Commentaries & Articles
“Soft Power” Counts for very Little”
Much is sometimes made of India’s “soft power” as a diplomatic force multiplier. This kind of power is defined as the ability to attract and co-opt rather than coerce, use force or give money as a mean of persuasion. Through this power a country can supposedly obtain the outcomes it wants because other countries admiring its values, emulating its example, aspiring to its levels of prosperity, openness and availability of individual opportunities, want to follow it.
India Shining? Or India, The Dark Continent?
The newspaper headlines and electronic media such as NDTV24×7, Times Now, CNN-IBN keeps screaming at us that India is the land of scams, the very fountainhead of corruption. On the one hand are the Indian people – harried, betrayed, looted by those in power. On another we have the predators, the politicians and bureaucrats.
Tibet in International Law and Practice
“Since Tibet is not the same as China, it should ultimately be the wishes of the people of Tibet that should prevail and not any legal or constitutional arguments. That, I think, is a valid point. Whether the people of Tibet are strong enough to assert their rights or not is another matter. Whether we are strong enough to see that is done is also another matter.
How Do We Revive Healthy Politics In India?
When India became independent the one and only national level political party was the Congress, whose identity as the party in the vanguard of the freedom movement gave it a very special place in the hearts and minds of Indians. Mahatma Gandhi was the national icon, he galvanised the people into participation in the freedom movement, he was the conscience keeper of the nation and he provided that degree of leadership which enabled the Congress to become the party of the nation.
Fighting to the Muzzle at Rezangla
Fifty years ago, India suffered the ignominy of a military debacle at the hands of the People’s Liberation Army of communist China. Perceptive strategic analysts now attribute the Himalayan blunder to the untenable ‘Forward Policy’ and Pandit Nehru’s diktat to a fund-starved, ill-equipped, ill-clad and unprepared army to ‘throw out the Chinese’. Painful memories of that defeat still linger in the national psyche.
Games China Plays - India’s Insecurities allow China to get its Own Way
The 50th anniversary of the 1962 India-China border conflict provides an appropriate occasion to reflect on border differences between the two countries and the outlook for the future. India’s view of China is heavily etched by the 1962 events. At the strategic level, the distrust of China is deep, with China’s policies since 1962 reinforcing the general belief that its posture towards India is basically adversarial, and will remain so in the foreseeable future.
Is Verrier Elwin Still Relevant? –A Study of the Bhils of Jhabua
Verrier Elwin dedicated his life first to live with Maria and Muria tribals of Bastar (both groups belong to the Gond family) and then the tribals of the North East in what is now Arunachal Pradesh. Pt. Nehru had a liking for and faith in Elwin and many of our policies relating to the tribes were based on the thoughts of Verrier Elwin. Elwin felt that the tribals are a very special people who must be kept separate from the rest of Indian society in order to conserve and preserve their ethnic identity, their tribal social structures, their culture and their way of life.
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The Vivekananda International Foundation (VIF) is a New Delhi-based think tank set up with the collaborative efforts of India's leading security experts, diplomats and philanthropists under the aegis of the Vivekananda Kendra. The VIF’s objective is to become a centre of excellence to kick start innovative ideas and thoughts that can lead to a stronger, secure and prosperous India playing its destined role in global affairs.

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