Tuesday, May 22, 2018
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Towards an understanding of martyrdom in Kashmir
By Arup Kumar Sen
On January 14, 2011, the Supreme Court sought answers from the Union and Andhra Pradesh governments regarding the "encounter" killings of the Maoist leader, Azad, and a journalist, Hemchandra Pandey, in July 2010. The two-judge Bench of the Supreme Court said: "We cannot allow the republic killing its own children." They added: "The governments will have to answer so many questions." But, Kashmir is a "State of Exception". The Armed Forces (Jammu and Kashmir) Special Powers Act, 1990, conferred special powers to the armed forces. We have seen the outcome of giving such unrestrained powers to the armed forces. In the wake of outbreak of armed conflict in Kashmir in the late 1980s, the armed forces have resorted to different forms of human rights violations. Human Rights organisations have...
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Palestine: Our history haunts our future
By Samah Jabr
When Palestinians fight for their national rights, we are called "terrorists." When we demonstrate in non-violent ways and are killed by the occupying forces, we are called "suicidal" A Palestinian woman during a protest near the Gaza border with Israel. A French colleague once asked me, "Why are the Palestinians stuck in the Nakba? They commemorate villages no longer present on any map and bequeath to their children the keys to homes that have been long abandoned. Why don't they leave it all behind, and look to the future?"The answer is that the Nakba is not only an historical trauma but an accumulative affliction that continues to harm Palestinian identity, both collectively and individually; the Nakba is an ongoing injury that has never been bandaged or healed. The Nak...
Kashmir Times News Report
Consolidation of anti-BJP forces is the need of the hour
Kollam Congress of CPI has charted out the roadmap
By S. Sudhakar Reddy
The five-day 23rd Congress of Communist Party of India held at Kollam, Kerala, from April 25, 2018 will be by generations to come for the historic decision of the Congress to take all measures to unite and consolidate the growing consensus among political parties as well as the general masses against RSS-BJP and also against Narendra Modi. It will also be remembered for the unity and political maturity of the delegates reflected clearly in all the debates, discussions and finally in the decisions taken both political and organisational. All the top leaders of Left parties who greeted the Congress too confirmed the urgent need to unite all secular, democratic forces to save the nation and people from the onslaughts of the communal, fascist forces in power at the Centre and in 15 states. U...
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Challenges in Indian economy this fiscal
Corruption continues to eat into vitals
By K R Sudhaman
The International Monetary Fund has forecast bullish GDP growth for India at 7.4 per cent in 2018 as against 6.7 per cent in the previous year. It forecast a better 7.8 per cent GDP growth for 2019, making India the fastest growing economy again overtaking China, which is expected to slow down to 6.6 per cent GDP in 2018 and 6.4 per cent in 2019. Of course, India and China growth figures are not comparable in absolute terms. India is a mere $2.5 trillion economy while China is a huge $11 trillion. So even a ten per cent growth will add $250 billion to Indian economy and a mere 5 per cent growth in China will add $550 billion to the Chinese economy. Nevertheless, it is a welcome development that green shoots are there in the Indian economy, that too after a series of economic blunders in...
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Democracy is dead; long live democracy!
Constitutional morality is a myth perpetuated for convenience
By K. Raveendran
Tonnes of crocodile tears have been shed in the past one week over the murder of democracy; as though it has occurred for the first time. The truth is that democracy is being murdered in this country every day. No party has the moral right, at least none among the mainstream parties, to criticise any other party for the murder of democracy. Each one has been committing the crime with impunity and citing the precedent set by the very same party that makes the accusation. So, it is essentially a chicken and egg story. Constitutional morality in this country is heavily skewed in favour of the party in power. And so is gubernatorial propriety, now under the scanner following the Karnataka impasse. The governor's, or for that matter the President's, role has an inherent bias built into the sy...
Kashmir Times News Report
When Indira Gandhi could have eliminated defections
Case of first defection in Madhya Pradesh
By L.S. Herdenia
Defection is the cancer of Indian politics. It is the brutal murder of our system of parliamentary democracy. The first defection took place in 1967. Through defection elected governments of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh were overthrown. After the general elections Congress came back to power in Madhya Pradesh. The Congress fought 1967 Vidhan Sabha election under the leadership of Pt. D. P. Mishra, who was regarded as an Iron man of the state. After the election he again became chief minister. Before the elections he earned the animosity of Rajmata Vijaya Raje Scindia. At that time Rajmata was in the Congress. Prior to elections she met Mishra, who asked the purpose of her meeting. She said that she had come to discuss the names of Congress candidates who will contest from var...
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As Pakistan promotes its ancient Buddhist heritage, silence surrounding its Hindu culture is telling
By Haroon Khalid
On April 30, as Buddhists around the world celebrated Vesak or Buddha Purnima – a day that commemorates the birth, enlightenment and death of the Buddha – Islamabad mayor Anser Aziz joined the ambassador of Nepal Sewa Lamsal Adhikari for a march to mark the occasion in a public park in Islamabad. This is not the first time Vesak has received official patronage in Pakistan. The first state celebration of the sacred Buddhist day happened two years ago when a 43-member delegation from Sri Lanka comprising ministers, monks, religious scholars and media representatives was invited to Pakistan. Speaking to mediapersons at Monday’s march, Aziz vowed to preserve holy Buddhist sites in the capital. On the foothills of the Margalla Hills, Islamabad is located in the heart of what was once known as...
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My mother was almost cast as Anarkali for Mughal-e-Azam. At home, she was violently abused by her husband
By Sophia Naz
In the early 50s, not long after she had arrived in Bombay (later Mumbai) as a newly-married bride, my mother portrayed Anarkali in a theatrical production. The director, K Asif, happened to see the play and was so taken with her performance that he wanted to cast her as Anarkali in Mughal-e-Azam. Over 200 photos of her were taken on the movie set, including ones with the iconic feather grazing her face. Ultimately, she had to decline the role owing to family pressure, as in those days women from respectable families did not act in 'pictures'. The photos remained in an album which she sometimes opened whenever she felt like reminiscing about her life before migrating to Pakistan. She had vivid memories but my mother did not view the past through rose-coloured glasses. Though she never...
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Raazi: Real ‘Sehmat’ Died last month & we’ll see her photo in June
“Yes, I’m excited about Raazi, but no excitement can match what I have experienced already. I have seen Sehmat.” Harinder Sikka, author of ‘Calling Sehmat’, is a content man. Alia Bhatt-starrer Raazi, which is based on his book, has already won a resounding applause from the film fraternity and the critics alike. Penguin will release a new imprint of his 2008 book next month. Along with it, Sikka has promised to reveal the identity of ‘Sehmat’ — the Indian spy who passed on critical information about Pakistan Navy’s movement during the 1971 war. She married into an influential Pakistani military family to get access to privileged information. Talking about Sehmat, Sikka almost gets into a spiritual trance. He found out about the woman in 1999, when he chanced upon her son during the Kar...
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One more blow to Governor's institution
By Brij Bhardwaj
The BJP and Sangh Parivar have sent a strong signal to Congress party: whatever you may have done in sixty years of rule we shall do in five years of rule. If you get majority, we will claim that we have support from other parties and our coalition should be sworn into office. BJP did that in Goa, Manipur and Meghalya. In Karnataka the BJP changed gears and decided that a party getting the maximum numbers should be invited even if it does not have an outright majority nor even a coalition. All these actions were endorsed by Governors who are either faithful to RSS or party men. As for what happens to the reputation of the institution of Governors, it does not matter or to the reputation of constitutional offices. As for justification we are only doing what was done by the Congress i...
Kashmir Times News Report
In Karnataka, see the birth of a shamocracy
By Nilanjan Mukhopadhyay
The BJP and its ideological parent, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, is little but a breeding ground of autocrats masquerading as democrats. B.S. Yeddyurappa takes oath as the Chief Minister of Karnataka. (Photo: ANI | Twitter) Irrespective of the turn of events in Karnataka's politics and legislature and whether the Supreme Court post-facto gives a nod to the swearing-in of B.S. Yeddyurappa as chief minister or nullifies it, there is no longer an iota of doubt that the BJP has any qualms in quashing constitutional propriety, setting precedents aside and trampling on political morality at the altar of its political ambitions. For the BJP, specially for Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party president Amit Shah, nothing is of greater value than achieving the long-term political objective...
Kashmir Times News Report
Petro product prices at historic high
Demand growth, Iran sanctions to blame
By Anjan Roy
Oil prices have started pinching as these touch the highs of some six years ago. With the Karnataka state elections out of the way, prices for petrol and diesel have today reached the highest level ever. Depending on the metropolis where you are buying, you will pay a price of Rs 75.32 per litre to Rs 83.16 per litre. For the last 15 days or so, the prices were held back from any hike understandably as the two national political majors were fighting out a bitter electoral battle. Now that they have disengaged, the prices have been left free to adjust. Petrol and diesel prices are re-set daily in the light of the global price of benchmark crude. Deregulation of petroleum product prices has been a major reform, which reduced a massive burden of subsidy on the Union government's budget. ...
Kashmir Times News Report
Party Congress and after
By Badri Raina
In an article titled "Two Faces" (The Telegraph, March 27), this writer had speculated on the possibility that the Party Congress of the Communist Party of India-Marxist might well rethink the earlier decision of its Central Committtee not to have any "alliance" or "understanding" with the Indian National Congress going forward. Happily, intense and informed deliberations within the Party Congress have led to such a rethink; the CPI-M Party line now leaves open the possibility of an "understanding" with the INC, although refusing any "alliance". This final openness clearly suggests that all factions and State units of the Party have come to recognise the quality and magnitude of the challenge that the Republic faces. It may be said that whereas the Left overall may not bring great numbe...
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How India's welfare revolution is starving citizens
By Rahul Bhatia
One morning last December, Uttam Kunwar awoke from a terrible dream in which his mother had died. Any relief he felt lasted only until he turned over on the floor, beneath the blanket he shared with her, to find her dead. We spoke on the last day of February, in a tiny settlement at the eastern edge of Jharkhand, an Indian state near the Bay of Bengal. Uttam sat on a khatiya, a bed of bamboo and cord mesh, beside logs left from the pyre. "She died of hunger," he said. I asked how he knew, and he stared at me. "She died of hunger," he said. The bulb above us sputtered. Uttam brought out a passport picture glued to his mother's bank-account book. Villagers offering directions to her home had spoken of her madness, and I looked for signs in the photo. Premani Kunwar confronted the camera wi...
Kashmir Times News Report
Kartnataka poll results one big lesson for 2019 poll
By Nitya Chakraborty
Only a total opposition unity can meet BJP challenge The problem with the Congress is that the Party still thinks that it is a natural party of governance and Rahul Gandhi really believes that. This attitude has to change if the Congress makes any effort to be the core of the opposition unity. The results of the Karnataka assembly elections have grim lessons for the opposition parties, especially the Congress Party led by Rahul Gandhi in determining strategy for the coming Lok Sabha elections in 2019.The BJP led by Narendra Modi-Amit Shah duo has recorded a massive victory devaluing the Congress in this important southern state. This victory will give BJP a major boost in its coming campaign in the assembly elections in the three states-Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh by th...
Kashmir Times News Report
Crucial presidential elections in Venezuela
Opposition candidate Falcon challenging incumbent Maduro
By Tony Burke
Presidential elections will be held in Venezuela on May 20 at the same time as municipal and regional elections. Contrary to claims from some who support Donald Trump's "regime change" agenda in the oil-rich country that Venezuela is a dictatorship, these elections will be the 25th national election or referendum since 1998. Current President Nicolas Maduro is standing, along with opposition candidates. The most prominent of these is Henri Falcon. Falcon is a former mayor and governor and, although originally a government supporter, he joined the right-wing opposition in 2012. He twice backed Henrique Capriles as presidential candidate - against Hugo Chavez in 2012 and against Nicolas Maduro last time. Five candidates were participating in the election, but this has now dropped down to f...
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Israel's onslaught on Gaza
By Humra Quraishi
Gaza is being massacred by Israel yet again. Fresh news of killings and injuries are still pouring in, as the protests are set to continue and Israel's brutal attacks are set to escalate. With fascist powers controlling the world and our subcontinent, each day brings along news that hits the very soul, but May 15 was particularly bad; loaded it was with depressing news. One after another. First the numbers of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces on the Gaza - Israel border was perhaps the highest in recent years. What, with 55 Palestinians killed and almost 3,000 injured by Israeli soldiers. Why? Simply because they were protesting the opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem. Those images were much too shocking. I am reminded of successive Palestinian envoys detailing the harshest possib...
Kashmir Times News Report
Are dictators on the way out - or on the way up?
By Natasha Ezrow
As the table below indicates, the number of dictators who've fallen in recent years for all sorts of reasons is a cause for optimism. Dictator/leader Country Years in Power Reason for downfall João Bernardo Vieira Guinea Bissau 1980-1999; 2005-2009 Military coup, execution Zine El Abidine Ben Ali Tunisia 1987-2011 Revolution Hosni Mubarak Egypt 1981-2011 Revolution Laurent Gbago Côte d'Ivoire 2000-2011 Arrest Muammar Gaddafi Libya 1969-2011 Revolution Ali Abdullah Saleh Yemen 1978/90-2012 Revolution Meles Zenawi Ethiopia 1995-2012 Death Hugo Chávez Venezuela 1999/2002-2013 Death François Bozizé Central African Republic 2003-2013 Civil war Nouri al Maliki Iraq 2006-2014 Elections Hamid Karzai Afghanistan 2001-2014 Elections Blaise Compaoré Burkina Faso 1987-2014 Uprising, resi...
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Malaysia: A second chance
By Gwynne Dyer
Mahathir Mohamad was always a curious character. He was prime minister of Malaysia for 22 years, and although he did not enrich himself many of his cronies did very well from corrupt practices that he did little to curb. He was a ruthless authoritarian who had his own deputy prime minister, Anwar Ibrahim, jailed on a trumped-up charge of sodomy when Anwar called for economic and political reforms in 1998. But he preserved Malaysia's basic democratic institutions when ethnic resentments threatened to overwhelm them, and he left the country in good shape economically when he retired at the age of 75 in 2001. It's unlikely that he ever imagined he would be returning to power at the age of 92. Like Mahathir, his successors in office came from the United Malays National Organisation, a part...
Kashmir Times News Report
Overseas bidders for Air India trying to twist sale terms
By Nantoo Banerjee
Air traffic boom sends AI on a fast recovery track In just another three to four months' time, the fate of India's long preserved pride, Air India, the national carrier and 'Maharaja' of the sky, may be finally decided. Who'll be the ultimate owner of the airline? In just another three to four months' time, the fate of India's long preserved pride, Air India, the national carrier and 'Maharaja' of the sky, may be finally decided. Who'll be the ultimate owner of the airline? It's a multi-million-dollar question before Air Indians. The last date for intimating the qualified 'Interested Bidders' of the government stand has been extended from May 28 to June 15. The civil aviation ministry has issued a 'corrigendum' to its earlier 'Expression of Interest.' Its preliminary memorandum on Mar...
Kashmir Times News Report
Faiz daughter sent back. Here's her son on the disturbing deportation of peace icon
Faiz Ahmad Faiz's daughter was recently sent back to Pakistan, despite being an invited guest in the land of the Mahatma. But the truth is, the people of both nations love Faiz - and peace.
By Ali Madeeh Hashmi
"When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty," wrote Thomas Jefferson. In the fall of 2016, the Jio MAMI eighteenth Mumbai Film Festival decided to ban the showing of the film Jago Hua Savera, written by Faiz Ahmad Faiz, and boasting a galaxy of Indian actors, including Padma Shri recipient Tripti Mitra of the Indian People's Theater Association. In an article at the time, I lamented the rise of bloodthirsty jingoism on both sides of our shared border and pointed out the obvious: Faiz belonged as much to India as he did to Pakistan. While he was born and raised near Sialkot in Pakistan, Faiz's first job out of college was in MAO College, Amritsar; he served in the British Indian Army in Delhi during World War II, got married in Srinagar and maintained a deep affection for the l...
Kashmir Times News Report
Indian Judiciary since 1993: Independent but unchecked and unbalanced
By Kunal Ghosh
It is true that many previous governments have misused their powers against the judiciary by arbitrary and motivated transfers and other measures. No doubt that reform of the system had been necessary. The National Judicial Appointment Commission (NJAC) Bill, which was unanimously passed by the parliament and the State legislatures, addressed the question of reform adequately. But the SC, in its present intransigent avatara, struck the Bill down, and since then there has been an impasse over the Memorandumof Procedure (MOP) for judicial appointments between the executive and the judiciary. Our Constitution-makers decided to follow the western model of parliamentary democracy in which there are three main organs of the state, the executive (that is, the government run by...
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Marxism has to be scientifically applied in India
By S. Sudhakar Reddy
Karl Marx was an eminent philosopher, renowned economist, historian, journalist, political ideologue, revolutionary socialist, great intellectual and multilingual expert. His birthday bicentenary is being celebrated in a spectacular way all over the world from May 5, 2018 onwards throughout the year. Karl Marx obtained law degree and simultaneously studied Hegelian philosophy. Marx was a great scientific thinker, yet there are some pseudo intellectuals who have distorted Marxism. They have written books to prove that Marxism is no more relevant in the contemporary world. Their main aim is to continue with the status quo and serve the existing bourgeois society. A vicious propaganda is also on in social media stating that socialism proposed by Karl Marx has failed in Soviet Union. Fidel ...
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