AAP-The New Kid on the Block, another rat in the rat race – Pankaj Bhatiya

AAP-The New Kid on the Block, another rat in the rat race – Pankaj Bhatiya

John Kenneth Galbraith was absolutely right when he said “Nothing is so admirable in politics as a short memory”. It is only because of this admirable quality of politics that people who supported AAP in its crusade against Congress party and its culture of corruption are now OK to take support from the very same party to form a government in Delhi. Isn’t it another example of compromising your core principles and values to come to power? Isn’t it yet another classic example of political opportunism by AAP leaders? Come on you cannot fool people by simply putting the ball in Janata’s court by saying that Janata asked you to form the government with Congress’s support. Decision on such important national issues by bunch of people gathered at some chauraha or nukkad of a city cannot be termed as majority’s decision. Talking big and righteous from outside to impress people is the easiest thing to do. The real test begins when you come to power. 24X7 live show of AAP Nautanki on news channels proves that these guys were not expecting to come to power ever so easily. They are actually staggered and seem to have no clue what to do and how to do. Whether it is overnight U turn by Kejriwal on posh 200 Cr bungalow in premium Delhi location, unnecessary cheap publicity of him taking metro to Vidhan Sabha for oath taking ceremony or calling off his much ado about nothing Janta Darbars, all these incidents prove only one thing that these guys are immature and inexperienced. I am sure that even people of Delhi who voted for AAP had never expected them to come to power and are now getting frustrated with daily nautanki. Kejriwal promised that all corrupt leaders of both Congress & BJP will be sent to jail within a month of coming to power. Now with Congress supporting the AAP government can the honourable CM of Delhi really dare to send even a single Congress leader to jail! And there is no question of sending any BJP leader to jail for corruption charges as they were not in power from last 15 years. So don’t worry nobody...

The Pragaash Row – Adfar Shah

The Pragaash Row – Adfar Shah

Introduction Smaller issues turn monsters in Kashmir and more often due to media exaggeration. After a plethora of infamous Chalo’s (protest marches) and bandhs (civil curfews) during the past few summer unrests be that infamous Amarnath Land Row, (2008), the violent unrest of 2009 (Shopian Double rape and Murder case row) and 2010 (Machil Fake encounter Row) and then after a fragile calm, the mysterious ablaze incident of the revered saint Dastgeer Sahab’s Shrine’s    in 2012, throwing state government and especially Muslim waqf Board into heavy criticism in public and intellectual circles. Now 2013 has begun with yet another controversy, This year yet another row (though too mild) has brewed up out of nothing exactly, after the brilliant and award winning performance by the valley’s lone girl rock band Pragaash,(morning light) bringing once again the already controversial Grand Mufti into the lime light for issuing a Fatwa against such bands. The band soon after its performance had started receiving a high virtual intimidation and condemnation via facebook, etc, reflection the nature of society we are and the kind of moral brigade, which has developed over a period of time. The Mufti Azam added fuel to the fire by his fatawa against the rock band as if it was the last evil/sin left to pure Kashmiri Muslim society. Thank God, this time the incident has at least not revived the infamous Kanneh-Jung (stone pelting), attacking security personnel, City siege, Curfews, movement restrictions, confrontations with local police and other security agencies, sloganeering, etc, that had become a culture in this part of the world in the recent past .Perhaps because of the tight regulation by the administration and mostly because the poor girls drenched themselves deep in silence, decided to quit and disappeared from the public scene, fearing the volatility of the matter and the kind of society ,they and their families live in. Of Suffering and Undelivered Justice This goes without saying that Kashmir valley is continuously facing peace and trust deficit and the fear of interference from everybody in and out, has deepened among the masses, to such an extent especially after the heart wrenching Shopian double rape and murder case, infamous Dardpora mass...

Rahul Gandhi and a thirsty man

Rahul Gandhi and a thirsty man

Ravi Shanker Kapoor A thirsty man requests Rahul Gandhi, “Please, give me a glass of water.” RG: According to our scriptures, water is one of the five elements the universe is made up of, the other four being earth, fire, air, and space. Over 70 per cent of the earth’s surface is covered with water. Life is said to have begun in water, in oceans to be precise. Without water, life cannot exist. Therefore, your request is totally valid. In fact, you are empowered to ask for water. My interaction with you gives me the idea that we should come up with the Right to Water. My party will ensure that the people of this country get adequate water. Thirsty man: But, sir, right now I need it urgently. RG: I sympathize with you, as I sympathize with 120 crore people of this country. All of them need water; most of them need it urgently. Taking cognizance of this reality, our government formulated the National Water Policy in 2012. It says, “A scarce natural resource, water is fundamental to life, livelihood, food security and sustainable development. India has more than18 % of the world’s population, but has only 4% of world’s renewable water resources and 2.4% of world’s land area.” Now, you can understand the gravity of the situation. Nature has not been very kind to us, dumping almost every fifth person of the world on us, while giving a small fraction of the water resources and land area. But we will make a tryst with water-abundant future. Thirsty man: For God’s sake, give me a glass of water! RG: As I said earlier, your demand is valid and I assure you that you would soon be empowered to have your glass of water. For me and my party, empowerment is an article of faith. But you must appreciate the fact that India is already water stressed. Rapid growth in population, urbanization, new lifestyles, etc., are only aggravating the situation. Water governance leaves a lot to be desired. Then there are problems like floods, vagaries of monsoon and increased erosion. And as if these traditional troubles were not enough, there is the threat of climate change, leading to salinity...

Army in Kashmir – Adfar Shah

Army in Kashmir – Adfar Shah

Adfar Shah Military or Army or Fauj or security forces as generally called in local context have undoubtedly played a major role since 1989.They have done good, bad, worst, lived many true and false blames, taken massive and sensitive challenges, helped people in many calamities and tried to improve their public handling tactics amid a plethora of failures and trust deficit. Though there is always a scope for improvement in terms of justice delivery however much has changed when it comes to the relation between Army and civilians except the recent Pathribal case closing that once gain posed a bigger psychological challenge to them seeing the reactions from Kashmiri’s.  Armies trained and equipped for conventional warfare and expected to fight a well defined enemy, when employed to fight, a hybrid warfare are assigned politico – military aims, they develop a philosophy, adopt new warfare concepts, re-train and re-equip themselves to bring themselves to a level of advantage vis-a-vis the adversary and take on the challenges. Indian Army deployed in Kashmir, faced totally different circumstances, yet due to the quality of soldiers (sometimes erring & sometimes fantastic) and the leadership (sometimes in tatters & sometimes charismatic), it could somehow maintain the professionalism that was expected except some grave mistakes. When the Army was tasked by the GoI to bring the volatile, uncertainty and complex Valley of 1990s to perhaps the state of normalcy (through still fragile with lot of enemy perception for the Army) that exists today, was it given a well defined role, objective and means, suitable for fighting a war so very different from the ones that it was used to handle? Though some Kashmir analysts blame Army for failure of the political process in J&K, implying that the political strategy is contingent upon the military strategy. Accepting such beliefs as true, means that the democratic decision making process in India are not the exclusive domains of legislatures. The truth, however, was Army did not even have the suitable frames of reference to work. To counter insurgency, Army needed clear cut directions, boundaries and means for management of the cognitive domains. For lack of these and the lack of well defined aims, perhaps Army...

Sensing Kashmir Seriously – Adfar Shah

Adfar Shah There is a dire need to understand the theoretical significance of (Indian) Kashmir as a social reality, as a conflict prototype, as a conscious society, as a vulnerable zone, as a social collective of sensitive human beings and as a prolonged conflict hit region. An idealized image for Kashmir assuming the people (particularly the Muslims) there as less informed, less intellectual, less conscious, more violent, terrorist aides, chaos loving and so on and so forth is still in the minds of many analysts and agencies who are conceptualizing Kashmir through different prisms. Similarly an idealized image for India, (for majority community) viewing the whole nation as oppressive, undemocratic and tyrant has spoiled a plethora of minds of Kashmir that needs a serious perception management for the social reality of torture and scars of mishandlings have led to a cocoon mentality and vision of hatred. This indicates that gap between the Kashmiri and the outsider is widening instead of getting abridged despite many efforts/initiatives of peace building (reveals the ground level observation). Further amid the range of self fulfilling prophecies and theory building by leaders of diverse groups and myriad of conflicting perspectives by pseudo K-Experts, it has been forgotten that resolving Kashmir or making a difference in the valley does not merely mean the redressel of the state’s economic disruptions or political waywardness but purely repairing the damaged social tissue (that almost lies untouched). Such a project (Kashmir in conflict) has now remained less political but more social, thereby inviting the attention of rehabilitation work, social planning or social engineering. The dominant clusters thus far have though propagated their dominant narratives and to succeed have created specific labels and stereotypes even for the poor victims (not to talk of dissenting/sensitive youth) and with their frivolous arm chair ideologies have been trying to justify their unjust diktats and power laws however masses know it all (yeh jo public hai-yeh sab janti hai). They even oppress by impoverishing the masses of their economic, social and psychological capital (by their slogans for vested interests). On the contrary, strategists claim that ‘work is in progress’, however, I say that ‘just work’ but no progress. Kashmir has...

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