Bookmark and Share  

EDITORIAL

Stress on research

In their capacity as Chancellor and Pro-Chancellor of the University of Kashmir, the Governor and the Chief Minister announced in the Kashmir University Council meeting that a seed capital of fifty lakh rupees each would be provided to the Universities of Kashmir and Jammu for superior research work. Although the amount of seed money committed is very modest by any means, yet the spirit behind it is of much significance. A university is regarded the fountain head of research work because it provides the basic infrastructure of advanced research and learning. The Governor (and Chancellor) is right in expecting the university to focus attention on such branches of research as would help State's economic growth and also would provide chances of employment to larger numbers of unemployed youth. In fact identification of such branches of learning and . .....more

KPs in focus

On the heels of the recent meeting of the Apex Committee on return and rehabilitation of Kashmiri displaced persons, chaired by the Chief Minister, the follow up action comes in without loss of time. The Chief Secretary is leading a delegation of senior bureaucrats for discussions with Union Home Ministry on the subject. In the meeting of the Apex Committee, the chief minister indicated his government's willingness to meet number genuine demands of the displaced persons to overcome their immediate and long range problems. The displaced community has, by and large, appreciated the goodwill gesture of the chief minister and his colleagues. It appears that gradually deck is being cleared for the return of these people to the valley. . . . ....more

A cadre officer as Police Chief
Ghar ki murgi daal barabar

Ashok Bhan

Jammu and Kashmir Police has come a long way since the events of early nineties. Officers and all ranks learnt on ground how to deal with the situation once resources became available. It is not an occasion to recount the developments. Suffice it to say that soon it proved its mettle and was widely acclaimed for its role in fighting terrorist . ....more

In praise of Lalit Modi

M.J.Akbar

A question has left me wondering about an answer: how incendiary is the combination of great ideas with great luck? History must be full of sensational ideas that withered because they did . . .....more

Mother Earth: Its
degradation and protection

Prof (Dr) R D Gupta

In order to save our dying planet Earth, the Earth day function is celebrated every year on 22nd April throughout the world. Its concept came to fore during 1970, when Mr Gaylord Anton ....more

Fai and his ‘friends’ !

TALES OF TRAVESTY
DR. JITENDRA SINGH

The concept of 'contract farming' finds fertile ground in the developing countries. Why? It is projected in such a way that it appeals to the small farmers, policy circles, agencies and economists alike as a panacea for the ills . .....more

EDITORIAL

Stress on research

In their capacity as Chancellor and Pro-Chancellor of the University of Kashmir, the Governor and the Chief Minister announced in the Kashmir University Council meeting that a seed capital of fifty lakh rupees each would be provided to the Universities of Kashmir and Jammu for superior research work. Although the amount of seed money committed is very modest by any means, yet the spirit behind it is of much significance. A university is regarded the fountain head of research work because it provides the basic infrastructure of advanced research and learning. The Governor (and Chancellor) is right in expecting the university to focus attention on such branches of research as would help State's economic growth and also would provide chances of employment to larger numbers of unemployed youth. In fact identification of such branches of learning and their need-based orientation is not necessarily or exclusively university specific. There are other research institutions in the country that are equally equipped to conduct exclusive research on some of the fundamental requirements of a civil society. However the essential role of the university is to prepare the cadres of students for specialization in various important fields. It is up to individual talent and the infrastructural support from the Government that will determine proper exposure for research oriented faculty.
Experience has shown that our student community has more than sufficient talent. What is needed is its proper exposure and proper utilization in the interests of the nation. It is encouraging to note that the Chancellor and the Vice Chancellor both are deeply interested in seeing that the two universities develop into prime institutions of study and research in the country. Funds should not come in the way because the society would not want research to be halted for want of funds. It is prepared to contribute liberally knowing that the investment is worthwhile. The student community should be thankful to the authorities which have a vision and a message for them. Such institutions of excellence are not built over night and take decades and even centuries to come up to a certain level. Our universities are in the making and are moving on the right track. But there is the need of a word of caution as regards research enterprises. Of late a tendency, though not widespread, has developed which indicates downslide of research studies at various departments. The downslide has appeared from selection of a subject for research to quality of guidance available and finally the quality of deliverance. This phenomenon is a cause of deep concern. University authorities on spot shall have to evolve a mechanism to arrests decline of research standards. Faculties that are adepts in teaching may not be the same in guiding researches and vice versa. This factor has to be kept in mind. A mechanism will have to be evolved that will ensure clearance of a proposed topic/subject/field for research before the department concerned gives its final consent. The mechanism has to be outside the department but on institutional level. The award of Doctoral degree should not be trivialized.

KPs in focus

On the heels of the recent meeting of the Apex Committee on return and rehabilitation of Kashmiri displaced persons, chaired by the Chief Minister, the follow up action comes in without loss of time. The Chief Secretary is leading a delegation of senior bureaucrats for discussions with Union Home Ministry on the subject. In the meeting of the Apex Committee, the chief minister indicated his government's willingness to meet number genuine demands of the displaced persons to overcome their immediate and long range problems. The displaced community has, by and large, appreciated the goodwill gesture of the chief minister and his colleagues. It appears that gradually deck is being cleared for the return of these people to the valley. For quite some time stalemate of sorts had ensued in moving the matter of the return of the natives. This is now broken, and the credit goes to the chief minister. His positive approach to the entire issue has made it easier for the bureaucracy to pursue the demands in right perspective. Of course, return and rehabilitation is a complicated and sensitive issue and twenty-two years of absence from Kashmir is a long and painful story for the displaced persons. The Prime Minister's 1618 crore rupees package for the relief and rehabilitation of militancy affected people in the State is the basis of rehabilitation policy. But, as was indicated by some of the stakeholders, this package also needed revision and modification in order to make Pandit return practicable and viable. It is also known that there are more opinions and suggestions with saner and more sensible groups among the Kashmiri Pandits that take care of the concerns of all the stakeholders at various levels. These advocates of nationalistic outreach may not be the members of Apex Committee or other semi-official organizations, nevertheless the Government in the State and at the Centre would do well to know and think over some of the pragmatic suggestions that might introduce the return of the displaced persons as a new and realistic phenomenon of post-militancy Kashmir. After all, all communities have to live together in Kashmir in peaceful coexistence. The fundamentals of their return would be to create atmosphere conducive to peaceful coexistence and mutual trust and confidence. The ugly, sordid and painful part of the story of militancy and exodus has to be repaired and substituted by a new era of fine-tuned relationship in which economic factor plays the crucial role. In a pluralistic society the majority needs to carry the minority along out of gentle persuasion and a sense of humanism while the minority needs to understand and concede the primordial status of the majority. Goodwill of the majority is the solid security to a minority as a matter of principle.

In praise of Lalit Modi

M.J.Akbar

A question has left me wondering about an answer: how incendiary is the combination of great ideas with great luck? History must be full of sensational ideas that withered because they did not possess the luck that attracts capital, or finds the right moment when it can flower. Lalit Modi, the genius who invented the Indian Premier League at some eureka point in his mind, might have easily failed if he had found a patron ten years before he did. If IPL was only about cricket, it would have been a pallid addition to the genre, and not that original either. It is spectacular because it merges game and spectator in a seamless knit through the elastic morality and entertainment needs of a new, young and successful India. It can be argued that you cannot have economic reforms without social reforms, or perhaps the other way around; in any case India has both.
IPL laced a six with sexual frisson. The cheerleaders with bikini pants, jiggling their bosoms behind the lame excuse of dance, and stories of sex-fuelled after-game parties, are as essential to the total experience as 22 players engaged in a contest. Sport was once called war by other means. IPL is a one-night stand by other means. No one really cares who wins or who loses. Everyone cares about tension and excitement that must ideally culminate in an orgiastic final over. As in sex, both sides win.
Mass entertainment is the sum of individual sensibilities. The Indian sexual revolution, like all upheavals, has been building and bubbling below the surface for two decades at the very least. As usual, Mumbai-led commercial cinema, which survives by selling tickets to the street, and therefore must, ipso facto, recognise the onset of change and then help it forward in order to thrive, was the first mirror.
Helen, the iconic film dancer, who began her career in a Fifties skirt and ended with and Eighties cling-semi-see-through, belongs already to a forgotten age. Today's item numbers leave neither the body nor its possibilities to imagination; and imagination has travelled long beyond the missionary position. For environmental evidence all you have to do is get details of the sex scandals that filter through even the tightly protected political class into the news. The contemporary Indian campus is another story altogether.
Cinema was limited largely to the controlled space of a hall, and social censorship was possible through the rating system as well as the obvious option that you did not have to buy a ticket. Television, particularly through item song-heavy music channels, has converted this revolution into a drawing room phenomenon. Print, inevitably, followed. The pressure from the market was too strong. The new morality has not abandoned religion. We may no longer hear the old warble of supplication towards the almighty [Bhagwan...o duniya ke rakhwale sun dard bhari mere naalein] or the challenge to God [Bhagwan kabhi do gharhi insaan ban ke dekh, Dharti pe chaar din kabhi mehmaan ban ke dekh], but narratives from religious epics still dominate the screen and a faith-inspired qawali is as popular as ever. The appeal of religion continues to be non-denominational. But morality is no longer just a middle-class bedroom virtue. Its larger role has shifte to accountability in governance. The rage against corruption tells its own story and media, in all its manifestations, must make it the lead. Lifestyle can co-exist but on the back pages. Lalit Modi's luck ran out because he forgot that financial transparency is now a non-negotiable requirement in public life. And yet we must recognise the impact his IPL has made. The supplementary benefits have been breathtaking. It is my conviction that IPL has revived cricket in the West Indies. There is now an unprecedented financial reward for quality and genius. Sir Garfield Sobers would have been as rich as Sachin Tendulkar if he were playing today, and deservedly so: knighthood is nice, but it does not pay the bills beyond a limited point. A generation of West Indian kids must be dreaming about becoming Chris Gayle. Can you imagine the crowds that would have come for Viv Richards? Batting, bowling and fielding techniques have taken a radical turn for the better. Since the market pays the price, a dropped catch is not just letting the side down, it means a letting your own bank balance down as well. Fewer catches are dropped.
IPL has rescued Indian cricket from the stranglehold of that secret society called selectors. There was never much light between cricketers who flourished in the limelight and those hidden in anonymity. Today, the public sees tomorrow's talent on the field, and knows the choice that is available. Prejudice in selection might still be possible, but it is no longer easy.
IPL is now part of the all-year seasons of cricket. Every season is not equal, but we celebrate a harvest with joy. IPL is a harvest of bounty.

Mother Earth: Its
degradation and protection

Prof (Dr) R D Gupta

In order to save our dying planet Earth, the Earth day function is celebrated every year on 22nd April throughout the world. Its concept came to fore during 1970, when Mr Gaylord Anton Nelson (4 June 1916-3 July 2005) an American politician from Wisconsin, USA, felt the forgotten sweetness of the Earth. He started to plant the trees on side walks, hold green rallies and meetings with people during his past times. The celebration of Earth day, infact, reminds us of the day when forty two years ago in the year 1970, people of the world attained the mantra of Great awakening where nearly 20 million people assembled in USA to pledge for saving the earth from irreversible damaging effects of monster known as Pollution.
Earth - A Unique Gift of God
The planet earth known to be evolved about 4.7 billion years ago is a unique gift of God as it is the only planet which is inhabited by the humanity. The presence of life on this planet renders it unique among the comity of all planets known sofar. This life is sustained mainly by the presence of matchless composition of its atmospheric air having oxygen.
In the "Bhagavatha Purana'', the surface of the earth is in the form of lotus leaf, consisting of 7 Dweepas (continents or islands). They are arranged in the form of concentric circles around the central land mass called the Jambu Dweepa.
Place of the Earth in civilization & Culture
The earth has been revered by many civilizations and cultures irrespective of religion, race creed and caste. In India, the planet earth has always been worshipped as "Mother Earth'' which can be conjectured from the old scriptures like the vedas, upanishads, Ramayana & Mahabharata "When Vedas talk of the earth they talk differently as planet, as land and as soil, the last one being the source of all energy, activity of life.'' One of the earliest vedic hymn composed of over 5000 years ago speaks, "The earth is our mother and all we are her children''.
Water, which is the essence of the mother earth has been reflected in our ''chandogya upnishad'' vis-a-vis plants and animals.
Evolution of Earth and Man and Their Relationship
These days the geologists are pretty certain that the earth attained its present shape about 4.7 billion years ago. After the evolution of earth, complex life (unicellular organisms) came to fore about 2.1 billion years back and finally a man came into existence. The oldest human race is nearly 2.8 million years but actual human is 1.5 to 1.7 million years.
There has been an inseparable relationship between man and the earth through its life supporting systems- land, air and water. It is worthwhile to mention that there was no deterioration or contamination of the earth from its existence upto actual appearance of the human race. It, however, appeared in a very short span of time owing to loomed population of human (Homo supiens) beings. In fact a new term i.e pollution came to fore and now its alarming rise has been set up a serious threat to ecobalance among plants, animals, aquaticlife and even the human beings. It is attributed to a number of reasons. Some of them which play a significant role stand elaborated here under :
i) Population Explosion
As already stated , the God Almighty first of all created the earth or the natural world and then he created the man. The God also endowed with an intelligence and lordship over his surroundings. The man, however, took for wrong meaning of the lordship. He used to disturb all the natural resoruces relentlessly. ''The earth possesses everything in its womb to satisfy all the basic needs of man's life but not to his greedness''. With the greedness of man, there is an over exploitation of the natural resources.
The increased population of mankind which is now more than 7 billions, has caused heavy pressure on the earth. Humanity's environmental demand is about 25 ha per person, while Earth's biological capacity is 16 ha per person. As the increased world population is outstripping the earth's capacity to sustain it so it is consuming 20 per cent more natural resources than the planet can produce. Thus, there is an increasing global environmental degradation:
a) Shrinking of Air Resources : The importance of Amazon forests can not be overemphaised as they are not only essential for cooling the world's temperture but also supply oxygen and become source of water. But as a bad luck, these are shrinking day by day which in turn these forests will spew low oxygen. Because of illicit cutting of trees, industrialization, vehicular exhaust, dumping of garbage there is now lot of pollution in the air.
b) Shrinking of water resources : Water has become scarce. Irrigation already takes 70 percent of available water yet to meet reducing global goals on hunger will mean doubling food production by 2050. As such fresh water will decline by 2025 or its use will rise by 50 percent in developing countries and 18 percent in the developed world. The excalating burden of water demand will become in tolerable in water scarce countries. Water quality is also declining being polluted by microbial pathogens, excessive amount of No3 and heavy metals.
c) Soil Pollution: Excessive and indiscriminate use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers have very much degraded the soils. Soil fertility has declined. Population of microflora, microfauna and macro-organisms have totally disturbed, causing sickness in the soil.
ii) Industrialisation and Emission of Gases
The industrial Nations produce about 90 percent of the global hazardous waste and emit nearly 70 percent of the atmospheric warming gases which cause global warming.
Due to global warming the large Himalayan glaciers (70 in number) are melting. Many of the beaches including those of Japan may disappear by 2080 as the World Wide Fund for Nature has warned. Yield of crops have been affected and will be much more influenced in the future.
Current biodiversity changes are the fastest in human history. Species of both plants and animals are becoming extinct 100 times faster than the rate shown in the fossil record. Over 30 percent amphibians, 23 percent of mammals and 12 percent of birds are threatened. A large number of plant species have already become extinct.
Methods of Saving the Earth
*) In the degraded lands massive afforestation should be done. While planting the trees, local species should be planted
**) Illicit cutting of trees/forests requires to be totally banned
***) Earth should be made free from pollution. There should be care and proper maintenance of the vehicles. Proper disposal of sewage, industrial affluents and wastes is the need of the hour to make pollution free environment and aquatic bodies. There is necessity to pretreatment of solid wastes to reduce biological oxygen demand, chemical oxygen demand, etc.
****) Indiscriminate use of pesticides/chemical fertilizers be minimised and instead use of biofertilizers and biopesticides be increased.
*****) If we have to safe guard our revered mother earth which sustains every variety of human life, its ecosystem, rich flora and fauna, we the humans dwelling over the globe must have to/shall have to make all out efforts for her preservation and conservation.
* The author is Ex-Associate Dean cum Chief Scientist KVK, SKUAST Jammu

Fai and his ‘friends’ !

TALES OF TRAVESTY
DR. JITENDRA SINGH

It all began around 1991. Militancy in Kashmir was just about two years old but on the ascent. ‘‘Azaadi’’ fervour was catching up in the Valley with a renewed zeal. Separatist groups were organising themselves under different names under different leaders before a conglomerate called ‘‘Hurriyat’’ was to come into existence.
Just then, a new brand of intellectuals began to seek legitimacy. These were literate men.... some of them from within Jammu and Kashmir, some of them from outside Jammu and Kashmir. The common trait in them was an urge for academic innovation coupled with an itch to invent a new formula for socalled Kashmir solution. ''Independence short of Azaadi'', ''Azaadi minus Defence and Foreign Affairs'', ''Bhutan model'' etc were some of the catchy titles phrased by these self-styled intellectual samaritans.
Around the same time or a little later began the trend of holding seminars within and outside the country with the tall objective of resolving Kashmir once and for all. As more and more number of Kashmir theme seminars and conferences began to take place in quick succession, the flamboyance...both in terms of academics as well as hospitality... also went on the rise. From nearer Kathmandu or Muzaffarabad the venues moved on to distant London and Geneva and from one or two readily willing speakers at these conferences the number of aspiring speakers was also on the rise. By 1993-94, the seminar organisers were in a position to draw a clear line of demarcation between journalists or scribes who were consenting to participate in these seminars and those who were non-consenting. Incidentally, this scribe was placed in the latter category and articles like ''Media-militancy nexus'' that appeared under ''Tales of Travesy'' became a subject of intense debate in national media.
Over the years, the seminar circuit with theme Kashmir has become so powerful that it can beget any fellow journalist or intellectual name, fame, fortune and in some cases even a state Padma award in addition to distinguished credential of being a Kashmir expert with entitlement to be appointed as Jammu Kashmir Interlocutor or Jammu Kashmir Governor.
It is, therefore, surprising why there was so much astonishment in response to disclosures about Ghulam Nabi Fai's ISI links and his simultaneous links with friends or associates in India. This is an open secret known for several years to everybody including the Government of India and the nexus flourishes under the very nose of New Delhi.
India is perhaps the only country in the world that offers premium on anti-national, or shall we say anti-India, intellectualism. And this unique phenomenon is beyond the comprehension of lesser intellectual common man. Meanwhile, as Fai and his associates thrive on ‘‘political terrorism’’ through intellectualism, Umapathy poetically quips ‘‘Kah Do Ke Sahafat Raks Kare Duniya Ke Siyaasat - Khane Mein!’’

A cadre officer as Police Chief
Ghar ki murgi daal barabar

Ashok Bhan

Jammu and Kashmir Police has come a long way since the events of early nineties. Officers and all ranks learnt on ground how to deal with the situation once resources became available. It is not an occasion to recount the developments. Suffice it to say that soon it proved its mettle and was widely acclaimed for its role in fighting terrorist violence in the state side by side with Army and CPMFs. Presidential Colours to J&K Police in June 2003 was recognition by a grateful nation of the valour, sacrifices, professional acumen and commitment of the force to the well being of the people of the state.
The approaching date of retirement of the present DGP has fuelled for past some time speculations in the media about a successor. A news item has appeared about MHA forwarding for consideration of the state Government a panel of three non-cadre officers for the post of DGP. Normally MHA would not have taken such a step unless some reservation in the state administration in favour of cadre officers was observed. In the past as well, each time state looks for a new police chief, non-cadre officers begin using their clout. For them the post is a stepping stone for important constitutional and higher responsibilities in Delhi.
It will be advisable for the Government to take a well considered decision at the earliest and not allow gossip mill to churn speculations and half truths. A decision in time by making the chain of command clear will be good for the internal health of the force. It will also set a healthy practice of an "under study" period for the new incumbent and "passing the baton" with dignity. Can we stop, for a change, the practice of waiting till the end, allowing gossips making rounds of the secretariat and the police offices and keeping aspirants speculating, canvassing and on their toes?
What should be the qualifications to become the Police Chief of a State? The incumbent should have a good knowledge about the people and the terrain; knowledge about the professional abilities of the officers and men and women that he will command; infrastructure and training needs of the force; and well versed with the problems in the state that can vitiate peace and order. In a state like Jammu and Kashmir, reeling under a conflict situation, the record of the officer in anti militancy operations has also to be taken into account. All these come from the experience of working in the state. The longer one serves and learns the competence in these core areas increases.
The two J&K cadre officers of 1984 batch are eminently qualified on each of these counts. In each case, the stresses of professional responsibility in difficult situations, has led to excessive 'greying' and that should go in their favour. It would be wrong to claim that they are still young and can wait. There are numerous examples in the country as well as our own state in the past when number of years of service was ignored for selecting a state police chief. They have between them about four years to go which the Government can suitably utilize to accommodate both. These two and other cadre officers, who follow them, have given their best years in the service of the people of the troubled state. Their bravery and sacrifices must not be ignored. Let it be made clear once for all that cadre officers will normally head the police force.
I have been a witness to some of outstanding contributions of these officers as leaders of the force to bring peace back to the state. Ignoring them at the cost of getting an officer from outside, how so ever influential he may be, will be unwise. The three officers on the MHA panel are experts in their respective domain but a mere two to three year tenure in the state does not make them an automatic choice to experiment as police chief of J&K.
One needs to go back in time to analyze circumstances leading to non acceptance of RR IPS officers in the state cadre from circa 1978 to 1983 thereby creating a gap. Ironically this gap is being used to lobby for getting a non-cadre officer at the helm on the pretext that no cadre officer is eligible for promotion as DGP. Jammu and Kashmir Police enjoys the reputation of having one of the finest set of officers in the country. On professional competence alone the cadre officers have the right and must get the honour to head the state police. Argument of number of years of service for eligibility is too weak to come in their way.
Ghar ki murgi daal barabar, so goes the popular saying. One interesting English rendering for the phrase is, "the expertise of the person close to you is never realized". Neighbor's possession seems more valuable than your own. With well qualified doctors in the family, where is the need for a second opinion from a neighborhood doctor?
(The author is a retired Director General of Police and can be reached on bhan. ashok @gmail.com )



|
home | state | national | business| editorial | advertisement | sports |
|
international | weather | mailbag | suggestions | search | subscribe | send mail |