Monday, April 28, 2014

Now, who’s politicising the army chief’s appointment?

Dear All,
Here we share with you a very objective and relevant analysis by Karan Thapar ('Sunday Sentiments' -The Hindustan Times) of the unholy controversy kicked by some vested interests.  Sadly, some of our very own who should be sources of our strength and motivation are unfortunately behaving in a manner that paints the much hated Babu-Neta nexus whiter  than these black sheep within! The nation looks up to Narendra Modi with great hope and excitement because he is a leader with proven credentials - vision, sincerity and commitment.  But a few opportunists driven by selfish motives who have found their way  into BJP might be carried by the Modi wave to the corridors of power.  There, if they are allowed to have their way, the undoing of Modi's mission would commence before it began.  God save the Army and India. 
Read on and form your own opinion but do whatever you can in the best interests of the Indian Armed Forces and the country.
Best regards,
Karan Kharb
'Utkarsh' - Turning Point 
(A Leadership Development Initiative)
Mob: +91 9818047092

(Courtesy: The Hindustan Times) 
Karan Thapar
I’m afraid the media’s lack of interest could allow the government to get away with both unconstitutional behaviour and also a possible immoral outcome. This is why this Supreme Court case is so critical. Let me explain.
Should the outgoing UPA government appoint the next army chief or would that be improper and also an intrusion into the mandate of its successor? First, General VK Singh, a former army chief, and then his party, the BJP, have made this a significant electoral issue. They’ve petitioned the Election Commission as well as the President. So what’s the answer?
First, a few facts. The appointment of a new army chief is a routine administrative decision. It’s necessary because a vacancy looms on the horizon. Second, normally the most senior lieutenant general gets the job. Seniority is the determining principle. Third, when General Bikram Singh, the incumbent, succeeded General VK Singh the decision was announced three months in advance.
There’s no reason to believe the UPA will act contrary to the above facts. It’s just that its decision will be announced in the middle of the present election campaign. Hence the question: Is this an appropriate and fitting time to appoint a new army chief?
The only grounds for suggesting that the answer is no is if the man appointed is seen as partisan or less than independent. But if he is the most senior that will not be the case.
On the other hand to deliberately leave the decision to the next government would have two adverse consequences. First, it would smack of politicising the army chief selection, which should always be kept above politics. Second, it wouldn’t leave enough time for the new government, thus creating handover problems.
Let me explain. Ajay Prasad, who was defence secretary under Mr Vajpayee, says a minimum of two months is needed to select the new chief. This is because four or five names are usually in contention, they need intelligence clearance by multiple agencies and, thereafter, the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet chooses one name, not by meeting in person but by circulating the file to all its members. Thereafter, the chief-designate works alongside the incumbent for at least two months to ensure a smooth handover. This means the total process requires at least four months, possibly five.
The earliest a new government can take over is May 17. General Bikram Singh retires on July 31. So even if it acts on day one it has only two months and 13 days in hand. That’s simply not enough.
This is why the appointment has to be made by the present government. If announced on May 1 it would be exactly three months before the present chief’s retirement, which is what happened in 2012. That’s in keeping with both technical requirements and established convention.
Two more facts that should stymie the BJP and General VK Singh’s attempts to create controversy. First, as The Hindu reported at the time, Admiral Arun Prakash’s appointment as navy chief was cleared by the outgoing NDA government on May 11, 2004, just days before Mr Vajpayee conceded defeat. If that was acceptable, why is it improper to appoint an army chief in the middle of this campaign?
Second, the senior-most lieutenant general in the army is Dalbir Singh Suhag. Many suspect the reason VK Singh wants the decision postponed to the next government is because he hopes it will supersede Suhag. The next in line is lieutenant general Ashok Singh, VK Singh’s samdhi.
So, now, who’s politicising the army chief’s appointment? And who’s following established practice? Suddenly it all seems topsy-turvy and upside-down.
The views expressed by the author are personal

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Battle of Army Chiefs – Former Vs the Next

Karan Kharb

Sadly, the institution of India’s Army Chief has once again been dragged into insalubrious controversy. BJP has reportedly asked the Election Commission to restrain the UPA Government from announcing the name of Gen Bikram Singh’s successor leaving it for the next Government to decide. Ironically, all the politicking in this context is not from any politician but from one of Army’s own former Chiefs, Gen VK Singh who is now a BJP contender for the Ghaziabad parliamentary seat.  Civilians look up to generals and military veterans as symbols of selfless service, chivalry and candour. Soldiers look up to their generals – serving or retired – as examples of high standards of character and, therefore, sources of great inspiration. Are we really living up to those aspirations? Is it really the oft-repeated Neta-Babu nexus or the military’s very own brass of yester years harming it more brutally and effectively than the former?      

Whenever politics has meddled with the top appointments of the Armed Forces, the manipulation was explained away in the name of 'merit over seniority' even as merit itself was the first casualty of such manipulation. The case of Lt Gen SK Sinha, a highly meritorious and senior most general who was superseded by his junior (Gen Vaidya) in the run to the top is a glaring example. Since then, however, the principle of 'seniority' has almost solidified as a convention in appointing the Chiefs in the Armed Forces. The only departure from this convention in the recent times was Vice Admiral RK Dhowan’s appointment as the Navy Chief passing over the senior most in line Vice Admiral Shekhar Sinha. The reasons in the wake of Admiral Joshi’s sudden and unexpected resignation owning moral responsibility for a chain of mishaps seemed plausible, as Sinha owed some tough explanations.     

It is not difficult to see that this unsavoury controversy has been engineered to scuttle the chances of Army’s present Vice Chief, Lt Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag, the obvious and rightful successor to Gen Bikram Singh being the senior most among the equally qualified top generals of the Army. It is openly known to all now that VK Singh’s behaviour towards Suhag has been vindictive and pre-determined since long. Equally obvious is the fact that if Suhag is eased out of the way, Lt Gen Ashok Singh, a close family relation (samdhi) of VK Singh becomes the first pick to succeed the present incumbent.  And we thought scheming and trickery were not soldierly traits!

There is no such rule or convention that binds the Government to announce the name of the next Chief of the Army Staff within two or three months. Gen VK Singh’s name was announced three months prior to Gen Kapoor’s retirement. Also, it is absurd to invoke ‘Model Code of Conduct’ to restrain the UPA Government in this matter because announcement of the next Army Chief’s name does not in any way influence voter behaviour during elections. Nor will it be fair to assume that the present UPA government should cease to function even in matters of Defence and routine governance.

Unfortunately, Gen VK Singh has a knack of courting unseemly controversies too frequently.  As Army Chief, he made more news for issues as tiny as his own date of birth than concentrating on higher and nobler missions of sharpening military’s effectiveness in matters of national defence and security. Soon after his retirement, a serving Army Major who visited the former Chief’s house in Delhi Cantt for official reasons, was humiliated and detained for hours allegedly for electronic eaves-dropping – a charge that could not be substantiated. For the first time ever in free India’s history, the high Office of the Chief of the Army Staff came to be maligned when he was at the helm for secretly monitoring the goings-on in the Office of the Defence Minister by employing his favourite ‘Technical Support Division’ (TSD) and its high tech electronic surveillance equipment. As if that was not enough, he pushed the Indian Army and the Government of India deep into embarrassment by openly claiming in a media interview that the “military intelligence was doling out cash to the politicians in J&K.”     

After hobnobbing and jockeying with politicians and activists of all hues ranging from Chautala to Anna Hazare, from kissans to students, he now seems finally settled as a full time politician.  Streets are abuzz that if he wins he might be India’s next Defence Minister. No doubt, in his rich military experience the next Government might find enough potential to uplift the sagging morale of the Defence Services due to continuing bureaucratic red tape and neglect. At the same time, his personal agenda and a vindictive nature threaten to tie him to petty considerations upsetting the military confidence and aggravating the already vitiated civil-military relationship at the highest level. Ideally, he would require capacity to absorb, magnanimity to accept, courage to bow and sincerity to place national interests above self, family and relations.                 

The system of promotion boards in the Armed Forces is such that it is not feasible – if we must trust the process – for a mediocre officer to reach the levels of Army Commander/Vice Chief. Therefore, it would be only fair to reinforce the healthy conventions already established by letting the senior most general in line (Lt Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag) succeed Gen Bikram Singh. It will also protect the Army against fears and suspicions of malice and vendetta that have been eating away military’s moral fibre from within and without. Only if there goes something seriously and glaringly wrong in the conduct and performance of the prospective senior in line should the Government have the prerogative to go for the next one in line as has been done for the Indian Navy. Sanity calls for the raging battle to cease and the hatchet to be buried.

The writer is a military veteran and author.

Thursday, April 03, 2014

भारत भाग्य विधाता - एक ही विकल्प

प्रधानमन्त्री कार्यालय का एक दृश्य - (अगर केजरीवाल PM बन गया तो):-
हंसो मत, लिखा है
बन गया तो...!
ट्रिंग ट्रिंग...
कुमार विश्वास: हेल्लो सर, मैं रक्षामंत्री बोल रहा हूँ..
केजरीवाल: हाँ बोलो..
कुमार विश्वास: सर पाकिस्तान और चीन ने हम पर आक्रमण कर दिया है, हम क्या करें ?
केजरीवाल: अबे यार हमने तो पहले ही विदेश मंत्री प्रशांत भूषण के कहने पर कश्मीर पाकिस्तान को दे दिया था और अरुणाचल चीन को फिर इन्होंने क्यों आक्रमण कर दिया ?

कुमार विश्वास: सर ये दोनों पूरे भारत पर कब्ज़ा करना चाहते हैं..
केजरीवाल: अच्छा चलो 120 करोड़ भारतीयों को पोस्टकार्ड लिख कर पूछो की अब हमें क्या करना चाहिए..
कुमार विश्वास: ओके सर..

दस दिनों के बाद..................

कुमार विश्वास: सर, चीन ने मेघालय, सिक्किम, और लद्दाख पर कब्ज़ा कर लिया है और पाकिस्तान ने जम्मू, पंजाब और राजस्थान पर, हम अब क्या करें ??
केजरीवाल: अच्छा चलो कोई बात नहीं, SMS से जवाब मांगो और फिर तीन दिन बाद हम कॉल लेना शुरू कर देंगे..
तीन दिन बाद कुमार विश्वास ने केजरीवाल को कॉल किया, जवाब मिला-
“Thanks for calling China cell services. The number u have dialled is currently being analysed in prison.”
बहुत जल्द.........
केजरीवाल जी की हालत  "शोले" के असरानी जैसी होनेवाली है
 "आधे इस तरफ, आधे उस तरफ, बाकी मेरे पीछे आओ"
जागो भारत जागो; और सोचो :-  लंगूर के हाथ में अंगूर।
बगुले की चोंच में हीरा,
ऊंट के मुहं में जीरा।
बंदरों के पास कार,
गधों के हाथ में सरकार।...
कैसे-कैसे कारनामे हो रहे हैं,
और आप रजाई ओढ़ के सो रहे हैं।
राहुल गांधी आज जो भी है वो पुरखों की वजह से है;

और केजरीवाल जो भी है वो मूर्खों की वजह से है।

जो व्यक्ति
PM बनने से पहले यदि अमरीका को झुका सकता है; पाकिस्तान के भारत विरोधी तत्त्वों में हडकंप मचा सकता है; चीन जैसी उभरती विश्व-शक्ति के  के अखबारों की सुर्खियों में आ सकता है, तो भाई वह भारत को विश्व गुरु बना सकता है - यह बात पक्की है!

देश की जरुरत है मोदी ! क्यों? इनकी सोच पर ज़रा गौर करें:-  "मैं मुफ्त भोजन दूंगा" - राहुल गांधी
"मैं मुफ्त पानी दूंगा" - केजरीवाल
"न तो मैं मुफ्त पानी दूँगा; ना ही मुफ्त भोजन की बात करूंगा | बल्कि मैं तो इतने रोजगार पैदा करूँगा, भारत के युवाओं को इतना सक्षम कर दूंगा कि मेरे देश का हरेक व्यक्ति स्वाभिमान से अपना भी पेट भरेगा और दूसरों की भी प्यास बुझाएगा" - नरेंद्र मोदी
दिक्कत केजरीवाल में नहीं, भारत की जनता में है जो मुफ्त की चीज पाने के लिए लादेन को भी वोट दे देगी !!!
अगर देश के लिए कुछ करना है तो यह सन्देश लोगो को भेजना है ।
बस आपको तो एक कड़ी जोड़नी है देखते ही देखते पूरा देश जुड़ जायेगा।