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Sorted by :  October  2018
by James M Dorsey on 21 Oct 2018 0 Comment

With Turkish investigators asserting that they have found further evidence that Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed when he visited the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul two weeks ago, Turkey appears to be leveraging the case to enhance its position as a leader of the Islamic World and reposition itself as a key US ally. To enhance its geopolitical pos...

by James M Dorsey on 20 Oct 2018 1 Comment

A stalemate in efforts to determine what happened to Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi is threatening to escalate into a crisis that could usher in a new era in relations between the United States and some of its closest Arab allies as well as in the region’s energy politics. In response to US President Donald J. Trump’s threat of “severe punishment” if Saudi...

by F William Engdahl on 19 Oct 2018 1 Comment

In recent months Western media and the Washington Administration have begun to raise a hue and cry over alleged mass internment camps in China’s northwestern Xinjiang where supposedly up to one million ethnic Uyghur Chinese are being detained and submitted to various forms of “re-education”. Several things about the charges are notable, not the least that al...

by N S Rajaram on 18 Oct 2018 3 Comments

A PIL has been filed in the Supreme Court of India to investigate the recent Government-to-Government agreement between India and France on the supply of Rafale fighter jets by Dassault to the Indian Air Force. The PIL has been filed by one Mr. Sharma a lawyer. At the same time, another lawyer cum politician Prashant Bhushan, accompanied by former...

by Jayasree Saranathan on 17 Oct 2018 14 Comments

In a 4:1 ruling of the Constitution Bench that struck down an age old tradition at Sabarimala temple of Lord Ayyappa, the judges held that Ayyappa devotees do not constitute a separate religious denomination. The only dissenting judge Justice Indu Malhotra held that Ayyappa devotees do form a separate denomination. This contradictory stance on religious deno...

by Sandhya Jain on 16 Oct 2018 55 Comments

Its inclusive character notwithstanding, Sabarimala has several characteristics consistent with a denominational temple and should have been spared the humiliation that is currently agitating Ayyappaswami devotees across the country. In hundreds of Ayyappa temples, devotees are welcomed without distinction of gender, jati or even creed. At Sabarimala, Ayyapp...

by James M Dorsey on 15 Oct 2018 2 Comments

Desperate for funding to fend off a financial crisis fuelled in part by mounting debt to China, Pakistan is playing a complicated game of poker that could hand Saudi Arabia a strategic victory in its bitter feud with Iran at the People’s Republic’s expense. The Pakistani moves threaten a key leg of the US$ 60 billion plus Chinese investment in the China Paki...

by P M Ravindran on 14 Oct 2018 3 Comments

If anybody asked me the most covetable job in India, I would say without batting an eyelid - a judge. And the next best - an advocate. In any case before a judge, there are always two parties - the complainant/prosecutor and the respondent/defendant. Both parties will present some facts and quote some laws, including case laws. It is then left to the judge...

by James M Dorsey on 13 Oct 2018 6 Comments

The fate of missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, assuming that his disappearance was the work of Saudi security and military officials, threatens to upend the fundaments of fault lines in the Middle East. At stake are not only the fate of a widely respected journalist and the future of Turkish-Saudi relations. Mr. Khashoggi’s fate, whether he was kidnap...

by Jaibans Singh on 12 Oct 2018 1 Comment

The breakdown of the coalition government of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and institution of Governor’s Rule in the state was perceived to be a major setback. Added to it was the fact that the tenure of the then Governor NN Vohra, was at its end. Governors of Jammu and Kashmir have always been from a bureaucratic or...

by B S Harishankar on 11 Oct 2018 6 Comments

Union minister of state for tourism, Alphons Kannanthanam, recently proposed a high-security museum to display the treasures of the Sri Padmanabhaswami temple in Kerala. He called on the royal family to consider the proposal to build a Rs 300-crore underground museum near the temple, as a major tourist attraction. Alphons said he had already held discussion...

by Jayasree Saranathan on 10 Oct 2018 5 Comments

Study after study has revealed that plants ‘talk’ among themselves, particularly in times of distress. When a plant faces a threat, it emits a gas which acts as a warning to neighbouring plants. The neighbouring plants react to this warning and keep themselves ready and protected from a similar possible threat. This brings to my mind how our ancestors...

by James M Dorsey on 09 Oct 2018 1 Comment

Three recent developments lay bare the fragility of Middle Eastern alliances and a rebalancing of their priorities: the Russian-Turkish compromise on an assault on the rebel-held Syrian region of Idlib, the fate of troubled Abu Dhabi airline Etihad, and battles over reconstruction of Syria. These developments highlight the fact that competition among Middle ...

by B S Harishankar on 08 Oct 2018 13 Comments

Vindicating the Outlook cover story, ‘We are all Harappans’, Harvard philologist Michael Witzel observed that India has seen a number of migrations, including the Aryans - and the Veda was no continuation of Harappan religion (After Meluhha, The Melange, Outlook, August 2, 2018). The Outlook story claimed that the Harappan site of Rakhigarhi in Haryana has r...

by James M Dorsey on 07 Oct 2018 2 Comments

A Financial Action Task Force (FATF) report criticizing Saudi Arabia’s anti-money laundering and terrorism finance measures puts the kingdom on the spot 17 years after the 9/11 attacks and casts a shadow over its diplomatic and economic boycott of Qatar on the grounds that the Gulf state supports militants. In a nod to the kingdom, the international watchdog...

by N S Rajaram on 06 Oct 2018 10 Comments

Something strange happened when a bishop from Kerala posted in Jalandhar was accused of rape by a Catholic nun. There were discussions in the media whether the pope would support him. The pope who is the head of the Vatican has no jurisdiction in India, yet he allowed the bishop in question to step down ‘temporarily’ pending an inquiry by the Church. Would ...

by Israel Shamir on 05 Oct 2018 2 Comments

Russia’s unexpected decision to supply Syria with S-300 surface-to-air missile systems and to integrate Syria’s air defence within the Russian command calls for a quick reassessment of our views. It turned out that Russia is able to learn and respond in an unanticipated way. Yes, in the immediate aftermath of the Il-20 downing, the Russian reaction had been ...

by Naagesh Padmanaban on 04 Oct 2018 15 Comments

In a recent judgement, the Supreme Court of India in a 4-1 majority judgement decided to remove the ban on entry of women aged 10 – 50 years into the famed Lord Ayyappa Temple at Sabarimala in Kerala, South India. The case had generated a lot of interest – during the hearings as well as post judgement – all around the world. It is indeed a significant judgem...

by James M Dorsey on 03 Oct 2018 1 Comment

A Saudi decision to indefinitely delay an initial public offering (IPO) of five percent of the Saudi Arabian Oil Company or Aramco, the Saudi state-owned oil company, has further dented investor confidence and fuelled debate about Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s ability to push economic reform. It has even prompted speculation that his assertive policies,...

by Sandhya Jain on 02 Oct 2018 45 Comments

Hindu rashtra (nation) is not rajya (state), though critics try to obfuscate the issue. A state is a politico-legal entity; a nation is a civilisational, cultural, and psychological entity, generally identified with an ancient or distinct geography linked to its people. Hindus form the bedrock and mainstream of the Indian nation; a Hindu polity respects its ...

by Israel Shamir on 01 Oct 2018 1 Comment

Boys and girls are different. Once, this difference had been celebrated. Vive la petit difference, exclaimed the French, and other nations also enjoyed it. Now it has led to multiple troubles, on the seas, in the cities and even in outer space, as you will learn now. Men and women pee in a dissimilar way, to start with. It was not a problem for the last six ...

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