Thursday, March 23, 2017

Mumbai, Day Two

Prettiest poli sci dept?
Yesterday, I talked with folks affiliated with think tanks about Trump and US interventions in West Asia (what I call the Mideast when I am talking to the Asian Society).  Today, I lectured the grad students of the U of Mumbai (the Fighting Traders), presenting what I have learned about intervention into ethnic conflicts over the course of my career. 

I hung out on the beach west of the airport and of the hotel area
to watch the sun set.
It was fun to talk to a completely different audience on this topic, and I tried to summon what I wrote long ago in my dissertation about India abetting the creation of Bangladesh.  The Q&A was most interesting, as questions of supranationalism and partition came up (not a fan of the latter). 

I go back tomorrow to talk about NATO and Trump.

What did I learn today? 
Anyone mention that cricket is a big deal here? Cricket bat statue
  • Oy.  I see that Tillerson is now recommending safe havens, which means that he has hit the Worst SecState Bingo sheet in only two months.  Well played, sir.
  • McGill prioritizes its reputation over academic freedom as it either pushed out or did not try hard to keep Andrew Potter, who dared to right something that was a bit over the top about Quebec's problems.  Good thing I never blogged about Quebec while I worked at McGill (oops).
  • Oh, back to Mumbia, I am amazed that the cars here do not seem to be dented or scratched.  How do they manage that, given how crowded the roads are and how aggressive the drivers are?
  • The lunchbox at the university was amazing--packed with a heap of naan!  Could be the best lunch of the trip.
  • The beaches to the west are mighty rocky, with plenty of young couples canoodling.  Nice spot to watch the sun set over the Arabian Sea.
  • If I do get sick, my faux pas would have been ordering a wheat beer--which came with an orange with a peel. Not good--only peeled fruits, not peels, are ok.  Still, so far, so good.
  • The Canadian consulate does excellent work--I had my last face to face interaction with my Canadian consulate handler, and was most impressed.  The events have been great, the trip has been well organized, and they have tried hard to make sure I don't do anything to hurt Indo-Canadian relations.
Tomorrow, my lecture is at 3, so I hope to get in some tourism before I have to get back.

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