Thursday, January 5, 2012


Air Chief Marshal Fali Homi Major (retd), had a word of advise for General VK Singh, Chief of Army Staff, the other day. Speaking to a newspaper over phone from Bangalore, the former air chief said he was of the view that the General would be better off if he took off his uniform before taking on the government in court over his age issue.

While no one can deny that as an individual, Gen VK Singh has the right to every legal recourse available to him, the fact remains that for a man in uniform who is at the apex office of his organisation, rights can often get limited. Not because of law, but because of tradition and a sense of honour or 'izzat', which the General himself has evoked in his confrontation with the establishment over the age issue.

It is already looking pretty bad with the Army Chief having filed a statutory complaint over the controversy. And it will look worse if he goes to court in uniform. And while the General may say this is all about 'izzat' and 'integrity', the fact remains he will have much more of both if he does this while out of uniform.

Enough has been written ad nauseum over how the disparity over the age came up so we can skip getting into that because everything is well documented. No one can deny that the disparity should have been corrected many, many years back. But now the issue is of the COAS taking on the government over this alleged anomaly.

For many years we, who have been associated with the defence services in one way or the other, have laughed at the feeble attempts of those in the IAS or the IPS to 'correct' their age while at the fag end of their careers or when they have reached the top. To see the COAS do the same is painful to say the least. irrespective of the merits of the case, it still looks suspiciously as if he is trying to get extra mileage. He has said categorically, he is not doing so, but public perception is fickle, sadly.

The government too should try to look at the situation from the General's point of view. Being pig-headed will not do anybody any good. This should not degenerate into a slugfest. The Army is the last bastion of integrity in this country, and if it falls, all will fall.

And all those politicians who are jumping in to help Gen VK Singh do not understand that they are doing more harm then good. Capt Amarinder Singh's letter should also be seen in this context, though he may have written it with all the feelings of an ex-Army Officer. And the fact that he had to issue a clarification that he wrote it in his personal capacity, shows that his intentions were taken amiss by the 'party high command'. And I am attaching a copy of his letter, which is doing the rounds in the media, to show that it was written on the letterhead of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee. So much for "personal capacity".

Air Chief Marshal Fali Major may indeed have a point. If convictions are strong enough then perhaps the right thing to do may be to quit and then fight the good fight.


  1. An excellent and objective piece.

  2. Aman,
    What is happenning to our worthy,COAS of the most honourable Army of the World. He has become so desperate not only for his rank but also for his plot also. There was a news yeaterday in, THE HINDUSTAN TIMES" that HUDA ( Haryana Urban Development Authrotiy) has dismissed his application for swapping his discretionary quota alloted plot in Sector 4 of MDC, Panchkula with a plot, which should be a corner plot, by quoting that his mother is not well. I appreciate the decision taken by HUDA.He should have been thankful to HUDA for giving him one kanal plot for 22 Lakhs,the market price is more than 1.5 crores.
    in Panchkula. In discretion also he wants choice!
    He should resign as a COAS and if he does not resign then Government should compulsorily retire him or dismiss him. What Compromise? and compromise for what. The date of birth matter has already been decided and he has acquiesce to.
    In Army, there are OLQ ( officers Like Qualities )and every officer should not only have these qualities but he should also show these qualities at such occasion.

  3. The question is if Gen VK Singh had not been made the COAS, and had retired as an Army Commander, would he still have moved the court? Looks like the highest chair has its own charms, which prompted the General to stay there a bit longer.

  4. It is not the question of going to the court while in uniform or after hanging the uniform, the fact is that while dealing with petitions, people at the helm of affair do not lookinto the problem, but sign the decisions on the dotted lines,howsoever unjust such decion may be. the authorities should more look into the cases from the point of justice and not from the point of only organisational IZZAT, Every day Statutory petitions are being rejected by the chief with out looking into the facts but on the comments offered by the staff. It is high time chief should evolve such system that people at the lowest level should get justice instead of getting justice only by going to the court of law and not from the head of the organisation. the desion on the petition of the chief by MOD should be an eye openner for decision taking authorities on the petitions

  5. What about yellow journalists like Sandeep Unnithan, who are writing headlines like "Lies of the General"? Who has paid them off, Man Aman Singh ji?

  6. At least Sandeep Unnithan writes under his own name unlike a coward like you. And you are free to judge any piece of journalism as yellow, black or white. As far as paying him is concerned, maybe you should ask those who are paying others to write muck against Lt Gen Bikram Singh. And paying so-called analysts to rant on television in favour of VKS.