Editor's Special

JNU Row: A Manufactured Crisis – Dr Adfar Shah

Posted by on Mar 20, 2016

Dr Adfar Shah The monster of media trial in everything in this democratic country, along with the efforts to turn the huge and archaic term like sedition to common sense and everyday use and communalizing academic spaces is becoming a dangerous trend with undesirable ramifications. For a section of media perhaps everything in the country has become Deshdroh and every student is Desh Drohi but the social realities are different and anger, emotion and mistakes or confusion cannot be sedition all at once. The recent JNU crisis has helped a liberal Indian to crystallize many intriguing questions than supplying usual biased answers based in religion, region, caste, class, etc. Also the complexities of the state response to the crisis and a few unsatisfactory answers to thorny questions that do exist have revealed their insensitivity and our social rupture, media’s TRP craze, leader’s politicizing pain and thus turning the JNU incident into a monster which it never was. Perhaps one thing that the whole country’s academic space has to understand is to define the limits of so called cultural events and redefine...

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India

Kanhaiya-Is Left’s Aam Admi Emerging – Dr Adfar Shah

Posted by on Mar 20, 2016

Dr Adfar Shah Kanhaiya’s recent remarkable speech in JNU and the series of interviews with prominent news channels aftermath reflect an articulate and an energetic politician in him. His much used Azaadi cry speaks of his urge for the inner social development in the country and fight against deeply embedded exploitation, disparity and perpetual alienation that millions of Indian’s are beset with. He may sound idealistic sometimes however while elaborating his scheme of thought, he is succinctly able to explain what he means and how it can be actualized. More than anything he has started using the language of jibes and sarcasm on vital issues with political politeness adding deliberate prefixes like Maananiye, Ji, etc (and then making fun of it as well saying Kehna hi padega), to be politically correct, reflecting his post jail Avatar and determination to take on big politicians in the country. He is searching for totality in his slogans towards equality for all in India, which in no way is a silly idea and touches everyone who feels concerned with day today issues and unjust inequalities....

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South Asia

Chinese Investment in Pakistan: Rhetoric or Reality?

Posted by on Oct 5, 2015

Much has been written and said about the announcement by the Chinese government in April this year to invest $46 billion in building an economic corridor, the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), in Pakistan linking China to the Central Asian republics. The announcement came on the back of the $12 billion loan package made to Pakistan by the World bank the previous year. However, despite the political rhetoric and the show of bonhomie between the leaders of the two countries, and, the media frenzy that followed such announcement, there are serious questions that need to be raised as regard the risks of the promised Chinese investment in Pakistan.  The lion’s share of the investments are largely going to be in the form of loans of $22 billion by Chinese banks to help resuscitate some of the ailing debt-ridden Pakistani coal and nuclear power plants. The loans can be broken down into two broad temporal categories, the ‘Early Harvest’ ones in the next 3-4 years, and, the other loans promised after 2020. [1]  The key question that China watchers need to raise here...

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Opinions

Safety: A Major Concern for Indian Schools

Posted by on Aug 15, 2016

Indian schools are visibly low on safety and security, many schools across the country are yet to install safety and security arrangements. However, in recent times with terror attacks on schools all over the world Indian schools have realized the importance of having a proper security arrangement to meet any such eventualities. Schools are preparing themselves to take necessary precautions and keep strict security checks. All this is being put into place, albeit a little slowly. There are some pertinent aspects that schools must consider while creating safe environment like; creating a supportive environment free from danger and harm, preparing safety plans to escape from the school building in case of natural or manmade disasters and considering safety in student activities, whether it is learning hobbies, sports on the ground or conducting experiment in the laboratories. With the implementation of Right to Education Act (2009), there is an increase in school going population in India (especially in the government schools), But both the government and private schools have not taken any concrete steps to deal with safety issues. Government schools are...

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Recent Posts

Safety: A Major Concern for Indian Schools

Safety: A Major Concern for Indian Schools

Indian schools are visibly low on safety and security, many schools across the country are yet to install safety and security arrangements. However, in recent times with terror attacks on schools all over the world Indian schools have realized the importance of having a proper security arrangement to meet any such eventualities. Schools are preparing themselves to take necessary precautions and keep strict security checks. All this is being put into place, albeit a little slowly. There are some pertinent aspects that schools must consider while creating safe environment like; creating a supportive environment free from danger and harm, preparing safety plans to escape from the school building in case of natural or manmade disasters and considering safety in student activities, whether it is learning hobbies, sports on the ground or conducting experiment in the laboratories. With the implementation of Right to Education Act (2009), there is an increase in school going population in India (especially in the government schools), But both the government and private schools have not taken any concrete steps to deal with safety issues. Government schools are barely able to provide basic infrastructure. They have poorly maintained school buildings, and hardly any ready plans for safety to deal with increased population. There is lack of safe drinking water, hygienic sanitation and clean toilets especially for girls in these schools. Private schools are no different than this, they also compromise gravely over the safety norms. This calls for schools to have necessary interventions to increase awareness and understanding of threat from different quarters. Safety Interventions at National and International Level Squelch (2001) defines a safe school as one that is free from danger and possible harm, where non-educators, educators and learners can work, teach and learn without fear or ridicule, intimidation, harassment, humiliation or violence. There are numerous school safety initiatives being carried out presently across the world to create safe schools. The 2011 Global Monitoring Report examined the devastating effects of armed conflict on education with 42% of out-of-school children living in conflict-affected countries. The GMR also explored the role of inappropriate education policies in creating conditions for violent conflict. In 2014, the UN Security Council adopted its Resolution guaranteeing the right to education...

JNU Row: A Manufactured Crisis – Dr Adfar Shah

JNU Row: A Manufactured Crisis – Dr Adfar Shah

Dr Adfar Shah The monster of media trial in everything in this democratic country, along with the efforts to turn the huge and archaic term like sedition to common sense and everyday use and communalizing academic spaces is becoming a dangerous trend with undesirable ramifications. For a section of media perhaps everything in the country has become Deshdroh and every student is Desh Drohi but the social realities are different and anger, emotion and mistakes or confusion cannot be sedition all at once. The recent JNU crisis has helped a liberal Indian to crystallize many intriguing questions than supplying usual biased answers based in religion, region, caste, class, etc. Also the complexities of the state response to the crisis and a few unsatisfactory answers to thorny questions that do exist have revealed their insensitivity and our social rupture, media’s TRP craze, leader’s politicizing pain and thus turning the JNU incident into a monster which it never was. Perhaps one thing that the whole country’s academic space has to understand is to define the limits of so called cultural events and redefine the idea of free speech and reassign the limits of student activism and politics which is taking a bad shape for it is being maligned and used by vested interests for their own politics. Currently we see student politics on campuses has remained nothing but party politics and the associated hatred with it. What actually fuelled anti-national slogans in JNU and who voiced such slogans continues to be a mystery despite arrests and so much hype on such arrests later. The nation’s majority still is confused in the name of heavy terms like anti-nationalism, sedition, etc,. Seeing the level of intolerance for students, brazen and shameless attack on Kanahya and media hatred for Umar Khalid and his friends or for that matter Kashmiris, one feels are we also a Pakistan in making and seeing so called lawyers attacking the arrested student and continuous police failure, one perceives that are we actually the victims of law and order problem and need more efficient policing and smart intelligence. Worst of all the politics of patriotism has marred our integrity and actually divided people and empowered...

India’s ‘Look East’ Policy is its ‘Act East Policy’-A Conversation with Dr Amit Choudhury on India and ASEAN

India’s ‘Look East’ Policy is its ‘Act East Policy’-A Conversation with Dr Amit Choudhury on India and ASEAN

(UTSM Conference group photo)                          One of the Premier Educational institutions of India’s Northeast region is the University of Science & Technology Meghalaya (USTM). The University is not too old however has carved a niche in terms of impact and has been catering to the needs of millions of India’s Northeast’s population. The USTM has been creating synergy towards achieving overall development in scientific knowledge, Research and Education. The university in collaboration with Green School Bali of Indonesia organized an international conference on India’s relations with Southeast Asia from 26-27 February, 2016.The conference was titled as, “Raise with East: Vistas of India Cooperation with Southeast Asian Commerce, Culture, Capacity and Connectivity.” The South Asia team of Eurasia Review participated in the conference and had an in-depth interview with the Organizers’. Here are some of the Excerpts of conversation between the Convenor Dr Amit Choudhury, presently the Dean, School of Business Sciences at the University and Dr Adfar Shah currently the Associate Editor (South Asia) at Eurasia Review. Dr Amit Choudry basically is a Graduate in Chemical Engineering from AEC, Guwahati   pursued the Masters of Business Administration at Nagpur University and Started his career as a Technical consultant. He then Joined Central IT College (the 1st institution & the root of ERDF) in 2003 that later became the 2nd largest study center in India by 2008. Presently Dr Choudry is the Dean, School of Business Sciences at USTM given his academic achievements and scholarship. He is also the member of the parent body ERDF which presently have promoted one Engineering college, Two Professional Colleges, One Women’s College, Two Secondary Schools apart from the University. Adfar Shah (AS):  At the outset tell us briefly about the objective of this conference?  Dr Amit Choudhury (AC): The broader objective was to reflect upon from the discourses that ought to emanate from such august gathering and seek the windows of opportunity that lay hidden, tap the same, explore and open up vistas of cooperation. [Explains……. The University of Science and Technology, Meghalaya (USTM), in association with Green School, Bali – Indonesia, organized the international conference.  The conference was an attempt to engage with academics and researchers from South-East Asian...

Conditional PDP Vs Unconditional BJP: Kashmir’s Unending Political Impasse

Conditional PDP Vs Unconditional BJP: Kashmir’s Unending Political Impasse

Dr Adfar Shah  Hardly anybody would have expected such a prolonged political impasse after CM Mufti Mohamamd Sayeed’s death on January 07.More than a month has passed since the sayeed’s death and still no signs of government formation in the state currently under governor’s rule. Though talks between the ideologically opposite parties are on, however the impasse still continues, confusing one and all in the sensitive state. The Politics of CBMs It is often said that only true knowledge creates sound belief! However, when it comes to Kashmir’s political waywardness and alliances of the recent past, set aside vision, we find neither knowledge nor belief in transforming the state. For the first time, though, Mehbooba Mufti seems serious about analyzing the approaches and methods of understanding the aspirations of the people of the state which is perhaps why the political conundrum still prevails and government formation keeps getting delayed somewhat indefinitely! While the Bharatiya Janata Party seems ready to tie the knot of alliance once again, completely unconditionally, Mehbooba appears more to adopt a much firmer and more practical approach and is keen to get all the requisite assurances from the Centre before re-entering into such an unusual alliance. She clearly knows that the very agenda of alliance or what they call “common minimum programme” so far has been a failure purely due to non-cooperation between the alliance partners despite PDP’s obvious political hara-kiri due to tie up with BJP. For the first time we are seeing someone who gives CBMs on Kashmir a fundamental importance when critics ask where were such CBMs during Mufti’s reign .The quest remains how Mehbooba’s mood is read by the Centre and their supposed allies, only the time will tell but her opponents are clearly surprised and confused by her newly displayed qualities of leadership and vision and who would otherwise want her to continue such a historical and unusual alliance. The forgotten Peace Building Mehbooba’s political introspection is timely for Kashmir keeps drowning more deeply in the sea of chaos everyday with no return of normalcy and seriousness on the all-important Kashmir issue keeps fading away rapidly! This analysis is also important because the K-analysts in general,...

Women Transforming India through Education – A Vital Perspective

Women Transforming India through Education – A Vital Perspective

[A woman who has carved a niche for herself in a strongly patriarchal society and runs a chain of educational institutes in Amritsar. She caters to the educational needs of about a hundred villages of the Punjab’s border district and has become a hope of millions. She believes that education is the only way to transform India and get rid of age old social vices. She advocates women centric change and believes that women should inspire from their fellow women and take lead to empower others and contribute whole heartedly for a gender just future India]. [Sidana Institutes,Amritsar,Punjab] [Dr. Jeewan Jyoti Sidana-Principal and Owner Sidana Institutes of Education] An Interview with Dr. Jeewan Jyoti Sidana-Principal and Owner Sidana Institutes of Education, Amritsar, Punjab by Dr Adfar Shah-Editor at Analyst World. Adfar Shah: Tell us about your journey Dr. Jeevan Jyoti Sidana? What was your mission at the outset and to whom do you attribute your success? Jeewan Jyoti Sidana: Since my parents were from the teaching profession, they have been a source of inspiration to me always and undoubtedly my consistent hard work led to this stage where I own and administer a chain of educational institutes today. I had the distinction among the toppers of Punjab in the 10th standard and got a prestigious State Level scholarship from the government. After marriage, at the age of 21 my husband, Mr. Mohinder Pal Sidana, motivated and encouraged me to pursue Ph.D which I completed in 2002. Luckily, I got the opportunity to serve at Lovely Institutes, where I served as a principal from 2003 to 2006. After completing the Doctorate in the discipline of education and gaining vital experience as a teacher-educator for 16 years, I thought of opening an institute in this border area Amritsar district to provide quality education to the students of this region. So, along with the valuable support of my family and the representatives of this area, I established these institutes. During this period, I faced a lot of difficulties but God was kind enough and things became smooth gradually. The family and the faculty also supported me in every way. As change is the law of nature so...

Kashmir – Pakistan’s Moral Panic

Kashmir – Pakistan’s Moral Panic

Adfar Shah & Dr Bulbul Dhar Pakistan’s self acclaimed political or strategic morality on Kashmir, its jugular vein rhetoric has only slightly shifted to diplomatic hypocrisy, reflected in the recent cancellation of NSA level talks and the continuing small wars at the border. Boycotting cricket-a favourite of both the Nations speaks volumes about their supposed commitment to ‘resolving’ the deadlock. The moral pretentiousness on Kashmir, shaped by low politics is part of their very core and is manifest in the critical internal issues, especially in their frontiers like FATA, Baluchistan, amongst others. The insincerity of Pakistan’s rhetoric is becoming very apparent with the monster of terrorism raising its ugly head time and again, along with other concerns like radicalism and economic issues. Double speak and hypocrisy with lollypop politics based on religion and violence to gain more emotional support from their set camps in Kashmir and at home seems to be the name of the game for Pakistan. Declaring February 5 as Kashmir day and announcing a holiday or inviting top Kashmiri separatists is an instance of symbolism. The gap between rhetoric and practice of resolving the long pending issues is clear for all to see. The modus operandi is the ‘Politics of Rehnuma’. The logic being – anyone, even a Pakistani marrying a Kashmiri becomes a ‘Kashmiri Rehnuma’ overnight and starts representing the Kashmiri along with the atmosphere of conflict, especially on Pakistani electronic media. There is no question that the masses hardly know these leader(s) or indeed identify with the ideology this newly manufactured leadership claim to espouse and represent. It is a very subtle and insidious system-supportive propaganda that is being methodically operationalized ostensibly without overt coercion”, by means of what can be called a propaganda model of Leadership. Present today, as one of the biggest curse’s for the Kashmiri masses is manufactured leadership in Kashmir and projected as the torch bearers of Kashmiri People! These self proclaimed leaders speak on the behalf of the Kashmiri people with no connect what so ever with what the people actually want or subscribe to. The central question here is – who really in Pakistan feels for Kashmir- its people or its politicians? And who...

Open letter: How can you justify killing humans in order to protect cows?

Open letter: How can you justify killing humans in order to protect cows?

(This is the full text of the Open Letter, an edited version of which was first published by Express Tribune) Dear Mrs. Vaidya, I saw your post on ‘Indian Liberal Intellectual’, through a dear friend of mine who is an ardent advocate of Hindutva. I must confess, before I begin to put forward my points- cum- reply on your ‘Indian Liberal Intellectual’ post, let me confess, I do agree with you partially considering the facts, but I do disagree with your intentions and also of those whom you support. And this disagreement in terms of intentions itself draws me to write this reply to your post. To being with you dedicate your post to ‘Indian Liberal Intellectual’, and blatantly describe them to be “neither Indian, nor Liberal, nor Intellectual!” Well Mrs. Vaidya, can you please define “Indian”, “ Liberal” and “Intellectual” so that we get some clarity on the issue and can examine your allegation of somebody not being ‘Indian’ ‘Liberal’ and ‘Intellectual’ can be verified. Or is it the case, that you subscribe to our Governments attitude where everybody in dissent is advised to go to Pakistan, or is it the case that your post is a corollary to the theorem put forward by new Government, if people are not going to Pakistan, just call them ‘not Indians’ or ‘pseudo-Indians.’ Mrs. Vaidya probably you have devised a new law to decide about the citizenship of this country. What makes a man pseudo Liberal Mrs. Shefali, condemning Dadri Lynching, if that is what makes a man pseudo liberal, then perhaps Mr. Advani and now the Prime Minister Mr. Modi is also pseudo liberal, as atleast for the sake of Bihar elections he condemned the Dadri Lynching. Yes you are right, when you point out that the prize money too should be returned by those who returned their awards, and I in no way want to justify or take side as to why the said prize money was not returned but there could be more than one reason for not doing so, and the very idea of returning the awards is to register protest, the sanctity of award is in award itself and not in...

Waqf Sponsored and Goodwill Education in Kashmir

Waqf Sponsored and Goodwill Education in Kashmir

Apart from numerous religious educational institutes like Dar-ul-Ulooms, Darsgahs, Maktabs,etc, spread across the length and breadth of valley, there are certain unconventional sources of education in valley like Jammu and Kashmir Muslim Wakf Board run educational/professional institutions, orphanage schools and various other trust run educational institutions, Police public schools, Army’s goodwill education, Shia community run religious and other educational institutions, etc,. Army run or army administered education (schools) in the valley is commonly known as Goodwill education and these institutions are known as AGPS or army Goodwill public schools. These institutions are an alternative form/source of education besides the common modes of government run or private run education. Such alternatives like wakf education or Goodwill education have certainly been able to change the discourse by enabling access to the marginalized to a good education that too either free or at a minimal/affordable cost. Having studied ‘Muslim Endowments and Society in Kashmir’ thoroughly, I have surveyed Muslim auqaf and waqf sponsored educational institutions in the valley. As a researcher my observations in various religious or English medium educational institutions like darsgahs, darul-ul-Ulooms,waqf schools,Wakf Board aided Islamic university of science and technology, Bibi Halima college of Nursing, etc, I have had close interactions with the staff and students which unfolded interesting facts and stories. I learnt how such massive and potential institutions despite huge issues and challenges contribute a lot to the ailing society but continue to remain uncelebrated and invisible. The Student enrolment in Wakf run (13) chain of Schools in Kashmir is above three thousand (Boys 1627 & Girls 1605) and at the moment thousands of students from socio-economically backward sections of the society benefit from these institutions. Despite a good education, a nominal amount is charged from students as tuition fee and all the educational requirements are made available by the Jammu and Kashmir Muslim Wakf Board (JKMWB) which certainly proves as an alternate source of education in its own limited capacity. It is my objective observation that, despite a variety of schools in Kashmir, the educational situation in the valley is grim in terms of quality, content and attendance. Some major reasons for poor standard of education in the state according to researchers...

Over AAWI Elections- A Dialogue with Mahesh Vaswani

Over AAWI Elections- A Dialogue with Mahesh Vaswani

  Advocate Mahesh Vaswani is a activist lawyer campaigning for AUDIO – VIDEO recordings of all Judicial  proceedings in Courts. Acting Chief Justice Hemant Gokhale and Chief Justice Swatanter Kumar of Bombay High Court had during their tenure felicitated and honored Mahesh with Certificates for legal aid projects involving sitting judges of Bombay High Court and rural poor and the slum dwellers of Mumbai. Mahesh practices and specialises in Criminal law in Sessions and High Court at Mumbai and also appear in Supreme Court as well. Mahesh is currently contesting, for the elections at AAWI (Advocates Association for Western India).    The Analyst World (TAW) : What is your primary intention behind contesting the AAWI Elections? Would you reason out the same. Mahesh Vaswani (MV) : My primary intention behind contesting the AAWI is to improve the working conditions of lawyers and help lawyers benefit from developing law. TAW : Can you Please elaborate about the steps which you would take to improve the working conditions of Lawyers, citing some specific issues and proposed solutions for a clearer understanding. MW : Lawyers at trial Courts would be better functioning if mic is provided to the presiding officers during trials. Also lawyers have to work in most inhuman and harsh conditions in crowded courts during summer. In districts Vasai, Panvel and Alibaug and rural Maharashtra, lights go off in middle of proceedings. But proceedings go on… imagine how. Also there is rampant pilfering and theft of court records. These must be made more secure. And of course conference areas with clients for all lawyers in all courts. Also hygienic toilets for women at least needed. So also for male lawyers and public in all courts. Even Mumbai HC toilets are unhygienic. TAW : What in your opinion are the prime problems faced by Lawyers in the present Legal System? How would you make any difference as compared to other contestants? MW :  The primary problems of lawyers today is they do not have full access to latest developing law in Supreme Court or High Courts, and also they have severe office space issues. Often there is issue of decorum, dignity and administrative problems faced by lawyers and...

Beef Politics in Jammu and Kashmir-Yet another setback to Peace

Beef Politics in Jammu and Kashmir-Yet another setback to Peace

While the beef ban has been stayed by Honorable Supreme Court in Jammu and Kashmir for a period of two months, beef politics continues to spread hatred and politicians are still hell bent on the ruckus over the same. Yesterday on October 8, an independent legislator was thrashed openly by BJP that too in the State Assembly over the issue of beef party that he had arranged in the M.L.A Hostel a day before as a mark of protest against the interference in the religious matters of the Muslims. Such an open attack speaks volumes about the kind of politics of polarization which J&K elections had very well reflected. Beef Rumour and Dadri Tragedy Quite shockingly after Dadri tragedy a new term ‘Beef Rumour’ has emerged in media and given much hype by masses as if some lethal or nuclear weapon was possessed by murdered Ikhlaq’s family in Dadri of Uttar Pradesh. The poor gets beaten to death and his son seriously injured for the mob believed they ate beef. Ironically the Police even takes a sample of the meat left in the refrigerator to prove if it was really beef. What if it was and the family consumed beef, do they deserve to be beaten to death like this? Is the mob order the new justice system in India? One wonders over beef politics now in our country and silence of the government and even elected politicians who later call it a mere accident. Where are we heading to and what is our future given such a magnititude of polarization, hate crimes and appalling state of affairs. Hate crimes against minorities are continuously rising in India. State’s unneeded intervention and interference even in people’s lives or food habits now has started all the way from Maharashtra beef ban, followed by few more states and finally reached to the sensitive and peace deficit state of Jammu and Kashmir, doing no good but destroying the mutual harmony, community ethos and peace. Kashmir’s Perpetual Fragile Peace Peace and calm does not last long in Kashmir now. Whenever Kashmir seems to be limping back to normalcy, a spur evolves all of a sudden to keep the lid...

Understanding Gandhi through Autobiography : A Review

Understanding Gandhi through Autobiography : A Review

  We have failed Gandhi-the man of the millenium. We have failed his principles of truth and non-violence. Gandhi to a majority of us today just means enjoying a holiday on his birthday (october 2). The Story of ‘My Experiments with Truth’ is a massive but attractive volume, written by Mahatma Gandhi only at the insistence of his friends. It has five major parts and each part with certain chapters enlightening chronologically on his life’s experiences in one way or the other. The first part with twenty five small chapters, mainly deals with Gandhi’s birth, parentage, childhood, marriage, schooling, chronicling, in addition, his childhood mischief’s and mistakes, his consciousness about the significance of truth, his studies and travails in England and so on and so forth. Attractively presented and moderately priced, the translator of the book, Mahadev Desai, succinctly informs us in the preface that this thought-provoking book was published in 1927 for the first time. As for the title, it is eminently suitable as the whole book revolves round Gandhi’s encounters with life’s different experiences – both sweet and bitter – and the title itself speaks a lot about the book. One of the major underlying themes that capture one’s attention in the book is Mahatma Gandhi’s concept of truth and his experiments with it, which justifies the title to a greater extent. He discusses at length his conception of truth through out the book but his implementing it so prominently it in the title, connotes the meaning of sovereign, supreme and absolute. He seems to be the desperate searcher of truth as he says, “I am prepared to sacrifice the things dearest to me in pursuit of this quest”(selected works of Mahatma Gandhi,vol.6,page 95) and at the same time he argues about the absolute and relative truth, which speaks of his intellectual vision. In a difference worth learning for the students, he argues,” but as long as I have not realized this absolute truth so long must I hold by the relative truth as I have conceived it”(ibid.p-95) as for him absolute truth is truth “as it is’ and relative truth is as it appears to us. The beauty of the whole autobiographical...

Re-reading Manjhi – The Mountain Man

Re-reading Manjhi – The Mountain Man

Adfar Shah Already in the political limelight even before its formal release Manjhi is set to make a big success at box office. Manjhi – The Mountain Man is actually a biography that is based on the life of India’s Mountain man, Dashrath Manjhi who was a poor man (labourer) from Gehlaur village of Gaya Bihar .Dashrat carved a path through a huge mountain for 22 years as a token of love to his deceased wife, who died after slipping from the same mountain and couldn’t reach the far off hospital on time. Ketan Mehta’ the ‘Maya Memsa’ab’ and ‘Mirch Masala’ fame has aptly chosen the right person for the role of “Manjhi-The Mountain Man”. The movie not only traces the life and struggle of the mountain man of India but presents a beautiful picturesque of a typical Bihari context, lexicon along with the holistic life world especially the life of the lower castes living under the tyranny of upper castes, where politicians and larger dominant groups treated people merely as votes and never as humans. When people say, Manjhi is a story of a small man against a huge mountain, I prefer to say that it is a story of a small mountain against a big determined but ordinary common man. His determination reminds me of the famous dialogue of SRK starrer and super hit Chennai Express-‘don’t underestimate the power of a common man’ that is actually becomes central theme and moral of this whole film. Nawazuddin aptly plays Manjhi with all his professionalism, linguistic, social, cultural and environmental perfection. He and Radhika Apte together display a perfect chemistry and the story is simply the story of Manjhi’s boundless love for his wife who continues to love her even when she is gone and treats her live and feels accountable to her even after her death. The movie is going to be a big hit given its versatile dialogues like the last one when he says ‘Bhagwan kay bharosay mat baitho-kya pata bhagwan hamare sahare baitha ho’, implying that we should always take an initiative rather than waiting for the divine help for everything. The another dialogue is when the press reporter Alok babu (Gaurav...

Chinese Investment in Pakistan: Rhetoric or Reality?

Chinese Investment in Pakistan: Rhetoric or Reality?

Much has been written and said about the announcement by the Chinese government in April this year to invest $46 billion in building an economic corridor, the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), in Pakistan linking China to the Central Asian republics. The announcement came on the back of the $12 billion loan package made to Pakistan by the World bank the previous year. However, despite the political rhetoric and the show of bonhomie between the leaders of the two countries, and, the media frenzy that followed such announcement, there are serious questions that need to be raised as regard the risks of the promised Chinese investment in Pakistan.  The lion’s share of the investments are largely going to be in the form of loans of $22 billion by Chinese banks to help resuscitate some of the ailing debt-ridden Pakistani coal and nuclear power plants. The loans can be broken down into two broad temporal categories, the ‘Early Harvest’ ones in the next 3-4 years, and, the other loans promised after 2020. [1]  The key question that China watchers need to raise here is, how much is the Chinese government willing to stretch it’s banks now that there is a stock-market meltdown, currency devaluation, import stagnation and deepening recession within it’s own country? Advocates of China’s overseas investment model will no doubt point to the muscular investment by China in countries fraught with high political, financial and credit risks in Latin America and Africa in the last ten years. In fact, the example of Venezuela, a politically and financially high-risk country in which China has invested over $52 billion from 2008 up till 2014, the biggest Chinese investment in any single country so far, may hold some of the answers.  Although foreign loan-related information is hard to come by as regards most Chinese state-owned lenders, it is estimated that international investments comprised one-fifth of China Development Bank’s loans in end-2014. The majority of the loans were commodities-backed and have gone to resource rich countries in Latin America and Africa which were deemed extremely high risk by western banks or western multilateral institutions. [2]  The overseas investment model of China Development Bank was based on the oil-for-loan model...

Impact of Cultures, Ideals and Visions on Alternative Movements

Impact of Cultures, Ideals and Visions on Alternative Movements

Knowledge has been the foundation of all development and every age and era has seen some product or service that became a standard or benchmark for that time. This was always a general trend to follow and adopt a popular product or behavior but after the Industrial Revolution of 18th century it became possible to offer products made through different technologies that that offered alternative methodologies for producing the same product. An everyday example would be of soap that has remained a cleansing product for over two centuries. The end-use remains same despite change in technologies. It has become a dominant standard for cleansing. But in case of more complex products like software totally different technologies compete for space for same or similar value added end uses. An example is that of Microsoft Office that is based on Windows based technology while a similar product the Open Office that is based on Linux. Office was offered as a method of writing and recording. In this case the dominant trend is being impacted as the end-use is changed substantially by technological dexterity and Office is now used beyond its original simpler usage. Competitive advantage (Porter, 1980) has been the strategic reason for adoption of different technologies but this was until now product-centric. Competition has now moved to a different level. It is the different technologies that are now competing for producing the same product. This has been termed as differential generic strategy (Porter, 1996) that now attempts to corner niche markets or even carve out a new niche from the old one. A good example of this is the Southwest Airline that carved a niche for itself by offering low -cost no-frills flying to consumers and beat the dominating trend of flying with fully loaded services offered by traditional airlines. The competing methodology in this case was creating a new consumer who could now switch from driving or taking a train to flying short hauls at competitive or even lower price within a far shorter time. But can it be said that new alternatives, technological or strategic practices, can upset or change the dominating trend and set new standards or benchmarks? (Hofstede, 1991) said that...

Who is responsible?

Who is responsible?

Sir, I am a Muslim from Syria, my family is displaced. I had left Syria eight years back in search of a better life in Western World, leaving my family behind. Today the turmoil in Syria has left many homeless. While I do watch western media, some crying over the refugee crisis, some labeling it as a Trojan Horse strategy by ISIS, while videos of Muslims creating riots and law and order situation in western countries and running over Greece are widely circulated. I want to ask a simple question. The United Nations, The Rule of Law Convention held in New Delhi (Delhi Declaration) post World War II, perhaps was a step to address the world and prevent future genocide and holocaust. Like any other individual of western world, I too have faith in democracy, not that I had ever witnessed it first hand in my own country, but civil liberties and compassion for fellow human beings irrespective of their religion, is what makes the western world superior and a better place. Some may argue discrimination they face as non-whites or as muslims in minor affairs of life. Some may argue that muslims are being appeased in some European countries. Some may argue many western politicians especially in Great Britain and United States are being controlled by Saudis royals. Some may argue that increasing muslim population is a great threat to western civilization. Some may argue that ISIS is creation of west some may blame fanatic Islam for their growth. While European Union is unable to resolve the refugee crisis, and each member state is putting a limitation on the number of refugees they are willing give asylum, I want to ask a simple question to the world community and especially United Nations, where will the rest go. Or should the world remain silent while we meet our fate.   I am not sure if tomorrow these refugees will be responsible for anti-west activities, but if the civilized societies fail to address the issue, I am sure you are sowing the seeds of mass destruction. I cannot explain the pain of loss of my family, I am not even aware if they are alive...

Laws Swinging Cradle to Grave : Gallows to Pillows

Laws Swinging Cradle to Grave : Gallows to Pillows

The Year 2015 has been noted for an addition to its stereotype judgments; embarked and enshrined as ‘crude decision of the apex court’,for deciding the fate of a terrorist-cum-human for gallows. It has been decided after a prolonged wait of 20 years that 257 victims of 12th march 1993 Bombay Bomb Blast~Black Friday~, have perceived justice and the same appeals to them as incomplete, turning out into a National catharsis. With myriads of expectations and eyes lurking for justice, the cause of justice innocuously turned into rage of revenge and thirst of avenging the victims of bomb blast. The onus rested on the incumbency of 20 years of governance and the question of justice was brought up, at the beginning of each term, but with the glimpse, government could have taken a positive step towardsignominious efforts of predecessors; the demos prudential were left with a hope gripped in hands and painted in shades of saffron. The current scenario contemplates eyes of the common that the unprecedented issue is finished within a span of 2 weeks and still there are masses whostill believes that the justice is not served and questioned the technicality of law. The heartfelt condolences through empathy towards the terrorist-cum-human screamed louder than the shredded souls and bombed bodies. The questions raised by the rudimentary section of society left the “ignited Minds”to hover into the correctness of the actual issue at hand and left the righteousness of illicit actions to decide the fate of ‘’he who to be hanged’’. The 21st century has also stepped as a growth of Media and evolution of chivalrous mindset of scrupulous people, now they have actually learnt to raise a question and curb the dominating HAND. But eventually with time the power to raise question was capriciously confused with raising an issue rhetorically, they only wanted solution as the one they had decided while raising the issue. Thus this ideology and methodology turned the principle of ‘’Due Diligence’’ futile and connoisseur of law was vehemently questioned. The renaissance of conscious awakening, filtered people with a power in form of a right to fight for justice, rights and welfare, but consequently the same power left surreptitiously, a...

Jargon of Killing Oneself: Injustice in law?

Jargon of Killing Oneself: Injustice in law?

The concept of suicide has been developed since ages long. Historically, Suicide was considered as a serious offense. But modern society has changed the perspective of many westernized country. But many Asian countries like India still criminalize even attempt to suicide. People are penalize and imprison after their failed attempt. Tragedy doesn’t ends there their family who are already grief stricken after the death are made to follow legal consequences. In India section 309 of the IPC criminalizes attempt to suicide. Suicidal tendency is an unhealthy condition arising of an abnormality.   Circumstances leading   them behind   the legal bar  will surely worsen the condition. If the law enforcement bodies are shifting their focus from legal sanctions to medical sanctions it will create positive frequency around to get more vocal for this cause. There are three different kinds of attempt to suicide depending on the way people attempt it and the manner in which it gets legal sanctions.  Sometimes people   are deliberately reporting the matter to the police as accidental so as not to get into penal actions and even hospital are frequently denying to admit suicide attempters in case not to get into trauma or stigma. So at last   patients lacks the even only emotional support they can get. Recent cases of   suicide during the last few years has revealed that there has been significant increase in attempt   to suicide.  So the government has decided to repeal the section 309 of the IPC by   passing Medical health care bill 2013 which can be stepping stone towards decriminalization of attempt to suicide. Suicide has been crime since ages long. Historically law against suicide and mercy killing has been developed from religious doctrine –“One(god) who gave should only take”. And external manifestation of the act done by the person by ending life was so against the natural law of the land. History shows the followed consequences of suicide as well as associated matters of assisting suicide and attempting suicide. There were strict jurisdictions with regard to the same and moreover, after the death, legal consequences were suffered by their family members and they were left to face the miseries of exorbitant legal procedure involuntarily. Subsequently, family...

Understanding Aam Admi Party’s Mega-Victory in Delhi

Understanding Aam Admi Party’s Mega-Victory in Delhi

Adfar Shah New Delhi’s assembly elections results were recently out February 10, 2014 in which Aam Admi Party’s (AAP) surprisingly won sixty out of the total seventy seats. The phrase ‘Aam Aadmi’ in Urdu language means “Common Man” and the party was launched way back in 2012 by a former Bureaucrat named Arvind Kejriwal to take on against conventional senior political parties like Indian National Congress, Bhartiya Janta Part, etc,. Mr. Kejriwal who recently took over as the Chief Minister of Delhi came to limelight during famous Gandhian Anna Hazare’s campaign against corruption known as ‘India Against Corruption’. He is much revered by masses for his clean image and pro-poor politics .Of the recent elections, the BJP waves tossed themselves against the capital shore and AAP pulled them back out to sea, rightly branded as AAP Tsunami by analysts. This time in Delhi it was not any prior, and informed consent that constituted AAP’s sweeping victory but the informed crowd that made the broom (AAP’s political symbol) win. One of the most important elements of the Delhi voting behavior is her critical masses who keep on analyzing the political brigades/situations and more importantly the staunch voters/fans (solid vote bank) of particular parties are too less and the public with critical sense is more in number. BJP’s rout besides Congress’s diminishing to historical zero clearly reflected Delhi’s informed crowd where every person is a smart voter/twitter-face book voter who understands the pressing issues and politics around. People’s bulk participation reflected by the winning margins of AAP candidates due to AAP Tsunami simultaneously challenged many myths like the vote bank based on regionalism, casteism, radicalism, and scores of other age old gimmicks, etc,. Also AAP’s ascend tells us that earlier who were treated as street jokers are now mature social engineers who manufactured a significant change not by hitting the age old polarizing issues but peoples’ routine life challenges and aspirations.AAP added a human touch to politics and not mechanized it for publicity which was hailed by masses. On one hand, now what remains to be seen is how AAP carries its challenging and apparently difficult manifesto forward to meet the peoples huge aspirations.BJP on the...

Kashmir under AFSPA: Modify or Annul

Kashmir under AFSPA: Modify or Annul

Adfar Shah Compliments to the Army for quickly accepting the recent blunder of killing two innocent Kashmiri boys and brutally injuring the other two in yet another case of mistaken identity at Chattergam village of Budgam District in Kashmir Valley on November 3,2014. Though Army later indicted nine soldiers including an officer of 53 Rashtriya Rifles for the killings but not before harming their own good will in the valley. While the People called the killings deliberate, the army called it a mistake and surprisingly apologized too. One can see for the first time that the army has reacted well in time and taken due responsibility besides announcing the compensation of ten lac each to the kin of the slain youth and five lac each for the two other injured youth. However, with no takers so far, as the victims’ families have out rightly rejected the approved compensation and demanded trial of the culprits in a civil court. Although the Army’s decision of taking the responsibility sounds mature before the issue could have escalated into yet another uprising but even before that it has affected the peace building process and added to the already prevailing trust deficit of the people against the forces. Besides, yet another positive development was the delivery of justice in Machil fake encounter case (April 30, 2010) which was closed by army’s by granting life sentence to five army men including a Colonel. One more recent civilian killing by Army in Kulgam (Chattergam tragedy) has again bring AFSPA in Focus and led to mass protests. However it cannot be concluded that it is going to seriously affect the entire scene of the upcoming elections, especially the prospects of the BJP or NC, as Kashmir politics is far too personalized and leaders won because people are personally connected to them; but surely it has affected the Army’s fund of goodwill and its future prospects in this domain as they have once again proved themselves to be insensitive and designed to kill. It has definitely affected adversely the hard earned peace prospects, especially in the valley. One can assess that the RR mentality still has not really improved from merely the ‘designed...

The New Aayog

The New Aayog

Pallavi Jadhav India , right from the its birth to independence and further towards its growing stages has incorporated what Mahatma Gandhi had rightly said , “Constant Developmeant is the law of life and a man who tries to maintain his position in order to be consistent , drives himself to false position”. The cabinet resolution on Niti Aayog has approvingly cited this statement.The Planning Commision set up in 1950 on the vision of Nehruvian model inspired by socialist Stalin of Russia served India in many ways than one. Modi’s Niti Aayog tries to scrap this plan panel to emphasize more on the ‘Niti’ i.e. the policy than the projects and programmes , more on the ‘how’ than on the ‘what’ . The most important change which the Niti Aayog offers is the departure from the completely centrally constituted Planning Commision to a more federal plan panel where the states will have a voice in the planning of the government policies. This will discard the ‘one size fits all’ model to a flexible model accomodating the needs of the units of this Union of States called India. This role was previously played by the National Development Council which acted as an interface between the civil society and the government. The involvement of states will make the people more attuned and involved with the planning process . This is a welcome step towards covering the gap between people and its government probably making it more transparent and accountable. Secondly , the aspect of financial allocation of funds will be transferred to the Finance Ministry. This will require up-gradation of the the skills and manpower linked with the ministry . While proper target and beneficiary oriented allocation of funds can be made through this , it can also leave many gaps where corruption can breed. Modi has to be strict and upright with the financial aspects of the Aayog as this is the sphere where the mettle of the BJP government can be proved , given the backdrop of scammed NDA rule. A tough task to tread on but the entire success of the rebirth of the plan- panel is dependent on how well the accounting and...

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