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Recently I read this book edited by Lt Gen Kamal Davar and published by the Blooms Bury India. The book has 19 chapters, each dealing with a different topic related to the comprehensive national power. The foreword of the book has been written by Dr. Karan Singh. The most important point flagged by Dr. Karan Singh is that though India has lost control of over 42000 sq miles to China and Pakistan but they are still not stopping with their hostile activities. He advises that India needs to learn lessons from the history of setbacks and also the victories like the one which the country had in 1971, with a view to building a strong and resilient India. To this end, not only national security but various other aspects of nation-building need to be addressed in a comprehensive manner. The contributors to this book are some of the best brains in the country who have attempted to examine various aspects of the national security and other domains of governance, as such likely to fill the void of in the strategic thought in the country with the view to help the decision-makers in the country to review the national policy to strengthen the national security matrix and upgrade Comprehensive national power. Some of the areas that could have further added to the value of the book include water security, the need to review the energy profile of India with a view to exploiting indigenous resources, development of military-industrial complex to address economic strength of the country and reduce dependence on import of critical technologies and ways and means to improve social amity.
Lt Gen Davar has had a ringside view of the National Security matrix over a long and distinguished career spanning over four decades. Post-retirement he has been active in sharing his thoughts based on his vast experience in dealing with National Security. In his last book, ‘Tryst with Perfidy’ he had addressed the Pakistani Deep State. It is logical that the next step should be to have a comprehensive look at the current state of the Indian nation and its strengths and areas for improvement. The good General after having done an appreciation appears to have come to the conclusion that instead of sharing his personal views it would be better than the people experienced in their respective domain are encouraged to share their views so that outcome becomes more authentic and all-encompassing. Having gone through the book I dare say that I am in agreement with the General.
Without any doubt, I can say with conviction that this anthology is a must-read for those who would like to be updated on various aspects of governance and the Comprehensive national power.
Disclaimer: The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the organisation that he belongs to or of the STRIVE.