Thursday, July 20, 2017
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Will States act to curb cow vigilantes or ignore PM's call
By Lalit Sethi
Will the Prime Minister Narendra Modi's command or request to the State Governments to "crack down" on cow vigilantes have any impact? Or is he responding to a notice sent to the State of U.P. and possibly Centre as well to let it know about all the breaches of law and order in the past five years until now? Where does the Centre stand on this in view of public interest litigation before the Court? The litigation came up before the Court prior to its summer vacation. The cow vigilantes attack or kill those who transport cows from one place to another point within that State. Does it matter that it could be a case of transporting a cow from one State to another in the neighbourhood? Would those people who consider themselves self-appointed cow protectors or saviours of the Mother Cow, tw...
Kashmir Times News Report
In conversation with the multi-faceted Gopalkrishan Gandhi
By Humra Quraishi
I heaved a sigh of relief when the Opposition came up with the name of Gopalkrishna Gandhi as their vice presidential candidate. As I'd mentioned in one of my earlier columns, this grandson of Mahatma Gandhi has been a former civil servant turned diplomat and now an academic - commentator- writer. I had interviewed him soon after his book- Dara Shukoh: A Play (Tranquebar Press) was launched. I'm putting excerpts from that interview with Gopalkrishna Gandhi; enough to relay details to the man and his personality- After you took voluntary retirement from the Indian Administrative Service in 1992, you were appointed as Director of the Nehru Centre in London and later posted India's envoy to South Africa, Sri Lanka and Norway. And then, posted secretary to the President of India and lat...
Kashmir Times News Report
Crisis deepens in Bihar, Secular forces in disarray
Nitish realises alliance has outlived its utility for him
By Arun Srivastava
After the Mahagathbandhan of the Janata Dal (United), the Rashtriya Janata Dal and Congress defeated the ascendant Bharatiya Janata Party in the Bihar elections of 2015, political circles had veered round the view that the opposition's efforts to regroup at the national level will unite around these parties. But such possibilities have become a causality of the war of attrition between Nitish Kumar and Lalu Yadav, the leaders of JD(U) and RJD. These are the two parties that could have resisted the saffron attack. But with both the leaders pitching against each other, the optimism lies shattered on the streets of Patna. Distrust for each oher has gripped these two leaders to such an extent that any reconciliation appears to be an absolutely remote possibility. The political narrative a...
Kashmir Times News Report
Pandit Prem Nath Bazaz : A misunderstood and revolutionary Kashmiri Pandit
By Paramita Ghosh
Like many Kashmiri Pandits, Sanjay Tickoo, a Srinagar businessman, is imprisoned by the history of his state, the ambivalent positions of its leaders, and his own paranoia of being a member of a minority community with a dominant past. Yet, in the mass exodus of the '90s in which 34 Pandit families of his locality left Kashmir, his didn't. In fact, he "still believes that by instinct, the Kashmiri Muslim is a secular person". That Tickoo can say this is not simply magnanimity. Behind this outlook of his lies an almost forgotten history of a robust secular tradition. And over this tradition looms large the shadow of a man who symbolised it; almost perfectly one could say. That man was Prem Nath Bazaz, a committed progressive Kashmiri Pandit. The story of Bazaz's life is intimately entwin...
Kashmir Times News Report
Woman Qazis In India
Hena Zaheer and Maria Fazal appointed by All India Muslim Women's Personal Law Board as city qazis (shahar qazis) for Kanpur in 2016"
By Rafia Zakaria
SHE is one of the very first. This summer Jehanara Begum, a woman from Rajasthan, and 15 other Muslim women will become some of the first female qazis - or Islamic judges - in India. They will have taken part in a two-year programme at the Darul Uloom Niswan, an institution in Mumbai that has begun to train Muslim women from all around the country. Following graduation, the women will return to various areas and begin to fulfill their duties as qazis. It has not, of course, been an easy road. Muslim women in India have been advocating for female qazis for a while. The issue came into the spotlight in 2008, when a Muslim woman activist named Naish Hasan got a well-known Indian Muslim female scholar named Syeda Hameed to solemnise her marriage. Expectedly, controversy ensued, splitting In...
Kashmir Times News Report
‘Biological Mass Annihilation’
Era Underway!
From the common barn swallow to the exotic giraffe, thousands of animal species are in precipitous decline, a sign that an irreversible era of mass extinction is underway, new research finds. The study, published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, calls the current decline in animal populations a “global epidemic” and part of the “ongoing sixth mass extinction” caused in large measure by human destruction of animal habitats. The previous five extinctions were caused by natural phenomena. Gerardo Ceballos, a researcher at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México in Mexico City, acknowledged that the study is written in unusually alarming tones for an academic research paper. “It wouldn’t be ethical right now not to speak in this strong language to call atte...
Kashmir Times News Report
Dangers of vigilante politics
Attack on pilgrims can be turned into opportunity
By Brij Bhardwaj
Attack on Amarnath Yatris in Kashmir may prove to be a turning point in Kashmir if the opportunity is seized by the State Government and the Center to open dialogue with moderate leaders and civil society. After a long time civil society and leaders of political parties including Hurriyat Conference have come forward to condemn the attack on Amarnath Yatris by Militants. This has clearly shown that "Kashmiriyat" is not dead and many in Kashmir are prepared to carry on old traditions in which different communities have lived cheek to cheek in complete harmony. It needs to be realised that the Amarnath cave in which idol of Shiva is placed was discovered by a Muslim family. More so to make the Yatra a success, hundreds of Kashmiris work as porters carrying pilgrims on their back. They als...
Kashmir Times News Report
Dangers of vigilante politics
By Pushkar Raj
The political leaders emerging out of majoritarian vigilante politics tend to be authoritarian because they are the product of emotions of fear and anger hence need to appear tough and decisive. They realize that they are in power despite the law and therefore need not care for it more than it suits them. The country is experiencing a spate of violence with cases of lynching in different parts of India. The citizen is hapless and government is unresponsive betraying its authoritarian tendencies rooted in its ideology. Over a couple of decades , BJP has grown on vigilante politics rooted in ideology of RSS and Hindutva, a distorted interpretation of Hinduism which is based on Vedic philosophy priding in its diversity than dogma and exclusion that the former advocates. The major vi...
Kashmir Times News Report
Trump throws a banner at Hamburg summit
Nations have to cope with emerging disorder
By S Sethuraman
Under Mr Donald Trump, America seems to have begun a process of disengagement, though selectively yet, at the risk of forfeiting its global leadership and its prized "exceptionalism". This has now become formal with US withdrawal from Paris Agreement on climate change, announced at the G-20 Hamburg Summit, while Mr Trump remains equally determined to scuttle moves on free trade, away from protectionism.. In strategic terms, Mr Trump's Presidential statements early in office had already disillusioned long-term US allies in East Asia on future dependence on American defence umbrella while European partners, on the other side of the Atlantic, were no less left to wonder about Washington's commitments to NATO, the post-war defence architecture it had helped to create to provide common secu...
Kashmir Times News Report
Opposition leaders are special target of CBIBy Lalit Sethi
By Lalit Sethi
Are rulers ever too happy to go in for witch-hunting of their political opponents and forget the wrongdoing of their own party men unless they become too hot a potato to ignore and let them off the hook? Or is there an unwritten agreement or political convention, which says: "Thou shall forgive and forget the sins of rivals and not be vengeful at all times". Is there some kind of a truth in both these epigrams? In the Indian context, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his alter ego, Mr. Amit Shah, have recorded unparalleled successes in winning friends and influencing people of the political kind, beating Dale Carnegie's classical formulae hollow and bringing State after State under the BJP umbrella without batting an eyelid. How have they done it? Is it a miracle of our times, a miracle o...
Kashmir Times News Report
Amarnath tragedy: Security lapse or what?
The attack on the yatri bus raises more questions than it answers
By Abdul Majid Zargar
All sections of Kashmir Society have condemned the dastardly attack on a bus ferrying Yatris to Holy Amarnath cave. Seven yatris were killed in the cowardly attack and many more injured. While feeling grieved and outpouring of emotions is a natural human trait, what is bad and loathsome, is the mention of Islam & Muslims in their condolence messages. Many have loaded their messages with the words ' this is against the basic tenants of Islam' or 'The killing is unislamic' etc. etc. These messages pre-suppose that the Yatris were killed by Muslims or Islamists. I take umbrage at these pre-drawn conclusions. The attack on the yatri bus raises more questions than it answers. Here are the questions which need answers & explanations: 1) How come that a bus carrying nearly 60 yatris ...
Kashmir Times News Report
BJP wants to consign Mughalsarai to history
Hindu Rashtra hinged on Sangh's cultural hijack
By Amulya Ganguli
It was only a question of time. After the renaming of Aurangzeb Road in Lutyens Delhi - although an Aurangzeb Lane has avoided detection from the Hindutva votaries - Mughalsarai was living on borrowed time. The railway station and town in Uttar Pradesh is doubly damned. First, it recalls the name of a group of invaders and, secondly, it uses one of their alien words - sarai - to denote a bhojanalaya or an eatery. There is no way, therefore, for it to survive in its present form at a time when the Bharat Mata ki Jai brigade is in power both at the Centre and in Lucknow. Hence, the suggestion from the Yogi Adityanath government to the Union home ministry to rename it after the RSS ideologue, Deen Dayal Upadhyay, who is even less well known - outside the saffron brotherhood - than Savarkar ...
Kashmir Times News Report
LDF government, CM redeem themselves with star's arrest
Malayalam cinema's ugly underbelly bared
By P. Sreekumaran
However high or influential he may be, anyone committing a crime against women would be arrested. That is the powerful message the arrest of prominent Malayalam actor Dileep in the case of abduction and rape of a noted actress beams. The people of Kerala woke up to the shocking tale of the abduction and sexual assault on February 18. Four months after the sordid tale unspooled, actor Dileep has been arrested for the conspiracy leading to the incident. Revelations made by the first accused, Pulsar Suni, who executed the actor's 'orders' proved crucial in catching up with the hero-turned villain. In the process, the Left Democratic Front Government and Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan have redeemed themselves. The CM had said earlier that there was no conspiracy behind the abduction and r...
Kashmir Times News Report
Kashmir aptly responds as Kashmiriyat under attack!
By Humra Quraishi
The attack on Amarnath yatra pilgrims, killing seven and injuring several, is not just extremely tragic and shocking, but totally against the very concept of Kashmiriyat. It's hard, if not impossible to believe that any Kashmiri could have carried out such a horrifying attack on the pilgrims. In my near 30 year long association with the Valley Kashmiris (right from 1990 ), I haven't come across a single Kashmiri who had a word to say against the yatris or the very yatra. In fact, on the contrary, Kashmiris used to look forward for the yatra to take off and to be there as part of the support system. As several of my Pandit Kashmiri friends would say that the yatra wouldn't be possible without the support of the Muslim Kashmiris who seemed all too happy to be there… to reach out to the yatr...
Kashmir Times News Report
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