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13 January 2017

A red herring: Is Modi looking to create a New Indian?

Purity versus pollution have been part of the Indian way of life for millennia, manifested most perniciously in our caste system, which divides people between the highest, who are ritually the purest, and the lowest who are the most polluted. Ritual purity is the feature of many religions, but nowhere has it had the malign impact that it has in India.


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13 December 2016

Of Good and Bad Populists that Shape Nation’s Politics

A new wave of populism appears to be sweeping across Europe; western and eastern. Populist leaders have sprouted all over, gaining (or having gained) public support. A new narrative, an alternative brand of politics is being shaped. The trend is evident all over — from the United States of America to Britain to France, and even in Greece, Finland, Hungary and Poland. Most of it is Right-wing; some Left-driven. Donald Trump’s election as the next President of the US; the Brexit referendum in Britain; the rise of Marine Le Pen’s National Front in France; the increasing consolidation of Greece’s Syrzia party — these should all be seen in the larger context of a redefining of the political mood in Europe.


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13 December 2016

Why Trump’s protectionist ideas may not work

The father of economics, Adam Smith, believed in free trade and advocated it in the 18thcentury England. Most American presidents in the past believed and practiced it too. Trump is planning to reverse it for the ‘good of American people’ because as he said in his election campaign he wants jobs to come back to the US by blackballing Chinese imports.


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13 December 2016

Loose Cannons, Generals and US Foreign Policy in the Trump Era

President Elect Donald Trump has a few weeks more to remain in the ‘loose cannon’ mode before he is fully accountable for what he utters. For over a year he has been trumpeting his wares, his mind and his ideas on a nation which is seriously in a state of regression. The entire Trump phenomenon arose out of a sense of insecurity brought on by the failure of post-cold war international configurations that the US sought to create.


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25 November 2016

All eyes on Trump’s America

Halifax, a major port in the east coast of Canada, has hosted an annual security forum for the past nine years. This year, the event was held a week after the US Presidential elections that delivered a stunning verdict in favour of Donald Trump.


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25 November 2016

Lessons from De-monetisation - the Bureaucracy Needs a Shake-Up

More than hoarders of black money, the Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi’s announcement on November 8 to demonetize high value currency to strike at the root of illicit wealth appears to have stunned his political opponents. Coming within weeks of the surgical strike against Pakistan, through which he signaled his ability to take decisive action, the blow that he struck against hoarders of black money a fortnight ago has put him way ahead of the competition.


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8 November 2016

Troubled partnership

The Goa summit of BRICS came to an end with a joint declaration that was as anodyne as such documents tend to be. Although India made it a point to focus on terrorism and managed to underscore “the need for close coordination on tracking sources of terrorist financing and target the hardware of terrorism, including weapons’ supplies, ammunition, equipment and training”, it could not convince China to change its stance on the Jaish-e-Mohammad chief, Masood Azhar.


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8 November 2016

Why is India ranked so low in Global Hunger Index?

India has been self-sufficient in food since the Green Revolution. Yet hunger persists in some parts of India and surfaces in the form of starvation deaths. In a few years, India will be the most populous nation, with a population of 1.4 billion, and if hunger is not eradicated, it will not be able to meet the UN’s second Sustainable Development Goal.


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25 October 2016

India, France and the Pacific: Where an old friend might get in the way of new partnerships

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Act East’ policy is slowly stretching to the far east and encompassing the Pacific Ocean as a key zone of interest. As the new kid on the block, Modi’s approach to the region has been shy and tentative, but appears earnest in its search for genuine and lasting partnerships. With 14 Pacific nations, five major non-independent inhabited territories, a sizeable Indian diaspora in Fiji (the legacy of the indenture system of the 19th century), as well as a throng of invested and sometimes anxious Pacific rim countries, Modi is spoilt for choice and well placed to act strategically.


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25 October 2016

How India can lead South Asia’s war on terror

Terrorism has swiftly outsmarted geographical confines, and this explains the spurt in multilateral cooperation on counterterrorism. In light of appalling terrorist activities in her backyard and the ongoing truculence in Jammu and Kashmir, it is now time for India to take a leadership role in shaping South Asia’s counterterrorism strategy.


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