SWISS MAN HELD FOR MAOIST LINK IN KERALA

Wednesday, 30 July 2014 | VR Jayaraj | Kochi

http://www.dailypioneer.com/nation/swiss-man-held-for-maoist-link-in-kerala.html

A foreigner, identified by the Police as a Swiss national, has been arrested in Kerala after he attended a function organised by a group of Maoist and Naxalite sympathisers in memory of a Maoist who was killed last month during bomb-making. The police from Valapad station in Thrissur district arrested Jonathan Bold, 24, from Thriprayar on Monday night after he attended the meeting there.

Bold had arrived in Kannur in northern Kerala on tourist visa on July 10 along with his woman companion, Valerie Celine, also a foreigner. He had reached Thriprayar from Kannur on Monday morning to attend the function in which around 40 Maoist sympathisers had participated. The Valapad Police arrested him under Section 14(b) of the Foreigners Act for violating visa rules.

Jonathan was not carrying his passport when he was arrested. The Police found a copy of the passport from the hotel room in Kannur where he had been staying since his arrival. Officials said Leftist publicity material had been found from his room and that he had admitted during questioning that he was a sympathiser of extreme Leftist ideology.

However, Bold told the Police that he had no relations with any Maoist organisation and that the purpose of his visit to India was research in history. The Police were not convinced by his claim that he had no Maoist connections and that he had reached Thriprayar after learning about the meeting from newspapers and other people.

The Police were of the feeling that Bold might have Maoist connections because he had travelled all the way from Kannur to Thriprayar to attend the meeting, organised in memory of Sinoj, a Maoist from the coastal region of Thrissur district who was killed while making bombs in the jungles on the border between Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka last month.

The Police were questioning Jonathan even on late Tuesday evening. However, his woman companion was released after questioning at Valapad station. She was also questioned at Kannur on Monday night. The Police are currently trying to find out the people who had come into contact during his stay in Kannur.

The Swiss national had participated in the “Gaza Solidarity” meeting organized by the CPI(M) in Kozhikode on July 24 by introducing himself as Mathews from France. On July 25, the CPI(M) organ, Deshabhimani daily, had published an interview of the foreigner in which he claimed that he was an activist of various extremist Leftist groups in France.

He had also allegedly tried to keep the real identity of his woman companion hidden by introducing her as his wife saying that she was a German named Martina. In the interview, he had said that he was quite happy to learn that communists were very active in Kerala and that he had come here to do research on the subject, “Swiss banks and economic history”.

The Kerala Police have come under flak for not being alert enough to inquire about Bold and the real intention of his visit to Kerala even after he had clearly stated in the Deshabhimani interview that he was an activist of several extreme Leftist groups in France. The CPI(M)’s Kozhikode district leadership said that Jonathan was not an invitee to the programme.

Former Naxalite Gro Vasu, who had inaugurated the Sinoj memorial meeting in Thriprayar, confirmed Bold’s participation in the programme saying he had claimed to be a Left activist in his own country. However, the Police think that it is mysterious how a foreigner had attended a meeting of Maoist sympathisers in which only 40 persons had participated.

Jonathan’s visit and the fact that he had been staying in Kannur have thrown up some serious questions as far as the Police are concerned as the forests on Kannur district’s borders are said to be a den of Maoists. The Police are now trying to find out the places the Swiss national had visited since his arrival and whether other foreigners had arrived in Kerala.

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NDA govt allots Rs. 500 crore to raise strictly desi cows, set up ‘gaushalas’

http://www.hindustantimes..com/india-news/govt-marks-rs-500-cr-to-raise-strictly-desi-cows/article1-1245740.aspx

The NDA government is set to launch a national programme worth Rs. 500 crore to “protect and conserve” local cow breeds through traditional-style “gaushalas” or cattle-care centres. The scheme was a manifesto promise by the BJP and is a key Hindutva plank.

The project, called the Rashtriya Gokul Mission, envisages funding “integrated cattle welfare centers” called “gokul grams” to protect local cows from being cross-bred into different varieties.

Under the new scheme, farmers who maintain the best centres would be eligible for “Gopal Ratna” awards. Each cow will have a unique identity number, to be fed into a national database.

The scheme will also focus on the upkeep of cattle after they are past the milk-producing phase, when they are often utilised for meat.Gomata

“Gopalan Sanghs” or breeding facilities will be set up for varieties with high-genetic pedigree, seeking to promote public-private partnerships in the field.

“Local varieties of cattle are better adapted to the country’s climate and are heat-resistant. In spite of this, indigenous cattle are ignored,” Union agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh said.

India is the world’s largest milk producer but the feat is attributed to a massive cattle headcount rather than high yield per cow. The poor milk output per cow — about one-tenth of the US and one-fifth of New Zealand – has left the country struggling to keep pace with demand.

The problem lies mainly with the “intrinsically low genetic potential” and “poor quality animal nutrition”, according to the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organisation.

Commercial dairy farms currently rely on Jersey-Holstein cross-breeds for better yields. Black-and-white Holsteins — a native of the Netherlands — and the British Brown Jersey cow — which gives creamier milk — are usually preferred for cross-breeding. The Centre also runs a major programme for genetic upgradation called the National Project for Cattle and Buffalo Breeding.

Asked whether the programme was inspired by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s advocacy of cow protection, minister of state for agriculture Sanjeev Baliyan said, “If we do not protect good local varieties, such as Sahiwal and Rathi, they will become extinct. Even if it addresses the RSS’ concern for cattle welfare, it is a good cause.”

Giving more details, Singh said, “Cow dung and cow urine will be utilised and promoted as organic manure and other purposes, such as for biogas to produce electricity.”

Chinese Christians fight back as government tears down crosses

Published July 25, 2014

Associated Press

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2014/07/25/as-government-tears-down-church-crosses-chinese-christians-rise-to-defend-their/?intcmp=latestnews

WUXI VILLAGE, China – The battle started when a government-hired crew tore down the metal cross atop the one-room church in this village surrounded by rice paddies last month.

The next day, a church member used his own welding torch to put it back. He was promptly detained and questioned for 10 hours on the charge of operating a welding business without a license.

A week later, the crew came back to remove the cross. Once again, church members put it back up, now tattered and a little shorter.

The church in the eastern village of Wuxi, about 300 miles south of Shanghai, has had its water and electricity cut off. Officials have attempted to install surveillance cameras and inquired about several church members’ work and their children’s schooling — a veiled threat that jobs and education might be at risk. But the congregation is not giving up.

“I won’t let them take down the cross even if it means they would shoot me dead,” said Fan Liang’an, 73, whose grandfather helped build the church in 1924.

Across Zhejiang province, which hugs China’s rocky southeastern coast, authorities have toppled — or threatened to topple — crosses at more than 130 churches. In a few cases, the government has even razed sanctuaries.

Authorities say the churches in question had violated building codes, even though they generally won’t specify which ones. They also deny that they are specifically targeting churches, and point to the demolition of other tens of thousands of other buildings, religious and non-religious, that have apparently broken regulations.

But experts and church leaders in Zhejiang, the only province where the incidents are happening, believe there is a campaign to repress Christianity, which has grown so rapidly as to alarm the atheist Communist government.

It comes at a time when Beijing has been tightening ideological controls, placing more restrictions on journalists, rights lawyers — many of whom are Christians — and political activists since President Xi Jinping took office in early 2013.

The incidents speak to the power of symbols, and the emotions they evoke.

“The cross is the glory of us Christians,” said Cai Tingxu, who left his cosmetics shop in Shanghai to protect his hometown church in rural Zhejiang after hearing authorities warned they would tear down the cross. “Jesus was nailed to the cross for us. My heart ached to learn that the government wants to remove the cross.”

Estimates on the numbers of Christians in China vary widely because the government does not count religious affiliation. Official 2010 figures put them at 23 million. These are registered members of the state-sanctioned churches, which are closely monitored by the government.Exif_Jpeg

But China also has vast numbers of underground believers who meet in secret. The Pew Research Center estimated there were 58 million Protestants in China in 2011, along with 9 million Catholics in the year before. Other experts say there could be more than 100 million.

These estimates are up from the widely accepted figure of 1 million Christians in 1950, and may even rival the size of the 85 million-member Communist Party.

The church’s dramatic growth — and Christians’ loyalty to God above all else — has alarmed authorities, said Yang Fenggang, a Purdue University sociologist and leading expert on religious matters in China.

Although Chinese Christians are generally apolitical, their weekly gatherings and mutual support could prove dangerous if the movement adopts political objectives, he said. The church is “resilient in resisting government pressures and persecutions.”

A possible reason Zhejiang province has come under scrutiny is that it is home to Wenzhou, a city of 8 million that has so many churches dotting its streets and hillsides that it is called “China’s Jerusalem.”

More than a tenth of Wenzhou’s residents are Protestant Christians — some fourth-generation believers — the highest proportion of any major Chinese city, according to Cao Nanlai, an anthropologist who has studied and written a book about Christianity in Wenzhou. The high percentage is largely due to early missionary efforts and the city’s relative isolation, nestled between the sea and mountains. Half the province’s 4,000 churches are located here.

The city is known for its entrepreneurial vigor, and has tens of thousands of family-run workshops making shoes, toys, furniture and other products. The believers here appear to have applied that same eagerness to starting new churches, Cao said.

For years, the city’s Christians had close relationships with local authorities, and many believers, ironically, are also members of the ostensibly atheist Communist Party or hold civil servant jobs, he said.

City officials even encouraged churches to build big as a way to draw attention and investment from Chinese Christians abroad, and some churches appeared to compete to build the largest sanctuaries and tallest crosses — including one that stands 63 meters (200 feet) tall.

But late last year, authorities began asking churches not to light up their crosses at night. The reason given was to help reduce carbon emissions, pastors and church members in the city say. The orders appeared to be coming from the provincial government, but were carried out by city officials.

Then in April, the local government in Yongjia county suddenly demanded that an unapproved portion of a large church be torn down — even though officials had tacitly allowed the church to build five times the approved square footage. Decades of unbridled development and onerous red tape has made it the norm to build before obtaining pages of approval stamps from myriad government agencies.

Despite protests from the congregation and supporters, demolition crews tore down the entire structure, and the hillside where it was located is now covered in tree saplings.

Since then, rooftop crosses at many churches along major roads in and around Wenzhou have been removed, and vaguely-worded notices against unspecified illegal structures have been delivered to churches in outlying areas. Cao, the scholar on Christianity, said the cross removals and demolitions reflected the occasional flexing of political muscle by authorities to show who’s in control.

Pastors and church elders say government workers have told them in private that the goal is to remove the crosses. Officials have promised they will stay away from churches if the symbols are removed but have threatened those who resist with demolition.

“This is clearly discrimination against our religion and to crack down on our belief,” said Wang Yunxian, a church elder in Wenzhou.

Yang, the Purdue professor, said it was difficult to imagine what sort of building codes the crosses would violate.

“The only reason I can think of is that the Zhejiang authorities intend to humiliate Christians by taking down the symbol sacred to them,” he said. The campaign could be tacitly approved by Beijing, which has not interfered publicly, or it might merely be a political gamble by the provincial leadership to win praises, he said.

A senior Zhejiang government official insisted that authorities weren’t targeting churches, “but only structures in violation of codes.

“Those with ulterior motives are singling out churches, but we also have torn down temples and nunneries, and we have strictly followed the law in removing illegal structures,” said the official, who insisted on anonymity because he wasn’t permitted to speak on the record to the media.

In Yongjia county, the government says it has demolished thousands of illegal structures totaling 3 million square meters, including businesses, residences and religious sites.

Some churches have taken steps to protect their crosses.

Cai, the man who left his cosmetics shop in Shanghai, now takes turns with other members to guard Yayu Christian Church in Yaxia village around the clock. They are camped out on a balcony overlooking an expanse of ripening rice paddies to spot any demolition crew coming down the road.

Early one morning, watchers spotted a truck approaching and quickly mobilized about 100 people to block the men from coming up the steps to the sanctuary, successfully thwarting them, Cai said.

In nearby Zengshan village, after church members received a government warning in early July to remove its cross, members piled up rocks in front of the main gate and dumped a couple of sheds behind it. It also raised banners urging the authorities to respect Chinese law on religious freedom and proper procedures for demolition.

“The cross is our life, and there is no room for compromise,” said Pastor Xie Zuokua. “With no other means, we are resorting to our own abilities to defend the cross.”

To Xie, it’s clear this is more than just a matter of building code violations.

“It’s the symbol of the death of Jesus and it’s the symbol that people can be saved,” he said. “So if they want to come and tear down the cross — that’s because they are discriminating against us Christians.”

The ‘failures’ of the Left – Criticism & suggestions for beleaguered organisation

The ‘failures’ of the Left

– Criticism & suggestions for beleaguered organisation

OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDEN

Calcutta, July 27: Political theorist Partha Chatterjee today linked the Left’s decline to the combine’s failure to understand the changes in India’s political and economic background and its refusal to accept the need to revamp the organisation.

“From 1991 onwards, after the economic liberalisation took place, there was gradual slackening of government control. The Left parties failed to understand the changes that were taking place and subsequently did not modify their policies and programmes….. The party started relying on numbers rather than its ideological force. The moment it was voted out of power, the party crumbled,” Chatterjee said at Mahabodhi Society during a discussion titled “In Search of a Left Alternative” organised by Left Collective, a body of Left thinkers.

Chatterjee, a Presidency alumnus who divides his time between Columbia University and the Centre for Social Sciences, Calcutta, also rolled out suggestions for the Left parties.

Citing the example of contract farming, Chatterjee said the Left could play a role in protecting the interest of small farmers.

“Contract farming is a reality and it has to be accepted. The Left should see what it can do to protect the interest of the small farmers instead of blindly opposing it,” he said.

The Left has often been accused of protesting the neo-liberal economic policies of the Centre, without offering an alternative path for economic growth.

According to Chatterjee, the Left had also failed to realise the changes in the “informal sector”.

“Dependence on agriculture is reducing. The regional parties understood the changes in agriculture and used it to develop their support base. The number of industrial workers is not growing because the model is of jobless growth. The Left did not try to understand this,” he said.

Traditionally, agricultural labourers and factory workers have been the backbone of Left’s support base.

The Left’s refusal to accept identity politics as a reality cost it its place in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, Chatterjee said.

Chatterjee’s comments come at a time the Left is going through one of its worst phases in Bengal. The combine won only two seats in the Lok Sabha polls and has been hit by a barrage of defections by party cadres unhappy with the organisation’s failure to protect them from alleged Trinamul onslaught.

Sobhanlal Datta Gupta, a former Surendra Nath Banerjee professor of political science at Calcutta University and currently a guest lecturer in the same department, said the Left leadership was suffering from a “mental block”.

“There is a mental block in the Left leadership. If Marxism turns into a faith, it is a problem. Flexibility of thought is required…. After the fall of the Soviet Union, European communist parties learnt their lessons. But the Indian communists are still clinging on to the old methods and refuse to admit their mistakes,” he said.

“The Left parties have to think of new ideas. If they build a Chinese wall around themselves and say what we are doing is correct, it is not going to work,” he added.

-http://www.telegraphindia.com/1140728/jsp/bengal/story_18661014.jsp#.U9Y3IKPc3pA-

*KINSUK PALLAB BISWAS*

Two months of Modi sarkar: Govt 1, critics 0

Sriram Ramakrishnan
Friday July 25, 2014, 07:42 AM

http://blogs.economictimes.indiatimes.com/YieldCurve/entry/two-months-of-modi-sarkar-govt-1-critics-0

The left-liberal carping at Narendra Modi’s economic agenda is symptomatic of a larger problem within the community. Having proved themselves singularly inept at predicting Modi’s rise and in capturing the extent of his appeal across in the country, Modi critics have now trained their eyes on his economic agenda. The criticism so far has been broadly along the following lines. One, the Modi agenda lacks any vision or new ideas and is heavily dependant on the policies of the previous government; The budget was very uninspiring and therefore a missed opportunity for the government to put its best foot forward. Third, the agenda will fail as inflation will remain high and projects will not take off.

The point I am trying to make is that criticism so far of Modi seems to be relying too much on a narrative built around what a certain section of intellectuals think is the right way forward. These intellectuals, largely academicians, journalists, other assorted opinion writers and former bureaucrats, have formed a narrative about the economy and its ills and the measures needed to tackle it.

Let me elaborate. Much of the criticism that you hear is from people who believe that certain things have to be done in a certain way. For instance, they think economic growth is all about having a vision, a grand overarching strategy. This is irrespective of the fact that the economy needs quick implementation of existing ideas rather than brand new vision. There is this strong belief that reforms in the economy is all about bringing in FDI and more FDI into various sectors. Allied to that is this equally strong belief the only sectors that matter are the formal, corporate sector and that the rest of the economy is not so important.

As we approach the two-month anniversary of Modi sarkar, it is perhaps a good time to deal with these shibboleths and demolish them once and for all. Here are four important initiatives that have already been launched in the first two month. If implemented well, it could help deliver robust 7-8% GDP growth.

Speed up clearances and lift investment. Modi and his team have correctly identified that the biggest roadblocks to growth are lack of investment and long delay in securing clearances for projects. The first two months have been largely spent in clearing projects. The backlog is huge (According to the Business Standard, about 394 projects are waiting for environment ministry nod) and it will take a bit of time but nobody can find fault with the emphasis on quick clearances. So far, about 50 projects have been given environmental clearances. The Economic Times reported on June 20 that six major projects, including one held up for 30 years, have been cleared.

Cut red tape, reduce hassles. In his campaign pit stops, Modi spoke eloquently on cutting unnecessary procedural hassles and his government is focused on it for all the right reasons. ET did a story a few days ago citing the number of small measures announced by the government which are likely to have a big impact. The emphasis appears to be on making things simpler and easier for ordinary people, entrepreneurs, businessmen. In the next year or two, don’t be surprised if you find fewer complaints about delays and governmental red tape.

Cutting subsidies maintaining fiscal credibility: Like other things, this still remains work in progress and a lot of will be known once the Arun Jaitley-appointed expenditure commission submits its report. This government’s credibility and its commitment to rein in the fiscal deficit will be tested on its willingness to drastically prune expenditure. Otherwise, minimum government, maximum governance will remain just a slogan.

Execution, Execution and more execution. India’s bane is not its lack of laws or its unwillingness to promote entrepreneurship, but its woeful track record in executing projects and programmes. Thousands of crores of rupees have been spent on various welfare programmes with uncertain outcomes. Crores marked for infrastructure, afforestation have not been properly spent. What the country needs is proper execution of all projects. The Modi sarkar seems to realise that this is a problem and that is a good beginning.

Naysayers will and should have their say but let us not forget we had a similar stream of negative reports in the run-up to the elections. It was said that BJP will not get a majority, that the Dalits, and minorities will not vote for it and that there is a massive consolidation against the upper-caste-OBC dominance in the heartland. What these pundits missed out was the consolidation in favour of the BJP. Similarly, the Modi critics may just miss out on the sweeping change ushered in by these so-called small measures and realise that the government’s priorities were right all along. Narendra-Modi

Daft and dangerous: Muslim scholar’s plan for a militia to fight global jihad

Hasan Suroor Jul 25, 2014 13:33 IST

http://www.firstpost.com/world/daft-and-dangerous-muslim-scholars-plan-for-a-militia-to-fight-global-jihad-1634307.html

I’m not sure if the name Maulana Syed Salman Hussaini Nadvi will ring a bell in many places. My own first reaction when I heard it was “Nadvi, who?”

But apparently he is a big cheese in Islamic circles.An influential theologian and author of numerous scholarly tomes in Urdu and Arabic, Nadvi is Dean of the Faculty of Shariah at Darul Uloom Nadwa, Lucknow, whose reputation as a premier institution of Islamic teaching ranks in the same class as Darul Uloom, Deoband. He is also a member of the All-India Muslim Personal Law Board and Aligarh Muslim University’s court, its highest decision-making body.

So, what he says matters and carries weight. It is important to stress this because what he has done has shocked even conservative Muslims. Nadvi has written a long and passionate letter (in Arabic!) to the Saudi government offering to raise a militia of 500,000 Sunni Muslim Indian youth as his contribution to a “powerful global Islamic army” he has proposed in order to fight Shia militants in Iraq and “help Muslims in need” elsewhere. The army would become part of a Caliphate that he wants Saudis to set up for the Muslim ummah, the international Muslim community.

He also suggested that terrorists should not be referred to as terrorists as they were engaged in a “noble cause’’ and called for a “confederation’’ of all jihadi organisations so that they could transform themselves into a single “powerful global force”.

Earlier, Nadvisent fawning greetings to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, leader of the notorious Sunni militant group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and self-appointed caliph of a sharia administration he has set up along Iraq- Syria border.

Nadvi is the only Asian theologian of to have recognised Bagdhadi’s “Caliphate’’. But it is his offer of raising an Indian Muslim militia to fight on foreign lands which has caused a stir even in the normally complacent Muslim quarters as it comes amid mounting concern over the increasing radicalisation of young Indian Muslims who had far defied the global Islamisation trend.

Reports that four educated middle class Mumbai Muslim boys (two engineering students, one medical student, and a call centre worker) have fled the country to join jihadisfighting a vicious sectarian war in Iraq and Syria have deepened concerns about home-grown Muslim extremism and put the entire community under the scanner.

It now seems so long ago when the then US President George W. Bush hailed Manmohan Singh as the leader of the “most fascinating democracy in the world” pointing out that al-Qaeda hadn’t been able to “recruit a single Indian Muslim”. And The Washington Post commented that India’s s “large and tolerant” Muslim population “may serve as an ally against Islamic militancy”.
Suddenly, questions are being asked whether Indian Muslims are going the way of Pakistani youth. There are fears that what has started as a trickle with four Mumbai boys could turn into a “flood’’ if not nipped in the bud immediately. The Biju Janata Dal leader Jay Panda rightly reminded us of the Pakistani experience pointing out how “their youth got involved in jihadist activities, later on they came back and started hunting their own country’’.

Nadvi’s action, not surprisingly played up by the Urdu press which has its own sectarian agenda, is certain to encourage extremist elements already engaged in brainwashing and radicalising Muslim youth. There is a view that Nadvi may have broken Indian laws against inciting terror and there have been calls for an investigation into his conduct and for him to be stripped of his Indian nationality.

“The worrying thing for me is that this is not just his view. There are many takers for this view. If he is promising to put together an army of five lakh Muslim youth from the Indian sub-continent, essentially India, as he has no influence anywhere else, is he just making a tall claim? Only proper investigation can reveal,’’ wrote Sultan Shahin editor of the progressiveNewAge Islam website which published the text of Nadvi’s letter, both in Arabic and in English translation.

He pointed out that what Nadvi effectively wanted was for Saudi Arabia to “organise a Khilafat for the Muslim Umma, the global Muslim community, which would have a world Islamic Army in which he would contribute five lakh Muslim youth from India’’.

“He says there is no need for recruiting youth from among the messed up youth of the Gulf, when you can find them right here. This army would stand behind Muslims wherever they are in trouble. He wishes that terrorists should not be called terrorists and thus antagonised. They are sincere Muslim youth fighting for a noble cause. There should be a confederation of Jihadi organisations active across the Islamic world midwifed by Ulema who should help them hold a dialogue among themselves so they come together and iron out their differences and emerge as one powerful global force.’’

At the best of times, such conduct should be a matter of concern because it amounts to exporting terror but it becomes even more alarming in the current climate with a full scale bloody conflict raging across the Muslim world.

Ask Nadwi about his daft and dangerous proposal, and I’m sure he would do what all fundamentalists do–resort to some Islamic justification by selectively quoting the Qur’an and Hadith (compilation of Prophet Mohammad’s sayings and teachings).Believe it or not, there are people who cite Hadith to claim that a male child’s urine is purer than a girl child’s!

Can it get any more absurd than this? Yet such claims, citing unreliable and inauthentic Qur’anic verses and the Prophet’s sayings are routinely made on Islamist websites making a mockery of Islam. The reason they get away with it is because the Qur’anic text is hugely ambiguous and often contradictory, allowing people to cherry- pick to back their argument. Likewise, the Prophet ‘s sayings are too numerous and were uttered in vastly different situations. It is easy to manipulate them by plucking them out without context—such as the claim over the relative purity of a male child’s urine vis- a-vis a female’s. Islamic theology is full of inauthentic Hadith. Even many authentic Hadith have been found to be flawed because of misinterpretation or contextual mistakes.

Coming back to Nadvi, it will not be easy to dismiss his behaviour as the act of a mad mullah. Because, as I pointed out, he is no ordinary clergy but a highly respected figure. And so is the institution he represents. What is particularly disturbing if it is true, as Shahin points out, that Nadvi’s view is widely shared by mainstream Muslims.

My own sense is that moderate opinion is far more widespread than there is public evidence for it. But moderate Muslims are reluctant to speak up for a variety of reasons. One is the fear of playing into the hands of Hindu Right. Second, most Muslims don’t have sufficient knowledge of Islam to challenge those who invoke Islamic teachings to justify their actions. Third, many simply want to get on with their lives instead of sticking their neck out.

But time for such excuses is over. If Muslims are serious about rescuing whatever remains of moderate Islam from the jihadi mafia which is acquiring ever more menacing teeth with each passing day, they cannot remain passive spectators any longer.

Germany Offers Help For Ganga Clean-up Mission

UL 25, 2014, 01.05 PM

http://www.businessinsider.in/Germany-Offers-Help-For-Ganga-Clean-up-Mission/articleshow/38989697.cms

Germany has offered its expertise for the Ganga clean-up mission by bringing in the experience of cleaning the Rhine river in the European country.

“Rejuvenation and cleaning of the river Ganga is one of the top priorities of Indian government. We are now just in the phase where we are going to see how we are going to assist the Indian government in this important endeavour,” Heiko Warnken, head of Economic Cooperation and Development, Germany, said.
Ganga River
“We will soon have a mission who will be coming to India with experts from Germany. We have also cleaned the river Rhine in Germany. We will see how we can assist in the Ganga mission,” Warnken said.

As per a Central Pollution Control Board report, around Rs 20,000 crore has been spent by the government on various cleaning projects for the Ganga. However, the impact was negligible.

Warknken said they were approached by India’s Water Resource Ministry for the Ganga clean-up project. On the question of funding, Warnken said, “this is too early to say… We have to see what is needed to be done”.

When asked about timeline, he said “Rhine is also a long river which comes from Switzerland to Germany. It took almost 10 years to clean Rhine.”