Wednesday, June 20, 2018
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Bhindranwale Still Lives
By Kuldip Nayar
Indian history is replete with tragedies which, when retold, suggest that the happenings could have been avoided. 'Operation Bluestar' is one of them. Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, a militant, holed himself up at the Akal Takht, the highest Sikh seat, and created a state within a state. Prime Minister Indira Gandhi used the Army to silence his guns and sent tanks into the Harmandir Saheb. Whatever one may say, Bhindranwale continues to enjoy respect in the hearts of Sikhs. I had a taste of it the other day when, unwittingly, I referred to him as a terrorist. Sikh historian Khushwant Singh could get away with the remark that Bhindranwale was a terrorist. But I could not. Although I explained that it was an off-the-cuff remark, not meant to cast any reflection on Bhindranwale, there were fur...
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One Long, Two Short..!
By Robert Clements
From my home I can hear in the distance, the trains going by, and then I hear the dreadful sound, the train hooting; one long and two short blasts. Again, one long and two short! I know what grim tidings those hoots bring. It says the train has run over someone and the station master is being told to send a stretcher and men down the tracks and remove the body: Some poor soul who while crossing the railway tracks was hit by the train and now lies maimed, mangled and most probably dead! And as soon as those at the station hear the distressing hoots, two helpers get up wearily and walk casually to the blood stained rusted stretcher that lies near the station master's office, pick it up, and trundle wearily down the tracks in search of whatever is left of the iron monsters ruthless devouri...
Kashmir Times News Report
Possibility of global nuclear disarmament?
By Sandeep Pandey and Bobby Ramakant
After a hiatus in the movement for global nuclear disarmament it is heartening to note that there are some positive developments over the last couple of years. The United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution for 'taking forward multilateral nuclear disarmament negotiations' on 23 December, 2016 which culminated in the adoption of 'Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons' on 7 July, 2017, with 122 countries voting in its favour, only one voting against it and 70 not participating. International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) was awarded the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize 'for its work to draw attention to the catastrophic human consequences of any use of nuclear weapons and for its ground-breaking efforts to achieve a treaty-based prohibition of such weapons.' And more rec...
Kashmir Times News Report
Water at twenty feet..!
By Robert Clements
A few years ago, people staying in the colony I live in, and who peep out of their windows early in the morning, wondered why I went and stared into a black hole in the ground. That black hole in the ground is no more a hole but carved into a twenty feet deep ring well! “Water at twenty feet?” the engineer asked astounded with a sneer, “I have never seen this happen in the city and I should know, as I do contracts for the municipality!” “Just dig!” I said gently to him, “We have not been given permission to dig a borewell, so let us try an old fashioned well” “But sir, your colony is on a hill, hundreds of feet high!” “Dig!” I said. I knew if water was not struck, I would be answerable to the people for the money spent, but in my mind there was a picture, and the picture was of an an...
Kashmir Times News Report
Why do soldiers still keep dying at India-Pakistan border?
By Sandeep Pandey
In 1947 India was divided by the foreign rulers by playing a game of divide and rule to which the religious fundamentalists fell prey. India and Pakistan since then have a checkered history and uneasy relationship sometimes climaxing in wars and violent conflagrations. While the governments prefer to maintain adversarial relationship, which now sustains certain vested interests on both sides, the common people and business interests on two sides want peace. They do not want conflicts in which people die. The soldiers dying on both sides, after all, come from mostly modest middle class rural backgrounds. While the leaders can meet when they choose to, the common people do not have control over their destiny. The manner in which Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi stopped over in Pakistan ...
Kashmir Times News Report
No grins, no smiles, no laughter..!
By Robert Clements
It was a gathering in a mammoth hall, of a billion and a quarter, There were murmurs and sharp words, but no smiles, chuckles or laughter. "What did you do for us," they asked the people who'd gathered there, "What did you do?" they asked to the those who sat on the chair. "We gave you our vote, and hoped that you, would do something for us, We were impressed by dreams you sold and all the other fuss. You said there would be jobs and perks, for all of us today! But looks like all we see, is unhappiness come our way!" The representatives elected, looked their voters in the eye, "We cannot understand," they said, "why you weep and why you cry, We have done so much for you, if you'd only look round and see, The roads we have renamed, in city and country! We have looked long and h...
Kashmir Times News Report
Writing and rewriting partition's afterlife
An excerpt from The Psychological Impact of the Partition of India
By Tarun K Saint
Women and children were extensively targeted during communal rioting as mutual attrition took place on a scale never seen before. What followed was a comprehensive break with established modes of conduct and value in both public and private domains, even as the composite culture of the subcontinent seemed to implode. Muslim refugees crowd on top a train leaving New Delhi for Pakistan, September 1947 | Image Courtesy: Hindustan Times The moment of the Partition in 1947 was marked by unprecedented disruption of accepted norms, especially in North and Northwest India, even as at least one million people were killed and 10-15 million were forced from their homes in the biggest mass migration in history. Women and children were extensively targeted during communal rioting as mutual attriti...
Kashmir Times News Report
Culture of Protest
By Sandeep Pandey
Protests, even if they are not violent, are usually associated with at least some form of aggression. It is common belief of social-political organisations that only militant action can yield quick and decisive results. Pacifism is considered a sign of weakness. But time and again, peaceful actions have proved to be effective. In an amazing display of goodwill bus drivers of the Ryobi group in Okayama, Japan have staged a protest not by striking work but by continuing to drive, without charging fares from passengers. The Ryobi group is facing tough competition from another group, Megurin, which is offering reduced fares to passengers. The intended message is that the Ryobi drivers value the interest of passengers more than their own. This mode of protest is winning accolades from the p...
Kashmir Times News Report
Sweaty fitting rooms..!
By Robert Clements
With brick and mortar shopping giant Walmart buying online shopping corporate, Flipcart for 6 billion dollars, one can well envision that online shopping will blaze new trails, “Soon,” said my very informative young IT friend, “You’ll press enter and be virtually taken into a spacious online store with shelves and samples and salesgirls!” “Wow!” I said, “All this while actually sitting on my old rocking chair?” “Yes!” smiled my very informative friend. “In fact I can give you a preview of what’s in store for us!” “My young friend opened his laptop to an online shopping website. “Press Enter!” he said. “Aren’t you coming with me?” I asked anxiously. “Enjoy the experience alone!” he smiled and I pressed the Enter key to suddenly find myself in a strange place. “May I help you?” asked a...
Kashmir Times News Report
The future Beckons
By Badri Raina
There comes a time when Caesarism begins to breed discontent and thoughts of another possible world begin to take hold. Indeed, when what might have been a reassuring visage becomes a daily irritant. The decline began with the Gujarat polls where the sons-of-soil duo managed barely to cross the half-way mark, vanquished by a new willingness in the Congress to find allies and equations not considered before. Indeed, had the Congress and NCP struck an understanding, Mr Modi's home State may been entirely lost to him. Then the traumatic parliamentary defeats in Alwar, Ajmer, Gorakhpur, Phulpur, Araria-wipling off arrogant smirks from ruling visages. And nothing that Mr Amit Shah and Mr Modi could do in Karnataka yielded a vote-share even equal to that of the Rahul-led Congress, or translat...
Kashmir Times News Report
The Singapore Summit
By Gwynne Dyer
Trump is not a great deal-maker; he's a man who is accomplished at playing the role of a great deal-maker. The reality is more like the contract he signed with Tony Schwartz, who ghost-wrote 'The Art of the Deal', the book that made him famous: 50% of the advance, 50% of royalties, and equal billing on the cover. Schwartz was as surprised and pleased then as Kim undoubtedly is now. If the Singapore meeting between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un had been a zero-sum game, then Trump definitely lost. But maybe it wasn't. Kim got a meeting with Trump on terms of strict equality right down to the number of flags on display, which is a huge boost for his regime's claim to legitimacy. He persuaded Trump to end America's annual joint military exercises with South Korea (and even got Trump to ca...
Kashmir Times News Report
The art of the deal..!
By Robert Clements
Profit is the primary motive of a business deal. Who you make a profit from, how you made that profit, doesn’t really matter as long as the final result keeps the cash register ringing. Seems, that’s what the American president is now doing; as Chairman of a company called America, he’s decided to use the art of the deal and show profits, unfortunately, what he and a number of Americans don’t hear is a wailing across the ocean: “Sir!” wail the people of North Korea, “Aren’t you the president of the world’s largest democracy?” “Yes!” tweets the President proudly, “I am!” “Which means your people are free! Can speak what they want, do what they want, act the way they want?” “Yes!” tweets the President proudly, “That’s true!” “Then why do you hobnob with a man, who’s taken all this away ...
Kashmir Times News Report
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