When COVID-19, climate collide: How south Asia can prepare itself

by Giriraj Amarnath

Down To Earth | April 27, 2020

Normal to above-average monsoon rainfall could bring floods to parts of the country from June as well Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Countries in south Asia are bracing themselves for an onslaught of climate disasters, as if managing the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic is not enough.

April is the prime month for cyclones to strike India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, while central and southern India are forecast to heat up faster than usual this spring, making heatwaves more likely. Normal to above-average monsoon rainfall could bring floods to parts of the country from June as well.Read More »

Kashmir on the edge of the abyss


 The New York Review of Books | August 13, 2019

Security personnel patrol during a lockdown in Srinagar on August 10, 2019. (Photo by TAUSEEF MUSTAFA / AFP) (Photo credit should read TAUSEEF MUSTAFA/AFP/Getty Images)

In an unsettled world, amid violent wars and imperial occupations, with all norms ruthlessly cast aside, did Kashmir really have a chance to be free? As unrest spreads, India, the vaunted “world’s largest democracy,” has imposed a total communications blackout. Kashmir is cut off from the world. With even the most conciliatory and collaborationist political leaders now under house arrest, one can only fear the worst for the rest of the region’s population.

For almost half a century, Kashmir has been ruled from Delhi with the utmost brutality. In 2009, the discovery of some 2,700 unmarked graves in three of the region’s twenty-two districts alone confirmed what had long been suspected: a decades-long history of disappearances and extrajudicial killings. Torture and rape of both women and men has been reported, but since the Indian Army is effectively above the law, its soldiers have impunity in perpetrating these atrocities and nobody can be charged with war crimes.Read More »

Water wars: As climate change escalates, South Asia’s already fighting over water

by Conn Hallinan

People’s World | July 11, 2019

Water wars: As climate change escalates, South Asia’s already fighting over water

Satpara Lake in Pakastan, off season. Adil Riaz, CC 4.0, Wikimedia Commons

During the faceoff earlier this year between India and Pakistan over a terrorist attack that killed more than 40 Indian paramilitaries in Kashmir, New Delhi made an existential threat to Islamabad. The weapon was not India’s considerable nuclear arsenal, but one still capable of inflicting ruinous destruction: water.

“Our government has decided to stop our share of water which used to flow to Pakistan,” India’s Transport Minister, Nitin Gadkari said Feb. 21. “We will divert water from eastern rivers and supply it to our people in Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab. India controls three major rivers that flow into Pakistan.

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UK: Foreign Office admits to destroying hundreds of files from the start of Tamil uprising in Sri Lanka

by Phil Miller

Morning Star | January 21, 2019

Enter a cForeign Office has been accused of ‘shredding history’aption

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India should circumvent US Dominance

by Bharat Jhunjhunwala

Frontier | Oct 23, 2018

United States President Donald Trump has prohibited US Banks from undertaking receipts and payments with Iran beginning November 4th. Global trade in oil is mainly undertaken in US Dollars. The ships carrying crude oil are mostly insured by US companies. Trump wants to bring Iran to its knees by prohibiting US banks and insurers from participating in the trade of Iran oil and thereby strangulating its oil exports.Read More »

Friends & Foes: Rohingya Run and Imperialism

by Farooque Chowdhury

Frontier | Vol. 51, No.13, Sep 30 – Oct 6, 2018

The long Rohingya run is passing more than a year in its current phase—a huge number of the Rohingyaas in Bangladesh. Amidst diplomatic dialogues, and imperialist intrigues the Rohingyaas staying in Bangladesh are passing difficult days.

The Rohingyaas’ days are harsh and hard, very difficult to bear. Their days are uncertain and undignified also. Living on doles is not a dignified life. Moreover, dignity dries down when imperialism appears friend. Imperialism’s “friendly” posture creates a lot of critical questions. Nowhere and never imperialism was friend of any people struggling for survival and justice, for democratic rights, for dignity as the two interests—people’s and imperialism’s—are diametrically opposite, contradictory. Read More »

Pakistan: Miranshah, Lawrence of Arabia and Rani Mukherjee

by Sanjay Kapoor

Pakistan army’s attempt to rebuild a war-battered Miranshah in FATA is also premised on creating a narrative and symbols that shows the presence of a foreign hand — India

Before Miranshah in Pakistan’s Waziristan was left in a state of disrepair after the Pakistan army launched a military operation — Zarb-e-Azb — in 2014 to oust the entrenched Pakistan Taliban, this frontier town had built a reputation for Pashtun assertion and the giddy romanticism of the Raj days.

In the cavernous passage to the briefing room of the army headquarters in Miranshah hang yellowed framed images that show giggly wives of British officers juxtaposed with those of hardy Pashtuns, attired in their flowing long shirts and turbans sporting their rifles. Myths about the Pashtuns and the tough terrains they lived in were further served by the mysterious posting of the Lawrence of Arabia or TE Lawrence to Miranshah as a “clerk” in the Royal Air Force in 1926. There was bewilderment in the barracks of Miranshah as to why a man whose exploits in Arabia redefined a region would settle for such a lowly job. No one believed the reasons why he was in this frontier post, which was, in Lawrence’s words, just a fort and an airstrip. Later historians believed he was an imperialist spy planted to overthrow the anti-British Afghan government. Lawrence’s ‘somnolent’ stay in Miranshah or stormier happenings in this region before 1947 are now confined to entries in Wikipedia or blogs of those obsessed with the Raj era. Over the years, many myths have fed the numerous stories from the bygone era.

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Confusion in finding Marx in Bangladesh


Countercurrents.org | June 06, 2018

Misrepresentation creates confusion, and confusion misleads many. Misrepresentation is unfair also as it carries seeds of injustice.

A recent two-parts-article in a Dhaka English daily (“Karl Marx in Bangladesh”, The Daily Star, Dhaka, May 5 and 6, 2018, https://www.thedailystar.net/opinion/perspective/karl-marx-bangladesh-1571515and   https://www.thedailystar.net/opinion/perspective/karl-marx-bangladesh-part-2-1571884) is an example of this practice.Read More »

Nepal Left Parties Merger: How the Political Behemoth Came to Life

by Biswas Baral

The Wire | May 18, 2018

Nepal Left Parties Merger: How the Political Behemoth Came to Life

Nepal’s Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Sharma Oli at the forecourt of Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi on April 7, 2018. Credit: Reuters/Altaf Hussain

Kathmandu: The May 17 merger between the Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxists Leninists (CPN-UML) and the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Center), the first and the third largest parties in the Nepali legislature, had been on the cards for the past six months.

On the eve of the provincial and federal elections last year, the two parties had announced an electoral alliance and an eventual merger. But even though the Left alliance together secured a nearly two-thirds majority in the elections on the common planks of ‘stability’ and ‘prosperity’, the merger kept being pushed back for a number of reasons.Read More »

Philippines: Duterte Regime Is Mixed Up and Vulnerable

by Prof. Jose Maria Sison

President of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, walks with rebels from the New People

President of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, walks with rebels from the New People’s Army, or NPA. | Photo: Reuters

As he is about to finish the first year of his six-year term of office in June, Philippine President Rodrigo Roa Duterte is being assessed and evaluated by a broad spectrum of commentators in terms of performance and fulfillment of promises. His trust rating in poll surveys is still relatively high but this has begun to erode noticeably from the 80 percent peak of his popularity upon his election by a plurality vote of 38 per cent or 16 million of the electorate in May last year.

Those who continue to support him assert that performance in a year is not enough basis for a final judgment and that there is more than enough time ahead for him to accomplish promises that have most impressed them, such as the eradication of the drug problem, criminality, and corruption.

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