What the world is reading

With the ban on Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf set to end in 2015 in Germany,writer Paul Hockenos captures the dilemma facing German authorities

Written by Arun Subramanian | Published: July 17, 2012 3:03:18 am

The Chronicle

Defusing Mein Kampf

WITH the ban on Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf set to end in 2015 in Germany,writer Paul Hockenos captures the dilemma facing German authorities. “What happens then is the object of intense discussion and soul-searching in Germany,where,67 years after the war’s end,freedom of speech is still curtailed when it promotes Nazi ideology,” he writes. While most observers feel that the ban has outlived its purpose,Bavaria,the German state that owns the book’s intellectual-property rights,isn’t taking any chances,writes Hockenos,and is publishing annotated editions. The aim of annotating Mein Kampf,Hockenos adds,is to to “demystify” its messages. “Mein Kampf is like a rusty old grenade. We want to remove its detonator. We intend to defuse the book,” the writer quotes Christian Hartmann,the head of a team of historians at the Institute of Contemporary History in Munich,as saying.

The Australian

Invest in religion

Robin Pagnamenta writes on the fascination that Indian billionaires have with building temples and making donations to religious institutions. He cites the shrine of Shrinathji at Nathdwara in Rajasthan,which,he adds,is frequented by the Ambanis and another Mumbai-based property tycoon Niranjan Hiranadani. “Both families are thought to have pumped millions into the complex,where a 400 million rupee expansion drive is under way…,” he writes. Pagnamenta adds that as “India’s economy expands,India’s business titans are lavishing more of their cash on building temples and sponsoring religious festivals. Shashi and Ravi Ruia,behind the Essar oil-to-shipping empire,have helped to bankroll the construction of a temple close to their refinery at Vadinar in Gujarat,he writes. “This trend of industrialists building temples is definitely on the rise,” the writer quotes Bina Shah,a trustee at Mumbai’s Shree Siddhivinayak Ganapati Mandir Trust,as saying. The writer adds that the trend is not restricted to Hindus and that wealthy Indian families from the Muslim or Parsi communities are known to bankroll mosques and Zoroastrian fire temples.

The Guardian

Reputation takes a hit

WHILE a London court cleared former England captain John Terry of racially abusing Queen’s Park Ranger defender Anton Ferdinand during a football game last year,The Guardian’s Daniel Taylor argues that the 10-month trial has “grievously” damaged the sport. “Never before has a court case gone into such forensic examination of what really happens during an elite-level match and when it was all laid bare,the bottom line is that it was embarrassing,damaging and,very often,excruciating…Here,in graphic detail,we learned the chain of events that had led to Terry being stripped of the England captaincy,with two players arguing over a penalty,swapping insults and then one of them pretending the other had bad breath,” Taylor writes.


The Olympic challenge

IF there’s one thing that India and Pakistan can identify with,it is the performance of their respective hockey teams in the Olympics. With the London games around,while there is renewed hope in India,Dawn’s editorial on the Pakistani hockey team describes the situation of the sport across the border. The paper is pessimistic about its team’s chances of even a podium finish. “The departure of our hockey team to London for the upcoming Olympics last week did not create much hype in the media or among sporting circles for obvious reasons. Hockey,despite being our national sport,has plummeted to a level where neither the critics nor the fans want to pin any false hopes on a team which sharply contrasts with the superstars of the glory days of the past,” the editorial reads.

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