Wednesday, September 20, 2017
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RSS signals path to Hindu rashtra
PM Modi works quietly to that end
By S. Sethuraman
It is now official - the call given by RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat for amending the Indian Constitution to make it reflect "Indian" values. But Mr Bhagwat leaves no one in doubt that Hinduism being "the only true religion" in the world, our constitution and legal system should be aligned to its (Hindu) ethos, whatever it could mean for secularism or inclusiveness. In short, a "Hindu Rashtra", which RSS gloated to be within reach when BJP swept the 2014 Lok Sabha poll and took over the Central Government. Be it said to the credit of RSS Chief however that he favours a comprehensive national debate and a consensus on changes in the Constitution and jurisprudence in tune with Indian value systems, now that seven decades have passed since independence. This is in refreshing contrast to the abru...
Kashmir Times News Report
India's bereft skies: Arjan Singh flies into cosmos
By Kapil Kak
The skies of India are suddenly bereft of a star - legendary military leader and iconic air warrior, Marshal of the Indian Air Force Arjan Singh (98) flew into eternity on Saturday evening. With his passing, the nation has lost a military leader of the highest calibre and quiet determination. Imbued with unbounded courage, he was perceived as the bravest air warrior, an elder statesman, and above all, an iconic Indian. Not just the air warrior community and the armed forces, but the entire country mourns the loss of an awe-inspiring public figure of monumental stature. A fourth generation armed forces man - his father, grandfather and great grandfather served in the cavalry - Arjan Singh was commissioned in 1939 at the Royal Air Force College, Cranwell. He was accorded the rare honour ...
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Rahul candid at Berkeley
Congress- vice president has to take forward this approach
By Harihar Swarup
The BJP leaders including Prime Minister Narendra Modi are determined to make Rahul Gandhi a leader by keeping the Congress Vice-President in focus. Credit also partly goes to government blunders that seem to have infused a new life in Rahul Gandhi's otherwise not so impressive political career. It is not often that Rahul Gandhi is taken seriously. But last Monday (Sept 12) at the University of California, Berkeley, he played the role expected of him. It was not the Congress Vice-President as seen before, reading a prepared script with manufactured indignation. He appeared relaxed. Shedding past inhibition, he said, he was ready for the job of Prime Minister, subject to organizational elections. With an image persistently smeared through a campaign of calumny run by the "BJP's abuse mach...
Kashmir Times News Report
Time for Akhara 'certified' Babas?
For a law against superstition at the national level
By Subhash Gatade
These are really 'bure din' for the spiritual gurus of India. While the likes of Ram Rahim, Asaram Bapus and Rampal are cooling their heels behind bars for their not so spiritual acts, Sant Swami Bhimanand Ji Maharaj Chitrakoot Wale who is also known as "Ichadaari Baba" among his followers has also joined them for running a high profile sex racket. It was unprecedented in recent history that Odisha had witnessed mass movements targeting many such Babas/spiritual gurus which had compelled the state government to arrest few of them. In fact the judiciary had also expressed grave concern over such Babas masquerading as spiritual leaders, robbing innocent followers of money and leading a "licentious life".( With increasing...
Kashmir Times News Report
Daily revision of fuel prices fails to deliver
Economy in a bind as costs spiral out of control
By K R Sudhaman
Critical to any business is stability especially in prices to enable easy planning and execution. When there is volatility in the rupee exchange rate, exporters or importers usually demand stability in exchange rate even if there is sharp depreciation. It is no different when it comes to oil prices in the country as volatile prices hurt not only industry but also agriculture as every activity is dependent on oil. The daily revision of petrol and diesel prices is certainly disruptive to the economy and the worst aspect is that the prices have crept upwards by over 8 per cent since it was introduced on June 16 despite the fact that the global oil prices have remained more or less stable. A more problematic aspect is that the government is unwilling to respond to this issue, particularly wh...
Kashmir Times News Report
I Give you the bullet train
By Badri Raina
Are you hungry, are you in pain? Come, I'll feed you the bullet train. Have you no roof ov'r your head? Are you directly under the rain? Come, jump into the bullet train. Are you on foot, pursued apace By rapist, moralist, policeman's cane? Just one way to cheat them all- Ride away in the bullet train. The bullet train is quick and fast, It leaves behind the ugly things In such rapid tryst with development, You'd think they never did exist. Are you a farmer with noose in hand, About to end your endless pain, Consider a patriotic move- Go under the bullet train Big Brother, Aadhaar Aadhaar has my fingertips, Aadhaar has my iris; If I have no Aadhar I am merely ultra vires. Aadhaar keeps me benignly safe From dangerous privacy; Aadhaar maps my radical brain To ...
Kashmir Times News Report
Burzahom of Kashmir: A Heritage Site
By Ghulam Nabi Khayal
With the solid support of unchallengeable evidence and historical finds, it has now been authenticated that Kashmir has a history covering a long period of not less than 5,000 years. In view of this averment, Kashmiri can also be considered as the oldest language of this Himalayan region in the north of India. This is but natural because the language the first-ever inhabitants of Kashmir spoke could only be a local one-Kashmiri-and no other dialect or language. Burzahom, a combination of two words-burza (birch) and home (ghar or residential house)-is located about 10 kilometers in north-east of Srinagar, the capital city of Kashmir, on the northern shores of the world famous Dal Lake. It was as early as in 1935 that De Terra, heading the Yale-Cambridge Expedition, went for a trial excav...
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Muslim identity in Bollywood cinema
By Shoma Chatterji
The only film that comes to mind centered on triple talaq is Nikaah (1982) directed by B. R. Chopra. Wrapped and packaged in glamour and spiked with generous doses of melodrama and lovely songs, the film took a very critical and incisive look at the system of triple talaq. The protagonist, Niloufer (Salma Agha), an educated, young and beautiful woman, is shocked when she finds herself treated like a 'gift' to be exchanged between her two husbands. The first one who pronounced 'triple talaq' in a fit of anger and the second husband who was in love with her from the time they were in college together and decides to hand her over as a "gift" to the first husband. She rebels for the first time and says that she is not a scrap of paper to be exchanged between men! It was a big box office hit ...
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BOOK REVIEW: Indira Gandhi - A Life in Nature
Indira Gandhi's elite environmentalism: A paler shade of green
By Darryl D'Monte
Jairam Ramesh, a Congressman and former Environment Minister, has written a highly sympathetic account of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi's environmentalism, a less-known aspect of her political career, in Indira Gandhi - A Life in Nature (Simon & Schuster Rs 799). This is her hundredth birth anniversary and his tome delves exhaustively into her correspondence, notes on files and other records, all of which lie in the public domain and the author has conducted meticulous research into. To give the controversial PM her due, she was far ahead of her times on this score. She imbibed her passion for nature from her father. Both often went on trips to the mountains together and Nehru wrote to her even from prison, inculcating in her an indelible love for the wild. When she became Premier herself...
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My Tryst with Sharda - A perspective
By Ravinder Pandita
It was on September 5that I along with Shri Mohan Krishan Mongha , an ardent devotee of Anand Dham Hushru in Kashmir visited Kashmir Bhawan in NAL Layout, Bangalore carrying a part of pious soil and a few flowers received by post from civil society of Pakistan Administered Kashmir (PAK) in Sharda, Pakistan. Sharda is the basic seat of learning for every Kashmiri Pandit or for that matter all Hindus in the country. It has a special flair for Shankaracharya followers, as it was Shankaracharya who was instrumental in bringing back sanatan dharma to its pristine glory as Buddhism had spread far and wide in Central Asia. History of Sharda civilisation is a vast subject and lot remains unexplored, till date. With the formation of 'Save Sharda Committee Kashmir (registered), a pressure group...
Kashmir Times News Report
Social media's importance
By Lalit Sethi
Tough pro-Modi tweeters rewarded with State BJP units' spokesman jobs Mr. Narendrabhai Damodardas Modi is entitled to believe that the social media is so important in his scheme of things and it is a sure election winner. The Prime Minister won the 2014 General Elections largely with his presumed connect with the people of India through his laptop and his "Mann ki baat" radio talks every month convince him that the whole of India and millions of families consider him the "papa or grandpapa" of these, the greatest of the world's family circle. The confidence that the Prime Minister and others in government and BJP exude is enormous, particularly after the BJP won the elections to the U.P.Assembly in April this year. Even if the Akali Dal, BJP's senior partner, lost Punjab to the Congress...
Kashmir Times News Report
Rise in Oil prices hits economy hard
By K R Sudhaman
Critical to any business is stability especially in prices to enable easy planning and execution. When there is volatility in Rupee exchange rate, exporters or importers usually demand stability in exchange rate rather than volatile rates even if there is sharp depreciation. It is no different when it came to oil prices in the country as volatile prices hurts not only industry but also agriculture as every activity is dependent on oil. The daily revision of petrol and diesel prices, introduced in the country is certainly disruptive to the economy and the worst aspect is that the prices have crept upwards by over 8 per cent since it was introduced in June 16 despite the fact that the global oil prices have remained more are less stable. More problematic aspect is that the government is un...
Kashmir Times News Report
The car revolution
By Gwynne Dyer
France and the United Kingdom recently announced that they will ban the sales of petrol and diesel-engined cars from 2040. The lower house of the Dutch parliament has passed a law banning such sales from 2025. India says it will institute a similar ban by 2030. China, the world's largest producer of cars - 28 million vehicles last year, more than the United States, Japan and Germany combined - is also planning to declare a ban soon, but is still working on the cut-off date. And in November the European Commission is going to debate a minimum annual quota of electric vehicles (EVs) for all European car producers. So if you were looking for a safe place for a long-term investment, would you choose the oil industry? Just over half of the 98 million barrels of oil produced in the world eac...
Kashmir Times News Report
International Day of Democracy
By S Mukhtar
"Good Uncle." "Yes dear." "15 September: International Day of Democracy. Up with the Day all say!" "Yes dear…now eleventh such Day." "Uncle, say how come the Day and date?" "Yes. A resolution entitled 'Support by the United Nations system of efforts of Governments to promote and consolidate new or restored democracies,' Qatar leading in drafting it, was by consensus adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 8 November 2007, and thereby comes the observance of the Day; 15 September, being date of the Universal Declaration on Democracy, was chosen at the suggestion of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) as the date of the Day." "Uncle, please, objectives of the observance of the Day?" "Dear, the fundamental objective is to provide an opportunity to review the stat...
Kashmir Times News Report
Gender justice in India: Some complex dimensions
By Anit Singh
Feminism is a fiendish muddle to get in. The contours of the debate regarding the topic are fluid, in part because our society is in a flux, there's no certainty about what the future would hold for us and depending upon one of the several hundred variations in which the future of our country and our world plays out, the debate on feminism could take a different turn. There are no discreet modules for views on certain topics, if you accept the tenets of individual freedom, acceptance of multiple viewpoints etc, then you have to shift your views on all the connected topics. Cognitive dissonance occurs when you have a liberal online personality and a parochial offline one, something that my generation is in midst of, given that people can hold the latest scientific breakthrough in communi...
Kashmir Times News Report
Rahul Gandhi attack on PM in USA hits BJP hard
By Brij Bhardwaj
India is a democracy has always sought approval from Western countries particularly from USA and countries like U.K, France and Germany. The result is that foreign media based in India has been given preferential treatment in term of access to top leaders of the political parties as well as in official set up. Keeping this in view prime Minister Narendra Modi after assuming power visited all major capitals to whitewash earlier impression of having allowed communal riots in Gujarat to continue for a long time as Chief Minister. Prime Minister broke all earlier records of foreign travel by Prime Minister after India became free. During these visits he tried to build reputation as a liberal democrat working to provide a corruption free Government. He also promised major reforms to attract f...
Kashmir Times News Report
Global nuclear power industry facing major hurdles
Banktruptcy of two leading groups halts programme
By Sankar Ray
Nuclear power financing is embroiled in a global bankruptcy with top two, Toshiba-Westinghouse, US subsidiary of Toshiba of Japan and its French equivalent, the state-owned AREVA facing financial debacle. Toshiba Westinghouse, afflicted with technical problems, time and massive cost overruns at construction projects V.C. Summer and Vogtle in the USA, filed for bankruptcy protection of its American subsidiary. AREVA went technically bankrupt as a sequel to a cumulative six-year loss of US$12.3 billion. The French government came out with a bailout for US$5.3 billion, allowing the process of break-up of state utility EDF, taken as a nuclear building and services subsidiary AREVA-NP. The rescue scheme was through by the European Commission, although AREVA remains delisted from the Paris st...
Kashmir Times News Report
Ladakh's fragile 'peace' & politics of hate
By Bhat Iqball Majeed
Life has become extremely despairing amid the times we are living in. Day in and out we are witnessing people being maimed, killed and destruction of belongings taking place all around us. Some are being killed in the name of religion, some in the name of caste, some in the name of cow and some in the name of jingoistic nationalism. India is going through the worst times of history which would be rightly described in Meera Nanda's words as 'prophets facing backward'. Nationalistic bigotry is at its peak and death threats have become norm of the day. I recently got a chance to visit Leh for a very promising initiative of peace building and conflict transformation. This was my first visit to Leh ever as a resource person for an organisation working on conflict transformation. The visit w...
Kashmir Times News Report
Congress weakened both from within and outside
By Humra Quraishi
Last evening as I heard Congress vice -present, Rahul Gandhi's interactive session at Berkley University, I wanted to hear him more and some more for he was speaking sense. Yes, he sounded honest and grounded. He spoke of the dark realities of today's India, where political murders and loot and deceit are taking place on a daily basis, as conned the masses sit. Rahul Gandhi spoke out rather too spontaneously and confidently; not ducking, talking on every possible aspect - right from dynasts to tyrants of the day. And his comments on the Kashmir crisis were not just honest but apt. It's a fact that the Kashmir Valley has never seen this level of anger as it persists today. Of course, alienation and disgust had been building all these years but it has peaked, because of the PDP-BJP combin...
Kashmir Times News Report
BJP leaves allies out of cabinet berths
NDA partners lament lack of consultation
By Kalyani Shankar
While much has been made of a woman becoming the first full-time defence minister in the Modi cabinet, not much is debated about the disappointment of the 32 allies who have been left out of power sharing. There is nothing wrong as after all it is the BJP, which has the control of the NDA but the expectations of the allies were high. The relationship between the BJP and its allies has not been very smooth. While some of the long-term allies like the Shiv Sena, Akali Dal and Telugu Desam have been complaining about their treatment, the BJP has not done much to assuage their feelings. At various times the Telugu Desam supremo Chandrababu Naidu and the Akali Dal leader Sukhbir Singh Badal had expressed their unhappiness openly. Shiv Sena, the oldest ally of the BJP has been having a runnin...
Kashmir Times News Report
For senior citizens, health through insurance is a pipe dream
Universal health care is the only answer
By Dr. Arun Mitra
The National Health Policy 2017 document commits itself to culturally appropriate community centered solutions to meet the health needs of the ageing community in addition to compliance with constitutional obligations as per the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007. This policy recognizes the growing need for palliative and rehabilitative care for all geriatric illnesses and advocates the continuity of care across all levels. The question, however, is how all this is going to be met with. Social security schemes for senior citizens in our country are very meager. The government has introduced few health insurance schemes to give benefit to the poor. The Ministry of Labour and Employment has launched the Rashtriya Swasthiya Bima Yojna (RSBY) to provide health ...
Kashmir Times News Report
Gauri killing an attack on free media
By Satish Misra
Dastardly killing of 52 year old journalist-activist Gauri Lankesh on September 5 in Bengaluru was yet another attack on the freedom of expression, rational thinking, and independent way of life and followers of the Constitution. Lankesh's murder, by bike borne unknown assailants, though cannot be blamed on any specific group with a particular ideological affiliation yet it is an indicator of the prevailing political environment in the country. State of media in the country leaves much to desire. Media, print as well as electronic, is in deep crisis. This is truer of the electronic than print where still there is still some semblance of independent view and balanced news. But let us first take up Lankesh's elimination and through the tragic incident, we will try to understand the prevail...
Kashmir Times News Report
RSS alliance in Rohingyas genocide
By Abdul Majid Zargar
A silent genocide of Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar (also known as Burma) is in progress. Such is the urgency shown by Burmese Government to annihilate its Rohingya Muslims that it has even used gunship helicopters to fire lethal and heavy ammunition on fleeing Muslims. The international community is a mute spectator to the organized holocaust and 57 Muslim Countries, except with the honourable exception of Turkey, is watching the carnage with disbelieving eyes. UN has issued a warning to Mynamar sans any action. It has also issued an advisory to Myanmar to accord a legal status to the country's Muslims but sans a response. Indian Prime Minster, Narinder Modi, on his recent visit, has endorsed and supported the Burmese leadership in dealing with the unfolding humanitarian crisis. T...
Kashmir Times News Report
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