The gesture of pushing the doomsday clock ahead is understandable given the events that are taking shape across the globe, which may culminate in a catastrophic collapse of the civilisations evolved over millennia (Doomsday Clock is 100 seconds away from midnight – the closest it’s ever been to the apocalypse). The two serious and impending threats are nuclear war and climate change. Nations are piling up arsenals with budgets mounting up for armamentarium, perhaps neglecting the bare necessities. Deals, dialogues and discussions to address the issues have been made and are ongoing. But the sanctity held to them and the rigour of the implementation is what is shocking.
Both are global threats and neglecting the needed measures would hurt everyone irrespective of nationality or ethnicity and yet surprisingly, there is a gap between the thoughts and deeds, seemingly deprived of the necessary political will. What shall we do then? The only thing that can stir the souls of the rulers is the demand from the ruled, which in turn calls for a awareness on the nature of threats, remedial measures, and the fate of mankind en masse. Only such a stormy tide of awareness with due participation by the rulers and the ruled can provide a kick in the butt. All in all, it is time to bite the bullet to save the planet from man-made disasters. – Ramana Gove
What kind of a mindset has NITI Aayog member VK Saraswat displayed by his comment on Kashmir? (Remove NITI Aayog member for ‘internet only used for dirty films’ remark, demands Kashmir trade body). But he is not to be blamed, because dirty minds think filthy thoughts. He is unaware of the resilience that Kasmiris are born to show under the circumstances that nobody can think of. He is only born to appease his bosses. Has he ever made any plan to provide solace to the people when there is no electricity in winter, national highways are closed for months, and essential commodities like medicines are not available to the public?
And students of Kashmir still rub their shoulders with students of top-grade colleges in India and abroad. Kashmiriis are stubborn people – they know how to live in distress. Despite the economy crashing and huge losses to traders and farmers, they still have better planning. Students are travelling hundreds of kilometres to fill up their forms for various competitive exams. Doctors, traders and other professionals are trying their best to survive. There are so many restrictions in Kashmir, but the people there have faith in the Supreme power. Saraswat’s ideology has failed in Kashmir. – Mushtaq Ahmad
Air India recently extended its final dates for bid submission to sell off 100% of its stakes to March 2020 (Air India sale: Government offers 100% stake sale in national carrier). The move comes at a time when the state-owned national carrier is struggling to set a foothold in the skies amidst the declining market share. Air India should now focus on innovative financing options if sale of the airline is imminent to repay its debts. The expression of interest should relax certain rules related to the financial lease and operating lease of the aircraft, which may otherwise evince the interest from potential bidders, including foreign market players through 49% FDI route. As it is the national carrier, one empathises the bond it had with the nation for decades. However, over the years, owing to sheer market competition, high fuel and maintenance costs, emerging monopoly of low-cost carriers in the Indian skies, lack of customer focus, tighter flying norms, operational issues and dwindling market share has only led to decline in the brand’s identity amidst the troubled skies. Thus, an effort to retain Air India’s brand identity, despite the stake sale, should be a paramount objective in the best interest of ticket-paying passengers. – Varun Dambal
Thanks for an elaborate record of extracts without getting into these by mere intuitions. This is what we call “telling the truth” (Patel wanted Hyderabad for India, not Kashmir – but Junagadh was the wild card that changed the game). Coming to a review of the text, these are my thoughts. Patel wanted Hyderabad because if it were to join Pakistan, geographically, it would have been an abscess in the body of India and would affect the harmony of its existence by always posing problems. This somehow came about by the Nizam’s own decree and today, things are better. That apart, the comparison between Junagadh and Kashmir is interesting. Kashmir, in that sense, should have been handed to Pakistan. Maybe Nehru’s ethnic connection came in the way. The much bigger question is whether the Partition was worth it. If we would have remained together, we would have become as equal to China in political strength. Anyway, history also seems to tell the tale of nations having horoscopes. – Shanmugam Sundaramoorthy
Kudos to the Asian Para Games winner, Deepa Malik, and for the selection of the article, which is a good source of inspiration to all (The extraordinary story of paralympian Deepa Malik, who won medals for India from her wheelchair). Winning the coveted medals from a wheel chair in different events at the world’s greatest sports platform and the struggle she endured speak of her extraordinary perseverance, fuelled by ambition and alacrity. The athlete deserves to be specially felicitated by the government and to be given special funding to take care of her future endeavours. The story reminds me of a famous quote by Thomas Edison, the inventor of the incandescent light bulb: “If we did all the things we are capable of, we would literally astound ourselves” – Ramana Gove