Thursday, August 24, 2006

Book Review - ' The India Doctrine'

Bangla Review of ‘The India Doctrine” in the Naya Diganta of December 17, 2006 at –

Bangla Review of ‘The India Doctrine” in The Daily Sangram of December 11, 2006 at –

Bangla Review of ‘The India Doctrine” in The Daily Inqilab of November 30, 2006 (last item) at –


“The India Doctrine” ----- my review and comments

Shah Mohammed Saifuddin, Canada

October 29, 2006

India will not tolerate any external intervention in a conflict situation in any South Asian country, if the intervention has any implicit or explicit anti-Indian implication. No South Asian government must, therefore, ask for external military assistance with an anti-Indian bias from any country.” (Bhabani Sen Gupta ‘The India Doctrine’ India Today, 31 August 1983)

It is obvious from the above statement made by a renowned Indian strategic analyst that India perceives that all the smaller neighbours around fall within her security orbit and thinks these countries must sub-serve Indian interest, particularly in security and foreign policy matters.

Mr. MBI Munshi has eloquently described the far reaching Indian strategic vision in South Asia in his book titled “The India Doctrine”.

Inspired by the much talked about ‘Nehru Doctrine’ the current strategic planners in India have successfully tightened India’s grip on land-locked Nepal, Bhutan, and Sikkim as well as strategic Island of Sri-Lanka through various treaty obligations and carefully cultivated socio-political relations. Bangladesh being a close neighbour of India is also a prime target of India’s strategic planners to advance the strategic vision of India.

The writer has made a painstaking effort to elaborate the Indian attempt to reduce Bangladesh into a vessel state to be used to consolidate India’s grip on strategic North Eastern states and bolster Indian military preparation against any future Chinese invasion. The book has detail information on Indian involvement in different phases of Bangladesh’s history and how India advanced its strategic interest in this country. The writer has made commendable efforts to expose the nefarious activities of RAW—the prime Indian intelligence agency, inside Bangladesh.

RAW has targeted the following national sectors of Bangladesh to infiltrate its operatives to advance its strategic interest in Bangladesh:

· Politics

· Media

· Culture

· Armed forces

The writer has closely observed the ever increasing political violence in the country and the benefits India derives from it. The national leaders in India shamelessly support a particular political party in Bangladesh to create division and destabilize the political landscape of the country. The more volatile the political situation in Bangladesh will get, the less economic progress we will achieve and more dependent we will be on India for our economic survival. This is precisely the reason why RAW wants to see the political unrest to perpetuate in the country.

India is aggressively pursuing a policy of maligning Bangladesh through clever manipulation of the local and international media. The objective is that to isolate Bangladesh from rest of the world and make it a pariah state. Our isolation from the international community would give India an upper hand in our domestic affairs. RAW has hand picked a few misguided people in Bangladesh, who believe in United India, to conduct subversive activities within the country These heinous activities are being conducted under the direct guidance and supervision of RAW. India wants to uproot the anti-India section from the Bangladesh politics or at least kill its political growth.

The author has also pointed out the fact that, Indian intelligence agency has picked up several highly ambitious intellectuals of the country to use them to defame Bangladesh and its culture. Bangladesh has been the land of people who are proud of their cultural heritage and tradition. It is the belief of RAW that Bangladesh will remain strong as long as this sense of pride in cultural heritage and tradition is there within the people. So, they have drawn up a clever plan to impose West Bengali Hindu culture in the name of Bengali culture upon the people of Bangladesh. A handful of corrupt and ambitious cultural activists are being used to propagate West Bengali Hindu culture to destroy the uniqueness of the Bangladeshi culture. RAW has also infiltrated its agents into various cultural organizations such as Bangla academy, and Shilpakola academy to promote Indian culture within Bangladesh. The cultural ministry is just playing into the hands of the Indian intel agency.

The armed forces are the symbol of national strength and sovereignty. Bangladesh armed forces have played a glorious role in the liberation war and other national crises. India has been following an aggressive policy to weaken the armed forces of the country through spreading propaganda and cleverly designed treaties. Right after the independence of Bangladesh, India entered into a 25 year friendship agreement with Bangladesh to promote good relations between the two nations. As per the treaty, Bangladesh would not raise a standing army for national defence. Indian military forces would help in any national crisis to protect the people of Bangladesh. To implement the treaty the Mujib govt. did not spend money on the modernization of the armed forces rather raised a militia force called rakkhi bahini to downgrade the role and prestige of the national armed forces. Though after the assassination of Mujib the subsequent govt. forged a deep defence relation with the govt. of China, but the treaty was an obstacle and deterred Bangladesh from signing any military agreement with China. This has caused enormous damage to our armed forces because in the absence of any military agreement with China we could not obtain a lot of sensitive military technology. As a result the required infrastructure and manpower for high tech weapons manufacturing could not be installed until 1997.

The disintegration of Bangladesh is in the interest of India and absorption of Chittagong Hill Tracts is the final plan of RAW. Recently the Indian notorious intel agency has extended its vision and included the creation of a Hindu state within Bangladesh as a priority plan. The Indian interest in CHT generates mainly from its proximity to Bay of Bengal that can be used to provide the troubled north eastern region with a valuable access to the sea and also the natural resources of CHT can used to feed the north eastern states. Shanti Bahini is just a pawn and the greater Indian plan envisions amalgamation of the CHT region to pacify the troubled north eastern region through increased economic benefits and consolidation of security through weakening Bangladesh and reducing the space for the rebel groups such as ULFA to operate.

The inclusion of East Bengal in Pakistan was not liked by many Hindus at the time of the 1947 partition. This led a group of fanatical Hindus to propagate for the creation of a Hindu state within the East Pakistan. A movement was launched with that aim from a platform named ‘Jono mukti Andolon’ soon after 1947 from the Indian city of Calcutta. The Jonomukti was reconstituted in Dhaka in late 1969 under the lead of Mohindranath Bhartacharya. The choosing of the time to launch the platform in Dhaka could not be any better, for the people of Dhaka were at the peak of an anti Pakistan movement at the particular period of time. It is reported that the fall of the Mujib regime in Dhaka in August 1975 prompted a former Awami League member of parliament, Chittoronjon Sutar, to move to Calcatta to give a fresh impetus to the movement in the changed circumstances. Unconfirmed reports also have it that the President of this movement, Sri Partha Samontha, is in fact Mr. Sutar’s pseudonym. This Chittaranjan Sutar, an ex-Awami League M.P, is at the helm of Bangabhumi movement. The Hindu state is planned to comprise of the districts of greater Khulna, Jessore, Kushtia, Faridpur, Barisal and Patuakhali of Bangladesh. An armed wing of the organisation named 'Bangasena' has also been formed. The Commander of this armed force is Mr Kalidas Vaidya. The main organiser and trainer of Bangasena is Arun Ghosh.

The author has expressed his grave concern about the formation of a strategic relation between India and America. The impact of such a relationship on the security of the other nations of South Asia could be far reaching. The American initiative to arm India to counter China will have an adverse impact on the regional military balance, which will ultimately contribute to regional instability. The yawning military imbalance between India and other regional countries will be a source of future conflicts in the region. It is a known fact that America supplies arms to the regional powers to destabilize a region where they have strategic interest. Middle East is one such example. I think South Asia will be made volatile to subserve America's ambition in South and South-East Asia. The dialogue among the neighbours is the best way to resolve regional disputes. Forging deep strategic and military relations with a super power may not serve India's best interest in the long run. India must not forget she has to live with the neighbours forever and she cannot choose neighbours. The best security for India is the best relations with her neighbours.

The writer has also included some invaluable articles written by Bangladeshi, Nepali, and Sri-Lankan strategic analysts for the readers to know about India’s strategic game plan in the region and how it is affecting the smaller nations in South Asia.

In my opinion, Mr. M.B.I Munshi has done a commendable job in analyzing the entire gamut of the strategic relations between India and its smaller neighbours in the book. It is my understanding that the readers would get a good insight into the strategic vision of India and how it wants to reshape the political and even the geographical landscape of the region.

As for the price, the book is moderately priced and well within the reach of the readers from Bangladesh and abroad.

I wish a great success for Mr. M.B.I. Munshi and his book, “The India Doctrine”.

Name: Shah Mohammed Saifuddin

Bangladesh Strategic & Development Forum

Toronto Canada


News From Bangladesh


The India Doctrine: Book review

Zainal Abedin

October 18 2006

The theory of greater India is a threat not only to South Asian countries, but also the entire Indian Ocean region.

I always hail those who try to uncover India's hegemonic design and its notorious intelligence agency — RAW that ransacks the entire South Asian region to implement so-called ' India doctrine.'

The theory of greater India is a threat not only to South Asian countries, but also the entire Indian Ocean region. So M. B. I. Munshi's book deserves appreciation, as it will certainly awaken and alert the concerned policymakers of the region and beyond. The readers will get clear idea that the problems, including the secessionist ones, in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal are facing today were created and are nursed by India to implement its hegemonic designs.

Munshi accommodated 18 articles out of which credits of nine go to himself . The remaining nine articles are from contributors from Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka . It would have been better if he could accommodate some articles of Indian and Pakistani writers. That could weigh the merit of the book further.

The main theme of this book is Indian dream for greater and unified India , initially of the British India and later to bring those countries under Indian fold — from Afghanistan to Indonesia — that the Hindus believe were once under the empire of Rama or Ashoka. Inclusion of four contributors from Nepal and Sri Lanka and their concern for their respective countries are relevant to the theme of the book.

By attaching special interest in and more space to Bangladesh 's problems with India, the editor virtually uncovered this reality that Bangladesh is the most immediate and prime target of India. Indian policymakers feel that separate existence of Bangladesh is a serious threat to India. The Indian propagandists say that for India Bangladesh is more dangerous than Pakistan. For this reason Bangladesh tops the list of Indian hegemonic agenda. The socio-political violence that Bangladesh faces today is the creation of India to squeeze Bangladesh in every possible way. The board-bound 288-page book undoubtedly should be an eye-opener for the Bangladeshi policymakers and their counterparts in South Asian region and beyond.

The book on such issue should get better publicity and media coverage. The Bangladesh Research Forum undertook a praiseworthy initiative in publishing such a book on national and regional issues. This book will surely encourage others to come forward to uncover Indian designs against Bangladesh and other smaller countries. I wish the book gets proper appreciation and recognition.

The India Doctrine

Edited by MBI Munshi (

Published by Bangladesh Research Forum

Dhaka July 2006

Pages: 288


South Asia Focus

News From Bangladesh

The Muslim Weekly


Book Review: ' The India Doctrine'

by Isha Khan


Adorned in a saffron red jacket and embellished with a detailed map of
South Asia the concept of an India Doctrine has been introduced to the readers in Bangladesh recently. The book 'The India Doctrine' has been published by the Bangladesh Research Forum and edited by Barrister M.B.I. Munshi and is priced at Tk. 300. Munshi's contribution to the book constitutes the largest section with several other writers from Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka providing some useful and informative chapters.

The book comes complete with a foreword written by esteemed scholar, Professor Ataur Rahman of
Dhaka University who sets the theme of the book. We are reminded by Prof. Rahman that while India might have its own rationale for framing its regional policy compatible with its national interests, the fact remains that constant apprehensions, mistrust and tensions between India and the smaller neighbors including Bangladesh had its negative effects on any meaningful cooperation and security in the region.

This introduction neatly moves us into the chapters written by Munshi which are a series of discussions that covers the relations between
India and East Pakistan/Bangladesh from 1947 to the present. It attempts a historical and geo-strategic appraisal of relations between the two countries but also offers a more wide ranging analysis involving the Indian external intelligence operations in Bangladesh and outside. The central idea of the chapters when taken as a whole appears to be that the India Doctrine as implemented by successive administrations in India is not limited to simply harming the economic interests of [its neighbours] but also has a historical and intellectual underpinning that comes from the thoughts and writings of Jawaharlal Nehru and Madhav Sadashiv Golwalkar amongst others. The idea of a United India (or an 'Akhand Bharat') according to the author is still a goal of Indian policy making in South Asia.

Prof. Rahman is forced in his foreword to contend that this thesis may seem implausible and 'far-fetched' but also points out that Munshi supplements his ideas with an exhaustive and elaborate set of references and notes to back up his argument. However, a defect in this intricate framework of references is that the chapters lack a bibliography which would have made it easier to verify the arguments advanced by the author. The chapters also seems to be hampered by the fact that they were written originally as a 3 part article and the author clearly has had some difficulty in framing his arguments within this constriction. However, as we all know Francis Fukuyama and Samuel Huntington both started their seminal works in a similar manner with articles in prominent journals before they were rendered into book form and this does not seem to have affected the stream of their discussion and thoughts.

As this may be, the principle cause of disquiet will certainly be Munshi's interpretation of significant historical events and his commentary on the motivations of characters such as Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and Ayub Khan who are all now long dead. I was certainly surprised by some of his findings but it was difficult to find fault here as most of his views are backed-up with thorough research and investigation. His chapters on the 1971 war and the insurgency in the CHT are probably the most tantalizing in terms of historical data and comparisons.

Some of Munshi's arguments are further buttressed by a short chapter by Khodeza Begum who makes reference to events that occurred during the 1990's related to clandestine meetings held in Dhaka concerning the reunification of the subcontinent. In her chapter, there is an extensive discussion on the policies being pursued by the Indian government that according to her is detrimental to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of
Bangladesh. She analyses the concept of a United Bengal that has featured in some of the Indian political literature in recent years. She has also summarized the tactics and strategies adopted by the Indian government and its intelligence agency to undermine the unity of Bangladesh and to inculcate the population of the country with a perspective adverse to the nations integrity.

Although solidly written there is a problem with the length of the chapter as well as the dated materials used by the author. A more contemporary approach may have served better but the evidence seems irrefutable and the author should update her research before a second edition is considered.

In a sudden change of location Brig. Gen. M. Sakhawat Hossain inexplicably takes us all the way to the
Indian Ocean and the emerging strategic scenarios being played out in the area. One may legitimately question the relevance to the overall context and theme of the book but the author makes this abundantly clear when he remarks that rivalries in the South Asian region are primarily based on events in 1971 and India's intent on dominating the region has had to appreciate the ground realities that this cannot be achieved alone. Hossain expertly explains the intricate alliances being forged in the region and the importance of the Indian Ocean in the strategic thinking of India, China, the USA and Pakistan. His comments on the North-East insurgency and the recent uprising in Nepal are highly commendable and very insightful especially in the latter case where he had visited prior to writing the chapter.

Following the chapters by the Bangladeshi authors mentioned above come the section written by the Nepali writers. In the case of Madan Prasad Khanal, Nishchal Basnyat and Sanjay Upadhya their contributions to the book are highly articulate, elegant and almost near impeccable. Each author discusses differing aspects of Indian interference and intervention in Nepali internal affairs and in some cases provides possible solutions to these problems. But with a clear conception of the implications of Indian domination on
Nepal Dr. Shastra Dutta Pant appeared a little confused in his expressions.

The final chapters of the book are by two Sri Lankan writers Dr Rohan Gunaratna and Arbinda Acharya. Both writers collaborated to produce a single chapter on the Sri Lankan attitude to Indian interference or as the authors themselves put it, "India's involvement in Sri Lankan ethnic imbroglio has been one of the most controversial, ironic as well as tragic aspects of New Delhi's foreign policy." While concentrating on the Sri Lankan situation the writers also manage to draw in examples from
Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal and Bhutan to back up their case on Indian aspirations in South Asia. Of significance is the Indian involvement in the protracted and apparently insoluble conflict with the Tamils. The chapter also involves a geostrategic appraisal of Sri Lanka and its growing relationship with China and Pakistan. It is unfortunate therefore that the authors were not as forceful about Indian interventions in Sri Lanka especially during the time of the premiership of Rajiv Gandhi. The chapter seems somewhat apologetic about Indian intervention rather than condemnatory which would have been an appropriate response from Sri Lankan nationals.


The Financial Express

Dhivehi Observer

Global Geopolitics News

Global Politician

News From Bangladesh

Shodalap (1)

Shodalap (2)

Thomas Paine’s Corner

Daily Muslims

Peoples Review (scroll down to the bottom of page – 7th Sept 2006 issue)


M M Haque said...

Dear Mr. Munshi,

Forewords made me to look for the book and read it sooner.
Topics itself not only reflects on our regular state and social aspects but on strategical purview should be an interesting reading. When only noisy ambiguous speeches become the metaphor, research based analyses should emerge to enlightened this nation, expect Mr.Munshi's endeavor would be a help towards this aspect.

M M Haque
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

ISHK said...

I join Haque. Such research is the demand of the time. Munshi proved to be a true son of the soil. A Bhumiputra.

Razib Rashedin said...

Sounds interesting ! Let me know if there's any way to get this book in UK. Can't wait to go through your research. Since the idea of 'research' is somehow prohibited in Bangladesh, I hope this book will be able to enlighten our fellow Bangladeshis in a positive way.

Thanks !

ISHK said...

Munshi, you need to market the book in UK and USA soon.

Madan Khanal said...

Dear Mr. Munshi,

The book plugs a central gap in the current deliberations on South Asia. The rich array of views from Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal should dispel many myths and illuminate many obscurities in the evolving debate on one of the most important regions of the world.

Your contribution stands out as a superb scholarly enterprise. Your research is impeccable and analysis first rate. Brig. Gen. Hossain's chapter on Nepal, in particular, provides a refreshing perspective on the sequence of events as well as on how the choices and events of today would go on to influence tomorrow's South Asia.

I believe scholarly initiatives like this should become more frequent through media articles, journals and books.Thank you again for your laudable initiative and for allowing me to be part of it.

With best wishes,

Madan Khanal

Sanjay Upadhya said...

Dear Mr. Munshi:

I received the book this morning. It is certainly an impressive volume. The compilation of informed perspectives from Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal has made this a very timely and valuable contribution to South Asian studies.

I will certainly do my best to promote the book among friends and associates here and get back to you with their comments.

Allow me once again to thank you for your painstaking effort.

With best wishes,
Sanjay Upadhya

Barrister Mainul Hosein said...

Dear Mr. Munshi,

I am surprised that at your young age you have been able to publish such a critical book based on research. You have tried to expose the hegemonic attitude of our neighbor India.

But at the same time you will also agree that big powers will always try to impose their influence on weak countries. Blaming India cannot be enough. The small countries must be better organized through better leadership. We must have that strategy as an active consideration. A small country is not necessarily weak in the present day world; only the weak leadership makes a country weak.

I have to admit that I have not gone through your whole book. But I am sure your book will add a new perspective and inspire a new awareness among the small countries around India.

I thank you for sending a copy of your incisive book.

Anonymous said...

It's sad that your narrow-minded and one-sided work was reviewed by only the Razakar newspapers. That tells the whole thing. You will get more mileage if you start writing on much more evil and sinister organization, ISI.

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