Illustration by Ramandeep Kaur | ThePrint
Illustration by Ramandeep Kaur | ThePrint
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Is Narendra Modi to blame for blinking first in the confrontation with China along the de facto border in Ladakh, and allowing China to score some territorial points? In the immediate context, no, because despite all the improvements in border infrastructure and in the capabilities of the armed forces, India does not have the capacity to forcibly remove entrenched Chinese troops from positions that they have occupied in strength. Once the army allowed China to gain ingress, and to support its frontline troops with artillery and armoured vehicles, possession became nine-tenths of the law.

Whether the damage was done because of intelligence failures or because Indian forces in the area were not alert, there was little that a prime minister could do, post facto, except settle for an unequal quid pro quo. Repeating Nehru’s order to “throw the Chinese out” would only have invited more trouble from a more powerful foe. Modi has therefore been realistic about the facts on the ground, and chosen discretion over valour while resolving (hopefully) that India will prepare to fight another day.

The real problem is that such resolve has been largely missing — in Modi and in his predecessors. Defence budgets have been cut to the bone. The fact that Modi’s two finance ministers to date have been defence minister also has made little difference. The army has itself gone on record to say that its equipment is mostly out of date. The navy has commissioned fewer than 20 frontline combat ships and submarines in the last decade — a rate at which it will never get to its projected size. As for battles in the air, China has better air defence, missiles with greater range, better radar, and aircraft with better stealth capabilities.


Also read: Asia lost a decade to counter China. But India and Quad can lead new strategy now


It is hard to make up for all this when your economy is only a fifth of China’s, but the imbalance could have been rendered less extreme and the weapons acquisition programme more purposeful. It is surely telling that, even with Pakistan, whose economy is only one-ninth of India’s in size, India’s offensive capabilities are limited — as became evident after the Pakistani provocations in both 2008 and 2001. In the post-Pulwama tit-for-tat last year, it was India that lost an aircraft though Pakistan has a comparatively tiny budget for its air force.

Still, the resource constraint is real and cannot be wished away. India needs to spend more on defence, but also on health and education. Its physical infrastructure (essentially transport and communications) needs to be radically upgraded. But money could have been spent more wisely, instead of worsening the teeth-to-tail ratio by increasing pensions across the board, as Modi did early in his first term.

Defence capabilities cannot be built overnight; the task takes years if not decades. Even in 1971, despite Gen Sam Manekshaw’s reported quip to Indira Gandhi, that he was “always ready”, the fact is that India needed nine months to prepare for war by hastily importing second-hand tanks and other military hardware from places like East Europe. In 1962, Nehru wrote in panic to US President John F. Kennedy, asking for whole squadrons of aircraft. Nearly six decades later, the government is still placing hasty orders.

In his first year in office, Modi promised to increase the share of indigenous defence equipment in total supplies from 40 per cent to 70 per cent. That has not happened, but there is fresh talk of self-reliance. Manohar Parrikar as defence minister said he would improve the percentage of serviceable Sukhois from about 50 per cent of the fleet to 75 per cent; reports are that there has been some improvement, but not near the promised level. Private shipyards and manufacturers were offered a piece of the action, but a competent yard with a record of delivering within time and budget waits for orders while an improvident one gets them. So the Navy waits. Among the handful of countries with large defence budgets and armed forces, India is matched only by Saudi Arabia in the level of its import dependence. For revenge to be served cold, go beyond import bans and correct these long-term failures — if we’re up to it.


Also read: Despite Covid, China will spend more on defence in 2020 than it did last year


 

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84 Comments Share Your Views

84 COMMENTS

  1. There are all kinds of feeble arguments proposed by Modi supporters to gloss over incompetence, wickedness and failure. Modi must be judged according to his claims.

    BJP fellows now say Modi needs time, how can he solve in 5 years problems created by Congress in 70 years.

    They claim Modi has put India on the world stage. During the period 2005-2014, The Economist even had an article on India which depicted her as the next Asian tiger. No one says that now. Modi is now labelled as Divider in Chief.

    Modi said he is the chowkidar. Even before China’s land grab, in the first term, the Pulwama incident was highly suspect as it was timed just before the election. It was like sending kar sevaks on trains just before the Gujarat 2002 elections, and burning them. Then a drama was made over Balakot. The international media did not accept India struck anything, and the only certainty is India lost a plane and had a captured pilot. But Modi passed off the botched affair as a success, paraded the dead soldiers in his election rally, and he could sell that to Hindus. There was no one who could say ‘I don’t believe your make up’.

    Repealing Article 370 and boasting of capturing Aksai Chin resulted in Chinese retaliation. Yet, here also you have BJP Hindus trying to put a positive spin, claiming Modi’s silence shows he is plotting an answer which will be revealed to China at his time of choosing. They claim the whole world is with India, and US did naval excercises with India etc.

    No need to mention the mishandling of Covid. Modi boasted India had helped 150 out of 140 countries with Covid; only moronic Hindus would feel puffed up. The way things are going, India will become top in Covid.

    Modi has made India and Hindus known for lynchings, fake news, rape….Hindu apologists of Modi need to reflect on this.

    And finally, the Hindu Nazism inherent in the CAA-NRC legislation, and the building of concentration camps for Muslims, has not been lost on the world. One massacre was organised in Delhi, and India was heading for civil war over CAA-NRC. It is only Covid, China and the collapsing economy that has stopped the slide into civil war over CAA-NRC.

    Such Hindus have undone the work of two able economists, MMS and Chidambaram, and they have dug a hole for India, from which it cannot escape now. Bad karma brings its consequences.

    The China episode has proved that these militant Hindus cannot stand up and fight against someone their equal. They can fight in mobs with police support against minorities, but against China, the Anurag Thakur, Yogi, Shah, Modi , Bhagwat have all gone quiet.

  2. One more thing, credit should also go to Modi govt for giving powers to the armed forces to procure urgently required equipment to the tune of Rs 500 core per case. This doesn’t solve the problem completely but still makes a world’s difference in the capabilities of our armed forces. Over the last 5 years armed forces have been able to procure many critically required equipment (in very limit quantities) which were earlier stuck for decade or more. It’s better to have some capability than have no capability at all. Like we didn’t have Weapon Locating Radars during the Kargil war and the Pakistanis had this capability !

  3. I see in the comment sections two extreme views. One is that of Modi baiters who at all costs want to believe that Mr. Modi as the PM of India is a failure. Which is not true.
    And then there are Modi supporters who want to believe that Mr. Modi can do no wrong. Which is also not true.
    Here many people have commented against the print accusing it of being bias or even being pro Pakistani. But they are ignoring the simple fact that what print has stated in this article is true and many retired army generals who now work in defence think tanks have been lamenting the same fact that Modi govt. is not providing adequate defence budget.
    It’s our misfortune that we have a hostile neighbour like China which also has now become a super power and hostile crazy neighbour like Pakistan on the other side.
    But then it’s only strong people and strong countries that converts misfortunes into opportunities and emerge stronger in the long run. Israel is the perfect example of this phenomenon.
    It’s quite ironical that Mr. Modi recount all the failings of Mr. Nehru but seems to be repeating the biggest failing of our first PM. You can’t be aggressive on the one side and not match your defence preparedness on the other side with your aggression. As long as it’s Pakistan, you can get away with such strategic blunders. But not against a first rate country like China.
    To be fair to Mr. Modi, under his rule border road construction has increased not in percentages but manifold. That in itself strengthens the Indian Military and acts as a force multiplier for the army.
    Even more importantly he took the most important geo-political decision of not just scrapping Article 370 but granting Ladakh’s wish of UT status and bring J&K under direct central rule till our anti insurgency operations gain a decisive advantage there. This most crucially sends a clear message to Indian citizens that their govt. stands behind them and also to terrorists and their supporters that India will act decisively and they create trouble at their own peril. This clear msg was lacking before PM Modi assumed office.
    But again when you have the combination of neighbours like China and Pakistan you can’t progressively keep on reducing the share of defence budget. Defence budget for India cannot fall below 20% of the total budget and under Mr. Modi’s watch it has fallen from above 18% to 15.5% now. If defence budget would have been 20% of GOI budget this year, our defence budget would have Rs 6L core this year. We blame our research establishments for not developing the required weapon system for our defence forces on time but with the meagre resources available to them they have done a superb job. Had Mr. Modi walked the talk on defence budget from day one in office and maintained defence budget at least at 20% of GOI budgets from 2014, shown urgency to acquire adequate Rafale jets and other critically required equipment on time, Pakistan would not have dared to launch a retaliatory strike against India post Balakot. Even in Balakot itself IAF would have been in a position to unleash such massive firepower that we could have blown the whole hilltop there and there could have been no denying in the whole world of what the IAF had achieved.

    • Ms Bhanu: You pontificate:

      “.. when you have .. neighbours like China and Pakistan you can’t ..reducing the share of defence budget. Defence budget for India cannot fall below 20% of the total budget and under Mr. Modi’s watch it has fallen from above 18% to 15.5% now ..”

      Well, that is a bloody ludicrous statement !

      The Stockholm Institute of Peace Research (SIPRI) Fact Sheet from April 2020 (ref: bit.ly/32FTma5) shows the following for defence spending as a % of GDP in 2019:

      – Average for whole World : 2.2%
      – USA : 3.4%
      – India : 2.4%
      – China: 1.9% (SIPRI estimate)
      – Pakistan: 4.0%
      – Israel: 5.3%
      – Oman: 8.8%

      No country in the list of 40 countries surveyed by SIPRI spends 20% of GDP on defence. Don’t you see that barring the outlier Oman, most countries hover around 2 % to 3% ?

      Additionally, allocation of budgets is a zero sum game that entails trade-offs. If you wish India to increase defence spending from 2.4% of GDP to 20% of its budget would you please care to mention where cuts have to be made? Education? Healthcare? Infra-structure? Anganwaadis that feed school kids? Vaccinations for babies? Agriculture?

      I can make a suggestion in that regard: Perhaps PM Modi can cancel the order for 2 (yes, he ordered 2 ) highly customised Boeing 777-300ER VVIP costing the taxpayer a whopping 1.2 Billion USD and transfer it to the defence budget. Do you think that would be a good idea Ms Bhanu? Do you think that the man who describes himself as a “humble chaiwala” would give up these comforts? Methinks NO !

      The Italian political philosopher Niccolo Machiavelli said:

      “Men judge generally more by the eye than by the hand, for everyone can see and few can feel. Every one sees what you appear to be, few really know what you are”.

      Applies to PM Modi doesn’t it Ms Bhanu ?

      PS: I have cross-checked SIPRI figures with WorldBank figures and they match, see ref: bit.ly/3fPMieF

    • Ms Bhanu: Another common tendency in Hindutva and BJP circles is an admiration for Israel and its military accomplishments without knowing a shred about the true causes for Israel’s capabilities and the capabilities of its enemies. And the assumption that Israel’s experiences can be transferred to India. I refer to that other ludicrous claim you make:

      “.. it’s only strong people and strong countries that converts misfortunes into opportunities and emerge stronger in the long run. Israel is the perfect example of this phenomenon ..”

      Some background & history: Israel was established in the region it is located in today largely by an accident of decolonisation of Arab territories from the Turkish Ottomans, its becoming a British mandate and then decolonisation from Britain. At the same time, after WW2, the Arab countries in the region gradually shed off their brutal French and British colonial masters. In the period after WW1, European Jews were allowed to settle in the region. Thus, you had a new colonisation of Arab lands largely by Eastern European Jews and later white immigrants fleeing the poverty of E.Europe and the USSR. These colonisers were highly educated, skilled Europeans in a sea of poor, exploited and brutally colonised Arabs. Indeed, the French in Algeria were no less brutal than Hitler’s Nazis.

      Israel receives virtually unconditional military assistance and matériel from the USA, France, UK and other Western powers. Israel has enormous strategic value and is perceived as a local policeman for the West due to 2 main reasons:

      – It is located near some of the world’s largest energy reserves which is in Arab hands
      – It is located near the strategically important Suez canal which is controlled by Egypt

      In the major conflicts that Israel has been embroiled in viz. The Suez crisis in 1956, the 6 days war in 1967, the Yom Kippur war in 1973, the country received enormous military help from the US & France. Essentially, Israel is protected by the US and there is a strong Jewish/Israeli lobby in the US Senate and the House of Representatives.

      India does not have a bunch of big brothers who will rush to its defence. She does not have a powerful lobby in the US or other Western Parliaments. Additionally, unlike the weaker and less developed Arab neighbours of Israel, India’s neighbours China and Pakistan are anything but weaklings. Both have the capacity and willingness to cause economic and military trouble in India.

      Ignoring these fundamental differences between India and Israel as the BJP and people like you do is rank foolishness.

    • Ms Bhanu: Interesting post with a veneer of objective analysis. But nonetheless in substantive terms, not very different from the usual posts that the jingoists, the usual crop of middle class and upper caste Hindu Modi worshippers and the itchy-groined gaurakshaks from the shakas of the Hindu Yuva Vahini in Adityanathisthan post when the refuse to read the writing on the wall. Let me take your lengthy post and attempt to answer some of the claims – a few patently preposterous – that you make.

      Let me start by giving you credit where it is due. You are perfectly right when you state :

      “.. many people have commented against the print accusing it of being bias or even being pro Pakistani. But they are ignoring the simple fact that what print has stated in this article is true ..”

      When media reports facts or when people criticise the government, it is easy to brush aside their criticism as sedition, being pro-Pakistani and so on as the bhakth crowd is wont to do. Indeed, in these days of paid media, the bulk of India’s press is indirectly controlled by the BJP. Just a handful of publications such as The Print, The Wire, The Hindu etc. maintaining a semblance of journalistic integrity. It might surprise you to know that even top ranking, policy making Indian government officials tune in to the BBC to get facts and steer clear of almost ALL Indian media to get timely and objective information. After all, if there is a riot or a disaster looming, you wouldn’t be tuning in to Arnab Goswami’s republic TV or Sudhir Chaudhary’s Zee TV would you ? And as things stand today, Reporters Without Borders, their World Press Freedoms Ranking places India at an abysmal 142 out of the 180 countries (ref: bit.ly/3fVJ7m4) surveyed. Of course, for the vast majority of Modi bhakths, it surely suffices that India beats Pakistan which is ranked at 145 !

      So great opening shot Ms Bhanu ! But alas, there are a lot of near hit-wickets too !

      • It seems Kili that you lose focus when confronted with truth. Maybe you have some kind of mental breakdown which hinders your ability to focus on reality. If you have the ability to read a couple of sentences without losing focus go and carefully read what I wrote, “20% OF GOI BUDGET” you idiot and not 20% of GDP. But I think its too much to expect from leftist dumbwits like you to shape your reasoning around facts and not try to shape facts around your reasoning.

        You wrote such a big reply by twisting what I said on “GOI Budget” and replacing it with GDP figures! But then this is the favourite tactic of leftist knaves like you. First smear the person who doesn’t agree with you, then completely dodge the truth and finally quote half truths, selective knowledge from here and there and quite often even stoop to outright lying.
        I have no expectations from a fraud like you that you’ll accept the hard facts which I stated but I again state them with more details below for others to read and lay bare your false propoganda.
        1. Govt. Of India (GOI)Budget Estimate (BE) for total expenditure in Fy 21 is around Rs 30 lakh cores.
        2. GOI BE for DoD expenditure in Fy21 is around Rs 4.65 lakh cores (15.5 % of total govt budget)
        3. If total defence budget would have been 20% of govt budget, that works out to be Rs. 6 lakh crore.
        4. This extra Rs. 1.5 lakh crore would have made all the difference for capital acquisitions, building War Wastage Reserves and Defence R&D spending.

        The following reasoning is for the general reader and not for this fraud leftist Kili because people like these are incapable of any reasoned discussion. All they know is how to lie, speak half truths and abuse others.

        Just consider the size of Israel and it’s population and consider the size of Arab states that soround her and their population. If you consider just these two matrices than you can appreciate the power difference between the two camps (Of course in real life it’s not just about population and size which determines a nation’s power but as this lowlife Kili doesn’t give Israel any credit for the other factors, i have taken just these two factors to prove a point). Now just on these two above mentioned factors consider the power difference between India and Pakistan. Just on these two factors it would seem that India is more powerful than Pakistan and the combined might of Arab states is overwhelming greater than Israel. Now let’s add this lowlife and fraud Kili’s logic into the equation. According to this fraud, Israel won against the Arabs because America and Western powers were supporting her. By the same logic Pakistan should have won against India in 1971 as America and Britain even sent their warships to threaten India. But we all know what actually happened.
        I have nothing against Arabs. When I gave the example of Israel what I had more in mind was the world renowned innovative culture of Israel. But since semi-educated illetrates like Kili are still stuck in an era which has already passed 50 years ago, I have addressed this here.
        People please understand that life doesn’t fit in filthy little boxes of fantasies of Kili types.
        This Kili fellow also seems to suggest that whoever doesn’t support his warped worldview is a BJP supporter. In real life swing voters also exist who supported Congress in 2009 elections and supported Mr. Modi in 2014 and again in 2019 because of his work. This Kili fellow thinks that whoever supported Mr Modi must either be evil, brainwashed or just plain stupid. Well that just shows this fellow’s own state of mind.
        I actually feel distasteful writing this reply but it was important to defend the truth. I would just suggest to you general reader that cross check the facts because this world is full of knaves like Kili who live to twist facts for their own ends.
        Just one more thing to the neutral reader, please don’t expect further replies from me because while pigs relish a dirty fight, I don’t.

        • Ms Bhanu: Thanks for the response. Alas, like most of your inputs here so far, it has the solitary element of fact drowning in the usual sea of half-truths, saffronist abuse and unadulterated gibberish.

          But let me get to that solitary element of factual information in your post.

          You reiterate that you were referring to defence spending as a proportion of GOI budgets and argue for an increase from 15,5% of GOI budgets to 20% GOI budgets for Fiscal 2021 and not GDP. I accept that I made a mistake conflating GOI budgets with GDP. Satisfied ?

          Now let us move on to the more substantive aspects of my post and to my conclusions which do not change an iota, despite my GOI vs GDP mistake.

          You are oblivious to an important economic fact that they perhaps didn’t tell you in the shakas of your Vishwa Yuva Vahini: the Indian economy was in dire straits and bleeding long before the COVID crisis. And much of those wounds came from self-inflicted cuts such as demonetisation, the GST mess, Hindutva considerations triumphing over economic sense, the sidelining of professional economists and their replacement by RSS apparatchiks and Modi’s yes men, capital flight, crony capitalism and so on. And then came COVID which will shave off a significant chunk of the GDP with attendant job losses and consumption declines. The economy has taken Modi’s much ballyhooed bullet train to quick ruin.

          You might ask, what has this to do with your suggestion of increasing the GOI defence budget from 15.5% to 20% ?

          Well Ms. Bhanu, you forget that the size of the economic pie has shrunk in India. And from this shrunken pie, if the GOI were to follow your zany suggestion and increase defence spending, I ask you: what should give way? What expenses would you want the GOI to decrease so as to increase spending on defence? Healthcare? Education? Roads? You don’t have any answers to that do you? After all, you still believe in the BJP logic that you can eat your cake and have it too right ?

          Let me help you out a bit. In theory, the GOI can generate revenues by increasing taxes e.g. income tax and indirect taxes. But alas, many people have lost their jobs and income tax revenues might not go up significantly. Neither will consumption increase. So please explain where these monies to increase defence spending will come from.

          Ms Bhanu, pick up the gauntlet and try answering me.

          Finally, rather than stoop to the level of the gutters in which you wallow, I will refrain from using the abusive language which your upbringing presumably has “blessed” you with. I will leave you with a quote from the French writer François-Marie Arouet (1694-1778), better known as Voltaire

          “It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere”

        • Ms Bhanu: You pontificate:

          “.. According to this fraud, Israel won against the Arabs because America and Western powers were supporting her. By the same logic Pakistan should have won against India in 1971 as America and Britain even sent their warships to threaten India. But we all know what actually happened. ..”

          Well, again facts seem to elude you all the time don’t they ?

          The 1971 war against Pakistan started off as a civil war in Pakistan. The light-skinned Punjabi, Mohajjir and Pashtun people of W. Pakistan never regarded the dark-skinned Bengali speakers of E. Pakistan as equals. As W. Pakitsani General Niazi described E.Pakistan and his Bengali countrymen:

          “A low-lying land of low, lying people”

          In any case when civil war broke out, the genocide perpetarted by W.Pakistanis on Bengalis led to refugees streaming into India and fighting in E.Pakistan itself. India armed and trained various Bengali guerilla groups such as the Mukti Bahini and progressively weakened the W. Pakistani forces. Indira Gandhi’s astute handling of the foreign affairs aspects of the conflict and her decision to completely delegate the conduct of the military operations to Field Marshal Manekshaw also played a vital role. In any case, when war broke out, the combined onslaught of the Indian Forces + the Bengali guerilla groups resulted in a swift surrender.

          As regards US support of Pakistan and Israel, well there are quantitative and qualitative differences in that support. Whatever lobbies that Pakistan had in the US, they are in a totally different league compared to the immensely powerful Jewish lobby. And despite the moral support provided to Pakistan by Nixon and Kisssinger, ultimately, Pakistan’s utility for the US was the channel it was capable of establishing between China and the US. There was also significant opposition in military and diplomatic circles in the US to get embroiled in 2 wars at the same time, i.e. incur more costs, get Congressional support etc. Remember, the US was fighting a losing war in Vietnam at that time.

          In any case, the US did send its 7th Fleet led by the USS Enterprise and the British navy led by HMS Eagle too moved, ostensibly to attack from the Western flank in the Arabian Sea. At that juncture, PM Ms Gandhi invoked the Security Pact it had signed with the USSR. On Dec 13, 1971, the USSR despatched the 10th Operative Battle Group (Pacific Fleet) from Vladivostok, under the Command of Admiral Vladimir Kruglyakov. The USSR deployed two task groups; in total two cruisers, two destroyers, six submarines, and support vessels. A group of IL-38 ASW aircraft from Aden air base in Yemen also provided support. Not wanting to start a war with a 3rd nation and realising that the civil war was not winnable in any case, the USA (& UK) backed off. No shots were fired or any hostilities initiated against India by either the US or the UK.

          The devil Ms Bhanu is in the details. And going by your pathetically puerile “analysis” one must conclude that you neither have the overarching “bird’s eye view” of the issue nor the more detailed “worm’s eye view”. And international relations and diplomacy is extremely complex with many moving parts, most of which are hidden from public view. And jingoism is a crude lens to understand these dynamics.

          Indeed, your rants remind me of the quote from the Irish playwright Bernard Shaw (1856-1950):

          “Beware of false knowledge: it is more dangerous than ignorance”.

        • Ms Bhanu: Thanks for the response. Alas, like most of your inputs here so far, it has the solitary element of fact drowning in the usual sea of half-truths, saffronist abuse and unadulterated gibberish.

          But let me get to that solitary element of factual information in your post.

          You reiterate that you were referring to defence spending as a proportion of GOI budgets and argue for an increase from 15,5% of GOI budgets to 20% GOI budgets for Fiscal 2021 and not GDP. I accept that I made a mistake conflating GOI budgets with GDP. Satisfied ?

          Now let us move on to the more substantive aspects of my post and to my conclusions which do not change an iota, despite my GOI vs GDP mistake.

          You are oblivious to an important economic fact that they perhaps didn’t tell you in the shakas of your Vishwa Yuva Vahini: the Indian economy was in dire straits and bleeding long before the COVID crisis. And much of those wounds came from self-inflicted cuts such as demonetisation, the GST mess, Hindutva considerations triumphing over economic sense, the sidelining of professional economists and their replacement by RSS apparatchiks and Modi’s yes men, capital flight, crony capitalism and so on. And then came COVID which will shave off a significant chunk of the GDP with attendant job losses and consumption declines. The economy has taken Modi’s much ballyhooed bullet train to quick ruin.

          You might ask, what has this to do with your suggestion of increasing the GOI defence budget from 15.5% to 20% ?

          Well Ms. Bhanu, you forget that the size of the economic pie has shrunk in India. And from this shrunken pie, if the GOI were to follow your zany suggestion and increase defence spending, I ask you: what should give way? What expenses would you want the GOI to decrease so as to increase spending on defence? Healthcare? Education? Roads? You don’t have any answers to that do you? After all, you still believe in the BJP logic that you can eat your cake and have it too right ?

          Let me help you out a bit. In theory, the GOI can generate revenues by increasing taxes e.g. income tax and indirect taxes. But alas, many people have lost their jobs and income tax revenues might not go up significantly. Neither will consumption increase. So please explain where these monies to increase defence spending will come from.

          Ms Bhanu, pick up the gauntlet and try answering me.

          Finally, rather than stoop to the level of the gutters in which you wallow, I will refrain from using the abusive language which your upbringing presumably has “blessed” you with. I will leave you with a quote from the French writer François-Marie Arouet (1694-1778), better known as Voltaire

          “It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere” !!

        • Bhanu, your upholding Israel as a model for India is invalid and is the wishful thinking of Hindutva Hindus.

          The contest between Israel and Arabs is actually (Israel + America) versus Arabs. America and Europe give unconditional support due to historical reasons (the enormity of the Holocaust was such that the west does not speak against Israel). They give them limitless financial aid and military aid. America is Israel’s backbone. Take them out and then you will have a fair comparison.

          Israel is fighting Palestine, a non state with no army and no air force. India has Pak, and China, both of which are nuclear powers. Pak is quite capable of knocking down an aircraft and capturing a pilot, and China can come in and kill Indians, and you cannot do anything. Then, how can you compare India’s situation with Pak and China, against Israel facing Palestine with US support ? You are a pukka Hindutva dimwit to make such a suggestion.

          In India’s case, Hindus can give conditional support to Modi, but no one outside is going to give unconditional support to India.

          In any case, if India is a superpower on a par with China and US as imagined by some Hindus, you cannot argue for a state of dependency on America !

    • Bhanu, you tell us Modi baiters at all costs want to believe that Mr. Modi as the PM of India is a failure – but it is not true.

      Well look at demonetisation and GST implementation, taking a growing economy under MMS and shrinking it. That is failure.

      Look at the Covid handling – it has gone out of hand.

      Look at his policy of touching Xi’s feet and lying about the Chinese incursions.

      Look at the weakening of India by internal divisions : allowing Hindus to become mob lynchers and rapists.

      Look at the undermining of the independence of all institutions, courts, RBI, police, CBI, universities, army…..

      On the above Modi has to be judged by his aggressive boasts. On the economy, he said ‘ache din’.

      On Covid, he said India helped 150 countries out of 140 – when it cannot help itself.

      On security, he won the election claiming he is chowkidar. Now, he does not acknowledge incurisons and loss of life.

      It is failure in everything. Why can’t you accept reality ?

      As for his decisiveness in repealing Article 370, the result is Chinese attack. Why is he not decisive and counter attack the Chinese ? He is even afraid to take their name.

      Modi is a pompous, vain Hindu with low intellect, and so are you for believing he is not a failure.

  4. Seeing how Modi baiters are gloating on the Galwan incident and the poisonous language they use against Modi supporters shows that they are still licking their wounds after BJPs massive win in 2019 and have still not mentally come to term with it. Keep it up and keep abusing your fellow Indians and Mr. Modi will win an even bigger mandate in 2024.
    Now coming to Galwan incident, let’s not buy this false narrative that we have lost 50 or 60 square Kms of territory and the Indian govt. has surrendered to the Chinese. We have learnt this the hard way in 1962 that border is not defended by sitting smack on the border. Prior to 1962 Mr. Nehru forced Indian Army under his forward policy to set up border posts right at the border despite the army generals’ objection that such posts are neither logistically teneable and the soldiers manning these posts will be sitting ducks if the Chinese attacked and that’s exactly what happened. The mere fact that Indian formations will not return back to their peace time positions and forward deployment of Chinese forces will be a constant irritant between India and China and push India more and more under the American security umbrella will force the Chinese to restore status quo ante. If we learn from history this process might take years as happend in case of Sumdrong Chu valley in Arunachal Pradesh where the border standoff lasted for a good 6 years.
    Some people here are also unfortunately promoting the false Pakistani propoganda that Balakot was a failure. It seems that such people in their desperation don’t even want to believe their own Air Force. As per multiple media sources including the print it has been established that around 100 or maybe even more terrorists were killed in Balakot strikes. The aim of such strikes is always to raise the costs for misadventures for the enemy and not to achieve a decisive outcome. And India achieved this objective spectacularly. Decisive outcomes comes by carefully planned wars and not cross border strikes of whatever kind.
    Defence pension reforms is a must now. OROP in itself is an incomplete reform. It will be complete only when military reforms are carried out to ensure that military pensions do not cross a certain percentage of the overall defence budget. Ideally this shout not be higher than 20% of defence budget. Currently it’s touching 30%. Some of the suggested measures to achieve this objective are:
    1.To raise the eligibility for full military pension for ORs from 17 to 20 years.
    2. Majority of the officer intake (preferably 2/3rd) needs to be from Short Service Commission stream than Permanent Commission stream.
    3. Recruit eligible CAPF candidates into the Army for 7 years, after which they can go back to their parent organisation. This will improve the capabilities of CAPFs as well as they will start getting military level trained troops as well.
    4. Call of duty scheme will be ideal to recruit soldiers for 3 to 5 years in support arms of the army.

    • ‘Keep it up and keep abusing your fellow Indians and Mr. Modi will win an even bigger mandate in 2024.’

      You obviously believe Hindus are permanently dumb.

    • According to you, anti Modi people are still licking their wounds after BJPs massive win in 2019 and have still not mentally come to term with it.

      Modi’s ambition is only power, and wearing a new suit, and roaming around the world. He has bought a Boeing for himself and he has a vanity project to build a new complex near parliament house. Using Pulwama soldiers at election time is no issue. And touching Xi’s feet and losing land is no problem for Modi supporters. And you are saying Hindus like you would reward him with an even bigger win next time just to spite us !

  5. Ninan seems to have conveniently forgotten that half the defence pensions are accounted for by the retired civilian employees of defence public sector units and other civilians under the MoD.

  6. Reading the comments of the many blinkered, blind, saffron jingoists and Modi-can-do-no-wrong bhakths that stalk these columns, one gets the impression that they hate reading the writing on the wall – however factual it happens to be. Particularly when it paints the 56 inch chested Messiah in his true colours and when India’s defence capabilities – or lack thereof – are described candidly. Predictably, an article dealing with some of the causes of the drubbing inflicted upon India at Galwan is dismissed by this crowd as anti-national, unpatriotic. “To hell with the truth, Modi is invincible and even if he loses, it is Nehru’s fault” these bhakths seem to say in indignation. Thus, Messrs. Vijay Galande, Kp Rao, Shivan, Sayantan etc. are so upset at reading the writing on the wall and cannot come to terms with the fact that the 56 inch chested Modi has been soundly humiliated by Xi Jinping that they attack the messenger, viz. The Print. One of them, Mr Shivan, in his infinite wisdom, even calls the author a “fifth columnist” !

    Of course, talking of truth is tantamount to heresy in Hindutva circles. But fact is, China, Pakistan and almost every other country knows about India’s defence strengths, weaknesses, budgets, weapons, military infrastructure and so on. Just as India knows about the capabilities of other nations, particularly its rivals. And when the PM indiscreetly deploys and shows off India’s capabilities solely to win elections and gets a bloody nose as he did in the botched Balakot raids, China, Pakistan and scores of defence analysts all over the world take note. Modi may have spun it differently for bhakths in India and his captive fan base, but Balakot proved that India’s defence forces aren’t what they are cracked up to be. India lost a fighter, a pilot was captured and humiliated by the Pakistanis. The US had to intervene to get Pakistan to release him. Worse still, India shot down its own helicopter through “friendly fire” and lost 16 of its own soldiers. The world at large and especially China took notice of that débâcle.

    The Balakot fiasco may have been spun as a great success by Modi and may have helped him win a re-election. But the fact that Modi is all bluster and bark but no bite was brutally exposed by the Chinese in Galwan. So, now that China has nibbled away and captured 60 km2 of Indian territory and killed 20 Indian soldiers, the BJP is doing its best to make India forget that unpalatable fact. And bhakths like the gentlemen I mention above are doing their best to help maintain this façade of strength and attack any mention of truth by resorting to the stale, pathetic BJP trick of calling it anti-nationalistic.

    As the British author George Orwell (1903-1950) said:

    “The further a society drifts from truth, the more it will hate those that speak it”

    • That’s an utterly one-sided narrative. Unfortunately, the Pakistani bubble will be burst sooner than later. Here’s what I’m going to share (while trying not to reveal much!) The inability of the Pakistani state to realize and accept their own losses (The F-16. The missing pilot. No point getting into that rabbit hole) is going to haunt them when India comes for them for an ultimate war. This notion of invincibility will be shattered like an old window pane. No one will come for Pak’s help. Literally, no one. On the other side, even if India and China go to a tiny war, it allows India to reclaim a part of its territory from Pakistan. To be honest, both these powers (India, China) realize that they have a lot to gain to keep this veil of mystery over their operations. India and China are too mature to get into a stupid rivalry when neither of them can take each other’s land. The ultimate loser will be Pakistan. They will be given a false sense of control over CPEC. Ultimately, India and China will have to resolve LAC. They will concentrate on working on their business ties. Modi will be re-elected in 2024. Xi will be too busy handling and managing the USA. India will remain non-aligned. The difference in military prowess between India and Pak is widening as we speak. I can’t wait for the day (a few years down the line) when China forces Pak to have a good relationship with India. Poor Pak first played by the USA, then China. All they will be left with is a broke nation with massive loans and rivalries with India (both of which is dangerous) in modern times. Save this comment.

      • I see Pak bugs you more than the loss of land to China. You cannot beat either of them. But you can beat Indian Muslims and feel proud.

      • Mr Max: Impressive analysis of truly a Henry Kissinger calibre!! Albeit with data obtained from an Arnab Goswami show and processed by a gomutra swilling, groing scratching, herb smoking intellectual, ostensibly from the Bajrang Dal !

        In any case, you seem to gloss over the fact that as things stand today, Pakistan may be capable of the odd pinprick here and there and little else. But the Chinese have actually captured Indian territory and killed Indian soldiers. And has also laid claim to Arunachal Pradesh to make matters worse. And all that you can say is: “..The ultimate loser will be Pakistan..” !!

        Meanwhile, India’s Kissingers like you don’t seem to mind that and wish to talk of everything else but that drubbing. And all that you can say is:

        “.. The ultimate loser will be Pakistan..” !!

  7. The author should visit forward bases in Arunachal Pradesh and other mountaineous regions..Look at the rate at which roads are being constructed there. The author is not as smart as he thinks himself to be.

    • Mr Yash Pal Singh: That roads are being built is not the bone of contention is here.

      What is being discussed here is the fact that under Modi, the Chinese have made inroads – Indian roads nowithstanding – into Indian territory and have captured about 60km2 of India’s land. And all that the 56 inch chested chowkidar and his catatonic followers such as yourself is to bray in jingoistic unison about India’s non-existent wins.

      Modi might roar like a bear in front of minnows like Pakistan or Nepal. But he squeaks and trembles like a mouse in front of China. Alas, accepting that reality is something bhakths like you are incapable of. So continuw to wallow in your jingoistic mumbo-jumbo whilst using from your Chinese made smartphone.

  8. Strictly speaking it is not loss of territory but loss of claim on disputed territory. For example in the Galwan valley, India is supposed to go back by one km from PP 14 and so also China by 1 km eastward, whereas India’s claim is up to PP17 A. In Pangong lake of area China is to go back from PP4 to PP5 and India from PP4 to PP3, whereas India’s claim is up to PP8 and we used patrol upto that point. ( so also China upto PP4, since it is an area of differing perceptions). With the new arrangement, India cannot now claim upto the earlier points ( PP17A and PP8 respectively) and LAC has been effectively altered in China’s favour by 1 to 3 km.

  9. Modi has chosen discretion – a polite defence of his cowardice. Remember he won the election saying he was the chowkidar.

  10. Increasingly such views are being shared by many and one of the reasons PM Modi and his otherwise vocal Defense Minister kept quiet for 30 plus days was with the hope that such incursion could be settled diplomatically. instead opting for a limited military conflict.The Chinese brought in tremendous artillery power in the form of howitzer and light battle tanks supported by helicopters for high altitude., India had to scramble and it is obvious with the speed at which Rajnath Singh scampered off to Russia for placing urgent orders for arms and ammunition.
    In 6 years India has seen 3 Defense Ministers which excludes late Mr. Jaitley. It indicates the kind of importance this current BJP government attaches to this ministry, leave aside modernization.

    • Mr Kp Rao: Can’t facts be published in Modistan? One of the facts that you and your pathetic ilk need to accept is that for all the bluster that Modi could muster against Pakistan, the Chinese have proved that he is more bark than bite when it comes to facing upto China. And pray tell me what is wrong if The Print points it out ?

      Not everything in the real world has a happy ending like a Bollywood movie Mr Kp Rao.

      • You are so obvious a The Print bot created for and assigned to troll any and every anti-The Print comment. It’s a wonder how your handlers chose such a low intellectual bot such as you to defend its so grossly anti-India biased reports.

        • Apart from attaching a wrong label to my views, you have no counter-argument to the issues I raise. So how about some fact based, logical attempts to refute me Sir ? Or is that something that they don’t teach gomutra swilling gaurakshaks like you ?

  11. The author is basically realistic and due to our economy falling behind China’s in last 30 years , naturally ou r defence budgets are much smaller . We face a force that could be 3-4 times our strength , and we have tactical advantage in only a few sectors-.
    However, no one will look for a decisive win in today’s world and so it is best if India finds a way to avoid hostilities and convince China to start marking out the border instead of leaving things undefined. India must take the initiative here and apply some economic pressure on China by offering a quid pro quo if China gets down to real talks on the border.

  12. Stop spreading rumors about the ground situation on Indo-Tibetan border through some cleverly worded articles. The author is a fifth columnist

    • So what according to you is the truth Mr Shivan ? The Chinese piss in their pants because of the chowkidar’s 56 inch chest ? And India did not lose territory ? And since when did speaking the truth get you the epithet “ fifth column” ?

  13. “Is Narendra Modi to blame for blinking first in the confrontation with China ……………………….., and allowing China to score some territorial points? India does not have the capacity to forcibly remove entrenched Chinese troops from positions that they have occupied in strength. Once the army allowed China to gain ingress,…….. whether the damage was done because of intelligence failures or because Indian forces in the area were not alert, ……….. that India will prepare to fight another day.”
    It is said that the media is called the fourth estate. After reading this article, one is convinced that a part of it is definitely acting like the “fifth columnists”. All these ex-India Today, NDTV, type journalists have not forgotten their old masters. This man has brought out all the venom he holds against the present dispensation and tried to run down the defence services, the government in very cleverly (at least he thinks he is clever) couched words.
    Indian army has through several bulletins asked the people not to believe rumors but such journalists in fact spread rumors and keep spreading “Their Master’s Voice”

  14. We hindus are a weak community and society….we only talk big . New reports suggest all that talk of disengagement is fake news peddled by govt ‘sources’

  15. Indian manufacturing virtually gave up against Chinese low cost onslaught or was it the traders who for quick profits drove the death nail. In any case import ban with aroused nationalism can incentivise reemergence of manufacturing providing the much needed jobs to millions. The impact of ban may also be more pronounced than it would have been in other times now that virtually the whole world wants to look inwards to soften the impact of COVID-19 on the economy. Why do we need to be shy when we have more than one reason including the aggression on the border.

    Despite China’s military superiority, stronger deployment and solid border infrastructure, it remains a moot point if a limited retaliatory action to restore status co in selected areas could have been an option for India , especially as China would not risk a full scale escalation in the present circumstances with the world opinion largely against it. Containing rising COVID curve and fighting terrorism in J&K would have probably tilted the opinion against exercising a rare window of opportunity to restore atleast status co and add a few pressure points for further negotiation. Peace is part of Indian DNA. Let peace prevail and let everyone be happy. Sarve Bhavantu Sukhina as we say. Regards.

  16. I commend the author for pointing out the loop holes in the defense sector. However a few points were not accurately represented. As the majority of our population is below the poverty line it doesn’t allow the government to spend enough on defense and those who criticize the budget must also provide details as to which sector can receive a lesser budget inorder to increase defense spending. Pakistan army has a reputation for shrewd spending of budget but they have benefited from billions of dollars of aid annually from the US along with free transfer of arms. Lastly, the author has claimed that PAF didn’t lose the F-16 despite multiple airforce officers going on record to state that an F-16 was indeed shot down and even provided evidence for the same. Besides, the Pak army spokesperson himself claimed multiple pilots were captured by locals and later reversed it. I agree that defense capabilities need improvement and a lot of lethargy is prevalent in the MoD just as it is in every other department but given our poverty rates we can’t even afford the current defense budget which is much higher than that of Germany, UK and France which have similar or better gdp and are developed economies and hence the present and past governments need a more fair assesment regarding the allocation of defense budget.

  17. It is the economy. Unless and until India’s economy grows at significant levels for sustained period, that leads to widespread benefit to its citizens, no government will have the ability to spend on budget and capacity. There need to be a national consensus, cutting across all political parties, to have unhindered economic growth as a priority.
    We cannot continue to talk about the incremental progress that has been made since our independence. While that may be laudable by itself, it is not sufficiient for our growing population.

  18. Perhaps the Chinese measured his chest size and concluded that whilst it may have been a 56 incher for domestic audiences, it was perceived as significantly punier by the Chinese ! or, as they say:

    “All bark and no bite”

    • hi Kili (means bird in malayalam haha), it looks like you read only print, that too articles of this author, ajay shukla, shivam vij and people like them. the problem is people like you want to concentrate only on the last 6 years precisely to blame the present government. why china brought in such a huge force? earlier they used to come prove a point and go back, why? bcos earlier that much was sufficient, earlier govts (including 5 years of Vajpayee) were not doing much along the boarder or modernizing the defence forces. so they felt, there is not much danger from India. but the last 6 years have a changed a lot. EVEN IF FOOLS LIKE YOU DIDNT SEE IT, CHINA SAW IT. they must have thought if current pace in boarder development and defence modernization is continued for another 5-10 years, china cannot even think doing anything silly. add to that the threat of annexing aksai chin by India. BUT ALAS, CHINA’S GAME PLAN LOOKS LIKE DIDNT SUCCEED.

      AS LONG AS WE HAVE PEOPLE LIKE YOU AND AUTHOR, WE SHOULD WORRY LESS ABOUT CHINA AND PAKISTAN AND WORRY MORE ABOUT PEOPLE LIKE YOU.

      • EVEN IF FOOLS LIKE YOU DIDNT SEE IT, CHINA SAW IT.

        But our chowkidar did not see it. There is a video of a speech where he simpers with delight about his Plus One relationship with Xi and China.

        Now chowkidar did not see what was coming. He says there were no incursions.

        I would suggest that you change the chowkidar who was manipulated by Xi.

      • A fellow with a skull containing a sole molecule
        Never saw the insides of a school

        I inhale many an Arnab Goswami fart
        And therefore I think I am quite smart

        Is that why I am the object of ridicule?

  19. You should be ashamed of yourself. When the whole nation should be standing in solidarity you are harping your own personal political propaganda. Can you stop making everything about BJP vs Congress . It is because of people like you that we present a divided front to other nations !! Stop this yellow journalism and be ashamed!! Introspect

  20. The article by Shekar Gupta stealthily introduces the congress view by stating “…..China to score some territorial points?………India does not have the capacity to forcibly remove entrenched Chinese troops from positions that they have occupied in strength. Once the army allowed China to gain ingress, and to support its frontline troops……” . Unless Shekar Gupta has any proof to offer, he should refrain from contradicting the official statement made to the nation by the PM. If he has no proof to offer, then he should apologise to the readers. He should at least clarify as to where he has got the source…from China?

    • if any one could not make from defense related statement nothing further needs to be said.. India had indugled in wasteful expenditure i socio economic politicial campaign without any tangible results . India has avoided risks through merit based initiatives .. History Majors heading technical bodies contributed to weakening technological base

  21. The author has again commented on the PENSION being paid to the EX-Service men being one of the sole reasons for lack of defense preparation by India. The author may well be advised that it is man behind the gun who matters most and where you have weapons platforms costing more than couple of hundred crores like a single SU 30 aircraft being flown by a single pilot, you need a well trained and competent person. Why does he not comment on the pension being paid to MP/ MLA’s tax free after just being member for short time or for that matter perks his ilk are enjoying from government.
    There are also issues of over Six lakh babu’s whiling away their time in MOD. One can go on but would advise the author to desist from commenting on issues of which he has no clue.

    • Mr Mahabir Patel: The article has merely given a breakdown of how the defence budget is split between pensions and non-pension related expenses such as procurements, salaries of serving defence staff and so on. Nowhere does the article say or imply that pensions of retired staff affect the performance of the Armed Forces.

      One could augment defence spending by cutting other GOI outlays. Yes, you can propose reducing the headcount of babus in the MoD, reducing the salaries and pensions of MLAs and MPs and reducing or eliminating payments to a number of line items in the overall Indian budget. One could close down hospitals, schools, stop infra-structure projects, stop school meals and so on and divert the funds to defence. One could also stop Modi’s bullet train to nonsense to nowhere but financial ruin. Or for that matter the PM’s expensive purchase of not one but two, I reiterate two – customised Boeing 777s costing a whopping USD 1.2 billions and divert it to defence. But then, the PM of Atmanirbhar Bharat cannot be expected to travel in the existing and highly uncomfortable Boeing 747 aircraft can he ? The conduct of “dhokla diplomacy” necessitates that the PM of demonetised India travel in style doesn’t it ?

      So now you know why the Armed Forces are starved for funds Mr Mahabir Patel right?

  22. Why are the Armed forces the last priority when everyone knows that they are the last resort and need to be invested in even if it costs the stars?

    When will we learn? Never, we are a nation which has not learnt in 5000 yrs of invasions.

  23. There are not many changes in defence capability of Indian armed forces except during the period from 1970 to 90 with getting help from ex-USSR but after the demise of USSR and rise of China India’s position even weakened against Pakistan. During the Kargil war in 1999, the Indian government was running from one arms supplier to another for spares, ammunition and other defence items and now the same story has been repeated in 2020 during Ladakh standoff with China.

    • Right from today we need curruption free officials in all fields , we need more decipline , more systematic works more innovation, more confidence make in India need to encourage innovation in India , it is we need most than any thing in India , change everything it change everything ,, we and our govt has to focus atleast 5 yrs on innovative ideas in India , started talents hunts for every fields, not only dancing and nutankis also supports some others electronic, electrical , mechanical, chemical, etc , without it nothing is achievable,, we have to many Babu’s post who are looting in every fields ,,they ve too much govt facilities, to much power, all are miss used, sieze there non sense power of Babu’s first ,, they are all in all in every fields,, only enjoying and looting each and every resources of India s wealth, limits the mla, MPs , neta mininsters domination to society ,, what they do every day. For country ?? No thing I can chanllange you they did not do there work , india tax money are wasted on them, too much security body guard , too many peoples are employed all are wasted of resources ,, I don’t thing that that’s much india has wealthiest for wastage .. cut the power wealth , and equally distribute to needy and poor and real ones.. our constitution needs to upgradation regarding Netas and Babu’s power if we work in this line togathers we will win all wars against any country not only china.. we became most powerful nation within 4 to 5 yrs .. without it no one can change the real situation… Jai hind

  24. Ha! I surely think that you guys are payed by china to wrote articles against infia but let me tell you this is new india and it know how to show china its orginal position. You guys are biased. Why don’t you write about hong kong??? Well, we indians are much capable than chinese as we know how to use technology. Rather than china who makes satellite and think that they are superior to india. But actually the truth is that after some time their rockets fall in antartica and crash what an irony.

  25. Hi,
    I suggest you to continue your anti India agenda by moving your base to either China or Pakistan as it doesn’t look good doing it sitting inside India. You are one of the most biased news agency people of India ever seen. I wonder why Indian Government entertain these anti India journalism.

    Thank you

  26. India has been caught napping, again. China has taken us by surprise, both tactical – on the border – and strategic – in terms of our reading of its intentions. Their actions on the border fit a pattern seen on numerous occasions over the years elsewhere, notably the South China Sea and come after numerous intrusions into our own territory in recent years. It is amazing we were taken off guard despite all this.

    Meanwhile, our defense preparedness has continued to suffer as it did before. What is worse, we have been high on bombastic rhetoric with tall claims of taking back Aksai Chin and PoK. PM Modi’s intentions have been good, but he has surrounded himself with mostly incompetent ministers. Mishandling of the economy has led to shrinking defense budgets. The bureaucracy continues to lack competence, accountability and performance; as a result, even modest capital acquisitions take years to fructify. A vicious political culture has taken root of using alleged malpractices in defense deals to fix one’s opponents, rendering the bureaucracy even more cautious. And the culture of sycophancy that earlier characterized the political class now also infects our bureaucracy and the senior echelons of our armed forces. Where are the top brass who used to proclaim that we are ready for a 2-front war?

    Yet, all said and done, the rank and file of the Indian armed forces are surely capable of doing more harm to the PLA than it – and Xi Jinping’s reputation – can stand? Is it not time for India to defend her territory? Why all this defeatist talk? After all if Vietnam could give them a licking in 1979, why can’t we?

  27. The author states “Defence capabilities cannot be built overnight; the task takes years if not decades.”
    This puts into perspective 70+ years of mostly misgovernance of the Congress. Give PM Modi some credit and an extended run in power; the man is trying his best in spite of constraints. Remember – capabilities cannot be built overnight; the task takes years.

  28. Mulla congress DID NOT build any defense capability in true traitor style!! Modi CAN NOT build defense capacity in a few years what has been neglected for 70 years!!

  29. Why our pensions are always picked upon? Do you Ninan and other commentators have any clue about Def pensions when compared with Civ and CAPF ‘S . There is , this Justice Reddy report which the govt is keeping under wraps. Why? We are only asking for fair play and justice. Sit across the table with veterans and discuss. What logic is there for OROP only for the apex scale ? AF ‘S have the steepest pyramid and yet only they are excluded from NFU.

  30. With a lop sided budget that allocates Rs 470,000 crores ($65.9 billion) to defense and only Rs.69,000 crores ($ 922million) to health why do we still whine that “Defense budget has been cut to the bone”? Imagine! A defense budget of $66 billion and a health budget of just $900 million.A health budget less than even $ 1 billion and a defense budget sixty six fold greater and we still whine that the defense budget is too small. In any other place the people would be up in arms against such injustice but in India for the average person whose income is just above $150 per month both $65 billion and $900 million are beyond imagination and benumb his senses.Nehru was clever but under pressure from the hawks who were hidden then but are in the open now he asked Kennedy for help but simultaneously released Sheikh Abdullah from jail and asked him to go to Pakistan and negotiate a settlement at the earliest. Had Nehru been alive today (and free from the clutches of hawks) we would perhaps be having no Kashmir problem, no Siachin problem no Pakistan problem, no China problem and an India as developed as China. If we have the welfare of our people and not the welfare of Hindutva at heart then we would not be at war with our own people. With the people on our side we would be indomitable irrespective of the size of the budget. All analysts are agreed that the present problem resulted because the present dispensation abrogated Article 370 to in the words of Rajnath Singh “Solve the Kashmir problem with or without the participation of the people”.

    • Surely we wouldn’t have had no problem because Nehru and krishna menon duo would have made sure that Chinese win like in 1962 for the sake of pathetic socialism.

    • My comment needs the following corrections and errors are regretted:
      In line one read Rs 69000 crores ($ 9 billion) instead of Rs 69000 crores ($922 million)
      In line 3 read $9 billion instead of $900 million and $ 10 billion instead of $ one billion and six fold instead of sixty fold
      In line 5 read $ 9 billion instead of $ 900 million.

  31. It is one way of looking t it. It is similar to half glass full or empty. In the present circumstances he has taken correct decision. Who has failed can be desected after settling down. In India the down trodden and low income groups are accustomed for doles and very low out put.In agriculture there is no change ins stategy. Modi’s sceintific farming is like blowing conch before a deaf man. The electoral politics in democracy has very little leaverage. In my humble openion what ever is being done now for selef rliance is good in the long run. As suggeted by the author to go for import purchases is not correct.

    • Mr VVSN Murty: You proclaim:

      “.. In my humble openion what ever is being done now for selef rliance is good in the long run ..”

      Well, that strategy has been tried out before and has failed spectacularly Mr VVSN Murty. Like many other newly independent developing nations, India too embarked upon what economists call “Import Substitution Industrialisation” (ISI). ISI emphasised self-sufficiency and stopped just short of complete economic autarky. Countries like Argentina, India and even South Korea espoused ISI with devastating results. In India, it led to the terrible “licence raj” and the massive nexus between netas and crony capitalists that enriched these two groups whilst wrecking the economy. It led to massive smuggling, sub-standard products that could not compete on international markets, waiting lists even for items like scooters and cars and so on. The net result was the much ballyhooed Hindu rate of growth that India was notorious for.

      Modi’s atmanirbhar mambo-jumbo is nothing but the same old Import Substitution Industrialisation in a new bottle. It will surely suit the Ambanis and other crony capitalist financiers of the BJP to turn in a tidy profit. But it will also lead to capital flight, poor quality consumer goods, litigation at the WTO, certain boycott of Indian goods and services by trading partners and other unpredictable and deleterious outcomes.

      At the end of the day, an Indian made .303 bolt-action rifle was of little use in curbing Ajmal Kasab’s murderous rampage with his high powered AK 47 was it ?

  32. I saw your stupid comment against our own country by comparing to other countries. Are you a indian company. Don’t lead the people to negative ways.

  33. Probably the most illogical article I read in a long time. I wish author had done some “actual” research and spoke to credible defense experts. With the recent provocation, china has received a giant egg on their face. Everything backfired for PLA. The only failure India faced (other than 20 brave souls) is the definitive intelligent gap in not being able to anticipate the ingress of the Chinese forces along LAC. But, given the circumstances, Modi handled it well. Also, China complete exposed it hand a decade earlier than ideal. This means India is well-aware of the enemy and entire 130 cr Indians know the real intention of our neighbors. Wait for a few years and you’d know how PLA will regret summer 2020 as a big blunder. Save this comment.

  34. I wonder whether this columnist has military background when he talks about the weapons acquisition program, out of date equipment for Indian army’s, etc – how has he assessed such criterion? Or even, when he writes “a competent yard with a record of delivering within time and budget waits for orders while an improvident one gets them”. These wordings are just vagueries to justify the unjustifiable. – not even the US or western European nations or even Israel will have “a competent yard” to satisfy any record of “delivering within time and budget” as he stipulates in his mental plane. Is he aware that the Chinese learned a lesson when they invaded Vietnam in the past? Again, Pak has a smaller Air Force than India, but as he mentions India lost an aircraft in Balakote attack. Nobody among the military experts in the world can predict the outcome if the Indian Army launches a military campaign now to dislodge the Chinese from Galwan. Airpower is useless in the Himalayas. Coming to Manekshaw whom he refers to, it has been recorded that in an interview some years after the 1971 war, Manekshaw categorically stated in response to a question that even if China and Pakistan joined hands, they could not defeat India militarily but India needed to be ever vigilant about them. To my understanding, this vigilance on China has been missing in India’s statecraft in recent years, particularly under Modis watch. And there is no desire to take on China among the present higher echelons of the armed forces who are just Modi’s appointees without checking their credentials. In sum, I find this column is just trying to absolve Modi from his debacle in handling China and safeguarding India’s sovereignty.

  35. The article by TNN is not based on the facts what Modi has been doing to upgrade the India s defense preparedness. India under Modi is better prepared to meet its enemies than at any time it was so under previous dispensations. This article is mostly based on “Hate-Modi “mentality of the class of journalists of pro-Dynasty journalist. China is , for second time retreating , from the forward positions in Modi era. Remember Dolkom episode in 2017 . . China has been in inhabit of capturing unmarked border area since 1950 s till 2017. But in 2017 and now had to retreat. China was made to realize that it will face adversary army if it did not retract its illegitimate advances this time. IT found it will be isolated in international diplomat circles and will lose a big markets . It had to figure out threats it may have to meet in water ways also. But pro-congress journalists always under rate Modi s achievements. Always remember Modi never accepts defeats. He has charisma to marshal all available resources to defeat India s external enemies and his political adversaries within India. The common people of India knew this. But a class of a journalists has to internalize this . They MAY OR MAY NOT even , do so after third DEFEAT IN 2024 .

  36. Modi’s day does not end with writing a piece and collecting money. We have never seen a war so the two things we did not learn (1) Dignity of Labor (2) Not saying things that could be even remotely detrimental to national interest.
    Both these thing often happen with the so called intellectual thinkers.
    During the two world wars people for survival had to do whatever jobs were available. Qualifications social status did not matter and that is where they learned to DIGNITY OF LABOR.
    Similarly commentary on the government policy or happening on the ground without a holistic picture could be detrimental to national interest-
    To write “India’s real failure is in defense capabilities” can only be music to Chinese ears. NOT Unpatriotic but But surely indiscreet.

    • So the author should be like Modi, and lie and say that no take over of territory occurred, otherwise it could be detrimental to national interest ?

      When Modi tells us India is vishwa guru and is teaching 150 countries out of 140 about handling Covid, we should applaud him in the national interest.

      Dignity of labour – Modi should go back to being chai wallah, that is a dignified job according to his capability. He has not proved he knows much. The dharma also says serviteurs should be content with service. A non-Brahmin should not be PM of a Hindu country.

  37. The author comfortably forgot the 10 LONG YEARS WASTED BY UPA DEFENCE MINISTERS. COME ON DO SOME GOOD JOURNALISM…

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