The Liberation War episode written by Maj Chandrakant Singh, VrC, was very interesting and the correlation with Mahabharata was most impressive. It also showed some actual inadequacies in our assessment system.
This refers to the article by Maj Chandrakant Singh ‘No Bed of Roses’. Who gets rewarded, who gets promoted and who moves on unsung are different facets of Army life. The story is a very interesting narration of the Liberation War. With respect to the SALUTE Issue on Modernisation of the Forces, it must be stated that nowhere or rather in no organisation in India except for the Armed Forces, is anybody held accountable for anything. This explains why we are still in a shabby state.
—Col JPS Grewal
No Bed of Roses is indeed an interesting write up. In my Battalion in the 1971 war, all four company commanders were awarded VrC’s, but none got to Command a Battalion. Yes, our system does little for officers who have displayed recognised valour. The article is a good personal recollection of the War.
—Maj Gen Vinay Bhatnagar
This refers to the SALUTE Issue on Make in India. Two points. The MOD has to be rid of entire fleet of bureaucrats and replaced by professionals from the Services and the industry. The Defence Minister has to be from a military background so that he/she should not have to be trained and oriented from scratch within a few weeks to provide strategic wisdom for the defence of a country like India that has multifarious security issues and a variety of adversaries. It would be difficult to implement this though. Ultimately, the nation will have to continue to be fully dependent on the superior skill and fervourof the Indian Armed Forces to keep it safe with “whatever they have”.
—Maj Gen Harwant Krishan
This refers to the SALUTE Issue on Make in India. The keys are attitude and accountability and the fear of public reprisals. All DRDO’s and government white elephants should be shut down. Throw open every item in the public domain. Security and sensitivity of information is not the issue. The tentacles of octopus babus must be totally cutoff from these areas in MOD and elsewhere. Sensitivity and security of information line of thinking is obsolete. I as a soldier, want my rifle to fire properly, don’t want the barrel to bulge and want my radio set to communicate as designed.
—Lt Col Ajay Ukidve
The inefficient public sectoris mostly a curse due to unions, job security for non performers, and lack of sense and passion for quality production. There has to be no compromise on High standards. If there is lack of quality production, the blame lies on factory management and workers (SALUTE, Volume 10, Issue 9).
Your latest issue of SALUTE was very well brought out. Let’s see someone listens as MAKE IN INDIA languishes and largely remain in works as far as defence sector is concerned.
While the PM’s intentions to make in India have been sincere, his colleagues in government and the nation’s bureaucrats have unfortunately let him down. If an incident of an ammunition depot catching fire due to faulty mines had happened in a Western country, the guilty would have been punished. There was a plane crash in Switzerland where the ATC was not even guilty but he committed suicide for loss of lives.
This refers to the Editorial in SALUTE: Volume 10, Issue 9. While well articulated, but things/ reality on the ground is so very different! “The road ahead is long and bumpy and only a steely will and outstanding leadership can achieve…” Here not only a steely will, but shedding Victorian attitude is needed.
The article, ‘Geo-Strategic Shift in South Asia,’ was very good and insightful. The Chinese rulers have their own vision of raising their country to the position of eminence on the world stage, and their actions in South China Sea, Indian Ocean Region, Africa, South Asia, Central Asia, and elsewhere are fully consistent, and firmly in tune with the roadmap they have prepared to achieve their goal. Their policy towards India is just a part of their overall road-map for achieving their goal. The consistent policy of British India was to contain Russia beyond Afghan borders and deny them access to warm waters of Arabian sea. Similarly, vis-a-vis India, the Chinese policy could be to contain and keep India busy within its land boundaries, and deny or impede it to play maritime role in IOR, where it has an advantageous geographical position. China, at the same time, wants dominating trade relations with us. When we understand the intentions of our rival, we can formulate our own response that is in tune with the vision for our country. The ultimate answer to the challenge lies in what has been stated in the last para of the article: amassing huge economic and military muscles necessary to assert our relative autonomy in taking economic, political and strategic policies, philosophy and way of life. Though the answer appears simple, no previous rulers of our country, except Vajpayee and the present leader, had ever evinced the possession of broad vision how to shape our country.