Kautilyan Kronicles

Kautilyan Kronicles

Asia’s balancer, Bangladesh

Remember those expansive aphorisms, “Britannia rules the waves” and the “empire where the sun never sets”?

Oscillating Anglo-American relations

A rolling stone, as the cliché goes, gathers no moss. According to musician Robert Zimmerman, it is “like a complete unknown,” indeed, “with no direction home.” Under his more popular identity, Bob Dylan, he penned “Like a rolling stone,” often regarded the crème de la crème song in its genre. It might also be the swansong of a fabled bilateral relationship. Gone awry, that relationship arguably symbolises the upended global status of two partners.

A Giant Retreat for Mankind

Remember those first words ever spoken from the moon? In the half-century since Neil Armstrong uttered them, the space race has invited many other countries—from the rich to the poor, from the developed to the developing—and even attracted private-sector

‘Clash of civilisation’ or crash: Environmental doomsday?

What do the following civilisations have in common: Mesopotamia four millennia ago; the 8th-century Viking Greenland settlement; Mayas from the 10th century; and the Khmer empire in the 15th century?

Angela Merkel’s legacy: ‘Holy Roman Empress’?

Historians are often bemused by how the millennia-old Holy Roman Emperor was not holy, nor Roman, nor even an emperor.

GPA and beyond: Time to break out of old pedagogical models

Grumpy” was her name. In the flower-filled month of May, the world’s most famous cat of the same name bid her ever-cheering audience a sad adieu. Perhaps not the best of analogies, but it highlights grumpiness in another area, that, fortunately, we can do something about.

Galloping Bangladesh: Emperor with no clothes?

Don’t judge a book by its cover.” So goes a popular cliché, though appraisals become more sanguine the more one opens the volume. Recent (April) reports about the country’s top-flight economic growth-rates expose why heeding that message helps keep us on track.

There goes the neighbourhood: Sri Lankan spillovers

"Tragedy” only mildly describes Sri Lanka’s bombing spate. It was heinous, stirring the wrong juices, pitting the wrong spiritual brethrens against each other. It was evil, not only fanning flames between two religious groups...

Of fires, fates and fortunes

Fire,” Don McLean wrote in “American Pie”, “is the devil's only friend.” It must have been so for Roman Emperor Nero: he anecdotally “fiddled while Rome burned” in 64 AD.

'Civilising' Dhaka

Civil society cannot be built this way, upon the salacious preferences of home-builders, bus-drivers/conductors, and environment abusers.

Crusading children: Fault in our stars... or ourselves?

At least two truisms can be said about children: every mother and father goes out of her/his way to build the best possible future for them; and the state does not have a choice but to follow suit.

Post-Christchurch social reconstruction: Global the message, local the onus

It is not enough to alert the public of social cracks: how they can be repaired must be part and parcel of any de-constructing exercise.

Christchurch and 'social cracks'

It was not, as Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern noted, “one of the darkest days,” in New Zealand's history, but “the darkest”. New Zealand

Back to a future jungle?

Green is “the colour of nature and health,” according to Jacob Olesen, a Dane lover of colours.

Iconoclast Donald J Trump?

To any question whether the US president and commander-in-chief is working against the country, Donald J Trump's tenure already supplied an overwhelming positive answer, even before he dramatised them all in Finland during mid-July 2018. We just preferred to look away.

Thinking the unthinkable: A 'Chinese' Century?

Henry Luce deserves more than the credit he gets for predicting the “American Century” (in Life magazine, February 1941). That was after the League of Nations was unceremoniously buried, but before both the Pearl Harbor bombings, which awakened a slumberous and isolationist United States (that is but a slight exaggeration...

From Russia With Fatal Love

Ian Fleming's trademark narrative has returned: Russia playing the same old game he wrote so much about (if one remembers James Bond, his boss, M, and their Soviet obsession).

Canada's US dilemma

Every time Donald J Trump berates Canada, the friendliest neighbour any country could have, those Gerry Rafferty/Joe Egan lyrics from a Stealer's Wheel song rings through my mind.