“Past in the Present: Sri Lanka after Rajapaksa” by Suthaharan Nadarajah

By Heewon Kim|January 27, 2015|Conflict, General, Politics, Sri Lanka|0 comments

The sudden collapse of President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s regime following his shock defeat in Sri Lanka’s presidential polls on January 8 has been heralded as a potential sea change in both domestic governance and foreign relations. Under Rajapaksa Sri Lanka’s relations with the United States and other western states, which had been excellent since the late seventies (i.e. throughout the three decade armed conflict), had deteriorated sharply in recent years. Relations

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“The Futures of India’s Past” by Subir Sinha

By Heewon Kim|January 5, 2015|Education, General, India|0 comments

In the on-going annual conference of the Indian Science Congress at the University of Mumbai, one panel that has attracted high interest in the press and in social media is entitled ‘Ancient Sciences through Sanskrit’. Presenting his paper on Ancient Indian Aircraft, Captain Anand Bodas, a retired principal of a pilot training school, asserted that Indian aeronautical sciences are 7000 years old, that ancient Indian aircraft were capable of not

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“Children Caught in the Crossfire: Reflections on the Peshawar Tragedy” by Navtej Purewal

By Sana Shah|December 22, 2014|Conflict, General, Pakistan|0 comments

Attacks on school children by the Taliban in Pakistan are a familiar news item. The bewilderment that has been felt across the world highlights how complex the picture really is. The brutal attack on the school in Peshawar on the 16th of December 2014 in which 132 children and 9 staff died two years after the shooting of Malala Yousafzai on her way to school in October 2012 highlights the

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Amnesias and Remembrances of 1984: The Spins of Commemoration in the year of ‘lest we forget’ by Navtej Purewal

By Sana Shah|December 22, 2014|Conflict, General, India, Politics, Religion|0 comments

2014 has been a year of commemorations and remembrances of the events of 1984. June 2014 marked the 30th anniversary of Operation Blue Star, the code name for the Indian army storming of the Golden Temple in Amritsar. Operation Blue Star is also referred to as the second ghallughara (transl. carnage, holocaust).[1] November 2014 marked the 30th anniversary of the anti-Sikh pogroms which followed the assassination of Indira Gandhi who

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“The SAARC summit and the Kathmandu facelift” by Michael Hutt

By Heewon Kim|December 12, 2014|Development, General, India, Nepal, Pakistan|0 comments

On 25 November I was contacted by Monocle Radio, who wanted to hear my views on the massive cleanup of Kathmandu that took place during the run-up to that city’s hosting of the 18th SAARC summit (see http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/inpictures/2014/11/pictures-kathmandu-20m-facelift-2014112392617611.html).  The interviewer asked me where the Government of Nepal might have found the $20m it is said to have spent on this project, and I think I disappointed him by saying that

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“BJP appeasing non-Hindutva voters to broaden support base” by Lawrence Sáez

By Heewon Kim|December 8, 2014|Elections, General, India, Pakistan, Politics|0 comments

Prof. Lawrence Sáez (Professor in the Political Economy of Asia at SOAS) delivered a talk on ‘The 2014 Indian elections and their impact on the region’ at Pakistan Institute of International Affairs. Published in Dawn, November 26th, 2014. http://www.dawn.com/news/1146860/bjp-appeasing-non-hindutva-voters-to-broaden-support-base

“A Conversation with PV Rajagopal” by Subir Sinha

By Heewon Kim|December 2, 2014|Development, Environment, General, India|0 comments

PV Rajagopal is associated with the Ekta Parishad, the largest Gandhian non-violent movement for land rights in India today. The levels of deprivation of the rural poor in India are truly shocking. Their key livelihood resources, such as land, forest and water, have been steadily transferred to national and multinational corporations, sometimes by force. I have written up to 70 letters to the Prime Minister and have undertaken 1-year long

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“1984: thirty years after” by Dilip Simeon

By Sana Shah|November 4, 2014|Conflict, India, Politics, Religion|0 comments

October 31 2014 will mark the thirtieth anniversary of the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and the carnage in Delhi. Despite the gravity of those events, we refuse to confront the failures of our institutions and significance of those events. It would appear that ‘might is right’ has become our only political principle. We should remember that the hateful language of Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale was a major factor in

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Welcome to the SSAI South Asia Notes!

By df9|October 23, 2014|General|0 comments

This blog will be presenting commentary, analysis and in-depth research on topics relevant to South Asia. This blog is a collaboration of SOAS academics with various experts from the field. We hope you enjoy this blog and look forward to your commentary.