About the Lecture
In a world which is being increasingly divided on the basis of faith, race and ethnicity the concept of multi-cultural, multi ethnic and multi religious societies is under severe challenge. The path towards integration of societies is reversing towards disintegration. No nation large or small is escaping the negative effects of these trends which is attempting to create insular societies closely protecting their own space. Having lived as a member of the minority, educated with the belief of respect for all faiths, practiced and promoted India’s unique principle of ‘unity in diversity’ and led soldiers of different faiths in challenging tactical situations involving life and death, this talk is as much about problems of divisiveness as it is about models of integration. The speaker epitomizes India’s secular and plural image and will relate a lifetime of experience in how he has lived this philosophy.
About the Speaker
Lt Gen (Retd) Syed Ata Hasnain is one of India’s most decorated military leaders and a second generation officer from the Indian Army. He has retired after serving 40 years. He served in Sri Lanka with the IPKF, in Punjab during the heyday of militancy, the North East India militancy and had seven tenures of duty in Jammu & Kashmir including the Siachen Glacier. He also served with the United Nations forces in Mozambique and Rwanda in 1994-95 during the turbulent years. Among his most prestigious and challenging assignments in the rank of Lt Gen was the appointment of GOC 15 Corps in Kashmir where he initiated a slew of innovative measures in 2010-12 to turn around the situation. His doctrine of balancing what he called soft and hard power and efforts to reach out to the Kashmiri people, while conducting kinetic operations against the terrorists, succeeded in stabilizing the proxy internal conflict.
Post retirement, with his hands on combat experience in Hybrid Warfare he is virtually the voice of the Army in the media, both print and visual. He writes for all major Indian media houses and speaks on various television channels on subjects of his focus, to include Pakistan, Afghanistan, Central and West Asia, Radical Islam and military and conflict related issues around the world.
He is associated with the Vivekananda International Foundation and the Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies, two of India’s leading think tanks. He was also honored by the Capital Foundation Society of Delhi for his achievements in the field of military leadership. A graduate of St Stephen’s College, Delhi he did his post-graduation in International Studies from Kings College University of London and attended two major long strategic programs at the Royal College of Defence Studies (RCDS), London and Asia Pacific Centre for Security Studies (APCSS), Hawaii, US.