This refers to the report, “BJP is the only party that thinks of national interest, says V.K. Singh” (March 2). While there is no constitutional or statutory ban on a service chief joining a political party after retirement, it does raise serious questions on whether such a trend is likely to have a bearing on our totally apolitical defence services that we as a practising democracy can justifiably feel proud of. There has been increasing disillusionment among the services about the perceived indifference of the political class to address their genuine needs and keeping them fighting fit. It is time policymakers took the advice of the service chiefs more seriously.
I am not against ex-servicemen joining active politics or parties with varying ideologies. In fact, it is good. We have had Maj. Gen. Khanduri who brought about a visible change as far as the national highways were concerned during the NDA regime. However, Gen. Singh’s credentials deserve to be debated and his intentions scrutinised. Like it or not, the date of birth controversy and the ugly spat with the government will not be forgotten. Let us hope that his aim to serve the country “selflessly” does not reflect any “selfish” interest.
We also have to ask him whether he worked towards the betterment of the Army in terms of its modernisation. The BJP should also desist from playing politics with servicemen in its game of one-upmanship with the Congress party.