Showing a little spine won’t do you any harm, Mr Antony !

The report that Defence Minister A.K. Antony has declined to act against the Chief of Army Staff V.K. Singh because he ‘doesn’t want blood on his hands’ makes for sad reading.

What kind of a defence minister do we have, if he is afraid of blood on his hands? This, almost neurotic, desire to preserve his reputation above every other consideration seems to be the hallmark of Mr Antony’s character.

To this end, he mishandled the date of birth controversy in the first place. Instead of acting decisively on the petitions sent to him by General Singh, Mr Antony preferred masterly inactivity and left it to the Supreme Court to deliver the coup de grace.

This process has led to the embitterment of the General and, no doubt, the various fire-fights he has launched.

There is little use lamenting, as Mr Antony did on Thursday, that whoever leaked General Singh’s letter to the prime minister was ‘antinational.’

He has fulminated that he would go “to the roots and find out” who it was and would not spare those people and take the strongest action against them ‘under Indian law.’

Reportedly, the Intelligence Bureau has been asked to find out who leaked the letter. But we all know that this is empty talk and that such ‘leak inquiries’ seldom yield a useful result.

Mr Antony has let down the country with his spineless leadership of the defence ministry.

There is little in his leadership to commend his presence there as, clearly, he has not even been able to carry out the task he was sent to accomplish in the first place-end the culture of corruption.

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