Last week our NSA was in the news again, being accused of making a political statement when he mentioned about the need of a strong government than a weak coalition government. He was speaking at an event hosted by All Indian Radio, called as Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel memorial lecture. The topic of the lecture was ‘Dream India 2030 – avoiding the pitfall’.
The NSA made it amply clear that he was not going to speak on what does the nation needs to do, as much had already been said about it in various platforms but he would be focusing on what was not to be done to as the cost of negative in life was more than the dividend of positives in life. He gave an example on how one mistake can destroy all the benefits of good decisions, giving the example of how the mistake of Germany invading Russia proved to be disastrous for Hitler. How Invading Afghanistan proved costly for Russia and how bombing of Pearl Harbour ensured that Japan lost its edge during the WW-II.
Speaking further he shared a very simple security doctrine that how one’s greatest strength could be one’s biggest weakness as well. In India’s context it was its democracy. He shared his thoughts on how the democracy did not end by electing the legislatures but by ensuring that the state was able to enforce the laws were followed to the letter and spirit. Weak democracies could in-fact be used to weaken the will of a nation.
It was in this context that the NSA spoke about the ways in which a strong democracy could be preserved. The panel discussions and media headlines only focused on one statement made out of a lecture that was more than an hour. In that very lecture the NSA talked about preserving the plurality, democracy and dissent multiple time. He also exclusively said that a strong and decisive government (made no reference to any party) was based on current scenario, not on past or not on future and the need to be reassessed again. He gave an example of how emerging nations like Brazil which were once looked as countries with great potential, suffered great losses due to weak governments.
This speech is a must listen for all citizens irrespective of which political ideology they support. He also spoke on how the false narrative could be used to spread mistrust among its citizen and weaken their faith in their leader and nations. Talking about vulnerabilities of our democracy he called upon our media houses to do their bit in ensuring that the citizens were well informed and not ill informed. One brilliant example was given as how the many of India’s achievements and future potential were explained and analysed by foreign media than Indian media houses. This resulted in more excitement about India by foreigners than by Indians themselves. Reason for this lack of enthusiasm for brighter future he shared with aftereffects of year long slavery and colonization, individualistic approach of a common Indian and lack of dreaming by Indians. By getting objective on last he shared IG Patel’s view that this was due to politicians selling dreams of tomorrow to get the votes for today, but those dreams never came true resulting in disenchantment for the future.
Apart from these he shared his view on how the Corporate world needed to be fully supported by the government in power if we week economic dominance. How security, army, defense all these are very expensive and the nation should be having a strategic view of tomorrow, emphasizing on how thinking strategically should be done by everyone and all should do their duty of not propagating false narratives for short term gains.
The speech covered many aspects, covering the importance of Pysc warfare which will be more common than conventional warfare. Only if the media had spent half the time discussing the content of the entire speech than what they spent on discussing one statement they would have done a great service to the nation.
I would say, listen to whole speech yourself and analyse the contents yourself. It shows the vision of the guy who is at helms of our security. I must say that after listening to the whole speech I felt much relieved with a feeling that the guy understands the clear and present dangers and we are in safe hands. The entire speech can be listened here: