Thursday, January 18, 2018
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Shithole Countries
By Gwynne Dyer
Poor Donald Trump. He was simply asking for information, and they're all over him as if he were a racist thug. His choice of words was unfortunate, but the angels rejoice when an ignorant person seeks enlightenment. We should take his question seriously and answer it for him. What Trump asked last Thursday was: "Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?" From the context - he was meeting with congressmen and senators who were working on immigration issues - it's clear that by 'shithole countries' he meant Central American and African countries. El Salvador and Haiti came in for special mention. What marks these countries out is that many of them are very poor, and some of them are plagued by war, crime and/or massive corruption. But most of the immigrants to ...
Kashmir Times News Report
Does BJP Intend to Change Indian Constitution?
Dr Ram Puniyani
BJP, which believes in Hindu nationalism, faces the dilemma about Indian Constitution. Necessarily it has to pay its obeisance to Indian Constitution for electoral purpose to be sure. It has to seek votes of all sections of society including dalits and other marginalized sections of society for whom this Constitution is a liberator. At present, BJP's electoral strength is not adequate for changing the Constitution, so it cannot talk openly about the same. In addition Constitution has also emotive values for large sections of dalits, who regard it as a greatest contribution of Babsaheb Ambedkar in the direction of social change. In this light to statement of Anantkumar Hegde, the Union Minster, that BJP is in power to change the Constitution may not have matched with the overall strategy o...
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BJP's growing fear of Rahul Gandhi
Dr Satish Misra
Latest statements and reactions of the BJP leaders and spokesperson on Congress president Rahul Gandhi clearly indicate that the country's grand old party and its newly elected chief is no more beings ridiculed but is being treated as a serious political challenge. Is it a mere Gujarat nightmare that is haunting the BJP top leadership or there is something more than meets the common eye, only coming electoral battles in Karnataka, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh will confirm. Let us take a close look at what Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said on Gandhi's short visit to Bahrain on January 8. "BJP condemns the irresponsible utterances of Rahul Gandhi abroad", he said at a specially convened press conference at the BJP headquarters in the union capital on January 9. P...
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Few in India will believe this Pew survey
Indian media presented as more objective than American
By Sushil Kutty
With US President Donald Trump in all-out war with media, fake news and fake media are current news. And one piece of news that sounds like "fake news" and is doing the rounds is that news reporting in mainstream Indian media is "fair and objective". According to a Pew Research survey, a significant majority of Indians believe that news reporting by their mainstream media is "fair and objective". It says "in all the parameters Indian media scores better than the American media." The survey results come even as Trump announced that he will present 'Fake Media Awards' to media outlets which do inaccurate reporting. Trump has already identified a clutch of media including CNN, New York Times and Washington Post as fake media. The Pew survey said as many as 72 per cent of Indians believe t...
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Indians still clinging to prejudices
Bias against Dalits, women a dominating influence
By Aditya Aamir
Something we never get to know from research papers downloaded on us is what do the researchers themselves think about the issues they research, their own answers to the questions they pose to the sample surveyed. That is food for thought. Moving on, a newly published research paper titled 'Explicit Prejudice: Evidence from a New Survey' shows that not much has changed on the societal plane in India. The same prejudices still exist, and the people who they target haven't changed face, too. The new survey published in the latest issue of the Economic and Political Weekly and authored by Diane Coffey, Payal Hathi, Nidhi Khurana and Amit Thorat showed that people were still clinging to set prejudices, particularly against the Dalit and women, even after 70 years of having a Constitution to...
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Only Hindus can make India secular
By Brij Bhardwaj
How close we are to becoming an oppressive regime in which we refuse to provide equal space and opportunity to all citizens. To start with eliminate them from governance by denying them all elected posts, second create conditions in which they are denied opportunities for education, so that opportunities for growth and employment are denied to them. They are confined to living in separate colonies. In short creating conditions where they become second class citizens. This has been done in Pakistan. It has been followed by prosecution of minorities like Hindus, Christians and even Shia Muslims. The attacks on their places of worship are common and some are even prosecuted in the religious courts where fair trial is impossible and you are presumed to be guilty even before you are heard. I...
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Triple talaq bill
By A.G. Noorani
IN the debate on the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2017, one aspect of cardinal importance has been overlooked. It is the deliberate refusal to abide by the Rules of Procedure of the Lok Sabha and, indeed, the settled norms of parliamentary practice. The bill was passed by the Lok Sabha on Dec 28 but was stalled in the Rajya Sabha where the BJP does not command a majority. It affects Muslims exclusively. Yet they were deliberately not consulted at all at any stage. This is outrageous. As Eustace Percy said, "No president of the Board of Education would dream of introducing any measure into this House [of Commons] which had not been discussed ad nauseam with the three associations of educational authorities and the National Union of Traders." In his classic Parliam...
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India's GDP to slow down in FY 2017-18 to 6.5%
Rating agencies and Economists predict a rally in FY 2018-19
By TN Ashok
The Central Statistical Organisation (CSO) has predicted India's GDP growth aka economic progress to slow down to 6.5% in the Financial Year ending March 2018. This attracts global attention because most investors of the world have turned to India as a favourite destination against the backdrop of a grinding slow down and overheating of the Chinese economy badly hit by global recession. Most economists are quick to point out demonetisation, which crushed the cash driven economy (India's cash driven economy is as high as 96%), and the GST rollout as the main factors that put road blocks on an otherwise growing economy that showed promise as soon as Prime Minister Narendra Modi took the reins of power in 2014 in a rising anti-corruption tide of public opinion. The CSO figures come as a s...
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May's cabinet reshuffle is a disaster for her government
PM's half-hearted decisions give a big boost to Corbyn
By Nitya Chakraborty
British Prime Minister Theresa May has shown through her cabinet reshuffle on Monday that she is not in control of the ruling Conservative Party and she can be cajoled by her MPs to change decisions. As a result, the much hyped cabinet changes have led to further factional battle within the Tories, giving a big handle to the Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn in stepping up campaign for the ouster of a flip flop regime. The Prime Minister was shown in a poor light when senior members of the cabinet refused to move as desired by her and Justice Greening quit the Government after turning down the portfolio of work and pensions secretary. The entire process of announcements showed that the PM was not in command and the powerful Mps were working till the last month to get portfolios according...
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Dangerous future ahead
By Dr S. Saraswathi
New Year season is celebrated this year in Mumbai with violent street level politics virtually paralysing normal life. Various Dalit organisations, which normally meet to visit a memorial in Bhima-Koregaon on the outskirts of Pune on 1st January, used the occasion to reinvigorate Dalit politics. In Maharashtra, it is the day to commemorate the memory of a battle fought in 1818 between the Peshwas (Maratha rulers) and the East India Company which won with the support of Mahar soldiers. Bhima-Koregaon is a historic reminder of Dalit valour. While textbooks speak of East India Company's territorial expansion, the victorious role of their ancestors is recalled by Mahars ever since Ambedkar's visit to this place in 1927. In the context of democratic elections fanning caste affiliations and...
Kashmir Times News Report
What is anarchy?
By I.A. Rehman
SOME people (politicos, media pundits and commentators of different hues) have been warning all and sundry that Pakistan is racing towards anarchy, while some other people assert that the country is already in its grip. This is not only a matter of difference on the definition of anarchy but also of some confusion caused by the acceptance of different levels of anarchy as normal by officialdom on the one hand and citizens on the other. While Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi was rebutting, apparently in a state of anger, US allegations of Pakistan's denial of rights to religious minorities, the National Commission for Human Rights released its report on the plight of the Kalash people. The official commission found several serious violations of the Kalash people's rights that call for ...
Kashmir Times News Report
Modi government has no firm policy on labour issues
Jobless growth is hallmark of NDA rule
By B. Sivaraman
With the Union Budget presentation approaching, expectations are rising among the salaried-not only about a possible hike in income-tax exemption limit but also on some major path-breaking schemes like unemployment allowance for youth and retrenched workers. However, some TU leaders are sceptical given the policy paralysis of Modi Government on labour issues. The only move in recent times on labour issues was the decision by the Modi Government on 30 November 2017 to drop the proposal to allow companies upto 300 workers to sack them without obtaining government permission. This was the immediate response by Mr. Modi after getting the feedback ten days before polling in Gujarat that the going was getting tough for BJP. When the chambers of industries started squealing, while participating...
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Potato growers' unusual protest in Lucknow
By Lalit Sethi
In an unusual protest, allegedly by farmers, several hundred kilogrammes of potatoes were dumped outside the U.P. Assembly building and the residence of the Chief Minister in Lucknow on the first week-end night of January 5. The farmers have been demanding a remunerative price for their potato crop, at least Rs. 10 per kg rather than the support price of Rs. 4.87, though the actual price they receive is Rs. 4 per kilo, if not even less in the private markets. The dumping of potatoes in high security areas of Vidhan Sabha Marg and Kalidas Marg is being treated as a security lapse and four policemen and a sub-inspector have been suspended. But it has been reported that the protesters took advantage of the continuing night fog to drive to the sensitive roads to dump the potatoes. The polic...
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BJP in jittery mode with challenge posed by youth leaders
By Humra Quraishi
Fascist forces are worried and apprehensive : What if Rahul Gandhi, Akhilesh Yadav, Tejashvi Yadav, Hardik Patel, Alpesh Thakore, Jignesh Mevani, Chandrashekar Azad and several other leaders from the various regional parties of the country come together on a dais!Strangely or not really, barricades are put if you and I want to protest. Yes, even non -violent protestors are threatened with the aftermath! Tell me, why is the sarkar of the day so very wary of you and I, so very rattled by our queries at what's going on …at the horrifying situation wrecking havoc! As I have been writing, an un-declared emergency is on, where prominent student -leaders and even elected representatives are finding it tough to address a public meet. Why were barricades - political and police - thrust before Jig...
Kashmir Times News Report
Fifty years after youth revolt in 1968
Historians look back to assess its impact
By Mark Gruenberg
WASHINGTON-1968…the year all hell broke loose worldwide, or so it seemed then. Students hit the streets from Tokyo to Cairo to Chicago. Opposition to the U.S. war in Indochina was the main theme, but there were secondary and local causes, too-from protesting a sick economy and a discredited president in Egypt to campaigning against an aloof ruler in France. Soviet tanks overthrew the reformist Czechoslovak Communist government of Alexander Dubcek's "Prague Spring." The U.S. lurched between a detested president, the assassinations of Dr. Martin Luther King, and Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, riots in cities after King's murder, the black power movement, and the "police riot"-as an impartial report put it-surrounding the late-summer Democratic National Convention in Chicago. That conclave itself...
Kashmir Times News Report
Dalit protests in Maharashtra sharpen Hindutva fault lines
By Satish Misra
Clashes between Dalits and right-wing groups at the Koregaon-Bhima in Maharashtra on the very first day of 2018 are ominous on several counts. Around 10 lakh Dalits had turned up at Koregaon-Bhima on January 1 to mark 200 years of the British battle with Peshwas also known as the Third Anglo-Maratha War in which the Mahars, a Dalit sub-caste, were fighting on the side of the East India Company. The bicentenary commemoration became the precipitating factor for the clashes in Maharashtra where Dalits have a recorded long history of protest movement. One of the tallest icons of Dalit identity Dr B R Ambedkar and his Republican Party of India (RPI) are deeply rooted in ethos and history of the state. Not only violent protests by Dalits spread across Maharashtra, the movement is t...
Kashmir Times News Report
Ahed Tamimi offers Israelis a lesson worthy of Gandhi
By Jonathan Cook
Nazareth: Sixteen-year-old Ahed Tamimi may not be what Israelis had in mind when, over many years, they criticised Palestinians for not producing a Mahatma Gandhi or Nelson Mandela. Eventually, colonised peoples bring to the fore a figure best suited to challenge the rotten values at the core of the society oppressing them. Ahed is well qualified for the task. She was charged last week with assault and incitement after she slapped two heavily armed Israeli soldiers as they refused to leave the courtyard of her family home in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh, near Ramallah. Her mother, Nariman, is in detention for filming the incident. The video quickly went viral. Ahed lashed out shortly after soldiers nearby shot her 15-year-old cousin in the face, seriously injuring him. Western ...
Kashmir Times News Report
Only the poor die screaming
The contrast between rich countries and lower-income countries is far greater in pain control than in any other facet of medical practice.
By Gwynne Dyer
If you had a million dollars to spend (but not on yourself), where would it do the most good? Well, the cost to cover morphine or a morphine-equivalent pain relief treatment for all the sick children younger than 15 years who are in really serious pain in low-income countries would be just $1 million per year. About half of them of those children are going to die, but with morphine at least they wouldn't die screaming. That's how a great many people died in the past: no pain relief, or aspirin at best, and so cancer victims, gravely injured people and many others spent their last days, weeks or months in agony. Everybody still dies in the end, but now they die with far less pain - in the richer parts of the world. Elsewhere, however, it's still the Bad Old Days. This is not because the...
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Doubling farmers' income by 2022 an impossible target
Plan sans appropriate actions
By Gyan Pathak
In the first year of the plan to double farmers' income by 2022, the growth rate in 'agriculture, forestry, and fishing' is estimated to sharply fall to less than half. The first advanced estimate of the national income for the year 2017-18 puts the likely growth in this sector to be 2.1 per cent in its Gross Value Added (GVA), as against the previous year's 4.9 per cent. The Central Statistics Office (CSO), Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, has compiled this report on the basis of information given by the Department of Agriculture and Cooperation (DAC), which said that the production of food grains during the Kharif season was 134.67 million tonnes as compared to 138.52 million tonnes in the previous year. In the period after the announcement of the decision by the...
Kashmir Times News Report
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