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PIL on new army chief's selection, what's the motive?

Last updated on: April 25, 2012 09:53 IST

PIL on new army chief's selection, what's the motive?

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The public interest litigation filed in the Supreme Court against the selection of Lt Gen Bikram Singh as the next chief of the Indian Army has been dumped by the court.

One wonders what prompted these senior citizens -- a retired admiral of the Indian Navy, a retired chief election commissioner, a veteran journalist, a retired lieutenant general of the army and a retired IAS officer, to come together for a lost cause of this nature.

One has never heard of this distinguished group having got together for any other matter of national interest, so why now and why in this regard?

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Image: Lt Gen Bikram Singh


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Vested interests behind selection of next chief of Army Staff?

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The access that these elements seem to have to confidential matters and documents at army headquarters is also a reason for worry. It would be worthwhile for the government to find the motive behind the filing of the PIL, so as to get to the root of the forces that are working against its perfectly legitimate decision concerning the army.

It is being said that there are certain vested interests behind the selection of Lt Gen Bikram Singh as the next Chief of Army Staff. It can also be argued that there are certain vested interests which do not wish to see him in the chief's chair for whatever reasons. Whatever the argument, there are certain forces at work that are clinging at straws to set back a government decision taken at the highest level with due deliberation and in a bipartisan manner.

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Image: Indian Army soldiers marching at the Republic Day parade in New Delhi
Photographs: Reuters

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Thorough background check carried out before selection process

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This matter has been seized by authorities at multiple levels, internally within the army organisation, in the highest levels of the government and in one earlier instance in the apex court itself. At every stage, the decision has gone in favour of the present dispensation.

Does the collective wisdom of all these august institutions and the learned people who man them amount to nothing in front of the petulant belief of a few senior citizens of the country who seem to have lost their basic sense of propriety?

How can somebody be so stupid as to believe that in a sensitive matter of this nature, which is in the media glare, the government would not take all precautions before reaching a decision?

The fact that a thorough background check was carried out by the government before the selection process was put in motion is well known, and has been reported upon in the media. All issues were put under scrutiny and set aside before the result of the selection was declared.

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Image: Supreme Court of India
Photographs: Reuters
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Smear campaign objective of PIL?

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It would be reasonable to assume that the group which had filed the PIL knew about these developments and was well aware that their PIL would not stand scrutiny in court, which leaves one to believe that the objective was to pressurise the incoming army chief through a smear campaign and embarrass the government in the bargain.

Is it worthwhile to make a specimen out of one of the most revered offices of the country in this insensitive manner, and in the process, jeopardise national interest and stature?

Lt Gen Bikram Singh has had a distinguished career and has all the attributes required to take on the responsibilities that are to be conferred upon him shortly. 

It is up to the nation to provide to him absolute and unstinted support so that he can do justice to his sensitive appointment.

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Image: Lt Gen Bikram Singh
Photographs: Courtesy Facebook

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Time for the govt to wield stick and say enough is enough

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He has proved his credentials by maintaining a dignified silence despite uncouth attempts and blatant lies to malign his good name.

Anybody else in his place would have probably filed a defamation case against those who have used insufficient knowledge to attack his personal credentials.

It is, however, clear that he does not wish to engage himself in worthless controversy in the larger interest of the nation.

Every time muck flies, it is the national image that takes a beating. This matter has to be put to rest and the sooner the better. Maybe the time has come for the government to wield the stick and say enough is enough.


Image: Defence Minister AK Antony with Army Chief General VK Singh and Lieutenant-General Bikram Singh

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Source: ANI