May 5, 2015

By Arun Kumar/IANS

Ten years after denying a visa to Narendra Modi, the US has made an about-turn praising the Indian prime minister for his statement in support of religious freedom, but slammed ruling BJP politicians for religious intolerance.

“Since the election, religious minority communities have been subject to derogatory comments by politicians linked to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP),” the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) said in its 2015 annual report.

There have also been “numerous violent attacks and forced conversions by Hindu nationalist groups, such as Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and Vishva Hindu Parishad,” it said placing India in its Tier 2 list of countries for the seventh year in a row.

“In 2015, high-ranking members of the ruling…

May 5, 2015

By Sushil Kumar

New Delhi, April 24 (IANS) Udit Raj, the Dalit face of the Bharatiya Janata Party, says the recent attacks on churches do not have a communal angle.

“There are elements who are out to defame the government,” Udit Raj told IANS in an interview. Raj replied “I don’t think so” to questions on the communal angle in the attacks.

Asked what the Modi government had done to instill confidence among Christians, especially after cases like the rape of an elderly nun, he said the government was doing “everything possible” to protect everyone.

“Be it Christians or anybody else, the government is for all and we are doing our best to protect them all,” he said.

On the ‘ghar wapsi’ campaign carried…

March 13, 2015

NEW DELHI/ISLAMABAD: India on Friday said it was “extremely upset” over the verdict of a court in Islamabad ordering release of Lashkar terrorist Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi and has lodged a strong protest with the Pakistan government.

The ministry of external affairs also summoned Pakistani high commissioner Abdul Basit to lodge a protest, Times Now reported.

India on Friday said it is the responsibility of Pakistan to keep him behind bars as there is overwhelming evidence of his role in the 2008 Mumbai attacks.

“It is the responsibility of the Pakistan government to take all legal measures to ensure that Lakhvi does not come out of jail. Pakistan should realise that there are no good terrorists and bad terrorists, a fact which…

March 10, 2015

Within hours of a claim by an Indian male student that a German professor at the University of Leipzig denied him an internship citing the “rape problem” in India, German ambassador Michael Steiner strongly objected to the “discriminating generalisation”.

“Let’s be clear: India is not a country of rapists,” Steiner wrote in a letter to Prof Dr Annette Beck-Sickinger Monday, hours after the claim by the male student became public. He added, “I would encourage you to learn more about the country and the many open-minded people of India so you could correct a simplistic image, which — in my opinion — is particularly unsuitable for a professor and teacher.”

March 7, 2015

NEW DELHI: Faced with criticism that he was soft on Hindutva hardliners, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday s