Aatmanirbhar Bharat – A Self-Reliant India

Amidst global turmoil, PM Modi's vision champions self-reliant India in defence & tech

Aatmanirbhar Bharat – A Self-Reliant India

As the geopolitical landscape shifted dramatically with the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022, it became evident that neither Russia nor Ukraine could fulfil their arms supply contracts with India. This situation brought Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision into sharp focus, underscoring his prophetic words: "India’s aim is a self-reliant India. India’s tradition is trust and friendship. India’s spirit is brotherhood. We shall keep moving ahead abiding by these principles." These principles, articulated in episode 74 of Mann Ki Baat and further explored in the chapter "Igniting Collective Goodness," resonate deeply with the Indian ethos and Modi's strategic foresight.

Prime Minister Modi, in addressing a query from Ranjan in Kolkata during Mann Ki Baat, elucidated the essence of self-reliance as mastering one's destiny. This dialogue opened up a broader conversation about India's self-sufficiency, especially in technological and defence capabilities. Notable author Sudha Murthy has highlighted India's pioneering efforts in science and technology, vital for economic development. India's notable achievements in space exploration (Chandrayaan, Mangalyaan), defence (DRDO's advancements in weaponry, missile systems, and radar technology), and emerging technologies (robotics, AI, IoT) showcase a determined stride towards indigenisation. This indigenous capability, supported by governmental policies, beckons a new generation of engineers and entrepreneurs to propel India towards a self-sufficient future.

A pivotal 2023 study by Matthew Stein in the Journal of Indo-Pacific Affairs traces India's significant progress since the launch of Modi's Make in India initiative in 2014. It highlights the challenges posed by diminishing manufacturing capabilities in Russia, India's longstanding weapons supplier, and underscores the imperative for India to bolster its defence mechanisms internally. The study celebrates the strides India has made towards self-reliance, particularly in defence, positioning India's budget as the world's third-largest in this sector.

Prime Minister Modi's philosophy, "Vidya vivadaya dhanam mandalay, shakti pareshaan paripeednayakhalasya sadhoh vipareentam etat, gyaanaydaanaych rakshany," reflects a profound ethos. It contrasts the misuse of knowledge, wealth, and strength by the wicked against the noble application of these resources for protection, support, and enlightenment. This philosophy underpins India's approach to harnessing its capabilities for the greater good.

The scope of Aatmanirbhar Bharat extends beyond defence, embracing cultural and social legacies, as seen in Modi's advocacy for Khadi as a symbol of self-reliance and heritage. Through Mann Ki Baat, Modi has championed a diverse array of initiatives from agricultural innovations to technological startups, promoting a culture of innovation and self-sufficiency.

Significant milestones, such as achieving a $400 billion export target, reflect India's burgeoning capacity and global demand for its products. Modi's call to action for manufacturers and industry leaders to embrace global standards and his encouragement for the "Vocal for Local" movement underline a collective effort towards national and global excellence.

Through strategic initiatives, policy support, and a unified vision, Prime Minister Modi's leadership has not only heightened awareness of India's need for self-reliance but has also catalysed tangible progress towards an independent and resilient India. The journey of Aatmanirbhar Bharat, from local innovation to global recognition, embodies a transformative era of Indian self-reliance and global leadership.

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Margaret Kruger 🇺🇸

Margaret Kruger is a writer and artist living in Sarasota, Florida, USA. After a long career in manufacturing and international business consulting, she retired to Florida to follow her passions. She has written a collection of essays and several novels about that journey. As a world traveller, instrument-rated fixed-wing airplane pilot, advanced open water scuba diver, and lover of Kathak, cooking, and all things India, she dedicates her time to reading, painting, writing, cooking for her family, and feeding songbirds.

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