India

China is gaining ground in a land dispute with its neighbors - literally. Rebecca Cruise discusses the country’s rapid environmental transformation of an archipelago in the South China Sea.

Then Arun Gandhi, the grandson of legendary Indian civil rights leader Mahatma Gandhi, talks about lessons from his grandfather and applying his family’s legacy to the 21st century.

Arun Gandhi, grandson of Indian civil rights leader Mahatma Gandhi
Provided / arungandhi.net

Mahatma Gandhi preached a philosophy of nonviolence, understanding, and the search for truth. 67 years after Gandhi’s death, his grandson Arun Gandhi continues spreading that message of peace and carries on his legacy.

The younger Gandhi grew up in South Africa under apartheid and faced constant prejudice because of the color of his skin.

Rebecca Cruise and Suzette Grillot discuss President Obama’s recent trip to India, and this week’s legislative elections in Greece that saw huge left-wing parliamentary gains and a new coalition government.

Then University of New Hampshire historian Nicoletta Gullace discusses her work tracing how changing turn-of-the-century gender roles led to women's increased participation in war activities.

Suzette Grillot and Rebecca Cruise discuss the so-called "Umbrella Revolution" protests in Hong Kong , and the closing arguments in the Bosnian war crimes trial of Radovan Karadžić in The Hague.

Later, a conversation with University of Waterloo political scientist Mariam Mufti. She studies electoral and party politics in South Asia, as well as democratization and regime change.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Navy Adm. Mike Mullen reviews Pakistani troops during a ceremony honoring Mullen's arrival to Islamabad, Pakistan, Feb. 9, 2008.
Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Chad J. McNeeley, U.S. Navy / Wikimedia Commons

In 1947, the Indian subcontinent gained independence from the United Kingdom and split into three states: the Muslim majority countries of East and West Pakistan and the Hindu majority country of India.

“This is very important for us to understand,” says University of Waterloo professor Mariam Mufti. “Because subsequently all of Pakistan's actions on the international community have been driven by this foreign policy that was very India-centric.”

India's prime minister Narendra Modi greets Chinese President Xi Jinping, September 17, 2014
Narendra Modi / Flickr

China’s President Xi Jinping paid a three-day visit to India this week to promote trade between the two countries as part of its broader initiative to strengthen regional economic cooperation.

Over the past few years China has been building ports and making strategic investments throughout South Asia as part of its “String of Pearls” plan, says Rebecca Cruise, Assistant Dean of the College of International Studies at the University of Oklahoma and a security studies and a comparative politics expert.

Narendra Modi, who swept into power in May, used the country’s Independence Day to make some unprecedented public comments about sexual assault. He called on parents to treat their sons and daughters equally, and teach them the difference between right and wrong.

A fatal gang rape on a bus in Dehli in 2012 caused outrage in a country that has been inured to sexual violence against women. But the outrage sparked new and tougher prison terms for rapists, and Prime Minister Modi is trying to keep the progress on that issue moving.

Joshua Landis joins Suzette Grillot for a conversation about the situation in Iraq and the U.S. response to the escalating violence by Sunni militants.

And Rebecca Cruise and University of Oklahoma Iranian Studies professor Afshin Marashi speak with Mohamad Tavakoli, a professor of history and Near and Middle Eastern civilizations at the University of Toronto. He studies Persianate society – arguing that in the pre-modern world, Iranians, the Ottoman Empire, the South Asian Indian Mogul empire, and even Central Asians all spoke a common language.

Nina Aldin Thune

Throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, nationalism and colonialism created fixed borders between societies that otherwise shared common ethnic backgrounds, language, and culture.

If you separate the world by regions, India and Iran don’t initially appear to have much in common. But in the 1960s, University of Chicago historian Marshall Hodgson introduced the concept of Persianate society – arguing that in the pre-modern world, Iranians, the Ottoman Empire, the South Asian Indian Mogul empire, and even Central Asians all spoke Persian.

Joshua Landis provides an update on the ongoing removal of chemical weapons in Syria, and Rebecca Cruise examines the recent executions of high-level government officials in North Korea, and what they could mean. 

Later, a conversation with a trio of scientists and engineers about how three very different developing countries share many of the same sanitation and hygiene concerns.

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