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

India, Hungary, Turkey, Trump’s America

by Rashmee

Posted on October 29, 2020


In the way of television quizzes, here’s your starter for ten: What unites India, Hungary, Turkey and the United States? They’re governed by nationalist parties, all of which are increasingly promoting a faux democracy. The BJP, Fidesz, AKP and the Republican Party are a common thread that runs through the body politic of all four … Continue reading “India, Hungary, Turkey, Trump’s America”

Read More

Hungary to get a new university – from China. Here’s why it matters and doesn’t

by Rashmee

Posted on October 27, 2020


Axios said “this isn’t news exactly” because it’s a development from December 2019, but I think it’s probably better described as a development that’s still newsy even though 10 months old. Fudan University, from Shanghai, China, is planning to open a campus in Budapest, Hungary, by 2024. The context is worth noting. In 2018, Hungary’s prime minister … Continue reading “Hungary to get a new university – from China. Here’s why it matters and doesn’t”

Read More

No evidence pandemic is boosting xenophobia in Europe

by Rashmee

Posted on March 29, 2020 / The Arab Weekly


Post-coronavirus, both the left and the right may be increasingly in sync, albeit for different reasons. One might have thought the coronavirus pandemic would have been an instant and massive boost to xenophobia in Europe and this would be particularly true of Italy. For it is in Italy that the pandemic has taken its greatest … Continue reading “No evidence pandemic is boosting xenophobia in Europe”

Read More

Is democracy really dying a slow, agonising death?

by Rashmee

Posted on November 25, 2019


It’s fashionable these days for commentators to lament the lingering death of democracy. It’s being strangled long and slow, so the narrative goes. How? By neutering democratic checks and balances – a judicious distance between governing party and the state. By packing the courts or preventing them from exercising judicial independence. By preventing the opposition … Continue reading “Is democracy really dying a slow, agonising death?”

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 white jihadist peril is with us

by Rashmee

Posted on August 17, 2019 / The Arab Weekly


White nationalism is seen to be validated by the rhetoric of powerful politicians, not least the US president, Hungary’s prime minister and Italy’s deputy prime minister. After the thwarted gun attack August 10 on a mosque in Norway, an American cartoon from a few days earlier seems acutely perceptive and seriously unfunny. “Can you step … Continue reading “The white jihadist peril is with us”

Read More

The Orbanisation of India? Before that, there was the Modi-fication of Hungary

by Rashmee

Posted on May 23, 2019


The Orbanisation of India? Before that, there was the Modi-fication of Hungary. Now that Narendra Modi has decisively won re-election he is master of the narrative, the history books, of legislation and much, much more. How much more can be best explained by considering the following: The Election Commission of India’s unwillingness or inability to do … Continue reading “The Orbanisation of India? Before that, there was the Modi-fication of Hungary”

Read More

A legitimating moment for European bigotry?

by Rashmee

Posted on May 19, 2019 / The Arab Weekly


Opinion polls indicate a surge in support for the far right ahead of the elections, which could make it the second largest force in the European Parliament with up to 35% of all seats. The legitimating moment for European bigotry occurred when Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban was received by US President Donald Trump at … Continue reading “A legitimating moment for European bigotry?”

Read More

With EU divided, Britain won’t need to ‘exit’

by Rashmee

Posted on March 16, 2019 / First Post


Before the Brexit referendum there was Viktor Orban. In 2014, two years before Britain voted narrowly to leave the European Union (EU), the Hungarian leader was pledging to turn his country into an “illiberal” democracy. In effect, Orban’s Hungary was exiting the EU in spirit, by fiat and without a referendum. As Brexit day, originally … Continue reading “With EU divided, Britain won’t need to ‘exit’”

Read More

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