Both these books deal with regions of the British Empire hitherto considered ungovernable and hazardous. Written by academics familiar with the culture, societal and tribal norms of the area, they provide timely scholastic content to available literature on the subject at a moment
Sumit Ganguly is no stranger to scholars in international and strategic studies. His book The Origins of Wars in South Asia is a popular text with undergraduates. He takes his earlier work that finishes with the 1971 War further in the volume under review by beginning with the Kargil War.
Bilateral India US relations remain on an upswing and the recent visit by Defence Secretary Carter anointing India as a Major Defence Partner testifies to this. Let us not get carried away by this and think of Russia too. 12 years ago, Pakistan was designated a Major Non-Nato Ally by George Bush.
Studying and analysing disasters, their impact and how these are dealt with by governments, humanitarian agencies and people, is developing as a research area with a multidisciplinary approach. In recent times the University Grants Commission in India and the Division of Disaster Management in the Indian Government have given huge funding for developing studies around this.
The rise of nationalism in the West and the heart-rending images of refugees from the Middle East has brought back immigration as a topic of conversation across the world. Nationalism seems to trump humanitarian considerations in policies towards immigration, particularly towards refugees, whether it is the Rohingy as in Myanmar or the Syrian refugees.
India is an important actor in South Asia and it has been extending its role regionally and globally. However, in spite of participating actively India is not regarded as an ‘Asian Power’. Sandy Gordon’s book juxtaposes the changes which are necessary in the Indian domestic and neighbourhood policies for India to become an ‘Asian Power’.
As Fukuyama was visualizing his ‘End of History’, a giant was stirring–awakened by a unique set of reform policies which liberalized the economics but not the politics of governance. The subsequent rise of China has oft been documented by admirers as also its critics.
Modern India’s history is counted from 1947, but the making of India’s current foreign policy goes back to 1990 or there abouts. A number of factors, both global and domestic, that crystallized in the late 1980s-early 1990s mark a clear change in course at the time. In India, there was political turmoil, and two short-lived governments (led by PMs V.P. Singh and Chandrashekhar)
Tabish Khair’s The New Xenophobia is a bold effort to examine an increasingly pressing universal phenomenon, which the world has been ignoring as being part of the past. The importance of this work is that it seeks to place what it terms as ‘New’ in the perspective of what was the old xenophobia within the author’s broad concept that ‘Power refers to any imposition, physical or not, of one consciousness
In the long history of Christianity in India spanning millennia, the Christian faith came to be rooted in the multicultural pluralistic tapestry of India, and was articulated and found expression in multiple ways depending on specific contexts. During the course of its journey, Indian Christianity became complex and multilayered and known for its adaptations, collaborations and contestations with the local culture and history.
With Sufism being viewed as a counter narrative to radical Islam, there is a renewe interest in this mystical aspect of Islam, particularly of Sufi traditions in the subcontinent. These three books published recently highlight the cultural, historical and spiritual legacies of important Sufis in the subcontinent.