India’s foreign policy has been, and continues to be, driven by a host of factors which are not easy to delineate. India’s relations with the external world have often been driven by personalities-individual proclivities, orien-tations and worldview. History and geography have played their part in varying tones.
Today economics, resource crunch and energy requirements shape the contours of foreign policy. Consistency has never been its hallmark. Long-term views have rarely been articulated. Impossibly high grounds of mor-ality and ethics have given way to hard-nosed pragmatism and a marked propensity to wilt under pressure. Discontinuities and discordant notes mark various phases of the journey India has undertaken as an independent nation.
Any attempt to understand India’s foreign policy, therefore, remains an incredibly comp-lex task. Jayanta Kumar Ray’s volume is indeed a work of considerable magnitude spanning as it does the first six decades of India’s Indepen-dence. By any measure, it is an ambitious pro-ject making Ray’s analyses and opinions open to debate.