It’s worth reading why the half-Indian Marina Wheeler, Boris’s ex-wife, worries about Modi’s ‘New India’

by Rashmee

Posted on November 20, 2020


Marina Wheeler, barrister, former wife of Britain’s prime minister and the mother of four of Boris Johnson’s children, began a recent opinion piece with a reference to her Sikh mother. Dip Singh was displaced from Pakistan in 1947, Ms Wheeler noted. While writing a book about her mother’s forced journey to India, “the fathers of … Continue reading “It’s worth reading why the half-Indian Marina Wheeler, Boris’s ex-wife, worries about Modi’s ‘New India’”

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India, Hungary, Turkey, Trump’s America

by Rashmee

Posted on October 29, 2020


In the way of television quizzes, here’s your starter for ten: What unites India, Hungary, Turkey and the United States? They’re governed by nationalist parties, all of which are increasingly promoting a faux democracy. The BJP, Fidesz, AKP and the Republican Party are a common thread that runs through the body politic of all four … Continue reading “India, Hungary, Turkey, Trump’s America”

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The West is in agony over the Uighurs but says nothing about Kashmiris

by Rashmee

Posted on September 28, 2020


The West’s agony of concern over the wellbeing of the Uighur Muslims would be so much more believable if it were equally vocal about the Muslims in Kashmir. Consider this. The wider world regularly receives (alarming) news of the Uighurs but little or no information at all, for months on end about the residents of … Continue reading “The West is in agony over the Uighurs but says nothing about Kashmiris”

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Democracy’s defence lies in the hands of those who practice it. We, the people.

by Rashmee

Posted on September 25, 2020


It’s a familiar dirge. Democracy is in decline. With every month that passes, the world is less democratic. Everywhere you look, there are undemocratic governments. That’s what journalists and op-ed writers constantly insist and TV talking heads assert. I have written about this many times over. (Click here for my November 2018 piece, in the … Continue reading “Democracy’s defence lies in the hands of those who practice it. We, the people.”

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Democracy doesn’t have to be Western-style, nor the development template

by Rashmee

Posted on September 19, 2020


Veteran foreign policywallah Kishore Mahbubani once wrote a piece for The New York Times titled ‘How Strongmen Co-opted Democracy’. He should know. Mr Mahbubani was, from 2004 to 2017, dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy (National University of Singapore). His country knows all about strongmen. That’s not to be snarky, just … Continue reading “Democracy doesn’t have to be Western-style, nor the development template”

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The grey areas in America’s understanding of race

by Rashmee

Posted on August 30, 2020


Why should it have taken a Kamala Harris – half Jamaican, half Indian, all American – to show the United States that race isn’t a Black or White matter? Perhaps because people can be fairly “illiterate” about multiracial identity. So says Nitasha Tamar Sharma, a professor at Northwestern University specializing in African American and Asian … Continue reading “The grey areas in America’s understanding of race”

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Pakistan…Palestine: Sacred vs secular spaces in ummah politics

by Rashmee

Posted on August 29, 2020


  Does the “Arab street” still exist? I mean in the sense of the broad swath of Arab public opinion, passive, non-violent and emotionally attached to the idea of helping Palestinians achieve justice and self-determination. Does the politics of ummah still work? I mean in the sense of Muslim solidarity on certain core issues to … Continue reading “Pakistan…Palestine: Sacred vs secular spaces in ummah politics”

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Kamala Harris and the complexity of racial identity

by Rashmee

Posted on August 25, 2020 / The National


Harris’s birth certificate alone illustrates the problem of rigid binary notions around identity in the US It has taken a Kamala Harris — half Jamaican, half Indian and by her own definition, all American — to show the United States and the world that race isn’t a black or white issue and there are grey areas in our understanding … Continue reading “Kamala Harris and the complexity of racial identity”

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The world expected too much from Obama. Now it expects too much of Kamala Harris

by Rashmee

Posted on August 18, 2020 / The Independent


When Joe Biden said of Kamala Harris, “Her story is America’s story”, it felt like 2008 in India all over again. I was editor of the Sunday Times of India, the country’s largest English-language newspaper, and based in the Indian capital. My husband was cultural attaché at the US embassy in New Delhi. Barack Obama … Continue reading “The world expected too much from Obama. Now it expects too much of Kamala Harris”

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Britain’s new quarantine rules may be the usual Boris bish-bash-bosh symbolic action

by Rashmee

Posted on August 14, 2020


Let me tell you a story in the context of new quarantine measures imposed by the UK on British holidaymakers in France, the Netherlands, Monaco, Malta, Turks and Caicos and Aruba. A British Indian friend in Delhi managed to get back to the UK in June on one of the special flights. It was a … Continue reading “Britain’s new quarantine rules may be the usual Boris bish-bash-bosh symbolic action”

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Rashmee has lived and worked in several countries in the past decade, including Afghanistan, India, Haiti, Tunisia, the UAE, US and UK