A ‘strong state’ isn’t what you think it should be

India often attracts the epithet of a “soft state“, whenever it is seen by right-wing and conservative hawks and hotheads as acting “weakly” on Pakistan, terrorism, China, Maoism, etc.  But the muscularity of the Republic cannot be judged from sabre-rattling or machismo, with blood as its signature.

The writer, scholar and academic Kanti Bajpai writes in The Times of India that a strong state is one that has decision-making, implementation, regulatory, adjudicatory, and enforcement capacity. On all these, he says, India is pathetically weak.

“India has 700 diplomats, the same as Belgium.

“The IAS has 5,000 officers, one per 250,000 people.

“We have 560 MPs, one for every 20 lakh people. Both Britain and Sri Lanka have one MP for every 90,000 people.

“There are 31 million cases pending in the Indian judicial system. The upper courts alone have a backlog of 4 million and the Supreme Court has 59,000. India has 1.2 judges per 100,000 people: the ratio in Australia is three times, and in the US nine times better.

“This is with 1.2 billion people; imagine the situation in 2050 when the population will be 1.7 billion!

“Indian commentators today are transfixed by the issue of corruption and whether Narendra Modi will become prime minister. In the larger scheme of things, neither corruption nor Modi matter. There are much bigger things to think about.”

Image: courtesy Mail Today

Read the full article: Imagine all the people

Also read: Jerry Rao: Neither soft nor hard, just flexible


External reading: The myth of India as a soft state

Joginder Singh, IPS: “Are we a soft state?”

UPenn: India between “soft State” and “soft power”

Manoj Joshi: ” Fumbling soft state”

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2 Responses to “A ‘strong state’ isn’t what you think it should be”

  1. Akshay S Dinesh Says:

    So, does population control appear in the 4 or the 63?

  2. chidu22 Says:

    India is a nation full of pseudo intellectuals, preachers and couch- advisors.Hard work,both physical and mental,is awfully alien to us, or more appropriately we are lazy and beleive in easy money. Nation building requires men of integrity, hard work and honesty to be at the helm of affairs, leading by example and not by their speeches i.e, tyrst with destiny etc. Some of the powerful nations in the world viz US,UK,Israel etc, didnt flex muscles just for the sake of it. The belief in these nations come from a long history of hard work, sincerity and discipline.
    India’s weakness lies in its attitude as mentioned above, hence they resort to appeasement to cling to power and keep perpetuating their very weakness. There is a need to break this cycle of self destruction, flexing muscles wont be required then to counter outside threat once the internal cess is sorted. Once your integrity is established you may wish to conquer your external enemies, then flexing muscles is easy.

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