This refers to reports of certain papers pertaining to the purchase of the Rafale fighter aircraft being photocopied and leaked to the media. Such breach of security from the Ministry of Defence is a serious matter and must be investigated. Earlier too, a top secret letter written by the Army Chief to the Prime Minister found its way to the front pages of a major daily newspaper. This leak took place in the PMO, when Dr Manmohan Singh was the Prime Minister. All such cases are acts of treason and must be dealt with, using the full might of the law, so that they do not recur again.
—Col Abhay Singh
After the terrible suicide attack by a terrorist on a CRPF convoy which led to the death of 41 policemen, it was sad to see the Caravan magazine publish an article written by Ajaz Ashraf which tried to segregate the martyrs based on their caste. This was reprehensible journalism aimed to divide society and create casteist tension across the country. The uniformed fraternity is a model of the values enshrined in the Constitution and such yellow journalism must never be allowed to sully the image of our forces.
After the dastardly suicide attack carried out by the Pakistan based Jaish-e-Mohammad in Pulwama, there can be no talks or dialogue with Pakistan.The days of dialogue are over and what is need now is action. We need to strike at Pakistan where it hurts them the most. This must be done simultaneously on the political, diplomatic, economic and military level, and Pakistan’s strategy of bleeding India with a thousand cuts must be returned in full measure. Peace can only come about when Pakistan closes all terror camps inside its territory which are being used to wage a proxy war against India. Till then, Pakistan must be given a taste of its own medicine.
—M K Sirohi
This refers to your editorial, ‘The Need for Accountability’. There appears to be a deliberate attempt by our babus to sabotage indigenous production of defence equipment. There are some people in the establishment who believe that more money can be made on the side through kickbacks from imports, which is not possible in indigenous manufacture. I remember when I joined the Army 57 years ago, Siemens RR equipment used to be imported from Germany. Bharat Electronics or BEL started manufacturing the same. It came to me for user trials in the field, to be subsequently used for AREN. A babu accompanied the equipment. I tested the same and wrote out a report. I stated that the equipment was good, but certain rectifications were needed before supply to units by BEL. The babu spent most of the time trying to convince me to reject the equipment and write a report declaring the equipment shoddy and unfit for war. It was only later that I realised he was gunning for slush money from Siemens Germany imports. God help this country.
—Col Ajay Ukidve
How sad it is that on one hand ISRO with its scientists have developed the ability to send space missions to Mars, while on the other hand, our OFB with 41 Ordinance Factories have not been able to produce a quality rifle for the Army. Is it hightime that the MoD ensures that the agencies and establishments engaged in R&D and in production are put under the scanner and accountability is injected into the system. We need an independent authority to look into these matters. We also need the user to be co opted into the system, as an interface at each level of development of indigenous equipment. The trend of repeatedly giving “Concessions” to see that the target is achieved in time by compromising the Quality must be crushed heavily as it completely kills the efforts required to produce items of specified quality.
—Col Bishwajit Gon
The issue of the Rafale deal has been very well analysed (SALUTE, Vol 11, Issue 4). The anti Rafale brigade has lied on many counts and has resorted to mixing half truths with a pack of lies. These lies pertain to the proceedings at the Apex Court, statements made by senior IAF officers, etc. The questions which should be asked of the previous dispensation are as under:
•Why did UPA lie to the nation that a deal was stuck when only L1 was selected.
•Why did the UPA pressurise Dassault to partner HAL only, especially when HAL wanted 2.57 times more manpower, and HAL has always delayed its projects?
•Why was Dassault told to stand guarantee for products manufactured by HAL?
•What were UPAs plan for armaments of the Rafale fighters?
•There are 77 plus players or partners to Dassault. Why is UPA only harping on one offset partner.
The anti-Rafale brigade have unfortunately muddied the waters at the cost of the nation and jeopardised national security. The future acquisition of fighter aircrafts will most likely get delayed, and this is dangerous considering the low fighter strength of the IAF, which is already down to 32 squadrons. I wish the Manmohan Singh had bought these aircraft when they had the chance to do so. Their inability to do so has impacted on national security