Evolving Facets Of National Security
National security is a function of a country’s external environment and the internal situation, as well as their interplay with each other. At least 231 of the country’s 608 Districts are currently afflicted, at differing intensities, by various insurgent and terrorist movements. In a shocking disclosure, Former National Security Advisor M K Narayanan stated that there are as many as 800 terrorist cells operating in the country with "external support". As per the National Security Index (NSI) by India’s National Security Council (NSCS), India ranks 8th, with US on top and China at 2nd position whereas Pakistan ranks 49th in the list of 50 countries.
The concept of national security developed mostly in the United States of America after World War II. According to the earlier view, National security was defined as the requirement to maintain the survival of the nation-state through the use of economic, military and political power and the exercise of diplomacy. In order to possess national security, a nation needs to possess economic security, energy security, environmental security, etc.
The 1996 definition propagated by the National Defence College of India resembles the accretion of the elements of national power:
"National security is an appropriate and aggressive blend of political resilience and maturity, human resources, economic structure and capacity, technological competence, industrial base and availability of natural resources and finally the military might."
But with the era of globalization there has been a conceptual shift in the definition and functional understanding of the term ‘Security’, delineating the areas falling within the purview of National and Internal Security. Under the new techno-economic concept, ‘Security’ enlarged its ambit to include food security, energy including nuclear security, clean environment, and equality before law and good governance. The concept of ‘globalization’ of Economies, further transformed the dimensions of security to involve ethnic identity considerations and mitigation of cultural conflicts in social terms.
Whereas internal security, on the other hand, can be defined as ‘security against threats faced by a country within its national borders, either caused by inner political turmoil, or provoked, prompted or proxied by an enemy country, perpetrated even by such groups that use a failed, failing or weak state, causing insurgency, terrorism or any other subversive acts that target innocent citizens, cause animosity between and amongst groups of citizens and communities intended to cause or causing violence, destroy or attempt to destroy public and private establishment.’
National Security And India
Under the Constitutional scheme, ‘National Security’ is not a subject specifically listed in any of the three lists i.e. the Union, the State or the Concurrent List. The subject of Security under the Article 352 and under the Emergency Provisions in Part XVIII of the Constitution has been assigned to the Union Government. Though it is an overriding executive power of the Union, in Constitutional practice, however, ‘Security’ is a subject in which the States and the Union have a common interest and are expected to act in a coordinated manner. Under the co-operative relationship, the duties and obligations of the Union and the States are covered primarily in Article 256, 355, 356 and 365 and also under relevant provisions. Entries pertaining to Defence of India and control and deployment of the armed forces of the Union are covered in List-I of the Seventh Schedule. Public order and Police feature as Entries 1 and 2 in the List II. Criminal law, Criminal procedure and Administration of Justice are covered in List III as Entries 1, 2 and 11A.
In 1998 the former prime minister of India established an institution with a view to maintain the security and peace within the state named as National Security Council. The National Security Council (NSC) of India is the apex agency looking into the political, economic, energy and strategic security concerns of India. It was established by the A B Vajpayee government on 19 November 1998, with Brijesh Mishra as the first National Security Advisor. The implementation machinery to progress towards the grand objective of building the most populous, democratic, pluralistic and secular state of the world, is no doubt the joint efforts of the cabinet, the Armed forces and security services, bureaucracy, the scientific establishments and the entire private sector, the industrial, agricultural and the services.
Mobilizing all their efforts and directing them towards the great goal is the challenge of governance before this country. Since 1998 India has developed a new self-awareness and confidence about itself. They had their origin in the economic reforms, initiated in 1991, the nuclear and missile programmes of the earlier Prime ministers, the IT prowess of India and the achievements of the Indian Diaspora in the US. Even as India’s progress began on economic and technological fronts it also came under Jihadi left-extremist and ethnic secessionist threats. It also faces the challenge of an increasingly assertive China. Our border infrastructure and our intelligence collection and assessment capabilities are inadequate to meet the threats and challenges. Our armed forces, para-military forces and our police forces require urgent modernisation. Our governance needs to be made effective and the delivery system of goods and services for the common man should be efficient and corruption free. Our education and health care have to be made universal. The higher education, especially technological one and our R&D capabilities call for expansion to world class standards. Our entrepreneurial skills cry out to be unleashed. Therefore a national security plan frame-work for these tasks and political support for them have to be revolutionized.
Need To Evolve Facets For Better Security:
In relation to the above paragraph, we can articulate that unfortunately most of our elite and national security establishments have not developed an adequate understanding of the complexity or magnitude of the problem. Some of the important issues for the national security are terrorism, social issues, economy, nuclear issues etc. they are discussed below:
· Terrorism: The basic threat to Indian National Security is by the terrorist activities instigated by the neighbouring countries. The nasty terrorists or the wrong doers who infringe the nation’s peace easily save themselves under the shield of fundamental rights and provisions given under the constitution. The greatest example is that of Afzal Guru- the master mind behind the attack on Parliament of India- who still enjoys the hospitality of our Government even after being awarded death punishment by the Supreme Court of India. It is believed that Afzal’s mercy petition has been stuck in the Union Home Ministry for such a long time which needs to be processed and sent to the President to take a decision. Like in case of Kasab, it took almost a year and a half to reach to the verdict- and that too in a special fast track court. People like them are exclusively behind these insurgencies which creates atmosphere for national emergency. Terrorism is a formidable challenge and no country, however large or powerful, has the wherewithal to insulate itself from such omnipresent threats, of which terrorism stoked by distorted religious radicalism is the latest and most grotesque manifestation.
· Communal Harmony: The pluralistic Indian society has had a long history of communal divide but at the same time had generally developed an understanding for co-existence. Following its centuries old traditions and ethos, India opted to be a secular Nation due to this reason that the framers of the Constitution did not put communal violence as a separate subject under any of the three lists in Schedule 7 that specified powers to the Union and the States and wanted the problems or troubles on this account to be treated as part of maintenance of public order only. But the British practice of ‘divide and rule’ brought the communal conflicts between Hindus and Muslims into the fore throughout the colonial rule and in particular during the period of run-up for Independence. The rise of communal tension and violence based on the issues of language, religion and regionalism in Punjab became a hallmark. In the meanwhile the Ram Janma Bhoomi-Babri Masjid issue continued to be highly contentious. After the structure got demolished in 1992, the relationship between Hindus and Muslims suffered a major set back providing fodder to the fundamentalists on both sides for committing acts of retaliation in some form or the other. The causes of the repeated occurrence of communal related incidents will not be hard to find. Besides the historical reasons, religious conversions, lack of education and hence lack of employment opportunities, caste based politics promoting mistrust among communities, etc., have contributed greatly in the continuation of this phenomenon and above all this there is an issue raised on the Union Government who failed to perform their duty during internal aggression. Article 355 makes it the duty of the Union to protect every State against external aggression and internal disturbance. While no issues have ever been or would perhaps ever be raised if the Union performs this duty through whatever administrative or other means in case of an external however, during internal disturbances, including those pertaining to communal tensions, has many a time raised a debate. Under normal circumstances, prevention and control of any normal communal conflicts as per the Constitution, should be the responsibility of the State Government but if such a conflict either causes or has the potential to escalate and cause serious internal disturbance in the concerned State or in other States and regions of the country, then the intervention of the Union to bring back the situation to normalcy, as quickly as possible, through administrative action including suo motu deployment of Central Para Military Forces may be in order.
· Economy: India opened her economy in 1991 and brought in privatization, deregulation and liberalization. It has come a long way since then and is fast emerging as an economic power of future. As per a German economist, Goldman Sachs, India has the potential to develop into the third largest economy after USA and China by 2050. The issue of national security is inextricably linked to the economic development of the nation states. Protection of our critical economic infrastructure, transport and communications, industrial security, cyber security etc all will assume higher importance. Economic intelligence to further our own economic interests, and to protect them from unfair practices by the global competitors, will have to be acquired.
Unleashing the nation’s huge economic, technological and human resource potential will need an effective and stable security environment. To achieve this, a substantial transformation will have to be brought about in our security apparatus, operating doctrines, technology integration and intelligence capabilities. And this will require an integrated long-term vision, laying down clear policy objectives factoring in momentous changes in security affairs, international relations, military affairs, technologies and the economic landscape.
· Nuclear Issues: India is committed to building a capability that will serve her interests and despite several attempts to ‘isolate’ in the field of nuclear technology, especially post-1998, India has walked the path alone and created a capability that is recognized today, albeit grudgingly. We have a draft nuclear doctrine in place, which is restrained, in keeping with our traditional national culture. Our efforts at achieving credible deterrence are not just about weapons and platforms but also include well-thought out strategies, policies, targeting plans, command and control structures as well as an occasional demonstration of capability. Our increasing forays in the nuclear field, both military and civilian, would require the highest assurances of nuclear surety and security within the country. This calls for substantial investments in safety and security procedures, testing of environmental parameters, accident prevention and disaster control as well as management. It also requires a very high degree of awareness and public transparency in proving that our nuclear assets and establishments do not pose a hazard in any way to the population at large.
Due to the globalization the ambit of National Security has widen enough to include other sectors which also require government’s innovative ideas to protect the country from any kind of emergency. With the deregulation of oil prices and food grains there is inflation in the Indian economy.
· Food security: It has been a major developmental objective in India since the beginning of planning. India achieved self-sufficiency in food grains in the 1970’s and has sustained it since then. But the achievement of food grain security at the national level did not percolate down to households and the level of chronic food insecurity is still high. The double-digit inflation has been worrying the nation for some time now. The government’s assurances, given periodically, that a few weeks more and the price spiral would be contained, have had no practical effect; prices keep scaling higher and higher still.
It is a positive sign that food demand in India is expanding rapidly. But domestic food production is unable to meet rising demand. As domestic production growth trails demand growth, food availability is tightening, import dependence is rising and the domestic market is becoming more vulnerable to global factors. This has contributed to high level of food inflation which by its nature hurts the poor the most. While imports are not bad per se and may be required to tide over temporary shortage, there is apprehension that the country's dependence on imports is getting more entrenched. In the medium to long term such dependence can compromise our food security. Poor people must have access to food at affordable prices.
Food Security Act is of course a welcome step in the direction. As for India, in addition to the existing impediments that stymie agricultural production, land constraints, water shortage and climate change can adversely affect farm output in future. Policymakers have to take cognizance of the series of risks that the food sector faces and initiate appropriate policy measures that ensure solidity in food and nutrition security as also rein in inflationary tendencies in the food market, especially in the interest of the poor and needy.
The issues that need urgent attention include (a) strengthening the input delivery system; (b) rapid expansion of irrigation for major food crops; (c) improvements in agronomy including through farmers' education and infusion of technology; (d) building rural infrastructure; and (e) utilizing the country's strengths in information technology (IT) to deliver market and price information to growers. To insulate the poor from high levels of food inflation and allow them access to a range of essential food products at affordable rates, the Public Distribution System should be strengthened by expanding coverage and plugging leakages. In addition to rice, wheat and sugar, the Centre must ensure supply of edible oil and pulses under PDS. Public investment in agriculture must be stepped up. Budgetary outlays have to be applied judiciously. There should be transparency and accountability on part of those responsible for implementation of programs and schemes. Finally, the government must demonstrate intention to transform Indian agriculture to become globally competitive.
The words “unity,” “sovereignty,” “democracy,” “socialism,” “secular,” and “the people” resonate with India’s history and aspirations. They are India’s strategic culture particularly important for understanding India and are the product of tensions woven into the fabric of Indian social and political life. Importantly, these terms do not necessarily have the same connotations in other countries. The interplay of the economic and technological concerns in the process of globalization, and the proliferation of low cost wars, through terror groups and also religious and ethnic conflicts, in and around the borders further enlarged the scope of what are called ‘the global security concerns’ which qualitatively affected the conventional national security ethos. Considering globalization and other conflicts, there is a need of changes in Security policies, strengthening intelligence apparatus by ending the present ad hocism and lack of proper planning both in respect of manpower and restriction on parochialism. Also the slow pace of criminal justice is also a matter of serious concern. The law enforcement machinery must be effectively backed by an efficient criminal justice system. Improvements in the investigation and prosecution functions have therefore to be suitably addressed by different wings of the Government. In this context, the provisions of various laws need to be examined and suitably modified wherever necessary. Hence national security is not only about social facets or economy it is also about the other aspects which in some or the other way affect the living standard of the citizens. A peaceful coordination is required among all the factors or the inter-woven link of national security for the stabilized working of the country with the help of change in policies for the betterment of human being.
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