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Krishna Kumar Singh, also known among friend circles KK and among close relative Krishna; Matriculation from Mithila High School Balour, Darbhanga in 1959, Graduated in Political Science Honours from C M College, Darbhanga, Bihar University in 1963; Joined post-graduate in Political Science the same year but dropped; joined Naxal movement under Charu Mazumdar, Kanu Sanyal, Satya Narayan Singh and Umadhar Singh in between but circumstances compelled to join literary work, clerk, proof readers etc in different publishing houses for livelihood; Finally joined journalism as career in different English newspapers and before my retirement from active journalism, I worked in The Times of India for about 19 years and retired as Chief Reporter  a few years back; continuing in journalism-reading more and more, writing more and more and praying to Almighty more and more-currently writing for different national English and Hindi dailies and magazines..

Thursday, 27 June 2013

CORRUPTION AND SYSTEM FAILURES COST INDIA'S DEMOCRATIC FABRICS !


Should the Indian citizen be silent over rampant bribery, scandal, power-brokering ? Of course not we as citizen of India must hammer upon these evils to eliminate the society for going into decadent stage ! Now a days, bribery and scandals are dominating the headlines not only in India but in several countries in recent years, among them India and Nigeria figure most corrupt countries in the globe. A new survey of corporate officials and employees in 36 countries-in Europe, Africa and Middle East as well as India-indicates  that there is plenty of corruption that needs deeper investigation. the survey was conducted late last year by Ipsos, a market research firm, on behalf of Ernst & Young, a major accounting firm.

The survey and responses of the people of various countries, however, indicated that corruption and bribery are rare in the Scandinavian countries, but common in some southern  and Eastern European countries as well as in India, the Middle East and Africa. According David Stulb, the global leader of the group; it was growing in part because many countries were worried about enforcement of the American Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which bars the bribing of foreign officials and of similar laws in other developed countries. The survey revealed what Ernst called a "corruption perception gap" in many countries where respondents said bribery and corrupt practices were far more common in other parts of their country than they were in their own industry. At the extreme, 94 percent of respondents in Kenya though corruption was widespread in the country, but only 34 percent thought it was a problem in their own industry.

In the last three years, in the wake of serious cases of corruption in corridor of power in Delhi, like telecommunication scam, coal allotment scams and corruption in government offices in Delhi and at every nook corner of state governments' offices etc, have made the life of Indian people miserable because ultimate fall-out of corruption falls on the general people of India. MY TWO BLOG TOPICS:- RAMPANT CORRUPTION IN INDIA SIGNALLING CIVIL WAR , written on December 11, 2012 and LOOT OF PUBLIC MONEY BY POLITICIANS, MEMBERS OF EXECUTIVE AND JUDICIARY , POWER BROKERS, written on August 10, 2012 on my site-www.kksingh1.blogspot.com have deliberated at length how India has gone down to the drains in corrupt practices !

Although the  political corruption was there even during the primeministership of Pundit Jaewahar Lal Nehru, it has deteriorated because the political system is self-perpetrating and no party is accountable except a coterie of people that dominates all decisions-( recent example is sacked railway minister Pawan Bansal's nephew). Apart from that, there have been rapid erosion in the selfless dedication of leaders led to the growth of corruption in the entire body politic. National interest has become no body's concern. In India, welfare schemes turned the biggest source for sip honing off public funds, And the poor are worst affected ! Criminalisation of politics is also one of the main reasons in abnormal rise in corruption in India. Before deliberating the menace and its reason, I just want to mention major scandals and corruption cases in India since the independence of India. All the figures are converted to the 2011 price level to make them comparable. Thus Wholesale price index numbers are used for the period. In the post independence period, only six out of the 14 prime ministers had a term of five years or more: Nehru about 17 years, Indira Gandhi-16 years, Rajiv Gandhi-five years, Narsimha Rao-five years, Atal Behari Vajpayee-six years, Manmohan Singh-over eight years to date..Out of these six prime ministers who really matter, five were from the Congress, accounting for 51 years of Congress-led governments. Out of these 51 years, 38 years belonged to Nehru dynasty.

The following three scandals surfaced during Nehruvian period:- The jeep scandal (1948) Rs 80 lakh (Rs 36.52 crore); the Muindra scandal (1958-Rs 1,20 crore)- Rs 47.73 crore and the Dharma Teja loans Rs 22 crores (Rs 785.32 crore). The Indira Gandhi tenure saw at least three scandals-totalling indexed value worth Rs 244.70 crores. These are Nagarwala scandal (1971)-Rs 60 lakh ( Rs 11.10 crore); the Kao oil scandal (1976)-Rs 2.2 crore (Rs 22.80 crore) and the cement scam- Donation for the  Indira Pratishthan Trust collected by A R Antulay Rs 30 crore (Rs 208.80 crore). Than comes the Rajiv Gandhi's prime minister ship. In his regime, Bofor scandal of Rs 64 crore in 1987 (Rs 313.72 crore). Thereafter Narsimha Rao's period when economic liberalisation policy in full n bloom, there were many scandals. They are: Lakhubhai Pathak pickles scam (1984) $ 1,30,000 equivalent at the conversion rate to Rs 22.75 lakh and indexed value Rs 7.79 crore; the sugar import scam (1994)-Rs 650 crore (Rs 1627.99 crore); the Sukhram telecom scandal (1996)-Rs 3.6 crore (Rs 12.33 crore); The C R Bhansali scam (1998)-Rs 1100 crore (Rs 2438.60 crore) and the fertiliser scam (1996)-Rs 133 crore (Rs294.85 crore). Thus total indexed value during Rao's tenure comes to Rs Rs 4,381.50 crore. Next ccomes to Atal Behari Vajpaye led BJP government at the centre. Scandals are Kargil coffin scabdal (1995) $ 1.87 lakh equivalent at the then  conversion rate to Rs 80.64 lakh (Rs 1.87 crore) and the Barrack missile scabdal (1995) $ 80.64 lakh equivalent at the then conversion rate Rs 36.29 crore (Rs 66.13 crore). In this way , the total indexed value would be approximately Rs 68 crore.The last but not the least Manmohan Singh government led by Congress, although Singh's personal integrity is doubted by none but mired in cobweb of corruption ! The scams are- the Scorpene submarine deal (2006)-Rs 500 crore (Rs 685.80 crore); the cash-for-votes scandal Rs 50 crore (Rs 59.95 crore); the 2G p spectrum (2010)-Rs 1,76, 000 crore (Rs 1,89,200 crore)  and Coal scam totalling to Rs 1.87 lakh crore and and  Commonwealth game scams Rs 8,000 crore ( Rs 8,599.99 crore. The coal scam is latest one which I have not calculated in indexed value amount !  Thus total scams and scandals,  reach to  over Rs 3, 00,000 lakh crores till date during Manmohan Singh's tenure. In all these scams and scandals ministers and the then as well as the present prime ministers are involved directly or indirectly.

Apart from that almost all state governments led by chief ministers of different political affiliations have ship honed off over  Rs 50 lakh crores public money in different smas and scandals since independence. More over criminal cases were filed in all these cases but net results came out zero in all these years.

Not only that politicians, bureaucrats , smugglers, drug-traffickers etc have stashed huge amount of black moneypoutside India According to a White Paper brought out by the government of India black money stashed away in Swiss banks by Indians stood at Rs 9,295 crore during 2010 while FICCI figures ; by July 2012 this figure stood at Rs 45 lakh crore.. The then CBI director A P singh, in his address to the Interpol Global program on anti-corruption and asset recovery, said such amount stood at $ 500 billion. His statement came before in a case in the Supreme Court in February 2012. These estimates excluded money stashed away abroad as valuables in Safe Deposit Boxes, a recent innovation by Swiss Banks to overcome international treaties.

On the other hand , over 70 percent families are below poverty line, who do not have sufficient food, drinking water, shelter clothes to cover their bodies what to speak of health and education care in India ! And these political classes, power brokers, capitalists, corporates are grabbing public money and the country's wealth in truckloads. Prof K C Mehata, former pro-vice-chancellor and professor of finance, MS University of Baroda has remarked , while elaborating these sordid facts, " unless people rise in revolt against this demon and punish the corrupt by refusing to vote for them, a time will come (if it has not already) when we get used to the debased public life."

Similarly the writer and activist Arundhati Roy, commenting on the corruption in India , has said, in an interview to a senior journalist Saba Naqvi  " scams smaller than a few lakh crores will not ven catch out attention. In the election season, for political parties to accuse each other of corruption or doing shady deals with corporations is not new-remember BJP and the Shiv Sena's campaign against Enron ? Advani called it looting through liberalisation. They won the election in Maharshatra, scrapped the contract between Enron and the Congress government and then signed a far worse one. Corruption is a symptom of a widening gap between the powerful and the powerless, which in India, is one of the worst in the world. Moral policing or even  actual policing  cannot be solution..........hence remove these filthy illegal slums, clear away these illegal vendors crowding pavements-and so on.....the point is how to define corruption?........they can only be addressed if you know your people, if you have vision and ideology, not by just changing the props or costumes activists wear on stage when one or the other group accuses them of some thing or the other.Being against corruption is not in itself  a political ideology.Even the corrupt people will say they are against corruption............Pantomine is a harsh word. I see what happening now as psrt of the unrest, anger, and frustration that is building up in the country. Sometimes the noisiness of it makes it hard to see clearly. But unless we look things in the eye-instead of heading off in strange quixotic directions-we vcan look forward to the civil war, which has already begun, reaching our doorsteps very soon." My blog topic_ RAMPANT CORRUPTION IN INDIA SIGNALLING CIVIL WAR- Written on DECEMBER 11, 2012-www.kksingh1.blogspot.com

From 2010, in a span of just two years, as many as 10 anti-corruption bills have been tabled including the disputed Lokpal bill, the forfeiture of benami property, foreign bribery , money laundering and whistle-blowing bills plus five more-all aimed at deterring specific acts of corruption or uprooting to give corruption free public service as a  right. None of these bills or laws addresses the fountainhead of corruption-the opaque management of political parties which includes sources and deployment of their funds. The Second Administrative Reforms Commission (ARC-2009 had noted that large scale f criminalisation of politics, noting that how participation by criminals in the electoral process  was " the soft underbelly of the Indian political system" leading to "flagrant violation of laws, poor quality of services, protection from lawbreakers n political, group, class, communal or caste grounds, partisan interference in the investigation of crimes, the poor prosecution of cases, inordinate delays that last for years, high costs of judicial process, mass withdrawal of cases and indiscriminate grant of  parole." Votes are fetched through large, illegal and illegitimate expenditure on elections, a starting point of corruption in public life.. Money power controls vote in India. Poor are penalised for not obeying the dictum of feudal landlords and state power-police. Earlier criminals were envisaged by political parties to win the elections. In the last 20 years, criminals have tasted the blood and they themselves win election by utilising their muscle and money power.

According to annual report of the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR among 543 elected members of Parliament, who were elected in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections, 162 (32 percent) have criminal records and criminal cases are pending against them. Five years earlier, the figure was 24 percent. ethics in political life in India is laughed at. Illegal and indiscriminate expenditure in election by political parties and candidates in the elections ave become order of the day.. Interestingly , the ruling of the Central Information Commission that political parties should also be termed as public bodies and they are liable for all information under Right to Information Act. The ruling was vehemently opposed by all political parties -even by left parties because they will be exposed by their huge expenditures and sources of funds for the elections !

More over there must be drastic change in our electoral laws even after some drastic reforms brought by the then Chief Election Commissioner T N Sheshan.. This apart , elections be made state funding like other many countries. State funding may overcome clandestine collection of election funds. A bill called the Registration and Regulation of Political Parties (2011) has been drafted by a committee chaired by Justice M N Venkatachaliah, former chief Justice of India. The bill envisages a democratic process for selecting party office-bearers as well as those given the tickets. The committee has also spoke about limitation on donations by individuals and corporations and also recommends l penalties for non-compliance and addresses the vexed question of how to deal with with support groups that spend ,money that remains unaccounted.

Another, most alarming issue is rampant corruption  among judges right from lower courts to high courts and the Supreme Court.Mechanism for appointing judges is not full-proof. Supremer Court and high courts are appointing judges on their whims. Quality of judges has deteriorated. Sons and daughters of the judges, former judges , VIP politicians and officials have become very common. Judicial accountable bill is facing vehement opposition from the Supreme Court and high courts judges. Judges and government have no concern over pend ency of  huge number of cases for years together. Approaching courts by poor has become impossible as they cannot bear the cost for getting justice Judges , by compelling their own mechanism for pay and perks, are today said to be leading most comfortable and luxurious life by getting extra money and facilities !

SOURCES: WEBSITES OF VARIOUS NEWSPAPERS, NEWS MAGAZINES, NEWS SITES etc 

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Judges and Political Classes are sensitive to criticism in India !



In India, these days, judges and political classes have become 'sensitive' to criticism of 'public interest'. Raising of voices by public, press ,while expressing freedom of expression ,etc have become crimes in the eyes of power-that-be and particularly judges of even of the apex court-Supreme Court- To suppress the voices of agitating people, suffering immense agonies of poverty, lack of education and health facilities, is going to be common refrain. Curb on freedom of expression has become rampant in India ! Signals of the founding fathers of the Constitution and the Constitution  itself  are being violated by all wings of the Indian Union-the Legislature,the  Judiciary and the Executive. Other 'misdeeds' of all these three wings, exposed by vigilant media and persons, are suppressed and ignored in this country. A recent example must be cited-the Central Information Commission has rightly called political parties , public institutions and these political parties must be brought under the preview of the Right to Information Act. But sadly, almost all political parties are opposed to this directive of the commission-perhaps being afraid of their being stoppage of muscle and money power in the elections!

In this nefarious game, direct responsibilities go to the mainly political classes except a few, who are law-maker and the judiciary, which  interpret the Constitution so that no wrong is done  in violating the Constitution, laws, rules etc. Strangely, when the interest of these sections come to fore, these two wings at least do not lag behind in subverting the Constitution. In case of politicians, they amend the Constitution, okays  laws,  frame rules  as well as raise their salary and perks whimsically beyond imagination, ignoring the interest and prevailing poverty in India. With regards to judiciary and its judges, they think beyond  the Constitution and laws. It is seventh wonder in the world while Supreme Court judges have framed their own mechanism to appoint judges in the high courts and the Supreme courts. Not only that Supreme court judges have managed to set-up their own commission to determine their pay-perks, which is highly exorbitant comparing the sad and deteriorating economic condition of over 73 percent of population in the country while other wings of services' salary and perks are determined  the time-to-time setting-up of commissions and committees. As if there are no rule of laws for at least judges and political classes in the country.

A recent eye-brows by the Supreme Court judge Justice Gyan Sudha Mishra, through the registry of the court, in response to an article by the Senior Editor of The Times of India Dhananjay Mahapatra titled "IN VACATION, S C BENCH LATE BY AN HOUR "on June 15 edition of The Times of India , has created piquant situation as well as ripple among the freedom-. loving persons of the country. I must  mention here a few sentences of the letter from Gyan Sudha Mishra , bullying the prestigious English daily and  its Senior Editor. The letter mentions "..............while the Court during the vacation resorted to some flexibility in fixing its time schedule for taking up the matters, it also functioned beyond court hours to cater to the heavy Cause List mentioned at the last moment by the counsels to take up matters out of turn in view of their urgency due to which it had to sit late in the evening daily at least up to 7 p. m in order to clear the orders for their dispatch as the orders were of the urgent nature. Therefore, the judges also had to go through.............In the process, if the court exercised some discretion by keeping the time schedule during the vacation...........................devote beyond the working hours in the court and yet expect them to give an account of every single minute or else face derogatory publicity."

More over the arguments in the letter of Justice Gyan Sudha Mishra appears to be one-sided- report in the The Times of India had simply mentioned late coming of judges during vacation to attend the court matter, listed as scheduled. Host of litigants and their counsels, coming from far-flung areas had to wait long because of late arrival of judges to the office. Justice Gyan Sudha Mishra, perhaps, forgot such miseries of the litigants and their counsels. Apart from that, Justice Mishra also did not ,perhaps, keep in mind the unannounced schedule of the "so called late coming of judges during vacation". In my opinion, if it is fact than court must publicise the matter well in advance. Why this emotional outburst on Mohapatra's report in The Times of India. ? As far as my feeling goes, even the judges are public servants-if they have to work extra hour-they are paid handsomely. Apart from this, colonial hang-over still exists in the judiciary-Leave and vacations and other freebies for judges are beyond imagination in poor country like India.

In my opinion, the Supreme Court of India must ,first, keep its house in order instead of swaying into emotion and sentiments. There are many judgements, delivered by the judges in recent years, are contradictory in nature, converting the Indian Constitution as "Pandora's Box". Cases of corruption among judges in various high courts, particularly in Allahabad and Patna High Courts, as well as some time among judges of the apex court have also surfaced. Appointment of judges in various high courts by the apex courts in recent years have been questioned. Is it not true that some incompetent judges have been appointed in recent years? Is it not fact that some judges, appointed, are put on further probation in view of their incompetency ? Is it not facts that relatives of judges of the Supreme Court and various high courts have been and are being appointed judges in various high courts ? It is a fact that certain sections of the society like backwards, SC, ST and other backwards and dalits are ignored in the appointment of judges even after the facts that many of them qualify for judgeship in the high courts-not only that many good persons, practising in various high courts and the Supreme Court are ignored for appointment as judges under the present system ?  Even a person , having criminal background have been appointed judges of the high courts ?Why the judges of the apex court and high courts are opposed to parliamentary legislative on the appointment of judges and the judicial accountability ? These are the big questions to be replied by only the Supreme Court !

Another opinion veering round is that a greatest blunder has been committed while reservation in services to backward classes under the V P Singh regime. Why this country and its dalits were deprived of such facilities in the appointment of judges in high court and the Supreme Court under Mandal Commission provisions ? Majority of Indians belong to dalits category-than why this discrimination ? The Country must reflects its citizens and system not pick and choose for a chosen few !

Now enough is enough-there must be way out in improving judicial system. End must come to an end over the so called supremacy of Supreme Court and Legislature in determining the criterion for the benefits of rich only-India lives in villages and rule of law must prevail to determine all these burning factors instead of silencing the people through bullying-respected Supreme Court must spell out the system beneficial to dalits and downbtroddens under the existing frame work of the Constitution.

Thursday, 13 June 2013

USA exposed for sweeping world-wide surveillance: India among five countries most affected by America's snooping !

While the Unitest States of America is struggling to contain one of the most explosive national security leaks in  US history as world-wide public criticism of the sweeping surveillance state revealed by  whistle blower 29-year-old  Edward Snowden  former technical assistant of the CIA and currently an employer of the defence contractor Booz Allen Hamilton, apart from the entire nations of the globe, India is among top-most countries in the globe, whose data have been compromised by the US National Security Agency (NSA) through various Internet networks like  Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, Paltalk, AOL, Skype, Youtube and Apple. Not only that data of personal\individual throughout the globe connected with internet network are being snooped by America !


The historic leak of the US's NSA  surveillances of most secrets, first to the journalists,  from the Guardian  and Washington Post ..The National Security Agency of America has been monitoring telephone calls and e-mails and even social media stuff of the sort., violating civil liberties throughout the globe..Snowden like  Daniel Ellsberg, who had revealed the Pentagon papers to the Post and the New York Times more than four decades ago, has stirred the world by the current revelation of the facts by NSA of America. It may be recalled that Pentagon Papers proved that a succession of US presidents had lied about their intention regarding Vietnam- Lyndon Johnson above all.As the Times put it in a 1966 story, the Pentagon Papers "demonstrated, among other things, that the Johnson administration had systematically lied, not only to the public but also the Congress, about a subject of transcendent national interest and significance." A big debate has been sparked over surveillance and privacy among the people of the globe nations.

Snowden, an intelligence analyst and computer geek, who leaked some of the NSA's most precious secrets to journalists, is now on the lam, having checked out of the Hong Kong hotel where he holed up for several weeks as he orchestrated a worldwide media splash that shows no sign of ending. Snowden himself admitted that he has betrayed, the consulting firm Boos Allen Hamilton and his promise not to divulge classified information. He paints what he did as an act of civil disobedience, but he has decided to seek political asylum abroad rather than surrender to authorities and accept the consequences. In published interviews, he comes across as grandiose to the point of self- parody, a legend in his own mind.

"Did you know that the NSA is compiling and storing a massive, comprehensive log of our democratic phone calls ? I did not nor did I know that agency can access huge volume of e-mails traffic and other electronic data overseas-not just communications originating in trouble spots such as Pakistan but also in countries such as Germany and Britain. I would have thought that anyone who accused the US government of omniscient, automatic, mas surveillance, as Snowden did in exchange with the post contributor Barton Gellman, was being paranoid. Now I am not sure."

But here is a big issue. The NSA, it now seems clear, is assembling as unimaginably vast trove of communication data and the bigger it gets, the more useful it is in enabling analysts to make predictions. It is one thing if the NSA looks for pattern in the data that suggest a nascent overseas terrorist group or an imminent attack. It is another thing altogether if the agency observes, say, ;patterns that suggest the Birth of the next tea party or Occupy Wall Street Movement.

Political opinion was split with some members of the Congress in America calling for immediate extradition of a man they consider a "defector" but other senior politicians from both parties questioning whether US surveillance practices had gone too far.. Daneiel Ellsberg, the former military analyst, who revealed secrets of the Vietnam war through Pentagon Papers in 1971, described Snowden's leak as even more important and perhaps the most significance leak in American History. British foreign secretary, William Hague,  was forced to defend the UK's use of intelligence gathered by U S. Other European leaders also voiced concern.On the other hand, in Washington, Obama administration offered no indication on Monday about what it intended to do about Snowden, who was praised for privacy campaigners but condemned by US politicians keen on for him to be extradited from Hong Kong and put on trial.. The White House, however, made no comments beyond a short statement released by a spokesman for the U S director of national intelligence on Sunday last, Shawbn Turner said Snowden's case had been referred to the Justice Department and that U S intelligence was assessing the damage caused by the disclosures.

After disclosures of the NSA secrets, Snowden chose Hong Kong because "they have a spirited commitment to free speech and the right of political dissent." In an explosive interview with the Guardian, published on last Sunday, Snowden revealed himself as source for a series of articles in the Guardian last week, which included disclosures of a wide ranging secret court order that demanded Verizon pass to the NSA the details phone calls related to millions of customers and a huge NSA intelligence system called Prism, which collects data on intelligence targets from the systems of some of the biggest tech companies.Snowden said he had become disillusioned with the overarching nature of government surveillance in the US."The government has granted itself power it is not entitled to. There is no public oversight.. The result is people like myself have the lattilatitude to go further than they are allowed to." he said and added ,"my soul motive is to inform the public as to what is done in their names and  which is done against them."

Moreover, Snowden drew support from civil liberty activists and organisations. Esberg wrote to the Guardian, " In my estimation, there has been in Americans history a more important leak than Edward Sonowden's release of NSA material-and that definitely includes the Pentagon Papers 40 years ago." Thomas Drake, a former NSA executive who famously leaked information about what he considered wasteful data-mining programmer at the agency, said  Snowden: "he is extraordinary brave and courageous,"

Meanwhile China watchers also wonder if Beijing would wish to become publicly involved in such a huge-profile case-particularly given China's doctrine of non-inter fence in other countries' domestic affairs and that it comes days after a meeting between Presidents Xi Jinping and Barack Obama, as the countries seek to improve bilateral ties.!

Interestingly, the Internet network- Google, Apple, Facebook, Facebook, Paltalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, Microsoft, who are trying to salvage their reputation, are facing a battle to maintain their trust after disclosures that the US government was given access to their customers' data on line via the Prism programme operated by the NSA.. The involved companies vigorously deny giving the Obama administration backdoor access to users' Internet information but the potential damage to their brand reputation has left the companies foundering for a way to respond. Victor Mayer-Schnbeger, professor of Internet governance and regulation at the Oxford Internet Institute, believes there could be serious consequences for the collective reputations of all Internet companies, who have meticulously built their trade and trust.

Thus  what the NSA is doing in turning the US-and by extension, the rest of the world-into a Big Brother surveillance state. THE USA is spying the world ! Julian Assannge, Wiki-Leaks founder, hold up in Ecuadorain embassy in London since June 19 last year, told  in London to TNN India has been targeted in a big way , as alleged by whistle blower Edward Snowden while exposing the US cyber snooping programme. In view of  Indian government and its data are being compromised by the U S A 's NSA, the Indian government, which is in dilemma, is considering a new cyber security. A cyber security and protection umbrella coordinator will be named at the end of June for new security structures.


SOURCES:-THE GUARDIAN,  THE WASHINGTON POST,THE NEW YORK TIMES and other Internet connected to the world !

Monday, 10 June 2013

BUMPER POPPY CROP IN AFGHANISTAN TO DISTRIBUTE POISON IN ENTIRE GLOBE!

Notwithstanding the US and its NATO forces are preparing for withdrawal of their forces from  the war-ravaged-Afghanistan and hand over the security of the nation to the Afghan National Army under the president ship of Hamid Karzai, Taliban still continued to be a formidable force. Not only that, voter registration has begun in Afghanistan for general election in Afghanistan, scheduled for next year..Both US and NATO have promised support to the Afghanistan even if they withdrew from the country in near future. But the manner the US and NATO forces are fighting with Taliban to save Hamid Karzai and Afghanistan from Taliban has many important aspects.

One of the worst menace in Afghanistan the abundance "illegal and  unauthorised  poppy farming during Karzai regime. Huge export of poppy to almost all countries of the globe in stealth manner has created big problems in developed and developing countries of the world. Young and old both are being addicted to heroin, smacks etc, prepared from poppy.  Thus Afghanistan is spreading poison throughout the globe nations !Twelve years after the fall of the Taliban, Afghanistan is heading for near record opium crop as instability pushes up the amount of land planted with illegal but lucrative poppies, according to a bleak UN report.

Just 14 of the Afghanistan's 34 provinces are now poppy free, down from 20  in 2010. In three provinces, the spring sowing was the first time this decade that farmers had risked an attempt at growing opium. If  this year's poppy fields are harvested without disruption, the country would likely regain its status as producer of 90 percent of the world's opium. Afghanistan's shares of the deadly and illegal market of opium slipped to around 75 percent after bad weather and and a blight slashed production over the past two years."Poppy cultivation is not only expected to expand in areas where it already existed in 2012 but also a new areas or areas where poppy cultivation was stopped," The Afghanistan Opium Winter Risk Assessment found.

According to UN report; the growth in record opium cultivation reflects both spreading instability and concerns about the future. Farmers are more interested in planting to plant the deadly crop in areas of high violence or where they have not received any agriculture aid. Opium traders unauthorised provide seeds, fertilisers and even advance payments to encourage crops, leaving farmers who do not have western or government agriculture help very vulnerable to their inducements.

"Opium cultivation is up for the third successive year, and the production is heading towards record levels," said Jean-Luc Lemahieu, Afghanistan head of the U N Office on Drugs and Crime. " People are hedging against an insecure future both politically and economically." Prices of opium rose to a record$300 a kilogrammes. Prices have now slipped by over $100 but are still far above historic level, helping tempt more farmers to land over to poppy.

A report says the growth of poppy farming as western troops head home reflects particularly badly on Britain, which was designated lead nations for counter-narcotics over a decade.. But  overall the government and aid community has not prioritised efforts to cut back a crop and trade that feeds global markets for heroin, Lemahieu said, despite its corrosive effect on security, corruption and trust in Kabul.

In this nefarious game, peoples' close to power and even close relatives of Hamid Karzai are involved in this nefarious farming of poppy just to placate the defiant Talibans although the letters were at one time opposed to narcotics ! Reasons are eradication programmes that do not provide farmers of Afghanistan with benefits such as health care and education and support for growing other crops will just push the Taliban or other insurgent groups that do tolerate or encourage poppy production, said Lemahieu. The increase in production and poppy farming has come despite a marked improvement in Afghanistan's specialised counter-narcotic units, Lemahieu said and added h fear of eradication has become a far more significant reason for farmers of Afghanistan to stick to legal crops than in the past, the report found.

In the meantime, Afghanistan continues to limp back to normalcy and reign of terror by Taliban and US and NATO forces continued unabated. The US war in Afghanistan has cost $4 trillion and Iraq-$6 trillion, taking into account the medicare of wounded veterans and expensive repairs to a force depleted by more than a decade of fighting, according to a new study by a Harvard researcher.

According to Harvard researcher and a public policy professor Linda J. Bilmes; Washinton increased military benefits in late 2001 as the nation went to war, seeking to quickly bolster its talent pool and expand its rank. Those decisions and the protracted nation building efforts launched in both countries-Iraq and Afghanistan- will generate expenses for years to come.

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

DANGEROUS SIGNAL FOR NEPAL BECAUSE OF CLIMATE CHANGE IN HIMALAYAS, ADJOINING INDIA REGION IS ALSO THREATENED !



NEVERTHELESS  tourism is now Nepal's largest industry and the greatest source of foreign exchange and revenue as over seven lakh foreigners descend the country each year , mostly for trekking, mountaineering and adventure holidays; in the areas they frequent,( there tends to be little malnutrition, better housing and clean water), the entire Himalayan country is on the front line of climate change and is highly vulnerable to flash floods, landslides and droughts (As the entire Himalayan mountain range in said to be highest, youngest and largest in the world-rocks are yet to form in the mountains as well as large scale denunciation of forest). Glaciers are melting at an increasing rate and major climate changes are taking place today. Entire Himalayan range have become definitely warmer ! Such changes are not seasonal change any more. It is rapid. Is is so apparent.

Narrating the story of Nepal, once among the world's poorest people, The Guardian, in a recent report, has said the Nepal has eight of the 10 highest mountains in the world -Khumbu, in north-eastern Nepal, is bustling region that earns millions of dollars a year from hundreds of expeditions, Mountaineering, a form of extreme tourism, has grown to point where Sherpas-the ethnic group, who mostly live in the infertile mountains and became load carriers for foreign mountaineers-now run their own businesses, contracting much heavy work to other Nepali ethnic groups. Sherpas are said to earn between seven and 10 times the average Nepalese wage. Significantly, many are able to send their children to the best schools. The new generation like Dawa, are likely to spend much of the year in Kathmandu or abroad; they aspire to start businesses or to become doctors, engineers or airline pilots. Mountaineering industry changed the face and brought real progress. Most of the Nepalese are not so fortunate. The country is unrecognisable from isolated Himalayan kingdom that the British expedition in 1953 found, and now at major trading crossroads with its mighty neighbours China and India. New roads are being bulldozed through previously isolated region, western influences are every where.

But the development has come at a huge price. The air pollution and traffic jams of Kathmandu are among the worst in the globe, the cities are chaotic, unemployment is massive, and the predominantly rural population remains mostly locked in subsistence farming. Tens of thousands of young men now work in Saudi Arabia and Gulf states as labourers and the Maoist revolution grew of deep poverty and worsening conditions in rural areas. Only about 40 percent girls and 45 percent boys go to secondary schools.

On the other hand melting glaciers and rising temperatures are forming a potentially destructive combination in the deep ravines of Nepal's Himlayan foothills and the Phulping bridge-on the Araniko Highways linking Kathmandu with the Chinese border-is a good place to see just how dangerous the pairing can be ! A report in The Time says, "a bare concrete pillar stands there, little noticed by the drivers of the truck, laden with the Chinese goods, that rattle  along at high speed across the bridge, about 111 km from Kathmandu. The pillar is all that's left of the original Phulping bridge, which was swept away by flood waters in July 1981. The deluge was not caused, as in common, by monsoon rains, but by the bursting of glacial lake. The force of the raging torrent was strong enough to dislodge boulders 30 meter across. They still lie in the Bhote Koshi river."

Glacial-lake outbursts, as they are known, are not new. They occur every time the natural dams of ice or accumulated rock deposits that hold back glacial lakes give was because of seismic activity, erosion or simple water pressure. Millions of cubic meters of melt water can be released as a result, some time over course of a few days or -far more frighteningly-in a mater of minutes. During past century, at easy 50 glacial-lake outbursts were recorded in the Himalayas; according to data maintained by the Kathmandu-based International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD). But what is new that the lakes are forming and growing much more quickly because the glaciers are melting faster than ever.

According to the programme coordinator of ICIMOD Pradeep Mool; the potential of Himalayan tsunami is a hazard of global warming that has yet to be given much attention by outsiders but it is a daily preoccupation. There were some 20000 glacial lakes in the Hindu-Kush Himalayan region, extending Afghanistan to Burma. In some parts of Himalayas like Dudh -Koshi are in eastern Nepal, the melt rate is alarmingly high.

Mool says, " almost all the glaciers in Dudh-Koshi are retreating at rates of 10 to 15 meter annually-but the rate for some has accelerated during last half-decade to 74 meter annually." He explained that this had  created 24 new glacial lakes in the area, which now had total of 34 such bodies of water. At least ten of them are considered dangerous.

Research papers by a team from the University of Milan, released this month, found that in the past 50 years glaciers in the Everest region had shrunk by 13 percent and snow-line was now seen about 180 meter higher up. Sandeep  Thakur, a researcher with  the team says the meeting was most likely caused by warming temperature and was certain to continue. Since 1992, premonsoon and winter temperatures in the Everest region has increased by 0.6_0C

Earthquakes also add to the risk. Earthquake could act as major triggers for glacial-lake outbursts, Mool says. He feels that much better monitoring of the lakes is needed to get a proper assessment of the dangers.

Moreover, down in Bhote-Koshi valley, villagers now rely on text messages for warnings of potential floods, landslides and other hazards. The power station near village of Jhirpu Phulpingkatt will issue warning of a glacial-lake outburst, but people in the areas will only have a few  minutes notice before flood waters arrive and only glacial-take outbursts in Nepal territory can be immediately detected. There are at least six glacial lakes close by in Tibet that lie outside the warning system and outbursts will be detected only when Waters enter Nepali territory; according to the plant's acting manager Janak Raj Pant. But regardless of where an outburst originates, he says,, " all of us would have to run for our lives

Apart from that the plain areas of Nepal, towards north, adjoining the land-locked border with mainly  Bihar and  Uttar Pradesh in India have become  most vulnerable of flood devastation, coming from Himalayan range because of outbursts as well as major melting in glaciers due to climate changes and also large scale of forest denunciation by the Nepalese in the forest areas.. Janak Raj Pant disclosed that all of " us would have run for our lives."

Seaborne tsunami have already unleashed enough devastation this century-let us hope that  no comparable disasters dwell in the Himalayas' icy ravines !