Friday, April 29, 2011

What Ails The Indian Military

I was listening to Arnab Goswami's investigation into the Purulia Arms Drop case. Mr JK Dutt, the last DG NSG was involved in covering up the case at the behest of the govt. A man who has been chasing swindlers and thieves is made the boss of a vital force of the govt. Shows how these officers who were helpful to the govt, are put in prize jobs even though they may be totally unsuitable for them. A damn they care what happens to the country and its security.
What Ails The Indian Military
by Lt Gen Satish Kumar Bahri
A very good question is being asked by Nitin Pai as to why the Service officer is being excluded from diplomacy and other fields which concern national security. The reason is that the civil services are insecure that if the soldiers are given a toe hold they will perform so well that their own performance will be eclipsed. One can count the number of service officers who on being demobbed from the services did extremely well in the IAS and IFS, on being transferred to them. So, in their own interest it is best to keep the Services at arms length.
The officers of the self declared elite services ie., IFS, IAS and IPS believe that having passed the civil services entrance exam they are equipped to handle any situation. The trouble is that the people who judge them are of their own ilk. No wonder except for an odd unlucky one, every one of these three civil services reaches the highest appointment on offer. Accordingly, from the very beginning, specially after the Gen Thimmaya episode, the civil services have been busy putting a barbed wire fence around us. With equally insecure and weak politicians they have been able to exclude us from any decision making process at the national level.
Remember, it first started with the membership of the newly opened India International Centre. Service officers could not become members of IIC as there was fear instilled in the politicians, that we may mix with foreigners and consequently jeopardise national security, while civil servants could. Then after 1965 ops the Services were kept out of the loop while negotiating the Tashkent Agreement, resulting in the return of areas captured with considerable loss of life. My day of greatest humiliation was when an IG rank retired officer of IPS was made a deputy minister of defence in the '90s. The government in its over 60 years of existence has not deemed it worthwhile to put any suitable Service officer to fill such a vacancy, when it appointed an ex Scientific Adviser, Mr Raja Ramanna, in that post. A job he very ably carried out.
Have we not seen the gradual elimination of Service officers from governors' appointments. The politicians have found plain speaking officers, who do not want to carry out shady chores for the government in power, a pain. Instead they are being replaced more and more by pliable IAS, IPS and even IFS officers. It is only in our country where a Service officer has never held the post of NSA, JIC, RAW, IB or CBI. Even the NSG, a force trained by army officers and with its teeth arm manned entirely by Army officers and men, is commanded by a police officer who may not have even thrown a grenade in training. Only in truly democratic countries such appointments are not monopolized by a few select services.
But then who said we are a truly democratic country which is honestly interested in safeguarding its independence and security?
Lt Gen SK Bahri (Retd)


  1. Dear Lalitji,

    I refer to the letter of Lt. Gen. Bahri in your blog today.

    There is a reason for everything that happens in our life and in the world and our Armed forces are no exception to that. The under mentioned letter from Veteran Ram Gulrajani explains so very well why our Armed forces have become subservient to politicians, IAS and IPS services and no one else to blame but Armed forces themselves. I hope, you recollect, that, only a few weeks ago the Lt Gen of Northern Command was made to apologise to Omar Abdullah for an ordinary remark. The Army General or the Lt Gen did not refuse to apologise in order to uphold the honour and dignity of the service. HOW THAT EFFECTS THE MORALE? What a Shame?

    There is another reason why Armed forces have lost their due respects and it is the INDIAN NATIONAL DISEASE of CORRUPTION. Corruption is very much in Indian genes and psyche and Armed forces could not exclude themselves from this national disease. Corruption was always there in the Army but it had its limit but over the last 20-25 years or so, many Army top brass have been competing with the politicians and BABUS how much they can also loot. How many recruitment and promotions are now done based on merits and fitness of the men and not through bribery. This creates so many Dal Generals, Rum Generals, Land-Mafia Generals, Adarsh housing Generals, some full Generals grossly involved in amassing wealth and properties and worst of all those Armywallahs( MUST THE LOWEST OF THE LOW ) in MoD took their cuts from buying coffins for Kargil martyrs. Does anyone think, that, such behaviour has not been overlooked by the civilian counterparts? A shop-lifter thinks nobody is watching him but in reality every crime leaves evidence and its marks. WHAT A SHAME.

    Any example which comes from the top and that is nowhere more important than in the Indian Army because of its size and responsibility. I REPEAT EXAMPLES HAVE TO COME FROM THE TOP AND GREED AND GRAB MENTALITY MUST BE CURBED

    I hope Lalitji, if you could print both my letter and the letter of Veteran Ram Gulrajani.

    With best wishes and warm regards,

    Amit Bhadhuri
    Former CISF Officer and IESM Member

  2. Dear Veterans

    I'm glad to read the comments of Admiral Harinder Singh and General SK Bahri on Mr. Nitin Pai's article in Business Standard (RMP 192/2011 - 29 Apr 2011)

    The gradual slide in Defence Forces' status versus babus and police services is a result of our own ineffective leadership. Everytime the babus kick us with okay from politicians, we have taken it lying down. We have not realised that we are being treated as sentries and chowkidars and not guardians of the nation. I have been yelling at every forum that the fault lies with us because our Chiefs' forget that they are still the tigers even though without teeth and claws. Nothing will change as long as politicians are fire-walled by babus. Petitions, dharnas, fasts, supporting Anna Hazare against corruption et al will not help. There is only one mantra for us:

    Iqbal's famous lines ... Khudi ko kar buland itna ...

    I have said it many times and I say it again: one statement from the Army Chief on the state of the nation will make all babus and politicians run for cover. And if the top brass of all three services stand together to thwart any attempt to dismiss the Chief, Defence Forces would regain their legitimate place as the strongest national pillar among legislature, executive, judiciary and media.

    Bravery does not happen only on the battlefield.

    Veteran Ram Gulrajani, Chennai.

    1. Excellently put and a thoroughly honest opinion which most of us Faujis shy away from. We have seen the gradual decay of quality from Generals like Thimmaya and FM Manekshaw to the likes of the 'political appointees' we have today. Unfortunately, the day when the COAS will suddenly realise he has reproductive organs will never come since such officers with guts and courage of conviction do not make it beyond Lt Col. The rot has reached right up to the top and there is no cure in sight in this army of 'yes-men'.

  3. fine analysis.keep punching and punch hard. let the truth come to surface and public notice.babus are babus ,it is all babugiri. where are the tigers. ????????? extinct ?THE UP RIGHT,BRIGHT AND PATRIOTIC SHOULD BE BRAVE ENOUGH , EVEN IN THEIR LATE STAGE/AGE. BE BOLD AND BRAVE FOR THE BETTER FUTURE OF THIS GREAT NATION.JAI HIND.

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