From the national security perspective and its long-term effect, three events changed India in 2014:
- A return of a majority government and the end of the coalition era at the Centre.
- First steps towards India-USrapprochement.
- India’s spectacular success in sending a probe to Mars, the Mangalyaan.
Image: India successfully placed its spacecraft in orbit around Mars, becoming the first country to succeed in such an inter-planetary mission at the first attempt, September 24, 2014.
In May when the electorate returned a decisive verdict in favour of the Narendra Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party, it broke a 30-year jinx. While coalitions were a symptom of a divided polity, it also made for a weak executive.
It is not just that the major party was hamstrung in taking decisions in national interest, but the paralysis also led to other organs of the State, namely the judiciary and the fourth estate (media) assuming a disproportionate role in governance.
Just two three examples should suffice. Some years ago, the then Chief Justice of the Supreme Court made an extraordinary statement on terrorism and insurgency. Justice K G Balakrishnan at an international conference on human rights in New Delhi on December 13, 2008 stated he was against the concept of ‘hot pursuit’ of terrorists.