Army scoop rumor : Balance and restraint by the media is need of the hour

Lt Gen Vijay Oberoi

A recent incident of indiscipline in a unit of the army was dutifully reported by the media, but a few newspapers and TV news channels that indulge in yellow journalism, continue to sensationalise it. This is despite the army having unequivocally stated that the incident is being investigated thoroughly. Implicit in various media releases by the army is that there is no move whatsoever to push the incident under the carpet and that exemplary disciplinary action would be taken against all those found guilty. This being so, speculative innuendos and sensational stances must stop.

My intention is not to say that the news of the incident should not have been reported, or that the media should only report favourable news about the army. However, one starts losing faith in our supposedly independent media when sensationalism takes over and phrases like ‘unique case’ or ‘army getting indisciplined’ are bandied about.

This is not the first time such an incident has occurred. Without going too far back, there was a case in 1978 and another in 1979, both in Ladakh. In 1986 and 1987, two such incidents occurred in the eastern sector. During Operation Pawan in Sri Lanka, there were two incidents, one each in 1987 and 1989. Mutinous actions of a number of units following Operation Blue Star in 1984 are well known. There have been similar incidents in the navy and air force too. All these were handled by the hierarchy of the armed forces with balance, maturity and panache and no editor-in-chief of those days interfered or offered advice, as is being done by a few upstarts today! Neither was there any dilution in the professional capabilities of our forces!

All artillery units fire their artillery guns a number of times every year, but the annual practice firing camp has a special sanctity. During this camp, all artillery guns of the unit fire at the field firing ranges and all personnel of the unit are fully involved. When all the guns of the unit fire simultaneously, the noise, dust, smoke and explosions they produce can only be described as spectacular.

During these camps, there is a surge in adrenalin levels of all ranks, as well as tension, as everyone wants to do well. On the day the entire regiment fires, many guests are invited to witness this spectacular event. Once the firing is wound up, there is visible decrease in tension and everyone gets in to a celebratory frame of mind, having successfully achieved what they had set out to do.

It is unfortunate that after the culmination of this specific event, the unfortunate incident of indiscipline occurred. It was an isolated incident, where tempers were allowed to rise unnecessarily. There was no pre-mediation or planning, let alone a conspiracy on anyone’s part. It was simply an accident and hence there is no reason to sensationalise it or make it larger than life. From the very beginning, no attempt was made by the army to hush up the incident. One therefore cannot understand why a section of the media is bent upon making it sinister and trying to link it with other recent events.

In a 1.3 million strong army, where individuals interact with each other on a 24X7 basis, the odd aberration does occur. Despite discipline being ingrained in them from the very first day they don a uniform, and despite the excellent officer-man relationship that is nurtured on a continuous basis, tempers sometimes run high. All ranks do understand that it is this close relationship that sustains them even in the most difficult situations, but anger subsumes this temporarily. Despite the many ups and downs in the working environment of the army, officer-man relationship has endured. These are the facets that have contributed to making the Indian Army professionally highly competent and behaviourally the best in the business. This needs to be commended not criticized. I would urge those elements of the media that are going unnecessarily overboard in bashing the entire army to desist, for if such coverage continues, it will do great harm to the army and the nation.

The army has time-tested and well laid out procedures for dealing with all types of indiscipline. The media neither has the expertise nor the knowledge of doing so. Even those segments of the media that may have been goaded to unnecessarily raise the issue to absurd heights on account of their vested interests will do well to confine their reports to news and desist from voicing irrelevant views and comments. The country continues to have faith in the prowess and honesty of purpose of their army. It is best for amateurs of the media, however much they may think of themselves as the greatest media honchos, to let the army take remedial actions in their own professional manner. They will, in due course, share their conclusions with everyone.

Let me end this piece by adding that the motto of the Regiment of Artillery of your army is “Izzat o Iqbal”, to which they adhere to scrupulously. This particular unit – 226 Field Regiment, will also bounce back, provided unnecessary hounding of the unit and its personnel comes to an end immediately.

The writer is a former Vice Chief of Army Staff.

Gupta’s Humor Express: After the full-page report, the full-page ad

Mail Today‘s outstanding political cartoonistR. Prasad, on the irony of newspapers running advertisements from the controversial truck maker, Tatra, when it is at the heart of a major corruption scandal involving the Indian Army.

Among the newspapers which received the full-page ads is The Indian Express, whose controversial full-page report on the coup that wasn’t was vital ammunition in the battle between the outgoing Army chief, General V.K. Singh, and the Congress-led UPA government.

Cartoon: courtesy R. PrasadMail Today & sans serif

The Nation’s opinion: Azad J&K is India, Hina immotional & stranded Paks in B’desh

At least in new secondary education textbooks for class three in Indian Army schools in Srinagar, the Indian government accepted existence of Azad Jammu and Kashmir. The new textbooks depict the map of Jammu and Kashmir exactly how Pakistan claims it to be.
Indian government officially used to call this part of the disputed territory between two nuclear armed countries as ‘Pakistan-occupied Kashmir region’ but the new textbooks now have shown it as ’Azad Jammu and Kashmir’, a term used by Pakistan to describe the region.
Further, the books showed Gilgit-Baltistan region, which India says is a part of Kashmir, is called the Northern Areas.
Indian opposition Bhartiya Janta Party leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi has said that the Education Ministry must get to the bottom of the matter. he said.

“The Education Ministry must look into the matter immediately. They must find out if this was a mistake or done deliberately. This is a serious matter because Jammu and Kashmir is a controversial topic. If wrong information about the country’s boundaries is being taught to young children, then it must be stopped at once because it is goes against the good of the country.” 

Meanwhile, Congress leader Rashid Alvi said action would be taken against those responsible. “We do not have information on the issue. If such a thing has been done, action will be taken,” he said.
Reportedly, some Indian army commanders have now asked some of the school principals to get back to them with the books so that they can take a look. In the meantime, the Indian army has decided to write to the Education Ministry regarding the issue.
Indian army has been maintaining that its position vis-a-vis the issue is very clear since the army is not a publishing authority. Also, the book was published by a leading publishing house based in Karol Bagh in Delhi, which means that, probably, the Education Ministry is going to sit up and take notice.
Later, the Indian army withdrew the controversial class three textbooks from schools, without giving any explanation.

(Hina’s) Incomprehensible judgement
It appears emotions, rather than pragmatism, have become dominant (in Hina) in this regard.

It appears emotions, rather than pragmatism, have become dominant (in Hina) in this regard.

Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar’s remarks on ties with India and other neighbours that Pakistan cannot afford to be selective in relations with them are contrary to what has traditionally been our foreign policy.

It appears emotions, rather than pragmatism, have become dominant in this regard.

Not only does this reflect a betrayal of the Kashmiris suffering under India’s brutal occupation, but also the disputed state’s singular importance to our very survival. Terming Kashmir as jugular vein is not a philosophical view, but a hard reality.

In its quixotic venture to cosy up to the Indians the government seems to be fascinated by the idea of bilateral trade. Ms Hina’s view that we can’t be selective in relations means compromising on this core issue. Peaceful co-existence can follow when Kashmir is resolved according to UNSC resolutions? As of now India is not even ready to talk about this outstanding issue? The government cannot be blind to Indian armament programme also that makes its intentions to push Pakistan to the corner, militarily as well as economically, quite clear.

Donaton for stranded Pakistanis in Banglades !

Donation for stranded Pakistanis in Bangladesh !!!

THE MEADOW says ‘India, A State Sponsoring Terrorism’

Catherine Scott-Clark declare India- A State Sponsoring Terrorism.

Review of Book “The Meadow: Kashmir 1995 — Where the Terror Began”

A Srinagar based human rights group has requested the region’s State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) to investigate the circumstances surrounding the kidnapping and subsequent killing of four western tourists by a militant group in 1995 in Indian-controlled Kashmir.

The journalists Adrian Levy and Catherine Scott-Clark in their book put on sale from 1st May 2012 “The Meadow: Kashmir 1995 — Where the Terror Began”  claim that the four Westerners were murdered by a group of Kashmiri militants who worked for the Indian Army. They came to the conclusion after their investigations based on the interviews with police officials then investigating the case. The book was released on March 29 in England.

The book contains blow-by-blow descriptions of the negotiations for the hostages’ release between an inspector and the kidnappers, which seemed to be nearly completed several times, only to be blown apart when the agreed terms of the negotiations were leaked to newspapers, including the Hindustan Times, infuriating the kidnappers. At times when the Indian government claimed the kidnappers and their hostages were untraceable, the book said, they were being watched and photographed by an Indian Army helicopter.

Rather than working for the hostages’ release, the Indian government, Indian intelligence agencies and Indian military prolonged their capture and sabotaged negotiations with the kidnappers, a new non-fiction book called “The Meadow” alleges. Indian officials’ actions were part of a larger plan to present Pakistan, and the Pakistan-backed insurgency in Kashmir, in as harsh a light as possible to the world at large, the book says. Ultimately, the men were killed by a second group, funded and controlled by the Indian government, the book alleges.

“All the time New Delhi said it was trying to crack Al Faran, a group within intelligence and the STF (Special Task Force, an Indian Police division) was letting them dangle, happy to let the militants portray themselves as savage criminals,” one police detective who worked on the case tells the authors.

Quoting the Kashmir police’s crime branch squad, the two authors write that the investigators had been convinced that the Government-controlled renegades had the control of four Westerners after Al Faran dropped them.

“The squad reported some of its thoughts to its seniors, using these kinds of words, ‘Sikander’s men handed over Paul, Dirk, Keith and Don to Alpha’s renegades in the third of fourth week of November, around the time when the final sightings dried up. Sikander has given up. Al Faran is finished. Embarrassingly, India controls the renegades.’”

Adrian Levy told in a interview to NYT that “We also determined the exact route taken by the kidnappers, and followed that route, through Anantnag, and over in Kishtwar and the Warwan Valley, interviewing hundreds of villagers over the years, staying in Sukhnoi where we learned from villagers, and then the IB and the J&K police, the hostages had been deliberately penned in for 11 weeks approximately, while they were observed in detail and near daily, by an Indian helicopter.”

Inspector General Rajinder Tikoo (who led the negotiations with the kidnappers) confirmed it to Adrian that the sabotaging of the talks and that intelligence did not want there to be a resolution. He resigned as a result from the inquiry. He then had no part to play and does not express a view of the ending.

A member of the Crime Branch team who worked on the case describes the “dawning realization that their desire to solve the crime was at odds with the goals of some senior figures in the military and the intelligence services, who could have saved the hostages but chose not to.” Authors claim that “The kidnapping was a boon that enabled the Indian intelligence fraternity to clearly demonstrate Pakistan backed terror and demonize Kashmiri aspirations.”

“Right from the beginning the strings were being pulled from New Delhi,” said Altaf Ahmed, a police security official who worked with the security adviser to the government of Kashmir.“Those of us dealing with the hostage-taking on the ground in Srinigar were not in control.”

On Christmas Eve, 1995, the four remaining hostages were walked into heavy, deep snow behind the lower village of Mati Gawran, shot and buried, an eyewitness to the killings said, the book reports.

“There was only one end for them, and we all knew it,” he said. “No one could risk the hostages being released and complaining of collusion, having seen uniforms and STF jeeps,” he said. (STF is the Special Task Force of police in Kashmir).

The book’s claims echo some of the darkest fears brewing in the international intelligence community after the hostages, or their bodies, failed to surface month after month.

Almost a year after they were taken, the fate of the hostages was still uncertain, despite diplomatic appeals and secret military operations from the United States, United Kingdom and Germany, The New York Times reported.

The journalists Adrian Levy and Catherine Scott-Clark an award-winning investigative journalist in their book comprising 500 pages put on sale from 1st May 2012 “The Meadow: Kashmir 1995 — Where the Terror Began”  claim the Westerners were murdered by a group of Kashmiri militants who worked for the Indian Army. The book was released on March 29 in England .

The  adventurers and nature lovers across the globe, envy to see Kashmir a paradise on earth. But for one group of travellers in 1995, a trip to the Meadow became a nightmare that none of them could possibly have imagined. These men – two Americans, two Britons, a German and a Norwegian – journeyed to Kashmir in search of nature and humanity – but became entangled in a hostage drama that lasted for six months before they vanished from the face of the earth leaving their loved ones and family in agony for rest of their life. The conclusions in the book are drawn through investigations based on the interviews with police officials then investigating the case and the wives and girlfriends of the missing men. It  reveals how the Kashmir hostage crisis was an opening shot in the war on terror; what these terrorists did to a group of western adventurers and set them on a cold-hearted path to terrorise the West.

A review of the book “In the Meadow, A chilling alternate view of the 1995 Kashmiri kidnappings” published in NY Times discussed the kidnappings of six foreign tourists in a meadow in Kashmir by a group calling itself Al Faran. The Indian government, Indian Intelligence agencies and Indian Military prolonged their capture and sabotaged negotiations with the kidnappers which resulted in the killing of the hostages. This was later discovered that it was an Indian conspiracy to put the blame on Pakistan and its intelligence agencies afterwards for the killing and kidnapping of the tourists. However, upon investigation it was learned that the men were killed by another group, funded and controlled by the Indian government(See salients from the book below). However, India has always tried to deceive its own people, region/neighbors and the world as a whole .The  TRUTH can only be blurred but never hidden. Few examples from recent history are as under:-

Own people:

  • On night between February 17-18, 2007 at least 68 people, mostly Pakistanis, were killed in a series of explosions and a resultant fire on Pakistan-bound train in the northern Indian state of Haryana, near Panipat, about 80km north of Delhi. Initial investigations blamed the Pakistan-based LeT (Lashkar-e-Tayaba) and JeM (Jaish-e-Muhammad), so much so a Pakistan national, Azmat Ali, was also arrested in this connection…Later it was found by the police that right-wing Hindu activists and an Indian army officer Colonel Prohit had a significant role in not only the Samjhauta Express bombing but also in the Malegaon and other similar terrorist incidents. The confessions of Swami Aseemanand have now further confirmed the Hindutvaradicals’ role in terrorism.
  • In the Makkah Masjid blast on May 18, 2007, 14 people were killed and as a reaction around 80 Muslims were initially rounded up by the police. The bombs are believed to have contained a deadly mix of RDX and TNT, in proportions often used by the Indian army.” CBI director Ashwani Kumar told the media that an activist named Sunil Joshi“played a key role in orchestrating the Ajmer blast and a set of mobile SIM cards that had been used in activation of the bomb-triggers in the Makka Masjid blast was used again in the Ajmer blast. ..India’s National Investigating Agency (NIA) filed a case in a court accusing 11 Hindus and members of the ultra-right-wing Sanathan Sanstha, of masterminding and executing the October 2009 Margao blast.
  • In Ajmer Sharif  Blast on October 11, 2007 ,3 people died. In 2010, Rajasthan ATS arrests Devendra Gupta, Chandrashekhar and Vishnu Prasad. Initial arrests of Abdul Hafiz Shamim, Khushibur Rahman, Imran Ali linked  to  HuJI, LeT could not be proved.  Again in Malegaon 2nd Blasts in September  2008 in which 7 died   Pragya Singh Thakur, Lt Col Srikant Purohit and Swami Amritanand Dev were found involved.

This shows a glimpse of investigation handling in India however more can be understood by a statement of Mumbai advocate Mihir who said: “It is believed that CBI is seeking directions from the home ministry to see the Ajmer, Makkah Masjid, Malegaon and other blasts in conjunction, after there has been no conclusive evidence of the involvement of Islamic groups”.

Source: This is how India shine, read here


  • India has always had hegemonic approach towards its neighbours and its goodwill gestures have mostly concluded with economic or militarily strangulating projects for the neighbours. May it be the construction of a barrage at Farakka, near the border with Bangladesh or Wullhar Barrage over River Jhelum to dry up the water resources for its neighbours.
  • Pakistan is locked in other territorial disputes with India such as the Siachen Glacier, Sir Creek and construction of dams including Baglihar Dam built over the River Chenab in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir. Similarly China, Nepal, Myanmar, Sri Lanka all have host of problems leading to mistrust in neighbours relationship.
  • India has redrafted its military doctrine on building border infrastructure as a force multiplier in a real war situation. Indian Army Chief’s statement of taking on both Pakistan and China simultaneously through its cold start doctrine is an announced policy.

Source: Who is attacking Balochistan?Read here

The world as a whole:

  • One of the Worlds biggest Glacier reservoir are depleting fast.  Blaming only global warming for rapid defrosting is a false impression being created deliberately by India with a view to covering up the serious and catastrophic environmental crime its army is committing. It leaves not even an iota of doubt that the rapid shrinkage of the Siachen Glacier is due to chemical and explosive storage and cutting of glacial ice by the Indian army and not by global warming.
  • Indian troops are involved in dumping of chemicals, metals, organic and human waste, and daily leakages of 2,000 gallons of kerosene oil. This oil passes through 250 kilometre of a plastic pipeline, laid by the Indian army across the glacier.
  • The global environment and human rights experts and activists may realise one day that they have stains of this blood on their ignorance and not putting enough pressure on Pakistan and India to demilitarise the glacier.
  • The glimpse of misguided investigation handling by India quoted above is worth noting. Wendy Sherman  US Under Secretary of state announced in New Delhi on April 02,2012  that the US had put a bounty of US $10 million on Hafiz Muhammad Saeed a leader of Pakistan based social welfare organization Jama’at-ud-Da’wah(JuD) to please India.. Despite India’s investigation record and fact that Pakistani courts has acquitted Hafiz Saeed on many occasions and in many cases due to lack of evidences against him. On October 12, 2009, the Lahore High Court quashed all cases against Hafiz Muhammad Saeed and set him free. The court also notified that Jama’at-ud-Da’wah is not a banned organization and can work freely in Pakistan. Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, one of two judges hearing the case, observed “In the name of terrorism we cannot brutalise the law. But somehow india has succeeded in hiding reality.

See detailed study  here


It is very much evident from the facts revealed in the book and above mentioned facts that in order to get psychological benefits, India has always remained indulged in dirty games. Either this benefited India or not but it gave a massive blow to humanity. India contributes in making future of this world bleak. Therefore it is the responsibility of analysts, social workers and environmentalists to take notice of these psychological wars that India has waged against not just its neighbors but against the whole world .

Indian Army’s modernisation ‘ON’:Defense Ministry says ‘YES’, Army & CAG say ‘NO’ !?!

Is the Indian Army’s modernisation on track? The army itself and the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) do not think so, but the defence ministry is upbeat about the transformation process.

The ministry’s annual report, a document of yearly achievements, waxes eloquence on the armoured corps’ rapid modernisation, the mechanised infantry’s ambitious march towards upgradation, schemes for buying new artillery and the air defence arm’s major strides in upgrading its gun and missile systems.

This is in sharp contrast to observations made by army chief Gen. V.K. Singh in his letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and remarks made by the CAG in December last year.

Gen. Singh’s letter, leaked to the press, claimed the state of major fighting arms like the mechanised forces, artillery, air defence, infantry and the Special Forces as well as the engineers and signals was alarming. It talked about large-scale voids in critical surveillance and night-fighting capabilities. The army chief termed the hollowness in the system as a ‘manifestation of the procedures and processing time for procurements as well as legal impediments posed by vendors’.

The alarm raised by Gen. Singh was earlier sounded by the CAG in December. The report had particularly focused on the induction of artillery guns.

‘Failure of the ministry of defence and the army in defining the requirement of specific gun systems had deprived its artillery, for over a decade, of guns of latest technology, which are in service world over,’ the CAG noted, adding that existing guns of 1970 vintage had not only impacted the army’s operational preparedness but also resulted in substantial cost overruns.

This huge gap in perception is at the centre of an acrimonious debate between the army and the defence ministry over the army’s battle-preparedness. While the ministry seems to be in denial mode, the army wants to correct the perspective.

The ministry’s annual report says a contract for armoured recovery vehicles has been concluded and schemes to acquire digital control harness and state-of-the-art fire control systems for T-72 tanks are on fast track.

Modernisation plans for the T-90 and Arjun tanks are also proceeding as per plan, the report claims. It outlines a number of procurement schemes that are in an advanced stage.

For the armoured regiments, this includes establishment of repair facilities for T-90 tanks, procurement of AMK 339 shells and 3UBK 20 Invar missiles. In artillery, one of the biggest areas of concern, the ministry claims the focus has been on enhancing surveillance and firepower capabilities.

For surveillance, acquisition plans for battlefield surveillance system and mobile telescopic mast for longrange reconnaissance and observation system (LORROS) were concluded last year and procurement of Heron UAVs and weapon-locating radars is in an advanced stage, the report says.

For firepower, procurement of the multiple-rocket launcher Pinaka is in an advanced stage and plans for buying 155mm self-propelled gun (wheeled) and 155mm ultra-light howitzers are progressing well.

But the truth is unlike the air force and the navy, whose modernisation plans have largely been on track, the army has not been able to keep pace.

The issue has been discussed at various forums but it caught national attention only when the army chief’s letter to the prime minister was leaked. Within days, defence minister A.K. Antony called a meeting of senior officers to speed up procurement, indicating that he had finally stepped on the accelerator.

Army Coup Humor – Arms Lobby Planted The Story In Indian Express !!!


It was directed from behind the scenes by vested interests represented by the political class and an arms lobby that are feeling restricted under an honest general

It is a sad commentary on the media when a leading newspaper carries a full front- page report, signed by its editor- in- chief, to push through a complete lie. The newspaper committed an act of treason with dangerous ramifications in claiming that the Army had moved its troops into Delhi with the aim of effecting a coup. Of course glib innuendoes were used instead of direct words, but readers were left in complete shock as a mainline newspaper not yet accepted as a rag sheet sought to inform them of a possible coup that had failed.

The story was farcical and one wondered how journalists of some caliber had lent their name to what could only be described as a mischievous act intended to strike alarm bells across the country, and polarize opinion against the Army and its Chief General VK Singh. What is worse is that the editor stuck to his story the next day, instead of withdrawing and abjectly apologizing. Unfortunately there is little ethics left in the media and no institutions within that could have taken the newspaper and the journalists to task, and ordered not just an apology but some level of punitive action to ensure accountability. The watch- dog has started to bite the people it is supposed to watch out for, and when that happens steps have to be taken to bring in the accountability that once was in- built into the profession.

The question that needs to be answered is why did the newspaper write what it did? At whose behest, with what intention? The bylines were of seasoned journalists who know the ropes and clearly gave their names to a concocted and totally false story with a purpose. What was that purpose? To understand this it is essential to look at the kind of reaction that was generated, and the only reason it did not spread was because of the genuine outcry from the more sensible sections of society.

The intention was to use the little remaining credibility of journalism to cash in on the general ignorance about the Indian Army amongst the civilians, and convince them, or at least set in serious doubts, about the intentions of the Indian Army under the stewardship of General VK Singh. The argument woven into the story was: an independent General is dangerous for the nation while a Chief ( Lt General Bikram Singh) appointed by the political establishment will remain under control which is absolutely necessary if India is to be saved from a coup.

Absurd and ridiculous! And clearly an indication of how intolerant and insecure the political establishment has become. Everyone knows that the story was directed from behind the scenes by vested interests represented by sections of the political class, a deeply interested bureaucracy, and of course arms lobbies that are feeling restricted under an honest general. Several names are known, but then good journalism does not allow stories to be written without proof and sufficient documentation so remain in the realm of ‘gossip’even while being closer to the truth than the fabrication that appeared in the said newspaper.

A line of succession in the Indian Army has been determined by the government in the process to control what and where the Army goes. The argument being floated is that the government wants a pliable Chief who can give teeth to its political requirements, such as withdrawal of troops from the Siachen glacier and withdrawal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act. This has not happened even under pliant Army Chiefs like Generals JJ Singh and Deepak Kapoor, and even the Chief- designate Lt General Bikram Singh might find it difficult to take a decision without becoming totally unpopular amongst the men he aspires to lead. Besides it is well known that these decisions have to be political, and once taken, the Army will have no choice in India but to follow the political will. The current shenanigans hitting at the defence service will in no way give a weak government the political spine to act on issues that are essentially a matter of governance, and clearly the reasons lie elsewhere.

The Indian Army Chief can at best control defence and defence procurements.

And it is well known that despite any other shortcomings General Singh has a reputation for honesty and integrity. In an increasingly compromised world where the corrupt political and business class feels more comfortable with persons they can control and manipulate through commissions and bribes, an officer unwilling to become part of the ” system” is seen as an obstacle, or even a threat. In the Defence establishment, General Singh and Defence Minister AK Antony are sitting over a burgeoning budget, and that makes them vital to the interests of the strong and influential arms lobby that has penetrated the corridors of power. At the same time Antony is averse to open corruption, and refuses to sign on the dotted line at the slightest whiff of controversy. This makes him a liability in the political/ business establishment of today, and clearly there are many who would like to see him go. Along with a general who has been taking an independent line too, and is not vulnerable to bribes and commissions unlike some in the past.

The result is that one of the last remaining institutions is being beaten down by the system. The UPA government has certainly not covered itself in glory when it comes to maintaining institutions, with senior ministers being fielded to attack any and every institution that comes in the governments way and tries to hold it accountable. The Chief Election Commissioner was attacked at different levels during the Assembly polls; the Chief Auditor General has been castigated severely for his free and independent audits that have exposed the corruption in different government departments; the judiciary has been attacked for independent judgments curtailing the powers of the political class on occasion; Parliament has been misinformed and often manipulated with the cash- for- vote scam still biting into memory; the media is purchased or threatened or both into taking positions supporting the political class with proprietors often being made to sack editors with increasing frequency… In short, the institutions that hold up a democracy, and ensure its health and vibrancy are being whittled away as powerful cabals work to set up a pliant system, without checks and balances, so that their avarice need respect no limits.

What can one say about a political/ bureaucratic system that spends days and months in attacking an individual like the Army Chief, and not even seconds in curtailing the corruption that is eating rapidly into the foundations of Indian democracy? FRANKLY SPEAKING SEEMA MUSTAFA

The Indian Express (army coup rumor) trial is still on….




Lt Gen Vijay Oberoi , a former Vice Chief of Army Staff (VCOAS) and former Founder Director of the Centre for Land Warfare Studies (CLAWS) writes in DNA:

One flew over the coup-coup’s nest

Ever since the Chief raised the issue of his wrongly recorded date of birth, some Ministry of Defence (MoD) bureaucrats have become the conduits of perverse and hair-brained leaks that are being fed to the media. The plan is to first put down the Chief and the army, and then through a denial of those leaks, to show how good they, the bureaucrats, really are. This is warped thinking at its worst. Recently, one of the national newspapers reached the height of absurdity and published a so-called scoop with a banner headline, giving a perverse twist to a routine event, news which practically all newspapers and TV news channels had carried in January this year when the event had actually occurred. A simple training exercise for testing the ability of a few army units to move in the fog of north Indian winters has now taken sinister tones in their view. The newspaper has virtually accused the army, and hence the Chief, of plotting the overthrow of the government. I always thought that it was the likes of John le Carréacute; and other fiction writers who wrote mystery plots, but now we have these journalists and mediapersons beating writers of fiction at their own game.

Read more:








Judicial inquiry sought into ‘army movement’ reports

Nutan Thakur, convener National RTI Forum, Lucknow has filed a public interest litigation (PIL) in the Lucknow Bench of theAllahabad High Court, seeking directions for the prime minister office to form a high level judicial inquiry commission to probe veracity of the reports published in newspapers regarding movement of two army units towards Delhi. Thakur in her PIL has said that

news presented the army movement as if it was an coup attempt. High Court may order to keep inquiry report a secret as the matter is related to national security. And, in case it is found that the news was false, strict legal action should be taken against the newspapers. The news about senior union minister planting false news to get the army chief removed is another serious matter, which needs a thorough probe and action if found to be true. But in case, the news on minister is found incorrect, legal action should be taken against this newspaper.


Media means accuracy: Getting the news and getting it perfectly well

DR. FAROOQ AHMAD PEER writes in his column Media-watch, about the army coup episode, though not directly firing at Indian Express:

It is discerned that among the same media there are some who resort to yellow journalism while presenting information, rectification and coverage whenever they feel disfavoured. The news may be simple but is presented in such a manner that it seems really something extraordinary and astonishing which misleads the public. What has not actually happened is presented in an exciting manner and what has not been uttered by somebody or conveyed is printed for the sake of making news without waiting for the logical conclusion. There is a great deal of misinformation floating and here the accuracy of the profession of media is lost. ….The delinquency and misdemeanour carried in media can be overawed if covering of exactitude of facts is explored so that it relishes the craze of a better quality control. It has a supreme responsibility to transcend bias, selfishness and favours in reporting and discoursing problems of the society in a sensible fashion.

Read more:

Humongous scoop or a chota story?
How big a story can be made to sound depends on the angle you give it.  If the ed in chief ‘s byline leads  three others  it makes the story sound suitably important. Then a whole page devoted to it, with a three line banner.  Then the angle: govt spooked by army exercise, with hints of the exercise being undertaken on a night when there was a significant development regarding the embattled army chief. Then dark hints about the story being kept under wraps for 11 full weeks. My goodness. On March 13 however had reported the same developments minus the drama—as the story of an army exercise which showed up chinks in the Para Brigade’s capabilities in the event of heavy fog.  May be they need to learn from the Indian Express.