What you don’t know about Tipu Sultan’s connection to July 4th (and the wars with the British)

Part 1 “If the Sultan of Mysore had had a bit more luck, George Washington might be known as the Haider Ali of North America,” writes  Blake Smith, a professor at the University of Chicago. Who is Haider Ali? You may be wondering. And why are we comparing him to the Founding father of the… Continue reading What you don’t know about Tipu Sultan’s connection to July 4th (and the wars with the British)

Corruption in the public sector – What do we know

I am moderating this webinar on June 29, 2021. Join us to learn more. Share this with your friends, as the event is open to all and free! The American Society for Public Administration (ASPA) is proud to partner with its South Asian Section for Public Administration (SASPA) to present a BookTalk: Corruption in the Public… Continue reading Corruption in the public sector – What do we know

What is going on, in India?

An elderly American gentleman asked me that question, just last week. And I summed it up neatly as quite simply : the struggle between those who want to keep India a secular republic (which the constitution guarantees) and those who want to turn into a Hindu nation. This explanation captures, in my view, what this… Continue reading What is going on, in India?

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How to fix the world – Use your head or heart?

Climate change. Refugee crisis. Unemployment.  Poverty.  Think of these issues or any other countless ‘wicked’ problems and if you are reasonable, like most people; one question sounds in your head: “Do we know all the facts?”. Do we know the ‘right’ approach to fix these issues?  While the ‘facts’ are available to address and solve… Continue reading How to fix the world – Use your head or heart?

Is religious nationalism relevant today?

Is Zionism relevant today? Or for that matter Hindutva or Islamism?  Whether it is India, with its ruling party – the BJP, which has a strong Hindu revivalist motif or Egypt, where the Muslim Brotherhood was ousted from power, after a debacle of sorts, religion and religious parties continue to challenge our understanding of politics… Continue reading Is religious nationalism relevant today?

Philanthropy: Where Marxism and Islam agree

Marxism can be considered the exact mirror opposite of Islamic values, when it comes to ideas of materialism. On surface, this statement seems true. While Karl Marx’s idea of society can be considered purely materialistic, and his notions of political economy deeply rooted in notions of wealth, Islam is a more egalitarian and ‘socialist’ system,… Continue reading Philanthropy: Where Marxism and Islam agree

Development: For whom and why?

Over the last two weeks, I have had a few interesting discussions on ‘development,’ both in the context of local community development and international development. One can see conflation of security discourses, humanitarian and related concerns in each of these debates.  The dominant narrative about ‘development,’ in the context of Asia and Africa seems to… Continue reading Development: For whom and why?

Social Development in India – What do We Know?

I met Dr. Abusaleh Shariff about a year ago, through a common friend. We kept in touch and promised to connect the next time I was going to be in D.C. It turned out that I was able to meet him just yesterday and spent a good hour chatting about various initiatives at the US… Continue reading Social Development in India – What do We Know?

Is there a ‘rational’ way to Discuss Immigration Reform?

America is a country that equally loves and hates immigration. With public opinion on this issue being divided, it does not look Americans will reach a consensus on what is good for the country, anytime soon. If history is any indicator, then this question has not been settled in the last three hundred years. So,… Continue reading Is there a ‘rational’ way to Discuss Immigration Reform?