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Again, desperate times: The late Eqbal Ahmad once wrote : "It has all been said before. Yet those who should, do not listen. And, as in talking to the deaf, one is compelled to repeat in louder, more agitated tones: The army may bring temporary relief. But the problem is eminently political; it shall not yield to military solution."

Why did the BJP Succeed?:
Analysis of the 1999 election results in India

A fractured mandate again, even if the National Democratic Alliance led by the Bharatiya Janata Party has mustered enough support to form a government. No single party has got a majority, either in terms of votes or seats. While the BJP has just about maintained its earlier strength, the Congress has further declined. The Communist Party (Marxist) has barely held on to its seat share of the last election. Only the regional parties have managed to improve their position, whatever may be the reasons for the same.

Inconsistency in Canadian Foreign Policy: The ruling party in India, the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP), is part of a larger ‘family’ of organizations called the ‘Sangh Parivar’. These include, apart from many smaller outfits in different provinces, the Shiv Sena, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and the Bajrang Dal. The main ideological organization which decides the orientation of all these parties is the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).

Montreal Conference: MONTREAL, Sept 11: When 24,000 taxi drivers in New York brought the city to a halt during a strike last year just after India and Pakistan's nuclear tests, their ethnic composition was the focus of much attention: 16,000 of them were of South Asian origin and stood solidly united despite the tension between their home countries.

Religious Fascism on the rise: That Uttar Pradesh has become the happy hunting ground for the Sangh Parivar became apparent once again with the unprovoked violence at Varanasi on the sets of Water, filmmaker Deepa Mehta's latest endeavour.

Orrisa Floods: It would not do to plead that the catastrophe in Orissa was unavoidable because it was caused by a natural calamity beyond control, or that the eastern coast is especially vulnerable to cyclones about which nothing can be done. This argument misses two points. India, or South Asia, is not uniquely susceptible to natural calamities. Nor are "natural" disasters socially neutral in their effects.

Pakistan Peace Coalition

North American Conference for Peace and Human Rights in South Asia (Montreal, Sept. 4-5, 1999)

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