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Updated: March 29, 2012 03:00 IST

Army Chief's leaked letter to PM puts Centre in a fix

Smita Gupta
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A file photo of Army Chief Gen. V.K. Singh.
A file photo of Army Chief Gen. V.K. Singh.

Will the government grin and bear it until Gen. V.K. Singh retires or ask him to go on forced leave?

Hours after the contents of a letter written by General V.K. Singh to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the lack of defence preparedness appeared in a national daily on Wednesday, adding a new dimension to the ongoing controversy sparked by an explosive interview the Army Chief gave this newspaper, Defence Minister A.K. Antony assured Parliament that the government was committed to ensuring the safety and security of the nation.

And even as some parties denounced the Army Chief, demanding his dismissal and an inquiry into who had leaked the letter, the government went into damage-control mode: the Prime Minister — who returned late Tuesday night from South Korea — went into a huddle with Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Home Minister P. Chidambaram and Mr. Antony to discuss the government's limited options.

The government can grin and bear it until the General demits office at May-end. Or it can ask him to go on forced leave and risk damaging the office of Army Chief.

The letter may have painted a grim picture but, sources say, it is the practice for service chiefs to write to the Prime Minister, shortly before they retire, on the state of the fighting arm they head. This letter is also similar to the one Gen. Singh wrote to Mr. Antony last month. That too appeared in a newspaper and contains much of what the Army had shared with the Defence Ministry and the National Security Council last year.

Those close to the General — who was in Kashmir on Wednesday — deny that the letter was leaked from his office, stressing he had nothing to gain by its contents being made public. The March 12 letter says India's security may be at risk as tanks are running out of ammunition; air defence is becoming obsolete; and the infantry lacks critical weapons. A Congress functionary even told The Hindu that it was virtually impossible that the Army Chief would have leaked a confidential letter, as it was an offence that would attract court martial.

Through the day, it became clear that the government did not wish to act in haste. So while within the Congress, the mood was turning against the General — with Union Minister for Overseas Affairs Vayalar Ravi even calling him a “frustrated man” because he could not get an extension — Mr. Antony assured the Rajya Sabha that “the government is determined to do all that is necessary to ensure the safety and security of the nation,” adding it was committed to getting the best equipment for the armed forces and speeding up the modernisation process. By late afternoon, the government decided it needed to address the issues raised in the General's letter again. So it fielded its articulate Minister of State for Defence Pallam Raju. He told journalists that though in the last three years the entire capital budget had been utilised, there were “gaps in capabilities which we are trying to bridge as quickly as possible.” At the Congress' official briefing, the tone was muted. Party spokesperson Rashid Alvi said defence was a “sensitive” issue and should be not become the subject of loose talk. And while the leaking of the letter raised many questions, nothing should be said or done that would weaken India as a nation, he said.

Meanwhile, it became clear that till such time as it is known who leaked the letter, the Army Chief will remain in the dock. The Samajwadi Party, the Janata Dal (United) and the Rashtriya Janata Dal vociferously demanded that he be sacked. The Bharatiya Janata Party distanced itself from this demand, but it was no longer as sympathetic to the Army Chief; it appeared to be gradually veering round to the view that he had crossed the Lakshman Rekha. “Why did the Army Chief not meet the Prime Minister and personally brief him,” asked Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj. “The decision to write a letter is always fraught with the possibility, even if one per cent, that it may be leaked at some point in time… When the common man reads that the defence forces have no ammunition and cannot defend the country he finds it scary.” The only concession she was willing to give him was that perhaps his decision to write such a letter was a reflection of the complete breakdown of communication between the Army Chief and the government. But despite the growing unease over Gen. Singh's public statements, the BJP is not ready to seek any action against him. However, it has given notice for suspension of question hour in the Lok Sabha to discuss the subject; that did not happen on Wednesday as the House was plunged into turmoil on the Telangana issue.

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There are few things. First thing the Govt should act on the content of the letter instead of Gen V K singh. Let the enquirey happen honest and the truth will come out. Another point, people are creating havoc on the content that came out. It is illegal by the Law, but everybody should know that every country has intelligence Agencies and they spy on each other and all have this kind of information as much as I know. And ofcourse, 1.3 million army knows every thing that got out. So Govt should seriously think on the content of the letter not the person.And it must be addressed..

from:  Rahul
Posted on: Mar 30, 2012 at 09:29 IST

Dear Jacob. You don't seem to have even basic grasp of history.
All the freedoms that we have will suddenly vanish into thin air, and India will march
back to dark days, if even a slightest attempt is made by army to get to power.
Kindly don't even think along those lines.
You need not be worried about the current state of the country, when corruption is
being exposed.
India's vibrant democracy would take humanity to new heights.
In another 10years, Corruption would be history.
Politics would be clean, and we shall teach decency to rest of the world.
India is in transition, and on a steep rise to progress.

Posted on: Mar 30, 2012 at 05:00 IST

Just the fact that General VK Singh happens to write a letter decrying the obsolete state of weapons and ammunition in Indian defense forces a few weeks before the DefenseExpo India 2012 should raise eyebrows.

Is this General a Army Chief or a Lobbyist for Weapons Industry?

There is no advantage to the government in leaking a letter in this case.

from:  Simran
Posted on: Mar 30, 2012 at 03:33 IST

The leakage was a planned move by Govt to divert attention from the
14Cr corruption. This is too bad, where this country is going?

from:  Raj
Posted on: Mar 29, 2012 at 21:18 IST

The leak of the Army Chief's letter to the PM is regrettable. However, we cannot assume that the Army Chief was resposible for the leak. There is no evidence for that at present. Only an impartial investigation will reveal who leaked the letter.
However, one positive result of the leak is that atleast now the public knows the extent to which the politicians and the bureaucrats have contributed to the woeful shortages of equipment and supplies to the military by delaying their timely procurement. It is better that the public know about the state of affairs of our defence preparedness now rather than later when the country is at war defending its borders. Only public pressure will force the Govt. to act.

from:  krishna
Posted on: Mar 29, 2012 at 20:53 IST

I sincerely wish for government to consider the revelations made by Lt.
gen V.K sing very seriously. If we have dearth of ammunition and
military equipment, we must focus on strengthening armed force and
modernisation of weapons. This will solve the problem to the greater

from:  Nishad pande
Posted on: Mar 29, 2012 at 20:43 IST

The armychief should not be sacked, rather his allegations should be enquried into.

from:  Anjan basu
Posted on: Mar 29, 2012 at 17:53 IST

why this General take so much time to report the matter of inadequacy of arms to the PM. I do believe that the matter may firstly be apprised to the MoD. If the MoD did not take action on the matter within the reasonable time he has the liberty to apprise the matter to the PM without waiting futher response from the MoD. Moreover, the President of India is the supreme commander of the Indian forces. Why the General failed to apprise the matter before her? Considering all these aspects some 'inherent' matters are there,it may be for dominancy or for rectification of his date of birth controversy

from:  mohan
Posted on: Mar 29, 2012 at 17:51 IST

If the leak of the letter is shameful for defense ministry and Indian
army installation the contents of the letter are denigrating and morale
crusher for every Indian. So there is no point in justifying the leaks
or putting it like devilish act. If such precarious is the condition of
Indian arm preparedness what morale right do we have to even talk of
being super power in 2020?

from:  Ajeet Tiwari
Posted on: Mar 29, 2012 at 17:39 IST

i think we should try for army rule this time, at least politicians "bakwas" will be over

from:  imran
Posted on: Mar 29, 2012 at 17:27 IST

If general speaks of 14 CR proposed bribe,ovt ask why he did not lodge written complaint,
when he writes to PM on his concern people ask why he has written, he should have talked about it.

crazy,whats going on with our political system.

It is always correct to write letter/Document the the question of confidentiality if can not be maintained in dfence ministyr than God save India,and it really shows how fragile our systems are.

Govt wake up ,do something right.

from:  ritesh
Posted on: Mar 29, 2012 at 16:35 IST

Gen Singh, now is the time,take over the country so that we could get rid of the politician that plagues and endangers the integrity of the country.

from:  Jacob
Posted on: Mar 29, 2012 at 15:28 IST

When the General made an oral complaint to the minister about bribe offer, he was attacked why he did not make a written complaint. When he made a written complaint, he is being attacked by Sushma Swaraj for not making an oral complaint, on grounds that it can be leaked. This is the most idiotic statement I have ever seen. This means all sensitive documents like accounts, blueprints, army maps should never be on paper as they can be leaked. You could use electronic files, but these could be accessed by hackers as well. Bottom-line is the leak exposes another huge flaw in information security.

from:  V Gupta
Posted on: Mar 29, 2012 at 13:04 IST

It's strange to see that while INDIA is going to celebrate this year: the fiftieth birthday of sino-indian war, we listen again the same critics that we have learnt in the end of the fifties or the sixties, concerning the efficiency of Indian Army. Why the Hindu who pretends to defend a certain ethic of journalisme,is not publishing some of the articles published in the past on these subject.
Some years after the controversy due to the book published by M.SINGH, this paper has published one edito concerning DJINNAH and his position about the partition. It's important because some days ago you have published one article about Chinese military exercises in Tibet.At least we can say that indian politicians have forgotten what had happen some 50 years ago. But I'm not sure that The Hindu has forgotten this

from:  MAYOURA Sougoumar
Posted on: Mar 29, 2012 at 12:50 IST

I am highly surprised why some of the political parties demanding that army chief should be sacked?? Is he involved in any kind of corruption as most of the leaders from their party are or has he committed any crime as most of thier leaders are convicts, so I do n't think they have any rights to give their unwanted opinions.RJD and Samajwadi Party should look among themselves first and should refrain from this unjust demand.It could be possible that the way army chief has adopted is not cent percent correct but the issues he is bringing out could be true so now the ball is in government's court, it all depends on Mr. Antony and Co. to address this critical issue effectively.

from:  Sushant Kumar
Posted on: Mar 29, 2012 at 12:45 IST

Why some parties are demanding the dismissal of Army chief, because he told the prime minister about the present condition of Indian Army, or because he told about the bribe offer? What wrong he did in this. Why are the political parties demanding V.K. Singh's dismissal, why not Antony's? Why Antony is not aware about the current status of arms in Indian army, why didn't he take the action on bribe issue? What did new he added into the Indian defense system. He did nothing. He is just enjoying a post of minister. Enjoying the luxury as a Minister. Our political system is totally dead. Most of the leaders are in politics because of the money not for serving the people. Shame on these kind of politicians. I am joining the candle evening at 7PM Saturday 30th March India gate in support of V.K. Singh.

from:  Ravinder Kumar
Posted on: Mar 29, 2012 at 12:32 IST

The leak of an important letter addressed to the PM on a Security issue is deplorable. It must have been a mischief of some bureaucrat to tarnish the General's image. What he has pointed out is alrming. This shows the inefficiency of the Government. Rather than addressing the issues raised by him and to probe the leak, the politicians are hell bent on tarnishing the image of the General and want him axed. Everyone knows the difficult circumstances under which armed forces guard our borders. How do the Government hope that they would guard our frontiers with obsolete weaponary. The terrorists have the modern gadgets these days. The media should not blow this with discussions, deliberations and put some mirch masala to it. It need to be discussed within the four walls and all concerned to be taken on board to restore the image of the army.

from:  jagannathan
Posted on: Mar 29, 2012 at 12:11 IST

In his interview Army chief told that he was shocked out of his wits
when he was offered bribe by some lobbyist and what i reckon from latest
incident that he's still not able to get his wits back post that bribe
incident and further age controversy in which he failed to hold his
tenure for 1 more year has drived him to do such unintelligent thing. I
totally agree with Swashma Swaraj that he could have explained the whole
situation to P.M by meeting him personally through which the whole
situation could have been dealt better.

from:  Ankit Trivedi
Posted on: Mar 29, 2012 at 11:56 IST

If A K Anthony is really a man of integrity, he should resign from the Defence Ministry post. Not because he is a dishonest person. It is only because he has not done his job well.
As the Defence Minister he should have led from the front by taking initiative to bring the culprits to book. It was the Nation in front of him which should have been visible to him and not his job or his Party. If he was the owner of an organisation what would have been his reaction to General V K Singhs caution about the bribe.
Hence he should immediately go, otherwise he will also be compared with Mr. Manmohan Singh who is basically an honest person but has not kept the Nation in front of him. His Party/High Command is foremost.

from:  B S Mani
Posted on: Mar 29, 2012 at 11:53 IST

The news coming as headlines for the past two weeks regarding defense
force may make any common man to rethink about their sense of security
under defense force. But my opinion is , just after getting a leaked
piece of letter , media as a whole shouldn't reach in conclusions like
Indian army is deteriorating from the core with out any investigation
. May be the facts in the "Deliberately leaked letter " will be Mr
Sing's view but not proven true .Media should always restrain
themselves and shall not intrude into the such private letters,
projecting the dark side especially in the sectors like defense ,
jurisdiction , where any common fellow is keeping his complete faith .

from:  Akhilesh
Posted on: Mar 29, 2012 at 11:46 IST

Though the Army Chief did not cover himself with glory whether fighting for a 10
months extension , or claiming that someone tried to bribe him without explaining why he did nothing, in this case ,he did the right thing . It is not a state secret that Mr Anthony rarely decides anything and in the name of honesty and fighting corruption, he suspects every case of procurement that reaches him , dithers, and tries to palm off his responsibility to some GOM or the PM. How can the Chief take up this issue with the Defence Minister when he is the main culprit? His bringing this grave matter affecting the battle-readiness of the armed forces to the notice of PM before laying down his office is the best thing he has done. Taking any punitive action against him will be like killing the messenger for bringing the message.

Posted on: Mar 29, 2012 at 11:43 IST

No doubt there is a lacuna that needs to be patched up.
Too difficult to understand how a confidential report can be leaked.
The person responsible for this leak should be brought to justice.
Such that no other person dares to think of it again.
But more importantly what we see here is of more concern, "the lack of media responsibility". We can not disclose security issues of our country be it strong
or weak specially when we have enemies next door. "Responsibility with accountability" the BRICS child can be implemented here. Media does have a responsibility towards its citizen but they should also be accountable for the country's safety, security and integrity. There was no need of publishing the contents of the letter. A simple statement saying "leak in the system" would have done
the job.

from:  Yatendra
Posted on: Mar 29, 2012 at 11:34 IST

The leakage of this letter seems to have be done by some vested
interests in Defence Ministry to divert attention from the real issue
which is corruption in Defence procurement. No General would leak this
information to the media as it a matter of utmost secret. Looks like
there is a mole either in the PMO or MOD who is been paid by the Arms
dealers lobby who is afraid that the truth would come out and played
this dirty trick to discredit the General and show him in a bad light.
The Politicians who are asking for the General's head should also be

from:  Raj
Posted on: Mar 29, 2012 at 11:29 IST

If you follow the kind of scandals occuring in our country. It is clear that this is not a small incident but, a continous process of doing corruption for many years. It seems majority of beauracarts, politicans are hand in gloves. I, a commoner, lives in state of fear with lack of trust on Parl or Indian Army. Who is going to save us ? Now, I am desperate to support Annaji. Now, I feel there is nothing wrong in Aravind statment in Jantar Mantar, which parl moved a censure motion.

from:  K P Lakshmi Narasimhan
Posted on: Mar 29, 2012 at 11:27 IST

Now It is obvious that all claims of Mr Manmohan Singh that our Nuclear Power
plants are to the level of top international standards is all Bogus! . THIS IS A DISGRACE AN AIR FORCE THAT IS 95% OBSOLETE! And that real men who fight for our country are being hounded and side-stepped by mentally and physically sick
individuals who are only capable of pushing buttons from their office and therefore would like to compromise the security of this country by allowing the import of outdated and unwanted equipment from countries that will assist them in return with the supply of bombs. What kind of leaders are these? AND DON'T TRY TO CONVINCE ANY INDIAN THAT THE GOVERNMENT DID NOT KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT THE SHABBY STATE OF THE DEFENSE OF OUR COUNTRY. SAD TO SAY OUR REAL ENEMIES ARE THE PEOPLE WHO LEAD THIS COUNTRY ON THE ROAD TO RAMPANT CORRUPTION. GDP GDP GDP (Increasing
only the number of Greedy Dumb People.

from:  angela alvares
Posted on: Mar 29, 2012 at 11:27 IST

Why is everyone worried about what has happened and who is wrong ?
when we have many more things to worry and act.If whatwver is said in the letter by army cheif is right,the government should take necessary steps to strengthen the army instead of focusing damage control action done by letter.Instead i strongly suggest to take damage control action against what is done in the army over past few years and thanks to leaked letter atleast now we have a real idea of whats going on.Lets take it positive and act accordingly

from:  SravanKumarY
Posted on: Mar 29, 2012 at 11:26 IST

It was common knowledge that Defense procurements are being handled badly for pecuniary reasons by vested intersts. It was equally normal for Army Chief or Defense higher-ups to write such letters. It appears equally clear someone is out there to malign our nation and the Army chief. It is high-time the politicians wake up and avoid making any hasty steps and rather look beyond to resolve the mess and secure the country. After all, the Chiefs / ministers and parties may come and go and the security of the nation is a permanent issue.

from:  J Ramakrishnan
Posted on: Mar 29, 2012 at 11:23 IST

The issue of army chief leaking the India defence security is over exaggerated by the media, Number of ministers who itself involved in the various scams, are making comments to sack the chief.
The very question of leaking the India,s security information is a manipulated stunt of the political lobbyist to gain their political interest . as we all are aware about the chief's honesty and sincerity to the nation. it is impossible on the Chief's part to leak such important issues publicly, because it is very clear to even a young officer that he is not supposed to make public comments on India's security, so how can we expect this from the chief.
Moreover now the facts are known to common man how our defense preparedness is being neglected by our politicians . we Indians must raise and stand against those people. because " ENOUGH IS ENOUGH NOW"

from:  mukesh negi
Posted on: Mar 29, 2012 at 11:14 IST

Since decades, our preparedness has been what it is today. The army is
also a part of government and to expect anything different is nothing
but wishful thinking.

from:  Abdul Jabbar
Posted on: Mar 29, 2012 at 10:56 IST

Time for Defence Minister and PM to act on corruption in Defence. Its all pervading and all over. It smeels so bad. Its everywhere. Time to support the General.

Posted on: Mar 29, 2012 at 10:51 IST

"India's security may be at risk as tanks are running out of ammunition;
air defence is becoming obsolete; and the infantry lacks critical
weapons" what the heck he was doing as army chief?

from:  Kant
Posted on: Mar 29, 2012 at 10:50 IST

The situation seems the same when in 1961 the then Chief Field Marshal Cariappa sought resignation when his equations with the Defence Minister Mr VKK Menon were not cordial. The Field Marshal was perturbed at the state of the defence forces and felt that the Defence Minister was pushing the army further into a crisis. Today too the scenario is the same. While actually the state of the defence forces is becoming bad to worse due to the delay in acquisition process brought about by ineffecctive & unconcerned babus in the MoD, the politicians are out trying to slay a soldier who says the truth. Rather than act on the subject of need (lacunae in defence preparedness) the politicians are deliberately digressing. Why this ostrich mentality? God save our nation from the demons within us!

from:  Pankaj Bhagwati
Posted on: Mar 29, 2012 at 10:49 IST

Enough is enough,more than parliament we need to know what is status of our security, PM and the President should address the nation immediately. We thank the Chief of Army Staff for his disclosure, if not for him our MP's would have hidden this fact also.

from:  xaviersurender
Posted on: Mar 29, 2012 at 10:40 IST

We should not be so quick to judge the General before the full leakage facts are known. For now, given the pathetic state affairs and rampant corruption across all aspects of public life, who ever leaked the letter has done a yeoman's service to the nation by forcing matters in public domain. The principle of civilian supremacy cannot be taken to absurd lengths to protect turf even at the cost of national security. Bureaucrats and politicians must be held accountable and the armed forces must have direct input into the National Security Policy making of our country.
It is travesty that those who has never step foot on the battle field, who know even less about the hardships of war decide what to buy, when to buy and how to buy. That does not mean there is no place for them, it means they must face the heat too, not just like solider.

from:  Deepak
Posted on: Mar 29, 2012 at 10:35 IST

The army chief has done his duty by briefing the Prime Minister about the country's security. What is wrong in that. If the Chief of the army had mislead the prime minister then the PM has everyright to take action against him. The funny thing is the central cabinet is blindly finding fault with the Army Chief just for writing a letter to the PM. It is ridiculous. This is how the political leaders react. They have no moral responsibility. They are least bothered about the country's security, they are only bothered about their political tenure, not even bothered about the public problems. Thanks to the Hindu for bringing this news to the limelight. At the end of the day Politicians, bureaucrats are answerable to the PUBLIC. I hope the Prime Minister will react impartially on this very very important issue. How long the Governments will keep the public in dark

from:  Ramakrishna Ogirala
Posted on: Mar 29, 2012 at 10:25 IST

I thank the Army Chief to speak the truth. The System has become so
rotten that it takes a majo surgery like what Army chief is doing to
fix the matter. I am proud of this Chief. Atleast he has some
strength to take on this spineless politician like Lalu and A K
Anthony. I would say this " A worse day of army chief is better than
best day of any politician."

from:  Rahul
Posted on: Mar 29, 2012 at 10:26 IST

Is it an overshoot of corruption? Is corruption forcing people to look at personal interests before the national interests? The Government is always answerable. And it is a pity that there is a lot of spending that is just not rightly placed. Should defense be controlled by the States hereafter?

from:  Nikhil S. Gurjar
Posted on: Mar 29, 2012 at 10:15 IST

its so easy to make the army chief the fall guy..what about the ministry
and the ministers at the helm of affairs?if the rot has set in in the
MoD then the blame goes to everyone...calling the army chie frustrated
is just not right.its time to resolve the issue and get our house in
order.please stop the blame game

from:  nicky
Posted on: Mar 29, 2012 at 10:14 IST

Corruption and bribery are common among highly placed Defense officials
according to General V.K. Singh. This cancer of corruption may even
have affected the current Defense leadership and should be investigated
by an independent CBI team. If evidence of bribes by external states is
proven, then the defense officials should be given their marching orders
and the external states should have their agreements revoked along with
being made to pay a hefty penalty.

from:  Bart Namboodhiri
Posted on: Mar 29, 2012 at 10:02 IST

in the present set of circumstances it is inappropriate to sack our army chief and appropriate to take measures to refurbish our defence system unheeding the outcry of political parities as there is widespread public apprehension and uproar regarding the safety of our nation. correctional measures needed as our reader shekar said as otherwise the incidents like 26/11 will take place.

from:  arunasri
Posted on: Mar 29, 2012 at 10:00 IST

in the present set of circumstances it is inappropriate to sack our army chief and appropriate to take measures to refurbish our defence system unheeding the outcry of political parities as there is widespread public apprehension and uproar regarding the safety of our nation. correctional measures needed as our reader shekar said as otherwise the incidents like 26/11 will take place.

from:  Arunasri
Posted on: Mar 29, 2012 at 09:59 IST

So what do previous letters from previous chiefs on state of the army,Air force,etc
say? That alone will tell if this govt has been neglecting national security & selling the country just as they did in 1962.

from:  kumar
Posted on: Mar 29, 2012 at 09:56 IST

Thank you The Hindu for giving a report on the side of good (even in the case of Admiral Vishnu). The point is simple that its a tradition to write a letter. Who leaked it is speculation. Who ever leaked it understands the 1st finger will be at the Army Chief under circumstantial evidence (his age row, frustration etc.).
Matter is arms lobby is creating havoc. MoD is run by babus who have a poor record on honesty which is evident in the state of our country. As a citizen it hurts to see our country not lifting/taking off inspite of our daily hard work and tax payments. We all know each babu/govt officer has lots of ill gotten money. At the end a darconian law like TADA is needed on corruption. May be Jan Lokpal is needed.

from:  Moin Nawaz
Posted on: Mar 29, 2012 at 09:50 IST

This is a parting shot from a wounded soldier. Honest and upright, but
always mistiming his moves. This letter should have been written with-in 6 months of his taking over as a chief after he had an opportunity to assess the preparedness of the Army he was to head for the next couple of years and not when he is walking into the sunset of his career. He or his sympathisers maynot have leaked this. The Defence Expo is on in New delhi with scores of leading arm manufactureres are displaying their wares. A leaked letter of this nature will put pressure on the Govt. to move quickly on purchasing the much needed defence equipment to displace the old and obsolete. However, the consequences of this leak are far beyond the walls of the Parliment or or the M.O.D. It is going to demoralise the Indian soldier who is now being informed that his weapons have no ammonition or worse his weapons will not fire. This is such a sad day for Armed Forces.

from:  Guri
Posted on: Mar 29, 2012 at 09:42 IST

It is a sensational issue. I feel the printing media should have been avoided the
publication of the letter.It has created a panic not only in the parliament alone, but also in the minds of ordinary citizen like me.May be, Army Chief gets frustrated because of the age affair.We can not immediately blame Mr.Singh without sufficient evidence.It has created a scene in the world to look at us in a different way. Major political parties seems to be trying to fish in the troubled water.All should sit together and decide who is the bottom of this mischief and how to get out of this in the interest of the nation. Whoever behind it,he must be sacked

from:  m.sankaralingam
Posted on: Mar 29, 2012 at 09:40 IST

This is about Sushma Swaraj's statement suggesting that the aArmy chief should have personally briefed the PM, instead of writing a letter - it is hilarious. Where will be the proof in that case about what the Army Chief spoke to the PM? In fact, on the other issue (14 crores bribe issue), he has told that he briefed Anthony long back, What was the defence minister doing - sleeping over such an important issue? If so, why - it is obvious that the people involved in that corrupt effort, were connected to much higher (probably extra-constitutional) authorities that Anthony could do nothing about, hence he chose to sit on it without taking any action and when the Army chief came out in the open, Anthony orders a CBI enquiry - why now and not earlier?? The same thing would have happened if the Army Chief had briefed the Prime Minister without having anything in a written proof. One thing is for sure - the country is going to dogs though with such people at the highest positions.

from:  Gopal
Posted on: Mar 29, 2012 at 09:20 IST

Without taking any precipitate action against the army chief as suggested in some quarters or trying to connect the core issue of the nations' defence preparedness as brought out by the army chief with his age row, the MOD should make a quick reality check and take necessary corrective measures with total transparency in rejuvenating the defence forces, leaving no scope for any middle man to play with the national secuity and territorial integrity of the nation. At least,till a fortnight ago the common man was having a real sense of security that India is safe in the hands of our defence forces. Going by the recent startling revelations, that faith now stands considerably eroded. There should be no room for politicking when the whole nation should stand as one man, to restore the health of India's defence establishment in all its wings, as a national task of urgent priority.

from:  Shekar
Posted on: Mar 29, 2012 at 09:06 IST

The demand to sack our army chief is not at all justifiable. He has done his best by writing secret letter to prime minister. what else he could do as his first appeal about corruption was not heeded by our defense minister. Instead of writing a letter to defence minister he has chosen to write a letter to prime minister. Is it blatant mistake on his part? is it constitutionally invalid writing a letter to prime minister about irregularities in our defence system. Our political parties are giving unnecessary colour to this issue and causing ruckus. The contents of the letter should be taken into consideration and steps shall be taken refurbish our defence system and deals.

from:  shankar nistala
Posted on: Mar 29, 2012 at 08:33 IST

We should not repeat historic blunder by ignoring the advice and information furnished by Army Chief. The lesson of 1962 debacle during India-China war should not be forgotten by politicians who are at the helm of affairs in the government. Prime Minister, Pt. Nehru used to interfere in the functioning of the army at that time without any reason. The country paid heavily for the unnecessary interference of the civil administration. The country is not at war at present. So, the leakage of the letter of Army Chief should not be taken otherwise. His advice should be taken by the government in constructive manner. In fact, Army Chief did a good thing by writing a letter to the Prime Minister. We should not forget that Smt. Indira Gandhi had also sidelined the then Defence Minister, Shri Jagjivan Ram on the advice tendered by the then Army Chief, Field Marshall, Maneckshaw during
Bangladesh war.

Posted on: Mar 29, 2012 at 08:14 IST

The leak is not important but the contents are, the government which is embroiled with corruption should at least now focus on more important issues which in long run can if not planned for can threaten the sovereignty of the country.

from:  Shiva Mudgil
Posted on: Mar 29, 2012 at 08:07 IST

The age row saw army chief drag government into court. SC issued a
statement terming it's decision a win - win for both though one needn't
be a genius to say the decision was against general V.K. singh. In
interview with the Hindu army chief comes up with "bribe bomb" to
rattle government by maligning defense ministry. When the bribe bomb
failed to render as much casualty to govt. as he would have liked to
may be he resorted to this "Letter-Bomb". Lets not forget Raksha Mantri protected his inaction over bribing reported to him with the fig leaf of lack of written complaint. And here is army chief with written document. Why army chief wishes to act before media on such serious issues. If we join the dots it will lead to be termed as frustrated action of him. But government would do a blunder if it were to sack him. Lets not send message to the world,"we are in for second Pakistan". Army chief should be given time to put and defend his version.

from:  Ajeet Tiwari
Posted on: Mar 29, 2012 at 08:01 IST

This letter was written after he lost the battle in court on his date of
birth issue. Cl;early he is playing a nasty game . He has to be
dismissed and court marshalled . This is not a issue for BJP to play
dirty politics as it involves the safety of the country.

from:  raghavan
Posted on: Mar 29, 2012 at 07:56 IST

It is highly disgusting to note conduct of the Army Chief. I think all
is because of his age issue. What he is been doing for the past two
years. Whether such sensitive issues could be leaked. I do not think
any Minister or Prime Minster would not have listened to him about Arms
requirements/preparedness. The Army Chief has lost his credibility.
It seems that he has some evidence (because of phone tapping) and that
is why he continues to make such accusations. All the same the public
domain is not the forum.

from:  vasudevan
Posted on: Mar 29, 2012 at 07:36 IST

It is strange in this country that when someone try to expose the corruption, act as a whistle blower rather than awarded him, people find flaws in that person and it is surprising that some irrational people even thought to dismiss the person rather than bestowing him. If this will continue than how can anyone imagine that corruption will end when most of the people are involved in corruption. At last General VK Singh exposed what is happening in Army. He is a honest man and thanks that he come forward after all we as citizens of this nation should know about each and every amount spend anywhere. we need to end the corruption by punishing the offender and make strong laws against it so that no one dare to give bride or ask for bribe directly or indirectly.

from:  reetu sharma
Posted on: Mar 29, 2012 at 07:35 IST

Worst handling of the Defence ministry and civil servants of the ministry.

from:  MSNarayana
Posted on: Mar 29, 2012 at 07:17 IST

This general is a disgrace to the nation. He should be sacked and put behind the bars before he leak all strategic military information to the enemies!

from:  Tom
Posted on: Mar 29, 2012 at 07:12 IST

When the common man reads that the defence forces have no ammunition and cannot defend the country he finds it scary.”
when a poitician reads this he will be rubbing his hands in glee at the glaring opportunity to make hay. that is the sad distance and perception in the country today. Several words like transparency, governance, principles come to mind but it would be impossible to expect any of these in the politicians who wanted this man's head. It is tempting to think that the country needs to be run over and to start fresh again with some scruples at least and build from the bottom up. It might take another 50 yrs but what the hell, may be some of the words I mentioned may actually happen in the next 50. Hope does spring eternal. Some arrogant person like Greg Chappel had the vision to pin point that India does not produce leaders these days. May be he does speak the truth.

from:  Thodur Vasudevan
Posted on: Mar 29, 2012 at 06:56 IST

As Mr . Parween Swamy's article in this newspaper notes, there is nothing 'Top Secret' about the letter of March 12 from the COAS to the PM. So why the fuss about common public knowledge? Infact, the General should sue for defamation those who accuse him of the leak without substantiation.
Even though the general is saying that the house is on fire, the political class is more concerned with protocol and 'how dare he'. It is a world wide display of excellence in non-performance, stupidity, egoism, egotism and purified ignorance. Just like Mr. Shivraj Patil's assurance to the parliament post 26/11 Mumbai terror, may the country take comfort in Mr. Anthony's assurance to parliament of "committed to ensuring the safety and security of the nation".

from:  Dr. Ajay
Posted on: Mar 29, 2012 at 06:40 IST

This is the general's answer to those who said in the aftermath of the age row case, that he would now be a lame duck chief. He now proves that he is a fighting chief ! Antony had been too soft towards the general, which has made the general bold and couldn’t care less. Supposing George Fernandes was the DM, what would be the scenario ! The general had no business to write directly to the PM. And if he is behind leaking the letter even indirectly, he should be sacked. In his eagerness to hurt MOD, he is causing great damage to the country's security and the Army. It is well known that no one writes letters containing grave allegations of the system, of which he is a part, unless he wants to embarrass the very system. If he had been doing like this in the past, he would never have become the chief. After retirement, he will not get respect from even the retired soldier community. All the retired generals will disown him now !

from:  J Thomas
Posted on: Mar 29, 2012 at 06:21 IST

Let the government take stringent action against the former Army Chief VKSigh for not bringing out the malafide intentions of seller and now after he was denied to correct his date of birth and extend his term. The government make it a policy, if any retired officer makes allegations that were not brought to the government notice when he was an employ. It is a 100% criminal activity. Other wise such people play games or black mailing tactics. This type of issues have ramifications in political equations between ruling and opposition parties. On this the government must bring out a policy paper in the current parliament session itself.

from:  Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy
Posted on: Mar 29, 2012 at 06:18 IST

It will be an useless pursuit and not in the national interest too, if the government goes after the Chief of the Army to find out the source of leakage of the letter. That issue is not the crux of the problem and also, not the need of the hour. But the government would be on the right track if it goes into the contents of the letter to find out whether the combat preparedness of our Defence forces is really on line with those remarked by the General in his letter. If what he says were true, it is an alarming situation that the country is finding itself now especially when the threat from the north is hanging on us like a Damocles sword. It also brings to light that the malignant corruption has completely taken over the country. If our defence forces are not in a condition to go after our enemies to defend the integrity of the country but always on the look out to go after the money to line their pockets and abandon their land to it's fate.

from:  T.Sathyamurthi
Posted on: Mar 29, 2012 at 06:12 IST

The army chief has been trying to hog in the limelight in recent months. No one else but the outgoing army chief could have leaked the letter to the media. He needs to be shown the door forthwith. The circumstantial evidence is heavily loaded against him. First the DOB issue, then the alleged offer of bribe and now the leaked letter to the PM. There should be a thorough investigation into the antecedents of the army chief who has made himself a laughing stock in the eyes of the nation. In fact he should be put into house arrest and all sensitive documents in his possession should be seized before he indulges in further damage to the prestigious institution we are proud of. Future selection of army chiefs should be undertaken with greater care. Seniority should not be the only criteria. Merit should outweigh seniority for such positions. The present incumben no longer deserves any benefit of doubt.

from:  R.Vijaykumar
Posted on: Mar 29, 2012 at 05:59 IST

Army Chief should be asked to go on leave immediately and the press shouldn't report him. He is putting our country to shame and creating fear, in the military and public. Strength of a nation doesn't depend entirely upon its weapons, and the army numbers. A nation stands on its values.
Army chief has done enormous damage to our psyche, by undermining the organisation, that made him its chief. He should step down graciously, or the government should retire him. Opposition parties should display maturity and help the government in dealing with this issue. There should be a bipartisan approach.

Posted on: Mar 29, 2012 at 05:39 IST

Shame to the Nation. It is better to dissolve this Parliament with
immediate effect. The Minister Vayalar Ravi says that the Army Chief is
a frustrated man. He is wrong. The Nation is frustrated because of this
14 Cr scam in the Army. Certain political parties in the North started
saying to sack this Army Chief. It shows their ignorance. Now every one
will understand why Anna Hazare is fighting for strong Lok Pal Bill in
the centre.

from:  N R Ravisankar
Posted on: Mar 29, 2012 at 05:19 IST

I am not interested in knowing who or why the letter was leaked. I am more interested to know if the PM or DM have taken any action to address the concerns after they received the letter? If they have not any action, then the PM and DM both don't deserve to be in their posts.

from:  Hemant
Posted on: Mar 29, 2012 at 04:26 IST

I think Army should sack the UPA govt first ? Only a military coup could save india now...we have already tried fasting on the streets for lokpal but it has been brushed aside by this sly govt. An Army chief has apprised the PM and DM about the sorry affairs of army preparedness so what is wrong in it . Isnt he supposed to do just that , isnt this is basic job? Why name it as controversy...very shoddy reporting by media in general and TOI and HINDU in particular !!
As far as people talking about it being leaked ,firstly why is media forcing people to believe that its vk singh who has leaked it where he stands nothing to gain by doing it while congress gains a lot by diverting attention from other corruption charges it faces. Secondly it is not a secret for other countries like china and pakistan and US who keeps monitoring each others Armies about army preparedness, they already know about it. Infact the people should be happy that they now know what chinese n pakistanis already know !!

from:  Gaurav
Posted on: Mar 29, 2012 at 04:03 IST

I find it pathetic that the political class, instead of tackling the issues raised by General Singh head on, chooses to lament the fact that he wrote a letter on these 'sensitive' issues. The general deserves to be thanked and congratulated - here is a man who has the courage to speak the truth; the Government ought to shut up its minions (e.g. Vyalar Ravi); and the CBI ought to investigate under the supervision of the Supreme Court. Hang the crooks and clean the cesspit that is Indian defense procurement.

from:  Ajay Singh
Posted on: Mar 29, 2012 at 03:37 IST
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