Apparently Christopher Hitchens was too kind… Continue reading
Tag Archives: India
Hyderabad, the venue for Australia’s second Test against India starting next week, has been hit by bombings that killed at least a dozen people and left more than 50 injured.
At least two separate blasts occurred in a crowded area outside a movie theatre and a bus station in the southern city’s suburb of Dilsukh Nagar, police said at the scene. Indian television reported that other cities had subsequently been placed on “high alert”. It was the first major bombing in India since September 2011.
Islam? We don’t know yet. But what are the odds?
A row over an unpaid restaurant bill in a western Indian city has escalated into a riot between Hindus and Muslims that’s left four people dead and 175 injured.
The unrest broke out in Dhule in Maharashtra state on Sunday, special inspector-general Deven Bharti said.
Four rioters were killed by police firing while 113 policemen were among the injured, he said.
Bharti said investigations were still under way, but it appeared a quarrel over a restaurant bill had provoked a mass brawl that left shops smashed, motorbikes burned and glass strewn across the streets.
Previous riots between Hindus and Muslims in Dhule broke out in October 2008, leaving 10 dead.
“The restaurant owner was from one community and the customer from the other,” Bharti explained, declining to name the parties involved.
The ongoing extension of the electric grid to the remote islands of Sundarbans will not only adversely affect the viability of existing renewable energy projects, but will also accelerate the process of climate change, experts say.
“In view of the growing threat of climate change and contribution of the electricity sector to the overall green house gas emission, there is need for adopting appropriate strategies to rationalise use of coal and fossil fuel in the electricity sector,” according to a latest report by research body CUTS International.
Bad luck, Granny; you can’t have a TV because it might make Vancouver hotter in 2100.
Another ‘honour killing’ — or ‘religiously-motivated murder’, as we should be calling it.
In the first honour killing in Kolkata in decades, a 29-year-old youth dragged his sister out on the street and cut off her head with one stroke of the sword in Ayubnagar locality of Nadial, barely 13km from [Kolkuta] centre, on Friday.
Scores of residents looked on in horror as Mehtab Alam walked to a police station with the head in his left hand and the sword in his right, dripping blood all along the way…
…Mehtab told the numbed police officers that he had killed his sister for “running off with a lover and dishonouring the family”, say sources. Nilofar was married for eight years and had two children. It was “immoral” for her to live with her former paramour, Firoz Hossain, Mehtab apparently told police.
…He had even attacked Firoz’s sister-in-law, Saboo, who tried to save Nilofar. Saboo’s right arm is nearly severed and she is battling for life in hospital, said joint commissioner-crime Pallab Kanti Ghosh.
Oh, that’s right — God did.
A village council in eastern India has banned women from using mobile phones, saying they “pollute the social atmosphere” by encouraging women to elope with lovers.
The order was issued by the village council in Suderbari, in the Kishanganj district of impoverished Bihar state, after a formal meeting on Sunday. The measure was designed to check “the breakdown of the institution of marriage”, council leaders said…
“Unrestricted use of mobile phones is promoting premarital and extramarital affairs and destroying the great institution of marriage. We are extremely worried,” said Manuwar Alam, the president of the social advisory committee, explaining that at least six girls and women had eloped in the past year.
Women aren’t satisfied with their lives here in the village, so let’s take away something they value … yes, nice piece of religious logic there.
“We had to hide our faces out of shame,” Alam said. “We decided to do something that could firmly curb such cases, which were earning a very bad name for all of us.”…
Sorry, dude. If you’re ashamed, that’s your problem. Get over it.
And now the good news:
Sandeep Kumar R Pudakalkatti, the most senior bureaucrat in the district, said: “We have ordered a probe into the unlawful diktat, and those found guilty during the course of inquiry will be sternly dealt with.”
Indian police have arrested a woman for criticising on Facebook the total shutdown of Mumbai after the death of politician Bal Thackeray, as well as a friend who “liked” the comment.
The pair, both aged 21, were arrested for “hurting religious sentiments” and bailed on Monday afternoon by a court in the town of Palghar, north of Mumbai, Police Inspector Shrikant Pingle said.
“The police had sought 14 days’ judicial custody for the two girls,” he said….
“Her comment said people like Thackeray are born and die daily and one should not observe a ‘bandh’ (city shutdown) for that,” Police Inspector Uttam Sonawane told the Mumbai Mirror.
Especially since the deceased seems to have been a particularly nasty piece of work.
Indian ‘textbook’ sets us all right on dietary issues:
“The strongest argument that meat is not essential food is the fact that the Creator of this Universe did not include meat in the original diet for Adam and Eve. He gave them fruits, nuts and vegetables,”…
The chapter details the “benefits” of a vegetarian diet and goes on to list “some of the characteristics” found among non-vegetarians.
“They easily cheat, tell lies, forget promises, they are dishonest and tell bad words, steal, fight and turn to violence and commit sex crimes,” it says.
The chapter, full of factual inaccuracies, refers to Eskimos (Inuit) as “lazy, sluggish and short-lived”, because they live on “a diet largely of meat”.
It adds: “The Arabs who helped in constructing the Suez Canal lived on wheat and dates and were superior to the beef-fed Englishmen engaged in the same work.”
Or, how to fleece Western taxpayers via global warming hysteria.
When the United Nations wanted to help slow climate change, it established what seemed a sensible system.
Greenhouse gases were rated based on their power to warm the atmosphere. The more dangerous the gas, the more that manufacturers in developing nations would be compensated as they reduced their emissions.
But where the United Nations envisioned environmental reform, some manufacturers of gases used in air-conditioning and refrigeration saw a lucrative business opportunity.
They quickly figured out that they could earn one carbon credit by eliminating one ton of carbon dioxide, but could earn more than 11,000 credits by simply destroying a ton of an obscure waste gas normally released in the manufacturing of a widely used coolant gas. That is because that byproduct has a huge global warming effect. The credits could be sold on international markets, earning tens of millions of dollars a year.
That incentive has driven plants in the developing world not only to increase production of the coolant gas but also to keep it high — a huge problem because the coolant itself contributes to global warming and depletes the ozone layer. That coolant gas is being phased out under a global treaty, but the effort has been a struggle.
So since 2005 the 19 plants receiving the waste gas payments have profited handsomely from an unlikely business: churning out more harmful coolant gas so they can be paid to destroy its waste byproduct. The high output keeps the prices of the coolant gas irresistibly low, discouraging air-conditioning companies from switching to less-damaging alternative gases. That means, critics say, that United Nations subsidies intended to improve the environment are instead creating their own damage.
But who ever thought paying people not to do something would be a ‘sensible system’?
Answer: the NYT commentators on this article, apparently, most of whom appear to be as mad as cut snakes.
Police are investigating the decision of the village of Asara, in the north-western state of Uttar Pradesh, to ban “love marriages” as opposed to those that have been arranged by parents. Women under 40 have been ordered not to go outside unaccompanied.
In a slew of draconian measures, the village council or “panchayat” also barred women from using mobile phones and insisted they cover their heads in public, in what has been described in local media as the “Talibanisation” of rural India.
A council member, Sattar Ahmed, said “love marriages” were damaging and a “shame on society”.
The man surrendered at a police station, carrying the head in one hand and the bloodied sword in the other…
Police said the father, marble miner Oghad Singh, accused his daughter of bringing dishonour to the family and making it hard to find husbands for her two unmarried sisters.
Sanal Edamaruku, an Indian skeptic, went to Mumbai and revealed that a “miraculous” weeping cross was really just a bit of statuary located near a leaky drain whose liquid reached it by way of capillary action. The local Catholic Church demanded that he retract his statements, and when he refused, they had him arrested for blasphemy.
It’s sometimes dangerous to be right.
A month-and-a-half after a schoolgirl was reportedly raped in Betul, her mother was allegedly shot dead by the accused and his friends on Friday night. No arrests have been made so far.
Imarti Uike, a 45-year-old tribal woman, had refused to withdraw the case related to the alleged rape of her 16-year-old daughter and had filed a written complaint about the repeated threats being faced by her family.
Late on Friday, when the family of six was preparing to retire for the night, six persons, including Raju Gavli — the main accused in the rape case — his brother Bantu, Rajesh Harode, Praveen and two others, reportedly entered their house in Hamlapur locality.
The 16-year-old girl, her father and three brothers were present when the accused reportedly shot Imarti, who had refused to agree to a compromise in the rape case. She was rushed to a hospital where she died during treatment late in the night.
…and Mitt Romney needs a Vice-Presidential running mate. Coincidence?
Helen Radkey, a former Mormon who has until now has focused on researching incidents of proxy baptisms being proposed for or performed on dead Jews, discovered the Gandhi records on February 16 in a genealogical database restricted to Mormons. She was prompted to search for his name after seeing a statement by a Nevada-based Hindu activist, Rajan Zed, who expressed concern the practice might be performed in the name of many Hindus.
A screen shot of the database page sent to HuffPost by Radkey shows a proxy baptism for Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was completed in a Salt Lake City Temple on March 27, 1996. The record has since been removed and Radkey said a subsequent search came up with “Unknown Name.”
A request to a church spokesman for comment on the alleged baptism by proxy of Gandhi was not immediately returned.
…and what I do is watch porn in parliament.
Indian newspapers and television stations are having a field day covering what they have dubbed “Porngate,” the scandalous news that three ministers from the Indian state of Karnataka were caught allegedly watching pornography on the job last week.
Local television crews, which were covering a debate in Karnataka’s state assembly, zoomed up on a smartphone being passed between two of the ministers, who had borrowed it from the third. Allegedly, the phone was playing video of a woman dancing, undressing, and then having sex, but the news channels blurred the image before it was broadcast.
Porngate has reignited the debate around conservative morality in one of India’s most puritanical states. Karnataka, the capital of which is Bangalore, India’s booming IT hub, has been ground zero of a fierce culture war between so-called “Westernized liberals” on the one side and traditional Hindu groups on the other.
In 2008, dancing was effectively banned in nightclubs in Bangalore (the prohibition was lifted last year). Bars in the city must close down at 11:30 p.m., despite being at the heart of an around-the-clock outsourcing industry. Karnataka has also seen numerous incidents of radical Hindu groups, likened by Indian media to the Taliban for their strict conservatism, assaulting women caught drinking in pubs at night.
So these pious faith-heads who enjoy telling others what to do don’t bother to follow their own rules? Why am I not surprised?
Salman Rushdie’s virtual participation at the Jaipur Literature Festival was canceled at the last minute Tuesday, after Muslim groups attending the festival threatened violence if his image was shown.
Mr. Rushdie was scheduled to address thousands of Lit Fest attendees by video conference Tuesday afternoon, after cancelling an in-person appearance.
‘‘There are a large number of people adverse to this link in and around this property and they have threatened violence,’’ said Thakur Ram Pratap Singh of Diggi, the owner of Diggi Palace, the festival venue. ‘‘This decision is necessary to protect everyone here,’’ he said.
But isn’t showing pictures of the founder of Islam also wrong? Is there anything that’s not wrong — other than grovelling subservience to the irrational sensitivities of the religious, of course?
A judge in India has sentenced eight men to death and 20 others to life imprisonment for three so-called honour killings that took place in 1991.
The men were found guilty of murdering a Dalit boy and a girl from a higher caste who had eloped together, as well as the boy’s cousin.
All three were set alight and hanged, the court in Uttar Pradesh state heard.
A BBC correspondent says the sentences are some of the most severe ever recorded in a such a case.
Earlier this year India’s Supreme Court ordered states to stamp out “honour killings, saying people found guilty of such crimes should face execution. Convictions in such cases often carry life sentences.
Nobody deserves the death penalty… but if anyone came that close…
A bomb outside New Delhi’s High Court killed at least nine people and injured 45.
Ambulances evacuated wounded to nearby hospitals and the blast site was sealed off by police.
No word yet on the motivation: but does anybody want to bet that it wasn’t religion?
CHANTING to cure snakebites, claiming to be a reincarnated spouse to obtain sex, and charging for miracles could soon be banned by an Indian state seeking to stop charlatans preying on the vulnerable.
Many superstitions are widely held in India but a campaign group is lobbying hard for a new law in the western state of Maharashtra to outlaw several exploitative activities, with penalties of fines or up to seven years in jail.
But the push to pass the Maharashtra Prevention and Eradication of Human Sacrifice and Other Inhuman, Evil Practices and Black Magic Bill has not received unanimous support.
Some Hindu nationalists fear the legislation seeks to move beyond the excesses named in its title and might be used to curb cherished religious freedoms.
One right-wing association, the Hindu Janajagruti Samiti, called it “a draconian law targeting faith”, denounced its proponents as “atheists” and called for supporters to lobby assembly members to oppose it and demand amendments.
via Courier Mail
Good to see that believers in India recognise their ‘faith’ is just as daft as black magic, and just as dangerous as human sacrifice.
Three bombs ripped through India’s commercial capital Mumbai on Wednesday, killing 21 people and injuring more than 100 in the deadliest attack in the city since the 2008 assault by Islamist militants.
A lifetime of claiming to be the incarnation of God had brought him an $8.2 billion fortune and a worldwide following of 50 million people. It also brought accusations that he molested his young acolytes and passed off cheap trickery as miracles.
The edifice began to crumble when members of the Sathya Sai Central Trust, which runs the ashram, bowed to increasingly insistent demands to open the guru’s private chambers, which had been locked since the 84 year-old became ill in March.
What they found made even the wildest rumours seem tame: stacked around the room were piles of gold, diamonds and cash. Cashiers with counting machines were summoned and reported that the haul included $2.4 million in rupees, 100 kilograms of gold and 300 kilograms of silver.
”Some blame trust members,” [a] member said, ”while a few are asking, ‘Why did Swami have to keep so much gold and cash? Didn’t Swami always say he never accepted gifts?’ Who to believe or what to believe?”
Foolish doubter! It’s a miracle!
For the Union health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, men having sex with men (MSMs) is not only “unnatural” but also a “disease.”
According to Azad, “this disease has come to India from foreign shores”, and Indian society needs to be prepared to face it. Unfortunately, he said, the number of “such people” is increasing by the day.
Update 2011-07-06: The minister now says he was misquoted.
Mr Singh, 65, has not bathed or cut his 6ft-long dreadlocks since 1974, shortly after he married.
Explaining his unconventional decision, Mr Singh claimed a priest guaranteed him a much-prized son and heir if he followed the advice.
So obviously it worked, right?
Despite neighbours joking the sweaty farmer would be lucky [to] persuade his wife to have any children at all, his religious guidance clearly failed – he has seven daughters.
Your answer for ten: It’s obviously stupid and fails at what it’s supposed to achieve, but you go on doing it because somebody told you to a long time ago.
Hmmm… I’m going to guess ‘What is Religion?’, Tony. Although ‘politics’ is good, too.
And yet they seem all right with these guys…
Foreign tourists have been banned from visiting a prominent Hindu temple in India’s Goa state after outrage at their inappropriate clothing and behaviour, religious leaders said.
Officials at the Mahalasa Narayani temple in Mardol, 20 kilometres from the state capital Panaji, said they had taken the decision because of complaints from worshippers about scantily-clad women sightseers.
Funny how gods never seem to be able to take care of that stuff themselves, isn’t it? Not much point in being a god, surely, if you can’t smite a few scantily-clad women from time to time..
Eleven people stormed into a residence in Khaira encampment in Chhattisgarh’s Raipur district and assaulted a lady whom they indicted of witchcraft, blinding her and her father by stabbing them in a eyes with scissors, military pronounced on Saturday.
Good thing they weren’t Christians, or they might have killed her.
The Indian government has complained to the Australian high commission a week after Byron Bay designer Lisa Burke sent a model down an Australian Fashion Week catwalk wearing a cutaway swimsuit under her label, Lisa Blue, depicting the goddess Lakshmi across her chest and bottom.
“The Ministry of External Affairs has conveyed its deep concern to the Australian high commission in New Delhi, asking that all concerned be apprised of the Indian religious sensitivities in the matter,” the ministry said in a statement published overnight.
In other words: “We’re stupid. Deal with it.”
As the Hindu population has grown in Queens over the last decade, so too has the amount of ritual debris — clothing, statues, even cremation ashes — lining the banks of the bay in Gateway National Recreation Area.
“We call it the Ganges,” one pilgrim, Madan Padarat, said as he finished his prayers. “She takes away your sickness, your pain, your suffering.”
But to the park rangers who patrol the beach, the holy waters are a fragile habitat, the offerings are trash and the littered shores are a federal preserve that must be kept clean for picnickers, fishermen and kayakers. Unlike the Ganges, they say, the enclosed bay does not sweep the refuse away.
No, but the park rangers do. They must be sent by Brahma!
The bullet holes can still be seen on the exterior of Auburn’s Sri Mandir Temple.
Less visible are the marks left by the shot that made its way inside Australia’s first Hindu temple, when it was peppered by about eight rounds.
The bullet ricocheted from the roof and hit the carpet – not far from a scorch mark left by a firework once thrown through the doors opened for worshippers, who are now protected from the frequently hurled bottles and eggs by a metal screen.
“Must be those wicked atheists!” Want to bet?
When a nuclear device is detonated, it gives rise to raja-tama predominant vibrations of the Absolute Cosmic Fire element. Discordant subtle sounds accompany these frequencies. These subtle sounds have a subtle harmful effect on the mind and intellect of the people in the vicinity of the nuclear attack. It can range from depression, to negative thoughts, to fogging up of the intellect.
When the ritual of Agnihotra is performed, it gives rise to sattva predominant vibrations of the Absolute Cosmic Fire element. The fire created from Agnihotra disintegrates the raja-tama particles and therefore purifies the environment at a spiritual level. It also creates a subtle protective sheath around the person performing the ritual. This sheath is highly sensitive to anything related to the Absolute Cosmic Fire element and from the subtle dimension this sheath looks reddish.
That’s because it’s covered with vaporised neighbours.
Police in central India have reported a second case of suspected child sacrifice, casting a spotlight on witchcraft and occult beliefs that persist in some impoverished areas.
Police in the central state of Chhattisgarh on Thursday said they had arrested 11 people including a “witchdoctor” and his wife after the body of a two-year-old boy was discovered in their house on Wednesday.