"Taliban -- what's that?" asks Sultan Begium shyly from her freezing home in Afghanistan's mountainous Wakhan Corridor, a region so remote that its residents are untouched by the decades of conflict that have devastated... More
A small group of foreign tourists are standing in a street corner at London, carefully listening as their guide describes the area. One of the tourists stops the guide and asks, “Why are Bengalis... More
Bengali’s beloved Ilish is all set to earn its Geographical Indication tag as a product unique to Bangladesh. According to reports and data from World Fish, an international, nonprofit research organisation that harnesses the potential of... More
The rugged jeep snakes, shakes and jostles 6,500 feet up the dusty, one-lane, rock-pitted road toward the remote Nepali village of Hiledevi in the region of Ramechhap. As the driver fearlessly negotiates the road,... More
The aspiration for self-rule of the hill people in Darjeeling is more than a century old. To be precise, such aspiration for autonomous rule can be traced back to 1907. The complicated narrative of... More
India's passenger trains are notorious for being rickety and spartan, but the government is hoping to change all that with a new "luxury" service.
The popular image of rail travel in the country of 1.2... More
THE GENIUS engineer behind the Sears Tower and Chicago’s John Hancock Centre has been celebrated with a Google Doodle.
Pioneering architect Fazlur Rahman Khan would have marked his 88th birthday on April 3. Khan is best known... More
The iconic image of yesteryear; the Ambassador car, seen as the four wheel lord of the roads of India for more than 50 years much upto recent times, particularly in Kolkata, seemingly received a... More
Abdul Sattar Edhi founded the world's largest volunteer ambulance network in Pakistan, the Edhi Foundation. Unlike wealthy individuals that fund charities in their names, Edhi dedicated his life to the poor from the age of... More
En route to the Pakistani food festival in Colombo last month, a Tamil Brahmin friend tags along unwillingly, vowing that he will starve. He visualizes chunks of meat in virtually every dish. He also... More
With sundown, Kolkata and its suburbs undergo a radical change. While peace and tranquility prevails as most of Kolkata prepares to doze off, a large number of young and not-so-young people come to life... More
Loved for generations for corralling the catch into fishermen’s nets, the‘smiling’ Irrawaddy dolphins are being killed in record numbers by rogue gangs who use car batteries to stun aquatic life. The illegal technique now... More
Taxi-hailing service Careem introduced seven women drivers in Pakistan, a rare initiative in a country where women account for only 22% of the workforce.
Careem, which has a larger market share than rival Uber in... More
Myanmar is the source of nearly all of the world's finest jadeite (a near-translucent green stone), is also the home of world’s largest jade stone worth more than $170m. Stunned miners at a remote... More
HOUSTON: Scientists have found evidence that tiny, distant Pluto harbors a hidden ocean beneath the frozen surface of its heart-shaped central plain containing as much water as all of Earth's seas.
The finding, reported on... More
On Saturday in Rangoon, activists from 27 civil society organizations
staged a protest against continued fighting between the Burma Army and
ethnic armed groups. (Photo: Myo Min Soe / The Irrawaddy)The Burmese government’s peace parley, dubbed... More
With general elections due somewhere after mid-2018, the expectations of the people and the stakes thereof has evolved dramatically with the political scenario changing almost on a daily basis. The Supreme Court (SC) verdict voiding Election Act 2017 and thus disqualifying Nawaz Sharif as party head has confounded all... More
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's recent visit to India has firmly underlined the growing ties between the two countries, both democracies but ruled by parties which sees radical Islam as existential threats. Led by the BJP which has influenced the national security discourse in a way that plays on... More
More than 20 days into the political crisis in the Maldives, there is no light at the end of the tunnel. In fact, the situation appears to be worsening with the two sides taking irreconcilable positions even as China is said to be moving a fleet to the Eastern... More
Writing an open letter is not something that has been done for the first time. In fact, the Afghan Taliban had welcomed the Trump administration into office by writing a letter and urging them of withdrawing from Afghanistan. The letter written this week, however, comes at a time when... More
The Myanmar government is desperately trying to deflect the growing campaign at the UN to impose sanctions because of its failure to solve the inter-communal violence that has torn its western region apart and caused nearly a million Myanmar Muslims – who call themselves Rohingyas – to flee to... More
Khalistan, the issue that kept India-Canada ties on ice through three decades from 1980, has reappeared as an issue more recently, taking away much of the warmth that was expected during Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s ongoing visit to India.
Former diplomats say the seeds of the current tensions were... More
Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, exudes confidence. I visited Dhaka for the first time in April 1972, within four months of the birth of Bangladesh. Dhaka, then pronounced Dacca, was a small town, desperately trying to accommodate the demands of a sovereign state. There is no doubt that the... More
The West’s notions of history and geography between Europe and Asia, are drenched in myriad cultural implications and can be traced back to ‘The Romance of Alexander’.
This is a collection of essays mixing truth, epic drama and mythology, composed between the death of Alexander The Great in 323 B.C.,... More
Referred to as an interminable and protracted war, the ongoing US-led war in Afghanistan is becoming a stalemate with no end in sight in the near or long term. Since the violence and bloodshed have been the most common phenomenon in an already war-torn region, the war is perhaps... More
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