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Tea harvest in the rain in Assam
Celebrating Jayalalithaa's victory last May in state elections.
Sruthi Gottipati

-Farewell-

Foreigners who visit Tamil Nadu, a southern state in India that's home to stunning Hindu temples and a robust economy, would often puzzle over the matronly woman draped in a sari watching over them from posters and billboards seemingly splashed on every street. There's even a statue of her in blood. She was born with the name Jayalalithaa, although it's unlikely anyone would have called her that to her face. The state's House speaker even ruled earlier this year, unlawfully, that she couldn't be referred to by her name in the legislative assembly. (Here's a list of epithets that can be used instead. Think "Great Revolutionary Leader.") Supporters, of whom there are millions, would just call her Amma, meaning Mother, a term in keeping with her extraordinary power.

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Geopolitics

Our 'Emotional' Divide: How The Ukraine War Reveals A World Broken In Two

Russia's invasion has created a stark global divide: them and us. On one side are the countries refusing to condemn Moscow, with the West on the other. It's a dangerous split that could have repercussions far into the future.

Protesters against the war in Ukraine demonstrate in front of the Russian embassy in London

Dominique Moïsi

-Analysis-

PARIS — "The West and the Rest of Us." That's the title of a 1975 essay written by Nigerian essayist and critic Chinweizu Ibekwe. I've been thinking about his words as the war in Ukraine both reveals and accelerates divisions of the world that I believe are ultimately "emotional" in nature.

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With war returning to Europe and the risk of escalation, there is a gap between the Western view and that of the "others," a distinct "us and them." This gap cannot be explained in strictly geographical, political, and economic terms.

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Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

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