from John Lloyd:

Modi: Democrat or divider

By John Lloyd
April 9, 2014

India’s 815 million voters started the five-week voting cycle earlier this week. It’s already being celebrated as a triumph just for taking place -- “the largest collective democratic act in history,” according to the Economist.

from India Insight:

No anti-Muslim ideology in party – BJP’s Anurag Thakur

March 31, 2014

Many people see Anurag Thakur, 39, as the youthful face of the Bharatiya Janata Party, the main opposition to the Congress party-led government and the party of prime ministerial hopeful Narendra Modi. He is the son of the former chief minister of Himachal Pradesh, and was named one of the World Economic Forum’s global young leaders this year.

Factbox – Swami Ramdev, India’s most popular yoga guru

By Reuters Staff
June 2, 2011

(India's yoga guru Swami Ramdev speaks during a yoga camp in the northern Indian town of Haridwar April 8, 2010/Jitendra Prakash)

Indian court sentences 11 to death for fiery attack on Hindu pilgrims

By Reuters Staff
March 1, 2011
godhra

(Smoke pours from the burning train in Godhra, February 27, 2002/Stringer)

A special Indian court on Tuesday sentenced to death 11 people for setting fire to a train in Godhra in the western state of Gujarat in 2002, killing 59 people in an act that led to some of the worst religious riots in the country since independence in 1947. The Sabarmati Express was carrying Hindu devotees returning from the site of the Babri mosque in Ayodhya.

from India Insight:

A Republic Day to forget for India’s opposition party

January 27, 2011

As Prime Minister Manmohan Singh watched India’s 61st Republic Day parade in the New Delhi sunshine on Wednesday morning, senior opposition leaders Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley were in a Jammu prison, where they had spent a night under arrest.

India Congress scion Rahul Gandhi says radical Hindus a threat

By Reuters Staff
December 17, 2010

gandhis (Photo: Rahul Gandhi with his mother Sonia Gandhi, in New Delhi May 21, 2009/B Mathur)

Rahul Gandhi, seen as an India prime minister in waiting, told the U.S. ambassador radical Hindu groups could posed a bigger threat to the country than the Islamists who attacked Mumbai in 2008, a leaked cable showed. The comments made to Timothy Roemer last year were immediately criticised by the main opposition Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), adding to political sparring that has deadlocked parliament and pushed policymaking into limbo.

Hindu party BJP wants beef ban at 2010 Commonwealth Games in India

July 12, 2010

gamesThe Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the main opposition party in the Indian parliament, wants to ban beef from the menu at this year’s Commonwealth Games in New Dehli on Oct. 3-14 to showcase the country’s “cultural values and age-old traditions”.

Indian report raps politicians over Ayodhya mosque destruction

November 26, 2009

babri1A government-backed inquiry has accused several of India’s top opposition politicians of having a role in the destruction of an ancient mosque in 1992 that triggered some of the country’s worst religious riots.

India’s defeated Hindu nationalist party faces survival test

September 2, 2009

advaniRiven by squabbling, India’s Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will be forced to name a new leader in a crisis that could reshape the main opposition party, strengthening the left and hindering government efforts at financial reforms.

Religion and politics in “bewilderingly diverse” India

April 27, 2009

asghar-ali-engineer“Bewildingerly diverse” is the way Asghar Ali Engineer describes his native country, India. This 70-year-old Muslim scholar has written dozens of books about Indian politics and society, Islamic reform and interreligious dialogue. As head of the Centre for the Study of Society and Secularism in Mumbai, he works to promote peace and understanding among religious and ethnic communities through seminars, workshops, youth camps, research and publications. The centre even organises street plays in the slums of Mumbai to teach the poor about the dangers of communalism.