HISTORY

HISTORY

The new flashpoint


There is growing discontent in Varanasi as the government goes ahead with the demolition programme despite stiff resistance from almost all sections of people around the temple-mosque complex. At the height of the Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi struggle, it... More

What is home? Indian and Pakistani artists explore the question through stories...


Rashmi Kaleka’s family was one of the countless many which came to India from Pakistan during Partition in 1947 but never really forgot what once was home. The sound installation artist grew up on stories about Pakistan... More

The past as present


The attacks on medieval Muslim rulers by the Hindu right wing constitute not only an attempt to rewrite the past but also to interpret the present in a way that demonises Muslims and their culture. About two... More

Who really was Miyan Tansen, the singer who could ‘start a fire...


The 16th century singer still remains an enigma. The first six Mughal rulers of India prized learning and culture, and, above all, the art of miniature painting. While Humayun took the initial steps to develop this branch, it... More

Why Pakistan and India remain in denial 70 years on from partition


The division of British India was poorly planned and brutally carried out, as fear and revenge attacks led to a bloody sectarian On 3 June 1947, only six weeks before British India was carved up, a group... More

The India-China war of 1962 and its political after-life


Amit Das Gupta and Lorenz Lüthi’s The Sino-Indian War of 1962: New Perspectives is a most topical and useful book for two reasons: For one, it revisits a topic that has been relatively neglected in recent Indian scholarship using... More

Ibn Battuta and His Times


Battuta’s stories continue to enthral us since his travels across the Islamic worlds in the 14th century – an enduring character in folklore, his journeys illustrate that medieval society was a more open space than imagined in... More

Demonising Akbar


The era of Rajput aggrandisement and parallel diminution of the Mughals is upon us. Akbar, arguably the greatest of emperors who ruled over India, is the “New Age” Aurangzeb. For long perceived to be the originator of... 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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