Views that never cease

Monthly Archives: February 2014

Publisher blames Indian law for book removal - Gobind Thukral


Penguin India publishing house while succumbing to pressure has cooked up a lame excuse when it blamed that ”intolerant and restrictive” Indian laws had forced it to remove a book from sale after it tried to defend an American author’s religious history against objections from a conservative Hindu group.  It is as shocking as was the decision to pull and pulp all copies of famed historian Wendy Doniger’s ”The Hindus: An Alternative History”.  Several writers have cancelled their contracts with the Penguin.  Shocked writers and intellectuals in India who see this as a worrying sign of rising intolerance against dissent in the country, have been very critical of this decision. […]

By Gobind Thukral |February 18, 2014| Southasiapost | 0 Comments

Totalising history, silencing dissent - Ratna Kapur


The agreement by Penguin Books India to destroy all existing copies of Wendy Doniger’s book represents the destruction of the very fabric of Indian culture The agreement by Penguin Books India, a unit of Penguin Random House, to withdraw as well as destroy all existing copies of its 2009 book titled The Hindus: An Alternative History by Wendy Doniger, a professor of religion at the University of Chicago, within six months, is both disturbing as well as foreboding. The lawsuit filed against Penguin India by Dina Nath Batra, the head of Shiksha Bacho Andolan, a fringe Hindu right-wing group dealing with education and text books, objected to the pluralistic representation […]

By Ratna Kapur |February 18, 2014| Southasiapost | 0 Comments

An alternative history by Wendy Doniger - admin


This is how the book is described by the publishers: “In engrossing and definitive narrative account of history and myth that offers a new way of understanding one of the world’s oldest major religions, The Hindus elucidates the relationship between recorded history and imaginary worlds. Hinduism does not lend itself easily to a strictly chronological account: many of its central texts cannot be reliably dated even within a century; its central tenets” karma, dharma, to name just two “arise at particular moments in Indian history and differ in each era, between genders, and caste to caste; and what is shared among Hindus is overwhelmingly outnumbered by the things that are […]

By admin |February 18, 2014| Southasiapost | 0 Comments

After war comes peace, not prosperity - Amantha Perera

Sri Lanka- peace

Education has been boosted in the Northern Province of Sri Lanka, but with few jobs to follow. COLOMBO  - Sri Lanka’s war-battered Northern Province had reason to celebrate when the results of a countrywide exam were announced last December. Of the 16,604 students from the province who sat for the exam, 63.8 percent secured the required marks for entry into prestigious national universities. It was a spectacular performance for a region wrecked by three decades of sectarian conflict that ended in May 2009 with a military offensive. The region has endured a tedious reconstruction effort since then. “Graduates have to either move out or settle for manual jobs, even become masons or assistants […]

By Amantha Perera |February 18, 2014| Southasiapost | 0 Comments

Tough times ahead - Surinder Gosain

Sri Lanka

The civil conflict in Sri Lanka that ended in 2009 lasting for about 26 years is still haunting  President Mahinda Rajapaksa. His government is under scrutiny of war crimes inflicted by the government on civilians. Though there is comparative peace in the country since the war ended, it has not been able to satisfy the international community’s concerns of war crimes.  It wants the Sri Lankan government to probe thoroughly into the incidents of killing hundreds of Tamil civilians in the civil battle. The war played havoc with the environment, economy and, on top of all, killing of an estimated one lakh people. The United States reportedly to have said […]

By Surinder Gosain |February 19, 2014| Southasiapost | 0 Comments

Doctors resist deadly vaccine - Ranjit Devraj

Holy Family

An infant in intensive care at the Holy Family Hospital in New Delhi. Indian hospitals prefer traditional DPT vaccines. Credit: Holy Family Hospital. NEW DELHI  - A spate of sudden infant deaths following vaccination in India has prompted leading pediatricians to call for stronger regulatory mechanisms to evaluate new vaccines for safety and efficacy before their acceptance into the national immunisation programme. According to data obtained from the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, over the last one year 54 babies are recorded to have died soon after receiving the newly introduced “pentavalent” vaccine that is designed to prevent infection by five disease-causing microbes. “If the birth cohort in India […]

By Ranjit Devraj |February 18, 2014| Southasiapost | 0 Comments

A phantasmagoria par excellence - Dr Ishtiaq Ahmad


Call it the feudal system or a manifestation of Karl Marx’s Asiatic Mode of Production, the fact remains that the cultural hegemony of landlordism remains intact even when big landownership has shrunk According to the online Oxford dictionary, a phantasmagoria is “A sequence of real or imaginary images like that seen in a dream.” The online Merriam-Webster dictionary proffers a range of meanings: an exhibition of optical effects and illusion, a constantly shifting complex succession of things seen or imagined, a scene that constantly changes, a fantastic combination, collection, or assemblage. In my doctoral dissertation, The Concept of an Islamic State: The Ideological Controversy in Pakistan (London and New York 1987; […]

By Dr Ishtiaq Ahmad |February 18, 2014| Southasiapost | 0 Comments

Growing income & social gaps - Dr P R Kalia

World wealth

Will soon lead to a Social Explosion Gulf between wealthy elite and the working class widens further.Multinational corporations and corrupt politicians are stealing $1.26 trillion of the world’s wealth per year, just through tax havens. In today’s world of both unheard-of wealth and abject poverty, where the richest 85 people have more wealth than the poorest 3 billion, the famous cry, “Workers of the world unite; you have nothing to lose but your chains,” has yet to lose its potency.  A very offensive reality is that “nearly half the world’s wealth is owned by one percent of the global population. And the eighty-five richest people in the world control as much […]

By Dr P R Kalia |February 18, 2014| Southasiapost | 0 Comments

Nepal’s constitutional differences - Surinder Gosain


The newly-elected Prime Minister of Nepal Sushil Koirala has an uphill task of getting a consensus Constitution drafted by the second Constituent Assembly.  The Himalayan nation is presently governed by the Interim Constitution that paved the way for the federal republic by ending the monarchic regime. As per the stipulations, the Interim Constitution was to be replaced by a new Constitution by the Constituent Assembly with the deadline of May 28, 2010.  It could not happen because of differences between the major political parties. Thereafter, the Constituent Assembly has been extending the deadline of completing the task. Having failed to finish the task, the then Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai dissolved […]

By Surinder Gosain |February 19, 2014| Southasiapost | 0 Comments

Respecting the Uniqueness - Kalpna Upadhyaya


Every individual is matchless, exceptional, distinctive, inimitable and unique, it can also be said that he is the one and only one of its kind. All beautiful things like Sun, Moon, Stars, planets, plants, and animals are also different from each other. Not to speak of individual difference in every way, even the twins, triplets, or quadruplets are very different from each other in their physical features, nature, personality, temperament, actions, deeds, activities, manners, performance, behavior, and conduct. “I think we should all be tolerant of each other and embrace each other’s strengths and differences and uniqueness and beauty.” * Martina McBride All of us have come from the same […]

By Kalpna Upadhyaya |February 18, 2014| Southasiapost | 0 Comments