Explained: 2 years after Galwan clash, where India-China relations stand today

Two years after the Galwan clash in the Ladakh heights, in which 20 Indian soldiers were killed, and which plunged India-China relations to their lowest in decades, the two sides are normalizing relations in many respects, with the Indian side displaying a pragmatism far ahead of the “lal aankh” rhetoric. Relations now Even though New … Read more

The world according to Geetanjali Shree

I begin with a confession and an apology to the non-Hindi readers of Ret Samadhi by Geetanjali Shree, translated by Daisy Rockwell into English as Tomb of Sand. I have resisted reading the translated version, the winner of the International Booker Prize, because even though it must be very good, it may not replicate for … Read more

Hindus and Muslims must give up rigid positions on contested places of worship

Simt-e-Kashi se chala janib-e-Mathura baadal — starting from Kashi the cloud ahead towards Mathura — are the deeply devotional words with which an Urdu writer of the recent past, Mohsin Kakorvi, had begun his poetic eulogy for the Prophet Muhammad. Long before him, the uncrowned king of Urdu poetry for all times Asadullah Khan Ghalib … Read more

How Quad can become more than an anti-China grouping

On May 23, before the Quad leaders’ summit in Tokyo, the United States launched the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) with a diverse group of 12 countries initially — Australia, Brunei, India, Indonesia, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. The US-led economic engagement is a salient attempt to … Read more

How the Quad can become more than an anti-China grouping

On May 23, before the Quad leaders’ summit in Tokyo, the United States launched the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) with a diverse group of 12 countries initially — Australia, Brunei, India, Indonesia, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. The US-led economic engagement is a salient attempt to … Read more

Amidst domestic churn, new Australian PM signals foreign policy continuity

As Anthony Albanese is sworn in as Australia’s 31st Prime Minister, he will be conscious of the deep electoral angst against traditional politics and a groundswell in support for a contemporary avatar of Australia’s own “Aam Aadmi” politics: The Teal independents, a motley group brought together primarily by the lack of mainstream urgency to act … Read more

Explained: As Australia votes for a new Govt and PM, the issues and candidates in the elections

Australian voters are in polling booths for federal elections on Saturday (May 21) to elect their next Prime Minister and to decide which political party comes to power. They will also have the opportunity to purchase a “democracy sausage”, based on the decades-long tradition of installing sausage stalls outside polling booths. The ruling Liberal-National coalition … Read more

Governments must understand that resources are held in trust. They’re not to be frittered away

A senior Rajasthan ruling party worker reacted to my asking about handling the unsustainable borrowing burden of their recent civil servant pension decision with, “that bill is only due in 25 years”. My follow-up question about the injustice of 60 per cent of the Rajasthan government’s budget going to 5 per cent of the state’s … Read more

What the two-front war in Ukraine means for the world

Is the war in Ukraine entering a new and, perhaps, even more dangerous phase? The answer to this question depends on seeing Ukraine as a two-front war. There is the battle being fought in Ukraine, where the country has admirably held back Russian power, and cut it to size. But it is still not clear … Read more

Explained: NATO expansion & Russia

After nearly three months of debate within the two countries, Finland and Sweden have formally applied for membership of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the US-led security alliance forged during the Cold War to defend its members from Soviet expansion. Transforming Europe The war in Ukraine has already changed the geopolitics of Europe and … Read more