HINDU TERRORISM, NOT ISLAMIST – The government has been reluctant to accept that some of the high-profile terrorist attacks of recent years are not the work of Pakistan-based Islamist extremists, but actually Hindu nationalists with direct links to the RSS. Outlook says there is evidence of political pressure on the police to go slow on investigations (the RSS has deep political links, particularly to the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party), including the Ajmer shrine bombing, the Hyderabad mosque bombing and attacks on a Muslim mosque in Melagaon, Maharashtra, between 2006 and 2008. In all these cases, suspicion has initially fallen on Islamist groups only for evidence to later emerge of Hindu groups being involved. It even emerged last week that a prime suspect in the Melagaon bombings was able to vote under his real name in the 2009 general elections in Madhya Pradesh, despite being a fugitive.
DEEP CORRUPTION IN GUJARAT – A man was killed in November 2005 by police, allegedly on his way to kill chief minister Narenda Modi. In December 2006, an alleged witness to the killing was also murdered by police. Now, it has emerged that the state’s Home Minister Amit Shah made something like 400 phone calls to the officers suspected of carrying out the killings. The alleged motive? These people had some serious dirt on Modi and his gang of thugs. It’s all very murky. One Criminal Investigation Directorate chief who tried to file a corruption case against Shah in 2005 was transferred to the Goat and Sheep Department.
INDIA BIGGEST COUNTRY BY 2026 – according to a new study by the National Population Stabilisation Fund, which estimates the current 1.1 billion-strong population will add an extra 371 million people over the next 16 years and overtake China, thanks largely to the uncontrolled number of teenage pregnancies.
SCHOOLS DEMOLISHED FOR GAMES – A school in a Delhi slum is one of the many “eyesores” demolished to make way for the Commonwealth Games in October. In The Guardian.
MAOISTS IN GUJARAT? – Tehelka rages against the arrest of 13 civil rights workers in Gujarat, which the police say are covert Maoists, running training camps and other nefarious activities in a state that has so far seen no Maoist violence. Regardless of their innocence, there are certainly some anomalies in the procedures of the arrest and detention.
PRAVEEN ON KASHMIR – Praveen Swami argues that the rioting in Kashmir since 2006 marks “the death-throes of an old political order” and that the current stone-throwing violence is “driven by despair, not coherent political design.” The Hurriyat Conference, led by Syed Ali Shah Geelani “simply doesn’t have the political networks needed to sustain a large-scale, coordinated movement. Instead, young Islamists appear to have acted locally in response to its calls, using everything from mosque public address systems to mobile phone text messaging to prepare for marches through their neighbourhoods.”
MEDIA STUDIES MAOIST – The Chhattisgarh police reckon the mastermind of the attack on a Congress politician on 6 July is doing media studies in Delhi. Do people still do media studies? That’s so 1990s. They also claim he’s in touch with famous civil rights workers including Arundhati Roy. Chhattisgarh’s government had tried to have Roy arrested earlier this year for supporting the Maoists, but the local police were having none of it.