Lacking Strategic Consciousness is a drawback for India and its interest in long term orders. Despite having the longest written constitution in the world and a numerous set of rules for different sectors and scopes, India still has no written “national strategy plans” so far. National Security is none of any subject listed in the Union, the State and the Concurrent list, nevertheless, the subject of “security” mentioned under some of the emergency provisions and under Article 352 has been assigned to Union Government. The post-Independence era bumped India into a ‘tug of war’ of battles, border conflicts and ideological clashes. The war of 1962, 1965, 1971 and 1999 almost raised an alarm about the need for “strategic consciousness” among citizens, including civilians and armed forces but those notions were never been enough to idealize any national strategic plan. The changes in government with time bought major policy reforms especially in the defence and internal security sector however, there is still no written national strategy plan has introduced and hence the country is lacking the value of strategic consciousness.
The reasons behind lacking Strategic consciousness in India is always been related to ideological differences, ignorance, lack of awareness, underestimated nationalism and poor government policies. The nature of promoting “Elitism” in India has engendered a boundary between civilians and government in respect to national security. The mindset of civil society believes that “Armed Forces” and “Government” are the only authorities responsible for the national security. The role of civilians in national security has never been concerned by either government or society. Along with this, the liberal aspects of modern society have somehow compelled a polarity between government and civilians. The ideas of liberalism and socialism have introduced “egalitarianism” to civil society and instigated major reforms for progressive developing. But it marked certain limitations when applied in a sham. India’s pseudo liberalism has created a void for national security perspectives. The sudden rising in public organized protests, the continue oppose of government’s policies and declining sentiments for nationalism is all responsible for lacking strategic consciousness among civilians. Also, there is no further effort has been taken by government or authorities to introduce any national strategic plan to promote strategic awareness among the general public.
How can we help in building “Strategic Consciousness” in India ?
To promote the idea of “strategic consciousness” among the general public, a written strategy for national security plan should be entailed to outspread the importance of national security, perception management, countering sub-conventional conflict, the role of civilians, role of armed forces, raising awareness against insurgencies and promoting nationalism. Focusing on the role of civil society, a set of duties needs to be mentioned in the written strategic plan about How civilians can perform their duties to confront any possible attack that can shatter India’s National Security? How can civil society help in countering insurgencies? Besides these, civilians should also get involved in rescue operations especially in war-effected regions. Along with this, a transparent correlation must get established between government and civilians for a better nation building.
Taking an example of Israel, a small country surrounded by almost all of rival neighbors, has survived the hardest after a genocide, not because of a strong government or authority, but due to the higher values of strategic consciousness among its civilians who had put national interest and security above anything else. A country with a conscious population has higher chances of survival in respect to others.
The collapse of Afghan Government can be seen as an example of a lack of “strategic consciousness” in Afghanistan that led to violence and a sudden coup. No strategic planning of government, absence of nationalism in civilians, the rise of radicalism and improper functioning led a country pushed back to decades and grabbed in the hands of terrorism. India and Indians should keep in mind that “strategic consciousness” is very important to keep the country balanced and secured from threats.