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Union leaders use position as ‘launching pads’ to join politics?

Mudassir Kuloo

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Srinagar, Mar 12: Over the years, several trade union leaders in Kashmir have made their way into politics placing a question mark on their credibility and overall stature among people.
Such leaders are being accused of using the trade unions as “launching-pad” for their political interests.
One of such leaders, who wished anonymity, said even though he has no plans of joining politics, his intentions are already questioned by his peers.
“Joining politics by trade union leaders has raised questions upon our credibility. Many believe we too may be raising employees’ issues to make our presence felt in politics,” he said.
Fayaz Ahmad Shabnum, acting president, Employees Joint Action Committee (EJAC) – an amalgam of various employees’ unions, said it was “one’s personal choice to join politics”.
“Former employees’ leaders are not an exception as people from all fields have joined politics. But I will never join politics and will always fight for the demands of employees,” he claimed.
He counted several examples of former trade union leaders who did not join politics.
“There have been powerful trade union leaders like Majeed Khan, Samprat Prakash, Ashni Sahab, Shafi Lone, Bashir Khan, and Mohammad Sidiq Bhat, who did not join politics. The trade unions have rendered immense sacrifices,” he added.
On February 2, when former EJAC president Abdul Qayoom Wani, announced his joining the Peoples Democratic Party, his former colleagues from the trade union addressed a hurriedly convened press conference where they distanced from Wani’s decision.
The press conference was called after employees took on trade union leaders for using EJAC for “political interests”, a source said.
Qayoom Wani, claimed that he “did not use” his position in EJAC for his political interests.
“Anybody can join politics,” he said.
“I made commitment to the employees. I fought for their rights and did not deceive them. It is my personal decision to join politics. Till I remained in the union, I did no politics with the employees,” he added.
He disagreed that his decision has dented the image of trade union leaders. “People from all fields join politics–be it civil society, business, or trade unions. They can contribute in society in any field but they shall only be sincere in their efforts,” he said..
Earlier, Chairman JKLF, Yasin Malik had flayed the leadership of government employees and trade unions whom he said were “playing a shameful role since 1990s and betraying the people’s cause”.
“Since 90s we have seen almost every leader of government employees starting his career in the name of employee welfare, supporting peoples cause, working for the human rights of Kashmiris. As soon as they get an opportunity, they take no time in switching over their loyalty to Delhi for the lust of power, money and other materialistic gains,” Malik had said in a statement.


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KEG turns down Fayaz Kaloo’s resignation

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Srinagar, Jun 19: A meeting of Kashmir Editors Guild (KEG) was held on Wednesday to discuss the various issues confronting the institution of media in Kashmir.

The members who participated in the meeting reiterated their commitment to uphold the journalistic values while reporting the ground realities in Kashmir, a KEG spokesperson said.

The members, he added, resolved to create an atmosphere that will help in creating a free and independent institution of media in the state.

 

“The meeting also complimented the efforts of the members to help establish an institution of media that is professional to the core as media in Kashmir has been operating in a testing situation since the past three decades,” he said. 

The meeting discussed the issue of resignation submitted by the KEG president, Fayaz A Kaloo and unanimously turned it down requesting him to continue as President for the smooth functioning of KEG.

“It was resolved in the meeting that under Kaloo’s able leadership, KEG has emerged as an efficient votary of freedom of press and has been contributing its bit for strengthening the institution of media,” the spokesperson said.

The meeting was attended by Chief Editor Greater Kashmir, Fayaz Ahmad Kaloo, Editor, Kashmir Images- Bashir Manzar, Editor Kashmir Life-Masood Hussain, Editor Chattan-Tahir Mohiuddin, Editor Uqab-Manzoor Anjum, Printer, Publisher-GK Communications-Rashid Makhdoomi, Editor Aafaaq-Ghulam Geelani Qadri, Editor Tameel Irshad-Raja Mohiuddin, Editor Kashmir Reader-Haji Hayat Bhat, Editor Nida-i-Mashirq-Haroon Rashid and Editor Kashmir Vision-Shafat Kira.

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Rajnath pays tributes to slain Major

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Srinagar, Jan 18: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh Tuesday paid his tributes to Major Ketan Sharma in New Delhi. The Major had lost his life in an encounter with militants at Anantnag on Monday.

In a tweet, Singh said: “Major Sharma made the supreme sacrifice while fighting against the terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir. Major Sharma fought valiantly like a true soldier. My heart goes out to his bereaved family.”

Army Chief General Bipin Rawat also paid his tributes to Major Sharma by laying wreath.

 

Meanwhile, Army, here in Kashmir, too Tuesday paid tributes to Major Sharma and three soldiers killed during a militant attack and an encounter in south Kashmir on Monday and Tuesday respectively.

In a solemn ceremony at BB Cantt, Lt Gen KJS Dhillon, Chinar Corps Commander and all ranks, paid homage to the slain soldiers. Representatives from other security agencies also joined in paying their tributes.

Two of the slain soldiers, Havildar Amarjeet Kumar and Naik Ajit Kumar Sahoo, had sustained injuries on Monday in an IED blast in Arihal village of Pulwama. They were provided immediate first aid and evacuated to 92 Base Hospital where they succumbed to their injuries.

Amarjeet, 35, had joined the Army in 2005 and hailed from village Dighawlia in Siwan District of Bihar. He is survived by his wife and two sons. Naik Sahoo, 27, hailed from village Badasuanalo in Dhenknal District of Odisha. He had joined the Army in 2015 and is survived by his parents.

On Tuesday, Rifleman Anil Kumar Jaswal sustained a bullet injury in a counter-militancy operation conducted in Marhama village of Anantnag in which two militants were eliminated.

He was provided immediate first aid and evacuated to 92 Base Hospital but he too succumbed to his injuries. Jaswala, 26, belonged to village Saroh of Una District of Himachal Pradesh. He had joined Army in 2013 and is survived by his wife and a son.

The mortal remains of the slain were flown for the last rites to their native places, where they would be laid to rest with full military honours, Army spokesperson said. 

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A round of applause: ‘TheRealKashmir’ shortlisted at Cannes Lions 2019

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Srinagar, Jun 18: The dream story of Real Kashmir Football Club (RKFC) is being watched and appreciated by the world as a two-minute film on the club was Tuesday shortlisted at Cannes Lions 2019.
‘TheRealKashmir’ was one of the 23 shortlists at the gala considered a global event and the largest gathering of the advertising and creative communications industry.
The international festival of creativity announced the shortlists across Direct, Media, PR, Creative Data, Creative Strategy, Social & Influencer categories on Tuesday.
‘TheRealKashmir’ was shortlisted in the PR category.
“For seven decades, the world has seen only one side of Kashmir. As ‘Sports has the power to change lives’ as its driving philosophy, Adidas partnered with Real Kashmir FC, a rising football club from the strife-torn region, and decided to change the negative perception with which the world sees Kashmir”, Cheil Worldwide India, who shot the movie, had said last month.
Cheil had also noted that they told their story across different mediums to create a brand new positive lens that would enable the world to see ‘TheRealKashmir’.
“We started with a 2 minute long film based on the true story of the club and their rise to the big leagues of India. We partnered with a leading Kashmiri newspaper to reorganize its news sections by bringing the sports page in front instead of the regular cover story of negativity. Then, we organized a photo exhibition in collaboration with the renowned street photographer, Prashant Godbole, showcasing Kashmir through the positive lens of football,” Cheil said.
In fact there are many firsts associated with the Real Kashmir FC. It became the first local football club to hire a former famous Scottish player David Robertson to coach the youngsters. David was playing for Rangers FC and Leeds United before taking up the coaching assignments. Established in 2016, the Real Kashmir FC is only club from Kashmir to have played in Scotland.
Only Tuesday, the club signed a top English striker Kallum Higginbotham for the upcoming season.
In their debut season in the highly competitive I League Real Kashmir FC finished third on the table, and on the way beating power houses such as Mohun Bagan and eventual champions Chennai City FC.
Real Kashmir FC also had huge attendance in all home games played at the TRC astro-turf with an average attendance of 25000. In last I League also saw the first ever match played in snow when RKFC took and defeated Gokulam Kerala FC.

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