Kashmir at cross roads: What’s in store for Kashmiris if BJP is part of the government?

By Ram Puniyani,

The recent (December 2014) verdict of Kashmir elections has been fractured, so to say. While the PDP has emerged as the single largest party, the BJP is a close second with substantial percentage of votes. Interestingly, the BJP has secured most seats and major vote share from the Hindu majority Jammu region of Kashmir. Now the dilemma for the other parties, National Conference, Congress is in which direction to go as far as the government formation is concerned.

Extremists amongst us

Time for ordinary Muslims to stand up: While religious leaders avoided talking about worldly issues and muslibs (liberal Muslims) shied away from talking about religion; extremists moved into the vacuum that existed at the intersection of modern technology and religious identity.

By Kashif-ul-Huda,,

“They are not Muslims,” was how many reacted as heart wrenching photos and videos started coming in last month from Peshawar where terrorists had attacked a school and killed over 130 children. I identify with the helplessness and anger that forces some of us to say such words. This is a way for normal, ordinary Muslims to distance themselves and their religion from terrorists capable of committing such a heinous crime. But this posturing offers no long-term solution to the problem of extremisms.

Padma awards are losing their sheen

By Vishnu Makhijani,

Once again a controversy has erupted over the Padma awards even before they have been officially announced with shuttler Saina Nehiwal, an Olympic bronze medallist, throwing a fit over not being considered and the sports ministry meekly caving in.

Asma Nama: P for Preaching; P for Practice?

Are Today’s Muslims Only Talking Toms?

By Dr Asma Anjum Khan for,

Whenever I read George Bernard Shaw saying, ‘Islam is the best religion and Muslims are the worst people’, it makes me angry. Be it the international scene or our closed communities, does Shaw metaphor stick to us (and stinks too?)

Death of an idea, birth of an institution

By Amit Kapoor,

The past week, apart from ushering in the New Year was also witness to the birth of a new institution in India. The formation of the NITI (National Institution for Transforming India) Aayog has brought the focus back on the country's reforms process.

Time for the world to mend their biased opinion towards Muslims

By Aziz A Mubaraki,

It is although strange, but a fact. Almost a ritual that after every incident of violence involving a Muslim perpetrator, each and every one of the world’s billion-plus Muslims, especially those living in Asian sub continent (read India), is expected to issue a public condemnation denouncing it in strongest terms.

For readers, simple New Year gifts and thoughts

By Saeed Naqvi,

In recent years, I have been alert to the possibility that I may one day be identified as a Muslim. Instead of pride, this new sense of being has arrived with doubt. Some items of identity are so close to one's skin that one grows up without noticing them. But we are now advancing towards an age of such concentrated focus that we need to narrow our vision.

The imaginary ‘other’

By Ilma Afroz,

The recent action of the Gujarat police to conduct a mock security drill with the faux prototype of a dreaded terrorist as the ‘other’ – the person in a skull cap brings to the floor some timely questions.

Saiyid Hamid: Kuchh Yaadein, Kuchh Batein

By MahtabNama,

Educationist, social reformer, laureate, writer and former-vice chancellor of the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), Saiyid Hamid breathed his last on 29th of December 2014 at the age of 94, after a prolonged illness.

The West's Afghanistan quagmire: Books that tell you why

By Vikas Datta,

US-led NATO forces ended their 13-year-old combat mission in Afghanistan last weekend. Though it may be too soon to gauge its impact, any assessment doesn't seem to be very favourable. Ruling it a success or failure will depend on what objectives are considered. If it was to cripple the Al Qaeda, they may have succeeded, but if it was restoring stability and peace in a country that had not known either for over three decades, then success is hardly the proper word. And this is despite several observers, and even some participants, turning out a range of incisive books since 2010 with warnings about the sorry state of affairs.