16 February 2017, by Siegfried O. Wolf
Source: Centre on Asia and Globalisation, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore.
The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a multi-billion dollar infrastructure investment project, is heralded as a game changer for Pakistan’s economy and regional cooperation. It is a crucial part of a major development initiative led by China, known as the New Silk Road or ‘One Belt, One Road’ (OBOR), to connect Asia with Europe and the Middle East with Africa via land (belt) and sea (road). For the CPEC project and for those involved, it evokes hopes and a myriad of interests, and it signals a significant geopolitical shift. Continue reading “India’s Doubts about Joining the Chinese New Silk Road Journey”
6 January 2017; Siegfried O. Wolf
On December 30, 2016, China once again blocked India’\s attempt to get the United Nations (UN) to list Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief Masood Azhar as a terrorist. The move took place despite clear indications that the Pakistan-based JeM under the leadership of Azhar is responsible for several attacks on Indian soil, like the Parliament terror attack (2001) or the Pathankot airbase attack. In this context, it is remarkable that JeM has already been blacklisted by the 15 members of the UN Security Council (UNSC), but not the terrorist leader himself. Due to the persistent ‘technical holds’ enforced by China, Azhar did not get listed as a designated terrorist under the 1267/1989/2253 ISIL (Da’esh, the militant Islamic State/IS group) and Al Qaida Sanctions Committee’ of the UNSC. Continue reading “Double Standards? Understanding China’s Diplomatic Support for Pakistan’s Cross-Border Terrorists”
25 July 2016
Image by Bharath Joshi
One of the most noteworthy developments in Indian politics is the occurrence of a phenomenon often described as Hindu-Nationalism or Hindutva-movement (Bhatt 2001; Jaffrelot 2007, 1996; Zavos 2000). The movement refers to efforts to undertake dramatic changes within the political culture of India. This attempted transformation of state and society, which manifested itself through ‘communal violence’ – clashes between different religious communities especially between Hindus and Muslims (Engineer 2003; 1987) and actions aimed at challenging constitutional provisions such as secularism in combination with increasingly radical socio-political demands, have posed a threat to the Indian model of consensus democracy and have sadly lived up to bleak forecasts (Basu et.al. 1993).
Continue reading “Hindutva and Citizenship in India: Helping Refugees or Building Vote Banks?”
25 February 2016
On 26 February 2016, it’s the 50th anniversary of Vinayak Damodar Savarkar’s death. Furthermore, this year marks also another anniversary related to the ‘jubilee’, two decades ago the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) formed its first national government in New Delhi. This date determines a significant bench mark in any elaboration on Savarkar, because the BJP spent substantial efforts to keep him alive in the country’s collective memory and to make sure that he gets an appropriate place in the conception and awareness of Indian history. At the first sight, this might appear as a common undertaking in a relatively young state which experienced centuries of colonial suppression and years of freedom struggle. But when one looks closer, it touches the core of India’s self-perception and the ideational foundation the country is built on. By having said this, one has to be aware that Savarkar is an extraordinary controversial and multi-faceted personality, whose life and literary contribution present various paradoxical phenomena.
Continue reading “The 50th Death Anniversary of Vinayak Damodar Savarkar: It’s Time for a New Assessment”
24 April 2015; Siegfried O. Wolf
Source: Blue Chip, Issue 119, Vol. 2/4, pp. 59-61, Islamabad, Pakistan.
More than two centuries old, the media sector in India is intrinsically tied to the political trajectories of the country. Even before the country gained independence in 1947, the print media especially, being largely associated with the freedom struggle against the British colonial ruler, turned into a crucial actor in the political arenas of urban India. Quite from the beginning of the country’s state and nationbuilding, the press served as a platform for individuals as well as whole movements to articulate their ideas, protests, and/or demands for social, economic and political improvements. The media earned a high reputation for being a major element of resilience of India’s democracy. Continue reading “India’s General Elections 2014 and the Role of Media: New Course or Entrenching Old Patterns?”
8 November 2014; by Siegfried O. Wolf
As a small, land-locked country positioned between two large and powerful neighbours, China and India, Nepal’s foreign policy has centred on the not always reconcilable task of maintaining friendly relations with both and safeguarding its national security and independence. The long, permeable border (around 1,800 km) with India has upheld a close yet sometimes acrimonious relationship between the two countries, with Nepal’s economy functioning as an appendage to that of India. Subsequently, relations between India and Nepal have not only been influenced by cultural and historical links but also by suspicion and resentment. Continue reading “India-Nepal relations and the Impact of Hindu-Nationalism”