Security awareness promotes nationalism
A democratic nation has two binding factors that support its integrity – equality among citizens over vital empowerment to elect leaders who would exercise the sovereign function of governance and a shared value over the past and the future that brings them to work. to preserve the holiness of the territorial integrity of the country.
A great country like India, with its rich diversity and growing influence in the community of nations, must constantly strive to keep its people united against the split tendencies induced by anti-national elements at home and forces hostile to it. outside. Democracy offers religious and socio-cultural freedoms, subject, of course, to established rules including a penal code that would define their public boundaries but prescribe a common political umbrella for the state created by the constitutional arrangement of an electoral process taking place in full transparency on the principle of “one man, one vote”, without discrimination of caste, creed or sex.
The Indian republic mandated universal suffrage in one fell swoop – many advanced democracies in the West have achieved it in stages – and legally banned election calls made to the detriment of caste, communal and regional harmony. That our political parties did not always play according to the book is another story, but it cannot be denied that a dispensation from power that called for “development for all” and “equal protection of the law” for all. citizens, has basically responded to the demands of a secular democracy. This is why the Constitution of India as it was originally promulgated did not have to affix the label of secularism.
While all Indian patriots want to see that India has not been weakened by internal divisions in the community and region, we are living through a period when national security is threatened not so much by visible external attack as by “invisible” offensives by our adversaries designed to provoke internal destabilization and conflicts. After the Cold War, the world experienced an era of “proxy wars” through infiltrated terrorists, identity-based insurgencies and border conflicts and reinforced by the use of information as an instrument of combat. The computer revolution has proven to be a boon to economic progress and development, but it has also provided a tool for the modularization of proxy warfare.
An increasing reliance on cyberspace to inflict damage on the adversary is the order of the day. Additionally, internal political contradictions are known to receive the attention of outside forces planning to influence a nation’s political fate – the case of British consultancy Cambridge Analytica in the 2010s collecting personal data belonging to individuals. millions of Facebook users without their consent and using it for political advertising, is a prime illustration of this new trend affecting national security.
It is necessary that all Indians be reasonably aware of anything that impinges on security – this will effectively focus their attention also on the basic duties recommended by our Constitution and deepen their sense of commitment to security. national.
National security is above politics and does not prevent citizens from fully demanding dispensation from power for economic improvement and human well-being. However, there must be a deeper recognition of the contribution of the citizen to securing the nation and a greater awareness of the reality that development can only occur in a secure environment.
It is interesting to note that a strategic shift in the concept of security, now fully accepted, was first expressed by Warren Christopher, Secretary of State to President Bill Clinton, who said in 1993 that “security national security was inseparable from economic security ”. Economic growth buys security, creating the new equation between security and development. But it also explains why damaging the economic assets of a target country is now part of the new “war methodology”.
Unsurprisingly, a term like Cyber Pearl Harbor has appeared in the new language of “asymmetric warfare”. Enlightened citizens need to understand the emerging unconventional dimensions of security facing their country. There is a need to provide security education to our young people in the higher stages of studies. Some states in India, including the Punjab and Rajasthan, had established departments in universities specifically geared towards topics of national security and strategic affairs.
Prime Minister Modi has given equal attention to national security and economic development and it is a great satisfaction that the Modi government has, by an act of Parliament, established Rashtriya Raksha University (RRU), the first national university devoted to defense and national security. studies. RRU is an institution of national importance under the Ministry of Interior and operating from Gandhinagar in Gujarat.
It is a pioneering National Security and Police University of India committed to identifying and sustaining national, strategic and security culture, promoting innovation, research and education, and assisting in the training of security, military and civil society executives in strategic defense areas. and security. RRU should organize collaborative general studies programs with other universities to reach young people and make them aware of safety. It will be a true national service intended to build the new India of patriotic citizens by apolitical means.
There is good logic behind why all young adults should be meaningfully exposed, through discussions, to an understanding of India’s strategic environment, national security and the factors that have affected stability. internal and the integrity of the nation. First, in the information age, being well informed is the key to success in any field. Completeness of knowledge is vital for safe decision making.
Being aware of the risks in the environment in any situation is as important as seeing the opportunities – part of that wholeness. Second, any threat to internal security, including unsatisfactory law and order, also translates into risk to the individual citizen. Terrorism, drug trafficking and the new trend of social media to be used as a combat weapon by an adversary are the main illustrations of what all citizens should know in depth, in order to protect themselves and also contribute to security. from the country .
And finally, everyone who works in the different branches of government should also be aware of India’s national security scenario and the current political responses that are at stake to deal with it. They would then be better placed to assume their responsibilities which would have been impacted directly or indirectly by the national security problems of the moment. In short, the national security orientation of all citizens is an aid in the process of strengthening nationalism and working for the consolidation of the internal strength of India.
In a democratic state, the citizen lives in three dimensions: personal, social and political. Freedom of religion and worship, choice of professions and food preferences are all in the personal domain – the exercise of this freedom is not regulated by the state but is limited by the social code in that it is not supposed to cause affront or inconvenience to another citizen.
The very important social dimension tests a person’s ability to manage interaction with another fellow citizen – this stems from the culture of which religion is a major determinant. Religion is supposed to teach harmony, not foster conflict – if it breeds exclusivity and an attitude of superiority over others, it would be problematic for the state in terms of becoming a source of internal instability. A denominational identity can transform what was essentially a social group into a political community if it is used by politicians for electoral purposes.
In India, the same has happened with regional castes and identities, which are cultural instruments at best, with the result that the nation has become internally divided and prone to conflict. Parties that acquire political power on caste and communal foundations would not be able to provide security and development to all citizens, thus denying the essence of democracy. To get out of this quagmire, the people should vote for leadership that upholds integrity, a uniform approach to economic development and security issues, and strong governance. The coming to power of Prime Minister Modi in 2014 and his return with a greater majority in 2019 is due in large part to the fact that voters broke caste and regional barriers and exercised a political choice to give power to leadership that meets this expectation. The opposition, although diminished, is not ready to get rid of Community policy. It is raising a discourse of majoritarianism and autocracy to belittle the Modi government instead of taking it in charge in political matters. Indian voters, however, are politically mature enough to understand that what was personal and cultural should not interfere with the common political obligation of all citizens to install a truly national government – thus providing a common political umbrella for all. Indian citizens.
(The writer is a former director of the Intelligence Bureau)