In Service of Emergent India

In Service of Emergent India

A Call to Honor
Jaswant Singh, foreword by Strobe Talbott
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 09/21/2007
Format: Hardback 46 b&w photos, 3 maps
ISBN: 978-0-253-34936-1
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In Service of Emergent India is an evocative insider's account of a crucial period in India's history. It provides an in-depth look at events that changed the way the world perceived India, and a unique view of Indian statecraft. As Minister of External Affairs, Defense, and Finance in the BJP-led governments of 1996 and 1998-2004, Jaswant Singh was the main foreign policy spokesman for the government of Atal Bihari Vajpayee during the 1998 nuclear tests by India and Pakistan, the hijacking to Kandahar, Afghanistan, of Indian Airlines flight IC 814, and the Kargil conflict between India and Pakistan, as well as other key events. In an account that is part memoir, part analysis of India's past and future prospects, Singh reflects on his childhood in rural Rajasthan at the end of the colonial period, his schooling and military training, and memories of Indian Independence and the Partition of India and Pakistan. He analyzes the first four decades of Indian nationhood under Congress Party rule, ongoing tensions between India and Pakistan, Sino-Indian relations, and post-9/11 U.S.-Indian relations.

Author Bio

Jaswant Singh is an authority on Indian foreign policy and national security. He is among the most respected names in the country's public life, and in the world of diplomacy. A former officer in the Indian Army, he has served seven terms in India's Parliament and is currently the Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Parliament's Upper House. He lives in New Delhi, India.


“An evocative account of a crucial period in India's history. "This is a book that should be read by anyone who cares about India's importance—and that should be everyone." —Strobe Talbott”

“This book tells Singh's fascinating personal story and gives his no less fascinating account of what as an emerging power India has had—and still has—to live through: the big—power politics and the small—power politics. It is an education.”
 — Sir V. S. Naipaul

“Jaswant Singh is a man of parts—a soldier, politician, statesman, and elegant writer. He tells more than the story of his life, though that is quite a tale in itself. His memoir captures much of the experience of his country as it moved from the Raj to independence to its emergence as a major power. This is a book that should be read by anyone who cares about India's importance—and that should be everyone.”
 — Strobe Talbott

“. . . Singh's anecdotal memoirs are worthwhile for scholars of India and South Asian diplomacy. . . . Recommended.”
 — Choice

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Table of Contents


Foreword by Strobe Talbott
Preface: Prelude to Honor
List of Abbreviations

Part I. A Look Back
1. Memories of a Sunlit Land
2. Born of the Same Womb: Pakistan
3. India: The Journey from Nation to Statehood

Part II. Challenge and Response
4. Pokhran II: The Implosion of Nuclear Apartheid
5. Pokhran Looks East
6. The Asian Two: India and China

Part III. Statecraft Is a Cruel Business
7. Troubled Neighbor, Turbulent Times: 1999
8. Troubled Neighbor, Turbulent Times: 2001
9. Engaging the Natural Ally
10. The Republican Innings
11. Some Afterwords