India’s transnational security challenge: Abig threat *Ashok Kumar Verma India’s security environment faces a wide variety oftraditional and transnational challenges. As a big nation with both land andsea borders,the security sector must balance many threats contending forattention and resources. According to indian policymakers , terrorism andinsurgency are the most significant among India’s security challenges. Theseare mostly followed by organized crime and environmental problems.
Since independence india has been faced with atense security environment. India’s poor relationship with pakistan have led tomultiple wars and intermittent skirmishes over the decade. The conflict overkashmirhas been a central issue in the bilateral relationship. Pakistan assertsthat muslim–dominated kashmir’sexistence as an integral part of the country isnecessary to keep the country unified. Conversely, India argues that the muslimstate of kashmiris a testament to India’s multiethnic and secular concept ofstate. The dispute between india and pakistan has more expanded beyondtraditional war, providing fuel for terrorist and insurgent activity.
The situation of northeast border has been no more sanguine.During indo-china war, india fought an unsuccessful war with china in 1962. Withchina mistrust and an unsettled border disputes linger, although rapidlygrowing economic ties are moving the relationship to a Better footing. Overall, traditional and non-traditional security problems from pakistanand china have created barriers against cooperative solutions to various transnationalthreats endemic to the region. Terrorism is a big threat faced by both indiaand pakistan, is exacerbated by existence of the kashmir dispute and poor bilateral ties. Through south asia,organized crime operate more effectively than legitmate commerce, connectingthe countries through a strong trade in illicit drugs, people, weapons,andmoney.
The lack of regional cooperation , criminal network revel, which enablestheir profit. Mixed with traditional tensions between regional actors and rapideconomic growth creates a struggle over scarce water resources. Certainly, thereis a lack of attention paid to transnational threats not connected to regionaltraditional security challenges. Whereas reports of terrorism , crime, andwater disputes remain in the news because of their connection to tensebilateral relationship , pollution and environmental degradation.Terrorism and InsurgencyTerrorism is closely related toindia’straditional security threat vis-à-vis pakistan.
In indiankashmiroperating radical islamicgroup, insurgent group in northeastern provinces, and groups launching attacks onmajor cities and military bases genrally have ties to pakistan extremistgroups. The north- eastern states areconfronting insurgent movement rooted in ethnicity and sub- nationalism. Thepakistan support to kashmiri militants and increasing contacts of the ISI withinsurgents in north- east have made these challenges even more formidable.Terrorism and Insurgency are challenges in india, which have huge impact oninternal security as well as the perception of internal security. India has been confronted with periodic eruptionsof insurgencies and terrorism in different parts of the country sinceindependence. These have had different cause feeling of ethnic separatism as inthe tribal areas of north east india, feelings of religious separatism as inpunjabbefore 1995 and in jammu and kashmir since 1989, feelings of economicdeprivation and exploitation as in the tribal areas of central india, feelings ofinjustice to the muslim minority as indifferent parts of india which had seen sporadic acts of terrorism by a groupcalling itself the indianmujahideen (lM) . These insurgencies and terrorismoutbreaks have had different ideological underpinnings such as the following:· A belief thatthe tribal and other people of the north east in states such as nagaland,Mizoram, Manipur, and Assam are ethnically different from the people in otherparts of india.· A conviction that their different religion (sikhismin the case of Punjab and islam in the case of some sections of the people ofJ) gives them the right to have a separate status as compared to thepeople in other parts of india.
· The next threat in order of seriousness hasbeen that posed by jihadi terroeist- indigenous elements as well as pakistanisbelonging to different organization based in pakistan. Although the terroristthreat in india is not new, the growth of fundamentalist and radical islaminIndia is a relatively recent phenomenon. Outside of Jammu and Kashmir, Muslim inindia have advocated moderate politics, largely suppoting the center- left congressparty since indepence. After 9/11,indian fundamentalist groups haveincreasingly forged connection with the global radical islamicmovement and withterror groups based in Pakistan.
Radical maoist insurgents , knownas the nexalites, are a serious threat across several central indian statesincluding Orissa, jharkhand, chhattisgarh, Bihar,madhyapradesh,maharashtra,andaandhrapradesh.Naxalites are violently against the perceived intrusion of foreign companiesinside india and often attack foreign commercial interests, such as miningooerations , to force their departure.OrganizedcrimeOrganised crime is a threat that is well connected withterrorism in india and pakistan. Criminal groups in south asia have been known tocollaborate with terrorist groups in international operations on a variety oflevels.
South Asian organizedcrime syndicates are transnational in character. Organized crime are such as follows.A. Drug abuseand drug trafficking-It is perhaps the most serious organized crimeaffecting the country and is truly transnational in character. India isgeographically situated between the countries of golden triangle and goldencrescent and a transit point for narcotic drugs produced in these regions tothe west. Our borders have traditionally been most volnerable to drugtrafficking. The Indo-Myanmar border is also quite senstivebut the percentageof seizures is much smaller. Indo-Sri Lanka border has also startedcontributing considerably to the drug trade.
B. Smuggling-Smuggling, which consists of clandenstine operationsleading to un- recorded trade, is another major economic offence. India has avast coast line of about 7500 Kms. and open borders with Nepal and Bhutan andis prone to large scale smuggling of contraband and other consumable items.Though it is not possible to quantify the value of contrabands goods smuggledinto this country, it is possible to have some idea of the extent of smugglingfrom the value of contraband seized, even though they may constitute a verysmall propotionof the actual smuggling.C. Terrorismand Narco-Terrorism-Terrorism is a serious problem which India is facing.
India has become vulnerable to narco terrorism , bounded as it is by the ‘Goldencrescent’ on the west and ‘ Golden triangle’ on the east. Narco terrorismassumes several forms,namely:a. Terrorism themselves indulge in drug trafficking tosupport their movements.b. Sympthaziers of terrorists living abroad indulge indrug trafficking and send part of their illegal profits to fund the terroristmovements.c.
Smugglerssupply fire arms to the terrorists who are also drug traffikers.The areas affected by terrorism in india are the borderstates which also happen to be transit routs for narcotics to their destinationin the western world. It is a Big threat to India’s security concerns.D.
Light armsproliferation & Trafficking-Light arms proliferation is a global phenomena. It hasextracted a heavy toll in term of human lives and socio economic development ofentire regions, costs of which can never be adequately computed.Environmentaldegradation and problems-India’s economic growth has brought with it the challenge ofenvironmental degradation. Deforestation ,air and water pollution , poorsanitation ,and the oversubsidizeduse of natural resources are just a few ofthe problems plaguing the nation. It isessential to make the public aware of the formidable consequences of the environmentaldegradation, if not retorted and reformative measures undertaken would resultin the extinction of life. India facing various environmental challenges.
It isessential to get the country acquainted with these challenges so that theiracts may be eco-friendly. Some of these challenges are as under-· A population of over thousands of millions is growing at2.11 per cent every year. It puts considerable pressure on its naturalresources and reduces the gains of development.· India has often been described a rich land and poorpeople. The poverty and environmental degradation have nexus between them.· It is essential of rationalizing the use of groundwater.
Factors like community wastes , industrial effluents and chemicalfertilizers and pesticides have polluted our surface water and affected qualityof ground water. In addition, the shortage of environmental resources playsinto regional tensions with India’s neighbors . The border of Pakistan andIndia cuts across critical waterways for both countries.
India faces theconverse problem with china regarding water scarcity. The Brahmputrariver inIndia begins its journey in Tibet as the YalongTsangpo, travels through Bangladesh, and then enters india along with the Ganges. China plans to divert watersfrom the river inside Tibet for hydroelectric power, farming, and industrialuse in the dry north and northwestern region of china. The effects of waterdiversion would also create significant regional tensions between south Asia andChina. Diversion would create shortages in both india and Bangladesh ,raisingalarm in both countries that china will wield greater power over the region’s criticalwater resources.
Waterscarcity in south asia represents a transnational challenge to neighboringcountries that easily translates into bilateral tensions of a more traditionalway.