“History is written by winners”- Napoleon Bonaparte
India has been emerging as a super power after Mr Modi became PM. The strategic threat by Pakistan and China has compelled India to expand their defense budget. India’s defense budget was $ 3 billion , while it reached to$ 12 in 2010 securing the position of the sixth biggest spender for defense. In 2016, it was 2.58lakh crore. It is expected that India would spend $ 620 for the same by 2022. India has mainly faced four major wars (1948, 1962, 1965, 1971 ) and one war like condition in 1999. India has been encroached by terrorism and insurgency every now and then. This has compelled India to expand the defense expense.
Today, Indian army is the third largest, Indian Air force is the fourth largest and the Indian navy is the seventh largest in the world. India allocates 1.8 % of its GDP for defense sector. This monstrous expenditure has drawn attention of the world. The global manufacturers of the defense equipments have lined up to get the contract. Since the government issues license to the private sectors in this field, the industries of India are not lagging behind.
The major issues rises now. The events of cheating have occurred in the past, even by Russia- India’s closest friend! According to some experts US supplies some outdated weapons to India. A few of them are modified slightly and supplied with high cost. In other words, India is given old wine in a new bottle. C-17 Globmaster, (received the delivery by the Royal air Force in 2001, after some controversy) was already out fashioned. Some helicopters provided by them were not easily operatable. Once there was a complaint that the spare parts of a few fighter planes were not available as the production was already shut.
The question here is not political, but of the security. ( It is less important which government signed the agreement, but the seriousness of blunder is more important.) The scenario of American politics has been changed now. Can India put a complete trust on Trump? According to one news, a negotiation is going on between Mr Modi and Mr.Putin to revive a few defense project closed during the disintegration of Russia. The words uttered in the meeting were -‘An old friend is better than two new…….’ (the words may not be the exact).This shows a complete new dimension to India ‘s policy to Russia. Probably Mr Modi had smelt a cunning policy of America. It is inevitable to expose dual face of America.
The revival of old friendship with Russia may be a step in this direction. Trump had already expressed his disgust against Pakistan and China, but does it ever mean that the situation will be in favour of India? In spite of developing good terms with India America remains friendly with Pakistan. It had frequently threatened Pakistan to declare a ‘terrorist nation’, but never put it into practice. America’s friendship can help in expanding international market for both the nations, but one can’t give full marks to America as far as the security of the nation is concerned.
A remarkable event in the defense history took place on 25th December 2016.The scientists of Defense Research and Development Organization conducted a successful experiment of launching ‘Agni V’ from the Wheeler island of Odissa. ( The island is now known as Abdul Kalam Island and honoured as most advanced missile testing site.) Such experiments are not new for them, but what mentioned above was strategically important. It was Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile, having the range of 5,500to 15,000 kms. Even a single part of China is not out of its range. India is the sixth nation in the world possessing such powerful weapon. (Other countries are Russia, America, France, Israel, and China) The Prime Minister, thus, is going to keep his promise for ‘ better days’, because “History is written by winners”-
By Milind Majmudar