"If the resources of the States do not increase commensurately, how is the Finance Minister going to protect the social sector from suffering on account of lack of resources?": E Ahmad, IUML

Member of Parliament E Ahamed from the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) tore open the budget speech presented by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. Following is Ahamed's speech in the Lok Sabha disapproving various provisions, rather lack of it, on Monday, March 16, 2015.

India's maritime awakening? Modi endorses a Blue Revolution

By C. Uday Bhaskar,

The three island-nation trip that took Prime Minister Modi to Seychelles, Mauritius and Sri Lanka in mid-March may well mark the beginning of India's long-overdue maritime awakening. For a nation so richly endowed with a distinctive maritime geography, the paradox has been the tenacious indifference, often veering towards inexcusable sea-blindness, that has characterised Delhi's policy orientation as regards the Indian Ocean.

Religion, politics and society in South Asia

Violence in the name of religion has a political motto, the agenda; the values of the pre-modern feudal classes in a modern context

By Ram Puniyani,

What has religion to do with politics? What has violence to do with religion? And how does the expression of major political agenda shape itself in contemporary times? Roughly speaking it seems that the religion is being used as a cover for many a political phenomenon. This seems to be the observation more so from South Asian-West Asian perspective.

The competitiveness of Inddia's insurance sector

By Amit Kapoor,

The Rajya Sabha passed the Insurance Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2015 on March 14 after the Lok Sabha had earlier passed it on March 4. The enactment of this bill has the potential to be a historic game-changer for India's insurance industry.

The Indian economy needs a dovish Raghuram Rajan

By Vatsal Srivastava,

The global economy is still very much in the zero interest rate policy (ZIRP) era with the exception of the US Federal Reserve which is widely expected to raise rates this year.

Sixteen of 18 industrialized nations have seen their inflation reading run below expectations as deflationary forces continue to exert pressure on the global economy. After many years, inflation has cooled off to a level where India can aggressively begin an interest rate easing cycle to jumpstart the much talked about cyclical recovery.

Hijrah of the Ansar

A page from the book on History of the Ansar

By Muhammad Tariq Ghazi,

Mass migration is a human peculiarity. Large numbers of people have been moving from place to place for various reasons: natural calamities like famine and drought, floods and storms, earthquakes and landslides, in addition to manmade disasters like wars, massacres, genocides, economic blockades, social boycotts and exclusion of defenceless and voiceless communities, etc.

India among top 20 countries in Global Muslim Travel Index

The main criteria taken into account in the ranking includes its suitability as a family holiday destinations, the level of services and facilities it provides for Muslim travelers and the marketing initiatives of the destination targeting this segnment.

By Sharique Anwer,,

In a most comprehensive research released by the “MasterCard-CrescentRating Global Muslim Travel Index” in 2015, India has been ranked among top 20 non- organization of Islamic Cooperation (non-OIC) destinations for the year 2015. India secured 14th position among the top 20 destinations in which Singapore has topped the list. In the category of Organization of Islamic cooperation (OIC) Malaysia came 1st for the fifth consecutive year since its inception in 2011.

Disproving Shakespeare: The greatest Roman in literary fiction

By Vikas Datta,

Only a few historical figures retain their renown in the relentless march of time, with one yardstick being widespread, continuing depictions across various cultures. Two of these are prominent figures from the ancient Graeco-Roman world, but their legacy is enduring - one's name is still used for a victorious champion (especially in the Indian subcontinent) and the other's for a monarch in his own land as well as wide swathes of Europe and Asia down to the modern age, still names a month and is forever linked with today's date (or the Ides of March).


Vinod Mehta, A Prince among journalists

By Saeed Naqvi,

Vinod Mehta would have been flabbergasted. He would never have expected such a turnout at his funeral - the most powerful politicians, journalists, writers, cartoonists, artists, everybody except... well, in that exception possibly lay the secret of his success. The fixers and their patrons were not there.

Holy cow-beef and Indian political games

By Ram Puniyani,

Can the dietary practices – the animal which is worshipped as a mother by section of a population – be brought in on the political arena? While all this sounds surreal, it is true as far as the role a cow occupies in the Indian political firmament.

Recently, Maharashtra government got the President’s assent to the bill ‘Maharashtra Animal Preservation (Amendment) Bill 1995’ which will now ban the slaughter of bulls and bullocks as well. The defaulters will face a prison term of five years and a fine of Rs 10,000.