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Gloves off: India’s BJP underlines Hindu ambitions as elections near

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ruling Hindu nationalist party has been turning up the heat on some controversial and potentially highly divisive religious issues in recent days, with crucial state elections only weeks away and a general election due by next May. Top officials from his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have sided with some Hindus defying a court order that scrapped a ban on women of menstruating age from visiting a famous temple in southern India. At the same time, they and leaders of the…

India’s Rahul Gandhi vows to fight Hindu umbrella group RSS in court

NEW DELHI: India's opposition leader Rahul Gandhi pleaded not guilty Tuesday to defaming a powerful Hindu supremacist group closely linked to the ruling party of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Gandhi will fight charges in court that he defamed the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) organisation when he accused the Hindu movement of assassinating Indian independence icon Mahatma Gandhi. A member of the RSS -- a Hindu umbrella group which is the ideological inspiration for Modi's rightwing Bharatiya Janata Party -- sued…

‘Democracy in India is in grave danger’

MUMBAI: One of India’s best known politicians, former finance and foreign minister Yashwant Sinha, quit the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Saturday, saying Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s party was undermining democratic institutions. Sinha, who served as a minister in the first BJP-led governments headed by Atal Bihari Vajpayee in the late 1990s and early 2000s, has frequently spoken out over how the Hindu nationalist party has evolved since then. “Democracy in India is in grave danger,” Sinha said, announcing…

Indian journalist who also worked for radical Hindu group RSS shot dead

UTTAR PRADESH: A journalist was shot dead by three gunmen in northern India on Saturday, police said, the latest attack on media in one of Asia's deadliest countries for reporters. Rajesh Mishra, a 40-year-old reporter at the Hindi-language daily Dainik Jagran -- one of India's largest newspapers -- was shot in the head by three gunmen on a motorcycle in Uttar Pradesh state, additional director general of police Anand Kumar said. "Three thugs fired the shots. Two of the three have been identified," Kumar told…

Radical Hindu outfit RSS to sell ‘Modi’ kurtas, cow urine products

MUMBAI: Hindu Radical outfit Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) is soon to start an online shopping portal and will sell variety of items including Kurtas of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. One of the weird products available at the RSS shopping portal is cow urine. According to Indian media, the products are manufactured at a pharmaceutical lab run by the RSS in Mathura. "Products of our 'Kamdhenu' line (which include claimed medicines for cancer and diabetes, face packs and soaps), with cow urine as…