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India’s shrinking democratic space


With less than a year to go before we head into general elections in the summer of 2019, it is becoming evident that this will be no ordinary electoral contest between the BJP and the rest because... More

In India’s tribal-dominated NE, caste poses fresh challenge


If the idea of minority is central to democracy, the principle of equality is critical to the Constitution of India. Inherent in that principle of equality are the provisions for reservation of appointments or posts and affirmative-action... More

Major Gogoi’s hotel escapade exposes vulnerabilities of women in Kashmir


“What goes on between two consenting adults is not anyone else’s business,” said a high-ranking army officer while commenting on the recent indictment of the controversial army officer, major Leetul Gogoi, posted with the Rashtriya Rifles battalion,... More

Modiji, welcome to the Great Indian Chauraha that you had ordained


If the Prime Minister keeps his promise to turn up at a public square and face the consequences of demonetisation, a sneak preview of what lies in store was provided by Rahul Gandhi on Thursday (August 30)... More

Pakistan’s US challenge

Notwithstanding Geography and Geopolitics, the epitome of measuring national power is the leadership, national character, and morale. Pakistan now has all three. This is a development that shall bode well for Pakistan’s engagement amongst the comity of... More

NRC issue has the potential to disturb peace in Assam


The recent controversy over the exclusion of 41 lakhs of the total 3.29 crore applicants for the National Registrar of Citizenship (NRC) in Assam has left more questions than answers. The NRC, first of its kind in India,... More

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

COLUMN

No more PSLs abroad

“The pulsating cheering crowd in the National Stadium Karachi for the PSL Final, and subsequently for the three international T20s, underscored the return of peace to a city (and country) torn by internal strife. Bereft of any sports spectacle and living in cold fear for life and limb of their (and their families) because of open-ended threats from terrorists, political, religious and the criminal kind, the people of Karachi... More

Only non-interference will mitigate anti-India feelings in Nepal

New Delhi has been receiving shock after shock in the past few days from Nepal, a country which is the closest to India in religious and culture terms, and which Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has visited four times since he came to power four years ago. The simplistic theory of the votaries of Hindutva that Hinduism alone is enough to keep Nepal in the Indian sphere of influence has... More

Does international pressure matter anymore?

There was once a time when international pressure on domestic issues of the less developed countries mattered. People would look at the West as the great savior particularly in countries where human rights was at bay. During the cold war days, this was strong too and many decisions were taken on the basis of what global public opinion would say. However, in recent years this has mattered less and... More

Pompeo claims to “reset” ties with Pakistan but makes India “strategic...

Just few days before the arrival of the US Secretary of the State, Mike Pompeo, in Pakistan, the US officially cancelled US$300 million aid to Pakistan, signaling the acute low health of Pak-US ties. Then came Mike Pompeo, who stayed in Pakistan for a few hours, and went to India, claiming to have “reset” ties with Pakistan, implying as if deconstructing an old building (the military aid) was necessary... More

UN report accuses Myanmar’s military of genocide

The UN’s independent human rights investigators have issued the toughest verdict yet on the crisis in Myanmar’s war-torn western region of Rakhine State. The investigators’ report does not mince words and is going to have major ramifications, both within the country, and within the international community. In their report, they called on the UN Security Council to refer the Myanmar situation to the International Criminal Court (ICC) or for an... 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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