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  • A Retreat of Colour
    April, 2009 By Sahiba Trivedi

    Russia is standing at the precipice of an opportunity to regain its geopolitical influence in the eastern European neighbourhood. The conditions are just right: anti-government protests are on in Georgia and Moldova; Ukraine’s most powerful leaders, former allies, are now dueling with each other for power; and the US is interested in seeking Russia’s help for NATO operations in Afghanistan.

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  • Where Religion Meets Politics...
    April, 2009 By Gitanjali Bakshi

    "There will be no peace among the nations without peace among the religions. There will be no peace among the religions without dialogue among the religions" – Dr. Hans Kung

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  • The Great Indian Numerical Curse
    April, 2009 By Joyanto Mukherjee

    The world’s largest democracy has entered the polling booth for the 15th time in its illustrious history. The whole country is anticipating a very closely fought election this time around. The interest generated in the elections is more because of the sudden rise in the electorate. A total of 41 million new voters will be exercising their franchise and this makes the total number of registered voters rise to 714 million. Media channels are going crazy with this statistic and it has become the yardstick in these elections. An electorate of such a size is the wish of many countries across the world. Yet in India, a huge electorate doesn’t always equal a conscious mandate.

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  • The Obama Report Card
    April, 2009 By Anumita Raj

    As the 44th President of the United States approaches the completion of his first 100 days in office, the general public will no doubt be subject to many, many pieces on how he has fared, what it means, how the American public perceives him, how the international community perceives him and what his next challenges are likely to be. For the American political pundit, the first 100 days are a key indicator of the rest of their President’s term. For the moment, let us concern ourselves with his foreign policy report card and what might come next.

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  • Have We Just Entered An Era of Hope and Opportunity? Will It Last?
    March, 2009 By Sundeep Waslekar

    A few months ago, we celebrated the victory of Barrack Obama in the US elections. We feel justified. Within the first fifty days of his administration, the world is sailing on the winds of peace and reconciliation. We are witnessing a new sense of hope in almost every part of the world.

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  • The Day After the Celebrations
    March, 2009 By Ambika Vishwanath

    In 1910 a German women’s right activist, Clara Zetkin, proposed that every year there should be a world wide celebration on the same day to advocate the rights of women and place their demands on a public space. In 1911 International Women’s Day was born, and today almost a hundred years later, every year on March 8th we celebrate our women. A century ago with only two countries allowing women to vote, such a day was necessary. It brought to the fore front the struggles and challenges that women were facing, and placed their voices on a global forum. Today, decades later the celebrations have taken a different turn where in China, Macedonia, Russia and other countries March 8th is a an official holiday. Large rallies and events are held to celebrate the achievements of great and inspiring women, and the world takes a moment to recognize half its population.

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  • Pakistan’s Sticky Wicket
    March, 2009 By Rohit Honawar

    Living in India we have all heard or experienced the notion of cricket being like a religion to millions of ardent fans. To the people of the subcontinent, the likes of Tendulkar, Murali and Akram are revered regardless of ones religious beliefs, caste, ethnicity or social status. The perception that sports, or in this case cricket, could rise above political uncertainty and turmoil has always held true, no more so than in the Mecca of the sport – South Asia. Yet, the recent attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore challenged that perception, with cricketers and officials being targeted in a brazen terrorist assault reminiscent of the audacious Mumbai attack in November last year. For the sports aficionados the sanctity of their ‘religion’ had been breached – while for Pakistan’s government and the international community, this was another instance of the deepening crisis confronting Islamabad.

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  • Bangladesh: Cracks in the Ice
    March, 2009 By Sahiba Trivedi

    The 2-month old Bangladesh government, under Prime Minster Sheikh Hasina, has just gone through its first acid-test – the Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) mutiny in February 2009. Before it could be quelled, this mutiny by the country’s paramilitary force, known as the BDR, left over 74 dead. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s reputation has been enhanced greatly for suppressing the mutiny successfully through political means, instead of resorting to military force. This way, Hasina has also managed to send out a message to the international community that Bangladesh has a stable democratic government at its helm; this is sure to give a much-needed boost to the country’s economy in form of more foreign investment and aid. 

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