Books and Documents
Current Affairs

Sharia Week on the Volokh Conspiracy
Eugene Volokh

I think many other complaints about incidents of alleged “creeping Sharia” in American law are misguided, partly because the complaints miss the way those incidents simply reflect well-settled (and sound) American law. Indeed, the alternative approach that I offer is, I think, a conservative approach. It urges courts to continue following well-established American legal traditions rather than distorting those traditions either in favour of Islam or against….


Howzzat A Fictitious Of Imran Khan
Jugnu Mohsin

It dates back to the thirteenth century and to another life when I was Sultan of Delhi. And one leading liberal fascist of the day was the Oracle of Delhi. We had differences then, as now. The liberal fascists were supporters of Amir Khusro while I supported Genghis Khan. They wanted to sit around all day inventing Quawwali with Amir Khusro while I was off slaying infidels with my namesake, The Great Khan….


On the UK’s Equating of Journalism with Terrorism
Glenn Greenwald

The UK Government expressly argued that the release of the Snowden documents (which the free world calls “award-winning journalism“) is actually tantamount to “terrorism”, the same theory now being used by the Egyptian military regime to prosecute Al Jazeera journalists as terrorists. Congratulations to the UK government on the illustrious company it is once again keeping. British officials have also repeatedly threatened criminal prosecution of everyone involved in this reporting, including Guardian journalists and editors….


‘Good’ War, ‘Bad’ War
John Pilger

“China,” says President Obama in a leaked briefing paper “is our fast emerging strategic threat.” By 2020, almost two thirds of all US naval forces in the world will be transferred to the Asia-Pacific region. In an arc extending from Australia to Japan and beyond, China will be ringed by US missiles and nuclear-weapons armed aircraft. Will this threat to all of us be “forgotten”, too?....


Dilip Kumar’s Premonition
Dilip Kumar

P. Sainath’s scathing stories about rural corruption and rampant exploitation have become a byword for diligent journalism. He cut his political teeth with Blitz. Dilip Kumar’s cinematic premonitions about the nexus of politics, big business and India’s religious right, precede Sainath’s evolution by a few decades....


Two Talibans and India
Ashok Malik

It is possible all of this is scaremongering and actually the civil wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan will continue for long enough to give India breathing space. Even so, a medium-term nightmare scenario - with the Afghan Taliban closing in on Kabul and Pakistan Taliban getting a slice of state power - cannot be ruled out. For India, it would be the perfect storm....

Hinduism Hijacked
Pavan K. Varma

Hinduism Hijacked
Pavan K. Varma

It is true, of course, that no one has the right to wilfully or maliciously hurt religious sentiment. But all of us have the right to question what constitutes hurt. Hurt cannot be defined on the basis of somebody’s self-righteous assertion that only I know what Hinduism is. It cannot be defined by the inflexible dogmas of those reflexively intolerant to anything that remotely looks like a critique or is at variance with their narrow interpretations….

Hindutva Is Anti-Hinduism
Jug Suraiya

Nothing could be further from the truth. The RSS-inspired ideology of so-called ‘cultural nationalism’ that has been labelled Hindutva can be said to be the antithesis of Hindu thought and belief. Intolerance – dogmatic refusal to see any point of view but that which is your own – is at the core of Hindutva. If something so expansive and fluid can be said to have a core, the core of Hinduism is the exact opposite to that of Hindutva…

India-Pak Nuclear CBM Liked By People
Monika Chansoria

The removal and ultimate elimination of identified obsolescent SRBMs cited above, from India and Pakistan's nuclear arsenal will, firstly, eliminate disadvantages of SRBMs and secondly, serve as an excellent CBM and as nuclear risk-reduction measure without impinging upon the continuing modernisation of either side's strategic forces….


Intolerant India: The controversy over Penguin's withdrawal of Wendy Doniger’s scholarly work 'The Hindus: An Alternative History'

Excuse me? You want to teach us about Hinduism? Are you not aware that we are the owners, makers and protectors of Hinduism since the beginning of time? Let me assure you, madam that we actually know whatever there is to know about Hinduism. And that as hallmarked Hindus, we zealously guard our religion from fakes and troublemakers like you. How dare you, an alien Mlechchha woman — a lowly non-Brahmin, non-Hindu, non-male, non-resident — try to poison us with your non-knowledge?...

Changing Landscape of Free Speech

There is a long history, reaching back to British rule, of applying heavy-handed censorship supposedly to ease fraught relationships between different communities. It is a process that in recent decades has greatly intensified. Hand-in-hand with more oppressive censorship has come, however, not a more peaceful society, but one in which the sense of a common nation has increasingly broken down into sectarian rivalries, as every group demands its right not to be offended. The original confrontation over The Satanic Verses was a classic example of how in encouraging groups to feel offended, one simply intensifies sectarian conflict....

Silencing Of Liberal India
Pratap Bhanu Mehta

Silencing Of Liberal India

India is a democracy, but its reputation as a bastion of liberal values is dimming by the day. The argumentative Indian is being replaced by the offended Indian, the tolerant Indian by the intolerant mob, the reflective citizen by the hurt communal mobiliser, the courageous Indian by the cowardly thug who needs the state to protect it against every argument, the pious Indian by the ultimate blasphemer who thinks he needs to protect the gods rather than the gods being there to protect him.....


Inside The Culture of Covert Killing
Praveen Swami

India’s security services may be able to stamp out insurgencies, but not ensure the maintenance of a public culture based on law, the keystone of a democracy. We’re left, thus, with a perpetual-motion machine of killing, unable to stop the republic from dissolving into a state of criminal injustice....


Taliban Gaining Upper Hand in Afghanistan and Pakistan?
Ahmed Rashid

The Taliban are playing for time by pretending to negotiate, while they exert their power and influence in order to fulfil their political objectives and continue to carry out suicide bomb attacks....


The Saboteurs: Who Is Trying To Upset The Peace Talks?
Nadeem F. Paracha

As the government of Pakistan finally exhibits some sense and agrees to hold sincere and serious dialogue with various liberation groups struggling to bring a genuine Islamic order and justice under the umbrella of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), certain forces have already begun to indulge in violence in a bid to sabotage the talks…..


Reading the Clean Chit
Vinay Sitapati

The first of those is the role BJP politicians, Sangh Parivar members and police officials played in the killing of more than a thousand Muslims early that year. For this there is evidence. The other crime is the follow up. It is a scandal that the conviction rate in the riot cases pursued by the Modi state government is just 5 per cent. In contrast, in those trials where the Supreme Court outsourced investigation, prosecution and witness protection away from the Gujarat state government, I estimate the conviction rate to be 39 per cent. This is nearly eight times better than the Gujarat government. These are crimes no clean chit should erase. How then is it happening?...

India Must Win Justice for Victims of Muzaffarnagar Riots
Harsh Mander

This is a winter of sorrow. A few hundred kilometres from the country’s Capital, children are dying in the cold, neglected and humiliated by an uncaring government, and in mortal fear of neighbours with whom they lived peacefully for generations....


Its role in the demolition of the Babri Masjid in 1992 alongside the RSS and its affiliates was brought out by the Liberhan Commission, indicting its topmost leaders. The Gujarat violence of 2002 occurred when the BJP was in power both in the state and at the Centre. The BJP’s involvement in the riots cannot be disputed after the conviction of its MLA Maya Kodnani in the Naroda Patiya massacre in August 2012....

Pakistan TV Narratives
Farooq Sulehria

Pakistan TV Narratives
Farooq Sulehria

Second, liberalised TV has not helped Pakistan globalise either culturally or economically. Instead of assimilating in the global committee of nations, Pakistan has become a pariah state. Of course, one cannot blame TV for this situation – but it has only helped localise Pakistani discourses....


I Stand With Hanif: Jinnah Is Not a ‘Hero’
Faraz Talat

Indeed, if you have nothing nice to say about Jinnah, Allama Iqbal, Minar-e-Pakistan, Waar and Meethi Lassi, you must be prepared to relinquish your Pakistani identity and take a one-way trip across Wagah border into Amritsar…..

What Drives Success?
Amy Chua and Jed Rubenfeldjan

What Drives Success?
Amy Chua and Jed Rubenfeldjan

Indian-Americans earn almost double the national figure (roughly $90,000 per year in median household income versus $50,000). Iranian-, Lebanese- and Chinese-Americans are also top-earners. In the last 30 years, Mormons have become leaders of corporate America...

Know My Name
Fouzia Nasir Ahmad

“We don’t have the same opportunities in Quetta. In Karachi, life is more normal for us and people are a little bit sympathetic. Here, we are not identified as Hazaras. People think we could be Chinese or Baltis”....


Media Has Been Unrelenting After Muzaffarnagar Riots; It Was Inert Before
Vivian Fernades

'The media is the voice of the voiceless. It did a splendid job on the Muzaffarnagar riots,' but if it had seen a pattern in the over one hundred communal incidents that have occurred in Uttar Pradesh since the Akhilesh Yadav government took office and was as vigilant then as after the riots, localized clashes would not have flared up and resulted in 48 deaths and displacement of about 50,000 persons, almost all of them Muslim….


The country’s leadership’s dependence on the world powers for an unprecedented pivotal role has buried Pakistan under such debris. Now, after due advances in drone technology, the US won’t require bases or permission. It has become a vicious circle now and it will not be easy to break out of it. Withdrawal of US/NATO forces from Afghanistan, the US’s and Karzai government’s inability to bring the Taliban to the dialogue table, discussions of the proxy war situation in Afghanistan and continuation of the drone policy have left Pakistan terribly Talibanised....


Pakistan's Chief of Injustice: Iftikhar Chaudhry Defended Judicial Independence, So Why Is It Such a Relief to See Chaudhry Go
Ali Dayan Hasan

Upon returning to office, he presided over the firing of judges without giving them the same due process he had demanded of Musharraf. He refused to accept parliamentary oversight of judicial appointments, threatening to overturn a unanimously passed constitutional amendment to that effect unless it was revised. Parliament complied to avoid a confrontation….

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