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On 25 August, Pakistan declared a state of emergency due to flooding, which has been described as among the worst in the country’s history. Millions of people have been displaced due to rain and flooding with UN preliminary estimates indicating that 575,000 people were living in relief camps at one point. In light of this crisis, Himal Southasian i…
 
In this episode, we discuss how one year since the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan has been marked by a collapsed economy, humanitarian crisis, violent crackdowns on civil protests, and severe restrictions on media and the rights of women.In Around Southasia in 5 minutes, we unpack the recent arrests (or attempted arrests) under anti-terrorism laws…
 
In this episode, we discuss the three-way contest in Parliament to elect Sri Lanka’s new president, Ranil Wickremesinghe, after Gotabaya Rajapaksa fled the country and resigned last week amid an astounding protest movement. We also unpack heightened tensions between the Sri Lankan government and protesters, and what the political implications of th…
 
What has been the history of the IMF's impact on the politics of Sri Lanka and Pakistan? Why do countries from the global south repeatedly find themselves at the mercy of the IMF? And who ends up taking the short stick of IMF’s demands and what are the ways to protect them from it?In our latest Himal Twitter space session, recorded on 8 July, we sp…
 
In this episode, we look at how increasing volatility in climate events in Southasia, from untimely heavy rains and floods to unprecedented heat waves, is impacting countries already vulnerable to food insecurity and health care challenges. We also talk about how governments are cracking down on recent protests across Myanmar, Sri Lanka, India and …
 
In this episode, we look at growing protests in Sri Lanka, their political implications, as well as the no-confidence motion against Imran Khan in Pakistan. In Around Southasia in 5 minutes, we talk about the termination of citizenship for high-profile dissidents by Myanmar’s military regime, the tragic resurgence of communal violence in India, Nep…
 
On 10 April, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan was deposed from office by a no-confidence vote, days after he defied the Constitution to blocked a similar attempt by dissolving Parliament. Now, Imran Khan and the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) are refusing to recognise the new government led by Shehbaz Sharif, while the political crisis that led…
 
In this episode, we look at what Russia’s war on Ukraine means for Southasian economies. In Around Southasia in 5 minutes, we talk about the junta’s crackdown on the People’s Defence Force in Myanmar, food insecurity in Afghanistan, and new regulations on video and streaming services in Bangladesh and Nepal.Plus in our culture section Bookmarked, w…
 
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 Southasia’s contentious relationship with the In…
 
The year 2021 saw a welcome profusion of events and anthologies to mark the 50th year of Bangladesh’s Liberation. While much of the focus during these occasions were naturally 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. This is what …
 
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…
 
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