If the results of the recently
held elections in Pakistan, which General Musharraf conducted to give his
rule the veneer of a popular mandate, have come as a surprise, it is mostly
to the peaceniks of our country, like Kuldip Nayar and his entourage. .....
Few Prime Ministers have been as
hard to read as Atal Bihari Vajpayee. I never saw him in action during
his heyday as a fiery Jan Sanghi orator opposing the Congress and fighting
for the cause of the Hindi language. But over the last decade or so, the
press has consistently got him wrong. .....
The principal of Fr Agnel School
in Vashi, Navi Mumbai, Fr Saturnino Almeida, is a troubled man. A case
was framed against him and the school under section 153 (a) and 295 (a)
for passing hurtful statements against a religion after Bajrang Dal activists
protested against an essay topic in an examination paper. .....
Even as an eleven-member Constitutional
bench of the Supreme Court of India is seized with deciding upon the definition
of "minorityeducational institution" for months, the Tamilnadu Chief Minster
J.Jayalalitha did last week something unprecedented. She snubbed the managers
of the Church-run educational institutions in Tamilnadu with threats of
unleashing ESMA on them, when they bandied that well-worn weapon of "in
protest, we shall close down minority institutions" on October 24. They
In an article "Cosmology in the
Rigveda- The Third Premise" (The Hindu, 9-7-2002) Patriazia Norelli-Bachelet
made sweeping statements regarding the Rigveda and its cosmic meaning-through
her 'cosmic' interpretation boiled down to imposing astrological readings
on the hymns with ideas that came much later. She also made the preposterous
claim: "The ancients were not at all concerned with keeping records for
posterity as we do today." .....
The Prime Minister Atal Behari
Vajpayee has called for keeping up the efforts of security forces to get
the better of terrorism. Speaking at the DGPs and IGPs conference in Delhi
recently, Shri Vajpayee said that Pakistan must be held accountable for
its continued sponsorship of terrorism in India and our diplomatic initiatives
should be intensified to remind the leading nations of the international
coalition against terrorism about their pledge in this regard. .....
It is shocking and painful to watch
the extent to which secularists would go to defame the Government on every
conceivable occasion. Recently, opponents and critics of the Bharatiya
Janata Party decided to oppose the new Government policy on secondary education
as propounded by the National Council of Educational Research and Training
(NCERT) and took it to the Supreme Court. .....
Religion and spirituality form
essential features of Indian life and culture. In fact they provide the
very essential base of our Indian society. In India, religion is part of
society and normally an unavoidable component in one's personal life also.
This is so because here religion and spirituality are taken as intertwined
and complementary. Between them a line of separation is almost impossible
and even if traced it can be a very thin one. .....
The Supreme Court's landmark judgment
upholding the new syllabus for secondary education formulated by NCERT
is a vindication of HRD Minister Dr. Murli Manohar Joshi's new educational
policy. Dr. Joshi has been under attack on the floor of Parliament and
outside for his policy that seeks to remove distortions introduced in Indian
history books by leftist historians and permits educational institutions
to educate students on fundamentals of all religions. .....
"Who am I to prevent them? IF I
HAD POWER AND COULD LEGISLATE, I SHOULD CERTAINLY STOP ALL PROSELYTISING.
It is the cause of much avoidable conflict between classes and unnecessary
heart burning among missionaries". .....
VHP vice-president Acharya Giriraj
Kishore is busy these days planning the next Dharma Sansad, scheduled for
February 2003, which is bound to revive the Ayodhya Mandir issue just before
the assembly elections in nine states.With a triple masters degree, including
one in political science, the 82-year-old Kishore is an expert at combining
politics with religion. He has been in and out of almost all main organisations
of the Sangh Parivar. He joined the RSS in 1940, the Jan Sangh by 1970
and the VHP in 1982. In an interview with Ajit Kumar Jha of The Sunday
Express, Kishore defends the VHP .....
As Director, Military Operations,
during the Chinese aggression in the autumn of 1962, Major General D.K.
Palit, then a brigadier, played a key role. Speaking to Saikat Datta, he
says he authored War in the High Himalayas, years later, as an ''answer
to the lies'' that had been written about the war so far. .....
The School Education department
has issued notices to all schools which closed on Thursday, as part of
the agitation by minority groups against the Prohibition of Forcible Conversion
of Religion Ordinance. .....
MATARAM. Mater. Mother. Ma. Amma
- the word produces a beautiful, soothing sound. A mystery is revealed.
There is no goddess here, no religion. An uplifting, nowhere image. It
is a word understood all over the world. It is the first word. Looks like
the baby knows the word from the day it is born. .....
What do you call a twenty-nine
year old man from Varanasi, dressed in saffron, who twice went to Puri
to claim the seat of Shankaracharya and both times left following judicial
orders and police intervention? What do you call a man in saffron
who says that India's Home Minister L. K. Adwani is the world's worst
terrorist and claims that Iraq's President Saddam Hussain is a great bhakta
(lover of God). .....
Frank Pallone, Congressman and
New Jersey Democrat, has slammed the United States administration for ignoring
Pakistan's involvement in supplying North Korea critical equipment that
was used to start a covert nuclear programme by Pyongyang. .....
The Labour MP for Keighley, West
Yorkshire, Ann Cryer, has set alarm bells ringing in her constituency after
claiming that physical abuse of children attending religious classes at
mosques could be widespread. .....
As the United States expands its
anti-terrorist operations into Pakistan, a new study from the Cato Institute
argues that Pakistan is an unreliable ally that is likely to turn on America
in the long run. .....
President George W. Bush has declared
that the next phase of the anti-terrorism campaign would be aimed at pressing
Iraq, Iran, and North Korea -- the so-called Axis of Evil -- not to develop
chemical, biological and nuclear weapons. He also stressed in his State
of the Union Address that the war against terrorism would be grounded in
a set of universal values, including the rule of law, religious freedom
and respect for women. .....
Four years ago, when the Government
led by Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee first took charge in New Delhi, the prophets
of doom were quick to question its longevity. In 1999, when the NDA came
to power, again with Mr Vajpayee at the helm, cynicism about its durability
was natural since no non-Congress Government had completed two years in
Parliament. Today the issue is not how long the NDA Government will last,
but how well it will perform. .....
Let the world know even if the
deaf and blind European Union refuses to accept the fact that in Jammu
& Kashmir, democracy won an impressive victory. When, speaking in Copenhagen,
Prime Minister Vajpayee said that the people of Jammu & Kashmir have
given their verdict and the winner, clearly, is Indian democracy, he was
telling the bare truth. But it is more than that. .....
The discovery that North Korea
has been secretly enriching uranium for the nuclear weapons program it
promised to freeze in 1994 demonstrates the dangers of putting faith in
a confirmed and practiced liar. So does the news that Pakistan provided
the nuclear technology and perhaps uranium to Kim Jong Il's regime. .....
Three weeks after New Delhi rubbished
a recommendation by the US Commission on International Religious Freedom
(USCIRF) asking the state department to declare India as a "country of
particular concern" (CPC) on account of the recent events in Gujarat, Vaghela
told a press conference here yesterday that he would invite members of
the Commission to visit India if he is in power. .....
Two Bangladeshi nationals Were
arrested after police recovered bombs from the Ganesh Murthy Nagar Zopadpatti
adjoining the highly sensitive Navy Nagar in Colaba during a combing operation
this afternoon. The suspects have been identified as Hazrat Rashid
Sheikh and Mohammed Anwar. Their backgrounds are being ascertained,
said the police. .....
The Labour's subtle approval of
the efforts basically by Mirpuri and pro-Pakistan leadership to carve a
Muslim group within the party has caused considerable resentment, not only
among its Indian suppporters, but even quite a few party MPs are also aghast.
If someone asked me what is the
greatest scam since Independence, I would have some difficulty answering.
I might initially consider the 'Jeep case' involving Krishna Menon, or
the smoking guns of Bofors. .....
Former Indian prime minister Indira
Gandhi may still be held in great esteem but she was a woman of many weaknesses
who encouraged corruption and was intolerant to dissent, says a new book
by a former aide. .....
I welcome the promulgation of the
ordinance by the Government of Tamil Nadu to ban religious conversions
" by use of force or by allurements or by any fraudulent means." This is
a long-awaited step. A step that ensures for the citizens of Tamil Nadu
the most basic of human rights. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights
adopted by General Assembly resolution 217 A (III) in December 1948, holds
in Article 18 that " Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience
and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief.."
In articles written since 1998,
I have been saying, on the basis of information from reliable Pakistani
sources, that North Korea's assistance to Pakistan in the development of
its missile capability has been as a quid pro quo for the latter's assistance
to North Korea in the development of its military nuclear capability. .....
The Islamic group suspected of
involvement in last weekend's deadly bombing of a nightclub in Bali is
believed to have set up cells inside Australia, Southeast Asian intelligence
officials have told CNN. .....
Pakistan was a key supplier to
North Korea's secret nuclear programme, US officials said yesterday, confirming
suspicions that first arose when Benazir Bhutto, the then Pakistani prime
minister, went shopping for missile technology in Pyongyang and Beijing
nearly a decade ago. .....
Trust the ruling party to ask the
government to gift-wrap a prime plot, as The Statesman reported yesterday.
And trust the CPI-M, ordinarily reflexive critics of the BJP, to abuse
?trust? to land a deal. .....
The recent attacks on Durga puja
pandals and systematic breaking of idols by ?unidentified? people in Bangladesh
is a matter of concern not only for the country?s minority but also for
its secular traditions. The attacks have unnerved the minority community
so much that the office bearers of the National Durga Puja Celebrations
The recent bombing of a nightclub
in Bali, Indonesia, killing at least 183 and injuring hundreds, fits into
a larger pattern. Militant Islam used to be mostly confined to Middle Easterners,
but in recent years it has spread to Muslims in other parts of the world.
The Tamil Nadu Government's unexpected
Ordinance banning religious conversions through force, fraud or inducement,
has brought a prickly issue into the open. While the move has upset communities
that are not content with the constitutional freedom to practise their
faith freely, it has been received with a sense of relief by groups that
are not driven with the desire to eradicate other creeds. .....
In a sharp reaction to the spontaneous
consolidation of minorities and secularists against the Tamil Nadu Government
Prohibition of Forcible Conversion of Religion Ordinance, Hindu leaders
and heads of various mutts have extended `wholehearted' support to the
Chief Minister, Jayalalithaa, for taking a "bold and timely" step to stop
conversions in the State. .....
In a time of more controlled chaos,
linking the Rev. Jerry Falwell to French author Michel Houellebecq would
be unthinkable. After all, what could the founder of the Moral Majority
possibly have in common with uh Franch authair known for novels of emotional
desolation and sexual explicitness? Not much -- until lately. .....
Paula Richman has studied the Ramayana
for the last 15 years. She is a Professor of Religion at Oberlin University
in the USA and put together the book Many Ramayanas about the diversity
of this narrative tradition. Currently on research leave, Richman lectured
on her subject at the Sahitya Akademi in New Delhi last weekend. Excerpts
from an interview with Renuka Narayanan. .....
Explosives packed inside a bicycle
frame detonated Sunday outside a Roman Catholic shrine in the Southern
Philippines city of Zamboanga, killing a Philippine marine and wounding
16 people, police said. .....
Terrorist mastermind Osama bin
Laden has been linked to last week's Bali nightclub bombing, which killed
at least 183 people and injured more than 300 mostly foreign tourists,
following a testimony by one of his senior lieutenants. According to a
confession made by Omar Faruq, described as Bin Laden's envoy in Southeast
Asia, who was arrested in Indonesia in June and handed over to the CIA
in Afghanistan, a series of plots were hatched to kill westerners, Indonesians
and Israelis. .....
The loss of erstwhile East Pakistan
was a rude shock to the military establishment of Pakistan - one from which
it is still smarting. It also amounted to a loss of foothold in that region
for the purpose of motivating and arming India's North-Eastern insurgent
groups in collusion with China through Myanmar. .....
Hindu priest Mangku Gama sits cross-legged
inside a roadside temple on Bali skewering pieces of meat onto bamboo sticks
and wondering if the weekend bomb blasts have disrupted the island's tranquillity
for good. Cauldrons of chicken and duck are cooking and meat carcasses
are being strung up from the roof. Women in fancy sarongs and ornate hair
pieces shuttle in and out. .....
Five persons were killed and 20
others injured, some of them seriously, in two separate attacks on Durga
puja pandals by militants in lower Assam's Bongaigaon district on Sunday
night, official sources said on Monday. .....
Nearly 6,000 Fijians of Indian
origin are leaving the island every year. At such high levels of migration,
Indians are expected to become a much smaller minority ethnic group in
the Fijian islands. .....
Nagpur: RSS chief K S Sudarshan
on Sunday defended the ordinance brought out by the Tamil Nadu government
banning conversions by force or allurement. He also recommended a law on
the same lines for the whole country. .....
India has reacted with shock to
news of a car bomb attack in the Indonesian tourist resort of Bali, amid
pointed comments urging the international community to end the practice
of "conflicting views on the issue of terrorism or its perception". .....
An Indo-Pak Test match? Cricket
buffs would love it, but former High Commissioner to Pakistan G Parthasarathy,
a cricket buff himself, believes the match will have to wait. "We can't
ignore the political dimension of playing cricket with Pakistan. Right
now, there's tension and we have troops deployed on the border. How do
you explain to a Jawan there who's unable to meet his family for six months
that we are playing cricket with Pakistan? It doesn't make sense." .....
40-year old Narayan Shashtri and
19 year old Bibek Mukherjee are classmates in a unique school. The Purohit
Paathshala on Haritaki Bagan Lane near Amherst Street, is provding hope
for the unemployed who had for so long been contemplating nothing but a
bleak future. .....
The Pakistan Muslim League (Quaid-e-Azam),
believed to be close to President Pervez Musharraf, emerged as the frontrunner
on Friday as results came in from various parts of the country in the first
general elections since the military leader came to power in a 1999 coup.
It was a debate that drifted from
professed objectives. A nationwide discussion on the shape of school education
in the 21st century could be a sound professional and academic exercise
with valuable inputs from all the stakeholders. This is what NCERT attempted
when it brought out the Discussion Document on National Curriculum Framework
in School Education in January 2000. .....
Despite the elimination of Imam
Ali, a dreaded militant, and his associates in Bangalore six days ago,
the continued support given by people to fundamentalist groups is causing
concern to the police. They acknowledge that without the support of some
elements, apart from his associates, Ali could not have escaped from police
custody at Tirumangalam, near Madurai, and later sneaked out of the State.
The mastermind of the 1998 Coimbatore
serial bomb blasts and member of the fundamentalist group Al-Umma, Imam
Ali was shot dead early this morning along four of his associates by a
joint team of the Karnataka and Tamil Nadu police. .....
Vivekjiwan Swami, spokesperson
of the Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS)
was one of those still stuck inside the temple complex late in the evening.
From 'Reception 4' he spoke to The Indian Express at about 9 pm and narrated
the whole incident to Janyala Sreenivas. .....
When Human Resources Development
Minister Dr Murli Manohar Joshi suggested that there is a good reason to
re-write history there was a wave of protest from our Leftists. It was
a gut reaction. The Left just cannot accept the fact that what they dismiss
as the "Saffron Brigade" can ever do anything right. .....
Come to Purnea to die, goes an
old saying. There was a time when people in the area fell like flies
to malaria. These days, criminals seem to have taken the place of mosquitoes
and, in the process, have made sure that the saying is still relevant.
Armed with sophisticated weapons, they spew blood and terror in the villages
and towns of Araria, Kishanganj, Purnea and Katihar districts, which fall
under Purnea division in Bihar. .....
New Hampshire: An appeaser, said
Churchill, feeds the crocodile in the hope that it will eat him last. But
sometimes the croc eats him first anyway. For months, the US, Britain and
Canada had warned the Indonesian government about terrorists operating
within its borders. So had Singapore and Malaysia. President Megawati's
administration responded by calling Washington anti-Muslim. .....
American intelligence officials
have concluded that Pakistan, a vital ally since last year's terrorist
attacks, was a major supplier of critical equipment for North Korea's newly
revealed clandestine nuclear weapons program, current and former senior
American officials said today. .....
The very first line of defense
for the U.S. homeland consists of those who issue visas (the consular division
of the State Department) and those who control the borders (the Immigration
and Naturalization Service, or INS). Trouble is, neither of those agencies
has understood its security role. .....
The process of Talibanisation of
Balochistan has got a big boost with the emergence in the October 10 election
of the Jamaat-Ul-Islami-dominated Muttahia Majlis-e-Amal as the single
largest party in the Provincial Assembly, as well as with its victory on
the National Assembly seats reserved for Balochistan. This is a clear message
from the voters. .....
This happened, I believe, some
30-35 years back. A book by name 'Religious Leaders' by Thomas and Thomas
was published in Europe. And, hold your breath, Muslim riots brake out
in our country, in Bombay and elsewhere! As usual, the rioters began attacking
Hindus, torching their shops and destroying public property. .....
While the electoral eclipse of
the autocratic Abdullah dynasty and its non- governing National Conference
has opened the gates of hope for the future of the commoner in Jammu and
Kashmir, the state could well go from the frying pan into the fire if the
People's Democratic Party takes its poll agenda too seriously in its role
of a major partner in the coalition that is getting set to rule from Srinagar.
When you have a military ruler
firmly in place, and who had further fortified himself with the power to
make or break governments at his sweet will, the outcome of highly flawed
elections to State and national legislatures ought to be of little consequence.
At least to his own survival. .....
A massive explosion from a car
bomb destroyed a night club at the Kuta beach resort on the tourist island
of Bali in Indonesia on October 12, sparking a devastating fire that killed
at least 187 people and wounded more than 300 -- many of them foreigners,
mainly Australians, Germans, Canadians, Britons and Swedes. .....
"Sectarian violence in India's
Solapur city, triggered by a protest over comments by US Baptist minister
Jerry Falwell against the Prophet Mohammed, has left eight dead and over
90 injured," Agence France-Presse reports. "Police had used gunfire Friday
on crowds of rioters of Muslim youths who clashed with groups of Hindus
as the protest against Falwell's remarks turned violent." .....
Seated in the front garden beneath
a yellow canopy, his supporters waited patiently, bearers carrying trays
of tea and lemon cake moving among them. Finally he appeared, an elderly,
diminutive figure with a neat white beard and Jinnah hat. .....
This is with reference to R.P.
Desai letter, 'Selfless Soul' (Oct 8), in which he questions the VHP's
commitment to social service. Why is it that almost all so-called secularists
delight in targeting the VHP? And why is that the same awkward questions
are not asked of religious organisations that belong to the minority community?
Harvard President Lawrence Summers
recently criticized those on his campus who speak in the name of human
rights but selectively censure Israel while ignoring much greater problems
in the Middle East. He described the divestment campaign against Israel
on his campus as anti-Semitic ''in effect if not intent.'' But human rights
(and media) attention is often disproportionate to the severity or urgency
of human conflicts. .....
On October 1, NCERT released Contemporary
India, a social science textbook for Class IX among other new texts. This
has provoked a few left-oriented historians and activists to carry out
a relentless vilification campaign against the NCERT and those who have
authored the history portions of these condemned textbooks. .....
After attacking the National Democratic
Alliance government for its economic reforms and "failure" to contain terrorism,
Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Ashok Singhal on Friday targeted an adviser
of Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. .....
The Tamil Nadu Prohibition of Forcible
Conversion of Religion Ordinance should have been expected a long time
ago. Many believe that it has not come a day too soon. The Ordnance issued
by Governor, P. S. Ramamohan Rao, not only bars ``forcible'' conversions
but hands imprisonment and a hefty fine to those found guilty. The Ordnance,
besides requires that all conversions be reported to district magistrates.
Al Qaedas terror network derives
most of its financing from charities and individuals in Saudi Arabia, but
the kingdom has "turned a blind eye to this problem," according to a new
report by experts on terrorist finances. .....
General Electric (GE) chairman
Jeffrey Immelt may have got a lot of good press when he spoke glowingly
of China in comparison with India, Congress Party's eco-whiz Jairam Ramesh
told a select Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) gathering the other
day, but he was being economical with the truth. What Immelt didn't tell
you, Jairam says, was that India is one of the largest 'industrial laboratories'
for GE. .....
This column is specially addressed
to my Christian brothers and sisters of India. At a time when again a Western
missionary ministering in India (Father Marian Zelazek who works among
leprosy patients in Orissa) has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize,
and when Mother Teresa's beatification - and later the canonisation - is
being speeded-up by the Vatican, it is time to look into the real motives
of Christian missionaries working in India. .....
An unidentified Saudi supplied
funds to the Indonesian-based Jemaah Islamiah network to buy explosives
that may have been used in the Bali bombing, an authority on Osama bin
Laden's al Qaeda said on Wednesday. .....
I certainly do not mean to detract
for an instant from the horror and outrage over the Bali bombing, but at
the same time I cannot leave without comment the dramatic differences in
the reactions of the world to the Bali bombing and the countless Arab atrocities
against Jews. .....
As it headed for port through the
midwinter dusk, there was little about the M.V. Mecca that stood out from
the other boats plying the waters off southern Bangladesh. Portworkers
and fishermen noted the same squat deckhouse and plump hold that for centuries
have sheltered fishermen from the cyclones of the Bay of Bengal. The Mecca
had the usual rusted rigging and smoke-blackened stern. .....
Cyber savvy Andhra Pradesh is all
set to enact a law making it compulsory to register all marriages. According
to the law, any marriage - be it a mere exchange of garlands, betrothal
conducted according to different customs, traditions, religions or even
remarriage - will have to be registered with authorities. Interestingly,
the legislation envisages punishment for an official if he fails to register
a marriage. .....
Every year Hindus of Bradford celebrate
the sacred festival of Navraatri peacefully as it is celebrated in other
British Cities. The difference here is that during every celebration Hindu
worshippers are under constant threat of attacks from other minority community.
Every year the Deepawali Lights are wantonly damaged, temple worshippers
are confronted with severe abuse and hostility, Women and children spat
at, Mandirs and Elderly Day centres are arson attacked and our youths are
under severe intimidation. In the face of all these assaults Bradford Hindus
have shown remarkable restraint, as this is second nature to them. .....
Since the September 11 attacks
on the United States, Pakistan has figured prominently in Washington's
global war on terrorism. Responding to a series of threats and inducements,
President General Pervez Musharraf terminated support for the fundamentalist
Taliban regime it had helped create and foster in Kabul, allowed Pakistani
territory and airspace to be used for Operation Enduring Freedom, and provided
important intelligence data to coalition forces targeting terrorist training
camps on Afghan soil. .....
Summary: Saudi Arabia is indisputably
terrorism's biggest bankroller, even if Iran is its largest sponsor overall.
The Saudis persistently stonewall efforts to cut off terrorist funding,
and they'll never reliably change in that regard- too many powerful Saudis
are fanatical terrorist sympathizers, due to their Wahabite fundamentalism.
Our intellectuals often lament
the decline of moral values and the dominance of materialism in the modern
society. But the opposite indeed may be the case. The enslavement of India
by the Mughal and British can be traced to the weakness, not strength,
of materialism in our culture. Our kings were content playing second fiddle
to the foreign rulers. .....
Ongoing - Religious intolerance
is highest in indigenous communities which see evangelical Christianity
as undermining their traditional culture. It is reported that in the past
30 years at least 30,000 evangelical Christians have been expelled from
San Juan Chamula, Chiapas. .....
Many Bible believing Christians
in the United States are often shocked and puzzled when they hear tales
of persecution in neighboring Mexico. After all, Mexico is a big trade
partner and borders on the freest country in the world. Is it really true
that Bible believing Christians are being persecuted for their faith just
beyond the U.S. border? .....
As soon as the U.S. geared up for
the war against the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, Muslim military personnel
in the American armed forces began to deal with the question of the religious
permissibility of their participation in battle. Army Chaplain Capt. Abd
Al-Rasheed Muhammad, the Imam of Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington,
D.C. sent an inquiry on the matter to the North American Fiqh (Islamic
Jurisprudence) Council, which in turn referred the matter to clerics in
the Arab world. .....
Nearly every year, Egyptian television
broadcasts special series for the month of Ramadan, which enjoy particularly
high ratings. Frequently, these annual series make media waves in the Arab
world. During Ramadan 2000, for example, the character of the Coptic woman
married to a Muslim in one series sparked a heated debate on Christian-Muslim
relations. More recently, the polygamist Hajj Mutawali, in a series for
Ramadan 2001, engendered a storm about polygamy in the Islamic world. .....
Continuing terrorist actions and
violent demonstrations over the last five decades have turned India's Northeast
into a dangerous place. Large- scale introduction of narcotics and arms
from neighboring Myanmar (Burma) and China has made this strategically
crucial area a potential theater of violent secessionist movements. .....
In one discussion on a group, a
participant wrote: ""For instance while there is just one verse in Koran
which says "To you your religion, to me mine", there are scores (hundreds,
actually) which promote hatred towards disbelievers."" .....
'The defenders of the faith' are
hysterical again. The same groups - the same editorialists, the same NGOs,
the same 'eminent scholars', and the same news commentators - who are anti-Ayodhya
movement, anti-Pokharan II, anti- NCERT syllabus, anti-changes-in the ICHR
set up - simply put, the anti-Hindutva groups or Anti-Hindutva coalition.
Catholic natives of San Juan Chamula
in the conflict-ridden southern Mexican state of Chiapas forced their town's
mayor to resign as part of a conflict between them and a group of Evangelical
The leader of a Chicago-area Islamic
charity was indicted on racketeering charges Wednesday, accused of fraudulently
collecting donations to support Osama bin Laden's network and other terrorist
groups. "It is sinister to prey on good hearts to fund the works of evil,"
Attorney General John Ashcroft said in announcing the charges against Enaam
Arnaout, who has been under arrest since last April. .....
The West Bengal state administrative
tribunal has revoked the suspension order of Biplab Das, VHP district secretary
and an employee of the public works department posted at the Burdwan medical
college. The authorities were asked "to allow Das to resume duty with all
financial benefits immediately" in the October 3 order. .....
Suspected terrorist mastermind
Osama bin Laden is alive and regularly meeting Mullah Omar, the fugitive
leader of Afghanis-tan's ousted Taliban, according to a phone call intercepted
by US spy satellites. .....
Suspected terrorist mastermind
Osama bin Laden is alive and regularly meeting Mullah Omar, the fugitive
leader of the Taliban, according to a telephone call intercepted by American
spy satellites. .....
The Gujarat political situation
is totally polarised after Godhra carnage, the reaction thereof and bombardment
on the senses by pseudo secular parties, followed by the media. The impending
elections have worried the Congress extremely. Baffled Congress leaders
saw hope in Shanker Singh Vaghela, so the Congress president promptly nominated
him as the president of the Gujarat unit to counter Narendra Modi, the
caretaker Chief Minister of Gujarat. .....
In a blow to those who advocated
Brahmins only for priesthood, the supreme court has ruled that non-Brahmins
can also perform religious ceremonies and work as temple priests as long
as they are well versed with the relevant rituals and rites. .....
Dreaded terrorist Imam Ali, the
mastermind behind serial bomb blasts in Coimbatore and who had plans to
assassinate LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and Ashok Singhal, was today
gunned down here along with four of his associates, including a woman,
in a pre-dawn commando operation by a joint team of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka
In a not-so-veiled attack on the
Haryana Police, which accorded VIP treatment to the prime accused in the
Shivam Bhatnagar murder case, deputy prime minister LK Advani today said
recent reports did not reflect well on the state of affairs. "We are worried
about the criminal justice system, especially the division of police of
two states. .....
Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray on
Thursday lashed out at the BJP led NDA government over its inability to
take stern stops against mounting terrorist attacks in the country and
threatened to pull out of the BJP-led NDA government, if it failed to take
any step now. Sounding tough, the Sena chief said that enough was enough.
Stating that it was the end of ones tolerance, Thackeray had this to say
for prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee "enough of talk about end of tolerance.
Deliver the goods, not words. We shall not sit quiet now". .....
"Those Islamic terrorist who carried
out the Swaminarayan temple massacre did not come to the temple straight
from Pakistan on the day of the killings. They definitely stayed in India
and got support from the locals. Similar methods were used in a number
of other terrorist incidents. Therefore, Indian Muslims should not support
such Pakistani ventures, said Ashok Chowgule president of the Maharashtra
and Goa branch of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), at, a press conference
in Mumbai on Thursday. .....
Two gunmen, burst into the offices
of a Christian charity in Karachi on Wednesday and tied up and shot dead
seven Christians, police said. The attack was the latest in a series of
bloody assaults on Christian or Western targets. .....
Shock and pride. Residents of Umej
village in Junagadh district felt both sentiments as news of the death
of Allahrakha Unadjam, the SRP constable of Group Three Mandana (District
Banaskantha), Company 'C', while fighting terrorists at Akshardhamm reached
them on Wednesday. .....
The largely incident-free second
round of the Jammu and Kashmir elections will make Fakre Alam, a school
teacher from Barabanki, a happy man. He plans to abandon the government-supplied
bullet-proof vest and 'patka', an armoured headband that passes for a helmet
in Kashmir, in the next phase. .....
In an article in the sixteenth
issue of the online magazine Al-Ansar, which is affiliated with Al-Qa'ida,
a columnist identified as Seif Al-Din Al-Ansari discussed the Koranic verse
"Allah Will Torture Them [the Infidels] At Your Hands" .....
In an open letter to the Egyptian
Minister of Interior, the editor of the Egyptian Christian Coptic newspaper,
Watani (My Homeland) calls for the abolition of the Egyptian laws that
prevent the construction of new churches. In making his argument, the editor
refers to recent statements made by the Grand Mufti of Egypt, Dr. Nasr
Farid Wasil, on the planned mosque in Nazareth .....
Here is the real dilemma faced
by the Western alliance in its continuing war against terrorism. Pakistan's
military dictator, General Pervaiz Musharraf, has been responsible for
the arrest and deportation of the largest number of al-Qa'eda militants
of any nation in the world - 422 have been shipped out to Guantanamo Bay
since December. But Gen Musharraf is also holding a heavily rigged election
tomorrow, which promises to plunge Pakistan into political instability.
A temple was torched and statues
of deities were destroyed in three attacks on Muslim-majority Bangladesh's
main religious minority ahead of a festival, officials and reports said
on Tuesday.In the northern area of Kishoreganj, a temple was set ablaze
and badly damaged on Saturday. A leaflet left behind called for an end
to "idol worship" and for a mosque to be built in the temple's place, the
Sangbad newspaper reported.One day later, a group destroyed statues of
deities, made ahead of the major Hindu festival of Durga Puja on Thursday,
in Narayanganj near the capital Dhaka. .....
If George Bush's "war on terror"
were remotely rational, or even roughly reasoned, then its next target
might be Pakistan, not Iraq. It should be said that the US is not justified
in pre-emptively and unilaterally attacking either country - or any other
sovereign state for that matter. But on the basis of Mr Bush's own "axis
of evil" criteria at least, Pakistan sits squarely in the theoretical firing
As Brigadier T. Sailo looks back
on his two consecutive careers, he could well be rewinding to his native
Mizoram's turbulent passage since India's independence. He joined the army
in 1943, and upon retirement in 1974 immersed himself in Mizoram's politics
as it went through a difficult phase of insurgency. He went on to become
chief minister. Now in reflective retirement, he spoke to Mini Kapoor.
Excerpts from an interview: .....
Witness Ashok Chatterjee today
stated before the high court here that he had gone to Ayodhya from 1962
to 1992 at least 40 times, but never saw a Muslim offer namaz at the disputed
site during that period. .....
There is no better way to handle
terrorist virulence than decisive police action. The gunning down of five
terrorists in Bangalore on Sunday by a team of Tamil Nadu commandos came
in the wake of last week's killing of two terrorists in the Akshardham
temple in Gujarat. Both operations should set an example for the police
Pakistan's military ruler General
Pervez Musharraf warned foreign election observers on Monday against making
comments ahead of polls designed to restore civilian rule, the official
APP news agency reported. .....
Some organisations, supported by
local Congress, BJP, Bajrang Dal and VHP leaders, have reportedly started
a vilification campaign against missionary schools that are being run in
Ajmer district. First, leaflets were distributed against these schools
and effigies of some of the priests burnt. In certain cases, parents were
forced to remove their children from the schools' rolls. And in an extreme
step, all convent schools of Ajmer district were forcibly closed for some
time last month. .....
I'd written this article two weeks
ago, but, more dignified souls had persuaded me to hold it back. I've squirmed
each night, tortured by the thought that I had let go unanswered, what
are to me, grave accusations. And then, I read Vir Sanghvi's column on
The Hindustan Times' face-off with The Times of India. And I thought, dignity
be damned -- at least I'm not arguing over who reads whom more! .....
Who is afraid of Vellappally Natesan?
The question has suddenly acquired sharp edge in Kerala with the Natesan-led
SNDP Yogam deciding to hold anti-CPI(M) dharna at 100 centres in the State
on October 11. .....
A prison is a place for criminals,
not heroes. But that's only if you are not Abdul Nasser Madani. The rogue
politician, an accused in the infamous Coimbatore blast that targeted L.K.
Advani, will perhaps soon be set free-thanks to the four-and-a-half years
he's spent in detention without being chargesheeted. Support for his release
is growing in Kerala. .....
U.S. authorities may have information
that could exonerate a Canadian sentenced to beheading for a fatal bombing
in Saudi Arabia but they have refused to co-operate with his defence team,
says a lawyer in the case. .....
Saying that a military government
in Pakistan has exacerbated tensions with India over Kashmir, a US-based
analysis and advocacy group has warned that President Pervez Musharraf's
plans to perpetuate military power could lead to instability, reports PTI.
Mr President, before I let you
know where Mishriwalla is and why it is time for you to plan a visit there,
let me first congratulate you on becoming India's 11th President. This
is truly an achievement. You have proven, by sheer hard work and perseverance,
that anybody in this land of sadhus and rishis can achieve his/her goals.
Hundreds of al-Qaeda operatives
in Karachi are being currently protected by Pakistani intelligence agency
ISI, which is 'eager' to send them back to their native countries, according
to a media report, reports PTI. .....
Islamic terrorism in India is a
bye-product of the US-inspired and orchestrated jehad of the 1980s against
the Soviet troops in Afghanistan. To make the Soviet troops bleed, the
USA's Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) encouraged Islamic fanaticism and
incited unemployed Muslim youth all over the world to go to Afghanistan
to carry on a jehad against Communism. Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence
(ISI) was entrusted by the CIA with the task of religiously-motivating,
training and arming the jehadi mercenaries from different countries and
sending them into Afghanistan for fighting against the Soviet troops. .....
`The Vishwa Hindu Parishad-sponsored
Dharam Raksha Sammelan on Sunday made it clear that the idol of Ram Lalla
installed at the makeshift temple in Ayodhya would not be removed and the
suggestion of the court regarding archaeological excavations was unacceptable.
The sammelan also insisted that either the Muslims hand over the disputed
land on their own or Parliament enact a law so that the land could be handed
over to the Hindus failing which the people should be prepared for another
It came to Mumbai in around 1980.
It was not a much hyped movie. It did not contain any fights, lewd
scenes, teenage love or anything which is permanent feature of English
movies sure to draw crowds. It did not have glamorous and rich scenes.
The reviewers did not think it worth while beyond a simple mention of it
in their columns. .....
Sri Ramjanmabhoomi Trust Chalrpun
Paramhans Ramchandra Das said the trust would whole-heartedly welcome initiatives
from any organisation or community in favour of the construction of the
Ram temple at Ayodhya. .....
"India's nuclear weapons programme
would serve it well and is a strategy on the leading edge of nuclear thinking,"
said C. Raja Mohan, Editor, Strategic Affairs, The Hindu. This was also
the core argument presented by the Senior Advisor from the US Embassy,
Ashley J. Tellis who was speaking on the topic of "India's Emerging Nuclear
Posture", organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry on Thursday.
Tellis has also authored a book by the same topic published last year.
Over the past one month, a strident
anti-Christian movement has been building up in Rajasthan's Ajmer district,
concentrated around schools run by missionaries. Today, a ceremony at Bhawanikhera,
presided over by BJP Ajmer MP Rasa Singh Rawat, took it one step further
when at the function, 12 Christian couples belonging to the Rawat Samaj
were reconverted to Hinduism. .....
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa
has banned religious conversions by ''force or fraud'' in the state, earning
a pat on the back from the Sangh Parivar but criticism from Christian organisations.
For a district flung into obscurity
like any other in Uttar Pradesh, Azamgarh is bizarrely flush with opulence.
A study in brazen contrasts, its labyrinthine, dusty bylanes are dotted
with palatial bungalows, with swimming pools set amid swathes of green.
The Pathan Kot mohalla in Sarai Meer is one such locality. As lustily conspicuous
is a multi-storeyed structure that towers over the adjacent homes. .....
NCERT chairman J S Rajput, at the
hub of the controversy over new school textbooks, defends himself against
allegations of bias. Excerpts from an interview with SANTWANA BHATTACHARYA
of The Sunday Express: .....
The NCERT has introduced new textbooks
for Classes VI and IX. Was the exercise really required?
There was definitely a need to
update the facts. The sequential flow is much better in the new version
and so is the designing. Even in terms of picture quality and child friendliness,
these are definitely much better books. .....
"The vicious and perverted defamation
of Gujarati Hindus, who were the victims of Godhra train burning, and hypocritical
indignation of those leaders who expressed shame for the post Godhra violence
are responsible for triggering the attack on Akhshardham and the carnage
that followed. But for the secularist media and cowardly political leaders,
the jihadi forces would not have felt encouraged to attack Akshardham",
said Dr Pravin Togadia of the VHP. .....
"Coming just some months after
the heinous roasting alive of innocent Rambhaktas at Godhra on February
27, the vicious terrorist attack on the Swaminarayan temple at the Akshardham
in Gandhinagar has once again deeply hurt the national psyche. Our security
forces have gunned down the terrorists who were supposedly belonging to
an outfit called "Tehrik-e-Kasas". .....
A section of the Hindus converted
to Christianity who have now become the so-called Dalit Christians have
been subjected to all types of mental and physical harassment by the upper
class Christians. According to historical records one Daivathan embraced
Christianity at Thiruvalla in Pathanamthitta district in Kerala attracted
by the promise of equality in the Church, sometime in 1854. But on the
very first Sunday Daivathan alias Habel was driven out of the mass and
was thoroughly beaten up in the churchyard, say the records. .....
The CPM is out of power and the
illicit liquor baron Manichan has been sentenced to life-imprisonment,
but the ghosts of the 30 died in Kollam district two years back consuming
spurious liquor is still haunting the party. Also the pay-off diary, maintained
by Manichan which gives details of crores of rupees given to CPM leaders,
is giving sleepless nights to the comrades top to bottom. .....
So far as Kashmir is concerned,
for India, it is the end of the road. In future it can expect nothing from
the United States which is concerned with its own selfish interests and
it can expect nothing from Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf who is
frightened of his own shadow. What kind of negotiations can India possibly
have with a man who says: "No leader, no government of Pakistan, can leave
or abandon the issue of Kashmir. .....
The death of Imam Ali in Bangalore
last week closed a chapter in the history of religious fundamentalism in
Tamil Nadu. Ali, main accused in the 1993 bomb blast at the RSS office
in Chennai, was wanted ever since he fled from custody in March this year,
and his death in a police operation in Bangalore on September 29 has opened
a can of worms the Tamil Nadu government needs to take a hard look at.
The Assembly polls in Jammu and
Kashmir deserve an unqualified praise for the people of the state, the
Election Commission and the var-ious security and military forces that
super-vised the elections. The country has every reason to show its utter
contempt for the wild accusations about the Kashmir elections being a "sham"
levelled by the likes of Pakistan's Gen Parvez Musharraf, a dictator who
surely invites ridicule when he questions India's democratic credentials.
A US Congresswoman who was unseated
in the Democratic primary election in August partly due to the political
activism of local Indian-Americans has bitterly complained about Indian
'interference' in the American political process, citing a Times of India
report to bolster her tirade. .....
September 12,2002 is a significant
day as far as educational initiatives go with the Supreme Court judgment
giving NCERT the green signal to go ahead with its initiatives to update
and upgrade school education in the country An avoidable debate carried
on over the last two years unfortunately ignored practically every professional
issue and focused on ideologically-oriented apprehensions, pre-conceived
notions and prejudices. .....
Washington: Observing that some
of the "worst schools for terrorism and religious extremism" exist in Pakistan,
Washington has assured Islamabad of economy assistance required to defeat
The substantial sums of Hinduism
that Buddhism carried along on its historic spread across Asia is not always
appreciated. Indian Mahayanist philosophers, such as Nagarjuna, directed
Buddhism back towards Hinduism, away from the rigid atheism of Theravada
Buddhism. It was Mahayana Buddhism that spread to China, Korea, Japan and
Vietnam. As a result, some of the earlier schools in japan, such as Shingon,
Kegon and Tendai, had largely Hindu pantheons. .....
Megatrends is a term coined by
futurist John Naisbitt in 1982 to name the major underlying forces, both
positive and negative, that are transforming society and shaping the future.
Naisbitt's best-selling book, Megatrends, was enormously influential at
the time in helping individuals, communities and nations understand and
adapt to the changing times. .....
The US has acknowledged the right
of countries to resort to preventive or pre-emptive strikes in self-defence
but has cautioned that such a step should be considered after all other
avenues are exhausted and that it does not necessarily apply in the India-Pakistan
Deputy chief minister Chhagan Bhujbal,
who belongs to the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), has categorically
stated that the Maharashtra government has no plan to ban the Vishwa Hindu
Parishad (VHP) and the Bajrang Dal-(BD). Minister of state for home Kripashanker
Singh of the Congress had recently claimed that the government was planning
to ban these bodies. He had even stated that the government would approach
the Centre with such a request since these organisations were creating
communal hatred. .....
Hindu fundamentalist organisations,
including the Munnani, Arya Samaj and the Bharatiya Janata Party, staged
a string of demonstrations here protesting the alleged conversion of a
group of 250 Hindu Dalits from the villages of Madurai, Ramanathapuram,
Them and Tirunelveli districts, by the Seventh Day Adventists at a function
in their school premises here. .....
Pope John Paul II will add the
name of Josemaria Escriva de Balaguer, the Spanish founder of Opus Dei.
The canonization this week will draw at least 250,000 spectators to Rome.
Even its admirers know little about the inner workings of this shadowy
church within the church. .....
This Sunday, Pope John Paul II
is set to declare the Spanish-born priest Josemaría Escrivá
a saint. The canonization ceremony in St. Peter's Square - expected to
draw some 250,000 faithful - will in effect bestow the church's most sacred
honor on the movement Escrivá founded in 1928: Opus Dei, the conservative
lay group that preaches strict Christian piety as the only path through
the storms of modern life. .....
The unprecedented wave of violence
let loose by Pak-controlled mercenary militants has not changed the Kashmiri
people's stand for the democratic process. In spite of the terrorist attack
on about 25 booths, the murder of half a dozen security men and the spreading
of terror in several constituencies, about 42 percent of voters have voted,
giving a slap on the face of both Hurriyat and Musharraf. .....
British author Salman Rushdie has
defended a best- selling French writer, Michel Houellebecq, who is being
taken to court on charges of racial insult and inciting religious hatred
for having called Islam "the dumbest religion". .....
Bangladeshi miscreants killed two
Indians and kidnapped seven others while two of them were killed by village
defence forces in retaliation in two separate incidents in Tripura since
Wednesday night. .....
The post-9/11 fear and hatred of
anything American, even medicines, has provoked resistance against polio
immunisation among a section of mostly poor and illiterate Muslims in West
Bengal. This has led to an increase in the number of polio cases in the
minority dominated Murshidabad district. .....
Our "secularists" are nothing if
not origi-nal and highly imaginative. They will cry "wolf" even if they
see a rabbit. Even if there is no living thing anywhere, in sight. Crying
wolf has become a habit with them. The slightest move on the part of HRD
Minister Dr Murli Manohar Joshi to set education in India in the right
direction and our secularists will see red. Actually, not red but saffron.
Slain extremist Imam Ali on Tuesday
got a hero's burial behind a mosque in Madurai as a huge crowd of mourners,
mostly local Muslim youth and relatives from his hometown Melur nearby,
chanted prayers, sobbed and raised slogans. .....
Continuing its tirade against Prime
Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), the Vishwa
Hindu Parishad (VHP) on Tuesday said India needs strong leaders like George
W. Bush and Arial Sharon , Presidents of America and Israel respectively
to fight terrorists. The country under the present leadership has
proved ineffective. .....
Hizbul Mujahideen leader Syed Salahuddin,
whose survival as an extremist is directly linked to his ability to keep
his hate-India campaign going, has no reservations about allowing his sons
to use government facilities in Jammu and Kashmir. .....
Observing that some of the 'worst
schools for terrorism and religious extremism, exists in Pakistan Washington
has assured Islamabad of economic assistance required to defeat terrorists,
reports PTI. .....
On his death-bed Allah's Apostle
put a sheet over his-face and when he felt hot, he would remove it from
his face. When in that state (of putting and removing the sheet) he said,
"May Allah's Curse be on the Jews and the Christians for they build places
of worship at the graves of their prophets." (By that) he intended to warn
(the Muslim) from what they (i.e. Jews and Christians) had done. .....
Terrorism, terrorism, terrorism.
In the last few days we have heard this nine-letter word several times
over. One year after, September 11 was a day of fear over half the world
and not merely in the United States. .....
From the heartland of Hindutva,
it takes a mere hour and a half for Ariana Afghan airlines to fly to Kabul.
But Afghanistan's minuscule Hindu and Sikh population, having survived
both the brutal persecution and the humourless whim of the Taliban, could
still teach a few lessons in humanity and humility to their extremist co-religionists
in India. .....
At the end of all the views and
perspectives, what's the final take on the Akshardham assault? Two Paki
terrorists exterminated in exchange for the lives of 30-odd innocent Indians,
considerable collateral damage and expense, and a feeling of national humiliation,
of helplessness. That's the entire take -- period. .....
Ever since extremist BJP has grabbed
power in New Delhi in the wake of renewed fundamentalist Hindutva agenda,
Indian security forces have become law unto themselves and are on a killing
spree throughout India, Muslims being their favourite targets. .....
Indian Finance Minister Jaswant
Singh discussed the Iraq issue with US Secretary of State Colin Powell
and later said cryptically that pre-emption was not the sole prerogative
of any one country. .....
A Division Bench of the Kerala
High Court on Monday gave the custody of Deepa, who was allegedly abducted
by Sali, to her parents, Dr P K Mohanlal, retired Director of Ayurveda
Education, and Mrs Mohanlal, who have been directed to stay in a hotel
or lodge in Ernakulam under police protection, till the court takes a decision
on the habeas corpus writ petition relating to the disappearance of the
16-year-old girl, filed by Dr P K Mohanlal. .....
The letters and phone calls simply
haven't stopped pouring in since September 25, when the National Security
Guards won the battle of wits and bullets at the Swaminarayan temple at
Akshardham. Those who sent in their appreciation of the NSG's work in Gujarat
include Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, Deputy Prime Minister L.K.
Advani, leader of the opposition Sonia Gandhi and Governor of Manipur Ved
Marwah, who himself headed the force between 1988 and 1990. .....
Poor Narendra Modi! He is abused,
if he governs. And also abused, if he does not govern. The secularists
in the media and the polity have now risen in unison to cite the complete
calm that prevailed during the two days of bandh in Gujarat following the
Akshardham Temple atrocity as proof of his willful complicity in the riots
that took place in the wake of the Godhra train carnage. .....
An article has been published in
the August of the monthly "Tarajumanul Koran" published from Lahore in
Pakistan. The matter in this article is so sensational that
ordinary citizen will not believe it. But it is all proper and necessary.
If the world wants to clear out terrorism, then it has to all these today
or tomorrow. Things which Egypt did during the last few days. .....
As another war in Iraq seems to
approach, Israelis can feel considerably more secure from missile attack
than they did in 1991, when 39 Iraqi Scuds landed in Israel. The reason
is the substantial improvement in Israeli missile defenses, an improvement
that other nations understandably are seeking for themselves. .....
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. .....
The Bombay high court on Wednesday
admitted a petition challenging the allotmcnt of a large plot at Nariman
Point, by chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, to the Shankarrao Chavan Trust
in March 2001 on an annual lease of Re 1. .....
As the West Nile Virus spreads
nationwide, some congressional leaders are asking whether the mosquito-borne
illness could be linked to terrorism or to Iraq's bioweapons program. If
so, a more troubling question may be whether Iraq's weapons efforts were
unwittingly helped by U.S. scientists. .....
"We who come from the East have
sat here on the platform day after day and have been told in a patronizing
way that we ought to accept Christianity because Christian nations are
the most prosperous. We look at history and see that the prosperity of
Christian Europe began with Spain. Spain's prosperity began with the invasion
of Mexico. .....
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. If Mr. Bush
is not careful, Washington will be mopping up for years from the inevitable
foreign policy disasters that come of befriending autocrats who maintain
a stranglehold on their own people. .....
The Prime Minister is going to
Pakistan oil 19th of this month. The avowed object of this visit, according
to his statement in the Lok Sabha, is to sign the Canal Waters Treaty.
But it does not take five long days to initial a document. Obviously, the
time is to be utilized for discussing other problems pending between India
and Pakistan. However, no definite agenda has been fixed. .....
On the occasion of Tulsi Jayanti
on August 15, 2002, the foundation stone laying .ceremony of the Ramayana
Centre was performed by Prime Minister of Mauritius Sir Anerood Jugnauth
at Rose Belle in Mauritius. The ceremony began by lighting of the traditional
lamp by Lady Sarojni Jugnauth. The simple ceremony of laying of foundation
stone turned out to be synergy of Hindu unity as people overwhelmingly
attended it. .....
As America and the rest of the
world prepare to pay homage to more than three thousand victims who died
in the global. terror's worst holocaust on September 11, 2001, it is worthwhile
doing Borne introspection and to seek answer to the question--why did such
a ghastly thing happen? The massive destruction was masterminded by Saudi
Arabia born Osama bin Laden, supreme head of the hardcore Islamic terrorist
organisation Al Qaeda which was financed mostly by Islamic charities. .....
A unique and path-breaking dialogue
between the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and Christian Intellectuals
was held at Hosanna Mount in Pala, Kottayam District recently. The talks
that is a sequel to the RSS-bishops dialogue, which was held a few months
back in Kochi, was organised at the initiative of Dr Joseph Pulikunnel,
Director, Indian Institute of Christian Studies (IICS) and Shri John Joseph,
Member, National Minorities Commission. .....
Dr. Joseph Pulikunnel, Christian
intellectual and Director of the Indian Institute of Christian Studies
(IICS), is a stormy petrel He has been excommunicated by the Church for
openly opposing Churchianity and the hegemony of the Pope. He has now become
the rallying point of many Christian intellectuals, reformers and social
activists. In an interview to Organiser representative S. Chandrasekhar,
he spoke about the ongoing dialogue and other issues. .....
For sheer impertinence and effrontery,
Pakistan's General Pervez Musharraf is hard to beat. The man came to power
after a military coup and has as much right to rule over Pakistan as any
usurper of a throne. Speaking on Pakistan's Independence Day the visibly
terrorised Chief Executive Officer, afraid of his own people, had the cheek
to dismiss the proposed elections in Jammu and Kashmir as "a farce"; coming
from the lips of a man with no respect for elections it is hilarious. .....
"DR Farooq Abdullah, Chief Minister
of Jammu and Kashmir, has close links with Amanullah Khan, the president
of Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front", alleged the renowned journalist and
Padamshree awardee Muzaffar Hussain while kicking off the election campaign
of the Jammu State Morcha (JSM) at Jammu. JSM is a newly-floated, RSS-backed
political group. .....
The demand for trifurcation of
Jammu and Kashmir State to give a separate statehood for Jammu and a Union
Territory status for Ladakh may pose a serious challenge to the ruling
National Conference which is raking up the issue of restoration of pre-1953
status to the State under the slogan of Autonomy. .....
The "Open page" debate in The Hindu
on Harappan vs. Vedic Civilisations is attracting the attention of the
serious readers. The conclusions of Dr. Michael Witzel (Mar. 5) separating
Harappan civilisation from the Vedic culture on the main ground that while
horses were abundantly discussed in Rig Veda, there was no trace of them
in Harappa, were contested by Dr. R. Nagaswamy, ex-director of Archaeology,
Tamil Nadu (Mar. 12) on the contention that horses' bones were found and
were also subjected to carbon dating at Harappa. .....
Dhimmitude is an Islamic phenomenon.
It defines the condition of submissive surrender to Islamic rule, yet without
conversion to the Islamic faith. Under classical theological formulations
developed in the first centuries of Islam, the region where Islam rules
is known as Dar al-Islam 'the House of Islam'. .....