From: Murlidhar Gupta < >
An extremely well-articulated piece of writing is forwarded herein.
Logical, Accurate and Surgically precise, it mirrors what most right thinking citizens of India feel/ often discuss with great concern. Do read this.
My Father, Let My Country Awake
P G Kamath (A veteran of Indian Army)
India has a bicameral democracy with the PM as its executive head. Unlike in a Presidential system, he is not able to take experts in various fields as ministers in the cabinet. They have to come through the legislature route either from Lok Sabha or Rajya Sabha, which is considered a backdoor entry to the treasury bench.
(Sksnda987’s comment: All the desh premi Bhaaratiyas need to demand and act to make the democracy presidential, and make it pro-Vedic (to be pro majority) because: In Presidential democracy decisions are make fast with due deliberation. The world and political events are happening fast, and so right decisions are required to be made fast.)
Notorious among the PMs was the former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who had the temerity to be the executive head of our country for a decade and undermined his high office, by abdicating his authority to an Indian national of a foreign origin? He, thus surrendered his Constitutional authority, solely to be in the front seat, so that the Signora can do the safe backseat driving.
Coming to the specifics, Indian politicians have always been naive on strategic issues. Can any of those in power define what is India’s national interest? What are our strategic goals? How do we use our instruments of national power to achieve our strategic goals? Do we aspire to be a global power? If so: what is our time line? What are our interim goals to reach our ultimate strategic goals? Do we have a game plan for our food security, energy security, maritime security, environmental security, cyber security, space security, water security, demographic security; our people should not get subverted by anti-national ideologies, internal security and lastly external security? What should be our area of interest, where and how should we exercise our influence? Is it in immediate neighborhood? Or; does it include the extended neighborhood? Our maritime dominance should cover which areas of Indian and Pacific Oceans? Who are our adversaries? Do we have a national security doctrine? What military capacity should we empower ourselves to meet the combined might of our adversaries in two front scenario? What should be the strength of our armed forces? Having ignominious tittle of being the world’s largest importer of arms; it flies on our face when we talk of strategic autonomy. What would happen if these countries do not give us a continuous supply of arms and ammunition in war? Don’t we have to kowtow to them in crises? What happened during the peak of Kargil war; Defense Ministry officials with begging bowls in hand were scouring suppliers in Russia, Israel and South Africa for Bofors ammunition? Indeed! They are obstreperous and livid to talk of our defense preparations; saying “We are prepared to give a befitting reply to our adversary, who dares cast their evil eyes on us”? What a rhetoric to feast the gullible? How the population in general and press in particular lap it up with unrestrained national pride and glee? The opposition, who are equally naive, would also let go the statement without any discussion; as one need to have some rudimentary knowledge on the subject to engage in a discussion? Best option is to make no statement; as someone said “It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool, rather than open one’s mouth and remove all doubts”.
It is not just that the Indian politician is naive but many are also evil and national interests does not interest them? Let us look at our former Finance Minister and Home Minister? Now he has proved himself as an anti-national traitor, who masked our country’s successful intelligence operation as a staged encounter by amending the truth in the first affidavit with deliberate falsehood in the second. He obviously wanted the LeT terrorists to be successful in their mission? There are enough bleeding heart liberals, who are perturbed at the nation’s security agencies for having curtailed freedom of movement of these armed terrorists and their right to life, by firing at them mercilessly, without giving them a chance to execute their mission? It was the same person, who said in Feb this year that the ‘parliament attack’ accused terrorist accomplice Afzal Guru’s extent of involvement did not call for his hanging? This, the honorable former minister said after the case having gone through all the due processes of law. The death sentence was passed by the Delhi High Court, upheld by the Supreme Court of India and the mercy petition rejected by the President. The charge was IPC Sec 121; waging war against the state and the charge was confessed by the accused and proved beyond reasonable doubt by the highest court in the land. Now our wise crack former minister doubts the intention of Indian Judiciary and also the wisdom of the President. He further says the slogan raised in JNU were not anti-national? He condemns the arrest of the truant student leader and terms the sedition charge against him as outrageous? I believe he has just thrown his hat to enter the Rajya Sabha; and why not, we need to destroy our nation from within as well?
We have another former minister, who defends the student leader in the court. The student leader does everything else in JNU Campus except his studies. He thrives on the subsidized food in the university, pays a pittance for his stay and pays less than the cost of a pizza as his term tuition fees. He was apparently protecting with a human chain the freedom of speech of those who were raising slogans for fragmenting India, and the possibility of he being a part of slogan raising rabble is not yet disproved? No doubt! the courts would decide on it? He also vociferously supports the slogan raising ruffians hailing Afzal Guru as a martyr? What a sacrifice by the student leader; a traitor with unbounded conviction to uphold the freedom of speech of those eulogizing ‘Afzal Guru’; a convicted terrorist, who thrived and prospered in this country and conspired to destroy the voice and soul of our democratic institution. All those faceless leaders of the left parties, who romped to JNU campus to hail the freedom of speech of anti-national elements were looking like morons, who escaped en-mass from mental reformatory? One always wonders; which country do they belong? Are they still on the payrolls of those, who supported the Chinese invasion of India in 1962? Whose philosophy they follow? Marx? Engels? Lenin? Mao? Stalin, Che Guevara, or Kim Il Un? One of the leader from the left party had come to JNU as a father and not as a leader? I probably missed out any mass leader among them. All those present were with no mass base. They had tasted power as king makers in UPA’s first term. Now, the party having been reduced to 9 seats in Lok Sabha and 8 seats in Rajya Sabha still masquerade as a national party? I always wonder why the press gives space to such non-entities?
I went through the election manifesto of the three national parties for the 16th Lok Sabha in 2014 national elections. I was looking for their views on defense issues. Let us take the Left Party; their outright dubious role in ‘Quit India Movement, their support to the two nation theory and their traitorous act of supporting the Chinese aggression against their own country are not things, which can be swept under the carpet? True to their past, they still support the slogans calling for the breakup of our country at the JNU? In their entire manifesto running to several pages, the only line that has some remote reference to the defense of the country i.e. “Creating a national security apparatus, which will work within the framework of the parliamentary democratic system”. A country that has fought four wars, with unrelenting adversaries in our north and west; the so called national party neither has the knowledge nor inclination to define the nation’s strategic goals. Or; they were wise to foresee their decimation from national scene, hence thought; why take time to tread on unfamiliar ground? As it is, the defense of the country had historically never been their priority?
The Left Party, which champions the cause of farmers and workers do not feel that they need to support the demand of soldiers of Armed Forces of India on OROP. Are the soldiers ‘bourgeoisie’ from the Left Party’s point of view? Does he not defend our country, when those they are supporting are sloganeering to fragment it? Don’t we literally throw the soldier out of service at the young age of 35 years to fend for himself in the harsh world with a family and aged parents to support? Does he also not come from the same peasant’s stock from rural areas? Why don’t the so called lofty principles of Left Party, apply to him? Again, with whom am I talking to; those, who supported the Chinese in their invasion against our country? To expect patriotism from them is to expect a shadow in the darkness?
Moving on to the Congress Party: The President and the Vice President of the party know ‘defense’ only in the context of ‘National Herald’, Bofor, Westland cases? The concept of ‘National Defense’ is alien to them but they have deep and abiding interest in defense equipment and middle men. They lament how Late Uncle Ottavio used to do such a fine job but this man Gautam has bungled up everything?
In 2008, just a year prior to elections the party gave a massive relief of ₹60,000 Crores by waiving the loan to farmers, but did not feel it is worthwhile to give the soldiers a paltry ₹6000 crores (figures of 2008) for OROP? Not once during their decade in power both these office bearers ever uttered “OROP’ let alone implement it. The Vice President of the party, came once to Jantar Mantar in 2015 to show his solidarity with the agitating veterans, however he was shoved out? This party did not do anything for nearly four decades, and two months before the election, they allot a paltry ₹500 crores to OROP, in order to take credit and win votes? Indeed, how stupid one can be, to really think that the veterans are a bunch of doddering old fools, who would not be able to discern their Machiavellian subterfuge? An ounce of grey matter is enough to see through the game: but those who have lesser; play these childish games endlessly.
The story of Congress would not be complete as one of its former minister in a discussion on Nai Duniya TV in Pakistan in Oct last year, asks the people of Pakistan and remove PM Modi from power and bring us (Congress) back. I quote the former minister’s exact words “Hame le aaiye ; Inko hataiye”; so that bilateral discussion between the two countries can progress? Though as expected from a politician of his genre, he denied the statement? It is for everyone to see on the internet and come to their own conclusion. Here; a citizen of our country, whose countrymen had reposed faith in him and made him a Union Cabinet Minister going to a neighboring country, which has fought four major wars with us and asking them to remove our duly elected Prime Minister? Do you believe it that it can happen in any country? It is the same person, who said in Jan 2014 at the AICC session “I promise you in 21st Century Narendra Modi will never become the Prime Minister of the country. …But if he wants to distribute tea here, we will find a place for him”. Just look at the mix of haughtiness, arrogance, jealousy and hatred that is gushing out unrestrained to craft such a thought? Yes! He continues to be a Rajya Sabha MP of our country! I think our tolerance has become our national weakness!
The Congress manifesto on defense and security is all promises with no delivery? The manifestoes from 2004 onwards are a string of broken promises; integration of defense ministry with military officers; still a myth, maximum benefit to the service officers in pay and pension and letting them down in the 6th Pay Commission without NFU, not resolving the anomalies both in the 5th and 6th Pay Commissions, not reorganizing the higher defense with Chief of Defense Force, foisting a RM, who spent more time in refurbishing his image as ‘Clean Saint’ rather than the defense of the country and ensuring all the defense deals have scams? However, to be fair to them, at least they have a vision on paper. It is possible, that the manifesto is their check list to ensure those things do not happen, even by default? After all, what can you expect from a party whose foundations of the first government was laid by a Prime Minister, who had an anathema against his own armed forces, till he was rudely awakened in 1962 by the Chinese, to die a year and half later with shattered dreams and broken persona?
Now let us look at the ruling party; BJP? Its manifesto does not even talk of framing our National Security Doctrine that is vital to formulate our future defense orientation? It also does not mention of the unfinished agenda of PM Vajpayee’s tenure, where the then Deputy PM had headed a GOM and recommended landmark measures in the aftermath of findings of Kargil Review Committee? The manifesto wants to address the deficiency in officers’ cadre and does not care to rectify the anomalies in the 6th Pay Commission. The 7th Pay Commission is convened without a member from the Armed Forces, who are its biggest stake holders. The facile argument that the Defense Secretary represents the Armed Forces is like asking the devil to read the bible? He does not inspire trust and the appointment is the most despised appointment by the Indian Armed Forces. The recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission further undermines the services and instead of rectifying the anomalies at the ministerial level, the fate of the Armed Forces has been given to the Empowered Committee of Secretaries. Again, the Armed Forces are being represented by the same defense secretary, who was instrumental in giving lopsided data to the 7CPC and ensured its degradation. It is the thief, who is sitting in judgement over his own offence? If the BJP government was really interested in the Armed Forces, then why were they not represented in the 7th CPC? Coming again to OROP, a diluted version has been sanctioned; though something is better than nothing! A soldier who is 75 years would have to wait to be 80 to get his next revision of pension? Will he live for the next revision? The parliamentary committee had approved revision every year, however when the fine print of the approved OROP was released, the revision was to be done once in every five years. It is the last vile stroke struck by the bureaucracy, when they could not stall the OROP anymore, after having delayed it for 43 years. In the intervening time lakhs of armed forces personnel have retired and died without getting the OROP, which was their legitimate right. Can this grave injustice be undone? Who should be held accountable for perpetrating this injustice? Can our Honorable PM answer this?
I think it was on 8 Dec 2014, our PM in an election rally in Srinagar vouches his good intention at the cost of the army. He says for the first time since independence the army has done a press briefing and took responsibility of killing of two youths and the two soldiers would be punished. Mr. PM; whose army is it anyway? Are you putting a divide between the people of Kashmir and the army? Are you using the army for your politicking among the people of J&K. Who do you think saved Kashmir from going to Pakistan in 1947/48, 1965, 1971, 1988 – 93 and during Kargil Operation. Do you know about the mass subverting of government functionaries including police, press, people, government servants in 1988/89, when a climate of collapse engulfed the valley? It was then the army was inducted to bring it back into the fold of India. Just three months before you gloated that the army jawans have been punished, I hope you remember the same Indian Army, Air Force and Navy had rescued thousands of Kashmiris in the devastating floods that ravaged the entire valley? Was it proper for the PM of our nation to undermine his last and the most effective instrument of the nation. The Armed Forces are not above the law. They, in fact uphold the laws of the country. They should be punished for wrong doing but no political leader; be it the PM himself, has the right to use it to gain brownie point in an election rally.
Incidentally Mr. Prime Minister, if the army has put a barrier on the road no one should cross the barrier till the soldiers manning the barrier gives them permission to do so. Anyone does not stop and rushes past the barrier would have to be shot. No questions about it. Please do not dilute the ‘mission accomplishment’ ethos of the army by punishing them. If you do not want the army to act in that manner, please do not put them there. You are at liberty to put police or any CAPF. Incidentally you have reduced the CAPF in Srinagar to be victims of stone throwing mob by towing a soft line. This has made the anti-national elements more aggressive in Srinagar. I have seen a member of CAPF with a weapon in his hands being literally chased by a mob of youths and beaten up in the streets of Srinagar. He has been forced to be submissive and local orders have deprived him the right to fire, though the right of private defense gives him the right to use force to protect himself. It is your duty to ensure the pride of position of the armed forces is maintained so that the country can rest in peace even during war.
Again on 11 Sep 2015, the Honorable PM says in Chandigarh that the OROP has been given at the cost of poor people of this country; as if, he is giving the money to the rich in the country? The PM should know that a soldier who retires from service at 35 years of age gets less than one third the pension of a peon in the government service who retires at the age of 60 years. Now, where is the question of poor people giving their money to the rich army personnel? Obviously the PM may have been incorrectly advised.
The chest thumping post Myanmar raid against NSCN camp is a good example of unprofessionalism. The NSA goes for damage control and on return does not keep the Home Minister and Defense Minister informed of his talks. Obviously information sharing mechanism on defense matters has not yet been institutionalized in the government.
The government has still three more years to go. There is a need to frame a ‘National Security Doctrine’ for the country, which should be approved by the CCS and signed by the PM. The country needs to accelerate and build military capacities to fight a two front conventional war against both China and Pakistan simultaneously. Building capacities should be phased over a 10-year period and budgetary allocations be made to achieve those capacities. As envisaged in the manifesto, a thorium route to build nuclear capacity should be intensely pursued. ‘Make in India’ program should be pursued vigorously as it alone would give us the strategic autonomy to take decisions in ‘National Interest’.
Chanakya says “The serpent, the king, the stinging wasp, the small child, the dog owned by other people and the fool: these seven ought not to be awakened from sleep.” However, as the time is running out I have to make one exception; as said by Rabindranath Tagore’s words “My father, let my Country Awake.”