Arjun Ray's book is based on the dialogue around the counterinsurgency doctrine, arguing that the main strategy towards this aim should be preventing people from feeling alienated. The central focus of this strategy, which the author in his capacity as an army man successfully executed in Operation Sadhbhavna, is the people. The author believes that killing is counterproductive and the army must change its role from ‘winning wars’ to ‘preventing wars’.

He also calls upon the media to be more responsible in discharging their role in nation-building rather than being a bystander.

The author proposes a three-pronged strategy to achieve success—preventing conflict by addressing human security through human development, pursuing a policy of atonement and forgiveness, and eliminating trust deficit between the State and the marginalized—the three pillars of Operation Sadhbhavna. The failure on the part of the State and the army to follow this strategy, with terrible human cost and devastating consequences, is charted through the examples of the Naxalite and Kashmiri experience.

Conflict Prevention

Conflict prevention

We the peoples of the United Nations determined to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war…

—Charter of the United Nations, 1945

Since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defences of peace must be constructed.

—Constitution of UNESCO, 1945

Right in the early days of our non-violent campaign against separatism, two questions loomed large in our minds. Is peace achievable? Is there a formula for peace? Both questions were difficult to answer. Although college and military education had reinforced the myth that aggression is innate in man, there arose a deep wish to do something to advance the cause of peace. The armed approach India had been following in Jammu and Kashmir had not brought ...

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