Indian democracy under threat as inequity fuels religious tensions


India’s growing Muslim population is missing out on the benefits of the country’s spectacular economic growth By 2050 India will acquire a new global status in terms of religious composition of its population. It will not only be the largest Hindu country but, with a population of 310 million Muslims, India will also become the […]

China, Taiwan

Asian pop: China’s new power confrontation


China’s heavy-handed approach towards a young flag-waving Taiwanese pop star may have influenced the recent Taiwan election result The recent Taiwanese election resulted in a landslide victory for the Democratic Progressive Party. From May, the Taiwanese ‘separatists’ will have the majority in the legislative assembly for the first time ever. Although Tsai Ing-Wen’s victory in […]

Asian studies

National approach urged to develop Asia-related collection


Asian studies research in Australia is being hampered by loss of library expertise and poor access to resources Asian Studies is a burgeoning topic in Australian librarianship. The Asian collection in Australia is obscure, tucked-away under ‘Arts’, categorised as ‘special ’—and therefore remains unseen. Asian studies is regarded as a field for the ‘specialist’ who […]


A model for a scholarly life


Obituary John David Legge AO (1921–2016) Emeritus Professor John Legge died on 4 February after a long life and a distinguished career as a scholar, teacher and academic leader. He was a pioneer in the teaching of the history of Asian countries in Australian universities. When he started teaching at the University of Western Australia […]


Finding the grains of truth in Thailand’s spoiled-rice scandal


Thailand’s simmering politics could be about to become even hotter as former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra faces her accusers over a scheme to provide cheap rice to poor farmers There has long been something special among Thais about rice and female spirits, an essential nurturing attribute important to sustain the essence of life (khwan). Every […]

The Philippines

New chance to end Mindanao’s religious divisions


The Philippine government has an opportunity to rethink its approach before general elections in May to ending long-standing divisions on the southern island of Mindanao Aboriginality on the southern Philippines island of Mindanao is distinguished between Lumad, a local dialect term meaning native or indigenous, and Moro, derived from the English word Moor and used […]