Prime Minister Modi’s big push to enhance indigenous defence manufacturing under his vision of Atamnirbhar Bharat has set a course towards achieving significant prosperity for the Nation to see in not the distant future. Nation has just seen the biggest ever defence exhibition held at Gandhinagar in October 2022 which involved the participation of around 70 countries,1340 Indian firms registering themselves, signing of 451 MoUs and agreements amounting to Rs 1.3 lakh crore. ‘Make in India’, is now a reality for all of us to see where defence export has risen to almost eight times of what it was five years ago. One encouraging factor to note is that 70 per cent of the record-high Rs 13000/- crore of defence exports, actually comes from the private sector. With Maharashtra, Telangana, Andhra and Karnataka coming up with defence manufacturing establishments, Gujarat has moved forward to set up a defence corridor similar to UP and Tamil Nadu.
Setting a target to touch $ 5 billion in exports annually by 2025, India is increasing her military exports by slowly making significant inroads in countries like the United States (US), Philippines, Armenia and countries in South East Asia, West Asia and Africa. India is looking at doubling the domestic manufacturing of defence equipment so as to not only reduce imports but also for taking on the global market as a major supplier. In the last six years, India has turned into the fastest globally growing economy surpassing China. Today, with a GDP of $3.17 trillion (2021) and exports related to defence and technology touching Rs13,000/- crore, India is now seen as the fifth largest economy in the world. By the end of the current financial year, this figure is expected to rise up to Rs17000/- crore as was stated by the former Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar during the Defence Expo. The push given by our PM Modi under Atamnirbhar Bharat will certainly develop India as a recognised global power in the next 25 years.
One, however, cannot ignore the fact that as India is gaining economic strength and adopting strategic autonomy without binding alliance, the hidden enemy within us, the so-called “TukdeTukde gang” duly pumped up by the gullible naïve pseudo-intellectuals, will try and push through various means to checkmate the progress of the Nation. Today, India is already a nuclear-armed power and by mid-century, India may be China’s and America’s only geopolitical peer. We, thus, need to wake up to this prevailing threat and rise above small considerations related to caste, community, region, language and religion which make the Nation look fractured, instead unite as one identity, that is, ‘Indian First’, to contain such hidden enemies operating from within us and defeat their devious hidden designs of keeping us fragmented.