Today, the Republic of Djibouti, the tiny East African nation with a population of just 8,75,000, is fast becoming the hub of global powers. Being in the Horn of Africa, Djibouti holds the key to major international maritime transactions passing through the Gulf of Eden and the Red Sea in the east of the country. Djibouti, being an integral part of the erstwhile French African Empire — l’Afrique Noire — even today, the French Government has an agreement to defend its former colony. As the legend goes, many centuries ago, Yemen and Djibouti were only one country and only after a violent earthquake, both got separated (Africa from Arabia) creating the channel known today as Bab-el-Mandeb. Thus, Bab-el-Mandeb means “Gate of Tears” in Arabic after the cries of those who died in the earthquake.
The first ever state visit by an Indian head of state to Papua New Guinea began on Thursday with remarks by President Pranab Mukherjee brushing aside a suggestion that India was in competition with China in the Pacific region.
India needs a credible response for China, especially for the Indian Ocean region, where it must remain the big power. American support can help significantly in this regard. India just needs to be confident enough to leverage that in its favour
The mention of the South China Sea dispute in the joint communiqué issued by Russia, India, and China after their 14th annual trilateral meeting in Moscow this past week is an interesting development, indicating the evolving stance of all parties on the issue.
India has a developed economic relationship with the Gulf monarchies, and has lately invested in re-furbishing of political ties. The most vivid example of this was the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the UAE recently, and earlier that of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to Saudi Arabia, which yielded the important gain of Riyadh helping us apprehend leading terrorists.
India’s maritime traditions are over 2,000 years old. Evidence suggests Arab traders used to buy spices from Kerala before the Common Era began. It was through the port of Surat that the British first traded with India. Small wonder that 4,500 delegates from 40 countries attended the Maritime India Summit held in Mumbai last week.
Investment in the port is key to the new Silk Route but challenges Indian shipping’s prospects
Narendra Modi has just inaugurated a National Maritime Summit, perhaps the country’s first. Using the occasion, he has announced ambitious goals in terms of capacities, investment and jobs, all of which may or may not be realised. The important thing though is that it has brought into focus a long neglected aspect of the Indian economy: its poor trade infrastructure.
The first Maritime India Summit in Mumbai, besides resulting in business agreements for Rs 82,905 crore investments, played a key role in highlighting the role of port led development for faster and sustainable economic growth.
Title: Bollywood Boom; Author: Roopa Swaminathan; Publisher: Penguin; Price: Rs 399; Pages: 221
Title: Defeat is an Orphan: How Pakistan Lost the Great South Asian War; Author: Myra Macdonald; Publisher: Penguin Random House India; Pages: 328; Price: Rs 599
The story of Afghanistan -- of the war against the Soviets and of terrorism that has gripped the landlocked country ever since -- is in many ways also the story of diplomat Masood Khalili, who motivated his people and led them...
Title: The Golden Legend; Author: Nadeem Aslam; Publisher: Penguin Random House; Pages: 376; Price: Rs 599
Over the Years, a collection of 106 short articles, offers us interesting sidelights on the currents and cross- currents in the public life of India during two distinctive periods: (I) 1987 to 1991 and (II ) 2010 to the present.