India’s Modi Strengthens his Cabinet

India’s Modi Strengthens his CabinetNarendra Modi has carried out his most significant government reshuffle since becoming India’s prime minister three years ago, with ministerial moves that strengthen three top posts while at the same time balancing the political interests of different states and illustrating the limited talent available at senior levels. The headline-grabbing appointment is that of Nirmala Sitharaman, 58, who…

India and China in a Water War

India and China in a Water WarWith more than 32 million people hit by floods in four Indian states so far this year, New Delhi is growing increasingly frustrated over China’s refusal to share current river data despite bilateral agreements requiring Beijing to pass on the information for downstream flood control. The data from upper riparian China to lower riparian India…

70 Years on, Outpouring of India’s Stories on Partition

70 Years on, Outpouring of India’s Stories on PartitionThe history of the tortuous creation of India and Pakistan as separate countries 70 years ago has been written and recorded on a massive scale over the past two or three weeks on British television, along with other media on the Indian subcontinent as well as the UK and internationally. The writers and speakers have not…

Indian Court Bans Book About Flamboyant Guru-Tycoon

Indian Court Bans Book About Flamboyant Guru-TycoonA New Delhi court has blocked publication of a book based on the life of Baba Ramdev, a flamboyant guru-turned-tycoon who straddles a US$1.7 billion global business empire peddling everything from consumer products to apparel to ayurvedic potions. The reasons for the ban are unclear, raising questions about why Ramdev wants the book banned. But…

India at Seventy

India at SeventyIt’s an easy copout when talking about India to say everything and the opposite are both true and correct. That has never been more so than when assessing the country’s performance in the 70 years since it became independent on August 15, 1947. Put simply, India is a huge success, tackling dire poverty, ethnic social…

India-China Rivalry Deepens over Border Clash

India-China Rivalry Deepens over Border ClashAfter almost seven weeks into tension, the Indo-China rivalry on the Sikkim/Doklam region, in which both countries are accusing the other of violating their borders, has refused to die out, exposing the delicate nature of their bilateral relations despite the otherwise strong bilateral trade worth billions of dollars. Whatis significant is that because of the…

India’s Modi Takes a Key State

India’s Modi Takes a Key StateNarendra Modi and Amit Shah have won yet another victory in their drive for the pan-India political domination of their Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party with a coup in the desperately poor state of Bihar, where Nitish Kumar, the chief minister and head of a regional party, resigned dramatically on July 27. In a carefully orchestrated series…

With China Intruding, Indian Navy Finally Starts to Act

With China Intruding, Indian Navy Finally Starts to ActUnder fire from defence analysts and the federal auditor for its luckless and ill-equipped navy, long a victim of political and bureaucratic apathy, the Indian government is scrambling to bolster it against the backdrop of an increasingly assertive China which is intruding into the Indian Ocean in force. The two Asian giants have been locked…

India, China Stare Each Other Down over Bhutan

India, China Stare Each Other Down over BhutanThe ongoing controversy since June between the Indian Army and the Chinese People’s Liberation Army in Doka La, near the strategic tri-junction of China, India and Bhutan has brought to a boil the geopolitical tensions between neighbors China and India.   The episode was triggered when China began building a road along the sensitive Doklam…

China India standoff raises memories of 1962 war

China India standoff raises memories of 1962 warFor the past three weeks it has sometimes seemed, from India media reports and aggressive statements coming out of Beijing, that there is a distinct possibility of a Himalayan border war breaking out between the two countries, 55 years after India suffered a humiliating military defeat in the area at the hands of its larger…
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