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Each week, Milan Vaishnav and his guests from around the world break down the latest developments in Indian politics, economics, foreign policy, society, and culture for a global audience. Grand Tamasha is a co-production of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the Hindustan Times.
 
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This season, in twenty episodes, Grand Tamasha has covered a lot of ground—from the war in Ukraine, to the UP elections, and India’s water crisis. We will be taking a little break to recharge our batteries, but we will be back in August with all-new Grand Tamasha content. To bring the curtains down on the seventh season of Grand Tamasha, Milan is j…
 
In 2014, soon after coming to power, the Narendra Modi government decided to abolish India’s decades-old Planning Commission, replacing it with a new government think tank meant to facilitate cooperative federalism. For years, the Planning Commission devised detailed, five-year, central plans meant to guide India’s economy and allocate funds from t…
 
What kind of world power does India want to be? Few questions have been asked as often or as intensely since India’s economic take-off in the early 1990s and the corresponding rise in its foreign policy ambitions. Many of our intellectual debates seek answers to this question by looking back to the dawn of independence in 1947. A new book by politi…
 
Over the weekend, Australian voters elected a new government with the Australian Labor Party (ALP) and Anthony Albanese at the helm, ousting the ruling Liberal-National Coalition for the first time in a decade. Key to the ALP’s landmark victory was the vote of the Indo-Australians, now the second largest immigrant group in Australia. A new Carnegie…
 
Sri Lanka has been the site of dramatic economic and political upheaval over the past several weeks as years of economic mismanagement have resulted in rampant inflation, shortages of essential commodities, and the country’s first sovereign default in the post-independence era. The island’s dire economic conditions have spurred angry, and sometimes…
 
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently completed a three-country, whirlwind tour of Europe. The trip began in Germany, where Modi met with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, then continued with a stop in Denmark, where he participated in the India-Nordic Summit, and wrapped up in Paris, where he sat down with newly reelected French President Emma…
 
On April 11, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan was ousted from office, having suffered defeat in a dramatic no confidence vote in the national assembly. Soon after, Shehbaz Sharif—former chief minister of Punjab and brother of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif—was sworn into office as his replacement, capping a dizzying few weeks of political in…
 
Two weeks ago, the foreign and defense ministers of the United States and India met in Washington for the fourth annual U.S.-India “2+2” Dialogue. The annual meeting has become an important focal point in the growing partnership between the United States and India, and this year’s edition received even more scrutiny than usual. For one, it featured…
 
One of the most vexed questions in development studies is why the poor often receive such poor government services. The development literature is littered with hundreds—if not thousands—of examples of elite capture, weak state capacity, corruption, and subversion. But a focus on the failures obscures the fact that, every once in a while, the state …
 
Over the past two months, the southern Indian state of Karnataka has been the site of significant religious tensions as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government—and Hindu nationalist organizations associated with it—have advanced policies and issued statements that many believe have explicitly targeted Muslims in the state. From a ban on hijabs …
 
When Ideas Matter: Democracy and Corruption in India is the title of a new book by the author Bilal Baloch. The book provides a framework for understanding how governments respond to credibility crises. We all know that governments act in their own interests—but what are those interests? How are they defined? And where do they come from? These are …
 
The last few weeks have seen a flurry of activity on the Indian politics and policy front. India has found itself front and center in the Ukraine crisis as it has repeatedly abstained from condemning the Russian invasion. Last week, in a visit that had tongues wagging, the Indian and Chinese foreign ministers met in New Delhi in the first high-leve…
 
“Water is everywhere—in the highest mountains, in the deepest ocean, in the Ganga, in sewers, within you, and in the air. But the glass of water in front of you is precious because it requires India’s volatile, varied water to be harnessed and brought to your home.” This is one of the main insights of a new book, Watershed: How We Destroyed India’s…
 
Last week, the results of five assembly elections were announced and the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of Prime Minister Narendra Modi claimed impressive victories in four out of five contests—notching wins in Goa, Manipur, Uttarakhand, and Uttar Pradesh. In the state of Punjab, the upstart Aam Aadmi Party won a stunning victory that saw the …
 
This week, the Indian government revealed that India’s economy expanded by 5.4 percent in the third quarter of the current fiscal year, which was well below market expectations. The latest GDP print raises fresh questions about the health of the Indian economy at a time when global headwinds are starting to pick up. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, th…
 
Late last week, Russia launched a full-scale military invasion of Ukraine, deploying the might of the Russian military to conduct a hostile takeover of its sovereign neighbor. Over the past few days, India’s role has received significant attention as it has neither condoned Russia’s behavior nor condemned it in the strongest terms. India has a long…
 
India’s first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, died nearly six decades ago, but it is remarkable how much his legacy continues to color modern Indian life. From the border dispute with China to debates over fundamental rights and Hindu-Muslim relations, the current policy discourse in India cannot be disentangled from Nehru’s own ideological convi…
 
On February 1, the Union government presented its budget for the upcoming fiscal year—setting the tone for its midterm pivot as the government turns toward 2024 and the end of its second term in office. What are the biggest takeaways from this year’s budget? How did the markets receive it? And what does it tell us about India’s uncertain economic r…
 
Due to scheduling conflicts, there is no new episode of Grand Tamasha this week. A new episode of Grand Tamasha will air next Tuesday at 9:00 PM EST/Wednesday 7:30 AM IST. Most of our listeners do not need an introduction to the Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan. You’ve watched his movies. You’ve sung the songs his films have popularized. You migh…
 
India’s Path to Power: Strategy in a World Adrift is a manifesto written by eight of India’s leading public intellectuals that seeks to chart a future course for Indian’s foreign policy. But, unlike most foreign policy reports, it delves into thorny issues of economics, climate change, global governance, and India’s domestic politics. This week on …
 
On Sunday, January 23, India reported more than 333,000 active COVID cases while the official number of fatalities surpassed 500 deaths. What is the state of COVID in India today? What lessons has this pandemic imparted? And what, if anything, does COVID mean for the future of economics and politics in the country. To discuss these questions and to…
 
This week, we conclude Season Six of Grand Tamasha with a bang. Before Milan was a podcast host, he was a podcast consumer. And two of his favorite India podcasts are “The Seen and the Unseen” with Amit Varma and “Ideas of India” with Shruti Rajagopalan. So, what better way to end our season than with a massive mash-up of three leading India podcas…
 
Most of our listeners do not need an introduction to the Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan. You’ve watched his movies. You’ve sung the songs his films have popularized. You might even have had his poster on your wall growing up. A new book by the economist Shrayana Bhattacharya, Desperately Seeking Shah Rukh: India's Lonely Young Women and the Sea…
 
Ambassador Nirupama Rao has had the kind of career that every Indian Foreign Service aspirant dreams of. In 2011, she retired as foreign secretary to the Government of India, the most senior position in the foreign service. She has served as spokesperson for the Ministry of External Affairs, ambassador to Sri Lanka, ambassador to China, and ambassa…
 
In September 2020, India’s Parliament passed three farm reform bills that the government claimed would radically change the way in which agriculture was practiced in the country. Yet, just over twelve months later, the same government announced its intention to repeal those laws—a major concession to large-scale, dogged protests launched by farmers…
 
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