Thursday, June 29, 2017
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Train lynchings
Turning a blind eye to murder
By Aarti Sethi
On 22 June 2017 fifteen-year old Hafiz Junaid was stabbed to death on a Mathura-bound train from New Delhi. He was traveling home for Eid with his brothers and two friends. A dispute over seats resulted in a group of men repeatedly assaulting and stabbing Junaid and his companions. The assailants flung their bodies onto the Asoti railway platform. A crowd gathered. At some point an ambulance was called and two bodies were taken away. Junaid is dead. His companions are in critical condition. While one person has been arrested the police investigations are running into a wall of social opacity since they have been unable to find a single eye-witness to the incident. Of the 200 hundred strong crowd that assembled on Asoti railway platform on Thursday evening, the police cannot find one perso...
Kashmir Times News Report
Rajasthan's Neo-Nazis show their contempt for the poor - In Yellow
By Soumya Dutta
Are part of the country ruled by the rightist BJP governments going back to Nazi Germany of the late 1930s and early 1940s? It was at that time that the fascist regime of Hitler forcibly introduced the humiliating identifying mark of the Yellow Star - called the Star of David - to be worn by all Jews in its territories. This was not only to humiliate them, to put them down in the society, but was also a prelude to isolate, persecute and finally execute them en mass. And we all know what followed, in the shape of the holocaust and the killing of over 60 lakh European Jews in the gas chambers and concentration camps. In 21st century India, several BJP-ruled states are showing signs of either introducing humiliating identifying marks, or making religious identifying markers like the skull c...
Kashmir Times News Report
Carrying a heavy load..!
By Robert Clements
Are you one of those reeling through life carrying a heavy load? You wonder why you can't be like others with burdens that are lighter. Well here's a story for you my friend. Brenda was almost half way to the top of the tremendous granite cliff. She was standing on a ledge where she was taking a breather during this, her first rock climb. As she rested there, the safety rope snapped against her eye and knocked out her contact lens. "Great", she thought. "Here I am on a rock ledge, hundreds of feet from the bottom and hundreds of feet to the top of this cliff, and now my sight is blurry." She looked and looked, hoping that somehow it had landed on the ledge. But it just wasn't there. She felt the panic rising in her, so she began praying. She prayed for calm, and she prayed that she may...
Kashmir Times News Report
Is Tajmahal not a part of Indian Culture?
By Ram Puniyani
With the ascendance of Hindu nationalists from the last few decades and more so from last three years; the attempt is being made to give sectarian slant to this understanding of our culture. All things which are non Brahmanical are being sidetracked and undermined. Culture is a fascinating aspect of our life. To understand the culture one examines the social life and observes multiple facets of life, food habits, clothes, music, language, literature, architecture and aspects of religion, among other. In a plural diverse country like ours' there is a mosaic which gives us the understanding of the complexity of our culture. In India there is a heavy intermingling, of facets of cultures contributed by people of different religions. So what is Indian culture? One can say the totality of pl...
Kashmir Times News Report
Afraid of My Lunchbox..!
By Robert Clements
With the Prime minister of India, his cabinet, his party and his government turning a blind eye to the lynching and attacks on people eating beef, India must be creeping into the Guinness book, as the first country, maybe the only one where people are targeted, thrashed and tormented for their food habits! The wife ran to my car as I started the engine this morning, "You forgot your lunchbox!" she cried. "No!" I said in terror, "I don't want it!" "You don't want lunch today? You know what the doctor said; skipping meals isn't going to help you get any healthier!" "Yes," I said, looking fearfully at other flats in my building, where neighbours were peeping out at the commotion downstairs, "But, I'd prefer being alive than healthily dead!" "You don't like my cooking?" she asked, arms a...
Kashmir Times News Report
Between 'tryst with destiny' and 'tryst with chaos'
Moody's says any benefit of GST can come only over long term
By K Raveendran
The famous first freedom speech was made by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru on the midnight of August 15, 1947. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is all set to deliver the so-called second freedom speech on the midnight of June 30, 2017; or at least that must be the idea behind the chosen venue, Parliament House, and timing for the GST roll-out. We know that the first one was followed by a blood bath, which devastated a nation, and the wounds of which have not yet been healed completely; the second one will most probably be followed by monumental confusion, the depth of which we currently have no idea about. Arun Jaitley must be in a real predicament: he has to hone all his oratorical faculties to produce a 'Tryst with Chaos' speech which will hopefully replace or at least match Nehru's 'Tryst with...
Kashmir Times News Report
Balance your life..!
By Robert Clements
It was a call from the past. "John?" I asked surprised, "Yeah, I'm down from Canada Bob, what about lunch?" "Sure," I said. We met and we talked and as we conversed I remembered another conversation years ago, when he had called, "Bob how about lunch?" he had asked. "I'm busy," I'd replied. "Don't be," he had said and he had persuaded me to meet. We had had a lovely afternoon and after the meal, he had said, "Can I tell you a story Bob". "A long time ago, there was an Emperor who told his horseman that if he could ride on his horse and cover as much land area as he likes, then the Emperor would give him the area of land he has covered." "Sure enough, the horseman quickly jumped onto his horse and rode as fast as possible to cover as much land area as he could. He kept on riding and ridi...
Kashmir Times News Report
If North Korea didn't exist US would have invented it
By Nizar K Visram
In its latest move early June 2017, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) unanimously adopted a resolution drafted by the United States to expand the scope of sanctions against Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) over its latest missile tests. Prior to this the UNSC slapped the North Korea with six rounds of sanctions, but Washington and its allies have been pushing for more powerful and crippling sanctions in an attempt to halt the increasing wave of missile tests by Pyongyang. Meanwhile, President Trump said"all options are on the table" (implying military solution), while his Vice President Pence declared the "end of strategic patience."Pence added: "The patience of the United States in this region has run out …………The world has witnessed thestrength and resolve of the...
Kashmir Times News Report
Demonetisation leads to stressed assets of Banks and companies going bankrupt
By TN Ashok
Demonetisation of November 08 2016 had a domino effect on the economy crippling cash based small businesses even as stressed out banks , because of mounting NPAs, raked in an astronomical Rs 14,000 crore ( $2.15 billion @ Rs 65 to a $) . But the moolah earned was still not proportionate enough to reduce the NPAS which still, as per some official estimates, was actually Rs10 trillion. And RBI has clearly indicated to commercial banks,especially state owned ones, that the currency drawn in after cancellation of 23 billion notes ( Rs 500 and Rs 1000 and introduction of new Rs 500 and Rs 2000) shall not be accounted against NPAs. They will still be maintained as two different accounts. Banks shall continue to hunt bad debtors and liquidate their dues. The then RBI governor Raghuram Rajan h...
Kashmir Times News Report
Amit shah's potshot at Gandhi
Casteist slur typical of BJP, RSS
By Amulya Ganguli
Amit Shah's wisecrack is neither a good-humoured jibe, nor a back-handed compliment to a chatur saint/politician. However, he is not alone in his denigration of the person about whom Einstein said that "generations to come will scarce believe that such a one as this, in flesh and blood, walked upon the earth". The BJP chief, Amit Shah's quip about the Mahatma being a chatur bania (wily trader) is not in the same league as Sarojini Naidu's cheeky description of the Father of the Nation as Mickey Mouse because of his large ears and her dig at him for not knowing how much the Congress had to spend to keep him poor. While Naidu's was the witticism of a friend, Shah belongs to what can be called the enemy camp which believes that Gandhi's assassin, Nathuram Godse's intention was good, but h...
Kashmir Times News Report
Spreading Laughter..!
By Robert Clements
Each morning as I return from my walk, I find a slightly oldish man waiting for me, his back bent, body trembling with Parkinson’s, but eyes staring eagerly at gate. As soon as I enter, they light up; he totters forward, grasps my hand and presses, “Ouch!” I shout, “my fingers are broken! I’ll tell all my readers you’re to blame for no column today! Ouch!” “Ha, ha, ha!” he laughs the sick man, and for a moment I see him straightening up and there is a smile on his face as he walks home. “You make my dad’s day,” said his son, “you make him laugh and with that he gets over his depression which Parkinson’s is known to bring.” I’m happy I can do that. There are days when I feel gloomy, and want to do anything but make somebody laugh, but when I see him waiting eagerly for me, I make it a p...
Kashmir Times News Report
Borders versus Memory
By Nyla Ali Khan
The predominant theme of my work is the crossing of frontiers of nationality, culture, and language in three areas of the Indian subcontinent: India, Pakistan, and Kashmir. To that list, I would add my attempt to cross the barrier of citizenship as a self-conscious political philosophy. I hope, through my work, to make my readers aware of the humanist response to the ridiculousness of war, a response that transcends national boundaries and barriers. A couple of days ago, I got a chance to go to Attari Railway Station and Wagha Border, on either side of which the flags of India and Pakistan are brandished with pride as well as a belligerent ferocity. I witnessed the histrionics and performativity of the Border Security Force of India and Pakistan Rangers. The complex and elaborate perform...
Kashmir Times News Report
Just above the clouds..!
By Robert Clements
I sat in my seat next to the window, in the airbus that was taking me from Bangalore to Bombay yesterday, and heard the voice of the pilot over the PA system, "Ladies and gentlemen," he said, "We will be hitting turbulence for a while, but trust me, I will take you up, just above the clouds!" I looked out of my window, and all I saw was a huge expanse of grey. It was not nice to look at and I shuddered, as there were even streaks of threatening lightning, and the aircraft rocked a bit. I heard a passenger sighing worriedly behind me, and in the seat next to me, was sure the woman was tense as her fingers gripped the armrest tightly and brushed my elbow. And then I felt the airbus lift. It fought the clouds, it cut through the grey and like a knife went through the threatening turbulence...
Kashmir Times News Report
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