One function which Shibu Soren attended
during his week's tenure as CM was the plenary assembly of the conference
of Catholic Bishops of India. Lauding the church's role in the development
of tribals, he said: "Pehle Adivasi char paya the, Church unko do paya banaya
(Earlier, tribals were four-footed, the church made them two-footed)." .....
One big story from Secretary of State
Condoleezza Rice's trip to South Asia was that once again Washington's policymakers
are trying to send F-16 jet fighters to Pakistan. This is like a broken record
- the argument has come up repeatedly since 1990, when an amendment I wrote
quashed a deal involving 28 of the planes - but unfortunately this time the
sale may well happen. .....
Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee's
statement that the judiciary and the legislatures exist in mutual respect
is unexceptionable. Each has its own area of activity marked out in the Constitution
for harmonious co-existence. Trust and confidence in each other is the prime
condition of this co-existence. All this is so. .....
This is after the President's rule was
imposed in Bihar. Ram Vilas Paswan returned to Delhi and invited a press
conference. The jopurnalists also wanted the reaction of the "Pendulum"
and they were anxious to know what words he uses in reply to Pendulum.
Paswan called his assistants. .....
Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi,
who was denied a United States visa to be the chief guest and kick-off speaker
at the annual convention of the Asian American Hotel Owners Association on
March 24-26, will speak to the hoteliers after all. .....
In an effort to increase pressure on North
Korea, the Bush administration told its Asian allies in briefings earlier
this year that Pyongyang had exported nuclear material to Libya. That was
a significant new charge, the first allegation that North Korea was helping
to create a new nuclear weapons state. But that is not what US intelligence
reported, according to two officials with knowledge of the transaction. .....
It all began with Adam Patel, member of
the Lords declaring, "I very much regret ever having been part of this racist
organisation and I will be forwarding my complaints to the Charity Commission".
Some 2,000 Catholic men gathered in Boston
yesterday to pray, sing, and listen to unusually frank speeches by clergy
discussing contraception, pornography, adultery, adoption, and community service,
with the goal of encouraging men to reexamine their faith and masculinity.
"Post-1977 Bangladesh and Pakistan have
often been compared. But the jihad now being waged in Bangladesh against culture
is linked to the grand Deobandi-Wahabi consensus in the post-1996 Afghanistan
today enveloping Pakistan as a jihad blowback" .....
Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi has
been denied visa by the Bush administration. He had been invited by the Asian-American
Hotel Owners Association. Had the US permitted his visit, it would have gone
The German proverb that fear makes the
wolf appear bigger is fast proving to be a misnomer in the case of Delhi's
terror profile. The arrest of two Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militants and gunning
down of another three in an encounter on March 5 has unravelled a mind-numbing
conspiracy to bring the city to its knees with a series of hard-hitting and
devastating terrorist strikes. .....
Now that President Pervez Musharraf has
decided to emulate Genereal Zia-ul-Haq and land up in India to watch a cricket
match, there is a sense of astonishment at the enthusiasm with which this
symbolic gesture is greeted in the West. .....
In the rest of the country it is a popular
film song, a patriotic hymn or maybe a tune from a favourite serial. But in
Gujarat some cell phone users are using Chief Minister Narendra Modi's speech
as a ring tone. .....
Mike Patel, founder member of Asian American
Hotel Owners Association in the United States, told rediff.com on Monday that
he was misquoted on the issue of denial of visa to Gujarat Chief Minister
Narendra Modi. .....
Nuclear investigators from the United
States and other nations now believe that the black market network run by
the Pakistani scientist A. Q. Khan was selling not only technology for enriching
nuclear fuel and blueprints for nuclear weapons, but also some of the darkest
of the bomb makers' arts: the hard-to-master engineering secrets needed to
fabricate nuclear warheads. .....
Two years after the AD2000 Movement ended
its mobilization efforts to promote "A church for every people and the gospel
for every person by the year 2000," one might be tempted to think that very
few areas of the world remain where work among unreached peoples has not already
There is no reason to be surprised if
you listen to the chanting of Sanskrit mantra by no other than a person like
Buddhadeb Bhattacharya, Marxist Chief Minister of West Bengal. The latest
Sanskrit mantra uttered by him was from the Upanishad: "Tena tyaktena bhunjetha."
Before uttering this mantra, he defended his Marxist identity by saying, "I
am an atheist. I do not have faith in religion. .....
March 20, 2005 will be written in golden
letters in the annals of Indian Americans living in the tri-state area of
New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. On this day braving the rough weather,
a sea of humanity thronged at Madison Square Garden Theater right in the middle
of New York City to listen to their beloved leader Narendra Modi, Chief Minister
of Gujarat in India. .....
As US citizens of Indian origin, we are
outraged and appalled by the US government's decision on March 17, 2005 to
not only deny Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi a diplomatic visa, but
also to revoke his pre-existing tourist/business visa. .....
The response to the US State Department's
decision to rescind Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi's tourist/business
visa and deny him a diplomatic visa, thus effectively debarring him from entering
America whose doors were flung open to welcome Sinn Fein's leader Gerry Adams
the previous week, is enlightening. .....
Seventeen minority Hindus were killed
when their temple was hit by rockets during fighting between renegade tribesmen
and security forces in a restive tribal town in southwestern Pakistan last
week, a government official said yesterday. .....
The state government and Bhartiya Janata
Party (BJP) have locked horns over Taj Mahal. While the Uttar Pradesh Sunni
Waqf Board has reiterated its stand on the ownership of Taj Mahal, senior
BJP leader Lalji Tandon has said that Waqf Board cannot even pay salaries
to its employees and how can it take care of such a monuments which has international
Holding his bright red "Inquilab Zindabad!"
sign, Dr. Vijay Prashad, founder of the Forum of Indian Leftists, encourages
us Indians and Indian-Americans, mindless money-grubbers that we are, to "model-minority
suicide" . I am one of those Petit-Bourgeois Running-Dogs of the Paper
Tigers of the Neo-Colonialist Capitalist Imperialist Military Industrial Complex,
in the convoluted terminology of Prashad's Communist friends. .....
Rattan Singh Kalsi had travelled from
Canada's east coast to Vancouver on the other side of the country, in the
hope that the two men charged with murder and conspiracy to plant a bomb and
blow up the Air-India 747 Kanishka on June 23, 1985 would be held guilty.
Even as Pakistan President Perwez Musharraf
is preparing to see the cricket match and his mother is visiting India to
recall her past, representatives of both countries are crossing swords at
the United Nations. .....
Sixty years ago, Palora Matha, an illiterate
old lady, donated her only calf to EMS Nampoothiripad at a function to raise
funds for setting up the cpm's newspaper Deshabhimani. Palora Matha's generosity
has now become a fairy tale for the new-generation Marxists living in an age
of party-owned TV channel, hospitals and supermarkets. .....
For years now, the media has been glorifying
film-maker Mahesh Bhatt as a liberal, secular intellectual. After reading
his views on the controversy involving Pakistani actress Meera (who's got
into trouble with the Pak authorities and hardliners for doing a kissing scene
in Bhatt's 'Nazar'), I feel compelled to write this letter. .....
A French fashion poster showing women
imitating Jesus Christ and his apostles in the Leonardo da Vinci painting,
The Last Supper, has been banned in Paris, the second time in a month it has
been outlawed. .....
If there is one daily that has the courage
to take on the communists, it is the Kolkata-based The Statesman which has
been constantly under heavy pressure from the CPM-led government of West Bengal.
But that has never deterred The Statesman to tell the truth about the Jyoti
Basu-Buddhadev Bhattacharya administration, fairly, squarely and above all,
The situation in Bangladesh is really
grave and the postponement of SAARC summit scheduled for February 6 and 7
in Dhaka in view of the cancelled visit of Indian premier, Dr Manmohan Singh
brings to the fore once again the growing menace of terrorism in that country.
Though Dhaka has reacted angrily to Delhi's security concern, the developments
in Bangladesh since August last have been quite alarming. .....
The UPA's antipathy for Hindus and its
chairperson's indulgence to minorityism seem to have emboldened the proselytisers.
In the latest instance, in Dhenkanal district, Orissa, a 14-year old schoolgirl
Jyotirmayee Bej, fell victim to a conspiracy of cash-rich evangelists in which
the local police allegedly played a willing partner. .....
Emmanuel Mission, an evangelical organisation,
covertly indulging in conversion activities cried wolf when caught by alert
Bajrang Dal workers. In the name of Bible classes, the Mission has been ferrying
people from all over India to Kota in Rajasthan, apparently for religious
Much before the electorate tamed the RJD
in Bihar, a humble officer of the Election Commission was busy ensuring that
the party received no undue advantage from its ruling position to influence
the electoral outcome. .....
Vedas, the proud possession of mankind,
are the foundation of Hinduism. Vedas are all-embracing, and treat the entire
humanity with the same respect and dignity. Vedas speak of nobility of entire
humanity (krinvanto vishvam aryam), and do not sanction any caste system or
birth-based caste system. Mantra, numbered 10-13-1 in Rig Veda, addresses
the entire humanity as divine children (shrunvantu vishve amrutsya putraha).
Muslims have played a major role in shaping
Indian politics. They form 13.4 per cent of our population. States where Muslims
account for more than 10 per cent of the population are Lashkadweep (95.5
per cent), J&K (67 per cent), Assam (31 per cent), W Bengal (25 per cent),
Kerala (24.7 per cent), Bihar (16.5 per cent), Jharkhand (13.8 per cent),
Karnataka (12.2 per cent), Uttaranchal (11.9 per cent), Delhi (11.7 per cent)
and Maharashtra (10.6 per cent). .....
In our preceding cover, we told you how
black it can get for the deafblind community if it is brushed aside
as an embarrassment by family and society. This one brings you rivetting
stories of achievements of this very community which came about with
just a little prop, sensitivity and effort on the part of parents and
community workers. .....
An alleged rise in Islamic militancy,
and law and order downslide dominated the first day of discussions in
Washington on Wednesday as lending agencies and nations sat at an `informal
meeting' to discuss how they can more effectively help Bangladesh ride
out the current bout of governance problems and political confrontation.
Call it a blessing in disguise. Or a tsunami
surprise. The trail of destruction has given a ray of hope to archaeologists
in this temple town, who are already on an exciting excavation mission. And,
the big question: Is the legend of seven pagodas coming to a reality? .....
Sri Lanka 's Constitution contains a separate
chapter on Buddhism. This chapter contains of Article 9, which reads "The
Republic of Sri Lanka shall give to Buddhism the foremost place and accordingly
it shall be the duty of the State to protect and foster the Buddha Sasana,
while assuring to all religions the rights granted by Article 10 and 14 (1)
In the sprawling palace of Tervuren, in
a leafy suburb of Brussels, Leopold, King of the Belgians has finally been
dethroned. A daunting statue of the hook-nosed monarch has been heaved from
centre stage in the royal museum that was his brainchild and built with the
proceeds of his African adventure. .....
Jogulamba Devi temple at Alampur, one
of the 18 Sakti peethams in Indian sub-continent, including Sankari Devi temple
in Sri Lanka, has been reconstructed after 615 years. According to historical
sources, the temple was razed to the ground during Muslim invasion in 1390
Separated by time, Siwan today is caught
in a complex conundrum of change. An era is about to end even as a new
one is invited. Mohammad Shahabuddin's 15 years of terror-filled fiefdom
of Siwan seems to be sitting on the threshold of change. .....
Where would an Italian apparel firm prefer
to set up its manufacturing unit, Shanghai or Solapur? China offered free
land and electricity in Shanghai, while skilled labour was all that Solapur
in western Maharashtra could offer. .....
Did you know that on the basis of this
dishonest judge's interim report in a departmental enquiry (V'mala 80), 75
distinguished Nehruvian secularists, including Shyam Benegal, Shubha Mudgal,
Kamal Mitra Chenoy, Githa Hariharan, Swami Agnivesh, Rahul Roy, Mallika Sarabhai,
Shabnam Hashmi and Zoya Hasan, wrote to the prime minister for the release
of all the Godhra accused ("An open letter to Manmohan on Banerjee report",
The Hindu, Jan 31, 2005)? .....
Anyone reading the Old Testament knows
that Yahweh, God of those claiming Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as their forefathers,
was essentially a sky-god. It's possible to trace the evolution of the understanding
of this once-local, tribal deity into the one universal Lord and Father of
humanity in the pages of the Bible. .....
The government is considering banning
Pakistani actors and actresses from appearing in Indian movies after deeming
some scenes featuring Lollywood superstar Meera in Mahesh Bhatt's new film
to be vulgar. According to sources, Pakistani actress Meera has some scenes
in Mahesh Bhatt's film Nazar where she is seen kissing an Indian actor. .....
He was the first to vote at a polling
booth in Jharkhand. But for his small democratic act, Jeevanlal Mahto met
a grisly end - shot, decapitated and his severed head displayed as a warning
to others by Maoist rebels. .....
Bold and uncompromising words were spoken
by American (and British) leaders in the immediate response to the Manhattan
Massacre. But they may be succeeded by creeping appeasement unless public
opinion insists that these leaders stick to their initial resolve to destroy
international terrorism completely. .....
Tension gripped Lucknow today after clashes
between Shias and Sunnis over the route of the city's main Moharram procession
left three persons dead and 20 others with serious injuries. Among the injured
was a policeman who had been shot. .....
It was a sight for gods and no wonder,
Lord Kapaleeswarar was a witness to the massive gathering of devout Hindus
at Chennai on February 6, 2005, in response to a call by Vishwa Hindu Parishad
Suspension of democracy, consequent abrogation
of fundamental rights, dismissal of elected governments and declaration of
Emergency are all nothing new to democracy itself. While established democracies
resort to this as a bitter pill for a shorter duration faced with threat to
the integrity of the nation, for dictatorial regimes, suspension and so-called
restoration of democracy are just frequent pastimes. .....
Thousands of donors have placed their
faith in India Development & Relief Fund (IDRF) as their 'Charity of Choice',
according to an IDRF press release from their website 'source'. With their
overwhelming support, IDRF's donation receipts for tsunami relief and rehabilitation
have exceeded $600,000. .....
RSS Swayamsevaks were the first to plunge
into relief work right from the early morning of December 26, the day the
tsunami struck. Yet, they were systematically ignored by the media. There
were occasions when the cameras of TV channels were turned off and away when
the identity of the relief workers was found to be RSS! But Swayamsevaks were
not after publicity and went on with their work. .....
Way back in the Eighties, large-scale
kidnappings were carried out for the first time in one of the most feudal
districts of north Bihar. It was the joint handiwork of a member of Parliament,
also the son of a former chief minister of the state, and an IPS officer.
The criminal specificity of Bihar was later aggravated by the loot and pauperisation
of the state by several non-banking financial companies (NBFC). .....
The assembly election in Bihar has been
convulsed by several high-profile criminal incidents. In fact, over the years
Bihar has acquired the dubious distinction of being the most lawless state
of the country. Possibly the state should be categorised as the copybook example
of a 'rogue' province. .....
Every fall, over a million almost identically
dressed, bearded Muslim men from around the world descend on the small Pakistani
town of Raiwind for a three-day celebration of faith. Similar gatherings take
place annually outside of Dhaka, Bangladesh, and Bhopal, India. These pilgrims
are no ordinary Muslims, though; they belong to a movement called Tablighi
Jamaat ("Proselytizing Group"). .....
The Kentucky Baptist Convention withdrew
a speaking invitation to a well-known pastor and author after his latest book
raised the possibility that people could be saved without becoming Christians.
During a recent visit to Dhaka, I had
the opportunity to meet Major General ALM Fazlur Rahman, a retired officer
of the East Bengal Rifles. The officer sought me out when he learnt that I
was a columnist. We had a long chat for more than two hours despite the fact
that I was short on time and my friends, who had invited me for a reunion
of the old boys of our school, were constantly tugging at my sleeves to join
them in the revelry and fun. .....
At the recent meeting of the finance ministers
of G-7 countries, to which India and China were invited, the finance minister
of China looked in my direction and told the gathering that China had received
US $500 billion worth of foreign investment since China opened its economy
in 1980. Of this, nearly US $60 billion came in calendar 2004.' As you may
recall, this was P Chidambaram in his Budget speech. .....
Seventy-five years ago (on March, 2, 1930
at 3.00 p.m.) about 15,000 Dalits marched towards the 212 years-old historic
Kala Ram temple (known for its black idols of Lord Ram. Laxman and Sita) at
Panchavati . Their mission was to enter the temple for darshan of their God.
Litterateurs Dr. S.L. Bhyrappa and Dr.
M. Chidanandamurthy have expressed their displeasure at those claiming to
be rationalists and not saying anything about the injustice meted out to Hindus
though they were themselves following the Hindu religion and pratice in their
daily life. .....
"Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh are not
happy with the developments in Jharkhand. The Congress president has no role
in the formation of the UPA government in the state." By the evening of March
3, twenty four hours after the JMM's Shibu Soren was sworn in as the new chief
minister of Jharkhand, Sonia acolytes were at pains to distance their leader
from the grotesque happenings in the Ranchi Raj Bhavan. .....
Just as democracy is celebrating its first
victories over tyranny and fear in the Middle East, one of its greatest advocates
in the 20th century, Pope John Paul II, has issued a stark warning that self-rule
does not always work. .....
A puzzling aspect of the imbroglio surrounding
the shows, of strength and duplicity, in Jharkhand is the near absence from
the scene of a man we call and would like to believe is our Prime Minister.
Where, pray, does Manmohan Singh stand? After all, in the Westminster model
of democracy we chose to give ourselves, it is the Prime Minister who must
accept credit and blame for the triumphs and failures of the system. .....
It does not require an Einstein like brain
to conclude that the gubernatorial positions were given to infamous persons
like SC Jamir, Buta Singh and Syed Sibte Razi with pre- planned design. The
Congress under Sonia Gandhi shows inadequacy of democratic content in her
With help from Bengal nowhere in sight,
Alfred Ford has decided to shift his Vedic village to Madhya Pradesh. What
Mayapur will be left with is a downscaled version of the proposed Rs 600-cr
It is evident that, in the past few years
the Police Department has been functioning merely as a special army of the
ruling partying Tamil Nadu. In the Sankararaman murder case, the court judgments
and orders published to date, do not add to the Police Department's prestige.
The CPI (Maoist) terrorised the people
of Vempeta in the name of revenge killing by killing 8 people including 2
dalits. They took 28 villagers deep inside the Nallamala forest, near Atmakur
in Kurnool district and killed one after another. .....
The Mahanadi Valley, stretching from Hirakud
dam in Sambalpur to the Tikarpada gorge in Angul, was home to a complete and
continuous sequence of ancient cultures, ranging from the Neolithic phase
(2000 BC) to the Early Historic Period (200 BC). .....