FROM being a ‘buyer’ to become a ‘builder’ the Indian Navy has charted a fabulous course in the last six decades. The third arm of the Indian Armed Forces is now a self-reliant Navy with potent submarines, warships, and aircraft carriers in its fleet. The crucial role it has to play in the Indo-Pacific region along with Japan, Australia and the United States, makes it mandatory for the Indian Navy to induct more submarines and aircraft carriers. The satisfaction expressed by Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Sunil Lanba with the force’s fleet is a certificate of the Ministry of Defence’s active indulgence in sprucing up the Indian Navy. Indigenous content in building warships and aircraft carriers, too, has risen to a significant extent, giving a sharp edge to the naval fleet. Given the rising challenges in Indian Ocean, India must have its fleet in swift operational mode that should match with other navies. Admiral Lanba’s assertion of having a long-term perspective plan underlines that Indian Navy is cruising at a satisfactory speed towards being a force to reckon with in the region.
THAT the people of poll-bound West Bengal had demanded deployment of central forces, reveals two things:One, that the law and order situation in the State is pretty bad and two, the people there have lost faith in the local police’s ability to rein in political goons. This is a sad commentary on Ms. Mamta Banerjee’s administration.Independent observer appointed by the Election Commission Mr. Ajay Nayak has passed a very deserving and apt indictment when he said that the situation in West Bengal is like that of the State of Bihar obtaining 15 years ago. That should summarize the situation very correctly. Goons of the ruling party very brazenly pulling out and tearing flags and other election material of Opposition parties was indicative of wanton use of muscle power to silence the Opposition without being accosted by the State police. But then the political situation in West Bengal has deteriorated to such an extent that there appears no place for rule of law with muscle power ruling the roost to brow-beat political opponents.