Security Paradigm for New Bharat
The youngsters should be encouraged to get military taring during their college days irrespective of their chosen profession for livelihood. — Alok Singh
The prevailing challenge in the world is security. No country is secured today. Every nation is redefining the meaning of security. It includes internal and external security. The border security includes land, air, and water. There are tradeoffs among various securities, whether it be energy, food, defense, technology, and so on.
The defense security is of utmost relevance. The capability of the defense security maneuvers the energy security and food security. If we are self-reliant in energy security and food security but lack defense security then our energy and food security is vulnerable. If we are self-reliant in food security and defense security but lag in energy security then our defense security and food security are vulnerable. If we add technology security to this spectrum of securities then the tradeoff among varieties of securities becomes more and more complex. The nations within and across have security tradeoffs.
One nation is strong in one security paradigm then the other nation is strong in another paradigm. For illustration, China has the advantage over 21 kilometers of narrow stretch of Siliguri corridor which is also called Chicken’s Neck as this narrow stretch is the connectivity of the Bharat with the northeastern part of the Bharat. Bharat has a huge advantage in the Indian Ocean. Our naval forces in general and nuclear-powered submarines in particular are a nightmare to the Chinese. If Chinese hand has our neck, then we have our foot on Chinese chest.
The new wars are not fought by men but it includes women, technology, communication devices, and the supply chain of the defense forces. We lost to the Chinese in 1962 despite having a stronger army than the Chinese, the culprit was the poor logistics management. The huge collateral damage to Americans in the Iraq war of 2003 to 2011 was due to the strategy of Iraq to make logistics tough for Americans. It’s not always the weapons and men but the mindset and the logistics which has emerged as an important factor of winning or losing the war. The7 October 2023 attack on Israel by Hamas is alive example of failure of high-endIsraeli defense technology by hand made ordnance supplies of Hamas.
The learning is that there are circumstances where traditional weapons can beat technology. We need our people to prepare and preserve our traditional defense knowledges and keep marching ahead to be self-reliant in technological warfare. The mindset be that it is the responsibility of each one of us to defend our motherland and do the actions and preparations accordingly. This is the demand of the defense system.
Technology and economic security are also important domains that are driven by defense security. There have been occasions like the Pokhran nuclear test of 1998 when we did not restrain in executing our planned efforts beneath the fear of varieties of international sanctions. We had strengths and at last, the world had to lift sanctions. But the world tried its best to trade off our march towards defense self-reliance with other securities like oil, technology, and finance. Finally, we were acknowledged as a nuclear state.
Self-reliance in food security and energy security seems achievable. All the stakeholders contribute and participate in the food and energy security. As a citizen, it’s our responsibility to minimize food wastage and optimize energy consumption. Same way as a citizen, we have responsibility for defense security. The common people of Ukraine and Israel are a live example to demonstrate the responsibility towards defending the motherland.
The general perception is that the defense forces like the army, navy, and air force are solely responsible for defending the border of the motherland. The government is supposed to allocate budgets and intervene in generating resources for the defense forces like technology requirements, and provide other necessary resources. Apart from the government and defense forces, international relations and financial economics are also influencers at the policy level for defense establishments. The role of society and citizens in defending the nation is blind. Citizens and society need clarity. The Sangh Prathana which is repeatedly sung every day by Swayamsevak at Sanghsthan mentions invincible strengths, the sentence is vt¸;kapfoÜoL;nsgh'k'kfäEk~.
Moreover, the concept of “AkhandMandlakaram” of Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhaya ji is well acknowledged for economic and social issues. The concept of “AkhandMadalakaram” is equally applicable in defense as well. The Rashtriya Swayam Sewak Sangh (RSS) is preparing the generations to realize their responsibility towards national security and defense establishments. RSS has contributed during various wars by organizing blood donation camps for the defense personnel, and supporting other logistics whenever the need arises. The contribution of RSS during national emergencies, pandemics, floods, earthquakes, railway accidents, and airway accidents is full of many acknowledgments. The defense is a spiral structure like the spring of a ballpoint pen in which citizen, family, society, governments, defense forces, and other stakeholders has to participate and contribute to serve the motherland proactively.
There is another concept of a citizen army. A citizen army is defined as citizens who are trained to serve the nation during wartime and align with the professional army. During normal days the citizens live civilian life but when the emergency arises, they support the army including in combat operations. Terrorist organizations have their well-prepared supporters in society and such people live a normal life in a normal society. Such supporters become active when they are asked to contribute. Such supporters are labelled as sleeper cells. The ongoing anti-Israel protest reflects the penetration of suchsupporters who are a variant of the sleeper cell of terrorist organizations.
There are many countries where every civilian must serve in the army. There are many countries where women are an integral part of the defense forces. Russia, North Korea, South Korea, Israel, Brazil, Iran, and Sweden has prepared its citizens to serve whenever the occasion demands. In Russia, all abled-body men in the age group of 17 to 27 years must serve in the military for 12 months. North Korea promotes a military-first policy for school graduates aged between 17 to 18 years to join the military for 10 years. In South Korea, men must serve either for 21 months in the army, 22 months in the navy, or 24 months in the Air Force with certain exemptions for sportspersons. Israel has compulsory military service for all Israelis, men and women both, who are 18 years of age except ultra-orthodox and Arab-Israelis. Brazil has made compulsory military service of 10 to 12 months for all its male citizens. Iran has made it compulsory for all its men aged 18 years and above to serve in the military for 18 to 24 months. Sweden has made it compulsory for both men and women to serve in the military between 9 to 12 months. Israel and Sweden do not discriminate between men and women on providing military training.
Bharat has an alternative recruitment process for defense forces, like the Territorial army and a recent addition is “Agniveer”. These are opportunities are voluntary and not compulsory to serve in defense forces. Bharat has the youngest population in the world today. We rely heavily on our demographic dividend to be a developed country by the year 2047. Our army is much younger than China today. Soon, we will be the highest and the youngest defense force in the world.
The commitment of self-reliance is reflected in defense sector as well. The Bharat Forge, L&T, Mahindra, and TATA, HAL and many more has proved their mettle in world class defense production. Many PSUs and startups have joined the indigenous defense manufacturing fraternity. The trust on our own resources in defense production has started seeing the day of lights. The motivation and the speed of outcomes of indigenous defense product manufacturers are well acknowledged today.
We aspire to be ordnance exporters and equip ourselves with the youngest defense personnel, latest technology including in communication systems, and at the same time we should preserve our traditional skills of warfare engaging traditional tools and sacred defense knowledge. The modernization should not blind us to forget our traditional defense skills. Every citizen of the country should be trained well to defend the motherland when the situation arises. We as a citizen should think and prepare ourselves to serve the nation, even in combat roles. The youngsters should be encouraged to get military taring during their college days irrespective of their chosen profession for livelihood.