Hardline Hindu priest becomes UP chief minister

Hardline Hindu priest becomes UP chief ministerThe Bharatiya Janata Party has unveiled what could turn out to be its vision of the future leadership for a Hindu-nationalist India with the March 9 appointment of a hard-line Hindu priest as the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh. He will be backed up by two deputy chief ministers, one from one of the lower…

Modi’s Uttar Pradesh Landslide

Modi’s Uttar Pradesh LandslideNarendra Modi has established himself as India’s only credible national political leader with an astonishing landslide result today in the key state of Uttar Pradesh, where the Bharatiya Janata Party and its allies are winning more than 320 of 403 seats, compared with about 190 that was the highest generally expected. The vote was for…

Modi Saturates Ganges Constituency in Desperate Vote Bid

Modi Saturates Ganges Constituency in Desperate Vote BidIf hyperactivity is sometimes a sign of both a desperation to win and a fear of defeat, then Narendra Modi’s frenetic saturation of Varanasi with three days of political rallies and speeches earlier this week reflects the prime minister’s worry that the Bharatiya Janata Party’s candidates in the constituency face the risk of losing in…

India Jostles for Regional Primacy

India Jostles for Regional PrimacyAs the new administration in Washington DC accelerates the country’s loss of influence across Asia, India is raising its game in a contest with China for economic and political primacy in the region. That has been manifested by a flurry of visits from neighboring heads of state to New Delhi from Tajikistan, the Kyrgyz Republic,…

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.…
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