Friday, January 19, 2018

The RIC Triangle and Tibet’s Political Aspiration

by Dr. Pradeep Nair & Sandeep Sharma

                                                                                               Originally published in Tibetan Review

Pic: Tibetan Review
It was the state of strife, strain and harmony among the giant neighbors Russia, China and India through the vicissitudes of time in recent history which more than anything else had a determinative influence on Tibet’s political aspiration, mostly with unfortunate consequences, although its future is far from sealed inasmuch as the jostling for power and influence among the three powers is still ongoing... Read More

Friday, April 28, 2017

Populism Finds the Way: Trump, Pollsters and the People’s Choice

by Pradeep Nair and Sandeep Sharma

Mainstream, VOL LV No 1 New Delhi December 24, 2016 - ANNUAL 2016
Originally published in Mainstreamweekly 

In the aftermath of the American presidential elections, streets in several cities of America rocked with the slogan “Not My President”. This sloganeering rose against a person who went into election (and won the same) with a campaign catchphrase ‘Make America Great Again’. The protestors termed his win ‘unusual’, ‘unexpected’ and ‘unconventional’ and feared the ways he would realise his dream of making America great again! Mr Donald John Trump, a real estate mogul, businessman, pageant owner and a billionaire reality TV star is the new President of United States of America. Defeating all pollsters’ predictions, crushing the media agenda and undermining the popular votes, he surged to victory and set a new paradigm of the American character of the presidential candidate. His win should be looked at with a deeper insight and meaning crossing beyond the Democratic and Republican Party politics.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

People in Politics: The Dynamics of Polarisation and Power

by Pradeep Nair and Sandeep Sharma

Mainstream, VOL LV No 14 New Delhi March 25, 2017
Originally Published in Mainstreamweekly

In 1998, while being the head of an alliance of 26 political parties, the then Prime Minister of India, Atal Behari Vajpaee, once frustratingly said that India should look for the possibility of adopting the presidential system which, in his view, would be more permanent and representative. However, amongst all the political compulsions and political opportunism, some of the electoral arrangements at the Centre and in the various States went on for another decade by making coalition politics almost a permanent feature of Indian politics. But the BJP’s sweeping majority in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections brought this trend to a halt. Political pundits were left with no option but to redo their political calculations. Nationwide data of the Assembly elections substantiate this point by making a strong case for a one-party rule. The first half of the second decade of the 21st century has witnessed a political scene in which 23 States, including Delhi, have one party in a position to form a majority government while there are only six such States where governments are being formed by pre- or post-poll alliances.

The Idea of a ‘University’: What it should or should not be!

by Pradeep Nair and Sandeep Sharma

Mainstream, VOL LV No 18, New Delhi, April 22, 2017

Originally Published in Mainstreamweekly

“A University is a place ... where students come from every quarter for every kind of knowledge; ... a place for the communication and circulation of thought ... It is a place where inquiry is pushed forward ... discoveries verified and perfected, and ... error exposed, by the collision of mind with mind, and knowledge with knowledge. ... Thus is created a pure and clear atmosphere of thought, which the student also breathes”. 
                                              John Henry Newman, 1854, The Idea of a University
John Henry Newman’s The Idea of a University is a classic work on university education which conceptualised university as a society in which the student absorbs the graces and accomplishments of a higher form of life. It is a place where the pursuit of truth and the active discussion of its meaning integrate into a wider culture, in which the ideal of the gentleman is acknowledged as the standard. (Ker, 2011:19)
This commentary appreciates Newman’s idea of ‘University’ and the analysis of universities in India being ‘steered’ from outside and ‘managed’ internally to accept changes as per the political anticipation of the ruling parties. For the last five decades, after every general election, whenever there is a change in government at the Central and State level, universities are the first to be affected by the ideology/policy-related ambitions of the political party which forms the government. This trend is in fashion since long and is not specific to India alone. Even in Germany, when Hitler seized political power, Frankfurt University was the first one targeted for ideological reasons, owing to which the liberal democratic-minded professors and intellectuals were forced to leave Germany. This eventually benefited the UK and US universities not only in making their higher education more liberal with the help of these intellectuals but also enriching their scientific research and inventions in the post-World War period.

Thursday, October 06, 2016

Gandhi and Governance: Relooking Development at Grassroot Level

Mainstream, VOL LIV No 41 New Delhi October 1, 2016

By Pradeep Nair and Sandeep Sharma

Originally Published by Mainstreamweekly

The Gandhian idea of governance and development at the community level is a people-centred approach that combines a number of activities to ensure people (rural people) access to relevant information so that they shall collaborate and participate in development. Through information and knowledge, the rural voices may express their expectations and can share their know
ledge. Here community governance is a powerful driver, especially for the marginalised people, to change their lives for better. The Gandhian idea of government and governance is about to enhance rural communication services at the grassroot level so that it can empower the local people to plan and manage the development processes.

Any government—whether of Nehru, Gandhi (Indira and Rajiv) or Modi—in its policy docu-ments/election manifestos highlights what rural people need in order to move up the socio-economic ladder. Prime Ministers in India never fail to mention ‘Gandhi’ and ‘Village’ in their promises. They feel happy to speak about invest-ments and technologies that would improve rural livelihood. But in practice, the efforts are not really sufficient to sustain the desired change at the grassroot level. The failure is because of two primary reasons—lack of participation and ineffective communication. This commentary appreciates the Gandhian understanding of governance and is evolved with an analysis that how relooking this concept of governance could help the formal and informal agencies of development and governance to build a platform for dialogue and common understating for rural communities who are the real decision-makers in good Read More

Tibetan Children in Exile: Institutions of Child Care

By Pradeep Nair and Sandeep Sharma


@TVC Mcleodganj                     Photo by Sandeep Sharma
Providing quality day-care services for children in informal economy have been widely discussed and debated at policy and execution level from the last two decades. Numerous studies have been conducted in developing countries to critically evaluate existing regulations, policies and schemes on child-care provision. The focuses of these studies were largely on the interventions through laws and schemes. However, very little studies were conducted on care facilities available for the Tibetan children living in exile. This article explores the vision of the newly elected Tibetan government-in-exile to provide quality child care at the care centres so as to obtain the larger goals of social transformation by taking into account the broader social and cultural context in which the care is provided. The study is based on field observation undertaken in Tibetan settlement in Dharamshala and interviews conducted with Tibetan government officials, child-care providers and community representatives to collect primary data. To read more click here ......

A Tour to TVC...

They are the Hope,  They are the Future Seeds of Tibet


Sandeep Sharma and Pradeep Nair

Originally Published by Journal of Comparative Politics

The Tibetan government’s arrival at the horizon of democracy is viewed as another stone solidifying the foundation of Tibetan freedom movement. In 2011, His Holiness the Dalai Lama devolved all his political power and restricted himself to be the spiritual head only. In the wake of this development, in 2011, first direct elections were conducted for the post of Prime Minister and the Members of Parliament of Tibetan Government-in-Exile. Recently concluded elections in April-May 2016 were only second elections of this type. This short note looks into the governance structure and functioning of the Tibetan Government-in-exile and reviews the recently concluded Tibetan general elections with a view that how through these democratic political processes the exiled community has transplanted, institutionalized and democratized its government structures to establish a state-like polity in a stateless and territory-less exile. This study is based on field observation undertaken in Dharamshala. Interviews were conducted with Tibetan government officials, journalists and members of Tibetan electorate. 
Key words: Tibetans-in-Exile; Governance; Democracy; Elections.


Entities that have a defined territory and a permanent population, that under the control of their own government, and that engage in, or have the capacity to engage in, and form relations with such other entities (Crawford 1976). This definition of a sovereign state makes it clear that how much task of the Tibetan Government-in-Exile is left. Half a Century has passed; the dream of fully fledged sovereign Tibetan state has been neutralized to autonomous status ....Read More

Saturday, August 25, 2012

यमुना बैंक - बाढ़ के बाद खामोश मंदिर

मंदिर में सुपरस्टार अमिताभ बच्चन का स्थान। लेख व सभी फोटो : संदीप शर्मा।
यमुना की बाढ़ सब कुछ बहा ले गई। जो कुछ बचा है उनमें यह मंदिर भी शामिल है। झुग्गियां उजड़ गईं, फसल नष्ट हो गई। खेत लापता हो गए। सब बेमेल हो गया है। खेत बालू और पत्थर से भरे पड़े है। जानी नुक्सान से तो बच गए लेकिन माल सारा बह गया। अरसे से यहां जीवन काट रहे लोग एक और पलायन की सोच रहे हैं।

यमुना की तलहटी में दाखिल होते ही यह मंदिर दिखाई दिया। सुनसान खड़ा। पास में एक तंबू भी गड़ा दिखा। झांका, तो भीतर कोई नहीं। तंबू बिल्कुल ताजाताजा था। नई तिरपाल और चारों तरफ खुदाई के निशान। दिल्ली सरकार ने राहत के तौर पर बाढ़ पीड़ितों को तंबू बांटे है। शायद उसका ही असर है।

झाड़ियों और सफेदे के सुनसान घने जंगल में कोई नजर नहीं आया। नजर आता तो कुछ शाह-पूछ अवश्य होती। मंदिर के बारे में मन में उठे सवाल पूछता। मंदिर छोटा था लेकिन खूब सजाया हुआ था। सोचा कि जिस मुफलिस की दिनचर्यो का यह मंदिर अहम हिस्सा रहा होगा, वह किस दशा में होगा। उसका क्या बचा और क्या बहा होगा। क्या इस मंदिर में विराजमान देवी-देवताओं ने उसकी बाढ़ से रक्षा की होगी। यमुना के किनारे में घुसते और बाहर निकलते समय यहां कुछ समय खड़ा इधर–उधर झांकता रहा। तंबू अब भी खामोश ही खड़ा दिखा। वपसी के समय फिर मंदिर को कुछ देर देखता रहा। मंदिर पर लगी अभिनेता अमिताभ बच्चन की तस्वीर ने बहुत आकर्षित किया। नजर अटक गई। लगा कि बाढ़ के बाद मंदिर के आस-पास छाई खामोशी ही स्थिति का सबसे बड़ा बयान था।

The RIC Triangle and Tibet’s Political Aspiration

by Dr. Pradeep Nair & Sandeep Sharma                                                                                          ...