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The Face of Buddhist Terror in Burma: The Controversy over TIME Magazine's Cover Story

Most significant among them: Wirathu actively encourages an extremist attitude towards Burma’s Muslims. Before a large gathering who came to hear his thoughts on Burma’s Muslims – whom he called “the enemy” – Wirathu recently said: “You can be full of kindness and love, but you cannot sleep next to a mad dog.” “Muslims are like the African carp,” he told Global Post. “They breed quickly and they are very violent and they eat their own kind. Even though they are minorities here, we are suffering under the burden they bring us.”...

Ishrat Jahan Encounter: Accused Cop Says Modi Knew Of Conspiracy
Rana Ayyub

Now that almost all these so-called encounters have been established as fake by investigation agencies functioning under the orders of either the Supreme Court or the Gujarat High Court, the big question is: who was organising these killings to promote the myth that Jihadi terrorists were after Modi’s life? Who were the people in authority that could manufacture false intelligence inputs to justify the murder of innocent citizens, including teenagers like Ishrat.....


Struggle Is On To Save a Key Buddhist City near Kabul
William Dalrymple

By the time French archaeologists returned in 2004, they found that the secret of the buried city was out. As had happened in many other sites in the country, a large and highly organised team of professional art looters, probably from Pakistan, had systematically plundered the mounds at Mes Aynak and, judging by the detritus they left, had found large quantities of hugely valuable Gandharan Buddha images:...


The Modi Project and the Inescapable Divisiveness of a Majoritarian Ideology Can Disrupt All That India Has Achieved As a Liberal Constitutional Democracy
Harish Khare

The quarrel between Mr. Modi and Mr. Advani is the BJP’s internal matter. But what is disquieting for the wider polity is that these essays in organised ugliness are being serenaded as expressions of the nobility of will of the cadres. A manufactured preference of the “rank and file” is deemed to be a new mandate and a new licence.....

Modi, Advani and Sangh’s Agenda
Ram Puniyani

With the discernible role of Modi in Gujarat violence, the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee wanted Modi to be sacked but it was Advani, who saved Modi’s skin. Even earlier it was Advani who promoted Modi to the forefront. The reason was nothing personal; it was the matching political agenda of both these Swayamsevaks, Modi and Advani, who were working in tandem to enhance the creeping communalism in the polity of the nation. They are Swayamsevaks of RSS and have been major players in the RSS agenda of Hindu Rashtra….

The Snowden Revelations Point to the Urgency to Overhaul the Current Architecture of Global Internet Governance
Hardeep S Puri

The US not only possesses the capacity to keep our citizens under surveillance, but in fact tracks telephone calls, emails, chats and other communications based on the internet every month, in the name of counter-terrorism. Being ranked fifth, bracketed with Jordan and Pakistan and ahead of Saudi Arabia, China and Russia, should be a matter of concern for India....

The Wonderful American World of Informers and Agents Provocateurs
Todd Gitlin

The lower-tech stuff gets reported, if at all, only one singular, isolated event at a time -- look over here, look over there, now you see it, now you don’t.  What is known about such surveillance as well as the suborning of illegal acts by government agencies, including the FBI, in the name of counterterrorism has not been put together by major news organizations in a way that would give us an overview of the phenomenon....


The lady is right. Women cannot perform to men’s standards. First there needs to be no gender separation in sports where at least it won’t get people killed. The military is no place for social experimentation and if you support it then you support putting people’s lives at risk for your own social view…….

Modi’s Himalayan Miracle
Abheek Barman and Madhu Kishwar

Modi’s Himalayan Miracle
Abheek Barman

Abheek Barman: Reports say that Modi pulled off this coup with a fleet of 80 Innovas. How did these cars manage to reach places like Kedarnath, across roads that have been washed away, over landslides that have wrecked most access routes?

But let us assume Modi's Innovas had wings as well as helicopter rotors. Including the driver, an Innova is designed to carry seven people. In a tough situation, assume you could pack nine passengers into each car. In that case, a convoy of 80 Innovas could ferry 720 people down the mountains to Dehradun at one go. To get 15,000 people down, the convoy would need to make 21 round trips.

The distance between Dehradun and Kedarnath is 221 km. So 21 trips up and down would mean that each Innova would have to travel nearly 9,300 km.

It takes longer to travel in the hills than in the plains. So, assuming an average speed of 40 km per hour, it would take 233 hours of driving to pull off the feat.

This assumes non-stop driving, without a second's rest to identify the Gujaratis to be rescued and keeping the rest of the distressed folk at bay, or any time to load and unload the vehicles. And forget about any downtime for the gallant rescuers.

That is nearly 10 days of miraculous work. And Modi pulled it off in a day.


Also: Madhu Kishwar’s article: In Defence of Rambo: The editor of Manushi argues Narendra  Modi-led rescue efforts in Uttarakhand are not publicity gimmicks

India Is and Will Remain a Secular Country: Indians Understand Secularism Instinctively and the Co-Existence of Diverse Religions for Centuries Is Proof of That
Sidharth Bhatia

Apart from his own personal commitment to it as a die-hard Lohiaite socialist, he understands a fundamental truth — India is and will remain a secular country. This is not because the word is enshrined in the Constitution, though that means a lot; secularism is embedded in the nation’s DNA......

Nearly Half of LGBT People Claim No Religion
Candace Chellew - Hodge

The survey showed 48% of the LGBT population claims no religious affiliation, compared to 20% of the general public. Even among LGBT people who do embrace religion many are closeted or hiding in congregations with 33% saying "there is a conflict between their religious beliefs and their sexual orientation or gender identity." LGBT people find Muslims the most unfriendly of the religions,…


The Surrender of Karachi
Rafia Zakaria

Just past the middle of February 1843, Karachi was tense. In Saddar, the market was quiet and the shops were shuttered. The Battle of Miani was being fought elsewhere between the Talpurs and the British, the old and the new. In Karachi there was trepidation of a different sort. Here was not the immediate chaos of blood and battle, of bludgeoned bodies and blasting bayonets....


Obama’s ‘Peace At Any Cost’ Talks With Taliban May Recoil On India
Praveen Swami

Raphael had these words in response: “The Taliban do not seek to export Islam, only to liberate Afghanistan.” In a 1998 report, Physicians for Human Rights documented the Islamic Emirate’s war against Afghanistan’s women: the closing down of schools, the denial of medical care facilities, public floggings and institutionalised child-rape. It recorded that men faced “extortion, arrest, gang rape, and abuse in detention because of their ethnicity or presumed political views.” Kabul’s new rulers, the commentator and scholar Ishtiaq Ahmad has noted, “expressed their Taqwa (piety) by bringing down the Buddha statues in Bamiyan, summary executions and destruction of girls’ schools.” The United States responded with silence—both to the Taliban’s crimes against its own people, and its role in Osama bin Laden’s violent rise….

There Is Only One Idea, the Idea of India
Nitish Kumar (C. M, Bihar)

We said the person who leads the country should be secular, should have a vision of inclusive growth. This country was constituted under a Constitution whose basic values, egalitarianism, pluralism and inclusiveness, together form what we call Bharat ka Darshan or the idea of India. The question before us is: will the constitutional vision triumph or will we surrender to the ideology of division and polarisation? But let me promise you: we will never allow the politics of division to destroy this country. The people of this country will not tolerate it There is only one idea that can go forward in this country and that is the Idea of India....

But whether or not Ishrat and her group were terrorists is not the issue. What the Gujarat police officials are being charged with is extra-judicial killing. There are no exemptions in the law for carrying out fake encounters even if the targets are terrorists. The IB is not exempt from the operation of the law of the land either. Mr. Jaitley, of all people, should know that only the judiciary has the right to order an execution, and, after due process....

Hindutva to Moditva
Kancha Ilaiah

Hindutva to Moditva
Kancha Ilaiah

When the Congress is pushing its reservation plus several welfare packages for SC/ST and minorities, the OBCs are unlikely to believe in Mr Modi’s development programme, which is likely to enrich only the rich who happen to be, by and large, upper castes. Moditva means Mr Modi in power in Delhi with the Vikas of the upper castes in mind. Why would the OBCs vote for him, leaving their regional OBC leaders in the lurch?....

One can understand why self-appointed despots might move early and hard, even semi-democratic despots of the Russian or Iranian variety, against a small, peaceable protest in a public place. They fear for their legitimacy. They distrust the populace. They’ve seen the spontaneous multiplier effect of social media. But why would a duly elected leader such as Turkey’s Tayyip Erdogan resort to provocative brutality so gratuitously?...


The World Is Still Trying To Make Sense of Suicide Terrorism
Robert F. Worth

If terrorist-hunters often seem unable to cross the threshold into true sympathy for their enemies, the Jihadis themselves are often equally unsatisfying witnesses to their own experience. Those who choose to tell their stories have usually turned away from jihad and have often done so with a violence equal to that of their original conversion.....


Whither Justice: Fabricated Cases and State
Ram Puniyani

While the communal forces are out to proactively browbeat the religious minorities, the secular formations do not have the spine to ensure justice and equity. Its’ here, that the social activism which has prominently come up during last two decades in particular, needs to be strengthened. The activist groups have taken up these issues seriously and the initiatives by social activists is a major landmark in this direction. One wonders, why are the left parties....

US Drone Strikes In Pakistan’s Tribal Areas Whip Up A Sense Of Revenge But What About The Hundreds Of Pashtuns Slaughtered By The Islamist Extremists In Mosques, Shrines, Markets And Political Rallies
Nadeem F. Paracha

So, extremists become extremists because of drone strikes. Their violence is their revenge against the state, government and the people of Pakistan who supposedly allow these strikes to take place. But, it’s back to the same question: If US drone strikes create extremists, what do extremist strikes create? Also, if drone strikes are creating violent religious extremism, what are extremist attacks creating?....


“We are concerned the Blueprint is illegal because it clearly contravenes provisions under the constitution and its implementation will threaten the national integration that is the aspiration of every Malaysian,” said the statement....


Despite Media Blackout, Christians Not Backing Down On ‘Draconian’ Treatment In The Holy Land
Annie Robbins

“The Holy Fire ceremony is one of the most important religious occasions in the life of Orthodox Christians. The ceremony takes place on the eve of the Orthodox celebration of Easter when a lamp in the tomb of Jesus at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher is kindled. The flame is immediately passed by candles to thousands of worshippers. At this time an olive lamp is also lit and quickly transferred to the West Bank town of Bethlehem....


Khomeini’s Savagery Celebrated in Canada
Tarek Fatah

Their crime? They were feminists, communists, socialists, students, Kurds, Baha'is, Ahwazi Arabs, Azeris and Baloch; all arrested for distributing leaflets and organising protests against the Mullahs who had stolen the 1979 revolution against the autocratic monarchy of The Shah....

Islamist Authoritarianism and Military Fascism Is No Solution to Egypt's Problems
Khaled Mansour

They look around for a father figure to adopt them and issue the orders they are accustomed to receiving – even if grudgingly. After such a failed patriarch leaves, together with his ruling family, they leave in their wake a burdensome legacy and dilapidated system with many citizens yearning for authoritarianism and looking around to hand these paternal powers to a new custodian....


Forgiving India, Forgiving Ourselves
Asad Rahim Khan

Pakistan and India, the unstoppable force and the immovable object: Will they ever find peace and put us all out of our misery? The mutual prisoner-killing, the assault on diplomats, the endless war drums, all of it begs the question, when does it end? Left on its own, not anytime soon. But as just half the problem, we might only resolve to extend a hand and hope to grasp theirs. The alternative, history proves, has been to lose out; lately, more than they do....

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  • Good interview, although it must be taken with a grain of salt!
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Happy Holi everyone!
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • European countries need to launch an anti-ghettoization program to fight both physical and mental segregation.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  •  Observer sb - 3/4/2015 7:42:45 AM “Rules for proselytizing in the Quran: (6:108) Revile not ye those whom they call upon besides Allah, lest they out of spite revile Allah ...
    ( By Khalid Suhail )
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    ( By rational mohammed yunus )
  • Scholars can afford lying.
    ( By rational mohammed yunus )
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    ( By secularlogic )
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    ( By secularlogic )
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    ( By Observer )
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    ( By secularlogic )
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    ( By secularlogic )
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    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
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    ( By Observer )
  • Mr Observer, I assure you I feel no pain at all. Far from being an Islamophobe, I have spent nearly two years trying to ...
    ( By secularlogic )
  • Secular Logic,I can understand the pain of  Islamophobes who turn and twist in agony every time their poisoned arrows are blunted. It was the ...
    ( By Observer )
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    ( By secularlogic )
  • Excellent.
    ( By rational mohammed yunus )
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    ( By rational mohammed yunus )
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    ( By muhammad yunus )
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    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
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    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
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    ( By Observer )
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    ( By rational mohammed yunus )
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    ( By Mohammed Rafiq Lodhia )
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    ( By Observer )
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    ( By sahani )
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    ( By sahanii )
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    ( By rational mohammed yunus )
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    ( By muhammad yunus )
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    ( By Observer )
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    ( By secularlogic )
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    ( By Sultan Shahin )
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    ( By Sultan Shahin )
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    ( By Observer )