Thursday, September 21, 2017
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The Short Shelf-life of Post-Truth - I
As happens with any devotional cult figure, you can hear the charmed followers say to the inner ear: "We do not need the truth when we have Modi." Those that swear by Donald Trump say pretty much the same thing, although more vociferously.
By Badri Raina
It is extremely rare to hear murmurs of discontent from within the Bharatiya Janata Party. Which of course does not mean that discontent does not ever exist. A brave BJP Member of Parliament has, if you like, broken the hard ice and let out the best known secret of our times: "Modi does not like being asked questions" (The Indian Express, September 2, 2017) India's vibrant media outlets have of course long swallowed this fact, reserving all their tired out barbs about lack of inner-party democracy for the Indian National Congress. Remember the adage about kicking the one who is down. What is more, Mr Modi's theatrical persona-outreach has over the last three years succeeded in inculcating among his mesmerised adulators in civil society a dour refusal to allow questions about him and the...
Kashmir Times News Report
Rewriting History..!
By Robert Clements
And as our beloved ministers and politicians use their terms in office to rewrite history and school books, and others question the patriotism of some of our freedom fighters, while some others over venerate our former warriors and chieftains, I thought I would spend the better part of my writing time today penning lines on what history means to some children: At Khartoum, capital of Sudan, on the banks of the Nile is Gordon College, named for the famous British General Charles Gordon (1833-1885), who was killed there in 1885 while resisting a siege. In the college garden stands a magnificent statue of Gordon mounted on a camel. Gordon is pictured in full military dress and the camel is wearing rugs and tassels. A British civil servant who was stationed at Khartoum for many years used ...
Kashmir Times News Report
Killing messengers
By A.G. Noorani
ON July 18, 1948, home minister Vallabhbhai Patel wrote to Syama Prasad Mookerjee, the Hindu Mahasabha leader who set up the BJP's ancestor Jan Sangh, on the RSS and the Mahasabha's role in Gandhi's murder. He made no charge but said: "Our reports do confirm that, as a result of the activities of those two bodies, particularly the [RSS], an atmosphere was created in the country in which such a ghastly tragedy became possible." It was precisely in such an atmosphere that the brutal killing of Gauri Lankesh took place on Sept 5. She was respected for her fearlessness and commitment to values as editor of the journal Lankesh Patrike founded by her father P. Lankesh. Demolition of Babri Masjid in 1992 made her a strong opponent of the Hindutva brand of politics. A New York Times' editori...
Kashmir Times News Report
Glimpses of the divine..!
By Robert Clements
Was walking with a friend when he talked about the bill stations in our country. "You know Bob," he said, "you don't have to visit the rest of the world, India has some of the most beautiful spots." I agreed and we went over some of the exotic holiday spots. Though I have visited and holidayed along with family quite a few of the hill stations, the visit I remember so well was the Rohtang Pass in Kulu Manali. The sudden appearance of the mighty Himalayas, peak after peak after peak, like old sages of wisdom, grouped together, not concerned with petty problems below, quiet and solid and reassuring. "Don't worry Bob," they seemed to say without looking in my direction, "there's nothing to worry about that can't be handled higher up!" Down south I have visited the virgin hills of Yercaud, ...
Kashmir Times News Report
A cruel joke on the poor of India
By Rajindar Sachar
It is a tragedy of Indian politics that the massive amount of Rs. 1.10 Lakh Crores being spent Bullet Train project from Ahmedabad to Mumbai is hailed by Modi government as a great achievement. Still, more tragic and utter lack of people's politics is the reaction of other political parties. Thus Malikarjun Kharge, the Congress leader in parliament has hastened to clarify that the Congress is not against the project but wants to draw the attention of the public to the motive of the inauguration on the eve of Gujarat poll - and it is a political use of national project. To leave no one in doubt that the Congress is even more keen on bullet train concept in the whole of India, he has openly welcomed the project and has emphasized that it was first conceived in 2005 and later in 2013 when Co...
Kashmir Times News Report
My Dog and The Stray..!
By Robert Clements
A few years ago, two dogs were part of my life. A female Alsation, who lived with me, inside my house and a stray who parked himself outside. The stray was allowed to come inside through the day. He walked in, in the morning, strolled around the house, ate his heart out, looked for me, gave me a couple of hearty licks and then lay himself down on my sitting room carpet and had a nap. After an hour or two, he hears barking outside and rushes out to join his gang who bully some poor pup who has strayed outside its territory and then with the same gang raids every garbage dump and dust bin in the vicinity; this after he has had tasty meal at my place! My other dog used to look out through the window and sees getting involved in dog fights, flirting with every female dog on the road and do...
Kashmir Times News Report
Rohingya injured by landmines as they flee violence
By Asian Human Rights Commission
This week Just Asia begins with Burma, where many Rohingya are suffering horrific injuries and loss of limbs by landmines along the Burma-Bangladesh border in their attempt to flee the violence. After the militant Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (Arsa) attacked several police posts on August 25, the Burmese government carried out a brutal counter-insurgency clampdown. The UN estimates some 300,000 Rohingya to have fled the violence and arson in Rakhine. Just Asia speaks to Adem Carroll, Burma Task Force Director for UN and New York Programs, for his thoughts. Next, in Pakistan, a 17-year-old Christian student, Sharoon Masih, was beaten to death by his fellow students for drinking water from the school's water cooler. His body lay on the floor for some time, but no teacher or head master c...
Kashmir Times News Report
What is social smuggling?
By Kancha Ilaiah Shepherd
The concept Social Smuggling I coined in my book Post-Hindu India (Sage 2009) has generated a law and order issue, created by the Arya Vysya organizations of the two Telugu States. The Vysya Associations have issued a death threat to me for applying this concept to the Vysya model of caste based business historically leading to a massive amount of wealth being hidden under ground called Guptha Dhana. The chapter Social Smugglers that was first translated by Msco publishers in the whole was published by a small local book seller with the title Samajika Smugglerlu: Komatollu. This booklet is being burnt all over Andhra Pradesh and Telengana to pressure the state Governments to ban it. In this context the concept Social Smugglers needs to be examined at some length here. The Social Smugg...
Kashmir Times News Report
'Swadeshi Fascism' is knocking at the door of Indian democracy
Only a total unity of secular forces can meet the challenge
By Nitya Chakraborty
India is passing through treacherous times. There is no Dickensian dual scenario-it is one way- it is the worst of times. Indian democracy is at peril. The voice of dissent is being throttled. The ruling establishment is encouraging the most heinous type of abuses and abetment to violence in social media.; Prime Minister Narendra Modi who is considered as the darling of the online netizens, has found no time to send any condolence message on the brutal murder of one of the most respected journalists in the country Gouri Lankesh. Rather, he is following in twitter still the saffron heroes of online who are expressing glee at the death of one of the anti- Hindutva voices in the media. There is fear, apprehensions in the Indian media, more so in the states and the districts as the different...
Kashmir Times News Report
Death of A Journalist..!
By Robert Clements
Bang! Bang! Bang! The first lot of people who are murdered when a country is headed in the wrong direction, are thinkers and writers! Because, the powers that be, don't want thoughts except those expressed by them, and no communication except what they want to tell. So, bullets, or the strong arm of government machinery are used to still those voices. India has just seen this in the dastardly killing of Gauri Lankesh, an outspoken woman journalist. And yet the pen is mightier than the sword. How's that? "Hey you two killers who shot the Indian journalist dead, hey!" "We've got guns! Don't shout at us, we'll shoot you!" "But your guns have no bullets! You've emptied them into a defenseless woman!" "You should have seen her fall!" laugh the gunmen brandishing pistols, "We knew she...
Kashmir Times News Report
Reflection on Triple Talaq
By Kuldip Nayar
The triple talaaq had no place in a secular society. Most Muslim countries in the world, including Pakistan and Bangladesh, have banned it. But the situation in India is such that a debate on the subject is not possible. Even a semblance of discussion is rejected outright as an interference. The triple talaaq continues to be invoked and the male dominance remains undiminished. The Supreme Court's judgment is harsh and unequivocal. There could be no compromise on the basics of the Indian Constitution, freedom to women and men to lead their lives as they wanted. I wish the Muslim community had accepted the bar on triple talaaq, which goes against the spirit of the Constitution. But it looks as if the fundamentalists have been having their way. This was even the case with Shah Bano, a Musl...
Kashmir Times News Report
Brainy Children and Me..!
By Robert Clements
Recently there's a not a day gone by that I haven't been stopped by friends and relatives and asked, "Do you know how much my child scored?" "No," I reply, thinking they have mistaken me for the examiner. "Ninety per cent!" "Ninety per cent!" I exclaim. A little farther a lady who I hardly know and who generally favors me with a morning scowl, is all beaming, "John got eighty seven per cent!" she says. "You don't say!" I exclaim, "And who is John?" Her scowl comes back in place. All I ask of all these ninety and eighty per centers is that they don't ever ask me how much I scored in school. I have this sneaky feeling I could be thrown out of my city, state and country for being intellectually different. I thought I'd spend this morning cocking a snook at education, school children and te...
Kashmir Times News Report
From conflict management to a conflict resolution?
By Firdaus Ahmed
There has been ample attention in strategic literature to the use of force in Kashmir, but not quite as much to the peace strategies also deployed alongside in Kashmir. These peace initiatives have not only been within Kashmir, but have also been in relation to Pakistan, seen as part of the problem and solution to Kashmir. However, that the two strands of peace strategies have not been taken to their logical conclusion so far and currently stand suspended. The past failure to clinch the peace and the present status quo in a 'no talks' limbo put a question mark over the sincerity in intent behind the peace prong of India's Kashmir strategy. But, first, a survey of India's political engagement along the two strands of peace talks: one with Pakistan and the other within Kashmir. The onse...
Kashmir Times News Report
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