General V K Singh ought to have been hanged
By Faraz Ahmad
Indian Express Investigative Editor Ritu Sarin needs to be complimented for her brilliant coverage of the objectionable activities of former Army Chief Gen. V K Singh. Another word of appreciation for Shekhar Gupta as well, who jointly investigated the earlier story about the movement of an Army battalion under Singh (April 5, 2013).
The BJP as is wont, put out a predictable, unconvincing defence of the General who has demonstrated a questionable conduct from the beginning. First General Singh belatedly fudged his date of birth to earn one extra year as the Army chief and in the process ensure that General Bikram Singh, a Sikh, does not succeed him, smacking fully of a most questionable communal bias. He was the first commando elevated to the rank of Army chief and instead of bringing honour and pride to his unit and brigade, through his petty, mean and devious acts, the General has unnecessarily brought bad name to his unit and the Indian Army in general.
The BJP, and the retired general dismissed the allegation of the Army TSD unit raised by Singh, as trying to snoop in on the Indian Defence establishment and topple the duly elected government of Omar Abdullah employing the services of a free electron Ghulam Mir at a good price, again smacking of a communal bias against the only state in the country where perforce only a Kshmiri Muslim can lead. This report has only now emerged after an internal enquiry. It is possible that the Government may have chosen the timing to fully expose the game plans of the General and the BJP to field him from Haryana as its candidate in 2014. The General too demonstrated his anxiety to jump into politics via Modi, now that he is facing the heat for his misdeeds.
Soon after retirement last year which came about on May 31, only after he had exhausted all options, including the unprecedented one to take the matter to the Supreme Court, to make the Government accept his belatedly fudged proof of birth and thus let him continue as Army chief, the General rushed to Anna Hazare to now take the UPA government to task on corruption, as if his act was not a corrupt practice! After flirting with him for a while, he approached Arvind Kejriwal and addressed the public from their dais the day Kejriwal, Yogendra Yadav launched the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). After a while he was seen in the company of Baba Ramdev and did anyone also see him with Asaram Bapu? I wont be surprised if someone discloses tomorrow that he was also seen singing bhajanas with Asaram Bapu. So what is so unusual or surprising about his rushing to share the dais with Narendra Modi in his home state Haryana? Moreover Modi too threw enough hints that they plan to field the general from somewhere in Haryana.
But the BJP and Modi owe an explanation to the nation to clarify whether they would have been equally enthusiastic about adopting someone like him if the shoe was on the other foot or had BJP/Modi been in Government and the Congress in Opposition, how would the BJP have reacted? The man who could not tolerate fellow party man Haren Pandya testifying before the Citizens Committee about Modi’s role in the post-Godhra 2002 Gujarat pogrom of the Muslims, and got him bumped off, would he have let General V K Singh go lightly if he were ruling the nation today? Just to remind Modi and his apologists in the BJP, Nirmala Sitharaman/Smriti Irani/ Meenakshi Lekhi, Subramnaiam Swam et al about one of our best Naval commanders Admiral Vishnu Bhagwat, who had an unblemished service record as a great soldier. But the first thing the Vajpayee government did after assuming office in 1998 was to summarily sack Bhagwat (not compulsorily retire him) for his impudence to stand up to the then Defence Minister George Fernandes. Contrast Bhagwat’s crime with Singh’s. Bhagwat was not snooping around his own government through illegitimately acquired snooping devices. Bhagwat unlike V K Singh, was not conspiring to bring down a duly elected state government anywhere in the country. And most of all Bhagwat had not unlike General Singh, ordered marching of a unit loyal to him to move towards Delhi (Indian Express, April 5, 2013), when he feared the Government could possibly remove him from office or even arrest him for his conduct.
Actually for that action, if nothing else, this Government ought to have arrested General V K Singh, court martialled him and possibly even tried him in an open civilian court and given him the severest punishment of death sentence for sedition and conspiring against the state. But this Government is so apologetic about everything and the BJP and its Sanghi fellow travelers like General V K Singh are happily taking full advantage of that putting the Government in the dock. Imagine we now have General V K Singh taking up cudgels against corruption and why only Modi, even Arun Jaitlely was trying, though half heartedly to defend General Singh’s action. Next we will find Rajnath Singh finding in General V K Singh a long lost fellow Rajput brother. By the way it is a matter of speculation in political circles whether V K Singh is a Rajput or a Jat.