Global affairs | The Daily Star
  • US-Iran Standoff: Will good sense prevail?

    US President Donald Trump’s ultra-hawkish National Security Adviser John Bolton has been quoted as saying: “To stop Iran’s bomb, bomb Iran.” Chillingly frightening words indeed—and that too from one of the closest advisers of the most powerful office on earth

  • What it takes to organise India’s national election

    Trudging across the world’s largest inhabited island (Majuli) on the Brahmaputra river in Assam for three days carrying EVMs, VVPAT units and other election materials, scaling rugged mountains in eastern Himalayas to reach just one voter in Arunachal Pradesh, walking through the deep snow to the world’s highest battlefield Siachen Glacier, where oxygen is scarce, or risking Maoist ambush in a dense forest—these are just a few vignettes from the Indian parliamentary election, a mind-boggling exercise in the world’s largest democracy, that aim to ensure that no eligible voter is left out.

  • US, China: Frenemies?

    These days, Harvard Professor Graham Allison is hailed as something of a prophet. Officials he met in China recently referred to him as the man who “predicted” a clash between the United States and China, he says. “It was not a prophesy,” he adds. “I simply pointed out the recurring patterns of histor

  • Sonia Gandhi returns to coalition-building to stop BJP

    After staying away from the heat and dust of gruelling summer electioneering and leaving the job of fronting the Congress Party’s campaign to her son Rahul and daughter Priyanka, Sonia Gandhi is back to doing what she does best—coalition-building—even before the last votes in India’s parliamentary polls are cast today and results declared four days later. The purpose: to stop the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) from recapturing power in the event of a clear majority eluding the saffron party and the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) led by it.

  • ANC’s unconvincing election victory: Legacy of the apartheid regime

    The first half of May saw the South African general elections making headlines in all of the major international news channels. From political analysts to economists, everyone was having their say about the difficult path the African National Congress (ANC), especially its leader Cyril Ramaphosa, was having to navigate to win people’s vote. The reason?

  • Iran doesn’t seem to be bending to Trump’s threats

    Since Donald Trump took charge of the White House, it did not take long for him to demonstrate that he will implement his many quixotic, disruptive and reckless ideas on a range of foreign policy and global issues.

  • Battlefield Bengal and bruised Vidyasagar

    When polling in India’s parliamentary elections concludes on Sunday (May 19), the entire national focus will be firmly on nine remaining constituencies out of total of 42 in West Bengal even though voting will also take place in some other states, including Uttar Pradesh, electorally the most crucial state.

  • Trump and our times: Is the world on the brink of turmoil?

    A supporter of the current dispensation in the United States with President Donald Trump at its helm, may be forgiven if he or she were to view the contemporary world through the lens of the above doggerel of a 19th century compatriot, William Wendell Holmes. For such a viewer, it would have looked a wonderful world some years ago. Everything was going right for America. There was the perception of it as the sole hyper-power, and one that was largely seen as benign. Thereafter, through the mechanism of America’s complex political system, its people put a new man on horseback to run it.

  • In Gaza, the bombs have stopped, but our suffering continues

    It’s Ramadan in Gaza. This year, it is punctuated by scarcity and fear, rather than feast and celebration. For many families in Gaza, this will be a month of mourning. Twenty-nine Palestinians were killed during last weekend’s fierce Israeli military assault, including two pregnant women and an infant just a few months old. The night before the holy month began, flashes of light penetrated the dark sky as Israel dropped bombs on us yet again.

  • Deteriorating civility in the Indian elections

    Indians can feel proud that they have been able to nurture democracy since the inception of their independence. Today after the nation has practiced democracy practically unbroken for seven decades,

  • The invisible people of Venezuela

    Venezuela is in a limbo. The country has two presidents fighting over legitimacy; two superpowers eying its rich oil fields and gold mines; an economy that is on the verge of collapse with inflation reaching one million percent and external debt shattering the roof at more than 175 percent of GDP; and an unfolding humanitarian crisis that has forced more than three million people to flee to neighbouring countries seeking refuge.

  • The value of fake news

    On a trip to Ethiopia in the 1990s, I met with Prime Minister Meles Zenawi to try to persuade him to stop jailing journalists. Since Meles’s guerillas had ousted a repressive Soviet-backed dictatorship a few years before, there had been an explosion of exuberant and sometimes wildly inaccurate little newspapers, many of them attacking Meles.

  • Indian EC’s unprecedented credibility challenge

    The Indian general election, being held in seven phases, will have its sixth round of polling today, on May 12. Five phases of voting have already been completed, in which the fate of 425 constituencies was decided.

  • Numbers game begins as India braces for poll verdict

    With Indian parliamentary election having entered the final lap of voting before vote-count is taken up in about a fortnight (on May 23), coalition-building efforts have begun afresh amidst indications of majority being elusive for any particular party or pre-poll alliance of parties.

  • Neoliberal reforms strengthening monopoly power and abuses

    Over the last four decades, growing concentration of market power in the hands of oligopolies, if not monopolies, has been greatly enabled by ostensibly neoliberal reforms, worsening wealth concentration and gross inequalities in the world.

  • Trump’s open warfare on congressional oversight

    An explosive atmosphere is brewing in the US after Special Counsel Robert Mueller submitted his report on whether President Trump had benefited from Russian help in winning the 2016 election and whether he was guilty of obstructing justice.

  • Japan begins a new era

    On May 1, 2019, Japan entered into a new era when the Crown Prince Naruhito, 59, acceded to the Chrysanthemum Throne following abdication, the day before, by his father Emperor Akihito, ending his nearly 30 years of reign, the first emperor to do so in 200 years.

  • Sri Lanka’s debt problem isn’t made in China

    Global media and numerous “experts” routinely assert that Sri Lanka was forced to cede a strategically important port to China after being lured into a debt trap by easy Chinese loans.

  • Celebrating people’s uprisings in Algeria and Sudan

    The vigil of hundreds and thousands of peaceful protesters on the streets of Algeria and Sudan speaks of the same sense of collective disenfranchisement, juxtaposed with a desperate optimism, that lit the signal fires of change in Egypt’s Tahrir Square in 2011.

  • Emerging trends as Indian election approaches end

    Polling in 70 percent of the total of 543 seats in India’s parliamentary election is over. After polling began on April 11, voters have chosen their representatives for 373 constituencies in four phases.

  • US President Donald J Trump

    Make America white again

    With whisker-thin majorities, Republican candidate Donald J Trump flipped the Democratic bastions of Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania to beat Democrat Hillary Clinton in 2016 to become America’s 45th president. Obama-Trump voters...

  • Challenges facing the Democrats in the primary season

    The 2020 US presidential election is about a year and a half away, and the Democratic primary season is about to unfold. While it is hard to make a prediction at this stage, what is certain is that the Democrats are supremely energised. Their intense energy level was on full display in the 2018 mid-term polls. The high turnout of Democratic voters helped them take back the Congress in a spectacular fashion, making inroads into areas Trump had dominated in 2016.

  • Indian general election: Battle for Delhi’s seven parliamentary seats and beyond

    It is not just the summer heat that is rising in Delhi with each passing day. The political temperature, too, is shooting up with the battle lines drawn for the seven parliamentary seats which will go to the polls on May 12.

  • Sri Lanka is bleeding again

    On the morning of Easter Sunday, Sri Lankans must have gone through the nightmarish memories of the 80s and 90s when their

  • Anti-immigrant rhetoric and its impact on Bangladesh

    The 2019 Indian general election, which will have its third round of polling today, is proving to be as challenging as predicted.

  • Has democracy returned to the Maldives?

    The last seven months have seen two watershed events in the political history of the Maldives, the strategically-located Indian Ocean archipelago that has since long been a theatre of intense rivalry between Asian giants India and China for influence.

  • Palestinians' future and the Israel's election

    Israel's election and the Palestinians' future

    Looking at the outcome of the recent election in Israel, the only thing that concerns us is what it implies for the already fading hope

  • The myth of Indian nationalism

    The myth of Indian nationalism

    The virulent propagation of nationalism in the wake of the Pulwama outrage reminds me of Arthur Schopenhauer's prophetic words in

  • Is the party going back to its roots?

    Out of power for five years, the Congress Party's manifesto for the coming parliamentary elections in India has done enough to bring out once again its traditional Left-of-the-Centre ideological moorings and project a more inclusive and welfare-oriented organisation after its brief flirtation with a slight tilt to the Right for several months last year.

  • Can BJP retain power in the election?

    The populist wave that swept BJP to power in 2014 Indian election, led by Mr Narendra Modi, has waned considerably after five years at