South Asia Brief

Activists celebrate at the temple foundation laying ceremony on Aug. 5 in Ayodhya, India.

Modi Declares End to “Centuries of Waiting” for Hindus

By breaking ground on a controversial Hindu temple on the anniversary of the abrogation of Kashmir, New Delhi makes a big statement about secularism in India.

Security personnel patrol  in Srinagar on February 11, during a one-day strike to mark the anniversary of Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) founder Maqbool Bhat's death.

As India Marks Anniversary, Kashmir Is Still in the Dark

Aug. 5 marks one year since Modi revoked Kashmir’s special status. But Kashmiris will be mostly cut off—high-speed internet has been shut off to the region once again.

A military policeman checks his mobile phone while on duty at Rajpath road in New Delhi on July 22, 2020.

Asian Countries Are Waking Up to the Dangers of Social Media

Banning individual platforms is like a game of whack-a-mole. Coordinated and ethical regulations would make for smarter policy.

Cyclists pass a Jio store in Kolkata on July 13, 2020.

Why Google and Facebook Are Racing to Invest in India

It’s not just about tapping into a growing digital market. Indian companies are expanding Western partnerships to keep China out.

A worker walks inside a COVID Care Centre with the capacity of 10,100 beds at the Bangalore International Exhibition Centre (BIEC) to combat the COVID-19 coronavirus crisis, in Bangalore on July 7, 2020.

Is India the Next Coronavirus Hotspot?

The world’s largest democracy surpasses Russia to become the country with the third-highest number of COVID-19 cases. Pakistan and Bangladesh are seeing increases, too.

People burn posters with the logo of the Chinese- owned video-sharing app TikTok in Hyderabad, India, on June 30.

Why Is India Banning China’s TikTok?

The world’s two biggest internet markets are in conflict, as New Delhi finds a new arena for its skirmishes with Beijing.

A trader shuts his shop in a commercial area closed by the authorities as coronavirus cases rise in Bengaluru on June 25.

The Pandemic Is Reversing Decades of Progress

A new report warns that 120 million children in South Asia could fall into poverty this year because of lockdowns—and tens of thousands could die from disease.

Indian Border Security Force soldiers guard a highway leading towards Leh, bordering China, in Gagangir, India, on June 17.

India and China Step Back From the Brink—for Now

New Delhi and Beijing are making conciliatory statements, but the long-term trendlines remain worrying.

A firefighter sprays disinfectant as a preventive measure against the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus in a containment zone in Chennai on May 11, 2020.

India Is Hurtling Into a Coronavirus Crisis

Delhi officials say the city could have more than half a million cases by the end of July.

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.

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