Bangladesh election 2018: is there a Sino-Indian stake?

It’s pretty odd to think that Bangladesh elections should be of any interest to China and India given the complete lack of its strategic value. However, Bangladesh maybe becoming a reluctant pawn of sorts in... More

Aspiration versus desperation: Jobs, quota and conflict in Bangladesh

Just as students of Dhaka university were parading and protesting the quota system in government jobs and facing attacks from both police and party activists, a group of masked men entered the residence of... More

Why is AL going after a weak BNP?

To be honest, almost everyone in Bangladesh thinks that almost all rich people are dishonest. Of course, not all are dishonest but they are considered extreme exceptions. Since almost all rich people are also... More

Chinese investment plans face hurdles in Bangladesh

Having faced obstacles – from serious to routine- in three large investment projects, some are wondering if China’s economic plans are facing problems in Bangladesh due to non-economic causes. Speculations are on that the... More

Bangladesh’s politics of bail and jail

So finally, BNP leader and ex-PM Khaleda Zia who had been convicted by a lower court on charges of corruption was granted bail by the High Court for 4 months. But she didn’t walk... More

ARSA card once again …

Myanmar continues to put pressure on Bangladesh by amassing troops on the border areas next to the Rohingya refugee camps. However, the refugee host country appears to have few options left in its bag... More

Indo-China economic proxy war over Dhaka stock market?

What seemed certain last week about China becoming the strategic partner of the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) is no longer so as the regulatory body Bangladesh Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) has raised serious... More

Bipin Rawat on Bangladesh: Part of a Sino-Pak proxy war against India?

Indian army chief Gen. Bipin Rawat’s accusation on Indian NTV that Pakistan and China were conducting proxy war by facilitating immigrants from Bangladesh to Assam is both serious but also very embarrassing for the... More

International affairs in time of transparency: The Oxfam syndrome

The Oxfam infection has spread far and wide. Its impact is deeper than just one NGO facing problems about covering up sex abuse in Haiti and as we learn Chad as well.  Now reports... More

Khaleda Zia’s jail verdict will seriously impact on 2018 elections 

Sentencing BNP chief Begum Khaleda Zia to 5 years in jail triggers a fresh confrontational phase in Bangladesh politics, already deluged by hostility. It also makes the election, scheduled for December 2018, considerably uncertain... More

Does anyone care if exam questions are leaked?

No minister is more abused than Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid now famous for his lack of achievements than anything else. But the falling education standard has now lost its crowd pulling power and... More

Global objective vs regional reality 

Both India and China are experiencing high economic ambitions and conflict in an age when globalization is under threat as regionalization rises. The ‘global economy’ model which the US pushed for and controlled for... More

Leaking exam questations, Jihadi bribe money, a VC’s rescuer choice, FB shutdown...

If anyone was involved with the education sector in Bangladesh with a sense of embarrassment, this would be a bad moment. But no red faces are noticed as everyone fails to stop exam questions... More

Round one to Hefazot as Tabligh steps back

One of the largest gatherings of devout Muslims of the world --Biswaijtema -- held annually near the Turag river of Dhaka is famous for large turnouts, major traffic jams due to the huge crowd... More

Rohingya crisis looks long term as ARSA returns 

That Bangladesh was not prepared for the Rohingya exodus is now grudgingly accepted by its official world. Some had perhaps hoped that there would be a bit of collateral gains for keeping the borders... More

What will an “illegal Bangladeshi Muslim” exodus from Assam do?

The process to identify illegal Bangladeshis of the Muslim variety in Assam is on. The objective of the exercise is to expel them from India. While such Hindus appear to be relatively safe for... More

Is the incumbency factor already working against the ruling AL?

There is no question that Bangladesh is experiencing high growth but is it reaching the majority of households and will that translate into votes for the ruling party AL in the elections scheduled for... More

As Myanmar faces global accusation of genocide what will China do?

Myanmar was feeling comfortable in the post Rohingya ethnic cleansing period as China and Russia stood by, India stayed non-commital and UN as well as Western diplomacy was enfeebled. Bangladesh did get a number... More

Did Sk. Mujib refuse Indian sanctuary on March 25th night?

Sheikh Mujib, like most of his political colleagues coming from peasant majority East Bengal had reservations about Kolkata and by extension India before 1947. He had spent his college days in Kolkata and was... More

Bangladesh: The politics of political minorities

The birth of a new Front, an alliance of four political parties of sorts, not famous for their clout or size hasn’t created waves as expected. The leaders themselves can’t have expected much either... More

Rohingyas and the politics of crisis

While Bangladesh is not really able to assert itself on the Rohingya crisis given its lack of clout and support, Myanmar has done better given the solid backing it has received from China. The... More


On India’s attempts to woo Russia-EEU into economic union

While the US has been cultivating India as its major ally in the region in what the US officials have tacitly called ‘containment’ of China, prospects of this cultivation have become brighter ever since the recent out-break of trade-war between the US and China. While Indian and US interests strongly... More

Comey’s book and Pakistan’s leaders

James Brien Comey Jr served as Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for four years till fired by President Donald Trump on May 9, 2017. Trump initially claimed this was because of Comey's mishandling of the investigation into the private email of Hillary Clinton. The overriding perception... More

UN says Nasheed’s trial was flawed, but Maldivian govt maintains it...

The UN Human Rights Committee (UNHRC), which went into the trial of former Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed had listed the flaws in it and asked the Maldivian government to release him to enable him to contest the September 2018 Presidential election. But the government on Sunday rejected the UNHRC’s observations and recommendations... More

Bangladesh election 2018: is there a Sino-Indian stake?

It’s pretty odd to think that Bangladesh elections should be of any interest to China and India given the complete lack of its strategic value. However, Bangladesh maybe becoming a reluctant pawn of sorts in a regional ‘great game’. China’s rising influence in the region and India’s relative decline in what... More

Tripura’s new pitch for Geo-Economics

Biplab Deb is a BJP chief minister with a difference. In a 40-minute interview with this writer last week, he did not mention even once any of the usual saffron agenda -- Ram Mandir, beef, illegal migration from Bangladesh. "My agenda is development, development, development all the way," he... More


Iran to team up with China on nuke development if Trump...

As US President Donald Trump decides whether to reauthorize the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, which he has long wanted to exit or renegotiate, Iranian authorities have announced they will be getting help with their nuclear program from China. "Some negotiations have been held on mutual cooperation and building small nuclear... More

Pinarayi and Gadkari link up on development

The American think tank, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, had featured a riveting ‘curtain-raiser’ to the 2014 poll in India entitled Does Good Economics Mean Good Politics In India? The essay appeared in December 2013 and I’d carefully stored it in my archives, as a fairly prescient analysis of... More

Mutual respect is the key

I will not reach any deal that would go against the national interest of Nepal,” K P Sharma Oli, the prime minister of Nepal, reportedly assured parliamentarians in Kathmandu earlier this week, before heading out to India. That such questions should be asked and answered is a definitive sign... More

Reviving Nepal’s independent foreign policy

The long political transition in Nepal has come to an end with the successful completion of local, provincial and federal elections. A new phase of history beckons Nepal as it has adopted federalism under the new constitution promulgated in 2015. The achievement of economic prosperity has now been prioritized... More



Gorkhaland, Mamata and the Chinese factor

Just a few days ago I warned two young student leaders in Darjeeling of West Bengal, against the violent movement which has started there for a separate Gorkhaland. I told them in no way should they support this demand. This has multifarious geo-political risks. If a Gorkhaland state is... More