India needs a strong, stable and decisive government for the next 10 years to achieve its political, economic and strategic objectives, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval said Thursday, asserting that “weak coalitions will be bad” for the country.
Delivering the Sardar Patel Memorial Lecture, he claimed that in the past four years, the country’s “national will” has been aroused.
The National Security Advisor also said that India should prepare for fourth generation warfare which may involve fighting “invisible enemies”.
The possession of superior weapons and a large army may not be enough to win wars as technology could play an important role, he said while speaking on the topic “Dream India 2030 -- Avoiding the Pitfalls”.
Advocating 100 per cent technology transfer in defence hardware, he asserted that the government’s aim was to make India self sufficient in this field.
The NSA also cautioned against building up of false narratives which, he said, was among the biggest factors that could erode the strength of the nation.
Doval asserted that no nation can progress unless it strengthens its private sector.
He said corporate entities should not be always viewed scornfully as they also contribute positively towards the growth of a nation and strengthening its economy and hence required to be supported.
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He cited the example of former US president Barack Obama, who had spoken of big Indian investments he had secured for the American private sector during his India visit, to state that India also needs to promote its private sector abroad.
Doval also highlighted how Chinese firms such as Alibaba have made a big impact and said Indian private sector firms should also promote India’s strategic interests.
“Bad among them (private sector entities) should be punished and hardest rules should be made,” he asserted.
In his nearly hour-long address at the event organised by the All India Radio, Doval also said democracy is India’s strength and it needs to be preserved.
“Weakened democracies can tend to make a country a soft power. India cannot afford to be a soft power for the next few years. It will be compelled to take hard decisions,” the NSA said.
“If it becomes a soft power then you have to make compromises. And when you have to make compromises then your political survival takes precedence over the national interest,” he asserted.
Fragmented polity will make it impossible for India to realise its will because weak governments are unable to take hard decisions, the NSA said.
For taking India ahead, it will be necessary to take hard decisions, which are good for the people but are not necessarily populist, Doval said.
“India will need a strong, stable and decisive government for the next 10 years, let there be no doubt about it, to achieve our national, political, economic and strategic objectives,” he said, adding that weak coalitions will be bad for the country.
Unstable regimes are more vulnerable to fragility, corruption and local political interest taking precedence over the larger interests, he said.
In his lecture, Doval cited the example of Brazil that was doing well at the global level but political instability hampered its growth.
“India cannot go for unstable coalitions,” he said.
Till 2030, India needs a decisive government and decisive leadership, he added.
Populist measures should not take precedence over larger national interest and hard decisions, if required, have to be taken, Doval said.
He said the country was facing the crisis of rising crude oil prices as most non-oil producing countries.
The NSA said that in such a scenario there were two options, either the country could adopt the populist measure of subsidies and de-link itself from the international prices or decide to share the burden and deal with the problem in a manner that would be good for the economy in the long run.
Doval said that though India does not have any extra territorial ambition, it should not shy away from developing its hard power to ensure that its citizens have an armoured cover.
The world view that by 2030, India will be the third largest economy is not disputed anymore, he said.
He, however, stressed that no country can become great without experiencing pain and some sacrifices will have to be made by taking hard decisions.
He also stressed the need for adhering to the rule of law with religious commitment.
Doval said that the nation needs to overcome the mindset of diffidence and lack of confidence.
In the last 70 years, India has made progress at a faster rate than many nations, he noted, asserting that “let us not be self-deprecating”.
Presiding over the function, Information and Broadcasting Minister Rajyavardhan Rathore said all countrymen must resolve to make the country strong, avoid pitfalls and be ready to make sacrifices.
The event was also attended by I&B Secretary Amit Khare, Rajeev Singh, Member Finance, Prasar Bharati, and Ashok Tandon, Member Prasar Bharati Board, among others.