Security is essentially a combination of measures designed to protect the nation from an enemy’s “covert” offensives. Security is not a one-time event, as the threat scenario can change over a period of time — it should also be viewed in principle as a “matter of degree” always open to improvement.
The spectrum of friends and foes is not static and therefore continuous assessment of even existing friendships is a security requirement. Intelligence is the anchor of security, that is, the information that sheds light on the adversary’s hidden plans.
Intelligence is also defined as “information for action” and it’s easy to see how security typically fails when there’s a “lack of information”, but why it also fails — and that’s not not uncommon—if “communication” with the action fails. seizure of authority or for “failure to act” itself.
Intelligence is not easy to find in these times of covert offensives in which terrorism has been used as an instrument and, logically, no piece of intelligence, however small, can be dismissed as “inactionable” because it could might as well turn out to be the proverbial tip of the iceberg.
A major task of the Intelligence set-up is to operationally develop the Intelligence available to reduce the “information-action gap” and to trace the source, location and time of the “threat” to make it possible to neutralize it.
The intelligence profession requires specially trained individuals who have accepted anonymity by choice, have shown infinite perseverance, and have worked with a commitment to the “national cause”.
Against the backdrop of all of this, the challenge of managing current national security threats has become formidable, calling for maximum intelligence coordination and integral responses. Apart from operational skills, intelligence also depended on competent analysis of open source information and it is in this sense that data analysis and cyber communications analysis had become the new intelligence tasks of ever-increasing importance. .
NATGRID is the central data bank that would provide information of both operational and strategic value and NIC is the network facilitating information sharing and action. What is new on the security front is the advantage that social media has provided to the adversary to conduct clandestine operations to raise “sleeper cells”, “lone wolves” for acts of terrorism and spread of radicalization.
Ongoing social media scanning should be sufficiently comprehensive and suspicious websites should be thoroughly investigated for signals of hostile activity. The cases of terrorists killing two Hindus in Amravati and Udaipur in revenge for the allegedly insulting remark against the Prophet Muhammad made by the now-suspended BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma during a TV broadcast have highlighted how Pakistan-related WhatsApp groups were used in the run-up to these events. macabre events.
Intelligence services – both central and local – must identify all suspects for prompt police action and prosecution. A much bolder form of terrorist activity directed across the border has come into play and a deterrent must be created against it without wasting time.
The Pakistani ISI is using both the Deobandi and Bareilvi extremist streams of the Islamic spectrum as instruments in the proxy war against India – India’s vulnerability to this malign intrusion from outside needs to be fully assessed and action taken. both punitive and sociological were developed to maintain internal security.
Representative Muslim organizations must be persuaded to condemn Jehad’s advocacy to deal with minority issues in democratic India which had a secular constitution. India’s democratic state should not give in to political elements expressing “separatism” and secession and, what is worse, doing so on a note of violence.
A new danger has arisen from a certain type of civil society groups and “think tanks” that have devoted themselves – for political reasons – to constructing subversive narratives of majoritarianism, autocratic rule and anti- minority of the Modi regime and together with foreign lobbies and opposition elements have even questioned the need for India to have a “national” identity.
Many of them deliberately project ‘nationalism’ as a symbol of Hindu India, ignoring the fact that the preamble of our Constitution calls on the people of India to promote unity and integrity of the ‘nation’. All of this amounts to playing “politics by proxy” and forces us to identify the undesirable links of this small number of NGOs which stood out from the vast body of genuine forums working for philanthropy and public service.
India is currently facing a situation where our neighboring adversaries are focusing on fishing our troubled waters and exploiting internal differences of belief, region and ideology.
Our national scene has always been vulnerable to these contradictions, but a conscious policy by some opposition groups of playing the “minority” card for political gain has pushed the Hindu-Muslim divide in a direction of “separatism”. which has never been brought to light, even as the country witnessed roving communal riots stemming from local causes in the decades following independence.
The Constitution of India does not discriminate between one citizen and another on the basis of caste, creed or sex. The democratic process here has firmly established the principle of “one man, one vote” for the advancement of all.
In the years following independence, India also encountered regional separatism – a vivid illustration of this is the Dravidsthan movement of Dravid Kazhgam (DK) led by Ramaswamy Naikar, which gave rise to the militant anti- Hindi of the mid-1960s in what is now Tamilnadu – but the democratic assimilation of the regions soon made this particular state a prominent player in the Indian nation, its representatives enjoying a prominent place in the central political executive as well as in the national bureaucracy.
From a homeland security perspective, it is concerning that some leaders are once again stoking communal and regional sentiments for their narrow political ends. The democratic state of India should counter these harmful trends through socio-political and legal means. All communities want to live in peace with each other and a few of their leaders cannot be allowed to create internal divisions for their vested interests – some of them perhaps doing so under outside influences.
After the Cold War, the world shifted to a unipolar order, a notable feature of which was the replacement of open warfare with “proxy wars”. A record number of cross-border conflicts, insurgencies and “covert” attacks took place during this time.
The anti-Soviet armed campaign in Afghanistan which succeeded in bringing about the dismemberment of the mighty USSR was in fact fought in the form of an “asymmetric” war – on the slogan of Jehad – and it is ironic that Afghanistan is subsequently became the hub of the new faith-driven global terror that would prey on the United States – the remaining superpower.
The “War on Terror” was a fight between Islamic radicals and the US-led global coalition. India and Pakistan joined this coalition – Pakistan had to be coerced by US President George Bush into joining – but Pakistan was able to start a parallel “proxy war” against India using Islamic militants as an instrument of cross-border struggle. terrorism against this country.
Over the years, Pakistan has drawn radical elements from the Taliban, al-Qaeda and ISIS – with the exception of groups like Hizbul Mujahideen, Lashkare Toiba and Jaishe Mohammad which were already under its control – into this proxy war.
Following the relocation of the Taliban emirate to Kabul with its full support, the Pakistani ISI has stepped up operations to spread radicalization by exploiting communal issues and expanding terrorist activity from Kashmir to other parts of India . National intelligence agencies cover this threat, but the top-down intelligence they produce must be largely supported by valuable information gathered by local state and district police units.
Finally, the Sino-Pakistani axis working against India is another new frontier that needs to be watched closely by our central intelligence agencies – both China and Pakistan have some potential to interfere with the domestic scene here, in especially in the Northeast.
A new level of escalation of the threat to internal security from this axis has arisen due to the collaboration of these main adversaries of India in sending drones across our western borders, to surreptitiously dropping narcotics, weapons and explosives on our side. In recent months, BSF has reportedly seized dozens of these miniature drones. This has added a new dimension to the proxy war that Pakistan has waged against India over the years.
By DC Pathak
(The author is a former Director of the Intelligence Bureau. Opinions expressed are personal)