BOOKS

BOOKS

Looking at the horrors of conflict and violence


It is a tiresome pattern. An atrocity – yet another one – is reported and is followed by a global outcry of anger, sadness, condemnation and more. And then the world moves on. Human lives lost are... More

Playing Pillow Politics at MGK is a bewitching saga from Sri Lanka


A mountain shaped like a large woman (Maha Geni Kanda-MGK) and a warren of shanties located on it. Lives intertwined with belief, disbelief and political realities, including Sri Lanka’s infamous white van abductions and murder of editors.... More

‘Beyond that Last Blue Mountain’ – Memoirs of Afghan Refugees in Pakistan


In 1988, while wandering in the bazaars of Peshawar buying carpets and textiles for her store in London, Harriet Sandys heard about the death of Abdul Ghaffar Khan – a tireless crusader for an independent homeland for... More

The Reality of Narendra Modi’s foreign policy failures laid bare


If Bharat Karnad didn’t exist we would have to invent him. He is the one person who consistently and intellectually challenges every government on strategic issues, who says what needs to be said. He is the enfant... More

From atop the golden boughs


Some years ago Sheldon Pollock, master-scholar, philologist and historian, issued a dire warning about the state of scholarship in Sanskrit and other classical Ind¬ian languages. They were in terminal decline, he warned; a nearly three millennia tradition... More

The Betrayal of India: A close look at the 2008 Mumbai terror...


These days we rush from one media story to another, trying to keep up with the latest terrorist attack. Yesterday Paris; today London; tomorrow, who knows? These attacks are tragic enough when they are acts of violence... More

Growing up with a Muslim name, these are stories I recognise


Having grown up with a Muslim name in New Delhi, the stories in NaziaErum’s Mothering a Muslim: The Dar Secret in Our Schools and Playgrounds did not surprise me. Incidents of Islamophobia are common and – for those of... More

A diplomatic dispatch for an ambitious India: How Shyam Saran sees the...


Over the generations, officers of the Indian Foreign Service (IFS) have produced a scintillating array of memoirs that are excellent statements of the politics of their time, but also exhibit a particular kind of literary flair. In... More

Writing on the wall for bookstores in Quetta


Sajid Baloch, 22, is holding on to two books: In the Shadow of History, a compilation of scholar Dr. Mubarak Ali’s articles, and In Search of Solutions: An Autobiography of Mir Ghaus Bakhsh Bizenjo. Hailing from the... More

Book will tell story of Pakistan, Bangladesh through architecture


An assistant professor in the University of Kansas School of Architecture & Design, the Bangladesh native has received a Mellon-Volkswagen Fellowship to complete the writing of a book on the history of architecture in the nascent state... More

Americans, Soviets, Pakistanis and Indians talking peace in Afghanistan


Kallol Bhattacherjee’s upcoming new book, The Great Game in Afghanistan: Rajiv Gandhi, General Zia and the Unending War, makes for compelling reading 30 years after the events that it documents. Drawing on the papers and cables collected by... More

‘You can’t categorise people by borders’


IT is highly unlikely that Shahbano Bilgrami would be without friends at any given moment. Her girl-next-door demeanour, easy smile and polite manners would win over many. When she first arrived on the international literary map about... More

The Jinnahs, Gandhi And Khilafat


It seemed that Gandhi had learnt nothing from the failure of his experimental ­anti-Rowlatt agitation. The only reforms Gandhi seemed to be interested in were personal ones, including Jinnah’s. ‘I have your promise,’ Gandhi wrote in his... More

BJP’s systematic use of trolling to incite hatred


Social media in India is awash with right-wing trolls who incite online communal tension and abuse and sexually harass journalists, opposition politicians and anyone who questions them. But who are they? Why do they? What they do?... More

The first Bengali book on Sri Lanka


Bangladesh is relatively small compared to other countries in Southeast Asia. However, regardless of size, every country’s problems and the prospects are significant for regional development. Along with the expansion of globalization, regional circumstances are having a... More

The Southasian Sensibility: A Himal Reader


THIS is a book that should find a place on the shelf of anyone interested in South Asia as a region, the pulls and pressures that have influenced it over time, the social realities that are often... More

Shahid Afridi’s autobiography to release next year


"AN OPEN BOOK" Shahid Afridi’s life as a cricketer has always been an open book but soon you’ll get to know him personally. The all-rounder is set to launch his autobiography next year and will open up about his ‘rivalries and alliances’, particularly those with... More

The Corleones of Kabul


By Jonah Blank: Foreign observers of Afghanistan tend to think of former President Hamid Karzai’s government as a clan of corrupt thugs, led by a feckless, petulant whiner. In this narrative, Karzai was a man in over his... More

COLUMN

By reaching out to Taliban, Iran makes presence felt in Afghanistan...

The very nature of the conflict in Afghanistan has made it almost impossible for the neighbouring countries to remain aloof from it or maintain some distance, even a calculated one. For one thing, the conflict is no longer just between the US and Taliban or the US and al-Qaeda. The ISIS, known as IS-K in Afghanistan, has established its presence, which has forced many countries—Russia, China and Iran—to change... More

The sorry state of Pakistan’s police

The imperial form of police infrastructure that Pakistan inherited was deliberately created to serve the British rulers rather than promote harmony, security and adherence to the law. The 1861 Police Act has never changed except for minor amendments. Even the new laws introduced by the provinces retain more or less the essence of the original imperial law. The persisting culture is to ensure that the weak remain subservient to... More

Bangladesh’s position on global terrorism index has improved: Australian agency CPES

An Australian outfit, Centre for Peace and Economic Studies (CPES), has stated that Bangladesh has gone up four positions in the global terrorism index, according to it’s ranking. Several other countries in South Asia have gone down in terms of vulnerability, including Pakistan and India. Nepal, Bhutan and Sri Lanka have also improved their standings in this index. CPES has reported that introduction of modern education in madrassas, investment in... More

How the Taliban have become leading actor in Afghan peace talks

While the Taliban have established their domination both politically and militarily in almost half of Afghanistan, the consequent talks with the US and the way they have progressed show that they are already in a commanding position. They certainly have become the leading actor in these talks not just because they are the ones fighting the war against the US and Afghan forces, but also because they are directing... More

Exploiting Pakistan’s ‘Gold Coast’

The emerging markets of Central Asia require that a sea-land (south-south) dimension to support the north-south axis be added for expansion, otherwise all facilities and opportunities are likely to be clogged because of unplanned urban population expansion. The long coastline with stretches of virgin beaches and adjacent vast empty hinterland require well-planned commercial exploitation. It is personally satisfying that recommendations made in my articles of nearly three decades ago,... More

VIDEO-INTERVIEW

OUTCOME AND FUTURE OF BMISTEC? & WHAT’S ON THE BALANCE?


The fourth summit of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC), held in Kathmandu on August 30 and 31, was “not fruitful” because of the inherent “weakness” of the regional inter-state institution,... More

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