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Sorted by :  December  2008
by Swami Amritananda Dev Tirtha on 31 Dec 2008 16 Comments

[On 25 December 2008, Swami Amritananda Dev Tirtha, Shankaracharya of the PoK-based Sri Sharada Sarvagya Peeth, managed to convey a letter to his followers, alluding to his sufferings and humiliation in police custody, a mirror image of the degradation of Hindus in secular India. The letter, written in Hindi, has been translated by Sandhya Jain, Ed

by Fred Burton on 30 Dec 2008 0 Comment

The Trident-Oberoi and Taj Mahal hotels in Mumbai reopened Dec. 21, less than one month after the Nov. 26 Mumbai attack that left more than 170 people dead. During that crisis, hotel guests and visitors became trapped after coming under attack from militants using guns, grenades and other weapons to kill indiscriminately. As the investigation into

by Peter Zeihan on 30 Dec 2008 0 Comment

Oil prices have now dipped — albeit only briefly — below US$40 a barrel, a precipitous plunge from their highs of more than US$147 a barrel in July. Just as high oil prices reworked the international economic order, low oil prices are now doing the same. Such a sudden onset of low prices impacts the international system just as severely

by Frank Bass and Rita Beamish on 29 Dec 2008 0 Comment

Banks that are getting taxpayer bailouts awarded their top executives nearly $1.6 billion in salaries, bonuses, and other benefits last year, an Associated Press analysis reveals. The rewards came even at banks where poor results last year foretold the economic crisis that sent them to Washington for a government rescue. Some trimmed their executiv

by George Friedman on 29 Dec 2008 0 Comment

Mark Felt died last week [18 Dec.] at the age of 95. For those who don’t recognize that name, Felt was the “Deep Throat” of Watergate fame. It was Felt who provided Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein of The Washington Post with a flow of leaks about what had happened, how it happened and where to look for further corroboration on the

by Israel Shamir on 28 Dec 2008 0 Comment

It is warm and sunny in Jaffa, a fishing harbour on the Eastern Mediterranean just south of Tel Aviv; the skies are blue and the sea rather calm, with the clientele of sidewalk cafés enjoying their milky arak and coriander-laced coffee. The economic crisis never arrived here; there are few lay-offs, prices have remained high, though the shop

by Dean Baker on 28 Dec 2008 0 Comment

It is hard not to notice that two of the regulators who stand out for doing the right thing in this incredible financial mess are women. Brooksley Born, as chair of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission under President Clinton, wanted to regulate credit default swaps and other derivative instruments back in the late 90s. Her effort was torpedoed

by Sandhya Jain on 27 Dec 2008 5 Comments

The Pioneer yesterday carried a photograph of Telugu Desam Party chief Chandrababu Naidu being solemnly blessed in a Hyderabad church by Archbishop M. Joji. The natal families of the TDP boss and his wife, daughter of late Chief Minister and TDP founder N.T. Rama Rao, have hitherto had an unbroken Hindu lineage. Hence Dr. Naidu’s sudden decis

by Ramtanu Maitra on 27 Dec 2008 2 Comments

The Nov 26-29 siege by terrorists of two top Mumbai hotels and the Nariman House, where a Jewish group had its residence and office, not only resulted in the deaths of more than 200 individuals, but made clear that India, like the United States, is one of the prime targets of Dope, Inc. The questions remain: Who exactly were the terrorists? What we

by Radha Rajan on 26 Dec 2008 0 Comment

[In a chilling exercise to control the outbreak of avian flu in just four districts of Assam, an unprecedented 4.25 lakh birds have been exterminated this month. Should the disease spread, one cannot even envisage the extent of slaughter that will be unleashed against these mute and defenceless creatures. Sanatana Dharma has ever uph

by Rebecca Solnit on 25 Dec 2008 0 Comment

What do you do when you notice that there seems to have been a killing spree? While the national and international media were working themselves and much of the public into a frenzy about imaginary hordes of murderers, rapists, snipers, marauders, and general rampagers among the stranded crowds of mostly poor, mostly black people in New Orleans dur

by Vox Populi on 25 Dec 2008 0 Comment

O LITTLE TOWN OF BETHLEHEM O little town of Bethlehem, How still we see thee lie!A wall is laid where tourists stayed,And tanks go rolling by.And in thy dark streets shinethNo cheerful Christmas light;The grief and fears of four sad yearsAre met in thee tonight. How silently, how silentlyThe world regards it all,As now thy heart is torn a

by Krishen Kak on 24 Dec 2008 2 Comments

“The law is a ass” said Mr. Bumble famously in “Oliver Twist.” The law is made by legislators, so that begs the question whether an asinine law presupposes asinine legislators.  Ditto for law-interpreters and law-enforcers. The point arises because the Honourable Supreme Court of India – lawmaker, interpreter, enf

by Dzafer Buzoli on 24 Dec 2008 18 Comments

Poverty is widely present in post-war Kosovo society, mostly affecting members of the Roma community. Their living conditions are very bad, because of which they struggle hard to survive. Why are the Roma poor? Should we ask ourselves and find a way to solve it somehow? Do they have jobs and have they “ever” been educated? Do we have so

by Sandhya Jain on 23 Dec 2008 4 Comments

Afzal Guru of India, convicted for his role in the attack on Parliament on December 13, 2001, and Ajmal Amir Kasab of Pakistan, seen striking terror at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminal on November 26, 2008, are the symbols of twenty-first century jihad against India. Besides a common commitment to jihad, their separate acts of aggression against an Ind

by Matthias Chang on 22 Dec 2008 1 Comment

A few weeks ago, I warned in my website that the Dow would dive below 7,000 at the earliest by end of December 2008 and at the latest by the end of the first quarter 2009. Any responsible central banker would want to control a downturn, preferably by a gradual slide of the market as opposed to a sharp hard landing. But events and data have revealed

by Paul Polansky on 21 Dec 2008 0 Comment

[In November, Germany's second largest NGO, the "Society for Threatened Peoples" sent its Head of Mission for Kosovo, Paul Polansky, to the House of Commons, London and to the EU Headquarters in Brussels in an attempt to save 130 Roma families placed by the United Nations in camps with life-threatening conditions. Below is a shortened ver

by Harish Thakur on 20 Dec 2008 2 Comments

Jammu & Kashmir largely comprises three distinct regions of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh. The State has failed to evolve a unified identity due to its religious heterogeneity. The people of Jammu mostly profess Hinduism and are Duggars, Chibbals, and Paharis; Kashmiris are predominantly Muslims and belong to Bombas, Khakas, Durds and Hanjis; the p

by Virendra Parekh on 19 Dec 2008 3 Comments

Indians are seething with rage. Even Manmohan Singh is muttering the right words in his beard. It was heartening to hear leaders of all parties speaking in one voice on the issue of terrorism. That is the minimum we need to tackle the challenge. But along with this new-found unity, alas, there persists the old-style naivety. Some of our leaders sti

by G. Anil Kumar on 19 Dec 2008 5 Comments

In India every debate on conversion to Christianity ends with Hindu society's caste-based "poison of divisions". Missionaries and their supporters present conversion as the only "antidote" available. And missionaries are "doctors," hell bent on administering that antidote! And our "secularists" have been repe

by K. Gajendra Singh on 18 Dec 2008 2 Comments

Taliban and UNOCALIn December 1997, the Taliban visited UNOCAL's Houston refinery operations. Interestingly, the chief Taliban leader based in Kandahar, Mullah Mohammed Omar, now on America's international Most Wanted List, was firmly in the UNOCAL camp. UNOCAL had pumped large sums of money to the Taliban hierarchy in Kandahar and its expatriate A

by Sandhya Jain on 17 Dec 2008 2 Comments

Since 20 November 2008 when the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act was invoked against Sadhvi Pragya, Lt. Col. Shrikant Purohit and others for alleged involvement in the 29 September Malegaon blast that killed six persons, the elaborately conceived ‘Hindu terrorist’ plot has been falling apart. Yesterday [16 December] the specia

by K. Gajendra Singh on 17 Dec 2008 2 Comments

Hitler's and London's Grand MuftiDuring the formative years of the Muslim Brotherhood, the British simultaneously promoted the career of another "Islamist" named Haji Amin al-Husseini. A notorious anti-Semite with little Islamic theological training, he was promoted by Sir Ronald Storrs, British Governor General, and in 1921 installed as

by K. Gajendra Singh on 16 Dec 2008 2 Comments

This essay covers a century of Anglo-American policies and manipulations in the Islamic world, creating a Frankenstein monster of Islamic terrorism. It is meant for those really interested in the problem so as not to have knee-jerk reactions like suggesting carpet-bombing of Pakistan or to treat Muslims like Israelis treat Palestinians – Auth

by Shreerang Godbole on 16 Dec 2008 11 Comments

L.K. Advani, the man whom the Bharatiya Janata Party would make Prime Minister, evidently thinks he can fool most Hindus all the time. The political fortunes of the BJP, floundering in the maelstrom of Gandhian Socialism, had touched a new low in the aftermath of Indira Gandhi’s assassination in 1984. But once Ayodhya captured the imagination

by K. Gajendra Singh on 15 Dec 2008 2 Comments

Barring Paris and Romania, my diplomatic assignments were mainly in Arab/Muslim countries; Turkey (ten years in two tenures), Azerbaijan, Jordan, Egypt, Algiers, Senegal, which gave me close interaction and understanding of Islam, a complex, varied and sophisticated religion. Since then, I have read more on Islam, the Middle East, Central and South

by Himanshu Jain on 15 Dec 2008 1 Comment

Azhar Masood is the villain of several large attacks on Indian soil. These include the first suicide (fidayeen) attack in Srinagar, the attack on Parliament, and the 26 November massacre in Mumbai. Azhar Masood was freed by the NDA government in exchange for 166 lives in the IC-814 hijack.Azhar Masood was arrested in 1994 for entering India on a fo

by Geetika Kaw Kher on 14 Dec 2008 4 Comments

This paper seeks to address questions of representation and interpretation of the monuments unearthed at Harwan, Kashmir. These days, strenuous efforts are being made to project Harwan as an unproblematic Buddhist site and promote it as a destination for cultural tourism by linking it with the great Central Asian tradition. In this effort, scholars

by Sandhya Jain on 14 Dec 2008 0 Comment

Archaeology of Fatehpur Sikri: New Discoveries is a meticulous work of excavation and discovery in an area once regarded as confined to the medieval era, with no new surprises to captivate art lovers. The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) had no idea at all that any pre-Akbar ancient civilisation or habitation could be found in the area, much le

by Hari Kak on 13 Dec 2008 0 Comment

Reactions to the Mumbai carnage have been varied - from extreme indifference to complacence, deep anguish to anger, defensiveness, putting CBMs on hold or curtailing trade and other relations with Pakistan, building internal pressure on Pakistan and even the extreme of going to war against Pakistan. The war option should be rejected outright. Indif

by Fred Burton and Ben West on 13 Dec 2008 0 Comment

On the surface, last week’s [26 November] attack on Mumbai was remarkable for its execution and apparently unconventional tactics. But when compared to a plot uncovered 15 years ago that targetted prominent hotels in Manhattan, it becomes apparent that the Mumbai attack was not so original after all. The 1993 New York Landmarks PlotIn July 19

by Sandhya Jain on 12 Dec 2008 7 Comments

Camels and cows constituted an astonishing Bakr Id fare in distant parts of the country this year, reinforcing a trend growing over the past few years. Under a pernicious Saudi attempt to Arab-ize and Wahab-ize Indian Islam, Muslims are increasingly transporting camels to various states for the Id sacrifice, spurning the humble goat that was the tr

by George Friedman on 12 Dec 2008 0 Comment

In an interview published this Sunday in The New York Times [7 December], we laid out a potential scenario for the current Indo-Pakistani crisis. We began with an Indian strike on Pakistan, precipitating a withdrawal of Pakistani troops from the Afghan border, resulting in intensified Taliban activity along the border and a deterioration in the US

by Sandhya Jain on 11 Dec 2008 0 Comment

Girija Vyas has disgraced the office of chairperson of the National Commission for Women and must either be sacked outright, or forced to resign. Not only has the lady been utterly negligent in fulfilling the mandate to care for the legal and constitutional rights of Indian women – the raison d’etre for setting up the NCW in 1992 &ndash

by George Friedman on 11 Dec 2008 0 Comment

Last Wednesday evening [26 November 2008], a group of Islamist operatives carried out a complex terror operation in the Indian city of Mumbai. The attack was not complex because of the weapons used or its size, but in the apparent training, multiple methods of approaching the city and excellent operational security and discipline in the final phase

by Himanshu Jain on 10 Dec 2008 4 Comments

India has in great sincerity presented a list of 20 terrorists to Pakistan, and made it a top priority to secure their custody. When Mr. L.K. Advani was the Union Home Minister, he had the list drawn up. But he had an instrument called POTA and fast track courts to try such prisoners. Today, the Centre has neither the instrument to deal with these

by Sandhya Jain on 09 Dec 2008 11 Comments

Hindus voted the BJP to power in Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh; Hindus turned away from the BJP in Rajasthan and Delhi; and Hindus have no meaningful presence in Mizoram. That, in a nutshell, is my view of the recent Assembly results.Elections are fought on the basis of ideology; development is governed by ideology, and is not its polar opposite a

by Radha Rajan on 09 Dec 2008 3 Comments

More than ten years ago, a marked unease about the direction in which the BJP was heading goaded me to pose a question to a former BJP General Secretary then living in Chennai. I don’t remember my question, but his answer has remained in my mind. “They (the Congress) will win some elections, we will win some; they will form the governme

by Sandhya Jain on 09 Dec 2008 1 Comment

On 20 September 2008, when Islamabad’s Marriott Hotel was gutted by a massive suicide bombing that killed 62 persons and injured over 120, I recalled with a shudder that barely two weeks prior to that grisly devastation, my sister-in-law, her son and father, had enjoyed a brief stay at that very hotel. At home in Delhi, similar feelings of bl

by Himanshu Jain on 08 Dec 2008 0 Comment

26/11 will be remembered as one of the darkest days of Independent India. The country has faced many tragedies and fought many wars, yet 26/11 has left a legacy of searing pain and anger. The people are angry, desperate, and helpless.As the tragedy unfolded before our eyes, news channels played a crucial role, bringing the attacks, the bullets, and

by Jeremy Scahill on 08 Dec 2008 0 Comment

The absence of a solid anti-war voice on Obama's national security team means that US foreign policy isn't going to change. Barack Obama has assembled a team of rivals to implement his foreign policy. But while pundits and journalists speculate endlessly on the potential for drama with Hillary Clinton at the State Department and Bill Clinton's

by Bharat Bhushan Padmadeo on 07 Dec 2008 3 Comments

"Bharatavarsha" as a nation, carries a very rich legacy in terms of philosophy, culture and lingua-franca. Even the language, ancient India subscribed to – "Sanskrita" – which happens to be the mother of most of the Indian languages in current circulation, is really unique in its grammar, semantics and diction.

by Tom Engelhardt on 07 Dec 2008 0 Comment

It's the ultimate argument, the final bastion against withdrawal, and over these last years, the Bush administration has made sure it would have plenty of heft. Ironically, its strength lies in the fact that it has nothing to do with the vicissitudes of Iraqi politics, the relative power of Shiites or Sunnis, the influence of Iran, or even the ript

by Sandhya Jain on 06 Dec 2008 2 Comments

Girilal Jain compared the demolition of Babri Masjid by faceless actors on 6 December 1992 with the surfacing of the Patal Ganga in the Indian polity, an event of such magnitude that it literally transforms the landscape. This riverine symbolism made a literal appearance in November 2004, when the arrest of Kanchi Shankaracharya Jayendra Saraswati

by Virendra Parekh on 05 Dec 2008 3 Comments

When the defence minister shouts from the rooftop that India is considering all options including military action against Pakistan, it means only one thing: India is not going to attack Pakistan. No country invades another after warning it of an attack in as many words - the US is the sole exception. It is no surprise therefore, that Pranab Mukherj

by Vinod Bansal on 05 Dec 2008 3 Comments

In the current assembly elections in some states, many citizens felt that the candidates in the fray in their respective constituencies “did not qualify to become their representative(s).” The incompetence and dishonesty of politicians often frustrates voters greatly. The voter is very disgusted at the behaviour of politicians, and does

by Radha Rajan on 04 Dec 2008 5 Comments

There is a growing feeling among a small section of political commentators and the politically well-informed that there is a sinister silence in certain quarters of the media and Indian intelligentsia about core details of the Mumbai terror attack, even as the government undertakes a major cover-up operation and goes through the motions of conducti

by Maleeha Lodhi on 04 Dec 2008 1 Comment

The US should cease attacks in Pakistan, which have inflamed public opinion.The terrorist attacks in Mumbai have dramatised how the urgent will often take precedence over the important for the incoming Obama administration. The attacks have plunged relations between Pakistan and India into unpredictable territory just when a series of policy review

by George Friedman on 03 Dec 2008 1 Comment

Last Wednesday evening, a group of Islamist operatives carried out a complex terror operation in the Indian city of Mumbai. The attack was not complex because of the weapons used or its size, but in the apparent training, multiple methods of approaching the city and excellent operational security and discipline in the final phases of the operation,

by Nick Turse on 02 Dec 2008 0 Comment

Nations in flux are nations in need. A new president will soon take office, facing hard choices not only about two long-running wars and an ever-deepening economic crisis, but about a government that has long been morally adrift. Torture-as-policy, kidnappings, ghost prisons, domestic surveillance, creeping militarism, illegal war-making, and offic

by Sandhya Jain on 01 Dec 2008 31 Comments

While there is no way the sartorially elegant Shivraj Patil could have survived the gory 62-hour blood-and-bullets nightmare that descended upon Mumbai last week, the appointment of P. Chidambaram as Union Home Minister, after a disastrous innings as Finance Minister, hardly inspires confidence. Coupled with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh&rsquo

by F. William Engdahl on 01 Dec 2008 0 Comment

On Friday November 21 the world came within a hair’s breadth of the most colossal financial collapse in world history according to bankers on the inside of events with whom we have contact. The trigger was the bank which only two years ago was America’s largest, Citigroup. The size of the US Government de facto nationalization of the $2

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