Millennium Post

Army chief revokes ban on Suhag

For those steeped in military history, these shenanigans of the Indian Army general corps, is in no way reflective of the Prussian general staff. The latter behaved like mafia, following a strict rule of omerta (honour in silence). The army here is behaving more like Russian Tsarist general staff that played Russian roulette where after a card game the loser was usually shot.

Nor is there in India a Churchill or a Roosevelt who could tell Montgomery to shut up and let Eisenhower do his job.

Result: the country will witness a lot of the doings of the previous army chief, retired General V K Singh being undone by his newly anointed successor, General Bikram Singh.

The first act of the developing drama unfolded today with the latter lifting the ‘discipline and vigilance ban’ on Dimapur-based 3 Corps commander, Lt Gen Dalbir Singh Suhaag.

He had been cleared earlier by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet for taking over as the Eastern Army Commander in Kolkata’s historic Fort Williams. He can now safely take that seat and wait till 2014 when Bikram Singh retires and he can take over as the Chief of Army staff.

Gen (retd) V K Singh probably had a premonition that this could happen when he imposed the DV ban on Lt Gen Suhaag. So he had said in his series of television interviews towards the end of his tenure that he had witnessed a 'delay' in the Eastern Army Command led by Bikram Singh then reluctance to file the court of inquiry report for the record of the army headquarters. That was all that he had said. So now we have Suhaag home free.

Lt Gen (retd) Raj Kadyan, a former deputy chief of the army, of course finds no faults in the process of lifting the DV ban. He said, 'One should not see too much of individual action in this. The reply of Lt Gen Suhaag to the show cause notice by Gen (retd) VK Singh must have been examined by Gen Bikram’s advisers and legal experts before the ban was lifted.'

But Bikram Singh’s action show no reflection on the case in point. This was about an intelligence and surveillance raid on a civil contractor of Assam, who otherwise worked for the military engineering services arm of the armed forces when a havildar was charged with theft of some of the contractor’s personal belongings. That is of course a civilian complaint processed by the state police.

Lt Gen Suhaag was hauled up by V K Singh for not showing leadership on the issue. But for now what remains are the charges and counter-charges while Suhaag marches ahead towards the top job.

What remains are the mute silence of the observing bystanders who know that there is something broken in the Indian Army and there is no one to fix it. 
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