Half way through 2020, the signs of change has started showing up. The message is already there. Rise from the slumber, declare, work and be the change, bond together instead of drifting away. Old ways won’t open new doors and normal is an illusion. What seems normal to many is chaos to others. The real change doesn’t comes merely through ideas, it needs the power of conviction from heart to take a real form.
India’s strength has always been unity in diversity. Somewhere, this strength has started weakening up as embracing and celebrating the differences is no longer welcomed. Has Indian leadership trapped itself being overconfident with stupidity? If so, it’s a very dangerous combination. Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other. Is it the wide vacuum that exists between leadership and learning that has failed India? The trend needs to be reversed now as it will make India stronger on all fronts.
Over decades, India’s desire and aspiration to be a world leader hasn’t changed. And the motivation to achieve and enjoy that feat needs change of pace now. Indian government, policy makers, military planners and businesses needs to reset their views. To create new opportunities and bring in the real transformation, unlearning and challenging the status quo is a must. And the ongoing face off with China is a classic example to realise upfront the urgency.
There is a vast difference in ideological and cultural perception between India and China. It’s hard for China to accept India as a competitive power and equal partner. Despite the wide gap and multiple asymmetries between the two, be it economic or military, China’s attempt to bully India with its coercive strategy and misplaced adventurism to realise its dream of great rejuvenation as a super power has been on a slippery ground. As a result of India’s multipronged push back, China is now finding itself not only globally isolated but also on the verge of losing its economic dominance.
To achieve self-reliance in defence manufacturing with reimagined Make in India, the focal point should be more holistic one, looking at the desired outcomes in a new way, because Make in India’s destination should never be a place but a continuous process.
One wonders whether the failures to bring in the desired change through policy and procedural reforms, can be attributed to lack of intent in implementation or the entire exercise till date has fallen victim to the hidden and deep rooted sinister designs at play over the decades. After all, in hindsight we know what we want? We know that we have the right talent to innovate and find solutions, we know what needs to done to get the end results. But one can’t decide in hindsight and therefore right actions need to be taken now to ensure that they thrive in the new normal.
In defence parlance, perfection is desirable and precision is a must. Simultaneously, productivity shouldn’t become a victim to interference by perfectionists. Now is the time to act. Lead with plans and strategies, follow the process and procedures in true spirit and weed out the barriers, bottlenecks to make way for a smooth sprint run forward. I think, aspirational India is well prepared and will definitely go for it. Hope you will find Raksha Anirveda’s July – September edition interesting and enjoy reading it.
Ajit Kumar Thakur
Editor & Business Director