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Rahul Gandhi reappears with sound-bite speeches but little substance, The Foreign Desk

Rahul Gandhi reappears with sound-bite speeches but little substance

Back from a mysterious 56-day “sabbatical” abroad, Rahul Gandhi, the Congress Party’s reluctant leader, has seized on a political battle over India’s land legislation, and the financial plight of poor farmers, as subjects for re-establishing himself as a possibly credible politician.
He has made two major public appearances – at a public rally in Delhi on [...]

By | The Foreign Desk | Tuesday, 21 April 2015 at 6:37 pm

Modi asks Hollande for French jets “quickly” to boost depleted Indian Air Force, The Foreign Desk

Modi asks Hollande for French jets “quickly” to boost depleted Indian Air Force

Narendra Modi has taken India’s defence industry by surprise with a totally unexpected decision to buy 36 Rafale fighter jet aircraft, probably costing around $4.5bn, from Dassault Aviation in a deal that is being negotiated directly between the Indian and French governments.
Modi is on an official visit to France. He said after holding talks with [...]

By | The Foreign Desk | Friday, 10 April 2015 at 8:08 pm

China demonstrates its power as US allies defect to its investment bank……, The Foreign Desk

China demonstrates its power as US allies defect to its investment bank……

….and Beijing makes moves on possible Afghan Taliban peace talks
China is winning, of that there can now be no doubt at a time when most world powers are falling in with its plans, either in kow-tow mode like the UK or with a somewhat more upright stance like India, or somewhere in-between.
The weakest-looking country in [...]

By | The Foreign Desk | Monday, 30 March 2015 at 3:19 pm

Rahul Gandhi’s on a trip that maybe shouldn’t end, The Foreign Desk

Rahul Gandhi’s on a trip that maybe shouldn’t end

The Modi government has at last had a couple of parliamentary successes with two urgent pieces of legislation covering auctions of coal and other mining leases being passed on March 20 at the end of the first part of the Budget session. That was the result of political haggling and deal making with opposition parties that [...]

By | The Foreign Desk | Monday, 23 March 2015 at 9:22 am

Indian government tries to block revealing BBC rape film, Battle of Ideas

Indian government tries to block revealing BBC rape film

The Indian government is adept at shooting itself in the foot, especially on social issues. In the past three days, it has done this spectacularly by trying – and failing – to impose an international ban on an hour-long film, India’s Daughter, about an horrific and fatal rape that shocked the world when it took place on [...]

By | Battle of Ideas, The Foreign Desk | Thursday, 5 March 2015 at 5:25 pm

India’s Budget wins on the economy but is weak on inspiration, The Foreign Desk

India’s Budget wins on the economy but is weak on inspiration

Arun Jaitley, India’s finance minister, had three main tasks in his budget speech that he delivered on Saturday, the traditional February 28 date. One was to manage the government finances, reduce spending deficits, and curb inflation. The second was to boost infrastructure, private sector investment and growth, and introduce other reforms.
The third, and politically the [...]

By | The Foreign Desk | Sunday, 1 March 2015 at 2:53 pm

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

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