I had the opportunity to introduce our group to General V.P. Malik, the President of the Institute of Security Studies at the Observer Research Foundation (ORF). After reading his biography I was unsure how he would take to the group or us to him. To my surprise, this meeting was far and away one of the best we had throughout the week. It is also worth noting that on the final day of the trip, Monday March 8th, our group visited the ORF headquarters in New Delhi where we heard from Ambassador M. Rasgotra and other notable leaders at one of India’s premier think tanks.
General Malik provided a comprehensive timeline detailing the development of the Indian-Israeli military relationship. Previously, other individuals we met with tended to dodge this subject.
But General Malik presented himself in a clear manner and answered our questions directly, rendering himself incredibly informative. It was also interesting to hear about his personal experience in Israel and his relationship with AJC. He made it clear that his decisions to engage Israel have not always been welcome but that they are mutually beneficial. Moreover, he explained that the perception of Israel for the common Indian man on the street has changed for the better due to this military partnership.
What a refreshing statement!