23 November, 2020

A Lengthy Courtship

We in India lack contemporary history of the digestible, Datta-Ray kind. This book will sit well on our shelves.

A Lengthy Courtship
Sunanda K. Datta-Ray’s huge book on Indo-US relations since the early ’80s joins the shelf-load of books on how the world’s largest democracies deal with each other. Datta-Ray is one of India’s most respected journalists. An elegant writer with an eye for story-telling and a no-nonsense analytical pen, he traces the course of Indo-US ties from the time Indira Gandhi opened them in 1982.

The title Waiting for America refers to Datta-Ray’s basic argument which is that India has been and is, even now, waiting for the US to tilt to New Delhi diplomatically, particularly in relation to Islamabad, and to craft a richer, more thorough-going partnership with India economically, technologically and strategically.

According to Datta-Ray, every Indian leader, contrary to popular perception, has courted the US since Indira Gandhi. Rajiv Gandhi, V.P. Singh, Chandra Shekhar, Narasimha Rao, H.D. Deve Gowda, I.K. Gujral and A.B. Vajpayee all recognised that India’s stance towards the US had to change. Economics was at the heart of the change: by 1982, India...



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