US Secretary of State Antony Blinken at Munich Conference

Is US influence in world politics declining?

The struggle that the United States has faced to garner support for the Yemen campaign illustrates its diminishing ability to rally its allies to its causes. The lack of nations willing to engage in a war for US interests signals a shift in global dynamics. Even longstanding allies, such as Israel, appear less inclined to align with US policies.

My brush with Bharat Ratnas

In the choice of these awards Modi has again shown political astuteness and statesmanship of a very high order.

Will 2024 be any different from 2023? Little to cheer about

The world has learned nothing in the year 2023 from the miseries suffered by innocent people due to wars and conflicts.

COP28 actions on Indian streets, setting the stage for net-zero reality

As India positions itself for post-COP28, this youth-led initiative not only captures the attention of the masses but positions youth as catalysts for sustainable transformation. 

More on Open Forum

Bangladesh's Digital Security Act needs amendment, not abolition

The Bangladesh government should quickly consider the amendment to safeguard dissident voices in a democracy. An amendment should find the middle ground between the activists and the government, considering the necessity of such a law.

Understanding the science of Patanjali Yoga Sutras

It seems a little strange that Sage Patanjali who was the first to enunciate the yoga principles of thought control and mind enhancement would not have included the important science of Kundalini Yoga in it. One can speculate that probably that section could have been extracted by some commentators from his sutras and made into a separate science of Tantric Yoga.

Salim Durrani, a cavalier batsman. a lethal bowler, a charismatic presence in the Indian team (1934-2023)

Had Salim Durrani been a cricketer in current times he would have been one of the most admired cricket stars flooded with lucrative endorsement deals. He came at a time when cricket was cricket and not a straight path to insane fame and fortune.

Misconceptions about trees: Power, pulp, fodder and fertilizer from subabul – a multipurpose tree

All three species provide good tree cover and much-needed green lung to cities like Delhi and it will be foolish to eradicate them.

South Asia activists urge governments to convene SAARC Summit

With ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ -- the world is one family -- as the motto for this year’s G20 Summit to be held in India, it is perhaps a good time to remind South Asian governments that they, too, are part of one region

How India can rightly become a 'Vishwaguru'

In the past, all great thoughts from India went abroad after they were practiced in India for quite some time. Thus, there is a need for our own population to be tolerant of different shades of opinion and use technology to light up the lives of the rural poor. 

Protecting families from ruinous healthcare costs

With the very limited government money on offer and the need for protection being almost universal, the states would do well to use that money instead to offer an insurance plan that covers their entire population (the poor and the non-poor) for only a limited number of very expensive and very rare conditions.

Bangladesh has become a role model for other LDCs

Prime Minister Hasina has repeatedly said that infrastructure development has been happening at a massive rate in Bangladesh that will attract foreign investors.

Covid, Chinese lab 'leaks', and the risks of playing with nature

Traditional Indian wisdom teaches us that we are not separate from nature, that all forms of life are connected and inseparable from the rhythm of the planet – the air, the mountains, the forests, the seas and the sun. If this thinking is allowed to take root again, sustainability is already achieved.

Improved connectivity an imperative to realise intra-regional trade potential in the BBIN subregion: CUTS

CUTS report launch - "Multimodal Connectivity for Shared Prosperity - Towards Facilitating Trade in th BBIN Subregion"

IMF loans and the perils of post-truth politics in Bangladesh

An economic crisis should not become a matter of party polemics unless the problem lies in management. Bangladesh’s economic recession is largely attributed to the pandemic and the Ukraine war and has the least to do with economic management. As a result, it is a state matter, and requires a consensus among the political parties to deal with it effectively.

To overcome economic crisis, does Sri Lanka need a little less democracy?

If the postponement of local body polls means less democracy for some time, let it be so, and it is in the interest of Sri Lanka.

Despite high-profile anti-corruption drives, corruption is rampant across India

While campaigns for honesty in public and private life by various sources have been taking place for a long time in the country, this has not seen any reduction in the level of corruption in India. The repeated catching of corrupt persons by the vigilance department has also not yielded many benefits as they are only the proverbial tip of the iceberg.

How to reduce fear in children: Encourage reading; expand mental horizons

Thus reading, listening to great stories, discussing interesting issues in schools, will help children learn to focus and will help them to reduce their fears and make them better citizens.

The eco chamber syndrome: Controlling minds is not what democracy needs

Authoritarian party leaders and military or religious dictators do not wish to confront alternative ideas or opinions; so there is always an attempt to suppress the ‘other’ voices,  both offline and online. These often lead them to put citizens into an eco-chamber where only praising of the power structure gets heard and echoed. Tolerance is the first victim of this, and the next is free speech, and then freedom in general.