At the end of an outstanding but bitterly fought election campaign for 543 seats of the Lok Sabha (Lower House of the Parliament) polls in 2014, the Bhartiya Janata Pary (BJP) Government together with their allies won with a clear majority, 336 seats out of a total of 543 members of Parliament. The BJP itself also emerged with more than half the seats in the Lok Sabha having successfully won 283 seats out of a total of 543, thus gaining a simple majority by themselves. The BJP Government including the Prime Minister elect, Narendra Modi and all his ministers were sworn in by the President of India in a mega event held in the Rashtrapati Bhavan (the President of 26, 2014. Nearly 3,000 people from all walks of life attended the event. However the centre of attraction, cynosure of all eyes, was the Prime Minister himself whose brilliantly executed election campaign was still fresh in the memory of the audience witnessing the event worldwide.
In a bid to showcase India Õs democracy, the BJP and its allies invited SAARC leaders for the swearing-in ceremony. BJPs leader Arun Jaitley said: Ò The invitation to all leaders of SAARC nations to be present at the ceremony is to showcase Indian democracy and its strength to the world at large. It is a democracy event. It should not be viewed through the prism of bilateral issues between countries Ó. He further said the fact that India Õ s neighbours will be repre both democracy and greater integration of the region. Ó
The nation is thankful that at last we have a Prime Minister who himself works hard and expects other ministers to follow his activity in which they have been placed. It is high time that someone changed the poor work ethics of our public servants whose nuisance value and bad manners are encountered by our citizens in their daily interaction. The working style of the new Prime Minister seems to have been understood by all his ministers and day itself there was no change in the daily routine of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The day started with yoga and meditation, following which, he reached packed day ahead. According to media reports, he held a series of meetings at Delhi Õs Hyderabad House with eight South Asian leaders who had attended his oath ceremony. The last of those meetings was with Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, in which both leaders, decided that their foreign secretaries would be in touch, or meet, to discuss how to resume talks suspended since January 2013. As per media reports it seems that the Prime Minister did strongly convey his views on terror and raised the issue of the slow pace of the 26/11 trial in Pakistan.
Now let us come closer home to the issues concerning national defence, which are adversely affecting the operational preparedness of the nation. Some of these issues require immediate remedy. The state of operational preparedness and modernisation of the armed forces is unsatisfactory at a time when our likely adversaries are getting more and more aggressive. Under the circumstances the new government has a task clearly cut out for them to infuse fresh energy in the armed forces by and inducting modern equipment, granting additional capital budget for early procurements and pruning down the lengthy procurement more detailed paper laying down the Ò Defence Challenges Facing India Ó has been included in this issue of the magazine. In addition this issue carries an interview of the Director General of Army Air Defence (DGAAD), an article on the Philippine Army and an article on Urban Warfare among some other topics.
Lt General (Retd) V.K. Kapoor