Rubric Indian Mandala

Indian Mandala

India’s Ministry of External Affairs announced the repatriation of Indian nationals fighting in Ukraine after Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Russia. Attracted by high salaries, the possibility of obtaining Russian citizenship, and traveling to countries in Europe’s Schengen area, hundreds of South Asian men have embarked on the journey to Russia. In many cases, they did so without knowing that they would be sent to the front.

| 12/07/2024
| INDIAN MANDALA

Floods are a normal occurrence in the north-eastern Indian state, but the greater volatility and intensity of rainfall has become a problem for farmers. Tea production, a sector that employs a large chunk of the population, has been particularly affected. For experts, a centralised government approach should be dropped in favour of one based on local communities.

| 05/07/2024
| INDIAN MANDALA

Adopted in December, the three new codes will come into force on 1 July. Several legal experts warn against greater police powers and the vagueness of some articles that could lead to the criminalisation of Satyagraha, the non-violent form of resistance used by Gandhi. Backers of the new codes see them as a step towards “decolonisation”, claiming victims of crimes will receive swifter justice.

 

| 28/06/2024
| INDIAN MANDALA

What binds India and Russia is oil, which India is buying at discounted prices. Earlier this month, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky spoke to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, but the latter did not show particular interest for the Summit on Peace in the Ukraine held in the Swiss city of Lucerne, sending a low-level delegation. At the same time, Indo-Russian relations are not likely to expand, experts believe.

| 21/06/2024
| INDIAN MANDALA

An ethnic Santal, Mohan Charan Majhi becomes Odisha’s new chief minister. He comes from the ranks of the RSS, the BJP’s paramilitary group that promotes Hindu supremacy. In the past, he supported a fanatic jailed for killing Christians and Muslims. According to experts, the BJP is trying to prove that even those from disadvantaged castes can come to power.

| 14/06/2024
| INDIAN MANDALA

According to Prof Sebasti L. Raj, the BJP lost some key constituencies because it focused on religious issues rather than solve people’s real problems. The opposition is not a single bloc; to succeed, it must remain united. New undercurrents within the BJP will be clearer when the new cabinet is formed.

| 07/06/2024
| INDIAN MANDALA

Hundreds of thousands of Indians are unable to return to their places of origin at election time due to long journeys and high costs. Most of them are daily labourers who would be forced to give up wages and look for a new job. Non-resident Indians face the same problem. Meanwhile, India’s main parties rejected a proposal made last year for remote electronic voting.

| 31/05/2024
| INDIAN MANDALA

Today, at least nine people died in Rajasthan from possible heatstroke; yet the main parties ignore the problem, which is hardly present in their election platforms. The issue is more relevant at the local level, but the actions by individual states have a limited impact.

| 24/05/2024
| INDIAN MANDALA
by Nirmala Carvalho

In Bastar, tribal converts to Christianity continue to be attacked. Kosa Kawasi was one of them, killed by an uncle and a cousin. This kind of incidents shows the level of discrimination against people who embrace Christianity in rural villages. “Christian tribals live in fear and insecurity even among their own families,” a local told AsiaNews.

| 17/05/2024
| INDIAN MANDALA

The Reserve Bank of India has changed its rules allowing Russia to use the rupees it earns from crude oil sales in India to invest in local government bonds, stocks, equities, and loans. India's imports from Russia are up by 32.95 per cent to US$ 61.44 billion.

| 10/05/2024
| INDIAN MANDALA
by Nirmala Carvalho

A year ago, violence broke out between ethnic Meitei and Kuki, tearing apart the northeastern state, with at least 220 deaths. In a situation that remains tense and painful, Archbishop Linus Neli called for three days of fasting and prayer. “[W]e know only too well the present scenario of ethnic segregation,” but we “pray for the day when people of all ethnicities and religious communities can live together”. To this end, we urge “positive action from the State Government and other authorities”.

| 03/05/2024
| INDIAN MANDALA
by Stefano Vecchia

The former East Pakistan is watching the election process closely. Especially with regard to the presence of migrants, of Muslim faith, in India. For now, Dhaka is trying to maintain a certain balance between Delhi's pressure and Beijing's influence, explains Fr Sergio Targa, a Xaverian missionary in Bangladesh since 1992, now in Italy.

| 26/04/2024
| INDIAN MANDALA

According to the Housing and Land Rights Network, many evictions remain undocumented. Figures for 2023 are the highest in the last seven years. Local authorities and courts have deviated from previous practices, violating human rights. The government has often failed to offer resettlement or compensation.

| 05/04/2024
| INDIAN MANDALA

In the region nestled in the Himalayas on the borders with China and Pakistan, the local population is demanding the creation of a local administration, after the Delhi government revoked autonomy for Kashmir in 2019, dividing the region into two. Activists fear the melting of glaciers, the launch of large industrial projects and the militarisation of the territory, including by Beijing.

| 29/03/2024
| INDIAN MANDALA

Less than a month before the start of the elections, the National Capital Territory (Delhi) chief minister and leader of the Aam Aadmi Party was taken into custody yesterday by India’s financial crime agency. A few hours earlier, the Indian National Congress complained that the government had frozen its funds. Meanwhile, more details are emerging about corporate funding for political parties.

| 22/03/2024
| INDIAN MANDALA

After the Supreme Court struck down last month the electoral bonds system, which allowed companies and individuals to make anonymous donations to political parties, the Election Commission was forced to publish information on bonds purchased over the past five years, showing that funding went disproportionately to Modi's party.

| 15/03/2024
| INDIAN MANDALA
by Nirmala Carvalho

The Sisters Led Youth Initiatives programme offers new opportunities to 1,200 young people in vulnerable situations, with special focus on women, starting with the recognition of their rights.

| 08/03/2024
| INDIAN MANDALA
by Nirmala Carvalho

In her address to the state Legislative Assembly, Governor Anusuiya Uikey assessed the situation following months of interethnic strife between Meitei and Kuki. Some 10,000 First Information Reports have been filed in connection with the violence. Compensation has been paid to victims’ families. For Archbishop Lumon, the latter is important but the “situation remains difficult.” It is unclear whether churches and businesses will be compensated.

| 01/03/2024
| INDIAN MANDALA

Several key leaders have defected from the INDIA coalition, which was created last September, highlighting its weaknesses. Although the Indian National Congress signed deals for seat sharing, it is still at odds with some regional parties. Experts note that India’s opposition parties have also been undermined by police probes but especially their failure to develop a share narrative and use the economy to attract voters.

 

| 23/02/2024
| INDIAN MANDALA

In Uttarakhand, five people died and more than 80 are wounded in clashes triggered by the demolition of a mosque and a madrassa. Amnesty International reports the "punitive" demolition of at least 128 Muslim properties from April to June 2022, with at least 617 people left homeless. Varanasi could be the next flashpoint. To avoid this, locals are praying that “peace is not to be disturbed”.

 

| 09/02/2024
| INDIAN MANDALA

Delhi has deployed a dozen warships to the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Aden to show that it is "proactive", experts say, while not participating in the US-led task force against Houthi attacks in the Red Sea. Since the start of the year, the Indian Navy has reported an increase in piracy incidents, towards which it has taken an aggressive approach. But Delhi’s number one rival is still Beijing.

 

| 02/02/2024
| INDIAN MANDALA

Despite recent discoveries of deposits in Kashmir, India is still dependent on minerals from China. Last week, New Delhi and Buenos Aires inked an agreement to explore and develop five lithium deposits in Argentina’s Catamarca province, a deal that could open the door to other forms of cooperation.

| 26/01/2024
| INDIAN MANDALA
by Nirmala Carvalho

For weeks, the city on the border with Myanmar has been rocked by attacks and reprisals between ethnic Meitei and Kuki. Seven deaths have been reported in the last few hours. The Sisters of Mother Teresa have also been forced to leave their home amid fighting between armed men and Indian security forces.

 

| 19/01/2024
| INDIAN MANDALA
by Alessandra De Poli

Since President Mohamed Muizzu came to power in November, the Maldives has moved closer to China. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's recent posts about the Lakshadweep have been seen as a way to reduce tourism to the Maldives. Yet Delhi has been working for some time on promoting the development of its own archipelago.

| 12/01/2024
| INDIAN MANDALA

Two Hindus who pretended to be Muslims were detained by Indian special forces after posting messages announcing attacks at the disputed holy site in Uttar Pradesh where Prime Minister Modi will inaugurate a new Hindu temple on 22 January. Their social media profiles show links to the Bharatiya Janata Party. For the bishop of Lucknow, it is a serious thing “to fuel further tensions in a society already polarised along religious lines.” Meanwhile, in Ayodhya, preparations are underway to consecrate the prime minister rather than the holy place.

| 05/01/2024
| INDIAN MANDALA

After Canada, the United States has released information suggesting that Indian officials and Indian national are involved in plots to kill activists fighting for the creation of Khalistan, an independent state for Sikhs. Indian PM Modi responded recently to the allegations using cautious tones, but also highlighting the growing radicalisation of the Sikh diaspora. Gurpatwant Singh Pannun is a key figure.

| 22/12/2023
| INDIAN MANDALA

The Delhi High Court recently authorised Prema Kumari to travel to Yemen to free her daughter, who is accused of killing Talal Abdo Mahdi with a high dose of sedatives. The latter helped her to set up a clinic but then took her passport, preventing her from escaping. Nimisha's home community in Kerala has rallied to her cause.

| 15/12/2023
| INDIAN MANDALA

This week, the Telegraph wrote that it had uncovered a kidney-buying racket involving Myanmar nationals as donors and a private health facility in Delhi, where transplants would take place. The phenomenon is not new: despite decades of awareness-raising (starting in Tamil Nadu) there is still a shortage of donors in India and too many people who would need at least one kidney. It is mainly poor people who need to pay off debts who fall victim to trafficking, but online scams have also increased in recent years.

| 08/12/2023
| INDIAN MANDALA
by Alessandra De Poli

Yesterday the #we4resilience conference, a two-day event to understand how to deal with the disasters caused by climate change ended in the Indian capital. The event - held just as COP28 opens in Dubai - was attended by dozens of aid workers, priests and beneficiaries of projects implemented by Caritas together with other partners. The focus was on a comprehensive approach that takes into account the experiences of vulnerable communities.

| 01/12/2023
| INDIAN MANDALA

As rebels pursue their campaign against Myanmar’s military, fresh border tensions rise between the Meitei and Chin militias, who are ethnically related to the Kuki. A Myanmar national treated at an Imphal hospital dies when a mob storms the medical establishment enraged by the presence of the “invader". Meanwhile, the Commission of Inquiry set up in June by the Indian government into the violence has not yet held any hearing.

 

| 24/11/2023
| INDIAN MANDALA
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| 09/07/2024
| ISRAEL – PALESTINE
 
The meeting taking place in the city scarred by the wound of the atomic bomb also involves Eastern religious traditions in the Rome Call for AI Ethics, promoted by the Pontifical Academy for Life. A specific addendum on the challenges posed by generative ...
| 09/07/2024
| JAPAN . VATICAN
 
by Dario Salvi
An AsiaNews source recounts the life of Catholics. One million people, mostly economic migrants, celebrate their faith "in private". The bond with the universal Church and the hope of one day being able to gather and pray in a church. The ...
| 02/07/2024
| GATEWAY TO THE EAST
 
by Joseph Masilamany
In a joint statement, the Defender of Ancestral Lands Sabah (MOPOT) and the Sabah and Sarawak Indigenous People's Alliance (GOASS) call on the government to respect the "informed consent" of local communities. Joining the intergovernmental group ...
| 01/07/2024
| MALAYSIA
 
by Silvia Torriti
After Covid-19, the phenomenon of 'counter-urbanisation' is growing in China, with new resources and talents moving from the cities to rural areas to set up businesses. With a positive economic impact, but not without difficulties in relations ...
| 27/06/2024
| RED LANTERNS
 
The news of the horrific death in Italy of Satnam Singh, abandoned with a severed arm while employed under a gangmaster system, has reached his home village in Punjab, an Indian state second only to Kerala in terms of emigration. What until the 1980s ...
| 25/06/2024
| INDIA
 
The former apostolic administrator of Kunming and two other dioceses passed away; he was in his nineties. He was seminarian in 1949 when the Communists took over, and had to wait until 1995 to be ordained a priest after spending many years in prison ...
| 18/06/2024
| CHINA
 
by Alessandra De Poli
Kim Aris, 47, has accepted on his mother’s behalf the honorary citizenship awarded to her by the town of Abbiategrasso (Italy). Her family does not know where the 79-year-old is being detained nor her health conditions. According to her son, the ...
| 17/06/2024
| MYANMAR
“L’Asia: ecco il nostro comune compito per il terzo millennio!” - Giovanni Paolo II, da “Alzatevi, andiamo”