The first batch of the much-hyped Rafale fighter jets took off from France’s Merignac airbase near Bordeaux on 27th July, 2020, and are stated to reach Ambala on 29th July, 2020, after a one-day stopover at the French Al Dhafra air base near Abu Dabhi. An official ceremony will be held to formally induct the fighter jets to the Indian Air Force, giving wings to India’s defence abilities, tactics, strength and deployment.
This step is important from India’s perspective, given its frequent skirmishes and trade-offs with China, followed by brewing hostilities with Pakistan. This policy decision by the Indian political and security establishment is being referred to as a major milestone, keeping in consonance the stated objective of physical prowess, might, clout, caliber and command of the Indian State.
Also, later this year, Russia might provide S-400 missiles system to India. This step is aimed at checking and containing the expansion of the ambitious China in the Indian region. Russia, being an old ally of China, has already bluntly refused S-400 missiles to the latter. This is being understood and taken as a victory for India’s strategic diplomacy, scaling up to a new high after the re-election of the popular right-wing government being run by the BJP.
These deals are being cited as a key reference to attack India’s fierce critics and opponents. Alongside, these steps have also excited the minds and hearts of people with pride, passion and patriotism. This has enhanced and boosted the domestic ratings of the Modi-led government.
The purpose of the deals has been grossly misinterpreted in terms of the aspirations and ideals of a constitutional democracy, and has brought a disrepute to difference of ideas and opinions.
I believe that at the defence level, we need to build partnerships in order to promote cooperation, coordination and collaboration while settling our disputes and differences in a negotiated manner. However, as hard as it might sound, efforts should be made on amicably resolving our border matters and issues in a way that seeks honour and regards others’ security and sovereignty, unwarranting any situation of stand-offs and trade-offs that might belly the aspirations and beliefs of people.
The violent ambush in Ladakh between Indian and Chinese soldiers on the intervening night of 15th and 16th June, 2020 resulted in many casualities on both the sides, even as the Chinese establishment tried to hide the exact data on the causalities inflicted on their end. This led o a rage and fury in Indian against Chinese goods and items, as they were up with their boycott calls for Chinese products. In their rage, they broke and destroyed whatever they had at their end. They sounded discontented, and were motivated and encouraged by the penchant of right-wing rhetoric.
Many believe it to be the Chinese technique of derailing peace proposals to deflect the attention of its people from the brutal suppression of the pro-democracy supporters in its autonomous region of Hong Kong. Hong Kong is a special autonomous region located in China, up against the attempts and efforts of the Communist government in China to merge the region with mainland China. This has led to a lot of disquiet, as people have been demanding the resignation of Chief Executive of Hong Kong, Carrie Lam.
Also, since the coronavirus, which began spreading from China’s Wuhan, many saw the Chinese incursion and encroachment into India as an exercise to expand its dominance and legitimacy into the South Asian region, believing it to be giving impetus to its assertions of a dominant world power.
They have been seen as wisely wanting to exploit and benefit from the ongoing China-US trade feuds, pulling up foreign investments, infrastructure and innovation at any cost. India has the legitimate right to upgrade its military makeover by building its own strategic set of strength. This can be of great value with the induction and addition of Rafale fighter jets navigating our defense skies and space as we become more conscious and guarded in our approach. The behaviour of the said actors in the international trade and defence arena is illusionary, as there are no permanent friends or enemies in politics, and there is always a scope for makeover as and when needed.