16 years on, survivors of India’s communal riots bank on charities

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Survivors of India’s bloody Hindu-Muslim riots in 2002 have still been leading a wretched life, thanks to the lackadaisical attitude of the government in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s wealthy home state of Gujarat. Even 16 years after the country’s worst anti-Muslim pogrom, that left 2,000 people dead and thousands maimed, some 3,500 dirt-poor, displaced families continue to live in sub-human conditions in tumbledown dwellings in surroundings stinking to high heaven in 83 ...

Whats in a bust: Row in India as Lenin statue razed to ground after elections

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Soon after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) emerged victorious in one of India’s northeast states, a group of hooligans, allegedly belonging to the BJP, razed down a Lenin statue that had stood there for ages. The incident took place in the state of Tripura where the fiber-glass statue was attacked barely 48 hours of the assembly election results going in favor of the BJP. It has sparked a row in other states in India which have witnessed communist party ...

India’s ruling party emerges stronger after polls in northeast

Saturday, 3 March 2018

India’s ruling Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) on Saturday consolidated its position in the country’s northeast after a landslide election victory in Tripura, ending 25 years of communist rule in the state. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s BJP and its allies are also ahead in the Christian-dominated mountainous state of Nagaland, while opposition Congress-ruled Meghalaya is heading for a fractured verdict. Elections were held only in the states of Tripura, Nagaland and Meghalaya, ...

India’s moral police harass couples, get animals ‘married’ on Valentine’s Day

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

India’s so-called “moral police” has been at it again this Valentine’s Day, making news for harassing couple’s celebrating Valentine’s Day and even getting animals married to score a point. A Times of India report, in Ahmedabad, self-proclaimed “moral police” chased couples in the city. According to the report, members belonging to the Bajrang Dal – a militant group – harassed couples at the city’s Sabarmati Riverfront before they ...

India ends decades-old subsidy for Hajj pilgrims

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

India’s Hindu nationalist government is ending a decades-long policy of offering discounted airfares to Muslims embarking on the hajj pilgrimage, it announced Tuesday.The right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party has accused its opponents in the Congress party -- who introduced the hajj assistance scheme in the 1950s -- of trying to woo Muslim voters through handouts.Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said the government wants to assist India’s roughly 175 million Muslims without ...

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 ...

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