Saturday, July 22, 2017
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Clash of BJP's modern-medieval agendas
Education suffers as RSS dictates terms
By Amulya Ganguli
The Narendra Modi government appears to be simultaneously moving in two opposite directions. While the Union human resource development minister, Prakash Javadekar, wants to set up world class universities and allow students to work in reputed laboratories abroad before returning home to carry on their research, the Union minister for environment and science and technology, Harsh Vardhan, has said that scientists have been asked to verify the usefulness of the urine and dung of cows. The minister said that personally he was convinced about the virtues of cow's milk (which will be accepted by all those who are not lactose sensitive) and of cow's urine, which is unlikely to be endorsed by those outside the saffron brotherhood. But he, nevertheless, wants a certificate from the scientists ...
Kashmir Times News Report
Beef and Buffalo..!
By Robert Clements
India has a peculiar problem at the moment: Beef has been banned more or less throughout the country, and armed gangs roam, searching vans and trucks, thrashing those they think are carrying the flesh of cows and bulls. Unfortunately, apart from taking the law into their hands, most of those vehicles are not transporting beef but buffalo's meat. "This is getting embarrassing!" said a senior government official, "Our prime minister himself has said that this kind of attacking should be stopped!" "What do you plan to do?" I asked, "Increase the police force along highways and other roads?" "No, we plan to train the country to recognize the difference between buffaloes and cows! We have already started classes. You may peep in and see!" I looked into a class filled with cow vigilants, ruf...
Kashmir Times News Report
Courageous Civil Servants
By Kuldip Nayar
Government officers after retirement take to sanyas, but some courageous ones have spoken against the intolerant society that India is becoming. In their open letter they say: "It appears there is a growing religious intolerance that is aimed primarily at Muslims." Apparently, there has been no discussion or mention about the sentiments of this letter. The BJP, which sets the tone of society, probably did not want any discussion and let the matter die as it has. Yet, the fact remains that the Muslims do not get their due. They are 17 crores or 12 per cent out of India's total population of 1.2 billion. As Justice Rajinder Sachar's report has pointed out, the treatment meted out to them was worse than what the Dalits go through. The report is a decade old but none of its recommendations ...
Kashmir Times News Report
Praying for others
By Robert Clements
Was with a friend the other day and we talked about a great man of God. "Bob, d' you know the difference between that man and us?" asked my friend. "When we pray, we pray for ourselves and our families, but when he prays he prays for us and the rest of the world!" A voyaging ship was wrecked during a storm at sea and only two of the men on it were able to swim to a small, desert like island. The two survivors, not knowing what else to do, agreed they had no other recourse but to pray to God. However, to find out whose prayer was more powerful, they agreed to divide the territory between them and stay on opposite sides of the island. The first thing they prayed for was food. The next morning, the first man saw a fruit-bearing tree on his side of the land, and he was able to eat its fru...
Kashmir Times News Report
Official Rain Date..!
By Robert Clements
"It is raining heavily!" I told the weatherman. "You people know nothing," said the weatherman, "we have predicted the monsoons to be here only on the twentieth of July!" "Then what do you think fell on me this morning", I cried desperately. "Could have been your neighbor upstairs watering his plants", said the weatherman with a laugh. "Every year we have so many false alarms from people who say that rain fell on them or they felt a drizzle that we feel like reminding them to just read our weather reports and not worry. There are numerous vested elements who would like to spread false rumors about spotting rain clouds or feeling rain drops. Just follow our reports. We are professionals!" "Yes", I said, "but I am sure it was rain that fell on me this morning. The ground is still wet"....
Kashmir Times News Report
Absent Presidents
By Gwynne Dyer
Newspapers still need copy to hold the ads apart even when nothing much is happening. So I was quite pleased when I noticed that the presidents of two African countries, Nigeria and Zimbabwe, were both "missing in action": spending most of their time in hospitals overseas, while their spokespersons denied that there was anything wrong. Nigeria is Africa's most populous country, with the continent's biggest economy. Zimbabwe is dirt poor and dead broke, but its president, Robert Mugabe is Africa's longest-ruling leader. So you call the piece 'Absent Presidents', you do a few arabesques around the themes of absolute power and irresponsibility, and you get to go home early. There were even a couple of juicy quotes to lead with. One of the supporters of Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari...
Kashmir Times News Report
Anatomy of Basirhat violence
In Bengal they don't have to create the issue of 'Holy Cow' or 'Ram Temple', it is being provided by this misguided section of Muslim leadership.
By Ram Puniyani
In an insane act of violence two people lost their lives in Basirhat (West Bengal, 04 07 2017). From last quite some time the social media is abuzz that West Bengal is turning Islamist, Hindus are under great threat, their condition is becoming like that of Pundits in Kashmir. The section of TV media projected the view that West Bengal is not safe for Hindus but is a heaven for Muslims. Angry posts are also declaring that Mamata is appeasing Muslims, Islamist Radicals are growing in Bengal with support from the Mamata Government etc. This act of violence was provoked by a facebook post. (July 04, 2017) Once it was known in the area as to who has done the posting, they surrounded the house where the 17 year old boylived. The posting was derogatory to Muslims. As the atmosphere was buildin...
Kashmir Times News Report
Jhelum-post 2014 floods
Govt needs to prepare a comprehensive plan for carrying out works to prevent flooding of Kashmir valley in future Jammu and Kashmir government and its agencies do not appear to be serious in carrying out the dredging operations in Jhelum river basin and the flood channels in a manner that can prevent repeat of 2014 unprecedented floods in Kashmir valley. Unfortunately, the state government and its agencies connected with restoration of the flood channels have refused to learn any lessons and make efforts to save the people from similar situation in future. Though it is a fact that such unprecedented floods have occurred in the valley after a gap of about 111 years, yet lessons need to be learnt in the larger interest of the people. Many experts believe that the manner in which the dredgi...
Kashmir Times News Report
A simple thanks..!
By Robert Clements
A few years ago I looked at the papers one morning and saw pics of men and women huddled together, weeping, sobbing, shaking with uncontrollable sorrow; mothers and fathers looking at each other with eyes aghast, shaking their heads in denial, "How could this happen?" they cry out in grief, "How could a plane crash take away our dear one from us?" they scream silently, bodies racked in spasms of grief. I shudder but go quiet within; even as I weep with them there is a feeling of deep thankfulness; it was just a day before that my own child flew to Europe on an Air-France flight as part of a student exchange program; I look at pictures of those grieving relatives and my heart cries out in thankfulness that my child reached safe! How easy to forget being thankful for all we take for grant...
Kashmir Times News Report
China needs India as an ally
Beijing media's latest tone towards Delhi is of cooperation
By Subrata Majumder
Barely a month after heightening anti-India protests on border stand-off, China made a somersault against the protest and applauded Modi's reforms. Further to the surprise, China underpinned India as the future global low cost factory and forecasted that India would edge out China in near future. This reflected a paradigm shift in China's stand vis a vis India. Till now, the Chinese government and its media were hyper in snowballing anti-India protest over the border stand-off in Sikkim, Bhutan - Tibet tri-junction. China sent precautionary advises to the Chinese investors in India on the imminent anti-China protests, quoting examples of Shiv Sena activist's burning of Chinese flag last year as a protest against China's veto to India's membership in Nuclear Supply Group. In an opinion...
Kashmir Times News Report
Think and Grow Rich..!
By Robert Clements
"Today our youth are so focused!" said a father of one of the youth to me proudly. "Focused on what?" I asked. "On what they want to do in life! How much money they want to make, and where they want to reach!" said the father looking at his son who was coming to me, with his hand outstretched in greeting. I took the proffered hand and grimaced in pain as the young fellow held it tight and shook it. "That's quite a handshake!" I said. "Thank you!" he said, "We were taught this in management school. The better the grasp, the more impressed the other person will be!" "Sure!" I said still wringing my hand, "And what else were you taught? Were you taught that if the other man is a frail fellow like me, not to grip his hand like a weightlifter?" "No!" said the boy surprised. "Were you ta...
Kashmir Times News Report
Attack on Amarnath Pilgrims sparks international outrage
But why no condemnation on attack on minorities?
By Gurpreet Singh
The recent terror attack on innocent Hindu pilgrims in Kashmir has evoked an outrage throughout the world. Seven people died and more than dozen got injured in an attack on a bus carrying pilgrims to Amarnath shrine that houses an iced idol of Lord Shiva. Every year thousands of Hindus visit Amarnath from across India. Due to ongoing armed insurgency by the Kashmiri militants fighting for the right to self determination, the Hindu pilgrims are given a massive security cover. There have been numerous attacks on the pilgrims even in the past. Authorities have frequently blamed extremists aided and abetted by the neighbouring Pakistan for violence against Hindus in Kashmir. Following the latest attack, a number of countries expressed their outrage and sent their condolence messages to the...
Kashmir Times News Report
Indu Sarkar: History uncensored
By Ayushman Jamwal
The Indian freedom struggle, the laboratory of our democracy is etched in every Indian's mind. The carnage, the bloodshed, the thirst for power and the fight for liberation has played out in our history books in schools and colleges, but namely via our potent popular culture. Multiple films, TV shows, plays, documentaries and songs have kept the fairytale alive of how an enslaved people united under one banner and fought to emancipate themselves from the yolk of colonialism. The Emergency is one chapter of contemporary Indian history where our hard fought democracy was suspended and the nation rallied against dictatorship under Congress rule. Similar to the Indian freedom struggle, my generation did not experience it, yet neither our education system nor popular culture has given us a gr...
Kashmir Times News Report
Can Mehbooba Mufti build on the Justice Nazki compensation order?
To bind a person to a jeep and parade him over a distance to make an example out of him for deterring stone-pelters violates Article 147 and would constitute a grave breach of the Geneva Convention.
By Ravi Nair
The horrific attack on the Amarnath Yatra earlier this week has rightly stunned both Jammu & Kashmir as well as the entire country. But on the same day, July 10, 2017, Justice Bilal Nazki, Chairperson of the Jammu & Kashmir State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) delivered a reasoned order relating to the case of Mr Farooq Ahmad Dar, who was used as a human shield by Major Nitin Leetul Gogoi of the Army. The order is of great import. Ordering compensation of Rs 10 lakh to be paid to Mr Dar for the "mental and physical injuries and scars", Justice Nazki relied on Prem Shankar Shukla v. Delhi Administration and Article 21 of the Indian Constitution. (Indian Express, June 17, 2017). Justice Nazki retired as Chief Justice of Odisha in 2009. In the early 1990s, in the face of militant threats h...
Kashmir Times News Report
Education without Educating..!
By Robert Clements
With many state governments insisting that all students, whatever their marks get admission in college, I wondered how the colleges were going to cope. The principal of the local college walked with me into one of the classrooms in his college. "It's going to be tough for you", I said. "Not really", said the principal. "You mean, you are going to break down the walls and make classrooms bigger?" "Not necessarily", said the principal. "We might even take out some benches and make the rooms less crowded". "But you are supposed to give admission for more than a hundred children in your class", I exclaimed. "Of course we will give them admission", said the principal. "We will always do what the government wants us to do!" "Then how will so many children sit over here?", I asked...
Kashmir Times News Report
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