Excelsior columnist Dr. Pandita gets Padma Shri

Published on Daily Excelsior, Jan 26, 2017:

.70p K.N. Pandita, Daily Excelsior.

Correspondent – JAMMU, Jan 25: Eminent Scholar of the State, a veteran columnist associated with Daily Excelsior a leading newspaper of J&K State and a dedicated social activist, Dr Kashi Nath Pandita is among the 75 noted personalities of the country who were conferred with Padma Shri Award one of the highest civilian awards of the country on the eve of 68th Republic Day.

Besides, seven distinguished personalities each from various fields all over the country were coffered with Padam Vibhushan and Padam Bushan awards. Kashi Nath Pandita who is popularly known as K N Pandita is the lone awardee from the State this year. The award has been conferred to him for his rich contribution in various fields.

Dr Pandita is the first scholar of the State who won Ph.D Degree from Tehran University way back in 1962. He has been on the teaching faculty of Kashmir University, and has made valuable contribution in setting up the Center of Central Asian Studies in Kashmir University in 1976 in deference to the wishes of the then Chief Minister and the UGC. In 1982, he visited the Central Asian Republic of Tajikistan on the invitation of the President of Tajik Academy of Sciences.

This was his first month-long visit to Central Asia an later on he kept visiting Moscow and Central Asian Republics regularly in connection with his academic pursuits for a long time. His travelogue of Central Asia titled My Tajik Friends was translated into Russian and distributed by the Tajik Academy of Sciences. This book won him the prestigious Sovietland Nehru Award in 1987. In 1994 Dr. Pandita was awarded Certificate of Merit by the President of India for his contribution to classical studies and Indo-Central Asian cultural relations. He has also been honoured with Saadi Award by the Iranian Embassy in New Delhi.

Apart from literature, Dr. Pandita has evinced keen interest in journalism and social service. As a columnist he has been writing in various journals but for last 27 years he has been a regular columnist of Daily Excelsior, which has published scores of his commentaries/write ups and articles, which show his depth of knowledge and power of analysis on current situation in the region. Daily Excelsior has been the major vehicle of carrying his views to the wide reading public.

An important part of Dr Pandita’s life has been his dedication to social cause. He has pleaded the cause of Internally Displaced Persons not only of the State but also of many other parts of the world especially in African countries, which made him very popular at the UN Human Rights Council, in Geneva and among the circle of human rights activists in different parts of the world. He has delivered lectures in eight US and two Japanese Universities.

Dr Pandita has been speaking about terrorism in Kashmir on numerous world foras like European Parliament in Brussels, Second Word Human Rights Conference in Vienna, South Asian Caucus in Washington and at a number of other places.

Dr Pandita has a number of publications to his credit, most prominent of these are A Chronicle of Medieval Kashmir, A Muslim Missionary in Medieval Kashmir, Iran and Central Asia, Avicenna Ibn Sina), Hafiz Shirazi (Urdu). He has published a large number of research and critical articles in various prestigious journals in the country and abroad. President of Tajikistan has made him honorary member of the prestigious Tajik Cultural Organization called Paywand. He is associated with numerous literary and social organizations and is looked upon with respect in intellectual circles.

Besides Pandita, Altaf Ahmed Khan of J&K was confered with Jeevan Raksha Pada.

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The fracas created by the opposition on demonetization issue shows that it has failed to show due respect to the verdict of the majority of people in this country. It has also to learn that sitting in the opposition does not absolve the opposition of becoming realists about the development of the country. Continue Reading…

Ethnic cleansing in Bangladesh

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In its editorial of November 16, 2016, The Washington Post carried the story of brutal attacks in Bangladesh killing scores of bloggers, foreigners and members of Hindu religious minorities. A Hindu tailor was killed in April, and a Hindu priest was hacked to death in July last. Over almost two years, radical Islamists have carried out a string of brutal attacks on Hindu minority. July attack in Dhaka left 22 Hindus dead. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her governing Awami League accused Islamist opposition of fomenting terrorism. However, involvement of some leaders of the ruling party is not ruled out. Continue Reading…

Surgical strike on black money

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Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav calls PM’s ‘operation black money’ as election stunt. Kejriwal calls it “big scam”. Rahul Gandhi stands in queue to change his Rs. 500 note, and the mercenary media gives it TV hype. During Vajpayee regime, American Enforcement functionaries had detained Rahul at JF Kennedy airport with one lakh US Dollar notes in his baggage. Vajpayee intervened. Modi’s adversaries had begun lampooning his election slogan of eradicating corruption from administration. Continue Reading…

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The civilian nuclear agreement opens the path for preparatory work on sites for six AP1100 reactors in India to be built by Westinghouse with US Import-Export Bank assuming financing role. India is energy starved. Continue Reading…

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Is the South Asian region (or Khurasan according to Islamic exegesis) emerging as the battlefield of a decisive clash of ideologies? Khurasan, originally an Avestic word, stands for the ‘lands to the East’. In geographical terms it could be Eastern part of Iran, Afghanistan and Baluchistan including its oceanic outreach.

The outcome of recently concluded Nuclear Security Summit in Washington is elusive if not controversial.   Continue Reading…

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The historic 19th century ‘Great Game’ of Lord Curzon’s making may be in the process of revival, albeit in different setting with different actors and varying interests.

From the vast deserts of Central Asia, the new Great Game seems to be shifting to the warm waters of the Indian Ocean, the premier commercial waterway of international trade. The actors are not the old imperial powers aspiring for empires but shrewd traders seeking large markets for their merchandise and accompanying political clout. They act not in isolation but in collaboration without losing sight of their respective national interests. Continue Reading…

Reality about fighting nuclear terror

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In the two-day summit in Washington, (March 31 – April 1) representatives of forty-nine countries interacted on the danger of terrorists acquiring nuclear weapons as “the most immediate and extreme threat to global security”.

Have four meetings of NSS since 2009 achieved the objective? It is a moot question. Radioactive materials in numerous countries are still vulnerable. International nuclear security architecture continues to be fragmented and predominantly based on nonbinding measures. NSS has not left behind its successor.   Continue Reading…

PM’s visit to Saudi Arabia

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Objective analyses of Modi’s visits abroad reveal his penchant for reassessment of India’s regional and global relationship with a view of infusing new vitality in the tenets of our foreign policy. His first visit to Middle East region was not to Israel as observers would have anticipated but to Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Continue Reading…

Is ISIS Closing in on Europe?

By K.N. Pandita

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Nuclear Security Summit and South Asia

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In his speech in Prague in 2009, President Obama touched on an important subject for the first time. He talked about security against nuclear terror, meaning securing nuclear arsenals against falling in the hands of non-State actors. A year later, the first meeting of stakeholders (NSS) numbering no fewer than 53, was held in Washington to deliberate and gradually inch towards a consensus formula of how nuclear arsenals could be safeguarded.

The fourth and perhaps the final meeting of the NSS, to which India and Pakistan have also been invited, is to be held in Washington 31 March-1 April, 2016. President Putin of Russia has declined to participate.   Continue Reading…

From seat of learning to cesspool of sedition

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Face to face with Frankenstein

By K.N. Pandita

No surprise that Pakistani terrorist attack on Pathankot air base is getting internationalized; not at India’s asking. Pakistan’s mortification is almost unprecedented.

For the third time, the US has reacted on Pathankot attack. Recently Secretary of State Kerry spoke to Nawaz Sharif asking him to take on the terrorists. Continue Reading…

Pathankot airbase attack

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The four-day-long operation in the premises of Pathankot air base is heading towards completion. Combing operation may still be on partly. Six Pakistani terrorists have been finished. Our forces have suffered bigger loss in terms of human lives. We salute the martyred soldiers and share the grief of their kith and kin.

This is not the first attack of its kind undertaken by Pakistani jihadis. It differs from previous attacks in at least two ways. One, it came soon on the heels of PM’s unscheduled stop over at Lahore. The visit was in search of peace. Two, it was aimed at causing great damage to defence assets of Pathankot air base. Continue Reading…

Breaking India-Pakistan logjam

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On his flight back home from Kabul, Prime Minister Modi broke journey at Lahore. This unusual drop off has become a subject for speculation. Congress spokesman says Indian nation will have to pay heavily for the tea Modi had with Pak premier Nawaz Sharif at his family residence in Raiwaind. The case merits dissection.

Some called the visit “sudden”, albeit honestly; yet it doesn’t seem to be sudden. High level visits, even if for a couple of hours only, are neither sudden nor unscheduled. Of course, the nature of the mission demanded secrecy. Continue Reading…

Stop holding Parliament to ransom

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What boycotting MPs are doing is illegal. They are paid by the tax payer. The Parliament session is held through huge funding by tax payers. The assurance given to the tax payer is that his problems will be addressed, and if possible, solved at national level. There is also a sort of unwritten bond between the Parliament and the people who give it a shape through their vote, to utilize their money judiciously and in the interests of the country. Boycotting MPs are drawing from public exchequer to mar and not make the sessions. Continue Reading…

To Washington with domestic baggage

By K.N. Pandita
(to give the rest of the world a better understanding, all wikipedia-links are added by Heidi, the editor and blog owner).

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, while on his US visit in October last cancelled his scheduled visit to Chicago. He would not give Imran Khan’s brats any chance of spoiling his visit by staging a protest demonstration… Continue Reading…

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Paris carnage shadowed G-20 Anatoly (Turkey) summit. Besides a press release, summing up economic and developmental agenda, the summit released 9-point agenda on its fight against terrorism.

G-20 was not as much specific and vociferous on its policy on terrorism in any of its previous summits as at Anatoly. This shows that it takes terrorism now even if the Mumbai carnage of 2008, which claimed a toll of over 200 innocent souls, did not scratch its humanistic sentiment.   Continue Reading…

Carnage in Paris

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Paris has come under the attack of Islamic militants. It is the bloodiest after World War II. Reports are that 127 innocent people are massacred and 200 injured some seriously. The most beautiful capital in Europe could never imagine that carnage of this brutality would ever befall it. This attack has come close on the heels of January attack in which 17 people were killed in Paris including Charlie Hebdo the editor of satirical magazine, and a Jewish supermarket. Terrorists targeted restaurants, concert halls and market places sending down terror and chaos in the city. The President who was at a stadium watching a friendly football match between France and Germany was evacuated under close security arrangement as the terrorists conducted attack outside the stadium. Continue Reading…

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The apprehension was that majority mandate in the Parliamentary elections would turn the head of BJP. Unfortunately, that happened. The glamour of victory overshadowed the need for astute state management.

The more powerful sections within BJP leadership drew inspiration from RSS think tank. Seniors and veterans of the party knew the risks involved in party looking for brainwaves from that source. Continue Reading…