Office Tel: 91-11-2611-5273
Office Address: Centre for Policy Research, 21 Dharma Marg, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi 110021, INDIA
Office Tel: 91-11-2611-5273
Office Address: Centre for Policy Research, 21 Dharma Marg, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi 110021, INDIA
dear Mr. Karnad, 31-12-2011
many thanks for expressing your views in yesterday’s new Indian express.I am sick of this adulation of sachin tendulkar.When ever the TV announces that”the billions of indians are awaiting the next great achievement of tendulkar”, I loudly add “billions..minus one”.When that man fails to get a century, we are informed that “Sachin is human after all”..who raised him to Godhead??
Many thanks for expressing MY views!
PS:perhaps, like the Dalits supporting Mayawati because she has ‘achieved’ what they could not..namely, fame and wealth,the Indian masses mired in their daily drudgery, like to live vicariously through sachin tendulkar?Honesty and decency count for very little, to the unthinking Indian.
I agree with Miss Preeta Rao. While Tendulkar was no doubt a good cricketer, I don’t think he was so great that ”the billions of indians are awaiting the next great achievement of tendulkar” or may I say his failures. Giving him a Bharat Ratna and making him a Rajya Sabha member was the most ridiculous thing the Congress could have ever done. Sachin Tendulkar will just go around flaunting his Bharat Ratna and enjoy the perks and honours of being a Rajya Sabha member without contributing anything either to the people of this country or the debates in Parliament. There are more deserving persons in this country on whom these honours could have been conferred upon.
Hi sir, has India ever brought Menser (enclave) and Shaksgam onto the negotiating table in it’s boundary negotiations with China? Has India built on the gains in Doklam, 2017 to secure areas like Barahoti, Asaphila, Fish tail 1 and 2? Has GOI given up on securing our frontier areas? Often read that places like Asaphila, Trig Heights, Fish tails are treated as disputed areas, even though they fall on the Indian side of LAC!
China committed to not formalizing the status of the Shaksgam Valley gifted by Ayub Khan to China vide the 1963 Sino-Pak accord pending a final Kashmir settlement. But Beijing has not kept to its word. Until recently, India never brought up PoK, Baltistan, Hunza and Gilgit in negotiations. Delhi does so now, but not sure the Modi govt has put Shaksgam on the table with the Chinese. Re: the other areas you mention — GOI seems to have accepted their disputed status, doing nothing to build up the claimed areas as China does.
in Us that is called escape from reality ( left sports @ 35)
Your articles are really eye openers to Indian Public in General who are least bothered about Security of their Country.I humbly request you shed some light regarding Bangladeshi Infiltration(which is turning out to be the single biggest Security threat to India).There are more than 50 lakh Bangladeshi Infiltrators in India according to previous MoS for Home Sri Sri Prakash Jaiswal (who is now MoS for Coal)
Thankyou Ravi. The Bangladeshi infiltration is a security worry. But it is essentially unstoppable because of the differential in the landmass and economic opportunities between India and Bangaldesh. A grow B’Deshi population and static land availability — and in the future with the rise of sea waters — and possibly actual decline in tillable land, the movement of economic refugees into the adjoining Indian Hill states and Assam will, in fact, grow not subside. There are various palliatives — like a system of documented “guest workers” who can come in seasonally for employment purposes, can earn money here, and are able to repatriate the same to their homes in B’Desh. Unless, we begin to think creatively, India will soon find itself inundated with no solution in sight except the prospect of more strife.
Foreign ministry must take precautionary measures or else we will be out of resources. Border laws must be made stiffer and breaking them must be made punishable. Besides unemployment and poverty they bring with them deadly diseases……
Not that I am racist but already we have a lot of problems and cannot afford to put our hands in snakes’ nest………
Asian Institute of gastroenterology-Hyderabad is planning to collaborate with Pakistan in Health Care sector.It also has a reputation of treating Pakistani Patients.Indian School of Business Hyderabad is planning to train at least 100-125 Executives from Pakistan.They also probably had an arrangement with Pakistani Chamber of Commerce.Our Union Commerce Minister Anand Sharma also said that he would look into the proposal of allowing FDI into Indian Market from Pakistan.Why do you think Sir our Indian Intelligentsia goes overboard in building bridges with Pakistan.They behave as peace doves when it comes to relations with Pakistan(no reciprocation from other side-not even once in the entire history).Why don’t the same institutions mentioned above show no enthusiasm in empowering and resolving the ills plaguing the rural areas,rural hinterland,and more the insurgent areas and insurgency prone areas (almost about 250 districts in our country suffer from one form of insurgency or the other). Are such gestures towards Pakistan really required considering the hostility shown by it towards India.
I hope we are not gruding the Pakistani citizens getting medical treatment or benefitting from business management courses, etc. The more such interaction the bettrr it is for prospects for peace. After all, what’s the basic problem here. The sometimes tense Hindu-Muslim relations in India, since independence, have been externalized in our attitude to Pakistan. This has hurt our strategic position because China has used Pakistani animus against us. The far bigger danger, as I have been saying for some 25 years is posed by China. China is the cat, Pakistan only the cat’s paw — why deal with the paw when you should take on the cat? Besides, it is not fair to say that it is all one way traffic. The Pakistani business community is agog with possibilities of investing in or establishing companies, retail outlets, etc — so much bigger market than their home ountry provides. India cannot afford to have Pakistan as an inveterate enemy because thn the country will be consumed, security wise, by a sideshow even as China is laughing up its sleeve.
Dear Bharat, Why cannot we have a special cultural soft-power wing of the External Affairs Ministry like USIS, Goethe Houses, Alliance Francais etc. etc. Instead the ICCR send flat-footed IFS officers to look after our cultural affairs with embarrassing results. Also the same jokers also look after our trade relations in foreign countries. This needs special attention, especially as China has planned 1000 Confucius Centres.
But we do ostensibly have a “softpower wing” in MEA : Indian Council on Cultural Relations.
We do have the Indian Council of Cultural Relations under MEA as the soft power tool.
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Dear Mr. Karnad,
In you most recent piece published in the Indian Express, you propose that india should ” transfer(ring) nuclear-warheaded cruise and ballistic missiles on the sly to Vietnam” as a way to pay back China. Have you considered what such a strategy would ultimately lead to- arming unstable regimes in this populous and ethnically diverse South East Asian region. Any nuclear conflict in this part of the world is going to consume millions of people, mostly poor, across borders and populations.
Is the number of lives under threat of a potential nuclear conflict even a consideration in your scholarly pursuits?
Actually, I have brought this up with the Chinese in Track-2 and elsewhere. When I ask them how a strategically far-sighted country such as theirs could have so deliberately nuclear missile-armed Pakistan to contain India to the subcontinent when they knew that a strong-minded and strong-willed Indian government could some day respond in kind by arming their neighbors — more of them who are afraid of China than there are states in India’s neighbourhood who fear India, they haven’t responded except by asking “But will India do it?”. The principle of Indian payback once established in practice will put the world on notice never again to trifle with India’s security interests. Besides, Vietnam is hardly an unstable country
While its true that China had a role in Pak’s nuclear program, but America had a role as well during the cold war phase. Didn’t the Reagan administration in the 80’s deliberately encourage Pak’s nuclear program in order to secure it’s loyalty against the Soviets when they were invading Afghanistan?
Now the Americans are all concerned about the nukes falling in the hands of terrorists. But its just another of their hypocrisy when it comes to nuclear proliferation.
I read the article redefining indo-pak relations in the new indian express on 14.1.2013. Best analysis has been done.The current situation inside pak and its various phases has been drawn very carefully with much proficiency.Your opinion of “unilateral action” is a prudent one and can be set in action.My humble opinion is as long as a person who seperates religion from the acts of the state makes his appearance from the dark clouds of turmoil in pakistan nothing can be acheived either by government or by fifth estate and by cricket.
That may be like “waiting for Godot”!
Sir Thank you for the great work you are doing. Would you like to write or share your articles on bhaarat.org
Please go ahead and use the stuff from my blog, without changing, modifying, revising it in any way.
Your latest article in IE of 5.4.2013 ‘Messing with Srilanka’ is, as usual, brilliant, incisive, fearless and as always the harsh truth. We wait for your column avidly. More strength at your elbow!
In an event of a nuclear war with China, both countries will be reduced . 2 billion people will be dead. But how about with Pakistan? Will we be reduced ? Approximately how many casualties are we looking at ? Do you have an article written regarding a scenario of a nuclear war on the western border ? I am nterested in reading your analysis. I suspect that they would have to have a decapitating first strike.
Bharathji, please see the link which should serve as an eye opener for our Secular/leftist perverts/peaceniks in India.shared via the tweet of Shri Prakash Singh-Ex DGP-Assam,UP,BSF:
Coversation between Son and Father in Pakistan-blow daddy blow:conversation between son and father in Pakistan,please read when ur time permits:http://t.co/lBU9C7tX8P
Yesterday evening (5th Nov 2013) I was tuned into BBC Urdu service’s program “Sairbeen” which was broadcast at 8:30 India time. One person was interviewed by the anchor regarding the successful launch of India’s March Mission. The guest was introduced as an Indian Strategic Analyst by the name Bharat Karnad. I have seen and heard you on TV. The voice of the guest on BBC Urdu program which I am referring to did not sound exactly like yours.
I just wanted to know if you were indeed interviewed by BBC Urdu service and it was indeed your interview yesterday evening in Sairbeen program.
I will appreciate your reply.
BBC Urdu Service did interview me, but I have not heard the report so cannot vouch for how my views were spliced together to produce what outcomes! Generally though, I have been a bit critical of our deep-Space probes. While there are many upsides and as part of a more comprehensive strategy would make sense, what it actually does in the context of a policy-paralyzed government is create the impression for the people of a country moving in leaps and bounds towards great power when, in reality, the country is sliding backwards in many critical respects. Even the scientists in ISRO admit that inter-planetary projects such as a Mars probe are manifestly ‘symbolic’ in nature, with relatively little substantive technological or scientific content.
Sir, just finished reading your book, “India’s Nuclear Policy” and was indeed impressed with its content, presentation, logic of arguments and the flow. I am a Ph. D student of Hyderabad Central University and am working on India’s Strategic Culture. I have a question for you, the answer of which would also help me understand your view on the subject matter. Somewhere in your book, you mention that India’s nuclear outlook is influenced, as in other countries, by considerations of national interest and hard realpolitik. This, Kenneth Waltz describes as “military logic of self help”. At another point, you mention the ancient Hindu statecraft and machtpolitik which undergirds the deeply rooted realist tradition in Indian culture. Is your point that India would have followed the self-help in an anarchic system path whether or not it has a realist strategic culture which dates back to several millennia? Or, it is because India has a hard realpolitik strategic culture to draw inferences from, that it is open to responding in a realist manner in the sphere of international relations? There could be a third point where India could be doing what it is doing, driven by the anarchic system, and using the realist strategic culture as a civilizational sanction to the actions. i just want to know from you what is the weightage you give to india’s strategic culture in the shaping of india’s military strategy as a whole and its nuclear policy in particular.
Thanks. Would wait for your response.
Perhaps, the two streams merge in the manner to produce the outcome you suggest. Except, “self-help” is a situation-driven option and a Hindu machtpolitik-laced realist Indian strategic culture is a contextual factor that naturally directs countries to consider the forthright option, which may often be deemed “hard”.
I was delighted when i read your article today morning, the same was discussed with my friend who was planning to join AAP. They are destroyers than creators, I still wonder how Arvind Kejriwal aligned with Congress that easily. He became popular by exposing Robert Vadra and got good mileage out of that episode but today what had happened to those allegations. Where is Dharma / principle in his actions. He is more worse than any other crooked politician, If he is against corruption than he should take a stand like Khemka and ensure his allegations are proved in public. but instead he used those to win weak minded votes (Who don’t really analyze and decide). Last 15 years Delhi was ruled by Congress and there were visible corruption across. Despite all that he was in a hurry (Power hungry to grab the chair) don’t want to loose the opportunity to become Chief Minister. Again he cleverly portrayed to weak minded people to make them believe that he is consulting public. It’s all a very unethical, uncultured practices by these sect of power mongers. All media & spineless people simply praise them to destroy the strong alternate.
At this point in time we need decent party with a good leader by far Narendra Modi is a proven leader with loads of experience in running government, administration & nation building. I strongly feel these AAP’s are used to divert the voters, reduce victory of leading parties & mainly spoil the chances of BJP to come to power. At this juncture if it’s very fractured mandate it will be disastrous to our nation and we can’t afford such things.
I read your articles on Indian security policy very keenly. I have a question for you regarding India’s nuclear deterrent. You and santhanam as well have said that the thermonuclear tests in 1998 were failures and India only has 15-20 KT fission bombs. Kakodkar is on record saying we have 200 KT bombs. Moreover seismic data does point to Indian tests being around 60 KT if you factor sikka’s theory of wave interference on which there is copious material. Reading on thermo nukes, I found that basically there are 2 thermonuke designs-Sloika or layer cake pioneered by Russians and tellar Ullam by Americans. Only tellar Ullam can be scaled up to multimega tons due to higher tritium burn but sloika gives 200 KT – Kakodkar’s magic number 20 KT from fission , 20 KT from further boost if tritium is used in fission core, 40 KT from LId fusion burn if lid is spiked with tritium and 150 KT from fissile tamper. This was basically done by Russians inRDS6s test in 1952 and moreover this design is simple and compact. if you keep an inert tamper and don’t use tritium for purpose of underground testing your yield will be 40 KT-20 from fission and 20 from fusion. This is what iyengar implied with 10% burn. So could it be possible that’s Indians tested 2 hydrogen bombs in 1998-Sloika and tellar ulam. While sloika sizzled and gave 40 KT , tellar ulam failed and gave only 15 KT from fission primary. Which means that our warheads are 40 -200 KT in Agnis and prithvis, not as destructive as P5 but quite good still especially if agnis are MRV capable (not MIRV) and from cost perpective sloika is much cheaper to maintain than 4th gen tellar ulam design which require expensive LIF facility.Indeed israelis follow the same approach. So you and santhanam would be wrong then.
Yes, this is the sort of conjecture that many in AEC circles have made and there’s no evidence to suggest it isn’t so. But even going by the assumption of the Ulam-Teller weapon config and its proven failure in 1998 — if it failed shouldn’t India, at the very least, test to obtain a successful fusion burn in the UT design to extend the country’s weapons design and standards options and to keep the P-5 and adversary states guessing?
Yes but maintaining a 4 th gen UT arsenal would require billions investment in LIF due to which Britain and France are already reducing their arsenal. In contrast a 250 kg MRV sloika warhead can give 80 – 100 KT if tritium is used both in fission core andLID ring compared to 200 KT for TU design. The casualties would be roughly similar. With India’s proven capability to simulate sloika , copious tritium reserves, wouldn’t it make sense to sign nuclear deal , preserve domestic plutonium reserves and have good relations with US. Any TU test now would mean that Pakistan will have a TU design from china which they can deploy so India will be threatened by multimega ton weapons of PAK. Moreover whole Islamic world will acquire the Hbomb then which will end the security of Israel and primacy of America which is only against our interests.So n tests now would be a strategic disaster. it would be akin to loosing a queen to the adversary (china) and hitting a pawn.Today even if pakis have TU design which is a big if since China itself acquired a 4th gen TU design through theft in 1988, without explosive testing they cannot deployit. they can only deploy tacts and simple fission weapons whereas India can employ 200 KT bomb. By the way it goes to show the level of secrecy in side Indian establishment. It seems the DRDo guys did not even know the true shaft depths and were led on a garden path by BARC.
Does this also mean that we got help from Russians in our nuclear programme as Russia is the only country to have tested a sloika.
Dont you think Shri Narendra Modiji should contest elections either from Jammu and Kashmir or Assam and win so as to send a strong signal to the forces that are inimical to India and also to instill a sense of pride, self confidence among the local populace of those states
Well, while politically ambitious, it could be risky considering the local populations in these outlier states may be less receptive to Modi and his ideas than people in the heartland — UP or Bihar.
Sir With reference to your article in “The New Indian Express” today,I would like to express a doubt.As on date elections for 232 LS seats are completed.Exit Polls suggesting that NDA may muster 272 with smaller parties:
1.Are the channels playing mind game (at the behest of Secular Parties) in order to ensure that lazy / irresponsible / insensitive Hindus wont come out,stand in the queue in the Hot Sun and cast their votes.
2.Did BJP forget that Shri LK Advani, Shri Chandrababu Naidu had cast their apprehensions against EVMs.
3.Is the VVPAT (Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trial) being implemented in all polling booths in all constituencies.
These issues might sound silly for some people but if these minute things are not taken care of the result may be different na Sir.
Call it a yearning aided by intuition I was to write to Nani Palkhivala in 1992 that “India direly needs an Indigenous version of Deng Xiao Ping or Lee Kwan Yew”. May be it has come in the form of Modi. As far as I know none except Sri Aurobindo saw the challenges before India, in the pre-independence times.
Are you ever available in Bangalore Mr.Karnad?
There so much to ask about Asia.
I’m in Bangalore occasionally, when I’m invited to deliver a talk. I was last there at IIM a couple of months ago.
Sir what about the new naval base near vizag? INS VARSHA. We have been reading reports in papers that there has been a budget cut?
INS Varsha is a navy priority. Not sure it’ll be denied funds unless a competing issue demands immediate investement.
Sir what about NTRO. Is it gonna work to provide sufficient external architecture to prevent intrusion by CHINA. Sir i heard only students from small colleges with little experience are joining and due to incompetence are leaving very fast. When we have produced to software engineers who are now heading the top companies like Satya Nadella of Microsoft can’t we rope in IIT students. Is the present government doing anything or same like the MMS govt.
This is a problem. GOI and its agencies seem unable to attract, and hold on to, talent. The less said about NTRO, in particular, the better.
Sir the chatter on the Pakistani social media circles is that they have designed a Stealth Plane which has flown over the USA, INDIA etc undetected. Do you think they have any plane of the sort or this is the Pakistani way of making their citizens 100 fools.
Pak flights of fancy, I guess.
Flight of imagination!
Sir i don’t understand why these politicians can’t rope in experts to become defence secy, foreign secy and secy of procurement and production. The bureaucrats who don’t understand the intricacies are making things worse. I also don’t get why former intelligence people or former diplomats become NSA OR DY NSA or advisers on foreign and military policies. I think they have a very limited world view and pander to their institutional loyalties. Why can’t we have people like you or experts advising the PM. The USA perhaps is doing well because they bring their best brains from each sector into specific departments. I think the singular reason for Mr Modi to have messed up the relationship with russia is he is either overawed by Obama or he lacks a definite world view. I think MMS had a better understanding of international politics and economics. I think Mr Modi should ring up sardarji sometime. These advisor’s who don’t know anything are spoiling things for India.
Sir, i am an admirer on your thoughts, i just want to ask you something. Sir, in all the discussions & debates on the issue of national security , we miss one point i.e. the political divide back home. We often miss the point that there are some elements in our society, which openly support PAN ISLAMIC movements across the world & unfortunately some of them are seasoned politicians & national political parties as well, to which some of the strategic affairs observers like you & others point out to,every now & then, the point what i want to make is, that why they get an audience on the indian soil, is it not the relapse, which we are dealing with, back home, how could we progress, in the international arena, when anti-national forces are hurting us back home ??? I know that you are a voice of wisdom, but when i hear about some of the Hindu-right wings, saying something which is in the national interest & i would see that a leftist SHARIA BOLSHEVISM supporter, calling to break india. i would certainly align with the Saffron right wing, is it a wrong way to look at it. I mean , whatever we may say about china & i don’t disagree that they don’t have any internal conflicts & issues, regarding xinjiang & tibet, but atleast they are not kneeling down against the anti-national forces in the xinjiang province,atleast in their perspective. On the other hand, we seem to be a bit squeamish in calling a spade a spade, is it because of too much democracy that we are fed with , all these years ?? Please educate me a little bit.
Ishaan@ — There’s no question that a heterogeneous Indian society will have may fault lines and friction points. That’s a given. But there are ways to work around this , as I have suggested in my writings. But a precondition is every citizen wears his religious persona/identity lightly and gives everyone else a bit of space.
Democracy is not to blame. Our generally passive-reactive-defensive attitude to national security is the main villain.
Ishan@ — We should, however, take care to see we don’t confuse some extremist Islamic groups with Indian Muslims. The Leftists of very stripe ranging from Communists to socialists, on the other hand, live in a dream world and, outside of Kerala and Tripura are, like their ideology, about wiped out politically.
I find it heartening we are selling Kamorta class corvettes to the Philippines and may sell missiles to Vietnam soon. I agree the real politiks oriented Beijing gang will prefer such a message instead of namby pambyness. But do you think China will do some form of arrangement on the NSG soon say by October or December? (it grates me that the world’s biggest nuclear proliferating thug sits on the NSG).
As I understand after the 2011 ENR related guidelines change, Indian waiver of 2008 has narrowed down considerably. I see China making no compromise as they see all the cards in their hands and will be way more brutal than the Soviets ever where. In fact my feeling they are just getting started. The thuggishness of the emperors of yore has never quite left them.
Also I remember reading that the French and the Russians promising us help on ENR tech despite the scope reduction as they would grandfather an arrangement to 2008-2011 when the waiver was in place? Is that likely with the likes of Areva?
Lastly will the MTCR entry give India any advantage in technical or geopolitical terms?
ENR tech has always been a no-go area. But have never understood why we need to import ENR considering we have developed very serviceable ENR tech ourselves. Nor have I appreciated the reasons why GOI pines for an NSG membership. As I have long argued it will only hinder our freedom of action, for instance, to export overtly N-weapons tech to Vietnam as payback for China’s nuclear missile proliferation to Pakistan. Well, we are in a position to do to China on MTCR what they have done to us on NSG — if that’s any consolation.
Saab, I cannot find your books on Kindle.. Only the old one on Nuclear Policy is there.
What about the why India is not a great power yet? 😦
I just bought Saurav Jha’s Book on Nucler Power & Am Going to Buy You’rs & Rajiv Malhotra’s Battle for Sanskrit..
On bit of book buying spree.. you see.
I don’t want the hard copy because it can wear & prefer reading on mobile.
Punjabi Sardar@– OUP promises to have a kindle version out, belated though it is, in 6 months time or so.
Totally agree on the ENR part. We will be able to give the Chinese a run for their money esp. in the reprocessing area with our abilities in PUREX, TRUEX and SANEX-S. As per my pakistani acquaintances India’s latest generation centrifuges are as good as anything URENCO has today. So i guess we are self-sufficient in ENR in the true sense.
NSG membership I think would help us sell our AHWR, PHWR, LWR reactors down the line while also ensuring we have a say in global nuclear rules. While not necessary it is nice benefit to be having IMHO. It is almost puke inducing to see the Chinese pontificate after having given 50 kg WGU and bomb design to Pakistan and encouraged North Korea in all ways….
Are our people observing? :
Its written by Munir Ahmed.It follows a few such articles in AA by Pakistanis ,I have follopwed this for a month,there is a trend it seems.Why are we not putting up a fight in the media ? Or its not required right now and could be counter productive? This is big i guess,the statement comes when Madani was in Pakistan.
In your “Battle of “befitting replies”, you mention about appearing in a recent TV debate, where you remained a “mute” spectator after making an initial comment. I happen to have watched the show and was questioning myself why you were sticking with it and demeaning yourself by being there till the very end. You were seen to be wiping or scratching your forehead at times and looking sideways. The moderator never came to you with any question. It was quite painful to watch a noted strategic affairs expert, whose blogs I follow closely, to be so utterly disgraced through total marginalization. If one had better sense, one would have yanked off the mic and headphones and marched off! Unless of course if one had been paid to appear on the show like the Pakistani interlocutors!
Dear Mr Karnad,
Your views in a recent article published by idea.org, seems a very narrow assessment of what modi is doing.
U want govt to be like vajpayee administration to announce big ticket items but not back it with any action.
There is no action because we don’t have any hard power. No economic advantage neither military advantage, what are we going to wield power with??? Cannot say modi government is not doing anything.
Right now itt is only befriending enemys enemy. Japan Vietnam and all.
This is going to be strategy till we gain any hard power. So surprised to c u criticize modi for not achieving anything.
This will continue for a while, cannot take on anyone, our soldiers so have vests nor we have any money.
Hope u agree.
‘Am no fan of the Vajpayee regime. The only thing it did worth anything were the N-tests and then screwed up by stopping open-ended thermoN testing even after evidence available of a fizzle of the H-test. What Modi is doing in essence is much more of the same and with added vigour — closing in with the US, a bad thing to happen.
Dear Karnad ji,
Please educate us on your thoughts (by writing a series of articles) on the recent spurt in terrorism in Kashmir and Indian government’s response. Please elaborate what is Pakistan trying to accomplish and what is India’s counter to that. In what way Indian goverment response under PM Modi different from his predesessors and what does he seek to accomplish and what do you think are India’s odds.
Really enjoy reading your blog, and your recent book. As an NRI it is depressing to understand the lack of strategic vision that we have as a nation. Would love to read an article from you about some of the strategic advantages that we have over China, and indeed some of the things India has done well to gain a strategic advantage. It is easy to see where we go wrong, but would be great to know where we go well also.
Anurag@ — There’s no dearth of geopolitical opportunities; only requires GOI to grab them. In my writings and analyses you may have espied the fact that they also carry doable solutions. For instance, have always recommended making Vietnam the pivot of India’s forward southeast asia policy and arming Hanoi with strategic armaments. The more Beijing has to contend with well armed, highly motivated, nations on its south china sea taking no guff, the more the pressure is released on the India border, etc.
Dr Karnad, from my reading of your work your focus has been wholly on India’s power equation vis-a-vis China. But wouldn’t you say that post-Lemoa, nuclear deal etc. India’s strategic autonomy has been subordinated to a considerable extent? Would be keen to read your thoughts on this matter.
My focus has been great power for India, and the loci of interest — the US and China. The face that with the N-deal, LEMOA, etc India’s strategic autonomy is in fact eroding has been my pet peeve for a long while now. See my book Why India is Not a Great Power (Yet).
You’ll find in my book the case that climbing into US’ pocket is not going to help India become great.
BKji, has Pakistan truly mastered MIRV? I am finding it hard to believe because given that Pakistan cannot even make basic steel and that overall scientific base is sorely missing, how is such a thing possible? and we do not hear many missile test failures either… nearly 100% likely the Chinese have done this shenanigan too. Is there nothing India can do to convey to China the reckless danger created through these short sighted policies?
Pak MIRV – No. But Chinese assistance — Yes.
Parrikar’s term comes to an end.
A note on it would be timely & apt…
Dear Mr Karnad,
Great to read your new blog post again! I was getting concerned about your not posting anything for quite sometime. Well, it now seems you were travelling overseas. Would appreciate your thoughts about one person holding two heavy-weight ministries, defence and finance, and what that implies for national security or how this government accords due importance to either of these departments.
I would like to know how much time will it take to fully establish the mountain offensive corps (17 corps) to counter china in a full blown war if such a step is indeed taken by the govt. though it is highly unlikely.
Please have a look at the following:
Do you know the writer of this article? To me it looks like he is on someones payroll.
I am a fan of your views on national security and watch your videos which are very informative.
I have one question which is not widely discussed is that if Pakistan is such a nuisance, do we have any capabilities which can take out Pakistan’s nuclear weapopns? Is that option available to India? Also, How many submarines do we need to defend the Indian Ocean against China, considering they will have a military base in Gwadar? How can we deter them?
If you mean by “capabilities” — special forces that fight their way in and irreparably damage their N-facilities, I suppose we do. It is just that we have always lacked the guts for such operations. It is not how many submarines or force strength India has, what’s important is how these are used. ‘Am afraid, here our record is pretty dismal. As I have argued our military has begun to reflect our govt’s lack of will and indecisiveness.
Thank you sir for quick response. Capabilities meaning completely taking out Pak nukes permanently so they don’t threaten us again, May be Air strike ? The reason for asking this is that once the Chinese gets control of Gwadar port, Pakistan will threaten us more, so can India not give them a knockout blow ? Thank you again sir
Worry at all times about the Chinese. Not Pakis.
I have always heard that the Cold Start doctrine is not there (or not implementable). But recently, there have been various remarks (Army chief accepting “proactive” strategy, and Air force chief saying that we can hit the Pakistani tactical nukes). Is the present civilian / military leadership or advisors to them actually thinking of implementing them?
Thanks a lot!
Hello Bharat sir, I watched your speech on robotics and was very far sighted. my question to you is on china’s Brahmaputra diversion issue as they are effectively using this as strategic weapons and winning without fighting! do we have any options?
Hi sir, I have a couple of questions.
Firstly, what happens to INS Chakra after the 10 year lease ends? Can India have it further even if the Russians don’t want it?
Secondly, does India have the capability to covertly enter Pakistani nuclear bases like Americans did in Abbottabad? Is there any other way India can destroy Pakistani nukes in case of a war?
Thanks a lot!
Chakra — IN cannot retain it w/o extending the lease ag. No. The American helos were allowed in by Pak Army. Otherwise it’s have been US Vs Pak. Don’t know.
Hello Bharat Sir
IAF has said that Tejas is not up to the mark with Gripen and F-16 and have given reasons for buying single engine fighter, some of reasons are low payload, endurance of 1 hr only and high time of servicing. What is your views on this as you have always maintained and advocated indigenous aircraft rather than buying jets from outside. Is this IAF ways of buying more Rafale?
Hello Bharat Sir, INS Kalvari has been inducted . What are your thoughts on the capabilities it has? When all the Scorpene submarine are inducted, will this be a good counter to china as it is claimed it is an advanced submarine?
INS KALVARI has joined Indian Navy. What are your thoughts on this? How advanced is this submarine and can it be a deterrent against China? I understand we are yet to have Torpedo on it?
but DRDO has developed & tested Varunastra Torpedo a while ago,isn’t it ? However it was fired from a destroyer,not the submarine
Bharat Sir, you have always advocated more thermonuclear tests for India. Do you agree with the article below?
Sir once again i request you to impart some of your wisdom on me regarding UNDER-WATER NUCLEAR TESTINGS,which could be done via using Hanoi & in the garb of perfecting their Thermonuclear Design,we can perfect our own ? Could it be done in a way that nobody comes to know until it is voluntarily declared by Hanoi (where we can deploy our scientists to help do the job for us, COVERTLY,as you once pointed out in your interview with the ORF ,back in 2015 ??)
And in this i was referring to Operation Crossroads done by USA,back in the 40s.
even SOVIET UNION DID THAT SIR
I would request you to be kind enough to me in educating me a little bit about this SIR, if you may.
sir this just in https://swarajyamag.com/insta/after-oman-indonesia-offers-india-access-to-its-strategically-located-port-for-military-use please write on the Agalega islands you wished should have been the modus operandi,all the pieces are falling in place
Namaste Bharat ji,
It would be great if you would write a few posts on our Special Forces and the various stories attached to them, how they compare with the others around the world, what is their routine operation during times like these (present), like do they sit idle or classified operations are going on all the time etc. It would be great because unlike the SF of US and UK who stories are found both in fiction and non-fiction categories we do not know much about our SFs and their work. Hope you do not mind.
Sir what is the status of Kaveri engine project ? Where india is going with that ? Please make an updated post about it.
Hi sir with due respect,
I want to discuss a little about the entropy in the global equations.
1. The US get fooled by China:
By trading with the US, China got massive dollar reserves.China is penetrating into all democratic countries with its debt trap diplomacy and making the way for its Chinese Centric World Order.Having huge RARE EARTH METAL reserves a big plus point to its vision(CCWO).
2. India’s balancing Act:
The act that has been playing by India with the countries Russia,the US, China is more delicate. One day we may in cross roads.
Chinese development is disruptive and exponential.Their R&D sector is achieving great results in each and every field.
In this scenario where India comes?
I mean what is the vision of India for its future?
Dear Prof Karnad,
What’s the situation on Indo-China border? What’s the truth in the allegations and counter-allegations of ‘incursions/transgressions’ by India and China? Is it true that the ITBP doesn’t patrol upto the Line of Actual Control, and that it has a self-imposed ‘Line of Patrol’? Is it true that India has lost vast amounts of territory in Demchok, Chumar, Daulat beg oldi, Pangong Tso, Dumchele and other areas in Eastern Ladakh?Is the Indian Government’s reaction to any Chinese mischief on the border as lame as it’s described by the mainstream media? Example: Daulat beg oldie standoff in 2013.
Thanks and Regards,
Yes, ITBP is on the border in only some portions of LAC. And, yes, territory is being slowly lost to Chinese actions that are incrementally expansive owing to the undefined border. GOI is aware of this but has chosen to do nothing.
Dear Mr. Karnad,
This is concerning the BRI and India’s decision to not join CPEC because of sovereignty issues. The connectivity project has done well and holds promise for all on board (well almost). Do you think letting go of the potential economic gains for a principled stand on territorial integrity is a sound strategic choice? Is putting stock in India’s soft power a more rewarding decision in the longer run?
Please let me know your views. Thank you.
Hello Bharat sir….I have a question.
Sir there is a news that India is going to sign logistics agreement with Russia, just like it has with US. So will it be a good idea keeping in mind the security considerations? With this agreement India may get access to energy rich arctic circle. Also don’t you think that Russia may try to use it to counter balance america and in the process India will get affected???? Correct me if I am wrong…
Dear Mr. Karnad,
I read your book, India’s Nuclear Policy, and I found it to be very informative (I’m just your average citizen). I started reading your articles and watched your videos on different news channels when they’re uploaded. I really liked your suggestions of placing IEDs on the mountains and placing our Nuclear plants along the Pakistani as land invasion deterrents.
I have converted to your view point that China is biggest threat (military, economically, etc.) and that the government has to focus its threat perceptions in that direction. I also agree on the fact that Pakistan should be co-opted.
Now that the current Modi government has removed 370 and the Pakistanis are going apeshit vocally, what is the way forward to co-opt them? It seems that they are becoming more hardline (as are we).
Also, what do you think of the protests in Hong Kong, should India assist them?
in your recent article “Surrendering strategic space, steaming into trouble ” on 22-12-2019 you have aptly summed up the way that india is getting itself into an alliance with the USA without any strategic benefits. It looks like Mr.Modi is going to make India an other lieutenant of the pentagon like the UK. It seems modi behaves like an alpha male kind of character when it comes to domestic issues but on foreign policy especially when it comes to dealing with the west he has the most inferiority complex. I feel no other prime minster of india in the past had this much of an inferiority thing going for him/her. I am one of those people who wished for Mr.Modi to become PM in 2014 hoping that he would resurrect India’s stature as one of the world powers on the international stage like on the lines of what Mr.putin is doing with rebuilding of Russian hegemony. But all those hopes fading away after looking at the 5year recent past. The “make in india” just remained a slogan without any single new defense platform being designed or manufactured.
As far as the MMRCA 2.0 deal is concerned i too get a sense aligned with your view that an american fighter F-21/F-18 might be selected.To give strength to this view is the recent meet of
Modi with the most powerful lobby group on the planet the Kissinger gang(kissinger,Condoleezza Rice,tonny blair) in october.it would be foolish to assume that the US arms lobby gang was in india just to have a friendly chat with modi.
i have a few questions for you sir,
1) what would be the course of indian military and diplomatic strategy with Mr.Modi who is suffering with immense western inferiority complex and with the US crony like FM jaishankar in his close circle ?
2) would it be possible for acquisition of foreign especially western defense companies by private indian defense players along with complete technology know how ?( i am asking it based on what Mr.subramanyam swamy expressed in a litfest forum ” we should have brought the dassault company itself for 60,000 crore instead of just 36 jets “)
How can we expect the iran regime to respond for american assassination of General.Qasim Sulemani . ?
would it be a direct strike on US military bases in the Middle East by iranian military or iranian proxies ?
Or, will it be a war of 1000 cuts by the quds forces and iran proxies when ever they get an opportunity to kill american military or civilian personnel ?
Sir, we had 24 seats reserved for Pakistan occupied Kashmir constituencies in the erstwhile J&K state assembly. Why were there no seats reserved for China occupied territories (Aksai Chin and Shaksgam valley)?
Good Q. Oversight, I suppose, of the kind GOI practiced from since ever when India did not even claim Azad Kashmir and Baltistan even as Pak laid claim to Indian J&K. Go figure!
Every Indian govt till date n now r fit for nothing n policy-wise cowards against China
Undisputed Indian territories of Fishtail 1 and Fishtail 2 (with a combined area of 8000 sq.km) were incorrectly omitted from Indian maps in the Nehru era. The PLA withdrew from these areas after the 1962 war. Why is that subsequent governments choose not to correct this blunder?
It is now one of the 23 ‘disputed’ areas between China and India. Recently, China agreed to a co-ordinated joint patrolling proposal from the Indian side. Why should India allow PLA patrols in an area inhabited by India’s own Mishi tribes, who have voted in every parliamentary election since 1952? No hue and cry from the opposition.
Thanks and Regards,
Yes, the Indian government’s record in not appreciating the geopolitical worth and value of the barren high altitude desert in Aksai Chin where, as Nehru said in Parliament in 1958, “not a blade of grass grows” has got the country in a terrible situation. Soon after Independence, Nehru also gave away to Burma the Coco Islands, the very same offshore islands where China has set up an elint station — something disputed by many senior militarymen, including as I recall, ADM Arun Prakash, former CNS and Chairman, Chiefs of Staff Committee. The real tragedy is, as I have repeatedly written in my books, is that the Indian government is bereft of what the pioneering geostrategist Halford Mackinder called, “the map reading habit of mind.”
I am from Sri Lanka but living at present in the UK. I have been trying since 2917 to speak to someone in the Indian government about the concerns that a number of us have about the Chinese encroachment and effective influence in Sri Lanka. I believe that even now the Indian authorities should instigate an active prescence in Sri Lanka along with people like myself who see Sri Lanka’s future stability and success in a close association with India.
Please contact me on 00447494923358.
Anu ( Anuruddha Gunavardhana)
Sir,. Are u relative of Mr.Girish Karnad
Yes. Girish was my chacha — my father’s youngest brother.
Sir, please shed on light on the lack of spine showed by the south block on yesterday’s anarchy and the communists. Hundreds of policemen were injured, crores of property were damaged and a blot on our Republic. I would love your take on the following questions-
1. Why can’t we shoot at the rioters right away?
2. Why don’t we declare the communists illegals and terrorists?
3. Why doesn’t our government use movies and other electronic means for society engineering?
4. Why the Modi government gives free hand to rioters
5. Why don’t we create a definite plan on deradicalisation?
Sir, I see fierce nationalism in your criticism. I am keenly waiting for your answer