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The nation has been rocked by recent media stories of corruption in the Indian Army. General Avdhesh Prakash, the Military Secretary to Army Chief General Deepak Kapoor, is under the scanner for allegedly misusing his authority to help a businessman friend to obtain land adjoining the army land near the Sukna Cantonment in Darjeeling district.

Unfortunately, the media stories on this episode are so concocted, so far from the truth, so sensational, that every Indian who has heard the story is now concerned about the seemingly falling moral standards of the nation’s army. Everyone seems to believe that army land was up for sale through a General’s manipulation.

For the record, so far the army establishment has found evidence of the misuse of authority by the Military Secretary, who was trying to influence the General at Sukna into granting a No Objection Certificate (NOC), so that an educational institution could come up on a piece of land in a tea estate, adjoining and outside the army land.

General Deepak KapoorThe army has ordered a court martial to further examine the evidence and pronounce a verdict. However, media stories suggest that the army chief was trying to protect one of his own, and that the Defence Minister had to intervene to punish the General. The army chief had apparently recommended administrative action but no disciplinary action — he, after all, has full jurisdiction on the nature of the action, which should be outside the purview of the Defence Minister. If it is true that the minister has intervened, then that in itself is a serious breach of jurisdiction and a damaging precedent. Interference in the judgment of the chief tantamounts to questioning his ability to take unbiased decisions.

The moot point is — is the media covering India’s major security concerns? The Chinese threat is looming. There have been enough signs of it all of last year. Our eastern borders are undermanned, the infrastructure is poor, and the equipment shoddy. We are shockingly underprepared for even a skirmish in the near future.

The Indian Military doesn’t have a Chief of Defence Staff, an outrageous omission for a modern force. Who will ensure synergy between the Indian Army, Navy, Air Force and even the Coast Guard in the eventuality of a war? A Defence Minster who has little background or idea about military strategy?

The state of our military procurements is so poor that all urgent army purchases are delayed by 5-10 years. The majority of our tanks are outdated and don’t have night vision. This includes the ageing T-72 fleet. Our fighter aircraft are also depleted with only squadrons of Sukhois that can be counted as modern, the majority of the MIGs are long past their use-by-date.

Sadly, a defence correspondent won’t get the front page with any of those stories. One would have expected greater maturity from our media in the coverage of security affairs. It must ask itself: Does it have enough knowledge of military affairs to fulfill its role as the fourth estate? Will the increasing trivialization of news affect our security?

For someone who has spent 26 years in the Indian Army, most of it on its borders, seeing first hand the remarkable commitment to the nation of an overwhelming majority of its personnel, and then having left from the dysfunctional environment of the Ministry of Defence, one is now certain that our country doesn’t deserve this amazing military.

Please leave the army alone, we will correct our flaws, and will do fine without your myopic concerns. 


More by :  Col. Gopal Karunakaran

Top | Analysis

Views: 3405      Comments: 1

Comment Our media usually comparing our army with US and Chinese but the never compare with equipment which their and our soldiers have

Weight and efficiency of weapon

Weight of BP equipment

IT/digital communication & surveillance system for individual soldier

other protective equipment like eye protective goggle, Knee & elbow pads,

weapons with laser aiming device, passive night vision devices, tactical lights etc there are many other area where we can improve

Media shows other parts of Indian Army they never show our adventure and achievements so that youth can attract to make it as carrier.
why today's youth not selecting their carrier in defence instead of engineering , doctoring & management because neither they get information from media nor any positive future. Media show Border and LOC movies even though every soldier never get such a chance to prove them, but media can show other parts also that soldiers get many other opportunity like visit to every part of India, see many cultures, enjoys many society of brave soldiers, have time to study and enhance their knowledge as well as planning and strategic to lead to the target, time management and discipline etc.

These all things of media can also encourage the youths towards defence to fulfill the shortage thousands of officer in the Indian Army.

one sided coverage of media does not means freedom of media. It should show the real picture of the theme. they should not concentrate on TRP but should think about of theme also.

Anil Kumar
28-Aug-2011 13:26 PM

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