Promising a “lot of things”, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Sunday outlined a multi-pronged approach of a non-offensive but strong India while making it clear that there will be “zero tolerance to error” in defence-related issues.
“One thing I will promise. I have being given a task. I will see that my task of strengthening India, the position where where people should not dare see eye to eye with India… We don’t intend to be offensive,” Parrikar said addressing Navy personnel at the inauguration of the Information Management and Analysis centre (IMAC) of Navy.
He said India has not ruled any other country which he said was “probably unique to India and probably to some extent to China”.
“Even in Ramayana, when Lord Rama went to Lanka he did not rule it. He gave it to Vibhishan to rule it. This nation does not have the history of ruling other countries,” he said, adding, the country cannot be weak.
Parrikar said the biggest defence is to be strong.
“I promise the task given to me, I will fulfill…You can expect lot of things,” he said.
Asked what was the specific task given to him by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Parrikar said, “defence is one field which requires a lot of secrecy,” but added that the outcome of the task is to assure that the defence sector gets its due and becomes a cohesive strong force making India self- sufficient.
“Energy security and your own security cannot be dependent on others. You can’t depend on some foreign countries for all your procurements,” he said.
Parrikar noted that defence equipments are purchased for a period of 20-30 years.
“You can’t suddenly find yourself trapped in a condition that the party which has supplied you the material faces some blockade or some sanctions for supply to conflict zone,” he said.
Parrikar praised the IMAC and said he appreciates the “quick and fast delivery” of system because he thinks it should ensure “99.99 per cent” against incidents like the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks by earlier detection.
He underlined that there should be “zero tolerance to error”.
Parrikar said those nations which had good navies ruled the world.
“Today probably that is the reason why our neighbours are trying to get their navy everywhere in the Indian ocean and other areas,” he said.
In the recent past, Chinese submarines have docked in Sri Lanka, raising eyebrows in India.
He said IMAC will ensure that Navy has a huge data available to them.
“What is important is a mindset. How do you catch up with the needle in the hay,” he asked as he mentioned that the boat that carried the terrorist to Mumbai in 2008 was an Indian one which had been hijacked.
“Alert mind, alertness to isolate the problem is very important… We should try and strive towards zero error. Zero error is very important,” he said.