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ANI Demonstrators protesting against India’s newly introduced Citizenship Amendment Act and the National Register of Citizens in Kolkata, West Bengal. Image Credit:

Sultan Qaboos: The heart of the people

By Ramachandran Nair

It was a real shock when I heard that Oman’s Sultan Qaboos bin Said, passed away on January 11. It marked the end of an era for the people of Oman, both Omanis and expatriates, and to the world. On the day, I watched the funeral function live on television. It was unbelievable for me to realise that the man sitting on the highest chair in the country was no more.

To me, like anyone else, ‘Baba Qaboos’, will always be remembered with deep admiration by people in all walks of life, irrespective of which nationality they belong to.

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Oman's leader Sultan Qaboos bin Said attends the opening of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) summit in Doha. Image Credit: Reuters

Recalling the celebrations of Oman’s 48th National Day, during which time a 100-metre-long national flag of Oman, was stitched and acted like a tribute to Sultan Qaboos. It showed how intense the love, affection and gratitude people had to their Baba Qaboos. It was a creative way to remember him forever.

The never-ending condolence messages are making people realise how well the world acknowledged his role and leadership skills. He remains in the life of people.

I would say that Sultan Qaboos’ continuous call on his people to invest their talents and expertise in various fields for shaping an innovative Arab nation has been well achieved. As the foundation has been laid strong, I’m confident that the pathway will not be disturbed. The former Sultan of Oman emerged as a person who realised the need of his people and society.

After living almost three decades of my life in Oman, the country has given me everything I need to survive, and for that I admire this land of prosperity under the wise leadership of Sultan Qaboos. The most valuable asset is freedom, security, love and affection of the people that will remain strong.

- The reader is a resident of Muscat, Oman.

The current condition of the Indian economy

By Aayush Raj

The Narendra Modi government took the Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) from Aatish Taseer a British-born writer and journalist, with Time for writing an article on Modi - “Divider in chief”.

In 2002, Narendra Modi was the chief minister of the state of Gujarat, and was widely known for his inaction and silently supporting the violence against the Muslims. Thousands of people mostly Muslims died in the infamous Gujarat riots. He was from the Bharatiya Janta Party(BJP), the current ruling government in India. Even the US had banned Modi at that time.

The BJP rose to prominence on its communal politics. Indian politician L. K. Advani led the Ram Rath Yatra in 1990, that terminated into the Babri Masjid demolition in 1992, leading to riots which killed thousands, mostly Muslims again.

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Modi Image Credit: File photo

When the BJP came to power in 2014, hundreds of people faced violence and death for their religious identity. Lynching became an everyday reality.

Recently in the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), a world class university in India, violence against unarmed students and faculty members broke out in the beginning of January. Members of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), a student organisation affiliated with the BJP were apparently responsible. No arrest has been made so far.

Today, if you question the government you will be called an anti-national, you will be asked to go to Pakistan. The newly introduced Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC) have created mayhem in India. Around 25 people died during the anti-CAA protests, in the state of Uttar Pradesh, where the ruling party is the BJP.

In 2014, Brijgopal Harkishan Loya, an Indian judge, who was handling cases against the current home minister died in mysterious circumstances.

With the economy going down, unemployment is high, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is at five per cent, the lowest in 11 years. Everything that this government has done so far, has been a disaster.

With the new CAA and NRC, the government is trying to divide the whole nation on religious lines. I think a day might come when the Muslims of India would be asked for papers to prove that they are Indian. The new act together with the NRC will wreak havoc on the poor people irrespective of religion. The daily wage workers, who don’t have a place to sleep at night, how will they be able to prove their citizenship?

This is India, and I am one of the voices fighting to preserve its democracy, secularism and plurality.

- The reader is a writer based in India.

Do wives who earn more hurt their husband’s ego?

By Lamiya Siraj

As we all know we are living in the 21st century, but are we truly modern in our thinking? I still feel like people have different views on women earning and wives earning more than their husbands. I remember, initially how the norms of our so-called society were that only a man can be a bread earner for the family. Women were strictly not allowed to go out of the house to work. The more one subscribes to traditional gender roles, the more imbalanced relationships become. There are wives who actively downplay how much they earn as to not hurt their husband’s ego. Secure men of substance are proud of their wives and their accomplishments.

But the mentality of people is improving. Equality is prevailing now in terms of genders. In today’s competitive and expensive lifestyles, it is becoming a necessity for more of family members to be the earners. Change begins at home. Many a times I have witnessed women envy other women. Some even criticise each other for not fulfilling their domestic duties or taking care of their families as they are busy working and earning. But if I talk about today, I feel like men have opened up to the idea and have changed their thinking. They have accepted the facts and the importance of a double income to sustain and survive. Those who still have not, need to open their mind.

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Men can set an example for other husbands by being liberal. It’s now the time when equality should go hand in hand. They need to be comfortable being the primary caretakers of the house as in Western cultures, where the husbands have readily accepted titles like ‘stay-at-home dad’ or being a ‘house-husband’. I have lived a life wherein my life-partner supports me and encourages me to rise above my potential, setting the best example for our daughter and the generations to come. Sometime, I have seen men dominating their wives. They can’t handle their wife’s success positively. They suffer from insecurities and an inferiority complex.

In my opinion, sharing your partner’s burden and concerns helps give both individuals choices and options to plan a better future. Higher the income means more financial security for the family and its future.

- The reader is a writer based in Abu Dhabi.