Excerpt: Shashi Tharoor on India and the world of the 21st century


‘Indian diplomacy,’ a veteran told Shashi Tharoor many years ago, “is like the love-making of an elephant: it is conducted at a very high level, accompanied by much bellowing, and the results are not known for two years.” The award-winning author and parliamentarian demonstrates how Indian diplomacy has become sprightlier since then and where it needs to focus in the world of the 21st century.

Explaining why foreign policy matters to an India focused on its own domestic transformation, Tharoor surveys India’s major international relationships in detail, evokes the country’s soft power and its global responsibilities, analyses the workings of the Ministry of External Affairs, parliament and public opinion on the shaping of policy, and offers his thoughts on a contemporary new “grand strategy” for the nation, arguing that India must move beyond non-alignment to “multi-alignment”. His book ‘Pax Indica’ offers a clear-eyed vision of an India now ready to assume new global responsibility in the contemporary world.

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