Saturday, November 1, 2014
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The Forever War and Muslim World’s Dilemma
By Aijaz Zaka Syed
War is not nice, said Barbara Bush, in what should be the understatement of the century. The wife and mother of the two US presidents should know what she is talking about. Her hosannas to peace did not prevent the two Gulf wars though. As Einstein said, you cannot simultaneously prevent and prepare for war. You do not need Einstein’s brains or his crown of snow-white hair to know that ‘war is not nice’. Having suffered the unprecedented devastation and savagery of the Two Great Wars, the most catastrophic wars in the history of civilization in every sense, the West learnt its lessons. Never again, it vowed. And since the end of the World War II, Europe has managed to avoid the long, internecine regional military conflicts and wars that plagued it for centuries. The butchering of the B...
Kashmir Times News Report
Making black money..!
By Robert Clements
"What are you doing?" I asked the child beggar as she took my one rupee note I had given her from my car window and dipped it in black paint. "Making black money!" she said proudly as she lay it next to other currency around the same denominations. "Once I make black money, I will automatically be able to go to Switzerland and bank it. Then immediately our Prime Minister will go there and bring the black money back, and my name will be in all the newspapers!" "Who told you all this nonsense!" I said crossly. "Read the newspapers!" said the beggar girl, "Do you read newspapers?" "I write for them!" I said angrily. "Then will you tell Prime Ministerjee that I am making black money for him?" said the beggar girl innocently. "I am sure he will be happy to know once you tell him!" I...
Kashmir Times News Report
Three Elections
By Gwynne Dyer
Last Sunday was a busy day: three elections, in three different continents, all of them offering at least the hope of better times. First, Brazil, where President Dilma Rousseff eked out a second-round victory with 51.6 percent of the votes versus 48.4 percent for the challenger, Aecio Neves. But Neves was quick to acknowledge her victory, and she was equally prompt in admitting that things had to change. "Sometimes in history, close outcomes trigger results more quickly than ample victories," she said. Most people took that as an admission that she will have to give more attention to growing the economy and a little less to redistributing the proceeds. This will not come easily to her, for the great project of the Workers' Party (PT) under both Rousseff and her iconic predecessor L...
Kashmir Times News Report
Hidden alligators ..!
By Robert Clements
Went along with a friend to a travel agent the other day, he had to wait for two hours before the girl at the counter could see him, and even as she talked to him, she was inundated with calls from dozens of people wanting to go on holiday. It seemed as if the whole country was running away to every resort available. It is contentment, relaxation and peace they are seeking available at these places, or do the heavier divorce rates, greater many extra marital affairs, higher number of suicides, reveal the continuous seeking of an insatiable hunger to please our sensuousness? Are we being fooled by camouflaged alligators? The Americans and Russians at the height of the arms race realized that if they continued in the usual manner they were going to blow up the whole world One day they ...
Kashmir Times News Report
Kashmir's elections and elitist discourse
By Adfar Shah
My own commitment to understanding the social and political phenomena in Kashmir has been fundamentally shaped by the very identity of belonging to the State. The first observation which needs to be highlighted is simply that the haste for conducting elections in Kashmir despite a massive disaster is nothing but the result of ego-politics and based on political motives. Belonging to a remote hamlet 'Watlar' of central Kashmir (which is still a hub of high political culture) and having observed minute political engineering and socialization occurring at smaller levels since long, I have been witnessing the politics of bias, favouritism, visionlessness and power to be gained out of personal affiliation with the politicians only and that is why dissent and mainstream politics exists side by ...
Kashmir Times News Report
Be Patient..!
By Robert Clements
One day was driving with a friend, when we got stuck in a traffic jam, I saw him becoming impatient. "Hey!" I said, "maybe this jam gives us time to catch up with each other?" And suddenly we realized we had extra time which could be well used. You've heard it said, "Hurry up and wait!" But learning to wait calmly is an important part of living. In this age of high-speed connections and instantaneous results, it helps to remember that the Mayflower made its historic voyage across the Atlantic Ocean at about two miles per hour! Have you ever wondered how those early settlers occupied their time as they waited for their ship to reach? I love the story of a passenger on Britain's Imperial Airways, a company that pioneered air travel between England and Australia in the mid-1930s. "If you ...
Kashmir Times News Report
An emerging new social coalition?
The BJP's latest victories
By Praful Bidwai
With its impressive performance in the Maharashtra and Haryana Assembly elections, the Bharatiya Janata Party has clearly reconfirmed its status, established by the Lok Sabha elections, as the principal pole or central point of reference in Indian politics. Behind its latest success, and not least its marginalisation of established regional parties in the two states, lie medium- and long-term factors which are likely to influence Indian politics for some time to come. We are likely to see an even more assertive, masculine BJP under an absolutist leadership which is no longer bound by internal constraints, leave alone external ones, in pursuing its old trade-mark Hindutva agendas, including a Ram temple at Ayodhya (of which the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh has reminded it), as well as the ...
Kashmir Times News Report
Converging welfare schemes to give women a chance
By Annapurna Jha
With her husband giving her an ultimatum to throw one of her newly born twin daughters into the canal, Neeta Kherwal, 26, of Pali district in Rajasthan, was reeling in shock. Om Prakash’s argument was that since they already had a daughter to support he could only afford to keep one of them. At that crucial juncture, Kherwal decided to approach her village women’s centre, Poorna Shakti Kendra, established under the National Mission for Empowerment of Women to ensure the socio-economic development of women at the grassroots. She met with Ranjana Kulshereshtha, the district coordinator of the Kendra, and told her about her dilemma. After listening patiently, Kulshereshtha, a school teacher by profession, swung into action calling on the then district collector (DC) Neeraj Kumar and summonin...
Kashmir Times News Report
Patenting drugs based on Asian tradition
The patenting of kratom, well-known for its traditional medicinal uses in Southeast Asia call into question the degree of actual innovation contained in the Japanese work
By Edward Hammond
Japanese scientists have patented pain-killing drugs from kratom (Mitragyna speciosa), a well-known Southeast Asian medicinal plant. According to the researchers, from Chiba National University and Josai University, the kratom painkillers act like opium-derived analgesics (such as morphine) and are especially useful because they do not have some of the undesirable side effects of opiates. Patents have been issued in Japan and the United States, and patent applications may be pending elsewhere. Kratom (Thai) or ketum (Malay) is a well-known plant native to Thailand, Malaysia, parts of Indonesia and the Philippines, and Papua New Guinea. Kratom has long had an important place in Southeast Asian traditional medicine. It is botanically related to coffee, but has stronger effects on its use...
Kashmir Times News Report
Who's afraid of India's meek Muslims?
By Aijaz Zaka Syed
In the past couple of years, there has been a regular stream of opinion pieces and special reports, most of them originating in the West, seeking clues to the big existential puzzle - the mysterious moderation of Indian Muslims. A New York Times article by Jake Flanagin this week screamed: WHY INDIA'S MUSLIMS HAVEN'T RADICALIZED? It's a question that seems to trouble everyone from the big media - from Murdoch's Wall Street Journal and New York Times to the Washington Post to their counterparts across the pond. They almost seem to rue the fact that Indian Muslims, the world's second largest Muslim population and largest minority, has inexplicably remained untouched and unaffected by the global phenomenon of "Islamic extremism." The more cautious Europeans have been equally puzzled by ...
Kashmir Times News Report
Start Walking..!
By Robert Clements
In school I heard my head master say something that changed my life. "Most people," he said, "tiptoe through life and finally reach death!" I went home mulling over those words and realized I was doing just that. I was scared of my own shadow, was quite an introvert and hated to take the lead in anything. I decided things would change from that day; I resolved I was not going to tiptoe through life but would lengthen my stride, quicken my pace and march through life like a general. I'm not sure I've reached the 'General' stage but I'm sure not a tiptoer any more! A very tired traveler came to the banks of a river. There was no bridge by which he could cross. It was winter, and the surface of the river was covered with ice. It was getting dark, and he wanted to reach the other side whil...
Kashmir Times News Report
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