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The Absent DialoguePoliticians, Bureaucrats, and the Military in India$
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Anit Mukherjee

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780190905903

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190905903.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 26 October 2021

Convenient Narratives

Convenient Narratives

Historical Evolution of Civil–Military Relations

(p.38) 2 Convenient Narratives
The Absent Dialogue

Anit Mukherjee

Oxford University Press

This chapter explains the historical evolution of civil–military relations in India. While doing so, it focuses on leadership style and civil–military relations under five wartime prime ministers—Jawaharlal Nehru, Lal Bahadur Shastri, Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, and Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Together, they were at the helm of affairs for almost five decades after independence and significantly influenced the narrative on civil–military relations. Relying on archival sources, it sheds new light especially on events preceding the 1962 border war with China. It highlights variance in the pattern of civil–military relations under these leaders that, in turn, shaped military effectiveness. Next, the chapter focuses on an essential element shaping civil–military relations—the interaction between civilian bureaucrats and military officers.

Keywords:   Wartime leaders, Supreme Command, Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Lal Bahadur Shastri, Rajiv Gandhi, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Krishna Menon, Louis Mountbatten

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