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The Making of Indian Diplomacy: A Critique of Eurocentrism

Deep K. Datta-Ray (Author)

Founded on unique research within India's Ministry of External Affairs, this book overturns much of the accepted wisdom about Indian diplomacy being simply a derivative of European colonial models, in the process shedding new light on the nature of the Indian state.

Datta-Ray argues on the basis of observed practices, and informal interactions and interviews with ministers and diplomats, that the core of Indian diplomatic practice is to be found in the national epic, the Mahabharata, whose influence he traces from pre-Mughal times to the present. Moreover, the durability of the Mahabharata's influence on Indian diplomacy was secured by India's most significant relationship of the modern political era, that between Mohandas Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru. The epic inspired Gandhi's innovative conception of terminating violence non-violently, or satyagraha. His influence over Nehru ensured that satyagraha would shape the new post-colonial nation's diplomacy, testimony to which, and arguably its greatest achievement, is India's nuclear diplomacy.

The author's investigation of Indian diplomacy reveals its non-Western rationale, while its presence at the heart of a state presumed Western at inception reveals new possibilities about how to conceptualize post-colonial India, its purpose and role on the world stage. While nation-states authorized by nationalism remain hostage to the past, the Indian state's arena for action is very much the present, as is rational its objective of non-violently terminating violence.

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Bibliographic information

Title The Making of Indian Diplomacy: A Critique of Eurocentrism
Format Hardcover
Date published: 31.12.2015
Edition 1st. ed.
Language: English
isbn 9780199458868
length 396p.,
Subjects History