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The Siachen War: Twenty-Five Years On

Siachen has become a symbol of India's military capability and staying power, somewhat like the Pakistani incursion in Kargil, which achieved nothing for that country. The human cost is staggering, yet India and Pakistan continue to bracket Siachen with issues like Sir Creek, Wular and trade and commerce. This shows a lack of concern for the rank and file of both armies by their political and military leaders. Continuing with the occupation of the Siachen glacier heights not only amounts to poor strategy but also poor generalship.

INSIGHTEconomic & Political Weekly EPW march 14, 2009 vol xliv no 1135The Siachen War: Twenty-Five Years OnPavan NairSiachen has become a symbol of India’s military capability and staying power, somewhat like the Pakistani incursion in Kargil, which achieved nothing for that country. The human cost is staggering, yet India and Pakistan continue to bracket Siachen with issues like Sir Creek, Wular and trade and commerce. This shows a lack of concern for the rank and file of both armies by their political and military leaders. Continuing with the occupation of the Siachen glacier heights not only amounts to poor strategy but also poor generalship. On 13 April 1984, a small body of troops was heli-dropped on Salt-oro Ridge which overlooks the Siachen glacier, along its western fringe. Within a few days, three passes on the ridgeline – Bilafond La, Sia La and Indira Col – located at altitudes between 18,000 and 20,000 feet were occupied by a com-pany-size force. Meghdoot, the code name given to the operation, was to become the Indian army’s longest running operation. Within a few weeks, Pakistani troops occupied positions on the lower slopes of Saltoro to oppose the Indian occupation. Skirmishing commenced for better tactical positions. What started as a small opera-tion soon became a major military con-frontation between India and Pakistan. In just over a year, the force level on both sides reached brigade-plus size till the entire ridgeline covering a frontage of over a 100 kilometres was occupied. Till the mid-1990s, pitched infantry battles were fought to gain dominating positions. Artillery duels were a part of the daily routine till November 2003 when a cease-fire came into effect. The logistics of main-taining troops at altitudes above 18,000 feet are mind-boggling. Posts have to be supplied by helicopters and evacuation of casualties is at times not possible due to bad weather. OntheIndianside, over a 1,000 soldiers have been killed and over 3000 permanently disabled, mostly by the effect of the alti-tude and weather. On the Pakistani side, the casualties are heavier since most of the attacks were launched by them. In spite of a durable ceasefire, troops continue to occupy positions at punishing heights on both sides of the line and suffer casualties almost on a daily basis. Over a period of 25 years, the presence of thousands of troops in the vicinity of the glacier has caused severe environmental degrada-tion of an ecosystem already affected by climate change. Thousands of tonnes of Colonel Pavan Nair(pavannair1@gmail.com) is a retired army officer who served for 30 years in the army corps of engineers. He has seen active service in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Kashmir. The author has visited the Siachen glacier. military garbage and human waste lie dumped in the area. About 200 tonnes of carbon dioxide is released into the atmos-phere each day due to burning of fuel for cooking, warming and transportation of men and material by land and air (author’s estimate). India and Pakistan spend a mil-lion dollars a day to maintain troops in Si-achen when their human indicators are comparable with sub-Saharan Africa. What prompted the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi to give the go-ahead for an operation which was a clear and blatant violation of the Simla Agreement? Why did the military leadership of the day render advice which resulted in the occupation of an area which had remained vacant for 37 odd years during whichthreewarswere fought between India and Pakistan? Is there a military imperativetocontinue with the physical occupation of the Siachen heights? It may be worth examining these questions 25 years down the line since India and Pakistan have not been able to resolve this complex andseeminglyunend-ing conflict in spite of severalroundsof talks held over two decades. Background of the Dispute The Ceasefire Line between India and Pa-kistan was demarcated by the Karachi Agreement signed in July 1949 under the auspices of the United Nations (UN). The northern-most part of the line ended at Khor and remained undemarcated there-after with a remark that the line would run “thence north to the glaciers”. On the Indian side, the agreement was signed by lieutenant general S M Shrinagesh, the then military commander in Kashmir who would later become the chief of the army staff. There was no habitation to the north of the last demarcated point, nor was the area patrolled by either party since the terrain was extremely inhospitable, glaci-ated and not considered conducive for military operations. The agreement spec-ified parts of the line which were inclu-sive to either party. The agreement further stipulated that such parts could be physically occupied up to the line by the owning party; the other party was to remain at least 500 yards away. Other parts of the line not made inclusive to
INSIGHTEconomic & Political Weekly EPW march 14, 2009 vol xliv no 11371978 to the Siachen glacier and Saltoro Ridge; a perfectly legitimate though de-layed reaction since by the mid-1960s, several atlases started showing the line running in a north-easterly direction to the Karakorum Pass which gave substance to the Pakistani claim. In spite of presenting demographic data showing that several Muslim majority habitations exist in the Shyok and Nubra Valleys, the Pakistani claim to Siachen glacier has no historical or empirical basis since Buddhists and Muslims have coexisted in the area for centuries. In any case, the area was under Indian jurisdiction after the operations in 1948. The Indian claim, however, needs further examination.Indian Claim ReviewedThe Indian claim is based on the water-shed principle. Since the last demarcated pointNJ9842 lies on or near the Saltoro watershed, the line should follow the watershed that is the Saltoro Ridge line which runs in a north-westerly direction. Whilst there is some merit in this claim, we need to go back to the Karachi and Suchetgarh Agreements which specify that the line will run “thence north” from the last point that isNJ9842. This implies that the line should follow a straight-line configuration, in the direction of true north till it meets the border with China, which would then become the tri-junction. In this case, the north-western part of the glacier as also a part of the Saltoro Ridge would go to Pakistan and the south-eastern part to India. Most Indian commentators ignore this aspect. Also, it has never been pointed out that the last part of the line was not made inclusive to either party and was therefore jointly owned. Even if we accept the Indian claim, it is legally inde-fensible to sit on a line which is jointly owned, since the other party has the same right. It is for this reason that the Karachi Agreement specified that both parties could occupy positions at least 500 yards away from a jointly owned line. The con-figuration of the Saltoro Ridge on the Indian side is such that a line running parallel to the ridgeline and 500 yards away would probably end up on the Siachen glacier, thousands of feet below, thus offsetting the advantage of occupying the high ground which facilitates observation of the lower Pakistani positions to the west of the Ridge. It is for this reason that the Saltoro passes gained importance for both sides. Thus, the belated Indian claim based on the watershed principle conveniently facilitates the occupation of the passes on tenuous legal grounds and ignores the fact that theLOC cuts across several other ridgelines including the Ladakh range without following the watershed.It is interesting to note that the Kargil Review Committee Report published in 2000 under the chairmanship of K Subra-hmanyam states in its recommendations in Para 14.32, Misperceptions and ambiguities about the Siachen/Actual Ground Position Line (AGPL) sector need to be dispelled and the facts of “cartographic aggression” here made known. There is no warrant for de-parting from the logic of extending the LOC fromNJ9842 and “thence north to the gla-ciers” as set out in the delineation of the Ceasefire Line under the Karachi Agree-ment of 29 July 1949 which was subse-quently converted into the Line of Control by the Simla Agreement in 1972. This broad-ly upholds the current Actual Ground Posi-tion Line. The fallacy of showing the LOC as running northeast to the Karakorum Pass must be exposed (emphasis added).The very next paragraph, 14.33 states (in part), The country must not fall into the trap of Siachenisation of the Kargil heights and sim-ilar unheld, unpopulated “gaps” in the High Himalaya along the entire length of the Northern Border.There seems to be a contradiction between the two paragraphs since the committee appears to endorse the contin-uing occupation of Siachen whilst recom-mending that the vacated Kargil heights remain unoccupied. The interpretation of the clause “thence north to the glaciers” also seems to suit the Indian position. This typifies the confusion in Indian strategic thinking. That the Kargil heights have in-deed been “Siachenised” and a divisional size force deployed in a forward posture indicates the positional mindset of the military leadership as also the willingness of the political leadership to yield to mili-tary pressure. It was the same mindset which led to the occupation of the Siachen heights. Kargil was a tactical victory, but like Siachen ended up being a strategic failure. Kargil has also resulted in an unprecedented hike in defence spending as the defence budget has more than tripled in just over a decade without any accretion in force levels.Strategic Significance of Disputed AreaThe only definitive work on the tactical and strategic aspects of the Siachen War has been authored by lieutenant general V R Raghavan (Siachen, Conflict without End, Viking, 2002). Raghavan command-ed the formation responsible for the Sia-chen sector during a time when several crucial battles were fought and was also the Director General of Military Opera-tions (DGMO) when the Siachen talks took place. After examining several aspects, Raghavan comes to the conclusion that no military purpose is served by continuing with the occupation of the Siachen glacier heights. On page 160, he states It is apparent that neither India nor Pakistan secures a strategic advantage by contesting the possession of the Saltoro range. Neither also faces a military threat to the territory it occupies in Jammu and Kashmir from over the Saltoro range. India and Pakistan there-fore portray the issue in terms of political or non-military compulsions. A strategic veneer is given to what is actually a political neces-sity for continuing the conflict.And again on page 184, he writes It is useful to examine why the leadership in India and Pakistan allowed their nations to be drawn into an unending conflict in the Karakorums. The theatre of conflict, as is now widely accepted, did not offer strategic advantages, notwithstanding some com-ments to the contrary. It involved fighting in an area where the full force of the defence capability could not be applied. It exposed the two militaries to untold hardships and stretched their men and logistics arrange-ments to extremes. It was not necessary, af-ter having got involved in such a conflict, to remain engaged in it despite the illogic of the military engagement.It is also worth quoting a letter written by lieutenant general Inder Gill to The Hindu on 5 March 1997. Gill, a highly respected officer, retired as the army commander of Western Command. The amounts of money wasted by both sides is very large indeed. There is nowhere that either side can go in this terrain. You cannot build roads on glacier, which are moving rivers of ice. We have no “strategic-tactical advantage” in this area and nor can Pakistan. Ask any officer who has been on the glacier what Pakistan
INSIGHTmarch 14, 2009 vol xliv no 11 EPW Economic & Political Weekly38will do if we pull out, and he will tell you at once that Pakistan will do the same. We must withdraw immediately and unilaterally and save wastage of money which we cannot af-ford – estimated at Rs 30,000 crore since 1985.Gill may not have got the figure right, since it has been confirmed by the defence ministry in response to a parliamentary question that India spends about Rs 3 crore a day or about Rs 1,000 crore a year to maintain the Siachen brigade; however, the point he made about unilateral with-drawal needs consideration. Finally, here is a quote from a young officer who served in Siachen. Writing in an army journal in 1993, major B A Prasad states, “A majority of those who served there believed that India was pushed into an avoidable situation by senior military commanders acting irresponsibly”. Most commentators are unanimous in their view that the Siachen occupation does not provide any tactical or strategic advantage to India and Pakistan. Howev-er, the vacation of the Siachen heights is considered a concession to Pakistan by the security establishment and hence a non-starter till some concession is granted by Pakistan in return. The “authentication” or de facto recognition of the AGPL is one such concession.Military Decision-making The decision to occupy the heights which dominate the Siachen glacier was taken by Indira Gandhi after a military briefing held at Leh sometime in September 1983. The briefing was conducted by the field force commander, lieutenant general P N Hoon in the presence of the northern army com-mander, lieutenant general M L Chibber. Normally, the army chief, general Arun Vaidya should have conducted the briefing in the presence of the defence minister with the defence secretary in attendance. Therefore, the conduct of the briefing at Leh was an unprecedented breach of established procedure in that the three top echelons in the hierarchy next to the prime minister were not present. It is possible that R Venkataraman the then defence minister did not attend due to the altitude at Leh; however it is inconceivable that the army chief was not present. In any case, the briefing could have been held in New Delhi to enable Venkataraman to attend. General Vaidya may have been travelling or indisposed but the schedule of the brief-ing could have been adjusted since the operation was well over six months away. During the briefing, Hoon, who had taken over the command of 15 Corps just over a month before, conveyed to the prime minister that a direct threat had emerged to Khardung La and Leh via the Siachen glacier and Nubra Valley. Also, that the Pakistanis could be shaking hands with the Chinese at the Karakorum Pass, which was being shown as the tri-junction in Pakistani maps. The Karakorum High-way from Sinkiang to Pakistan was pro-jected as a noose around India’s neck. The Sino-Pak liaison at the Karakorum Pass discounted the fact that the Siachen gla-cier as also the Nubra Valley and Daulat-Beg-Oldi (DBO on map) which was the ap-proach to the Karakorum Pass were all in Indian hands. The Indian air force would take a heavy toll of any Pakistani move which would need a viable military force to infiltrate over the Saltoro Ridge and into the Nubra Valley. Whether such a force could be supported over passes at al-titudes of 18,000 feet and above, was not given due consideration. In any case terrain considerations ruled out the possibility of any such linkage between Pakistan and China. It was like the great-game being played again. Notes had been exchanged between the military commanders which were used to justify the Pakistani threat. In a book published in 2000 (Unmasking Secrets of Turbulence, Manas Publications, New Delhi), Hoon claims that he was the brain behind Operation Meghdoot. This is true, but only in part, since Chibber was also involved in the decision-making process. He was the DGMO in an earlier tenure as also the immediate superior officer of Hoon. In his book, Hoon blames the next army chief, general K Sundarji for escalat-ing the conflict on account of his “forward policy”. This belies the fact that the occu-pation of the heights heralded such a policy. The escalation of the conflict should have been foreseen as also the implications of keeping troops over prolonged periods at extreme altitudes.The unilateral military occupation of a part of the line, even if it was undemar-cated was a blatant violation of the Simla Agreement. Indira Gandhi would have surely known that but she took a decision based on incorrect military advice. Why diplomatic channels were not used needs further study and examination. It is possi-ble that Indira Gandhi did not want to parley with Zia ul Haq. It is also possible that her judgment was clouded by the effect of the altitude at Leh. Given the autocratic personality of the prime min-ister,cabinetclearance soon followed as a matterof course. There was no one in the cabinetwho could question the wisdom of applying military force in a hitherto unmanned area at altitudes of over 18,000 feet. In an article written in 1990 (“Siachen, The Untold Story”, Indian Defence Review, January 1990), lieutenant general Chibber candidly admits that he was not aware whether troops would be staying on during the winter. The opera-tion was meant to be a show of force which went terribly wrong. We now know from accounts of senior officers of the Pakistani Army (lieutenant general Jahan Dad Khan, Pakistan – Leader-ship Challenges, OUP, Pakistan, 1999) that Pakistan did have plans to occupy the passes in the summer of 1984. Had that happened India would have had the easier option of making a small push in the Shyok Valley from Turtok towards Khapalu which would cut off the support base at Dansam (see the Sketch) on the Pakistani side. Even if that push was not made, the Paki-stanis would not have gained any advan-tage had they been left sitting on the pass-es, literally high and dry.Operation Meghdoot was a strategic blunder and the turning point in India’s relations with Pakistan. In 1987, as a reac-tion to the Siachen occupation, an intrusion was planned by the Pakistanis in Kargil. This was sensibly turned down by Ziaul Haq. A cheaper alternative was under con-sideration. By 1989, Pakistan had launched a full-scale proxy war in Kashmir. Siachen became a sideshow. After the incidents of 26 November 2008, Siachen is not on the screens of decision-makers. About 2,000 soldiers on the Indian side are deployed at punishing altitudes in what is a perma-nent face-off with Pakistan. Another few thousand are supporting the operation or are on their way up or down. On return, the soldiers look like zombies having lost a fifth of their body weight. Some would have
INSIGHTEconomic & Political Weekly EPW march 14, 2009 vol xliv no 1139been afflicted by frostbite or pulmonary or cerebral edema. With a ceasefire in place, sitting on crags of rock and snow astride the Saltoro Ridge makes little sense. The ridgeline was occupied to dominate the Pakistani positions by observation and fire. Observation can be carried out in real time by satellites as well as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles orUAVs. The military would be perfectly justified in advising the government that once given up, the positions on the Saltoro Ridge would be very difficult to retake. It would then be up to the political leadership of the day to take a decision. In any case, the probable solution discussed in several rounds of talks grants possession of the northern passes as also the upper half of the glacier to Pakistan. But before that, the agreement-in-principle between the two countries to demilitarise the disputed area needs to be implemented. The final demarcation can then be discussed at length and imple-mented in due course.Siachen has become a symbol of India’s military capability and staying power, somewhat like the Pakistani incursion in Kargil which achieved nothing for Pakistan. The human cost is staggering, yet India and Pakistan continue to bracket Siachen with issues like Sir Creek, Wular and trade and commerce. This shows a lack of con-cern for the rank and file of both armies by their political and military leaders. Con-tinuing with the occupation of the Siachen glacier heights not only amounts to poor strategy but also poor generalship. Environmental DegradationThe Siachen glacier is the largest reserve of fresh water in Asia which feeds the Indus via the Nubra and Shyok rivers. Ten thousand soldiers from both armies are deployed in a restricted area in and around the glacier. Most of them occupy positions in glaciated areas and in the valleys formed by the Shyok and Nubra rivers. Several camps are located on the glacier itself. Temperatures go down to -50°C which necessitates burning kerosene to keep warm the entire year. Human waste cannot be disposed of, so liespre-served in the snow. Due to the rarefied atmosphere, helicopters perform at a frac-tion of their capacity. There is a constant buzz of activity of men, material, vehicles and aircraft moving in and out of the sector of operations. A forward base on the glacier is supported by air drops. Splinters and cordite from thousands of shells fired at positions from both sides liesburiedinand around the glacier. A leaking pipeline is used to pump kerosene to the advance camp on the glacier. The glacier itself is receding. This is clearly visible from the base camp on the Indian side which is located at the glacier snout. The area has become a massive garbage and sewage dump. The effect of the military occupation of a river source for 25 years will be felt for several decades if not centuries. Even if we ignore the heavy financial and human costs, on environmental grounds alone, the entire area of operations should be demilitarised without any further delay. Another 25 years down the line, the Siachen glacier as we know it today may cease to exist. Conflict ResolutionThe genesis of the conflict lies in the inter-pretation of a phrase of the Karachi Agree-ment. The dispute could have been re-solved diplomatically between the parties before getting their militaries involved. The matter could also have been referred to the UN at any stage since the Karachi Agreement was signed under the auspices of the UN. India has always been averse to any external mediation, though a prece-dent exists in the Indus Water Treaty be-ing mediated by the World Bank. Formal talks have been going on for two decades to resolve the issue bilaterally. This is a record of some sort. Both sides have agreed in principle to demilitarise the dis-puted area and create a zone of disengage-ment pending the final demarcation of the line. This was done as far back as 1988 when Rajiv Gandhi and Zia ul Haq had al-most inked an agreement. Unfortunately, Zia was killed in an air-crash. A similar disengagement plan was scuttled in 1989 since an election was in the offing. Since 2003, the Siachen talks have become a part of the composite dialogue. Some progress was made in back-channel dis-cussions on all outstanding issues but there is little to show on the ground.The problem lies in implementation. Pakistan had been refusing to authenticate theAGPL or the current position of troops on the grounds since this would amount to accepting the Indian claim. The strategic community has made this into a major is-sue even though Pakistan has agreed to an authenticated map being annexed to the formal agreement. Post the incidents of 26November 2008, trust levels between India and Pakistan are at an all-time low, so the chances of a solution seem remote. There have been several proposals from think tanks with regard to converting the area into a peace-park. These efforts which bring out the human and environ-mental dimensions of the problem are purely academic in nature and have made little difference to the resolution of the conflict since the parties themselves show little or no interest. A G Noorani (“The Siachen Impasse”, Frontline, 22 November 2002) in a review of lieutenant general Raghavan’s book states, Nationalism triumphs over objectivity. Raghavan misses the point that India wants to freeze the status quoit altered militarily to its advantage in 1984. Pakistan the revi-sionist, cannot accept that, either on theLOC or in Siachen. As always, even the best of us, like Raghavan himself, refuse to look beyond our own narrow interests whether on Siachen, Kashmir or the boundary dispute with China and despite the fact that compromise will be in India’s larger, long-term interests.Role of the Media and Civil SocietyBoth the media and civil society have played a limited role in debating the issue, except to state the official position and in some cases bring out the difficult condi-tions faced by the soldiers. A few years ago, Shekhar Gupta of the Indian Express conducted a televised interview of the defence minister, George Fernandes on the glacier. Conflict resolution did not come up for discussion. Media persons are flown to the base camp in helicopters, given a briefing, shown some equipment and training and flown out. This is what embedded journalism is about. Not a single journalist has visited any post on Saltoro Ridge in the past 25 years. No one has spent even a single night to get a feel of what the soldiers undergo for several months. The press produces pictures and articles show-ing soldiers dressed in pristine white climbing vertical snow faces. This may be
INSIGHTmarch 14, 2009 vol xliv no 11 EPW Economic & Political Weekly40inspiring stuff for young people wanting to sign up for an adventurous life but hardly reflects the reality of the sub-human conditions the soldiers endure. There is even a television jingle based on the national anthem shot in Siachen. For the past two years, media persons have been allowed to trek up to Kumar base which is the ad-vanced base on the glacier for reaching the northern passes. A few journalists have noticed the extensive pollution and the poor health of the soldiers who return from the posts. They have reported this, yet the reason for continuing with the occupation of the Siachen heights remains largely unquestioned.Like most matters military, civil society is hardly aware of the Siachen impasse. There is little knowledge or understand-ing of the strategic issues involved. Most are unaware that the battle is not being fought for the glacier but for the passes on Saltoro Ridge. The numbers of soldiers who die or are wounded are just a statistic. No studies have been carried out on the long-term effect of the extreme altitudes on the physical and mental health of soldiers. There is yet a sense of pride that our soldiers are dominating the Pakistani positions. Whether or not there is a need for the soldiers to be there is not a matter for consideration. The right side of the po-litical spectrum is against any withdrawal from Siachen, irrespective of the cost. The political centre has no particular view though the prime minister has stated that the region would be made a “mountain of peace”. That this has not happened during the tenure of the ruling United Progressive Alliance is purely on account of political expediency since the government would then be open to the charge of being soft on Pakistan. During Pervez Musharraf’s presidency, there were indications that an accord on Sir Creek and Siachen would be signed during a visit of the Indian prime minister to Pakistan. Unfortunate-ly, the visit never took place. The Siachen occupation is considered at par with the deployment of troops in Kashmir by almost the entire political class and is therefore linked with the solution of the Kashmir problem. An important reason for the shortage of officers in the army is the number of con-flicts which have remain unresolved since independence. A young officer getting commissioned is most likely to be posted to the north-east, Assam, Kashmir or Sia-chen. Fortunately, the army has not yet been deployed against the Naxalites. An officer posted to such areas could end up getting shot, blown up by an improvised explosive device (IED) or frostbitten. Whilst these are contingencies soldiers are prepared for during war, there is a choice which democracy offers its citizens; that is to choose their profession. India has a volunteer army and if citizens are choosing not to join it, then the state needs to seriously examine the reasons, espe-cially when it is the officer cadre which is severely affected. It has taken a plucky British journalist Myra MacDonald who has written an aptly titled book Heights of Madness (Rupa, 2008) to bring out the ex-treme conditions in which soldiers on both sides have fought and died for the honour of their regiments in Siachen. ConclusionsSiachen is now a forgotten war. At some point when the composite dialogue is re-sumed, another round of talks will be scheduled. Very little is likely to emerge unless a political directive is issued to con-clude the talks. This is difficult for any in-cumbent government since the opposition will make political capital of any move to give up territory. Here lies the obstacle to demilitarisation – a sad commentary on the sagacity of the leadership.It is high time that civil society on both sides debates the issue and brings pressure on their respective governments to do their duty by negotiating an honourable withdrawal from an area which should not have been occupied in the first place. Considering the fact that a clock of de-struction has been ticking for 25 years, there is a need of some urgency to be in-jected into the process. India and Pakistan can ill-afford the additional expenditure of maintaining thousands of troops at ex-treme altitudes. A million dollars a day could go some distance in the fight against poverty and hunger.In the meantime, there is an alterna-tive. General Inder Gill had recommended a unilateral withdrawal back in 1997. India could pull out from the posts on Saltoro while suggesting to Pakistan to do the same. In other words, disengage troops on both sides to lower altitudes without any preconditions. This is an unlikely scenario due to the prevailing situation. Here is a quote from a letter written by a retired air force officer, group captain A G Bewoor to theIndian Express on 8 May 2003. “Siachen is not worth another dead soldier, it never was. Siachen and only Siachen has the ability to get sorted out without any impediment and without beinglinked to the other part of J&K.” It is a matter of deep regret that at least another 100 Indian soldiers have been killed and some 500-odd wounded since this was written.Call for PapersSociety and the State in Contemporary India:Intersectional Approach to Class AnalysisAll-India Seminar, 20-21 August 2009Organised by: Council for Social Development,53 Lodi Estate, New Delhi – 110 003,<csdnd@del2.vsnl.net.in>For themes visit: www.csdindia.orgAbstracts deadline: 15 May 2009, Papers deadline: 31 July 2009Contact: Dr. Gilbert Sebastian <gilbertseb@gmail.com>

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