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Biography

Balmiki Prasad Singh

Balmiki Prasad Singh has been Governor of Sikkim, India during 2008-13. He is a distinguished scholar, thinker and public servant. He was born on January 1, 1942 in the village of Bihat in district Begusarai, Bihar.

B.P. Singh is well-known as the author of the Bahudha Approach, which outlines a path towards a harmonious world, as against the clash of civilizations. “Pluralism could be the closest equivalent to Bahudha in the English language. But Bahudha is more than pluralism. For, the Bahudha approach is both a celebration of diversity and an attitude of mind that respects another person’s point of view. Dialogue is central to this approach.” (Bahudha and the Post 9/11 World).

A. Education
He was educated in a village school and subsequently at the universities of Patna and Oxford. He obtained an M.A. in Political Science from Patna University standing first in the first class and breaking all previous records in the subject and became a lecturer in that subject there at the age of nineteen.

B. Personal Life
Shri B.P. Singh was married to Smt. Karuna Singh who resided at Raj Bhawan, Gangtok, Sikkim till her passing away on 01.04.2010. Shri Singh has three children- two daughters and a son, and six grandchildren.

C. Administrative service
B.P. Singh was appointed to the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) in 1964. Over the past four decades B.P. Singh has held important positions within the state of Assam as well as in the Government of India. He was Additional Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Forests (1993-95), Culture Secretary (1995-97) and Home Secretary (1997-99) in Government of India.

As Culture Secretary, Government of India B.P. Singh organized the Golden Jubilee Celebrations of India’s Independence at the global level; and set-up National Culture Fund (NCF) to promote public-private partnership in conservation of national heritage sites and monuments. NCF is operational in India and has been mutatis mutandis adopted by Bhutan and Mexico while some other countries have incorporated some of its features in their schemes. B.P. Singh also devised government scheme to support through endowments and staff entitlements guru-shishya parampara schools and Buddhist and Gandhian organizations in the country. These schemes have performed very well. B.P.Singh also provided exemplary leadership to Buddhist institutions of learning and research. He served as the Chancellor of the Central University of Tibetan Studies, Sarnath for six years. During 2008-13, he was President of Namgyal Institute of Tibetology (NIT), Sikkim, a centre for research on religion, history, art and culture of Tibetan Buddhism.

As Union Home Secretary B.P. Singh set up a National Coordination Centre for dealing with naxal problem. B.P. Singh also devised a fresh formula for reorganization of States in terms of Articles 2 and 3 of the Constitution of India by obtaining prior consent of the Legislatures of States who were to be bifurcated. This was accepted by the Cabinet and approved by Parliament. This formed the basis of creation of 3 States of Chattisgarh, Uttarakhand and Jharkhand.

As an international civil servant, B.P. Singh served as Executive Director and Ambassador at the World Bank during 1999-2002 representing India, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka and was one of the founder members of the Development Gateway Foundation (DGF) and member, Global Environment Facility (GEF), Washington D.C. His role was formally hailed by the then President of the World Bank by calling him ‘ambassador extraordinaire’ of the world’s poor.

B.P. Singh was Governor of Sikkim during 2008-13. One of the unique achievements of Governor B.P. Singh was to help and guide the State Government to adopt policies which would help strengthen harmony among the forces of democracy, culture and governance to ensure inclusive and sustainable development. His five year term as Governor of Sikkim was extremely successful and his contributions are well known to the people of the State and their leaders.

2014 onwards B.P.Singh worked on a book “The 21st Century:Geo-politics, Democracy and Peace” being published by Routledge (New York: London, during 2017. Also working for promotion of science, culture and world peace.

Public speaker:B.P. Singh is an eminent public speaker in English and Hindi and has delivered memorial lectures and speeches at national and global levels. Some of his memorial lectures include Sardar Patel Memorial Lecture for the year 1999; and Dr. Rajendra Prasad Memorial Lecture for the year 2009 (both organized by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Govt. of India). He delivered the Maulana Azad Memorial Lecture for the year 2011 organized by Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR). He gave a public oration at Belur Math on Swami Vivekananda in 2014 and also wrote for 150th birthday celebration volume dedicated to him which was brought out by the Ramakrishna Mission Institute. B.P. Singh presided over the four-day Global Buddhist Congregation in November 2011 in New Delhi attended by around 1,000 Buddhist scholars, thinkers and followers from over 30 countries to mark the 2600th year of Buddha’s Enlightenment. His Presidential Address was subsequently printed and circulated within India and abroad. And in these B.P. Singh occupies a unique position among public servants.

D. Academic and writer
As an intellectual with avid interest in academics, B.P. Singh held a variety of honorary academic and governmental assignments including (i) Chancellor of the Central University of Tibetan Studies, Sarnath for six years; (ii) Chief Editor of the South Asia Series on “Perspectives on Economics, Technology and Governance” of Oxford University Press, New York for four years; (iii) President, Namgyal Institute of Tibetology for five years; (iv) Chancellor, Sikkim Manipal University for five years; and (v) Mahatma Gandhi National Fellow.

Being an Administrator B.P. Singh was always occupied with important assignments but even though he was able to spare his time and energy for the literary work and penned down his memories, his thoughts and his experiences in six books including the acclaimed: (i) The Problem of Change: A Study of North-East India; (ii) India’s Culture: the State, the Arts and Beyond; (iii) Bahudha and the Post-9/11 World (all published by Oxford University Press. His forthcoming book is titled: The 21st Century: Geo-politics, Democracy and Peace (Routledge: New York – London 2017).

B.P. Singh is well-known as author of the Bahudha approach, which outlines the path towards a harmonious world as against the clash of civilizations.

B. P. Singh has also published articles and monographs on politics, culture, ecology, peace and public administration. He is also the Chief Editor of The Millennium Book on New Delhi published by Oxford University Press in 2001.

E. Life as Governor of Sikkim
It was under his aegis that the present Raj Bhavan of Sikkim, over a hundred year old British structure, was retrofitted and renovated following conservation norms. The building had been severely damaged and almost abandoned in the wake of a massive earthquake in 2006. This kind and timely action of Shri Singh helped preserve a veritable heritage structure.

F. A Creative Thinker
B.P. Singh is a creative thinker. In the aftermath of fall of the Berlin Wall and dissolution of the Soviet Union, B.P. Singh was the first to remark prophetically that “in the last decade of the 20th century…culture is emerging as a third factor in determining the status of the nation in the world after market and military strength, market having replaced military strength from its position of supremacy from post-cold-war”. (Preface to India's Culture: the State, the Arts and Beyond, OUP).

B.P. Singh has stated that in the new millennium proper nurturing of three powerful forces and movements- democracy, ecology and culture is essential to usher peace and harmony in the world(Democracy, Ecology and Culture: the Indian Experience, Publications Division, GOI) Towards this end, these movements, according to him, should be synergetic and not individualistic.

B.P. Singh is one of the first persons to have viewed the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) revolution as a new civilizational encounter. This has proven clairvoyant in the light of the revolution that ICT has brought about (Our India, NCERT).

B.P. Singh has propounded the concept of Bahudha, a dialogue of harmony in the age of fundamentalism. Bahudha celebrates diversity but also calls for cultivation of an attitude of mind which has “respect for another person’s view of truth with hope and belief that he or she may be right”. The Bahudha approach is extremely relevant today since it imparts primacy to dialogue and cooperation and negates unilateralism. It also advocates a new look at religions, education

programming and strengthening of international political architectures: the United Nations (Bahudha and the post-9/11 World, OUP).

G. Motivator of youth
Through his writings and speeches, Shri Singh has consistently expressed his love and concern for the youth in the country. His enduring affection for the young Indians is evident from his latest book- Our India, published by NCERT. Our India, written in an elegant and readable style, is a simplified reading of Indian history shorn of all complexities meant especially for school children. The book motivates the readers to take pride in the glorious history of India.

His role as the Chancellor of Sikkim Manipal University required Shri Singh to interact with the young students on a frequent basis. His encouraging words and inspiring talks always characterized these interactions.

H. Reposition and Speeches
As a repository of Indian History, Art and Culture and political theory, Shri Singh’s speeches are well known for their stimulating and informative content. Two volumes of Shri Singh’s speeches titled “Speeches and Messages of Balmiki Prasad Singh, Governor of Sikkim” were released by the Government of Sikkim in 2011 and 2013 respectively.

I. Books
Singh, B. P. (1975). Threads Woven: Ideals, Principles and Administration, LBS Guwahati, 1975, the second edition published byAllied Publishers, New Delhi in 2010.

Singh, B. P. (1987). The Indian National Congress and Cultural Renaissance, Allied Publishers, New Delhi 1987 and the second edition in 2010.
Singh, B. P. (1987). The Problem of Change: A Study of North-East India. Oxford University Press, New Delhi, 1987 and latest reprint in 2010.
Singh, B. P. (1998). India's Culture: the State, the Arts and Beyond, Oxford University Press, New Delhi 1998 and the second edition in 2010.
Singh, B. P. (2008). Bahudha and the post-9/11 World, Oxford University Press, New Delhi 2008.
Singh, B. P. (2011). Our India, NCERT, New Delhi,2011.
Singh, B. P. (2017).The 21st Century: Geo-politics, Democracy and Peace (Routledge: New York : London, 2017).

J. Awards and fellowships
B.P.Singh has received several awards and fellowships, including the Jawaharlal Nehru Fellowship (1982–84), at New Delhi, Queen Elizabeth Fellowship (1989–90) at Oxford University, UK and Mahatma Gandhi National Fellow (2007-08) at New Delhi

B.P.Singh is the recipient of the Gulzarilal Nanda Award for outstanding public service in 1998 from the President of India. He was given the Man of Letters Award by His Holiness the Dalai Lama in 2003.

K. Profile: A Synoptic View

B.P. Singh is an eminent representative of the post-independence generation of scholar-civil servants. He is indeed a role model and example for others to emulate.
In formulating an administrative goal, BP Singh always follows the traditional approach of a Deputy Commissioner. He sees the grounds, talks to the people, and consults the available records. The visible and at times not so visible social, cultural, economic and political factors have a bearing on his formulation of plans of action. Once settled, he puts all his energies in implementing the set of goals with determination, in a cool and calculated fashion, keeping small details in view. His understanding of the people, geography and environment and his extensive reading about matter in hand have always been of considerable help particularly in initiating mid-course correction measures.

As a scholar, his mind is always in search of a novel idea and once he has vision of that, he goes for extensive research. He not only reads printed literature but also consults scholars as well as colleagues. He finally tests his broad conclusions with common people. It is only thereafter, that writing commences. His writings have enduring value. Several of B.P. Singh’s observations are ageless in character as these have been formulated at a time of deep contemplation and illuminated consciousness.

B.P. Singh grew up amidst green maize and wheat fields, mango grooves and festivals of the rural folk. As an adolescent he saw his village and its surroundings getting industrialized, which among other things broke the rigid caste structures. Later as a district officer, the green paddy fields and heavy monsoon of Brahmaputra Valley in Assam captivated him. Agriculture related music and dance, the lamps glowing in the dark in rural India all celebrating life continue to enthral him. The romanticism of rural India with its intimacy and intensity and wisdom of common people are integral to his personality justifying the dictum: you can take one out of the village but not the village out from him.

L. Balmiki Prasad Singh –In Service of Scholarship, Research and Education: A Note on Three Landmark Works
Balmiki Prasad Singh has authored seven books, the following three of which have made valuable contribution to human knowledge and are narrated in brief.

  1. The Problem of Change: A Study of North-East India. Oxford University Press, New Delhi, 1987 and latest reprint in 2010.
  2. India's Culture: the State, the Arts and Beyond, Oxford University Press, New Delhi 1998 and the second edition in 2010.
  3. Bahudha and the post-9/11 World, Oxford University Press, New Delhi 2008.


Problem of Change: A Study of North-East India

The Problem of Change: A Study of North-East India was published by Oxford University Press in 1987. The book makes an enquiry into the history and developments of the north-east India.

The north-eastern region of India has undergone radical change since Independence, more so than any other part of the country, `Development’ along with the introduction of modern political and administrative institutions, has had repercussions that have transformed the region into one of the most volatile territories in India. This book explores the processes of historical change in the light of recent history and the issues confronting the people in general and political and administrative institutions in particular after 1947. It also highlights the timelessness aspect of cultural forces operating in the region.

The reorganisation of Assam in 1971-72 changed the political landscape of the region in decisive ways. The grant of separate statehood to seven States of the region facilitated in a great measure to have the principal tribes of the region to have their own Assemblies and Council of ministers. At the time of reorganisation, the need to have a forum where an integrated and coordinated view of the entire region could be taken was strongly felt, both for reasons of security and development. The arrangement however had to fit in the federal structure of the Constitution and, accordingly, it was provided that the North-Eastern Council (NEC) would be an advisory body and not, in any way, infringe upon the political autonomy of the constituent units.

B.P.Singh makes farsighted observation when he writes in the Epilogue of the book: ‘As society faces change, problems and conflicts will continue to arise. Despite several challenges, the ideals of democracy are widely accepted and have been sustained through difficult periods. The vigour of its practice and the growing faith of people all over India in democratic processes ofgovernance is an encouraging sign. A new society should emerge from the intense conflicts and accelerated transformations taking place’. Thirty years later one can say that democracy has taken deep roots in North-East India and has contributed to spread of education, strengthening of institutions of rule of law and overall economic development.

The Problem of Change popularised, the concept of north-east India among scholars, administrators and journalists. No wonder the books and papers published after 1987 on the region have a stamp of this work. In fact during the past 30 years, the book has emerged as a textbook for students and inquiring minds that are keen to understand the history and dynamics of the region. It is also a reference book for scholars, journalists and public leaders in

View of quality of its research, fascinating insights and the ability to combine contemporary interest with history. The Problem of Change has been hailed as “one of the books yet on the north-east” as it is exceptionally well-written, and makes a comprehensive and thoughtful study.

India's Culture: the State, the Arts and Beyond
The scholarly journey of Balmiki Prasad Singh moved to the national and global concerns. Nearly a decade later he wrote another thought- provoking book titled India’s Culture; the State, the Arts and Beyond published by Oxford University Press in 1998.

In 1998, the prevailing notion was that communism had been defeated and democracy had won the political argument that socialism was ineffective and capitalism had won the economic argument; that military’s might had contributed to these victories and would maintain global stability. Many believed that out of such circumstances a kind of convergence was taking place and the world was moving into some sort of common cultural condition essentially based on certain Western values – and that these values would eventually become the bedrock of the international system.

India’s Culture challenged these notions. Ostensibly, B.P Singh’s book explored the roots and the evolution of India’s cultural experience, this book takes us on a fascinating journey of exploring India through analyses of broader themes and events and some personal accounts. It investigates India’s diversified cultural base: language and literature; science, and economics; and India’s role in Asia. The volume also discusses the relationship between the state and market, the debates regarding cultural preservation, harmonious aspects of Indian culture, the role of administration and the government.

This book integrates the two ideas – the uniqueness of India with a developed culture but a developing economy and culture as a factor in determining the status of a nation in the world.

B.P. Singh suggested that culture would be the defining, the most significant attribute of power in the world that was emerging after the Cold War. It was not the political agenda or the economic agenda or military arsenals that would shape and condition world events. It was culture that would be a critical feature. He wrote in the book “In the last decade of the twentieth century one could clearly see that culture is emerging as a third factor in determining the status of a nation in the world after market and military strength; the market having replaced military strength from its position of supremacy in the post -Cold War world. All these ideas were widely acknowledged by scholars and thinkers both within India and outside. It was widely acclaimed that India’s Culture provides a sense of the temporal depth and complexity…asserts that cultural history is relevant to the political economy.

B.P. Singh’s message, however, came with a warning: culture as a positive source of strength depends on how well the integrity of culture would be preserved and advance.

Bahudha and the post-9/11 World
Ten years later, this prescient message of India’s Culture had become a reality. The post-Cold War world has become the post 9/11 and the post-Mumbai World. The verities of democracy are being challenged by the authoritarian model of China and the quasi - authoritarian framework of Russia: faith in capitalism is badly shaken by the economic slowdown since 2008; the application of military force has de-stabilized large areas of the world and has certainly not brought peace or security to the Middle East, Afghanistan and elsewhere. The roots of much unrest are lodged in the fearsome power of culture and its capacity to provoke violence involving faith. We are moving from the notion of cultural convergence to a situation where culture as religious fundamentalism has become a frightening tool of disruption. The darker side of culture as power has emerged with a lethal potency and now we are desperately looking for ways in which to prevent this from growing into a great consuming force.

B.P. Singh started searching for a response and this found expression in his landmark work Bahudha and the Post-9/11 World published by Oxford university press in 2008.

Since 9/11 catastrophe in the USA, B.P Singh startedcontemplating on exploring an enduring framework for global public policy – a policy for harmony among different peoples and societies in the post 9/11 world.The main questions are: How should we live? How do we control human nature that involves violent conflict and threatens peace? How do we subordinate sectarian and ethnic loyalties to work for harmony among people? How can love and compassion be made to prevail over oppression and exploitation? How do we engage in dialogue on a constant basis? Is the military alone capable of securing peace and calming passion fuelled by the mix of geopolitics and religion?

B.P. Singh found the answer in Bahudhā approach - an attitude that celebrates diversity and accords respect for another person’s view of truth with hope and belief that he or she may be right. This is best expressed in the Rig Vedic hymn that enjoined more than three millennia ago; Ekam Sad Vipra Bahudhā Vadanti (The Real is one; the learned speak of it variously). He describes Bahudha in the following words: ‘Pluralism could be the closest equivalent to Bahudha in the English language. But Bahudha is more than pluralism. For, the Bahudha approach is both a celebration of diversity and an attitude of mind that respects another person’s point of view. Dialogue is central to this approach’.

The Bahudhā approach recognizes that there is a distinction between plural societies and pluralism. Pluralism is an inevitable ingredient of democratic societies. The role of ethnicity, language, and religion are significant in plural societies. Pluralism in this context is an imperative for both developed and developing societies.Pluralist societies are necessarily multiethnic, multilingual and multireligiousbut with various boundaries: linguistic, racial, religious, and at times even ideological.

The Bahudhā approach does not believe in the annexation or transgression of boundaries or assimilation of identities and propagation of a simplistic world view. It merely facilitates dialogue and thereby promotes understanding of the collective good. The realization of one’s own identity may sustain boundaries and at the same time an understanding of other identities may help formulate a public policy of harmony. The Bahudhā approach is conscious of the fact that societies without boundaries are not possible. The culture of Bahudhā is deeply rooted in the inculcation of a special attitude from an early age. Dialogue requires a state of mind where one can strongly believe in one’s own way of looking at issues while simultaneously accommodating another’s stance. It is this mental discipline that makes one willing to consider the validity of another person’s viewpoint.

In short, the Bahudhā approach is both a celebration of diversity and an attitude of mind that respects another perspective. Democracy and dialogue are central to this approach.Diversity celebrates different belief systems, gods and goddesses andreligions. The human species cannot be of one belief or faith or system – humanity is diversity – somethingwe forget too often.

In B.P. Singh’s view, the problem lies in over-emphasizing the commonly shared belief among believers of various religions that there is only ‘one truth’. There is no problem in supporting this view as long as it relates to the quest for truth. However, problems arise in its practice. Most religions have a single ‘god’ and ‘scripture’. The believer of such a religion thinks that their ‘god’ is supreme and their ‘scripture’ contains the only truth. Fundamentalist groups insist on the scrupulous adherence to every tenet of their scripture notwithstanding enormous changes in ground realities based on new discoveries negating age-old beliefs and prescriptions. A scripture is a man-made document formulated by a saint usually in a state of enlightened consciousness. Such a document however may not be applicable to all times and to all people nor may it contain the answers to all human problems of an interdependent world.

Questions have been raised on whether the Bahudha approach applies to both believers and non-believers and whether itsrole is limited to an instrument of harmony among different faiths. B.P. Singh seesrelevance of the Bahudha approach both for believers and non-believers alike. In fact, he has consciously taken it out of closet of conflicts within a religion and between religions to the secular realm. He sees efficacy of the Bahudha approach in dealing with differences of opinion among the sects of various religions. For instance, disputes between, Muslim Shias and Sunnis have received prominence in the 21st century. Dialogue is also essential in resolving differences on geopolitical issues like territory are about the role of the State in affairs of citizens.In making Bahudha an instrument of public policy, he emphasizes two aspects. First, tolerance is a common feature of all great civilizations (Christian, Hindu-Buddhist, Islamic, Judaic and Sinic) and second, we need a genuine and mutually sympathetic interfaith dialogue to understand differences and find common grounds for peaceful coexistence. Leaving religion out of the public debate would be a grave mistake as it would deprive us of a critical source of establishing social harmony and mutual understanding. Bahudha could become a guiding principle in education, international organizations and national politics.

A secular society must allow religious pursuits, as it currently the case in a number of countries. There is need to understand and respect all religions while uphold the rule of law.It could be secured through educational programming, religious harmony, strengthening of international political architecture like the United Nations and the use of military power as a last resort under terms of the United Nations Charter. B.P.Singh writes: ‘A question is often posed about the role and relevance of the military in the construction of an environment for creative dialogue among civilizations. In the post 9/11 world, it is quite obvious that the ugly face of terrorism has given full justification for a strong military posture. In fact, the rise of terrorist activities in different parts of the world demands it. It, however, does not mean that military intervention can be taken in an arbitrary fashion. It has to conform to international norms and has to have the sanction of the UN system’.

The Bahudha approach will flourish when decent ethical people and a large segment of the global population comprising both believers and non-believers support it. Several scholarsboth within India and outside see in Bahudha approach the potential of creating a moral climate more suitable in resolving the conflict. In their view, Bahudha has the potential of opening a line of thinking that involves both the moral choice and intellectual endeavour’ . Fortunately, the numbers of people who see in the Bahudha approach the potential of opening a series of opportunities for resolution of conflicts and building a harmonious society and global order against the widely publicized theory of the clash of civilizations is on the rise.

Comments on the book :Bahudha and the Post-9/11 World
‘India is a great nation with a very rick culture, heritage and philosophy. It is important to combine these values of tradition with the technological and scientific development B.P. Singh is a person who has attempted to translate the values of this culture into his life’.

-His Holiness the Dalai Lama
Nobel Peace Laureate



‘B.P.Singh makes the ancient multi-layered concept of Bahudha breathe current air. For those fighting persistent poverty to containing newly emerging terrorist threats, the book helps us to reflect on the way we think of our world’.

-Ela R. Bhatt, Founder
Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA)



‘B.P.Singh’s book has the unique quality of drawing upon the philosophical foundations of Bahudha, living with plurality, and weaving it into a coherent blue-print for rebuilding the post 9/11 world ……. An enlightening reading’.

-Imtiaz Ahmed, former Professor of Sociology,
Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi



‘Drawing upon sources ranging from the ancient roots of Indian culture to his own experience as an international civil servant, B.P. Singh ……provides an essential framework for addressing the core 21st century global conflict……An important book that should be widely read’.

-Phillips Talbot,
Diplomat and President Emeritus
The Asia Society, USA



‘A scholarly, spirited and humane response to two very serious threats, viz. cultural homogenization and violence in the name of religion, that the world faces today. A most timely book’.

-T.N. Madan, Professor Emeritus
Institute of Economic Growth, Delhi



‘(This volume) explores of the most nettlesome questions facing humanity today……A distinguished scholar, public official, and diplomat……B.P.Singh is clearly an astute student of human affairs and an analyst of the first order…… Elegantly written and thought provoking ….. Volume rick in insights and deserving of wide readership’.

-Maya Chadda,
Professor, William Paterson University of New Jersey, USA



More readers should treat themselves to B.P. Singh’s writing. This is a very insightful book that presents how we can work on true peace through cooperation! We will never see peace until we learn to appreciate our differences. We don’t seek to overcome them but to understand. Mr.Singh is a brilliant author and true diplomat.

-Elizabeth C.Morgan “Corol Morgan”Lubbock, Texas



‘B.P. Singh deserves commendation for his eloquent and powerful words and ……..presentation…..this book will bring about a positive and harmonious approach in addressing terrorism……..Warm felicitations to the author for his masterpiece’.

-Shri Surjit Singh Barnala
Governor of Tamil Nadu



‘The scholarly and reflective account of how to come out of the kind of problems that we face in the world today finds a clear diagnosis in the book… a defining work….. well substantiate…. Logically explained….. and accessibly written. I hope this book will find serious readership every where’.

-N. Ram
Editor-in-Chief, The Hindu, India



‘Balmiki Prasad Singh puts forward the view that consciously we must work for propagating the values of a global family. It is our duty to inculcate the Bahudha approach in our society…..’.

-Radha Burnier
President Theosophical Society, Chennai



‘The fundamental issue facing the world today is unbeatably, “How to live?” or more appropriately “How we all ought to live? “This crucial question finds an answer in B.P. Singh’s book’.

-Jyoti Singh
The Tribune



‘What is the panacea for a world so globalised, yet with nations so unequal, living in mutual distrust, fear and, worse, terror? Is there a way to curb, if not eliminate totally, the clashes in the name of religion, region, language, community and caste? The answer is Bahudha….. Balmiki Prasad Singh blends knowledge of philosophy with four decades experience as a civil servant’.

-Mahendra Ved
The New Straits Times Online, Malaysia



‘One’s belief in a religion as the only truth or the superiority of one’s religion over all others leads the world to an impasse. Balmiki Prasad Singh’s labours are not in vain, because, however, distant the prospect, the world needs to be reminded that there is another way to recorder things’.

-S Nihal Singh
The Week



‘Very valuable work done…… I would definitely recommend to book because it explains the spirit of Bahudha as it has evolved and as it is practiced in this country’.

K.Subrahmanyam,
Strategic Affairs analyst and thinker



‘An expression of the author’s strong belief in the Bahudha approach: a process of dialogue by means of peaceful negotiations, with the goal of living peacefully in society…. Calls for a greater role for intellectuals, women and youth in the democratic processes of a county because ‘the more democratic the world becomes, the less would be the threat of terrorism and suicide killings’ Singh envisions a world where terrorism has receded, but the world would still continue to have to wage war with poverty, inequality, environmental degradation, disease, illiteracy, etc…. a must read for every man and woman who aspires for leadership’.

-Farida Haque
The Assam Tribune



‘An extremely valuable new addition to the literature on peace penned by an eminent author…. The book gives us the proper direction….towards the goal of achieving national security along with the read sense of security amongst our people’.

K.P.H.Tharakan,
Former Chief of Research and Analysis Wing, India



‘……an inspiring and learned coverage of the Indian pluralist civilizational ethos, from the ancient Vedas right up to Vivekananda, Tagore, Gandhiji and Nehru, and (how) to meet global challenges to world peace and harmony in modern times. It should be read by all who cherish these values’.

-Y.P. Anand,
Gandhian scholar



Bahudha and the post 9/11 world, authored by the renowned intellectual and administrator B.P.Singh, is not merely of academic importance in India and abroad, but is crucial to our very survival as a civilization. The book is relevant to all-political leaders, social workers, teachers, intellectuals, NGOs and even common people.

-Prof. M.V. Nadkarni



Badudha and the post 9/11 world talks about the mess that we have created through war, civil strife and terrorism and provides a way out of it. This book is must-read, coming as it does from a scholar of deep understanding and a compassionate administrator that B.P.Singh is.

M.N. Venkatachaliah, former Chief Justice of India



‘B.P.Singh’s argument is just the opposite of the work of Samuel Huntington entitled ‘The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of the World Order’…. While B.P.Singh sees in pluralism the resolution, the prospect of resolution of national and international discord, Huntington emphasizes that conflict, which is inherently politics, is inevitable. The inevitability of conflict is written very large in Huntington’s book. B.P.Singh’s book is about the long history of Bahudha from the Vedic times through Buddhism to the Panchsheel principles of Jawarharlal Nehru. Thus, these two represent contending alternative approaches to the world around us today, as well as alternative approaches to understand the past history

But here are many things which are wrong in Huntington’s thesis and many things which are right in what B.P. Singh tells us. If we accept the conflictual account as the only true interpretation of history, the practical consequence is to sow the seeds of further conflict. The emphasis on pluralism as a value has the potential of creating a moral climate more suitable for resolving the conflict.

His is the choice before us and in B.P.Singh’s book we see a reasonable argument which tells us why our choice should be in favour of an approach which is built upon the concepts of Bahudha. In fact, in social sciences we cannot get away from making moral choices. B.P.Singh’s notion of Bahudha has the potential of opening a line of thinking that involves both the moral choice and intellectual endeavour’.

-Professor Sabyasachi Bhattacharya
Former Chairman, Indian Council of Historical Research
(ICHR), New Delhi and an eminent historian



A few quotes of eternal nature:
  • “In the last decade of the twentieth century one could clearly see that culture is emerging as a third factor in determining the status of a nation in the world after market and military strength; the market having replaced military strength from its position of supremacy in the post- Cold War world.” - (India’s Culture; The State, the Arts, and Beyond);
  • “The partition of India was not merely a political failure. It was also our civilizational failure.”- (Our India );
  • “Good Governance does not occur by chance. It must be demanded by citizens and nourished explicitly and consciously by the nation- state.”- (Our India);
  • “It is my belief that as long as Indian society and polity encourage creative minds in the literatures and arts, science and technology, and give primacy to democratic institutions, to inclusivity and justice, India’s age- old cultural strength would continue to be renewed.” - (Our India) ;
  • “Democracy needs no astrologers. The time has thus come for political leaders, jurists, enlightened citizens and others who are concerned about the future of democracy to look closely at the challenges facing democracy in their country, and devise ways and means to remedy the short- comings in the working and structure of democratic governments.” - (First Ramdhari Singh Dinkar Memorial Lecture- 2012, on The Future of Democracy)
  • “Pluralism could be the closest equivalent to Bahudha in the English language. But Bahudha is more than pluralism. For, the Bahudha approach is both a celebration of diversity and an attitude of mind that respects another person’s point of view. Dialogue is central to this approach.” (Bahudha and the Post 9/11 World).
  • “A question is often posed about the role and relevance of the military in the construction of an environment for creative dialogue among civilizations. In the post 9/11 world, it is quite obvious that the ugly face of terrorism has given full justification for a strong military posture. In fact, the rise of terrorist activities in different parts of the world demands it. It, however, does not mean that military intervention can be taken in an arbitrary fashion. It has to conform to international norms and has to have the sanction of the UN system”. (Bahudha and the Post 9/11 World)

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