A radicalisation pandemic in Bengal and the virus is its ruling political class

Anmol Jain

Jun 24, 2024, 07:16 PM | Updated 09:56 PM IST

Army Is Buying American Stryker When It Has Made-In-India Alternatives


Dear Reader,

How're you doing? Today we talk about the need for the Indian government and Army to start trusting the indigenous research and equipment.

Atmanirbhar Bharat cannot be a lip service anymore, especially in a global setting which is as volatile as today... and 'friends' that are as hostile as they can get while remaining friendly.

  • My colleague Ujjwal Shrotriya has a good piece on the same in tune with the latest developments on this lack of trust in Made-in-India.

Next, we will look at the Islamist terror module that got busted in Bengal and the larger problem of radicalisation in Bengal.

  • The blame for this can be laid at the feet of the state's ruling political class, says Jaideep Mazumdar in this piece.

Until tomorrow then,

Anmol N Jain

Foreign over Indian — Govt and Army's perennial lip service to 'atmanirbharta'

Indian govt is looking to co-manufacture Stryker armoured personnel carrier with US in India
Indian govt is looking to co-manufacture Stryker armoured personnel carrier with US in India

Indian Army is eyeing American Stryker armoured personnel carriers (APCs) instead of locally made alternatives. This raises eyebrows especially given India's push for atmanirbharta (self-reliance) in defense.

Stryker APCs: Used by the US Army since the early 2000s, these wheeled vehicles transport troops and equipment. They come in various configurations, like mobile hospitals and mounted gun systems.

Local options: India’s DRDO and Tata have developed the WhAP (Tata Kestrel), a wheeled APC with a more powerful engine than the Stryker.

  • It's already deployed in Ladakh and used by the CRPF in J&K. Another version by Mahindra is also in trials.

Why import? Despite having capable local options, the army prefers the Stryker, highlighting a trend of favouring foreign equipment.

  • Past examples: The army imported Russian T-90 tanks over the superior, locally-made Arjun tanks. It’s the same story with artillery guns and drones, where indigenous options were sidelined.

The core issue: Iterative development is crucial. Indigenous gear, like the Kestrel, can be improved over time with user feedback, just like the Stryker was.

  • Self-reliance at stake: Opting for imports undermines the atmanirbharta in defense program. The army’s preference for foreign products hinders local defense innovation and production.

The government and armed forces should trust and invest in Made-in-India products, allowing iterative improvements and fostering true self-reliance in defense.

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Bengal is turning into a radicalisation factory thanks to its political class

Mohammad Habibullah, the leader of Shahadat terror module, is a 21-year-old computer science student.
Mohammad Habibullah, the leader of Shahadat terror module, is a 21-year-old computer science student.

The Bengal Police's Special Task Force (STF) recently busted an Islamist terror module named 'Shahadat' over the weekend. This reveals a deepening crisis of radicalisation in the state.

The leader Mohammad Habibullah is a 21-year-old computer science student — highly radicalised with ties to Bangladesh's terror outfits.

  • Habibullah was radicalised by Class X and founded 'Shahadat' in late 2022.

  • 'Shahadat' is linked to Bangladesh's Shahadat-e al-Hiqme and Ansarullah Bangla Team (ABT), both fronts for Al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS).

The big picture here is the lack of political will: Bengal's political leadership, fearing backlash from the Muslim community, is reluctant to crack down on radical Islamist groups.

  • TMC's appeasement politics rules the roost.

  • Radicalisation is rampant in parts of Bengal, with bright, middle-class youths being recruited and groomed for terror activities.

It matters because this unchecked radicalisation poses a grave threat to both Bengal and India's security. The infiltration of terror networks in the state could have dire consequences.

  • The political violence, sex trafficking, and smuggling that runs amok in the areas bordering Bangladesh is abetted by as well as abets these terror modules—it's a vicious cycle.

Dive deeper into Bengal's radicalisation crisis and the urgent need for political action with this piece by Jaideep Mazumdar.

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