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Change and Environmental Strategy


C.R. Krishna Murti

STRATEGIC ENVIRONMENT IN SOUTH ASIA DURING THE 1980
Edited by D.D. Khanna
Naya Prokash, 1975, pp. 249, Rs. 60.00

VOLUME V NUMBER 3 November/December 1980

South Asia comprises of India, Pakis­tan, Bangladesh, the landlocked Hima­layan Kingdoms of Nepal, Bhutan and the island Sri Lanka. A sizeable chunk of world population subsisting below the poverty line or just above it inhabit the region. These nations have political structures varying from democracy to military dictatorship. The countries emerged from the hold of imperialism about three decades ago but are still struggling with their problems of deve­lopment. South Asia Region has hitherto been the subject of studies from the point of view of strategy mainly by Western scholars who have obviously approached the same with their own bias and intel­lectual cliches. It is, therefore, very refreshing to find attempts made by scholars belonging to South Asia Region to enter emerging discipline of strategic studies. The book under review as the title itself suggests has covered diplomacy, internal development, defence, develop­ment in science and technology. It is the outcome of a National Seminar held in the University of Allahabad in March 1978. The theme of the seminar was the Changing Nature of the Strategic Envi­ronment in South Asia. The volume is a collection of eighteen papers presen­ted at the seminar along with the key­note address delivered by Shri Jagat Mehta, the former Foreign Secretary to the Government of India. The papers are misleadingly designated as chapters. The editor has not, however, taken the trouble to indicate how the diverse pro­blems dealt with by the individual speak­ers converge into a central and unified theme—the present state of insecurity of this region. Being a national seminar, the participants were mostly from India and naturally one misses the viewpoints of scholars of strategy from the other countries. In his key-note address to the seminar, Shri Mehta has made a plea that India, because of its historical inheritance of a continuous tradition of acceptance of exogenous elements and their integration into the native soil, because of the absence of the ‘propensity for expansion and Chauvinism’ and other cogently identified reasons, should playa signifi­cant role in the world problems of democratization of the Nation-State system, removal. of the fear of insecurity, containment of arms and collectivization of efforts to solve the problems of the region. India cannot, however, forget that in size and population and in the relative level of all round development, she is the Big Nation of the Region. Jagat Mehta ...


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