Books and Documents
Current Affairs

'If Cyberspace Is a Global Commons, There Can Be No Absolute Rights or Obligations in the Commons'
Shivshankar Menon

There is a tendency to posit a false dichotomy or antagonism between free speech and privacy on the one hand and security in cyberspace on the other. If cyberspace is a global commons... there can be no absolute rights or obligations in the commons. The issue really is how much and the nature of regulation that we can agree among all the stakeholders...


BJP’s Bill of Frights
Javed Anand

Truth be told, the fierce opposition of the “Hindu nationalists” to the bill is rooted in their guilt-ridden fear of the far-reaching consequences of a critical provision in the proposed bill. Though the BJP and the Sangh Parivar are conveniently castigating the bill on account of it allegedly being “anti-Hindu” and “pro-minority”, what frightens them — and the Indian police and the bureaucracy — the most is the principle of “chain of command responsibility” that is embedded in the proposed law...

Why Saudi Arabia Said No
Chinmaya R Gharekhan

Why Saudi Arabia Said No
Chinmaya R Gharekhan

The official statement in Riyadh, inter alia, essentially mentioned these factors: Syria; working methods and double standards; and Palestine and weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East. “Allowing the ruling clique in Syria to kill and burn its people by the chemical weapons, while the world stood idly by, without applying deterrent sanctions against the Damascus regime is also irrefutable evidence and proof of the inability of the Security Council to carry out its duties and responsibilities”.....

Nawaz Sharif Visits Obama, But the US Is a ‘Master’, Not a ‘Friend’
Muhammad Waqar Mustaqeem

I believe that the US will be eagerly seeking Pakistan’s aid in establishing a pro-American government in Kabul – the meeting has no significance to Pakistan and will not better any Pakistani’s life. Thus, America is our colonial master and the reason we must see them as so is because the state of Pakistan has, to an extent, lost its sovereignty, especially after the infamous attacks on Salala and the Abbottabad operation....

Swallowed by the Taliban
Ayesha Ijaz Khan

Swallowed by the Taliban
Ayesha Ijaz Khan

Contrary to many of my peers, I never felt as hopeless or dejected about Pakistan’s future as I did during the past election. Some were hopeful because they saw in the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) ‘a new political force’ that would take on the ‘corrupt politicians’ and usher in a ‘Naya Pakistan’. Others were hopeful because a democratic transition had taken place, with one civilian government passing on the mantle to another….

Maulana Mahmood Madani's Outburst: For Muslims, As For All Secular Indians, The Choice In The Upcoming Lok Sabha Elections Will Be Stark
Javed Anand

Anyone who knows anything about Muslim politics will tell you that outside a few Muslim-predominant pockets of Assam or a city like Malegaon, either of the factions would find it difficult to ensure the victory of their candidate even in a civic election. Not surprisingly, the politically ambitious Mahmood Madani wisely chooses to stay away from the electoral arena, content to negotiate a seat for himself in the Rajya Sabha from this party or that…….


Nobel Peace Prize Committee Blew It
Tarek Fatah

Had Dr. Mukwege won the Nobel, the fans of Malala Yousafzai would have most certainly said he was a worthy recipient. However, with the Nobel Committee in Oslo overlooking this brave teenager in favour of the OPCW, can ordinary people around the globe be blamed for believing the Nobel Peace Prize is nothing more than one more tool of propaganda?...

No Place for Islam: Buddhist Nationalism in Myanmar
Harrison Akins

Myanmar needs to take a firm stand on the side of human rights, pluralism, and security for all of its citizens, promote the rule of law, and, at a more basic level, recognise the existence and the suffering of the Rohingya. Only then can a democratic Myanmar be recognised as legitimate in the eyes of the international community and its own people…..

Love Jihad: From Illusory Slogan to Potent Weapon
Ram Puniyani

The word Love Jihad must be a creation of an evil genius and it has come to be used to further demonise the Muslim community. The propaganda has been that some Muslim organisations are funding Muslim youth, to lure the non Muslim girls, to marry them and to increase the Muslim population. These youth are given money to buy motorbike, mobile etc and lure the non Muslim girls….

Why the Nobel Peace Prize Isn’t Very Different From Miss Universe
Praveen Swami

“It was in that moment”, the satirist Tom Lehrer wrote of the 1973 Nobel Peace Prize, “that satire died”. For all the prestige surrounding the Nobel Peace Prize, the sad truth is this: like Miss Universe pageants, it’s ephemeral, arbitrary and, ultimately, banal. The reasons for this aren’t hard to seek. …..

A Fellowship at Jawaharlal Nehru University
Ishtiaq Ahmed

 Farooq Sulehria, a friend and comrade from Stockholm and a Pakistani, who is doing his PhD on India, Pakistan state televisions was in town to do field research. I also met Dr Amit Ranjan, a prolific writer and debater on India-Pakistan relations and Ashish Shukla who is doing his PhD on the same subject. A new generation of Indian scholars specialising on Pakistan is a good development....


Despite being well-known among people interested in Sufi culture including many national and international celebrities, the Nizami household today is the victim of a vicious ploy to snatch their ancestral property…..

Temple, Toilet and Sangh Politics
Ram Puniyani

It is all the RSS progeny which comes together to put in their best for BJP’s prospects. So while Modi will be projecting that for him now, after Babri demolition two decades ago, toilet is more important than the temple. This surely is a very tactical move. RSS operates at various levels at the same time…..

50 Dead In Clashes between Islamists and Police in Egypt
Bothaina Kamel

After several weeks of relative calm, the Islamists had said they would escalate their protests by trying to rally in the symbolic Tahrir Square......


Related Articles:

The Cairo Elite and the Tyranny of the State

6 October War: Bygone Days of Glory

Egypt Releases First-Ever October War Documents

Egypt's Army Chief Says Will Continue Protecting People’s Mandate

Ex-Presidential Hopeful Bothaina Kamel Attacked By 'Morsi Supporters'

Brotherhood's FJP Describes Sunday Violence as 'Massacre,' Calls For International Investigation

US More 'Understanding' Of Morsi Ouster: Egypt Interim President

423 Arrested In Cairo Clashes on Armed Forces Day: Interior Ministry


India and Pakistan: Finding Peace through Art
Akbar Ahmed

To most Americans, these two nuclear powers have a history of a difficult and often violent relationship, having fought three wars with one another over the disputed region of Kashmir. President Bill Clinton referred to this region as “the most dangerous place in the world.” This perpetuates the stereotype that India and Pakistan are two nations standing a constant level of readiness for war with one another. The reality is far more complex....


The Challenge of Pluralism: The Case of Quebec
Meher Khatcherian

The proposed charter should in no way shed a doubt on the open-mindedness, tolerance and receptiveness of Quebec’s society. Respect and appreciation of diversity are deeply-rooted values in Quebec. One only has to enter a school or a university, go to a public park or down a crowded street to see the mingling of ethnic, cultural and religious symbols. And these are only the visible aspects of the beauty of Quebec’s diverse population....


Keep Meeting, Keep Talking
Amit Baruah

Going by our year-on-year falling India-Pakistan standards, the Sunday meeting between Prime Ministers Manmohan Singh and Nawaz Sharif was something of an achievement....


De-Radicalisation Needed To Counter Terrorism
V Balachandran

They failed to appreciate that greater autonomy was given to local affiliates. "Many in the international security establishment, however, dismissed such affiliates as local problems and did not consider them part of the global war against al-Qaeda." I would like to add here that the same attitude applies even towards the Lashkar-e-Taiba….


Delhi: The City Of Djinns
Vaqar Ahmed

I land at the airport of a city in a foreign country. The airport is spotlessly clean, the lines for immigration are reasonably orderly, and the immigration process is smooth. I sail through the customs green channel. Taxis are waiting outside in an orderly manner. The road from the airport is wide and lined with trees. The city is very green. I encounter a traffic jam at one location but otherwise the ride is unhindered – It is a good start. The city I am in is not somewhere in Europe or North America; actually, it is just a two hour flight from Karachi. I am in Delhi….


Muzaffarnagar: Yet Another Doctored Riot
Harsh Mander

A people who have never fought each other in history are today bitterly estranged, fearful and angry. ‘Not even during the Partition riots of 1947 did a drop of blood flow in our villages’, they repeatedly told us. And today, some 50 lie dead, and 50,000 have fled their homes in terror. ….


Muzaffarnagar Riots And After
Irfan Engineer

A fake video of some other incident which the police say was recorded two years ago was circulated through social networking sites and mobile phones purporting it to be video of the incident of killing Gaurav and Sachin. The fake video allegedly circulated by BJP MLAs seemed to have evoked a lot of revulsion and consequent urge to take revenge. Four BJP MLAs organised Jat Mahapanchayat. The Mahapanchayat was attended by thousands of Jats armed with guns, swords and other lethal weapons in spite of ban on assembly…..

Modi’s Low Politics: Why BJP Allowed RSS to Dictate Its Political Agenda and Prime Ministerial Politics
Praful Bidwai

What is surprising is the unforgivable exuberance of media stories which reported Narendra Modi’s nomination as if he had already won the election, vindicating the BJP’s claim to rule Hindu-majority India because it’s a Hindu-communal party….


Behind The War on the Line of Control, Two States in Denial
Praveen Swami

It makes perfect sense, right: less than forty-eight hours after jihadists killed one of its top generals, and its chief of army staff vowed vengeance, Pakistani troops have begun fighting. The thing is, their fire’s been aimed east at India, not west at the jihadists targeting them. Bizarre, isn’t it: shouldn’t Pakistan be focussing its military energies westwards, and protect its disintegrating state from jihadists who are threatening to overwhelm it?...


The Chilling Familiarity of Muzaffarnagar
Farah Naqvi

While there is silence on a law to challenge impunity, new slogans of communalism are being crafted everyday, embellishing the core of the “honour” narrative. The latest from Muzaffarnagar according to one news report (HT, Lucknow, September 13), throws cow slaughter and, perhaps predictably, Modi into the fray — “desh, bahu aur gai ko bachana hai toh Narendra Modi ko lana hai.”

Jamaat must shun the path of violence and learn to respect law. The law enforcers, on the other hand, must act firmly to rein in the violence-mongers and ensure safety of common people….

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