When Truth No Longer Matters

September 04, 2021

An effective communicator with a questionable past builds a successful campaign as an outsider disinterested in everyday, run-of-the-mill politics. He smartly taps into the fears and anxieties of voters and projects himself as the only person who can fix the supposedly broken system. Despite...

Modi’s BJP Lost to Mamata’s TMC Because of Bengali DNA

June 14, 2021

In early May, the eastern Indian state of West Bengal went to the polls. The state elections attracted global attention. The BBC’s analysis of the election was headlined, “West Bengal Election: Modi Loses a Battle in the 'War for Indian Democracy.’” Such attention to a state election is...

India Is Slowly Evolving Into a Market Economy

May 26, 2021

India has come a long way since its independence from colonial rule in 1947. It started as a mixed economy where elements of both capitalism and socialism coexisted uneasily. Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s first prime minister, was a self-declared Fabian socialist who admired the Soviet Union. His...

Bangladesh Celebrates 50 Years of Independence

March 25, 2021

On March 26, Bangladesh will be celebrating the golden jubilee of its freedom. Few outside South Asia remember that Bangladesh was once part of Pakistan. From 1947 to 1971, modern-day Pakistan was West Pakistan and Bangladesh was East Pakistan. They were both incongruously part of the same new...

A History of Indian Conservatism

December 23, 2020

At the time of independence from British rule in 1947, India's first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, adopted a mode of governance that came to be known as Nehruvian socialism. State control of industrial production and government interference in all spheres of life came to define this era and,...

Was It Wise for India to Reject the RCEP?

December 21, 2020

Last month, 15 Asia-Pacific countries formed the world's largest trading bloc. The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is China’s response to the US jettisoning the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) under President Donald Trump. The deal excludes both India and the US. Though the...

India’s League of Internationalists

December 16, 2020

Shivshankar Menon, India’s famous former national security adviser, has stirred much controversy recently. His recent article for Foreign Affairs, titled “League of Nationalists,” argues that India’s illiberal drift and new transactional foreign policy has weakened relations with the US....

India’s Police: An Instrument of Injustice

November 19, 2020

When Alexander the Great marched into Phrygian, the capital of Gordinium, in 333 BC, he was told that an oracle had declared that any man who could unravel the Gordian knot — deemed impossible to untangle — would rule over Asia. After wrestling with the knot for a time with no...

Why Is India’s Opposition Congress Party in Crisis?

September 17, 2020

Allan Octavian Hume, a sidelined official of the British Raj, founded the Indian National Congress (INC) in 1885. Born in Kent, UK, Hume was the quintessential gora sahib (white master) who had gone native. He took the initiative to create a modern political platform in a newly colonized and...

Narendra Modi Is Fighting COVID-19 With Little Logic

May 01, 2020

On April 5, India responded to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call to light earthen lamps for nine minutes at 9 pm. Earlier on March 19, he appealed for a 14-hour “people’s curfew” three days later. On March 25, Modi imposed a national lockdown over 1.3 billion people, the biggest such...

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