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Crowds at Lahore Lit Fest ignore bomb risks and raise hopes for Pakistan’s future, Arts

Crowds at Lahore Lit Fest ignore bomb risks and raise hopes for Pakistan’s future

The hope that one day Pakistan will escape from the clutches of jihadist terrorism, corrupt politicians and an over-bearing army came alive last weekend at the Lahore Literary Festival, where mostly young audiences averaging 25,000 people a day applauded criticisms and wider worries about the functioning of the country as well as enjoying other sessions [...]

By | Arts, The Foreign Desk | Friday, 27 February 2015 at 7:22 am

Four years of public protest produce Modi and Kejriwal as India’s leaders of change, The Foreign Desk

Four years of public protest produce Modi and Kejriwal as India’s leaders of change

The swearing in over the weekend of social activist and anti-corruption campaigner Arvind Kejriwal as chief minister of Delhi marks the latest stage of a dramatic country-wide rejection of the way that India is governed, which has been building up over the past four years.
This is not a single tidal wave threatening to overwhelm the [...]

By | The Foreign Desk | Monday, 16 February 2015 at 3:58 pm

Narendra Modi’s BJP routed in Delhi election, The Foreign Desk

Narendra Modi’s BJP routed in Delhi election

India’s prime minister Narendra Modi has today suffered the biggest defeat of his political career with his Bharatiya Janata Party being routed in elections for the Delhi state-level assembly.
The Aam Aadmi or common man party has swept the polls winning  67 of the 70 seats, driving the BJP down to just three and the Congress Party to [...]

By | The Foreign Desk | Tuesday, 10 February 2015 at 9:36 am

Crowds and sales at Delhi’s art fair but can it stay international?, Arts

Crowds and sales at Delhi’s art fair but can it stay international?

Delhi’s annual International Art Fair last weekend provided a classic example of how India produces order out of chaos, but does not quite meet its potential. Some 80,000 people arrived at the fair in the south of the city by car on chaotically crowded and sometimes gridlocked highways, or squashed into unbelievably crowded metro trains [...]

By | Arts, The Foreign Desk | Wednesday, 4 February 2015 at 8:18 pm

Obama lectures Modi’s government on religious tolerance at the end of a hyperactive visit, The Foreign Desk

Obama lectures Modi’s government on religious tolerance at the end of a hyperactive visit

President Obama flew out of Delhi this morning after a visit spread over three days that, as he put it, was “rich in symbolism but also in substance”. The symbolism included choreographed meetings and hugs and embraces with India’s prime minister Narendra Modi, and the substance included a potential solution to a long-awaited deal on [...]

By | The Foreign Desk | Tuesday, 27 January 2015 at 2:30 pm

A shouting economic adviser, a Nobel Laureate and a rock star scientist on stage at the Jaipur lit fest, Arts

A shouting economic adviser, a Nobel Laureate and a rock star scientist on stage at the Jaipur lit fest

Arvind Panagaria one of India’s top economic advisers has a short fuse and shouts. Eighty-two year old Sir Vidiadhar Naipaul, the Nobel prize winning author has given what might turn out to be his last long interview, and Abdul Kalam, the 83-year old space and missile scientist who became India’s president, is greeted by young Indians [...]

By | Arts, The Foreign Desk | Monday, 26 January 2015 at 1:46 pm

Obama’s India trip is significant but expect limited results, The Foreign Desk

Obama’s India trip is significant but expect limited results

Delhi’s international airport was closed for two hours yesterday morning because President Obama is visiting India. He’s wasn’t however in the country and is not arriving for another four days, but everything is being rehearsed down to the finest detail, even closing the airspace around the capital.
That is partly because of intense and almost suffocating [...]

By | The Foreign Desk | Wednesday, 21 January 2015 at 11:06 am

India’s Seven Sisters – so near and yet so far

“Are you going on to India?” I found myself asking two Swiss tourists whom I met over New Year in India’s north-eastern state of Assam. I could try to justify the question by explaining that they had been talking about going next to the nearby countries of Bhutan and Nepal, but that wasn’t what was [...]

By | The Foreign Desk | Wednesday, 7 January 2015 at 10:13 am

Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalists undermine his reforms agenda, The Foreign Desk

Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalists undermine his reforms agenda

An essential skill for being a successful head of government is to manage the troublemakers in your own party. David Cameron is failing to do that now with the anti-European Union wing of Britain’s Conservative Party, but Tony Blair did it successfully in the late-1990s when he curbed the power of trade unions and left-wingers [...]

By | The Foreign Desk | Monday, 22 December 2014 at 11:51 am

Uber taxi rape displays India’s social and institutional flaws, Eagle Eye

Uber taxi rape displays India’s social and institutional flaws

When the international Uber taxi hire firm opened in India last year, it was seen as a potentially efficient and easily accessible alternative to creaky unreliable rivals cabs. That image was shattered late last Friday evening when an Uber driver allegedly raped a young woman in Delhi.
This demonstrated how little has changed since rapes hit [...]

By | Eagle Eye, The Foreign Desk | Monday, 8 December 2014 at 1:20 pm

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