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’”

Read More

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”

Read More

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”

Read More

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”

Read More

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”

Read More

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”

Read More

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”

Read More

Several recent stories paint a patchy portrait of India

by Rashmee

Posted on November 12, 2019 / The National


Some sense of what is happening in India can be gleaned from four news stories. On Wednesday, the Indian Supreme Court decides on whether it should be bound, like other public agencies, by the Right to Information Act; the Indian rupee last week fell by 0.5 per cent after ratings agency Moody’s lowered the country’s … Continue reading “Several recent stories paint a patchy portrait of India”

Read More

What state elections in India have in common with Istanbul and Budapest

by Rashmee

Posted on October 29, 2019 / The National


The results of recent elections in two Indian states — Haryana and Maharashtra — have come as a surprise to prime minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party as well as its opponents. The BJP’s vote share in Haryana, which borders the Indian capital Delhi, fell by 22 per cent, in contrast to its triumphal performance in the national election … Continue reading “What state elections in India have in common with Istanbul and Budapest”

Read More

The Trump effect was underway long before Trump. But now, it is empowered

by Rashmee

Posted on October 4, 2019


Israel, India, Britain…The grim rollcall of countries where long-standing norms of political behaviour are increasingly disregarded, and where elected leaders attack the tools that keep democracy vibrant and true. Stanford political scientist Larry Diamond has described some of these tools as follows: judicial independence, a free media, a deeply engaged civil society, universities, the civil service, … Continue reading “The Trump effect was underway long before Trump. But now, it is empowered”

Read More

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