21 January, 2021

Date Of Rebirth?

In l’affaire Singh, the biggest casualty is national security

Illustration by Sorit
Date Of Rebirth?

Former army chief Gen V.K. Singh has acquired the knack of staying in the news for the wrong reasons. In his last year in office, he kept himself in the spotlight, ostensibly in the organisational interest. In fact, he was battling the government over his age, and hence, retirement date. Never before has an army chief belittled that high office as much, undermining the ethics and values of the profession of arms and the spirit of service before self. His supporters, a now receding band, had then highlighted his honesty, integrity and courage to take on a corrupt and failing government. It was because the government gave him a long rope and was overtly generous that he took it to court and later went to the media to justify his questionable actions. But the government did nothing.

The army has had its Thimayya and Manekshaw moments, but that was when a redoubtable defence minister, Krishna Menon, was gunning for the army chief and others (like Manekshaw), who weren’t toeing his line. Still, they behaved impeccably, and turned into military icons. And it isn’t...



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