India Insight

from FaithWorld:

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.

from FaithWorld:

Holding back the “religion card” in India’s election campaign

April 24, 2009

india-election-ayodhyaHindu nationalism, Muslim "vote banks", anti-Christian violence, caste rivalry -- Indian politics has more than enough interfaith tension to offer populist orators all kinds of "religion cards" to play. Coming only months after Islamist militants killed 166 people in a three-day rampage in Mumbai, the campaign for the general election now being held in stages between April 16 and May 13 could have been over- shadowed by communal demagoguery.

Lalu Prasad’s roller: courting the Muslim vote in Bihar

April 17, 2009

Muslims are seen as a crucial vote bank in several possible swing states in India’s general election and many politicians are making the right noises to court the community.

Varun Gandhi – politics of “hate” from politician of tomorrow?

March 20, 2009

The black sheep of India’s most powerful political dynasty or a young politician making his own way in that family’s most potent political rival?

Nothing holy in India’s temple tradition

January 16, 2009

I wonder whether news of Indian priests doing a purification ritual after a minister belonging to a lower caste visited a temple comes as a surprise in a country where religion plays a big role in politics?

from FaithWorld:

GUESTVIEW: Mumbai violence brings New York faith groups together

By Reuters Staff
December 2, 2008

The following is a guest contribution. Reuters is not responsible for the content and the views expressed are the author’s alone. Matthew Weiner, the author, is the Program Director at the Interfaith Center of New York. He is writing a book about Interfaith and Civil Society.

from FaithWorld:

Exercised over yoga in Malaysia

November 26, 2008

Of all the things to get exercised about, yoga would seem to be an unlikely candidate for controversy. But such has been the case in Malaysia this week.