Tuesday, September 2, 2014
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Modi's Kashmir policy
The colour of RSS
By Tapan Bose
Narendra Modi calling off the Foreign Secretary level talks should not have come as a surprise, particularly after his August 12 speeches in Kargil and Leh. During his visit to Jammu, Ladakh and the valley, indeed since he became Prime Minister, he has given clear indications regarding his plans for Kashmir and his position on Pakistan. In Siachen he told soldiers and officers, Pakistan "has lost the strength to fight conventional war, but continues to engage in a proxy war through terrorism". He emphasised his government would not compromise on the Siachen Glacier, rejecting arguments of military experts for its demilitarisation. He warned Pakistan that Indian soldiers were ready to rebuff any attempt by Pakistani soldiers on any part of Jammu and Kashmir. That drum beat was echoed in...
Kashmir Times News Report
Tyranny Still Exists..!
By Robert Clements
Tyranny still exists and I still remember that drive through Kentucky when suddenly my eye was caught by miles and miles of stonewalls alongside the road, "Built by slaves!" said my brother and I stared at the walls. "Stop the car!" I whispered and as I looked at those flat stones placed roughly one on top of the other I heard faintly through the ages; sounds of singing: Agonized, harrowing, painful, it pierced through my soul tearing me apart with the sadness the words and tunes carried! I could picture the poor blacks carrying stone after stone, placing them one above the other, stumbling, falling, getting up again as the whip of the white overseer cracked on their backs. And through it all they sang; songs of hope, of an escape through death! Yesterday I heard those songs again and ...
Kashmir Times News Report
BJP Is Not Invincible: Message from bypolls
By Praful Bidwai
Within weeks of winning the Lok Sabha elections with a surprisingly large margin, the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance has suffered major setbacks in Assembly byelections in four states. Of the 18 seats for which elections were held-10 seats in Bihar, three each in Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka, and two in Punjab-the NDA won only 8, down from its victory in 14 Assembly segments earlier. A majority, 10 seats, went to the Congress and its allies. The fact that the first three states were among the top six big states in which the NDA scored convincing or crushing Lok Sabha victories means that the electorate's mood has changed, especially in Northern India, the BJP's main base. The party's Acchhey Din promise hasn't translated into more jobs, stable prices, improved so...
Kashmir Times News Report
ISIS destabilises West Asia
By Dr Satish Misra
Large territory of Iraq and Syria including major cities have fallen to the military might of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). This week, the ISIS seized a Syrian airbase after a pitched battle between the Syrian forces and the militant group in which over 500 were killed. The growing might and related influence of the ISIS is clearly evident in the fact that Washington reluctantly had to authorise air strike on its forces in Iraq and now has to approve reconnaissance flights over Syria. The Obama Administration's decision to send surveillance flights over Syria which is a precursor to eventual airstrikes there shows the high degree of threat and challenge that the US is seeing in the ISIS whose influence is growing not only in the Arab world but beyond it. Former head of t...
Kashmir Times News Report
Primary Education
By Dhurjati Mukherjee
The Human Resource Development Ministry's measures to increase spending on higher education to six per cent of the GDP from 3.8 per cent at present, may be well-meaning but would be half-baked. The thrust has to be all-round, wherein attention is most needed at the primary education level. Then only can one aim higher. Though being among the top five countries with most children out of school, India experienced the largest cut in funds for basic education during the past three years. While globally the decliner was a little over 5 per cent between 2010 and 2012, in our country it was just double at 10 per cent. The increase in funds this Budget has largely been for IITs, IIMs, medical education etc. A relook at figures released by UNESCO's 'Education for All Global Monitoring Report'...
Kashmir Times News Report
From Al-Qaeda to IS, familiar games, familiar players
From Al-Qaeda terror to the Islamic State juggernaut, it's the same familiar games and same familiar players
By Aijaz Zaka Syed
Those who cannot remember the past, cautioned George Santayana, are condemned to repeat it. So Barack Obama, who stood against Bush's wars and his apocalyptic visions of a world divided between Us and Them, is not just back bombing Iraq - fourth US president to do so - he seems to read from the self-same script. "No just God would stand for what they [ISIS] did yesterday, and for what they do every single day," the US president declared, responding to the slaying of US journalist James Foley in Syria. When was the last time you heard this invocation of the divine and the whole business of civilizational conflict, the good versus evil and 'our god versus their god' routine? That's right. We have been here before-and not long ago either. Obama may not exactly envision himself on a 'divin...
Kashmir Times News Report
Non-Veg Blame..!
By Robert Clements
The latest news is that Prime Minister Modi's parties, dinners and gettogethers will never have non-veg on it's menu: In this country, non-veg is blamed for all things evil: "Why are you surprised," chuckled a senior Indian bureaucrat as he sat with arms crossed across massive belly in his impressive office somewhere in New Delhi, "For decades we have learnt the art of blaming something or other for all our problems, and have becomes experts at doing so!" The bureaucrat called his bespectacled junior to his office, told him to bring a manual and beckoned him to sit down, "Tell this journalist what we are supposed to do when a bomb blast occurs in Mumbai?" "Blame Pakistan!" screamed his junior officer without opening his manual. "And if a rape takes place in Delhi?" "Blame the west fo...
Kashmir Times News Report
"Expressing concern": India's balancing act on Gaza
By Kanchi Gupta
The newly-elected BJP-led Indian government's response to the Gaza crisis has been described as one of being a "spectator" to the "massacre" of Palestinians. Uproar in the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of the parliament, over the government's refusal to condemn the Israeli offensive which has killed over a thousand Palestinians, was followed by a vote in favour of a UNHRC resolution condemning the violence in Gaza - a resolution "that came down heavily on Israel". The vote came after Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government met with strong criticism from domestic political actors. Modi, who was the Chief Minister of Gujarat when communal violence broke out in 2002, has risen to power amidst concern and controversy surrounding his government's policies towards India's minority groups. Ne...
Kashmir Times News Report
Talking himself to death..!
By Robert Clements
The young man driving the latest fancy car had one arm on the steering wheel, the other hugging his cell phone in an intimate embrace. "Did I wake you up?" he asked seductively into the mouthpiece. "No," replied the husky voice at the other end, "you just got me out of the bath!" "Out of the bath!" exclaimed the young man, not seeing the cyclist in front. "What was that noise?" she asked at the other end. "What noise?" he whispered, breathlessly holding the cell phone even closer, and not noticing the cyclist falling behind. "You know you shouldn't phone and drive," said the husky voice at the other end. "What are cell phones for?" asked the young man with a grin, "if not for taking the boredom out of driving!" The signal in front, suddenly turned red, but the young man with his p...
Kashmir Times News Report
Unending impasse on Kashmir
By Kuldip Nayar
Article 370 is not meant to reflect the liberal tilt in the Indian Constitution. It is specific. It gives a special status to the state of Jammu and Kashmir-a status which the people of Jammu and Kashmir won after waging a long, tough fight for freedom both from the British and the Maharaja ruling the state. Sheikh Abdullah was in the lead and achieved what looked impossible at one time, an autonomous status within the sovereign, secular Republic of India. Except three subjects-Defence, Foreign Affairs and Communications-the Indian parliament had no power to legislate without the consent of the state legislature. The state could have merged with Pakistan, but preferred to integrate with secular India because the entire struggle by the Kashmiris was secular. The undertakings given at t...
Kashmir Times News Report
Be Prepared..!
By Robert Clements
"I will prepare, and some day my chance will come." Abraham Lincoln I remember being frustrated once as for many years I wrote, and there weren't many papers that took my column, till I realized one day that in continuing to write, I was sharpening my skills, and when the newspapers would accept my column I would be ready: When your chance comes, will you be ready? Former ice hockey superstar Wayne Gretzky has something powerful to teach us about preparation, he knew the value of being ready. He is generally thought to be the greatest hockey player of all time. Wayne is not particularly big - he stands at 5 feet 11 inches tall and weighed about 170 pounds during his career. He never skated particularly fast, his shot was not high-powered and he often placed dead last on regular stren...
Kashmir Times News Report
Who's afraid of the diplomatic dwarf?
By Guilherme Casarões
Among the many debates raging about the recent Gaza conflict, an unlikely diplomatic quarrel has erupted between Brazil and Israel. As the Brazilian government pulled out its ambassador from Tel Aviv for "consultation", condemning Israeli military acts in Gaza as disproportionate, the Netanyahu administration reacted with blunt indignation. While some degree of disappointment on Israel's part was expected, few predicted that an irate declaration by spokesman Yigal Palmor would seriously undermine already shaky bilateral relations. Palmor called Brazil a "diplomatic dwarf", whose "moral relativism" made it "an irrelevant partner". The Israeli spokesman even brought up Brazil's humiliating defeat in the World Cup to lecture Brazilians on "disproportionate results". While many brushed off t...
Kashmir Times News Report
Learning To Rest..!
By Robert Clements
I'm one of those fortunate city people who has trees growing in their garden, and every morning spend time under the Peepul tree, which is just next to the Neem and next to that a Bread fruit tree and a junglee fellow who despite the pedigree of the other three holds himself quite well I must say. And as I sit under these friends of mine, I see others who over the years have come to tolerate me; a pair of squirrels, always running about, worried expressions on their faces, a few sparrows who move about more on the ground looking for pieces of biscuit or bread I may have carelessly thrown, lots of crows, a cuckoo who makes quite a racket, and also a few woodpeckers and other beautiful migratory birds who come back year after year, and oh yes I nearly forgot, a dozen or so parrots who scre...
Kashmir Times News Report
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