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Pakistan unsurprisingly occupies a predominant place on our foreign policy turf for the reason that our approach to this hostile neighbour is impacted not only by India’s strategic partnership with the US but also by the state of our bilateral relations with Russia and China and the consistent stand India had taken against terror in spite of the uncertainties that had lately cropped up around the ‘war on terror’. In the context of the political narrative that the opposition in India has generated in the aftermath of India’s recent air strike on the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) camp at Balakot in Pakistan — wherein the virtues of talking to a ‘neighbour’ are invoked — our policy makers need to make it clear that India’s problem is with the deep state of Pakistan, not with the people of that country.
India-Pakistan relations are not about ‘people-to-people contact’ anymore, linked as they are to the challenge of dealing with a regime under the effective control of a hostile army that gave no space to the people’s voice. In any case, substantial chunks of the population there are now either under the influence of Islamic fundamentalists and the hardened Ulema or are swayed by the anti-India tirade of the extremely communal elite that had entrenched itself in the body politic of that country. The anti-India legacy of Partition is kept alive by them, particularly after the creation of Bangladesh, and this sustains the overriding hold of the Pakistan army as the ‘saviour’ of their country.
What is truly alarming from India’s point of view is that the firm collaboration existing between the army and the Islamic militants in Pakistan has now acquired domestic legitimacy in that country. This has enabled Pakistan’s rulers to survive the criticism of the democratic world against Pakistan for providing safe havens to terrorists across the Islamic spectrum — ranging from the Taliban-Al Qaeda combine to Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), JeM and the Hizbul Mujahideen — as also the American pressure on the Pakistan Army not to play a duplicitous role on the Afghan front.
Pakistan is shrewdly aware of its geo-political importance for the US, Russia and China and is deftly positioning itself as a helping hand for them. American President Donald Trump wants Pakistan to facilitate the American pullout from Afghanistan, the oldest theatre of the ‘war on terror’, and smoothen the path of restoration of a peaceful regime there even with the participation of Taliban in that experiment.
Russia and China want Pakistan on their side in the matter of keeping their own Muslim lands insulated from external instigation from Islamic extremists. In the Cold War era, Pakistan operating through Afghanistan as a Western ally caused faith-based insurgency to grow in Uzbekistan and Xinjiang. Pakistan is watching the Afghan scene with smugness over the fact of some levers being in its hands and is prepared to go along with the US initiatives in Afghanistan provided India was kept out of the frame there.
India has to watch out for Pakistan trying to use whatever support it can muster for building a case for resumption of the India-Pakistan dialogue. Playing the underdog, Pakistan has cleverly asked China to give up its technical objection to the UN move against Masood Azhar in return for a guarantee of ‘de-escalation’ from India. Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, in a display of cussedness that is easily traceable to his army, responded to his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi’s message of greetings on Pakistan Day in a way that speaks for itself.
Modi’s message had conveyed India’s hope that the two countries would work for creating a climate free of terrorism but Imran’s reply abstained from making any mention of terror emanating from his soil and blandly asked for resumption of dialogue to discuss the ‘core issue’ of Jammu and Kashmir and other matters. Pakistan is brazening out the situation of potential isolation it finds itself in, after the Indian air strike at Balakot received validation from the world community — Pakistan’s plea that the militant outfits were not under its control gave a moral justification to the Indian operation. None of this, however, is keeping Pakistan from relentlessly trying to get India to climb down from its declared policy that ‘terror and talks do not go together’.
It would be prudent for India’s strategic planners to presume that the advantage India presently has over Pakistan is not static and that a combination of factors already seen on the horizon will tend to bail out Pakistan on the issue of cross border terrorism against India. Pakistan’s deep state cannot be pressured beyond a point to sever its political links with forces within the country that used the call of ‘defence of Islam’ or jihad to fight an identified enemy, since in Islam the faith embraces the entire life of the individual — personal, social and political.
Also, a major source of sustenance for Pakistan is the implied support it will always get in the Organisation of Islamic Conference(OIC) led by Saudi Arabia which runs on the philosophy that ‘Quran was the best Constitution’ and does not regard a democratic state as being any better than an Islamic state. The secular character of the Indian state has not come in the way of Imran Khan’s regime trying to fish in the troubled waters of our domestic politics in the run-up to the general election here. Imran Khan has again insinuated that the Modi regime was not resuming talks with Pakistan because of electoral politics.
If Pakistan gets a strategic advantage in Afghanistan it will use it against India. The US policy makers are not doing much to keep India as a stakeholder in the future set up of Afghanistan. American negotiator Zalmay Khalizad has been talking to the Taliban behind the back of Ashraf Ghani’s regime with which India has a good equation. The Taliban is not prepared to have anything to do with the legitimate Afghan government and is keeping up the pressure of violence to dictate terms in the negotiations. The US may pull out of Afghanistan on a half-baked deal which will benefit Pakistan, not India. Our defences on the western front will have to be strengthened to deal with an escalated proxy offensive of Pakistan in Kashmir in case the Pakistan-supported Taliban get into a position of power in Afghanistan.
In the situation obtaining after the Balakot episode, Pakistan is shifting the onus for initiating a conventional war onto India without at the same time relaxing on its planned covert offensive in Kashmir to keep what it calls the ‘core issue’ between India and Pakistan in the focus of the world attention. In the meanwhile it is hoping that after its wishy-washy attempts to show that action was being taken against the LeT and JeM, international opinion would gravitate towards the idea of resumption of India-Pakistan talks.
Pakistan’s deep state is now too involved and collusive towards Islamic militants of all shades to give up on them as instruments of state policy. India is exposed to the unceasing attempts of Pakistan to exploit India’s domestic scene for spreading radicalisation here. India is rightly going ahead with its plans of modernising its defence forces and building capacities in missile and space technologies but the lasting threat nearer home is from the enlarging faith- based militancy emanating from the large Muslim world around us. The values of democracy in India need to be protected against the subversive violence whipped up in the name of religion and beamed at us from across the borders. This long range threat to our security should be kept above party politics. (IANS)
Malgudi, a small fictional town in South India has been part of the childhood of most Indians. It is an old, shabby, and peaceful town that is unruffled by politics. The stories set in this small town ring the sense of belongingness in the hearts of its readers. The familiar feeling that feels like home resonates with their soul. And teaches important life lessons to the readers through simple tales. Malgudi Days is one of the books that every Indian child should read. The book is a compilation of 32 short stories that paint a beautiful picture of small-town in India around the '60s and '70s
R. K. Narayan, one of the most well-known and popular writers within India and outside India is the creator of this town and the occurrences of this town. The stories follow the characters Swami and his friends through their everyday lives. Be it the story of fake astrologers who scam and loot the people by his cleverness, or the story of a blind beggar and his dog where the money blinded the man with greed; each story has a lesson to learn, morals and values hidden in it. As the stories are simple, easy to understand yet heart-touching it makes it easy for the kids to connect with each character and imagine the story as if the reader themselves were the protagonist of the story. In simple words, we can say that R.K. Narayan simply told stories of ordinary people trying to live their simple lives in a changing world.
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As written during the Indian Independence movements and finally published in 1943. The stories in the Malgudi days beautifully encapsulated the transitioning milieu of the British era to post-Independence India. Each of the stories portrays a facet of life in Malgudi and simultaneously a life in an Indian town. R.K. Narayan was one of the first writers who pioneered Indian writings in the English language and the book was later republished outside India in 1982 by Penguin Classics. Thus, the book enjoyed a worldwide audience. The New York Times even described the virtue of the book as "everyone in the book seems to have a capacity for responding to the quality of his particular hour. It's an art we need to study and revive."
The beautiful storytelling of the book was assisted by beautiful illustrations allowing the children to let their imagination teleport them to the world of Malgudi. All the illustrations in the book were illustrated by the world-renowned cartoonist, R.K. Laxman who is also R.K. Narayan's younger brother. The illustrations complimented the scenes from the stories and excited the children, keeping them engaged in reading the book for hours.
The illustrations complimented the scenes from the stories.Pixabay
The short stories from Malgudi Days were later adapted into a television adaptation in 1986. This show was directed by actor and director Shankar Nag. It was filmed both in Hindi and English, containing 54 episodes and the first 13 episodes respectively. Later the series was revived for additional 15 episodes. The show featured several popular celebrities from the Kannada film industry of those days – Girish Karnad, Vishnuvardhan, Ananth Nag, Arundhati Nag and Vaishali Kasaravalli, to name a few. The series was premiered on the Doordarshan channel and became the window into the town Malgudi for many. The show did not only excel in its storyline the TV adaptation elevated the storytelling as the show was technically very sound and stood out in its fantastic detailing in terms of locations and sets. With the cinematography being creative The Malgudi days- TV series once again warmed the hearts of both young ones and adults.
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Malgudi- our childhood home
Malgudi days hold a special place in the hearts of whoever has read the book as a child. With the detailed descriptions of the town and stories one almost gets a feeling that they've visited the place themselves. The characters, Swami and his friends feel like they were all readers' childhood friends. The surreal feeling of being home in the world of Malgudi. The world of Malgudi is intimate, warm, lifelike, and engaging. The setting is modern, and the life portrayed in these stories is contemporary. Still, there is an old-time air about It. R K Narayan once described Malgudi as "Malgudi is where we all belong, and where we wish we lived."
Keywords: Malgudi days, Malgudi, R K Narayan, R K Laxman, storytelling, our childhood home Malgudi
Well, if you'll notice then the moon takes twenty-nine days to complete its lunar cycle, whereas women's menstrual cycle is generally 28 days! Coincidence? I think, not.
It is believed that when a woman goes through her menstrual cycle, she goes through the different lunar energies. In fact, in ancient times it was said that the natural rhythm of women was to menstruate under a new moon and ovulate under a full moon.
At the same time, it is also believed that the cycle and its stages are connected to different seasons, namely, spring, summer, autumn, and winter.
Let us see how the lunar cycle is related to a woman's menstrual cycle!
It must be noted that the menstruation period is during the new moon period and also during the winter season. It is said that this is a reflective phase; a phase of silence, introspection, and solitude. During this phase, a woman's body is more sensitive, and so they're able to connect with it and hear the messages it gives. Interestingly, this is also the time when a woman naturally recycles energy as she menstruates, and hence, it's also the for their rest and recovery.
The Crescent moon represents the pre-ovulation period. This is also the season of spring, and so the time corresponds to an increase in physical energy. During this period, a woman's mental strength is at its peak and their thoughts are much clearer. At the same time, emotions are more stable during this period, and because of which women tend to be more social and outgoing.
This phase of the moon represents ovulation, and the season associated with this phase is summer. It must be noted that this period is full of energy and vitality. At the same time, this period plays a significant role in the lives of women because it's actually a fertile phase in all aspects of their life, be it personal or professional. During this period, the self-confidence and self-esteem in women tend to rise, and along with this, an increase in their sex drive can be seen very well.
This phase of the moon represents pre-menstruation, which is also associated with the autumn season. During this period, a woman's physical energy starts to decline. Metaphorically, just like a tree sheds its leaves, a woman, too, feels the need to let go of anything that is not benefiting her. At the same time, memory and the ability to concentrate decrease in this period.
I hope, now you will not think of the moon just as a celestial body, but as a companion in the lives of women!
Keywords: Women pre-Menstruation, Feminine, women Health Fitness, the moon represents the pre-ovulation period, period and moon cycle.
The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) has directed Pak TV channels to stop airing what it calls indecency and intimacy in dramas, Samaa TV reported.
A notification issued by the authority states that it has been receiving numerous complaints from viewers who believe that the content being depicted in dramas does not represent the "true picture of Pakistani society".
"PEMRA finally got something right: Intimacy and affection between married couples isn't 'true depiction of Pakistani society and must not be 'glamourized'. Our 'culture' is control, abuse, and violence, which we must jealously guard against the imposition of such alien values," said Reema Omer, Legal Advisor, South Asia, International Commission of Jurists.
"Hugs, caress scenes, extramarital affairs, vulgar and bold dressing, bed scenes and intimacy of married couples are being glamourized in utter disregard to Islamic teachings and culture of Pakistani society," PEMRA stated, as per the report.
The authority added that it has directed channels time and again to review content with "indecent dressing, controversial and objectionable plots, bed scenes and unnecessary detailing of events".
Most complaints received by the PEMRA Call Centre during September concern drama serial "Juda Huay Kuch is Tarah", which created quite a storm on social media for showing an unwitting married couple as foster siblings in a teaser for an upcoming episode. However, it only turned out to be a family scheme after the full episode aired, but by that time criticism had mounted on HUM TV for using the themes of incest to drive the plot, the report said. (IANS/JB)
Keywords: Pakistan, Islam, Serials, Dramas, Culture, Teachings.