Saturday, July 4, 2015
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Mrs Gandhi's misrule
By Kuldip Nayar
"If I were to explain the emergency to today's generation, I would repeat the adage that eternal vigilance is required to defend the press freedom is as much truer today as it was when India won freedom some 70 years ago." RK Laxman's representation of Emergency in 1975 (courtesy: TOI) Forty years may seem to be a long period. But it is not long enough to efface the memory of a jungle raj which followed the imposition of the emergency in 1975. Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, mother-in-law of Congress president Sonia Gandhi, should have stepped down after the Allahabad High Court disqualified her for using the official machinery during election. The Supreme Court's vacation judge gave her reprieve by pronouncing a stay order. Still she was not certain about the final outcome. There was re...
Kashmir Times News Report
Lifted Up..!
By Robert Clements
My daughter called me yesterday from New York where she lives, "Daddy!" "Yes my child!" I said. "Do you remember lifting me up? Over those monsters I was so scared off?" "Monsters?" I laugh into the phone, "They were only the sound of trains my child. Locomotives that made a loud noise, belched smoke those days, and lumbered along, with their goods." "But they were monsters to me dad, and I was so scared of them. Do you remember dad?" I laugh and reply, "Oh yes I do my child". "It was an old railway bridge dad, and had wooden boards above the railway tracks. If you looked down through the boards you saw monsters belching smoke rushing by. You held my hand as we climbed the steps of the bridge and then I looked down" "And you were afraid!" "Yes dad, to my five year old mind, those ...
Kashmir Times News Report
Jhelum's repeated warnings
By M. Ashraf
After last year's destructive flood which reflected Jhelum's annoyance, it has given two more warnings before it strikes in the most devastating final way! The River Jhelum, Vitasta or Yveth has been the lifeline of Kashmir Valley from the earliest times. The entire Kashmir civilisation has been growing along the banks of the River and its tributaries. After the mythological Kashyapa drained the Sati Sar by killing the demon Jalodhbhava at Baramulla, the River has been written in the very first line of the thousands of years old history of Kashmir. Like the Sholokhov's "Quiet Flows the Don". Jhelum too has been quietly flowing and observing the happenings on its banks. However, it often turns furious when too many sins get washed into it! The River which gave life to Kashmir has been ...
Kashmir Times News Report
Keep Your dream intact..!
By Robert Clements
Since I have a company that handles many NGOs I find that many of these social workers started off their trusts or foundations with big dreams of helping thousands of people; some had plans to build hospitals, orphanages or old folk homes, but now after many years, they have cut short their dreams and cater to a few dozen old people or orphans etc. They have compromised on their dreams and here's a story for all those who have done so. The story of a man who never compromised: Sylvestar Stallone, one of the biggest and most famous American movie superstars. Stallone was a struggling actor in every definition. He slept at the New York bus station for 3 days. Unable to pay rent or afford food, his lowest point came when he tried to sell his dog as he didn't have money to feed the dog any...
Kashmir Times News Report
Story of 'Flag', revealed layer by layer
By B.L. Saraf
Flag is a piece of cloth raised as mark of county's standard or a signal. It has a story which can be told many ways. Flag represents courage, fortitude and perseverance. But sometimes it is raised as a symbol of rebellion and defiance. Flag is present everywhere, for every occasion. Generally, it is hoisted in pride: on occasions it is lowered in protest. Depending on the situation, raising and lowering of the Flag can be a cause of headache. Flag is always in the global news. However, in 2015 it has been so, rather, frequently. In Jammu and Kashmir we have a unique story of the flag. Two flags fly side by side on all public buildings, identified, respectively, with state and the cou...
Kashmir Times News Report
Sweet Revenge…!
By Robert Clements
The old wizened lady sat with a copy of the newspaper in her wrinkled hands and studied the obituary columns intently. "He, he, he," she suddenly giggled to herself, "she's dead, she's dead. Oh thank you, Lord, you've done it again…!" "Who is it mom?" shouted a voice from inside the house as her daughter came running and stood by her mother. "That Mrs. John is dead at last," laughed the old lady and slowly got up from her chair, "let me go and scratch out her name from the Lord's list. My Lord the avenger has retaliated again." "But mother, she died an old woman," said the daughter wearily. "The paper says she was eighty seven years old." "Ah I know, I know, sighed the old woman. "I did have to wait a long time for the Lord to act, but I knocked on his door every day and finally h...
Kashmir Times News Report
From Praful Bidwai's collection
The Left's existential crisis
By Praful Bidwai
Among the greatest losers from the tectonic political shift wrought by the Bharatiya Janata Party's Lok Sabha victory are the parties that comprise the Left Front, led by the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) and including the Communist Party of India (CPI), Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) and All-India Forward Bloc. Their combined Lok Sabha tally has plummetted from 61 in 2004 to 24 in 2009 to its lowest-ever total: 12 seats. Their national vote-share has shrunk to five per cent from the traditional seven-to-10 per cent. This setback comes on top of long-term erosion in the Left's social base and political influence, its ideological ossification, its failure to evolve programmatic perspectives and political-mobilization strategies appropriate to Indian conditions, its outmod...
Kashmir Times News Report
Remove the concrete..!
By Robert Clements
In a housing society known for it's greenery, there is the regular sound of hacking as branch after branch, trees, leaves, flowers, birds nests, birds, TV wires and cables are all brought to the ground. The members look at the trees horrified, "Why?" they whisper, "Why such destruction?" "Because they may fall on you!" they are told, "Didn't we have two trees that fell?" And the people nod, yes, two trees had fallen, narrowly missing their children. "Maybe they are right!" they think to themselves, "maybe trees cause death!" But it's not the height of the trees, their lovely branches, their shady green leaves that are the culprits; its cement, concrete and pavers that have been spread indiscriminately on the ground, blocking water from feeding the roots and preventing the roots from gr...
Kashmir Times News Report
Lessons to learn from the Kashmir floods
By Sushoba Barve
In recent days, Srinagar has seen high profile, well publicised visits by two Parliamentary Committees. One was led by Ashwini Kumar and the second by Hukum Singh. Both committees visited flood affected areas, had discussions with government officials and civil society groups, and said that they would press the Centre to urgently take up flood management and the rehabilitation and reconstruction of damaged infrastructure. Singh, Chairman of the Water Resources Committee of Parliament told reporters, "The September 2014 floods caused massive devastation. The reconstruction cannot be achieved without liberal finances from the centre. It was a natural disaster and it can be managed [only] through national resources." These parliamentary visits also coincided with the news on June 3, that...
Kashmir Times News Report
Modi Versus Modi
By Aijaz Zaka Syed
A scam-weary India fell for the fiction of a clean, incorruptible and no nonsense leader, hook, line and sinker. It didn't seem to matter that one third of the BJP members of parliament are facing criminal charges and over a fifth face serious criminal charges including murder, rioting and rape. If, as Harold Wilson suggested, a week is a long time in politics, a year must be an eternity. It took less than a week to rip the veneer of moral invincibility of the Narendra Modi government, bringing it down from its high horse of holier-than-thou hubris and righteous swagger. Whatever happened to the ever tweeting, ever pontificating Prime Minister? The cat got his tongue? Someone who perpetually taunted and mocked his predecessor for his inscrutable silences ('Maun Maun Singh!)...
Kashmir Times News Report
All the PMs Women..!
By Robert Clements
Very, very suddenly the BJP which was setting a record of sorts for being absolutely squeaky clean in its first year is beginning to reel over with the beginnings of three different scams, and all three sparked off and ignited by women! The first scam that of Vasundhara Raje, the chief minister of Rajasthan, the second by Smriti Irani, the HRD minister and the third by Pankaja Munde a BJP minister in the Maharashtra government. From what is being whispered in the corridors of power, the PM is a little flummoxed and flabbergasted. Flummoxed because he never expected women to be the weakness of his government and flabbergasted because knowing his track record with women, he just doesn't know how to deal with them! "Which they all must have known!" said a senior member of the ruling part...
Kashmir Times News Report
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