A front-footed approach to the world calls for a strong economy

The India Way: Strategies for an Uncertain World is an interesting book because it is written by four authors: a scholar of international relations, a career diplomat, a serving foreign minister, and a member of Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party. It so happens that they are all named S. Jaishankar. Almost every paragraph in the book is an exercise in balance between four perspectives: of the scholar reading the past and the present in realist terms, the long-serving diplomat totalling up the successes and failings of India’s foreign policy over the past four decades, the cabinet minister outlining the incumbent government’s policy positions, and the BJP member connecting the book’s narrative with his party’s. The tension between the four Jaishankars is not always apparent, and I suspect is visible only to keener students of international relations who in any case tend to connect dots into shapes they wish to see.

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