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Defending India

 
Jaswant Singh (Author)
Synopsis As the first 50 years of Indian independence come to an end Defending India by Jaswant Singh, a prominent figure in India's public life, attempts to comprehensively analyse the management of the security challenges faced by the country during the last half century. This is the first time that a senior political figure of India has tackled this challenging theme. Jaswant Singh traces the origins of Indian strategic culture, its civilizational and cultural roots and the strengths and weaknesses of Indian nationhood, and treats these as the basic building blocks on which to structure his examination. The book traces the evolution of Indian armed forces from the earliest, pre-Islamic times to be British periods and includes an examination of the Maratha and Sikh phases as well as the post-independence changes. There follows an analysis of military operations in independent India and of the leadership's ability to manage conflicts. The management of the country's resources, its budgeting on defence and the question of whether independent India has spent wisely and effectively on its armed forces and defence during the last 50 years are also analysed. The author finally identifies some of the major challenges of tomorrow.
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About the author

Jaswant Singh

Jaswant Singh has come a long way from his home in the desert districts of Rajasthan. Commissioned in the Indian Army when barely nineteen, he went through two wars whilst in service (1962 and 1965) before resigning his commission to pursue a political career. He has served seven terms in Parliament, and, in the BJP-led governments of 1996 and 1998-2004, held charge of six ministries of the Government of India, including External Affairs, Defence and Finance. Regarded as an authority on Indian foreign policy and national security, Jaswant Singh is among the most respected names in the country's public life, and in the world of diplomacy. He is deservedly given credit for dexterously steering India out of the turbulent diplomatic seas encountered in the aftermath of the nuclear tests of May 1998. In this lay the beginning the process of a 'legitimisation' of India's nuclear standing. He is Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, the Upper House of India's Parliament. Jaswant Singh is visiting Professor at Oxford University, an Honorary Professor at Warwick University, and a Senior Fellow at the Harvard University. 'How do you manage?', if asked, he replies: 'Time, always expands to meet the calls made upon it'. An ardent, and a lifelong bibliophile, an antiquarian, a prolific writer, his personal library is among the most impressive in Lutyens' Delhi. Amongst his several other pursuits are chess - 'Best, he says, 'to play against a computer, you do not mind losing to it'; or golf - sadly, 'shelved these days', he says, 'too, leisurely in these demanding times', or Polo, where he is the current Patron-in-Chief of the Indian Polo Association; and the promotion of Dingal, an ancient language of Rajasthan still extant, particularly in the arid regions of Marwah and his native Barmer.

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Bibliographic information

Title Defending India
Author Jaswant Singh
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.1999
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 0333932102
length xxix+338p.
Subjects History