Pakistan and India at 70: Is this a moment to be proud or to mourn lost opportunities?

by Rashmee

Posted on August 16, 2017 / The National


India and Pakistan ran into the 70th birthday blues this week, which is to say a milestone that has none of the excitement or life-changing portentous of a 21st, 50th, 75th or a 100th anniversary. In fact, for a 70th birthday to be significant at all, it should have been achieved in the Mark Twain … Continue reading “Pakistan and India at 70: Is this a moment to be proud or to mourn lost opportunities?”

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Why the dismissal of prime minister Nawaz Sharif failed to generate shock and outrage

by Rashmee

Posted on August 2, 2017 / The Arab Weekly


In a post-truth world, consider a post-coup country — Pakistan. Its image is morbidly frozen in the global eye. This is why the ouster of a democratically elected prime minister by a bench of judges doesn’t shock so much as cause a ripple of sadness. As a country that has tried multiple models of political and military … Continue reading “Why the dismissal of prime minister Nawaz Sharif failed to generate shock and outrage”

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Globalism with a local accent is now officially on the political agenda

by Rashmee

Posted on July 20, 2017 / The National


When Canada’s prime minister recently made a special trip to the US to address the National Governors’ Association’s annual retreat, it was a sign that something unusual was afoot. In becoming the first foreign leader to formally engage with the group of 50 governors of American states and five US territories, Justin Trudeau was acknowledging … Continue reading “Globalism with a local accent is now officially on the political agenda”

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How often have you heard it said that a ‘country is deeply divided’?

by Rashmee

Posted on July 17, 2017


Tony Blair said it about Britain on Saturday, in his essay ‘Brexit and the Centre’. Political commentators, amateur or not, said it about France during the presidential primaries and the final election in May. They say it about the United States. And about India. The preferred term for the raging argument over secularism vs Hindutva … Continue reading “How often have you heard it said that a ‘country is deeply divided’?”

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To be great you have to be good. India, US show strength – and the limits – of soft power

by Rashmee

Posted on July 11, 2017


Make no mistake, American and Indian diplomats are conscious of the limits of soft power. Just the other day, a mixed group was discussing the likely fallout of a country devaluing its own currency. India indeed. And the United States of America. Both India, country of my birth, and the US, my adoptive country, illustrate … Continue reading “To be great you have to be good. India, US show strength – and the limits – of soft power”

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In Tunis, 1 litre of fresh orange juice costs just $1.30. Here’s why that’s a problem

by Rashmee

Posted on July 8, 2017


Tunisia is an orange mini-superpower. No, really. In 2017, its harvest of oranges tipped the scales at 550,000 tons, which is way above its normal take of 400 000 tons. That’s not comparable with the millions of tons produced by Brazil, the US, China and so on, but it still counts for a hefty amount of … Continue reading “In Tunis, 1 litre of fresh orange juice costs just $1.30. Here’s why that’s a problem”

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Is Nina Khrushcheva right on the death of Indian Congress, UK Labour & ANC?

by Rashmee

Posted on July 5, 2017


Did we miss it all? Did we fail to notice that the UK Independence Party is actually thriving, even though its vote share in the 2017 general election fell to levels rarely plumbed? Have we failed to understand that Britain’s Labour Party is facing an uncertain future even though its leader Jeremy Corbyn is acquiring … Continue reading “Is Nina Khrushcheva right on the death of Indian Congress, UK Labour & ANC?”

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Shakespearean England was a theatre of cruelty. For 21st century India to become one is deeply sad

by Rashmee

Posted on July 1, 2017


Someone should invite Neil MacGregor to Lynchistan, sorry, India. The former director of the British Museum tells a salutary story about public cruelty in the age of Shakespeare. The tale is greatly enhanced by his description of one of the objects he uses to illustrate the subject. It is the eyeball of a Catholic priest … Continue reading “Shakespearean England was a theatre of cruelty. For 21st century India to become one is deeply sad”

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It’s a shame for Modi to be dismissed as a paper tiger in the same week as Trump

by Rashmee

Posted on June 30, 2017


The coincidence was remarkable. US President Donald Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi met on Monday (June 26) in a week that has seen both men described as paper tigers. The dismissive phrase was applied to Mr Trump by a senior member of his Republican party. The president and his political operation, said the … Continue reading “It’s a shame for Modi to be dismissed as a paper tiger in the same week as Trump”

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Could Modi gain much in US with bear hugs?

by Rashmee

Posted on June 29, 2017 / The National


Did the relationship between the United States and India change ever so subtly as a result of president Donald Trump’s interaction with prime minister Narendra Modi earlier this week? Their cheerleaders obviously say yes to that and claim that the outlook is indeed sunnier, but a slightly more reliable way to judge may be the … Continue reading “Could Modi gain much in US with bear hugs?”

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Rashmee has lived and worked in eight countries in the past decade. She spent much of 2015 in the UAE and currently divides her time between the UK and Tunisia. Before that, she was in Haiti, the US, Afghanistan and India.