Indian Farmer Protests Draw International Scrutiny

Farmers in India began protesting the new farming regulations instituted under the Modi government in early November. Protests escalated in both size and scale in the months that followed, culminating in violent confrontations with police at Red Fort in New Delhi on January 26. Reuters reports that the protests continued February 5, with thousands of farmers across India blocking off roads with their tractors, tents, and boulders.

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Glacier Collapse in Uttarakhand Leaves at Least 30 Dead and Nearly 200 Missing

On February 7, 2021, a massive glacier in the Himalayan mountain range collapsed, leaving at least 32 dead and almost 200 missing in the state of Uttarakhand. Part of a glacier near the Nanda Devi mountain broke off into a river, breaking dams, sweeping away bridges, and destroying hydroelectric projects in the Alaknanda and Dhauliganga rivers. Numerous towns had to be evacuated, and 13 villages are still being resupplied by air after being cut off by the flood waters, according to Reuters.

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The World’s Largest Democracy in Peril: Changing Tides of Politics in India

India represents the world’s largest democracy, with an approximate population of 1.3 billion people residing in the country. Since the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its leader, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, came into power in 2014, there has been a fundamental reshaping of Indian politics with an increasing trend towards undemocratic governance.

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China Pushes Borders into Areas of Bhutan, Straining Relations and Risking Dispute with India

In early October, China completed the construction of Pangda, a village of 100 people near the Torsa River in the Himalayas. Pangda is situated in Bhutan, a small Buddhist kingdom of 800,000 that borders southwest China. The construction of Pangda, as well as other Chinese territorial claims to Bhutan, adds further strain on already sensitive Sino-Bhutanese and Sino-Indian relations.

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Amnesty International Halts Work in India, Citing Government Pushbacks

International human rights group Amnesty International recently announced that they are halting operations in India and laying off all staff due to the Government of India freezing the organization’s bank accounts and forcing all ongoing campaigns and research work to be paused. In their statement, the organization condemned this action, calling it the latest action in a continued “witch-hunt” of human rights organizations by the Government of India.

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High level of COVID-19 cases in India is Pushing Children out of School and into Child Labor

As schools have shut down, India is facing an increase in child sex trafficking, child labor, and forced child marriages. To cope with the pressures of the pandemic, families have no option but to send their children to work. Children across India are working in a broad spectrum of fields such as “carpet-weaving, garment-making, domestic service, agriculture, fisheries, and mining,” Reuters says. This issue was already prominent in India and is only worsened by the pandemic.

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Series of Border Clashes Between China and India Escalate Geopolitical Tension 

The Galwan River Valley of Ladakh, a region claimed by both India and China, has been facing increased tensions over the past year. After more than four decades without any  bloodshed, the region was the scene for a bloody skirmish that began on June 15, 2020, according to World Politics Review. At least 20 Indian soldiers were killed by “fists, stones and nail studded bamboo,” CNN reports. The Chinese have not confirmed nor denied any casualties they undertook because of the June battle. Although talks took place over the following months to de-escalate the region, conflict broke out again. Lacking mutual trust and transparency, the talks accomplished little. 

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