UNGA 2019: there’s always a story behind a no-show

by Rashmee

Posted on September 18, 2019 / The National


Who attends the United Nations General Assembly every year – and more crucially, who doesn’t – makes for a handy snapshot of the political state of the world. The no-shows are generally significant because they indicate the seriousness of ongoing, homegrown crises in disparate parts of the world. A leader dealing with regional, national or … Continue reading “UNGA 2019: there’s always a story behind a no-show”

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What’s on BRICS’ collective mind?

by Rashmee

Posted on July 25, 2019


Today (July 25th) and tomorrow, foreign ministers of the BRICS countries meet in Rio de Janeiro. BRICS —Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – will have its annual summit in Brasília in November. The foreign ministers will discuss what their principals will talk about later in the year. But there are some hints already … Continue reading “What’s on BRICS’ collective mind?”

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What to look forward to (or not) in 2019

by Rashmee

Posted on January 10, 2019


It’s going to be a politically busy 2019 though there’s no certainty it’ll be a happy new year. On New Year’s Day, Jair Bolsonaro was inaugurated president of Brazil. The man dubbed the “Trump of the Tropics” has promised to “break the system”, but that might be more the mould – democratic norms etc – … Continue reading “What to look forward to (or not) in 2019”

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If we want to save Britain from its post-Brexit economic fate, we should support Theresa May’s investment in Africa

by Rashmee

Posted on August 28, 2018 / The Independent


Theresa May has joined in a new scramble for Africa but this one is neither wholly European nor intentionally and hideously opaque as in centuries past. In fact, May is pretty upfront about Britain’s hopes and aims in Africa, as she visits the continent’s three largest economies — South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya. Brexit Britain, which has … Continue reading “If we want to save Britain from its post-Brexit economic fate, we should support Theresa May’s investment in Africa”

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Trump on South Africa shows poisonous mess he’s serving up on presidential china

by Rashmee

Posted on August 25, 2018


South Africa has hit back at Donald Trump’s dangerous, false, racist and race-baiting comment about white farmers being wrongly dispossessed, but here’s what’s clear: The current US president will target – for cynical domestic political reasons – anywhere and everywhere that there is either a mixed white and black population and/or, a Christian community. Mr … Continue reading “Trump on South Africa shows poisonous mess he’s serving up on presidential china”

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Indians abroad & foreign-returned: South Africa’s Guptas; Nirav Modi in US

by Rashmee

Posted on February 19, 2018


Once upon a time, Indians thought it prestigious to be “foreign-returned”. And England, the old colonial master, symbolized everywhere foreign, until “Amreeka” took its place. Now, the Gupta family of South Africa-via-Saharanpur is setting a whole new standard for “foreign-returned” Indians. Ajay Gupta, one of the three businessmen brothers who relocated from Saharanpur in north … Continue reading “Indians abroad & foreign-returned: South Africa’s Guptas; Nirav Modi in US”

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Angola, Zimbabwe, now South Africa? Africa’s new mania for orderly change

by Rashmee

Posted on February 12, 2018


Today’s ANC meeting in South Africa is simply remarkable. It illustrates the mania for orderly change that appears to be sweeping the African continent. First, Angola’s president José Eduardo dos Santos stepped aside after 38 years in power. Then Robert Mugabe, one of Africa’s longest-serving and oldest leaders, was forced out of office without bloodshed … Continue reading “Angola, Zimbabwe, now South Africa? Africa’s new mania for orderly change”

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What should we make of the way Mahatma Gandhi spoke about black people?

by Rashmee

Posted on September 5, 2015


According to a new book by two South African academics, the Mahatma regarded black people in much the way Winston Churchill regarded him. Churchill called the leader of the Indian freedom movement a “half-naked fakir”. Gandhi, according to the book by Ashwin Desai and Goolam Vahed, said black Africans lived a life of “indolence and … Continue reading “What should we make of the way Mahatma Gandhi spoke about black people?”

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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