Are Hindutva hawks flying again?

By Amulya Ganguli,

The latest reported observations of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) supremo, Ashok Singhal, echo what the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) ideologue, M.S. Golwalkar, said in his 1939 publication, "We, or Our Nationhood Defined". In it, the Hindutva icon had given an outline of what the minorities can expect in India.

Gordimer: Chronicler of apartheid and South Africa’s transition

By Saeed Naqvi,

The world was in ideological transition when I met Nadine Gordimer in her bungalow in a Johannesburg suburb. Nelson Mandela had been released that very month after 27 years in the “White Man’s prison”. Earlier, the Soviet Union had collapsed.


Gods on Earth: Shankaracharya says no to worship of Sai Baba

By Ram Puniyani,

The phenomenon of God is probably the most complex one in the World. For believers there is a range of belief system about the supernatural powers. For agnostics it is ‘I don’t know’ and for atheists there is no supernatural power. The systems of thought relevant to the topic range from Animists (nature worshippers), polytheists (multiple gods/goddesses), tri-theists (Brahma-Vishnu-Mahesh or Father, Son and the Holy spirit), Monotheists (single Universal God) to Atheists. In the concept of God we have ‘god as a physical being’ to formless the God. Adivasis are animists, worshipping the nature and spirits of their ancestors. In different religions the concept is very different, including the fact that some religions do not have the concept of God like Buddhism and Jainism. Polytheism prevailed in Greek society, with different Gods and Goddesses endowed with special virtues. Ancient Aryans also had polytheism, with multitude of Gods and Goddesses looking after different virtues and aspects of the life on Earth. We have a Goddess each for wealth (Laxmi) knowledge (Sarswati) and Power (Durga) We also have a God each for lightening (Indra) air (Marut) sex (Kamdevta) liquor (Som devta) amongst the plethora of the divine powers. Hindu mythology is a rainbow exposition of the diversity and complexity of the lives of Gods and Goddesses.

The perils of social networking

By Mohammed Abdul Jawad,

O, what a blessed month is this! Yea, of course, I mean ‘Ramadan’—the month of sublime patience, repentance, forgiveness and generous spending. It carries its unique beauty, virtues and rewards. We ought to know the reality of fasting, the acts of worship, the manners of supplications, the essence of piety, the ways to achieve steadfastness and protection from deviations, the etiquettes of night prayer, the virtues of Laylatul Qadr (Night of Revelation) and the significance of charity.

Ramadan at a New York City construction site

By Misbahuddin Mirza, P.E.,

The premixed-mortar feeder belched a huge plume of gray dry cement cloud into the air as a new batch was fed into the mixer. I made a mental note of this as I stepped off the scaffold, and onto the stair-tower to begin my descent towards mother earth. The site was abuzz with life. Laborers were using mechanical lifts to convey construction material up to the construction location. Fork lifts scurried around moving pallets loaded with construction material.

Discrimination main reason behind high number of Muslims in prisons

By A. Mirsab,,

After analyzing the statistical data from National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB) from year 2001 to 2012, it has been found that the percentage of Muslims lying in prisons of the total prisoners was always greater than the share of Indian Muslims in the country’s population.

BRICS nations must demonstrate their soft power through their media

By Li Congjun,

In the past few weeks, I would sometimes watch the reruns of the exciting World Cup matches. My disappointment at the absence of Chinese footballers on the pitch was somehow mitigated by the fact that many products and services for the event are from China.

Effective utilization of Zakat can transform the “Zakat-takers” into “Zakat-givers”

By Faisal Thakur,

How many times do you come across a group of young, dynamic individuals driven by a dream, noble but yet so radical that you wonder with awe at the sheer effort that may be required to achieve it? Seldom.. But that’s precisely what we came across in a small room in Khar (Mumbai) where we met Mr. Javed Syed, who many know as an entrepreneur running a Graphics and Printing Business in Khar. However very few people know that he is also the Finance Secretary of the Association of Muslim Professionals (AMP) - an organization of socially and intellectually progressive Muslims. Mr Syed said “This room, right here has been the hub of all our administrative and promotional activities since the past 7 years. This is where most of the brainstorming happens whether it is for starting a new project or upgrading the existing ones. It all happens right here….”. Many will be deceived by this humble place in the midst of a busy suburb, however when you are introduced to AMP’s body of work that’s when you are truly surprised and intimidated.

The Budget and India's Future

By Amit Kapoor,

The past few days have been particularly historic when talking about the impact they can have on India's trajectory of growth and economic development. It is because the maiden budget from India’s new finance minister was announced on the July 10. It was a test of economic management on the part of the Narendra Modi government. There were a lot of expectations from the budget from all sections of society, be it business, agriculture or even the common man.

Global cues to guide Indian equities over the next week

By Vatsal Srivastava,

Prior to the finance minister’s budget speech, Currency Corner had argued that Indian equities are all set for a short-term correction irrespective of what Arun Jaitley delivers on the reform front. Markets have had an almost parabolic up move since April and profit booking around these price levels was inevitable. Markets still look overbought as current valuations are pricing in a substantial earnings upgrade in coming quarters. However, one can look at adding quality mid-cap and small-cap names as well as PSU banks which have witnessed a deep correction due to their higher betas in the last week while the Nifty has just fallen only a couple of percentage points.