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22nd-Nov-2005 12:06 am - Book Recommendation
I just read Yoginder Sikand's Sacred Spaces. I highly recommend it for anyone who has an interest in communalism in India. The author intended to find traditions that transcended communal boundaries by visiting a variety of localities throughout India that were meaningful to more than one community. Unfortunately, he found that far from transcending communal boundaries, most of these localities were hotbeds of communal strife.

Does anyone else out there have any book recommendations?
13th-Nov-2005 09:10 pm - We need some discussion on here!
So, I'm throwing this out there as a (sort of) discussion topic: What is the extent of your travel to/ living in South Asia? How many of us live in that area of the world? If not, have you visited? If yes, where, when, and what did you do? Maybe add a story or a highlight. Pictures, etc...
9th-Nov-2005 11:56 am - Ex-India president Narayanan dies
Former Indian president KR Narayanan has died at the aged of 85, the defence ministry has said.

Mr Narayanan had fallen into a coma a week ago after being admitted to hospital with pneumonia.

Mr Narayanan was the first member of the Dalit or untouchable caste to become president, a position he held from 1997 to 2002.

Read more at http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/4421482.stm
7th-Nov-2005 01:49 pm - Indian foreign minister removed
Indian Foreign Minister Natwar Singh has been stripped of his post after allegations that he benefited from the UN oil-for-food programme in Iraq.

The government said Mr Singh would stay in the cabinet. Premier Manmohan Singh assumes his role pending an inquiry.

Natwar Singh and the main party in India's ruling coalition, Congress, were both named in a UN report into the scandal. Both deny any wrongdoing.

India's opposition has renewed calls for Mr Singh to be sacked outright.

Natwar Singh is a close ally of Congress party chief Sonia Gandhi and as a former ambassador to Pakistan used his contacts to push forward the two countries' peace process.

Read the rest at http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/4414504.stm
29th-Oct-2005 09:48 pm - Explosions in India kill 55!
Delhi on high alert after blasts

India's capital Delhi has been put on high alert after three explosions rocked the city killing at least 55 people and injuring many others.

The government has called on people to stay indoors, and armed police have taken up positions outside key buildings and the main public areas.

It is not clear who was behind the attacks, although suspicion is likely to fall on Kashmiri militants.

Ten people have been detained for questioning, reports say.

The blasts came within minutes, on a day when many people were out shopping ahead of the Hindu festival of Diwali and the Muslim Eid celebration.

Two of the explosions ripped through crowded markets and a third exploded on a bus.

All major markets in the city have now been ordered to close.

Read the rest at http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/4389586.stm

And on my birthday! :(
20th-Oct-2005 12:51 pm(no subject)
Seer defies own death prediction

Villagers said Punjilal's predictions usually came true - his family was hoping this one might be wrong.

Punjilal, a 75-year-old resident of a village in India's Madhya Pradesh state had said he would die between 1500 and 1700 local time on Thursday.


Quake 'is UN's worst nightmare'

The UN says the shortfall in aid for victims of the South Asian quake has made the relief situation worse than after last December's tsunami.

UN emergency relief chief, Jan Egeland, said the organisation had never seen such a "logistical nightmare".

UPDATE! Thousands have died. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/4323008.stm

Pakistan says more than 1,000 people may have died in a powerful quake that also hit north India and Afghanistan.

The 7.6-magnitude quake with the epicentre 80km (50 miles) north-east of Islamabad wiped out several villages.

At least 500 died in North-West Frontier province in Pakistan. More than 450 lost their lives in the disputed territory of Kashmir.

Read the rest at http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/4321490.stm
6th-Oct-2005 09:13 pm - a couple of interesting articles
First gay 'marriage' in Pakistan

A gay couple have become the first to get "married" in Pakistan, according to reports from the region.

Witnesses said a 42-year-old Afghan refugee held a marriage ceremony with a local tribesman of 16 in the remote Khyber region bordering Afghanistan.

Read the article at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/4313210.stm

EU says Nepal at risk of collapse

A European Union delegation on a visit to Nepal says the country is in danger of political collapse.

EU delegation leader, Tom Phillips, said the failure of constitutional forces could lead to a breakdown of government institutions.

King Gyanendra seized direct power in February saying politicians had failed to tackle the insurgency by Maoists.

Read the article at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/4314792.stm
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