Books and Documents
Current Affairs

Shamelessly Shooting To Kill
Teesta Setalvad

....Babri Masjid was demolished as 3,000-4,000 men in uniform watched. His reply was a chilling recall of another fateful Sunday 21 years ago: “The video cassette recording by the Intelligence Bureau clearly documents that not more than 3,000-4,000 ‘Kar Sevaks’ were within close proximity of the mosque. In such a scenario, could no effective action have been taken? The reason why no action was taken lies elsewhere. The same cassette shows policemen rejoicing, with their hands held high in victory,....

The spurt in Jamaat violence became particularly noticeable after a rightwing cleric, Abul Kalam Azad, also known as Bachchu Razakar, was condemned to death by the ICT. Azad, who had, for years, compared Islamic programmes on television channels in Bangladesh, mysteriously fled the country before he could be taken into custody last year. He is reported to have found sanctuary in Pakistan....

The Canadian Mullah:  Don’t Question My Loyalty, Mr. Chief Justice
Murtaza Haider

“I swear (or affirm) that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, Queen of Canada, Her Heirs and Successors, and that I will faithfully observe the laws of Canada and fulfil my duties as a Canadian citizen.”  Dr. Qadri has pledged allegiance to Queen Elizabeth and her heirs, many a founding fathers and mothers of Pakistan had pledged similar allegiances to Queen’s father and grandfather. Did we ever question the loyalty of those who served the British Raj before they served the land of the pure?....


Drame is leading efforts to raise money, collect goods and increase awareness about the conflict in his native country and its growing humanitarian crisis. In addition to clothes and other supplies, his group, Mali Relief, has pulled in nearly $50,000 for food, health, shelter and educational aid. Islamist extremists are waging war in the Malian north. French troops have intervened after the Malian government called for international support....


Demand Punishment for All Rabble-Rousers, Regardless Of Religious Affinity
Jyoti Punwani

Be it the Shiv Sena, Bhindranwale, or the Owaisis, the Congress has encouraged rabble-rousers of all communities, and acted against them only when forced to. The divisive poison spewed by all has been more or less of the same intensity, but Hindu demagogues have been protected oftener than their counterparts from other communities have. So, should the latter also be awarded the same impunity?...

Bangladesh Rises Against The Jamaat. Is Hasina With Masses?
Kanchan Gupta

The stunning Shahbag protest in Dhaka shows young Bangladeshis want nothing to do with Jamaatis. But why is the Awami League going soft on Razakars? Something remarkable is happening in Bangladesh which has gone under-reported, if not unnoticed, by newspapers and news television channels, especially in India. Given our media’s proclivity to get excited every time a non-event occurs in Pakistan, this is not entirely surprising....


Questions for Hafiz Saeed
MJ Akbar

A question for the internationally recognised terrorist, ideologue and mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai attack, Hafiz Saeed, resident of Lahore, who has just offered sanctuary in Pakistan to our superstar Shah Rukh Khan. Pakistan was carved out in 1947 to ensure security for this subcontinent's Muslims in a separate homeland. Why, six decades later, has Pakistan become the most insecure place for Muslims in the world?...

Indian Nationalism Does Not Veer Around the Mosques and Temples
Ram Puniyani

RSS combine has been whipping up the emotive messages through different programs. As outfit like RSS thrive on identity issues, Ram Temple is their major trump card. The arguments that Ram Temple is a symbol of our nationalism also seem to have smudged the issue in the minds of many. We know that Indian Nationalism does not veer around the mosques and temples. It is not a religious nationalism.....

It should be noted that the electronic and print media often see the cultural exchanges between India and Pakistan with suspicion. Even the participation of Pakistani children and adult artistes in Indian TV programmes like Laughter Channel are criticised saying it is a conspiracy of India to blur the notion of the Two-nation theory in the minds of Pakistani children so that they forget their Islamic identity....

Dr Tahirul Qadri:  Curiouser and Curiouser
Najam Sethi

SC is not impressed by Dr Qadri's revolutionary rhetoric or amused by his political antics. It has firmly rejected a petition by Dr Qadri praying for the dissolution of the ECP because it was not legitimately constituted. The SC has spurned the petition because the petitioner lacks locus standi by virtue of being a dual Pak-Canadian national. In fact, the SC has chastised Dr Qadri for having the audacity to meddle in Pakistan's constitutional matters while pledging loyalty to the Queen Elizabeth II...


The Rising Menace of Intolerance
Soli J. Sorabjee

Intolerance stems from an invincible assumption of the infallibility of one’s beliefs and a dogmatic conviction about their rightness. An intolerant society cannot tolerate expression of ideas and views which challenge its current doctrines and conventional wisdom. Consequently, unconventional and heterodox thoughts and views have to be suppressed. That is the prime motivation for censorship....


If Sri Lanka and Bangladesh can fight and root out terrorism, why can’t Pakistan? India will not hesitate to extend its help to Pakistan to fight terrorism on its land as it extended support to Bangladesh to make the region a peaceful and terror free zone. In the end, it is Pakistan that has to take the call....

The Narrative of Hyper-Nationalism and Constant Outrage at Artistic Expression
Sagarika Ghose

From the Grand Mufti's fatwa against the all-girl band in Kashmir, to the now lifted ban on the film Vishwaroopam, to Salman Rushdie's aborted visit to the Kolkata Book Fair, to the forcible removal of paintings at a Bangalore art gallery to protests against nude paintings at a Delhi art gallery, the freedom of artists, writers and filmmakers is threatened like never before. A class war accompanies the culture war....


A Five Point Formula for Riot-Free India
Asghar Ali Engineer

The secular forces, and I do not doubt their sincerity, do feel concerned about these riots but their concern lasts no longer than the riot itself. This halting approach does not make much of an impact. It is RSS mission and they work with great zeal round the year to spread communal poison but secular forces, much less in number, even much less in zeal, are no match for RSS Pracharaks.....

Parliament House Attack Convict Afzal Guru Hanged To Death at 8am
Afzal Guru

  “Afzal Was Calm during His Final Moments”

Afzal Guru Buried Inside Tihar Jail Complex

Afzal Guru's Family Wants Him Buried At Home

Afzal Guru's Family Was Informed Through Speed Post: Home Secretary

Victims’ Families Relieved After Afzal Guru Hanging

4 Injured, 1 Critical, Curfew Imposed In Kashmir

Key Dates in Afzal Guru Case

Omar Abdullah Appeals for Calm after Afzal Guru's Hanging

Security Stepped Up On Indo-Pak Border Following Afzal Guru's Hanging

President Rejected Afzal Guru's Mercy Petition on Feb 3: Union Home Secretary

For Details, Please click, ‘More’

How Religion and Music Are Connected In India
Aakar Patel

In Islam, more I suspect from the desert cultural traditions rather than the scripture, music is outside orthopraxy. What did Aurangzeb, the great Indian champion of Muslim orthodoxy, think of music? We know from Maasir-e-Alamgiri, the chronicle that the court bureaucrat Saqi Mustad Khan kept secretly for 49 years.....

The Message of CA Topper Prema
Syed Mansoor Agha Tr. New Age Islam

The Message of CA Topper Prema
Syed Mansoor Agha

I have personally experienced the joy the parents have when their son and specially their daughter achieves an unexpected success despite adverse circumstances.  Perhaps that’s why when the good news from Mumbai came that one of the daughters of our nation Prema J Kumar has topped the CA examination this year, my eyes welled with tears of natural joy. ...

Cultural India Remains Hostage to the Whims of Communal Hotheads
Akshaya Mishra

...the state is not the collaborator, but the victim. Over the last few years the idea of the state – identified roughly with the government and its machinery – has been under tremendous attack from all quarters. The media, the civil society, the judiciary, the intellectuals, the man on the street and even the political parties who are part of the establishment are chipping away at the authority of the state....


Limited Understanding of Total Vision of Islam Is the Reason for the Girls' Band Fatwa
Hameedah Nayeem

I do not believe in these Fatwas which are basically, not well thought out. Everything we do is not strictly Islamic. There have been women poet & singers who have contributed to the art & culture of society & nobody has ever raised a finger against them. In the present case, it is a very trivial issue. It is basically some boys who also formed a rock band who have actually threatened this group of girls. Because of professional or gender rivalry....

Kashmiri culture bears testimony and has produced best singers, composers, who have had expressed their heart via singing and music. What wrong if these girls have defied their conventional, and have opted to use their way of expressing themselves. I want to ask those Clerics and Leaders who always dictate terms over acts of womenfolk and never provide a solution which acceptable to all. If music is controversial, what about the DOWRY,....

In this atmosphere when the Hindu right is trying to assert itself in a big way by projecting a highly divisive figure like Narendra Modi. A genuine fear among the largest minority is bound to take place in next year’s elections. Those who adore India and its plurality and multiculturalism are also feeling apprehensive. It’s not about the physical security of an individual; it’s about the idea of India....

Shah Rukh Khan: Inside My Khanate
Shah Rukh Khan

I am a Khan. The name itself conjures multiple images in my mind too: a strapping man riding a horse, his reckless hair flowing from beneath a turban tied firm around his head. His ruggedly handsome face marked by weathered lines and a distinctly large nose. A stereotyped extremist; no dance, no drink, no cigarette tipping off his lips, no monogamy, no blasphemy; a fair, silent face beguiling a violent fury smouldering within. A streak that could even make him blow himself up in his God’s name.....


Let’s Not Cast Shahrukh in This Long-Running India-Pakistan Film Entitled Tragedy and Farce
Shah Rukh Khan

Shahrukh Khan is an icon. In India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Iran, Indonesia, Malaysia and the rest of the world – he’s an artist that does the job of crossing borders effortlessly. But he happens to be born an Indian and, by all accounts, at peace with his multiple identities. So, when Lashkar-e-Taiba boss, Hafiz Saeed, whose new fondness for Hindi / Urdu cinema and actors has come as a bit of surprise to me, takes up cudgels for Shahrukh, and offers him security in Pakistan, one must question his motives….


Kamal Hassan’s Vishwaroopam and Freedom of Expression
Poster of Film Vishwaroopam

There is always a hue and cry against those activities that Muslims feel are derogatory to Islam. A recent example is the South Indian film Vishwaroopam. Such behaviour in the name of Islam is nothing but de-Islamisation of Islam as it is quite alien to Islamic scriptures. The so-called derogatory activities are not a recent phenomenon. It was very common during the prophetic and post-prophetic periods regarded as the golden era of Islam....

No to Religious Terrorism, No To Talibanisaton, Progressive Leaders from Pakistan and Kashmir Demand Peaceful Political Solution
Sardar Shaukat Ali Kashmiri

Recently, progressive leaders from Pakistan and Kashmir came together to attend a seminar titled ‘No to religious terrorism, no to Talbanisation, Kashmiris demand Peaceful Political Solution’ to explore the possibilities of a peaceful solution to the Kashmir issue that has been a contentious issue between India and Pakistan. The seminar was organized by the United Kashmir Peoples National Party in London......

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