Canberra, 16 February 2023

Most of you who glance through my Blog Posts when the pull e-mail comes into your inbox would have noticed that I have posted very few political analyses in the last two years or so. This discrepancy was the result of a conscious decision that I made to step back from analysing current political developments, which I used to craft primarily from open-source material and information. Further, the reason for this decision was that it became difficult and almost impossible for me to verify the correctness and/or the unbiased nature of the inputs from which my own analysis of political developments was progressed. The trend in ‘reporting’ news in the past two decades, or even longer, has been for the reporter and the reporting agency to have their own agenda to highlight and therefore, the news items now are not true statements of ‘what happened’, but an exploration by the reporter or the agency of what they believed had happened, the gap between the two becoming so large that reality was impossible to decipher. Any further analysis based on these biased reports would obviously suffer from the flaws of the originals.

I needed time to rethink the manner in which I gathered information to collate my analysis, arrive at my point of view on contemporary global political and security/military developments, while minimising the impact of incorrect or biased reports from which out of necessity some information would have to be gathered. Simply put, I needed to change the way I gathered information, and more importantly, disseminated my opinions to the wider audience for their understanding. During this period of over two years of my limited engagement, in terms of writing, in global political developments, I came to the realisation that long analysis, primarily based on information garnered from less than reliable open sources, would not meet the objectives that I hope to achieve when a political analysis is done and published. I would like to think that I provide unbiased views of contemporary politico-security-military events and point the way towards where I think these occurrences/incidents would lead, under the prevailing circumstances. Analysis based on biased information would itself be starting on the wrong foot—at best, they would be partially reliable and still tend to be biased towards the original information bias.

The conclusion was easy to arrive at, much shorter ‘Opinion Pieces’ would be a more effective vehicle for me to communicate my views on contemporary politico-security issues and challenges. The added advantage being that I would be able to minimise the bias or misinformation that may have coloured the original information. This genre of writing would provide greater flexibility to put forward varying and various views rather than the set-piece analysis that, of necessity, would have to be structurally more rigid. Even though this debate was settled in my mind—I would write Opinion Pieces, rather than longer analysis—I had to face and solve another challenge that came up.

There is no doubt in my mind that writing is one of the strongest and most valuable tools that one could employ to interact with the rest of the world. Further, writing originates and is done either from the head (logic, reason) or from the heart (feeling, emotion). This brings in the debate—which of the two faculties is best suited to writing political or historic analysis, the head or the heart? I am inclined to believe that analysis and Opinion Pieces should originate and be written through the faculty that relies on the head. So, what are the differences in writing from the head or the heart?

When writing from the head, one is predominantly reliant on the brain; for the brain is full of facts, employs logic and reason and is as objective as possible. On the other hand, writing from the heart is more emotive and the writing is always touched by tangible feelings. It could also descent into a personal level and become almost like baring one’s soul for all to see. In this case, individual biases become dominant in the writing. If these are the clear differences between the two faculties and their employment, then it is obvious that analytical writing to put forward opinions should be the product of the head.

Informational writing, for that is what analysis and opinion pieces are, involves long hours of thinking and soul-searching, which could at times lead to some amount of confusion. However, normally it also leads to brief times of absolute clarity in the mind about what needs to be said. When writing a logically informative opinion, like a political analysis or opinion piece, writing from the head is a good idea, for opinions have to originate and germinate in the brain, thought through in a reasoned manner. These writings would have to be planned, controlled and structured with no leeway for garrulous wandering.

The challenge in this endeavour is to keep the heart away, no mean feat, especially when the topic being analysed and opinionated about is one that the author has feelings for and about. This is one of the reasons why I hesitate to write about the Indian Air Force, an entity close to my heart, for fear that the subconscious and deliberate biases would cloud my head, making it impossible to arrive at clear judgements. Keeping the heart isolated is almost impossible and therefore, the next best situation would be to be aware, at all times during the analysis, of this pitfall so that careful efforts can be incorporated to root out any bias that has crept in unnoticed in the first take of the writing.

The head also needs conditioning, especially when the writing has left the realm of pure analysis and is moving on to providing opinions, estimates and judgements. In every individual, opinions are conditioned by the personality of the writer—who he/she is? The writer’s identity in terms of race, ethnicity, upbringing, culture, and a host of other factors play a foundational role in forming opinions. They are further refined by the writer’s experiences and lifelong interactions with others; superimposed on all this are the individual’s education, status and place in society. These are attributes that the writer has no control over and therefore they subconsciously impinge on his/her thinking process. If the writer is not careful, these attributes can colour and skew the analysis and opinions. The writings from the head are more easily manageable in this respect, since deep-seated and innate biases can be weeded out and kept at bay though a process of careful reasoning.

The head is a thinker. Writing from the head brings out a structured approach, emphasises self-confidence and a clear understanding of the subject being discussed. This writing takes the objective of the writing as a challenge to inform, and when necessary, logically convince the reader of the veracity of what has been written—the ultimate objective of an Opinion Piece. Inputs from the heart in such an undertaking invariably makes the piece vulnerable to misinterpretation. Such inputs could destroy the centrepiece of the argument with one ill-advised sentence of a biased opinion that is articulated.

Opinion Pieces have to purposeful, precise and concise to be able to hit the target reader with the correctness of the opinion being presented. Achieving this end-state, with minimal words, requires the ability to know, predict and explain even complex issues clearly—if required through examples—achievable only through the employment of a ‘Thinking Head’. This argument is not meant to denigrate writing from the heart—some of the best writings in the world, in all languages, have come from the heart. The arguments put forward in this Opinion Piece are only meant to emphasise that informational and analytical pieces that attempt to provide unbiased views and opinions about events around the globe, and their implications, are best brought out through the Thinking Head.

So, dear readers, I am only clarifying my move from political analysis, which were sometimes flawed, to more concise Opinion Pieces … and putting forward my belief that only a Thinking Head can instil the necessary rigour and preciseness demanded to such writing—for the heart is full of sentiments and sensitivities, while the head stays true to reasoned lucidity and judgement.  


© [Sanu Kainikara] [2023]
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No part of this website/Blog or any of its contents may be reproduced, copied, modified or adapted, without the prior written consent of the author. You may quote extracts from the website or forward the link to the website with attribution to http://www.sanukay.wordpress.com/. For any other mode of sharing, please contact the author @ (sanukay@hotmail.com)

About Sanu Kainikara

Sainik School Kazhakuttam (Kerala), National Defence Academy 39/A, 108 Pilot's Course IAF, fighter pilot, QFI, FCL, psc, HACC, Voluntary Retirement as Wing Commander. Canberra-based Political and Defence Analyst specialising in military strategy, national security, and international politics. PhD in International Politics from University of Adelaide Executive Masters in Public Adminsitration (ANZSOG) Adjunct Professor, University of New South Wales, Distinguished Fellow Institute For Regional Security (IFRS) Distinguished Fellow Centre for Air Power Studies (CAPS)


  1. I love the way you write Sanu. ❤️🥂

  2. That’s what makes him an ‘Icon’👍

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