Numer 40 Modern South Asia: A Space of Intercultural Dialogue

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Numer 40 (1/2016) 

Table of contents:

» Modern South Asia: a Space of Intercultural Dialogue and a Distinct Area of Research. Editors’ Preface

» Klaus Karttunen, Ancient Traditions and Modern Challenges: South Asian Studies Today (introductory article)

DOI: 10.12797/Politeja.13.2016.40.02

Klaus Karttunen

University of Helsinki, Finland

Ancient Traditions and Modern Challenges: South Asian Studies Today


In order to show the mutual importance and usefulness of classical and modern Indology to each other, the author presents a series of cases, where ancient things are present (and often reinterpreted and modified) in modern India, in fields such as religion and philosophy, social hierarchy, popular entertainment, language and linguistics and traditions of scholarship. Keywords: Indology, South Asia, Sanskrit, Hinduism

» Shantanu Chakrabarti, Interpreting the Legacy of Partition in the Subcontinent: Indian and Pakistani Perspectives

DOI: 10.12797/Politeja.13.2016.40.03

Shantanu Chakrabarti

University of Calcutta, India

Interpreting the legacy of partition in the subcontinent: Indian and Pakistani perspectives

The twentieth century partitions, it has been argued, have been essentially the by -products of three interlinked global developments: (a) decolonisation; (b) democratisation and the (c) Cold War dynamics. The partition of the Indian subcontinent, in particular, bore the imprint of the maelstrom produced by the intertwining of these three forces. The process of partition in South Asia did not only involve simple division and reorganisation of territories but was accompanied by devolution and indigenisation of political institutions and governance, placing partition at the heart of the process of nation -state formation. In this sense, the longue duree process of the partitioning of the subcontinent has continued to cast its long shadow over the nation -building process leading to internal discrepancies and the development of regional dynamics, often competitive and conflictual in nature.

Keywords: Partition; India; Pakistan; ethnicity; security; communalism; South Asia; imperialism; conflict

» Renata Czekalska, Robert Kłosowicz, Satyagraha and South Africa. Part I: The Origins of the Relationship between the Idea and the Place in Mahatma Gandhi’s Writings

DOI: 10.12797/Politeja.13.2016.40.04

Renata Czekalska

Jagiellonian University in Kraków, Poland

Robert Kłosowicz

Jagiellonian University in Kraków, Poland

Satyagraha and South Africa Part I: The Origins of the Relationship Between the Idea and the Place in Mahatma Gandhi’s Writings

The article presents the results of research carried out mainly on Mahatma Gandhi’s written statements which the authors refer to both a historical and socio -political background. It is the first part of the planned two -part study on mutual relations between Mahatma Gandhi’s satyagraha and South Africa, therefore it is focused on the interdependencies between the origin of the idea and the place where it was invented. The authors seek to answer two main questions: 1) whether Gandhi has entered into a dialogue with the native people of South Africa, and 2) whether Gandhi’s idea of non -violent fighting for social rights included the native population of South Africa. The study also presents an outline of the evolution of Gandhi’s attitudes towards Africans and the Coloured People.

Keywords: Gandhi in South Africa; the idea of satyagraha; human rights; social equality

» Agnieszka Kuczkiewicz-Fraś, Over the Khyber. Afghans and South Asia – History of Contacts

DOI: 10.12797/Politeja.13.2016.40.05

Agnieszka Kuczkiewicz­‑Fraś

Jagiellonian University in Kraków, Poland


Over the Khyber Afghans and South Asia – History of Contacts

Political, economic and cultural connections between Afghanistan and South Asia have been long -lasting and strong throughout the centuries, not only because of the geographical closeness of the regions, but also due to the genetic relationship of their peoples. In the 21st century, due to rapid geopolitical changes and globalization the mutual relations of these two regions are becoming more and more important, not only on bilateral level, but also from the point of view of the regional and international interests. The aim of this article is to concisely show how the relations between Afghanistan and South Asia developed over the history, with special attention given to the current state of affair. Keywords: Afghanistan, South Asia, SAARC, Indo -Afghan relations

» Xavier Romero-Frias, Rules for Maldivian Trading Ships Travelling Abroad (1925) and a Sojourn in Southern Ceylon

DOI: 10.12797/Politeja.13.2016.40.06

Xavier Romero­‑Frias independent scholar

Rules for Maldivian Trading Ships Travelling Abroad (1925) and a Sojourn in Southern Ceylon

‘Rules for Maldivian Trading Ships,’ the translated document that forms the first part of the paper is a twelve -page manual published by the Royal House on the rules that were to be followed by Maldivian oceangoing ships while on their yearly trading trip to “the continent” (kara). Kara referred primarily to the island of Ceylon (Sri Lanka), the foreign place that Maldivian traders found most convenient to reach. This trade originated in most major islands of the archipelago in the past, including Minicoy (Maliku), but was vital for the communities living in the atolls located at the southern end of the chain. The second part of the paper includes the translation of a personal account by an old Maldivian trader about his experiences in and around Gali (Galle, Sri Lanka), the description of conditions in the harbour and an inland town in Ceylon, as well as the friendships he established there with local people.

Keywords: Indian Ocean, trade, Maldives, Sunni Islam, Intercultural dialogue

» Carmen Brandt, Spirituality, Atrocities and IT – German Images of India

DOI: 10.12797/Politeja.13.2016.40.07

Carmen Brandt

Martin Luther University Halle -Wittenberg, Germany

Spirituality, Atrocities and IT – German Images of India

Imaginations of India have been an important ingredient of the German literary and media landscape since the end of the 18th century. Though they are highly diverse, these images are equally often emotionally charged and situated somewhere between euphoric glorifications and deprecating condemnations. When Germany and India were celebrating the 60th anniversary of their diplomatic relations, the time had come to investigate why Germans until today, even in the so -called age of information, have so diverse perceptions of India. By reference to the three dominant German images of India, this article seeks to understand the various factors that influence our perception of another culture.

Keywords: Cultural Studies, German Perception of India, Imaginations, Intercultural Relations

» Maria Krzysztof Byrski, Sanātana Dharma and Christianity – Perspectives of Theological Dialogue

DOI: 10.12797/Politeja.13.2016.40.08

M. Krzysztof Byrski Collegium Civitas, Warsaw, Poland

Sanātana dharma and Christianity – Perspectives of Theological Dialogue

The ancient Indian concept of “the eternal nature of things” (sanātana dharma) is a convenient meeting ground for all religions. It is a mistake to describe it as tantamount to Hinduism. Christianity and Hinduism may enter into a meaningful dialogue within its framework. Since for both of them the self -sacrifice of God is a pivotal idea around which they build their theology. Basic difference between them lays in the fact that the Vedic sacrifice is a creative one, out of which time and space emerged and the Christian sacrifice is a redemptive one that took place within created time and space. Thus the basic question is whether these two concepts of sacrifice are homologous. In the present essay, we try to outline this extremely tantalizing problem.

Keywords: sanātana dharma, yajña, kāma, tapas, Vedic sacrifice, redemptive sacrifice

» Renata Czekalska, The Wonder of Inspiration: Musical Universalisations of Rabindranath Tagore’s Poems in Polish Culture

DOI: 10.12797/Politeja.13.2016.40.09

Renata Czekalska

Jagiellonian University in Kraków, Poland

The Wonder of Inspiration: Musical Universalizations of Rabindranath Tagore’s Poems in Polish Culture

The paper presents select distinctive results of Polish fascination with the poetry of Rabindranath Tagore, placing this phenomenon in the sphere of universalization within the syntagma of Polish national culture. The translations of Tagore’s poetry are presented as the first stage of the process of intercultural communication, based on the understanding of these literary works in the allegorical and symbolic styles of reception. Subsequently, the literary translations are perceived in the style of aesthetization. This style of reception of a work of art induces the occurrence of transcriptions of literary works – from the sign system of language into the sign system of music. Musical compositions found in contemporary Polish music are examples of concretizations of literary works.

Keywords: intercultural communication; intrinsic values; concretization of a literary work; reception of Tagore in Poland.

» Marta Kudelska, Agnieszka Staszczyk, Agata Świerzowska, On the Road to Great India – a Programme of National Revival. The Saraswati Temple in Pilani as an Expression of the Worldview of G. D. Birla

DOI: 10.12797/Politeja.13.2016.40.10

Marta Kudelska Jagiellonian University in Kraków, Poland

Agnieszka Staszczyk Jagiellonian University in Kraków, Poland 

Agata Świerzowska Jagiellonian University in Kraków, Poland

On the road to Great India – a program of national revival The Saraswati Temple in Pilani as an expression of the worldview of G.D. Birla (1894 -1983) – the most influential representative of the Birla family which members, known as industrial magnates and corporate leaders, contribute since the turn of the 20th century to medicine, education and technological development of India. G.D. Birla’s overall goal, seems to have been the revitalisation and strengthening of Hinduism as “Arya dharma” and interpret it in such a way as to make this the religion as inclusive and universal as possible. One of the Birlas’ activities fully demonstrating these religious ideas is the temple foundation. Thus considering the wide range of areas in which G.D. Birla was involved, the authors have focused on one such project – the Saraswati temple in Pilani and its ideological background. The temple is located in the Birla Institute of Technology & Science campus and dedicated to the Hindu goddess of wisdom and learning. The authors hope that this analysis will succeed in showing how the individual worldview of the founder left its mark on the idea of the whole family’s endeavours, and at the same time give voice to the range of ideas which, although already expressed at the turn of the nineteenth century, are still alive and influential in India today.

Keywords: Pilani, Birla, Saraswati, Sharda, philanthropy, Bhagavadgita, inclusivism, temple

» Halina Marlewicz, Heterotopian City. Khushwant Singh and his Delhi. A Novel

DOI: 10.12797/Politeja.13.2016.40.11

Halina Marlewicz

Jagiellonian University in Kraków, Poland

Heterotopian City Khushwant Singh and his Delhi: A Novel 

The essay is an attempt to analyse Khushwant Singh’s Delhi: A Novel as a literary work in which topography and existence, life and literature entwine. The essay is divided into three parts, each part has a particular focus. The part entitled Indeterminate Zone concentrates on the paratext in an attempt to see how it channels reader’s anticipation with regard to the content of the book. In the second part: Zone of the City: the image of Delhi in its chosen (re)constructions within the novel is examined. Here, particular attention is paid to the reconstruction of space and time within the novel. The last section of the paper, Zone of the Body speaks of the body and the symbolic roles it plays within the novel.

Keywords: Khushwant Singh, Delhi: A Novel, city studies, hijra

» Iwona Milewska, Trespassing Spaces or Some Intercultural Walks

DOI: 10.12797/Politeja.13.2016.40.12

Iwona Milewska

Jagiellonian University in Kraków, Poland

Trespassing spaces or some intercultural walks

The purpose of the article is to discuss, based on chosen examples, whether the intercultural understanding is possible and what are the limits of it. Firstly, in a short introduction, the tools which the Europeans elaborated in order to understand Indian texts, which were mainly grammars and dictionaries, are discussed. Then, the Sanskrit terms such as “dharma,” used to express the most important ideas of Indian culture, are analyzed. This discussion is followed by the analyse of the noun “vana.” Its most typical English equivalent used in translations is “forest.” However, after deeper consideration, it appears that the understanding of this term differs depending on particular cultural roots. The next noun to be discussed is “lotus” as used in the European texts in which these Indian flowers are shown. In Sanskrit works of literature the European word “lotus” has more than one equivalent and the differences among Indian lotuses are of importance in the process of creating appropriate poetic images. One more example of potential “intercultural walks” described in the article is the presentation and comparison of the reception of two versions, an Indian and a European one, of the Mahabharata epic as arranged and received in modern times.

Keywords: culture, ancient Sanskrit texts, dharma

» Nicola Pozza, Scope and Limits of “Inclusivism” in Modern South Asia: Questioning Togore’s and Agyeya’s “Universalism”

DOI: 10.12797/Politeja.13.2016.40.13

Nicola Pozza

University of Lausanne, Switzerland

Scope and Limits of “Inclusivism” in Modern South Asia: Questioning Tagore’s and Agyeya’s “Universalism”

During the twentieth century, it had become increasingly common among scholars working on modern India to oppose Indian leaders and authors advocating the idea of multicultural and secular India to those promoting a nation based solely on the so -called “Hindu way of life.” While the discourse attributed to the former category has regularly been qualified as “universalist,” “inclusivist” or “tolerant,” the kind of nationalism fostered by the latter has variously been called “communalist” or “exclusivist.” While these antagonistic positions might certainly fit with the positions of iconic and emblematic figures such as M.K. Gandhi or V.D. Sawarkar respectively, they might well be misleading and too restrictive when applied to the discourses of authors such as Rabindranath Tagore (1861 -1941) and S.H. Vatsyayan ‘Agyeya’ (1911 -1987), to take into consideration only two among the most influential and celebrated authors and poets of modern India. Based on the analysis of Tagore’s and Agyeya’s texts, this contribution questions the accuracy of such a dichotomist categorization and more specifically the assertion that the works of twentieth -century authors considered as “universalists” were actually presenting a picture of a united India with both Hindus and Muslims looking forward to a peaceful future together (Cush and Robinson, see footnote 3). It shows that, notwithstanding the real cosmopolitan worldview of both these authors, the Muslim realm is almost completely absent from their works. In conclusion, it is argued that far from being an exception, the position of these writers is illustrative of what can be called a “non -exclusive Hindu nationalism,” which was pervasive among the Indian intellectuals of the twentieth -century India.

Keywords: Tagore, Agyeya, Modern India, Literature, Inclusivism, Universalism, Nationalism, Hindu, Religion

» Guillermo Rodríguez, Of Love, Loss and Love Lost: The (Uncompleted) Reception of Rabindranath Tagore in Spain

DOI: 10.12797/Politeja.13.2016.40.14

Guillermo Rodríguez Casa de la India in Valladolid, Spain

Of Love, Loss and Love Lost: The (uncompleted) Reception of Rabindranath Tagore in Spain

The paper is a concise review of the reception of Rabindranath Tagore in Spain and the crucial role played by the Spanish writer Juan Ramón Jiménez and his wife Zenobia Camprubí in promoting the poetry of the “great Bard of Bengal,” not only in Spain but in the whole Spanish -speaking world, with their marvelous translations produced mostly between 1913 and 1922. The piece describes how biographical factors (the couple’s own love story), literary contexts (the search for a new lyrical voice in Spanish poetry after modernism) and the progressive intellectual and political milieu of the first decades of the twentieth century converged in the unique response Tagore received in Spain, though he never visited the country. It also analyses why the admiration for Tagore persisted for decades even after the changes brought by Franco’s regime.

Keywords: Rabindranath Tagore, Juan Ramón Jimenez, Zenobia Camprubí, translation studies, modern Spanish literature, cultural studies

» Sergei Serebriany, The Concept of “Indian Philosophy” as a Product of Intercultural Dialogue (Wilhelm Halbfass’s India and Europe Revisited)

DOI: 10.12797/Politeja.13.2016.40.15

Sergei Serebriany

Russian State University for the Humanities, Moscow, Russia

The concept of “Indian philosophy” as a product of intercultural dialogue (Wilhelm Halbfass’s India and Europe revisited)

This paper is a sequel to another paper of the same author: “Some Marginal Notes on [W. Halbfass’s] India and Europe” (in: E. Franco, K. Preisendanz (eds.), Beyond Orientalism. The Work of Wilhelm Halbfass and its Impact on Indian and Cross -Cultural Studies, Amsterdam–Atlanta 1997). In the present paper the concept of “Indian philosophy” is discussed – with references to the analysis of the concept in the book India and Europe by W. Halbfass. The central idea of the paper is this: “Indian philosophy” is not a kind of primordial entity it is often said to be, but rather a contingent concept which gradually evolved in the 19th and 20th century in the process of intercultural interaction between Indian (South Asian) and European (Western) intellectual traditions.

Keywords: philosophy, Western, non -Western, Indian, Chinese, Russian, transfer, intercultural dialogue

» Mohammad Kamran Ahsan, Mal(e) Development, (Com)modification, Nationalism and Feminist Consciousness: An Analysis of Arundhati Roy’s Writings

DOI: 10.12797/Politeja.13.2016.40.16

Mohammad Kamran Ahsan Aligarh

Muslim University, Murshidabad Centre, West Bengal, India

Mal(e) Development, (Com)modification, Nationalism and Feminist Consciousness: An Analysis of Arundhati Roy’s Writings

The terms “mal(e)development” and “(com)modification” are coinages that underscore the nexus of the patriarchy, colonialism and capitalism in the Indian context. India has witnessed tremendous development and exploitation of its natural resources in the post -independence era owing to the aids sponsored by the developed nations. The mal(e) development and (com)modification of India on the western model is masquerading as nation building in the 21st century. Arundhati Roy, the prominent feminist writer- -activist, lays bare this camouflaged maldevelopment and commodification of nature and women. Roy’s concerns are pretty much influenced by eco- -feministic discourse. In post -independence India, colonialism has resorted to subterfuge, presenting a Western model of development to the developing nations.

Keywords: Development, Capitalism, Feminism, Dam building

» Zbigniew Igielski, Anthropology of Economy and the Sikh Concept of kirat karnī

DOI: 10.12797/Politeja.13.2016.40.17

Zbigniew Igielski independent scholar

Anthropology of Economy and the Sikh Concept of kirat karnī The article ‘Anthropology of Economy and the Sikh Concept of kirat karnī’ describes one of the most important concepts of the youngest monotheistic religion – Sikhism, concerning the ethos of work in a wider context of economic anthropology.1 Sikhs, often called “the protestants of India,” do not follow the cast system of Hindu society, instead choosing the path of equality and aiming at the improvement of the economic status of people. The research is based on the canonical texts included in the holy book of Sikhism and interpretations of scriptures that were written in the span of over 200 years. The paper explains the philosophical and practical meaning of kirat karnī in Sikhism along with its understanding and development in the contemporary Sikh society in Indian Punjab.

Keywords: Sikhism, Kirat Karni, Economic Anthropology

» Kamila Junik-Łuniewska, From Malala to Burka Avenger: A Few Remarks on Changing Female Role Models in Contemporary Pakistan

DOI: 10.12797/Politeja.13.2016.40.18

Kamila Junik­‑Łuniewska

Jagiellonian University in Kraków, Poland

From Malala to Burka Avenger: A Few remarks on changing female role models in contemporary Pakistan

This paper discusses some of the breakthrough initiatives by women in Pakistan, which may have a positive influence on other women and thus lead the way to further changes in the overall situation of women. It comprises of two main parts. The first part begins with a brief study of the image of women in the Qur’an and analyses the question of how sources and religious teachings were interpreted in regard to women’s social status. This follows with an examination of the position of women in Pakistan and with the characteristics of the women’s movement and various initiatives of the women’s rights struggle. The second part discusses the work and achievements of various women’s organisations and individual women activist, in reference to the main women’s issues in the society. The study focuses on bottom -up initiatives that arise in response to the socio -political situation, and aims at showing how females active in the women’s rights struggle serve as a positive model for other women in Pakistan.

Keywords: women issues, women in Pakistan, activism, role -models, women rights struggle, bottom-up initiatives

» Marek Moroń, Cities in Bengal. Space for Nationalistic Emotions

DOI: 10.12797/Politeja.13.2016.40.19

Marek Moroń

Jagiellonian University in Kraków, Poland

Cities in Bengal Space for nationalistic emotions

The European concept of nationalism became a useful instrument in creating new identities of peoples of South Asia. In Bengal, traditional identities were given political dimensions, and a number of emotion building symbols, narrations, invented traditions and characteristics of the land, were employed to attract the people to the idea of a particular nationalism. The role of cities in creating the nationalisms of Bengal is discussed in the present paper. The examples of Dhaka, Kolkata and Murshidabad are considered on the one hand, whereas on the other there is an attempt of a comparison between the role of these three cities and the influence of the countryside and the rural landscape of Bengal in appealing to the sentiments of Bengalis in their nationalistic discourse. Conclusions are submitted for further considerations.

Keywords: Bengal, nationalism, city, rural landscape

» Madhusudan Subedi, Caste in South Asia: from Ritual Hierarchy to Politics of Difference

DOI: 10.12797/Politeja.13.2016.40.20

Madhusudan Subedi Tribhuvan University and Patan Academy of Health Sciences, Nepal

Caste in South Asia: From Ritual Hierarchy to Politics of Difference

Caste has been in existence for centuries in South Asia, though its forms and contents vary across the region. Caste is a mode of power, a weapon of action and one of the criteria of making people’s collective identity within groups. I argue, in this paper, that caste is a product of complex histories and exists today in multiple forms. There has been a major change from treating caste as a rigid ritual stratum to caste as “identity to negotiate power and resources.” It operates as a symbol of collective identity and a basis for collective bargaining of limited resources and representation in various organizations and administrative institutions. The caste system eroded at the ritual level, but emerged at the political and economic levels in India and Nepal.

Keywords: Caste system, identity politics, inequality, collective bargaining, Nepal

» Mahmudul H. Sumon, Why Refer to the Hindus in Bangladesh as a „Minority”?

DOI: 10.12797/Politeja.13.2016.40.21

Mahmudul H. Sumon

Jahangirnagar University, Savar Dhaka, Bangladesh s

Why refer to the Hindus in Bangladesh as a “minority”?

In this paper I problematize the notion of majority/ minority and try to argue that much of this construction can be shown to have links with forms of colonial governmentality in South Asia. Using relevant literature, the paper discusses how categories such as “minority” or “majority” came into being and were normalized through different technologies of power in post -colonial states such as ours. Such constructions, when taken uncritically, can pose problems for the communities to which they refer. The paper indicates that nomenclature is an important issue and one needs to be careful about the terms they use, as they may have a far -reaching effect.

Keywords: Colonialism, Governmentality, Communalism, South Asia

» Krzysztof Dębnicki, The Pakistani Identity Constructed in Reaction to the Outside World. Perceptions of the West Created by Pakistan’s Militant Media at the Time of Internal Strif

DOI: 10.12797/Politeja.13.2016.40.22

Krzysztof Dębnicki Collegium Civitas Warsaw University, Poland

The Pakistani identity constructed in reaction to the outside world

Perceptions of the West created by Pakistan’s militant media at the time of internal strife In the past twelve years Pakistan has gone through a period of acute internal strife between the status quo and the emerging new religious/political ideologies. A number of reasons define the conflict: religious, social, economic, international. A very important element of the strife is the psychological attitude of Pakistanis towards their own state, religion and the world at large. The key elements of this psychological attitude are: inferiority/superiority complex vis -à -vis their Arab neighbours, India, and the Western world, and the commonly held belief in dangerous conspiracies that the world outside is constantly hatching against it. These two elements are enhanced by militant (jihadi) electronic and printed media creating a strongly skewed vision of the outside world.

Keywords: Pakistan, militant, media, Islam, West, conspiracy

» Piotr Kłodkowski, Geopolitics and the Issue of the Broken National Identity in Nepal

DOI: 10.12797/Politeja.13.2016.40.23

Piotr Kłodkowski

Tischner European University in Kraków, Poland

Geopolitics and the Issue of the Broken National Identity in Nepal

The main objective of my article is to demonstrate the complex issues of geopolitics and national identity in South Asia. Both are interrelated with each other and a political myth on national identity may owe its final shape to geopolitical constraints. These in turn may set limits to social revolutions that intend to transform the society of which the national identity is a vital part. Nepal with its strategic location between India and China and with its revolutionary transformation process is a good illustration of that interrelation. The “clash of political ideas” – which is materialized in the ideological opposition of a revolutionary republic versus a traditional kingdom – is a relevant part of the text. It is noteworthy however that the “clash” should be interpreted in the context of geopolitical strategies initiated by the two Asian superpowers who have their own conflicting interests in Nepal. The domestic strife has its regional dimensions that could be classified as a part of the New Great Game of the 21st century being played out by Beijing and Delhi.

Keywords: geopolitics, political mythology, Nepalese Maoists, national identity, royal massacre

» Hubert Królikowski, Indo-Pakistani “Hybrid War” for Kargil

DOI: 10.12797/Politeja.13.2016.40.24

Hubert Królikowski Jagiellonian University in Kraków, Poland

Indo­‑Pakistani “hybrid war” for Kargil

The armed conflict in the Crimea and Eastern Ukraine introduced a new notion of hybrid war into security studies, but such kind of armed conflict is not anything new. History of wars provides at least a few examples when a country was attacked not by conventional armed forces, but by a mixture of special forces, information campaigns and backdoor proxies. Such armed struggles have taken place many times before, for example, during the so called Kargil War in 1999. Lessons for India emerged from the Pakistani operation in Kargil region necessitating a holistic national security review as well as rethinking of the nature of conflict and conduct in the new strategic environment and are very similar to the lessons learnt today by NATO, Poland and Baltic states concerning current warfare in Ukraine.

Keywords: Indo -Pakistani issues, Kargil, hybrid war

» Agnieszka Kuszewska, Difficult Neighbourhood: the Key Objectives of Pakistan’s Foreign Policy towards India in the Twenty First Century

DOI: 10.12797/Politeja.13.2016.40.25

Agnieszka Kuszewska

University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Warsaw, Poland

Difficult neighbourhood: the key objectives of Pakistan’s foreign policy towards India in the twenty­‑first century

What role does India play in Pakistan’s international strategy? The article tackles this question and explores the crucial elements of Islamabad’s policy towards India, focusing on selected internal and external security issues. Pakistani political/military leaders look upon India as its major security challenge. The alleged threat from the powerful neighbour has served as the convenient explanation for justifying enormous military expenditures and building powerful army in Pakistan, which substantially weakened democratic institutions and civilian governments and consolidated military’s grip of the state power. This sense of fear was fuelled by the catastrophist mindset, claiming that India has always regarded partition of the subcontinent as a “historical aberration” and its main goal was to undo the partition or at least to subjugate Pakistan into a client -state. The protracted, war -prone relations between the two nuclear states can be defined as “difficult neighbourhood.” The chapter approaches the problem of Pakistan’s policy towards India in several key parts. The introduction looks at the historical developments and current internal situation in Pakistan. The first part offers an in -depth analysis of Pakistan’s attitude towards the Kashmir issue, the second part analyses the strategies aimed at counterbalance India’s hegemony in the region, encapsulating the phenomenon of Pakistan -China and Pakistan -U.S. relations. The last part briefly observes the problem of water scarcity in India -Pakistan relations, which has a direct impact on South Asian security.

Keywords: Pakistan’s foreign policy, Kashmir conflict, India -Pakistan relations

» Michał Lubina, Overshadowed by kala. India-Burma Relations

DOI: 10.12797/Politeja.13.2016.40.26


Jagiellonian University in Kraków, Poland

India-Burma Relations

India seems to fit well with Burma. Long common history, deep cultural relations, similar heritage and geographic proximity – all this should help to upgrade India -Burma relations. There is, however, one major obstacle: a historical and cultural burden, which can be summarized by the Burmese name for Indians: kala. Literally kala means “alien,” but at present it refers to Indians only. In Burmese conditions it has a wider, metaphorical meaning: something between “unwanted,” “hated” and “despicable.” In this sense, kala is a cultural phenomenon, a kind of “burdensome heritage” that influences the political relations between India and Burma. In this way, kala still looms large on the horizon of India -Burma relations blocks their development.

Keywords: kala, Burma, Myanmar, India, India -Burma relations

» Halina Marlewicz (reviewer), Wartości autoteliczne w kulturze symbolicznej. Na przykładzie indyjsko-polskich spotkań literackich [Autotelic Values in Symbolic Culture as Exemplified by Indo-Polish Literary Encounters] by Renata Czekalska

DOI: 10.12797/Politeja.13.2016.40.27

rev. by Halina Marlewicz Jagiellonian University in Kraków, Poland

Wartości autoteliczne w kulturze symbolicznej. Na przykładzie indyjsko-polskich spotkań literackich [Autotelic Values in Symbolic Culture as Exemplified by Indo-Polish Literary Encounters] by Renata Czekalska, Księgarnia Akademicka, Kraków 2013 (Societas, 75), 287 pp.