Religion / 30.01.2011

By Pilid Lao Today’s Supreme Court decision in Prafull Goradia v. Union of India is ludicrous to say the least. The question was straightforward and simple: whether a government grant funded by taxpayer money violates the proscription of Art. 27 against state fostering religious activity. Article 27 of the Constitution of India states: No person shall be compelled to pay any taxes, the proceeds of which are specifically appropriated in payment of expenses for the promotion or maintenance of any particular religion or religious denomination. The Court proclaimed that it would only amount to such a violation if a “substantial part of tax payer money” is used to promote religious activity: In our opinion Article 27 would be violated if a substantial part of the entire income tax collected in India, or a substantial part of the entire central excise or the customs duties or sales tax, or a...

Pakistan / 17.03.2009

By Anjum Altaf Let us begin when everything was as it was supposed to be. Before you came, Things were as they should be: The sky was the dead-end of sight, The road was just a road, wine merely wine. It was November 2006. The sun was in the sky, everything was alright with the world, the Enlightened Moderate, everyone’s favorite, was firmly ensconced on the throne, the Chief Justice was still the Chief Justice, and the lawyers were beyond the dead-end of sight. This is what we recommended, based on our analysis of the situation, in a paper presented in Islamabad: So what is to be done beyond the struggle for civilian rule? In the absence of a political coalition to support the demand for improvements in human rights, civil society groups at the present juncture in Pakistan should look for mechanisms to strengthen the instruments of social control over governments, to...