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

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

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. His jibes at the power elite are factually correct and politically mature that itself speaks of his future in active politics. He is fearless even after so much of construction, arrest, assault and labeling against him. His truth is so provocative that even violent fringes now are announcing a bounty on his head as per the new posters (eleven lakh rupees). Also someone has announced a prize of five lakh on chopping Kanhiya’s tongue which reminds me of the very Marxian idea that ‘the weapon of criticism cannot replace criticism by weapon’ and they are so weak to fight Kanhaiya’s ideas with ideas but bring in weapons and violence and not counter ideas. Let those who disagree with Kanhaiya, approach him and debate with him if they have guts and really some thought. He is fearlessly taking on big figures for he represents truth. His ideas of thought on pressing issues are definitely forcing conscious and rational minds to think. One wonders is he a yet another Kejriwal in making and will the day come (may be after two decades) when he will...

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,...

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...

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...

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...

Kashmir Beyond Article 370 & AFSPA

Kashmir Beyond Article 370 & AFSPA

Adfar Shah Obviously a new hope for the return of normalcy seems there in Kashmir but not before the government is formed. Although until 2005 the peace deficit valley witnessed a slow decline in the culture of violence however it picked up later and by the time 2014 ended, the magnitude of support from Pakistan, the intensity of cross border infiltration, the presence of uncertainty in valley, the number of violent attacks and even the type of targets that extremists usually executed, has softened to a great extent minus the growing radicalization of vulnerable youth. In between the years 2008 to 2010, there were many aberrations in the march towards peace; however, when the disturbances are seen from the democratic prism, political defiance or intifada are very well justified. Had it not been for the significant loss of one hundred and twenty lives as a result of actions by security forces, these events could have been taken merely as expressions of disappointment against hope or desire for reaping the fruits of normalcy. I always say let us institutionalize the earlier peace ideas and actions but the fact remains the security apparatus has not been able to institutionalize good will in a sense it should have been despite doing a range of peace efforts or programmes. The Security forces too, on their part, exhibited some sense of restraint except some recent and inhuman mishandlings like Chatergam killings. While incidents kept happening sporadically such as Kunan–Poshpora, Machhil, Shopian and Chhatergam, which posed serious questions against the ability of the security forces to operate as professionals in fourth generation warfare, the leadership, particularly that of the military has increasingly exhibited a rising sense of empathy towards the common people and their sufferings in the conflict zone but it can be safely argued that there is much more to do to be mass sensitive and professional enough. Though Chatergam emerged as a game changer when army for the first took the blame and apologized in time but again it derailed the peace project and disappointed people. In a nutshell, in terms of security, while the Forces graduated towards genuine commitment to the dictums of “Zero HR Violations” and...

Kashmir’s Killing Floods-Playground for Journalists

Kashmir’s Killing Floods-Playground for Journalists

Adfar Shah Ferocious Floods that recently hit Kashmir through continuous rains spread over a period of seven days sequentially inundating South, Central and North Kashmir. Fourteen breaches on the bunds of Jhelum River filled the areas starting from Pantha Chowk to Bemina with areas such as Batwara, Indra Nagar, Sanwar, Rajbag, Jawahar Nagar, Dalgate, Lal Chowk, Press Colony, Gogji Bag and so on. Civil administration was so foxed and paralyzed that except for holding meetings, the Chief Minister and his government handed over the situation to Army and other rescue agencies while the CM personally acted as a brave volunteer and worked day and night for rescue of masses. His personal efforts despite the tragic communication breakdown is worthy of a salute. His Excellency Shri N.N.Vohra, the Governor of the State too worked hard for mass rescue and even tuned his residence into a full-fledged rescue camp besides taking care of food items to be made available to community kitchens and other camps. The opposition brigade had not much role to play except creating space for themselves. Also every one especially J&K students In Delhi, Aligrah, Bangalore and other parts of the country were in constant touch and making their all out efforts for rescue and relief in Kashmir. I saw students fundraising and collecting clothes, baby food, medicines, etc, to be supplied to badly hit areas. I salute them all. Having said that, Kashmir Floods became a perfect narrative for a typical television story. Visuals to drive anyone in pain and dismay were shown continuously. So literally September 4, onwards here it was – Kashmir Floods becoming the Play Ground for Delhi Breed of Journalists. The who’s Who of all Television Channels was desperate to be seen in Srinagar at least. Unfortunately, the local media was itself submerged under the deluge – some had printing press under water, some had lost entire office set up, while others had their houses washed away. This vacuum was filled but so brutally by a large number of media representatives from Delhi. From non-entities to most prominent, from raw reporters to absolute professionals, from interest groups to unbiased,  there were all shades of reporters and journalists in...

Pahari Community of Jammu & Kashmir

Pahari Community of Jammu & Kashmir

Adfar Shah Chief Minister Omar Abdullah announced 5% reservation to Paharis besides 2% to OBCs on the eve of Independence Day. Omar also maintained that he would continue to pursue the declaration of Scheduled tribe Status for Pahari speaking people at the central level. However, Paharis say it was never their demand; they demand and deserve ST status only and State should deliver the promises made to them. Pahaad in Urdu lexicon means mountain and Pahadi means the one who is a mountain dweller or who lives in the hills. Their language is known as Pahadi or Pahari and they identify themselves as the Pahadi Speaking People (PSP).Though they live among or near the Gujjar/Bakerwal localities, however possess a separate community consciousness and detach themselves in many ways from Gujjars and Bakerwals like customs and Castes. However, it is believed that Pahadi’s belong to the Aryan race which once raided India and settled down in the upper reaches (though debatable). Pahadi language is spoken by lakhs of people across the two Kashmirs’ (Kashmir & Azad Kashmir) besides in some neighbouring States like Himachal and Uttrakhand also. Pahadi is believed to be an ancient language though assuming various names since ancient times/regional dialects like Parimu, Hinko, Rajourvi, Potowhari, Chabali, etc,. Pahadi’s believe that their language developed during the Buddhist period or even before that and enjoyed a prestigious status for a long time. However currently it is an endangered language and has lost its ancient glory and fame, may be due to the encounter with the dominant Kashmiri culture or due to the greater influence of modernity. Though there is no dearth of Pahadi literature in the Pahadi language (an Indo-Aryan language of Tankri/Gurmukhi/Shahmukhi/Sharda Lippi script), however there is a considerable dearth of translation works of this rich language. Source: Jammu & Kashmir Pahadi Cultural and Welfare Forum (JKPCWF), Paharis vs Gujjars: A Confused Dichotomy Now a days, there is witnessed a clear dichotomy and a sense of rivalry between Pahadi’s and the Gujjars. Gujjar vs Pahari has been a successful political card played by the vested interests and has thus created a further divide between the two communities. There is huge resentment among Pahari speaking...

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