Thursday, July 19, 2018
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Agenda of taming Lutyen's Delhi journalists
Republic-ans see need for Modi-type editors
By Aditya Aamir
The conservative right in the country values 'true Indian values' even if to find what those values are requires travelling back in time to the Vedic Age or sit down with Union minister Dr Satyapal Singh, who denies with vehemence that he did not descend from the apes! Dr Singh faced much ridicule for that ridiculous claim. If and when he comes face to face with Charles Darwin, he will have to explain. That is if he does land in heaven! Till then, Dr Singh's complaint is with the left-liberal media which laughed at his claim. Journalists wrote humour pieces and cartoonists went ape-crap! The liberal journalist is this regime's No.2 enemy. And dividing the media is a work in progress. Some have been turned. Others are being targeted. Among the second lot are national English newspapers p...
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Opposition to stitch up state-specific alliances to fight BJP
By Kushal Jeena
The efforts to bring opposition parties together on one platform have gained ground with West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee and Telengana chief minister holding parleys with the leaders of the regional parties who are out of the any of the two national level alliances headed by BJP and Congress. The two chief ministers along with leaders of the Samajwadi Party, BSP, JD (S) and other smaller regional outfits are engaged in hectic talks to ensure a one-to-one contest against the BJP-led NDA in the upcoming polls. In a move that could potentially determine the outcome of next year general elections to Lok Sabha the opposition parties are contemplating to stitch up state specific electoral alliances in seven states that accounts for 250 seats in the 545-member Lok Sabha. Determin...
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Porn or no Porn?
By Vinod Chandrashekhar Dixit
Pornography consumption is not something that can easily be stopped. Once the appetite for it has developed, it actually increases. Recently the Central Bureau of Investigation has smashed an international child pornography racket, being run for the past two years through a WhatsApp group that had 119 members from 18 countries. Porn or no porn should be decided by the common man and not by a bunch of bureaucrats Porn addiction is rampant today. Don't we think that parents should have more quality conversation with their children instead of keeping it bottled up. If they open up, then children feel easy to communicate with them without a fear of being judged. More and more disturbed parents and spouses have been seeking help, and there is even a growing concern in schools. It hurts child'...
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Changing Syria's Demography
Gwynne Dyer
With the fall of Deraa last Friday, the end of Syria's civil war is within sight. What will Bashar al-Assad and his ruling Ba'ath Party do with their victory? Polishing off the last rebel-held areas in the south, right up against the Israeli border, won't take long now that Israel agreed that Syrian government troops can re-occupy those territories so long as Iranian and Hizbollah militias don't accompany them. (Israel's Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu discussed the issue with Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Thursday.) Recovering the thinly populated eastern quarter of the country, currently held by US-backed Kurdish forces, is a tricky diplomatic issue, but it will be accomplished in due course. Reconquering the one province still held by Islamist rebels, Idlib, may take longer, but it's...
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De-jargoning the development discourse
By Moin Qazi
You can have brilliant ideas, but if you can't get them across, your ideas won't get you anywhere. —Lee Iacocca We live in an age where noisy posturing often substitutes reasoned debate and brash opinion trumps hard facts. The thread of logic often disappears in a blizzard of gee-whiz statistics, acronyms and catchphrases that are liberally sprinkled by our contemporary crop of intellectuals. It is virtually impossible nowadays to avoid the torrent of clichés and buzzwords, which time and time again keep assailing our ears in professional as well as personal interactions. The provenance of both is easily discernible. For example, in science: "A window of opportunity" (from NASA's reference to a launch window). Or, in sports: "Step up to the plate" (to move near the plate to strike the b...
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Nitish's prohibition U-turn to please BJP
Weaker sections were biggest victims of law
By Arun Srivastava
The decision was taken at a cabinet meeting on Tuesday but the verdict was passed at the get together of some senior BJP leaders at the residence of a national leader a couple of months ago. The BJP leaders attending the session demanded that the government water down provisions of the Prohibition law. They agreed to a common precept that the law was detrimental to their party's interest. The decision to remove some of the most stringent provisions of the Prohibition law in the state was announced by chief minister Nitish Kumar just a day ahead of his one to one meeting with BJP president Amit Shah. Though Nitish clarified that the government was amending the law only to address the grievance of people that officials were abusing the 2016 Act, his numerous past statements testify he simp...
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The unseemly 'noise' over Taj Mahal
Judges wade into unchartered territory
By K Raveendran
A day before senior Supreme Court judge Justice Ranjan Gogoi spoke about the need for 'noisy judges and independent journalists', describing them as democracy's first line of defence, a bench of the apex court made noise over Taj Mahal. It was not clear whether the noise was of he same type that Justice Gogoi, in line to become the next Chief Justice of India, had referred to. But it was some unseemly noise. "Either we will shut down the Taj Mahal or you demolish or restore it", a two-member bench comprising Justices M B Lokur and Deepak Gupta were reported to have said while considering a petition that called for the proper maintenance of the16th century mausoleum, which has over the years changed colour from white to yellowish, brown and then green because of pollution in its environs....
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Venomous attack by BJP on muslims
(So What Else is New?), But Is the Congress Doing Any Good? Secularism is the way out not identity meetings
By Seema Mustafa
A Venomous attack on the Muslims by the BJP via the Congress this time. Launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and seconded by able Minister of Defence Nirmala Sitharaman whose abilities clearly lie outside her ministry. One spoke of the Congress being a party for Muslim men, and the other directed her venom at a meeting Congress President Rahul Gandhi had with Muslim 'intellectuals'. Sitharaman suffering from a major Jawaharlal Nehru University hangover, being a product of it, spoke of this innocuous meeting as what she liked to describe as a 'tukde tukde' policy. Clearly the term carries some import for the woman heading the Defence Ministry. Of course there is nothing of the tukde tukde in the BJP policy where the two senior leaders of the government keep a stoic silence when it com...
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The catch in autonomy: Universities will be subject to the dictates of the market
By Arun Kumar
A new scheme of greater autonomy to educational institutions has been announced. Depending on their NAAC scores, institutions will be slotted in category I, II and lower. There will be less autonomy as the rank declines. Those in the highest category will have the freedom to start new courses, hire foreign faculty and pay higher emoluments to faculty, So, some will have more freedom but others will have even less. Autonomy has been identified as the key to improving the quality of higher education in India. So, would the current move lead to high quality higher education? The UGC was set up to finance higher education. But, the one who controls the purse strings controls policy. In India, UGC increasingly controlled the functioning of the institutions it funded. It set syllabus, minimum...
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American sanctions
By A.G. Noorani
IT would be a shame if the international community were to submit to the gross violation of international law that has been systematically committed by the United States, through its Congress, for over two decades. The Countering of America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), 2017, has aroused widespread resentment because of its broad reach - targeting four states and draconian provisions affecting others besides. The US would not have gone as far as it has done now if the world had not acquiesced in its trial runs since at least 1992. The word 'adversaries' is used aptly. None of the targeted states is an 'enemy' posing a threat to US security. Each country - namely Iran, Russia, Syria and North Korea - is targeted because the US dislikes it or disapproves of its policies. Th...
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The casualty of truth in Kashmir
By Mushtaq ul Haq Ahmad Sikander
The dispute of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) is a legacy of partition of the Indian subcontinent. It has been an entity of contested claims both by India and Pakistan. The worst sufferers of this dispute have been the inhabitants of the state of J&K. The stakes of India and Pakistan have led to creation of a class that is loyal to their pay masters for different perks and privileges. This class with vested interests keeps the pot of the conflict boiling and do not want it to be resolved anytime soon as they will lose access to unaccountable money and power that they are enjoying by peddling the Kashmir conflict. The conflict surely has become an industry for these vested interests that sabotage every move aimed at resolution of this long pending issue. Since 1990s when the mass armed insurgenc...
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Trump is treating India as a client state
Modi must show US some spine on Iran
By Barun Das Gupta
"Teheran has warned India that if it succumbs to US pressure and cuts down on oil import under US pressure, it will withdraw all the "special privileges" India now enjoys in Iran. Teheran has also expressed its unhappiness is not making the promised investments for the expansion of the Chabahar port in terms of the Indo-Iranian agreement of May, 2016." The Trump administration has imposed a fresh sanction on Iran and issued a peremptory diktat to "all Asian countries", including India, to bring down Iranian oil imports to 'zero' by November 4. This is nothing but imposing sanctions on Iran unilaterally. It is illegal because only the United Nations has the authority to impose sanctions. But The US had imposed similar sanctions earlier also, totally ignoring the UN. No doubt, Trump thinks...
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Dogri Language Dying Slow Death In Jammu
By Pallavi Sareen
Dogri is a dying language in today's day and age. Even with 50-60 lakh Dogra population in the Jammu region, the Dogri language spread through newspapers, magazines, literature is slowly losing its importance. Dogri is one of the 'oldest' modern Indian languages. But Dogri literature began to be written, in the real sense of the word, in the 18th century. The 19th century saw an inflow of Dogri literature by its promoters. The first children's magazine in Dogri Paniri was started in 1970 but it stopped publication after 3 issues. A small literary magazine Ambar, a monthly, was also started in 1975 but after 5 issues, even this crumbled under the weight of apathy of readers, subscribers and financial burden. Similar was the case with many other magazines and literary efforts. Nami Chetan...
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Rural women
Unknown And Unheard They Lead
By Navya P K
In India, feminist struggles for gender justice - for women's right to mobility, against gendered violence and discrimination - have been concentrated in urban areas. These struggles have secured major victories for women, bringing forth both progressive laws and changes in social norms. Yet, issues of women in rural areas and from lower classes and castes - relating to livelihood, health, against practices like child marriage, etc. - have not resonated across the country as much as the urban feminist movements have. However, India has many grassroot struggles led by underprivileged women themselves for their rights, though they may not have identified themselves as feminists. These struggles range from the Chipkomovement in Himachal Pradesh in the 1970s, to recent labour strikes in Kera...
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Sikkh Matt - An Outstanding Contribution To Children Literature
By Surinder Sagar
Rajeshwar Singh ‘Raju’ does not need any introduction as for as art arena or Dogri literature is concerned. He, being an author of 2 short story books in Dogri language, 10 stage plays in Hindi and Dogri languages, with more than 30 plays in Hindi and Dogri languages broadcast by AIR Jammu, more than 30 serials and plays, numerous documentaries in Dogri and Hindi being telecast from DD Kashir, DDK Srinagar, DDK Jammu, more than 80 short stories in English, Hindi and Dogri languages published in different magazines and newspapers, regular art critic and columnist for different newspapers, magazines for the last 27 years now, is a familiar face in literary and cultural circles of state. He has been writing in mother tongue Dogri language for so many years now. No wonder, he has successfull...
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Unraveling of the Chinese model under way
Unfair trade practices coming home to roost
By Anjan Roy
Now that the US is escalating its aggressiveness, the European Union, despite all its shrill disagreements with the US on NATO, is also joining force against China for its unfair trade practices and intellectual property infringements. While China is taking the trade conflicts with US to WTO this week, EU and Japan have joined together to launch their offensive against China. The day of reckoning is here and the economic miracle that China has been for over three decades is all set to unravel. United States has joined battle with China, and it now appears, with no holds barred. Notwithstanding being the second largest economy in the world after US, China is vulnerable in this struggle as it has developed an artificial bubble economy as a creeper on the US tree. An economic storm can ...
Kashmir Times News Report
Military 'overseeing' a silent coup
A traumatic interregnum in Pakistan
ANP leader Haroon Bilour was killed in a suicide attack
By Sankar Ray
The cowardly assassination of two functionaries of the Awami National Party in Peshawar in a suicide attack just a fortnight before the national elections, including Haroon Bilour, one of the top leaders of ANP, spreads a darkening canopy over Pakistan's polity. The three embraced martyrdom in their struggle against terrorists and feudal-military interests that are committed against the gradual opening up of a transparent parliamentary democracy. The tragic incident that killed at least 19 and injured 65 - mostly in their twenties and one aged 12 - happened at Qissa Khwani when Bilour and others were proceeding towards the venue of an election meeting. He filed his nomination as a candidate from Qissa Khwani that includes the blood-stained ground. His father, Bashir Ahmad Bilour, a former...
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Tribals need justice for land and Forest Rights
By Bharat Dogra
Despite the tribals bearing the biggest share of the burden of many-sided displacements and the high level of alienation of tribals from their land, there was a flicker of new hope when during 2005-2008 the Scheduled Tribes and Traditional Forest Dwellers Forest Rights Act (briefly called Forest Rights Act or simply FRA) was passed and its rules framed. This Act hoped to correct the 'historical injustice' that had been caused to the farmers. The background to this injustice was that in colonial times vast areas were arbitrarily declared as Forest Department land without any consideration for the rights of the people obtaining their livelihood from this land. It is by now widely agreed that tribal communities in India have suffered in many cases from extreme injustice in most basic liv...
Kashmir Times News Report
Higher education growth remains inhibited
By Lalit Sethi
Are too many rules, procedures and regulatory authorities inhibiting the growth of higher education through new universities, autonomous colleges and institutions of excellence, besides financial constraints? To create a new Central university, Parliament has to adopt a Bill; perhaps a State Assembly has to do the same for one in its boundaries. A Higher Education Commission of India Bill 2018 has been in the public domain and a number of comments have been received, but the key features of the proposed law appear to have been taken for granted, neither commended nor doubted. The HECI Bill vests the power to create or establish a university in the proposed Commission through a set of "transparent criteria and thus eliminates the need for a law for this purpose". But the Commission will ...
Kashmir Times News Report
Modi-led BJP's aid and abetment for gau rakshaks
Jayant Sinha drops last pretence of development
By Amulya Ganguli
Gestures like garlanding lynching convicts indicate the BJP's commitment to a Hindu rashtra where the second-class status of the minorities will ensure that their tormentors will be honoured instead of being put behind bars. Although Jayant Sinha has been upbraided by his father, Yashwant Sinha, for garlanding a lynch brigade, the Union minister deserves a mild round of applause for revealing the BJP's real face. But for his candour, the country would have continued to suffer from the delusion that the BJP's focus was only on development for all - sabka saath, sabka vikas. The gau rakshaks, too, would have been disheartened about the party's apparent reluctance to stand by them, especially after the Supreme Court's directives about bringing them to book. Now, they are likely to feel ...
Kashmir Times News Report
Trump's Supreme Court nominee is a hard core conservative
Workers rights, women's choice will be badly hit
By Mark Gruenberg
Trump nominated Kavanaugh, a judge for the past 12 years on the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for D.C., to take the seat being vacated by Justice Anthony Kennedy, the court's current "swing vote," on July 31. Unlike Kennedy, Kavanaugh has a consistent record of pro-right-wing, anti-worker, and anti-woman rulings on that bench. Blasting his consistent record against workers' rights to unionize and women's rights to reproductive choice, progressive groups swung into action against President Donald Trump's nomination of federal appellate judge Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court literally minutes after Trump's nod on July 9. But not all the groups who blasted Kavanaugh promised to mobilize now. Instead, some appealed for money for the fight, without saying how they would u...
Kashmir Times News Report
Child lifting rumours lead to attacks on innocents
By Kushal Jeena
The rumours of child-kidnapping spread over the social networking sites are getting innocent people killed in different parts of India creating a serious law and order problems for police as they are unable to allay the fear among people living in the hinterland. The police have been passing through tough times to reach on the spots where rumours of child-kidnappers roaming around leads to angry mob beating and lynching innocent people. In n attempt to create awareness among the masses particularly in the rural areas that the messages about gangs of child-lifters moving around are nothing but rumours. The top officials in southern states have directed their subordinates to travel across the villages and convince people that messages going viral about gangs coming from northern parts of...
Kashmir Times News Report
Reality of Kashmir: Violence, Deaths and gun powder
By Humra Quraishi
Is the right to protest banned in a conflict situation? Will others also meet the same fate if they dare to protest? When will we see a halt to civilian deaths? Three more civilians killed in the Valley. I'm writing this in the backdrop of last week's Army firing in South Kashmir's Kulgam, where three young civilians- Shakir Ahmad Khanday,22, Irshad Ahmad, 20,Andleeb, 16, - were killed when an army patrol opened fire when confronted by protestors. Couldn't the army have tackled the protestors without these killings? Is the right to protest banned in a conflict situation? Will others also meet the same fate if they dare to protest? When will we see a halt to civilian deaths? Also, are we still going brush aside the recently released report by the United Nations on human rights violat...
Kashmir Times News Report
MSP hike may prove to be meaningnless
Prices don't even meet actual production costs
By Arun Srivastava
Barely two months ago the farmers of Madhya Pradesh had hit the streets demanding minimum support price (MSP) for their produce. The state government was not too willing to concede to the demands of the farmers. The agitation even turned violent and at least nine farmers lost their lives in the police firing. MSP is a form of market intervention by the government to insure agricultural producers against any sharp fall in farm prices. The MSP is announced at the beginning of the sowing season for certain crops on the basis of the recommendations of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP). MSP is the price fixed to protect the producer - farmers - against excessive fall in price during bumper production years. It is a guarantee price for their produce. Amid farmers' unres...
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