Saturday, March 31, 2012

AT WHAT COST





I really did not think there would be a day when politicians would dare to publicly demand the resignation of the Chief of Army Staff. I certainly did not ever imagine that I would see on national television, politicians openly spewing venom against a COAS and accusing him of doing politics in uniform and having a desire to fight elections.

But all this has indeed happened. Articles have been written in the media which would have been unthinkable just a few years back, openly making strong allegations against the Chief of Army Staff. And it shows no sign of ending.

What started as an age dispute at a tactical level......has finally come down to bitter hand-to-hand fighting on the street. This is no longer a theatre operation. It has all the hallmarks of a fight for every street, every house, every room. And a Chief of Army Staff should not be taking part in fighting at this level.

But unfortunately, this has happened. The Chief of Army Staff has allowed himself to fall in the classical trap of listening to the wrong kind of advice from the right kind of people. And if he imagines that this is a personal fight, then he is wrong, I'm afraid. It was never a personal fight even when he dragged the government to the Supreme Court over his date of birth. Because once you assume the office of the COAS, your persona blends into the office you hold and they become one. It is impossible to make them appear as two. No matter how much you try.

I am also of the view that the COAS has not come into this fight with clean hands. He had concealed weapons which he has used and which show that there was malafide intention when it came to the line of succession. The complaint to CBI regarding Lt Gen DS Suhag proves that. As does the late reaction to the bribe offer. You cannot remain silent and then become vocal when the time suits you. You have all the time in the world to walk into a police station to register an FIR against a journalist when he claims that you were born in 1949 but you wring your hands in despair after being made a bribe offer.

There is no point discussing the leakage of letter written to the Prime Minister since it has been discussed at all forums ad nauseum. But it is quite clear who did it and why. But let's not get into it. It may have been a clever attempt but it backfired, as have many tricks backfired during the past few months.

The political leadership has once again proven to be weak. We always knew it but it is always painful to watch it again. Decisive moves earlier in the day would have prevented things from reaching such a passe.

The repercussions of this fracas will last longer than the tenure of the present COAS. The damage is permanent. A cost the country will have to pay.


(Picture courtesy India Today)

5 comments:

  1. Degradation of the Indian Army at the hands of politico-bureaucratic nexus for six decades is now beginning to show its effect. Why blame a V K Singh; he is a product of the Indian system.

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  2. Generally Chair gives grace to its occupant whereas in some cases the person occupying it adds grace to the chair. Gen VK Singh, Chief of the Army Staff brought disgrace to the institution of Chief of the Army Staff which Officers like Field Marshal KM Cariappa and Field Marshal SAM Manekshaw occupied during most testing times. Damage he has done to Army as a whole cannot be undone by generations to come. His contention that TATRA vehicles are of sub standard quality is factually wrong. His contention it was bought at exorbitant rate means Govt PSU BEML sold it to MOD at high rate. Reasonableness of rate is decided by CNN in which rep of Min of Finance financial Adviser attends. Army Chief does not decide its price. Gen VK Singh was misled from the beginning by his legal advisers and he has been fighting a losing battle. Why did he withdraw his petition for alteration of date of change of birth? He did not want to lose the case. Now he has given a hunter to the bureaucrats and politicians to beat the Armed Forces and now COAS has lost his voice in decision making process. Why did he not order Court of Inquiry if TATRAS were of sub standard quality and were purchased at high rate? As GOC 2 CORPS he has been using TATRAS. When did he come to know that these vehicles were of sub standard quality? Did he send any complaint or report to MOD? Why did he wait for two years for reporting illegal gratification case against Lt Gen Tejinder Singh? Gen VK Singh has proved himself to be an opportunist. If Army is not prepared for war since tanks are without ammunition and Air Defence obsolete, why did he assure the nation that Army was ready to meet any challenge from across the boarders? Def Minister AK Antony and Gen VK Singh both are equally responsible for degrading soldiers. Moral of the soldiers today is lowest.

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    Replies
    1. COL SK AGGRWAL,RETDApril 1, 2012 at 10:37 PM

      Generally Chair gives grace to its occupant whereas in some cases the person occupying it adds grace to the chair. Gen VK Singh, Chief of the Army Staff brought disgrace to the institution of Chief of the Army Staff which Officers like Field Marshal KM Cariappa and Field Marshal SAM Manekshaw occupied during most testing times. Damage he has done to Army as a whole cannot be undone by generations to come. His contention that TATRA vehicles are of sub standard quality is factually wrong. His contention it was bought at exorbitant rate means Govt PSU BEML sold it to MOD at high rate. Reasonableness of rate is decided by CNN in which rep of Min of Finance financial Adviser attends. Army Chief does not decide its price. Gen VK Singh was misled from the beginning by his legal advisers and he has been fighting a losing battle. Why did he withdraw his petition for alteration of date of change of birth? He did not want to lose the case. Now he has given a hunter to the bureaucrats and politicians to beat the Armed Forces and now COAS has lost his voice in decision making process. Why did he not order Court of Inquiry if TATRAS were of sub standard quality and were purchased at high rate? As GOC 2 CORPS he has been using TATRAS. When did he come to know that these vehicles were of sub standard quality? Did he send any complaint or report to MOD? Why did he wait for two years for reporting illegal gratification case against Lt Gen Tejinder Singh? Gen VK Singh has proved himself to be an opportunist. If Army is not prepared for war since tanks are without ammunition and Air Defence obsolete, why did he assure the nation that Army was ready to meet any challenge from across the boarders? Def Minister AK Antony and Gen VK Singh both are equally responsible for degrading soldiers. Moral of the soldiers today is lowest. Def Min AK Antony and Gen VK Singh failed to get the recommendations of 4th and 6th Central Pay Commissions implemented and senior serving officers and retired officers are yet to be given the benefit of Rank Pay which was accepted by the Govt of India. Similarly ONE RANK ONE PENSION Policy has not been formulated and implemented well knowing that 99.9% Officers retire before attaining the age of 57 years whereas civilian employees including BSF retire at the age of 60 years.It is high time Gen VK Singh proceeds on long leave and let the soldiers regain their lost respect and prestige.

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  3. How come your blog dried up after 15th June ????

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  4. Because I have been busy working :). Very little time to devote to the blog. This month, whatever is left of it, I wish to make amends.

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