Weak coalitions bad for India, says NSA

Weak coalitions bad for India, says NSA

National Security Advisor Ajit Doval gestures during his speech at Sardar Patel Memorial Lecture 2018, in New Delhi, on Thursday. PTI

National Security Adviser (NSA) Ajit Doval on Thursday made a strong pitch for a “decisive” government at the Centre for the next 10 years to achieve the dream of a prosperous India.

In a rare public address, Doval also cautioned against “weak coalitions” and termed them as “bad for the country” and said the nation should be ready for taking “hard decisions”

“India will need a strong, stable and decisive government for the next 10 years, let there be no doubt about it, to achieve our national, political, economic and strategic objectives,” Dovla said delivering the Sardar Patel Memorial Lecture organised by the All India Radio on the theme 'Dream India 2030 – Avoiding the Pitfalls'.

Citing examples of Brazil, South Africa and Greece, Doval said unstable regimes were more vulnerable to fragility, corruption and local political interest taking precedence over the national interests.

He said a fragmented polity will make it impossible for India to realise its will because weak governments are unable to take hard decisions that are good for the people but not populist.

“Weakened democracies can tend to make a country a soft power. India cannot afford to be a soft power for the next few years. It will be compelled to take hard decisions,” the NSA said.

“India cannot go for unstable coalitions,” he said.

Till 2030, India needs a decisive government and decisive leadership, he added.

Doval also cautioned against false narratives saying it could erode the essence of democracy.

“In a democracy, people have the right to be informed, but today, false narratives have become a problem. It is the responsibility of every individual, every media to check this menace. I am told there are separate agencies only engaged in false narratives,” the NSA said.

Doval said the present government has ensured that all defence hardware must be 100% transfer of technology and made a strong case for strengthening the private sector.

“India was way ahead of China in the 1970s. And we cannot lose out on that. We want our private sector companies to perform and promote our strategic assets and hence, interests,” he said.

Amid a raging controversy over Rafale fighter jet purchase, Doval cited the example of the then US president Barack Obama, who had batted for investments in the American private sector, in his speech to the Indian Parliament.

“We cannot do that,” he said adding that such a move by an Indian leader would immediately trigger allegations of corruption.

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