India will fight not only on its own territory but also on foreign soil which becomes the source of a security threat, national security advisor Ajit Doval said in remarks that struck many as significant in the context of the military standoff on the Line of Actual Control.
Addressing the Parmarth Niketan ashram in Rishikesh, Doval said while India has never attacked anyone first, the new strategic thinking holds that perhaps we could have acted proactively to nip security threats. “It is not necessary that we only fight where you want to. India will take the battle to where the threat originates,” the NSA said, summing up the doctrine of what he called “New India”.
Official sources, however, emphasised that Doval was speaking more in the context of civilisational ethos and his remarks were not directed against anyone in the current context. “We never became aggressors to serve our personal interests. We will surely fight, on our soil as well as on foreign soil, but not for our personal interests. But in the interests of Parmarth spirituality,” Doval said.
“Ours is a civilisation state. It is not based on any religion, language or sect. What cannot be seen, what is the foundation of this nation… is its culture,” he added.
However, coming on a day when RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat talked about China’s encroachment, Doval’s remarks struck many as reflecting the government’s intent to apply the doctrine of pre-emption to nip security threats.
Chinese President Xi Jinping put out an equally stirring nationalistic message on the anniversary of the Korean War. “We will never sit back and allow damage to national sovereignty, security and development interests, and will never allow anyone or any force to invade and divide the sacred territory of the motherland. If such a serious situation occurs, the Chinese people will surely attack it head-on,” he said. It could have been about the US, Taiwan or India, the three big challenges to China at present.