BOOKS

BOOKS

The untold story of Sikkim


Author G.B.S. Sidhu promises the truth and has delivered it, a rather rare feat these days, as the rewriting of history has emerged as one of the few flourishing industries in India, partly because the establishment of... More

History of a distinct culture


The meticulously researched book covers a whole gamut of themes, touching upon many aspects of the cultural history of Bengal. The book was originally written for “intelligent non-academic” Bengali readers and published from Dhaka in 2006. Sarbari Sinha... More

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

Despite controversy, Afghanistan Peace Process makes major strides

Despite Kabul’s publicly made allegations on the US about ‘selling Afghanistan to the Taliban’ in the peace talks, there is little gainsaying that the Afghan-US war has never been so close to ending through settlement than it is now. While Kabul continues to express its anger over being excluded, there is little, given the legitimacy crisis Kabul is itself facing, that even the principal Afghan actors can do to... More

Regulators and conflict of interest

A governmental body created by a legislature to implement and enforce specific laws, a "Regulatory Agency" or a "Regulator" would usually have quasi-legislative functions, executive functions, and judicial functions. Many laws govern social and economic matters, such as income tax, environmental laws, occupational health and safety laws, real estate law, employment laws, etc. A regulatory agency serves two primary functions in govt: implement the laws and enforce the same. Regulations... More

Is Bangladesh an online state?

Bangladesh is an online state with an incredibly high number of virtual citizens. Few can match them in enthusiasm, participation and enjoyment of what the online world offers, good or bad. Much great stuff happens on the net but so does nasty stuff. It’s also a great producer of cultural and otherwise, not to mention, political ones. The recent spate of actions against online content considered “harmful” have spiked, which,... More

How China might undo Saudi plans for Iran?

The recent Saudi bid to increase its economic and political influence in South Asia (Pakistan and India) is, as I pointed out in my previous stories for SAM, largely informed not just by the imperative of a Saudi economic expansion across Asia and avoid economic doom, but also by the objective of snatching Iran’s share of oil market in this part of the world. This is partly one reason... More

Pakistan receives warning from Iran not to join Saudi proxy war

Pakistan has received a stern warning from Iran's Major-General Qasem Soleimani, commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps' Qods Force and other senior in the aftermath of the February 13, 2019 attack on their forces by Iranian Baluch militants in the country's restive Sistan and Baluchistan province bordering Pakistan. The new tone from Tehran is a response to Pakistan's recent tilt back toward Saudi Arabia since Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran... 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

MOST POPULAR