Why did not Europe anticipate terror attacks?

By Saeed Naqvi,

It challenges credulity that Europe did not anticipate terrorist attacks after its involvement in direct and indirect military action against the people of Libya, Syria, ISIS and so on.

Paris: Peshawar and Boko Haram – Religion, Politics and Violence

The question is; are such acts due to Islam or Muslims as such? How does one understand the association of label of religion with acts of violence and terror?

By Ram Puniyani,

Massacre of hundreds of children in Peshawar by Pakistani Taliban; the atrocities – murders-kidnappings by Boko Haram, an Islamist group and the attack on Paris cartoon magazine Charlie Hebdo killing 12 have occurred in a short span of few months. The popular perception of relationship between violence and Islam got a further boost. The phrase ‘Islamic Terrorism’, which was created by US media in the aftermath of 9/11, got a further shot in the arms. It got a booster dose of unprecedented level. The debates regarding freedom of expression, sharia laws, education for girls continued to be in the fore and columns after column either dissociating Islam from these mindless acts or boosting the perception of Muslims being in the business of merciless killing of their own kith and other with gay abandon; dominated the visual and print media in January 2015.

Whither national identity: Mono-culture subsumes all other identities

By Jaspal Singh,

Liberalism forces one into adopting a uni-dimensional mode of being and identity. So your national identity, which was very crucial for bourgeoisie in Europe to establish in opposition to monarchy, was to subsume all other identities. Bourgeoisie wanted undivided loyalty to the nation and not to the king or church as was the case earlier, so it had to privilege nation and national identity and demanded that all other identities be subsumed under it. It allowed the ruling bourgeois elite to monopolize and control all the natural and human resources of a particular area.

Prakash Desai: He was a knowledge storehouse on India

By Sam Pitroda,

Prakash N. Desai, a leading psychiatrist in Chicago and a great mind on Indian thought, died on Jan 5, 2015 at age 74.

His knowledge of India and its rituals, people, customs, festivals, languages, mythology, and traditions was exceptional. He spoke eloquently and wrote frequently on many of these issues related to South Asian immigration, personality and politics, psychological analysis, traditional medicine and Gandhi, and interacted with academics at universities both in the US and in India.

Political kaleidoscope: NN Vohra misfit, PS Gill suited as J&K Governor

By Bilal Bashir Bhat,

With speculation of governor change in offing in Jammu & Kashmir, political kaleidoscope is full of analysis as to who can replace the present Governor N N Vohra, who now does not seem to fit in the present scheme of things. Political Pundits state that considering the nomenclature and policy matters of the present Central government and also what can be the nature of upcoming state government makes Vohra a misfit in this scenario. Analysts are opining that even if the state of J&K remains under President’s Rule for long haul, still N N Vohra does not suit the contours of the overall situations.

If Mohammad, Jesus can be caricatured, why not Marx, Voltaire, Rousseau?

By Soroor Ahmed,,

After the brutal killing of 12 people in an attack on Charlie Hebdo on January 7, it was argued that the magazine not only caricatured Prophet Mohammad (PBUH), but Jesus Christ, Pope and leaders of other religions too. But nobody asked if it ever made any cartoon on the ‘godless’ philosophers such as Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels etc.

Minorities and mainstream: A Paradox

By Irfan Khan,

India has not celebrated its diversity but has only accommodated it. There is a covert thought that minorities will be a part of the mainstream soon. Relative insignificance of minorities is mainly because India is a democracy. Something has to be done to make them significant.

Kouachis of Paris and Continental Sagacity

By Syed Zafar Mahmood,

There is general consensus in the world, and rightly so, that every terrorist must be given exemplary punishment. Kouachis too have met with their deserved fate. However, the well considered purposes of any punishment include retribution, incapacitation and deterrence. In the case of Kouachis, the first two have been more than fulfilled but what about deterring their kind of persons from committing similar crimes in future? Keeping that in mind if we simply feel content to have quickly caught and brought Kouachis to ‘justice’, we would be lamented by the posterity as short sighted and selfish – not adequately concerned with the welfare of the upcoming generations. What happened in Paris was not an isolated act of terrorism; it manifested a mindset we need to go deep into.

Peace Be Upon Him

By Ilma Afroz for,

The attack on Charlie Hebdo’s office in Paris is heinous. It’s gruesome. It’s murderous. It’s cowardly. It’s all of these. United Nations – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed his rage at the shooting. He referred to it as "despicable", "horrendous, unjustifiable and cold-blooded crime.” And there is much more to it.

Banking sector reforms and India's competitiveness

By Amit Kapoor,

A globally competitive economy requires a robust and competitive banking system. The present banking system is a result of reforms and policy changes that have taken place in the past.