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India’s National Security Mismanaged
|by Dr. Subhash Kapila|
The sordid way in which India’s political establishment and its crony civilian bureaucratic setup mismanaged India’s national security centring on the Indian Army Chief, General VK Singh date of birth controversy and the sequential episodes that were unleashed, which one writer headlined ‘India at War Against its Own Army’ was shameful in the least. Equally shameful was the ‘crony journalism’ of a handful of so-called stalwarts of The Indian Express, India Today and The Tribune. Their heavily biased and inimical coverage in favour of the Indian political-cum bureaucratic apex establishment left a perception in the average Indian that they had allowed themselves ‘to be used’. Nations do not become great powers by belittling their Armed Forces and imputing unfounded motives like The Indian Express slyly suggesting that a probable coup was in the making by the Army Chief.
Mercifully, evident from the mountains of reactions and comments from the citizens of the Indian Republic available on the Internet, their contempt for what was being done to diminish the image of the Indian Army by the political-cum bureaucratic establishment highlighted that at least the citizens of the Indian Republic still were proud of their Army and held the Indian Army in high esteem.
Equally deplorable were the demands of some casteist leaders making demands for the sacking of the Army Chief and also some MP’s of the Parliamentary Committee on Defence insisting that the Army Chief personally should appear before them to explain his highlighting of India’s lack of defence preparedness. May I please ask these ‘peoples representatives’ as to how many times and how substantially these worthies intervened in debates on the Defence Budget or in their utterings in Parliament ever asked questions on India’s defence preparedness.
After 63 years of Independence and the Indian Army’s splendid performances in all the wars that have taken place, and with scarce resources made available by the governing establishment, it is morally regrettable that a serious ‘trust deficit’ still lingers in the political-cum bureaucratic nexus that governs India.
The Prime Minister who stepped in at a late stage to remind that the office of the Chief of Army Staff of the Indian Army is an exalted office and nothing should be said and done to lower its prestige should have stepped-in initially itself. It seems that initially the Prime Minister was the captive of the bureaucratic set-up in the Prime Minister’s Office, the Ministry of Defence and the Home Ministry. He seems to have later broken out of that mould when his own innate sense of what is right and proper prevailed over the misguided advice from the bureaucrats.
Concluding the major lesson that is thrown up is that the military leadership of India should have direct access to their civilian masters, namely the Prime Minister and not through the intriguing machinations of the civilian bureaucracy, so that there is responsive and effective communications at both levels.
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03/10/2013 03:55 AM
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G N Misra
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Dinesh Kumar Bohre
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