De­ci­sive BJP vic­tory spells sta­bil­ity, pros­per­ity

SP's MAI - - EDITOR’S DESK - Jayant Baran­wal Pub­lisher & Edi­tor-in-Chief

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.

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