Rising Asia Journal
ISSN 2583-1038
Rising Asia Foundation

Latest Issue

VOLUME 2, ISSUE 3 (AUTUMN)
SEPTEMBER TO DECEMBER 2022

Issue Information
Distinguished Annual Foreign Policy Lecture
  • The “Paradoxes” of the Asian Century
    DINO PATTI DJALAL, PhD, former Indonesian Ambassador
Commentaries
  • The Unfinalized Healthcare Reform in Malaysia
    POR HEONG HONG, Universiti Sains Malaysia
    Abstract

    The Unfinalized Healthcare Reform in Malaysia


    There is a long history of proposals to reform the Malaysian healthcare system. Yet, no clear plan has ever been finalized, and the two-tier public/private structure, and financing mechanism of the public health sector remains unchanged. The reforms propose to create a scheme based on contributions from the public. Resistance to change comes from the private healthcare sector and private health insurers, both with their vested interests, as well as public interest groups that worry about the impact on the general public. The author argues that a financing scheme to raise funds from the public as mandatory contributions would relieve the Ministry of Health from internal budget competition with other governmental departments, but would also entail extra taxation, which is unlikely to gain popular support in a time of worsening global and local economies induced by both the Covid-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine.

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  • Family Stories: Fifty Years After the Vietnam War
    CARINA VO-TA, Tufts University
    Abstract

    Family Stories: Fifty Years After the Vietnam War


    The author, a second-generation Vietnamese-American born in California’s Orange Country nineteen years after the end of the Vietnam War, learned about the personal histories of her family, and of the war through her parents who had witnessed the conflict firsthand. The author, now a student in the United States, has confronted issues of identity—personal, cultural, and historical—of straddling both worlds, of her motherland that her family departed from, and the adopted American homeland, and has discovered great resiliency in her life of diaspora.

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  • The Philippine Presidency, 1986-2022:
    Storm Watch: Clouds Over Malacañang Palace
    HARISH C. MEHTA
    Abstract

    The Philippine Presidency, 1986-2022:
    Storm Watch: Clouds Over Malacañang Palace


    The author reflects on the full circle in the Philippine presidency—from the ouster of Ferdinand Marcos Sr. to the election of his son, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., as president in May 2022. Soon after the fall of the regime of President Ferdinand Marcos Sr. in 1986, the author began reporting on the Philippines as a correspondent for the Business Times (The Straits Times Group of Singapore, a historic, storied newspaper of Southeast Asia). Traveling to Manila and the provinces, he interviewed President Corazon Aquino, Vice-President Salvador Laurel, as well as Defense Secretary Fidel Ramos (who passed away in July 2022), and Senator Joseph Estrada, both of whom later became president, and senior officials and media persons in Manila and in the barrios. His reporting resulted in his winning the Mitsubishi-Press Foundation of Asia “Journalist of the Year Award” in June 1989.

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Research Articles
  • Post-Cold War Indo-Bangladesh Relations:
    From Highs and Lows to a “Golden Era”
    BINODKUMAR SINGH, Manipur University
    Abstract

    Post-Cold War Indo-Bangladesh Relations:
    From Highs and Lows to a “Golden Era”


    Bangladesh emerged in the Cold War world as an independent, sovereign republic on December 16, 1971, under the politico-military patronage of neighboring India, which played a pivotal role in its liberation. Bangladesh and India have built a special relationship rooted in a common cultural heritage, principles and values, forged by shared aspirations and sacrifices of its people. Their relationship has suffered cyclical phases of highs and lows, largely reflecting the changing governments both in Dhaka and New Delhi. Bangladesh’s foreign policy choices have been cautious and measured. It is, at times, hesitant and finds it uncomfortable to function under a bilateral parameter as it prefers multilateral arrangements. India has been constrained to singlehandedly take the relationship forward because Bangladesh views bilateral ties through the prism of a younger brother that expects the bigger brother to do more. For its part, India has been circumspect in its reactions to various statements that emanate from Dhaka. This article examines the positive engagement between the two countries since 2007, and the pending issues such as sharing the waters of the Teesta River, and the killings on the India-Bangladesh border. Out of the box agreements are certainly required to resolve the remaining bilateral issues in a timely manner.

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  • The Structures of Al-Qaeda and Islamic State in South Asia, and their Propaganda in India, Bangladesh, and Myanmar
    MD. NASIR UDDIN, Independent Scholar
    Abstract

    The Structures of Al-Qaeda and Islamic State in South Asia, and their Propaganda in India, Bangladesh, and Myanmar


    As the transnational terrorist outfits Al-Qaeda (AQ) and Islamic State (IS) have notable strongholds in South Asia, the author conducted this study to assess the existing condition of AQ and IS in this region and their propaganda campaigns in India, Bangladesh, and Myanmar. Employing a synchronic approach and content analysis, the author obtained data through targeted selection of topics and news from domestic national newspapers, books, diplomatic websites, analytical websites, online news agencies, official websites of AQ and its official Facebook and Telegram sites, as well as the pages and magazines of AQ and IS from January 2015 to July 2022. The findings show that both AQ and IS aim to persistently execute their goals by staging militant attacks in the region. Despite the killing of Ayman al-Zawahiri in July 2022, AQ still has eight “inspired groups” in South Asia, while the IS has seven. Through an Islamic apocalyptic narrative known as Gazwatul Hind, AQ and its linked groups are bolstering their strongholds in South Asia in order to attack their stated targets in India, Bangladesh, and Myanmar. The IS-inspired groups’ geographical closeness poses a significant threat to these areas. The propaganda campaigns of both these terrorist groups also aim to exploit the unstable situation of the Rohingya refugees, and to undermine the loyalties of the population of India and Bangladesh by means of communication materials.

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  • The De-Humanization of the African Other in Bollywood Film
    PRASANTA MAHANTA, Mahapurusha Srimanta Sankaradeva Viswavidyalaya
    Abstract

    The De-Humanization of the African Other in Bollywood Film


    Color plays a large role in the Bollywood film industry. The Indian audience’s obsession with fairness of the feminine skin, especially women appearing on the silver screen still remains a significant factor behind the casting of fair-skinned female actors even for roles best suited to women of color. The prejudice, however, is not just against colored women but also against men of color, especially members of the Black community, in particular those whose origins are in Africa. This paper explores the subtle racial prejudices that some Indian filmmakers hold against members of the Black population, resulting in the de-humanization of the characters on screen.

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Books
  • The Convergence of Pan-Asianism and the Diaspora
    KOUSHIK GOSWAMI, Jadavpur University
    Abstract

    The Convergence of Pan-Asianism and the Diaspora


    Goswami reviews Himadri Lahiri, Asia Travels: Pan-Asian Cultural Discourses and Diasporic Asian Literature/s in English (Bolpur: Birutjatio Sahitya Sammiloni, 2021). i-xxiv+1-272 pages, INR 650.

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  • Letting India’s Soft Power do the Talking in Africa
    VINOD KUMAR PILLAI, Independent Scholar
    Abstract

    Letting India’s Soft Power do the Talking in Africa


    Vinod Kumar Pillai reviews Gurjit Singh, The Harambee Factor: India-Africa Economic and Development Partnership (New Delhi: MacMillan Education Publishers and the Indian Council of World Affairs, 2022), 454 pages, INR 2,950.

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Launch Program


Speeches by novelists and scholars, and Indo-Balinese dance performance
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About the Journal

Rising Asia is a scholarly publication and journal of record with a multidisciplinary orientation. It serves as a resource for the study, investigation, and teaching of Asian societies. Each volume of the journal contains interpretive essays on all aspects of Asian history, economy, diplomacy, literature, health, science, military affairs (war, peace and society or WPS) and culture.

Its coverage spans the humanities and social sciences, incorporating various thematic approaches—historical, economic, foreign policy, military, literary and theoretical that explore issues of grand strategy, ideology, ethnicity, race and gender, diasporic and indigenous communities, and colonialism and postcolonialism. The journal also publishes research articles in the field of Film Studies, as well as commentaries on museum exhibits and resource guides, provided all of them are scholarly in nature.

Journal Information

Title: Rising Asia Journal
Frequency: Three times a year
ISSN: ISSN 2583-1038
Publisher: Rising Asia Foundation
Chief Editor: Harish C. Mehta
Copyright: Rising Asia Foundation
Starting year: January 2021
Subject: Multidisciplinary subjects
Language: English
Publication Format: Online
Phone No: 91-9830721954
Email id: harishcmehta1968@gmail.com
Website: www.rajraf.org
Address: 32 T, New Road, Alipore, Kolkata 700 027, West Bengal, India

Editorial Board

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

HARISH C. MEHTA
PhD, McMaster University, Canada;
former Lecturer at University of Toronto, McMaster,
and Trent University;
and former Senior Indochina Correspondent,
The Business Times of Singapore.
harishcmehta1968@gmail.com
harish.mehta@utoronto.ca
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CONSULTING EDITOR

GURJIT SINGH
Former Ambassador of India to Germany, Indonesia, ASEAN, Ethiopia and the African Union;
currently honorary Professor of Humanities, Indian Institute of Technology, Indore (Japan, Indonesia, ASEAN, Africa and Europe),
ambassadorgurjitsingh@gmail.com
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ASSOCIATE EDITORS

ANG CHENG GUAN
Professor, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Singapore. (International History and Politics of Southeast Asia),
iscgang@ntu.edu.sg
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JANGKHONGAM DOUNGEL
Professor, Department of Political Science, Mizoram University, Aizawl (Local/Regional Politics & Socio-Economic Development of Mizoram, and Autonomy Movements in the North East),
jdoungel@gmail.com
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BOARD OF EDITORS

Julie Banerjee Mehta
Former Lecturer, University of Toronto and York University, currently Guest Faculty Professor, Loreto College, Calcutta (Postcolonial and Gender Theory, World Literatures, Diaspora Studies and Southeast Asian Culture),
juliemehta57@gmail.com
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Suchorita Chattopadhyay
Professor, Comparative Literature, Jadavpur University (Comparative Literature, Japan, and Asian Diasporas),
suchoritachattopadhyay@yahoo.com

Ajay Dandekar
Professor, Shiv Nadar University (International Relations, China, Geostrategy),
ajay.dandekar@snu.edu.in

Craig Etcheson
PhD (International Relations), University of Southern California; former Visiting Scientist at Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health from 2017 through June 2022 (Transitional Justice, Genocide Studies, and Cambodia),
etcheson@ix.netcom.com
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Lalnundika Hnamte
Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, Government J. Buana College, Lunglei, Mizoram (Peace and Conflict Resolution; Northeast Indian politics; Sixth Schedule and Tribal Autonomy; Migration and Citizenship; Look East/Act East Policy),
lalnundika@jbc.edu.in
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Tuan Hoang
Associate Professor of Great Books, Pepperdine University, Malibu, California (Modern Vietnamese Intellectual and Religious History, Vietnamese American History,
and Vietnamese Catholicism),
tuan.hoang@pepperdine.edu
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Sanjay Kathuria
PhD (Economics), University of Oxford; Adjunct Professor, Georgetown University, Washington, DC, and Ashoka University, Sonipat, India; Senior Fellow, Centre for Policy Research and former Lead Economist, World Bank (South Asian Trade and Investment, India's North East, Global Economy, Economic Growth, and Competitiveness),
sanjay@cprindia.org
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Veronica Khangchian
Assistant Professor, Department of Conflict Management & Peace Initiatives, Martin Luther Christian University, Shillong; and former Assistant Professor (Sociology), University of Delhi (Ethnicity & Conflict, Migration, and Peace Processes in Northeast India),
verokarujiliu@gmail.com
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Vimal Khawas
Associate Professor & Head of Department of Peace & Conflict Studies and Management, Sikkim University, Gangtok (the Himalayan region, Sikkim, Nepal, Environmental Studies/Security, Development Studies, Urban and Regional Planning),
vkhawas@cus.ac.in
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Siddharth Mallavarapu
Professor, Department of International Relations and Governance Studies, Shiv Nadar University (Disciplinary histories of International Relations, Theories of IR in the Global South, Asia in World Affairs, Comparative Political Thought, and Critical Security Studies),
siddharth.m@snu.edu.in

Medha
Assistant Professor, Department of International Relations and Governance Studies, Shiv Nadar University (South Asian Historical International Relations, Postcolonial and Decolonial approaches, Identities, Ideologies and Religion, and Discourse Theory),
medha@snu.edu.in

Md Mizanur Rahman
PhD Fellow, School of Cultural and Critical Studies, Bowling Green State University, Ohio (American Studies, Environmental Humanities, Cultural and Critical Theory),
mohrah@bgsu.edu

Biswajit Mohapatra
Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, North-Eastern Hill University, Shillong (Politics, International Relations and Foreign Policy; and India's North East),
biswajitm1@gmail.com

Por Heong Hong
Lecturer, School of Social Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang (Malaysia's healthcare policy, biopolitics, politics of memory, politics of heritage),
porheonghong@usm.my
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Meenakshi Shedde
South Asia Delegate to the Berlin Film Festival; Independent Film Curator based in Mumbai; Winner of National Award for Best Film Critic; Jury Member of 20 international film festivals such as Cannes, Berlin and Venice; written for/edited 19 books, mainly on cinema, and media worldwide (Indian/ Asian/ World/ archival cinema),
meenakshishedde@gmail.com
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Vu Duong Luan
Research Fellow, Institute of Vietnamese Studies and Development Science, Vietnam National University, Hanoi (History of Vietnam, Early Modern East Asia, China-Southeast Asia Interactions, and Asian Borderland Studies),
luanvuduong@gmail.com

ASSISTANT EDITORS

BOOKS
Mohini Maureen Pradhan
mohinipcal53@gmail.com

FILM STUDIES
Raka Mukherjee
rakamukherjeeofficial@gmail.com.

RESEARCH
Hemalatha Sridhar
tatsugarde@gmail.com

Hussena Calcuttawala
hussenacal@gmail.com

COLUMNS
Valentina Notts
valentinanotts@gmail.com

PUBLISHING EXECUTIVE
Roshni Subramani
sales.risingasia@gmail.com

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