Sunday, September 23, 2018
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The Pathology of Mass Surveillance
The UK, Bulk Interception and the European Court of HRs
By Dr Binoy Kampmark
The judges noted that the second and third applications involved "investigative journalists who have reported on issues such a CIA torture, counterterrorism, drone warfare, and the Iraq war logs [accepting] that they were potentially at risk of having their communications obtained by the United Kingdom authorities". It's fitting that the same society that produced George Orwell with his warnings of a totalitarian dystopia stacked with all-prying monitors, surveillance and paranoia should yield up some of the most invasive surveillance regimes imaginable. While some states have found the revelations from Edward Snowden the sort that should initiate, at the very least, modest changes, the United Kingdom preferred opposite approach. It had, after all, been an indispensable ally to the US ...
Kashmir Times News Report
Just A Google Search - 56 Hunger Deaths in 2015-18
"Reports of hunger deaths are particularly frequent in two states: Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh (16 cases each). In Jharkhand, ABBA is effectively compulsory in most ration shops. Uttar Pradesh has implemented the National Food Security Act in a belated and haphazard manner." News reports of "starvation deaths" have been coming in a steady trickle over the past few years. One particularly tragic episode was that of eleven-year old Santoshi Kumari in Jharkhand. She died one year ago, on 28 September, begging her mother for rice as she slipped into unconsciousness. It was later learnt that her family had lost their ration card because it had not been linked with Aadhaar (in mid-2017, the Jharkhand government mass-cancelled Aadhaar-less rations cards). On the occasion of Santoshi's death an...
Kashmir Times News Report
Modi in Trouble
By Mahendra Ved
Indians are generally shy of statistics. No election is won or lost on the basis of figures. But, figures are crowding into the otherwise personalities-based discourse as the country prepares for general elections. Many of these figures are unflattering, and should worry the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi when he has just won the mandate to lead his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA) into these polls. For, long after he stormed to power in 2014, only one figure was grandly flaunted: his 56-inch chest size. It encompassed his popularity, oratory, promises of "good days", unceasing denunciation of previous governments and a biting contempt for his critics. Modi looked invincible until last month's surveys showed his popularity falli...
Kashmir Times News Report
The Wonder of Silence..!
By Robert Clements
The world today hates silence: In fact I'm beginning to think, people are scared of silence. There was a time I travelled by the local train, and quite often the compartment would be quiet with maybe an occasional word uttered between two friends. Today there is a cacophony of noise as everybody chatters away on the mobile. It's like, "Oh my God, I'm going to be alone on this train, I can't handle those silent moments. Let me dial a friend!" And the conversation, quite often unnecessary spoils the wonder of silence, which that person could have experienced and enjoyed. Here's an experience of silence I went through in Chicago, at the beginning of this year: I decided against the wishes of my wife and relatives to go outside. It was about 20 degrees below zero (Fahrenheit), there wasn...
Kashmir Times News Report
Violence yours and mine
If Maoist violence is illegitimate how is Hindutva violence and State violence justified?
By Swami Agnivesh and Sandeep Pandey
There was major police action against Sudha Bhardwaj, Gautam Navlakha, Varvara Rao, Vernon Gonsalves and Arun Ferreira on 28 August, 2018. Before this police arrested Professor Shoma Sen, Adocate Sudhir Gadling, Sudhir Dhawle, Mahesh Raut and Rona Wilson on 6 June. Even before this Dr. Binayak Sen, Soni Sori, Ajay T.G., Professor G.N. Saibaba and Prashant Rahi have been arrested and all these activists have been accused of having links with Maoists. Maoists are considered dangerous because they are thought to be plotting to destabilize the government and the five who have been most recently targeted are also accused of having planned to assassinate the Prime Minister. This charge is ridiculous because they are dedicated activists fighting for the rights of marginalized sections of our soc...
Kashmir Times News Report
Rahul must have spine and vision
Next three months are crucial for Congress
By Nitya Chakraborty
Rahul Gandhi completed nine months in office as the Congress President on September 16.This was a period of big challenges for the Congress and despite some small mistakes and a few wrong assessments, Rahul has come out as a stronger leader who can lead the opposition against the Prime Minister Narendra Modi by uniting all the anti-BJP forces who are ready to unseat the NDA government from power at the centre in the Lok Sabha elections in April/May 2019. As of now, the political scenario in the country is conducive for the Congress President in vigorously pursuing the unity of opposition parties for the coming assembly elections in five states- Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Mizoram and Telangana by November/December this year. That means that Rahul Gandhi who will be completi...
Kashmir Times News Report
Everybody is Somebody..!
By Robert Clements
At the school my children studied in the support staff were never called by the post they occupied, like the gardener was not called, 'Mali' or 'gardener' he was called, 'Uncle' so and so. I liked that very much and it used to be nice seeing the pleasure on their faces when the children addressed them in this way. Juan worked at a meat distribution factory. One day, when he finished with his work schedule, he went into the meat cold room to inspect something, but all of a sudden the door closed and he was locked inside with no help in sight. Although he screamed and knocked with all his might, his cries went unheard as no one could hear him. Most of the workers had already gone, and outside the cold room it's impossible to hear what was going on inside. Five hours later, whilst Juan ...
Kashmir Times News Report
Need to lift veil of secrecy surrounding defence deal
By Brij Bhardwaj
The defence deals in India are always subject to controversies, thanks to the Government's desire to hide facts. The facts are known to all those who follow these deals in international magazines or have followed the procurement process. To take the example of the Rafale deal for 36 planes from France in a Government-to-Government deal between the two countries. The controversy surrounds two facts, the price paid by the Government of India and engagement of the partner for the offset deal. No one can dispute that the Rafale Jet was selected after the most elaborate competition carried out by the Indian Air Force for the purchase of 126 fighter jets. So the selection can not be faulted on any account and the Air Force top brass has rightly defended the of Rafale quality and ability ...
Kashmir Times News Report
Fancy Glasses..!
By Robert Clements
My driver was a little confused this morning, "Sir, but why are you insisting on your old glasses?" I could well understand his being puzzled: It had been a day of problems I had gone through yesterday, and in a moment of frustration I'd leaned on my spectacles and broken the frame. I'd stared with dismay at what remained of my glasses, and since I hadn't written my column, called out to my driver and asked him to take it to the optician's and get it repaired immediately. "Sir," he had said over the phone, "The man says it will take two days!" "What will I do for two days?" I asked. "He is giving you a replacement pair sir!" said my driver, sounding pleased. The glasses he brought back were progressive lenses, the latest frame, and looked good on me. I thanked him for being so cons...
Kashmir Times News Report
India’s shrinking democratic space
The BJP’s dystopic national vision jeopardises the future of our republic
By Malini Parthasarathy
With less than a year to go before we head into general elections in the summer of 2019, it is becoming evident that this will be no ordinary electoral contest between the BJP and the rest because what is at stake is the future of our democratic republic. It seems that a pivotal moment in our political life is approaching, with the BJP and its allied organisations embarking on a strategic course that is far more ambitious and combative than in 2014, seeking as it does to alter the fundamental postulates of the democratic framework of the Indian nation. As Indians, we are justly proud of the structure of our governance and our Constitution which has ensured that India is both a democracy and a republic. This powerful and well-articulated constitutional link between democracy and republic...
Kashmir Times News Report
Behind Those Priestly Robes..!
By Robert Clements
Of late priests, godmen, gurus and other religious leaders are showing a sordid side of themselves! Rape, molestations, blackmail, assaults, greed and debauchery seem to be springing from their holy loins and seeing this there seems to be a growing disenchantment among their followers for all things holy! “If priests are like this, what’s the point of being spiritual?” many ask. “Is there any point in being good, when they themselves fall like this?” ask others. “If religion can’t keep them from wickedness, how will it keep us from the same?” ask the youth. Many years ago, there was an old lady, who was a close friend. She lived in an old folks home, after her husband passed away, and though she reached the grand old age of ninety, used to ask me to pick her up, once a month and take ...
Kashmir Times News Report
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