25 February, 2021

Knight Errant, Bit Too Errant?

The ex-army chief is losing shine with his ‘cry wolf’ tactics

Knight Errant, Bit Too Errant?

Former army chief General V.K. Singh’s life story right now can be divided into two parts—before and after retirement. If before the general was a soldier’s leader taking on the system, post-retirement he’s seen as a maverick on the warpath. For while most chiefs hang up their boots after retirement, maybe join a defence/corporate firm or think-tank, Gen V.K Singh has refused to sound the retreat. He’s been lending his weight to mass movements, making anti-establishment speeches and, even testing the political waters.

Men in the olive uniform believe that even after an officer retires, he carries a bit of the army with him. This belief is especially true in the case of retired army chiefs who are seen as carriers of the tradition. So the former general’s dabbling in various ‘causes’ is seen as a clear break from tradition. The general, of course, has his sympathisers, but there are now many who also question his conduct. First and foremost is the question: does it behove a former chief to...

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