Sunday, May 1, 2016
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Another washout session in pipeline?
Parliament hostage to petty politicking
By Kalyani Shankar
Yet another Parliament session seems to be moving towards a washout because of the confrontation between the ruling party and the Congress led opposition. With both sides armed with ammunition to attack each other, there is no meeting point. Nor has the government made any efforts to woo the opposition. The confrontation is at the top level, with the BJP determined to take on Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi on the Agusta chopper deal, Ishrat Jahan case, and other issues while the Congress too finds fault with the Modi government using Article 356 in dismissing Congress ruled governments of Arunachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand. Politically, the confrontation is not unexpected in view of the ongoing Assembly elections in five states - West Bengal, Assam, Tamil Nadu, Puducher...
Kashmir Times News Report
Literature, rythmn and art tucked away in the hills
By Humra Quraishi
Cynics whine too many literature festivals around but why not! Writers need a break, they ought to get out from their shells, they do require some level of distraction from those long stretches of loneliness that invariably sneak in if you happen to be a writer. Oh yes, writing is not just sapping but drags along an abundance of loneliness. With that these literature festivals are a must …dents the monotony, gets the writer to interact with fellow writers and, of course, with the readers. In fact, I have just got back after attending the Dehradun Literature Festival. My first visit to Dehradun and the drive from Dehradun's Jolly Grant airport to the venue of this Lit Fest - WIC (World Integrity Center) on Dehradun's Rajpur Road - was enough to relay that I was far away from smog - ridden...
Kashmir Times News Report
Modi regime imperils democracy
No end to Uttarakhand crisis
By B K Chum
English Daily National Herald (now defunct) established in Lucknow on 9 September 1938 by Jawaharlal Nehru, who was also the paper's first editor carried the words 'FREEDOM IS IN PERIL, DEFEND IT WITH ALL YOUR MIGHT' on its masthead. The happenings during the Modi government's two years of rule the word "Freedom" needs to be substituted with "Democracy"! Its latest examples are the hill states of Arunachal and Uttarakhand which have become a victim of the Modi government's draconian strategy to topple the democratically elected opposition-ruled state governments. The methodology adopted is first to engineer defections of the disgruntled and ambitious MLAs of the faction-ridden Congress and then to declare the breakdown of the Constitutional machinery. It showed the Modi government adop...
Kashmir Times News Report
Kashmir: A final journey
Uma Shori Gigoo left Srinagar 23 years ago. When she returns, it is for a final departure
By Siddhartha Gigoo
On 24 June 2012, my parents and grandmother undertook a trip from Jammu to Srinagar. The plan was to go to Tulmul, Hari Parbat, Zaethyar, Ishbar, Nagbal, Nishat Bagh and other places where they once lived, where their ancestors were cremated, where they dreamt of nurturing their children and grandchildren, and where they wished to die in peace. Uma Shori Gigoo, whom I called Babi, had an infallible memory. She could trace the entire genealogy of her family-the names of her relatives, their ages, hobbies, tastes, likes and dislikes, the yarns they spun and the riddles they invented. She had told me about her mother-in-law, who was addicted to snuff and who, in her youth, had chased a lion in Khrew, famous for the temple of goddess Zala. She had also told me about her father-in-law, my gr...
Kashmir Times News Report
Bangladesh in Trouble
By Gwynne Dyer
How's this for a staunch defence of free speech in a secular state? Earlier this month, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina of Bangladesh denounced anyone who criticised religion or expressed their own lack of religious faith in striking terms: "I don't consider such writings as freethinking but filthy words. Why would anyone write such words? It's not at all acceptable if anyone writes against our prophet or other religions." So does she mean that it's all right to kill people who write such words? Hack them to death with machetes, usually? She didn't say yes, but she didn't exactly say no either. And this is regrettable, because quite a few people are being hacked to death in Bangladesh these days. In the current wave of murders, most of the victims have been "secular" bloggers who publicly ...
Kashmir Times News Report
Child marriages & lack of education hurt Women in India
By Sudhansu R Das
It's an irony that despite growth the socio economic condition of the majority of Indian women has not improved much in the past decades. According to UNICEF survey, 24 million child marriages happen in India which account for around 40% of the 60 million child marriages across the world. Nearly 77% of women aged 20-24 with no education and 62% with primary education get married in India. A huge mass of illiterate women are always prone to exploitation. The reported incidents of human trafficking in the tribal belt of Sundargarh district of Orissa, in large parts of undivided Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala happen mainly due to poverty, illiteracy and backwardness. The union government should form a special task force to crack down o...
Kashmir Times News Report
Why did Mehbooba decide to go with the Fascist Forces?
By Humra Quraishi
Last year when the late Mufti Mohammed Sayeed had decided to go ahead with the BJP-RSS, there was unease-cum-anger-cum-disgust in the Valley. This time there is not just all of that but also a feeling of utter hopelessness. I don't believe in symbolic one-liners along the strain that a woman Chief Minister can do wonders for the women and men and children of the State. Women Chief Ministers in States other than J&K haven't fared too well; not reached out to any particular segment… I'm of the opinion that you could have a ruler from any community or segment or class but he or she ought to be absolutely unbiased and straightforward. Like many others I feel saddened that Mehbooba Mufti decided to go along with the fascist forces. There is a sense of worry and apprehension in the Valley. To...
Kashmir Times News Report
Worst drought in decades find Center & States unprepared
By Lalit Sethi
Large parts of India are sizzling this summer with water supplies drying up by the day as the worst drought in decades has this country this summer. Conditions are akin to or like a near famine in tens of thousands of the country's 600,000 villages and many towns in 672 districts. Ponds, wells and taps are drying up rapidly as are water storage reservoirs. Yet the government at the Centre and in the States claim that food silos are full and new storage capacities have been built up, quite a number by private people and cooperatives. Five million tons of lintels are being imported from Australia, Canada and other countries, yet the grocers, green grocers, vendors and bulk retail and wholesale outlets are making a killing with prices at will. Many continue to grow seasonal crops where ...
Kashmir Times News Report
Strategic sale, lease out of CPSE to private sector
Great asset stripping opportunity for new owners
By Nantoo Banerjee
The BJP-led NDA government at the centre seems to be turning desperate to dismantle the state control over corporations and institutions. With the powerful political combine nearing the mid-term of its five-year tenure before the next Parliamentary election becomes due in 2019, the government seems to be getting impatient with the age old economic system that championed the cause of public sector enterprises (PSEs), encouraged the take-over of companies left sick by their private owners and those family-managed and financially exploited private banks and insurance outfits to help faster capital formation, industrialization, workers' protection and better collection, utilization and distribution of public savings for economic growth. The system is fast losing its importance before the go...
Kashmir Times News Report
BJP's learning curve in Kashmir
NIT episode must wake up bhakts
By Amulya Ganguli
It is easy to imagine how the BJP would have reacted if a confrontation between students from the mainland and the locals in Srinagar's National Institute of Technology (NIT) had taken place when the Congress and the National Conference were in power in the state. Hordes of saffron sympathisers would have descended on Srinagar to express their solidarity with the "nationalist" students, supporting their demand for raising the tricolour in the campus - in keeping with Smriti Irani's prescription for keeping the national flag flying all the time in the universities to instill patriotism - and permanently deploying the CRPF in the NIT. The resultant tension in Kashmir and elsewhere in the country would have been grist to the saffron mill, strengthening - in the BJP's opinion - the party's ...
Kashmir Times News Report
Curse of Mussolini and Moravia
By Jawed Naqvi
Like the Italians who went through a terrifying patch of fascism in their political journey towards war, destruction and a still unstable democracy, India looks primed to play catch. The chief justice of the Supreme Court broke down the other day in the presence of the leader, pleading for urgent help to dispense justice to the teeming poor. There was a huge vacancy for judges that had to be filled urgently. The leader responded by advising the judges to take shorter holidays. LIKE most Indians Najman Bua also cursed when she was upset. "Taihka haija howaey. Taihka chhinni aawaey." May you suffer from cholera was the first abuse of choice. The meaning of the second curse was lost on her Lucknow quarries and on me, her ward. She was from Rudauli, an otherwise cultured kasbah be...
Kashmir Times News Report
Pre-Independent India through the eyes of little British girls
Jon and Rumer Godden led an idyllic life in a village in Bengal, living in a house full of servants, staging plays, writing books and spending the hot summers holidaying in the hills. (Courtesy: Speaking Tiger) When World War I began in 1914, sisters, Jon and Rumer Godden, aged six and seven respectively, left England to join their parents in a village in Bengal. There the sisters led an idyllic life, living in a house full of servants, staging plays, writing books and spending the hot summers holidaying in the hills. In a unique memoir, 'Two Under The Indian Sun', published by Speaking Tiger, the sisters describe their everyday lives in pre-independent Bengal. Written with a "child's candour and wide-eyed sense of wonder" this narrative paints a vivid picture of life in India of the ear...
Kashmir Times News Report
Burundi: The next genocide?
By Gwynne Dyer
The good news is that the killing in Burundi has not yet grown into a civil war like the one that killed 300,000 people in 1993-2005, let alone a genocide like the one that killed 800,000 people in neighbouring Rwanda in 1994. The bad news is that Burundi is getting there. It's hard to speak well of Sepp Blatter, the disgraced former head of Fifa, the international football federation. But Africa would owe him a large debt of gratitude if he had persuaded Burundi's President Pierre Nkurunziza not to seek a third term, and instead to accept a job as Fifa's "ambassador for football" to the world. When the story came out recently in Blatter's autobiography, the Swiss foreign ministry (which asked Blatter to make the offer) explained that "The intention was to contribute to a peaceful solut...
Kashmir Times News Report
Tricolour in NIT, Srinagar
Our nationalism is further alienating Kashmir
By Jagjit Singh
"The greatest patriotism is to tell your country when it is behaving dishonourably, foolishly, viciously." —Julian Barnes The debate on Indian nationalism ends in Kashmir. The question of whether Kashmiris are nationalists or anti-nationalists doesn't even arise. They don't even call themselves Indian; it's actually an abuse in Kashmir to label someone as an 'Indian agent'. And anyone who's been engaged with Kashmir for some time knows it for a fact. The Tiranga and national anthem have no takers in Kashmir. In Kashmir, they are symbols of oppression and injustice and I think as soon as AranabGoswami's prime time viewers understand these facts the better, otherwise these nationalist -emotions will never let a saner debate to take place in India. The other thing, though trivia...
Kashmir Times News Report
The Handwara incident: A lesson in tyranny
By Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai
It is immediately incumbent upon the authorities to permit a fair and impartial investigation by an outside source. If the Army is concerned about promoting good relations with Kashmiri communities, then only truth will serve that purpose. It is in the best interests of everyone concerned that open and freely given testimony be permitted in any case where there are disputed facts or allegations. On April 12, 2016, a 16-year-old girl was either molested or threatened with molestation in the Kashmir town of Handwara by a so-far unidentified Indian soldier when she was using washroom. Her screams from within could be heard in the surrounding community, and it is believed that an Indian solider was seen emerging from the washroom about the same time. When the people of the locali...
Kashmir Times News Report
Kohinoor has a chequered history
India and Britain have to negotiate amicably
By Harihar Swarup
One doesn't know if Kohinoor will ever be returned to India? Governments after Governments have pledged to make all possible efforts to bring back the diamond but the successive British governments have maintained that India doesn't have claim over Kohinoor. By no stretch of imagination it can be interpreted that the diamond was gifted by the young Maharaja Duleep Singh to the Queen of England. One theory is that the diamond might have been stolen. Apart from the controversy over Kohinoor, its origin and how it changed hands is interesting. Kohinoor's origin and history have not been conclusively established. By some accounts, it was a royal treasure as back as 3000 BC. It is widely believed to have come from Lollur Mines in Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh during the reign of the Hindu...
Kashmir Times News Report
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