people that The Wire spoke to in the temple town - which sent Modi to the Lok Sabha in 2014 with a whopping 5,81,022 votes - sought "immediate relief" from the centre's decision which has been disrupting their daily lives for nearly a month now. The general sentiment of the people in Varanasi's market places mirrored that of common people elsewhere too, with people feeling frustrated about the inadequate s...
Kashmir Times News Report
The Simla Agreement: Help or Hindrance
By Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai
The mass uprising of the people of Kashmir against Indian military occupation has evoked two reactions from the Government of India. One is extreme repression and the second is the threat of war. On September 24, 2016, Mr. Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India made a formal statement with full authority: "Pakistan's 'awam' (people), I want to say to you, India is ready to fight you." He added, "We will isolate you. I will work for that." The world powers, including the U.S. has exerted no influence in restraining this belligerent rhetoric. There is also not the slightest sign yet of even a beginning being made towards a meaningful peace process, eliminating the danger of war between these two nuclear countries. The present situation has made it abundantly clear that the status quo i...
Kashmir Times News Report
U.P stands on political crossroads
By Anser Kidwai
The all-important state of UP stands on political crossroads this election-eve since the emerging electoral trends of the last few decades provides little help in assessing the likely outcome of the electoral contest due in 2017. Over the last one decade the BSP and the SP have been ruling the roost since it has all changed after the BJP's unprecedented sweep in the Lok Sabha polls under the leadership of Narendra Modi-India's new icon. In the present circumstances, the third major contender in the field will thus indeed be the BJP apart from the SP and the BSP. The Congress too is in the fray and going by outward signs it may thus at least be able to shed the image of an underdog. Even as all the contenders swear by the new mantra of 'Development', it would still be guileless to minimize...
Kashmir Times News Report
Remembering V P Singh's fight against corruption
By Vidya Bhushan Rawat
These days prime minister is becoming 'emotional' on every issue and he feel that people are after him for waging a 'war' against high and mighty. We do not know what does that mean but I am sure the latest demonetization has shown that this war seems to be against India's poor as high and might friends of the prime minister are enjoying their life well. Modiji want to dig the record of past sixty years but I wish why not of past 2000 years of brahmanical hegemony? Every day, he brings new issue to remain in the news. This government is being run through TV channels as it seems, it can't work peacefully without speaking loud. The other day after the so called surgical strike, the prime minister said, "I want to say that India is a ready for a war… India is a ready for a war on poverty. L...
Kashmir Times News Report
The ideological stagnation of Communist Parties
A moment to go back and reaffirm Marx
By Chepal Sherpa
"The educator himself has to be educated" —Marx, Theses on Feuerbach. There is no confusion and hesitation is saying that established left parties have arrived to a deadlock with a lurking ideological stagnation. From CPI, CPM to CPI Maoist there is very much a visible political-ideological deadlock. CPI has become a non-relevant party who abandoned Marxist politics decades ago. Similarly, CPM a major left party in the national scene has only assumed this position not because they have been in struggles but because of their close proximity with capital and the ruling classes. CPI Maoist on ground is able to mobilize adivasis against the state and corporate-capital but at the cost of alienating itself from working class and other oppressed sections. But despite these differences in thes...
Kashmir Times News Report
Column
After Aleppo: A kind of peace?
By Gwynne Dyer
Eastern Aleppo, the rebel-held half of what was once Syria's biggest city, is falling. Once the resistance there collapses, things may move very fast in Syria, and the biggest question will be: do the outside powers that have intervened in the war accept Bashar al-Assad's victory, or do they keep the war going? Even one year ago, it seemed completely unrealistic to talk about an Assad victory. The Syrian government's army was decimated, demoralised and on the verge of collapse: every time the rebels attacked, it retreated. There was even a serious possibility that Islamic State and the Nusra Front, the extreme Islamist groups that dominated the rebel forces, would sweep to victory in all of Syria. But then, just fourteen months ago, the Russian air force was sent in to save Assad's army...
Kashmir Times News Report
SIGNS OF THE TIMES
Unilateral decisions: Signs of dictatorship
By Humra Quraishi
Tuesday afternoon I was in and around New Delhi's posh Khan Market. Usually this marketplace is more than crowded, with locals and foreigners not just shopping but stuffing themselves in the various eateries, but that afternoon (29th November) it was as though a vacancy of sorts had enveloped the entire stretch. The sellers and buyers looked glum. After all, the year is ending on a dismal note! I did get to notice at least two rather strange developments: buyers with a two thousand rupee clutched in their hands had to buy goods worth few hundreds (five hundred to even a thousand, depending on the dictates of the shop owners) before they were handed the remaining change. Call it nothing short of forced buying! Then, though around this time of the year the shops of this up -market shopping...
Kashmir Times News Report
How the fig leaf of nationalism obscures impact of demonetisation
By Sidharth Bhatia
It didn't take long after Prime Minister Narendra Modi's announcement of demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes on November 8 for the ultra-nationalists to link it with love for the motherland. Baba Ramdev was the first off the mark, declaring that those who opposed the move were committing treason (deshdrohi) and the cyber-warriors, safe in their anonymous, egg-shaped cocoons, did their bit and waded in by invoking soldiers guarding Indian borders. Any sensible person may wonder what is the connection between standing in a crushing line for days to access one's own money and the Indian army patrolling Siachen but for the deshbhakts such leaps of logic are normal. The 'sacrifices of our brave soldiers' is the default, all-purpose phrase to be applied to everything, a bit like those ...
Kashmir Times News Report
 
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