Friday, May 25, 2012

Week Before Retirement, Indian Army Chief Endorses Controversial Book

This evening at a government-owned luxury hotel in the heart of Delhi, Indian Chief of Army Staff General V.K. Singh was chief guest at an event to release a book Assault on Merit: Civil Military Relations by former criminal lawyer R.K. Anand, a man of reportedly questionable credentials, whose legal career is perceived to have thinned down after he ran foul of the Supreme Court following a TV sting that exposed him influencing witnesses. There has been debate over whether it was appropriate for a serving Army chief to endorse a book of this kind, as his presence at the release no doubt does. His endorsement of the book comes on the back of the high-profile age row that peaked with the Army chief suing the government (and losing) earlier this year.

There is a sense that even if the Chief chose to endorse the book only to send out a message to the government before he retires on May 31 -- and this is, without a doubt, the principal reason for his association with the book and his interview to one of the co-authors -- it is peculiar that he would choose to tango with someone of R.K. Anand's reported credentials, which seem to go completely against precisely the sort of thing that the Army chief speaks out about.

There's a great debate on Headlines Today tonight. I'll post the video later.

38 comments:

VJ said...

South block? Burn them to hell..

Anonymous said...

What do you want to say? Boy just care for your credentials! I haven't read the book and I believe the same for you, dear. So, It is of no merit. Some so-called jan-pratinidhi have same credentials, but you didn't write a single word about them...

Anonymous said...

Similarly integrity of govt is also questionable. Anand may be censured be court but this govt is declared corrupt by masses. Morever, Anand as a author & Anand as a lawyer are to seperate things all together.

But, Aroor you are peddling your stuff too much on this blog and I am starting to see a conflict of interest. At least in some cases of merit you can avoid selling your soul to your employer.

COAS is well within his rigt to endorse book of his choice.Enjoying confidence of govt does not mean he has to take permission for going to loo even.

Anonymous said...

The Indian Army is the most corrupt and inefficient branch of the armed forces. Hope it gets its act sorted out real soon.

An Indian said...

We know the R K Anand issue when he tried to buy the witness....but that is the half truth..unless we know for sure if his client was really culprit or he was innocent and was merely conspired and on purpose trapped in that case by the opponent for some vested reasons.

In Delhi,the power corridor of India...there are so many parties moving around...like Criminals,Mafias,Political leaders,Intelligence Agencies and their teams from all
countries...every thing is possible.

Shiv a request...when media arranges a Debate..on burning issues...please open that platform to some ordinary citizen also to express their views instead allowing only few specialist...who may not express/reflect the feeling of other billions of common ordinary citizen (using open phone lines for common citizens to ask questions or express their views online).

Regards,

Joy said...

The Indian Army has turned into one of the most corrupt, incompetent and dishonest organisations in India.

Anonymous said...

Joy,
Could you please provide the arguments for your claim ....

Anonymous said...

Oh Boy,
Are you informing us on the book and its author? No, your target is VK Singh..

Useless hit piece by you. We have been seeing that streak in you, Shiv

Anonymous said...

I actually read the book (surprise surprise!) and though I too had my reservations about RK Anand, I think the book is a real eye opener. After all they do say, it sometimes takes a crook to catch a crook.
Maroof Raza, Kunal Verma and Inderjit Badhwar together set the tone for the evening. Anand himself seemed to get carried away (who wouldn't, if they had almost 700 people listening in on a book launch) and perhaps spoke more than he should have. The Chief's comments were balanced, simply calling for more transparancy in selection matters. In his conversation with Kunal Verma which is quoted in the book, General VK Singh says quite frankly that the systems are very good and almost foolproof, but if these are subverted from within, there is nothing that can be done. It all eventually boils down to Institutional Integrity.
I think you guys in the media really need to do a reality check! You don't have to praise VK, but you don't have to burry him either! Just stick to the facts!

Anonymous said...

And what did Nehru say to Gen Cariappa before 1962."it is not the business of the Army to determine who the enemies of the nation are". Burn down south block and the palace intriguers! leave not one out.

prs said...

yes Shiv...I believe in most of the comments....you have started supporting the channel you work for and the indirect bossess of that channel (congress.....)....stop doing this....try to be a journalist....and just tell what you came to know....don't try to promote your personal agenda.....already many people have left this blog because of the recent articles...even I am not thinking of visiting this again.

Prashant said...

Did you even read the book before starting to write judgmentally?

Anonymous said...

By now Shiv you would be contemplating doing poll to prove that you are unbiased.

Just advice for you - don't think of it as politician do poll and gentlemen do soul searching.

Actually, you should do exactly what the learned Judge said to COAS - "let it go with the Wind" (as if age issue is just a fart)

Mr. Ra said...

Topic by itself is thought provocative and open to contain various diverse views. However by no standards it can be called as controversial.

Anonymous said...

This is not journalism. honesty is being questioned by you MR.Aroor.

the terminator said...

So long as Gen V K Singh has not revealed or divulged sensitive issues pertaining to the security of the nation to a third party, he has every right as a citizen of the country to write, endorse or even write his memoir. No one should question his integrity just because he has exercised his right to endorse a book. He endorsed the book and not the author per se.

Anonymous said...

@ Joy

been seeing yu comments on the blog off lately. Tell me one thing who will defend the nation, IF, as per you suggestion the army actually gets dissolved. Bunch of pathetic low lives like you who can actually do nothing but sit in their rooms (read dark hole of despair) and keep cribbing about the system. For a change go get a life. Give think of ways to remediate this situation(if it doesnt overheat your tiny rat brain)

Anonymous said...

VK Singh is one of the most unashamedly politicised and casteist army chiefs in history, and all for personal benefit and glory. What has he done for the jawans and junior officers? In India the top people completely forget about the lower ranks when they achieve power, and VK Singh is no different.

Anonymous said...

^^^ had he stashed crores in murky deals like others,he would have been exposed by his opponents by this time.only thing is he got courage to speak up at the fag end of his career.Nyoma incident could be a stage managed incident to malign him.Anyway its a shattering experience for the knowledgeable commoners about the sanctity of the army top brass!!!!

Anonymous said...

@anon 3:18

COAS has extensively worked for welfare of ex-servicemen.

He had been 2 years or more in office & you have a grudge against him for nonperformance. Imagine what kind of grudge do we all harbor against group of thugs who are governing India for last 65 yrs. While you hold COAS for nonperformance but at same time happily align to biggest source of inefficency in our Country. Without dought you are one of those plunderers & COAS is easy your easy target for being upright & being dead against rot.

George said...

Shiv, I used to be an avid reader of your blog. But of late you seem to be pedaling some agenda of your own. I am sure you profession may be forcing you into such writings. But atleast on your blog you could show an unbiased professional approach. Seems like you are loosing it by the month.

Anonymous said...

@Anon 1.29 PM

It seems you have missed the point that lies behind Joy's comment.

You only have to check the news to know that there are serious flaws in the way our armed forces are organized. We have seen the shape of our armed forces when a bunch of semi literate jihadi boys from across the border attacked right at the heart of our nation not once but several times.

The last Chief of Army was a crook who is still roaming scott free and the current one has stooped to such pettiness that defies belief.

Our armed forces are pretty much organized as a colonial army. Pray tell me why does a nation of more than one billion needs 7 regiments which basically consists of foreigners (Nepalese)???How much do we pay to Nepal each year??

All the regts of IA basically consists of communities which the British called "martial races". If you check the history of "India", you will find almost all these communities sided with foreigners to enslave this country and it's people and some have absolutely no contribution to India's freedom struggle.

The Indian Army needs to change to be truly the Army of modern India, not an army that some parts of this country considers as an occupying army.

Anonymous said...

@Anon 1.29 PM,

It seems you know nothing about India's independence struggle.

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:18

V K Singh is heavy politicised - you actually mean that he rose from estblishment ranks and still choose to be anti-establishment.

He joins clubs of upright individuals like TN Seshan, kiran Bedi & Kejriwal.

He is castist - you mean he distinguish b/w officers benifiting from country and officers benifiting the country

He did not care for juniors - what does his struggle for age coorection brings to light? - that Juniors suffer from arbitary decission making of seniors. He himself is victim.

I disagree with your statements. You are free to give evidence to prove your statememts

Anonymous said...

shiv, how much did they pay you to push this worthless piece on your blog, that btw has become equally frivolous. count on one less visitor to your ad hominem. the general towers way way above minnows like your sorry self.

invite you to publish this if you have the last bit of journalistic integrity left.

Anonymous said...

Seriously ?
thought you would exercise better judgement than the rest of the journos and like of Ajai Shuklas..but it seems your popularity has gone to your head.

A chief cannot endorse a book ? It has to be based on majority public opinion ? Cant we all just leave him alone ?

Yes he is a chief and he is entitled to personal beliefs and choices.
No..he is not perfect. Given the hostile scenario all you are doing is adding fuel to the fire.
Thought you had more maturity and better judgement that this.

Well..I will add your blog to the rest of crap pile that hounds the internet.

Anonymous said...

I dont think the bone of contention is the wether the book is spurious or not, its the fact that a service chief is readily endorsing a book that questions the very system that he as a chief is a part of.

Its an unwritten rule that the serving Defence Chiefs be Bipartisan while still in uniform, one can be how much ever partisan they want, after they relinquish the said chair

Anonymous said...

So you want your pound of flesh..Shiv!!!.

Anonymous said...

Shiv, what i liked about your blog was you allowed your reader draw their own conclusions. You did not peddle opinion for fact or did not try to influence it at least overtly. But in this case you are taking sides. You could but a lot of the readers looking to form their own opinino will go elsewhere. Dont go the Broadsword way..

Anonymous said...

To all the above "commentators" who are accusing Shiv of taking "sides", don't you find it highly ridiculous that the Chief of the Army, just a week before he retires, releases a book titled "Assault on Merit" by a lawyer with dubious reputation????

Being the Chief of Staff isn't it his responsibility to ensure that the system he heads is indeed based on meritocracy instead of accusing that very system of nepotism etc ??

If a person of his caliber can rise to the highest rank, then there is something indeed rotten in the way people are recruited and promoted in the armed forces.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anon @10.07,

Indeed if "dubious merit" is what dictates the yardstick for association why is the blog owner wading into the controversy? Is he Moses? As regards Anand and his book - have you considered the possibility of the book being good? was the chief here to endorse the man or the book? does endorsing the book mean endorsing the man? no it does not?

And if you refer VK Singh as a person of "this caliber" then feel free to vote for the likes of Avadesh PRakash, Deepak Kapoor, or the best BM Kaul. Do not forget to vote for VK Menon too.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anon 3.31 AM,

The "blog owner" happens to be a defense journalist and it is his job to wade into muck and expose controversies. If he sticks to reporting sarkari press releases....then, he is no different than our Jurassic Doordarshan.

Regarding the book and the man....if the Devil cites scriptures...then something is definitely wrong in the picture...particularly when the "Good Book" castigates the very things that our "Good" general was supposed to do in the first place instead of getting embroiled in extending his tenure by changing the date of birth thru supreme court....this kind of activity we see plenty in schools and colleges...not in the highest echelons.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anon 1:07PM

Blog owner is not exposing controversy but rather raking in non-existent controversy for increasing his TV Channel's TRP.

That's the whole point of endorsing this book it is neither any one in Army nor COAS himself deciding succession plan. They are mere file pushers it is MOD that decide with its not bound by any service rule civiles. These morons decide world's 3rd largest standing army's succession plan. And when civiles decide you very well know what happens - see IAS, IPS and other recruitment....devoid of merit.

Probably, if you are busy just read back matter of this book. Yes, i admit there won't be any earth shattering change in your personality but who knows you get little more informed.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anon 2.48 PM,

Promotions, be it in civilian life or military, are based on Performance Appraisal.

For wrong kind of people to become a part of any outfit's succession plan, the entire system must be seriously flawed. For example, organisation's culture or tradition of favoring one group of people over other can skew the entire system. There are no performance mgt systems that are completely objective. And the ones in Govt outfits allow lot of room for subjectivity as performance is not the only differentiating factor. Ergo, the issue is much more deeper than you think.

Suresh Mandan said...

The comments were interesting.But why Anonymous? It is alright if serving Army Officer does not write his name,but how about retd officers or others who have nothing to fear. Courage is still a rare commodity.Well there couldbe nothing wrong if COAS goes to the book function. Was Anand not a part of the ruling party till sometime ago?

Anonymous said...

good post...
keep it up..shiv

Anonymous said...

To all the above "commentators" who are accusing Shiv of taking "sides", don't you find it highly ridiculous that the Chief of the Army, just a week before he retires, releases a book titled "Assault on Merit" by a lawyer with dubious reputation????

Being the Chief of Staff isn't it his responsibility to ensure that the system he heads is indeed based on meritocracy instead of accusing that very system of nepotism etc ??

If a person of his caliber can rise to the highest rank, then there is something indeed rotten in the way people are recruited and promoted in the armed forces.


good job

Anonymous said...

good job ..

awesome vastraharan of vk singh... the rajput leader.. not the leadre of nation.