Invite for Asia Society, Mumbai, book event, Oct 30

Back after sojourning abroad; getting into harness!

But first a cordial invite to all ‘Security Wise’blog readers in the Mumbai region. Pasted below is the notice by Asia Society about an event it is hosting — a conversation about my new book — ‘Staggering Forward: Narendra Modi and India’s Global Ambition’ on Tuesday, October 30,  6:30 PM, at the Nehru Centre, Worli, Mumbai. It is ‘Free’ but do please RSVP the Asia Society or register your names (in the invitation below.) Thanks.


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Meena Menon and Bharat Karnad


Deconstructing India’s Global Ambition
Tuesday, October 30th, 6.30 p.m. onwards

A conversation with Bharat Karnad and Meena Menon on India’s Foreign Policy under Narendra Modi, based on Karnad’s new book – Staggering Forward: Narendra Modi and India’s Global Ambition.

India’s first Prime Minister spearheaded India’s Foreign Policy for over 15 years. He forged partnerships but deterred from aligning with the two hegemons of the cold war era. Successive Prime Ministers in the early decades followed precedent, but international engagement took a back seat to India’s domestic issues. At the time of a historic economic transition in Asia, PM Modi came to power showing earnestness in his pursuit of fortifying India’s place in the world. Travelling across continents, he has tried to deepen ties with traditional allies while engaging with more countries and forging new partnerships.

However, India’s difficult relations with its neighbour Pakistan, China’s growing influence in Asia and Africa, and America’s inwardly focused policies cannot be ignored. Eminent political scientist Sunil Khilnani acknowledges India as ‘A substantial bridgehead of effervescent liberty on the Asian continent’, persistent with its long-term record of successful, multicultural democracy. But what must India do to balance its democratic achievements with its global ambitions? How does India engage with two nuclear-armed neighbours? How must India’s foreign policy adapt to a dynamic world order? Join us in conversation with Bharat Karnad, National Security Expert and Meena Menon, Journalist and Author as they discuss Mr. Karnad’s new book ‘Staggering Forward: Narendra Modi and India’s Global Ambition’ which presents an analysis of the current Prime Minister’s foreign policy. In a world driven by trade and communication, Mr. Karnad explains the rise of political strongmen like Xi Jinping in China, Trump in USA, Putin in Russia and Erdogan in Turkey who are trying to thrive independently in an extremely interdependent world order. As India continues to ascend the economic ladder, his book tries to answer critical questions concerning India’s place on the international stage.

Bharat Karnad is a research professor at CPR and a national security expert. Mr Karnad was a member of the first National Security Advisory Board of India’s National Security Council, where he participated in the Nuclear Doctrine Drafting Group and the external security and the technology security groups of the Strategic Review. In addition to publishing widely on national security, he is frequently consulted by officials of the Government of India, including the prime minister and minister for external affairs. Mr Karnad also lectures widely abroad and has been involved in Track-II dialogues with the United States, China, Taiwan, Pakistan, and Israel.

Meena Menon is an independent journalist and former bureau chief The Hindu, Mumbai. She is the author of Riots and After in Mumbai (2012), Reporting Pakistan (2017), and co-author with Uzramma of A Frayed History – The Journey of Cotton in India(2017). She has been a journalist since 1984 and has worked with United News of India, The Times of India, Midday and The Hindu. She is also on the faculty of Xavier Institute of Communication.

In partnership with:

Hall of Harmony, Nehru Centre,
Worli, Mumbai 400018

Time: 6:30 p.m.
Registration: 6:00 p.m.



About Bharat Karnad

Senior Fellow in National Security Studies at the Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi, he was Member of the (1st) National Security Advisory Board and the Nuclear Doctrine-drafting Group, and author, among other books of, 'Nuclear Weapons and Indian Security: The Realist Foundations of Strategy', 'India's Nuclear Policy' and most recently, 'Why India is Not a Great Power (Yet)'. Educated at the University of California (undergrad and grad), he was Visiting Scholar at Princeton University, University of Pennsylvania, the Shanghai Institutes of International Studies, and Henry L. Stimson Center, Washington, DC.
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2 Responses to Invite for Asia Society, Mumbai, book event, Oct 30

  1. San Mann says:

    Welcome back Prof Karnad,
    What is your reaction to the latest announcement from Pakistan that it will be sending its first astronaut to space in 2022 with China’s help? Is the choice of 2022, the same year as India’s first indigenous manned spaceflight, a mere coincidence – or is there a message? If the latter, then what is that message?
    How much can the origin of this joint China-Pakistan manned mission be attributed to China itself, even though the Pakistanis have rushed to go public first? Is it more likely that China, rather Pakistan, came up with the idea for this mission?
    What can we infer about China’s own space diplomacy plans from this?
    My understanding is that China will have its next-generation modular space station (similar in size to the International Space Station) operating by 2022, and that it has recently declared that it will be made available as a hub for international space cooperation (this appears to be in response to USA’s exclusion of it from participation in the International Space Station.) It seems likely that this joint China-Pakistan manned mission will be flying to the new Chinese space station for an onboard stay there.
    How will India manage the optics over claims of an emerging “space race” which threatens to re-hyphenate India with Pakistan, at least in the realm of India’s quest to become a spacefaring power?
    Will we eventually see joint Indian manned missions with Japan and Vietnam, while the Chinese go up with Pakistanis, North Koreans and even Cambodians in tow? How will this all play out?

  2. ankithood says:

    Sir,if u can shed some light on how exactly india can go about co-opting pakistan. I don’t believe economic incentives or restructuring armed forces is answer enough. Should india do some political Innovation regarding erstwhile jnk state (incl. Pakistan occupied territories)? For example-dominion status or eu kind of integration or both or something else. It seems a political solution is necessary and that too without Pakistan? If you can elaborate on how shall we co-opt in a realist fashion, that would be nice. Thank you.

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