The India Way PDF Book by S. Jaishankar

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Click here to Download The India Way PDF Book by S. Jaishankar Language English having PDF Size 1.3 MB and No of Pages 217.

A famous Satyajit Ray film some decades ago captured the Indian selfabsorption that shapes its larger awareness of the world. It depicted two Indian nawabs engrossed in a chess game while the British East India Company steadily took over their wealthy kingdom of Awadh. Today, as another global power rises – that too in India’s immediate proximity.

The India Way PDF Book by S. Jaishankar

Name of Book The India Way
PDF Size 1.3 MB
No of Pages 217
Language English
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About Book – The India Way PDF Book

This country cannot be oblivious once again to its consequences. Ideally, the emergence of China should serve as an inspiration to sharpen India’s competitive instincts. But at the very least, it should stir a serious debate about the direction of world politics and its implications for us. This is important because in parallel there are other momentous shifts underway.

A larger rebalancing was already in evidence, now overlaid by greater regional volatility, higher risk-taking, stronger nationalism and a rejection of globalization. But the critical change is the recalibrated posture of an America that has long been the bedrock of the contemporary international system. Its response to China’s rise may well determine the direction of contemporary politics.

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Because global happenings are not always factored fully into its internal dynamics, such developments have often passed India by. How they impact its thinking is also not always made clear in the absence of definitive political narratives. So as India rises in the world order, it should not only visualize its interests with great clarity but also communicate them effectively.

This is an effort to contribute to that endeavour, encouraging an honest conversation among Indians, without discouraging the world from eavesdropping. International relations may be mostly about other nations, but neither unfamiliarity nor indifference lessen its consequences. So, rather than allow events to come upon us, these are better anticipated and analysed.

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That has not been our history, as demonstrated in the Panipat syndrome that saw invading forces enter the Indian heartland for decisive battles. This default option of playing defence reflects a mindset that does not comprehend external events well, leave alone appreciate their implications. In contemporary times, Indian agnosticism about the outcome of the Second World War had major repercussions. 

In the next decade, India’s handling of the Cold War led Pakistan, a smaller neighbour, to close the power differential for decades. The consequences of its illegal occupation of part of Jammu and Kashmir was as underestimated as the strength of its revanchist sentiments after 1971.

Understanding of China has been inadequate, whether it was the significance of the 1949 revolution, later the intensity of its Communist nationalism or, finally, the enormity of its post1978 rise. As India developed a greater familiarity with world politics, power equations were misjudged by political romanticism. Inevitable decisions, such as on nuclear weapons, were consequently delayed at great cost. The India Way PDF Book

The issue of pursuing earlier a United Nations Security Council seat is another example that has been debated widely. If you had believed the best minds of our times, this was not supposed to happen. But for two decades, China had been winning without fighting, while the US was fighting without winning. We speak here not just about outcomes in specific theatres or regions.

It was even more about economic growth, political influence, and quality of life. As a result, along the way, America lost its famous optimism. Something had to give and it did, in the 2016 American presidential election. This obviously was not the only reason for that result. But through that one electoral event, the upholder of the international system turned revolutionary.

And China, the rising power, finds itself defending the status quo – or at least the elements to its advantage. The world faces an extraordinary prospect of its two leading players doing what it takes to win, and then some more. Their behavioural impact on each other and the world is now visible. In other circumstances, the US could be practising the art of the deal. The India Way PDF Book

But in an unfavourable landscape, it seems more focused on changing the terms of engagement. The need of the day apparently is to discard what no longer works for it. Deals may or may not follow. In the ultimate analysis, the ability of major powers to reach accommodation will shape our times. When ‘black swans’ meet ‘grey rhinos’, the very nature of the habitat undergoes transformation.

To the immediate beholder, these developments appear alarming. Especially so, if we focus on the events to the exclusion of trends. But international relations is an exercise of both forging convergences and managing divergences. Such dynamic processes will keep evolving while coexisting. At the extremes, they produce allies or create conflicts.

But in an interdependent world, most relationships tend to settle down in the middle. Convergences even among competing powers is not unknown. The briefer examples include that of Germany and USSR after the First World War or the US and the USSR during the second one. In contrast, the trans-Atlantic bond between the UK and the US proved exceptionally durable. The India Way PDF Book

Somewhere in-between would be the UK-Japan partnership after the Meji Restoration that lasted half a century. China’s collaboration with the USSR/Russia in the 1950s and again today is also noteworthy. The US-China relationship that currently holds global attention has gone on for four decades, not a short span in modern times.

Who benefited more in this period is a question to which we may get a different answer today than two decades ago. But because it was long enough to be taken as a given by two generations, we attribute to it a sense of being natural. We ask why it is under stress now, when we could wonder equally easily why it lasted that long.

But beyond these two questions, what the world is arguing over is the continuing relevance of a system that the established powers devised but which was used so brilliantly by the rising one to advance its prospects. In the modern world, open societies confront such challenges when going up against less scrupulous competitors. Fighting the uneven fight is their karma. The India Way PDF Book Download

The most extreme situations arise when confronting terrorism, especially that backed by state powers. As others have discovered before, there are no easy answers. Consider the diplomatic engagement between India and Pakistan in the last two decades. Pakistan indulges in nuclear scare-mongering to create a moral equivalence between a terrorist and a victim.

We then make the mistake at Havana and Sharm-El-Sheikh of playing along. In this logic, ‘strategic restraint’ apparently applies only to the victim, not to the perpetrator. In fact, a narrative was even created that suggests there are no escalatory dangers when Pakistan commits terrorism, but only when India responds to such acts.

What is amazing is how many have bought this self-serving logic, expecting that India must naturally conform to it. Making it a game for two has, therefore, been a real challenge. The value of the Uri and Balakot responses was that, finally, Indian policy could think for itself rather than let Pakistan condition its answers. And that, in many ways, was the role of Sri Krishna as well on the Pandava side. The India Way PDF Book Download

While deviations from the norm are less rare, a more complex issue is the role of deception. It clearly cannot be that activities in the domains of foreign policy and national security should be transparent in all respects. After all, incentives, fear and manipulation are part of human nature.

Indian strategic thought, most notably Kautilya’s writings, underline the importance of ‘Sama, Dana, Danda and Bheda’ (alliance, compensation, force and trickery) as the ways of approaching political challenges. The complexity of tactics grows in direct proportion to the gravity of the situation. We see that in two of the ethically disputable situations in the Mahabharata.

At a moment of battlefield desperation, the King Yudhishtira is persuaded to make a false public declaration to destroy the morale of Dronacharya, a critical opponent. Earlier, when Arjuna’s oath to kill an enemy by a deadline was being tested, Sri Krishna created an illusion of safety that encouraged Jayadratha, a hunted warrior, to expose himself with fatal consequences. The India Way PDF Book Download

In both cases, the letter of the action violated its spirit. Far more flagrant situations have happened in real life. Many of the most fateful battles in the modern world – Bosworth Field in England, Sekigahara in Japan or Plassey in India – have after all been decided by treachery. Sometimes, deception has even been justified as a call of honour, a case in point being the Japanese saga of the 47 Ronin.

Yet, the world does seek conformity with rules and promotes observance of norms. For that reason, Japan sought to formally declare war just before attacking Pearl Harbour so that it was morally and technically in the right. Its failure to do so in time was enormously helpful to President Roosevelt in mobilizing political support.

Narratives are necessary to justify departures and violations and each political culture produces its own version. In modern history, the British were probably the best in this business. Their storyline on India can go to the extent of suggesting that oppression was in the interest of the victim! Others have chosen their own mix of intentions and justification. The India Way PDF Book Download

Retaining the high moral ground is in many ways the ultimate test of realpolitik. Even otherwise, our world was moving discernibly towards an era of greater disruption, stronger nationalism, sharper competitiveness and a questioning of rules and regimes. And along came a virus that first devastated Wuhan and then proceeded to engulf the entire world.

Quite apart from the enormous number of deaths it caused, millions have lost their livelihood across nations. Societies that were confident of their future saw the prospect of growth evaporate before their very eyes. Many, not just in India, who would have otherwise come out of poverty will have to wait longer. And all this because of a pandemic of which they had little knowledge and even less control.

Considering its enormous impact, it cannot be that this extraordinary happening will be absorbed so easily by the world. Debates around it have broken out, sharpening arguments that were already in play. As a result, the pace of what was already underway will surely accelerate. Global contradictions will accentuate as geopolitics and geo-economics get more heated. The India Way PDF Book Free 

Many characteristics of our turbulent era will get validated, perhaps even enhanced. And new wrinkles will be added to a more complicated world. Partly because of how the pandemic unfolded, it has fed strongly into a USChina dynamic that is in flux. As it is, this particular relationship was busy grappling with issues of ambitions, intentions and interests.

An American view of economic security being central to national security had put pressure on offshoring practices and global supply chains, while also enhancing technology sensitivity. But after the coronavirus, there is now an additional layer of health security being added to the mix.

The availability of medicines, masks, personal protective equipment and testing kits during the pandemic graphically brought out national vulnerabilities across the world. How much post-pandemic sentiment would affect business judgements, especially on global supply chains, is therefore a natural concern. The India Way PDF Book Free 

A shift in American thinking that goes beyond the Administration of the day now believes that a single-minded pursuit of efficiency and profits at the cost of the social fabric and industrial capabilities is unacceptable. Particularly in a climate of disrupted travel and health uncertainty, the risks of doing business abroad have increased.

If, at the same time, policy uncertainty is also heightened, there will be much more pressure on the world that we know. Leave alone multilateralism, even our understanding of globalization has changed as a result of recent developments. Till now, the common approach was to view it as a balance of multiple national interests, rather than an outcome of collective choice.

Its economic perspectives were dominant, with primacy given to trade and investment. But as with the case of climate change or terrorism, pandemics have now demonstrated that there are issues on which no one can really stay out. Such realities cannot be a subject of calculations or negotiations as they reflect a more indivisible existence. The India Way PDF Book Free 

If the world were to draw the right lessons, then this experience has the potential to reframe the debate on global issues. But for that to happen, it is imperative to find more common ground on the very questions that are today sources of contention.

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