War on Terror and India’s Quest for Security
14 May 03
The War on Terror and India’s Quest for Security
Professor M. D. Nalapat
UNESCO Peace Chair
Manipal Academy of Higher Education
Date: Wednesday May 14, 2003
Time: 12.00 to 2.00 PM
Place: Room 202, 1 Nicholas Street, Ottawa
ï¿½After Punjab in the 1980s, India faced militancy in Kashmir the next decade. More than two decades of experience has given rise to a uniquely Indian way of dealing with terrorism, one different from that followed by the other two democracies with which it is often clubbed, Israel and the US. For New Delhi, the war on Terror is just one part in an overall effort to create a secure environment for its one billion citizens, a process that takes in not just the United States and Russia but China into its range. What is the Indian experience? And what lessons can other democracies learn from it, in a context defined by 9/11 and the US response to that atrocity? In a context that has seen the rise of China as the new Giant of Communism?ï¿½
M. D. Nalapat is Professor of Geopolitics and UNESCO Peace Chair at the Manipal Academy of Higher Education, India’s elite private university. He was Coordinating Editor of the Times of India, largest-circulating English-language newspaper in India, Editor of the Mathrubhumi and Illustrated Weekly of India, the second-largest Malayalam daily and its prestigious co-offering, the literary weekly.
During his tenure in the Mathrubhumi, he had taken up issues such as religious intolerance, focusing for example on the denial of certain privileges to “lower” castes in the famous Guruvayur temple in Kerala; the discarding of unwanted wives through easy divorce practices in the Muslim community; and the denial of inheritance rights to Christian women in the state. He also exposed several cases of governmental corruption.
During his tenure with The Times of India, M. D. Nalapat emphasized the problems arising from India’s insurgencies and the creation of nuclear and missile deterrents. Professor Nalapat was the first to enunciate the theory, later popularized by Russian Prime Minister at the time, Yevgeny Primakov, that an alliance of India, Russia (then USSR) and China would have the capability of posing an effective challenge to the Western Alliance. In 1994 he called for the use of the “business card” in Pakistan, offering commercial incentives generously while denying concessions sought by the Pakistan Army.
He has researched extensively on insurgencies in India. His book, “Indutva,” claims that all Indians are a composite of Vedic (Hindu), Mughal (Muslim), Western (Christian) civilizations. Therefore the Hindu Right’s concept of Hindutva (which demands that all Indians adapt to and adopt practices of the Hindu faith) was unworkable.
As UNESCO Peace Chair, he organized major conferences, including on USA-India relations; Persian Gulf Region-India relations; and China-India relations. In February this year he organized the first-ever Trilateral Security Conference between India, Israel and the USA in partnership with the Jewish Institute of International Security Affairs, Washington.
He is Senior Associate of the National Institute of Advanced Study, Bangalore and Member of the Institute for Social and Economic Change and the United Services Institution of the Indian Ministry of Defense. Apart from being a contributor to several newspapers he is Consulting Editor of the Indian
M. D. Nalapat, a Hindu-Buddhist by belief, has a Muslim mother, the poetess Kamala Das (Suraiya). His late father, K. M. Das was a Hindu, as is his wife, Princess Lakshmi Bayi of Travancore.
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