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Society and Culture

There has been a lot of debate on the verdicts pronounced in the Bilkis Bano and Nirbhaya case and how the rapists of Bano were given life imprisonment instead of death penalty while Nirbhaya’s murderers will face the gallows.

 
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A two-day international conference on ‘Dara Shikoh : Reclaiming Spiritual Legacy of India ‘ - the 17th century Mughal prince who could never be king - was organised by the Indian Council Of Cultural Relations (ICCR) on April 27-28, 2017 in New Delhi. Eminent scholars, academicians and historians from seven countries, including the United States, Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and India took part in the conference, inaugurated by M J Akbar, minister of state for external affairs.

 
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The Aizawl Football Club scripted history when they hoisted the national football championship trophy before thousands of cheering supporters on Sunday.

 
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There’s more to it than just racism. On Wednesday, cricketer Harbhajan Singh tweeted about alleged racism by an expat pilot from Jet Airways.

 
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India’s economy is booming but Muslims continue to suffer great economic deprivation. Muslims are the second largest demographic of India, with nearly 14 per cent of the country’s population or roughly 172 million people.

 
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Muhammad Iqbal was one of the most incandescent intellectuals that India has produced. Every work of his sparkles: From the deep meditation of Asrar-i-Khudi, to the remarkable reflections on time and experience in The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Modern Islam, from the stunning acuity of his essay on McTaggart to the corpus of poetry. His philosophical recasting of Islam, his advocacy of the individuality and creativity of the self, and his engagement with the ideals of modernity is one of the most significant intellectual projects of the twentieth century.
 
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The recent order of the apex court banning the sale of alcohol within 500 m of national and state highways (220 m for towns with a population of less than 20,000) is at the centre of fierce criticism from the supporters of free liquor.

 

The liquor trade, as the Supreme Court has emphasised, is indeed res extra commercium, something outside the idea of commerce. It exists solely at the discretion of policymakers without any concomitant fundamental right that other businesses enjoy.

 
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The death of a man from injuries at the hands of “cow protection” vigilantes in Rajasthan’s Alwar district rightly animated Parliament. The details of the violence inflicted by a mob on Saturday are chilling and vividly caught on mobile phone video, and demand an assurance from the government that justice will be done. It is unfortunate that as the opposition raised the issue, the response from the treasury benches was anything but satisfactory. In fact, coupled with comments from spokespersons of the BJP and even the Rajasthan Home Minister, the message from the authorities indicates that an outrageous equivalence is being sought to be made between the lynch mob’s actions and the victims’ alleged — simply “alleged” — actions. The facts are these. Pehlu Khan, the deceased, and four others were on their way back to Haryana after buying cattle in Jaipur. A mob set itself upon them in Behror on the Jaipur-Delhi National Highway. The violence was explained as an attempt to prevent the “illegal” transportation of cattle. Instead of condemning the violence and stating that nobody has the right to attack individuals no matter what they may and may not have been doing, all that has emanated from ministers at the Centre and in Rajasthan is evasive prevarication. State Home Minister Gulab Chand Kataria said no one had the right to take the law into his own hands, but added it was “all right” that those illegally moving cattle were nabbed. In the Rajya Sabha, Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi implied that no incident of such cow vigilantism had occurred.
 
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In our country, talking about depression is more of a taboo than talking about sex: We simply don’t discuss mental health, particularly its emotional aspect. Not just because of the stigma attached to it, but also because people don’t understand the subject properly. Why don’t we understand it? Because emotional development isn’t taught in schools or homes. No one has ever tried to tell us about emotions in a manner that doesn’t seem like an academic exercise or in a way that could make us relate to the issue and evoke genuine interest.

 


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Review
 
 
 
 
spotlight image India’s Vice President Mohammed Hamid Ansari visited Armenia recently to celebrate 25 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
 
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The US has slammed Pakistan for failing to crackdown on terror groups operating from "safe havens" inside its territory, and said the Nawaz Sharif government did not take any action against the LeT and JeM, which continue to operate openly.
 
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In dispatching its  PLA (Peoples Liberation Army)  marines to Djibuti in the Horn of Africa on Wednesday (July 12 ) by amphibious ships, from the southern port of Zhanjiang, China has taken a significant step in enhancing its  trans-border military footprint.
 
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It is becoming increasingly obvious that China is experiencing a sort of superiority obsession, imagining it can dominate and conquer the world. Several Chinese acts in the recent past indicate such an attitude. Asian nations, which are now apprehensive about China’s aggressive postures, are unclear how matters will shape up.
 
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Men of letters have outstanding world views, but sometimes their views on the situation in the Valley are coloured by lack of practical appreciation of the ground reality.
 
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For many of us in India — and, indeed, in the rest of the world — the Chinese economic story has been seen for what it is: a country determined by its leadership’s sheer will to lift its people first out of paddy fields
 
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IS retired Gen Raheel Sharif commanding a ghost army? Government representatives have insisted that so long as the terms of reference of the Saudi-led Islamic Military Alliance to Fight Terrorism are not finalised, Pakistan’s participation cannot be determined.
 
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  The U.S. administration’s decision to slap sanctions on 18 Iranian individuals and entities on Tuesday, only a day after it certified to Congress that Tehran was compliant with the conditions of the nuclear deal, sums up its strategic resolve in taking on the Islamic Republic and the tactical dilemma it faces while doi
 
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S.T. Lee Distinguished Lecture of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, Singapore on "India, ASEAN and Changing Geopolitics”
 
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Interview with Hudson Institute’s Aparna Pande, whose book From Chanakya to Modi: Evolution of India’s Foreign Policy, was released on June 17.

 
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This is the continuing amazing spiritual journey of a Muslim man from Kerala who plunged into Vedic religion after a chance encounter with a Hindu mystic under a jackfruit tree in the backyard of his house when he was just nine. It is a story w...

 
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History is told by the victors but in our modern age, even contemporary events get - or are given - a slant, where some contributors soon get eclipsed from the narrative or their images tarnished.

 
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Humans have long had a fear of malignant supernatural beings but there may be times when even the latter cannot compare with the sheer evil and destructiveness mortals may be capable of. But then seeking to enable the end of the world due to it...

 
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Title: Reporting Pakistan; Author: Meena Menon; Publisher: Viking/Penguin Random House; Pages: 340; Price: Rs 599

 
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