Monday, February 20, 2017
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Breathing polluted air
Indian rulers need to shift gear for controlling air pollution levels if health of the common masses tops priority concerns
Indian government's initiatives on reducing pollution levels in the air in most of the urban areas appear to have failed as the number of people dyeing due to environmental bad air, people breathe in, increasing on annual basis. The recent report that pointed out that almost 1.1 million people die of bad air breathing annual should act as an eye-opener for the governments of the day at the centre and other states of the country. The number of people affected by polluted air is on the increase as per the details listed in the report in the recent past and there is a need for urgent steps to contain air pollution to save the common masses. This is happening contrary to the number of people dying on annual basis in China, which has been facing this problem for the last almost two decades. In...
Kashmir Times News Report
Decoding the General's belligerence
By Anuradha Bhasin Jamwal
General Bipin Rawat's outburst against Kashmir's protesting crowds is anything but sane. The government's attempt to grant legitimacy to his words in the name of 'nationalism' reflects a shoddy bias. Forget all emotiveness over these words, it is important to decode the message and its possible impact. The immediate inference that can be drawn from his deliberate or clumsy choice of words is that they are provocative. The other is that they are an open admission that Kashmir can no longer be handled militarily. "We would now request the local population that people who have picked up arms, and they are the local boys, if they want to continue with these acts of terrorism, displaying flags of ISIS (Islamic State) and Pakistan, then we will treat them as anti-national elements and go helt...
Kashmir Times News Report
Provocation and Pacifism
Chidambaram may be guilty of mishandling Kashmir as home minister but that should be no reason to disregard his saner words
Both the provocative utterances of the Army chief Bipin Rawat with respect to Kashmir's stone pelting mobs and the pacifism of Congress leader P. Chidambaram necessitate an honest inquiry. The former union home minister has hit the nail on the head by calling the General's remarks as 'intemperate' and has favoured a political resolution of the Kashmir issue. The remarks have been inspired by the recent encounters in the Valley in which besides army, the security personnel and the civilians have inflicted heavy casualties. While villagers in Kulgam's Frisal alleged on Sunday that a civilian killed in Sunday's encounter was used as a human shield by the security forces, the latter has averred that combat operations have become extremely difficult in view of the hostile climate created by th...
Kashmir Times News Report
Trumping in Middle-East
US president's ambiguous 'peace deal' offer on Palestine appears to be reflection of his bigoted stand against Muslim world
US president Donald Trump's one-liner to Israel to "hold back on settlements" in pursuit of a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinian authority while opposing the two state formula is yet another demonstration of his bias against Muslims and an endorsement of his Islamophobia. On the face of it, the statement may be confusing and appear to be some sort of a balancing act but the note of caution for Israel's pro-active policy of illegal settlements in Palestine's Gaza strip are hardly promising, especially when such warnings come in muffled tones. Last week while detailing about a plan to broker peace in the region, Trump maintained that settlements were not an impediment to peace but they "may not be helpful," revealing his lukewarm opposition to such policies pursued by Israel. Th...
Kashmir Times News Report
Not by military action
Violent cycle of Kashmir necessitates the need for political intervention
Fresh violence in the Valley since Sunday has already claimed 16 lives as eight militants were shot dead in three encounters; six army personnel and two civilians lost their lives, pushing Kashmir on the edge again. Whether it is lives of security men or the civilians, these are precious lives that need a collective mourning as do the several injured persons need all the support and concern to survive and recuperate. The issue necessitates attention that goes beyond this humane response. The spurt in violence itself is a cause for concern and reveals the dark under-belly of Kashmir's volatility. It busts the hollow claims of 'Kashmir limping to normalcy' or 'demonetisation stopping terror funding'. The genesis of militancy and the recent trend of young men joining ranks of militants as we...
Kashmir Times News Report
Need for free media
The case of newspaper violating election code of conduct highlights the trend of partisan and controlled media
The Election Commission has taken a serious view of the violation of election code of conduct by a leading Hindi newspaper for publishing an exit poll after the first phase of Uttar Pradesh elections on its website and has also called for booking its editorial heads. Media houses are barred from publishing or broadcasting exit polls so that the results do not influence voters and the violation is punishable by a jail term and a fine under Section 126 A and B of the Representation of the People Act. The newspaper in question, Dainik Jagran, has maintained that the exit poll showing BJP as far ahead was published inadvertently. Such 'innocence' claimed by the newspaper known for its unabashed pro-Modi stance is unconvincing. The newspaper group has clearly aligned with Modi's agenda ever si...
Kashmir Times News Report
Message from Kulgam
Instead of encouraging HR abuse, govt should use human rights issue as an entry point into initiating peace process
The killings of two civilians, one during an encounter and another in protests that followed the encounter in Frisal village of Kulgam district in South Kashmir once again highlights the poor track record of the security forces with respect to human rights violations in Kashmir. While the death of the first civilian poses the vital question of not as much whose bullet killed the innocent civilian but how best loss of precious human lives can be avoided during such crackdowns and encounters in the name of co-lateral damage. The other issue that Sunday's incident evokes is the larger and far more significant issue of violation of Standard Operation Procedures while dealing with protesting crowds. This Kulgam case is not an aberration but a norm in the world's highest militarized region wher...
Kashmir Times News Report
RBI adopts neutrality
It will be difficult to predict how markets behave when retail inflation is unrelenting in the post-demonetisation scenario
For the first time in six meetings during the current financial year, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had adopted a neutral stand on change of interest rates marking a shift in its policy. The newly constituted Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the central bank has kept the interest rates unchanged and allowed itself more time to make an assessment how the effects of demonetisation on inflation and Gross Domestic Product (GDP) play out in near future. In fact, the ripple effect of withdrawing high value currency notes announced by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi unilaterally on November 8 last year is yet to emerge from the markets despite forecasts that Indian economy has hit all time low point. The decision of the RBI on interest rates comes close on the heels of Modi telling the Parl...
Kashmir Times News Report
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