India Insight

India and the U.S. – strategic or symbolic partners?

June 10, 2010

With initial euphoria over last week’s U.S.-India talks on the wane, it may be time to take a long, hard look at what New  Delhi actually gained from the first official “strategic dialogue” between the two sides.

from Pakistan: Now or Never?:

On U.S., India and Pakistan: maybe some transparency would help

April 5, 2010

biden karzaiAccording to the Wall Street Journal, "President Barack Obama issued a secret directive in December to intensify American diplomacy aimed at easing tensions between India and Pakistan, asserting that without détente between the two rivals, the administration's efforts to win Pakistani cooperation in Afghanistan would suffer. "

from Pakistan: Now or Never?:

India and Pakistan on the U.S. see-saw

March 26, 2010

wagah2Few who follow South Asia could miss the symbolism of two separate developments in the past week -  in one Pakistan was cosying up to the United States in a new "strategic dialogue"; in the other India was complaining to Washington about its failure to provide access to David Headley, the Chicago man accused of helping to plan the 2008 attack on Mumbai.

Third time’s the charm for Mukesh Ambani

March 17, 2010

Mukesh Ambani(UPDATE: Reliance Industries has gained an overseas foothold by agreeing to pay $1.7 billion to form a joint venture with U.S.-based Atlas Energy. India’s largest-listed firm will pick up a 40 percent stake in Atlas’s operations in the booming Marcellus Shale)

What does Nobel for Obama mean for India?

October 10, 2009

Obama has won the Nobel Peace prize.The citation commends him for calling for a nuclear-weapon free world, emphasising the role of international institutions and preferring dialogue.Less than a year into his presidency he has yet to implement much of his programme.”For the time being Obama’s just making proposals. But sometimes the Nobel committee awards the prize to encourage responsible action,” said Poland’s Lech Walesa, a Nobel Peace Laureate.What does it mean for India to have the most powerful man in the world honoured for his policies?The policies of the Obama administration are different from those of the George W. Bush era when multilateralism was seen as a liability.Bush’s ambassador to the U.N. was John R. Bolton whose scepticism towards multilateralism was well known.Yet Bush helped India get a crucial waiver from the Nuclear Suppliers Group and was described as the friendliest U.S. President India has had.Obama on the other hand has called for strengthening nuclear non-proliferation, prompting India to seek clarifications.Pratap Bhanu Mehta, president of the Center for Policy Research in New Delhi, argues in a recent column that Indians find it more difficult to deal with those who they think of as American liberals than the conservatives.Will we now see a more forceful and active Obama on issues like non-proliferation that India is wary of ?

Nobel for an Indian?

October 7, 2009

Venkatraman Ramakrishnan has been awarded the chemistry Nobel this year.

He joins a select club of scientists recognised by the Nobel foundation.

But Ramakrishnan joins an even more exclusive group — Indians (by birth) who received such recognition.

What Afghanistan’s vote means for India

August 21, 2009

India and Pakistan, with their competitive strategic interest in Afghanistan, are keenly watching the war-battered nation’s election this week, the second since the Taliban were overthrown in 2001.

Indian voters – spoilt for choice?

May 15, 2009

With 8071 candidates contesting 543 seats – that’s an average of 15 candidates for each seat — the 400 million Indian voters who chose to vote sure looked spoilt for choice.

Obama in the White House – will he deliver?

January 20, 2009

Barack Obama takes over as the 44th U.S. President riding the optimism of millions of people and inheriting a recession and two wars that will test his skills.

from Pakistan: Now or Never?:

Brinkmanship in South Asia

December 14, 2008

Pakistan said two Indian Air Force planes violated Pakistani airspace on Saturday, one along the Line of Control in  Kashmir and the other near Lahore  in Pakistan proper. Pakistani officials said Pakistani jets on patrol chased the Indians away and that the Indian Air Force, upon being contacted later, told them it had happened accidentally.