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
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
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
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
For all interested in rivers, legends, water and food security & South Asia- my paper for the Observer Research Foundation on the Teesta river dispute. I travelled down the river from Sikkim to the Bangladesh border at the end 2011 after the agreement between India and Bangladesh on water sharing fell by the wayside of… Continue reading The Teesta River Dispute: Geopolitics, Myth and Economics.
Over a month after Burhan Wani’s killing in an encounter by security forces, the question of whether the ongoing protests are about glorifying a terrorist or whether his death was simply a trigger for simmering rage to boil over is moot. As ‘Azadi’ protests pierce the silence of curfew, and the stillness of strikes brings… Continue reading Kashmir: Behind the Rage
Everyone comes back to the same concern of rehabilitating people in Kashmir. While the dismal amounts of state relief continue to trickle in, the biggest casualty of the election campaign has been the declaration of a comprehensive rehabilitation package for Jammu and Kashmir. One that pulls together housing, employment, opportunity and infrastructure in a well… Continue reading Survivors’ Tales: Politicising the Floods