Military & Aerospace

The Indian Army must speak!
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Issue Net Edition | Date : 26 Jun , 2011

The Indian Army is a cohesive, secular and dedicated organization. In fact, it is dedicated to the fault. Most army personnel are innocent and sensitive. It is these personnel who were in the forefront in Kargil, and it is these personnel who have saved Kashmir and the northeast for India. It is these personnel that the nation relies on for any eventuality or mess created by other organizations.

More than managers, the officers who lead these men are leaders. They are effective because they lead by example. For the men they command, they are like Gods.

“¦respect and love of Indians for the Indian Army is now being, advertently and inadvertently, subverted by the media.

A great nation must have a great army not only in terms of fighting prowess but for its institutional credibility and aggregate character. The character of any army is the aggregate character of its personnel who constitute it. On this score, the Indian Army is at the highest end of the scale. It is for this reason that the Indian Army is still revered and loved institution.

No army can function without the love of its people.

The same very respect and love of Indians for the Indian Army is now being, advertently and inadvertently, subverted by the media. It is not difficult to distinguish between the advertent and inadvertent reporting in this regard.

Does praising a chief minister at a military function for certain qualities constitute a blasphemy? Is not the chief minister of a state a constitutional authority? Are Army Officers expected to weigh or limit their apolitical comments based on the preferences of a particular political segment or a section of the media?

The media by questioning the comments of the General has made an entirely innocuous and courteous gesture a political controversy. It is no coincidence that most of the English newspapers in the country have carried this insignificant piece of news in almost similar tenor.

Seeds of suspicion have been sowed in the public mind about corruption being growing phenomenon in the Army. Most of them is through exaggerated stories. Some are fabricated at the behest of inimical and anti-national elements thriving in India.

On another occasion, a television journalist while interviewing the Army Chief, mischievously and completely out of context, dropped the name of Lt Col Purohit and his culpability in the Samjhauta blasts. The Army Chief in his innocence and on the spur of the moment said that Purohit was an ‘aberration’. The sense of triumph on the interviewer could then be easily discerned. Probably, the agenda of the journalist was to establish the imaginary inroads that the phenomenon of so-called ‘Hindu Terror’ had made into the Army. The fact of the matter is that Lt Col Purohit’s involvement in any terror activity is far from proved and the matter is still subjudice. Intriguingly, there are three sets of confessional statements with regard to Samjhauta blasts and the name of Lt Col Purohit figures in only one. The journalist also knows very well that if Purohit is found guilty on any account, the Army and its legal system will come down heavily, much more heavily than any Civil Court in the country.

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The views expressed are of the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions or policies of the Indian Defence Review.

About the Author

RSN Singh

is a former military intelligence officer who later served in the Research and Analysis Wing, or R&AW and author of books Asian Strategic and Military Perspective and The Military Factor in Pakistan. His latest book is The Unmaking of Nepal.

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