Monday, June 18, 2012

Congratulations, Gen Bikram Singh

Dear General Bikram Singh,
Heartiest Congratulations on your assumption of the appointment of COAS. I wish you an eventful and a satisfying tenure.
I have never met you, and neither did i have the opportunity to meet your predecessor Gen VK Singh. The only attachment i had with VK was that he joined NDA as a 36th course cadet when i was in the final term as a 31st course CSM(Cadet Sargeant Major). This created a natural bond and somehow compelled me voluntarily to take ownership of his conduct. I compliment him for all that he achieved and take full responsibility for his non achievements or misdemeanours (if any) as my cousemates and me may have been found wanting in his initial grooming. VK did a wonderful job and i salute him for single handedly taking on the political establishment where and when it mattered, notwithstanding the behind-the-scene effort by a faceless bureaucracy to place hurdles and sabotage well meaning and well intended initiatives of VK to promote the interests of the Army he commanded with courage of conviction and dignity. Of course he had a few irritants both from serving as well as ex-servicemen, disgruntled and trouble makers who always indulged in such activities for their vested interests.
Some say that you are taking over a controversial army. I am absolutely confident that you are not going to be mislead by such rumours and misinformation, created by the political class, voiced by a select group of subservient sycophants from the veterans and the journalistic field and an irresponsible and sensational media obsessed with TRPs. Not that you are not aware of these trouble makers, i thought it would be worthwhile to just apprise you to be a little discreet as to who you interact with in the public domain.
As regards the brothers-in-arms, i am a little wary of persons like Lt Gen Shankar Prasad (somehow has a close resemblance to Kapil Sibal of politics and Vinod Sharma of HT), another named Maj Gen Ashok Mehta (cannot spell out what everyone already knows as i have some degree of loyalty towards him being my DS in IMA), a young and innocent-looking Maj Gen Sheru Thapliyal (still to grow up) and lately Lt Gen Kadyan who appears to have lost his faculty of reasoning. Beware of the first visitor to your office, Lt Gen Tejinder Singh who is looking forward to call on you and renegotiate the TATRA deal at a more realistic offer.
Many say that you have a tough task ahead of you after a tumultous tenure of VK. Let me assure you that VK has given you a road map which is an absolute smooth ride. The netas will bend backwards to give you whatever is on your wishlist, the babus in the MOD are shell shocked and most have headed to Tirupati/Shiridhi/Vaishno Devi and will be down on their knees to give you full support. As regards your own Army is concerned they shall live up to each and every expectation of yours as they are charged, resolute, inspired and proud that they have another Chief with spunk, spine and guts, a distinct change from the days of the three successive predecessors of VK. A word about the media. Handle the anchors with shrewdness and smartness. Most of them consider to be know-all being fauji brats; do not fall for the likes of Karan Thapar/Arnab/Rahul Kanwal and of course Barkha Dutt. And take my advice, keep Shekhar Gupta at an arms length.
Bikram, all the best to you and your family. You have your own style and personality and i for one am sure that the Indian Army is in good hands. One thing which i have totally fallen for is your beautiful smile !! Keep smiling !!
With best regards,
(Col AJ Bahadur)
9/204, The Heritage, Yelahanka, Bangalore - 560064

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