India stands at a crossroads.
One of the world’s oldest surviving civilisations, albeit a young nation with all the potential to become a global player, India is a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural and multi-religious nation that symbolises a unique ‘unity in diversity’ in today’s increasingly violent world, which is fractured by religious, sectarian and ideological divides. The success of the Indian experiment is important not just for India, but for the prospects for global peace.
With a population of 1.25 billion, India constitutes the world’s largest democracy, the seventh largest country, has the fourth largest military, and is a nuclear-armed state. With a US$2.1 trillion economy, India is widely acknowledged to be an emerging global player. Yet, India today confronts a wide spectrum of strategic challenges to its security, economic growth and values that may yet slow its inevitable rise.
Is India ready to successfully confront the existing myriad challenges to its security and economic well-being and those likely to come its way in the foreseeable future? And is India’s security architecture and its politico-bureaucratic elite alive and responsive to the formidable multidimensional challenges to its security?
Read India: Security Challenges and National Responses, by India’s first chief of the Defence Intelligence Agency, Lt. General Kamal Dawar.