Operation Sadbhavna

Conflicts arise when governance breaks down or a section of the society is alienated.

On assuming command of 14 Corps in Ladakh, Lt. Gen Arjun Ray (Retd) realized that it was vital to win the alienated communities back into the mainstream, in order to forestall insurgency in Ladakh. With this purpose in mind, he launched 'Operation Sadbhavna', where the military would work towards winning the hearts of the people, restore human security and organize post conflict reconstruction. This operation is the only model of its kind in the world, where the military has been effectively used as an instrument of peace.

Sadbhavna, a socio - political strategy, which means Goodwill, is a blue print for conflict prevention and conflict resolution by non-violent means. Unlike conflict management, which is essentially coercive.

Sadbhavna focuses on strengthening human security in the border areas as part of border management. It is the lack of this human security that is responsible for most insurgencies.

Sadbhavna is a brand name for trust, hope and Gross National Happiness. (GNH) It is a nation-building activity and a successful model that aims at:

  • Strengthening governance at grass root level, with the army acting as a facilitator and not as a substitute.
  • Territorial consolidation, by winning the hearts of the people - which can only be won through empowerment and human development, particularly in border and insurgency prone areas.
  • Effective border management.

With suitable modifications, the concept of Operation Sadbhavna can be successfully applied to win over alienated communities and governance in any conflict-ridden region of the world.

Sadbhavna is based on the following fundamentals:

  • People are the center of gravity
  • Winning hearts of an alienated society is a prerequisite
  • Human security is achieved through human development
  • Role of the Army in the 21st century is no longer to win wars; it is to prevent wars
  • IT accelerates rural development and de-isolates communities

Centre of Gravity

The genesis of all militancy in the world can be traced back to two major factors - Failed Governance and State Indifference - both of which are responsible for the feeling of alienation among the people. Insurgencies, disaffection and militancy are militarily unwinnable. In the 21st century, political power no longer comes out of the barrel of a gun. Consequent to the Information Revolution, political and social power has devoluted to the common man. He is the Global Leader of Today and Tomorrow - the GLT. He is the most strategic resource in the society.This is the main fundamental of Sadbhavna - to realize that the common person is an important part of the society. Once he is won over, the oxygen for insurgents is denied.

Winning the Hearts of the People

The second fundamental concentrates on winning the hearts of the people;not their minds. Lt Gen Arjun Ray (Retd) does not agree with the cliché "winning hearts and minds" as it defies all laws of human behaviour. Till the heart accepts the mind will reject. Common persons are driven more by emotions rather than logic. Consequently, the route to the mind is through the heart and not the other way around. To win the heart and thus dealienate the masses is the first and the most difficult step in any political process.

Human Security

The core element of national security is always human security, as military power is meaningless if human security is fragile. The feeling of insecurity creates alienation, civil disturbances, law and order problems and socio-political instability. Sadbhavna aims at promoting and strengthening human security through human development. The idea of ensuring human security in border and militancy prone areas leads to another allied novel concept. Border management, has two dimensions - military and civil. Both are indivisible. The best antidote to infiltration and trans-border migration of population is having a developed border. This is why human development is a part of border management.

Role of the Army

The fourth cardinal focuses on evolving a completely new paradigm of relations, wherein the army networks all the key players involved in local governance - such as the district administration, local MPs and MLAs, the village headman, NGOs and volunteers. In such a model of convergence and teamwork, the army plays the role of a 'facilitator'.

IT for Peace

Information Technology is the fifth fundamental of Operation Sadbhavna. Massive infusion of IT in the fields of education, communication, job opportunities and governance is necessary. The infusion of IT contributes significantly in eliminating psychological isolation, contributes to empowerment of alienated people in remote areas and in ushering peace. By introducing digital fluency and by connecting the common man to the rest of the world, Sadbhavna ensures effective and long lasting peace.

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Contact

Chief Executive
Indus International School,
Billapura Cross, Sarjapura,
Bangalore 562125
E: arjunray13@rediffmail.com
P: 080 - 22895900
F: 080 - 7823850

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