If Manmohan Singh delivered to his political benefactor and mentor by way of CWG, Coal and 2G; Mr Antony did not lag behind. Never before in the history of India, the three services were targeted in the manner in which it was done during Mr Antony’s stewardship of the Ministry of Defence. Never in independent India had the arms lobby become so brazen and criminal that it dared to manipulate ‘chain of succession’ of service chiefs.
The ‘arms lobby’ employed its agents to deter Gen VK Singh from joining politics. A vicious and sustained media campaign was launched. Some former service chiefs began to pontificate in the media about the undesirability of General’s joining politics. These pontificators had no qualms about vying for ‘Governor’s Office’.
A Nation’s Military Chief is an important appointment. It is through him that the last resort is deployed to defend the nation’s interest. It is too serious to be left to an outgoing government that has been booted out of office. Manmohan Singh has set a dangerous precedent by disregarding the advice of the incoming political leadership.
Sometimes the truth is a bitter pill to swallow especially when we as a nation are betrayed by our own. All the moral grandstanding comes to nought when the Army’s top two officers, under the UPA and PMO’s protective shield, stand accused of some of the most heinous crimes. Worse, this blatant alleged acts weaken the very purpose of AFSPA, which is meant to protect our soldiers from false cases, and not something to be used by the top brass in pursuing an agenda of their own.
Criminalisation of politics is the flavour of the election season. Aamir Khan, in his Satyameva Jayate Episode on 30 March 2014, ripped open its underbelly, clearly bringing out that the bigger the criminals contesting elections, the higher the chance of their getting elected. And this has been going on for the last several years and the resultant loot and plunder indulged in by those who run governments has turned India from a functional democracy to a dysfunctional kleptocracy.
That this would afflict the Armed Forces was beyond one’s wildest dreams. But this is what precisely seems to be happening if one looks at the way persons are being selected and appointed to the highest command positions in the Army, including the Chief.
The extent of reach and influence that the ‘arms lobby’ has carved for itself under the present dispensation, can be gauged by its ability to alter the ‘line of succession’ in the armed forces. Under you Mr Antony, the ‘succession plan’ has subverted the three services for posterity. This is your greatest gift to the Indian Armed Forces!
It is intriguing that an unprecedented number of the accidents have taken place involving Indian naval vessels during Antony’s tenure as Defence Minister. It is also intriguing that these accidents have not taken place in the mid-sea but on the shore. India has done a number of exercises with the foreign navies in the recent past, all without any mishap. Recently, the Indian Navy conducted a massive month-long naval exercise ‘TROPEX 2014’. Around 60 ships and submarines, and 75 aircraft took part in this exercise. This exercise in which both the Western and Eastern Fleet of the Indian Navy participated was again without any mishaps.
With websites including Flipkart, Rediff and E-bay taking pre-orders and announcing November 7 as the launch date, General VK Singh’s autobiography is expected to arrive in the capital during the Diwali week with a bang. Aptly titled ‘Courage & Conviction’, the former Army Chief graces the cover in ceremonial Blue Patrols.
As speculation mounts on the contents of the book, certain editors and journalists who have been used by those hostile to the General to make wild charges against him are perhaps the most nervous. Frantic attempts are being made to get advance copies.
Kindly let the nation know that as an appointee of the government does BEML CMD VRS Natarajan has the authority to issue notice of defamation to the ex-Chief of the Army.