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Sunday, September 5, 2010

Injustice, poverty and caste system are serious threats to India’s national security….

India’s insurgency is a much graver issue than its archrival neighbor, and this is not sparked by religious extremist. Its religious extremists only fan hatred and discontent. This insurgency is India’s hidden war and is sparked by multiple factors. The insurgents have their objectives clearly drawn; they want to get hold of Indian’s wealth. It is not that they want to push their ideology or force their brand of  faith, they want India’s mineral deposits for which they have waged a bloody war which is not of a recent origin. The Bailadila mine raid in 2006 was one of India's most profound strategic losses in the country's protracted battle against its Maoist movement, a militant guerrilla force that has been fighting in one incarnation or another in India's rural backwaters for more than 40 years.

Foreign Policy magazine, in its latest edition, has reported that for years, the Maoists had lived in the shadow of India's breakneck modernization. Now they were thriving off it. Only a decade ago, the rebels -- often, though somewhat inaccurately, called Naxalites after their guerrilla predecessors who first launched the rebellion in the West Bengal village of Naxalbari in 1967 -- seemed to have all but vanished. Their cause of communist revolution looked hopelessly outdated, their ranks depleted. In the years since, however, the Maoists have made an improbable comeback, rooted in the gritty mining country on which India's economic boom relies. A new generation of fighters has retooled the Naxalites' mishmash of Marx, Lenin, and Mao for the 21st century, re-branding their group as the Communist Party of India (Maoist) and railing against what the rebels' spokesman described to us as the "evil consequences by the policies of liberalization, privatization, and globalization."

Although it has gotten little attention outside South Asia, for India this is no longer an isolated outbreak of rural unrest, but a full-fledged guerrilla war. Over the past 10 years, some 10,000 people have died and 150,000 more have been driven permanently from their homes by the fighting. Still India finds time and resources to fan and fund internal disturbance in Pakistan’s restive areas.

Today, India's GDP is more than five times what it was in 1991. Its major cities are now home to an affluent professional class that commutes in new cars on freshly paved four-lane highways to jobs that didn't exist. But this affluence is not for Indian majority. Economic liberalization has not even nudged the lives of the country's bottom 200 million people. India is now one of the most economically stratified societies on the planet; its judicial system remains Byzantine, its political institutions corrupt, its public education and health-care infrastructure anemic. The percentage of people going hungry in India hasn't budged in 20 years, according to this year's U.N. Millennium Development Goals report. New Delhi, Mumbai, and Bangalore now boast gleaming glass-and-steel IT centers and huge engineering projects. But India's vast hinterland remains dirt poor -- nowhere more so than the mining region of India's eastern interior, the part of the country that produces the iron for the buildings and cars, the coal that keeps the lights on in faraway metropolises, and the exotic minerals that go into everything from wind turbines to electric cars to iPads.

Reader may read rest of the article in Foreign Policy magazine but they may be tempted to draw some lessons from India's example, like:

  • No amount of money spent on army and its equipment can guarantee national security. USSR had one of the biggest armies with the latest equipment but it disintegrated after fighting a war with force much inferior in numerical strength both in terms of human and technological strength.This can only push the poor further down the poverty line,
  • Similarly even the critical mass i.e. large area and population can not guarantee national security,
  • No amount of GDP can help if the national wealth is not adequately distributed,
  • National security can be guaranteed only by a robust economy built and owned by the people which offers equal opportunities to all and which does not have a place for an elite class. A country where justice prevails, which is corruption-free and where masses are happy and satisfied is eternally immune to the threat to its national security. Many European countries are living testimony to the validity of this theory.

If we look around, we can see that the countries which have large armies and sophisticated equipment are vulnerable but those with a system of justice, equality, democracy and consequently happy people have no issue of national security. India should try to win over the hearts of its people and abolish the rotten caste system. This is not the dilemma of India alone, but of all the developing countries. India only compounds the problems by investing heavily for its hegemonic ambitions and that too at the cost of the people.

1 comment:

  1. Emboldened by the USA's support to become a junior partner in Afghanistan against Taliban and in Indian Ocean against China, India had started nurturing imperial designs totally oblivious of the fact that its economy and apt poverty of its masses will not support these imperial ambitions. I agree, to top it all, it has a rotten system of discrimination on caste basis which is in violation of core value of democracy and equality yet they call it the biggest democracy. Please keep it in mind that USA is leaving Afghanistan and Taliban will be at the helm. India's ambition to encircle Pakistan will remain unfulfilled.