articles by Praveen Swami

India

Jamia and Shaheen Bagh shootings: It's deeply worrying that the word 'terrorist' is absent from popular discourse

The absence of the word 'terrorist' in the Jamia shooter's story isn't because there ought to be any confusion about the term

India

New Kashmir sees lull in violence but jihadi elements may take advantage of political vacuum; classified govt data shows peace can be deceptive

The worst-case scenario for India is that it could have sacrificed the democratic revival of early 2019, without there being legitimate political actors to take their place.

India

Imagining ourselves to be free, we Indians are a nation of happy slaves, not the true libertines we should be

India’s most significant struggles of the 2020s will pit personal freedoms against moral authoritarianism. This struggle will be decided not by high-minded causes, but the cultural choices we exercise in our everyday lives.

India

The unbearable incandescence of India’s millenarian impulse — and the path that led here

Modern India has been awash with millenarian ideological projects — from the Left rising in West Bengal of 1970-1972 that ended with the slaughter of 5,000 young people or more by the State and criminal militia; the ethnic-religious carnage let loose from the late-1980s by jihadists in Kashmir or Khalistanis in Punjab.

World

US-Iran crisis: With massive shale reserve, America no longer hostage to West Asia fuel; India can ill-afford to be fence sitter for oil needs

The events following the killing of General Soleimani should serve to show this cannot last: India might not have the luxury of sitting in the stands as the next West Asia crisis plays out.

World

Qassem Soleimani's assassination marks decisive moment in US-Iran confrontation, will have global repercussions

The death of that one man marks a moment of decisive confrontation between the United States and Iran, with enormous consequences for the region, and the world beyond.

India

Nationwide NRC, NPR won’t provide accurate listing of Indian citizens or weed out illegals; govt knows this all too well

For reasons well documented by the government itself, the NRC will not be able to provide an accurate listing of Indian citizens, nor help address the illegal immigrant problem.

India

CAA protests: What the government must learn from India's mass movements against citizenship reforms

As India confronts the largest protest movements seen since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took office, it's important to understand the lessons of the past decades

World

Death sentence to General Musharraf isn’t end of military rule in Pakistan; Rawalpindi has long moved to control via other means

The conviction of General Pervez Musharraf for treason does not interrogate the Pakistan Army’s primacy in the country’s political life, rather it reiterates a proscription on the use of a tool the Generals do not think they now require

India

Distilled, a Firstpost podcast: Historian and philosopher Dilip Simeon on India's grim politics of crime and punishment

Distilled is a new podcast series from Firstpost, which introduces us to innovative, cutting-edge thinking about our world, and the issues it confronts, through conversations with some of the most highly-regarded experts in India and the world.

India

Partition-era debate on who is Indian has been reopened by the citizenship bill, with grave consequences

The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill is, at its heart, a debate waged around the rights of ignored Partition refugees, but with far wider implications for what it meant to be Indian

World

Exclusive: Lashkar chief Hafiz Saeed's son Talha escapes assassination attempt; organisation suspects India's RAW

The bombing came hours after Lashkar chief Hafiz Saeed was produced a Lahore court to face terror-financing charges—his first prosecution for a terrorism-related criminal case.

India

India's rape crisis won't be solved by hangman's noose; examining system that breeds such criminals need of hour

Faced with this kind of savage violence, a growing numbers of Indians have been calling for vengeance. The rape and murder of a Hyderabad veterinarian, like the 2012 Delhi gangrape, has generated calls for the accused to be summarily executed, even tortured and maimed.

India

Distilled, a Firstpost podcast: Author Ayesha Siddiqa on the showdown between Pakistan's SC and govt over army chief

In this second episode of the Distilled podcast, Swami discusses the issues, and the path forward with Ayesha Siddiqa, one of the foremost authorities on the Pakistan Army, author of Military Inc., a path-breaking work on the Pakistan Army’s business holdings and interests

India

India will have warm words for Sri Lanka's president Gotabaya Rajpaksa, but China's cash will talk louder

Sri Lankan president Gotabaya Rajapaksa's visit to New Delhi comes in amidst the greatest assertion of Chinese power across the Indian Ocean since the 15th Century

India

New civil-military tensions in Pakistan aren't necessarily good news for India; New Delhi must be vigilant

There’s no way of telling, of course, how the power struggle in Pakistan will play out. But an escalation of tensions along the Line of Control, and inside Kashmir, are probable outcomes

India

EAM S Jaishankar's India foreign policy needs tempering; its substance belies historical fact

The facts sit somewhat uncomfortably with claims made by S Jaishankar of a new Indian muscularity.

India

Distilled, a Firstpost podcast: Maya Tudor talks about nations and the surge of nationalism that is currently besieging the planet

Distilled is a new podcast series from Firstpost, which introduces us to innovative, cutting-edge thinking about our world, and the issues it confronts, through conversations with some of the most highly-regarded experts in India and the world.

long-reads

A tale of two hospitals in two countries: How an emergency revealed broken state of Indian healthcare

In a broken system, hospitals don’t trust insurance companies to pay bills; insurance companies don’t trust hospitals not to inflate charges; and the hospitals, insurers and patients all know that going to the courts with a claim means endless years of litigation, from which lawyers will be the only ones to profit.

India

Ayodhya verdict: Ram Janmabhoomi movement is not a reclamation of agency for Hindus, but a distraction from dismal mediocrity

For many, the movement for Ram Janmabhoomi's significance lay not in the claim for birthplace of the historical Ram, but as a reclamation of civilisational agency. Shrikanth Krishnamachary, for example, has cast the movement as 'the cultural awakening of a long-repressed people'; one that will address 'deep civilisational wounds'.