Saturday, November 18, 2017
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Left democrats record big wins in U.S. elections
Sanders gets massive response to his programme
By Branko Marcetic
A year ago, on November 8, Hillary Clinton lost the presidency to Donald Trump. Ever since then, the Left's refrain has been: "Bernie would have won." In the face of pundit after pundit after pundit warning Democrats to embrace Wall Street, move to the center, and abandon policies like Medicare for All and tuition-free college, the Left has insisted that the only way to fight Trumpism is to to embrace an unapologetic message that appeals to all working people. That was the theory. And the evidence from nationwide Democratic sweep in last week's elections suggests it's also the case in practice, as mayoralties, city council seats, judgeships, and even state legislature seats around the country were won by not just unapologetically progressive Democrats, but open socialists as well. Take ...
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Mapping India in Global Hunger Index 2017
By Siba Sankar Sahu
'An empty stomach is not a good political advisor.' —Albert Einstein The Global Hunger Index (GHI) is designed to comprehensively measure and track hunger globally and by country and region. Calculated each year by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), it was released on October 9, 2017. It reflects India's unplumbed status on poverty, hunger and malnutrition. India's rank is 100th out of 119 countries in the world; it slipped from the 55th rank in 2014 to 100th in the Global Hunger Index 2017. Our Prime Minister declared that the bullet train project signifies India's progress where thousands of villages in the country are still unconnected and lack electricity. The bullet train will go from "my Ahmedabad to our Mumbai", the Prime Minister said after the inaugurat...
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Damage done by demonetisation cannot be undone in hurry
By K R Sudhaman
A year down the line, the economic growth has slipped by over two percentage points from 7.9 per cent growth in the first quarter of 2016-17 to 5.7 per cent in 2017-18. This has only proved that what former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said in Parliamant about demonetisation that it was a "monumental mistake". A year after demonetisation, economic pundits have spoken for and against the measure. Economists toeing the line of the ruling BJP have spoken in favour of it saying the measure was needed to cleanse the economy of black money and the ensuing digitisation will help in the long run to root out corruption, a major factor in generation of black money. But economists particularly those airing the opposition parties view say that it has only pushed down the economy and virtually c...
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BJP trying out its options in Tamil Nadu
Will Periyar heirs team up with Hindutva?
By Amulya Ganguli
Tamil Nadu continues to flounder in the political confusion caused by Jayalalithaa's death. As may have been expected in a one-person outfit which the AIADMK was in her time, the party is yet to find its feet. The situation has been made worse by the influence which Jayalalithaa's companion, Sasikala, who is now in jail, continues to wield over the shaky organization via her nephew. Seeing the political vacuum in the state, ambitious outsiders like the ageing filmstars, Kamal Haasan and Rajinikanth, have been trying the enter the field although they haven't yet gathered enough courage to announce the formation of their parties. Given the unsettled conditions, it is not surprising that the BJP has decided to try its luck. At first, it appeared to be close to the AIADMK, which was its all...
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Democracy and fabricated values
Morals and emotional appeals should not be the basis of Public policies
By Manik Raj
Finance minister Arun Jaitley defended demonetisation as a step that was "morally and ethically correct" and hence "politically correct". If morals can be justification for public policy then democracy is no longer a rational premise than to value based judgements. Democratic setup is a rational premise. In today's form of democratic setups, governments are instruments (means) to achieve this end which need to be check through public consciousness, if subverted. It is obvious that any governmental policy has a moral and ethical dimension, but can it be a basis of justification for any public policy? Finance minister Arun Jaitley defended demonetisation as a step that was "morally and ethically correct" and hence "politically correct". If morals can be justification for public policy ...
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Jaya targets Sonia for her intervention in Tehelka case
By Kushal Jeena
Did Congress President Sonia Gandhi tried to shield Tehelka from investigation in the financial dealings on corruption in defence purchases in 2001. The Congress has dismissed the allegations saying Sonia Gandhi's move was an intervention for freedom of speech and expression. "It is a classic case of shooting the messenger and misuse of investigation agency by the government," said Manish Tiwari, the spokesman of the party. With the assembly elections in major states round the corner, whose results will have impact on BJP fate in 2019 general elections, rhetoric by Jaya Jaitley are nothing but an attempt to attract the attention of Prime Minister as she has been in oblivion ever since her mentor George Fernandes became bed-ridden following illness. In her book titled "Life among the Sco...
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Nehru: The Statesman and the Secular politics
By Humra Quraishi
As I sit filing this column on November 14 - the 128th birth anniversary of Jawaharlal Nehru - so I have got to dwell on the bygones. As I close my eyes and let nostalgia tighten its grip on me, there's one particular image of my childhood which holds out in that ongoing way - we were in our ancestral town, Shahjahanpur, and as we'd sat huddled with the rest of the clan in the living room, my grandmother, Amna Rahman, had switched on the radio. As soon as the news of the passing away of Jawaharlal Nehru came through, she'd cried out and had then sat sobbing, 'Panditji gone! What will happen to us! Who'll be there for us …who'll protect us! Tabahi for us …doom for the Musalmans of Hindustan!' I was a young girl and couldn't really understand the connect between Pandit Jawaharla...
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China's socialist path baffles western media
Marxism with fresh edge is the toast of leadership
By Kenny Coyle
Nearly 30 years ago, the "death of communism" was announced following the collapse of the Soviet Union and the fall of the Berlin Wall. In the much-quoted words of the right-wing commentator Francis Fukuyama, it was "the end of history," marked "the end point of mankind's ideological evolution and the universalization of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government." Now it appears that, maybe after all, just like the great anti-imperialist writer Mark Twain, reports of communism's demise have been greatly exaggerated. Last month's 19th congress of the Communist Party of China provoked a wave of reluctant second opinions, with the corpse declared to be in dangerously rude health. A Washington Post columnist expressed the anxiety of the Beltway liberals by talking of "X...
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Some Memories of Nehru
By S. Mohan Kumaramangalam
It was in 1936 that I first met Panditji. I was in my second year at Cambridge and he had come to Europe in connection with the serious illness of his wife, Smt Kamala Nehru. At that time he also came across to England and down to Cambridge and met us, the Indian students there. Our family had known Pandit Nehru for a long time because when Panditji was at Cambridge, my father and mother were studying at Oxford but unfortunately since I was educated in England from 1927 I personally did not meet him till I was a student of Cambridge. Those were the days when the whole student world in Europe was in ferment as Hitler and Mussolini through their instrument Franco had attacked the infant Spanish Democratic Republic and all of us, with a fervour, had thrown our-selves into the fight to sav...
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Fake and unsafe goods are flooding Indian market
Will new consumer protection act make any difference ?
By Nantoo Banerjee
Brand India is under threat. From life saving drugs to LED bulbs and FMCG products, the market is flooded with fake and unsafe goods that don't comply with quality, price or safety norms. Many don't carry even such mandatory information as manufacturers' names, production and expiry dates. Prices are not printed. They are often pasted separately on packs. While the latest study revealing malpractices in India's fast growing LED bulb market by internationally-acclaimed research firm Nielsen is practically mind boggling, a KPMG report earlier on the counterfeit FMCG market showed how easy it is to fake and market branded products in India. The Nielsen report said 76 per cent of LED bulb brands don't comply with safety norms. Counterfeit and smuggled products now account for more than a fift...
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New war drums out of Saudi Arabia
By Dr Elias Akleh
During its zenith the Ottoman Empire extended over parts of three continents; Europe, Asia and Africa. Its rule had also spread over the Arab World in the Middle Eastern region for long four centuries. After the collapse of the Ottoman Empire the Western colonial powers (the Illuminati, the Hidden Hand, the Khazars, the Rothschilds, the Zionists or whatever you want to call them) had planned to keep the Arab World in the vital geostrategic Middle Eastern region divided, weak, plagued with perpetual wars so that no other empire could be formed to prevent them from robbing the natural resources of the area. This plan started with the 1916 Sykes-Picot Agreement, and continued on with 1917 Balfour declaration establishing the Israeli terrorist state and its wars against Arab states, the Amer...
Kashmir Times News Report
Health cost of smog and state's responsibility
Air pollution has no geographical coordinates
By Dr. Arun Mitra
The dense smog, which has engulfed large part of north India, including Punjab, Haryana, western UP, parts of Rajasthan and NCR Delhi is a matter of serious concern. It is a result of polluting material mixed with vapours. The pollutants mainly come from vehicular emissions, industrial effluents and smoke coming out of burning of paddy straw in the fields. With fall in atmospheric temperature these get suspended near to the ground level. Low wind speed and no rain have aggravated the problem. As a result, the air quality has dropped to dangerous levels. Air quality is measured as Air Quality Index (AQI). As per the Environmental Protection Agency (US), the AQI is calculated on the basis of five major pollutants - the ground level ozone, particulate matter, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide...
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My Love is back!
By S Mukhtar
Yeah, yeah my Love is back…O after 6 long months of separation… imposed not by her unfaithfulness or mine, not by any disease or compulsion, not by any failures or quarrels or differences, but by Mother Nature herself! Yet soon the unfathomable unconquerable magnanimous kindest Mother joined us back! Hearty thanks to her! My Love is warmer than ever before. Similar warmth many say flows from my Love's competing rivals; I am given them now whenever out, but sure and certain my Love's warmth is unparalleled and unbeatable! Yes my Love is in my heart and long close to my body…leaves me light artistic inerasable scars of utmost love on some body parts…these fade, but never fail, reappear year after year…true, Love's love marks coming annually! My knot with my Love was tied when I was year...
Kashmir Times News Report
Paradise Papers probe: Another joke
Dodgers do a more professional job than their seekers
By K Raveendran
It is an irony, or a joke if you will, that the release of the Paradise Papers, exposing the offshore holdings of political leaders and their financiers as well as household-name companies that slash taxes through transactions conducted in secret, has coincided with the anniversary of demonetization, another grandiose project that raised expectations of Himalayan proportions but achieved results that are of no real consequence. The Paradise Papers documents include nearly 7 million loan agreements, financial statements, emails, trust deeds and other paperwork from nearly 50 years at Appleby, a leading offshore law firm with offices in Bermuda and beyond. Just like the rich and famous from other parts of the world, more than 700 Indians, some off them well-known and some others not so w...
Kashmir Times News Report
The polluting air we breathe: How long before we wake up
By Anit Singh
Have you tried looking outside your window recently? Don't bother if you are in India, you'd probably see a lot of obfuscation, particles suspended indefinitely, death lingering over the selfish denizens of an insecure world, where each one of us prays to the common god for individual salvation. Pollution won't go away through prayers. I've tried it several times and was dealt with a sore throat, asphyxiated lungs, broken heart. No, don't even try preaching about it to everyone else around you. It's a touchy subject, that invades into the hallowed personal freedom of an individual to pollute as much as he can afford. Everyone is protected by the constitution to be able to throw their undifferentiated waste on the roads, to use packaged water bottles, to travel in SUVs, to use thousand s...
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Black is not just cash, it is far beyond
Despite fanfare for fairness, Indians crave for everything black
By Anjan Roy
We as a nation are perpetually obsessed with "black money", just as we are in a sense deeply and essentially apartheid. Why else should the fairness creams sell so briskly and families go for bland fair looking girls over beautiful dark ones. There are the ubiquitous "black tickets" for cinema shows or cricket matches when these are not available across the counters. When people are talking of black money there is very little clarity about what is black about it. On the first anniversary of demonization, it has been demonised. Politicians and commentators pointed out a litany of woes that afflicted India and its poor from the decision to cancel 85% of circulating currency bills. It has been held guilty by high-minded economists for the subsequent slow down of the India economy - to a ...
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DisGrace: The woman behind Mugabe's unpopularity
By Gwynne Dyer
Grace Mugabe, second wife of Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe, had a moment of awful clarity about her future three years ago. Speaking about Joice Mujuru, the woman who was then vice-president and the elderly president's likely successor, she said: "She has been telling people that once Mugabe is gone...she will drag me in the streets, with people laughing while my flesh sticks to the tarmac." It's doubtful that Mujuru said any such thing, but it was very revealing about Grace Mugabe's fears. So she had a word with her husband, and Joice Mujuru was no longer vice-president. She was replaced by Emmerson Mnangagwa, who served as Mugabe's special assistant during the liberation war of the 1970s and had been close to him ever since. Mnangagwa survived an attempted poisoning in August, b...
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Am I a suspect in present India
By Brij Bhardwaj
Looking at the growing climate of intolerance in the country, a feeling has started growing in my heart if I am also a suspect. I am a born Saraswat Brahmin, but by conviction has been a non-believer. I do not visit places of worship nor do I offer daily prayers. I enjoy my date with tipple in the evening and am also fond of foods without inhibitions and am pained by growing attempts to put restrictions on what I eat or what I drink. Born before independence I witnessed freedom movement from a distance as a child, but as I grew I along with my school mates picked up the Congress flag and would go around shouting slogans in favour of a Congress candidate whose picture showed him standing behind bars. We had no idea who he was but we shouted slogans in his favour because he wa...
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Why not working
'Make in India' initiative
By Shobha Mishra
Three years back, the BJP-led NDA government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has embarked on an ambitious 'Make in India' programme to boost the country's economy and for generation of employment. The government had also sought to kill many birds with one stone, as the initiative was to make the country self-dependent in the field of defense and thus meet the challenge from China. The Prime Minister was very categorical that defense production was the cornerstone of the ambitious 'Make in India' venture as it had huge potential of creating jobs. Taking a close look at the progress of the much-desired initiative of the government, one reaches a conclusion that despite best intentions it has failed to deliver expected results as not much has translated on the ground owing to red tape an...
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