Saturday, July 22, 2017
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Mergers & IBC
Turning around banking sector
By Dhurjati Mukherjee
As is generally agreed, the banks form the bedrock of the financial sector of a country. As such, the recent decision to merge smaller banks with the larger ones such as Punjab National Bank, Bank of Baroda and Canara Bank, to gear up efficiency and profitability is believed to be a step in the right direction. The idea behind this merger is a larger regional bank to take on a pan-Indian footprint. This is one of the important steps the Government has thought of in gearing up the banking sector. Regional consolidations have also been considered so that a North-based bank takes over another in the same region. The NPA problem is not expected to come in the way of such mergers. The only consideration would be not to make the merged entity weaker but a little stronger to take on future ch...
Kashmir Times News Report
Lynching to power
By Irfan Engineer
Mashal Khan, a 23 year old journalism student was seized from his dorm room by a mob that stripped and beat him, then shot him dead on 13 April 2017 in Mardan in North West Pakistan. Khan was accused of offending Islam (Rasmussen and Baloch 2017). In the month of May 2017, a mob attacked a police station demanding that Prakash Kumar, a 34 year old Hindu, arrested under blasphemy laws of Pakistan, be handed over to the mob (AFP 2017). Just over a week later, a mob attacked a mentally ill man who claimed to be a prophet at his local mosque in north-western Chitral (Pakistan). He was rescued by police. The spate of incidents followed government of Pakistan's drive against blasphemy. Unproven allegations of "insult to Islam" led to dozens of mob attacks or murders since 1990 in Pakistan. Ind...
Kashmir Times News Report
Will States act to curb cow vigilantes or ignore PM's call
By Lalit Sethi
Will the Prime Minister Narendra Modi's command or request to the State Governments to "crack down" on cow vigilantes have any impact? Or is he responding to a notice sent to the State of U.P. and possibly Centre as well to let it know about all the breaches of law and order in the past five years until now? Where does the Centre stand on this in view of public interest litigation before the Court? The litigation came up before the Court prior to its summer vacation. The cow vigilantes attack or kill those who transport cows from one place to another point within that State. Does it matter that it could be a case of transporting a cow from one State to another in the neighbourhood? Would those people who consider themselves self-appointed cow protectors or saviours of the Mother Cow, tw...
Kashmir Times News Report
In conversation with the multi-faceted Gopalkrishan Gandhi
By Humra Quraishi
I heaved a sigh of relief when the Opposition came up with the name of Gopalkrishna Gandhi as their vice presidential candidate. As I'd mentioned in one of my earlier columns, this grandson of Mahatma Gandhi has been a former civil servant turned diplomat and now an academic - commentator- writer. I had interviewed him soon after his book- Dara Shukoh: A Play (Tranquebar Press) was launched. I'm putting excerpts from that interview with Gopalkrishna Gandhi; enough to relay details to the man and his personality- After you took voluntary retirement from the Indian Administrative Service in 1992, you were appointed as Director of the Nehru Centre in London and later posted India's envoy to South Africa, Sri Lanka and Norway. And then, posted secretary to the President of India and lat...
Kashmir Times News Report
Crisis deepens in Bihar, Secular forces in disarray
Nitish realises alliance has outlived its utility for him
By Arun Srivastava
After the Mahagathbandhan of the Janata Dal (United), the Rashtriya Janata Dal and Congress defeated the ascendant Bharatiya Janata Party in the Bihar elections of 2015, political circles had veered round the view that the opposition's efforts to regroup at the national level will unite around these parties. But such possibilities have become a causality of the war of attrition between Nitish Kumar and Lalu Yadav, the leaders of JD(U) and RJD. These are the two parties that could have resisted the saffron attack. But with both the leaders pitching against each other, the optimism lies shattered on the streets of Patna. Distrust for each oher has gripped these two leaders to such an extent that any reconciliation appears to be an absolutely remote possibility. The political narrative a...
Kashmir Times News Report
Pandit Prem Nath Bazaz : A misunderstood and revolutionary Kashmiri Pandit
By Paramita Ghosh
Like many Kashmiri Pandits, Sanjay Tickoo, a Srinagar businessman, is imprisoned by the history of his state, the ambivalent positions of its leaders, and his own paranoia of being a member of a minority community with a dominant past. Yet, in the mass exodus of the '90s in which 34 Pandit families of his locality left Kashmir, his didn't. In fact, he "still believes that by instinct, the Kashmiri Muslim is a secular person". That Tickoo can say this is not simply magnanimity. Behind this outlook of his lies an almost forgotten history of a robust secular tradition. And over this tradition looms large the shadow of a man who symbolised it; almost perfectly one could say. That man was Prem Nath Bazaz, a committed progressive Kashmiri Pandit. The story of Bazaz's life is intimately entwin...
Kashmir Times News Report
Woman Qazis In India
Hena Zaheer and Maria Fazal appointed by All India Muslim Women's Personal Law Board as city qazis (shahar qazis) for Kanpur in 2016"
By Rafia Zakaria
SHE is one of the very first. This summer Jehanara Begum, a woman from Rajasthan, and 15 other Muslim women will become some of the first female qazis - or Islamic judges - in India. They will have taken part in a two-year programme at the Darul Uloom Niswan, an institution in Mumbai that has begun to train Muslim women from all around the country. Following graduation, the women will return to various areas and begin to fulfill their duties as qazis. It has not, of course, been an easy road. Muslim women in India have been advocating for female qazis for a while. The issue came into the spotlight in 2008, when a Muslim woman activist named Naish Hasan got a well-known Indian Muslim female scholar named Syeda Hameed to solemnise her marriage. Expectedly, controversy ensued, splitting In...
Kashmir Times News Report
‘Biological Mass Annihilation’
Era Underway!
From the common barn swallow to the exotic giraffe, thousands of animal species are in precipitous decline, a sign that an irreversible era of mass extinction is underway, new research finds. The study, published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, calls the current decline in animal populations a “global epidemic” and part of the “ongoing sixth mass extinction” caused in large measure by human destruction of animal habitats. The previous five extinctions were caused by natural phenomena. Gerardo Ceballos, a researcher at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México in Mexico City, acknowledged that the study is written in unusually alarming tones for an academic research paper. “It wouldn’t be ethical right now not to speak in this strong language to call atte...
Kashmir Times News Report
Dangers of vigilante politics
Attack on pilgrims can be turned into opportunity
By Brij Bhardwaj
Attack on Amarnath Yatris in Kashmir may prove to be a turning point in Kashmir if the opportunity is seized by the State Government and the Center to open dialogue with moderate leaders and civil society. After a long time civil society and leaders of political parties including Hurriyat Conference have come forward to condemn the attack on Amarnath Yatris by Militants. This has clearly shown that "Kashmiriyat" is not dead and many in Kashmir are prepared to carry on old traditions in which different communities have lived cheek to cheek in complete harmony. It needs to be realised that the Amarnath cave in which idol of Shiva is placed was discovered by a Muslim family. More so to make the Yatra a success, hundreds of Kashmiris work as porters carrying pilgrims on their back. They als...
Kashmir Times News Report
Dangers of vigilante politics
By Pushkar Raj
The political leaders emerging out of majoritarian vigilante politics tend to be authoritarian because they are the product of emotions of fear and anger hence need to appear tough and decisive. They realize that they are in power despite the law and therefore need not care for it more than it suits them. The country is experiencing a spate of violence with cases of lynching in different parts of India. The citizen is hapless and government is unresponsive betraying its authoritarian tendencies rooted in its ideology. Over a couple of decades , BJP has grown on vigilante politics rooted in ideology of RSS and Hindutva, a distorted interpretation of Hinduism which is based on Vedic philosophy priding in its diversity than dogma and exclusion that the former advocates. The major vi...
Kashmir Times News Report
Trump throws a banner at Hamburg summit
Nations have to cope with emerging disorder
By S Sethuraman
Under Mr Donald Trump, America seems to have begun a process of disengagement, though selectively yet, at the risk of forfeiting its global leadership and its prized "exceptionalism". This has now become formal with US withdrawal from Paris Agreement on climate change, announced at the G-20 Hamburg Summit, while Mr Trump remains equally determined to scuttle moves on free trade, away from protectionism.. In strategic terms, Mr Trump's Presidential statements early in office had already disillusioned long-term US allies in East Asia on future dependence on American defence umbrella while European partners, on the other side of the Atlantic, were no less left to wonder about Washington's commitments to NATO, the post-war defence architecture it had helped to create to provide common secu...
Kashmir Times News Report
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