This near and yet so far: India/Pakistan travelogues by Indians/Pakistanis

By Vikas Datta,

A colleague recently visited Lahore to cover a fashion show. She enjoyed her sojourn but experienced a poignant episode when returning which she immortalised on Facebook. "An incident that made me feel bad about the existence of a border between India and Pakistan...There was a 60-year-old man who touched Indian soil and started crying the moment he crossed the border today. Reason - he was not given a visa for the past 28 years to meet his son in Kolkata and today he got that... Are government policies more important than human emotions?"

Is it possible to ignore Aam Aadmi Party ?

By Kaleem Kawaja,

People who are describing Aam aadmi Party as “dangerous, anarchic, publicity seeker” who is unfit for the Indian democracy, are mostly from the generation that has grown used to long established political parties and the abuses, corruption, communalism, dynasty politics, authoritarianism, crony capitalism that they perpetrate on the nation. These folks think that if you want democracy, you have to pay this price. To them acting boldly and quickly is “dangerous and anarchic”.

BJP knocking on the Muslims door

By Uzair Hasan Rizvi,

The elections campaign in India is certainly getting more and more nerve-wrecking as the parties are leaving no-stone unturned to woo all the communities and especially the Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) are playing different games altogether when it comes to appeasing the Muslim voters.

Not a very Azam way of making election speech

By Soroor Ahmed,,

Almost 15 years after the Kargil War and three Lok Sabha and three Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections later Samajwadi Party leader and a senior minister in Akhilesh Yadav cabinet, Azam Khan, has been reminded that it was the Muslim soldiers who alone ensured the victory in 1999. Later, while explaining his statement Khan claimed it was a strategy of the Indian Army to use Muslim soldiers to trick the Pakistani Army.

Unrepentant SP seeks to play minority-victim card

By Mohit Dubey ,

Lucknow: An unrepentant Azam Khan, Uttar Pradesh's loud-mouth urban development minister, continues to justify his acerbic speeches and acid-laced comments on political opponents and has now - with the party's ostensible backing - decided to turn the heat on the Election Commission (EC), accusing it of being "prejudiced towards Muslims".

Four Indians arrested with huge foreign currency cache

By Anil Giri ,

Kathmandu: Nepal police have apprehended four Indians from Nepalgunj along the India-Nepal border Friday evening with a huge cache of foreign currency while they were trying to board a Kathmandu-bound flight at the local airport.

The police confisticated 179,500 euros, $2,900 and 1,300 Thai bhats - accounting to more than NRs.24.59 million - from the four Indians.

Police claimed that the men had hidden the money inside their underwear.

India: Non vegetarian majority with a vegetarian ruling class?

By Saeed Naqvi,

The Hindu newspaper, which has its main office in Chennai, has asked its employees not to bring non vegetarian food to the dining room because the smell offends vegetarian members of the staff.

Is it an illiberal step? In the times we live, dietary restriction, or license, would be the wrong measure to gauge liberalism in a newspaper office.

Political overdose amid election fervour

The timing just couldn't have been better. Writers, journalists and experts are using all their political wisdom to analyse and dissect events, politicians and governance to help people form an informed opinion during the ongoing Lok Sabha elections. IANS bookshelf has political books of many hues. Take a look.

1. Book: The New Indian Middle Class; Author: Pavan K. Varma; Publisher: Harper Collins; Pages: 101; Price: Rs. 299

Fighting communalism through social service

By Faisal Khan,

We strongly believe that we can’t fight with communalism only through seminars, symposiums and long discussions in the groups specially those holding the same ideology as us. For the social service in the truest sense, the society at large must be faced in the field itself.

Beef, Pink Revolution in Elections

By Ram Puniyani,

This time around (2014) the practitioners of sectarian politics had projected as if they will harp only on the issues related to development and Governance. But that surely is for sayings sake. While propaganda of development of Gujarat, strong leader, good governance is on the forefront, there is a lurking doubt that many a people may be by now realizing that the story of so called development cannot be defended beyond a point as so many studies and reports have shown the contrary facts. Authoritarian and dictatorial leader is not a strong leader, one is clear about that as strong leader is one who is inclusive and takes others along. So back to the fundamentals of communal politics, the issues related to ‘identity and faith’ are being subtly propped up.