“A true King is the one who has self-control, having conquered the inimical temptations of the senses; cultivates the intellect by association with elders; keeps his eyes open through spies and is ever active in promoting the security and welfare of the people.”
Conventional borders among nation states are getting blur in many ways. The globalised economy and free flow of capital, goods, people and culture has changed the perceptions about everything. The digitalised network technology has dismantled the traditional state boundaries but created new ones of real and virtual world. Despite emergence of network organisations and non-state actors, nation states are still the fundamental actors and ‘national security’ defined in terms of ‘protecting territorial integrity and sovereignty from external aggression and internal disturbances’ holds true. Bharat being demographically vibrant and economically potential has to be battle ready for these changed circumstances. This battle is fought not only at the military level but also at virtual, psychological, ideological and eco-technological levels.
With global security environment in turmoil with increasing religious-ideological extremism and terrorism, enlarging tussle over energy and environmental security and growing disparities, Bharat cannot afford to stay behind in developing integral security strategy. Being surrounded by upheaval neighbours with porous borders, threats are ever aggravating. The threats have acquired a spill over effect and an overlapping unpredicted character. For instance, illegal migration of Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar have multiplying negative impact in many parts of Bharat, especially in the North-East. Careless social media has come into play, vote-bank politics is played, new terror links are created and neglecting these factors will further alienate some groups in the North-East. Unfortunately, mainstream media is facilitating the impatient anarchy. Indecisive Centre with mentally resigned Prime Minister is continuing with divisive agenda and in no position to implement the strategic reforms agenda with losing legitimacy. In such scenario, continuing with its nationalist approach, Organiser and Panchjanya came up with a bridge building exercise of ‘Dialogue on Defence’ as a one-month precursor to the Republic Day. With diluting internal-external divide, the prime focus was scanning Bharat’s preparedness in dealing with internal security concerns having external linkages. It is widely acknowledged that changing security scenario requires upgraded strategic and technological apparatus and coordinated efforts, but it is not sufficient. It requires a change in the security discourse on four counts.
First, demoralising attempts of intelligence, security and investigation agencies should immediately stop. They have to work professionally and independently for desirable results. Any attempts to misuse them or use against each other, as happened in recent cases, such as Ishrat Jahan and Batla House, is jeopardising security. In fact, there is a need to strengthen local intelligence network through effective policing.
Secondly, Bharat’s security discourse is too Delhi centric and many of the regional and border perspectives are not taken into consideration. It is true that classical dandaniti requires a centralised power but many a time indecisive Centre adopts strategy of avoidance which leads to aggravation of problems. As happened in the case of North-East, Maoist insurgency and to some extent even in J&K, local and nationalist are taken for granted and blackmailing of anti-national forces is paid hid to. Unless Bharat’s security discourse is democratised and last person on the border is equipped enough to be messenger in dealing with the external consequences, the spillover effect cannot be dealt with.
Thirdly, for ensuring security, good governance is the key. As insisted by the great Kautilya, while elaborating qualities of the true King, Suraj (Good Governance), Suraksha (security) and Samriddhi (prosperity) cannot be delinked from each other. While promoting the self-sufficiency model of governance, Bharat requires distributive and participatory justice. Such legitimacy stemming from within will stop people from being anarchist or anti-national.
Fourth, the very idea of Bharat needs to be reinvestigated historically and legally for resolving border issues. The colonial understanding of racial, migration and boundary issues need to be rectified first among Bhartiya intelligentsia, then with the neighbours.
All these factors demand for an integrated strategic approach to make Bharat a decisive state at the perception level, both internally and externally. A strong and visionary leadership can ensure the larger goal of Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinah (happiness for all). To achieve this goal, every individual has to be a vigilant soldier in protecting the powerhouse of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam philosophy that is Bharat. Then only globalisation will truly acquire a human face.