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Pax Indica: India and the World in the 21st Century

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Language: English
Length: 456 Pages
Publisher: Allen Lane
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Pax Indica: India and the World in the 21st Century By Shashi Tharoor
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Pax Indica: India and the World in the 21st Century (Hardcover) Price: Rs.439

Pax Indica: India And The World In The 21st Century examines India’s record in international relations and proposes what needs to be done to formulate a constructive foreign policy for the 21st century.

Summary Of The Book

Written by a man who has been a prominent figure in the international political arena for years, this book examines India’s record in diplomatic relations, the functioning of its foreign service, and the future trends and directions.

Pax Indica: India And The World In The 21st Century looks at India’s relationship with its neighbours and with the larger world outside its immediate neighbourhood thoroughly. The book is divided into eleven chapters and begins with a chapter on Pakistan and India’s troubled relationship with this volatile neighbour. It also discusses the country’s relationship with another emerging Asian power, China.

The book also examines Afghanistan and its potential to emerge as a trade hub connecting South and Central Asia. It slowly moves outward from the subcontinent to other counties and India’s need to formulate a constructive foreign policy that would enable it to open up channels for economic growth.

Pax Indica: India And The World In The 21st Century also critically examines the Indian Foreign Service, the lack of planning and structure in the diplomatic corps and the many problems that still persist despite India’s progress in other arenas. The book argues for a reexamination of the IFS, and discusses the problem of understaffing of the Indian Diplomatic Corps.

The author explains the need for India to now move away from non-alignment to a new paradigm of multi-alignment for constructive international relations in these changing times. He stresses the importance of formulating foreign policy strategies that also take into account long term goals. He says the focus of diplomatic relations should be to eventually convert good relations into opportunities for trade, tourism and investment.

About Shashi Tharoor

Shashi Tharoor is a politician and diplomat.

His other books include India: From Midnight to the Millennium, The Elephant, the Tiger, and the Cell Phone: Reflections on India - The Emerging 21st-Century Power, and The Five Dollar Smile and Other Stories.

Shashi Tharoor was born in 1956 in London, England. He graduated with a BA from St. Stephen’s College, Delhi. He later obtained his MA and PhD from Tufts University. He began his career in the UNHCR as a staff member. He was the Under-Secretary General for Communications and Public Information. In 2006, he was nominated by the Indian Government for the post of the UN Secretary General. But, he eventually lost to Ban Ki-moon. In 2009, he contested in the General Elections from the Thiruvananthapuram constituency and won. He became Minister of State for External Affairs. He is also a popular columnist for publications like The Times of India and The Hindu. The honors he has won include the Excelsior Award and the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman.

Specifications of Pax Indica: India and the World in the 21st Century (Hardcover)

Contributors
Author Shashi Tharoor
Book Details
Publisher Allen Lane
Publication Year 2012
ISBN-13 9780670085743
ISBN-10 067008574X
Language English
Binding Hardcover
Number of Pages 456 Pages
Dimensions
Width 6.10 inch
Height 1.50 inch
Weight 567 g
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Book Reviews of Pax Indica: India and the World in the 21st Century

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Most Helpful Reviews (5 of 27)

★★★★★
★★★★★
16 August 12
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Good and Bold account but incomplete

The book presents a very good account of India’s International Affairs. I have loved Mr. Tharoos’s columns from The Hindu OP-ED pages during my Delhi University days and have followed him since then whenever I got an opportunity. His analysis of India’s Bilateral relation in particular used to be very precise and brought issues into notice that were not always so visible. However, contrary to my expectations, this book does not quite live up to the expectation.
Throughout the book, you get a very strong vibe that the book is being written by a sitting parliamentarian from the Congress party. Unnecessary NDA (read BJP) bashing is a conspicuously painful aspect of the book. One such instance where this tendency is most pronounced is the manner in which India’s stance on Israel-Palestine issue is portrayed. Historically India has shown sympathy with the Palestinian cause and have not approved of the Israeli hostilities. Overt relationship with Israel is, as per him, not desirable for a country that has historically opposed to its stand on Palestine. I personally think that the NDA could deal much efficiently with Israel because it did not come with this baggage of legacy. Today Israel is one of the most important strategic and military allies for India providing sophisticated military technology running into billions which India cannot get from anywhere else. And make no mistake, had it not been for Israel, India would have lost many more soldiers during the Kargil war for which India was not ready. In fact you must read the pages 177-180 to understand this paradox in his commentary. On one hand he is telling how important Israel is to India’s defence requirement with two neighbours with disputed boundary issues and then he goes on to add “It is clear that India values its relationship with Israel, but not at the expense of its friendship with Arab and other Muslim states” (Pg 180, para 2) which clearly stinks of the burden of legacy that is impairing our relationship with the Israel.
The pros and cons of the actions of NDA govt in particular have not been analysed properly. In fact I would not be wrong in calling this book an account (or should I say justification) of Congress’ Foreign policy. There are instances where he has mentioned the shortfalls of Congress’ policies but falls short of calling names. The markedly improved relation between India and a lot of other countries during the NDA regime hardly finds any mention in the book. The rigours of independent journalism are missing. And since I have followed Mr. Tharoor for some time, it is difficult to see this as anything but an attempt to impress (or at least not antagonize) the ruling UPA coalition. He is definitely better than what you might want to judge from this book.
Despite this shortcoming this book does present the reader with very important issues to consider when talking about India’s foreign relations. The chapters on India’s relation with Pakistan and the US make for a very insightful reading. The chapter mentioning the bureaucratic problems with the working of Ministry of External Affair present a rare insider’s view. You may not find many accounts like these and coming from a person with 29 years at the United Nations it carries a lot of weight. A must read for students.

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8 of 9 users found this review helpful.
★★★★★
★★★★★
06 August 12
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Who says Foreign Policy is boring??? A real delight for Foreign Policy enthusiasts

From the cover of the book till the end it is an extremely interesting read. This is by far the best book I've read on Foreign Policy till date. The book is fast moving contrary to the popular belief that Foreign Policy can be boring. Shashi Tharoor sure justifies his ability as a writer as well as one of the most competent people to write on such an important area. It gives an in depth understanding of Foreign Policy and how important it is for any nation especially for an emerging power like India and how it can benefit the nation and its citizens at large. The chapter wise coverage giving a brilliant analysis both from India's perspective and how India's relations with the World has changed over the years has been summed up beautifully. For all those aspiring to become Career Diplomats and all those who are Foreign Policy enthusiasts it makes for an excellent read. You will not regret reading it. Take a bow Shashi Tharoor!!!

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7 of 8 users found this review helpful.
★★★★★
★★★★★
26 July 12
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A straight from the heart, logical and blunt book

A book that challenges long-held assumptions, enables an in-depth understanding of our various neighbours and our response to them; Witty in parts - which makes for fun reading; blunt in its honesty as regards acknowledging Indian mistakes, equally blunt and straight in praising India's good points... and brutally blunt in response to western misconceptions and dual standards on India

This is a book which analyses our Foreign policy challenges threadbare in a very easy-to-read format. The language is simple, the content deceptively simple while being comprehensive. It hits you in the gut when it analyses each country with which we have a relationship, as it looks at current issues giving both perspectives of the coin; clarifying the Indian position and looking at alternatives to take the relationship forward... This book is a must read for every Indian; if for no other reason - then just for its Pakistan section. A must read for every educated Indian!

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5 of 6 users found this review helpful.
★★★★★
★★★★★
12 August 12
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Nice Book albeit Loosely written at few places

Who can write on Indian Foreign Policy better than Shashi Tharoor. The book has immense fresh ideas like 'Multi-Alginment' a befitting and better policy option than 'Non-Alignment 2.0"; converting 'Big Brother syndrome' to elder brother syndrome. The chapters on Soft power and on Africa and Latin America were missing in most books and were desperately required by Readers. The note on the ministry of External(in Throor's lexicom 'Eternal') Affairs is worth read with lot of insider and real info.

However I wont recommend it for a fresher student of International relations. Its loosely written at times with lot o repetations. I will recommend 'Does the Elephant Dance?, by David Malone for UPSC candidates and freshers to Indian Foreign Policy. That book is more well rsearched and compact. Still this book derserves 5 stars for the reasons mentioned above.

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4 of 6 users found this review helpful.
★★★★★
★★★★★
08 July 13
Not perfectly neutral

Shashi Tharoor presents to us a new entry into already existing massive literature on India's foriegn policy. personally i think he is amongst the certain few of indian politics who is deeply into reading and writing which in the earlier era was considered something inevitable for political leaders. the book presents his own account working as under secretary general at UNO and for short time as minister of state. also his experience when he was researcher and had to deal with foreign ministry mandarins.

He based his presentation on onion peel concept, starting from India's neighborhood and extending outwards. a well researched presentation but sometime i felt as if not a researcher but a UPA minister speaking for his colleagues.

all in all a bit above average and could have been a masterpiece if slight biased tilt absent

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2 of 2 users found this review helpful.

Most Recent Reviews

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★★★★★
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A Single Book to give you a clear idea of External Affairs

I have been studying this book for the last few months. It is very informative and since the author himself was an world renown...

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11 April 14
★★★★★
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Say 'NO' to 'Flipkart' e-books

So horrible you are, dear Flipkart !!!!
If you want to go for this book actually.. better go for hard-copy, never ever go...

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04 March 14
★★★★★
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An abridgment of India's Foriegn ploicy

Excellent....simply we can rate this book with this word.. Tharoor explains our relations with different countries chapter via...

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27 February 14
★★★★★
★★★★★
vishwinder jamwal
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Overrated

i think this book is written in a style which is like writing a civil services answer but it should have been more engaging !

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16 February 14
★★★★★
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Nicely Written and Intresting

Flipkart delivered on time and in good condition. Book is a good read but it is not for students of competitive examination as...

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09 February 14
    Book: Pax Indica: India and the World in the 21st Century by Shashi Tharoor
    ISBN Number: 067008574X, 9780670085743, 978-0670085743

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