MonitorsPublished on Oct 13, 2020
South Asia Weekly Report | Volume XIII-41

India: Challenges in conducting elections during Covid-19

Ambar Kumar Ghosh

The sudden spread of the Covid-19 pandemic all across the world has disrupted every aspect of public life. More importantly, the threat of the virus is unlikely to end any soon, as the surge of fresh cases continues in many parts of the world and the confirmed news of a reliable vaccine is yet to come by.

Under such circumstances, with the resumption of economic and other essential services, public life is slowly moving towards the “new normal” where routine activities in life are again being undertaken. However, the process of restoring “normalcy” is being done largely by following the precautionary measures as the threat of the virus looms large. One such routine activity is the conduct of elections in democracies across the world.

Democratic elections, by the very nature of it, is extremely challenging to be held amidst the spread of such an infectious disease like Covid-19. As elections require intense public interaction and mass communication, the apprehension is that the precautionary norms like social distancing and avoidance of crowded gatherings will essentially impede the hassle-free conduct of elections.

The challenges of conducting elections in a democracy like India, which has the largest number of electorates in the world, are manifold. However, as the pandemic continues to persist, putting elections, which is the most perceptible hallmark of a vibrant working democracy, at abeyance is detrimental for accountable governance that democracy seeks to establish.

Bihar elections

So, after few months of keeping some Rajya Sabha and Legislative Council elections on temporary hold, India conducted those elections in many States. However, those elections involved limited participants and so was easier to conduct during the ensuing health crisis. But, India’s first major large-scale direct election is set to be held in the State of Bihar soon amidst the pandemic.

The Election Commission has scheduled the Vidhan Sabha elections in Bihar by the end of October. The elections will be held in three phases and the results will be declared by 10 November. Taking a cue from the successful model of conducting elections during the pandemic in countries like South Korea, Singapore and others, the Election Commission in India has brought out strict precautionary guidelines in order to curb the spread of the infection during the election.

Stringent guidelines have been issued which needs to be observed both during the election campaigning as well as during casting of votes by the electorates in the polling booths. For the campaign, virtual rallies and online political communication between the leaders and the electorate with expansive use of social media is being encouraged.

Even for mass rallies and roadshows, limited public participation and reduced number of vehicles with proper social distancing measures and adequate intervals have been directed by the Election Commission. Conducting door-to-door campaigns with limited political cadres and having the election nomination process for the candidates with reduced number of people have also been instructed.

Even for the polling process, a number of special measures would be taken. The number of polling personal as well as polling booths have been increased than before. The limit for maximum number of voters in each polling booth has been reduced for avoiding overcrowding. Provisions for thermal scanning of all voters and availability of gloves for the electorates before accessing the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) for casting the votes, has been ensured.

Adequate supply of hand sanitizers, soap, water and other necessary measures for ensuring health safety both for the polling personnel as well as the voters will also be made available as per the guidelines. Even special provisions of secluded voting in the last hour of the day for the quarantined and COVID19 positive patients is been arranged with adequate caution. The provision of postal voting is also to be made available for the vulnerable voters like the elderly and handicap people.

Asymmetric communication

However, the mammoth electoral exercise in Bihar involves more than nine crore voters.  So, with the abovementioned precautions, it will invariably posit some challenges for the prerequisites of transparent and fair procedures of democracy that elections are mandated to observe.

For instance, Bihar is a state with 37 percent of people having access to internet and 27 percent having access to smart phones. So as pointed out by the former Election Commissioner of India, S.Y. Quraishi, the extent of the reach of virtual campaigning and political communication of social media might be limited in nature.

This would require other alternative modes of technologically sound campaigning techniques like the use of holograms. Such sophisticated modes of election campaign would require high level of expenditure and well-equipped technical wherewithal that would inadvertently put the national parties with more material resources and reach in an advantageous position over the regional and smaller parties with limited resources.

Misinformed choices

Moreover, such excessive use of social media and other virtual modes of communication for the political campaign might be lopsided in nature due to the immense digital divide that persists in India. Due to the further differences in the resources and outreach capacity of the various parties during the pandemic, a major section of voters might be oblivious to the assurances and promises made by certain political parties. This can create a disproportionate dissemination of information to the voters  and they might be unevenly influenced by the constant political communication  of the parties which would be able to virtually reach them more than other parties who are incapable of doing so.

The voters are expected to make informed choices based on their knowledge regarding the electoral promises made by all the major parties in the electoral fray. But, such asymmetrical nature of political messaging might detrimentally impact the level playing ground that fair elections are expected to offer.

Moreover, it will be undoubtedly more challenging for the Election Commission to track and monitor all the political interaction and electoral campaign in the virtual space where several activities can take place simultaneously in many platforms. Hence, the chances of violating the Model Code of Conduct during election campaign through the virtual interactions will be easier for the political parties in such circumstances.

Former Chief Election Commissioner Quraishi also pointed out that the menace of fake news and inflammatory hate propaganda, which already polarises the social media space, might aggravate during such virtual political campaign. Curbing and regulating social media content that would go against the ethos of free, fair and peaceful conduct of elections, will be a major challenge for the Election Commission in the upcoming elections.

Way ahead

It is undeniably true that the uninterrupted conduct of elections, even in the wake of the pandemic, is essential for democracies to sustain and thrive. As suspension of elections citing health emergency can pave the possibility of authoritarian tendencies and unaccountable governance, democratic elections is of paramount importance especially in times of such unprecedented life and livelihood crisis.

But, as elections in a demographically large democracy like India demands vibrant, at times chaotic, political interaction and mass mobilisation on a large scale, the pandemic situation makes it immensely challenging. However, convincing the electorates to participate in the elections enthusiastically, despite the Covid-19 threat, will depend on the confidence-building measures to be taken by the election conducting body, the Election Commission of India.

However, as extraordinary times demand extraordinary measures, conducting free, fair and also safe elections under the present Indian conditions will undoubtedly once again corroborate the resilient spirit of democracy in India.

Bhutan: Diversifying renewable energy sources

Mihir Bhonsale

It is well known that Bhutan is endowed with large renewable resources. Renewable energy is a form of energy collected from naturally-replenishable resources such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides, waves, and geothermal heat. With a noticeable drop in the cost of generation, today renewables claim higher shares in the energy-mix of many nations.

Having an installed capacity of 2.33 GW, Bhutan over the years has successfully developed its hydropower resources, much of which is exported to India. However, the nation has not harnessed other renewable sources like wind and solar power, depending entirely on hydropower. Now by floating a tender for setting up the country’s first ground-mounted solar plant, Bhutan has made a maiden attempt at deploying renewables other than hydropower.

‘De-centralised’ systems

Renewables like solar, wind, bioenergy and small hydropower are less complex and more reliable. Unlike hydropower, a breakdown in one grid does not affect the entire network and helps avoid systematic power outage. Thus, ‘decentralised’ systems could help nations provide off-grid electricity and reduce the load on electricity generated through hydropower.

The Bhutan Renewable Energy Master Plan estimates that the country could produce 12 gigawatts of solar and 760 megawatts of wind energy. Yet the country’s current installed capacity for renewables, apart from large hydro plants, only amounts to 9 megawatts. The country is piloting projects in solar, wind energy, biogas and small hydropower.

According to International Renewable Energy Agency, renewable energy technologies can help strengthen grid supply while reducing dependence on fuel, wood and kerosene for cooking and heating. In doing so, they can complement hydropower, which has been central to providing electricity access in rural areas of Bhutan. According to the Director of Renewable Energy Department, Phuntsho Namgyel, by meeting domestic demand through other renewables, the country could prioritise the use of hydropower for export.

However, this transition to non-hydro renewable energy is not without challenges. Lack of or appropriate incentives for harnessing alternative renewable energy sources, poor eco-system for green and renewable technology, lack of experts, and lack regulatory and policy frameworks among others have impeded the diversification goals.

In July this year, the country’s department of renewable energy signed an MoU with an NGO, Bhutan Ecological Society, to collaborate on various areas of implementation, promote renewable energy and energy efficiency and mobilise funds to support such activities. This is a welcome step by the Royal Bhutanese government to utilise private sector’s expertise by involving them in renewables.

International collaboration

Bhutan is part of the International Solar Alliance (ISA), launched by India with France during the COP21 conference in 2017 that aims at implementation of the Paris climate agreement through deployment of solar energy. Bhutan has joined the framework agreement signed by 87 countries which came into effect on 20 July 2020.

The ISA seeks to bring together countries to provide a collective response to the main common obstacles to the massive deployment of solar energy in terms of technology, finance and capacity. The objective of the ISA is to mobilise member countries, seek commitments from international organisations and mobilize private sector, to support rural and decentralised applications, access to affordable finance, island and village solar mini grids, rooftop installations, and solar e-mobility technologies.

India’s ‘One Sun One World One Grid’ initiative of achieving cross-border solar connectivity through sharing of solar resources among countries could help Bhutan to diversify its energy mix. Bhutan already has electricity trade with India and draft procedural guidelines are in place for firms to participate in electricity trade. While, hydropower would continue to be the major source of electricity traded, solar and even wind powered grids could be possibility in near future.

Covid-19 response

There is a trend of an increase in domestic power consumption all over the world owing to the imposition of nationwide lockdown by governments. Bhutan is also feeling the pinch of increased power consumption and had to suffer power outages during the lockdown in August. Need for ‘decentralised’ systems in the form of other renewables was considered as one of the solutions to avert such outages in the future.

Reeling under the impact of Covid-19 pandemic, Bhutan decided to pilot project to install a solar power plant as part of its Covid response and recovery strategy. The 180 KW solar power plant would be funded by Japan. There is also a plan to install a 600 KW wind farm at in Rubesa in Wangdue.

Covid-19 has also badly hit the livelihoods of people besides economies. Renewable energy projects could also help in livelihood generation at the grassroot levels.

Country Reports


Ground rules set for talks

The representatives of the Afghan government and the Taliban agreed on a broad code of conduct to be followed during the course of the intra-Afghan negotiations, ongoing in Doha. The ground rules were agreed upon even as the two sides remained divided over the issue of using the Hanafi school of Islamic jurisprudence for decision making in post-conflict Afghanistan, and vis-à-vis treating the February 2020 US-Taliban agreement as the basis of talks.

US troop withdrawal by year-end

The US President Donald Trump tweeted that he intended to bring all American forces deployed in Afghanistan, home by Christmas 2020, effectively indicating a speeding up of the process of military withdrawal. The social media announcement seemed contrary to previous statements by US officials that said that US troop withdrawal would be conditions-based. The Taliban, however, welcomed President Trump’s statement as a “positive development”, which they claimed was in keeping with the February 2020 US-Taliban agreement.


Navy drill with India

In an attempt to strengthen maritime security cooperation between India and Bangladesh, the navies of the two countries participated in a joint exercise in the Bay of Bengal in the week. The exercise titled ‘Bongosagar’ is an annual affair between the navies of India and Bangladesh and the present is the second in the series.  The participating ships in exercise were- Indian Navy’s- anti-submarine warfare corvette Kiltan and guided-missile corvette Khukri and Bangladeshi Navy’s- guided-missile frigate Abu Bakr and guided-missile corvette Prottoy.

China wants improved strategic ties

China wants to improve its strategic relationship with Bangladesh and jointly work on promoting the construction of the ‘Belt Road Initiative’ opined Chinese President Xi Jinping. Chinese President expressed his opinion in a message to President Mohammad Abdul Hamid on the occasion of the celebration of 45 years of China-Bangladesh diplomatic relations.

Co-financing vaccine trial

Chinese drug manufacturer Sinovac Biotech Ltd has urged the government to co-finance human trial of the Corona vaccine in Bangladesh. Following the company’s proposal, the possibility of a human trial of the vaccine in Bangladesh has become uncertain. Initially, the company had proposed to bear the cost of the human trial in Bangladesh.


Entry for foreign workers

The first batch of foreign workers entered the country on 1 October. They are being subjected to a 21-day quarantine period. As of 5 October, 42 foreign workers entered from Phuentsholing and 52 foreign workers entered from Paro. They are all undergoing the 21-day quarantine period. Employers who registered their workers for entry with the government, maximum of which are working on hydropower projects are to bear the cost of quarantine of foreign workers.

Hydro generation resumes

The 720 MW Mangdechhu Hydroelectric Project (MHPA) resumed generation on October 2 after it was briefly shut down as a precautionary measure following the flash flood in the ChamdeyGangchu stream.Generation stopped as the floodgates of the dam were opened to let the floodwater out. It was learnt that power generation was more than 400MW yesterday.


Minister Paswan is no more

Ram Vilas Paswan, Union Minister and a prominent Dalit leaders in the country, passed away last week at the age of 74 after undergoing a heart surgery recently. He was the founder of Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) in Bihar and was serving as the Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution in the Modi government at the Centre. He has a long political career ning over five decades. The political leaders across parties paid rich tribute to Mr Paswan and the government issued notification stating that the national flag would be flown at half-mast in the national capital and capital cities of all sates and UTs as a mark of respect to the leader.

Road block non-permissible: SC

In the case Amit Sahni v Commissioner of Police & Others, which was filed by advocate Amit Sahni about seven months ago to shift the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protestors of Shaheen Bagh in Delhi to an alternative site as they had been “blocking” public movement and causing traffic hurdles in the area, a 13-page judgment was delivered by Supreme Court last week. The judgement upheld the right to peaceful protest against a law but made it unequivocally clear that public ways and public spaces cannot be occupied, and that too indefinitely. The court further stated that ‘Fundamental rights do not live in isolation. The right of the protester has to be balanced with the right of the commuter. They have to co-exist in mutual respect’.


Nasheed meets Solih

In the midst of the increasing tension within the ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), party chief and Parliament Speaker, Mohammed Nasheed, called on President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih at the latter’s official residence. The top two are reported to have discussed the Nasheed-led open campaign for the dismissal of Economic Affairs Minister Fayyaz Ismail, when President Solih is believed to have defended the latter. Talking to newsmen late, Speaker Nasheed, departed from his open criticism of the minister and said it was an internal matter of the party.

China FTA ‘non-operational’

Talking to newsmen, Parliament Speaker and ruling MDP boss Mohammed Nasheed has said that former President Abdulla Yameen had not operationalised the much-touted Free Trade Agreement with China, after having signed the same in top secrecy in Beijing. He pointed to a clause in the FTA agreement that said that the respective legislative bodies will pass the required laws for the purpose within 30 days, but this was not done at least on the Maldivian side. Hence, Nasheed said, the FTA was non-functional and their Government did not have to repudiate the same.

Yameen’s accounts de-frozen

The Supreme Court has upheld the lower court ruling, de-freezing of jailed former President Abdulla Yameen’s bank accounts supposedly involved in the multi-million money-laundering scam, for which alone he has been sentenced to three years in prison and $ 5 m in fine. It is unclear if the verdict will have any bearing on Yameen’s appeal against the trial court verdict in the High Court, which has since reserved its orders – or, even at a later stage, when the Supreme Court may be moved.

Covid figures up

The nation has reported an additional 51 cases of COVID-19 and 29 recoveries. The new cases consist of 35 locals and 16 foreigners. According to official figures, 44 of the infections were reported in the Greater Male' Region, while the remaining seven cases were detected outside of the capital area. In addition to the Greater Male' Region, active virus cases are currently present in 22 inhabited islands as well as 20 resorts across the archipelago, taking the national total to 10,859 infected cases, of which 1,135 are active, and 9,683 recoveries and 34 deaths since March. After a long period of recording over 100 daily cases, the numbers fell to two-digits during most part of September. The recoveries also went up, taking the average to 88 percent through the past six months.


‘Boycott broadcas’t campaign

Being offended by the censorship of speeches, six parties namely People’s Party (PP), United Nationalities Democratic Party (UNDP), Democratic Party for a New Society (DPNS), Arakan Front Party (AFP), Union Danu League for Democracy (UDLD) and Chin National League for Democracy (CNLD) have decided not to broadcast their election campaign speeches on state-run radio and TV. According to information available until 4 October, 10 parties have suffered censorship by Union Election Commission (UEC) where they have claimed that important and critical parts of text and themes were censored. This has infuriated the said election parties.

EU mission on polls

At the invitation by the Union Election Commission (UEC) to observe the upcoming general elections 2020 the EU has appointed an Election Expert Mission (EEM), which arrived in Myanmar on 4 October. The EEM comprises four experienced experts, whose task is to monitor and assess all stages of the electoral process, the electoral administration, the legal framework, the political context, as well as the media and social media environment. It will remain in the country until the end of the electoral process. The European Union Electoral Expert Mission (EEM) held a virtual meeting with Myanmar’s UEC spokesperson U Myint Nyaing on 8 October.


Franchise Investment Expo

The second instalment of the Nepal-India Franchise Investment Expo and Conclave shall be hosted by the Indian Embassy base in Kathmandu, in October. The Nepalese Chamber of Commerce and Industry will also be a crucial partner. It will be a 3-D technology enabled virtual platform for better facilitation of trade and commerce between the two neighbours. Several Indian and Nepali brands will engage with each other. Given the tense bilateral situation that has been brewing since late 2019 over the border issue, time seems to be ripe to move forward diplomatically and economically for better future plans.

Global Knowledge Conference

The Second Global Knowledge Conference organized by Non-resident Nepali Association (NRNA) International Coordination Committee was recently inaugurated online by Prime Minister K. P Oli. This congregation has been extremely important for the country because of the enormous foreign direct investment and foreign currency that is received. At the same time, the PM also mentioned the creation of a rock-solid labour base at home so that lesser number of people have to travel abroad in search for work during the pandemic. Mention was also made of the traditional values and recipes of the Himalayan country with renewed focus on their research and development so that they can be incredible deterrents to any sort of disease.


US envoy meets Army chief

The US special representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation, Zalmay Khalilzad, and commander of the Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan, Gen Austin Scott Miller met Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa to discuss the Afghan peace process. The agenda was to primarily discuss peace and stability of the region and Pakistan-Afghan border management, besides matters of mutual interests. The visit by the special representative and commander has once again highlighted how policymakers in the US are aware of the influence that the Pakistani military establishment wields in Afghanistan. This was second such visit by Khalilzad in less than a month. He said that military-civil administration of Pakistan has been helpful in leading the ongoing peace process and the agreement between the Taliban and the US.   

Naval drills with Japan

Pakistan and Japan held naval drills in Gulf of Aden to counter piracy and ensure security of global shipping. According to a communique of Pakistan Navy, the joint exercise was a testimony to provide secure maritime environment “for international shipping and contribute towards international efforts to counter illicit activities at sea”. The joint drill will provide further flip in improving the bilateral relations between the two navies of Pakistan and Japan, it added.

Sri Lanka

Chinese team meets Govt leaders

A high-level Chinese team met with President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, and offered $ 500-m credit and also bilateral cooperation through a host of sectors barring ‘defence and security’. This includes favourable response to PM Mahinda’s request for supplying Covid vaccine to the country. According to official sources, President Gotabaya, in his interactions with the visitors, led by former Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, now a Politburo member, recalled how bilateral ties had helped Sri Lanka, independent of the party in power in Colombo.

Pompeo coming

Close on the heels of a high-level Chinese delegation visiting Colombo, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is now scheduled to meet with President Gotabaya and other top Sri Lankan officials during what looks like stop-over at Colombo, on 27 October. Pompeo along with US Defence Secretary Mark T Esper are scheduled to be in the New Delhi for the institutionalised 2+2 meeting with their Indian counterparts during that period. Secretary Pompeo was said to have been planning a visit to Sri Lanka after Gotabaya became President last year, but it did not materialise. It is also anybody’s guess why he did not plan a Sri Lanka stop-over during his participation at the four-nation Quad Foreign Ministers’ meeting in Tokyo, last week.

Pandemic is back

With confirmed cases of Covid-19 outbreak again in Gampaha district, adjoining national capital Colombo, the Sri Lankan administration has geared itself up for a possible return of the pandemic in a big way. President Gotabaya has advised people not to panic over rumours and Army chief, Lt-Gen Shavendra Silva has advised people to follow the protocol. The Government has imposed police curfew in the district, and it is said to be considering a possible nation-wide lock-down, if the situation does not improve in the coming days.



Opinion Pieces

Hanif Sufizada, “Afghanistan’s Economy – and Access to Aid – at Stakes in Peace Talks”, The Diplomat, 8 October 2020

Shubhangi Pandey, “Afghanistan: Intra-Afghan Talks and the Challenges Ahead”, Observer Research Foundation, 7 October 2020


The Daily Outlook Afghanistan, “The Ambiguous Landscape of Peace Talks”, 6 October 2020

Afghanistan Times, “Violence Rages as Peace Talks Hang By a Thread”, 5 October 2020


Opinion Pieces

Nafees Sakhawat, “China-Bangladesh relations stronger than ever before”, The Daily Star, 6 October 2020

Syed Badrul Ahsan, “A society under assault by depravity”, Dhaka Tribune, 7 October 2020



Kuensel, “A systematic flaw”, 10 October 2020


Opinion Pieces

KTS Tulsi and Tanessa Puri, “The Hathras dead-end: What does the UP govt so ferociously seek to protect?”, The Indian Express, 9 October 2020

Mary E John and Satish Deshpande, “Hathras, a new phase in the caste atrocity narrative”, The Hindu, 9 October 2020

Abhinav Sekhri, “The disintegration of the criminal justice system”, The Hindu, 7 October 2020

Yamini Aiyar and Mekhala Krishnamurthy, “Where reforms and federalism clashhindustantimes, 6 October 2020

Gautam Bhatia, “By elevating labour rights to human rights, the SC opens a door”, hindustantimes, 5 October 2020


The Indian Express, “EPS and OPS”, 8 October 2020

The Hindu, “Grapes of wrath: On Yogi Adityanath regime handling Hathras case”, 7 October 2020

hindustantimes, “Hathras: Go back to the Verma panel”, 4 October 2020


Opinion Pieces

N Sathiya Moorthy, “A proven model for India’s ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy”,, 6 October 2020


Opinion Pieces

Kyaw Zwa Moe, “A Few Predictions for Myanmar’s Upcoming Election”, The Irrawaddy, 9 October 2020

Jayanta Kalita, “Weapons, Drug Trafficking on Myanmar Border Threaten India’s Act East Policy”, The Irrawaddy, 5 October 2020


Opinion Pieces

Bhupa P. Dhamala, “Language policy, planning, and practice,” The Kathmandu Post, 10 October 2020

Bishal K. Chalise, “Where does India-Nepal border issue stand now?Republica, 8 October 2020

Atul K. Thakur, “Harvesting our souls in a reset world,” The Kathmandu Post, 7 October 2020


The Kathmandu Post, “An assembly of vandals,” 6 October 2020

The Himalayan Times, “Hold talks,” 6 October 2020


Opinion Pieces

Fahad Hassan Chohan, “5GW and Pakistan, The Express Tribune,10 October 2020

A.G. Noorani, “Amnesty’s peril”, Dawn,10 October 2020

RafiaZakiria, “India’s demonisation of Muslims”, Dawn,9October 2020

KhurranHusian, “The cost of confrontation, Dawn, 9 October 2020

Dr Moonis Ahmar, “America’s dangerous road to 2020 presidential vote, The Express Tribune, 8 October 2020

Sri Lanka

Opinion Pieces

Kumar David, “Wiggy may outwit GR, MR – and TNA”, The Island, 11 October 2020

M S M Ayub, “Rishad Bathiudeen: Innocent or illusive”, Daily Mirror Online, 9 October 2020

N Sathiya Moorthy, “To be or not to be – India’s Sri Lanka moment again?”,, 9 October 2020

Malinda Seneviratne, “Give Ambassador Teplitz a dictionary, please”, Daily Mirror Online, 8 October 2020

Kelum Bandara, “Govt faces political and Covid-19 challenges”, Daily Mirror Online, 8 October 2020

N Sathiya Moorthy, “Is Sri Lanka a large piece of real estate?”, Ceylon Today, 6 October 2020

Ranga Jayasuriya, “13th Amendment, a minefield – don’t step in”, Daily Mirror Online, 6 October 2020

Jehan Perera, “Govt can make 13-A more meaningful”, The Island, 6 October 2020

N Sathiya Moorthy, “Is it 13-minus, and not 13-Plus or 13-A?”,, 5 October 2020


Daily Mirror Online, “Foreign powers and Sri Lanka’s domestic problems”, 7 October 2020


Afghanistan: Shubhangi Pandey

Bangladesh: Joyeeta Bhattacharjee

Bhutan: Mihir Bhonsale

India: Ambar Kumar Ghosh

Maldives & Sri Lanka: N Sathiya Moorthy

Myanmar: Sreeparna Banerjee

Nepal: Sohini Nayak

Pakistan: Ayjaz Wani

The views expressed above belong to the author(s). ORF research and analyses now available on Telegram! Click here to access our curated content — blogs, longforms and interviews.