This is a verdict that might undermine the basic framework of military law in India, setting precedents that will be used in the future to justify acts of omission and commission that simply cannot be permitted in the armed forces. The AFT members approvingly quote from an established treatise which states unequivocally that military justice must promote good order, high morality and discipline. However, they fail to do it themselves.
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’.
Most of the Service Chiefs in recent times simply lack courage. Many veterans who have spent their best years in the Armed Forces are astonished at their pusillanimity.
The fish rots at the head first. So it is with the Armed Forces. To win the war on corruption, the country needs to sort out the Generals first.
Fighting corruption in the army is not easy. It means war on three different fronts. The politician who is above you, corrupt colleagues who are with you and the moneybags of the arms mafia.
Today, Mr Prime Minister, many would like to bury this issue and may accuse me of flogging a dead horse. However, it is my duty as an elder who has served my country to the best of my ability, to point out to you that once the smoke settles, you will be asked why you let this happen. In a system that is reeling from endless corruption charges, where many have learnt to bend with the wind, one man stood up for what he considered wrong. The ‘system’ may have closed in around him and, in the short term, defeated him by denying him justice. But you, Mr Prime Minister, are today being seen as the person who is not only shielding the perpetrators of this original crime, but also protecting the beneficiary of this blatant manipulation.
Defence Minister AK Antony may have misled parliament by his statement on the Army Chief’s date of birth. Why is Honest Antony in Dishonest company?
An impression is being sought to be conveyed by Gen Singh’s detractors that he fudged his age just to ‘enjoy’ the office of COAS for an additional year.