India’s National Security Mismanaged

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.


More by :  Dr. Subhash Kapila

Top | Analysis

Views: 3376      Comments: 5

Comment The Armed Forces's antagonistic relationship vs the Defence Ministry began in the 1950's esp. in the time of Krishna Menon / H.C.Sarin & continues till today. Why ? Why have the top politicians of all political parties allowed this to continue.All Superpowers,Great nations etc respect their armed forces almost to the point of reverance & They have Integrated their Armed Forces in the ministries of Defence,Defence Production & Internal security & involve the Armed forces in all matters of National Security. India urgently needs the Armed Forces to be fully integrated in the Defence Ministry & a 5 Star General be appointed as the CDS & final Mily.adviser to the Cabinet. There is also need of forming a Special forces command, A cyber command & creating a Ministry of Counter-Insurgency.

10-Mar-2013 03:55 AM

Comment Many thanks for the comments and sharing your views. I agree with you that the Army has a lot of internal cleansing to do and that was what General V.K Singh was attempting to do. But he was stymied because too many politicians and bureacrats felt threatened. Some years back I had written in a professional Army journal that in a democratic country it was not possible to insulate theArmy from the influences predominant in society and the Indian Army is no exception, except that only a small fringe is impacted

11-Apr-2012 07:54 AM

Comment The subject of the article "India’s National Security Mismanaged" and behaviour of political personnel and journalists is so very disturbing. I feel a set of LIBERAL people are upset that army carries a bright image in this country whereas it has an equally black image in Pakistan. So Pakistan and these liberals are not perhaps afraid of Indian politicians - all parties included - but of the fantastic image of the Indian army. This is not to suggest that all is well in the army and not even army claims that either. However the purpose and desire of those trying to misreport on the army is not for its improvement but for demoralising the forces and disillusioning the common man of India which makes it a sinister design.

Swati Torsekar
11-Apr-2012 07:51 AM

Comment The present non performing PM and RM will do a great favour to the country by quitting immediately. They have caused enough damage by becoming puppets in the hands of babus.

G N Misra
10-Apr-2012 10:54 AM

Comment OR, the civilian masters must ensure that bureaucracy below them is fit for the post they hold.

Because, afterall those civilian masters 'chose' their bureaucrates in secretariate and decide 'who will sit in which office' as soon as those civilian masters assume office immediately after taking oath !

All blame goes to the PM, Defense Minister, Finance and Home Ministers IF those bureaucrates are not replaced now. No action should strictly mean involvement of those civilian masters in all this mess.

Dinesh Kumar Bohre
10-Apr-2012 04:18 AM

Name *

Email ID

Comment *
Verification Code*

Can't read? Reload

Please fill the above code for verification.