Indian Defence Minister A.K. Anthony trotted out the old excuse of increasing Pak-China military cooperation, to justify his demand for $39 billion increase in defence spending. This argument papers over the real reason for the vast increase in spending on arms, the desire to decisively crush a threat. One can only wonder who. Mr Anthony has also got to justify this spending, because although the Indian establishment does not like to speak about this, it must give a reason for splurging on arms while the teeming millions of India starve. It is worth noting that Mr Anthony did not mention any of the cooperation he alluded to, in his press talk on Wednesday in New Delhi. Pakistan and China are cooperating militarily, but there has been no increase in cooperation that justifies any increase in the Indian defence budget, or anything even approaching it. That budget is already huge, and testifies to Indian warmongering. Already, Indian designs are visible, as when Mr Anthony said that India would increase capabilities of troops serving on the Chinese border. As those troops are also stationed in Kashmir, there is a clear worry, because these troops are most likely going to be used to continue their illegal occupation there.

Mr Anthony’s claim is nonsensical and debunked as such by the Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Liu Jian, who when asked about Mr Anthony’s statement, said he was simply bruiting abroad the Pak-China cooperation to justify the budget increase. He noted that when China sent across trucks on carrying aid for Pakistan’s floods, India threatened to increase its troops in Kashmir.

Mr Anthony might need to justify the increase if he needs to generate funds, something which has become a Congress tradition dating back to Rajiv Gandhi’s involvement in the Bofors cannon procurement scandal, which was followed by Gandhi's assassination. The Congress then pulled out of virtual retirement to head both party and government, P.V. Narasimha Rao, also showed his need for funny money when he bought the loyalties of Jharkand Mukti Morcha  and Janata Dal legislators for a no-confidence motion, a crime for which he was convicted after he left office. Rao too had been Defence Minister, and Mr Anthony must be facing pressure to produce. After all, Mr Anthony has the image of a loyal Congressite who delivers, rather than a squeaky clean crusader against corruption.