India’s Security Council Bid a Long Haul

NEW DELHI – While India has thrown its hat into the United Nations Security Council ring, the process of actually gaining a permanent seat on the body – which has the power to introduce sanctions and authorize the use of force in conflicts – may prove to be a long drawn-out affair, according to experts. … Continue reading “India’s Security Council Bid a Long Haul”

India’s ‘PATRIOT Act’ Repealed

NEW DELHI – After snaring thousands of politicians, teenagers, politicians, journalists, members of minority communities but few terrorists, India, this week, repealed its "PATRIOT Act" introduced in response to the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the United States. A government statement said the cabinet headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had at a meeting Friday … Continue reading “India’s ‘PATRIOT Act’ Repealed”

Indo-Pak Peace Hinges on Civil Society Contacts

NEW DELHI – It is becoming increasingly evident, after the foreign ministers of India and Pakistan failed to make significant progress in just concluded peace talks, that inroads to normalizing ties between both countries could only be made by improving people-to-people contacts. Lately that seems to be chalking up a better record of success than … Continue reading “Indo-Pak Peace Hinges on Civil Society Contacts”

Gandhi’s Ideals, Hindu Fundamentalism Still at Odds

NEW DELHI – It is an irony of history that Mahatma Gandhi, who led India to independence from British colonial rule in 1947, is now in a popularity contest with Veer Savarkar, arrested for the assassination of the "Apostle of Peace" but acquitted for lack of corroborative evidence. Gandhi was shot dead at a prayer … Continue reading “Gandhi’s Ideals, Hindu Fundamentalism Still at Odds”

Women Press for End to Draconian Indian Law

NEW DELHI – Credit must go to women if the insurgency-hit northeastern Indian state of Manipur, bordering Burma, finally gets rid of the draconian Armed Forces Special Powers Act or AFSPA, imposed a quarter of a century ago. Already the women, protesting for more than a month now, have compelled the provincial government to lift … Continue reading “Women Press for End to Draconian Indian Law”

Pro-Hindu Party Faces Split over Anti-Muslim Pogrom

NEW DELHI – India’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which lost power in recent elections, is in crisis after its leader, former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, blamed his government’s poll defeat on the party’s failure to rein in the anti-Muslim pogrom in western Gujarat state in 2002. Vajpayee made the admission at the hill resort … Continue reading “Pro-Hindu Party Faces Split over Anti-Muslim Pogrom”

A Fake War in the Himalayas?

NEW DELHI (IPS) – This week’s stunning confessions by two Indian soldiers that they helped stage fake encounters with Pakistani troops on Siachen, often called the world’s highest, coldest and costliest battlefield, has renewed calls for demilitarizing the Himalayan glacier. On Monday, rifleman Shyam Bahadur Thapa told a military court that he not only demolished … Continue reading “A Fake War in the Himalayas?”

India Seeks to Repeal Its PATRIOT Act

NEW DELHI, (IPS) – India’s ousted right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has not been looking kindly at moves by the new Congress party-led government to undo its policies, warning against plans to repeal anti-terrorist laws introduced after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks in the United States. The Common Minimum Program of the ruling United Progressive … Continue reading “India Seeks to Repeal Its PATRIOT Act”

India’s Post-9/11 Law on Terrorism More Abused Than Used

Mohammed Haneef Abdul Razak Sheikh says he was held under India’s controversial anti-terrorism law for distributing food to victims of the anti-Muslim pogrom that swept western Gujarat state two years ago. All the 287 cases booked under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) in Gujarat following the violence were aimed at members of the minority … Continue reading “India’s Post-9/11 Law on Terrorism More Abused Than Used”