|Who Will Stop These Child Killers?|
|Editors face this dilemma in the newsroom almost on a daily basis. Every time there's a slaughter of innocent which is like a daily occurrence these days, those in the news business face the predicament: To publish or not to publish?
I agree with many of my colleagues that some of these gory images of the carnage, this mindless bloodletting with bodies of children, youths in their prime and desperate men and women carrying their loved ones in their arms, are not most pleasant to look at the first thing in the morning.
In fact, given a choice that's the last thing most of us would want to see when we pick up the newspaper in the morning.
We like to begin our day on a positive note, if we could help it. While we breakfast with our lovely families and see our pretty children get ready fo...|
|You cannot escape competition..!|
|Many believe that competition is bad, that life is meant to be peaceful and calm, sitting on a mountain, or playing golf!
Gary Player for years was a great competitor in national and international golf tournaments. People constantly said to him, "I'd give anything if I could hit a golf ball like you."
Upon hearing that comment one day, Player responded impatiently: "No, you wouldn't. You'd do anything to hit a golf ball like me, if it were easy! Do you know what you have to do to hit a golf ball like me? You've got to get up at 5:00 every morning, go out to the golf course, and hit a thousand golf balls! Your hands start bleeding, and you walk to the clubhouse and wash the blood off your hands, slap a bandage on it, and go out and hit another thousand golf balls! That is what it takes t...|
|Israel's template for the Globe's future|
|For all those who think that Israel is run by the most despicable, racist and repressive regime in the world here is some very bad news indeed.
Not only are the Israeli state and its ruthless methods here to stay they could also be, very frighteningly, a prototype of our collective global future.
Watching the unbelievable destruction wrought by the Israelis in Gaza a simple question very high on many minds must be "How in hell does this artificially concocted child of European guilt and American ambition get away with all this again and again and again?"'
The answer is that instead of being a strange historical aberration Israel may well be a model state that global elites want to establish to control the world in the days to come.
A world where the ruling classes live off the stolen ...|
|Mountain top experiences..!|
|What exactly do you think is a mountain top experience?
Yes, the exhilarating feeling of standing on the peak of a mountain, a feeling of victory, of adrenalin rushing in after a long, tedious climb, and finally the reaching of the pinnacle.
What a great feeling! You are on top of the world! And wouldn't we do anything in our lives to want to stay on top and not come down? Wouldn't we love to exist in this feeling of absolute euphoria?
We all would, wouldn't we, but we can't.
We have to come down. Our lives are in the valley below. In the ordinary, the common, the mundane, where every once in a while we remember that feeling on top of the mountain and it helps us tackle the problems of the valley below!
In the Holy Scriptures the disciples of Christ went through a similar experience:...|
|The Pandit "Satellite Towns"!|
|One of the most important agenda points of the new BJP government headed by PM Narendra Modi is the return of Pandits to Kashmir. There is some loud thinking going on the subject as reported in the media. One of the ideas mooted is to create three satellite towns in the valley where the Pandits would be settled under full security protection. There has already been adverse reaction from almost all quarters in Kashmir for such a proposal which has been alleged to be on the pattern of Israeli settlements the present result of which is the Gaza bloodbath!
Recently, the Kashmir Civil Society held a round table discussion regarding the currently raging debate about the return of the Kashmiri Pandits who had migrated en masse from Kashmir in 1990. There were strong reactions of alarm regardin...|
|Far away a war rages..!|
|It was a long time after World War II started, after many British and Europeans lost their lives that America finally entered the war: Till then as far as the Americans were concerned there was a war raging somewhere far away. But one fine day, Pearl Harbour was attacked, American war ships were sunk, Americans killed and America woke up.
Today a war rages where a brutal Putin tries to enforce his diktat on reluctant countries, who see no cause in being part of Russia. The world watches with disinterest; who's bothered what happens in Russia, there's something always happening in Russia or China as they do away with human lives, the same as others do away with sheep and goats.
And then an airliner is shot down.
The horrific incident at the Ukrainian-Russian border proves what many ex...|
|A roof over their books|
|Pick up the manifesto of any party contesting for the Lok Sabha elections this year and one common thread running across party lines is the education agenda. While one party pledges to increase public spending on education from the current 4% of gross domestic product to a promising 6%, laying special emphasis on education and skill development, another focuses on providing secondary education and removing bottlenecks to higher education. Newer entrants to the political scene highlight the need to bring the level of education in government schools at par with private schools.
Every party recognizes the need to improve the quality of education and make it accessible to every Indian child. And yet, despite decades of investment of time, resources and efforts, this much-aspired-to dream of...|
|Climate crisis migration is increasing in Africa|
|Climate change threatens to cause one of the biggest refugee crises of all time.|
|Climate crisis is forcing people to migrate, leave their homes and occupation. It's being observed in Africa and in the Pacific island states.
In a report headlined "Climate change migration on the increase" The Zimbabwean reported on July 2, 2014 :
"Makuleke village is a melting pot for illegal migrants from Zimbabwe and Mozambique searching for greener pastures in their wealthy southern neighbor. It is located on South Africa 's eastern border area with Mozambique on the outskirts of the Kruger National Park ."
The report cites case of a farmer from Zimbabwe :
"Timothy Murombedzi, 30, from Buhera district in Zimbabwe , is one of many people living in South Africa illegally. "I was a farmer in Zimbabwe but the climate conditions have become unpredictable. It is now difficult to have ...|
|Handcuffed to History|
|Being a student of media, it never ceases to amaze me how popular perceptions and opinions are formed. How tiny little nuggets of misinformation, hearsay, old-fashioned biases and often plain ignorance feed into dangerous stereotypes and are passed around as gospel truth.
As far as collective memory goes, Muslims have never had to suffer what one would describe as inadequate media coverage. We are almost perpetually in the news. And for all the wrong reasons. Indeed, if you go by media narrative and popular perceptions, these are not the best of times to be a Muslim. We seem to be at receiving end everywhere.
As if all the sweetness and light spread around in the name of Islam in recent years by the likes of Al-Qaida and Taliban was not enough, now we have Boko Haram in Africa and the I...|
|Politician down a hole..!|
|Quite often I hear of children tragically falling into a deep borewell! I mischievously wonder what would happen if a politician falls into a deep hole:"There's somebody fallen into the hole?" shouts the politician's PA to the TV station.
"Oh! Let him be, we have other events to cover than rescue operations of a minister!"
However on instructions of higher ups Doordarshan is called: "I want you to cover the event!" shrieks the head, "I want the nation to see how my ministers react when there is a crisis!" A cameraman is sent to the village of Kurukshetra and walks to the hole where he lowers his sound equipment to where the minister is.
"The minister is weeping! He wants food!" says the TV man
"I have sent down tea and glucose biscuits!"
"Then what is he cry...|
|Gaza massacre and opium of the masses|
|Karl Marx's (in)famous maxim assumed new connotation in the context of the ongoing massacre of Palestinians recently. As Gaza is pulverised while everyone watches the killing machine of Israel achieving the feat, football (world cup 2014) proved to be the opium of the masses. The score, as of Tuesday morning, in the contest being waged in the Gaza Strip, was 189-0, with the side (Israel) in the lead continuing to run up the score. This score is not some nightmare of a Brazilian football fan, but instead the deaths of real men, women and children of Palestinians in Gaza strip. As of now in this contest no Israeli has been killed by Palestinian rockets.
It would sound cliché to state how our tastes and desires are manufactured in a way that we can't even recognize, but that is exactly wh...|
|Good Days and Bad Days..!|
|"What is this?" I asked a government spokesperson, "Industrial units to shut down two days a week, due to lack of power?" The spokesman chuckled as he held up the newspaper, "This government is doing it's best to help small industrialists!" he shouted into the mike as he faced a group of bored journalists at a press conference.
"Sir, did you see this?" asked a writer from a small magazine as he showed the politician the headline about industries having to shut down.
"That is what I am referring to," smiled the spokesman. "This is for our takeover czars!"
"You are joking sir!" said the journo with his amiable, pleasant smile frozen.
"No, I'm not! As a government it is our duty to see an Indian businessman, entrepreneur or industrialist is never bought up by a bigger company!"
|What the PM did not say out loud at Badami Bagh|
|The PMO website's depiction of the prime minister's speech at the Badami Bagh to troops of Chinar Corps need not detain us. It is a truthful if sanitised version of his speech (http://pmindia.nic.in/details127.php). He is reported to have said that self reliance is necessary for security, referring to his mention of offsets policy unveiled in the budget raising the foreign proportion in defence sector industries from 26 to 49 per cent. Not that the jawans would have caught the nuances of the defence offsets policy, but would surely have been impressed with his desire to modernise the military so that India could take its 'rightful' place at the high table of the international community. Narendra Modi can be forgiven for taking credit in his speech for the national war memorial to come ...|
|Ours to keep safe..!|
|I'd driven to a hill station, and stopped at a well known restaurant for lunch. It was an open air eatery and as we sat we could see car loads of families coming with hungry passengers looking famished and tired. The fathers seated themselves at the head of the table and drank their beer while the mothers ordered.
Suddenly I felt a hush. Every man in the room was looking out. I had my back to the car park and asked my friends what it was they were looking at: "It's a car full of young girls!" said my friend. Every man in the room had his eyes fixed outside while the mothers and wives pretended to be busy, as they tried to divert their children's eyes and attentions from their father's lusty stares.
I saw the girls entering: They were children! Just about fifteen to seventeen years old. ...|
|Looks like the work of a thief|
|NARENDRA Modi's instant prescriptions to cure India's chronic troubles are vacuous or easy or both.
The conclusions are reminiscent of the full moon night when Majaaz, Lucknow's guru of wit and poetry, returned home punch drunk. The house was in a shambles. Policemen were shining torches into the ransacked cupboards. The ladies of the house were huddled in a corner, anxiety writ on their noble faces.
Spotting Majaaz in his unbuttoned sherwani and dishevelled hair, one of the sisters cried out in anguish. Whoever had broken into their house had taken away everything, she sobbed. Majaaz, we are told, watched the proceedings silently, shifting his weight from dizzy toes to tipsier heels and back.
Using the palm of his hand as a hood over his eyes he took as good a view as he could get o...|
|Footfalls in the malls..!|
|We were driving over the sea-link in Mumbai, a long bridge that crosses the sea and saves a few miles of driving through the city; I watched the waves fierce and angry and leaned against the window fascinated. "It's a long time since I've visited the beach!" I said loudly and saw my driver smile in the rear view mirror.
I wondered why I wasn't a regular at the beach anymore and realized we didn't take our guests and visitors there anymore. Once upon a time, any visitor to the city was treated to an evening at the beach, an experience I quite looked forward too.
But it had been years. "Would you like to visit the beach?" was something I hadn't asked in years.
I had received a call yesterday from a friend in Chicago, "Bob, heard you're visiting the States, what would you like to do?"