Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Time to show India's priorities: Stand solidly behind armed forces

The muck spreading around the image of the forces and doubting their loyalty towards Indian constitutional authority is self defeating and must be plugged immediately. It's no more an issue of a General and his date of birth. It's time to show where India stands and what are its priorities if a choice is given between an unreliable political leadership and the men in olive green. The men in power are to be squarely blamed for their mishandling of the issues concerning the defenders of the nation who have stood all tests of time with great élan and success. Now, they are being put on a par with the uniformed coup makers of Pakistan and the Maldives. Shame on those who try this joke to take revenge on the military's much-admired leader.

Listen to the voices coming from the icy heights of Siachen, where soldiers die of mental isolation and not by bullets. They live a most dangerous time defending men in Gandhi cap to preserve the honour of the tricolour and the Constitution, never giving a centimetre of doubt of any revolt or coup even if they are wronged and their equipment less than the desired standards and the purchases commision-ridden. They are neither blind nor deaf and dumb and having possessed the best of the education with families with sharp intellect and ears to the ground realities, they all know what's happening in Delhi's parliament.

Yet, it's the tribute to their dedication to the nation's cause and resilience that their political views are never expressed through any which way that might be termed as undesirable.

The forces are built by humans and the men behind machines do understand the undesirable influnes working in Raksha Mantralay affecting the path of promotions, postings and favouritism prevailing the files. Thousands of crores are returned without spending on military hardware every year and simple demands of one rank, one pension are met with years and years of deafening silence. Their parents and children do not get what they deserve and the soldier in his home town and village is made to run from pillar to post for small matters without the administration coming forward to help him exceptionally. A Gandhi cap drenched in hot money is more respected and listened to than the cap of the men in uniform. See Pan Singh Tomar, a movie that conveys the mood of the nation, how soldiers are treated on ground by this republic.

Agreed there have been cases of wrong doings in the forces, men in uniform have been found guilty, but pray, did any one from the forces ever complain and ask if the men in Gandhi cap can be given plum posts in the cabinet and supporters of murderer Maoists rewarded with Planning Commission postings even after conviction from the courts, why. Can't the army men too be given the chance to enjoy lavish living of a politician even after being chargesheeted? Never were such voices ever heard. Rather the great generals and retired top brass felt embarrassed that such bad incidents did occur and demanded stern punishment to the guilty.

There have been a series of incidents that showed the immuturity and the lack of leadership qualities in the ruling power elite. Apart from the date of birth issue, the case of spying on Raksha Mantri, CAG's hard hitting report exposing serious weaknesses in the war preparedness of the forces, the unpardonable leak of the 'top secret' letter written by the Army Chief to the Chief Executive of the nation, the CBI investigation ordered into the bribery charges and the Tatra deal, almost a year late than it should have been ordered. And remember, almost every day on every channel, pro-government media men were loudly declaring with confidence, that who else but the army chief is damaging national interest, he alone would have leaked the letter till Gen VK Singh declared the act as treason. Now we have media reports saying the IB has found out that the leak from the government side, perhaps from a minister's desk. Then we find a report suggesting the General tried to flex his muscles by ordering army troops to march towards Delhi without informing government. It was noisily suggested that the General was trying to sabotage constitutional provisions. Oh my God, is this a government running India?

(Source - TOI _Tarun Vijay 06 April 2012, 07:59 PM IST)

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