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by Bhaskar Menon on 22 Sep 2018 0 Comment

If inaugural dates are omens, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ choice of the anniversary of 9/11 to introduce delegations in New York to the ‘implementation plan’ for a “reinvigorated Resident Coordinator System” cannot escape comment. Especially as the plan is likely to be a blatant promotion of corruption in the international development system. How is ...

by Jayasree Saranathan on 21 Sep 2018 8 Comments

Has anyone wondered why the famous shloka on Sri Ganesha, starting “Gajānanam Bhuta Gaṇādi Sevitam,” talks about the food for Ganesha in the very next line before anything else? This food is not even the popular ‘modak’ usually offered to Ganesha. It is “Kapittha Jambu Phalasāra” – the core or essence of the fruits of wood apple and jamun. These two fruits a...

by Jaibans Singh on 20 Sep 2018 3 Comments

The time is closing in for holding Panchayat and local body elections in Jammu and Kashmir. It is a Key Result Area for newly appointed Governor, Satya Pal Malik, who has been given a specific mandate to revive the political process in the trouble-torn state. Panchayat elections in Jammu and Kashmir have always been controversial and politically challenging;...

by Sandhya Jain on 19 Sep 2018 5 Comments

Once the bully on the block, Monsanto is on the run. Environmentalists will recall the early years of genetically modified (GM) crops when wind pollination contaminated the crops of traditional farmers and the company forced victim-farmers to pay for patent infringement, an atrocity upheld by the US judicial system until the horrendous consequences of GM foo...

by James M Dorsey on 18 Sep 2018 2 Comments

A list of 26 predominantly Muslim countries considered sensitive by China reflects Chinese concerns that they could reinforce religious sentiment among the People’s Republic’s Turkic Muslim population with potentially far-reaching consequences if the Islamic world were to take it to task for its crackdown in Xinjiang, the most frontal assault on Islam in rec...

by Madanjit Singh Ahluwalia on 17 Sep 2018 4 Comments

In 1853, the British press dubbed Turkey the “Sick man of Europe”. Towards the end of that century, Punch magazine published a cartoon of a puzzled Sultan Abdul Hamid II, in full military regalia, sword strapped to his side, staring at a public poster announcing the reorganization of his empire by three directors - Britain, France and Russia. The poster list...

by James M Dorsey on 16 Sep 2018 1 Comment

An impending Russian-backed Syrian assault on Idlib, the war-wracked country’s last rebel stronghold, risks putting Uyghurs in the spotlight at a time that the Muslim world has remained silent amid mounting media and academic attention on China’s crackdown on the ethnic Turkic group in its strategic north-western province of Xinjiang. Spotlighting Uyghur act...

by B S Harishankar on 15 Sep 2018 2 Comments

India has a golden history enshrined in the mind of Jews, going back 1200 years. The most distinctive aspect of this Indo-Judaic experience is the total absence of discrimination towards Jews by Hindu society. The only country in the world where Jews could live without fear of persecution was India, because of the great Indian tradition of inclusion and onen...

by B S Harishankar on 14 Sep 2018 14 Comments

An orchestrated attempt has recently emerged in the contemporary Indian academic, cultural and political scene to define, elucidate, interpret, explicate and emphasize our past and present within the framework of multiculturalism. This new theory has been launched when the exclusively European secularism has been routed from India. Multiculturalism which has...

by James M Dorsey on 13 Sep 2018 1 Comment

Signs of opposition to policies of Saudi King Salman and his son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and potentially increased domestic polarization have in the past week spilled on to the streets of London while a just released report questioned the economic and political benefits of Britain’s relationship with the kingdom. The London incidents, involving a ...

by James M Dorsey on 12 Sep 2018 2 Comments

Dug in for the long haul in its increasingly bitter dispute with the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, Qatar is emerging as a key player in efforts to prevent tension between Israel and Hamas, the Islamist group that controls Gaza, from spinning out of control. Qatar’s increasing role counters Saudi and UAE efforts to shape Palestinian politics in their...

by R Hariharan on 11 Sep 2018 1 Comment

The failure of parliament to ratify the Delimitation Committee Report (DCR) introduced by the government on August 24 illustrates confusion in the ranks of the ruling national unity coalition. In a rare show of unanimity, the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and the United National Party (UNP), Tamil National Alliance (TNA), Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) an...

by Thierry Meyssan on 10 Sep 2018 3 Comments

The Western powers are moving inexorably towards Internet censorship, thereby facilitating the dissemination of propaganda and war indoctrination in their countries. In this context, an extremely violent tension is tearing apart the international scene. Aware of the increasing risk of general confrontation, Moscow is attempting to find credible interlocutors...

by N S Rajaram on 09 Sep 2018 7 Comments

Scottish writer Charles Mackay (1814 – 89) may be unknown to the present generation but his 1841 book, Extraordinary Popular Delusions and Madness of Crowds, in which he gave vivid accounts of crowd hysteria from financial bubbles to major historical events like the Crusades and witch-hunts, has remained an enduring classic. The first two chapters of the boo...

by Bhaskar Menon on 08 Sep 2018 6 Comments

Hours after former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan died on August 18, The New Yorker published a bizarre attack on him by staff writer Philip Gourevitch. As head of the UN’s peacekeeping department in the 1990s, said Gourevitch, Annan had “presided over the ignominious failures” of “missions in Somalia, Rwanda, and Bosnia,” and right until his death “had ste...

by James M Dorsey on 07 Sep 2018 3 Comments

A seemingly obsessive fear of Uyghur nationalist and religious sentiment has prompted Chinese leaders to contemplate military involvement in Syria and Afghanistan and risk international condemnation for its massive repression in its north-western province of Xinjiang, involving the most frontal assault on Islam as a faith in recent history. Chinese fears...

by K P Prabhakaran Nair on 06 Sep 2018 3 Comments

At the height of the controversy surrounding the official release for commercial cultivation of the genetically modified mustard (DMH-11), a close colleague of this author wrote a strongly worded letter to Shri Harshvardhan, Union Minister for Science and Technology, pointing to the way in which the President of the National Academy of Agricultural Sciences ...

by James M Dorsey on 05 Sep 2018 7 Comments

It’s crunch time in Pakistan. Resolving Pakistan’s financial crisis is likely to require newly appointed Prime Minister Imran Khan to not only accept an International Monetary Fund (IMF) straightjacket but tackle his and Pakistan’s convoluted relationship to militancy. With the breeding ground for militancy built into the country’s DNA and Mr. Khan owing his...

by Sandhya Jain on 04 Sep 2018 8 Comments

On the education beat, one recalls an overwhelming sense of fatigue while covering events at which India pledged, with obvious insincerity, to achieve the universal goals of education for all by year X, ad infinitum. No one wanted to address the known obstacles. First, the absence of adequate investment to build schools in every panchayat so that universal p...

by Jaibans Singh on 03 Sep 2018 2 Comments

Keeping families out of a personal fights and vendettas is a code of conduct that has been followed universally since times immemorial. Soldiers in opposing armies, mafia, warlords, insurgents, and revolutionaries follow this code. Against this backdrop, recent reports of terrorists kidnapping families of Police personnel in Kashmir are worrisome. Reports th...

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