By Rasheed Yusoof

“A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way”. 

“With great power comes, great responsibility”; but there are only a few who manage to live upto it. The new buzz in the islands is about our Hon’ble Lt. Governor Lt. Gen. (Retd) A K Singh, PVSM, AVSM, SM, VSM. You must have seen him cycling, taking a walk or might be around you and you wouldn’t have even realized. Yes, he is just one of us, who thinks and understands the problems of the common man. From what we have seen and heard until now, our new Hon’ble Lt. Governor is a responsible leader for the masses, which becomes possible through effective Administration.

We have seen him interacting and discussing problems right from the young to the elderly. What we see here is democratic or in other words participative leadership, which was practiced by some of the great leaders of their time like Mahatma Gandhi. Our Hon’ble Lt. Governor takes suggestions & advices from all sections of the society and then acts upon it.

The logical and practical approach towards problem solving, and the apparent endeavour to make the islands a better place to live, has created a positive wave in the islands, and hence a sense of security and comfort among the Islanders. The Islanders have started envisioning the long awaited development of the Islands, and trust that Their new Leader is the gift of Their long awaited prayers. The Lt. Governor has a very strong Positive and ‘Never Give Up’ Attitude and  His warmth, approachable attitude, personal visits and time bound problem solving acumen reflects his interest for the Rise of the Islands. Moreover, he has been able to identify the key areas where he wants to focus on, namely Education, Health, Fisheries and Tourism, which are truly also the need of the hour.

Andaman having been bestowed with all natural beauty needs to be showcased on the global map, and only with a visionary like our current Hon’ble Lt. Governor, this dream is possible. Our Hopes are high and fingers crossed and the goal is common to make the islands a part of the global economy and have world-class infrastructure. In this day and age, it’s a boon for the society to be led by a true leader motivated both socially and morally for unparalleled public service.

It feels great to have a Lt. Governor who is kind, encouraging and strives for development of the islands in all fields. His valuable guidance, inspiring words and above all, his encompassing physical presence amidst us itself shows his greatness. We will always remain grateful to you, Honorable Sir!


We look forward for bright and prosperous future  under your Strong & Positive leadership as the Administrator of A & N Islands. 

 By Denis Giles

The Islanders were on the verge of losing all hopes. A time, when the dark shadows loomed large and frustration seemed to be quite evident. Unemployment, lack of opportunity, poor medical facilities, not up-to date educational options, long term pending projects, not very wise decisions, corruption, favouritism etc. were all combinedly corroding the islands, and the Islanders.  And when everything seemed to be lost - with no one to guide and stand up for - the heavens finally ended up showing some mercy.

In this scenario, where Confusion prevailed and Self Interest dictated, a new Lt. Governor was appointed to take on the helm of the affairs. But by this time the ignored Islands were destitute and the Islanders were steeped in scepticism. It was not easy for the islanders racked with pain to overlook the past and easily forget what they had gone through. Doubts and negativity had filled them and they had lost the ability to Believe, be Positive and Foresee Happy times ahead.

Herein, stepped the Eleventh Lieutenant Governor of ANI. On 8 July 2013, Lt. Gen. (Retd) A.K. Singh, the newly appointed Lt. Governor took an oath to justify his appointment. Having had successfully led an Army, with an unending list of remarkable achievements, this must have seemed to be a child’s play for him. But he could not have perceived what all lurked behind the apparently beautiful and peaceful scenes visible to the naked eye.

His achievements could not serve as a qualification to console the dejected islanders infused with negativity over the years. Moreover, dealing with the civil society, without ruffling the feathers of all concerned, and getting the desired result proved to be totally a different field for the General to get accustomed to.

 “I don’t have a magic wand to solve issues overnight but

I can assure my commitment for my job……….”

The above sentiments were expressed by the new Lt. Governor in his opening remarks through the media. He explicitly stated that his

 “posting as the Lt. Governor is not a stepping stone but a milestone and a second chance to serve the people.

The words were encouraging and no doubt had raised some expectations of the islanders. But this time, the dejected wanted to see words materializing. They had been hearing many such idioms, phrases and anecdotes and had forcibly clapped over it.  For them it was seeing for believing.

The passing year has proved, repeatedly that he stood by all his commitments and claims.

The General within no time of his new posting had travelled across the length & breadth of the islands. He lent his ears to the unheard, stood amidst them, understood them and ensured that their genuine grievances were taken care of.  Many spot decisions were taken, which in fact never required tedious official procedures that used to be followed. These small little decisions and actions on the ground by the Lt. Governor, managed to rekindle the lost faith of the islanders, to a large extent.

It was not only this; Lt. Governor AK Singh within a short time was able to judge the real challenges being faced by the islanders. He knew that the task was not easy but with his ‘never give up’ attitude, the General was determined to hit the nail. He had a clear vision of a sustainable development and inclusive growth, while being sensitive to the fragile ecosystem and the particularly vulnerable tribes.

As announced in his opening remarks when he took over as theLt. Governor, AK Singh persistently took up the issues with the concerned Ministries at New Delhi. Many projects that remained shelved due to lack of initiative has started gaining momentum. As a follow up, the General adopted a policy to conduct regular review of the functioning of various departments, which is the very basis of chasing any target.

Believing in inclusive growth, the Lt. Governor AK Singh remained connected to the islanders through public hearings and also opened up a new platform using social media to invite suggestions from the Islanders in particular. It is for the first time that the Lt. Governor of A&N Islands could be connected through social media and by doing this, unexpectedly he ended up at the receiving end of the frustration of the people and needless to mention, criticism by media. To add to it, the unfortunate tourist boat tragedy and expose on exploitation of the tribes seemed to shatter it all.

Though demoralizing for any newcomer who meant business in true sense; the spirit of moving ahead and facing challenges ultimately elevated his position in the eyes of the islanders. The unfortunate incidents ultimately helped put things back in track. Safety Audit of all boats was ordered, causing inconvenience to many but then, it proved worth in many ways. Organising an international seminar to deliberate on the situation of the aboriginal tribes too is a welcoming step.  

Lt. Gen. (Retd) A.K. Singh has identified the key areas to focus on which includes employment opportunities, connectivity, tourism, fisheries, IT services, health, education, sports, telecommunication, security and not the least a fool proof Disaster Management for the islands prone to natural disasters. His personal initiative to reorganise the existing Disaster Management and conduct of the first ever State Level Mock Disaster Exercise proved its worth during the devastating Cyclone ‘Lehar’. It was due to this initiative that the islands could prevail over the cyclone with minimum damages.

It’s been just a year after Lt. Gen. (Retd) A.K. Singh took over as the Lt. Governor of Andaman & Nicobar Islands. While many developmental projects are in the pipeline; it would be worth mentioning that the once seemed distant dream of having Islands’ own Medical College would soon be a reality. 

The entire happening of the last one year can be summed up beautifully in the words of W.B.Yeats –

 “Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;

Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,”

And the outcome as -

“Surely some revelation is at hand;


Surely the Second Coming is at hand.”

- Dr S Chakraborty

Entrepreneurs or self employed persons are slowly but surely getting the respect that they deserve for choosing the path less travelled and I am sure just like  rest of India, islanders will also see young people with audacious ideas capturing the attention and imagination  of the society. Yes it sounds glamorous and fun but the journey that every entrepreneur embarks on, is far from that. As an entrepreneur myself, I must confess the road to fame and success is tough with lots of insecurity and criticism thrown in, one has to to brave the storm and move on.  Here I would like to present some qualities that I feel, a entrepreneur must have to achieve, what he is set out for;

1) You must be emotionally invested in your project completely.  You should have the passion and must feel stongly about it or else its very difficult to withstand the ups and down of any project.

You will realize soon that money just like a drug, fails to give the kick that you always need to have sustained enthusiasm. Only innate interest and total emotional involvement will give you the endless supply of energy to carry on and on. 

2) Don’t chase somebody else dream.  Instead of having a herd mentality and just doing what everybody else are doing, have your own unique project and give it all you have got. Do you want to be a stinking rich but unhappy and unsatisfied person or a relatively well off person with a great sense of fulfilment because of a unique product?

3) Constraints inspire creativity. All success stories started from constraints right from facebook, twitter, apple etc. So don’t give up your million dollar idea just because you don’t have much money. Persevere with it and things will happen.

4) Your first idea need not be always the best idea. So never mind about your previous failed ventures. Harness your experiences from that and start afresh. And yes you can always call yourself a serial entrepreneur rather than a person with past failures.

5) Get yourself a high altitude view of your project. Review it periodically so that mid course correction if needed, could be done and desired outcome could be manufactured. Never leave your project on auto pilot mode once it took off or else it will derail.

6) Completely immerse yourself in the project to the point of no return. Don’t have a escape plan or else 100% commitment and absolute creativity won’t come. On seeing a mightier and bigger enemy, a king once ordered to burn all its boat so that nobody including him can think of backtracking. Needless to say, he conquered.

7) To succeed spectacularly, you must be prepared to fail spectacularly as well. So practice DWAVANDWA, a Sanskrit word which means alike in success and failure. Can you conclude from Dhoni’s expression, whether he has lost or won? If you are very much pleased with success then failure will also hurt you more.

8) Every success story is backed up by a good team of committed workers with shared values and principles. Cultivate a culture of leadership in your organization so that you have more heads to get ideas from. Henry Ford of Ford motors once famously said; take away all my factories and wealth but just give me my team. I can make all the factories again.

9) Get yourself a rhino skin. Criticism will come thick and fast more often than applause. So don’t lose sight of your end product, shrug off the flies and march on.

10) Past performance does not guarantee future results; never mind your past success or reputation, every day you have got to crush your ego and start with a zero.

It must be a win win deal for you and for yor service user or else it won’t stand the test of time. Never try to make a quick buck at somebody’s expense. You will face the same music, its just a matter of time.   

By Zubair Ahmed

Ramadan brings with it paradoxical memories. If it’s fasting for some, it’s feasting for others. Some use it as a break from the mundane life, whereas others utilize every moment of it to achieve the objectives for which it was ordained by God.

Preparations for Ramadan start well in advance with lots of planning. Some resolve to bring self-restraint and discipline in one’s life whereas; others plan for trying new recipes at Iftaar, breaking of fast.

Some make it an excuse to avoid work and shirk from responsibilities by trying to gain sympathy, whereas, others perform with diligence and accountability towards one’s work as well as to God.

Every year, Muslims all over the world observe fasting during Ramadan, the ninth month of Islamic Calendar.

The day of fasting begins with an early morning meal before dawn and ends at sunset. The evening activities include the traditional breaking of the fast (IFTAR), usually with dates and water. Muslims would then go to the mosque for congregational prayers.

This month calls upon us, yet again, to reflect on our lives and judge for ourselves to what extent we have lived, and live, by the Divine Guidance. Through fasting we taste—to some extent—the pain and suffering of those who are poor and destitute. Fasting teaches empathy and sympathy, and it takes away some of our selfishness and self-centeredness.

In Islam, fasting is primarily an institution for a spiritual discipline and self-control. It is in fact an exercise in religious devotion in the form of cheerful and willing renunciation, for a definite period, of all the appetites of flesh lawful in themselves.

The real purpose of fasting is not to make us hungry and thirsty, or to deprive us some of our comfort and conveniences but to be God conscious. Fasting is an invisible act. Only God and the person who is fasting know whether he or she is fasting or not. Fasting teaches how to control and discipline our desires. During fasting we learn how to say "no" to things that are otherwise permissible and good, but are forbidden during fasting. When one learns how to say "no" to that which is generally permissible, then one can easily control oneself to avoid that which is forbidden.

The fast of Ramadan is not merely a fast of the stomach, but a holistic fast of the tongue, eyes, ears, limbs, heart and mind.  The fasting person is to control not only actions and deeds, but also their thoughts and desires. Therefore, Ramadan is the Month of Self-Discipline. Prophet Muhammad taught the Muslims that “God is in no need of someone abstaining from food and drink if they do not abstain from evil deeds and evil words."

Prophet Muhammad taught to avoid arguments and disputes in Ramadan even when confronting verbal abuse, swearing, or physical provocation.  In such situations, he commanded to simply say: “I am fasting,” and to not reciprocate the argument or verbal abuse. This makes Ramadan a Boot Camp Month.  A month to train to stay away from back-biting, arguments, lies, cheating, dishonesty, miserliness, envy, covetousness and greed.

Ramadan is also the month in which the Holy Quran was revealed to Prophet Muhammad as Guidance to the whole mankind, the subject of which is Man. Muslims focus on their spiritual relationship with the Creator of the Universe.  They read His last revelation and reflect over its meanings and objectives.

Ramadan is considered the Month of Mercy, Forgiveness and Salvation.  So to earn the Mercy of God, God urges us to be merciful to one another.  To earn His forgiveness, God urges us to forgive one another; and to receive Salvation we need to believe in God and to be good to one another, particularly to those in need.

Thus, it’s also the month of generosity, and through increased charity, feelings of kindness and good-will towards others are developed. Prophet Muhammad once said, "A man's wealth is never diminished by charity."

The month of Ramadan, in fact is a training course which makes human being a perfect embodiment of virtue, and if followed in letter and spirit, makes the world a better a place with peace and unity with a sense of sharing and caring.

If fasting in the month of Ramadan is observed in true sense as ordained, with spiritual bliss, one can see a sea of change in our attitude towards the Creator as well as His creations.

Rape laws - A comparative look at different countries laws

Adv Bhuneshwari Devi

Rape is a kind of sexual assault initiated by one or more persons against another person without that person's consent. The act may be carried out by physical force, or where the person is under threat or influence, or with a person who is incapable of valid consent. It is the name of a statutory crime in jurisdictions such as England and Wales, Northern Ireland, Scotland, California, and New York.

Definitions of rape vary, and though rape is usually dependent upon whether or not consent was present during the act, the term "consent" varies as well. Minors, for example, are often considered too young to consent to sexual relations with older persons. Consent is also considered invalid if obtained under duress, or from a person who does not have the ability to understand the nature of the act, due to factors such as young age, mental disability, or substance intoxication.

Many jurisdictions, such as Canada, and several US and Australian states, have abandoned the term 'rape' in favour of other terms such as 'sexual assault', 'sexual intercourse without consent', 'criminal sexual conduct' etc.

Two different changes have been made in recent decades in many jurisdictions in regard to the criminal offense of rape as it relates to marital status.The removal of the stipulation that, if after the act of rape the victim and the perpetrator get married to each other, the prosecution ends and the criminalization of rape between spouses. Throughout much of the history, rape in marriage was not a crime. Most cultures subscribed to the idea of the existence of 'conjugal rights' to sexual intercourse with one's spouse, and, until well into the 20th century, most legal systems generally accepted, overtly or tacitly, that such 'rights' could be taken by force, against the will of the wife. Traditional understanding and views of marriage, rape, sexuality, gender roles and self-determination have started to be challenged in most Western countries during the 1960s and 1970s, which has led to the subsequent criminalization of marital rape during the following decades.In countries like BhutanPenal Code of Bhutan outlaws rape and other sexual offenses.Under the criminal code, there are several categories of rape, which are punished differently, depending on factors such as the age of the victim, the relationship between the victim and the perpetrator, the number of participants (gang rape), whether the victim was pregnant, whether injury occurred. Marital rape is also recognized as an offense under the 2004 laws, being classified as a petty misdemeanour. The most serious form of rape is Gang rape of a child below twelve years of age, classified as a felony of the first degree. Marital rape is illegal in Bhutan. In Canadathe word rape is not used in the Canadian Criminal Code. Instead the law criminalizes "sexual assault". Sexual assault is defined as sexual contact with another person without that other person's consent. Consent is defined as "the voluntary agreement of the complainant to engage in the sexual activity in question".

The mere fact that a person allows sexual connection to be performed on them, does not automatically mean that they are legally consenting. If that person allows sexual connection due to coercion, then he/she is not legally consenting.

In addition, many states define sexual crimes other than male-on-female penetration as sexual assault rather than rape. There are no national standards for defining and reporting male-on-male, female-on-female or female-on-male offenses, so such crimes are generally not included in rape statistics unless these statistics are compiled using information from states which count them as rape.

Writer is a Human Right Activist and founder of Human Rights Foundation, Babu Lane, Port Blair,ANI