Showing posts from April, 2017

Paradise Lost- Violence, terror and failed governance in India's Kashmir

"Image of a 'stone pelter' tied in front of a jeep as a 'human shield',will 4 ever haunt the Indian Army & the nation!" Indian Army's Lieutenent General HS Panag, PVSM, AVSM, (Retd) via twitter
The recent image of a young Kashmiri man tied to an Army jeep as a human shield was heartbreaking to see. This is not the Army I know.
I am an Indian Army veteran having served in the Special Forces. I have been in combat and have been decorated for gallantry. 
That image is contrary to what the Indian Army personifies. The Indian Army is a fine institution to which I owe my foundation to.
Countless cheer leaders and trolls have taken to twitter to insult and abuse military veterans who have objected to the way the Kashmiri man was treated. 
One of India's highly regarded retired military generals, Lt Gen HS Panag was humiliated on twitter for having responded to this human rights violation in Kashmir.
Apr 16
More abhijeet…

Reuters: The Global Epidemic of Violence Against Children

The images from the recent gas attack in Syria, where over 80 people, including babies in diapers, can be seen painfully gasping for air before dying, are heartbreaking. These are a graphic illustration of our collective failure to protect children from cruel and inhuman treatment. President Donald Trump correctly called it an “affront to humanity”. The United Nations Secretary General, Mr Antonio Guterres has described Syria as one of the worst conflicts of our time. But what happened in Syria was not a one-off. Everyday millions of children around the world are caught up in crises and disasters, many of man’s own making.

My take:

Reuters: Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights is key to achieving the SDGs

As per a study by the World Bank, had the world addressed 90 percent of global unmet need for family planning by 2015, it would have reduced annual births by almost 28 million, consequently preventing 67,000 maternal deaths, 440,000 neonatal deaths, 473,000 child deaths and 564,000 stillbirths. Global data indicates that the greatest benefits from reducing unintended pregnancies would be seen in the poorest countries, with GDP increases ranging from one to eight percent by 2035. There are few interventions that would result in such wide-ranging impacts while offering such incredible return on investment. Governments working alone, or with development partners only, cannot do everything required to raise standards of health. They need the support of civil society and private sector with its talent, drive, expertise, and resources to leapfrog their health systems. Turning to Kenya, it is important to note that the country has over recent years made important strides in improving health…

Reuters: From Barriers to Bridges: Transformation of the Ethiopia-Kenya Border Region

Consider this. The communities around the Kenya-Ethiopia border in Moyale-Borona area, have long been associated with internecine violence, extreme poverty, and environmental stress. These have led to disastrous societal consequences, including displacement, criminality and violent extremism. The 2012-2013 intercommunal clashes in Moyale town, claimed the lives of over 200 people, destroyed thousands of properties, including schools and other social amenities. The region has been viewed as largely peripheral, both economically and politically, and therefore attracted limited public and private resources. However, an innovative, comprehensive and integrated cross-border programme initiated by the Kenyan and Ethiopian governments, in partnership with the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the United Nations (UN) is changing this narrative. During the recent visit to Kenya by the UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, President Uhuru Kenyatta specifically mentioned, …

Huffington Post: Gender equality is the missing link for India’s progress

Consider this. Nimrata Nikki Randhawa, is the daughter of Sikh immigrants from India. Her parents, father Ajit Singh Randhawa and mother Raj Kaur Randhawa, hail from Amritsar District, Punjab, India. While Nimrata Nikki Randhawa may not ring a bell, Nikki Haley certainly will. She is married to Michael Haley a U.S. Army Officer and an Afghanistan veteran. Yes, Nikki Haley is Nimrata Nikki Randhawa who went on to become the first female Indian-American governor of South Carolina. Today, Haley is the United States’ Ambassador to the United Nations in New York, a cabinet level position and is the first Indian-American selected to join the new US administration. My take:

Inter Press Service For Societies to Thrive, We Must Ensure Gender Equality

Consider this: gender inequality is costing sub Saharan Africa US$ 95 billion annually in lost revenue. In a corporate setting, that extent of losses would call for a serious reset of the business’s operational approach.  Despite stupendous advancements in science and technology, it has taken mankind two millennia to fully realize the critical role of women in the global social and economic transformation. For any country to realize its full economic and democratic potential, the quest for women’s participation in leadership and decision making must be embraced, understood, appreciated and prioritized.
Honored to co-author this piece with Kenya's Foreign Minister Ambassador Amina Mohamed:

Reuters: In Kenya, Turkana county inspires hope

At this time of the year, people living in rural parts of Turkana County are among the hardest hit by the on-going drought in Kenya. The United Nations and the Government of Kenya approximates that 2.7 million Kenyans are facing acute food shortage and the Government has declared the drought a national disaster. Things are looking up for Turkana County nevertheless. Not least in the reasons for new optimism is the fact that in 2012, the Government of Kenya announced that substantial oil deposits had been discovered in parts of Turkana County. Though it will be a while before the petrodollars begin to reflect in the economy, indicators such as an increase in services and jobs, expansion in activities in the hospitality industry, and increase in the frequency of flights to the county’s main town of Lodwar suggest a bright future. My take: