Then they came for Christians…

By Ram Puniyani,

Patriot’s Nokia Mobile

By Omair Anas,

Playing cricket in South Asia is more than a sport. It is mix of politics both at home and across the border. So much so that cricket diplomacy is employed when real diplomacy seems to fail. Being a student of international relations, I am always careful about cricket though not about playing. One has to learn when cricket is sport and when it is diplomacy.

Secularism as way of life key to Muslims’ empowerment

By Usama Khalidi,

The preeminence acquired by the Jews in the West over a mere 50 years holds many lessons for large minority populations that may find themselves in adverse political circumstances, of course because of the vagaries of recent history; who isn't a victim of it? Going beyond mere envy, Muslims everywhere need to ponder how the Jews acquired their political and economic dominance in just a few decades. It was certainly not through any use of quotas and reservations in jobs or college admissions, or seats in legislatures.

Islam, democracy and violence

By Asghar Ali Engineer,

I was invited last week to Indonesia for a series of lectures by Asia Calling International Radio to speak on Islam, Democracy and Nation state. These days Indonesian intellectuals are rocked with questions we were faced with in early fifties in India. Also, all over Islamic world the question is being asked is Islam compatible with democracy and nation state? In Indonesia too, a largest Islamic country in the world the radical Islamists have raised this debate. The progressive Islamic thinkers there, are therefore, seized with these questions.

Terrifying Testimonies

By Yoginder Sikand,,

For several months now, almost no week passes without the media reporting about 'dreaded Muslim fundamentalists' being picked up by the police and allegedly confessing to being involved in bomb blasts or plots to engineer violence across India. It is not my argument that all of these reports are cooked-up and dished-out propaganda.

H.Y. Sharada Prasad: A man synonymous with Indira Gandhi

By S. Nihal Singh, IANS,

One of the most difficult jobs in the world is to be the interface between the media and the powerful. Several attempt it and come to grief. But a master practitioner of this demanding role was H.Y. Sharada Prasad, who died in New Delhi on Tuesday.

A man who was synonymous with Indira Gandhi over scores of years, he chose to stay in the shadows as a matter of policy. Yet like a magician who knew when he was needed, he would spring to life to throw morsels of news to oil the wheel of national politics or to serve broader interests.

Where were you when they crucified me?

By Maxwell Pereira, IANS,

"Ohh... sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble... Were you there when they crucified me on the Cross!" These haunting words with the accompanying melody of this hymn were the theme throughout this Sunday's service at the village church I usually attend within Gurgaon's new developments. Though far from the carnage in Orissa, the poignant, electrifying and gripping service this Sunday was a penitential prayer service, to pray for Orissa - its victims and its perpetrators.

Asif Zardari as next Pakistani president: Hope and Despondency

By C. Uday Bhaskar, IANS,

Pakistan is scheduled to elect its next president on Sep 6 after the resignation of General Pervez Musharraf from that office on Aug 18. From current evidence, it appears that Asif Zardari, the leader of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), will emerge victorious in the three-way contest. Given his dramatic rise from what the Pakistan media has characterised as "playboy to first husband" - and later "Mr. 10 percent" - to grieving widower of Benazir Bhutto, Zardari is now a few days away from the highest constitutional office in Pakistan.

Terrorism, communal violence and police

By Asghar Ali Engineer,

The role of police in democratic society is very different from that of police in colonial society. However, it is 61 years now that India became independent and there is no change in the role of police a wee bit. Today our police have become even more colonial in its attitude. The British colonial rulers had enacted the police an act in 1861 to use the police for suppression of people's movement and to terrorize colonized people. Our police too is terrorizing innocent people fighting for their rights.

A faster, higher, stronger fix: the sport of live coverage

By Chitra Padmanabhan, IANS,

On Aug 24, after the stupefying finale of the Beijing Olympics, it was time to whip out the little black book.

The Games were over and the familiar withdrawal symptoms were raising their ugly head. How fast the two Olympic weeks had flown by, despite the wonderfully botched coverage by Doordarshan.

Now where could one get one's next high, next fix? Cricket in Sri Lanka? Tennis at the US Open? When is the Twenty20, dash it?