Bodies of two young girls kidnapped
on September 24 were recovered from the field at Khasiara in Sreepur upazila
yesterday. On information, police recovered the bodies of Yogmaya, 18,
daughter of Priyanath Baroi and Kajol Bala, 18, daughter of Arbindu Bala
of village Dhurun Nagar. .....
A top U.S. defense official said
Friday that the Bush administration will soon restore military aid to Pakistan
to bolster the country's military capabilities - a deal Islamabad hopes
will include new F-16 fighter jets. .....
Even while asking India to observe
restraint despite Pakistan continuing cross-border terrorism, the US on
Friday said any sovereign state can resort to pre-emptive or preventive
strikes to avert an imminent danger. .....
They were the only two National
Security Guard (NSG) commandos who came within handshaking distance of
the two terrorists during Operation Vajra Shakti at the Swaminarayan temple
complex at Akshardham. .....
The Hindu editorial dated September
26, 2002, the news item titled 'NHRC calls for communal harmony' in The
Hindu on page 13 on the same day, the article in the editorial page of
The New Indian Express by Saeed Naqvi titled 'A Time To Choose' and lastly
Shri Habibullah Badsha's 'Attack on human values' on page 12 of The Hindu
dated September 27 .....
Union Human resource development
Minister Murli Manohar Joshi has never fought shy of controversy, the most
talked-about one being his initiative to revise school syllabi. He spoke
to Associate Editor Rajeev Deshpande about allegations that his ministry
was overseeing "saffronisation" of school texts. .....
The idea of Kashmir is steeped
in stereotypes. A land without justice where democracy has no relevance.
An abnormal society where the guns and grenades of Islamist militants are
matched by Delhi's iron fists that control and intimidate. Kashmiris, those
wretched people hopelessly trapped in one of the most dangerous places
on earth, feel no national or emotional affinity towards India... Such
stereotypes thrive when Kashmir is merely an "issue", a "problem", a "dispute"
in which Kashmiris, their aspiration and their hope, occupy the last row
in the hall of received wisdom. .....
Crisis in Hinduism (Outlook, July
8) repeats the cliches and half-truths usually used by the Indian Left
to tar the Sangh parivar. What's surprising is that it was written not
by a Communist campaigner, but by a senior staffer of this prestigious
weekly. The writer also seemed to have disregarded the elementary journalistic
principle of presenting both ends of the argument. The article, with assistance
from some well- known and not-so-well-known Sangh-baiters and their misleading
remarks, condemns the Hindutva forces. .....
When terrorists attacked the temple
on Tuesday, the large crowd created chaos outside the temple premises,
while inside, the cross-firing between security forces and the terrorists
went on for hours. While the attack should have created a sense of fear
and anxiety among the crowd, this was not the case. .....
The world watched in shock as the
harrowing and tragic events unfolded at Akshardham, a unique cultural complex
dedicated to world peace and harmony. On the ill-fated day of September
24th, 2002, this holy place of pilgrimage that represented the universal
message of hope and peace to people all over the world was attacked by
Who would have suspected that among
General Pervez Musharraf's considerable range of natural gifts is a talent
for psephology. He has just pronounced that voter participation in the
first phase of polling in Jammu and Kashmir was between 2- 10 per cent
and has dismissed as 'rubbish', India's claims of a 47 per cent turnout
for this phase. We could have bowed before the general's superior wisdom
if he had revealed the methodology behind his arrival at these figures.
A U.S. congressional team is here
to investigate reports of attacks on Hindus in this country. The four-member
delegation will submit a report to the International Affairs Committee
of the U.S. Congress by October 3 in Washington D.C., published reports
Farmer Nareshbhai Bariyar ran for
his life as two clean-shaven youths turned into cold-blooded killers at
the Akshardham temple in Gandhinagar, watching helplessly as his pregnant
sister was cut down by machinegun fire. .....
Almost every prominent religious
cleric of Uttar Pradesh hold the firm view that the 'Holy Quran' can not
be amended or abridged even with regard to certain controversial sections
which enjoins Muslims to launch a Holy War (Jehad) against the non-Muslims.
Murli Manohar Joshi, the ever-controversial
Human Resource Development Minister, finally has reason to feel vindicated.
The education policy drafted under his controversial helmsmanship, which
generated reams of controversy and comment on the issue of revision of
history text-books and the introduction of the study of religion, crossed
a major legal hurdle when a petition alleging ''saffronisation of education''
was dismissed by the Supreme Court. Joshi tells Santwana Bhattacharya that
his motives were always noble; and that all criticism was ''motivated and
Two weeks ago, columnist Dilip
D'Souza sent me a mail, asking me to correct a mistake in Towards Balkanisation:
Adivasis. I didn't, and the same mail came back! I realised, he's gonna
keep forwarding the damn mail till I "correct." So, I apologise for having
to take you back a decade -- to the Bombay riots of 1992-93 -- just to
get him off my back. But before you get any ideas: this is the last time
I'll "correct" anything in the fear of being swamped by recurring demands
I've ignored. .....
The Vice-President, Bhairon Singh
Shekhawat, has claimed that the former Prime Minister, Chandra Shekhar,
during his tenure had come close to solving the Ayodhya dispute, but for
the Congress `unfortunate action of withdrawing support to him in 1990.
The arrests in Karachi of top Al
Qaeda functionary, Khalid Sheikh Mohammad, stated to be the mastermind
of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States, and of
Ramzi Binalshibh, his principal aide and the prime suspect in the strikes
case, are significant for their timing. So is the fact that Pakistani President
Pervez Musharraf made it a point to issue a statement from New York congratulating
the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) for its "excellent work." .....
Q.: Do you think the government
is Interfering with Church-run schools?
A.: The fear that governmental
interference is bound to seal the Christian initiative in the education
ministry is unfounded. If the government orders administration streamlining,
minority institutions, including those managed by Christians, have no option
but to follow. When the government funds the institutions, it is logical
that it demands certain regulations. The one who pays the piper calls the
Vijnana Kala Vedi, the cultural
centre, created in 1977 by Smt Louba Schild, a French artist living in
Kerala since 1968 has been introducing Indian arts to foreigners. The different
art forms such as Kathakali, Mohiniattom, Bharatanatyam, Mudras, Classical
music, Percussion instruments, Kalaripayattu, Wood carving, Mural painting.
Rangoli, Ayurveda, Hatha Yoga, etc can be explored at this centre. .....
The English language media's inability
to come to terms with the possibility that Narendra Modi may win even the
delayed elections in Gujarat has inspired vituperative outbursts against
the former RSS pracharak. Yet the declamations are notable for the fact
that, for the first time in several years, they avoid demonizing the Hindu
community en masse and focus their ire exclusively on the Chief Minister's
political grammar. .....
An important new organization that
promises to focus public concern on "blame America first" bias in the academy
is in danger of being discredited. The Middle East Forum, under the direction
of Daniel Pipes, has established a project and website called, "Campus
Watch." Campus Watch is designed to monitor Middle East Studies in the
United States, analyzing and criticizing errors and biases, and drawing
public attention to controversies over funding, academic appointments,
Most Americans have a benignly
positive attitude toward religion, one that holds faith to be a good
thing for the commonweal, regardless of sectarian particulars. Norman Rockwell's
famous "Freedom of Worship" painting captures this nicely, while Eisenhower's
remark - "I believe every American should have a religious faith, and I
don't care what it is" - does so a little more clumsily. That tolerant,
pro-religion view has served America well over time, but one cannot help
wondering if our civic piety, allied with political correctness, is blinding
us to some hard questions about Islam - questions upon which the survival
of our civilization depends. .....
In China's Tibet today one thing
which is at premium is the knowledge and fluency in English. A Radio Jockey
on Lhasa's Radio China International is a dream position that a young Chinese
girl or a Tibetan boy would love to reach - irrespective of the trash or
pidgin that some of the RJs roll out. Young girls and boys, working as
tourist guides in Potala palace or in the government controlled tourist
circuits are another lot who are a target of envy among the youths living
in today's Lhasa. .....
If you are a first time visitor
to Lhasa or visiting this 'Roof of the World' after a gap of over ten years
then irrespective of whatever you have read or heard about Tibet from a
distance, you can not escape the psychedelic bombing that comes crashing
on you with the very first visuals of the city. This bombing is far more
overpowering than the splitting headache that sets on most visitors as
a result of high altitude and the shortage of oxygen, a striking feature
of China's most celebrated colony - Tibet. .....
To be less than blunt will be altogether
pointless. The crisis the country is facing has a most respectable genesis;
it is intricately linked to the history of the movement for independence.
Mahatma Gandhi, whom we love to describe as the Father of the Nation, was
the indisputable leader of that movement in the early decades of the last
century. He was in search of a paradigm which could capture the imagination
of the innocent, illiterate, ill-fed, ill-clad masses and inspire them
to be active participants in the great endeavour to liberate the nation
from foreign subjection. Religiosity, he concluded, held the answer. .....
Planes crashing into the World
Trade Center, bombers blowing themselves up in crowded supermarkets, female
genital mutilation, the imprisonment of rape victims, polygamy: the media
claims that all these are results of the "hijacking" of Islam, "the religion
of peace." But here at last is a book that dares to tell the truth about
Islam - and to show you exactly why this religion is so easy to "hijack,"
and what Islamic authorities really teach about such barbarities! .....
As an Indian citizen, I have been
troubled and frustrated at the lack of clarity with which the whole Jammu
and Kashmir (J&K) issue receives treatment in the Western press. In
light of 9/11/01, and the Dec. 13th parliament attack in India, with the
subsequent war mobilization in both India and Pakistan, the J&K issue
has been on the front pages of most western newspapers. So it is perhaps
timely to visit this issue, and present an analysis of it without mincing
any words or indulging in any propaganda. .....
India's techies routinely use their
knowledge of mathematics to try and create the next big thing, their first
million-or the next. But one Indian has won international acclaim for doing
nothing more than brilliant maths, part of a breed faithful to pen and
The Ananthacharya Indological Research
Institute at Cuffe parade was founded in 1974 by Dr K. K. Venkatachari,
and receives support from Sri Venkatesa Devsthanam at Fanaswadi, Girgaum.
Today, the Director, Prof. (Dr) R. M. Dave, ably runs the Institute with
the support of about ten members of his faculty including visiting professors.
The Institute has affiliations to Mumbai University and Madras University.
We once again salute the fearless,
peace-loving and democratic people of Kashmir. Braving the worst threats,
setting at nought the possibility of being murdered (the number of murders
on the eve of elections would have daunted any people) and craving for
a working, democratic set-up in the state, 44/48 percent of the people
came out and cast their votes in the first phase of the state elections.
Among the more than 60 videotapes
that the American cable television network CNN obtained from al-Qaeda's
archives in Afghanistan in August this year, one marked "Burma" (Myanmar)
purports to show Muslim "allies" training in that country. While the group
shown, the Rohingya Solidarity Organization (RSO), was founded by Rohingya
Muslims from Myanmar's Rakhine State and claims to be fighting for autonomy
or independence for its people, the tape was, in fact, shot in Bangladesh.
In many villages across South India,
religion is turning out to be a question of money. Flush with funds
from their headquarters in the United States, a number of evangelical
and Pentecoastal church groups are converting hundreds of Hindus,
especially belonging to the low castes, to Christianity. Similarly,
Muslim scholars are touring villages in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka
to lure locals to Islam. .....
It's beginning to look like the
time has arrived to climb into the attic of American antiques and haul
out the Melting Pot. The current formula for citizenship--ethnic identity
loud and proud in front of the hyphen, the American half just an afterthought--isn't
working very well. .....
American education isn't a cure-all.
The U.S. government thinks it can appease young Muslims by offering them
student visas to attend American universities. Education, the government
says, will pave the way for future relations between foreign Muslims and
Officials from three Pakistani
militant groups said in interviews this week that the government of Pakistan
has allowed Islamic guerrillas to resume small-scale infiltrations into
Indian- controlled Kashmir. India has repeatedly demanded that Pakistan
halt the practice, which brought the two nuclear-armed rivals to the brink
of war this spring. .....
Chief minister Narendra Modi picks
up one target at a time. From J.M. Lyngdoh to Sonia Gandhi to Muslims,
he came a long way to 'Miyan Musharraf' on Saturday, during the second
leg of his gaurav yatra. .....
I don't know whether you remember
our brief meeting at Coimbatore where you had come as the Chief Guest at
the Annual Conference of the Bharat Vikas Parishad presided over by Justice
Rama Jois in which I was also present as a speaker. I hope this finds you
in perfect health and spirit. .....
In February 1999 the "Jamhooria
Islamia", a monthly Baluchi magazine published from Panj-gar, published
an interview with Nawabzadaa Nabiullah Khan, a confidant of and adviser
to the leader of one of the prominent Pakistani Islamic militant outfits,
Jamaat-e-Islami, which was conducted by Jalil Amir. The following constitutes
excerpts from that conversation (which relates to Bharat) which reveals
the fundamentalist ideology & designs of the organisation and its leader.
The most infamous mother-son duo
of Bihar has been shown their place but Champa Biswas is far from
happy. The Patna district and sessions court recently sentenced Mritunjay
Yadav alias Bablu Yadav to 10 years rigorous imprisonment for raping Champa,
wife of senior IAS officer B.B. Biswas of the Jharkhand cadre. .....
Pakistan warns that a new Justice
Department rule to fingerprint and track visitors from that country will
leave "a bad taste" among Pakistani citizens, a spokesman for the Pakistan
Embassy here told WorldNetDaily. .....
The inert atmosphere is now charged
with enthusiasm. The guns of Security forces was patrolling the roads
without any people. Now their sharp lookout (Karare Nigahe) are watching
the propaganda vehicles speeding on the roads (with banners, slogans etc).
The shops selling Kashmiri articles are yet having frigid turnover.
But now at least they have some subject to discuss. .....
Abdul Sattar (45) and Rafiq Khan
(21), both born Muslims, will convert to Hinduism at a public function
tomorrow evening. After participating in the yagna at Thane's Hindu Jagruti
Ganpati Mandal tomorrow, Abdul will become Avinash Sardesai, while
Rafiq's new name will be Raju Sharma. .....
Nearly one-fifth marriages in Saudi
Arabia ended up in divorces during 2000-2001. According to Al-Bilad daily,
81,576 marriages were registered during this period in the country. But
Shariat courts settled 16,725 divorce cases during the same period. Fifty
five per cent divorces were attributed to polygamy. .....
The false propaganda of Pakistan
TV stood exposed yet again when the channel claimed that voters were dragged
out of their houses in Lolab assembly constituency in Kupwara district
without realising that elections were countermanded there after the assassination
of Jammu and Kashmir minister Mushtaq Ahmed Lone. .....
With the arrest of four Bangladeshi
nationals on early Sunday morning, the East district police claimed to
have solved 15 cases of robbery and burglary including one case of murder
cum robbery committed in the Vivek Vihar area in 1998. .....
The arrest of some of the wanted
men in connection with September 11 attack on the US from a hide-out in
Karachi once again proves that Pakistan is the centre of international
terrorism. That the US agen-cies too took part in the shoot-out in Karachi
shows that the Bush administration does not place total trust in Musharraf's
words in these matters. .....
Much is being written and spoken
about the RSS vis-a-vis secularism. Pseudo-secularists claim the RSS is
a 'communal Hindu organisation'. This is totally wrong. To put the word
'Hindu' on par with other religions is mistaken. Secularism has been a
sort of political compulsion to slacken one's religious susceptibilities.
Religion has always been expected to give succour to its followers. .....
The arrest of a senior Al Qaida
operative in Karachi on Wednesday has bolstered India's claims that the
epicentre of international terrorism lies in Pakistan and focussed attention
on Gen Pervez Musharraf's inability or unwillingness to come clean on just
how many terrorists use Pakistan as a launching pad for their activities
worldwide with the tacit complicity of at least some sections of his military
This is the story of those who
know the art of making a quantum jump from the separatist frontline to
the Assembly elections. They are better known as 'converts' in the mainstream
camp, even if their former colleagues remember them as 'renegades'. Whatever
the names be, society remembers their voyage from extremism to democracy
as one more of the many success stories of the Central government. .....
Spices, gems and other exotic cargo
excavated from an ancient port on Egypt's Red Sea show that the sea trade
2,000 years ago between the Roman Empire and India was more extensive than
previously thought and even rivalled the legendary Silk Road, archaeologists
Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee
on Monday dismissed reports of con- version of Line of Control (LoC) as
the border between India and Pakistan to resolve the Kashmir issue, saying
he had 'also heard about it'. The Prime Minister was leaving on a week-long
tour to US to attend UN General Assembly session. .....
The Supreme Court's rejection of
the PIL against the alleged 'saffronisation' of education has come as a
big slap against the self-proclaimed secularists. The petitioners had no
case. Indeed, they were ill-informed and had based their plaint on half-baked
rumours or plain suspicions. They had not cared to read the books they
were protesting against. .....
The CPM, led Left Democratic Alliance
(LDF) and the Congress United Democratic Alliance (UDF) of Kerala has only
one common enemy the RSS. Whenever they come to power they try to put,
all restrictions and impediments to arrest the growth of RSS and its affiliates
in the State. In order to appease the Muslim and Christian vote banks,
on whose shoulders the UDF came to power, the Chief Minister A.K.Antony
recently branded RSS, VHP, Hindu Aiyka Vedi (Hindu Unity Front), Bajrang
Dal, and Shivsena as terrorist organizations operating in the State in
the State Assembly. .....
Dr. Pravinbhai Thogadia, the International
Vice President of Vishwa Hindu Parishad, addressed a meeting in Mumbai
on 28th July 2002 at Raja Shivaji Vidyalaya, Hindu Colony, Dadar, Mumbai.
Shri Mohan Salekar, Shri Rameshbhai Mehta, Shri Hari Atmaram Samdani, Shri
Anand Shankar Pandya, Shri Ashok Chowgule and Shri Arun Handa were present
at the dais. .....
The Italian police, working with
the US naval intelligence, has arrested 15 Pakistanis, believed to be members
of Laden's Al Qaeda network, on Saturday, in the Sicilian port of Gela,
officials said. .....
Radical British Muslims passionately
defended the September 11 attackers on Thursday and told the world to expect
more strikes like last year's devastating airline attacks in New York and
Rejecting allegations that the
Centre was trying to saffronise school education, the supreme court on
Thursday upheld the National Curriculum Framework for Secondary Education-2002
(NCFSE), clearing the way for the Vajpayee government to introduce its
new syllabus. .....
The Bombay high court on Wednesday
censured the Maharashtra government for granting a prime plot of land to
the Shankarrao Chavan charitable trust at Backbay Reclamation in Nariman
Point for next to nothing. Mr Chavan is a former Union minister and former
chief minister of Maharashtra. .....
The take-off on the familiar credit
card slogan could well be the cruel joke on the families and dependents
of several 9/11 Indian victims who trooped in to the New York Palace Hotel
on Wednesday evening to meet Prime Minister A.B. Vajpayee. .....
The BJP-led National Democratic
government at the Centre today received a shot in the arm when the Supreme
Court held that there was no attempt to saffronise the school syllabus
in the new National Curriculum Framework for Secondary Education and directed
its immediate implementation. .....
Virtually blaming Pakistan for
the upsurge in militant violence in Jammu and Kashmir, deputy prime minister
LK Advani on Thursday said Islamabad was worried that the results of assembly
elections would go against its design of proxy war in India. .....
The spiritual leader of Egypt's
primary Islamic movement, al-Gamaa' al-Islamiyya, is languishing in an
isolation cell located in the USA's gulag in faraway Rochester, Minnesota.
He is being held in solitary confinement and an attempt is being made to
cut him off from relatives, attorneys, friends, the Muslim community, the
Egyptian community and humanity at large. .....
RSS spokesman M.G. Vaidya spoke
to Organiser on RSS' views on the disinvestment issue. Shri Vaidya said,
"In principle, RSS is not against disinvestment because we don't approve
a socialist model of economy in which there is governmentalisation of all
means of production and distribution". He added that there must be a role
of government in the economic sector. On the other hand, the Government
must have full control over the strategic sectors like Defence Production,
Railways, Atomic Energy, Oil, etc. .....
Isn't there any way our delinquent
Members of Parliament can be taught a lesson of their lives on good behaviour?
Times was, until, say, the 1980s, when Parliament worked. When MPs showed
a deep sense of responsibility. When Bills were introduced, discussed and
passed with due ceremony and decorum. Those days, it would seem, have receded
into history. .....
It's said in New York that the
September session of the UN General Assembly is when leaders from the Third
World arrive to deliver long addresses not so much to the international
community as to their own people back home. This applies even more to despots
and dictators. What better way to flaunt legitimacy before your own tyrannised
population than the image of yourself holding forth in the assembly of
the world? .....
The hoopla surrounding the anniversary
of the September 11 terrorist strikes only helps highlight that the focus
of the Bush administration a year later is not on rooting out global terrorism
but on getting rid of a toothless but unsavoury dictator, who, far from
being a menace to US security, is not a threat even to his neighbours.
With the world adopting India's
long-standing agenda of the fight against terrorism, Atal Bihari Vajpayee
today asked the General Assembly to take the next logical step: use the
instruments of the UN to act against "states known to be sponsoring, sheltering,
funding, arming and training terrorists". .....
The day after in New York, the
air waves may have belonged to Iraq but India and the US seem to have pulled
off quite a surprise on the margins of the UN General Assembly, with President
George Bush stressing his personal commitment to begin a ''long-term strategic
relationship'' with India. .....
With his prison crew-cut, lean
frame and the barest hint of a moustache, Mohammad Abdullah looks even
younger than the 17 years he claims. Yet he is a committed killer, one
of a band of guerrillas willing to maim and butcher civilians for his political
I wish to look at September 11th
from two perspectives: an absolute moral perspective, comparing it to other
acts of terror; and the purely selfish angle of what it has done for India
in its own struggles against terrorism. An ethical perspective on the one
hand; on the other, as Americans say, "what have you done for us lately?"
The first anniversary of the terrorist
attack on the World Trade Centre is a good occasion for India to ponder
whether the specific political objectives of the US-led international campaign
against terrorism has addressed its own con-cerns and interests. .....
Amid the hoopla surrounding the
anniversary of Sept 11, three questions seem apt: Why did the Bush administration
veer off the course it set for itself a year ago, when President Bush promised
to ''rally the world'' to fight a war against terrorism and then did so
magnificently-but only for a while? .....
Growing up at a time when the national
anthem was played at the end of every film (in those days of cinemas),
and sung at least once a week during the school assembly, one finds it
strange that school children of today do not know Jana gana mana. Many
do not know the colours of the national flag either. But why blame them?
In the last decad'e, parts of the North East have not enjoyed the freedom
to observe two national days - 26 January and 15 August. .....
A few dozen al-Qaeda and Taliban
fighters were among the 400-odd guerrillas that are believed to have sneaked
into Jammu and Kashmir from Pakistan since May, senior Indian military
officials have said. .....
The Supreme Court on Thursday issued
notices to the Centre, Delhi and Jammu and Kashmir Governments on a petition
by migrant Kashmiri pandits seeking liberal financial help and accommodation
in the capital where as many as 30,000 have come leaving their homes due
to militancy, reports PTI. .....
Political Science is a very popular
subject in Indian universities. The curriculum covers various topics, different
theories and so on. However, there is no discussion, or even a mention
of minoritism or majoritism in any textbook or any curriculum. .....
The Constitution has clearly earmarked
the authority and areas of operation for all the wings of the polity namely
executive, legislature and judiciary. This also applies to commissions,
tribunals and authorities constituted under the Constitution. No constitutional
authority is expected to transgress its powers and encroach upon areas
earmarked for other authorities. .....
The Communists have always sided
with forces detrimental to India. When the youth of India rallied around
Subhash Chandra Bose, they called him a Boot-licker of the Japanese. Similarly,
when the whole Nation reverberated with the slogan of 'Quit India', they
acted as spies of the British. Following the same line, the Kerala CPM
has always helped and promoted Islamic fundamentalism. .....
How long can we expect Pakistan's
president, General Pervez Musharraf to last? That is a question that is
now being increasingly discussed in Pakistan itself, if reports in the
media are any indication. Early this month the New York Times reported
that Musharraf (58) "is isolated in his own land, increasingly a figure
of ridicule and the focus of a growing anti-Western fury that is shared
by Islamic militants and the middle class alike". .....
Through 250 nights and 250 dawns
it has been the same. The Apaches and the Blackhawks, the Chinooks with
their 30 ft rotorblades, have rolled slowly down the strip at Bagram airport
and slipped, lights out, into the night. Ever since the American forces
began arriving at the former Soviet airbase 30 miles north of Kabul last
January an identical routine has been played out almost every evening.
During the day the Special Forces soldiers carried out of the "sweep and
clean" zones try to catch up on sleep and change their MREs (meals ready
to eat) for T-rats (tray rations from the mess hall). .....
Hamid Karzai, 45, Afghanistan's
snazzily dressed President, has the world's toughest job but insists that
he isn't losing any sleep over it. Aware that it was US backing that propelled
him to the presidency, Karzai jokes that he is a pauper king. Born in Kandahar,
Karzai, a Pashtoon, is chief of the Popalzai tribe that resides in southern
Afghanistan. In the 1970s he did a part of his higher education in Shimla
in India. After serving as a mujahid adviser in the 1980s, Karzai was made
deputy foreign minister in 1992. .....
Terrorism and Pakistan will not
be allowed to "hijack" relations between India and the U.S., visiting Prime
Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee told a delegation of American Jews that called
on him here. .....
Rejecting Pakistan's description
of terrorist violence in Jammu and Kashmir as freedom struggle, President
George W Bush today said the US would use its "leverage" with Pakistan
to desist from incursions and cross-border terrorism to ensure peaceful
conduct of assembly polls in the state. .....
Nobody could have believed that
the coming polls in Jammu and Kashmir would pass off peacefully. After
all, Pakistan and its lackeys in the Valley were committed to play the
spoilsport. Holding of free and fair elections in the State would knock
the bottom out of their propaganda that India is the `colonial power' in
Kashmir and that we are holding on to the State against the wishes of the
people of Kashmir. We are not. .....
One may or may not support the
RSS plea for the trifurcation of Jammu & Kashmir. But the demand for
carving out three different states of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh out of
the present State of J&K on the eve of the Assembly elections highlights
the necessity to protect the divergent religio-cultural compositions of
these three regions. It also emphasises the need to reassure Jammu and
Ladakh, which have suffered discrimination and neglect since Independence.
When I read the phrase 'bye-election',
I am never sure whether it is a Freudian slip or a pun. Whichever, the
misspelling is applicable given that everyone seems hellbent on finding
reasons to bid farewell to timely polls. And so it is that I ask: was Mangaldoi
an aberration or a portent? .....
A senior official in Andhra Pradesh
Police has said that the Dawood Ibrahim gang had routed a huge amount of
ransom money to New York through Dubai and Pakistan and it was used by
Mohammed Atta, the leader of the September 11 terrorist operation in the
United States. .....
The influential Arab League is
belatedly attempting to distance itself from anti-Jewish comments spewed
at a symposium run by an affiliated organisation. The halfhearted disavowal
by the 22-member league is insufficient. The episode demonstrates the lies
and the depth of hate that poison the atmosphere in much of the Middle
East, even in some rarefied Arab circles. .....
Subsidy may be a dirty word in
the post-liberalisation era but the government continues to subsidise the
air journey for the Haj pilgrimage for nearly 77,000 people who travel
to Saudi Arabia every year from nearly 10 destinations in India. The government
paid Rs 150 crore to Air-India for ferrying pilgrims for Haj 2002 (concluded
in March) towards the subsidy it has been offering ever since sea voyages
were replaced by the chartered flights around the end of the '80s. .....
Q.: What is the current military
position in Afghanistan?
A.: Ahmad Shah Masood: We have
information that the Taliban, with the help of Pakistan and Osama Bin Laden,
had planned early this year to capture Badakshan. Their plan was to first
take Badakshan and then cut off the supply line to Panjshir so that they
could lay a siege to our positions. This was a programme that the Pakistanis
and the Taliban pursued since early this year but could not succee.....
N. Ram and Sekhar Gupta are undoubtedly
the two big names in the Indian media. The entire country looks up to them
with awe and some kind of an admiration for what their papers, The Hindu
and The Indian Express respectively, are trying to do to Indian society.
They are in a way the torchbearers of our public opinion, at least many
feel so. The Indian Express these days has a slogan too on its front page
"Journalism of Courage". .....
The first anniversary of the terrorist
attack on the World Trade Centre is a good occasion for India to ponder
whether the specific political objectives of the US-led international campaign
against terrorism has addressed its own con-cerns and interests. .....
This is my first visit to the United
States since I assumed charge as India's Minister for External Affairs,
but as has just been pointed out, I am not a stranger to this country or
to this city. .....
Any honest assessment on the anniversary
of the World Trade Centre tragedy must surely conclude that there is no
global coalition against terrorism. There never really was. The coalition
was a polite term coined by US President George Bush Jr to garner the support
(or mitigate the opposition) of the international community for his punitive
strikes against the Osama bin Laden- Mullah Omar regime in Afghanistan,
to give his people the satisfaction that the atrocity was being avenged
and simultaneously topple a regime inimical to America's strategic interests.
Both objectives being quickly achieved, the coalition (sic) simply evaporated,
On Friday, September 6, The All
India Christian Council accused the National Commission for Minorities
of adopting "double standards," demanded that it ban the RSS' Ghar Wapsi
programme in tribal areas, and slammed Vice-Chairman Tarlochan Singh for
demanding that missionaries halt their conversion activities amongst Sikhs.
While the world observes the solemn
anniversary of the terror attacks on America on Thursday, Muslim clerics
in London will celebrate one year of 9/11 with a meet to launch an organisation
for Islamic militants. .....
On this Rosh Hashana, a time of
self-examination, I confess that my capacity as an Israeli for self-criticism
has been exhausted. The terrorist war that began around Rosh Hashana two
years ago and provoked official campaigns of Jew-hatred throughout the
Arab world has convinced Israelis like me who are ready to make far-reaching
compromises for peace that there will be no acceptance of a Jewish state
in the Middle East no matter how much territory we concede. .....
What has changed in Europe since
September 11, 2001? In at least one European country, not much. A Belgian
Islamist cell has recruited young, second-generation Muslims for Osama
bin Laden's organization, but no one wants to recognize it officially.
The politicians act as if pristine Belgium has nothing to do with terrorism
or its operatives. A senior Belgian minister even told me recently: "We
are not really concerned, you know. Bin Laden's war is against America,
not against us." .....
Sundays at the Jhalani House in
Delhi's Civil Lines are reserved for cricket. And, no, they don't have
to look yonder to put together a Cricket XI. Their in-house team is already
spilling over with sporty men-not necessarily 20-somethings-who take fielding
positions on the 30 ft by 50 ft concrete surface (it's used as a parking
lot otherwise for 20-odd "family" cars). At their Lord's, as the sun filters
through the labyrinthine, creeper-covered trellis, the batsman takes position,
ready to face a bowler who relies more on intimidation than sheer pace.
One year into the global war against
terrorism and the world can congratulate itself that Al Qaeda and the Taliban
no longer pose a military threat to Afghanistan and the surrounding region.
But tactical failures of the US military forces have led to thousands of
Al Qaeda militants escaping the dragnet around Afghanistan and permeating
the world with more dangerous and secretive terrorist groups, who will
strike again in western capitals sooner rather than later. Across Central
and South Asia, though, the aftermath of the war in Afghanistan has led
to growing instability and domestic political crises in every country.
In recent months, companies have
come under growing public scrutiny for the transparency of their finances,
or rather the lack of it. Even more opaque than the corporate sector when
it comes to managing finances are the hundreds of charities that raise
billions of dollars worldwide to spend on the poor. India, with the world's
largest number of poor, is an obvious destination for these funds. It is
therefore perhaps appropriate that the finances of charities operating
in this country be subject to greater public scrutiny. .....
If you haven't already been submerged
beneath a sea of September 11 articles and analyses, then, brace yourself;
the first anniversary of the attacks is on Wednesday and it will be impossible
to keep your head above water as the media and TV channels remind us of
the horrors of the WTC attacks. .....
"It is well known that after the
passage of the Resolution demanding separate Statehood for Jammu region
and Union Territory status for Ladakh by the RSS, an unprecedented wave
of enthusiasm has been generated in both regions. It has resulted in the
formation of the Jammu State Morcha in Jammu and Ladakh Union Territory
Front in Ladakh, said Shri M.G. Vaidya, the RSS Spokesman. He was addressing
his regular periodical press-meet. .....
Franks couldn't mention the country
by name without provoking a collective case of gastric distress in the
Bush administration. This war "won't be finished," he said during a visit
to the Bagram air base near Kabul, until terrorist cells are hunted down
throughout the region. .....
by A Press Release from the Indian
Muslim Federation-UK for your attention
Discrimination against Muslims
and denial of constitutional and human rights to them is commonplace in
India, United Nation's World Conference on Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia
and related Intolerance has been told in Durban today. .....
Just to-day I have been given to
understand that the government took decision to transfer the two kidnapped
minor girls namely Miss Sushma Malo(14) and Miss Putul Rani Malo of Madaripur(15)
from Madaripur Jail custody to Dhaka Safety Cell and those two minor girls
are now staying alongwith other Muslim orphan girls at Dhaka with a very
poorly condition. The Management of the Dhaka Safety Cell could not allow
us to meet with the girls. .....
The New York Times seems to be
on a campaign to discredit Indian Americans and India. It has given prominence
to an Indian Muslim woman on a crusade to discredit and divide us on the
issue of Godhra, a carnage for which Indian Muslims were responsible. There
has been no similar crusade by Indian Muslims or their diaspora about blocking
funds flowing from the US, West Asia and Pakistan to those who preach hatred.
Hasn't the time come for all of
us to face some facts? And the `all' refers not only to the political parties
in Kashmir but to the United States and Britain as well. The United States
especially. Washington needs to be reminded that had it played fair with
India when it first took the so-called Kashmir issue to the U. N. Security
Council, there would have been no Kashmir problem today. .....
In times like these, I become speechless
when my 13-year-old son asks me innocently, "Papa, do you belong to the
party of land- grabbers?" It is difficult to explain our position. It is
like someone shouting at a person, and the passersby start beating him
without caring to ascertain the facts. .....
It is Friday prayers at Tehran
University. A wizened, elderly mullah is preaching to thousands about the
need for Muslim unity. Beside him is a Kalashnikov rifle and in front,
in Farsi and English, are the slogans of the revolution. 'America is Extremely
Nothy [sic]!' screams one. 'The President of America is Bloodthirsty!'
proclaims another. Then in unison the faithful begin to chant: 'Death to
America! Death to America!' .....
Bangladesh has banned the latest
book of firebrand feminist and controversial writer Taslima Nasreen for
allegedly carrying anti-Islamic remarks. In a statement announcing the
ban, Bangladesh's home ministry said the Bengali-language novel "contains
anti-Islamic sentiments and statements that could destroy the religious
harmony in Bangladesh". .....
Millions of Muslim boys, five years
of age and older, are indoctrinated in Islamic religious schools for a
large part of their child- and young- adulthoods. The intolerance towards
non-Muslims that is taught to them develops deep roots in these early and
crucial years. Tens of thousands of these Islamic religious schools
are present and functional in most countries that have a Muslim population,
such as Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Indonesia, Bangladesh, India, Sudan,
and the sub-Saharan countries. .....
Gujarat Minority Finance and Development
Corporation Chairman Ganibhai Qureshi has sent a legal notice to Chief
Election Commissioner J M Lyngdoh for snubbing him publicly and calling
him a "government agent" during the EC team's visit to Vadodara. .....
Four houses were destroyed in an
attack over a land dispute July 21 on Choto Dumuria, a Catholic village
in Barisal here. A certain Alamgir Hossain Kazi had seized 13 decimals
of church land after the October 1 general election last year. .....
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 US 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. .....
"Perhaps the most unique aspect
of the Indian Jewish experience is the complete absence of discrimination
by a host majority. The secret of India's tolerance is the Hindu belief
which confers legitimacy on a wide diversity of cultural and religious
groups even as it forbids movement from one group to another" - Raphael
Meyer India has, historically, been a refuge and sheltered people of all
religions, creeds and beliefs - Zoroastrians, Jews, Sufis and more recently
Bahais - all were granted protection and security when they sought it.
This is an appeal by the intellectuals
of a small yet distinct ethno-religious community, the Kashmiri Pandits
(Hindus) who have a history of more than five thousand years of a rich
cultural tradition and a unique religious philosophy of the universality
of man, peace and amity amongst peoples. Down the ages, this aboriginal
community of the valley of Kashmir has readily opened itself to foreigners
of all faiths, creeds and professions who came as travellers and settlers.
It gives the ultra-Islamic views
of "Jamaat-e-Islami" I am not sure that this 10 page article will fit in
the framework of our hvk.org and hence I am giving its points by
way of summary and essence of the interview. Personally, I think, these
views are so extreme that they will be acceptable only to a few Muslims
even in Pakistan. .....
The Supreme Court has expressed
its inability to give an opinion by October 2 on the Presidential reference
on the Election Commission's decision to delay the election in Gujarat.
The new state assembly will therefore not be able to meet before October
6 as required by the six-month period stipulation under Article 174(1).
Work, they say, is worship. For
artist A.J. Patel, it is more than that-it is a divine communion with the
divine being. Each time he picks up a pencil to make a sketch, his overwhelming
urge is to draw only the image of Lord Ganesh and every time in a different
form. An art teacher in a primary school in Prantij, a town near Ahmedabad,
the 57-year-old has made hundreds of sketches of Ganesh. .....
Dhan Gopal Mukerji's autobiography,
Caste and Outcast, was originally published by E. P. Dutton in 1923. It
has now been republished by Stanford University Press with a 40-page introduction
by historian Gordon Chang and a substantial afterword, "The Homeless Self:
Problems of Cultural Translation in Autobiography," by anthropologists
Purnima Mankekar and Akhil Gupta. All three of the editors are professors
at Stanford. .....
When East Pakistan broke away from
the main Western part of the country to form Bangladesh in 1971, it was
in opposition to the notion that all Muslim areas of former British India
should unite in one state. The Awami League, which led the struggle for
independence, grew out of the Bangla language movement, and was based on
Bengalinationalism, not religion. At the same time, independent, secular
Bangladesh became the only country in the subcontinent with one dominant
language group and very few ethnic and religious minorities. .....
For many in Ahmedabad, the past
few months have been a nightmare. But on August 28, dreams flowed along
with the river's current-literally-when colourful boats and thousands of
diyas floated in the till recently parched and putrid Sabarmati river.
It was a sight witnessed perhaps only by the older generation in Ahmedabad.
Senior Income Tax Officer Manjeet
Kumar was jogging when he suffered a cardiac arrest and collapsed. Instant
medicare at Mumbai's Bhakti Vedanta Hospital (BVH) helped revive his sluggish
heart, but on regaining consciousness Kumar couldn't shake off the irascibility
brought on by a strange chant emanating from near his hospital bed. Two
years on, Vedic chant and devotional music have become his life's mantra.
"I have become soul conscious instead of just being body conscious," says
The senior Palestinian security
official who has been negotiating with Israel on a cease-fire denounced
suicide attacks in an interview published today in an Israeli newspaper
as "murders for no reason," and said he was demanding that militant organizations
abandon them. .....
It was almost the second Black
Hole tragedy. On August 1 in Malda, the police rounded up 242 men and crammed
them into a 20 ft by 3 ft lock-up to await court hearings. By evening,
two undertrials had died of suffocation and several others lay unconscious.
Most of them had been detained for minor offences, like drinking or gambling.
One lakh people, one destination.
A small cave high up in the Himalayas with an ice stalagmite that waxes
and wanes with the moon. What drives yatris there? Religious fervour, curiosity,
promise of immortality? .....
They maintain they are martyrs
for a political, not religious, cause and are only resorting to such violent
extremes to defend against an oppressive Israeli military. The media romanticize
the heinous bombings as the desperate struggle of the downtrodden. .....
The Union Minister for Tourism
and Culture, Jagmohan, has a bone to pick with, the media. He thinks the
media is superficial and, worse, hypocritical, refusing to see. Its own
failings. The minister's ire was aroused by a report the other day in the
capital's leading daily which suggested that he had allotted plots of land
to certain organisations in order to curry favour with the RSS. .....
"A screaming mob was at my door
in the middle of the night. I somehow slipped out of the back door, got
into my car and drove straight to Delhi, leaving all my belongings in my
house in Srinagar," she recalls. .....
For a nation that honors democracy
and freedom, the United States has a nasty habit of embracing foreign dictators
when they seem to serve American interests. It is one of the least appealing
traits of American foreign policy. Like his predecessors, President Bush
is falling for the illusion that tyrants make great allies. .....
The BJP on Saturday demanded an
explanation from Congress president Sonia Gandhi on what made separatist
Kashmiri leader Shabbir Shah retract his statement on participating in
the coming Jammu and Kashmir Assembly elections after meeting her on Friday.
For the past decade, the warhawks
have been itching to invade Iraq and depose Saddam Hussein. The excuse
for the invasion - by the U.S.-led Gulf War Coalition - was to have been
Saddam's continued desire to have his very own nuke stockpile. But, alas,
the Gulf War Coalition was shredded back in December 1998, when Slick Willie
unilaterally attempted to depose Saddam with a cruise missile. .....
I was struck by the letter, 'Media
struck' (August 22), in which Mr M Ratan rightly says there are sections
of the Fourth Estate-comprising of an "all-too-familiar group of secular-left
oriented editors and so-called progressive intellectuals"-who work with
missionary zeal against the present Government under the garb of secularism.
Delhi police have unearthed a terrorist
plan to assassinate Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, VHP general secretary
Praveen Bhai Togadia and other prominent leaders of the Sangh Parivar by
arresting three activists of Pakistan-based Lashker- e-Toiba (LeT) group
and recovering a large quantity of arms and ammunition from them. .....
The surprise attack on the Congress
President Sonia Gandhi's foreign origins by the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister
J. Jayalalithaa, is bound to revive the controversy centering around the
competence of a foreign-born Indian citizen to become prime minister. Whatever
the motive of the AIADMK supremo's gratuitous broadside against her at
this point of time , there is no denying that her barb hit the Congress
boss clear and hard. .....
Rohan Gunaratna has written six
books on armed conflicts in the world. His expertise on terrorism has always
found respect among students of the subject, but it is his body of knowledge
on the first multinational terrorist group, the Al Qaeda, that has seen
him address worried world leaders at the United Nations, the US Congress,
the Australian Parliament and other parts of the globe. .....
The American South Asia scholar
Robert M Hathaway has used the opinion page of the Chennai-based daily
The Hindu (August 8, 2002) as a forum for tendering advice to his own government.
Dr Hathaway is director of the Asia Program at the Woodrow Wilson International
Center for Scholars, a famous think tank in Washington DC. .....
A Division Bench of the Kerala
High Court on Thursday adjourned to September 3 for final hearing a writ
petition filed by the Catholicos of the East and Malankara Metropolitan,
Baselius Marthoma Mathews II, supreme head of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian
Church, and other Metropolitans under him, regarding the Church dispute.
Osama bin Laden was probably killed
in a US air attack in eastern Afghanistan earlier this year, Pakistan's
security officials have concluded in their latest assessment of the whereabouts
of leaders of Qaeda'. .....
The government indicted four Arab
men in federal court here today, saying they were part of a terrorist cell
operating in the Detroit area and were planning attacks in the United States,
Jordan and Turkey. .....
Beleaguered Pakistani President
Pervez Musharraf, a virtual prisoner in his own barracks following
attempts on his life, is desperately maneuvering to form a political bloc
that will prevent the Pakistan People's Party (PPP), led by former premier
Benazir Bhutto, from dominating October's national elections. .....
Russia has suggested that foreign
aid to Islamabad should be in proportion to its concrete efforts to combat
terrorism and said any improvement in Indo-Pak relations was 'impossible'
unless Pakistan closed down all terrorist camps. .....
Shri Salam Azad-the 38 year old
Bangladeshi writer and an eminent human rights activist predicted that
there were "three options for Bangla Hindus. They can embrace Islam, leave
the country or commit suicide". He made the predictions on February 9,
2002 while releasing the Hindi version of his Bengali book "Hindu Sampraday
Keno Bangladesh Tyag Korcche" (why the Hindu community is leaving Bangladesh)
in the last Kolkata Book Fair. .....
A recent exhibition at the British
Library promoted itself thus, "Imagine an England without tea in china
cups without pepper, chintz or chutney; travel back 400 years in time and
experience the long and perilous sea voyage from London to Asia in the
1600s and discover how everyday things we now take for granted were once
exotic and exciting; and learn how the Asian communities in Britain today
first started". .....
Hindus and other religious minorities
in Bangladesh were the target of widespread violence before during and
after the general elections in October last year, in the Bangla Nationalist
Party and Jamaat-e-Islami led alliance's successful bid to grab power.
Perceived as supporters of the 'pro-minority' Awami League, a large number
of Bangla Hindus were killed, women raped and their property looted or
destroyed, leading to their distress migration to India. .....
In recent weeks, there has been
a lot of hue and cry in India amongst Muslims and the secular bandwagon
with regards to a few statements made by the VHP (Vishwa Hindu Parishad)
regarding the minorities and the Quran. It seems the VHP wants the Muslims,
more so Indian Muslims, to "re-interpret" the words 'kafir' and 'jihad'
with respect to non-Muslims in India. .....
Terrorism in Godhra victimising
Hindus is not new. It dates back to 1927. Various incidents which are noted
in the records of Govt. show that Muslim terrorists have been responsible
for acts of terrorism some of which took place in the years 1927, 1946,
48, 65, 80, 90, 92, 2002. People in Gujarat know well about all these acts
of violence. .....