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.

Human Security

Human security

The poverty of the mind is as disconcerting as the poverty of the body.

—The Author

When we were in the military regime, we didn't get anything from the government, but we had peace. Now we are in a democracy, we don't get anything from the government, and we don't have peace.

—Muhaamad Umaru, a tailor in Nigeria, UNDP Report (2003)

We seem to have all the answers on how to increase economic growth, how to fight AIDS and how to prevent global warming. But we still have to learn how to make the world and our homes safe and secure. The comity of nations has still to arrive at a consensus on the definition of ‘terrorism’. Consequently, nations continue to squabble over what constitutes an ...

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