What Biggar has done is to pick up some aspects of the history of the British Empire on which there are writings that seek to dispute a particular point in critiques of colonialism, often taking the narrowest view of a complex historical phenomenon, to build his arguments in defence of British colonialism.
The most interesting portion of the book is the ‘Epilogue’. It primarily concerns the deliberations which took place at the administrative level. It underlines the long and intense tussle which took place between Lord Mountbatten, the incumbent Viceroy, and Sir Cyril Radcliffe, the Chairman of the two boundary commissions.
Lambah’s book is a treasure-house of facts and insights and a must-read for anyone interested in India’s foreign and security policies and subcontinental politics
This book is about the various Chinese professionals who came to India during the Second World War and resided in India during that time. This was the time when close to 100,000 Chinese nationals were in India which was the highest ever in history.
These fifteen essays by Pakistani-origin women in this collection,Ways of Being, break this mould. Ruminative, reflective, often very introspective, they are honest, thoughtful examinations of our present realities; of personal fates; of ‘Life’ in both its grand and paltry confusions.
In this work, Seema Alavi addresses the ‘overwhelming silence’ and the ‘invisibility’ of Arab polities and dynasties in the historiography that reflects an ‘unabashed Eurocentrism’. The inability of ‘mainstream’ scholarship to make sense of the unique structures of state power that shaped the Ocean’s political culture has been brilliantly exposed in this work.
In the wake of the Arab uprising in 2011, the West Asian region faces immense uncertainty due to the lack of a democratic structure, authoritarian rules, sectarian divisions, economic crisis, tribal and military polarization, and foreign state interventions. Being a rentier state, the region of West Asia experienced an immense geopolitical shift contesting the definition of regional power, especially between Saudi, Iran, Turkey, and others.
Can mankind eliminate nuclear weapons and eliminate the greatest existential risks to the human species and the existence of the planet? This is one of the most intriguing concerns that plague people in modern times. Logic will disagree with such a question or even assertion, but evidence suggests that a number of key global leaders and dignitaries have shown willingness for such a vision, not immediately attainable but may be in the foreseeable future.
AS Dulat is reported to have put out, the book under review has been written without taking clearance from current-day intelligence minders. An earlier government order had it that those serving and retired from intelligence services were required to take such clearance prior to publishing anything related to their work. Dulat, former Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW) head and Intelligence Bureau (IB) officer, has cocked a snook at the order with good reason. On the surface, there is nothing in the book that should see him fall afoul of powers-that-be.
China’s unprecedented rise has forced the world to restudy and refocus on the major factors behind this development. The Deng Xiaoping era is considered to be the time when China moved out of the trap of a low-income agrarian society to becoming the factory of the world and the second largest economy. The reform and opening up announced by Deng in late 1978 gave China the direction which it needed to gain momentum.
Both the authors need no introduction to the public attentive to strategic matters. Between them, they have fifty years of engagement with strategic affairs. Both have past publications that place them in good standing as readers appraise whether they should pick up their latest wares. While Joshi’s landmark book was on Kashmir—The Lost Rebellion—in the nineties, Sawhney’s co-authored one—The War Unfinished—was on the India-Pakistan crisis of early this century.
Jayita Sarkar’s book traces the origins and development of India’s nuclear weapons programme in the context of overlapping narratives of postcolonial modernity, developmentalism and geopolitics. Sarkar achieves this explanation by way of highlighting the technopolitics binding developmentalism and national security in the vision of its technopolitical elite which conceived and ran India’s nuclear programme.
Pashtuns are one of the largest ethnic groups in the world who do not have their own country but straddle across a contiguous stretch of territory, across northern Pakistan and southern Afghanistan. They have been embroiled in wars with the British, invaded by the Soviet Union and suffered an almost two-decade long interference by the United States, albeit sometimes benign.
Although the title refers to ‘Southern Asia’, this masterly survey by Ashley Tellis focuses on three countries: China, India and Pakistan. In so doing, the author differs from other western scholars and analysts writing about nuclear deterrence concerning India, who take a dichotomous view of India’s dilemma, either India versus Pakistan or India versus China. Tellis rightly takes a trichotomous view because it is impossible to consider nuclear issues in South Asia in isolation from China.
Many Indian works analyse Pakistan, to understand this subcontinental neighbour. This book is an important addition thanks to the balanced, nuanced, and insightful perspectives offered.Sharat Sabharwal spent eight years in Pakistan (1995-99, 2009-13). Few in our Foreign Service have had similar lengthy exposure.
There is much in common between these six books. They all carry a subtitle, are inexpensive and light reading, though about a rather heavy topic; are tales simply told; and are about the lesser remarked aspects of war. Other than the one by Hisila, they have been penned by people other than the respective protagonists, with Punia having his daughter along as co-author. All are of stories in southern Asia, other than Punia’s which is situated in West Africa.
It goes without saying that China is India’s most important neighbour and India-China bilateral relations is the most consequential diplomatic engagement for India in the 21st century. Despite greater attention being paid to China in India recently, there is still not enough research and writing that would stand the test of time.
Myanmar gained Independence on 4th January 1948, less than five months after India. For both countries, therefore, this year marks the 75th year of Independence. Even before its Independence, Myanmar, then called as Burma, was a province of the British Empire in India and was ruled from Delhi till 1937 when it was made into a separate entity directly administered from London.
The origins of the current impasse in India-Pakistan relations are generally dated back to 2016 and since that year the relationship has descended progressively to even lower plateaus. The milestones of the process are well known. One dimension was major terrorist attacks such as at Uri (2016) and Pulwama (2019). Indian Counter Terrorism responses included a shallow cross LOC raid termed as a ‘surgical strike’ in Pakistan-controlled territory and a deeper air strike into Pakistan—the Balakot strike
The Liberation of Bangladesh in 1971 is one of the historic moments in the subcontinent’s history as the numerical majority decided to separate from the numerical minority. Bengalis supported the idea of Pakistan and were the first one to vote in its favour in the Bengal Legislative Assembly election. It was a Bengali, AK Fazlul Haq, who moved the Lahore Resolution that conceived the idea of separate ‘states’ for the Muslims in the North-Western and Eastern parts of the subcontinent.