Friday, October 24, 2014
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Fascism and other deadly viruses
By Jawed Naqvi
WIKILEAKS founder Julian Assange will get into trouble, potentially a 35-year sentence in the United States, if he leaves the Ecuadorian embassy in London, which he says he would to mend his health and catch some healing sunlight. Regardless of what he might have done to offend powerful countries with his treasure trove of revelations, South Asians should be grateful to him for shining the light on key issues that are as relevant today as they will be in the future. He exposed, for example, senior Indian leaders for their fawning connections with American diplomats contrary to public postures of aloofness. Everyone from journalists to BJP leaders to Rahul Gandhi bared their hearts to US interlocutors. Assange also traversed issues that threaten the security and prosperity of India. Let...
Kashmir Times News Report
Who sets your standard?
By Robert Clements
The two men entered my study, they held out a sheet of paper for me to sign. It was a signature campaign! I looked at the signatures on the sheet of paper and found that of my friend John. "Why did you sign?" I asked John later, "you'd told me you didn't agree to what these people wanted!" "I still don't!" said John sheepishly, "but I didn't want to offend them by not signing! Did you sign?" "No," I whispered, "I didn't!" A little later I met others who had signed on the piece of paper, "Why did you sign?" I asked them, "you know it isn't totally true?" "Because John did!" they said. "Who sets your standards?" I asked them, though they didn't hear my helpless question, "John signed because he didn't want to upset some people and you all signed because you saw John's signature?" A t...
Kashmir Times News Report
Costs of ignoring hunger
By S. Mahendra Dev
Ignoring hunger and malnutrition will have significant costs to any country's development. Nutrition improvement has both intrinsic and instrumental value One of the disappointments in the post-reform period in India has been the slow progress in the reduction of malnutrition, especially with reference to the underweight among children. In fact, the rate of change in the percentage of underweight children has been negligible in the period 1998-99 to 2005-06; the only two points of data in recent years on undernutrition from the National Family Health Survey (NFHS)-II and -III. In this phase, the proportion of underweight children in the age group 0-3 years declined only marginally from 47 per cent to 46 per cent. The reduction in malnutrition among children has been very slow when comp...
Kashmir Times News Report
Hype over the Mars mission
India Neglects Real S&T Priorities
By Praful Bidwai
The contrast between India's two recent science and technology (S&T) projects couldn't have been starker. One, by delivering accurate early warnings about Cyclone Hudhud, saved thousands of human lives, and prevented destruction of property on a monstrous scale. The other put India's Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) Mangalyaan spacecraft successfully into a distant orbit around the planet-a technological achievement, but without much scientific, leave alone social, consequence. Yet, the Indian media exulted over the second event, a monopoly venture of the Department of Space-Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), as if it was a world-historical feat that put India in the top league of the globe's science powers. It was like a spectacular laser show, but only visible in graphics and artists...
Kashmir Times News Report
North America is a Crime Scene
By Aijaz Zaka Syed
Growing up in small town India, my earliest introduction to the English language and fiction were 'cowboy' novels of Oliver Strange. For someone who grew up in crowded, downtown mohallas, adventures of gunslingers like James Green, the dark, brooding hero of 'Sudden' series, on the Texas planes and harsh landscape of the 'Injun Country' held strange fascination and offered momentary escape from my humdrum existence. Indeed, as Roxanne Dunbar-Otiz argues in her new path-breaking book, An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States, those cheap novels, movies and television shows, classified as Westerns, and even classics like The Last of the Mohicans were imbibed by every American with mother's milk and by the mid-twentieth century were popular in every part of the globe. The wild ...
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Bolivia and Brazil
By Gwynne Dyer
To nobody's great surprise, Bolivia's President Evo Morales has won a third 5-year term by a landslide majority. It's no surprise because Bolivia's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has tripled since he took office in 2006. The number of people living in poverty has fallen by a quarter, even the poorest now have the right to a pension, and illiteracy has fallen to zero. Of course he won. What has happened in Bolivia seems as miraculous as what happened in Brazil, where another left-wing president, Luiz Inacio "Lula" da Silva, took office in 2003. The economy started growing at 5 percent a year, unemployment fell steeply, and some 40 million Brazilians, almost a quarter of the population, were lifted out of poverty. Lula's former chief of staff and successor as president, Dilma Rousseff, is al...
Kashmir Times News Report
Reasons to be thankful..!
By Robert Clements
"Oh Lord that lends me life, Lend me a heart replete with thankfulness!" —William Shakespeare It was one of those awful days! The girl at my office decided to take the day off and according to my maid could have even found another job, I couldn't find telephone numbers or files or whether I had paid my mobile bill! It was just as I was cursing and cussing to all and no one in particular that I chanced upon these delightful lines. I read them and slowly a grin spread across my sullen face, then I looked up and said a big, big thank you: I am thankful for all the things that go bad to show there is reason to give thanks! For the wife who takes over my whole bed, because I know she is at home asleep with me and not with someone else. For my teenage daughter who is complaining about d...
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