publishedmedium:the hindu

  • Modi Won Power, Not the Battle of Ideas

    The Hindu nationalists were victorious. What does that say about India ? Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India has led his Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party to a major victory in the country’s general elections, winning more than 300 of the 543 parliamentary seats and five more years to run the country. This is an impressive achievement, but how has Mr. Modi been able to do it ? And why has the Indian National Congress, the old national party, been restricted to a mere 52 seats ? In (...)


    / #Le_Sud_en_mouvement, #Inde, #Election, #Mouvements_réactionnaires, #Revendications_identitaires, Other (...)


  • Chicago Tribune - We are currently unavailable in your region

    In 1924, French writer Andre Malraux was arrested and imprisoned when he removed nearly a ton of stone carvings and ornaments from a temple in the remote Cambodian jungle and trundled them away in

    Unfortunately, our website is currently unavailable in most European countries. We are engaged on the issue and committed to looking at options that support our full range of digital offerings to the EU market. We continue to identify technical compliance solutions that will provide all readers with our award-winning journalism.

    #Malraux #pillage #internet_restreint #TOR_is_love

      New York Times News ServiceCHICAGO TRIBUNE

      January 5, 1997 Phnom Penh

      In 1924, French writer Andre Malraux was arrested and imprisoned when he removed nearly a ton of stone carvings and ornaments from a temple in the remote Cambodian jungle and trundled them away in oxcarts.

      In 1980, starving refugees fleeing the terrors of the Khmer Rouge arrived at the border with Thailand lugging stone heads lopped from temple statues and ornate silverwork looted from museums.

      Today the looting continues, from hundreds of temples and archaeological sites scattered through the jungles of this often-lawless country, sometimes organized by smuggling syndicates and abetted by antique dealers in Thailand and elsewhere.

      Entire temple walls covered with bas-relief are hacked into chunks and trucked away by thieves. Villagers sell ancient pottery for pennies. Armed bands have attacked monks at remote temples to loot their treasures and have twice raided the conservation office at the temple complex of Angkor.

      But the tide is slowly beginning to turn. With the Cambodian government beginning a campaign to seek the return of the country’s treasures, and with cooperation from curators and customs agents abroad, 1996 was a significant year for the recovery of artifacts.

      Fifteen objects have come home, in three separate shipments from three continents, raising hopes that some of the more significant artifacts may be returned.

      In July, the U.S. returned a small head of the god Shiva that had been seized by Customs in San Francisco. Cambodia is a largely Buddhist nation, but over the centuries its history and its art have seen successive overlays of Buddhist and Hindu influences. At some temples, statues of Buddha mingle with those of the Hindu deities, Brahma, Shiva and Vishnu.

      In September, the Thai government returned 13 large stone carvings, some up to 800 years old, that had been confiscated by Thai police from an antique shop in Bangkok in 1990. Thai officials said the return was a gesture of good will meant to combat that country’s image as a center of antique trafficking.

      And in December, a British couple returned a stone Brahma head that they had bought at auction. Its Cambodian origin was confirmed by a list, published by UNESCO, of 100 artifacts that had disappeared from an inventory compiled in the 1960s.

      In addition, Sebastien Cavalier, a UNESCO representative here, said he was expecting the return as early as next month of a 10th Century Angkorean head of Shiva that is now in the Metropolitan Museum in New York.

      Six bronze pieces sent to the Guimet Museum in Paris for cleaning and safekeeping in the 1970s could also be returned in the coming months, he said.

      Now with the launching in January of a major traveling exhibition of Khmer artifacts—to Paris, Washington, Tokyo and Osaka— accompanied by an updated catalog of some of Cambodia’s missing treasures, Cavalier said he hopes the returns will accelerate.

      The exhibit will be on display in Paris from Jan. 31 to May 26, at the National Gallery in Washington from June 30 to Sept. 28, and in Japan from Oct. 28 to March 22, 1998.

      But the pillage of artifacts continues at a far greater pace than the returns.

      Government control remains tenuous in much of Cambodia and the Ministry of Culture has little money for the protection of antiquities. There is little check on armed groups and corrupt officials throughout the countryside, where hundreds of temples remain unused and unguarded or overgrown with jungle.

      Truckloads of treasures regularly pass through military checkpoints into Thailand, art experts say. Heavy stone artifacts are towed in fishing nets to cargo ships off the southern coast. In Thailand, skilled artisans repair or copy damaged objects and certificates of authenticity are forged.

      Most of Cambodia’s artistic patrimony remains uncatalogued, and Cavalier said there was no way to know the full extent of what had already been stolen over the last decades, or what remained scattered around the country.

  • In Sri Lanka, old land issues and a new prime minister highlight post-war traumas

    Sri Lanka’s civil war ended nearly a decade ago, but Maithili Thamil Chilwen’s barren plot of land still resembles a battlefield.

    There is only a mound of dirt where her home once stood in Keppapilavu village in the country’s northeast; the rest is just dirt, gravel, and broken shards of doors and windows from her demolished home.

    Sri Lanka’s military occupied thousands of hectares of land during and after the country’s bitter 26-year civil war, which came to a brutal end in 2009 when the military crushed remaining Tamil fighters here in the north. Almost a decade later, rights groups say reconciliation between the country’s majority Sinhalese community and its Tamil minority is at a standstill, and occupied land is one glaring example.

    Thamil Chilwen, an ethnic Tamil, said the military seized her property at the end of the war. It took almost nine years, until earlier this year, for the military to give it back. But by then, her home and fields were destroyed.

    “We were happy when the military told us we could go back to our land. But when I saw the state of the land, I had to cry,” she said.

    The military has been slow to return land to civilians, or to even acknowledge just how much territory it still occupies. It’s symptomatic of wider post-conflict fissures across the country: rights groups say Sri Lanka’s government hasn’t taken significant steps to address rampant war-era abuses – including enforced disappearances and thousands of civilian deaths in the conflict’s final months.

    Hopes for national reconciliation took another blow last week when the country’s president, Maithripala Sirisena, abruptly appointed the controversial former leader who oversaw the 2009 military offensive, Mahinda Rajapaksa, as prime minister. The surprise move has locked Sri Lanka in a political crisis: the ousted prime minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, has vowed to stay in office; government ministers who support him have denounced his dismissal as “an anti-democratic coup”.

    Human Rights Watch said any return to office for Rajapaksa raises “chilling concerns” for rights in the country. Rajapaksa is accused of widespread rights abuses, particularly in his role overseeing the military offensive that crushed the Tamil insurgency.

    “The current government’s failure to bring justice to victims of war crimes under the Rajapaksa government reopens the door for past abusers to return to their terrible practices,” said the group’s Asia director, Brad Adams.

    For most Tamils, a return to their ancestral land is one key part of finding justice, says Ruki Fernando, a Colombo-based rights activist who has documented war-time disappearances.

    More than 40,000 people remain displaced since the end of the war, mostly concentrated in the Tamil heartlands of northern and northeastern Sri Lanka.

    “It’s about culture and religious life. It’s where they buried their ancestors,” Fernando said. “It’s their identity.”

    Alan Keenan, a Sri Lanka analyst with the International Crisis Group, says land is among a range of issues that have largely gone unresolved over the last decade.

    “Most Tamils don’t feel that they have gotten as much they were promised in terms of dealing with the legacy of war, having their land returned, discovering the fate of their tens of thousands of missing relatives, having crimes committed by the military addressed judicially,” Keenan said. “For a whole range of things, they think they didn’t get what they were promised.”

    Estimates for the amount of land occupied by the military vary wildly. The military last year said it had returned roughly 20,000 hectares of private and state land in the north. In a report released this month, Human Rights Watch said the government claimed the military was occupying about 48,000 hectares of private and state land in the north and east.

    Rights groups say the military has converted some of the occupied land into for-profit businesses. They have set up plantation farms, restaurants, and even resorts catering to tourists, in addition to large military bases.

    An army spokesman did not respond to IRIN’s requests for comment. But in an interview with the Indian newspaper The Hindu this year, Mahesh Senanayake, the Sri Lankan army chief, said 80 percent of occupied land has been returned. He claimed the military had been the only organisation capable of running key services in the north after decades of war.

    “The government machinery was not functioning for decades,” he said. “There was a big gap and our services are needed to address it.”

    Early this month, President Sirisena ordered the release of all civilian land by the end of the year. However, rights groups say such promises have gone unfulfilled for years.

    Sirisena was elected in 2015 on the back of a reformist agenda to boost reconciliation between the divided Sinhalese and Tamil communities. When he came to office, Sirisena broke from his predecessor and promised to set up a national truth commission, an office to investigate missing persons, and provide reparations for war-era abuses.

    The government has held public consultations to solicit feedback on reconciliation, and legislated the creation of an office for reparations. But rights groups say progress has been achingly slow, even before last week’s political crisis. The UN’s special rapporteur on human rights and counter-terrorism last year said government actions on transitional justice have “ground to a virtual halt”.

    Analysts say Sirisena has been reluctant to push a reform agenda too forcefully in the face of resurgent Sinhalese nationalism. Rajapaksa, the former president, is popular among Sinhalese nationalists; the political party he leads nearly swept local elections held in February, seen as a bellwether for the current political mood in the country.

    “The government is afraid the Sinhala constituency will be unhappy that they are giving back the land, that they are shrinking the footprint of the military,” Keenan said.

    In a country that has held an uneasy peace since the civil war’s remarkably violent end in 2009, there are signs of discontent. A Tamil nationalist party, the Tamil National People’s Front, also made significant gains during the February elections here in Sri Lanka’s north, where it took control of the two largest councils in populous Jaffna district.

    In Keppapilavu village, an army tank sits outside an imposing military base surrounded by tall cement walls. A few metres away, a group of men and women have held a protest for the last year, under tents made of tin and tarpaulin.

    Arumuham Weluthapillayi, a Hindu priest, started the protest last year with other displaced families. He says half of his land is still occupied by the army – in addition to homes, places of worship, schools, a cemetery, and numerous shops around the village.

    This area was once a stronghold of the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, commonly known as the Tamil Tigers. But nine years after the insurgency was routed, Weluthapillayi says he can’t understand why the army hasn’t left.

    “The war is over,” he said. “There are no security issues. Why are they still here?”
    #Sri_Lanka #COI #terres #tamouls #déplacés_internes #IDPs #dédommagement #indemnisations #Keppapilavu

  • Il y a ciquante ans, en 1968 Peter Brook publie L’Espace vide

    I CAN take any empty space and call it a bare stage. A man walks across this empty space whilst someone else is watching him, and this is all that is needed for an act of theatre to be engaged. Yet when we talk about theatre this is not quite what we mean. Red curtains, spotlights, blank verse, laughter, darkness, these are all confusedly superimposed in a messy image covered by one all-purpose word. We talk of the cinema killing the theatre, and in that phrase we refer to the theatre as it was when the cinema was born, a theatre of box office, foyer, tip-up seats, footlights, scene changes, intervals, music, as though the theatre was by very definition these and little more.

    I will try to split the word four ways and distinguish four different meanings—and so will talk about a Deadly Theatre , a Holy Theatre , a Rough Theatre and an Immediate Theatre . Sometimes these four theatres really exist, standing side by side, in the West End of London, or in New York off Times Square. Sometimes they are hundreds of miles apart, the Holy in Warsaw and the Rough in Prague, and sometimes they are metaphoric: two of them mixing together within one evening, within one act. Sometimes within one single moment, the four of them, Holy, Rough, Immediate and Deadly intertwine.

    Peter Brook: ’To give way to despair is the ultimate cop-out’ | Stage | The Guardian

    Sixty-five years ago, Kenneth Tynan identified the qualities of a young Peter Brook as “repose, curiosity and mental accuracy – plus, of course, the unlearnable lively flair”. Now 92, Brook may walk more slowly than he did but those gifts are still abundantly there. He is as busy as ever, with a new book full of aphoristic wisdom, Tip of the Tongue, and a new stage project, The Prisoner, due to open in Paris next year.

    When we meet in London, he has just caught up with a revival of Stephen Sondheim’s Follies at the National Theatre, which he calls “one of the greatest musicals I’ve ever seen – a perfect combination of palpable emotion and dazzling spectacle”. To those who think of Brook as some kind of theatrical monk, dedicated to empty spaces and a refined austerity, his rapture over Follies may come as a shock. But Brook’s early career embraced everything from Shakespeare and boulevard comedy to opera and musicals. He directed Irma La Douce in the West End and Harold Arlen’s House of Flowers on Broadway.

    While a new generation may be unaware of the diversity of Brook’s career, he has never forgotten his roots. We meet shortly after the death of his old friend, Peter Hall. “One of Peter’s supreme qualities,” he says, “was charm – and it was something I saw in two now forgotten figures of British theatre who shaped my life. One was Sir Barry Jackson, a fine old English gentleman who came from a Midlands dairy-owning business, founded Birmingham Rep and took over the theatre in Stratford, where he asked me to direct Love’s Labour’s Lost when I was only 21. In his way, he was a quiet revolutionary.

    “The other big influence was the West End producer Binkie Beaumont who had that mysterious thing called taste. If Binkie wanted me to change some detail of lighting, costume or design, he would ring up and say, ‘You do see, don’t you?’ in a way you couldn’t argue with. All these figures had a charm that, in the theatre, achieves far more than tantrums or bullying.”

    If it’s a quality Brook recognises, it’s because he clearly possesses it. But his current preoccupation is with the sometimes irreconcilable differences between the French and English languages. Given that he has made Paris his base since 1971, when he founded the International Centre for Theatre Research, it is a subject on which he has necessarily become an expert. Do the differences between the two tongues make the translation of Shakespeare into French virtually impossible?

    “Not impossible but certainly very difficult. Take a famous phrase from Macbeth, ‘Light thickens.’ You can turn that into French, as Ariane Mnouchkine did, as, ‘La lumière s’epaissit.’ But the well-trained Cartesian French mind is unable to cope with the illogicality of the thought. A British actor will savour every syllable of a Shakespearean line while a French actor will drive to the end of a sentence or a speech with a propulsive rhythm: the thing you never say to a French actor is, ‘Take your time.’ The one translator I’ve worked with who overcomes these obstacles is Jean-Claude Carrière. He has the ability to render the underlying idea rather than the precise words and whose language has the clarity of a freshwater spring.”

    Brook understands what divides cultures. As he says in his book, “if in English we speak words, the French speak thoughts”. Yet he also sees common factors, especially in the universal search in actors for ever greater self-disclosure. “If we were transported back to the Elizabethan theatre,” he says, “I think we’d be shocked by the crudity and coarseness of what we saw. Over the centuries, there has been a quest for finer acting but, when I started out, the theatre was still a place of artifice. It was the age of grand design by people like Oliver Messel and Cecil Beaton, of big wigs and heavy makeup. What we see now, partly because of the influence of the camera and smaller stages, is a stripping away of the layers of pretence until the personality of the actor becomes visible.”

    That may be true but isn’t something being lost – above all, the delight in impersonation? “You obviously have to reconcile inner depth with outer skill but I think back to some of the actors I have worked with. With Olivier, there was nothing he couldn’t do as an actor except to reach the deepest sources of humanity itself. Gielgud, in contrast, had little of Olivier’s gift of impersonation but the fine, pure, sensitive heart of the man himself was always there. Scofield, too, had that same gift for revealing his inward self.”

    I find myself questioning Brook’s argument. I can think of one particular Olivier performance where, confronted by the extremes of human suffering, he seemed to dive into his very soul to call up cries of monumental despair. The production was Titus Andronicus at Stratford in 1955. The director? None other than Brook himself.

    Given Brook’s belief in acting as a form of self-revelation, I’m intrigued to know how he feels about gender-fluid casting. “I’d answer that,” says Brook, “by pointing out how I worked consistently from 1971 to break down all the racial stereotypes in casting not by declarations of intent but by everyday practice. I think the same applies to issues of gender. You can change things not by preaching but by doing – or, as they used to say to me when I worked in Germany, ‘Just get on your horse.’

    “I’d only add that since men have exploited and abused women for centuries, we should applaud any movement that attempts to rectify the injustices of history. Did you see Glenda Jackson as King Lear? I’ve only seen a few moments of it on screen, but what struck me was that Glenda made no attempt to impersonate masculinity but simply brought her own unique qualities to the role in a way that transcended gender.”

    Possibly the most resonant statement in Brook’s new book concerns the impact of live performance. “Every form of theatre,” he writes, “has something in common with a visit to the doctor. On the way out, one should always feel better than on the way in.” But “better” how? Physically, spiritually, morally? “I think this derives from the artist’s sense of responsibility to the audience,” he says. “People have entrusted themselves to you for two hours or more and you have to give them a respect that derives from confidence in what you are doing. At the end of an evening, you may have encouraged what is crude, violent or destructive in them. Or you can help them. By that I mean that an audience can be touched, entranced or – best of all – moved to a silence that vibrates round the theatre.

    “You can, of course, encourage an audience to participate through joy, as happened in Follies. But I was struck by how when we toured Battlefield” – drawn from The Mahabharata and dealing with the apocalyptic impact of a great war – “around the world, on good nights there was that moment of tingling silence that suggested we had reached out to the audience.”

    But theatre does not exist in a vacuum. Brook has lived through more international crises than most of us. Has he ever been tempted to throw up his hands in horror at a world filled with nuclear threats, environmental disasters and political malfunction from Trump to Brexit? He answers by talking at length about the Hindu philosophy of Yugas in which world history goes through cycles from a golden age to one of darkness in which everything is chaos and turmoil. The point is that the wheel eventually turns and humanity renews itself.

    All very well in the long term but, in the meantime, how do we survive? “We swim against the tide,” says Brook, “and achieve whatever we can in our chosen field. Fate dictated that mine was that of theatre and, within that, I have a responsibility to be as positive and creative as I can. To give way to despair is the ultimate cop-out.” That seems the distilled philosophy of a director who miraculously still retains the curiosity that Tynan singled out a lifetime ago.

    #théâtre #théorie

    • Is India Creating Its Own Rohingya ?

      Echoes of the majoritarian rhetoric preceding the ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya can be heard in India as four million, mostly Bengali-origin Muslims, have been effectively turned stateless.

      On July 30, four million residents of the Indian state of Assam were effectively stripped of their nationality after their names were excluded from the recently formed National Register of Citizens.

      Indian authorities claim to have initiated and executed the process to identify illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, which shares several hundred miles of its border with Assam, but it has exacerbated fears of a witch hunt against the Bengali-origin Muslim minority in the state.

      Assam is the most populous of India’s northeastern states. As part of a labyrinthine bureaucratic exercise, 32.9 million people and 65 million documents were screened over five years at a cost of $178 million to ascertain which residents of Assam are citizens. The bureaucrats running the National Register of Citizens accepted 28.9 million claims to Indian citizenship and rejected four million.

      The idea of such screening to determine citizenship goes back to the aftermath of the 1947 Partition of British India into India and Pakistan. A register of citizens set up in Assam in 1951 was never effectively implemented. Twenty-four years after the Partition, the mostly Bengali Eastern Pakistan seceded from Western Pakistan with Indian military help, and Bangladesh was formed on March 24, 1971. The brutal war that accompanied the formation of Bangladesh had sent millions of refugees into the Indian states of Assam and West Bengal.

      Politics over illegal migration from Bangladesh into Assam has been a potent force in the politics of the state for decades. In 2008, an Assam-based NGO approached the Supreme Court of India claiming that 4.1 million illegal immigrants had been registered as voters in the state. In 2014, the Supreme Court ordered the federal government to update the National Register of Citizens.

      The updated list defines as Indian citizens the residents of Assam who were present in the state before March 25, 1971, and their direct descendants. In keeping with this criterion, the N.R.C. asked for certain legal documents to be submitted as proof of citizenship — including the voter lists for all Indian elections up to 1971.

      People born after 1971 could submit documents that link them to parents or grandparents who possessed the primary documents. So each person going through the process had to show a link to a name on the 1951 register and the only two voter lists — those of 1965-66 and 1970-71 — that were ever made public.

      Such criteria, applied across India, left a good percentage of its citizens stateless. Front pages of Indian newspapers have been carrying accounts detailing the absurdities in the list — a 6-year-old who has been left out even though his twin is on the list, a 72-year-old woman who is the only one in her family to be left off, a 13-year-old boy whose parents and sisters are on the list but he is not.

      The Supreme Court, which had ordered the process underlying the National Register of Citizens, has now directed that no action should be initiated against those left out and that a procedure should be set up for dealing with claims and objections. A final list is expected at the end of an appeal process. And it is not clear what transpires at the end of that process, which is expected to be long and harrowing. So far six overcrowded jails doubling as detention centers in Assam house 1,000 “foreigners,” and the Indian government has approved building of a new detention center that can house 3,000 more.

      The N.R.C. may well have set in motion a process that has uncanny parallels with what took place in Myanmar, which also shares a border with Bangladesh. In 1982, a Burmese citizenship law stripped a million Rohingya of the rights they had had since the country’s independence in 1948.

      The Rohingya, like a huge number of those affected by the N.R.C. in Assam, are Muslims of Bengali ethnicity. The denial of citizenship, loss of rights and continued hostility against the Rohingya in Myanmar eventually led to the brutal violence and ethnic cleansing of the past few years. The excuses that majoritarian nationalists made in the context of the Rohingya in Myanmar — that outsiders don’t understand the complexity of the problem and don’t appreciate the anxieties and fears of the ethnic majority — are being repeated in Assam.

      Throughout the 20th century, the fear of being reduced to a minority has repeatedly been invoked to consolidate an ethnic Assamese identity. If at one time it focuses on the number of Bengalis in the state, at another time it focuses on the number of Muslims in the state, ignoring the fact that the majority of the Muslims are Assamese rather than Bengali.

      Ethnic hostilities were most exaggerated when they provided a path to power. Between 1979 and 1985, Assamese ethnonationalist student politicians led a fierce campaign to remove “foreigners” from the state and have their names deleted from voter lists. They contested elections in 1985 and formed the state government in Assam. In the 1980s, the targets were Bengali-origin Muslims and Hindus.

      This began to change with the rise of the Hindu nationalists in India, who worked to frame the Bengali-origin immigrants as two distinct categories: the Bengali-origin Hindus, whom they described as seeking refuge in India from Muslim-majority Bangladesh, and the Bengali-origin Muslims, whom they see as dangerous foreigners who have illegally infiltrated Indian Territory.

      The N.R.C. embodies both the ethnic prejudices of the Assamese majority against those of Bengali origin and the widespread hostility toward Muslims in India. India’s governing Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party has been quick to seize on the political opportunity provided by the release of the list. The B.J.P. sees India as the natural home of the Hindus.

      Prime Minister Narendra Modi has a long history of using rhetoric about Pakistan and Bangladesh to allude to Muslims as a threat. In keeping with the same rhetoric, Mr. Modi’s confidante and the president of the B.J.P., Amit Shah, has insisted that his party is committed to implementing the N.R.C. because it is about the “national security, the security of borders and the citizens of this country.”

      India has nowhere to keep the four million people declared stateless if it does not let them continue living their lives. The Indian government has already assured Bangladesh, which is already struggling with the influx of 750,000 Rohingya from Myanmar, that there will be no deportations as a result of the N.R.C. process.

      Most of people declared stateless are likely to be barred from voting as well. While the Indian election commission has declared that their removal from the voter’s list will not be automatic, in effect once their citizenship comes into question, they lose their right to vote.

      Apart from removing a huge number of voters who were likely to vote against the B.J.P., the party has already shown that as Mr. Modi struggles on the economic front, the N.R.C. will be a handy tool to consolidate Hindu voters in Assam — the majority of the people rendered stateless are Muslims — and the rest of the country going into the general elections in the summer of 2019.
      #islam #musulmans #génocide #nettoyage_ethnique

    • s’en remettre à des avantages obtenus par la démographie confessionelle ne représente pas un suplément éthique , c’est peu dire en restant correct . dans le cas Ismael faruqui verdict la remise en question de la cour suprème en est la caricature pesante . C’est totalement inique de dénier aux protestataires montrés sur la photo du nyt le droit de contester ce qu’ils contestent , c’est terriblement biasé !

  • Asifa: A Story of Militarisation, Violence and Justice | The Polis Project, Inc

    Scholars, Writers, Artists and Citizens respond:
    Ather Zia, Anthropologist, Writer, Poet and Activist

    The murder-gang rape of a minor child Asifa from Kathua is soul crushing. It must not be seen as a social-sexual crime but one that is deeply political and tied to the larger issue of the militarization, occupation and systematic use of rape as a weapon of war in the region. This case involves a premeditated plan to strike fear in the Gujjar-Bakerwal (migratory pastoralist) community and the crime branch has proved this. Such extreme violence on a young child is incomprehensible. The charge sheet is filled with the savage acts that were meted on the body of the young child who was chosen because she was a soft target. This gang-rape murder cannot be treated as apolitical since it is proven beyond doubt that it was planned to drive out the Gujjar-Bakerwals who are a marginalized Muslim community. Their presence has been a matter of growing strife for the local Hindu community. Sanji Ram who is now proven the main mastermind has a clear track record of inciting sentiments against the Muslim community and it is reported he has even been harassing their women in the past. Sanji Ram groomed his nephew to kidnap the Asifa. In this they were aided and abetted by Deepak Khajuria an SPO in the local police force who is also the mastermind and has a track record of spewing hate against the Muslim community. It has been proven that he along with the members of police and other men (currently 8 in total) tried to cover up the case. They received clear political patronage to get the community activist Talib Hussain detained and cause impediments in the investigation. The advocate for Asifa, Deepika Singh continues to be harassed to drop the case by the Bar Association of Kathua. In an unprecedented turn of events, the Bar has mobilized in favour of the rapists and have caused impediments in filing the charge sheet against the accused. The Hindu community, under the banner of Hindu Ekta Manch, continues to protest and strike demanding the rapist-murderers be released. While showing extraordinary strength in face of immense adversity, Mohammad Yusuf Pujwala Asifa’s father along with his family has fled the area due to threats. It must be noted that the Hindu community did not allow Asifa to be buried in the area even though the family lawfully own space for burial. In 1947 Jammu region became dominantly Hindu after a large scale Muslim massacre was carefully orchestrated during the partition. While this shameful history is carefully hidden from common view, Asifa’s case brings back the horrors of a communal past, and the potential for no doubt mindless but orchestrated violence that Indian settler colonialism is capable of bringing back or rather has brought back.

  • Hitlers Hindus: The rise and rise of Indias Nazi-loving nationalists - Opinion - Israel News |

    The Hitlers Den pool parlor that shocked me on a round-India trip 10 years ago was no outlier. Admiration for Nazism – often reframed with a genocidal hatred for Muslims – is rampant in the Hindu nationalist camp, which has never been as mainstream as it is now

    #Inde #nazisme #hindou

  • The Real History of Hindu-Muslim Relations Under Akbar | The Diplomat

    In October this year, Sangeet Som, a member of the Uttar Pradesh (UP) legislative assembly from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) shocked the country by calling the Taj Mahal a blot on Indian culture. Built by the Mughal king Shah Jahan in memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal, the Taj, situated in Agra in Western UP has for centuries been synonymous with India and Indian culture.

    I was born Agra and spent 18 years there. For as long as I can remember, this incredible monument has been a source of pride for a city that – thanks to rampant corruption, malfeasance, and public apathy –has little else to be proud of. Yet, on my latest visit, which happened to be a few days after Som’s remarks, I sensed a change. While not many were ready to disown the Taj as readily as the BJP’s Som, they agreed with the spirit of his argument.

    “Mughals were obviously traitors,” said my grandfather. “Don’t call it that!” admonished my aunt when a neighbor’s kid compared the marble on our courtyard floor to the Taj Mahal. “The BJP has put the Muslim in his place,” my childhood friend rejoiced. I was a foreigner in my own city.

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    In hindsight, though, I should not have been surprised. Som’s statements are symptomatic of the communal malaise that has gripped India for centuries now. Since coming into power at the center and in various states the BJP has tapped into it and exacerbated it – but the blame for the malaise’s origin cannot be placed at its feet. Nor is the BJP original in using communalism as a political weapon. The Hindu-Muslim divide was fostered by the British to maintain the Raj, used by Mohammad Ali Jinnah to garner support for the creation of Pakistan, and then exploited by the Congress Party in India for the next 60 years to keep its hold on the reins of power.

    Centuries of Hindus and Muslims being pitted against each other does not make for a convivial relationship. Indeed, in his Clash of Civilizations, Samuel Huntington identified the Hindu-Muslim divide as one of the great civilizational fault-lines. To any reasonable observer then, it would appear that the Hindu and the Muslim are constituted in direct opposition to the other, destined to share a relationship characterized by intolerance and conflict. The observer would be wrong. The (admittedly distant) past sheds a very different light on relations between the two communities.

    Shah Jahan’s grandfather, Akbar, ruled almost all of India from 1556 to 1605. During this period, there did exist various areas of contestation between the two religions, but it was largely characterized by a syncretism that has few parallels in modern-day India. Akbar’s era represented the zenith of Islamic power in India and the zeitgeist was a reflection of the man himself – curious, open-minded, and pragmatic. He is quite possibly one of the first regents in the world to lend his support to regular state-sponsored inter-faith public dialogue, which brought together learned men from across the religious spectrum – Hindus, Muslims, Jews, Parsees, Jains, and even atheists from across the realm were invited to participate in what must surely have a unique event at the time.

    At the famed Ibadatkhana (House of Worship), which was completed in 1576, Akbar is said to have proclaimed that his sole aim was to lay bare the facts of any religion, “whether Hindu or Muslim.” Thanks partly to these dialogues, and partly to personal interactions with Hindu Brahmins, he acquired ever deepening knowledge of the various schools of Hindu thought. Thus, of the transmigration of the soul and divine reincarnation, he is believed to have said: “In India (Hind’) no one set forth a claim to Prophethood: this is because the claim to divinity has had precedence.”

    Upon consideration, this is a remarkable statement. For a Muslim ruler to even brook the idea of reincarnation, let alone to take to its logical conclusion — i.e. the inadmissibility of a Prophet — shows a startling level of open-mindedness. At the same time, he did not shy away from criticizing those sages who advocated that Hindus should do good deeds in order to reap the rewards in their next life: “To me it seems that in the pursuit of virtue, the idea of death should not be thought of, so that without any hope or fear, one should practice virtue simply because it is good.”

  • India’s Hindu Right-Wing Extremists Are Increasingly Turning to Violence | Alternet

    Deep roots of social democratic and left culture in Kerala have made this state difficult terrain for the Hindu right. None of its appeals seem to work here, where the population is almost entirely literate and where social progress is seen to be more important than religious division. That is what gives Vijayan the confidence to speak so forthrightly against the Hindu right. More than the power of his state, he has his society behind him.

    One of the architects of the Hindu right’s electoral victory in 2013, Amit Shah, and the Chief Minister of the largest state in India, Uttar Pradesh’s Yogi Adityanath, were called upon by the Hindu right’s high command to make mischief in Kerala. They were to inaugurate the Jana Raksha Yatra (Save the People March) in the state in early October to call attention to what Shah claimed is ‘Marxist-Jihadist violence’ against the activists of the Hindu right. The Hindu right has led no such march to defend the hundreds of Indians killed this year by their own fascist hordes. Their eyes are fixed on Kerala, and with laser intensity, against the communists.

    #Inde #fascisme

  • The imperfect art of cartography - The Hindu

    Ten artists interpret emotions, geographies and their concerns through maps of a cerebral kind

    A multi-artist exhibit at Sakshi Gallery aims to make cartographers of artists and navigators of their audience, a collaboration that curator Meera Menezes hopes will evolve into new ideas and explorations from artists and viewers. Revolving around the premise of cartography as a knowledge system and an often-used device in an artists’ repertoire, Here be Dragons and other coded landscapes features work by Anju Dodiya, Mithu Sen, Arpita Singh, Nilima and Gulammohammed Sheikh, Shilpa Gupta, Marie Velardi, Varunika Saraf, Zarina Hashmi and Raj Jariwala.

    #cartographie #art #sémiologie #imperfection

  • Myanmar swine flu outbreak kills 10 as Government rushed to stop spread - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

    Ten people have died in an outbreak of #H1N1 influenza in Myanmar, a health official has said, as the Government stepped up public awareness campaigns about the swine flu virus.

    The latest outbreak began more than a week ago, deputy director of the infectious diseases department at the Ministry of Health and Sport, Thinzar Aung, said.

    Yangon — Myanmar’s biggest city — is the worst affected area.

    Health awareness campaigns have been carried out and authorities sought to calm public fears over the outbreak, although stores have sold out of surgical masks in Yangon.

    Authorities have told the public not to panic and described the latest outbreak as a regular seasonal occurrence.

  • India Is on Its Way to Becoming a Hindu Nation, Suppressing Multiculturalism | Alternet

    Much has changed since 2013. Narendra Modi, who was then chief minister of a western Indian state, the first chief minister who was a direct recruit from the supremacist Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), is now India’s prime minister, heading a majority government that has already implemented several changes in laws and statutes that arguably militate against India’s constitutional framework.

    This government rose to power in May 2014, led by Modi’s charisma with the masses, backed by a high-voltage campaign funded by crony capital; yet no victory of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) within Indian politics has ever been possible without the organizational mettle of its parent body, the RSS. The RSS, since its birth in 1925, has openly advocated not just to create a Hindu nation, but also to continue propagating the “overthrow of the constitutional framework.”

    Despite these violent schisms, as this author tells students of history and law in her classes, the rich deliberations contained in India’s Constituent Assembly debates reveal a deep maturity in the political leadership of the day, from all political persuasions, that was clear and committed to an India that was inclusive and based on equality of citizenship, irrespective of color, class, gender or community.

    Despite the deep schisms, even bloodshed, caused during India’s vivesection, the vast section of India’s political leadership opted for India to remain democratic, inclusive and secular. This was a deeply principled and pragmatic decision, as only through this promise (as encapsulated in the Indian Consitution) of equality for all could India and Indians—with all their attendant diversities of language, faith and culture—remain as one. The Indian Constitution recognizes 22 languages, though we have more than 740 dialects, and through this abiding respect for our deep diversity has this nation been born. It is this basic assumption that is under direct threat from an ideological force that believes in the overthrow of India as was born in 1947 and established in 1950.

    It is not mere words but the actions of those in power and the mob on the streets after Modi assumed power, that give weight to these potential dangers. “The recent election of Adityanath, who is a strong proponent of Hindu rashtra, with a brute majority (to the post of chief minister of Uttar Pradesh) shows that people want a Hindu rashtra in India,” Uday Dhuri, spokesperson of the Hindu Janajagruti Samiti, told the Hindustan Times ahead of the Goa conclave. The Samiti’s agenda, available on its website, is a good example of the priorities of a Hindu rashtra, should it emerge. Hatred and bile against India’s religious minorities and Dalits, authoritarian rule, the imposition of “one culture, one language” to create a strong “militarized, Hindu nation.”

    The ongoing convention in Goa represents a very real threat—and not just to India, known as it is as the largest democracy with well-negotiated principles of equality and non-discrimination. Another win for Modi and his lot in the next general election could make this threat into a chilling reality, where discrimination rules and violence, threat and intimidation become an easy norm.

    #Inde #fascisme #religions #politique_monde

  • Where Did Indians’ Ancient Ancestors Come From? The Indo-Aryan Migration Debate Rages Once More · Global Voices

    Indo-Aryan migration theory, a controversy for the ages, is fueling discussions once more in India after an article published in The Hindu newspaper highlighted the genetic evidence that the Indo-Aryan peoples came from Central Asia and Europe to South Asia.

    Indo-Aryan peoples are an ethonolinguistic group of people that speak diverse Indo-Aryan languages and currently live predominantly in the South Asian region. The population of the modern descendants of this group is more than 1 billion, or a seventh of world’s population.


  • Large-scale changes in land use land cover weakening Indian monsoon: IIT study - MUMBAI - The Hindu

    Large-scale changes of land use land cover (LULC) from forest land to crop land and the loss of green cover in north-east and north-central India has caused the weakening of the monsoon, a new study carried out by the Interdisciplinary Program in Climate Studies (IPCS) at the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, has revealed.

    Led by Professor Subimal Ghosh and Supantha Paul of IPCS, the study looks at changes and variability of Indian monsoon and its association with local factors such as recent changes of land use land cover. The study has been published in Scientific Reports by Nature Publishing Group.

    #couverture_végétale #forêt #climat #Inde #mousson

  • NO2 emission rising in India, new NASA air quality maps show - The Hindu

    The emission of the nitrogen dioxide pollutant has gone up significantly in the South Asia region, including India, during the 2005-2014 period, severely affecting air quality in the process, NASA satellite maps show.

    Nitrogen dioxide (NO2) is a yellow-brown gas that is a common emission from cars, power plants and industrial activity.

    The US and Europe are among the largest emitters of nitrogen dioxide but both regions also showed the most dramatic reductions between 2005 and 2014, the maps showed.

    #climat #pollution #atmosphère

  • Daniel Ramamoorthy hates when people ask “Where are you from?” It’s a difficult question to answer when you’ve never spent more than a few years in any one country.
    James Sweeney and Ellen Baker: ‘The feeling of the city and the whole vibe is so New York but it’s cleaner, friendlier, smaller, cheaper.’ Photograph: Cyril ByrneNew to the Parish: ‘We love Dublin. It’s like a mini New York’
    Ovidiu Miron and his wife, Luminita, with their children, Tudor, Vlad and Stefan, at home in Clarehall, Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac DónaillNew to the Parish: ‘I don’t want my sons to lose their Romanian heritage’
    Gareth and Emma, who were born with a very rare condition called Moebius syndrome, which means they struggle to make facial expressions, blink or move their eyes laterally. Photograph: Alan Betson New to the Parish: ‘We didn’t get together because of our condition but because we fell in love’
    Zeenie Summers: struggled with depression and homelessness in Galway, but found solace in singing and dress-making. Photograph: Sara Freund New to the Parish: ‘I didn’t know I was black until I came to Ireland’
    Chandrika Narayanan-Mohan: ‘Dublin’s small enough that you can actually be someone here.’ Photograph: Alan Betson New to the Parish: ‘I could have been the worst human being ever’
    Nacho Valdes: “When I was in Mexico working as an accountant I thought I was the best in the world. But trust me, I’m happier now.” Photograph: Dave MeehanNew to the Parish: ‘Even the drug addicts here are friendly’
    “I’m not a fan because implied within that question is that you don’t belong,” says Ramamoorthy, who was born in the United Arab Emirates to Indian parents. His father’s job as a diplomat meant the family moved around the world from Yemen to France, Algeria to India, Zimbabwe to Morocco.
    “If it’s where I was born, it’s the UAE. If it’s where my passport is from or where I look like I’m from, then it’s India. If it’s where my accent’s from, then it’s predominantly American. If it’s the kind of music I appreciate the most, then I’d be a black American gospel singer.”
    “Where I’m from is where I’ve spent the longest, and that would be Ireland, because the last five years is the longest I’ve ever spent in any country.”
    Ramamoorthy says he feels more at home in Ireland than in any of the other 10 cities he has lived in. “I’m a complicated mix of the different cultures, people and experiences I’ve had in all those places.”
    When he was 11, Ramamoorthy’s family relocated to India. He was excited to finally live in the country his family represented around the world, but quickly discovered he did not feel Indian. “I felt rejected. It was really tough not being welcomed in my own homeland.”
    Only after moving to Zimbabwe as a teenager did he begin to feel comfortable in his own skin. It was during his time in Africa that he “came to faith” and began to embrace his parents’ Christian religion.
    “Zimbabwe was a fresh start in my life. It’s probably my second home after Ireland. I was learning to appreciate nature and my role as a human in a very complicated and beautiful world.”
    His father, who came from one of the lowest levels of the Hindu caste system, converted to Christianity as an adult. Daniel remembers visiting his father’s home, a small village down a dirt road in rural India where people lived in tin huts with thatched walls.
    “We would sit on the floor cross-legged for hours, until I could no longer feel my legs. I never understood what they said because they didn’t speak the language I know. My entire life, every time I visit his family, I sit and smile and have no idea what they say.” from

  • Mapping the past - The Hindu

    Titled ’Cosmology to Cartography’, it is divided into three sections - Jain Cosmic, pilgrimage and cartography.

    The maps culled out from the 3000 maps that Prshant has, an early 18th century Japanese map depicting India as the centre of the world because of Buddhism, piligrimage maps of Shatrunjaya in Gujarat, Ganga, Vraj yatra, a Dutch map of the subcontinent and the first map of India, without any political divisions, showing it as a single entity.

    The 18th century map of ganga, attributed to a Rajasthani artist, charts the river’s course from Alaknanda to Badrinath marking out some key shrines on it.

    #cartographie #histoire

  • Téléchargez Priya’s Shakti

    Une bande dessinée indienne tente de faire prendre conscience aux plus jeunes de la position des femmes en inde et de la nécessité de dénoncer les violences faites aux femmes.

    A mortal woman and the Goddess Parvati fight against sexual violence in India and around the world in this epic vivid story involving the Hindu gods. Received the Tribeca Film Institute New Media Fund from the Ford Foundation. An interactive and augmented reality comic book.

    #inde #féminisme @mad_meg, une autre façon de présenter cette #BD

  • India-Pakistan relations rapidly deteriorating - World Socialist Web Site

    India-Pakistan relations rapidly deteriorating

    By Deepal Jayasekera
    1 September 2014

    Relations between India and its historic rival Pakistan have deteriorated sharply in recent weeks, especially after India’s government, now led by the Hindu supremacist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), cancelled a much anticipated meeting between the countries’ Foreign Secretaries.

    Last month saw a dramatic rise in cross-border firing along the Line of Control (LoC) that separates the Indian- and Pakistani-held sections of the former princely state of Jammu and Kashmir. The cross-border shelling has resulted in at least a half-dozen deaths and terrorized villagers on both sides of the LoC.

    By the beginning of last week, Indian government and military officials were issuing a barrage of threats against Pakistan. On a trip to Kashmir, Amit Shah, the BJP President and a close confidant of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, pledged that India would give Pakistan a “befitting reply” if all cross-border firing did not cease.

    #ind #pakistan #cachemire #frontière

  • Geography and global order - The Hindu

    A thesis that explains how the Cold War, origins of the UN and decolonisation were mutually implicated processes

    Mapping the End of Empire by U.S. State Department historian Aiyaz Husain embodies a project that the author himself describes as ‘ambitious’. Aiming to offer a fresh perspective on the end of European colonialism and the attendant rebuilding of the global order at the end of World War II is ambitious indeed. And Husain’s core insight — that policy-framing and diplomacy in London and Washington were shaped as much by material factors as by the mental geographies of the East nurtured by strategists and academics — is so original as to run the risk of appearing eccentric. That hazard is avoided, though, as Husain adequately convinces the reader of the tenability of his thesis that in the post-war period ‘perceptions of geography’ came to shape Anglo-American foreign policy agendas, especially on the question of refugee settlement, drove organisational changes, and ultimately ‘congealed into international bodies like the U.N. Security Council’.

    #recension #géopolitique #cartographie #histoire_contemporaine

  • Un lobby israélien en Inde ?

    Missed opportunity on Gaza -

    The Hindu

    Updated: July 24, 2014 00:34 IST

    External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s statement on the ongoing Gaza crisis during a discussion in the Rajya Sabha is an exercise in political correctness. By stating that New Delhi’s stance on the Israel-Palestine issue has not shifted, and going ahead with a pro forma denunciation of violence, Ms. Swaraj has missed a golden opportunity to impress upon a domestic audience that the Modi administration is pursuing a fresh statesman-like approach on a complex global issue. Besides, she may have also let down a wider international audience, especially in West Asia and North Africa, which has been looking for a stronger and principled Indian voice to help resolve the spiralling crisis.

    The new government seems to have missed the full import of the Gaza situation by choosing to espouse a minimalist position of equidistance between the Palestinians and Israel. It is important to recognise that the Israel-Palestinian issue is the core of instability in West Asia — a region that is the lifeline of India’s economy because of its huge oil and gas reserves. A long-term interest in energy security alone demands that New Delhi — a friend of both Israel and the Palestinians — should leverage its unique position to persuade both sides to revive peace talks. There is reason to believe that greater diplomatic activism by India on the Israel-Palestine issue would be welcomed by the emerging powers as well as the global south, which is looking for new leaders on the global stage. This is especially true at a time when the international system is mutating from the unipolarity of the 1990s to the emergence of a multipolar world in the second decade of the twenty-first century. However, in taking a forthright position, the government has to contend with a powerful pro-Israel constituency in India. Citing India’s close military relationship with Israel, Tel Aviv’s friends construe any position taken by India that is even mildly critical of Israel as a threat to national security. Nothing could be farther from the truth, for Indo-Israel military ties are premised on interdependence, with New Delhi providing a huge market for military products as well as joint ventures, which Israel would find hard to give up. In navigating a dense grey zone, Ms. Swaraj could have followed the lead provided by BRICS, which has at the Fortaleza fully appreciated that the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is fundamental to sustainable peace in West Asia. The new grouping has also unambiguously stressed that dialogue must be resumed, which would result in a two-state solution based on the lines of June 4, 1967, with East Jerusalem as the capital of an independent Palestinian state.

  • Les grands pays émergents se dotent d’un outil financier à côté de la Banque mondiale et du FMI

    BRICS for a new bank - The Hindu

    What might have been dismissed as an impossibility just five years ago is now a reality. Defying sceptics and critics, five countries that between them account for 40 per cent of the world’s population and 20 per cent of its GDP have signed an agreement to create a development bank to provide financial assistance to developing countries and emerging market economies, mainly for infrastructure projects. As its name implies, the agreement for the New Development Bank, signed by Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa at their sixth BRICS summit in Brazil, signals the start of a new global financial order that aims to be more inclusive than the Western-focussed International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. The $100 billion bank will have an initial subscribed capital of $50 billion. The five members managed to iron out their differences to agree on an equal share for each in the bank, so no one member dominates the institution. India and South Africa both wanted to host the headquarters. The eventual decision to locate it in Shanghai was an acknowledgement that China’s is the biggest economy in the grouping. The Bank will also have an African Regional Centre in South Africa and India will assume the first presidency of the bank. First mooted at the fourth BRICS summit in New Delhi in 2012, the Bank will certainly have an impact on the existing arrangements put in place by the Bretton Woods institutions, and will give more say to smaller countries. But BRICS also appears to recognise that the NDB cannot replace the IMF, the World Bank or the regional development banks. Thus, the Fortaleza Declaration describes the NDB as a “supplement to the efforts of multilateral and regional financial institutions for global development.”

    A second financial instrument, the Contingency Reserve Arrangement of $100 billion, has been set up to help developing economies tide over “short-term liquidity pressures, promote further BRICS cooperation, strengthen the global financial safety net and complement existing international arrangements.” In its sixth year, BRICS has a new confidence, and it was more than apparent at the summit. The only world grouping that is not region, security or trade-based, its members have come together with the determination to create a more multilateral global order. China and Russia have backed the other three BRICS members on the issue of UN reform and Security Council expansion. But the grouping needs to find a stronger political voice. The Declaration came in the midst of the bombardment, even if under grave provocation, of Gaza by Israel, but it is silent on this while calling for Israel and Palestine to resume negotiations towards a two-state solution.

  • Wars without winners - The Hindu

    Contrary to the view that extremism thrives when America is absent, empirical facts indicate that the opposite is truer. And each of the countries at the centre of global concerns over extremism is in fact one that has seen direct or indirect western intervention, not western absence

    In her autobiographical work, based on her tenure as U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton makes a startling statement while explaining the need for U.S. intervention around the world, despite the “dangers” to American lives. “While we can and must work to reduce the danger,” writes Ms. Clinton, “the only way to eliminate risk entirely is to retreat entirely and to accept the consequences of the void we leave behind. When America is absent, extremism takes root, our interests suffer, and our security at home is threatened” (Hard Choices, p.387, Simon & Schuster, 2014).

    It is curious that Ms. Clinton thinks that extremism thrives when America is absent, as empirical facts and the patterns one can glean from them indicate that the opposite is truer. While Iraq and ISIS’ brutal advance on Baghdad is at the top of the news now, it must be remembered that each of the countries today at the centre of the world’s concerns over extremism is in fact a country that has seen direct or indirect western intervention, not western absence — Afghanistan, Syria, Libya and Iraq.

    Authoritarian yet secular regimes

    There are other patterns to these interventions. In each of these countries, what the United States, along with allies sought to oust were authoritarian regimes that were secular. The Soviet-backed regimes of President Najibullah in Afghanistan, President Bashar al-Assad in Syria, Saddam Hussein in Iraq and Muammar Qadhafi in Libya. The movements these leaders set up were dictatorial; they controlled their people through stifling intelligence agencies, and crushed all political Islamic movements where they could. But a by-product of the secularism was that women and minorities had a more secure status under these regimes than under their Islamist and monarchist neighbours like Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait and Bahrain. Unlike them, Mr. Assad, Qadhafi, Saddam and Najibullah had women and minorities in their cabinets, and a sense of Arab/Afghan nationalism overshadowed the sectarian divide in their countries.

    When the West has tried to intervene to oust them, it has always strengthened the opposition to these leaders, which by definition includes groups that are anti-secular, jihadi extremists. Whether it is by design or otherwise, it is these groups that have eventually taken control of the entire opposition. Finally, this intervention has led to a carving up of the country on sectarian lines; along bitter, historic, ethnic and communal lines.

  • Bicycle inspired plougher and weeder gains popularity - The Hindu


    Bicycle inspired plougher and weeder gains popularity - The Hindu -

    4 hours ago

    from Bookmarklet



    “Mr. Gopal uses the device to carry out most of the farming operations. He no more needs bullocks. So far more than 200 devices are currently being used by farmers in the region. Priced at Rs 1,200, a person can weed 0.08 ha in one hour. It is easy to operate and suited for those who cannot afford bullocks.” - Raffa