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Monday, March 26, 2012

One-man train wreck


If any one person could embody the phrase one-man train wreck, the distinction would belong to none other than India’s top General V. K. Singh. The egress of grace from persona of persons in public sphere has long been accepted as fait accompli. But, it is the antics of the General that even surpass those who habitually inhabit nadir. General as per his own admission accepted a date birth to get appointed to the top job only to renege disgracefully and put both army and government in an unparalleled embarrassment and drag those institutions through Supreme Court. Even though the court advised him to accept decision and retire gracefully, he chose to interpret that as not a final closure. One had hoped, now it would seem in vain, nothing happened till his date of retirement. It would seem, in a latest bizarre saga, that the General was offered bribe, he chose to stay at first quiet and blurt out now and throw everybody off the balance. The only caveat is that the General has hardly any credibility left and it would be just waste of time to ask ‘why now’.  

If it were a matter of a single General gone berserk the entire thing could be shrugged off. The truth is that it represents a much deeper malaise that can only be gauged by the fact that the past appointees to top posts in army would be decorated individuals in contrast to future appointees who are either tainted with fake encounters or embroiled in scandals. It is not a hypothetical nightmare scenario but rather an undeniable reality with designate army chief as a poignant illustration. And when army officers in contravention to the accepted norms of a democratic set-up are allowed to over ride civilian authority in the matter of policy, the day of ruing cannot be far behind. At any moment when civilian political authorities would even pretend to be looking at the draconian acts that provide blanket impunity to the doings of armed forced, the generals would let out a loud howl in unison against any dilution to their power to kill and terrorize civilian population.

The precedence of civilian authority over armed forces should have been long made clear and General V. K. Singh dismissed at the very first instance of dissension. But then that requires high moral authority. President Harry Truman didn’t have any compunction in dismissing Douglas MacArthur, one of the most decorated Generals in American history and getting in the process pilloried by Republicans. Historically, Truman is placed highly for that momentous and courageous judgment.
-Rajiv Kumar

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Ignorant arrogance and land of ignoramus


A few days back Delhi police once again indulged in an oft-repeated gimmick and it declared to have uncovered a plot by ‘dreaded terrorists’ who were going to once again blow up Delhi and after that terrorists involved were planning to board a bus to reach Kashmir to blow that place. The plot thickened further when police in Delhi declared to have found a letter of recommendation written by Syed Ali Shah Geelani in favor of one of the terrorists involved, recommending a Pakistani visa. The implication spread by the authorities is meant to read that finally a smoking gun linking Syed Ali Shah Geelani to a terrorist plot is found. Only one has be a complete dunce not to remember the number of such dud plots uncovered by Indian security forces. And even before charges against Geelani had been pronounced, one person seemed to have declared Geelani already guilty and was seen to be foaming while demanding explanation from Geelani. Arnab Goswami while hosting what was purported to be a TV discussion, assumed the role of an inquisitor.

The uncouthness of Arnab Goswami, his misdemeanor bordering on vulgarity and in conjunction with his inherent ignorance, makes one wonder if he is even aware about the geographic location of Kashmir, leave aside the history of the place. The vulgarity of Arnab Goswami was interspersed by midget like Manish Tiwari’s proclamation of peaceful participations in elections in Kashmir that are being vitiated by Geelani. The only thing that comes to mind is that ‘idiots don’t get it’. How could these people be so shut from the reality? The only regretful thing was that Syed Ali Shah Geelani had to put with utter and diabolical nonsense of Arnab Goswami and while doing so Geelani neither lost his calm and more importantly nor his brief.

One starts wondering at people like Goswami, their origin; and one starts genuinely asking where in the hell do such people get their power to behave with an ignorant arrogance everyday? Where do such people get their mandate for spreading their ignorance and lies? Arnab Goswamy is not the only one of his ilk in the land of ignoramus. When last autumn the moment poor Omar Abdullah raised the issue of AFSPA, the femme fatale of NDTV, Barkha Dutt, went on hosting a reality show featuring Indian army generals who ranted against any dilution of the act so that security forces unabatedly continue their crimes against civilian population.