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The Making of Indian Diplomacy: A Critique of Eurocentrism

Is Indian Diplomacy simply a derivative of European colonial models? On the basis of observed practices, and informal interactions and interviews with Ministers and diplomats, the author argues that the core of Indian diplomatic practice is to be found in the national epic, the Mahabharata, whose influence he traces from pre-Mughal times to the present. Further investigation of Indian diplomacy reveals its non- Western rationale, while its presence at the heart of a State presumed Western at inception reveals new possibilities about how to conceptualize post-colonial India, its purpose and role on the world stage. While nation states authorized by nationalism remain hostage to the past, the Indian State’s arena for action is very much the present, as is rational its objective of non-violently terminating violence. The event will in the process shed new light on the current nature of the Indian State. The book reflects the author’s broad interests, which lie at the intersection of the violence that underpins everyday political, social and economic life and how to negate it by negotiating in an ethical manner. These concerns are investigated using a mode the author calls ‘producer-centred-research’. Applicable across disciplines, it is intent on presenting the world in terms of the people being studied. Requisite is collecting empirical data and analyzing it in terms of the producers. Contextualizing such work within theories so established that they are habitually regarded as ‘common sense’, makes for theoretically engaged arguments that ironically, frequently, displace those very ideas. The book was published by Oxford University Press, New York and Hurst.