Poles Apart: The Military and Democracy in India and Pakistan

Author:

Aditya Sondhi

Publisher:

Penguin India

Rs699

Availability: Will be available on 24 Jul, 2024

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Publisher

Penguin India

Publication Year 2024
ISBN-13

9780670098446

ISBN-10 0670098442
Binding

Paperback

Number of Pages 336 Pages
Language (English)
Dimensions (Cms) 25.4 X 20.3 X
Weight (grms) 788

Is there a predominant reason why India is not Pakistan? Many would likely point to the omnipresence of the military in the polity of the latter. While the interventionist attitude of the army in Pakistan easily explains the democratic shortfall in its history, the mirror opposite in India is rarely studied or credited.


Poles Apart is a unique and original investigation of the comparative roles of the military, to study their influences on the growth of democracy in the two nations. The book highlights the divisive outcomes of military coups on Pakistan's democratic trajectory while also closely analysing potential scenarios in India when the army could have gone astray, but chose to stay apolitical.


Disgrace at the hands of China in 1962, the Emergency and Operation Blue Star, among others, make for fascinating case studies of how the army was treated shabbily but still remained politically disinclined. On the other hand, the overarching presence of Field Marshal Ayub Khan, General Yahya Khan, General Zia-ul-Haq and General Pervez Musharraf in the Pakistani political space represent a very different set of choices and interventions.


A crisp chapter on Bangladesh and its experiments with democracy and martial rule rounds off the deeply researched study.

Aditya Sondhi

Aditya Sondhi is a senior advocate practising before the Supreme Court of India. He holds a PhD from the University of Mysore and his thesis was entitled ‘The Interface between the Army and Democracy: India and Pakistan Compared (1947-2008)’. He has previously published two books of non-fiction with Penguin (India): Unfinished Symphony and The Order of the Crest. Aditya has been a winner at the Deccan Herald Short Story Competition, and his debut play Famagusta was shortlisted for the Sultan Padamsee Playwriting Award in 2020. He has written and spoken widely, and has a particular interest in military history, Partition and constitutionalism.
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