Date: Feb 05, 2024 Time: 07:00 PM
Address by Shri Amit Shah on Security Beyond Tomorrow: Forging India’s Resilient Future

Union Home Minister Shri Amit Shah will deliver an address on the theme 'Security Beyond Tomorrow: Forging India’s Resilient Future'

(Translated excerpts from Union Home Minister Shri Amit Shah’s speech at the launch of the Observer Research Foundation’s Foreign Policy Survey on 5 Feb 2023.)

Security Beyond Tomorrow: Forging India’s Resilient Future

India has made significant strides in numerous areas within the last ten years, particularly in the realm of internal security, it has been driven by concrete policies. I can confidently assert that within the span of 75 years of independence, the profound changes enacted in internal security over the past 10 years stand as a testament to India's commitment to safeguarding its citizens through policy reforms.

I would like to briefly mention the recently released ORF Foreign Policy Survey 2023. While I have only had a cursory glance at it, the overwhelming acceptance of India's foreign policy by the urban youth underscores the success of the Government of India in effectively communicating complex subjects such as foreign policy to the common people of the country. About 86 percent of the people appreciated the foreign policy. I do not want to dwell much on Foreign Policy, but I want to say two things: One is the successful movement of G20 and the Unanimous Delhi Declaration in a divided world; it has exposed India's image to the whole world for diplomatic success and along with this, the G20 conference has highlighted our basic mantra of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam”. We have succeeded in taking it to the whole world. Moreover, the decision to hold the G20 conference across 30 states and union territories, a departure from the convention of single-city summits, has elevated India's cultural heritage on the world stage.

This G20 conference has become a symbol of India to the whole world, serving as its ambassador for India's cultural heritage and prosperity. Additionally, I would like to highlight that when the entire world was uncertain about India's situation during the pandemic, India successfully developed vaccines and administered them to 1.3 billion people. By delivering vaccines to more than a hundred countries, India reflected its image of Vishwa Mitra and has significantly enhanced its global image.

India is considered to be the most populous country in the world, our borders are shared with six countries, and maritime boundaries with seven countries, and in 75 years, we have faced terrorism, insurgency, and leftist extremism on the front of internal security. However, we adopted a zero-tolerance policy towards terrorism in 2014 and devised a strategy to uproot it from this country. We did not consider dealing with terrorism alone appropriate; along with that, we dealt a severe blow to its ecosystem. Due to this two-pronged policy, today, we have achieved great success within all three hotspots. Along with this, a whole-of-government approach, cooperation, and coordination, a strong legal framework between all agencies, and legal frameworks are being created for justice delivery. Due to technology-based and data-based knowledge sharing, we have achieved this success. Under the Multi-Agency approach, we have adopted different policies in each sector, and we have achieved unexpected success in all three hotspots, Jammu and Kashmir, Northeast, and insurgency.

Between 2004-14, the number of violent incidents was 33,200 and in just nine years between 2014-23, it decreased by 62 percent to 12,466. There was a total of 11,947 civilian and security force casualties during 2004-14, and within 2014-23, we recorded only 3,276 casualties which means we recorded a decrease of 72 percent on record.

Indicator (Total in all 3 Hotspots) June 2004 to May 2014 June 2014 to August 2023 Percentage Reduced
Violent Incidents 33,200 12,466 62% Reduction
Total Casualties (Civilian + Security Forces) 11,947 3,276 72% Reduction

This indicates peace across the entire region. Within Jammu and Kashmir, the provision of Article 370 and 35A, which had been fostering separatism for years, was courageously revoked without firing a single bullet. In Kashmir, theatres were closed for thirty years, Muharram processions had not taken place for thirty years, and not a single higher institution had opened for thirty years.

The theatres have now reopened, Muharram processions have resumed, and tourists, both Indian and foreign, are flocking to Kashmir. We have granted constitutional rights to the people of Kashmir, and today, there are over 30,000 local representatives representing their communities and regions. We have a three-tiered democratic system here, with more than 30,000 people elected to Panchayats and local urban bodies, who are shaping the future of Kashmir themselves. Along with this, many backward communities, women, Gujjar Bakarwal, hill tribes, war refugees, all have been given constitutional rights, and more than 100 laws that were not applicable in Kashmir have been made available to the people of Kashmir by abolishing Article 370, which is accelerating the development of Kashmir rapidly.

In the Northeast region, in the last nine years, we have signed nine peace agreements, and more than nine thousand youth have returned to the mainstream by laying down arms. We have also resolved border disputes and ethnic conflicts and have worked to end religious conflicts in the Northeast. In more than 70% of the area AFSPA have been removed, and between 2014 and 2024, in just ten years, the government has spent 14 lakh crore rupees on the development of Northeast infrastructure. Earlier, only five out of eight states had rail and air connectivity, and today, I can say that rail and air connectivity is in progress in all eight states, and in many states, it has already been completed.

Even within the left-wing extremist region, we have moved along with development. We have taken many welfare schemes for the poor and to the bottom, by percolating these schemes to the bottom, the poor, and tribals, have been cut off from the left-wing extremist movement. We have cut off their popular support base and by following a strict policy in front of those who had weapons in their hands, the government has done the work of reducing the violence by 75 percent by equipping the entire area with security.

We have progressed with a holistic approach of the government. On one hand, we have worked on developing educational institutes, on the other hand, we have also implemented schemes for the welfare of the poor, and the infrastructure work has also increased. Fourthly, by engaging in dialogue with everyone, we have made peace agreements, and those who did not respect peace agreements, held weapons in their hands, have reduced them through a zero-tolerance policy, and within these three areas, incidents are no longer considered hotspots today.

Let me give you an example of just one figure: At one time, stone pelting was considered common in Kashmir. I am talking about 2010 when there were 2654 incidents of organised stone pelting. Today, in 2023, not a single organised stone pelting incident has occurred. There is zero organised stone pelting. The death toll from stone pelting was 112, and 6235 people were injured, and today in 2023, not a single stone pelting incident has occurred, resulting in zero deaths and injuries.

Indicator 2010 2023  
Organised Stone Pelting 2654 Incidents 0 100% Reduction
Death + Injury In Stone Pelting 112 Death 6,235 Injured 0

In Tripura, for nearly 30 years, about 30,000 people, and 5000 families were living a completely displaced life inside the jungles. Today under the Bru-Reang agreement, we have made peace with them and provided new homes, employment, and all facilities to approximately 30,000 people. We have worked to bring them into the mainstream and are connected with the journey of development of that Tripura.

Friends, along with this, we have also done a lot of work for border security. I believe that if there is no border security, then national security cannot be ensured. Border security is national security. Through multi-dimensional and integrated policies of border security, border trade, border connectivity, and people-to-people connectivity, we have worked to ensure and secure the border. Along with this, under the Vibrant Village Programme, which was previously considered the last village of the country, the government has worked to boost confidence within these villages by describing the last village of the country as the first village of the country. Along with this, we have decided to bring 100 percent assurance of the government's 300 schemes within 6,000 border villages within two years. One year has passed and within the next year, the assurance of all these schemes will be in all the 6,000 villages. This means that every household will have a home, gas, electricity, toilet, drinking water, free grains of 5 kilograms per person, and health insurance up to INR 500,000. We have worked to stop migration from border villages and integrate them with the border villages and today through our land borders, cross-border trade worth five million dollars has started with neighbouring countries. Through land borders, we have developed a strong trade as a weapon in the form of land ports and I tell you, this five million dollars is 60 percent of the total trade with our neighbours, so we have not only secured the border, but also developed it for trade. Our land ports are not only working for trade and security, but they are also reviving linguistic, cultural, and historical relations with neighbouring countries. Today, the turnaround time for business with neighbouring countries is only 22 hours from the border. I believe this is the minimum.

On one hand, we have controlled terrorism with a zero-tolerance policy, ensured and secured our borders, and also worked to strengthen the legal system by making numerous legal changes. There has been a significant change in anti-terror laws like National Investigation Agency (NIA) and Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) through extensive and meaningful amendments. As a result, our country's agencies have been given the right to investigate outside India, and our agencies have also been given the power of financial choking of terrorists, which has played a significant role in dismantling the terror financing ecosystem by NIA. Just three months ago, we have worked to strengthen the criminal justice system by passing three laws, that replaced the laws which were made 160 years ago during the time of the British. We passed these laws embracing Indian philosophy, and ideology, in the new Parliament building of India. I can say with confidence today that I have also said in the Parliament of our country, after 100 percent implementation of these three laws, no case in India can run for more than three years. Justice will be delivered quickly. Along with this, we have also introduced laws tackling organised and financial crimes. For the first time, we have prioritised tackling crimes against women and children. Using modern technology, we have increased the rate of delivering justice quickly and increased the rate of punishment. I want to tell you with confidence that the definition that includes technology has been incorporated, not only today, but of all the technology of the coming 100 years, and we have prepared a complete plan to implement it. Many people will not agree with my statement until these laws are implemented, but after 100 percent implementation of these laws, the criminal justice system in India will become the most advanced and modern criminal justice system in the world, I have complete faith in it.

Friends, we have ensured the ease of justice with a simple, coherent, transparent, timely, and accountable procedural approach, and we have given great importance to forensic science within it. The rate of punishment through the use of forensic science will increase with the use of technology. We have made the visit of forensic officers mandatory for every crime punishable by seven years or more. Along with this, we have initiatives like the Interoperable Criminal Justice System (ICJS) and Crime and Criminal Tracking Network & Systems (CCTNS), which we started five years ago and are now proving successful for us. Within ICJS, we have connected e-prosecution, e-prison, e-forensics, e-courts, and e-police stations, and we have worked to store approximately billions of data within it, and the process of making software to communicate all this data with each other using artificial intelligence is in the final stage. And all this data we have collected includes fingerprint data from NAFIS, terrorism data in iMOT, identification data in Narcotics Offender, cybercrime reporting portal data, sexual offender data, specific crime data in the database on crime Multi-agency Centre, human trafficking offender data, track child, prison database, and visa and foreign registration tracking, and through vehicles and passengers, all our vehicle data has been compiled together. In the coming days, ICJS will work to bring this data into use for justice by making its software.

Along with this, we have established the world's first National Forensic Science University, where more than 30,000 forensic experts and scientists will be trained who will work to strengthen our criminal justice system's ecosystem. After the arrival of the new laws, our investigation will no longer depend on third-degree methods, but now it will depend on forensic use, data degree, and information degree.

I repeat once again, after the complete implementation of these three laws, India's criminal justice system will become the most modern and advanced criminal justice system in the world. I have full confidence in it.

Friends, in the coming days, we have also created a programme to involve youth with software to popularise the use of databases. Another initiative is the fight against narcotics, with the goal of a drug-free India set by Prime Minister Modi. For its success, we have initiated a planned fight against narcotics. India was previously known in the world by spots like the Golden Triangle or Golden Crescent, notorious for narcotics. By naming it the Death Triangle and Death Crescent, India has made its approach to narcotics clear to the world.

Today, I want to give some statistics. Approximately between 2006-13 a sum of 1,52,000 kilograms of narcotics were seized, and between 2014-22, we seized 3,95,000 kilograms of narcotics, three times more. Speaking of quality, between 2006 and 2013 a total of 5,933 kilograms of narcotics were seized, while between 2014 and 2022, India's police destroyed narcotics worth 22,000 crore rupees.

Indicator 2006-2013 2014-2022 Percentage Change
Drugs seized, In Kilograms 1 lakh 52 thousand Kilogram 3 lakh 95 thousand Kilogram 160% More
In price ₹ 5933 Crore 22 thousand Crore 3 Times

Approximately 10,18,000 kilograms of narcotics have been destroyed in just one year. I believe that due to the four-tiered mechanism of our NCORD, in the coming years, India will become drug-free, and I have full confidence in it. We have also analysed the changing nature of security with a vision and formulated our strategy for it. Threat analysis shows us that there is a great diversification of risks. Considering the hybrid landscape, we cannot view any challenge or event in isolation. A small cyber fraud can be part of a larger terrorist funding channel, and a narcotics investigation in a district can also be part of an international network. Along with this, we have adopted a top-to-bottom and bottom-to-top approach to investigations, which has been very successful in dismantling networks in many investigations. We have worked to create a strong ecosystem by analysing security scenarios. During the data and information revolution, both crime and criminals have changed their nature.

Today, crime knows no geographical boundaries. We will have to formulate strategies for law enforcement agencies beyond the geographical boundaries and interpret borders not as limits but as meeting points, collaborating with laws and agencies of other countries to eliminate criminals from the entire world. When crime does not respect boundaries, we have to interpret borders as adding, not subtracting, and take it as meeting points. We have also created a roadmap for international operations. We have appealed to countries on the platforms of INTERPOL and the G-20 to adopt a common definition of terrorism and terrorist financing. We have also discussed creating exchanges for real-time cooperation between counterterrorism, anti-narcotics, and cyber response agencies. Seeing the challenges of internal security, India is bringing changes in its policing by focusing on the challenges of the next 25 years. The time has come to shape the future world policing and unite with each other. Considering the challenges of terrorist financing, intelligence and investigation agencies should also move towards establishing a comprehensive monitoring network and the policy we have adopted for terror money, “Trace, Target, and Terminate,” the whole world will have to move forward to bring this policy to global acceptance.

Friends, Prime Minister Modi has envisioned that by 2047, on the centenary of India's independence, India will be a fully developed country, self-reliant, and will also play the role of Vishwamitra. To fulfil these dreams, we have decided to strengthen both internal and external security and have laid a strong foundation for infrastructure development over the past 10 years, upon which a magnificent structure will begin in the coming days.

I want to emphasise that from the time of independence until 2014, there was no policy for India's internal and external security; it was suppressed under the burden of India's foreign policy. Now our foreign policy is clear. We want to maintain friendship with the whole world, but we will not compromise with the security of our borders and the security of our citizens. We have presented our internal and external security policy to the world with confidence, and the world has also respected our rights. I am pleased about this.

Friends, once again, with confidence, on behalf of the government, I want to say to the people of the entire country and through you to the people of the whole world that in the coming times, India will become a safe and technologically advanced country in terms of internal and external security.

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