WORLD CHATTER

France in turmoil

 France is in turmoil in wake of the President Emmanuel Macron’s initiation of economic reforms of France’s inflexible labour laws.

Tens of thousands of protesters have taken to streets against Macron’s proposed reforms on Thursday March 22 2018.

The subsequent strikes by the Railways and public sector have literally paralyzed the country.

The flights to and from Paris were cancelled to the tune of roughly 30% .Adding to the woes of commuters , only 40% high speed TVG trains ran all across the country .

The schools ,day cares libraries and all almost all public services came to halt.

The police fired the water canons and tear gas shells to quell the storming crowd.

The sporadic clashes between the security forces and the protesters , mainly students led to some stray incidents of vehicle burning and smashing of office windows.

But the security forces managed to keep the protesters at bay and thus provided adequate safety to the commuters in general reports France 24.

The real dilemma before government is how many people would join the strike.

March 22 2018 was chosen to coincide with March 22 1968, that led to crippling strike that paralyzed the country for months together that year.

Fierce battles had taken that year crippling the economy that time.

Thursday  March 22 2018  strikes are possibly the start of the long time battle against Macron ,especially following the announcement of Railways Union that the railways would stop running trains twice weekly beginning April 2018.

The strong nerve wrecking Unions have in the past forced the governments to yield to policy U-Turns .

But Macron and his ministers have vowed not to bend to the attrocious demands of unions whatsoever .

A round-up of France’s controversial labour law reform                                      

                                                                                                                       

                                                                                                                        sources   France 24

The President Emmenuel Micron and the Minister of Labour Muriel Pénicaud announced reforms to France’s inflexible labour laws on Thursday to give boost to the sagging economic growth in terms of providing more jobs to the unemployed youths and reinvigorate the SMEs .

The main thrust of the reforms is to give more powers to the employers to dilute the Europe’s most strongest worker protection laws.

The government by enlisting such reforms is hoping that giving employers more freedom to manoeuvre will help revive the torpid economy.

Macron is confident of streamlining of “red book’ containing all laws governing the worker safety to bonuses and thus giving companies ,unions and employees more freedom to negiotiate better terms . Also it could streamline hiring and firing workers thus enabling the employers with more leverage to reach amicable solutions.

The reforms if implemented would reduce the unemployment rate from its present 9.5 percent to the level of Germany and Britain –roughly 4.5 percent.

Macron with his parliamentary majority and the divided opposition, he was able to convince legislators to make the changes by decree.

Having good support from the businesses and unions Macron hopes to get the reforms ratified by Parliament after holding cabinet meeting on 22nd September 2018.

The new 36 measures would benefit SMEs small medium sized enterprises employing not more than 250 employees , and VMEs very small enterprises, employing not more than 50 people.

“For the first time, labour law reforms give priority to SMEs and VSEs,” Pénicaud the labour Minister said while presenting the proposals.

Severance payments, will increase to 25 percent of monthly salary for each year of employment from the 20 percent currently mandated.

Employer lobbying groups welcomed the measures calling them as important business strengthening ones .

The unions on the other hand are sceptical about the changes as usual,however the France’s largest union , the moderate French Democratic Confedration of Labour (C F D T), said would not join the protests but would whet the changes in true perspective.

The President Macron has to be very confident in passing the reforms for the ultimate good of the people and the country in the larger interests.

The political opponents   ,the French Communist Party and the National Front should be convinced about the advantages of the reforms in the larger interest .The ability to put them on the same keel will be a great test for Macron’s political statesmanship .

 

NIGERIA

Nigerians heaved a sigh of relief after Boko Haram released 101 of 110 girls they had kidnapped last month from Dapchi.

The New York Times reported that some could be dead. The media reports claimed that five captives were allegedly crushed to death in the overcrowded trucks.

The Government is reported to have paid huge ransoms to secure the release of the kidnapped girls .

 

 

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MY STORY.

Living for 44 years in wedlock has been sweet sour relationship, though arduous at times, but definitely a joyous journey a milestone to cross and be proud of.

It is love begets love situation and never ending story of anger , arguments , but nevertheless ceaseless memorable moments of courtship with resonance of love romance and passion.

Way back in 1975 I worked in Pune , obviously a difficult predicament I was in to travel to Srinagar every now and then for selecting the right girl to be my wife.

On the face of it ,looked stupid even those days to come from such a far distance simply to say yes or no.

But my father, being an astute resolute person, was in fact keen to seek my consent to the selection of the girl in waiting before proceeding ahead.

I undertook this uncomfortable voyage twice and finally gave in. I told my father to handle the job on his own.

“ Dad “, I said ”you are fully competent to do this for me and my consent is always there. I trust you and mum.” “All Kashmiri girls are good gracious and educated .so there is no problem as such” I continued emphatically.

“ ok my boy ,so nice of you to say so. But the task for me is more difficult now” He laughed heartily.

My father , a tall , be spectacled six footer of swarthy complexion was endowed with great sense of humour.

An educationist of repute, being in touch with young students , he was very much young at heart too.

Moreover he had love marriage with my beautiful small sized angel mother.

My mother was my grandfather’s bosom friend’s daughter . My father loved my mother very much and eventually married her.

Soon after I received a photograph ,exceedingly beautiful one of my wife.

The chiselled features with deep set doe eyes , demurely innocence made me simply to fall in love with the photograph who is eventually the queen of my tender heart.

Interestingly the photograph framed in exclusively silvery designed frame adores my working desk in my home office.

I just conveyed my consent in a jiffy through trunk call to my father .

I could imagine my consent might have done wonders for my father by relieving him from the stress that had compressed his mind for a long time.

My father recounted me the girl’s family background and I would say “ok ok” least interested in knowing that and hung the phone instantly.

I and my younger sister were yet to be married.

Father was keen to see me married so that he could relax with responsibilities taken off his shoulders.

My two elder sisters and two brothers were married already.

The eldest sister ,whom we fondly called Bengashi was great inspiration and help to my father. She was very upright ,modern woman and had full authority to take decisions regarding home affairs without any hitch.

Elder daughters were always a center of power and authority in a Kashmiri Pandit family to negate or accept any decision to be taken. So my sister, with affable magnetic personality ,was the most loved one of all the children.

I travelled down to Delhi in a train and flew to Srinagar by plane , very unusual at that time, to see my heartthrob.

Srinagar

Beautiful    kashmir   Dal lake

As the plane descended on to Srinagar airport ,the resplendent nature with snow capped mountains glittering through the bluebonnet skies, opened up a breathtaking view of the Paradise on earth ,my beautiful Kashmir.

The marriage date was fixed as 19th October .

My father ,a social reformer and ardent activist forebade any money spinning Celebrations like “Gandhun “–engagement and “Durbati”—special lunch organised by maternal side .

Marriage was an elaborate saga , as expected of   typical Kashmiri marriages those days with great fanfare.

Ceremony Groom’s house

The ladies invited dressed in co lo u r f u l attires , sang Kashmiri songs ,to the tunes of Kashmiri music with the twang of their noses , ‘ Wanvun’— a melodious refrain sung by a group of ladies. The guests were served with pink salted tea (sheer chai) in the midst and end of the singing throughout day and night ,

Finally on the D-day I was center of attraction , being decorated as Groom by my uncle ,  fondly called ‘Babuji’,who helped me to tie the turban with specially stitched ACCHKAN for the occasion. ‘Babuji’ was connoisseur  of our family loved and respected by one and all.

Before the marriage procession I stood on the ‘Vyoog’  —Rangoli , a decent decorative designed pattern of dry colours and the eldest Aunty gave nabbad a sweet hard dessert to nibble at . I and the Guests (Baraat) proceeded for bride’s house in several cars .

Those days the craze for marriages was at high pitch.. The guests and all others enjoyed to one’s fill.The participation used to be with  great zeal and fervour.

Reception at Bride’s place

 As soon as I and my Baraat (marriage procession) reached Bride’s place ,just at stone’s throw from our house, the relatives of bride greeted us by blowing a conch shell.

Here again as per ritual I was to stand on the ‘Vyoog ‘and the maternal uncle of the bride brought the bride out on to the Vyoog where I was made to stand.

The mother of the bride performed puja with lamps made of wheat flour and fed us both with the Nabad – the hard sweet dessert , and the purohit performed the Dwar pooja   before leading us to the Lagan (marriage ) mandhap – the auspicious place .

One more typical tradition of Kashmiri Pandit marriage is the performance of POSH PUZA , not performed in Hindu Indian marriages .

We were made to sit in comfortable posture , a red cloth was put on our heads and all relatives of both families offer flowers to the chanting of Vedic hymns .

The newly weds are regarded as Shiva and Pa r v a t i and worshipped as such .

Now I could see my bride dressed in beautiful sari and bedecked with ‘Dejaharu’   an ear ornament with golden tussels that pass through the the middle cartilage of the ear. The holes are pierced in Kashmiri Pandit girls at very early age of 4 or 5 years .

The ‘Dehjaru’ is having same sanctity as ‘Mangal sutra’ for Indian brides.

At this late stage of life the myriads of memories trickle down the mind and heart and I gleefully watch my wife Shara for hours together ,still beautiful and glittering like Summer’s sunny morning,thus enjoying every bit of the fleeting moments .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

COLORFUL SEAS

The Sea life is bountiful with its diversity of c o l o u r f u l coral cities and blooming seasons of the seas.

 sea-waves-2

                                                     Colourful Seas 

 

Underwater Coral Cities ;

 Sea life exhibits an immense diversity of c o l o u r f u l shapes in the coral reefs. Such dazzling phenomenon of varied c o l o u r s can hardly be seen anywhere on the earth.

Coral reefs form the underwater cities of the seas, crowded bustling ones with creature communities belonging to animal kingdom.The coral reef world grows  in the myriads of dazzling colours ,creeping, burrowing worms ,flower like sea anemones crustaceans . Some animals exhibit their brilliant colourations to attract a mate ,others being camouflaged to scare away the potential predators.

 

The reef builds large cup coral polyps with food gathering tentacles.

Slowly year by year ,a coral reef grows as million of tiny animals ,the limestone skeletons in millions of polyps accumulate to form the mighty coral reefs in the sea water.

The reef itself is craftsmanship of the living things.

The corals change minerals dissolve into limestone.

The Clams tubeworms give hard part to the skeletons of the reef. The Algae repair the rough edges of the reef by cementing powdered remains of one celled organisms to fill the tiniest openings.

Formed over thousands of years ,say centuries together ,the coral reefs expand around a couple of inches every year and thus extend to the miles together. The largest reef ; Great Barrier Reef , is nearly 1300miles along the north-eastern coast of Australia.

It could supply limestone to build eight million replicas of Egypt’s largest Pyramid.

The coral reef is dynamic process of creation not a static structure of a man.

It is never ending process ,some animals building it some tearing it ,resulting in crevices, tunnels burrows and ledges.

Reef Building Corals abound and grow in warm clear shallow waters.

There are three types of Coral growths ;

1Fringing reefs extending directly from the shore

2.Barrier reefs run parallel to the shore but separated by deep waters

3.Atolls , which are circular ones enclosing the quiet lagoons.

IMG_20180308_103038132

SEA FAN  Thousands of tiny polyps  fringe sea fan’s branches during night and contract during day into skelton

 

A small Atoll is having zones above and below water surface with plants and animals.

Each Atoll and Reef are different from others.

Atoll reef on the lagoon side ,the shore slopes down to the base of the water . The lagoon waterline falls and rises with the tides .The snails escape the heat of the shore and bury themselves deep into the coral rubble.

On the sloping side of lagoon reefs corals grow abundantly and many beautiful shaped corals grow , some slender tapering ones ,getting interwined, and many others heavy and massive.

 

Growing Coral Colonies.

 A coral colony usually consist of thousand polyps , arising from single individual. The fertilized eggs of

Of reef building corals grow into free swimming larvae , the larges sized about 1/25 inch long.

A larvae settles down on a surface with mouth upwards ,it secretes a limestone cup around itself and spends rest of life in this external skeleton.

Surrounding the mouth are delicate food gathering tentacles that collect plankton from the water.

As time speds away each new polyp buds in turn and thus grows closely knit coral community in beautiful colours ,brown ,lavender, yellow greens etc.

 

A reef colony is huge complex of many colonies and kinds of corals mostly growing on limestone laid down for generations. The Great Reef Barrier contains more than 350 species and millions of active colonies.

The reef colonies of this earth exist within radius of 3,600 mile wide band ,about 30 degrees north and south of Equator, roughly from the northern latitude of Florida to that of southern Brazil.

A giant single polyp housed in a stony skelton up to up to 7 inches long , called mushroom coral , is oldest and most beautiful of corals.

 

 

sea5

Coral Reefs  in colourful display.

 

 

Seas, a source of magnificient discoveries , fascinating ,luring mankind to its fathoms for more and more revelations unknown and unheard ,much to the amazement of human minds.

    

 

    

 

 

 

 

A PEEP THROUGH WORLD PRISM

Philippines

The International Criminal Court { ICC} launched preliminary inquiry into the allegations of horrendous crimes perpetrated against humanity by Rodrigo Duterte, the president of Philippine in his frontal anti drugs crusade.

A report submitted last year to ICC listing out the evidence of direct involvement of Duterte for “extrajudicial executions and mass murder” over three decades since 1988 in his crusade against drugs as Mayor of Davao.

When he was mayor of Davao, Duterte’s crackdown on criminals was often carried out by death squads, allegedly with his approval thus killing thousands of poor innocents in Davao. The complaint submitted to the ICC has special mention of these brutal killings.

Since the frontal war on drugs it is claimed nearly 12000 Filipinos have been killed. But official statistics do admit nearly 4000 killed in the on going war.

The inquiry will be the ICC’s first of its kind in south –east Asian nation.

The ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said in a statement that her office would “analyse crimes allegedly committed … since at least 1 July 2016 in the context of the ‘war on drugs’ campaign.”

Gary Alejano an opposition leader said the move was very important and offered “a ray of hope for the victims of his war on drugs, which is still ongoing right now.

Detente’s spokesperson, Harry Roque, described the inquiry as a “waste of the court’s time and resources,”

Roque further said continuing with the investigation would lower the sovereignty of the Philippines in the eyes of the world “because the domestic courts are functioning and willing to entertain this matter … and the alleged deaths, if true, were because of a legitimate police exercise.”

Duterte’s dislike for ICC, is well known calling it “bullshit”, “hypocritical” and “useless”

Phil Robertson, a deputy director in Human Rights Watch in its Asia division, said the ICC “absolutely should initiate a full investigation into these alleged crimes because to date there has been no serious attempt to investigate them by the Philippines police or prosecutors, much less take suspected killers to court”.

The President Rodrigo Duterte is known for his incendiary foul language has earned him controversial name.

His outbursts have sent ripples across the political spectrum of the world.

Calling the former President Barack Obama as “son of a whore” , trivializing the rape of an Australian missionary during prison riots are a few among many of his damaging outbursts.

Human rights groups, Activists have allegedly charged the President Duterte of conniving the military to commit war crimes on the communists in southern island of Mindanao offering a bounty of $384 for each head.

The exiled leader of the Communist Party of Philippines Jose Maria Sison said Duterte is “acting like the chieftain of a criminal gang” .

   Source

                                                                                                              The Guardian/Alzeera

 NIGERIA

The Case Of Missing Girls

 The fighter jets ,surveillance planes are searching for the 110 girls ,aged between 11 and 19 ,missing since a raid by Boko Haram militants on the school in Dapchi last week.

The Nigerian President   Muhammadu Buhari described the raid as the “ the national disaster” and promised to return the girls to the grieved parents soon.

The promise is taken with a pinch of salt in wake of 100girls yet to return out of 300 girls kidnapped in Chikbok in 2014.

“ we are sorry that it happened .we share your pain .Let me assure that our gallant armed forces will locate and safely return all the missing girls” Muhammadu Buhari said in twitter.

Let us all pray for the return of these kidnapped girls safely .

 

 

 

 

 

 

MY DREAMS

I walk through my dreams

by the purring streams

ravishing dandelions

delightful daffodils

emitting the fragrance

entrapping

mesmerizing me

to soulful slumber

I walk through the rustling trees

Marvel at bewitching

beauty

memories scowl with the gusty

breeze

cautiously I hop

to scale the mountain top

gaze around the valley

in astonishing

ecstasy

I walk through my dreams

By the purring streams

I see her in dark velvet attire

skirting the glistening lagoons

with her coquettish wink

and intoxicating drink

our bodies stretch and merge

                                                                     in a tight hug

.

we tumble scramble

down the green slope

drowning in the ocean

of her eyes

I breath into her throbbing

heart

drenched and lost

in blissful passion.

 

NEHRU VS PATEL

Last week in his widely blistering speech in  Parliament on February 7th2018 , Prime Minister Narender Modi set the tone for Nehru vs Patel rhetoric, denying Nehru his due by singling out him and the Congress Party responsible for the Partition of the Country.{desh ke tukde kiya}.

His pet aversion for Nehru led him to brazenly argue that Patel was denied to become the Congress Chief , eventually the first Prime Minister of India, claiming would have been definitely a better choice than Mr Nehru .Mahatma Gandhi knew well Pt Nehru was highly educated, young dynamic tallest political leader of India at the time and he preferred him to Sardar Patel in all probabilities.

The speech as per veteran Congress leader MP Dr Shashi Tharoor  was   “a farrago of distortions”.

Pt Jawaharlal Nehru proved his credentials by winning the Parliamentary elections in 1952,1957,1962 in straight sets with two thirds majority each time proving Mahatma Gandhi’s trust in his leadership and statesmanship for good.

With these three elections Mr Nehru was able to demonstrate to the world the institutionalisation of strong democracy in India at a time when democracies essentially collapsed in developing world like house of cards.

The greatness and popularity of Pt Jawahar lal Nehru was insurmountable in India and across the world., hence could not be gauged by any gadget and it is beyond the comprehension of the present generation to fathom the veracity ,magnanimity of his greatness, compassion and love for the nation.

 

 

Mr Nehru and S a r d a r Patel were colleagues, co-workers and worked together in uniting India and had tremendous coordination patriotism and welfare of the people uppermost in their hearts and minds.

Soon after Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination the two leaders resolved to work in unison for fighting the disruptive elements for the good of the country .

A glance over the correspondence between S a r d a r Patel and Mr Nehru reveals how deeply they respected and trusted each other to carry on the task at hand in building new India.

Nehru to Patel

 

New Delhi

February3,1948

 

My dear Vallabbbhai.

 When B a p u was alive we had hoped to meet him and discuss various matters that had troubled us somewhat.

You will remember our correspondence. In my last letter I had expressed the hope that, inspite of certain differences of opinion and temperament ,we should continue to pull together as we had done for so long. This was ,I was glad to find, Bapu’s final opinion also.

Now, with Bapu’s death ,everything is changed and we had to face a different and more difficult world. The old controversies have ceased to have much significance and it seems to me that the urgent need of the bout is for all of us to function as closely and cooperatively as possible. Indeed there is no other way.

I have been greatly distressed by the persistence of whispers and rumours about you and me magnifying out of all proportion any differences we have.

This has spread to foreign ambassadors and foreign correspondents; mischief makers take advantage of this and add to it. Even the services are affected and this is bad. we must put end to this mischief.

It is over a quarter of century since we have been closely associated with one another and we have faced many storms and perils together. I can say with full honesty that during this period my affection and regard for you have grown and I do not think anything can happen to lessen this.

Even our differences have brought out the far greater points of agreement between respect and us we bear to each other.

We have even learnt to agree to differ and yet carry on together.

Anyway, in this crisis that we have to [ face] now after Bapu’s death I think it is my duty and if I may venture to say ,yours also for us to face it together as friends and colleagues.

Not superficially but in full loyalty to one another and with confidence in each other. I can assure you that you will have that from me .If I any have doubt or difficulty I shall put it frankly to you and I hope you will do the same to me.

I had hoped to have a long talk with you, but we are terribly pressed for time that we can hardly see each other in private for long. Some time or other , soon I hope ,we shall have this talk and remove any misunderstandings or misapprehensions that may have arisen. Such talks are necessary from time to time. Meanwhile I do not wait for this talk and hence this letter which carries with it my affection and friendship for you.

 

Yours affectionately

 Jawaharlal.

 

 Patel to Nehru

 New Delhi

February 5 1948

My dear Jawaharlal.

 I am deeply touched, indeed overwhelmed by the affection and warmth of your letter of 3 February. I fully and heartily reciprocate the sentiments you have feelingly expressed.

 We both have been life long comrades in a common cause. The paramount interests of our country and our mutual love and regard ,transcending such differences of outlook and temperament as existed, have led us together.

Both of us have stuck passionately to our respective points of view or methods of work; still we have always sustained unity of heart which has stood many a stress and strain and which has enabled us to function jointly both in the Congress and in the Government.

Recent events had made me very unhappy and I had written to Bapu when I was going to Bombay appealing to him to relieve me but his death changes everything and the crisis that has overtaken us must overtaken us a fresh realization of how much we have achieved together and the need for further joint efforts on our grief-stricken country’s interests.

 I had the good fortune to have a last talk with him for over an hour just before his death and he communicated to me what had passed between you and him as well as his talk with H.E [Mountbatten] .He had also fixed an appointment to meet both of us the next day. His opinion also binds us both and I can assure you I am fully resolved to approach my responsibilities and obligations in this spirit.

I agree with you that we must find more time for mutual consultations so that we can keep each other informed of and in touch with you , what is happening and we can thus resolve any points of difference that may arise.

We should also find an early opportunity to have a long talk and clear our minds of any doubts and difficulties that may be there.

Continued harping our differences in the public or private is bad for us, bad for the services and bad for the country. The sooner we set this at rest once for all and clear the murky atmosphere the better.

 

Yours

Vallabbbhai Patel.                     

                                                                                               source    { Patel /JN  Papers}

                                                                                   

 Mr Ram Guha ,the historian writes

“ whenever Modi says something to diminish Nehru ,or to oppose Nehru or Patel,the Twitterverse is abuzz with appeals to historical truths which PM distorts . For Nehru and Patel were colleagues .not rivals, co workers not adversaries . working individually and together ,they united India and gave it a democratic template.”     {Source Indian Express 9February18}

 

Praising the Congress stalwart Jawaharlal Nehru while addressing participants at a youth conclave in Lucknow , BJP MP Varun Gandhi said, “People think that Nehru became the first Prime Minister and lived a lavish life like a king, full of comfort and luxury. What they don’t know is Nehru spent 15 and half years languishing in jail to become the country’s first PM. If today someone puts me in jail and say that after 15 years, we will make you the PM, I will say, bhaiya maaf karo. aadmi ki jaan hi nikal jaaye (Brother, I regret! In 15 years, one may die).”

As youth, said Gandhi, it is our respsonsibility to understand that he (Nehru) sacrificed his life, family and borne wounds on his body to get country free and this freedom should not be wasted.                                                 { source T.O.India}

 

Modi’s Dilemma

 

Prime Minister Mr Modi’s dilemma is how best to distract the voters from his own government’s abysmal failures and engage them in sifting chaff from the Nehru Patel grain to cover up his incompetency.

Knowing well the General elections are just one year away , Mr Modi understands that by chastising the Congress , Rahul Gandhi in Particular , may reap fruits for his Party at the hust i n g s .

Hours after his scathing speech deriding the Congress and Pt Nehru,  Rahul Gandhi slammed back saying that PM was talking of past as he “ does not know how to take India forward.” “ visionless election speech to divert the Nation’s attention from unemployment ,agrarian distress and tension at the borders” Rahul continued angrily.

 

We trust and pray finally wisdom dawns on BJP leaders and the Central Govt to come out of its rhetoric politics and work towards the tranquility and prosperity of the people .

 

AM I SO OLD

Am I so old

 to

Mix mingle

into eternal

   realms of

      Gold.

I stand on the unknown

Shores

With bleary eyes

Perching on the

Skies

Seeking blessings

To replenish

my energies

Rejuvenating

   To frisk and

       regale

With young

pretty beauty

    again.

 

I stand on the unknow

Shores

With misty gaze

Delving deep into

   Sandy shores

Shimmering haze

With the glistening

Sunrays

  Fighting mighty waves

engulfing my curves

   Firmly entrenched

   I swim across the

    Seas.

 

Am I so old

 to

Mix mingle

   Into eternal

                                                                           realms of

Gold