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The Chief of the Indian Army, General V K Sngh is acting in a highly irresponsible manner when he makes allegations against the civilian leadership on a daily basis. This is not to say that the bureaucracy is not without its fault. For too long the top brass has had to sidle up to the officers of the Defence Ministry in order to protect their interests and in the process the whole structure of civil-military relations has come unstuck. Further, ever since the Bofors deal, corruption on a gigantic scale has been taking place in the procurement of equipment and aircraft for the Indian Armed Forces. Unfortunately, the Defence Ministry has institutionalised corruption and even A K Anthony who is said to be fairly straightforward is unwilling or unable to do anything about it. It is time to have a rethink on the whole question of procedure for defence procurement. Even serving Army, Navy and Air force officers act as agents for defence suppliers thereby muddying the waters, General V K Singh knows about al this but chose to keep quiet until the very last leg of his term as Chief of the Arny Staff. His eloquence at this stage is not to be viewed as a patriot out to do good to his country, but rather as a frustrated man venting his spleen at all and sundry. If he is happy bringing out a scandal a day let him do so. The question is: What did he do as Army Chief to stem the rot. The answer to the question is simple: He did nothing. He was part and parcel of a corrupt organisation though he himself may have been very circumspect.
General V K Singh has exceeded all limits in his tirade against the civilian leadership. We know that the MOD is stuffed with agents, crooks, double dealing criminals and what not. We do not need General Singh to tell us that. After losing his battle on the age issue with the Government he has opened up not just a second front but a whole series of skirmishes with the Government. The BJP which has jumped into the fray with alacrity should ponder over the consequences of Sinhg's actions. I think supporting V K Singh may not be in the political interest of the BJP though it certainly embarrasses the Government
The Government of India, rocked as it is by a blizzard of scandals does not have the moral authority to dao anything and the man refuses to go quietly. He must be shown the door otherwise the civil-military relations will be damaged beyond repaid. The actions of General Singh in writing to the Prime Minister, bypassing the chain of command, raking up old scandals whose only purpose is to create confusion constitute misconduct and indiscipline and the Govenment must reduce Singh in rank and turn him out.
Even in advanced Western democracies Generals who take their starched uniforms, their stars, their batons and other baubbles of office too seriously are turned out unceremniously. President Obama sacked his Commander in Aghanistan, Gen Macrystal, when he stepped out of line. And this is the way it should be. General Singh seems to be bent on creating confusion and his leaked letters are likely to be misread of several countries. Instead of harping on China as a threat, it is time for India to realise that China as a great and powerful nation does not expect anything more than fair treatment from India. Ever since India joined hands with uSA, the Army has become ungovernable in India and General Singh is only a symptom of this.