India

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Much hyped Third Front offers more bark than bite

Article Date: 
18 Mar 2009

Last week, Indian politics saw the attempt to create an anti-Congress and anti-BJP Third Front for the upcoming elections. Ten regional and leftist parties huddled near the southern city of Bangalore to discuss alliances, policy directives and possibly the prime minister's post.

Article Author: 
Aaradhana Jhunjhunwala
Article Source: 
Open Democracy

Excerpts from Vijay Balakrishnan

I ran across these excerpts of memoirs on The Paris Review website.  They're an interesting read, though I wish the publication had provided us with free access or at least a larger taste of what is contained in the full version.   Here's the first (and best imo) of the three that are free-99

Bangladesh mutiny: India moves more troops to WB

Article Date: 
4 Mar 2009

India has airlifted "elements'' of its para-brigade based in Agra to Kalaikunda in West Bengal to deal with any contingency which
arises due to the internal turmoil in Bangladesh.

Sources said over a battalion strength (over 1,000 soldiers) of the 50 Independent Parachute Brigade was moved on Sunday from Agra to Kalaikunda, which has a large IAF base.

"Depending on the situation, more could follow. With Bangladesh army progressively taking over from the paramilitary BDR in posts along the Indo-Bangladesh border, it's a precautionary move,'' said a source.

Article Source: 
Times of India

Bangladesh 'takes back' Rohingyas

Article Date: 
2 Mar 2009

Bangladesh has taken back 49 boatpeople allegedly pushed back into the sea by Thai authorities and rescued by Indian coastguards two months ago.

A senior Bangladeshi diplomat told the BBC that the Rohingyas were on their way to Cox's Bazar in Bangladesh.

Hundreds of migrants were rescued by Indian and Indonesian coastguards. Thai authorities deny mistreatment.

Bangladesh was given a list of 67 Rohingyas by Indian authorities. Dhaka said 49 were its citizens.

Article Author: 
Subir Bhaumik
Article Source: 
BBC News

UK Action Alert: Public Meeting on Binayak Sen

PUBLIC MEETING ON BINAYAK SEN

Date: Tuesday, 10 March 2009.
Time: 7.00 p.m.
Venue: SOAS main building (room 4421), Thornaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC IX 0XG
Speakers: Professor Ilina Sen (feminist scholar, human rights activist, wife of Binayak Sen); Kavita Srivastava (People's Union For Civil Liberties, India); Ramesh Gopalakrishnan (Amnesty International); Professor Jonathan Parry (London School of Economics); Mike Marqusee (writer, activist).

Dhaka rebels reveal plot to provoke Army, topple Govt

Article Date: 
1 Mar 2009

I'm not sure I buy this yet, but it's worth looking at, if only to be alarmed:

New Delhi: With the committee headed by Bangladesh Home Minister starting a probe into the gruesome revolt by Bangladesh Rifles, informed assumptions of a conspiracy behind the mutiny have begun to get credence with interrogation reports suggesting the hand of Sheikh Hasina’s political opponents.

Article Author: 
Pranab Dhal Samanta
Article Source: 
Indian Express

Behind the violence in Gujarat, Gaza and Iraq is the banality of democracy

Article Date: 
11 Feb 2009

When last week in Ha'aretz the Israeli historian Tom Segev judged Israeli "apathy" towards the massacre in Gaza as "chilling and shameful", he brought on deja vu among Indians. In 2002 the Hindu nationalist government of Gujarat supervised the killing of more than two thousand Muslims. The state's chief minister, Narendra Modi, who green-lighted the mass murder, seemed a monstrous figure to many Indians; they then watched aghast as the citizens of Gujarat - better-educated and more prosperous than most Indians - re-elected Modi by a landslide after the pogrom.

Article Author: 
Pankaj Mishra
Article Source: 
The Guardian

The State Department, the Media, and "Human Rights in South Asia"

By: on 26 Feb 2009

I. A few years ago, I was walking down the street near the East Village with some colleagues from various organizations when a woman came up to us and stopped us.  "Have you heard about Gujara?" she asked me.  She did this without saying hello, introducing herself, or saying her name--which all makes sense, because she was, in fact, a total stranger.  She just happened to want to talk to me about the emotionally loaded topic of the Hindutva pogroms in Gujarat without knowing me, where I come from, or what my views might be.

Splinter Maoist groups join hands to form a new party

Article Date: 
24 Feb 2009

Kathmandu, Feb 24: Two independent Maoist groups in Nepal have decided to join hands to form a 'nationalist party' which could work for the welfare of the people.

Terai leader Matrika Yadav, who broke the Unified CPN-Maoist last month and Mani Thapa, who heads Revolutionary Left Wing (RLW), the breakaway faction of UCPN-M, have decided to merge their parties to form the new party.

The decision was taken at a two-day meeting here in which representatives of both parties participated, Mani Thapa said, the Kathmandu Post reported.

Article Source: 
Zeenews.com

Soldiers of Saffron, Sonal Shah and Secularism

Article Date: 
14 Feb 2009

EPW article on diasporic Hindutva

In our haste to reject the “soldiers of saffron” who live and work outside India, there is a risk that we may be engaging in a politics of personal destruction with tremendous pain for the individuals concerned. There is a fine line between rejection of hate and exploitation of youthful ignorance and folly. If we cross that line we will become
vulnerable to charges of McCarthyism.

Article Author: 
Sonalde Desai
Article Source: 
Economic and Political Weekly
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