Young officers cheer General V K Singh while seniors give guarded response: The writer has posted comments on this article TNN | Jan 18, 2012, 05.21AM IST
New Delhi: Even as many young officers support General V K Singh's apparent challenge of the civilian establishment, senior officers are deeply divided over the Army chief's decision to move the Supreme Court against the government.
Many young officers look at the entire issue as a general's courage to take on the civilian bureaucracy, which usually manipulate and suppress the military. "He is showing courage in taking on the civilian administration. Please do not misinterpret it as a challenge to the political leadership," said a young officer, who believes Gen Singh will win his battle.
Another young officer pointed out that successive civilian bureaucrats sitting in the defence ministry had refused to deal with the military with respect and accommodation, and the age issue was reflective of that larger malaise. "See the way they have treated his demand, sending it for legal opinion, and passing on those AG opinions without any respect for the chief's office," he added.
Such sentiments are palpable across the junior ranks of the military, while at the senior levels, there are much more carefully crafted words when it comes to discussing the chief's move.
A senior Army officer, who has served with Gen Singh for many years, said he didn't feel very comfortable with his move.
"It was a matter in the Army headquarters and that was settled there. Now to drag the entire government into the issue is not a very comfortable thing," he said. The officer pointed out that Gen Singh did not get "justice from his Army superiors and not bureaucrats".
"Once he was appointed as the chief, there was no question of age, isn't it? He should retire on the day the government wants him to retire," said another senior officer.
While some retired senior officers are vocally supporting Gen Singh, many are upset that his effort was also meant to scuttle the possible appointment of Lt Gen Bikram Singh as the next Army chief. Many others shy away from commenting on the issue. Some of the former military chiefs did not want to discuss the issue.
Vice-Admiral (retired) S C S Bangara said the issue was reflective of what was wrong with the civilian-military relations in India.
"If they stop keeping away military chiefs from decision making and carry out the MoD integration as recommended, then such things are not likely to happen. Political leadership will have to learn to deal with military leadership and military problems without depending solely on the bureaucracy," Bangara said.
Another retired general said government needed to make "age irrelevant" for senior level appointments. "You go by merit, and drop these seniority-based appointment of chiefs," he said.
Young officers cheer General V K Singh
The Hindu: Centre files Caveat, explores option to end age row
Why UOI wants Gen VK to retire?
The main issue is corruption at high levels. UOI wants to scuttle and go slow on CBI cases against senior serving and retired army officers involved in corrupt practices. Gen VK singh wants swift action against these officers to improve morale and discipline in the armed forces. Sadly the corrupt, it seems for now, is all- powerful. Adarsh Scam is a sample where it is linked with powerful political figures. Home Minister knows it all- one cannot be punished sans the other- this is the dilemma for UOI. The age controvery is a smoke screen to camouflage the can of worms the UOI is entwined itself with!
How UOI browbeats legitimate entitlements of Soldiers.
Two cases show its face:
1. One Rank One Pension
2. Rank Pay cheated and denied for 20 years and still spinning in the court with litany of lame excuses with intent to defraud.
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