INDIA: the OBOR (CPEC) dissident

India needs a long-term strategy INDIA appeared like an outlier when it chose to sit out Sunday’s One Belt One Road (OBOR) Summit in Beijing.

Instant Triple talaq (Talaq-i-bidat) not fundamental to Islam

When the five-judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court began hearing petitions challenging the validity of instant triple talaq, halala and polygamy, there was a tizzy of excitement across India, especially in Muslim circles.

Easier to impose strict laws in Iran than in raucous India

Last week I met Masoumeh Ebtekar, one of the four vice presidents of Iran and the most powerful woman in the government of the Islamic Republic. Unlike most Iranians, she was fluent in English that she spoke with an American accent. I was fascinated during the hour-long conversation as she was one of the few women I had met who willfully wore a chador (unlike the stylish head scarves seen across Tehran) even as she radiated power and intelligence. 

India’s neighbours need to take enlightened decisions

An increasingly dysfunctional state like Pakistan effectively run by generals and increasingly wracked by religious extremism and terrorism cannot make peace with India. No amount of dialogue will change this reality.

'Hindutva suffers from a majoritarian nationalist anxiety'

Hindus need to worry. Not about Muslims being beaten up or killed on the pretext of cow smuggling or slaughter, or Christians being attacked on the pretext of conversion. Hindus need to stir out of slumber because Hinduism is in peril. It is not threatened by Muslims.

Opp common agenda needed to defeat the making of Hindu Rashtra

Beyond the ritual calls for Opposition unity in a political environment in which the BJP is in the process of replacing the Congress as the hegemon comes a voice from the Janata Dal (U) seeking the leadership role for Bihar’s CM, Mr Nitish Kumar. Thus far Opposition parties have been seeking a way out of the predicament they find themselves in.

Babri Masjid demolition case not a matter for compromise

The suggestion of the Chief Justice of India to act as a mediator in the pending Babri Masjid demolition case, showed his concern but was a little odd considering that it has come at the instance of an inter meddler, and without parties involved being before the Court. That is why it caused a certain concern amongst the parties.

Muslims psychological displacement is underway

Beware India! You are being led into a civil war. Or, you are already in it. This is not a rhetorical statement. In UP, slaughterhouses are being demolished, closed down forcibly; small mutton shops are being gutted. Livelihood of thousands is under threat, that too by the orders of the government which had promised to work for all. In Jaipur, a hotel owned by a Muslim is surrounded and attacked in daylight, its employees beaten up by a mob, hotel is evacuated, sealed, the owner is hounded, the police joins the marauders. Youth are being arrested for Facebook posts on the new CM in UP. 

Muslims feel the most troubled in India's current political scenario

The BJP’s more hardline supporters are enjoying what they have dubbed a ‘liberal meltdown’ over the choice of Yogi Adityanath as Chief Minister. Many explanations have been offered for why the party would choose an unapologetic Hindutva face, notorious for his rabidly Anti-Muslim speeches, to front India’s most populous state. We are told that as the most popular among all party-men the Yogi best captures the mandate. Unlike others who command only certain constituencies of support, Adityanath alone can claim support across the rainbow coalition of castes that catapulted the BJP to victory.

Time to change Congress party leadership

rim showing of the Congress in the Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand Assembly elections has been magnified by the laconic comment of Mr Rahul Gandhi, the torchbearer of the party’s campaign, as a minor dip in its fortunes. Immediately, both the Congress vice-president and other Congress leaders resorted to using medical terminology of surgery, the former on the organisation and the latter on various parts of the party anatomy.

UP results as seen from across the border

Out of the over 100 people I talked to during my visit to Varanasi, 95 percent intended to vote for Modi and thought that the Bharatiya Janata Party could overwhelmingly sweep Uttar Pradesh’s (UP) elections – as it did the general elections of 2014.


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