India will need a strong, stable and a decisive government for the next decade years to achieve her "national, political, economic and strategic" goals, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval said today. The country, he said, can't afford a "weak coalition" government as it will be "bad" for it. Citing the case of China, he said in the 1970s, India was way ahead of China, which had a backward economy and not a developed military. But that changed and by 2010, China became a major economy.
"Democratic institutions must be strengthened. Rule of law must be adhered to with religious commitment. Countering of false and malicious propaganda should be taken on a war footing. Don't underestimate the strength of false narratives," he added while delivering the Sardar Patel Memorial Lecture in the national capital.
The warning from the National Security advisor comes in an election year, when the Narendra Modi government is seeking a second term in power. For the opposition, which is trying to stop its march, unity has proved elusive.
India, Mr Doval said, can't "afford" to be a soft power as it would mean compromises. "And when you have to make compromises then your political survival takes precedence over the national interest," he added.
It is a weakened democracy that turn that turns to soft power, Mr Doval said, adding that the need of the hour was a strong government that is able to make hard decisions which may not be populist but will be good for the people.
Weak coalitions would be bad for India, Mr Doval said, pointing out that "unstable coalitions" are vulnerable to fragility and corruption.