SOUTHERN EYE

SOUTHERN EYE

Battle hots up for India’s tiny red fort


Tiny Tripura goes to polls on 18 February along with two other northeast Indian states, Nagaland and Meghalaya, in an electoral battle that is significant for the country's politics for reasons more than one. The... More

Pranab Mukherjee’s Bangladesh visit 


Pranab Mukherjee is the last of the Mohicans in the India-Bangladesh saga. He is India's most respected and senior most Bengali politician who has adorned the highest office of the country, that of President.... More

Former R&AW chief in India’s national security team


No deputy to the National Security Advisor (NSA) in India has attracted so much attention in Delhi's policy making circles as Rajinder Khanna did when he was appointed deputy NSA recently. He is the first... More

Whither Naga Accord!


Another Christmas has passed. The Nagas, India's most embattled nationality, still await the gift that Santa Claus Narendra Damodardas Modi promised them when his interlocutor for the Naga peace process R N Ravi signed... More

Gujarat warning for Modi, BJP


When asked what the BJP was doing to fulfil Narendra Modi's pre-poll promise to deposit a few lakhs in all bank accounts after bringing back black money of Indians stashed abroad, BJP party chief... More

Should India see Nepal polls as defeat!


Delhi's foreign policy mandarins could not conceal their glee when, in a tweet on 13 November, Nepal’s Deputy Prime Minister and Energy Minister Kamal Thapa announced the scrapping of the US$2.5 billion deal with China’s... More

Myanmar’s Censorship worries


A film festival and a media development conference in Yangon has revived the controversy on Myanmar's struggle to end the draconian censorship of the military era and provide the Burmese freedom of expression. The Memory... More

Big talk won’t help Indian army


It is not yet known what Indian army chief General Bipin Rawat has done to address procurement issues to equip his one million plus force. The Indian army is a fine professional fighting force... More

QUAD back in Asia


US president Donald Trump began his presidency by howling "America First" at the top of his voice. State Department officials, who had conceived and developed Barack Obama's "Asia Pivot" were apprehensive that the US... More

Indian military diplomacy picking up


Bangladesh and Myanmar seem to be the immediate focus of Indian military diplomacy in its immediate neighbourhood, that seems to be gathering some pace, especially after the 63-day standoff at Doklam in the high... More

India for naval alliance to tackle China


Much as China seeks to exploit 'India fears' amongst smaller South Asian nations to make inroads into the region, India is trying to play on fears of China's neighbors in south-east Asia to work... More

Modi’s Naga failure


Despite much chest thumping surrounding the signing of a framework agreement in 2015, the Modi administration in India has failed to conclude a final settlement with Naga rebel leaders who have led India's oldest... More

Modi losing steam


Why is Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying he can drink poison for the 'good of the country'? Such a desperate pronouncement from someone claiming a 56-inch chest does suggest the aggressive leader and powerful... More

Lady and her generals 


"Aung San Suu Kyi and her generals” ran a headline in The New York Times, as if she controlled them. The fact is she does not but has to take all the blame for... More

How good a Defence Minister would Nirmala be?


The BJP has tried to project Nirmala Sitharaman's elevation as a full cabinet minister as an example of women empowerment in India. Some in the party have also pointed out that making her India's... More

Hapless people in a fluid corridor 


In the 1970s, an Indian army brigadier took up the cause of his people suffering human rights violations in his native Mizoram in the country's northeast. His human rights forum ultimately provided him the... More

The Daughters of the East


Sheikh Hasina and Aung San Suu Kyi have so much in common. Daughters of great fathers who spearheaded the freedom struggle of their countries, both lost their fathers before they could get to run... More
Subir Bhaumik on Bangali solution

Battlelines drawn on Rohingya issue


The Rohingya issue is seen as a serious humanitarian question by the UN and international human rights and civil liberties groups, but national interest seems to be dictating the response of Asian nations to... More
Subir Bhaumik on Bangali solution

Democracy or Development: Myanmar’s big debate


The debate about whether Myanmar needs development more than democracy seems to have gained some traction in recent months, partly due to the lacklustre performance of the Aung San Suu Kyio government and somewhat... More
Subir Bhaumik on Bangali solution

Another hornet’s nest stirred


The Modi government has developed a reputation to stir a hornet’s nest where one can be and should be avoided. With less than a month to go for Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Myanmar visit, one... More
Subir Bhaumik on Bangali solution

What a Quid Pro Quo!


Some recent reports have suggested that US President Donald Trump was keen on a deal with China to rein in North Korea. Before his secretary of state Rex Tillerson made the startling disclosure that... More

COLUMN

On the Afghan Taliban’s ‘open letter diplomacy’

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

Myanmar faces increased international pressure

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

Courage beyond compare

On Feb 13 at about 1210 hours an armoured cash-in-transit (CIT) vehicle of a private security services company was parked outside the Tarnol branch of Meezan Bank in Islamabad to pick up cash amounting to Rs. 14 million from the bank . As the two security guards, Supervisor Muhammad... More

International affairs in time of transparency: The Oxfam syndrome

The Oxfam infection has spread far and wide. Its impact is deeper than just one NGO facing problems about covering up sex abuse in Haiti and as we learn Chad as well.  Now reports are saying that sexual abuse cases are routine in the international development world which till... More

India cautious of its mediation and intervention in Maldives

Despite its reservations about the Abdulla Yameen regime in the Maldives, India does not appear to be responding to the call of the Maldivian opposition leader Mohamed Nasheed to initiate a “military-backed diplomatic initiative” to force Yameen to retract from his drastic actions against the judiciary. According to the Maldivian... More

EDITOR'S CHOICE

Khalistan factor casts a shadow over Trudeau visit

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

Hasina is no Mujib

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

China will not fall into the ‘Thucydides Trap’ with India

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

How China and Pakistan could lay the Road to Peace in...

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

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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... More