Ravi Shanker Kapoor The murder of Sarabjit Singh has brought the issue of 54 Indian prisoners of war (PoWs) to the fore. They were among the 400-500 PoWs captured in the 1971 India-Pakistan War. While many were allowed to come back, 54 soldiers became victims of the sadism of Pakistani authorities and the neglect of [...]
While China has ratcheted up its show of assertiveness in the recent years, India has been quietly preparing for a parity to prevent war. Often parity does not have to be equality in numbers. The fear of pain disproportionate to the possible gains, and the ability of the smaller in numbers side to do so in itself confer parity. There is a certain equilibrium in Sino-Indian affairs that make recourse to force extremely improbable. Both modern states are inheritors of age-old traditions and the wisdom of the ages. Both now read their semaphores well and know how much of the sword must be unsheathed to send a message. This ability will ensure the swords remain recessed and for the plowshares to be out at work.
The book presents rich account of genesis and the current state of affairs in Nagaland, Mizoram, Manipur, Assam, Bangladesh and Burma. Lintner, who has traveled extensively and chronicled the region as a journalist(legally and illegally), has presented a deep and apparently only account of the longest insurgency movements in India’s North East and the support they have received from India’s long time foes China and Pakistan.
India today is struggling on many counts – political, economic and military. It’s ability to establish strong credibility is gravely eroded by its lack or weakening of institutions. Institutions for public policy formulation and execution that need to cut across domains/parties/personalities and weather the storms of fickle coalition dharma. Sacrificing national interests to “serve the nation” needs to structurally change in favour of strong democratic institutions, held together by a coherent strategic vision, to ensure its national interests are protected and promoted.
India has reformed only when on the precipice . This time around though the urgency is on the positive sine curve – India has no choice but to become the ‘Break out Nation’ – an opportunity which may not come again.
A disturbed security environment in Asia- Pacific will adversely affect, flow of energy, commerce and trade, leading to escalation of oil prices and hurting global economy. In the larger interest of humanity, it is imperative that every stakeholder acts responsibly and contributes towards the resolution of disputes. Time is critical, and we must act in right earnest to build confidence and create frameworks for enduring peace and stability in the region.
Like South East Asia, South Asia, a region at logger heads with itself based or its internal fault lines, is likely to see itself engulfed in this great game between the West and the Rest – a game it not played right may undermine its economic and political future. It is here that the drama unfolding in the twin seas of South Asia – The Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal needs to be carefully monitored to ensure South Asia doesn’t risk becoming pawn in geopolitical clash between the two extra regional powers.
Shankkar’s seven game changers since independence are: the economic liberalization of 1991, the Green Revolution of the sixties, the nationalization of banks in 1969, Operation Flood in the seventies, the mid-day meal scheme of 1982, the software revolution of the nineties, and the passing of the Right to Information Act in 2005. He argues that these turning points in the country’s history were not the result of foresight or careful planning but were rather the accidental consequences of major crises that had to be resolved at any cost. Nandan Nilekani comments that this engaging analysis is a must-read to comprehend the politics of change in modern India
With the movement against corruption growing in the country if there is an apt and most gripping books of time in the market, it is this path breaking, unique and hard-hitting narrative of measures to revitalise the governance model in India. Though set in India and for Indian conditions, the book has drawn global attention for recommending and executing a Model for Restoration of Good Governance (MRGG).
Bhutan`s strategic choices are thus of great geostrategic and military concerns to India. How it makes them would depend on the range and depth of Indo-Bhutan relations. Alternatively, Bhutan may provide the Continental Bridge to China to link the region as it has done to dominate CAR and Afghanistan by resolving its boundary disputes with Tajikistan.