Does India's Real Failure Lie in Defence Capabilities?


Yet another day with another record breaking cases of coronavirus. Whole lot of mass is fighting for its survival but our chosen government has no time for recapitulating its strategy against the virus.

It is not the only situation in which Indian government is unable to grip their foot on, but India usually faces problem in the development of every sector be it education, health or defence (which is considered to be the pride of any country).

Spending On Defence Sector

Despite the increasing threats from both China and Pakistan and emerging security challenges, India’s spending on defence has dropped by four per cent in terms of the government’s total expenditure over the last six years. In 2017-18, it was 17.73 per cent of the total government expenditure, 17.43 per cent in 2018-19, 16.86 per cent in 2019-20 and further dipped to 14.05 per cent in 2020-21.

It’s the lowest at 13.73 per cent at the time when India is looking to boost its military power to face the twin challenges -- China in wake of the military tussle in Ladakh and Pakistan.

Reduction in the expenditure of Defence budget in these times would cost more in the future when Indian economy would be trapped by the Chinese economy.

Defence ministry is left with fewer than 20 frontline combat ships and submarines in the last decade. Defence equipment cannot be developed overnight. It requires strategy and a huge lot of money in hands. Modi government extended their hands for the betterment of industrial sector for production of consumer goods which puts up a question that what if India gets attacked by its neighbours? Will our military forces be able to combat them without equipments?

There are a lot of incidents which proves that the defence ministry under Modi government has mismanaged our defence sector:

Pulwama Attack: How a country like Pakistan was able to implement such heart throbbing attack on India’s arm force? The only reason is its capability in defence management. Almost half of the expenditure is incurred for the management of the equipment to have a grip over any country. While India, which is 9 times larger than Pakistan in size, has weak offensive capabilities even to fight back with a bang.

China-Pakistan Conflict on Ladakh Front: Over decades, we have seen how Chinese army is captivating India’s land to expand its boundary. Its quite wondering that how china managed to get into the boundaries especially that of Ladakh and establish their base if it comes under the territory of India? One of the answers ought to be the carelessness of the armed forces and the unavailability of the adequate resources to restore Chinese army and back them up. On the day of fight at the border, Indian Army stood armless and fought bare handed while Chinese army was well equipped with arms and ammunitions. China has better air defence, missiles with greater range, better radar and aircraft with better stealth capabilities compared to that of India.

Public View

Every Indian would demand the government to fight back against a country like China who made the world suffer from this deadly virus and again coming up to trap our land. But PM Modi decided to confront them with discretion rather than a strong fight against them. The reason to be heard is incapable defence equipment against china to combat the movement. This only shows the weakness of India in front of any powerful country. More than this we have seen India’s relation with other neighbouring countries have also deteriorated leading to India’s position weakening globally.

Wrapping Up

Though Modi government came up with make in India in defence Sector in the initial time, it finally decided to cancel it and allocate the funds for fulfilling the pension schemes and statutory payments.

Happymon Jacob talks to Pravin Sawhney, the founding editor FORCE magazine, about Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s defence policy, the need to understand the real threat from China, the future of warfare and India’s unpreparedness for the same.

The Modi government's keenness to improve India's Military force is limited to papers only. If India wishes to gain social and economical recognition all over the world then it is very important to have a better and competent arm base. Allocating hard earned money of citizens for campaign purposes would only lead to wastage of funds.

It’s the high time for the Government to look up on this matter as a concern for betterment of India's defence ministry along with Rajnath Singh, who is the policy maker and action taker of defence. Allocating funds to defence, education and health sector should be given priority as it develops the base of a country and would contribute to GDP. Due to low competitiveness, when it comes to war, India decides to step back highlighting its incompetency. This, sometimes, represents India as a weak and easy to attack country.

Written by - Radhika Gandhi

Edited by - Prachi Raheja

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