22 June, 2021

The Team That Failed

An honest account of the contradictions in India's Lanka mission

The Team That Failed
INDIA'S former foreign secretary J.N. Dixit, who was also India's high commissioner in Sri Lanka from April 1985 to April 1989, deserves to be commended for presenting the first authentic version on the most critical phase of India's Sri Lanka policy. First-hand accounts by IPKF generals did not look at this policy in its totality. But Dixit's narrative of India's involvement in Sri Lanka's ethnic conflict is bold and balanced, his assessment of related events and individuals is detailed, informative and insightful, despite a few factual slips. And where needed, the author is unsparing in his criticism of self and superiors. From the point of view of historians, scholars and analysts, this book is a valuable 'source material' and, like Y.D. Gundevia's Out -side the Archives, will rank in the category of the best among the memoirs written by India's former foreign secretaries.

The main thrust of Dixit's argument is that India's overall policy towards Sri Lanka's ethnic conflict—being governed by the concern for Sri Lankan Tamils' legitimate rights and interests, the...

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