Jayant Prasad
Reasons of State: Politi¬cal Development and India's Foreign Policy under Indira Gandhi 1966-1977 by Shashi Tharoor Vikas Publishing House, Delhi, 1982, 438 pp., 150
Nov-Dec 1982, volume 7, No 3

This is a book with a certain topical value but likely to be forgotten soon enough as another doctoral dissertation too hastily published. Despite Shashi Tharoor’s painstaking research, his effort is flawed by his preconceived notions and not quite redeemed by the quality of his scholarship. The thesis is outlined in the intro¬ductory chapter; the facts and the analysis that follow are simply to prove it. The book provides a lesson to students of diplomatic history how not to carry on research. The nexus between foreign policy and the domestic en¬vironment is an interesting subject for a thesis. Unfortu¬nately, for Shashi Tharoor the starting point is neither his¬tory, nor politics, nor even the sociological context in which Indian foreign policy is formu¬lated. He has, instead, attemp¬ted to analyse India’s foreign policy between 1966 and 1977 based essentially on the psychological orientation of one individual—Indira Gandhi.

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