New Delhi: The clear majority that the Bharatiya Janata Party has been able to win in the national elections this year, has resulted in the country placing high expectations on Prime Minister, Narendra Modi. Today, the country expects Prime Minister Modi to translate the promises made during the elections into reality.
A number of scholars, analysts and journalists have projected a “Modi’s Blueprint for India” in a book that has come out soon after the new government completed 100 days in office. Edited by Colonel (retired) Anil Bhat, the book covers important sectors like national security, both internal and external, foreign policy, education, concern for the welfare of women, development of infrastructure and the problems the nation faces due to urbanization.
How will Narendra Modi translate his promises and provide the country, which has a federal structure, with good governance.
The authors point out that internal security and foreign policy are closely linked. We have observed that the number of ceasefire violations along the Line of Control and the International Border has shown a steady increase this year, and the efforts of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to build a better relationship with Pakistan has been under strain.
A former army chief, General Shankar Roychoudhury has pointed out that “restraint under all provocations” seems to constitute the core of our Pakistan policy. Will it change? India has yet to receive an adequate reply to the terrorist attack on its Parliament (December 13, 2001), the Mumbai carnage masterminded by Hafiz Sayed (November 26 to 29, 2008), and the incursions in Jammu and Kashmir, particularly in Kargil.
As far as China our other neighbor is concerned, except for former prime minister Indira Gandhi, who authorized the army to move artillery to attack the Chinese at Nathula in 1967, and Rajiv Gandhi, who supported then army chief General Sundarji when he airlifted troops and surrounded the Chinese who had infiltrated into Sumdrong, we have been following a passive policy, says Anil Bhatt.
The Defence Cooperation Agreement with China signed in October 2013, January 2012, April 2005, and earlier in September 1993, has not prevented the Chinese from violating the Line of Actual Control, as was evident during the recent visit of the Chinese Prime Minister Xi Jinping.
Anil Bhat feels that Prime Minister Modi must initiate urgent measures to seriously overhaul the nation’s defence machinery, modernise it and make responsive to the needs of the military.
Major General G. D. Bakshi (Retired) feels that India needs to create a regional balance of power architecture based on the core states of India, Japan and Vietnam, which should also involve South Korea, The Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia — countries that feel threatened by China.
In a comprehensive article, former ambassador Talmiz Ahmed points out that India is going to be one of the three largest consumers of energy after China and the USA, and suggested measures, including ‘energy diplomacy’ to ensure that the country has adequate energy. He has suggested that India should tie up with the Gulf countries.
In an article on the challenges that Indian Foreign policy would face, Sudhir Singh underlines the importance of Africa and Latin America. With the proposed withdrawal of NATO troops from Afghanistan, we have to face challenges from terrorist groups, which may strike in India, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Pankaj Jha in his contribution has stated that India could count on Russia as a tested friend. He has also suggested that under the Modi Government, the Indian Diaspora is going to play a more important role
Ruchi Ramesh underlines the need for empowering women. She feels that in spite of the widely held conviction of the elevated social status of women, their plight has only marginally changed.
Anil Bhat and the publishers of the book have been successful in focusing on the tasks facing Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Book Review:”Modi’s Buleprint for India; edited by Anil Bhat. Pentagon Press, pages 192.Price Rs. 595/-.
Mr. I. Ramamohan Rao is a former Principal Information Officer of the Government of India.