The promise and pitfalls of Indian foreign policy

Two episodes in the first week of June starkly illustrate both the promise of Indian foreign policy and the pitfalls it faces as a result of the country’s increasingly toxic domestic political culture.

India’s Covid Con

India is no stranger to political controversies. At least half a dozen rage in its fractious public life at any time. But perhaps the most unseemly dispute recently has been the one over the country’s Covid-19 mortality figures.

What is India doing in Ukraine?

The Ukraine war has exposed India’s strategic vulnerabilities in a tough neighbourhood as arguably nothing else could, raising fundamental questions about the country’s global position and regional security.

India’s Chauvinist Crusade

The restrictive, illiberal trend that has come to characterise India over the last five years has a new data point.

Column by Shashi Tharoor: Modi’s Anti-Muslim Jihad

After India’s recent defeat by Pakistan at the T20 Cricket World Cup tournament, Indian bowler Mohammed Shami faced vicious trolling on social media.

India’s Taliban Problem

In the weeks since the Taliban’s theocratic terrorists returned to power in Kabul, the people of Afghanistan, particularly its women and girls, have been subjected to unimaginable suffering as the world’s attention turns to other issues. But many other countries, and especially India, have reason to worry.

Among India’s Believers

It is rare for a public-opinion survey to shake established perceptions of a country in the way a recent Pew Research Center study of religion in India has done. The revelations in Pew’s comprehensive survey, based on interviews with 30,000 adults in 17 languages between late 2019 and early 2020, have astonished many.

India’s Taliban Dilemma

“The future of Afghanistan cannot be its past,” India’s External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar had told a meeting in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, on July 14. It is precisely the spectre of a rerun of the Taliban rule in Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001 that has been firmly raised with its swift military surge across much of that country in the last few months.

Pakistan’s Taliban Monster

The late head of Pakistan’s powerful Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency, Lieutenant General Hamid Gul, was fond of boasting that when Afghanistan’s history came to be written,

Narendra Modi’s Potemkin Democracy

Indian legislators woke up in the new year to two realisations. First, the annual winter session of parliament, from which they should just have been emerging, had not taken place at all. And, second, New Delhi’s magnificent parliament complex, a tourist attraction since it was built in 1927, had been turned into a construction site.

India’s China strategy is changing

After last month’s clash in the Ladakh region’s Galwan Valley killed 20 Indian soldiers and an unknown number of Chinese troops, the two countries are settling in for a prolonged standoff on their disputed Himalayan frontier, even amid reports of a disengagement at the site of their recent clash.

What Happened to India?

It’s a question I hear increasingly these days. International news media report on repression in Kashmir, mounting Hindu chauvinism, widespread protests against new laws, assaults on women, and more.

Narendra Modi’s second partition of India

At a time when India’s major national priority ought to be cratering economic growth, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has instead plunged the country into a new political crisis of its own making.

A Battle for India's Soul

As India gears up for its general election, one must not lose sight of the sheer size of the exercise, which has been described as the “biggest humanly managed event in the world.”

Indian farmers in revolt

When Prime Minister Narendra Modi led his Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to a landslide victory in the 2014 general election, he promised to be all things to all voters, eloquently promising “achhe din” (good days) for India. One of his target audiences was farmers; the agriculture sector still accounts for 67 percent of employment, and he grandly promised farmers that his government would double their incomes by 2020. He swept their votes.

Is ethnic cleansing coming to India?

Seventy-one years after the partition of India, and 47 years after the former East Pakistan became Bangladesh,

India's social-media lynch mobs

Social-media platforms are often criticised for their susceptibility to toxic dialogue and vicious attacks. It is a problem that India knows well. Just ask External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, whose recent vilification by members and supporters of her own ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is a case in point.

The Modi-Erdogan Parallel

Comparisons are generally invidious, especially when they involve political leaders from different countries.