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 Eases Defense Blacklist Ban

India Eases Defense Blacklist BanIn a dramatic departure from past defense policy, Indian authorities say they will no longer impose blanket bans on armament companies suspected of corruption or bribery. This easing of blacklisting norms will mark the end of a 10-year blanket ban imposed earlier on erring firms.  The easing of the blacklist policy appears to be a…

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…

Currency Chaos in India Aimed at Corruption

Currency Chaos in India Aimed at CorruptionWhen Indians elected Narendra Modi as their ultra-nationalist prime minister two and a half years ago, they were voting for change in the way that the country is run, just as American voters did last week when Donald Trump was elected president, albeit by a minority popular vote. But they didn’t vote for the countrywide…

UK’s May runs into EU-style blockages in New Delhi

UK’s May runs into EU-style blockages in New DelhiTheresa May has discovered in India during her first bilateral visit outside Europe that she runs into the same blockages over free trade and movement of labor internationally as she does in her post-Brexit discussions with the European Union. The lesson, which is highly significant for Britain as it prepares to leave the EU, is…

Indian Women Take On their Predators

Indian Women Take On their PredatorsUrban Indian women, long besieged by sexual predators, are empowering themselves to teach their tormentors a lesson – including, in some cases, banding together to beat and berate them. Realizing how Indian law enforcement agencies can no longer be trusted for their safety, they are employing a range of methods from buying small arms and…

Patriarch of India’s Tata Takes Back his Empire

Patriarch of India’s Tata Takes Back his EmpireThe fallout from the Oct. 24 sacking by Tata patriarch Ratan Tata of his chosen successor Cyrus Mistry as chairman of Tata Sons, the group’s holding company, continues: In an email to the company, leaked in the media, Mistry has warned that the conglomerate may face $18 billion in write-downs because of five unprofitable businesses he…

South Asian Art Prices Recover in London

South Asian Art Prices Recover in LondonSotheby’s earlier this week dispelled some of the gloom and uncertainty emanating from a poor Christie’s US$3.8 million auction of South Asian art in New York last month when its annual London auction yielded sales totaling £4.02 milliion – US$4.90 million at the depleted pound’s current post-Brexit level. The top lot was a memorable depiction…