By Amit Varma
A month has gone by since the Pulwama attacks, and the initial anxieties have passed. India responded, Pakistan responded back, and we are at a stable equilibrium again, where a war is unlikely. That is a good thing, though the larger problem of how to tackle Pakistan remains. My column today is not about that—though if that interests you, do check out this episode on the India-Pakistan conflict on my podcast, The Seen and the Unseen, with SrinathRaghavan. He gave me a master class on the geopolitics and game theory involved.
This column is not about Pakistan, but about Kashmir. There are two dimensions to the Pulwama attack: the cross-border terrorism sponsored by Pakistan; and the ferment in Kashmir that is fertile ground for our neighbours. If we could solve Kashmir, Pakistan would cease to be such a huge problem. It is my contention that in the last few years, we have mishandled the problem and made it far worse.
I won’t get into debates here around Kashmir’s history or questions of political philosophy. Did we handle Kashmir correctly in 1947? Is there a philosophical case to be made for Kashmiri independence? These are complex and contentious questions, and any discussion on them gets into ‘agree-to-disagree’ territory. Instead, I will put forth a premise I think most readers will agree with: the violent insurgency in Kashmir needs to be brought to an end as efficiently as possible.
Our approach to it is the opposite of what it should be. We are making things worse.
The Fly And The Lion
To explain why this is so, I’m going to write about two important books. The first is Counterinsurgency Warfare: Theory and Practice by David Galula. The book was written in the early 1960s, and is today considered the bible of how to fight insurgencies. For decades, though, it was ignored, especially in the United States, which blundered through Vietnam and Iraq making all the mistakes Galula warned against – and which we ignore today in Kashmir.
Galula was an officer in the French army who fought insurgencies in China, Greece, Indochina, and Algeria, and was once imprisoned by Mao’s guerrillas in the 1940s. One of his first realisations was that fighting an insurgency was not remotely like fighting the conventional battles that armies had been trained to fight. The nature of the enemy was different, as was the nature of the battle. “In a fight between a fly and a lion,” he wrote, “the fly cannot deliver a knockout blow and the lion cannot fly.” Using conventional methods “have at best no more effect than a fly swatter. Some guerrillas are bound to be caught, but new recruits will replace them as fast as they are lost.”
That last sentence is the whole problem: you kill one terrorist and create three more. There are two reasons why that happens, and both involve the local population. One is a lesson Galula learnt in China from watching Mao’s guerrillas in action. Fred Kaplan, in his book The Insurgents, summed it up: “A Maoist insurgency sought above all to win the support of the people by living among them and gradually supplanting the functions of the government.”
In the language of public choice economics, they aimed to become a stationary bandit instead of a roving bandit. I wrote about this at length in my last column, in the context of India’s Maoist insurgencies. Thus, they gained the sympathies of the people they lived among, and any brutality towards them alienated them, and could drive some of them to terrorism.
Two, even if the insurgents didn’t win the sympathy of the locals, the state could still treat the local population brutally, and turn them to terrorism in their anger and frustration. As I’ll elaborate on later in this piece, that’s exactly what happened in Kashmir.
In both cases, fighting terrorism with a heavy hand just creates more terrorists. What a counterinsurgency force needs to do, therefore, is win the local population to its side. It is not enough for military action to be successful. As one of Mao’s generals said, such warfare is “20 percent military action and 80 percent political.”
20 Percent Military, 80 Percent Political
Kaplan described Galula’s ‘step-by-step process’ of fighting a successful counterinsurgency thus: “First, concentrate enough armed forces to push the insurgents out of the area. Second, keep enough troops there to repel a comeback, eventually turning it over to well-trained local soldiers or police. Third, establish contact with the people, earn their trust or control their movements, and cut off their ties to the insurgents. Fourth, destroy the insurgents’ local political organisation and create new ones. Finally, mop up or win over the insurgency’s remnants.”
This is now known in the literature as “Clear-Hold-Build.” The first element of the three requires military action, the second a combination of military and political, and the third is mainly politics. Kaplan described such warfare as requiring “military, political and judicial operations—and all three were essential. The outcome was a matter not of adding the three elements but of multiplying them: if one of the three elements was zero, the product of all three would be zero.”
TE Lawrence, in his book Seven Pillars of Wisdom, wrote: “War upon rebellion was messy and slow, like eating soup with a knife.” That’s a striking image that indicates how difficult it is, and how impotent military action can be, perpetuating terrorism instead of ending it. The American general David Petraeus, who was inspired by Galula and Lawrence, and horrified by how the United States bungled the invasion of Iraq, once said that the key question to ask before a military operation was, “Will this operation take more bad guys off the street than it creates by the way it’s conducted?”
How We Messed Up Kashmir
We know what the answer to that question is in Kashmir. That brings me to the second book I want to focus on in this piece: The Generation of Rage in Kashmir by David Devadas. This is an important book, and one that every Indian should read. It challenges assumptions that all of us who are not in Kashmir make about Kashmir today.
The biggest one of them is that militancy in the valley has been constant from the time it kicked in around 1988. Devadas, a journalist and editor who has lived in and reported from Kashmir since the last millennium, writes in his book that the militancy was effectively over by 2007, which he describes as “a year of endings and beginnings.” A key reason for this was demographic: a new generation had come of age.
“[M]any boys and even more girls of this generation,” Devadas writes, “had become deeply cynical, even contemptuous, of their elders who had taken up arms. They saw militancy as futile and secessionist leaders as self-serving hypocrites.” This was an aspirational generation. They did not speak of azaadi and militancy, and “it had already become clear that a very large number of Kashmiris did not want Kashmir to merge with Pakistan.” Many of them “dreamed of careers in modelling, acting, or singing in Mumbai, or in software engineering in Bangalore.”
The coming-of-age of this generation coincided with India-Pakistan peace talks, starting with AtalBihari Vajpayee and Pervez Musharraf beginning talks in 2003 that also increased chances of peace in the valley. It looked like a perfect storm of circumstances that would bring peace to Kashmir. There was just one problem: even though militancy was effectively over, the apparatus of counterinsurgency remained in place.
To understand this, let’s turn to economics and consider the incentives involved. Certain arms of the state had been given enormous power to fight the militancy of the 1990s. Power corrupts, as the old truism goes, and those who had this power were not about to give it up. Consider some of the different incentives in play.
One, there were direct incentives of ‘kills’ and ‘captures’. In the 1990s, the number of terrorists killed became a metric for the advancement, monetarily and otherwise, of the forces fighting them. “Officers and units sometimes competed to notch up higher numbers,” which led to a “bump-him-off” culture. Suspects were routinely killed in ‘encounters’ and, as Devadas illustrates in his book, innocent people were taken from one area to another, killed, and passed off as terrorists to get rewards. Abduction and murder, in other words, by the state.
Two, the state used its power for extortion. There is a telling story in Devadas’s book:
“Waheed Para experienced this in 2005, when he was in his late teens. A BSF officer accused him of being a militant, dramatically holding a pistol to his head, and then tortured him mentally until he broke down. He was released after a minister in the state government intervened, but the swaggering officer threatened, while letting him go, that he would ‘discover’ weapons from the car and then blow up that car with the boy in it. The boy was studying in Class 11 when he became a victim of such torture and threats. The reason was greed; that officer wanted the boy’s new black Indigo car.”
Three, the state got many more opportunities for corruption. “Vast amounts of cash were available from the sea of corruption that had filled Kashmir,” Devadas writes, “particularly over the three decades since 1987.” He elaborates:
“The army and other forces brought more money into the economy, through supply, construction and equipment contracts, apart from the money that soldiers spent from their salaries. From the mid-1990s, the Indian government stepped up aid to the state, for development and reconstruction —for example, of the very large number of schools that had been destroyed by militants. Many Kashmiris suspected that a vast proportion of that money was siphoned off through corruption.”
Four, this ‘conflict economy’, as Devadas calls it, led to an increase in rent-seeking. He quotes a local leader: “The mindset that has developed in the last 20 years is that we go to the market to buy vegetables, we go to a government department to buy the service we need. People don’t know their rights.” The locals were dependent on the state for everything—and the state extracted a price.
A classic illustration of this is the ‘Non-Involvement Certificate’ that Kashmiris needed from the government. This was a document given by the state that certified that an individual had no past of militancy. Without it, one could not get a job or a passport and so on. The going rate for it was apparently Rs 2,000. A militant could get the certificate by paying the cash. And a non-militant could not get it if he was too poor or too principled to pay.
Corruption and rent-seeking are common in other parts of India as well, but it was worse in Kashmir because there was even less accountability. The local people were treated as subjects, not citizens. The state could get away with anything. And when it had such power, with the incentives outlined above, why on earth would it give it up? It had every incentive to keep classifying the state as a conflict zone.
The state continued its brutal behaviour, as Devadas describes:
“Most men had, at some point, been abused, slapped, or kicked on their way, after a soldier had looked at their [ID] card. Or they had watched a father or an uncle being slapped, or ordered to do squats while holding his ears, or made to stand on his hands with his feet propped against a wall on a public road, while neighbours and relatives passed by. Humiliation was one of the keys to control.”
Also, as Devadas astutely points out, the generation of cops who had entered the force at a time of repression was now in senior positions in the state. Repression was all they knew. In the context of the bump-him-off culture, Devadas writes: “When the forces got used to catch-and-kill executions—and that giddily exciting power, the power over life and death— some among them clung to it even when judicial and prosecutorial systems were back in place.”
There were protests in Kashmir in 2008 and 2010, but these had nothing to do with militancy or azaadi. But for a state that had a vested interest in retaining its power, it was logical to portray all civilian protests as linked to terrorism. “The business of accusing someone of terrorism, militancy, stone-pelting, or anti-national activities,” writes Devadas, “could be used to suppress all kinds of protests, including those that had nothing to do with ‘separatist’ sentiments—such as protests against corruption.”
The clampdown on these protests was brutal. Young men who had nothing to do with militancy were rounded up in hundreds and tortured in prison. Devadas writes in his book of how the police would then use these prisoners to extort money from their parents, demanding they pay to get them released. And when there were protests, pellet guns were used instead of the water cannons used in other parts of India, blinding many people. By the early years of this decade, “rage and repression had become a vicious cycle, with each firing incident provoking fresh ire.”
And that’s when Pakistan re-entered the fray. By 2016, Pakistan-supported cross-border terrorism was on the rise, and many young people in Kashmir no longer wanted jobs and opportunities, but revenge and freedom. It was back to 1990, but even worse, enabled by new narratives of Jihad that found a willing audience, and by the new technology of the 21st century.
As Devadas writes, it was a “Catch 22: insistence on the continued operation of the apparatus of counterinsurgency, even after the 1990s’ militancy had declined, was a major cause for the support the new militancy received in the second decade of the century—which then required increased deployment of the counterinsurgency situation.”
This vicious cycle can still be broken, though. The insurgency in Kashmir can be, and must be, defeated: but it must be defeated in a way that ensures that getting rid of one terrorist does not create three more. The lessons of counterinsurgency that Galula wrote about in his book need to be internalised by the Indian state. We have to realise that just as we must not lose Kashmir, we also must not lose Kashmiris. And that good governance and democratic politics are as important a part of the puzzle as police or military action are.
(Amit Varma is a writer based in Mumbai. He has been a journalist for a decade-and-a-half, and has won the Bastiat Prize for Journalism twice. He edits the online magazine Pragati, writes the blog India Uncut and hosts the podcast The Seen and the Unseen.)
Reliving Faith in modern times
By Amir Suhail Wani
A voice lost to wilderness or the madman’s rubric, any talk of religion, God, metaphysic, values and reality suffers any of two possible consequences. Giving him the advantage of anonymity, a top notch Jamat i Islami scholar pertinently described modern epistemology with all its offsprings as the means and instruments of ensuing and securing a revolt against the God and religion. Never before was civilization so shallow in matters of faith and never before a unanimous and collective onslaught was launched against the sacred, Transcendent and divine. A mere mentions of words like “Divine”, “sacred” or “Transcendent” makes people, experiencing the opiedation of modernism, to rise their eyebrows. Any talk of worlds beyond the sensual is termed as intellectual backlog. World has seen, now and then, people rising, out of their intellectual sincerity or otherwise rising against religion and God. But historically they could never enjoy the status of metanarrative, but were always, by virtue of historical entelechy confined to margins of civilization. In post renaissance era world has succeeded, by and large, in constructing a civilisation and culture with man rather than God as its ontic reference. This man cantered civilization has paved all the possible ways for criticism and demolition of religious meta narrative.
Let’s come to philosophy first. Modern philosophy, starting with Descartian scepticism and evolving through the stages of Positivism, Naturalism, Materialism Nihilism and Existentialism, modern philosophy seems to have ultimately ended up at postmodernism. The possibilities of future development can’t be ignored nor can it be claimed that postmodernism is an all pervasive philosophical trend claiming universal adherence. But the broader picture of things has unfolded thus. Postmodernism maintains incredulity towards metanarrative and has brought with it a host of questions. Traditionally and even up to recent past man seemed to be unanimous on ontic and epistemic stability of things. But with postmodernism not only have been the institutions of religious and traditional impotence held under scrutiny but the very fundamentals of human existence like language, society and all other institutions of human importance have been deprived of their ontic reference and have been made to float freely in abyss of uncertainty. The case with science has been no better. Being a victim of excessive and inordinate empiricism, the Modern day science has surrendered its inquisitive and rational spirit to sheer scienticism.
Ibn Arabi, a classical theorizer of Islamic mysticism noted that “God is a percept, not a concept”. In this single line, the master has resolved an age old question and the problems associated with it. The notion of “conceptual scheme” as it has been adopted unquestionably alike by scientists and philosophers has brought with it an equal number of goods and ills. Man has turned obsessive to reduce everything to his conceptual categories. The human attitude of dividing a problem into subunits, though it has paid heavily in scientific realm, but has simultaneously brought irreconcilable problems in other affairs of human existence. Modern medicine treats biology disentangled from psychology and this piecemeal approach has landed us in an era where we know more and more about less and less. In a sense we know everything about nothing and nothing about everything. Traditionally things were seen associated and entangled in the cosmic Web. Coming back to human methodology of understanding things by dividing them into subcategories and then understanding things in terms of local mental categories has distorted and ruined our understanding of God, sacred and divine. We need to understand that the laws formulated by human mind are refuted within the physical realm itself. Thus the laws obeyed by matter aren’t obeyed by light and the laws applicable to fermions are completely defied by bosons. So within our physical immediacy are instances to cleave apart our ultimate trust in the laws of physics. The unending quest for unified theory in physics might bring further insights in this direction. Thus we need to be careful and watchful to the fact that the laws of matter do not apply to the realm of spirit. Coming back to God who is neither material nor spiritual, neither defined by material boundaries nor circumscribed by contours of space we need to be all the more careful. While we try to understand God in terms of mental categories derived from our physical realm we need to be very cautious that all these categories do not hold true beyond this material universe. Our conceptual schemes, which in the final analysis rest on the categories of mundane material realm are too coarse and inappropriate to conceptualise and theorise the realm of divine, sacred and godhead. At a point where despite all boasting scientific discoveries man is yet incapable of understanding his basic biology and where despite of conquering the vastness of space man is yet to gain a glimpse of his psychological depths any sweeping statements and miscalculated statements oriented towards reduction of divine to categories of psyche seems but a naive affair. The enlightened theologians, mystics and philosophers of the past have explicitly denounced the access of finite human mind to infinite cosmic intelligence. What God has informed us here and there in sacred texts is to contemplate the nature and our own selves. This unbiased contemplation is sure to bring forth some indirect aspects of divine. Though we shall be fully conscious of the fact that within the physical universe and human civilization there are instances which are heartrending, discouraging and at times they run quite contrary to the notion of divine. But the mystics and enlightened men throughout the history have been able to dissect the veil of appearance and have succeeded in looking at the essence of existence. On having this enlightened vision they bowed their heads and understood the essence of these apparent vagaries of nature. Ibrahim, the father of modern monotheism, Buddha a silent contemplator, Nanak, a socially conscious religious purgatory amply demonstrate this state of enlightenment. Modern scientific mind is highly welcome in questioning the authenticity of religion, aspects of divine and the apparent chaos that is witnessed everywhere in physical and social landscape. There can be no proper understanding in absence of questioning. Likewise doubt is an essential ingredient of faith. But while one raises questions in atheist or any such frame one must have patience, tolerance and wide sightedness to understand theistic point of view. To dub religion irrational for its simple disagreement with science seems a rather constricted opinion. Religion has been a great architect in shaping the course of human civilization and to unfasten our knots with this perennial source of wisdom, learning, inspiration and exaltation will amount to gross intellectual injustice. The need of hour is not to posit theists and atheists as antithetical but to encourage each to understand the point of other. Maybe in this collective endeavour humanity discovers a paradigm that has still not been thought of.
(The author is a freelance columnist with bachelors in Electrical Engineering and a student of comparative studies with special interests in Iqbaliyat & mystic thought. He contributes a weekly column for this newspaper that appears every Monday. He can be reached at: [email protected])
Pleasures of poetry
By Shabbir Aariz
Poetry is a refined manifestation of using language artfully, effectively and persuasively. Priest, poet and blacksmith were the three those stood before the King in ancient times. Priest and blacksmith are easily identifiable but how do we describe poet? The Greek and Latin roots of the word “poet” means “creator” describing one who demonstrates great imaginative power, insight or beauty of expression. Therefore, the poet must be more than a writer of pretty words. A poet while writing poetry, the poet means to reach his audience in the deepest part of their being and wants to make them absolutely sure that he knows what he is talking about, because they are able to understand what the poet is saying so clearly. It is unlikely that a poet seeks fame. Ideally he is just seeking one person who understands; who embraces him and acknowledges a secret that they share; a mutual agreement that they are both same. It ought to have a universal appeal. It should not be confined to a particular time or age. It matters little whether a poet had a large audience in his own time. What matters is that there should always be at least a small audience for him in every generation. One has to take the poetry into one’s heart to fan the fire there and then also light one’s own fires. One amuses oneself with the world over which one finds to have been given dominion and trust that poetry will in the same measure help one to understand and explain it. Enshrined in poetry are the pleasures of entertainment as well as the pleasures of value. Entertaining pleasure suggests mirth and relaxation while as pleasures of value indicates information and learning. Amazingly some believe that poetry with a particular social, moral, religious or political message restricts reader’s imagination but T S Eliot holds that poetry always adds more to reader’s knowledge of the subject and sharpens his/her thinking power for that particular area. According to him, the poet utilizes his own language for expressing his people’s feelings and emotions. The twofold duty is thus performed; directly promoting, preserving and improving the language with an indirect duty to his people. There should be no denying of the fact that a poet is a person of extraordinary intellect and observation with a command over human nature that allows him to versify his people’s emotions in poetry. How interesting is the fact that such expression of feelings also enriches the language and keeps it alive for ever. We are well aware that in this part of the world, Urdu language even after stepmother’s treatment, has flourished more because of its excellent treasure of poetry and its worst enemies use it to properly express themselves. One finds it appropriate to mention Khushwant Singh’s observation while he says that if you are in love, you need to understand Urdu poetry and if you want to understand Urdu poetry, you need to fall in love. No doubt the role of poetry is less certain due to distractions. Electronic boom like TV, internet and computer made it less tempting and lesser reading population. Needless to say that earlier reading was a primary activity of the population and poets represented the spiritual guide of the population, who helped reader identify their most internal emotions, intuitions and imaginations. Yet the role remains the same as a century ago. Poet captures the essence of the world and the society in a unique manner and reflects it to be understood by people. He also captures the essence of internal emotions including joy, sadness, fear, hope as well as any other feeling comprehensive real of emotions. Poetry is an art to engage, to influence and to inspire. Poetry, every time has passed the ordeal of understanding the realities of human life to its readers with an infallible test of blameless style. Poetry appears to have remained an effective medium of articulating the concrete realities with an ability to speak forth ideas ever since the creation of the universe and the man along with it. And various poets have attempted to define poetry. Someone has observed, “poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words”. Sigmund Freud says, “poets are masters of us ordinary men, in knowledge of the mind, because they drink at streams which we have not yet made accessible to science”. He further observes, “Everywhere I go I find that a poet has been there before me”. P B Shelly observes, “poetry lifts the veil from the hidden beauty of the world”. While John Keats says “…… a thing which enters into one’s soul…”. Samuel Taylor Coleridge centuries before has held, “…. For poetry is the blossom and fragrancy of all human knowledge, human thoughts, human passions, emotions, language.” All said, the poetry in its ultimate analyses is to call the soldier to war and a lover into the bosom.
(A leading lawyer and eminent poet, author contributes a weekly column. He can be reached at: [email protected])
Fighting the menace of corruption
By Fida Firdous
Recently J&K Governor publically said that behind the fake appointments in JK Bank there seems some back of political people and involvement of corrupted big fish will not be spared. He without wasting further time he sacked Chairman J&K Bank. Half of a month had gone, where is report? Who is investigating the case? What has been done to fake appointment? If this was not just a news stunt or a political posture, then, why action under rules is not initiated against corrupt people? These are some legitimate questions from the desired youth of J&K to be answered?
Governor in his speech said that Kashmir is the victim of politicians and corruption. The statement was widely appreciated and welcomed by all. Without naming any particular political party he denounces any relaxation on corruption belonging to any political party or person.
Pretend to mention here, why the system is corrupted? Who makes us corrupted? And what are the consequences of corruption? I’m not writing an essay but revealing what I have witnessed. Let’s talk about home? J&K is among the most corrupted states in India a study of Centre for Media Studies (CMS) in its annual corruption study – CMS 2017- has placed Jammu and Kashmir among top corrupted states.
Answers of these questions are simple, “helplessness” of giver before the corrupted system. There is evidence that corruption at the top of a bureaucratic system increases corruption at lower levels. Manipulating the social and political environment.
Paradoxically, increased corruption in JK has increased the level of frustration in the young competent youth. This is not evident in jobs only, but other sections as well. There is a well phenomenon that giving and getting bribe both is corruption. But this phenomenon is administrative in practical. Until transparent system will not be enforced by the government organs to eliminate corruption. The giver and taker will no longer be active in malpractice. So, primary duty of eliminating corruption depends on government organs.
Unemployment is the outcome of corruption. The consequence is deviation of youth and addiction of drugs and involvement in unlawful activities. Youth which is called backbone of a developing country like India and in the conflicted state like JK has its worst results seen so far.
Today if you are worth competent, merit holder and lacking approach you are at ground zero. For giving bribe you need a political or bureaucratic approach, Agents of corruption. Those who don’t fall under such category will fall prey and sick. What approach means? It doesn’t mean a transparent approach for promising justice, no, not at all. Here it means something else. My simple words may heart some of the persons who are involved in the recent backdoor appointment through political approach and get jobs in JK Bank being incompetent and undesirable that marred the merit of desirable ones. That is why I failed to qualify interviews many times due to the notorious and corrupted system.
Giving job to undesirable person for being a voter or supporter for political gain and use them for propaganda is a bumpy idea. This can’t be the subtlety of politics. Does it mean after pursuing PhD I should follow illiterate politicians for adjustment? Bear me it happens in my home, where an educated person becomes the political bedfellows for getting a job. They are habitually now? They are in a mess of materialistic world where aspirations of the desired candidates are not delivered properly. At this point of time they become the victim in hands of influential ones or bribers. In a way society is dying. Young youth getting frustrated. Those who facade corruptions are agents of evil.
Don’t take it simple. It is a curse. A curse like cancer. Frustration is due for a postgraduate unemployment youth looking a 10th class person’s in job without any merit. It notionally has bad impact on our society. Further, the more corruption, the slower the economic growth. One of the worse consequences of the corruption is to produce incompetent society. Developed countries are mainly depends upon the competent people, and developing country like India or Kashmir, incorporated incompetent people either by bribe or influence, this incompetency can never contribute to our society. Hence we are thousand years back then the developing countries.
No doubt, corruption is inevitable fact of human civilization. It is the malaise attached to the largest democracy of the world that is India. From getting a job to IAY facility or to any legal case nothing goes without giving a bribe. But it is actually we people who are promoting it; we gave bribe to skip the queues to get driving license without giving any test. There are thousands of cases (files) pending rounding from table to table in our highest office civil secretariat from years reasons best known to everyone. The disposal of our work culture is corrupted.
Corruption in J&K has becomes a national security threat. We can’t stop it, but there are ways to reduce it. It starts with the government but it includes everyone from lowliest to the highest. In short corruption has to eliminate somewhere and it stops at the ballot box and it stops in the home. Politicians are well aware about this fact, but they are not ready to take any lesson from the pages of history. PV Narasimha Roa is the worst example that history has ever met.
J&K Anti-corruption Bureau, J&K State Vigilance Commission and other agencies must eliminate corruption at a point that it doesn’t affect the whole society in a bad way. An honest man must believe in honesty, everyone is not corrupt. Coordination of young educated youth towards corruption should be voluntary and open. (The writer cam be reached at: [email protected])