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Religious Fundamentalism Could Soon Be Treated As Mental Illness
JohnThomas Didymus

..."brainwashing" which embraces all the subtle and not-so-subtle ways "we make people think things that might not be good for them, that they might not otherwise have chosen to think," is a much more pervasive social phenomenon than we are willing to recognize. As social animals we are all victims of culturally induced brainwashing whose effectiveness correlates with our inability to think outside the box of our given acculturation....

Talking to the Talibans
Rudra Chaudhuri

Talking to the Talibans
Rudra Chaudhuri

India is not our enemy, but a complication," argued a former deputy minister in the erstwhile Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, as the Taliban-led government that forced its way into power in 1996 was known….


Like Jessica Lall, Like Delhi’s Braveheart, Ishrat Jahan Too Is A Tipping Point In That Repulsive Reality Known As The ‘Fake Encounter’
Sagarika Ghose

Whatever the proof, or the lack of it, on Ishrat Jahan’s terrorist links, the case has the potential to expose the ugly side of policing in a state that prides itself on governance. When a woman is assaulted or killed, inevitably her morality is in doubt. The Park Street rape victim was ‘asking for it’ because she was fixing a deal with her ‘clients’....


After a ritual prayer atoning for past sins, Ashin Wirathu, a Buddhist monk with a rock-star following in Myanmar, sat before an overflowing crowd of thousands of devotees and launched into a rant against what he called “the enemy” — the country’s Muslim minority. “You can be full of kindness and love, but you cannot sleep next to a mad dog,” Ashin Wirathu said, referring to Muslims. “I call them troublemakers, because they are troublemakers,” Ashin Wirathu told a reporter after his two-hour sermon. “I am proud to be called a radical Buddhist.”....

India's Richest Chief Minister in Values, But Poorest In Financial Wealth
Mr Manik Sarkar, C M, Tripura

Apart from honesty, Mr Manik Sarkar has been impetuous for the development of the state which includes better connectivity and development of IT sector in state. He was also responsible for bringing the concept of public-private partnership and invigorated private intervention, particularly in the IT sector....

The Mahabodhi temple complex structure has not suffered any damage, said a top official here Sunday following a string of bombings that left two monks injured in Bihar's Bodh Gaya. "The temple complex structure has not suffered any damage. The monastery and the statue of Lord Buddha are safe," union Home Secretary Anil Goswami told reporters here. According to the home ministry, blasts took place in quick succession between 5:30am and 6:00am in the temple complex and near the Bodhi tree.....

And, Other Related News:

Prayers Continue At Mahabodhi Temple, Visitors Barred For Now

Bodh Gaya Blasts Not Of High Intensity: Bihar Police Chief

‘Bihar Administration to Be Blamed For Shameful Act’

NIA Team Reaches Bodh Gaya, Begins Probe

Security Beefed Up In Bangalore in Wake of Blasts In Bodh Gaya

President Condemns Bodh Gaya Serial Blasts as Senseless Act Of Terror

PM Condemns Terror Strike in Bodh Gaya

National Buddhist Body Condemns Attack


Buddhists Going Bad
Hannah Beech

In recent months, their campaign of intimidation has included attacks on a Muslim-owned clothing store, a Christian pastor’s house and a Muslim-linked slaughterhouse. Despite monks’ being captured on video leading some of the marauding, none have been charged. Indeed, temple and state are growing ever closer in Sri Lanka, with a monk-dominated party serving as a coalition member of the government....

Let's Fight Terrorism without Giving Up Freedom
Barry Fagin

I am not one of those who believe that if we pull back our armed forces, terrorism will go away. I have no doubt that suicide bombers and members of terrorist organizations hate everything America stands for, and will continue to maim and kill, regardless of American foreign policy. But anti-American sentiment throughout the world is their lifeblood....

Egypt: Chief Justice Adly Mansour Sworn In As Interim President
Different News Reports from Various Newspapers

Egypt: Chief Justice Adly Mansour Sworn In As Interim President
Chief justice Adly Mansour

More Top Brotherhood Members Arrested By Egypt Prosecutors

Egypt’s Brotherhood TV, Other Islamist Channels Taken Off Air

Egypt Shows the Failure of ‘Political Islam’: Assad

Egypt Political Upheaval to Deepen Economic Crisis

Violent Clashes across Egypt; 14 Killed

Mohamed Morsi's Fall a Blow To Islamists

Morsi Supporters: Political Islam Will Survive In Egypt

Elbaradei Tops List to Head Egypt Government: Sources

Arab Countries Call On Morsi to Step Down, Issue Travel Warnings

The America We Loved
Atle Hetland

America is a great land too - in many ways - and I don’t only say that because it is the 4th of July today. At the same time, it is a fragile land, or so I felt when I lived in Washington DC for some years a couple of decades ago. Americans are split between religiosity and materialism, between inward-looking daily lives and an outward-looking and imperialist state and between traditional values and ruthlessness exploitation....

America Faces Challenges to Religious Pluralism
Holly Hollman and Hoda Elshishtawy

Whatever challenges we face, the two of us, from a Baptist organization and a Muslim organization respectively, agree that protecting religious liberty is paramount. Protection of religious liberty requires careful attention to upholding the principles enshrined in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which protect the right to practice one’s faith without government interference.....


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....

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