Vishal Arora

Vishal Arora is a New Delhi-based journalist. He researches and writes on politics, culture, religion, foreign affairs and human rights, primarily but not exclusively in South and Southeast Asia. His articles have appeared in the Guardian, the Washington Post, the Huffington Post, USA Today, Foreign Policy in Focus, the Religion News Service, and many other outlets in the U.S., the U.K. and India. He is formerly the features editor of the Caravan Monthly, India's first and only narrative journal of politics and culture. He has also worked as an editor with Indo-Asian News Service, one of India's largest private news agencies. He can be contacted at vishalarora_in@hotmail.com, and some of his articles can be read at http://journalisted.com/vishal-arora.

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Articles written by Vishal Arora

Modi Win in India Could Endanger Nepal’s Secular Transition

By Vishal Arora
, on , Briefing

Nepal is keenly watching India’s ongoing parliamentary elections, where the presumed victory of Hindu nationalist Narendra Modi is raising questions about the future of the Himalayan nation’s transition from a Hindu monarchy to a secular democracy. With opinion polls pointing to a BJP victory in India, royalist parties in Nepal could find regional support for their calls to return Nepal to its Hindu identity. more

For Nepal, New Prime Minister and Guarded Optimism, but Same Problems

By Vishal Arora
, on , Briefing

Expectations are high for Nepal’s new prime minister, Sushil Koirala, who was elected to head the government by more than two-thirds of lawmakers’ votes last week and whose centrist party has many more potential allies in the recently elected legislature than it did in the previous assembly. However, challenges to bringing stability to the country and writing the nation’s new constitution remain daunting. more

Maldives Election Leaves Doubts About Democratic Transition

By Vishal Arora
, on , Briefing

The Maldives’ presidential election has been completed and its result accepted by all sides. But the outcome has not allayed concerns over the nation’s democratic transition. The new president, Yaamin Abdul Gayoom, is the half-brother of former authoritarian ruler Maumoon Abdul Gayoom. Yaamin’s victory may cement Gayoom’s influence and push the Maldives closer to China at the expense of India and the West. more

Maldives Election, If It Stands, Reflects a Clear Mandate Against Conservatism

By Vishal Arora
, on , Briefing

The Oct. 7 decision of the Supreme Court of the Maldives to annul the results of the Sept. 7 presidential election appears to be an attempt to avert the predictable win of ousted President Mohamed Nasheed, who is fighting a lonely battle against powerful conservative forces. Local and international observers had praised the polls as free and fair, and pressure is now building for the new vote to be run cleanly. more

India Keeps Close Eye on China's Courtship of Bhutan

By Anuradha Sharma, Vishal Arora
, on , Briefing

After Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and Bhutanese Prime Minister Jigmi Y. Thinley met for the first time on the sidelines of the U.N. Rio+20 Conference in Brazil last week, Beijing announced that the two leaders had expressed their willingness to establish diplomatic relations. Thimphu promptly disputed the report, but the statement reveals Beijing’s desperation to establish formal ties with Bhutan. more

Nepal's Crisis Has Region on Edge

By Anuradha Sharma, Vishal Arora
, on , Briefing

Less than a month after Nepal’s Constituent Assembly was dissolved, the country’s ruling Maoist party split this week. Discord and delay have characterized the country’s peace process since the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Accord between the government and Maoist rebels in 2006. They have now led to a political crisis that has disillusioned citizens and made India and China edgy. more

Political Instability in the Maldives Could Have Regional Fallout

By Vishal Arora
, on , Briefing

The apparent coup d’état that ousted President Mohamed Nasheed in the Maldives on Feb. 7 came after Nasheed's pro-reform policies had created a sustained clash with an opposition determined to preserve the pre-eminence of Islam in public life. Now the resulting political instability threatens to exacerbate regional rivalries in which the strategically located island nation has increasingly figured. more

Myanmar Refugees' Fate Caught Up in Thailand's Race for Investment

By Vishal Arora
, on , Briefing

Thailand's call for the repatriation of more than 140,000 refugees from Myanmar is likely aimed at enhancing investment opportunities in the politically isolated country. Bangkok's insistence that the refugees, who live in nine camps along Thailand's western border, had become a burden came shortly after a report indicated that China had overtaken Thailand as Myanmar's leading investor. more

Nepal's Constitutional Impasse

By Vishal Arora
, on , Briefing

The term of Nepal's Constituent Assembly, which was already extended for an extra year in May 2010, will likely come to an end on May 28 without the assembly having fulfilled its mandate to write a new constitution. Though it is easy to blame the country's bitterly divided political parties for the failure, there is actually some merit to the politicians' claim that they faced significant obstacles. more

India's Flawed Myanmar Policy

By Vishal Arora
, on , World Politics Review

NEW DELHI -- Last week's visit to India by Burma's military ruler, Gen. Than Shwe, highlighted the tensions in New Delhi's policy toward the isolated Southeast Asian country. The red carpet welcome that New Delhi accorded to Than sparked protests by Burmese refugees, who in addition to denouncing Than as a murderer and dictator, argued that a democratic Burma would better serve India's strategic interests. more

Popular Desire for Stability Saves the Day in Nepal

By Vishal Arora
, on , World Politics Review

KATMANDU, Nepal -- Nepal's ruling coalition inked a compromise deal with the opposition Maoists to extend the term of its interim Parliament, which was on the verge of expiration on Friday. While the standoff was prolonged by a narrow power struggle between the two blocs, observers can take comfort in the fact that both sides ultimately heeded the popular mood demanding stability. more

Stakes High for India, China in Nepal Crisis

By Vishal Arora
, on , World Politics Review

THIMPU, Bhutan -- Nepal's Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal returned home from the 16th SAARC summit in Bhutan on April 30 to face a political crisis in his landlocked Himalayan nation. The deadlock between the pro-India government and the Maoists, who believe in counterbalancing India's pre-eminence in Nepal, has unsettled both of Nepal's powerful neighbors, India and China. more