Dabbling in Diplomacy

Bangladesh, SAARC and a chequered history

My passion was to strengthen SAARC, and I strongly felt that Rao’s decision was not appropriate. 

Ghazal king Pankaj Udhas: A soft, reassuring emblem of diaspora yearning

For diaspora Indians around the world, Udhas became an emblem of their pining for their home back in India with his 1986 raging hit “Chitthi Aayi Hai” from the movie ‘Naam’, written by Anand Bakshi and composed by Laxmikant Pyarelal.

Nationalism a dominant frame in global media narratives; India no exception

The mainstream Indian media, a section of which has mostly been a subject of the nationalist government’s monopolistic control, has often served the ends of the dominant elite

Macbeth on the banks of the Sabarmati

Sharply directed by Massimiliano Troiani, Sarabhai’s ‘Macbeth’ is an allegorical musical interpretation of this Shakespearean classic about power at any cost.

More on Medley

Who is afraid of AI? It will always be a slave rather than a master

There is no feeling or empathy in AI.  It can churn huge numbers and will be able to analyze, “think” and react to external inputs but has no wisdom and feelings. Till that happens humans will always have an upper hand.

Ameen Sayani: The father of radio entertainment in the Indian subcontinent

Since his was the only hit parade of its kind for at least two and half decades, Sayani became a formidable name within the Hindi cinema industry.

Ekushey February: Embodying a nation's zeal for its culture and heritage

The whole world now recognizes the spirit and zeal for our culture and heritage. Bangladesh's people's sacrifices will be truly appreciated and commemorated when every nation imbibes the sense to pay proper homage to their linguistic heritage.

The ubiquitous influence of social media and rise of unsocial beings

Facebook has become a tool for spreading hatred, sexual perversion and extremism. When people comment on sensitive topics like religion and gender, many cross the line of decency. 

Studying the science of migratory birds - and what they tell us about the state of the environment

Keeping track of the migratory birds visiting the university campus, and how the impact of climate change would impact the migration of migratory birds, are among the subjects being promoted for research in universities across the globe. These include Beijing University, Royal University of Bhutan, University of SJP in Sri Lanka, HNB Garhwal University in India which are in the network of the Green TERRE Foundation. 

Dhaka's hazardous air quality: Official indifference aggravating public health crisis

In response to public interest litigation filed by Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh (HRPB), Bangladesh's High Court recently issued a nine-point directive to authorities to tackle the capital's life-threatening air pollution.

Nepali journalists express solidarity with Gaza colleagues; Hindutva influence questioned

During the conversations that took place afterward, the journalists discussed why Nepal’s government, press, and civil society have not been more vocal about what they termed as a genocide being enacted by Israel in Gaza.

Midnight's Third Child: Stories of Bengal that evoke a sense of yearning and connectedness

The essays cover distinct areas, exploring minority experiences and a wider Bengal, including, inevitably, West Bengal.

The art of Nandalal Bose and his message of nationalism

A democratisation of art, drawing from folk culture that is in direct contact with the realities of those who live close to the cycles of nature, represents a modern outlook that draws inspiration from contemporary reality.

Of wars, their hyped virtual reality and pocket wars

The hyped technology has led us into a frenzied time where we either switch between TV channels or move our fingers on our smartphone screen for the next reel or newsfeed. Stuck within the labyrinth of visual images we are yet to find a new strategy to recover the lost humanity.

Peacebuilding on stage: ‘Gandhi and Jinnah’ in a cathartic reenactment of South Asia’s tragic past

Against this backdrop, the staging of Dr Ahmed’s “Gandhi and Jinnah Return Home” in the Washington D.C. area offered a rare opportunity to witness peacebuilding at play. In one of the play's scenes, Jinnah and Gandhi resurface to debate the costs of partition alongside contemporary Indians and Pakistanis. After many rounds of dialogue, the two embrace one another.

The Golden Bachelor: Is India ready for mature romances?

The chemistry between Dharmendra and Shabana Azmi in the latest Karan Johar film ‘Rocky aur Rani’ suggests that Indian audiences are beginning to recognise that older people don’t just have a pulse, they actually have a heart!

Cutting-edge technologies are fast hurtling the world toward destruction

Any serious conversation about AI also needs to take into consideration the role of deep fake using AI to wreak havoc among society and even intruding into private spaces for monetary and other gains.

Tagore and Gandhi's ideas have great relevance in today's world

Today the distance between the vision and way of life of Tagore and Gandhi and current perspectives is growing. And though the effort and work done with fervour in their names continue, most of that energy is outside India.

The Indian diaspora's 'indentured route' - and a 'lost' children's quest for identity

Ironically, the forced migration also laid the seeds of a diaspora in countries where Indians of another generation looking for better economic opportunities would not have normally settled.