What joins India and Australia? The answer might surprise you

by Rashmee

Posted on April 18, 2019


Consider the following paragraph: “Since at least the 1990s, XXXX conservatism has offered a highly successful, if philosophically incongruent mix of free-market liberalism and increasingly strident cultural nationalism.” Which proper noun – “Indian” or “Australian” – would fit in place of XXXX? Both perhaps. In both India and Australia conservatism premised on exclusion has held … Continue reading “What joins India and Australia? The answer might surprise you”

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From Israel to India and Indonesia, the season of divisive electoral politics will change – eventually

by Rashmee

Posted on April 16, 2019 / The National


Negative political campaigns, filled with chauvinistic nationalism are the order of the day, but some countries have already proved that it doesn’t have to be this way This is election month for the three I’s – Israel, India and Indonesia. Israel has finished voting and the incumbent prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu remains in charge, India … Continue reading “From Israel to India and Indonesia, the season of divisive electoral politics will change – eventually”

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Is Modi’s cult of personality strong enough to see him through?

by Rashmee

Posted on April 9, 2019 / The National


The Indian Prime Minister has a formidable hold over the national narrative, and yet the Indian electorate is discontented Barely a week after marking the 39th anniversary of its founding, India’s governing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will fight an election that could be decisive for its and the country’s political, economic and cultural life. Over … Continue reading “Is Modi’s cult of personality strong enough to see him through?”

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Forced to fight their own fight: how Dalit women are caught in the crossfire between misogyny and casteism in India

by Rashmee

Posted on January 30, 2019 / The National


The insults heaped on political leader Mayawati — mainly from women — show the ugly intersection of two kinds of hatred present in Indian society January 30 marks 71 years since Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated. One of the clearest signs of his increasing irrelevance in India may be the way he has been all but excised from the debate over … Continue reading “Forced to fight their own fight: how Dalit women are caught in the crossfire between misogyny and casteism in India”

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How 48 hours in Karnataka showed just how far India has strayed from political norms

by Rashmee

Posted on May 23, 2018 / The National


Those who cry foul at Sunday’s presidential election in Venezuela might pause to consider the state of affairs in India, the world’s largest democracy. Seemingly, all is functioning as it should, elections at various levels are held on schedule and politicians have to demonstrably labour to please voters. But the shenanigans after a recent state … Continue reading “How 48 hours in Karnataka showed just how far India has strayed from political norms”

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Birtherism reborn as Hindu? Narendra Modi’s BJP takes lessons from Donald Trump

by Rashmee

Posted on December 5, 2017


The argument over Rahul Gandhi’s Hindu-ness sounds a bit like the debate over Barack Obama’s American-ness. More to the point, birthright. ** Does Mr Gandhi have the right to claim Hindu heritage when his mother is genetically European? ** Did Mr Obama have the right to claim American authenticity despite being visibly black? Both questions … Continue reading “Birtherism reborn as Hindu? Narendra Modi’s BJP takes lessons from Donald Trump”

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Liberals need to heed the messages writ large

by Rashmee

Posted on March 9, 2017 / The National


A recent news report on France’s presidential election campaign and the prospects of far-right leader Marine Le Pen is worth parsing because it says something so politically blasphemous as to be barely believable. John Laurenson reported for the BBC from among French people whom Britain’s prime minister Theresa May might have called “left behind”. He … Continue reading “Liberals need to heed the messages writ large”

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India may note: Russian nationalism about Ovcharka fighting dogs but ‘rotting West’ too

by Rashmee

Posted on October 15, 2016


India’s Narendra Modi meets Russia’s Vladimir Putin today. They share a great deal, not just the desire to do business. Anyone who wonders why Hillary Clinton presumed to describe Russia’s Vladimir Putin as the “grand-god­father of this (altright) global brand of extreme nationalism” might do well to listen to the following podcast: http://www.lse.ac.uk/newsAndMedia/videoAndAudio/channels/publicLecturesAndEvents/player.aspx?id=3477 It’s long … Continue reading “India may note: Russian nationalism about Ovcharka fighting dogs but ‘rotting West’ too”

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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