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India’s ‘blackest day’ returns to haunt 25 years after Babri Mosque demolition

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Exactly 25 years ago, on December 6, 1992, I stood and watched the worst crime ever committed on Indian soil – the demolition of the Babri Masjid, a mosque in Ayodhya, by Hindu extremists in broad daylight. The black deed is watershed in the history of contemporary India and a milestone in my career as a professional journalist. Painful memories of that day still make me shudder. “The 25th anniversary of that fateful day brings a sense of foreboding. The historical and psychological ...

Indian ruling party’s cow obsession angering farmers in key province

Monday, 27 November 2017

The clampdown on beef consumption and slaughter-houses by Hindu nationalists in India’s largest province, Uttar Pradesh, has resulted in unprecedented invasion of agricultural fields by hordes of cows and bulls destroying standing crops. Uttar Pradesh's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which is also in power in New Delhi, is caught between sectarian rhetoric and its inevitable fall-out as it braces for a backlash from Hindus themselves, although UP is helmed by a rabid hardliner, Chief ...

Modi party under fire for demanding cuts in Indian film ‘Mersal’

Saturday, 21 October 2017

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ruling party came under fire on Saturday for demanding cuts to an Indian film, claiming it showcased “anti-Modi hatred”. A scene in the Tamil-language film “Mersal” shows a character delivering a fiery monologue in which he attacks the government’s failure to provide free public healthcare despite charging a national goods and services tax (GST) of up to 28 percent. “People are paying seven percent GST in Singapore and ...

Indian BJP leader slaps girl for ‘sipping tea with Muslim boy’

Saturday, 23 September 2017

A video of a local woman BJP leader slapped a girl for befriending a Muslim youth has gone viral on social media in India. The incident took place in Aligarh City in Uttar Pradesh, one of the largest states in North India, and the BJP leader, Sangeeta Varshney, headed the local women’s wing of the party. The girl was having tea with the youth when she was slapped twice by Varshney last Tuesday. In the video, she is heard saying: “Don’t you understand who is a Hindu and who is ...

Can India’s Supreme Court save the world famous Taj Mahal?

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

One of India’s most revered institutions – the Supreme Court – is proving to be an unflinching friend of the nation’s most well-known monument – the Taj Mahal, often described as one of the seven wonders of the world for its stunning marble beauty. “Do you want to destroy the world famous Taj Mahal?”, two justices of the apex court last week snapped at the government lawyer praying for clearance to chop down 400 trees to lay additional railway tracks ...

India considering two time zones as wisdom dawns on ruling party

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government is seriously considering introducing two time zones in India junking the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) old theories that separate time zones would stoke separatism and lead to the disintegration of the country. Observers were surprised by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar’s response to opposition lawmaker Bhartuhari Mahtab’s recent assertion in the Lok Sabha that India would save 2.7 billion units of electricity by ...

Members of Modi’s party in India to face trial over Babri mosque demolition

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Three senior members of India’s ruling Hindu nationalist party including a government minister should face trial over the demolition of a mosque a quarter of a century ago, the Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday. The three are accused of inciting Hindu zealots to pull down the 16th century Babri mosque in 1992, igniting one of India’s most explosive religious disputes in which thousands died. The demolition of the mosque marked the culmination of a virulent campaign led by the now ...

India police arrest three over cow vigilante murder

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Police said Thursday they have arrested three people for murder over the death of a Muslim man attacked while transporting cows in northern India, where vigilantes patrol the streets to protect the animal Hindus consider sacred. Pehlu Khan, a 55-year-old farmer, died of his injuries on Monday after hundreds of vigilantes attacked his cattle trucks on a highway in Alwar in the state of Rajasthan. Police are still trying to identify most of the 200 vigilantes who attacked Khan and injured six ...

Butcher shops razed amid crackdown on beef in India

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Indian police said Wednesday they were not ruling out arson after fire gutted three butcher shops in Uttar Pradesh state, where a firebrand Hindu leader has taken office promising a crackdown on slaughterhouses.The meat industry is a magnet for religious violence in India, where Hindus consider cows sacred and accusations of beef being sold by Muslims can trigger violent mob reprisals. Police were investigating the “mysterious” overnight blaze that reduced the three butcher shops to ...

Modi’s party heads for defeat in Delhi polls

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Early tallies showed the BJP leading in just 12 seats

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