What Is India News Service
Wednesday, November 07, 2007


India is still a traditional society that contains not one, but many traditions owing their origin in part to the different religions that exist here.  India carries with it many traditions it has managed to retain the secular character of its polity, while in many countries especially from the third world, a secular authority has crumbled in face of conflicting traditions. 


The Hindu religion is unique in the sense that it is the only surviving major religion today that has retained a continuous link with its hazy origins in antiquity.  Hinduism has no founder, no code of beliefs, it never had any religious organization that wielded temporal power over its followers.  Its distinguishing characteristics are its diversity and multiplicity.

The Hindu state of ancient medieval, or modern times was not a narrowly sectarian state in any sense; patronage was frequently extended simultaneously to various sects and religions.  The British policy of religious neutrality was the direct antecedent of the secular Indian state of today, and the legal and administrative institutions introduced by the British rulers pointed the way to the development of a common citizenship.  The mainstream of Indian nationalism, which led to independence in 1947, had a decidedly secular orientation throughout most of its history.  Hinduism the religion of the majority in India is a faith which on the whole is favorable to the development of the secular state in India. 


WITH the Indian electorate repeatedly delivering fractured mandates in a number of States, and in Parliament, the phenomenon of hung legislatures, with the resultant dilemma of who should be invited to form the government, has long demanded . . . (Governor's Choice, Frontline, V. VENKATESAN, Nov 07, 2007)

Dr. Kalaignar M. Karunanidhi — Portrait of a Multi-Faceted Legend of Dravidians: His Life and Times: K.S.R. Publications, No. 5, 3rd Avenue, Indira Nagar, Chennai-600020. Rs. 350. Management Guru Professor Laloo’s Rail: Sunil Jogi . . . (New Arrivals, Hindu, Correspondent or Reporter, Nov 06, 2007)

Muslim clerics and the All-India Muslim Personal Law Board have now a new cause to pursue - opposition to the mandatory registration of marriages as directed by the Supreme Court. (Undoing Idea Of Secular India, Pioneer, A Surya Prakash, Nov 06, 2007)

No soon do elections come around that the political parties start looking for the voters they had discarded for the previous five years. (Clueless Congress, Asian Age, Seema Mustafa, Nov 05, 2007)

The political drama now unfolding in Bangalore and some scenes enacted in New Delhi clearly belongs to the theatre of the absurd. (Emerging Undemocratic Options , The Economic Times, Editorial, Economic Times, Nov 03, 2007)

Bharatiya Janata Party national vice-president M. Venkaiah Naidu on Thursday accused the Congress and the Left parties of pampering Muslim minorities to garner votes and said secularism would be secure only so long as Hindus remained a majority . . . . (Congress, Left Playing Vote Bank Politics: Bjp , Hindu, Correspondent or Reporter, Nov 02, 2007)

In the first 25 years after independence, there was no political dynasty. Yes, there was Panditji and he loomed large over the political scene. Yet he had some formidable opponents who had been his comrades in the struggle for independence . . . . (It's A Family Affair, Times of India, Editorial, The Times of India, Oct 31, 2007)

Leader of the Opposition LK Advani on Tuesday took another dig at the Congress-led UPA saying it was a classic example of how "an alliance should not be." ('Upa Poor Example Of Alliance', Pioneer, Correspondent or Reporter, Oct 31, 2007)

We, as a nation, do not realise that great questions of the day are not settled by speeches and slogans but by sound and solid action. (Nation Needs His Iron Will, Pioneer, Jagmohan , Oct 31, 2007)

The political situation in Karnataka has turned so utterly farcical that nothing short of a mid-term assembly poll can spell redemption now. H D Kumaraswamy’s decision to extend unconditional support to the BJP to form a government is clearly a . . . . (Jd(s), Secularism's Worst Foe, Singapore Times, Correspondent or Reporter, Oct 30, 2007)

The day we realise that our Muslim problem is not about secularism and communalism but about justice we will come closer to dealing with it. But, as we saw from reactions to Tehelka’s sting operation, we are still a long way from understanding . . . . (Muslim Problem Is About Justice, Indian Express, Tavleen Singh, Oct 29, 2007)

What does globalisation have to do with caste relations in India? How does secularism differ from country to country? Can game theory be used to negotiate stable political coalitions? Read on. (Class Apart, Some Mps, Indian Express, Editorial, Indian Express, Oct 29, 2007)

Today the relationship between India and the state of Jammu and Kashmir completes sixty years. It was on this day, October 26, 1947, that the ruler of the state, Maharaja Hari Singh, signed the Instrument of Accession with the government of . . . . (Kashmir Integral To The India Story, Tribune, Editorial, The Tribune, Oct 26, 2007)

Bhagat Singh and his comrades belong to those momentous decades in Indian history – the late 1920s and 30s – when options were more open, popular aspirations ran high and “revolution” and “national liberation” were current in the political . . . . (A Radical Legacy, Frontline, Correspondent or Reporter, Oct 24, 2007)

THE revolutionary nationalist phase of the freedom struggle, of which Bhagat Singh was an iconic figure, was a brief, powerful and violent episode in a movement otherwise considered to be peaceful. (Bhagat Singh, Frontline, Correspondent or Reporter, Oct 24, 2007)

I would like to dedicate this week's column to Justice RS Sarkaria and SR Bommai -- two individuals who played a significant role in strengthening the federal features in our Constitution and in putting an end to reckless use of Article 356. (Right By The Constitution, Pioneer, A Surya Prakash, Oct 23, 2007)

Whatever the ultimate fate of the Indo-US nu-clear deal, the contentious debate between the Congress-led coalition and the Left parties that support it has had two consequences. (Coalition Constraints, Tribune, S. Nihal Singh, Oct 23, 2007)

It is time for voters to get good value for their tax money. Also time to incarnate the power of recall. (Karnataka Politics: Time To Vote In Worthy Incumbents , Deccan Herald, Editorial, The Deccan Herald, Oct 23, 2007)

Trust a Calcuttan to come up with the perfect political metaphor. We were chatting about the political mood of Muslims over tea and savouries on Id, and the conversation turned inevitably to the fate of Rizwan ur Rehman, the young man whose . . . . . (Item Number, Asian Age, M.J. Akbar, Oct 22, 2007)

In a cautionary tale, a Muslim, a Christian and a Hindu are crossing a river in a ferry. (Prayer For Congress, Times of India, Editorial, The Times of India, Oct 17, 2007)


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