Jaideep A Prabhu
India’s solution to the potential for a military coup has come at a cost - the army has been unable to function efficiently and its role as a mute spectator in policy planning has left it unable to defend India’s borders as China showed in 1962.
Army and Nation acknowledges the myriad other factors that have flavoured the divergence between India and Pakistan but is nonetheless the study of one institution and the reader’s judgment should be restricted to the topic at hand.
It is not often that a senior government official publicly recommends a book by an academic, especially if the former is in the Pakistani military and the latter at an American university. However, that is exactly what Qamar Javed Bajwa, Pakistan's new Chief of Army Staff, did in December 2016 during a gathering of senior army officers at Rawalpindi Garrison in the General Headquarters. The military had no business in running the government, Pakistani newspaper The Nation quoted Bajwa as saying, and the General asked the gathering to read Steven Wilkinson's Army and Nation: The Military and Indian Democracy Since Independence (Ranikhet: Permanent Black, 2015. 295 pp) to understand civil-military relations in Pakistan's arch rival.