Service Chiefs are not individuals, they are ‘institutions’. That fact must not be forgotten. Statements denigrating a Chief in public domain is undesirable. Indeed if one wanted to convey diametrically opposite points of view, one could send it directly as a letter. Alternatively by email addressed to Chief only. Casting aspersions on their integrity and suggesting that more and more junior military officers and men go to court is reprehensible. 2026 is not too far away. Rather than criticising current fiascoes related to pay commission, may I suggest that we spend our neurons in recommending and putting down our thoughts on what the VIII pay commission for military should look like.
As regards going to courts for frivolous issues viz. promotion, pay, posting is concerned, my view was and remains ‘No courts to adjudicate on such issues’. Firstly, because military has adequate grievance redress mechanism and secondly our courts are not competent enough to decide on such matters because most judges do not have even working knowledge of military. Let us not devalue our self esteem and status by approaching courts. Col Amit Kumar’s decision to go to court on AFSPA does not fall in this category. The youngster has displayed exemplary moral courage in opting to show the ‘Mirror’ to Self Serving Judiciary of our great nation. Let us stop contesting every decision a service chief takes. We had our innings. Allow the new generation to exercise their authority.
—Gp Capt TP Srivastava
This refers to the article by Air Marshal R. Nambiar, AVSM, VM*, Deputy Chief of Air Staff. It sounds like a DRDO advertisement. LCA II sounds like a damp squib. “As far as performance goes, we have pegged the performance to the level of the Mirage 2000”…is this what they have to offer after 20 years, its payload being 6.3 tons. I guess somebody from the Air Force has to stand up and speak the blunt truth. Secondly, why does the IAF want to hang on to Attack Helicopters? They are not headed in the right direction. Also the IAF is not speaking the truth on the LCA — The existing single-engine Tejas has limited “endurance” of just an hour, with a “radius of action” of only 350-400-km, and weapon carrying capacity of 3-tonne. Other single-engine fighters like Swedish Gripen-E and American F-16 have roughly double the weapon-carrying capacity and triple the endurance. What does the AF have to say about it? Its basically a back yard fighter.
—Col JPS Grewal
Development of weapons, systems and equipment which can operate from minus 40 to plus 50 degrees is a nightmare for any designer or manufacturer, specially for a nascent research and manufacturing sector. Can we look at developing the critical items for (North and East ) and for (West and South)
I feel it was sensible to purchase 36 Rafales in flyaway condition in Govt to Govt deal rather than exacerbate pre existing delays and undermine Quality Assurance by banking on HAL. 36 Rafales were essential replacement for similar numbers of ageing Mirage 2000 and were critical to retaining an existing Strategic capability. Any further delay in this would be unpardonable. Glad that Mr Modi had the courage and political will to grasp the nettle on this score. The remaining 90 Rafales were for capacity enhancement, hence a lesser priority which could be met more economically.
—Col Milind Ranade
Has Pak ISI penetrated deep into our defence departments and causing harm to growth and defence modernisation efforts. Money can buy loyalty and integrity of loose characters and it is a hard truth as well.
—Col Bishwajit Gon
Please refer to your editorial (SALUTE, Issue 10). It is not lethargy that delayed the NRC, it is political expediency. After the accord was signed, seems none of the parties to the accord were keen to pursue it. AASU had tasted power, hence disintegrated, Congress benefitted from the vote bank. All was well till the SC started monitoring. Politicians will sell the nation so long as they gain/retain power
—Col Deepak Kher
Sounds too good to be true but what is COAS doing about the lowering of the morale of the soldier constantly. After all, soldier is the man behind the weapon. Unwarranted actions of non grant of disability pensions on flimsy grounds leaving him no option but to file a case in AFT to get it, NFU for some General officers only and not for others, withdrawal of rations in peace, opening up of cantonment roads, reducing age for post retirement jobs offered through DGR, use of combat elements in non professional jobs, non protection against prosecutions when doing bonafide duty in Disturbed Areas for which individual officers now need to approach the Apex Court, lowering of status and protocol of a soldiers and veterans where he can be arrested and lathi charged at will at the behest of bureaucracy/ political leadership…the list is endless. Regarding the reforms being undertaken and the modernisation of the Army, some things are noticeable and praise worthy but rest are just pipe dreams in many respects.
We need a common Denominator across the three Services. Can the three Services use similar missiles, AA, communication, radar systems, maybe with minor tweak? To say all systems are terrain specific may not very correct.