As the holy month of Ramazan for Muslims concluded this year (2018), there was by and large a feeling of goodwill and festivity among the Muslims and others in Bihar (and India). The Ramazan message of peace, charity and brotherhood was meant to spread everywhere. The month, however, wasn’t free from violence in certain parts of the world where the Muslims were in majority.

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You don’t build a skyscraper to conceal a dead mouse, as Saul Bellow the Nobel Prize winning novelist would have asked. The entire nation was in a state of ferment over Pranab Mukherjee’s proposed speech on the occasion of the visit of the RSS headquarter. The national media had created such an air of expectancy as if a modern-day version of Book of Revelation was going to be launched from the ramparts of the RSS headquarters.

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कहते हैं कि मुग़ल बादशाह जहांगीर जब पहली बार कश्मीर पहुंचे तो उनके मुंह से सहसा निकल पड़ा "जन्नत अगर कहीं है, तो वह यहीं है, यहीं है, यहीं है।" भारत का मुकुटमणि, धरती का स्वर्ग, यूरोप का स्विट्ज़रलैंड, कुदरत की कारीगरी और  अकूत खूबसूरती का खजाना, पहाड़, झीलें, वनस्पति, हरियाली, महकती पवन... ऐसा लगता है मानो पूरा-का-पूरा ‘स्वर्ग’ धरती पर उतर आया हो! यह नजारा है कश्मीर की धरती का. तभी तो इसे धरती का ‘स्वर्ग’ कहा जाता है।

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A census of the biomass (the amount of living matter) on Earth—published recently by the research group of Prof. Milo, Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel1—revealed humankind as miniscule but insanely dominant in the grand scheme of life on Earth. This research found that the world’s 7.6 billion people represent just 0.01% of all living things.

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RJD workers celebrating party win in Jokihat last week.

Looking at the result of the Jokihat Vidhan Sabha (Legislative Assembly) seat by-election held on Monday, 28 May 2018, it can’t be denied that the victory of the RJD candidate over the joint candidate of the JD(U)-BJP by 41,000 votes was clear and unequivocal. The RJD candidate received a bloc of 81,240 votes whereas, the JD(U) contestant got less than its half.

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Encouraged by the political developments in Karnataka where the governor invited the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to form a government following the provincial elections on 12 May 2018, the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader of the opposition in Bihar, Tejaswi Yadav, rushed to the governor to demand that he should also be invited to lead the government in Bihar.

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Author with former President Shankar Dayal Sharma.

One of my students sent me an interesting information on WhatsApp. The information was as follows: In the year 1994 the then President of India, Late Shankar Dayal Sharma, was on an official visit to Muscat (Oman). The moment Air India plane landed at the airport, three interesting incidents happened:

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It’s well known when Lalu Yadav was a student at Patna University in the early 70’s, he had a simmering resentment against the upper castes, particularly the Bhumihars of Bihar. He had experienced firsthand how the members of the elite castes manipulated results, appointments and promotions in practically every area of the public or academic life. That seething anger later on propelled him into forming a broader coalition of Backward castes, Muslims and Harijans against the upper caste domination.

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The holy days of Ramadan/Ramzaan are to begin shortly and shall eventually conclude with the festivity of Eid. The entire Ramazan-month carries the message of service to mankind. More precisely the message is: let the hearts be filled with love, souls with compassion and minds with wisdom. In short, it is a call to uphold and abide by basic human values and respect humanity.

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कश्मीर घाटी में पिछले कुछेक महीनों से अगरचे आतंकी हमलों में तेज़ी आयी है मगर उसी रफ़्तार से आंतकवादियों और जिहादियों का सुरक्षाकर्मियों द्वारा खात्मा भी किया जा रहा है। सुना है सीमा पर अत्यधिक चौकसी के कारण सीमापार से आतंकियों की घुसपैठ में कमी तो आ गयी है मगर आतंकी संगठन स्थानीय तौर पर अब युवाओं को वर्गला कर अपने संगठन में शामिल करने के लिए बराबर प्रयासरत हैं।

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Corruption is one of the biggest threats to the well-being of a society. Lord Buddha was right when he said that Desire is the root cause of all sufferings in this world. In corruption, too, desire is the main incitement to induce a person to this scornful activity.

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I take pleasure in recalling my era when bicycle used to be a great means of conveyance. A great symbol of prestige and a great source of the pleasurable ride. So much was the importance of this great two-wheeler that the bicycle was one of the major items to be offered to the bridegroom in the dowry. Only a few would have the proud privilege of owning a bicycle.

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Dear friends, the social media was abuzz with messages that we should not purchase Chinese products on Diwali and at other times. It was considered to be the right patriotic thing to do to support our soldiers guarding our borders.

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