Our approach to J&K can be more purposeful and helpful to the gentle - though misguided - people of the beautiful valley. The alternative is too horrific to even consider
Yesterday, we looked at how the security of well over a billion Indians cannot be jeopardised by the short-sighted suicidal attitude of a misguided few who espouse the Kashmiri secessionist cause
Let me recount an incident to keep things in perspective.
A friend of mine, Baksi, had recently gone to Pakistan and returned after a few days. He was sleeping at home and told his Kashmiri friend that he had had a dream about his visit to Pakistan.
This is what he narrated: The Indian armed forces had withdrawn and the Pak forces had occupied all of Kashmir. The occupiers were mostly Pathans, the Taliban and some Punjabi soldiers. There was a sprinkling of ISI agents.
Their leader, a Punjabi military officer in uniform, addressed a crowd at Lal Chowk. He spoke in Punjabi and did not know a word of Kashmiri. He said that they were happy to be in Kashmir after throwing out the Indian occupiers and hereafter the Kashmiris can feel safe as long as they obeyed orders and followed the new rules. He then narrated the new rules.
The highlights were:
The men will learn English to deal with tourists. They will keep their shikaras in good condition for tourists. Those who are educated will be given jobs as security men, chaprasis and clerks in Government offices. Higher posts will be reserved for Punjabis and Pathans.
There will be no schools or beauty parlours for women. They should stay at home and tend to the children and cook for the men.
No demonstrations or public speeches will be allowed. Those speaking against the Government will be tried summarily and jailed for five years. Human rights agencies will be treated similarly.
In all tourist infrastructure like hotels, lodges, restaurants, shikaras, taxis etc the locals will give a 50% share of ownership and earnings to the Pakistani officers.
At the end of the speech there was silence and some murmurs. The officer said in a loud voice that they should observe all the new rules if they wished to be safe in Pakistan or else they would be sent to India. There was loud cheering and the police fired in the air.
Thus ended my friend's recounting of the dream.
Hearing the firing, Baksi woke up from his sleep and the dream remained in his mind and he went to meet his friend and narrate the experience. He then asked his friend, "Do we realise the consequences of azaadi? Do we still want to agitate for it?"
(The writer is former SEBI chairman, former chairman-Disinvestment Commission and former member, Planning Commission of India)
New Delhi: Pharmaceutical major Ranbaxy Laboratories today reported a net profit of Rs312.80 crore for the third quarter ending 30th September, reflecting growth of 165% over the year-ago period, driven by balanced sales across geographies and favourable forex movement, reports PTI.
The company had posted a net profit of Rs116.6 crore in the July-September quarter last year, Ranbaxy said in a filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE).
Consolidated sales of the company also grew by 13% to Rs1,887.2 crore in the September quarter, from Rs1,720.5 crore in the same period last year, the filing added.
Commenting on the numbers, Ranbaxy managing director Arun Sawhney said: "Our key markets continued to perform well attributable in large measure to balanced sales across geographies. This has also been aided by the favourable forex movement."
Bolstered by the handsome quarter numbers, shares of Ranbaxy Laboratories soared by 3.45% to hit a 52-week high of Rs624.90 on the BSE in morning trade.
Washington: The 2008 global financial crisis had little impact on funds flow to south Asia's power sector and had only marginal adverse impact on India's power sector, reports PTI quoting a new report.
In India, the impact of the global financial crisis on its power sector was marginally adverse in the short term, said the report "The Impact of the Global Financial Crisis on Investments in the Electric Power Sector: the Experience of India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh", released by the World Bank's Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP).
"India's relatively strong economic fundamentals provided room for cushioning the impact of the crisis through fiscal stimulus packages in December 2008 and January 2009," it said.
The report said India's monetary policy was also eased and interest rates were sharply lowered during the crisis.
However, it added, the negative impact of the global financial crisis was felt on private sector investments, but it lasted only for a few months in the latter part of 2008.
Similarly, investments in renewable energy projects became relatively unattractive due to perceptions of technology risk on top of the usual commercial and financial risks, the report co-edited by Mohua Mukherjee and Kumar V Pratap said.
It attributed India's power sector resilience in the face of the global financial crisis to strong domestic demand fundamentals, conducive business environment since the enactment of the Electricity Act (2003), broadening of domestic private power developer base, dependence on domestic sources of debt funding and existence of strong sector-focused financing entities.
Timely intervention by the government in the form of fiscal stimulus packages to revive demand, appropriate monetary policy measures by the central bank to address liquidity problems and existence of government-owned central sector entities with strong balance sheets and robust cash flows also helped withstand the crisis better.
However, the crisis had a beneficial effect on India's power sector as it helped weed out speculative developers who had a relatively short-term outlook on the sector.
Besides, it underscored the importance of power companies with strong balance sheets and discouraged speculative behaviour in competitive bidding for power projects and brought tariffs to realistic levels.