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.

Women's Empowerment

Women's empowerment

For women there are, undoubtedly, great difficulties in the path, but so much more to overcome. First, no woman should say, ‘I am but a woman!’ But a woman! What more can you ask to be?

—Astronomer Maria Mitchell, 1896

In any conflict situation, women must be involved by direct engagement. By nature, women abhor violence; by nature, women seek peace. By design, women should be drawn into the political life of a nation or community involved in communal strife.

Afghanistan is a case in point.

For decades, before and after the Taliban, Afghan women have been discriminated against and denied access to education, to employment and to freedom of movement. With no social and economic empowerment, they are voiceless, and, as many Afghan males remark, ...

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