India needs an internal security plan: MHA

Relevancy for Mains: Need for an Internal Security Plan, Importance of having a National Security Doctrine (NSD) for India, etc.

India enjoys a position of international prestige unseen since independence, and the economy thrives. Notably, China has acknowledged India’s resolve to resist undue pressure.

However, to capitalize on this momentum, a well-defined internal security plan for the next five years is crucial. Here are nine key areas demanding consideration:

A Documented Strategy: National Security Doctrine

Ideally, India should possess a National Security Doctrine (NSD) outlining internal and external threats alongside response strategies. Drafts exist, but inexplicably remain unapproved. Learning from other major powers who utilize NSDs, India could at least develop an internal security component of this doctrine. This would provide a clear roadmap for addressing internal security challenges, especially during government transitions.

Streamlining Internal Security Management

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has become unwieldy due to its vast responsibilities. Internal security matters often require immediate attention, which can be hampered by the MHA’s current structure.

Following the example set by Rajesh Pilot, a dedicated young minister within the MHA could be tasked solely with internal security. This focused leadership could significantly enhance responsiveness.

Jammu and Kashmir: A Multi-Pronged Approach

Despite claims of reduced terrorism, Jammu and Kashmir remains far from normalized. Recent attacks in the Jammu region highlight the need for continued vigilance against Pakistan’s attempts to destabilize the region.

A comprehensive approach is necessary. This includes reorganizing the security grid, restoring statehood, and conducting Assembly elections.

Northeast India: Addressing Root Causes and Fostering Peace

The Prime Minister has recognized the Northeast as an integral part of India. However, peace remains elusive.

While the Framework Agreement with Nagas offered hope, the NSCN (IM)’s insistence on a separate flag and constitution hinders progress. The government should firmly uphold the suspension of operations agreement while preventing rebel extortion and recruitment.

The situation in Manipur, plagued by ethnic conflicts, requires immediate attention. The Home Ministry’s peace committee has proven unsuccessful, necessitating the Prime Minister’s direct involvement. A comprehensive plan is needed to address illegal migration, drug trafficking, and arms smuggling.

Left-Wing Extremism: From Security Focus to Rehabilitation

The Minister of State for Home Affairs has highlighted a decline in left-wing extremism (LWE) violence and its geographical spread. While this is positive, a shift in approach is necessary.

With Naxals weakened, it’s time for reconciliation. The government should offer a unilateral ceasefire, encourage negotiations, address genuine grievances, and promote mainstreaming of former rebels.

Strengthening Intelligence and Investigation Agencies

The Intelligence Bureau (IB) and Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) require restructuring. The IB, established through an administrative order, needs a statutory basis with safeguards against misuse for political gain.

The CBI, established through a resolution and deriving its power from an outdated act, requires a legal mandate, improved infrastructure, and increased resources, as recommended by the parliamentary committee.

Transforming the Police Force: From “Ruler’s” to “People’s Police”

The Prime Minister envisions a “People’s PMO.” It’s equally important to transform the British legacy of “Ruler’s Police” into a “People’s Police.”

Emulating Robert Peel’s reforms in the UK, the Prime Minister has a unique opportunity to create a police force that serves the people.

  Reforming Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs)

The CAPFs, exceeding one million personnel, face challenges of unplanned expansion, haphazard deployment, inadequate training, and unclear leadership selection processes.

A high-powered commission should be established to identify and address these internal issues for long-term improvement.

  1. Leveraging Technology for Enhanced Security

Technology presents immense opportunities to improve police operations and act as a force multiplier.

As suggested by the Prime Minister himself, a high-powered technology mission should be established to recommend the adoption of cutting-edge technologies to address current and future security challenges.

Conclusion: A Cohesive Approach for National Security

A strong internal security posture is directly linked to India’s international strength and stability. By implementing a comprehensive internal security strategy that addresses the points above, the government can effectively counter threats, enhance national stability, and project India’s strength on the world stage.

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