- Bharat Verma
Nearly sixty-seven years of Independence and not a single combat aircraft has been produced by India! Despite the word ‘indigenisation’ featuring repeatedly in political rhetoric, one of the reasons is because of the vested interests within the government of the huge kickbacks associated with imports of military hardware.
The perception that in every armament deal massive amounts of taxpayers’ money is siphoned off is largely correct. Blacklisting vendors is merely theatrics to divert public attention from this crass truth.
The long, convoluted and tedious process of procurement of military hardware has been created deliberately by the politico-bureaucratic red-tape to extract larger kickbacks which eventually is the taxpayers’ liability!
Worse, it appears that the primary national objective is not to add military capabilities to ensure the nation’s security but to find ways to guarantee maximum kickbacks.
Frankly, nobody involved in the decision-making process is really concerned about the MMRCA being inducted on time to shore up the rapidly declining firepower of the Indian Air Force; or about the Indian Navy receiving submarines in time; or with the tremendous collateral damage the nation suffers on its borders with Pakistan because the infantry is ill-equipped.
Despite similar levels of corruption, China never overlooks the primary objective of building military muscle. Frankly, no other country does except India!
It is amazing that the Indian genius that has successfully launched technologically advanced and sophisticated spacecraft to Mars or has finally mastered ‘cryogenic’ engine technology is unable to produce small arms such as a modern rifle, carbine or a pistol.