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?
During an India-Bangladesh dialogue exactly one year ago, Bangladesh foreign minister A.H. Mahmood Ali said the settlement of the land boundary dispute between the two countries in 2015 proved that anything is possible with political will. Now, as Bangladeshi Prime Minister Shaikh Hasina arrives on her first state visit to Delhi in seven years… Continue reading Teesta Resolution Critical but Likely to Elude India and Bangladesh This Time
With his neon, yellow jacket identifying him as a volunteer, Hazrat Shah is hard to miss. He’s serving up warm food and drink under a makeshift tent to refugees in Finland, just outside Helsinki’s main railway station. Women, children and men huddle around a small fire in the cold to protest the Finnish government’s decision… Continue reading Hot Wars and Cold Conflicts: Finland’s Immigrant Challenge
This appeared on the Atlantic Council's website. On the roller coaster of ties between the United States and Iran, President Trump’s apparent extreme hawkishness towards Tehran is one more loop in which the world has turned upside down. This time, though, it’s not just US-Iran ties that are susceptible to damage. While Trump’s dealings with… Continue reading As Trump Confronts Iran, Chabahar is in the Eye of the Storm
Americans may still be coming to terms with Donald Trump’s election victory, but more than 7,000 miles away, the wheels of India’s diplomatic machinery began turning soon after the November results. Indian Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval both visited the United States within a month of the elections with the… Continue reading India Warily Watches Trump
At the end of the Cold War, political scientist Samuel Huntington who taught at Harvard University created a hypothesis. As the break up of the Soviet Union resulted in ethnic conflicts – across Central Asia and Eastern Europe most government officials and foreign policy analysts used his Clash of Civilizations as a prescient bible –… Continue reading The Clash of Civilizations-revisited.
This piece appeared on my page at ndtv.com In keeping with the message the Government of India has been pushing even before the Uri attack, the Prime Minister's stream of tough words aimed at isolating Pakistan for its support to terror groups that act against India, made headlines through the two day BRICS and BIMSTEC… Continue reading India Overplayed the Pakistan Issue at BRICS in Goa.