How to pandemic-proof a Hindu (or any other) pilgrimage

by Rashmee

Posted on April 24, 2021


/ FAITH, HOPE… One of my grandmothers died after contracting small pox at the Kumbh Mela less than a hundred years ago. Her husband, my grandfather, had already passed, so my father was left an orphan. He went on to become a doctor, both his profession and his personal story making him sceptical of large … Continue reading “How to pandemic-proof a Hindu (or any other) pilgrimage”

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Bystander trauma: A tale of two countries, America and India

by Rashmee

Posted on April 20, 2021


/ POLITICS & AMERICA The closing of Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin’s trial is a good moment to consider bystander trauma and what it says about a people, as well as their country’s likely trajectory. Until the closing arguments on Monday, April 19,  the trial had gone on three weeks. One week into it, witnesses … Continue reading “Bystander trauma: A tale of two countries, America and India”

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Why it matters that American farmers are making common cause with India’s

by Rashmee

Posted on February 23, 2021


/ POLITICS & AMERICA I find it interesting that 87 farmers’ unions in the United States have made common cause with their protesting counterparts in India. The rights and wrongs of Indian prime minister Narendra Modi’s attempt to reform farming laws are contested. My friend Gurcharan Das, a former CEO of Procter & Gamble India, … Continue reading “Why it matters that American farmers are making common cause with India’s”

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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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On the world stage, men and women leaders are merely players. They have their exits and entrances

by Rashmee

Posted on November 11, 2020


Many are offering a grim roundup of the disappointment being felt by some leaders and governments because Donald Trump won’t have a second term in the White House. (Click here and here for some examples of the type of commentary I’m talking about.) To which the right response is three-pronged and as follows: First, let’s … Continue reading “On the world stage, men and women leaders are merely players. They have their exits and entrances”

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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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Making sense of Modi’s India: An ‘aam’ NRI’s view once again

by Rashmee

Posted on August 5, 2020


Now that Indian prime minister Narendra Modi has laid the foundation stone for a Hindu temple in Ayodhya, I couldn’t help but think of the chapter I contributed to the HarperCollins India book ‘Making Sense of Modi’s India’. The book, published in 2016, two years after Mr Modi’s first magnificent national election victory, was a … Continue reading “Making sense of Modi’s India: An ‘aam’ NRI’s view once again”

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Plato used the image of the political leader as a doctor. That is particularly true in a pandemic

by Rashmee

Posted on March 31, 2020


Taiwan’s remarkably effective response to the coronavirus pandemic is thought to be in some measure because it’s lucky enough to have an epidemiologist as vice president. (Click here for my blog from last week.) Technically speaking, the European Union should have the same advantage. After all, European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen, is a … Continue reading “Plato used the image of the political leader as a doctor. That is particularly true in a pandemic”

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To be great, India and the US have to be good – part II

by Rashmee

Posted on March 7, 2020


  I’m returning to a subject that has long preoccupied me. Both India, country of my birth, and the US, my adoptive country, must be good to be great. It is not enough to remind the world that India produced Mahatma Gandhi and that the US has exemplified rule of law and the separation of … Continue reading “To be great, India and the US have to be good – part II”

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With Donald Trump’s visit, US-India chemistry can no longer be dismissed as fiction

by Rashmee

Posted on February 25, 2020 / The National


There were bespoke broccoli samosas in Ahmedabad in western India; a watermelon carved with the faces of Donald Trump and Narendra Modi in Theni in southern India; sand art featuring Mr Trump and his wife Melania on Puri beach in eastern India and the “Trump collection” of specially designed gold and silver-plated tableware in Delhi … Continue reading “With Donald Trump’s visit, US-India chemistry can no longer be dismissed as fiction”

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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