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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.

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.

July 28, 2020
July 28, 2020

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.

January 9, 2020
January 9, 2020

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.

December 20, 2019
December 20, 2019

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.

April 8, 2019
April 8, 2019

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.”

January 18, 2019
January 18, 2019

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.

August 12, 2018
August 12, 2018

Is ethnic cleansing coming to India?

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

July 13, 2018
July 13, 2018

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.

June 8, 2018
June 8, 2018

The Modi-Erdogan Parallel

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

April 14, 2018
April 14, 2018

India's Big Leaky Data

India has no coltan or rare earths, little oil, and not enough water. What it does have is people—1.3 billion and counting. That makes

March 14, 2018
March 14, 2018

Beyond the smoke and mirror

"History,” Winston Churchill said, “will be kind to me, for I intend to write it myself.” He needn't have bothered. He was one of the great mass murderers of the 20th century, yet is the only one, unlike Hitler and Stalin, to have escaped historical odium in the West. He has been crowned with a Nobel Prize (for literature, no less), and now, an actor portraying him (Gary Oldman) has been awarded an Oscar.