“Shekhar (gupta, EIC/CEO, IE) is the general of the “Sonia bhakts” !?! Scoop is sensationalist and full of unwarranted conjectures

Mohan Guruswamy writes on his facebook page & his opinion is widely received and commented upon:
The Indian Express story this morning about two crack Indian Army units moving towards Delhi on the night January 16-17 is sensationalist and full of unwarranted conjectures. Obviously the “details” have been provided by someone high up in the security and intelligence apparatus, and the leak is meant to keep the Military circled out and kept isolated from the Government. This is not the first time this sort of thing has happened.

The first time it happened was during the funeral arrangements for Jawaharlal Nehru in 1964. The COAS had ordered up some units to be prepared to assist in the funeral ceremonies with crowd cordoning and VIP security. The DIB interpreted this as a preparation for a coup and warned the acting PM, Gulzarilal Nanda. The Army was asked to explain. Gen. JN Chaudhry replied appropriately and said the Military was sworn to uphold the Constitution and that it was commanded by men of honor.

I recall an acrimonious discussion in the early 90’s related to me by a COAS. The Indian Army was pressing for putting the BSF under full military control in J&K for effective counter-insurgency operations. The BSF balked and its then DG argued before the then HM, with the COAS present, that the BSF must be kept independent of Army control at all times as it was the bulwark against any Indian Army attempt to seize political control. The COAS scoffed at it saying, that knowing the calibre of the IPS in command of the BSF, it would not even take hours for the Army to subdue the BSF and confine it to the barracks. He asked him not to talk nonsense in front of the Home Minister to protect his turf.

The friction between the Army and the IPS is well known, and its testy relations with both the IB and RA&AW, apart from the BSF and CRPF are well known. The Defence and Home Ministry bureaucracies love this situation as it allows them to play off one against the other.

The Government will do well to get to the bottom of this news report and track down its “sources”. But who will the Government turn to trace these sources. The IB?

VK Cherian I do wish it is just “sensationalist and full of unwarranted conjectures”..But what ever is it not a good sign for our democracy, just as the row with the General…
Akhil Shastry Nehru had enormous contempt for the armed forces.He said soldiers were mindless zombies who killed on orders without even bothering to think about the rightness or wrongness of the order.
Machimanda Appaiah Deviah Akhil: In my opinion Nehru had no opinion on this. He was probably parroting Krishna Menon’s words. He was the real Chanakya in all this.
Manoj Joshi Hit the nail on the head, Mohan
Vinay Talwar VK, in my opinion Shekhar is the general of the “Sonia bhakts”, he has consistently shown his great capacity to ‘spin’ and would rank ahead of Bhajji as India’s best spinner 🙂
Niranjan Pant I agree with MG that it is probably a planted / inspired story by vested interests. With a weak central leadership, everyone has visions of grandeur or nefarious designs, especially with some foothold in the media. Highly condemnable. Every public servant – uniformed or civil – knows that whistle-blowing against powerful vested interests is a perilous task. Very few therefore undertake it The article has mischief written all over, what with fanciful bold scary headlines interspersed with slimy praise for the professional and ‘impeccable integrity’ of the General.
Prakash Nanda I am ashamed as a journalist that such a horrible story has appeared in Indian Express. My friends say that it is an IB plant. As it is becoming increasingly evident that the letter of VK Singh to Manmohan Singh has been leaked by “Babus”, not military personnel, it is another trick to prepare grounds for sacking the General. I hope my friends are wrong. It is really enemies of India who want a weak Army in India….
Rikeesh Sharma Soul selling and loyalty issues aside, this piece is irresponsible journalism. especially looking at the timing of it all. there is no need to splash sensationalism and negative news on the front page. Poor ethics…in my view!
Manas Paul Lo…this is queer development….now…its not the army but the power lobby in Delhi corridors that seeks to enforce …’force multiplier’…
Outlook’s Churumuri writes (asks, doubts, questions ?) about it his blog:

PRITAM SENGUPTA writes from New Delhi: The front-page, full-page report in the northern editions of The Indian Express this morning, that two units of the Indian Army moved towards Delhi on January 16, 2012—the day the Army chief V.K. Singh‘s petition before the Supreme Court on his date of birth was coming up—has sent New Delhi into a tizzy.

The report, anchored by the paper’s redoubtable editor-in-chief Shekhar Gupta, with reporting from Ritu Sarin, Pranab Dhal Samanta and Ajmer Singh—that barely disguises its attempts to hint at a “coup” that wasn’t—has been stoutly denied by the ministry of defence and an official statement from the defence minister A.K. Antony is due.

As the old saying goes, never believe a story until it is officially denied.

Still, is the Express story a “scoop” throwing light on something that was hidden or unknown; a rehash of previously published stuff; or just plain Delhi-style “spin”, against the backdrop of leaks and plants that have been coming in a torrent in the crossfire between the outgoing Army chief and the “establishment”?

To give Express its due, the three-deck, four-byline, eight-column banner headline suggests plenty of leg work.

What blunts the edge somewhat on the Express story is that the Army manoeuvre wasreported by Rediff.com 22 days ago—on March 13, 2012. What also muddies the waters is that the Army itself held an official briefing on the subject 25 days ago—on March 10, 2012—in Agra.

So, regardless of the official denials, is the Express story a scoop, a rehash or spin?

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