Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

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ramana
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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby ramana » 14 May 2015 20:28

Very appropriate to get rid of deracination.....
niran wrote:
pandyan wrote:{quote="amitkv"}Article is in hindi
It's better to fail than call Mughals great{/quote}

pliss to translate

The question:
Mughal's contribution in Indian reign

The answer(from the foto of the answer sheet):
Sir I would like to humbly beg for forgiveness, because the history I have read the only conclusion I came up is Mughal were lootayray (those who loot) who came to loot and no can lootayray cannot contribute to in any development whatsoever.

Mughals milked our desh (country) to the hilt and transported all the looted wealth to their country
Mughal not only massacred numerous times they raped pillaged and killed countlessly maybe this is their contribution to India

if they were so great administrators why did not they developed their own country?

I grew up listening about Maharana Pratap and Haldighati. cannot sully my great ancestors therefore I prefer to fail rather than praising and singing paeans of Mughals(lootayray)

Kuwar Ritesh Singh
11-05-2015



Ending Psecularism....

ramana
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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby ramana » 16 May 2015 09:29

Some thing to think about:

East-West orientation of historical empires

Eastern and Western Chalukyas come to mind in Indian context.

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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby devesh » 17 May 2015 05:38

East-west split in South proved fatal. the Chalukya-Rashtrakuta struggle to conquer both sides was inconclusive. it wiped out the Satavahana legacy of having both East and West coasts under one power. Even Marathas showed symptom of this split with their strange love-hate relationship with Nizam. A wise leader would have realized that Nizam should be crushed, the deccani islamic power wiped out, and single Hindu state needs to take charge of both East and West coasts. This split also proved to be a fatal blunder for them. If they had rectified this one issue under Bajirao (he wanted to destroy the Nizam on many occasions, but Shahu was always reluctant for strange reasons), they could have built a lasting State that would have had far better chances of breaking and rolling back Brit military power in India.

ramana
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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby ramana » 20 May 2015 23:08

X-post...
A five year old article but shows need for IPS changes.


http://www.outlookindia.com/printarticle.aspx?264003

opinion

Aye Aye, MK

Will a gubernatorial role contain a lifelong top cop?

R.K. Raghavan


Some veteran civil servants say there’s no place for sentiment in bureaucracy. But there are times one must ignore such a cold point of view. This is why I want to write about someone who’s very much in the news, with whom I have been associated for nearly four decades. This was a special relationship, where there was no quid pro quo. I am talking of M.K. Narayanan, who has bowed down from the important post of National Security Advisor (NSA) to go to a state that is problematic and different from the others in a variety of ways.

MK’s leaving South Block marks the end of an era that will be remembered for long, mostly for what it achieved, and only a little for what it did not. No other police officer, including the legendary B.N. Mullik, who shaped the IB in the years after independence and was highly regarded by Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, or Ramnath Kao, who led RAW when it was formed in 1968 and had a close relationship with Indira Gandhi, ever enjoyed as much authority and credibility as MK. I do not think anyone from the IPS will in the foreseeable future reach MK’s eminence.

From all accounts, as NSA, MK was lording it over the IB and RAW. This wasn’t because he demanded obeisance. His encyclopaedic knowledge and his infinite capacity for tendering professionally tenable advice were so striking that the heads of intelligence approached him on their own, with deference and respect, as often as they needed to. They gave their best to him almost unsought. His closeness to the centre of power was only incidental. You cannot fault him if civil servants and a host of others, including those from the private sector and academia, flocked to his office seeking counsel. He no doubt liked being important and in a position to help those in need of it. If some undeserved ones also occasionally benefited, it was his utter charity and nothing else.

My association with him goes back to the late 1960s when I joined the Intelligence Bureau. Eight years my senior, he had already established a formidable reputation; it remained intact till he retired in 1992. I still remember his chiding me for leaving the IB to go to the United States unmindful of the fact that I had every chance of ending up as the director. He has not forgiven me to this day for what he considered an irrational decision!

For a variety of reasons, MK was in a limbo for a little more than a decade, a phase during which the country was unfairly denied his wisdom. Such tragedies befall many brilliant civil servants for no fault of theirs. Narayanan bounced back and reached dizzy heights when the upa came back to power in 2004. He hasn’t looked back since. His amazing equation with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh—established on the basis of professionalism and unimpeachable integrity—has been the envy of many, especially his detractors, whose number is not inconsiderable. He turns 76 in a month. He had to go some time in the near future. I refuse to buy that his exit was purely his own decision. He will miss being NSA, because he has still so much to offer to the country and to Manmohan personally.

I do not wholly endorse his agreeing to move to West Bengal. He is no doubt physically fit—you must see how vigorously he exercises in the morning—and mentally alert to discharge his responsibilities as governor. One must, however, remember that the Marxists reportedly have a grievance that they were not consulted on his appointment. But then MK and Buddhadeb are men of great maturity. They need each other and should complement each other to fight the Maoists. There is, however, the Mamata factor that should confound MK. I predict his hands will be full. He will, nevertheless, live up to expectations, given his energies and an ability to carry people with him.

To the IPS cadre, MK moving from New Delhi is a great loss. The service needs a father figure to look after its legitimate interests. Right now, there’s no one to fill the vacuum. I wish young IPS officers learn from MK’s career. Hard work and serious application to day-to-day tasks without getting mixed up with mundane politics are still virtues to cherish and gain from. These officers need not be overly agitated with the games that politicians play to unsettle rules and conventions. If, from day one, they display independence and integrity and shun avoidable publicity, they can still make it to the top. This is what I believe is the secret of MK’s success.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

(The writer is a former director of CBI.)




In retrospect MKN leaving the NSA job and being replaced by SSM was a unmitigated disaster for India.

SSM could not fill the shoes.

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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby JE Menon » 22 May 2015 09:54

^^Tx for reposting ramana
___________________
Nobody would have been able to fill MKN's shoes. Time will tell that, given the hand he was dealt, SSM played them about as well as he could, making no more errors than others in his position would have (and sometimes gritting his teeth while doing so). But neither MKN nor SSM will really talk about all this in terms of their daily detailed experiences I fear. Well, one never knows.

MKN has rendered more service to India than one can describe. Single handedly he has held back the waves on occasion, because no one dared to go against his position (even sometimes unstated), and the simply invaluable hands on knowledge that his experience of decades literally crushing insurgencies, dealing with terror internal and external, brought to the table. if he does not write, at least one hopes that he gives a series of long recorded interviews so that people understand some of his strengths, views, actions, and weaknesses and record them for posterity as a historically priceless perspective.

Ultimately, most of the nuances of the behaviour of state agencies and instruments, and sometimes even the direction, are set by the ideological and political choices made by the government in power as well - not just by their consideration of the national interests of the territory we now call India.

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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby RoyG » 09 Jun 2015 02:55

Russian Hybrid War

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8WA1rP5WGfY

Right out of the Arthashastra.

ramana
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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby ramana » 31 Jul 2015 19:57

Old article circa 2010 from NVS

http://www.newsinsight.net/AnewNSA.aspx#page=page-1


A new NSA?

Manmohan Singh must soon consider a replacement for M.K.Narayanan, who is less than equal to his task, says N.V.Subramanian.
By N.V. Subramanian (4 January 2010)
4 January 2010: While there may be no immediacy to review the tasks and functions of the National Security Advisor (NSA), the process cannot be endlessly delayed, partly in view of the incompetence of the incumbent, M.K.Narayanan.
The NSA's position has been always controversial, and the post itself was not created until after the Pokhran II test, when the then prime minister, A.B.Vajpayee, gave that additional assignment to his trusted principal secretary, Brajesh Mishra. In Vajpayee's six years, there were regular calls to divest Mishra of one of his responsibilities, but the PM was unconvinced.
To be fair, the Vajpayee administration was forced into pro-active foreign policy-making following the Pokhran II test, when world opinion, but importantly US and Western anger at the nuclear explosions, had to be managed. But even when there was so much to do, clashes between the purposive and creatively-minded foreign minister, Jaswant Singh, and Mishra, who was close to Vajpayee, became not infrequent, reflective of the situation in US administrations, where turf wars among the NSA and secretary of state (and sometimes secretary of defence) are common and taken to the extremes.
The first UPA government's NSA was the combative former foreign secretary, J.N.Dixit, but he suffered from lack of political backing, and he underestimated the infighting powers of Narayanan, who had been close to Indira Gandhi and served as Rajiv Gandhi's IB director and returned to that job under prime minister Chandrasekhar. When Dixit died in office, Narayanan succeeded him, and his closeness to 10 Janpath has helped him survive, although his incapacity has been long exposed, and he should have been asked to quit after 26/ 11, when he was responsible for all intelligence.
The NSA's job has not been rigorously defined even in the US, which has had a national security advisor unbrokenly since 1953 (commencing with the Dwight D.Eisenhower administration). The NSA's job has grown or diminished according to the lights of the US president and the self-promoting powers of the appointee. Henry Kissinger was inarguably the most powerful and forceful NSA and he completely overshadowed Richard Nixon's foreign secretary on openings to China, arms control talks, and so forth. On the opposite end would perhaps be Condoleezza Rice who was frozen out in George W.Bush's first term by the unstoppable vice-president, Dick Cheney, and the supremely arrogant defence secretary, Donald Rumsfeld. A US NSA partly derives his or her powers from proximity to the president, but this was no help to Rice, despite her well-known closeness to Bush.
But American scholarly opinion, and indeed the near-consensus view of past NSAs, is that on most counts, Lieutenant-General (retired) Brent Scowcroft was a model national security advisor, and he was not particularly close to the (first) president Bush when he got the job. Yet he succeeded, from his own understanding and that of others, because of three factors. One is that he strove to build trust with all the principals of the Bush (forty-first) administration, chiefly including the secretaries of defence and state, to the point where they were confident he was not misrepresenting them to the president, and that he was playing the role of an "honest broker". The other two factors were always retaining the trust and confidence of the president and remaining close to him, and building an "orderly, multilevel policy process", where all the principals and their deputies (separately) met to resolve issues that did not require presidential attendance.
The Scowcroft model has not been always followed by US administrations, but at least, there is an ideal to strive for. India, on the other hand, does not have any such model, both because the office of the NSA is relatively new, and since its past occupants and present incumbent have not followed the best practices. Narayanan was the biggest gainer from the scandalous inadequacies of the UPA government's first home minister, Shivraj Patil, when he assumed the role of intelligence czar by having both the IB and RAW report to him. Alongwith Patil he should have been roasted for 26/ 11, but escaped. Among other things, he arranged political support for UPA-1 when the Left pulled out on the Indo-US nuclear deal and the government almost fell.

Journalists now say with P.Chidambaram's success as home minister (in preventing terrorist attacks since the Bombay carnage), Narayanan feels squeezed. Chidambaram in his new plans for the home ministry also wants control of the intelligence agencies or at least their functions and outputs related to terrorism, and this hits at Narayanan's core turf. Of course, it is generally not a good idea to cut the intelligence agencies' direct access to the PM, but Chidambaram would be a better part router of intelligence than Narayanan, although the final decision will have to be Manmohan Singh's.
But clearly, the prime minister has to review the role of the NSA. Because S.M.Krishna is a weak foreign minister, Narayanan is reportedly intruding into his turf, which is not a good idea, especially so since the NSA's intrusions are hardly improving matters. In the absence of ideas and innovations, India is sliding back as an emerging power. Plus, it is not able to overcome its strategic isolation. All this makes a NSA's job very crucial and critical. But M.K.Narayanan is not the man for the job.
N.V.Subramanian is Editor, www.NewsInsight.net, and writes internationally on strategic affairs. He has authored two novels, University of Love (Writers Workshop, Calcutta) and Courtesan of Storms (Har-Anand, Delhi).
Please visit N.V.Subramanian's blog http://courtesanofstorms.blog.com/ and write to him at envysub@gmail.com

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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby Vipul » 17 Aug 2015 19:05

India's most influential think-tanks.

The US capital is known for its think-tanks. They are often aligned to one of the two parties, the Democrats or the Republicans. Each time, there is a transfer of power after the elections and a new incumbent in White House, there is an exodus and influx in these institutes as sympathisers of the winning side are brought into government and those on the losing side look out for jobs in policy institutions. This lateral movement between governments, think-tanks, and even corporates lends US polity a distinct character.

New Delhi has always been more like London, albeit more closed. With a permanent bureaucracy, UK's government does not get affected too drastically by a change in who occupies the Prime Ministerial residence at 10 Downing Street. The permanent establishment in India - the officials who belong to the elite all-India services - continue to run the show and influence policy and advise political leadership. Historian Srinath Raghavan says, "In both systems it is more difficult for outsiders to impact policy, which is bureaucracy-driven. This is particularly true in the foreign policy space."

India is, however, at an interesting, though rather paradoxical, moment. On one hand, power is centralised under this government. The Prime Minister's Office is driving policy across spheres. Nowhere is this truer than in the realm of security and foreign policy, where a very limited set of powerful individuals is calling the shots. The term of the last National Security Advisory Board (NSAB), which was the only mechanism for interaction between government and experts, ended over six months ago and no one is quite sure whether it will be reconstituted.

On the other hand, the system is indicating that it is more open to outside inputs and engagement. This is reflected through three developments. One, there is the rise of the think-tank with close party affiliations. When PM Narendra Modi took office, he appointed AK Doval as National Security Advisor and Nripendra Misra as Principal Secretary. Both were closely associated with the Vivekananda International Foundation. In the past year, the India Foundation has also gained prominence. IF's driving force is Ram Madhav, a powerful BJP leader who has been laying the groundwork for the PM's foreign visits and engaging with foreign interlocutors. Key cabinet ministers are among its members.

Two, Indian businesses have begun investing in creating policy research institutes and think-tanks, and the government has been engaging with such outfits. The Observer Research Foundation is supported by Reliance; the Ananta Aspen Centre has a group of business leaders funding their operations. Foreign think-tanks too have begun setting up their India operations. Brookings now has an India office, which again is supported by wealthy Indian business leaders. And Carnegie Endowment is expected to set up a local office by next year.

Three, when Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar took over office earlier this year, he made it clear that a key priority for him would be reviving the Policy Planning division of the Ministry of External Affairs. He brought in a new Joint Secretary, and indicated that the division would have more resources. It could hire experts from outside the government; and it was tasked to enhance engagement with the city's think-tanks. The government has also appointed a new head for the MEA-supported think-tank, with a brief to ramp up its operations.

The state in India has historically been more open to outside expertise in the realm of the economy. From Manmohan Singh and Montek Singh Ahluwalia to Arvind Panagriya and Arvind Subramanian, the executive has brought in experts at the highest levels. The Niti Ayog itself has been envisaged as a think-tank.

While this has not extended to the strategic affairs space, things may slowly be changing. In this context, here's a look at the city's premier think-tanks, their areas of work, sources of funding, and role in shaping policy and engaging in wider public debates.

IDSA - inside the national-security state
After the debacle of the 1962 war with China, the government felt that it needed outside expertise on defence and security affairs. And thus was born the Institute for Defence Studies and Analysis (IDSA). The eminent strategic guru, K Subrahmanyam, played a key role in structuring the institute's research. A key moment in its evolution was during the debate on whether India should go nuclear. IDSA came out strongly backing the strategic choice to go nuclear, shaped larger opinion, and conveyed India's position to the global strategic community through Track 2 dialogues.

IDSA's president is the Raksha Mantri; its annual report is tabled in parliament; and the funding is entirely by the Ministry of Defence. Serving officers of the armed forces come for a period of two years to gain a wider policy perspective. The institute's infrastructure is the envy of all other think-tanks in town - its vast structure built on land leased by the government in Delhi's cantonment area includes office space, housing for scholars and staff and guest accommodation. IDSA's annual budget is about 14 crore and it has around 60 full-time researchers and scholars on its rolls.

But the direct link with government is also a weakness. It is seen as an extension of the MOD, with little autonomy.

Brigadier Rumel Dahiya, IDSA's deputy director general, however, counters this perception. "We are not a part of government, and I have never seen anyone impose a government line on IDSA. What happens is the government takes note of our research, which is mostly in the public domain. They may sometimes ask us for more specific papers which we provide. We also get to know the general line of thinking in government but do not have access to confidential papers and documents," he says.

Countering the criticism that the institute should be doing more given its resources, he said, "If you compare it to foreign think-tanks, our budget is adequate but minimal. We could send a larger number of scholars for field trips for longer duration if it increases."

IDSA's last Director General, Arvind Gupta, a former IFS officer, was appointed the Deputy National Security Advisor last year. Since then, there has been a leadership deficit at the institute as the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has not picked a new DG.

ICWA- the diplomatic den
Set up in 1943, the Indian Council for World Affairs (ICWA) has an illustrious legacy - the Asian Relations Conference was convened here right before independence, which set the tone for Nehru's policy emphasis on Asian unity.

The ICWA's budget, according to its website, is around Rs 10 crore annually. Its chair is the Vice President of India and it is often the platform where key visiting dignitaries make their public speeches. Rajiv Bhatia, a retired diplomat, who just finished a three-year term as ICWA's director, said the council's activities included research and Track 2 exchanges. He added that, in recent years, they had made a concerted effort to work in Hindi and to reach out to the young.

But its problem, like IDSA's, is that it is only seen as an extension of the ministry, in this case the MEA (Important to track which of its "researchers" belong to the JNU jholawala types).

Bhatia counters this. "The ICWA is not a government think-tank. It is answerable only to the governing body and the direction in which the research happens is academically sound," he says.

A criticism that ICWA has faced is that it has become a retiring home for diplomats (Bhadrakumar types). Some believe that academics should lead it as they would better understand research requirements and be inclined to shape the trajectory of younger academics.

Bhatia, however, feels that as former diplomats know the broad policy framework, they also know which areas need greater research. "It is a policy think-tank and need not be necessarily run by a professor," he says. He concedes that a serving official running the council could pose credibility issues. "Having a retired ambassador however is a good via media."

The government has recently appointed Nalin Surie, a well regarded retired diplomat, to ICWA with a brief to restructure the outfit and enhance its output. Whether Surie at ICWA - and the new appointee at IDSA - can walk the tightrope of being government supported yet independent and whether they can shore up quality will be an important test.

ORF - between government and business
If you are on any of New Delhi's think-tank mailing lists, your inbox would often be flooded with mails from the Observer Research Foundation with an invite to their events - the frequency of which has only increased. This is not surprising given that ORF has grown five times in the last five years, and now has a budget of Rs 25 crore. By annual spending alone, this makes it the biggest think-tank in town.

Conceived in 1991 by Reliance founder Dhirubhai Ambani as a platform for his policymakers, scholars and journalists of different persuasions to devise pragmatic solutions and a liberal regime they were comfortable with, ORF spent its first decade focused on internal issues of economy. Since 2000, the conversation has expanded and now 80% of ORF's work is centred on engagement with the outside world.

This, says Samir Saran, the man who has driven ORF's growth in recent years, is natural because of the interconnectedness of internal and external issues. The presence of key thinkers on foreign policy like C Raja Mohan at ORF has added to its intellectual heft.

Reliance continues to support ORF. If, in 2009, 95% of the budget was provided by the company, it is now around 65% with the foundation diversifying its sources to include the government, private corporates, foreign foundations and others. There is also a trust that the ORF reports to, which is, on paper, independent of Reliance.

This relationship with Reliance has led to a key question: is it is appropriate for private corporates to try to influence policy, especially in sectors like energy and defence where they have other commercial interests?

Saran says, "Influence is a misplaced description. It is more investing in policy research institutions. Is it our intention to keep corporate India from investing in research and public policy studies or to keep out one set of actors from the debate? Policy making must not be the monopoly of any one set of actors and in recent times, many corporations and private entities have begun to invest in this space. This is a welcome trend and the more such institutions we have, the more irrelevant this question would be."

He adds that it is only in India that private sector participation is looked down upon, whereas in the rest of the world, the ability to engage with all actors is appreciated. "Look, be it political think tanks, private think tanks or government think tanks, the more the better. Funding must be transparent; there must be no hidden strings attached; there must be full disclosure; and the research work must be professionally conducted. The consumer of research can then take an informed decision."

ORF's engagement with the government has also grown over the years. It now receives project-specific funding from the Ministry of External Affairs for studies on BRICS, Russia, climate and other thematic issues. It hosts a range of Track 2 dialogues with France, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Australia, BRICS and Track 1.5 dialogues where officials from both sides are present but without a formal agenda and format. It also hosts the Indian Ocean Dialogue and Blue Economies Forum and has other projects lined up with the government.

When asked about the government relationship, and whether this kind of support would compromise its independence, Saran says, "We are acutely aware of the need to balance a proximate relationship with the government that would allow enough distance to be able to conduct research freely and yet be cordial enough so that we would be able to share insights and ideas with institutions that are best placed to make use of them." He says their approach is different from that of activists. "We believe it is possible to be critical without being adversarial."

CPR - between academia and policy
Few individuals evoke the kind of respect that Pratap Bhanu Mehta does in India's public sphere. A political theorist, constitutional scholar, policy analyst and prolific public commentator whose writings are taken seriously by those in power, Mehta has a full time day job - President and CEO of the Centre for Policy Research.

Over lunch at the Malcha Marg market close to the CPR office in Chanakyapuri, Mehta says he sees the role of CPR as being an 'honest broker in a public argument'. For him, policy impact is not necessarily the hallmark of a successful think-tank. Mehta believes that the democratic public, rather than the state, needs to be the intended audience. "There is also a difference between the government listening to you and the government agreeing exactly with what you suggest. I would not like to carry the presumptive authority that the government in a democracy must agree."

CPR itself is somewhat distinct as it is a cross between a think-tank and a research institution. "There are people here who would have been happy in universities too but find the independent research space congenial to work." CPR has, Mehta says, historically been comfortable with people from different sides of the argument being in the same organisation with the operating assumption that it is on good faith. There is no CPR line and scholars are free to pursue their independent interests.

The centre now has an annual budget of Rs16 crore. As an Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR) recognised institution, it receives support from the government. It also gets funding from foreign foundations and private philanthropists.

Commenting on debates around foreign support, Mehta points out that institutions like the Ford Foundation were important in creating an independent, social science intellectual system in India . "From the Law Institute to CSDS to CPR, Ford played a big role. The key is funding should not have any strings attached." (Check the insidious role that Ford Foundation has played in delaying important projects like Narmada Dam)

In the realm of foreign and security policy, Mehta, former diplomat Shyam Saran, economist Rajiv Kumar, and historian Srinath Raghavan - all at CPR now - were a part of the team that drafted Non-Alignment 2.0 (2012), an influential policy document on the direction Indian foreign policy should take. Saran was the chair of the National Security Advisory Board, with Raghavan as a member till recently. Brahma Chellaney and Bharat Karnad of the centre are also important voices in foreign policy debates. CPR also has expertise in climate change policy.

India Foundation - the inner chamber
With a board that includes the country's railway minister Suresh Prabhu, MOS for finance Jayant Sinha, MOS for commerce Nirmala Sitharaman, the BJP's powerful general secretary Ram Madhav, BJP Rajya Sabha MP MJ Akbar, and the son of the National Security Advisor, Shaurya Doval, there is little doubt that India Foundation is today the country's most powerful think-tank.

When the IF convenes a meeting, everyone who is invited turns up. Just last week, RN Ravi, the government's interlocutor for the Naga talks, addressed a closed door IF roundtable. Ravi himself was a part of IF activities till he was appointed interlocutor. Often held on Wednesdays, such meetings are moderated by MJ Akbar and have been addressed by the NSA, Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar, PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti, and Walter Anderson, a scholar specialising on the Sangh.

The IF has four core events every year. The India Ideas Conclave, held in Goa, is an attempt to create a new 'ecosystem of the intellectual right'; the Counter Terrorism Conference, held in Jaipur, saw the cream of the security establishment and global experts participate; the Indian Economy Convention, organised by Shaurya Doval, was addressed by Modi before the elections and will be held next month in Delhi; and the Dharma-Dhamma conference will bring together 'oriental religions', Hinduism and Buddhism, in Indore this year.

Operating out of a small apartment on Hailey Road, the line between the government, party and the think-tank is clearly blurred in IF's case - with overlapping loyalties of members. Unlike the US, where those who join government leave positions in think-tanks, that has not happened here. IF sources claim that is not necessary as the ministers are not receiving any salaries. This overlap makes it difficult to judge exactly how it influences policy. It happens as much through the informal network - a casual chat and phone conversation - as through any structured dialogue. IF sources are keen to clarify that it is not a party think-tank. The Shyama Prasad Research Foundation is officially linked to the BJP but it is mostly dormant. So the IF is as close to an influential party-affiliated think-tank as India has seen.

For its big events, the IF collaborates with outside institutions including state governments, public bodies and private foundations. Sources claim that it has limited resources, only a few full time staffers and does not engage in primary research. HT could not access the exact annual budget of the outfit. Doval was travelling outside the country when contacted for this story.

VIF - foot in the PMO
With both NSA Doval and the PM's Principal Secretary Nripendra Misra having been closely associated with the Vivekananda International Foundation, it is no surprise that this became the most talked about think-tank in town when the new government was formed.

Built on land provided by the PV Narasimha Rao government, the vast and spacious VIF office is located in the city's diplomatic enclave, Chanakyapuri. VIF's core activities revolve around international relations, defence, economy, governance and historical and civilisational studies. In the last year, among other activities, it has engaged deeply with Chinese and US delegations and had Track 2 exchanges. It hosted the British and French defence ministers, convened meetings with over 20 foreign ambassadors, and hosted many seminars on relations with Pakistan.

General NC Vij, former army chief who took over as VIF director from Doval, believes the USP of the outfit is that it has a large number of senior people who have served in government. "They bring in vast amounts of experience. They are listened to because they are not prone to flights of fancy and provide practical advice."

When asked if the presence of Doval in the PMO means that the VIF is close to the BJP and now the government, Vij says, "Doval had a strong independent identity even before he actively led the VIF. He was, after all, Director of IB. The government needs good professionals."

Vij points out that it is a 'small circle' and people know each other but categorically asserts that the VIF is 'independent' and 'apolitical'. "We have no links with any party. We don't really see ourselves as influencing policy. Our role is to throw up ideas, offer opinions, and then it is up to the government to use it or not."

The engagement with government however takes other forms. Reports of key seminars - with the Chinese ambassador or Pakistani high commissioner - are sent to authorities with relevant recommendations. Next month, the VIF is hosting a Global Hindu Buddhist Conference on Conflict Avoidance and Environmental Protection. This will be inaugurated by PM Modi, who has made the theme of Buddhism an important element of his cultural diplomacy.

The VIF takes no money from the government. "We are funded by the Vivekananda Kendra," says Vij. The Kendra is headquartered in Kanyakumari and depends on donations. The VIF's annual budget, according to its annual report, in 2013-14 was a little less than Rs 3 crore.

Ananta Aspen Centre - convening dialogues
The first thing that Kiran Pasricha, the executive director of the Ananta Aspen Centre, likes to clarify is that the organisation is not a branch office or an India chapter of the Aspen Institute.

Run out of Thapar House on Janpath, the Centre was initially a result of collaboration between CII and Aspen - but over the years, while it has relationships with both, it has evolved into an autonomous entity. It views itself as being primarily a convening body for discussions on diverse themes with a diverse set of interlocutors, and not as a research-based outfit. Ananta has a good relationship with the government. It convenes over ten strategic dialogues with countries like China, Japan, Singapore, Israel, Turkey, and Bhutan.

Some have become Track 1.5 in nature, because of the presence of a relevant Joint Secretary from the MEA or the Indian ambassador when it is happening outside the country. Visiting delegations also get to meet the local government, including senior ministers. And events hosted by the centre have seen high level government participation including of NSA Doval and cabinet ministers. Its current chair is SK Lambah, a former diplomat who served as the special envoy for Pakistan. (He was the point person appointed by MMS for back channel talks with Pakistan and his solution to the problem was reduction of troops in Kashmir and allowing "Free Movement" of people from Pakistan into J&K)


It takes no money from the government but derives its support from members of the Board of Trustees. The board includes top industrialists and business leaders like Gautam Thapar, CK Birla, Sanjiv Goenka, Naina Lal Kidwai, and Anu Aga.

When asked if this means that the centre is a medium for Indian business to push its interests, Pasricha is emphatic. "No. Our funding is not from any one business house but is diversified. Our board also includes MPs and distinguished intellectuals who guide programmes. And none or our events have been used by any delegates to push their business interests," he says.

Revenues are also raised through a separate organization, the Ananta Centre, which is for profit. [u]Its chair is Jamshyd Godrej[/b]. The organisation also runs leadership programmes. The combined budget of both is about Rs 5.5 crore.

It is interesting that Think Tanks advocating sell out of Indian interests are all either funded by controversial /favor seeking industrial houses and retired babudom's who jet-set to various Paki, Atlantic council/ and Ford foundation type's sponsored "conferences" while those advocating the dharmic /or no sell-off cause are all self-funded, have military and non controversial personalities at the helm.

Note the role of PV Narsimha Rao in providing the initial support to Vivekananda Foundation.

svinayak
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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby svinayak » 17 Aug 2015 19:58


ramana
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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby ramana » 17 Aug 2015 20:37

So IF and VIF are the most bang for the buck and are nationalist.
IDSA is good but not much into policy formulation.
ICWA needs to be shaped up. Less chai biskoot and more national interests.

ORF and Aspen Center look like business lobby than think tanks.


CPR is johlawala in suits. Only saving grace is Bharat Karnad.

svinayak
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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby svinayak » 18 Aug 2015 00:01

First degree of contact from BRF members have attended the IF conclaves.

BRF writers can also submit their papers on strategic issues if it is peer reviewed and in national interest of high standards

RamaY, please consider writing a position paper on any strategic topic of national interest.

This paper can be submitted for presentation at the conclave

ramana
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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby ramana » 10 Sep 2015 22:28

Bharat Karnad is releasing a new book ' Why India is not a Great Power (Yet)" published by OUP, to be released by Gen V.K. Singh on 24 Sept 2015 at Habitat Center, Lodi Road, New Delhi, in the Gulmohar Hall at 7-8:30 pm.

It will be followed by panel discussion by many luminaries of whom my favorite R. Adm. Raja Menon is there.

If you are in Delhi please go there and attend. Consider this a personal request from me.

Thanks,

ramana

ramana
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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby ramana » 25 Sep 2015 20:25

There is move for creating a PVNR House in Vizag akin to Nehru House for his works.

Cdre. C Uday Bhaskar is leading the effort. Please spread the word and support.

one of the thoughts i had was to make a case for Vizag to house a PVNR library.......akin to the Nehru library...and i would value your advice in the matter

-----------
APRIL 12, 2007
Special Article
The Statesman (India)
The PVNR legacy : Dr Manmohan Singh's Sanyasi Mentor

By C Uday Bhaskar

Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh paid rich tribute to his political mentor, the late PV Narasimha Rao (PVNR) and drew attention to one of the less acknowledged contributions of PM Rao. Speaking in Delhi on March 31, Dr. Singh observed: 'As I saw him from close quarters, he (PVNR) was truly a sanyasi in politics. He was a modernizer who was steeped in our tradition and ethos. He was a rare scholar, statesman who gave a new sense of direction not only to our economic but also foreign policies.'

While PVNR's courageous role in ushering in India's economic and trade liberalization no doubt ably assisted by Dr. Singh as then Finance Minister is well documented and universally acknowledged, the manner in which India's strategic and foreign policies were reoriented by him with astute perspicacity merits recall. PVNR became the unlikely choice for what may be termed the loneliest chair in India in June 1991.

The Cold War was in its last phase but few could have anticipated the manner in which it would finally end in December of that year. The US had just emerged triumphant from its war for Kuwait and the moment of extended uni-polarity had commenced.

Vulnerable position

But India was perhaps at its most vulnerable in its 44-year-old history. The country faced unprecedented political uncertainty and internal turbulence. The assassination of Rajiv Gandhi in May 1991 in a terrorist attack highlighted the internal security fragility and India's forex reserves were at an all-time low. The ignominy of having to physically lift bullion to obtain credit pushed India against the ropes and the national psyche was at its most vulnerable. It was against this backdrop that PVNR assumed office as PM and soon stabilized the Indian ship of state.

The major strategic/ security and foreign policy changes wrought by him may be disaggregated along three strands: India's post Cold war orientation; husbanding of the nuclear programme; and radical shifts to long-held foreign policies. The sudden collapse of the former USSR in December 1991 and the end of bipolarity was captured in the defining image of a defiant Boris Yeltsin standing atop a tank.

The Soviet Union became 'former' and joined the detritus of imperial history. This tectonic shift in the global systemic plate left most capitals disoriented and in a state of denial or shell-shock. India was no exception. Yet despite the initial hesitation in welcoming the nascent birth of democracy in a shrunken Russia, India under PVNR was able to restore the balance in its relations with Moscow and the overtures of the sole superpower the USA.

The latter had become overzealous in the regulation of WMD thanks to the Iraqi Scud missile scare in the war for Kuwait (Operation Desert Storm) and the pressures on India began to steadily mount. The unmistakable US intent during the early Clinton years was to 'roll-back, cap and eliminate' the fledgling Indian nuclear capability. More recent narratives of the Indian nuclear programme suggest that apart from the PM of the day, only President Venakataraman and PVNR were in the loop as it were and to that extent the latter had a very astute understanding of how India was to resist these pressures.

PVNR's mandate to his pugnacious Foreign Secretary, Mani Dixit, was to 'buy time' and by 1995, the Indian strategic programme was both protected and nurtured so much so that when the CTBT pressure was building on India, PVNR actually planned a nuclear test in December of that year a good 30 months before the Shakti tests of May 1998. Nuclear guru K Subrahmanyam, who met PVNR in the preparation of the Kargil Committee report, notes that PVNR played a major role in appropriately operationalizing India's nuclear deterrent at a crucial juncture.

History will recall that PVNR enabled India's current strategic profile in no small measure with his ambiguity and perspicacity. At the global level, PVNR was perhaps the first leader to caution the global community about the new nuclear challenges the world confronted. His January 1992 speech at the special summit of the UN Security Council that was convened to take stock of the post Cold War flux was prescient in its scope and depth of insight.

PVNR was the first leader to warn the UNSC of 'this imponderable yet terrible scenario' that would be created by the 'uncontrollable spread of ready-made nuclear weapons across the globe by a variety of means and methods.' The AQ Khan iceberg and the emergence of the non-state actor determined to seek nuclear know-how became a grim reality a decade later but the vision of the man was accurate even if his words fell on deaf ears.

In foreign policy, PVNR is associated with two radical shifts the recognition of Israel and the rapprochement with ASEAN. Notwithstanding India's traditional bonds with the Arab world and its long standing commitment to the cause of the Palestine people, the end of the Cold War and the resultant security compulsions impelled India's decision to recognise Israel formally in 1992.

Israel's relevance in the Indian security matrix was swiftly noted and here was a case of security requirements leading foreign policy orientation. The 'indecisive' PVNR was quick to bring about the necessary changes. That this paid handsome dividends in Kargil in 1999 when the Indian military received valuable niche support from Israel is part of the Indian record.

It is apropos ASEAN that there is a personal chord as far as PVNR is concerned. During the Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi years, PVNR as Foreign Minister faithfully implemented national policies towards ASEAN as a collective and individual states such as Myanmar. India's perceived national interests placed it at odds with the larger US supported ASEAN grouping and Cambodia was a case in point. However after the end of the Cold War, the far from charismatic PVNR was able to reach out to ASEAN leaders such as Singapore's Lee Kuan Yew and others and redress the estrangement.

Finally under PVNR's stewardship, India embarked on its 'look east policy' and his speech at the Institute for South East Asian Studies in Singapore in September 1994 lays out the rationale and template for India's ASEAN policy that is as relevant today. Bilateral relations that hit an all-time low with Myanmar's military leadership in the Rajiv Gandhi years were normalized during the PVNR watch since the national security interest so dictated.

Quiet dexterity

In the regional context, PVNR was able to steer foreign policies with China, Pakistan and Iran with quiet dexterity. His August 1995 reference to the 'unfinished' business of Partition sent a clear message to Islamabad that despite the terrorism challenges the nation faced, Delhi would remain resolute. As one senior civil servant of the period recalls, 'PVNR despite the image of prevarication, always kept his eye on the ball as far as India's national interests were concerned.'

Interestingly the late PM had an acute understanding of the obduracy of the Indian bureaucratic octopus and its resistance to any change and he mentioned this internal challenge to this author in his later and lonelier years. Yet it is to PVNR's credit that to a great extent he created the necessary consensus both within and outside the system.

In the popular memory, PVNR's legacy will always be tainted with the Babri cross. But Dr Singh's tribute burnishes the image of his sanyasi mentor in a manner that the latter would have perhaps approved accurate, objective and detached. And in the daunting challenge of the strategic and foreign policy re-orientation that the country is now poised on and the inherent loneliness of his chair, Dr Singh may well find many correspondences with the stoic PVNR experience.

(The author is a Delhi-based security analyst)

Copyright 2007 The Statesman Ltd. Source
---------------------------------

ramana
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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby ramana » 12 Oct 2015 04:50

ramana wrote:Bharat Karnad is releasing a new book ' Why India is not a Great Power (Yet)" published by OUP, to be released by Gen V.K. Singh on 24 Sept 2015 at Habitat Center, Lodi Road, New Delhi, in the Gulmohar Hall at 7-8:30 pm.

It will be followed by panel discussion by many luminaries of whom my favorite R. Adm. Raja Menon is there.

If you are in Delhi please go there and attend. Consider this a personal request from me.

Thanks,

ramana



http://bharatkarnad.com/

Discussion — ‘Why India is Not a Great Power (Yet)’, video
Posted on October 2, 2015 by Bharat Karnad

The panel discussion following the formal launch on Sep 24 of my new book — ‘Why India is Not a Great Power (Yet)’ published by Oxford University Press, involving former minister in the Manmohan Singh cabinet and the only genuine intellectual in the Congress Party, Jairam Ramesh, ex-NSA Shivshankar Menon, Rear Admiral KR ‘Raja’Menon (Retd), former head of Net Assessment and Simulation in NSC and ACS (Ops), and Lt Gen SL Narasimhan, Commandant, Army War College, Mhow, is very revealing of where the problems lie. It is an interesting watch! The entire book launch event was videographed, is now uploaded to youtube.com and accessible at:



[youtube][/youtube]


Great Power: a ‘bridge too far’ for India?
Posted on October 1, 2015 by Bharat Karnad

Think of it. India was there when the Pharaohs ruled Egypt. It interacted with the Ancient Mesopotamian empires on the Tigris and the Euphrates. India was the mystery Alexander of Macedon set out to conquer. Indian spices and precious stones, finely woven cottons and silk, and peacocks, were the luxuries and the exotica craved by Imperial Rome in the age of the Caesers. Much of Southeast and offshore Asia had Hindu kingdoms, and absorbed Indic values and culture, even as Tibet, Central Asia, China, and Japan came under the thrall of Buddhism emanating from the subcontinent. The Ramayana lore so forms the cultural core of countries in this “Farther India” that the 800-year old Thai monarchy still has its historic capital of Ayuthhaya, an ancient form of Hinduism is still practised in Bali, Indonesia, and the adventures of the great Monkey King with mythical powers journeying to the “Western Kingdom” – India – remains the stuff of traditional stories dear to the people of China. So, India is and has always been a civilizational presence and cultural magnet. Alas, that is a far cry from being a great power in the modern age.

Except India, its civilizational imprint aside, has all the attributes of a great power. It has prime strategic location enabling domination of the Indian Ocean, supplanting the Atlantic Ocean as the most strategically important waterway. India’s peninsular landmass jutting out into the sea is, as many have noted, like the prow of an immense aircraft carrier, permitting Indian naval assets and land-based air forces to maintain a grip on the oceanic expanse and choke off adversary forces foraying into “the Indian lake” at the Malacca, Lumbok and Sunda Straits in the east and, in the west, the eastern ends of Hormuz and Suez, and prevent a land power such as China from accessing these proximal seas.

India has a burgeoning economy and the largest, most youthful workforce in the 18-35 age-group, promising the manpower to make India both a manufacturing powerhouse — the “workshop” to the world — and the richest, most extensive, consumer market. Further, the country has been a “brain bank” the world has long drawn on – an endless source of talented scientists, engineers and financial managers from institutions, such as IITs, IIMs, and IISC that are now global brands, helping India to emerge as a knowledge power (in information technology, pharmaceuticals, engineering research and development, and “frugal engineering”). India, moreover, is a stable if raucous democracy, and boasts of one of the largest, most apolitical, professional and “live fire”-blooded militaries anywhere. So, why isn’t India a great power yet?

India is bereft of national vision and self-confidence. It has the will to security but not the will to power. This is manifested in the absence of strategy, policies and plans to make India a great power. An over-bureaucratized and fragmented system of government unable to muster policy coherence and coordination hasn’t helped. The resulting incapacity to think and act big has led New Delhi to take the easy way out and emphasize soft power, when historically nations have become great by acquiring self-sufficiency in armaments and using military forces for strategic impact.

But the Indian Army, that during colonial times won an empire for the British and sustained a system of “distant defence,” with its ramparts extending seawards in the arc Simonstown-Hong Kong, and landwards from the Gulf, the Caspian Sea to the Central Asian khanates, has been reduced to border defence becoming in the process as stick-in-the-mud and passive-defensive minded as a strategically clueless government.

The irony is that an impoverished, resource-scarce, India of the 1950s, strode the international stage like a giant – leading the charge against colonialism, racism, and championing “general and complete disarmament”, assuming leadership of the Third World-qua-Nonaligned Movement, and emerging as the balancer between the super power blocs during Cold War. It was also the time Jawaharlal Nehru articulated an “Asian Monroe Doctrine” backed by Indian arms and, by way of classical realpolitik, seeded a nuclear weapons programme and a cutting edge aerospace industry that eventuated in the Marut HF-24, the first supersonic combat aircraft designed and produced outside of Europe and the US.

Just how far India has fallen off the great power map may be gauged by the fact that some 50 years after the Marut took to the skies the country is a conventional military dependency, relying on imported armaments and with its foreign policy hostage to the interests of the vendor states. And, far from imposing its will in Asia, New Delhi has become a pliant and pliable state, accommodating US interests (on nuclear non-proliferation, Iran, Afghanistan) one moment, adjusting to the demands of a belligerent China the next.

Far from earning great power status the old fashioned way by being disruptively proactive and, in Bismarck’s words, by “blood and steel”, the Indian government sees it as an entitlement, as recognition bestowed on the country by friendly big powers. Never mind that such position gained at the sufferance of other countries is reed-thin, as the recent move by a supposedly friendly US to join another friendly state Russia and China in opposing India’s entry into the UN security Council showed. The fact is India, albeit elephant-sized, remains a marginal power with a small footprint and, in real terms, commands little respect in the world. For such a recessive country, great power will always be “a bridge too far.”
—-
Published on the OUPblog September 30th 2015 at http://blog.oup.com/2015/09/great-power ... for-india/

– See more at: http://blog.oup.com/2015/09/great-power ... -for-india

Vivek K
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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby Vivek K » 12 Oct 2015 05:48

India's ugly, coalition politics, rise of regional, corrupt personalities (i.e. Lalu Yadav, Mamta Bannerjee, Jayalalitha, Mulayam Singh Yadav) election of fools like Deve Gowda, Gujral, lack of strategic vision in political and defence services, lack of a domestic military industrial complex, pre-occupation with Pakistan are factors contributing to India's fall.

The continued pre-occupation with local politics, belief that other powers will help India become a power, keeps India weak.

For example, why doesn't India attach priority to self-preservation? The Chinese have proliferated with Pakis and perhaps others for their national goals. What stops India from reciprocating in kind to give the Chinese similar security issues with say Vietnam? Why can't they setup a research reactor in Vietnam?

All of India's energies seem occupied with tackling Pakistan. But there is no effort to overhelm the Pukis. The armed forces deny the opportunity to develop a local MIC that could help defeat Pakistan. Instead of guiding, nurturing and growing it including development of private players, the route that national security is the sacred cow therefore they would rather buy foreign than rely on local development. Thus a country that can send probes to the moon and Mars cannot develop a jet engine 70 years after Me262s/Glostor Meteor. The Arjun is a poster child for a failed nation. A credible, potent system that could be a game changer is left to rust and the future spinoffs destroyed! A weapon that could perhaps be an export star cannot even win service on the front even after shooting the pants of the IA's favored tank.

The demise of the Marut, the painful acceptance of the LCA, the denial to accept the Arjun are visible symptoms of India's disappearance from the global strategic calculations. Indians arrogantly think that America will go the "Fall of the Roman Empire", way but do not see their own rapid downfall. In Indira Gandhi's times, India was a player in the international arena, if not a power, today, it is not even talked about.

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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby Philip » 12 Oct 2015 18:08

When the '83 riots broke out in Lanka,whom did Mrs.G send to Colombo? None other than PVNR .And what did he do? He read out the riot act to pres.Jayawardene who sh*t coconuts afterwards! That stopped the riots in their tracks. JR was so afeared of an Indian mil response that he reined in his fascist thugs who were responsible. She then sent veteran diplomat G.Parthasarathy to work out a political/constitutional consensus,which gave birth to the hated 13th amendment. Both PVNR and GP were highly respected by Lankan politicos.sadly after Mrs.G's assassination,RG was ill advised by the MEA mandarins,especially a bum-chum of arms dealer Kashoggi, one R.Bhandari. That led to his eventual assassination!

After KS and Dixit's demise,we lost our most intelligent strategist and most experienced diplomat with renowned hands-on crisis management capabilities. We still have a number of excellent analysts ,many who are seen on telly.A list of the best thinkers on Indian strategy and books/articles that they've written would be a good idea.

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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby ShauryaT » 12 Oct 2015 18:42

I was wondering where to post this, Thanks to ramana for doing this before me, but here is the book launch by Bharat Karnad, in DC on Nov 12. I plan to be there, so if someone comes, let us meet there. Also, if there is interest, we may be able to do a "Jirga" event with Bharat Karnad either in DC or NY. Let me know, if there is interest. Thanks.

My new book -- 'Why India is Not a Great Power (Yet)' published by Oxford University Press will be released by Gen. VK Singh, MOS, MEA, on Thursday, Sept 24 at the Habitat Centre in Delhi, followed by a panel discussion involving, besides Gen. Singh, former NSA Shivshankar Menon, Rear Admiral Raja Menon, former Head of the Net Assessment and Simulation Centre, National Security Council, and Lt Gen SL Narsimhan, Commandant, Army War College. The event will be videographed and put on the net -- hopefully on OUP, CPR and my own website.

But of more interest to those in the DC/NJ/NY area interested/involved in the bharat-rakshak forum is the book-event planned at Carnegie Endowment for Intl Peace, 1779 Mass Ave. NW, Wash, DC, for Thursday, November 12, 1030 hrs-1200 hrs. The event will start out with a "conversation" on the book Ashley Tellis will have with me. It will be followed by a panel discussion and end with Q&A session.

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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby ShauryaT » 12 Oct 2015 18:48

Attaching the video for the launch in Delhi. You can see that most of the speakers are arrayed against the views of Bharat Karnad. So, it is fine to have a different view and indeed he invites such opposition. However, there are some, who still have the conviction to speak about Indian interests as they see it, without compromises. That is what BK does. We should be glad that we have someone willing to do so, regardless of whether we agree or disagree with views on various issues.


shiv
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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby shiv » 12 Oct 2015 18:54

A real cracker of an article by Tavleen Singh from 2012
Delhi ‘intellectuals’ fear coming of no-nonsense Modi

Narendra Modi was sworn in for his fourth term as Chief Minister of Gujarat last Wednesday to the horror of those Indians who have spent more than a decade portraying him as a demon. These include leftists of varying shades of pink, Muslim intellectuals of varying shades of fundamentalist Islam, social activists of varying causes and political analysts whose intellectual development appears to have stopped when the secularism versus communalism debate died a natural death. What unites this motley crew is a deep fear that if Modi does become Prime Minister in 2014, their dominance of the national discourse, their virtual monopoly on tickets to enter politics, high national awards, Government largesse and other forms of patronage like regular excursions to foreign lands will end. Let me explain in more detail.

The Congress, in its long decades at the helm of India’s destiny has cultivated a particular breed of ‘intellectual’ assiduously. Those who fit into the leftist, liberal, secular category have been given Rajya Sabha tickets, Padma awards and other prizes and have been rewarded with Government jobs and houses in Delhi. The Government of India has enormous powers of patronage and the Congress learned long ago to use them very effectively. So if you are a ‘sarkari’ intellectual, you could find yourself in charge of any one of a myriad cultural and social organisations that come with low salaries but high perks. So if for instance you became head of one of the Government’s literary or music academies you would be entitled to a nice bungalow in Lutyens’ Delhi and a car with a red light on it. If you failed to get one of these jobs you could be rewarded in other ways for your loyalty to the Gandhi family and the Congress ‘ideology’.

So I know many ‘intellectuals’ in Delhi who have been given Government grants for promoting things as diverse as the Urdu language and the environment. If you are well-connected enough, you might even be able to get more than one Government handout without any questions being asked. So you could be a patron of Urdu poetry and the editor of an ecology magazine at the same time.

If you are clever, then you should be able to extend your ‘expertise’ in Urdu or Sanskrit to land yourself a Doordarshan series on the history of these languages or some related subject and you would never need to do what most Indians consider a regular job. In my long years of covering politics and governance in Delhi, I have met retired bureaucrats, failed Bollywood actresses and filmmakers, socialites and relatives of successful politicians who have benefited from Government of India largesse in an extraordinary variety of ways. Nobody has ever questioned this largesse because in the brief moment that the Bharatiya Janata Party came to power in Delhi it continued the practice because the very same ‘intellectuals’ that had lived for years on Government largesse switched political sides effortlessly and switched back to being Congress loyalists when the political fortunes of the BJP declined after 2004.

It may seem hard to believe if you are not from Delhi but trust me when I tell you that the same filmmakers, movie stars, writers, dancers, musicians, artists and other ‘intellectuals’ that thrive on Government of India largesse today were once in the inner circle of Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Even the political analysts that today boast of their closeness to Sonia Gandhi were to be seen in those days waltzing in and out of the Vajpayee household as if their loyalty had always been to him. Why did he allow this? I have asked myself this question often and the only satisfactory answer that I have come up with is that the people who surrounded the BJP Government at the time were new to the foibles and fakery of Lutyens’ Delhi and did not see duplicity and chicanery even when it happened under their noses. By the time they understood what was happening the general election that put the BJP back on the Opposition benches in the Lok Sabha had come and gone.

What worries the ‘intellectuals’ of Lutyens’ Delhi is that Narendra Modi may not be as easy to seduce as Vajpayee was. He may find it easier to discern between cant and real culture and between courtiers and real loyalists and this would inevitably lead to a total overturning of the patronage applecart. So the demonisation of Modi has been a joint project on a scale that has been quite unprecedented in the political history of modern India. It would be fair to say that no Indian politician has been demonised in quite this way and usually because the measure by which he has been judged has not been applied to anyone else.

Whenever I have tried to argue that what Modi allowed to happen in Gujarat in 2002 was modelled on what Rajiv Gandhi allowed to happen with the Sikhs in 1984, I have hit an impenetrable wall. As recently as last month when my new book ‘Durbar’ came out I had a long conversation with a senior bureaucrat who tried to convince me that I was wrong in writing in the book that Rajiv had been complicit in the massacres of the Sikhs. “You must understand that he knew nothing of what was happening,” this gentleman argued, “You must understand that he was a political novice and did not know what was going on or he would never have allowed it.” When I reminded him of the famous ‘big tree falls, earth shakes’ speech, he changed the subject.

This is how it always is whenever Modi’s ‘crimes’ are discussed. The discussion simply ends and if you persist in trying to continue the argument then you get labelled. You get called a ‘Sonia-baiter’ or a ‘saffron supporter’ or that most evil of things in the eyes of the denizens of Lutyens’ Delhi — ‘anti-Muslim’. Well, we do not know what Modi will do if he does become Prime Minister. He may, like Vajpayee, do nothing at all to upset the applecart. But, for the moment his victory has sent such a shiver of fear along the spine of Lutyens’ Delhi that you can almost hear the sound of it rustling like a demonic wind through the corridors of intellectual and cultural power in this city.

ramana
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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby ramana » 12 Oct 2015 20:02

ShauryaT, Is it possible to have text of the Karnad book launch video?

The text can be quoted and rebutted.

Philip, There is confusion between strategy and tactics among most people in both Western and Indian minds.

Shiv, Again Modi needs to wait for the INC dregs to retire.

That bureaucrat was plain dead wrong and looks like a willful Congress minion.

shiv
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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby shiv » 12 Oct 2015 20:13

ramana wrote:Shiv, Again Modi needs to wait for the INC dregs to retire.

That bureaucrat was plain dead wrong and looks like a willful Congress minion.

ramana - reading that article made me order Tavleen Singh's book "Durbar"


"Durbar" by Tavleen Singh

The reviews are here
http://www.amazon.in/product-reviews/B0 ... ewpoints=1

JE Menon
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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby JE Menon » 12 Oct 2015 21:49

Tavleen Singh is a real jewel of India, who must remain a voice of stability and sanity. In my opinion, her son too is developing nicely into the role. I've ordered her book as well. She is utterly fearless.

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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby Vayutuvan » 12 Oct 2015 23:52

I got Durbar from India. I was also able to get The Heat and Dust Project. Quickly flipped through both - very nice.

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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby Vayutuvan » 13 Oct 2015 00:07

shiv wrote:ramana - reading that article made me order Tavleen Singh's book "Durbar"
"Durbar" by Tavleen Singh

It is a good article but I agree with the following reader comment that she did an == between Modi and Rajiv Gandhi. The fact are very different: on one hand RG went onto stoke the fires with comments like "When a big tree falls ..." and somebody else - allegedly Big B - saying "khoon ka badla"; on the other Modi went on TV and gave a very heartfelt call to the Amadavadis to restrain themselves and not indulge in senseless violence.

http://twitter.com/rvrbreeze rvrbreeze
So, according to you, Modi is as complicit as Rajiv. After a decade of court cases, commissions of enquiry and all-round villification of Modi, you must be a special case to reach this conclusion.Hi-fi society will do that for you.

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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby shiv » 13 Oct 2015 06:12

This thread may be as good a place as any to post this at the start of Navaratri
Fierce is Beautiful
That Goddess became very angry with her enemies and her face became as black as Indian ink. From her broad forehead, bent by her curved eyebrows, emerged Kali, armed with sword and a rope. She was holding a very peculiar sword, wearing a garland of human skulls, dressed in the hide of a tiger, with no flesh in her body, with very terrible looks, with a broad face, who looked very fearsome moving her tongue, with sunken red eyes, filling all the directions with roars from her throat. That goddess went straight and fast, warning the great asuras, and started eating the enemies of devas whom were part of the army.

She caught hold of huge elephants along with the trainer with his long spear and the hero riding on it and crushed them and put in her mouth. Similarly she started chewing the charioteer along with horses terribly with her teeth. She killed one Asura catching hold of his hair, another catching his throat, another by kicking with her leg and another by pressing his chest. She caught hold of the arrows as well as weapons sent against her by those asuras (Chanda and Munda) and broke them to pieces by her teeth.

She beat the entire Asura army consisting of big and strong-bodied asuras. She ate some of them and severely others. Some of the asuras were punished by sword, some by Gadgayudha (sword with curved end) and some by her teeth and all of them were destroyed. – Description of Manifestation of Ma Kali from Devi Mahatamyam (adapted from here)


The twin strengths of Hinduism through millennia have been its sublime philosophy and its multiplicity of worship—the worship of multiple deities through multiple paths and methods of worship. The Hindu pantheon is vast, stretching up to 33 crores of devas. The benefits of polytheism (not an exact descriptor for Hindu worship, but close enough for this purpose) are manifold. Multiplicity of worship in the Hindu tradition recognizes that individuals are different and allows them to worship those devas that are most suitable for their spiritual evolution in accordance with their personality and psychological needs. Worship is customized for the individual and is not a one-size-fits-all imposition.

The Hindu way promotes diversity and inclusiveness; heterogeneity of worship promotes heterogeneity of mind and philosophy. It teaches us to see beauty and divinity in all forms, even those that may not readily appear beautiful or divine to us. It teaches us unity through diversity. It also helps us reach balance, by cultivating various good qualities through worship of different forms. All of the powers and forces in the cosmos become accessible to us when we worship them. Unfortunately, the breadth and depth of the Hindu pantheon is under attack. There is a concerted effort to sanitize the Hindu pantheon, to reduce its size and diversity, to prize the saumya (gentle) over the ugra (fierce), to falsely equate spirituality with sattva only.

There is too strong a desire to Westernize, to conform to a monotheistic worldview, driven by our own inferiority complex. There is a visceral discomfort with the idea of being idol worshippers and polytheists, perhaps out of a fear of being seen as heathen and kafir in Western eyes. There is thus a compulsion to pretend that we are monotheist, and in so claiming, a lot of confusion and misconceptions about Hinduism are created. We are not worshippers of one true God in the Abrahamic sense; to pretend otherwise is to distort our tradition.

In the process, we are destroying that which makes us unique, strong and resilient, that which makes ours the longest continuously surviving religious tradition in the history of the world, the greatest and last of the truly pagan traditions to survive. One of the latest trends in this direction is the makeover of our devas, to make them more peaceful and politically correct. Recently, in Bengal, there has been a push to create more ‘peaceful’ Durga vigrahas for the annual Durga Puja, replacing her traditional weapons with flowers and jewels. Connected to such moves is the selective outrage over bali or animal sacrifice that takes place on some days in some places of Hindu worship—in very limited numbers.

An assortment of environmental activists, secularists and would-be Hindu reformists, who dare not call out for bans on slaughter during Eid, who vociferously promote the basic human right of people in India to eat beef, who see non-vegetarianism as ultra-progressive, but who, in the peculiar double standard that applies to Hindus, are morally outraged if Hindus simply follow their ancestral ways of worship and offer bali. Apparently, it is okay to senselessly slaughter animals for our sensory gratification—for hunting and eating—but haram to do it for sacred purposes. This unwarranted interference in the private religious affairs of Hindus has resulted in the disruption of the ways of worship in many Hindu temples.

This movement to make over Hinduism undermines that which makes Hinduism beautiful, which distinguishes it from other religions, like Jainism and Buddhism. It is an injustice to the oldest living religion in the world to confine it to what we find politically correct and palatable today from a Western perspective. The fierce, the bloodthirsty, the weapon-brandishing, the bloodcurdling forms of our devas are a core part of the Hindu pantheon. The paths of the Tantras and the Natha sampradayas are a vital part of Hinduism and must not be whitewashed away. Animal sacrifice is as important a part of Hindu worship as Satyanaryana puja.

The onset of Navaratri is an auspicious time to remind ourselves of the hallowed place of ugra devatas (fierce/tough deities) and their modes of worship in our sacred traditions. While most devatas have both saumya (gentle) and ugra (fierce) rupas, it is especially in the representation of the various forms of Devi that some of the most prominent ugra forms are found. Navaratri celebrates the worship of the Nava Durga (nine forms of Ma Durga), some of which are exceptionally fierce. For example, the seventh form of Ma Durga, worshipped on the seventh day of Navaratri, is Kaal Ratri. She is dark with dishevelled hair and an expression of utter fearlessness. Her necklace flashes with lightning, and her breath emanates terrible flames.

Similarly, among the Dasha Maha Vidya (the 10 Devis of Wisdom), there is Chinnamasta, the self-decapitated Devi who holds her own severed head in one hand and a scimitar in the other. Three streams of blood spurt out of her bleeding neck and are drunk by her own head as well as her two female attendants. She stands on a copulating couple. She is depicted naked with disheveled hair.

Then there is Dhumavati, depicted as an old widow who is always hungry and thirsty. She is prone to starting quarrels. She is depicted as old and ugly, thin and emaciated, with a pale complexion. She wears no jewellery but only dirty, old clothes. Her hands tremble, and she rides a horseless chariot.

The iconography of each of these devis is extraordinarily intricate and rich with many layers of meaning. Each and every detail carries meaning and power. These forms have not been created wily nily; they are revealed through the Agamas, Puranas and Tantras with very specific visualizations, iconography and procedures for worship. Changing the iconography of these Devis to suit our aesthetics or whims is especially dangerous—it detracts from the underlying divinity of the nama and rupa and also is a violation of the traditions we have inherited by which we are to worship them.

This is especially dangerous when it comes to worship of the ugra forms, because it is held that the consequences of mistakes in worship of these fierce deities are especially dire. It is therefore even more important that our shastras and traditions of worship not be tampered with, as one must not play lightly with the devas, especially the ugra devatas. To imagine one can remove the weapons from Devi’s hand and replace it with something of one’s fancy, be it a flower or a flag or a gemstone, is to corrupt and violate the Hindu tradition of worship. It breaks the continuity of tradition from our ancestors thousands of years ago, as passed down generation to generation, linking us to our ancient rishis and forefathers who first had revelation of these divine forms. It turns what is sacred into mere art. It turns vigrahas into mere statutes.

--please follow the link to read it all


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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby ramana » 14 Oct 2015 03:35

OT, all those forms of Devi are in Devi Bhagavatam first narrated during Krishna's absence hunting for Smanataka mani.
Chinnamasta Devi is also known as Asiradevi or Maisamma.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chhinnamasta

Also read Shankara's "Soundrya Lahiri" to know her forms from the great teacher.


Can follow up in epics thread.....

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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby ShauryaT » 14 Oct 2015 22:47

Ramana: Not a full transcript but some key points from another book launch event. Maybe we can get more, when he is in NY. Read it on the link, the lost formatting may not make sense.
Bharat Karnad on India’s need to build Hard Power
Bharat Karnad on India’s need to build Hard Power

In the twenty first century, we have had many debates over India being or becoming a great power in the world. There is a difference of opinion on whether India should take soft power or hard power approach to become a great power.

Emphasizing upon the need of hard power, India’s top national security strategist Bharat Karnad has written a book ‘Why India is not a great power (yet)’.

karnad-book

In his book launch in Bengaluru organized by Takshashila Institution and National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bharat Karnad explains what made him write the book.

Because of the way the Delhi establishment had been working, achievable things were made difficult.

He mentioned what kind of questions his book has answered:

We are a whale sized country with the impact of a minnow. How much great power we need – as much as you can get

He made few strong remarks about his disapproval of the politics and policies followed by some of the ‘great’ leaders of the country.

Every time Nehru made the right decision and then screwed up

Indira Gandhi was a just a petty tactical politician.

Manmohan Singh is a gutless, spineless creature.

All the Prime Ministers use the foreign policy and global stage to embellish their domestic image.

Bharat Karnad

Karnad further expounded how some long pending crucial issues can be dealt with hard power:

We are good at bullying small states but we run with our tail between our legs when it comes to China… This is the sign of a cowardly state.

How India could deal with China.

If we had strong minded government in Delhi, it would have nuclear armed Vietnam and China’s other neighboring countries as China is doing with our neighbour Pakistan

Bharat Karnad

Nitin Pai, Director of the Takshashila institution, elaborated upon his understanding of the book.

The book argues for hard power. He (author) has pricked the balloon of soft power.

Nitin gave examples to prove why he believes in Karnad’s arguments in the book.

Soft power is a nice dressing on the cake, provided you have the cake

China is not the example of great strategist

China has problem with every bordering country

We need Bold Military moves

The boldest thing we have done is send a ship to Somalia to beat pirates

Get rid of your fixation with Pakistan and focus on China


Bharat Karnad’s these words will definitely find resonance among those who don’t believe in chest thumping.

We are about symbolism of great power instead of substance of great power


Nitin Pai @acorn
Where I noted that @BharatKarnad makes *me* appear reasonable and moderate https://twitter.com/takshashilainst/sta ... 7067057153
:D

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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby panduranghari » 14 Oct 2015 22:59

BK was scathing in the Delhi book launch video. His arguments were more compelling than the other panellists. Is BK in any position to influence policy?

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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby ramana » 15 Oct 2015 00:03

ST, Indians need to decide what they will do by becoming a great power and the nature of power.
What does great power mean and what does India want to do with that power?

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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby ramana » 15 Oct 2015 00:18

Shiv, Its very correct that you psoted the article on Devi Mahatyam in this thread on Evolution of Indian strategy.

In my view (note no humble/vumble!) both Bhagavatams (Maha and Devi) are templates for strategy.

First there is the goal: Establish/re-establish Dharma which is under constant attack
Second there is strategy: Take avatar to combat adharma proponents
Third tactics: Avatar should be dharmic to comply with goal. Use Apaddharma as needed.


Current problem is 60 years of Congress rule the goal was to be B team to Anglo-Saxon West even after perfidy upon perfidy.

So when goal is wrong what strategy what tactics?

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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby Prem » 15 Oct 2015 00:20

ramana wrote:OT, all those forms of Devi are in Devi Bhagavatam first narrated during Krishna's absence hunting for Smanataka mani.
Chinnamasta Devi is also known as Asiradevi or Maisamma.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chhinnamasta...



Vaishno Devi of Katra/ Jammu is also known as ChinnMastika.

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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby shiv » 17 Oct 2015 22:00

This one is a keeper. Memorize it.

Indian Secularism is Colour Blind
Tufail Ahmed

People are angry at the murder of Muhammad Akhlaq in Dadri over allegations that he ate beef. Some say they are angry at Akhlaq’s murder, while others say they are angry at the murder of the cow. Some people are angry at the cancellation of Pakistani ghazal singer Ghulam Ali’s show of 9 October in Mumbai due to the Shiv Sena’s threat, while others are angry at Pakistani actors and singers being invited in India.

In the natural world, animals are made of meat and bones. Humans too, made of bones and meat, are animals. What angers them? Let’s look at their habits and ideas.

It is a bogus claim that we as humans are concerned about life, whether the life be of an animal or of a human being. For example, lots of people who argue that they believe in non-violence are non-vegetarians and eat meat in full awareness that an animal has been murdered.

In purely humanist considerations, the life of an animal cannot be less precious than the life of a human being. Among vegetarians, Jains deserve respect as they strive not to hurt even insects. It does not automatically mean that all Jains are vegetarians and pacifists, or that vegetarians do not murder.

On 23 June, Pakistani police killed a boy after he posed for selfie with a toy gun in Faisalabad, but Pakistani people did not protest. But if a Palestinian child is injured in firing by Israeli police, there are global protests by leftists and journalists file numerous outraged reports.

When the U.S. launched the war in Iraq, there were protests across the world by anti-war activists. When Saudi Arabia launched the current air strikes on Yemen, anti-war activists went to sleep. Pakistani army regularly kills people in Balochistan, but Pakistanis do not rise up. In India, secular journalists who claim they are concerned about human rights do not get angry when victims are Hindu.

Secular journalists who are angry at Akhlaq’s killing adopted total silence on a number of murders recently. Last August, army jawan Vedmitra Chaudhury was lynched to death in Hardevnagar, near Meerut, for saving a girl from molesters. In March, a Hindu man was abducted and murdered in Hajipur of Bihar for marrying a Muslim girl. Last June, a man was lynched to death near Eluru in Andhra Pradesh. A mob killed a man in Bhandup West area of Mumbai in June.

Secular journalists’ colour-blindness prevents them from seeing these murders: they do not get angry; they want Muslims to be murdered; only then they speak up. Indian secularism has tasted the Muslim blood.

Indian secularism is not only colour-blind, it is also half-Pakistani.


Secular leader Arvind Kejriwal, the chief minister of Delhi, spoke with Ghulam Ali after his show was cancelled and will host him in Delhi. Secular leader Akhilesh Yadav, the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, organised Ghulam Ali’s show in Lucknow.


But Kejriwal and Akhilesh didn’t invite our own Oscar-winning musician A. R. Rahman when his music show of 13 September in Delhi was cancelled due to a fatwa by the Barelvi group Raza Academy. Secularism does not like Indian Muslim singers; it does not like Indian writers like Salman Rushdie. Mamata Banerjee, another secular leader, supported Ghulam Ali, saying music has no international boundaries but she will not support Taslima Nasreen, the Bangladeshi writer.

Indian secularism is truly Pakistani, not even a quarter-Bangladeshi.

Indian secularism is also counter-nationalist: secular lawyers turned out at midnight before the Supreme Court to save the life of convicted terrorist Yakub Menon but remain silent on death sentences of common Indians.

Secular journalist Nikhil Wagle wrote: “Without secularism, India is a Hindu Pakistan.“

Indian secularism is not even Indian: it is incomplete without eating beef. It loves to eat beef because Pakistanis eat beef. It is essentially Pakistani. It aligns with Pakistanis.

In 1947, our people thought that they could give away a piece of India’s territory to buy permanent peace. The secular government of Manmohan Singh came close to conceding a part of Kashmir to Pakistan in talks with General Pervez Musharraf, the architect of arguably the largest jihad in modern times in Kargil. Indian secularism is without sex, without consummating with Pakistan.

In his landmark book “On War”, German military strategist Carl von Clausewitz observed: “War is the continuation of politics by other means.” The reason Indians do not want Pakistani singers here is because Pakistan is practically in a state of war against India for nearly seven decades.

Through television and social media, common Indians can understand Pakistan’s war by other means. Pakistan has not formally declared a war, but Indians have grasped the obvious fact of our times that we are in a state of war because Pakistan continues to send jihadists into India. Aamir Khan’s movie Sarfarosh showed us that Pakistan sends arms dealers posing as ghazal singers.

Indian secularism is also Islamist.

In 2012, the secular Congress government did not allow Salman Rushdie to speak in Jaipur because secularism is in an incestuous relationship with Islamists. Mamata Banerjee does not support Taslima Nasreen because the West Bengal CM is in league with Islamists in the state.

Kejriwal’s secularism is in open alliance with Islamists. In 2013, Kejriwal visited Bareilly to meet Islamic cleric Tauqeer Raza Khan to seek Muslim votes. Last year, he sent Alka Lamba to meet Imam Bukhari’s brother to seek Muslim votes. In 1986, Rajiv Gandhi’s secularism surrendered before Islamic clerics in the Shah Bano case. Indian secularism is incomplete without its ideological cohabitation with Islamists.

On 1 October, secular gossip columnist Shobhaa De tweeted: “I just ate beef. Come and murder me.” The question also is: Will she draw a cartoon of Prophet Muhammad at the Gateway of India?

In a tweet dated 4 October, secular journalist Sagarika Ghose wrote: “Citizens of India, we need a campaign like Je Suis Charlie. Hold your head high and say ‘I am a beef eater’.” The question is: Will secular journalists draw the same cartoon in front of Delhi’s Jamaa Masjid?

The outrage is not about beef or cartoon. Indian youths are concerned over secularism’s double standards; they will support your right to eat beef if you are willing to draw a cartoon, even from your kitchen. The secular NDTV, supported by Aircel, began Save Our Tiger campaign. Why not a Save the Cow campaign?

India is a great nation. Its reality is this: Bollywood actor Aamir Khan makes the movie #PK in which Hindu god Lord Shiva is locked up in a bathroom and threatened, but he cannot make a movie on Prophet Muhammad. This is the imbalance in our national conversation that threatens India’s social cohesion. It is fostered by journalists.

India is witnessing the emergence of fascism from newsrooms, a movement of totalitarian ideas that divides us in order to win. Indian journalists are beaten up by Indians in New York or Dadri for their double standards. On social media, they are being called pimps and presstitutes, bimbos and bazaaru media because they sell their souls for a bungalow or a Rajya Sabha seat.

This secular fascism, in league with Islamic totalitarianism, wins by dividing us, but police must deal ruthlessly with any Indian who takes law into their own hands.

(A version of this article was published on October 15 by Dainik Jagran, India’s largest Hindi-language newspaper under the title “Secular Qabeeley Ke Log”)

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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby Pulikeshi » 17 Oct 2015 23:36

shiv wrote:This thread may be as good a place as any to post this at the start of Navaratri
Fierce is Beautiful


Danke for this link, enjoyed it throughly! and the Dhimmi Secularism link above! keepers!

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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby SaiK » 18 Oct 2015 21:31

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/indi ... 439496.cms

a point to make in the context of strategic thoughts., that needs to be backed by strong scientific temper
When Kalam got a hotline call just before Agni launch

NEW DELHI: Just hours before the Agni missile was to be tested in 1989, its pioneer A P J Abdul Kalam received a hotline phone call from a top government official indicating tremendous pressure by the US and NATO to delay the launch.

The man on the other end was none other than T N Seshan, the then cabinet secretary to Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. This incident finds mention in "Advantage India: From Challenge to Opportunity", one of the last books written by the late Kalam which will hit the stands soon.

According to Kalam, a hotline call at 3 AM, only a few hours prior to the launch, could not mean anything good. "Where are we on Agni?" Seshan asked.

"Then without waiting for me to answer, he said, 'We are under tremendous pressure by the US and NATO to delay any impending missile test. There are strong diplomatic channels at work.' Then almost immediately he followed again with the first question, 'Kalam! Where are we on Agni?'" the book, published by HarperCollins India, says.

It was a difficult question for Kalam to answer.

"My mind raced vast distances in the next few seconds. There were intelligence reports of US satellites fixing their gaze on us. I knew the US was putting increasing pressure on the Prime Minister and his office to delay the launch. Worse, there were reports that Chandipur might be struck with very bad weather in the next few days.

"Then there was my team. Hard working, determined young men and women whom we had handpicked for this assignment about one decade ago. They had seen everything. Technology denials, evictions from other nations, tight budgets, media pressure and the frustration of restarting curtailed projects that had been shut down due to lack of critical apparatus...," Kalam wrote in the book, co-authored by Srijan Pal Singh.

"...I calculated all my variables and then clearing my throat said, 'Sir, the missile is at a point of no return. We cannot turn back on the test now. It is too late.' I expected a debate and a barrage of questions from my boss and Seshan. But to my surprise, as the hour hand neared 4 AM, and the sun prepared to rise, Seshan replied, 'Okay,' and then with a deep breath and a pause. 'Go ahead'," the book says.

Three hours later, the Agni missile system was ignited on May 22, 1989.

"It was a flawless test of hope and aspirations of a bunch of young scientists who could not be deterred by any force on this planet. We had made history. The next day, there was a storm in Chandipur which partially destroyed our testing facility. But we all knew that we had already won the race for Agni," Kalam said.


please read my emphasize.. especially 'media pressure'!

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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby devesh » 19 Oct 2015 07:55

ramana wrote:ST, Indians need to decide what they will do by becoming a great power and the nature of power.
What does great power mean and what does India want to do with that power?



Indeed! what is the purpose of that power? The reason why India bumbles on, seemingly without a "plan" or without any clue as to where we want to end up, is because we don't know why we should be powerful.

what is our end goal for building up a navy? what is our purpose for strengthening and modernizing our Army and Air Force? what is our reason for building closer ties with countries like Japan? What is our purpose for pursing 10% GDP growth other than the immediate short-term (prosperity, poverty alleviation, etc)?

I suspect that many of us actually know the answer to those questions: but we are so conditioned to be fearful of raising these questions and confronting the obvious future path of Bharat, that we shrink away from even consciously thinking about it.

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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby shiv » 20 Oct 2015 07:00

One of the fundamental pillars of Indian society is allowing everyone to worship whom he or she wants without insulting or denigrating what the other person worships.

Insulting a respected, revered or worshipped icon can occur by spitting, kicking, smearing or desecration of the icon. Religious symbols are not to be worn on the legs or feet which is insulting. I think this tends to get forgotten as we Westernize ourselves.

Yellamma is a goddess widely worshipped in Karnataka. A "Yellamma Dasappa Hospital" was one of the early modern private hospitals to be set up in Bangalore - it was up and running in 1990 long before the now well known and well established Mallya and Manipal hospitals.

Yellaama-Dasappa Hospital
Image

Here is an image of the Goddess Yellamma
Image

This is the tattoo on the left leg of an Australian Tourist in Bangalore
Image

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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby panduranghari » 20 Oct 2015 18:13

Caesar and the Dangers of Forgiveness
By Barry Strauss



When Julius Caesar conquered Rome by winning a civil war, he encountered a problem facing any new executive: how to treat those who had opposed him on his way to the top. A new boss can hardly wipe the slate clean; he needs the support and cooperation of those who know the system from the inside. Caesar’s solution was bold and unprecedented and, although fatally flawed, rich in lessons for today’s leaders: he went easy on his former opponents, and in so doing created a power dynamic in his administration that eventually led to his downfall.

After seizing Rome, Caesar took office as dictator in 49 B.C. This momentous act seemed to reverse his whole career, built in opposition to an earlier dictator, Lucius Cornelius Sulla (who ruled from 82-80 B.C.), a man whose harsh and oppressive rule began with the murder of nearly 5,000 of his enemies, most of them rich people, and confiscation of their property. Caesar himself had to go into hiding and barely escaped with his life. Caesar, however, was determined to be a different kind of dictator. Unlike Sulla, who consciously limited power to a small circle of elite and noble families, Caesar was a populist. And one of the first principles of populism is letting people live. Rather than have his enemies killed, he offered them mercy or clemency -- clementia in Latin. As Caesar wrote to his advisors, “Let this be our new method of conquering -- to fortify ourselves by mercy and generosity.” Caesar pardoned most of his enemies and forbore confiscating their property. He even promoted some of them to high public office.

This policy won him praise from no less a figure than Marcus Tullius Cicero, who described him in a letter to Aulus Caecina as “mild and merciful by nature.” But Caecina knew a thing or two about dictators, since he’d had to publish a flattering book about Caesar in order to win his pardon after having opposed him in the civil war. Caecina and other beneficiaries of Caesar’s unusual clemency took it in a far more ambivalent way. To begin with, most of them were, like Caesar, Roman nobles. Theirs was a culture of honor and status; asking a peer for a pardon was a serious humiliation. So Caesar’s “very power of granting favors weighed heavily on free people,” as Florus, a historian and panegyrist of Rome, wrote about two centuries after the dictator’s death. One prominent noble, in fact, ostentatiously refused Caesar’s clemency. Marcius Porcius Cato, also known as Cato the Younger, was a determined opponent of populist politics and Caesar’s most bitter foe. They had clashed years earlier over Caesar’s desire to show mercy to the Catiline conspirators; Cato argued vigorously for capital punishment and convinced the Senate to execute them. Now he preferred death to Caesar’s pardon. “I am unwilling to be under obligations to the tyrant for his illegal acts,” Cato said; he told his son, "I, who have been brought up in freedom, with the right of free speech, cannot in my old age change and learn slavery instead.” He then committed suicide -- a death whose injuriousness to Caesar’s cause Caesar himself well understood. It prompted him to say, according to Plutarch, “O Cato, I begrudge you your death; for you begrudged me the sparing of your life.”

Cato’s death galvanized Caesar’s opponents, leaving them with a sense of shame at their own surrender. This was not assuaged by the methods Caesar used to deliver on his political promises. In order to reward his followers, Caesar had to confiscate some land from his enemies. He seized the properties of his defeated rival Pompey and some of Pompey’s former allies. But he needed more land and even a former neutral in the civil war, such as Titus Pomponius Atticus, the Roman banker and man of letters, saw his property as being at risk. There’s nothing like the fear of losing your possessions to overwhelm goodwill generated by a relatively progressive policy. And yes, Caesar did promote a few prominent former opponents to Rome’s top judicial office and promise them advancement to the highest office in the Roman state, the consulship. But real power had drained away from these offices. Important decisions lay increasingly in the hands of Caesar’s close confidantes and aides -- few of whom were nobles, and one or two just naturalized citizens.

We need look no further than the identities of Caesar’s assassins to see what the result of this poisonous dynamic was: two of their leaders were men pardoned by Caesar and elevated to praetorships, Marcus Brutus and Gaius Cassius. After the murder, Cicero advised Brutus not to copy Caesar’s policy of clemency. “If we want to show clemency,” he wrote, “we will never be without civil wars.” Cicero reported one of Caesar’s supporters saying that “his clemency was injurious to him, and if he hadn’t had shown it nothing bad would have happened to him.”

But that’s too simple. Clemency was not the problem; flawed and inconsistent execution was. Remember that many of the conspirators against Caesar were his friends, not his enemies. The most important was the other Brutus, Decimus Brutus, who was one of the leaders of the conspiracy along with his distant cousin Marcus Brutus and with Cassius. Decimus was one of Caesar’s best generals and close enough to the dictator to serve as a mole on behalf of the conspirators. Another of Caesar’s friends who joined the conspiracy was his longtime lieutenant Gaius Trebonius. These men came to hate Caesar for his arrogance, a quality all the clemency in the world cannot make up for, especially when the arrogance attains to such legendary heights as Caesar’s did -- even if he was careful to avoid the hated title of rex, “king.” He allowed himself to be named Dictator for Life. He snubbed the Senate and took most of the power to elect officials away from the people. He was proclaimed a god. He took a queen as his mistress, Cleopatra of Egypt, and installed her and their illegitimate son in his villa in the suburbs of Rome. He chose his grandnephew, Octavian, as his second-in-command in a grand military expedition against Rome’s greatest remaining foe, Parthia (roughly, Persia), even though Octavian was only eighteen. He left even some of his friends thinking that he would monopolize power and put an end to the republic.

Caesar chose, in other words, the path with the least benefits. He pardoned his enemies -- but only in a way that humiliated them. He gave them access to political power and spared their property, which both kept their opposition alive and alienated his allies, who wanted to see these men punished (and hoped, it seems clear, to lay hands on their confiscated property). He refused an imperial title but acted with imperial hauteur -- one perverse outgrowth of which was his dismissal of his bodyguard, a decision that made his assassins’ work even easier. The lesson being, perhaps, that there’s nothing more dangerous to power than a half-hearted humility.

Caesar’s example suggests that leaders either need to be loved or feared. While I can’t recommend that our modern politicos and CEOs expropriate and murder their opponents after acceding to power, thinking twice about extending the olive branch makes just as much sense now as it did in the last years of the Roman republic. Anyone who takes power by force has to expect to have enemies. He needs to anticipate them by rewarding his friends and affecting a modest demeanor. A certain amount of clemency makes sense, but it is no panacea -- as Caesar himself so tragically learned.

ramana
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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby ramana » 20 Oct 2015 20:21

In Indian context criminality should be punished for that is Dharma. Forgiving criminality because it was committed by political rivals is asinine.

NaMo was elected unlike Julius Caesar who seized power by military means of conquest. The people elected NaMo to restore justice.

Also Lootyens has already shown with PVNR, ABV that they will stab Caesar in the back. Lootyens has to be destroyed to paraphrase Cato the Elder.

ShauryaT
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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby ShauryaT » 21 Oct 2015 06:26

An issue with learnings from the west is the frameworks one operates under is different and hence the overall messages do not translate well. A ruler is to be judged only in context of being able to follow Raj Dharma, as codified in shastras - a lost art in our political discourse substituted by western frameworks.

Transposing to current times, the issue of efficiency and efficacy is to be added, for life long rule are not the ways of today. These are the only ways, IMO a ruler is to be judged. The issue is making these judgment calls in the "type" of democracy we follow is almost impossible. Democracy in India is yet to be Indianized in a manner that serves the Indian people. The need of the times is to invert our institutions and discard the disruptions in our frameworks caused due to external aggression to restore the civilizational continuum. I will applaud all actions of our leaders that take us towards these goals.

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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby member_29172 » 21 Oct 2015 08:03

ramana wrote:In Indian context criminality should be punished for that is Dharma. Forgiving criminality because it was committed by political rivals is asinine.

NaMo was elected unlike Julius Caesar who seized power by military means of conquest. The people elected NaMo to restore justice.

Also Lootyens has already shown with PVNR, ABV that they will stab Caesar in the back. Lootyens has to be destroyed to paraphrase Cato the Elder.


You don't have to go to caesar or some other over glorified western persona, Shivaji Maharaj, Prithviraj Chauhan, Ashok the great, Nehru (he is nowhere near the status of the other names but he still set the tone for the modern, independent India and how it'd be governed,he basically established lootneys) all let mortal enemies of India go free, convinced that they have been defeated and were now harmless. Shivaji Maharaj refused to kill women and children of muslim invaders, even muslim invaders were spared after their armies were neutrilized.

Even the pappi-jhappi with pakis, briturds, unkilstanis is an example of that. morons in this country using emotions instead of logic to make political decisions. I fear even Modi is doing the same, he needs to systematically destabilize the media's and academia's "intellectual" cabal. These howler monkeys are the loudspeakers of anti India forces that have entrenched themselves so deep in the state, they have pushed out the normal citizens out of every governmental and important national institution.

Obviously Modi's isn't a superhuman, but he has hundreds, if not thousands of people working for him. He isn't a CM anymore, he has the authority to dismantle these cabals and he should take a few days off and make a good enough plan to cut this tumor from the root of India once and for all. Also, Indians in general have been heavily emasculated, especially the men, but in general as well.That's why foreign ideas and ideals are easily accepted without question, but make Sanskrit compulsory and see these howler monkeys howl for an entire enternity. The problem with India is, the people are powerless and the morons who pretend to speak for them have their own agendas and are typically hired by outsiders, particularly islamics and westerners/EJs.

It's an entire cabal that has been kept afloat for a long long time. And it'll only happen when people start seeing what is going on in this country. We are under attack, have been for a long time. And only people like you and me can fight against these.


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