Subverted Generals, crooks and arms lobby

Discussion in 'Indian Army' started by Kunal Biswas, Jun 16, 2014.

  1. Kunal Biswas

    Kunal Biswas Member of the Year 2011 Moderator

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    BY RSN SINGH

    The recent controversy generated by the affidavit filed by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) in the Supreme Court related to a case of promotion of one Lt Gen Dastane to the appointment of Army Commander, drew some strange characters ganging up to decry the former Army Chief Gen VK Singh. They were on an overdrive to endorse the affidavit, which labeled a particular disciplinary action initiated by Gen VK Singh against his subordinate during service as ‘illegal’, ‘malafide’, ‘premeditated’, etc. At the Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT), the same affidavit was filed by the outgoing UPA government, which, as is widely known, abhorred humans with integrity. The same affidavit was repeated under the new dispensation. The government changed, but not the ‘arms lobby’! The same arms lobby which boasted having bought a service chief and ‘the family’.

    On the television channels, this ‘arms lobby’ again fielded its spin doctors. The attack this time on VK Singh was fiercer than during the age row. Even some old Generals waiting at the departure lounge of life were roped in. Their unfounded tirade was based on two very convenient themes, ‘morale’ and ‘image’ of armed forces. It is another matter that each time these characters opened their mouth, given their own record, the image and morale of the armed forces plummeted.


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    The Controversy

    The latest controversy essentially revolves around a ‘Colonel’ posted in 3 Corps. This Colonel, if the media, locals and civil authorities are to be believed, had developed stakes in every undesirable activity ranging from extortion to drug-trafficking. The networking abilities of the Officer was desperately sought to manipulate media and the people during Gen VK Singh’s ‘Date of Birth’ controversy. He was sent on ‘temporary duty’ to Delhi on the tax-payers money several times to setup a conglomeration of crooks in the media, the army, politics and the bureaucracy. These characters by now are familiar faces.

    Meanwhile, true to his wont, in December 2011, this Officer and his team was accused of raiding a house of a contractor in Jorhat and committing dacoity. The CM of Assam spoke to the then Army Chief Gen VK Singh urging timely and fair investigation. The Court of Inquiry let off this Officer and his accomplices with little or no punishment, compelling the victim to approach the Gauhati High Court.

    Even a more serious crime committed in March 2010 by this Officer and his team, surfaced in 2012. They allegedly killed three civilians in Northeast in ‘cold blood’, a fact vouched for by his subordinate Officer. This crime occurred clearly during the period when the said Corps Commander was not in-charge. Nevertheless, when this was exposed in media and elsewhere, the new Corps Commander was directed by the Army Chief to conduct a thorough trial and punish the guilty in accordance with the Law.

    Given the services rendered by this Officer in the DOB issue, the inquiry ordered by the Corps Commander was perfunctory. Considering the seriousness of charge, like murder, the perpetrators were given insignificant punishment. The then Army Chief held the Corps Commander responsible for this deliberate shielding.

    Subsequently on advice of the Discipline and Vigilance Directorate (DV Directorate), and the Judge and Advocate General Branch (JAG), the then Army Chief imposed a ban on the Corps Commander. A ‘Show Cause Notice’ was served. Having failed to respond in the stipulated time, the Corps Commander asked for extension, which was duly granted. This Commander, however, had other designs and proceeded on leave only to rejoin after Gen VK Singh’s had retired. Very upright and courageous Officer indeed.

    When Gen VK Singh retired, the DV ban in respect of this Commander was lifted at astounding pace despite opposition from quarters in the DV Directorate. Till then the chair of Army Commander waited for this Officer.

    The outcome of the DV ban review was therefore ‘prejudged’ and ‘premeditated’!

    Meanwhile, another contender for the Army Commander’s post, Lt Gen Dastane filed a case in the Armed Forces Tribunal taking the plea that during the period that the appointment of Army Commander was vacant, he as the senior most Officer was the rightful claimant.

    The affidavit filed in the Supreme Court did not attract any attention during its journey to the AFT. No sooner it arrived at the Supreme Court under the new dispensation; it was leaked to one newspaper, known for masquerading deliberate leaks as ‘investigative journalism’. A lawyer-cum-politician, whose amorous adventures the world has been witness to, asked for Gen VK Singh’s resignation. Another politician with amorous links across the border demanded Gen VK Singh’s head.

    Gen VK Singh in reaction tweeted “If unit kills innocents, does dacoity and then head of organization tries to protect them, should he not be blamed? Criminals should go free!!’

    The General was absolutely right and if I were in his place, I would have reiterated the tweet every fresh morning, because the continuance of dacoits and criminals in the Army is cancerous to the ‘morale’ and ‘image’ of the organization.

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    Tainted Generals must stop preaching

    During this overdrive by the ‘arms lobby’ to engineer the ouster of Gen VK Singh from the Cabinet, a former Army Chief made a massive grandstanding. He spoke about the thorough procedures followed in selecting Army Chiefs and how people of best caliber and character reach that position. General Sir, does it include Gen VK Singh, and what is your take on the supersession of Lt Gen SK Sinha?

    General Sir, tell the country, how is it that two Army Chiefs tried to appropriate houses meant for Kargil Widows?

    General Sir, how is it that an Army Chief vies to be the President of a club in Delhi after retirement and his illustrious son finds India too backward to absorb his genius in business, and decides to settle in France?

    General Sir, since when has this Tatra theft been going on? The money that could have utilized for more pressing needs of the Army was siphoned. How is it that it did not come to the notice of other Army Chiefs? Were they in league with the ‘arms dealers’?

    General Sir, the Indian Army has been starved of a 155mm gun, to the extent that Bofors guns and ammunition was flown from Eastern theatre to Western theatre during the Kargil conflict to make up the shortage. How is it that none of the Army Chiefs told the government and the people of the country that we have the ‘transfer of technology’ for Bofors for which the country paid during the 80s. The Indian Ordnance Factory has now produced prototype of these guns and the trials are more than encouraging.

    General Sir, how is it that no one has taken responsibility for Kargil? Instead the senior officers shamelessly awarded themselves after the conflict, for what was a failure of operational and tactical intelligence. Where was the operational genius of the Generals in fighting a war, wherein the attacks were mostly frontal?

    General Sir, will you now share with the country that in Operation Parakaram, we lost more than 1200 men in laying and recovery of minefields. These casualties were more than what we suffered in 1971 war.

    General Sir, will you cross your heart and say that you would have prevented the Sukhna deal, if you were in chair?

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    Age controversy of Gen VK Singh

    All the retired Generals, who are detractors of Gen VK Singh, should be asked whether the DOB mentioned in their respective ‘identity cards’ was correct? If they maintain NO they should be sent to jail, and if they say YES, then they should be asked that how come DOB in respect of General VK Singh reflected in his ‘identity card’ can be treated as wrong? They should also be asked on what basis a rapist recently was declared ‘juvenile’? These detractors mislead people on the media by saying that the Supreme Court did not uphold the General’s contention of his DOB? Can any of these frauds share the judgment with the people of buttress their case?

    Well, Gen VK Singh while filing his nomination paper for Lok Sabha mentioned his date of birth 10-May-1951, the date he has been unwavering about in face of severest of trials. Will these frauds challenge it in the Supreme Court? One can imagine the sense of fair play and justice, when these frauds were at the helm.

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    Generals and Politics

    The ‘arms lobby’ employed its agents to deter Gen VK Singh from joining politics. A vicious and sustained media campaign was launched. Some former service chiefs began to pontificate in the media about the undesirability of General’s joining politics. They had to be reminded that the first Army Chief Gen Cariappa had fought elections on Shiv Sena ticket from Mumbai. They had to be reminded that 72 percent of the presidents of the United States have been from the Armed Forces.

    These pontificators had no qualms about vying for ‘Governor’s Office’. Most of them could not make it because of the limited number of vacancies in the Northeast. They have no qualms about their illustrious predecessors becoming Governor, a thorough political animal. They have also no self-respect in accepting Ambassadorship of low priority countries. Two of these detractors, who tried to ingratiate themselves to the previous regime, were shameless enough to reach the BJP headquarters seeking sinecure once the constitution of ‘Veteran Commission’ was announced.

    The detractors then began to predict that Gen VK Singh would not win the election. The arms lobby did everything to ensure his defeat. Once he won by the second highest margin in the country, they began to lobby for his non-inclusion into the Cabinet.


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    Conclusion

    The inference regarding the reach and the cruel purpose of the arms lobby can be drawn from the insinuations with regards to the recent developments in the Indian Navy. There were series of 13 accidents, including two submarines, all on the shore. Self-proclaimed experts attributed it to ‘age related problems’ of the inventory of Indian Navy. The accident of the submarines, it was said was due to faulty batteries. The Navy Chief resigned. He is yet to open his mouth. After 49 days, an Officer superseded his senior and found himself as the Naval Chief. This Officer has not served as FOC-in-C. By sheer osmosis of the personality of this Officer, all ‘age-related problems’ of the Navy have disappeared. The ‘Line of Succession’ is in place and so is the behaviour of naval inventory.

    The mélange of people that the ‘arms lobby’ had assembled to vilify Gen VK Singh in the recent episode was bewildering. It included former diplomats with no locus-standi, a retired General, who refuses to age gracefully and has been thrashed comprehensively in the recent elections and a publisher of a defence magazine who thrives on advertisements by foreign arms manufacturers.
    A journalist, who earlier had pulled out a drunken diplomat from the winter of his life to extract a statement: ‘VK Singh is the worst Army Chief, India had’, was again on an overdrive. The compulsion of this drunken diplomat, it is believed was that he too had been the beneficiary of the well-oiled Tatra theft circuit.

    (RSN Singh is a former military intelligence officer who later served in the Research & Analysis Wing. The author of two books: Asian Strategic and Military Perspective and Military Factor in Pakistan, he is also a Guest Blogger with Canary Trap. The opinions expressed by the author and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of Canary Trap or any employee thereof)


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    Source : Subverted Generals, crooks and arms lobby | Canary Trap

    @Ray sir, @Bhadra ..
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 10, 2015
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  3. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    I heard the TV debate yesterday,

    If anyone was demoralised, then it was those who served earlier when the environment was cleaner. Things were not perfect, but there was no treachery against the Nation or the Force.

    I heard that some senior officers are in cahoots with the drug smuggler even in the Punjab. I am not privy to the details, but if the TV stuff is right, then it is most disheartening and it shame me that these people are wearing the uniform and the Govt, the Army brass and the Intelligence is turning the Nelson's eye.

    Many criticise the Army for its colonial mindset. This report indicates that the colonial mindset is no longer there and instead the contemporary mindset to make hay while the sun shines is there and morality be damned.

    This is but the fallout of making the armed forces egalitarian and in synch with the social and political milieu of the nation.When corruption, sleaze, nepotism, cronyism et al is rampant in the civil society, it is bound to affect the military. It does not live in a cocoon any more.

    The Army is to blame also. It has done away with many customs that the British inculcated. Let me assure you that they were no fools, they were sharp and even Machiavellian.and their customs & traditions couched in high morality was actually a ploy to keep all in line in the straight and narrow.

    Let me give you some examples of some customs that have been trashed by our egalitarian 'people's' army.

    1. Family Qyarters, You could marry before 25, but you would not be eligible for 'family quarters' Cruel as it may seem, it was basically to ensure that officers lived, slept and ate at the Officers Mess till they were 25. By doing so, it was enforced that a peer group learnt to exist as a team inspite of their difference. Even married officers had to attend dinner on a specified night in the week, It built regimental cohesiveness amongst officers at least Today, the units have Officers Mess which are white elephants, exquisite and wonder but are more of a museum and rarely used.

    2. Dinner Nights. It was a ritual, even very onerous. For living in officers, it was daily except for Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday. It meant at the specified time and in the Mess dress, everyone ate at the same time as per a ritualistic procedure. Again, it was to build camaraderie in the peer group and mental discipline wherein one was ordered to follow the routine, even if someone had some other reasons to be away. Even that was allowed, where one could ask the PMC after dinner was announced, if he could be excused. But that was an exception than a rule.

    3. Regimental Dinner Nights. Once a month at least all officers dined together and followed the dinner night procedure.

    4. Not allowed to Remain in Station when on Leave. One could not remain in Station while on Leave. This was to ensure that one got rest and charge his batteries so to say. Away from the worries of his level of command and allow the next in line to develop to be able to command one level higher.

    Today, it is not so.

    The officer on leave is so worried that he visits his office to see all is well. The CO calls him over whenever there is a problem. Therefore, neither the junior officer in command gets a chance to be equipped to learn of the responsibilities of one level higher, nor is the officer getting the rest he requires and look after his own problems that has accumulated and so he never gets the break to come back afresh.

    Short Tenures in Command. This has become a joke. The tenures in command, be it any level, is so short that one does not get to understand, learn or even command the level he has been assigned to.

    In the bargain, when he rises, he commands the level one below, since that is what he understands better than what he has been assigned to and wants to feel he has 'contributed' in life in the Army. In other words, he does not allow the one level officer to command and bloom.

    I could go on, but I rather not wash dirty linen in public any more.

    Govt if it can make one feel proud to be an officer or a soldier by giving him clean, decent and a fair life, to include civilian administration responsive to their civil concerns, pride will return and few will stray from the straight and narrow.

    The Army is seized with insecurity and misplaced ambitions.

    It is not that one had to come from a stable and affluent family to be an officer.

    It is the Regimental customs and traditions if enforced can make anyone fit to be an officer.

    If it were not so then Bill Slim would not have been a General and win Burma for the British.
     
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  4. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

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    Who is the drunken diplomat?. - K.C. Singh?. He is viscerally against V.K. Singh.

    Who is the former Army Chief against General V.K. Singh?- Gen. JJ Singh or Deepak Kapoor?

    Who is the General who refuse to age gracefully? - Gen. Raj Kadyan (who fought on AAP ticket & lost)
     
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  5. pkroyal

    pkroyal Regular Member

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    I have maintained this all along in my career in the Army,

    We have men of straw as Generals ( by & large)

    A humorous incident in the North East when our Battalion was at Hayuliang in AP.

    This General, commanding a Mountain Division was so obsessed with hogging, that after a night stay in our guest room he would polish off or stow away all of the cashew nuts & almonds kept by his bed side as munchies and complain of an upset stomach in the morning. The CO would be chided next morning in public with words like ," no water filter?" stale food or unclean utensils ? whereas all of us including his staff would be fit & fine the General would keep excusing himself to hit the loo.

    Nearly 250 gms of cashew nuts & 250 gms of almonds after a heavy dinner & drinks , phew ! the General was a fit case for hoggers paradise!

    For more stories on odd Generals watch this space.

    Incidentally RSN Singh is 59 NDA ' D" sqn ex RIMC
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2014
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  6. pkroyal

    pkroyal Regular Member

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    Heard of an Armoured Corps officer as Army Commander !:taunt1:

    Well this Gentleman sometime in the 1990's was heading the prestigious NC.:hail:

    He being a bad case of bleeding piles had to be cushioned with a specially designed & covered tube to cover his ample "derriere' with his sphincter muscle resting right in the centre of the tube's hollow. A visit to the DCB in Jammu Sector by the Army Commander was a military operation of no mean standards. JCB machines, & rollers with dozers with the CO of the local Engineering Regiment would spend sleepless nights ensuring a flat ,even surface for the Army Cdr's drive on the DCB for inspecting the defences.:laugh:

    That he stained whatever came his way is another matter altogether.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2014
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  7. pkroyal

    pkroyal Regular Member

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    The boozed General of a formation in J & K , would start the day with his daily tipple,
    charge up in the afternoon & top up in the evening. Life for him was a haze. Standing instructions to units & formations under Command were, the General prefers Non Vegetarian food for Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner. Whisky is scotch ( preferably Black Dog), wife enjoys red wine,and the General smokes India Kings cigarettes only. He prefers brandy after Dinner.

    So much on his eating disorder ( food habits) & very little on his tactical acumen, which by all means was pea sized ( shrunk like his brain ) !!
     
  8. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

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  9. pkroyal

    pkroyal Regular Member

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