Book Event: A conversation with Vappala Balachandran

September 07, 2017

National Press Club
529 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20045

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Anil Prayag

Book Event: A conversation with Vappala Balachandran, author of Keeping India Safe – The Dilemma of Internal Security (Harper Collins India-2017)

World Bank’s “Global Economic Forecast” for June 2017 has projected Indian economy’s growth (2017-2018) to be 7.2 to 7.8%. Forbes has said that this would make India the fourth fastest growing economy in the world. India is also accelerating financial reforms through GST (Goods & Service tax) which would “integrate the country’s US$ 2 trillion economy with 1.3 billion consumers.”

Yet this commitment for reforms has not been reflected in our system of “rule of Law” by reforming the existing colonial law and order regime in India. This is because the responsibility of its internal security is dispersed among their police in 29 states with no concurrent role by the Central government except in grave emergencies. This responsibility extends to terrorism too. Central Police forces are not empowered to act on their own. This peculiar system does not exist anywhere else in the world.

This is unfortunate since India is expected to emerge as the most populous country in the world by 2030 with 1.5 billion population surpassing China, according to UN estimates. No Central government in independent India has recognized the relationship between the rule of law and development which was highlighted by the United Nations (UNDP) with 5 recognized goals of development in their “Post 2015 Development Agenda”. We have not reformed our institutions to implement these goals especially “Preventing, mitigating and deterring conflict, crime and violence”. No worthwhile economic or infrastructural development can happen if governments fail to control internal disorder.

The book examines how this system arose leading to serious internal security situations tearing the national fabric apart. It also offers workable solutions.



National Press Club

529 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20045

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