Want of water in a land of water! Our forefathers, if they had consciousness in their graveyards, would possibly curse this generation for creating a water crisis. It was unthinkable in their time, particularly in a riverine country blessed with robust monsoon. But the life of any generation is full of challenges of its own. The current state of …Read More »
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 …Read More »
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 …Read More »
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 …Read More »
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 …Read More »
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 …Read More »
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 …Read More »
Indian Elections: Rhetoric, Not Foreign Policy
Holding forth on India’s foreign policy in the context of the country’s historical, commercial and cultural links with the rest of the world, the Bharatiya Janata Party’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, once related an experience that he had had in Russia. “I asked for some tea, a request that my hosts did not understand. But as soon as I …Read More »
Indian Polls: Congress Party Outlives its Use
India’s Congress Party appears to have outlived its use as Mahatma Gandhi once said. It was formed largely to end the British colonialism and for swaraj or self-government. Established in 1885, it was the pivot of the Indian Independence Movement before it became the premier political party that has ruled India for more than five decades since Independence in 1947. …Read More »
A BJP-Muslim Entente Cordiale in India?
In a TV interview last week, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Arun Jaitley admitted that the BJP had a Muslim “problem.” “Yes, we have it,” he said, pointing out that there was a “problem both ways.” “Part of the problem is that they (Muslims) have to understand us and part of the problem is we have to accept it…But …Read More »