General Bikram Singh took a ‘journalism‘ class for an anchor who blamed the army for the Chinese incursion. After the government complete foreign policy failure, the anchors, as usual, are on rampage against all those who are asking questions to the government. General Singh advised media to be careful of blaming everyone else whose approach is different than those in the government. We must listen to those people who are showing us our weakness because ultimately that help us to improve our shortcomings.
He further said that those who are speaking in a different tone with us too have served on important positions and hence media and all others should not look at them as ‘anti-national’.
The words of wisdom from a former General actually did not find much appreciation from the Prime-Time warriors who have decided to take every one head one. One is sure that these fake warriors would not have spoken the kind of language they have been allowed to, without the consent of the top political leadership of the country. Many of these short service commission officers with a total service record of 6 years, have become ‘experts’ and perhaps getting much higher amount on these prime-time fake shows.
When political opposition ask question, it is easier to term that as conspiracy and opposing the government for the sake of opposition.
Rahul Gandhi raised several very valid questions and later Dr Man Mohan Singh too spoke which got a ‘strong’ reaction from the BJP leadership who then started bringing Nehru into the picture and blamed him for the current crisis.
It was easier for BJP to take on the Congress party on this front because every time the government face a credibility crisis, our first prime minister Jawahar Lal Nehru becomes the target of the leaders of the ruling party and the government.
During the wartime or escalation at the borders, the former generals, as well as ‘military experts’ or ‘security experts’, are in full demand on the prime-time entertainment. Many of the old veterans too have joined the shouting brigade though the senior generals have mostly remained quiet or give very seasoned advice to their friends in uniform. But this time, a different thing happened. For the firsts time in last six years, when we saw that military veterans have questioned government and did not agree with its policy on China. The whole ‘exercise of de-escalation‘ as reported by the obedient media was hard to digest for anyone who knew about these skirmishes at the border in the past.
Media was just reporting and making us accept whatever is being dished out by the government in the ‘national interest’. Nobody, deny this fact that we should remain united but it is equally important that these are not merely sentences to memorise and feel proud. The whole issue of ‘unity and integrity’ is linked to the people and we have seen how polarised has our political-social environment has become in the last five to six years.
The polarisation and deliberate provocation and threatening everyone with dire consequences if we disagree with them is a sign of weaknesses of an apparatus which is unable to know how to integrate communities and people. A country like India, which was actually a role model for the world to celebrate diversity is today under deep strain because of the prevailing politics of intimidation and threat where minorities and dissenters have become the biggest ‘threat’ and perceptions are being created through primetime shows about their being ‘anti-national’.
The whole narrative is being set up between India and Pakistan or Hindu and Muslim as it suits well on the political agenda of the ruling party.
Anyway, for the first time in recent years, many of the veterans and senior generals openly questioned the government on the ‘de-escalation’ story as well as hiding the facts about Chinese intrusion in Indian territory.
The prime minister’s broad caste to the nation disappointed people and more so to the veterans of the wars, heroes of Bangladesh War and Kargil war that they openly criticized the government policy and blamed it for the shocking deaths of the soldiers.
One may agree with this or disagree but since it is the viewpoint of the veterans of the Indian army, we may disagree but cannot ignore their concerns. What we saw was unprecedented on social media.
A so-called expert who claims to have worked in the Indian army, though for a very short period, actually used abusing language and open threat to Lt General H S Panag, who has been very vocal about the government policies. It never happened that a tiny junior ranked officer who now has become an ‘expert’ after retirement, can be allowed to threaten a decorated officer of the armed forces who speak sensibly. I am sure, these are the well-planned work of the IT Shells who are being guided through the political leadership.
I can say such acts are mischievous and deliberate attempt to threaten the veterans who have the courage of conviction to speak truth to the powers. Moreover, as General Bikram Singh had said, these differing views actually help the army to overcome the shortcomings and make better preparations. All the war veterans have knowledge and that should be respected and used by all. If media want to mock at all those who differ with them and live in its own make-belief world then it will only be damaging us.
We hope that in the greater national interest, our prime-time media will not hurt an institution which has so far remained credible and source of strength for the country.
Vidya Bhushan Rawat
June 23rd, 2020