The entire nation knows and worries about the state of dilapidation of our armed forces. The bureaucratic neglect, constant and persistent obstructions in arming them, mismanagement and gamesmanship are legion and contributory factors for the state of our armed forces and capability mismatch for managing our borders against persistent and existential threats, particularly from China.
The sheer mistreatment by our political class of the brave men and women who join our armed forces, more out of deep patriotism than anything else, is well known and amply covered regularly and consistently in the media through the past 60 years. It makes any concerned citizen want to scream and cry in helplessness, but no one is listening. Again, the public have no say in how the country’s armed forces are managed.
These custodians of our borders, protectors of our civilization, are the nation’s most valuable resource. They are the most disciplined, fit, honest, self-sacrificing, clean thinking and top-end resource the country has at its disposal. Yet, our politicians and more so, our public servants, the bureaucrats, keep these front-line resources suppressed, depressed; and yet, still they soldier on. Even when it comes to seniority of rank, and pay scales, pensions, our most valuable resource is mistreated by our bureaucrats and politicians. This has to change immediately.
The armed forces, that were traditionally the least corrupt and honest, have also been gradually converted into dens of corruption by our politicians and bureaucrats, except perhaps, the front-line soldier. The amount of money siphoned off on almost all defense deals over the decades, has been amply reported in the media, and is legion. No political party has been free of this crime in one way shape and form; a crime that needs to have the death penalty through public hanging, if ever there were a case for public execution. You don’t play with the nation’s security and its front-line protectors. You nurture and honor them.
The situation is so bad, that the nation is hugely vulnerable on all fronts. Be it the Chinese; or the Pakistanis, who are essentially our own people, we are fundamentally, at their mercy. Notwithstanding the backbone our current government recently showed in Dokhlam, it was touch-and-go for the most part.
The force, weapon system and technology disparity with the Chinese is already so huge, and increasing at such a rapid pace each day, that they are set to be our emperors if they so decide, and there is nothing we can do if the story of our politicians, bureaucrats and consequently, defense services continues to be what it is today.
So many of our bureaucrats are in the head-in-the-sand mode, that there is no hope for the country if drastic change is not brought about in the defense strength and posture of our nation. Our civilization and nation are under existential threat, and our politicians and bureaucrats are only interested in their “chairs”, in using State Power, derived in the first instance from the people of the country, for their personal agenda, games and benefit. The Rising India Party says, stop it, Stop it Now! Question is, do the people of India desire this? Or do they desire that we continue on the same weak, self-serving path??
The government of India, in the 60’s, soon after the Chinese attack, rightly, went in for a narrative of self-reliance and consequently set up many public-sector defense research and enterprises. However, in their doctrine driven stupidity, they completely ignored the nation’s private sector, its entrepreneurs and did not involve them in defense research, industry or manufacturing.
Today, here we stand, with nothing but inefficiency, delays upon delays upon delays, bureaucratic walls and indeed a lot of siphoning of public money from the vital national security front line to show the Indian public.
To date, the country cannot produce its own jet engines, submarines, high-tech ships, front line tanks, heavy guns, even basic infantry guns that can be claimed to be world class. The nation is unable to compete with, and beat, the best there are anywhere in the world, in the design and manufacture of cutting edge drones, radars, deep sea sensors, fighter planes, even transport planes worth the name, and so on and on and on. We are reduced to being a second-class nation with second class defense systems and constant beggars for technology on the world stage.
The only bright spot, and that, in a second-hand sort of way, are the achievements of our scientists in the nuclear and missile areas. That too has been accomplished despite numerous constraints, with a lot of begging and borrowing. We had to rely on the Russians for the cryogenic engines, others for other systems and components, even as our own industry and entrepreneurs were kept out of the vital national need and frame. These same entrepreneurs and scientists, if they had a free hand, are capable of producing massive gains for the country and of competing against the world’s best, rather than always being sort of second-hand technology power.
The worst part of this story is that merely 25 years ago, China and India were at a similar stage, and today, China has leapfrogged so far ahead that most Indians, and certainly Indian politicians and bureaucrats, cannot conceive that we can still overtake and beat them, if our leader ship is of the right caliber, and our policies of the right kind.
The Rising India Party takes the position that this is not only possible, but that if elected, it will make this happen, fast and furiously.
At present, we are at the mercy of our foreign suppliers. At current force levels, we can fight a war only for ten days, and on every front, are woefully inadequately armed.
On the other hand, our forces are the best trained, show world-beating fighting spirit, and can win any war against anyone, at any time, if they are given the tools they so richly deserve, and the nation so desperately needs. But then there is artificial intelligence (AI) systems rushing in, replacing the human fighter, at high speed, especially where China and Chinese strategy is concerned. Where does that leave our ancient nation?