The Editor, MEL.
I am writing in response to the article entitled `Is the massive expenditure on defense justified?' carried in the Feb. 16-28, 2019 issue of MEL. In the latest budget it appears to exceed as much as 11% of the overall expenditure by the government, a staggering figure by any reckoning. Indeed, the article points out that it is second only to interest payments. In fact, the article points out that if one were to account for the expenditure by the Home Ministry on various Central Paramilitaries the number could rise to 15%.
It is also shocking that there is no discussion in the parliament since anyone who brings up the subject would be immediately labeled anti-national and a traitor. It is easy to see the scale by comparing it with the allocations on health and education and the monies spent as a special dispensation for, say the North-East. It must be borne in mind that India is now the world's 4th largest defence spender. It is a huge captive market for arms manufacturers and merchants from the western world who rely on such markets for their very existence. Bogus reasons are given by the Indian government to justify this wasteful expenditure by creating bogeys of attacks while all the while nurturing imperialist designs. It portrays its own bellicose policies in defense of its interests, while in reality it is the interests of India's own monopolies and oligarchies.
There has also been a change in India with the entry of private interests into the military-industrial complex. In fact by its very activities, the capitalists are opening up India to a host of attacks from all sides, while not caring in the least for the well-being of the people of India or for its defence in any way. The above said, it is true that many people of India do care in sincerely about safety and security and have noble notions of working for the country to the extent of extending their willingness to lay down their lives for the country and its people. Such noble sentiments are used by the rapacious capitalists who play with the lives of the common people who come from the middle strata and poorer sections and join the armed forces. It is the task of enlightened sections to question the whole set-up and really show what is what and expose the real aims and designs of the wasteful expenditure that is foisted on them. Monies so saved could be invested for the betterment of all the people and not just to fatten the coffers of defense manufacturers, financiers and those that control the industrial-complex.
A. Narayan, Bangalore