Everybody was talking about Tehelka.
The weekly newspaper launched its first issue while I was in India, and
thereafter I rarely started an interview without being asked whether I
had seen it. The reason? The cover story was an 11-page muckrake titled
"George Bush Has a Big Conversion Agenda for India." .....
The brash young man seizes the
stage of Manhattan's Broadway Theater, sings and dances to a vigorous bhangra
and, feeling his rock-star-in-the-making oats, shouts, "Are ya with me,
Bombay? ... Are ya with me, New York?" This scene from the new musical
Bombay Dreams poses the cultural question of the moment. .....
Chowdary Hari Ram was 24 years
old when he escaped from the holocaust against the Hindus in Pakistan in
1947 and settled down in Rangpur Sidhriya village on the Indo-Pak border
in the Jammu constituency. .....
The U.S. State Department Thursday
absolved Pakistan of all charges of supporting terrorism and praised the
country as "one of America's most important partners" in the battle against
Islamist extremists. .....
The Bharatiya Janata Party on Tuesday
lodged a complaint with the Election Commission that many Electronic Voting
Machines (EVMs) used for polling on Monday in Bihar did not accept votes
for anything other than the lantern, the election symbol of the ruling
Rashtriya Janata Dal. .....
With the bombing of a Saudi police
facility in Riyadh on April 21, certain people of influence -- American
journalists and officials, as well as leaders of the desert kingdom --
are finally admitting the contradictions of the Wahhabi dominion. And because
it has taken so long for so many of them to wake up to this reality, I
am going to break two journalistic rules: I am going to write about my
own feelings, and about a colleague. .....
Aurangabad is the epicentre of
Maharashtra's torrid zone. Here temperatures soar to a scorching 45 degree
Celsius, turning the earth into a dust bowl. But you wouldn't know it from
the Kedia farm, a bumpy half-hour ride to the south of the city. .....
Whether it is a national shame
or not, it is certainly a danger to national security. Why do we have rules
in the army which prohibit a foreigner, a foreign born person, even though
he is a citizen, from occupying certain high-ranking offices in the army?
Why do we say that our IPS officers should not be of foreign origin? .....
This is what this investigation
reveals. Sonia arranges a clandestine meeting between the RAW, Indian spy
network, and Italian spies. This was when she was just a housewife and
Rajiv was just the general secretary of the Congress. .....
A kind of debate has been held
on a study made in 2003 by Islamabad's Sustainable Development Policy Institute
(SDPI) on the activity of the Curriculum Wing of the federal education
ministry with regard to the kind of school and college textbooks being
produced in the provinces. .....
Without garrulous convivial G.L.
Agarwal, munching peanuts by the maund all through the night and leaving
the floor as thickly carpeted with shells as the Long Bar in Singapore's
Raffles Hotel, Guwahati doesn't seem the same. Agarwal, owner of the North-East
Times, is stomping the field in Tezpur as the Bharatiya Janata Party candidate.
Alleging growing contradictions
and dishonesty in the movement, a high-ranking ideologue of the Outlawed
People's War (PW), Pilla Venkateshwar Rao alias Gautam, who carried a reward
of Rs 10 lakh on his head, surrendered to the police on Thursday. .....
The Army has expressed apprehension
over Pakistan's declarations to stop cross-border terrorism and informed
the top political leadership that even if ceasefire holds, infiltration
is expected to increase in the next few months. .....
The Hurriyat has shown its true
colours --- yet again. Its call to the people of Jammu and Kashmir to boycott
the coming Lok Sabha polls because 'the election process is no solution
to the Kashmir problem' is one in a long series of deeds which reveal its
disdain for democracy and all else that India stands for. .....
Before India shone, it used to
radiate. But it was another sort of light that it shared with others. The
great rishi, Sri Aurobindo, wrote at the start of the 20th century: "This
was an invasion of peace and not of war, for to spread a spiritual civilisation
by force and physical conquest, the vaunt or the excuse of modern imperialism
would have been uncongenial to the ancient cast of her mind and temperament
and the idea underlying her Dharma." .....
India prides itself on being the
world's largest democracy. But its elections typically have been raucous
affairs, with hundreds killed in fights between rival political parties
and chronic allegations of ballot-box stuffing. One common practice in
the past was the hijacking of entire polling stations by thugs who stuffed
ballot boxes with additional bogus votes of their favorite candidate. .....
The fine print on an advertisement
issued in the Gujarati media on Tuesday by the Gujarat Pradesh Congress
Committee (GPCC), announcing its president Sonia Gandhi's election tour,
raised several eyebrows, especially in the 'sangh parivar.' Below the Congress
palm symbol, was a line in Sanskrit - param vaibhavam, netumetat swarashtram
(I shall strive to take my country to its highest glory). .....
The Supreme Court has ordered retrial
of the Best Bakery case, and its transfer to Maharashtra from Gujarat.
This will predictably provide grist to the overactive mill of demonisation
Chief Minister Narendra Modi has long faced. .....
For the first time since the creasefire
between India and Pakistan came into effect last year, a Pakistani armed
intruder was killed as Army foiled the infiltration bid by the militants
to sneak into Kashmir valley from across the border. .....
The Returning Officer today rejected
the nomination of a Pakistani national Zulfikar Ali Rahat, who had filed
his papers as a Samajwadi Janata Party candidate for Jammu-Poonch Lok Sabha
constituency going to polls on April 20. .....
The US government has made a renewed
request to Pakistan for sending its troops to Iraq as part of a multinational
UN force that may be dispatched there after the transfer of power in June,
Dawn learnt on Monday. .....
Bharatheeya Vichara Kendram director
P.Parameswaran on Monday said that foreign origin of Sonia Gandhi is not
the only issue that disqualify her from occupying high official positions
in the country but her deliberate non-involvement with the spirit and soul
of India. There are deeper and more fundamental issues compared to which
legal and constitutional questions are secondary. .....
The discovery of 10 truck loads
of arms of worth between Rs 200 and Rs 300 crore at Chittagong port on
2 April is "something which directly impacts our security and the security
of the region" and is "a matter of serious concern," an official said today.
Mufti Mohammad Sayeed and his cabinet
colleagues, including senior Congress leader and deputy chief minister
Mangat Ram Sharma, consistently dismiss the charge by people of the Jammu
region that their government is more anti-Jammu than the earlier Valley-dominated
Trading militancy for peace appeared
to be the dominant sentiment in Islamabad in January this year. The Islamabad
Declaration and the joint statement of Prime Minister Vajpayee and President
Musharraf seemed to signal a new esprit de corps in South Asia. .....
Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari
Vajpayee was all smiles as he sat down for an exclusive interview with
NEWSWEEK's Sudip Mazumdar and Ron Moreau at his official residence in New
Delhi late last week. .....
Three young computer geeks sipping
cups of Nescafé might not seem like much of a revolution. But the
budding engineers plotting their futures at this university coffee bar
illustrate an important shift in India's approach to educating its technical
elite. And it's one that could have implications for the USA. .....
Chaupal is a public space owned
by the villagers. Nobody can claim to have an individual ownership of it.
It is a place where villagers of all ranks, ages, castes, and faiths sit
together and discuss serious and non-serious issues. .....
The Election Commission occasionally
gives the impression of being all-powerful at election time. It orders
the revenue officers to conduct search-and-seize operations at airports.
It will set up a Censor Board of its own to ensure that political advertisements
don't cross the line. .....
Ashok Singhal, the popular Working
President of VHP, feels that though the BJP has detached itself from Hindutva
for the time being, people cannot totally discredit it on this issue. For,
it still has Hindutva in its heart. "The day will come when BJP leaders
would swear their love for Hindutva." .....
You probably did not know 5-year
old Zahida of Doda; truth of the matter is, neither did I. Sadly, I've
come to know something of the last moments of her life. So, let me relate
to you what I now know. .....
There has been a lot of hulla-gulla
over the "infamous" India Shining Campaign, with allegations and counter-allegations
made from various quarters. It has been rendered to be a politically motivated
campaign targetted at the forthcoming elections ,so on and so forth. Whatever
may be the objective behind the veils, but one thing is for certain. .....
It is important to stop a moment
and have a look at what the Belgian scholar Koenraad Elst, has called "negationism
in India". In his foreword to the book of the same title, Koenraad explains
that negationism, which means in this context "the denial of historical
crimes against humanity", is not a new phenomenon. .....
With a confident gesture, Ranga
Muniswamy, 19, brings the traffic to a halt. Just months earlier no one
would even look at him, and here he is, with the power to control the traffic.
This realisation is especially wonderful to someone whose life as a child
in Anekal, an impoverished hamlet 20 km south of Bangalore, was traumatic.
English daily 'Hindustan Times'
published Tarun Vijay's article 'Hate never pays', on Sept. 16, 2003. He
established the fact that despite centuries of hate attacks on Hindus,
their all-encompassing tolerance always prevented them from turning against
the aggressors. On Sept. 25, 2003 H.T. published Sita Ram Yechuri's rejoinder
'Fundamentally flawed' which was written in response to Tarun Vijay's article.
The sharp differences in the Left
Democratic Front over the tacit support bestowed on UDF candidate and influential
non-resident Indian businessman P V Abdul Wahab by the CPM to get elected
to the Rajya Sabha, continue to haunt the Opposition front in Kerala. .....
Foreign fighters hiding in Pakistan's
remote tribal areas along the Afghan border will be allowed to stay if
they lay down arms and give up "negative activities," a provincial governor
said Thursday. .....
Archaeologists from UCLA and the
University of Delaware have unearthed the most extensive remains to date
from sea trade between India and Egypt during the Roman Empire, adding
to mounting evidence that spices and other exotic cargo traveled into Europe
over sea as well as land. .....
A Christian organization dedicated
to helping the persecuted Church says the upcoming national elections in
India will be a referendum on how Christians are treated in that country
in the future. .....
A new bipartisan organisation called
'Friends of India' has been formed in the US Senate, similar to the 10-year-old
Congressional Caucus on India and Indian Americans in the US House of Representatives.
Religious cleansing of the Hindu
minority has robbed Kashmir of its image as a tolerant society. Secular
breakdown in the only Muslim-majority province of India has serious implications
for Kashmiri Muslim leadership as well as Indian state. Nehru had once
warned. "The problem of Kashmir is whether it continues as a secular state
as the rest of India or not. .....
There are some political truths
that are almost self-evident, except to those who choose to be willfully
obtuse. In today's Gujarat, there is just one man who stands head and shoulders
above the rest. You can vilify the man, call him names and send the hounds
of political correctness after him, but when it comes to popularity, there
is no one to match Chief Minister Narendra Modi. .....
Hordes of travellers from the drought-hit
districts of Orissa are camping outside the office of the Pakistan high
commissioner here in a bid to get visas to go to Pakistan. "I've
come all the way from Kalahandi, where it hasn't rained for donkey's years
and there's nothing to eat" said the gnarled old leader of one of the groups.
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld
said on Sunday he had no reason to suspect President Pervez Musharraf of
Pakistan of past involvement in an international nuclear black market but
declined to rule out other possible high-level military complicity. .....
Ever heard of a place where houses
are designed without doors, cupboards have no locks, showcases no doors
and residents are discouraged from buying locks? If anyone fails to follow
this dictat they are warned of grave consequences. .....
In Gujarat, a few years ago, some
fortunate people were able to save their lives by changing their names
to hide their religion. In Pakistan, at about the same time, people did
the same thing for less desperate causes - like winning a cricket tournament.
Independent MLC Arun Machaiah on
Friday urged chief minister S.M. Krishna to drop Muzrai minister Suma Vasanth
from the ministry as her department had allegedly sold or leased out muzrai
property for commercial purposes violating the law. .....
Yet right now, the government of
Sudan is engaging in genocide against three large African tribes in its
Darfur region here. Some 1,000 people are being killed a week, tribeswomen
are being systematically raped, 700,000 people have been driven from their
homes, and Sudan's Army is even bombing the survivors. .....
Indian Marxists, notwithstanding
their claims to originality, have always been faithful followers of Western
intellectual trends, often long after these were dated in the West. Thus,
well after Western academics expounded upon European feudalism, Indian
Marxists continue to search for point-by-point parallels between post-Gupta
India and the West. .....
The Small township of Bhadrachalam
is most picturesquely situated in an area, which once formed part of the
Dandakaranya forest, visited by Sri Rama, Sita and Lakshmana during their
exile. The jungle in the vicinity of the temple was the actual site of
Rama's retreat and it was at the parnasala (32 km from here) that he built
a hut for himself and Sita and wherefrom Sita was abducted by Ravana. .....
It was supposed to be Ayman Al-Zawahiri,
no less, Osama bin Laden's deputy, finally trapped by the trusted Pakistan
army in the wilds of South Waziristan. President Musharraf himself triggered
this feverish line of speculation when he told CNN's Aaron Brown (one of
the best anchors in the business) that the fierce resistance being put
up by suspected Al Qaeda fighters suggested they were protecting a "high-value
There are some political issues
that belong to an earlier generation. My experience of interacting with
the political class suggests that issues concerning either the Constitution
or electoral reforms preoccupy the minds of those who cut their teeth in
the bad old days of Indira Gandhi. Those who came into the political limelight
after 1984 have other priorities. .....
Jayalalithaa has charged Sonia
on two counts. First, not just on her Italian origin, but, as Jaya pointed
out, on Sonia insisting on remaining Italian on the Indian soil for 15
years after she married Rajiv Gandhi. Citing Sonia's extreme reticence
to take Indian citizenship for 15 long years, Jaya has attacked that Antonia
Maino, that is, Sonia, lacks 'deshbhakti'. .....
In a shocking statement, chief
minister of Mizoram, Zoramthanga, told a Welsh missionary on Wednesday
that he wishes to see Christian domination of all of India by sending forth
as many as one lakh missionaries (100,000) from his state. .....
The title says it all: Deeb, an
instructor of Middle East politics at the School of Advanced International
Studies at Johns Hopkins University, has broken ranks with the pieties
of his field and asserted that the Syrian regime is engaged in a "terrorist
war" on Lebanon. .....