In this lively, informative and insightful book, Shashi Tharoor brilliantly demonstrates how Indian diplomacy has come of age and forecasts where it will need to. Would reading Pax Indica be helpful for an aspirant of UPSC not having international relations as optional, or would it be a waste? Is Pax Indica by Shashi Tharoor worth reading? How do I read a large book like Pax Indica by Shashi Tharoor?. Read "Pax Indica India and the World of the Twenty-first Century" by Shashi Tharoor available from Rakuten Kobo. Sign up today and get RS. off your first.
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To ask other readers questions about Pax Indica , please sign up. Do I need to use dictionary a lot? Satyam Srivastava No, you don't need to use dictionary a lot. Its written in a simple language. See 1 question about Pax Indica….
Pax Indica: India and the World of the 21st Century
Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. Sort order. Oct 08, Riku Sayuj rated it really liked it Shelves: To Tharoor, India is gentle and reasonable and completely justified in all its actions; where they cant be justified, they can be explained away with the excuse that a functioning democracy will take circuitous routes the elephant metaphor. Thus the benign elephant dances with starry-eyed smaller countries, reluctantly peeping neighbors, a very naughty dragon, a ferocious but almost toothless opponent with a weapon that can't be used, some failed states and a big circus master with a big funny hat.
But all that is incidental because the elephant is gentle enough to be above reproach. So, who is the hero of the story? I leave that to your guessing skills. The second half of the book which takes a look at North Block and UN and their many idiosyncrasies, arguing for and against continuing relevance is more entertaining - because Tharoor actually has original stuff to contribute here along with many anecdotes which are well-worn but still funny.
And though the book's cover boasts that he tries to evolve a grand strategy which Malone had criticized India of lacking and Tharoor wants to prove exists inside of the folds , it only delivers some passably good platitudes. In the end though, I cannot forgive Tharoor - the primary reason for me picking up this book was my irrepressible curiosity on how the author would justify such a presumptuous title. And Tharoor never bothered to oblige, except for a two line justification which only talks about a redefinition of what the 'pax -ica' latinization means in this new century.
But, perhaps true too - it gels well with Pinker's Angels. View all 9 comments. Aug 21, Meetu rated it liked it. That remains the most impactful book on modern India that I have ever read. His love of Nehru and disdain for Indira Gandhi were perspectives that I adopted and till date have found no reason to change. The reason I bring up that work is because I was expecting the same wit and passion in his analysis of Indian Foreign Policy.
After all he has spent the last three decades bang in the middle of Foreign Affairs. The book is extremely easy to read as Tharoor is a professional writer with an innate ability to entertain his reader. Every so often, you will find yourself smiling at a particularly witty aside on some observation of his. He also has a genuine, heartfelt love for the country that is endearing, with an old-fashioned charm. But by the time you are a few pages in, you realize this is more of a summing up, a chronicling of facts, that are offered along with opinions that are neither original nor deep.
I would say however, that this is the sort of text that should be included in school syllabi. The self-congratulatory tone of our history and civics text books could do with these facts: When I was minister of state for external affairs I suppose I should have been grateful, even relieved, at being allowed to get on with foreign policy formulation without the interference of the general public.
But I was not; I was deeply frustrated by the indifference of educated Indians, because in my view foreign policy is too important an issue to be left to the MEA alone.
Pakistan, China and the USA are more well-looked-into. But I especially enjoyed learning about Taiwan and East Timor. These are the chapters with the few interesting anecdotes. While there are no insights as such, it is worth noting the basic facts that often get blurred in the face of daily news about our neighbours. The sheer exasperation of dealing with hostile neighbours comes up in various instances and he expresses his wariness well - this will find a resonance with all Indian readers.
But he underlines the basic facts: They focus on making the visitors feel welcome, emphasise the feel-good aspects of their presence in our midst, celebrate the many things we have in common and try to brush the real problems under a carpet not a Kashmiri carpet, since that might provoke disagreeable thoughts.
In other words, they are a self-fulfilling exercise in self-vindication. Their success depends on denying the very disagreements that makes such dialogues necessary in the first place. Going on to the woes that befall the Ministry of External Affairs, he devotes an entire chapter to this sad state of affairs.
But Tharoor says exactly that about the rotting system. Only, having learnt from his previous mistakes, and as a member of parliament now, he couches it in more anguished, less accusatory tones.
I consistently felt that his writing throughout the book was too cautious. While he invokes his favourite Nehru every now and then, he does not criticize any politician and does not even broach the subject of endemic corruption that is to blame for the situation in the MEA being as structurally inefficient as it was in the seventies when the first committee to address its failures was set up.
Hopefully that is not the case with the younger readers! View 1 comment. Jul 15, Harini rated it really liked it Shelves: It was a period when the Republic made way for the Emperor Augustus ; various warring factions within Rome were brought to heel; the Empire was kept safe from invasion and the military expansion was kept to a minimum.
It was a time when Rome became the focal point of culture, trade and influence and was the dominant power. In each of these cases the power of the Empire — military, economic, and cultural combined with internal political stability — ensured Peace.
In each of these cases the core of the Empire — Rome, America, Britain and Mongolia — were protected from war on, while they expanded outwards with their military and trade might.
He is rather uncritical in his assessment of history. His great admiration for Jawaharlal Nehru probably gets him to see Indian foreign policy through rose tinted glasses. His defence of non-alignment is robust. In a world where it is acceptable, indeed expected, to berate the problems of non-alignment, Tharoor offers a perspective on why the path of foreign policy independence in the years following was the correct path for India to follow.
All these, says Tharoor makes India a very influential player on the world stage. Tharoor is of the firm belief that it would not be realistic to expect Pakistan to change fundamentally for there to be peace — there are too parties jostling for power in Pakistan to allow that. It is possibly the only controversial statement in the entire book.
And also rather simplistic. He believes that stronger economic ties, a MFN status, and trade could enable Peace, while more contentious issues like Siachin or Kashmir get discussed separately. He sees India and China following different paths and both making the future their own. It is in the last 4 chapters that he makes his recommendations. He believes that India ought to use a combination of soft power and public diplomacy in a multi aligned world to achieve her objectives. With the rest of the neighbourhood and the world he advocates growing trade ties to bind us together.
Tharoor is a fan of Indian soft power, though the role of the state in building that power is unexplained. Soft Power arises despite the state — from films, trade ties, cultural exchanges — all the State can do is exploit it, if it exists. Apart from Pakistan, India has decent relations with most of the world.
It cannot afford to militarily engage to establish influence; nor does she have the kind of wealth to sign blank cheques for the rest of the world — so all that remains to be used is soft power. And, Tharoor advocates that India use that to the hilt. Shashi Tharoor has a way with words, and the book flows easily and is immensely readable. As he admits, it is not academic, more his perspective as a ringside observer of changing world dynamics. Pax Indica is a bit like a nice breezy travelogue — the generic kind carried by tourists on visits — through the terrain of Indian foreign policy.
It is a very first person, insider view of Indian foreign policy. It is an easy read for a serious subject, and that should not be held against the book.
Pax Indica India and the World of the 21st Century Shashi Tharoor pdf free download - hackbus.info
If you nothing about Indian foreign policy this is a good starting point. The book looks at India through rose tinted glasses, and it is good to discount some of the optimism. But, in a scenario where the overwhelming opinions emanating from India is one of doom and gloom Pax Indica is a good countervailing point of view. This reveiw appears on my blog at View 2 comments.
Jan 09, Arvind rated it liked it Shelves: Unfortunately, perhaps because he himself was a minister in the UPA govt at the time of writing this book, the wit and irreverence are absent. Instead, it has been written in the tone of a political speech. Secondly, the book barely scratched the surfac 2.
Secondly, the book barely scratched the surface and repeated oft-known facts especially in the first rds of the book dealing with India's bilateral foreign relations. I expected more behind-the-scenes approach and fresh insights. And its not a heartening picture to say the least. Also, the chapter on UN and impending reforms was quite good.
Overall, may serve as a good introduction to the topic for lack of alternates. An educational read. I have been ignorant of India's policies and roles in the international arena, barring a few newspaper articles once in a while, but those in most of India's major publications are China-obsessed these days.
It is refreshing to read about India's role in helping developing and emerging economies, especially Africa, and how we are pursuing inclusive growth in contrast with the policies pursued by some other major world powers. Shashi Tharoor is sincere in his praise as well as An educational read. Shashi Tharoor is sincere in his praise as well as criticism of India's foreign policies - praise for our fairly successful non-alignment, inclusive growth, democracy supportive policies largest single donor to the UN democracy development fund and criticism in the case of our MEA which is still is a reactive body that is even today fairly toothless and relies on the PMO for policy formulation.
Quoting "The MEA's decision making is like elephants making love.
It happens at a high-level, there is much bellowing, and the results are not known for two years" The analysis of our bilateral relationships with Pakistan, China, USA, Latin America, Europe, Russia, Middle East, South-East Asia is quite thorough as thorough as a non-academic book can be. Tharoor draws upon various examples to make his argument about how much of the world wants India to be the counter-balance to China in the world economy, and it is an agreeable opinion.
This book was written in , when Tharoor's parent party Congress was ruling in India, one that has been in power for most of our democratic existence. At the time of me reading it the single largest opposition party BJP is now in overwhelming power and their pro-Japan leaning is quite evident. The current government is also notoriously right-wing but ALSO more aggressive in pursuing foreign investments so it will be interesting to see how much of what Tharoor has written holds up five years down the line.
I confess, I skimmed through the final few chapters which deal with the character of the MEA and what Tharoor believes should be its focus in the next few decades. I found them weak compared to the first half of the book. Jul 18, Adarsh rated it liked it. Pax Indica is largely about modern India and its relationships with various other countries, as well as its role in multi-lateral organizations. Shashi Tharoor keeps stressing that in the 21st century, foreign affairs directly impact domestic affairs, and hence they are extremely important.
Tharoor has an excellent vocabulary, which enables him to keep making the same arguments worded differently. He is largely supportive of the UPA government, and while referring to the flaws of India, he is ca Pax Indica is largely about modern India and its relationships with various other countries, as well as its role in multi-lateral organizations.
He is largely supportive of the UPA government, and while referring to the flaws of India, he is careful to distract us from the fact that his party has been in power for most of the last 60 years. He does point out the flaws in Nehruvian ideology and Indira Gandhi, but he words them extremely carefully.
Otherwise, he is all praise for the UPA. The book is extremely informative, but for some reason editorial oversight? Also, the writing is conceited at times.
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But it is as unbiased as can be expected from an Indian politician, and quite enlightening. A worthwhile and mostly engaging read. Nov 30, Rajat Ubhaykar rated it really liked it.
Great introduction to India's foreign policy, along with an insider's account of the workings of the Ministry of External Affairs and the United Nations. The book needs some editing though; Tharoor has a tendency towards repetitive platitudes, but I guess such is the nature of diplomacy.
Feb 24, William Joseph rated it liked it Shelves: Good book. Give me an insight of Foreign policy of India in 21st century. Simple language easy to understand. Jul 21, Vivekanand Pandey added it. Still at page the book contains pages , but I have already formed my opinion — interesting, lucid, informative, well-crafted, common-reader friendly language and a must read, though a little bit expensive Rs. The most important thing about the book is that it does not look at the history of our foreign policy, but, as it has been written in recent , thus, catches all recent events our generation has firsthand experience thereof.
It talks about present opportunities, threats and future directions. Equipped with numerous eye-opening facts, the book enabled me to comprehend that in a well-connected global system of the day, the traditional perception of foreign policy as a reactive instrument of ceremonial nature holds no place.
The world is so connected that the events taking place far-far beyond our borders have potential to exercise significant positive and negative impacts within our own borders, thus, we need to realize the important of a foreign policy which is instrumental in achieving our internal goals by securing, and extending to, mutual cooperation from International community. Jul 14, Anant Mittal rated it it was amazing Shelves: Lovely book this. Tharoor has certainly penned down the thoughts for India and its future specially for its foreign relations.
What makes it even better is the fact that he has tried to evaluate nearly all relationships that India has globally and gives feedback and even suggestions to improve the same. His fresh takes on not only India-Pakistan, but also India-China and even India-US are quite good and give one much food for thought, albeit there are some sentences that become used and abuse Lovely book this. His fresh takes on not only India-Pakistan, but also India-China and even India-US are quite good and give one much food for thought, albeit there are some sentences that become used and abused by the end of the book.
He has even analysed countries like Turkey which have never featured in the Indian foreign policies before. But what I loved most in the book was his advocacy of Soft-power and Public Diplomacy which I'm a personal fan of.
The stress on developing these two is unique and shows how these are tools of the future. Although it started to get a little dull at times unfortunately. By the end of the book, one starts to see his vision and share it in a sense where one understands the role that he expects and the world expects India to play in the coming time.
A truly wonderful read for anyone interested in foreign policy, world affairs and diplomacy. Sep 29, Siddharth Nishar rated it liked it Shelves: I picked up this book with the intention to address my ignorance on India's foreign policy; this book has gone over and above my expectations in educating me.
Having said that, I went through the Five Stages of Grief with this book's writing. Tharoor's rhetoric, eloquence and wit become irritating very quickly when every point is repeated five times in different guises. The segues between logical ideas are torturously slow and even then disjointed. Foreign Policy is, by the sheer nature of the top I picked up this book with the intention to address my ignorance on India's foreign policy; this book has gone over and above my expectations in educating me.
Foreign Policy is, by the sheer nature of the topic, quite difficult to write about. The abstract and sensitive nature of the topic makes story-telling an invaluable skill and I have seen other non-fiction writers pull it off with subjects as dry as Number Theory and Philosophy. The second half of the book, thankfully, draws from events and experiences from Tharoor's life and he manages to weave concepts around examples that stick with you with a lot of fluff, sadly.
This is just one of those books. Jan 06, Anil Swarup rated it it was amazing. The manner in which this book enmeshes brilliant narration with meticulous research is quite remarkable.
Pax Indica by Shashi Tharoor
This is Shashi Tharoor at his best providing interesting insights into how the Indian Foreign Office works. The analyses is immaculate and a the prescription "do-able". The advocacy for "soft power" is very convincingly articulated.
Mar 05, Shantanu rated it it was ok Shelves: A disappointing book and not at all the book to start reading Tharoor with as I'd done. In all fairness to the author, doing so can only do him injustice. And Mr Tharoor deserves better He's an erudite man whose views we all should pay heed to, if not for anything else than to marvel at the elegance of his thoughts. I've had the pleasure to see him in some discussions over the Internet and one can readily attest to his extraordinary ability.
So Mr Tharoor is a learned and well read man. In hi A disappointing book and not at all the book to start reading Tharoor with as I'd done.
In his writing, which is crisp, he is never at a loss for just the apt word. So it is really surprising to read this book and find that the chapters are at least three times larger than they ought to be. Notwithstanding Mr Tharoor's virtuosity with words, it isn't pleasurable for any thoughtful reader to be subjected to the repetition of the same idea many times over only couched in different words every time. Another gripe about this book is the lack of academic rigour.
Despite the occasional references to the other works in the field refer to Riku Sayuj's excellent review in this matter , the work is ill referenced and his opinions, even when they favour the common view, are ill supported by facts. May be that is because the author is probably of the opinion that it is a field where the exactness of scientific methods cannot be applied, but what is sorry to see is that ultimately not even a half-hearted attempt was made to justify his arguments.
Mr Tharoor comes across, rightly or wrongly, as petty and not so nice a person from his writing in this book.
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