We all know that Indian Armed Forces, which comprises of three professional uniformed services – Indian Army, Indian Navy and Indian Air Force, along with the additional supported forces of the Indian Coast Guard and the Paramilitary Organizations, is the World’s Second Largest Military Force and World’s Largest Standing Volunteer Army with the strength of 1.4 Million Active Personnel. But what we don’t know or probably we avoid knowing is that India has constantly been the World’s Largest Importer of the major arms in the past 5 years, as suggested in many of the reports.
Increasing Military Expense
Now, in the past 5 years in 2012 to 2016, India accounted for 13% of the total global arms imports, India’s arms imports are ever increasing and this trend has gone much up in the recent years. This indeed is an alarming situation for India, especially when the country is allotting around 2,74,114 Crores plus the additional sum of 86,488 Crores for the Defence Capital in the Union Budget of the fiscal year 2017-18. India’s military expenses have increased to 10% in the last three years.
Self-Sufficiency is Far-fetched Dream
Despite the continuous efforts of India to become self-sufficient to an extent in manufacturing arms, most of the attempts had failed at many of the fronts. Unfortunately, India’s programs to encourage local arms production is not functioning well enough to serve their purpose and neither the Defence Industry of India is developed to an extent where the manufacture of the modern warfare equipment and arms can take place indigenously. Moreover, India’s need to fulfill the ever-growing military requirements is leaving it with no option but to import the warfare equipment from other countries.
Situation is Precarious
India faces serious geographical threats from its nuclear-armed rivals Pakistan and China, the two nations who are not leaving any stone unturned to expand and develop their military power. Over the decades Pakistan and China had also become military counterparts and are jointly conducting many military drills and deals to expand their military strength together. Now, this is an issue which India needs to consider seriously and make strategies to counter its enemies and to tackling this situation diplomatically. It becomes even more important for India to develop its own manufacturing of arms. This indeed would release a great financial burden on the Indian economy by saving the costs to import the arms from Russia, USA, France or Israel.
Lesson to be learned from Israel
Recently, when our Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi went to Israel and finalized many arms deals, we were very happy as a nation that now our Military Force too would be equipped with all the modern warfare weapons. But we forgot to acknowledge a fact that Israel, a parliamentary democratic nation which was formed in 1948, a year after the independence of India is today very much self-sufficient in manufacturing all kinds of modern warfare equipment not only for tackling it’s issue with Palestine and Hamas but for serving the purpose of exports of arms to other big countries as such India, China and Latin American nations also.
All Eyes to Prime Minister Narendra Modi
It’s high time for us to learn from a geographically small nation like Israel and start manufacturing all kinds of arms and military equipment on our own. All India need to do at this point in time to accomplish its goal of becoming militarily self-sufficient is some strong diplomatic and political decision along with political stability; vision to create and set up its own Defence Industry that could lead the manufacturing to a scale that India could not only meet its own needs but could also start exporting the military equipment and arms to the other countries. And the ultimate full-proof plans for the implementation of the vision of becoming militarily self-sufficient is not too far so long if Mr. Modi is our PM for next few more years. It would largely contribute to the economy of India as well, creating a sound economy for the country and making India a headstrong and self-reliant nation in the true sense.