Books and Documents
Current Affairs

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

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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......

The killers have been operating on a daily basis not taking leave even on Fridays and on the auspicious occasion of the Prophet’s birthday, the 12th Rabi ul Awwal. It is a shame that the human blood is so cheap in a country that boasts of being a Islamic country. Given below is a table of fatal attacks and deaths in Karachi in the month of January. Apart from common citizens, those who were killed include member of Assembly Manzar Imam and religious leaders, not to speak of police officers and security guards....

According to Rizana’s lawyers, she had no legal representation upon arrest and she was tortured and threatened until she signed a confession in Arabic, a language she didn’t understand, that she strangled the baby. Saudi Arabia follows the strict, ultra-conservative Wahhabi Sharia law, which lacks judicial precedence. Death sentences are carried out for murder, rape, drug smuggling as well as for adultery, blasphemy and being gay. The law is not properly codified and interpretations of the law and meting out justice differ from judge to judge.....

The character certificate was issued to the Taliban 2 days after the home minister Rehman Malik had severely criticised the Taliban for its violent activities killing Muslims. The report seems to be propaganda by the Pakistan government against India to divert the attention of the Pakistani people from the internal crisis in which the PPP government presently is. It has also aimed at exploiting the tensions between the two nations....

On Republic Day, Consider That India's Real Split Is Between Two Hinduisms
Shreya Sen-Handley

Hinduism works well as a way of life. It could knit the nation together, but there's another version thriving in rural India. Once a year since 1950, India tries to convince the world (and itself) that it is indeed a superpower, with an epic show that takes over the grandest road in India, the Rajpath in New Delhi. The Republic Day parade celebrates India's nationhood with pomp and circumstance. This year, however, there has been a flurry of calls to boycott the event. For the first time, the Indian middle class is disassociating itself from this hoopla....


Citizens Should Realise That Democracy Is For the People By the People and Of the People
Gulmina Bilal Ahmad

Citizens should realise that the failure of a government is not the failure of the democratic system. As a resident of Islamabad, I have viewed and experienced the recent unfolding political events at first hand in the past few days. A cleric with fiery rhetoric and claims of ushering in a revolution came into the capital with considerable fanfare and then dwindled into non-existence. In the same period, there were two suicide blasts in Quetta,...

Dr Tahirul Qadri's Long March Ended With a Declaratory Whimper Rather Than a Revolutionary Bang
Najam Sethi

As predicted, Dr Tahirul Qadri's "long march" to Islamabad last week ended with a declaratory whimper rather than a revolutionary bang. But some significant political conclusions can be drawn from it. On the positive side, it is no mean feat for Dr Qadri to parachute into Pakistan from Canada after many years, raise tens of billions of rupees to organise and lead over 50,000 people from Lahore to Islamabad.....


Algeria’s Hostage Crisis: Did the Jihadists Have inside Help?
Bruce Crumley

Be that as it may, the European official predicts the horror of the Algerian drama — and powerlessness of Western leaders to do anything to protect their citizens once it began — will justify other reaction Belmokhtar and his Sahel peers may not have counted on. “I think you’ll see both the manner and depth of support other countries are willing to give in Mali increase considerably as a result of In Amenas...

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