Bobby Ghosh

Bobby Ghosh was editor-in-chief of Hindustan Times. He has spent over two decades covering international affairs, including long stints as correspondent and editor in the Middle East, Asia, Europe and the US. He tweets as @ghoshworld

Articles by Bobby Ghosh

The Unified Theory of Trump: Why America has been resistant to reality checks

For most people who have never lived in the US — and indeed, for many who have — it is mystifying how Americans elected as their leader a man so palpably unsuitable for the job
US President Donald Trump answers a question during a press conference. A new book argues America was ‘created by people resistant to reality checks and convinced they had special access to the truth, a place founded to enact grand fantasies.’(AFP File)
US President Donald Trump answers a question during a press conference. A new book argues America was ‘created by people resistant to reality checks and convinced they had special access to the truth, a place founded to enact grand fantasies.’(AFP File)
Updated on Aug 29, 2017 12:23 PM IST
Hindustan Times | By

China’s video games on Doklam show why Beijing finds it hard to exert soft power

The two recent videos — one of Indian and Chinese soldiers attacking each other with fists and rocks, and the other a bizarre one released by Xinhua — show that the problem lies with the Chinese government, and its default posture of condescension toward its neighbours
The Chinese government struggles to exert any kind of soft power in the world, and especially in Asia. This is not because of its authoritarian nature...Nor is it because the Delhi demonises Beijing (File Photo)(Reuters)
The Chinese government struggles to exert any kind of soft power in the world, and especially in Asia. This is not because of its authoritarian nature...Nor is it because the Delhi demonises Beijing (File Photo)(Reuters)
Updated on Aug 23, 2017 07:28 AM IST
Hindustan Times | By

What India risks if it gets on board Trump’s Afghanistan project | Opinion

US President Donald Trump has said that he wants to further develop strategic partnership with India to achieve country’s goals in Afghanistan
US President Donald Trump delivers remarks on Americas military involvement in Afghanistan at the Fort Myer military base on August 21, 2017 in Arlington, Virginia.(AFP)
US President Donald Trump delivers remarks on Americas military involvement in Afghanistan at the Fort Myer military base on August 21, 2017 in Arlington, Virginia.(AFP)
Updated on Aug 22, 2017 08:59 PM IST

Time to rescind Aung San Suu Kyi’s Nobel Peace Prize | Opinion

Burmese leader Aung San Suu Kyi has been silent on the plight of the Rohingya, a Muslim minority that is being systematically oppressed by Buddhist extremists and the Burmese government.
HT Image(AFP)
HT Image(AFP)
Updated on Oct 13, 2017 11:20 AM IST

The Hurriyat never misses an opportunity to miss an opportunity in Kashmir

The All Parties Hurriyat Conference, so quick to call for Valley-wide protests and hartals when one Kashmiri is killed by the security forces, could not be moved to outrage over the murder of seven men in Kulgam district
All Parties Hurriyat Conference Chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, stands with supporters during a protest in Srinagar.(AP)
All Parties Hurriyat Conference Chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, stands with supporters during a protest in Srinagar.(AP)
Updated on May 16, 2017 06:56 PM IST
Hindustan Times | By

A speech in Lal Chowk or a ‘Mann ki Baat’, what Modi can do to heal Kashmir

In Kashmir, pellet guns have replaced Papa-2 as proof that the Indian state cares nothing for the concerns of Kashmiris. The state may argue that the pellets of today are better than the bullets of the past, but such gainsaying ignores the larger reality that parleys are better than projectiles.
An Indian paramilitary trooper holds a pellet gun in Kashmir in July 2016.(AFP)
An Indian paramilitary trooper holds a pellet gun in Kashmir in July 2016.(AFP)
Updated on Jun 01, 2017 09:10 AM IST
Hindustan Times | By

Saudi Arabia on UN commission protecting women — now that’s a cruel joke

Saudi Arabia finding a seat at the UN Commission on the Status of Women shows that the United Nations is not only inept, but also impotent. This will seriously undermine the credibility of the body
Putting Saudi Arabia on a women’s commission will diminish the already slim chances that Saudi women will equal rights anytime soon.(Reuters)
Putting Saudi Arabia on a women’s commission will diminish the already slim chances that Saudi women will equal rights anytime soon.(Reuters)
Updated on May 04, 2017 07:25 AM IST
Hindustan Times | By

Erdogan comes to India a winner and loser

The outcome of the Turkish referendum is especially embarrassing since Erdogan has spent the past two years systematically titling the playing field in his favour, by purging the opposition, and suppressing press freedom.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during a news conference in Istanbul, April 16. Erdogan is no longer the colossus he once was on the West Asian stage. Turkey’s pretensions of having a major role in the affairs of Arab states have been embarrassingly exposed by its inability to exert much influence on the Arab state on its border.(REUTERS)
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during a news conference in Istanbul, April 16. Erdogan is no longer the colossus he once was on the West Asian stage. Turkey’s pretensions of having a major role in the affairs of Arab states have been embarrassingly exposed by its inability to exert much influence on the Arab state on its border.(REUTERS)
Updated on May 28, 2017 10:46 AM IST
Hindustan Times | By

Syria gas attack: Those who use sarin can’t escape justice | Opinion

Saddam Hussein’s Iraq was the first to actually use sarin as a weapon of mass destruction. It must now be the goal of the US — and indeed, of all right-thinking nations — to bring Assad to justice. But justice, even for so horrific a crime, can take years.
A Syrian doctor treats a child following a suspected chemical attack, at a makeshift hospital, in the town of Khan Sheikhoun, northern Idlib province, Syria. The suspected chemical attack killed dozens of people, Syrian opposition activists said, describing the attack as among the worst in the country's six-year civil war.(AP)
A Syrian doctor treats a child following a suspected chemical attack, at a makeshift hospital, in the town of Khan Sheikhoun, northern Idlib province, Syria. The suspected chemical attack killed dozens of people, Syrian opposition activists said, describing the attack as among the worst in the country's six-year civil war.(AP)
Updated on May 07, 2017 08:47 AM IST
Hindustan Times | By

Why Arabs are not protesting against Modi’s proposed Israel visit | Opinion

One reason for the Arab pococurantism over deepening Indo-Israeli relations is a resigned acceptance that the two countries have much in common, including their enemies, in the shape of Islamist terrorism
Prime Minister Narendra Modi with his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu, New York, September 28, 2014(PIB)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi with his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu, New York, September 28, 2014(PIB)
Updated on Mar 29, 2017 10:09 AM IST
Hindustan Times | By

How Pakistan’s Abdul Basit could be Modi’s ambassador to Islamabad | Opinion

Having spent three years pushing the Pakistani line in India, the High Commissioner can start by telling Islamabad that India’s prime minister is not buying any of it
Abdul Basit, Pakistan's high commissioner to India, during Pakistan's independence day celebrations in New Delhi, August 14, 2016. Basit’s spell in Delhi has coincided neatly with that of the Modi administration, so he has watched the Indian Prime Minister more closely than any other Pakistani official.(Arvind Yadav/HT Photo)
Abdul Basit, Pakistan's high commissioner to India, during Pakistan's independence day celebrations in New Delhi, August 14, 2016. Basit’s spell in Delhi has coincided neatly with that of the Modi administration, so he has watched the Indian Prime Minister more closely than any other Pakistani official.(Arvind Yadav/HT Photo)
Updated on Mar 21, 2017 05:39 PM IST
Hindustan Times | By

Assembly election results are a bigger feather in Modi’s cap than the 2014 victory

The thumping BJP victory in Uttar Pradesh – combined with the results in Uttarakhand, it amounts to a sweep of the old, pre-bifurcation UP – is arguably a greater achievement for Narendra Modi than his 2014 Lok Sabha triumph.
The BJP victory in Uttar Pradesh may be a greater achievement for Narendra Modi than his 2014 Lok Sabha triumph(Arun Sharma/HT PHOTO)
The BJP victory in Uttar Pradesh may be a greater achievement for Narendra Modi than his 2014 Lok Sabha triumph(Arun Sharma/HT PHOTO)
Updated on Mar 15, 2017 01:22 PM IST
Hindustan Times | By

Elections 2017: Whoever wins UP should demolish it | Opinion

The state is too big to succeed. China’s largest province, Guangdong, now has 104 million people. India’s largest state has twice as many — and this is despite the fact that a chunk of it was carved out in 2000 to make Uttarakhand.
Voters at a polling station in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh, February 27(Arun Sharma/HT PHOTO)
Voters at a polling station in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh, February 27(Arun Sharma/HT PHOTO)
Updated on Mar 07, 2017 07:56 PM IST
Hindustan Times | By

Voters liking one leader, voting for another party seems to be a pattern in UP

Voters appear closer than ever to break away from the old block politics, but many are hesitant to take the final leap; those who make the jump will be influenced more by personalities than by issues.
Women queue up at a polling booth in Amethi during the fifth phase of the assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, February 27(PTI)
Women queue up at a polling booth in Amethi during the fifth phase of the assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, February 27(PTI)
Updated on Mar 01, 2017 07:49 AM IST
Hindustan Times | By

Trump’s first crisis abroad: He can tell Putin that Russia’s expansion must stop

With his biggest American fan safely ensconced in the White House, Putin seems to have decided to return to his plans to expand Russia’s territorial outlines in the west
With his biggest American fan safely ensconced in the White House, Putin seems to have decided to return to his plans to expand Russia’s territorial outlines in the west, while pushing the envelope with his foes in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization(AP)
With his biggest American fan safely ensconced in the White House, Putin seems to have decided to return to his plans to expand Russia’s territorial outlines in the west, while pushing the envelope with his foes in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization(AP)
Updated on Feb 15, 2017 09:39 AM IST
Hindustan Times | By

US politicians who have remained mum in the face of Trump’s attack are cowards

To remain mute in the face of such bare-faced bigotry is reprehensible, and it will carry a high political cost. Americans, individuals as well as organizations, are keeping tabs of who’s saying what at this critical moment in their nation’s history. The politicians who fail to lead now will not be able to dissimulate later. In the not-too-distant future, Republicans will win or lose elections based on what they are saying (or not saying) now
Protesters demonstrate against US President Donald Trump’s recent executive order on immigration outside the US Supreme Court January 30, 2017, Washington(AFP)
Protesters demonstrate against US President Donald Trump’s recent executive order on immigration outside the US Supreme Court January 30, 2017, Washington(AFP)
Updated on Jan 31, 2017 06:57 PM IST
Hindustan Times | By

Even in the worst of times, China is no substitute for the US on global stage

A year ago in Cairo, and recently in Davos, Xi Jinping appeared as a man with a plan to address global concerns as Washington is reducing its presence in many parts of the world. But beyond Xi’s rhetoric, Beijing has not yet demonstrated any interest or ability in being a solver of prickly international problems
China's President Xi Jinping at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, January 17, 2017(AP)
China's President Xi Jinping at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, January 17, 2017(AP)
Updated on Jan 25, 2017 08:47 AM IST
Hindustan Times | By

Barack Obama’s misses, and their consequences, will be with us for a long time

Even the few foreign affairs success Obama now claims will be found historically flawed. He will be remembered as the man who gave the order to kill Osama bin Laden, but did nothing to punish Pakistan for harbouring America’s greatest enemy
Obama is lucky to have followed one of the most incompetent of all American Presidents, and to be followed by the most incomprehensible of them. This will colour, in mostly rosy hues, our view of his presidency for years to come. If Trump’s turn at the wheel is as disastrous as his critics fear, it may be decades before the Obama years receive unaffected examination.(AP File Photo)
Obama is lucky to have followed one of the most incompetent of all American Presidents, and to be followed by the most incomprehensible of them. This will colour, in mostly rosy hues, our view of his presidency for years to come. If Trump’s turn at the wheel is as disastrous as his critics fear, it may be decades before the Obama years receive unaffected examination.(AP File Photo)
Updated on Jan 11, 2017 01:55 PM IST
Hindustan Times | By

By feuding with intelligence agencies, Trump is putting the world in harm’s way

The American president-elect has been avoiding daily security briefings by the intelligence services. A man so plainly ignorant about the world should be asking for a double dose of briefings
(FILES) This file photo taken on December 9, 2016 shows US President-elect Donald Trump speaks at a
(FILES) This file photo taken on December 9, 2016 shows US President-elect Donald Trump speaks at a "get-out-the-vote" rally in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. President-elect Donald Trump said he will announce his choice to fill the prized post of secretary of state on December 13, 2016, ending weeks-long speculation over the globally important vacancy. "I will be making my announcement on the next Secretary of State tomorrow morning," Trump said December 12, using his favored medium, Twitter. / AFP PHOTO / DON EMMERT(AFP)
Updated on Dec 14, 2016 01:45 PM IST
Hindustan Times | By

The simplicity of referendums is exactly what is wrong with them

We should be grateful to Babasaheb Ambedkar for a democratic exercise that our constitution doesn’t allow: Referendums
Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi speaks during a media conference after a referendum on constitutional reform at Chigi palace in Rome on December 5.(Reuters)
Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi speaks during a media conference after a referendum on constitutional reform at Chigi palace in Rome on December 5.(Reuters)
Updated on Dec 06, 2016 10:36 PM IST
Hindustan Times | By

Fidel Castro may be India’s hero but he was Cuba’s villain

Fidel Castro’s apologists paint him as a Third World champion in the political contest against the First, but the truth is he was a Communist dictator who left Cuba decrepit and its people unhappy
Left Front chairman Biman Bose, CPI(M) state secretary Surya Kanta Mishra and other Left party leaders during a rally to pay respect to Cuban leader Fidel Castro in Kolkata, November 26, 2016.(PTI)
Left Front chairman Biman Bose, CPI(M) state secretary Surya Kanta Mishra and other Left party leaders during a rally to pay respect to Cuban leader Fidel Castro in Kolkata, November 26, 2016.(PTI)
Updated on Nov 29, 2016 07:06 PM IST
Hindustan Times | By

On Trump, Obama would do well to emulate the silence of some ex-presidents

Sparing Trump’s feelings is not the reason Obama should keep his opinion to himself. The dignity of the office demands that the courtesy be extended even to the most undignified person imaginable.
The President-elect has an exceptionally thin skin: even when he should have been enjoying his victory over Hillary Clinton, he made time to Tweet his dissatisfaction with the coverage he was receiving from the New York Times(REUTERS)
The President-elect has an exceptionally thin skin: even when he should have been enjoying his victory over Hillary Clinton, he made time to Tweet his dissatisfaction with the coverage he was receiving from the New York Times(REUTERS)
Updated on Nov 23, 2016 07:14 AM IST
Hindustan Times | By

Clinton’s defeat weakens Merkel, Trump’s victory strengthens Le Pen

Hillary Clinton’s defeat may have weakened Angela Merkel, and improved the chances of Marine Le Pen, whose politics mirrors Donald Trump’s
Supporters paste a poster of Marine Le Pen, France's National Front leader, on a wall. (File Photo)(REUTERS)
Supporters paste a poster of Marine Le Pen, France's National Front leader, on a wall. (File Photo)(REUTERS)
Updated on Nov 15, 2016 11:43 PM IST
Hindustan Times | By

Let’s not kid ourselves, with Trump, what we have seen is what we will get

Trump is not likely to find much motivation for moderation as he looks across the wider world. Instead, he will find that leaders who say and do outrageous things are not only getting away with it, they’re being rewarded for it, with public approbation. From Russia’s Vladimir Putin and Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan, to Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines, leaders who resist compromise are being lauded by their electorate.
Donald Trump flanked by members of his family speaks to supporters during election night at the New York Hilton Midtown in New York on November 9, 2016.(AFP)
Donald Trump flanked by members of his family speaks to supporters during election night at the New York Hilton Midtown in New York on November 9, 2016.(AFP)
Updated on Nov 10, 2016 07:04 PM IST
Hindustan Times | By

Donald Trump: If he’s bad for the US, he’s bad for us

Trump is bad for India because he is bad for his own country, and the wellbeing of the US is now closely connected to our own.
Trump is bad for India because he is bad for his own country, and the wellbeing of the US is now closely connected to our own.(AP)
Trump is bad for India because he is bad for his own country, and the wellbeing of the US is now closely connected to our own.(AP)
Updated on Nov 09, 2016 07:24 PM IST
Hindustan Times | By

Trump or Clinton: Poor choices for America in this presidential election

During the 1988 US presidential election, the national mood was captured by a popular bumper sticker: THANK GOD WE ONLY HAVE TO PICK ONE OF THEM. Starting on November 9, I could start selling a bumper sticker: COULD HAVE BEEN WORSE: WE COULD HAVE PICKED THE OTHER ONE
Masks depicting Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump at Hollywood Toys & Costumes in Los Angeles, California(REUTERS)
Masks depicting Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump at Hollywood Toys & Costumes in Los Angeles, California(REUTERS)
Updated on Nov 02, 2016 02:39 PM IST
Hindustan Times | By

On Arunachal Pradesh, New Delhi must tell Beijing to mind its own business

Peace along the India-China border is not being damaged by the visit by the American envoy to Tawang, but by the clandestine infiltration along the frontier by Chinese troops
Arunachal Pradesh is ripe for tourism, especially of the environmental kind favoured by many Westerners and a growing number of Indian(AFP)
Arunachal Pradesh is ripe for tourism, especially of the environmental kind favoured by many Westerners and a growing number of Indian(AFP)
Updated on Oct 26, 2016 01:49 AM IST
Hindustan Times | By

Baghdad must ensure Mosul is not given over to vengeful Shia death-squads

The words Muslawis will want to hear have not yet been uttered — assurances that their city will not be given over to vengeful Shia death-squads or covetous Kurds, promises of political inclusion and economic opportunity
A convoy of Iraqi security forces advances on the outskirts of Mosul, to fight against Islamic State militants, in Kirkuk, Iraq, October 12, 2016(REUTERS)
A convoy of Iraqi security forces advances on the outskirts of Mosul, to fight against Islamic State militants, in Kirkuk, Iraq, October 12, 2016(REUTERS)
Updated on Oct 19, 2016 07:40 AM IST
Hindustan Times | By

Yemen brings shame to all

HT Image
HT Image
Published on Oct 12, 2016 10:38 AM IST

The war in Yemen will intensify, bringing shame upon all the protagonists

The Houthis have not previously been known to possess such firepower. Inevitably, fingers will be pointed at their patron, Iran. The US will also worry about the potential for these weapons to fall into the hands of al-Qaeda’s Yemeni operation, which has used the chaos of the war to expand the territory it controls, and to raid government armouries
Tribesmen loyal to Houthi rebels chant slogans during a gathering aimed at mobilising more fighters into battlefronts in several Yemeni cities, Sanaa, October 2(AP)
Tribesmen loyal to Houthi rebels chant slogans during a gathering aimed at mobilising more fighters into battlefronts in several Yemeni cities, Sanaa, October 2(AP)
Updated on Oct 12, 2016 06:55 AM IST
Hindustan Times | By
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