India’s defence atmanirbharta pitch is high on rhetoric, low on substance

Defence indigenization is tough, but it has been made tougher by the misguided policies of a government hellbent on overhyping its aims as well as achievements.

On Diwali, Prime Minister Narendra Modi spent a few hours with soldiers on the Pakistan border at Kargil. Highlighting Atmanirbhar Bharat, he pointed out that the most important aspect of India’s security is the possession of modern indigenous weapons by the armed forces. According to Modi’s official website, “Pointing out the benefits of using indigenous weapons, the Prime Minister said that when the jawans of India fight with the weapons made in the country, their faith will be at its peak and their attacks will come with a surprise element for the enemy while crushing the enemy’s morale.”

This logic …


Sushant Singh

Sushant Singh is a senior fellow at the Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi. He has taught at Yale University (Fall 2019 and Fall 2021) and was deputy editor of The Indian Express. A winner of the prestigious Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism Awards in 2017 and 2018, he had earlier served in the Indian Army for two decades. He is also the author of Mission Overseas and co-author of Note by Note: The India Story.