Friday, July 28, 2017
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Opinion
Tank or no tank
By Suhas Palshikar
People, including students, do trust the armed forces. But JNU VC's suggestion should concern us all. The broader debate may be imagined as consisting of two parts. One concerns the idea of nationalism, the other concerns the idea of the university. The vice chancellor of JNU an army tank to be placed in the university to "remind students of the sacrifices" made by the soldiers. It is not easy to grab headlines while speaking in the presence of two Union ministers (including an ex-army chief) and an ex-cricketer. The vice chancellor of JNU has just achieved that feat. He requested the two ministers present to help him procure an army tank to be placed in the university to "remind students of the sacrifices" made by the soldiers. It won't be a surprise if taking a cue from him, othe...
Kashmir Times News Report
How do you park your car?
By Robert Clements
I do believe, all our driving skills are seen, not in the speed we drive, not with our ease of overtaking, our dexterity of working our way through traffic jams, but with how you and I park our cars. My wife and daughters grumble there's no need for me to look from my window as they bring their cars in to park or take them out. "Plan your parking!" I tell them, and slowly but surely, I've seen a change. Yes, plan your parking in your mind. Unlike speeding and overtaking where again split-second planning is also required, here you have a little more time when you park, and planning your movement, going forward or back, how much forward, and how close to the kerb helps. Let me hasten to assure you that I've had my awkward moments: I remember once driving from one city to another, enterin...
Kashmir Times News Report
Poland: A pause on the march to autocracy
By Gwynne Dyer
Poland is sharply divided between the populists, socially conservative, deeply Catholic, and ultra-nationalist, who form the present government, and the opposition whom they label "the system" or "the elite". This allegedly includes both the liberals who led Solidarity's resistance to Communist rule, and the crypto-Communists who supposedly still exist and are now in league with the liberals. Zofia Romaszewska, now in her 80s, was jailed during the years of martial law in Poland in the early 1980s. She is a national hero for her human rights activities in the 1980s and is now one of President Andrzej Duda's advisers. Last week she persuaded him to veto the government's new laws on the courts. She told him: "Mr Presiden...
Kashmir Times News Report
From Chaiwallah to Prime Minister..!
By Robert Clements
Today's paper had an interesting front page headline, It screamed, "From Newspaper Boy to President," It was about the Late President Abdul Kalam who sold newspapers in his boyhood and rose to become President of India. There are many such stories, and our country provides opportunities for such growth; from Chaiwalla to Prime minister, and the present newly elected president, from mud hut to the Rastrapati Bhavan! But, and here, lies my question, are you still living in your mud hut? Are you still a newspaper vendor, or a chaiwallah? Have you risen from your humble beginnings or there's money in your pocket but no change in your behavior? As I watch our Prime Minister, I have reason to believe that to an extent he has risen. He could have easily addressed the joint houses in the US in ...
Kashmir Times News Report
Majoritarian will vis-à-vis constitutional supremacy
By Vijay Kumar
The happenings of the past few weeks, particularly indiscriminate ban on slaughter-houses and formation of anti-Romeo squads, ostensibly for insulating the young girls from eve-teasing but, in reality, unleashing crusade against love-Jihad after the formation of the new Government in Uttar Pradesh in the wake of an unprecedented mandate and menacing rise of cow vigilantism, have brought to the fore the inherent tension between the rule of the majority, on the one hand, and the rule of law and supremacy of the Constitution, on the other. The theory of constitutionalism is anchored in the twin pillars of democracy and the rule of law. Democracy represents rule by the majority and the political will is grounded in the concept of majoritarianism, whereas the rule of law is grounded in reason...
Kashmir Times News Report
Positive Energy..!
By Robert Clements
Aunty Toto was not her real name. Her name was Mrs. Dubey, and she had every kind of problem that you could think of, resting on her shoulders. Her husband had left her, her children had married wrong, her grandchildren were a source of worry and finally she found that her body was being attacked by a dreaded cancer. Yet there was never a day when the passengers on the local train she travelled in to work every day, didn’t hear her voice, rising over the din and telling everybody a joke. There wasn’t a day when those in the office she worked in, at an age when most others retire, didn’t see the smile on her face. Aunty Toto seemed the happiest woman in the world. There you were on your birthday or wedding anniversary, wondering how the rest of the world had forgotten the date and the p...
Kashmir Times News Report
The march of folly
By A.G. Noorani
On May 22, the union home minister, Rajnath Singh, confidently announced that they had come up with a 'permanent solution'. This will not be accomplished by negotiating a settlement with Kashmiris and with Pakistan - it will be done by crushing militancy with brute force, and proclaiming to Pakistan that there is nothing left to discuss, that the Kashmir dispute is 'resolved'. The gains will be reaped in the 2019 general election. TWO thousand and seventeen is the year of anniversaries in Kashmir. July 8 marked one year since the killing of Burhan Wani; July 13 marked the anniversary of Martyrs' Day. On this day in 1931, the maharaja's troops shot 22 Muslims dead inside Srinagar's central jail, setting off a wave of resentment that engulfed Punjab, Delhi and Lucknow. It marked a turning...
Kashmir Times News Report
Real Giving..!
By Robert Clements
Today I shudder to see more and more photographs and pictures of donations and acts of giving. "Do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing!' say the holy scriptures. But do we listen? All I see are photos of acts of giving, circulated to everybody through whatsapp, email or Facebook! "Look what I've done!" shout the pictures shamelessly. But there are many who give very quietly, and whose names are never known; who give out of love: Here's a story: "Can I see my baby?" the happy new mother then gasped, the baby had been born without ears. Time proved that the baby's hearing was perfect. It was only his appearance that was marred. One day he rushed home from school and flung himself into his mother's arms, "A boy, a big boy … called me a freak." The boy's father ...
Kashmir Times News Report
Global climate policy in state of flux
By Martin Khor
The Paris Agreement, adopted by 195 countries with great fanfare in December 2015 and enforced in November 2016, symbolises the efforts of governments to cooperate to avert disastrous global warming that threatens human survival. On April 29, the 100th day of Donald Trump's presidency, thousands marched in Washington and other cities in the United States and around the world to protest against the administration's about-turn on climate policy. Trump signed an executive order at the end of March unravelling former President Barack Obama's Clean Power Plan, the centrepiece of his climate change policy. The US Environmental Protection Agency last week also removed climate change information from its website. Trump is soon expected to announce if the United States will exit the Paris Agre...
Kashmir Times News Report
Unemployment continues to grow in India in 3 years rule of BJP
By Yashwardhan Joshi
Three years down the line, unemployment remains one of the biggest concerns for the Narendra Modi government. Though India is the fastest growing economy in the world, it carries the unpleasant tag of 'jobless growth'. All surveys point in that direction. According to a labour ministry report, the unemployment rate in 2015-16 was at 5 per cent of the labour force, a five-year high. Another survey showed that only 1,35,000 jobs were added by certain sectors in a quarter in 2015. According to the latest government data, job creation for the nine months running up to December2016 for the eight labour intensive sectors of the economy was an abysmally low 2,31,000. What has gone wrong on the job creation front when everything else seems to be going right for the Modi government? Hasn't ...
Kashmir Times News Report
No peace yet in Iraq (or Syria)
By Gwynne Dyer
Not many of the estimated 900,000 people in refugee camps around Mosul, almost all Sunni Arabs, will be going home soon either. And in Syria, the eastern side of Aleppo, Syria's biggest city, fell last December after a four-year siege. It now contains a few tens of thousands of people rattling around in the ruins. The shooting was still going on down by the river last week when Iraq's Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi dropped by and prematurely declared that the battle for Mosul was over. He was misled by the various Iraqi army, police and militia units who were competing with one another to declare victory first, but now it really is over - and there is little left of Mosul. The siege began on 17 October of last year, so it lasted nine months - longer than the Battle of Stalingr...
Kashmir Times News Report
An Ordinary Day..!
By Robert Clements
She was beautiful. Now, she lay lifeless. Her fight with cancer; over. Victorious, she'd moved away from pain, to a life where I could feel her smile somewhere in the heavens. I had visited her as she'd battled with the terrible disease that devoured chunks of her young life everyday. Then one day, while holding her hand and silently crying I'd asked, "Tell me what you miss the most?" She'd looked at me with those beautiful expressive eyes of hers and whispered, "What I miss is an ordinary day!" At thirty-five she'd been a success in business, but it wasn't the excitement of a business deal she missed. She, was a young mother, but it was not the success of a child's report card she missed. She missed an ordinariness of a normal day. Rain and potholes. Delays and missed appointments. G...
Kashmir Times News Report
Clash of BJP's modern-medieval agendas
Education suffers as RSS dictates terms
By Amulya Ganguli
The Narendra Modi government appears to be simultaneously moving in two opposite directions. While the Union human resource development minister, Prakash Javadekar, wants to set up world class universities and allow students to work in reputed laboratories abroad before returning home to carry on their research, the Union minister for environment and science and technology, Harsh Vardhan, has said that scientists have been asked to verify the usefulness of the urine and dung of cows. The minister said that personally he was convinced about the virtues of cow's milk (which will be accepted by all those who are not lactose sensitive) and of cow's urine, which is unlikely to be endorsed by those outside the saffron brotherhood. But he, nevertheless, wants a certificate from the scientists ...
Kashmir Times News Report
Beef and Buffalo..!
By Robert Clements
India has a peculiar problem at the moment: Beef has been banned more or less throughout the country, and armed gangs roam, searching vans and trucks, thrashing those they think are carrying the flesh of cows and bulls. Unfortunately, apart from taking the law into their hands, most of those vehicles are not transporting beef but buffalo's meat. "This is getting embarrassing!" said a senior government official, "Our prime minister himself has said that this kind of attacking should be stopped!" "What do you plan to do?" I asked, "Increase the police force along highways and other roads?" "No, we plan to train the country to recognize the difference between buffaloes and cows! We have already started classes. You may peep in and see!" I looked into a class filled with cow vigilants, ruf...
Kashmir Times News Report
 
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