Sunday, October 17News That Matters

Opinion

Heroes or Parasites: Europe’s Self-serving Politics on Refugees

Heroes or Parasites: Europe’s Self-serving Politics on Refugees

Opinion
Language is politics and politics is power. This is why the misuse of language is particularly disturbing, especially when the innocent and vulnerable pay the price. The wars in Syria, Libya, Afghanistan and other Middle Eastern, Asian and African countries in recent years have resulted in one of the greatest humanitarian catastrophes, arguably unseen since World War II. Instead of developing a unified global strategy that places the welfare of the refugees of these conflicts as a top priority, many countries ignored them altogether, blamed them for their own misery and, at times, treated them as if they were criminals and outlaws. But this is not always the case. At the start of the Syrian war, support for Syrian refugees was considered a moral calling, championed by countries across the ...
Hunger index ignominy

Hunger index ignominy

Opinion
INDIA has been ranked 101st out of 116 countries, compared to 94th out of 107 in 2020, in the peer-reviewed annual Global Hunger Index (GHI) report, prepared by Irish aid agency Concern Worldwide and German organisation Welthungerhilfe. The level of hunger in the country is alarming, it states, pointing to the devastating impact of the pandemic-related restrictions. Whatever be the reservations over methodology, even a higher rank could not have hidden how child nutrition remains a chronic problem for public administration. Instead of limiting itself to food deprivation, GHI tracks four key parameters which provide a far more comprehensive measure of hunger. India is said to have the highest child-wasting rate worldwide — the percentage of children below five years of age who have low weig...
The Bhutan-China MoU

The Bhutan-China MoU

Opinion
AS far as China is concerned, Bhutan has walked in lockstep with India ever since its citizens were traumatised by the sight of thousands of pitiful Tibetans transiting through their land to India after the Chinese crackdown in Lhasa in 1959. Since 1984, the two have held endless talks but did not move towards a resolution just like the India-China boundary talks. China became every country's largest trading partner but India and Bhutan are happy in each other's company. In the past, Bhutan ignored several overtures from Beijing, including support for a UNSC term, to stand by India whose boundary negotiations with China are at an impasse. In 2013, the King of Bhutan, Jigme Khesar Wangchuck, stepped in as the chief guest on Republic Day after the King of Oman cancelled his India visit. Aga...
Making Sense of Bangladesh’s ‘Megaprojects’: Development or Delusion?

Making Sense of Bangladesh’s ‘Megaprojects’: Development or Delusion?

Opinion
History shows that megaprojects may become landmarks for a country by bringing transformational impact on the lives of long-deprived people. Infrastructure-megaprojects are material drivers for accelerating the economic growth of developing countries especially while in transition to developed countries. As Bangladesh is on the highway to be graduated from LDCs, this leads the country to adopt the much-talked megaproject culture: a tendency to combine multiple projects into one megaproject. Though Bangladesh’s success story, especially in managing funds for “big-ticket megaprojects”, has been applauded worldwide, criticism arises on the prudency of these investment decisions. How wise are these investment decisions? By prioritizing eight mega-infrastructures as “fast-track projects”, Bangl...
Listen to Farooq Abdullah

Listen to Farooq Abdullah

Opinion
The Centre should listen carefully to Farooq Abdullah, the statesman, who was kept under detention for seven months after the abrogation of Article 370 on August 5, 2019. At the Shaheed Bunga Sahib gurdwara on Wednesday while attending the 'antim ardas' ceremony of Supinder Kaur, the slain principal of the government school in Srinagar's Eidgah area, Farooq made a statement that should wake up our rulers in Delhi. Unequivocally, he told the gathering that Kashmir will never become Pakistan because 'we are a part of India and will remain a part of India, come what may. They cannot change it even if they shoot me'. This three-time Chief Minister, who will soon turn 84, termed the cowardly, Pakistan-handled killers, who have been targeting Hindus and Sikhs, 'beasts' who serve the devil. What...
Regulate private hospitals

Regulate private hospitals

Opinion
India's private healthcare industry provides vital services to those who can afford to pay for them as the country's public healthcare system is overburdened, understaffed and wholly inadequate. But, unfortunately, the private healthcare industry is just that — an industry with focus on profits. This fact has been underscored countless times over the last 20 months, since the Covid-19 pandemic struck us. To protect their citizens from those private hospitals that have no scruples in trying to prise the very last rupee out of a patient's grasp, governments across the country, from time to time, notified the maximum permissible cost of treatment for Covid-19. However, complaints have continued to pour in from customers who allege, among other things, that they were forced to pay more than th...
Racial Justice Vs The Israel Lobby: When Being Pro-Palestine Becomes the New Normal

Racial Justice Vs The Israel Lobby: When Being Pro-Palestine Becomes the New Normal

Opinion
There is an unmistakable shift in American politics regarding Palestine and Israel, a change that is inspired by the way in which many Americans, especially the youth, view the Palestinian struggle and the Israeli occupation. While this shift is yet to translate into tangibly diminishing Israel’s stronghold over the US Congress, it promises to be of great consequence in the coming years. Recent events at the US House of Representatives clearly demonstrate this unprecedented reality. On September 21, Democratic lawmakers successfully rejected a caveat that proposes to give Israel $1 billion in military funding as part of a broader spending bill, after objections from several progressive Congress members. The money was specifically destined to fund the purchase of new batteries and intercept...
Covaxin for kids

Covaxin for kids

Opinion
EVEN as the World Health Organisation (WHO) is yet to grant emergency use authorisation to Covaxin, the Covid vaccine manufactured by Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech, an expert panel of India's Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation has recommended its restricted use for children and adolescents. If Covaxin is approved for the purpose by the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI), the country will move a significant step closer towards starting the vaccination drive for tens of crores of kids in the age group of two to 18 years. With schools, coaching centres and sports complexes reopening gradually, the need for inoculation of youngsters cannot be overemphasised. The devastating second wave had seen a surge in coronavirus infections among children. There are apprehensions that kids...
Back to packed flights

Back to packed flights

Opinion
THE lifting of capacity restrictions on domestic airlines from October 18 comes on the heels of a surge in festive, leisure and corporate travel. Airlines will be able to operate at their full pre-Covid capacity for the first time since a national lockdown was imposed in March last year and domestic operations were resumed after two months on May 25, 2020. Passenger numbers, in recent days, have crossed the 3 lakh daily mark, last recorded in February-end before the second wave of Covid. In anticipation of the rush in the days and weeks ahead, the two biggest airports, Delhi and Mumbai, have announced reopening of terminals that were closed because of low footfall. Delhi's Terminal 1 would resume operations from October 31, while the chaotic scenes witnessed at Mumbai airport on account of...
Looking Back at the Oct 2005 Kashmir Earthquake

Looking Back at the Oct 2005 Kashmir Earthquake

Opinion
What happened on the morning of October 8, 2005, was shocking and traumatic. The earthquake that befell that day would be remembered for a very long to come. Most people were still asleep when suddenly they were jolted awake. All at once they began screaming from their houses and apartment blocks, confounded and staggering as repeated quakes of 7.6 on the Richter scale rocked the earth. It was Saturday, just before 9 am. By the time people came to their senses, the phone network was totally jammed. The sweep of death and destruction across a vast swathe of territory from Kashmir to Hazara, Swat and Islamabad, was heart-rending. The most powerful quake to hit the region in 100 years killed thousands of people and caused massive destruction in northern Pakistan and areas close to its epicent...