Irony of peace award amid India-Pakistan border friction

By C Uday Bhaskar,

In a surprise announcement, India's little-known child rights adherent Kailash Satyarthi and Pakistan’s Malala Yousafzai have together been awarded this year’s prestigious Noble Peace Prize "for their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education".

Dark Diwali for 500,000 families - thanks to Chinese firecrackers

By Venkatachari Jagannathan,

Chennai: It may not be a cracker of a Diwali this year for about 500,000 families in Tamil Nadu's Sivakasi town - India's biggest firecrackers manufacturing hub - as they fear getting swamped by Chinese firecrackers.

"Two years back the illegal imports of Chinese firecrackers were sporadic. But this year it was phenomenal, threatening the domestic industry's very existence," G. Abiruben, president of the Tamil Nadu Fireworks and Amorces Manufacturers Association (TNFAMA), Sivakasi, told IANS over phone.

Pakistan again raises Kashmir in UN

By Arul Louis,

United Nations: Raising the Kashmir issue yet again at the UN, Pakistan dragged the UN Military Observer Group (UNMOGIP) into the current situation along the Line of Control where cross-border shelling has flared up.

"UNMOGIP must be enabled to play its role in monitoring the ceasefire," Pakistan's UN Ambassador Masood Khan told the General Assembly Tuesday.

Kultar's Mime - A play that recreates the anti-Sikh violence of 1984

​"​Gentle again, the wheel will turn and evil will take flight​"​

By Umang Kumar,

Between Oct 31 and Nov 3, exactly 30 years ago in 1984, bloody violence was visited upon the Sikh community in India after the news that the then Indian Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi, had been assassinated by her Sikh bodyguards.

Sir Syed Day Lecture and Dinner Celebration by the Aligarh Alumni Association (AAA) of Washington DC

By Dr Syed Amir and Dr Zafar Iqbal for,

The Aligarh Alumni Association of Washington DC (AAA) celebrated the Sir Syed Day function on Sunday, September 28, a day following the annual Mushaira.

Both events assumed special significance as 2014 marks the 40th anniversary of the birth of the AAA in the Washington area. Professor Gopi Chand Narang, the former Chairman of the elite Sahitya Akademi of India, and well-known literary figure and recipient of many prestigious awards, including Padma Bhushan, was invited to be the special guest. The theme of his talk was “How Sir Syed and Ghalib Promoted Traditions of Enlightenment.”

International gold price should bottom around $1,050-$1,100/ounce

By Vatsal Srivastava,

Gold has lost its year to date gains post Friday’s blockbuster US jobs data. The headline US unemployment rate came in at 5.9 percent — the last time the unemployment rate was below 6 percent was in July 2008. The US economy added 248,000 jobs in September, which marked the 48th straight month of job creation. This was sufficient news flow for traders to push back the price of the precious metal below $1,200/ounce as the probability of an earlier than expected rate hike by the Fed looks likely. After tumbling by as much as 28 percent last year, if gold keeps inching downwards in the fourth quarter, it would be the first back to back year of losses since the great bull-run begun in 1998.


India needs holistic infrastructure development

By Amit Kapoor & Sankalp Sharma,

India is an infrastructure-starved country - be it roads, ports, railways, airports, power generation or distribution facilities, irrigation facilities, access to telecom infrastructure or even the very basic housing and sanitation infrastructure. Some people also prefer to call it an implementation deficit. But the terminology makes little difference to the reality one looks at every day. It is pathetic considering we have completed 67 years post independence and achieved little on the infrastructure front. This is especially visible to residents of urban centers like Gurgaon, which are supposed to be the centers of global business and urban prosperity in India. The problem we believe is that we tend to look at infrastructure in silos and not as a concrete whole that is critically important for growth and development of this critical enabler for almost all aspects of our lives.

Civility against Caste: Dalit Politics and Citizenship in Western India

Title: Civility against Caste: Dalit Politics and Citizenship in Western India
Author: Prof. Suryakant Waghmore
Publisher: Sage India
Year: January, 2014

Review by: Yogesh Maitreya for,

Civility is the least discussed discourse in India. In post-constitutional Indian society, the idea of civility has formed a binary: on one hand, ‘civil society’ that has been propagated by media and resources which are dominated and owned by Brahmin-Bania associations and on the other hand, the civility which has been practice by NGOs and political organisations led by Dalits. The latter had started with the core motive of annihilation of caste and, found its genesis in the struggles of Mahatma Fule and Dr. B.R.Ambedkar in Maharashtra. The idea of civility, practiced by Dalit NGOs and political groups, is contrary to the idea of civility which Brahmin-Bania possess and propagate in India, simply because idea of civility practiced by Dalits aims at annihilation of caste; precisely, Dalit civility is the ‘Civility against Caste’.

Is the face of Hinduism changing?

By Ram Puniyani

Fali S Nariman recently made a very significant observation on the current political situation in India.

Modi co-opts US business in remaking India

By Saroj Mohanty,

One thing that singularly defined Prime Minister Narendra Modi's high voltage US visit was the open courting of American capital and his efforts to alter the narrative about India as an investment destination. In his individual and collective meetings with business leaders in New York and Washington, he pledged to take a series of steps in the coming months to ease doing of business in India. Modi told them to invest in India before the queue became too long.