The Hindu Important Articles 21 May 2018

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# Ramzan ceasefire is for J&K youth: PM
Says the idea is to give them a sense of stability and a chance to progress, urges them to give up arms
Blaming the neighbouring country for fomenting trouble in J&K, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday described the unilateral Ramzan ceasefire as a reaching-out, and appealed to the youth of the State to give up arms.

“The idea of Ramzan ceasefire is to give Kashmiri youth a sense of stability and a chance to progress. The ceasefire is also an awakening call to those forces misusing Islam. This month is the time when we rededicate ourselves to the teachings of Prophet Muhammad. It’s an honour that I am here during Ramzan,” Mr. Modi said in his speech at the Sher-i-Kashmir International Convention Centre here.

The Prime Minister inaugurated multiple projects worth Rs. 25,000 crore, including the 330-MW Kishenganga power project, the Zojila tunnel and the ring roads for Srinagar and Jammu.

Amnesty scheme

Referring to the amnesty scheme for stone throwers as an effort to bring the youth to the mainstream, he asked armed youth “to also join the mainstream and become active participants in J&K’s progress and pride”.

On the alienation of the youth, Mr. Modi said, “There is no power which can create a wedge between two brothers … People who have been engaging in creating a wedge between J&K and the rest of the country are now on the verge of extinction.”

“Every stone being hurled hurts the hearts here. There are foreign forces which do not want to see a happy and prosperous Kashmir. We have to fight these forces from across the border,” he said.

Underlining that Centre’s special representative Dineshwar Sharma would talk to all elected representatives, groups and organisations, Mr. Modi said, “All those who want to talk should strengthen the peace process and the Kashmiriyat-Jamooriyat [democracy] connection. The civil society, intelligentsia and religious leaders should contribute to it.Vikas[development] is the only solution.”

Vajpayee’s ideology

Reiterating his earlier remarks on Independence Day that “not abuse or bullets but embracing of Kashmiris is required”, Mr. Modi said people of J&K for centuries had been the sons of Mother India.

“This land has always been welcoming and rooted in secular traditions. [Former Prime Minister] Atal Bihari Vajpayee was in awe of J&K’s Kashmiriyat, Modi too is a disciple of it,” he said.

Exhorting J&K to be part of a new India, the Prime Minister said the State would have the “best education, best hospitals, best airports and best roads”.

Mr. Modi also praised the security forces for their coordination and hardships they face in J&K.

CM Mehbooba Mufti welcomed Mr. Modi’s ceasefire initiative and stressed the need to implement the Agenda of Alliance. “Mothers here are having a peaceful sleep these days due to the ceasefire. Unfortunately, Pakistan did not respond. I hope the Prime Minister will continue with his efforts to find a lasting solution to the pain and wounds of J&K,” she said.

# Traffic enforcement drops during poll season
Most personnel were kept on their toes managing the all-important State Assembly elections
Don’t remember the last time you were caught for riding a two-wheeler without a helmet or for jumping a signal? Chances are that even the traffic police don’t.

Most of the Bengaluru Traffic Police (BTP) force have been kept on their toes managing the all-important State Assembly elections, and the subsequent developments, most of it centred around Bengaluru.

This has meant that their general duties, which include enforcing basic traffic rules such as wearing a helmet, jumping signals, drink-and-drive cases, reckless driving, wrong parking and racing, have taken a back seat.

A senior officer admitted that their staff was simply too busy managing other things.

“Enforcement has certainly come down due to the elections. Around the time of the elections (May 12), almost 90% of our staff were occupied in election duty. Other than that, around 50% of our staff were also involved in managing traffic around campaigns and rallies,” he said.

Overall, enforcement by the Bengaluru Traffic Police has come down by almost 50%, the officer added.

As it is, the anomaly in the ratio of vehicles/people to policemen has been pointed out repeatedly. Bengaluru has a staggering number of vehicles (over 73 lakh), but only around only 3,400 traffic police personnel to manage them. The BTP has 5,200 sanctioned posts, of which only 3,400 have been filled.

# Bollywood backs baby elephant ‘Suman’
Celebrities support NGO’s efforts to rescue six-year-old from illegal captivity
Bollywood industry and cricketers have come together to support the rescue of Suman, a 6-year-old baby elephant allegedly being held illegally in Jaipur. Wildlife SOS, an India-based wildlife conservation charity, has launched a global campaign to raise awareness on illegal elephant trafficking in India and to bring attention to Suman’s plight.

“Suman’s owners have isolated her from her family and are keeping her chained in a small, dank room for ‘training’ using brutal techniques — in effect, day-by-day, her spirit is being broken,” noted a release issued by Wildlife SOS. Within 72 hours of the launch of the campaign, the Wildlife SOS-run petition garnered over 50,000 signatories.

‘Being abused’

Actor Sidharth Malhotra, who recently visited the NGO’s Elephant Conservation and Care Centre in Mathura, tweeted: “Suman, a 6-year-old baby elephant, was torn away from her family and is being abused and held illegally in captivity in Jaipur! This is unacceptable and inhuman.”

Other Bollywood A-listers such as Karan Johar, Tiger Shroff, Vivek Oberoi, Pulkit Samrat, Anushka Manchanda, Ramona Arena and Harshvardhan Rane joined in by posting on their social media accounts. Cricketers Yusuf Pathan, Yuzvendra Chahal, and Harbhajan Singh also supported the campaign, leading to the hashtag #SaveSuman trending on Twitter.

# Shortest tenure ever
B.S. Yeddyurappa was third time unlucky as he broke his own record on Saturday of serving the shortest time as Chief Minister of Karnataka.

He quit as CM after less than three days at the helm. He took oath as CM around 9 a.m. on Thursday and tendered his resignation around 4.15 p.m. on Saturday.

His first stint as CM in 2007 saw him in power only for a week as the coalition partner, Janata Dal (S), withdrew support. The second time, when Mr. Yeddyurappa came to power in 2008, he had to quit in 2011 before completing his term. This followed his indictment in a Lokayukta report on illegal mining. Speaking in the House on Saturday, he said, “It is a test of fire (Agni Parikshe) for me. In fact, my life has always seen such tests.”

# Pak. steps against terror under lens
Pakistan’s recent actions on terror financing will be under the scanner once again at the Asia-Pacific Joint working group meeting in Bangkok next week where the proposal for its grey-listing by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is to be taken up.

The proposal, first moved by the U.S. at the FATF Plenary in February, was backed by the U.K, France and Germany.

# Now, India and Pakistan share vision of history
An undergraduate course prepared by academicians on both sides of the border looks beyond ‘official’ interpretations
The hostility between India and Pakistan manifests itself in the contradictory understanding of South Asian history, which disagrees on individuals and episodes related to it.

Pitching for a change in this attitude, two educational institutes of the region have managed to create a common academic course in ‘shared South Asian history.’

The O.P. Jindal Global University (OPJGU) and the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), earlier in 2017, prepared and began a course covering important historical landmarks and personalities in modern Indian and Pakistani history.

As a result, Dr. Pallavi Raghavan of OPJGU and Dr. Ali Usman Qasemi of LUMS, on two sides of the border, came up with ‘Foundations of South Asian History,’ an undergraduate course for students of their respective universities.

The title made it clear that there could be more than one foundation for the South Asian region. It dealt with issues that usually are lost in the highly politicised study of historical figures like Mohammed Ali Jinnah and Mahatma Gandhi.

Source:- The Hindu

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