|Time for Akhilesh Yadav to assert|
|Mulayam Singh's public humiliation of his son, who is a public person and chief minister of Uttar Pradesh will not go down well with the public. If he try to become chief minister or plant anyone else, it will boomrang on him. Akhilesh Yadav did the right thing but he need to assert more powerfully.
What happened in Lucknow today exposed the intricacies of the biggest political family in Uttar Pradesh. The aim was like a palace coup against Akhilesh Yadav in which the father became a prisoner of his past and 'greatness' who saw virtual humiliation of his son Akhilesh Yadav. Have you seen anyone attempting a coup against a son who one chooses to carry on the legacy. Whatever discussed in public in Today's meeting was a well planned drama to force Akhilesh quit and plant Mulayam Singh Yad...|
|Toughening you up..!|
|In my early days as a salesman in my dad's company, I spent a lot of time meeting customers at the MJ Market in Mumbai. These were not dignified executives sitting in air conditioned cabins but hardcore traders sitting cross legged next to their bales of cloth, who haggled and bargained over every paisa. I learnt later that into this same market a hardworking young man used to cycle with his back carrier packed with cloth which he tried to sell to the traders. That man was Dhirubhai Ambani. I am sure the late Dhirubhai had a tough time dealing with the cloth merchants but never for a moment did he give up his fight and worked hard to rise and become the richest man in India and among the richest in the world.
Hard times bring out tough people.
George Fredrick Handel, famous and highly t...|
|Who owns the nation?|
|The questioning of institutions must be kept alive in a democratic order. |
|As an unrepentant "peacenik" I wish the world were one happy kibbutz, sans boundaries and discriminations. As a located human subject, however, I am aware that for now, all human beings belong to nations and states, and that, all too often, nation-states clang on one issue or another like conjoint metal utensils in an extensive kitchen. And that often the strongest nations are those that construct for themselves some evil "other", requiring periodic correction by force - India's recent "surgical strike" is an instance of this situation.
The event has, nonetheless, generated a question that ought not to be be lightly brushed aside or simply ridiculed from the standpoint of an a priori claim to the "truth". Should it or should it not be in order to seek answers from the nation's military f...|
|The middle aged woman who looked more like she was in her sixties wiped the seat from her brow as she entered her little house. She saw her teenaged daughter lying on the only bed they had, she noticed there were tears in the little girls eyes.
"How was college my child?" she asked
"Terrible!" wept the little girl.
"Were the teachers bad or the subjects difficult?"
"Neither," said the little girl.
"So why the tears on your first day my child?"
"I don't want to go to college ever again mother"
"But your teachers were good and your subjects were not difficult?"
"My classmates were horrible."
"Oh! Oh!" said the mother. "Did you have a fight with them?"
"No mother I didn't"
"They laughed at you?"
"Then how were they horrible?" asked the mother.
"They ignored me ma. 'They ta...|
|When the situation is calmed, India and Pakistan, as sovereign entities, should sit together and address the issue and amicably resolve it to mutual satisfaction or mutual dissatisfaction. The key lies in stopping violence and creating a proper environment for the dialogue.'
SINCE Pakistan and India agreed on a need to address each other's concern for territorial integrity and protection against covert operations, it shouldn't be hard for them to define a framework in which a process for resolution of all pending disputes, in particular Kashmir, will be agreed on.
This can be accomplished by efforts to conclude a no-war pact. A long history reveals why those efforts failed but can well succeed now.
On Dec 22, 1949, prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru handed over to Pakistan's high commi...|
|Dealing with sudden death..!|
|Felt sad as I heard about the stampede at Varanasi. It's terrible when a loved one suddenly dies. There is no warning, like you have during a sickness. No time to say goodbye. No time to adjust your mind, no time to make up for fights or quarrels which are such an everyday occurrence with any family. Suddenly that person is dead. We stare with disbelief at the dead body and wish we had a few minutes to say goodbye or apologize for some hurt, "Why did you have to go so suddenly?" we cry, "Daddy I couldn't even say sorry!"
Three years ago, my mother died thousands of miles away from my home. She died alone, and presumably in her sleep. I felt terrible by the fact I was not with her when she passed on, that she was alone, but more than that, that I had not been able to say sorry for so many...|
|Empower women to give peace a chance|
|By Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka|
|Each day in the city of Kunduz in northern Afghanistan, a radio station runs programmes that educate women about their rights. The station was founded by the women's human rights defender Zarghona Hassan and addresses subjects like domestic violence, child marriage and reproductive health. The radio programmes reach thousands of listeners. They have made a significant impact on women's lives, encouraging them to participate in political and public life.
But in September last year, the radio station was ransacked by the Taliban. Leading up to the assault, the station received bomb threats. Of course, this created a lot of fear and [a sense of] danger for all of the women who were involved in the [running of the] station.
In Afghanistan a few months ago, I had an opportunity to meet some...|
|Invest in your children..!|
| "The strength of child, depends in what their parents put in them today.."
—Anon. It was a case of suicide!
The man in his late thirties had thrown himself down from his building. I read the news item and read the different reactions from friends and family. "Why did he do it?" asked his grief stricken father, and as I looked at his photograph in the tabloids, I found I knew the man.
It was twenty five years ago, I was just out of my teens and worked for my father, an interior designer. We were doing a flat on the ground floor of a building and the owner a huge giant of a man seemed pleased with our work. My father had told me he was a smuggler and ran a flourishing smuggling business ...|
|Chronicling lives on the move|
|Muhammed Muheisen is perhaps the only Arab photographer and journalist, as far as I know, who has won the coveted Pulitzer Prize, which is like journalism's Nobel. The distinction is doubly special considering Muheisen has won Pulitzers -- for his coverage of the war in Iraq and then for shining the light on Syria's humanitarian-refugee crisis, an issue that has troubled the world community and hogged the spotlight over the past few years. Time magazine named him the Best Wire Photographer of the Year in 2013.
I met Muheisen on the sidelines of XPOSURE Photography Festival in Sharjah this past week where his breathtaking, award-winning work was showcased. Success and fame came early in life for the Palestinian-Jordanian photojournalist, who is in his mid '30s and has won numerous awards ...|
|Educating' our children..!|
|As I spend my last few days in the US before returning home, there are many parents, friends of mine who ask me to look up their children here in New York or Philadelphia, or at least speak to them. It's as if everybody's sent their children out to get educated, which made me think a little humorously of what the greats of the world thought about all this education: "Education" says Kenneth Johnson, "is proceeding from cocksure ignorance to thoughtful uncertainty!" Way to go to Kenneth, way to go!
Says Thoreau, "What does education often do? It makes a straight cut ditch out of friendly meandering river!" Very thorough, Mr. Thoreau.
And says Dr. Samuel Johnson who was the first to put together a dictionary for the English language, "There is now less flogging in our schools than former...|
|Whither justice for religious minorities|
|Retired Justice of Supreme Court Justice Markandey Katju wrote (26 September 2016) to the Supreme Court judges, "You are aware that one Ikhlaq was brutally lynched by cow vigilantes in Dadri. Instead of severely punishing the perpetrators of this heinous outrage, the police and local judge are proceeding against the family of Ikhlaq…Have the police gone mad?"
Chand Khan alias Shan Khan spent 11 years in a jail in 2002 Akshardham temple attack case before he was acquitted without any compensation so far. Instead he has been booked in a case of cow slaughter. (21 September 2016) There is a book by Mufti Abdul Qayum Abdul Hussain, "Eleven Years behind the bars" (I am a mufti, I am not terrorist). This book tells the story of Mufti Sahab being arrested on charges of terrorist violence, tort...|
|Are You Being Served..!|
|Once I had been invited by an organisation to deliver the keynote address for a writer's workshop. I drove my car up a hill to a sort of monastery where the organisers had hired a hall to conduct their four day session, as I parked my car I saw the watchman waving frantically and advancing threateningly to me. "Don't park there!" he shouted. "It is reserved for the priests, you cannot park there!!"
Two days ago a commuter who wanted to renew his train pass stood in a queue, when he had just about reached the window, another man came from the left and advanced to the counter.
"It's my turn," shouted the first man.
"I don't have to stand in line," said the second, "I am buying a first class pass."
According to newspaper reports, there was a scuffle, and the first man who had protested a...|
|No Separate Rail Budget|
|Step towards privatisation?|
|Next year's Union budget, 2017-18 will introduce a big change in India by scrapping the practice of presenting a separate Railway Budget before it. The two will be amalgamated as one Budget and presented on 31st January - a month before the normal time.
Announcing this major decision of the Union Cabinet, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley gave an assurance that the functional autonomy of the Indian Railways would continue without change. But, people are likely to foresee the repercussions of this move as transformation of the management of a large network of a nation-wide public transport service and of a big chunk of government employee - a move towards eventual privatisation of the Indian Railways.
What the government expects and speaks of is an immediate saving of Rs. 10,000 crore annu...|
|Race Course Road..!|
|Suddenly we have won the respect of the world. People have started looking at us with new born admiration. Men on the streets of New York, Rome and even Siberia have started doffing their caps when they pass an Indian. “What a wonderful thing this is,” say the poor farmers with joy as they look at the bank official who has come to ask for their loan repayment.
“This is what we should have done years ago!” sigh patients in the hospitals of Delhi as they grin happily at doctors who find that their blood count from dengue and chikungunya have risen sharply during the night.
“It has given us renewed strength!” growls the chief minister of Karnataka, as he shakes a fist, nay two, one in the direction of Tamilnadu and the other towards the Supreme Court.
In the nation there is much rejoici...|