There are numerous ways our knowledge and hence our understanding of Asian politics has been filtered. The theme is the importance of the international context. The first theme is that of the endurance of traditional cultures that are unique for their ancient roots as well as for their richness in literature, the arts, and philosophy. In India, the modern Bharatiya Janata Party uses the lotus as a party symbol, thus consciously drawing on an artistic and religious tradition that dates back at least 2,500 years. The very notion of development, as the word is used here, is Western, the concept having been brought to Asia in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Development cannot be fully understood without recognizing its relationship to the political concepts of state and nation. The chapter also presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in this book.