INDIA: News Briefs

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Pakistan acknowledges Pathankot Attack originated from its soil, says UHM Rajnath Singh: Union Home Minister (UHM) Rajnath Singh on March 30 said Pakistan has for the first time acknowledged that the terror attack in Pathankot had its roots in that country. Singh said Pakistan had been continuously saying that it has no involvement in militant and terror activities in India. He said, however, now Pakistan has acknowledged the fact that Pathankot attack (January 2, 2016) originated from its soil and filed a First Information Report (FIR). The Indian Express, March 31, 2016.

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India and China can Rescue Asian Century from Oblivion

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By Shastri Ramachandaran | IDN-InDepthNews

One term which gained currency in the millennium’s first decade was ‘Asian Century’. The term represented a promise, a prospect and a goal; and, invariably, was used with optimism. For a while, it was as evocative as the term ‘21st century’ was in the 1980s, replete with visions of new vistas of life, living and development far removed from the poverty, deprivation and tribulations suffered by the world’s oppressed majority in the 20th century.

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Make in India Push: Invest $2 billion

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Get residency permits and special rates for utilities

By Rahul Tripathi – The Economic Times

If a foreign company invests $2 billion, it will get residency permits allowing long stay in India for its key executives as well as cheap rates for utilities and a special package on upscale housing. That's the latest policy idea of the Modi government, which is pushing hard to make India a more attractive foreign investment destination.

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Iran’s Sikhs Get A Better Deal Than Many Other Minorities

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By Bobby Ghosh

Every Iranian I meet on my trip is astonished to hear there’s a Sikh temple, or “gurdwara,” in Tehran. I wouldn’t know of it myself but for Iranian-American author Hooman Majd’s terrific book, The Ayatollah Begs to Differ, where the temple makes a cameo appearance in a juicy rumor about the antecedents of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini… but more about that later.

Every Iranian I meet on my trip is astonished to hear there’s a Sikh temple, or “gurdwara,” in Tehran. I wouldn’t know of it myself but for Iranian-American author Hooman Majd’s terrific book, The Ayatollah Begs to Differ, where the temple makes a cameo appearance in a juicy rumor about the antecedents of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini… but more about that later.

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For Brand Modi, Endorsing New Age Gurus Tiny Price

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To Win Over Classes and Masses Alike

By Prabhu Chawla

There’s no business like the godmen business, they say, with no fixed working hours, exotic travel, much public adulation, and no need for a shave every morning.
No wonder, saints and self-styled godpersons have been around from time immemorial, most of them symbols of sacrifice and wisdom. Some made mountains and caves their natural habitat. Others lived in palaces and forts, as advisers to the throne, with kings and queens running to them for salvation and solutions.

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Nation And Its Violences

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By Sanjay Kumar

Violent thoughts and deeds are increasingly getting justified in the name of Indian nation. A mob of lawyers has attacked students, teachers and journalists, right in the middle of a court complex in the national capital. Leaders of these patriotic lawyers were later caught bragging on camera about how they will next time throw bombs on anti-nationals. A young woman in Delhi has received emails and face book posts threatening her with acid attack and sexual assault, because she happens to be a sister of Umar Khalid, one of the organisers of the JNU programme, during which according to police anti-India slogans were raised. The mere being of this woman, and her defence of her brother, is enough of a provocation for many men and women of the country to justify the threat of ultimate male violence against women.

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Nation And Nationalism As Metaphors

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By V. Krishna Ananth

Never in the recent past – in the history of independent India – has one seen so much breast beating on being a nationalist; and such accusations flying here, there and everywhere, against many of being anti-nationals for shouting slogans, invoking Section 124 A of the Indian Penal Code. And if only the Honourable judges of the Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court, headed by the then Chief Justice, Justice B.P.Sinha (along with Justices S.K. Das, A.K. Sarkar, N.Rajagopalan Ayyangar and R. Mudholkar) had foreseen, they may have said, by the way (obiter dictum), that this section in the colonial code be deleted forthwith. A reading of the judgment in the Kedar Nath Singh vs State of Bihar, delivered on January 20, 1962 (AIR-SC-1962-955) cannot but lead one to this.

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India Must Choose Freedom Over Intolerance

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This is a watershed moment for India.

By Priyamvada Gopal

The standoff at New Delhi’s famous Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) that has transfixed India has nothing of the routine campus controversy about it. Following the arrest of a student leader, India’s Hindu nationalist BJP government now finds itself facing down a large coalition of progressive groups laying claim to the idea of an India where the right to dissent is foundational.

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JNU: The Theatre And The Tradition Of Dissent

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A Student Uprising In India

By Shubhda Chaudhary

India is witnessing something similar like the Arab Spring. The youth of India, well-educated and rational, is all geared up to demand freedom from oppression, to exercise the right to dissent and to carve out their own identity which is not a neo-liberal product. It started with protests in FTII and occupy UGC movement. The sad 'institutional murder' of dalit scholar Rohith Vemula in University of Hyderabad ignited it further and it raged furiously when JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar and others were arrested on sedition charges. India is going through a historical moment and leading this revolution are the students of India.

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What We Learn and Teach in JNU?

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By Arun Kumar *

The Parliamentary discussion on JNU brought out the political divide on the issue of nationalism and the functioning of the institutions of higher education in the country. JNU has been under severe attack since the 9th of February when some shouted objectionable slogans on JNU campus. These have been used to characterize JNU as anti-national. Avideo grab of the event, shows objectionable slogans being raised by a handful of people at a cultural event organized by a student group. The students’ union President was arrested and now is out on interim bail even though he repeatedly clarified that he was not involved. Some of the student leaders have clarified that they had gone only to ensure that violence did not take place.

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The Idea Of India: Whose Idea Of Which India?

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By S.G.Vombatkere

In furtherance of defining “national”, the ABVP called on retired soldiers (Veterans) to join them in meetings and marches under the national flag, in various places across the country. This is perfectly legal because a Veteran is at liberty to join any religious, social or political association according to his wish and choice. But, and here is a capital BUT, the strong existing organic bond between the retired and the serving soldier can very easily cause serving soldiers to begin taking sides on the basis of religion. This will irrevocably destroy the secular nature of the strictly apolitical Indian military, bringing it under the influence of religious leaders, and compromising its control by the civilian government. This (hopefully un-thought-out) move of BJP can easily slip into a situation like in Islamic Republics in India's neighbourhood, where the military is virtually under the control of the mullahs. This would definitely be violative of the Constitution of India, which defined India as a secular Republic, even before the word was inserted into its Preamble in 1976.

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OCTOBER 2017

Vol. 12 - No. 3










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