By The Editor
It’s said that wars are won by men not weapons but few aces in the arsenal doesn’t harm anyone. India’s defense industry is nominal compared to the size and might of the army. Domestic private players are non existent and a huge chunk of taxpayers money goes to buying stock pile of rockets, missiles, guns and ammunitions from foreign companies that otherwise can be developed at home and not to forget at much reduced cost. We have the resources, manpower and talent to develop a nuclear bomb by ourselves but not guns and ammunitions. We just agreed to buy 36 fighter jets from the French but why are we just keep going back to shopping spree when it comes to defense?
The point is not about criticizing the government for this defense purchase, we should get the most state of the art firepower wherever we can find it but why not trusting our own potential instead of putting faith in a foreign name. Ministers, bureaucrats in earlier governments, laid down a trend to buy expensive military gear in return of juicy commissions through brokers, arms dealers and corporations but anticipations are different this time. Make in India initiative took a lion for its symbol, well so far so good but does the claws and roars of this lion would be imported from foreign lands? Indians don’t doubt the courage and strength of their armed forces. The valiant efforts of our troops in rescuing stranded Indians from war torn Yemen along with citizens of 41 other nations speaks for itself but wouldn’t it be great if we have the firepower of our own to back our power.
Chinese and Americans are on top when it comes to defense spending but whether Capitalists or Communists, both countries make their own swords and shields. This is not only in interest of our national security but also from the economic point of view. Bringing and encouraging domestic companies in India’s defense market would create competition that would at least keep the sluggish nationalized defense companies on their toes. Privatization would result in necessary increase in the funding and talent pool in the research & development part, where we’ll find our winning edge in the global arena. Right now the only direction in which government’s money is going is out of pocket but by having more options at home they will open the coffers for revenue to come in.
Self reliance in manufacturing and defense are now needed more than ever. China is increasing its influence all around us. Aiding Pakistanis in strategic and economic affairs, opening rail links in Nepal and flirting with Sri Lanka are just to name a few. Just to depend on NATO to counter Chinese influence for us would be a bad mistake. Nuclear Missiles are a grave danger to humanity but that is what keeping others from attacking us and us from attacking them. Human history has shown us time to time, weak don’t get the liberty of peace.