Tuesday, May 30, 2017
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Hindu Rashtra: Is it Good for Hindus?
By Ram Puniyani
Hindu Rashtra is the goal of Hindu nationalist politics, which is also called Hindutva. In contrast to Hinduism, Hindutva is politics in the name of Hinduism with Brahmanism as the core of the same. In a nutshell, Hindutva is politics based on the Brahmanical values of caste and gender hierarchy. The concept of Hindutva-Hindu nation is a modern one, which developed as a parallel to Islamic nationalism, and in opposition to the concept of Indian nationalism. Indian nationalism developed during the colonial period as the inclusive nationalism of people of all religions, different castes, languages and regions based on the values of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity. Hindu nationalism developed from a section of Hindu landlords and kings with the associated clergy on their side. As Indian na...
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Your word and a handshake..!
By Robert Clements
Many years ago while working for my father who was an interior designer we were asked to do the home of a suspected smuggler. I was wary and very hesitant while settling the deal and asked the man for a huge advance. "Why?" he laughed, "because I am a smuggler? Bob!" he said and the very way he said my name made shivers run down my young spine, "when I do business and I think you know the type of business I do, I settle everything with my word and a handshake!" He then extended his hand, and I took it. The man paid every penny. In his autobiography Days of Grace, tennis great Arthur Ashe relates a defining incident that occurred when he was 17 years old. He was playing in a tournament in West Virginia. As was often the case, he was the only contestant of colour in the tournament. One...
Kashmir Times News Report
Politics and justice
Recent events in the US, concerning the appointment of Robert Mueller as special counsel for the Russia investigation, holds lessons for every country governed by the rule of law
By A.G. Noorani
A DISHONEST judge perverts the course of justice - a dishonest prosecutor ensures that the course justice doesn't even begin. Recent events in the US, concerning the appointment of Robert Mueller as special counsel for the Russia investigation, holds lessons for every country governed by the rule of law. The situation could not be murkier. Respected by both Republicans and Democrats, the former FBI director was recently appointed by deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein after President Trump's dismissal of James Comey as FBI director had created a deep, nation-wide crisis of confidence. Attor-ney general Jefferson Sessions had to recuse himself and hand the investigation over to his deputy after it was revealed that he had kept suspiciously silent about his meetings with the man at the...
Kashmir Times News Report
Web or Wall..!
By Robert Clements
Oh! So very often in times of deep trouble we cry to God to help us through and then stare with disbelief; for instead of sending us a miracle we find something so silly we turn away. During a battle, a young soldier found himself and his army being soundly defeated by the enemy. He and his comrades hastily retreated from the battlefield in defeat, running away in fear of their very lives. As the enemy gave chase, the young man ran hard and fast, full of fear and desperation. Soon he found himself cut off from his comrades. The soldier eventually came upon a rocky ledge containing a cave. Exhausted from the chase and the knowing the enemy was close behind, he chose to hide there. After he crawled in, he fell to his face in darkness, desperately crying to God to save him and protect him...
Kashmir Times News Report
Two Bombs
By Gwynne Dyer
There were two bombs on Monday. The one in Britain killed at least 22 people and injured 120 as they came out of a concert at Manchester Arena. It was carried out by a suicide bomber named Salman Abedi and claimed by ISIS. The other was in Thailand, and injured 22 people at a military-linked hospital in Bangkok; nobody has claimed responsibility yet. But what happened afterwards was very different. In Manchester they just kept calm and carried on. The Scottish band Simple Minds went ahead with their scheduled concert at Bridgewater Hall in Manchester on Tuesday night, and 80 percent of the people who had bought tickets showed up for the show. Lead singer Jim Kerr told the audience they would all have "felt cowardly" if they didn't play, they had a minute's silence for the victims, and th...
Kashmir Times News Report
The cat and the bedpost..!
Quite often while driving on Sundays I see churches with people standing outside. They don't go in, they don't listen to what the priest is saying, but they stand outside and as far as they are concerned they have done their religious duty to God! The religious duty or ritual, is going to church! Not for praying, not for listening, but simply going, and being either in it, or outside it. Not just churches, but also mandirs and masjids too. So often ritual takes over the act of prayer or meditation doesn't it? I do believe that all rituals were started with good intentions, but slowly people forgot the content and remembered only the form. A devout man who had a cat used to spend several minutes each day at prayer and meditation in his bedroom. He read a part of scripture and a devoti...
Kashmir Times News Report
Small Farmers' Plight
Agriculture on reverse
By Moin Qazi
His speech if of mortgaged bedding, On his kine he borrows yet. At his heart is his daughter's wedding. In his eye foreknowledge of debt he eats and hath indigestion He toils and he may not stop. His life Is a long-drawn question Between a crop and a crop —Rudyard Kipling, The Masque of Plenty As the world transitions from the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) - which aim to end poverty and hunger and promote sustainable development - small farmers hold an important key. In India, small and marginal farmers - those who work on less than two hectares (five acres) of land - constitute 80% of total farm households, 50% of rural households and 36% of total households. Sadly, the plight of these farmers is very distressing. ...
Kashmir Times News Report
The food trolley club..!
By Robert Clements
A nightmare faced by airhostesses quite often, other than hijacks and terrorist attacks are people who want to walk past the food trolley to the toilet when food is being served. I was talking to Anne a pretty young flight steward, and she swore people did it on purpose or out of habit. I sat on a flight the other day and decided to watch. Nobody stirred while the plane was taxing to the runway, and nobody dared get up while the aircraft took off. There was a general calm as the plane leveled off and my neighbour, who I'd never met before told me the news in his paper was better than mine. "How do you know?" I asked surprised. "I buy the paper," he said, "and it's sensational! Rapes, murders and that sort of thing! You like stuff like that?" "I'm not sure," I said and settled down to...
Kashmir Times News Report
Manchester Attacks: What price Hypocrisy?
By John Wight
The lack of a coherent anti-terrorism strategy in Washington and by extension the West, as emergency services deal with the devastating aftermath of yet another terrorist atrocity in Europe - this time a suicide bomb attack at a concert in Manchester, England - has been thrown into sharp relief during President Trump's tour of the Middle East. Specifically, on what planet can Iran be credibly accused of funding and supporting terrorism while Saudi Arabia is considered a viable partner in the fight against terrorism? This is precisely the narrative we are being invited to embrace by President Trump in what counts as a retreat from reality into the realms of fantasy, undertaken in service not to security but commerce. Indeed those still struggling to understand why countries such as the ...
Kashmir Times News Report
Teach your children well..!
By Robert Clements
It was a rasta roko or road protest: Students in school uniform standing in the middle of the road! Blocking traffic! Creating traffic jams! Preventing cars and buses, taxis and other vehicles to proceed further….! A strike!" This happened last Saturday, because a girl was knocked down by a taxi while crossing the road… …I can imagine the shock and anger of the other students…. ..But was it the taxi driver's fault? Didn't she see the taxi coming? Did she try to run across the road confusing the driver? My mind goes back to my years in school … Our headmaster got in touch with the traffic cops and organized a Traffic Patrol for the students on Mount Road. Every morning the seniors, were given the opportunity to regulate traffic on the road outside.. What a feeling..! I remember hold...
Kashmir Times News Report
Yogi Adityanath in dual role
By Rajindar Sachar
The mysterious rise of Yogi Adityanath as a centre of power contenders amongst the BJP/RSS leaders seems to baffle the public. It is a wrong assessment that he has been installed at the instance of Modi/Amit Shah. They are too politically astute not to create another power centre against themselves. Though Yogi was no doubt a Thakur (the Bollywood perpetual tormentor of the weak, and ruthless in accomplishing his aim) - he was a Mahant for a long time thus establishing easily his credentials to the Brahmanical family leadership of the RSS. Yogi has proved this by openly announcing immediately his aim of a Hindu Rashtra (against all sense of realism and which is a constitutional monstrosity) that is pleasing to Mohan Bhagwat and his coterie. A win in 2019 could throw Modi beyond challeng...
Kashmir Times News Report
Monster outside and dad behind me ..!
By Robert Clements
The house I grew up in was an isolated one, and though it was fun to have huge fields outside and even a vineyard at the edge of those fields, for me, a youngster, not yet into his teens, the nights were scary. What was most scary was the whining, screeching, sometimes thundering sound of the wind outside and one of my duties as the eldest was to walk to the rear of our home and shut the back window. To do so, I had to leave the warmth and security of the living room, where my dad and rest of the family sat, walk through the dining room, down a long badly lit corridor and there at the end was the window, opening like gaping hole into a dark terrifying world, from which came the eerie sound of the monster wind. The window opened outward, and what I found most terrifying was to have to st...
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India Heading for One-Party Rule?
By Aijaz Zaka Syed
All politics is local, said US politician Tip O'Neil. Under Narendra Modi, nothing is local anymore. Writing for Aljazeera, Prof Apoorvanand of Delhi University explains how India is permanently in election mode these days and insurrectionary politics is keeping the nation in a perpetual state of agitation. "BJP is trying to convert all elections, be they for rural, municipal or district administrative bodies, into national elections," he argues. The party achieves this by harping on emotive issues like nationalism, security and perpetual tensions with Pakistan even in local body polls, and conflating support for the BJP and Modi with the support for the country. With the explosion of social media and TV channels, local election campaigns have started reaching every nook and cranny o...
Kashmir Times News Report
Trump and the Tramp's Tale..!
By Robert Clements
It was early one morning the people of New York, some of them anyway heard that the Statue of Liberty had been speaking to someone down below, the previous night. A drunk, who had made his home on the same island, told people next day, it was Trump, the lovely Liberty had been speaking to. "She was giggling," said the tramp, though nobody believed him, "She said, I told you so, I told you so, and Trump, he just put his head down and moaned and groaned!" "Trump, would do no such thing!" said some furious Republicans. "Why would he moan and groan?" "He said them mattresses in the Lincoln bedroom were pretty hard," said the drunk tramp, "and the Statue of Liberty, she giggled even more!" "But why would the President of the United States want to have a conversation with a statue?" asked t...
Kashmir Times News Report
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