Professor Badrul Alam, Head, Department of Political Science, JMI, released his book titled, ‘Indo-Us Relations: Dimensions and New Emerging Trends’ at the Department of Political Science on Tuesday, 27th August, 2013. The book is a collection of 15 essays edited by Professor Badrul Alam. Special guests for the book launch were Prof. Chintamani Mahapatra, School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University; and Dr. Manoj Joshi, Distinguished Fellow, Observer Research Foundation, Delhi.
Jamia Journal spoke to Prof. Alam about his book after its release. Following is an excerpt of the interview:
JJ: How did you conceive the idea of this book?
Basically American studies have been my fascination from the last three decades. Even my doctoral dissertation was about the Indo-US relations. The students who are under my supervision for their PhD degrees are also working on the same topic. As far as this book is concerned, I always wanted to write a book like this but I didn’t have sufficient time and motivation. Some of my students and family encouraged me to write.
JJ: How is the book structured like?
There are 15 chapters; two are written by me. In one of the chapters I am talking of the relationship in the 21st century: Entrenchment, engagement, convergence, divergence. I am looking at the issues at strategic level, at the level of soft power, educational exchange, economic aid and the asymmetric nature of relationship. In spite of the asymmetry, how India and US are trying to find commonalities and how they have matured their relationship. I have divided the books into how the relationship was before 1950’s and after that particularly in the cold war era.
JJ: The name of the book suggests “emerging new trends.” What are these emerging trends?
There are a lot of issues. For example life has not been same again after 9/11. The terrorism has nothing to do with, just like the way we face, Lashkar-e-Toiba or Al Qaeda but it is cyber terrorism. India and US have joined hands on counter-terrorism in the area of cyber terrorism. Another issue is Energy Security. This is the area where India and US do not see eye to eye with each other. For example, India supports Turkey-Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline but US does not want India it to trade with Iran for its own reasons. And also how to deal with China is another issue. It is a very big enigmatic factor. No one country knows how to deal with China. The best way to deal with china is a process called ‘congagement’ as introduced by Zalmay Khalizad. It is a judicious way of containment of Cold war era and the engagement of 21st century.
JJ: How do you think 2014 exit of US troops from Afghanistan will affect the Indo-US relations?
One of the things we can see after the exit of troops is that it cannot be a necessary a bilateral issue. It can be triangular or even rectangular issue that is with Pakistan and Afghanistan as well. America itself is not very sure how to balance Northern Alliance and at this time US is not sure what kind of assistance they need from India. Then there is Pakistan factor. Pakistan wants a pro-Pakistan regime in Afghanistan and that makes the whole issue very complex.
JJ: What is your opinion on the second Green Revolution in India and what will be the role of US?
The second green revolution will be different from the first green revolution. At that time we needed an all-out support from US but now we have technology. It will be more of a collaborative nature not a one way kind of thing.