Group President, Group Managing Director & Editor In Chief: Dr.Shelly Ahmed
Showing posts sorted by date for query Kashmir. Sort by relevance Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by date for query Kashmir. Sort by relevance Show all posts

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Why Indians Need Separate, Specific Medical Insurance For Mental Illness?

Insurance providers are reluctant to cover mental illnesses because of the duration and costs of treatment as well as stigma attached to mental disorders.

A doctor at Kashmir's psychiatry hospital in Srinagar, checks the hands of a Kashmiri youth during a counseling session.

Thursday, August 03, 2017

Why Beef Politics Is Far More Dangerous Than The Historic Wrongs Of Ayodhya?

A court recently framed criminal conspiracy charges against BJP leaders L K Advani, M M Joshi, Uma Bharti and nine others in the 1992 Babri masjid demolition case. It's been fifteen years and the CBI has blown hot and cold on the case over the years. 

What a difference a decade or two makes. Once these leaders were described as hardliners and firebrands. Now in the age of Narendra Modi and Amit Shah, they have been turned by Modi-Shah skeptics into the conscience of the party.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

'Kashmir is not Syria!' Is The Rise Of Hard-Line, ISIS Supporting Jihadists In The Valley More Myth Than Reality?

Many feel that pictures of ISIS flags in Kashmir are a clear indicator of the Islamic fundamentalists having made inroads into the Valley but police in conflicted area tell a different story. 'Kashmir is not Syria. An organisation like ISIS establishing a base in Kashmir and working the way it does in Iraq and Syria is just not possible. Let us not underestimate our grids', said a top official. The only tangible link between ISIS and Kashmir has been found among youths who were attracted towards the ideology while outside the country. Over the years, only three such cases have come to light.

Genetic Isolation in Casteist India Could Could Render Some People More Vulnerable to Disease

There is reduced genetic variation among the people of some subpopulations because they have been genetically isolated due to various factors – such as caste.

The occurrence of genetic diseases in certain subpopulations in India and other countries in South Asia is well known. Indian scientists now suspect that this could be due to genetic isolation caused by endogamous marriages over generations.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

An Open Letter To 'Gau Maa' — And Two Other Mothers

Dear Mother Cow, Even as I write this open letter to you—I am feeling a bit like my mythological namesake, the protagonist of our epic, Ramayana, the Ideal Man and King, Lord Rama. While I am addressing this open letter to you—Gau Maa, original mother—like Kaushalya mata, I am terribly conscious of the other two matas—Kaikeyi and Sumitra—in my case—Mother Earth and Mother India.

I am writing about a spate of things, a posse of issues bothering me; some directly concerning you, like the Hon'ble Supreme Court striking down a government proposal to restrict trade of cattle for slaughter, attempts to demonise and ban eating beef and a nation-wide law to end cow slaughter, or even censor Noble Laureates from mentioning your name in documentaries; and some others, indirectly, like TV debates on the terrorist attack on Amarnath Yatra in Kashmir, a protest named #NotInMyName against lynchings et al.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

'I Saw My Passengers Drenched In Blood, Many Were Weeping': Bus Driver Salim Sheikh Who Powered Through A Hail Of Bullets 'Showed Exemplary Courage'

As the bullets rained down on his bus Salim Sheikh (above, right) kept driving through the darkness. His courage under fire saved the lives of dozens of his pilgrim passengers during a terrorist attack in Kashmir. The Jammu and Kashmir government and Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB) separately announced rewards totalling Rs 5 lakh while Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani has said he would recommend Salim's name for a bravery award. Seven of the passengers were killed and more than a dozen wounded in the attack.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Asrar Jamayee: An 80-year-old Urdu poet declared dead by the Delhi government is struggling to survive

Asrar Jamayee’s satire was once awarded by the first Indian President, Dr Rajendra Prasad. Now, even local mushairas don’t invite him.

Asrar Jamayee, 80, an eminent Urdu poet, was declared dead by the Social Welfare Department of South Delhi in 2013, depriving him of his monthly pension of Rs 1,500. Since then, he has been fighting for survival. He lives alone in a rented single room littered with Urdu books (including his newly published ones, which lie under a thick layer of dust) and worn-out shervanis.

Friday, June 09, 2017

How 'Wazawan' came to Kashmir and the secret of its sensual flavors?

When done right, Kashmiri cuisine is a feast for all the senses and not just the palate.

Kashmiri Pandits celebrate the birthday of Sharika Devi, the Mother Goddess of Kashmir on the ninth day of the month of Ashad in the Hindu calendar (June-July in the Gregorian calendar). On this day, throngs of devotees carry offerings to propitiate the Devi in her sanctum on the summit of a hillock in Srinagar named Hari Parbat, or peak of God. One of the offerings served to the Goddess is the traditional Pandit dish of Tahar (turmeric rice) mixed with tcharvun(cooked liver).

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Gripping Story: China's Growing Clout?

Leaked Report Reveals China's Designs On Pakistan Economy And Culture, on the other hand, China-Pak Economic Corridor Not Directed At India, Will Remain Neutral On Kashmir. 

Pakistani newspaper Dawn has published details from a leaked report, outlining China's plans for Pakistan, all of which sounds rather concerning from an Indian vantage.

Friday, April 28, 2017

The Indian dogs that are dying out because everyone wants a Labrado

It’s easy to identify what a German Shepherd, Labrador, and Saint Bernard have in common: they’re furry, adorable canine companions with massive fan bases all over the world. But what about the Chippiparai, Jonangi, and Kombai?

Even ardent animal lovers might stumble a bit here, but these too are dog breeds which have another thing in common—they’re all Indian. Skilled, sturdy, and well adapted to the country’s tropical climate, these dogs are great workers and excellent companions. Unfortunately, the other characteristic Indian breeds share is that they’re disappearing.

Sunday, October 09, 2016

Dear India And Pakistan, Can’t We Convert Our Grudges Into Love?


Let's move beyond the discourse of 'You started it!,' 'No, you started it!'

I find myself increasingly upset at the abuse and hatred tossed from both sides of the border, with little rationale apart from the 69-year-old chips on our shoulders.

These chips have, over time, turned into boulders.

Yet, we have an affinity with India.

When Amitabh Bachchan is in the hospital, we pray for his good health.

When Ranbir Kapoor’s film is a hit, we’re prouder than Neetu and Rishi.

We can’t deny that no one sings about romance like Kishore and Rafi.

When we meet Indians abroad, they’re desi just like us.

Our history is their history. Our language is their language.

But it’s complex, our relation.

Like siblings, we know each other’s soft spots very well.

We retaliate to each other’s provocations like children, impulsive and emotional.

“You attacked us first in Uri!”

“You started it!”

“No, you started it!”

Like trust-fund babies, we feel entitled to demand things from others, yet have no idea how to cope and be responsible for our own actions.

Mistakes on either side
They don’t accept that Muslims and other minorities are sometimes attacked on the mere suspicion of eating beef.

And us? We turn a blind eye when Christians and Hindus are assaulted for eating before Iftar in Ramazan.

They’re occupying Kashmir, we say.

But we forget how we imposed ourselves on the Bengalis. Why did we force Bengalis to accept Urdu as their national language? We never talk about that, do we?

When I think of some of the best moments during the last ten years, most of them include my brothers and sisters from across the border: food, music, laughing, dancing, singing – a refusal to be separated by political boundaries.

I think we are wrong to look to the West for support. In the past, foreigners succeeded in making sure we saw each other as enemies. And boy did we fall for it.

We carry the burden of our past mistakes.

We should look to each other for support. What I find strange is our reluctance to acknowledge that we have each other.

What’s absurd is our blindness to the immense opportunities that lie before us if we work together and the desolation if we continue to be enemies.

What characterises our relation are the ever-changing roles we occupy.

To the world, we are siblings at loggerheads, each trying to get daddy’s attention so that he may buy us toys and increase our allowance.

At other times, we are like a divorced couple constantly bickering over who lost out in the settlement, unable to come to terms with the fact that it’s over.

It seems that the scars of our separation are still so ripe, so painful, that we only find solace in making sure that the other is just as hurt as we are. And so we put in our all our resources, our best efforts, to do exactly that.

When I read that India had carried out a surgical strike inside Pakistan, it felt like a personal setback. The Pakistani rhetoric has been no less disappointing. As we each take the moral high ground, point fingers, and beat the war drums, we forget how much is wrong with each of us.

I hope that very soon, these ugly scenes will disappear.

I, for one, don’t want to remember them.

I long for peace, not war.

Better days
What I will keep in my memory instead are the moments that embody love and respect for each other:

Prime ministers of both countries using cricket as a tool of diplomacy.

Indian players acknowledging that there is no better fast bowler than Wasim Akram.

Shoaib Malik marrying Sania Mirza.

Our tennis players teaming up at international tournaments, calling for us to stop war and start tennis.

What I am saying is that I want Uri to be history, confined to textbooks. I want Uri to be remembered as an event when the cold war between India and Pakistan did not turn into a hot war.

I hope it turns out to be no more than just another episode that provides for good banter with my Indian friends.

But what is not a mere episode is our past, our shared histories and the fact that we used to be one, before we were divided.

And what is comforting is that when I messaged one of my closest friends across the border, expressing concern over the megalomaniac tendencies of our governments, he responded: “it doesn’t matter what they do, you know I will always love you.”

I want to be optimistic and believe that our next generations will turn to our ancient scriptures and holy books. It won’t take them long to see that since time immemorial, there is only one message they have been trying to convey: the message of love.

I truly believe that it’s possible for love to triumph.

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Making Pakistan Bleed By A Thousand Cuts


India must now step up, not ease up, its multi-pronged strategy against terrorism.

The hit-and-run terrorist attack in Baramulla on October 2 left one BSF jawan dead and another critically injured. Following India’s precision surgical strike in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) on September 29, ceasefire violations along the Line of Control (LoC) have risen sharply.

India must now step up, not ease up, its multi-pronged strategy against Pakistan-sponsored terrorism.

Strategic restraint as an anti-terrorism doctrine has been given a quiet burial. Two issues stand out. First, further Pakistani retaliation: what form it will take and how to neutralise it. Second, India’s unfolding counter-terrorism strategy.

Renewed Pakistani retaliation could take two forms. One, attacking soft targets like malls, theatres, markets and other populated urban areas by activating sleeper cells and terrorists who had crossed over into India before the Uri terror attack.

Two, more hit-and-run attacks by Pakistani terrorists on Indian border posts and increased LoC shelling.

India must be prepared for both forms of retaliation by a Pakistani army humiliated by India’s precision surgical strike.

Meanwhile, the multi-pronged strategy to counter Pakistan-sponsored terrorism can be broken up into four broad areas:

India’s covert strike on September 20/21 (not officially acknowledged) reportedly killed around 20 terrorists. The surgical strike on September 29 killed an estimated 40 to 55 terrorists, though the actual figure could be higher.

More than the damage inflicted on Pakistan’s terror machine, India’s political will to strike and its military capability to do so have been clinically established.

Doubting Thomases in India abound. Some said the surgical strike was a routine affair. Others bemoaned the dangerous path India had embarked on. A few said economic growth would suffer.

The government should ignore these perennial naysayers. Vested interests in India are sometimes more beholden to Pakistan’s national interest than India’s. That is the nature of a subverted ecosystem. It will unravel in the fullness of time.

Implement the full ambit of the Indus Waters Treaty. India must optimise the water it is legally entitled to under the treaty. Pakistan can object only to abrogation of the treaty, not its full legal implementation.

As a result, Jammu and Kashmir will receive more water and generate an extra 15,000MW of hydroelectric power. All India needs to do to achieve this without violating the treaty is to build barrages and water storage facilities in J&K.

The Tulbul project (dubbed the Wullar barrage by Pakistan) is a good start. China’s move to block part of the Brahmaputra’s flow into Assam and Arunachal Pradesh should not deter India.

Pakistan will pay in two ways.

On one hand, it will receive progressively less water under the legally incontestable provisions of the Indus treaty. On the other, the principal beneficiary will be the people of J&K. The political capital this can deliver to the J&K government is incalculable.

Simultaneously, Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status granted to Pakistan in 1996 on the principle of reciprocity (a principle brazenly flouted by Islamabad and meekly accepted by Delhi for 20 years) must go. 

Official trade between the two countries is low ($2 billion). Unofficial border trade is higher ($15 billion). All this misses the point. You cannot isolate a terror state by retaining its most favoured nation status. The messaging gets blurred, the outcome compromised.

Isolate Pakistan both internationally and regionally. Admonitory statements from the United States, Russia and other major powers directed at Pakistan after India’s surgical strike have made it clear that the world’s patience with Islamabad has run out. The winter session of Parliament will present an opportunity to pass a resolution to declare Pakistan a state sponsor of terrorism.

Meanwhile, the cancellation of the SAARC summit has isolated Pakistan regionally. Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, the Maldives and Bhutan have made common cause with India by pointing to Pakistan as the repository of terrorism.

The BIMSTEC forum is the obvious replacement for SAARC. It brings together a group of countries in South Asia and Southeast Asia. Dubbed the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation, BIMSTEC comprises Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bhutan and Nepal.

Five BIMSTEC members are also members of SAARC which comprises eight countries. If Afghanistan and the Maldives (both part of SAARC) are invited as observers in BIMSTEC, the grouping will give India an even wider geopolitical footprint across Asia. Pakistan, the eighth SAARC country, will be isolated.

Concomitantly, China’s move to block Maulana Masood Azhar as a UN-designated terrorist can be used to shame China internationally as a protector of global terror. It will not be easy for an aspiring global power like China to live that down.

Grant Baloch dissidents asylum in India and allow them to establish a government-in-exile. The "Free Balochistan" movement will keep Pakistan off balance.

Meanwhile, India must shift its strategic goalposts on J&K. The LoC is no longer sacrosanct. PoK is Indian territory, as a parliamentary resolution in 1994 underlined. The only issue now to be resolved in the "dispute" over Kashmir should be Pakistan’s vacation of PoK.

The Manmohan-Vajpayee doctrine recognised that a dialogue with Pakistan was necessary to demilitarise J&K, thus indirectly legitimising Pakistan’s claim on a part of Kashmir that is in India’s possession.

That argument has now shifted decisively. The only area in dispute and open to dialogue is the part of Kashmir illegally occupied by Pakistan.

This represents a paradigm shift in India’s stand on J&K. More that last week’s surgical strike, it is this shift and its long-term implications that has rattled Pakistan the most.

Meanwhile, banish three myths that invariably surface when Pakistan is under pressure as it is today. One, that "we are the same people". We are not.

Two, that "the people of Pakistan do not support terrorism against India". Most do. The antipathy towards Indians amongst ordinary Pakistanis is far stronger than most Indians recognise.

Three, "Both India and Pakistan are victims of terrorism". This false equivalence has infected the vocabulary of peace professionals in India. The difference of course is India does not send gangs of terrorists to Lahore and Islamabad to kill ordinary Pakistanis.

This fraudulent equivalence on terror victimhood is a narrative that, like strategic restraint, must be buried forever.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Why Hindutva Doesn't Like Normalcy – And Seems Indifferent To Social Strife?


The RSS wants to reorder Indian society in accordance with its worldview. An endeavour of this magnitude has to generate social tension and conflict.

Over the last 27 months, there has scarcely been a fortnight in which we haven’t had news of conflict from one part of the country or another. It would seem normalcy is anathema to the Sangh Parivar, including the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government, which has consciously triggered many of these conflicts.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Brain Stormer: What Should The Prime Minister Speak On Independence Day?


Prime Minster Narendra Modi has set a new trend by asking people’s views for his Independence Day speech. His attempt to draw closer and closer towards the people will make the Government perform better and realise the demands and problems of millions. So far 1100 suggestions have come up ranging from attack on Dalits and Muslims to simmering conflicts in Kashmir. Realising the sensitivity of caste, religion and Kashmir, he must focus on delivering his I-Day speech.

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

Opinion: Kashmir Youth On Fire: Common Man Call The Shots


They come out in large mobs at any time of the day. Even at night, when they march through the localities in Kashmir carrying candles and shouting slogans. And defying curfew without fear. 

They are within the age group of 7-25 years. And listen to no one.They have no leader except the dead Burhan Wani. The parents cannot control them or keep them at home, even though several worried mothers have tried in vain to do so.

Film Review: ‘Madaari’, A Common Man Saga Takes On The Epitome Of Reality!


India may top in corruption, but voices against it have been dime a dozen, and cinema has ever so often projected a rebellious shriek against the misdemeanors of the state.

Films like Dombivli Fast (remade in Tamil as Evano Oruvan/Someone) and A Wednesday (also remade in Tamil asUnnaipol Oruvan/Someone Like You) have shown us how the common man when driven to the desperate drop-off takes on the Goliath of a state. While Nishikanth Kamat’s Dombivli Fast uses violence to make its point, Neeraj Pandey’s A Wednesday applies a largely cerebral format to focus on the angst of a man living in times of terror.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Vote Bank Politics: Why Modi Is Silent On The Attacks On Dalits In Gujarat?


No leader angers his core supporters to keep floating voters happy.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s silence on the atrocities committed on Dalits in Una, Gujarat, illustrates vividly that he is still caught between a rock and a hard place. As long as he remains rooted there, it will always be his dilemma whether to speak or remain silent on issues of social conflict.

Monday, July 25, 2016

KFC Is Ditching Indian Vegetarians To Do What It Does Best: Sell Fried Chicken


Two years after Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) announced that it will sell more vegetarian burgers in India, it is looking back at chicken in a big way.

As competition in India’s burger market heats up, fast-food chains are returning to what they know best—in KFC’s case, tubs of fried chicken—leaving the vegetarian menu as it is, for now.

“The food scenario in India has evolved really quickly since then. Consumers are well-travelled, exposed to global trends, willing to try new food, and seek food that is authentic,” Lluis Ruiz Ribot, chief marketing officer, KFC India, said in an interview.

Between 'Azadi' And 'National Interest': Half-Truths On Kashmir Widen The Gulf Of Ignorance And Hated


'The more biased, the better,' seems to be the credo of polarised media platforms as each seeks to pander to its niche audience.

Old-school journalism textbooks used to describe news as an acronym for North-East-West-South. News, they said, must take a 360 degree view of all sides. Facts were sacred, they added: there must be no opinion or bias in a news report. Call it a fuddy-duddy view if you will, but attempts at objectivity and trying to present different aspects of a complex reality was considered an essential part of the job of a journalist.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Point Blank OpEd: Is Kashmir Losing India?


Today, alienation is a necessary identity for the stone-throwing, Book-bound revolutionary. Home is not India any longer; it is an idea delivered by an angry god.

A couple of days before the horror in Nice, there was this story in The New York Times about a philosophers’ spat over Islam. Very French indeed. It was between two former friends who have written some of the most original arguments on the single most powerful idea that continues to terrorise the world: radical Islamism. Their differences are more than a matter of phraseology; they reflect the persistence of a divided perception that goes beyond talking shops to the highest offices of power in Paris and Washington and even Delhi.