World leaders who pride themselves on having shaken up their respective systems by taking on the "liberal elite" and "draining the swamp", US President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Modi have more in common than many of their counterparts. As many compared the two for their propensity towards populist politics, distaste for critique, and disregard… Continue reading Two pieces: After the India-US visit, Terror Convergence ‘Trumps’ Controversy
To say that the United States is still getting used to Donald Trump as president, six months into his inauguration, is at the very least, an understatement. It is against a backdrop of unpredictability unleashed by the president’s policy and turbulence, both domestically and globally, that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s much-awaited meeting with Trump will… Continue reading Two pieces: Before the India-US Visit, the call to lower expectations.
Politics and diplomacy make strange bedfellows. A cliché, perhaps, but a truism too, and one that was on open display in Kazakhstan as both India and Pakistan entered the China — and Russia-led Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) as full-blown members. If you just did a double take at this list of unlikely partners, you wouldn’t… Continue reading Entering the SCO will test India’s equation with both Pak and China
This week, Sri Lanka is "Dhammadvipa", the island of Buddhist philosophy, as it celebrates United Nations Vesak Day to mark the birth, enlightenment and death of Lord Buddha on Friday. There have been fourteen international celebrations, but this is Sri Lanka's first time as host, even though it was instrumental in the UN's declaration of… Continue reading Celebrating Buddhist principles in a confrontational world: A high stakes visit to Lanka for PM Modi
For major regional partners that consistently declare a strong friendship based on civilizational ties, India and Iran seem to have hit a bumpy patch - one that has the potential to expose serious differences between Tehran and Delhi, as the sheen of Prime Minister Modi's May 2016 visit to the Iranian capital wears off. While… Continue reading Crude Oil and Gas are not the real India-Iran problem. China is.
In his book The Revenge of Geography, American scholar Robert Kaplan says the fact that China is blessed by geography is so basic that it is often overlooked in conversations about China’s growing economic and geo-strategic assertiveness. Quoting the British geographer Halford Mackinder, Kaplan writes, “who controls Eurasia, controls the world.” Today, as the world sits… Continue reading What Geography and Economics Could Mean for India’s China Problem
In the din of rhetoric between India and Pakistan over the Kulbhushan Jadhav case, the most jarring question is why Pakistan chose to hastily court martial and sentence to death an Indian national on charges of spying. The sudden and provocative nature of the trial and sentence undermines any notion that back channels were working… Continue reading Is Aggressive Nationalism Over Kulbhushan Jadhav and Kashmir Really the Way to Go?