By Andy Mukherjee
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.
Among the throngs of tourists who visited India's beach state of Goa to usher in the new year, many visited for a different reason than the usual beach scene, raves and holiday revelry. Thousands upon thousands of Christians and people of other faiths braved the heat and long lines to view the relics of Saint Francis Xavier at church of the Bom Jesus Basilica in Old Goa. Francis Xavier's body, which the faithful say has not fully decomposed since his death in 1552 has always attracted visitors to the former Portuguese colony.
When Indian-born journalist Salil Tripathi visited Dhaka University’s Jagannath Hall in Bangladesh two years ago, he noticed an epitaph that had “PAKISTANI” etched in bold on a memorial dedicated to students who were killed in the 1971 war of independence.
Russian President Vladimir Putin is coming to India this week to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and to discuss ways to improve relations. Moscow and New Delhi enjoyed warm ties during the days of the Soviet Union, when India was a member of a non-aligned bloc of nations. The friendship recently has become strained as India relies more on U.S. and French companies to meet its defence needs, something that chafes Russia as it deals with sanctions from western nations over Ukraine. Russia meanwhile has alarmed Indian public opinion with a recent visit by its defence minister to Pakistan. Russia's ambassador Alexander Kadakin, a veteran diplomat first posted to New Delhi more than 40 years ago, discussed Putin’s visit at a press conference on Monday. Here are some of his remarks.