Paradigm shift to India’s security challenges and need for recalibration and capacity building

Is there an anti-India agenda which is working on to influence the economic and social fabric of the country?

Is there an anti-India agenda which is working on to influence the economic and social fabric of the country?
Is there an anti-India agenda which is working on to influence the economic and social fabric of the country?

Recently occurred Industrial accidents

Of late I have been part of discussions on the issues of Serum Institute fire instance on the NewX Channel[1][2]. Several viewpoints have been aired and very welcome analysis have been put forth by my co-panellists on the debate. But what is important and imperative is that while media channels may continue their debates and discussions, the endeavour to pre-empt and prevent such disasters from occurring is paramount. Because this is not a one-off event. The last few years we have had quite a few of the. A couple of years back we had the LG polymer plant accident in Vishakapatnam[3]. Now this

Three incidents in two days

Serum Institute leak and on the next day we have the quarry owners being arrested for some huge explosive blasts in Shivamogga and also a reported fire in a chemical factory in Mumbai[4][5]. There have also been reported cases of industrial unrest, development laws like the farm laws that are passed by the Parliament of India being prevented from being notified and in the said process laying siege to the capital and threatening to disrupt the Republic Day celebrations. Is there an anti-India agenda which is seeking to influence the economic and social fabric of the country? Let me briefly touch upon some these events in the proper perspective.

There are many areas in which labour reforms are needed, including the stipulations for how many toilets and spittoons in a factory which legacy provision.

Serum Institute’s achievements

It is important, to begin with, the Serum Institute fire incident[6]. Given the circumstances that the world has been only partially functioning in the last 11 months because of the COVID-19, our country’s illustrious scientists had developed this vaccine which is succour world is waiting for. Besides us, this vaccine had been developed in a few other countries and multinational pharma giants. But we would be able to offer to the world at a much lesser price and with lesser carrying and preserving cost vests Indian vaccine with an added advantage. By virtue of this, we are on the threshold of becoming a pharma superpower.

Migration of industrial investment from China triggers industrial unrest

It is well acknowledged that China was the genesis of this Covid pandemic. As a sequel to this many of the manufacturing facilities were relocating to India. To avert this challenge the vested interests had sought to bring disrepute to the factum of India being acknowledged as a preferred industrial investment destination. The Wistron incident validates this[7]. Of course, we have our own shortcomings. Like the Trade Union Act of 1923. It enables a member not associated with the trade or professions to be a member of the Trade Union. In the British era, it might have had its relevance as also in the initial stages of modern-day industrialization in the country where the low skilled industrial worker was perceived (I do not hold this view) as vulnerable to exploitation. This gave a gateway to political parties to enter into these unions and further their political agenda. No wonder we have all political parties having Trade Union outfits affiliated to them. But we haven’t learnt from our mistakes. In the past, we have had disruptions due to Textiles Strike of 1982 by virtue of which we did lose our pre-eminent position as a textile manufacturer of the world[8]. Bad industrial relations have ensured that the hitherto Manchester of East the city of Kanpur is dying for investments, Naini Industrial sector near Allahabad is seen this. Even in the 21st Century, we had violence in Maruti plant in Gurugram[9], violent industrial unrest in Noida[10]. Hence I am sure the present government will plug this loophole in the Trade Union Act. There are many areas in which labour reforms are needed, including the stipulations for how many toilets and spittoons in a factory which legacy provision. Modern plants have outgrown these requirements and having these on the statues books only adds to cost on the industry and corruption.

Disruptions due to farm laws

On the farm laws also if anyone can recall my blog of May 05, 2020, I had stated that why should the farmer always be poor[11]. Incidentally, I am happy to share that some of the suggestion has found its way in the Farm Act after due reiterations. There walks in the vested interests and interests inimical to India. Yesterday I was an unhappy man. The anti-nationals inimical to interests of India had forced the government’s hand to offer a moratorium of one and a half months[12]. By the virtue of their rejections, it is vindicated that the Farm Act is last in their mind. Farm Acts cannot be. By the way, these Acts do not take anything away from what the farmer is getting today in essence. It is only opening up of additional avenues for their progress.

This is not acceptable to those forces who are standing in the way of farmers progress. It is the same set of people who are standing in the way of labour forces progress. They are the same block which had questioned the efficacy of the vaccine being developed. They are the ones who are spread falsehood and alarm against the Indian vaccines.

Pandemic the handler and ally of Pakistan and our neighbour on the east bit the dust in the Galwan in June 2020. Hence these are alternative strategies that are being attempted in order to keep India challenging.

Gangas of same Gangotri

If they are the same why cant we prevent it? Let me share with you the details of institutional mechanisms which is at the disposal to pre-empt or prevent such anti-national forces. Let me flag that these are new non-conventional challenges to the unity and integrity of India. We had seen that after the repeated defeats in conventional warfare our neighbouring country had indulged in war through non-state actors by terrorism, Kashmir militancy, North-East insurgency and Naxal extremism. Let me also with full confidence state that the Gangotri of all these Gangas were the same. The funding and financing pattern is the same. But things changed after the retaliatory strike in the aftermath of Uri and Pulwama. They found this policy of terrorism is getting blunted through attacks. The breeding ground of militancy also got out of their hands due to abrogation of Article 370 leading to a situation where Pakistan could not rule that state through proxy local political families. In addition to the peak of Covid.

Pandemic the handler and ally of Pakistan and our neighbour on the east bit the dust in the Galwan in June 2020. Hence these are alternative strategies that are being attempted in order to keep India challenging.

Intelligence institution and need to build lateral capacities

We have a strong intelligence institutional mechanism to get advance inputs and counter the misgiving of Pakistan-China alliance in so far a military and security challenges are there. But with all these strong institutions have we invested adequately in capacity building of these institutions? The answer is a lot more needs to be done in different dimensions. The Intelligence Bureau established in 1887 is a legacy of British era although it has had a recalibrated domain and it acquitting itself in so far as security challenges like law & order, insurgency, terrorism, fake notes, to some extent industrial unrest are concerned also in areas of economic and revenue intelligence are where they act in partnership with Central Economic Intelligence Bureau (CEIB)Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), Directorate General of Revenue Intelligence (DGRI) etc. Over the years it has acquired skills in collaboration with the Department of Information Technology in countering and combating IT-related threats. Our RAW is vested with good capacity in the areas of challenges to electronic, aviation and aerial challenges.

But a lot of issues relating infiltration into trade unions, infiltration of foot soldiers into contract labour payroll presumably in Serum institute case, industrial safety challenges, bio-warfare like Covid, chemical warfare like LG Polymer case, mishap triggering designs and conspiracies so that these challenges can be pre-empted. In the last decade or more we have also been losing a lot of manpower involved in critical areas for the national economy and national security like nuclear and space scientists etc., meeting unnatural deaths. No status paper available on this so that their life and property can be well safeguarded and secured. I would rather say that these are assets of the nation who need to be secured more vigorously than the political leaders. I have been involved in pre-empting an attack on a vital atomic energy facility and know the importance.

Also a forecasting vertical with personnel with adequate training and skills should also be created. The domain of this division should be exclusively on future types of challenges through extrapolation, systems simulation. For all, we may not even anticipate whether the next challenge could be seeking to make our soil infertile by interests inimical to the country. We have seen in 1970 how the triggering of Khalistani movement dispossessed the nation of hard-working Sikh community which had at the time of Indo-Pakistan War 1971 militarily made a huge contribution and also in the sectors of small enterprises and farming[13]. This was countered by Pakistani design of causing disaffection to India amongst Sikhs through Khalistani movement and seeding the trend of migration outside the country amongst Sikh youth.

Multi-dimensional capacity needed in the Security Ecosystem

Finally, our approach to security should also undergo a perception change. Present legal framework of Private Security Agencies (Regulation) Act of 2005 and the CISF Amendment Act 2009 are addressing it in a limited scope. Indeed CISF is now available for deployment to the private sector against due payment. Also, they are most trained in the country in so far as vital installations are concerned. Notwithstanding with more and more challenges emerging there is need for forecast and prevent type security paradigm required. We should have institution offering challenges in chemical, petrochemical explosive and different segments which require different calibration of security. First, establish institutions which can impart the required skills like the National Fire College Nagpur. Maybe it could be enlarged to become National college of Industrial safety.

Also, the deployment protocol for security personnel should also be framed and put in the form of Standard Operating Procedure. The innermost tier should have the most technically competent personnel deployed or such similar thing. Much more detailing should be done. We need to differentiate between the ordinary chowkidar and securing a high sensitive industrial or nuclear plant. The qualitative difference is essential. It is time we gave serious thought.

1. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of PGurus.


[1] Massive Fire At Serum Institute | Accident Or Bid To Defame India? | NewsXJan 21, 2021, YouTube

[2] Probe Of Serum Fire Mystery On | Coincidence Or Covert War On India? | NewsXJan 22, 2021, YouTube

[3] Vizag gas tragedy: Styrene gas leaked at LG Polymers near Vishakapatnam; survivor says, ‘I thought I’ll die’May 07, 2020, Times Now

[4] 5 Dead In Explosion At Quarry In Karnataka’s Shivamogga, Area SealedJan 22, 2021, NDTV

[5] Fire breaks out at chemical factory in MumbaiFeb 12, 2020, Hindustan Times

[6] Serum Institute of India fire: All you need to knowJan 22, 2021, Indian Express

[7] Wistron cause and effectDec 21, 2020,

[8] Nine-month strike brings giant cotton textile mills in Bombay to a standstillAug 02, 2013, India Today

[9] Maruti factory violence verdict: A brief history of the caseMar 10, 2017, Hindustan Times

[10] Violence in S Delhi, Noida during strike, estimated economic loss up to Rs 26,000 crFeb 21, 2013, India Today

[11] Begin dawn in Agriculture SectorMay 05, 2020,

[12] Modi Government budges, agrees to put on hold the controversial farm laws for 18 monthsJan 20, 2021,

[13] The Khalistan Movement in PunjabJun 25, 2002, All About Sikhs

RVS Mani is a former Under Secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs and author of the book Hindu 'Terror: Insider Account of Ministry of Home Affairs 2006-2010'
RV Subramani (RVS Mani)
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  1. This is slightly off topic: do you guys have backups of your social media data? If not, get a backup now. I see in today’s Washington post, the headline “Why Twitter should ban Iran’s supreme leader”.

    First was Trump, then Amit Shah profile picture, then Chinese embassy, now Iran.

    Have a plan to download your data before it’s too late.


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