Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Discussion at the Department of Political Science, Kerala University

I was recently at the Department of Political Science, Kerala University, my alma mater (I did my Masters here). Went to the Department for meeting my professors, but ended up doing a lecture on "Changing Sino-Indian Military Equations," followed by an interaction for about 45 minutes. Curiously enough, there were a lot of questions on the rising Chinese capabilities and their tactics, some of which are meant to keep India under pressure and seek a compromise, thereafter, on the border issue. I found this curious because in Kerala, even among academics, there is a general pro-Left or the anti-US sentiment which is quite strong.

The pro-Left/anti-US sentiment is strong and this was in fact visible during a lecture that I was doing in one of the colleges in Cochin two years back. India was thick in the debate on India-US nuclear deal then and I was making a presentation on Indo-US ties in general. As I started explaining the nuclear deal and detailed as to how it is a good deal for India, few of the faculty members went out and later on, over a cup of coffee, they were in a sense questioning me as to how could I support a deal with the United States. And I spent the next 45 minutes explaining that this is a deal that benefits India immensely.

I must make a mention about this survey. The Department understakes surveys on a regular basis on a range of issues across the State. In fact, in one of the national security surveys, on a question regarding India's threat perceptions, Pakistan was listed as number followed by the US; China was nowhere in the picture.

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