Who travels by train nowadays? Those who cannot afford to fly; or those going to places that cannot be reached by air; or those who, out of habit, find a train more convenient, at least some of the time. But to travel by train for reasons of cost and to travel on trains by choice are two different things. In India, the majority of people use trains only irregularly, if at all, because they cannot afford them – a fact too often overlooked. But that still leaves a huge number of travellers, almost all belonging to the lower echelons of the famous – and famously feted – middle class, to patronise the world’s largest railway network.
Romila Thapar addresses invitees at the
Southasian relaunch of Himal Southasian,
IIC, New Delhi, January 2013.
China, Southasia and India
On May 19 2013, newly appointed Chinese Premier Li Keqiang arrived in New Delhi for a series of meetings with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. The visit is Keqiang's first outside of China since assuming power in March.
From our archive:
Purna Basnet discusses Chinese engagement in Nepal vis-a-vis security issues in Tibet and broader geo-strategic plans in Southasia (April 2011).
Fatima Chowdury relates the story of Calcutta's Indian Chinese community through the lens of political and economic upheavals in Southasia and China (May 2009).
Simon Long notes the importance of the Sino-Indian relationship for the rest of Southasia (September 2006).
J.N Dixit ruminates on the strategic concerns of the 'Middle Kingdom' in the wake of India's 1998 nuclear tests (June 1998).