Commentaries & Articles
National Security: Preemption is Viable and Valid
The Chambers Twenty-first Century Dictionary defines ‘preempt’ in the following words:- “To do something ahead of someone else and so make pointless an action they have planned”. Preemptive action is defined by the same dictionary as an attack “effectively destroying the enemy’s weapons before they can be used”.
Quattrocchi is Dead But Ghost of Bofors is Still Around
The news of the demise of Ottavio Quattrocchi, the Italian businessman and close friend of UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and her late husband and former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, last week has prompted some people to say that with his passing, the Bofors kickbacks scandal is laid to rest. To put it mildly, this is wishful thinking.
Portents of Increased Terrorist Violence in J&K – Proactive Action Only Option
Sometime during the autumn of 2012, security forces homed on to a communication between a terrorist commander in the valley with his handler based in Pakistan Occupiued Kashmir (POK). The agitated handler was egging the commander to carry out some action on security forces and even threatened to block financial support to his men who had failed to launch any significant attack.
Uttarakhand Disaster: A Legacy of Environmental Destruction
June 2013 has been a month of catastrophe, trials and suffering in the Garhwal Himalaya in Uttarakhand. This is the region known as Devbhoomi, or the abode of the Gods, sacred to Hindus, Buddhists and Sikhs alike. The source of the most sacred river in India, the Ganga and its biggest tributary, the Yamuna lies in the region called Gangotri and Yamunotri. This is in West Garhwal, but between that and the Eastern most Garhwal glacier of Pindar lies the source of rivers such as Mandakini, Alaknanda, Bal Ganga and Bhilangana.
Allahabad High Court Ban on Caste Rallies: A Wake Up Call
The recent Allahabad High Court verdict banning caste based political rallies in Uttar Pradesh has reignited the debate on the role of caste in Indian politics. The reactions to the court order were on expected lines with the national parties welcoming it and most of the regional parties, particularly with strong caste affiliations, expressing their strong reservations about it.
India’s Defence and Security Policies: Need to Learn Lessons from the Past
Have we learned any lessons from our experiences during the Nehru era and in subsequent years? Anyone looking dispassionately at our defence and security policies over the decades would respond only in the negative. India frittered away its militarily advantageous position towards the end of Indo-Pakistan War of 1971 when we failed to exploit the operational situation in the Western Front that could have given us back our territory. This was much like towards the end of 1947-48 Indo-Pak conflict when Indian forces were ordered to stop operations.
India-China Ties: Need for a Balanced Policy
China constitutes by far our most difficult diplomatic challenge as its rise impacts us directly in view of its territorial claims on us, the unsettled Tibetan situation, the potential impact of China’s upstream river projects, its “more precious than gold” relationship with “iron brother” Pakistan, its strategic penetration in other neighbouring countries as well as in the Indian Ocean. The imbalance in our bilateral trade ties is also becoming unsustainable.
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