''The Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress has emerged triumphant in the just-held municipal elections in West Bengal, and reduced the Left Front to insignificance. The TMC’s victory run, from the 2009 Lok Sabha elections, the 2011 Assembly elections and rural panchayat polls last July, has established it as Bengal’s pre-eminent party, ahead of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPM). ''
The agreement reached between Iran and the P-5+1 (the UN Security Council’s five permanent members plus Germany) is a big step towards resolving the crisis over Iran’s nuclear programme. Even better, it could eventually bring about a historic rapprochement between Washington and Tehran, whose relations were ruptured by the Islamic Revolution of 1979. If the agreement leads to stable long-term arrangements that limit Iran’s nuclear activities to peaceful purposes, it will become a game-changer in West Asia and radically alter power balances between its major states.''
Swiss radiation experts have confirmed the worst suspicion nurtured by independent observers of West Asia—namely, that the death of Palestine Liberation Organisation leader Yasser Arafat in 2004 in France was not natural. Doctors were unable to specify the cause of Arafat’s death, which occurred barely a fortnight after he vomited during a meeting and then lapsed into a deepening coma. No autopsy was conducted in keeping with his widow’s request.
''Militant-nationalist euphoria is invariably conjured up whenever India conducts a seemingly sophisticated scientific experiment or makes lethal bombs, missiles or submarines. India’s entry into a supposedly “select” or “exclusive” high-technology “club” is uncritically celebrated, although the club’s members are willing to rain mass death upon innocent civilians—as are all nuclear weapons-states—or seek a figleaf of legitimacy to cover up heinous crimes against their own citizens. ''
Whatever its other sins and there are many one charge can never be made against the Sangh Parivar: that of having produced a halfway tall intellectual. No star in its firmament, from the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s founders, to the present leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party or the Sangh’s 30-odd other affiliates, remotely approaches the description ‘intellectual’.