The article “A tale of two interventions” (July 28) was very interesting. I was surprised to learn that Rajiv Gandhi signed the Indo-Sri Lankan Accord against the advice of P.V. Narasimha Rao. I remember Voice of America describing the Indian intervention in Sri Lanka as a “political gamble.” Lack of Plan B (after the Indian troops were ordered out of Sri Lanka) points to Rajiv Gandhi’s ineffective leadership. The war to liberate Bangladesh in 1971 was indeed a picture in contrast. Kissinger termed the Indo-Soviet Friendship treaty signed in August 1971 a ‘bombshell’ which effectively prevented American and Chinese interference.
The article sent me down memory lane. After passing the UPSC examination, I was posted as a personal assistant to CoAS General (Field Marshal) Sam Manekshaw in 1971. The Military Assistant to the Chief of Army Staff, who introduced me to the General, was Lt. Col (he retired as Lt. Gen) Depinder Singh, GOC-in-C of Southern Command and Overall Force Commander of the Indian Peace Keeping Force (1987-88).
April 3, 1972, was to be Gen. Manekshaw’s last day in office. But at 3 p.m., instead of announcing his retirement, it was decreed that he would continue to hold office at the President’s pleasure, until further orders.
M. Arul Jothi,
Keywords: India-Sri Lanka Agreement 1987, Rajiv-Jayawardene Accord, Liberation of East Pakistan, India's military intervention, 13th Amendment, Pakistani military dictatorship, devolution of powers, LTTE, Pakistan Army