political violence

As India’s vast general election draws to a close, Narendra Modi, prime ministerial candidate for the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party, is in the lead. Two opposing camps of commentators have emerged: one touting the would-be prime minister’s economic successes, and one claiming that he is a divisive Hindu nationalist.

At the heart of the latter claim are the communal riots that took place in Gujarat in 2002, soon after Modi took office as chief minister of the state. A report published this month by Stanford Law School’s International Human Rights and Conflict Resolution Clinic dissects the events that have done such damage to Modi’s international image. Read more

By Ifty Islam of Asian Tiger Capital

A “patient in intensive care” or a “slow-moving train wreck” – I’m not sure which of these analogies best describes the state of democracy in Bangladesh – maybe both? But there can be little doubt that after a tumultuous 2013, the country’s political system is in trouble and a majority of country’s 160m people are desperate for a solution and end to the mindless violence.

The human tragedy in terms of hundreds of innocent civilians being killed – including many burnt to death by petrol bombs thrown at buses and trucks, and thousands injured, has been horrific. But the extent of polarisation between prime minister Sheikh Hasina and opposition leader Khaleda Zia and their increasingly bitter and entrenched “no compromise” mindset is perhaps the most worrisome aspect of the current crisis. Read more

It’s a spectacular video that has been watched across the world. During a party conference, a man leaps onto the stage and draws a gun at the leader’s head at point-blank range; the gun misfires and the speaker manages to knock it away; the gunman is dragged across the stage and subjected to a savage beating by besuited delegates.

But what does it tell us about Bulgaria’s reputation – and reality? Read more