Sunday, August 30, 2015
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Two flags, one state-I
By A.G. Noorani
SECTION 144 of the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir says in the plainest of words: "The flag of the State shall be rectangular in shape and red in colour with three rectangular white vertical strips of equal width next to the staff and white plough in the middle with handle facing the strips. The ratio of the length of the flag to its width shall be 3:2." All the holders of office under this Constitution are required (Sections 40, 64, 97 and the Fifth Schedule) to "bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of the State as by law established". This holds good for Ministers, legislators and judges of the State's High Court. Section 31 prescribes separately the text of the oath of office of the Governor. He "will, to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitu...
Kashmir Times News Report
Celebrating differences
By Ghulam Mohammad Khan
"An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity." —Martin Luther King, Jr. Given humanity's socio-political and cultural revolution in the complex course of post-enlightenment ideological pessimism and techno-economic logic, it is time to be ready to unanimously discard all those accepted malevolent thought-patterns, which have had only divided and disadvantaged humanity. The modern global society does not comprise of a single culture, a single political governance mechanism, or a single epistemological structure rather, it consists of a number of heterogeneous thought-patterns, some of them contradicting radically. To ensure peace and harmony on the global level, there has to be eq...
Kashmir Times News Report
Talk that didn't walk
By B.L. Saraf
The breakdown of planned meeting between the NSAs of India and Pakistan, as was agreed by prime minister Narendra Modi and his counterpart, Nawaz Sharief in Ufa six weeks ago, can be explained by the interested parties and the commentators in their own ways. But, certainly, it is a repeat story of ' relief and the relapse'. Relief that talks were underway; relapse that they have floundered. To a common man, the relations between India and Pakistan resemble a patient afflicted with a typhoid ailment, whose body temperature soars high at a time and then, with medication, comes down to the normal levels. The period of relief is then cut short with the sudden relapse of the high temperature and the patient remains bedridden. Some believe - not without a reason - that path of Indo- Pak relatio...
Kashmir Times News Report
Ufa: Another opportunity lost
By Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai
One thing is very clear. The statement issued by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif representing some kind of agreement at the Russian city of Ufa on July 10, 2015 seems on its face to be conspicuously duplicitous. One wonders if Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had some subordinate prepare it, trusting him to convey the intent, but never actually read what was published before it was published. Here's the thing. There are two distinct parts to the Ufa agreement as it is explicitly written. First, It is prefaced with the general policy statement: They agreed that India and Pakistan have a collective responsibility to ensure peace and promote development. To do so, they are prepared to discuss all outstanding issues. Both leaders condemned terrorism in all its form...
Kashmir Times News Report
NSA talks cancellation: Poonch pays the price amidst heightened tensions
By K.D Maini
Immediately after UFA talks between Prime Minister Narender Modi and Nawaz Sharif, the non mention of Kashmir disheartened hardliners in Pakistan. These forces criticised their own Prime Minister and rent the air with bellicose rhetoric. At the same time, the Ufa meeting was followed by several breaches of 2003 ceasefire on the LOC. Clearly, the cease fire violation was being used as a tool to bring Kashmir again into the focus and internationalise the issue, sadly so on the dead bodies of Kashmiris and soldiers on either side. Such actions from both sides have severe impact on the people of the border areas on both the sides of the LOC and have been made hostage due to firing and shelling. It was expected that in the meeting of National Security Advisors of India and Pakistan at New Del...
Kashmir Times News Report
These 10 excerpts from Indian textbooks are seriously terrifying
Indian textbooks have been making news for all the wrong reasons lately. The unearthing of some appalling mistakes in social science textbooks taught to English-medium government schools in the state of Gujarat have drawn attention to exactly what it is that impressionable minds are being exposed to in the country. 50, 000 students in Gujarat belonging to Classes 6-8 are being bombarded with some genuinely bizarre information, the curriculum having been decided by a panel of experts from the Gujarat State Board for School Textbooks (GSBST) and Gujarat Council of Educational Research and Training (GCERT). As India Today reports, the state government has taken measures to review these textbooks, the revised versions of which will be out in markets by the next academic season. Interestingly...
Kashmir Times News Report
Re-Reading 'Manjhi-The Mountain Man'
By Adfar Shah
Already in the political limelight even before its formal release, Manjhi is set to make a big success at box office. Manjhi -The Mountain Man is actually a biography that is based on the life of India's Mountain man, Dashrath Manjhi who was a poor man (labourer) from Gehlaur village of Gaya, Bihar. Dashrat carved a path through a huge mountain for twenty two years as a token of love to his deceased wife, who died after slipping from the same mountain and couldn't reach the far off hospital on time. Ketan Mehta' the 'Maya Memsa'ab' and 'Mirch Masala' fame has aptly chosen the right person for the role of "Manjhi-The Mountain Man". The movie not only traces the life and struggle of the mountain man of India but presents a beautiful picturesque of a classic Bihari context, lexicon along wit...
Kashmir Times News Report
Peace Lessons
By David Swanson
I just read what may be the best introduction to peace studies I've ever seen. It's called Peace Lessons, and is a new book by Timothy Braatz. It's not too fast or too slow, neither obscure nor boring. It does not drive the reader away from activism toward meditation and "inner peace," but begins with and maintains a focus on activism and effective strategy for revolutionary change in the world on the scale that is needed. As you may be gathering, I've read some similar books about which I had major complaints. No doubt there are many more, similar books I haven't read, and no doubt most of them cover the basic concepts of direct, structural, and cultural violence and nonviolence. No doubt many of them review the 20th century history of nonviolent overthrows of dictators. No doubt the U....
Kashmir Times News Report
BOOK REVIEW: Secret wars and candid speak
By KS Subramanian
"KASHMIR: THE VAJPAYEE YEARS", HARPER COLLINS, NEW DELHI, AUTHOR: A.S. DULAT PP.342, PRICE RS. 599 This is a candid and deeply felt book by a senior intelligence officer who has worked for long years on Kashmir while working in the Intelligence Bureau (IB), the Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW) and the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) under Atal BehariVajpayee and Principal Secretary to PM and National Security Advisor Brajesh Mishra (1998-2004). Since independence, the IB has been the most crucial agency responsible for the central government control of Kashmir affairs. A top secret organisation, the IB is yet to evolve a legal framework and charter of duties. Its funds are not subject to parliamentary scrutiny. The recommendations of the LP Singh Committee in 1980 on the reform o...
Kashmir Times News Report
Book Review: In a state of violent peace by Meera Khanna
By Farzana Syed
In the book "In a State of Violent Peace, Voices from the Kashmir Valley" Meera Khanna has presented the repercussions, consequences and catastrophic transmission of lives of an ordinary Kashmiri due to the unfolding political events and policies spewed over the valley by the proxy war between two nations. Meera Khanna's book based on the collection of 14 narratives of people from Kashmir valley reveals the real life incidents in a poignant and aesthetic way. The book has very well presented the cultural amalgamation, religious ideologies, political inclinations and the enormity of the impact over all this because of the decades long conflict imposed by India and Pakistan. The book says about the catastrophic impact of the militarization, militancy, political oscillations on the live...
Kashmir Times News Report
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