Monday, September 20, 2021

India needs to face growth and security challenges

India has done well during the last 75 years. However, we need to focus on improving our internal and external security as well as achieving rapid economic growth.

Editorial

India has entered 75th year of independence. So far, we have done reasonably well in meeting the myriad challenges that kept presenting themselves before us. Despite all the failings, we have not fared so badly.

However, the world is rapidly changing, more so in our immediate vicinity. Power structures are being reset and new centres of trouble and tension are emerging in different parts of the world.

India needs to remain cautious while trying to find its rightful place among the league of nations.

We have a number of challenges as the PM Narendra Modi pointed out in his Independence Day address. Recurrent floods and landslides keep us busy and we need to be in absolute readiness to help those who are in distress. It is sad that we have not yet been able to permanently minimise the impact of these recurrent natural calamities.

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However, most challenging is the need to keep our social and political fabric intact. We have been ruled by invaders for almost 1000 years.

10 centuries of continuous struggle against occupying forces from outside have proven very costly for us. Our country had almost lost its civilisational moorings. We have to regain our civilisational goals and calibrate our strategy for achieving them.

As the PM also pointed out in his speech on Independence Day, for the country moving on the path of progress and humanity in the entire world, the Corona pandemic came as a major challenge.

We have really done rather well on this front too. We not only came out with our own indigenous vaccine, but were able to develop systems for keeping an eye on covid-19 pandemic as well as the vaccination process.

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Our systems, developed within a short time, for administering Covid pandemic measures as well as the vaccination process are completely digitised and probably the best in the world.

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As the PM reminded us there comes a time in the development journey of every country when the country redefines itself afresh and pushes forward with new resolutions. Today that time has arrived in the development journey of India. We should not limit the occasion of 75 years of Indian independence to just one ceremony. We must lay the groundwork for new resolutions and move forward with new resolutions.

As the recent developments in our vicinity, especially in Afghanistan, show, the world is in a rapid flux.

While technological progress is being achieved fast all around and its benefits are percolating to the man at the lowest rung too, the world is still not a better place than what it was 100 years back.

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Religious strife and hate remain as they were centuries back. Only the scale of violence and destruction has gone up.

India has multiple security challenges staring at it. It is surrounded by non-democratic and completely totalitarian regimes from all sides. Moreover, the recent developments in Afghanistan after the departure of US forces and regime change show that things are very volatile.

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India’s external environment is unpredictable and very hostile. Even the internal environment is beset with strife, dissent and disturbances.

This is a time when the country has to manoeuvre its way smartly through the pitfalls of economic blunders and obscurantist ideas.

We need to achieve higher growth and secure our borders as well as internal security environment.

This can be done only by resolving our internal squabbles at the minimum.

We need to emerge as a confident nation that is aware of its civilisational goals.

We owe this to our progeny.

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