Big Tests for Modi’s BJP in State Assembly Polls

Big Tests for Modi’s BJP in State Assembly PollsState assembly elections now in progress in five states will indicate how successful India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been in meeting the aspirations of electors who voted him into power with a landslide victory three years ago to change the way India had been run by ineffective national governments. Uttar Pradesh is the biggest…

Trouble in the Air

Trouble in the AirThis winter, the air quality in Delhi plummeted so low – with record levels of the tiniest and the deadliest particles that can enter the lungs and other organs – that even the National Capital Territory’s chief minister, Arvind Kejriwal, was forced to admit that the metropolis had turned into a “toxic gas chamber”. The city’s…

Asia in 2016: India

Asia in 2016: IndiaLandmark economic reforms introduced in India last year contrasted sharply with rising extremism, suggesting that the rapidly growing country is still battling old demons of religious divisiveness, rigidity and orthodoxy even as the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi adopts a more streamlined financial outlook. Growing intolerance of dissent was highlighted in February 2016 during…

China Adventurism Grows in Pakistan’s Gwadar Area

China Adventurism Grows in Pakistan’s Gwadar AreaBeijing's decision to deploy its warships and submarines in conjunction with the Pakistani Navy at Pakistan's strategic Gwadar port on the Arabian Sea has set alarm bells ringing in New Delhi.  The port features prominently in China's 2,442-km, US$51 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, which once completed in 2017 will open up cheaper cargo routes for…

India Loses a Charismatic Actress- Politician

India Loses a Charismatic Actress- PoliticianIndia lost one of its most controversial and charismatic political leaders with the death this week of J.Jayalalithaa, the 68-year old autocratic chief minister of Tamil Nadu. A former film star, Amma (mother) as she was widely known, managed to mix a reputation for massive corruption and an intensely reclusive lifestyle beset by illness with efficient…

India’s Judicial Activists Strain Constitutional Mandate

India’s Judicial Activists Strain Constitutional MandateFor more than 30 years India’s courts have issued instructions about how the country should be run, usually filling gaps left by inefficient and indolent governments. On Dec. 1, however, the Supreme Court arguably went too far with judicial activism when it unexpectedly said that cinemas should play the national anthem before every film screening.…

India’s ‘Post-Truth’ Answer to Crisis

India’s ‘Post-Truth’ Answer to CrisisThe publishers of the Oxford English Dictionary last week made post-truth their new word of the year. A few days later Arun Jaitley, India’s finance minister, produced one when he declared that a cashless “new normal” was being introduced by the demonetization of Rs500 and Rs1,000 bank notes, and brushed aside the severe currency shortages…

Kashmiri 12-Year-old’s Death Does Little to Reduce Kashmiri Tensions

Kashmiri 12-Year-old’s Death Does Little to Reduce Kashmiri TensionsA 12-year old boy died on Oct.8 in the Kashmir state capital of Srinagar after being hit in the head by pellets fired by para-military forces at crowds of youngsters protesting against the Indian government. Junaid Ahmad’s death sparked clashes during his funeral later in the day, with thousands of protesters chanting “Go India, go back” and…

India strikes terror camps in Pakistan alongside non-military offensive

India strikes terror camps in Pakistan alongside non-military offensiveIndia has launched moves against Pakistan in the past few days that have culminated in an announcement that the Indian army conducted “surgical strikes” last night against alleged terrorist camps across the disputed Line of Control (LoC) border in Kashmir. This is the first time that India has declared such military action inside Pakistan for…

India Places $8.6 billion Jet Order Amid Failed Defenses

India Places $8.6 billion Jet Order Amid Failed DefensesAt the end of a week when India has been agonizing to little effect about how to deal with a deadly attack on an army camp near the Pakistan border in Kashmir that should never have been allowed to happen, the government has signed a US$8.66 billion deal with Rafale of France for 36 fighter…
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