Last Edited: Friday, November 18, 2011 12:19 PM -0600Last Updated: Thursday, December 24, 2015 11:54 PM -0600


ASIA-21 (Futuribles)

Alain Lamballe

Brigadier-General (reserve corps) Alain Lamballe, a product of the Saint-Cyr military academy, has a doctorate in political sociology. He is a graduate of the National Institute for Oriental Languages and Civilizations (INALCO) in Hindi, Urdu, and Hungarian; the Center for Advanced Studies of Modern Africa and Asia (CHEAM); and Delhi University in Hindi. Alain has held diplomatic posts in Western Europe (United Kingdom), Central Europe (Hungary, Austria), the Balkans (Bosnia-Herzegovina), and in South Asia (India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Maldives). He has carried out numerous ad hoc missions throughout the world. His publications include a book (in French), The Tamil problem in Sri Lanka (LHarmattan, 1985) and some seventy articles, mostly on political, economic, and military problems in South Asia. I got to know Alain through my initial participation in the Asia 21 (Futuribles) think-tank on 14 December 2004.

Bhadrakumar, M. K.

M K Bhadrakumar served as a career diplomat in the Indian Foreign Service for over 29 years, with postings including India's ambassador to Uzbekistan (1995-1998) and to Turkey (1998-2001). Asia Times Online, which holds the copyright to his articles published at their website, has graciously granted blanket permission to make available a selection of links to his fans here.

Catherine Bouchet-Orphelin

Trade Consultant for Asian Affairs, Finaldes. Finauteuil Investissements, Financair, member of the board. Previously based in Beijing for CGE Alsthom International / Export area manager for Gec Alsthom High Power Transformers - Paris / Adviser for Asia - Babcock Enterprise- CNIM Group - Paris. Postgraduate qualification  in Chinese (INALCO - Paris), and  in History (Sorbonne Paris IV), National Taiwan University. Audited course at the IHEDN.  Member and coordinator of the French think tank: Asia 21 / Futuribles.

L'Asie demain, permanences et mutations, Collectif Asie 21, lHarmattan, juin 2003, 236 pages. This collective volume aims to engage in a prognostic exercise and contribute towards informing a larger public. It is situated within a framework of five themes : Asian spaces, economic growth, the question of the Asiatic model, Asia's relations in general, and of China in particular, to the United States, and the relations between Asia and Europe, with numerous appendixes annexes, particularly on the  Europe-Asia summits (ASEM). The authors, among the best experts on Asia, offer a great diversity of approaches. Most of the contributors are members of Asia 21, the prospective think-tank on Asia of Futuribles International. Alphabetical list of authors: Anne Androuais, Jean-Marie Boissou, Philippe Delalande, Henri Eyraud, Guy Faure, Anne Garrigue, Pierre Gentelle, Alain Henriot, Jean-Franois Huchet, Michel Jan, Marc Menguy, Rmi Perelman, Jean Perrin, Franois Raillon, Christian Taillard, Xavier de Villepin, Alain Wang.

Editions du Flin, Paris, 2000, 190 p

Gilbert Etienne, Presses de Sciences Po, Paris, 1998, 270 p.

Etienne Badimont, Ed. Labnaudie,1996,  334 p

Catherine Chalier

I met Catherine, Elizabeth's elder sister, on my first trip to the West in June 1984, and she visited us the following year in Benares. Over the years, I've been getting to know her work on Jewish philosophy better and have also participated with her in several scholarly and community events (some organized by her): interreligious seminar on the problem of evil by Levinas, Ricoeur and Jacques Dupuy (8?); memorial services for her student David Gritz killed tragically during a suicide-bombing at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (2003); mourning reunions for Charles Mopsik, etc. Catherine has become increasingly active in interfaith dialogue and recently participated at a public exchange at the Georges Pompidou Center with a Muslim scholar who had recently translated the Koran.

Catherine shares impressions of her recent visit (May 2004) for 16 days to deliver 4 workshops, each lasting 3 hours, at the University of Beijing at the invitation of the Chinese government.

David Peter Lawrence

David's research areas include comparative philosophy as a mode of inter-cultural and inter-religious dialogue, the Pratyabhijna philosophy of monistic Kashmiri Saivism, and related areas of Hinduism and Buddhism. Recently he has been particularly interested in monistic Saiva approaches to identity and the body; and Abhinavagupta's legacy of using Pratyabhijna categories to interpret nonphilosophical tantric symbolism and practice. His publications include Rediscovering God with Transcendental Argument: A Contemporary Interpretation of Monistic Kashmiri Saiva Philosophy (SUNY, 1999). David received his BA from George Washington University (GWU), and his MA and PhD from the University of Chicago (1992). He has taught in the Division of Humanities of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and the Department of Religion of Concordia University, Montreal. He is now a visiting associate professor in the Department of Religion of the University of Manitoba. With regards to mentors, David's graduate school advisors were Wendy Doniger, Paul Griffiths, Bimal Krishna Matilal and David Tracy. He first visited India from 1987-1989, where he studied monistic Saivism mainly with Hemendra Nath Chakravarty in Varanasi and Navjivan Rastogi at Lucknow University. He also studied monistic Saivism and related areas of Sanskritic philosophy with other scholars including Srinarayan Mishra and Radheshyam Chaturvedi of Banaras Hindu University. He has since visited India for several shorter trips to work with Pt. Chakravarty, Prof. Rastogi and Prof. Mishra.

Dmitry Shlapentokh

Currently Associate Professor of History, Indiana University South Bend (Indiana), Dmitry was born in Ukraine in the former USSR – and graduated from Moscow State University. He emigrated to the United States in 1979 and received his MA in Russian/European History from Michigan State University and his PhD in Russian/European History from the University of Chicago. He taught and had research appointments at Harvard University’s Russian Research Center and Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. He is author of several books — the most recent among them are "East against West", "Pro-totalitarian state" and "Russia between East and West." He’s also written more than 100 articles and book chapters — and visits the countries of the former USSR frequently. I discovered Dmitry through his prolific geopolitical contributions, from a cultural perspective - on Eurasianism, Islamism, and American foreign policy - to Asia Times Online by way of book reviews and original opinion pieces. Having written a book (translated from the original Russian), around the life of Themistocles, on East-West relationthrough a different interpretation of the founding conflict between Athenian Greece and Achaemenid Persia, Dmitry brings deep historical and cultural depth to our understanding of contemporary geopolitics, Islam and the 'War of Civilizations'particularly the strategic posture of post-revolutionary Iran, the Eurasian debate in Orthodox Russia, and the ongoing American (mis-) adventure in the Middle East.

Gautam Sen

Dr. Gautam Sen has taught international political economy to graduate students for two decades at the London School of Economics & Political Science. He has published widely on the political economy of development, international trade issues, defence economics and India in scholarly journals as well as newspapers, including the London Times, Economic and Political Weekly, The Pioneer and The Indian Express.  He has recently co-authored a book on trade, money and investment and is now working on a study of how some societies come to be dominated by more successful ones. He was born in Varanasi, grew up in Calcutta and has lived in England for the past 35 years. Dr. Sen has been an adviser to the Prime Ministers of India and Nepal and is a member of the eminent persons group of the Indo-UK Roundtable. "Apart from being born there my personal connections with Benares are a little sporadic because we left to live in Calcutta very soon afterwards. But I did visit regularly, including a particularly memorable trip when I ran away to the city as a 14 year-old schoolboy. Having caught a train from Howrah [Calcutta railway station] I spent an enchanting fortnight (living with my grandmother In Jangambari) roaming the streets and ghats freely, visiting ancient (mainly religious) sites and rowing across the Ganges single-handedly every other day. I can't imagine how I dared hire a boat and engage in this risky activity! My father graduated with a degree in metallurgy from BHU in the early 1940s when Radhakrishnan was vice chancellor. Most people don't know that BHU was the premier institution of India for engineering and some science subjects before independence. It was very hard to gain admission into BHU in the 1930s and hardly 25% survived my father's cohort into the second year because the maths was too demanding! My grandfather-in-law, the late Raj Guru Hem Raj Pandey of Nepal, a renowned Sanskrit scholar, also had strong ties with Benares (with a majestic house in the city), which is where his books are still available, rather than in Nepal."

Jean-Marc de Grave

I got to know Jean-Marc through our interaction after his talk on 2nd Dec 2002 on "Islam and Javanism in Indonesia: the example of ritual initiation in the martial practices" within the framework of Marc Gaborieau's seminar on "Islam in the Indo-Pakistani subcontinent." It seemed clear to me from some of the textual extracts and other terminology used that the tradition was a Kaula tantric one that had been reworked into an Islamic context. Particularly striking was the elaboration of the Sanskritic rasa-theory from the otherwise restricted realm of aesthetics into an existential mode of being for the Indonesian Muslim initiate, and the role of eros (shrngra) and the worship of Bhairava for, among other goals, mastery over the body while undergoing the discipline of the martial arts.  Jean-Marc and I subsequently met a couple of times over lunch to discuss the larger background of his researches and his personal involvement in the South-East Asian martial arts tradition. Along with his Japanese companion, Etsuko, who is an artist, he also joined Charles Mopsik, Jacques Vigne, Christian Bouchet and others at our place in Jan 2003 for the marathon discussion of 'lucid dreaming' (as in the Indian tantric traditions, dreams, and their interpretation, also play an important role in initiation into the Javanese martial arts). On 29th May 2003, we also had the pleasure of visiting with Jean-March and Etsuko the Monet Museum at Giverny, just outside Vernon where they live, before spending a most agreeable afternoon discussing French anthropology, etc., with several of Jean-Marc's colleagues working on China and Indonesia and belonging to the same research group, under the direction of Jean-Claude Galey (who was very close to Louis Dumont)Jean-Marc spent all of June 2003 in Malaysia to study Pancak Silat (another martial arts tradition) and is now in Java pursuing further research. While in Kuala Lumpur, he spent much time with my childhood friends and family.


Makarand Paranjape

Professor of English, Centre for Linguistics and English, School of Language, Literature, and Culture Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University since 1999. He teaches courses at the M.A. and M.Phil level and guides doctoral research. His M.A. courses include American Literature, Indian Literature in English/Translation, Readings in Literary Theory and Criticism, and M.Phil courses include Research Methodology and Introduction to Contemporary Literary Theory. His Ph.D. in English from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign focused on "Mysticism in Indian English Poetry." Makarand is General Editor of a series of reprints of rare and out-of-print Indian English titles published by the Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi, and Editor of Evam: Forum on Indian Representations, an international biannual journal. He is also Managing Trustee of the non-profit Samvad India Foundation. Makarand is a regular guest speaker or organizer at several conferences, seminars and workshops worldwide.

My introduction to Makarand was through his talk at the Indic Colloquium on "The Third Eye and Two Ways of (Un)knowing: Gnosis, Alternative Modernities, and Postcolonial Futures" (July 25, 2002) reflections that were explicitly inspired by the writings of Shri Aurobindo. I approached him thereafter to discuss points of contact between these perceptions and those of Abhinavagupta. Makarand subsequently visited us in Paris for dinner on 7th July 2003, and even saw me off on the talgo to Madrid the following day. We have begun collaborating in our publication projects.

Martin Riesebrodt

Martin Riesebrodt's academic interests are in social theory, the historical and comparative sociology of religion, and the relationship between religion, politics, and secular culture. Central areas of teaching and research focus on theories of religion and on the role religion plays in processes of formation of social groups and their identities, especially with reference to class, gender, and generation. His most recent book, Die Rckkehr der Religionen. Fundamentalismus und der 'Kampf der Kulturen,' explores the unexpected renewal of religion in the modern world. Based on a revised theory of religion, it argues that secularization and the resurgence of religion are not mutually exclusive but rather related to each other. Continuing arguments made in his earlier Pious Passion: The Emergence of Fundamentalism in the United States and Iran, the book also analyzes the relationship between fundamentalism, class, and gender, and offers a critique of Samuel Huntington's "Clash of Civilizations." Professor Riesebrodt has also published on classical social theory, in particular the work of Max Weber. He has co-edited a volume on key theoretical concepts in Max Weber's sociology of religion, Max Webers Religionssystematik. He is presently working on a sociological theory of religion which understands religion and its practices as a cultural resource for the management of uncertainty and prevention of crises. Examples of lay-oriented practices, virtuosi practices, and religious propaganda taken from Abrahamic as well as East Asian traditions will illustrate and test basic assumptions of the theory. Moreover, the book will offer a sociological justification of the concept of religion.

Patrick Dombrowsky

Patrick Dombrowsky has a doctorate in political science, and is a graduate of the Paris Institute of Political Science and of the Paris University. He is a fellow of the Contemporary African and Asian Studies Center (1993). Founder and Director of the European Research Center on Central Asia; lecturer at the the International Studies High School (Paris) and for the Free Faculty of Law and Economy in Paris; part-time lecturer for the HEC School of Management, the French Defense Institute and the Royal Institute of Defense in Brussels; consultant for many audio-visual media.

Patrick Dombrowsky, docteur en science politique, diplômé de l'Institut d'Études Politiques de Paris et de l'Université de Paris II, ancien auditeur du Centre des Hautes Études sur l'Afrique et l'Asie Modernes (1993). Fondateur et Directeur du Centre Européen de Recherches sur l'Asie Médiane; professeur à l'École des Hautes Études Internationales et à la Faculté Libre de Droit et d'Économie de Paris; conférencier à l'Institut des Hautes Études de Défense Nationale et à l'Institut Royal Supérieur de Défense de Bruxelles; chargé de cours à l'École des Hautes Études Commerciales; consultant de divers médias audiovisuels.

 A crisis for nothing? (September 2008) [on the Georgia conflict of Aug 2008]

Rajiv Malhotra

After studying in Delhi's St. Columba's High School and then St. Stephen's College, Rajiv arrived in the US in 1971 to study Physics and Computer Science. His corporate careers and business entrepreneurship included the computer, software and telecom industries. He now spends full time with The Infinity Foundation, a non-profit organization in Princeton, New Jersey. Its main interests include fostering harmony among the diverse cultures of the world. Many of its projects strive to upgrade the portrayal of India's civilization in the American education system and media. This involves both challenging the negative stereotypes and also establishing the many positive contributions from India's civilization.

The common theme underlying most of these articles and columns are the representations of India, Hinduism in particular, in the United States (and by extension in the West), as reflected in and determining academic discourse, mass education, media stereotypes, foreign policy, etc. In the process, several of them also focus (at least in part) on the (often maligned) religious values enshrined in Indian traditions and the socio-political 'unconscious' of American 'multiculturalism'. In addition to the numerous un-moderated comments from Sulekha readers, several of these essays have been discussed on the Abhinava forum, either simultaneously (Ganesha, psychoanalysis, critique of history orientated religions, etc.) or subsequently (caste and racism).

Sunthar Visuvalingam

Born in multiracial Malaysia of Ceylonese Tamil descent, Sunthar had Chinese neighbors and classmates from his childhood days in Kuala Lumpur, friends with whom he has maintained close personal, intellectual, and cultural ties to this day. He is currently corresponding member of the Asia 21 French think-tank focused on the analysis, discussion, and projections of (India-China relations with the context) politico-economic developments in Asia.


Tan Chung

TAN CHUNG is an Indian Citizen of Chinese descent born in Malaya in 1929, having lived, first, in China for 23 years, and then, in India for 44 years till date. He stepped into the shoes of his illustrious father, Prof. Tan Yun-Shan (1898-1983) of Shantiniketana pioneer of Chinese studies in India and Sino-Indian studies and contributed to the building up of the Chinese studies programs in Delhi University and Jawarharlal Nehru University (JNU) from 1964 up till 1994 when he finally retired from JNU as Professor of Chinese. He has been a Consultant of the Indira Gandhi National Center for the Arts (IGNCA) from 1989 onwards to help develop its East Asian Program. He has authored many books, among which, China and the Brave New World and also Triton and Dragon (a Gyan Publication) are text books for history courses in Indian and foreign universities. His Dunhuang Art Through the Eyes of Duan Wenjie is a reference book for art courses on US and other English language campuses. Mrs. Tan has also taught Chinese at Delhi University. Since 1999, Prof. Tan and his wife have been living in Chicago with their son.

Vinod Saighal

Major General Vinod Saighal retired from the Indian Army in 1995 from the post of Director General of Military Training. Before that he had several active command assignments including the command of an independent armored formation and mountain and desert divisions. An officer from the cavalry he has held assignments with UN peacekeeping forces as well as tenures in the Middle East. He had served as the country's Military Attach in France and BENELUX. He has a wide range of interests and speaks several languages including French and Persian. Currently he is the Executive Director of Eco Monitors Society (EMS), a non-governmental organization concerned with demography and ecology. After retirement he founded the Movement for Restoration of Good Government (MRGG). He has several articles on a vast range of subjects and is the author of the internationally acclaimed books Restructuring South Asian Security, Restructuring Pakistan, Dealing with Global Terrorism: The Way Forward and Third Millennium Equipoise.

"Talk I delivered in Beijing in September 2004. It was well received by practically all delegations, especially the Chinese....They wanted it disseminated in their countries to the media, academia and the scientific fraternity." [Vinod Saighal]

"Global Security Paradoxes 2000-2020 (ISBN 81-7049-194-0) sets out a comprehensive agenda for resolution of some of the most intractable global issues of todaycovering an amazing spectrum embracing the Americas, Europe, Africa and Asia. The  chapters in the book bear testimony to the global reach of the issues covered. These include: A Critique of the Military Dimension of South Asian Security; China, Tibet, India: Status Quo or Reappraisal; Redefining Europe-Asia Security; Preventing a Repeat of Iraq in Iran; Resurgence of Russia in the 21st Century; The Futility of Theatre and National Missile Defences; The Demographic Dynamic of the 21st Century. More importantly, the book could immediately contribute to the debate on the crisis in Iraq and the ongoing UN Security Council debates, the forthcoming presidential election in the USA, the referendum proposed by Tony Blair in the UK, the current debate on the European Union Constitution as also the tentative dialogues taking place elsewhere on the India-China-Japan axis as well as the India-Japan-China-Russia axis. International Relations and Political Science departments of universities, think tanks, concerned ministries, social scientists and defence analysts around the world could benefit from a study of this book."

Yin Xi'nan

Dr. Yin Xi’nan was born in Chongqing, China. He obtained his Ph.D. degree of comparative literature in Sichuan University in 2006 and studied Sanskrit in Sardar Patel University as a visiting scholar from 2004 to 2005. He did his post-doctoral research work in Beijing University where he continued studying Sanskrit from 2008 to 2010. Now he is working as Associate Professor in the Institute of South Asian Studies, Sichuan University. He is currently (July 2011 to April 2012) a visiting scholar at the Department of East Asian Studies of Delhi University, Delhi for a research project entitled “Chinese Culture in India since 1900.” He is interested in Rabindranath Tagore, Sanskrit poetics, Sanskrit Buddhist texts, Sino-Indian Relations, Indian subject in the English world, etc. He has published the following books: Rabindranath Tagore: From the Perspective of World Civilization (2003), The  Discovery  of Rabindranath  Tagore (2005),  India in English Literature (2008), Indian Images of China (2010), Comparative  Studies in Sanskrit Alaṅkāra Śāstra and Western Poetics (2010), A History of Comparative Literature in India (2011) and Outside of India:  A Study of  Indian Diasporic Writers (2011). His next books will be A History of Indian Literary theories and CritiquesSelected Translations of Sanskrit Poetic Works and Selected Translations of Articles in Comparative Literature in India.

Visit Yin's Faculty homepage at the Institute of South Asian Studies, Sichuan University

Tagore's various responses in modern Chinese intellectual circles in the 1920s (October 2011)