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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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”

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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”

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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”

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Kashmir has become a place obscured by mist and forgetfulness

by Rashmee

Posted on October 1, 2019 / The National


In Nobel laureate Kazuo Ishiguro’s 2015 novel The Buried Giant, an elderly couple set off to look for their long-lost son, of whom they have only fleeting, faint memories. The story is set in sixth-century Britain. The Saxons have arrived, King Arthur is dead and an uneasy peace exists between the Britons and Saxons. The … Continue reading “Kashmir has become a place obscured by mist and forgetfulness”

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Who needs factories? Good question to ask America but not countries like India

by Rashmee

Posted on July 17, 2019


When manufacturing activity in the US and China, the world’s two largest economies, perks up, everyone heaves a sign of relief. Manufacturing, according to most knowledgeable people, is the key to a strong economy. Now here’s the other point of view. Who Needs Factories Anyway? asked Michael Schuman on Bloomberg View some little time ago. It was … Continue reading “Who needs factories? Good question to ask America but not countries like India”

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Why politicians around the world are getting on the radical love train

by Rashmee

Posted on July 3, 2019 / The National


Populism of the most hateful sort has had a baleful presence in the headlines for the past two years, but now a very different political perspective is challenging it, without animus. It’s called “radical love” and had its first electoral win on June 23, when Ekrem Imamoglu was elected mayor of Istanbul, Turkey’s largest city. … Continue reading “Why politicians around the world are getting on the radical love train”

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A manifesto for lost liberals?

by Rashmee

Posted on June 15, 2019


Every lost liberal, defeated by the Indian election result and the Hindu nationalists’ emphatic win, should read sociology professor Avijit Pathak’s piece in The Wire. (Click here or just read the blog below. It has the highlights of Professor Pathak’s argument). Professor Pathak makes an important concession: “In contemporary India, no concept has created more … Continue reading “A manifesto for lost liberals?”

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A new era of pragmatic foreign policy appears to be emerging in Modi’s India 2.0

by Rashmee

Posted on June 11, 2019 / The National


How will Narendra Modi’s India deal with the world now? Differently from his first term as prime minister, as far as confidence and competence are concerned. Mr Modi is newly empowered, having won an emphatic re-election last month. Bestriding India and his governing Bharatiya Janata Party, Mr Modi faced no political pushback in the swift … Continue reading “A new era of pragmatic foreign policy appears to be emerging in Modi’s India 2.0”

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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