Monday, December 6News That Matters

Opinion

Illegal drug trade

Illegal drug trade

Opinion
INDIA'S pharmaceutical industry is among the largest providers of generic drugs globally, but that distinction is marred by the worrisome reality of the clandestine manufacturing and trafficking of synthetic drugs. The unravelling of the illegal drug trade in Himachal Pradesh's pharma hub Baddi-Barotiwala points to not only the magnitude of the criminal activity, but also what the authorities are up against. A firm that was raided first obtained Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) formulations for legal sale and then diverted these for a nefarious use as sedatives and hypnotics. Investigations reveal transactions to several states of drugs worth more than Rs 100 crore within a span of two years. In 2019, India ranked among the 10 countries reporting the biggest opioid seizur...
Boost immunity

Boost immunity

Opinion
THE rapid developments around the Omicron variant as it pans out globally call for an urgent activation of the booster dose. There is a spike in the spread and number of people infected with this latest highly mutated strain. The WHO has declared it a variant of concern (VoC) and as one posing a very high risk. South Africa, that was the first to flag it, has reported a rise in the number of children under five catching the virus. People falling prey to the variant include those inoculated with two vaccine shots. The breakthrough cases could be indicative of waning immunity as also the ability of Omicron to better escape the immune response of the system and transmit faster. In this light, most medical experts have advised the administration of the protective booster shot to all in a bid t...
Remembering Dr B R Ambedkar on his death anniversary

Remembering Dr B R Ambedkar on his death anniversary

Opinion
December 6, 2021, marks the 65th death anniversary of Dr Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar, the chief architect of the Indian Constitution. BR Ambedkar breathed his last on December 6, 1956, in his sleep. People pay their tributes to him on this day every year which is also observed as the Mahaparinirvana Diwas. Parinirvana, regarded as one of the major principles as well as goals of Buddhism, is a Sanskrit term which means release or freedom after death. As per the Buddhist text Mahaparinibbana Sutta, the death of Lord Buddha at the age of 80 is considered as the original Mahaparinirvana. Ambedkar’s death anniversary is known as Mahaparinirvana Diwas because of his standing as a Buddhist leader. On October 14, 1956, at Nagpur, with 500,000 followers, Ambedkar, a member of the Mahar caste, which was ...
Elitism is Not the Answer to Populism: On ‘Anti-Vaxxers’ and Mistrust in Government

Elitism is Not the Answer to Populism: On ‘Anti-Vaxxers’ and Mistrust in Government

Opinion
While “anti-vaxxers” continue to clash with police in various European cities, a whole media discourse has been formulated around the political leanings of these angry crowds, describing them in matter-of-fact terms as conspiracy theorists, populists and right-wing fanatics. While it is true that populist, right-wing movements throughout Europe and elsewhere have actively exploited the anger, confusion and lack of trust in governments for years, it is still necessary to understand the roots of the mistrust, as opposed to readily contributing to the stifling division. A Gallup poll, published in 2013, revealed the extent of mistrust that Americans, for example, have in their own government, and the decline of that trust when compared to the previous year. According to the poll, only 10% of ...
The Kashmiri: Some Die-Hard Traits

The Kashmiri: Some Die-Hard Traits

Opinion
While researching on the cultural metamorphosis and evolution of Kashmiri culture, it comes to one’s knowledge that Kashmiri people were actually descendents of certain tribes of Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan and some Central Asian communities, who migrated and settled in the valley since time immemorial. Although some historians trace the origin of ethnic Kashmiris’ racial impulses and their cultural composition to the Indo-Greek race, in point of fact the Kashmiri race has over the past many centuries evolved their own peculiar culture and have indigenised the specific impulse of nativity, duly supported with a distinctive Kashmiri psycho-emotional cognition. In several shades of life, the people of Kashmir have imperturbably conserved their predominant cultural possession with due care and ...
Rule of law undermined by rule of gun

Rule of law undermined by rule of gun

Opinion
Justice Brande of United States has rightly said, “Government is the most potent and omnipresent teacher that teaches the whole people by its example”, If the government itself becomes law breaker, it invites every man to became a law unto himself. Recent encounters in Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh, and Assam have outraged many people and human rights activists, who call them fake encounters and extra judicial killings. The NHRC registered 1,782 fake encounter cases between 2000-2017, with UP alone accounting for 44.55% of them. The inquiry commission constituted by the Supreme Court on December 12, 2019, to look into the Hyderabad encounter of 2019 continues its public hearings in Hyderabad. Custodial crimes, inhuman treatment of accused by police during investigation, crude methods of investiga...
Covid-orphaned kids

Covid-orphaned kids

Opinion
While the Covid-19 pandemic that broke out two years ago has brought to the fore many moving instances of institutions and individuals helping in various ways those struck by the disease or hit by the lockdown, reaffirming the faith in the innate goodness of people, the difficult period has also, sadly, exposed the other end of the spectrum, where people do not flinch from seeing an opportunity in misery. Perhaps, the cruellest are those who seek to exploit the innocent and helpless children rendered orphans or without caregivers as the devastating waves wiped out lakhs of lives. An investigation by a news organisation and subsequent probe by the authorities concerned in Jamp;K have led to the arrest of two accused, who, in the garb of running an NGO for children, were running a racket of...
Cleansing lower judiciary

Cleansing lower judiciary

Opinion
For the second time within a year, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has taken punitive action aimed at cleansing the subordinate judiciary, which is plagued by ills such as indiscipline, complacency, inefficiency and corruption. Two Additional District and Sessions Judges have been retired compulsorily, while the initiation of disciplinary proceedings has been approved against two District and Sessions Judges. A total of 16 judicial officers belonging to the subordinate courts of Punjab and Haryana have come under the high court's scanner. This stern demonstration of zero tolerance to judicial irregularities or underperformance is a welcome move. It can act as a potent deterrent and also improve the administration of justice in the long run. Subordinate courts account for almost 90 per c...
The Quranic Perspective on Justice

The Quranic Perspective on Justice

Opinion
Wherever the Quran uses the word justice, it has been placed against the world zulm (oppression) Human history testifies to the fact that when justice is absent from a society, anarchy, lawlessness and instability become the feature of that society. A just society is identified with peace, stability, and uplift of the human soul; the reason being that a just society ensures equal rights, dignity and equal opportunities for economic growth and social and emotional well-being of its people. In a just society, the lawmakers, the different social institutions and agencies and the individuals are as a whole are accountable and responsible for every single act vis-à-vis the rights of fellow human beings, animals, plants, etc. In a just society, a man does not simply live in the world; he rather ...
Drug-resistant TB

Drug-resistant TB

Opinion
Globally, India bears the burden of the highest prevalence of both tuberculosis (TB) and multi-drug-resistant TB (MDR-TB). Multi-drug-resistant TB is especially a public health concern and challenge as the country struggles to meet its ambitious goal of becoming TB-free by 2025. The record of Haryana's Karnal in tackling MDR-TB is not encouraging. There has been a steady rise in the number of such cases in the district annually since 2015 (from 27 in 2015 to 64 in 2020 and 58 till now in 2021). This picture is grim, for going by the general trend in the past, it could well be reflective of the average figures across the states. The spike in the past two years could also be attributed to the extensive periods of Covid-induced lockdowns when the healthcare resources were focused on and dive...