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Joining Global War against ISIS: Two Scenarios That India Needs To Consider
Rajeev Sharma

It may still take the Modi government some more time to take a final decision on the American requests with regard to the Islamic State conveyed to him at the highest levels in Washington late last month.....

 

Tunisia has not yet seen the end of the ongoing conflict between those who believe that freedom of creative expression should be boundless and those who see such freedom concerning religious imagery as blasphemous. Most Tunisians believe this issue is a struggle that will end only when one of the two parties prevails over the other, framing it as a zero sum game between religion and art. The reality, however, is much more complex….

 

That the Awami Worker Party needs a mass base is an indisputable fact. The idea that disgruntled elements within the PPP should be reached out to is a viable proposal. In a Jiyala, the AWP would find a natural political worker, one who can be trained through a more coherent politics than mere Bhutto-ism. There are those within the AWP who rightfully fear that the party would have no credibility if it embraced the politics of the PPP, which they see as a repulsive manifestation of dynastic politics they oppose…..

 

Sending Pakistan to Mars
Pervez Hoodbhoy

We must stop teaching a kind of science in Pakistani schools which is science only in name but which bypasses its essence — evidence and reasoning. Students experience mathematics as a bunch of cookbook prescriptions, physics and chemistry are mountains of formulae, and experimental science has been almost totally banished.

India values — nay, venerates — its top mathematicians and scientists. There is scarcely an Indian I’ve met who doesn’t know the story of Srinivasa Ramanujan, the child prodigy from Madras who astonished the world of high mathematics but tragically died at the age of 32. India is dotted with institutes bearing such names as S.N. Bose, C.V. Raman, M. Saha, and Homi Bhabha.…..

 

Saudi Arabia is also set on maintaining its global market share and has an opportunity in the short term to rely on its considerable foreign exchange reserves and low production costs to wait out other global producers. Riyadh's oil output is its most strategic resource, and one that the government is quick to use to its advantage. With summer temperatures beginning to cool and regional consumption starting to taper off, Riyadh can free up larger volumes to export, even at lower prices. The Saudis are also looking to leverage their short-term economic stability over rivals such as Russia, especially as they square off with Iran over the future of the Syrian government......

 

Malala’s Symbolism
Najam Sethi

The Nobel Peace Prize committee jointly awarded the medal to the lesser-known Indian child-rights campaigner Kailash Satyarthi. The Chairman of the Nobel Peace Prize Committee, Thorbjorn Jagland, said that it was important “for a Hindu and a Muslim, an Indian and a Pakistani, to join in the common struggle for education and against extremism”. The context is relevant……

 

Indian-origin Singaporean poet and writer K.T.M. Iqbal will be awarded Cultural Medallion, the country’s highest cultural award by President Tony Tan Keng Yam on Thursday night in Singapore. It is the highest recognition for the 74-year-old Tamil poet whose achievements include more than 200 children’s songs written for Radio Singapore in the 1970s and 1980s, as well as seven collections of poetry…..

 

Love Jihad: Love, Control and Punishment
Tanika Sarkar

Inter-community relationships are policed and penalised with special ruthlessness by families because they involve great social courage. Like states, communities also perform two vital functions. One is to enforce internal power lines and the other is to police inter-community boundaries. The greater the internal tensions, such as class or caste, the more the focus will be deliberately turned on external enmities, real or imagined. V. Savarkar had said that the enemy figure unites a nation as nothing else can. Hindutva followers cherish his message.....

 

The aim is also to change attitudes toward the deaf in society and enhance their sporting, social, cultural and vocational skills to ultimately enable them to work……

 

Hindu Muslim Incorporated: A New Inter-Community Contract Can Emerge Through an Open Economy
Sagarika Ghose

Electoral politics in many ways prevents the emergence of a liberal Muslim or a liberal Hindu leadership both animated by the desire to challenge extremism and further the cause of modernity. As the Muzaffarnagar riots proved, religious conflict brings big electoral dividends. While Hindu and Muslim politicians privately may speak a surprisingly rational language, when rallying rival constituencies for votes, they invariably fall back on communally charged fire and brimstone religious rhetoric.....

India on Mars: Whither Pakistan?
Farooq Sulehria

First things first. The New York Times’ cartoon ridiculing Indian trip to Mars is an expression of outright racism. Viewpoint condemns it in no uncertain terms. Meantime, many in Pakistan seized the opportunity for some self-retrospection. A Facebook friend quipped, ‘India Mars Par Pohanch Gaya Hay, Hum Fata Nahi Ja Saktay’……

Fearful of "honour killing", she said: "Had I not gone to the police, they would have killed me." She was insistent on her decision to marry Kaleem. "Yes, I will. Religion does not matter. He had no problem with me continuing with Hinduism and visiting temples after marriage. Whose religion is bad? No one's. It is us who have divided people as Hindus and Muslims but actually we all are one."…..

Why Emperor Akbar Haunts Hindutva
Jawed Naqvi

… Akbar the ruler-cum-editor let his second edition of Mahabharata be published. He got it distributed to the elite to make them understand and embrace the great culture they were privileged to savour, says Prof Qasemi. Meanwhile, by not celebrating Dussehra or Diwali I have saved time to start reading the Hindi translation in three volumes of the epic Ramayana. To make it more intractable for the Hindutva simpletons, a Hindu scribe named Sumer Chand wrote it in Persian. To make it even more perverse for Hindtuva, two Muslim scholars at Rampur’s famed Raza Library translated Ramayana into chaste Hindi from its original Persian. Votaries of Hindutva can eat their hearts out......

Mindless Adventurism: 'Costs' can only be inflicted on Pakistan within the context of a coherent strategy of protracted conflict
Ajai Sahni

There has been tremendous speculation regarding Islamabad's motives for the present escalation. While it is impossible to enter the minds of Pakistan's military and political leadership, it is useful to notice that, through all phases of such cross border interventions, both before and after the signing of the CFA in 2003, the prelude to the onset of winter has been the 'season' for such escalation, as terrorist handlers on the Pakistani side provide fire cover for the last batches of infiltrators before the snows shut down the mountain passes. Such a motive would be stronger at present, as Indian Forces have been remarkably successful in interdicting recent attempts at infiltration......

 

Pakistan Must See New Reality
Ram Jethmalani

It was Islamic Arab scholars who brought Greek learning back to the world after the Dark Ages. After political consolidation of numerous divergent tribes during its early centuries, Islam was a religion that encouraged learning, knowledge and libraries. The rot started in the 13th century, when a mad Khalifa ordained the destruction of all books and literature except for the Holy Quran. Scholarly works of great Muslim intellectuals like Avicena and Averroes, who had reintroduced Aristotle to Europe, were burnt to ashes. But it was the Wahhabis, who during the 18th century hijacked Islam and brought it to the archaic condition that it has been reduced to. Wahhab, an evil Saudi Arabian preached that all Mushrikeen had forfeited their right to live on this planet. His definition of the word included Jews, Christians, Shias and all non Muslims…..

 

Attack on PETA Activists over 'Vegan Eid': Bhopal's Muslims Only Shame Themselves
Hasan Suroor

Some do believe that it was not very “smart’’ of PETA to “invite Muslims to become veggies on Eid’’, as a reader wrote on New Age Islam website, but he said the “reaction to it should have been a counter demonstration and not attacking the opposite party’’. Another, Mohammed Yunus, wrote that PETA may “not have been wise enough” to stage such a stunt on the eve of Eid but the Muslim reaction was typical of what their critics had come to expect from them. Whether it was a “a book, a cartoon, or a comment’’ they found offensive, the only response is: “attack, attack, attack’’….

It is a bitter irony that, in the days before the Nobel committee announced joint Indian and Pakistani winners of the 2014 peace prize, their armies have been shelling across their disputed border in Kashmir. In the past week or so both countries have been steadily breaking a decade-long ceasefire, killing each other’s soldiers and civilians….

 

Despite so many stories, so many layers and sub-layers of African contribution to India, Indians don't seem to know much about it. "Well even DU students of African studies said they didn't know so much about the African contribution until they came here. So you can imagine how much the common man knows. What we Indians basically need to do is revisit the past. The past will open our eyes to our present and future, and maybe we will find our famed tolerance and open-mindedness that we left behind somewhere back in time,"....

 

Bleak Prospects of Indo-Pak Detente
Najam Sethi

Under the circumstances, the prospects of Indo-Pak détente seem bleak. Mr Modi has reverted to form and Mr Sharif has lost credibility with his national security establishment…..

 

Pakistan Has Many Internal Conflicts to Settle, Let's Hope They Bring a Boost to Democracy
Mehr F Husain
And most famously, PM Sharif's acceptance of Modi's invitation to the inaugural ceremony even though it clearly contradicted what the military wanted.  If all this is not indicative of how Pakistan is trying to shed off military influence, then what is? Yet, the influence has not been completely curbed. The war against the Taliban was authorised by the military. The rumour of alleged relations of political actors such as Tahir-ul-Qadri with the military, fuels the fear of a return of the khaki rule……

 

Not Dancing To VHP Tune
Jyoti Punwani

It’s difficult to separate a Gujarati from his Garba, it would seem. Kutchi Memons perform it during their weddings; Christians have a special Christmas Garba. The popular “Ambe Maa ni Aarti” sung at every Garba venue was written and composed by a Muslim, Abhram Bhagat. In a popular Ahmedabad mall, a Muslim hones the Garba skills of Hindus; in Godhra, a Muslim housewife gets her Hindu trainer to come home. A Christian-Hindu couple out for Navratri shopping — which includes a pair of Dandiya sticks for their daughter — discloses that in their railway colony, the Garba used to be organised by a Muslim…..

6 Surprises That Greet a Pakistani in India
Tahir Mehdi

They can’t guess it from the language that you speak and they won’t doubt it when you discuss Indo-Pak relations. This unintentional anonymity can lead to interesting situations. An auto rickshaw Wala was proud that India had beaten the hell out of Pakistan in all the wars that we had fought. We were passing by a cricket stadium where the two countries had played a match. He, however, was critical of Indian players for losing the Asia Cup 2014 to Shahid Afridi’s last over blitz…..

And

7 Things That Make A Pakistani Feel At Home In India

 

In The Middle Of It All: While the PTI and PML-N Lock Horns, It May Be an Opportunity For The PPP To Make Amends
Nadeem F. Paracha

The initial reason for this was an unprecedented understanding between the PPP and the PML-N during the Musharraf regime (1999-2008). Both parties confessed that (in the 1990s) they had been used and abused by the ‘establishment’ and that they had wasted much of their energies on battling one another over issues that went beyond electoral politics and were undemocratic in nature. While the PTI and PML-N lock horns, it may be an opportunity for the PPP to make amends….

 

Once a dreaded terrorist organization, the US-led war in Afghanistan had significantly hurt the operational capability of Al-Qaeda’s terror network. However, new announcements by the terror outfit’s leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri reveal that it is now looking to break ground in new frontiers. The Al-Qaeda has purportedly formed an Indian wing of its militant group to “raise the flag of jihad” across the subcontinent……

 

Consider the twin Islamabad Dharnas, where the same sets of utterances have been endlessly reiterated, interspersed with chants of the “Go, Nawaz, go” mantra. Can we, with any degree of honesty, contend that Goebbels’ infamous and deadly dictum has not been at play here? Have we not heard the same sets of truths, half-truths, and outright fabrications repeated ad nauseum night after night after night after night… until even the most sceptical among us has begun to think that, maybe, there is something in it, after all?.....

 
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