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Storm of accountability gathers over Myanmar


The one-year anniversary of the state-sponsored mass killings, rape and arson that brutally expelled over 700,000 Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar’s Rakhine state into neighboring Bangladesh is fast approaching, without any clear sign of resolution or accountability. On August... More

In the US-China trade war, Pakistan and the global economy will be the...


The year 2017 ended on a positive note, with some major economies leading the “broadest synchronised global upsurge since 2010”, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Markets reacted positively to the improved global economic outlook, giving... More

Is India creating its own Rohingya?


On July 30, four million residents of the Indian state of Assam were effectively stripped of their nationality after their names were excluded from the recently formed National Register of Citizens. Indian authorities claim to have initiated and... More

What the student protests mean for Bangladesh


I reached out for my copy of Willem Van Schendel’s A History of Bangladesh on Wednesday last week, almost two weeks after the beginning of the student-led protests against unauthorised vehicles and unlicensed drivers on the roads... More

Afghanistan and the issue of transnational conspiracy


The deplorable statistics of drug addicted people in Afghanistan exceeded one million and the poppy growth almost doubled, since the international community call for counter-narcotics. The most outrageous in this context is, that one third of the... More

TV journalist says he was instructed to not mention Modi


A former news anchor at an Indian television news channel has alleged he left his show because of censorship and pressure from the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government. His show, called Masterstroke, often aired reports that looked into government... More

As bachcha andolan rocks Bangladesh, is Sheikh Hasina still India’s best bet?


After Awami League government’s brutal handling of a children’s protest, charges of unbridled corruption, a rush of Chinese money in polity, and gratuitous attacks on Hindus beneath secular talk, India must rethink whether we continue to back... More

Looking deeper into Bangladesh’s teen revolution


Tens of thousands of teenagers crippled various major cities of Bangladesh for three days in a row in protests against the country’s lawless transportation sector. The movement started when two students were killed by a commercial bus... More

Going through India’s citizenship test as a Bengali Assamese


At the very beginning, a few important disclosures – I am a Bengali Assamese, an identity I wear with pride; and this is not a political commentary on the National Register of Citizens of Assam. I write... More

China lists Doklam among its major diplomatic achievements


The Chinese government has listed its "handling of the Indian border troops trespass" in Doklam as among its six major diplomatic achievements of 2017. "China's Foreign Affairs 2018", an official diplomatic record published by the Department of Policy... More

Assam’s NRC reopens explosive questions of identity


Over 40 lakh people have been left out of the final draft of the National Register of Citizens in Assam, released this morning. The register, a list of all Indian citizens in Assam, is being updated for... More

Facing the future: Voices from the Rohingya refugee camps


“If I get the chance, I’ll go back to Burma,” said former teacher Mohammad Ruhim*, 50, from a small dirt alley in Kutupalong refugee camp where he sells betel nut. “But first I need justice.” Eleven months after... More

A place to grow, a place to rest; Sri Lanka’s man-made forest...


Bandarawela is a scenic town in the Badulla district in Sri Lanka. Here the climate is chilly, mountains scenic and waterfalls luxurious. The region is known for tea cultivation and many of its mountains have been stripped of... More

PTI, PML-N running neck-and-neck, election result may boil down to undecided voters:...


A poll conducted by Gallup Pakistan based on data from five separate polls carried out in the months leading up to the July 25 elections forecasts that the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) will likely emerge as the largest... More

How will India deal with Imran?


Like other world capitals, India is observing with interest as July 25, the date for polls in Pakistan, draws closer. The polls are even more interesting as unlike in the past when power used to swing alternately... More

As Trump turns away, China gains in Myanmar


Does US President Donald Trump have a distinct policy towards Myanmar, and if so how does it differ from the engagement gambit championed by his predecessor Barack Obama? Trump has paid little to no attention to Myanmar while... More

Is China influencing Pakistan’s elections?


As an emerging power in the region, China is closely watching the developments taking place in the South Asia region. It is in China’s best interests to have friendly governments in neighboring countries, and to a large... More

Not just Trump: India has separated Bangladeshi children from their parents for...


A giant heart is painted on a 10-feet high wall which is topped with barbed wire in a neighbourhood of South Kolkata. Amidst greenery, dirt roads, and small houses, the only sound coming from beyond the wall... More

In Kashmir valley, 74% more people certified disabled during PDP-BJP rule


In three years to 2017–when the coalition government of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was in power in Jammu & Kashmir–31,085 people were certified as disabled in the 10 districts in... More

Fifth report of the Concerned Citizens’ Group on the Kashmir situation


The Concerned Citizens’Group (CCG) undertook its fifth visit to Jammu and Kashmir from June 19 to 23. During this visit, the group visited the Kashmir Valley. The aim was to assess the change in the ground situation,... More

Who are the caretakers taking care of?


The term ‘caretaker’ has been a double entendre in our political lexicon. Whose ‘care’ are they supposed to take — democracy’s or the establishment’s? When the system was first introduced, it was not, for sure, meant to take... More

COLUMN

India’s multi alignment challenge 

This is clearly the big diplomatic season for India and its travel-driven Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Chinese defence minister Wei Fenghe's visit to India (Aug 21-24) is a hugely important event, coming as it does after PM Modi and Chinese president Xi Jinping defused the long military stand-off at Doklam through informal summits and after... More

To forge their peace, Afghan Taliban wage their war

While the latest Taliban attack on the city of Ghazni in Afghanistan has led many in the West, especially the mainstream media, to conclude that no peace talks with the Taliban can bring peace, these analysis seem to have completely missed the whole points of talks as they are going on: the Taliban are... More

Has digital media changed politics in Bangladesh?

Political nostalgia in Bangladesh centres around public and street agitations. It begins with the language movement of 1952 which defined the basic parameters of national aspiration. The next station of political memory is the 1962 student’s movement against Gen. Ayub Khan’s martial law regime imposed in 1958. It ended in 1969 with the most glorified... More

Accountability begins at home

A democratic form of government being accountable to the people, the elected representatives are accountable to the people who elect them. Our enduring constant crisis in governance stems from our inept and corrupt rulers trampling the essential pillars of good governance, rule of law and accountability. This gives rise to unbridled and widespread corruption,... More

Bangladesh: A social media driven state?

It’s not easy to have a calm conversation in Bangladesh. Everyone is rushing to make a comment, observe and abuse. Or make a counter to all that. Anything that requires critical thought is discarded and the instant reaction is the most common form of response. In a society not unduly famous for pondering, Bangladesh... More

EDITOR'S CHOICE

Bleak times for freedom of expression, whether emergency or not

Its time to stop the nitpicking. All that hair-splitting about whether what we are witnessing in India today is classical fascism or not – stop it. The argument that this is not like the Emergency of 1975 – completely irrelevant. Those bookish notions belong to seminar rooms and academic discussions, where high-minded... More

India’s social-media ‘lynch mobs’ pose growing threat

Social-media platforms are often criticized for their susceptibility to toxic dialogue and vicious attacks. It is a problem that India knows well. Just ask External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, whose recent vilification by members and supporters of her own ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is a case in point. Swaraj has developed a... More

The new trade order

Since the start of the year, U.S. President Donald Trump has lashed out at allies and adversaries alike on trade. Often, as with India, the U.S. has pushed for enhanced security cooperation at the same time it declared trade relations a national security threat. The belligerence has left many baffled. Some pointers A first... More

One day does not an election make

The much-awaited Gazipur city election is over, the “we-knew-it-from-before” polls results are upon us, the “impartiality” of the police and the “neutrality” of the civil administration have once again been demonstrated, the never-too-late-to-follow “certificate” of the Election Commission has been delivered and, of course, our democracy now stands “strengthened”. As some would have... More

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READER'S VIEW

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 formed, this will... More

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