JDU checkmates RJD joins hand with BJP

Nitish Kumar sudden decision to break the grand-alliance and join BJP within hours came as a shock to many, but those who were in the political circles knew that something was not very right. It was like a game of chess between JDU and RJD where JDU was winning the board with every move they made, till the final check-mate this week.

Nitish Kumar was one of the few oppositional leaders who supported demonetization while his ally RJD was against it. On the issue of GST Bill, Nitish Kumar’s JDU was first to support BJP. In the last presidential elections, almost everyone began to see the tilt which JDU had towards BJP. The rumors began to take serious shape with CBI investigating the hotel scam against Lalu Yadav’s family. JDU has repeatedly demanded former deputy CM Tejaswi Yadav to step down based on alleged corrupt allegations.

However, one thing is very clear that Nitish Kumar is no more in the race of becoming PM, as Narendra Modi would occupy that post. Within two years of breaking up with the NDA camp, JDU realized that it is not getting what it wanted as family politics of “Yadavs” did not give JDU the full-fledged freedom to rule autonomously. JDU’s decision to break ranks with the NDA had gone bad. In the national assembly elections, JDU was able to secure only 2 seats across Bihar. Nitish Kumar also resigned and appointed Jeetan Ram Manjhi as the new Chief Minister who was not able to rule properly. In the end, the situation became so bad that Manjhi founded his own party i.e. Hindustan Awam Morcha (HAM).

This is the first time since 1990, that both the state government and the central government are ruled by the same coalition party in Bihar. The demand for “special-status” for Bihar can be fulfilled under these circumstances and more funds can flow inside the state. Thus for the general population of Bihar, it could be a blessing as there has always been a shortage of funds allocated from the center in Bihar.

RJD can now try to split the JDU, as there are reports of some JDU leaders including Ali Anwar Ansari and Sharad Yadav who are unhappy with Nitish Kumar’s decision. Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad and CPI (M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury are also trying to engineer a split within JDU. If RJD is successful even a small fraction of JDU leaders it would be difficult for the ruling coalition to stand the floor test. Also with 80 seats, RJD is currently the biggest party in Bihar. There are 16 Muslim-Yadav legislators in the JDU camp which can break up, due to a difference in ideology with BJP. RJD may try to convince them, that Nitish Kumar would backstab them when the time is right.

However, the situation of the opposition is now in tatters if we look at its preparation for the 2019 assembly elections. With Congress losing one state after another and defection of party members followed by a broken opposition which has a divided ideology, it will be very difficult for them to defeat a strong NDA which has been expanding in every direction.

Nitish Kumar is the Chief Minister again just like the last week, everything seems to be functioning normally, and just political-parties have changed hands. Sushil Modi is back in his shoes of deputy CM thanking Tejaswi Yadav for being an accused of corruption charges. What else can one expect from politics in Bihar?

 

News Sources- Financial Express 

Pakistan Prime Minister disqualified by Supreme Court on account of corruption charges

The Supreme Court of Pakistan disqualified Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on account of corruption charges against him and his family. As a result, he has been barred from contesting elections for the next five years. “He is no more eligible to be an honest member of the Parliament, and he ceases to be holding the office of prime minister,” said Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan during the court’s ruling. Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and Captain Safdar were among the other prominent leaders who had been disqualified from their seats in the parliament.

The disqualification came after an investigative panel’s finding which stated that his family possessed disproportionate assets which exceeded their income.These assets were disclosed during the Panama Papers leak in 2016.

Following the leak, opposition parties and leaders had placed an emphasis on the need for a panel which would investigate Sharif and his family over their alleged offshore accounts.Former cricketing legend and leader of the opposition PTI, Imran Khan described the ruling of the court as a major victory for the people.”Nations are not destroyed by wars, bombs or natural disasters. They are destroyed when their institutions have been destroyed. “This is the beginning. Now all of us have to protect our resources and not let the corrupt exploit them,” he added.

The Supreme Court of Pakistan disqualified Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on account of corruption charges against him and his family. As a result, he has been barred from holding public office for life. “He is no more eligible to be an honest member of the Parliament, and he ceases to be holding the office of prime minister,” said Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan during the court’s ruling. Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and Captain Safdar were among the other prominent leaders who had been disqualified from their seats in the parliament.

The disqualification came after an investigative panel’s finding which stated that his family possessed disproportionate assets which exceeded their income.These assets were disclosed during the Panama Papers leak in 2016.

Following the leak, opposition parties and leaders had placed an emphasis on the need for a panel which would investigate Sharif and his family over their alleged offshore accounts.Former cricketing legend and leader of the opposition PTI, Imran Khan described the ruling of the court as a major victory for the people.”Nations are not destroyed by wars, bombs or natural disasters. They are destroyed when their institutions have been destroyed. “This is the beginning. Now all of us have to protect our resources and not let the corrupt exploit them,” he added.

Following Nawaz’s resignation, his brother Shehbaz Sharif is expected to be declared as the next prime minister.

 

News Sources- NDTV, Hindustan Times

‘Aadarsh’ village Kanhewadi, a tale of new rural India

Almost seventy years ago, when India became a nation, the leaders of our country were completely convinced that the only way forward for our agrarian economy is through the growth of our agriculture and our villagers. The Gandhian belief that “If the villages perish, India will perish too” was entrenched in the principles of our nation and ahead we surged hoping to provide a better life to the millions of Indians living in numerous villages all over the country.

Sadly, the condition of our villages today defies this notion of our founding fathers as the rural India rots away due to lack of development and opportunity, while humongous industries scrawl up all over the urban India.

The picture may look too discouraging but all hope has not been lost. As one moves about 56 km north of the urban city of Pune, we enter one of Maharashtra’s villages, Kanhewadi. Lush green fields, cemented roads, schools and happy faces fill this small village.

Apart from agriculture, the ordinance factory, box factory, and Cadbury factory provide employment to the villagers in the area. Majority of women work along with the men in the fields. When asked how is life in their village, with a smile on her face, Sunanda replies, “It is very good. We are all happy. We have everything we need”.

Sunanda like many others has been living in the village all her life. With her husband working in the box factory and her son working in the nearby village, she feels at peace with her life.

The basic necessities of water and electricity are available in each household, with a separate drinking water machine installed in the village. At a rate of 5 rupees per 20 litres, this machine provides the villagers with their daily quota of clean drinking water. This has helped improve the life quality of the people immensely. Additionally, the government supplied water for other purposes is made available every day to the villagers; the only issue being no fixed timing for each household as the supply happens daily between 6 am to 2 pm.

Daily power cuts do trouble the people a bit, but they are still content with regular power supply available to each household in the village. The villagers very proudly explain the open-defecation free status of their village as each house has individual toilets.

Every child attends the primary school in the village till class 5, post which they have to go to a school in the nearby Induri village for higher studies. The local panchayat provides the children with bicycles for free to travel to the school so that education is affordable for each and every kid in the village. The primary school has E-learning facilities with the children learning computers very eagerly.

Apart from this, as a part of a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) project, Volkswagen runs a mobile health clinic van which covers many villages along with Kanhewadi on a daily basis, providing basic health care and medicines in these areas.

Many more companies like Reliance, Cadbury, etc. have adopted such villages as a part of their CSR projects and are helping realize the vision of an equally developed India.

The major role of this change has been played by the Gram Panchayat, specifically Mrs. Shanta Yevale, the Sarpanch of Kanhewadi who has been actively working to make Kanhewadi an “AADARSH” village.

While there is a lack of emergency services in the village, Vishnu Prasad, a retired government employee recalls the days when there was only a mud road running throughout the village and one had to cross the river and walk to reach the nearest railway station to reach further into the city of Pune for higher education and work opportunities. Today, Vishnu’s elder son is a professor in the University of Mumbai.

Certainly, the journey doesn’t end here, but it is definitely a start worth looking forward to. The tale of developing India is just beginning, after all as the Prime Minister says, “Acche din aane wale hai”.

 

 

Image Source-

Ratnadeep Choudhary

“The new electronic independence re-creates the world in the image of a global village”- Marshall McLuhan

 

“Global village”, with this term Herbert Marshall McLuhan became the first person to foresee the birth of the internet. His ideas changed the communication world.
Born in Canada in 1911, Marshall McLuhan studied at the University of Manitoba and University of Cambridge. Before becoming famous for his predictions, McLuhan was a lecturer at the University of Toronto.

In his book called The Gutenberg Galaxy: The Making of Typographic Man,1962 McLuhan  outlines the concepts of four ages that divided the history- the acoustic age, the literary age, the print age and the electronic age. His work became widely popular due to these concepts laid by McLuhan, as it marked the beginning of the electronic age.

The term “global village” was popularized in this book.McLuhan described “global village” as that the world that has “shrunk” by modern advances in communication. He used the example of the nervous system to explain how the vast network of communications is linking people around the world.

His theories were often met with controversies in the academic circles. In 1989, when the internet was born after McLuhan’s death, he was looked upon with reintroduced interest. He had predicted the idea of internet 35 years before its birth!

He described “global village”, what we today call as he internet, as an age when everybody will be able to access same information through the evolution of technology. He then wrote a follow-up book called Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man, 1964, in which he expanded the theory of “global village” to show that mode of communication shall become the most influential part of the electronic age rather than the information itself.

After this,  he became a TV figure, and would make regular appearances  to explain his theory of why “the medium is the message.”

McLuhan had become the most renowned English teacher of the 20th century. His vision of the “computer as a research and communication instrument” made history.

Today, people have information from around the world at their fingertips. Use of laptops, desktops, tablets and smartphones have become everyday realities.  This regularity was just considered an impossibility during McLuhan’s days.

His predictions had caused a frenzy in the US and had made the media question whether or not he was right. He was the subject of an article written by Tom Wolfe titled “What If He’s Right?” published in the New York Magazine.

On his 106th birthday, Google has honoured him with a doodle on his famous concept of the ages of history.

He bel19ved, He conquered

A year ago, Roger Federer would never have imagined to win another Wimbledon, a Grand Slam which made him one of the greatest in the history of tennis. With already 7 titles under his belt, Roger Federer came to Wimbledon 2017 with confidence and a well-rested body. He voluntarily skipped clay season to relax his body after winning his 18th Grand Slam at Australia. Sensing early the terrific form of Nadal and his own chances on clay, Federer withdrew himself from Roland Garros; the decision that proved to be wise when on Sunday evening as he went on to win his record eighth Wimbledon, making him the first man to do so. With 19 Grand Slams, he now leads the men’s tennis with the most number slams, followed by Nadal with 15.
The final score line read 6-3,6-1,6-4 against Croatia’s Marin Cilic. Was it a milestone for both the players? Yes. Was it a memorable and a fitting Grand Slam final? Absolutely not. Cilic was brought down to his knees by a majestic Federer. There were tears on either side of the Centre Court—one of victory and the other of agony. Cilic’s suffering reached its acme when he broke down during the medical break, and then it was just a matter of time. But it wasn’t just Cilic’s breakdown but, it was the exits of Nadal, Djokovic, Murray and Wawrinka which helped Federer conquer London without dropping a set.
Federer was as buoyant as he was in 2003 when he won his first Wimbledon title beating Australian Mark Philipoussis. Federer in the post-match ceremony acknowledged that it was tough losing to Novak Djokovic in 2014 and 2015 but kept believing in himself. He said, “I kept on believing and dreaming and its fantastic. It is such a special court, so many legends marked this court. I hope it’s not my last match and hope I can come back next year and defend my title.”
Based on Sunday’s evening performance it is hard to believe that Federer had been without a Grand Slam for five years between 2013 and 2017. With US Open to go and dwindling form of Djokovic and Murray, the race to the top looks locked only between the emperors of clay and grass; Nadal and Federer. It truly looks like a #ThrowbackThrursday memory in tennis.

What made her Malala Yousafzai

Eight years ago, an eleven year old girl started writing blogs for BBC Urdu, describing her life in the Swat valley which happened to be occupied by the Taliban. This girl, Malala Yousafzai then grew up to be the youngest Nobel Prize Laureate, which she won for fighting for female education. Growing up with parents who ran schools in Swat Valley, Pakistan,

As a child she became an advocate for child’s rights and women’s rights and this put her in the radar of the Taliban which had been issuing notices for schools to be shut down, especially for girls. The Taliban issued a death threat against her because of her activism.  Along with being under the radar of the Taliban, Yousafzai also came to the notices of scores of NGOs globally, which helped her fight for her cause. With the help of the NGOs and the UN, Malala brought eh the plight of women;s and children’s education in Pakistan to light.

On October 9, 2012, A gunman shot Malala in the head. She survived and used the incident to push her cause further. She then went on to win the Nobel Peace Prize in 2013, making her the youngest Nobel Prize Laureate. In her speech at the United Nations, she said that she is just one of the people who were hurt by the terrorists and this incident gave her even more courage to fight for education.

On July 12, 2015, Malala Yousafzai turned 18 this is an important event of her life. Wanting to celebrate her birthday in a special way which was also Malala Day, she opened a school in Lebanon, for Syrian refugee girls. According to biography.com, she said during the inauguration, “Today on my first day as an adult, on behalf of the world’s children, I demand of leaders we must invest in books instead of bullets”.

Later, in October of the same year, a documentary on Malala’s life, named, “He Named me Malala” was released. The documentary was directed by Davis Guggenheim and it shows the life of Malala and her immediate family along with the work she does and her travel.

Two years later, Turning twenty, Malala spent her birthday in Mosul, Iraq, by way of her ‘Girl Power Trip’ , an initiative by Yousafzai where she travels around the world to educate people  and create awareness on the importance of education.

In Mosul, Malala spoke to girls whose education has come to a pause because of the activities of the ISIS. According to a report by Mic, Yousafzai met an Iraqi girl who who has not gone to school for three years because her father was captured by the ISIS. The girl, Nayir, told Malala, “No matter what, nothing will keep me from finishing my studies.” According to the report on the same website, Yousafzai said, “For me, the most important thing is talking to other people, learning from them and speaking out for what you believe in”.

In April 2017, Yousafzai was named the U.N. Messenger of Peace to promote girls education. Yousafzai has also been made into an honorary Canadian citizen.

News Source: Mic articles 

Image Source: Parade

 

India and War- IAF’s miserable story of hopelessness

In the age of rising patriotism and nationalism in India; the army has been the holiest cows of all. Any criticism to the Indian Army is considered as a misconduct of highest order by a certain section of the society.

THE ROAR

Chief of Army Staff, General Bipin Rawat on his recent interview to ANI boasted about how India was ready for two and a half wars referring to Pakistan, China and internal conflicts. If we were to look at it, India has the third largest army in the world, on the accounts of military expenditure India ranks five with a budget of 56 billion dollars. India is currently the largest buyer of arms according to Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). So statistically it checks out and Bipin Rawat is absolutely justified with his ‘Let it rip’ attitude. But, there is always a flip side to the coin.

THE REALITY

In the recent months, India has seen an outrageous amount of air crashes. In the first week of July itself the country saw, Kiren Rijiju narrowly escape a potential chopper crash, an MIG-23 crash in Rajasthan and one more incident of a chopper going out of the radar that later was found to have crashed with no survivors.

If the modern day warfare were to depend upon a country’s strength in air-warfare, India would probably score a big fat zero. Indian Air Forces current squadron strength is 32 as opposed to the sanctioned number of 42 squadrons. Amongst that 32 squadrons of combat aircraft, most are past their use-by date and have not been retired just because the IAF will run out of options.

THE FLYING COFFIN

With a treacherously alarming rate of air accidents, India has lost 11 major jets in the past year itself and nobody seems to care and talk about it. While the government remained busy pushing its ‘Make in India’ initiative with Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas, which by the way CAG found 53 shortcomings in, the IAF continued to overwork its old faulty Russian through intensive training. Dubbed as the ‘Flying Coffin’ for their tendency of operational malfunction mid-air India lost numerous pilots and lost half of its MIG fleet through minor or major accidents.

THE BIG WALLET

India recently brought MIG-29’s worth Rs 10,000, an aircraft that has a serviceability of 15%, which means that the jet can reach to the place if called upon only 15 times out of hundred. No wonder that the CAG called the expenditure avoidable.

Indian government’s flawed purchases, out-dated technology, scams and not to mention utter disregard for human life comes out as shocking if not as disturbing considering the turbulent times.

Can Bipin Rawat defend India on ‘Two and a Half Fronts’? It’s very unlikely that he can defend us from one.

Sources: Scroll, Indian Express