National Security and Strategic Studies
Jammu & Kashmir
Book Review: ‘A Life Well Spent: Four Decades in the Indian Foreign Service’; Amb. Satish Chandra, Roopa Publications, 2023, ISBN: 9357020950, pp. 284, Rs 636

The book by Ambassador Satish Chandra covers four decades he served in the Indian Foreign Service from 1965 to 2005. The book is not simply an account of his personal journey. It provides a glimpse into the making of foreign policy. It also covers India’s trajectory from the mid-60s, when it was recovering from the 1962 war to the post-Pokhran phase when it had emerged as a nuclear weapons state. Mr. Satish Chandra saw many of the defining events of this period from close quarters. He was a Second Secretary in India’s Deputy High Commission in Karachi just before the outbreak of the 1971 war.

Radicalization in India- An Exploration

Bharat has been at the receiving end of radicalisation and Islamic terrorism for over three decades. In the study of terrorism/counter-terrorism, the terms radicalisation, religious extremism, and terrorism are frequently used interchangeably. To explore and understand the new trends of radicalisation in Bharat, on 21 November 2022, the Vivekananda International Foundation (VIF) organised a discussion on the book— “Radicalization in India: An Exploration”, authored by Abhinav Pandya (hereafter “author”).

Vimarsh - Book Discussion on “The Kashmir Conundrum: The Quest for Peace in a Troubled Land”

The Vivekananda International Foundation organised a Vimarsh dialogue in the shape of a book discussion on “The Kashmir Conundrum: The Quest for Peace in a Troubled Land,” authored by General NC Vij, PVSM, UYSM, AVSM, on the 27th of December 2021. The event was chaired by Dr. Arvind Gupta, Director, VIF. The book discussion was followed by comments by an eminent panel consisting of Amb. Satish Chandra, Former Deputy National Security Advisor & Vice Chairman, VIF along with Lt Gen S A Hasnain, PVSM, UYSM, AVSM, SM (Bar), Former GOC 15 Corps.

D.P. Srivastava, Forgotten Kashmir: The Other Side of the Line of Control. Noida, Harper Collins, 2021. 439pp.

Whereas Kashmir has been the focus of national and international attention for over seven decades, Pak-occupied Kashmir (POK) and Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) have eluded attention. This is because the ‘Other Kashmir’ across the LOC has been kept under iron curtain by successive Pakistan governments. Pakistan assumed direct control of Gilgit-Baltistan in 1947-48 and re-designated the area as Northern Areas. At the same time, it called Pak-occupied Kashmir as ‘Azad Kashmir’, but in actual practice this territory has been Azad (free) only in name.

Release of ‘Forgotten Kashmir: The Other Side of the Line of Control’ by Shri Manoj Sinha, Lt. Governor of Union Territory of J&K

Shri Manoj Sinha, Lt. Governor of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir released ‘Forgotten Kashmir: The Other Side of the Line of Kashmir’ in a virtual event on 18th March 2021. The book has been published by Harper Collins. Its author Ambassador D.P. Srivastava is a Distinguished Fellow in the Vivekananda International Foundation. The book traces political, constitutional, and economic developments in POK. Based on Pakistani and international sources, it brings out that the people of the territory neither enjoy Azadi nor autonomy.

Jammu and Kashmir: A Compendium

Over the last seventy years, Jammu & Kashmir has seen political machinations, violence, cross-border terrorism, instability and economic stagnation. On August 5, 2019, the Indian Government decided to amend Article 370 of the Indian Constitution and usher the state into a new era of peace and development, paving the way for complete integration with the national mainstream. Following the momentous decision, there has understandably been a great deal of interest in Jammu & Kashmir due to its reorganization as a Union Territory.

Kashmir - Is the Time Ripe for a New Outreach Strategy?

India’s historic move on August 5, 2019, heralded a new era in Jammu and Kashmir, a state which witnessed an uncertain political status and 30 years of Pak-sponsored Jihadist militancy. Before the abrogation of article 370, the normal life had come to a standstill due to everyday encounters, mainstream politics dying a slow death, giving space to radical Islamist organizations. It appeared that Kashmir was entering the next phase of militancy where the Pan-Islamist groups like IS and Al Qaeda would hold sway in Kashmir.

K File:The Conspiracy of Silence By Bashir Assad (New Delhi, Vitasta Publishing Pvt. Ltd., 2019. 237pp)

Bashir Assad’s book comes at an appropriate time, as it provides an insider and subaltern view of Kashmir. He has firsthand experience of the developments in Kashmir for the past 30 years. In his own words, he has lived the ideology of Maududi Islam for 3 years, after he passed class X. He has been associated with PDP founder Mufti Mohammad Syed. And he has been following the events in Kashmir, as a journalist, columnist and social activist.

Kashmir: Beyond Article 370. By Bashir Assad. New Delhi, Pentagon Press, 2020. 177 pp. Rs. 595/-

Bashir Assad, the Kashmiri writer has come out with yet another interesting and insightful study of Kashmir following the abrogation of Article 370. To quote Bashir, he has brought out the “bitter truth following his inner voice” underscoring the Islamisation and Pakistanisation of narratives in Kashmir. And he blames the political leadership in Kashmir which remains “mired in conservatism and short-sightedness around Muslimness” for the troubled situation.

Post 370 Kashmir - Roadmap for the future and Emerging Security Challenges

As Jammu and Kashmir enters the fifth month since the abrogation of Article 370, the national and international media, opposition leaders, and many public intellectuals have continued to repeatedly raise serious concerns about the security and communication lockdown in Kashmir. On November 20, 2019, Majid Memon asked in the Rajya Sabha, "When will complete normalcy return to Kashmir?" The question aptly captures the fears, anxieties, biases and also the superficial understanding of a large segment of commentators repeatedly raising alarm bells over the issue of "normalcy" in Kashmir.

Contact Us