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The year 2021 has seen a welcome profusion of events and anthologies to mark the 50th year of Bangladesh’s Liberation. While much of the focus during these occasions have naturally been on the country’s history, we at Himal Southasian felt there was a need for more conversations on Bangladesh’s present, as well as the forces shaping its future. Thi…
 
Today, Southasia’s leaders, analysts and scientists rightfully worry that climate events are shrinking coastlines and disappearing land masses in the Bay of Bengal. But there is a history to be charted to the current crisis. In this interview, as part of our special series Rethinking Bangladesh, we speak with Debjani Bhattacharyya, author of Empire…
 
Southasiasphere is our monthly roundup of news events and analysis of regional affairs. If you are a member, you will automatically receive links to the new episodes in your inbox. If you are not yet a member, you can still get it for free by signing up here: bit.ly/2QgmtwWIn this episode, we discuss the bold new pledges made by Southasian leaders …
 
Southasiasphere is our monthly roundup of news events and analysis of regional affairs. If you are a member, you will automatically receive links to the new episodes in your inbox. If you are not yet a member, you can still get it for free by signing up here: bit.ly/2QgmtwWIn this episode, we look at how the Pandora Papers were reported by the regi…
 
Southasiasphere is our monthly roundup of news events and analysis of regional affairs. If you are a member, you will automatically receive links to the new episodes in your inbox. If you are not yet a member, you can still get it for free by signing up here: bit.ly/2QgmtwW In this episode, we focus on some key developments in Myanmar and the histo…
 
Southasian Conversation #3 | Hosted by Himal SouthasianIn this third edition of Southasian Conversations, a series of online crossborder conversations, we hope to discuss how borders impact everyday lives in the margins, how they inflect conversations in the capitals and in national public spheres, and how people/ideas/economies manage to transcend…
 
Southasiasphere is our monthly roundup of news events and analysis of regional affairs. If you are a member, you will automatically receive links to the new episodes in your inbox. If you are not yet a member, you can still get it for free by signing up here: bit.ly/2QgmtwWIn this episode, we talk about the impact of escalating violence on journali…
 
Southasiasphere is our monthly roundup of news events and analysis of regional affairs. If you are a member, you will automatically receive links to the new episodes in your inbox. If you are not yet a member, you can still get it for free by signing up here: bit.ly/2QgmtwWIn this episode, we talk about the resurgence of #MeToo in Sri Lanka’s newsr…
 
Southasiasphere is our monthly roundup of news events and analysis of regional affairs. If you are a member, you will automatically receive links to the new episodes in your inbox. If you are not yet a member, you can still get it for free by signing up here: bit.ly/2QgmtwWIn this episode, we talk about the recent cases of attack on and intimidatio…
 
Southasiasphere is our monthly roundup of news events and analysis of regional affairs. If you are a member, you will automatically receive links to the new episodes in your inbox. If you are not yet a member, you can still get it for free by signing up here: https://bit.ly/2QgmtwWIn this episode, we talk about travel bubbles after COVID-19 in the …
 
Southasian Conversation #2 | Himal SouthasianLike the pandemic itself, the problems faced by the inoculation drives over the past few months has revealed to us the confines of public health and the need to confront existing political, social and economic structures of our societies. In this second edition of Southasian Conversation, a series of onl…
 
In this episode of Himal interviews, we speak to Geoffrey Aung, an anthropologist of Myanmar whose area of research focuses on the politics of infrastructure and the economic history of postcolonial Myanmar. He is currently a PhD candidate at Columbia University. In the context of the military coup and ongoing violence against civilians, Aung talks…
 
Southasiasphere is our monthly podcast roundup of news events and analysis of regional affairs. If you are a member, you will automatically receive links to the new episodes in your inbox. If you are not yet a member, you can still get it for free by signing up here: bit.ly/3a0jnEk In this episode of Southasiasphere, we talk about state and civil s…
 
In this episode of Southasiasphere, we talk about the reinstatement of Nepal’s Parliament and why these events reminded us of Sri Lanka’s constitutional crisis in 2018. We also discuss a recent investigative report by Al Jazeera on high-level corruption in Bangladesh and the reactions it triggered in the country. Plus we introduced two new segments…
 
Southasiasphere, our analysis of regional affairs is now a monthly podcast. If you’re a member, you’ll automatically receive links to the new episodes in your inbox. If you’re not yet a member, you can still get it for free by signing up here: https://bit.ly/3a0jnEk In this episode of the roundup, we talk about the ongoing military coup in Myanmar,…
 
In this episode of Himal interviews, we speak to David Brenner, a Himal contributor, the author of Rebel Politics: A Political Sociology of Armed Struggle in Myanmar's Borderlands, and a lecturer at the School of Global Studies, University of Sussex. Brenner talks to us about how the military coup will impact the country’s unresolved ethnic conflic…
 
Southasian Conversation #1 | Himal Southasian The swearing in of Kamala Harris as the first female vice president of the United States has renewed conversations on women in political leadership around the world. In Southasia, where several women have assumed the prime ministerial and presidential offices in the past, these discussions are complicat…
 
In recent months there has been increased discussion around regulating content online. Pakistan recently enforced its rules on removal and blocking of unlawful online content, giving the state regulator broad powers to restrict online content. Recently, India brought online news portals and entertainment content providers, such as Netflix, under it…
 
During the early stages of the pandemic, social-media posts began flagging the return of wildlife to public spaces that were deserted due to COVID-19. Air pollution also reduced as industrial activity, ground and air transportation came to a standstill. But these gains were short lived, and, given the current health crisis, more enduring crises hav…
 
Southasiasphere, our analysis of regional affairs will be a monthly podcast featuring Himal editors! If you’re a member, you’ll automatically receive links to the new episodes in your inbox. If you’re not yet a member, you can still get it for free (for the time being..) by signing up here: bit.ly/2QE7wkNIn this audio episode of the roundup, we tal…
 
Southasiasphere, our analysis of regional affairs will be a monthly podcast featuring Himal editors! If you're a member, you'll automatically receive links to the new episodes in your inbox. If you're not yet a member, you can still get it for free (for the time being..) by signing up here: bit.ly/2QE7wkNIn this second podcast episode of the roundu…
 
On 9 August, an official at an airport questioned the Indian identity of Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) leader Kanimozhi Karunanidhi because she did not know Hindi. In response, Kanimozhi tweeted “I would like to know from when being Indian is equal to knowing Hindi” with the hashtag #hindiimposition. The incident triggered viral responses on soci…
 
On September 1, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority blocked access to five dating and live streaming apps, including Tinder and Grindr, citing immoral or indecent content. This is only the latest instance of the regulator cracking down on apps using Pakistan’s Prevention on Electronic Crimes Act, commonly known as the Cyber Crimes Law, passed in 2…
 
Starting this month, we are happy to announce that Southasiasphere, our analysis of regional affairs will be a monthly podcast featuring Himal editors! If you're a member, you'll automatically receive links to the new episodes in your inbox. If you're not yet a member, you can still get it for free (for the time being..) by signing up here: https:/…
 
In this special podcast, the editors of Himal mark the release of ten issues of Southasiasphere, our fortnightly newsletter, and take stock of some of the major events that shaped the region over the last several months. From militarisation of our democracies to growing Islamophobia, and from the emerging economic crisis to the plight of workers – …
 
Often described as the 'first wall of defence' against extreme weather events, the Sundarban is a complex and fragile ecosystem straddling the India-Bangladesh border which was badly impacted by cyclone Amphan. The spread of COVID-19 has made government assistance to the region more complicated. Environmental anthropologist Megnaa Mehtta explains h…
 
As the COVID-19 outbreak impacts economies around the world with debilitating effects, international financial institutions like the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank face the prospect of helping keep the engines of the global economy running. Several countries, particularly developing economies, have been seeking assistance from…
 
A shocking explosion of violence broke out in New Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) on Sunday night, 5 January 2020, when armed and masked groups muscled their way into the university campus, entered student’s hostels and attacked students violently with rods and stones. The JNU Teachers’ Association and the JNU Students’ Union have both bl…
 
The defeat of Abdulla Yameen to the Maldivian Democratic Party candidate Ibrahim Mohamed Solih in the 2018 presidential elections was seen as a watershed moment for the political future of the Maldives. Following the MDP’s resounding victory in the April 2019 parliamentary elections, hopes for democratic reforms and justice for past atrocities rose…
 
In late May 2019, Pakistan’s security forces fired at a procession of activists in Khar Qamar area of North Waziristan, which killed several protestors. The procession was part of the Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (or the Movement for the Protection of Pashtuns). Also known as the PTM, the movement has been seeking accountability for extrajudicial killi…
 
Among the many political fallouts of the Easter attacks in Sri Lanka was the renewal of debates on the need for robust anti-terrorism laws. The government has sped up deliberations on a proposed law, Counter Terrorism Act (CTA), which seeks to replace the older, and notoriously draconian, Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA). But how necessary is a ne…
 
Pakistan’s media has of late made news for all the wrong reasons: from state censorship to journalists being laid off in large numbers. Despite a growth in the number of media establishments in the last several years, the state has found new ways to silence independent journalism and manage public perception.In this episode of Himal Interviews, we …
 
The Easter Sunday attacks on 21 April 2019 in Sri Lanka, which killed over 250 people, have shocked the country and left people fearful and uncertain. While some details about the conspiracy behind the coordinated bombings of churches and hotels have come out, much remains unclear. Political infighting within the government has added to the lack of…
 
As India heads towards the last phase of its month-long general elections, the results of the polls are being keenly anticipated not just by its citizens but also by many others in Southasia. Close links between the peoples – and politicians – of India and its regional neighbours means that the political landscape of the region’s largest country ha…
 
Kanak Mani Dixit is a Kathmandu-based writer and the founding editor of Himal Southasian. He spoke on the enduring democratic spirit of the Southasian masses despite authoritarian setbacks, and asked how complicit civil society has been in the relative failure of democracy in Southasia.To listen to the full discussion, please visit http://himalmag.…
 
The Q&A session included a discussion on authoritarian trends in parliaments, resolving the conflict between liberal constitutionalism and popular republicanism, and how to understand increasing popular support for political demagouges in the region.To listen to the full discussion, please visit http://himalmag.com.…
 
The December 2018 general election in Bangladesh was marred by violence and allegations of vote rigging by the ruling Awami League, which won over 80 percent of the seats in the Parliament. With virtually no opposition in the house, and given the recent crackdown on the streets and the new draconian Digital Security Act, the future of democratic go…
 
The legacy of theoretical physicist Abdus Salam (1926-1996) is controversial in his home country Pakistan. Remembered by some as the Nobel-prize winning scientist and a pioneer of Pakistan’s nuclear programme, Salam was also rejected for being a member of the community of Ahmedi Muslims, who have been persecuted for their faith. Officially declared…
 
Pervez Hoodbhoy needs little introduction to those who follow Southasia. Born and raised in Karachi, Hoodbhoy studied at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and is an award-winning nuclear physicist based in Lahore. Hoodbhoy is well known for his incisive writings and activism on issues of freedom of speech and secularism.In this podcast, he …
 
Shradha Ghale’s debut novel The Wayward Daughter has been critically acclaimed by reviewers in Nepal for treading fresh ground. Avoiding the big-ticket events of the country’s contemporary history, Ghale’s novel tells the story of a young girl coming of age in a changing 1990s Kathmandu, revealing the intersections of class, caste and identity in u…
 
Bangladesh is scheduled to have its 11th parliamentary elections on 30 December 2018. In the run up to the polls, we met with the South Asia campaigner for Amnesty International, Saad Hammadi, to talk about the state of human rights in Bangladesh. In this episode of ‘Himal Interviews’, Hammadi speaks to our Editor Aunohita Mojumdar about the Awami …
 
As artists from all across Southasia gathered for Amnesty’s first ‘Arts for Rights’ festival here in Colombo, we seized the opportunity to talk to some of them. Editor Aunohita Mojumdar was in conversation with Maldivian photographer Dhahau Naseem, whose first-ever exhibition captured intense moments of confrontation between the Maldivian people an…
 
On 26 September 2018, India’s Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of Aadhaar, the country’s controversial biometric national-identification programme. The ruling has, however, placed limits on its use by private entities, making it illegal for them to mandate it for providing services. Over the years, the project has faced criticism for enab…
 
With the Maldives’ third multiparty presidential election just days away, we caught up with former President Mohamed Nasheed on the sidelines of a press conference held in Colombo on 21 September. In the brief audio chat with our Editor Aunohita Mojumdar, Nasheed talked about the challenges facing the country’s democratic process and the difficult …
 
On 18 September 2018, the United Nations Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar released its full findings detailing evidence of Myanmar army’s crimes against humanity. Building on its report of 27 August, detailing the Tatmadaw, the Myanmar military’s involvement in crimes against humanity, the UN report has called for investiga…
 
Erasure (A poem by Nabina Das, from 'Sanskarnama: Poetry for our times', read by the author)Take an eraser. See the damagein the name of corrections. A swipeto unthinkingness.Take a white page. Slowly blowout the black letters – someanyway hang bytheir cursive tendrils – fromthe whiteness.A little green a little torn.I’m talking of books and histor…
 
Once perceived as neutral, journalists are being increasingly targeted deliberately, often in violent attacks. In 2017, 65 journalists were killed, ten of them women. Women journalists face additional challenges, their very presence in public spaces often provoking hostility, and the new threats from cyber-violence impacting them disproportionately…
 
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