The Research & Analysis section of The Dispatch features original ideas, research work, analysis, and commentary on a wide variety of subjects by some of brilliant minds in India’s growing community of strategic thinkers. In this newsletter on Saturdays, we bring to you a range of pieces selected by our Editor from those published across the week.
The cartographic route to deeper strategic partnerships
By Amb. Sujan R. Chinoy
It is instructive to review how QUAD partners stand on issues concerning India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. This is of particular significance at a time when India is facing an aggressive China on its borders. Projections by strategic partners of India’s boundaries and territorial claims assume a deeper salience in light of a growing convergence of geo-strategic interests in the Indo-Pacific. This policy brief argues that it is time for India’s strategic partners to address their legacy cartographic anomalies and depict India’s boundaries accurately in their maps. [Read the full story here]
Is Northeast poised for lasting peace?
By Dr. Pushpita Das
Almost all major insurgent groups in the Northeast have abjured violence and are engaged in peace talks with the Government of India. This has raised hopes that all contentious issues that plunged the region into decades of violence and poverty will finally be resolved, ushering in all-round peace and development. However, the indeterminate nature of the peace talks, active cadres of anti-talk factions, poor implementation of ceasefire rules and persistent anti-foreigner sentiments can potentially damage the fragile peace achieved in the region. [Read the full story here]
In Context: COVID-19 and Iran
By Majid Izadpanahi
After China, Iran was among the first countries that emerged as an epicentre of COVID-19 in the early stages of the pandemic. However, Iran’s response to the pandemic was different from those of other countries, and consequently, its impacts would be indissoluble. According to reports, the source of the COVID-19 pandemic in Iran were Chinese students at seminaries in Qom, a Shia holy city, and a merchant from Qom who had travelled to China. From the very beginning, independent Iranian media based overseas discussed the issue and reported on new cases in the country. On the other hand, Iranian officials rejected the reports. Iran’s reaction was characterised by denial and concealment of facts rather than informing the country and offering rational advice to mitigate the negative effects of the disaster. This begs the questions as to why Tehran denied and then downplayed the COVID-19 pandemic’s effect in Iran, and what its consequences might be. [Read the full story here]