Karim Raslan

Recent and archived articles by Karim Raslan

21 Apr 2019 | 7:00 AM

Grassroots, a village fund and the Javanese identity

MUHAMMAD Rofiqul A’la is a jovial and portly thirty-nine year old farmer and kyai (or ustaz) from Jember in the densely populated province of East Java. Kiyai Rofiq as he’s called in his village is also part of the reason that Joko Widodo (or Jokowi) was able to surprise Indonesians and the world, in last week’s Presidential elections.

Quintessentially grassroots: Kyai rofiq is earthy, practical and full of jokes and homilies, most of which he delivers with a chortle. — photos by Team Ceritalah
14 Apr 2019 | 7:00 AM

‘What’s in it for me?’

THE General Class compartment – the cheapest – is full and Team Ceritalah are forced to perch on what are supposed to be the luggage racks (and therefore situated directly above the normal seats).

An Indian election official putting indelible ink on the finger of a voter before she casts her ballot at a polling station in Bangalore.- AFP
7 Apr 2019 | 7:00 AM

The fogged-out democracy

CHIANG MAI is swathed in smog. It’s opaque, oppressive and disconcerting.

Future Forward Party and its leader Thanathorn managed to capture the public imagination. — AP
31 Mar 2019 | 7:00 AM

In Bekasi – and Indonesia – a house divided?

ON April 17, 2019, Indonesia will be going to the polls. West Java, the country’s most-populous

Much at stake: With promises to improve its infrastructure, will Jokowi be able to take West Java and secure re-election, or will it remain with Prabowo? — Photos by Team Ceritalah and others
24 Mar 2019 | 7:00 AM

When Asian giants vote

The world needs to take notice as 1.2 billion Asian voters go to the polls. how much is at stake?

Historical moment: Thailand is heading to the polls today for the first time, since 2014’s military coup. — PHOTOS: ABS-CBN/TEAM CERITALAH
17 Mar 2019 | 7:00 AM

Provincial to international: Coco Martin

COCO Martin is a Filipino Everyman. In person, he’s shorter than you’d expect. Disarming; he’s also trim, handsome (but not too handsome) with an empathetic smile and warm eyes.

10 Mar 2019 | 7:00 AM

Does Thaksin still matter? Thailand’s young voters look to the future, not the past.

Thailand’s young voters look to the future, not the past.

Asia’s original populist: In 2014, hundreds of thousands flooded the streets, expressing their anger towards Thaksin and the rest of the Shinawatra family. – EPA
3 Mar 2019 | 7:00 AM

Debt and distress in rural India

Hail to the farmer? Farmer suicides in rural India highlight a growing divide.

Lost love: Shantabai’s husband Vinod, a cotton farmer, committed suicide ten years ago. But she had no time to mourn and returned to work the day after his death. - Photos by Team Ceritalah
24 Feb 2019 | 7:00 AM

Religious riots: Muzaffarnagar’s pain

SIX years ago, Irshad Ali’s family was forced to flee their home in Muzaffarnagar, in northern Uttar Pradesh (UP). They were among 50,000 Muslims who were displaced after the riots that killed 62 and injured scores of others. Muzaffarnagar has a population of over 500,000, of which more than 40% are Muslims.

Dark memory: Irshad’s family managed to escape by night and sought refuge in a neighbouring Muslim village. — Photos by Team Ceritalah
17 Feb 2019 | 7:00 AM

The poet sweet-seller from Allahabad

Poetry and peda, in the midst of the Kumbh Mela. Laddoos or Barfi? UP is spoilt for political choice.