“Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius — and a lot of courage — to move in the opposite direction.” – Einstein.
The Indian Armed Forces, due to their massive funding by New Delhi and their sheer manpower, have been on a high level of confidence in the recent years. Here, it is important to note the actions of its Navy in terms of “modernizing” itself so that it could act as a dominant player in the region. The Indian Navy has great ambitions; it wants to set up bases in Africa and elsewhere around the Indian Ocean so that it can take a proper lead in global maritime affairs, thus also allowing it to counter the influence of many other power players such as China, which is applying its own doctrine to have a better strategic position on the global front.
However, as Einstein once pointed out, it is not the quantity of any action but rather its quality that matters. In recent times, the world has witnessed many unfortunate incidents originating from the Indian Naval Forces. For any organization that should lead by examples of discipline and morals, this should be a huge blow.
India’s Navy Chief resigned on Wednesday after a submarine accident off the coast of Mumbai saw two sailors missing and another seven injured, the Defence Ministry said. DAWN
Seven sailors were injured and two officers are missing after an accident on board the Indian Navy submarine INS Sindhuratna off the Mumbai coast. NDTV
An Indian Navy submarine was damaged after it collided with a merchant ship on Monday in the Arabian Sea, off the coast of Saurashtra. Navy officials said there were no casualties. Hindustan times
By doing a thorough analysis of all of these recent incidents, it can be concluded that such mishaps could have been easily avoided if proper ethics and disciplinary practices had been applied; and here, not just the junior officers are to blame but the commanding personnel should be put equally responsible. This also puts focus on another fact that just by spending more towards weapons, technology and personnel does not guarantee any military entity more efficiency in its tasks. So what can be said about the current and former Indian Chiefs of Naval Staff who have seemingly ignored such basic facts; are they really the only ones to blame for the lack of organization in the Indian Navy?
It can also be said that the governing elites of a nation which has more than 70% of its population living in extreme poverty has different priorities that bypasses the needs of most of its common people. It is this lust for dominance in the international arena that has made them completely blind of many basic facts, thereby causing such mishaps to occur, and not just in the Army or Navy but elsewhere as well. Who is to blame or where does responsibility lie? The Indian leadership needs to figure this out first before embarking on global ambitions.