Nirmala Sitharaman’s ‘Modernisation’ Drive Must Go Beyond Buying Big Weapon Systems


Nirmala Sitharaman’s elevation brought back to mind another image from 2008. In casual chinos, no headgear, and no marching steps, the image of late Spanish Defence Minister Carme Chacón inspecting the troops in Lebanon and Afghanistan. The officers and troops were in combat camouflage, she wore chinos. And she was seven months pregnant, which made as much news as the gender of the minister.

But that is really where the gender debate ceases, and governance begins. That is the biggest challenge before the new Raksha Mantri. She will be meeting the three chiefs every day, as it was announced. Other than saying Raksha Mantri Ma’am, and not sir as they are akin too, the agenda remains as complex, challenging, and exciting as it always was.

But as with all agendas, the big ticket items grab the most attention. Unless the rules of the game are changed, the headlines will remain all about modern machinery. Read More…

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