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By Aijaz Nazir
Srinagar: Even as talks are scheduled to be held between National Security Advisors of India and Pakistan later this week, an insidious challenge is cropping up in the Kashmir Valley for the security establishment forces. Kashmiri youth are once again taking up guns.
India is expected to take up the recent cross-border terrorist attacks in Gurdaspur and Udhampur at the meeting between Pakistan’s Security Advisor Sartaj Aziz and his Indian counterpart Ajit Doval on August 23.
Since late last year, a steady stream of reports has noted local Kashmiri youth are taking the path of violence. Since the outbreak of the armed insurgency in 1989, and the emergence of the anti-India protests in 2008, this may be the most serious challenge that India’s security establishment has faced. The new breed of militants are particularly targeting the security forces.
The hub of the local militancy is the picturesque south Kashmir, famous worldwide for its tourist destinations. But some of the areas like Shopian and Tral, also the separatist strongholds, have become fertile for producing militants. The social media has emerged as the most effective recruiting grounds.
Locals hold security forces responsible for inciting youth to take up arms. In recent years young boys were allegedly harassed, tortured, taken up by the security agencies for questioning and many were booked under the draconian laws like the Public Safety Act, which provides for arresting a person without trial for two years on mere suspicion of endangering security of the state.
Burhan Wani, a Hizbul Mujahideen commander with a bounty of Rs.10 lakh ($14,000), is representative of the new breed of the militants who have openly taken to the internet and social media with pictures and videos to challenge the Indian authorities.
In one such video Wani and his associates can be seen brandishing AK-47s and cracking jokes at an unidentified location in south Kashmir. These militants belong to well-off families and are highly educated. One among them is a former policeman who was the Personal Security Officer for a local lawmaker, until he decamped with his service rifle to join the militants. Another one has passed out of the school securing 98 percent marks before joining militants.
Sameer Patil, a security analyst at Mumbai-based think tank Gateway House, told IANS: “Social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter are very popular among youth in Kashmir, Militant commanders have used this medium to not only spread their anti-India propaganda but also pick up on potential recruits.”
The use of social media has become a major concern for security agencies which have made futile attempts in the past to block such content. Earlier, the J&K police had approached the local court to block the Facebook page on which pictures of these militants in army fatigues appeared. The pictures had gone viral on the social networking sites.
Former chief minister Omar Abdullah, during whose tenure mass anti-India protests began in the Valley, claims that the coalition government of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is responsible for pushing youngsters into militancy.
Omar recalled that when his father, veteran politician Farooq Abdullah, joined hands with then prime minister Rajiv Gandhi in the late 1980s, youth had taken up arms against India.
“Again we are passing through the same situation. This time also, a pact has taken place between the two parties with different ideologies,” said Omar hinting at the wide ideological disparities between the right wing BJP and the PDP which is perceived as being soft on separatists.
However, a minister in the present coalition government has hit out at Omar himself for the spread of the militancy. Naeem Akhtar, who handles the Education portfolio in the BJP-PDP coalition government, rejects the charge that his government is pushing Kashmiri boys to pick up guns and instead claims the “alienation during the National Conference (Omar Abdullah’s party) rule triggered the youth to join militants”.
Ishaq Beigh, a political analyst from South Kashmir, says that political parties are passing the buck to one another.
“Lack of consciousness among political leaders towards the resolution of the Kashmir issue is making ways for local militancy. These are the politicians who created this dispute. Now it is their moral obligation to find ways for its peaceful resolution.”
While differentiating the present militancy with that of the situation in 1989, Dr. Sheikh Showkat Hussain, who teaches human rights and International law, says, “In 1989, militancy started out of adventurism and craze but now these young boys are fully aware of Kashmir’s political issues. They have seen no political resolution from New Delhi even after years of open disobedience against India.”
Signal's encrypted messaging app continues to be down on Monday after facing global outage on Sunday. The firm said it is working to fix it. "Hold tight, folks! Signal is currently down, due to a hosting outage affecting parts of our service. We're working on bringing it back up," the firm said in a tweet on Sunday.
The status website says the encrypted messaging app is "experiencing technical difficulties" and many people are also getting an in-app error message that says the same thing. Signal allows for secure and encrypted video, voice and text communication, but users are unable to send any messages.
According to Downdetector.com, users started reporting outages around 11:05 PM Eastern Standard Time and it appears to be affecting people around the world. Comments shared on Downdetector.com indicates that Signal was down for users from India, US, Germany, New Zealand, Netherlands, Australia, Brazil and many other countries.
"Down in Midwest USA. Signal was started by people connected to which secret 3-letter organization? (Look it up) Yep, that's right! An app disguised a privacy app to trick you into sharing more private information than you would with another messaging app," a user said. "I think Signal is having a rough day. Good luck, Team Signal. I'm sure you'll have it sorted out in a snap," said another. The encrypted messaging service has climbed to the top spot in the free apps category of the App Store in multiple countries, including India. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Signal, app, encrypted, messages, outage, down
Apple has acknowledged an issue where the "unlock with Apple Watch" feature might not work with its new iPhone 13 devices and promised to fix this issue with an upcoming software update. "You might see 'Unable to Communicate with Apple Watch' if you try to unlock your iPhone while wearing a face mask, or you might not be able to set up Unlock with Apple Watch," the iPhone maker said in the support document.
This issue will be fixed in an upcoming software update. Until the update is available, you can turn off Unlock with Apple Watch and use your passcode to unlock your iPhone 13. To turn off Unlock with Apple Watch, go to Settings > Face ID & Passcode.
Earlier, multiple users found that they cannot unlock their iPhone 13 with the Apple Watch and instead received an error. User Monzilla88 on Reddit first reported the issue to the subreddit r/AppleWatch. They stated that both their iPhone 13 Pro and Apple Watch SE are up to date with the newest iOS and watchOS updates.
"Whenever I try to enable unlock with Apple Watch on my phone I get an error saying "Unable to communicate with Apple Watch," they posted. Monzilla88 claimed that they had tried unpairing and repairing, hard resetting both devices, turning on and off passcodes, but not no avail, the report said. More than 20 other users self-reported the same problem, with others noting that the feature works fine on iOS 15 on older models of iPhone, including the iPhone 11 Pro Max and the iPhone X. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: iPhone 13, apple, watch, issue, update, face lock
The nursery rhyme Goosey Goosey Gander is filled with multiple meanings. It is another one of those rhymes believed to have emerged from the time of great persecution in England during the Reformation. It also holds a contemporary, colloquial meaning.
The original verse goes something like this:
Goosey goosey gander,
Whither shall I wander?
Upstairs and downstairs
And in my lady's chamber.
There I met an old man
Who wouldn't say his prayers,
So I took him by his left leg
And threw him down the stair (allnurseryrhymes.com)
There are other versions that deal with more specific ideas from which separate meanings have been interpreted.
Catholic priests being killed for continuing to keep the faith Image source: wikimedia commons
The primary interpretation is believed to be regarding the Catholic priests getting persecuted by King Henry VIII and his Protestant successors. Catholicism in England was frowned upon when King Henry established the Church of England. Anyone practicing Catholicism was put to death for treason. Many of the courtiers were hanged on this charge, and are noted in history as being martyrs for their faith.
Those who managed to practice their religion without being discovered did so in what was called a 'priest hole'. These were small rooms in the walls of a house that was covered by tapestry or a bookshelf. The required prayer instruments would be placed here, and the person would retire to this chamber at night, or at a time when they were not required elsewhere. The goose that wanders her mistress's house in the nursery rhyme discovers such a person, presumably a priest, and exposes him, or 'throws him down the stair'.
An alternative meaning to this rhyme originates from the lower class of England's population, a colloquial term used widely among the non-rich. The word 'goose' was used commonly to address a prostitute, and here, could possibly refer to a woman who has acquired an STI (Sexually Transmitted Infection). "Whither shall I wander?/ Upstairs and downstairs/ And in my lady's chamber," could be a reference to the spread of an infection that a man acquires from such a woman, which causes him to be ostracised from his community. It was quite common in England for an upper-classman to bed a lower-class woman in the society of those days.
It is rather interesting that such a practice would turn into folklore, and in turn, become a rhyme sung by little children all over the world. It has certain amusing images no doubt, but not without raising questions. England of the times of Reformation was certainly a dark place, with a terribly dark heritage.
Keywords: Heritage, Rhymes, Folklore, England, Reformation