Essay on National Defense of India

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The power to defend the State against aggression is the primary responsibility of the People. Now we have to think about this problem from a truly national standpoint, for the sacred duty and respon­sibility rests with us, especially the younger generation.

The first step has been taken by organizing a real National Defence Force consisting of a well-built army, the navy and the air-force. This is admitted by all. Our entire army is today nationalized, and under our own military leaders; our armies have shown their mettle at home and abroad in a remarkable manner and earned glory.

Our Defence Services and forces have given a heroic account of themselves in the three wars against Pakistan and during the Chinese aggression of 1961. Our soldiers were also sent to several interna­tional theatres as Peacekeeping forces under the UNO and earned good name everywhere.

A real National Defence Force consists of a well-trained army, a navy and an air-force. The defence must not be built up with foreign aid in any form. It means that the army may have to be used in the interests of the foreign power that offers aid or has other interests. Obviously, such a defence cannot be called 'national'.

India is well protected by Nature. She was overrun and conquered by foreign powers in the past more for her own disunity than for the weakness of her defence. Today a foreign power will not find it at all easy to attack the country; for the country as a whole will rise in self-defence under the President, the super-head of the Armed Forces.

The true defence of the country lies in the hearts of the people. Hence, national defence, in the proper sense, can never be the concern merely of Government only. It is the sacred duty that devolves upon every individual and every community, irrespective of rank, caste, creed or religion. It is, therefore, the moral duty of every able-bodied youth in the country to be ready to rush to armed defence of the motherland, whenever the country is in peril.

With the magazines of the Big Powers stored with atomic weapons, however, the nightmare of a long-drawn war of attrition has given place to fear of a war of annihilation. This frightening possibility should act as a salutary check on war-mindedness in this world. For this reason it does not seem wise or expedient for under­developed countries to spend crores of rupees for national defence and thereby deprive the common people of necessary financial help.

However, it should be mentioned with pride that the nuclear test explosions, that India caused in May 1998 at Pokhran desert was an urgent necessity. Some of our neighbours have been consistently threatening us with nuclear night. Why should a big and capable country like India submit to nuclear blackmail? So India's explosion of nuclear devices had been in self-defence. Yet India should now be recognized as a nuclear state. However, it is possible to have non-aggression pacts with all these countries as a second line of national defence. Nehru's lasting credit lies in basing the national defence more on the Five Principles—Panch Shil,—than on a powerful system of military defence.


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