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TOPIC: india

This Happened

This Happened — May 26: Modi Becomes India’s Prime Minister

Narendra Modi became the Prime Minister of India on this day in 2014, after his party, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), won a majority in the Indian general election.

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Goa Postcard: How Draft Dodgers And Pro-Putin Russians Both Landed On India's Scenic Coast

Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, many Russians ordered to the front have fled to India’s scenic west coast. They enjoy sandy beaches, sun and a cheap life, but relations with pro-war Russians who have long settled there regularly disturb the peace.

MORJIM — From his terrace, in the shade of the coconut trees, Ivan* contemplates the Chapora river, which flows into the Arabian Sea just 100 or so meters away. Five months ago, this 42-year-old Muscovite set up home in Morjim, in the state of Goa, India.

He arrived in October, a few weeks after the mobilization decreed on Sept. 21 2022 by Vladimir Putin, when 300,000 fighting-age men were summoned to the army.

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U.S.-China-Global South: The New Geometry Of Our "Tripolar" World

Approaching the world as a simple opposition between East and West falls short. An emerging "tripolar" geopolitics requires we establish new ways of thinking and managing both conflict and opportunity.


PARIS — Has the world become tripolar?

Is there a reformulation of the “classic” confrontation between a Global West and a Global East, happening under the watch of a Global South that does not support Russia's aggression against Ukraine but simultaneously expresses its reservations against the Western world?

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Of course, this new tripolar order is asymmetrical, to say the least. The Global South is infinitely more diverse in its composition than the Global West and East can be. But we can no longer be satisfied with thinking of the world in terms of bipolarity between the U.S. and China. And Europe is far from having become an independent actor within the multipolar world.

In the tripolar world that is revealing itself, each pole obeys its own rules and expresses a specific kind of emotion.

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Art Or Islamophobia? How A Bollywood Blockbuster Is Stoking Tensions In India

Bollywood film The Kerala Story has done huge numbers at the Indian box office after public support by Hindu nationalist parties. But the film is facing claims it is Islamophobic propaganda that peddles conspiracy theories about Muslims.


NEW DELHI — India's Supreme Court has ordered the state governments of West Bengal, in the northeast of the country, and Tamil Nadu, in the southeast, to ensure that the Bollywood film TheKeralaStory is screened everywhere.

The movie is based on the true stories of three women from the state of Kerala, in the southwest of India, who were allegedly forcefully converted to Islam and forced to join the terror outfit ISIS. TheKeralaStory has been a box office smash in India, becoming the second highest grossing Hindi film of 2023.

However, it has faced litigation and protests in the states of West Bengal and Tamil Nadu, with accusations that it is Islamophobic propaganda that is promoting the agenda of Hindu nationalists.

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Mridula Chari

What Elephant Intelligence Can Teach Humans About Getting Along

Experts say that understanding how the giant mammals weigh risk and reward could help prevent clashes with people.

In 2018, news spread around Saroj Duru’s village that four elephants had gathered at a nearby lake. Such creatures didn’t typically visit her region in central India — they were known to stay further north in more forested habitats — and so, out of curiosity, Duru and her neighbors walked down to see them.

The elephants rested in the water as people jostled at the shore, trying to get a closer look. Others climbed trees for a better view. After an hour of savoring the thrill of seeing such large animals, Duru headed back home. She was not sure when she would see them again.

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Tapati Guha Thakurta

Time To "Move On" From COVID? That's Not An Option For Me

Anger depletes and debilitates; grief, on the other hand, creates a new strength and resolve. What is centrally at stake for me, three years after I lost my husband, is a stubborn refusal to forget the disease that took him away.


NEW DELHI — Three years ago, it was during the last days in April that the season’s first Kalbaishakhi – gusts of thunder, storm and rain – broke into the sultry summer evening in Kolkata, just as it did this year. I remember the rains came late on that Sunday evening at the end of April 2020, stopping what had become our routine walk during that hour.

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In The News
Emma Albright, Chloé Touchard, Anne-Sophie Goninet and Inès Mermat

Putin’s “Real War” Speech, 13 Killed In Gaza, King Charles’ Official Portrait

👋 Inuugujoq kutaa!*

Welcome to Tuesday, where Russian President Vladimir Putin’s Victory Day parade speech targets the West, new Israeli airstrikes in Gaza kill at least 13 and King Charles gets his official snap. Meanwhile, Colombian media La Liga Contra El Silencio reports on Colombia's “prosperity preachers” and their state-sanctioned cocktail of marketing and religion.


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This Happened

This Happened — May 8: Gandhi's Fast Begins

Mahatma Gandhi began an iconic fast on this day in 1933 in protest against the British government's decision to separate the electoral system in India based on religion. He believed that the decision would lead to communal division and destroy Hindu-Muslim unity. Gandhi's fast lasted for a total of 21 days.

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Sreemanti Sengupta

Marriage Equality In India Isn't Only About LGBTQ, But Religion And Caste Too

Interfaith and inter-caste relationships have always been difficult in India. As the Supreme Court hears petitioners pleading for marriage equality, the time is ripe to see how laws and hatred have stopped love.

KOLKATA — When 34-year-old Krishna Gopal Chowdhury (he/him), a designer hailing from Kolkata in the eastern region of India fell hopelessly in love over the internet with Anisuzzaman Khan aka Anush (he/him), a fine arts practitioner from Bangladesh, he knew that his love was up against some of the toughest hurdles these countries had to offer.

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Chowdhury flew to Bangladesh in September 2019 with a surprise proposal, and the couple kissed at Dhaka Airport ignoring startled gazes, in a country where homosexuality is illegal. Thereafter, Anush faced harassment, torture, and shaming at home, and relocated to Kolkata, settling on a work visa.

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Pierre Haski

Lula's Return And The Dream Of A BRICS Revival

The Brazilian president, back in power after more than a decade later, has not lost his vision of a post-Western world in which the BRICS would occupy a central place. Lula's visit to Beijing puts such a vision front and center on the global agenda.


PARIS — In the popular concept of the "global south," which refers to the non-Western world that expresses its distrust of the West, Brazil plays an important role. And its President, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who returned to power in January, wasted no time in demonstrating this.

Lula has been in China this week at a time when the balance of power of the new century is being redefined. Brazil and China are both members of the BRICS, a club of emerging countries that also includes South Africa, India, and Russia. (Wrapping up

When the BRICS first emerged in the 2000s, during Lula's first term in office, he believed that he'd found a model for an alternative world. However, the club did not live up to its promises, partly due to China's disproportionate weight compared to its partners and its ambitions as a superpower.

Upon returning to office, Lula quickly booked his path to Beijing, after a first trip to Washington. His statements show that he has not lost his vision of a post-Western world in which the BRICS would occupy a central place.

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This Happened

This Happened - March 31: Dalai Lama Flees For His Life

On this day in 1959, the 14th Dalai Lama crossed the border from Tibet to India seeking political asylum because he and his followers were facing increasing persecution from the Chinese government. The Chinese had occupied Tibet in 1950, and tensions between the Tibetan people and the Chinese authorities had been escalating.
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In The News
Emma Albright & Ginevra Falciani

Russian Gains In Bakhmut, Philippines Ferry Fire, AI Open Letter

👋 Kia ora!*

Welcome to Thursday, where Ukraine acknowledges Russian advances in Bakhmut, disgraced former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro returns from self-imposed exile, and high-profile tech people call for AI development to be put on pause. Meanwhile, Igar Ilyash for Ukrainian news website Livy Bereg zooms in on how Belarus President Lukashenko is playing his own nuclear card.


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