Monday, 13 August 2012

India’s place in a ‘post-superpower age’ An engaging guide to the issues on which India, as it takes the global stage, will have to pick sides

Review by James Crabtree
Pax Indica: India and the World of the 21st Century, by Shashi Tharoor, Penguin India/Allen Lane, RRPRs799/£19.99
He writes beautifully too, and these gifts of style are best employed when he probes the weaknesses of India’s diplomatic establishment, which he characterises as small and disorganised. India has only 900 foreign service officers to staff its 120 missions around the world: “a diplomatic corps roughly equally to Singapore”, and a fraction the size of most countries of comparable economic weight. Tharoor thinks this apparatus must be completely revamped, if his country is to prosper on its newly enlarged global stage. Yet while Pax Indica is admirably frank on these bureaucratic weakness, it is sadly less so on the policies that these institutions produce....

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