The price India is paying for AK Antony's comatose tenure

Lions Of Punjab

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Loyalty is no substitute for competence and escaping accountability invariably backfires. While India is the world's largest democracy, the problem with democracy is that the only means of course correction or punishment is to have voters vote out the incumbent government once in every five years but the problem with this is that the damage that is already done. The damage in the case of some areas often sets the country back by much longer than the tenure as is the evidently the case with India's last defense minister, A.K. Antony.

Modi had to step in to partly undo the severe damage caused by the previous regime by working on an intergovernmental deal with France to directly procure 36 Rafale jets by offsetting the need to reissue an RFP and also the need for technology transfer, and at a better price!

It is common knowledge that the IAF has been operating with severely depleted squadron strength for an uncomfortably long time, down to 34 against the 44 needed to tackle the twin threats posed by Pakistan and China.

After Rafale beat the other contenders in the global tender issued by the GOI for 126 MMRCA aircraft, the negotiations stalled over Dassault (the makers of Rafale) refusing to take full responsibility of manufacturing at HAL of 108 fighters. It would be pertinent to jog one's memory on the observations made by the F/A-18 & 16 team which inspected the HAL facility while bidding for the MMRCA contract and they were shocked to see many critical processes and activities being executed in an archaic fashion. The larger question that needs to be answered is what has HAL delivered since it was placed in 1964 under the Ministry of Defense? The responsibility of India's crippled and slow defense modernisation also finds its way to the steps of multiple congress led governments which lacked vision and alacrity that reflected in the moribund functioning of HAL, which continues to date.

The Modi Government through Jaitley earlier and Parrikar now has instilled a sense of vigour that National Security clearly mandates. The Modi government has accelerated clearances for long-pending projects considered critical to plug gaps in India's operational military capabilities. In the first two meetings of the defense acquisitions council (DAC) it cleared proposals worth INR 40,000 crore, the third one gave the nod to projects totaling around INR 80,000 crore.

The DAC gave the green signal to long-term projects like the INR 50,000 crore project to build six new stealth submarines with foreign collaboration in India as well as deals for anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs), "midget submarines" for special covert operations, Dornier aircraft, Russian Uran missiles for warships and the likes.

The issue here is the cost of the incompetence of AK Antony in terms of time, money and the vulnerability that he has lent to India. China with a near absent bureaucracy and clear ambitions has made rapid strides in scaling up both its defense and offense capabilities with their rail and roads reaching our border. Former General J.J. Singh when posted as Governor of Arunachal Pradesh painted an alarming picture of China's build up and pleaded with AK Antony to counter the buildup but to no avail. The result was that we had to hurriedly purchase the expensive c-17 Hercules globe master aircraft so that when needed our troops can be mobilised and flown to the border quickly. Each C-17 cost the National exchequer USD2Billion! Contrast this with the MoU signed between Ministry of Railways and MoD (Suresh Prabhu & Parrikar) to build Rail infrastructure at the border, the blue print of which is ready! And in a span of 10 months!

A.K. Antony is a symbol of the congress DNA which is loyalty first, incompetence second and Nation last.

The mandate was perhaps not to let another Bofors happen to singe the UPA and preserve Sonia led Congress grip over power and nothing else. This charter has resulted in India's defense preparedness being hampered severely with procurements coming to a halt, disgruntlement in the armed forces over the One Rank One Pension decision, the accident aboard INS Sindhurakshak are all unpardonable omissions which lie squarely at A.K. Antony's feet and his master.

The measures being taken by Modi Sarkar are nothing but a consequence of the comatose tenure of A.K. Antony so much so that the PM had to lead from the front to procure 36 Rafale fighters in ready to fly condition to provide some oxygen (per Parrikar) to the gasping IAF. Honesty is hardly a substitute for vision, commitment to the Nation and decisiveness. A.K. Antony and Manmohan Singh are guilty of being comatose at the cost of National fortune both in terms of Economy and Security.

India is paying the price for these; one can only hope that the urgency being displayed by the current dispensation buys us time and capability enough to have the teeth when the circumstances in the future demand so. Till then, we have been left with no option by the Sonia controlled UPA to negotiate with our difficult neighbours from a position of combat unpreparedness.

The anointment of Manohar Parrikar who is 59 years of age and an IIT Mumbai Alumnus is reflective of this BJP led governments DNA of Nation first. Competence and agility where needed has determined leadership choices, Suresh Prabhu being another example to shake up Indian Railways from their slumber.

India just cannot afford to pay the price for AK Antony's comatose tenure anymore; India has woken up under Modi Sarkaar!

The price India is paying for A.K. Antony's comatose tenure
 

Bheeshma

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Less said about the UPA-2 morons the better.In most countries they would be hanged for treason.
 

Otm Shank2

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Ak Anthony isnt the sole or biggest problem, as bad as he was the situation is the responsibility of a culture of corruption and civic irresponsibility that was not just part of administration but the average citizen who may not have partaken but accepted it

it's good to see they won't accept it anymore with the election of modi but there's still plenty of things to fix with the system still and scapegoats just let it continue in another form
 
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Only positive note lot of indigenous missile development during his tenure.
 

mayfair

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Only positive note lot of indigenous missile development during his tenure.
Yes and probably because no one was willing to export missiles to us so we had to come up with them on our own.

These were all ongoing programmes and I am not sure how much AKA had to do with it. The least one can say that he did not actively intervene to stop or slow them down. Mind you, he also sat on the MIRV approval till the very end!!
 
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Yes and probably because no one was willing to export missiles to us so we had to come up with them on our own.

These were all ongoing programmes and I am not sure how much AKA had to do with it. The least one can say that he did not actively intervene to stop or slow them down. Mind you, he also sat on the MIRV approval till the very end!!
This is a positive in many ways no restrictions that come with MTCR
 

jameswang

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I think it's what a country has to pay for developing.
 
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Otm Shank2

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Its not like India has had many capable leaders before ak anthony, he's just a scapegoat for problems that STILL need to be worked on.

Your troubles started way before with nehru..
 

Hari Sud

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Are their not enough evidence to prosecute him?

He should asked to explain.
 

Otm Shank2

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Are their not enough evidence to prosecute him?

He should asked to explain.
You should try to learn as a nation and not make the same mistakes again.

Prosecuting former defence minister because he did a bad job reeks of a failed state and opens the way for malicious prosecution after each successive government
 

Hari Sud

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You should try to learn as a nation and not make the same mistakes again.

Prosecuting former defence minister because he did a bad job reeks of a failed state and opens the way for malicious prosecution after each successive government
Not really. Otherwise incompetence will proliferate. It is a disease born out of coalition politics.

If they are not asked to explain then they will persist on doing or not doing things. A Raja is in docks and Manmohan Singh could be in the docks only that Supreme Court negated the CBI summons. Now we will never know, how the money traveled into DMK accounts with 2G fiasco or who made the most money when coal block allocations were done arbitrarily.
 

mayfair

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This is a positive in many ways no restrictions that come with MTCR
I think you'll find that if there were an option to import missiles, the UPA govt and the import lobby would have simply brushed aside concerns over MTCR and all. MTCR itself came into play in 1987 shortly after we announced the IGMDP in 1983 and shortly before we tested Agni in 1989. MTCR, like NPT and CTBT remains and India-centric restrictive and retrogressive regime.
 

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