Views Digest

September, 2013

  • 18 September

    A Language That Built A Nation

    For newly independent nations, the choice of an official, national language was crucial, and often controversial, made especially so in the context of polyphonic and geographically diverse countries like China, India, and Indonesia. In China, the Communist Party, opted for Putonghua, or Mandarin, the language of the capital, Beijing. In India, the initial intention of the postcolonial state — to …

  • 18 September

    An Indian Perspective: Cannot Wish Away Afghan Troubles

    New Delhi’s delusion that taking strong measures to protect its interests in Afghanistan will lead to war in South Asia will cost this country dear.

  • 17 September

    When The Water Runs Dry, The Ideas Flow

    STOCKHOLM: Droughts are rarely seen as a positive development. Historically equated with divine punishment, they can be fatal to local economies and human lives alike. But they can also provide a crucial test for water management systems, which – when they function effectively – may allow regions to shake off severe droughts that would have otherwise led to widespread loss …

  • 17 September

    Threats And Pakistan’s New Counter Terrorism Strategy

    About a week ago, without the usual international attention, Pakistan miraculously achieved a milestone that has proved to be elusive since the war against terror erupted in 2001. With the US slated to withdraw from Afghanistan in 2014, the new government has achieved consensus on a strategy to fight the extremists. This is after realizing that the bullet train cannot …

  • 17 September

    India’s Divisive Political Face

    Now that India’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has settled on Narendra Modi, a top right-wing politician and chief minister of western state of Gujarat, as its prime ministerial candidate for the next year’s crucial elections, commentators across India and beyond are looking at the emerging political circus with inquietude. Modi is likely to face a stiff challenge from Rahul …

  • 16 September

    Can Asia Go The Next Round on Economic Integration?

      Despite the slowing growth in some economies, Asia is still the most dynamic part of the world economy. Output, trade and incomes per head are still growing faster on average than in most other parts of the world economy. But there are threats to Asia’s economic growth on the horizon, not only because of the lingering malaise of industrial-country economies …

  • 15 September

    In Afghanistan, Victory Comes From Sports, Not War

    Celebrations erupted across Afghanistan last week after the country’s nascent national team won the South Asian Football Federation Asian Championship in Kathmandu, Nepal, beating regional giant India 2-0. The jubilations show that Afghans, like any other nation, cherish the normal pursuits of present-day life:  peace, happiness and national preeminence. Cricket is another major sport that Afghans are fast becoming passionate about …

  • 15 September

    Pakistan: Journalism Gets Perilous by Day

    Investigative journalist Ali K. Chishti had a nightmare in Karachi (Pakistan’s southern port city) on the evening of August 30, 2013. He was traumatized by a 10-hour ordeal after ‘uniformed Karachi police personnel’ abducted him and his driver. Chishti was handed over to a group of people who were irked by his writings for one of the country’s leading weekly …

  • 15 September

    Maldives Gets A Second Chance At Democracy

    By securing the largest vote-share in the September 7 election, deposed President (of Maldives, an island nation in the Indian Ocean) Mohamed Nasheed has re-established his popular credentials. But he still has to complete an uphill trek before he can move back into the Muliaage (the official residence of Maldives President). Nineteen months after their first democratically elected leader was …

  • 15 September

    A Scenic Drive Through Nepal’s History

    Nepal’s highways get a lot of bad press, sometimes justifiably so. But beyond Kathmandu’s potholed roads and the permanently cratered Naubise section of the Prithvi Highway, the roads are pretty good (the 108 mile long highway connecting Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, and Pokhara, a tourist city in the western part of the country). Nepal is better known for trekking, but driving holidays …