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 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.
“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.
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.
Comparisons are generally invidious, especially when they involve political leaders from different countries.
Late last month, when two Indian states and the national capital were held to ransom by rioting mobs protesting their spiritual leader's conviction on two counts of raping minor girls, many Indians found themselves confronting several painful truths about their country.
Sixty-six years after adopting one of the world's most liberal constitutions, India is being convulsed by a searing debate over...
A number of seemingly unrelated controversies in India actually have one important element in common: They all relate to criminal