Indian Foreign Policy

The Strategic Issues & International Relations Forum is a venue to discuss issues pertaining to India's security environment, her strategic outlook on global affairs and as well as the effect of international relations in the Indian Subcontinent. We request members to kindly stay within the mandate of this forum and keep their exchanges of views, on a civilised level, however vehemently any disagreement may be felt. All feedback regarding forum usage may be sent to the moderators using the Feedback Form or by clicking the Report Post Icon in any objectionable post for proper action. Please note that the views expressed by the Members and Moderators on these discussion boards are that of the individuals only and do not reflect the official policy or view of the Bharat-Rakshak.com Website. Copyright Violation is strictly prohibited and may result in revocation of your posting rights - please read the FAQ for full details. Users must also abide by the Forum Guidelines at all times.
Pulikeshi
BRFite
Posts: 1513
Joined: 31 Oct 2002 12:31
Location: Badami

Postby Pulikeshi » 19 Feb 2007 10:36

Considering these circumstances, India may well be in a position to tango with all the three big boys without antagonising any of them.


viva la femme!

India - the femme fatale :mrgreen:

But seriously, what is the gender of a nation? Why is India the girl?
Tiger or Tigress?

JE Menon
Forum Moderator
Posts: 7049
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30

Postby JE Menon » 19 Feb 2007 15:39

Bcos our perspective is from that of the f***ed not the f***er, to put it crudely. And that is a large part of the problem...

This is why we frequently have questions like

What will happen if America reneges on the deal

What will happen if we piss china off

What about the Russian angle? Do we want to piss them off by getting too close to the US and so on....

The problem is not in the question. It is in the answer, which is more often than not: lets not do anything to piss anyone off. Usually means doing nothing. Of course, those guys are never bothered about whether they piss India off or not.

And the whole tone of article is in that vein. So we should not be surprised then, when we do get !!!!ed :)

ramana
Forum Moderator
Posts: 54773
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30

Postby ramana » 20 Feb 2007 04:21

many ideas in this article.
Link: http://www.newsinsight.net/archivedebat ... recno=1587


Don't overdo
The trilateral with Russia and China could boomerang on India.

16 February 2007: If you take away the spin, it would appear that the trilateral meeting of the foreign ministers of India, China and Russia was organized in Delhi two days ago so that all the three countries could talk to the United States through one another. The meeting had an eerie similarity with the US-led six-party talks to denuke North Korea that has proved partly successful. Because the US wouldn't talk to North Korea directly, their bilateral had to be upgraded by including four other parties, with China hosting it. While India, China and certainly Russia can and do engage the US, they have perhaps begun to feel a need to use one another to get their own way with America. As to its success, if such is the strategy, it depends from player to player.

Amid the Kosovo Conflict (December 1998), the then Russian prime minister, Yevgeny Primakov, sought the creation of a "strategic triangle" among Russia, India and China. While the Russians and Chinese alternated in pushing the idea with India and between themselves, the Balkans war being the impeller, it made little headway. Russia and China usually blame India for the slow progress. With China, India had no reason to pact in view of the 1962 aggression and because China condemned the May 1998 Indian nuclear test. In letters to the G-8, the PM then, A.B.Vajpayee, identified security threats from China and Pakistan to justify the test. One of the letters was leaked to The New York Times which further enraged China. China more than the rest of P-5 demanded that India roll back its weapons' programme. China remains India's strategic rival. It aims to contain India in South Asia as it succeeded along with the United States and Pakistan during the Cold War. China's "string of pearls" strategy has a general aim to dominate the Indian Ocean and a particular one to contain India. The Indian Ocean is India's lifeline.

India was consternated by the Chinese president, Hu Jintao's recent Africa tour which significantly ended in the strategically vital Indian Ocean island of Seychelles. So alarmed was the US, too, that it dispatched its Mauritius ambassador and a Africa-based naval task force commander to warn off Seychelles' Left-leaning president from giving basing commitments to the Chinese president. To reinforce the point against any contemplated Chinese hegemony in Africa and its Indian Ocean littoral and hinterland states, the US speedily created a combatant command called AFRICOM to be based in the continent and operating from 2008. Apart from overlapping interests in protecting free trade and the sea-lanes in the Indian Ocean, India and the US have also signed a defence framework pact and a civilian nuclear cooperation agreement which may acquire treaty status in months. The second would give India access to civilian nuclear energy and technology in a special, one-off exemption from provisions of US laws, the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and Nuclear Suppliers' Group (NSG) guidelines. China opposes the deal without being explicit. It wants it replicated with Pakistan. Besides with China, there is the unresolved border dispute. In November last, when Hu Jintao visited India, the Chinese ambassador provocatively laid claims on Arunachal Pradesh. It effectively destroyed the visit.

For the Indian and Chinese foreign ministers to meet in a trilateral format so soon after cold-to-hostile bilateral engagements, there must have to be an external dimension. It is the United States. While India must partner with the US for all round political, economic and military growth, it also reflexively seeks "strategic autonomy". US policies in the Middle East create instabilities in the Indian neighbourhood. They affect the lives of three-and-a-half million Indians working in the Gulf and India's energy security. At the same time as India opposes Iran's weapons' programme, it also seeks a negotiated settlement of the Iranian crisis, preferably within the structure of the IAEA. It sees some value in engaging with China and Russia on Iran because they have made huge investments in that country and don't want a repetition of the Iraq disaster. But India fully understands the danger and limits of intervention in Iran and won't overplay its hand angering the US. There was no mention of Iran in the India-Russia-China joint statement on 14 February. But there is one more impulse for India to flirt trilaterally. This is to pressure the US on the nuke deal that has conditions unacceptable to the Indian political establishment. Russia and China are also key NSG members and India might hope that a trilateral would soften China on the civilian nuclear agreement. Plus, in a trilateral that does not embed in an alliance, deniability is built in and may even be the norm, while accountability is zero.

Bilateral differences don't inform Indo-Russian relations as they bedevil India-China ties. While their closeness during the Cold War hurt India more than the Soviet Union even accounting for Bangladesh's liberation, their present proximity does not antagonize the US, except in dual use trade, safeguarded by international regimes, of which the NSG guidelines is one. For the India-Russia relationship to become controversial, a third power like China fits, which was Primakov's original intent. The US played off China against the Soviet Union during the Cold War (the historic Nixon-Mao conversations of February 1972, for example), and Russia sees compelling reasons to reverse that process now.

At the 43rd Munich Conference on Security Policy (9-11 February), where the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, attacked US unipolarity and Nato's eastward expansion, he gave a clue about the emerging importance of the India-China-Russia "strategic triangle". He said that the combined GDP of India and China on purchasing power parity (which may be misleading) was bigger than the US's, while the BRIC states, Brazil, Russia, India and China, had a combined GDP larger than of the EU. Putin said, "There is no doubt that in the foreseeable future, the economic potential of these new centres of power will inevitably get converted into political clout and will strengthen multipolarity."

Russia's rise founded on its energy exports to the EU and to states that broke away from the Soviet Union has alarmed the United States and parts of East Europe once yoked to the Warsaw Pact, now called "New Europe". "Old Europe" sans the UK comprising Germany, France, Belgium and so forth that opposed the Iraq War and US "unilateralism" resonate with Putin when he condemns American unipolarity. Putin is using this difference and the energy lever to prise away Old Europe from the US, in effect creating divisions in Nato and weakening it. The US, which attacks Russia for its "use of energy as a foreign policy weapon", is encouraging Nato's expansion to Russia's borders and deploying missile defense systems there. Putin, in turn, threatens a Cold War-like arms race to penetrate US missile defenses for more nuclear overkill.

But perhaps finding himself still weak to take on the US alone, he is trying to split Europe and simultaneously push the trilateral with India and China. Post his 26 January Delhi summit with Manmohan Singh, Putin was tantalizingly vague about the trilateral. "The prime minister and I discussed trilateral cooperation today," he said. "We did not discuss the matter in detail, but we noted that it is an interesting and useful format." Between then and Munich, he hardened his stand. One intervening development may have spurred the process. Arguing for massive budget outlays for fiscal 2008 before the House Armed Services Committee on 7 February, the new US secretary of state, Robert Gates, among other things, pointed to "the uncertain paths of Russia and China, which are both pursuing sophisticated military modernization programs…."

Like Russia, China's discomfiture/ anger with the US dates back to the Kosovo War, when its embassy was bombed (May 1999), perhaps deliberately. But barring flashes of rage at particular incidents (repeated when a US EP-3 Aries collided with a Chinese F-8, killing the fighter's pilot, April 2001), it has not launched into tirades at leadership level like Putin. Yet, it is one with Russia against perceived US "unilateralism". Recently, its ASAT test brought fresh pressure from the US to bring transparency to its military, and US allies in the region condemned it. Solely Russia defended it, referring to its own earlier test and the US's. Hu's Africa visit and China's Indian Ocean ambitions were directly challenged by the US decision to create AFRICOM. On North Korea, the US views China suspiciously, although it encouraged it to host the six-party talks. China's manufacturing "miracle", the subject of furious US congressional and academic debates, is also becoming a spoiler, partly because China won't appreciate the Yuan concurrent to high growth for more than a decade.

And for US defence secretary Gates, China's ASAT test remains a red rag. In the same defence budget request of 7 February, Gates said, "I think that the Chinese ASAT test is very troubling. And perhaps what is as troubling as the technological achievement is how one interprets it as part of their strategic, their own strategic outlook, and how they would anticipate using that kind of capability in the event of a conflict and the consequences for us of that."

So with the US, as it were, both Russia and China find themselves in the frontlines. Since India has emerged convincingly as a power balancer since Primakov made his "strategic triangle" argument – he may have made it on the basis of the May 1998 Pokharan II test – it finds itself frenetically wooed from all sides. While the US, fearing no immediate strategic competition from India, welcomes its alliance, India's perennial quest for "strategic autonomy" prevents a very close relationship. Seeing itself in demand, it perceives value in using the trilateral format to extract concessions from the US. But all three parties have endlessly repeated that their coming together is not targeted against a third power, meaning the US. However the US reacts to this, at least India should be clear that this gives it limited advantage. It is uniquely placed to enjoy the fruits of good relations with both the United States and Russia. Why would it want to damage this by aligning with a third party which is its proven enemy? Nehru's "friendship" with Chou En-Lai and the consequences for Nehru and India should not repeat.

Written by N.V.Subramanian, Editor, Newsinsight.net


The last line is the key message of this piece.

Tilak
BRFite
Posts: 733
Joined: 31 Jul 2005 20:19
Location: Old Lal Masjid @BRFATA (*Renovation*)

Postby Tilak » 21 Feb 2007 06:49

Explaining the Transformation of India's Foreign Policy

Speaker : Sumit Ganguly, Rabindranath Tagore Chair in Indian Cultures and Civilizations, Indiana University

Date: November 28, 2006

Length: 80 minutes

Event Series: Dean's Office Presents

Description: On November 28, the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs hosted Sumit Ganguly, the Rabindranath Tagore Chair in Indian Cultures and Civilizations at Indiana University in Bloomington. Dr. Ganguly discussed the post-Cold War transformation of India's approach to foreign policy.

Dr. Ganguly is the author, editor or co-editor of a dozen books on South Asia. His most recent books are Fearful Symmetry: India and Pakistan Under the Shadow of Nuclear Weapons (co-authored with Devin Hagerty) and More Than Words: U.S.-India Strategic Cooperation Into the Twenty-First Century (co-edited with Brian Shoup and Andrew Scobell). He is currently at work on a book, India Since 1980.

Introduction by LBJ School Dean James B. Steinberg.


Topics Covered:
Cold War, Non- Alignment, Fall of the Soviet Union, Indian Insecurity, China [1971], Patch-up with US, US - India Partneship and Prospects, India on UNSC [Required Quid pro Quo's wrt. USA ], Iran, Sonia Gandhi's quest for PM'giri, BJP [as usual.. ], P.V. Narasimha Raoji, Gujarat Riots, MMS :roll: and his Paki Adventure. + Q/A


Downloads :

Streaming Video [**Quicktime Required**]

Download [mp3]

Download [Mpeg4]



Must watch for Jingos. 8)

Sri K
BRFite -Trainee
Posts: 37
Joined: 12 May 2005 01:06
Location: Ulhasnagar Sindhi Association

Postby Sri K » 23 Feb 2007 00:13

Proof that the Foreign Policy Establishment in India have way too many Russia-rakshak and Cheen-rakshaks:
Are leaders of India, China and Russia ready for a radical breakthrough?
Objectively, too, the US remains very important to each of the three countries, and the foreign ministers cannot be faulted for their caution. At the same time, President Vladmir Putin's extremely significant, blunt address at the Munich security conference earlier this month, China ASAT test, and India's conscious efforts to reach out to Iran and Myanmar are signals to the US that all three countries intend to follow an independent foreign policy that serves their respective national interests.

…

Another exciting and potentially very significant area of cooperation is high technology. If the three countries pool their assets and synergise their strengths, they could emerge as an alternative nucleus for development of futuristic technologies, and break the current technological dominance of the West. Information technology and biotechnology have already been identified as areas meriting special attention.


Thankfully, this "diplomat" was passed over for the post of Foreign Secretary. He could have been a serious embarrassment.

ramana
Forum Moderator
Posts: 54773
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30

Postby ramana » 23 Feb 2007 01:56

There is a spate of articles about the tripatriate coming together of Russia, China and India. So there is some anxiety about what it means among the chatterati. So I suggest people read the op-eds and come to conclusions.

The govt circles seem to want some sort of grouping to happen after all its three of the BRIC. The nationalists want to use the non alignment card. Last time this happned the LSe types ensured that India did not particpate in any grouping. That was a must for the West. Recall K.M. Pannicker's dictum that there are four nations that can dominate the world- USA, Russia, China and India. All others are allies of these.

So need to see all this in context.

kshirin
BRFite
Posts: 382
Joined: 18 Sep 2006 19:45

Postby kshirin » 23 Feb 2007 02:36

Sri K wrote:Proof that the Foreign Policy Establishment in India have way too many Russia-rakshak and Cheen-rakshaks:
Are leaders of India, China and Russia ready for a radical breakthrough?
Objectively, too, the US remains very important to each of the three countries, and the foreign ministers cannot be faulted for their caution. At the same time, President Vladmir Putin's extremely significant, blunt address at the Munich security conference earlier this month, China ASAT test, and India's conscious efforts to reach out to Iran and Myanmar are signals to the US that all three countries intend to follow an independent foreign policy that serves their respective national interests.

…

Another exciting and potentially very significant area of cooperation is high technology. If the three countries pool their assets and synergise their strengths, they could emerge as an alternative nucleus for development of futuristic technologies, and break the current technological dominance of the West. Information technology and biotechnology have already been identified as areas meriting special attention.


Thankfully, this "diplomat" was passed over for the post of Foreign Secretary. He could have been a serious embarrassment.


Touche. He was indeed seriously embarrassing at a lecture he addressed abroad. A pet theory is to route Russia's oil and gas reserves through China over the Himalayas into India to realise this grand entente.

Due to the sentimentality for the Chinese - only the Pakistanis applauded him, he was so way off on indian foreign policy.

Sri K
BRFite -Trainee
Posts: 37
Joined: 12 May 2005 01:06
Location: Ulhasnagar Sindhi Association

Postby Sri K » 23 Feb 2007 04:17

ramana wrote:There is a spate of articles about the tripatriate coming together of Russia, China and India. So there is some anxiety about what it means among the chatterati. So I suggest people read the op-eds and come to conclusions.

The govt circles seem to want some sort of grouping to happen after all its three of the BRIC. The nationalists want to use the non alignment card. Last time this happned the LSe types ensured that India did not particpate in any grouping. That was a must for the West. Recall K.M. Pannicker's dictum that there are four nations that can dominate the world- USA, Russia, China and India. All others are allies of these.

So need to see all this in context.


Ramanji:

Unfortunately, I no longer have a copy of 'Sardar' Panikkar's "Imperialism" due to a toilet paper emergency (on the whole I think it was a better use of that book), so I will have to take your word on his wisdom. But I do remember, this is the selfsame gentleman who kept assuring Nehru that all was well in Beijing while the PLA was preparing to invade Tibet. Yet another prime example of a not-Bharat-rakshak.

ramana
Forum Moderator
Posts: 54773
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30

Postby ramana » 23 Feb 2007 04:39

There was concerted effort by the post Independence generation to woo China to be on India's side but Mao had different plans. In the end its his loss for this China is not what he struggled for and imposed such drastic measures on the population.

svinayak
BRF Oldie
Posts: 14223
Joined: 09 Feb 1999 12:31

Postby svinayak » 23 Feb 2007 05:02

ramana wrote:There was concerted effort by the post Independence generation to woo China to be on India's side but Mao had different plans. In the end its his loss for this China is not what he struggled for and imposed such drastic measures on the population.

Partly true.
The early post independence generation who were involved in negotiation with the English over the transfer of power but also were influenced by the marxist idea of global brother hood wanted China to be on their side.

Even Chiang Kai-shek visited India to meet Gandhi but Indians were not aware of the vast network of contacts between Chinese leaders both nationalists and Mao with the western and comintern internationalists.
This Mao support from outside helped him to take over China in 1949 and
Indian leaders were blindsided.

Shaping the Future of Asia - INDIA AND CHINA

[quote]

Chiang Kai-shek’s visit to India (February, 1942)
23
It was by no means accidental that, more than two years after Nehru’s trip to
China, Chiang Kai-shek chose the early stages of 1942 to repay the Indian
leader’s visit. A few weeks earlier, in fact, Nehru had been released after his
lengthy prison sentence; moreover, some months before, in mid 1941,
Germany had attacked the Soviet Union, and then in late 1941 the japanese
attacked Pearl Harbour and quickly overran large parts of Southeast Asia. In
January 1942, after the fall of Manila, the Japanese offensive had already
reached Malacca, Sumatra, Borneo and above all Burma, signifying a greater
threat to India.
Faced with this threat, China was extremely worried about the profound
rift within the Congress (in particular between Nehru and Gandhi) as well as
the continuing deadlock in the talks between London and the Congress.
The main aim of the official visit by Chiang, his wife and the Chinese
delegation was on the one hand to put pressure on the British so that they
would accept the Congress’s requests for self-determination, thus creating the
best conditions for a full use of India in the anti-Japanese and anti-fascist war
with beneficial effects on the war effort being undertaken by China in that
period. On the other, Chiang aimed to have a moderating effect on the more
radical positions within the Congress, thus, in the final analysis, appeasing
British hopes and at the same time demonstrating to the international
community his own prowess as leader and statesman.
Chiang Kai-shek thus received assurances from the Viceroy that he would
indeed be able to meet his friend Nehru, even though his project to finally
meet Gandhi was more difficult to realise. Chiang, in fact, had insistently
asked, for reasons of etiquette and courtesy, to be allowed to go personally to
Sevagram, near Wardha, where the Mahatma Gandhi resided, but he had
run into strong resistance from the British authorities. Only a courteous yet
firm message written by Churchill himself, which underlined the
importance of avoiding any possible friction between the different parties in
question during such a delicate phase, finally convinced the Chinese leader to
abandon his plans.
Chiang finally met Gandhi in Calcutta on February 18th. The five or so
hours of their meeting underlined, as was also made clear by the two men
themselves, substantial political differences.
23
The part which follows is largely based on the following sources: Crozier, 1976; Furuya, 1981; Huang,
1995-96; India Office Records….; Jiang zongtong milu, 1978-; Proceedings of Conference on Chiang Kai-
shek and Modern China, vol. IV, 1987; The Collected Wartime Messages…, 1969; Wu, 1987; Zhonghua
Minguo waijiao shi cidian, 1996
Page 18
14
Gandhi illustrated his own strategy based on non-violence and non-co-
operation, and Chiang Kai-shek underlined that this strategy was certainly
appropriate within the Indian context, but not necessarily that of other
countries. Chiang got the impression that Gandhi was too absorbed by the
cause for his own country to have a sufficiently realistic vision of the
international situation.
In his turn, a few days after the meeting, Gandhi wrote to Vallabhai Patel
24
a short but very meaningful message about his impression on Chiang Kai-
shek. He wrote
25
:
I would not say that I learnt anything, and there was nothing that
we could teach him.
The meeting with Nehru, however, was much more politically productive.
It reinforced in both leaders the conviction that only close co-operation would
allow the two countries to play a significant and autonomous role in those
years and in the post-War period that was to follow.
In a series of interviews and declarations made to the Indian and British
press in the days following his meeting with Chiang Kai-shek and his wife
(February 10th), Nehru often emphasised the great importance of the
Chinese leader’s visit in terms of the friendship and co-operation between the
two countries. At the same time, however, he was determined to reject any
interpretation according to which the visit might lead to a radical change in
the Congress’s policy towards Great Britain. As for Chiang, it seems
significant that during the last day of his stay in India (February 21st) he
wanted, in his “Message to the Indian Peopleâ€

Sri K
BRFite -Trainee
Posts: 37
Joined: 12 May 2005 01:06
Location: Ulhasnagar Sindhi Association

Postby Sri K » 23 Feb 2007 05:16

ramana wrote:There was concerted effort by the post Independence generation to woo China to be on India's side but Mao had different plans. In the end its his loss for this China is not what he struggled for and imposed such drastic measures on the population.


No, some Indians fantasized bringing China to India's side, and some Indians still do. This fantasy arose from a combination of wishful thinking, fundamental misunderstanding about China, and of course, and ideological aversion to the West.

When Nehru introduced Zhou en Lai to other NAM luminaries during Bandung conference, he thought he was "helping China gain friends." But Zhou en Lai was furious because he thought India, a clearly inferior country, was trying to patronize the Middle Kingdom! I think this clearly illustrates that the misunderstanding was all from India's side.

Your statement "In the end its his loss for this China is not what he struggled for and imposed such drastic measures on the population" also shows similar misunderstanding about China's long tradition of authoritarian and imperial rule, to which Mao fully subscribed. He wanted a strong Middle Kingdom, not necessarily a worker's paradise. He would fully understand the current Chinese leadership's policy, which is to keep China strong and united (and starving peasants be damned).

ramana
Forum Moderator
Posts: 54773
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30

Postby ramana » 23 Feb 2007 07:53

Sri K where do I start? I have studied Chinese history over so many years. I have read most opinion about China. I do not fantasize over Chinese relations with India. Yes, Mao achieved a strong center with his authoritarian rule but at what cost. China is changing at top speed in a manner not for seen by Mao.

Anyway to have negative relations with a neighbor who is running top speed into others control is not in India's interest.


Whether we like it or not Nehru laid the foundations of India's foreign policy. It is in our interests to study and understand why he chose that policy and how it was thwarted.
Dislike for old leaders should not blind us to see what was their vision and ideas in order to correct it as needed. But you are welcome to continue with your views.


I firmly beleive in a non judgemental study of all sources. I do not have the luxury to discard someones views without understanding them.

Sri K
BRFite -Trainee
Posts: 37
Joined: 12 May 2005 01:06
Location: Ulhasnagar Sindhi Association

Postby Sri K » 23 Feb 2007 08:26

ramana wrote:Anyway to have negative relations with a neighbor who is running top speed into others control is not in India's interest.


Ramanaji:

Thank you for your courteous reply. I do realize that I may have sounded somewhat harsh in my reply. I have no issue with what you have said. Yes, we must not throw the baby with the bath water when we evaluate Nehru's legacy. But you seem to imply that somehow it was a bad thing that Nehru's foreign policy vision was "thwarted."

Because of Nehru's unique stature in post-independence India, India's foreign policy was entirely determined by one person's whim. Now, there are many voices emerging, not all with a worshipful attitude toward Nehru's legacy. This is a development we should all welcome.

Like it or not, China is going to be a major pain in the rear for India for a long time to come. This has everything to do with how China views itself and its role in Asia, and almost nothing to do with how we view China. The last thing China wants is an alliance of US, Japan & India. But even a prosperous India will be viewed as an ideological threat to CCP's monopoly of power in China. Think about it.

Finally, I could not fully understand the sentence I highlighted. If you are implying that it is not in India's interest to have a hostile China, I agree. But I don't think India will have much of a choice in this matter, see above.

ramana
Forum Moderator
Posts: 54773
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30

Postby ramana » 23 Feb 2007 09:30

Sri K wrote:Because of Nehru's unique stature in post-independence India, India's foreign policy was entirely determined by one person's whim. Now, there are many voices emerging, not all with a worshipful attitude toward Nehru's legacy. This is a development we should all welcome.


I think this is the post-Independence construct. The reality is that Nehru articulated the world view of the Indian freedom movement. Many writings by leaders of that period are similar. however soon after independence most of them died or whithered and Nehru alone prevailed and ipso facto the view got stuck to his name.


As for the highlighted sentence, is the e-mail in your profile your real one?

Sri K
BRFite -Trainee
Posts: 37
Joined: 12 May 2005 01:06
Location: Ulhasnagar Sindhi Association

Postby Sri K » 23 Feb 2007 10:40

ramana wrote:I think this is the post-Independence construct. The reality is that Nehru articulated the world view of the Indian freedom movement. Many writings by leaders of that period are similar. however soon after independence most of them died or whithered and Nehru alone prevailed and ipso facto the view got stuck to his name.

As for the highlighted sentence, is the e-mail in your profile your real one?


Well, I think at least Sardar Patel and Rajai would have disagreed with Nehru's view, so I don't think Nehu represented a consensus view. But Nehru's view prevailed, because of his unchallenged stature, and because Patel died and Rajaji moved away from Congress soon after independence. And Nehru's view survived his death, because of the dynastic rule, and the sycophantic nature of Congress politics.

Ramanaji, my email is real, why wouldn't it be? It's not my main account, but I will check for your message. Which reminds me, since you are an admin, could you please reconcile my handle here with the uid part of my email? I did set up my profile that way, but the admins changed my handle to the present one. I think it's really unfair that I am not allowed to use my God given name :-)

svinayak
BRF Oldie
Posts: 14223
Joined: 09 Feb 1999 12:31

Postby svinayak » 23 Feb 2007 14:06

Sri K wrote:
ramana wrote:I think this is the post-Independence construct. The reality is that Nehru articulated the world view of the Indian freedom movement.


Well, I think at least Sardar Patel and Rajai would have disagreed with Nehru's view, so I don't think Nehu represented a consensus view. But Nehru's view prevailed,

Ramana is talking of the world view of the nationalist freedom fighters of Nehru's era. They had similar world view including Sardar etc.
That generation are a product of the modernism and saw the end of colonialism (running for 300 years)
Sardar figured out that the intention of the Chinese Chicom was not good.
How did he figure this out?

His letters and the Claude Arpe site tells you details.

Nehru used a policy of moralpolitics in international relations which became his hallmark.

Sri K
BRFite -Trainee
Posts: 37
Joined: 12 May 2005 01:06
Location: Ulhasnagar Sindhi Association

Postby Sri K » 23 Feb 2007 23:13

So, Acharyaji, did the Sardar share Nehru's world view or not? Thanks for the link, BTW. It's full of good stuff.

svinayak
BRF Oldie
Posts: 14223
Joined: 09 Feb 1999 12:31

Postby svinayak » 23 Feb 2007 23:16

Acharya wrote:
Ramana is talking of the world view of the nationalist freedom fighters of Nehru's era. They had similar world view including Sardar etc.


They all had similar world view.

kshirin
BRFite
Posts: 382
Joined: 18 Sep 2006 19:45

Postby kshirin » 24 Feb 2007 01:47

Acharya wrote:
Acharya wrote:
Ramana is talking of the world view of the nationalist freedom fighters of Nehru's era. They had similar world view including Sardar etc.


They all had similar world view.


Nope. Many in Nehru's generation disagreed with him.

Johann
BRF Oldie
Posts: 2075
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30

Postby Johann » 24 Feb 2007 02:49

Sri K wrote:did the Sardar share Nehru's world view or not?


I think its fair to say that Patel like Nehru wanted India to have an independent foreign policy guided by Indian interests.

On the other hand everything I have read and heard suggests that Sardar Patel had quite a different view of what those interest were given the differences in their views over economics and the realities of international relations.

But the fact is that Patel like most others in the INC in 195-47 accepted Mahatma Gandhi's moral leadership of the party. Nehru was Gandhi's choice, and Gandhi also extracted a promise from Patel that he would not challenge Nehru. Besides which Patel didnt live long after independence, unfortunately.

I would also say that Patel did not share Nehru's particular obsessions and prejudices.

One area which would have been different was Nehru's indifference to export driven growth, something Patel with his experience in private industry would have valued. The result would have been a much larger Indian private sector with decades of experience competing in international markets.

Nehru in particular was not averse to the West, but rather someone who shared the fashionably idealistic socialist views of a certain segment of the British educated classes, which came (and still comes) with a particular snobbish distaste for Americans and capitalism. It was generally American policy and judgement that Nehru liked to lecture the world about - nobody elses.

There were countries like Sweden, Switzerland, Mexico, Jordan, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, etc which stayed outside the world of formal alliances and stayed officially neutral in the Cold War - maintaining independent foreign policies, but on the whole preferring to see the Communists lose the Cold War. Israel up to 1973 was in a similar category.

I think under Patel India's foreign policy would have looked a lot like foreign policy under Narasimha Rao or Vajpayee.

svinayak
BRF Oldie
Posts: 14223
Joined: 09 Feb 1999 12:31

Postby svinayak » 24 Feb 2007 04:56

kshirin wrote:Nope. Many in Nehru's generation disagreed with him.


They disagreed with his policy of engagement and his policy for international relations
[quote]

“Peace is not a relationship of nations. It is a condition of mind brought about by a serenity of soul. Peace is not merely the absence of war. It is also a state of mind. Lasting peace can come only to peaceful people.â€

ramana
Forum Moderator
Posts: 54773
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30

Postby ramana » 24 Feb 2007 07:52

During the late 50s, a large number of area studies centers were setup in Indian universities so that India can develop its own experts. I know one center was at SV uty in Tirupati on SE Asia. Where are the centers and what is their product? Do they graduate any PHDs or only MAs? I know MEA relies on its own experts and shuns everyone else. At least retired MEA folks can populate these centers and increase awareness in the public.

Raju

Postby Raju » 24 Feb 2007 10:07

During the late 50s, a large number of area studies centers were setup in Indian universities so that India can develop its own experts. I know one center was at SV uty in Tirupati on SE Asia. Where are the centers and what is their product? Do they graduate any PHDs or only MAs? I know MEA relies on its own experts and shuns everyone else. At least retired MEA folks can populate these centers and increase awareness in the public.


Retired MEA folks will populate clubs in dilli or settle in some cushy pad abroad.

Philip
BRF Oldie
Posts: 20952
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: India

Postby Philip » 24 Feb 2007 13:17

The immediate challenge-and a very big one for India is the imminent attack upon Iran by the US and possibly Iran.All the signs are that the US is hell bent upon massive air strikes against Iran to destroy all its nuclear,military and scientific infrastructure.Bush and his "toxic" VP (described by a senior Britiish diplomat) Dick Cheney,assisted by the neo-con think tanks are on the verge of starting another major conflict in the Middle East and Gulf,one that could destabilise the entire global economy.

India is an old friend of Iran,which wants Iran to keep its nuclear ambitions in control (no nukes).At the same time,India has large strategic interests in remaining a close friend of Iran ,both from the energy factor and the Pakistani factor.It has to warn Washington about its concerns,as any attack upon Iran will inflame not only the Gulf Middle East,but S,Asia and afar,into the ASEAN states,many of which are Muslim.the ramifications of a US strike can be imagined.More chaos in Iraq and Afghanistan ,disrupted energy supplies (we will have to depend heavily upon supplies from other sources further afar ) and the distinct possibility of Iranian sponsored terrorism abroad aimed at the US and its allies and fellow travellers.Read the two reports given below.

1http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/02/24/wiran24.xml
American armada prepares to take on Iran
By Damien McElroy aboard USS Eisenhower
Last Updated: 3:06am GMT 24/02/2007

Ready for war
By Con Coughlin
Last Updated: 2:01am GMT 24/02/2007Page 1 of 3

There may not yet be gas masks in the street in Tel Aviv but no one should underestimate Israel's determination to prevent a nuclear Iran

Down on the seafront in Tel Aviv, where crowds of young Israelis are to be found taking advantage of the unseasonably warm spring sunshine this weekend, it is hard to imagine that Israel is confronting what is arguably the gravest threat to its survival since it emerged from the ashes of the Holocaust 59 years ago.

The apocalyptic rantings of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the menace posed by the ayatollahs' outlawed nuclear programme are a million miles from the minds of the couples lounging in the sun sipping cold beers, or engaged in vigorously competitive games of beach volleyball.

Apart from the occasional noisy interruption as a patrol of Cobra military helicopters passes overhead on its way to Gaza, or the sullen presence of the naval patrol vessels anchored offshore on the lookout for waterborne suicide bombers, these carefree souls seem blissfully unaware of the storm clouds of war gathering over the political horizon.

"We have nothing to fear from the Iranians," Amiram Levi told me. "If they become too much of a threat we can deal with them just as we dealt with the Iraqis when they tried to build a nuclear bomb."

Amiram, a 20-year-old computer science student at Tel Aviv University, was of course referring to the daredevil raid made by Israeli fighter jets against Iraq's Osirak nuclear reactor in 1981, which destroyed at a stroke Saddam Hussein's dreams of turning his country into a nuclear superpower.

advertisementMost Israelis believe their country will do the same again if the outside world fails to call a halt to Iran's controversial uranium enrichment programme, which few in Israel doubt is ultimately aimed at giving the ayatollahs a nuclear weapons arsenal to fulfil Ahmadinejad's pledge to erase the Jewish state from the map.

Having already suffered a near-apocalypse in the form of the Holocaust, the Jewish people have no intention of being the hapless victims of Ahmadinejad's genocidal designs. Ehud Olmert, the Israeli Prime Minister, last month gave his most explicit warning to date that Israel was prepared to use military force to prevent Teheran from obtaining a nuclear weapon: "The Jewish people, with the scars of the Holocaust fresh on its body, cannot afford to allow itself to face threats of annihilation once again."

That single sentence sums up the consensus among most of the Israeli people. If the wider world is not prepared to take pre-emptive action to stop Iran from fulfilling its nuclear ambitions, then Israel is ready to act alone.

Normally, in times of national emergency, such as the build-up to the 2003 Iraq War, Israel is bustling with precautionary activity - civil defence organisers handing out gas masks and ensuring the bomb shelters are ready.

But today there is scant evidence of anyone preparing for a potential war. The only gas masks on display are those used by children for fancy dress, while recent press reports that the super-rich residents of Herzliya were building their own state-of-the-art nuclear bunkers were greeted with derision by less well-off citizens.

In contrast, the country's political, military and intelligence-gathering infrastructure has thrown all the resources it can muster at the challenge of neutralising Iran's nuclear capability.

"The amount of effort we are putting into this single issue is unprecedented in the history of the State of Israel," said a senior Israeli security official who works on the strategic committee that has been set up to deal with the Iran threat, which is personally chaired by Olmert.

The committee's main function is to ensure the closest possible liaison on the latest intelligence and military developments. It is also responsible for maintaining a close dialogue with countries supportive of Israel's concerns, particularly the United States, which has seconded officials to work alongside the Israelis.

The committee has yet to have any contact with Britain, although it is hoped that a dialogue will begin "in the not-too-distant future".

Nor should anyone be in any doubt as to the extreme sense of urgency that is driving the Israeli government's activity. To ensure that the country has the best available resources at its disposal, Olmert announced last week that Meir Dagan, the head of Mossad, Israel's overseas intelligence service, had been asked to postpone his retirement until at least the end of 2008.

Continued
123Next page

kshirin
BRFite
Posts: 382
Joined: 18 Sep 2006 19:45

Postby kshirin » 24 Feb 2007 17:08

Johann wrote:
Sri K wrote:did the Sardar share Nehru's world view or not?


I think its fair to say that Patel like Nehru wanted India to have an independent foreign policy guided by Indian interests.

On the other hand everything I have read and heard suggests that Sardar Patel had quite a different view of what those interest were given the differences in their views over economics and the realities of international relations.
Nehru was Gandhi's choice, and Gandhi also extracted a promise from Patel that he would not challenge Nehru. Besides which Patel didnt live long after independence, unfortunately. ...

One area which would have been different was Nehru's indifference to export driven growth, something Patel with his experience in private industry would have valued. The result would have been a much larger Indian private sector with decades of experience competing in international markets.

...I think under Patel India's foreign policy would have looked a lot like foreign policy under Narasimha Rao or Vajpayee.


I agree. Congressmen of that generation in politics (closer to Patel and therefore sidelined immediately after Independence) actually used to tell me where precisely they disagreed with Nehru's policies -- and the critique went along the lines of Johann's post. The costs in terms of development has been quantified by economic experts.

In foreign policy, the influence of the Brits over the US also played a role in alienating the US and India from each other.

ShauryaT
BRF Oldie
Posts: 5246
Joined: 31 Oct 2005 06:06

Postby ShauryaT » 24 Feb 2007 21:48

Johann wrote:I think under Patel India's foreign policy would have looked a lot like foreign policy under Narasimha Rao or Vajpayee.

What PVN may have done without a gun on his head (the BOP crisis) and a breakdown of the USSR is anyone's guess?

Where were his other options or models? Cuba?

ldev
BRF Oldie
Posts: 2006
Joined: 06 Nov 2002 12:31

Postby ldev » 24 Feb 2007 22:06

ShauryaT wrote:What PVN may have done without a gun on his head (the BOP crisis) and a breakdown of the USSR is anyone's guess?

Where were his other options or models? Cuba?


Absolutely true. I know that there is a lot of praise here on the forum for PVN's policies. But IMO, he was a realist. He had no other option given the state of India's foreign exchange reserves. But then other than Nehru and to some extent IG, the rest of India's leaders have been realists at least in terms of foreign policy as well as economic policy. The biggest factor supporting your "gun to the head" proposition is the backpedalling in reforms that occurred as soon as the immediate BOP crisis had passed in the mid to late 1990s. The second phase of reforms began occuring only when the Indian political establishment realized that China via its own economic policies was opening up such a vast lead in its *total strength* index over India, that India had no other option but to gets its act together if it did not want to become part of pax China. In that sense, Indian policies though grounded in realism have always been reactive.

ramana
Forum Moderator
Posts: 54773
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30

Postby ramana » 24 Feb 2007 22:34

PVN was the person in charge of the 'think tank' in INC before the elections in 1991. One of the things they recommended was economic reforms. They did not know the extent of the emptyness in the Treasury at that time. When he took charge as PM there was no alternative to implementing the reforms. The IMF & BOP issue were another filip to the effort. Breakdown of FSU happened after the reforms were announced. Its impact was on Foreign Policy and not economic reforms which were underway.
After the bye election poll results which showed disenchantment with the reforms they had to stall them. That is the reality.

asharma
BRFite -Trainee
Posts: 26
Joined: 29 Jan 2006 17:09

Postby asharma » 24 Feb 2007 23:04

Actually the very first steps towards economic reforms started after IG's 1980 victory, and RG substantially increased it....... Rajiv was probably the first politician who was ideologically oriented towards liberalization in both economic and social aspects, but his inexperience held him hostage to all the reactionary forces (Arjun Singh et al)

Rajiv's contribution to current day India (IT, literacy, panchayati raj, economics, defence, foreign policy) is unappreciated but significant IMHO. He authorized nuclear weaponization, stepped up India's engagements with Israel, US and hiked hte defence budget (Sumdorog Chu happened on his watch)

svinayak
BRF Oldie
Posts: 14223
Joined: 09 Feb 1999 12:31

Postby svinayak » 25 Feb 2007 01:02

kshirin wrote:
I agree. Congressmen of that generation in politics (closer to Patel and therefore sidelined immediately after Independence) actually used to tell me where precisely they disagreed with Nehru's policies -- and the critique went along the lines of Johann's post. The costs in terms of development has been quantified by economic experts.

In foreign policy, the influence of the Brits over the US also played a role in alienating the US and India from each other.


Lot of people who have only little knowledge about Sardar and others leaders are posting in this thread. The generation which was part of the nationalist independence movement had similar experience during the freedom movement. After independence they had to face a world which was going through tremendous changes with communism consuming the entire world.
I am reading a book with K Subramaniam chapter on India and its strategy and he says the leaders had to make a choice since communist activities was going on in Bengal, Andhra and Kerala in 1950.
The policies of socialism and leftism was adopted to join the movement to make sure that India does not go through a communist insurgency.

I have a friend who is a Patel (A global Patel Born in Kenya doing business worldwide) from the same village as Sardar Patel. He has original books and letters written by Sardar Patel in Gujrati. He tells me stories about Sardar family and Sardars brother. When Sardar Patels brother was arrested for murder he told the judge to try the case on merit. His brother was indicted for murder. Sardar world view was very realistic.



In foreign policy, the influence of the Brits over the US also played a role in alienating the US and India from each other


This is the most important information which needs to be discussed in BR.
K Subramaniam says the same thing. He says British influenced the US leadership that Indians were unreliable in 1947 and told them to support Pakistan and continued to influence till the 1980s.

President Roosevelt was strong supporter of Indian Independence but the Americans were misled by the British. The British told the Americans that even though there were 2.7 M Indians fighting in the WWII, the overwhelming majority of them were Muslims. This misinformation was deliberately fed to the Americans. The British argued that since Gandhi and the Congress Party started the quit Indian Movement at the height of the second WW, they could not be trusted to side with the allies in the confrontation with the Soviet Union.
From that time onwards, the British has been telling the Americans that Pakistan was absolutely important to guard the oilfields of West Asia and to prevent the Soviets from advancing into this area. As a Muslim country, Pakistan would be fervently anti-communist, while you could not trust India to be that.

At the same time JN had to formulate a foreign policy taking into account the fact that he could not afford to alienate the SU or China. The reason for that was that the Communist Part of India at that time was in insurgency. To make sure that SU did not give external support to the Communist Party in their insurgency he decided that he should cultivate the Soviet Union. This in fact paid off. In 1951, Stalin advised the Indian communists to call of the insurgency.

India had to balance between the Soviet Union and the western democracies hence the policy of non alignment was adopted. This was made use of by the British as well as the Pakistanis to say to the Americans that since India was not with the US, it was against the US.

ShauryaT
BRF Oldie
Posts: 5246
Joined: 31 Oct 2005 06:06

Postby ShauryaT » 25 Feb 2007 08:15

ramana wrote:PVN was the person in charge of the 'think tank' in INC before the elections in 1991. One of the things they recommended was economic reforms. They did not know the extent of the emptyness in the Treasury at that time. When he took charge as PM there was no alternative to implementing the reforms. The IMF & BOP issue were another filip to the effort. Breakdown of FSU happened after the reforms were announced. Its impact was on Foreign Policy and not economic reforms which were underway.
After the bye election poll results which showed disenchantment with the reforms they had to stall them. That is the reality.


The BOP crisis of India took shape in March 91. Tightened further by April 1991. By June, when the PVN government came in - PVN had no choice but to act on the issue. So the BOP issues were well known by the time PVN was sworn. MMS was appointed in the new government and in July MMS gave his budget speech. The USSR was well on its way to disintegration in the summer of 1991 and by August the situation in the USSR unraveled completely.

So, if PVN was recommending reforms - then NONE of these policies were ever reflected in the congress manifesto of 1991. At best, it may have been reforms by stealth, which were being done on an ad hoc basis since 1985 and not the structured reforms, initiated as a result of the BoP crisis.

What is known is that PVN was on his way to retirement in 1991. His stints in the previous Congress governments were in the FP areas and not economy.

svinayak
BRF Oldie
Posts: 14223
Joined: 09 Feb 1999 12:31

Postby svinayak » 25 Feb 2007 08:19

ShauryaT wrote:

The BOP crisis of India took shape in March 91. Tightened further by April 1991. By June, when the PVN government came in - PVN had no choice but to act on the issue. So the BOP issues were well known by the time PVN was sworn. MMS was appointed in the new government and in July MMS gave his budget speech. The USSR was well on its way to disintegration in the summer of 1991 and by August the situation in the USSR unraveled completely.

So, if PVN was recommending reforms - then NONE of these policies were ever reflected in the congress manifesto of 1991. At best, it may have been reforms by stealth, which were being done on an ad hoc basis since 1985 and not the structured reforms, initiated as a result of the BoP crisis.

What is known is that PVN was on his way to retirement in 1991. His stints in the previous Congress governments were in the FP areas and not economy.


There is some inside information. Lot of the policies where written before in 1989 and before.

ShauryaT
BRF Oldie
Posts: 5246
Joined: 31 Oct 2005 06:06

Postby ShauryaT » 25 Feb 2007 08:21

Acharya wrote:There is some inside information. Lot of the policies where written before in 1989 and before.
What are you waiting for? come on now, spill the beans :)

kgoan
BRFite
Posts: 264
Joined: 30 Jul 2001 11:31

Postby kgoan » 25 Feb 2007 12:50

asharma >> Rajiv's contribution to current day India (IT, literacy, panchayati raj, economics, defence, foreign policy) is unappreciated but significant IMHO.

Yes, I agree with this. In fact, I reckon think Rajivs term was far more significant than is usually realised.

The pre-Rajiv era was, in essentials, a continuation of the socio-economic theories of left-wing European thinking, modified by our brown sahibs, to apply it to India. Rajivs govt was the first real break with that thinking.

It was, by its very nature tentativie, hesitant and in parts quite half-baked. But nevertheless, it was a difference of *kind*. The reforms since then have been, IMO, changes in degree. The fundamental break occured with Rajiv.

Mind you, that was the *operational* break. The ideas and discussion on abandoning the British socialist framework were on going before that and there were some minor tinkering along the edges. But without Rajivs authority and the massive mandate he had after Mrs. G's assasination, the headwind that reformers would have faced would have stopped them stone cold.

Without Rajivs changes the reforms of the 90's would never have happened because it was Rajivs changes that, IMO, lead to the "cash-flow" crisis, exposing the full failure of the left ideology that allowed NR to begin the reform process.

It was an interesting time.

kshirin
BRFite
Posts: 382
Joined: 18 Sep 2006 19:45

Postby kshirin » 25 Feb 2007 15:35

ramana wrote:PVN was the person in charge of the 'think tank' in INC before the elections in 1991. One of the things they recommended was economic reforms. They did not know the extent of the emptyness in the Treasury at that time. When he took charge as PM there was no alternative to implementing the reforms. The IMF & BOP issue were another filip to the effort. Breakdown of FSU happened after the reforms were announced. Its impact was on Foreign Policy and not economic reforms which were underway.
After the bye election poll results which showed disenchantment with the reforms they had to stall them. That is the reality.


Was it disenchantment or just the anti-incumbency factor? If good policies produce adverse electoral reaction then no politician will touch those. The first phase of reforms in early 90s, which were indeed concptulaised earlier, were good but did not seem to tackle any of the core issues and hardly impacted on the population. Growth probably faltered due to failure to push through bolder reforms (plus reservation policies, Pay Commission report etc.). Some of these were tackled under the BJP (first push towards privatisation -BALCO, which ran the full gauntlet of scruitny - telecom reforms) but very few of Nextgen reforms were contemplated until now, when the need to match the blistering growth with infrastructure provision is finally yielding results. There was a good article on this by SA Aiyar which I posted earlier

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/Ind ... 541883.cms
" I have long bemoaned the slow pace of reforms. We see no reform of the arms of governance: the judiciary, administration and police. We see no reform of educational or health services. Labour reforms remain politically impossible. Almost 330 items are still reserved for small scale industries. But Arvind Virmani, principal advisor to the Planning Commission, has drawn my attention to a slim volume he produced back in 1999 listing various second-generation reforms that were needed. [b]Reading through that, I realised that very substantial second-generation reforms had indeed been implemented in bits and pieces. The Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Acts of the central and state governments have reduced the overall fiscal deficit from around 10% to perhaps 6%, and once-bankrupt states now have cash surpluses of Rs 25,000 crore.
Import duties have been brought down to Asean levels (around 8%) for most items, creating a healthy competitive environment. Bank reforms have liberalised interest rates, slashed non-performing loans, and helped banks move towards Basel-II norms.
Agricultural barriers such as the Agricultural Produce Marketing Committees Act have been eroded if not abolished in many states, paving the way for corporates to buy produce directly from farmers, cutting out intermediaries and creating a retail revolution. Telecom reforms have sparked a revolution: India has the lowest tariffs in the world and 7 million new connections per month are being sold. The latest telecom reforms will facilitate penetration of rural areas by private players.
The electricity sector has witnessed slow, halting reform but open access is now a reality, and the new bidding process for ultra-mega power plants has brought in power at the once-unthinkably low price of Rs 1.19 per unit. Model agreements have facilitated infrastructure deals. The Railways are in surplus, have privatised container traffic, and are planning two dedicated freight corridors to speed up traffic. Bharat Nirman is finally bringing infrastructure to rural India.
The states have introduced a VAT to replace sales tax, and the country is moving towards a universal Goods and Services Tax. Tax administration has been computerised and is bringing in much more revenue. The old fiscal discrimination against mill-made textiles has gone, and the number of items reserved for small scale industries has been pruned from 880 to 326.

There remains a substantial unfinished agenda. Reform has been reversed in areas such as price controls for petroleum products and pharmaceuticals, directed lending for agriculture, and free power for farmers. Still, Virmani is right in saying that a very wide range of reforms have indeed taken place. This strengthens the tipping-point thesis. India was always going to reap the rewards of reform at some point, and that time is now. "

The good thing is, decades of taking timid and tentative steps have finally created a reforming mindset which one sees reflected everywhere, even among the new generation of politicians and even some bureaucrats.

As Acharya wrote Brits plotted creation of Pakistan for decades before Independence, and Nagendra Sarila who has a similar thesis in his Untold Story of Partition citing declassified TS documents points out irony of those parts of Pakistan which did not want P which became separate country. But what would an unpartitioned India look like?

shyamd
BRF Oldie
Posts: 6881
Joined: 08 Aug 2006 18:43

Postby shyamd » 08 Mar 2007 00:42

Shashi Tharoor Analysis
Making the most of India's soft power
This newspaper's 'India Poised' campaign has touched a chord. Observers speak of India's geo-strategic advantages, its economic dynamism and record growth, political stability, proven military capabilities, its nuclear, space and missile programmes, the entrepreneurial energy of our people and the country's growing pool of young and skilled manpower as assuring India's future.

But the greatest asset of all may be something less tangibly measurable — our soft power. The term 'soft power' is all the rage today. It was coined by Harvard's Joseph Nye to describe a country's ability to alter the behaviour of others through attraction rather than sticks or carrots.

Hard power is necessary but has its limitations: Afghanistan and Vietnam have taught us that the side with the larger army doesn't always win. But the side with the better story, the more attractive culture, and more numerous channels of communication, always does better than the one which only has guns.

This is hardly news. When France lost the war of 1870 to Prussia, one of its most important steps to rebuild the nation's shattered morale and enhance its prestige was to create the Alliance Francaise to promote French language and literature throughout the world. French culture has remained a major selling-point for French diplomacy ever since.

The UK has the British Council, the Swiss have Pro Helvetia, and Germany, Spain, Italy and Portugal have, respectively, institutes named for Goethe, Cervantes, Dante Alighieri and Gulbenkian. Today, China has started establishing 'Confucius Institutes' to promote Chinese culture internationally.

But soft power does not rely merely on governmental action: for the US, Hollywood and MTV have done more to promote the idea of America as a desirable and admirable society than the Voice of America or the Fulbright scholarships. "Soft power," Nye says, "is created partly by governments and partly in spite of them."

What does this mean for India? It means giving attention, encouragement and active support to the aspects and products of our society that the world would find attractive — not in order directly to persuade others to support India, but rather to enhance our country's intangible standing in their eyes.

Bollywood is already doing this by bringing its brand of glitzy entertainment not just to the Indian diaspora in the US or UK but to the screens of Syrians and Senegalese — who may not understand the Hindi dialogue but catch the spirit of the films, and look at India with stars in their eyes as a result.

(An Indian diplomat friend in Damascus a few years ago told me that the only publicly-displayed portraits that were as big as those of then-President Hafez al-Assad were those of Amitabh Bachchan.) Indian art, classical music and dance, Indian fashions, have the same effect.

Indian cuisine, spreading around the world, raises our culture higher in people's reckoning; the way to foreigners' hearts is through their palates. In England today, Indian curry houses employ more people than the iron and steel, coal and shipbuilding industries combined.

When Indian filmmakers or sportspeople succeed internationally or when Indian writers win the Booker or Pulitzer Prizes, our country's soft power is enhanced. (Ask yourself how many Chinese novelists the typical literate American reader can name. Indeed, how many non-Western countries can claim a presence in the Occidental mind comparable to India's?)

And when Americans speak of the IITs with the same reverence they used to accord to MIT or Caltech, and the Indianness of engineers and software developers is taken as synonymous with mathematical and scientific excellence, it is India that gains in respect. The stereotyped image of the Indian is no longer the 'half-naked fakir' but the computer geek.

In the information age, as a society with a free press and a thriving mass media, with a people whose creative energies are daily encouraged to express themselves in a variety of appealing ways, India has an extraordinary ability to tell stories that are more persuasive and attractive than those of its rivals.

This is not about propaganda; indeed, it will not work if it is directed from above, least of all by government. But its impact, though intangible, can be huge.

To take one example: Afghanistan is clearly a crucial country for our national security. But the most interesting asset for India in Afghanistan doesn't come out of our diplomacy, but from one simple fact: Don't try to telephone an Afghan at 8:30 in the evening.

That's when the Indian TV soap opera Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi, dubbed into Dari, is telecast on Tolo TV, and no one wishes to miss it. It's the most popular television show in Afghan history, considered directly responsible for a spike in the sale of generator sets and even for absences from religious functions which clash with its broadcast times.

Saas has so thoroughly captured the public imagination in Afghanistan that, in this deeply conservative Islamic country where family problems are usually hidden behind the veil, it's an Indian TV show that has come to dominate society's discussion of family issues.

I have read reports of wedding banquets being interrupted so that the guests could huddle around the television for half-an-hour, and even of an increase in crime at 8:30 pm because watchmen are sneaking a look at the TV rather than minding the store.

One Reuters dispatch recounted how robbers in Mazar-i-Sharif stripped a vehicle of its wheels and mirrors recently during the telecast time and wrote on the car, in an allusion to the show's heroine, Tulsi Zindabad. That's soft power, and India does not have to thank the government or charge the taxpayer for its exercise. Instead, Indians too can simply say, Tulsi Zindabad.

ramana
Forum Moderator
Posts: 54773
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30

Postby ramana » 08 Mar 2007 07:12

Sent in by a fan of our forum.

Chennai Centre for China Studies

Chennai Centre for China Studies

Almost every university in the US has a Centre for China Studies. That country has also dozens of other institutions established by various groups of scholars and academics for the same purpose. The reason is obvious: China has already acquired the status of a counterpoise to the US and, probably, the only possible global power capable of challenging its hegemony in the near future. China has come to have a hypnotic hold over other countries too, in view of its economic performance, its Defence and military capabilities, the rapid advances it is making in science and technology as well as in research and development, and its determined diplomatic offensives in Africa, Central Asian States and elsewhere.

The number of China-centric think-tanks may not be that large in Europe, the UK and Japan, but their contribution to the corpus of knowledge on China is still considerable.

In India, the Institute of Chinese Studies, located in the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, the China Centre of the Institute of Asian Studies Institute set up by the Observer Research Foundation, the Centre for East Asian Studies under the auspices of the Jawaharlal Nehru University, and the South Asia Analysis Group are notable for keeping interest alive in this field with seminars and publications.

Their first drawback is that they are Delhi-based. This is not something special to centres devoted to studies on China: Other types of scholarly and academic pursuits too have tended to gravitate to Delhi, bypassing other parts of India, especially the South.

The institutes undertaking China studies in India are also small in number, their activities being largely confined to circles close and familiar to them in and around the nation's Capital. This has had the effect of lessening their impact on intellectuals and opinion-makers in the rest of the country and their ability to press into service the immense talents and expertise available outside of Delhi and adjoining States.

To an extent, thereby, their capacity to generate awareness in, and disseminate information and knowledge on, events and issues pertaining to India-China relations as also China per se in the whole of India, has been compromised.

Welcome initiative

In this background, one cannot but welcome the recent initiative to establish a Centre for China Studies in Chennai. It is the brainchild of Mr D. S. Rajan, formerly a Director in the Cabinet Secretariat, a specialist on China with command of the Chinese and Japanese languages, who has served in Beijing, Tokyo and Hong Kong and watched and written about developments in China and South-East Asian countries for more than three decades.

Since renowned academics and eminent former policy-makers in government are associated with the move, it starts with the advantage of being able to draw on their experience of handling national and international political, economic and security issues.

If the Chennai Centre has to carve out a niche for itself in a context in which there is no dearth of papers produced and seminars and conferences held round the world on every conceivable aspect bearing on China, it will have to stand out with a distinctive appeal of its own in terms of quality, depth of scholarship, credibility, authenticity and its penchant for original and even audacious thinking.

It should boldly go into India-China relations, particularly with reference to China's role in the nuclear build-up of Pakistan, the continuing border dispute and `hot spots' such as Tibet and Taiwan, and come up with workable solutions. It could also provide pointers to the future evolution of Chinese polity and the way it could affect the emergence of a stable and peaceable world order.

B. S. RAGHAVAN


I hope this is funded by non governmental funds. There are many SI businesses that deal in China trade.

The Delhi centers are into culture vulture and foreign policy studies. The CCSC should look at other aspects of China- Economic, Political and cultural. After all the South India does owe one famous culinary import from China- idli and the Chini Chettai(wok). Also what is it that draws south Indians to China- K.M. Pannikar, CV Ranganathan etc are China scholars. The Ranganathan Task Force on China is still working on it.

ramana
Forum Moderator
Posts: 54773
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30

Postby ramana » 08 Mar 2007 10:40

Here is a link to Delhi based Institute of Chinese studies

Looks like a academic focussed group. What I am unable to see is their aim of the study. What is it they are studying China for? Yes there are a few retd. diplomats and some scholars.


IPCS has some China related material including interviews with C.V. Ranganathan on Hu Jin Tao's visit etc. But again no systematic study of China.

www.ipcs.org

IPCS has a China webpage.
LINK

Seminar had a special issue on India and China last year:
LINK

IGNOU has this e-book
http://ignca.gov.in/ks_41.htm
Last edited by ramana on 09 Mar 2007 02:03, edited 1 time in total.

Anand K
BRFite
Posts: 1115
Joined: 19 Aug 2003 11:31
Location: Out.

Postby Anand K » 08 Mar 2007 18:43

Quote Acharya

President Roosevelt was strong supporter of Indian Independence but the Americans were misled by the British. The British told the Americans that even though there were 2.7 M Indians fighting in the WWII, the overwhelming majority of them were Muslims. This misinformation was deliberately fed to the Americans. The British argued that since Gandhi and the Congress Party started the quit Indian Movement at the height of the second WW, they could not be trusted to side with the allies in the confrontation with the Soviet Union.


Averell Harriman having an affair with Pamela Churchill also apparently helped the "greater war effort"..... I remember an article which goes something like this: " The President's special envoy sleeping with the Prime Minister's daughter-in-law was the best thing that could happen to the Whitehall Mandarins. This helped take some edge off Roosevelt's point that the issue of the nations subjugated by the British have to be tackled while the Allies deal with the Nazi threat".

PS: I always wondered how Churchill managed to get Roosevelt to say "Hitler first..... then Tojo!". I mean, the US was pretty much on the defensive in the Pacific till Saipan operation, no? The usual suspects (stiffs mostly) give the expected answers but somehow I ain't so convinced.

shyamd
BRF Oldie
Posts: 6881
Joined: 08 Aug 2006 18:43

Postby shyamd » 13 Mar 2007 04:34

Kashmir violence isn’t terror, keep it off the table: Pakistan tells India
[quote]When it was announced, the Indo-Pak joint “anti-terror mechanismâ€


Return to “Strategic Issues & International Relations Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: dsreedhar, rajeshkathiriya, sum and 60 guests