India’s transnational security challenge: A
*Ashok Kumar Verma
India’s security environment faces a wide variety of
traditional and transnational challenges. As a big nation with both land and
sea borders,the security sector must balance many threats contending for
attention and resources. According to indian policymakers , terrorism and
insurgency are the most significant among India’s security challenges. These
are mostly followed by organized crime and environmental problems.
Since independence india has been faced with a
tense security environment. India’s poor relationship with pakistan have led to
multiple wars and intermittent skirmishes over the decade. The conflict over
kashmirhas been a central issue in the bilateral relationship. Pakistan asserts
that muslim–dominated kashmir’sexistence as an integral part of the country is
necessary to keep the country unified. Conversely, India argues that the muslim
state of kashmiris a testament to India’s multiethnic and secular concept of
state. The dispute between india and pakistan has more expanded beyond
traditional 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. With
china mistrust and an unsettled border disputes linger, although rapidly
growing economic ties are moving the relationship to a Better footing.
Overall, traditional and non-traditional security problems from pakistan
and china have created barriers against cooperative solutions to various transnational
threats endemic to the region. Terrorism is a big threat faced by both india
and pakistan, is exacerbated by existence of the kashmir dispute and poor bilateral ties. Through south asia,
organized crime operate more effectively than legitmate commerce, connecting
the countries through a strong trade in illicit drugs, people, weapons,and
money. The lack of regional cooperation , criminal network revel, which enables
their profit. Mixed with traditional tensions between regional actors and rapid
economic growth creates a struggle over scarce water resources. Certainly, there
is a lack of attention paid to transnational threats not connected to regional
traditional security challenges. Whereas reports of terrorism , crime, and
water disputes remain in the news because of their connection to tense
bilateral relationship , pollution and environmental degradation.
Terrorism and Insurgency
Terrorism is closely related to
india’straditional security threat vis-à-vis pakistan. In indiankashmiroperating radical islamic
group, insurgent group in northeastern provinces, and groups launching attacks on
major cities and military bases genrally have ties to pakistan extremist
The north- eastern states are
confronting insurgent movement rooted in ethnicity and sub- nationalism. The
pakistan support to kashmiri militants and increasing contacts of the ISI with
insurgents in north- east have made these challenges even more formidable.
Terrorism and Insurgency are challenges in india, which have huge impact on
internal security as well as the perception of internal security.
India has been confronted with periodic eruptions
of insurgencies and terrorism in different parts of the country since
independence. These have had different cause feeling of ethnic separatism as in
the tribal areas of north east india, feelings of religious separatism as in
punjabbefore 1995 and in jammu and kashmir since 1989, feelings of economic
deprivation and exploitation as in the tribal areas of central india, feelings of
injustice to the muslim minority as in
different parts of india which had seen sporadic acts of terrorism by a group
calling itself the indianmujahideen (lM) .
These insurgencies and terrorism
outbreaks have had different ideological underpinnings such as the following:
A belief that
the tribal and other people of the north east in states such as nagaland,
Mizoram, Manipur, and Assam are ethnically different from the people in other
parts of india.
A conviction that their different religion (sikhism
in the case of Punjab and islam in the case of some sections of the people of
J) gives them the right to have a separate status as compared to the
people in other parts of india.
The next threat in order of seriousness has
been that posed by jihadi terroeist- indigenous elements as well as pakistanis
belonging to different organization based in pakistan.
Although the terrorist
threat in india is not new, the growth of fundamentalist and radical islamin
India is a relatively recent phenomenon. Outside of Jammu and Kashmir, Muslim in
india have advocated moderate politics, largely suppoting the center- left congress
party since indepence. After 9/11,indian fundamentalist groups have
increasingly forged connection with the global radical islamicmovement and with
terror groups based in Pakistan.
Radical maoist insurgents , known
as the nexalites, are a serious threat across several central indian states
including Orissa, jharkhand, chhattisgarh, Bihar,madhyapradesh,maharashtra,andaandhrapradesh.
Naxalites are violently against the perceived intrusion of foreign companies
inside india and often attack foreign commercial interests, such as mining
ooerations , to force their departure.
Organised crime is a threat that is well connected with
terrorism in india and pakistan. Criminal groups in south asia have been known to
collaborate with terrorist groups in international operations on a variety of
South Asian organized
crime syndicates are transnational in character. Organized crime are such as follows.
and drug trafficking-
It is perhaps the most serious organized crime
affecting the country and is truly transnational in character. India is
geographically situated between the countries of golden triangle and golden
crescent and a transit point for narcotic drugs produced in these regions to
the west. Our borders have traditionally been most volnerable to drug
trafficking. The Indo-Myanmar border is also quite senstivebut the percentage
of seizures is much smaller. Indo-Sri Lanka border has also started
contributing considerably to the drug trade.
Smuggling, which consists of clandenstine operations
leading to un- recorded trade, is another major economic offence. India has a
vast coast line of about 7500 Kms. and open borders with Nepal and Bhutan and
is prone to large scale smuggling of contraband and other consumable items.
Though it is not possible to quantify the value of contrabands goods smuggled
into this country, it is possible to have some idea of the extent of smuggling
from the value of contraband seized, even though they may constitute a very
small propotionof the actual smuggling.
Terrorism is a serious problem which India is facing.
India has become vulnerable to narco terrorism , bounded as it is by the ‘Golden
crescent’ on the west and ‘ Golden triangle’ on the east. Narco terrorism
assumes several forms,namely:
Terrorism themselves indulge in drug trafficking to
support their movements.
Sympthaziers of terrorists living abroad indulge in
drug trafficking and send part of their illegal profits to fund the terrorist
supply fire arms to the terrorists who are also drug traffikers.
The areas affected by terrorism in india are the border
states which also happen to be transit routs for narcotics to their destination
in the western world. It is a Big threat to India’s security concerns.
proliferation & Trafficking-
Light arms proliferation is a global phenomena. It has
extracted a heavy toll in term of human lives and socio economic development of
entire regions, costs of which can never be adequately computed.
degradation and problems-
India’s economic growth has brought with it the challenge of
environmental degradation. Deforestation ,air and water pollution , poor
sanitation ,and the oversubsidizeduse of natural resources are just a few of
the problems plaguing the nation.
essential to make the public aware of the formidable consequences of the environmental
degradation, if not retorted and reformative measures undertaken would result
in the extinction of life. India facing various environmental challenges. It is
essential to get the country acquainted with these challenges so that their
acts may be eco-friendly. Some of these challenges are as under-
A population of over thousands of millions is growing at
2.11 per cent every year. It puts considerable pressure on its natural
resources and reduces the gains of development.
India has often been described a rich land and poor
people. The poverty and environmental degradation have nexus between them.
It is essential of rationalizing the use of ground
water. Factors like community wastes , industrial effluents and chemical
fertilizers and pesticides have polluted our surface water and affected quality
of ground water.
In addition, the shortage of environmental resources plays
into regional tensions with India’s neighbors . The border of Pakistan and
India cuts across critical waterways for both countries.
India faces the
converse problem with china regarding water scarcity. The Brahmputrariver in
India begins its journey in Tibet as the YalongTsangpo, travels through Bangladesh
, and then enters india along with the Ganges. China plans to divert waters
from the river inside Tibet for hydroelectric power, farming, and industrial
use in the dry north and northwestern region of china.
The effects of water
diversion would also create significant regional tensions between south Asia and
China. Diversion would create shortages in both india and Bangladesh ,raising
alarm in both countries that china will wield greater power over the region’s critical
scarcity in south asia represents a transnational challenge to neighboring
countries that easily translates into bilateral tensions of a more traditional