Strategic leadership for the future of India

NRao
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Re: Strategic leadership for the future of India

Postby NRao » 12 Jan 2009 04:58

Strategic leadership?

Is there a leader out there?

India cannot have strategic leadership, Indian strategy (IF there is one formulated) will stop at her borders.

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Re: Strategic leadership for the future of India

Postby brihaspati » 12 Jan 2009 23:10

NRaoji,
I understand your point. This how so far Indians have thought maybe. But there is always time to start thinking of changing our habits if necessary. By staying indoors within the boundaries of India "proper" we have not been able to safeguard ourselves. We are now having to suffer from actions of others outside our borders, so even if the current state machinery mindset has developed out of the "kupamanduk" psyche - the need for change is being felt. This current crop of strategic thinkers might be limited in their vision, but there is a supply-demand dynamic even in the field of ideology. I think, the necessities of the hour produces the demand for thinking over much wider ranges of time, place and people. And once the demand is there, it will be supplied. It is now a question of survival, however confused the idea of "what to survive" might be.

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Re: Strategic leadership for the future of India

Postby satya » 13 Jan 2009 00:24

As the trade links will develop once again with countries other than in our perimeter over coming decades , a new leadership with thinking & vision beyond our borders & frontier territories is bound to happen . It will take time not easy to erase '' live & manage within your chaddi (= underwear)''attitude that's been forced & imprinted inside every Indian from childhood but things are changing.
Another factor that may probably will act as catalyst might be when a major portion of state revenue is earned from trading overseas & other overseas activities that will surely make sure that leadership will be forced to look at those areas with special interest . Maybe i am wrong but in my limited reading of Indian history , i haven't come across any reference where substantial revenues were drawn from overseas trade & other businesses with exception perhaps of Cholas .

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Re: Strategic leadership for the future of India

Postby sureshm » 13 Jan 2009 01:17

NRao wrote:Strategic leadership?

Is there a leader out there?

India cannot have strategic leadership, Indian strategy (IF there is one formulated) will stop at her borders.


So true! Indian strategic leadership revolves around Indians 'defeating' each other within our borders, all the while playing victim (of terrorism) and moralizing on such matters. That's why I feel the idea itself is not only presumptuous, but rather premature.

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Re: Strategic leadership for the future of India

Postby brihaspati » 13 Jan 2009 04:22

Maybe i am wrong but in my limited reading of Indian history , i haven't come across any reference where substantial revenues were drawn from overseas trade & other businesses with exception perhaps of Cholas .

People have tried to estimate this from (1) Indian narrative reference (2) coin hoards (3) indirect reference from extra-Indian sources. Yes there are some estimates of the huge trade surplus extracted from outside by India, and not only by the Cholas. This is probably OT, so I will try to give the references in the "Indian interests" thread.

As you point out, the need for overseas economic relationships is an important factor to extend strategic leadership beyond Indian borders. And it is quite possible that Indian strategic thinking did develop at least partly from the extensive trade links we have indications for. Chanakya's work is better known, and I have quoted already in this threadfrom Arthasastra about possible strategic thinking by Indians beyond existing borders. Lesser known works existed/exists. But another route of strategic thinking is perhaps external attacks and invasions. If Arthasastra did coincide with Alexander's invasion (there are disputes about this) then the strategic thinking could also have developed in reaction to invasions.

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Re: Strategic leadership for the future of India

Postby NRao » 13 Jan 2009 04:35

brihaspati ji,

As an ex strategist let me tell you as a FYI only: India developed the field of "strategy" in the public arena prior to independence!!! Yes, it did. The US and the UK literally laughed at India for picking up a communist idea - which it was (the 5 year plan). Today too Indian government entities have a planning unit - IIRC one per entity (it has been some years since I followed it in India). The irony is that the West was compelled to build up strategic units - first due to WWII, then by the time 'Nam war came along they had rather good tools to build strategies on - mostly predictive modeling. They then (much after India did) went on to adopt it in the public arena.

In short India is no stranger to strategic planning. It is that Indian leaders have huge egos (all of them - business too) and the combo of excessive external flattery and the total lack of respect for internal strategic opinions that has hurt India.

The change, you talk of, is actually bad for these leaders - a change will actually mean empowering those that can actually make a difference. NO politician in India will accept that unless it is forced on them - Kargil style. And, the public - inertia, too much risk, exception: Mumbai attack (it has already cooled).

Those that actually have the motive to act are under the thumbs of these political leaders. So, no place to go.

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Re: Strategic leadership for the future of India

Postby brihaspati » 13 Jan 2009 05:18

NRaoji,
actually quite positively enthused from your comments. :) I will say why I feel positive about your comments:

(1) as you correctly point out, the staged planning idea was formulated in pre-Independent India by Indians. So Indians do have the capacity to formulate strategic leadership.
(2) current politicians fear change, as it can upset their known basis for power. But if remaining constant, creates immense problems that jeopardizes the basis of power, then either they have to change or they have to go.
(3) increasingly "outsiders" are forcing changes - the Mumbai attacks were just the latest. A significant outcome (not necessarily positive for representative democracy) of the attacks was the empathy that developed for the army and special forces from the masses. This was a pehenonmenon that took place in the absence of politicians to mediate. This may seem unimportant, but the first steps towards weakening of the legitimacy of existing mode of politics has been taken.
(4) at any given point, the voting population has an overwhelming proportion of older and therefore more likely to be more tolerant of system (people forced to/chosen to adjust and accept over time and other constraints). But the current ideological/existential crisis will affect the current younger populations. The effect will not be apparent immediately - but will become significant in a decade or two. (I am thinking of the WWII children/teenagers, or the late 40's born in India, etc.).

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Re: Strategic leadership for the future of India

Postby ramana » 13 Jan 2009 05:29

Not to mention the strategic plan to get rid of the colonials that MKG worked on in his "Hind Swaraj". its so simple that no one believed it. I read that often to get inspired by his vision and the plan. Do download the pdf and read.

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Re: Strategic leadership for the future of India

Postby samuel » 13 Jan 2009 05:34

Now I know where the rapid uh 1, uh 2, a 3, a 4 organized plans Indians are famous for reeling off in response to any objective tossed in front of them, comes from.
That 5-year plan. Oh, whatever has happened to the planning commission in this day and age.

S

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Re: Strategic leadership for the future of India

Postby brihaspati » 13 Jan 2009 05:56

Okay, Samuelji - point noted! no (1), (2),...unless it is part of an algorithm to iterate through the network! :)

On a more serious note, it is important to analyze whether MKG's strategy can be effective in the future for India. MKG's strategy literally (active civil non-cooperation) or a more abstract principle (deintegration of populations from an existing regime) feasible? Problem of focus - in the British case - there was a clear "us" and "them" - visual, clear, no need for deep thoughts, postgraduate education, - just look at the "redfaced monkeys" (a popular choice epithet then prevalent). In the current and the future - "us" and "them" will be blurred - no visual differences. How to make identities obvious?

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Re: Strategic leadership for the future of India

Postby NRao » 13 Jan 2009 06:12

MKG was all about Satya. Non-vio was a by product of that. IF Satya can be adhered to - nothing like it. There would be no D-Company or no need to approach UNSC or have either the US or Russia intervene on behalf of, etc. Satya would have wiped out TSP in 1971, without need to worry about a fleet swimming up the Bay.

brihaspatiji,

Overcoming inertia will be very difficult. There are other thorns that western cultures toss at you - which are not well understood in India and therefore misapplied. Including my fav: Democracy.

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Re: Strategic leadership for the future of India

Postby brihaspati » 13 Jan 2009 06:22

NRaoji,
will need some time to gather enough courage to discuss "democracy" :) Even mentioning other "forms" that overlay/displace/grow out of and is in turn replaced again by "democracy", brought up quite a bit of heat! There are so many misconceptions about democracy, and the apparent idolization of its external form, that we do not often realize that a democratic form could be more distant from popular will than a more apparently authroitarian/non-representative form.

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Re: Strategic leadership for the future of India

Postby NRao » 13 Jan 2009 06:24

Understand. I seem to have 30 more posts to go. :)

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Re: Strategic leadership for the future of India

Postby Rahul M » 13 Jan 2009 06:37

Maybe i am wrong but in my limited reading of Indian history , i haven't come across any reference where substantial revenues were drawn from overseas trade & other businesses with exception perhaps of Cholas .

satya, for you.

viewtopic.php?f=1&p=600359#p600359

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Re: Strategic leadership for the future of India

Postby samuel » 13 Jan 2009 06:45

Satyam, Shivam, Sundaram.

One of the things that one gets from India is satya. Even if you are a thief, it is your dharma to pursue satya and get to the bottom of things. It is a great strength that always comes out ahead given enough time.

The problem is given enough time realities change, too. So the other alternative is to "keep up an image" and create whatever realities need to be created to make and sustain the image.

Is there something fundamentally flawed about this satya business that will prevent India from rising to its "true potential"? Which would your leader rather stick to, what would you appreciate more?
S

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Re: Strategic leadership for the future of India

Postby shiv » 13 Jan 2009 07:08

samuel wrote:S

Is there something fundamentally flawed about this satya business that will prevent India from rising to its "true potential"? Which would your leader rather stick to, what would you appreciate more?
S



Samuel you have hit the nail on the head.I have puzzled over this. The "Indic" view of satya is completely different from the way satya is used in the world.

I do not want to digress but it is my opinion that there is nothing wrong with the Indian view - but world history is loaded against it. If you must go down to basics - some of the fundamental tenets of two major religions qualify as extreme - a-satya. The world is now built up on foundations that derive from those fundamental a-satyas from two major religions.

No more about this from me on this thread.

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Re: Strategic leadership for the future of India

Postby samuel » 13 Jan 2009 07:34

At the most fundamental level it is this difference between "satya" and "image" that has been a perplexing thorn in the rest of the world's backside that they must "conquer." As long as there exist satyites over imagites, the latter can never win in the long run.

I will plead with every Indian, whether you are into fashion or not, to not lose your cultural, by now genetic, instinct for "cutting out the bull" and getting down to the truth, and cherishing that more than keeping an image up. As long as we do that, we maintain our distinct Identity.

You will find conflicts when the roads are sh*tty and there's cow dung on the cement path and so on, and worry about this that and the other. Do that, please, but don't give up the love for "satya."

What I find some comfort in (though not much), is that it isthis adherence to "satya" (and you will have to just feel that as an Indian here, no other explanation will be forthcoming) that is the quintessential attribute of an Indic leader.

That is what I'd like to see more.

S

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Re: Strategic leadership for the future of India

Postby sureshm » 13 Jan 2009 12:20

India can achieve a lot more as a leader of Islamic nations :eek: , since it already has the second largest population. This will force nations like Pakistan and Bangladesh to join the Indian Federation, because India will be viewed (by the Islamic world) as an economically and militarily powerful Islamic Empire. :D This, in turn, will not only solve pakistani problem, but will frighten US, China, and other imperialist nations. Otherwise, India being a lone wolf can never amount to anything.

It has to take sides, either the west, or Islam or communism. The latter is too weak, while India will never be considered a 'western' nation. EVER. The only option left is to declare itself as a leader of the Islamic world. :rotfl:

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Re: Strategic leadership for the future of India

Postby Rudradev » 13 Jan 2009 12:25

NRao wrote:Strategic leadership?

Is there a leader out there?



I think there are many in here. In BRF, I mean, who would do a better job of leadership than the options we are likely to be able to vote for in this year's election. Certainly we spend enough time educating ourselves and formulating opinions about the country and its future, to qualify as a part-time job for many of us!

However, let me ask you NRao sahab... if you had declared as a young man of 21 that you wanted to go into Politics, what would your parents have said to that?

What would the parents of all the Medical/Engineering/Comp-Sci/MBA/pure-science grads here have said.... including my own... if we, their beloved offspring, had expressed an interest in going in for something as deplorably tamasic as politics became in the post-Lal Bahadur Shastri era?

I can only speak for my own parents, of course... and even that is hardly necessary. Needless to say, I didn't go in for a career in politics :mrgreen:

The fact is, in pursuit of the more "high-minded" and "respectable" careers, many of the first two generations of independent Indian citizens who could have been talented (if not visionary) statesmen or formulators of policy chose not to go down that path. Why politics... even the IAS is looked at askance these days, as a career of obsequious servitude to the criminal scum who constitute our political class. For that matter, even going in for the humanities has become something to be scorned... and so we end up with Thaparite cretins like Akhila Raman and Ramachandra Guha teaching our history to our children.

When the flight of the best and brightest creates a vacuum, the buzzards will fill it.

Brihaspatiji has remarked on EMS' opinion of Gandhiji; of how Gandhiji had the common touch but was also acceptable to the bourgeoise because he ensured that they never had to touch the commons with their own hands :) Even M.K. Gandhi, that great unifying soul, was ultimately seen by the elite as a buffer between themselves and the masses, a horse-whispering harnesser of the polity's muscle in their own interest.

What hope do lesser souls than Gandhi or Nehru have of commanding our respect? And having received our contempt instead, what incentive do they have to do anything but continue earning it?

If it is so ingrained in the nature of our elite to distance themselves from the billion sweaty backs bearing their palanquins even while they dream the grandest of dreams on our nation's behalf... why then surely we'll get the strategic leadership we deserve.

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Re: Strategic leadership for the future of India

Postby brihaspati » 13 Jan 2009 17:22

I will plead with every Indian, whether you are into fashion or not, to not lose your cultural, by now genetic, instinct for "cutting out the bull" and getting down to the truth, and cherishing that more than keeping an image up. As long as we do that, we maintain our distinct Identity.

"Satya" can be "transformed" into "image" and "image" can be transformed into "satya" in the Indian context. The point where they converge is the importance of symbols for people to focus and rally on. Since we are discussing MKG, just a small comparison. When I was a teenager, I began to wear "khaddar/khadi" - for very practical reasons, good for the extremes of heat, cold and humidity. All around me however there was a combination of "socialist values" that translated into deriding of "khaddar" as primitive, Kangrezi, reminder of sleek oily opportunist and corrupt faces, and not forward looking. "oh come on, arent't we looking forward - even our own millwallahs are producing good western cloth". I was always stubborn, so persisted. I was so much better off - comfortwise! My ancestors had been jailed for participating in the first "foreign-cloth-rejection/burning" "dramas", but many of their descendants joined in ridiculing me. I began to read up on this, and found, that when MKG first started the move - for many who had once ridiculed him, some of his later most staunch followers realized the importance of the "symbol" and took pride in sporting "khadi" even though previously they had been pucca "sahibs". Well the degree of "satya" in them probably varied widely - Sardar had his made from him own weave, here in India, and there have been rumours that JKN had his "khadi cap" turned out at his family tailors in UK. For millions of Indians, khadi however became a true symbol of national pride and "satya".

When my parents went off in one of their socialist "political sojourns", I was left behind with an ex-right wing stalwart, who woke me up early in the morning and have typical granddad chat (he was not my granddad). Every morning, an old gentleman used to come, the principal of a local college - he would take out a charkha from under the bed, and spin for half an hour - rain or shine. He would still make his own cloth. I remember his comment, when I was in the thick of "left student" politics - "it is most natural, at 16 I too thought Gandhiji's way was a fools way, wait until you are 30". I am still not convinced entirely of his arguments, but even in the midst of "bourgeois bashing" I silently observed 2nd of October as a vegetarian day, and my family long puzzled over this. Satya probably starts with recognizing and giving respect where it is due - be it ideals, people, values, images even when we personally diasgree or differ from them.

A complex question, that of "satya" and "image" :)

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Re: Strategic leadership for the future of India

Postby Yusuf » 14 Jan 2009 10:56

archan wrote:Yusuf, welcome to BRF. :)


Thanks a lot mate.

archan wrote:Just to add to your points:
We require leadership that understands the aspirations of the country and where it wants to head.

However, we also require the common folk to understand somewhat the international dynamics, and national interests and make the right noises to the so called leaders. When it comes to kursi, our leaders can really work overtime!


Educated polity is the answer. We cannot with all due respects have cattle grazers deciding on foreign policy initiatives. Most of our law makers are criminals or with criminal background. They are uneducated. The only thing they know is how to use their muscle to get to the "kursi".

archan wrote:
Shortsightedness is a major bane of our leadership.

Unfortunately the same is true for a good majority of the populace. In the 21st century, people are voting based on caste, religion, regional biases (e.g. Marathi manus crap). Until the common Indian realizes what his/her place in the nation is and has a clearer vision for their own future as Bhartiyas, this democracy will be deeply flawed. I have come to think that the best way to to serve the nation is this. A group of nationalistic people have to fervently run "wake up" campaigns tirelessly for many years. However changing the old setup is dangerous and the old establishment will fight back, and some honest workers might have to sacrifice it all for the purpose.


I think in that respect the 26/11 attacks have waken up the educated voters as the results of the assembly elections show. You cannot use divisive methods to get votes. Im sure in the years to come more and more people will realize that the only thing that matters is development in a secure environment. Building temples/masjids, statues of whoever etc are not going to feed their families. Religion/caste issues are not going to provide amenities to their families and give them a better life.

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Re: Strategic leadership for the future of India

Postby brihaspati » 14 Jan 2009 21:24

Educated polity is the answer. We cannot with all due respects have cattle grazers deciding on foreign policy initiatives. Most of our law makers are criminals or with criminal background. They are uneducated. The only thing they know is how to use their muscle to get to the "kursi".


Yusufji, welcome!

On the one hand it is the cattle grazers and the "muscles" who may well decide, who comes to power. So it is probably better to give them more respect that is due. :) The Islamic hordes which came and built Islamic states in the northern plains were mostly uneducated, muscle, and according to some of the Thaparite school, were also cattle grazers (the technical term is "pastoral"). Akbar "the great" was supposed to be illiterate, and conventionally uneducated. All one's education will come to nothing if that person fails to talk the language of the cattle-grazers and mobilize sufficient numbers for change. My experience has been that the common people are quite intelligent, but they hide behind a facade of stupidity. If you can really draw them out, you can see profound understanding. Two factors, an innate honesty and a distrust of clever/city/rich/elite folk. They are sufficiently bold now to decide what does not directly benefit them, and therefore not worth supporting electorally over something more directly benefial. So it will be very important to make them understand why a certain apparently unrelated international decision has a direct bearing on their well-being.

It is the elite which has to break down this barrier, otherwise ideologies like Islam or communism which cleverly manipulates this distrust can ultimately bring destruction to all (no objection to these two if they had not shown repeatedly, that ultimately what they aim for is murderous, sadistic enjoyment of power - and at the beginning they skilfully hide this dark biological greed behind a facade of socio-economic justice).

The task of strategic leadership will have to consider this important factor of integrating across social divides and preconceptions of inferiority/superiority.

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Re: Strategic leadership for the future of India

Postby NRao » 14 Jan 2009 22:08

However, let me ask you NRao sahab... if you had declared as a young man of 21 that you wanted to go into Politics, what would your parents have said to that?


Most politicians are people who have failed in their professions, IMHO, and enter politics.

However, let me state this: "leader", "politician", "strategist", visionary" can be independent roles. It is important that they all come together - either in a single individual or in a group of people. And, it takes a while to develop these traits and then more time to "operationalize" them.

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Re: Strategic leadership for the future of India

Postby NRao » 14 Jan 2009 23:25

Just found this very interesting stuff from: http://www.jfcom.mil/newslink/storyarch ... OE2008.pdf

At times I think that strategy is not meant for India(ns?). India will have to pack up her chai biscut that she is so fond of.

Strategic Estimates in the Twentieth Century
1900 If you had been a strategic analyst for the world’s leading power, you would have
been British, looking warily at Britain’s age old enemy: France.
1910 You would now be allied with France, and the enemy would now be Germany
1920 Britain and its allies had won World War I, but now the British found themselves
engaged in a naval race with its former allies the United States and Japan.
1930 For the British, naval limitation treaties were in place, the Great Depression had
started and defense planning for the next five years assumed a “ten year” rule -- no
war in ten years. British planners posited the main threats to the Empire as the
Soviet Union and Japan, while Germany and Italy were either friendly or no threat.
1936 A British planner would now posit three great threats: Italy, Japan, and the worst, a
resurgent Germany, while little help could be expected from the United States.
1940 The collapse of France in June left Britain alone in a seemingly hopeless war with
Germany and Italy with a Japanese threat looming in the Pacific. America had
only recently begun to scramble to rearm its military forces.
1950 The United States was now the world’s greatest power, the atomic age had
dawned, and a “police action” began in June in Korea that was to kill over 36,500
Americans, 58,000 South Koreans, nearly 3,000 Allied soldiers, 215,000 North
Koreans, 400,000 Chinese, and 2,000,000 Korean civilians before a cease-fire
brought an end to the fighting in 1953. The main opponent in the conflict would be
China, America’s ally in the war against Japan.
1960 Politicians in the United States were focusing on a missile gap that did not exist;
massive retaliation would soon give way to flexible response, while a small
insurgency in South Vietnam hardly drew American attention.
1970 The United States was beginning to withdraw from Vietnam, its military forces in
shambles. The Soviet Union had just crushed incipient rebellion in the Warsaw
Pact. Détente between the Soviets and Americans had begun, while the Chinese
were waiting in the wing to create an informal alliance with the United States.
1980 The Soviets had just invaded Afghanistan, while a theocratic revolution in Iran
had overthrown the Shah’s regime. “Desert One” -- an attempt to free American
hostages in Iran -- ended in a humiliating failure, another indication of what
pundits were calling “the hollow force.” America was the greatest creditor nation
the world had ever seen.
1990 The Soviet Union collapses. The supposedly hollow force shreds the vaunted Iraqi
Army in less than 100 hours. The United States had become the world’s greatest
debtor nation. No one outside of the Department of Defense has heard of the
internet.
2000 Warsaw is the capital of a North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) nation.
Terrorism is emerging as America’s greatest threat. Biotechnology, robotics,
nanotechnology, HD energy, etc. are advancing so fast they are beyond forecasting
2010 Take the above and plan accordingly! What will be the disruptions of the next 25
years?

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Re: Strategic leadership for the future of India

Postby svinayak » 14 Jan 2009 23:39

http://www.freepressjournal.in/FPJ/FPJ/ ... tml?Mode=0


India’s future will depend on its response to terror

BY SWAPAN DASGUPTA
India is in the frontline of a war that has devoured its neighbourhood. It is inevitable that the conflict has spilled over from Pakistan, the new epicentre of a global jihad, and Bangladesh. Exceptional circumstances demand exceptional responses. How India responds to the menacing challenge will determine whether or not it will remain an indolent giant or become a great power.
O n December 27, the day before the votes for the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly were counted, some senior politicians received a call from an editor of a TV channel asking their views of a poll forecast by the Intelligence Bureau. Whether the prognosis emanated from the desk of a part-time pollster who doubled up as a spook or was part of the IB’s official input to the Centre is a matter of conjecture. What is relevant is that just after a month following the horrific 26/11 terrorist attack on Mumbai, India’s premier intelligence agency was back to doing what it loves best: disseminating useless political intelligence.

The IB forecast of the Jammu and Kashmir election was, as it turned out, one of its better pieces of deduction. Yet, the mere fact that senior officers of an agency that had only recently been lambasted for dereliction of duty were back to undertaking jobs that are quite outside its brief is revealing. Apart from anything else it suggests that Home Minister P. Chidambaram will have quite a task trying to get the intelligence agencies to single-mindedly focus on the grim security challenges before the country.

It is an open secret that since the UPA Government assumed office, Central bodies such as the IB had been nudged into assuming that providing political tittle-tattle was as important as ensuring the country is better protected against the real enemy. Indian intelligence agencies failed to anticipate most of the bomb blasts that devastated Indian cities for the past four years. Yet, they demonstrated their professional prowess by undertaking a very successful profiling operation of MPs in the run-up to the Trust Vote in the Lok Sabha on July 22 last year. The task of identifying potential defectors was carried out with professional precision.

John Le Carre, the last word in spook culture, once suggested that the secret services offered a window into the character of the society they sought to protect. By this logic, the view of India is dismal. Yet, to suggest that India is lacking in a robust intelligence culture is historically untenable.

India inherited from the British an internal security apparatus that was devastatingly effective, without at the same time being obviously intrusive. In the final 50 years of its rule, the British were threatened with umpteen political conspiracies, some potentially dangerous and others amateurish. It is a commentary on the efficiency of the pre-Independence Indian Police that hardly any of the “revolutionary” groups ever managed to conduct more than one operation. In fact, so elaborate was the network of spies and informers that most of the planned assassinations and bombings were thwarted at the planning stage. India, wrote Sir Percival Griffiths in To Guard My People, a history of the police in colonial times, “can fairly claim to have been ahead of Britain in realising the need for specialist organisations for the investigation of certain forms of crime.” In his seminal work Empire and Information, historian Chris Bayly has also shown that colonial administrators built an elaborate espionage network on the foundations of a pre-existing tradition of information gathering: “By controlling newswriters, corralling groups of spies and runners, and placing agents at religious centres, in bazaars and among bands of military men and wanderers, they had been able to anticipate the coalitions of the Indian powers and to plot their enemies’ movements and alliances. It was for this reason, rather than because of any deficiency of patriotism or absence of resistance, that there failed to materialise a general alliance...of all Pucker y wallahs or turban wearers against all Topy wallahs, or hat wearers...” In his address to the conference of Chief Ministers on January 6, the Home Minister stressed the need to return to the basics by bolstering Human Intelligence (HUMINT), particularly at the thana level. By implication he conceded that the main pillar on which intelligence gathering restsan elaborate network of spies and informers-had been eroded and replaced by an over-dependence on electronic surveillance and intercepts. He also tacitly conceded the imperfect coordination and information-sharing between the states and the different agencies. In effect, Chidambaram admitted that India lacked the “pro-active” wherewithal to counter the numerous terrorist modules and sleeper cells in the country, either at the behest of Pakistan or nonstate players. It is a commentary on India’s intelligence establishment that the Government had to outsource the work on the dossier on the Mumbai attack to the US Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The misplaced political and diplomatic priorities of the UPA Government have contributed immeasurably to this dismal state of affairs. The repeal of the draconian Prevention of Terrorism Act in 2004 wasn’t brought about by an outpouring of concern for human rights and civil liberties. POTA was scrapped because large numbers of Muslim organisations chose to live in denial of Islamist terrorism. The UPA was too committed to electoral expediency to resist sectarian pressure and ended up opening a window of opportunity to terrorist groups. Likewise, muddle-headed formulations that terrorism wouldn’t be allowed to derail the peace process and that Pakistan is a co-victim of terrorism led to an all-round lowering of guard against threats from across the border.

The sheer imperatives of political survival, particularly the threat of a backlash in Middle India, may force the Government to be little more purposeful in maintaining internal security. Yet, the improvements will be cosmetic unless there is fundamental shift in the way the political class broaches intelligence and security. The first step is to statutorily disengage bodies such as IB from humdrum political intelligence, including poll forecasting and monitoring the activities of rivals and adversaries. Their sole brief must be to uphold national security.

Secondly, confronting terrorism and other threats to India necessitates a profound institutionalised knowledge of the terrorist environment. This includes creating and nurturing channels of credible information in neigh bouring countries. Ideally this work should have been undertaken by the Research and Analysis Wing. However, given the ineptitude and murkiness that have marred its operations there is a compelling case for R&AW’s absorption into either the IB or incorporation into a new body that can be entrusted with national security in its totality.

Finally, as the threat to India mounts there is a growing recognition that bodies wedded to a shambolic and often corrupt bureaucratic culture may not be in a position to safeguard the national interest. Intelligence gathering now involves both technical and other expertise that is simply not available within the government. Required, for example, are people with a deep understanding of banking and the financial markets, not to speak of language skills and even familiarity with the byways of theology. Like in the economic ministries, there is a need to facilitate the lateral entry of specialists. Institutions entrusted with national security have to be given complete functional autonomy from the rules governing the rest of the bureaucracy.

Britain is an example of a country that has adapted its intelligence bodies to confront new threats. In a rare interview earlier this week, the head of Britain’s MI5 revealed that the average age of the organisation’s 3,000-strong staff is below 40, with 47 per cent being women.

India is in the frontline of a war that has devoured its neighbourhood. It is inevitable that the conflict has spilt over from Pakistan, the new epicentre of a global jihad, and Bangladesh. Exceptional circumstances demand exceptional responses. How India responds to the menacing challenge will determine whether or not it will remain an indolent giant or become a great power.



Raju

Re: Strategic leadership for the future of India

Postby Raju » 14 Jan 2009 23:47

India is destined to be a great power.

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Re: Strategic leadership for the future of India

Postby brihaspati » 15 Jan 2009 02:19

Most politicians are people who have failed in their professions, IMHO, and enter politics.
NRaoji, do you mean modern/post Independence politicians? I am thinking of all the successful barristers, and some doctors, some civil administrators, educationists, a few businessmen almost half-politicians - who basically formed the money-bone and infrastructural facilitators as well as leaders of the "open"-stage of the anti-British political movements. Almost all proven earners of their own keep by their non-political professional skills. :)

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Re: Strategic leadership for the future of India

Postby NRao » 15 Jan 2009 03:08

As an example.

Gandhi heir to harness people power

Gandhi prepares for big role in polls

BTW, I did not know he was Harvard educated!!!

London School of Eco and now Harvard. Wow. Obama is from Harvard too. What a club.

Snooping on wiki:

Rahul Gandhi's legal affairs team has taken a number of legal measures to prevent damage to his image. For example, when Newsweek alleged in late 2006 that he had not completed his degrees at Harvard and Cambridge or kept his job at the Monitor Group, they were slapped with a legal notice, following which they hastily retracted or qualified their earlier statements.


Proving our theory.

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Re: Strategic leadership for the future of India

Postby JwalaMukhi » 15 Jan 2009 03:37

NRao wrote:As an example.

Gandhi heir to harness people power

Gandhi prepares for big role in polls

BTW, I did not know he was Harvard educated!!!

London School of Eco and now Harvard. Wow. Obama is from Harvard too. What a club.

Snooping on wiki:

Rahul Gandhi's legal affairs team has taken a number of legal measures to prevent damage to his image. For example, when Newsweek alleged in late 2006 that he had not completed his degrees at Harvard and Cambridge or kept his job at the Monitor Group, they were slapped with a legal notice, following which they hastily retracted or qualified their earlier statements.


Proving our theory.

Subramanya swamy is also from Harvard.
http://in.youtube.com/watch?v=z5As3uAc0vU

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Re: Strategic leadership for the future of India

Postby brihaspati » 15 Jan 2009 03:37

India’s future will depend on its response to terror
BY SWAPAN DASGUPTA


Swapan DasGupta's article is important in bringing up an important angle, but some of the issues are more complicated than he represents them as. What DasGupta sees actually is explained by the very hostorical factors he mentions and will continue to affect the future.

Keeping a tab on the politicians is not such a difficult task, mainly because of the peculiar way modern Indian politics has developed. A substantial part was probably played by the very British model of espionage and their intervention/patronage of political expression. What DasGupta notes, the "devastating effectiveness" came out of a basic opportunism among the elite in India, which had survived the Islamic onslaught at least partly by collaborating against their own countrymen. Ironically, it was the very growth of communications, media and new means or mass dissemination of expression that changed the whole dynamic of esteem in society. So what previously was "natural behaviour" became "abominable and denigrating". Any act of "deviation" by an elite member could be widely disseminated, and cause a loss in "societal esteem". This then became the means of possibly prerssurizing or blackmailing members of elite social networks. As a strategy it would be worthwhile for the British to create conditions for Indian elite to do "unmentionable" things, and use these settings to ensure compliance. This is the reason, most of the early revoluitionary attempts, which were dominated by the elite youth, were easily penetrated.

What DasGupta does not mention is that there were significant failures too : the British managed to nab the chief of the Dhaka Anushilan Samiti, but they hardly ever really managed to crack the organization, they failed to prevent the Chittagong armoury raid and the Jalalabad hill encounter, they failed to prevent the significant escapes of Rasbehari Bose (the nucleus of the INA in southeast Asia), M.N.Roy (USSR's entry into Indian politics), Subhas Bose's escape, outbreaks of violence and parallel government in several places during the 42 Quit India movement, and then the broader issues of failure of intelligence in Afghanistan, etc. Thus we can see, that the British failed against lower rungs of broad based mass movements, or organization with a tight ideological/social commitment. It best succeeded in penetrating the opportunist elite. MKG's realization perhaps of this dynamic that led to a decentralization of activism, so that penetration of elite upper echelons of the Congress was no longer sufficient - and the British began to fail. Those interested can try and look for the White Paper on the 1942 movement published by the then GOI in 1943. There are extensive quotes from the inner meetings of the CWC, and meetings which MKG attended, to show that some among the Kangrezis's in the close inner circle around MKG were definitely in British pockets - :mrgreen: (It could also be interesting to see a side of MKG usually kept away from discourse now - his perhaps increasing frustration with "peaceful nonviolence"). But significantly even though the British promptly swept down immediately after the meeting where "action" was discussed (showing how panicked some Kangrezi's must have become - "oh no not again, the old man has done it again, oh another round of lathis, and what not... :(( ), and most of the "elite" were safe behind bars, all British intelligence came to no avail when decentralized leadership too action.

The political class that the British left, was therefore used to this mutual surveillance in connivance with the state. This extended to all movements that developed, including the offshoots of the Congress, and the various flavours of the Left (whose communist portion suddenly changed mind over '42 movement in the jail and took the side of "fight against Fascism" as more important than "antiimperialist fight" strangely in coincidence with USSR policy news which reached the jail faster than communists outside who continued to participate for some time in the Quit-India movement. Siimilar pro-British switches or softening of attitudes in jail appear in two prominent "nationalists" of India. I think they are easily identifiable :) ) I have narratives from close relatives which indicate how they realized exactly who in their "committee" had given the information about where they were instructed to go to "abscond" and were promptly arrested on arrival :mrgreen: )

It is this same machinery that keeps a tab on political activity - but the very reasons that British surveillance ultimately failed, leads to the system failing even now. When faced with decentralized action potentials sourced from commitment to an ideological framework, this approach fails.

It is of utmost importance to understand the theological/ideological side of the problem, where it has to be countered in the theological networks as well as in public discourse. Otherwise one of the main driving factors of decentralized radicalism cannot be targeted. Unless the ideology itself is exposed to be hollow, sadistic, and rejectable or incompatible with a modern ethos - mere IB will be ineffective.

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Re: Strategic leadership for the future of India

Postby brihaspati » 15 Jan 2009 03:46

As an example.

Gandhi heir to harness people power

Gandhi prepares for big role in polls

NRaoji,
yes understood - but he fails the criteria to earn his own keep! RG will not be any part of our strategic future. The clear ideological commitments required are not being seen, and cannot see how future strategic demands are going to be met in this "institution". :mrgreen:

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Re: Strategic leadership for the future of India

Postby NRao » 15 Jan 2009 04:05

RG will not be any part of our strategic future.


It will scare me enough if he is just part of the future.

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Re: Strategic leadership for the future of India

Postby Yusuf » 15 Jan 2009 14:33

brihaspati wrote:
Educated polity is the answer. We cannot with all due respects have cattle grazers deciding on foreign policy initiatives. Most of our law makers are criminals or with criminal background. They are uneducated. The only thing they know is how to use their muscle to get to the "kursi".


Yusufji, welcome!

On the one hand it is the cattle grazers and the "muscles" who may well decide, who comes to power. So it is probably better to give them more respect that is due. :) The Islamic hordes which came and built Islamic states in the northern plains were mostly uneducated, muscle, and according to some of the Thaparite school, were also cattle grazers (the technical term is "pastoral"). Akbar "the great" was supposed to be illiterate, and conventionally uneducated. All one's education will come to nothing if that person fails to talk the language of the cattle-grazers and mobilize sufficient numbers for change. My experience has been that the common people are quite intelligent, but they hide behind a facade of stupidity. If you can really draw them out, you can see profound understanding. Two factors, an innate honesty and a distrust of clever/city/rich/elite folk. They are sufficiently bold now to decide what does not directly benefit them, and therefore not worth supporting electorally over something more directly benefial. So it will be very important to make them understand why a certain apparently unrelated international decision has a direct bearing on their well-being.

It is the elite which has to break down this barrier, otherwise ideologies like Islam or communism which cleverly manipulates this distrust can ultimately bring destruction to all (no objection to these two if they had not shown repeatedly, that ultimately what they aim for is murderous, sadistic enjoyment of power - and at the beginning they skilfully hide this dark biological greed behind a facade of socio-economic justice).

The task of strategic leadership will have to consider this important factor of integrating across social divides and preconceptions of inferiority/superiority.



Let me give you a good example of the kinds i have hinted to. Our former PM HD Deve Gowda who calls himself a humble farmer is probably one the richest politicians around. The amount of money and muscle he uses to get things done is tremendous. His record at the center and state is nothing worth writing about. He calls himself "king maker" and does utmost to safe guard his personal interest.
Another example is Mayawati who too has no good track record. She is completely self centered. She uses a 30 car convoy to travel as security. People in her path are told to stand looking the other way when she passes. People have to shut their windows in the building in her route. She has amassed crores including in ways that resulted in the murder of the engineer.

When i mean cattle grazers i dont mean the farmers and the likes, but the ones like Deve Gowda, Mayawati, who call themselves downtrodden, use caste, money to win elections and have no idea what international politics is all about. Mayawati has already expressed her desire to be PM. Wonder what will happen to India if that actually happens. Her statement after the UPA won the vote of confidence was, the BJP and the Congress connived to keep a Dalit from becoming the PM. God, when on earth was she in the scheme of things that too with just 17 MPs?

Im not too disheartened though as a new bunch of politicians are coming up. It will take a little more time, but I think the polity of this country will change. The recent assemble elections have shown that. Development is the key. People like Modi, Jaitley, Arun Shourie, Rahul Gandhi, Deora, Pilot and the likes who have the fire to take this country forward. Will require some time, but will get there for sure.

And I dont see your raising the question of Islam in this whole thing.
Commies, the lesser the said about them the better it is. They base their policy at the behest of China. These are the guys who have created the Bangladeshi problem for India through manipulation of the electoral records, giving them ration cards and all the rights of being an Indian so that they vote for them for the rest of their lives. Now these people roam all over India freely.

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Re: Strategic leadership for the future of India

Postby Dilbu » 15 Jan 2009 18:08

I hope this is the proper thread to post this.
Rahul shows Miliband the 'real India'
"This is the real India," Congress leader Rahul Gandhi told British Foreign Secretary David Miliband as they visited Semra, a nondescript Dalit village, expressing his regret that foreign dignitaries often avoid travelling to such places.

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Re: Strategic leadership for the future of India

Postby Yusuf » 15 Jan 2009 18:19

Mayawati has asked the people to commemorate Sonia Gandhis Birthday as Gulami divas and that of Mulayam Singhs as Dalal Divas. This is the kind of politicians we have who focus their energy on name calling and degrading others. Its really shameful that all this happens. Whats more she wants to be PM.

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Re: Strategic leadership for the future of India

Postby Dilbu » 15 Jan 2009 18:54

We, The Nation(s) Of India
India breathes through her multiplicity, not her fragmenting voices

RAJIV MALHOTRA

THERE IS a buzz about India becoming a superpower. But, are superpowers confused about national identity or inviting others to solve their civilisation’s “backwardness”? Does a superpower allow foreign nexuses to co-opt its citizens as agents? India graciously hosts foreign nexuses that treat it as a collection of disparate parts. Is super - powerdom delusionary?

The Mumbai massacre painfully exposes flaws in our national character, the central one being the absence of a definitive, purpose-filled identity. Who is that “we” whose interests are represented, internally and internationally? How should Indianness be defined? Where is the Indianness that transcends narrow identities and vested interests, one that is worth sacrificing for? Is it in the popular culture of Bollywood and cricket? Or is it deeper? The national identity project is at once urgent and compelling.

The need for national identity
In their pursuit of personal goals, Indians are intensely competitive. But we lack consensus on a shared national essence and hence there is no deep psychological bond between citizen and nation. National identity is to a nation’s well-being what the immune system is to the body’s health. The over-stressed body succumbs to external and internal threats, and eventually death, as its immunity weakens. Similarly, a nation stressed by a vacuum of identity, or multiple conflicting identities, or outright confusion, can break up. Just as the body’s immune system needs constant rejuvenation, so too a nation needs a positive collective psyche for its political cohesion.

Major nations deliberately pursue nation building through such devices as shared myths, history, heroes, religion, ideology, language and symbolism. Despite internal dissent, Americans have deep pride of heritage, and have constructed awe-inspiring monuments to their founding fathers and heroic wars. Where are Delhi’s monuments honouring the wars of 1857 or 1971, Shivaji, the Vijayanagar Empire, Ashoka, or the peaceful spread of Indian civilisation across Asia for a millennium? Where are the museums that showcase India’s special place in the world?
Forces that fragment
Voices of fragmentation drive India’s internal politics — from Raj Thackeray to M Karunanidhi to Mamata Banerjee to the Quota Raj to the agents of foreign proselytising.

While social injustice, in India and elsewhere, demands effective cures, proper treatments do not follow faulty diagnoses. Since colonial times, influential scholars have propagated that there is no such thing as Indian civilisation. India was “civilised” by successive waves of invaders. The quest for Indianness is futile since India was never a nation. The noted historian Romila Thapar concludes that India’s pluralism has no essence. Like a doughnut, the center is void; only the peripheries have identity.

Such thinking infects Indian elite. Supreme Court Justice Markandey Katju, citing western historians, asserts that the Munda tribes are the only true natives and that 95 percent of Indians are immigrants; that all so-called Aryan and Dravidian classical languages are foreign, ruling out anything as pan-Indian in our antiquity; and that worthwhile Indian civilisation begins with Akbar, “the greatest ruler the world has ever seen.”

This accelerating crescendo, portraying India as an inherently artificial, oppressive nation, is directed by western academics advocating western intervention to bring human rights. It is supported by private foundations, churches and the US government and promotes fragmentation by bolstering regional identities, “backward” castes, and religious minorities. Sadly, our own people, such as many activists and the westernised upper class, have internalised India's “oppression of minorities.” The human catastrophe that would envelope diverse groups — especially the weakest — in the aftermath of India’s break up is blithely ignored.

Beyond tolerance and assimilation
Critics worry that national identity promotes fascism. But while many civilisations have used identity for conquest, my vision of Indianness is driven by mutual respect. We respect the other who is different provided the other reciprocates with respect towards us, in rhetoric and in action. The religious “tolerance” of Judaism, Islam and Christianity is a patronising accommodation; it puts up with others’ differences without respecting their right to be different. In contradistinction, Indian civilisation embraces differences reciprocally.

Movements that eradicate differences span the ideological spectrum. Some religions claim mandates from God to convert the religiously different. Although the European Enlightenment project dispensed with God, it enabled erasing ethnic diversity through genocide of Native Americans and slavery of African-Americans. Asians were luckier, because they could become “less different” via colonisation.

Today, many Indians erase their distinctiveness by glamorising white identity as the gold standard. Skin lighteners are literal whiteners. Media and pop culture incorporate white aesthetics, body language and attire for social status, careers and marriage. The venerable “namaste” is becoming a marker of the older generations and the servants. Pop Hindu gurus peddle the “everything is the same” mumbojumbo, ignoring even the distinctions between the dharmic and the un-dharmic. Intellectuals adopt white categories of discourse as “universal”.

Difference eradicating ideologies are hegemonic. Either you (i) assimilate, (ii) oppose and suffer, or (iii) get contained and marginalised.

But Indian philosophy is built on celebrating diversity — in trees, flowers, matter, human bodies, minds, languages and cultures, spiritualities and traditions — and does not see it as a problem to be dealt with.


All social groups manifest an affinity for in-group relations but in the ideal Indian ethos, in-group affinity is without external aggression. Before colonial social engineering, traditional Indian castes were fluid, informal containers of identities, interwoven with one another, and not frozen hierarchically. This applied to Muslims, Christians and Hindus. Each caste had its distinct norms and was respected by others. My India is a web of thousands of castes encapsulating diverse genes and memes. This ideal is the exact opposite of fascist ethnocentrism.

Diversity yes, fragmentation no
The socially mobile castes that had preserved India's diversity were frozen into castes to serve the British divide-andrule. Independent India adopted caste identities to allocate quotas instead of safeguarding individual rights. When the Congress party failed to integrate a vast mishmash of subidentities, regional vote-banking entrepreneurs captured India’s political fragments. Now, national interests are casually disregarded for fear of offending these fragments.

Globalisation has opened the floodgates for minority leaders to tie-up with western churches and NGOs, Saudis, Chinese and just about anyone wanting to carve out a slice of the Indian elephant. Such minorities include the Nagas, now serving as a foreign subsidiary of the Texas Southern Baptist Church; Tamils who first got Dravidianised and are now being Christianised through identity engineering; Maoists in over 30 percent of India's districts; and Saudifunded Pan-Islamists expanding across India. These fragmented identities weaken Indianness due to their loyalty to foreign alliances. The leaders depend on foreign headquarters for ideological and financial support.

Such groups are no longer minorities, but are agents of dominant world majorities. They are franchisees of the global nexuses they serve. They are adversaries of the Indian identity formation. Do they truly help India’s under classes?
These global nexuses have a disappointing track record of solving problems in countries where they have operated for generations, including Latin America, Philippines and Africa where most natives have become converted. The imported religion has failed to bring human rights and has often exacerbated problems. Yet, Indian middlemen have mastered the art of begging foreign patronage in exchange for selling the souls of fellow Indians.

Towards an Indian identity
Hindutva is a modern political response lacking the elasticity to be the pan-Indian identity. Other popular ideas are equally shallow, such as the Indianness defined by Bollywood and cricket. Ideals like “secular democracy” and “development” do not a distinct national identity make. It is fashionable to blend pop culture with European ideologies and pass it off as Indianness. Such blends cannot bind a complex India together against fissiparous casteism and regionalism coming in the orbits of Islamist jihad and evangelical Christianity.

Indianness must override fragmented identities, no matter how large the vote bank or how powerful the foreign sponsor. Gandhi articulated a grand narrative for India. Tagore and Aurobindo saw continuity in Indian civilisation. Nehru had a national vision, which Indira Gandhi modified and defended fiercely. The Ashokan, Chola, and Maratha empires had welldefined narratives, each with an idea of India.

Debating Indianness fearlessly and fairly
A robust Indianness must become the context in which serious issues get debated. Everyone should be able to participate — be it Advani or Sonia, the Imam of Jama Masjid or Hindu gurus, Thackeray or the underworld — in a free and fair debate on Indianness, and no one should be exempt from criticism.

But the Indian intellectual mafia, which built careers by importing and franchising foreign doctrines, suppresses debate outside its framework, and brands honest attempts at opposing them as fascism. I offer a few examples.

A few years before 9/11, the Princeton-based Infinity Foundation proposed to a prestigious Delhi-based centre to research the Taliban and their impact on India. The centre’s intellectuals pronounced the hypothesis an unrealistic conspiracy theory and unworthy of study. Even after 9/11, the American Academy of Religion refused to study the Taliban as a religious phenomenon while persisting with Hindu caste, cows, dowry, mothers-in-law, social oppression, violence and sundry intellectual staples.

Some analysts hyphenate Islamist terror with Kashmir, imputing that terrorism is a legitimate dispute resolution technique. “The plight of Muslims” is a rationalisation; and Martha Nussbaum, a University of Chicago professor, blames “Hindu fascism” as the leading cause of terrorism and justifies the Mumbai massacre by hyphenating it with Hindu “pogroms,” Hindu “ethnic cleansing against Muslims,” and the Hindu project to “Kill Christians and destroy their institutions.” Her insensitivity to the victims, just two days after 26/11, was given a free pass by the LA Times. Double standards are evident when cartoons lampooning Islam are condemned, whereas serious attacks against Hindu deities, symbols and texts are defended in the name of intellectual freedom.

Be positive and “live happily ever after”
The Bollywood grand finale, where the couple lives happily ever after, is de rigueur. Friends insist that my analysis must end with something positive by way of solving the problems I uncover. Hard evidence of dangerous cleavages in India, spinning out of control, is too “negative.” The need to work backwards from a happy ending and only admit evidence that fits such endings is an Indian psychological disorder. But we don’t expect doctors to reject negative diagnoses, analysts to ignore market crashes, or teachers to praise our unruly children. What if there is no “good” alternative?

It is disturbing that strategic options against Pakistan must subserve the sensitivities of Indian Muslims. This gratuitously assumes that Indian Muslims are less Indian than Muslim. Some fear that strong Indian action will precipitate increased jihad, or even nuclear war. Such fears recapitulate the early campaigns to appease Hitler. Once a violent cancer spreads outside the tumour’s skin, it demands a direct attack. Vitamins, singing, and lamp-lighting are pointless. In sports or warfare, medicine or marketing, you cannot win by only using defence. The offensive option that cannot be exercised is merely a showpiece. If national interests are dominated by minority sentiments, our enemies will exploit our weakness. A paralysed India emboldens predators.

Games nations play
After Indians return to psychological normalcy, apathy will be confused as resilience. When each episode is seen in isolation there is short-term thinking, a tolerance of terrorism, and an acceptance that mere survival is adequate. Strategic planning requires connecting the trends clearly.

Indians must understand the reality of multiple geopolitical board games. Moves on one gameboard trigger consequences on others, making the tradeoffs complex. The South Asia gameboard involves USA-India-Pakistan as well as China-Pakistan stakes. Besides external games with its neighbours, India plays internal games to appease fragments, which are influenced by foreign stakeholders. Religion is used as soft power in the game of Islam versus the West, and India’s fragmentation hastens the harvesting of souls in the world's largest open market. The multinational business gameboard spotlights India as a market, a supplier, a competitor, and an investment destination.

In another gameboard, scholars of South Asia construct a discourse with Indian intellectuals as their sepoys and affiliated NGOs as paid agents. Following the academic and human rights experts who profited from the Iraq invasion, the players in this game hope that US president designate Barack Obama will budget billions to “engage South Asia.”

The identity challenges are offset by forces that hold India together. Private enterprises that span the entire country bring cohesion that depends on high economic growth and its trickle down to the lowest strata to outpace population growth and social unrest. Economic prosperity is also required for military spending. More than any other institution, the armed forces unify the nation because they realise that soldiers must identify themselves with the nation they are prepared to die for.

Recent US policy supports India’s sovereignty, but this should be seen in the context of using India as a counterweight against Pan-Islam and China. In the long run, the US would like India not to become another unified superpower like China or to disintegrate into a Pakistan-like menace. It will “manage” India between these two extremes. An elephant cannot put itself up for adoption as someone’s pet. It must learn to fend for itself.

Lessons for India Although the US is a land of immigrants, pride of place goes to the majority religion. Political candidates for high office are seriously disadvantaged if they are not seen as good Christians. The church-state separation is not a mandate to denounce Christianity or privilege minority religions. America was built on white identity that involved the ethnic cleansing of others. To its credit, India has avoided this.Obama sought a better, unified nation and transcended the minorityism of previous Black leaders. Unlike the Dravidianists, Mayawati, and those Muslim and Christian leaders who undermine India's identity, Obama is unabashedly patriotic and a devout follower of its majority religion. America celebrates its tapestry of hyphenated identities (Indian-American, Irish-American, etc.) but “American” supersedes every sub-identity. Being un-American is a death knell for American leaders.

In sharp contrast, Mayawati, Indian Muslim leaders, Indian Christian leaders, Dravidianists and other “minority” vote bankers have consolidated power at the expense of India's unified identity. Unlike the promoters of fragmented Indian identities, Obama is closer to Mahatma Gandhi and Ambedkar, champions of the downtrodden within a unified Indian civilisation.

India can learn from American mechanisms. Indian billionaires must become major stakeholders in constructing positive discourse on the nation. They must make strategic commitments like those made by the Carnegies, Rockefellers and Fords in building American identity, its sense of history, and in projecting American ideals. American meritocracy in politics, implemented through internal primaries, is vastly superior to the cronyism in Indian politics.


The area studies programmes in American universities have close links to the government, think tanks and churches, and they examine nations and civilisations from the American perspective. India should establish a network of area studies to study neighboring countries and other regions from India’s viewpoint. India should study China’s establishment of 100 Confucian Studies Chairs worldwide and the civilisational grand narrative of other nations.

Ideological “camps” with pre-packaged solutions are obsolete. The Indian genius must improvise, innovate, and create a national identity worthy of its name.

Rajiv Malhotra is the President, Infinity Foundation, who also writes on issues concerning the place of Indian civilisation in the world

brihaspati
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Re: Strategic leadership for the future of India

Postby brihaspati » 15 Jan 2009 19:24

people like Modi, Jaitley, Arun Shourie, Rahul Gandhi, Deora, Pilot and the likes who have the fire to take this country forward.


Yusufji,
just a quick pointer to this (I will try to avoid the Islam question for the moment, but will try to give my logic of comparison with Communists as neutrally as possible a little later :) ).

Modi - still identified strongly with Gujarat/Gujaratis. The rest of India has done all it can to dub him communal. Seen by Centre Left as a dangerous, regional genie best bottled up in Gujarat. Probably a source of concern for outside forces as a possible focus of aggressive nationalism and economic upliftment - that can adversely affect foreign interests.
Jaitley - sharp, comes across well on TV, may not have the man of the masses touch as yet, maybe a bit more advanced than Arun Shourie in organizational touch
Arun Shourie - again, determined, firm, and intellectual - still needed to be seen as the man of the masses, not clear about organizational hold.
Rahul Gandhi - emotional, and unstable. Lacks a wide grasp of forces and currents in Indian society. Tends to get bogged down in details, and does not show maturity to have a firm vision encompassing all that is India and not just one subgroup. Does not even show the humility or down-to-earth appearance of his dad. There is a sense of childishness rather than youthfulness, which at approaching mid-life is not a good sign. Most importantly, there is no sense of the mental powers seen in his Grandma or great granddad. I think it will be as great a disaster as Mayavatiji heading the country - both have too large egos and circle of courtiers/flatterers to look beyond themselves.
Deora, Pilot - not even in the class of the above 4

brihaspati
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Re: Strategic leadership for the future of India

Postby brihaspati » 15 Jan 2009 20:10

Just adding on to Rajiv-ji's article :

There is a persistent refusal to see ideologies that identify with centres outside India as the source/inspiration/support as being divisive and dissolver of the whole idea of India. There is a lot of whitewashing and propaganda to try and show that everything pre-these-ideologies and of traceable Indic origin proper is somehow evil, negative, retrogressive and rejectable. There are attempts to explain away the obvious negatives even in these modern-oh-so-much-better ideologies as all having been the bad pre-ideology Indic influences.It is highly amusing to see, that this tolerance of diversity theory embraces the fallacious notion that everything and anything is embraceable. Even as perspicacious an author as Rajivji makes this mistake. If everything is acceptable under the so-called diversity framework why leave out the so-called "Hindu-fascists" - isn't it a contradiction to this hypothesis of inclusiveness without distinction and qualification? Why should distinctive qualification be only applied to something sought to be represented as "Hindu fascism" mainly based on its supposed advocay of two criteria (a) an oppressive "caste-system" (b) intolerance towards other faiths and attempt to either "eliminate" or "convert" them? Especially when exactly these same two characteristics are seen in the competing faiths which however apparently qualify to be included in this so-called diversity? The question of caste repression is now projected by "grooming-to-be leaders" like RG only as a "Hindu" phenomenon - but it has gained such discomfort among a particular non-Hindu faith that its apologists have felt the need to campaign to counter it. Failure to do so is alarming for this faith as "it may hamper conversion" (the ultimate aim) -those interested, can read Abdul Hamid Nu'mani, Masla-i Kufw Aur Isha'at-i Islam, New Delhi: Qazi Publications, 2002.

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Re: Strategic leadership for the future of India

Postby brihaspati » 17 Jan 2009 03:00

2010 Take the above and plan accordingly! What will be the disruptions of the next 25 years?

Okay: statutory warning : this is mainly sarcastic - this is not my personal preference or recommended policy. :mrgreen:
Disruptions :
2010 : US forced to withdraw from Afghanistan. UK comes to an agreement with Pakistan, Taleban and middle-eastern forces to introduce parts of Sharia law in UK, and not to help "enemies of Islam". In return, Muslims agree to keep oil supplies open, and keep investments in the UK economy rolling. European powers make separate agreements so that the official structure of EU is not disturbed. Europe also tacitly agress to allow expansion of Islamic regimes into eastern and northern Africa. Proto-Caliphate demands elimination of "Hindu-fascism" from India as a pre-condition (among others like dissociation from USA) for dhimmi status which will ensure protection from large scale terror attacks. Trade and commercial agreements are made between the new regime in India and the proto-Caliphate.
2015: Europe forms strategic alliance with Russia as a second line of defence against the Muslim regimes, and for energy supplies. Caliphate begins to form around power centres in southern Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Navies of Islamic regimes around the Indian ocean rim and pirates form alliances to isolate Indian Ocean from access by European, US, Russian or Chinese navies. In India, secular forces join hands with sections of the armed forces to defeat "Hindu fascism" and imposes Sharia rule as the most progressive one among the existing forms, as a compromise formula with Pakistan. India also joins the Caliphate as a Dhimmi nation. In return Pakistan and the Caliphate promise not to carry out terror attacks in the immediate future.
2020: The Indian regime collapses. Caliphate incorporates India as an Islamic nation. Myanmar and Thailand agrees to be Islamized. The Caliphate imposes single currency, and Sharia law in a continuous range from North Africa though the Middle East, Indan subcontinent, South East Asia. Australia follows UK in accepting the Sharia law and agrees to join in the dhimmi status. In return the Cliphate guarantees trade and commercial rights. In the US, civil war over detriorating economic and social situation escalates, leading to a division of the country into a Christian, a Neo-Marxist and Islamic nation. Indian non-muslim slaves are widely available all over the Caliphate.
2025: The Caliphate advances into China. China agrees to impose Sharia and dhimmi status. Chinese nuclear missiles are used by the Caliphate army to threaten destruction of Europe. Europe capitulates. The prices of slaves falls to the lowest in Caliphate history. Caliphate imposed restrictions on science and education leads to fall in economic growth. Slave trade becomes the main engine of economic sustenance.

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Re: Strategic leadership for the future of India

Postby John Snow » 17 Jan 2009 03:29

Admins and fellow rakshaks do the right thing.

Please respond to the Mumbai Terror Attacks by asking the U.S. Congress to cut off funding to Pakistan if it does not close down the terror training camps responsible for the Mumbai terror Attack. Kindly sign up a petition to the U.S. Congress, and pass this information to all your friends, and family, as soon as possible. We need one million signatures. Peace!


http://www.petition%20online.com/%20USINPAC9/%20petition.%20html


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