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Suicide by Subedar Grewal for OROP: Modi government will pay a heavy price if it still doesn't wake up
Subedar Ram Krishna Grewal who committed suicide on the issue of OROP on November 1, 2016 was not a small person. He held the rank of Subedar which means a platoon commander who leads 36 men in war.

Whether Modi government likes it or not, but it has lost respect of the entire armed forces community on whose valour the government had been acting macho recently, especially post the surgical strike.

The fault lies with the Modi government as also with the Defence Minster Manohar Parrikar who has been going back on his own words under pressure from the babus of the Ministry of Defence. The real culprits are the babus who have been guiding read misguiding the Modi government on military matters. Had this government listened to the advice of the armed forces things in India would have been different.

Mrs Indira Gandhi rewarded the armed forces of India on their spectacular victory over Pakistan capturing 90,000 Pakistani officers and making them prisoners of war, a feat only repeated by India after World War II, by reducing the pension of soldiers from 70 per cent of the last pay drawn to 30 per cent. This could have led to a revolt in any other country but in India, its army being apolitical and highly disciplined, tolerated it. This basically happened due to mischief of the babus who keep straddling the Ministry of Defence and suck the blood of the country and also of the armed forces by taking fat commissions in all foreign arms purchase deals. It is because of these babus that despite the country having enough potential and capability, is buying 70 per cent of its arms from abroad and not making them at home, even after 70 years of independence, because every foreign purchase of arms comes with fat moolah. This is a shame.

In other large democracies of the world, politicians are not only highly educated but also themselves take part in military operations and thus cannot be fooled by these petty babus. However in India, politicians are clueless in matters of military. In addition, they have more faith in these babus than military experts, as a result one blind man leads the other and we bumble along. In India, it is this bureaucratic control over armed forces that is the root cause of all problems. It is beyond the mental capability of a babu to understand the deep sense of self esteem that is engrained in the armed forces, and forms the basis for the spirit de corps that motivates a soldier to lay down his life on the line.

If things are not corrected fast then we are staring at the ruination of an organisation and also the country. This explains that while PM Modi was spearheading `Sandesh for Soldiers' campaign on Diwali, a very laudable effort by him, the petty babus in MOD were simultaneously busy down grading the status of the armed forces. This act by these babus has taken away the sheen of the genuine good will gesture of PM Modi. In any other country, a babu found damaging a prime minister's campaign would have been sent home packing, but in India, nothing will happen.

For the first time in the history of India, it was the Subramanian Committee set up after the Kargil War that had recognised the need for harmony in civil-military relations in armed forces and the MOD. It made a lot of recommendations for integration of civil–military working relations. Twenty three recommendations were accepted by the erstwhile government. However, despite 13 years having gone by, these petty babus have ensured that this integration is mostly on papers. Modi government had a unique opportunity to make ex-army chief and now a minster in Modi government, General VK Singh, to forcefully implement these reforms by placing him in MOD, but once again `sab chalta hai' attitude came in. It is time Modi government wakes up before it is too late.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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