South Asia Brief

Migrant workers and families line up to board a special train to return to their hometowns outside a railway station in Secunderabad, India, on May 23. 2020.

The Coronavirus Reaches Rural India

Data shows the world’s biggest democracy hasn’t flattened the curve—it’s only delayed its peak.

A Chinese soldier gestures as he stands near an Indian soldier on the Chinese side of the ancient Nathu La border crossing between India and China on July 10, 2008.

Why India and China Are Sparring

The two nuclear powers have long had their differences. But the pandemic has led to some frayed nerves—and revealed longer-term ambitions.

An aerial view shows flooded houses after a dam broke when Cyclone Amphan made landfall in Shyamnagar, Bangladesh, on May 21.

First the Pandemic. Then a Killer Cyclone.

India and Bangladesh reel after Cyclone Amphan kills dozens and displaces thousands, creating conditions for the coronavirus to renew its spread.

An injured boy is carried on a stretcher in a hospital following a suicide attack at a funeral of a local police commander in Nangarhar, Afghanistan, on May 12.

Afghanistan’s ‘Cradle to Grave’ Cycle of Death

The U.S.-Taliban peace deal is dealt yet another blow as Kabul moves its security forces into “offensive mode.”

Migrant workers from Madhya Pradesh state enter the New Delhi railway station after the government eased the nationwide lockdown on May 7.

The Pandemic Is Enabling Big Brother

India’s new contact tracing app leads to concerns over privacy, security, and surveillance.

Residents of a slum in Kolkata, India, line up to receive relief packages on April 30.

A Coronavirus Mystery: Why Are There So Few Cases in South Asia?

India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh are home to nearly a quarter of the world’s population but account for only 2 percent of confirmed cases of COVID-19.

A man waters a tree outside the Jio World center in Navi Mumbai, India, on April 22.

Why Facebook Is Betting Big on India

Facebook is making its single biggest investment in India’s Reliance Jio. The move could impact the online future of the world’s largest democracy.

A gasoline vendor rides past graffiti on the road during the nationwide coronavirus lockdown in Chennai, India, on April 13. 2020.

Lockdown or Starvation? Poorer Economies Weigh Impossible Choice

As India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh extend their nationwide coronavirus shutdowns, policymakers examine whether one-size-fits-all measures make sense for the months ahead.

Muslims from the Tabhligi Jamaat Islamic missionary movement board ambulances that will take them to a coronavirus quarantine facility in New Delhi on April 3.

Islamophobia Is Making the Coronavirus Crisis Worse

Communalism is dividing India right when it needs unity.

Migrant workers surround buses amid the nationwide lockdown to stem the spread of coronavirus at Lal Kuan bus stand in Ghaziabad, India, on March 29.

India’s Lockdown Helps Its Rich but Ignores Its Poor

The coronavirus crisis will disproportionately harm the millions of migrant workers and homeless people at severe risk of being exposed.

A woman walks with children wearing protective masks during a curfew in response to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in Mumbai, India, on March 24.

South Asia’s Looming Disaster

India has announced a complete lockdown for 21 days. But with community spread of the coronavirus already underway, is it too late?

A man helps a woman wear a mask at the metro rail station in Bangalore on March 5, 2020.

South Asia’s Coronavirus Cases May Be the Tip of the Iceberg

When community spread begins, social distancing will hardly be effective in a region with one-fourth of the world’s population.

Workers from the Provincial Disaster Management Authority of Balochistan stand inside a COVID-19 quarantine camp for people returning from Iran via the border town of Taftan, on the outskirts of Quetta, Pakistan, on March 9.

How Will South Asia Deal With the Coronavirus?

The number of cases is likely far higher than the reported data. The question now is how far COVID-19 will spread and what its impact will be.

Security personnel stand guard outside of a burned mosque following communal violence in New Delhi on Feb. 28.

Delhi’s Violence Could Presage Something Far Worse

After last week’s riots, experts say that police complicity could breed impunity among Hindu mobs across India.

Left: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and U.S. President Donald Trump arrive at Hyderabad House in New Delhi on Feb. 25. Right: Police try to stop protesters during violent clashes between at Jaffarabad in New Delhi on Feb. 24.

How Trump’s Trade Strategy Met Its Match in India

The U.S. president departs New Delhi without delivering on an “incredible” trade deal despite years of high-level negotiations.

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