Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Kautilya's Doctrine Dominates India's Pakistan Policy

“Every neighboring state is an enemy and the neighboring state's neighbor is a friend.”
 ― Kautilya, The Arthashastra

The name of Kautilya, meaning crooked, is invoked by former Indian foreign secretary Shyam Saran's book “How India Sees the World: Kautilya to the 21st Century”.   This invocation of Kautilya in the title of the book makes the above quote about "neighboring state is an enemy" particularly relevant to how Indian policymakers like Shyam Saran see Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Who was Kautilya?

Kautilya (“crooked”) is believed to be the pen name of the ancient Indian minister Chanakya who served Chandragupta Maurya, the founder of the Mauryan Empire (322 BC-185 BC). German sociologist Max Weber once called Kautilya's Arthashastra “truly radical ‘Machiavellianism’ . . . compared to it, Machiavelli’s The Prince is harmless.”

Arthashastra on Foreign Policy:

Some of Kautilya's Arthashastra’s "wisdom" deals with international relations and foreign policy which is laid out mainly in books 7, 11, and 12.

Kautilya presents a theory of international relations called the “circle of states,” or Rajamandala. It says hostile states are those that border the ruler’s state, forming a circle around it.  In turn, states that surround this set of hostile states form another circle around the circle of hostile states. This second circle of states can be considered the natural allies of the ruler’s state against the hostile states that lie between them. Put more succinctly, “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.”

Influence on India's Pakistan Policy:

Kautilya's Rajamdala (Circle of States) can be seen in action today in India’s foreign policy. It sees Afghanistan as a natural ally against Pakistan. Similarly, it sees Japan as a natural ally against China.

To understand how India uses Afghanistan against Pakistan, let's examine what former US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says: "India has always used Afghanistan as a second front against Pakistan. India has over the years been financing problems in Pakistan".

Bharat Karnad, a professor of national security studies at the Centre for Policy Research in New Delhi, recently acknowledged India's use of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) terrorist group against Pakistan in an Op Ed he wrote for Hindustan Times. Karnad believes US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is trying to get Pakistan's cooperation in Afghanistan by asking India to cut its support of  the TTP. Then he added that "Severing relations with TTP will mean India surrendering an active card in Pakistan and a role in Afghanistan as TTP additionally provides access to certain Afghan Taliban factions".

Summary:

The foreign policy doctrine enunciated by Kautilya, the ancient Indian Machiavelli, continues to guide India's foreign policy vis-a-vis its neighbors, particularly Pakistan. Kautilya's Rajamdala (Circle of States) theory can be seen in action today in India's use of Afghanistan against Pakistan. Unfortunately, the Pakistan phobia in India is so deeply ingrained that the Indian policy vis-a-vis Pakistan is not likely to change in the foreseeable future.

Viewpoint From Overseas host Misbah Azam discusses this subject with Ali H. Cemendtaur and Riaz Haq (www.riazhaq.com)

https://youtu.be/nzNstymhlnM




Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Why is India Sponsoring Terrorism in Pakistan?

Ex-Indian Spy Documents RAW's Successes in Pakistan

Has Modi Stepped Up India's Cover War Against Pakistan?

Ex RAW Chief AS Dulat Blames Advani For Agra Summit Failure

Pakistan ISI: Afghanistan's Bogeyman

India-Pakistan Cricket Diplomacy

Counter-insurgencyOperation ZarbeAzb

India's Abiding Hostility Toward Pakistan 

India's Israel Envy: Will Modi Attack Pakistan?

India's Pakistan Phobia

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ironically the Arthashastra was written in Taxila University where chanakya was the head of the political science department and where he raised the adopted orphan Chandra Gupta maurya. But hey Pakistani history begins with Bin Qasim! Thanks for gifting India all your pre Islamic history and making a fool of yourself by claiming to be Arab and Turk descendents..

Majumdar said...

Sirji

there is only one problem. If we assume that India is following Kautaliya's principle, then it also means that a muslim nation Afghan is enemy of Pakistan. Woh Kaise ho gaya.

Anonymous said...

Too bad for you. Maybe Pakistan should accept it's natural status, as the land of Pakistan had always been - a vassal/tributary state to the gangetic empire based in Delhi. That is the natural order that will preserve peace.

Sri said...

Kautilya stated the fact which is true for everyone.

If we see japan as an ally, japan see the same in us without following Kautilya.

What is string of pearl if not Rajamandala?

Riaz Haq said...

Majumdar: "If we assume that India is following Kautaliya's principle, then it also means that a muslim nation Afghan is enemy of Pakistan. "


India finds Afghanistan useful to squeeze Pakistan. Indian intelligence is spending a lot of money in Afghanistan to promote the Pakistan ISI as the bogeyman, according to a British major who served in Afghanistan.

During his three tours of duty in Afghanistan, Major Gallimore could hear all the radio conversations going on but never heard any Pakistani accent. He did, however, see "buckets and buckets of money" and rising Indian influence in Afghan Army that blamed Pakistan for all their problems. Pakistan is their bogeyman.

http://www.riazhaq.com/2017/08/pakistan-isi-bogeyman-of-afghanistan.html

Riaz Haq said...

Anon: "Too bad for you. Maybe Pakistan should accept it's natural status, as the land of Pakistan had always been - a vassal/tributary state to the gangetic empire based in Delhi. That is the natural order that will preserve peace."

Peace is just as necessary for India as for Pakistan. And "the natural order" in your head is not conducive to regional and global peace.

Here's Shyam Saran on this subject as reported in the Indian media:

Replying to a question on the role of the SAARC, he said, it is today "more important for India" than any other country.

He said SAARC was the "only vehicle" which India had for bringing about the kind of economic integration that it was committed to and that without it any hope of playing an effective regional or global role would not mean anything.

"Your ability to be more successful regionally as an Asian power, your ability to play a credible and effective global role, is very much dependent on how you manage your own periphery," he added.

"But if that becomes a constant constraining factor and if your are constantly involved in trying to deal with crises operating in your neighbourhood, most of the oxygen you have is taken away by Pakistan....how much you have left for doing other things," he said.

http://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/2017/sep/27/dont-see-india-pakistan-grand-reconciliation-in-foreseeable-future-shyam-saran-1663749.html

Anonymous said...

You may want to watch chanakya the TV series...childhood to founding of Mauryan Empire..
https://m.youtube.com/watch?list=PL14A74E6328E202AA&v=fHGDEffRjE8

Anonymous said...

Indians have Kautilya,Chinese have Sun Tsu,The West has Machiavelli.

Since Pakistanis revel in disowning their Pre Islamic heritage what is the shariah compliant handbook for statecraft?

Riaz Haq said...

Anon: "Indians have Kautilya,Chinese have Sun Tsu,The West has Machiavelli. Since Pakistanis revel in disowning their Pre Islamic heritage what is the shariah compliant handbook for statecraft? "


It's not about being a specific nationality or religion....it's about the ideas. Clearly, the West does not view Machiavelli and his ideas in a positive light, nor does the world. However, it seems to me that you and some of your fellow Indians embrace Kautilya's ideas of statecraft in spite of the fact that the world sees Kautilya as much more radical than Machiavelli.

As to Islamic statecraft, there are many philosophers who have written about...for example Ibn Khulfun and Al Farabi. The bottom line for them is that you can not divorce morality from statecraft.

Majumdar said...

Sirji

Please stop blaming india for a long term bad blood between Afghanistan and al Bakistan.
Fact is, Afghanistan never accepted the Durand line and Pak army / ISI want their pithoos in Afghanistan (talibans are pithoos)

https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/10/the-durand-line-afghanistans-controversial-colonial-era-border/264064/

Riaz Haq said...

Majumdar: "Please stop blaming india for a long term bad blood between Afghanistan and al Bakistan.
Fact is, Afghanistan never accepted the Durand line and Pak army / ISI want their pithoos in Afghanistan (talibans are pithoos)
"

It's not unusual for neighbors to have border disputes; what is unusual in South Asia is the extent to which India actively promotes and exploits the Durand Line issue to use Afghanistan against Pakistan as part of its well-thought-out policy following the teachings of Kautilya the crooked.

NBRX said...

The correct and closest sanskrit to english translation for Kautilya is "sagacious" not crooked. Yes, Kautilya is often compared to Machiavelli.

It is fair to mention that Kautilya is not merciless all the time and he also writes about the moral duty of the king/government: he summarizes the duty of the king/government by saying “The happiness of the subjects is the happiness of the king; their welfare is his. His own pleasure is not his good but the pleasure of his subjects is his good”.

Some scholars have seen in the ideas of Kautilya a combination of Chinese Confucianism, benevolence, and disciplined Legalism.

Riaz Haq said...

Ex Chiefs of #RAW, #ISI meet in #London, Both agree war not an option, #India and #Pakistan talks must via @htTweets

http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/barbs-banter-as-top-indian-and-pakistani-spooks-meet-at-lse/story-GoM1XmsZDVPTkyTAO4Ig7I.html

AS Dulat and Ehsan-ul-Haq, who served as head of the RAW and ISI respectively in the early 2000s, came together at a seminar in the LSE that was marked by much banter and barbs.

Dulat and Ehsan, who served in their respective offices in the early 2000s, were key players in sensitive issues, often taking adversarial postures and actions, but at LSE they could not agree more with each other on Jammu and Kashmir, terrorism and peace talks.

Ehsan dwelt on what he called the “mass uprising in Jammu and Kashmir since July last year”, following the death of jihadi commander Burhan Wani, and harped on the need to resume the stalled dialogue between the two countries. Dulat agreed with him that India had committed “mistakes” and created “a mess” in the state.

Dulat also agreed that talks should be resumed between the two sides, since war is not an option and dialogue is the only way out. India, he said, needs to make an exception and talk along with terrorism (New Delhi has ruled out parleys until Pakistan-backed terrorism is stopped).

The former RAW chief said: “The magic of it all, as Ehsan-sab said, is mainstreaming and also democracy. The mistakes that we are making (in Jammu and Kashmir), apart from the mess that we have created, still not talking to people, high time we started talking to people…We need to deal with Kashmir in a more civilised manner.

“These red lines about Hurriyat…we have got it absolutely wrong because the whole idea of talking to the Hurriyat is to mainstream them, get them into the democratic process…The PDP-BJP coalition was expected to bring Jammu and Srinagar closer, but it has taken them further apart because Kashmiris have never forgiven the PDP for bringing the RSS into the (Kashmir) valley.

“In the BJP’s mind, the RSS may have come into the valley but the RSS is not going to achieve anything there,” he added.

Another point of agreement between the two former spooks was the need for cooperation between Indian and Pakistan intelligence agencies.

Dulat, an old Kashmir hand who headed India’s external intelligence agency during 1999-2000, said there were instances when interaction between RAW and ISI had “produced more than the desired results”, and Ehsan had been witness to at least one such major result.

Amid knowing guffaws and smiles, Dulat chided Ehsan and reminded him of his “relationship” with his Indian counterpart, of India tipping off Pakistan about a potential threat to the life of former president Pervez Musharraf, and of covert talks defusing a major flashpoint in the early 2000s.

Dulat said: “He (Ehsan) is still using the ploy of plausible deniability and being rather modest about his relationship which was well known. And from all that I know it was a great relationship that produced results. I think Sir, you recall the 2003 ceasefire took place because of you and your friend.”

The remarks evoked laughter from Ehsan.

Dulat added, “And if I can go beyond, your friend also tipped you with intelligence which may have saved Gen Musharraf’s life. And I think that is something that even Gen Musharraf in a way acknowledges. So I don’t think we need to deny that. It is a feather in your cap, Sir, and a feather in your friend’s cap.”