The President, Mr Pranab Mukherjee gave the customary address to the joint sitting of the two Houses of Parliament after the historic Lok Sabha election of 2014 which ended the era of fractious coalitions and resulted in a dramatic change of government and a clear majority for a single party after three decades. As the President spoke to the members of the two Houses, he made no effort to hide his happiness over the decisive nature of the mandate given by the people.
In his seminal work, ‘The War Puzzle’ John Vaquez establishes that territorial issues constitute the fundamental cause of interstate wars in the modern global system since 1495. Elaborating further upon his thesis, Vasquez argues that territorial issues per se do not constitute a direct causal variable in leading to wars. However, the very presence of ‘territoriality’ as a contentious issue makes wars more probable.1 As such, a thorough study of territorial disputes institutes a core dimension within the domain of international and security studies.
The 2014 elections will certainly be considered a landmark in the Indian polity because of the manner in which the two main antagonists, the Congress and the BJP, went into battle. Whereas for an actual battle, the Order of Battle formulated by the contending commanders is of great importance, of even greater importance is the political structure of the country and the organisation of its armed forces. For example, Germany entered the Second World War holding the advantage of greater preparedness, clear-cut objectives and the best tactical use of manpower and equipment.
The period 1987 – 89 was a watershed one in recent Indian political history. It was over this period that the Congress dominance ended, and a period of coalitions began. The speed of the collapse of the Congress Party from its historic peak of 400-plus seats won in the Lok Sabha elections in 1984 to a split in 1987, and a seat tally of 197 in 1989 is relevant to what happened in the 1990’s and the stunning outcome in 2014.
The commitment of the Narendra Modi Government to the ushering in of self-reliance in India’s defence sector, which under the ten years long, lack lustre UPA(United Progressive Alliance) dispensation had got enmeshed in corruption, bureaucratic indecision, tardy and questionable acquisition process as well as scams and scandals of staggering proportions, should be the right starting point for initiating the process of building a vibrant Indian military industrial complex which will not only meet all the needs of Indian defence forces but also transform India into a major player in t
Ever since the Congress Party’s crushing defeat in the recent Lok Sabha election, many acolytes of the Nehru-Gandhi family and Congress sympathisers are bemoaning the fact that the leader of this party, which has just 44 seats, cannot be designated Leader of the Opposition (LOP) and consequently, will not be entitled to the status and perks that go with it. Under rules formulated by Mr.
H. Trevor-Roper, a British historian, wrote a seminal book called “The Last Days of Hitler”. Hitler and his close colleagues were sheltered in the Hitler bunker buried deep within the bowels of the earth in Berlin. From the West, the British and American Armies had swept through Germany and from the East the Soviet Forces under Marshal Zhukov had entered the outskirts of Berlin. Germany had virtually lost the Second World War and Hitler, the megalomaniac, no longer held sway except over the bunker itself.
On May 1, 2014, the Congress Party’s Vice-President, Mr.Rahul Gandhi, made an extraordinary prediction while addressing a rally at Solan in Himachal Pradesh. He said if Mr.Narendra Modi became India’s Prime Minister, 22,000 people would be killed in violence. And from where on earth did he get this insight? From Japan! According to him, the Japanese told him that they were ready to help us build roads, but they feared violence if Modi was at the helm. Mr.Gandhi told his audience that he agreed with the Japanese and his own estimate was that 22,000 people would die!