Decisive BJP victory spells stability, prosperity
The Narendra Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) historic and astounding victory in the general elections is the response of the people for a strong and stable government, not weighed down by regional parties and other forces. It is hoped that the new government will fast-track development in various sectors, particularly in aerospace and defence sectors that are keenly awaiting infusion of ‘investor confidence’, ‘proactive industry-friendly policies’ and ‘accelerated momentum of armed forces modernisation’, among other issues.
In the recent past, we have witnessed how gaps have emerged in armed forces modernisation programmes, how the needs of national security stare in one’s face, and how the pace of defence production indigenisation needs to be stepped up. It is not that the outgoing government did not take initiatives, they did, but somewhere along the course, the programmes hit a roadblock, not really helping the aerospace and defence sectors.
Hopefully this will change for the better. In fact, the BJP election manifesto has clearly indicated what it would do to strengthen internal security by giving muscle to the National Investigation Agency. It has said that it would completely revamp the intelligence gathering system by modernising the intelligence department. Reforming the National Security Council to make it the hub of all sector-related assessments, the BJP promises to provide state governments with all assistance to modernise their police forces and equip them with the latest technology.
It is good news that the former Army Chief General V.K. Singh is part of the winning BJP team and his inputs on defence would indeed help the government in understanding the urgency of armed forces modernisation and resolving a host of other issues.
In his frank and forthright viewpoint, Lt General (Retd) P.C. Katoch has pointed out that the priority for the new government should be to define a National Security Strategy (NSS) followed by a Strategic Defence Review, latter ironically glossed over by the Naresh Chandra Committee. The foremost need is to enunciate the NSS to shape the environment in India’s favour. In doing so, organisations and entities like the Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Home Affairs, Department of Science and Technology and Indian Space Research Organisation need to be closely integrated.
Lt. General (Retd) V.K. Kapoor has underscored the urgency to create a permanent Chairman of the Chief of the Staff Committee (COSC). Modern warfare demands true operational integration of the three services to win wars in the future and this is not going to come about through the type of “jointmanship” being practised at present. It will require political will to compel the services to be truly joint in their planning and conduct of future wars.
In this issue, Air Marshal (Retd) B.K. Pandey has called for a relook into the status of the armed forces. The politico-bureaucratic leadership has so far succeeded in keeping the armed forces out of policy formulation and decision-making at the national level, quite ironically even in matters of national security, we hope it will change.
We at SP’s M.A.I. congratulate the BJP on its victory and hope that it will give the necessary fillip to the armed forces, national security and overall economic growth.