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“We make war so that we may live peacefully” – Aristotle
National security in today’s times implies territorial security, technological security and economic security as compared to the past when countries with the strongest defense systems were considered “powerful”. The difficulty faced by people living in the war zones is high and not to mention the collateral damage that takes years to rebuild. The number of people displaced around the world totals up to eighty million, of those around thirty million are children implying that one in every ninety people is now displaced.
Countries like the United States have started to make policies that keep in mind the economic crisis, the climate crisis and the pandemic. India itself is extending a helping hand to refugees from countries like Afghanistan. A clear example of how national security discourse is changing,
National security in today’s times is more than defending your land and the cultural interests of your people. The pandemic and climate change are definitely the biggest wars the world has ever fought. The United States withdrawing its troops from Afghanistan makes countries around the world ask a question – “Is peace really worth it, if it’s coming at the cost of deteriorating quality of civilian lives in the times of a global epidemic” . There was a time when talking about national security was only for academic scholars and achievers. Now it is the middle class and the lower class that raise eyebrows on the expenditure of defense.
The idea that foreign and domestic policies are intertwined are not a novel one. Policy makers in today’s times are coming up with ways to gather as much public support as possible and rightly so because that is exactly what democracy calls for. However the practice of invading privacy in the name of national security still continues to thrive.
More than 5 years ago, India came up with the Make In India policy. With the recent clash with China and the way the economy has shrunk during the pandemic, India should probably think of partially diverting its defense expenditure into small scale industries. The PM himself in one of his speeches spoke proudly about his vision of having a self-reliant India.
India spent thirteen percent of the total central government expenditure on acquiring new military systems and weapons making up for 25% of total capital expenditure. This is a 41,000 crore increase since the year 2016.
The discourse of national security has changed and is constantly changing as time passes, it is to see whether India is able to catch up and make laws in favour of the changes.
This article has been written by Shagufa Bava for The Paradigm
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