Indian Interests

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ramana
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Re: Indian Interests

Postby ramana » 24 Apr 2009 08:24

Somehow this article was missed by us.


http://www.hindu.com/2009/04/21/stories ... 680800.htm

THE HINDU, APRIL 21, 2009

Upgrading the study of international relations

Amitabh Mattoo

India’s inability to develop a sophisticated and comprehensive understanding of the world outside will have more serious consequences than just the dwarfing of a discipline.

The Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore, recently brought some of the most eminent scholars of International Relations (IR) to brainstorm on the current state of IR in India and to suggest ways to upgrade the discipline. There are, after all, few other disciplines in India, especially in the social sciences, where the gulf between the potential and the reality is as wide as it is in the teaching and research of IR at Indian universities. Interest in India and India’s interest in the world are arguably at their highest in modern times, and yet Indian scholarship on global issues is showing few signs of responding to this challenge. In contrast, China — where IR emerged as an independent discipline much more recently — has made remarkable strides.

Few disciplines could have enjoyed a more favourable climate for intellectual growth in the first few years following India’s independence than IR. Not many political leaders in Asia had the breadth of vision, sense of global history and deep commitment to building institutions as did Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. It was with Nehru’s patronage that the Indian Council for World Affairs (ICWA), founded by Sir Tej Bahadur Sapru in 1943, was instrumental in setting up the Indian School of International Studies (ISIS) in 1955, as a constituent unit of the University of Delhi. In 1961, the ISIS became a deemed university under Section 3 of the UGC Act and this enabled it to award doctoral degrees. In the 1960s, Sapru House, which housed the ICWA (and the ISIS in its initial years) was regarded, as eminent IR scholar M.S. Rajan put it, as one of the “best research libraries in Asia.”

In 1970, ISIS became a part of Jawaharlal Nehru University under its new avatar, the School of International Studies. A year after ISIS was established, Jadavpur University set up its department of International Relations in 1956, while a year earlier the Department of African Studies had been inaugurated at the University of Delhi. This fortunate climate for the growth of IR did lead to a quantitative expansion of departments offering the subject over the next four decades. But not much can be said about the quality.

Today, IR is taught in more than 100 universities in India at the under-graduate and post-graduate levels. A close scrutiny reveals that most of the IR departments have a shortage of qualified faculty, poor infrastructure, outdated curriculum and few research opportunities. At least 50 per cent of the departments have no access to online resources, there is limited internet connectivity and only a meagre grant is available for annual field trips. Even standard textbooks are not available in these departments. For instance, neither Kenneth Waltz’s Theory of International Politics (an important contemporary work from the West) nor any of the Indian classical texts, say, Kautilya’s Arthashastra, is available in most State university libraries.

A survey of 50 State universities revealed that students were unaware of the principal journals in the field, national or international. Neither did any of the libraries subscribe to leading international journals such as Foreign Affairs, International Organization, International Security and International Affairs nor were they accessible electronically through, say, J-Stor or Project Muse. There are, of course, very few good translations in Hindi or other Indian languages of the major works in the subject.

There is no All-India International Studies Association despite periodic attempts at creating such a body. As a consequence, there are few annual conferences that students and scholars of IR can participate in or where they can share their research findings. Area studies — a vital part of IR — are facing almost a terminal decline. There is no Pakistan expert who can read, write or speak Pashto or Baluchi, and this is not an isolated example. The number of scholars proficient in Chinese, Japanese, Arabic, Persian or Dari is also limited. In addition, opportunities for spending time overseas on field trips are also few and far between. There are, of course, institutions which have established themselves as centres of academic excellence. The School of International Studies at JNU is a good example. But this is one of the few islands of excellence in a sea of mediocrity. Tragically, there is no recognisable contemporary Indian school of IR despite the rich civilisational repository of ideas on statecraft and inter-state relations.

In comparison, China — a late-starter — is doing more than just catching up. As Qin Yaqing of the China Foreign Affairs University put it: “International Relations as a discipline began to develop since the late 1970s and early 1980s, when China started to open to the rest of the world. The 30 years since 1978 have witnessed rapid development of the IR discipline in China, a remarkable time of learning, exploring and reflecting.” For instance, the Renmin University of China pioneered a remarkable programme for the development of IR with the translation of major western classics. Between 1978 and 2007, the China People’s Public Security University Press, the Shanghai People’s Publishing House, the Peking University Press, the World Affairs Press and the Zhejiang Publishing House have together brought out 86 translated IR books. And, today, all the major schools of thought in IR (Marxism, Realism, Liberalism and Constructivism) are robust in China. In addition, the Chinese IR community has — after a learning and absorbing stage, in the words of Yaqing, “a long cherished hope: to produce a Chinese IR theory and there is [now the] real possibility that this will happen as more traditional concepts like Tianxia, Datong, and Zhonyong (middle course) will be introduced to the process of creating a Chinese paradigm.”

What went wrong?

The lack of growth in the study of IR is attributable to many factors: systemic, institutional, disciplinary and leadership-related. This is not the place to identify the causes for the lack of Indian theory-building tradition or the lack of methodological rigour. But, it needs to be emphasised, that the lack of resources and infrastructure, which are weak throughout the Indian university system, has had a particularly telling impact on IR, particularly on area studies. Scholars, in order to gain expertise of specific areas, need to develop their linguistic abilities or spend time in the region familiarising themselves with the polity and society. In reality, few Indian scholars have the luxury of even visiting the region they are studying or spending time learning the language. Not surprisingly, India does not have many real experts even on its immediate neighbourhood. Similarly, in the absence of an ambitious translation programme, IR has not been mainstreamed as a discipline through the country.

What can be done

As Kanti Bajpai argues: “Rising powers seem to get the IR they need.” But, as even he admits: “there is nothing inevitable about good IR as a response to the growth in national power.” What is needed, therefore, is a systematic programme of action on the part of the Government of India (through the HRD Ministry, the MEA and the UGC) and the IR academic community. A one-time grant of Rs.30 crore must be made to at least 30 universities in India with a “potential for excellence” in International Relations to upgrade the infrastructure, create new faculty position and for field trips and state-of-the-art language laboratories. A translation programme must be started to ensure that the 50 classics of IR are available in the main Indian language while J-Store/ Project Muse access is made available to the universities with IR departments.

The academic community must establish an All India International Studies Association (AISA) that establishes a fraternal relationship with the International Studies Association (ISA), the principal global body of IR scholars. The AISA, once established, must create “open courseware” available to all university departments online and pay particular attention to encouraging Indian thought on IR. It needs to be emphasised that India’s inability to develop a sophisticated and comprehensive understanding of the world outside will have more serious consequences than just the dwarfing of a discipline. It could well stunt India’s ability to influence the international system.

(Amitabh Mattoo is Professor of International Studies, JNU, New Delhi.)


The real reason is the hijacking of the academic discourse by Marxist and Quasi Marxists. The second problem is the MEA and its reluctance to use/share local area studies groups and develop epertise. Nothing prevents the MEA from holding periodic area studies seminar where the academics and the in-house experts can get together and figure out what they know and what they dont know. I think the main failure is of MEA despite Kanti Bajpai giving free opinions.

I would like a public and govt experts all points seminar on PRC for a five day period in Delhi if they dont want to travel.

Can someone contact Dr matoo and get the list of 50 classics in IR?

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Re: Indian Interests

Postby putnanja » 24 Apr 2009 09:04


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Re: Indian Interests

Postby SSridhar » 27 Apr 2009 15:39


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Re: Indian Interests

Postby Prabu » 03 May 2009 14:17

Recession: Intellectual capital flows back to India

This is good news in a recession time !

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Re: Indian Interests

Postby ShauryaT » 03 May 2009 18:38

The missing security experts

India’s national security vision lacks serious intellectual content. In a volatile world, that spells trouble: Bharat Karnad

Joseph S. Nye Jr, of Harvard University and a Clinton-era assistant secretary of defence, in a recent Washington Post oped piece noted that US political scientists were more interested in honing international relations theory than doing policy-related research. This development, he claimed, has led to their absence, by and large, from the senior ranks of the Obama administration. Nye’s rueful tone is understandable. The US foreign and military policy post-World War II has been in the vanguard of thinking in the main because of its high-octane intellectual content, of course, but also because US leaders have had the confidence to trust the experts and shape policies based on their advice.

In India, economists and statisticians have always held positions of responsibility in government, apparently because the first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, couldn’t make much of the “dismal science” and hoped the specialists he relied on to implement the Soviet socialist model would deliver fast-paced economic growth. In the foreign and military policy realms, however, he was convinced that nobody else on the scene could match his knowledge of history or his capacity for insights into global power politics. India’s foreign and military policies in the formative years, therefore, became a matter of implementing Nehru’s decrees. No surprise, then, that the Indian Foreign Service (IFS), while having pretensions, never really developed intellectual muscle. How could it if, as Natwar Singh, a former foreign minister and diplomat, claims, 70% of IFS officers have not read a book after joining service? Nehru’s contempt for civil servants paralleled his lack of respect for Indians holding flag rank in the Indian Army, whose inability to score a decisive victory in the 1947-48 Kashmir operations only reinforced his prejudice, eventuating in his belief that the China threat would have to be tackled diplomatically.

Subsequent prime ministers sometimes called in people from outside for advice. Indira Gandhi had her “kitchen cabinet” comprising Left-leaning friends. Other than indicating the line, policy definition was left by her to the so-called “professionals”—the diplomats and senior Indian Administrative Service officers and uniformed personnel where defence was concerned, who, in turn, hewed to the Nehruvian guidelines long after these became obsolete. The ensuing system of policymaking disregarded the fact that conceptualizing grand strategy and working out strategy and policy options in a milieu in flux requires qualifications beyond following precedent and adopting an incremental approach, which is what non-expert careerists “playing safe” do. Honourable exceptions apart, they are ill equipped to jettison overnight a lifetime bureaucrat’s habit of mind or acquire the necessary analytical capability, intellectual heft and expertise across critical foreign and national security policy domains for the purpose of creative strategic visioning and fleshing out alternative policy schemes. Reminds of the IUNCA Despite this, political leaders have mistaken a civil servant’s tenure in a ministry with expertise in the field and a be-medalled visage for the ability to strategize. Moreover, retirees from the civilian and uniformed services tapped for advice have a vested interest in prolonging brain-dead policies they were associated with.

Not according a substantive role to experts in policy making is a liability in today’s complex world. Naturally, stodginess and diffidence—the bane of India’s foreign and military policies—have resulted. And the dubious thinking of civilian and military bureaucrats, whose reputation for sagacious counsel is overtaken by the growing weight of their wrong advice, remains the touchstone of fearful political leaders. Thus in 1995-96, for instance, K. Subrahmanyam, the late J.N. Dixit and retired Air Commodore Jasjit Singh, all urged the Indian government to sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. The antique 1974 bomb was sufficient, they argued, for nuclear deterrence even in an uncertain future potentially rife with grave risks. But come 1998, and they crowed about the political and strategic benefits accruing from the tests and were given a role in shaping the Bharatiya Janata Party government’s foreign policy agenda. These advisers then championed the strategically short-sighted deal with the US predicated on India’s giving up nuclear testing pushed by the successor Congress party regime that has sucked the credibility out of its minimum deterrent stance. It is a deal that is coming unstuck with the non-proliferation-minded Obama presidency, which will hold India to its commitments but not deliver unhindered trade in civilian nuclear technologies.

The awareness is growing that in an ever more complex world, where specialist knowledge is the building block of policy, not according a substantive role to experts in policy making is a self-inflicted liability. The second Administrative Reforms Commission headed by M. Veerappa Moily has recognized the need and recommended the lateral entry of outside experts to improve policymaking generally. In this context, the new dispensation assuming power mid-May should, for starters, create advisory posts at the highest level in the defence and external affairs ministries and departments such as atomic energy and space, and fill them with outside experts. This will better utilize the available intellectual resources, ventilate a closed policymaking process, expose the government to cutting edge analytics and offer up a rich array of policy choices. It could initiate the sort of “revolving door” system (wherein experts follow up stints in government with time in think tanks and universities) that has served US policymaking so well.

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Re: Indian Interests

Postby ShauryaT » 03 May 2009 19:10


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Re: Indian Interests

Postby ArmenT » 03 May 2009 22:24

http://www.newsweek.com/id/195669

Some of the figures quoted in this article seem to be a bit of BS.
I grew up in Jharkhand. Now it's part of what India's Maoists call "the liberated zone," although most of the area's desperately poor inhabitants are anything but free. Of India's estimated 1.1 billion people, 836 million live on less than 45 cents a day, according to the state-run National Commission for Enterprises in the Unorganized Sector. The states where self-described Maoists operate are home to nearly 80 percent of those 836 million.

Is this chap smoking some serious crack or are they really as widespread as this article claims.

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Re: Indian Interests

Postby sanjaychoudhry » 03 May 2009 23:21

Nehru’s contempt for civil servants paralleled his lack of respect for Indians holding flag rank in the Indian Army, whose inability to score a decisive victory in the 1947-48 Kashmir operations only reinforced his prejudice, eventuating in his belief that the China threat would have to be tackled diplomatically.


Isn't this a load of bull?

Read Arun Shourie's latest book to know the full magnitude of Nehru's China delusion and how he kept insulting, humiliating and over-ruling bureacrats and military officers who were much more intelligent and far-sighted than him. He was an imbecile who got lucky due to an equally blind but popular God father.

Are we Deceiving Ourselves Again?
Lessons the Chinese Taught Pandit Nehru but which we Still Refuse to Learn
By Arun Shourie
www.phayul.com/mobile/?page=view&c=9&id=23029

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Re: Indian Interests

Postby ShauryaT » 04 May 2009 01:05

sanjaychoudhry wrote:
Nehru’s contempt for civil servants paralleled his lack of respect for Indians holding flag rank in the Indian Army, whose inability to score a decisive victory in the 1947-48 Kashmir operations only reinforced his prejudice, eventuating in his belief that the China threat would have to be tackled diplomatically.


Isn't this a load of bull?

Read Arun Shourie's latest book to know the full magnitude of Nehru's China delusion and how he kept insulting, humiliating and over-ruling bureacrats and military officers who were much more intelligent and far-sighted than him. He was an imbecile who got lucky due to an equally blind but popular God father.

Are we Deceiving Ourselves Again?
Lessons the Chinese Taught Pandit Nehru but which we Still Refuse to Learn
By Arun Shourie
http://www.phayul.com/mobile/?page=view&c=9&id=23029
Sanjay: I think you are misreading Karnad's critique. As for me, I am at the last chapter of "Are we deceiving ourselves again?" :)

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Re: Indian Interests

Postby ramana » 04 May 2009 07:14

ShauryaT wrote:
The missing security experts

India’s national security vision lacks serious intellectual content. In a volatile world, that spells trouble: Bharat Karnad

Joseph S. Nye Jr, of Harvard University and a Clinton-era assistant secretary of defence, in a recent Washington Post oped piece noted that US political scientists were more interested in honing international relations theory than doing policy-related research. This development, he claimed, has led to their absence, by and large, from the senior ranks of the Obama administration. Nye’s rueful tone is understandable. The US foreign and military policy post-World War II has been in the vanguard of thinking in the main because of its high-octane intellectual content, of course, but also because US leaders have had the confidence to trust the experts and shape policies based on their advice.

In India, economists and statisticians have always held positions of responsibility in government, apparently because the first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, couldn’t make much of the “dismal science” and hoped the specialists he relied on to implement the Soviet socialist model would deliver fast-paced economic growth. In the foreign and military policy realms, however, he was convinced that nobody else on the scene could match his knowledge of history or his capacity for insights into global power politics. India’s foreign and military policies in the formative years, therefore, became a matter of implementing Nehru’s decrees. No surprise, then, that the Indian Foreign Service (IFS), while having pretensions, never really developed intellectual muscle. How could it if, as Natwar Singh, a former foreign minister and diplomat, claims, 70% of IFS officers have not read a book after joining service? Nehru’s contempt for civil servants paralleled his lack of respect for Indians holding flag rank in the Indian Army, whose inability to score a decisive victory in the 1947-48 Kashmir operations only reinforced his prejudice, eventuating in his belief that the China threat would have to be tackled diplomatically.

Subsequent prime ministers sometimes called in people from outside for advice. Indira Gandhi had her “kitchen cabinet” comprising Left-leaning friends. Other than indicating the line, policy definition was left by her to the so-called “professionals”—the diplomats and senior Indian Administrative Service officers and uniformed personnel where defence was concerned, who, in turn, hewed to the Nehruvian guidelines long after these became obsolete. The ensuing system of policymaking disregarded the fact that conceptualizing grand strategy and working out strategy and policy options in a milieu in flux requires qualifications beyond following precedent and adopting an incremental approach, which is what non-expert careerists “playing safe” do. Honourable exceptions apart, they are ill equipped to jettison overnight a lifetime bureaucrat’s habit of mind or acquire the necessary analytical capability, intellectual heft and expertise across critical foreign and national security policy domains for the purpose of creative strategic visioning and fleshing out alternative policy schemes. Reminds of the IUNCA Despite this, political leaders have mistaken a civil servant’s tenure in a ministry with expertise in the field and a be-medalled visage for the ability to strategize. Moreover, retirees from the civilian and uniformed services tapped for advice have a vested interest in prolonging brain-dead policies they were associated with.

Not according a substantive role to experts in policy making is a liability in today’s complex world. Naturally, stodginess and diffidence—the bane of India’s foreign and military policies—have resulted. And the dubious thinking of civilian and military bureaucrats, whose reputation for sagacious counsel is overtaken by the growing weight of their wrong advice, remains the touchstone of fearful political leaders. Thus in 1995-96, for instance, K. Subrahmanyam, the late J.N. Dixit and retired Air Commodore Jasjit Singh, all urged the Indian government to sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. The antique 1974 bomb was sufficient, they argued, for nuclear deterrence even in an uncertain future potentially rife with grave risks. But come 1998, and they crowed about the political and strategic benefits accruing from the tests and were given a role in shaping the Bharatiya Janata Party government’s foreign policy agenda. These advisers then championed the strategically short-sighted deal with the US predicated on India’s giving up nuclear testing pushed by the successor Congress party regime that has sucked the credibility out of its minimum deterrent stance. It is a deal that is coming unstuck with the non-proliferation-minded Obama presidency, which will hold India to its commitments but not deliver unhindered trade in civilian nuclear technologies.

The awareness is growing that in an ever more complex world, where specialist knowledge is the building block of policy, not according a substantive role to experts in policy making is a self-inflicted liability. The second Administrative Reforms Commission headed by M. Veerappa Moily has recognized the need and recommended the lateral entry of outside experts to improve policymaking generally. In this context, the new dispensation assuming power mid-May should, for starters, create advisory posts at the highest level in the defence and external affairs ministries and departments such as atomic energy and space, and fill them with outside experts. This will better utilize the available intellectual resources, ventilate a closed policymaking process, expose the government to cutting edge analytics and offer up a rich array of policy choices. It could initiate the sort of “revolving door” system (wherein experts follow up stints in government with time in think tanks and universities) that has served US policymaking so well.



This is a good topic for BRM to work on. What are India's policy options incase of non-implementatiion of th IUCNA deal by the US?

Any takers?

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Re: Indian Interests

Postby SSridhar » 04 May 2009 08:01

sanjaychoudhry wrote:
Nehru’s contempt for civil servants paralleled his lack of respect for Indians holding flag rank in the Indian Army, whose inability to score a decisive victory in the 1947-48 Kashmir operations only reinforced his prejudice, eventuating in his belief that the China threat would have to be tackled diplomatically.


Isn't this a load of bull?

Read Arun Shourie's latest book to know the full magnitude of Nehru's China delusion and how he kept insulting, humiliating and over-ruling bureacrats and military officers who were much more intelligent and far-sighted than him.


sanjaychoudhry, you are absolutely right. Nehru was autocratic in many issues and foreign policy and military matters were two of them. He didn't listen to saner counsel. My take is that he feared majoritarian community's view might prevail, something he jealously guarded against. In 1948, when Indian troops were about to drive away all the Pakistanis, Nehru ordered ceasefire. The 1947-48 operation by the IA was one of the most challenging ever and the IA rose to the occasion and even went beyond. It was Nehru who was procrastinating even on Oct. 26, 1947 when VP Menon and Col. Manekshaw returned from Srinagar with Maharajah Hari Singh's signed accession paper. An exasperated Patel asked Nehru bluntly "Do you want J&K or not" and even without waiting for an answer from Nehru turned back to Col. Manekshaw and told him to send in the troops. If Patel had waited for Nehru's answer, there is every possibility he would have still procrastinated and even with the tribesmen being dustracted by the raping and looting at Baramulla, the Pakis would have grabbed the entire State.

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Re: Indian Interests

Postby Philip » 05 May 2009 18:15

Britain finally takes action and "bans" 16 extremists even naming them.They include Islamic hate clerics,A pro-LTTE operative,even an American chat show host.

This is an excellent example of what India should do with our own extremists who are waging war on behalf of extremists outaide the country like the Eelamists.Strip all traitors of all kinds of their citizenship and deport them or imprison them for life.The spineless govt. of the day has only encouraged such extremists-who even attacked an army convoy in Coimbatore a few days ago,to proliferate.A shoot at sight "first principle" should be adopted for all those who indulge in activities tantamount to treason.Examples must be made for keeping the country united.This election has shown that the unity of the Indian state is extremely fragile and that events in Lanka are being manipulated by the CIA to split Tamilnadu away from India.

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Re: Indian Interests

Postby ramana » 07 May 2009 21:34

We used to have a strategic affairs thread but his one will do for the present....
Vick wrote:From DN
March 30, 2009
[b]India Strives To Field Missile Defense by 2012[b]

By VIVEK RAGHUVANSHI

NEW DELHI — India’s indigenous Prithvi Missile Defence (PAD) antiballistic missile system intercepted a 1,500-kilometer-range missile at a height of 75 kilometers in a March 6 test, said Vijay Kumar Saraswat, chief controller of missile programs at India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

The test tried out a new guidance system and a modified Long Range Acquisition Radar acquired from Israel in 2004, DRDO sources said.

It was the third successful interception test for PAD, which hit a 48 kilometer-high target in 2006 and a 15-kilometer-high target in 2007.

DRDO officials said PAD would enter service in 2012, but other DRDO sources said it could take another 10 years and help from foreign firms.

Defense analyst Rahul Bhonsle estimates a “functional BMD” could be deployed by 2020, or sooner, if the DRDO is indeed working with Israeli firms or Lockheed Martin.

A senior Indian Army official said, given the past results of DRDO projects, “the proof of the cake would be in the eating.” PAD is based on a modified Israeli Green Pine radar, which can track 200 targets out to 600 kilometers in a 360-degree arc, a DRDO scientist said. With speeds up to Mach 5, PAD’s interceptor rockets engage missiles when they enter the atmosphere or as they pass through it. The system is built to hit incoming missiles with a range of 300 to 2,000 kilometers, the scientist said. Pakistan’s longest-range missile can fly about 1,500 kilometers, the scientist said.

Bhonsle said the next stage would be connecting PAD’s surveillance system and tracking radar, mission control and missile launch systems. “Multiple target tracking and engagement also needs to be looked at,” he said. “More tests would be necessary under realistic conditions — to ensure a hit probability of over 90 percent — than the demonstration flights carried out.” The ministry official said that in phase two, PAD would seek to emulate a system like the U.S. THAAD. The DRDO scientist said PAD is better than the U.S. Patriot-3 and Israeli Arrow-2, which also uses the Green Pine radar. But Bhonsle said PAD will have to be satellite-linked to be comparable with the operationally deployed Arrow-2 and THAAD.

“Arrow-2 and PAD would possibly be comparable provided PAD is linked to satellite-based surveillance, can engage multiple missiles simultaneously, and manual controllers are highly trained in reading missile signatures and launch,” he said. “THAAD is primarily a kinetic system and more accurate than PAD, which has an explosive warhead.” A senior Defence Ministry official said India would have to make its own BMD system, rather than import it, because of its strategic nature.



Its crucial to have some effective ABM in the near term. As TSP spirals downwards they will fire their empty Ghauris towards Indian urban areas.

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Re: Indian Interests

Postby Gerard » 09 May 2009 02:59


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Re: Indian Interests

Postby Adrija » 09 May 2009 22:18

Just finished reading the book "The Next 100 Years" by the Stratfor guy (George Friedman). Interesting, but I wanted to share with Rakshaks the very lucent articulation of the US' interests... am posting some extracts here (Bradmins, if this violates copyright, please delete, but even in the extracts I am posting I have not made a complete copy). Have added some comments from Indian perspective at the end

All nations have grand strategies, though this does not mean all nations can achieve their strategic goals. The United States, unlike most other countries in the world, has achieved most of its strategic goals. Its economy and society are both geared towards this effort.
A country’s grand strategy is so deeply embedded in that nation’s DNA, and appears so natural and obvious that politicians and generals are not always aware of it. Their logic is so constrained by it that it as an almost unconscious reality. But from a geopolitical perspective, both the grand strategy of a country and the logic driving a country’s leadership become obvious.
Grand strategy is not always about war. It is about the processes that constitute national power. But in the case of the US, perhaps more than any other country, grand strategy is about war, and the interactions between war and economy. The US is, historically, a warlike country.
The US has five geopolitical goals that drive its grand strategy, which increase in magnitude, ambition, and difficulty as you go down the list
1. The complete domination of North America by the United States army
2. The elimination of any threat to the US by any power in the western hemisphere
3. Complete control of the maritime approaches to the US by the Navy in order to preclude any possibility of invasion
4. Complete domination of the world’s oceans to further secure US physical safety and guarantee control over the international trading system
5. The prevention of any other nation from challenging US global naval power



Couple of points:

1. Please note the obsession with ensuring the physical safety of COTUS, first and foremost (four of the five objectives relate to that). The Indian equivalent, IMVHO, would be to (a) ensure denial of any hostile powers to Tibet, Khyber and Bolam passes - in fact, securing all passes at the Hindukush* (b) control of the Indian Ocean . That means that all long as these territories remain in control of China and Pakistan, respectively, our physical safety is held hostage to these powers and hence our inability to project power.
2. The fifth of the point above is I think well known, and I have heard is also reiterated in teh Defence reviews (can someone confirm). Again, explicit or not, this is amply borne out by the US approach to regional alliances, and perhaps reconfirms that US is committed to ensure integrity of Pakistan, for a variety of reasons but also to ensure aspiring regional powers remain tied down to their neighbourhood (in this case, India vs Pakistan, in other case, China vs Taiwan and Japan)

*As an aside, the latest book on Ancient Indian History- History of Ancient India by J L Mehta and Sarita Mehta, Sept 2008, has a very lucid explanation of how physical control of the western passes has dictated Indian history

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Re: Indian Interests

Postby Gerard » 10 May 2009 02:33


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Re: Indian Interests

Postby Prabu » 11 May 2009 13:58

Delhi entangled in the Dragon's String of Pearls

Yes ! This just re confirms our (mostly Congress Govt's) mess up with our foreign policy in all our neighbour hood ! We need to redouble efforts to incraese our influence in all our neighbour hoods including Sri lanka, Nepal and even Bangladesh. We urgently need to put down strategic goals to achieve and time frame. We need to give soem incentive for our neighbours in terms of free trade, tax concessions or as appropriate. Our MEA and officials, pull up your socks and get going !!

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Re: Indian Interests

Postby Philip » 11 May 2009 18:06

Ramanna's take on the need for an ABM system,if only to cast doubt in the minds of the enemy,is a crucial point.Apart from our own recent tests of our desi ABM systems,Russia has developed its new S-400 ABM system,which should be on offer to India,twice as effective as the US Patriot.

Coming to a "Grand Strategy" for India,as both Nehru and Pannikar have said,the domination of the Indian Ocean will decide who dominates India.Therefore,we cannot afford to let the capability,size and strength of the IN fall to a level where an outside non-littoral power has the ability to keep us landlocked.This was one major reason why the Germans in WW2 could not launch an invasion of Britain or win the battle of the Atlantic despite the massive performance of their U-boats.The RN was just too strong for it and the chase and sinking of the Bismark proved it.This requires that the IN is equipped with a substantial number of SSBNs (for strategic defence) as SSGNs for multi-role underwater warfare.The huge mass of the Indian subcontinent is also akin to an "unsinkable aircraft carrier" and maximum use of land based long range naval aircraft for ASW and strike should be ensured,apart from the IAF acquiring a couple of squadrons of strategic bombers,perhaps the SU-34.China is building up a huge naval air force based mostly on land,as it does not posses carriers at the moment,which can deter any US naval asistance to Taiwan in the event of a Chinese invasion of the island.

The need for two separate armies to deal with Pak and China simultaneously is desirable,apart from a large amphibious force which can deal with any crisis affecting our island territories or any crisis in Sri Lanka in the future.A full fledged marine Corps is unneccessary,but at least three to five divisions of marines are required to deal with any crises in the IOR.One must remember what happened in the Maldives some time ago and we have security commitments in Mauritius and now thanks to piracy in the IOR,our naval warships are also patrolling the seas off the Seychelles.Two dark horse nations that might erupt suddenly or be used by any nation inimical to India are Burma and Nepal.Both are being wooed by China and the latter is in serious crisis.

Above all a complete revamping of our diplomacy is desirable.It must be far more agressive in promoting and safeguarding India's interests.Many friendly nations nations have privately expressed dismay at India's pathetic performance when compared with that of China's.We do not realise our strength and appear very wary of challenging China when it matters.If we don't challenge China diplomatically,China will simply push on and draw into its fold more and more smaller nations that it can easily manipulate in the UN and during an Indo-Sino crisis,apart from having first peck at their mineral wealth.The MEA must also like the Japanese ,be a promoter of Indian business interests,giving our industrial houses maximum support and lobbying on their behalf.Even the smallest export product should be able to draw upon the MEA if need be for support.Time tested friends like Russia,who are providing us with nuclear tech and fuel apart from their large petro product reserves and critical defence eqpt.,should be maintained at the highest level and relations should be raised to higher levels with the former Soviet Bloc nations of Central Asia with their large mineral wealth.The recent agreement with Kazakhastan for N-fuel is a step in the right direction.No country on the planet should be too small for us to engage with in mutual benefit.

In recent years,we have placed too much emphasis upon the US as if it were a "godfather",when in truth,from the massive largesse that it is giving Pak,is actually our enemy's friend.An Indo-centric economic,foreign and defence policy should prevail at all costs.Our foreign policy was best during the years when Mrs.Gandhi was at the helm.We may have increased our economic clout 100 times and our defence strength tenfold,but the measure of our international status is a mere 1% of what it was during her reign! We should analyse why and after the next elction whoever wins,pick a suitable leader who puts the country first,second and last always.

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Re: Indian Interests

Postby putnanja » 12 May 2009 03:01

Good move on MMS' part. Next govt might not agree with everything the current govt lists as priority, but it is important that transition is made smooth and incoming govt has an handle on things.

PMO ready with Inbox for next government

While the political establishment counts the days to Saturday, in the first such exercise, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) is putting the final touches on what it calls the action plan for whoever takes charge of the next government.

This lists the unfinished agenda of the UPA government on infrastructure and development as well as key problem areas that require immediate attention.

...
Officials said the key priority subjects include:

• Security and Defence: While some procurements for paramilitary forces were cleared by the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) on Friday, several other sensitive security-related procurements are still in the pipeline. Several major defence procurements are also still on the anvil.

• Some components of the UPA’s action plan for development of Jammu and Kashmir and the North-East are still to be implemented. While funds for several infrastructure projects in the North-East have been allocated, actual construction is not complete.

• Despite several rounds of high-level consultations, the agreement with Japan for the Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) and the industrial corridor project (to come up along the DFC) could only be inked in October 2008 with construction beginning in February. This is part of the unfinished agenda.

• So is the National River Conservation scheme. The Ganga River Basin Authority, for instance, was notified in February but its agenda has to be firmed up and key appointments need to be made.

• Similarly, officials said, the PMO would like to highlight the progress made — and the unfinished task — on various aspects of the Rural Health Mission as well as the need for establishment of educational institutions and schemes in the 90 minority concentration districts (MCDs) as outlined in the Sachar Committee report.

• The unfinished task on climate change, on which the PMO had laid great emphasis, will also be put high on the priority list for the next govt.



Letter to posterity

It is at the moment of transition that democracy really pays off. The peaceful hand-over of power from one government to another, both of which may be violently opposed, is one of the greatest accomplishments of modern liberal democracy.

...
News that the Prime Minister’s Office has put together an action plan for the next government to look at, regardless of who might lead it, is heartening, a refreshing reminder that our 60-year old democracy is maturing in such matters. There has been anecdotal evidence in the past of the beginnings of such customs; important advice passed down from one prime minister to the other, sometimes directly, sometimes through trusted civil servants. But a depoliticised summary of where a government completing its term feels its flagship programmes stand and an estimation of what remains to be done — as well as what the incoming government should focus on — will greatly help.

...

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Re: Indian Interests

Postby vsudhir » 13 May 2009 00:57


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Re: Indian Interests

Postby Sanjay M » 15 May 2009 17:41


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Re: Indian Interests

Postby Prem » 17 May 2009 02:54

For Us Folks,
History Channel shwoing one hour documentary on Alexander vs Porus right now .

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Re: Indian Interests

Postby Yogi_G » 17 May 2009 07:54

Prem wrote:For Us Folks,
History Channel shwoing one hour documentary on Alexander vs Porus right now .


Ugh, this reminds me of the PBS documentary on India. My TFTA Amrikhaan client manager saw it, came back and said "I never knew India was to great part populated by Europeans, did you see the show yesterday night"? I dint bother explaining to him the myths about Indo-Aryan theory and all that stuff, the mere SDRE in me said to him "Oh, its pseudo-science, fit only for western intellectual consumption" with an irritable tone....

I think he dint attach much value to my words as no hell-phyrs were shot at my Musharraf during further course of work...lucky me :mrgreen:

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Re: Indian Interests

Postby Prem » 17 May 2009 08:33

They showed Alexander did move further inward after battling Porus but was convinced by his troop not to commit suicide . :D The next Army was about 300k strong, ready to make Sikandar Keema or Bhartha.

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Re: Indian Interests

Postby Gerard » 18 May 2009 00:54


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Re: Indian Interests

Postby ramana » 21 May 2009 11:03

X-Posted...
brihaspati wrote:PRC definitely already have nuclear devices placed around India, directly under its own name, all along occupied territories in India and ocupied Tibet, but also by proxy (as TSP nukes) in North Kashmir where they are best placed to strike at Northern India. They are less likely to use the eastern sector for this, since the actual Indian damages can be dubious because of population densities, topological features and more importantly the collateral effects on sympathetic allies like Nepal, BD, and Myanmar. These are mor elikely to be areas for attempted irregular and regular incursions militarily.

This sort of press outings are meant to provide sufficient threats to alter perceptions, especially in public opnion and politics of more open countries, not to take measures to counter PRC buildup. India has to build up its own counter nuke ring around PRC anyway - to assure the Chinese that MAD is not something India will play shrinking violet to. But to do this, India also need dominate IO and make its presence felt in the Pacific or China Sea. The best way to tie up PRC is to place a nuke delivery capable fleet and submarines around the eastern coast of China.

We do not want to destroy China's populations. But we want to dissolve the CCP and liberate Tibet. We do not want Chinese presence anymore in the immediate vicinity of India, occupying Indian territories and helping the most virulent of terrorist organizations like the PA or Talebs, orpromoting anti-Indian violent sentiments in the neighbours.

A start shoudl have been made in India rooting for restoration of democracy in Myanmar, and highlight the connection and role of the PRC in bolstering the junta. The trick is to draw out PRC more in SE Asia, and engage it and expose its role in essentially imperilaist takeovers of the smaller nations for their natural resources.



That comment explains the US Adm asking for PRC participation in Malabar exercises and them being comfortable with PRC in Indian OCean while India is not.

So what PRC is worried about is the very strategy that Jupiter suggests being implemented by India.

Shyam Saran's fears start happening.

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Re: Indian Interests

Postby ramana » 21 May 2009 22:27

For the record to give the background of Mrs. G's support to LTTE and its context.

X-post of Philip....

Philip wrote:"India was a major factor in contributing ..."This is not completely accurate.Let me put the record straight.India did train the Tamil militant groups,but in order to bring them under its control and not to spread their separatist agenda into Tamilnadu.

Cold War days- Mrs.G. loses in '77.Mrs.Bandaranaike too,whose closest friend was Mrs.G. also loses.JR Jayawardene takes over in SL with a 3/4ths majority allowing him to change the constitution,which he turns into a presidential system,giving himself more powers than either the French pres. or US pres.JR makes insulting references to Mrs.G.,the whole world never imagining that she would bounce back in two years time.In Britain,they gloated,"she's finished forever".Mrs.G. has a long memory.Meanwhile Prabhakaran assassinates the Jaffna Mayor Duriappah of the SLFP,firing the first shot of the war.Mrs. G returns,India becomes the Non-Aligned Chairman,Mrs.G. takes over.

JR very pro-US,made years ago a famous speech in San Fransisco.Premadasa even more pro-US.SL being feted in western capitals as the next experiment to create another Singapore on (Socialist) India's doorstep.Huge aid being given for dam projects,etc.,by Britain,Sweden,Germany,Japan,etc.US gives aid over and under the counter.US plan a huge VOA broadcasting station in the east (Trinco) to allegedly destabilise the Muslim republics of the Soviet Union.VOA project becomes controversial in SL and India.A US military map shows SL as a "US base",adding more concern to India.JR betrays northern Tamils sabotaging DC elections in '81,leading to enhanced attacks against police and military by Tamil militant groups (LTTE,TELO,PLOTE,etc.).Killing of 13 soldiers in an IED attack in Jaffna sparks of anti-Tamil pogrom in July '83.Thousands killed.India reacts by sending FM Narasimha Rao to Colombo,who reads the riot act to JR.Lankans worry about India invading the island.Mrs.G. sends G.Parathasarathy,India's most experienced diplomat to help SL draw up a political package giving more autonomy to the Tamils."Annexure C" becomes the controversial clause.JR not sincere about the political package.Mrs.G. worried about the Tamils arming themselves with help from abroad,decides to train them,so that they would be under India's control and would put pressure upon JR to finalise the political solution.The LTTE starts to eliminate all rival groups.Unknown to India,the LTTE also acquires sophisticated arms from abroad,which is later used against the IPKF.Indira is assassinated,Rajiv takes over .JR tries to finish off the Tamils by military means.India airdrops food.JR realises he cannot fight India,but agrees to sign an accord in which India will guarantee the Tamils acceptance of it and establish "peace" in the north-east.The IPKF arrives,to great cheers from the Tamils angering Prabhakaran who sabotages the deal by attacking Lankan forces and the IPKF .The IPKF after heavy losses finally marginalises the LTTE (stupidly sparing Prabhakaran-biggest mistake by the Indian intel agencies) and elections are held in the north-east with Perumal becoming CM.

Rajiv is defeated in India,Premadasa becomes pres. and VP Singh shamelessly withdraws the IPKF without any guarantee from SL regarding the political package,part of the agreement.Premadasa even gives arms to the LTTE to fight the IPKF.Prabhakaran thanks him by assassinating him!

PS:Reg. the JVP and its anti-Indian stance most of the time.A close friend's mother was shot dead by the JVP because the organisation she headed was importing cheap drugs from India.At times the JVP has also called upon India as a saviour when we took a strong stance that no separate state could be established by the LTTE.


Thanks Philip for givng your prespective on this.

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Re: Indian Interests

Postby Pranav » 22 May 2009 13:34

Hello - not sure if this is the right thread for this sordid tale ... do we have a thread for corruption and other misdeeds of our Netas? If not, the subject is well worth a thread of its own, no?

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Milking BSNL Max-imum is in Raja’s spectrum
http://www.dailypioneer.com/174283/Milk ... ctrum.html

J Gopikrishnan | New Delhi

After the 2G spectrum allocation, the Telecom Ministry headed by Union Minister A Raja is embroiled in yet another controversy, this time over BSNL’s WiMax franchise.

While top officials of the public sector firm say nothing has yet been finalised, The Pioneer has learnt that the technical committee has short-listed six companies, of which five have been floated by Raja’s confidant Sanjay Kapoor and are filled with the latter’s relatives.

Not just that, all the five firms were registered on a single date, having the same notary, same auditor, same witnesses and even the same e-mail id. So much so that even the last annual general body meeting they held were on the same day. The sixth company is a BPO, owned by a former MP and Congress leader from Tamil Nadu.

The five firms are: WiExpert Communications, SV Telecom Systems, Digitelco Communications, Spectrus Communications and Technotial Infoways.

This reporter visited the ‘registered office addresses’ of these five companies and found they were residences with no display of even the firms’ name boards. These companies had applied for 14 circles across the country. These companies were incorporated on November 5, 2007.

Sanjay Kapoor is said to be a regular visitor at the Sanchar Bhavan and Electronics Niketan, the two main offices of the Ministry. He frequented the Environment Ministry when Raja was Environment Minister. Kapoor’s companies are technically supported by WiTribe, a Qatar-based telecom firm. WiTribe is a WiMax operator in Pakistan.

While Sanjay Kapoor was not available on phone despite repeated attempts, The Pioneer got in touch with his driver Vijay Pal who also happens to be a director of one of the five firms. According to Pal and documents available with The Pioneer, WiExpert’s Managing Director is Anamika Kapoor, Sanjay's wife. Her mother, Sneh Prabha Arora, is a director of the company.

SV Telecom’s head is Anamika’s father Surendra Mohan Arora. The firm shares its registered office with WiExpert at Flat Number 8 in S-569 in Greater Kailash-II.

Satish Kapoor heads Spectrus Communication and the registered address of the company is Surendra Mohan Arora’s residence at Paschimi Marg in Vikaspuri, while Digitelco Communications, headed by Satish Kapoor’s wife Kamini Kapoor, is registered at their residential address in Vikaspuri. Driver Vijay Pal is also a director in Digitelco.

The fifth company, Technotial Infoways, is led by Sunita Kapoor, who is Sanjay Kapoor's mother, according to Pal. This firm is registered at her residential address in Samrat Apartments in Vasundhara Enclave.

The Pioneer had made several attempts to contact Sanjay Kapoor, who floated all these companies, but he did not respond to them. Queries sent to his email id, provided as the contact address of all the five companies in the records of Registrar of Companies of Delhi, went unanswered.

The Pioneer on March 5, reported about another of Raja’s close associate’s company participating in the WiMax franchise allotment by the BSNL. Chennai-based Wellcom Communications owned by T Silvarajoo had applied for six circles of BSNL. Silvarajoo is from Raja’s constituency Peramballur in Tamil Nadu and considered close to the Minister.

After The Pioneer’s exposé, the BSNL refrained from short-listing Wellcom. “After the relation between the Minister and Wellcom Communications was exposed, Raja asked BSNL chief Kuldeep Goyal to re-work the entire plan of operations,” revealed a highly placed official of the BSNL. Along with Wellcom, two established names, Wipro and Cisco, too, were cut out from the shortlist.

The sixth company shortlisted was Bangalore-based Raasi Callnet, owned by C Narasimhan, former MP and Congress leader from Tamil Nadu. Raasi Callnet is a BPO company and in the business for the past eight years. Narasimhan was a Tamil Manila Congress MP in 1996, representing Krishnagiri constituency.

Meanwhile, the BSNL granted WiMax franchisee in January to Soma Networks in the three States earning most revenue — Maharashtra, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh — without any tender or Expression of Interest. Soma Networks is a US-based company floated by Indians. Former Planning Commission member MS Pathak, son of former Vice-President of India GS Pathak, is the chairman of Soma Networks. Yatish Pathak, MS Pathak’s son, is the Chief Executive Officer of the firm. WiMax Forum, an association of WiMax operators, had complained to the Prime Minister over the unilateral allotment of franchisee to Soma Networks.

WiMax is a high-speed Internet service that provides connectivity in mobiles and laptops. The BSNL decided to invite franchisees from private players for providing WiMax services. In what raised suspicions, it invited Expression of Interest a few months ago and cancelled and re-opened the procedure several times. Highly placed officials of the BSNL and Telecom disclosed to The Pioneer that, by this procedure, the BSNL would get 25 per cent of the revenue while 75 per cent will go to the private player. The annual revenue from WiMax is expected to be Rs 900 crore, according to BSNL estimates. A total of 11 companies responded to BSNL’s WiMax franchisee allotment.

The main advantage of the WiMax franchisee of the BSNL is control over 20 MHz spectrum without any investment. “They can use BSNL’s 50,000 communication towers, 20,000 office premises and two million kilometres of fibre network across the country, which are the exclusive property of the nation, free of cost. The role of shell/benami companies is to sell the stakes at whopping prices to foreign companies. It will be like Swan and Unitech deals, offloading the shares to huge values. This is the profit of WiMax business,” a Telecom official said.

BSNL Chairman and Managing Director Kuldeep Goyal did not respond to repeated attempts to obtain clarifications.

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Re: Indian Interests

Postby ramana » 22 May 2009 20:22

Pranav, We have a good governance thread in Tech & Econ Forum. Please post there.

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Re: Indian Interests

Postby Pranav » 23 May 2009 07:47

OK, will post it there. My suggestion is that we should have a sticky for corruption scams, just as we have a sticky for terrorist attacks. Arguably corruption scams cause a lot more damage than terrorist attacks. Mumbai 26/11 caused a financial loss of maybe a couple of thousand crores due to disruption of financial activity. But often, a single scam can cost the taxpayers far more.

ramana wrote:Pranav, We have a good governance thread in Tech & Econ Forum. Please post there.

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Re: Indian Interests

Postby putnanja » 24 May 2009 00:57

China now bigger threat than Pak: IAF chief

...
“China is a totally different ballgame compared to Pakistan,” the air chief said. “We know very little about the actual capabilities of China, their combat edge or how professional their military is…they are certainly a greater threat.”

The comments are bound to lend urgency to the new government’s China agenda and the need to understand the security implications of the rapidly modernising Chinese military.


...
“The way he (China) is growing, he definitely has the capability. But we should neither put China on a pedestal and say it will chew us up nor lose sight of the fact that they have (acquired) huge capabilities,” Major said.

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Re: Indian Interests

Postby Paul » 26 May 2009 05:18

An interesting insight on how the subcontinental muslim elites played both sides of the fence after partition.

Princess Sarvath, wife of prince hassan of Jordan who almost became king after hussein died was niece to former Indian VP Hidayatullah.

these relationships are kept well alive in the cobweb of the INC heirarchy.

Mohammed Ikramullah
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Mohammad Ikramullah was a prominent figure in the administration of Pakistan at the time of independence. As a member of the provisional government of Pakistan, before the independence, he was Secretary and Advisor at the Ministries of Commerce, Information and Broadcasting, Commonwealth Relations and Foreign Affairs. After the independence, he was appointed the first Foreign Secretary of Pakistan in 1947. He also remained the Ambassador of Pakistan to Canada, France, Portugal and the United Kingdom. He was married to a leading figure of Pakistan independence movement Shaista Suhrawardy Ikramullah, and father of Princess Sarvath of Jordan.

Contents [hide]
1 Biography
1.1 Personal life
2 Notes
3 External links


[edit] Biography
During his Indian Civil Services (ICS) career, Ikramullah served as Advisor to the preparatory commissions of the United Nations in London and San Francisco, and at its first general assembly, between 1945 and 1946. In July 1947, when States Departments were established, Ikramullah was appointed from ICS as Secretary, States Department, Provisional government of Pakistan.[1] Subsequently in October the same year, he became the first Secretary of Foreign Affairs of the Government of Pakistan. Ikramullah played key roles in establishing the Commonwealth Economic Committee and had been nominated as Secretary-General of the Commonwealth at the time of his death.


[edit] Personal life
His brother, Mohammad Hidayatullah, was Chief Justice of India from 1968-70, Vice President of India from 1979-84, and served as acting President of India twice. He married Shaista Suhrawardy in 1933 and had four children:

Inam Ikramullah
Naz Ikramullah (born 1938)
Salma Sobhan (August 11, 1937 - December 30, 2003) - former barrister and professor
Sarvath (born July 24, 1947) - now Princess Sarvath of Jordan


Until these umbilical relationships are broken decisively, we cannot expect indian leadership to identify indian interests clearly.

note for all INc supporters on this forum.

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Re: Indian Interests

Postby ramana » 26 May 2009 22:46

In the Future strategic scenario thread some members were exploring the idea that Indians were corrupt. I had to interrupt the conversation as it was off-topic there.

My understanding is that corruption as a state institution was an outcome of the East India Company rule in India. The EIC officials were paid a pittance with the understanding that they could trade on their own account to make up the difference. Robert Clive had the temerity to say in his defence at his trial for corruption "I was astounded at my own modesty", in reference to his power to steal as much as he wanted after the fall of Oudh, but he curbed it and took only a little 8). Concept of "baksheesh" was popularised in company rule with the underlings serving as conduit to recieve the funds from the supplicants. All euphemisms like "upar ke amadani" etc are from that era.

I would like members to point out stories of corruption in the Vijaynagar or earlier Hoyasala rule or even Chola rule. Or even vernacular sayings other than in Hindusthani or Urdu. Maybe a new Rumila Thapad will be born to chronicle this.

After the Crown took over the officials were still paid little sums but had enormous privileges and perks and could retire to their native lands (Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand and even Canada). After Independence the policy of low pay was continued by GOI due to various hardships (the British stole the treasury in WWII etc(Sterling reserves), resource mobilization for developing economy and industrialization ) and this gave an ample opportunity for self-enrichment, aka corruption. In most Western countries there are legitimate venues for self enrichment, which are prohibited by law in India (state financing of elections, allow individuals and corporations to donate funds to political parties etc) plus the old quota - permit- license raj under INC helped to institutionalize this self-enrichment process.

In the Islamic rules there was the practice of nazarana where the people who wished to see the Sultan had to bring gifts of bullion(gold coins) to get their audience. The Nizam of Hyderabad was notorious for insisting who should have audience with him 8).

The Mughal princesses and begums used to trade on their private account to supplement the meager allowance the Padshahs used to allot to them. See the refs to the pirates capturing the ship of Akbar's queen, Mariam Uz Zaman aka Jodha Bai apdf of which I had some members post a long time ago.

Along the way during the British rule, a number of sterotypes of Indians have developed and here is a wiki article on that.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stereotype ... uth_Asians

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Re: Indian Interests

Postby ramana » 27 May 2009 00:45

A blog by Rajiv Sreenivasan and some comments in it.


http://rajeev2004.blogspot.com/2009/05/ ... hould.html

I am not sure about Nitin. He seems to be confused between pseudo-secularism and national interest.


This is a crucial conclusion that a section of the elite are confused on this issue for they think Indian Nationalism is a right wing construct and thus do not want to have anything to do with it or negate it.

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Re: Indian Interests

Postby ramana » 27 May 2009 09:53

IDSA page:

http://www.idsa.in/reports/IDSA-DCDCworkshop041108.htm

ON IDSA and DCDC interaction. has KS speech in mp3.

and
Weekly seminar topics:

http://www.idsa.in/events/weekly-seminars.htm

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Re: Indian Interests

Postby raji » 27 May 2009 10:30

ramana wrote:In the Future strategic scenario thread some members were exploring the idea that Indians were corrupt. I had to interrupt the conversation as it was off-topic there.

My understanding is that corruption as a state institution was an outcome of the East India Company rule in India. The EIC officials were paid a pittance with the understanding that they could trade on their own account to make up the difference. Robert Clive had the temerity to say in his defence at his trial for corruption "I was astounded at my own modesty", in reference to his power to steal as much as he wanted after the fall of Oudh, but he curbed it and took only a little 8). Concept of "baksheesh" was popularised in company rule with the underlings serving as conduit to recieve the funds from the supplicants. All euphemisms like "upar ke amadani" etc are from that era.

I would like members to point out stories of corruption in the Vijaynagar or earlier Hoyasala rule or even Chola rule. Or even vernacular sayings other than in Hindusthani or Urdu. Maybe a new Rumila Thapad will be born to chronicle this.

After the Crown took over the officials were still paid little sums but had enormous privileges and perks and could retire to their native lands (Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand and even Canada). After Independence the policy of low pay was continued by GOI due to various hardships (the British stole the treasury in WWII etc(Sterling reserves), resource mobilization for developing economy and industrialization ) and this gave an ample opportunity for self-enrichment, aka corruption. In most Western countries there are legitimate venues for self enrichment, which are prohibited by law in India (state financing of elections, allow individuals and corporations to donate funds to political parties etc) plus the old quota - permit- license raj under INC helped to institutionalize this self-enrichment process.

In the Islamic rules there was the practice of nazarana where the people who wished to see the Sultan had to bring gifts of bullion(gold coins) to get their audience. The Nizam of Hyderabad was notorious for insisting who should have audience with him 8).

The Mughal princesses and begums used to trade on their private account to supplement the meager allowance the Padshahs used to allot to them. See the refs to the pirates capturing the ship of Akbar's queen, Mariam Uz Zaman aka Jodha Bai apdf of which I had some members post a long time ago.

Along the way during the British rule, a number of sterotypes of Indians have developed and here is a wiki article on that.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stereotype ... uth_Asians


I think Ramana you misunderstood my definition of corruption. Let me define it.

Corruption is any kind of dishonesty, disloyalty, envy or treachery. Therefore, when a person takes unfair advantage of any one else or of society in general, he or she is corrupt. Therefore, when someone is given a job which he doesnt deserve, it is corruption. When a general switches sides out of expedience, that is corruption. When one envies ones brother, that is corruption. When we are treacherous and betray a cause for common good for personal advance, thats corruption. Bribery is only a consequence of corruption that exists.

Now you were arguing, correct me if I am wrong, that bribery started with the East India Company. Well, bribery existed as far back as the Nandas in Magadha, Mauryas in Magadha, down to Guptas, to the Sultanate times, Moghuls. There are myriad of examples of bribery in those times. I personally havent read much about the Southern kingdoms, but its hard to believe that bribery didnt exist during Chola reign, for example, but I will accept your word, if you say so.

However, even under the Southern Kingdoms, as with the Northern Kingdoms, corruption (as opposed to just bribery) existed in plenty. Southern societies were as stratified, for instance, in castes and classes as northern ones, just in different ways. That is corruption, when upward mobility is inhibited unfairly. It weakens the cohesion within a society and ultimately causes cultures to implode. If I remember my school day history books correctly, again correct me if I am wrong, other forms of corruption such as intrigues and dishonesty existed in southern kingdoms as well.

But be that as it may, even if, for the sake of argument, we accept the fact that bribery and even larger corruption arrived in India with the British, what is your point ? How does that help us now ? Does it mitigage our corruption now ? An overwhelming majority of Indians of today believe very strongly, that corruption is not a serious problem........it is not a problem that affects our society, economy, military, foreign policy and diplomacy in any meaningful way. That corruption is only a governance issue. That with economic growth, as people get more affluent, this problem will go away just like it did in Britain, which was also hugely corrupt, when it was poorer etc. They mistake bribery for corruption. One is the symptom, the other is the fundamental cause. Most but not all of these people believe that because in India today, its hard to go through day to day life without being forced to pay bribes, and just about everyone has to indulge in bribery. And most people dont consider themselves bad people, so they try to minimize the seriousness of bribery. Correct me if I am wrong, but your posts and reaction to my posts indicate that you are a part of this overwhelming majority(I dont mean someone who indulges in corruption, I mean someone who believes that corruption is no big deal).

I am one of a few thousands of people in India that believes that corruption is our THE fundamental problem. We have always been corrupt, never changed (unlike a lot of other societies who became less internally corrupt, with time) and thus weakened ourselves and our weakness invited many invasions and caused us many defeats. I also believe that if we become less corrupt, we will become proportionately stronger as a society, government, militarily and generally as a people. Again, just so there is no misunderstanding. I am an Indian, one of us. I am not using corruption as a big stick to beat up our own society and country to benefit someone else, even inadvertently. My purpose in excoriating corruption is because of a strong belief that fixing it can fix our society radically and allow us to make huge strides, which I fervently want to see. So I am criticizing our system from the inside, not as a part of a different culture from the outside to subjugate our people further.

So, if my reading of your position on corruption is correct, I strongly disagree with you.

shiv
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Re: Indian Interests

Postby shiv » 27 May 2009 14:45

raji there is a tendency to gloss over corruption. Perhaps it is inconvenient to think about it when one is planning high things for the nation.

But there is a catch in ignoring corruption and that catch is that the nation can only go so far and no further with its current level of dysfunctionality. It is definitely in India's interests to address corruption whose ubiquitous presence in India is visible to anyone who cares to open his eyes.

What actually happens is as follows. Even the corrupt people are "nationalists". They do well for the nation, but they are also busy screwing other Indians, who are nationalists too. So any battle against corruption can end up looking like a battle between patriots. The uncorrupt patriot has to show why the corrupt patriot is wrong. The corrupt patriot will wear his patriotism on his shoulder and claim that he is being victimized. People often judge that if a person has done a whole lot of good, a little bad (like using influence to get out of being penalised for a road traffic fatality) should be allowed. Naturally nobody else agrees but the system ensures that corruption continues.

Infighting among Indians centers around corruption and the routes that one must take to maximize benefit to oneself, even if it means being unfair to some other Indian. The impact of this on India gets easier and easier to see as one gets more and more involved with the nitty gritty of governance in India. Technically it would then need to go on the good governance thread.

A rhetorical question I would like to ask is if corruption should be discussed in the good governance thread but not in the Indian interests thread would it mean that ideas of removing corruption have no place in the "Indian Interests" thread? It would be the function of a bureaucracy to decide if a discussion of corruption is not in the interests of the Indian interests thread, but should move to the good governance thread to stop corruption of the Indian Interests thread.

Virupaksha
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Re: Indian Interests

Postby Virupaksha » 27 May 2009 15:00

shiv wrote:A rhetorical question I would like to ask is if corruption should be discussed in the good governance thread but not in the Indian interests thread would it mean that ideas of removing corruption have no place in the "Indian Interests" thread? It would be the function of bureaucracy to decide if a discussion of corruption is not in the interests of the Indian interests thread, but should move to the good governance thread to stop corruption of this thread.

Shiv,
Since you are using rhetoric. I am just extending your rhetoric. Why stop at corruption?
Let us include red tape, poverty, dhimmitude, McCaulay, education system, secularism and pseudo secularism, nrega, job oppurtunities, red menace, human rights, vote bank, privatization, socialism, communism, communalism, sc/st development, minority development, women development, tax havens, fiscal deficit, politico-criminal nexus, so on.

Which of the discussions above doesnt come under Indian interests thread? In my opinion everything. Let us discuss all of them and give nukkad and benis a run for the money. What makes one of the above special while the other worse? That one of us (Shiv) due to a brainwave started seeing one of them (corruption) as the most important?

In short the ones those are special are those with adminullah's kind grace and rest is thread pollution :twisted:

shiv
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Re: Indian Interests

Postby shiv » 27 May 2009 15:04

on second thoughts.. deleted :wink:
Last edited by shiv on 27 May 2009 15:23, edited 1 time in total.

brihaspati
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Re: Indian Interests

Postby brihaspati » 27 May 2009 15:56

Corruption/bribery related expressions did exist before EIC. It was semi institutionalized under the sultanate. The Mughals were exceptionally sophisticated in this regard. In fact, corruption as an elaborate socially acceptable practice of enriching the elite, had been established solidly over the course of the Islamic regimes in India. There is a basis for this. The regimes that invaded and established their rule came from a non-productive background. They were basically marauders and looters and not used to the sophistication of running and producing in an advanced economy. So they would be heavily dependent on pure extraction. We do have extensive records for the Mughal system, but which in essence are rooted firmly in Sultanate practice and doctrine.

In any case, why do we refuse to see the glorification of corruption by the "non-participants"? Why don't we expose all those relatives, peers, and society around that rewards with social esteem - a corrupt person, if that person can display wealth and conspicuos consumption? Forget politicians and all other so-called corruptors. It is Indian elite society that should first look at itself. Why do parents prefer a "rich" groom when fixing a match for their daughter, even if he is known to be corrupt, over an honest but less fiscally capable groom? This is because Indian elite allowed the imposition of the ideological vacuum, where no values are sacrosanct.


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