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Let his village remember

A review of Farthest Field by Raghu Karnad. Raghu Karnad’s Farthest Field (Harper Collins India) is a “forensic non-fiction” about three men who lived in his house as sepia coloured photographs in silver frames, until he decided to find out more about them starting with their real names. What starts as an effort to paint […]

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Independence of Indian delegations to the League

“…the most outstanding principle animating the activity of the League of Nations was the recognition of the principle of nationality and the equal sovereignty of nations, big or small.” I have already referred to the manner in which Indian delegations to the League of Nations and its ancillary bodies functioned as distinct units representing High […]

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ISIS: the State of Terror

A review of ISIS: the State of Terror by Jessica Stern and JM Berger. Things fall apart, the centre cannot hold, Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world. The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere The ceremony of innocence is drowned; The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are filled with passionate intensity.  – WB Yeats, […]

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India’s grand strategy for the 21st century

Piecing together the elements of India’s geostrategy since its independence. A review of Beyond South Asia: India’s Strategic Evolution and the Reintegration of the Subcontinent. The Indian Prime Minister made a whirlwind tour to the Indian Ocean island states of Sri Lanka, Seychelles and Mauritius a couple of weeks ago. While some analysts termed this […]

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Judgements that changed India

A review of Zia Mody’s book 10 Judgements That Changed India. Zia Mody’s book 10 Judgements That Changed India sets out to describe the background, socio-cultural circumstances, and reactions to 10 landmark judgements meted out by the Supreme Court in language that is not steeped in legalese. The author, educated at Cambridge and Harvard, and an expert […]

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Building Bangladesh

Bangladesh’s long journey to try and come to terms with its own history, and grasp a sense of a stable future is ultimately what Salil Tripathi’s The Colonel Who would not Repent is about.  Salil Tripathi’s The Colonel Who would not Repent: The Bangladesh War and its Unquiet Legacy is a detailed account of the 1971 War of Independence […]

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Diplomatic Warfare?

Warrior Diplomat takes the reader from corridors of power in the White House and the Pentagon to mud brick qalats and bullet-scarred abandoned schoolhouses in Afghanistan and back again.   There is an old and now mostly forgotten American tradition in time of war of politicians and government officials abandoning their civilian posts to serve in the military and […]

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Foreign policy in transition

A review of Arijit Mazumdar’s Indian Foreign Policy in Transition: Relations with South Asia Indian foreign policy was given renewed vigour by newly appointed Prime Minister, Narendra Modi’s invitation to South Asia’s heads of government to his inauguration in May 2014. Modi attempted to breathe fresh life into not just South Asian bilateral relations but […]

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The civil wars

Victories in civil wars are usually pyrrhic and there exists no ‘good’ side. Samanth Subramanian’s This Divided Island on Sri Lanka’s recently concluded civil war portrays several people in the aftermath of the war and describes how their lives have been irreparably affected by this war. As Sarah Farooqui in her review of the book states, “In […]

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Introduction to Dinkar’s Sanskriti ke Char Adhyaya

Nehru wrote the introduction below in 1955. Two major events in India reflect in the concerns Nehru displays below – the Dravida Nadu movement results in him making an extra effort to show the contribution of South in composing India, and the opposition to Hindu Code Bills might be the reason he spends a significant […]

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