Order by Previous days letters
Aug 02, 2014
09:59 AM

Mohan (#31),

Chitra Subramaniam's description of Nutwar Singh seems to be applicable to all Stephanian's in public life. Moany Shankar Aiyar and Shashi Tharoor are two similar types who think they are superior to all and sundry without having much to show for their efforts.

Bonita, Chennai
Aug 02, 2014
09:58 AM

We should deny visas to all these US officials. Human rights and all that, you know.

Bloody hypocrites.

Ram Lala, Kavutaram
Aug 02, 2014
09:39 AM

Akash ,

Let me sum up your posts #39, #41 and #42.

We must be ready to go to war.

You have a hawkish position on how to deal with the situation, which is fine. I agree that if you want the armed forces to perform their role effectively they must have the wherewithal to do so. However, the govt's resources are finite so where is the money going to come from.

Not long ago I had a discussion with Miss O who is at the other end of the spectrum. He wants the money spent on the armed forces (10% of budget and NOT 33% which he claimed) to be drastically reduced and the money saved spent on health and education. A worthy sentiment no doubt but as impracticable as yours.

Being a moderate or rather a pragmatist means you get it from both sides. Cest la vie.

Chennai, India
Aug 02, 2014
09:39 AM

Why isn’t Kashmir ‘secular’, Cong & NC must answer   
Thursday January 09, 2014, 06:09 PM               2

The word SECULAR was added to the Preamble of the Constitution of India in the year 1976, during the Emergency, imposed by Indira Gandhi.

At that time, in Jammu & Kashmir, there was a government led by Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah, and supported by the Congress. The Congress then had 54 out of 75 members in the Legislative Assembly. This constituted an overwhelming majority of more than 2/3rd required for any changes. However, the Congress did not add the word SECULAR to J&K Constitution.

In 1986, the Congress (Rajiv Gandhi) entered into a tie-up with the National Conference (NC) led by Farooq Abduallh. In 1987, the two parties formed a coalition government. This government passed some constitutional amendments but did not add the word SECULAR to the preamble of the J&K Constitution.

In 2002, the Congress joined hands with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) led by Mufti Mohammed Sayeed. The two parties formed a coalition government and Mufti took oath on November 2, 2002, and ruled up to November 1, 2005. During Mufti’s tenure, the word SECULAR was not added.

On November 2, 2005, Ghulam Nabi Azad of the Congress became the Chief Minister as part of the rotational CM-ship, between PDP and the Congress. He ruled up to July 7, 2008, when he resigned as the PDP had withdrawn support to him after the Amarnath land row.

During the coalition of the PDP-Congress, the word SECULAR was not added to the Preamble of the J&K Constitution. Of course, they passed Constitutional Amendments. One of the amendments they introduced was so blatantly anti-women as they sought to bar women of the state from marrying outsiders and wanted them to forfeit their Permanent Resident Status.

This coalition government also did not add the word SECULAR to the Preamble of J&K Constitution. In fact, during Azad’s CM-ship, a private member moved a bill to do so and it was defeated, collectively by the NC, the PDP and the Congress voting together, saying there was no need to do so!

Finally, a NC-Congress came to power in January 2009 and Omar Abdullah took oath on January 5, 2009. The coalition has carried out constitutional amendments but did not deem it necessary to add the word SECULAR to the Preamble of J&K Constitution.


Three successive generations of ABDULLAHS, namely Sheikh, Farooq and Omar, who have been the CMs, did not add the word SECULAR to J&K Constitution Preamble.

The Congress had a 2/3rd majority in 1976 in J&K Assembly. It did nothing to promote the word SECULAR in Preamble of J&K Constitution. Then, it has been in power several times after that. In the 1987 coalition government, it was a partner.

In the 2002 coalition government with PDP, it was a partner. In 2005, a Congressman became the CM.

In the 2009 coalition government with the NC, the Congress is a partner, for over last five years. Yet, the word SECULAR has not entered the J&K Constitution.

What Indira Ji did was to add SECULAR in the Preamble of Indian Constitution. The Congress had 2/3rd majority in J&K but did nothing. What does that mean? What was considered good and imperative for whole of the India was NOT GOOD for J&K. So it is till date!

It also bears mention that in 1976-77, the J&K Legislative Assembly extended its term, from five years to six years, like other states. Today, it is the only state with a six-year term for the Legislative Assembly! The term of the legislatures was extended by the same Constitutional Amendment (42nd) nationwide through which the word SECULAR was added.

J&K chose to give itself an year extra but not the word SECULAR.

So much for the Congress, the NC and the PDP brand of SECULARISM!


Adiipur, India
Aug 02, 2014
09:27 AM

DLN (#43),

Thanks for the info. I have been to the gates of the monitoring station, but thought it was a Cyprus govt facility. Always glad to learn something new.

Chennai, India
Aug 02, 2014
08:58 AM

Is it ISIS that rules Saudi Arabia and Pakistan ?   The abject discrimination against non-muslims , as practiced in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan is a product of their sunni majority venality.  Its the sunni states that give birth to isis, boko-harams, LeT, Taliban, JeM etc. Jinnah and muslim league , killed lot more non-muslims, wiping out Hindus from Pakistan,  than isis and taliban ever will.

FactGarh, India
Aug 02, 2014
08:53 AM

18 lac Indian Wahabis, rules and Rs 1700 cr funds

Here are three aspects attached to the rise of Wahabism in India which will worry anyone including a majority of the Indian Muslims who are against this culture. The official count of Wahabi followers in India today stands at 1800000. The money that has been generated in the past three years with the help of Saudi funds stands at an approximate Rs 1700 crore. The third aspect to this entire story is the Rule book that has been issued to those who have been selected to popularise the Wahabi culture in India.

A report of the Intelligence Bureau dealing with the rise of Wahabism in India speaks extensively about the manner in which the Wahabi followers are going about their job. While the funding is extremely generous and these people have been told not to worry about money as long as they spread the Wahabi message, there is one stringent condition and that is not only to impose these rules in every corner of India but to practise them strictly. A rule book has been prepared in Saudi Arabia and several lakhs of copies sent to India which is being circulated.

The Rules-

-Men have to compulsorily grow beards.

-Shrines shall be forbidden

-Every Muslim woman should wear a purdah or should be subject to severe punishment

-All men should wear trousers which are above their ankles

-Women should not be allowed to work. Exception can be made only if family is in need.

-Men and women should not mingle together in public.

-No laughing loudly or listening to music, no dancing and no watching television.

-No weeping loudly at funerals.

-Abide by the Shariyat law and every offence committed shall be punishable under this law.

While these are few of the rules that have been prescribed to be followed, there is also a strong message to induct as many Muslims as possible into following Wahabism. The fund allocation has been very generous. Over the past three years through hawala channels alone Rs 1700 crore has been pumped in. As per the plan the money is to be used to set up Wahabi universities in at least four parts of the country at a cost of Rs 200 crore each. The Wahabis are also aiming at constructing around 40 Mosques across the country at a cost of Rs 400 crore. Allocate funds to the tune of around 100 crore to bribe the heads of existing Mosques and take over the administration. Funds to be provided to any person wishing to travel to Saudi Arabia and learn more about the Wahabi culture. Set up Madrasas across the country preaching Wahabi culture at a cost of Rs 300 crore. Pay handsome salaries to those who are wishing to move around and preach this form of Islam.

Leading this initiative is the Jamiat Ahl-e-Hadith which commenced operations in India first at Kashmir. This group had managed to preach the Wahabi culture in Kashmir across 500 Mosques and claimed that many had been leaning towards this form of Islam preached by them.

However now the Al-e-Hadith has spread its operations across India and the state after Kashmir they targeted was Maharashtra. Although the Maharashtra government has been in denial about the rise of Wahabism in that state, a very open battle at a Kandivili Mosque two years back between the Wahabis and those opposing it was only a sign of things to come. Today the Wahabis have control over at least 40 Mosques in Maharashtra. The state after this they sought to target was obviously Kerala where according to the Intelligence report the Wahabis have taken control over at least 75 Mosques. An officer who has been part of this report says that they found it easiest to impose their culture in Kerala as a large number of them were very forthcoming and did not need much coaxing. Kerala has been seeing a lot of this culture and this has to do with the fact that there is a very intimate Saudi connection with this state.

The report further claims that there are a good number of people who have taken up Wahabism in Andhra Pradesh particularly in Hyderabad. A lot of incidents in Hyderabad have been created by the Wahabis to ensure a deep communal divide and this has helped them a great deal. The other states facing this problem are Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Karnataka.

What the Intelligence Bureau is worried about is the funding that appears to be coming in very easily. We keep intimating the police and other agencies about it and we feel more should be done on this front the official from the agency informed. In fact ahead of Eid too we had issued a warning about the funding as the donations for these Wahabis tends to increase steadily during the festival season. In addition to the 1700 crore that has been raised in the past three years, we believe that more could have come in during the festival and we are estimating that figure, the officer also points out.

To make matters worse there are nearly 30 organisations set up by the Wahabis to receive funds. Since the past three to four years the government has been informed about these organisations. The agencies have told the government that these organisations operate in the open despite not being registered under the Foreign Contributions Regulation Act (FCRA), 1976. None of them have disclosed their income and this has led us to investigate and find that all the money has come in through a hawala channel.

The Al-e-Hadith initially set up two fronts to collect funds and these were in fact registered under the FCRA. However while checking these two fronts there was no trace of any income that was generated and when questioned they said that they are not being funded which has led to further doubts.


Adiipur, India
Aug 02, 2014
08:46 AM

The Muslim party is based on a cultist  doctrine of declaring 5 times a day that muhammad was tthe last prophet . Basically muhammad forbade God and issued a restraining order on him from sending any more prophets. If any muslim accepts that there are prophets after him, muslim mobs lynch him and the mullas excomminicate him. Ahmedis , who calll themselves belonging to tthe muslim party,  are hounded to death in sunni states . It looks more like a mental disease to me.

FactGarh, India
Aug 02, 2014
08:40 AM

Saudi Arabia, the most repressive and regressive regime on earth - and incidentaly a great friend of the US - is among the reasons why Palestinian solution is going nowhere. King Abdullah is joking I guess, but he should know that the world doesn't much care about anything that he has to say.

Amit Thakur, Tokyo
Aug 02, 2014
07:07 AM

Once she writes her autobiography the truth will be out - "she can't write".

KSJ, Bengaluru
Aug 02, 2014
06:19 AM
Ram Lala
Kavutaram, India
Aug 02, 2014
06:01 AM

This Outlook obsession with dead Muslims - at least those killed by non-Muslims - is getting a bit ridiculous, even if one takes into account their love for sniffing Muslim asses.

I guess now that there is no more money to be made from Gujarat 2002 and even the US is in bed with Modi, it is time for these sickos to move on to some other issue. They are trying desperately to keep Muzaffarnagar alive, but even Teesta and Bibi Saroja don't seem to be interested. Gaza must be the only game in town.

Ram Lala
Kavutaram, India
Aug 02, 2014
05:32 AM

India has nothing to lose by being quiet. There is no vote bank to look after.

george, london
Aug 02, 2014
03:48 AM

Good for Turkish women (and the men supporting them) , and congratulations for telling these religious fanatics to shove it!

Ram Lala
Kavutaram, India
Aug 02, 2014
03:43 AM

The stupid food security bill will not end poverty will only exacerbate it.

ANBanerjee, Newcastle
Aug 02, 2014
01:02 AM

What the government of Gujarat is encouraging children to read is dismaying

These books instruct students to look down upon foreigners, worship cows, die for their religion and shun “western practices” such as blowing out candles on birthdays.

Such reading material instigate young children to be hostile towards other religions and communities, says Anita Rampal, dean at faculty of education, University of Delhi. “From what I have read in newspapers, there is a deliberate attempt in these books to go back to an imagined past, which may not be historically accurate,” Rampal said.

Here is a selection of passages from books that have been recommended for children by the state government.

Celebrating birthdays. Blowing candles is a western tradition. It should be shunned. Instead, on their birthdays, children should wear clothes manufactured in India, recite Gayatri Mantra, take part in religious ceremonies, feed cows and wind up their day by playing songs produced by Vidya Bharati.

India’s Map. Students are instructed to include Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Tibet, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Burma in the map of India. “Undivided India is the truth, divided India is a lie. Division of India is unnatural and it can be united again…,” reads a chapter in Tejomay Bharat.

Motorcar was invented in India during the Vedic period (1500 to 500 BCE). “What we know today as the motorcar existed during the Vedic period. It was called anashva rath. Usually a rath (chariot) is pulled by horses but an anashva rath means the one that runs without horses or yantra-rath, what is today a motorcar. The Rig Veda refers to this…” — Page 60, Tejomay Bharat.

Stem cell research was invented in India thousands of years ago. The proof? In ancient Hindu text Mahabharata, a sage was able to convert a mass of flesh into 100 babies or Kauravas.

Indian sages have been using television for centuries. The country has known about live telecast since the time of Mahabharata. “There is no doubt that the invention of television goes back to this… In Mahabharata, Sanjaya sitting inside a palace in Hastinapur and using his divya shakti (divine powers) would give a live telecast of the battle of Mahabharata… to the blind Dhritarashtra.” — Page 64, Tejomay Bharat.


Dallas, United States
Aug 02, 2014
12:53 AM

Pointing out the mistakes of powerful people when they are in power is far more honourable than writing about them when the chips are down. That Sonia Gandhi is secretive and manipulative is not a state secret

By Chitra Subramaniam

When he travelled to the United Nations (UN) in Geneva for the many meetings, former Union Foreign Minister Natwar Singh used to bore journalists to tears. They had deadlines to meet and headlines to write, but Singh who thought he was India’s foreign policy would talk non-stop referring often to his intellect and the absence of it in others.

Armed with copies of his many speeches, he would send Indian diplomats to chase journalists and hand over his statement where the lead, the main points and the conclusion would be highlighted. Not content with that, he would phone editors in India to ensure that the reporter had filed the story – any story – where his Geneva speeches were mentioned, complete with pause and applause. If they were not, the merry-go-round of chasing reporters would start afresh. Once he chased a reporter from AP, who, out of politeness took notes for 15 minutes about Natwar Singh talking about Natwar Singh.

It comes as no surprise that Singh, now an octogenarian, studio hops with his tome One Life Is Not Enough. I don’t plan to read the book because I can’t think of one major foreign policy initiative or overture he has conceptualized and led and I fear the book will be a lot about him and himself. People who have read the book tell me I can borrow a copy as there’s no earth-shattering revelation. 

My point is somewhere else. I find it ugly, for want of another word, to learn that that a man who showed little courage and even less courtesy throughout his political career refers to private meetings with the Gandhi family where obviously he was treated as a confidante. As sins go, that’s a cardinal one for nothing can be worse than repeating drawing room conversations or recounting scenes of personal tragedy and grief that privileged access may provide. Voyeurism comes to mind. 

Yes, it is a betrayal of trust of the worst kind for private gain and pecuniary interests especially when someone is down and out. Pointing out the mistakes of powerful people when they are in power is far more honourable than writing about them when the chips are down. That Sonia Gandhi is secretive and manipulative is not a state secret – she is a politician, a tad above the rest she rules. By his own token, Natwar Singh is a relentless self-promoter who lacks courage, a tad above the others he ridicules! 

Sonia Gandhi slips too. A book will not affect someone who has seen the bullet-riddled body of her mother-in-law and seen her husband succumb to a bomb attack, she has been reported in the media as saying. In one stroke, she has collapsed the necessary firewall that must exist between leaders and the offices they hold. Indira Gandhi was a Prime Minister when she was assassinated, not a mother-in-law. The difference is big. Rajiv Gandhi was not assassinated because he was a husband – again the same degree of distance and respect for office is missing. Natwar Singh too slides between the personal and the official and the sound of the book appears to be one long whine. 

As for Sonia Gandhi, her leadership has reduced the Congress Party to 44 seats in the Lok Sabha, its worst ever. Leadership without line responsibility is a bad thing, and that is what she enjoyed for atleast a decade, unchallenged by men and women who voluntarily reduced themselves to pygmies. 

The book she has promised to write will be an interesting one, if nothing, then just to read about how a woman from Italy reduced the Congress Party to smithereens to emerge as its tallest leader. That’s one book which millions will read.

Mohan, Adiipur
Aug 02, 2014
12:40 AM


Anwaar, Dallas
Aug 02, 2014
12:37 AM

Akash Verma,

>> "who shed tons and tons of tears for Palestinians, have nothing to say when Pandits are NOT allowed to perform a yatra in their own country."

If you do not feel any sympathy for Palestinians, that is alright. But please don't make such silly comments.

Dallas, United States
Aug 02, 2014
12:36 AM

"Mr. Geelani has recently said that "Hindus, Muslims are separate nations". "

There is a Muslim nation called Krapistan that was created for such Muslims. All Muslims who feel they cannot live with Hindus should go there.

Ram Lala
Kavutaram, India
Aug 02, 2014
12:33 AM


>> " Nice to see that Anwaar subscribes to a few bad apples theory regarding ISIS etc."

Stupid remark! How many Muslims have you known in your life time who were fanatics like the ISIS goons? I have not met any.

Dallas, United States
Aug 02, 2014
12:28 AM

His majesty is a hypocrite! Without covert but active Saudi and Egyptian support and cooperation, Israel would not have prolonged its brutal operations for so long.

Anwaar, Dallas
Aug 02, 2014
12:19 AM

> ""Initial indications suggest that a soldier has been abducted by terrorists in an incident where terrorists breached the ceasefire," Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) spokesman Lt Col Peter Lerner told reporters."

Is capture of one Israeli soldier sufficient justification to end the
ceasfire and kill 50 Palestinian civilians? Or was Israel just looking
for an excuse to carry on the killing?

Anwaar, Dallas
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