This rare display of solidarity by SAARC leaders, especially when SAARC has lost its teeth and holds no relevance for the common South Asian, makes a compelling statement. Optimists and those who believe in the possibility of an integrated South Asia are tempted to take this as a signal that there might be some hope for reviving SAARC after all.
The rarefied echelons of power such as the Lutyens based institutions in South Delhi as the above-mentioned India International Centre, Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, India Habitat Centre, American and French Cultural Centres, Bikaner House in the proximity of Khan Market and the entire diplomatic establishment make this terrain of real estate one of the most concentrated social and cultural capital.
Oman is an ethnically diverse country with Ibadhi Arabs, Sunni Baluchi’s, Zanzibari’s, Shia Ajmi’s, Hindu Bania’s among others making it a melting pot of tribes and cultures contrary to a linear identity anchored in Arab Bedouin narratives cultivated by its neighbours.
A career political and social worker affiliated with the Sangh Parivar, he is a man well imbued in the theory and practice of the Hindu Nationalist Movement. But he is bigger than the party that he represents.
The current dispensation, however, has broadened the envelope for partaking in an inclusive nationalism in two ways. For the affluent diaspora, it is the Overseas Citizen of India scheme. For people who have faced religious persecution, such as Hindus from Pakistan and Afghanistan, it is the recent amendments to the Citizenship Act.
The emergence of the Indo-Pacific concept has brought together like-minded states in re-emphasizing the principles of freedom of navigation and open seas. The establishment
of QUAD of four states- the U.S, India, Japan and Australia – in 2017 marks, for the first time, India’s
association with three allies in the Indo-Pacific region.
Before elections, when all major political parties released their election manifestos, as a commentator on Natural History, I tried to analyse and narrate the promise and strategies of our political parties towards conserving the Environment of the Nation.
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