In the olden and medieval days, farmers were not bothered when battles were fought and lost. If the common man is aware what a conflict is all about, he would become a part of it. India defeated Pakistan in Kargil with public support.
When the citizenry loses interest in affairs of the State, the country concerned is weakened and the day of demise of clean polity because of lack of interest of common man in running the state administration heralds its arrival with a fanfare. The loss of interest of citizenry in both politics and economics shows a clear sign of loss of production, waning of agriculture and industry leading to famine and prices of essential goods rocketing high. When the common man becomes weak physically, mentally and spiritually the State is weakened leading to weakening of the royalty and eventually the king himself.
The Defence Consciousness of the Nation as a whole disappears and the citizenry loses interest in the governance of the State, leave alone the line of succession, race or religion of the invading foreign-King and his or own King’s victory or defeat in the decisive battle. The bloodshed leads to transfer of power of which the common man is not aware or is least interested in.
Lack of Defence Orientation of a Nation caused the downfall and virtual elimination of that Nation from the International Sphere of influence. Many mighty empires faded into oblivion because the masses lacked interest in the Art of War or in the system of good governance beneficial to masses. The Greek and Roman civilisations that dominated Europe for a long time just receded into pages of history, never retrieved to be put on the throne of might and governance in actual life. Only students of junior classes and research scholars read about them in pages of history. A few remote descendants of mighty ruling dynasties lost to ruled masses and governing classes shed their tears on what their ancestors were and what station in life they had been reduced to.
Many men of many generations have all along paid a heavy price of their ancestors’ disinterest in Defence of the Nation and governance of the social set up. India
that is Bharat has also been a victim of this psychological phenomenon that brought Defeat in the battlefield and ignominy in the social order.
A Nation that was defeated in the past and wishes to rise like a Phoenix to be counted in spheres of influence and be a member of the comity of Nations, and sit in Councils that deliberate on the future of many vanquished Nations, it has to strive hard and start with a clean slate. The Nation has to remain united and show its strength in matters military, political, international and what have you.
Let it be learnt right at the beginning of describing an international scenario of war and peace that gone are the days when only the armies fought against each other and victory or defeat on the battlefield meant amalgamation of territory of the vanquished ruler with the kingdom of the victorious king. In the age of nuclear warfare, many more factors have to be taken into consideration before pushing the button of the atomic bomb. As a matter of fact, in an all out nuclear war, the future of humanity is at stake. The responsible and mature military generals and civil administrators train their minds in such a manner that it precludes knee-jerk solutions to long lasting international disputes.
Now the nation is involved in decision making whether to go to war of nukes or just blink and order troops back to barracks. In the 1962 stand-off between the US and the USSR on the high waves of the Atlantic Ocean, President Kennedy went for a swim after ordering firing of nuclear weapons, if need be. Seeing the determined stance of the US, it was Khrushchev of USSR who blinked and ordered his flotilla to return to shores of the home base.
The senior and knowledgeable editors put their fingers on the main artery or vein of the nation to assess the mood, the strength – both economic and military, and the consequences affecting both the old and the youth before they express their considered opinion in the editorials that are read and considered by the political decision makers. It is the public opinion that plays a crucial role in the decision making process.
The Economic power of a nation matters a lot in deciding whether to go to war or not. In the 21st century the economic power of China is a force to be reckoned with. The massive export of Red China has given her so much foreign exchange that it can buy latest weapon systems from the United States paying cash in hard currency. China has loaned a large amount of money to America and it proves that China’s economy is growing stronger day by day. A nation that is indebted to China because of the adverse trade balance may have to back-down in case of a stand-off with China. The foreign policy of the United States is shaped by such international trade balances and its future impact.
India is miles behind China both economically and militarily. This disparity is not lost sight of while deciding important treaties not only between India and China but also between Vietnam and India. The bone of contention is the South China Sea that contains untold mineral wealth, especially oil and natural gas. Vietnam invited India to use its expertise in oil exploration and the ONGC were there sooner than later. However, China considers the South China Sea as its backwaters and resents presence of other non-peripheral countries there. China made India aware of its resentment at India’s massive presence in the South China Sea by more means than one. The Oil And Natural Gas Commission, VIDESH, had no choice but to beat a hasty retreat.
Analysing India’s withdrawal from the South China Sea amounted to letting down Vietnam by India. The part of South China Sea where India was exploring oil was no country’s territory. It was in the international waters and any activity there by India did not violate the Maritime law. Nevertheless India left that place lock stock and barrel because its continued presence there would have adversely affected the current talks going on for demarcation of India-China borders. One may say that here applies the age-old saying, Might is Right.
Moral of the story is: let India develop its consumer goods manufacture facility, export more goods, especially heavy engineering and medical equipment; produce and export military hardware. It is the military weapons, armaments, equipment and ammunition that India has the technical knowhow and possesses production facility in its Ordnance factories. On sale of military weapons, equipment, ammunition and auxiliary items, India will gain foreign exchange in abundance. The additional money power will give India hard cash to go in for purchases of big aircraft carriers beside building its own; fighter jets of international standard and, of course, making infra-structure to improve the combat capabilities of its armed forces.
Night vision devices are badly needed by the Indian Armed Forces. Lack of the night vision devices, renders our forces effective in day time only. It adversely affects the morale of the Indian soldiers. Anyway, the day is not far off when India will be able to manufacture heavy armaments, night fighting devices, stealth aircrafts, real blue water navy for its own use as well as for export to fetch foreign exchange.
The 1962 India-China Military Conflict that India lost and was put to shame in the international arena had a major chunk of Psychological Operations. A student of military history should not lose sight of that the Chinese Army had gained superiority over the Indian Army not so much because of weapons and equipment as for having gained a larger than life image of theirs in the Indian mind. Chairman Mao had told Henry Kissinger, former Secretary of State, USA, that he had instructed his commanders in the field not to use force as far as possible. This suggestion gave an impression that the Chinese were militarily superior and hence could dictate Peace Terms too.
The senior Indian Army Officers were taught books on military strategy written by the Chinese authors. This gave an impression to the Indian officers that the Chinese military hierarchy was well versed in military strategy and tactics. ART OF WAR by Sun Tzu has been in vogue in the military academies of the world
for centuries and India is no exception. This gave a mental superiority to the Chinese Army in battle and the Indian Army was on the defensive side. An aggressive army makes its tactical move with confidence and strikes where it chooses to. On the other hand an army fighting a defensive battle goes low on morale because it receives constant beatings from the aggressive army.
The Indian nation as such took little interest in the conflict with China. The common man just blamed Nehru and Krishna Menon for the country’s discomfiture and did little to retrieve the lost situation. In a nutshell, the psy-ops too went in the favour of the Chinese army.
The economic and military aspects have to be taken care of before going into a battle or a prolonged conflict. Besides that, the morale of the common man has TO BE BOOSTED FROM TIME TO TIME. The Nation has to be prepared for war and the Nation must be actively involved in backing up the forces. When the Indian Nation becomes Defence oriented, the battle would be more than half won before firing a shot.