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Ladybug, eco-greencover of Jammu

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By Bhushan Parimoo

After intense all out search for Ladybug over a decade as these used to be around us here has to be abandoned. Became it proved a utter futile exercise because of the findings that the number of these Ladybugs has drastically decline to a few and far in-between.

May be noticed when Good Luck as these are called smile on you. As such has to refer as pushed out of sight forever but not out of mind those who knew its presence and importance. Shivaliks of Jammu had these in plenty around till recent past.

 

With it another specie in the biodiversity has pushed to go with the wind of insensitiveness laced with incapability of the authorisers to preserve and protect. Although it has been under the ambit of protection of both under the J& K State Biodiversity Board and JK Wildlife Protection Act. Both have found to be incapable in holding the trust posed in them by the Nature lovers .

These Ladybugs are known for the an indispensable role for Agriculture, Horticulture, Floriculture and in the local personal gardens as it devours on parasites world over . Why its disappearance has been ignored even by the Universities and others which has proved detrimental to rural economy. NASA even sent a few ladybugs into space with aphids to see how aphids would escape in zero gravity. Ladybugs in Dogri is called Laaldee, due to its red colour have oval, and dome-shaped bodies is the seven-spotted with its shiny, red-and-black body with six short legs.

Elsewhere they also can be yellow, orange, brown, pink or even all black, and their spots — which some ladybugs don’t have at all — can look more like stripes. Depicted wearing a red cloak in early paintings, and the spots of the seven-spot ladybird (the most common in Europe) were said to symbolise her seven joys and seven sorrows .Are cute as a button with their teeny hard, red shells with black spots. Belongs to the Coccinellidae family, order: Coleoptera from a Latin word meaning “scarlet”.

But also have many other names “ladybird” originated in Britain where the insects became known as “Our Lady’s bird” or the Lady beetle. Mary (Our Lady) such as in English, they’ve been called ladybug, ladybird, lady beetle, lady clock, lady cow and lady fly. In Europe, they’re called ladybird beetles. There are about 5,000 different species of ladybugs in the world. People love ladybugs because they are pretty, graceful, and harmless to humans.

So did my better half often made mention of it while fighting a losing battle for life? Had weaning wish to have them around to refresh memories of her childhood days .lamented for nowhere to be seen realising its wiped out almost from the Jammu division. She must have grown up playing with it.

After her untimely demise in October 2008 this writer made single minded resolve for look out for it even asked others to search in memory of my better half. But seem to have disappeared without any trace from the environ in jammu Division it once thrived in abundance everywhere without any exceptions.

Spiritually is believed to be an embodiment of Lady Luck, bringing good fortune and prosperity along with it. As the insect leads a vibrant and colourful life, it influences you to experience the joys of living to the fullest.

Ladybug lovers on spotting it utter in joy Love and Luck —Ladbugs. Considered an embodiment of good luck if one lands on your hand or you see one in your home. As the insect leads a vibrant and colourful life, it influences you to experience the joys of living to the fullest. Technically they are beetles not bugs, have needle-like mouth parts whereas beetles have chewing mouth parts. Bbesides beetles have harder wings than bugs do. Ladbugs are very vital for link in the biodiversity for our survival.

Ladybugs are happy in many different habitats, including grasslands, forests, cities, suburbs, and along rivers. Authorities often communicate yet hardly implement when needs arises that Biodiversity boosts ecosystem productivity where each species, no matter how small, all have an important role to play.

The larger number of plant species means a greater variety of crops. Greater species diversity ensures natural sustainability for all life forms. Even Darwin had proposed that species diversity might increase the productivity of ecosystem due to the division of labour among species, suggesting that each species is unique in how it exploits environment. It thus follows that species-rich system exploit can exploit resources .more efficiently than species-poor system( known as complimentary effect ) .

Diversity is also thought to make ecosystem, species and population more resilient to environmental stress. In Shivalike with the wiping out of the Ladybugs shivaliks must have lost some of its vegetation in wild. One this writer found is Wild Soounchal, in Kashmiri Soouchaal. While in valley it is grown here in Jammu Kandi has been in wild in plenty.

Now no trace of Soounchal. Same may be the case with other wild vegetation needs research. Ladybug has been known for doing its job eating aphids gardeners welcome ladybugs with open arms, knowing they will munch on the most prolific plant pests. Ladybugs love to eat scale insects, whiteflies, mites, and aphids. As larvae, ladybugs eat pests by the hundreds.

A hungry ladybug adult can devour 30 aphids per day, and estimates are that a ladybug can consume as many as 5,000 aphids over its lifetime.

In fact, as soon as ladybugs hatch, they begin to feast. Ladybugs lay eggs — hundreds of them — in aphid colonies, and when they hatch, the larvae immediately start feeding. “Once hatched, the larvae eat about 350 to 400 aphids in the two weeks it takes them to become fully grown,” Apart from they also eat fruit flies, thrips, mites and other plant-damaging insects.

However, different species prefer different foods. While many prey on garden pests, some (like the Mexican bean beetle and the squash beetle) also feed on the plant leaves mentioned in their names, making those particular species unwelcome guests in some gardens. . “During the Middle Ages in Europe, swarms of aphids were destroying crops.

The farmers prayed to the Virgin Mary for help — and help came in the form of ladybugs that devoured the plant-destroying pests and saved the crops.

The grateful farmers named these insects ‘Our Lady’s beetles,’ a name which had endured to present day.” A ladybug’s spots are a warning to attackers’ spots and bright colours are meant to warn would-be attackers that this beetle tastes terrible. “Ladybugs can secrete a fluid from joints in their legs which gives them a foul taste,” Because of this, they aren’t often preyed upon, however several insects, such as assassin bugs, stink bugs and spiders, may eat ladybugs, according to the Lost Ladybug Project. They’ve also been known to play dead, giving them a two-pronged defence system in a world of eat or be eaten.

Winter is the time for a ‘ladybug bacchanalia’ (and hibernation). When the weather turns cold, they look for a warm, secluded place to hibernate, such as in rotting logs, under rocks, or even inside houses. These hibernating colonies can contain thousands of ladybugs. Aphids are more than just a food source, however; they also work as a signal for when it’s time for ladybugs to mate.

When the aphids begin to disappear, ladybugs realize that winter is coming and flock to ancestral homes that they’ve been to before for a once-in-a-lifetime-event of mating right before entering hibernation. After hibernating, the ladybugs may get in some last-minute special time with a mate, but then they head back to their homes.

Question arise without any malice to anyone, the reason and intent to ignore preservation and protection of the biodiversity of the State which has been in constant decline and some extinct other on the verge of extinct. Which is very highly perturbing affair. Man knows how to created deserts from lush green environ but has yet to develop cost effective technique to create green of the desert. One is forced to ponder for whom the bells of the Administration toll. Outsiders as they themselves call should learn from the British who ruled but their contribution to study biodiversity and protect it has been unparalleled in the annals of research in the Subcontinent .

State subjects plead not to inflict further irreparable damage to the biodiversity which is a non-political subject. We need preservation more than biodiversity needs us .Which has not to be dealt with brute force but with natural ways with care, love, dedication and patience. Which is unfortunately conspicuously altogether missing. Situation demands to clean the Augean Stable of stinking dirt, accumulated over the years to deliver the assignment which has been entrusted with by the exchequers who are paying for it through their nose with their hard earned money out of sweat.
(The writer is a Jammu based environmentalist)


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War or peace?

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By Dr Akmal Hussain

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmud Qureshi on Sunday, April 7, in a press briefing in Multan, announced that the government had “reliable” information that India was planning another attack on Pakistan. He revealed that during a meeting of the Indian Cabinet Committee on Security, the three service chiefs had indicated that they were ready with plans of multiple strikes against Pakistan across a wide front and were awaiting a “political nod”, which was duly given by PM Modi during the meeting.
After the political boomerang of the failed Balakot strike, simple statistical theory would suggest to the military mind that the larger the number of strikes next time the higher the probability of at least one succeeding. The chances of partial success would increase if the air attack is across a wide front: the defending air force would have to spread itself thin and so the number of intercepting aircraft that could be fielded against any one group of attackers would be reduced.
Such a military adventure by India would not simply be a repeat strike after Balakot. It would be a precipitous escalation, fraught with the risk of full-scale conventional war that could quickly lead to a catastrophic nuclear exchange. When India suffered a setback in the Balakot engagement, they reportedly readied themselves for a missile strike against three Pakistani cities on the night of February 27.
There is no technology in existence that can determine whether or not incoming missiles have a nuclear payload. So Pakistan’s declaration that they would launch triple the number of missiles in retaliation, as soon as Indian missiles left their launch pads, carried the grim possibility of a nuclear war in the Subcontinent. If we had come so close to Armageddon soon after even a single abortive strike, imagine how much greater would be the risk of escalation to the nuclear level during a full-scale conventional war.
At present, and in the foreseeable future, two aspects of the structure of the India-Pakistan relationship create a hair trigger that can quickly and repeatedly bring the two countries to flashpoint. First, a popular freedom movement in Kashmir that, despite their protracted coercion, Indian security forces have been unable to suppress. It has instead produced a pantheon of martyrs and a new generation of militant youths willing to sacrifice themselves for freedom. Under these circumstances the internal dynamics of the Kashmiri movement can generate acts of violent rebellion against Indian troops at any time.
Second, on the other side of the border for many years non-state groups of militant extremists who have off and on received patronage continue to exist. The toxic mix of these two elements creates an environment in which spectacular acts of violence by Kashmiri youth could be blamed on “Pakistan-based terrorists” by India. This could intensify tensions, precipitating another military conflict. The past cannot be taken as a guide to say how it will end, whether in peace or nuclear war.
Given the firepower of modern conventional weaponry, significant loss of territory can occur during the initial onslaught that could escalate to the use of battlefield nuclear weapons. Once nuclear weapons are used on enemy troops, all-out nuclear war would follow. The recent history of India-Pakistan military conflict however has shown that even before a full-scale conventional war, a limited, localised battle can bring the two sides to the nuclear precipice.
For example, during the Kargil conflict in 1999 when the then prime minister Nawaz Sharif flew to Washington to ask the then US president Clinton to help end the conflict, he was shown satellite pictures of nuclear weapons being loaded onto F16s as evidence for a shocked PM of how close the two countries were to a nuclear war. Then again during the first two days of the February 2019 conflict involving limited Air Force engagements, nuclear missiles were reportedly readied on the night of February 27 for use by both sides.
So far these confrontations have induced timely intercession by the international community and peoples of the Subcontinent have survived by the skin of their teeth. But what a future confrontation will bring, whether we live or die in a nuclear war is inherently uncertain. Its probability cannot be estimated.
Some take comfort in the fact that seven confrontations in the past did not result in full-scale war as international pressure to defuse tensions worked. However, this 100 percent success in preventing war in the past cannot be used as a basis for saying it will not occur the next time around. This is because in society as much as in the relationship between states the averages of the past do not necessarily hold into the future. This is unlike natural phenomena where averages of the past as expressed in natural laws do hold into the future.
For example, take the law of gravity: if you had dropped an object and it fell to the ground yesterday, there is a high probability that it would fall again if you dropped it tomorrow. But in society, probability estimates which are essentially based on projecting the past into the future are not possible in principle. The pattern of social phenomena and human behaviour observed in the past can in the future be shattered by unique events or a combination of unique events.
As the preceding discussion argues, even a limited conventional conflict following a terrorist incident can quickly escalate to the nuclear threshold. It is vital, therefore, for the two countries supported by the world community to address the explosive structure of a situation that leads to repeated military confrontation.
Millions of citizens in both countries are mired in poverty, illiteracy and disease. Thousands of children are dying at birth every day; of those who survive birth, thousands die before they are five years old. Of the children who live beyond five years, millions are suffering from malnutrition, their bodies stunted, their brains dulled. Millions of children roam the streets and alleys, deprived of quality education, abandoned by society and state and living without hope. Instead of halting this massacre of innocents together, the two states are marching in lockstep to a nuclear catastrophe.
It is time for the leaderships of both India and Pakistan to reflect on the irrationality and inhumanity of using proxy wars or ‘surgical strikes’ as a means of achieving national security. The power of a nation lies not in following the course of mutual annihilation but pursuing the path of peace for the welfare of its citizens. The leaderships of the two countries should dip their cupped hands into their shared civilisational well-springs. Imbibe the sense of compassion and human solidarity to care for our children rather than killing them.

 
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Rubbing salt on the wounds:

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By Aleem Faizee

Another assault on the people of Malegaon – this is how a shopkeeper in Malegaon reacted to the news of the BJP fielding Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur from Bhopal against Congress’ Digvijaya Singh in this Lok Sabha election.
It’s like rubbing salt on our wounds, another Malegaon resident said.
For the people in Malegaon, the announcement of Pragya Thakur’s candidature has brought back the ghastly memories of 29 September 2008, when the city was rocked by a bomb blast. Thakur is facing trial in the case.
On the night of the blast, it was about 9.40 pm and people were about to finish Salaat-ut-Taraweeh – special night prayers offered during the month of Ramadan – when they heard a loud sound of explosion. At first, they thought it could be a cylinder blast accident. But it soon emerged that it was a bomb blast.
The blast spot was just metres away from the Ladies Fashion Market at Anjuman Chowk where a huge crowd of women and children were busy shopping for Eid al Fitr. There was chaos near Bhikku Chowk – the site of the blast. People carried the bleeding victims, more than a hundred, to hospitals using whatever means they could find.
The blast claimed six lives. One of them was 5-year-old Farheen Shaikh who was out to buy some snacks and was on her way back home to have Ramadan dinner with her grandmother.
Among the injured was Abdullah Jamaluddin Ansari of Shakeel Transport. The 75-year-old man, during initial investigation, had said he had noticed the LML Freedom motorcycle, which was later traced to Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur and led to her arrest, parked in front of his office since afternoon that day. He had also informed the police chowki, a stone’s throw away from the blast site, but claimed that no action was taken.
Javed Ansari, owner of a photocopier shop, was also injured in the Malegaon blast. It took him over three years to recover and resume work.
But for these blast victims, life has never been the same since that September night.
While Javed Ansari and the family of Farheen Shaikh left the locality after the blast, Shakeel Transport’s Abdullah Ansari died last year. Following the blast, Ansari often looked at the wall clock in his shop, which had stopped working at 9.37 pm – the time of the blast – and waited for justice.
One doesn’t know how he would have reacted to the news of Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur joining the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and contesting the Lok Sabha election.
By fielding Sadhvi Pragya, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) wants people to believe that she and other accused arrested in various blast cases were ‘framed in fabricated cases’ and that ‘saffron terror’ is a myth.
But while doing so the, BJP has undermined the fact that Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur still remains a key accused in the 2008 Malegaon blast case. As per court papers, the first evidence that led to her arrest was the LML Freedom motorcycle that was registered in her name and was used to plant the bomb. There are also some audio tapes and visuals too. Based on these evidences, the Bombay trial court judge had observed that there was enough ground to establish Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur’s role in the blast.
Ironically, while nominating Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur as the party candidate, the BJP did not think about the kind of message this would send to all the world leaders with whom Narendra Modi has often taken up the issue of terrorism.
The people of Malegaon, who had been hearing about the pressure on some officers and public prosecutor Rohini Salian ‘to go soft’ in the case, have almost lost all hope of getting justice. Wife of Mumbai ATS chief Hemant Karkare – the officer who initially investigated the case – had turned down then-Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi’s monetary compensation after 26/11 attacks.
Therefore, the BJP’s decision to field Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur in this election is neither shocking nor surprising for most people in Malegaon. But it is painful, especially for the blast victims and their families.

 
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Majboot Sarkars Overrated?

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By Amir

Prior to the 1990s, coalition governments in Indian politics were considered to be an aberration and not particularly desirable. The lack of coalitions in India was clearly tied to the one-party preponderance of the Congress. So, when the party sensed defeat in the 1989 Lok Sabha election, it tried to remind voters of how shambolic the 1977 Janata government had been.
The VP Singh-led National Front government formed in 1989 was perhaps the strangest political entity that people had witnessed in Indian politics. Propped up by the Left parties on one side, and the right-wing BJP that provided support with its 86 seats on the other – the government proved to be short lived.
The grand old party then supported the Chandrashekhar Singh government for four months, after which it decided to withdraw support and elections in 1991 brought back a Congress-led coalition government in the country. With that, the era of coalition politics was well and truly upon us.
Coalition governments were the new normal in Indian politics and would continue to be so until 2014, when the Narendra Modi-led government became the first in three decades since 1984, to win a clear majority.
In 1996, there was a short-lived Vajpayee-led BJP government for 13 days, followed by the rather soporific one led by HD Deve Gowda that lasted until 1997. After that, IK Gujral led the United Front coalition government that lasted from April 1997 to March 1998.
By then, the political scenario of the country was beginning to look a bit like a game of musical chairs. However, things stabilised with Atal Bihari Vajpayee returning in 1998, hanging on for a year and then getting re-elected in 1999 to finally last a whole term.
After that, with a full decade of the Congress led United Progressive Alliance leading the way, Indian politics developed a version of the two party system, rather, a two coalition system. Numerous political parties have coalesced around BJP and the Congress in the form of the National Democratic Alliance and the United Progressive Alliance, respectively.
Congress governments in coalition have brought about some of the most momentous and far-reaching changes. It was the Narasimha Rao-led government that introduced the economic reforms, which for better or worse, changed the country tremendously.
One simple indicator of the worth of coalitions is the fact that many thought that the UPA-I government was too hobbled by the presence of the Left, as it was a hindrance to the economic reforms associated with Congress governments since 1991.
The withdrawal of Left support, followed by the more emphatic victory that led to UPA-II in 2009, was supposed to bring in a more decisive and unfettered government. Yet, it is the UPA-I government that is remembered for the succession of rights-based legislation it introduced, while UPA II has come to be associated with crony capitalism.
Similarly, the NDA-I government of Vajpayee, with all of its coalition pulls and pressures ensured two things. First, the core and often contentious BJP issues, which are Article 370, Babri Masjid and Uniform Civil Code, were relegated to the back-burner.
Second, the Vajpayee-led BJP government could well and truly be said to have a fringe and a centre, with the fringe remaining where any fringe should belong.
However, the ruling BJP government of the day has once again brought the core contentious issues to the forefront. It has also ensured that the fringe encompasses the party uniformly, leaving no hint of nuance or differentiation.
What this suggests is that weaker coalitions may actually perform better. More importantly, coalitions are able to more naturally weave in the vital regional parties that act as breakwaters in the path of potentially elective despotism.
Are majority governments over-rated?
What have supposedly strong and stable majority governments been able to do? Have they taken decisive measures or brought about ‘big-ticket economic reforms’, untroubled by the petty pulls of coalition partners?
Take the 1984 Rajiv Gandhi government with its mammoth majority of above 400 hundred seats. In less than two years, it started playing communally divisive politics around the Babri Masjid and Shah Bano issues.
The Congress thought it was being cleverly even handed by dealing out both majority and minority communal cards. The drift in the Rajiv Gandhi government could be sensed right in the middle of its term when it lost badly in the Haryana assembly elections of 1987. It lost the hugely symbolic Allahabad by-election in 1988 to V.P. Singh, and the rest we are prone to saying, is history.
The question then is this: Could the supposed strength and stability provided by majority governments be overrated? What has the Modi government achieved on the back of its huge mandate? Has it squandered that majority much like the Rajiv Gandhi led government of 1984-89? Can Modi return to power? This has been a bit of a see-saw question.
When Modi’s government came to power with a huge landslide, or ‘tsunami’ if you will, conventional wisdom was that he was here to stay for at least two terms. The UP assembly elections in 2017 seemed to confirm this. After that, it has been more of a will he/won’t he guessing game. The jury is well and truly out on this one.

 
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