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India must end its hobby of murdering Kashmiris

Dr. Abdul Ruff in New Delhi
 
Fanaticism, criminalization of politics and cynicism are the hallmark of colonialist nations and now India and Israel top the list as they employ criminal techniques to silence the nations under their brutal control- Kashmir and Palestine respectively.
Military brutality in Kashmir angers Kashmiris, especially the youth and that is the key reason why the current agitation of Kashmiris has been firmly footed, notwithstanding the Indian efforts to pacify the protestors.  The Kashmiri youth has refused to be silenced by Indian brutalities, however.
Full Story
Dr. Abdul Ruff in New Delhi
 
Fanaticism, criminalization of politics and cynicism are the hallmark of colonialist nations and now India and Israel top the list as they employ criminal techniques to silence the nations under their brutal control- Kashmir and Palestine respectively.
Military brutality in Kashmir angers Kashmiris, especially the youth and that is the key reason why the current agitation of Kashmiris has been firmly footed, notwithstanding the Indian efforts to pacify the protestors.  The Kashmiri youth has refused to be silenced by Indian brutalities, however.
A genocide, no less
Indian forces have already murdered over 100,000 Kashmiri Muslims even while Kashmiri leaders fight for posts, positions, money and foreign trips as Indian regime is busy with keeping them in good humours.  Indian regime, its media lords, military establishment, intelligence consider their joint right to commit crimes in Kashmir and justify the genocides of Kashmiris.
UN expects India to hold referendum to determine the thinking of Kashmiris about their future but it does not ask India to do quickly enough. Apparently New Delhi is scared of holding referendum in Jammu Kashmir as most Kashmiris would opt for regain sovereignty from India as well as Pakistan and get back the part of Kashmir under Chinese control.
Kashmir remains a deadly flashpoint in South Asia as India and Pakistan threaten the region with their nukes and missiles and no solution could be found unless Jammu Kashmir is allowed to regain its lost sovereignty from India, Pakistan and China.
Pakistan stands by Kashmiris and criticizes Indian military brutalities in Kashmir, targeting Muslims. Describing Kashmir issue as an unfinished agenda of partition and the oldest dispute in the UN Security Council, Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said, “for the last seven decades India has denied the people of Kashmir the right to self-determination promised to them by the international community through numerous UN Security Council resolutions”.
Like India, Pakistan has also integrated a part of Kashmir into Pakistan and also made a major part of Kashmir it got from a war with India as Azad Kashmir.
Upping the ante, Sharif said Kashmir remains the flashpoint in South Asia as it is the core dispute between India and Pakistan, adding that the dream of peace and prosperity of the people of the region will remain elusive without resolving the issue.
 
Security forces target civilians
Pakistan, Sharif said, strongly condemns the systemic state terrorism and brutal killings of the innocent people of Kashmir by Indian forces.
Son of former royal ruler of Jammu Kashmir reiterates that Kashmiris seek an independent nation and they don’t want to be a part of either India, or Pakistan or China.
Pakistan asked the world community to hold India “accountable” or its “crimes against humanity” in Kashmir, as it demanded justice for the families of 25 Kashmiris allegedly killed by Indian security in 1990.
He alleged that the “horrific massacre was committed by the Indian forces” just three days after they had reportedly killed more than 50 Kashmiris in Gawkadal. On both the occasions the Indian forces had unleashed terror on peaceful protesters.
Reports of rape by Indian security forces in Kashmir emerged soon after the government’s crackdown began in January 1990. Despite evidence that army and paramilitary forces were engaging in widespread rape, few of the incidents were ever investigated by the authorities.  Those that were reported did not result in criminal prosecutions of the security forces involved.
Since January 1990, the north Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir has been the site of a brutal conflict between Indian security forces and armed Muslim insurgents demanding independence or accession to Pakistan. In its efforts to crush the militant movement, India’s central government has pursued a policy of repression in Kashmir which has resulted in massive human rights violations by Indian army and paramilitary forces.
Throughout the conflict, the security forces have deliberately targeted civilians, the majority of whom are widely believed to sympathize with the militants.
 
Military no exception
For their part, armed militant organizations in Kashmir have also targeted civilians, although not to the same extent as have the security forces. Particularly in early 1990, militant groups threatened, assaulted and murdered Hindus residing in the Kashmir valley—driving many to flee to refugee camps in Jammu and Delhi.  Militant groups have also kidnapped and killed Muslim civilians whom they have accused of being informers or of not supporting their political views.
During the week PHR and Asia Watch conducted investigations in Kashmir, and in a statement said: “we documented 15 cases of rape, 44 extrajudicial executions, 8 cases of torture, and 20 injuries resulting from indiscriminate shootings of non-combatants by Indian army and security force personnel. Eighty percent of these violations occurred during the visit or in the ten days preceding it.
Kashmiris, the target of Indian military, intelligence and media forces, bleed profusely feel insulted and continuously injured as India tries all techniques, mainly terror methods, to silence the besieged Muslims of Kashmir and they express their anger  by hoisting Pakistani flags and raising pro-Pakistani slogans  that make the Hindutva minded people angry and hit the Kashmiris directly and by way of hidden fake encounters by tracking Muslims remotely and attacking them.  Kashmiris keep crossing between Azad Kashmir and Jammu Kashmir they visualize them as one nation.
Of course, once they become a free and independent nation, Kashmiris would hoist independent Kashmir flag and raise only pro-Kashmir slogan.
Kashmiri struggle for complete sovereignty continues unabated.  All the Indian brutalities have failed to deter the people of Kashmir from their cause for freedom from Indian subjugation. Pakistan calls upon the international community to raise its voice in seeking an end to the “gross violations of human rights and the reign of terror unleashed by Indian forces” in Kashmir and fulfill the promises it made with the people of Jammu and Kashmir 70 years ago, the Pakistani leader said.
 
Solution: Independent Kashmir
Nawaz Shrif said: “We urge India to stop bloodbath in Kashmir and allow the holding of free and fair plebiscite under the UN auspices.”
Unfortunately, Indian government authorities have rarely investigated charges of rape by security forces in Kashmir. And when any such investigations take place, its news are kept top secret and one would know  that Indian governments investigating because India does not want to  let the world  know the military rapes of innocent Kashmiri girls and women do take place in Kashmir.
Murder of Kashmiri Muslim Afzal Guru in Delhi Tihar Jail was a secret, cold blooded act of state crime only smacks of serious kind of hatful mindset of India against Muslims.
India has struck on Kashmiri Afzal Guru on ‘Kashmir Solidarity Day’ being observed in India occupied Jammu Kashmir.
Reunification of all parts of Jammu Kashmir into one Jammu Kashmir must be done as the top priority policy of both India and Pakistan. Pakistan must clearly spell out its desire to bring about a united Jammu Kashmir going beyond the UN Security Council Resolutions for a plebiscite in India occupied Jammu Kashmir.
India, Pakistan and China must begin charting a Jammu Kashmir plan to surrender their sovereignty so that they live with dignity.
 
The writer is an investigative journalist, author, former university teacher, columnist on world politics for many publications; expert on Mideast affairs, Chancellor-Founder of Center for International Affairs (CIA);  Editor: International Opinion, Foreign Policy; Palestine Times: website: http://abdulruff.wordpress.com/ email: abdulruff_jnu@yahoo.com; Phone: 91-7293435028

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No end to farm suicides in India

Sudhansu R Das
 
Cotton flower in India. Photo by Hrushi3030, Wikipedia Commons.
The latest data of National Crime Records Bureau shows that the incidents of farmers’ suicides numbered 8,007 in 2015. Farmers’ suicides increased by 42 per cent compared to the previous year.  Industrially advanced state Maharashtra tops the list with 3,030 suicides followed by Telangana with 1,358 suicides. In 2014, the newly-born state Telangana witnessed the highest number of farmers’ suicides in the country.
Full Story
Sudhansu R Das
 
Cotton flower in India. Photo by Hrushi3030, Wikipedia Commons.
The latest data of National Crime Records Bureau shows that the incidents of farmers’ suicides numbered 8,007 in 2015. Farmers’ suicides increased by 42 per cent compared to the previous year.  Industrially advanced state Maharashtra tops the list with 3,030 suicides followed by Telangana with 1,358 suicides. In 2014, the newly-born state Telangana witnessed the highest number of farmers’ suicides in the country.
The actual reason for farmers’ suicides is always shrouded in mystery.  In some places normal deaths were reportedly shown as suicide for compensation. The NCRB data quotes bankruptcy and indebtedness as the main reason behind farmers’ suicides. The data also shows 72.6 per cent of farmers who committed suicide in 2015 were small and marginal farmers who had less than two hectares of land. Though indebtedness, bankruptcy and small landholdings contribute to farmers’ suicides, there are many more reasons which compel farmers to take the extreme step.
 
A puzzling problem
In the last three decades, the undivided Andhra Pradesh has implemented the maximum number of development schemes of the central government in the country. The government of India gives 4 per cent interest subsidy on loans to farmers and the state governments give 6 per cent interest subsidy over and above the central government’s subsidy. Ultimately, the farmers get loan at zero percent interest.  Interestingly, Telangana tops the list in farmers’ indebtedness in the country with 93 per cent farmers in the state carrying the debt burden. If zero percent interest loan does not generate surplus for farmers there is something wrong in the external environment.
Bank credit is one of the chief ingredients of farm sector growth.  Farmers getting institutional credit and remaining in debt is not bad as long as they repay the bank loan and avail fresh loan. If the bank credit reaches the poor farmers and generates surplus income for farmers it is an indicator of healthy credit cycle.  If it does not generate surplus, there is some problem in credit absorption capacity of the region.
Cotton farmers of Telangana replaced many food crops with cotton in vast areas because cotton is easily sold in the market. Traders and middlemen buy cotton from farmers at a lower price and sell it in other states at a higher price. Here the farmers lose due to unscrupulous domestic trade practices and corruption. Thirty years back, cotton cultivation covered less than 10 per cent of the total area and the rest of the area was covered with multiple crops. There were no incidents of farmers’ suicides in the present Telangana region. Today cotton, paddy and maize have spilled over to 70 per cent of the crop area and multiplied farmers’ problems. Crop diversity loss may push Warangal into a Vidarbha type crisis.
 
Telengana’s special problem
Ten years back, Sonai Rajan, 47, of Boshi village of Adilabad district, had 30 cows. He combined farming with milk business to lead a happy life. In 2015, he had to sell all his cows due to green fodder shortage. “I managed for two years by taking my animals 30 km away to a place where fodder was available,” said Sonai. Without cheap green fodder, rearing milch animal is not profitable. The cost of fodder always erodes away the surplus income of the farmers.
Small landholdings of farmers are not the reason for farmers’ suicides in Telangana but drying up of off-farm income-generating activities adds to farmers’ woes. For ages, the farmers used to do farming along with craft-making, weaving, and rearing animals and birds. They used to make ropes, have fish ponds and do horticulture to add to their surplus income. Nearly 70,000 weavers in Gadwal district of Telangana region once earned from weaving and farm income from small pieces of land. Today their number has come down to 5,000 and each weaver’s income varies from Rs 150 to Rs 200 per day. Various economic activities in rural areas should be knit together again to build a healthy village economy.
Nirmal craftsmen of Adilabad district can do agriculture and make export quality wooden toys if the state government provides them poniki wood and marketing assistance. Around 50 artisans work for a handicraft corporation on daily wage basis. Those artisans should be liberated from their present condition and enabled to start their own enterprise so that the 400-year-old Nirmal craft tradition could survive.
 
Realistic policies needed
Crores of rupees have been spent to harvest rain water in Telangana in the past decades. Some rich influential farmers dig more bore wells to over-exploit ground water which adversely affects the income of the entire farming community which works hard to increase the water table.  Unscientific use of chemical fertilisers, improper use of farm machinery and over-exploitation of ground water has made farming unsustainable. Marketing of spurious inputs and absence of extension services in many places shatter the farmers’ dreams.
Papikondalu is a famous tourist destination in East Godavari district.  Here the Koya tribe are engaged in agriculture and fishery. The growing habit of consuming liquor among villagers not only erodes their hard earned income but it destroys family life. In the evening, both men and women flock to village liquor shops. The state government earns huge revenue from liquor sale.
Unless the state government takes concrete steps to change these habits and impart quality education to villagers it would adversely affect the income-generating capacity. The majority of farmers in Telangana cannot communicate in Hindi or English with buyers from outside the state nor do they understand the market demand for their produce outside Telangana. Lack of education is the main reason why farmers lose out to middlemen and traders.
 
Sudhansu R Das is a veteran journaist. This article is in special arrangement with Insight

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“Trump family trips cost taxpayers $11.3 million – Almost as much as Obama’s cost a Year”
Peter Walker
The Independent
 
Jaunts to estate in Mar-a-Lago, and secret service charges for his son’s business trips across the globe, are costing American taxpayers Donald Trump’s family’s trips have cost taxpayers nearly as much in a month as Barack Obama’s cost in an entire year.
The US President’s three visits to his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida since his presidential inauguration, combined with his sons’ business trips, reportedly cost $11.3m (£9.1m).
Full Story
Peter Walker
The Independent
 
Jaunts to estate in Mar-a-Lago, and secret service charges for his son’s business trips across the globe, are costing American taxpayers Donald Trump’s family’s trips have cost taxpayers nearly as much in a month as Barack Obama’s cost in an entire year.
The US President’s three visits to his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida since his presidential inauguration, combined with his sons’ business trips, reportedly cost $11.3m (£9.1m).
Conservative watchdog Judicial Watch estimated Mr Obama’s travel expenses totalled an average $12.1m in each of his eight years in the White House.
“This is an expensive way to conduct business, and the President should recognise that,” said Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton, speaking to the Washington Post.
“The unique thing about President Trump is that he knows what it costs to run a plane.
“Going down [to Mar-a-Lago] ain’t free.”
The three Mar-a-Lago trips in Palm Beach cost the federal treasury around $10m, based on figures used in an October government report analysing White House travel.
This includes cash for coast guards to patrol the exposed shoreline.
Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw also says it has cost local taxpayers $360,000 in police overtime for his three weekends in Florida since 20 January.
The Post also revealed it cost $88,320 to put secret service agents up in a hotel while son Eric Trump visited Uruguay to promote a Trump-brand condo tower.
Records show it cost $5,470 to put up secret service officials at the AlSol Del Mar hotel in the Dominican Republic, as they scoped out the area, ahead of a similar visit by Eric Trump.
The same records show more than $16,000 has been spent on secret service hotel bills for his two sons’ visit for a grand opening of a Trump-brand golf resort in Dubai.
The 70-year-old leader of the free world repeatedly criticised Mr Obama for his taxpayer-funded travel during his tenure.
He tweeted in January 2012: “President @BarackObama’s vacation is costing taxpayers millions of dollars — Unbelievable!”
The Independent has contacted Mr Trump’s communications director for comment.

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