by Swapan Dasgupta
Last week, I heard a distinguished
MP from the Opposition explaining the dynamics of India's development
to an inquisitive foreigner. "We take two steps forward and then
a step back", he said, taking his cue from Lenin. The net effect
is a step forward. .....
by V Sundaram
As an unknown heathen with
my racial and cultural memories going back to the dawn of history, I am
rather amused by the manner in which the California Education Department
has recently permitted some known anti-Hindu baiters like Michael Witzel,
professor of Sanskrit, Harvard University, and some of his chosen suspects
to intrude into (if not lurking house trespass!) the textbook selection,
evaluation and reform process, in gross violation of established norms
of decorum and decency. .....
by Amarnath Tewary
Making a startling revelation,
Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi on Thursday claimed that
the family members of RJD boss and Union Railway Minister Lalu Prasad
Yadav are in illegal possession of 26 State Government houses under the
Animal Husbandry Department. .....
by The New Indian Express
A Christian missionary school
here is in the throes of a controversy after it sacked a Hindu teacher
for wearing sandalwood paste on her forehead. Activists of the radical
Hindu organization Bajrang Dal have taken up the case of the teacher and
are up in arms against the school. .....
Politics has taken a back seat
in poll-bound Assam for the past seven days. Instead of scurrying for
tickets for next year's assembly polls politicians of all hues are making
a beeline for Yoga guru Ramdeva. .....
A lawyer defending al Qaida-linked
suspects standing trial for the 2003 suicide bombings in Istanbul told
a court that jihad, or holy war, was an obligation for Muslims and his
clients should not be prosecuted. .....
by Muzamil Jaleel
They celebrate death and when
they go out for an attack, they know they will never return. Surrender
is impossible and even security agencies admit it is rare to trap such
militants alive. Unlike indigenous outfits, their agenda transcends the
demand for right to self-determination or the creation of an independent
Kashmir. The pan-Islamic militants seem to have changed the course of
insurgency in Kashmir. .....
by Subhash Mishra
The serene banks of the Ganga
at Rishikesh have for long attracted foreign tourists who come hoping
to indulge in meditation and yoga. However, another spot of the exotic
exists within this peaceful world. Jungle Vibes is the name of a workshop
started by Mukesh Dhiman where he makes musical instruments called didgeridoos.
These are believed to be the oldest wind instruments and were invented
by the aborigines, the original inhabitants of Australia. .....
Q.: Did you get to see this
A.: I didn't see the letter. It was never put up to me. Therefore, the
question of acting on that letter at my level does not arise. Why didn't
the officers put it up to me? I don't know. But I also feel that this
was an important enough letter which should have been brought to my notice.
Either by marking the letter to me for my information, or by putting it
up on file. .....
by Brent Staples
Americans typically grow up
believing that slavery was confined to the cotton fields of the South
and that the North was always made up of free states. The fact that slavery
was practiced all over the early United States often comes as a shock
to people in places like New York, where the myth of the free North has
been surprisingly durable. .....
by Udayan Namboodiri
As Bangladesh prepares to celebrate
its 35th "Victory Day" on December 16, Bangladeshis are on the
verge of losing their hard won uniqueness in the Islamic world for which
three million people died in 1971. Democracy, liberal culture and even
the Bengali language for which they struggled since 1951, are now under
by Balbir K Punj
The recent Summit of Organisation
of Islamic Conference (OIC) at Mecca, where leaders of 57 Muslim countries
converged, resolved to fight against 'deviant ideas'. By 'deviant ideas'
they did not mean Leftist, secular or Western ideas, as it might appear
from the Islamic point of view, but rather terrorism. .....
by Pramod Kumar Singh
Nearly half of Indo-Bangla
fence is gone ---- It's an opportunity that the Bangladesh Rifles (BDR)
will not allow to go waste. The swelling rivers on the Indo-Bangla border
have damaged close to half of the 854km long border fencing, thus facilitating
infiltration by illegal Bangladeshi immigrants. .....
by M.A. Niazi
Today is the 34th anniversary
of the Fall of Dhaka, and it is with a certain sense of shock that one
realises this means an entire generation has passed. The old men of 1971
are no more with us, replaced by a new generation. Today's 34-year-old,
in early mid-career, will have heard of East Pakistan only at second-hand,
and no one under 40 can claim to have any reliable personal memories of
that fateful day. .....
The Madras High Court on Thursday
night restrained the Tamil Nadu police from arresting the Kanchi seer
Jayendra Saraswati till December 20 in a case pertaining to alleged theft
of jewelery and a Shiva linga from a temple in Tamil Nadu. .....
The Dalit Panthers of India
(DPI) and the Christian Progressive Movement (CPM) today organised a massive
protest against the anti-Dalit policies of the Church of South India (CSI),
intensifying the prolonged agitation for securing social justice within
the Church. .....
by The Pioneer
Amendment Bill on SC/ST quota
in education held up ---- Serious objections from the BJP-led Opposition
and a near revolt by the OBC MPs across party lines on Wednesday forced
the Government to defer the introduction of the Constitutional Amendment
Bill providing reservation for SC, ST candidates in private educational
The Bharatiya Janata Party
stormed to power in all the five municipal corporations of Surat, Vadodara,
Rakot, Bhavnagar and Jamnagar, the elections to which were held on December
11, according to reports on Tuesday evening. .....
by Deccan Chronicle
Muslim women wearing burqas
on Monday held a protest rally in central Chennai, shouting slogans denouncing
what they called the "denigration of women" by the Tamil Nadu
government by installing condom vending machines at public places as part
of a Statewide campaign to battle AIDS. .....
A Nobel prize laureate who
called for liberalizing immigration laws for skilled workers from around
the world, cautioned that the US should be careful about admitting students
and skilled workers from countries "that have produced many terrorists,
such as Saudi Arabia and Pakistan". .....
by Nazim F. Haji
This refers to an advertisement
headlined: "Non-Muslim sanitary workers required on contract basis",
released by the Baldia Town nazim and published in this paper (Dec 7),
inviting applications for sanitary workers. .....
by Sandhya Jain
Two indigenous groups with
a lived history of centuries of civilisational amity are supposedly engaged
in fratricidal conflict in Assam's Karbi Anglong district. To the bewilderment
of the majority of Karbis and Dimasas, gangs of armed and hooded goons
have been killing members of both tribes since late September, while sparking
rumours that the other group is behind the killings. .....
by Deccan Chronicle
Telangana Rashtra Samiti legislator
Mandadi Satyanarayana Red-dy stirred a hornet's nest in the Assembly on
Friday by suggesting that social awareness be brought among Muslims against
polygamy and the need to adopt small family norm. .....
by The Pioneer
The proposed amendment to the
Constitution, to ensure reservation for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled
Tribes students in private unaided professional institutions, does enjoy
support cross-party support in Parliament. .....
by Abid Mustafa
The killing of Pc Sharon Beshenivsky
in Bradford has spurred some to call for the arming of the British police
force, while others have demanded stiffer laws in curbing gun crime. Speaking
BBC Radio 4's Today programme, Tom McGhie the chairman of the West Yorkshire
Police Federation called for a rethink on routinely arming officers. .....
by The Pioneer
The recent abduction and conversion
of three Hindu girls in Pakistan clearly shows that, despite the isolated
example of a Danish Kaneria playing for the country's cricket team, Hindus
there are a marginalised and persecuted lot stalked constantly by insecurity.
The details are shocking. The three - Reena (21), Usha (19) and Rima (17)
- who lived in Karachi's Punjab Colony along with their parents and two
other siblings, went missing from October 18, 2005. .....
On the date of abduction, the
Taliban Informed the media about the 48 hour ultimatum. Our Minister E.Ahmed
was on tour to Pakistan. An interesting thing about Ahmed is, if you check
his tour schedule, the countries he visited are Saudi Arabia, Qatar,Sharjha,Sudan,Ethiopia...etc..
I don't know why he is choosing only Muslim Countries to travel. .....
by The Pioneer
The Parlia- mentary Standing
Committee on Transport, Tourism and Culture has, in its 91st Report submitted
to the two Houses of Parliament on November 25, virtually "detoxified"
the Saraswati Heritage Project (SHP). This is a rude blow to the first
ever comprehensive archaeological study commissioned on tracing the flow
of a subterranean river whose discovery has already been confirmed by
by Abhijit Bhattacharyya
There was a picture of a Bangladeshi,
Gulam Mustafa Sheikh, in newspapers recently. He was arrested for impersonating
as an Indian armyman. Dressed in a soldier's gear, he carried a photo-identity
card of a 'Lieutenant' of the Indian Army. .....
Bharatiya Janata Party President
L K Advani today accused Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of changing his
statement on the allegations in the Volcker Committee Report regarding
the Oil-for-Food scam. .....
The European Union (EU) has
added Hizbul Mujahedeen, the Pakistan-based outfit carrying out terrorist
activities in Jammu and Kashmir for over a decade, to its list of terrorist
by The Hindustan Times
Indore has a flourishing medical
fraternity - that of Pakistani doctors. A routine drive against quacks
unearthed 37 such doctors. None of them were registered either with the
Medical Council of India or with the MP Medical Council. Most of these
Pakistanis had come to India on long-term visas and stayed on. .....
by Uttam Sengupta
Maoists continue to mock the
Indian state. After demonstrating the ease with which they can break into
jails and loot armouries at Jehanabad and Giridih, they seem to have gone
on a recruitment spree. Pamphlets have reportedly been distributed in
the Bihar and Jharkhand countryside, possibly elsewhere as well, inviting
young people to join the 'revolution'. .....
by Shyam Parekh
In the first of its sorts,
the Indian Navy decided to demonstrate its warfare and rescue skills to
the people of Gujarat. It took aboard 300 odd local invitees and mediapersons
to 'cruise' aboard the Leander class warship INS Taragiri on Sunday, accompanied
by the smaller and swifter INS Vinash. .....
by The Statesman
The 4,095-km-long India-Bangladesh
border is going to create more problems for India than the India-Pakistan
border on the western front, the director-general of Border Security Force,
Mr RS Mooshahary, said here today. .....
by Tarun Vijay
While the coward Islamo-fascists
keep on killing our jawans and citizens in J&K and Naxals challenge
and bruise the nation's sovereignty, Indian secularists didn't show any
recognisable concern over these actions which, modestly speaking, signify
collapse of governance. .....
by Youki Kudoh
I belong to the generation
of Japanese whose parents are the children of those who grew up during
and after the war, suffering from hunger and poverty. It was our grandparents
who really experienced the long and agonizing war. .....
by T V R Shenoy
My doctors tell me I should
cut down on the salt. I respond that this is not possible for an Indian
journalist today, we must take every political statement with whole tablespoons
of the briny stuff. Does anyone believe the high-sounding sentiments that
preceded the mini-Kurukshetras on the streets of Bhopal and Mumbai? I
can scarcely believe that the lessons of Bihar have been forgotten barely
a week after the results of the Vidhan Sabha polls came out. .....
by S Gurumurthy
Aniel Mathrani is the latest
entrant in the Iraq oil voucher fraud theatre. In his sensational interview
to India Today,, which incidentally is voice recorded, he has confirmed
three things. .....
by The Hindu
The Prince of Arcot, Nawab
Mohammed Abdul Ali, in a press release said the "Union Government's
subsidy for Haj pilgrims is not correct and appropriate, according to
the tenets of Islam." He wondered why a Haj pilgrim should avail
of it. .....
Shops and establishments in
most parts of Kashmir Valley were closed Thursday to protest a Danish
newspaper publishing a caricature of the Prophet and the alleged desecration
of the Quran in Sopore town. .....
by Daily Times
The latest news is that the
intelligence agencies have unearthed a plot by Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and Sipah
Sahaba to use suicide bombers to kill Shia members of the legislative
council of the Northern Areas. The suicide bombers are said to include
women and children to be sent from outside Gilgit. .....
by Sunanda K Datta-Ray
As the region's biggest power,
"larger than all the rest combined" as Junius R Jayewardene
reminded the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation's inaugural
conference in Dhaka 20 years ago, India might expect to enjoy the same
authority vis-à-vis its neighbours as the United States does in
the Americas. .....
by William C. Symonds
There's no shortage of churches
in Houston, deep in the heart of the Bible Belt. So it's surprising that
the largest one in the city -- and in the entire country -- is tucked
away in a depressed corner most Houstonians would never dream of visiting.
Yet 30,000 people endure punishing traffic on the narrow roads leading
to Lakewood Church every weekend to hear Pastor Joel Osteen deliver upbeat
messages of hope. .....
by Thomas Reuter
Hindu empires had flourished
in Java for a millennium until they were replaced by expanding Islamic
polities in the 15th century, setting the stage for Indonesia becoming
the world's largest Muslim nation. In the 1970s, however, a new Hindu
revival movement began to sweep across the archipelago. Hinduism is gaining
even greater popularity at this time of national crisis, most notably
in Java, the political heart of Indonesia. .....
I am not a rich person by any
standards. But like most Indians, I was (and still am) concerned about
the plight of the millions in India further down on the economic scale.
When I first came to the US for grad school, my earnings were by no means
substantial, but I felt that it was important to contribute towards India's
development and did not think twice about foregoing my own comforts. .....
by Saugar Sengupta
Chief Election Commissioner
BB Tandon on Tuesday set alarm bells ringing in the CPI(M) headquarters
at Alimuddin Street here when he declared that Election Commission will
walk many extra miles to ensure free and fair polls in West Bengal. .....
by Kalavai Venkat
Can Hindus in the USA ask for
parity with other religionists? Can they demand that Hinduism in textbooks
be taught using the same yardstick applied to Islam and Christianity?
Hindus in California thought so. In the eyes of most unbiased observers,
these would be the most reasonable demands. .....
by Chandra Saini
The New York Times edition
of November 14, 2005 highlighted the global nature of the "Missionary
Business" or in other words, evangelical missionaries who run businesses
to fund conversion activities around the world. .....
by Subodh Ghildiyal
The government has finally
bitten the Gandhi bullet. After months of dithering, the ministry of social
justice has stopped the funding for a project run by the Harijan Sevak
Sangh, while a decision is in the works on another such ill run project.
by P K Surendran
Kerala has been advertising
its tropical backwaters and serene beaches as a heavenly honeymoon destination.
But cupid-struck tourists are going beyond the guidebook, and arriving
before the honeymoon to make marriages in this heaven. .....
by Md. Asadullah Khan
Slowly, but with the cold certainty
of the fog that has descended this winter, realisation has begun to dawn.
Following the Jhalakathi killing of two judges, the suicide bombing attacks
in the Gazipur Bar Association hall room and Chittagong Court premises,
killing ten including lawyers and a police constable, have magnified a
terrifying truth: driven by hate-filled ideology, they are out to set
Bangladesh civil society on fire. .....
by Santanu Banerjee
The National Commission for
Minority Educational Institutions (Amendment) Bill, 2005, undermines the
state governments' authority to investigate and come up with reports on
the aspiring applicants trying to set up such institutions. .....
by The Pioneer
The United Progressive Alliance
(UPA) Government, which scrapped the Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA),
has introduced the Communal Violence (Prevention, Control and Rehabilitation
of Victims) Bill in the Rajya Sabha. The message this conveys is simple:
The country does not need a special law to combat terrorism but requires
one to deal with communal riots and their fall-out. .....
by KR Phanda
Mr A Surya Prakash concludes
his thought-provoking article, "Muslim clergy's contempt for courts"
(November 22), with the following remarks: "Having successfully intimidated
the country's politicians, and through them manipulated the executive
and the legislature, Muslim community leaders have begun targetting the
courts. This is the final assault. .....
by The Pioneer
Thrissur district areas, especially
those in the coastal region, are fast becoming religious extremists' den,
police sources said. Availability of plenty of money, lack of effective
political intervention and apathetic attitude of the CPI (M) have catalysed
the recent spread of extremism in the district. .....
by Sandhya Jain
Conversions undermine the national
interest in the most unimaginable ways, and since the British consciously
mooted conversions to Christianity to perpetuate their rule by alienating
converts from native society and civilization, discerning Indians would
do well do follow the current Supreme Court hearing on a petition demanding
reservation benefits to Dalit Christians. .....
by Peter Schneider
On the night of Feb. 7, 2005,
Hatun Surucu, 23, was killed on her way to a bus stop in Berlin by several
shots to the head and upper body, fired at point-blank range. An investigation
showed that months before, she had reported one of her brothers to the
police for threatening her. .....
by Nathalie Schuck
France's parliament voted Tuesday
to uphold a law that puts an upbeat spin on the country's painful colonial
past, ignoring complaints from historians and the former French territory
of Algeria. .....
by The Indian Express
The Bihar poll was spectacular
not simply because it brought the collapse of a 15-year old regime. It
was spectacular, most of all, because it was conducted in a visibly free
and fair manner in a state that had earned a deservedly formidable reputation
for being the country's political badland. .....
by Shekhar Gupta
NATO's earthquake relief effort
in Pakistan did not even involve a thousand personnel. It is now winding
up, completing its tight lease of 90 days in what is a most politically
sensitive region. Departing Nato officials, influential news channels
tell us, have issued warnings of impending catastrophe, death from cold,
injuries and diseases as the work of relief is still far from complete.
You read the Pakistani press and you still learn there are plenty of areas
where the government has not reached. .....
by Kerala Online
In the early eighties an important
archaeological site was found in Bharat, at Dwaraka, the site of the legendary
city of Lord Krishna. Dwaraka was submerged by the sea right after the
death of Lord Krishna. This inscription refers to Dwaraka as the capital
of the western coast of Saurashtra and still more important, states that
Sri Krishna lived here. .....
by Brahma Chellaney
The South Asian earthquake
struck at the epicenter of a principal recruiting ground and logistical
center for global terrorists, leveling a number of terrorist nurseries
and training camps in an area that serves as the last main refuge of al-Qaida.
Much of the quake's destruction occurred in the two terrorist-infested
areas of northern Pakistan where Osama bin Laden may be holed up -- Pakistani-held
Kashmir and the North-West Frontier Province. .....
by Asraful Huq
Some militant groups are using
the kindergarten schools across the country as camouflage to base their
campaign for jihad to establish what they call 'rule of Allah' by abolishing
the existing laws of the land. .....
by The Hindustan Times
The probe into the murder of
BJP MLA Krishnanand Rai suggests that ganglord Munna Bajrangi was given
a contract (supari) to finish off Rai. Munna, whose ruthlessness has already
earned him a special mention on the websites of the UP police and the
Special Task Force (STF), did his job well, STF sources said. .....
by M Rama Rao
Is Bangladesh going the Afghan
way? Some Bangladeshi security experts believe so. In fact, some analysts
like Brig Gen Shahedul Anam Khan take the view that the country is past
the point of ifs and buts. .....
by The Indian Express
In a sensational disclosure,
India's Ambassador to Croatia Aniel Mathrani on friday claimed that Natwar
Singh, who was stripped off the External Affairs Ministry portfolio after
being named in the Volcker Committee report on Iraq's Oil-for-Food scam,
had received oil allotment from Saddam Hussein's regime for his 'personal
by India Today
Aniel Matherani, former secretary
of the Congress' foreign affairs cell and a key member of the party delegation
that went to Iraq in 2001, provides exclusive details on how K. Natwar
Singh went out of his way to promote his son Jagat and his cousin Andaleeb
Sehgal. In a telephonic conversation, Matherani, currently India's ambassador
to Croatia, told Associate Editor Saurabh Shukla about Natwar's role in
the oil-for-food scandal. .....
by Uday Mahurkar
One watches in anticipation
as Abdul Gafoor Khatri, 42, takes a lump of yellow coloured paste to the
point of his steel pencil and starts painting on a piece of cloth. A beautiful
flower emerges on the cloth after half an hour and one is awestruck at
the precision of the free-hand art work despite the fact that neither
tracing paper nor any measuring devices were used. .....
by Piyush Pandey
Born in 1921, married in 1940,
she came to Jodhpur from a small village in UP called Fatehpur Chaurasi.
She had only studied up to middle school (Class VII) when she married
a Reuters journalist-cum-publicity officer for the government of Jodhpur.
I wonder if she realised then that her tryst with education had just begun.
by Prem Shankar Jha
Faced with the landslide victory
of the Janata Dal (United) and the BJP in Bihar, spokespersons of the
Congress and the Left have put the blame for their defeat upon a division
of the 'secular' vote. This absurd explanation serves only to highlight
how deeply both parties have been fixated upon a single relatively minor
issue and utterly neglected the major one of governance in Bihar. .....
by The Indian Express
Would Manjunath have lived,
after having done the right thing, had kerosene come under a dual price
regime? That's the question the PMO needs to ask itself as it responds
to a tragedy born out of economic populism. The proposal, as reported
in this newspaper, to price kerosene at Rs 10 for below poverty line (BPL)
consumers, and at Rs 20 for the rest, may pass the political test-of doing
a little bit of reform but not wholly questioning the mythic status of
subsidised kerosene. .....
by The Economic Times
Uttar Pradesh is the new epicentre
of crime in the country. The sudden spurt in political murders, apart
from the countless ordinary killings, threatens to hurl the state into
a phase of lawlessness and anarchy, even as the Mulayam Singh Yadav government
seems to look the other way. .....
by The Indian Express
No one can accuse the UPA government
of forgetting its National Common Minimum Programme pieties. The Cabinet
has just cleared a bill for the prevention of communal violence. The big
question is, will the proposed law bell the communal cat, when numerous
other pieces of legislation to address such a situation have not? From
all evidence, that prospect remains remote. .....
by Jyoti Punwani
When Mumbai's leading Urdu
daily advises Raj Thackeray to join the Congress as his close friend Narayan
Rane did before him, you begin to understand why the Congress keeps treating
Muslims like they were its slaves, giving them just enough for survival,
and throwing crumbs at them whenever they threaten to run away. You realise
what a sham secularism has become. .....