“Time has come for Indians to think beyond sadak, pani, bijli and for that we need to create a society with strategic mindset,” said Shri Arun Kumar, Director of Jammu-Kashmir Study Centre. He was the main speaker at the release function of the Republic Day special editions of nationalist weeklies Organiser and Panchjanya at Constitution Club, New Delhi on January 21, while Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, Hon Minister of State, Information and Broadcasting, was the chief guest. The issues focusing on future security challenges and India’s defence preparedness are outcome of the ‘Dialogue on Defence’, an annual event of Organiser and Panchjanya organised as one month precursor to the Republic Day.
Shri Arun Kumar said India has the potential of becoming steady and stable global power due to its strategic location. Britain could build an empire because it was ruling India. India’s geo-strategic location is so crucial that we can be a steady and stable global power. India is no longer a third world country but world is already considering us a global power. We are still talking about the problems of the past because we lack ambition, vision and mission to be a global power. Unless we develop a strategic society, in which every individual thinks of the larger mission, we cannot convert our potential into reality. He congratulated Organiser and Panchjanya for playing the larger role in nation building as a media group. He also called upon thinkers, experts, academicians, media etc to contribute their bit in building an informed strategic society in India.
Shri Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting in his detailed analysis of security challenges elaborated on conventional and future security challenges. Starting with the coastal security threats he said, “India is ringed by a ‘string of pearls’ that could eventually decline its hold over a part of the Indian Ocean and isolate it from the countries that share the same coastline”. Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and China are setting up ports in the Indian Ocean to push India at bay and the fight against Somali pirates had given the western navies a chance to enter the territory. These developments have reduced India’s influence in the region”, he added.
The recent activity of growing Islamic extremism along the Indo-Nepal border supplemented by the opening of Confucius-learning centres in Nepal by China is a pointer to the manner in which there is a paradigm shift in ideology that is being attempted. India is on target for such activities because of its burgeoning young population. The challenge can be faced only by ensuring employment to the youths of the country which is on priority of the BJP Government, Shri Rathore said.
“India is a global power, not a third world country and world expect us to perform a larger role in the domain like economy, environment and trade.”
—Arun Kumar, Director of Jammu-Kashmir Study Centre
“Some regional parties are supporting extremist elements of Islam for short term gains. Silent majority of Islam must raise their voice over vocal minorities who promote bad elements.
—Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting
He further added that some regional parties are supporting extremist elements of Islam for short term gains. Silent majority of Islam must raise their voice over vocal minorities who promote bad elements. That is important for eradicating the Islamic terror.
His entire speech was centered on the threat of ISIS and other terror groups posing to the world today. “The ISIS and al-Qaida are not together but more importantly, they are not against each other as they want to establish the global supremacy of Islam. Both are eyeing Indian youth to draw cadres. Youth can choose right or wrong path. If they remain unemployed and get hooked on drugs and alcohol, the phenomenon becomes a demographic burden”, he added.
Hitesh Shankar, Editor Panchjanya spoke about the contribution of Organiser and Panchjanya in nation building and idea behind Dialogue on Defence in his introductory remarks. He highlighted the need and importance of weeklies like Organiser and Panchjanya to promote the national interest. While other media groups organised events on other issues, true to its core ideology, both these weeklies decided to organise events dedicated to strategic issues. Shri Prafulla Ketkar, Editor Organiser was also presence on dias.
Shri Vijay Kumar, Managing Director Bharat Prakashan (Delhi) Ltd., appraised the development of both the weeklies during the last two years and proposed vote of thanks.
The special edition was focused on the Future Security Challenges and Defence preparedness. Eminent dignitaries like Defence Expert Alok Bansal, Sr RSS functionaries Dr Shyamsundar, Sah Prant-Sanghachalak Shri Alok Kumar, ICCR Chairman Dr Lokesh Chandra, Adml (Retd) K K Nanda, Sr Journalists Jagdish Upasane, KG Suresh, Debobrat Ghose and many more were present on the occasion. Complimentary copies distributed at the event were highly appreciated as it apprised the readers about the security challenges and defence preparedness with expert opinions. —Priyanka Taneja