by Brig Arun Bajpai

Fair number of Indians feel that due their large manpower and 5000-year-old historical back ground sooner than later they will be a Global Power, if not a Super Power. However, in my perception these are only day dreams at best Mungeri Lal Ke Sapne. India after a few decades may become a Global Power but as for Super Power it is big NO NO . The reasons are not far to seek.

More than 70 years have passed since Independence, however till date we have not even be able to decide what are our security goals are? a global power or a Super Power must have its security goals identified because only then its defence forces can be built and organised to fulfil those goals which must have a short term and long term inputs. Despite more than 70 years having gone by we have none. So, without these security goals we have done no defence forces reforms. All our actions have been reactionary based on developing threats; no efforts have been made till date to plan our defence with a long-term perspective. Nehru our first PM was of the view that he does not need Army and that Police Forces are enough. It was 1962 Indo -China war in which despite once famous Indian Armed Forces who won Second WW for Britain and allied forces , Who fought with tremendous courage against China despite having WW2 303 Rifles ,W/O Summer uniforms under extreme cold conditions and ill led because of Bhai-Bhatija wad of Nehru , lost the battle to China .Nehru died in 1964 a broken man. 

This should have been a reminder to Indian Neta’s that Without strong Defence Forces in Today’s world no country has a chance. Nevertheless, illiterate Indian Netas acted on this issue in a haphazard way in fits and jerks. Otherwise how do you define that the copy paste that we acquired from British on defence forces at the time of Independence still carries on? The clueless Babus who know nothing of Armed Forces are chock-a-block full in Ministry of Defence. They rule the roost. It is only possible in India that the Defence of the Country is not the responsibility of the newly formed post of Chief of Defence Staff or the three Services Chiefs but it is the responsibility of Defence Secretary who before becoming Defence Secretary may be Secretary of Fisheries Department. great going Sir. As for clueless Neta’s how things are developing are that despite any number of warnings in last 72 years of Independence that China and Pakistan are our main enemies and we should be prepared at all times to fight two front war. 

Today when we are facing this threat from China and Pakistan ,as against the authorised strength of 42 sqns of fighter jet requirement for Air Force we have just 29 Sqns, just one more from Pakistan , In Navy we are authorised 200 fighting Ships we today have just 130 Ships and as against requirement of 24 modern submarines excluding nuclear powered submarines we have just 13 rickety submarines who can not be relied upon to surface if they dive, As for Mountain Strike Corps having 1.5 lakh troops it is having just the Corps Hq and one division. Ridiculous. Our Neta’s have bigger priority for Kissan Karj Mafi then defence of the country and we want to be a Super power? 

A super Power or a global power should have a sound economy a throbbing one so that we can assist our immediate neighbours and that they do not fall head over heels to the enticements of our competitors. Do we have one? Till 1990 we were growing what people use to say Hindu rate of growth, just about 3-4%. Credit goes to PV Narsimha Rao then PM of India who brought in Economic reforms and we moved forward with gusto. w/o a sound economy and equally strong military no country can become a Global power or Super power. We will have to be a hegemon prepared to take military action where it is needed at the same time, we must have a sound and growing economy. Our neighbours at least are South Asia should be in our awe that they have to obey our dictates come what may and not rush to our competitors. Is this happening? Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, they are all in Chinese camp or showing inclinations towards China, even Tiny Bhutan is twiddling its thumbs at us at times, and we are dreaming to be a Super Power. We must understand that we have the potential to be a super Power but it is not possible under its illiterate Netas, In India an illiterate can fight an election and win becoming an MLA or MP. Similarly, the bureaucracy of India is most corrupt, these Babus only think of themselves. With this combination of illiterate Netas and self- serving Babus to think that India could ever be a Global or Super power amounts to self-deception.

If we really want to be a Global or Super Power then we will have to work towards that goal. We just can not sit on our haunches basking in glory of our past history and young population. We must educate our people to forge a national unity W/O use of force. We should be more tolerant where all people of different caste, creed and religion get equal opportunities to progress. If any individual or community starts resisting then we should not be averse to taking decisive action against them. We must set in Defence goals and bring in major reforms in Military and economy. The Indian Netas must put in our diversity in all fields be it religious, ethnic, caste to good use instead of tearing them apart for vote bank. India must be a secular, non- communal, multicultural society. We must shun the lure to become a Hindu Rashtra. We must start becoming self- reliant in all fields be it a production hub, engineering hub, military and economy. We should not sit within our country boundaries waiting for the opponent to strike but should be prepared to take fight to the opponent’s camp. We should never forget the lesson that Geeta taught us -Always work hard, without desiring good results?

Brig Arun Bajpai (Retd) is a distinguished Defence and Strategic Analyst. Views expressed are of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of IDN. IDN does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same