Both Israel and Hamas in the Gaza strip agreed to an Egypt-brokered ceasefire on May 21. Many see it as the calm before the storm, or ‘hot peace’, to quote former US ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul. Peace in the Holy Land seems ephemeral. Israel often blames Hamas militants for starting the provocation, but that seems to be a symptom and not the cause.

To elucidate, let me begin with this example.

Not many would have heard the town Nogales. In fact there are two towns with the same name. The two Nogales are identical: both towns have a Spanish-speaking…


AKSHOBH GIRIDHARADAS

Introduction

After 11 September 2001, when a group of militants associated with the Al-Qaeda staged coordinated attacks on the United States (US) and killed almost 3,000, Osama bin Laden became the world’s most wanted man. In the following years, US forces tried but failed to hunt for him across Afghanistan and Pakistan. It was almost a decade later when they found him, living in a compound in the garrison town of Abbottabad, Pakistan, some 120 km north of the capital, Islamabad. In the early hours of 2 May 2011, US forces raided the compound and killed Bin Laden, and…


US President Joe Biden

India is seen as the pharmaceutical capital of the world. A few months back, in February, India was leveraging its scientific know-how in pharmaceutical manufacturing and distributing vaccines to close to 100 countries, many of them in the Global South. This initiative was dubbed ‘Vaccine Maitri’ (vaccine friendship), and was fulfilling its COVAX obligations, commercial sales and vaccine grants. For a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government often accused of being nationalist, this was very globalist.

India in May tells a different story. On May 1, there was a clarion call for help as its vaccine altruism soon manifested into other…


(Image Source: Reuters)

Summers in Washington DC are sultry, scolding and heated both for the weather and for the discourse emanating from think-tanks, academia and the embassies.

One such summer day in DC, an unnamed diplomat, at an unnamed event, unequivocally stated that India is not a strategic counterweight to China. India is one-fifth of China’s economy, and the only geopolitical power that can compete with China would be the United States.

Where does this kerfuffle originate from?

The robust partnership between New Delhi and Washington rests on the pillars of strategic partnership on defence and the union of foreign policy goals such…


That was the theme in India during the first months of 2021, alluding to the farmers’ protest in the capital and India’s vaccination drive and the race to vaccinate millions of citizens.

At a time of closed borders and mandatory quarantine, when survival skills bring out an internal sense of selfishness, and global cooperation around sharing scant resources of the vaccine is unheard of, India has adopted a different approach.

But at a time of social distancing globally, India has been active in its outreach exporting vaccines across the globe. While Doctor WHO (World Health Organization) has faced censure for…


US President Joe Biden

Some time in 2012, social media did what social media does best — parodied and memed then President Barack Obama’s rendition of Carly Rae Jensen’s “Call Me Maybe

The song was a pop sensation with prosaic lyrics, but kept regurgitating the title of the song, “call me, maybe” — clearly a phone call meant a lot.

Dating to 2021 (no pun intended), but just like the millennial protagonist in the song, waiting for a call from a heartthrob, geopolitically all world leaders wait with equal anxiety and a sense of nervous optimism for the call from the Oval office, especially…


Donald Trump is still President!

Well, not literally, the Electoral College, Congress Ratification and the inauguration will say otherwise.

Joseph Biden Jr, who became the 46th President of the United States sits ensconced in an office that he was geographically close to for eight years, but politically still further away from. Biden realises that his successor still hasn’t left the Oval Office.

Again, not literally, but the essence of Trump’s cataclysmic transactional interpretation of policy still lingers all over the Oval Office like dampness on the walls.

The first 100 days is seen both as a harbinger of the next…


Malcolm Marshall is a name that evokes both respect and fear among the Indian diaspora. Respected for his exploits and feared for how well he delivered those exploits — fierce, swift, and too fast to respond to at times!

His Barbadian compatriot, Rihanna did the same. Well, not quite with blaring vocals this time, but through a tweet that was as loud as her acoustics, and one that much like a Marshall bouncer, left India ruffled and for some a bit bruised.

The response in India was eclectic and cantankerous at the same time with both sides of the aisle…


As bullets took precedence over ballots in Washington, President-elect Biden said this was not ‘dissent, but disorder’. Trump, perhaps out of compulsion and in a faux sense of lachrymose grandstanding, urged peace and calm. The damage had been done; Trump was trying to lock the barn door after the horse had bolted.

Political irony once again, where social media behemoths (Twitter, Facebook and YouTube), long espoused to perpetuating free speech had to suddenly take down the video, with Twitter even temporarily suspending the account of the ‘leader of the free world’; the head of a country that’s based its geopolitical…

Akshobh Giridharadas

A journalist by profession. He writes about business & finance, geopolitics, sports & tech news. He is a TEDx & Toastmasters speaker. Follow him @Akshobh

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