Letter from the Editor | September 2022

A series of weather events once again gave a grim reminder about the immediacy of climate change. While most of India saw less than average rainfall and frequent dust storms, both of which would affect the winter crop, southern parts of Pakistan, specifically the Sindh district, saw devastating flood caused by relentless rain. More than a 1,000 people lost their lives between June and August. Parts of Europe, on the other hand, are in grip of drought so severe that several rivers have dried up for the first time in a century. Following a heatwave, the drought has led to emergency advisories being issued in several countries and imposition of rationing of water.

Perhaps, the consequences of climate change would eventually unite the world when human suffering has not. Perhaps, the governments would start taking more responsibility instead guilt-transferring them to individuals. Perhaps, nations would start taking a long-term view of the planet instead of short-term national military objectives which are driven by zero-sum games. Perhaps, there will be peace and prosperity in an interdependent world.

This stream of consciousness is driven as much by the tyranny of the climate as by India’s 75th Independence Day. In August 1947, India started its independent journey with bloodshed, hatred and military insecurities. Yet, it was steadfastly moored to a moral compass of justice, liberty, equality and fraternity. That’s the reason it was propelled towards ethical leadership of the post-colonial developing world. The 75th anniversary should be a great time to look back and figure out how India drifted away from those exalted ideals. How from leading the Third World, India started to blindly follow the first world.

Coming to the issue in your hand, the cover focus is India’s land borders, which like a millstone continue to stymie its growth. Their conflict-ridden, unresolved status not only makes a huge demand on our armed forces but also the national exchequer. If India is able to make peace on these, it will free up not only trained manpower but scarce national resources which can then be employed for development. The cover story looks at both the military lines—Line of Control and Line of Actual Control—, as well as the international land borders.

Other stories include an update on India’s quest for airborne surveillance, smart munitions, naval fighter programme and a very sobering piece on what the widespread Agneepath protests say about the officer-men equation.

In addition to that are our regular features, news and columns. Hope you like the mix.


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