Will Assam become the next battlefront
of the jihadis? A Research and Analysis Wing report with the Prime Minister's
Office says that Islamic fundamentalist outfits in the northeast state
are being helped by the Pakistani Inter- Services Intelligence in their
effort to create a separate state for Muslims. The file, dated March 13,
2002 (25-1-2002- NEA-982), states that infiltration from Bangladesh has
altered the demographic pattern of the northeast. .....
On November 6, 2000, Judge Pramod
Kode of the designated TADA court exempted for two months 98 accused --
including film star Sanjay Dutt -- in the Bombay serial blasts case. The
court was to consider the entire evidence, running into 12,000 pages, for
preparing the questions which would be put to each accused under Section
313 of the CrPC at the end of the trial. .....
When outgoing President KR Narayanan
quoted Vivekananda, Gandhi and Nehru on tolerance and exhorted Hindus to
speak in the traditional spirit of Hinduism, many newspapers presented
it as a parting kick of the president to the BJP in the context of Gujarat.
But I fail to understand the logic behind such an inference. .....
China's problems are far more serious
than a superficial study would suggest. There are structural problems.
In The Coming Collapse of China, Gordon Chang suggests that China's entry
into the WTO will 'shake the government to its foundations.' Of the banking
system, he writes: 'It is here that the end of the modern Chinese state
might well begin.' .....
Noble laureate V S Naipaul toured
extensively the non-Arab Muslim countries of Indonesia, Iran, Pakistan
and Malaysia before writing the book Beyond Belief - Islamic Excursions
Among the Converted Peoples. Before writing Among the Believers too, he
had travelled these very countries. In the prologue of 'Beyond Belief...',
Naipaul has summarised the crux of the problem in the following words,
"Islam is in its origins, an Arab religion. .....
The gunmen slipped into the crowded
warren of shacks after sunset. Nanku Ram and his friends were sitting in
a tea shop huddled close to a radio, listening to a cricket match, when
a grenade exploded near them. .....
A court in Pakistan's eastern city
of Lahore on Saturday sentenced a young Muslim to death for making derogatory
statements about the Prophet Mohammed and Islam as a whole, police and
court officials said. .....
Is China totally leaving India
in the dust? The usual impartial Martian would believe so after a quick
look at the world's media. Pundits pontificate about how China is the obvious
superpower and hegemon in Asia, the world's future center of all manufacturing,
the largest economy in the world in 25 years. In short, the greatest economic
miracle of all time. I have never quite believed all this self- serving
drivel; I am one of the very few in the Indian media who thinks India stands
a decent chance against China. .....
US Secretary of State Colin Powell
comes again to the region, apparently to reduce tensions and build relations
with both India and Pakistan, though for different reasons and at different
levels. He would also like to ensure that the US war against terrorism
picks up some momentum again. The US can be satisfied that great progress
has been made in that war. .....
Three years ago, on July 26, 1999,
we declared successful completion of Operation Vijay, India's fourth war
with Pakistan. The Pakistani Army's initiative, taking advantage of terrain,
climatic conditions and "militancy" cover plan, achieved a tactical surprise
but could not cope with subsequent Indian military reactions. It failed
at the operational and strategic levels and ended up with adverse politico-military
consequences for Pakistan. .....
You worry me. I wish you didn't.
I wish when I walked down the streets of this country that I love, that
your color and culture still blended with the beautiful human landscape
we enjoy in this country. But you don't blend in anymore. I notice you,
and it worries me. I notice you because I can't help it anymore. People
from your homelands, professing to be Muslims, have been attacking and
killing my fellow citizens and our friends for more than 20 years now.
I don't fully understand their grievances and hate but I know that nothing
can justify the inhumanity of their attacks. .....
Chennai city, Chengalpet district
and other surrounding areas within the Tamil Nadu state are very
famous for Christian conversion activities during the last 50 years.
A large number of persons belonging to the Scheduled tribe communities
were converted to Catholicism with the promise that life will be
paradise soon as they convert to Christianity. .....
"PORT Blair should henceforth be
considered Independent India's new place of pilgrimage by all patriotic
Indians", said the Deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani. He was releasing,
The Twin Titans (a set of five books on Veer Savarkar and Subhas Chandra
Bose by Dr Harindra Srivastava) at the India Habitat Center, New Delhi.
The 16th session of the All India
Muslim Personal Law Board. meeting in Hyderabad on June 21 opened, according
to news reports, "with a call to Muslims to work stridently for the protection
of their religious identity". The call was given by the Rector of Nadwatul
Ulema, Lucknow, Maulana Mohammad Rabey Hasani Nadwi, in his inaugural address.
At the Akhil Bharatiya Karyakari
Mandal meeting held recently, RSS passed a resolution supporting the demand
of Jammu and Kashmir National Front for separate statehood for Jammu and
Union Territory status for Ladakh. Organiser representative Deepak Kumar
Rath spoke to Shri MG. Vaidya, spokesman of the RSS in Delhi. He elaborated
on the reasons for the Sangh's support to the movement for separate statehood
for Jammu. .....
The world changed after 9/11, when
the US was jolted by the terrorist attacks that claimed over four thousand
lives. After September' 11, the media blitz produced a wide range of reactions
focussed often on Islam and American Muslims, which aroused an interest
among Americans to know about Islam. As a result copies of the Quran were
sold out in bookstores all over the US. .....
To understand Salah Shehada--the
Hamas leader Israel killed last week in Gaza City alongside 14 civilians--
it helps to know something about the man who inspired him and perhaps prefigured
his fate. That man was Sheikh Izz al-Din al-Qassam. Born in Syria and ultimately
killed by British troops, al-Qassam had founded the menacingly (and suitably)
named Black Hand, which specialized in terror against random Jewish farmers
and, for that matter, random Arab Christians in Mandate Palestine. .....
"Unfortunately, Indian Muslims
have allowed themselves to be used as a scapegoat; they should play their
cards better if they do not wish to be misunderstood and projected as an
obstacle to national integration." Dr. Rafiq Zacharia in 'Islam: Reform
and Renewal', Seminar 416, April 1994. .....
No US secretary of state has visited
the subcontinent with his credibility so badly bruised as Colin Powell
will be doing this time around. In his Asia Society speech, he talked of
General Musharraf's assurances that he would permanently and visibly stop
cross-border terrorism and dismantle its infrastructure. A few days later
the general tells Newsweek that he had informed president Bush that nothing
was happening on the Line of Control and that was all. .....
It is rightly considered neighbour's
envy and India's pride. No wonder then, infinite number of pages can be
filled if Kashmir is the topic. Perhaps attributed to the divine beauty
bestowed upon its people, its rivers, its snow-capped mountains, and particularly
its dogs. In fact, it's these spectacular endowments of mother nature that
make Kashmir one of its kind! .....
Union Minister of State for Home,
ID Swami has said that the North East terrorist outfits are maintaining
bank accounts in foreign countries. They are also getting assistance through
various channels. Some of them are reported having links with the NGOs
abroad who provide funds through their own cover and through friendly organizations.
The government is sitting pretty
on the latest annual report of the state human rights commission for almost
a year now while West Bengel chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee waxes
eloquent over the state's human rights record. .....
The most abominable and shocking
crimes against millions of innocent law-abiding Hindu tribals have taken
place under the Bangladeshi Government nose since 1947.You may be well
aware of the staggering and appalling human rights record of Bangladesh
against all minorities especially peaceful Hindus are viciously and venemously
targeted as 'kafirs' to be annihilated. .....
Madrassas of Assam should be more
transparent about its activities and should focus more on the educational
purpose rather then any other activities, said Lt General Jitendra Singh
Varma, General Officer Commanding, 4 Corps, and the operational head of
the Unified Command structure. .....
In a significant disclosure, Union
Government has conceded that despite construction of border fencing and
roads along the Indo-Bangladesh border illegal infiltration from across
the border still continued. Though the construction of fencing and roads,
to the extent it has been completed, has helped to improve surveillance
and monitoring, the problem of illegal migration through the Indo-Bangladesh
border continues .....
India has a major problem on hand
and nobody seems willing to give it adequate attention. The problem concerns
the education of poor Muslim children. In the normal course of events,
children, whether they are Hindu, Muslim, Christian or belonging to some
other religion should attend a primary school open to everybody. .....
The RSS has faced an extremely
hostile opposition from the days of its inception. As the years have gone
by, and as the RSS has made inroads into the Indian psyche and Indian life
both through its social work as well as its ideological adumbration of
Hindutva, the demonization of the "parivar" has become more predictable
and more organized. .....
The city police has traced the
person who had sent an e-mail to many people claiming that the plans were
afoot to trigger large scale violence against Muslims in Hyderabad on the
lines of Gujrat carnage. .....
There are just a few days left
before Dr A P J Abdul Kalam leaves the proletariat and assumes the far-removed
and largely ceremonial role of the President of India. Until then, digital
morphers, cartoonists and other commentators of froth and bubble can have
a heyday rearranging his clothes and his hairstyle, apart from reporting
in a wide-eyed or tongue-in-cheek manner about his qualifications and gastronomical
Padmini Somani has enough reasons
to smile her nine-year-old crusade against gutkha was one of many efforts
against the slow killer, which have collectively Paid off with the state
government banning the sale and purchase of gutkha. "I can't stop smiling
since I heard the news," she says. "It is indeed a big step." .....
The journeys into town from the
airports of Shanghai and Bombay could not be more different. In Shanghai,
China's business centre, the traveller speeds along an elevated expressway
past gleaming high-rise buildings, into a city scrubbed clean and festooned
with exhortative slogans. In Bombay, India's business centre, there is
no expressway, barely a road at all, and the path winds through horrendous
shantytowns for almost an hour before the breathless visitor arrives shell-shocked
at one of the city' outrageously expensive hotels. .....
Islamists living in the infidel
West are greatly alarmed and deeply perplexed after the September terrorist
attack in America. After 9-11, many of them are doing overtime to search
the 'goodies' from the Qur'an and are desperate to prove that Islam is
a religion of unbound mercy to their host countries. .....
In a sermon carried live on official
Syrian radio from the Anas Ibn-Malik mosque in Damascus, Sheikh Dr. Ziad
al-Ayubi told his listeners, "O God, help our people in Palestine and the
Golan. O God, annihilate the Zionists and make them destroy themselves."
You worry me. I wish you didn't.
I wish when I walked down the streets of this country that I love, that
your color and culture still blended with the beautiful human landscape
we enjoy in this country. But you don't blend in anymore. I notice you,
and it worries me. I notice you because I can't help it anymore. .....
Travelling by air in the United
States has become a major headache: You are frisked at least three times,
made to remove your shoes and sometimes even to show your calves! Beware
if you are an Indian: The manual search of your checked-in luggage is supposed
to be decided "at random" by the computer; but ours has been explored at
every leg of our US trip, probably because my wife has an Indian passport.
A London businessman faces becoming
the first Briton to be flogged in Saudi Arabia for 17 years after a court
ordered that he receive 800 lashes and eight years in jail for running
an illegal drinking club. .....
Marxist leader Sitaram Yechuri
defended the candidature of Captain Lakshmi Sahgal against the NDA nominee
APJ Kalam (People's Democracy, July 9) by offering several arguments in
her support, but remained silent on the vital issues which need to be answered
by the Marxists. Mr Yechuri is polemical but avoids all basic questions
related to Capt Sahgal's nomination. .....
The state which boasts of hundred
per cent literacy cuts a sorry figure in higher education. The postgraduate
syllabi in Kerala is seeped in Marxist ideology due to political interference
by successive Left Governments in the State, says a recent paper by Thiruvananthpuram-based
Bharteeya Vichara Kendram. .....
Three students and a conservative
Christian organization have filed a lawsuit against the University of North
Carolina, saying a requirement that freshmen read a book about Islam is
Sparking off yet another controversy,
the VHP Monday asked Muslims to join hands to remove from the religious
texts of both communities "Portions which preach hatred against one another,"
reports PTI. .....
The news of Godhra inferno and
the subsequent riots which erupted in other parts of Gujarat were highly
disturbing events for the minds of any person interested in the welfare
of the society. Yet among them, those of fights between Muslims and Dalits
and Muslims and Adivasis were very surprising. Generally the slogan of
'Dalit, Muslims - Bhai Bhai' is raised and given a high pitch. .....
"I have not been enticed by anyone.
I am an adult and am in love with Sher Muhammed. His love hasled me to
Islam," said Geeta, who has since changed her name to Aisha, before local
journalists at the Saddar police station in Jacobadad. "I have disowned
my past and my family on my own will. I have accepted Islam which, I swear
by Allah, is a sacha deen (the true religion).Now we will live and die
Militant Islam is on the ascendant
almost everywhere around the globe - except in the nation that has experienced
it longest and knows it best. In Iran, it is on the defensive and perhaps
in retreat. .....
The landslide victory of Dr A.P.J.
Abdul Kalam over his Leftist rival Captain Lakshmi Sehgal has brought under
focus two stark realities of the present day Indian public life. One, on
an issue of national importance, the Leftist cabal is isolated. Second,
the only reliable allies they are left with are the rank Muslim communalists.
The Supreme Court has admitted
a petition challenging applicability of the Child Marriage Restraint Act
to Muslims on the ground that Shriat Law allowed a girl to marry without
her parent's consent after she attains puberty, reports PTI. .....
Virtually rebutting opposition's
view that Gujarat Assembly polls should not be held now as many people
were still in relief camps, National Commission for Minorities' Vice Chairman
Tarlochan Singh on Sunday said, parliament elections were held in the country
within 45 days of the anti-Sikh riots in 1984. .....
The decision of the Gujarat Chief
Minister Narendra Modi to go in for an early poll has not surprised anyone.
Ever since the State began to limp back to normal after the recent communal
carnage, an early poll had become a distinct possibility. Modi, it seems,
was keen to obliterate the searing memories of the riots and get on with
the more urgent tasks of development. .....
In any lively democracy the press
and the politician have a healthy mutual distaste cemented by mutual need.
When politicians, political parties and governments want to be heard they
go in search of the press, among other vital ingredients. .....
Recently, I sent one of my staff
members to the Arts Colleges at Kanchipuram in search of graduates in history
or archaeology. Two colleges said they did not offer history, since students
were not forthcoming. The third sent one M A. in history who, according
to his own explanation, was doing his A M I E and had acquired an M A.
degree because history was the 'easiest' subject which would enable him
to call himself a post-graduate! .....
The city police recovered around
eight kg of suspected RDX from a shoe-factory in Chamanganj area. The police
also recovered 11 cartridges and two country-made 315 bore pistols in Chamanganj
area and nabbed one person in this connection. Other miscreants managed
to escape from the spot. .....
One reason for the recurrence of
riots is discrimination between communities. For the intelligentsia, for
instance, it is difficult to imagine how bitterly the Haj subsidy is resented
in cities where a significant number of Muslims reside. Muslims continuing
to be allowed to marry several spouses is another issue. It is true that
not many men can afford to have more than a wife. .....
After me, the fundamentalist deluge
in Pakistan." That is the fear General Pervez Musharraf, the military dictator,
has successfully planted in the minds of many policy-makers and moulders
of public opinion in the US by skillfully projecting before them carefully
cultivated images of himself as an anti- terrorist warrior, who has taken
upon himself, at tremendous risk to himself and his political future, a
courageous fight against religious extremism and international terrorism.
Paying an emotional tribute to
the BJP's ideological mentor Dr. Syama Prasad Mookerjee on the 101st anniversary
of his birthday, the newly elected president of the BJP Shri Venkaiah Naidu
declared that the Bharatiya Janata Party "will never, never, agree to the
State of Jammu and Kashmir going back to the pre-1953 stage". .....
Communists beat their chests and
proclaim that they are the champions of science and that scientific spirit
is their exclusive prerogative. That's why, the 17th national jamboree
of the CPM at Hyderabad in March 2002 was kick-started by a science exhibition
got up by a leftist cohort Chukka Ramaiah a renowned coach of the bourgeoisie
aspirants to the IIT. .....
The panel consisted of Ambassador
Dennis Kux, a senior scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center of International
Scholars, Selig Harrison, a journalist turned scholar and Director of National
Security at the Center for International Policy, Professsor Romesh Diwan
of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Professor Chandrakant Panse, Director,
Media Watch group of Friends of India Society International, and Dr. Rita
Frenchman, Governing Body Member, American Association of Physicians of
India (AAPI). .....
It is very common for a number
of learned persons especially, Indian politicians and some scholars and
Swamis to say that all religions teach the same thing and it is only selfish
and power-hungry and mischievous people who create differences, in fact
strife between the followers of different religions. Bharat Ratna Bhagavandas
even wrote a book, "The Essential Unity of all Religions". .....
Wondering whether I've ever had
the nerve to dub a disputing Muslim's belief as "pseudo-Islam", I spent
last week scrutinising all my past articles. I'm glad to note that though
there is a lot of abrasive stuff about the minority mentality and its socio-political
implications for India, I've said nothing that can postulate my supreme
knowledge and exquisite grasp of Islam and the faith of its believers.
For centuries, Indian medicine
has been using cow's urine as an active ingredient in many preparations.
Giving further credence to its efficacy is a US patent for an Indian product
which contains distilled portions of cow's urine. .....
As the Venkataswamy Commission
is racing against time to conclude the tehelka hearings by August,
the victims of the sting operation are turning the heat on their accusers.
They had alleged that the tapes had been doctored, but the commission refused
to send the tapes for test by experts. Not discouraged, the victims are
now shooting holes in the tehelka story in a two-pronged counter-attack.
Rejecting Islamabad's persistent
demand for a plebiscite in Kashmir in accordance to the UN resolution,
the US said on Friday it favoured the settlement of the problem bilaterally
between India and Pakistan in accordance with the Shimla Accord. It also
hoped the coming Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir would lead to
the resolution of the issue. .....
He is the most famous American
to travel to a distant land to wage jihad, but John Walker Lindh is far
from alone. Hundreds, if not thousands, of US residents -some of them US
citizens like Lindh-have left their homes to fight for militant Islamic
causes overseas in the last 20 years, terrorism experts said. .....
The crises in Pakistan's economy
have had a disastrous impact on society during the past decade, getting
only worse after the military took over. The choice facing Pakistani youth
for years has been: jobs or jihad? Since there are hardly any jobs in the
declining economy, the youth, fired by religious motivations in the madrassas,
opt for jihad. .....
When Deputy Prime Minister L.K.
Advani declared that he does not trust Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf
even Washington would not have dared to challenge him. For the simple fact
is that Musharraf is increasingly talking with a forked tongue. On June
6 Musharraf had given a solemn assurance to US Deputy Secretary of State
Armitage that he would end infiltration across the Line of Control 'permanently.'
In true blue Congress tradition,
the high command in Delhi has changed the party's leadership in Gujarat.
The Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee will now be headed by a former president
of the state unit of the BJP. .....
The nomination of Dr A P J Abdul
Kalam for the highest post of the Indian Republic raises many questions.
Some are being openly asked; some are being whispered and others remain
unarticulated in the dark recesses of the mind. .....
One of India's oldest publishing
houses, Motilal Banarsidass (MLBD), a family run business, is readying
itself to celebrate its 100th birthday in January 2003 MLBD's books on
Indology, philosophy, religion and culture enjoy afar bigger clientele
abroad than in India The highest selling publication in English, worldwide,
continues to be Vedic Mathematics, group spokesperson R P Jain tells Narayani
Turkey's latest political crisis
should serve as a lesson for those in Pakistan who expect stability as
a result of a military-dictated constitution and the creation of a National
Security Council. The government of ailing Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit
is on the brink of collapse as a result of defections. The economy has
shrunk by 9.4% in the last one year alone. .....
He is the most famous American
to travel to a distant land to wage "jihad," or holy war, but John Walker
Lindh is far from alone. Hundreds, if not thousands of U.S. residents --
some of them American citizens like Lindh -- have left their homes to fight
for militant Islamic causes overseas in the last 20 years, terrorism experts
The United States' choice of Pakistan
as an ally in its "war on terrorism" provides the spectacle of the two
leading terrorist states on Earth "fighting terrorism." The U.S. has killed
more than eight million people in the Third World since 1945, while Pakistan
slaughtered almost three million Bengalis in the Eastern wing of the country
in 1971. This caused the break-up of the state, with East Pakistan separating
and becoming Bangladesh. .....
Supercop K P S Gill says he has
completed his job in Gujarat and rejects criticism that early assembly
elections in Gujarat would polarise the society in the state along communal
lines and heighten tension. .....
The swift conviction and sentencing
of four Islamic militants for the abduction and murder of American journalist
Daniel Pearl offered a conspicuous sign that at its highest levels, the
Pakistani government remains committed to collaborating with the United
States in the war on terrorism. .....
Early this month, when the final
in a series of gang rape trials involving two brothers was getting under
way, Judge Michael Finnane was moved to say this to the young men: "I am
not going to have the place [court] turned into a three-ring circus." .....
For 20 years the French ignored
the ethnic causes of these barbaric crimes for fear of offending multicultural
man. Along the way, more innocent young girls were pack-raped. Xenophobia
divided communities. And finally, voters punished a Centre-Left government
for assuming that the electorate was not grown up enough to discuss race
without being racist. .....
The ruling National Conference
in Jammu and Kashmir on Wednesday moved a resolution in the state assembly
demanding abrogation of the Indo-Pak Indus water pact contending that it
had caused immense loss to the people. .....
What is it like being a Hindu in
Pakistan, you wonder. I find the answer in various things. First, a letter
from a Hindu friend dated October 1999. She wrote from college in the States:
"When I first got here, I was already looking forward to the winter break
so I could come back to Karachi and see my friends and family. The next
break I was a little less excited, the next even less so. .....
So now we know the facts, straight
from the Supreme Court, that a group of Lebanese Muslim gang rapists from
south-western Sydney hunted their victims on the basis of their ethnicity
and subjected them to hours of degrading, dehumanising torture. The young
women, and girls as young as 14, were "sluts" and "Aussie pigs", the rapists
said. So now that some of the perpetrators are in jail, will those people
who cried racism and media "sensationalism" hang their heads in shame?
The interview of Shri Vellapalli,
Natesan, General Secretary of the Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana (SNDP)
Yogani, that appeared in Organiser, dated 16-6-02 has sent jitters among
the State's Christian and Marxist camps. The CPM mouthpiece Deshabhimani,
TV Channel Kairali and the sword arm of the section of the Christian community,
Malayala Manorama have been highlighting portions of the interview with
the covert intention of scuttling the RSS-SNDP co-operation. .....
Powerful though the Prime Ministership
of India may be, the most prestigious elective post is that of the President.
And election to that post should normally be non-controversial. There should
be a general consensus among political parties as to who should be India's
number one citizen, considering the respect and admiration in which it
is held. In this matter, sadly, the present resident of Rashtrapati Bhavan
goofed-and goofed badly. .....
An influential seer has said that
the temples in Tamil Nadu would soon begin preaching of Hindu scriptures
and conducting of religious discourses for youngsters in order to propagate
Hinduism, according to an IAIVS report here June 22. .....
The German police are examining
the activities of a former religious leader at a small mosque here who
preached murderous hatred of the United States to Mohamed Atta and others
who planned and executed the attacks on Sept. 11. .....
The attack on a group of foreign
tourists near Mansehra on Saturday was another stark reminder of the growing
wave of extremism and anti-western sentiment sweeping the country in the
aftermath of September 11. The group was attacked at an archaeological
site facing an Afghan refugee camp near Mansehra, where they had alighted
to look at the celebrated 2000-year-old Ashokan inscriptions. .....
A report in a daily newspaper alleging
that the Centre has decided to "go after" Time magazine correspondents
in India by denying them official access seems an appropriate occasion
to introspect on the nature of contemporary journalism and the merits of
arguments raised in the controversy over foreign direct investment in the
print media. .....
As William McGurn reports in The
Wall Street Journal, Monica Stowers, an American, married a young Saudi
man she had met at the University of Dallas in the early 1980s. They had
two children. When both children were still infants, the couple moved to
Saudi Arabia. There, as McGurn writes, Stowers was in for a ``nasty shock.''
Her husband was already married and had other children by his first wife.
According to an official, "Infiltration
has come down in the past month or so, but some disturbing questions remain."
First, says the official, is the extent of infiltration that continues,
and second is the retention by Pakistan of the infrastructure of the launch
and training camps" across the LoC. "Wireless traffic came down for a while,
but it is back to normal- yet another pointer to the fact that Pakistan
retains the capacity to restore infiltration to its former levels." .....
For Shobha Ghosh, it's a long and
lonely battle for ''justice''. Her son Tinku, she says, has been forgotten
as every one talks about Raja Bazar Science College professor Kaushik Ganguly's
arrest and torture. .....
After resigning in a huff as the
chairman of the Congress Minority Department, A R Antulay is both relieved
and hurt. Relieved that he will now be spared the trauma of seeing his
authority, seniority and self-esteem being challenged by the very same
leaders whom he brought into the party-fold during Indira Gandhi's days.
For ages, Muslim women have been
subjected to social disabilities clamped down on them in the name of personal
laws. Dubious religious interpretations with values valid in a bygone age
are being enforced today by civil courts in our secular State when those
values have become mere legal superstition. .....
Benedict Raj received a 1-rupee
money order from a schoolboy who wrote he had sacrificed his bubble gum
for her. The 1 -year-old girl in Bangalore, also got a cheek for 100,000
rupees from an overseas Indian. Such donations from strangers began pouring
in after newspapers reported the murder of the baby girl's parents by her
mother's relatives purportedly on religious grounds. .....
After taking the lead in providing
software development and back-office support to leading global companies,
India is now poised to straddle the information technology-enabled services
(ITES) market. .....
It took the cussedness of a jilted
Hyderabad lover Mazhar Hussaini to push his entire community into rooting
for child marriage. Way back in June 1997, when he was only 18, Hussaini
moved the Andhra Pradesh High Court to frame charges under the Child Marriage
(Restraint) Act, 1929-better known as the Sharda Act-against the parents
of his cousin Fatima Mehezabin, 17, for marrying her off to another cousin.
Hussaini persisted with the case and in November 2001, he finally won.
"The Godhra incident and the subsequent
communal riots were a state-sponsored conspiracy by the Government of Gujarat
in connivance with the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and its associate organisations
to ruin the Muslim community." .....
If there was an establishment that
deserved to be called "Left", there would have been none more worthy in
the past two decades than the CPI(M). Suddenly, however, there is a chorus
of voice damning the CPI(M) for being rightist. And those leading the dissent-leaders
and activists of the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) People's
War, PW in short-are being hounded by the West Bengal Police not only in
their area of operation in the state's south-west forests, but also in
their hideouts in and around Kolkata. .....
Deputy Prime Minister Lal Krishna
Advani, 72, combines candour with self-deprecation. He spoke to Editor
Prabhu Chawla, Managing Editor Swapan Dasgupta and Associate Editor Rajeev
Deshpande at his North Block office. .....
The political burden on the Anglo-
American powers to demonstrate that they are capable of holding Pakistan
to its pledges on ending cross-border terrorism against India has increased
after the latest terrorist attack outside Jammu. .....
Sunda Ram Verma, 50, may not hold
a doctorate in agriculture but his ingenuity on the farm would make any
scientist envious. This ordinary farmer from Sikar, Rajasthan, has evolved
a variety of chilli that gives handsome yields even in drought conditions.
The Indian Council for Agricultural Research did award him the first Jagjivan
Ram Kisan Puraskar, but he would have been happier had his greening experiments
been endorsed by the boffins in Krishi Bhavan. .....
Union information and broadcasting
minister Sushma Swaraj has received both bouquets and brickbats for her
ministry's decision last fortnight to clear foreign direct investment (FDI)
in the print media. Though approved by the Union cabinet, the move has
been strongly opposed by the entire Opposition and some of NDA's allies
and friends like the TDP, the Samata Party, the Shiv Sena and the AIADMK.
In an interview to Bhavdeep Kang the minister defends her decision. .....
When Netaji Subhashchandra Bose
was engaged in an armed struggle against the British rule, he was criticised
and condemned by the leftists. Yet today octogenarian Capt. Laxmi
Sehgal, head of the women's wing of the Azad Hind Sena (AHS), has been
nominated by the same Leftists for the President of India. Are the
Leftists suffering from amnesia or is it another instance of their duplicity?
For 1,008 women, life's going to
be different beginning today. They are now married. So what's the big deal?
The big deal is that none of them or their parents had the means to get
it done on their own. This is where the state government stepped in. .....
He had worked as an imam, in four
different mosques in Moradabad. In time, he recruited 10 local youths in
the age group of 20 to 25 years and sent them on a mission, which he called
''holy''. The imam was actually a Hizb-ul- Mujahideen militant, Ulfat alias
Saif-ul-Islam, from Poonch in Jammu and Kashmir. .....
After the June 14 bomb blast outside
the US consulate in Karachi, US President George Bush repeated what he
had said following 9/11: The culprits would be brought to justice. In September
last year, he declared a 'war on terror' and warned the world community:
Either you are with us or against us. Chief patron of terror Pervez Musharraf
was, of course, "with" the US. His cunning game of words in perfect mismatch
with deeds earned him many pats on the back. It also brought in the dollars.
JIDDA, Saudi Arabia Prompted by
the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States, a cautious debate is taking
place in Saudi Arabia's closed society over intolerance toward non-Muslims
and attitudes toward the West that are now viewed by some as inspiring
unacceptable violence. .....
According to a report by Islamabad's
Institute of Policy Studies, Pakistan has 6,761 religious seminaries where
over a million young men are taking religious training. The Ministry of
Religious Affairs has given out similar numbers in its report. But Herald
(November 2001) says: 'According to the Interior Ministry, there are some
20,000 madrasas in the country with nearly 3 million students'. .....
Just as you had not anticipated
the size of this roundtable, I was not at all prepared for the kind of
intervention that I may have to make. I thought it would be more in the
nature of making some comments here and there. So I have no pretension
of giving you any definitive discourse on how I see Indo-US relations.
I must confess that I have not yet got my teeth fully into the subject.
He is the original Mr two Per Cent.
He gives fanners prompt credit 24-hours a day, all days of the year, with
no questions asked and no forms to fill. He pays them the MSP, minus the
credit already given. He transports, cleans, weighs and bags the grain
before selling it. He gives credit to the buyer by collecting his commission
only after the grain has been lifted. And yet the village arhtiya or commission
agent is today battling an image crisis Saddam Hussein could sympathise
In a controversial move that could
invite protests from human rights groups, the Netherlands has decided to
investigate the activities of its eight lakh Muslims, including their funding,
management of Mosques and training of clerics. .....
Totalitarian regimes in the Middle
East have targeted the United States with a well-financed influence campaign
that is being rooted in American politics. Veteran watchers of the "active-measures"
programs of the former Soviet Union say this Islamist propaganda offensive
bears an uncanny resemblance to the old Soviet international front operations
and the broad parade of fellow travelers who used themes of peace, tolerance
and civil liberties to advance Soviet strategic goals by weakening the
United States at home and abroad. .....
Mr. Rajndra Prasad, in his article
"Savarkar Vs. Savarkar", Published in the Asian Age dated May 27, 2002,
has made the following accusations against one of the most revered revolutionaries
of India, Veer Savarkar. .....
Never trust a person with a Belgian
passport. As everyone knows, there are no Belgians. There are six million
Flemings and four million Walloons, lumped together through historical
accident in the Kingdom of Belgium, an entirely artificial state which
no one likes apart from the Belgian royal family whose livelihood depends
on it. .....
In the early Vedic times different
members, belonging to one family, used to undertake different occupations
of Chaturvarna(four castes) according to their inclinations and ability.
Each member of a family was at liberty to adopt any profession he/she liked
best without any obligation. .....
The Hindus wanted the Vedas and
they sent for Vyasa, who was not a caste Hindu. The Hindus wanted an epic
and they sent for Valmiki, who was an untouchable. The Hindus wanted a
Constitution, and they sent for me. .....
Listening to veteran Congressman
Vasant Sathe speak on Veer Savarkar at a book release function in New Delhi
recently came as a whiff of fresh air. Admiring Savarkar's succinct and
scientific exposition of Hindutva, Mr Sathe asserted that adopting it is
the key to resolution of communal strife in India. Savarkar had described
Hindutva as "Spread between river Indus to the Ocean is this land of India;
whosoever deems it as fatherland and holy land is a Hindu." .....
On October 21, 1943, Netaji Subhas
Chandra Bose proclaimed the Provisional Government of Azad Hind at Cathay
Auditorium, Singapore. Soon it was accorded recognition by Japan, Germany,
Italy, Croatia, Thailand, Burma, the Philippines, Manchukuo and Nanking
Governments as well as Ireland. Bhula Bhai J Desai, the acting counsel
of INA-officers at the second Red Fort Trial (1946), had stated that Netaji's
Azad Hind was a legitimate wartime Government. .....
The heat and dust generated over
a controversial article in a college magazine in Pathanamthitta district
of Kerala is snowballing into a major controversy with the college management
suspecting a "wider conspiracy" behind it. .....
The Musharraf regime is not producing
a new rabbit out of its 'national reconstruction' hat after all. Its package
of constitutional amendments is a rehash of similar efforts by military
regimes beginning with Field Marshal Ayub Khan. Its political plans, aiming
at containing the popular influence of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP),
are similar to those implemented by General Ziaul Haq. A King's party is
being created without much regard for ethical considerations. .....
Boston, Massachusetts - American
newspapers publish daily commentaries by eminent Muslims, who all want
to prove that Islam is a tolerant creed, that the Taliban were an isolated
aberration, and that Osama bin Laden is desecrating the scared non-violent
tenets of Islam with his terrible deeds. .....
As British foreign secretary Jack
Straw prepares to come here within a fortnight, South Block made it clear
that the credibility of the international community will be in question
if it fails to make Pervez Musharraf stick to his promise to stop infiltration.
Midway through this book, a contentious
statement by one of M J Akbar's great journalistic peers, Arun Shourie,
flashed back to memory. Addressing undergraduates at St Stephen's College,
Delhi, in 1997, Shourie said, "If you perform a thorough study of comparative
religions, then Islam emerges as the most fundamentalist and intolerant
of all world faiths." .....
Abu Rihan Muhammad bin Ahmad, Alberuni
as his compatriots called him, was born about A.D. 973, in the territory
of modern Khiva, then called Khwarizm. He came to as Ghazni as a prisoner
of war1. He was an astronomer, geometrician, historian and logician. He
was so studious, his earliest biographer tells us "he never had a pen out
of his hand, nor his eye ever off a book, and his thoughts were ever directed
to his studies, with the exception of two days in the year". .....
The two day meet of the Akhil Bharatiya
Karyakari Mandal (ABKM) of the RSS concluded here today with passing two
resolutions, one on "J & K" and the other on "The displaced people
of the border". Resolution on J & K squarely blames the then political
leadership for having halted the victorious onward march of our armed forces
and taken the problem to U.N.O., and committing a blunder in allowing Sheikh
Abdulla to call himself as "Prime Minister" of J & K. .....
A nationalist thinker who devoted
his entire life to social reconstruction and, therefore, whose name is
not very familiar to the political class, used to lament that patriotic
forces in India were isolated because of Communist machinations. The Leftists
and their fellow-travellers managed to occupy the centre-stage in the national
life and captured key positions in the academia and the media after India
achieved freedom. This despite the fact that Communists had very limited
popular support. .....
"Indian Leftists commit 'historical
blunders' habitually, and they habitually repent after 20 years," said
one of the frontline ministers in the Union Cabinet the other day. He was
commenting upon the Left decision to field a candidate for the post of
the President of India. It may be true, but it is also true that there
have been umpteen other - "historical blunders", if not down right treachery,
that the Indian Leftists have committed in the last 75 odd years of their
existence in India for which they have never repented. .....
The recent find of a submerged
city in the Gulf of Cambay, perhaps as old as 7500 BC, serves to highlight
the existence of southern sources for the civilisation of ancient India.
The Gulf of Cambay find is only the latest in a series that includes Lothal
(S.R. Rao), Dholavira (R.S Bisht) and others in Gujarat' These discoveries
have been pushing the seats of ancient Indian civilisation deeper into
the southern peninsula. .....
A silver jubilee of holding power
for 25 years without a break is a coveted crown for any political party
these days when several governments are not able to complete even their
statutory term of five years. That this mandate might have been more due
to the unpredictable and knee-jerk strategy of Mamata Banerjee and her
Trinamul Congress in abandoning the NDA and joining the Congress that had
no popular backing is a proposition we need not go into. .....
Over the last two years, representatives
of the British Hindus have been meeting with their Christian counterparts
in an effort to improve mutual understanding and to profess respect for
each other's faiths. It had been envisaged that a Statement of Goodwill
will be issued in the near future in that respect. .....
Whether or not the BJP's internal
expediency or aspirations of LK Advani's admirers impelled the Prime Minister
to elevate his de facto number two in the Union Cabinet to de jure position
of the Deputy Prime Minister, it will certainly remove an anomaly on India's
defence-related decision making. With the country's avowed stand on the
'no first use' of nuclear weapons and nuclear button strictly in the political
leadership's realm, it solves a knotty problem of exercising the second
strike option in the event the first rung of leadership is wiped off by
the enemy's treacherous first strike. .....
Uttam Basu is a very important
person in Adharmanik village. Neighbours flock to him for advice on a variety
of subjects: how to manage their ducks and how to get more out of their
vegetable patches. Many even seek him out to cure nagging bouts of diarrhoea
and fever. It is not the kind of importance usually accorded to a teenager.
And Basu is not the village's wise man. He is just a precocious 17-year-old
who has handy agricultural, veterinary and health tips. .....
Jnanadev or Jnaneshwar (Lord of
Jnana or knowledge) was the son of a saint turned householder. He had two
brothers and a sister, Nivritti, Sopana and Mukta-bai. They were the offspring
of Vithalpanth, a saintly man whose father was the village accountant called
Govinda-panth. Jnandev was one of the greatest saints of Maharashtra. .....
China has suspended a transmission
of the BBC World TV channel that reaches thousands of foreigners across
the country after it objected to a news item dealing with the banned Falun
Gong spiritual movement, the broadcaster said Thursday. .....
Just a few hours after sunset on
June 25, a patrol of the Baluch Regiment of the Pakistan Army and the Frontier
Corps approached a building full of Al-Qaeda terrorists in the South Waziristan
District of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) in Pakistan's
North West Frontier Province. The Pakistanis were operating on the basis
of American intelligence inputs. US troops and helicopters were present
in the vicinity. A hail of bullets rained on the Pakistanis approaching
the building. .....
A guided missile corrects its trajectory
as it flies, homing in, say, on the heat of a jet plane's exhaust. A great
improvement on a simple ballistic shell, it still cannot discriminate particular
targets. It could not zero in on a designated New York skyscraper if launched
from as far away as Boston. .....
Today, this page was to consist
of only Muslim readers' mail in support of the Uniform Civil Code -- so
many did I receive in response to my article on the Muslim Board's rejection
of the Child Marriages Restraint Act. But that was before the sainted editor
wisely pointed out that such mail could well be written by Hindus with
fake ids. A patsy I won't be, especially when alerted. .....
An impulsive dash to the hill station
of Dalhousie in Himachal Pradesh proved exhausting. I'd dreamt of lounging
about reading a lovely old-new book I'd just picked up called The Smile
of Murugan. It's by Michael Wood, a BBC TV serial maker who rambled around
Tamil Nadu's temples, zeroing in on Nataraja at Chidambaram. .....
Apropos your letter which you have
circulated to all the members of the Foreign Correspondents' Club of South
Asia, in which you wrote: "I think it's important the FCC puts out a statement
on recent moves by the Government to go after journalists it apparently
doesn't like." .....
I would like to take this opportunity
to express my deep concerns regarding President Pervez Musharraf's strategy
to restructure the Pakistani government in an effort to protect his dictatorship.
All India Executive Committee of
RSS has passed the resolution at its meeting at Kurukshetra recommending
separate State for Jammu region and Centrally Administered Region status
to Ladakh. This resolution is clearly stated and the reaction to it are
as were expected. .....
As Germany's defeat loomed during
the finals months of World War II, Adolf Hitler increasingly lapsed into
delusional fits of fantasy. Albert Speer, in his prison writings, recounts
an episode in which a maniacal Hitler "pictured for himself and for us
the destruction of New York in a hurricane of fire." The Nazi fuehrer described
skyscrapers turning into "gigantic burning torches, collapsing upon one
another, the glow of the exploding city illuminating the dark sky." .....
The military Government of President
Musharraf has dismissed a senior officer in Pakistan's intelligence agency
as part of a shake-up intended to curb support for the Islamic militants
fighting Indian forces in Kashmir. .....
A high-ranking Lutheran pastor
has been suspended from his duties and ordered to apologize to all Christians
for participating with Muslims, Jews, Sikhs and Hindus in an interfaith
prayer service in New York's Yankee Stadium after Sept. 11. .....
"To blame Islam for what happened
in New York is like blaming Christianity for the troubles in Northern Ireland!"
Yes. Precisely. It is time to stop pussyfooting around. Time to get angry.
And not only with Islam. .....
The judicial commission report
on the state wakf seam tabled in the West Bengal assembly on Monday showed
that the transfers, sales and corruption involving community properties
of the Muslims which began during the Congress rule increased "manifold"
under the Left Front rule. .....
The government has approved a decree
that entitles madarsaas (seminaries) to official aid only if they impart
modern education along with religious teaching. Information Minister Nisar
Memon made this announcement at a Press conference here on Wednesday after
a cabinet meeting chaired by General Pervez Musharraf. .....
Anyone who has lived in Mumbai
in the twenties, thirties and even forties would be able to relate how
citizens stayed true to stereotypes. The Parsi male wore his trousers and
long coat and his headgear was typical of his community. The Parsi lady
wore her sari, yes, in the typical Parsi way. The Maharashtrian, the Marwadi,
the Gujarati businessman, the Goan Christian not to speak of the South
Indian - male and female - were easily identifiable by their dress. In
the last half a century there has been a sartorial revolution. Ethnic styles
have all but disappeared. Among young women, the salwar-kameez is the in-thing.
"Become a Muslim warrior during
the crusades or during an ancient jihad." Thus read the instructions for
seventh graders in Islam: A Simulation of Islamic History and Culture,
610- 1100, a three-week curriculum produced by Interaction Publishers,
Inc. In classrooms across the United States, students who follow its directions
find themselves fighting mock battles of jihad against "Christian crusaders"
and other assorted "infidels." Upon gaining victory, our mock-Muslim warriors
"Praise Allah." .....
On 18 June 2002, American policy
makers and Indian parliamentarians met to review Kashmir. The US State
Department Director of Policy Planning, Richard Haass, declared that President
Musharraf was fulfilling the American goals; "He (Musharraf) has committed
himself to ending terrorism across the Line of Control and removing the
terrorist camps. We are seeing significant progress...It is very much in
the interests of India and the United States that Musharraf succeeds."
The family album that featured
a snapshot of a Palestinian toddler dressed as a suicide bomber contained
photographs of other children posing with Kalashnikov assault rifles, a
senior Israeli army officer said yesterday, writes Inigo Gilmore in Jerusalem.
As the leaders of al Qaeda evade
capture, regroup and return to the al- Jazeera airwaves to offer menaces
and derision, the United States looks increasingly like a blind giant,
flailing uselessly about: like, in fact, the blinded Cyclops Polyphemus
of Homeric myth, who was only one- eyed to begin with, who had that eye
put out by Ulysses and his fugitive companions, and who was reduced to
roaring in impotent rage and hurling boulders in the general direction
of Ulysses' taunting voice. .....
The group was identified after
police intercepted telephone conversations between several Tunisians and
Moroccans with links to a Libyan known as Amsa, considered one of Osama
bin Laden's chief operatives in Europe. .....
SHIVAJI was a noble soul sent down
on earth by God in answer to the austerities practised by many a saint
in the middle ages. After the long tyranny of Muslims and after the fall
of the mighty Vijayanagar empire, whosoever Hindu rulers existed were vassals
of one or another Muslim rulers who imposed the zijiya on Hindus who were
considered kafirs. .....
What was the condition of the Hindus
under Muslim rule in India? This is a very natural question, and in the
present situation of the country the inquiry has a significance of the
deepest practical importance. Every tree is judged by its fruit; and the
ideal Muslim Government of India, namely, a they administered for Allah
by His agents, showed its unmistakable practical consequences in the moral,
intellectual and economic condition of the people of this vast sub-continent
when Muslim rule ended and British administration began. .....
This is an investigation into some
institutions claiming to be religious schools but acting as facilitators
for terrorist outfits abroad. It is based on top-secret reports of Indian
Intelligence. It is a saga of the madarsas preaching jehad to highly impressionable
For the Marxists in Kerala, the
impulse to butcher swayamsevaks and sympathisers only increases with each
passing day. But, often there is a brief interval between the series of
murderous attacks. .....
The pantheon of the Hindu deities
may have grown in numbers over the centuries, electric lamps may have replaced
oil lamps and Vedic chants may have given way to filmi bhajans, but one
element has weathered the changing times - the male priest. .....
While the chance of war in South
Asia now is much lower, warning bells for Pakistan's military ruler Gen
Pervez Musharraf are sounding. He is perceived by most of his countrymen
as having conceded too much under American and Indian pressure, without
even a face-saving quid pro quo. .....
In a well thought out and carefully
coordinated pincer movement, the Left and 'pseudo-secular' forces in India
and the U.S. are about to crush all Sangh affiliate activities in the U.S.
The major and decisive tactical deployment of their forces happened at
the USCIRF hearings on Monday, May 10, in Washington D.C (http://www.uscirf.gov/
index.php3?scale=800&SID=86f3e49ca77dd6c0f47db9a914d4da2b). The Commission
sent out a press release on May 6th that set the stage for carrying out
the 'decimate the RSS' goal of India's Red-Green-Pseudo- secular brigade.
I quote the May 6th press statement verbatim. .....
Former Hurriyat Conference Chairman
Mirwaiz Umar Farooq was recently quoted in one of the issues of the Time
magazine calling the extremist groups operating from Pakistan as "thieves
using the Kashmir conflict to solicit funds, of which nothing is passed
to the people". .....
A massive public relations job
to project Sonia Gandhi as the next Prime Minister is under preparation
according to clearly visible indications. Stories are being spread that
in the last few months she has greatly matured both as a party leader and
as a parliaments and has developed enough self-confidence to take on even
an Atal Behari Vajpayee. .....
Provoked by the horrendous carnage
that jihadi terrorists had inflicted upon it on September 11, 2001, the
US launched a war on terrorism. The first battles were unleashed on Afghanistan.
That country was bombed and the soldiers of the US and its allies are still
hunting down the terrorists both in Afghanistan and just across the border,
in Pakistan. The US is training anti-terrorist forces in Georgia, the Philippines
and Yemen. The US also identified the rogue States which are supplying
money and material to the terrorists and they are on notice. .....
A growing tragedy of recent times
is the decline of credibility all around. First, starting in the 50s, the
politicians lost their credibility. Then the Administration, e.g., the
Police lost the trust of people. And lately the national media, viz. the
English language press and TV channels like Star, which should normally
be a sort of conscience keeper, have followed suit. The growing primacy
of the electronic media has made things worse. .....
Washington Behind Indo-Pakistan
Conflict: How American Special Forces organised the evacuation of Al Qaeda
and Pakistan ISI Forces to Kashmir. In interviews, however, American intelligence
officials and high-ranking military officers said that Pakistanis were
indeed flown to safety, in a series of nighttime airlifts that were approved
by the Bush Administration. .....
Nasir Ali, a wiry jeep driver,
says Al Qaeda fighters from Afghanistan have arrived here in large numbers.
He should know, he says, because he was the one who gave them a lift in
from northern Pakistan after their escape from Afghanistan. "I, myself,
drove three Arab fighters into the center of Kashmir," says Ali. "I carried
them only part way in and their own jeeps met us and drove them the rest
of the way. Hundreds have entered Kashmir in the last several months."
A blunt new report by Arab intellectuals
commissioned by the United Nations warns that Arab societies are being
crippled by a lack of political freedom, the repression of women and an
isolation from the world of ideas that stifles creativity. .....
Hardly a year passes without a
Hindu-Muslim riot in some part of the country or the other. Until Independence,
the common perception was that the British policy of divide and rule led
to riots. When, however, Nehruvian secularism prevailed across the country,
there was little change. The Left government in Kerala could not prevent
rioting on the streets of Mattancherry at Kochi. Nor could the DMK prevent
communal clashes in Coimbatore or Chennai. Neither was the BJP able to
avert the recent trouble in Gujarat. .....
It was about 12 years ago that
KashmiriPandits,othernon-Muslim Kashmiris and even some Muslims were forced
to leave their homeland and come to live in the plains, on alien soil.
Some have migrated for good. Others still nurse the hope of going back
to their 'nests'. Their lives have been uprooted and many live in miserable
conditions in relief camps or in makeshift arrangements. .....
Pakistan's Inter-Services intelligence
(ISI) has unleashed a reign of terror on the refugees and displaced Kashmiris
living in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) and other parts of the country
reports UNI. .....
Dr Rafiq Zakaria wrote an article
in The Asian Age recently in which he came up with an issue which has raised
many eyebrows (What's Muslim about Kalam? The Op-Ed Page, June 19). He
questioned whether the presidential nominee Dr Abdul Kalam could truly
be called a "Muslim". He gave various reasons. .....
Relief. India and Pakistan have
stepped back from the precipice. But after all the self-congratulations
for this are over, just what has changed from before May 14, when militants
precipitated the latest crisis by crossing the Line of Control into Indian-controlled
Kashmir and killing 34 people? If you live on the Indian side of Kashmir
today, do you reckon yourself now safer? Sadly, the answer must be no.
The United Jehadi Council (UJC),
an umbrella organisation of Pakistan and Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir based
outfits operating in Kashmir, has sought to put Kashmir and Palestine in
the same bracket and appealed to the Organisation of Islamic Countries
(OIC) to impose `economic sanctions' against India and Israel. .....
Chairman of National Council for
Education, Research & Training (NCERT) J S Rajput is facing threat
to his life for allegedly "carrying out the Sangh Parivar's agenda of saffronisation
of education." .....
British Muslims are the main-funding
force behind an opportunistic anti-Western alliance between Al Qaida commanders
and Pakistani militants, according to Pakistani intelligence sources quoted
by a British newspaper. .....
"I am happy to meet mediapersons
at the end of my first visit to Kazakhstan indeed, to Central Asia. Historically,
this extended neighbourhood of ours has been very close to our hearts.
It is linked to India through ties of history, culture and spirituality.
With the countries of Central Asia becoming independent, a new geopolitical
reality, of great significance to us, has come into being in this part
of the world after the end of the Cold War. .....
The Registration and Regulation
of Deeni Madaris Ordinance 2002 was passed by the federal cabinet on Wednesday
after ignoring most of the changes sought by provinces in the ordinance,
it is reliably learnt. .....
Those who put a break to rewrite
history in some form or other are thoughtless and object even before the
rewriting is begun. Let the rewriting be entrusted to impartial, competent
scholars urgently and let the books come out and if there are errors in
the writings or wilful distortions there are enough intellectuals in India
who can stand up boldly and demand their removal. .....
Well, today, there's more yet to
bring on the worms: On June 24, The Hindu published a report on the recently
concluded meeting of The All India Muslim Personal Law Board held in Hyderabad;
I'm reproducing the entire item here since it wasn't carried by other publications,
and, strangely, "AIMPLB wants exemption from Child Marriage Act" isn't
to be found in the online edition of The Hindu anymore: .....
The military Government of President
Musharraf has sacked a senior officer in Pakistan's intelligence agency
as part of a shake-up intended to curb support for the Islamic militants
fighting Indian forces in Kashmir. .....
This is with reference to your
recent open letter, 'Disunited Indian Family' (May 15). The thrust of your
missive to us is that post-Gujarat, families like ours have become worryingly
anti-Muslim and that we are falsely accusing the secular press of bias.
Besides, in your eagerness to defend Muslims, you have all but portrayed
Hindus as bigots and obscurantists. .....
The legend of the mighty Saraswati
river has lived on in India since time immemorial. Ancient Hindu scriptures
called the Vedas, recorded thousands of years ago, are full of tantalising
hymns about it being the life-stream of the people. .....
Developments on the India-Pakistan
relations front ever since Almaty conference cause consternation in the
minds of every well meaning Indian, who is concerned about India's security
as well as its honour and dignity. There is a deliberate effort to whip
up war hysteria all over the world through wanton actions like calling
back diplomatic staff, issuing warnings to Western tourists and getting
baseless reports published in frontline media like the one about Indian
Army's decision to strike POK around June 15 in London's The Daily Telegraph.
The state government today moved
one crucial step closer to gaining a foothold in the running of Christian
and other minority schools. This afternoon, Calcutta High Court upheld
government order that all job-related
disputes be referred to a state-appointed tribunal. .....
Mickey Lemle's Ram Dass: Fierce
Grace, an ingratiating and comprehensive portrait of the widely admired
spiritual leader, author and lecturer, takes its subtitle from Lemle's
description of how the subject of his documentary is coping with the effects
of a stroke that felled him more than five years ago, leaving him partially
paralyzed and with speech aphasia. .....
Five Arab militants stole into
Pakistan through Khyber Agency in the third week of May, blindsiding army
troops that have been watching out for Al Qaeda infiltrators in Tirah region
since last December. The militants trekked up the Susobi Kandao smuggling
route to reach the Bazaar town in Tirah. They then drove up to Akora Khattak
where travel arrangements were flnalised for their onward journey to Muzaffarabad
in Pok. .....
In a new twist to the ongoing probe
before the Venkataswami Commission, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has
alleged that the monies used for production of the Tehelka tapes might
have been received from sources located outside India (Dubai) from those
seeking to preserve their identity in funding such a project. .....
A jeep negotiates a gorge deep
in Pakistani-controlled Kashmir. Across its bonnet is a banner proclaiming
the arrival of a leader from an organisation on the US government's list
of terrorist groups. .....
Several Pakistanis were detained
on Thursday on immigration charges as the FBI and US immigration department
officials launched a joint investigation questioning about 70 "illegal
immigrants," mostly Pakistanis, working in jewellery stores across the
United States. .....
They're here and everyone knows
it: Al-Qaida and Taliban fugitives are hiding in the overheated slums,
finding anonymity in the crowded bazaars and darkened alleyways, regrouping
in mosques, resting easily in safe houses and immigrant neighborhoods.
The immigrant community in North
Carolina has taken a proactive role in devising a program to respond to
the daily attacks on Islam which the media are carrying out. The Islamic
Center of the Triad in Greensboro is sympathetic to the plight of Muslim
immigrants and wants non-Muslims to understand the plight of the Palestinian
people who are constantly under Israeli occupation and attack. .....
Security forces have busted yet
another channel of funding terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir with the arrest
of four persons including an influential Srinagar-based bussineman. The
four arrested persons -- Mohammed Safi Mir, a resident of Lal Bazar, Yaqoob
Vakil, a conduit of Al Umar, Abdul Majid Dar, manager of Safi and Hyatt
Ahmed Bhat, accountant of Mir -- were charged with providing funds to pro-Pakistan
militant outfits Al-Umar Mujahideen and Hizbul Mujahideen, highly placed
sources said today. .....
One hundred and thirty-one Pakistanis,
including a woman, detained in various US jails, following the Sept 11
attacks on New York and Washington, arrived here on Thursday evening after
being deported. More would be arriving in a few days, it has been learnt.
About 180 kms. from here stands
a temple where, along with the Gods and Goddesses, picture of a farmer
has been put up as gesture for his kindness shown to the devotees at the
cost of his crops. The people visiting the newly constructed temple of
Balaji in Betul district of the state however feel surprised though more
surprising is the story behind such a gratitude of the temple trust towards
the poor farmer. .....
The Delhi unit of the Shiv Sena
today "purified" two minor children who it claimed were "forcibly converted
to Islam" recently. Satveer (8) and Sudhir (4) were "converted back to
Hinduism" at the Shankaracharya Math here by Swami .....
Within hours of the attacks on
the Pentagon and World Trade Center on Sept. 11, President Bush and other
U.S. and western leaders were explaining that though we found ourselves
in a state of war, that war was not with Islam. .....
It was with amusement that I read
the tiny PTI piece of June 21: "Kalam devotee of Moinuddin Chishti." Some
well-wisher of the missile man thought it imperative for us to know that
"Presidential candidate A P J Abdul Kalam is an ardent devotee of Sufi
saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti and has visited the seer's dargah [at Ajmer]
several times in the past. The last trip Dr Kalam [undertook] was in November
last year when he was principal scientific advisor to the prime minister."
How do you get young Middle Eastern
men to fly a jet full of Americans into the side of a skyscraper? You tell
them their creator will love them for it and reward them beyond their wildest
dreams. But they have to believe in such a creator first. .....