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A Cogent Tome On Security Challenges

Updated: September 29, 2012 1:35 pm

India is witnessing extremely challenging times. The new millennium is presenting more innovative and challenging trends than any other century in the past. After the end of cold war and rupture of biopolarism, India witnessed substantial and marked shifts in the domain of her security imperatives. In such a situation, India is bound to have a relatively wider and more comprehensive vision for the preservation and protection of her territorial integrity and national sovereignty from external aggression and, more importantly, from internal sources, or a combination of the two.

The present challenges facing India are varied. These have manifested in the form of low intensity threats characterised by tribal, ethnic, naxal extremism, and proxy war supported by Pakistan. Indian security environment is also affected by trafficking in drugs and proliferation of small arms. On the other hand, the conventional challenges, which emanate from some of our nuclear neighbours. We, therefore, have to be prepared to meet these multifarious challenges to our national security. It is against this backdrop that the 154-page book provides a cogent insight into India’s security preparedness.

From aggressive, devious neighbours to well-armed internal insurgents, the list of those taking aim at our nation is long. Our morally bankrupt political system and blinkered bureaucracy only compounds the mess. As the editor of Indian Defence Review, Bharat Verma lives by a simple philosophy: “Don’t give me a list of problems, give me solutions.” Solutions are what he offers in this sequel to Fault Lines, a compilation of his writings since then. The articles culled in this book range from ways to counter China’s imperial ambitions, to why a splintered Pakistan is in India’s interest; why we need to develop not just cutting-edge defence industries but also have an offensive orientation against those gunning for our democracy. Because at the end of the day, national interest is supreme.

In one chapter, the writer underlines that it would be prudent to equip the military at this stage with the best weapon platforms that will generate confidence and create deep offensive capabilities. Writing on China he highlights that India’s chaotic but successful democracy is an eyesore for the authoritarian regime in Beijing, which has created an excellent infrastructure of roads and railway network in Tibet that allows them to bolster its hostile posture towards New Delhi.

Dwelling upon dealing with Maoist menace, the writer maintains that the Maoist threat rated as biggest to the Union is not because the Maoists are better armed and financed than the jihad factory on our borders but due to the threat posed from within that disrupts the growth of the nation. A nation that lacks harmony within is incapable of handling external threats. Talking of Pakistan, the author cautions that in the event of the Pakistan army successfully managing to divert attention from internal problems and joining hands with China, India may have to face a formidable threat on two counts.

In the newer sense, the conception of security is being enlarged to encompass military as well as non-military, conventional as well as non-conventional threats and challenges to the state and society. Security is increasingly being revamped as “security of the people, not just territory; security through development, security of all people everywhere, in their homes, on their jobs; in their streets, in their communities, and in their environment”. Against this background, the writer has dealt with Indian security scenario from every side. In this enthralling book, the writer takes a comprehensive look at the strategic and military challenges being faced by India today, and suggests ways and means to overcome them.

By Ashok Kumar

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