India

May, 2014

  • 1 May

    India’s New Language of Killing

    Early one summer morning in 2008, an aging Toyota car slowed down to turn at the corner next to the Indian Embassy complex in Kabul, transforming itself as it did so into a wall of searing, white light. Fifty-eight people were killed and 141 injured, their bodies torn apart by shock waves, fires, and shards of metal and glass. Inside …

April, 2014

  • 29 April

    Sins in the Name of Indian Secularism

    On the eve of the 2004 general election, held against the backdrop of the Gujarat riots, with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its allies widely predicted to win, a group of leading South Asian scholars discussed the alarming resurgence of the Hindu Right and its implications in a book somewhat rhetorically titled Will Secular India Survive?   The authors made …

  • 24 April

    Questioning Bangladesh’s Iconic Number

    On April 17, the Bangladesh’s War Crimes Tribunal initiated contempt proceedings against the Dhaka-based British journalist David Bergman for, among other matters, questioning the death toll from the country’s 1971 war. In the following article, Mr. Bergman explains why journalists and scholars should be able to question this figure.   Is the Bangladesh government’s official figure of three million a fair estimate …

  • 20 April

    What Would Modi Government Look Like?

    As India goes to the ballot boxes, it seems clear that the ruling Indian National Congress (INC) and its United Progressive Alliance (UPA) coalition will be decimated by the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its National Democratic Alliance (NDA). The suspense centers entirely on how close the NDA will get to the 272 seats required for a parliamentary majority. The …

  • 15 April

    Why Modi Should Not be Hostile Towards Pakistan

    As the BJP remains the front-runner in India’s election with prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi recast as an economic reformer, neighboring Pakistan is waiting in the wings. For more than a decade since it first gained power, the BJP has shared a chilly relationship with Pakistan, followed by periods of rapprochement.   Pakistan is now curious about Modi’s ambiguity over lingering issues …

  • 14 April

    Rise of India’s Modi: Does US Really Care?

    US Ambassador Nancy Powell recently resigned from her job as envoy to New Delhi. There is speculation and denial that her departure, scheduled for next month, is linked to the rise of Narendra Modi as the country’s prospective prime minister.   Mr Modi, who inspires hysterical adulation and serious apprehension among opposite sets of Indians, has so far been denied …

  • 11 April

    A View from the India-Bangladesh Border

    On 18 December 2013, the Indian National Congress party government introduced a bill in parliament to facilitate the realization of the 1974 Land Boundary Agreement with Bangladesh. This bill was the latest in a long series of attempts to enable the exchange of 161 enclaves — tiny pieces of Indian territory completely bounded by Bangladesh and vice-versa — by absorbing them into …

  • 8 April

    India’s New Foreign Policy Agenda

      Foreign policy has rarely mattered in Indian elections, yet one of the biggest challenges the new government in New Delhi will face is in confronting an international system that has felt systematically let down by India over the last few years. The world is hoping — as are India’s impatient and angry young voters — for a quick recovery …

  • 7 April

    A Kashmiri Leader’s Open Letter to Indian Voters

    To the People of India, India’s elections have begun and you are exercising your right to vote to choose your new political representatives. Whoever you end up electing will be momentously placed to exercise real leadership and take difficult decisions that are needed to shape a better course for the future of India and for peace in South Asia.   …

  • 4 April

    The Indian Muslim Myth

    At election time in India, the mainstream media likes to predict that Muslims will turn out in overwhelmingly high numbers to vote, driven by their passion for the politics of identity. No empirical evidence is ever furnished to sustain this narrative. This has acquired the aura of truth in the last two decades as the Hindu ‘upper’ castes and middle …