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Nothing that any one writes will suffice. Our words are dead today. They ring hollow. Our souls are dead today. As the funerals take place across the city, as the walls of homes shake and wail and absorb the pain of mothers, fathers, daughters, brothers, sisters, and friends, as the earth cries at what is being put in to it, as each step of family members without their children or with injured children, is filled with heaviness, as Lady Reading Hospital, that ever busy, efficient institution, so accustomed to patients of brutal violence continues to function — patients in, patients

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This month India and Pakistan celebrated their respective independence days, in place to mark the end of British colonial rule in India and the birth of an Islamic state for the region’s Muslims. Since the division of British India, both states have been at logger heads over the unresolved issue of Kashmir. With one state claiming the territory due to its Muslim majority population and the other over the Maharaja’s accession, nothing concrete has been achieved in the past seven decades. Instead there have been years of threats, conflict and recycled rhetoric. The contempt Kashmiris feel towards India over its

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Dead bodies being carried away from the site of a suicide attack on the Indian consulate in Herat in May.   Away from the ballot box, the bullet still rules in Afghanistan. A recent attack on Kabul airport has renewed fears over the capital’s vulnerability at a time when swathes of Helmand have returned to Taliban control. Meanwhile, across the border in Pakistan, the Army’s media wing continues its positive tone despite widespread acknowledgement that its air and ground operation, Zarb-e-Azb, against militants in North Waziristan Agency, began after many it sought to snare had made good their escape. Pakistan’s

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Markus Obstmeier in Kabul. Some may say the world is huge, others claim the world is small but what is certain is that it is treasurable with all its diversity. With travel it is more accessible to people and far flung places are now more reachable for people. I travel extensively as learning from different cultures enriches me the most. One country and culture that has long held my curiosity due to its rich ancient history, wild and untamed landscapes, mountain ranges, different ethnic groups and its mixed history of eastern and western influence is Afghanistan. The central Asian land

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Construction is beautiful, from planning till completion, the combination of different materials, the process of binding these materials, the location, engineering and the purpose of a building are all part of this wonderful process. The question, why do we build the way we do? And do we need to change the way we build to be more sustainable? The past decade sustainable construction, eco-friendly buildings and corporate social responsibility have become a large part of the construction industry. The increase in the human population and the development in the world to shelter the population, plus a decrease in materials and

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Students protest the rising violence against women outside the Raisina Hill/Rajpath in New Delhi on December 22, 2012. Photograph by Nilanjana Roy   As the mercury soars outside, a seething fury seems to swell inside. The morning newspaper is replete with reports on gang rapes, trafficking and brutalities perpetrated against women. There is this 23 year old young woman from Noida, gang-raped and allegedly brutalised by her in-laws including her father-in-law and brother-in-law. There is a picture of onlookers, gazing with bewilderment, at the spot where two innocent Dalit girls are found hanging from a tree in a village in

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Narendra Modi   Narendra Modi and his supporters have been challenging to fight this sixteenth Lok Sabha election on the issue of development and governance. It’s pathetic to see how neither media nor intelligentsia or political commentators of this country has not been cornering Modi over deteriorating condition of Muslims in Gujarat in development related field such as education, employment, health, etc. The conservatism of the current Gujarat government is visible most not only in case of their discriminatory policies against the Muslims on the issues related to religion or governance but also on economic issues. Our concern here is

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A ghat in Banaras. Tolerance is that capacity of human mind and soul which stands for or practice of recognizing and respecting the beliefs or practices of others. Being tolerant means articulating a fair, objective and permissive attitude towards those whose opinions, practices, race, religion, nationality, etc. differ from one’s own and free from bigotry. The tolerant culture has a deep respect, reverence, understanding and accommodating approach towards diversity, difference and heterogeneity of faiths and beliefs. It requires on our part the readiness as well as willingness to allow the freedom of choice, behavior irrespective of caste, creed, class, religion,

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Narendra Modi during Jammu rally.   “You may write me down in history with your bitter twisted lies. You may trod me in the very dirt, but still like dust, I’ll rise.” – Maya Angelou There has been a lot of debate in recent times on the article 370 of the Indian constitution. The Prime Ministerial candidate of BJP, Narendra Modi, was seen calling for its complete revocation and redress from the state of Jammu and Kashmir during his recent Jammu rally – Lalkar. He argued that this article stands in between the complete integration of the state of Jammu

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In October this year, a former contractor at the US National Security Agency,  Edward Snowden, leaked documents to Britain’s Guardian newspaper. Among several leaks, one was showing Australian intelligence phone taping and spying on top government officials in Indonesia in 2009 including the President Mr. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. The gathering of intelligence by project “Reveal their secrets –protect our own” was by the Australian Electronic Intelligence Agency and the Defence Signals Directorate Agency (now known as the Australian Signals Directorate). The leaked documents showed that the targets were President Yudhoyono, vice president Boediono, the security minister, the information minister, the

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