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BW Businessworld

Editor-in-Chief’s Note: War And Business

Security expert Maroof Raza anchors the cover story on the business of defence along with senior associate editor Suman K. Jha

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All war is a symptom of man’s failure as a thinking animal.

Benjamin Tucker, an American who published the anarchist journal Liberty in the 19th century, said, “But which is the State’s essential function, aggression or defence? Few seem to know or care.” Where have we reached as a civilisation when we can’t even end hostility among ourselves? The terrorist attacks in Jammu and Kashmir’s Uri clearly highlight our “lack of preparedness”.

We as a species need to understand that we are better off without conflict or war. Mahatma Gandhi warned that “an eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind”. Ramakrishna Paramhansa had in a parable taught his flock, though, that while it is cruel to strike, it is wise to rear one’s hood when confronted by a venomous snake. The current issue of BW Businessworld delves into the subject of defence preparedness and the business opportunities arising of it. It also scans the opportunities for players offering private security services in the country, in the light of the growing need to secure vital infrastructure and installations as well as rising social crimes and terrorist activities.

Security expert Maroof Raza anchors the cover story on the business of defence along with senior associate editor Suman K. Jha. The size of the Indian defence market is pegged at $250 billion over the next decade. South Asia expert Stephen Cohen asserts in a guest column that India’s defence policy needs to be more assertive. Other columnists in this issue include Gen. (Retd.) V.P. Malik, who talks of the needs of the country’s defence forces, and former programme director of India’s light combat aircraft Tejas Kota Harinarayana, who says that India could be a major player in aeronautics.

Jha picks the minds of private players in defence as well as private security services, who are likely to play a bigger role in the liberalised arena of defence production. He also speaks exclusively with the secretary, Defence Production, in the Union ministry of defence and secretary, Department of Defence R&D (who is also director general, DRDO), for an insight into the government’s planned partnership with industry in defence production and R&D. Associate editor Ayushman Baruah looks at the startups working in the defence space.

The current issue boasts of a second cover on Viacom’s spectacular growth in India over the past decade, anchored by marketing and advertising editor Noor Fathima Warsia. Viacom’s India journey began with a couple of Hindi general entertainment television channels. Today, it sits pretty with 34 channels and is growing at a compound annual growth rate of 20 per cent. The story also examines the media behemoth’s growth projections in the years ahead.

This edition also contains other informative stories such as the one by senior associate editor C.H. Unnikrishnan on B-schools in the country including healthcare management in their curricula and another by deputy editor Sutanu Guru on the perennial controversies surrounding the introduction of genetically modified crops in the country.

In the backdrop of the terror attack in Uri, this issue is timely, as it brings up the subject of India’s defence preparedness. The issue also ponders on the opportunities presented by the opening up of defence production to private sector players and foreign investors. “Hope,” we have heard, “is the difference between politics and war.”