August 10, 2003, Chandigarh, India
universities can fund themselves
migrate from Kashmir to Shimla
by Navneet Anand
Mohammed Rafiq is as fresh as the morning dew of the hills, when he gets up at 5 a.m. The weight and langour of the previous night has given way to a new hope on yet another day.
motivations in today’s world
master-strategist with a vision
on trafficking of heritage properties
Molvi Mohammad Abbas Ansari, who took over as chief of the All-Party Hurriyat Conference in July, is known as a moderate. A constant presence in the separatist politics of the Valley, Ansari, 67, studied in Iraq and Iran in the late fifties. Chief patron of Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen, he was convenor of the Muslim United Front in 1987. Unlike many other separatist leaders, he has not contested an assembly election. Describing Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee as a "strong man", the IUM chief, however, feels that top government leaders may not meet the APHC in the near future because of the compulsions of the Assembly elections in five states later this year and the Lok Sabha poll next year. There has to be trust between India and Pakistan for solving the Kashmir imbroglio.
Excerpts of the interview:
Q: What are your priorities as the new Hurriyat Conference chief?
A: I want to bring the Hurriyat Conference on a strong, united platform as there have been differences on some issues. I would strive for an inter-Kashmir dialogue as we cannot overlook the people on the other side. We want to go across to tell the militant brothers that India is sincere in finding a solution to the Kashmir problem. The government in New Delhi has to alter its catch and kill policy to create a conducive atmosphere.
Q: The Hurriyat Conference seems divided with Sayeed Ali Geelani critical of the top Hurriyat leadership?
A: We are doing our job and fighting the hurdles that come. The people who had taken part in the assembly elections were removed from the APHC. The Jamat-e- Islami, to which Mr Geelani belongs, is having its elections. When they send their nominee to the APHC, we will sit down and sort out all issues. Even if Mr Geelani forms a distinct party, he will be invited to join the APHC which will be expanded and the number of parties would go up from 22 at present.
Q: Will you talk to the Centre’s interlocutor, Mr N.N. Vohra?
A: Mr Vohra does not have an agenda. We feel that the talks should start at the highest political level which can then continue. Also, there should be an atmosphere of trust between India and Pakistan. Without it, no solution is possible.
Q: How do you view the Mufti government’s healing touch policy?
A: There is no healing touch. Human rights violations are continuing as is police high-handedness. Prisoners are being released by the courts and not the government.
Q: The government says infiltration is continuing.
A: I don’t agree. There are lakhs of soldiers manning the borders. Infiltration is not taking place though some people may be sneaking in. That’s why we want to go there and help in building a conducive atmosphere for talks. India gains if the boys accept our suggestion of stopping violence. If they don’t even then India will still gain for facilitating the effort for peace. Pakistan's Opposition leader Fazlur Rahman, a supporter of the Taliban, talked of resolving the problems through talks during his recent visit to India. There should be channels for people-to-people contact between the Kashmiris living on both sides. There are vested interests in India, Pakistan and Jammu and Kashmir who may be creating hurdles in the resumption of the process of talks between India and Pakistan.
Q: Do you think Hurriyat Conference’s political space is shrinking?
A: No. The Mufti government has not kept its promises to the people. The people wanted to oust the Farooq Abdullah government. So they voted for a change. The Special Operations Group is now part of the police. Promised jobs have not been given.
Q: What have you discussed with the foreign missions?
A: We told them about our wishes. We urged them to play their role in improving relations between India and Pakistan.
Q: Allegations have been levelled against the APHC for receiving money from the neighbouring country.
A: Let anyone give the proof. We do not have money even for our day-to-day expenses.
Q: Does the APHC plan to reopen its office in Delhi?
A: Yes, I am trying. Officials of the Iranian Embassy also desire so.
Q: Given your moderate approach, do you foresee difficulties ahead?
A: Yes, but I hope to meet the challenges. Problems cannot be solved by guns but through dialogue. However, the process will take time. An old disease cannot be cured by one or two medications.
Q: Pakistan says that Jammu and Kashmir is the core issue between the two countries while India says it is one of the issues.
How universities can fund themselves
It is increasingly felt among educationists and academic decision-makers that universities should not only produce educated, cultured and wise people but also professional specialists. Academic administrators have now become the part of wider web of power and influence that successfully acquaints them with their fellows working in fund-granting institutions, public or private, and they work in close collaboration with them for the realisation of common objectives. If the industry wants a specially trained graduate from the university, it must contribute to the funding pool of the university.
The industry needs to generate funds for the universities so that the latter can provide well-trained personnel to the former. Various foundations and industrial houses must have rapport with university authorities to develop special funds necessarily required for creating new type of experts as required by them in the growth and development of the industrial concerns.
This raises pertinent questions. For instance, while contributing funds to a university, an industry would like to have a say in the management of the university. This could further curb the academic freedom of the institution which, in recent times, has suffered a setback because of government intervention. Industry and government intervention will change the shape of the university — the university reduced to an industry or vice versa would open the flood gates to social chaos and academic degeneration. Consequently, the industry and the university should work under the shadow of a social policy progressively designed by academics, captains of industry and representatives of the people. It is on this basis that the operating managers should work in close collaboration.
University-industry interaction can work out differently in the disciplines of social sciences or literary studies. Public or private industrial establishment can contribute funds for creating independent chairs in different fields and they can chart out the policy regarding the functioning and funding of the chairs of the university.
Some big industrial houses have started their own institutes but only a university can tackle the higher research on professional courses in the right earnest. The university would never be a subordinate partner in such an interaction and it must function without any pressure.
The government should pass a legislation making industries operate an education fund out of which they can give grants to universities and help in developing the seats of higher learning. Even the government can release licences and quotas and other subsidies for those industries who will subscribe to such fund-raising projects in the domains of education.
A university provides talent and technique to the industry which, in turn, should help the university in the fund-raising process. The university bureaucracy should resist the tendency of raising funds on its own by raising admission fee, price of various forms or prospectus and perpetrating exorbitant fines on the students for trivial reasons. Teachers must resist all tendencies involving monetary considerations for personal interest.
University administrators should learn the art of raising private funds to look after the fiscal health of the institution. They must have links with the community and organise functions and get-togethers of old students, corporations and business houses. If political parties and religious bodies are able to raise funds through proper schemes, why can’t a university go in for private funding? Here local industries can play a significant role as in the United States. But selling seats, charging exorbitant tuition fees, should be stopped altogether. The business and industry should be approached and a genuine rationale be presented to them for positive results. Vice-Chancellors, Senators, Syndics and Deans should jointly chalk out a strategy in this regard.
The university authorities should convince industries that they can provide assistance not only in training its workforce including engineers and foremen but also in adopting new techniques for their effective functioning. It can impart knowledge and training for the personnel officers of the factories and guide them in tackling difficult peculiarities in the field of industrial relations. The university could train industries on how to conduct negotiations with the trade unions and how to develop a humanistic attitude to tackle problems emerging out of productivity deals.
Manpower management can also be objectively studied by a university for suitable application in an industrial concern. Job evaluation, quality control are few other fields where a university can contribute for developing a clean and clear work environment.
migrate from Kashmir to Shimla
Mohammed Rafiq is as fresh as the morning dew of the hills, when he gets up at 5 a.m. The weight and langour of the previous night has given way to a new hope on yet another day. He looks forward to those unscheduled trips carrying weights over his bent back in the hilly terrain of Shimla. This fetches him enough money to sustain himself and his family, back in Jammu and Kashmir.
Rafiq is just one of the 10,000 Kashmiris in Shimla who have made a living out of a unique occupation-carrying stuff ranging from groceries to white goods to even old men and women from places high or low. Given the hilly terrain of Shimla, the picturesque capital city of Himachal Pradesh, the job requires some guts, stamina and perseverance. For Rafiq, however, all this is like a child's game. Or so it seems. “I have been in this occupation for last 12 years continuously,” says Rafiq 33, looking fresh. “Carrying comes naturally to me now and I can easily hold upto a quintal on my back and distance should not be a problem for me,” he adds, the fragility of his physique defying his agility! Rafiq normally moves in and around the Mall-Sanjhauli (3 km), Chhota Shimla (2 km), Balaganj (3 km) and Summer Hill (4 km). Making an average of 4-5 trips a day; it takes him anywhere between two and four hours to make one trip. And he earns up to Rs 120 a day on a good working day.
So far, says Rafiq, he has not faced any problems “physically but he does feel tired at times, and has a cough.” Mohammed Yusuf, 26, has not been that lucky, however. Coming from the same village of Kajikund Kond Karalo in Anantnag district of Jammu and Kashmir and pursuing the same occupation he had to undergo major medication for “some infection in the chest,” he informs. Even though outwardly he shows a brave face, Yusuf and Rafiq do feel there are hazards involved in this occupation. Coming from such a far off place, “staying has been tough here, especially because one is away from family and home,” points out Rafiq.
But this is only a feeling of loneliness that bothers Rafiq and his co-workers. For there was a possibility that the huge in-migration could have given rise to local discontent. For this clearly meant a dent in the earnings of local labour force, even though they constitute only about 10 per cent of the total coolies in and around Shimla. Even Jawahar Ahmad, 20, of Kupwara district in Jammu and Kashmir, who joined his friends just weeks ago never felt that the locals were harsh on him.
Yusuf informs that “there are some formalities that we have to undergo which ensures that there is no confusion at any stage.” He adds, “we have to register at the local police station upon coming here, and they issue us an identity card which we carry all the time.” Interestingly, the identity cards say ‘Indian’ and Fariq’s ID bore the number 1178. One of the reasons why there is not much discontent or the feeling of ‘we’ versus ‘them’ is because of the fact that other than businesses majority of households depend for their existence on these coolies, reasons Himendra Mohan Sinha, an engineer with Satluj Jal Vidyut Pariyojana in Himachal Pradesh. “Even the local administration is aware of the fact and conflict if any is always nipped in the bud,” adds Sinha.
Little wonder there are ways and means to ensure that the services of these migrant labourers are streamlined. Identity cards are an example. Rafiq, Yusuf, Ahmad and others mostly stay in Shimla between May and September as there is a drastic cut in demand for labourers (called ‘Collie’ in local parlance) during peak winters months. Every time they come to Shimla, they have to get themselves registered and that does mean an expense of upto a day’s or two’s earning. “At times we have to shell it out from our savings that we do for initial few days once we come back from home,” says Mohammed Hussain without any regrets though, who hails from Kupwara district.
Back at work, the migrant labourers save enough to send money to their families back home. “Most of us have our parents and siblings to look after and we manage this by sending money on frequent intervals” informs Rafiq, who has been wanting to send his 6-year-old son to school for a long time now. Thanks to expenses involved in staying in a reasonably expensive place like Shimla, he and his friends can’t save much!
“A day’s food costs us anywhere between Rs 30 and 40”, informs Ahmad. Plus there are costs involved in logistics. “We have to pay to the contractors for the utensils and beds,” says Rafiq almost instantly murmuring his address: Gali Number 3, J&K Dairy, Thekedar Gul Muhammad, Middle Bazaar, Shimla. There are many who live further down in lower bazaar area and the contractor’s businesses are flourishing! Interestingly, it is curious to mention here that the British had crated these middle and lower bazaars for Indians, as the privilege of roaming on the Mall lay only with the Whites.
In the end, the likes of Rafiq, Yusuf, Ahmad and Hussain refrain from saying anything about the continued strife in their home turf, which has necessitated this outward migration. They wear an uncomfortable silence at the mention of the word ‘terrorism’but whisper that there are problems.
Rafiq almost murmurs “we do feel threatened when we go home; when we are here we do not know what is happening to our families.” For the telecom revolution is yet to touch their lives or their
families. — Grassroots Feature Network
motivations in today’s world
Bob Woodward, the American journalist, has probably already computered off a revelatory book about George W. Bush's Iraq War. If he hasn't he surely should, to follow up his book about the 100 days after September 11, 2001. Everyone should read “Bush at War” to understand America's motivations in today's world and the working of the minds of Bush and his close colleagues. The ones with whom every day, and sometimes several times a day, he plotted his policies: Cheney, Powell, Rumsfeld, Condoleezza Rice, Tenet of the CIA and, quite often, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
It would appear that the principal instrument of policy of George Bush’s United States is war and the preparations for it. One of the secret cabinet papers was titled “Going to War”. In the Balkans to get hands on experience, then Afghanistan and, finally Iraq which still continues. In the sort of scan that Woodward press buttons there emerges, larger than life, the ambitions and thrusts of a solitary hyperpower.
In planning to gain one’s objective nothing is left out — bribery, often under the label of aid: the gifting of modern weapons; threats to heads of states along with lollypop promises; snatching of potential enemies from foreign soil, the handing out of thick wads of dollar notes; the gearing up of ‘special forces’ and para-military adventures; calling upon the unlimited resources and covert forces of the CIA, all of which make the speech-writer-crafted utterings of the President and the Secretary of State sound like unnecessary bravura. The talk about ‘freedom’ is only a thin layer above “find, hit and kill”. As the “war against terrorism” is scripted civil rights in America are scraped away. If anyone round the table says that American lives will be lost Bush is not all deterred.
This President does not exude cultivation and knowledge but does stand at the apex of discipline. His colleagues are there to do his bidding even when they do not fully agree with him and have expressed their views. There are, of course, signs of contrary ambitions — Cheney had been in the Presidential stakes for a while and pulled out; Powell could have got the Republican nomination after the Gulf War had he wanted it; Rumsfeld's ambition is plain and the others round the table are not unhappy to see him stumble or get a tweaking.
Much of what Bush the President says or does is always with the media and the popularity ratings in mind. To see how much those matter in the calculations is almost amusingly instructive. “The President”, writes Woodward, focussed as always on the public relations component, asking Defence to work with (Karen) Hughes (a Bush political adviser) on the ‘themes’ that were going to be used in the announcement of military action”. The CIA’s special operations chief for counter terrorism is simply named Hank. He said in the meetings that the CIA had millions of covert action money and that an Afghan warlord with dozens or hundreds of fighters could be bought off for a little as $50,000 in cash. According to Hank, more of the Taliban could be bought off than it was necessary to kill! When the start up of bombers were being discussed, the participants quite glibly suggested sending them full of arms but announced as humanitarian aid”.
India has a Foreign Service, presumably it also has a not-too-inefficient Intelligence Service. The Indian should be able to piece together the motivations and manipulations of the Bush administration as deftly as the Russians, French and Japanese are doing. With that as background a country like India should be able to formulate a good, strong policy to take in the Islamic countries and forcefully protest the Bush government's flouting of international law by going to war rudely brushing aside the United Nations, and putting soldiers from Afghanistan in cages in Guantanamo without recourse to law or the Geneva Conventions. And also occupying Iraq, again without the approval of the UN.
Maybe we India's citizens do not have our ears close enough to the ground so we do not hear what is being discussed within the portals of the Indian Secretariat. Surely we should be much better informed. Just as we applaud the refusal to send Indian troops to Iraq so we should protest strongly against the government's refusal to give a visa to the Secretary-General of Amnesty International, just a tip of the iceberg of human rights violations.
Philip Mason’s masterfully written “Men who Ruled India” described the lives and labours of the men who came from a distant isle to serve out their terms in an alien land. They worked in remote areas of the subcontinent, they learnt languages like, Marathi, Tamil, Bengali and Garhwali to understand the people they ruled. They worked all day in the villages, travelled long distances on horseback, boat (in East Bengal) or camel (Sindh) and set up tents at night where, by the light of lamps, they studied the history and geography of their part of the raj.
From their knowledge they wrote district gazetteers, histories and some even good novels. From the end of the 19th Century they were joined by a few Indians, a small number first and then a selected more who followed the same routine. They criss-crossed their provinces of posting and wrote memorable works.
One such was Gurusaday Dutt whose ICS tenure was served out mostly in rural undivided Bengal. He did, of course, his Collector’s work but fell deeply in love with the lore, art and culture of rural Bengal. He started a movement faintly allied to the Boy Scout-Girl Guide movement of Beden Powell but fully of the soil and heavily countrified. But I am writing about something else.
From his postings he collected about 3,000 specimens of rural art and craft. Kanthas (stitched from used up cloth and embroidered); terracottas; paintings; sculptures; moulds for mango paste, sandesh or coconut sweets; dolls and toys, pottery; wood carvings etc. These have been preserved and kept fairly well in a museum on the main Diamond Harbour Road near where forks out James Long Sarani named after the famous Rev James long who translated the celebrated book Neel Darpan (Indigo Mirror) about the terrible travails of the workers in indigo plantations owned by the British.
I say ‘fairly’ well kept because modern museology has advanced so far as to make museums a place of surprise and wonder. But what a beautiful collection — especially of the bed-spreads, winter
bodycovers, wrappings to protect precious possessions, and also
terracottas, paintings and other artefacts.
with a vision
Arunachal Pradesh may be a tiny state on India’s North-East border with China but it has produced a leader who may break octogenarian Marxist Jyoti Basu’s 22-year-long record in the Chief Ministerial office. Fifty six-year-old Gegong Apang made a triumphant come back to power last week in the state which he ruled for 19 consecutive years since 1980. With age on his side, he may surpass Basu’s record but his regret is that the achievement cannot be uninterrupted now.
Apang was thrown in political wilderness four years back by his one-time Home Minister Mukut Mithi who engineered bulk defection from the ruling party and ousted his mentor; Mithi subsequently joined the Congress party and headed the government and Apang quit the parent organisation. As if to add insult to injury, Apang’s Arunachal Congress and its poll ally — the BJP — were totally routed in the last Assembly election but he managed to scrape through.
In a landslide victory, the Congress bagged 56 seats in the 60-member Assembly. He occupied a lone seat in the House, rarely opening his mouth but silently, patiently worked on a plan to take revenge. Sending shock waves in political circles last week, Apang paid his “treacherous” erstwhile Home Minister in the same the coin when he toppled the Mithi-led government having weaned away 38 Congress MLAs. Paradoxically, the same MLAs who ousted Apang four years back now support his newly formed United Democratic Front Government.
There have been allegations that the rival Naga militant faction had extended a helping hand to Apang in toppling the Mithi Government. Barely a few months back Mithi had ordered the arrest of three dissident MLAs for allegedly having links with the NSCN (I-M). His Government had also launched “Operation Hurricane” to flush out NSCN activists from Tirpal and Changlang districts dominated by Nagas who have been pressing for a separate Union Territory in lieu of Greater Nagaland. Apang, however, denies “completely” the accusation that money bags had been used with NSCN threat lurking to win over the MLAs and offers to quit politics if the charge is proved correct. His biggest challenge will come when he faces the Assembly elections in a year’s time from now.
Accusations notwithstanding, Apang has unmistakable authority over the administration, political spectrum and sways common man; he is indeed a charismatic leader of Arunachal Pradesh. Also, he is regarded as a leader of vision with a philanthropic bent having worked for the upliftment of poor tribal population of the state. He founded two missions as far back as 1979 for promotion of socio-cultural life of tribals. Right from his student days, he has taken keen interest in cultural activities and set up many organisations to promote cultural activities. He has also worked among the downtrodden.
Born on January 10, 1947, at Karo village in Upper Siang district and after passing out from the J. M. College in Pasighat, Apang started his political career as a member of the Congress Pradesh Council between 1972 and 1975. Since then there was no looking back for him. He became member of the first Provisional Assembly in August 1975. He was elevated to the position of Agriculture Minister in 1977. He was also elected to the first Legislative Assembly in February, 1978. He was appointed PWD Minister with additional charge of Agriculture portfolio. He was re-elected to the State Assembly in January, 1980 and became the Chief Minister for the first time. For next 19 years, spanning four terms, he donned the mantle of the Chief Minister, heading the Congress governments for three terms. He formed his own party — Arunachal Congress — in protest against the “highhandedness” of the Congress party’s central leadership and contested elections on his party’s label. He romped home for the fourth time.
Apang received the first political shock when his government was toppled by Mukut Mithi, his former Home Minister, in 1999 following large-scale defection. The second shock came in the elections soon after when Arunachal Congress was wiped out. Of course, Apang managed to retain his seat. In his fifth term as the Chief Minister, Apang was cautious and shed his autocratic style of functioning. Another acid test awaits him. The Congress, his parent party, poses a tough challenge to him in the Assembly elections due in little over a year’s
Concern on trafficking of heritage properties
Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairperson Najma Heptullah has called for a meeting of parliamentarians and the resource agencies to focus attention on illicit trafficking of cultural heritage properties. UNESCO’s convention on illicit trafficking examined this problem in greater detail, especially how our heritage sites and items are not being preserved, how they are being stolen, looted and disfigured.
Though one of the parliamentarians came up with the most unpractical suggestion of ‘cultural policing’, a better option would be to instil a sense of pride in us — pride about each other, and about the cultures and diverse backgrounds.
Let’s start from respecting human bodies and preserve even everyday items that we use in our daily lives.
Here, it is important that you and I get infected by simple ideas. O.P. Jain’s one-man museum ought to be highlighted in this context. This museum, built in the basement of his Hauz Khas home, has a collection of household items that we use in our daily lives.
In the heart of Africa New Delhi witnessed the launch of a new novel — former Foreign Secretary Krishnan Srinivasan’s ‘The Ugly Ambassador ‘ (Har-Anand). Though after his retirement as Deputy Secretary-General of the Commonwealth Secretariat, Srinivasan continues to reside in London, he chose an Indian publisher and New Delhi to be the city for this launch. The novel is set in the heart of Africa . The key characters are African leaders. Perhaps, against this background, the suave Sudanese Ambassador to India, Abdal Mahmood Abdal Haleem, was the guest of honour. And, our very special adman, Suhel Seth read out a racy extract from this novel till the evening broke up for drinks.
New Delhi witnessed the launch of a new novel — former Foreign Secretary Krishnan Srinivasan’s ‘The Ugly Ambassador ‘ (Har-Anand). Though after his retirement as Deputy Secretary-General of the Commonwealth Secretariat, Srinivasan continues to reside in London, he chose an Indian publisher and New Delhi to be the city for this launch. The novel is set in the heart of Africa .
The key characters are African leaders. Perhaps, against this background, the suave Sudanese Ambassador to India, Abdal Mahmood Abdal Haleem, was the guest of honour. And, our very special adman, Suhel Seth read out a racy extract from this novel till the evening broke up for drinks.
Tanuja Socialite and writer Bhaichand Patel is certainly close to actress Tanuja. This weekend, he and Habitat Centre hosted a special evening in her honour. “Anubhav” (starring Tanuja and Sanjeev Kumar) was screened, followed by a ‘wazwaan’ (lavish Kashmiri cuisine). Yes, Tanuja was there. She talked spontaneously. She lives alone, travels frequently, isn’t ambitious and has no regrets that her film graph didn’t really hit the top. Her face wore traces of little make-up. Yet she had particular radiance about her, which comes only if you manage to live and lead a life at your own
Socialite and writer Bhaichand Patel is certainly close to actress Tanuja. This weekend, he and Habitat Centre hosted a special evening in her honour.
“Anubhav” (starring Tanuja and Sanjeev Kumar) was screened, followed by a ‘wazwaan’ (lavish Kashmiri cuisine). Yes, Tanuja was there. She talked spontaneously. She lives alone, travels frequently, isn’t ambitious and has no regrets that her film graph didn’t really hit the top. Her face wore traces of little make-up. Yet she had particular radiance about her, which comes only if you manage to live and lead a life at your own
A man endowed with tamasic bhakti has burning faith. Such a devotee literally exhorts boons from God, even as a robber falls upon a man and plunders his money.
— Sri Ramakrishna Paramhans on Vedas
In the Realm of Divine Knowledge, Knowledge resplendents. In it there is untold bliss, endless music and immense joy.
— Guru Nanak
For every soul there is a guardian watching over it. Let man reflect from what he is created. He is created from an ejected fluid that issues from between the loins and the ribs.
— The Koran
He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
|| Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
| Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
| 123 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |