An unfortunate phenomenon has been witnessed in the last few years. The judiciary has been dishing out uninvited, unsolicited and unwelcomed directions to the country’s security apparatus including the armed forces on purely professional matters. Most military professionals are of the opinion that these interventions are unwarranted and negatively impact on the security of the country. Just as the responsibility of man power planning for higher judiciary lies with the Supreme Court, the Defence Ministry and the Armed Forces are responsible for the same.
India has its own demography and two most vicious neighbours in Pakistan and China. Honourable Judges must factor that of the two principal enemies, one is a jihadi country and the other is Mao brand of Communist country.
However, the difference is that the man power planning of the Supreme Court is based on work load, the man power planning of the armed forces is based on threat perception vis-à-vis availability of technical and manpower resources.
No country has the ideal level of manpower, therefore, the juggle is continuous. Every country has its unique set of security threats and have a perception to deal with it. India has its own unique geography, in fact, all the climatic zones that exist in this world are found in the country. India has its own demography and two most vicious neighbours in Pakistan and China.
Honourable Judges must factor that of the two principal enemies, one is a jihadi country and the other is Mao brand of Communist country. Honourable Judges must be sensitized to the fact that the jihadis and the Maoists are not only on the frontiers, but inside the country as well. These elements enjoy respectability and relative immunity within the country under the misplaced interpretation of Indian Constitution, even as soldiers lose their lives fighting the same elements on the frontiers. No other country in the world nurtures this kind of paradox as part of its security culture.
Jihadis and the Maoists have always been intrinsic part of Indian society, educational institutes and the judiciary. One such glaring example was a Supreme Court Judge, the late Mr VK Krishna Iyer. He was a Minister in the Communist Government of Kerala, who assumed office in 1959. He was a member of Community Party of India (CPI). Had the name of the party been Indian Communist Party, it would still in some measure been an extenuating factor. This was the first elected Communist Government in the world. Subsequently, after the fall of the Communist Government in Kerala, VK Krishna Iyer was first elevated to the bench of the High Court and then to the Supreme Court as Judge. The Communist had attempted to capture India soon after independence, but were crushed by Sardar Patel as collateral operations during Operation Polo in 1948. Thus the democratic makeover of the Communists was not for the love of the ballot, but fear of the bullet. It does not need reiteration that the first loyalty of the CPI members was to Soviet Russia rather than India. All of them were controlled by the KGB.
The book ‘Mitrokhin Archives’, which is based on the noting’s of an ex-KGB Official Vasili Mitrokhin, says that the KGB had invested millions of Rubles into the then ruling party and many Indian diplomats were honey-trapped. The book says that in the entire world, India was the most heavily penetrated country by the KGB. The penetration was right upto the Office of Prime Minister. About 10 million pounds sterling were given to the party fund raiser, who did not inform about the funding to the then Prime Minister. The fund raiser was subsequently killed in a bomb-blast. In that period, as per the book, 10 media houses were on the payroll of the KGB.
The said lawyer was a committed Maoist, who approved of the Maoist violence. He had drifted from Communism to Maoism like many other lawyers.
About four decades back, I was on summer vacations from the National Defence Academy. A child was born into our family. My grandfather decided to celebrate the birth by hosting a dinner party. I and an elder advocate cousin of mine were entrusted with the responsibility of serving the invitation cards. My grandfather was a well-known octogenarian lawyer in Patna, who went on to actively practice Law till the age of 90. We went to a lawyer’s house to deliver the invitation card. The said lawyer made us comfortable and then shared his delight at being recommended for the Judgeship of the High Court. The said lawyer was a committed Maoist, who approved of the Maoist violence. He had drifted from Communism to Maoism like many other lawyers. I was then a teenager. I was indeed shocked, because before joining NDA, amongst other inputs, each successful candidate was investigated for Communist leanings, even though the country was strategically aligned to the USSR. There were no diplomatic relations with China during that period.
I was perplexed that if a teenager with Communist leanings could be barred from joining the NDA, how could a Maoist be elevated to the Judgeship. Much later I came to know that an Indian Communist, as a student in Britain, was mobilizing funds for China during the 1962 India-China war. This communist later qualified to join the Indian Foreign Service (IFS), however, his appointment was withheld because of his Communist related anti-national activities. He could only join the service after personal intervention of the then Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru.
Midway into his diplomatic career, this individual joined the ruling party and rose to be a Cabinet Minister. Even in his new avatar as a politician, he persisted with his anti-national activities. He was the same person, who on a visit to Pakistan urged the Pakistani leadership for help in dislodging Mr. Modi. Adult franchise crushed the political career of this man. Several such Communists joined the Indian Foreign Service, most met their nemesis because of their ideological proclivities. However, the removal of a Judge with the same proclivities is nearly impossible.
The moot question is whether Indians have a Right to Life? Is it possible for the state security apparatus to provide close protection to every family, each individual, 24×7?
In 2011, a university professor and a so-called anthropologist, known better for naxal activism rather than academic achievements, went to the Supreme Court of India against the self-defence force, Salwan Judum, created by the Chhattisgarh government. The Salwan Judum comprised tribal, rooted in their traditional moorings, in terms of geographical, historical, sociological and occupational orientation. They were victims of terror by those tribal brethren who had been seduced by the alien, foreign and imported ideology called Maoism. The leadership of these tribal Maoists was with non-tribal, especially from Andhra and Bengal. Their army of urban ideologues was also non-tribal. This lady professor was also a non-tribal with roots in South India. Her husband was an editor of leading English newspaper, sympathetic to the Maoist.
The Supreme Court never bothered to ask the lady professor as to what was her locus standii with regard to Salwan Judum? The Supreme Court declared the Salwan Judum as unconstitutional. It said that the Chhattisgarh government had abandoned its responsibility of providing security to the people of the state. The moot question is whether Indians have a Right to Life? Is it possible for the state security apparatus to provide close protection to every family, each individual, 24×7? Can any internal security apparatus in the world fight the guerillas as well as provide close protection simultaneously and effectively? Does the Indian Constitution not confer to the Right to Self-Defence!
The recent killings in Rajouri has seen the reactivation of the Village Defence Committees which are being armed with bolt action 303 vintage rifles to defend themselves against the terrorists armed with AK-47 and AK-74 semi-automatic rifles.
The Communist inroads in the judiciary were clearly in evidence during the campaign of some Supreme Court Judges against the Chief Justice in January 2018. A well known Communist leader from South India, linked to the Church as well, was seen entering and exiting the backdoor of house of a Supreme Court Judge. The Judges during their campaign had also held a press conference.
Dynastic politicians and dynastic judges constitute the weakest link in the security of the country. These links can be easily manipulated.
Whenever the intelligence agencies have raised apprehensions against an appointment in the government, they have invariably been vindicated. Riding roughshod over the inputs of intelligence agencies has proved to be disastrous at some point or the other.
Dynastic politicians and dynastic judges constitute the weakest link in the security of the country. These links can be easily manipulated. When external agencies identify an individual, who is predictably going to rise from lawyer to Judgeship, there is a temptation to invest in the individual and subvert him. Children of many judges, pursuing the profession of law, go abroad for various kinds courses, even as the practice of law in those countries has no semblance with the Indian Laws. A lawyer who heads the PIL mafia also spent some time in Princeton University.
Till today, nobody knows as to why and how the Supreme Court was opened in July 2015 at 3:30 am just before Yakub Memon, one of masterminds of 1993 Mumbai blasts, was hanged. Reportedly, more than a dozen lobbies were on an overdrive to stave in his hanging. Were there any external pressures at work? No answer has been found and is likely to remain an enigma.
Similarly, there appeared to be a judicial overdrive in release of Nalini in November 2022, serving life sentence for being part of the conspiracy to assassinate the former Prime Minister of India Mr. Rajiv Gandhi. The panic in the DMK government, the immediate family of late Mr. Rajiv Gandhi and the judiciary was palpable in equal measure. In the case of the politicians, the pressure of the Church was obvious. The LTTE movement was in a major way inspired by the Church, a vector that the Western Countries have been using in the region for a strategic objective. This overdrive is bound to have impact on the security of the country for all times because the deterrence of punishment for killing a former Prime Minister was demolished by the release of Nalini, whose punishment had already been softened from Death penalty to life imprisonment.
It may not be out of place to mention that the assassin of Mr. MK Gandhi was hanged despite his prompt surrender. Unlike Nalini, who had no remorse for killing Mr. Rajiv Gandhi, MK Gandhi’s assassin had pleaded guilty. Nalini’s family was dotedupon and received lavish facilitation in education and otherwise. No such gesture was extended to the family of MK Gandhi’s assassin. Till today, he is vilified and condemned, and Nalini is already out of public memory.
Was the Court trying to drive a wedge between the Uniformed Fraternity and Ministry of Defence?
In 2018, Indian Air Force Officers were summoned by the Supreme Court to assist the Court on the 58,000 crore Rafale deal controversy. The Court said, “We are dealing with the requirements of the Air Force and would like to ask an Air Force Officers on Rafale Jets. We want to hear from an Air Force Officer and not the officials of Defence Ministry on the issue.” Was the Court trying to drive a wedge between the Uniformed Fraternity and Ministry of Defence? Well, this can be very dangerous for any democracy.
On the other hand, in December 2016, the country was consumed by the allegations of kick-backs in the 3,600 crores in Augusta Westland VVIP Helicopter deal. The erstwhile, Air Chief SP Tyagi was made the easy scapegoat and was jailed. Till today, no court has bothered to ask about the identity of other recipients of the kick-backs, who allegedly had taken the lion’s share. Is it because, those involved are genealogical masters of kick-backs? And the judiciary is trained to turn a blind-eye to them?
In August 2021, the Supreme Court slammed the Armed Forces for ‘gender discrimination’ and permitted women to take NDA examination. In November 2022, the matter of Permanent Commission for Short Service Commission Women Officers came up. The Hon’ble Judge berated the Armed Forces and threatened contempt proceedings. This was when 22 women had already been given Permanent Commission and 14 were not found fit. The terms of employment were discarded. What about the thousands of Short Officers in so many decades who were bound by the same terms of employment and did not seek recourse of courts? Is this not a reverse gender bias! The career management, the manpower management of the Indian Army was sent for a toss. The Indian Army was treated as an employment guarantee scheme.
On 18 January 2022, the Supreme Court sought a response from the Center asking why only 19 women candidates will be admitted to the National Defence Academy. The mood and tenor of the Supreme Court in these gender sensitive matters was extremely adversarial towards the Armed Forces. Their Lordships are more than aware that the gender related issues cannot be contested because of the inherent political fallout. The institutions and authorities have to swallow their concerns because of the political dimension.
Can the Lordships assure on behalf of jihadis army of Pakistan and communist army of China that they will strive to keep the battlefield gender neutral?
Every male Officer in the Armed Forces is somebody’s son, somebody’s brother and has someone as daughter. If nothing else, the Bharat Mata is his ultimate mother. He knows best that under the existing threat perception, how to employ and deploy the lady personnel in the Armed Forces to the best advantage of the lady and the motherland. In its pursuit of territorial integrity and security of the country, the Armed Forces do not need advice from the Judiciary.
In Indian context, there are two types of war: ‘wars of necessity’ and ‘wars of interest’. The composition of men and women ratio in these two scenarios will be completely different, which the Armed Forces understand best. Hypothetically, if a deployment of the Indian Army is made in Afghanistan, can we risk our women in combat role in the hands of jihadis? If the Pakistanis had meted out the same cannibalistic treatment to a Lady Officer as they did to Capt Saurabh Kalia during Kargil, would the impact have been the same on the country’s psyche?
It is proven fact that biologically women are stronger than men, but men definitely have more physical prowess. If the judiciary had its way, it would press for a gender neutral Olympics or gender neutral Davis Cup or gender neutral Thomas Cup. Can the Lordships assure on behalf of jihadis army of Pakistan and communist army of China that they will strive to keep the battlefield gender neutral?
Women’s lives are more precious than that of men. Women create the mental, ideological and dharmic fortress around in which boys become men of character. There can be no honourable brave men without venerable brave women. Men achieve objectives of war by killing and destruction, but the objectives of nationhood cannot be achieved without the tender and resolute care of women. The latter is far more challenging.
The current perspective of the Judiciary on country’s security is misplaced. Frontiers cannot be controlled and secured from the chambers of courts. The history of the sacred land of India is replete with examples of formidable women warriors. They took up arms not out of choice but necessity. Every Indian citizen should be trained for wars of necessity.
Post Transfer of Power every ‘ism’ in India was given an honourable place, but Hinduism derided and continuously attacked.
In the ultimate analysis, the confusion in the Indian mindset is because Independent India was created by the bloodshed of partition. Invaders came and established their rule, first, the Muslims, and then the British. The British ensured that they went away victorious by smooth ‘transfer of power’, and they also ensured that the Muslims emerged victorious by gaining Pakistan.
In 1946 elections, 86 percent Muslims voted for Pakistan. Most of them remained in India because of logistical problems and challenges. Thus India had jihadis in Pakistan and jihadis within India. The Church and the Communist also remained a formidable force within. Thus Hindus were compelled to be inheritors of Christian, Muslims and Communist ideologies. How can any fledging country bear such burden of ideological legacies, which tormented the people for centuries? Post Transfer of Power every ‘ism’ in India was given an honourable place, but Hinduism derided and continuously attacked.