Stories about India

Can Pakistan hold India responsible for religious discrimination?

A couple of days ago, the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 was passed by the Lok Sabha (upper house and the Rajya Sabha (lower house) of the Indian Parliament. Due to the discriminatory and exclusionary nature of the act, the Indian government is getting a lot of heat from the international media. Internally also, India has received and continues to receive flak from the liberal sections of the Indian press, Muslims and from populations of the northeastern states of India, who fear that the aforementioned bill will endanger their indigenous culture and languages. Several international humanitarian organisations, such as the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), Amnesty ...

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The Citizenship Amendment Bill has tarnished India’s secular ideals

When a government considers itself to be the sole arbiter of a nation’s destiny then it has become a prisoner of its own hubris. At the time of his reelection in May, there was hope that the renewed mandate of Narendra Modi and his regime could perhaps usher in some positive change in India and South Asia. But that was not to be. The bloated ego of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has strengthened the belief in the party that its agenda is far more important than the aspirations of the people. The abrogation of Article 370  was part of the ...

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Ahmad Shah Durrani and the misconceptions surrounding the Third Battle of Panipat

Today Panipat is a bustling city in Haryana state, but on January 14, 1761 it was the site of an epic battle — known as the Third Battle of Panipat — between Ahmad Shah Durrani (also known as Ahmad Shah Abdali) and the commander of the Maratha army Sadashiv Rao Bhau. The battle has been referenced, albeit usually inaccurately, by Hindu extremists to play the victim card, and to drive the wedge between Hindus and Muslims. Lately, the Bollywood film ‘Panipat: The Great Betrayal’ has also drawn a great deal of attention to Durrani, whom many in Afghanistan and Pakistan ...

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Why did students protest against a Muslim teaching Sanskrit in India?

India has quite a few institutes which teach Sanskrit, and often times interested people from different parts of the world attend classes to learn the ancient language. In the 19th century, German Max Mueller learnt Sanskrit and translated the ancient Vedic texts into English and other languages. He was a great scholar of Sanskrit at a time when the world was not exposed to India the way it is now. His translation of the Indian ancient texts helped ensure that the world had access to India’s philosophical and cultural treasures. This cultural exchange has been part of the civilisational history of South Asia, and the Indian ...

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Communism’s love-hate relationship with Pakistan

A sizable amount of literature suggests that the Left supported the Pakistan Movement. However, a deeper reading into the politics of the Left in the crucial last decade of the British Raj reveals a far more complex situation. In 1936, three young communists, namely ZA Ahmad, Sajjad Zaheer and Kunwar Muhammad Ashraf, upon the alleged instructions of the Communist Party of India (CPI) [1], joined the All India Congress Committee under Nehru’s presidency. Nehru had initiated the Muslim Mass-contact Programme (MMCP) to increase the Muslim members of Congress and had placed it under KM Ashraf. He and his two ...

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The extension fiasco: Who won, who lost?

On Thursday, the nerve-wracking court proceedings regarding the extension of the tenure of Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa finally concluded. The comedy of errors unleashed by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) legal team meant that the government almost shot itself in the foot, insisting on committing blunder after blunder. From the simple clerical mistakes in the drafts presented in court to not being able to convince the court as to why Bajwa’s extension was essential, the antics which ensued have surely left PTI red-faced. The court has provided Bajwa with a temporary lease by giving him a six month extension ...

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A visiting Indian delegation opened my mind and heart

When all eyes were on Kartarpur Corridor’s landmark inauguration scheduled for November 9, a day before the main event (on November 8), a group of Indian journalists crossed into Pakistan via the Wagah Border. They were in Lahore to attend the opening ceremony of the corridor ahead of the 550th birthday of Baba Guru Nanak on November 12. Baba Guru Nanak is also respected among the Muslims of Pakistan because of his teachings on humanism and unity, and against separatism and barbarism.I was the part of a team tasked with hosting the Indian journalist delegation and it was a riveting experience ...

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India’s Kashmir propaganda: A leaf out of Israel’s book – Part 2

This article is the second piece in a two part series which adopts a historical perspective in order to analyse just how closely India’s actions in Kashmir over the years have mirrored Israel’s policies in Palestine. Read part one here.  ~ Attempts to hide occupation, annexation and war crimes behind a shroud of ‘legality’ ‘The British gave us Palestine’ is a common Zionist refrain, citing the Balfour Declaration. Yet another example of brittle Hasbara backed only by powerful Zionist media influence, the 1917 Balfour Declaration held no legal validity since Palestine at the time Lord Balfour made his ‘promise’ to Lord Walter Rothschild ...

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India’s Kashmir propaganda: A leaf out of Israel’s book – Part 1

This article is the first in a two part series which adopts a historical perspective in order to analyse just how closely India’s actions in Kashmir over the years have mirrored Israel’s policies in Palestine.  ~ Merely comparing the human-rights situation hasn’t ever sufficed, so let’s get down to the serious comparisons. The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leading India is clearly fond of Israel, but India, regardless of its ruling party, has been close to Israel in strategic terms for a long time. From Israeli support to India in wars against Pakistan to India’s status as Israel’s largest weapons market, Indo-Israeli ties are very ...

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Why is a bomb on display at the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib?

The opening of the Kartarpur corridor represented a truly unique moment for a region which has suffered great tragedies and unbridled hostilities at the hands of national and religious prejudices. The manner in which the opening ceremony was conducted and the warmth with which Sikh pilgrims from across the border were welcomed into Pakistan represented the very ideals we as a nation should aspire towards – religious, ethnic and international inclusivity. It is therefore unfortunate that this site of tremendous religious significance is being used to tout a message which simply does not belong there and sticks out like a sore ...

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