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by Jaibans Singh on 19 Jan 2019 0 Comment

Shah Faesal is the new flavour of the political landscape of Kashmir: a topper IAS officer with a sudden twinge of conscience that has compelled him to seek a new uncharted path. One wishes him well, but there is valid reason to remain skeptical about his capability as well as his intentions. He has given interviews and spoken to many journalists after havin...

by Thierry Meyssan on 18 Jan 2019 0 Comment

The US withdrawal from Syria and Afghanistan, as well as the resignation of General Mattis, attest to the upheaval that is shaking the current world order. The United States are no longer the leaders, either on the economic or the military stage. They refuse to keep fighting for the sole interests of the transnational financiers. The alliances that they used...

by James M Dorsey on 17 Jan 2019 1 Comment

Pakistan is traversing minefields as it concludes agreements on investment, balance of payments support and delayed payment oil deliveries with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates worth USD$ 13 billion that are likely to fawn growing distrust in its relations with neighbouring Iran. Pakistani prime minister Imran Khan expects to next month sign a memor...

by Jayasree Saranathan on 16 Jan 2019 9 Comments

The olden location of Vālakhilyas occurring in Śālmali Dwīpa, they make better candidates to have had a genetic connection with the short Hobbits. Science says that Hobbits, though shorter in stature were in no way inferior to homo sapiens in intellect. Falk et al observed that the area of the brain associated with higher cognition (Brodmann area 10) in Hobb...

by Jayasree Saranathan on 15 Jan 2019 3 Comments

The characteristic white coloured belly of this eagle can be expected to be found in the narration if this is the bird that came to be called as Garuda. But the absence of this reference rules out this to be Garuda. But far from Indonesia, an extinct eagle of huge size has been found in New Zealand (closer to Vanuatu where extinct tortoises have been found a...

by Jayasree Saranathan on 14 Jan 2019 3 Comments

The name Vālakhilya evokes excitement and interest besides puzzlement for two main reasons. One is that it refers to a group of eleven hymns generally counted as an appendage to the 8th Mandala of Rig Veda. Opinions vary on why they are there and whether they are later additions. Another reason is that sages by a generic name Vālakhilya have existed in a rem...

by James M Dorsey on 13 Jan 2019 1 Comment

Asian players are proving to be conceptually and bureaucratically better positioned in the 21st century’s Great Game that involves tectonic geopolitical shifts with the emergence of what former Portuguese Europe minister Bruno Macaes terms the fusion of Europe and Asia into a “supercontinent”. Yet, in contrast to the United States, Asian players despite appr...

by Boris Kagarlitsky on 12 Jan 2019 3 Comments

The yellow vest movement dumbfounded not only the French ruling elites, but also the left intellectuals throughout Europe. This, to be fair, was always the case with every serious revolutionary movement in the last one hundred years. Not one successful revolution was ever “correct” according to the left intellectuals and politicians. The fact that the “yello...

by Ramtanu Maitra on 11 Jan 2019 0 Comment

Developing the Hambantota port had been under discussion in Sri Lanka for decades, but the location was not considered suitable until Sri Lanka elected a president who came from that area. Soon after he took power in 2005, President Mahinda Rajapaksa became keen to develop the port along with an international airport, a new town, a convention center and a hi...

by Ramtanu Maitra on 10 Jan 2019 0 Comment

In addition to the African continent, China has focused on enhancing its relationship with the Middle East in recent years. In 1996, almost two decades after China’s economic miracle had begun to take shape, China’s then-President Jiang Zemin visited the Arab League, and the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum was established in 2004. In the most recent year...

by Ramtanu Maitra on 09 Jan 2019 0 Comment

China’s spectacular economic performance during the last four decades has brought that country to the forefront of all trading nations. China’s per capita GDP, which was US$ 155 in 1978, grew to US$ 8,836 by 2017, adjusted for inflation. In 2009 China surpassed Japan to become the second-largest economy in the world, and in 2010 surpassed Germany to become t...

by Sandhya Jain on 08 Jan 2019 15 Comments

A prime ministerial interview is an occasion for the incumbent to address his constituents, not an opportunity for critics to extract their pound of flesh. In an interview to news agency ANI, Narendra Modi tackled a range of issues with finesse. Deflecting charges of corruption in the Rafale deal, Modi made the subtle distinction that the allegations...

by B S Harishankar on 07 Jan 2019 27 Comments

Daniela De Simone, project curator of British Museum, London, said at Chennai that the Ramayana mentions how Rama was confounded when he discovered complex political space inside the forest, which included kingdoms, rules and structures. She was presenting her views during a talk on ‘Forest communities and upland societies: Ecology, culture and Identity in t...

by James M Dorsey on 06 Jan 2019 1 Comment

Traditionally focussed on ultra-conservative Sunni Muslim Islam, Saudi funding in the era of crown prince Mohammed bin Salman has been streamlined and fine-tuned to ensure that it serves his geopolitical ambitions, primarily stymying the expansion of Iranian influence in the Middle East and North Africa and enhancing the kingdom’s global impact. The effort, ...

by P M Ravindran on 05 Jan 2019 18 Comments

‘Give a man a rope long enough, he will hang himself’ is an old adage. That this could apply equally to institutions has just been proved by the then Chief Justice of India, Dipak Misra, and his male colleagues on the Supreme Court bench that delivered the Sabarimala verdict on 28 Sep 2018. The verdict is in flagrant violation of Article 26 of the Constituti...

by R Hariharan on 04 Jan 2019 0 Comment

Undoubtedly, 2018 will go down as a discreditable year for Sri Lankan politics, if we go by the 51-day political impasse created by President Maithripala Sirisena’s ill-conceived actions to dismiss Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and install former president Mahinda Rajapaksa as PM. The Rajapaksa government flaunting all the perks ruling the country for ...

by James M Dorsey on 03 Jan 2019 0 Comment

Two developments, the pending return of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad to the Arab fold and protests in Sudan, Jordan and Tunisia, send contradictory messages of where the Middle East and North Africa are headed. Conservative monarchies like Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates that for much of the past decade have gone to great lengths to reverse the...

by Jaibans Singh on 02 Jan 2019 2 Comments

Some acts and deeds are so profound that they change the course of history! One such is the martyrdom of the two younger sons of the tenth master of the Sikhs, Guru Gobind Singh. The young and innocent boys, Sahibzada (Prince) Zorawar Singh and Sahibzada Fateh Singh attained martyrdom on December 26, 1705, when they were brutally murdered by Wazir Khan, the ...

by B S Harishankar on 01 Jan 2019 101 Comments

Veteran scholar R Nagaswamy narrated in 2013 the importance of Kodungallur, the one-time cultural capital of early Kerala, which, he says, has an antiquity going back to 2000 years. His observations have much importance when controversies are unleashed by left lobbies to terminate and jeopardize the Hindu identity of Sabarimala shrine in Kerala. Currently, t...

by James M Dorsey on 31 Dec 2018 1 Comment

As far as Gulf leaders are concerned, President Donald J. Trump demonstrated with his announced US troop withdrawals from Syria and Afghanistan that his insistence that the “world is a dangerous place” has never been truer. The troop withdrawals coupled with Mr. Trump’s praising of Saudi Arabia’s alleged willingness to foot the reconstruction bill in Syria, ...

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