RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat spoke at an event where he emphasized the secular nature of India for the past 5,000 years and urged unity and exemplary human behavior. This event marked the launch of a book titled 'Prithvi Sookta - An Ode To Mother Earth,' authored by senior RSS functionary Ranga Hari. Bhagwat stressed the importance of devotion, love, and dedication to the motherland, asserting that the nation is an essential component of national unity.
He declared that India's 5,000-year-old culture has inherently been secular, and this conclusion is derived from the knowledge of elements. He pointed out that the core Indian belief is that the entire world is one family, emphasizing that this concept isn't theoretical but should be known, understood, and practiced in behavior.
Bhagwat highlighted the remarkable diversity in India and called upon the people not to engage in internal conflicts. He urged Indians to make their country a model for the world, showcasing unity. He emphasized that India's existence should be driven by the sole purpose of promoting global welfare.
He also recognized the significant role of seers in shaping India. According to him, these seers created a society dedicated to imparting knowledge to every individual in the country. Contrary to the popular perception of seers as ascetics, Bhagwat highlighted that they lived as wanderers with their families, and their knowledge extended to various aspects, including ayurveda. He added that the descendants of these early seers still exist today, contributing to society and preserving their cultural heritage.
Bhagwat underscored the historical role of Indian people in disseminating knowledge worldwide, stating that Indian knowledge reached far corners of the globe, from Mexico to Siberia.
In summary, Mohan Bhagwat's speech at the book launch event celebrated India's secular heritage, unity in diversity, and the timeless wisdom of Indian seers. He called for the country to set an example for the world through its unity and harmonious existence, highlighting that the nation's purpose is to serve the well-being of humanity.
Excerpts from Mahroks: The Story of the Kambojas, Sikhs and Shaheeds
The Kamboja people are very ancient and historic people of the famous Indo-Aryan race. They are now very numerous in the plains of East and West Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, other parts of India, around the mountains of Hindukush, the northeastern parts of Afghanistan, including its Badakhshan province, and modern Tajikistan across the Amu Darya (River Oxus), as well as in the southeastern parts of Iran.
The ancient Kamboja tribe was a famous Aryan tribe whose descendants we find in the Kamboja of today’s northern Indian subcontinent. Scholars opine that the Kamboj community of Punjab is related to the ancient Kamboja country, which was in the Hindukush mountain system and its adjoining areas. This land was noted in ancient literature for its fine breed of horses. Also called Kambohs, a farming community of Punjab, they are the modern descendants of the ancient Kambojas. The Kamboja people are the only Vedic Kshatriya people among the numerous Kshatriya tribes that participated in the great Mahabharata war. They have been especially glorified in the Mahabharata epic as the Vedic scholars (Kritvidiashach), besides being designated as the fiercest and swiftest of fighters, deadly warriors, wondrously armed braves, war intoxicated, death personified, dreadful as Yama, the God of Death, elephants gone wild/mad, as deadly as cobras, expert archers, expert cavaliers and expert mal-yudh-kushlah.
Surprisingly, and by the twists of time and history, this once extremely famous and powerful, warlike and scholarly class of royal and proud Indo-Aryan people of ancient India and Iran are today by all accounts and reckonings little-known people. These famous Vedic and Avestan Aryan people of a bygone era once ruled supreme in southwest Asia. They dictated terms, for sure, and spoke and acted from positions of strength, as is amply and repeatedly evidenced by numerous and copious ancient literature and epigraphic inscriptions in India, Persia and the writings of classical Sanskrit and Greek historians. According to authentic and dedicated researchers at Delhi University, ‘undoubtedly, every inch of the Afghan soil stands trampled under the hooves of the world-famous Kamboja horses of the war-expert Kamboja cavalry’.
Jewan Deepak, the author, is multi-faceted. An aviator, an IT specialist, a trained classical musician, a linguist (with specialisation in Russian), a historian, and most importantly, a writer.
by Rajiv Malhotra & Vijaya Viswanathan / 01 December 2022
The Church of Wokeism Liberal Arts Becomes Dogmatic
Excerpts from Snakes in the Ganga by Rajiv Malhotra & Vijaya Viswanathan
The stated goal of liberal arts education is to equip students to process complex and diverse ideas, engage in abstract thinking, and consider opposing opinions with open minds. The teacher should provide students theoretical grounding from multiple perspectives and encourage them to engage each other and the faculty, and debate opponents with mutual respect. Such education should enable them to challenge beliefs, assumptions, and conventions. In practice, however, liberal education has become the exact opposite. Students are no longer encouraged to think for themselves but are tutored in the teacher’s specific ideology and social justice morality. Academic institutions are not sanctuaries for open inquiry and alternative viewpoints. The conservative thinker Allan Bloom was blunt in his influential book, The Closing of the American Mind: How Higher Education Has Failed Democracy and Impoverished the Souls of Today’s Students, attacking American universities for spreading dogma as theory and for indoctrinating in the guise of scholarship. Ironically, in the name of ridding society of its power structures, academicians have created their own enormous power structure. Since the old structures are seen as stumbling blocks, they are to be demolished. This includes not just dismantling structures like religions, nation-states, and traditional values, but also objectivity, rationality, and meritocracy.
Genuine science is about formulating hypotheses and subjecting them to empirical testing, debate, contestation, and falsification. The social sciences, however, too often blur the boundaries between facts and moral values. The power of social sciences in society comes not from their ability to theorize like the hard sciences, but from their ability to undermine societies. In addition, the globalization of liberal arts has had a colonizing effect. To be truly liberal, each society should develop its own content with its own cultural underpinnings and resist global homogenization. But domination by American scholars, institutions, theories, and funding sources has undermined local cultures. The system of academic rankings and global evaluation indices is also controlled by the West and undermines local excellence. We use the terms social sciences, humanities, and liberal arts interchangeably because of the inter-disciplinary movement to cross fertilize across them.
The term ‘Woke’ was already popular in Black culture, but it became mainstream in the aftermath of George Floyd’s (a Black) killing by a White policeman. Becoming Woke is a general-purpose term referring to being aware of social injustice according to the framework of Critical Race Theory. It means fighting all the invisible power structures that govern societies. We will use the terms Wokeism and Critical Race Theory are interchangeably; the latter is the more formal academic system, while Wokeism is its popular, informal version. Though we empathize with the oppressed and support movements that help them, we disagree with many of the methods being suggested by Critical Race Theory. We find that activist leaders are not persecuted innocent freethinkers but advocates of censorship, Cancel Culture, and aggressive evangelism of their newly founded religion. For instance, we disagree with Wokeism’s premise that rationality is a problem because the clever, upper-class elites have been using it as a tool for exploitation. The movement is not interested in constructive engagements. It is not open to free speech, debate, discussion, challenge, evidence, etc. This will be elaborated in a later section of this chapter. It is reasonable to think in terms of the Gospel of Wokeism as a dogma belonging to a new kind of Church. The high priests of Wokeism are the autocrats deciding who is underprivileged and entitled to special treatment. This is a powerful new institution with its own ideas of blasphemy. Those who disagree are to be attacked viciously. Dissent is not allowed. Woke is a form of groupism and tribalism, seeing society in terms of us/them, and waging an all-out war against its opponents. The table below shows some of the similarities between this movement and the dogmatic structure of some Churches.
Just as Adam and Eve committed the Original Sin that has inflicted everyone ever since so also systemic racism is the Original Sin of the founding fathers and all others involved in nation-building. Individual merit is overshadowed by the structural Original Sin. Another similarity we find with organized Christianity is the use of victimhood. Wokeism inherited this from Marxism’s Frankfurt School whose leaders defined a new class called ‘the subaltern’ as ‘the oppressed’. This was a new kind of proletariat defined as those deprived of cultural power. This cultural hegemony has many names and forms: feminists call it patriarchy; sexual names and forms: feminists call patriarchy; sexual minorities call it heteronormativity, and racial minorities call it White supremacy.
On the completion of 75 years of independence, the country is celebrating it as Amrit Mahotsav. In this episode, the book "The Administrator - Jagdishwar Nigam vs British Raj 19 August 1942" was released at ITC Maurya Hotel in Delhi. The book was released by Indresh Kumar, a senior pracharak of the Sangh and a founding member of the Muslim Rashtriya Manch. On the release, the Sangh leader said that it is a matter of great pride that we are getting an opportunity to remember such revolutionary officers on the elixir of freedom. He said that the memories of Jagdishwar Nigam have been brought alive in the book Administrator. The Sangh leader said that even though the country got independence in 1947, Ballia became independent only in 1942 due to the revolutionary Jagdishwar Nigam.
Referring to the book, Indresh Kumar said that this book has been written on such a true incident that shook the heart of the British government. ICS officer Jagdishwar Nigam took a historic step after Gandhiji announced the non-cooperation movement.
Guests from all over the country and abroad, including MP from Ballia, UP, Virendra Singh attended the launch ceremony. Prominent among which were Zimbabwe, Palestine, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Mongolia, Slovenia, Macedonia, Serbia, European Union ambassadors and representatives and everyone appreciated Jagdishwar Nigam. At the same time, everyone in one voice called it a step toward peace. The foreign ambassadors and representatives also stressed world peace and India's role. Jagdishwar Nigam's entire family was present at the launch and everyone was excited to see the excitement. The family members remembered the former ICS officer very emotionally.
This book is written on the collector Jagdishwar Nigam posted in Ballia in 1942 during the British Raj, who had made the first administrative rebellion in 1942 during the British Quit India Movement. The British rule named Jagdishwar Nigam as the rebel Ballia. Jagdishwar Nigam, a 1923-batch ICS officer, was posted as a collector in Ballia and shook the flag of British rule by hoisting the tricolor on his government collectorate against British rule.
This book has been written by Raj Darbari and Janice Darbari, both granddaughters of Jagdishwar Nigam. Both have compiled in book form the interesting facts told by their mother and Jagdishwar Nigam's daughter Sheela Darbari. The book has also been appreciated by the megastar of the century Amitabh Bachchan and congratulated his family for playing a leading role in Jagdishwar Nigam's Quit India movement and making his biography accessible to the common man in book form.
Indresh Kumar lashed out at the opposition and said that Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh is like Surya who will injure himself if he tries to throw stones at him. Taking a dig at the opposition's ruckus, he said that it is an attempt to waste the proceedings of the House and the time of the House. The country is continuously moving forward on the path of development in which everyone's cooperation and contribution is necessary.
A must-read book for aspirational management students globally. In this day and age where one is surrounded by an abundance of self-help books, I was attracted to the business-like book “Life Lessons for Managers” written by R.G.Rajan. Drawing from his experiences in leading organizations in the Public Sector in India such as Engineers India Limited, GAIL (India) Ltd, Projects and Development India Limited and Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilizers, the author’s writing makes this book a must-read. The author has used clear, simple and straight language without any management jargon. Various personal life experiences, anecdotes, stories and instances have been aptly interwoven in the book making the reader understand the underlying management principles. Readers will easily be able to relate to the situations mentioned in the book and apply them to their own lives.
The book has been organized into small chapters, each of which can function as a stand-alone guide on a particular topic. The chapters begin with a thought-provoking quote that kindles the reader’s interest to proceed on a reading journey which could well be their path to self-discovery. Two things especially stood out for me in this book. Firstly, the author has not hesitated to talk about his failures in various stages of life and how to deal with them. Secondly, there is a continuous focus on value systems throughout the book, including family values, which have often borne the brunt of today’s stressful life. The author concludes his book by talking about the golden rules of success.
The basic fundamentals of life never change, which is why the nuggets of wisdom shared by the author are immortal and applicable to every generation. Young managers can use this book as a guide to supplement their learnings at B – School, while seasoned professionals and laypersons can rediscover themselves. So, go ahead and explore yourself!
Title : Life Lessons for Managers Author: R G Rajan Publisher: Story Mirror Infotech Pvt Ltd
In July 1765, Robert Clive, in a letter to Sir Francis Sykes, compared Gomorrah favourably to Calcutta, then capital of British India. He wrote: "I will pronounce Calcutta to be one of the most wicked places in the Universe."
Drawing upon the letters, memoirs and journals of traders, travellers, bureaucrats, officials, officers and the occasional bishop, M.J. Akbar's 'Doolally Sahib And The Black Zamindar -- Racism and Revenge in the British Raj' (Bloomsbury) is a chronicle of racial relations between Indians and their last foreign invaders, sometimes infuriating but always compelling.
A multitude of vignettes, combined with insight and analysis, reveal the deeply ingrained conviction of 'white superiority' that shaped this history. How deep this conviction was is best illustrated by the fact that the British abandoned a large community of their own children because they were born of Indian mothers.
The British took pride in being outsiders, even as their exploitative revenue policy turned periodic drought and famine into horrific catastrophes, killing impoverished Indians in millions.
There were also marvellous and heart-warming exceptions in this extraordinary panorama, people who transcended racial prejudice and served as a reminder of what might have been the British made India a second home and merged with its culture instead of treating it as a fortune-hunter's turf.
The power was indisputable - the British had lost just one out of 18 wars between 1757 and 1857. Defeated repeatedly on the battlefield, Indians found innovative and amusing ways of giving expression to their resentment in household skirmishes, social mores and economic subversion.
When Indians tried to imitate the sahibs, they turned into caricatures; when they absorbed the best that the British brought with them, the confluence was positive and productive. But for the most part, subject and ruler lived parallel lives.
M.J. Akbar is a distinguished writer and Member of Parliament representing the BJP from Madhya Pradesh. During his long career in journalism, he launched, as editor, India's first weekly political news magazine, Sunday, in 1976, and two daily newspapers, The Telegraph in 1982 and The Asian Age in 1994. He has also been editorial director of India Today and The Sunday Guardian.
He is also the author of several internationally acclaimed books, including 'India: The Siege Within'; 'Nehru: The Making of India'; 'Kashmir: Behind the Vale'; 'The Shade of Swords: Jihad and the Conflict between Islam and Christianity'; 'Tinderbox: The Past and Future of Pakistan'; and 'Blood Brothers', a novel. In addition, there have been four collections of his columns, reportage and essays.
Chief Justice of India N.V. Ramana on Wednesday cited Mahatma Gandhi's quote on the essence of newspapers as he rued that the concept of investigative journalism is unfortunately vanishing from the media canvas.
In his remarks at the launch of book "Blood Sanders: The Great Forest Heist", authored by journalist Udumula Sudhakar Reddy, he said: "As a person whose first job was that of a journalist, I am taking the liberty to share a few thoughts on present day media. The concept of investigative journalism is unfortunately vanishing from the media canvas. It is true at least in the Indian context."
Citing newspaper reports on scandals and misconduct creating waves leading to serious consequences, he said barring one or two, he can't recall any story of such magnitude in the recent years.
"Everything in our garden appears to be rosy. I leave it to you to arrive at your own conclusions," he said.
The CJI added: "I am reminded of what Gandhi ji said about newspapers, I quote: 'The newspapers should be read for the study of facts. They should not be allowed to kill the habit of independent thinking.' I hope the media introspects and tests itself against these words of the Mahatma."
He said the book gives insights into what all has gone wrong with the fragile ecosystem spread over Chittoor, Nellore, Prakasam, Kadapa and Kurnool districts of Andhra Pradesh, where Red Sanders thrived in this habitat till a few decades ago.
"Now it is facing the threat of extinction. Like all good things in this world, Red Sanders also fell prey to the greed of man," he said.
He said the author mentions that The AP Forest Act was amended in 2016 to deal sternly with the smuggling of Red Sanders. "However, what is lacking is the necessary will to enforce these laws. This is where the media needs to play its role. The collective failures of individuals and institutions entrusted with the role of protectors need to be highlighted by the media. People need to be made aware of deficiencies in the process," he added.
The Chief Justice said: "The destruction, not only of the Red Sanders species, but of the ecosystem as a whole. This species is known for preventing forest fires from spreading in the vulnerable forests of Seshachalam hills. Consequences of this ecological destruction are there for us to see globally. The need of the hour is to address these issues locally."
Mansi Gulati, an International Yoga exponent has performed Yoga in all across India and abroad, prominently at the Vice President's house of India, 28 Governor Houses, Embassies, Jails, Schools, Universities including Kumbh with Baba Ramdevji and Sri Sri Ravi Shankarji besides various other Gurus.
Besides this, she has written a number of books, and her last two books were released by Shri M Venkiah Naiduji, Hon’ble Vice President of India, and Shri Ram Naikji, then Hon’ble Governor of UP respectively.
A book on Face Yoga’ has come out at an appropriate time when the world is anxiously looking up for solutions to improve immunity and evolve a holistic lifestyle. The book ‘Face Yoga’ is a comprehensive work on face yoga written in lucid simple language which can be easily understood by beginners and practitioners alike. Mansi is an acclaimed Yoga practitioner herself and has therefore written the book from a user’s perspective. Photographs and illustrations have further enhanced comprehension, assimilation, and understanding of the book by the reader.
The author is sure that the book on ‘Face yoga’ will benefit large sections of society and will be welcomed by everyone in India and abroad.
Excerpts from Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Power - Rajiv Malhotra
Automation will create a dichotomy between new haves and have-nots. Massive unemployment will occur simultaneously with shortages of professionals in the latest technologies. Those who are technically qualified, possess the latest knowledge, and can work competitively in the new economy will be rewarded with high-paying jobs. These will be the new elites. Unfortunately, most workers will be left behind to face unemployment or eke out a meager living.
In the imminent future, society will have to acknowledge the existence of what I call the unemployable class. Additionally, the greater longevity that results from medical advances will further increase costs for the nonproductive elderly. Income disparity will become glaringly large and foment increased stratification between social classes. The middle class might virtually disappear, leaving a small upper class of elites and an exceptionally large lower class. Labor shortages will exist at the upper end, with a surplus of obsolete workers at the lower end.
Artificial Intelligence will exacerbate economic divisions by worsening the disparity that already exists. In the Global Wealth Report 2019, Credit Suisse Wealth Institute indicates that the top 1% of the world’s richest people own 45% of the world’s wealth; it provides the breakdown for major countries. According to one report the world’s 2,000 billionaires have more wealth than the bottom 4.6 billion people combined, and the richest 1% have more than the combined wealth of 6.9 billion people.
….. Most economists like to pacify the public with the claim that new jobs created by AI will compensate for the loss of old jobs, but this assertion does not address the problem for several reasons. As stated earlier, AI’s new jobs will not be located where old jobs are eliminated, but wherever the AI industry’s innovations and implementations are located. The Oxford Economics report indicates that job losses and gains will be unevenly distributed between countries, between regions of the same country, and even between different communities in the same region. The consumers who benefit from cheaper goods due to automation will be scattered around the world, whereas the communities that lose manufacturing jobs will be locally concentrated. In fact, Oxford Economics states: “increased industrial automation will tend to exacerbate the regional inequalities that already exist within advanced economies”
….. The coronavirus pandemic will make the unemployment situation even worse for the most vulnerable people, exacerbating the problems caused by AI. One estimate is that this latest crisis could plunge another half a billion people into poverty and will adversely impact women more than men. The well-recognized gender pay gap even in developed countries like the US is likely to worsen due to the pandemic.
….. Despite these trends, a sizeable segment of millennials, especially those employed in the tech industry, subscribe to the optimistic view that AI will usher in an age of abundance and freedom for all. This attitude is an oversimplification resulting from a collective unwillingness to acknowledge reality and inability to reason with sophistication when confronted with uncomfortable truths.
New Delhi, Jan 6 (IANS) Even as many in the Congress still seem to be in denial about Prime Minister Narendra Modis popularity and the fact that he has earned his victories, former President late Pranab Mukherjee in his memoir clearly says that Modi earned and achieved his success.
Recently, excerpts from 'The Presidential Years', the fourth and concluding volume of Mukherjee's memoirs, have started doing the rounds. There are many interesting excerpts that show the cordial relationship of the former head of the state with Prime Minister Modi. Mukherjee and Modi come from completely different ideological backgrounds, but it is clear that Mukherjee had immense respect for Modi and his passion for the country.
Mukherjee is a politician who gave Narendra Modi his due respect for the victory in the 2014 general elections. Even as many in the Congress still seem to be in denial about Modi's popularity and the fact that he has earned his victories, Mukherjee clearly says that Modi earned and achieved his success.
"Modi, on the other hand, became PM through popular choice after leading the BJP to a historic victory in 2014. He is a politician to the core and had been named the BJP's prime ministerial candidate as the party went into campaign mode. He was then Gujarat's CM and had built an image that seemed to click with the masses. He has earned and achieved the prime ministership," Mukherjee writes.
The former President reiterates that he appreciated the counsel and advice which was offered to him by PM Modi in his quest to uphold the Constitution, clearly shining a light upon Modi's own commitment to upholding the Constitution. He also singles our Modi's passion and energy for driving transformational changes across the country.
"As I had said on oath, I strived to preserve, protect and defend our Constitution, not just in word but also in spirit. In this task, I greatly benefited from the advice and cooperation extended to me by Prime Minister Modi at every step. With passion and energy, he is driving transformational changes in the country. I will carry with me fond memories of our association and his warm and courteous behaviour," Mukherjee says in the book.
One of the first meetings between Modi and Mukherjee mentions how closely the Prime Minister followed the statements and articles by Mukherjee and maintained that he too was following the sentiments and wishes of the Indian President without caring for their political affiliations. The same passage also reflects how there was no hurry with Modi to assume a position of power and that he wanted to discharge his existing duties in an appropriate manner.
"I congratulated Modi, who requested for some time to speak with me. Using a newspaper clipping that had reported on my earlier speech hoping for a politically stable mandate, he asserted that he had achieved the objective of a clear majority that I had envisaged. Thereafter, he requested for a week's time before the swearing-in ceremony. I was surprised at his request. He insisted that he needed time to address the issue of his successor in his home state, Gujarat," as per the book.
In the beginning parts of the book itself, the former President notes Modi's pragmatism and enthusiasm to build relations within the South East Asian region and also his zeal for continuous on-the-job learning. It is clear that Modi on several occasions took the advice of the erstwhile President and initiated a process to factor in his insights into policy decisions as well.
"Modi then sought my advice on his intent to invite all the heads of state/government of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) countries for the swearing-in ceremony. I complimented him on the idea and advised him to discuss the same with the head of the Intelligence Bureau, owing to the enormous security risks facing leaders of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. I have had very cordial relations with PM Modi during my tenure. However, I did not hesitate to give my advice on matters of policy during our meetings. There were several occasions when he echoed concerns that I had voiced. I also believe that he has managed to grasp the nuances of foreign policy quickly," Mukherjee says in the book.
Mukherjee also noted the successful efforts for inclusive growth. It is clear that political differences did not come in the way of rightful appreciation of the inclusive growth measures taken by the Modi government. He also mentions that there was optimism in the air. He writes about how he appreciated the steps taken for inclusive growth as part of his speech at the beginning of the Budget Session in 2015.
"My speech in Parliament at the start of the Budget Session in 2015 reflected the promises the Modi government had made to the people and the steps it had taken in the direction of inclusive growth. The government had taken charge barely a year ago and there was optimism and trust in the air.
"Underlining the new slogan of the regime, I said that ‘the fundamental tenet of my government is sabka saath, sabka vikas (support from all, development for all).' The session was especially important because it was then that the Modi government presented its first full-year Union Budget," he says in the book.
Mukherjee, as a career politician, also recognised the mandate that is wielded through India's electorate. He understood the high level of hard work and dedication that Modi brought to his electioneering. In his book, he noted that a popular mandate is never something that can be achieved just by chance -- it is something that has to be earned. He writes that he was initially skeptical about Piyush Goyal's optimism that the BJP would win over 265 seats in the 2014 elections. However, he took this optimism seriously when he saw Narendra Modi's gruelling electioneering schedule.
"However, I took him seriously when he gave me Modi's detailed electioneering schedule, which was not only gruelling but also painstaking. It covered the entire length and breadth of the country," Mukherjee says.
Further, in 2019, Mukherjee appears surprised that Modi formed a government with his pre-poll allies despite winning a comfortable majority and coming back with bigger numbers. In a way, this also shows appreciation for the way Modi keeps his commitments.
Through the various mentions of strengthened bilateral and multinational relations, Mukherjee noted that these visits actually helped to achieve a better global image for India. He also notes that even when PM Modi did not have much experience when it came to international relations, he found his own out-of-the-box niche.
"It was evident that one could expect the unexpected from Modi, because he had come with no ideological foreign policy baggage. He was to continue with these surprises. PM Modi has desired to improve the strained relations of the past. India also wants to see that the Indian Ocean Region does not become a playground for big powers," as per the book excerpts.
The book details what Modi told Mukherjee about why he should be present at the joint session of the Parliament at midnight, especially to address the occasion. This is a glimpse of Modi's personal touch, something which made Mukherjee agree.
"Coming back to my residence, I had a telephonic conversation with him, during which he insisted that as an individual, I had done my best for three-and-a-half years to get the bill passed, and as President of the Republic, the deal would be approved with my signature of assent. It would be a historic coincidence if I addressed the joint session of Parliament assembled at midnight at the Central Hall on 30 June. I agreed," Mukherjee says in the book.
New Delhi, Dec 2 (IANS) The irony couldn't be more apt. The Sino-American rapprochement saw the once bitter enemies establishing diplomatic relations in 1979. A decade later came the Sino-Soviet rapprochement - again between two seemingly intractable ideologies - and the settlement of the Russia-China territorial dispute in 2004, to the extent that Russian turbofan engines now power the Chinese JF-17 jet that could soon become the mainstay of the Pakistani Air Force. Today, even the Arabs and the Israelis are talking about peace in a multipolar world that is taking shape with the re-emergence of Russia post the collapse of the Soviet Union.
"In the India-China case, both neighbours were attempting to move ahead without actually solving their problems, a formula that was exposed in 2020" with the PLA incursions in Eastern Ladakh, historian and strategist Zorawar Daulet Singh writes in "Powershift - India-China Relations In a Multipolar World" (Macmillan), suggesting that the two countries "explore new avenues that they could not delve into during the Cold War phase, where the frontier question dominated everything else".
"What has led to the tailspin in India-China relations in recent years? We will not find the clues in some valley or a narrow stretch of road in the upper Himalayas. Rather, the main reason has been a systematic buildup of negative images of how each side viewed the other's foreign policies along with a collapse in geopolitical trust," writes Daulet Singh, who holds a doctorate in international relations from King's College, London, and an MA from the School of Advanced Studies, Johns Hopkins University.
His previous books include "Power and Diplomacy: India's Foreign Policies During the Cold War", "India-China Relations: The Border Issue and Beyond" and "Chasing The Dragon: Will India Catch up with China?"
For India, the book says, China's attempts to raise its economic and political profile in the subcontinent was seen as an encroachment on, and an affront to, Indian authority in the neighbourhood. For China, India's pursuit of deeper military engagement with the former's main strategic rivals - the US and Japan - was viewed as a serious challenge to its future security.
"Convinced that only an assertive policy would work, since 2015 both New Delhi and Beijing began exploiting leverages and pressure points to keep the other side off balance. India tilted closer to the US, China towards Pakistan and on a scale not witnessed even during the Cold War years," Daulet Singh writes.
And, with India's boycott of the BRI (Belt and Road Initiative), China found itself confronting not only the major holdout against its flagship international initiative "but also its most suspicious and non-cooperative neighbour in Asia", the book says.
"Beijing also noticed that New Delhi was beginning to openly involve external powers to collaborate with it in an anti-China strategy in South Asia and the Indian Ocean. Worse still must have been the spectacle of India brandishing its Tibet card. Such unbridled competition has raised the costs for both India and China," the author maintains.
The "short, if feeble episodes" to reach a new equilibrium through the informal summits in Wuhan (2018) and Chennai (2019) have obviously not been enough to reach a new modus vivendi, the book says, adding: "The crisis in eastern Ladakh for most of 2020 has shown just how intense threat perceptions and suspicions are on both sides of the Himalayas," even as it argues for a "new equilibrium to mitigate the recurring cycles of intense competition in recent years".
Thus, India's China policy is a profoundly consequential process that entails opportunities as well as risks with implications across a gamut of issues: to India's global status and effectiveness in international institutions, geopolitical security, and economic transformation, the book says.
India's China policy should aim to "responsibly compete" with its largest neighbour "albeit asymmetrically but effectively. This should not preclude creatively leveraging China's economic power to transform the region, a pragmatic strategy that smaller South Asian states have been pursuing to their advantage".
"Policymakers should also recognise the wider ramifications of China's rise in world politics and remain acutely sensitive to when and to what extent India's other strategic partners respond to and support India's interests and concerns.
"The creativity lies in leveraging geopolitical opportunities where they exist without succumbing to a 'ganging up' game that leaves India vulnerable to pressure from China, while India's friends, who have their own stakes with China, look on. It is a fine balancing act, and historically Indian strategists have got it more right than wrong," Daulet Singh maintains.
India's China policy, he writes, should be guided by three grand strategic goals: an inclusive security architecture in Asia that facilitates a non-violent transition to multipolarity without radically disrupting economic interdependence; an open and reformed international order to better reflect the developmental interests of India and the Global South; and, geopolitical stability and sustainable economic development in the subcontinent.
"China policy, therefore, must be part of a bigger foreign policy and world order vision for India, not the other way around," the author states.
Noting that the Asia of 2030, will look very different from the Asia of today, the book says that for the first time in several centuries, "we are facing the prospect of an Asia that can actually flourish on its own economically and not simply by playing a role as an assembly hub and export powerhouse to the West".
Greater Eurasia has the energy resources and strategic commodities of Russia including its strong scientific base of human capital, as well as the commercial technologies of Japan, China and Korea and it is this "big picture trend" that India needs to pay attention to, the book says.
"While the West will remain important, there is no viable way for India to avoid being part of this dynamic Asia and Greater Eurasia. Eventually, that boils down to having some sort of a stable India-China relationship. It has, thus, fallen upon the present generation of policymakers to steer India towards this complex multipolar world order. Major strategic choices have to be made and one hopes that India's leaders have the long term view," Daulet Singh writes.
Recalling a recent remark of Norwegian historian Odd Arne Westad that "the more the US and China beat each other up, the more room for manoeuvre other powers will have", the author states that this mantra could equally be applied to India and China.
"Unrestrained competition only benefits other powers. As the 2020 Ladakh crisis bookends a tumultuous decade of India-China relations, both Delhi and Beijing would do well to heed the call of our time. History is obliging both countries to step up and play constructive roles to shape the emerging world order even as it is impelling both sides to learn to co-exist in a common neighbourhood," Daulet Singh concludes.
"Powershift" is truly a seminal work that all stakeholders need to sit up and take a serious note of for the clarity of vision it provides.