Saturday, November 22, 2014
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Lines of control
What cinematic representations of the Line of Control say about Indo-Pak relations and the collective unconscious.
By Gita Viswanath
Borders and boundaries, hitherto confined as categories of analysis to the study of political geography, are now objects of interest within several academic disciplines, including anthropology, history, political science, social psychology and sociology. While borders activate notions of difference between peoples and places, every year millions of people worldwide breach these borders, both officially and unofficially, in contexts of peace, conflict and violence. In Meenakshi Bharat and Nirmal Kumar's edited volume Filming the Line of Control: the Indo-Pak relationship through the cinematic lens, political cartography and its psychological impact is the central category of filmic analysis. As the title suggests, the book studies the ways in which the Line of Control (LoC) is constructed ...
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The vale of tears
By F.S. Aijazuddin
TO view history, one needs to use bifocals - to see distance in perspective, and in close-up to observe the minutiae that provide it substance and colour. Take the Indo-Pak summit at Shimla in July 1972. Everyone is over-familiar with what transpired in that misty eyrie. And yet, how many know the true opinion P.N. Haksar (then principal secretary to prime minister Indira Gandhi) held about Pakistan? Only a year earlier, he spoke dismissively of it to Dr Henry Kissinger as "that part of India which bears an Islamic label". And who knew that during those tense negotiations at Shimla, Mr Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and his daughter Benazir "preferred to have their meals together, just by themselves. This enabled them to discuss the day's events and exchange notes". This nicety was revealed by Be...
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Brute and barbaric in the Valley in the name of security
By Humra Quraishi
How many more will be shot dead in the Kashmir Valley! In fact, within two days of the Macchil verdict - where five Army men have been sentenced for killing civilians in a fake encounter - comes in news of more killings, of two civilians in the Valley -a teenager in Kulgam and a carpenter in Handwara. Mind you, last fortnight's killing of two young men by the Army in Chattergam is still haunting hundreds. Brute and barbaric to kill occupants in a moving vehicle because they did not halt or slow down. Will the cops or security forces kill commuters /drivers in Mumbai or in New Delhi if they don't halt or brake when signaled to do so. Yes, cops could target the vehicle, with that force halt. Is this some new form of governance where you kill more and some more and many more. And then sit b...
Kashmir Times News Report
Fruitless pursuit of black money
By M K Dhar
People curious to know the amount of "black money" stashed by Indians in foreign banks may be in for yet another disappointment after the Supreme Court monitored Special Investigation Team (SIT), submits its findings. After six months in office, the Narendra Modi Government has not been able to lay its hands on anything other than a list of Indian account-holders, numbering in all 627, in HSBC Geneva, which the previous Manmohan Singh government had obtained. No other reliable information has been dug out since by the team, thus rendering the efforts of the most intensive and high-level probe fruitless. That there are no Congressmen among the account holders has left the Government red faced and the whole exercise may turn out to be farcical. The Government is sceptical about recovery of...
Kashmir Times News Report
Modi's mythologies
By Zarrar Khuhro
Suffering from jaundice several decades ago, sick to death of the constant imbibing of sugarcane juice and bored out of my skull, my eyes fell on an interesting volume on my parents' bookshelf: Some blunders in Indian historical research by a P.N Oak. It started off innocently enough, with assertions about how the Taj Mahal was a Rajput building appropriated by the Mughals. Similar claims were made about the Red Fort and the Qutub Minar. Reading this up until now I experienced a slightly 'blasphemous' trill, the kind you get when faced with views that go against everything you have ever believed in. Could it be that the history I had been taught all these years was in fact false? Apparently not. According to Oak, Alexander the Great had actually been defeated by Raja Porus (an ignom...
Kashmir Times News Report
Kashmir: Of people and the voting trends
By Adfar Shah
Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir are approaching and a high rural turnout in the state especially in the valley has become the trend now. The elections in Kashmir valley will be held in four phases from November 25 to December 20 in which several parties are trying their luck and eager to form the government. Observation and interactions reveal that the very election fever significantly differs in Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh divisions, based on regional ideologies and politics and people's like and dislike for particular parties. Just two waves seem common - BJP wave in Jammu and PDP wave in the valley. The valley actually divides Kashmir psephology into two main collective perceptions; i.e., a boycott loving brigade and keen voters. Also, amid the election fever, the violence facto...
Kashmir Times News Report
The Kiss of freedom
By Anit Singh
Why do people kiss? To express their love? Why do people kiss in public? To defy the cultural norms? The purists would claim that the youth have been corrupted and that anything western is leading directly to upheaval in society, violence and rapes. A kiss is the downright base activity which causes discomfort for the public. But why does it cause the amount of hullaballoo that it does? If the psychoanalytical theory is to be involved in the fiasco, it would contend that the latent repressed sexual feelings of the child for the parent are reignited by the act of public affection. Since the Indian homes are essentially sanitised of any show of parental intimacy, the behaviour remains in the dark void of the unknown and thus, unacceptable. The kiss fiasco has given us a chance to reflec...
Kashmir Times News Report
Letter to Nehru, fifty years after
By Badri Raina
I don't quite know how to address you, so I shall simply say hello, Chacha, happy birthday. Do always be well. I imagine there is no dearth of roses where you are, or of laughing children in the park, or of books that you always still wanted to read, or of pen and paper for the next one you wish to write. I also imagine Bapu, the Sardar, and Maulana will soon come calling for a heart-to-heart on this your 125th janam din, even as down here the powers-that-be are purposefully busy cutting you off from them. You see, they think you were the worst thing that ever happened to Bharat because your heart bled only for the burdensome have-nots who grumblingly produce the wealth, and not for those who graciously own it thereafter. Interestingly, busy as they also are in showcasing Bapu's penchant...
Kashmir Times News Report
Elections: Choices for Jammu & Kashmir
By Jagdish Jamwal
This elections in J&K will be different not only because the whole situation has changed, firstly because the Abdullah family is not in that strength but also because BJP is in considerable strength and yet one does not know what the result is going to be. Though one can say for sure that this election is going to be different because instead of Abdullah family there is going to be another family from Kashmir in the picture. I only hope this family does not behave like the traditional families who only think of bringing only their own family members up front in positions of authority and only their own family members who will have all the say. All that matters is that we should make sure that this country continues to remain a democratic country and does not become a one family country a...
Kashmir Times News Report
Motors of prosperity
By Gerrit Wiesmann
Groups as diverse as the International Labour Organisation (ILO), Germany's Cooperative and Raiffeisen Confederation (DGRV) and the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) want the UN to anchor the role of cooperatives in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that are to be defined in 2015. According to a report by ILO and ICA, about one billion people around the world are involved with cooperatives as members, customers, employees or participants. The 300 largest cooperative enterprises have annual revenues of $1,600 billion, roughly the size of Spain's economy. The survey revealed, moreover, that 85% of the cooperatives polled felt they could contribute substantially to promoting jobs and decent working conditions. Coops stand for voluntary and open membership, democratic control...
Kashmir Times News Report
The Visoka's Curse!
The mythological curse seems to have stuck to Kashmiris over the ages
By M. Ashraf
Sajjad Lone seems to be nearing his "Achievable Nationhood" after forgetting the unachievable part! From the vision of an independent sovereign Kashmir to dreaming to be the Chief Minister of the Indian State of Jammu & Kashmir is a journey full of struggle and turmoil. Most of the so called Kashmiri leaders in recent times have travelled on this journey. The only certain thing in Kashmir otherwise plagued by uncertainty is the changing stance of people from all walks of life especially the politicians. They change their ideology, convictions and stances like changing of the t-shirts which some of them wear! This perennially changing attitude seems to be result of an ancient curse. The Nilmat Purana verses 294-296 state, "O lord, then angry Visoka cursed Kasmira, "O wicked one, as I ha...
Kashmir Times News Report
Growing conflict between BJP & regional parties
By Brij Bhardwaj
Bhartiya Janata Party is in a hurry to extend its reach to all corners of country and become a major political force not only by dislodging Congress at Center but also regional parties in States. It has ended the era in which national parties were forced to tie up with regional parties to build a majority in Lok Sabha. This position changed after two decades when BJP managed to get a majority on its own in 2014 elections. In this process it could dump many regional parties who were considered as possible allies in case BJP did not get majority on its own. In the 2014 poll congress suffered a major set back with its numbers not even entitling them to the post of leader of opposition. The regional parties with few exceptions however managed to retain their hold on voters. The regional p...
Kashmir Times News Report
Breakthrough on Climate Change
By Gwynne Dyer
When news got out that US President Barack Obama and China's President Xi Jinping had reached an agreement on climate change, the American blogosphere lit up with negative comments. "The problem is, Obama probably means it," wrote Jazz Shaw of the major conservative political blog Hot Air, "while China is almost certainly just yanking the world's collective chain yet again with a bit of lip service as they seek better trade arrangements." But Jazz Shaw has got it exactly backwards. It's the United States that cannot be trusted to keep its commitments, because the American political system is mired in a perpetual civil war and at the moment it is the climate-change deniers who have the upper hand. Whereas the Chinese will probably keep their word, because there are no denialists in China ...
Kashmir Times News Report
Nehru legacy under threat from RSS & BJP
By Dr Satish Misra
Ongoing controversy arisen from the Congress' decision of not extending an invitation to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to its two day international conference on Nehruvian vision and its relevance in present times a part of the country's first Prime Minister's 125th birth anniversary celebrations calls for a nation-wide debate. While there are many who are criticising the Congress for its decision, there are others who are supporting the stand taken by the country's grand old party. There can be and rather there should be many views on the value system left by Nehru but the overwhelming view says that India of today was largely created, shaped and sustained by Nehru. It served the country well and helped in keeping India united and democratic. There is no doubt whatsoever that socio-poli...
Kashmir Times News Report
The great communicator
By Inder Malhotra
In ferreting out unusual news, asked Nehru: "Sir, not as prime minister…" Nehru interrupted him to say that he had to act as prime minister, whereupon Atkinson pleaded: "Please, sir, don't spoil my question. All I am asking is that, not as prime minister but as Jawaharlal Nehru, would you go to the moon for the sake of world peace?" Nehru: "For the sake of peace, Jawaharlal will happily go to the moon." The next day it was front-page news the world over. On two occasions, however, there was the outburst of the famous Nehru temper at the otherwise genial press conferences. G.K. Reddy, then of Blitz, a Bombay tabloid now defunct, and later a star of both The Times of India and The Hindu, was the first to draw the lightning. After China's People's Liberation Army marched into Lhasa and Indi...
Kashmir Times News Report
…..of poll planks and politicians
By Akram Sidiqui
Overlooking the misery and helplessness of flood hit people generally in entire Jammu and Kashmir, particularly in severely hit Kashmir valley; election trumpet was blown by Election Commission of India too hurriedly. Every single soul in the state despite being caught unawares showed a mixed response of dismay and indifference over this announcement. But as expected, all the political parties at local and national level, barring National Conference, displayed dimples of overwhelming delight and pleasure for the reasons of anybody's guess. The gloomy gesture of National Conference over this announcement could well be a tool to hoodwink common masses of the state and make them feel that this bandwagon has heart out concern for the flood desolated victims. But covertly, as everybody could ...
Kashmir Times News Report
A teenager's view of Kashmir Floods
First nature's fury and then man-made onslaught
By Jibran Hadi
The night of 7th September when floods entered in our home still haunts us. In retrospect, the biggest loss was our books. We wanted to save our books but unfortunately the study room where we had kept our books was on the ground floor. Painful to say that I first saw with the help of mobile light my Tyndale Biscoe School photograph when I was receiving a certificate by the Chief guest. The books were already washed away. Anyway, with the help of God and with determination and parents courage, we collected old books from some known friends in the downtown that fortunately did not touch the floods. We started our school after these were re-opened after the deluge. My brother, a student of 9th class in Tyndale Biscoe School, and I started to prepare what we lost in the floods. We had shif...
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