Privatization of justice & "Sharia courts"

By Faizan Mustafa,

The apex court in its landmark decision on 7th July, 2014 held that sharia courts are not courts as Indian legal does not recognize a parallel judicial system. In fact neither Muslim Personal Board nor seminary at Deoband ever asserted that sharia courts are ‘courts’ in the strict sense of the term. But then is it not a fact that privatization of justice is fact of life not only in India but in most developed countries? Does our law not recognize arbitration and other alternative methods of dispute resolution? Are not sharia courts and fatwas different and therefore should not be clubbed together? What has been the performance of sharia courts in last 94 years? Has not the latest decision given new lease of life to the sharia courts? are some of the pertinent issues which need critical examination.

Bank of Japan's liquidity splurge will counter US Fed taper

By Vatsal Srivastava,

One might think that the Zero Interest Rate Policy (ZIRP) era is coming to an end. The US Federal Reserve will be concluding its Quantitative Easing (QE) program by year-end and we can expect the first interest rate hike in mid-2015. The Bank of England (BoE) is sounding hawkish as is seen by the run-up in the pound over the past few months. The Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) has already started hiking interest rates and is widely expected to raise the benchmark rate further by 25 basis points later this week. The European Central Bank (ECB) has said that it would unleash a European version of QE if deflationary threats are not overcome but there remain too many legal and political challenges for Mario Draghi to implement the QE. One has to look far east to the Bank of Japan to answer the following question: Where will the liquidity come from post the ZIRP era?


A new way of thinking about Islam

By Usama Khalidi,

A new Islam is rising in America largely under the media’s radar, which is routinely and profitably focused on the more competitively conservative, and violent, Islam of the Boko Haram of Nigeria, the Taliban of Afghanistan and Pakistan, and now the infamous ISIS, the “Islamic State of Iraq and Syria”, founders of a newly minted “Caliphate”. Consider this:

BRICS but not yet a Building

By Amit Kapoor,

The recently concluded BRICS annual summit held in Brazil resulted in the important Fortaleza Declaration and Action Plan from the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. The joint declaration has some important points that highlight the importance of this year’s summit.

Whither women's security in Akhilesh's Uttar Pradesh?

Being a woman and moving around in Akhilesh Yadav's Uttar Pradesh seems to be a mortally scaring thought.

While union home ministry records show that rape cases in India's most populous state of over 200 million people, which sends the largest number of 80 lawmakers to the national parliament, have seen a quantum jump of 55 percent over the previous year, the state government and the police force, possiblyl the largest in the country and pathetic by all standards, continues to drag its feet in one-line statements and knee-jerk reactions of setting up teams and taking the PR route of "CM blasted officials, probe is in the right direction".

Asian exports: Will 'decoupling' theory work this time around?

By Vatsal Srivastava,

During the financial crisis of 2008, there was a prevailing view among asset managers that a sell-off in developed market (DM) equities would not lead to a downturn in emerging market (EM) equities, especially in Asia. This ‘decoupling’ theory was supported by the fact that Asia could decouple from DM and US demand. It was argued that intra-Asian demand had become more important for Asian exports than DM demand. Further, the loss of DM demand would be offset by China, thus providing a buffer for Asian exporters.


Extending solidarity from Mumbai for Palestine

By Yogesh Maitreya & Daisy Katta,

With the energetic recital of humanitarian songs from “Republican Panther”, a Mumbai based Dalit and Human rights cultural organisation, the meeting to condemn Israeli act of genocide in Palestine has accelerated amidst the wetly evening of 19th July, in Mumbai.

Gaza violence: India's parliament must reflect on Gandhi's words

By C Uday Bhaskar,

After considerable vacillation that brought little credit to the world's largest democracy, the Indian parliament is now set to discuss the violence and bloodshed in Gaza on Monday, July 21.

Lowering juvenile age to curb offences doubtful prescription

By Parmod Kumar,

Union Minister for Women and Child Development Menaka Gandhi's suggestion to lower the lower the juvenile age from 18 years to 16 so that those accused of heinous crimes such as rape can be punished instead of being sent to reform homes is an outdated proposition.

Passport woes are unending: Sushma needs to crack the whip

By M.R. Narayan Swamy,

Ever heard of a government department whose one wing goes en masse for lunch while the other wing efficiently continues to function, leaving scores of people - the elderly and women with crying babies included - cursing their fate? Welcome to the passport office in Delhi.