Shift in attitudes required to make India great: Aparna Pande

Aparna Pande.

New Delhi,(Samajweekly) As an Indian, like millions of others, Aparna Pande, director of the Initiative on the Future of India and South Asia at the Hudson Institute, Washington, D.C., too grew up believing in the inevitability of India achieving great power status. But, she discovered, countries become great powers not by wishing alone.

As Pande perceptively points out in “Making India Great The Promise Of A Reluctant Global Power” (HarperCollins), the problem probably lies in the gap between the dreams and ambitions of becoming a ‘great’ nation, and the willingness and ability to formulate and implement policies that would be consonant with that goal.

“My book analyses what holds India back and what could make it great. At a time when many around the world would like to see India play a greater role not just in South Asia but also Asia, why is being a great power still beyond India’s grasp,” she said.

To this end, the book looks at why the methodical development of the wherewithal of global power has proven difficult for India. India’s promise is enormous. Yet 73 years after independence, India has yet to fulfil its potential.

In every arena, social, economic, human capital, military, and foreign policy, India has multiple opportunities to move forward and yet there are innumerable challenges that hold India back. The answer lies in the need for a shift in attitudes.

“My book seeks to explain the dichotomy that lies at the heart of India: the belief in being a great power and yet the reluctance to consistently implement policies and take actions that would help India achieve its goals,” Pande said.

“This is a thought-provoking new book pinpointing where India sometimes falters strategically, from a subject expert; it will be a fascinating read for anyone who looks at India from a policy perspective,” HarperCollins Publisher Udayan Mitra said.

Born in India, Pande received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in History from St. Stephen’s College, University of Delhi, before receiving an M.Phil in International Relations from Jawaharlal Nehru University. She completed her Ph.D. in Political Science at Boston University in the United States.

She is the author of “From Chanakya to Modi” (HarperCollins, 2017), “Explaining Pakistan’s Foreign Policy: Escaping India” (Routledge, 2010) and is the editor of “Contemporary Handbook on Pakistan” (Routledge, 2017).