India has hiked its 2009-10 defence budget by 34 percent, allocating Rs1.42 trillion out of which a huge sum of Rs 548.24 billion has been marked as capital outlay to procure state-of-the-art weapons. The last time the defence budget was increased by over 30 percent was in 1987-88 when allocation was increased by 43.4 percent to Rs 12,512 crores. The rise in the defence budget is a clear depiction of the Indian mindset. It is yearning to be a regional power and is being propped up by the West, to act as a bulwark to China. What the Occident is overlooking is explained by Plato in his renowned work Republic, in which he describes the perfect society, with a guardian class protecting the city, giving rise to the concern, who will "guard the guards?" Armed to the teeth India will become another Frankenstein, in the likes of Sadddam Hussain, bully of the block and a menace for the world. Oblivious of the outcome, the western Military Industrial Complex is happy to sell its overpriced weapons of mass destruction to a gullible Indian market since the Indian indigenous arms industry is beset with expensive failures. The Law of Scarcity dictates that a trade off be made between two classes of goods - coined by Adolf Hitler - guns (military weapons) and butter (civilian goods). The choice has to be made by society, depending on the threat to its sovereignty, how much of the scarce resources are to be allocated for guns and how much for butter. Unfortunately, because of acute Indian propaganda regarding the Mumbai attacks and aspersions cast on Pakistan, well-known Indian defence analysts like Commodore (retd) Bhaskar, the director of the Indian National Maritime Foundation, or Bharat Verma in his article Less money for fire power and many others insist that the current hike would not be enough for force modernisation. The Indian masses and think tanks should take cognisance of the threat within, which is gnawing away at the roots of India. The Naxalite insurgency has become the biggest threat to the Indian union, surpassing unrest in IHK and revolt-hit northeastern states. Out of 630 districts the Indian government has declared 220 districts as the Maoist affected areas. As per its government announced figures, more than 181 security personnel have been killed during the past five months. There is no official mention of collateral damage, civilian casualties and losses suffered by Maoist guerrillas. In fact India is fighting a bloody war against Naxalite insurgents, who call themselves the liberators of repressive rule of Indian government and frequently challenge the writ of the government. They are the spokesmen of poor and landless farmers and neglected tribal people of West Bengal. They represent a movement against oppression and exploitation and have the will and the capacity to battle the Indian Security Forces to achieve freedom from Indian draconian rule. They enjoy considerable influence in areas like Lal Garh in Medinapore district of West Bengal; Karnataka (Orissa). After numerous disruptive attempts during the Indian elections in April-May 2009 (killing and maiming scores of policemen and civilians); on June 16, 2009, three to four hundred Maoist guerrillas entered Lal Garh and captured the town including the police station, removing all signs and symbols of political and administrative authority, thereby challenging the writ of the government. They blew up a railway building, damaged three mobile phone towers in Orissa (Koraput district) and cut off 125 villages from rest of the state. Trouble in Karnataka also marked Maoist upheaval and rebellious activities. The state government launched a full-scale military operation against Maoist guerrillas. Central and state police employed two companies of Border Security Force (BSF), one company of Central Police Reserve Force (CRPF), a platoon of Kolkatta Police Rapid Action Battalion, a company from West Bengal Armed Police and a platoon of Indian Reserve Battalion (IRB). Reportedly the town has been recaptured using over 1000 personnel; however, the rebels still control the major part of the district. Over the weekend, 24 policemen were ambushed and killed by Maoists in Chattisgarh in eastern India. The Maoist insurgency in India is picking up strength and is likely to reach its logical conclusion but Indian government appears to be in a denial mode towards it. PM Manmohan Singh is more concerned regarding Pakistan's "lack of progress" in investigating those behind the Mumbai attacks, which he expressed in a meeting with President Obama last Friday. He also discussed militancy in Pakistan and regional security in a series of bilateral meetings and talks with world leaders on the sidelines of the G8 summit in Italy but remains oblivious to the trouble brewing at home. What we in Pakistan have to say may be construed as "conspiracy theory" but Dr Manmohan Singh should at least pay heed to the danger to India's sovereignty outlined by his countrymen like Maloy Krishna Dhar in his July 1, 2009 Op-Ed Indian fault lines: Perceptions and reality. The informed analyst clearly spells out the threats in his opening paragraph by stating: "Philosophical assertion and wishful thinking and perception of oneness (united India) have not stood the test of time, since 1947." Enumerating the various separatist movements threatening to tear India apart, the scholar concludes asking: "So, in the final reality count India appears to be compartmentalized seriously as we were well before independence. How we discover the soul of India from the dustbin of fragmented India? Are we in the process of having 'Many Indias' and permanently losing 'One India' for which the Indians fought against the British? Are we reverting back to an India that was divided into different polities with fragile geographic and cultural bonds in 9th and 10th century?" That is what India should heed rather than hike its defence budget, acquiring weapons of mass destruction and pretend to be the regional watchdog when its own house is burning and can set the whole region aflame. The writer is a political and defence analyst