The Olympic Games is the epitome of a global village, a sense of communal bonhomie, bringing together eclectic mix of individuals from every nation in a display of triumph, endurance, passion while cherishing the ideals of sportsmanship, compassion and camaraderie.

The symbols speak for themselves with the Olympic Torch representing ‘peace, unity and friendship’, and the symbol of the five rings representing the five continents.

Yet with regard to the Tokyo games, the Olympics hasn’t entirely mitigated geopolitical tensions; it has inadvertently presented it on a grandiose spectacle.

Power Equations

From the inaugural games in 1896 in Athens to 1936…


Fire and water are juxtaposed in the phraseology of elements, but Robert Kaplan’s book Asia’s Cauldron: The South China Sea and the End of a Stable Pacific alludes to how a large water body is now a simmering cauldron. If modern-day geopolitical advantages are said to be shaped by three things, trade, natural resources, and supply chains, then all those three aspects are epitomized by who controls the South China Sea.

In terms of natural resources, the South China Sea has 11 billion barrels of oil, around 190 trillion feet of natural gas, 40 percent of global liquified natural gas…


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…

Akshobh Giridharadas

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

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store