Source: The Hitavada      Date: 30 Jan 2019 12:21:10

PRIME Minister Mr. Narendra Modi’s assertion of doing everything necessary for the country’s security in the coming days stems from the swift work the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) Government has done in the last four-and-half years in expediting defence deals that were pending for years during the previous regime. By bringing the defence projects pending for decades to fruition the present Government has scored a triumph of political will that was missing when the UPA was in power for a decade. 

Indian military is now set for some big-ticket inductions ranging from fighter jets to state-of-the-art surveillance equipment and long-range missiles. This was the need of the hour given the rapid advancement of military and technological might in the neighbourhood. Keeping our armed forces in a perfect shape with modern weapons and armament procured from the best in the business is imperative for India to act as a counterbalance to an overtly aggressive China. This concern has partially been addressed by the ruling dispensation by according top priority to clearance for defence procurement.

A flatter decision-making is must for the Government to equip the forces with latest technology. By putting into action as many as six big military deals in the last few years, the Modi Government has brought a logical conclusion to the ball that was set rolling in the UPA regime but was stalled in tracks due to inaction and lack of political will.

Attaching extreme importance to national security has been a highlight of the NDA Government. Procuring much-advanced Rafale fighter jets from France at a renegotiated and better price, buying the S-400 Triumf surface-to-air missile from Russia despite the looming threat of sanctions from the United States, induction of 145 M777 ultra-light howitzers for deployment on the northern borders facing China, stealth ship, apache helicopters, developing the nuclear triad, commissioning of a full-fledged naval base in the North Andaman Island have been key military decisions that were implemented in the last few years. This has provided a long-delayed boost to the armed forces.

Most of these decisions were marked critical by the top brass of the armed forces to enhance combat capabilities in wake of a military face-off with either China or Pakistan. Indian and Chinese armies were on the brink of armed combat in Doka La trijunction but it was avoided by subtle diplomatic moves. However, that flashpoint acted as a much-needed trigger for the Government to make quick moves in securing our borders and equipping all the armed forces with latest and cutting-edge technology as well as weaponry.

After implementing the reforms process the Government has addressed many concerns to a large extent. One big decision that is awaited now is ramping up the technological front. A lot still needs to be done about the digital battlefield. Ushering in total and swift reforms to enhance India’s presence on this front will be a big plus.

When the Prime Minister talked of not hesitating to take big and tough decisions, he was only underlining the Government’s firm commitment to go ahead with all the pending deals despite shallow politics being played by the Congress-led opposition on defence deals. By discovering a non-existent scam in the Rafale fighter jets deal and stalling Parliamentary proceedings without having any empirical evidence, the Congress is trying to keep the political pot boiling and dissuade the Government from making further defence deals in fear of allegations of scandals. Such pathetic attempts will die their own death as the Prime Minister and his Cabinet are resolute in their responsibility towards India’s security. More tough decisions are definitely on cards.