Saturday, March 28, 2015
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Cheating in exams: Reflection of rot in society
By Dr. S.Saraswathi
Bihar's cheating scandal shows the rot that has set into the system. From 1,217 examination centres across the State, 1,000 people were taken into custody. Of these were eight Home Guards, among parents and friends who were caught on camera climbing windows and passing on "help sheets" to the students. Apparently, they even threw stones at the authorities who stopped them, and offered bribes to policemen and teachers to pass on "chits" to their wards. The Patna High Court has stepped in and ordered the Police Chief to take steps to prevent this rampant malpractice. The evil is growing and has established itself as a routine practice in some places and the authorities seem to be complacent about it. Hence, remarks of a mountain out of a molehill! The Bihar Minister for Education has co...
Kashmir Times News Report
Indo-Pak relations remain stressed
By Dr Satish Misra
On Pakistan's National Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi writing to his counterpart Mian Nawaz Sharif called for bilateral dialogue to resolve issues in a terror free atmosphere. "It is my firm conviction that all outstanding issues can be resolved through bilateral dialogue in an atmosphere free from terror and violence", the Prime Minister had tweeted. Though the Prime Minister chose to overlook the controversy that was being generated in a section of media over the Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit's invitation to Kashmiri separatist leaders to attend the National Day celebrations in New Delhi at the lawns of the High Commission, but the big question is whether there would be improvement in bilateral relations. The Prime Minister's statement was being interpreted as a mellowing...
Kashmir Times News Report
BJP's changing stance
By Obaid imtiyaz Mir
If the recent turn of events concerning the Pakistan day celebrations at the Pakistan High Commission in Delhi attended by senior BJP leader and MoS External Affairs V K Singh is seen in the context of the recent government-formation in J&K, this seems like another departure from the earlier position by the Modi government vis a vis Kashmir issue. Given the fact that the same reception was attended by all Hurriyat and other separatist leaders goes to show that the BJP has softened its stance and is no more taking directions from Nagpur, at least on this issue. It augurs well for the region because it would also mean that the government of India is no more averse to resumption of bilateral dialogue with Pakistan. This Pakistan day celebration attended by the separatists was yet another ...
Kashmir Times News Report
Two towns face the fallout as Himalayan glaciers melt
By Daniel Grossman
Recently, Buddhists at a nunnery in Zanskar Valley, a 30-mile-long alley of gray stone high in the Himalayas of northwest India, took the unprecedented step of planting an apricot tree. The valley is known as a "cold desert," because just half an inch of rain falls a year. Temperatures in Zanskar's highest villages drop to 40 degrees F below zero during long winters, and heavy snowfall shuts down the road linking the valley to the rest of India. Yet, to the surprise of nearly everyone in this valley of 14,000 people, the tree blossomed and then bore fruit, finally convincing local residents, who are mostly farmers, that the valley is gradually warming. It's not just the unusual fruit tree that has signaled a change in the climate, however. Milder weather has reduced snowfalls, stretched ...
Kashmir Times News Report
Modi government's honeymoon period is over
BJP hardliners make PM's tasks difficult
By B.K. Chum
After the Modi government's honeymoon period prematurely ended within six months of its assuming office on May 26, 2014, now signs of anti-incumbency have started emerging. Different sections of people are protesting against the government's failure to fulfil its election promises. Thousands of farmers are holding demonstrations against the government's land acquisition policy. The promised reforms are in a state of limbo. One can hear dissenting voices in the ruling NDA against centralisation of power by the Modi-Amit Shah duo. Modi's supporters can describe the controversies as birth pangs of a new government. But the atmosphere of hate and hostility being created by the proponents of Hindu Rashtra against the religious minorities can certainly not be explained as a berth pang. It is a...
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A mass murder forgotten and buried, 28 years on
By Humra Quraishi
For those survivors who had been witness to the May 1987 massacre at Meerut's Hashimpura locality - where 42 innocent Muslim men were picked up from near a mosque and shot dead in cold blood by Uttar Pradesh PAC cops - these 28 years have been more than painful. Pain and disgust and anger compounding with last week's news -reports that the 16 accused cops of killing of those young Muslim men - have been acquitted by a Delhi court. Yes, acquitted for lack of evidence! Another incident of mass murders by the State force getting brushed aside. Maybe, it will lie tucked in the pages of a survivor's diary …jottings or what. Maybe those pages destroyed by the same forces that killed these young men. After all, political rulers can go to any extent and get away. Yes, even with mass murders of i...
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Rapes cases continue to grow despite changes in law
By Yashwardhan Joshi
The rape of women is shaming India day in, day out. Why is there no let up in rapes even after a more stringent law has been put in place? This is a question that begs a serious answer and a steadfast solution. Just over two years after the brutal gang rape of a 23-year-old girl upheaved the nation's conscience, forcing the government to bring in a law doubling prison terms for rapists to 20 years, the rape of a 71-year-old nun last month has disgraced us once again. And once again protests erupted on city streets and in Parliament, reflecting widespread public outcry against such incidents. And once again such protests will die down after a period of time till a new crime takes place and stir our collective conscience, once again. A look at the latest rape data supplied by the National ...
Kashmir Times News Report
China worried at Sirisena's moves
India has to invest more in Sri Lanka
By Barun Das Gupta
Since he came to power after winning the presidential election of January 8, Maithripala Sirisena has been trying to correct the pronouncedly pro-Chinese tilt given to Sri Lanka's foreign policy by his predecessor Mahinda Rajapaksa and to strike a balance in the relations between his country and India and China. In pursuance of this policy, he visited India in mid-February and invited Prime Minister Modi to Sri Lanka. The Indian Prime Minister paid the return visit a month later, in mid-March. This and Sirisena's decision to 'review' the whole gamut of $5 billion Chinese investments in Sri Lanka, in particular the $1.5 billion Colombo Port City project, has raised Beijing's hackles. These investment proposals were cleared by the Rajapaksa Government. A researcher with the official think...
Kashmir Times News Report
Hashimpura: Who will guard the guards themselves?
By Subhash Gatade
Wait for justice to victims of Hashimpura has become much longer. After around 28 years of the gruesome massacre allegedly by the personnel of the much feared PAC (Provincial Armed Constabulary) for its biased approach, the Delhi court acquitted all 16 accused on 'benefit of doubt due to insufficient evidence, particularly on the identification of the accused'. There have been very few massacres in post-independent India which have shaken the civil society to the core and have propelled it to come forward and raise its voice. And the Hashimpura killings happen to be one such episode. One still remembers the words of the well-known journalist Nikhil Chakravarty who had visited the place along with few likeminded individuals and in his scathing write-up condemning the incident had compare...
Kashmir Times News Report
Are Indian Women really misusing Section 498A?
By Pushpa Achanta
The Sections 498A and 304B of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) as well as the Protection of Women Against Domestic Violence Act, 2005, are three closely-related legal and judicial provisions designed to safeguard the interests of married women in India. They are very significant considering the large numbers of women that suffer domestic violence - physical, sexual, verbal, emotional, mental, et al - at the hands of their husband or the marital family. Whereas these laws deal with all forms of cruelty meted out by the husband or any of his relatives, quite notably, certain clauses of Section 498A also protect women in live-in relationships. Of course, since the last couple of years concerted efforts have been made to discredit the complaints filed under them on the grounds that Section 498A, ...
Kashmir Times News Report
Social media
Politicians unnerved!
By Geetartha Pathak
If on the one hand, the revolution in information technology has widened the scope of knowledge and dissemination of information, on the other a section of 'powerful' politicians has sought to negate it by various means. The arrest of a XI class boy for forwarding an "objectionable" post on Facebook against Uttar Pradesh's Urban Development Minister Azam Khan has attracted widespread reaction from across the country. The arrest was made under section 66 of Information Technology Act and section 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, etc.), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace) and 505 (public mischief) of the IPC. The incident went viral on the social media, triggered anger and critical remarks against the both the Minist...
Kashmir Times News Report
Whose cakes are Bhagat Singh and Kashmir?
By Rashid Ali
In the heyday of anti-corruption movement in Delhi, Senior Supreme Court lawyer Prashant Bhushan, was attacked by a person for his remark on Kashmir plebiscite. The attacker belonged to an outfit called Bhagat Singh Kranti Sena, The outfit claimed to espouse the rightwing ideology of ultra-nationalism and had given a strict warning that 'they will break the heads of those who try to break India.' Now the million dollar question-whose cakes are Bhagat Singh and Kashmir? They both succumb to all kinds of appropriations. One appropriation signifies territorial claim and the other implies the claim of his legacy. Both claims have the capabilities to fuse antagonistically competing political forces. CPM, BJP, Congress-all unite to thwart any move that doesn't fit the national interests. Simil...
Kashmir Times News Report
Oh our watery colonies!
By S Mukhtar
"Uncle." "Yes dear." "Winter: Goodbye; Spring: Welcome! And Uncle: Congrats!" "Every Winter: Spring follows!" "Uncle, may Winter never come again!" "Then Spring too won't come. Winter too has its charms. Why dislike it?" "Too heavy with clothes, staying largely indoors, inactive, deadly afraid of burns, flu, shuh (toes, heels, soles, fingers too, swelling, half-dead, - oh some oozing pus), naratot (one skin-cancer on abdomen, legs, hands; not fatal), other ailments - that is what is Winter. But, Uncle, I dislike it most for another reason." "What?" "Very difficult to go to my friends." "Why?" "All my friends now live in new colonies. Roads they do have, lanes too, but oh Winter, even just a rain spell, submerges them almost all. Compounds of many are ponds, feet...
Kashmir Times News Report
Unseasonal rains wreak havoc on farmers
MP suffers major crop loss
By L.S. Herdenia
Madhya Pradesh government, which is already facing several political problems, has plunged into another crisis. This crisis has been caused due to large-scale damage to the standing rabi crops because of untimely heavy rains, and at some places even accompanied by hailstorms. Both rains and hailstorm led to widespread destruction of standing crops, mainly wheat and gram. For last to two to three years, Madhya Pradesh has been producing wheat breaking its own past record. The wheat production has been increasing at such a fast rate that Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan had started forecasting that Madhya Pradesh may soon get ahead of Punjab in that area. Moreover, the state has been the recipient of rewards from the Government of India for three consecutive years, getting the last one ...
Kashmir Times News Report
No hope of getting back black money held abroad
By Brij Bhardwaj
The decision to enact a tough law for action against holders of accounts abroad as well as hoarders of black money at home by NDA Government will probably earn some brownie points for the Government but is not expected to make any difference on the ground. As long as black money continues to be generated in the country people will continue to find ways for keeping it safely in tax heavens or invested in real estate or gold. The solution of the problem is not by going after black money held abroad, but by stopping its generation in the country. It is known to all that black money is generated by avoiding payment of taxes in manufacturing, retail trade and agriculture. There are differences of opinion about its size as many feel that it is as big as regular economy. One sector which thri...
Kashmir Times News Report
Kashmir: Urgency in dialogue process
By Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai
"All of us remain concerned that the issue of Jammu and Kashmir should be solved through peaceful negotiations and should be willing to lend all the strength we have to the resolution of this matter." President Nelson Mandela at the NAM Summit - September 2, 1998 In matters of international conflict resolution, that can only imply the involvement of a third party mediator or facilitator. If Ashok and Ahmad can't put Humpty Dumpty back together because they can't agree on where the pieces go, then Sam, a specialist in eggshell reconstruction, should be called upon in order for differences to be resolved. Most importantly, without a third party's impartial diligence in pursuing a settlement, breakdowns in lines of communication or other disputes that may arise will inevitably create barrie...
Kashmir Times News Report
Social Media
Politicians unnerved!
By Geetartha Pathak
If on the one hand, the revolution in information technology has widened the scope of knowledge and dissemination of information, on the other a section of 'powerful' politicians has sought to negate it by various means. The arrest of a XI class boy for forwarding an "objectionable" post on Facebook against Uttar Pradesh's Urban Development Minister Azam Khan has attracted widespread reaction from across the country. The arrest was made under section 66 of Information Technology Act and section 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, etc.), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace) and 505 (public mischief) of the IPC. The incident went viral on the social media, triggered anger and critical remarks against the both the Minist...
Kashmir Times News Report
Governor's Address: Government agenda, how to prioritize
By B.L. Saraf
Governor N N Vohra's address to the inaugural session of new Assembly, though customary in nature, gives some idea how the incumbent government intends to work on its agenda, tackle the issues facing people and how it proposes to go ahead with the business of governance. Invoking former Prime Minister A B Vajpayee, the head line of the address is, "the Government would initiate dialogue process with all political groups including the Hurriyat Conference in the spirit of Insaaniyat, Kashmiriyat and Jamhooriyat ……… To enlarge the constituency of peace and deepen its societal moorings, the coalition Government will take well considered political initiative …………." To get the separatists on board for the return of peace and tranquility to the beleaguered S...
Kashmir Times News Report
This Ravi can't be dimmed
By Anit Singh
In one of the best cinematic performances, Mel Gibson stands as the Scottish hero William Wallace in front of his demoralised army and exhorts them to fight for their rights. The lines that he uses have since become immemorial. This is what he says as a response to a soldier who asks him why should he fight when he could run and survive. "Aye, fight and you may die. Run and you'll live -- at least a while. And dying in your beds many years from now, would you be willing to trade all the days from this day to that for one chance, just one chance to come back here and tell our enemies that they may take our lives, but they'll never take our freedom!!! In the fight against tyranny, there are seldom such heroes which can galvanise entire communities and lead them into a fight for the higher...
Kashmir Times News Report
Bibi's Back
By Gwynne Dyer
Midway through the election campaign Israel's leading satirical TV show, Eretz Nehederet, came up with a new take on the man who has dominated the country's politics for the past twenty years. Binyamin "Bibi" Netanyahu, it suggested, was cursed as a child to be Israel's prime minister for eternity. His only chance to break the spell was to become its worst-ever leader. Well, if that was his strategy, he has failed again. Despite having run a government that delivered too few jobs, stagnant wages, a rapidly rising cost of living, and a full-blown housing crisis - it now costs the average Israeli 148 months' salary to buy a home, compared to 66 months for the average American - Israelis voted him back into power in Tuesday's election. Only a week ago, he was running behind in the polls, b...
Kashmir Times News Report
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