articles by Soumashree Sarkar

World

Sri Lanka bans 'face veils': Why have Muslim items of clothing always suffered in fight against terrorism?

So deeply entrenched is our impression of equating the violent Islamism of the Islamic State to the everyday habits of followers of Islam that it skipped the attention of the world at large that Sri Lanka had become only the second ever country in Asia to enforce such a countrywide ban.

World

Rahul Gandhi may have promised a universal basic income, but here's why no country has adopted it yet

Although universal basic income hinges on the basic premise of eliminating poverty, the overwhelming intricacies of employing a direct cash payment to an entire population has led to it being limited to some of the most prosperous countries and cities.

Politics

LK Advani's exclusion from BJP list caps career where he has always been eclipsed by Modi, Shah and Vajpayee

The talking point of BJP's first list of candidates, where one Amit Shah has replaced LK Advani in the Gandhinagar Lok Sabha seat, was undoubtedly Advani's absence from it. The 91-year-old has always been overshadowed by the likes of Narendra Modi and Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

Politics

BJP, two Assembly seats and exodus of MPs: Naveen Patnaik faces triple poll challenge in Odisha

Summers in Odisha are harsh, and this summer especially so with Lok Sabha and Odisha Assembly elections that look to challenge Naveen like never before. Yet it would appear that this is a challenge Naveen has carefully prepared himself for in the past two years.

World

By starting to act against Hafiz Saeed's JuD, Pakistan has a chance to redeem itself and should not squander it

Today, with its purported crackdown on the Jamaat-ud-Dawa — an organisation founded and maintained by Lashkar-founder and 26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed — Pakistan is once again presented with an opportunity to make good of its anti-terrorist agency.

World

Mohammed bin Salman's generous voyage to the east and the burdening mystery of Jamal Khashoggi's murder

Saudi Arabian crown prince Mohammed bin Salman is on an Asia tour probably because the traction he had gained in the West, with his easy affability and ostensibly non-conservative outlook, is now faded thanks to the particularly brutal murder by his kingdom of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

India

Ruchir Sharma, who tours India before elections, speaks on why 2019 polls are the closest yet, at Firstpost Salon

Ruchir Sharma knows that while phrases like ‘global investor’ are likely to go over people's heads in a discussion, a story on how a village in Uttar Pradesh came to chant the phrase UP ki chaabi, Dimple bhaabi will have exactly the opposite effect. The first is what he does for a living, and the second is an example of the experiences he seeks out in India’s villages just before every election.

India

Pulwama massacre: India grapples with security threats from 3 directions; Fidayeen in the north, Khalistanis in the west, China in the east

Thursday's attack at Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama brought back the immediacy of the border threats posed in the north, east and west by the Kashmiri fidayeen, China and the Khalistani movement.

Politics

Shiv Sena demands seat sharing with BJP like in 1995: Is this a viable route for Amit Shah's party ahead of LS polls?

The Shiv Sena has demanded that the Bharatiya Janata Party share seats with it according to the formula the two parties in 1995 but now that the BJP has 122 seats in the Maharashtra Assembly and the support of 16 other MLAs, it is unlikely to bend to this demand.

Politics

BJP criticises triple talaq, nikah halala but hasn’t yet clarified its stance; experts say tacit politicisation of personal law at heart of issue

Arun Jaitley's Facebook post on the Bareilly nikah halala incident raises the question as to why the government has never cleared its stand on this contentious issue pertaining to the Muslim Personal Laws.

India

Populism picks up ahead of polls as Union Budget, state budgets in UP, Rajasthan, Bengal, MP hand out goodies

The Lok Sabha election is upon India and if the government at the Centre and in the states of Assam, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Bengal and Uttar Pradesh are any indication, then populist budgetary allocations and scheme announcements are what parties in power are banking on as a surefire way of garnering votes.

India

Priyanka, least reluctant politician in Nehru-Gandhi clan: How much of Sonia and Indira shines through her?

As Priyanka Gandhi enters politics, comparisons with her grandmother Indira Gandhi are bound to intensify, as are obvious signs if she has taken after the political path charted by her mother, Sonia.

Politics

Does BJP's cancellation of Modi's Kolkata rally betray party's lack of preparedness for showdown with TMC?

The cancellation of a rally scheduled on 8 February to be addressed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has led to questions as to whether the BJP is afraid to take on the TMC so close on the heels of Mamata Banerjee's mega Opposition show of strength in Kolkata.