Monday, May 1, 2017
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More provocation and no healing
Centre's duplicity and its rigid posturing with emphatic no to dialogue and creation of more military battalions will further deepen the chaos
When women and girls joined stone pelters on the streets last week, marking this year's defining image of Kashmir, the central government instead of grappling with the ground reality of the exacerbated levels of frustration and seriously thinking of changing its strategy has instead followed the old beaten path of intensifying the militarization of civilian space in the Valley. Special women battalions will now be constituted to tackle the women joining the rank and file of street agitationists and more police battalions as well as recruitment drives of Special Police officers are on the anvil. Such steps are not only likely to be futile in taming the anger and submitting people into silence and subjugation. It can have counter-productive results and prove to be more detrimental to the in...
Kashmir Times News Report
Eulogising war, not the soldier
By Anuradha Bhasin Jamwal
Families of 26 CRPF personnel killed by Maoists in Chattisgarh asked the vital question, "how long will our sons continue to die?" The same query was echoed by the distraught father of a young army major who was among three army personnel who lost their lives fighting militants in Kupwara. Juxtapose this with the symbolic placard held by 21 year old Kargil martyr's daughter Gurmehar Kaur, 'Pakistan did not kill my father, war did'. Without getting edgy about how such a statement gives Pakistan a clean chit - which is not really the import of the message - these remarks invoke the vital question of whether wars can be avoided to prevent human blood from being spilled in the name of collateral damage and protecting the nation. The machismo of war that is often propped up by those comfortabl...
Kashmir Times News Report
Controlling cyber skies
Gags on internet cannot bring calm, there is instead need to provide space for free speech to angered, alienated Kashmiris
The ban in Kashmir Valley on social networking sites, after the crackdown on the latest 3G and 4G internet connectivity, is both repressive and ridiculous. Neither is it in tandem with chief minister Mehbooba Mufti's claim of reaching out to youth, nor is it likely to make any difference to the volatile Kashmir situation, that stems from a conflict that predates the age of computers and cyber-skies. Besides, such gags that are violative of the fundamental rights to free speech and equality are unconstitutional. Not only is the government making an attempt to gag the entire population of Kashmir Valley in the name of maintaining law and order, it is also inspired by a flawed diagnosis of what fans the outrage in Kashmir. This is not for the first time that such curbs have been put on the p...
Kashmir Times News Report
Bloodshed in Sukma
Chhattisgarh attack deadliest in 7 years is a reminder of the Maoists' strength and calls for a dialogue with the local people
The ambush of a CRPF company in Sukma district of Chhattisgarh on Monday and the tragic death of 25 personnel is not only shocking but also a grim reminder of the failure of the Indian state and its flawed policy while dealing with the security challenges posed by Maoists. It also points to the failure of the intelligence agencies in collecting information about the movement of the Maoists in central Indian states. This also calls for a broad-based dialogue with the tribals who are opposing carving out of a road through the forest areas where population is angry over intrusion in their habitat for the past many decades. It is worth noting that at least two dozen CRPF men were killed in Sukma while they were providing protection for road construction on Dornapal-Jagargunda belt when Maoist...
Kashmir Times News Report
Off with VIP beacons
Uniform curbs on beacons is a welcome beginning, but for an end to VIP culture, more needs to be done by the governments
The NDA-government's decision to disallow use of red beacons on the vehicles of the VVIPs and VIPs on the Indian roads is a welcome beginning, but more needs to be done for bringing an end to the VIP culture in a democratic set up in the country. In fact, the aim should have been an assault on the VIP culture which ruling the roost in the corridors of power in the country with anybody, whosoever, is somebody in the government wants to flaunt the power acquired through a democratic system. It is basically the VIP culture that is being dissented by the citizens for the reasons that those elected to some public office become a cause of inconvenience and hardships for the common masses on the roads and public spaces. From May 1 this year only the vehicles drafted for emergency services, such ...
Kashmir Times News Report
More noise, less reason
Mis-matched rhetoric on Kashmir adds to confusion and further shrinks space for peace
The voices for holding dialogue with Pakistan and people of Jammu and Kashmir inside the state, particularly the Valley have been increasing. The two major political parties of the state, National Conference and PDP, are strong votaries of dialogue and the Congress is also batting for the same. But is the government really serious? PDP's alliance partner in Jammu and Kashmir is BJP, which is also a party in power at the Centre. As opposed to talks, the BJP has been backing a more rigid approach with respect to both Pakistan and Kashmir with a minister in the state government also advocating bullet for stone policy. Nobody in the BJP has so far shown any appetite for dialogue and the prime minister keeps cards close to his chest. His silence on Kashmir is broken by occasional phrases that ...
Kashmir Times News Report
Two ends of a spectrum
Modi's assurance on Kashmiri students in other states is not enough, there is a far bigger component of distress in the Valley
Prime minister Narendra Modi's assurance to Jammu and Kashmir Chief minister Mehbooba Mufti's on her plea to reach out to Kashmiri students studying in various parts of India is a welcome step. Much, however, will depend on his ability to translate such an assurance into action. Ever since the valley erupted over the question of forcible entry of security forces inside college campuses and the killing of a college student by police during college protests in Pulwama, the vulnerability of the Kashmiri students outside the state has increased. Two Kashmiri students were assaulted in Rajasthan's Mewar, and a research scholar was threatened in BITS Pilani. A hoarding had come up in Meerut asking Kashmiris to leave Uttar Pradesh. Earlier this month, the J&K government had to intervene in the c...
Kashmir Times News Report
Cow vigilantism threat
Well-trained 'gau rakshaks' pose a serious threat to a multi-religious and multi-cultural society and rights of people guaranteed by Indian Constitution
The cowardly and condemnable attack by cow vigilantes on nomads including a nine-year old girl, at least two of them suffering from multiple fractures, from Talwara area of Reasi district on the intervening night of April 20 and April 21 is yet another incident in line of similar attacks on unsuspecting people on mere suspicions of bovine smuggling. Jammu and Kashmir has witnessed few such incidents in the last two years; though many of them did not catch public attention, the lynching of Kashmiri truck driver in Udhampur two years ago, close on the heels of the infamous Dadri lynching, was a glaring example that inspired nation-wide shock and condemnation. In a recent incident in Rajasthan, a man attacked by cow vigilantes succumbed to his injuries earlier this month. Cow vigilantism ha...
Kashmir Times News Report
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