Legitimacy of Power: The Permanence of Five in the Security Council by Dilip Sinha
Legitimacy of Power: The Permanence of Five in the Security Council by Dilip Sinha

It all started with Kunal Kamra!

Book Review of
Legitimacy of Power by Dilip Sinha

It all started with Kunal Kamra!

Elections were just 10 days ahead and campaigning was at its peak.

Our whole nation is wondering whether Rahul or Modi?

And there I was lying on my bed, binge-watching Friends on Netflix and guzzling every piece of French Fries from the plate right next to me with no worries of what’s happening in World, let alone Politics.

It’s when the Friend series ended, and boredom started hitting me that I opened YouTube and saw this Kunal Kamra’s Standup video on my feed. I watched it and bammm!!!

Suddenly, the term “Politics”, to be specific “Indian Politics” started seeming alluring to me.

After that, I started watching his podcasts.

That turned me towards politics and the next day I found myself reading “India After Gandhi by Ramachandra Guha”, watching debates, answering political questions on Quora.

See, all my life, I have relished non-fiction books but never have I ever thought myself of someone who is gonna read political books.

Okay, enough of the diversion. Let’s now get to the point :p

When I got the request to review “Legitimacy of Power by Dilip Sinha”, I couldn’t impede myself from saying YES.

It is like you’re eating a Dosa and a guy comes towards you and ask, “Bhaiya! Extra Chutney Sambhar loge?”. You can’t say no to that.

I was so immersed in reading political books that I couldn’t say no to this request.

Plus, I have zero knowledge about the United Nations.

I have heard a bit about it though earlier in school and from friends & people but till then, I didn’t know about what they do.

So, when I received this book, my first reaction wasn’t good. As the book seems more like an academic book for a student doing his honors with Politics rather than you know… a non-academic book.


As I read it. As I progressed, the cover, the size all starts to seem like a fish in the ocean. That’s how good the book was.

Opening Lines: The fifteen members of the world’s most powerful international body sit around a horseshoe-shaped table in the United Nations in New York.

Page Counts: 321 pages

Publisher: VIJ Books India Pvt Ltd

It has in total of 16 chapters that starts from the birth of UN’s (United Nation) to the problem it has faced till now with a conclusion at the last.

For those of you who don’t know about ‘What the UN is?’ or ‘What it does?’. Well, let me explain!

When the First World War ended on November 11th, 1918, the ‘League of Nations’ was formed to not let such kind of war happen again but it collapsed within 2 decades of its formation.

It’s when the Second World War which is also known as the most devastating war in human history ended, the United Nations was formed ( on October 24th, 1945 as a successor to the ‘League of Nations’) which is basically an intergovernmental organization to promote international cooperation.

UN is the only international body that can take or authorize the use of military force against a country, whether a member (which is 193) of the United Nations or not.

There are only 5 countries who are the permanent member of the Security Council:

  1. The United States
  2. United Kingdom
  3. China
  4. Russia
  5. France

Dilip has talked about the predominant position doled out to these permanent five in the Security Council and their presentation from that point forward.

They are there because they led the military alliance against Germany, Italy, and Japan in the Second World War (1939-1945).

All this stuff regarding what the UN is and how is it formed and everything, I gained from this book.

At first, when I started it, I had to look about a lot of stuff on Google to understand things better but that’s only because I was null when talking about the World War scenario, the Cold War and other political happenings.

Plus, I really appreciate the author who has tried his best to make people like me, understand things better.

After the Index, it has a list of abbreviations that are used in the book like ILO, NATO, INTERFET, etc.

At the end of every chapter, there’s an Endnote which is like a summary of what major things happened in that chapter.

Every chapter starts with an introduction that if you read will surely immerse you in the chapter. Like this is from the first chapter:

The United Nations was created as a collective defense organization against the enemy of the Second World War. It evolved over time into a collective security organization. Though collective security is now considered an essential element of international cooperation, it is a new concept in international relations. War has been accepted as a legitimate instrument of state policy and empire-building considered the best guarantee of security. This chapter deals with the rise of the nation-states, their wars of national aggrandizement, the struggle to delegitimize war and to bring sovereign states within the purview of international law, voluntarily created by them to regulate their own sovereignty.

And at last, there’s a big index you can look in to for anything related to the book.

I’m not going to summarize about what happens in the book because for that you’ve to read it yourself.

So, at last, I would say that it’s not an easy read. You’ve to Google a lot of things while reading it but you know what! All of that is worth it!!!

This is the kind of book that makes you smart.

My Rating: 4/5 stars


Legitimacy of Power: The Permanence of Five in the Security Council by Dilip Sinha

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So, that was our Review of ‘Legitimacy of Power by Dilip Sinha’.

Do let us know in the comments if you like it or not.

Also, read:

The Sellout Nation by Vikram Bhatti

Nehru: The Invention Of India by Shashi Tharoor

Read, think and take a fresh turn – What is an INDIAN?

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