Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Why this?

For long, India and its well-wishers' attention has been skewed towards pakistan, the conjoined twin from 1947 (and earlier). Unfortunately, this has led to a huge hyphenation of Indo-pak bhaichara that folks, both civilian and more esteemed ones, are finding it hard to overcome and bulldoze. The humongous gap that exists in understanding India's other neighbors, near as well as far, and its own self has resulted in a vacuum that is catastrophic for India's strategic well-being. The lack of transparency between the Indian Government and its various arms, and the people has only led the common man to engender a feeling of arbitrariness in terms of policy decisions, much of which can be explained in terms of precedents (legacy), debates (open and closed), strategic thinking (which is slightly different from common-sensical thinking but not quite far from game-theoretic considerations), etc. To paraphrase that, while India's diplomats and strategically intellectual elite-men and women seem to be well-aware of these nuances, India's citizens and well-wishers seem to be awfully ignorant of some of the well-known cliches in foreign policy.

With the emergence of the Indian middle-class, this task should have been easier given the proliferation of media outlets, English and vernacular. Unfortunately, a 24/7 coverage with a politically correct (or neutral) language and a sensationalist twist, championed by a few and aped by many, has taken the life out of Indian media in a broad sense and has led to accusations of batting for anti-Indian interests. The emergence of the Internets (copyright: Dubya) has provided a welcome relief for the Internet Hindu (copyright: sagarika ghose et al.) to hang out in forums, blogs, twitters and what not, and absorb facts that are important, interesting and informative. Unfortunate as the evolution of a social network always is, even these regular hang-out spots have been bombarded with more whining and less information transmission. I hope this hang-out spot will not evolve into one such monster, but I can only hope.

To be specific, my interests on Bangladesh matters has led to learning of quite a few facts that has allowed me to find commonalities and explore the uncharted. This led to a random path towards understanding some of the whine profiles of the various insurgencies in the North-East. While being aware of the epithet of the Seven Sisters of the North-East, it took me a while to even realize that Seven is in fact Eight. The reason for this clarification is that: while I am no master on any specific matter and a learner for ever, I tend to be intellectually more honest than many I have come across in day-to-day life.

The goal of this blog is to collect data (mundane or deep), sieve and winnow it carefully, analyze the various trends and trade-offs, all in the context of India, its peoples and its neighbors. Obviously such a task would have to be brutally honest and politically incorrect, often. While the broad goal is India-centric analysis, given my specific tastes, I would not mind venturing into ethereal matters such as Indian colonialism and the use of sport for nation-building, or the IIT saga -- the garland in the hand of monkeys, or racism -- seen and witnessed, or completely unrelated ones such as intellectual dishonesty in academe, etc. Nevertheless, this blog is primarily India-centric, slow-moving, reasonably deep in analysis, and with negligible concern for copyright-nazis.

PS: If anyone would like to contribute, please feel free to contact me. Information is power, and the idea of India -- whatever that means or should mean -- is far bigger than one person and is not the vested interest of me alone.


At July 1, 2010 at 1:49 PM , Blogger G said...

I hope you can get Burma into the big picture too.


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