A colonial experiment in ethnographic photography offers a rare glimpse into Southasia’s communities circa the 19th century.
By Ross Adkin
The latest book on Tibet’s environmental degradation shows how any attempt to save the plateau’s ecosystem must come from within China.
As times have changed, so has the Maldives’ unique cuisine and culture
An inside account of the Nepali state’s emergency response to the April earthquake.
By Elen Turner
A review of three recent novels by Pakistani women authors.
Sri Lanka tries to shake off entrenched practices that nationalists see as a threat to local food cult...
Diversity, activism and religion in a new diasporic community.
By Colin Long
International support for trade unionism in Bangladesh must proceed after separating the wheat from th...
By Sarah Khatry
How to win a presidential election with the help of your personal sorcerer
25 Years of Archives
Ever since Saarc was founded in 1985, it has been shadowed by the rocky relationships between two of its largest members – India and Pakistan. Other members have also affected scheduled Saarc summits, citing domestic reasons or a rocky relationship with either Pakistan or India. Probably, this is the first time that four members – […]
From our Archive:
Anirudha Gupta on Saarc’s failure to resolve the issue of Bhutanese refugees in Nepal (July 1994); S.D. Muni on possibilities of sub-regional cooperation within Saarc (May 1997); Pratyoush Onta on the need to facilitate serious scholarship on realising the potential of the regional association (March 1998); Himal Southasian’s commentary on the ninth Saarc summit (October 1998); After India postponed the eleventh summit in 1999, Praful Bidwai criticised the country for subjugating the priorities of the regional forum to fuel its bilateral rivalry (November 1999); Kanti Bajpai asks if there is a collective regional life beyond the narrow confines of Saarc (January 2000); Kanak Mani Dixit on the need for more people-to-people interaction to truly materialise the ambitions of Saarc (November 2005); Imtiaz Ahmed laying out seven thorny issues between India and Bangladesh that Saarc could step in to mediate (March 2007); Sukumar Murlidharan’s scepticism on the outcomes of 14th Saarc summit (May 2007); Saman Kelegama looks at how Saarc initiatives have failed to make any significant impact to improve people’s lives (August 2008); SAARC's former general secretary; Nihal Rodrigo on the need for Saarc to expand the cooperation with China, East Asia and the West (August 2008); Neera Chandhoke underlines the need for Saarc to discuss the human-rights situation in each of member states’ territories and to lay out a common charter of human rights for Southasia (August 2008); Mahendra P Lama opines that besides the inter-governmental process, Saarc has opened many avenues for people-to-people interactions (August 2008); Shamshad Ahmad on the need for Saarc to move from declaration to implementation (August 2008); Puja Sen and Shubhanga Pandey on the media’s obsession with the India-Pakistan relationship during the SAARC Summit (November 2014); Pratap Bhanu Mehta opines that Southasian integration is not possible without changing the understanding of ‘sovereignty’ (November 2015); and on a funny side, a mock resolution of the eighteenth Southasian regional summit by Puja Sen and Shubhanga Pandey (27 NOVEMBER 2014).
Bhutan, often referred to as “Shangri-la” by the western world has a gory past – it once forced over 75,000 Nepali-speaking people, the Lhotshampas, to leave. They languished in refugee camps in eastern Nepal for over 20 years as protracted talks between Nepal and Bhutan never reached a solution. Meanwhile, their population increased and their […]
From our Archive:
Kanak Mani Dixit’s long reportage on post eviction of the refugees (July 1992); and on how the Bhutanese Monarch’s depopulation of Lhotshampas faced the sacrosanct kingdom with dissent; (July 1994); Bhakti Prasad Bhandari on the struggle of Teknath Rizal, the epitome of struggle for Lhotshampas. (March 1994); Himal Southasian commentary on how, after getting rid of the Lhotshampas, the Ngalong elites have turned to Sarchops, another ethnic population in the country (February 1998); Karin Heissler on the gross inaction of international community to resolve the refugee crisis (October 1998); Kabita Parajuli on the state of the Bhutanese refugee camps and their aspirations of a return to their homeland (January 2006); Himali Dixit on Lhotshampa’s dilemma of Repatriation or resettlement (June 2007); Himal Southasian commentary that, though the Bhutanese government took resettlement as a solution to the longstanding problem, the resettled refugees will raise voice for their right to return (January 2010); A C Sinha on how resettled refugees are struggling to ensure the continuation of their unique lifestyle (April 2011); Devendra Bhatarai calling on Nepal to quit the farce that is diplomatic talks over the Bhutanese refugees in Nepal (June 2011); and Aletta Andre’s reportage reveals hopes of the Lhotshampas who remain in the country to get citizenship after the new government following second democratic election is installed in Thimpu (October 2013).
The recent BBC report about the plot to overthrow Maldivian President Yameen Abdul Gayoom; and the Al-Jazeera documentary that exposed the corruption engineered by the President and many of his aides, including members of the judiciary and police, has revealed the actual state of affairs in this island country. The pressure on President Yameen to […]
From our Archive:
Michael O’Shea and Fareesha Abdulla on the state of censorship in media during the autocratic rule of former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom. (November 2003) ; Dilrukshi Handunnetti profiles the first democratically elected president Mohamed Nasheed. (December 2008); Sumon K Chakrabarti on Mohamed Nasheed kick-starting the investigation that looked at the involvement of Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, the three-decade satrap of the Maldives, in corruption (April 2011). It is believed that Nasheed’s this move irked the political elite resulting in his ouster in 2012.; Azra Naseem's analysis of the situation leading to Nasheed's forceful resignation. (February 2012); Azra Naseem on how the 2013 presidential polls were rigged to keep Mohamed Nasheed out. (October 2013); Azra Naseem on how the Yameen government silenced the opposition. The article also tracks the rise of Ahmed Adeeb as the Vice President and closest confidante of the President (July 2015); Eventually, the two men parted ways and Adeeb was incarcerated in 2015. Daniel Bosley chronicles the fall of Adeeb and also how the politics of vengeance was destroying the nascent foundations of a democratic state (November 2015). Azra Naseem on the vengeful persecution of political rivals including former President Mohamed Nasheed. (April 2015) Yameen Rasheed on rising Islamic radicalism in Maldives, which played a key role in the ouster of the government of Mohamed Nasheed (June 2012) Also this, Himal Southasian report by a ‘Maldivian’ that looked at the growing Islamisation under the then President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom and hinted at the widespread corruption in selling the atolls. (October 2003)
Following Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Independence Day speech on August 15 mentioning Gilgit-Balochistan and Pakistan-administered Kashmir, the issue has become a matter of heated exchange between India and Pakistan. Modi’s speech was in response to Pakistani President Mamnoon Hussain’s Independence Day speech, just a day before, saying that the country will continue to support […]
From our Archive:
Urooj Zia opines that even though the Pakistani state has apologised to Balochistan’s people for the past marginalisation of the region, little has changed on the ground (June 2010); Massoud Ansari on how Islamabad’s wilful inability to formulate a just and equitable relationship with Balochistan has led rising numbers of disaffected Baloch citizens to attempt a separation from Pakistan (May 2007); Moeed Yusuf’s prescription to Islamabad on how it can challenge the backward-looking and competitive sardari system of Balochistan (May 2007); Yasir Babbar on how Zardari government’s failure to fulfill two critical promises for resolving the Balochistan conflict has made the Balochs turn away from Islamabad (April 2009); Suhas Chakma opines that Pakistan’s long line of dictatorships has left the country with little democracy and even less federalism, which is the cause of the troubles today in Balochistan (March 2006); and Shivam Vij comparing the militarisation in two sensitive conflict zones in Southasia – Kashmir on both sides of the Indo-Pak border and Balochistan (June 2012).
Irom Sharmila, who has been on a fast for sixteen years, has announced that she will call off her hunger strike on 9 August and contest the elections from Manipur. She was on a fast-unto-death since November 2000 demanding the withdrawal of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) – that provides immunity to security […]