Wednesday, July 18, 2018
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Kashmir: Compounding the perfidy
By Badri Raina
BJP's canny goal was to break the PDP, draw a required number of its disgruntled legislators into a new alliance in which the BJP would now be the senior partner, and to install one of its leaders from Jammu province as Chief Minister. This prax is, the trust will yield two conjoint results: one to wreck the PDP and dub its rump as a militant-friendly group, and two, to affect a new and decisive shift in the balance of influence as between the two major provinces of the State. It should be clear by now that in 2014, the Bhartiya Janata Party signed the Agenda of Alliance with the Peoples' Democratic Party as a mere ruse to find a foothold in the governmental structure in Jammu and Kashmir. It may be recalled that at the time there were those, who had cautioned the PDP about the course i...
Kashmir Times News Report
The Idiot..!
By Robert Clements
From the balcony of a hotel room in rural Ratnagiri, I see the idiot. He walks up and down the road downstairs, there is a smile on his face though addressed to no one. He wears simple clothes, clean yet not the latest fashion and with stick in hand chases cows and dogs away from shops and garbage dumps. He sees me peering at him and waves his stick at me, I wave back. "Good Morning," he shouts and Ie see locals below looking up. I feel self-conscious, the idiot doesn't! He walks to an Udipi Hotel, Ganesh Bhavan it says, and a waiter comes out with a glass of water. He yells and the proprietor speaks to him in Marathi and tells the waiter to give him a cup of tea. He sips the tea, looks up at me and waves again. I wave back, then watch as the owner of the hotel gives him half a coconut...
Kashmir Times News Report
Why Mehbooba's fears vis-à-vis
BJP are not unfounded
By Mohammad Sayeed Malik
It took Mehboobah Mufti less than 22 days to learn the hard lesson that took her two-generation-senior, incomparable predecessor, Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah, 22 long years to digest: the lesson that the main lever of power politics in Jammu and Kashmir is located at-and operated remotely----from New Delhi. Indeed, the long story of Kashmir's chronically troubled politics, on this particular account, starts from August 9, 1953 when the then duly elected Prime Minister of the state, Sheikh Abdullah, was unconstitutionally deposed and unceremoniously thrown behind bars. Quite a few dubious milestones along this route stand out in bold relief. This is a three dimensional feature: (1) at the local level this intervention amounts to virtual disenfranchisement of the electorate, (2) at the c...
Kashmir Times News Report
When you are questioned..!
By Robert Clements
“I have many questions,” she said as she sat in my car. It was raining heavily, and I had offered to drop her home. “Bob,” she said, “I read what you write, but I can’t subscribe to all your beliefs!” It was a long car journey as the rains beat incessantly on the roof of the car, and the waters rose steadily outside. I knew my driver was having a tough time navigating, but also knew I was having a tougher time trying to find answers to a young questioning mind! “I hope you didn’t mind all my questions?” she said as we reached her destination. I just had enough energy to wave her goodbye! I’d been through quite a few similar instances, but another one I remember was a young American, again on a long car ride from Chicago to the suburbs questioning me about my beliefs. I thought his quest...
Kashmir Times News Report
Modi's Kashmir policy has brought India to disrepute
By Tapan Bose
"Modi is seeking global legitimacy though its military crackdown on Kashmiris on the name of fighting Islamic terrorism. Modi government is unperturbed by worldwide condemnation of blinding hundreds of Kashmiris through the use of pellet guns, which even Israel does not use and tying up Kashmiri civilians in front of military vehicles as human shield. Clearly Modi and the RSS have little regard for international reactions. It seems they feel that by buying weapons from Western countries and offering the market access, they can buy the international community's silence on what it is doing in Kashmir." The cynical break-up of the PDP-BJP coalition government in Jammu and Kashmir by BJP without prior notice in Jammu and Kashmir is a clear evidence of its p...
Kashmir Times News Report
Can you see them waiting?
By Robert Clements
This happened many years ago, when my younger daughter was little. She wept as she held a dead bird in her hand. "It died daddy," she cried and my heart went out to her grief. "I saw it being attacked by crows. I chased the crows away and brought it home. I gave it some water. It was alive a few moments ago. But it's gone now. Its dead daddy!" I watched as she sat alone and forlorn caressing the dead creature in her lap. All I wanted to do was wrap my arms around my little one and weep with her, but as I looked at my shaken daughter and the lifeless form, I knew that nothing happened without something to be learned. "Yes," I thought, "she needs to know that the love she gave the bird was the love the little winged creature now carried with it on its journey to the great beyond!" "A grea...
Kashmir Times News Report
Europe's Iron curtain: The refugee crisis is about to worsen
By Dr Ramzy Baroud
"The debate over refugees and migrants has reached the point that it has become a source of political instability in countries like Germany. The latter is not considered a 'frontline state', as in countries that are likely to be the first destination for refugees escaping war or poverty at home." A recent European Council summit in Brussels was meant to articulate a united policy on the burgeoning refugees and migrant crisis. Instead, it served to highlight the bitter divisions among various European countries. Considering the gravity of the matter, Europe's self-serving policies are set to worsen an already tragic situation. True, several European leaders, including Italy's Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, went home to speak triumphantly of a 'great victory', achieved through a supposedl...
Kashmir Times News Report
View from the Gallery
BJP attempt to form Govt. in J&K with help of rebels will not work
By Brij Bhardwaj
If the designs of BJP leaders to form a Government succeeds and Governor's rule ends, it would be a great folly, leading to the situation in Valley that reaches a point of no return. Many BJP ruled States have made attempts to re-write history by revising text books in schools. They rubbish heroes like Mughal Emperor Akbar and instead glorify Rana Pratap and suggest that he won the battle of Haldighati, forgetting that in Haldighati Raja Man Singh, a general of Mughal Army, had defeated Rana Pratap. The Jammu and Kashmir unit of BJP is going ahead to set up the Dogra rule in Jammu and Kashmir instead of re-writing history books alone. They are trying to achieve this by persuading a section of PDP members to leave the parent party and support BJP. They hope to get a majority to come...
Kashmir Times News Report
An Angel's soft words..!
By Robert Clements
Was driving by the picturesque sea-link in Mumbai, where couples sit huddled together, all very much in love, when I saw a crowd and stopped my car, thinking there had been an accident. It wasn't. It was a lover's tiff and a young man and women were screaming and shouting at one another. I was about to get back to my car, when I stopped and imagined I heard the swish of wings and saw an angel flying up to the couple, and in my mind, I went closer to listen. "Why do you shout in anger?" the angel whispered gently, "Why do you have to raise you voices at each other when you are upset? Why yell when the other person is just next to you? Isn't it possible to speak to each other with a soft voice?" My imaginary angel turned to the girl, "Why did you just cry out?" "You tell me!" said the gir...
Kashmir Times News Report
A modicum of truth
By Kuldip Nayar
The Prime Minister has to ask himself whether this scenario is good for the people. A multi-cultural society has to stay pluralistic because that is what fits into the scheme of India. When key positions in education or other affairs of the government are given to the trusted RSS men, the faith of liberals, the Muslims and others living on the edge is shaken. Modi has to give them confidence so that their contribution is considered equally important. I feel honoured that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has taken notice of my criticism. Indeed, he praised me and said: "I respect veteran journalist Kuldip Nayarji, he fought for freedom during the Emergency. He may be a harsh critic of us but I salute him for this." The Prime Minister and I are on the same page when it comes to the crit...
Kashmir Times News Report
Do we see God?
By Robert Clements
A moneyed friend of mine had just come back from a holiday he'd spent at Mahabalipuram, the temple town a few kilometres from Chennai. Since I'd been there a few times, I'd told him about the carvings, the sculptures and the temples, and was quite eager to hear his own experiences, "Bob," he said excitedly, "The place is fantastic! It is so huge, it stretches for hundreds of metres!" "Which temple?" I asked him puzzled. "Not temple, but the hotel we stayed in. What a fantastic place. It has got everything inside! You don't have to go out for anything!" "Did you see the remnants of the ancient temple slowly being engulfed by the sea?" I asked him. "What room service!" said my friend, "You just lift up the phone and order and ten minutes they've brought it! Dharu, soft drinks, apple jui...
Kashmir Times News Report
Was Emergency in India akin to Hitler's regime?
By Ram Puniyani
How can one say that Emergency which was authoritarianism was not fascism in any way? In fascist methods what is central to the undermining of democracy is to operate through the mechanism of mobilization of foot soldiers, whipping up mass hysteria and giving prominence to emotive issues. On the eve of 43rd anniversary of the Emergency, which was imposed on the country in 1975, BJP came out strongly condemning the event, has issued half page advertisement and Modi said that it was imposed to save the power of a family. There are claims that BJP's parent organization RSS and its political predecessors valiantly fought against emergency. Surprisingly many streams of Indian politics, like CPI (M), shades of socialists, and sections of dissident Congress streams who fought against Emergenc...
Kashmir Times News Report
Ban the Bridge..!
By Robert Clements
Last week Mumbai woke up to the scary news that a portion of a bridge in Andheri had collapsed. Soon all bridges were hurriedly scrutinized and this morning's paper mentioned three bridges have been closed to the public and people banned from using them. A few weeks ago, plastic was banned throughout the state, and as I see the poor and others struggling in the monsoons, with nothing to carry their goods in, I remember a play I'd written years ago: In the play a man is stranded in a stalled lift and as he shouts and screams in panic, different people passing by offer him advice on how to open the door, but even though the poor man tries it is of no avail, "Get me out of here!" he screams. Suddenly all activity stops. There is a hush as a local minister who's heard of the poor man's plig...
Kashmir Times News Report
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