Is Sunni world suffering from Shia phobia?

By Soroor Ahmed,,

To save their respective monarchies, the Saudi and Gulf rulers, with the help of the western masters, have been whipping up anti-Shia passion ever since the Islamic Revolution in Iran on February 11, 1979.

Yemen, where Zaidi Shias are considered much closer to Sunnis, is the latest example. About 35-45 % population is Shia and there is no such sectarian conflict whatsoever. In fact, these Zaidis were very close to Salafi Saudis till a few months back.

LPG subsidy: Make choice opting in, not opting out

By Nihit Goyal,

It was believed that Finance Minister Arun Jaitley would withdraw the LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) subsidy for those who fall in the 30-percent tax bracket. However, this budget included no such measure. Thereafter, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has repeatedly called on people to "give it up" and join the "opt out of subsidy" scheme. While over 300,000 consumers have thus far enrolled in this scheme, this is a tiny fraction of the 150 million LPG users in the country.

“Dalits are not definitely a block, and there is an intellectual blossom,” Kancha Ilaiah

By Ajmal Khan and Anish for,

Professor Kancha Ilaiah had well predicted that Narendra Modi would become the next Prime Minister under BJP, and he has also been instrumental in raising criticism on how Indian Left failed to understand the caste question. After the parliament elections, he described how the caste equations has been used in the country by the BJP. As soon as the BJP came into power, many decisions have already been taken by the ruling government, which will have far reaching consequences on the lives of dalits, adivasis, Muslims and Bahujans. In this context, Ajmal Khan and Anish engaged in conversation with Kancha Ilaiah, writer, a dalit rights activist and former Professor and head of the Political Science department at the Osmania University, Hyderabad, on contemporary politics in India, particularly on Muslim, Dalit and Bahujan politics. He argues, that Muslims will have to form their own national party or a national coalition of all the Muslim parties by retaining their political and social identity.

Shamans, Communists and Crimes: The Dr Siri series

By Vikas Datta,

Devices for travelling instantly to any corner of the world and any time period already exist - they are called books.

Though Western Europe and North America may form the most frequent settings for English fiction, there is at least one writer who will use unconventional locales - Africa's arid wastes or trackless bush, Central America's steamy forests, South Pacific's laid-back but isolated islands or elsewhere - and any time of recorded history. Like this author who brings into focus a landlocked Southeast Asian country amid the throes of revolutionary change in a series of mysteries, which incorporate both the unseen world of spirits and an absurd Communist bureaucracy.


Net neutrality is essential for human survival

By Syed Ali Mujtaba,

The internet’s privatization debate has intensified in India. It is hogging limelight because government is kite flying the idea to privatize the internet and allow the telecom companies to make money on customized services.

Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi has leveled the charge that Modi government that has come to power with the help of corporate money is now trying to pay them back their money by privatizing the internet.

Land Acquisition Bill takes away rights of farmers and pits them against 'Make in India'

By Dr Rahul Pandey and Dr Sandeep Pandey, Citizen News Service,

Since the past several months we have seen the NDA government aggressively pushing through changes in land acquisition policy, first in the form of Ordinance in December 2014 and then, as it was passed as a Bill with nine changes in Lok Sabha but faced roadblock in Rajya Sabha, re-promulgating it before its expiry in April 2015. With the government calling the Bill pro-farmer and pro-development and most of opposition parties and social activists opposing it as anti-farmer, it is useful to sieve through the noise and look at the changes proposed and what existed earlier.

Farmer suicides: Is moving from farms to factories the answer?

By Amulya Ganguli,

The stir against land acquisition took a tragic and macabre turn when a farmer hanged himself during an Aam Admi Party (AAP) rally in the heart of the national capital. The mortifying episode only showed how the political exploitation of a complex problem was diverting attention from what really needed to be done.

Turn Riba into charity

By Dr Syed Zafar Mahmood,

Islam's basic pillar is equality in society (Masawaat). That's one reason why Quran prescribes for circulation of wealth across the social spectrum. This is an important dimension of God's emphasis on developing a wide-angled charitable disposition. The overarching purpose is to ensure that the community's wealth does not remain confined among a few hands; rather it keeps percolating across and circulating in the societal body:

‘I want to visit Pakistan before my death’ – Sardar Son Singh from shrine of Bu Ali Shah Qalander

By Ravi Nitesh,

At a time, when we are witnessing difficult times for communal harmony and situation of conflict between India and Pakistan, at a time when few advocate and propagate hatred in the name of religion and nationality, there still are examples that are shining like a ray of hope.

Yemen reminded us again: Indian media aloof from world affairs

By Saeed Naqvi,

Werner Adam, the late foreign Editor of Frankfurter Allgemeine, used to tell me a story about his meeting in Moscow with India’s ambassador, T.N. Kaul.

Kaul had barely started his conversation with Adam when his secretary tip toed in and handed Kaul a slip of paper. “Dobrynin on the line,” Kaul whispered to Adam. Kaul then proceeded to have a conversation with Anatoly Dobrynin, Moscow’s ambassador to Washington since 1962 and now Gorbachev’s principal adviser on foreign affairs, with almost undiplomatic informality.