K S Venkatachalam

K S Venkatachalam

The author is an independent journalist and political commentator. He tweets as @Venkat48 (twitter.com/venkat48)

Changing the perception of Islam in the world is a Muslim’s responsibility

Ever since the Paris attack on November  13, 2015, and mass shooting in San Bernardino, California on December 2, 2015, that left 14 people dead, there is growing antagonism against the Muslim community in the United Sates leading to increase in hate crimes like arson and vandalism at mosques, targeting hijab wearing women causing insecurity among the Muslim communities. Sadly, even the Sikhs have not been spared for they have often been mistaken to be representing radical Islamic elements. Many of the gurdwaras have been desecrated and many Sikhs had to bear the brunt of racist attacks. The politicians, especially ...

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Is Afghanistan making a mistake by excluding India from the peace process?

The International Crisis Group, an independent, non-profit, non-governmental organisation for resolving conflicts around the world recently convened a meeting on Peace and Security in Afghanistan under the aegis of Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs, on January 23 and 24, 2016, in Doha, Qatar. This was the second kind of such meeting organised by Pugwash to explore possible solutions to end the bloodshed in Afghanistan. Doha Conference At the Doha meeting, around 55 participants were present to discuss the possibility of hammering out a framework for a national reconciliation in Afghanistan. In a surprising development, the representatives of the Afghan Taliban, who had attended ...

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Saudi Arabia and Iran need to show the same level of political maturity as Pakistan

Saudi Arabia’s decision to severe its diplomatic ties with Iran were ill timed, especially because the world is witnessing a growing escalation of conflict in Syria, Iraq and Yemen. Instead of working closely on solving the crisis in the Middle East, they have only managed to strengthen the hands of all those forces that don’t want to see peace in the region. Furthermore, this will embolden terror outfits such as ISIS, who will readily take advantage in the already febrile region. With the recent detente between the United States and Iran, Saudi Arabia and Iran could have grabbed the opportunity ...

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Is Modi’s visit to Lahore being overshadowed by the Pathankot attack?

The impromptu visit of the Indian prime minister to Lahore on his way back from Kabul took everyone, including the Indian media, by surprise. Both the Indian public and the media sang praises for the statesmanship shown by both Narendra Modi and Nawaz Sharif for initiating confidence-building measures to put the peace process back on track. Nawaz broke protocol by receiving Modi at the airport and also seeing him off. Similarly, all leading newspapers of Pakistan welcomed Modi’s visit to Lahore in the hope that the stalled peace dialogue would be resumed in the interest of both the countries. [caption ...

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To defeat the ISIS, America needs to get Saudi Arabia on board

In the aftermath of the Paris tragedy, people are asking whether ISIS’s attempt to strike at public places is part of their deliberate strategy to attack liberal western values. The argument gains credence especially when one finds ISIS chose soft targets like a concert hall, a sports stadium and restaurants in Paris, a city which they described as a “den of prostitution and vice”, to instil fear in the minds of the people. Samuel Huntington, a well-known political scientist, wrote in his insightful and classic book “The Clash of Civilisations and Remaking of the World Order”, “… the principal conflicts of global politics will occur between nations and ...

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Can China and India ever be friends?

A comparison between India and China is inevitable – both the countries are on the cusp of becoming the world’s leading economies. Two recent events have boosted India’s image in the eyes of the world: Firstly, President Barrack Obama’s visit – he is the first US president to have attended India’s Republic Day parade as a guest of honour. And, secondly, the recent economic forecasts by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank which state that India’s pace of growth is set to outstrip that of China in 2016. In a major breakthrough, India and the US have reached a broad ...

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Salahuddin Chowdhury and Ali Ahsan Mujahid hangings: A case of ‘judicial murder’?

Salahuddin Quader Chowdhury, a senior opposition leader and former minister in Khaleda Zia’s government, and Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujahid of the Jamaat-e-Islami party were sent to the gallows last Sunday. The state of Bangladesh held them accountable for war crimes committed during the 1971 war of independence. The state’s actions have received widespread criticism from opposition parties and international human rights groups – not for their alleged war crimes, but in the way the entire trial was conducted. The defendants were not given a fair opportunity to produce their witnesses for their defence. The International Crimes Tribunal had awarded capital punishment to Chowdhury and Mujahid in October 2013. The Supreme Court of Bangladesh, ...

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What exactly was India’s role in the 9/11 attacks?

The world witnessed with utter disbelief, when live footage of two passenger planes flying directly into the Twin Towers was telecasted by all major channels of the world. Within minutes, the two towers were razed to the ground, with nearly 3,000 innocent people buried under. The investigations revealed that four passenger planes were hijacked by al Qaeda operatives from the East Coast. The entire operation was meticulously planned and executed by Mohamed Atta, an Egyptian, along with 18 other members, who were all linked to al Qaeda. All 19 hijackers perished in the crash. And for the first time, we saw terrorists launch attacks in a country, ...

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It is grossly unfair to accuse Modi alone for the growing intolerance in India today

India has been the cradle of religious pluralism for centuries. It is one of the few countries in the world that has been home for people belonging to different religions, castes, creeds, cultures, languages that, not only seamlessly assimilated to the Indian ethos, but also contributed significantly to the art and culture. Moreover, for centuries, Hindus, Muslims, Christians have coexisted peacefully. This has been primarily due to the tolerance shown by the Hindus towards people professing other faiths.  India, during the Mughal rule, excelled in art and culture – the many monuments we see today, like the Taj Mahal, Red ...

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Why India and Pakistan can draw lessons from China’s two-child policy

In 1979, when the Chinese government introduced the ‘one-child policy’, there was widespread criticism as it was felt that it was the biggest social engineering project ever introduced by China that infringed on the rights of women’s reproductive rights. However, the government justified the one-child policy, as it was the only available option it had to control the ever growing population. The Chairman of the Communist Party, Deng Xiaoping justified the policy as it would ensure that,  “The fruits of economic growth are not devoured by population growth.” The National Health and Family Planning Commission have claimed that the one-child policy prevented the births of four hundred ...

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