Thursday, June 29, 2017
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Pakistan steps up mischief to please China
The China-Pakistan collaboration amounts to making Pakistan the Chinese proxy against India in the same way as North Korea is, by implication, the bully boy of China against the US. In this background the muted UPA overtures to Pakistan to reach a settlement were dropped when there seemed no prospect of stopping Pakistan's mischief. Pakistan's aggressive actions please China, an all-weather 'friend' who issues commands and demands obedience. But the BJP and the NDA have taken long to reach such a conclusion and failed to realize that one cannot offer a hand of friendship to a deceptive terrorist State where the so-called civilian government works as an obedient servant of Pakistan's military and its Inter-Services Intelligence or ISI. It is felt that Prime Minister should not have dropp...
Kashmir Times News Report
How real is fear of Modi imposing undeclared emergency
By Lalit Sethi
While Prime Minister Narendra Modi has harked back to the memories of the "black night" that the National Emergency of June 25, 1975 evoked, the Congress has called it a "mistake" and acknowledged that "lessons have been learnt". But it has alleged that Mr. Modi has overlooked India's internal security, which, it fears, is now "in jeopardy" and an undeclared emergency could be in the works. Mr. Tom Vadakkan, spokesman of the All-India Congress Committee, alleged that the country was facing an "undeclared emergency" as "the so-called separatists had become full-grown terrorists, "thanks to the help of the PDP and choreography of the BJP, which now speaks one language in the Kashmir Valley and talks about nationalism all over India...We wish that issues of internal security were also ra...
Kashmir Times News Report
The irony of terror struck minorities branded as terrorists
By Humra Quraishi
Something seems to be going wrong. The minority communities of the country have never felt so helpless and insecure …mind you, their apprehensions and worries are growing every single day. The Dalits are fuming; detailing the discriminations they face, not overlooking the latest bait thrown their way, adding, 'appointing a Dalit at that top slot is akin to putting a man in a golden cage! Can our cries be heard out there!' And as I'm writing this column on Eid-ul-Fitr, to be precise as dusk overtakes the evening, so let me tell you what the Muslims of the country are feeling under the might of the Right- Wing governance. Foremost, a majority of the Muslims did not 'celebrate' this Eid. Yes, they did go to offer namaaz at the nearby mosques and did visit close friends but there was little ...
Kashmir Times News Report
Philippines Insurgency
By Gwynne Dyer
A month ago, hardly anybody outside the Philippines had ever heard of Marawi. Now it's the latest front in the war against Islamic State. More evidence, if you needed it, that the terrorism associated with Islamic State will go on long after Mosul and Raqqa have been liberated and "Caliph Ibrahim" (Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi) has been killed or captured. "We have actually preempted the establishment of a wilayat (a province of Islamic State)," said Ernesto Abella, the spokesperson of Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte, which is definitely overstating the case. The response of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) was slow and clumsy, and government policy has been lax and inattentive. It's not even clear that the attempt by the Maute group of Islamist fighters to take over Marawi, an u...
Kashmir Times News Report
Dalit vs Dalit: Nitish may have won a round, but lost the match
Act of revenge puts Bihar CM's secular credentials under scBy Arun Srivastava
By Arun Srivastava
Dalit versus Dalit. The battle line has finally been drawn. While the Opposition's pick Meira Kumar will challenge the NDA nominee Ram Nath Kovind with the motto to strengthen and uphold secular values, on his part Kovind will facilitate Sangh to reinvent itself and usher the country into a new polity with a distinct Hindutva super-structure. A nasty controversy has erupted on the issue of Nitish Kumar breaking away from the Opposition rank and going all out to ensure the victory of Kovind. While his elder brother and senior partner of the grand alliance, Lalu Yadav called Nitish's decision to support Kovind and not the combined Opposition candidate Meira Kumar, "Beti of Bihar" a 'historic blunder' and wondered how he could claim to be working for a 'Sangh-mukt' (RSS-free) country by ba...
Kashmir Times News Report
Power For All
Right resolve, but tough
By Dhurjati Mukherjee
The government's resolve to provide electricity to every household in the country by May next year is well meaning but achieving the target seems rather tough. There are still 300 million people in the country who are starved of electricity, as stated by President Mukherjee recently in Kolkata. And even though the work is moving in the right direction at a steady pace, it may take another year or at least nine more months to accomplish the target. At the same time, even this would be a big achievement for the Modi government and the country can claim to enter a new era. However, to receive sustained power supply for at least four hours a day for every household will take longer at least in some regions. Indeed, sustained supply of power is essential as education spreads and so also mic...
Kashmir Times News Report
BJP versus the rest for 2019 is not a reality yet
By Satish Misra
Ongoing battle for the Rashtrapathi Bhavan has left no one in doubt about the so called opposition unity and has shown how vulnerable non-BJP parties are. Moment the BJP top leadership announced the candidature of a Dalit leader Ramnath Kovind, chinks in the armour of the much claimed and oft trumpeted unity among the 18 political parties first to wreck it from within as he extended the support of the Janata Dal (U) to Kovind with a poor logic that as Bihar Governor Kovind had performed well. Even though the meeting of the 18 opposition parties was scheduled to be held on June 22, Nitish appeared to be in a hurry to show to the world that he was breaking away from the common platform that was floated few months back to contest the presidential battle and then jointly move to fight the RS...
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Opposition parties bat for Meira Kumar to embarrass Nitish Kumar
By Lalit Sethi
Sixteen political parties in the Opposition led by the Congress have decided not to give the BJP and its allies an uncontested walkover in the race for the Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi's Raisina Hill. They have done so by nominating Mrs. Meira Kumar, daughter of Babu Jagjivan Ram; she is a former Speaker of the Lok Sabha and five times member of Parliament. She is opposing Mr. Ram Nath Kovind, Governor of Bihar, whose name Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced on June 19 as the National Democratic Alliance candidate with the support of at least three parties outside the ruling NDA. Both contenders are Dalit leaders with a Bihar connection. It is now two Dalit leaders in the electoral contest. Estimates suggest that Mr. Kovind, born in a farming family in a U.P. village, will win the...
Kashmir Times News Report
Modi to reshape India-US relations, vying for Trump heart
Opportunity to capitalise on Obama era headway
By Subrata Majumder
The upcoming visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to USA has drawn several speculations and apprehensions, given President Donald Trump's challenge for a vertical change in the long-held pillars of US foreign policy. Trump's overture for overturning USA's role in global diplomacy, shifting to inward diplomacy, castigating globalization the Davos way and sputter America First to rebuilt USA by Americans are some of the new threats of Trump administration. Against this backdrop, Modi's visit - advanced by several months (earlier expected at the end of the year) - pitched for hard challenges to Modi to give a new shape to India-US relation, built during the three years of Obama administration. Trump will focus on its own term to build the new paradigm of India-US relation. Bilaterally, ...
Kashmir Times News Report
Loan waivers no panacea for farm sector ills
Marketing freedom needed to help producers
By Anjan Roy
Behind the tragedy, calamity and babble over farmers' death, loan waivers, crashing prices is the reality of a vital sector of the economy which is held to ransom by control mind set of politicians. How and why? Here are the reasons. The fundamental fact that is not appreciated is that farmers are shrewd businessmen. They plan their production next season evaluating the prices for the products in the market. So when the prices of a product increase, they go for it. When many of them at the same time follow the same game plan and production rises, prices fall. Meanwhile, the farmer had raised commercial loans to implement his business plan of production of crop. The question is why should the prices inevitably crash if production goes up. The fundamental reason why this happens is that ...
Kashmir Times News Report
People & Their Problems: Farmers Waiver
What about money lenders debt?
By Moin Qazi
Notwithstanding the government is all set to forgive billions of dollars of loans of farmers, the actually distressed class among them will have no respite from their misery. They owe their debts to money lenders whereas the government waiver applies only to formal credit. Almost every farmer in India's massive rural swathes is tethered, in one way or another, to the sahukar, the Indian variety of the money lender, the ubiquitous, ravenous loan shark. For centuries, money lenders have monopolised rural Indian credit markets. Families have lost land, farmers have been asked to prostitute their wives to pay off debts, and, when all else has failed, they have tied the noose to end their misery. An inescapable cycle of debt continues to grip rural India, particularly its farming class. Yet ...
Kashmir Times News Report
Shocking tale of bureaucratic brutality
Frustrated farmer commits suicide in front of village office
By P Sreekumaran
It is an unredeeming tale of man's inhumanity to man; of unspeakable brutality of bureaucrats who batten themselves on human misery. Kerala woke up to a horrendous human tragedy when 57-year-old farmer, Kavilpurayidathil Joy, hanged himself, unable to endure the harassment by a callous bureaucrat. All that Joy wanted to do was pay the tax on his land so that he can sell the property to meet the marriage and educational expenses of his youngest daughter. But he could not do that because the babu Sileesh Thomas, now in the eye of a storm, would not collect the tax unless Joy bribed him. The tension was too much for the soft-spoken man who committed suicide in front of the village office at Chambanoda in Kozhikode district. Shocked and angry villagers laid siege to the office. It was only ...
Kashmir Times News Report
Relatives allege torture of SIMI undertrials in Bhopal jail
Human Rights Commission sends team to hold enquiry
By L.S. Herdenia
Relatives of the alleged activists of SIMI, being held as undertrials in the Bhopal Central Jail, have accused the jail authorities of torture of their kin and denial of basic human rights to them. The relatives of these undertrials met a team of the National Human Rights Commission which visited the state capital to enquire into the allegations of torture. They complained to the team that they were being subjected to various types of atrocities. A few of the relatives had visited New Delhi to meet the Commission members and had urged them to send a team to find out the truth. It was in the response to the request that the commission sent a team, which arrived here on June 20. Besides the relatives of the SIMI undertrials, representatives of some NGOs and civil rights bodies, including...
Kashmir Times News Report
Kashmir valley faces new crisis
By Kanchan Basu
Kashmir conflict has taken a new turn with new narratives surfacing within the fold of homegrown militant groups. Zakir Rashid Bhat or Zakir Musa was entrusted by Hizbul Mujahideen supremo Syed Salahudin the charge of the valley after Burhan Wani's killing. But the latter with his recent bombshell has only helped infuse more chaos and split within the militant group. Who is this Zakir? 'Zakir' was not to be militant; he got admission in a Chandigarh College to study 'Civil Engineering'. All was going well but suddenly in 2013 he left the course of 'Civil Engineering' and went back to his native village Noorpura in Pulwama district of Kashmir Valley. One day he left home. Gradually the name and picture of Zakir Musa was in circulation in social media. All knew the Zakir Musa had taken...
Kashmir Times News Report
Breaking the Kashmir deadlock
By Ershad Mahmud
All accounts originating from Kashmir Valley have confirmed that the angry Kashmiri youth is significantly slipping towards violence. Fear of detention and harassment and the various cases of police abuse have become pointless to them. Even female students pitched themselves into protests in recent weeks. It is reported that the 13-time military operation was halted due to the resistance of the population despite Indian Army Chief General Bipin Rawat's warning that anybody who creates hurdle in their operations will be treated as a terrorist. Kashmir-watchers noted that the public support for militancy has largely revived after a decade or so. Violence has swept across the region and southern Kashmir is mainly considered to be a hub of agitation and resistance. The Hurriyat Conference -...
Kashmir Times News Report
Silly Buggers
By Gwynne Dyer
I don't remember which navy I was in when I first heard the term "silly buggers", but the meaning was clear. It included some sensible exercises like "man overboard" drills, but the heart and soul of the game was high-speed manoeuvres by ships traveling in close company. These sometimes got quite exciting, because ships don't have brakes. Off the coast of Lebanon, in 140 metres of water, is the wreck of the British battleship HMS Victoria, which sank in 1893. It is the world's only vertical wreck, because its bow is plunged deep in the mud but its stern is only 70 metres below the service - "like a tombstone," said one of the divers who found it in 2004. And it was "silly buggers" that did for it. The British Mediterranean fleet was travelling in two parallel lines when Admiral Tryon de...
Kashmir Times News Report
Varadkar and Bernabic
By Gwynne Dyer
For most Irish people the most striking thing about their new prime minister, Leo Varadkar, is that he is very young. (At 38, he is the country's youngest leader ever.) It's mainly the foreign press that goes on about the fact that he is a) half-Indian, and b) gay. Varadkar himself, the son of a doctor from India and a nurse from Ireland who met while working in a hospital in southern England, is definitely not keen on being seen as a symbol of changing public attitudes: "I'm not a half-Indian politician, or a doctor politician or a gay politician, for that matter. It's just part of who I am. It doesn't define me." No, it doesn't, but it is still worth focussing on for a moment to think about what it tells us not just about Ireland but about the West as a whole, and even about the world...
Kashmir Times News Report
Divisive politics and caste-creed calculations
By Humra Quraishi
There are two sets of rules prevailing in today's India. Political rulers can get -away with any of the divisive utterings but not the hapless masses, who have got to be fed on a daily dose of political tactics along caste -creed calculations. Barely had the caste-dripping 'chatur baniya' crude comment made by Amit Shah settled down, the BJP is busy flaunting the Dalit background to their presidential candidate, Ram Nath Kovind. I was under the impression that to talk of castes and sub-castes was somewhat banned in a democratic setup, but then I seem to have overlooked the fact that two sets of rules are prevailing in today's India. Political rulers can get -away with any of the divisive utterings but not the hapless masses, who have got to be fed on a daily dose of political tactics a...
Kashmir Times News Report
View from the Gallery
BJP scores in first round in poll battle for 2019
By Brij Bhardwaj
BJP has made a good beginning by nominating Ram Nath Kovind as the NDA nominee for the post of President of India as its attempt to reach the Dalit Community was under serious threat with attacks on them in U.P and ban on slaughter of animals which has robbed them of thousands of jobs as they are employed on a large scale in the leather industry and meat products processing. They alone carry out the job of lifting dead animals and skinning them to procure hides for leather industry. Yet another advantage in selection of Mr Kovind is that he enjoys a good image having maintained a low profile and not having rubbed even the State Government headed by Mr Nitish Kumar in Bihar who rode to power after defeating BJP and opposing nomination of Mr Narendra Modi as BJP choice for the job of P...
Kashmir Times News Report
Media Freedom under Threat: Selective Solidarity and Hypocrisy will not do
By Prabodh Jamwal
For decades, media organisations in the Northeast and Kashmir have been fighting for their right to exist and speak freely, without any support from the national media. In the intervening period between the Emergency and the present phase, the regional, small and marginalised media bore the brunt of both harassment and co-option at the hands of the successive governments in New Delhi and in the states. Unfortunately, the 'national' media - which is now feeling the pinch because of the present government's far more brazen approach towards controlling the narrative - chose over the years to ignore this victimisation and these attempts to muzzle the 'lesser' sections of the media. Veteran journalist and former Union minister Arun Shourie's call for unity among the mainstream media, both...
Kashmir Times News Report
Ode to an outgoing president
Pranab leaves a 'feel-good' legacy
By Kalyani Shankar
President Pranab Mukherjee retires on July 25 paving way for a new president to take over. The BJP is not keen to give him a second term and the President has also declared that he is not seeking one. The Rashatrapthi Bhavan will have a new tenant as the BJP has the adequate number to choose his successor. Several presidents before Mukherjee have left behind their footprints in the Raisina Hills. India's first President Rajendra Prasad was the tallest among them. We have had erudite Presidents like Sarvapalali Radhakrishnan. Abdul Kalam was called the People's President; Sanjiva Reddy and Giani Zail Singh had had a tumultuous relationship with the executive. There were docile presidents like Fakrudin Ali Ahmed who signed the emergency papers on the dotted line and copybook presidents l...
Kashmir Times News Report
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