Friday, February 23, 2018
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Asifa: Isn't she a daughter of J&K?
'Stop violence against women whatsoever her caste, class or religion be' Asifa was an eight year old adopted child of a Bakarwal family in Rasana village of Hiranagar block in Kathua district. She was kidnapped, kept in captivity for seven days, raped and brutally murdered. On the eighth day her body was found in a forest near her home. Her brutal killing has raised various questions on the role of police, civil and political society. But before going into the details we must look into her socio-economic background i.e. the Bakarwal community. The Bakarwal community She was a Bakarwal child. The Bakarwal community is among the twelve Schedule Tribes, (ST) enlisted in the state with total population of 1.1 lakh. Bakarwals are basically nomadic transhumance tribe, primarily goat and she...
Kashmir Times News Report
The night in Kunan Poshpora
Women Victims/Survivors
According to the women, rape is not an adequate word to describe what was done to them. It was not rape - it was war. Women were caught and held by a minimum of five to six army men as their husbands, fathers and sons were forcefully separated from them. Pushed to the walls, they shouted and screamed for help, for mercy. Their screams were not answered. Guns were pointed at their chests and mouths. They were told not to shout or else they would be shot. The army men were drunk, and were seen drinking during the operations. They smelled of liquor. They tore the women's pherans (long traditional gown-, worn over the clothes). They pulled down their trousers and raped them. While raping them they continued to consume liquor. They took turns, and sometimes took two rounds of a particular hous...
Kashmir Times News Report
Constant firing, shelling create hell for border residents
By Heena Tabassum
Large number of people along the border are living in a state of fear due to the escalation in tensions. It was in 2003 that India and Pakistan mutually agreed to cease the cross-Loc fire and therefore put an end to the damages and fatalities not only suffered by the two armies but also by the people living there. However, with a number of ceasefire violations recorded almost every year the truce has been literally called off. Last month four Indian soldiers were killed and one was wounded after Pakistani troops fired on Indian posts in the Jammu region. One of the soldiers killed in the shelling was an officer. Recently, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said that 25 civilians were killed along the International Border (IB) and Line of Control (LoC) and 162 have been injured in the last t...
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Trudeau visit and India's balancing act on foreign policy
By Humra Quraishi
I'd gone through an exhausting tiring day and returned home all too fatigued and forlorn. To try distracting myself, I switched on the television and the images on the small screen made me not just smile but smile in that ongoing way! Yes, it was Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his wife and children who stood out in each one of those shots. After years I saw a happy, content, intact family! Emotions came to the fore and I blessed that happy family and marvelled the way Justin Trudeau has been conducting himself on this India trip. Happy to be in the company of his wife and children. All looking relaxed, without those security phobias lurking around! Needles for me to add that a man who can take care of his wife and children is sure to take care of his nation and its people...
Kashmir Times News Report
Yogi on collision course with Upper House
Demand for CBI probe into fake encounters
By Pradeep Kapoor
The Yogi Adityanath government seems to be set on a collision course with the UP Legislative Council on the issue of fake encounters. It so happened that Legislative Council chairman Ramesh Yadav directed the Yogi government to recommend a CBI probe into three alleged fake counters in Noida and Greater Noida. One case is related to Noida Gym trainer Jitendra Yadav, who was shot at by police inspector Vijay Darshan in a fake encounter. The 25-year-old gym trainer had stopped for a pizza at a roadside outlet in Noida when he was shot and critically injured by the inspector after an argument. The cop has since been arrested while three others have been suspended. The issue was raised by Leader of Opposition Ahmad Hasan, who said it was an attempt to kill Jitendra Yadav. Another case is ...
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A rebel hero's dazzled fans
By Jawed Naqvi
SOME individuals are instantly mesmeric. Asma Jahangir was one such. She was a fiery rebel and a deeply caring comrade, an outstanding lawyer and a raconteur with impish humour. She hugged the dispossessed with spontaneous empathy. She fought relentlessly against a variety of usurpers of democracy, mullahs and generals being her staple quarries. She dreamt of uniting the people of South Asia into a comity of mutually caring nations where perennial, manmade inequalities could be terminated to everyone's advantage, where gender and sexual rights would be accorded primacy with other elusive rights that people have been struggling to gain since time immemorial. She was against war always. She was a votary of peace at all times. In a nutshell, given the adverse times she lived in, Asma Jahan...
Kashmir Times News Report
Privatization key issue in medical education
Draft bill overlooks most important issue
By Dr. Arun Mitra
The standing committee on health headed by Ram Gopal Yadav had called various stake holders to put forward their viewpoints on National Medical Commission (NMC). Since health is an issue of concern to all, such consultative process is a welcome step. The process to revamp medical regulation started after the Supreme Court took cognizance of malfunctioning of the Medical Council of India (MCI) and directed for a new system, which would redress the ills in the MCI with a view to streamlining the medical education and healthcare in the country. As a result the NITI Ayog drafted the NMC in its present form, which the government wanted to pass in parliament as such. It would have been better if the NITI Ayog had formed a multi stake holder committee to draft this bill. But it was only after st...
Kashmir Times News Report
Modi governemnt's job creation record dismal till now
Unemployment likely to become a major political issue in 2019
By Gyan Pathak
Unemployment in India is likely to become a major political issue in the months to come. It is bound to happen this time because our educated youths are now a frustrated lot as they were hoping something for themselves under the Modi-led NDA rule. It came to power in 2014 promising that unemployment growth that had been dragging the country for the last 10 years of UPA rule would soon be thing of the past. However, nothing like that happened. Unemployment has been getting from bad to worse. Joblessness is even going to increase further in 2018 and 2019. As it stands today, things are set to worsen before general election 2019 to the extent that the government would find itself in a bind. Living without a job has made lives of millions of people in India most vulnerable to all sorts of s...
Kashmir Times News Report
Why flag the issue? Communal politics and protests in Kathua
The joint rally by the Hindu Ekta Manch (HEM) and BJP in Kathua on 14th February 2018 demanding the release of SPO Deepak Khajuria, arrested in connection of the abduction, rape and murder of eight-year-old Asifa Bano in January 2018, has brought to the fore the blatant communal politics of the BJP-HEM combine. And, since the Congress is not ready to be left behind, Kathua is fast becoming a communal tinderbox. While the Chief Minister has taken exception to the "desecration" of the national flag in the rally and the National Conference has questioned her for allowing the march, the issues are much deeper and each of them deserves to be condemned in the strongest way possible. 1. The abduction, rape and murder of Asifa who belonged to the nomadic Bakarwal community went unnoticed for a w...
Kashmir Times News Report
No Country for Justice
In Kashmir, concern for the rights of army personnel glosses over the human rights of civilians
By Gautam Navlakha
An ominous sign of jingoism triumphing over the course of justice in Kashmir is the simulated concern over an army officer's plight against whom an FIR (first information report) was sought to be filed after the firing incident on 27 January in Gawanpora village of Shopian district. On 12 February, a petition seeking to "protect the morale of the soldiers" was heard by a three-judge bench of the Supreme Court headed by the Chief Justice of India. The Court ruled in an ex parte order that no "coercive action" be initiated against Major Aditya Kumar of 10 Garhwal Rifles by the Jammu and Kashmir Police. A few days earlier, on 9 February, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) decided to enquire into "stone pelting and assault by an unruly and disruptive mob on army personnel" in respons...
Kashmir Times News Report
Zuma is gone but Anc's future is far from secure
New president Ramaphosa has to unite all factions
By John Haylett
South Africa's African National Congress has, in giving Jacob Zuma his marching orders on February 15 and replacing him with Cyril Ramaphosa, shown a capacity for decisive action that many feared beyond it. Ramaphosa's narrow victory over Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma for the ANC presidency, his supporters' failure to win a clean sweep of the top six positions and the clear national executive committee knife-edge division into apparently pro and anti-Zuma camps, foretold confusion and indecision. Similarly, Zuma's initial efforts to string out negotiations over retirement encouraged speculation that he might brazen it out, relying on ANC loyalties to thwart opposition no-confidence motions. He has rapidly been disabused of such notions, with even erstwhile Zuma supporters acknowledging the need...
Kashmir Times News Report
Beard, the men's facial furniture………..
By Tajamul Hussain
The men's facial furniture, beard, has all along been more than a mere gender signal, a species flag that clearly identified the scary new primate that was starting to roam the land. Male beard is a display of masculine adulthood, kind of male flag. Its main impact is strongly visual. The hairy facial region better retains a number of scent glands and their products therein. Men have heavier jaws. Protuberant bearded chins add to their aggressive facial shape. Because beards were as important as a masculine signal, the rulers of early civilizations devoted an immense amount of time to grooming and decorating them. They used tongs, curling irons, dyes, and perfumes. Their beards were colored, oiled, scented, pleated, curled, frizzled or starched and for special occasions were sprinkled wit...
Kashmir Times News Report
Asma Jahangir: Leaving her track on many stars and planet
By Tapan Bose
My first meeting with Asma Jahangir was in Vienna in 1993 during the World Conference on Human Rights. She was with the late Justice Dorab Patel, and Mr. I. A. Rahman. At the conference, the official representatives of India and Pakistan had hijacked the discussion on right to self -determination by bringing in the Kashmiri issue and reduced the discussion to an ugly exchange of accusations. It as an obnoxious of self-aggrandizement, with each side boasting and preening like peacocks. Some of the non-official India and Pakistan delegates to the conference walked out feeling ashamed. Outside the main hall we met, shame faced and angry. Asma was fuming. We sat down at the cafeteria and over a cup of coffee we discussed how to take the discussions on Kashmir out of the narrow confines of nat...
Kashmir Times News Report
Nothing Succeeds like Failure
By Badri Raina
The Fidayeen attack on the Brigade Headquarters in Jammu City is barely over when news of another daring attack comes, this time from the heart of Srinagar City in the thick of the Karan Nagar colony, a walking distance from the S.M.H.S Hospital from where an LeT terrorist escaped from police custody a week ago. But, not to worry: the official discourse continues to be that the more we fail in Kashmir and vis-a-vis Pakistan, the more we are actually succeeding. That oxymoron may of course be too much for some of us morons. We are invited to understand that the greater the savagery of the firing from across the Line of Control, greater the number of dead and wounded-soldiers and civilians-, greater the misery of marginalised inhabitants along the border to and froing from homestead to bu...
Kashmir Times News Report
Capital gains tax may cool down the overheated market
Government is concerned over unsustainable stock boom
By Nantoo Banerjee
The imposition of long-term capital gains (LTCG) tax on gains from equity and mutual funds trading is possibly the most sensible thing the government could do in its effort to contain the overheated Indian stock market. Taxes are rarely welcomed by those who are subjected to pay. Investments in equity have long enjoyed dividend tax exemption. That policy was sensible and benefited millions of long-term investors in equity, who want to be a part of a listed company by holding its ordinary shares. However, when market speculators in equities turn a bunch of high stake gamblers, there are reasons to worry for both the market regulators and the government. The pre-budget economic survey clearly expressed the government's serious concerns over highly elevated levels in India's stock markets...
Kashmir Times News Report
A Different Perspective on Valentine
By Mushtaq Ul Haq Ahmad Sikander
Every year on Valentine's Day the Muslim world and India too is engulfed in a ferocious debate. The exclusivist, peripheral and in certain cases the fascist groups take to the streets, harassing, molesting or beating those whom they perceive as "Love Birds". Each year same history is repeated on the perception that Valentine brings Immorality with it. It is a Western invention of expressing love that is rendered synonymous with promiscuousness, pre marital sex, lust and immorality by these groups. The worldview of these groups about Western concept of Love is based on hedonistic lust and sexual anarchy. They wrongly uphold that for West there exist no notions or norms of love, but only of sharing bed with multiple partners. So Love cannot exist between a boy and girl. It has to be lust. ...
Kashmir Times News Report
Yogi hopes to deliver UP by creating communal divide
By Lalit Sethi
What is the relatively new flag bearer of the Saffron Brigade up to? What are his super duper loyalists up to? What are his cronies trying to do? The cronies do not show up much in public spaces. They find quite younger elements to stand up and be counted as the unrelenting and undying faithful. What is the command they receive? Pick up a big placard and gather a team as long as possible. What is written on the placard in big letters? The same words they are shouting as loud as possible? What are those words? Here goes: "U.P. mein rehna hai, toh Yogi Yogi kehna hai". This set of a brigade or a few companies may or may not carry the Tiranga or the Tricolour or the Bhagwa or Saffron banner. That is left to the rest or several other innumerable elements in places of choice, especially tense...
Kashmir Times News Report
Jobs: Moravec's Paradox vs. AGI
By Gwynne Dyer
Don't bother asking if jobs are being lost to computers. Of course they are, and the current wave of populist political revolts in Western countries is what Luddism looks like in an era of industrialised democracies. The right question to ask is: what KINDS of jobs are being lost? Moravec's Paradox predicted the answer almost 30 years ago. Right now, it's the jobs in the middle that are at risk of disappearing. Not high-level professional and managerial jobs that require sophisticated social and intellectual skills and pay very well. Not poorly-paid jobs in delivery or the fast-food industry either, although automation will eventually take jobs in the service industries too. But the middle-income, semi-skilled jobs, mostly in manufacturing or transportation, that used to sustain a broa...
Kashmir Times News Report
Master of Dastangoi
By Humra Quraishi
The way Mahmood Farooqui has reached out to the Tihar jail inmates - not just through teaching them English , voice training, conducting theatre workshops but also by starting off the Tihar Akhbar - A weekly paper that he conceptualized and edited, is amazing. Several readers have been relaying that I'm focusing only on the dark realities. Well, a writer dwells on the ground realities; sadly, we are surviving in dark times, with murky political build-ups, dragging along horrifying aftermaths. It's only rarely that one comes across a positive story or a person carrying hope for others! Last month I did come across such a person, who though himself went through a very tough phase, yet he not just withstood that trauma but tried to reach out to hundreds and is still trying to do s...
Kashmir Times News Report
Goodbye My Friend, We In India Will Be Denied Your Last Deedar
By Syeda Hameed
Phaili hain fizaon mein iss tarah teri yaadein Jis simt nazar unthi awaaz teri aaiyee Sau baar chaman mehka sau baar bahaar aiyee Duniya ki wohi raunaq dil ki wohi tanhai You lit up my life as you did the life of thousands like me. Dear friend and mentor Asma Jahangir who would have thought I was seeing you for the last time on November 28 2017, the date is etched on my heart. On reaching Lahore I wrote to you. You had just returned from Islamabad after a difficult day. But your home and hospitality was ready to welcome me. It was an unforgettable evening around your splendid table with family, friends, bonhomie. Then I heard from you the saddest words I had ever heard you speak. We were talking about the total embargo on visas. Friends from Pakistan were longing to come to India; th...
Kashmir Times News Report
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