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A Call to Honour: In Service of Emergent India

Jaswant Singh (Author)
Synopsis A Call to Honour: In Service of Emergent India is an evocative account about a crucial period in India's history. After the passing of the Nehruvian era of conservative socialism and non-alignment in international relations, India went on to redefine its character and goals in accordance with the demands of a post Cold War world. The BJP-led NDA Government responded to all these issues with a dream for India and a clear vision. As Union Minister of Defence, External Affairs and Finance in the BJP-led NDA Government in India, Jaswant Singh held many keys to this radical transformation in India's foreign policy, defence policies and economic planning. He handled several critical issues that confronted the country. India's legitimate security needs found international recognition, post-1998. The consequent challenges to Indian statecraft are analysed in great detail in chapters on USA, China, and Pakistan. He reconstructs the excitement around Pokhran II in May 1998, which provoked strong international reactions. He was a major player in the release of 166 passengers aboard IC814 hijacked to Kandahar and provides a first-hand account of that testing episode. The author has covered in detail other equally important events like the Indo-Pak Summit in Agra, the Lahore bus journey, and the Kargil conflict. The desert of Rajasthan, where Jaswant Singh's home is and where he spent his early years, outside of what was British India, is a kind of a fulcrum of the book. The trauma of Independence continues to haunt many even today. The author visits that period, examines the birth of Pakistan, and the many changes that came about in its wake. The book strikes a sombre note as the author takes the reader through the 1999 Kargil conflict and examines the critical environment before and after the war. A Call to Honour: In Service of Emergent India is a fluent narrative and provides an in-depth look at several vital events that changed the way the world perceived India. As the millennia changed, so did India. This is an account of a part of that transforming journey.
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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 A Call to Honour: In Service of Emergent India
Author Jaswant Singh
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2006
Edition 1st ed.
Publisher Rupa & Co.
Language: English
isbn 812910976x
length xx+426p., Maps; Plates; Annexures; Index; 24cm.