Homeland Security

The three dangers to India
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Issue Vol 22.3 Jul-Sep2007 | Date : 29 Sep , 2013

Map showing three dangers to India

Very few policy makers in India dare to acknowledge the danger to the nation’s territorial integrity. The security and integrity of the nation has become hostage to vote-bank politics. Democracy and more than eight percent economic growth will be of no avail if the country as such withers away. India is not only being frayed at its borders by insurgencies, but its very writ in the heartland is becoming increasingly questionable. The rise of a nation is predicated upon unity, peace and stability, which are essentially determined by good governance.

The prevailing security scenario poses the serious question — Is India’s development and economic growth becoming unsustainable due to poor handling of the security? There are three dangers to the territorial integrity that bedevil the nation.

Danger-1

New Delhi and the state capitals have almost ceded the governmental control over 40 percent of the Union’s territory to the Naxalites. The Naxals’ are aided and abetted by the crime mafia that runs its operations in the same corridor from Nepal to Andhra Pradesh, as well as Maoists of Nepal who in turn receive covert support from other powers engaged/ interested in destabilizing India. The nexus between ULFA and Maoists in Nepal is well established. In a recent attack in Chhattisgarh, Maoists of India and Nepal were co-participants. There are also reports to suggest that Indian Maoists are increasingly taking to opium cultivation in areas under their control to finance their activities. The Maoists – crime – drug nexus is rather explosive.

Danger-2

The security forces, primarily the Indian Army, have held the state of Jammu and Kashmir physically since Independence. The politicians and the bureaucrats have contributed nothing to resolve the situation. The danger has since magnified many times as displayed by the presence of thousands of supporters of LET flying their flags in a recent rally of dissidents. Under the garb of peace overtures, heavily armed infiltrators with tacit support from the Pak Military-Intelligence establishment continue to make inroads into Kashmir. They are at present lying low, waiting for an opportune moment for vicious strikes on several fronts to undermine the Indian Union.

This ghost force reared its head in a recent rally organized by Geelani. Musharraf and his sympathizers in India are working in a highly synchronized fashion for demilitarization of the Valley. Simultaneously, there is an insidious campaign to malign the Indian Army on one pretext or the other as part of the psywar being waged by the ghost force under Islamabad’s directions.

After all the wars, export of terrorism, inconsistent and weak policies by New Delhi, Islamabad could not win Kashmir only because the Indian Army held its ground. If the ghost force succeeds in making locals rise against the Army, it will be an unprecedented achievement for Islamabad. The talk of demilitarization and the campaign to repeal Armed Forces Special Powers Act, are therefore merely ploys that aim to achieve the Kashmir objective even as Pak Military-Intelligence establishment expands its tentacles not only within the Valley but in other parts of India as well.

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About the Author

Bharat Verma

A former Cavalry Officer is Editor, Indian Defence Review (IDR), frequently appears on television as a commentator and is author of the books, India Under Fire: Essays on National Security, Fault Lines and Indian Armed Forces.

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10 thoughts on “The three dangers to India

  1. I am no analyst, but an enthusiast, and I wonder, that if Kashmir was a danger to herself, could any opposing armed force defend the territory? I mean, It seems, that Pakistan would have severe logistical issues. Now, the highways are being developed, but highways in the mountains don’t mean that the front of advance is broad, but narrow. The highways are Chinese, and Pakistan would have a situation, where her supplies would have to enter her mountains to get to Kashmir. They might be engaged near her mountain passes before her armed forces avail of them, on the other side where they are needed.
    It’s pretty certain, that Pakistan has no dire need to engage Indian security forces, and China will defend Pakistan, if Pakistan cannot defend herself. India and Pakistan want to promote nationalism, that is not conducive to good relations. There is no need for any occupation of territory, by either side, belonging to the other. It’s certain, that Mr. Vajpayee saw this state of affairs, when he went to Lahore, prior to the Kargil War.

  2. The modern Mauryan empire should be ashamed of calling itself a democratic country, while having drconian laws that prevent one from speaking about secession, i.e. hindering freedom of speach. Being that said, the Mauryan union, if confidence in winning through the use of ballots, should be willing to conduct internationally monitored referendum to know the minds of the people living in the region. If they want remain withing this barbarous union, then they will say so, but what’s going on here is the empire sole resorte to the use of bullets to achieve its aims. Nothing is forever!, one day the Modern empire, like it’s older cousin, will collapse!

  3. The three dangers highlighted by Mr. Verma, regrettably, have roots in the structural weakness of the political order of India as it exists today. Over the last 60 years since Independence, the leaders of India have systematically failed to integrate the nation into a unified society, economically, socially and politically. In the absence of a unified resistence the disruptive forces which includes Naxals, Kashmiri extremists/terrorists, and the Pakistani China nexus, are thriving and growing in strength in the cracks and fissures of the Indian landmass. The weak central government and the fiefdom based governance at the state levels are directly responsible for this malaise. It is time to put first things first. It needs National integration through a common language, Interstate commerce regulations that are uniform and applicable in all parts of India, and center based National Security Administration that can override all other agencies. India cannot wish for an economic and military parity with China, if her states continue to flaunt their partisan interests like in the old days of princely states. Remember, it was not too long ago, perhaps 500 years, when a small army of invaders from the North rode into India and captured one region after another because of the politically and militarily divided landscape, ultimately changing India’s history. The opposite will be true if India integrates into one homogenous nation. It will command the largest freeworld market and see unparallel economic growth, provide a bullwork against divisive tendencies within the nation, and become a self sufficient military power that others will not dare to challenge.

  4. The Siliguri corridor should have more effective fortifications than the Maginot Line did. And, in the mountains, without infrastructure. This should be a moonwalk, if we can place troops on the Siachen Glacier. I realize that Bhutan is the nation above the corridor, but the corridor is extremely important. Infantry is important in mountainous terrain, and preferably, mountain troops. I feel, that the infantry is the backbone, and I wouldn’t want Indian troops in what is considered, the territory of another nation. There can be two lines of fortifications, in the mountains, one on higher altitude, another on the foothills or on a lower altitude. It seems, one cannot have it on the other slope of the mountain, because that is not our territory. I really cannot see how we can refine training, because I don’t see how we are not doing so now. Infantry is important, and roads near mountains make vehicles pretty inviting. The prevailing idea, with drones is, that this make the human factor irrelevant. I feel, making the infantry very mobile, without transport, is very relevant. If Infantry can move, without concern about support, this is what is pretty important, and it seems, this is what can be crucial. I could be wrong.

  5. Are you trying to scare people into believing that India is about to fall apart? For once start thinking that these very dangers exist for the neighbouring countries also. Pakistan is on self destruct path. Its very existence is under threat. China is scared of India that one day it will arm the now docile Tibet population into a revolt. As of last few years. Also, Chinese have picked up more fights in South China Sea than anybody else. Which country in the Asian and non-aligned movement is free from insurgency. It is part of growing up as a nation. So stop thinking in negative terms. Have a bit of self confidence.

    • dear hari sud ji
      people like you have slept over the centuries and let india and indians get raped and massacared-in this world cwithout agressive and strong defence we will crumble-india has crumbled in the past when our centre weakened -china and pak together forments that
      we have to undo what uk did to us -get the lost land of pak bangla afghan etc back

  6. It is somewhat heartening to know that someone understands the problem of the North East. Danger3.
    Our nation has been plundered and pilfered by the politicial class- perhaps the most dispicable kind of human form;
    and the North East political class is no different if not more guilty. It is criminal what that lot is up to.
    The North East problem exists because the local leaders, the political class is corrupt; the people living there are,what can be best
    described as ignorant of the larger picture/ fall- out and the rest of the country- primarily the babus in Delhi being indifferent.
    Now with the new found love affair between the insurgents and the Maoists there, there is no telling which way the situation will go. All the Op Bajrangs and Rhinos will come to a naught.
    The Centre is blamed for policy paralysis- but if that pervades the areas of national security- internal(maoists primarily) or external(China primarily),
    that might just be the death knell of the country as we know it. When crooks like A. Raja go back to a hero’s welcome (and our martyrs in Kashmir and Kargil forgotten)- I think the writing is on the wall.

  7. What a well meaning post, by an ex-army officer belonging to India. I readily agree that such a person feels so, as was expressed. But, you know, the unfortunate part is, the Naxal movement is not relevant, and hence, the issues to be addressed are not being urgently addressed. The Naxals will not, and do not have the support of the overwhelming number of the people of India. They cannot take over the nation, because really, no one, except the Naxals want the Naxals to operate. If I were a tribal, I would know, that there is a reason for their region becoming a battleground. The Police never went to the tribal areas, perhaps, and the Naxals are the people in contact with the tribals. The unfortunate part is, that this state of affairs is no impetus for the situation to improve. The real issue is, that the tribals be free in a free and independent India, and their habitat be respected by non tribals. I don’t believe, we ‘normal’ Indians are civilized, if we look and feel bad for the ‘uncivilized’ tribals, because they are not like us. We Indians must inculcate ethics, and not believe that just because we can earn copious amounts of currency, we are civilized. It is we, who are being uncivilized, perhaps.
    About Kashmir, it is perhaps desirable, that the state not become as disorganized as our other states. The people must be allowed to do what they feel should be done. Development must not become more of a priority, than it is seen as a priority by the people. The Chief Minister has support in the state, it seems. I don’t really see anything amiss happening to the state. Why cannot there be politics beyond party considerations?

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