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NEWS
December 28, 1992 | By Loretta Tofani, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
The two cousins pass around 11 stones - white rocks streaked with red - most small enough to hold in one's hands. "They are a symbol of our victory," said one of the cousins. The ancient stones - and the victory referred to by Mangala Tiwari, 21, and his cousin, Sanjay Kumar, 23 - come from the destruction of the Babri Masjid mosque in Ayodhya on Dec. 6. "Here, you can have one," said Kumar, a medical student, as he casually picked some rubble from the floor. The visitor declined; a 400-year-old stone dropped, clattering.
NEWS
May 12, 1996 | By Jennifer Lin, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Nothing remains of the old Muslim mosque in this city holy to Hindus, where monkeys and sacred cows roam the streets. In its place stands a large pink tent, a makeshift Hindu temple to the deity Lord Ram that is guarded like a maximum-security prison. Hundreds of special police with rifles surround the site, which is fortified with security cameras, watchtowers, floodlights and 20-foot barbed-wire fences. The high security is guard against more of the explosive violence that has turned Ayodhya into a symbol of the religious tensions in Indian society.
NEWS
February 27, 1998 | By Trudy Rubin
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.
NEWS
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.
NEWS
May 10, 1996 | By Jennifer Lin, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
The lack of a clear winner in India's general election has left the world's largest democracy in political disarray, prompting the resignation of Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao after a desultory showing by his Congress Party. No single political party has emerged strong enough to stake a claim to lead the government. The election has brought more confusion than clarity to the future of Indian politics, more division than consensus. When vote counting ends today, the ruling Congress Party is expected to suffer a humiliating defeat, receiving its smallest number of seats in the lower house of Parliament, or Lok Sabha, since India achieved independence nearly 50 years ago. Rao announced that he would resign today from the current Congress-led government.
NEWS
May 8, 1996 | By Trudy Rubin
In the stunning Indian film Bombay, which premiered in America this week at the Philadelphia Festival of World Cinema, Hindu religious fanatics pour gasoline over 5-year-old twins, demanding to know, "Are you Hindu or Muslim?" The boys can't give the right answer because their mother is Muslim, their father Hindu. The question is repeated over and over, as one tormenter flicks a faulty cigarette lighter next to the boys' heads. Just when the flame starts to catch in the lighter, police open fire and the men flee.
NEWS
May 22, 1998 | By Trudy Rubin
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.
NEWS
February 16, 1998 | By Shankar Vedantam, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Voters in the world's largest democracy went to the polls today, less than two years after electing a center-left coalition that has collapsed under the strain of internal bickering. Polls suggest the new elections will produce a hung parliament and yet another uneasy coalition government. According to the latest opinion polls here, center-left parties will again win a collective majority in the 544-seat British-style Parliament. But deep differences divide these parties, which could help right-wing Hindu nationalists gain the 40 to 45 votes they will likely need to win power.
NEWS
November 28, 1989 | By Marc Kaufman, Inquirer Staff Writer
Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi's ruling Congress-I Party was soundly beaten in parliamentary elections, losing its huge majority and clinging yesterday to the hope of returning to power only in a coalition government. Indian voters abandoned Gandhi's Congress-I Party by the millions, splitting the new Parliament so thoroughly that no group can unilaterally form a new government. The final official tally was expected to come in today. But the repudiation of the Congress-I was so sweeping by late yesterday, with nearly four-fifths of the contests settled, that it appeared likely to lose about half of the 415 seats it held in the 525-member Lok Sabha, the powerful lower house of Parliament, which was dissolved yesterday.
NEWS
February 20, 1998 | By Trudy Rubin
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.
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BUSINESS
March 9, 2013 | By Joseph N. DiStefano, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
NEWS
December 4, 2008 | By Rick Santorum
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.
NEWS
May 21, 2004 | By Gwynne Dyer
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.
NEWS
March 4, 1999 | By Melody McDonald, INQUIRER SUBURBAN STAFF
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.
NEWS
December 16, 1998 | By Don Harrison
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)
NEWS
May 22, 1998 | By Trudy Rubin
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.
NEWS
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.
NEWS
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.
NEWS
February 27, 1998 | By Trudy Rubin
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.
NEWS
February 20, 1998 | By Trudy Rubin
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.
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