Despite the word â€˜indigenisationâ€™ featuring repeatedly in political rhetoric, one of the reasons is because of the vested interests within the government of the huge kickbacks associated with imports of military hardware. The perception that in every armament deal massive amounts of taxpayersâ€™ money is siphoned off is largely correct. Blacklisting vendors is merely theatrics to divert public attention from this crass truth. The long, convoluted and tedious process of procurement of military hardware has been created deliberately by the politico-bureaucratic red-tape to extract larger kickbacks which eventually is the taxpayersâ€™ liability! Worse, it appears that the primary national objective is not to add military capabilities to ensure the nationâ€™s security but to find ways to guarantee maximum kickbacks. Worse, it appears that the primary national objective is not to add military capabilities to ensure the nationâ€™s security but to find ways to guarantee maximum kickbacks. Frankly, nobody involved in the decision-making process is really concerned about the MMRCA being inducted on time to shore up the rapidly declining firepower of the Indian Air Force; or about the Indian Navy receiving submarines in time; or with the tremendous collateral damage the nation suffers on its borders with Pakistan because the infantry is ill-equipped. Despite similar levels of corruption, China never overlooks the primary objective of building military muscle. Frankly, no other country does except India! It is amazing that the Indian genius that has successfully launched technologically advanced and sophisticated spacecraft to Mars or has finally mastered â€˜cryogenicâ€™ engine technology is unable to produce small arms such as a modern rifle, carbine or a pistol. Indiaâ€™s increasing dependence on import of arms up to almost 80 per cent is attributable to multiple reasons. Instead of creating competition between the Defence Public Sector Units (DPSUs) and the private sector, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and the entrenched vested political interests continue to ignore colossal wastage of resources in the public sector. Elements in the government appear to have huge personal stakes in resources being funneled from the meagre defence budget under the guise of secrecy. The case of the Tatra trucks being re-invoiced at higher price by the Indian public sector unit clearly revealed the modus operandi of siphoning public funds. The truth, however, is that substantial foreign assistance by way of technology was obtained in developing spacecraft, cryogenic engine, Light Combat Aircraft, the Arjun tank or missile systems. While one may take pride in naming the indigenous tank as â€˜Arjunâ€™, the fact is that the tank boasts of foreign components up to 55 per cent. In all fairness, even critics will agree there is nothing to be ashamed of in using imported technology till the capability for indigenous design is developed in-house. All modern hospitals in India today rely largely on imported equipment but at the same time, they earn millions in foreign exchange through medical tourism. â€¦it makes no sense for New Delhi to keep struggling with modernising the bullock cart!