Vision for India means setting a goal, what India should be at the end of a specified period, say 20 years. It will be an all encompassing vision. Strategic vision for India will be located within this overall vision.
The starting point for developing a vision would be our present potential, not in an abstract sense, but how far we are actually matching it.
This is where the first problem is encountered. The citizen daily faces denial of freedom of thought, expression and action. The institutions, legislative, executive and judicial have become quite rotten. Participatory democracy for the citizen, in real terms, has got limited to a mere exercise of a vote at election time.
Only two countries are real or potential problems, China and Pakistan. For the next 20 years or so Chinas objective will remain peace all around so that it can concentrate on its economic, military and cultural developments to match the US which is the only adversary it fears.
India now requires basic reforms, just not structural changes. Vested and greedy interests have to be eliminated. The whole society needs to be changed, not just a small nucleus of people. Any roadmap, drawn to reach an envisaged destination, will remain unattainable if a transformation cannot be brought about.
Before a vision is chalked out, the question of bringing a transformation has to be addressed. A soaring economic growth alone cannot bring this change as we have seen it. The poor and deprived are remaining at status quo while the middle and rich classes are upwardly mobile.
Our vision can be built up only on the basis of development of the marginalized sections of our society. At the heart of such development will be elements such as law and order, corruption free administration, social justice, fair treatment of weaker classes and so on.
Such development requires an integrated approach the objectives of which will be to improve through sustained effort
- The agriculture sector to abridge the urban and rural divide;
- Education and health for all, especially the rural areas;
- Governance, responsive, transparent, accountable, corruption free;
- Poverty alleviation;
- Removal of socio economic disparities.
The citizen today is angry, distressed and in despair. In our vision of tomorrow the citizen should be happy, content and full of hope. His fundamental rights should be expanded. He should be given the right to recall his elected representatives and to demand referendums at nation, state district and Gram levels. This should be the concept of direct democracy.
Pakistan will be our principal threat and its behavior will remain unpredictable. Our defensive posture should seek to reach a level where it can turn decisively offensive, in case of an attack, to neutralize Pakistan comprehensively.
All such ideas call foe extensive reforms in the existing systems. They are an indivisible part of the vision that we should cherish for our country. May be, a second Republic should be the first pervasive goal, to build towards a grand vision for the country.
A strategic vision is more easily definable. The areas to cover will relate primarily to military and foreign policies.
Militarily, we will not be looking for an offensive posture. It will be only defensive to take care of external threats.
Only two countries are real or potential problems, China and Pakistan. For the next 20 years or so China’s objective will remain peace all around so that it can concentrate on its economic, military and cultural developments to match the US which is the only adversary it fears. As for us, China will remain a serious competitor for resources, markets and influence in Asia and other parts of the world but a war like the 1962 war will be unlikely. Our aim should be to acquire enough defensive strength to deter China from aggressive actions.
Pakistan will be our principal threat and its behavior will remain unpredictable. Our defensive posture should seek to reach a level where it can turn decisively offensive, in case of an attack, to neutralize Pakistan comprehensively. The strategic goal, as far as Pakistan is concerned, should always be to remain superior in weapons, equipment and military power.
In the field of foreign policy, the right vision has already been established for much of the world. We are following a look East policy which has brought us the membership of East Asia Summit ARF (Asean Regional Forum) and Shanghai Cooperation Council.
Other initiatives like BRICS, BIMSTECH and Free Trade groupings are also being pursued. Such steps are in the right direction and will facilitate our economy to grow smoothly. The only exception is SAARC where Pakistan is the consistent obstacle. A new grouping of like minded South Asian Nations should replace SAARC to promote eco, trade, cultural and geopolitical interests in the region.