India

December, 2013

  • 8 December

    The Right Gets it Right Ahead of Elections in India

    There is a saying in Hindi: “Jab upparwala deta hai to chappar faad ke deta hai” (When god gives happiness, he gives in bountiful measure). In a democracy, people are god, and they have bestowed on the Bharatiya Janata Party a bouquet of electoral victories. It could not have got better — the party has won in all the four major states …

  • 8 December

    Can Himalayan Hydro Power Bring Water Cooperation?

    Considering how often the fear of looming water wars is perpetuated in the media and blogosphere, you would be forgiven for not knowing that 2013 is the United Nations International Year of Water Cooperation. But cooperation is not merely the absence of conflict, and indeed conflict and cooperation coexist in every relationship, be it between individuals or states managing trans-boundary …

  • 5 December

    India’s Troubled Soldiers

    A string of incidents involving indiscipline and insubordination in the Indian armed forces has set off alarm bells in India’s defense establishment. Since May last year, there have been at least four violent clashes between officers and jawans (soldiers) of the Indian army. Two of these occurred over a span of five days last month.   On October 10, jawans of …

  • 5 December

    Why India is Wary of Bangladesh’s Opposition?

    Bangladesh is set to go to the polls on January 5, 2014 to elect its 10th Parliament amid a protracted political crisis. The Opposition combine has initiated a new wave of violent agitation to undo what it calls a “unilateral election.” However, it is unlikely that the Election Commission will cancel the polls it has announced to meet the nation’s …

  • 4 December

    Indo-Iran Relations: Sauce for the Goose, But Not the Gander

    Earlier this year, I asked a senior American diplomat why India and the United States differed fundamentally in their vision of Iran and its place in the world. He blunted my leading question, suggested that both countries were on the same page as far as sanctions were concerned, and began reeling off measures India had taken to reduce Iranian crude …

November, 2013

  • 27 November

    Dynasty vs Dynamism in India

      Over the next decade or so, a host of regional parties in India will have to confront the issue of who should succeed the leaders spearheading them. Should the successor belong to the leader’s family or be one of his or her trusted lieutenants? No doubt, these parties draw their energy from the charisma of their solitary leader, one …

  • 8 November

    Key Questions Surrounding US Arms Sales to India

    The rise in US arms sales to India is being widely cited as evidence of the two countries’ deepening defense relationship. But the long-term sustainability of the relationship, in which India is more a client than a partner, remains a deep concern for Indians. Does the recently issued Joint Declaration on Defense Cooperation, which establishes intent to move beyond weapons …

  • 6 November

    The Looming Debate Over Drones in India

    The small, portly man was laid out in bed that autumn morning in 2009, wrapped in a shawl, the intravenous line in his arm carrying ever-waning hope that he might yet beat back acute diabetes and a crippling renal disorder. He had come home to his father-in-law’s home in the small village of Makeen just days earlier, family sources would …

  • 3 November

    India’s Other Border Problem

      Just a week after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s trip to Beijing, where he signed a Border Defense Cooperation Agreement, China has reminded India of its other border conflict: Arunachal Pradesh. The Hindu reports that China opened a new highway that links Medog, Tibet’s so-called “last isolated county,” with the rest of China. The Global Times called Medog “the last roadless county in China” – it did …

  • 1 November

    Afghanistan: A Great Game That All Sides Can Win

    Two questions have increasingly taken centre-stage in discussions about what might happen in Afghanistan after United States withdrawal in 2014. One, if it will become a proxy battlefield for India and Pakistan, the two big South Asian rivals, and two, if anything can be done to prevent this. William Dalrymple, for instance, wrote in an essay for Brookings Institution this …