Good Afternoon! I warmly welcome Ambassador Ashok Sajjanhar, Lt. General A.K. Singh, Dr. Harinder Sekhon, and Dr. Sreeram Chaulia, author of the book, “Crunch Time: Narendra Modi's National Security Crises”; and I also welcome all the distinguished guests who have joined us today.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
This year, we are celebrating the 75th anniversary of India’s independence and in these 75 years India has faced unprecedented challenges to its national security. Protecting the nation’s sovereignty and integrity from a range of threats and pressures emanating from outside its borders; and ensuring a secure and stable India that can guarantee safety and prosperity to its people have been the underlying principles of India’s national security policy.
India is mindful of the uncertain geopolitical environment, threats of transnational terrorism, and our troubled neighbourhood. To our west and north, we have unsettled borders with nuclear weapons states, and to our south is the Indian Ocean that is becoming an arena for strategic rivalry.
Moreover, India’s security challenges have multiplied with new patterns of security threats emerging in both the conventional and non-traditional security theatres. There is, thus, a need for a comprehensive approach, while formulating responses to the various threats to national security.
Dr Sreeram Chaulia’s book provides an insightful understanding of India’s National Security Policy under PM Modi. The book weaves a narrative that combines the two interrelated fields of diplomacy and of defence to show how India has addressed challenges to its national security in the past years. The author rightly states that PM Modi has underscored the fact that worldwide, the very nature of warfare is changing, and India cannot afford to think in broken pieces or fragmented ways.
PM Modi has, therefore, focussed on building an integrated approach to better respond to emerging challenges. He has also brought structural changes to India’s strategic planning and outlook. The book also explains why leadership is the most critical factor in determining how a country tackles persistent but ever-shifting threats from external adversaries. It lays out the geopolitical context of India’s challenging neighbourhood and a fast-altering global scenario, within which PM Modi has had to often deal with challenges.
PM Modi has brought India to respond to situations deftly, using smart diplomacy tools to ensure that India’s view is understood by its partners and friends across the world. PM Modi has sought to utilize opportunities thrown up by new or persistent challenges to either strengthen ties with external partners as in the case of the pandemic or undertake decisive security measures as in the case of strikes post-Uri and post-Pulwama.
India is a rising power that has secured a place in international affairs as a stable, prosperous and democratic nation. The world is also witnessing the rise of a nation that is un-afraid to articulate its interests and its positions.
At a time when the world order is intensely polarised, India remains one of the few nations which can engage with the G-7, G-20 and BRICS seamlessly and contribute positively in resolving global governance challenges. Today, New Delhi is willing to play a role in providing solutions to global problems.
We look forward to the discussions on this very timely written book.