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Written by Monika.

Three-pronged strategy to tackle China
The recent Standoff at LAC between India and China revealed the
precarious position of India concerning the Indo-pacific Region. The
dream of India to be the Vishavguru is far from reality as it is becoming
difficult for the country to grapple the Nuances of the South Asian region
that it is a part of. The time when the country is trying hard to make
sense of a global pandemic like Covid-19 and the resultant economic
crises call for a new perspective that binds together the goals of
Economic Development, National security, and Foreign Diplomacy
together.
 
Reviving the economy
The government’s ambitious dream of $5 trillion economy seems no
more than a populist agenda today. The Indian economy is going
through the most difficult times of multiple crises from the exodus of
migrants to dwindling demands and sluggish manufacturing. The recent
slogan of aatmarnirbhar Bharat and the relief package announced with it
falls short of requirements. The package aims more on the supply shock
but economists for long have argues that generation of demand
becomes indispensable in such circumstances. With the migrant labor
retreating to their states the state governments can use the opportunity
to push for rural infrastructure that can also create jobs and thus put
money in the hands of labor.
The pandemic has also revealed the inefficiency of a top-down structure
to deal with a crisis that is so diversified. The atmanirbhar bharat makes
more sense when the paternalist approach of the government, a legacy
of colonial India gives more say to the local stakeholders in the sense
that the policies and schemes should be tailored according to local
needs after taking inputs from the local stakeholders and not the one fits
all idea thus pushing democratic decentralization. 
To revive the manufacturing sector, the Indian MSMEs sector should
work closely with an expert team that focuses on the aspect of research
and innovation to prevent the problem of NPAs. India needs to focus
more on its competitive advantage that will not only boost its imports
but also will decrease its dependence on China in the long run.
 
Developing Military Capability

The development of a country cannot be isolated from security
considerations. The Nehruvian belief that development comes before
Defense has already failed the test of time.
The narrative of national security that helped the government garner
the majority once again in the 17th Lok Sabha elections is a distant
dream when it comes to International relations. The differing
approaches followed in dealing with the two neighbors point towards
the sheer opportunism of the government. It is high time to separate the
national security concerns from the vote bank politics. A sensible mind
will straight away understand that we stand no chance against the might
of china when it comes to war. The modernization of the military
becomes indispensable at this time. The government which boasts of
this foreign relations should work more on technology transfers and the
indigenous manufacturing sector that is already in shambles. There is no
innovation possible if there is no spending on research and
development. The defense budget which is already less than the other
governments are spending gets squeezed in paying the salary and
pensions. The defense budget can only grow if the economy performs
better otherwise it will only mean national security at the cost of
economic development.


Integrated foreign policy

The Morgenthau principle that national interest is the only permanent
remains very much relevant in the understanding of today’s geopolitics
as no country in the region spoke against the expansionist design of
china probably due to the debt policy that china is following so
vigorously. As joseph nye puts it “Money and donations are an
important part of our political system. They are hard power.”Putting
the case for the integration of the three goals of the nation it is
important to understand the domestic policy can never be isolated from
foreign affairs. The divisive agenda of CAA, NRC has lead to criticism of
India at multiple forums and has further worsened the relationship with
Pakistan. The decision of Iran to drop India from the railway line project
and a lack of will from India shows the amount of control that USA
exercises on India. The growing closeness with the USA should not come
at the cost of India’s long-cherished policy of non-alignment at the same
time the country needs to do a proper cost-benefit analysis while
engaging with countries like the USA. For example, the recent decision
of the government to allow Australia in the Malabar exercise should also
involve the modernization of its navy and technology transfers from a country like the USA as the security of Indian Ocean region is a cause of
perennial concern to India and unlike the USA, not just a means to
counter Chinese hegemony in the region.
The war and revenge narrative is futile in the context of India, The
country needs to boost the economy focusing on the Glocalization of
markets that means working at the level of rural economy and also
exploiting the competitive advantage. At the international forums, the
country needs to prioritize and have clarity of goals and understand that
it can achieve a standing for itself only if its independent in its region.
The world is getting more interdependent every day but there will
always be a country that is less dependent than others.

Categories: Defence

Colonel M.M Nehru

Col. MM Nehru, Director at NFA, is a Personality Developer. He is an experienced trainer and has orchestrated numerous sessions around leadership, time management and personal effectiveness for corporate clientele. He holds a master’s degree (PGDM) in Defence Studies and Business Administration and was an Arts Graduate. If you want to know more about Colonel Nehru Click Here

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