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Elections in India: What I wrote for a German audience – and what I could have written for Indian readers
March 22, 2017

For a foreigner, writing about Indian politics is challenging. In case the readers are foreigners like me, there’s very much explaining to do. If the audience is Indian, there’s a chance they tell me to mind my own business — particularly if they don’t like what I say. In this case, I’m not concerned that would happen. I was invited to share my thoughts on the outcome of the rec...

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India: A picture says more than 1000 words
December 10, 2016 , , ,

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At last, world news from India
December 04, 2016

Before moving to India some two and a half years ago, I lived in the Middle East. For a journalist and a political commentator that place is paradise: Hardly a day went by without news, usually news of the bad kind, hitting the international headlines. In comparison, international media interest in India may be called subdued. The country is a more or less stable democracy, and stability is the...

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And all of a sudden your cash is worthless
November 26, 2016 , , ,

The assessments could hardly be less disparate. One side says India’s currency reform is a stroke of genius, a surgical strike which overnight dries out the morass of the black economy. For the foes, the sudden invalidation of huge amounts of paper money is a source of pain and misery, a threat to economic growth, in short: a political scandal. Political controversy is part and parcel of ...

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Social Media? Just Do It!
February 23, 2016 , , , ,

  Before I joined the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom, I worked as a journalist for many years. I produced radio programs and enjoyed communicating with an invisible audience over the airwaves. Communicating with others is a human want, a basic necessity. Never in human history has communication changed as dramatically as in the past few years. We are in the midst of an ongoing...

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Egypt’s Revolution: Five Years After
January 24, 2016 , , , , , ,

The announcement that the Regional Office of Germany’s Friedrich Naumann Foundation would leave Egypt after 40 years was not unexpected. I had heard rumors. Still the news hit me like a shock. I had spent eight years at the helm of that office and am tempted to call those years in Cairo the most exciting and surely the most eventful in my professional career. I had been treated to a seat in t...

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In memoriam Stamatis Assimenios: Erinnerungen an einen großartigen Griechen
December 22, 2015 , , ,

Stamatis Assimenios habe ich Mitte der achtziger Jahre in einer Kölner Eckkneipe kennengelernt. Dort jobte er als Aushilfskellner, um sein Studium zu finanzieren. Bei Trinkwettbewerben mit Rentnern und Arbeitslosen verdiente er sich oft eine Extra-Mark. Der Kneipenwirt war Grieche, ein bekennender Kommunist, der zu fortgeschrittener Stunde über den Partisanenkampf schwärmte. Allabendlich traf e...

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Diversity
September 27, 2015

  Had I to name one word to describe India in a nutshell, I’d choose the term diversity. Nowhere else have I witnessed this diverseness in more or less all walks of life as here in India - culturally, socially and to top it all also politically. Organizing diversity so that the diverse members of society coexist in a peaceful manner is the very basic objective of all democratic consti...

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Why I write
September 13, 2015

A blog only makes sense if you make use of it. To get a conversation starting, which is an ambitious objective anyway, you need to get the word out and post and publish interesting stuff regularly. I’ve been rather pathetic in that sense since mid-June when I started this new site, I must confess. But then, I have an explanation, as shortly thereafter my family and I embarked on our annual vacat...

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Back to Blogging
June 10, 2015

It’s been a while since I gave up writing a blog, at least a decade or so. In my Philippine times, I used to blog under the title “My Liberal Times”. In those days, teaching young activists how to set up and write a blog was part of my job - and passion. My priorities changed after moving to Egypt in 2007. There, I was confronted with an initially incredible (administrative) work load whi...

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