Showing posts from June, 2013

NAPM - People’s Commission Report on Special Rehabilitation Scheme

NATIONAL ALLIANCE OF PEOPLE'S MOVEMENTS   A Wing First Floor, Haji Habib Building, Naigaon Cross Road Dadar (E), Mumbai - 400 014 Ph. No-2415 0529 E -mail : 6/6, Jangpura B, New Delhi 110014. Phone : 9818905316 People’s Commission Report on Special Rehabilitation Scheme Released SRA Projects full of Illegalities and Irregularities, Demands Cancellation of Fraudulent Projects and Demands implementation of RAY Mumbai, June 24 th   : People’s Commission Report on Slum Rehabilitation Scheme in Mumbai was released today by Justice (retd.) B N Deshmukh, High Court, Aurangabad. The Commission was appointed by NAPM in order that a thorough enquiry could take place in to the irregularities and illegalities complained by hundreds and thousands of the slum dwellers included in the Scheme. The Commission was also appointed since the government of Maharashtra went back on its promise to appoint a joint enquiry committee to look in to 15 SRA projects, with Ju

Pakistan — no country for foreign journalists

After having lived in Islamabad for five and a half years, Rezaul Hasan Lashkar had to pack up and leave in just a little over two weeks. His sin – he was an Indian and a journalist reporting on Pakistan. And one hot day in the middle of June he was informed that his presence was no longer acceptable to someone, somewhere – through a phone call and a letter.  But despite the unceremonious departure, his one regret – at least in recent days – is that he will not be able to get “some nihari from Kale Khan in Pindi before [he] leave[s].”  Perhaps he has more regrets too – about friends he could not say goodbye too or places he was not allowed to visit but such are the state of affairs between his country and Pakistan that he refuses to talk about the issue at all. The longing for nihari too was gleaned from his twitter account. And this silence says far more than any lengthy interview he may have given. The few details that are available came from someone close to him who spoke on th

Nanga Parbat - Chinese mountaineer narrates dramatic escape

ISLAMABAD: It was his four years in the military that helped Zhang Jingchuan survive the terrorist attacks on mountaineers at the Nanga Parbat base camp that left 10 of his colleagues dead last Saturday. The Chinese citizen left Pakistan on Wednesday after sharing his incredible story with the Alpine Club of Pakistan (ACP).  “We were asleep when they came for us. They dragged us all out and tied up our hands. We were then made to get down on the ground on our knees. After they searched everyone, the massacre began. The shot was aimed at my head but it missed. And I began to run towards the valley,” Zhang Jingchuan told the ACP in brief comments, adding how the military training had helped him stay alert and not lose presence of mind. “Survival in the wilderness or under such circumstances is part of training of soldiers. Zhang Jingchuan is a martial artist that was probably why he was quick to react, seeing an opportunity to somehow untie his hands and run for his life after the b

Sadiq Jamal Case: CBI Files Affidavit, Says Probe In Progress

Ahmedabad, Jun 20 (PTI):   CBI  today filed an affidavit in connection with the encounter killing of Sadiq Jamal in 2003 and told a court here that its investigation was in progress and that they are looking into all “relevant points” in the case.  Sadiq, a resident of Bhavnagar city, was killed by a team of crime branch in an encounter near Galaxy Cinema on the outskirts of the city on January 13, 2003.  At that time,   Gujarat   police had claimed that he was a terrorist who entered the city to kill Chief Minister Narendra Modi   and VHP leader Dr Pravin Togadia. CBI Investigating officer and DySP S K Rathi filed the reply in response to an application made by Sadiq’s brother Shabir seeking further investigation into the alleged role played by then Joint Director (IB) Rajendra Kumar, former state Minister of State (MoS) for Home and the Chief Minister in the encounter.  In its affidavit, filed on demand by Shabir, CBI said “relevant points are already being looked into during furt

Pakistan's 'blasphemy' girl moves to Canada

Islamabad:  A Pakistani Christian girl who was arrested for alleged blasphemy last year and forced into hiding for fear of her life has moved to Canada, an activist said today. Rimsha Masih could have faced life in prison if convicted over allegations that she set fire to pages of the Koran in the poor, run-down neighbourhood where she lived on the edge of Islamabad.  She was arrested last August and spent three weeks on remand in one of Pakistan's toughest jails in a case that drew widespread international condemnation.  She was released on bail and the case against her was quashed in November, but she and her family were forced into hiding, living under government protection in fear of their lives. But a Christian activist in Pakistan told AFP on Sunday that Rimsha and her close relatives had moved to Canada.  "Rimsha and her family have arrived in Canada," Sajid Ishaq said.  "The Canadian government is supporting them. They are presently doing a foundation course

At the end of the day, you've given 110 per cent - competition for prose with as many infuriating phrases as possible

Eager to preserve the English language against a rising tide of nonsense, we asked readers to compose a piece of prose crammed with as many infuriating phrases as possible. Hundreds of readers took a few minutes off from shouting at the television to send an entry to our Infuriating Phrases Competition. The idea was to come up with a paragraph or two, no longer than 150 words, packed with as many infuriating words and phrases as possible. Judging by the avalanche of phrases shovelled by the spadeful into your inventively annoying prose, many readers must be constantly on the boil at hearing our language mutilated on the radio, television, in shops and cafes, by politicians and pundits, and, perhaps worst of all, by business management executives. Infuriating as the language was, the entries were very funny. "When it comes to abuse of English, I've been there, done that, got the T-shirt. Do you know what I mean?" Jackie Rowe's entry started, worryingly. &

UK's ancient forests could spread again thanks to plan to clone 'super-trees'

Some of Britain's best-loved trees could be cloned in an effort to reproduce a range of our most successful and sturdy oaks, yews and firs. The £2m scheme to reproduce and grow again all of Britain's biggest, oldest, tallest and most ecologically important trees has been devised by the US tree conservationist David Milarch, who hopes to reproduce all the UK's "super-trees" and then offer tens of thousands of their genetically identical offspring free to schools, cities and landowners. Famous trees that could be cloned include  the Major Oak in Sherwood Forest where Robin Hood is said to have sheltered , a 3,000-year-old yew in Berkshire and a majestic 209ft fir in the Scottish Highlands. "We are looking for the oldest and largest oaks, limes, yews, some species of maples and other trees," said Milarch. "The idea is to put back what we have lost. It makes sense to use the largest, oldest, most iconic trees with their supergenes. These trees, whi

Amita Baviskar - Uttarakhand: For richer, but poorer

Svarg Uttarakhand bhoomi, Deva Uttarakhand bhoomi, Himalaya phool jaiso phoolyo, brahmikamal, Himalaya ghana devadaro, brahmikamal . In the 1970s, Chipko activists in Tehri Garhwal used to sing this song, praising their hills as paradise, the place of gods, where the mountains bloom with rare plants and dense cedars. Chipko began as a movement to save the indigenous forests of oak and rhododendron from being felled by the forest department. It soon became a wider assertion of local rights to the environment, protesting against inappropriate policies imposed on the hills by a distant plains-based state government. That sense of alienation and exploitation grew into a broad-based campaign for regional autonomy. The state of Uttarakhand was formed in 2000 and many hoped that the region would finally chart a path of development that was in harmony with its unique ecology and culture. Uttarakhand would become svarg - paradise - once more.  Those dreams have ebbed away over the past 13 years

Tony Judt - The ‘Problem of Evil’ in Postwar Europe (2007)

NB:  Tony Judt was awarded the Hannah Arendt Prize in 2007. For the first decades after 1945 the gas chambers were confined to the margin of our understanding of Hitler’s war. Today they sit at the very center: for today’s students, World War II is about the Holocaust. Inmoral terms that is as it should be: the central ethical issue of World War II is“Auschwitz.” But for historians this is misleading. For the sad truth is that during World War II itself, many people did not know about the fate of the Jews and if they did know they did not much care. There were only two groups for whom World War II was above all a project to destroy the Jews: the Nazis and the Jews themselves. For practically everyone else the war had quite different meanings: they had troubles of their own. ..And so, if we teach the history of World War II above all—and sometimes uniquely—through the prism of the Holocaust, we may not always be teaching good history. It is hard for us to accept that the Holocaust

Cambodia's vast lost city: world's greatest pre-industrial site unearthed

A ground-breaking archaeological discovery in Cambodia has revealed a colossal 700-year old urban landscape connecting ancient cities and temples to Angkor Wat. It's 7am at  Angkor Wat  and there's not a tourist in sight. It's blissfully quiet, the first clear June morning after two days of torrential rains. The only souls around are a small group of Buddhist pilgrims, lighting incense at the rear of the spectacular Khmer temple. The bleary-eyed early-risers, who woke in darkness to board tour buses to Angkor archaeological park for sunrise photo ops, have already trundled back to their breakfast buffets. I'm not here for sightseeing, however, I'm heading further into the forest surrounding the stupendous temple complex with Australian archaeologist Dr Damian Evans to meet the archaeologists  from Cambodia, the Philippines and the USA, who are working on new excavations .  The release   this month by the   US National Academy of Sciences   of a report on the re