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October 2018

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Opinion


Will the ICC finally prosecute Israel?

As far as Palestine is concerned, it is fair to ask why the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) initially refused to sign the International Criminal Court (ICC) Statute? Why did it return to sign it? What is the ‘secret’ of the Trump administration’s position vis-a-vis this Court, especially with regard to the Palestinian issue?When the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) presented a full case to the court about Israel’s crimes during its war against the Gaza Strip in 2008, the case was rejected on the grounds that Palestine lacks the status of a state. When its status changed from an “observer” to...
2 day 10 hour

Why Sabarimala row has captured the imagination of India?

The “Sabarimala controversy” is at a feverish pitch and social media is spewing out such bizarre rants that one is forced to think a peculiar madness has crept into its populace.For India has a multitude of challenges — endemic poverty, glaring inequality, malnutrition and 50 million stunted children — yet its citizenry is engaged in hair splitting arguments on a deity’s celibate status.That having been said, the heat and dust rising from this controversy is ominous.Within a short time the new guidelines issued by India’s Supreme Court will go into effect and that can lead to a serious law and...
3 day 5 hour

Why Sabarimala row is a waste of time

The “Sabarimala controversy” is at a feverish pitch and social media is spewing out such bizarre rants that one is forced to think a peculiar madness has crept into its populace.For India has a multitude of challenges — endemic poverty, glaring inequality, malnutrition and 50 million stunted children — yet its citizenry is engaged in hair splitting arguments on a deity’s celibate status.That having been said, the heat and dust rising from this controversy is ominous.Within a short time the new guidelines issued by India’s Supreme Court will go into effect and that can lead to a serious law and...

Turkey and Russia hold the key to Idlib

What’s going to happen over the next few days is probably the most important development in Syria’s eight-year ugly war. Tomorrow is a vital date for peace and war in Syria, in Syria’s Idlib province. If a deal on the suggested demilitarised zone in the province is successfully implemented, it could open the door for a settlement to end the bloodshed in the entire country.At their summit meeting in the Russian city Sochi last September both Russian and Turkish presidents, Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan, signed an agreement to establish a demilitarised zone in the province along the contact...

Faith must teach us to love, not hate

The exercise of faith and beliefs has often been the impetus to a more serene life. But when distorted shards creep into one’s beliefs, it generates activity that invariably leads to some form of tragedy. In recent times, one’s devotion to their faith has led to more turbulence than serenity. One does not have to go far than the subcontinent of India and Pakistan to understand the vast divide that has crept in between people who once were one and the same, but through the fostering of racial disharmony by unethical political and religious leaders, have now adopted a more...
1 week 5 day

The wild gyrations of India’s Pakistan policy

India-Pakistan relations are like the weathercock. General Mitchener, in Bernard Shaw’s play Press Cuttings, mocks Lady Corinthia, ‘Will you …. blow my brain out, I should prefer it to any further effort to follow the gyrations of the weathercock you no doubt call your mind. To get one’s head around India-Pakistan relations and in specific the recent happenings, is as challenging, as reading Lady Corinthia’s mind.Recently India agreed to talk to Pakistan on the sidelines of the ongoing session at the UN, only to call it off, almost immediately. Why?India’s reasons, though many, are unconvincing. The Burhan Wani stamp release...

Israel’s appetite for Palestinian land is illegal

Almost six decades of Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip has reduced its people to desperation. These are Palestinian lands controlled by Israel through repression, institutionalised discrimination, and systematic abuses of the population’s rights.The occupation has in recent times been accelerated by massive land theft by the government of Israel to make room for Jewish colonists — a move roundly condemned by many in various parts of the world but surprisingly little is heard in the form of protest from the heads of governments of the United States or the United Kingdom.Recently, the Israeli top court cleared...

Effectiveness of the ICC under scanner

Recent threats issued by John Bolton, the United States National Security Adviser, against the International Criminal Court (ICC) have raised questions about the nature of the court. Bolton stressed that his country would use “all means to protect its citizens from the court and its violation of American sovereignty”. He even threatened sanctions against its judges and prosecutors if they prosecute Americans, Israelis and other allies of the US! If this is the case then the question arises: What are the court’s areas of jurisdiction? What factors have made some powers feel wary to join? Does this court really ‘scare’...

Time to put an end to the menace of fake degrees

In the age of instant communication and instant just about everything else, some people are finding bogus diplomas and degrees the way to go. Why would they want to spend seven or eight years after high school and thousands of dollars to get the certification in a speciality when buying such credentials off the internet is so much easier. If it charges one’s personal esteem to parade themselves off as MBAs or PhDs socially in front others, that’s one thing. But when it comes to the application of their easily gained expertise on the minds and bodies of others and...

World has failed Syria

‘I believe that with this agreement we prevented a humanitarian crisis in Idlib,” Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan recently said. He was talking after his summit meeting with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Moscow. This came only days after Ankara warned of a Russian plan to launch a huge offensive with government forces to control Idlib province.Now both Russia and Turkey are saying they had agreed to create “a buffer zone”, jointly under their supervision, in the province to separate Syrian government forces and their Iranian and Hezbollah militia allies from rebel fighters. Putin explained the demilitarised zone (15-25km)...

Changing dynamics in Saudi Arabia

There is no question that there are many issues in the Gulf countries that may appear odd or disturbing to some visitors. One has to understand that these countries have been going through a colossal change to lifelong traditions over the last four decades, and the growing pains can be often unsettling.And yet these countries have opened their arms to millions of guest workers from all parts of the world, welcoming them with promises of decent jobs and security during their stay. For the most part, the states have lived up to their promises — just witness the extraordinary number...
4 week 1 hour

Is India’s RSS losing its ideology?

The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the national volunteer organisation, held a three-day conclave recently in Delhi. And the chief of the RSS, Mohan Bhagwat, made some startling statements at the convention. Some so staggering that they seemingly upended the RSS’s core beliefs; he even urged its followers to move beyond some of the more contentious and toxic comments made by the organisation’s founder K.B. Hedgewar.Was Bhagwat’s effort simply an image makeover, intended for the upcoming 2019 elections, or a genuine pivot, or a radical departure from its long-held ideological position? Is there a full-blown revisionism underway, and a creeping acceptance...