Sunday, June 13, 2021
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Forget the 1962 debacle, move ahead

We have been reading reports about the 1962 Chinese war report going public. The BJP criticized the government and also raised questions about the nation’s war preparedness. Jawaharlal Nehru’s forward policy was widely analysed and criticized. The report was authored by Lieutenant General Henderson Brooks and Brigadier P S Bhagat, then commandant of the Indian Military Academy, soon after the war.

In the year 1962, we were not militarily prepared and our views were too idealistic, far removed from the ground realities. Even today there exists a huge disconnect between the Forces and political leadership, whereas, it should work closely as a well knit team, frame policies and take decisions jointly. Our defense minister might be sounding honest but so are our kids. At least I find kids dressed properly while attending school but our minister inspects the parade wearing a loose shirt with sleeves half rolled. Do you think that if he dresses more smartly he will turn out less honest?

In international matters, we must be very cautious to understand psychological weak points of our neighbours and their sensitivities. Chinese are one race who does not want to lose face or want to be depicted in any manner that will give them a feeling of inferiority. Nehru and Menon were extempore speakers in English while Chou-en-Lai was not. Nehru, Naseer and Tito appeared more formidable ( even physically) through their non-aligned group. All these aspects played on the nerves of the Chinese resulting into our humiliation. The military commanders and civilian advisers boosted the ego of political bosses. Hence greater co-ordination is urgently needed and defense preparedness must be steadily, silently but surely improved. Work more, talk less.

There must be single window clearance for defense purchases. You cannot totally eliminate the middlemen (company representatives), they are needed for communication, facilitation but what we do not accept is that we ourselves encourage the middlemen. We want to make money through them, need them to park the ill gotten money and yet we want to be seen as honest. I remember clearly that I pointed out the involvement of Mr Tyagi in helicopter episode very early not because of any knowledge but the funny first name ( uncommon) gave me the gut feeling.

In the same manner, I call Kejriwal a crook after watching his newly chosen skull cap. My advice to gallant Muslim friends is that do you think your great ancestors were as weak limbed as Kejriwal? Why don’t you make your own destiny instead of milling behind the likes of Mulayam, Lalu or Kejriwal. Instead, join the defence forces, police force, paramilitary forces, merchant shipping and enrich your lives.

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