Is India an outlet for Sotheby's unsold art?

By Uma Nair, IANS,

Did international auction house Sotheby's bring famed contemporary artist Damien Hirst's works to India because a "mountain" of unsold works lies in wait in London? Is Sotheby's looking at India to sell hitherto unsold art?

These are the questions being asked by art critics and collectors in India, but a declaration Friday by the Bloomberg publication announced that Damien Hirst's London dealer White Cube has denied it has a "mountain" of unsold works before a Sotheby's sale that previewed in the Hamptons and New Delhi two days ago.

From Kashmir to Orissa, the saffron camp's violent role

By Amulya Ganguli, IANS,

Just as the deaths of 'kar sevaks' (Hindu pilgrims) in an arson attack on their train led to retaliatory violence by the Hindutva brigade against Muslims in Gujarat in 2002, similarly the murder of five Hindus, including the head of an ashram in Orissa, has sparked off attacks against Christians by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Bajrang Dal activists.

Terrorising Muslims in the Name of Countering Terrorism

By Yoginder Sikand,

In the face of a seemingly unending wave of fake encounters, killings and arrests of innocent Muslims across the country falsely accused by the police of being ‘terrorists’, a three-day Peoples’ Tribunal was recently held in Hyderabad on ‘Atrocities Committed Against Minorities in the Name of Fighting Terrorism’.

India is not a secular state: Dr. Omar Khalidi

By Kashif-ul-Huda,,

Last July, a meeting of Rajasthan Minority Commission started with lighting lamps in front of a photo of Vagdevi, the goddess of learning. Rajasthan has declared Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, Sikhs, and Parsis as minorities and none of these light lamps before Vagdevi. Then what was the need to worship a Hindu deity in a Minority Commission's meeting? To many who have seen all government functions begin with lighting of lamps, this comes not as a surprise.

Indian Muslims: Spiritualise the radicals

By M. Rajaque Rahman, IANS,

The toll in the serial blasts in Bangalore and Ahmedabad needs to be counted beyond the numbers of deaths and injured. If the bombings are the handiwork of the Indian Mujaheeden as claimed by the outfit, then the biggest casualty of the latest episodes of fanatical madness is India's ability to tackle terrorism.

Danger signals: Maoists seek linkages with Muslim extremists

By P.V. Ramana, IANS,

Naxalites of the Communist Party of India Maoist (CPI-Maoist) have condemned the extension of the proscription on the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), which has been involved in a series of bomb blasts in India. According to media reports, Azad, spokesperson of the Central Committee of the CPI-Maoist, said "it was a reiteration of the (government's) policy to continue its brutal war on Muslims".

The curious case of India's oil policy

By Sushma Ramachandran, IANS,

India's petroleum policies are getting curiouser and curiouser. The latest report on the oil sector by former petroleum secretary B.K. Chaturvedi has proposed a phased raise in oil product prices so that eventually, domestic retail prices are brought on a par with international levels. This is surely an Alice in Wonderland proposal.


The boxer, the body - knockout combo for Indian sports

By Chitra Padmanabhan, IANS,

The Beijing Olympics have proved one thing at least: the prophets of doom who claim that India is only cricket -- sorry, cricketer -- crazy have mud on their collective face.

A keen sporting instinct has taken root in the Indian psyche as never before. The sheer genius of the media in popularising sports and mentoring the public is worthy of salutation.

Take Indian middleweight Vijender Kumar's momentous quarterfinal bout Aug 20, which earned him a bronze.


Sign language over cell phones now possible in US


Washington : A Washington University team has developed a software that enables deaf or hard-of-hearing Americans to use sign language over a mobile phone video link.

The real-time video communication between cell phones, demonstrated for the first time in the country, has evoked tremendous response from the aurally challenged since its posting on YouTube.

"A lot of people are excited about this," said principal investigator Eve Riskin, a professor of electrical engineering at the Washington University (WU).

Saffron brigade dividing Hindus, Muslims in Jammu and Kashmir

By Amulya Ganguli, IANS,

The Amarnath land transfer row has come as a godsend to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which was looking for an emotive issue after the Ayodhya temple movement fizzled out. The party now hopes to recapture the mood of the "awakening" of Hindus, which was associated with Ayodhya, to consolidate its position in the run-up to the next round of assembly elections.