Posted by Kendall Harmon

Indian police arrested 17 men they say are members of a fringe Hindu nationalist group on suspicion of killing a Muslim computer engineer, in a case that has renewed concerns about religious violence in the world's largest democracy.

Police said the men beat to death 28-year-old Mohsin Sadiq Shaikh in the western city of Pune because he was Muslim. The attack happened Monday night after days of anti-Muslim incidents, said Additional Commissioner of Police Abdur Rehman. "He was a poor man, returning home after performing prayers at the mosque" and easily identifiable as a Muslim because of his beard and skullcap, Mr. Rehman said.

The killing has stoked fears among Muslims and others that Hindu fundamentalist groups energized by the recent landslide election victory of the Bharatiya Janata Party, which has Hindu-nationalist roots, could resort to violence.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & CultureViolence* International News & CommentaryAsiaIndia* Religion News & CommentaryInter-Faith RelationsOther FaithsHinduismIslam* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted June 7, 2014 at 10:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby* Culture-WatchGlobalizationReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryAsiaBangladeshIndiaPakistan

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Posted May 27, 2014 at 9:05 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

India, a giant economic mediocrity, is cursed by having too many economists. Its outgoing prime minister, Manmohan Singh, has a doctorate from Oxford, ran the central bank in the 1980s and led the liberalisation programme that India put in place in 1991 after a currency crisis. Yet as prime minister Mr Singh had little grip or public support, serving at the pleasure of Sonia Gandhi, the populist leader of the Congress party. By the end of his ten-year term he admitted he had failed. In August, as the rupee tumbled, he addressed a gathering of India’s policymaking elite at his house in Delhi. The economy faced “very difficult circumstances”, he whispered.

Mr Singh’s successor could not be more different. Narendra Modi’s economic views have been formed while running the business-friendly state of Gujarat for the past 12 years. Asked some time ago about his economic influences, he described his homespun framework, jotting diagrams on a pad as he spoke. He has studied Singapore and China, but thinks that “India is a democracy and has different requirements”. Striking a balance between farming, small firms and global companies is required, with limited but muscular administration and populist appeal: “Men, machines and money must work together.”

Having run Gujarat well, Mr Modi now faces the far harder task of running India. He has big advantages—administrative competence, control over his party and a majority in Parliament—that should ease decision-making. Unlike Mr Singh, he has also campaigned and won on a platform of aspiration and economic reform. India needs “less government and more governance”, he declared on the campaign trail.

Read it all.


Filed under: * Culture-WatchGlobalization* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingCorporations/Corporate LifeHousing/Real Estate MarketLabor/Labor Unions/Labor MarketPersonal FinanceTaxesForeign RelationsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAsiaIndia* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted May 27, 2014 at 7:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is to attend the inauguration of Narendra Modi as Prime Minister of India on Monday.

It is the first time since the two countries won independence in 1947 that a prime minister from one state will attend such a ceremony in the other.

The two nuclear-armed rivals have fought three wars in the past 60 years.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistory* Economics, PoliticsForeign RelationsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAsiaIndiaPakistan

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Posted May 24, 2014 at 10:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Father Michael Amaladoss, one of the most respected theologians in India, is said by some to be under suspicion from the Vatican’s watchdog on doctrinal orthodoxy, the Congregation for Doctrine of the Faith (CDF). He was summoned to Rome for a series of “conversations" with the CDF, although reports differ over how cordial these conversations were.

The scrutiny of Amaladoss stems from a book he wrote, The Asian Jesus, which grapples with an issue that has bedeviled Christians in Asia for centuries: how to present Jesus Christ as a genuine fellow Asian to the millions of our countrymen, who often see him as a white European import.

This is not just a matter of visual iconography, but of theology as well: What has Jesus Christ to say to the world religions of India? This is what Amaladoss tries to answer.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBooks* International News & CommentaryAsiaIndia* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman Catholic* TheologyChristology

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Posted May 21, 2014 at 3:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Ali Husain is a prosperous young Indian Muslim businessman. He recently bought a Mercedes and lives in a suburban-style gated community that itself sits inside a ghetto.

In Gujarat, it is so difficult for Muslims to buy property in areas dominated by Hindus even the community's fast-growing urban middle class is confined to cramped and decrepit corners of cities.

Husain embodies the paradox of Gujarat: the state's pro-business leadership has created opportunities for entrepreneurs of all creeds; yet religious prejudice and segregation are deeply, and even legally, engrained.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistoryLaw & Legal IssuesPsychologyReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingCorporations/Corporate LifeHousing/Real Estate MarketLabor/Labor Unions/Labor MarketPersonal Finance* International News & CommentaryAsiaIndia* Religion News & CommentaryInter-Faith RelationsOther FaithsHinduismIslam* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted May 18, 2014 at 5:08 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Modi’s new government cannot – indeed, must not – abolish the democratic rules that permit minorities to flourish. With its various ethnic groups, religions, castes, and 30 languages used by more than a million native speakers each (and another 105 spoken by at least 10,000 people), India is more culturally diverse than the entire European Union – but with twice as many people. Without the emphasis on compromise, peaceful dispute resolution, and minority rights inherent to democracy, a united India could not exist.

So Modi’s challenge is to overcome the obstacles to growth-promoting polices using democratic methods. Here, the election has brought good news: the growing strength of India’s growing middle class, a potent ally in the cause of pursuing the needed economic reforms.

That middle class consists of propertied, salaried people, many of them young, who see government as an impersonal enforcer of the law and a neutral arbiter of disputes, rather than as a source of funds and favors. The votes of such people helped Modi win the election. His success in office will depend on how well he can harness the power of the middle class to overcome the political obstacles to the economic growth that its members demand.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistoryLaw & Legal Issues* Economics, PoliticsEconomyCorporations/Corporate LifeLabor/Labor Unions/Labor MarketPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAsiaIndia* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted May 18, 2014 at 11:29 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Incoming Indian leader Narendra Modi told thousands of supporters in one of Hinduism’s holiest cities that he represented a break from past governments after winning the nation’s biggest electoral mandate in 30 years.

“There’s a lot of work that god has put me on this earth for,” Modi said yesterday on the banks of the Ganges River in Varanasi, his constituency, after attending a prayer service at a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, the Hindu god of destruction and transformation. “A lot of it is dirty work, but I am up to the task.”

Thousands of people threw rose petals at Modi’s convoy as it made its way through the streets of Varanasi, with onlookers and security officials taking pictures. Earlier, Modi greeted supporters in New Delhi, where his Bharatiya Janata Party said it would nominate him formally for prime minister this week.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryAsiaIndia* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsHinduism

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Posted May 17, 2014 at 1:06 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Like real estate agents the world over, Rahul Rewal asks his clients if they have children or pets, since both limit options. But there is another crucial but often unspoken question: Are they Muslim?

“I tailor the list of places that I show Muslims because many landlords, even in upper-class neighborhoods, will not rent to them,” Mr. Rewal said. “Most don’t even bother hiding their bigotry.”

Discrimination against Muslims in India is so rampant that many barely muster outrage when telling of the withdrawn apartment offers, rejected job applications and turned-down loans that are part of living in the country for them. As a group, Muslims have fallen badly behind Hindus in recent decades in education, employment and economic status, with persistent discrimination a key reason. Muslims are more likely to live in villages without schools or medical facilities and less likely to qualify for bank loans.

Now, after a landslide electoral triumph Friday by the Bharatiya Janata Party of Hindu nationalists, some Muslims here said they were worried that their place in India could become even more tenuous.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistoryReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAsiaIndia* Religion News & CommentaryInter-Faith RelationsOther FaithsHinduismIslam* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted May 17, 2014 at 7:58 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

India's main opposition BJP has risen like a phoenix from the depths of despair.

As the leads poured in on Friday morning, it was clear that the party is steaming ahead to its biggest victory in 30 years. This, after two losing two elections in a row - the party was able to mop up only 116 seats in 2009.

Today, the BJP on its own is on course to win more than the 272 which it needs to gain a simple majority, and its 28-party coalition is leading the vote count in over 300 seats.

Read it all.

Update: From an SMH article:
"It's a tsunami ... the BJP has levelled the Congress and this is a new era in Indian politics," BJP chief media spokesman Srikant Sharma told Fairfax Media.

"The Gandhi family is finished. They are no longer a force in Indian politics. India has moved past them, they are history," he said.


Filed under: * Culture-WatchGlobalization* Economics, PoliticsEconomyForeign RelationsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAsiaIndia

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Posted May 16, 2014 at 5:41 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Narendra Modi, the man most likely to become India’s next prime minister, has a wicked turn of phrase. In one of his most memorable remarks, he subverted his strong association with Hindu asceticism by declaring his support for “toilets before temples”. The same phrase, spoken by a Congress party cabinet minister, had provoked outrage from the Bharatiya Janata party of which Mr Modi is head. The BJP said the remark threatened to “destroy the fine fabric of religion and faith”. But the party hierarchy, knowing that its fate depends on the so-called “Modi wave”, barely demurred when its candidate adopted the slogan as his own.

The BJP leader is quite right to declare that India should spend less money on devotion and more on sanitation. According to 2011 census data, nearly half of households have no access to a toilet, forcing inhabitants to defecate in the open. More Indians own a mobile phone than a lavatory of their own. Poor hygiene, not lack of food, is the main reason that 40 per cent of children are malnourished. Much of Mr Modi’s appeal, which has swept through India like a brush fire, lies in his promise to conjure the growth that will eradicate such dire conditions and set his supporters on the road to a middle-class life.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchGlobalizationReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingCorporations/Corporate LifeHousing/Real Estate MarketLabor/Labor Unions/Labor MarketPersonal FinancePolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAsiaIndia* Religion News & CommentaryInter-Faith RelationsOther FaithsHinduism* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted May 14, 2014 at 6:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A number of exit polls are suggesting that Narendra Modi, the leader of India's main opposition BJP, is on course to win the general election.

The BJP dominated the campaign but analysts warn that exit polls have often been wrong in the past.

The main contest in the vote is between the ruling Congress and the BJP. Votes will be counted on 16 May.

Polls ended on the final day of voting on Monday. The Election Commission said voter turnout was a record 66.38%

Read it all.


Filed under: * Culture-WatchGlobalization* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAsiaIndia

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Posted May 12, 2014 at 4:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

India's general election reaches a climax on Monday as opposition challenger Narendra Modi seeks a personal mandate in Varanasi, the holy city on the river Ganges, to govern by his modernized brand of Hindu nationalism.

Modi is the first prime ministerial candidate to stand in the 3,000-year-old city where several religions mingle. Varanasi is an ancient centre of Buddhism but one in six voters is Muslim; Hindus believe that to die here brings salvation by escaping the cycle of reincarnation.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistoryReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAsiaIndia

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Posted May 11, 2014 at 6:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

One of the Indian capital’s best known lobbyists for domestic workers is a Belgian nun. Jeanne Devos founded the National Domestic Workers Movement 34 years ago. It tries to organize among this vast informal workforce, by some estimates as high as 40 million mostly women. Many were trafficked into the work as children.

SISTER JEANNE DEVOS (Founder, National Domestic Workers Movement): That’s a whole network of money, racket—it’s amazing. It’s one of the biggest incomes for most people. Just go to the villages, get them poor children, sell them back in the city.

LEEZA JOSEPH: Domestic workers are very invisible. They are not recognized as workers.

DE SAM LAZARO: Leeza Joseph heads the movement’s Delhi office.

Read or watch and listen to it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & CultureWomen* Economics, PoliticsEconomyLabor/Labor Unions/Labor Market* International News & CommentaryAsiaIndia

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Posted April 27, 2014 at 3:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

(The title of the video by ABC is "Miracle in Hell"--KSH).

A New Zealand pastor and his wife have made it their mission to take on India’s billion-dollar sex industry by rescuing young prostitutes from one of the largest "red light" districts on Earth.

The streets of Sonagacchi in Kolkata, India, are home to more than 10,000 prostitutes, many of whom are teenage girls. Most are sold into the sex trade by their families.

Pastor Kerry Hilton and his wife, Annie, who have lived in Sonagacchi for about 15 years, said they were shocked when they first moved to India and stumbled upon them. They had no idea their apartment overlooked the largest sex bazaar in India -- until the sun went down.

"We felt that these women straight away were our neighbors," Kerry Hilton said.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeMissionsParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchPovertyReligion & CultureSexualityTeens / YouthUrban/City Life and IssuesYoung Adults* International News & CommentaryAsiaIndiaAustralia / NZ

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Posted April 24, 2014 at 4:41 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

As priests chanted and smeared vermilion on Narendra Modi’s forehead, the opposition leader prayed that India would make him its next prime minister.

Modi came to this Hindu holy city late last year to worship at a site that has been contested by Hindus and Muslims for centuries. Just yards from where he stood, a two-story wall of metal bars separated the historic temple from a mosque.

Modi has been a polarizing figure in India for years. Now his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has surged in the polls as a discontented electorate has embraced his message of economic growth and corruption-free government. Voters have begun to cast their ballots in national elections, which will continue in stages until May 12.

Read it all from the Washington Post.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistoryReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAsiaIndia* Religion News & CommentaryInter-Faith RelationsOther FaithsHinduismIslam* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted April 15, 2014 at 7:29 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Yet there are larger issues behind the electoral spectacle that must not be overlooked. India’s elections have, over the years, deepened and broadened the composition of the political establishment. Sociologists have analyzed the class composition of India’s legislatures and traced the change from a post-independence Parliament dominated by highly educated professionals to one populated by today’s motley crew of MPs, who are more truly representative of India’s rural heartland.

But the fact that, particularly in India’s northern states, voters elect people referred to openly in the press as “mafia dons,” “dacoit leaders,” and “anti-social elements” is a troubling reflection on the way the electoral process has served Indian democracy. In the last four parliaments, at least a hundred members have had criminal cases pending against them. The resulting alienation of the educated middle class means that fewer and fewer of them go to the polls on Election Day.

The poor, however, do. Whereas psephological studies in the United States have demonstrated that the poor do not vote in significant numbers (presidential-election turnout in Harlem averaged 23% before Barack Obama’s two candidacies), the opposite is true in India.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAsiaIndia

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Posted March 13, 2014 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Everyone knows that Indian Partition was a very bloody affair, but how many of us can name the man given the responsibility of laying the groundwork for it? In July 1947 Prime Minister Clement Attlee appointed Cyril Radcliffe, a barrister, to the task of drawing the boundary lines between the two new sovereign states of India and Pakistan. There had been riots in the country and the British were looking for as orderly an exit from empire as possible.

The guiding principle, crudely, was that as many Hindus and Sikhs as possible should remain within India’s redrawn borders, while the newly created Pakistan would be home to the majority of Muslims. There was the additional problem of populous Calcutta and Bengal in the East. Radcliffe, absurdly, had five weeks to accomplish this: Independence was set for August 15.

Howard Brenton’s new play Drawing the Line, which has been playing to full houses at the Hampstead Theatre (the curtain comes down with a live-stream performance this Saturday, available on a certain newspaper’s website), focuses on Radcliffe as he struggles with an impossible assignment in a country he has never until now visited, pulled in different directions by representatives from Jawaharlal Nehru’s Congress Party and Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s Muslim League

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistoryReligion & CultureTheatre/Drama/Plays* International News & CommentaryAsiaIndiaPakistanEngland / UK

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Posted January 15, 2014 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Emmanuel, God with us, who didst make thy home in every culture and community on earth: We offer thanks for the raising up of thy servant Samuel Azariah as the first indigenous bishop in India. Grant that we may be strengthened by his witness to thy love without concern for class or caste, and by his labors for the unity of the Church in India, that people of many languages and cultures might with one voice give thee glory, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, now and for ever. Amen.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistorySpirituality/Prayer* International News & CommentaryAsiaIndia

1 Comments
Posted January 2, 2014 at 4:41 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

India’s one-year-old Aam Aadmi party, formed by a former tax official turned crusading anti-corruption activist, announced on Monday that it will form the local government in New Delhi, after a stunning electoral debut that tapped into public anger against India’s incumbent political elites.

Like Italy’s Five Star Movement led by comedian come politician Beppe Grillo, the AAP is an electoral insurgency, which has tapped into deep Indian disgruntlement – especially among its urban educated voters – at the lack of accountability of established politicians, many of whom seem to treat electoral victories as blank cheques.

The strong wave of support for the party, which has managed to capture 30 per cent of the city’s vote, has shocked and dismayed the political establishment, and triggered near euphoria among disillusioned urban voters hoping for radical change.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsForeign RelationsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAsiaIndia

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Posted December 23, 2013 at 6:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Some more active persecutors tell similar stories. “We harassed them and destroyed their houses. But they have no hatred or anger against us,” said Junos Digal, a member of the mob that attacked Christian targets. Squatting on a mat, with a Bible in front of him, he continued: “They are still suffering. But they have no complaints and they are living happily. There is certainly something special about how their faith enables them to overcome difficulties. This has brought me here. If Jesus could influence people’s lives to such an extent, I would prefer to be a part of that faith,” Digal said.

Asked whether he was worried that other Hindu fundamentalists would not turn their ire toward him for betraying their cause, Digal gave an interesting reply: “Many of us were misled. Now they will accept the reality. I am not worried about that.” Junos's wife, Sailama, embraced Christian faith before he did. She said simply: “My conscience made me take this decision.” She too is unworried about a possible angry reaction from militant Hindus. “ God will protect us,” she says. “If we live, we live for Christ and if we die, we die for Christ.”

The entry of more than a dozen such new converts to their congregation brought joy and comfort to the Christians who had held to their faith amid persecution. “In our suffering, our faith has been strengthened,” said Jayanti Digal. “Even when we were suffering, our faith kept us going. Now we are glad that even those who attacked us have started embracing our faith,” she said.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life* Culture-WatchReligion & CultureViolence* Economics, PoliticsForeign RelationsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAsiaIndia* Religion News & CommentaryInter-Faith RelationsOther ChurchesOther FaithsHinduism

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Posted December 16, 2013 at 7:29 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Delhi police...[Wednesday] cane-charged and water cannoned Archbishop Anil Couto of Delhi, several other bishops, nuns, pastors as they led a rally in Parliament Street demanding to end the discrimination against dalit Christians.

Several priests and nuns and lay leaders were injured badly in the police action. Christian leaders then courted arrest and were taken to parliament street police station as they mached on defying police orders.

This is the first time after in1997, that Bishops and Church leaders have been arrested while protesting for dalit cause.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesPolice/FireReligion & CultureViolence* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAsiaIndia* Religion News & CommentaryInter-Faith Relations* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted December 14, 2013 at 7:57 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The first day of the British royals' visit to Mumbai was marked by gaiety, the second by solemnity. On Sunday, Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, attended Remembrance Day service for martyred soldiers at the Anglican Afghan Church in Colaba.

The prince's mother Queen Elizabeth is the supreme governor of the Church of England which is Anglican.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchHistory* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, Military* International News & CommentaryAsiaIndiaEngland / UK

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Posted November 10, 2013 at 5:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

O God of the nations, who didst give to thy faithful servant Henry Martyn a brilliant mind, a loving heart, and a gift for languages, that he might translate the Scriptures and other holy writings for the peoples of India and Persia: Inspire in us, we beseech thee, a love like his, eager to commit both life and talents to thee who gavest them; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryMissionsSpirituality/Prayer* International News & CommentaryAsiaIndia

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Posted October 19, 2013 at 8:01 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A Christian nun who became the first woman bishop of South Asia’s Anglican community said that so far her appointment has silenced critics who believe only men can play leadership roles in the church.

Speaking on the phone from the Nandyal diocese in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh, the Revd Eggoni Pushpalalitha, who was appointed a bishop of the Church of South India on Monday, said she faced bias against women in leadership roles “but only until my consecration.”

“Those who used to talk about it are now touching my feet,” said the 57-year-old bishop, who holds degrees in economics and divinity, referring to an Indian custom of showing respect.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* Culture-WatchWomen* International News & CommentaryAsiaIndia

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Posted October 5, 2013 at 12:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said on Saturday that he reciprocated Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s sentiments on forging a new beginning but reiterated that the epicentre of terrorism was located in Pakistan.

Addressing the audience during the 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly at the United Nations, Singh said that state sponsored cross border terrorism was of particular concern to India.

“It is important that the terrorist machinery that draws its sustenance from Pakistan be shut down,” he said.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchViolence* Economics, PoliticsForeign RelationsPolitics in GeneralTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAsiaIndiaPakistan

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Posted September 30, 2013 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In a historic decision, the Church of South India appointed its first woman Bishop, who hails from a small village in Kurnool.

With her appointment Rev E Pushpalalitha becomes the first woman bishop of the Anglican family churches in South Asia, top CSI officials said.

"I am glad that the supreme authorities of the church chose me but more than that i am glad that the lord chose me," Rev Pushpalalitha told ...[the Times of India].

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* International News & CommentaryAsiaIndia

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Posted September 28, 2013 at 3:01 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Archbishop of Canterbury has drawn attention to the fact that Christians in Peshawar were talking of forgiveness immediately after suicide bombers attacked All Saints Church on Sunday.
But he added that Christians in Peshawar are also ‘crying out vigorously’ for justice and protection following the worst attack on Christians in Pakistan’s history.
The attack, which was launched as people were leaving Sunday Mass, killed 85 people and injured more than 120.
Speaking on Radio 4’s World at One today, the Archbishop described the bombing as ‘an absolutely appalling attack’ and called on Pakistan’s government to ensure that minority citizens are given proper protection and that all people are treated equally under its law.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby* Culture-WatchReligion & CultureViolence* Economics, PoliticsForeign RelationsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAsiaIndia* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsIslamMuslim-Christian relations* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted September 25, 2013 at 4:49 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Church of South India has today appointed its first woman bishop.

The Revd Eggoni Pushpalalitha was ordained in 1983 and has most recently been a priest in the Diocese of Nadyal in Andhra Pradesh.

Her appointment comes only days after the Church of Ireland elected its first woman bishop, the Revd Pat (Patricia) Storey as the new Bishop of Meath and Kildare.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* International News & CommentaryAsiaIndia

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Posted September 25, 2013 at 3:15 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Mother Teresa is a profound example of someone who chose to follow Jesus’ example of love and concern by caring for the needs of people living in poverty in Calcutta, India. Mother Teresa’s birthday today reminds us of her profound efforts of love, mercy, and kindness during her many years of service among the poorest of the poor.

Where did Mother Teresa find the strength and the ability to continue to serve in such a life-giving way for so many years? How did she develop her heart and love for the poor? And where did her strength of character and passion for service come from?....

The answers are found in the actions of her daily life, particularly in her regular devotion to prayer and entering into the presence of God by practices of the faith, most remarkably silence.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistorySpirituality/Prayer* Culture-WatchPovertyWomen* International News & CommentaryAsiaIndia* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman Catholic* Theology

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Posted August 27, 2013 at 5:16 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Indian Christians are celebrating the result of recent elections in Karnataka, a southwestern state known for having the highest rates of violence against Christians. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), a Hindu nationalist party which supports extremist groups, has finally lost power "after nine years of unchallenged rule."

"The BJP is decimated," reports AsiaNews. "Its defeat is good news especially for social and religious minorities of Karnataka, victims in these years of violence and persecution of the Hindu ultranationalist groups, openly supported by the BJP."

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesReligion & CultureViolence* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAsiaIndia

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Posted May 12, 2013 at 5:05 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Listen to it all (about 20 minutes). Those of you who are preachers, please note: this is a model of how to tell a story. It is heartwarming, hilarious, and oh so wonderful because it is true--you could not make this up if you tried--KSH (Hat tip: EDH).

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHealth & MedicineHistoryReligion & CultureTravel* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.AsiaIndia

4 Comments
Posted April 29, 2013 at 10:53 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

(Note that last season Dickey played with the New York Mets and he will be with Toronto this season--KSH).

This is Kamathipura, the red light district of Mumbai, among the most notorious sex-trafficking locations in the world. I am here as a guest of Bombay Teen Challenge (BTC), a charity that has been fighting human trafficking for more than 20 years, one I joined forces with last year, when two friends and I climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro and raised $130,000 , much of it from generous and kind-hearted Mets fans. I have come with my two daughters, Gabriel, 11, and Lila, 9, to witness the fruits of our climb – the conversion of a former brothel to a health clinic. I want my daughters to share the experience not so much as a gratitude check, but to learn that each of us has a capacity to make a difference in this world, and to see that God’s grace makes that possible.

Read it all, noting please that its content may not be appropriate for some blog readers.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenGlobalizationLaw & Legal IssuesPovertyReligion & CultureSexualitySportsTeens / Youth* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.AsiaIndia* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

1 Comments
Posted February 10, 2013 at 5:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

At a time when Indians are re-examining their society in the light of a single, horrific incident of gang rape, South Africa seems numb - unable to muster much more than a collective shrug in the face of almost unbelievably grim statistics - seemingly far worse than India's.

Here almost 60,000 rapes are reported to the police each year - more than double the number in India, in a far smaller country.

Experts believe the true figure is at least 10 times that - 600,000 attacks....

Read it all or watch the video report (recommended).

Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesMarriage & FamilyMenSexualityViolenceWomen* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAfricaSouth AfricaAsiaIndia* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted January 11, 2013 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

O God of the nations, who didst give to thy faithful servant Henry Martyn a brilliant mind, a loving heart, and a gift for languages, that he might translate the Scriptures and other holy writings for the peoples of India and Persia: Inspire in us, we beseech thee, a love like his, eager to commit both life and talents to thee who gavest them; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryMissionsSpirituality/Prayer* International News & CommentaryAsiaIndia

0 Comments
Posted October 19, 2012 at 4:39 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Both India and China have intense national testing programs to find the brightest students for their elite universities. The competition, the preparation and the national anxiety about the outcomes make the SAT testing programs in the U.S. seem like the minor leagues. The stakes are higher in China and India. The "chosen ones"—those who rank in the top 1%—get their choice of university, putting them on a path to fast-track careers, higher incomes and all the benefits of an upper-middle-class life.

The system doesn't work so well for the other 99%. There are nearly 40 million university students in China and India. Most attend institutions that churn out students at low cost. Students complain that their education is "factory style" and "uninspired." Employers complain that many graduates need remedial training before they are fully employable.

For now, the U.S. university system is still far ahead. But over the next decade, there will be a global competition to educate the next generation, and China and India have the potential to change the balance of power.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchEducationGlobalization* Economics, PoliticsEconomyCorporations/Corporate LifeLabor/Labor Unions/Labor Market* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.AsiaChinaIndia

0 Comments
Posted September 30, 2012 at 12:32 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Every six minutes, a child goes missing in India.

They are boys like Irfan, drugged and abducted at the age of 9 by two men on a motorbike as he walked home one day after playing with friends.

“It was living hell these past two years, trying to figure out where we could find him,” said his father, Iqbal Ali. “I used to run a biscuit bakery, but from the day he disappeared, I got so caught up trying to meet politicians, police and people who claim to do magic to get children back, that I had to shut down my bakery. I had no time for it.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenLaw & Legal IssuesPolice/Fire* International News & CommentaryAsiaIndia* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted September 24, 2012 at 4:40 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

An official in the Indian Catholic Church has endorsed the idea that participants in sex-selective abortions should be charged with murder.

The backing by Holy Spirit Missionary Sister Helen Saldanha, secretary of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India Office for Women, comes as momentum builds to end female feticide, a practice that finds families terminating a pregnancy because the child they are expecting is a girl.

Filing criminal charges for killing a child in the womb because of its sex would "change the killer attitude" toward girls in Indian society, Sister Helen told Catholic News Service.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchChildrenHealth & MedicineLaw & Legal IssuesLife EthicsReligion & CultureViolenceWomen* International News & CommentaryAsiaIndia* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman Catholic* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted August 14, 2012 at 4:40 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Power was restored in India on Wednesday after two days of blackouts that had cast a huge shadow over the nation’s economic ambitions.

On Tuesday, the overburdened electrical grid had collapsed across the whole of northern and eastern India, depriving more than half the country, or around 600 million people, of power. It was the largest blackout in global history in terms of the number of people affected — about 10 percent of the world population.

“Superpower India, RIP,” said the banner headline in The Economic Times newspaper.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchGlobalizationScience & Technology* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingCorporations/Corporate Life* International News & CommentaryAsiaIndia

2 Comments
Posted August 1, 2012 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In the first edition of my book "The Elephant, the Tiger and the Cell Phone," I reported that, in April 2007, India set a world record by selling 7 million cell phones that month, more telephone connections than any country had ever established in one month. By the time the book was printed, bound and distributed to bookstores, that figure was already out of date. And in 2010, India sold 20 million cell phones three months in a row.

India has now overtaken the United States as the world's second-largest telephone market, with 857 million SIM cards in circulation and an estimated 600 million individual users. China has more, but India is ahead in phones per capita, is adding them faster and is projected to overtake China before the end of 2012.

What is wonderful about this capitalist "mobile miracle" is that it has accomplished something that our previous socialist policies proclaimed but did little to achieve -- it empowered the less fortunate.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchScience & Technology* International News & CommentaryAsiaIndia

0 Comments
Posted May 13, 2012 at 4:37 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

When Saraswati Devi awoke from the anesthesia, her clothes were soaked in blood. She was lying on a grass mat on the floor in excruciating pain, and there were no medical staff to answer her cries. She was one of 53 women who underwent surgeries at a “sterilization camp” sponsored by the government of India in its national campaign to drastically cut population growth.

The campaign is underwritten by tens of millions of dollars in American and British foreign-aid funds.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHealth & MedicineLife EthicsScience & Technology* Economics, PoliticsForeign RelationsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.AsiaIndiaEngland / UK

2 Comments
Posted May 9, 2012 at 11:06 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Recently, Nidhi Raichand, 33, and the other editors at health care Web site mDhil decided to find out how young India really feels about liberal sexual behavior.

To the Web site’s English-speaking, upper-class, Internet-savvy audience, they posed the question, “Would you marry a non-virgin?”

The answers were sharply divided, but not the way that you may think....

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the InternetChildrenMarriage & FamilyMenPsychologySexualityWomenYoung Adults* International News & CommentaryAsiaIndia* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted April 18, 2012 at 11:04 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The growth of Islamic radicalism in Maldives can be traced to the beginning of the last decade. Like in Bangladesh, Pakistani jihadi groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba have been making inroads to indoctrinate young men in a conservative Sunni society, that has been bogged down with slow growth, political authoritarianism (until 2008, certainly) and mushrooming madrassas with Arab funds.

None of this is good news for India. Intelligence circles believe this is part of Pakistan's strategic outreach, to penetrate Islamic jihadism in India's periphery, which could be a constraining factor on India's own development.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & CultureViolence* International News & CommentaryAsiaIndia* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsIslam

0 Comments
Posted February 16, 2012 at 11:02 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Often during a crisis, a single hero or small group of heroes who take action and risk their lives will emerge. But what happened at the Taj was much broader.

During the crisis, dozens of workers — waiters and busboys, and room cleaners who knew back exits and paths through the hotel — chose to stay in a building under siege until their customers were safe. They were the very model of ethical, selfless behavior.

What could possibly explain it?

Read (or better listen to) it all (another from the long queue of should-have-already-been-posted material).

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchPsychology* Economics, PoliticsEconomyCorporations/Corporate LifeLabor/Labor Unions/Labor MarketTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAsiaIndia* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

6 Comments
Posted February 16, 2012 at 7:28 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

...[a slum called Annawadi near Mumbai’s airport]... turns out to be a gray zone whose atomized residents want nothing more than, in Primo Levi’s words, “to preserve and consolidate” their “established privilege vis-à-vis those without privilege.” Even those who are relatively fortunate, Boo writes, “improved their lots by beggaring the life chances of other poor people.”

Describing this undercity blood sport, “Behind the Beautiful Forevers” (the ironic title is taken from the “Beautiful Forever” advertisements for Italianate floor tiles that hide Annawadi from view) does not descend into a catalog of atrocity — one that a defensive Indian nationalist might dismiss as a drain inspector’s report. The product of prolonged and risky self-exposure to Annawadi, the book’s narrative stitches, with much skillfully unspoken analysis, some carefully researched individual lives. Its considerable literary power is also derived from Boo’s soberly elegant prose, which only occasionally reaches for exuberant neologism (“Glimmerglass Hyatt”) and bright metaphor (“Each evening, they returned down the slum road with gunny sacks of garbage on their backs, like a procession of broken-toothed, profit-minded Santas”).

But “Behind the Beautiful Forevers” is, above all, a moral inquiry in the great tradition of Oscar Lewis and Michael Harrington. As Boo explains in an author’s note, the spectacle of Mumbai’s “profound and juxtaposed inequality” provoked a line of questioning: “What is the infrastructure of opportunity in this society? Whose capabilities are given wing by the market and a government’s economic and social policy? Whose capabilities are squandered? . . . Why don’t more of our unequal societies implode?” Her eye is as shrewdly trained on the essential facts of politics and commerce as on the intimate, the familial and, indeed, the monstrously absurd: the college-going girl who struggles to figure out “Mrs. Dalloway” while her closest friend, about to be forced into an arranged marriage, consumes rat poison, and dies (though not before the doctors attending her extort 5,000 rupees, or $100, from her parents).

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchBooksPovertyPsychologyUrban/City Life and IssuesViolence* International News & CommentaryAsiaIndia

0 Comments
Posted February 10, 2012 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Internet giants Google Inc (GOOG.O) and Facebook removed content from some Indian domain websites on Monday following a court directive warning them of a crackdown "like China" if they did not take steps to protect religious sensibilities.

The two are among 21 companies ordered to develop a mechanism to block material considered religiously offensive after private petitioners took them to court over images deemed offensive to Hindus, Muslims and Christians.

Two cases have been brought by individuals against internet companies in India, stoking fears about censorship in the world's largest democracy.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the InternetReligion & CultureScience & Technology* Economics, PoliticsEconomyCorporations/Corporate Life* International News & CommentaryAsiaIndia

0 Comments
Posted February 7, 2012 at 7:59 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Kashmir's small Christian community is in a state of panic. A fortnight ago, a self-styled sharia court issued a fatwa calling for the expulsion of three Christian priests from Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) for "luring the Valley's Muslims to Christianity".

The decree by the Islamic court, which has come in the wake of alleged conversion of a handful of Kashmiri Muslims to Christianity, has opened up a new conflict in this strife-torn Indian state.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryAsiaIndia* Religion News & CommentaryOther Churches

1 Comments
Posted February 1, 2012 at 11:35 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Pakistan's civilian government fired its Defense Secretary Wednesday in a rare show of defiance against the country's powerful Army, which had earlier publicly rebuked Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani and ignited speculation the government may fall.

Retired Lt. Gen. Naeem Khalid Lodhi, a senior bureaucrat seen as close to the Army, was dismissed by the government for “gross misconduct and illegal action.” He was replaced by a bureaucrat close to the prime minister.

It’s not yet clear whether Pakistan’s powerful Army will be sufficiently moved to launch a coup and directly rule the country as it has done for approximately half of Pakistan’s 65 year history. But if Mr. Gilani's defiance pays off, that could indicate a boost for the country’s democratic institutions.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal Issues* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryEconomyThe U.S. GovernmentForeign RelationsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAsiaAfghanistanIndiaPakistan

0 Comments
Posted January 12, 2012 at 5:50 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Buddhists from around the world chose India on Wednesday as the headquarters of a new international Buddhist organization and united in their criticism of the Chinese government for trying to prevent the Dalai Lama from speaking at their meeting here in New Delhi.

It was something of a victory for India in what observers increasingly see as a contest with China to win the favor of Buddhists around the world. India is the land where Buddha gained enlightenment and taught, but China has the largest population of Buddhists today.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsForeign RelationsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAsiaChinaIndia* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsBuddhism

0 Comments
Posted December 3, 2011 at 8:26 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A priest has been arrested in the Indian state of Kashmir and charged with promoting religious enmity and outraging religious feelings after he baptised 15 Muslim young men who had converted to Christianity.

The Rev. Chander Mani Khanna, rector of All Saints Church in Srinigar in the Church of North India’s Diocese of Amritsar was jailed on 19 Nov 2011 by police following complaints laid against him by a local Muslim leader.

While India does not have a law forbidding religious conversions, a police official told the Hindustan Times Mr. Khanna had been booked for having violated laws against offering “allurements” to converts and for breaching the peace by having baptised the young Muslims.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryAsiaIndia* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsIslamMuslim-Christian relations

1 Comments
Posted November 28, 2011 at 5:33 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Gavriel and Rivka Holtzberg were a typical Chabad couple—devout, devoted to the Rebbe's principles, and with a strong sense for self-sacrifice for their fellow Jews. They also suffered from personal tragedy. Their first child was born with Tay-Sachs disease, a genetic disorder that took his life at the age of two.

In another community, the violent deaths of such a young and promising couple might have sent shivers through the leadership, prompting them to pull other emissaries from the field. But Chabad's leadership did the opposite, immediately sending another couple to take their place.

"It was almost instantly reflexive for some, especially from knowing Gabi and Rivki," observes Rabbi Chanoch Gechtman, who together with his wife Leah now runs the Chabad House in Mumbai. "Great darkness must be challenged with bright light."

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistoryReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAsiaIndia* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsJudaism

0 Comments
Posted November 25, 2011 at 11:29 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Irom Sharmila's mother has a simple dream: sitting down to a meal with her daughter.

Irom hasn't willingly ingested food or water for 11 years, in protest of a law granting legal immunity to the armed forces for human rights abuses. As the anniversary of her hunger strike nears, her mother imagines what might be.

"I'm still waiting for her to come home," said Shakhi Devi, 78, holding an album of her daughter's photos. She rarely visits the 39-year-old, the world's longest-serving hunger striker, because it's too painful.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenDieting/Food/NutritionLaw & Legal IssuesMarriage & Family* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, Military* International News & CommentaryAsiaIndia

0 Comments
Posted November 4, 2011 at 7:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The delegates of the 14th Ordinary Synod have elected The Most Revd. Dr. Philip P. Marandih, Bishop of the Diocese of Patna, as the Moderator and The Rt. Rev. Pradeep Kumar Samantaroy, Bishop of the Diocese of Amritsar, as the Deputy Moderator of the Church of North India for the next triennium.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* International News & CommentaryAsiaIndia* Religion News & CommentaryOther Churches

0 Comments
Posted October 11, 2011 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Hari Kondabolu was born in 1982 in the Little India neighborhood of Flushing, Queens, New York. His parents, both medical professionals, settled there when they first emigrated from Andhra Pradesh, India.

Pursuing the American Dream, the Kondabolu family moved to Floral Park, Queens, when Hari was 8 and his younger brother Ashok was 6. Ashok Kondabolu now performs as Dap, the hype man in the hip-hop group Das Racist. Hari and Ashok occasionally team up for The Untitled Kondabolu Brothers Project, an evening of improvised comic cultural commentary. “It was not my parents’ dream to have their sons in the entertainment field,” says Kondabolu, “but they couldn’t be prouder. Our parents provided us that freedom.”

Ravi and Uma Kondabolu raised their sons to be proud of their Indian heritage, so it is not surprising that cultural identity is a prime factor in their respective arts.

Hari (pronounced HUH-ree) complains in his set that Microsoft Word spell check always tries to correct his name to “Hair.”

LOL. Read it all (page 36 ff. of the pdf).


Filed under: * Culture-WatchPsychologyYoung Adults* General InterestHumor / Trivia* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.AsiaIndia

1 Comments
Posted September 16, 2011 at 11:02 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

India’s best-known Islamic seminary ousted its reformist leader on Sunday, less than seven months after he assumed the post, because he was quoted as speaking favorably of a Hindu nationalist suspected of fomenting deadly anti-Muslim riots.

The reformer, Mullah Ghulam Mohammed Vastanvi, was appointed in January to lead the seminary, Darul Uloom, in the city of Deoband in Uttar Pradesh State. He had become popular in part because of the success of his madrasas, or Islamic schools, in the western Indian state of Maharashtra that bridged traditional Islamic education with the needs of the modern world by teaching students secular subjects like science and computer programming. He had hoped to bring those innovations to Darul Uloom.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAsiaIndia* Religion News & CommentaryInter-Faith RelationsOther FaithsHinduismIslam* TheologySeminary / Theological Education

0 Comments
Posted July 27, 2011 at 11:05 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A group of Hindus can sue an Edison restaurant for money to travel to India, where they say they must purify their souls after eating meat, a state appellate court panel ruled Monday (July 18).

The decision reinstates a lawsuit filed against Moghul Express, the restaurant that admitted it accidentally served meat-filled pastries to 16 Hindus whose religion forbids them from eating nonvegetarian food.

The diners said the mix-up has harmed them spiritually and monetarily, and that to cleanse themselves of their sin—even though it was committed unknowingly—they must participate in a purification ritual in the Ganges River.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchDieting/Food/NutritionLaw & Legal IssuesReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryAsiaIndia

8 Comments
Posted July 20, 2011 at 11:40 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

...what is most striking when you talk to employers today is how many of them have used the pressure of the recession to become even more productive by deploying more automation technologies, software, outsourcing, robotics — anything they can use to make better products with reduced head count and health care and pension liabilities. That is not going to change. And while many of them are hiring, they are increasingly picky. They are all looking for the same kind of people — people who not only have the critical thinking skills to do the value-adding jobs that technology can’t, but also people who can invent, adapt and reinvent their jobs every day, in a market that changes faster than ever.

Today’s college grads need to be aware that the rising trend in Silicon Valley is to evaluate employees every quarter, not annually. Because the merger of globalization and the I.T. revolution means new products are being phased in and out so fast that companies cannot afford to wait until the end of the year to figure out whether a team leader is doing a good job.

Whatever you may be thinking when you apply for a job today, you can be sure the employer is asking this: Can this person add value every hour, every day — more than a worker in India, a robot or a computer?

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchEducationGlobalizationScience & TechnologyYoung Adults* Economics, PoliticsEconomyCorporations/Corporate LifeLabor/Labor Unions/Labor Market* International News & CommentaryAsiaChinaIndiaEurope

0 Comments
Posted July 13, 2011 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

When Pooja Nath was an undergraduate at the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur, an elite engineering school in India, she felt isolated. She was one of the few women on campus. While her male classmates collaborated on problem sets, Ms. Nath toiled in the computer lab alone.

“Back then, no one owned a laptop, there was no Internet in the dorm rooms. So everyone in my class would be working in the computer lab together,” she said. “But all the guys would be communicating with each other, getting help so fast, and I would be on the sidelines just watching.”

The experience as a young woman in that culture formed the foundation of her start-up in Silicon Valley, Piazza....

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingEducationWomenYoung Adults* Economics, PoliticsEconomyCorporations/Corporate Life* International News & CommentaryAsiaIndia

0 Comments
Posted July 5, 2011 at 1:30 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Mara Hvistendahl is worried about girls. Not in any political, moral or cultural sense but as an existential matter. She is right to be. In China, India and numerous other countries (both developing and developed), there are many more men than women, the result of systematic campaigns against baby girls. In "Unnatural Selection," Ms. Hvistendahl reports on this gender imbalance: what it is, how it came to be and what it means for the future.

In nature, 105 boys are born for every 100 girls. This ratio is biologically ironclad. Between 104 and 106 is the normal range, and that's as far as the natural window goes. Any other number is the result of unnatural events.

Yet today in India there are 112 boys born for every 100 girls. In China, the number is 121—though plenty of Chinese towns are over the 150 mark. China's and India's populations are mammoth enough that their outlying sex ratios have skewed the global average to a biologically impossible 107. But the imbalance is not only in Asia. Azerbaijan stands at 115, Georgia at 118 and Armenia at 120.

What is causing the skewed ratio: abortion...

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBooksChildrenLife EthicsMarriage & FamilyScience & Technology* International News & CommentaryAfricaAsiaChinaIndia* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

4 Comments
Posted June 23, 2011 at 5:50 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

His face adorns the yellow motorized rickshaws zipping down the streets. Billboards bear his simple motto, “Love All, Serve All.” His portrait hangs in almost every shop: a tiny man with a gravity-defying crown of curly hair regarded by millions of worldwide devotees as a god.

Sri Sathya Sai Baba, who declared himself a “living god” as a teenager and spent decades assembling a spiritual empire, permeates every corner of this small Indian city. He transformed it from a village of mud huts into a faith center with a private airport, a university, two major hospitals, rising condominium towers and a stadium — a legacy now forcing a question upon his followers: What happens when a god dies?

India can sometimes seem overrun with gurus, spiritualists and competing godmen (as they are sometimes called). But when Sai Baba died last month at the age of 84, the nation paused in respect and reverence, if blended with skepticism, too....

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryAsiaIndia

1 Comments
Posted May 28, 2011 at 12:12 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Contrary to what some headlines might have suggested, [President Obama's speech to Parliament]'s central theme was not division and weakness, but strength – the strength of what has traditionally been seen as the Western way, but is really something much broader. As such, it offered an upbeat prelude to the G8 summit which concludes in Deauville today, a prelude as fitting as it was unfashionable.

Unfashionable, because the prevailing transatlantic mood is pessimism. The philosophical consensus has been that the West, as embodied by the US, is in terminal decline and the future belongs to the emerging economies, chief among them China, with India snapping at its heels. Viewed from this perspective, the only realistic task for the "old" countries is to slow their decline and use the last years of their ascendancy to fix international rules to guard their way of life....

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchGlobalization* Economics, PoliticsEconomyPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.AsiaChinaIndiaEngland / UKEurope

0 Comments
Posted May 28, 2011 at 11:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

If it wasn’t already clear, India’s announcement of $5 billion in development deals in Africa should certainly put to rest any question of whether India is dedicated to doing business on the African continent over the long haul.

The pledge of development aid to African countries – essentially a fund to help African countries to meet their development goals – stands in stark contrast to Africa’s largest single trading partner, China.

While China trades large infrastructure projects (built mostly by Chinese labor) for access to African raw materials, India spends money on training Africans to develop their own countries. And while Indian countries certainly have come into Africa as investors, Indian diplomats are quick to stress that the relationship between India and African countries is more one of equal partners.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchGlobalization* Economics, PoliticsEconomyEnergy, Natural ResourcesForeign RelationsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAfricaAsiaChinaIndia

0 Comments
Posted May 25, 2011 at 11:04 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

India's 2011 census shows a serious decline in the number of girls under the age of seven - activists fear eight million female foetuses may have been aborted in the past decade. The BBC's Geeta Pandey in Delhi explores what has led to this crisis.

Kulwant has three daughters aged 24, 23 and 20 and a son who is 16.

In the years between the birth of her third daughter and her son, Kulwant became pregnant three times.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenHealth & MedicineMarriage & FamilyScience & TechnologyWomen* International News & CommentaryAsiaIndia

3 Comments
Posted May 24, 2011 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

“Without sharing, we tend to stagnate.”

Canon Phil Groves of the Anglican Communion Office in London was among religious leaders from England and India who gathered at St. Joseph’s Episcopal Church, Rosebank, as part of the Continuing Indaba Project.

“The Anglican Communion is no longer predominately white, no longer predominately English or American,” said Canon Groves, who organized the trip.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)Episcopal Church (TEC)* International News & CommentaryAsiaIndia

2 Comments
Posted May 22, 2011 at 3:27 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Church leaders in India have called upon the government to ban the pesticide Endosulfan, saying its health hazards far outweigh its benefits to farming.

However, India’s agriculture ministry — which manufactures the pesticide via the government-owned Hindustan Insecticides Ltd — claims there is no scientific evidence the chemical agent is harmful to humans, and has so far resisted local and international pressure to stop production.

In a 20April statement Bishop Thomas K Oommen of Central Kerala, the chairman of the Church of South India’s Ecological Concerns Committee, urged the Union Ministry for Environment and Forests to ban Endosulfan.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesScience & Technology* Economics, PoliticsEconomyCorporations/Corporate LifePolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAsiaIndia

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Posted May 16, 2011 at 9:04 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa also called for stronger regulation of commodity derivatives to dampen excessive volatility in food and energy prices, which they said posed new risks for the recovery of the world economy.

Meeting on the southern Chinese island of Hainan, they said the recent financial crisis had exposed the inadequacies of the current monetary order, which has the dollar as its linchpin.

What was needed, they said in a statement, was "a broad-based international reserve currency system providing stability and certainty" -- thinly veiled criticism of what the BRICS see as Washington's neglect of its global monetary responsibilities.

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Filed under: * Culture-WatchGlobalization* Economics, PoliticsEconomyThe U.S. GovernmentPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAsiaChinaIndiaEuropeRussiaSouth AmericaBrazil

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Posted April 15, 2011 at 5:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Call-center company 24/7 Customer Pvt. Ltd. is desperate to find new recruits who can answer questions by phone and email. It wants to hire 3,000 people this year. Yet in this country of 1.2 billion people, that is beginning to look like an impossible goal.

So few of the high school and college graduates who come through the door can communicate effectively in English, and so many lack a grasp of educational basics such as reading comprehension, that the company can hire just three out of every 100 applicants.

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Filed under: * Culture-WatchEducationScience & Technology* Economics, PoliticsEconomyCorporations/Corporate LifeLabor/Labor Unions/Labor Market* International News & CommentaryAsiaIndia

3 Comments
Posted April 5, 2011 at 3:15 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Even in his lifetime the legend of Mahatma Gandhi had grown to such proportions that the man himself can be said to have disappeared as if into a dust storm. Joseph Lelyveld’s new biography sets out to find him. His subtitle alerts us that this is not a conventional biography in that he does not repeat the well-documented story of Gandhi’s struggle for India but rather his struggle with India, the country that exasperated, infuriated, and dismayed him, notwithstanding his love for it.

At the outset Lelyveld dispenses with the conventions of biography, leaving out Gandhi’s childhood and student years, a decision he made because he believed that the twenty-three-year-old law clerk who arrived in South Africa in 1893 had little in him of the man he was to become. Besides, his birth in a small town in Gujarat on the west coast of India, and childhood spent in the bosom of a very traditional family of the Modh bania (merchant) caste of Jains, then the three years in London studying law are dealt with in fine detail and with a disarming freshness and directness in Gandhi’s Autobiography: The Story of My Experiments with Truth. Lelyveld’s argument is that it was South Africa that made him the visionary and leader of legend. He is not the first or only historian to have pointed out such a progression but he brings to it an intimate knowledge based on his years as a foreign correspondent for The New York Times in both South Africa and India and the exhaustive research he conducted with a rare and finely balanced sympathy.

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Filed under: * Culture-WatchBooksHistoryReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryAsiaIndia* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsHinduism

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Posted April 5, 2011 at 7:42 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Indian religious organizations across all major faiths are diversifying their "business model" to maintain the loyalty of their followers and attract new devotees. This is the finding of a Cambridge University study, carried out over two years surveying 568 Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Sikh and Jain religions in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Gujarat.

Cambridge, one of the world's leading seats of learning, constituted a group drawn from its faculty of economics and Judge Business School, which discovered that cow-lending, computer-based learning, sewing and aerobics classes are some of the innovative non-religious services being offered by religious bodies to stay ahead of the game.

The survey is believed to be one of the first in India with researchers finding that although India is becoming more powerful and wealthy, rising social inequality — especially in the poorer states — means religious groups often fill the breach left by the lack of social welfare, especially in education and healthcare. In total, 272 Hindu religious groups were interviewed, along with 248 Muslim, 25 Christian and 23 Sikh and Jain religious organizations.

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Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsEconomyCorporations/Corporate Life* International News & CommentaryAsiaIndia

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Posted March 26, 2011 at 9:04 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

DE SAM LAZARO: Microlending began in the nonprofit world as a means to help poor people start enterprises that would make them self-sufficient.

VIJAY MAHAJAN (Founder, BASIX): We were from the world of development, and we spent a frustrating number of years trying to get small amounts of credit for poor people. Then there’s a limit to how much you can do as a nonprofit, and then eventually we restructured as for-profit.

DE SAM LAZARO: In less than decade, microlending grew into a seven billion dollar industry. One company, SKS Microfinance, raised $350 million in an initial public stock offering. Salesmen from various new companies fanned out into rural areas like this village in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh, offering money to people, no questions asked....

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Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal Issues* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingThe Banking System/Sector* International News & CommentaryAsiaIndia* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted February 3, 2011 at 4:39 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Forty years after following the hippy trail to South Asia, John Butt is still living in the region, and still spreading a message of peace and love - though now as an Islamic scholar.
As our car turned around the bumpy Indian road, a gleaming white marble minaret came into view. My fellow passenger, John Mohammed Butt, could barely contain his excitement.
"Can you see it?" he asks. "It's like the Oxford University of Islamic learning. For me these minarets and domes are just like the spires and towers of Oxford.

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Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryAsiaIndia* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsIslam

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Posted January 24, 2011 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Karnataka High Court has directed the Bangalore Police to complete the corruption and fraud investigation of the Moderator of the Church of South India (CSI) and present their findings to the court.

On Dec 9, Justice Mohan Shantanagoudar asked the police to complete their investigations “as soon as possible, but not later than the outer limit of two months” into allegations that the Bishop in Central Karnataka, the Rt. Rev. Suputhrappa Vasanthakumar, his wife Nirmala, daughter Aparna, and his personal secretary Patricia Job stole church funds.

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Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryAsiaIndia* Religion News & CommentaryOther Churches

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Posted December 18, 2010 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Washington and Delhi's relationship will be one of the century's defining partnerships, President Barack Obama and Indian PM Manmohan Singh have said.

On a visit to Delhi, Mr Obama said India was a world power, and both countries would work together to promote stability and prosperity.

In a speech to parliament later, he said he would address Delhi's bid for a permanent UN Security Council seat.

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Filed under: * Culture-WatchGlobalization* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingCorporations/Corporate LifeForeign RelationsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.AsiaIndia

10 Comments
Posted November 8, 2010 at 9:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

President Obama is likely to get a friendly but subdued welcome when he begins his visit to India on Saturday.

Many Indians feel that the United States has neglected India, while cultivating strategic relations with its military rival, Pakistan.

That perception will be tough to overcome as Obama seeks India's help on a range of issues, from helping to balance the growing power of China to supporting the government of Afghanistan.

It could also hamper the president's efforts to open some key U.S. business opportunities in India.

Read or listen to it all.

Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsForeign RelationsPolitics in GeneralOffice of the PresidentPresident Barack ObamaWar in Afghanistan* International News & CommentaryAsiaIndiaPakistan

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Posted November 5, 2010 at 5:01 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A Church of South India (CSI) panel has concluded that a prima facie case for fraud can be laid against the Bishop in Coimbatore.

In interim report prepared by an investigatory panel given to the CSI executive committee last month concluded Bishop Manickam Dorai was likely to have committed fraud and theft of church funds. A final report will be presented to the executive committee in December, but the interim findings determined there was probable cause to dismiss Bishop Dorai, the panel concluded.

On July 2, the executive committee of the CSI’s General Synod placed Bishop Dorai on an indefinite leave of absence and dissolved the diocese’s executive council. The bishop and his cronies are accused of embezzling diocesan funds and taking kickbacks on construction projects amounting to over £500,000.

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Filed under: * International News & CommentaryAsiaIndia* TheologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

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Posted November 1, 2010 at 12:30 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, on Sunday laid out the road map for the growth of the South Kerala Diocese of the Church of South India (CSI), emphasising the need to be selfless in its service to society.

Delivering his message on the occasion of the golden jubilee celebrations of the South Kerala Diocese of the CSI here, the Archbishop wanted the Church to be a questioning church and a praying church, one which has learnt to trust in God.

He marvelled at the “unusual Christian diversity” in Kerala and said he was convinced that this was based on deep trust and relationship.

“Kerala is a land of great religious diversity, but not of conflict. In the last few centuries, it has been a land of unusual Christian diversity. But my stay here in the last few days has shown that it is based on deep trust and relationship. Within the spectrum of Christian differences, the South Kerala Diocese has a special place,” he said.

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Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury * International News & CommentaryAsiaIndia

5 Comments
Posted October 25, 2010 at 7:05 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

For decades this central Indian city was vintage old India: crumbling Mughal-era ruins and ancient Buddhist caves surrounded by endless parched acres from which farmers coaxed cotton.

But this month Aurangabad became an emblem of an altogether different India: the booming, increasingly urbanized economic powerhouse filled with ambition and a new desire to flaunt its wealth.

A group of more than 150 local businessmen decided to buy, en masse, a Mercedes-Benz car each, spending nearly $15 million in a single day and putting this small but thriving city on the map. Frustrated that the usual Chamber of Commerce brochures were slow to attract new investment, the businessmen decided to buy the cars as a stunt intended to stimulate investment in Aurangabad, one of several largely unknown but thriving urban centers across India’s more prosperous states.

“In and around Aurangabad there are companies worth a thousand crores,” an amount of Indian rupees equivalent to about $225 million, said Sachin Nagouri, 40, a hyperkinetic local real estate mogul who came up with the idea. “But Aurangabad is not known even in this state. There is plenty of money here. We just need to show it.”

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Filed under: * Culture-WatchGlobalizationScience & Technology* Economics, PoliticsEconomyCorporations/Corporate LifePolitics in GeneralCity Government* International News & CommentaryAsiaIndia

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Posted October 24, 2010 at 2:59 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Wrong understanding of religion and God was often the cause of terrorism and religious fanaticism, archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams observed in Thiruvananthapuram today.

There were some who think that God required us all the time defending him and the faith. God need not require us to defend him, the visiting head of the Church of England said during an interaction with students of the Kerala United Theological Seminary here.

What is important is to try to understand"the infinity, inexhaustibility and mystery of God", which will lead to a meaningful understanding of the faith, the supreme leader of the Anglican Communion said.

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Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury * International News & CommentaryAsiaIndia

2 Comments
Posted October 23, 2010 at 8:52 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

You became the Archbishop of Canterbury in 2003 at a particularly difficult time in relations among the different churches that comprise the Anglican Communion. There was even talk of the Communion being on the verge of fragmentation. Yet your attempts to keep all sides talking to one another have been notable. Could you tell us how it has been going, and what you see ahead of you?

I think that after the Lambeth Conference of 2008 many people felt that we found ways of talking to one another, and perhaps exercising some restraint and tact towards one another. And it was very significant that at the next meeting of the Anglican primates, which was in the early part of 2009, all major Churches of the Communion were represented.

Unfortunately, the situation does not remain there. The decision of the American Church to go forward, as it has, with the ordination of a lesbian bishop has, I think, set us back. At the moment I'm not certain how we will approach the next primates' meeting, but regrettably some of the progress that I believe we had made has not remained steady. Alongside that, and I think this is important, while the institutions of the Communion struggle, in many ways the mutual life of the Communion, the life of exchange and cooperation between different parts of our Anglican family, is quite strong and perhaps getting stronger. It's a paradox. We are working more closely together on issues of development than we did before. We have the emergence of an Anglican health network across the globe, bringing together various health care institutions. We have also had quite a successful programme on the standards and criteria for theological education across the Communion. So, a very mixed picture.

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Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury * International News & CommentaryAsiaIndia

4 Comments
Posted October 20, 2010 at 5:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

O God of the nations, who didst give to thy faithful servant Henry Martyn a brilliant mind, a loving heart, and a gift for languages, that he might translate the Scriptures and other holy writings for the peoples of India and Persia: Inspire in us, we beseech thee, a love like his, eager to commit both life and talents to thee who gavest them; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeMissions* International News & CommentaryAsiaIndia* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesEvangelicals

3 Comments
Posted October 19, 2010 at 5:42 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Archbishop of Canterbury Reverend Rowan Williams on Monday met the Prince of Arcot Nawab Mohammad Abdul Ali at his ancestral home “Amir Mahal”.

Read it all and enjoy the picture.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury * International News & CommentaryAsiaIndia

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Posted October 18, 2010 at 5:32 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The word 'pluralism' has come to mean an uncomfortable variety of things in both the political and the religious sphere. In reference to religion, it is most often used to mean the conviction that no particular religious tradition has the full or final truth: each perceives a valid but incomplete part of it. This sort of pluralist perspective implies that no faith can or should make claims for itself as the only route to perfection or salvation. In the political context, it can refer to at least two positions. The first is an analysis of the state associated with political theorists like Harold Laski and John Neville Figgis in the early twentieth century. According to this approach, we must think of the state not as the all-powerful source of legitimate community life and action but as the structure needed to organise and mediate within a 'community of communities', a plurality of very diverse groups and associations of civil society, ranging from trade unions and universities to religious bodies. And a second political meaning is the one given currency particularly by Isaiah Berlin in his writings on political liberty (see the essays collected in Liberty, edited by Henry Hardy, Oxford University Press 2002, especially the famous 'Two Concepts of Liberty', pp.166-217). There is a genuine plurality of human goods, and they are not all compatible in any given situation: doing the right thing may involve the sacrifice of one desired good for the sake of another, and we must not deceive ourselves as to the cost, pretending that there is some ideal condition in which all genuine human moral goals are realised harmoniously. If there is such a diversity of human goals, the most realistic political aspiration is for a liberal state that does not seek to advance by legislation a programme for this or that specific vision of human improvement or self-realisation.

Diverse as these definitions are, there are clear areas of overlap. If it is true, as some claim, that no religious tradition possesses ultimate truth, no religious tradition can claim the right to be legally enforced. If the state has to broker relations between different communities, it must itself be ideologically neutral. If a religious body exists within a pluralist state, it must at least recognise that it cannot expect the state to legislate as though its religious and ethical claims were beyond dispute. It has to understand that, while it may still make the same truth claims, they are now open to scrutiny, rebuttal and attack, and cannot be taken for granted. And the interweaving of all these themes is perhaps more evident in India than in many places in our world. India, in declaring itself a secular state at independence, was making a clear option for a certain kind of public and political neutrality, acknowledging that to be a citizen in India could not be something that depended on any particular communal identity and that the state could not intervene in religious disagreements except insofar as they became socially disruptive. Furthermore, the religious context and history of India are bound to pose questions to any simplistic religious absolutism; and the oldest traditions of India have a good deal to say about the elusiveness of the divine as well as its revelation. Which is why modern India is such a fruitful context in which to examine understandings of pluralism –how they apply in practice and questions arising.

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Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury * Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryAsiaIndia

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Posted October 18, 2010 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Absent fathers and the breakdown of the family are the greatest threats to society in the West Indies and the root causes of crime, the leaders of the government of St. Kitts and Nevis were told at an Independence Day ceremony last week.

In an ecumenical ceremony marking the 27th anniversary of independence of the West Indian nation held at the Roman Catholic Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Basseterre, the Rev. Christopher Archibald from the Anglican Church of St Kitts told the Governor General, the Prime Minister and cabinet, members of the opposition, judiciary and chiefs of the police and army, that the government’s legislative agenda for the coming session of parliament, “Strengthening families for positive nation building” was a worthy goal.

The family was under attack in St Kitts and Nevis, and across the Caribbean, Fr. Archibald told the assembled worthies on Sept 30. “We are experiencing serious threats to our family and family life and unity by both internal and external forces.”

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Filed under: * Culture-WatchMarriage & FamilyReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryAsiaIndia

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Posted October 15, 2010 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Violence against Christians has helped Churches understand the need of unity, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, told a meeting today.

“Sustained violence against Christians in India has helped different denominations to bridge differences and heed the Good Shepherd’s voice,” the head of the world-wide Anglican communion said during the conclusion of the 40th anniversary celebration of the Church of North India (CNI) on Oct. 14.

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Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury * Culture-WatchReligion & CultureViolence* International News & CommentaryAsiaIndia

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Posted October 14, 2010 at 6:35 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Archbishop of Canterbury came, he spoke and he conquered with a smile on the second evening of his “mission of goodwill” trip to India.

The principal leader of the Church of England and the symbolic head of the worldwide Anglican Communion was the guest of honour during the evening church service at St Paul’s Cathedral on Sunday and the civic reception that followed.

“In the United Kingdom we often have debates on what it means to live in a multicultural society and a secular society. Many believe that to live in a multicultural society is to live in chaos and to live in a secular society is to live in an atmosphere of graveness. Which is close to saying more people from the United Kingdom ought to visit India!” smiled Rowan Williams.

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Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury * Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryAsiaIndia

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Posted October 13, 2010 at 7:48 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

...there is still a specific and unique responsibility for Christians. They have received the Spirit in baptism and they have been given the freedom to pray to God as Jesus prayed. And the effect of this gift is that they have been drawn into the Body of Christ. They have been united not just in some sort of human society but in a community, a communion, that makes us all depend on each other so deeply that we cannot even begin to think about our own welfare without the welfare of others. When we read St Luke's account of the Spirit at work in the birth and baptism and temptation of Jesus and in his ministry in Galilee, what we are really reading about is the beginning of the Church, the birth of the Body of Christ. As we see God's agenda being proclaimed and lived out in the life of Jesus, we begin to see that as we receive the Spirit we are involved in the same story. We must allow the Spirit to sweep away the fantasies that we use to make ourselves comfortable; we must allow the Spirit to drive us into dark and difficult places where we have to let go of the things that make us feel safe. And then we can live out our baptismal calling, open to one another in the community of Christ's love, living, each one of us, from the gifts we receive from the neighbour.

The pursuit of the Millennium Development Goals should not just be a matter of solving a number of tough problems about the distribution of wealth. For Christians, these goals should be about growth in the life of the Spirit and thus in the life of a community that, in its own inner workings, shows a pattern of mutual generosity, truthfulness and faithfulness. The goals we speak about are goals for our own common life, not just for the leaders of the nations to implement by their policies. We want as churches to be a community where vulnerable people are safe, where education and nurture are guaranteed, where all have access to justice, where the material world is honoured and properly cared for, where healing is available for all. If we can go on working at becoming that kind of Church, we shall be witnessing to the Millennium Development Goals in more than words. We shall be showing that the human world can really change when the Spirit is at work.

And our prayer for the gift of the Spirit is also a prayer for the gift of integrity and realism day after day.

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Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryPreaching / Homiletics* International News & CommentaryAsiaIndia

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Posted October 12, 2010 at 4:29 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Expressing satisfaction that the recent Ayodhya verdict was received calmly by the people of India, Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams said here on Saturday that it was time for people to “move on” now.

The Archbishop, who is on a 16-day-visit to India at the invitation of the Communion of Churches in India, started his tour from the city that he had “long wished to visit as a student, especially after reading about the good work done here for the poor”.

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Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury * International News & CommentaryAsiaIndia

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Posted October 11, 2010 at 5:45 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The world’s most influential Christian leader after the Pope made Sunday mass special for the city’s churchgoers, delivering sermons soaked in simplicity and sending out a message of goodwill and hope that came from the heart rather than the pulpit.

Metro tracked Rowan Williams through a busy second day in town when he presided over church services on either side of noon, interacted with the congregation and visited homes for the aged and HIV-affected children....

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Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury * International News & CommentaryAsiaIndia

1 Comments
Posted October 11, 2010 at 5:20 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, will embark on a 16 day visit to India from 9th to 24th October 2010 at the invitation of the Communion of Churches in India. The Archbishop will travel across several cities in India, including Kolkata, Ranchi, Nagpur, New Delhi, Chennai, Vellore, Bangalore and Thiruvananthapurum....

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Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury * International News & CommentaryAsiaIndia

1 Comments
Posted October 10, 2010 at 6:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Archbishop of Canterbury Dr. Rowan Douglas Williams is hosting a dialogue with five Hindu swamis (ascetics) in Bangalore (India) on October 20. The aim is to “to engage in discussions for mutual understanding.”

The event is to be held at Whitefield Ecumenical Centre. The five Swamis are Tridandi Srimannarayana Ramanuja Chinna Jeeyar (Hyderabad), Sugunendra Theertha (Udupi), Harshanand (Bangalore), Shivamurthy Shivachary, Paramananda Bharati (Sringeri Math), Chakravarthi Ram-Prasad (United Kingdom).

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Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury * International News & CommentaryAsiaIndia* Religion News & CommentaryInter-Faith RelationsOther FaithsHinduism* Theology

10 Comments
Posted October 10, 2010 at 3:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Vinod Khosla, the billionaire venture capitalist and co-founder of Sun Microsystems, was already among the world’s richest men when he invested a few years ago in SKS Microfinance, a lender to poor women in India.

But the roaring success of SKS’s recent initial public stock offering in Mumbai has made him richer by about $117 million — money he says he plans to plow back into other ventures that aim to fight poverty while also trying to turn a profit.

And he says he wants to challenge other rich Indians to do more to help their country’s poor.

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Filed under: * Culture-WatchPoverty* Economics, PoliticsEconomyCorporations/Corporate Life* International News & CommentaryAsiaIndia

0 Comments
Posted October 7, 2010 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

With the nation on high alert, an Indian court handed down a long-awaited decision on Thursday over control of the country’s most disputed religious site by splitting the land into three portions to be divided among Hindus and Muslims, according to lawyers in the case.

Much of the detail and rationale behind the decision issued late Thursday by a three-judge panel in the state of Uttar Pradesh remained unclear. The court was expected to release the complete ruling only later in the evening. But lawyers in the case, interviewed on Indian news channels, said the panel had unexpectedly ruled by dividing the land in a way that gave something to both Hindus and Muslims after a legal battle that originated six decades ago.

The case focused on a site in the city of Ayodhya, which many Hindus have long claimed as the birthplace of the Hindu deity Ram, but which also was the site of a mosque, known as the Babri Masjid, built in the 16th century by India’s first Mughal ruler. In 1992, Hindu extremists destroyed the Babri Masjid, sparking riots that would claim the lives of about 2,000 people, mostly Muslims.

One of the central questions in the case had been whether a Hindu temple had existed on the site before the construction of the Babri Masjid. Lawyers in the case said the court’s ruling would reserve one-third of the land for construction of a temple to Ram, another third for another Hindu party to the case, while designating the final third for Muslims to build a mosque.

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Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryAsiaIndia* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsHinduismIslam

3 Comments
Posted September 30, 2010 at 12:45 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Indian members of Parliament left their shoes on the floor beneath a wall covered in photographs of slain Kashmiris. The five men sat cross-legged on the floor of the headquarters of the Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front, staring into a throng of television cameras as they delivered a carefully scripted message of reconciliation.

“We have come to get your counsel,” said Ram Vilas Paswan, a member of Parliament, turning to the leader of the Liberation Front, a former guerrilla fighter named Yasin Malik. “What is the way out? What is the way to stop the bloodshed?”

For more than 100 days, in which Indian security officers have killed more than 100 Kashmiri civilians, the Indian government has seemed paralyzed, or even indifferent, as this disputed Himalayan region has plunged into one of the gravest crises of its tortured history.

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Filed under: * Culture-WatchPsychology* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAsiaIndiaPakistan

0 Comments
Posted September 23, 2010 at 6:14 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In India, there is only 1 psychiatrist for every 400,000 people, according to a recent study by the Indian government. It is one of the lowest ratios anywhere in the world.

It means that most people in India go untreated for substance abuse problems, severe depression and psychotic disorders. Or rather, they go untreated by doctors. Instead, they turn to the gods.

Many people believe one particular South Indian temple can heal the mentally ill.

Read or listen to it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHealth & MedicinePsychologyMental IllnessReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryAsiaIndia

1 Comments
Posted August 18, 2010 at 12:15 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Inside the drab district hospital, where dogs patter down the corridors, sniffing for food, Ratan Bhuria’s children are curled together in the malnutrition ward, hovering at the edge of starvation. His daughter, Nani, is 4 and weighs 20 pounds. His son, Jogdiya, is 2 and weighs only eight.

Landless and illiterate, drowned by debt, Mr. Bhuria and his ailing children have staggered into the hospital ward after falling through India’s social safety net. They should receive subsidized government food and cooking fuel. They do not. The older children should be enrolled in school and receiving a free daily lunch. They are not. And they are hardly alone: India’s eight poorest states have more people in poverty — an estimated 421 million — than Africa’s 26 poorest nations, one study recently reported.

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Filed under: * Culture-WatchDieting/Food/NutritionPoverty* International News & CommentaryAsiaIndia

0 Comments
Posted August 9, 2010 at 5:30 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Kerala's communist Chief Minister, V.S. Achuthanandan, accused an Islamist opposition party of conspiring to turn Kerala into a Muslim-dominated state.

"Youngsters are being given money and are being lured to convert to Islam," he told reporters at a news conference. Opposition parties accused the government of playing the "Hindu card" ahead of local elections.

Muslims and Christian minorities in India generally enjoy good relations and see each other as fellow victims of alleged persecution by right-wing Hindu groups. Kerala's population of 31.8 million is 56 percent Hindu, 24 percent Muslim and 19 percent Christian.

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Filed under: * International News & CommentaryAsiaIndia* Religion News & CommentaryInter-Faith RelationsOther FaithsIslamMuslim-Christian relations

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Posted August 6, 2010 at 5:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Polyandry has been practiced here for centuries, but in a single generation it has all but vanished. That is a remarkably swift change in a country where social change, despite rapid economic growth, leaping technological advances and the relentless march of globalization, happens with aching slowness, if at all.

After centuries of static isolation, so much has changed here in the Lahaul Valley in the past half-century — first roads and cars, then telephones and satellite television dishes, and now cellphones and broadband Internet connections — that a complete social revolution has taken place. Not one of Ms. Devi’s five children lives in a polyandrous family.

“Times have changed,” Ms. Devi said. “Now nobody marries like this.”

Polyandry has never been common in India, but pockets have persisted, especially among the Hindu and Buddhist communities of the Himalayas, where India abuts Tibet.

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Filed under: * Culture-WatchMarriage & FamilyReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryAsiaIndia

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Posted July 16, 2010 at 4:14 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Dalai Lama lashed out at China on Wednesday, accusing it of trying to "annihilate Buddhism" in Tibet and rebuffing all his efforts to reach a compromise over the disputed Himalayan region.

China shot back, accusing the Tibetan spiritual leader of using deceptions and lies to distort its policy in the region. The passionate back-and-forth highlighted the distrust, anger and frustration that separates the two sides and leaves little hope for success in recently resumed talks.

Beijing has demonized the Dalai Lama and accused him of wanting independence for Tibet, which China says is part of its territory. The Dalai Lama says he only wants some form of autonomy for Tibet within China that would allow Tibetan culture, language and religion to thrive.

The Dalai Lama spoke Wednesday in an address marking the anniversaries of two failed uprisings against China, one 51 years ago that sent him into exile in India and the other two years ago that was quashed by a government crackdown that is still continuing.

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Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryAsiaChinaIndiaTibet* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsBuddhism

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Posted March 11, 2010 at 6:39 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The above headline is from the print edition--KSH.

She was a gifted 14-year-old tennis player who idolized Steffi Graf and hoped to turn pro. He was a senior police official and president of the state lawn tennis club. He lured her to his office with a promise of special coaching that could make her tennis dreams come true, then groped her.

This encounter set in motion a saga that has taken almost 20 years to unfold. The family of the girl, Ruchika Girotra, threatened to press charges. Shambhu Pratap Singh Rathore, a senior officer in the Haryana State Police, then waged a campaign of harassment and intimidation against Ruchika so severe that she eventually committed suicide. Her brother, Ashu, was falsely accused of stealing cars, and said he had been beaten and tortured in custody.

All the while Mr. Rathore, a flamboyant, mustachioed presence with deep ties to many of the state’s top politicians, rose through the ranks, retiring in 2002 as a state police chief.

Ruchika Girotra’s ordeal is hardly unique. Girls are molested all the time in India; powerful officials often abuse their office to avoid criminal prosecution; sclerotic courts are painfully slow and often corrupt.

But the case is emblematic of the way India’s growing middle class, egged on by a lively news media hungry for sensational stories, is increasingly unwilling to accept these seemingly immutable truths and willing to fight back.

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Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenLaw & Legal IssuesSexuality* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAsiaIndia

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Posted March 4, 2010 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Church Commissioners and the Church of England Pensions Board have sold their shares in Vedanta Resources plc on the advice of the Church’s Ethical Investment Advisory Group (EIAG). As a result, none of the three national investing bodies of the Church of England hold shares in the company.

The EIAG advised disinvestment because its engagement with the company had produced no substantive results and the EIAG believed that it would be inconsistent with the Church investing bodies’ joint ethical investment policy to remain invested given the EIAG’s concerns about the company’s approach to relations with the communities where it operates.

Allegations about Vedanta’s alumina refinery in Lanjigarh, Orissa, and planned bauxite mine in the nearby Niyamgiri hills came to the EIAG’s attention in June 2009. The EIAG has been examining the issues carefully since and has discussed them in a process of engagement with the company. The EIAG Secretary paid a visit to India in November 2009 to see the refinery and mine site at first hand.

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Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Economics, PoliticsEconomyCorporations/Corporate LifeStock Market* International News & CommentaryAsiaIndia* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted February 8, 2010 at 8:35 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]




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