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 John Lloyd:

Egypt’s repeat search for democracy

By John Lloyd
July 3, 2013

I’ve spent the past few days walking beside and watching the largely youthful demonstrators in Egypt, and I’ve been struck with admiration that’s quickly drowned in despair. I admire them for the way they’ve rejected the creeping authoritarianism of an incompetent Muslim Brotherhood government whose only accomplishment is inserting its members or sympathizers into every part of Egyptian life that it could.

from India Insight:

M.F. Husain, Swami Ramdev and the world’s largest democracy

June 9, 2011

M.F. Husain, India's most famous modern artist, died at the age of 95 this morning, not in Maharashtra, his home state, nor New Delhi, where many of his ground-breaking works were exhibited, but in London, where he lived in exile with Qatari citizenship. The 'Picasso of India' has for five years felt unable to live and work in his country of birth.

Arab revolts set to transform Middle East

April 4, 2011
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(Bahraini anti-government protesters in central Manama, February 16, 2011/Hamad I Mohammed)

In free Egypt, Islamic Jihad leader says the time for the gun is over

March 18, 2011
Abboud al-Zumar

(Abboud al-Zumar in an interview with Reuters in his home after his release from Liman Tora Prison at Helwan, south of Cairo, March 17, 2011/Mohamed Abd El-Ghany)

Saudi insists protests not Islamic, Facebook group calls for demos

March 9, 2011
saudi protest

(Saudi Shi'ites protest for the release of prisoners they say are being held without trial, March 3, 2011/Zaki Ghawas )

Interview -Tunisian Islamists say they’re excluded, call for unity govt.

By Reuters Staff
February 3, 2011
ghannouchi

(Sheikh Rachid Ghannouchi speaks during an interview with Reuters in Tunis February 3, 2011/Louafi Larbi )

Egyptians want more Islam in politics, according to Pew poll

February 2, 2011
sign

(Anti-Mubarak graffiti in Cairo's Tahrir Square February 1, 2011. The Arabic writing reads "Down with Mubarak."/Yannis Behrakis )

Excerpts from Pope Benedict’s speech to British society

By Reuters Staff
September 17, 2010

westminster pope (Photo: Pope Benedict speaks in Westminster Hall in London September 17, 2010/Tim Ireland)

Pope Benedict addressed British society on Friday in a speech in Westminster Hall and argued that faith and reason are not in conflict.

from India Insight:

Is it time to end the death penalty in India?

May 20, 2010

Special Prosecuter Ujjwal Nikam holds up a document, with a cover showing Mohammad Ajmal Kasab, at Arthur Road Jail where Kasab's trial was held, in Mumbai May 6, 2010. REUTERS/Arko Datta

Suddenly, everyone in India is talking about executions.

Grim hangings are a topic of animated conversation at water coolers, cocktail parties and chat shows. Everyone seems to favour them, the quicker the better.