Monday, December 19, 2016
Lt Gen Bipin Rawat will be India’s next Army chief : Congress cries foul on next Army chief — But they did it all the time!
I am stunned that the Congress has the guts to challenge the BJP on its choice of Army chief. The Congress has messed with the system since time immemorial. Nehru was the first. He did not even want an Army.
Lt Gen Bipin Rawat : India’s next Army chief. (File photo)
He let down the chief of Army Staff, General Thimayya and made him feel so redundant that he resigned. And he propped up a total incompetent staff officer Lt. General Kaul as the Chief of General Staff under General Thapar the Army chief. Both were totally at sea when the Chinese attacked India and thanks to them we lost the war in 1962 and several thousand soldiers got slaughtered.
Again in 1974, Lt. General Bhagat PVSM, VC, who was the seniormost in line to succeed as the chief of the Army, and had proved himself both as a soldier at war and strategy was done down by PM Indira Gandhi. By almost any yardstick the position should have been his. He had the seniority, the leadership quality and the aptitude. Even General Manekshaw wrote, “I had considered him my natural successor as the Army Chief, but then the government must have felt uncomfortable to have two successive strong Army Chiefs. SO THE ARMY MISSED A FISRT RATE CHIEF, (his capitals). This was unprecedented because there was no other contender thus General Bewoor, who was the Army Chief was simply given an extension so that General Bhagat would have to retire.
General SK Sinha, who later was done down by the Congress party as the senior most to be chief, was also a highly competent officer, had this to say about Bhagat:
“We found it difficult to believe that such an unfair decision could be taken by the government. Of course, the mandarins were not happy at the prospect of having a strong chief or comfortable with having a very popular general as the chief.”
In 1983, again under Indira Gandhi, Lt Gen S K Sinha was overlooked for the post of Army chief in favour of Gen A S Vaidya, although he was a highly decorated and competent officer.
The Congress is under the impression that not only the Army chief but every appointment even for institutional civilian positions is suspect. The party is quick to criticize even though their own history regarding such appointments is jam packed with such appointments.
The Congress should be reminded that in the 60 plus years of their existence as head of a government every single institution in India had their most favored person who would kowtow to them. In fact, if you look at any institution in India today, it is either named after the dynasty or run by their acolytes going back to PM Nehru. He did not think twice of sending his sister, Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit to London as India’s most important diplomatic, after serving as Nehru’s envoy to the Soviet Union, the USA and the United Nations! There were many great Congressmen in India who had fought for independence that could have occupied these posts.
But then nepotism began with the Congress so did dynasty thus their arguments about current appointments ring false and their useless wiles can be easily overcome. Perhaps one should just ignore their constant complaints as useless chatter. After all this was the party that went berserk about yoga going international!
By the kind courtesy of
Freelance journalist Ashali Varma has authored the biography of her father late Lt Gen PS Bhagat — ‘The Victoria Cross: A Love Story’. She was executive producer with the International Commentary Service Inc, New York in 1990. She was the executive publisher of The Earth Times, New York (1992- 98). She has also worked as the editor of Choices Magazine, United Nations Development Programme. She writes on various issues including human rights, population and sustainable development.