THE NEWS IN PROPORTION
20 November 2017
Opinions : Firdaus Ahmed
SYRIAN CEASEFIRE
Can India provide a new lens to the ISIS challenge in Syria?

Is military combat the only way to deal with the Islamic state and its likes? Firdaus Ahmed ponders about the role India can play in making the ongoing temporary ceasefire in the five-year old Syrian civil war a more permanent one.

OP-ED Subcontinental Musings

DOCTRINAL DISCONNECT
Modi worsens India’s doctrinal muddle In light of events in Pathankot, Firdaus Ahmed analyses Prime Minister Narendra Modi's speech, given to the military brass last month at the Combined Commanders’ conference aboard the INS Vikramaditya, on the way forward with Pakistan.
Nat. Security Peace OP-ED Subcontinental Musings
INDIA AGAINST ISIS
Fighting the ISIS: Why India should measure its steps The Indian defence minister’s recent interactions indicate an overt leaning towards military action against ISIS under the UN flag. While it may not be difficult to explain this stance, or even find apparent justification for it, there is a need for a more cautionary approach, says Firdaus Ahmed.
OP-ED Subcontinental Musings
INDIA’S PAK STANCE
Pakistani “idiocy”: A general gets it half right Commanding general of Western Command, KJ Singh recently described Pakistan’s repeated military posturing in the broad framework of history as “the hallmark of being idiotic”. But can India really afford to say that? Firdaus Ahmed presents an incisive inward-looking analysis.
Nat. Security OP-ED Subcontinental Musings
MILITARY POSTS
The military musical chairs Key army posts are currently vacant including two very sensitive posts. Firdaus Ahmed highlights the plausible reasons for this hold up by the Indian government and cautions there there could be deeper reasons for this than is being discussed in the media.
Nat. Security OP-ED
DISPROPORTIONATE RESPONSE DOCTRINE
The seeds of India’s ‘tough guy’ image Firdaus Ahmed deconstructs the various levels of state and individual dynamics that have led to India’s recent military doctrine of ‘disproportionate response’, as evident in various instances of encounters and killings, including the recent crackdown at the Myanmar border.
Nat. Security OP-ED Subcontinental Musings
ANTI-MUSLIM BIAS IN THE MILITARY
How deep does our prejudice run? Several recent media reports as well as scholarly literature point to a deep-seated communal bias in certain sections of Indian society. Firdaus Ahmed looks closely at the military and its mutations to explore if it can remain insulated from similar prejudicial leanings.
Nat. Security OP-ED Society Subcontinental Musings
MODI'S CHINA VISIT
China policy: Will economics trump the military stance? The Indian army’s evolving China strategy, leading to its preparedness for an offensive on that front, seems to have undergone a bit of dilution, as evident in North Block posturing. Is it merely a run-up to Modi’s China visit or is there more to it? Firdaus Ahmed explores.
Nat. Security OP-ED Subcontinental Musings
A NEW ROLE FOR INDIA
What will it mean to have India as a ‘security provider’? As India is poised to take on the role of a mature power centre in the Indian Ocean region, Firdaus Ahmed wonders if it will stick to its traditional defensive, accommodative strategic culture or if the move to a rightist polity will bring to the fore a different doctrine altogether.
Nat. Security Government OP-ED Subcontinental Musings
POLITICS AND DEFENCE
Challenges of the brass in a political minefield A recent announcement by the army chief that officers of all ranks of the army will donate a day’s pay to the PM’s relief fund for Kashmir floods has triggered an interesting exchange, throwing light on the broader trends of politicisation within the military. Firdaus Ahmed has more.
Nat. Security Government OP-ED Subcontinental Musings
TERROR BOAT CONTROVERSY
What the maritime 'non-incident' on New Year’s Eve tells us The recent episode in which a mysterious boat was intercepted by India off the coast, and blew itself up, may or may not have anything to do with Pakistani terror, but has important implications for national security strategy, external relations and domestic political dynamics. Firdaus Ahmed explains.
Nat. Security Government Opinions Subcontinental Musings
CULTURAL NATIONALISM
Where veterans refuse to give up, what does the future hold? The increasing power and influence of veterans of the Indian army, known for their natural affinity towards the right wing regime in power, holds important implications especially when one considers the extent of its permeation into the serving structure. Firdaus Ahmed explains.
Nat. Security OP-ED Subcontinental Musings
THE POLITICS OF JUSTICE
Is the army court’s verdict on the Machhil killings enough? The recent award of life sentences to the army personnel involved in the 2010 Macchil killings in J&K sends out a positive message, but there are deeper layers in the justice system that need introspection and overhaul in the pursuit of reconciliation. Firdaus Ahmed explains.
OP-ED Justice Subcontinental Musings
India Together offers an excellent forum for people from diverse fields of expertise to present their views, share their experiences and raise questions about where our country and society are headed in the future.
Amitabha Basu
  • Retired Scientist
  • National Physical
  • Laboratory
  • India Together reader