Wednesday, 18 January 2012

MoD Against Army Chief's Age Conflict: A Solution and Opportunity, Not Adrenaline Fueled Tunnel Vision, and Media Grandstanding

The prudent must guard against tunnel vision, adrenaline fueled exuberance, and media grandstanding.

If the Congress led UPA wants to unfuck the explosive situation of its being dragged to the Supreme Court by its own Army Chief, undecided by a vacillating Supreme Court of India. The Prime Minister and the Minister of Defence should rise to the occasion, and swiftly move from the tunnel vision and adrenaline soaked media grandstanding, to an openly declared and enforced reconciliation.

The hard and easy solution to this imbroglio, is to sit down with the Army Chief,
General V. K. Singh, and find an amicable solution to this crisis of confidence and a breakdown in communication between the military, and the politico-bureaucrat complex that runs India's security.

They must work for the larger good of India, and assure the Army Chief regarding any doubts to his integrity and honour.

The MoD motivated leaks that have poisoned the optics should cease. The media will continue to have a field day for a while and then move to the next big thing, leaving debris of India's pride, hubris, innumerable vanities of politicians, top service officers and MoD bureaucrats, besides creating a security risk for the nation.

This inglorious chapter in India's military and civil relationship should be closed, lessons learnt, differences papered over, as there will be no winners in this fight.

The emotional 'Age' issue should be rectified forthwith. If the Chief of Army staff, wishes to retire gracefully or serve his full term, both options should be offered to him, and due amends made.

MoD top bureaucrats responsible for the mess, poor advice should be quietly removed or presented with an ignominious fait accompli of action for motivated media leaks under Official Secrets Act.

This incident and the last few years of scandals, Adarsh and beyond should be turned into an opportunity to fashion a better establishment, modern, robust and professional to take India into its new role as a regional power, confident, effective and able to support India's economic transformation.

The opportunity to transform the MoD has a simple prescription; everyone knows what needs to be done, given the political will.

It should be reorganized into a true integrated body as mandated after Kargil with appropriate interface, both with the PMO, Cabinet Secretariat, provided to professional Armed Forces, as well as skill and need based access provided by appointing uniformed officers at the Jt. Secretary level and above in the MoD, besides civilian bureaucrats and financial controllers, at an equal standing. .

Procurement and Defence production have to become need facing from a current self-serving and nontransparent maze of bureaucracy, plagued with obsolescence, a lack of contemporary technology and research, and unable to fulfill the needs of India's Armed Forces, on functionality or on time, creating delay, resentment and dysfunction.

India faces twin challenges at its borders and numerous insurgencies, those are more deserving of a fight, it is in fact the right fight to fight.

Let us hope reasons prevails over emotion, and the larger objective is chosen over egos, the Republic is waiting.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good one and very well written.

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