New Delhi: Obsessed with accumulating more and more weapon to foment war hysteria, India under Narendra Modi purchased weapons worth over Rs 3.50 trillion in 2023, ranked 3rd in global military spenders list, following the U.S. and China, and the largest arms importer since 2018.
According to Kashmir Media Service, India also went on an overdrive in expanding its military engagement with like-minded countries in its neighbourhood and beyond under the illusion of being a great power.
However, experts refuse to accept India as a great power. “The exceptional variant that singles out India from the generalization is the very definitional understanding of a great-power. In simple terms, a great-power is a country which is self-sufficient in military technology: producing major weapon systems and has an independent logistic stamina in the other sinews of warfighting, a status which India is far from achieving, notwithstanding its fixation with global strategic power and domination,” wrote renowned defence analyst Dr Zafar Iqbal Cheema who holds a PhD in War Studies, in one of his articles.
“India’s current status of third largest global military spender and largest arms importer is a clear manifestation of its obsession with arms inspired domination. However, arms acquisitions alone do not axiomatically mean a great-power. But it can certainly bring more instability to an already volatile region. Indian course of military expansion and domination under BJP’s extremist ideology can gestate a number of consequential conflicts from the existing territorial disputes with China and Pakistan, with far-reaching regional and extra-regional ramifications,” he added.
In 2023, India’s Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) approved in its meetings proposals worth a total of over Rs 3.50 lakh crore in the name of enhancing the operational preparedness of its armed forces.
In June, the DAC, the defence ministry’s highest decision-making body on procurement, approved acquisition of 31 MQ-9B high altitude long endurance remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) for the three services from the US through foreign military sale (FMS) route.
In another significant decision, the DAC granted approval for procurement of 26 Rafale marine aircraft along with associated equipment, weapons, simulator and spares for the Indian Navy from French defence major Dassault Aviation under the framework of an inter-governmental agreement.
The Indian Air Force formally inducted the first C-295 medium tactical transport aircraft, days after it was handed over to it in the southern Spanish city of Seville.
The IAF received the first of the 56 C295 transport aircraft two years after India sealed a Rs 21,935-crore deal with Airbus Defence and Space to procure the jets to replace its ageing Avro–748 fleet.
Under the deal, Airbus will deliver the first 16 aircraft in ‘fly-away’ condition from its final assembly line in Seville by 2025 and the subsequent 40 aircraft will be manufactured and assembled by Tata Advanced Systems (TASL) in India as part of an industrial partnership between the two companies.
In June, American defence major GE Aerospace inked an agreement with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) to co-produce F-414 fighter jet engines in India, during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s state visit to the US.
According to provisions of the deal, GE Aerospace’s F414 engines will be co-produced in India to power Tejas light combat aircraft Mk2. The agreement was seen as a transformational move in further expanding the India-US global strategic partnership.
These are clear and multiple evidences of acts of bellicosity from the Indian government that originate from militarism, war mongering, and appetite for arms and domination. An aggressive leadership in the possession of deadly arms gets more menacing and unpredictable.
Disclaimer: Appetite for arms and domination continues to make India largest arms importer in 2023 - Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not necessarily reflect Latheefarook.com point-of-view