(CNN) President Joe Biden, well on his way to reaching a new goal of vaccinating 200 million Americans by the end of April, is taking initial steps toward helping other nations ramp up shots, including by boosting global manufacturing and appointing a top global health expert who previously advocated for shipping vaccines from the United States' surplus abroad. Diplomats view the developments as a sign Biden is moving toward sharing some of the hundreds of millions of doses the United States will have left over once every American is vaccinated. But the President remains wary of sending vaccines overseas before people in the United States have access, and administration health experts continue to caution that extra doses may be needed as the virus mutates and the pandemic persists. Biden's political advisers and national security team have debated the appropriate balance among domestic needs, humanitarian efforts and political strategy, people familiar with the matter say. … [Read more...] about Biden ramps up vaccine diplomacy efforts as hopes rise that he’ll share surplus doses
Who separate religion from politics
'Hinduism is the mother of all religions; communal hatred should not be spread in its name.' Illustration: Uttam Ghosh/ Rediff.com Winner of the Sahitya Akademi Award last year, writer K P Ramanunni performed spiritual penance at the Kadalayi Sree Krishna temple at Chirakka in Kerala to atone for the crime against an eight-year-old girl in a temple in Kathua, Jammu and Kashmir. Last year, he was threatened that his arm and leg would be cut off if he did not convert to Islam for misleading Muslims through his writings. His stand on Hindu-Muslim communal harmony has been a constant irritant for extremists on both sides of the ideological and religious divide. The writer says his act of atonement in the Kerala temple earlier this month was a symbolic act to awaken the consciences of Hindu believers against the misusing of the high values of the religion. "The tradition of penance is in the nature of Hindu philosophy. I had to continue that tradition to fight communal … [Read more...] about ‘Fanaticism is not Hinduism’
'We have Hindu values, Hindu customs, Hindu philosophy, Hindu way of looking at all religions as acceptable.' Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh ideologue Swaminathan Gurumurthy discusses India today with Rediff.com 's Shobha Warrier . Part I of the Gurumurthy Interview: 'Demonetisation de-fattened the economy' Do you feel running a corruption-free government is Narendra Modi's biggest achievement? It is a fundamental achievement. Modi cannot hope to do anything unless he runs an honest government. It was believed as something not possible in India. But Narendra Modi showed that it was possible. This is his fundamental approach to politics. It has taken time to turn the current drift in politics and make honest decision-making part of the process. He sat and appointed 75 joint secretaries which no prime minister would ever do. That is where the right and wrong commences in the administration. The criticism is that it is not the various ministries, … [Read more...] about ‘India is secular because it is Hindu’
The Preamble to the Constitution of India defines the country as a sovereign, socialist, secular, democratic republic. Over the last few months, this definition has been under attack as self-appointed gau rakshaks attacked, and sometimes lynched, people they suspected had beef in their possession. When a 17-year-old boy was stabbed to death on a train because an argument over seats turned ugly, and because he belonged to a certain religion, the country rose in protest. #Not In My Name, said ordinary citizens, as they took to the streets to reclaim the India they believed in. Text, photographs: Uttam Ghosh/ Rediff.com Video: Hitesh Harisinghani/ Rediff.com It began with a Facebook post, as Delhi-based documentary filmmaker Saba Dewan called for a protest against the series of lynchings in different parts of India. These lynchings were carried out by self-styled gau rakshaks against those they believed had beef in their possession. Mumbai, and 12 … [Read more...] about #Not In My Name: They came for the India they loved!
'I'm used to getting abuse online, but this was different in both speed and volume.' IMAGE: Jeremy McLellan is a funnyman from Charleston, South Carolina, whose material deals largely with minority issues. Photograph: Kind courtesy @JeremyMcLellanComedy/Facebook If defenders of cow vigilantes and anti-Romeo squads had more experience with humour, they might have known it is rarely advisable to heckle a stand-up comedian. Some of them received this wisdom on the Internet after attacking Jeremy McLellan, a funnyman from Charleston, South Carolina, for highlighting violence by the extremist groups on his Facebook page. The 30 year old says he responded the way any good comedian does -- by trolling them back and posting screenshots for his fans. The first of his posts involved a BBC article about a Muslim man who died allegedly after being beaten by gau rakshak s in Rajasthan . 'Gonna eat a hamburger in his honour,' McLellan wrote, setting off … [Read more...] about Jeremy McLellan: The comedian who took on