Perturbed by experiences of the
past, the Indian officials are not ready to trust Pakistan President General
Pervez Musharraf on his assurance that his Army would not occupy Siachen
glacier if Indian troops withdraw from the world's highest battle field.
In our war on terror the enemy
is now positioning to strike America from yet another direction and with
a potentially fatal blow, with many thanks to France. The 9/11 Commission
pointed out that our biggest failure was "a failure of imagination." That
is, our thinking lagged the evolving reality and our key leaders failed
to grasp the possibility of such a daring attack and hence we were caught
Astrology, it now transpires, is
an unguided missile. The planetary orgy that many at the centre of the
BJP's decision-making process believed would herald the downfall of the
Manmohan Singh Government by September 26 has, instead, rebounded on the
party. Far from Atal Bihari Vajpayee being the beneficiary of a divinely
ordained coup, it is the BJP that gives the impression of having scored
a plethora of self- goals. .....
There is no worse example of shooting
the messenger rather than the message in the Union home minister Shivraj
Patil giving a dressing down to the census commissioner Jayont Kumar Banthia
for what the 2001 census figures have revealed. Forget the census commissioner.
Despite the media's breast-beating
and the periodic, usually self serving, protestations of political parties
on the subject, the criminalisation of politics continues apace. The list
of proposed candidates for the coming Maharashtra assembly elections, which
includes confirmed offenders, suspects in the 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts and
brothers of two of the world's most wanted criminals, is a portent for
the future. .....
The proliferation of rights and
dilution of corresponding duties has been a cause for concern. One response
was the Forty Second Constitutional Amendment which incorporated certain
fundamental duties of citizens in Article 51-A of the constitution. The
concept of duties of citizens was not a new fangled idea. Our ancient rishis
and sacred texts emphasise the importance of duties. .....
A powerful field that can control
the society is education. At present the education sector in Kerala is
under the control of minorities, who are politically influential and economically
sound through the remittances made by the Non- Resident Keralites (NRK).
While the minorities manage 3,340 schools in the state, the entire Hindu
jatis altogether are in possession of 194 schools only. .....
That the Hindus of Kerala are getting
to be a minority community in their native land is not a secret any more.
When India became a republic, the Hindus of this land had a population
share of 61.5 per cent. Today it has progressively and gradually declined
to reach the level of 55 per cent. This numerical decline in the Hindu
community cannot be treated as an inadvertent phenomenon. .....
Hundreds of Dalit Christians staged
a day-long dharna at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi to protest against "increasing
corruption in Church organisations" and asked the UPA government at the
Centre to bring about transparency in working of Christian NGOs that misutilise
foreign aid and funds received in the name of welfare and upliftment of
the poor and downtrodden. .....
There must be something in the
word 'Arjun' itself which enables the bearer of this great name to be always
a champion of some cause or the other in the spirit of a warrior. That
is what we find in our Human Resources Minister, Arjun Singh. He has that
spirit of a crusader, a defender of all that which stands for 'secular'
values and an offender of all that he considers 'communal'. .....
The Leader of the Opposition, Shri
L.K. Advani feels that the kind of respect the NDA government earned during
its six- year rule both at home and abroad is unmatched by any previous
record of a government. And this enhanced the prestige and respect of the
RSS, its philosophy and the entire parivar. .....
A Mumbai-based non-governmental
organisation, the Sadguru Shree Aniruddha Upasana Trust, headed by Dr Aniruddha
Joshi aka Bapu, has taken up the task of spreading awareness about environment-friendly
Ganesh idols. .....
Spectacular spins, rhythmic footwork,
graceful detailed movements, this Kathak dancer has it all. Meet Masako
Sato, a Japanese chemical engineer, who has dedicated herself to Indian
classical dance, her passion and now her life. .....
Celebrations of the 150th Sree
Narayana Gurudeva Jayanthi were held across the world during the
weekend of August 28 - 29. The followers of Shree Narayana Guru in
the North East region of the United States of America celebrated
this great spiritual event under the auspices of Sree Narayana Association
of North America with events spread over for a full day. .....
A monument of Mahant Ramdass was
unveiled at the El Dorado Shiv Mandir last Sunday. The late Mahant, fondly
called "Kutia Baba'' by villagers, came to Trinidad from India as an indentured
immigrant in 1889. .....
When the country was trying to
forget that frightening memories of the Godhra and Gujarat episodes, the
proposed re-inquiry will not only reopen the Godhra file; it will reopen
the Godhra wound. Nothing can benefit parties like the BJP more. The new
inquiry by Justice Mr UC Banerjee has come when already an inquiry by the
Nanavati Commission is in progress. .....
Nine years ago a Muslim-born writer
under a death threat warned Express & Star readers of the global dangers
of Islamic militancy. As the third anniversary of 9/11 approaches, his
latest warning is serious indeed, writes Peter Rhodes .....
Panjab Radio UK reports that Sikhs
in Nanakana Sahib, Pakistan have come under attack by a local mob of Muslim
youth. Sikhs have been threatened that their shops will be burned if they
didn't leave till Monday. It has also been reported that Pakistan Army
has come to the site. UK Sikh delegations have contacted Pakistani Embassy,
and various Muslim leaders to solve the situation. .....
It started with a robbery, but
the gang that burst into a branch of Al-Habib bank in this teeming port
city had no interest in striking it rich, and the university graduate driving
the getaway car was just getting started on a master plan for terror. .....
When I was 8 years old, my family
was in a terrible car accident, and my older brother almost died. The next
night, as I lay scared and sleepless on my paternal grandmother's living-room
couch, she softly explained to me who was to blame. Not my father's Aunt
Estelle, a dour, aging wild woman and devout Baptist, who, as usual, was
driving recklessly fast. .....
Pakistan's president, Gen. Pervez
Musharraf, said in an interview on Monday that his leadership was
freeing his country from the menace of extremism and that this national
"renaissance" might be lost if he kept his pledge to step down as
army chief at the end of this year. .....
Each year Americans contribute
millions of dollars through corporate-giving campaigns and Sunday tithes
to support the "faith-based" humanitarian work of overseas Christian missions.
This work--feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, giving medicine to the
sick--seems a worthy cause, an outwardly selfless endeavor unsullied by
the salacious headlines and bitter disputes now roiling the life of the
church at home. .....
The article pointed out the economic
value of being tolerant. This is a welcome observation that must be promoted
and pursued with more vigor than tomahawks to open at least an alternative
front to deal with the current turmoil in the world. .....
An imam was sentenced to prison
in Spain on Wednesday for inciting violence against women in a 1997 book
that gave detailed instructions to Muslim men on how to beat their wives,
judicial officials said. .....
As per its preamble, the Indian
Constitution stands for a secular state. The state has no official religion.
Secularism pervades its provision, which gives full opportunity to all
persons to profess, practice and propagate any religion of their choice.
The Indian Communists are incorrigible.
They neither learn from their own experience nor from that of their
fatherlands in China and Russia. These economic Neanderthals are
determined to enforce their obsolete world view on the Manmohan Singh
Government. China might have embraced pragmatism in economic sphere
to improve the lot of its teeming millions. .....
The furore over the census figures
for Indian Muslims recalls Ying Ma, a Chinese American campaigner against
black militancy, describing racism as "the hate that dare not speak its
name". Hate begets hate. It also often masks fear which explains the far
more crude posturing of Britain's shadowy White Nationalist Party. .....
The Chinese PLA is collaborating
with Pakistan's ISI to gather intelligence about Indian Army movements,
locations and training centres in the North East, and this was part of
a deal signed by General Parvez Musharraf during his visit to China in
Bitten by the controversy of appointing
foreign agency representatives to the Planning Commission, the Centre it
seems is shy to even have domestic industry experts in the newly-constituted
board for public sector reconstruction. .....
Faced with resistance from the
security forces in the northern part of the State, Pakistan's Inter Services
Intelligence (ISI) has chosen the Gangetic, West Bengal as a new base,
a vivid report prepared by the Intelligence Bureau(IB) has suggested. .....
"Communism, like any other revealed
religion, is largely based on prophecies." - HL Mencken. A group of top
communist ideologues from China visiting Kolkata to study the "Hindu way
of life" in context of the Left movement in India made interesting news.
In the heydays of communism, it was the Indian Leftists who were visiting
Moscow, Beijing or Havana for crash courses in the theory and practice
of communism. .....
Led by Sushma Swaraj, 150 BJP MPs
and MLAs today marched carrying a plaque containing Veer Savarkar's quotation
demanding its restoration in the Cellular Jail here, but courted arrest
when the local administration prevented them from doing so. .....
According to the National Census
of 2001, the Muslim population in the Northeast Indian State of Assam is
30.9 per cent out of a total of 26.6 million. Although the last Census
was conducted three years ago, it was only on September 6, 2004, that the
office of the Registrar General of India, which carries out census operations,
released the statistical break-up on religious lines. .....
It's not surprising that Pakistan's
president, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, intends to break his commitment
to retire as army chief of staff by the end of this year and thereby
restore civilian rule to Pakistan five years after he led a coup
against an elected government. .....
The Beslan school siege has created
panic among Indian security officials who fear that a terrorist group could
carry out a copycat attack in India. It is noteworthy that the Chechen
separatists had planned their attack meticulously months in advance. They
came to know that the gymnasium's floor was to be relaid during the school's
summer holidays. .....
A Delhi court has asked police
to register a case against Delhi Chief Minister Shiela Dikshit's daughter
Latika Dikshit Syed on a complaint filed by a city advocate accusing her
and some "policemen" of assaulting and wrongfully restraining him. .....
Expatriate Muslims integrate less
well with host societies than other expatriate communities. This started
happening towards the end of the 20th century as Muslims all over the world
sought their identity increasingly in religion. As a result, communities
that had lived in peace in diaspora started feeling ill at ease and often
found themselves in conflict with the host societies. .....
A group of 30 women from the Kargil
border area in Jammu and Kashmir, which witnessed a conflict with Pakistan
in 1999, is set to tour the northern part of the country under a programme
arranged by the Indian Army. .....
A recent report prepared by Society
for the Protection of the Rights of the Child (SPACE) says that Pakistan
has literally ignored the UN Convention of the Rights of Child (UNCRC)
on the involvment of children in armed conflicts. .....
Let the inferno of thy indignation
consume the wrong-doer and the indolent one alike. Rabindranath Tagore's
equi-contempt for the one who committed a wrong and the one who tolerated
such wrong was not merely an emotional outburst but a logical deduction
holding both as equally guilty. .....
Can't blame Gautam Bhatia really
('Bungle oh! There's Amar Singh's house', IE, September 14). He is
a typical forward-looking guy of Urban India, whose idea of Modern
India is development at any cost. Many like him love to talk with
an air of sarcasm and cynicism about archaic laws and wax eloquent
on the hell-with-heritage-rules theme. .....
Irked by railway minister Laloo
Prasad's barrage of allegations against its leaders, that BJP on
Tuesday came down heavily on the RJD chief describing him as "a joker
of Congress circus" and terming his accusations as baseless and imaginary".
Arjun Singh's outburst against
the RSS is not only childish, but also reveals his ignorance about
the workings of Sangh Parivar. The very concept of the RSS is lost
on him. The Sangh resembles the vast umbrella which Hindu Dharma
offers to all faiths and beliefs and enables all to develop with
full freedom. This dharma accommodates those who believe in one God,
in two and those who live by several. .....
Daniel Pipes's comparison between
Nepal and France (Between Rage and Appeasement, Sept. 16) missed an important
reference: religion. While France is marching toward becoming an Islamic
state, Nepal's population is 86% Hindu and is the only official Hindu country
in the world. .....
Even as the debate rages on the
'scientific status' of astrology, it has found its way into the curriculum
of a Canadian university. City-based astrologer J Udaya Bhaskara Sastry
has propounded a new theory which has been incorporated in the syllabus
for the advanced numerology course in the Canada-based Suite University.
Sastry will start taking online classes for the students of the university
from next week. .....
The impolitic and impolite anti-India
rant of Bangladesh's Foreign Minister Morshed Khan at a recent public
event, that too in the presence of India's High Commissioner, had
cast a long shadow over upcoming bilateral dialogue on two issues:
The first, water sharing between the two countries, of great importance
to Dhaka; and, the second, the rapid transformation of Bangladesh
into a hub and haven for Islamic terrorists with Al Qaeda links, of increasing
concern for New Delhi. .....
Division Bench of the State High
Court, comprising Justice VK Jhanji and Justice SK Gupta has directed Chief
Secretary and Chief Conservator of Forests to produce the record of over
623 kanals of forest land which has been identified for setting up of Kashmiri
Muslim Migrant Colony near Jammu. The Court also restrained Government
from raising any construction of the colony on this land till next date
of hearing. .....
Insurgent outfits like United Liberation
Front of Asom (Ulfa). All Tripura Tiger Force (ATTF) and the National
Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-IM) have found sanctuaries as
well as conductive climate to launch business ventures in Bangladesh.
Several Arabs were among the terrorists
who recently murdered over 350 people in a Russian school. I'm not surprised.
But how many Arabs in the Middle East even try to connect the dots that
link their current radical culture of Islam to these unspeakable deeds
around the world? They simply do not see the connection, and unfortunately
the world media are not doing their job of informing the Arab world. .....
There is no time for side shows.
Let us go straight to the heart of the issue. The Indian spy agency, RAW,
formed in 1968, had established a clandestine network with its counterparts
in different countries __ with the USA, UK, Israel, France, West Germany
and other countries which possessed the capability for exchange of information
on terrorism, insurgency, China and similar subjects. .....
When the Muslim votebank frowns,
politicians get into a frenzy. Reacting with alacrity to Muslim ire
at Census revelations of the community's steep growth rate, the UPA
government reverted Commissioner J.K. Banthia to his parent cadre
for not consulting the Union Home Ministry before releasing data
on religious demography. .....
The ASI is doing more than just
conserving monuments at the Kumbhalgarh Fort. Officials have for long wanted
to shift out about 400 people living in two small villages inside
the fort-one inhabited by Muslims, the other by tribals. The Muslims are
descendants of the artisans employed to build the fort. The tribals trace
their lineage to the captains in charge of security of the fort. .....
Two years ago, when Jagmohan, then
Union minister for art, culture and tourism, visited the 15th century Kumbhalgarh
Fort in Rajasthan, he was shocked to see that the beautiful palaces, dams
and temples that even invading armies had spared, were falling apart for
want of maintenance. .....
The Supreme Court today took serious
exception to the hurry with which the Bihar government had moved to withdraw
a criminal case against Union Minister Taslimuddin, and restrained the
trial court from proceeding further on the issue. It also issued notices
to him, the Bihar government and the Centre in this regard. .....
So when Arun K. Bansal, the father
of computer astrology in India, says that Hindu god Krishna was born on
July 21, 3228 bc, it feels momentous somehow. The date essentially transforms
Krishna in our minds: from a mythological figure of mystery, even if a
much-loved one, into well a flesh and blood entity. .....
The mass murder of children revolts
the human psyche. Herod sending his henchmen to massacre the infants of
Bethlehem haunts the Gospels. Nothing in our time was crueler than what
the Germans did to children during the Holocaust. Slaughtering the innocents
violates a universal human taboo. .....
So much of hate is being generated
against the national icons, be it Savarkar or the tri-colour, that it's
going to affect the governance and health of the nation badly. It's a totally
un-Congress-like situation, a party which has stood for nationalism and
national pride in pre-Independence days. .....
For nearly three weeks now, the
Union home ministry has been sitting over a damaging report about a Union
minister's arms smuggling activity from Bangladesh and his burgeoning contacts
with Nepal's Maoist insurgents. .....
On August 21, 2004, the main opposition
party, the Awami League (AL), leader and former Prime Minister, Sheikh
Hasina narrowly escaped an attempt on her life. The incident, ironically,
took place immediately after she wrapped up a rally of around 25,000 supporters
protesting the recent Sylhet blasts, with a call "to end the rule of the
government that inspires bomb attacks." .....
The Independent, London, reported
it rather matter of factly: 'Like so much in the war on terror, the trail
of the latest warnings of imminent al- Qa'ida attacks and orange alerts
in the United States appears to lead back to Pakistan.' .....
Although they came in heaps subsequently,
the first slap was symbolic, one which Petroleum Minister Mani Shankar
Aiyar is unlikely to forget in a haste. As for his party, the Congress,
and its alliance partner, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), both will
have to live with the echoes of that slap in the run-up to the Maharashtra
Assembly polls. .....
The Government had taken the decision
to pass the budget without discussion after consulting the opposition parties.
But this decision was informed to the Prime Minister afterwards. Hence
the Prime Minister got extremely angry and he took out the anger on the
opposition leaders, it is reliably learnt. .....
It is not possible to confine Vanavasi
Kalyan Ashram in the concept of a voluntary institution. Vanavasi Kalyan
Ashram is an inspiring force of national awakening, integration, and unity,
said Prof. Gangmumai Kamei Professor of History in Manipur University,
here today. .....
A tug of war between Dalits and
Vanniars in a small village near Tiruchirappalli -- with the latter adamant
that the former can never hope to be relieved of the untouchability scourge
-- has had a completely unforeseen consequence: the local church has had
to be locked for the past three months and both sides have been forced
to seek the divine elsewhere. .....
We must know that [wife] beating
is a punishment in Islamic religious law. No one should deny this because
this was permitted by the Creator of Man, and because when you purchase
an electric appliance or a car you get instructions - a catalogue, explaining
how to use it. The Creator of Man has sent down this book [the Koran] in
order to show Man which ways he must choose. .....
Anyone who follows the developments
in the Arab Islamic world will be struck by the complete absence of self-knowledge
and introspection that characterizes these vexed cultures. Almost every
problem is attributed to hostile external forces. The poverty and underdevelopment
that plague most of the Arab world are the result of malicious machinations
of Americans and Jews. .....
Even as Pakistanis (at least a
certain section of the elite) continue to be mesmerised by all things Indian
and open their arms to various Indian delegations - ranging from "peace"
delegations to trade groups - the more sceptical amongst us are well on
our way to being proven right regarding the direction of the new detente
between Pakistan and India. .....
Manmohan singh's government is
100 days old. It is too short a period to judge its performance, particularly
when the BJP has not allowed even parliament, much less the administration,
to settle down to normal functioning. .....
A group of MPs, MLAs and other
leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party will stage a satyagraha in Bangalore
from September 1 to 7 demanding the removal of the `tainted' Ministers
from the Union Ministry, withdrawal of the cases against the former Madhya
Pradesh Chief Minister, Uma Bharti, and restoration of the plaque commemorating
Savarkar at the Cellular Jail in the Andamans. .....
The Hyderabad police has arrested
eight suspected Lashkar-e-Tayiba operatives and unearthed a plot to explode
an improvised explosive device near a Ganesh temple in Secunderabad during
the forthcoming Ganesh festival. .....
Muslims took to streets here Sunday
demanding independent reservation in jobs. The protest comes in the wake
of Andhra Pradesh's recent move to extend reservation of seats in government
jobs and educational institutions to minority Muslims. .....
"Soon it will be illegal to say
this, so I had better do it now. Islam - yes even "moderate" Islam- threatens
our freedom and civilisation. If we do not work out soon how to counter
it in open debate, we will find that its influence has gone too deep for
us to challenge or resist. The growing Muslim vote in Western Europe is
already frightening many politicians into a submissive attitude. If Turkey
joins the EU, the power of the mosque will grow even more. .....
A ruling RJD Minister's raising
a private army of toughs to tackle criminals in his assembly constituency
in Bihar's west Champaran district has touched off criticism by Opposition
leader and possibility of legal action by the district magistrate. .....