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MANTRAYA ANALYSIS#15: 04 JULY 2017

China’s New Game in India’s Northeast

Bibhu Prasad Routray

Abstract

Could China be drastically altering its policy with regard to insurgency movements in India’s northeastern region? A series of developments point at that direction. To blunt India’s assertive postures under the BJP-led government, Beijing could be gradually unveiling a grand design to revive the battered insurgencies. Provision of safe houses, supply of weapons, and even playing a more prominent role in directing attacks on security forces could be emerging as Beijing’s instrumentalities to disturb peace in the fragile northeast and checkmate India’s Act East policy. India’s relations with Myanmar that can defeat this Chinese ploy, therefore, assumes greater importance. New Delhi must take notice.

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MANTRAYA ANALYSIS#14: 08 JUNE 2017

China’s Counter-terrorism in Xinjiang: Inward Looking Template

Adarsh Vijay

Abstract

The Uyghur insurgency continues to be an unresolved internal security threat for China. China’s counterterrorist policy reflects an amalgamation of military coercion, socio-economic transformation, and a propaganda warfare. The communist state and its unparalleled reaction against the Uyghurs make its anti-terror calculus a complex one. This article seeks to analyse the nuances of the Chinese counterterrorist policy and debunks the popular myth that the Chinese have come to display Islamophobia in their approach to the Uyghurs.

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MANTRAYA ANALYSIS#13: 24 APRIL 2017

The Fantastic as Strategy: India’s Game in Kashmir

Madhumita Das

Abstract

There has always been a gulf between Kashmiri aspirations, the compulsions of India, and to a lesser extent, Pakistan. The ongoing revisionism in India’s body politic, led from the highest echelons of State power, however, does not seek to bridge this gulf, but rather exacerbate it. Isolating and defeating Kashmiri, as dissident Muslims, while hardening its territorial claim is an essential element of the new nation-building project. It is line with the majoritarian agenda afoot in the Indian mainland itself. Given the nature of the Kashmiri Gordian knot, the strategic advantage is reaped by Pakistan.

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MANTRAYA ANALYSIS#12: 30 MARCH 2017

Future trajectory of Left-wing extremism in India

Bibhu Prasad Routray

Abstract

Declining ability among the left-wing extremists (LWE)  to orchestrate attacks and the state’s purported capacity to find support among the traditional recruitment base of the Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) are the primary reasons for the official optimism regarding the LWE situation in the country. And yet, the extremists do manage to carry out intermittent major as well as small scale attacks. Sizeable territory in the country remains under the control of the extremists. A solution to the problem that began 13 years ago with the formation of the CPI-Maoist does not look imminent.

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MANTRAYA ANALYSIS#11: 15 FEBRUARY 2017

Hindu migrants from Bangladesh: Assam’s souhaitable guests  

Bibhu Prasad Routray

Abstract

Assam’s demography could be changing again with a new trend of influx of Hindu migrants from Bangladesh. The Bharatiya Janata Party, in charge of the state government and New Delhi, insist that Assam is duty bound to host to these subjects of persecution. It is unclear, however, how these Hindu migrants, unlike their Muslim counterparts, would not be a source of outrage and social tension in states where they are settled.

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MANTRAYA ANALYSIS#10: 08 JANUARY 2017

Will all that much change in a world with President Trump?   

Paul B Rich

Abstract

It is important to start examining how much will change with Donald John Trump, the unusual American president who fails to conform to the usual standards expected of such an office. There is much to play for within American politics over the next few years and doom-laden prophets of doom who have seen Trump as the harbinger of some sort of American fascism are mistaken. Trump has to deliver on at last some of his electoral promises to the working-class voters who helped secure his election.  

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MANTRAYA ANALYSIS#09: 05 AUGUST 2016

Failure of institutionalised cooperation in South Asia  

Nivedita Jayaram

Abstract

Regional integration in South Asia lags behind other regions in the world despite efforts at institutionalized cooperation through the SAARC. Economic cooperation and connectivity in South Asia can pave the way for shared problem solving and greater economic development for all states in the region. The SAARC efforts remain ineffective due to its narrow focus on the removal of tariffs on intraregional trade. Led by a motivated political leadership, SAARC could greatly benefit from identifying and resolving the unaddressed barriers to regional integration, rather than relying on progressive tariff reduction on intraregional trade in goods as the single means for facilitating regional integration. 

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MANTRAYA ANALYSIS#08: 17 DECEMBER 2015

Road to the Dragon: Overcoming Challenges to the Wakhan Corridor  

Boh Ze Kai

Abstract

Product of an 1894 treaty to separate the Russian Empire from British India, the Wakhan Corridor is a thin panhandle in North Afghanistan. The Emirs of Badakhshan once leveraged on the region’s control over mountain passes on the Silk Road to China to build a wealthy domain extending as far as Kashgar. Today the border to China is closed, the tracks are desolate, and only sheep roam where rich caravans once plied. Yet, if challenges can be overcome through bilateral cooperation, this ancient trading route may provide old advantages and new opportunities for both China and Afghanistan. 

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MANTRAYA ANALYSIS#07: 30 NOVEMBER 2015

Maldives: Helping China counter American design 

Jhinuk Chowdhury

Abstract

Strategically located Maldives plays an important role in alternative maritime routes that China is seeking to build through initiatives like One Road One Belt. Much of Beijing’s growing assertion in the Indian Ocean is projected towards the US centric club China perceives Washington is building along with India. However Maldives will need to align with multiple powers if it were to meet all its needs and hence China cannot expect any ‘exclusivity’ for its regional alliances.

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MANTRAYA ANALYSIS#06: 20 NOVEMBER 2015

Islamic State: Patterns of Mobilisation in India 

Bibhu Prasad Routray

Abstract

Seven specific patterns can be inferred from the mobilisation carried out in support of the Islamic State in India. These patterns help in understanding whether and in what form the Islamic State may be able to reinforce itself within India in the coming months and identifying potential areas for government intervention to prevent such journeys from being undertaken.

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MANTRAYA ANALYSIS#05: 10 NOVEMBER 2015

Dragon in the Himalayas: Expanding Chinese footprints in Nepal

Bibhu Prasad Routray

Abstract

Chinese footprints in Nepal have consistently expanded in the past decade. Not only that the Chinese investments in the country have increased substantially overtaking India as the largest investor, Mandarin is being seen as the language of the future by the Nepalese youth.  Whether New Delhi can deal with this development by overplaying its geographic advantages must remain a matter of serious debate.

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 MANTRAYA ANALYSIS#04: 29 JULY 2015

Gurdaspur terror attack: Reigniting the Khalistan dream? 

Bibhu Prasad Routray & Surya Valliappan Krishna

Abstract

The terror attack in Gurdaspur on 27 July 2015 points at an expanded game plan by the terror outfits and their sponsors in Pakistan. A bloody Punjab fits well into the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT)’s objective of an engorged war with India beyond the traditional theatre of Kashmir. For the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) opening up the Punjab conflict yet again is a much cherished dream. Given that the attack failed attempts to repeat the adventure might be on the anvil.

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MANTRAYA ANALYSIS#03: 02 JULY 2015

Islamic State and the South Asian Caliphate

Surya Valliappan Krishna

Abstract

The argument that South Asia in general and India in particular would maintain its insularity from the Islamic State’s influence is delusional. The threat for India is real and could be far more lethal than familiar Islamist groups. With the IS already showing signs of presence in parts of South Asia, it could be only a matter of time before it announces its arrival in India in a grand fashion.  

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MANTRAYA ANALYSIS#02: 26 APRIL 2015

President Ghani’s visit to India: New Beginnings

Shanthie Mariet D’Souza

Abstract

The pessimism in New Delhi’s strategic circles emanating from Kabul’s tilt towards Pakistan and China notwithstanding, President Ghani’s visit can mark the beginning of a clear road map of India’s engagement strategy to protect its key national interests and help in the long term stabilisation of Afghanistan. For that to occur, New Delhi would need to revisit its policies in Afghanistan, moving away from asset creation to a level of engagement that builds up Afghanistan’s economic, political and social capital based on Afghan needs and priorities in the transformation decade.

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MANTRAYA ANALYSIS#01: 13 APRIL 2015

The Battle in Sukma

Bibhu Prasad Routray

Abstract

Far from a war-like scenario which is being predicted, the CPI-Maoist attack on the security forces in Sukma will not necessarily unveil a spectre in which the extremists would carry out waves of attacks. Attacks on the contrary would be selective and well planned. Given the depletion in the Maoist ranks over the past years, planning of each attack would be guided by the twin principles of avoiding losses and maximising miseries on the adversary.   

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