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I’m Holding Firm Against Gay Marriage

BATON ROUGE, La. — THE debate over religious liberty in America presents conservatives and business leaders with a crucial choice.

In Indiana and Arkansas, large corporations recently joined left-wing activists to bully elected officials into backing away from strong protections for religious liberty. It was disappointing to see conservative leaders so hastily retreat on legislation that would simply allow for an individual or business to claim a right to free exercise of religion in ... Read More

Modi's life story reflects India's potential: Obama in TIME
Source : IANS
Indian PM Modi gestures upon arrival at inauguration ceremony of the thirteenth Overseas Indians Conference at Gandhinagar

Washington: Headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, whom President Barack Obama calls "India's reformer-in-chief", four people of Indian origin figure in the Time magazine's list of the World's 100 most influential people this year.

Besides Modi, others on the influential magazine's list of 100 Titans, Pioneers, Artists, Leaders and Icons include Chanda Kochhar, managing director and CEO of ... Read More

What Castro-Obama Handshake Means for India
Sudheendra Kulkarni

(The writer was an aide to former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Comments are welcome at sudheenkulkarni@gmail.com)

What triumphs in history - hope or despair? Despair seems to be the obvious answer, given the cycle of hostilities and violent conflicts that has repeated itself from time to time in different parts of the world. Yet, hope doesn't give up. It tenaciously continues its struggle to prove that conflict is not the normal condition of human ... Read More

The many talents of Mr Ambedkar
By Sunil Rajguru Source : SIFY

In history textbooks while growing up, we are shown only two sides of Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar: Dalit icon and Father of the Indian Constitution. However there were many other facets to this multiple personality.

A look at some of them…

Gandhi’s intellectual rival: Most of the freedom fighters generally went along with Mahatma Gandhi and the few who opposed him like Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose had to leave. Ambedkar was a rarity who ... Read More

God helps those who help themselves: Kunta Devi
One day, more than 20 years ago, Kunta Devi’s husband never returned home from his workplace at a brick kiln and has been untraceable since then. He seemed to have vanished into thin air, leaving his wife alone with their 3 children—I daughter and 2 sons, with the youngest one barely 2 years old. Kunta does not know if he is dead or alive. She now lives with her 2 sons and their wives ... Read More

Pranab book says then PM wasn't aware of provision
K.P. Nayar

Indira Gandhi did not know that it was possible to declare Emergency on grounds of domestic threats to security when she was groping for a way out of her electoral disqualification by Allahabad High Court on June 12, 1975, and attempting to contain a spreading movement for her ouster led by Jayaprakash Narayan.

This shocking admission is the gist of a conversation between the beleaguered Prime Minister and her then minister of state for finance ... Read More

Singapore sorcerer, India soothsayer
K.P. Nayar

For those Indians who have followed Lee Kuan Yew's remarkable legacy, it offers an eerie contrast between how he successfully steered his country's generational transition and India's own politics which is once again at the crossroads with Rahul Gandhi's sabbatical and his mother Sonia Gandhi returning to the centre-stage in public life.

Lee died early morning on Monday at the age of 91 after more than a month in hospital for treatment of severe pneumonia.

Like ... Read More

'Let's Do Lunch', Michelle Obama to Shinzo Abe
Tokyo: Michelle Obama suggested a lunch date with Shinzo Abe at his wife's restaurant today, offering the Japanese Prime Minister a place at her table next time she is in town.

The US First Lady gave a ringing endorsement of Akie Abe's "izakaya", a traditional Japanese-style pub, after eating there with her opposite number on the second day of her visit to Tokyo.

"Prime Minister, first of all, your wife is an amazing woman," said Obama, ... Read More

When 'humiliated' Tata did 'favour' to Ford with JLR buyout!
Source: PTI
Ratan Tata and his team faced"humiliation" when they went to sell the group's fledgling car business to Ford in 1999, but came back to "do a big favour"just nine years later by taking over the American giant'smarquee brands Jaguar and Land Rover.

"They told us 'you do not know anything, why did you start the passenger car division at all'. They said they will do us a favour by buying our car division," a Tata ... Read More
Land Acquisition Bill takes away rights of farmers for 'Make in India'
Dr Rahul Pandey and Dr Sandeep Pandey, Citizen News Service
Since the past several months we have seen the NDA government aggressively pushing through changes in land acquisition policy, first in the form of Ordinance in December 2014 and then, as it was passed as a Bill with nine changes in Lok Sabha but faced roadblock in Rajya Sabha, re-promulgating it before its expiry in April 2015. With the government calling the Bill pro-farmer and ... Read More
Is the Secular Character of India under Threat?
The National Council of Churches in India expresses its deep concern over growing religious intolerance in our country, and targeted violence against the Christian community. The sustained hate campaigns have resulted in vicious attacks on our people, places of worship and our institutions. Such incidents of violence are taking place right across the country—Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala. In the recent past, they are even happening in the ... Read More
Canada's Green Party concerned over uranium deal with India
Ottawa: Canada's Green party has expressed serious concern over the country's multi-million dollar uranium deal with India, saying the agreement is a direct violation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

"Canada's trade in nuclear materials with India is a direct violation of the NPT, yet we resumed trading equipment and fissionable materials with India in 2013," said Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party of Canada.

The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty is an international pact whose objective is to ... Read More
Facebook May Host News Sites’ Content
Nothing attracts news organizations likeFacebook. And nothing makes them more nervous.
With 1.4 billion users, the social media site has become a vital source of traffic for publishers looking to reach an increasingly fragmented audience glued to smartphones. In recent months, Facebook has been quietly holding talks with at least half a dozen media companies about hosting their content inside Facebook rather than making users tap a link to ... Read More
India’s Illicit Moneylenders Aren’t Going Away

LUDHIANA, India—Three bank branches stand across the street from Ajay Kumar Jaswal’s vegetable stand. But their loan officers shun his small business, forcing him to pay up to 20% quarterly interest to an illegal moneylender for the roughly $160 he needs as working capital.

“I’ve tried and I’ve tried and I’ve tried,” Mr. Jaswal said. But without any property to pledge as collateral, “it just never works out.”

India’s new government and its central bank ... Read More
censoring ìIndiaís Daughterî has done more damage than the film
By Annalisa Merelli

My Facebook newsfeed was a strange sight yesterday. People both in and outside India were sharing links to Indiaís Daughter, an unsettling BBC documentary that aired on Wednesday about the brutal gang-rape of a young woman on a Delhi bus in 2012. India had banned the film, but people had put it on YouTube and were sharing it on social media. As the hours went by, the Indian government (and later the BBC ... Read More
Where there is a will there is a way: Teeja Devi
Shobha Shukla, Citizen News Service
55 years old Teeja Devi was born in village Bargadavaan in a family of farm labourers. The youngest of 4 siblings, her father died even before she was born. A father less Teeja had a tough childhood. She grew up amid fields, and from early childhood farming became part of her daily life. Teeja studied till class 5 and then was married in a rural household of a nearby village. ... Read More
The Sri Lankan president may be more than a match for Modi
K.P. Nayar
If the Nobel Peace Prize, which is frequently awarded to people whose decisions influence international affairs, is rechristened the Nobel Diplomatic Prize, a strong contender for the honour in 2015 would be Sri Lanka's president, Maithripala Sirisena. Never mind that he was elected president only in January this year.
If Barack Obama could win the peace prize in his first year in office with no legacy to live up to the high standards of the ... Read More
From adversity to prosperity
Shobha Shukla, Citizen News Service
(CNS): It is not uncommon to hear about tales of migration from villages to cities in search of greener pastures. But, 22 years ago, a quirk of fate trans-located 42 years old Preeti from the city of Gorakhpur to a village called Bantaaniya. The youngest of 5 siblings—3 sisters and 2 brothers—Preeti grew up in Gorakhpur, a town in east UP, India. She had a comfortable childhood as her father ... Read More
Prayers for breakfast
K.P. Nayar
Barack Obama's remarks about religion and tolerance in India, made in New Delhi last month and reiterated in Washington a few days later, resurrected slices of my experience as an Indian living in the United States of America. Because I practised journalism on the east coast of the US, for several years in a row I was inundated by e-mails and other communication from Hindu Americans in New York campaigning for parking exemption in ... Read More
Voice for peace effort revival
K.P. Nayar
New Delhi, Feb. 8: With back-channel talks already in progress between India and Pakistan, President Pranab Mukherjee today added his voice for a revival of the May 2014 initiative by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, when South Asian leaders together broke bread in the Rashtrapati Bhavan banquet hall.
Mukherjee used his meeting with India's ambassadors and high Commissioners worldwide to plead for "that initiative (to) be followed through to its logical conclusion through incisive diplomacy even ... Read More
10 reasons why BJP lost Delhi to Aam Aadmi Party
Priyanka Rathi, IBN
New Delhi: A confused and divided Bharatiya Janata Party, which was riding high following the landslide victory in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections and consecutive wins in the Assembly elections in four states, has been steamrolled by the two-year-old Aam Aadmi Party in the Delhi Assembly elections.

The failure to counter the charismatic and street smart IIT Kharagpur graduate Arvind Kejriwal, who rebuilt the AAP after the party's mauling in the Lok Sabha elections, ... Read More
Brain drain is a good thing
Concern about executive ‘brain drain’ from developing countries is misplaced. ‘Indirect’ learning in mature markets crucial to developing-country firms’ growth, says research co-authored at Cambridge Judge.

Concern about a “brain drain” of executives from developing countries who work in mature markets is misplaced because such “indirect” learning abroad is critical to their companies’ growth in developed markets, finds research co-authored at Cambridge Judge Business School.

Companies from India and other emerging economies have little opportunity to learn ... Read More
India’s Coin Divers Know When Change Is in the Air
NEW DELHI—Om Prakash remembers when more money used to fall out of the sky.

Today it’s mostly small change—“one-rupee, two-rupee, five-rupee coins” he says, or basically a few cents—sometimes accompanied by coconuts. Once, though, a woman’s gold ring came tumbling down.

Mr. Prakash, 30 years old, lives and works beneath a historic bridge that spans the Yamuna River in the heart of India’s capital city. The Yamuna is one of India’s most sacred rivers.
Items collected under Iron ... Read More
Blood for sale: India's illegal 'red market'
By Anu Anand Delhi
Blood transfusion Selling blood in India is against the law, but there is a huge illegal trade in donations
In a crowded alleyway sandwiched between the wards of a large government hospital in New Delhi, we're searching for a blood tout.

One of the hospital's security guards has instructed us to look for a man with one leg.

We find the tout, Rajesh, sitting on a tattered blanket next to a tea stall drinking milky ... Read More
New Chapter for America and India
After years of near misses and unfulfilled promises, President Obama and Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India appear to have set relations between their democracies on a deeper, perhaps even revolutionary, path.

Part of the improvement in bilateral relations has to do with the personal chemistry between the two, which by all accounts appears warm and genuine. Mr. Obama had barely gotten off his plane in New Delhi when he and Mr. Modi embraced like old ... Read More
Obama's visit put growing Indo-US relations on a firm path
K.P. Nayar

By the time his three-day visit was drawing to a close, Barack Obama felt satisfied enough to claim ownership of it. He clearly got tired of reading and hearing that although it was he who had changed the flow of American history by shifting the date of his State of the Union address to travel to India, all the credit for this trip was going to Narendra Modi.

At President Pranab Mukherjee's State banquet, Obama ... Read More
Hope of Pak troops slash on border

New Delhi, Jan. 22: If all goes well, Pakistan will cut troops from its border with India after Barack Obama ends his visit to New Delhi for Republic Day. It is a big IF, but the signals, as the US President makes finishing touches to his travel plans, are promising.

Military intelligence has already assessed that some crack units from the Indo-Pakistan border have begun relocating to Pakistan's border with Afghanistan. This is the result of ... Read More
Hope of Pak troops slash on border

New Delhi, Jan. 22: If all goes well, Pakistan will cut troops from its border with India after Barack Obama ends his visit to New Delhi for Republic Day. It is a big IF, but the signals, as the US President makes finishing touches to his travel plans, are promising.

Military intelligence has already assessed that some crack units from the Indo-Pakistan border have begun relocating to Pakistan's border with Afghanistan. This is the result of ... Read More

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Biography of an Unknown Woman
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