Person of the Week: Dr. Adityanjee

Dear Readers,

In this interview series where we ask questions to people who are making a difference, it can be big, it can be small, it doesn’t matter, what matters is their contribution to our society. It can be anyone from any walk of life and from any country. Please, do send us suggestions of people whom you think we should interview for this series.

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Dr. Adityanjee completed his medical studies in Psychiatry from the AIIMS, New Delhi. He has held teaching and directorial positions at University of Minnesota, School of Medicine, Minneapolis VA Medical Center, University Hospitals of Cleveland and Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH. Besides a distinguished career in Psychiatry, Dr. Adityanjee is focusing on his sociopolitical interests pertaining to India. He directs a think tank named the Council for Strategic Affairs (www.councilforstrategicaffairs.blogspot.com) which focuses on strategic affairs related to India. He has written several articles and analysis on strategic affairs and geo-politics. He lives in Cleveland, OH.

Following are his views on some of our questions

  1. Tell us something about yourself?

I am physician who was trained at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi. I have 36 years’ experience as a physician. I also have strategic and geo-political interests.

  1. How India’s foreign policy has changed over the recent years in your opinion?

India’s foreign policy has gone into a mode of “continuity with change”. There are no drastic changes except for that India has started to use her historic soft power as a tool in order to advancing foreign policy interests. There is also a more clear-cut articulation on national interests in last few years.

  1. Do you think military action or diplomacy is better in dealing with Pakistan?

This is not a question of either or actions. We have to use all the tools in the toolbox available in order to contain Pakistan. International Diplomacy will, indeed, be needed in resolving the Balochistan issue. Military action would be needed in undoing the adverse possession over Indian territory in the POK. Constant military alert is required to prevent never-ending cross-border terrorist and Pakistani military attacks thinly disguised as “non-state actor mediated terror attacks”.  Bottom line is that we have to stop regurgitating the useless notion that a “strong and stable Pakistan is in India’s best interests”.  Pakistan is a transitional state that was born in sin and is congenitally hostile to India and Indian nationhood. It has to be contained by any means, diplomatic, military, covert, overt, economic, commercial, multilateral etc.

  1. Why CPEC should be a concern for India?

CPEC raises several strategic concerns for India. It passes through POK which is an Indian territory under adverse enemy possession. India needs to recover this Indian land under enemy possession. CPEC will place a stamp of legitimacy if a third party investment is allowed in Indian territory under adverse possession. It gives China an array of economic reasons to bring its military presence in the POK and Pakistan. Entire Pakistan has become a Chinese military base. CPEC has also brought the emerging Russia-China-Pakistan (RCP) axis into alignment with strategic implications for India. CPEC has brought the Chinese navy into Gwadar port and just recently Pakistan has approved Russian access both military and commercial to Gwadar port. We have seen resurgence in bilateral strategic and commercial ties between Russia and Pakistan with military exercises and defense deals. Strategically, this has become a dangerous situation for India.

  1. Be it NSG or permanent seat on Security council, India’s bid always run into a Chinese wall, do you think there is a way to bring China at the table on these issues?

 India must realize that China is not a friend. China is a strategic adversary for India, not a friend and not even a peer competitor. The only way for India to bring China at the table is by showing strength elsewhere. The language China understands and accepts is that of CNP-Comprehensive National Strength. India has to raise her CNP quickly over the next few years first, and raise the costs for China wherever it can in order to show it some “spine” and not “skin”. India must demolish any Chinese construction in the POK under the garb of CPEC as totally unacceptable military construction. India must elevate the issue of CPEC passing through the POK as a core national strategic interest issue. India gave her strategic leverage in Trivishtap (aka Tibet) but a slow and steady strategic course reversal can help in that sector.

 India must demand the return of the Hindu Holy lands of the Mount Kailash and Man-Sarowar Lake from China. From the time of Mahabharat, Hindus and Indians have made sacred pilgrimages to our holy lands in the Mount Kailash and Man Sarowar without needing Chinese visas because they were our own possessions. There are numerous historical documents to support our geographical claim over those Holy lands. India has failed to exploit the Taiwan card and the Hong Kong card so far. India needs to have a bilateral friendship treaty with Mongolia. Indian companies should be encouraged to invest in the oil exploration in Siberia (Russia) in order to check Chinese expansion there. If India can adroitly manage China’s periphery and inflict a thousand pin-pricks to China simultaneously, China will learn to respect India and will come round to Indian core interests be they in the membership of the NSG or UNSC. Finally, India must revise her No First Use nuclear doctrine and send a strategic message to China that nothing is off the table as far as national security is concerned.

  1. Should India be worried about South China Sea dispute and why?

  Indian has to be concerned about South China Sea dispute owing to the volume of exports and imports going through the Sea lanes of communication through that region. Once China has converted the SCS into a private Chinese lake, it will start further encroachments into the Indian Ocean by making unreasonable claims. India would be sandwiched into Chinese naval presence in Gwadar and Chinese naval base in Djibouti in the West and de facto permanent Chinese PLA base in the South China Sea in the East. China is likely to start hostile actions in Andaman Seas and will pose serious strategic dangers to our Andaman and Nicobar islands.

  1. What are some of the key defense and strategic concerns for India in your opinion and what can we do to resolve them?

  India has to undergo a phase of internal reforms in order to tackle the key defense and strategic concerns. The whole Indian system was rotting under corruption and cronyism. No part of national life was immune from these twin maladies.  Our defense preparedness suffered from these issues. There was hardly any procurement over the ten year period under a particular government. There was failure in recruitment in all the branches of the defense forces. All the DRDO projects were eternally delayed. So our immediate focus has to be cleaning the corruption, nepotism and cronyism. We do need more capacity building in order to satisfy the equipment needs of our forces. We also need to focus on defense exports to help the nation and to help further the strategic interests.

  1. Should India open its defense sector to private players? Would this increase self-sufficiency in defense matters?

 Yes, indeed. There is no reason for Indian Government to not have private Indian companies in the defense manufacturing. It will have a force multiplier effect. However, these private players in defense sector will need to be properly vetted and regulated. They will need to have proper security clearances. It is better to have Indian private companies into defense sector instead of relying on foreign governments and foreign companies. Surely such a step will lead to increase in capacity building in the Indian defense-military complex and eventually help not only in self-sufficiency in defense matters but also help the nation in generating foreign exchange by means of exports to approved countries.

  1. Your message for our readers?

 India has a great future. Just wait and watch. Do your patriotic duties to your motherland. India is rising and a day will come when India indeed would be shining! All of us have a role to play in hastening the arrival of that day!

 

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