ARMY SHOULD NOT BE DOWN GRADED..ITS ASSERTION IS
Dr K Prabhakar Rao
In a recent article in Enadu ( Telugu) Kuldip Nayar former Indian High commissioner to UK was very critical about army and in no uncertain terms he said that armys intereference in civil administration has been increasing. He saw threat to Indian democracy due to such rise.This is not first time that civilian beaurocrats in I India have been critical of army and in fcat the relations between Indian beaurocrats and army have always been unsatisfactory.This is due to many reasons.
In fact, Jawaharlal Nehru the first PM of India was scared of army. He was very much apprehensive of General Thimmayya who commanded great respect in all services. Before Chinese war in 1962, The army chief General Thimmayya and Defence minister VK Krishna menon had serious differences and General Thimmayya submitted resignation. However General Thiimmayya was much persuaded by Nehru and he withdrew his resignation. Later, the PM let the General down in parliament badly and soon Thimmayya retired. The war against China was a serious catastrophe and India received grave shock and VK Krishna Menon was sacked later. In fact, Nehru should have resigned taking responsibility as it was a civilian failure and not an army failure. But Nehru continued in chair, People say he died of sorrow and shock in 1964 which is of course debatable. Armys prestige nose dived. It was only after 1965 and 1971 that army regained its prestige and confidence to some extent. Nehru’s govt made sure that all service chiefs are of same rank so that they could never unite for military coup. The word commander in chief that was earlier present was taken off. Thus army was cut to size as first step. Next step was down gradation of army ranks in protocol. The ranks were seriously down graded in comparison to political leaders and IAS babus. With this started the eternal and never ending squabble between army and civilian babus. Army is under MOD and all its matters have to be processed through MOD that is dominated by civilian Babus. In a democracy army has to take back seat and civilian authority is supreme and this fact no one denies including army.
Mr Nayar in his article was critical that the special powers granted to army in Ja nd K state and in Eastern troubles states such as Nagaland have to be removed. In fcat the young chif miniser of J and K recommended to the govt that army's powers be removed in his staete. Mr Nayar lamented that army resisted the move and the govt was helpless. This he saw as armys influence over civilain authority. Secondly the recent encounter in Kashmir in which some youth were killed was quoted. Kashmiris claim that these youths were innocent . The aspect of siachin glacier also became a matter of discussion. It has been claimed that the foreign ministers of India and Paksitan agreed to withdrwan troops from Siachin. Mr Nayar also claimed that the retired senior military officers opined that these areas need not be held as there was no purpose. However he lamented that army insisted on occupying siachin lands. This matter has been again seen as interference in civil administration. Is Mr Nayar competent to decide and discuss the strategic issues of defense. After all he is a mere beaurocrat of some repute. But that does not make him all knowing type. In India withdrew from Siachin pak would surely occupy these lands and will notr honor the commitmnets. Pakistan always betrayed us. Similarly Kashmir can not be held with army;s hands tied behind. Jihadis would butcher army while guys like Kuldip nayar would watching TV in his cozy house. The kashmir valley has been islamised. They have driven away pandits from the valley. Pakistan is in hand in glove with separatists and making all attempts to infiltrate into state. This is being stopped only by presence of army. Army knows what is best for the valley to stop infiltration and not nayar. It is better Mr Nayar relaxes after retirement instead of creating confusion and degrading army;s stature and demoralize them. He is a chip of old dead wood.