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The Greater Game

The Greater Game

Author: David Van Praagh
Publication: www.mqup.mcgill.ca
URL: http://www.mqup.mcgill.ca/book.php?bookid=1657

India's Race with Destiny and China

An in-depth exploration of modern Indian democracy and India's struggles with its neighbours, particularly Pakistan and China.

The Greater Game offers a fresh look at India, showing it to be a dramatically changing democracy after decades of domination by the Nehru-Gandhi family dynasty and a newly emerging strategic ally of the United States.

David Van Praagh argues that Hindu nationalists, the country's new paramount political force, are creating a new kind of coalition politics that discourages religious clashes. Led by the Bharatiya Janata Party they are also bringing about needed economic liberalization. Since coming to power in 1998, the Hindu nationalists led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Lal Krishna Advani have brought India out of the nuclear closet with a series of tests confirming its status as a nuclear power. After the terrorist attacks on 11 September 2001 on America and three months later on the Indian Parliament, the United States and India have quietly become "allies in the cause of democracy," with an eye to containing not only terrorists but China. Van Praagh, a journalist with many years of experience in India and Asia as a correspondent for the Globe and Mail and other Canadian and U.S. newspapers, combines first-hand coverage of events, historical narrative, and timely analysis in this clearly written and provocative book. The Greater Game details India's political evolution and that country's emergence as not only the preeminent power in the Subcontinent but also a major world power.

Review quotes

"Praagh has a well-honed sense of history and a keen eye for the human element in the events that unfolded since 1947. His critical account of the trajectory of socio-economic and political developments in postcolonial India vividly describes the devious and self-serving ways in which the Congress conducted the affairs of the nation. Praagh also sheds light on how the party repeatedly rode roughshod on popular aspirations both at home and in neighbouring countries in its bid to subjugate them. His most trenchant criticism is reserved for the Nehru 'dynasty' and the hordes of minions who unquestioningly carried out its diktats during its years in office."
Badrinath Rao, Department of Liberal Studies, Kettering University.

(David Van Praagh is adjunct professor of journalism at Carleton University and the author of Thailand's Struggle for Democracy: The Life and Times of M.R. Seni Pramoj.)

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