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<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Wednesday, February 2, 2005

Ex-Dissident Sharansky Becomes Bush's Muse

By Megan Goldin

JERUSALEM -- It's been a long and lonely road for former Soviet
dissident Natan Sharansky, who for years has been ridiculed for his
political theories of spreading democracy across the globe to obtain
world peace.

But the former Soviet refusenik, who is now a Cabinet minister in the
Israeli government, no longer walks alone. His companion in his
campaign to democratize the world is no less than U.S. President
George W. Bush.

To have the ear of the most powerful leader in the world after
decades of having his political ideology dismissed as naive and
eccentric is a pleasant change for the diminutive Ukrainian-born

"I am sorry that there are so few people who believe in these ideas,
but it's nice to think that one of these very few people is the
president of the United States," Sharansky, 57, said in his office in

Not only did Bush read Sharansky's <b>new book, "The Case for
Democracy," </b>with avid interest days after it was published, but he
gave a copy to his top adviser, new Secretary of State Condoleezza
Rice, and said he personally bought a copy for British Prime Minister
Tony Blair.

"This is a book that ... summarizes how I feel. I would urge people
to read it," Bush told CNN.

Bush was so taken with the book that he summoned Sharansky to the
White House in November. The president spent an hour in the Oval
Office discussing Sharansky's ideology based on his years as a
dissident and prisoner in the Soviet Union.

"I told him: 'You are the real dissident. Politicians look at polls --
what is popular, what is not popular. A dissident believes in an
idea and goes ahead with it ... even when there are so many people
who disagree,'" Sharansky said.

Sharansky has espoused these views for more than two decades, but
said he had been largely dismissed "as a guy who has spent too much
time in a Soviet prison, so he is a bit crazy in the head."

Palestinians and Israeli peace activists see him as betraying the
values of freedom and human rights he says he holds dear because he
has not fought the Israeli occupation and has helped prop up a
succession of right-wing Israeli governments. Even Israeli Prime
Minister Ariel Sharon told him, "They are good ideas, but they don't
belong to this part of the world."

So it was with a feeling of vindication that Sharansky heard Bush's
inauguration address on Jan. 20, in which he called for "expansion of
freedom" around the world and an end to tyranny, phrases that could
have been taken from the pages of Sharansky's book. "I was very
excited, not only because the words were so familiar and the ideas
were so important. [But] the ideas were expressed with such
confidence ... not by an academic, but by the leader of the free
world who was going to implement them."

The soft-spoken Sharansky does not claim to have put words in Bush's
mouth. Rather, he says his book gave Bush a historical context and
political theory "for his instinctive feelings."

Sharansky's theories on "liberty" and "freedom" germinated while
working as an aide to leading Soviet dissident Andrei Sakharov in the
1970s and during his eight years in a Siberian jail after the Soviet
authorities convicted him as a spy and traitor.

He became a symbol for the movement to free Soviet Jews, and under
enormous international pressure, particularly from the United States,
was released in 1986 as part of a prisoner swap with Moscow. He
immediately immigrated to Israel.

There, a painfully thin Sharansky, despite being force-fed at a
Soviet hospital before his release, was greeted as a national hero.
He later formed a party for Russian immigrants that joined the right-
wing government of Benjamin Netanyahu in 1996.

He resents being pigeonholed as a "right-winger," despite opposing
the 1993 Oslo peace accords with the Palestinians. He said his
political views are conceptually different from anything on the
Israeli political spectrum today. "Today I am called a right-wing
extremist. Tomorrow I will be called a left-wing extremist," he
said. "I am a refusenik."

The gist of Sharansky's view is that the "free world" should
encourage countries to democratize by linking international standing
and aid to their record on human rights and freedom of speech. It was
such linkage through the 1975 Helsinki Agreements that led to the
collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, he said.

Sharansky said he firmly believes the world would be more stable and
extremism would fizzle out if all peoples, including those in the
Middle East, enjoyed freedom and democracy.

As with Bush's speech, Arab academics are somewhat skeptical about
Sharansky's view. "I can't swallow that he was a champion of human
rights in the Soviet Union and when he came over here he forgot his
past and was part of the scheme of occupying another people,"
Palestinian political analyst Ali al-Jarbawi said.

Sharansky does not spare criticism for the United States, saying it
tried to appease countries such as Saddam Hussein's Iraq and Saudi
Arabia. Washington, he said, should have linked relations and aid
with improved human rights and democracy.

He acknowledged Bush faced an uphill battle for democracy in the face
of the "realpolitik" that drives foreign policy. His advice to Bush:
Ignore the skeptics and stick to your ideals. "Dissidents are always
alone. ... You can only hope the logic of history is on your side.
That is what happened in the Soviet Union and that is what I hope
will happen in the Middle East."<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<!--QuoteBegin-k.ram+Feb 2 2005, 10:56 PM-->QUOTE(k.ram @ Feb 2 2005, 10:56 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin--> Not only did Bush read Sharansky's <b>new book, "The Case for Democracy," </b>with avid interest days after it was published, <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Bush reading book... now that's first. <!--emo&:o--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/ohmy.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='ohmy.gif' /><!--endemo-->
The tight ally Mush wants to write a book. <!--emo&:o--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/ohmy.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='ohmy.gif' /><!--endemo--> <!--emo&:o--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/ohmy.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='ohmy.gif' /><!--endemo-->

Bush reading, Mush writing...what the world coming to?

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->A Book From Musharraf

President Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan is writing a political memoir, focusing on the war on terrorism and his relationship with the Bush administration as a key ally. The memoir is to be published by Simon & Schuster and will probably appear in bookstores next fall, the publishers said. Bruce Nichols, vice president and senior editor at Simon & Schuster's Free Press imprint, said yesterday that although Mr. Musharraf would receive help with the manuscript from a longtime journalist and confidant, it would not amount to co-authorship.

<!--emo&:roll--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/ROTFL.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='ROTFL.gif' /><!--endemo--> <!--emo&:roll--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/ROTFL.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='ROTFL.gif' /><!--endemo--> <!--emo&:roll--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/ROTFL.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='ROTFL.gif' /><!--endemo-->

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->although Mr. Musharraf would receive help with the manuscript from a longtime journalist and confidant, it would not amount to co-authorship<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

sure .. sure..

Political Islam: Global Warning

Published: February 6, 2005

he globalization of Islam is nothing new. The Prophet Muhammad himself confronted Jews, Christians and pagans in his Arabian milieu -- and within a couple of generations, Islam, spread by conquest and conversion alike, came into fruitful contact with the legacies of Persian, Greek and Roman civilizations.

Nevertheless, since 9/11, the pace of the engagement between global Islam and other, mostly Western, forces and ideas has quickened, and the stakes have grown. The latest round of books on Islam and the West attempts to make sense of this most recent and intense episode of global interaction and conflict. Mostly, these books reveal a powerful undercurrent of concern -- ripening into panic -- about the unintended consequences of civilizational encounters played out in an environment of violence. They offer diagnoses, but few prescriptions.

In an influential pre-9/11 book, ''The Failure of Political Islam,'' Olivier Roy, a French student of contemporary Islam, argued that utopian Islamic revolutions in Muslim countries failed during the 1980's and 90's. Now, in ''Globalized Islam: The Search for a New Ummah,'' he pushes the point farther, suggesting that the important events in the world of Islam are taking place not in the regions we ordinarily think of as Islamic but in Europe. As Exhibit A, Roy points to today's global terrorists, who, he says, are overwhelmingly likely to have studied and lived in Europe (or occasionally the United States) and to have embraced radical Islamic ideas there, not in the Muslim countries where they were born.

Indeed, he traces contemporary Islamic terrorism itself to the European terror of the Baader-Meinhof gang and other leftist movements of the 1960's and 70's. Global Islamic terror, for Roy, is not only born of the interaction between Islam and the West, but also reflects the aspiration of displaced Muslims living in Europe to create a transnational Islamic identity, forged in revolution.

Roy is right to focus on the ways that both the techniques and ideologies of terror have crossed borders and grafted themselves onto an Islam that, in the past, was largely unfamiliar with them. (He points out, for instance, that suicide bombing was popularized not by Muslims, but by the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka, and adopted by Al Qaeda only after it had been borrowed, to devastating effect, by Palestinian radicals as part of their intifada.) It is also true that the small number of Muslim terrorists who have committed acts of terror in Europe or the United States includes several who were radicalized in Europe. (As Roy notes, however, this was not true of the 15 Saudis who were the muscle, not the pilots, on 9/11.)

Roy's Eurocentric focus and his impulse to link Islamic terror to Marxist-inspired radicalism obscure the extent to which satellite television and the Internet have spread Western ideas into the Islamic world. Utopian violence may arguably be on the decline in most majority Muslim countries (although Saudi Arabia is a notable exception, and the Iraqi insurgency includes its share of jihadis); but ideas from free speech to text messaging to brand-name consumerism are affecting the daily lives of larger and larger numbers of non-Western people, who remain fully comfortable with their own national as well as religious identities. Surely the future of global Islam is to be found where most Muslims live, and where today's ideologies of both radical and moderate Islamism are developed, even if they are adopted by émigrés abroad.

If the United States seems missing from Roy's story at times, Gilles Kepel puts America's reaction to 9/11 front and center in ''The War for Muslim Minds: Islam and the West.'' Kepel's central thesis can be summed up simply: the United States is losing the war, and badly. Instead of encouraging resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the Bush administration has played directly into Al Qaeda's hands by invading Iraq. It failed to recognize that the war would further inflame the Muslim world, convincing more Muslims than ever before that the United States was their enemy. Now, Kepel says, Europe will inherit the whirlwind, in the form of growing Islamic extremism and terrorist acts like the Madrid bombings.

Kepel and Roy are frequently mentioned in the same breath -- because of their French nationality and their tendency to publish books at the same time -- but their approaches are starkly different. Kepel, one senses, is addressing an American audience, in order to show us the error of our ways through an outsider's critical evaluation. One chapter is devoted to an analysis of the neoconservatives, and another of comparable length to what he considers ''the calamity of nation-building in Iraq.''

But Kepel is best when on familiar ground, as when he analyzes the growing skill of European Muslim leaders like the controversial Tariq Ramadan, who defend religious freedom while demanding special recognition for their religious community as a distinct group within Europe. Kepel barely suppresses his frustration with this two-sided political strategy, or with the French government's willingness to play along by recognizing quasi-official clerical spokesmen for Muslims in France.

Forbidding Muslim girls to wear headscarves in French schools while simultaneously trying to control French Muslims through officially recognized Islamic organizations gets matters exactly backward, as most Americans will easily see. Our constitutional combination of freedom to practice one's religion, coupled with the strong separation of church and state, has worked far better in accommodating religious diversity than anything Europe has yet dreamed up. The United States may be alienating Muslims worldwide with its foreign policy; but at home a new generation of Muslim-Americans is demonstrating the ability to criticize American policy while maintaining steadfast loyalty to the democratic values they share with other American citizens from different backgrounds.

It would be nice if the extremes of the American right and left showed some of the same measured ability to argue against mistaken American policies without impugning the integrity of the other side; but perhaps this is asking too much of ideologues caught up in the past. David Horowitz is one such relic of traditional left-right struggles (and like many of the toughest grapplers, he has been on both sides). In ''Unholy Alliance: Radical Islam and the American Left,'' this leftist-turned-conservative provocateur aims to discredit his old allies by arguing that the left is in bed with Osama bin Laden because of their shared anti-Americanism. He writes that ''self-described progressives'' have formed ''inexplicable alliances . . . with Arab fascists and Islamic fanatics in their war against America and the West.''

Horowitz's book would be little more than a tiresome exercise in quote-gathering and guilt by association were it not for the fact, noted by Roy, that the Islamic extremists have indeed drunk from the well of old-fashioned Marxist anti-Americanism. Militant Islamists do in fact share some common themes and language with homegrown radicals, especially in their condemnations of American imperialism. What is interesting about this is not that it demonstrates some alliance between the old (once the new) left and Islamic terror, but that it shows how ideas lose their provenance as they travel across time. The worldwide critics of American empire today are no more likely to think of themselves as Marxists than the antiwar critics of the 1960's thought of themselves as belonging to the American anti-imperialist movements of 1900 or 1790.

A more sensible and productive set of proposals for understanding Muslim extremism comes to us from two Americans who have considerable experience in the Middle East. An academic and a World Bank consultant respectively, Monte Palmer and Princess Palmer are particularly good at describing the Lebanese and Palestinian jihad movements. In ''At the Heart of Terror: Islam, Jihadists, and America's War on Terrorism,'' they analyze jihadi strategies with a nuanced common sense all too hard to come by in the sometimes sensationalist literature on the topic. They provide, for example, a detailed chapter on Israeli counterterrorism efforts that identifies both its successes (large numbers of suicide bombings thwarted) and its shortcomings (no significant reduction in Palestinians prepared to undertake terrorist acts).

These authors pose an increasingly tough question for United States policy: Will we, can we ''accept rule by Islamic parties dedicated to the establishment of an Islamic state''? In Lebanon, for example, Hezbollah has made itself into a political party without abandoning its violent stance toward Israel or its willingness to use terror; in Palestine, Hamas may well follow a similar course. The Palmers call such groups ''radical-moderates.'' Unlike the Shiite Islamic democrats poised to take power in Iraq, or Turkey's thoroughly Islamic-democratic Justice and Development Party, Hezbollah has been prepared to pursue simultaneous strategies of violence and political participation.

The Palmers opt for engagement with Hezbollah -- not because they trust them, but on the realist grounds that ''efforts to eliminate them will only increase terrorism and push the United States into a war with Islam.'' In fact, it may be possible to negotiate with the radical-moderates on the condition that they abandon any active involvement in terror. This approach would require us to distinguish true Islamic democrats, who reject violence as a mechanism of political change, from fellow travelers like Moktada al-Sadr, who haunt the edges of participatory politics. But, as the Palmers note, Muslim support for jihad against enemies perceived as oppressing Muslims is ubiquitous, even among moderate-moderates.

Even more specific is an engaging, quirky book on terrorism's largest growth market: Pakistan. Hassan Abbas, the author of ''Pakistan's Drift Into Extremism: Allah, the Army, and America's War on Terror,'' served in the Pakistani police in the still-wild North-West Frontier Province, and did stints in the governments of both Benazir Bhutto and Pervez Musharraf. He therefore has an insider's angle on the story of the gradual infiltration of Islamic ideology into the government over the last several decades.

What's most significant about this book, however, is its insight into the Pakistan military's perspective on the country's politics and history. Each time we are introduced to a new character from the military, we hear the opinion of the officer class. And every officer has a precisely calibrated reputation: this one a drunkard, this one an honorable man, this one a brave soldier with a weakness for women. Increasingly, after the ruling general, Zia ul-Haq, died in an airplane crash in 1988, the newly promoted senior officers had reputations as Islamist sympathizers or activists. These reputations matter crucially for questions ranging from promotion to coup d'etat. For Abbas, the Pakistani Army is political Pakistan itself.

The picture that emerges from the details of Pakistan's military politics is one of the transformation of a traditional, British-trained and British-inflected professional army into a more complex institution that both permeates politics and, in turn, falls under the influence of political movements like Islamism. This, too, is an instance of globalization -- the kind that comes after the empire has folded itself up and gone home.

Noah Feldman, a professor at the New York University School of Law and fellow of the New America Foundation, is the author of ''What We Owe Iraq: War and the Ethics of Nation Building.''

Pakistan, By Definition
From its birth as 'an Islamic home' in South Asia to its present asymmetries, former foreign minister Jaswant Singh extends themes tossed up by a new book on Pakistan


by Stephen Philip Cohen
Oxford University Press
Rs: 495; Pages: 382

Stephen Philip Cohen, in The Idea of Pakistan, cites Al-Biruni as a source of ideas for Jinnah and Field Marshal Ayub Khan. This intrigued me. What did this illustrious contemporary of the great Ibu-i-Sina (Avicenna) write such as to influence two very different personages? Al-Biruni's India is admittedly one of the most penetrative accounts of Indian society, but a society of the 11th century, not the 20th.
That book by uneven Cohen is a masterpiece, IMHO. In spite of his constant snipes at India in the earlier parts of the book, Cohen has a complete insight into TSP. I would post here some of the digs he is taking at India later on.
Book Review in Pioneer. 27 Feb., 2005
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Step into my parlour, said the spider, and the fools trooped in

Strangely, while Open Secrets has been steadily climbing the sales chart, it has not evinced even a whimper from either the Intelligence Bureau or the Government. On the whole, it is an interesting book if you skip MK Dhar's preachy pontification on ethics and morals and quick read through his world view but for which it would have been an eminently readable memoir of sorts --- Kanchan Gupta

OPEN SECRETS: India's intelligence, unveiled; By Maloy Krishna Dhar; Manas Publications, Rs 795

A good spy, conventional wisdom has it, is one who can not only gather secrets in the most unconventional yet unobtrusive manner, but also keep the secrets from prying eyes. Espionage organisations are not surprisingly obsessed with secrecy - as much to protect the identities of their operatives as to safeguard the information they gather.

Of course, this obsession can be taken to ridiculously absurd limits. One of the popular features of The New Statesman used to be a comic strip lampooning the CIA. The strip's sign-in was a red-cornered file stamped "Destroy before you read".

The first time a major intelligence agency faced the dreadful prospect of seeing its secrets and tactics used for collecting them out in print was in 1987 when Peter Wright, an MI5 operative, penned his memoirs and put them up for publication. Spycatcher made news even before it hit the bookshops with the Conservative Government banning its publication. Wright eventually had it published out of Australia and made his pile.

It is another matter that the hoopla over Spycatcher proved to be a big fuss over nothing because Wright's account was an anodised version of what had already appeared in newspapers and magazines about MI5 operations. Yet, when Stella Rimington, the first woman to boss over the MI5, announced she was publishing her memoirs, all hell broke lose again.

The argument that publication of books by those with insider knowledge can severely damage national interest and compromise those still working for espionage agencies, not to mention damage the functioning of the agencies, is not without logic. But in this day and age of kiss and tell, that logic is often brushed aside under the convenient cover of "the people have the right to know". Such moral compunction, awfully lacking when spies are in service, inevitably surfaces when retirement and irrelevance stare them in the face.

In any other country, Open Secrets: India's Intelligence Unveiled by Maloy Krishna Dhar, who retired as Joint Director of Intelligence Bureau, would have created a furore and unleashed an intense public debate. But while the book has been steadily climbing the sales chart in India, it has not evinced even a whimper from either the Intelligence Bureau or the Government: to use a cliché, their silence has been deafening.

Nor have the politicians and political parties who have been exposed by Dhar cared to respond. Perhaps because it is embarrassing to deny that they were severely compromised by their association with the Government's dirty tricks department. Some of them thought they were using Dhar and the IB to their advantage, when in reality they were being led down the garden path for more than a slap and tickle.

But Open Secrets is not only about politicians, businessmen and bureaucrats - not to forget journalists - being compromised by IB operative pursuing nefarious objectives. It is also about how India's premier internal intelligence agency which is supposed to provide input vital for effective protection of national interests, has been converted into an instrument of political manipulation by successive governments.

If Mrs Indira Gandhi had no qualms about using the IB to demolish political foes, those who followed her in office also vigorously practised the amoral misuse of institutions like the IB for partisan political purposes. The only exception, perhaps, was during the years when Shyamal Dutta was IB Director. He tried to reshape IB into a modern intelligence apparatus, and both Prime Minister AB Vajpayee and Home Minister LK Advani respected his integrity.

But let's not digress and get back to Open Secrets. In his operational days, Dhar was an enterprising spy, innovative and daring in his exploits. During his days in the north-east, he chose to trust his own intuition rather than be swayed by the region's shifting politics of quicksand alliances and brittle loyalties.

In Sikkim, he was sufficiently detached from the shenanigans of the Chogyal, Hope Cook, Kaji and the players in New Delhi to be able to later comment with convincing candour on the validity of the referendum that became the basis of this erstwhile kingdom's annexation by India. So much happened during those action-packed days in Gangtok, yet so little is known of it. Dhar could consider writing an entire book on what another observer had then described (to later regret) the "smash and grab of Sikkim".

The juicy bits are about Dhar's operations in Delhi. He tells all about how he worked on the sly for Mrs Gandhi during the Janata days and was her amateur psephologist, guiding her, if he is to be believed, to a convincing victory in the 1980 election. Dhar also recounts his rummaging through files as head of the Subsidiary Intelligence Bureau to sanitise records by weeding out dirt on Mrs Gandhi and Sanjay Gandhi collected by Morarji Desai's Government.

He darkly hints at Sanjay Gandhi's determination to use every trick in the book, including gathering incriminating evidence about his mother, to strengthen his stranglehold over her and the Congress. Later, after Sanjay Gandhi died in an air crash, he was given the "detestable task" of monitoring the activities of Maneka Gandhi and her friends. It was Dhar and another IB officer who broke into the offices of Surya, Maneka Gandhi's magazine, and stole the original manuscript of "She", the unpublished chapter of MO Mathai's controversial autobiography.

Dhar also did counter-intelligence work: He ferried guns to the Golden Temple to arm Jasbir Singh Rode and his boys who had offered to fight terrorists. Later, such dangerous and ill-conceived tactics were to blow up in the face of the Government and Dhar had to eat humble pie. He details how Rashtrapati Bhavan telephones were bugged during the famous spat between Zail Singh and Rajiv Gandhi. VP Singh exited his office in South Block without realising that every word he uttered had been duly taped and transferred.

He also claims to have done a Watergate on the RSS and the BJP, secretly recording discussions at close-door meetings. One such meeting, in February 1992, "proved beyond doubt that they had drawn up the blueprint for the Hindutva assault in the coming months and choreographed the dance of destruction (sic) at Ayodhya in December 1992."

Indeed, since Dhar has mentioned some important BJP and RSS personalities by name, and his account shows the extremely close proximity that they had come to share with him, it is tempting to recall how one general secretary would often go around encouraging others stationed at BJP headquarters to "speak to Maloy Dhar". It was almost as if he were a sub-agent of the IB, unmindful of possible consequences of his irresponsible behaviour. Hopefully, BJP leaders and RSS sangh chalaks have not given Open Secrets a miss: it will tell them more than they know how their "disciplined" organisations were infiltrated and subverted from within.

Open Secrets is an interesting book if you skip Dhar's preachy pontification on ethics and morals and quick read through his world view but for which it would have been an eminently readable memoir of sorts.

'Talking of tigers and lions, I recently came across a book that has used the imagery of an elephant to portray India in the first decade of the 21st century. Rising Elephant by Ashutosh Sheshabalaya, which became one of the bestsellers on Amazon.com last year, is a highly provocative and well-researched new book about India’s growing dominance in high-technology jobs. The author makes bold to claim that India’s “inevitable emergence as a world power – economically, militarily and, of course, technologically” poses a “long-term economic, geopolitical and societal challenge to the West.” '

- L.K. Advani, India Today Conclave, February 26

For excerpts, see Yale University Center for Globalization: http://yaleglobal.yale.edu/about/rising.jsp

More on the book at http://www.risingelephant.com

Just Published !


Treason and Terrorism


184 pages p/b
ISBN 81-7221-026-4
Year: 2005
Publishers: Pharos Media & Publ. Pvt. Ltd.

The threat of totalitarian theocracy engulfing the land is looming lethal and large on the socio-political landscape of India. It is not only the minorities, the putative “others”, who are targeted as victims but also all kinds of dissenters and independents. This is where the nation appears hanging on the brink of an abyss. The fact is, both demographically and ideologically, it is not the non-Hindus or the independents who are in a minority. It is the fascists, swaddled in saffron, who constitute the minority. And, to overcome this handicap, the saffron minority, like all fascist formations in history, resorts to massive vandalism and violence on a regular basis. Sowing division and discord, therefore, is essential to its unholy project, entailing social disruption and endangering national security.

Availability: Usually ships the next business day.


India: US$ 3.50 (Postage included) Order Online

Rest of the World: US$ 15.00 (Registered Airmail Postage Included) Order Online

Muslim’s Social Directory [India]

Compiler: Kanwar Niyaz Muhammad
Year: 2004
Pages 736;

All sections of the Muslim society in India have been covered in this directory. It contains names and addresses of IAS, IPS and IFS officers in central and state governments, politicians, ministers, members of parliament, MLAs, bank officers, chartered accountants, income tax officers, judges, lawyers, advocates, engineers, doctors, hakeems, school and university teachers, social and religious leaders and journalists.

Availability: Usually ships the next business day.


India: US$ 7.85 (Postage included) Order Online

Rest of the World: US$ 20.00 (Registered Airmail Postage Included) Order Online


Click to order - How to calculate Inheritance
How to calculate Inheritance

A Simple Approach

(Includes a Chart of Inheritance)

By Shakil Ahmad Khan

The book enables the reader to have the fullest knowledge and understanding of the following:
Significance of the law of inheritance;
Basis and types of inheritance;
Principles of distribution;
Impediments to inheritance;
Laws of inheritance;
Examples of 200 possible cases solved by simple formulas;
A section on frequently asked questions;

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Price: US$ 15.00 (Registered Airmail Postage Included) Order Online

Articles on Gujarat and Hindutva
The Path of the Parivar

By Mukul Dube

Foreword by A.M. Khusro

134 pp. (PB)

The articles in this book have their roots in recent events. Their theme is the carnage in Gujarat in 2002 and the physical and intellectual savagery of the Sangh Parivar. They look at how the Sangh Parivar systematically distorts history, works against the Constitution of the Republic of India and throws into the waste bin all those ideas of civilisation that have arisen after mediaeval times and on which all modern societies are based. The author has drawn on published reports to show how the leaders of the Sangh Parivar routinely use hedging, deception and outright lies to pursue their vicious ends.

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Price: US$ 15 (Registered Airmail Postage Included) Order Online

Understanding the Muslim leadership in India
By S Ubaidur Rahman

144 pp. (PB)

The book is a collection of interviews, with leading social, political and religious Muslim leaders in India and throws light on almost all the important issues confronting Muslims in the country. It will help understand Muslims' problems, their stand on major issues and their relationship with other communities in the country.

Availability: Usually ships the next business day.

Price: US$ 17 (Registered Airmail Postage Included) Order Online

From Congress to Hindutva in Indian politics
Slouching Towards Ayodhya

By Radhika Desai

148 pp. (PB)

'Slouching Towards Ayodhya" is a powerful statement on the stridency of militant Hindu nationalism. Radhika Desai, its author, writes with passion and understanding, and her arguments merit scholarly attention.
Mushirul Hasan

The three essays in this volume, putting Hindutva in international, national and regional perspectives respectively, provide three successive pictures of Hindutva, each, as it were, closer up than the one before, each probing progressively deeper into its dynamics. They analyse the structural basis, historical roots and political entrenchment of Hindutva, and assess the size of the task before the forces who oppose it.

Radhika Desai teaches politics at the University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. She is the author of Intellectuals and Socialism: 'Social Democrats' and the British Labour Party.

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Price: US$ 18 (Registered Airmail Postage Included) Order Online

The Jewish Obsession

By Soroor Ahmed

168 pp. (PB)

Devoid of any preconceived fixation The Jewish Obsession seeks to make an objective study of the relationship among the followers of three Semitic religions. The book is based on historical facts and not myths.

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Price: US$ 17 (Registered Airmail Postage Included) Order Online

Untold story of the American invasion and Iraqi resistance
Iraq War
Russian Military Intelligence (GRU) reports and analyses
Complied by Zafarul-Islam Khan

112 pp. (PB)

In all wars victors have written the final script# that we read today. US-British invasion of Iraq will not be different.
The Iraq war story remains untold especially from the victims’ point of view. We can conclude from what little we know now that the fight of unequals was not without brave resistance.
Some of this precious information is found in this booklet which contains daily reports about the war prepared by experts of the Russian Military Intelligence until the infuriated Americans brought it to a halt.

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Price: US$ 5 (Registered Airmail Postage Included) Order Online

Khaki and the Ethnic Violence in India

By Omar Khalidi

126 pp. (PB)

India's military, paramilitary, and the police constitute one of the largest security forces around the globe. Who constitutes these forces? What is the ethnic and religious background of these troops? Does the composition of these forces mirror the diversity of the Indian society? Have their composition undergone any change since Independence? Like other nations with ethno-religious diversity, India has experienced half a century of ethnic riots, massacres, even pogroms. What impact, if any does the ethnic and religious composition of the security personnel ahs on the ability of teh state to prevent the occurrence of ethnic violence or to mitigate loss of lives and property once it occurs? Answers to these questions are critical to anyone interested in understanding the role of the state's most critical instrument of legitmate coercion - the security forces. This book provides the answers with precision and economy of words.
Omar Khalidi is an independent scholar and a staff member of teh Massachusetts Institute of Tachnology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.

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Islam & Ahmadism

By Muhammad Iqbal

48 pp. (PB)

Qadianism, or Ahmadism as its followers call it, was a rebellion against Islam - a sort of fith column to destroy Islam from within. It was a British imperialist need to blunt Muslim resistance to the colonial power. The founder of the new faith, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian, was never ashamed of his services to the British Empire.
Over the years a lie has been spread in the Subcontinent the Iqbal, the great poet-philosopher of the Orient and an ardent defender of pristine Islam, was a Qadiani himself! This lie has been lapped up by the Hindutva press in India.
This work shows that on the contrary Iqbal was forcefully opposed to Qadianism and regarded it as a rebellion against Islam. Here he responds to certain observation of Pandit Nehru (which are also reproduced).

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Indian Muslims: The Need for a Positive Outlook

By M Wahiduddin Khan

192 pp. (PB)

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Building a Strong and Prosperous India and the Role of Muslims

192 pp. (PB)

Minorities play an important role in nation building, and Indian Muslims are no exception to this. It is high time that they came out of their isolation and be willing partners in enhancing the pace of progress of this country. Hindu-Muslim unity is the need of the hour. Broad-mindedness and high character are the qualities described as “Khuluq-e-Azeem” in the Quran. Muslims should adopt these qualities in letter and spirit to be worthy of their religion.

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Hindu mandir aur Aurangzeb ke faramin (Hindi)

By Dr B N Pandey

40 pp. (PB)

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Compendium of Islamic Laws:
A section-Wise Compilation of the Rules of Shari’at relating to Muslim Personal Law

Under the Superivision of All India Muslim Personal Law Board

218 pp. (HB)

The Compendium of Islamic laws offers a section-wise compilation of the rules of Shari'at relating to the areas governed in India for the Muslims by the Muslim personal law. The original Urdu version of the Compendium was prepared by the ulama under the auspices of the AIMPLB. It is a representative body of the Muslim of India working for the protection of Islamic law as in force in India under the banner of the 'Muslim Personal law'.

Availability: OUT OF PRINT

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Uniform Civil Code
Fictions and Facts

By Prof. Tahir Mahmood

208 pp. (PB)

In the context of the Constitutional provision concerning a uniform civil code this book demolishes the widely prevailing fictions and myths and resurrects forgotten facts and the underlying realities. It delves deeply into all aspects of the ongoing controversy on the subject, unfolds certain truths not fully known or recognized, attempts to remove misgivings and invites all concerned to assess afresh how best the provision of Article 44 can be translated into action to the optimum benefit of all sections of the society.

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Gujarat —
The Making of a Tragedy

Editor: Siddharth Varadarajan

460 pp. (PB)

The book is intended to be a permanent public archive of the tragedy that is Gujarat. Drawing upon eyewitness reports from the English, Hindi and regional media, citizens' and official fact-finding commissions - and articles by leading public figures and intellectuals - it provides a chilling account of how and why the state was allowed to burn. Edited by the deputy chief of the national bureau of the Times of India.

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The Black Book of Gujarat

Editors: ML Sondhi & Apratim Mukarji

466 pp. (PB)

A distinguishing characteristic of this book is that it looks upon the happenings in Gujarat as both a part of historical truth and as a lesson for humankind to retrieve approaches to conflict resolution and communal harmony. Thus this book is a work of contemporary history, a manual of conflict analysis and a sociological study.

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Communal rage In Secular India

By Rafique Zakaria

250 pp. (HB)

Why did the torching of 58 kar sevaks in the Sabarmati Express at Godhra take place? It was undoubtedly the work of some demented persons, insensitive to tits possible aftermath. Worse, how did genocide on such a brutal scale in most of parts of Gujarat occur? And that too in a state which gave birth to Gandhi and nurtured him! Never before were women and children burnt and butchered in such a bestial manner. The miscreants, incited by communal Hindus unleashed such a terrible reign of murder, rape and loot that history itself stood aghast at what is was forced to record.

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Gujarat 2002:
Untold and re-told stories of the Hindutva Lab

Edited by John Dayal

1157 pp. (HB)

A collation of the best of the civil society investigative reports. The book explores the rest of the communal conundrum, and encourages a further study of the ideology of Hindutva. The volume carries the full texts of the Orders of the Election Commission and the National Human Rights Commission, which still remain the only two official organisations to have made public their reports.

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Undoing India the RSS way

By Shamsul Islam

96 pp. (PB)

This book is useful in the present times when the RSS is showing up its colours, more and more starkly, in a number of areas. The communal carnage in Gujarat has exposed the diabloic plans of RSS. The Babri Masjid demolition and riots across the country; the attempts at the Brahmanisation of Education and communalisation of the civil services were some other instances which unmasked RSS and other agencies of the Sangh Gang. The author traces the plans, policies and propositions of the RSS to their origins, in the words/publications of the RSS itself, so that there is no room for alleging misrepresentation.

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Fascism of Sangh parivar

By Ram Puniyani

104 pp. (PB)

This book traces the political backdrop in which Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh was formed, and gives the ideological underpinnings of this organisation. Further it traces the role of Hindu Mahasabha and RSS in freedoms struggle, and murder of Gandhi by Godse. It also traces the development of the concept of Hindutva by Savarkar.

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Secular Horror: 15 years ordeal with Indian secularism

By Mustafa Kamal Sherwani

96 pp.

'The article contains objectionable material which is violative of sections 124A and 505(b) of the Indian Penal Code.'
FIR 18 March 1985

'The accused are....acquitted of the charges framed against them in this case'
Judgement 25 July 2000

It is not a simple line that divides the two sentences above, but a traumatic and painful story spread over one and a half decades.
If hands of persons like SP Vishnoi and AS Khullar continue to be the custodians of secularism in our country, countless Sherwanis, Rizvis and Waraqwalas will have similar anguished tales to tell in future. A single sweeping and irresponsible remark will be enough to spoil the better part of the life of a citizen.. And the Constitution with all its lofty ideals like the fundamental rights and directive principles will remain mute spectator. This is the story of one such ordeal.

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An important document about the Godhra tragedy

Dateline Godhra
By Jyoti Punwani and others

68 pp.

The burning of Coach S-6 of the Sabarmati Express on February 27, 2002 at Godhra railway station continues to raise questions. Was it a conspiracy? Who did it and why? Get all your questions answered.

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Somalia: From Nation-State to Tribal Mutiny
By Nur Ali Qabobe

151 pp.

There is a mother called Somalia. She is emotional, weeping, bleeding; humiliated by her own sons. They gang-raped her, committing the crime of incest. Whenever she is sufficiently recovered from her ordeal to rise to collect food for her sons, they again gang-rape her. After this humiliation, she struggles up again, driven by the force of a mother’s tenderness. She tries to prepare food for them. They cannot wait because they are too impatient. They loot the food before it can be cooked. Their mother repeatedly suffers for their sake and begs them to teach themselves to be organized, disciplined and develop respect for humanity but they remain wedded to chaos and blundering. This is a mother who desperately needs to be rescued from her own sons’ monstrous deeds.

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Minorities Commission:
Minor Role In Major Affairs

By Tahir Mahmood

288 pp.

The Minorities Commission, established in 1978 under a Government resolution, was brought under parliamentary legislation fourteen years later as the National Commission for Minorities. It is supposed to be an important constituent of the human rights enforcement mechanism of India. The author of this book took over as the sixth Chairman of the Commission in 1996 and held the position through three successive governments until November 1999.
This book offers a first-hand account of the origin, development, working, powers, functions, shortcomings and handicaps of the Commission, assesses its reports and contribution over twenty three years, and critically evaluates its role in the affairs of the nation.

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Report On

Communal Riots:
Prevention and Control

Edited by Iqbal A. Ansari
Minorities Council, Delhi

48 pp. (Large format)

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Violence Against Minorities:
Gujarat 1969-2002

Edited by Iqbal A. Ansari
Minorities Council, Delhi

32 pp.

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Prevention of

Communal Violence:

Rule of Law and Peace Initiative

Edited by Iqbal A. Ansari
Minorities Council, Delhi

40 pp. (Large format)

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What is riba?

By Iqbal Ahmad Khan Suhail

200 pp. (hardback)

Available now in new edited Urdu edition as well as English and Arabic translations.

A number of works deal with the issue of riba (usury) in Islam, but none of them is as comprehensive as this work which first appeared in 1936. This new edited version, together with Arabic and English translations, has been brought out in order to enrich the debate on this vital issue.

The author, Allamah Iqbal Suhail (d. 1955), was a highly learned scholar of Islam and had deep knowledge of modern issues. He is know in the Subcontinent as a distinguished Urdu poet, freedom fighter and lawyer. With this background, he was most suited to deal with religious issues in the light of the requirements of the modern age.

Allamah Suhail discusses the opinions of the fuqaha in detail and shows that they confused riba with muratala (barter) and sarf (exchange) which have little to do with riba. He shows that riba concerns only the bai al-salaf (credit/deferred) transactions. After a thorough discussion of the Islamic texts on the issue, Suhail puts forward his authoritative definition of riba and where it is applicable.

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Order Online
Compiled, annotated and partly translated from Arabic
by Zafarul-Islam Khan

894 pp. (hardback)

First attempt in English to put together almost all
the documentary records of the Palestinian Question from 1897 to the present day, including translations of many documents available only in Arabic.

Palestine Times, London.

'Palestine Documents is an impressive documentary exposition of Palestinian history...the book presents, and perhaps for the first time to the English reader, not only the regional and international dimensions of the conflict in Palestine but also the view-point of the victim...'
Dr Bashir M Nafi, Muslim, World Book Review, Licester

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<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Diplomacy of India: Then and Now.
by Rene Wadlow

Harish Kapur New Delhi: Manas Publications, 2002 399 pages

<i>Harish Kapur, emeritus professor at the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva, has written a first-rate study of the making of Indian foreign policy, following up on his earlier India's Foreign Policy 1947-1992: Shadows and Substance. </i>

Kapur looks in particular at the environments that India inherited at birth--domestic, regional and global--for as he notes, all states "have to adapt their foreign policy to the changing realities of the planet--realities which often escape them, and over which they hardly have any control." What control they do have, however, is the result of the decisions made by individuals in positions of power, individuals influenced by their education and experience, by their evaluation of the possibilities for action and by the domestic pressures which often limit their choices. Thus Kapur looks in particular at the role of the Prime Ministers in the making and execution of foreign policy.

India began its independent life with Jawaharlal Nehru as Prime Minister. Nehru was a man educated for leadership with wide experience in Europe in the 1930s, where he met others active in the anticolonial struggle and who were to play important roles in their countries. With his close friend, Krishna Menon, who shared a similar background, Nehru was able to play a high profile role in world politics, especially at the start of the Cold War and as a mediator in the 1950-1953 Korean War, which some feared was the forerunner of a broader armed conflict. Indian diplomats were also able to work on compromise formulas during the 1954 Geneva Conference on Indo-China.

In many ways, Nehru had a free hand in setting foreign policy goals and in creating a diplomatic style. The first real foreign policy issue at Independence was the creation of Pakistan with the resulting population flows and the division of Kashmir. However, Pakistan and Kashmir were considered by most Indians as a "domestic" problem. Although the Kashmir issue was taken to the United Nations and was one of the first major issues which the UN had to face, relations with Pakistan, the integration of refugees and relations with the domestic Muslim population have always been the focus of domestic political activity.

Thus the 1950s were a period when the Cold War structures were being put into place, and the function of neutral-non-aligned mediators was needed for no one could know how stable the bipolar system was to become.

This period of international mediation combined with proposing international norms came to an end in 1962--the result of the frontier conflict with China. The conflict was widely considered a defeat for India and India was seen as an unsuccessful state in the international system. As Kaput writes,

<!--QuoteBegin--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Since nothing blights more the image of a nation than failure, the  defeat at the hand of the Chinese conjured up an international  perception of India whose attributes were that of a country which  had become weak, incoherent, unable to defend its own interests, and  which had to turn to the outside for help and protection. Nothing  is forgiven in international relations, least of all the defeat of a  country that has the normative pretensions of building a  self-reliant and self-sustaining nation.   <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Krishna Menon left political life, and Nehru was personally targeted for not having been vigilant enough of the Chinese menace. Nehru died in 1964 before he was able to change this image of India. Indira Gandhi, Nehru's daughter, Prime Minister from 1965-1977 and again in 1980 until her assassination in 1984, had been educated in Europe and had known many foreign leaders as her father's official hostess. While she tried to control both foreign and domestic policy decisions, the international environment had changed. Although there were still crises, the Cold War had become stable, and neither Russians nor Americans felt the need for intermediaries.

Thus, only the regional area was open for action, which Indira Gandhi took in the lead up to Bangladesh independence in 1971. Regional politics became the main focus of Indian diplomacy seeking to influence events in Sri Lanka and Nepal whose tensions could spill over into domestic Indian politics. As Kapur points out,

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->But after Nehru things began to change. The balance slowly tilted in  favour of regionalism. While the global policy began to gradually  lose its lustre, its coherence, its framework, and, what is more,  its importance, the broad contours of a regional policy began to  emerge--a policy that was more coherent, more pragmatic, more  national-oriented and more forceful.   <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Such a pragmatic and regional focus also fit better the talents and possibilities of many of the subsequent Prime Ministers and the contours of domestic politics. The Indian domestic political structure moved from a domination by the Congress Party to one of coalition governments often made up of "strange bedfellows." This was first seen in the government of Morarji Desai (1977-1979). Kapur analyses this change: "By its very nature, a government composed of different political parties, is disparate, making it exceedingly difficult for the one who is heading it to exercise the same degree of authority as a one party government." In his summing up, Kaput poses fundamental questions:

One can validly ask what is in store for India in the post-cold war  and post-Soviet international system? What can India do to safeguard  national security? Where is the threat emanating from? Who are its  present and potential adversaries? Can they really be identified?"  India needs to seriously examine all that goes under national  security in order to establish an overall picture of present and  future threats, of direct and indirect menaces, of possible external  attacks, of externally inspired internal upheavals, and of the  possible linkage between ecological degradation and national  security.   <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

There is a need for a strong domestic base in order to carry out a successful foreign policy. There are two structural requirements for such a strong domestic foundation. <b>The first need is a national consensus on the nature of a viable political-economic regime and using this broad consensus to counter disintegrating forces operating within the country such as secessionist movements and caste and religion -based politics. The second requirement for a strong domestic base is modernisation within a global world economy. </b>Kapur asks, "But, will this globalization of the economy help India to tackle the economic problems it is currently faced with? Will all this new ongoing globalization of the economy finally open possibilities for it to grow rapidly, to obtain the necessary transfer of resources, and to become more export-oriented?"

In this book, Harish Kaput provides the methodological tools for analysis of Indian diplomacy and the interplay of domestic and external influences. This is an important guide for understanding South Asian diplomatic politics.

Rene Wadlow

Transnational Perspectives

F-07140 Gravieres

France <!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->
An Old but nevertheless interesting and very entertaining book on the UNO.

“The play within the play” (1966) by Hernane Tavares De Sa
The author was an undersecretary for public relations at the UN (between 1960 and 1965) and the book is full of juicy details and anecdotes about UN internals. WARNING: Author is free with insults particularly towards Africans, Afro-Asians (North Africa and Mediterranean), Asians and Latin Americans (to some extent – remember that the author himself is Brazilian). But as the book was written around 1966 he was not constrained to be politically correct in todays terms (though political correctness was an issue even at that time) – which makes the book all the more useful.

It may be hard to get hold of the book. Public library is an option.
I’m going to take the liberty of quoting at length from an interview that is part of the book. It has a fair amount to say on the degree of Indian influence in the UN. I have blueized some of the juicy bits. In general the reader of the book will see that the critisisms of the UN today are not fundamantally different from what they were even at that time. The following is a passage that may be quite illuminating to some of us (keep in mind that it is at least 40 years old and things would have changed and also that it was written not long after the 1962 war):-

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->The true complexity of the UN bureaucratic establishment, and hence of the operations of the Secratariat of the United Nations is revealed in the following question and answer discussion between a former UN official and journalist friend who wanted to write an article on the Secratariat. Because of political pressure the article was not published.

<b>Q.</b> It is generally accepted as one of the facts of life that executive power is concentrated in the hands of the of the so-called Anglo-Saxons, who share it only with the Indians. Do you agree?
<b>A.</b> It depends on what you mean by Anglo-Saxons.

<b>Q.</b> Primarily the Americans, then the British, with the Canadians and Australians having a much smaller influence. The Americans of course hold by far the largest number of posts, but I’m not interested in numbers but in key positions. For instance there is an American as executive officer in practically every department. Wouldn’t that in itself mean a controlling network of officials in key positions?
<b>A.</b> It is actually much less significant than it sounds. Americans in the Secretariat are by no means as well articulated among themselves as the British or the Indians.

<b>Q.</b> There is of course another theory that has been gaining ground, according to which it is the Indians who have seized power within the Secretariat, operating as a well articulated group, to use your expression. Would you rather subscribe to this interpretation?
<b>A.</b> I don’t see why I should. I have a great deal of respect for the Indians, for they have shown much skill and resourcefulness in infiltrating the Secretariat. I will go so far as to say that they have the best intelligence-gathering system within the United Nations; confidential information is tracked down by them at a very early stage and passed up to their top man on the 38-th floor with remarkable speed. But they are not in control of the Secretariat, nor is that the trend.

<b>Q.</b> Will you agree that, however, that at least one Indian is entrenched in a Strategic position in every department of the United Nations, without exception.
<b>A.</b> There is no question of agreeing. This is common knowledge. But it does not amount to seizure of power by the Indians. For one thing, they have never been able to overcome intense dislikes among themselves; for instance southern Indians from the Madras area, who are by far the better political operators, resent being looked down on by their northern countrymen from the northern provinces. What is even more serious is that the Indians have never been able to develop a truly effective system of public relations to overcome the general dislike and distrust in which they are held. Unless they overcome these twin handicaps, which I seriously doubt, they will never be able to seize powe rin the sense of actually running the show. My personal opinion is that the present system will prevail in the years ahead.

<b>Q.</b> You mean the sharing of power between the Americans, the Indians and the British.
<b>A.</b> If I were to accept that listing I would place the British first and the Americans last.

<b>Q.</b> But haven’t the Indians been losing ground ever since they lost face in 1962 when the Chinese beat them on the Himalayan border.
<b>A.</b> Let us not confuse two things. They lost an enormous amount of face but very little ground. They lost face with the Afro-Asians and with the Soviet bloc, which is bad for the pursuit of Indian foreign policy, but matters little in terms of the power realities within the United Nations, since neither the Afro-Asians nor the Communists have any substantial influence on the Secretariat.

<b>Q.</b> How about the Westerners? Do you mean that the Westerners were the only ones to overlook India’s decreased influence and prestige after the Chinese routed the Indian frontier army and threatened to sweep into the plains of Assam.
<b>A.</b> Of course the Westerners were fully aware of the new situation created inAsia by the 1962 Himalayan campaign. After all don’t forget the Americans and the british reacted more swiftly than anyone else as they had more at stake in the area. It was primarily because of them that the Chinese withdrew quietly to the contested border areas on the Northeast Frontier Agency, even though they could have staged an unopposed march all the way into Calcutta. But we are not discussing grand strategy in Southeast Asia but merely controlling influences within the Secretariat. Since the British and Americans hold the balance of power together with the Indians, it was not in their interest to have the Indians suffer the consequences of their Himalayan defeat also here in the UN.

<b>Q.</b> My information is that the Americans had been fed up with the Indians in the Secretariat for some time and had been eager to cut begin cutting them down to size in 1962. Is that correct?
<b>A.</b> What matters is not what the Americans wanted to do, but what they were finally persuaded to do by the British. The British persuaded their American allies to agree to preserve the Indian position of strength inside the UN.

<b>Q.</b> Are you implying that the British have a dominant role whwn it comes to deciding joint US-British policies regarding the UN?
<b>A.</b> I used the word ‘persuaded’ in its genuine sense, not as a diplomatic euphemism. The British persuaded the Americans that it was not in the interest of the western alliance for that matter, to have the Indians lose substantial ground in the Secretariat.

<b>Q.</b> Why not? Wouldn’t that have left the Americans and the British in a dominant position by themselves inside the UN, without having to share power with the Indians?
<b>A.</b> Nothing of the sort would have happened and the British with their uncanny political wisdom, knew it all along. Suppose senior Indian officials had actually been wrenched from their strategic posts on the 38-th floor and in the departments that count. The vacancies would not have been filled by Westerners but by other Afro-Asians. What guarantee could the Americans and the British have that they would be able to install an acceptable Afro-Asian, such as a Liberian for instance? None whatsoever; in fact, they would run a real danger of having some of the posts filled by wild Ghanians or Malians. Indians are much more dependable.

<b>Q.</b> Dependable? The Americans are always complaining. Aren’t the Indians supposed to play a non-aligned game?
<b>A.</b> The Indians know on what side their bread is buttered. They dislike the Westerners of course, but then they dislike all colored races too, and are cordially disliked by them. But make no mistake, it is the Indians who are the real Westerners of Asia, not the Japanese, as it has become fashionable to say. Besides they depend so much financially on the Americans, and to a lesser extent on the British, that they have to side with them when the going gets rough. The fact that the indians are devious and whenever possible treacherous upsets the Americans, who insist on mixing ethics with politics, but it does not in the least disturb the British, who have known the Indians for several centuries. The best proof of this is that although the British have a lot more respect for an Arab than for an Indian, they will go a long wayto block an Arab from a senior post in the Secreatariat, while they will push an Indian. And I agree with their explanation, which is that while an Arab is not as untrustworthy as an Indian, on the other hand an Indian frightens more easily when he is in a tight spot, and thus becomes easier to handle. Believe me, the Indian chain of command inside the United Nations will survive for quite a few years the political and economic decay of India <!--emo&:roll--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/ROTFL.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='ROTFL.gif' /><!--endemo--> . The British will see to that and the Americans will go along with them. Reluctantly, I grant you, but they will go along.

<b>Q.</b> All right, let us accept that the Indians will maintain their grip on power inside the Secretariat, by courtesy of the British and the Americans. Doesn’t this mean that in effect the balance of power within the UN will be held by the Americans and the British, or perhaps by the British and the Americans, since you seem to think that that is their order of importance?
<b>A.</b> I think we should first agree on some fundamental semantics. These concepts of power structure, balance of power and grab for power by this or that nation or this or that bloc are really romantic exaggerations. The realities of power in the Secretariat are much simpler. And more pedestrian. There is no overall power structure as such, but simply infighting amomg cliques. The Indian chain of command, represents a single nation and operates vertically, from the 38-th floor down. But that is due to the special circumstances we have just discussed and constitutes an exception. All other cliques operate horizontally, with their members holding senior posts in every department. It is basically an ‘old-cronies’ setup, and the Anglo-Saxon control is merely due to the fact that almost all of them come from white English-speaking countries. Of course the British and the Americans are predominant, but don’t forget the Canadians, the Austrailians and even the occasional New Zealander.  And if they serve the interests of the the United States and the United Kingdom it is simply because of their background and their political conventions lead them inevitably in that direction. While there is a pro-Western political climate that pervades the Secretariat, there is very little that is sinister about the actions of the Anglo-Saxon senior officials responsible for this climate. In fact among the few dozen senior officials, I doubt whether there is a single one who receives instructions from his delegation daily, as is the case with the Russians. Technically they conform to the ruling in article 100 of the Charter which, the one that says that they shall not seek or receive instructions from any government.

<b>Q.</b> We all know about the cliques. Their purpose according to the research I have already done, is rather to promote the interests of members of the clique, like getting soft assignments, trips to Europe, rapid promotion and that sort of thing. As you say, the cliques are composed of old cronies who will look after each other’s interests. But that is just a picturesque detail. How effective can they be in the UN’s day-to-day operations; above all, can they be effective when the organization faces a serious crisis, if these cliques are basically mutual welfare groups?
<b>A.</b> You are confusing the operational and survival functions of the clique. In fact, I would reserve the name of clique for the operational aspects, and use the concept of fief for survival. On the operational level the clique functions with sufficient effectiveness. While the UN bureaucrat avoids making a decision, the clique does not. In fact it insists jealously on its power to make decisions. Every time an important move is made in the house, the Under-Secretary who proposes it to the Secretary-General, and the Secretary-General who approves it, have usually had very little to do with the actual decision, which is always taken by a compact, homogeneous group of old-timers who reach consensus among themselves long before the problem is formally submitted to to the Under-Secretary or to the Secretary-General himself.  That is the operational aspect of the clique. But since there are several cliques in the Secretariat, they have organized themselves, for survival purposes, in a sort of feudalistic structure of fiefs, each one under its own baron or suzerain. The rules for belonging are few and simple: Loyalty to the baron and to fellow members of the fief, promotion of the material welfare of fellow members and of the prestige of the fief inside the Secretariat. The one unforgivable crime is to work out an individual unilateral pact with another fief.

<b>Q.</b> Is it true that there are alliances and even non-aggression pacts negotiated between different fiefs?
<b>A.</b> Certainly. Since the bance of power is fluid in the secretariat, the baron at the head of each fief manouvers to obtain the support or at least the neutrality of other influential barons. This is particularly true when something of importance is developing. For instance, when the new trade and development outfit was being set up, there were so many new jobs available both here and in Geneva that there was serious concern among the fiefs, especially since there was an organized attempt to give most of these jobs to outsiders, on the pretext that they were better qualified for the highly specialized functions.

<b>Q.</b> Wasn’t that true?
<b>A.</b> I don’ know what you mean by true <!--emo&Big Grin--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='biggrin.gif' /><!--endemo--> . There was a plan afoot for having a number of highly desirable jobs gobbled up by outsiders. This represented a pressing danger for fiefs within the Secretariat, particularly those operating in the economic branches. The fact that some of the candidates from outside were prominent in the economic field was irrelevant; a member can be made to look as good on paper as a professor at Sorbornne. But there was no doubt that a crisis was looming. So the several fiefs in the economic sections of the UN ‘buttoned up’, as they always do in times of danger.

<b>Q.</b> What do you mean by ‘buttoning up’?
<b>A.</b> It’s an expression handed down from the world war days. I think it means an armored vehicle preparing for action. They like these dramatic names. Actually what it means in practice is for everyone to shut up so as to avoid leaks, and to speed up the flow of inside information through the umbilical cord every fief manitains with the 38-th floor, so as to be able to plan in advance a sensible strategy.

<b>Q.</b> What you call a sensible strategy in this case was pushing that little Czech into number two position in Geneva, I presume.
<b>A.</b> Very sensible. In fact I’m inclined to think it was a brilliant move. Do you happen to know that little Czech, as you call him?

<b>Q.</b> Smetana? I have known him for years. Every correspondent knows him. He is very helpful about briefing us discreetly  on what went on in closed sessions of his committee. I mean the floor fights and that sort of thing. When it comes to straight economics he doesn’t understand much but he has sense enough to have assistants who are graduates of top universities. But his appointment to Geneva to such a high position created quite a flurry. I know because I cabled a special story. Apparently the Russians were upset; they don’t trust Smetana. For that matter, the Czech delegation doesn’t trust him either. He has managed to be on both sides of the fence ever since the Communist coup in Czechoslovakia in 1948. Why was he appointed to such an important post in this new trade and development outfit?
<b>A.</b> As you say, Smetana is not really trusted by the Communist delegations, and much less by the Western ones. Consequently, appointing him gave a political coloration to the staffing of the trade and development organization, which was just then being planned. The delegations from the major countries, who had thus far agreed with the technical approach, now considered that political appointments were called for. Each delegation came up with its own candidate, and as was to be expected most of the candidates were old timers in the Secretariat, men who knew their way around and who could keep a close check on Smetana.

<b>Q.</b> You mean the heat was off for appointing these famous economists from outside?
<b>A.</b> Of the new posts created by the General Assembly for the trade and development outfit, almost all have gone to old timers here in the Secretariat. There is no longer any question of canvassing the great universities and ministries of planning and economic development to find brilliant people. All that is forgotten and the establishment is secure onc more.

<b>Q.</b> Do you mean that it is impossible for the United Nations to enlist the service of first-class people?
<b>A.</b> Someone of course may always join from the outside if he is backed by one of the powerful cliques. But the type of person who can make a brilliant career in the outside world has really no incentive for joining the Secretariat, unless he comes from an underdeveloped country and the pay in dollars represents a fortune for him.

<b>Q.</b> Then the conclusion is that the Secretariat is condemned to mediocrity?
<b>A.</b> I don’t understand the question.

<b>Q.</b> It seems obvious from what you tell me that only someone who has been a failure in the outside world will want to join the UN.
<b>A.</b> There you are introducing moral judgements that have no place here. The purpose of the Secretariat is not to function <!--emo&Big Grin--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='biggrin.gif' /><!--endemo-->  but to participate in power plays. There are four thousand people here in this building, another thousand in Geneva. There is nothing for them to do in terms that would be understandable to a private firm, for instance. But it would be unjust to call anyone of them a parasite. They are engaged in a number of political maneuvers and activities that should not be dismissedas of no consequence simply because they take place at a trivial level. In point of fact the struggle for power among the different cliques, the push for survival and expansion among the fiefs, have a repercussion on the world’s chancelleries that is out of all proportion to the caliber of the people who constitute the establishment in this building <!--emo&:felx--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/flex.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='flex.gif' /><!--endemo--> . In this sense the Secratariat is playing a significant role in international relations.

Arthashastra and Indian polity
By Prof. R.S. Nigam
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Politics in India by M.M. Sankhdher and Dr Gurdeep Kaur, Deep & Deep Publications Pvt Ltd, 506 pp, Rs 1,400.00

Indian politics has come to be classified as a curious mix of ideology and sheer opportunism, especially in the light of the turns it has taken in the last one decade. The concept of ramrajya gets only lip service; in reality, it is just the opposite in almost all its elements. Vote banks with fast-changing faces, quick shifting loyalties and thrust have become the order of the day, frequently taking U-turns from pre-election to post-election scenarios to meet the whims, fancies and power greed of political functionaries and leaders (elected, defeated and non-contested). It is in this context that the edited collection of articles and papers incorporated in the book under review are of a high degree of relevance for intellectuals and researchers of modern politics, political developments and political thoughts.

With the discovery of Kautilya’s Arthashastra in 1904, Western colonial writers attempted to impose supremacy of their conceptual and working framework on India’s ancient political setup and theoretical propositions based on what our people thought and practiced in ancient times. These have been very well presented in eight write-ups that form Part I of the book. Kautilya’s techniques of statecraft, foundations of Indian polity, conceptual framework of Brahmanism, kingship in sukra niti, political ideas in the Ramayana, and statecraft in the Mahabharata have been very well researched and presented.

Medieval times to present-day thinking in the political arena of India forms part of the second set of presentations which consists of nine articles.

Medieval times to present-day thinking in the political arena of India forms part of the second set of presentations which consists of nine articles/papers, each dealing with ‘Political Ethics of Guru Granth Sahib’, ‘Socialism in Theory and Practice’, ‘Veer Savarkar: Thought and Action’, ‘Gandhi Between Tradition and Modernity’, etc. These present a fairly good and updated picture of modern political thoughts, though, of course, the extent of their functionality and practice is missing. Thus this exercise by research scholars appears to be an attempt at theorising without much thinking on their practicality and functionality in a constitutional structure borrowed from the British.

It may be attributed to the fact that the first generation of lndian leadership in the 20th century has been the product of the British higher education/university system which is by and large, based on desk/library work rather than field work/case studies. As many as eight papers/articles presented here deal with the post-Independence scenario under the theme of ‘Politics in Modern India’, ‘Indira Gandhi and Congress Party’, ‘Politics of Terrorism in India’, ‘Role of Indian Bureaucracy’, which have been presented, analysed and evaluated. To provide ready reference for further work and authenticate various sets of themes and thoughts, a select bibliography of relevant literature has been provided at the end; this is followed by a functional index.

With the discovery of Kautilya’s Arthashastra in 1904, Western colonial writers attempted to impose supremacy of their conceptual and working framework on India’s ancient political setup.

On the whole, this publication is an extremely useful contribution which reflects the seriousness in academic pursuits and research interests of Prof. M.M. Sankhdher and Gurdeep Kaur. Traditionally, Indian academics have, by and large, remained serious thinkers rather than practical politicians and political operators, and as such, their work reflects this phenomenon. It would have been more appropriate to enlist the cooperation of legal and constitutional luminaries and well-known political personalities of present and past so that the utility of this publication would have been of high order for all stakeholders (including functional researchers and social scientists). It would also be appreciated if contours of 20-plus party governments and similar opposition could be examined in detail along with ministerial ‘aya Ram, gaya Ram’ running after chairs and power centres, along with their deeds/misdeeds on which plenty of judicial verdicts and pronouncements are available today.

(The author is retired Director, Delhi School of Economics, Delhi University and can be contacted at rsnigam@hotmail.com)
The best proof of this is that although the British have a lot more respect for an Arab than for an Indian, they will go a long wayto block an Arab from a senior post in the Secreatariat, while they will push an Indian. And I agree with their explanation, which is that while an Arab is not as untrustworthy as an Indian, on the other hand an Indian frightens more easily when he is in a tight spot, and thus becomes easier to handle. Believe me, the Indian chain of command inside the United Nations will survive for quite <span style='color:red'>a few years the political and economic decay of India</span>

Written in 1966
Faith-Based Diplomacy: Trumping Realpolitik
by Douglas Johnston


<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Editorial Reviews

Book Description

For most of the twentieth century, the most critical concerns of national security have been balance of power politics and the global arms race. The attacks of September 11, 2001 and the motives behind them, however, demand a radical break with this tradition. If the United States is to prevail in its long-term contest with extremist Islam, it will need to re-examine old assumptions, expand the scope of its thinking to include religion and other ""irrational"" factors, and be willing to depart from past practice. A purely military response in reaction to such attacks will simply not suffice. What will be required is a long-term strategy of cultural engagement, backed by a deeper understanding of how others view the world and what is important to them. In non-Western cultures, religion is a primary motivation for political actions. Historically dismissed by Western policymakers as a divisive influence, religion in fact has significant potential for overcoming the obstacles that lead to paralysis and stalemate. The incorporation of religion as part of the solution to such problems is as simple as it is profound. It is long overdue. This book looks at five intractable conflicts and explores the possibility of drawing on religion as a force for peace. It builds upon the insights of Religion, the Missing Dimension of Statecraft (OUP,1994)--which examined the role that religious or spiritual factors can play in preventing or resolving conflict--while achieving social change based on justice and reconciliation. The world-class authors writing in this volume suggest how the peacemaking tenets of five major world religions can be strategically applied in ongoing conflicts in which those religions are involved. Finally, the commonalities and differences between these religions are examined with an eye toward further applications in peacemaking and conflict resolution.  <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Another Review

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Religion is a powerful factor in many conflicts around the world. Sometimes it is a cause for conflict, sometimes it simply helps sustain conflict, and other times it is used as a pretext for conflicts that have deeper roots in other issues. Considering just how much of a role religion plays here, is it at all reasonable to think that we can find solutions and resolutions that don't involve religion?

This is basically the question that Douglas Johnston asks in the book Faith-Based Diplomacy: Trumping Realpolitik. He and the other contributors all answer "no" - if any real solution is to be reached in religious conflicts, it will require that we engage people on a religious level. In other words, religion must be employed in order to help combatants achieve some sort of stable peace.

President and Founder of the International Center for Religion and Diplomacy, Johnston has brought together renowned scholars and diplomats for their insights into both how religion has contributed to five major conflicts and how the peacemaking attributes of five world religions might be applied in these situations. There is no attempt to sugarcoat the fact that religion contributes to violence and war, but there is also an emphasis on the fact that the negative attributes of religions which contribute to these conflicts are not those religions' only legacy.

In all cases, religions also have attributes which encourage peace and harmony. These may not be factors which receive the most attention or which get promoted by the loudest adherents, but they do exist. The question is, how can they be best employed as a counter-balance to the more violent tendencies? Of course, that question assumes that we pay any attention to religion at all, which is the first hurdle that Johnston and the other contributors recognize must be overcome.

For much of the twentieth century, Western diplomacy has been characterized by the principle of Realpolitik (although that term itself did not come into use until the latter twentieth century). In essence, Realpolitik stipulates that a priority must be a balance of power and influence on the international scene. These are the "rational" concerns of nation-states. There are of course other concerns, like religion or culture, but they are deemed "irrational" - which means that they must be subordinated to more rational interests. If religion of culture must be compromised in order to achieve stability, so be it.

There is a long tradition of this sort of practical approach to international relations and national politics in the West. King Henry IV effectively ended the French Wars of Religion on July 25, 1593 when he declared that Paris vaut bien une messe (Paris was worth a Mass) and permanently renounced Protestantism. This conversion to Roman Catholicism secured the allegiance most his subjects: rational political considerations forced a compromise of personal religious principles.

The Peace of Westphalia, which not only ended the Thirty Years' War and the Eighty Years' War but also formed the basis for diplomacy and relations among European states, was formally established a similar principle. No longer would there be conflict among the European powers based upon religious differences - in a sense, the rulers simply agreed to disagree on matters of religion and then relegate them to the list of things that just weren't worth fighting over.

While Europe may have decided that religion shouldn't be the basis for conflict and shouldn't become a foundation for national or international policies, much of the rest of the world never followed suit. In many non-Western cultures, there is no separation of church and state: religious beliefs remain a principle motivation for political or social action. {INCLUDING OUR OWN VERSION OF SECULARISM} While Western nations have long tried to ignore religious differences in order to achieve more "rational" goals, other nations will ignore "rational" goals in order to pursue "irrational" ends like religious solidarity and religious purity.

As a consequence, Western diplomats who try to work in such regions end up operating from a different set of premises and assumptions than everyone else; in the end, not much gets done. This is what Douglas Johnston hopes to change: to get Western diplomats and political leaders to understand that while religion may not play a significant role in the relations between Western nations, it can't be excluded in how they relate to other nations. In fact, excluding it may only exacerbate the problems they are trying to solve in the first place.

While these observations may be fine in principle, is there any realistic hope that they can be applied in practice? Johnston thinks so, although he also recognizes that he can't offer any final answers on how that might be achieved. He and Brian Cox describe in broad terms what faith-based diplomacy might look like while other contributors explain how those principles might be used in conflicts in Kashmir, Sudan, Sri Lanka, the Middle East, and Kosovo.

It certainly might be nice if peaceful religious ideas could be used to counter violent religious ideas, but I'm frankly skeptical about how well any of that would really work. For one thing, it would be difficult to ensure that anyone promoting peaceful religion isn't simply regarded by those personally involved in the conflict as a lackey for the godless West.

Another problem is the fact that if "faith-based diplomats" work for Western governments, those governments will have to make decisions about who represents the "right" kind of religion for their purposes - a task fraught with dangers. We really need to ask if the United States government, for example, has the authority to decide what the "right" Islam or the "right" Buddhism really is - and, assuming that such a decision is made, we are led back to the previous problem: how do we get those involved in religious conflicts to accept the person representing that "right" religion?

Despite my skepticism, though, I am glad that Johnston is trying to get people to think about these conflicts differently. Even if it isn't possible to realize all of his recommendations, it would still be a good idea to take them seriously and consider how we might, in some fashion, achieve the goals he outlines. Anyone interested in the role of religion in politics and international relations would do well to pick up this book and read it.
Politics after Television : Hindu Nationalism and the Reshaping of the Public in India (Paperback)
by Arvind Rajagopal

When on December 6, 1992 the Babri Masjid, a sixteenth century disused mosque built on the site of a razed Hindu temple by a minion of the Mughal king Babar was destroyed by a mob of Hindu activists led by members of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), it led to Hindu-Muslim clashes across India, leaving more than 1,100 people dead. Much more cataclysmic was the wave of opprobrium generated by the English language media and academics in Left-Marxist bastions that tried to sweep the BJP and its parent organization, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) into the dustbin of history. Ten years later, and despite hundreds of scholarly treatises berating the "fascist" and "communal" "Hindu nationalists", and warning of doom if the BJP came to power, the BJP is heading a 25-party coalition government in India, and the RSS is playing an important role in shaping social, religious, and political debate in that billion-strong nation that is still a vibrant democracy.

Among the many scholarly tomes on the nature of the communal (religious) conflicts in India, mostly between the 800 million majority Hindus and the sizeable minority of a 150 million Muslims, and the threat posed by Hindu nationalists to a secular, multicultural India it is difficult to find much more than the predictable and the often trite analyses blaming Hindu nationalists for spoiling the game of the multicultural, internationalist, secular-humanists who made and kept India a beacon of democracy and secularism since India gained independence from the British in 1947.

Rajagopal's book too, despite its theoretical sophistication, indulges in the now de rigueur criticism of the BJP and its parent organization, the RSS. His book has elicited a lot of praise for its "brilliant theoretical acuity and empirical richness," and for helping readers "understand how globalism and localism intersect," but none of those who shower praise on Rajagopal note the predictability of the trajectories of such theses.

In brief, the thesis Rajagopal presents is that between January 1987 and September 1990, during the rule of the "secular" Congress Party, the Indian state-run television, Doordarshan, began broadcasting the Hindu epic Ramayana, in serial form on Sundays. This supposedly violated a taboo on religious partisanship, and it influenced the BJP in its mobilization of disgruntled and frustrated Hindus, culminating in the destruction of the Babri mosque. The author argues that the media, especially television, reshapes the "context in which politics is conceived, enacted, and understood", and cautions that he is not proposing a simple cause-effect relationship between the broadcast of the epic on television and the destruction of the disused mosque.

A big part of the mobilization of Hindus, Rajagopal claims was through the BJP leader Advani's rathyatra (campaign through the country in a Toyota land-cruiser decked up as a chariot of the Hindu God Rama) in 1990 to reclaim the land for Hindus on which the Babri mosque was built. Advani's 4000-mile campaign across the country was one of the largest political campaigns in post-independent India, built around the symbol of Lord Rama. Rajagopal claims that Advani's campaign changed the complexion of Indian politics. This ignores the fact that religion and politics has always been a potent mix in India, including the fact that Gandhi himself used Rama as a symbol of righteousness and goodness, that distribution of "tickets" to run for political office has often been made on religion and caste-based identities, and that huge cardboard figures of politicians during election time hark back to God-like figures from the Hindu past.

Rajagopal, analyzing the series of events, from the broadcast of the epic serial to the rise of the BJP as a national party, claims that while television audiences may have thought they were harking back to an epic golden age, Hindu nationalist leaders like Advani were embracing the prospects of neo-liberalism and globalization. Television was the device that hinged these movements together, "appealing to authoritarian rather than democratic values". He says that there was no causal relation between economic reforms and Hindutva (Hindu nationalism), nor did the two share any inherent logic. But politics, anywhere in the world, is the art of the possible, and that the BJP used certain circumstances to its advantage is neither strange nor quixotic.

For Rajagopal, the economic liberalization that the Congress government had begun to undertake, and which the BJP was supporting, demanded more authoritarian control than needed for state-controlled economic enterprise. We now know that under the Nehruvian, mostly Soviet inspired socialist dispensation, Indian state-controlled enterprises devoured enormous wealth while producing not much more than the sloth of government employees and the corruption of politicians under what was known as the licence-raj. We have seen in the past year the BJP-led government has been able to sell huge, loss-incurring public enterprises to private entrepreneurs who have within a year turned around those industries into profit-generating ones, with the workers themselves enjoying more salaries and benefits. Of course, privatization, liberalization and free market capitalism are not painless or infallible cures for sick economies, and the BJP has never presented them as such. And it seems the irony is lost on those praising Rajagopal's thesis about the appropriateness of Nehru's socialism for India is written sitting at the bastion of free market capitalism - the United States of America!

Rajagopal also ignores or minimizes the nature of the 1100-year old Hindu-Muslim divide, about India's two Muslim neighbors -- Pakistan and Bangladesh -- from where the Hindu minority has been systematically driven out, and the problem of Muslim-majority Kashmir Valley from where 400,000 Hindus have escaped to tent cities outside Delhi because of the threat to their lives and property from Muslim terrorists. Instead, he pins the blame solely on the BJP and the RSS for instigating "communal riots to polarize society and to define the Hindu-Muslim axis as a life or death question". This is unfortunate because there are a number of writers like Shourie, Elst, Goel, and Ram Swarup who have carefully studied Hindu-Muslim conflict and challenged the Marxist analyses of India's past and present. It is no surprise that Rajagopal does not refer to their works as India's Marxist-dominated academe and its supporters in the West do not countenance contrarian analyses of India's religious conflict, history, and society.
<b>Pakistan: Between Mosque And Military</b>by Husain Haqqani
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->“Pakistan between mosque and military” is an elegantly written, well-documented book by Husain Haqqani. It is essential reading to understand why the alliance between the mosque and the military will last in Pakistan; why America’s war on terror will be won — or possibly lost — in Pakistan; and why there cannot be a settlement to the Kashmir dispute between India and Pakistan. The religious definition of Pakistan accounts for its identity problems, its bad relations with India, which, from its viewpoint, have necessitated heavy defence spending; and its protracted and often unsuccessful attempts to enhance its influence over neighbouring Muslim countries. Haqqani, a Pakistani intellectual who works Carnegic Endowment, observes that most Muslims in British India did not know what Pakistan meant before 1947, although they voted for the Muslim League in the elections of 1945-46. Pakistan — and Islam — meant different things to different Muslims. Exploiting the incompetence of Pakistan’s civilian politicians, the military usurped power in 1958 and thereafter took the lead in defining Pakistan’s brand of Islam and implementing it. But Haqqani fails to point out that for Jinnah Pakistan always meant a sovereign state, having no relations with India except by treaty. The theme of Jinnah’s secularism has been played out by several authors, but it is hard to credit any leader with secularism if he exploits religion for political ends, at the cost of tens of thousands of human lives, as Jinnah successfully did. What possibility of agreement was there as he declared, as the communal violence raged in 1947, that the British had deliberately fostered the idea of a united India “as part of machinations for destruction and bloodshed” after their departure? Pakistan made its first attempt to sever Kashmir from India while he was Governor-General of Pakistan; evidently he found political uses to fight that particular jihad. Given that neither Jinnah nor Liaqat Ali Khan, nor the Bhuttos nor Nawaz Sharif ever dispensed with the clergy for political reasons, how can they be perceived as secular, which implies the separation of religion from state? Pakistan’s definition as a religious state, which constrained its development as a democracy, is rooted in the religious politics all its rulers pursued. Haqqani shows why religion has not forged consensus among Pakistanis. The East Pakistanis seceded in 1971 and carved out the state of Bangladesh. The Sindhis, the Balochi and the Pathans have resented the domination of the military and civil services by the Urdu-speaking Punjabis. The highly centralised government has aggravated ethnic tensions, and there are no institutional mechanisms to deal with such discontent. Constitutional provisions for provincial autonomy have been bypassed while interprovincial animosity has festered. Jinnah’s politically inept successors only aggravated Pakistan’s disunity and created a political vacuum into which the military stepped in 1958. The idea that “Islamic” Pakistan could get arms from the West emanated from Jinnah himself. Taking their inspiration from him — and in my view, from the Islamic definition he bestowed on Pakistan — the military successfully got American weapons after 1953. Islam has been the central issue in Pakistan since 1947, and it will continue to be used to paper over Pakistan’s ethnic cracks. This is not just because most Pakistanis are Muslims. In its early years as a state Pakistan was disturbed by Afghanistan’s refusal to play the same brand of religious politics and to oppose its membership of the United Nations. The problem is that Pakistan’s rulers have aligned religion with territory. The ideology of the religious nation-state hampers Pakistan’s evolution as a democracy, partly because it limits intellectual and political choice. General Musharraf will remain caught in a bind because he refuses to govern without the help of clergy. Since the late fifties the military has dominated Pakistan’s politics, creating several layers to Pakistan’s sense of insecurity by turning to the mullahs to enhance their legitimacy. This has been at the expense of relatively “secular” parties, against whom the military has waged relentless war and continually ejected from power. Meanwhile, religious parties made a strong showing in the elections of 2002. American support to the military has made it impossible for a moderate civil society to emerge. Haqqani’s statement that Pakistan is neither a friend nor a foe contrasts with that of Stephen Cohen, who regards Pakistan as “probably the most anti-American country in the world, ranging from the radical Islamists on one side to the liberals and Westernised elites on the other. Perhaps not quite: a recent Pew Global Attitudes poll revealed that just under 60 per cent of the Pakistanis viewed the US unfavourably, in comparison to more than 60 per cent of Turks (and Poles). The military-mosque alliance has been to the disadvantage of the US. The alliance has radicalised segments of the Islamic world, and pushed Pakistan to the brink of war with India. Military aid has enabled Pakistan’s military to enhance its role in politics. Zia-ul-Haq installed the client Taliban regime in Afghanistan after the Soviet withdrawal, but the US never controlled the mujahideen or the ISI which trained and sustained them, although it paid for the anti-Soviet operation. Waging jihad against the Soviets also enabled the ISI to wage jihad against India on Kashmir. The Americans actually have scant leverage over the military. Haqqani takes the view that the US might be able to change Pakistan’s pretence of being a Middle-Eastern country by taking it out of the area of operations of the American military’s Central Command and placing it under the Pacific Command, along with India. Is there some confusion on the American side? The State Department’s Bureau of South Asian Affairs classifies Pakistan, along with Afghanistan and India, as a South Asian country. By giving Pakistan unconditional military aid Washington contributes to increases in its defence spending, the marginalisation of moderate political parties, and the economic stagnation of Pakistan. The US should not ignore Pakistan’s state sponsorship of Islamic militants, its pursuit of nuclear weapons at the expense of education, healthcare and democratisation. Each of these issues is linked to the future of Islamic radicalism and its negative impact on America’s war on terror. The US has acquired some short-term gains, but it is time for the US and Pakistani rulers to transform Pakistan from an ideological state into a functional one. The real issue that needs to be resolved is: “Who controls Pakistan”? Unfortunately, this reviewer does not see any leadership that can transform Pakistan from an ideological to a functional state. That is why the military and the mosque will continue to dominate Pakistan’s politics; that is why the stalemate over Kashmir will last; that is why Pakistan could yet spike America’s guns against terrorism.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Book Review in The Telegraph, 9 Sept., 2005
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->THE MORE, THE SAFER 

Strike force 
By Rajesh Rajagopalan,
Viking, Rs 395

<b>From 1998 onwards, the view emanating from the Oval Office has been that south Asia has become the most dangerous place on earth owing to the nuclearization of both India and Pakistan. Most nuclear strategists (both Indian and foreign) tend to follow the above line. Ironically, successive Indian governments, by repeating the argument that nuclear weapons in the hands of unstable military dictatorships in the ‘failed’ state of Pakistan has increased the likelihood of nuclear war, have strengthened the American position.</b>

In this slim volume, Rajesh Rajagopalan offers an alternative interpretation. <b>He argues that the American concern for the nuclearization of the subcontinent is a part of their policy to roll back the nuclear programmes of India and Pakistan.</b> And that since the anti-nuclear lobby engages in polemics, it does not merit attention. De-nuclearization of the region, as demanded by the anti-proliferationists in the US and the anti-nuclear lobby, will not reduce the danger of nuclear war. As long as the big five retain their nukes, the danger to the world will remain.

According to Rajagopalan, the small nuclear arsenals of India and Pakistan are less dangerous than the big arsenals of the US and Russia which remain on ‘hair trigger alert’. Rajagopalan derives his theory from Kenneth Waltz, who had maintained that the spread of nuclear weapons would make the world safer. The very possession of nuclear weapons in the hands of small and medium powers would prevent the outbreak of conventional war.

Deterrence stability, claims Rajagopalan, depends not only on technology and the number of nuclear warheads available, but also on doctrine. In contrast to the two superpowers, whose nuclear doctrine is based on ‘ready to launch’ principle, India and Pakistan have a go-slow policy. <b>The nuclear warheads of India and Pakistan are not mated with their delivery vehicles. Further, Islamabad and Delhi are against the doctrine of massive retaliation or mutually assured destruction.</b>

Much heat has been generated over Pakistan not agreeing to the principle of ‘no first strike.’ India, in contrast, has emphasized that it would launch its nukes only if its adversary were to mount a nuclear attack. <b>Pakistan’s logic is that if India decides to exert its conventional superiority in the battlefield, then it would resort to a nuclear attack in order to avert defeat. Rajagopalan has a benevolent interpretation of nuclear opinion in Pakistan. He asserts that Pakistan’s rejection of “no first use” is not equivalent to a preemptive or first strike. The author assumes that in case Indian forces cross over into Pakistan, the latter would merely resort to a local nuclear strike against the Indian forces within Pakistan to stop further aggression. It is to be noted that the author has no data to back his claims.</b>

Further, Rajagopalan says that if India acquires a strategic nuclear triad (air-land-sea-based nuclear weapons) and anti-ballistic missiles, then Pakistan would be forced to increase its nuclear missiles and the stable deterrence between the two nations would disintegrate. If Rajagopalan’s thesis is accepted then it means stasis for India’s nuclear arsenal.

<b>But India has to take into account China too. As long as Chinese nuclear missiles are stationed in Tibet, India needs submarines equipped with nuclear missiles. </b>

Small is not always beautiful for a country’s security. But there is a lot in Rajagopalan’s argument that anti-ballistic missiles are useless. Like the bombers, at least a few missiles will ‘go through’.

Very important line of ideas.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->In this slim volume, Rajesh Rajagopalan offers an alternative interpretation. He argues that the American concern for the nuclearization of the subcontinent is a part of their policy to roll back the nuclear programmes of India and Pakistan. And that since the anti-nuclear lobby engages in polemics, it does not merit attention. De-nuclearization of the region, as demanded by the anti-proliferationists in the US and the anti-nuclear lobby, will not reduce the danger of nuclear war.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

This may be true.
By creating a cycle of crisis in the sub-continent with nuclear dimension
the major powers are creating a case for nuclear disarmament.
It may also involve an actual use of nuclear weapons which will
give international support for nuclear disarmament. By keeping only two non NPT state with nuclear weapons and creating crisis between them they are waiting for the right climate for roll back of nuclear programmes.

Hence it is very important for the major powers to make sure that
there are no more nuclear weapon states such as Iran, NK etc.
An interesting book/read..

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Soldiers, Statecraft, and History: Coercive Diplomacy and International Order
by James A. Nathan; Praeger, 2002 <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Collapse : How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed
Jared Diamond

Jared Diamond's Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed is the glass-half-empty follow-up to his Pulitzer Prize-winning Guns, Germs, and Steel. While Guns, Germs, and Steel explained the geographic and environmental reasons why some human populations have flourished, Collapse uses the same factors to examine why ancient societies, including the Anasazi of the American Southwest and the Viking colonies of Greenland, as well as modern ones such as Rwanda, have fallen apart. Not every collapse has an environmental origin, but an eco-meltdown is often the main catalyst, he argues, particularly when combined with society's response to (or disregard for) the coming disaster. Still, right from the outset of Collapse, the author makes clear that this is not a mere environmentalist's diatribe. He begins by setting the book's main question in the small communities of present-day Montana as they face a decline in living standards and a depletion of natural resources. Once-vital mines now leak toxins into the soil, while prion diseases infect some deer and elk and older hydroelectric dams have become decrepit. On all these issues, and particularly with the hot-button topic of logging and wildfires, Diamond writes with equanimity.

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