India’s World by Rajiv Dogra

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Pausing to regroup, digest and rediscover an idea is essentially the sine qua non of any long term project. The case in point, is the idea of India’s approach towards its foreign policy, and the restructuring that it needs. Written by an former diplomat of high esteem and standing (Rajiv Dogra), what this book cleverly does is take an unique approach for its critics analysis. It bluntly acknowledges the blatant haphazardness with which India has largely carried out its foreign affairs to date and attempts to draw threads that link together to portray the larger ideals that stand out. Personally, the idea of exploring India’s external affairs through the lens of eight Indian Prime Ministers and their tenures very subtly also emphasised the dominant personality driven trait of Indian diplomacy. Perhaps it can be said to be a hangover from the Nehruvian era, but then again, is also an embodiment of Nehru’s favourite critic and our present prime minister, Narendra Modi. Rajiv both praises and criticises actions taken by various people, and to asses their substance in this post would largely deprive the reader of this book’s ingenuity. I will say this though – as someone who has largely followed international relations very closely, the book did yield some interesting observations, which given the topic, is a rarity, given that the Indian foreign relations equation is firstly, comparatively younger and secondly, hit its growth spurt with the boom of the internet and the information explosion era, spawning thousands of viewpoints and analysis. To stand out in such a field, is truly a commendable job. Perhaps a grouch which one always might hold from an insider’s take on things is that it ideally ought to transcend beyond what an external analysis can provide. Barring this rather subjective flaw, I doubt this book left me with anything to complain about. To anyone looking for an incisive look at the emerging perspectives of Indian foreign policy, and how we got to where we are today, this is a must-read. Major shoutout to @rupa_publications for sending across this review copy! #RajivDogra #Indiasworld #Rupapublications #Diplomacy #ForeignRelations

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Pausing to regroup, digest and rediscover an idea is essentially the sine qua non of any long term project. The case in point, is the idea of India’s approach towards its foreign policy, and the restructuring that it needs. 
Written by an former diplomat of high esteem and standing (Rajiv Dogra), what this book cleverly does is take an unique approach for its critics analysis. It bluntly acknowledges the blatant haphazardness with which India has largely carried out its foreign affairs to date and attempts to draw threads that link together to portray the larger ideals that stand out. Personally, the idea of exploring India’s external affairs through the lens of eight Indian Prime Ministers and their tenures very subtly also emphasised the dominant personality driven trait of Indian diplomacy. Perhaps it can be said to be a hangover from the Nehruvian era, but then again, is also an embodiment of Nehru’s favourite critic and our present prime minister, Narendra Modi.
Rajiv both praises and criticises actions taken by various people, and to asses their substance in this post would largely deprive the reader of this book’s ingenuity. I will say this though – as someone who has largely followed international relations very closely, the book did yield some interesting observations, which given the topic, is a rarity, given that the Indian foreign relations equation is firstly, comparatively younger and secondly, hit its growth spurt with the boom of the internet and the information explosion era, spawning thousands of viewpoints and analysis. To stand out in such a field, is truly a commendable job.
Perhaps a grouch which one always might hold from an insider’s take on things is that it ideally ought to transcend beyond what an external analysis can provide. Barring this rather subjective flaw, I doubt this book left me with anything to complain about. To anyone looking for an incisive look at the emerging perspectives of Indian foreign policy, and how we got to where we are today, this is a must-read.

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