Monday October 23, 2017
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Would you feel safe: Ignorance reaches new levels in America

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Here is the story: A man in a flight from New York to California made a 40-second video of a Sikh man sleeping seated next to him and put it on the Youtube with the caption “Would you feel safe? Flying with Osama Bin Laden”.

The Sikh man wasn’t even aware of what is happening around him as he was asleep. The man making the video did not try to hide his identity as well.

https://youtu.be/x-EJOWRMOtU

Ignorance prevailing in the minds of some US citizens touched a whole new level of absurdity. Since the California shooting, a Gurudwara was vandalized, a 12-year-old boy was arrested in Texas for joking that he has a bomb and now this.

America is proud of the fact that they were the first modern democracy with a constitution providing rights in the history of the world.

Where are those rights? Where is that famous inclusive nature of the American society? These incidents are the examples of ignorance, stupidity, fears and racism prevailing in the society that champions itself as the custodians of human rights, equality and free thinking.

This has reached to such a level that it feels nonsensical to even talk about it. It is like you scold a kid for doing something but that kid keeps repeating the same again and again, and one day you get fed up so much so that you give in and start feeling stupid to say the same thing.

The man who made the video received a lot of duly deserved flak on the internet but does it even matter? Does it even teach anyone that it is wrong to assume someone a terrorist because of his colour, beard or looks? No, it does not, because if it would have, it wouldn’t be happening repeatedly.

Stereotyping has, over the time, become such a habit for some of the American citizens that it is not going to go away that easily. It is like their burger and coke.

It is amazing that the whole country like India is branded intolerant because of a shameful and stupid incident that the world media starts writing editorials about it and, on the other hand, America retains its greatness even after the series of ridiculous incidents of hate-crime and mass shooting happening almost daily.

But then they are right, they are America, the great north, and as the “thing go south, it loses its shine”. What do we know? We are hardly 70 years old, we have just six Nobel winners. Only nine Olympic gold medals, even Michael Felps has more.

However, these criteria were created by the western world.

Edward Said, in his book Orientalism, explained that this whole theory of considering which society is greater was built on beliefs and customs of the Western world.

The problem lies deeper as we, as a society, have an inferiority complex and that is why such things keep occuring. Through the cultural imperialism, the west has managed to sustain its hegemony over the developing world.

It is a different debate whether globalization is just Americanization or not but it is for sure that this racist, ignorant absurdity has to stop. The equal treatment should not be just in papers or theories but in practice as well.

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Asia Cup : India Emerge Champions for third time, Beat Malaysia in Asia Cup Hockey Championship

India emerged victorious for the third time

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(representational Image) India vs Malaysia Hockey Match wikimedia

Dhaka, October 22, 2017 : India overcame Malaysia 2-1 in the final on Sunday to win the Asia Cup hockey championship for the third time.

Ramandeep Singh (3rd minute) and Lalit Upadhyay (29th) scored for India. Shahril Saabah (50th minute) scored the reducer for Malaysia. (IANS)

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Las Vegas Massacre Begs the Question: Who Regulates Gun Selling?

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Las Vegas Metro Police and medical workers stage in the intersection of Tropicana Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard South after a mass shooting at a music festival on the Las Vegas Strip in Las Vegas, Nevada, Oct. 1, 2017. VOA
  • By Salil Gewali

Oct 08, 2017: Money can do any harmful thing. Yes, now it seems that one can buy lethal weapons as easily as he buys his bread and butter from a store and the recent las vegas massacre proves this. How many have such violent cases happened in a couple of years? They are countless. They all have instantly extinguished the lives of endless innocent people. Sometimes Mississippi, Newtown, Texas, Las Vegas, and sometimes France, Kuwait, Manchester, Landon Bridge, Lahore…! In each case, if we go deeper, the big boss America is directly or indirectly responsible.

Well, as to the rise of gun culture in the USA, I totally blame its Government. The very recent Las Vegas massacre shocked the entire the world. How can the US Government allow Tom, Dick, and Harry to purchase the weapons? The police have found a stockpile of arsenal from the possession of perpetrator Stephen Paddock who killed 59 people, leaving 527 wounded. How did he procure this all deadly stuff? And what had stopped the government from totally banning gun selling in any manners in the wake of the cruel instances of shootings at various spots? Small kids are shooting themselves, schoolboys shooting their classmates for fun, sons gunning down fathers and mothers in a rage, wives shooting their hubbies over petty issues.

Las Vegas Massacre
Assault weapons and handguns are seen for sale at Capitol City Arms Supply in Springfield. VOA

Also Read: Las Vegas Mass Shooting Reignites Gun Debate in US Congress 

This is how the most advanced country in the world is now virtually reeling from a stream of horrific tragedies. Are not the leaders and business houses insanely stupid who all have been resisting the gun control legislation? They have not realized yet the “evil” also roars from gun barrels. Bluntly speaking, can these leaders give sharp daggers to their own kids? It is exactly like that. People may have grown up but their minds are cluttered with gory thoughts and sadism. And, the results are nowhere to make the world shudder with fear and anguish.

One wonders, how much more such dangerous tragedies should strike the mankind before the leaders come to sense and then act sensibly. No one should gamble with the life of the innocent. Explosive America cannot hit the jackpot for the humanity.

Salil Gewali is a well-known writer and author of ‘Great minds on India’. Twitter @SGewali

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India Demands Data on UN Staff Misconduct, Use of Immunity

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India has demanded the secretariat disclose information about misconduct by UN staff. Flickr

United Nations, Oct 7: In an attempt to break the wall of silence around the crimes and UN staff misconduct and those on its assignments, India has demanded the secretariat disclose information about such cases and the immunity invoked against prosecutions.

Yedla Umasankar, the legal advisor in India’s UN Mission, touched a raw nerve here by criticising the UN on Friday for not vigorously following up allegations of serious wrongdoing by its employees who enjoy the equivalent of diplomatic immunity, a prized possession of its staff.

“It appears that the UN system itself may be reluctant to waive immunity even for serious misconduct carried out by its personnel while serving on its missions, so that such cases can be prosecuted by the host governments,” he told the General Assembly’s committee on legal affairs.

“Even a few of such instances or allegations of crimes committed by UN personnel is highly damaging for the image and credibility of the United Nations system and its work around the world,” he added.

His statement also touched on the practice of some countries that protect their wrongdoers at the UN.

Umasankar demanded that secretariat disclose how many cases of serious misconduct by UN personnel were registered and the number of cases where the UN refused to waive immunity to allow their prosecution.

He also wanted to know in how many cases the host country wanted the immunity waived so it can prosecute those accused; the number of times the UN asked the host country or the country that sent them to prosecute them; how many times it consulted countries before waiver of the immunity of their personnel and how many of them refused UN’s request to waive their citizens’ immunity.

The information he wanted does not cover the diplomats sent by member countries to represent them at UN bodies and enjoy diplomatic immunity with the nations hosting the UN facilities.

After scores of serious allegations of sexual misconduct by peacekeepers, especially exploitation of children, the UN vowed to uphold a policy of zero tolerance and began publishing data on such cases in peacekeeping operations including how they were dealt with.

Starting with the year 2015, it began identifying the nationalities of those accused.

However, it has not made public a roster detailing all the allegations and proven cases of serious misconduct across the entire UN.

While the focus has been on sexual exploitation and abuse reported on peacekeeping operations, Umasankar said that “at a broader level, the issue of accountability has remained elusive in some cases”.

He attributed it to “the complexities of legal aspects relating to sovereignty and jurisdiction”, the immunity or privileges that may be necessary for UN operations, and the capability or willingness of countries to investigate and prosecute the accused.

He noted that the UN itself cannot make criminal prosecutions.

While Indian laws has provisions for dealing with crimes committed abroad by its citizens, not all countries have them, he said.

Those countries should be encouraged and helped to implement such measures, he added. (IANS)