Normally, our defence chiefs do not make statement which have a bearing on international relations and are likely to raise eyebrows in diplomatic circles. But then we are not living in normal times; we live in an era in which ruling coalition, the United Progressive Alliance (UPA), puts political gains above defence and security.
So, the Army Chief, Gen Deepak Kapoor, had to take the unconventional course and spell out the threat posed by Beijing to our nation. ?Chinese space programme is expanding at an exponentially rapid pace in both offensive and defensive content… There is an attempt to try and militarise space. There are also agreements that space militarisation should be restricted,? he said on June 16.
It may be recalled that about a month ago, the Navy chief, Admiral Sureesh Mehta, had voiced concern over China'sbelligerent moves in the South China Sea, after satellite imagery revealed a new Chinese base south of Hong Kong. ?It is not the nuclear submarine bases that matter, we are concerned over the number of nuclear submarines that are being built in our neighbourhood,? the Navy Chief said on May 5. He also said that the Indian Navy was aware of the presence of the Chinese naval base and its nuclear submarine building programme.
So, China'snefarious designs against our country are becoming increasingly obvious. Land, water, air and now space?it is militarising everywhere. The UPA Government'sresponse is lukewarm at best and reprehensible at worst. To its credit, the Defence Ministry did announce the creation of an Integrated Space Cell to counter the ?growing threat? to space assets in the wake of ?offensive anti-satellite weaponry? in the neighbourhood; strategic partnership with the US has also increased as evident from the joint exercises between the forces of the two countries. The US last year sold India an American warship for the first time, the 17,000-ton amphibious transport dock USS Trenton
Yet, it'sa case of too late, too little. In the new areas particularly, we lag behind badly. As Gen Kapoor said, ?Military usage of space in the Indian context is at a comparatively nascent stage… There is an imperative requirement to develop joint structures for synergising employment of space assets.?
It is not difficult to see why the UPA neglects national security and defence: it wants to appease the Left; and the Left is led by the Communist Party of India (Marxist), which is full of traitors. So, unsurprisingly, whatever the CPM says, does, or promotes is hostile to the national interest. And, concomitantly, whatever it opposes is good for the nation as well as mankind.
Consider the CPM'slove affair with China. It arms and abets Pakistan, aids insurgents in the North-East, claims our territories as its own?and what does the CPM want? It wants us to unquestioningly keep placating imperial Beijing. It also wants us to allow Chinese companies to invest in all sectors in India (though the Marxists are vehement critics of foreign direct investment from other countries).
Another area that fascinates our comrades relates to Indo-Israeli ties; and the fascination is not new. It was partially because of the Left'sstupefying intellectual hegemony that our country did not have full diplomatic relations with the Jewish state, despite the commonality of interests and similarity in values between the two ancient civilisations. Thanks to the courageous move made by former prime PV Narasimha Rao, we have normal relations with Tel Aviv.
This galls the Reds. In the last four years, they have not been able to scuttle defence links between India and Israel, which fortunately remain away from the media glare. Our defence, intelligence, and military top brass seem to have somehow checked the perversities of UPA leaders (By the way, when was the last time you heard defence chiefs making loaded statements? They have earned our eternal gratitude).
But the Reds have indeed checked the deepening of the ties. For instance, it was primarily because of the cantankerousness of the Left that India did not participate in the 60th birth anniversary celebrations of Israel which was attended by, among others, US President George W Bush. Israel President Shimon Peres is said to have sent out personal invitations to world leaders and individuals. The United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Government, perpetually dreading the commies and shamelessly wooing the Muslim vote, did not send a nominee.
But the Left does not want to rest on its laurels. Now, it wants Indo-Israeli relations to be downgraded. CPM general secretary Prakash Karat has started castigating the UPA regime for ?continuing to pursue strategic ties with Israel.? His argument is that since the common minimum programme (CMP) deliberately did not mention any strategic alliance with Washington or Tel Aviv, the policies commenced by the previous government, led by the Bharatiya Janata Party, should be discontinued. ?The strategic alliances with the US and Israel are inter-connected. To support Palestinian cause, it is important to disentangle India from this Indo-Israel-US matrix… We are fighting for this for the last four years and it will go on.?
As always, whatever he says is incorrect. To begin with, there is no such thing as an ?Indo-Israel-US matrix,? though there is a great need for such a matrix, for today only the US and Israel are seriously fighting the jihadis. Secondly, India has to see its own national security rather than get embroiled in a war thousands of miles away from its borders. At any rate, the problem is with the Palestinians and not with the Israelis, as the former rely on terror and turn their back on negotiations. The UPA regime should show at least this much courage as not to jeopardise ties with Israel, lest history records them as bowing to traitors in a most disgraceful manner.
(The author works with The Political and Business Daily.)