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Stand Down, Soldier!! The Spirit which does not bow down-General VK Singh



This UPA to me, apart from all the foolhardy and gibberish explanations for various scams till the time it got caught between the rock and a hard place, would also be remembered for a tenure which saw a name moving to the dead from the Army's hall of fame in the face of irritatingly obvious apathy, the glorious name of Sam Maneckshaw or Sam Bahadur, whose funeral a self-serving government could not find time to attend, nor for whom Laloo Prasad Yadav could think of recommending Bharat Ratna. No vote bank to be addressed there.

Another shameful episode was the way this government treated General VK Singh, one of the most pubicly upright public figure of late. I will not sit about to write the life story of General Singh, as I do not know from where to start, with his date of birth still in question due to obstinate posture of an unfeeling and crazy government. The line of argument and speak of this government is lame enough to send any sane man into tizzy, for instance, they said, they can take Anna Hazare seriously if it can be proven that he is apolitical, but why, is being political so bad, and then why did they get offended when they saw the banter on the political class.

 In light of this there is no point to discuss the merits or demerits of Age row and Government position on it, what sure is important is the sad manner in which the whole matter was handled. And then how the matter regarding Tatra purchase was handled. The Tatra BEML unholy alliance raised right questions, which resonated with the collective national mindspace. But then this government is known to act in such manner. Only after the collective Khap Panchayat which we call Parliament backed down after shady politicos called the General names, did the fact registered that the whole nation is watching and there is enough substance in the error of procedure. Of course, there was no apology, Army can not send privilege notice, it can only order battalions to practise movement to Delhi, which can be picked up by a newspaper, which does not even bother to defend its position, as an imaginary, quixotic coup.

Anyways, for Army and nation, it was a time of crisis and as in any crisis, your bigness and smallness will stand magnified, so did the dwarfness and ugliness of the government and grandeur of character of the man called General VK Singh. As we stand at the verge of next election and a possible change of regime, we need to consider that the are few points of social probity on which national conscience hangs. Supreme Court, the army, the security apparatus make up for the reference points which hold the nation together and the current government has slighted each with impunity. This government has told at instances the SC to stay within limits, got into public battles with Army chief, disputed IB chief and has muddied all that the citizens held sacred.

People are guessing if he will come back to public life as a Politico is any body's guess, but if he does not, I will still thank him for offering a picture of composure and grace, in the time of gloom.


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