Britain should not be nervous of India

For a disconcertingly large constituency in Britain, Indian history ends in 1947.The two centuries leading up to that bloody year – when British rule formally ended, India gained independence and Pakistan was conjured into existence – were replete with books, articles, pamphlets, lectures and debates on India. What unites this body of work, apart from colonial condescension, is an effort to comprehend India. That impulse faded once India attained freedom. After independence, India surged forward; Britain’s idea of India, however, remained captive to the past Britain’s sins in India – racism, carnage, plunder – are a matter for British consciences. But a more confident India will also one day acknowledge

James Heale

India’s century: Sunak’s plan for a new Indo-Pacific alliance

When Rishi Sunak became Prime Minister, India’s press was thrilled. ‘From Age of Empire to Rishi Raj’ declared the Times of India: another headline hailed the ‘Browning Street’ phenomenon. ‘Indian son rises over Empire’, proclaimed the New Delhi TV channel, a play on the colonial-era adage that the sun never sets on Britain’s empire. When Sunak visits New Delhi for the G20 next week, it will be quite a moment. Two Hindu heads of government will meet – the old power and the new. Sunak’s agenda is to bind Britain closer to a growing Asian economic powerhouse – which last week completed its first successful moon landing – while containing

Will Modi’s ceasefire with Pakistan last?

The perpetually fractious relationship between India and Pakistan reached a particularly low point two years ago, after dozens of Indian paramilitary personnel were killed in a suicide attack in Pulwama in the mountainous terrain of Kashmir. India blamed the attack on Pakistan and bombed what it believed was a terrorist training camp in Balakot across the border. The Pakistani air force retaliated by shooting down an Indian air force plane in a dog-fight, with the pilot having to eject on enemy soil. The airman was returned; but the downward spiral in ties accelerated with the two countries withdrawing their high commissioners and suspending bilateral trade altogether. Now, the endless volley

Are we heading for a golden era in British-Indian relations?

Britain’s departure from the EU presents an exciting opportunity to build on old alliances around the world. Nowhere is this more true than in the UK’s relationship with our old Indian friends.  India was preparing to roll out the red carpet for Boris Johnson this week. Being India’s annual guest of honour at their Republic Day celebrations is equivalent to the Buckingham Palace treatment or the Bastille Day invitation. Soldiers on double-humped camels, anti-satellite weapon systems on display and giant papier-mâché tableaux tributes to Mahatma Gandhi parade down New Delhi’s ceremonial boulevard that was once lined by statues of Britain’s kings and viceroys. Boris is only the second UK Prime Minister since