Bharat Karnad's blog

Terror of apathy

Terror bombings in Mumbai are, by now, a periodic occurrence, like the cyclones that hit India’s east coast every other year which nobody can do much about. Read more »

Good morning, ’Nam

Nations establish moral ascendancy over other nations only by victory in war. Shrugging off the possibility of American nuclear attack, China crossed the Yalu river in October 1950 and almost brought the United States-led forces in Korea to their knees, rubbed India’s nose in the dust in 1962 and in 1969 militarily stiff-armed the Soviet Union on the Ussuri river.

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Nuclear borderline

Every year, come January, the Indian and Pakistani governments exchange lists of nuclear facilities (along with their coordinates) that each side undertakes not to attack in case of hostilities. Presumably, new power stations and other sensitive nuclear military-related installations are added to the lists as and when these go onstream. Read more »

Himalayan Task Ahead

Historians cite American secretary of state John Foster Dulles inadvertently leaving out South Korea from the US defence perimeter in a seminal speech he delivered post-Second World War as one of the reasons for the Korean War in June 1950. This non-inclusion motivated the North Korean leader Kim Il-sung — aided and abetted by Mao Zedong’s China — to send his armies across the 38th Parallel into South Korea to unify the Korean peninsula. Read more »

5 Minutes to Nuclear Jihad?

It is a wonder that in 26/11, the jihadis after successfully breaching three layers of Indian maritime defence, inactive in all but name - the outer zone manned by the Indian Navy, the coastal zone patrolled by the Coast Guard, and the inner-most defensive line policed by Harbour patrols — merely shot up a couple of hotels when they could have done something really spectacular — a “Pearl Harbour” by sinking a good part of the Western Fleet anchored at the time in the Mumbai naval base, only a few hundred meters from where they landed.  Read more »

A Flying Lemon

The anger in Washington policy circles when the US fighter planes — the Lockheed-Martin F-16IN and the Boeing F-18 Super Hornet — did not make it to the Indian Air Force’s Medium-range Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) shortlist, was a thing to behold. It was as if an ungrateful India had reneged on a done aircraft deal — just rewards for easing India’s entry on to the verandah of the five-country nuclear weapons club. Read more »

Can India say ‘Don’t mess with us’?

The significant thing about the successful effort to locate and kill Osama bin Laden, the global symbol of Islamic extremism and head of the Al Qaeda terrorist organisation, is its doggedness. Read more »