March 9, 2013 |
Two Indian companies have withdrawn support for a Wharton School business conference at the University of Pennsylvania after student organizers scrapped a talk by Narendra Modi, a popular chief minister of a state in India and a Hindu nationalist banned from visiting the United States since 2002. The travel ban was the result of deadly attacks on Muslims that Modi's government allegedly failed to block. The 17th annual Wharton India Economic Forum had scheduled Modi, chief minister of Gujarat state.
December 4, 2008 |
Dealing with terrorism in India is being called President-elect Barack Obama's first foreign-policy test. As we saw last week in Mumbai, political and religious divisions in the world's largest democracy make our disagreements seem tame by comparison. So when Obama named economist Sonal Shah to his transition team, the unifier invited division. From India to the United States, Hindus, Muslims and Christians criticized her appointment, alleging that she has links to Hindu militants.
May 21, 2004 |
The last few days must have been frightening for Sonia Gandhi. Death threats from Hindus furious at the defeat of the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will have been flooding in. She has already seen both her mother-in-law and her husband assassinated by extremists. Indira Gandhi was killed in 1984 and Rajiv Gandhi in 1991. But the time for her to decide whether she was up to the job of leading India was in 1998, when she accepted the leadership of the Congress Party, which was discredited by factionalism and corruption, and took on the task of rebuilding it. For all her shyness in public, she did that job effectively, and then she led a revived Congress back to power in the biggest free election ever.
March 4, 1999 |
The contents of the Rev. Bernard Chand's thick, black leather briefcase tell it all: Scores of letters to religious leaders, ambassadors and congregations across the world; pleas to the prime minister and the president of India; dozens of newspaper clippings, magazine articles, e-mail. These days, Mr. Chand's worn briefcase is as much a part of him as his white Anglican cleric's collar. The documents inside are indicative of his crusade to stop attacks on Christians by Hindu extremists in his homeland of India.
December 16, 1998 |
Monkeys scamper over the walls and grounds of dingy, decaying government buildings in the heart of New Delhi. "Ours is the only foreign office in the world where the monkeys are on the outside," quipped a ministry official. We were 11 Americans and a Norwegian on a fact-finding trip sponsored by the National Conference of Editorial Writers. Except for a weekend of sightseeing through Rajasthan state from Jaipur to Agra, we followed a relentless schedule of meetings with politicians, educators, activists, do-gooders and local journalists in Delhi and Mumbai (formerly Bombay)
May 22, 1998 |
Suddenly, America has a new international enemy. It's not Saddam or the mullahs. It's not a dictatorship or a rogue state. The new public enemy number one - to judge from media commentary - is the world's largest democracy: India. Or, as President Bush's former national security adviser, Brent Scowcroft, calls it, "the world's most dangerous democracy. " These labels are a case of angry emotions drowning out common sense. India's crime is that its Hindu nationalist government just conducted five nuclear tests, threatening to destroy U.S. and global efforts to halt the spread of nuclear weapons.
May 15, 1998
Mounting a response to India's nuclear tests India's test of nuclear devices is an aggressive act that threatens the peace of South Asia and the entire world. It must be condemned in the strongest possible terms. In view of these tests, India can no longer claim that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes. These tests are designed to scare India's neighbors and advance its campaign for hegemony in South Asia. Recently, two officials of the ruling BJP called for Pakistan and Bangladesh to become part of India.
March 22, 1998
When the world's largest democracy, a stew of ethnic and religious groups, swears in a Hindu nationalist government, pay attention. Except for one 13-day stint, the nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has never governed India. Its Hindus-first party platform once contained planks with great potential to stoke communal violence, especially with India's huge Muslim minority. Many Indians feared a BJP victory would mean a replay of the Hindu-Muslim riots that followed the razing of a historic mosque in Ayodya in 1992, in which thousands were killed, mostly Muslims.
February 27, 1998 |
In the old center of this holiest of Hindu cities sits a large white mosque surrounded by a high metal fence and barbed wire. Next-door is the Golden Temple, a sacred site for worshiping the Hindu god Shiva. Believers are frisked with a metal detector before entering the deep red 17th-century shrine with its gold-encrusted dome. Soldiers guard both sites to ensure that no Hindu-Muslim fighting will break out. When I came to India three weeks ago, I thought that the country might be headed for such violence.
February 20, 1998 |
Look before you leap Think before you trust Pray before you vote But vote you must. - Sign on a church in a poor Bombay neighborhood We Americans spend lots of time speculating whether democracy will ever come to China while forgetting the astonishing democracy that already exists in India. Indian democracy is the real "Asian miracle. " In India, all the conventional wisdom about what makes democracy work - a certain level of prosperity with a substantial middle class and strong shared values - gets stood on its head.