South Asia and Beyond

Surya Gangadharan

Thirty eight years in journalism, widely travelled, history buff with a preference for Old Monk Rum. Current interest/focus spans China, Technology and Trade. Recent reads: Steven Colls Directorate S and Alexander Frater's Chasing the Monsoon. Netflix/Prime video junkie. Loves animal videos on Facebook. Reluctant tweeter.

Can India, Turkey Break Cycle Of Mistrust, Chart New Course?

NEW DELHI: Next year will mark the 73rd anniversary of India and Turkey establishing diplomatic relations. It’s not clear if either side will be in any mood to celebrate that officially. Bilateral relations have been going through a difficult phase ever since President Recep Tayyip Erdogan took umbrage when the Indian government reworked its constitutional […]Read More

Why The Afghan Collapse Stumped India

NEW DELHI: The ball for this piece was set rolling during a conversation with Nandan Unnikrishnan of the Observer Research Foundation. As he pointed out, despite having three consulates in three key cities of Afghanistan (apart from of course the embassy in Kabul), India appeared to have no idea that the Ghani government would collapse […]Read More

Two Decades & Trillions Of Dollars Spent, A Botched U.S.

NEW DELHI: On February 15, 1989, Gen. Boris Gromov, commander of the Soviet 40th Army in Afghanistan walked down the Friendship Bridge over the Amu Darya river into Uzbekistan, signalling the end of the decade-long Soviet invasion and occupation of Afghanistan. A little over three decades later, his U.S. counterpart Maj. Gen. Chris Donahue left […]Read More

Modi, Putin Seek To Build Common Afghan Strategy

NEW DELHI: A 45-minute chat between Narendra Modi and Vladimir Putin on Tuesday saw agreement on establishing a “bilateral channel” to discuss Afghanistan. Reports said they will consult each other over developments in Afghanistan and will set up combined teams comprising foreign ministry and national security officials to assess the future course of action. Neither […]Read More

Ghani Flees Afghanistan As Taliban Enter Kabul

NEW DELHI: On a day the Taliban entered Kabul, with a so-called assurance that they will not take the capital by force, President Ashraf Ghani and his core team left the country, possibly for Tajikistan, as per some media reports. In a Facebook message, Abdullah Abdullah, Chairman of the Council for National Reconciliation referred to […]Read More

Tehran To Moscow, Jaishankar Builds On Old Convergences

NEW DELHI: Many things are not what they seem, perhaps more so in the high-stakes game of modern diplomacy where seemingly unconnected events combine to transform the strategic landscape. Let’s begin with External Affairs Minister Jaishankar’s just concluded visit to Russia. Some of the media focus and commentary saw great virtue in Jaishankar stopping off […]Read More

Twitter Being Law Unto Itself; Will Govt Throw The Book?

NEW DELHI: One would presume that microblogging site Twitter with an estimated 34 million users in India and a growing revenue base would do anything to safeguard and promote its business. But Twitter’s behaviour has been decidedly odd. Over the last month, it has had four criminal cases filed against it (one for posting child […]Read More

India And The Changing Paradigm Of UN Peacekeeping

NEW DELHI: Late last month, at memorial ceremonies in the United Nations for slain peacekeepers, it was a moment for India to remind the world of the 164 lives it had sacrificed in the service of UN missions worldwide. For Indian diplomats and military personnel, it was also time to reflect on an uncomfortable fact: […]Read More

‘A Chinese Invasion Of Taiwan Is Not Imminent … We

NEW DELHI: Shen Ming-Shi is a former colonel of the Taiwan army and is presently a Fellow at the Institute for National Defense Security Research in Taipei. He closely studies China’s military, looking particularly at their recruitment, training and equipment. In his view, China will never rule out a military invasion and occupation of Taiwan […]Read More