Pusillanimity and pious declarations are not going to get the PLA out of Indian territory. If we let Manmohan Singh have his way, it’ll be 1962 redux
There is understandable national concern over the sudden surge of belligerence in China’s attitude towards India, most notably visible in the marked shift in its approach to resolving the border issue which has been festering for half-a-century now. Although talks on demarcating the border to the mutual satisfaction of India and China have been dragging on without any resolution in sight, both New Delhi and Beijing have remained committed to maintaining peace and tranquillity along the Line of Actual Control, thus preserving the status quo in the interregnum. Seen against this backdrop, China’s sudden smash-and-grab adventurism in Ladakh has come as a surprise, though many who have been warning about Beijing’s true intentions would disagree with that proposition: The Dragon was never to be trusted.
The Organization of Islamic Cooperation has launched the term “Islamophobia”, which was immediately adopted by the US, the EU, academic bodies like the American Academy of Religion, and then the media and the chattering classes in the West, in India and elsewhere. Its users translate it as “hatred of Islam” but it really means “fear of Islam”. It treats warnings against the threat Islam poses to rival convictions as well as to freedom and democracy as a psychic disease on a par with claustrophobia (fear of closed spaces) or arachnophobia (irrational fear of spiders). It is an excellent way to poison the debate by declaring your enemies insane. In reply, we will coin the term “Islamophilia”. Being more generous and open-minded than our opponents, we have not chosen a psychiatric term to designate them. Like francophilia, “love of everything French”, it is merely a descriptive term: love of Islam. We consider this love irrational, but do not include an intrinsic irrationality in the term chosen. Someone who whitewashes Islam or shields it from criticism is an “Islamophile”.
People of Pakistan are heading towards a rule by a fractious coalition. But, unlike in the past where moderate parties like the MQM and the ANP held the balance, extremist groups are expected to play a greater role
Pakistan is being torn apart by sectarian and communal violence, in which hundreds of Shias have perished and the Christian and Hindu minorities terrorised by extremist Sunni groups, ranging from the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi to the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan. The port city of Karachi, always a hotbed of violence, saw new dimensions to sectarian and ethnic violence, as the Pakistani Taliban took control of Pashtun dominated areas in the city, from the moderate Awami National Party. The arrival of the Taliban in Karachi has produced continued blood-letting between Taliban-oriented Pashtuns and Muhajirs, pledging loyalty to Altaf Hussain’s Muttahida Quami Movement.
As a Cardinal, Jorge Mario Bergoglio had a controversial reputation. Many would say it was unsavoury too. It would thus be too much to expect a positive change in the Vatican’s functioning, now that he is the Pope
When, on March 14, the Cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church chose the archbishop of Buenos Aires as the new Pope, the election was no surprise to the cognoscenti. Soon after Benedict XVI resigned, the German Press leaked the details of his election in 2005, which showed Bergoglio was in second place after Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, then seen as Washington, DC’s favourite. Hence, as Hans Atrott, author of Jesus’ Bluff, points out, it did not take a genius to infer that the man who was second in 2005 could come first in 2013. Western media, however, projected an array of probable candidates except the closest contender.