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The turnout at the Tehran Summit of NAM is itself a proof that the forum has not lost its significance, though the dispensation of the Cold War under which it first came into being is no more existent. The world is still under the hegemony of different military and economic powers with the lone superpower exercising its overall control on the world affairs.

Looking at the figures released by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) recently for Bihar for 2011, one realises that the State has actually become an increasingly unsafe place for women. The crime rates against them have increased from 6,186 cases in 2008 to 10,231 cases in 2011, a 65 percentage point increase in just the last three years.

Separated at birth
By Saif Shahin

Separated at birth
Saif Shahin

Much is made these days of the apparent likeness between India and Israel. Both are supposed to be modern democracies. Both, it is pointed out, are also fighting Islamic terrorism. But this is a superficial comparison. There is no dearth of modern democracies in the post-Cold War world, and no dearth of nations fighting Islamic terror either, post-9/11. For two nations to be considered alike, they ought to be similar in ways that are more fundamental and, at the same time, that also set them apart from other nations.

It is not India but Pakistan that shares a number of such traits with Israel.

Keep At Bay Communal Elements
Najeeb Jung

Why are Ministers/ Chief Ministers flaunting their connections with so called maulanas and sundry sadhus and priests? Why must we always look for compromise and polite dialogue and be seemingly reluctant in meting out harsh punishment that is possible under law and the Constitution? Why are Chief Ministers, District Magistrates and Superintendents of Police not held responsible for either having inadequate intelligence or lacking the courage to combat communal passions frontally? Communalism must be fought at all levels, starting with schools.

It surprises me when sections of Muslims object to the Gita being taught as part of the curricula, equally as sections of the Hindu right would not appreciate the teaching of the Quran. It is high time we started dialogue across the board among all sections of society, in schools and universities, in think tanks and social forums on the intrinsic beauty of each faith. It is imperative to understand that no faith can possibly be superior or inferior to another and learn of the positive aspects of each faith. Frankly speaking, if blood is the price of freedom then India has overpaid.

Modi’s Murderous Minister: What can be said of civil society in Gujarat when its woman minister for women  and child welfare is convicted of conspiracy to murder women and children
Aakar Patel

What can be said of civil society in Gujarat when its minister for women development and child welfare is convicted of rioting against women and children? On August 29, for the first time in India, a sitting MLA (what is called MPA in Pakistan) was found to have instigated violence in the worst of the 2002 incidents. Twelve people testified to minister Maya Kodnani assisting and egging on the rioters in the Ahmedabad suburb of Naroda Patiya. A total of 96 Muslims were killed that night, 34 children including a newborn, 32 women and 30 men.

Politics of Power
Najam Sethi

Politics of Power
Najam Sethi

Is Imran Khan's tsunami "full of sound and fury signifying nothing", as Shakespeare would say? Imran claims his party's "card holding" membership has crossed the 10 million mark, no mean achievement. He insists PTI will hold transparent and genuine internal elections soon, which is not to be scoffed at.

The Tehran Tightrope
C. Raja Mohan

The Tehran Tightrope
C. Raja Mohan

As the conflict between Iran and Saudi Arabia deepens and acquires sectarian colours, India has walked the tight rope in the Middle East. India’s economic interests today are concentrated on the Arab side of the Persian Gulf — where nearly six million Indians work and send billions of dollars home.


Ignoring The Minorities
Zeeshan Adhi
Unfortunately, and one wishes to say this with utmost caution, the international community is not only slow in its response, but also appears to be biased. Despite clear indications of mass killings, it seems that the international community is complacent with only paying lip service to the problem, and essentially agreeing with the Burmese government that it is an internal matter of Burma.


Burma Killings:  Think Before You Point Fingers
Shehlah Zahiruddin

So when you hire someone from your own religion or community instead of basing the decision on merit, you have sowed the seed of hatred and racism. When you talk in a prejudiced manner in front of your children whether in jest or otherwise, you are sowing the seeds of hatred. When you are not giving yourself an alternative perspective on your own history, you are sowing the seeds of hatred….

In A Triumph of Lies, A Lesson For The Mass Media
Praveen Swami

For Indians, this ought to be a matter of serious concern. Informal digital information networks are becoming increasingly available to peoples with at best limited engagement with mass media or other institutions of critical thought. This means the cultural tools to determine precisely what information is credible and what is propaganda — no easy task even in the most sophisticated media cultures — simply do not exist.

Ethnic Conflict In India
Praful Bidwai

Another source of conflict is over political representation in the larger Western Assam region, where the Muslims have made gains using democratic instruments. The Bodos drove them out forcibly – in 1992, 1996 and 2010, but failed this time around. The Bodos form only 20 percent of BTAD’s population and don’t enjoy social-economic hegemony.

Cyber Terrorism: Living With the Reality of Virtual Threats
Shashi Tharoor

Social networking websites are also increasingly becoming targets, not only because of the massive databases they provide, but also in order to spread malware that infect computers. On Facebook there are 50 million Indian users and even if a small fraction of them click unsuspectingly on a malevolent but seemingly ordinary link, you have that many computers opened up to risk and infection. Cyber attacks, to state the obvious, can be very personal.


Hindu Exodus from Pakistan with Fear
Ruchika Talwar

“Whoever gets a chance to flee, irrespective of religion and destination, is leaving. The minorities have been suffering more. A few years ago, the Christians were persecuted. I have dealt with their cases. The Sikhs were attacked three-four years back. Now it is mainly the Hindus. In 2012 alone, more than 45 cases have been reported so far.” Rubbishing the argument that the cases of conversion by Hindu women were voluntary...


Twenty per cent of banned hate sites in India put up by Hindu groups: Bid to Target Minorities, Fan Tension
Deeptiman Tiwary

NEW DELHI: The clamour over Pakistan fanning communal passions in India through social networking sites has missed a crucial detail. Around 20% of the web pages — blocked by government agencies — were uploaded by right-wing Hindu fundamentalists seeking to polarize the country on communal lines.

In these posts doctored images or videos showing alleged atrocities against tribal Bodos by Muslims have been tagged with provocative captions and point to extremist Hindu groups trying to fish in troubled waters to target minorities and fan tensions.

Assam: The Making of a Riot
Sreenivasan Jain

Who is responsible for turning neighbour against neighbour? Bodo vs Muslim? Violence of this scale suggests that beneath the surface of coexistence, tensions seethed. All it took was someone to light the spark. Culpability rests, in varying degrees, with the three main actors of Bodoland. “Whether they are Indian or Bangladeshi Muslims, it doesn’t matter. We won’t let them return from relief camps unless they have the land pattas (documents).”...

Human rights groups in Valley, however, see the official report as part of an effort to escape the accountability. “There is little possibility that the Truth and Reconciliation Commission will be constituted in the foreseeable future. This is clearly an attempt to delay the delivery of justice,” said Khurram Parvez, coordinator, Coalition of Civil Society. Khurram said the government was obliged to establish the truth in the unmarked graves.


The Julian Assange Saga: Modern Day David and Goliath
Rashid Samnakay, New Age Islam

Ecuador may be a puny country but in its decision to grant asylum to an otherwise insignificant person such as Julian Assange has taken a giant step to establish the principal that a nation’s self-respect and dignity lies in asserting its sovereignty that the Muslim countries so shamelessly have thrown away. This, for the sake of few crumps and protection that their foreign master(s) provide for their own vested national interests. It seems it is a waste of time to equate with Ecuadorian Eagles, these flightless nations that have made ‘halal’ for themselves the carrions left over by other hunters:-

اے طأءرے لاہوتی اس رزق سے موت اچھی

جس رزق سے آتی ہے پرواز ميں کوتاہی

[Oh! You the bird with limitless flight capacity,

Prefer death to the sustenance that limits your flight.]

An appropriate message perhaps of another momentous historic event for nations that are celebrating—albeit on different days--the occasion of Eid and the memory of the struggle of defence of their dignity and independence of the 17th Ramadhan some fourteen centuries ago.  Happy Eid to them all.

Mumbai Police: Making history, not repeating it
Javed Anand and Teesta Setalvad

Mumbai Police: Making history, not repeating it

Ask all the questions, seek explanations, make comments on what the Mumbai police did or did not do before, during and after a Muslim mob behaved in despicable fashion — torching OB vans, attacking media persons and the police, molesting women constables, snatching arms from the police — in the backdrop of a rally at Azad Maidan last Saturday, to protest atrocities against Muslims in Assam and in Myanmar. (Police and the organisers agree that it was an armed group that suddenly surfaced outside the maidan and turned to violence.) But do allow for the possibility that responding in a most “un-police-like” fashion to extreme provocation, the city’s police commissioner, Arup Patnaik, may have opened a happy chapter in the otherwise unhappy Muslim-police relationship in the metropolis. … Those inclined to think this is too charitable an interpretation of the role of the police may wish to recall that whenever under attack, the police themselves tend to run riot. Every human life is precious and the tragic loss of two Muslim lives is not to be ignored. But nor must we forget that the mob was entirely responsible for the provocation and the overwhelming majority of those injured were policemen and policewomen, not to mention the unpardonable molestation of the latter. Peace was restored in about 30 minutes and mercifully the situation in the city is under control.

Kokrajhar to Bangalore
Syeda Hameed

Three years ago, I was in Darrang district, which had experienced Bodo-Muslim riots in 2008. I understand that till this day, four years later, some victims are still languishing in those camps. This is what riots do to human beings; while it takes a moment to burn and kill, it takes years to put life back, piece-by-piece.


Outbreak of Violence in Mumbai – Assam and Burma Killing Of Muslims
Asghar Ali Engineer

The way things were happening for last few weeks it was not surprising that violence on such scale took place. It was, as if, in store, large scale propaganda was going on that Muslims are being killed all over the world. There is conspiracy to kill Muslims everywhere and on Bodo-Muslim clashes and about Rohingiyah Muslims in Burma prayers were being organized in every mosque and SMSs were circulating about it. Urdu papers were carrying articles saying there is world-wide conspiracy to kill Muslims. Articles simply appealing to emotions, not to reason.

 I have not seen any sober and analytical article in the Urdu press in Mumbai. The Muslim leadership was creating a psychology of victimhood in the minds of Muslims and pent up emotions were waiting to explode with some triggering event. The photographs about killing of Muslims in Burma had greatly disturbed the Muslim youth. All photographs, I must say, were not authentic but they circulated on large scale and ignited emotions.

Independence Means Self-Reliance
Donny Syofyan

Indonesians will celebrate the country’s 67th Independence Day tomorrow. And this year’s Independence Day also coincides with Ramadhan 1433 Hijri. While some may feel that celebrating Independence Day is a big ask for the fasting population, many have the opportunity to view Independence Day as a moment of change and opportunity, and something that will encourage fellow citizens to celebrate and strengthen their national identity.


Crush the infamy: That India is broadly a country of immigrants explains the tremendous diversity of India
Markandey Katju

In contrast, India has tremendous diversity, and that is why the only policy which will keep our country united and take us to the path of prosperity is secularism and giving equal respect to people of all communities, region, language, race etc. This was the policy of the great Emperor Akbar who gave equal respect to all communities and proclaimed the doctrine of suleh-e-kul i.e. universal toleration of all religions, at a time when Europeans were often massacring each other in the name of religion (see in this connection my judgment in Hinsa Virodhak Sangh Vs. Mirzapur Moti Kuresh Jamaat, available online) . It is because of this wise policy of Akbar that the Mughal Empire lasted so long. This policy was continued by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and his colleagues who enacted a Constitution giving equal respect to all Indians.

Enlisting From Afar for the Love of Israel
Jodi Rudoren

As they adopt new identities as Israeli soldiers, the recruits are joining a military, and a society, struggling with its own identity crisis. The Supreme Court in February declared illegal a program exempting thousands of ultra-Orthodox yeshiva students from the draft, and Parliament failed to come up with a new program to enroll them as well as Palestinian citizens of Israel into the army or civilian service. On Monday, ultra-Orthodox leaders issued a warning to young men not to sign draft notices.

Fareed Zakaria Falls from Grace
By Saif Shahin, New Age Islam

Fareed Zakaria Falls from Grace
Saif Shahin, New Age Islam

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall

Humpty Dumpty had a great fall…

For two decades, Fareed Zakaria was the man every American-Muslim and probably most Indian-Americans too, wanted to be. Educated at Yale and Harvard, he became one of the most respected and well known political pundits of his time, sought with equal zeal by editors, Presidents and award committees. But his time on top of the high wall of fame and fortune ended rather abruptly this month when both Time magazine and CNN suspended him for the worst crime a writer can commit―plagiarism....

Nationalism should retire at 65, says Pakistani novelist
Mohsin Hamid

Dare to think of a morality that's at least Asian, if not universal in scale

My home country, Pakistan, was born 65 years ago today. Next door, India reaches that milestone tomorrow. We're in crowded company, anniversary-WISE: three-quarters of Asia's 4.2 billion people live in states that became independent or free of occupation around the same time, nations now in their 60s. I would like to report that an aura of enlightened wisdom suffuses countries in their seventh decade. But, glancing around Asia, the years on either side of age 65 seem to bring instead an unfortunate obsession with national supremacy.

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