India Insight

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.

Will Mayawati’s Brahmin card work this time?

April 21, 2009

Much has been written about Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati’s inventive politics that saw her forging an unlikely alliance between Dalits and Brahmins — from the two ends of the Hindu caste spectrum — to win an election in Uttar Pradesh in 2007.

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.

Bihar: after the “Jungle Raj”

April 14, 2009

“The state government is trying to establish the rule of law…however so mighty someone may be, without any discrimination, whatever their clout is, they will still be put on trial.” 

Professionals in politics?

March 25, 2009

What’s common to a banker, a dancer and a former U.N. under-secretary general?

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?

from Global News Journal:

Giving in to Ali Baba

December 18, 2008

I once paid a cop 30 ringgit (about $10 then) for making an apparently illegal left-hand turn in Kuala Lumpur. Scores of drivers in front of me were also handing over their "instant fines", discreetly enclosed within the policeman's ticketing folder. It was days ahead of a major holiday and the cops were collecting their holiday bonus from the public.

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.

Anger, agreement at Muslim leaders gathering

October 14, 2008

jama.jpgSecurity was tight at the entrance to Gate No. 7 of the Jama Masjid in Old Delhi, a 17th century mosque built by Mughal kings, and the venue on Tuesday for a gathering of Muslim leaders from across the country to debate the persecution of Muslims.

It pays to use an Indian public toilet

July 7, 2008

rtr1e5ov.jpgLast month, authorities in a southern Indian state fined people caught urinating in public view for a few days.