Podcast: Anit Mukherjee on the ‘Absent Dialogue’ between civilians and the military in India
Over the years, one could fill a small library with books that have been written about how Indian democracy survived against all of the odds—inequality, poverty, a difficult neighborhood, and a sprawling geography. Somewhat surprisingly, however, very few books have been written about the role the military has played—or not played—as it were. Many of India’s neighbors have experienced military coups and some, like Pakistan, have been unable to shake near-constant military involvement in daily political life.
And yet, all is not well when it comes to civil-military relations in India. This is the argument of Milan Vaishnav’s (Director of the South Asia programme at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace) guest on the show today, Anit Mukherjee, who is the author of the brand new book, The Absent Dialogue: Politicians, Bureaucrats, and the Military in India. Anit is a professor at the Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore who also just so happens to be a former officer in the Indian Army. Milan and Anit chat about civil-military relations in India, its impact on defense capabilities, and the prospect of reform under Prime Minister Narendra Modi.