Saturday, December 27, 2003

From blog correspondent Lee Penn
A net of control
Unthinkable: How the Internet could become a tool of corporate and government power, based on updates now in the works
Lee Penn: On the possibility -- perhaps, given the authoritarian political trends worldwide, the probability -- of an end to Internet freedom

Indian spirituality
Quote: This, however, raises a difficult question. If India is so spiritually rich, and spirituality transcends the details of individual faith, why has the country been so prone to religious strife? The swamis, of course, point out that the political exploitation of religious prejudices is none of their doing. But could they not do more to stop it?

For years now, the rising trend in Indian politics has been hindutva, or 'Hinduness', a nationalist set of beliefs that asks Indians to take pride in the traditions of the majority Hindus. Perhaps inevitably, this has sometimes taken the unhappy form of raising hostility towards minority religions, especially Islam, which is followed by about 12% of the population. Indeed, to many Muslims, all the central items on the hindutva agenda seem directed at them. These include the demand for a national ban on the slaughter of cows, sacred to Hindus. Second is the campaign for a 'uniform civil code', a reference to the separate family law that governs Muslims and is seen by many Hindus as an unjust affront to the idea of a unified, 'secular' state. [End.]

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