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India's Unfinished Security Revolution

Sandy Gordon is a professor at the Centre of Excellence in Policing and Security at RegNet, College of the Asia-Pacific, Australian National University. Click here for detailed profile
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  • IDSA Occassional Paper No. 11

    Since the terrorist attacks on Mumbai, now known in India as 26/11, India has engaged in a far-reaching internal security reform process similar to that undertaken by the United States in aftermath of 9/11. This paper argues that reforms are crucial not only for India's own security and that of its immediate neighbourhood, but also for its rise as an Asian and world power. In other words, there is a 'seamless web' between internal security and governance on the one hand and external power relationships on the other. Furthermore, policing and law enforcement are crucial factors in internal security that cannot be ignored in the overall security architecture.

    The paper concludes that while the changes so far planned or instituted constitute a strong beginning, they need to go further. In particular, a sustainable improvement in Indian security will depend on more resolute efforts to build greater security at the sate and grassroots levels; and this will in turn depend on reforms in the police and paramilitar police services. Moreover, police reforms, to be successful, will need to be supported by stronger accountability and governance frameworks, particularly those intended to minimise the problem of corruption and abuse of authority. The instruments available to security authorities to attack crime, corruption and terrorism on an India-wide basis will also need to be strengthened. Given India's federal structure, the Union Government will need to evolve innovative ways to pursue these goals at state and local levels. The paper concludes by suggesting that some Australian innovations might be considered.

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