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Indian rickshaw fetches £100,000 for wild elephants at Prince Charles hosted auction, Arts

Indian rickshaw fetches £100,000 for wild elephants at Prince Charles hosted auction

In India, the iconic Bajaj auto rickshaws or tuk-tuks cost around Rs200,000 or £2,000, Two nights ago, twenty were sold for up to £100,000 each in brightly coloured designs at a wildlife charity auction hosted in Lancaster House by Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall.
There was a London taxi lookalike, a bamboo [...]

By | Arts, Notebook, The Foreign Desk | Thursday, 2 July 2015 at 8:48 am

India’s old moderns keep the art auctions buoyant, Arts

India’s old moderns keep the art auctions buoyant

Auction houses need to find something special to galvanise the hesitant Indian modern art market and make their sales a success, and that is what both Christie’s and Bonhams have succeeded in doing at their annual June sales in London this week. Christie’s hit a winner on June 10 with a large historic work by [...]

By | Arts, The Foreign Desk | Friday, 12 June 2015 at 5:56 pm

As Modi celebrates, his chosen election rapporteur criticises his lack of media accountability, The Foreign Desk

As Modi celebrates, his chosen election rapporteur criticises his lack of media accountability

Social media is awash today with messages marking the first anniversary of Narendra Modi’s swearing in as prime minister. Modi himself is celebrating with tweets to his on-line followers and others that make exaggerated claims about his government’s successes.

Amid all the trending, it is worth noting that the prime minister’s communications with his electorate, and the [...]

By | The Foreign Desk | Tuesday, 26 May 2015 at 6:48 pm

Modi needs to Make Things Happen so that Chinese and other investors Make in India, The Foreign Desk

Modi needs to Make Things Happen so that Chinese and other investors Make in India

Make in India has been the main slogan drummed out by Narendra Modi and his ministers and bureaucrats for many months, but it is surely time for that to be turned around into a reality by India’s prime minister adopting a personal slogan to Make Things Happen. There are few significant results from the Make [...]

By | The Foreign Desk | Monday, 18 May 2015 at 7:57 pm

Modi’s first year Part 1 – “chilling effects” undermine achievements, The Foreign Desk

Modi’s first year Part 1 – “chilling effects” undermine achievements

America’s ambassador to India certainly did not mean to deliver a verdict on the first year of Narendra Modi’s time as prime minister when he referred on May 6 to the “potentially chilling effects” of current government threats to restrict or close organisations such as the Ford Foundation and Greenpeace.
But as I sat listening to a [...]

By | The Foreign Desk | Sunday, 10 May 2015 at 1:41 pm

Modi’s first year Part 2 – prime ministerial focus needed, The Foreign Desk

Modi’s first year Part 2 – prime ministerial focus needed

The Narendra Modi government’s image problems began towards the end of last year when arch Hindu nationalists within the BJP’s Sangh Parivar (family of organisations) voiced extreme views about minorities such as Muslims, which Modi took a long time to rebut. One minister implied that everyone apart from Hindus were born illegitimately. There were also [...]

By | The Foreign Desk | Sunday, 10 May 2015 at 1:40 pm

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

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

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