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

Tagore's immortal words resonate at Indian Arrival Day in Trinidad and Tobago

Dookeran pointed out that a journey for freedom, is what ignited the 'Yatra Jaaree Hai' (the journey had begun). In India in modern times, that freedom was given political expression in 1947; it was not only the freedom of India, and it soon spread to all places that was called the British Empire in Asia, Africa and the Caribbean"

Little known heroes of Indian Air Force's 44 Squadron: 50 years of crucial airlifts

During the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) operations in Sri Lanka, 44 Squadron played a crucial role in transporting men and material, including T-72 tanks and artillery guns, in the early hours of 30 July 1987, greatly contributing to the airlift effort.

The reality behind the window dressing: An Afghan perspective on the US 'war on terror' in Afghanistan and Iraq

One of the key learnings for me as a linguist and interpreter at the frontline of the Afghan war and occupation for years, that I cannot forget and forgive, was that the US politicians and policymakers did not support and establish secular institutions in Afghanistan. They deceived both the American and the Afghan people. 

“Congratulations! It’s a girl!” How one crusader helped change attitudes toward daughters in an Indian state

Young women in Haryana are proving themselves in male-centric sports like wrestling, winning on national and international platforms. They include Geeta Phogat, Vinesh Phogat, and Sakshi Malik, besides the pilot Priyanka; Miss World Manushi Chillar; gold medalist shooter Mannu Bhakar; and Khap Panchayat participant Ritu. These women, and many more, are defying social norms; and bring laurels to the state and the country.

Prayers and calls to find missing Indian climber, a passionate peace enthusiast, in Nepal

Anurag believed strongly in the common civilization shared by India and Pakistan. “It seems visible even today looking at the twin sister cities, Delhi - Lahore and Mumbai - Karachi,” he said.

As Nepal’s rhino population increases, protecting rhino habitat becomes a challenge

In February 2023, Chitwan National Park hosted the 3rd Asian Rhino Range Countries, which saw the adoption of the Chitwan Declaration for Asian Rhino Conservation, 2023 by delegations from Bhutan, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Nepal. 

Pop Art South Asia: A unique and irreverent creative collection of region's artists

It is impossible to take in the meticulously and painstakingly curated show, with more than 100 stimulating, multi-media works, spanning more than a century, in a single visit.

What’s Love Got to Do With It? A feel-good South Asian rom-com with a sturdy message

Released in the UK on February 24 and in Pakistan on March 3, the film is a refreshing masterclass on how to adhere to the classic romantic-comedy structure, delivering a delightfully fair representation of multi-heritage families in cosmopolitan London and Lahore.

When the magic of Faiz got overshadowed by the Javed Akhtar controversy

But it was Akhtar’s few brief comments about the Mumbai attacks that spread rapidly on social media, picked up by mainstream media in Pakistan and India. Back home Akhtar had to defend his visit to Pakistan but his hosts. Faiz Festival organisers, have refused to comment on the controversy.

Zia Mohyeddin: Mourning the passing away of a progressive Pakistani poet and theatre artiste

Pakistan’s progressive movement revolved largely around the great poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz, whose work Zia Mohyeddin so eloquently recited in his signature style, his distinctive, gravelly voice set him apart from others. 

A legendary Indian songwriter, a daughter married in Pakistan - and a family torn apart

Before moving to Pakistan, Kishwar often accompanied her father to recordings after school hours in Mumbai. After marriage, with relations between the two countries deteriorating, she found herself progressively isolated from her family and the world. 

Salman Rushdie returns, vibrating with literary energy

If there ever were a perfect literary candidate for the Nobel Prize in Literature, it would be Salman Rushdie this year.

Filial piety and elderly-children relationships: Common narratives in regional folklore and popular culture

Several folktales from across the Indian sub-continent also speak about respect and honour of one’s elderly parents. The concept is also seen in Theravada Buddhism, often referred as 'the doctrine of the elders' (of the senior Buddhist monks). Thus, reverberations of the concept of filial piety are seen in spiritualism and folklore of South, Southeast and East Asia.

‘Serendipity’ and its travelling tale - across Persia, Sri Lanka and India

This story is often said to have encouraged the introduction of the word ‘serendip’ into the English dictionary, marking January 28 to be remembered as the day when the word entered the dictionary. 

Rediscovering Suchitra Sen in Bangladesh: Tracing the portrait of a glamorous actress on an easel of the past

As busy evenings of youngsters flock over to Roopkawthar Kabbo, the narrative of the legend from yesteryears reverberates through each cup served and, for the uninitiated, these cups are the connecting dots of time when an answer comes with the query of “Who is this?”.