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Geography Archives: Pakistan

Turkey: A War of Two Coups

On the night of 15-16 July, Turkey went through a cataclysm that stunned the world: a huge section of the armed forces of the country (TSK in its Turkish acronym) attempted to take power from the government of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the AKP, came very close to its objective, but was ultimately defeated.  Official […]

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Kashmir — Hell of Internal Colonialism

When it comes to Kashmir, official mendacity in India seems to cross all bounds.  So even a prominent member of the Indian Establishment felt that the Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar’s recent (May 22) open advocacy of “kaante-se-kaanta-nikaalte-hein” (a-thorn-to-remove-a-thorn) counterinsurgency tactics was “terrible” and that he should withdraw his out-of-line statement forthwith.  “You have to neutralise […]

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Challenging American Exceptionalism

President Barack Obama stood behind the podium and apologized for inadvertently killing two Western hostages — including one American — during a drone strike in Pakistan.  Obama said, “one of the things that sets America apart from many other nations, one of the things that makes us exceptional, is our willingness to confront squarely our […]

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Blockupy the ECB, Blockupy the NATO

I defied my advanced age to board a special train, with a thousand mostly young people, and join in the big “Blockupy” demonstration in Frankfurt am Main, Germany’s big banking city.  The trip, though not the usual four and a half but seven hours, retained till well into the night a spirit of happy anticipation. […]

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Je Suis Charlie — But I Have Other Names as Well!

Monday evening I had planned to write about the PEGIDA movement in Germany.  Although in Dresden, their city of origin, the number of bitter marchers protesting the “Islamization” of the West had increased stubbornly to 18,000, I began to report happily that everywhere else in Germany they had been greatly outnumbered.  In Berlin, only 300 […]

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Bhagat Singh: Eighty-Three Years On

Chaman Lal.  Understanding Bhagat Singh.  Delhi: Aakar, 2013.  pp. 245. Left Traditions in South Asia Bhagat Singh is to South Asia what Che Guevara is to Latin America — a popular iconic figure who continues to inspire generations of youth in the subcontinent in their struggles against imperialism and the trajectory of national politics after […]

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Gujarat 2002, India 2014: ‘Numbers Sanctify’

“Numbers sanctify”.  The context is very different, but I couldn’t keep my mind off that quote from Charlie Chaplin’s Monsieur Verdoux.  After all, the alleged mastermind of the 2002 anti-Muslim pogrom in Gujarat will soon be sworn in as India’s prime minister, at the head of a government in which his party, the BJP, will […]

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Tarek Mehanna: His Tragic Immoderation

I have become a card-carrying, tax-paying moderate, thanks to a study I found in Politico.com.  In this study, psychologists Kaitlin Toner and Mark Leary discovered that the more extreme politicians’ views are, the more they think they’re right.  In fact, politicians’ “belief superiority” — the certainty that their own viewpoints are correct — was linked […]

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