Financial Times Withdraws Award To Narendra Modi, Gujarat’s Chief Minister

The Huffington Post
Posted: September 11, 2009
By Sanjeev Bery

2009-09-11-Modi.jpgFollowing growing public criticism, the Financial Times magazine fDi has withdrawn its recent “Asian Personality of the Year” award to Narendra Modi, the Chief Minister of the Indian state of Gujarat.

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Lack of Coverage on Transgendered Pakistanis Shows Bias in U.S. Media

The Huffington Post
Posted: August 19, 2009 03:44 PM
By Sanjeev Bery

It probably wasn’t the first time that someone had organized an Independence Day cricket match in Pakistan. But it almost certainly was the first time that such a match occurred between a team of professional cricket players and a team of transgendered Pakistanis.

As the Pakistani newspaper Dawn reported, the transgendered team won.

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The Death of the Tamil Tigers

SRILANKA_woundedThe Sri Lankan government’s endgame shelling of areas controlled by the Tamil Tigers has reached its conclusion — a massive defeat for the secessionist movement and the death of its leader, Velupillai Prabhakaran.

The Associated Press reported the details of Prabhakaran’s death:

Senior [Sri Lankan] military officials said Prabhakaran was surrounded early Monday with the last of his fighters.  He and his top deputies drove in an armor-plated van accompanied by a bus filled with armed rebels toward approaching Sri Lankan forces, sparking a two-hour firefight … Troops eventually fired a rocket at the van, ending the battle, the officials said.

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Failed State Fetish

The news is certainly troubling.  Taliban fighters get a “peace” treaty from the national Pakistani government, and then expand from Swat to neighboring Buner.  A vast national military seems unable or unwilling to respond, and everyone scratches their heads wondering what is next.

But does this really mean that Pakistan is on the verge of falling to the Taliban?  If you look at the details, it is a notion deserving of skepticism.

In a column for CNN, New America Foundation fellow Peter Bergen puts the current bad news in the context of Pakistan’s historic challenges:

bergen1The present crisis with the Taliban is not nearly as severe as the genuinely existential crises that Pakistan has faced and weathered in the past. Pakistan has fought three major wars with India and has lost each encounter, including the 1971 war in which one half of the country seceded to become Bangladesh.  Pakistan’s key leaders have succumbed to the assassin’s bullet or bomb or the hangman’s noose, and the country has seen four military coups since its birth in 1947. Yet the Pakistani polity has limped on.

When looking for reasons why the Taliban don’t pose a nation-destroying threat, this history of “hard knocks” isn’t exactly what one has in mind.  But it does put the current border insurgency in its proper context.  Pakistan has experienced far greater challenges in the past, and Pakistan still exists as a nation.

Indeed, one can even look to India for additional context.  Many think of India as a simple example of democracy rising, but you could easily string together a series of anecdotes to paint a more nuanced picture:  two Indian states currently under military control (Kashmir and Manipur), two more states with ongoing Maoist insurrections (Chhattisghar and Jharkhand), past and present separatist movements elsewhere.  Continue reading

Article: India lobbies against inclusion in Richard Holbrooke’s brief

India’s stealth lobbying against Holbrooke’s brief

Foreign Policy magazine

Fri, 01/23/2009 – 7:12pm

When Secretary of State Hillary Clinton — flanked by President Obama — introduced Richard Holbrooke as the formidable new U.S. envoy to South Asia at a State Department ceremony on Thursday, India was noticeably absent from his title.

090124_holbrooke

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The Tel Aviv Tango

Tehelka Magazine (India)
April 15, 2008
By Sanjeev Bery

The Israeli Defence Forces have a gift for the world. SANJEEV BERY takes a closer look at the spread of Krav Maga martial arts in India

ISRAEL’S ARMS sales may capture the headlines, but they aren’t the nation’s only export to India. In south Delhi’s upscale Saket neighbourhood, a small but growing number of residents are learning krav maga, the hand-to-hand combat system of the Israeli Defence Forces. Continue reading

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