The Village called the Globe

This article was originally published in Postnoon on August 4th, 2012

Pax Indica-India and the World of the 21st Century by Shashi Tharoor, hits the stores at a time when India is struggling with policy making at the domestic front. While our Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh is heard at International forums, he has been accused (and rightly so) of having lost his voice at home. In an environment which is mired with serious lapses in policy making at the home front, takers for a book on foreign policy may be few.

Having said that, there is no denying that if there is anyone more suited to write a book on India’s role in shaping the world’s ‘dreams’, it has to be the former UN Under-Secretary general and the former external affairs minister of state, Shashi Tharoor.

The premise of the book is vasudhaiva kutumbakam and focuses on the relationship of India with the members of the world family, past, present and suggestions for the future. Continuing with his obsession with Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru, the book starts with a reference to the “tryst with destiny” speech and goes on to establish the role that India has been playing on the ‘global stage’ since the Harappan civilization.

It goes on to give a detailed account of India’s diplomatic relations with Pakistan, China, US and UN, but just offers a glimpse of the relations with the other regional and neighbouring countries, which might go a long way in shaping the policies of an India of tomorrow.

The book lacks the wit and spontaneity of his early books like The Great Indian Novel or Show Business. But it gives a good insight into the foreign policy making process in the country. Heavily advocating the use of social media, Tharoor emphasises on the need for change in the ‘intellectual and institutional infrastructure for foreign policy making in India’.

Name: Pax Indica-India and the World of the 21st Century

Author: Shashi Tharoor

Pages: 449

Publisher: Penguin Books India

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