National security Doctrine

National Security Doctrine:

The internal security situation is grim. It is best captured by the Sanskrit shloka, “Agnina dahyamanastu shatrumadhye gato rane” (when there is fire all around and you are surrounded by enemies in the battlefield). The challenges can, however, be effectively dealt with and contained if we have a proper internal security doctrine, and the same is implemented in letter and spirit irrespective of the sacrifices the nation may have to make in the process. It has been rightly said in the US National Security Strategy that “what takes place within our borders will determine our strength and influence beyond them”. President Obama also said that “our strength and influence abroad begins with the steps we take at home”

The internal security doctrine of the country must have the following components: 

1. Political – Whether the challenge is secessionist, separatist or regional? Reasons for the same will have to be analysed. If the demands are genuine, whether any constitutional amendment is called for? A secessionist movement, as a matter of principle, will have to be put down with a heavy hand. The country must have a clear policy and stringent laws to deal with such elements. Separatist elements would also have to be dealt with firmly. Regional aspirations would require a comparatively softer approach. Ethnic demands should get a sympathetic response unless that leads to excessive fragmentation. 

2. Socio-economic – Is the challenge due to genuine socio-economic grievances of the people? Are they suffering from acute poverty, unemployment or displacement? In such cases, the socio-economic grievances will have to be addressed by planned development, ensuring that there are no regional disparities and the fruits of development are equitably shared by all sections of society. Besides, the spirit of nationalism will have to be fostered and de-radicalisation programs undertaken. 

3. Governance – Has the administrative machinery been dysfunctional in certain areas? Has the administration reached out to people in the remotest India: Internal Security Challenges and Responses 23 of 26 © Vivekananda International Foundation corners? If not, governance will have to be improved. Criminal Justice System of the country must be revamped, and the resources and the capabilities of the law enforcement machinery given necessary upgradation and augmentation. The civil services including the police must be insulated from extraneous influences. Corruption will have to be contained because corruption and development cannot go side by side. 

4. Police/Paramilitary/Army – The internal and the external dimensions of the challenges have got meshed and they impinge on each other. The country’s armed forces, the paramilitary units and the Coast Guard will have to be maintained at the highest levels of efficiency. Government should, however, be careful to use the appropriate force for a specific threat. The police would particularly need to be reformed, reorganized and restructured so that they become professional, people-friendly and are able to deal with the challenges of the 21st Century. 

5. Intelligence - The intelligence agencies must coordinate internally as well as with the agencies of friendly countries. It should have both defensive and offensive capabilities – defensive to forewarn and, wherever possible, neutralize the impending threats and offensive to weaken such assets of the hostile country as are used for trans-border operations. 

6. Border Management – The country has land borders with six countries (China, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Nepal and Bhutan) stretching over a length of 15,318 kms. Besides, it has a coastline of 5422 kms and, in addition, there are islands with a coastline of 2094 kms. We have already paid a heavy price for neglecting the borders. China humiliated us in 1962 and continues to maintain an aggressive posture. Pakistan has been bleeding us. Bangladesh has been conveniently transferring its population to India. Nepal is no longer the friendly neighbour it was. Land borders, wherever porous and liable to exploitation, will need to be effectively guarded. The force deployed on the borders should have the necessary resources in terms of manpower and equipments. Fencing may be erected to prevent unauthorized human migrations. Coastal security will need special attention; the responsibilities of marine police, Coast Guard and the Navy will need to be clearly delineated and they will all have to operate in harmony. 

Way Forward:

Our problem has been, as analysed by Sri Aurobindo, that “we have abandoned Shakti and are therefore abandoned by Shakti ”. The prescription given by the saint philosopher is relevant to this day: “What India needs especially at this moment is the aggressive virtues, the spirit of soaring idealism, bold creation, fearless resistance, courageous attack; of the passive tamasic spirit of inertia we have already too much….. What we need, what we should learn above all things is to dare and again to dare and still to dare.” The same message is there in the Bhagwad Gita also where Lord Krishna exhorts vacillating Arjuna with the words: “Kaunteya, yudhaya krita nischaya” (Stand up and fight with determination).