Understanding Indian Foreign Policy – 1

I start writing this series of article keeping in mind today is Tamil new year’s day and that the year should start on an auspicious note.  Let us see if I can stick to it for even the next 30 minutes or so. A rare moment of honesty – it is impossible for me to be serious for more than 30 seconds.

A student of history keen on understanding India’s Foreign Policy decided to start his quest for this knowledge on the Tamil New year day. Keeping with the secular traditions he decides a Zen monk would be his best guru. The Zen guru a Japanese would obviously be a more knowledgeable man than anybody who has lived in India for the last few generations.

I will try and reproduce the conversation as perfectly as possible.

Student:    Master. Today is an Auspicious day – the Tamil new year day. Can we start learning about the Indian Foreign Policy.

Guru:          Who said today is the New Year Day. MuKa and his 500 scholars have already decided that the Tamil new year day is during Pongal (Shankaranthi) and not now.

Student:    But Master how can an atheist decide when Hindus should have their function?

Guru:          See! I told you. This question shows you are still not fit to understand India. Come back after few years.

Student:    Master Please I will not ask such idiotic questions.  But then master, JJ has made Chithirai 1 as new year again.

Guru:          So you think MuKa  won’t come back to power.

Student:    But master he is close to 90. Master. I came to learn about Indian Foreign Policy. Not Tamil politics.

Guru:          This is the reason I say you are not fit to learn about India. The first lesson that you need to keep in mind is this

                      Rule 1:   The Indian Government will spend maximum time and effort in legislating in areas where they have minimum competence and jurisdiction.

                      It is appropriate that if you want to learn about Indian Foreign Policy you start from the Tamil New Year day.

Student:    But then master, there is no logical connection between the two.

Guru:          See. You are trying to see logic in Indian affairs. You are not yet mature enough to understand India. I won’t teach you. And on top of that you dare to question me.

Student:    But master, the Hindu tradition is based on questioning

Guru:          See you want to understand India by contemporary techniques you will have to ditch Hindu traditions. We will tell you what is Hindu tradition and you will have to abide by that. Think that is enough Gyan for a day. We will meet later.

(It doesn’t end here. The pain will continue…..)

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