ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Gautam NavlakhaSubscribe to Gautam Navlakha

Shrinking Horizon of an Expanding Economy

India's defence spending keeps rising - for internal and external operations, on manpower and armaments - and yet little of this is subject to much interrogation.

Kashmir Roundtable Conference: Turnaround or Downturn?

The government of India must place the aspirations of the Muslims of Jammu and Kashmir at the centre stage and uphold their dignity. In the absence of this crucial political gesture, the recent roundtable conference on Jammu and Kashmir was bound to be a futile exercise.

Collating Information, or 'Communalising' the Army?

The army collects information from all recruits about their religion. It also used to invoke religious symbols to train recruits for defending the republic. Then why the storm about a committee making a legitimate request for information as it goes about the task of ascertaining the share of Muslims in public and private employment?

Crisis as an Opportunity

The massive earthquake in Kashmir, on both sides of the border, is an opportunity for the government to take a bold initiative to make the political process much more broad-based than it has been for years.

Nepal: On the Cusp of Possibility

Nepal is politically poised at a moment of great importance. If, however, the leaders of the mainstream political parties exploit their talks with the Maoists to strike a deal with the king, this would split these parties, polarise Nepal and nourish the civil war.

Perils of Fighting Global War on Terrorism

When non-state actors resort to mass murder, governments use the opportunity to acquire greater powers and shift the focus away from their own criminal acts. This is what is happening in the UK after the bombings in the underground in London.

National Security

While military hardware purchases are publicly debated, little interest is shown in allocations to finance internal wars. These allocations have been growing rapidly in recent years. However, it is bad economics and much worse politics to opt for a military approach to solve internal problems.

Understanding the Army Doctrine

The Army Doctrine recently placed in the public domain promises a shift in the army?s counter-insurgency operations, to ensuring a greater sensitivity towards the civilian populace. However, the doctrine needs to be appraised in caution, as it remains to be seen how far words are translated into action.

Jammu and Kashmir: Autonomy via Control

The prime minister's November 2004 package for Jammu and Kashmir is put under the microscope and is found wanting.

Kashmir: Elusive Solution

It is time to discard an archaic approach to Kashmir that is grounded in the 19th century version of the nation which privileges territory over people. Eliciting the wishes of the Kashmiris will allow all sections to put their best foot forward and spell out what their vision of the future is. Talks between India and Pakistan will not by themselves resolve the issue.

Securing India:Treating Unlikely as Likely

There is much to gain by disengaging from military suppression of popular aspirations, insisting on negotiations and thereby reducing the total defence budget. All this can help pay for a much needed increase in social investment and expansion of the country's social capital base. An actual reduction in the wasteful use of human and material resources could translate into considerably more. Not the least of this would be the release of pent-up energies of the people unburdened by war and want. In short, the security thus brought about is worth fighting for.

Kashmir: Limits and Scope of Dialogue

Notwithstanding the ceasefire between India and Pakistan or the talks between Indian government and Hurriyat there is little to suggest that the Indian government is willing to go beyond a devolution of power. This is far less than even internal autonomy that is a constitutional arrangement and means internal sovereignty.

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