Millennium Post

Politics is all about winning hearts: VK Singh

The former Army chief General VK Singh argues that Naxals should be won not beaten up as Naxalism is a result of exploitation of indigenous people and resources. In an exclusive interview with Millennium Post, he answers several questions...

What difference do you find between an armed battle and political battle? 

In armed battle you have a well defined enemy with whom you fight or plan strategy to win. But in politics, there is a lot of subversive Guerrilla war. People try to malign your image by creating different stories. In battlefield, you have to eliminate or force the enemy to surrender but in politics you have to win hearts. 

What kind of Guerrilla war you are facing here?  

Some of the rivals in Ghaziabad are spreading rumors that if army people start coming into politics, India would soon become Pakistan. 

When did you make up your mind for the political plunge ? 
 
After retirement, I decided to give back my service to society for which I moulded myself by forming Jantantra Morcha and joining Jan Lokpal movement of Annaji. It was only after Lokpal Bill was passed in parliament I decided to enter into active politics. 

Being an ex-Armyman, how do you take Naxal movement where army is playing a restricted role? 

Naxalism is an issue caused by socio-economic problems, bad governance, exploitation of locals and exploitation of indigenous resources. The government has to address this. You can’t take a stick and start beating up people and say tomorrow I will finish Naxalism. People must have confidence in the way they are being governed. 

There have been several incursions by China on Indo-China border. How do you look on this? 

The fence on Indo-China border is not defined and the difference between the perceptions of the real boundary between the two countries is almost 20 -30 km on either side. I am quite sure the Chinese press also must be saying the same thing when our patrolling parties going into the area we consider it an Indian zone but Chinese think the same way. 

…what is the solution? 

We should sit with China and ensure that we have a mutually agreed and demarcated line. China does not want that to happen because China feels if it settles border issue with India it will no longer be able to pressurise us in any other way. 

You fought against corruption within the Army. Don’t you think your perception will change after entering into politics? 

Who can prevent me from fighting against corruption? Earlier, it was army and now the fight will be to weed out corruption from country. I have just graduated from micro to macro level in my fight against corruption. 

AAP says they’ll review AFSPA and there would be no immunity to armed forces against sexual exploitation. Your reaction? 

There is no immunity to armed forces against sexual exploitation. AAP does not know what they talk about. They show PoK in Pakistan, they talk about referendum and plebiscite in Jammu & Kashmir. I think they only talk about anti-national things. 

What would be your priorities for Ghaziabad? 

The problems of apartments, societies and colonies are altogether different from farmers. We have to make an integrated development plan with holistic outlook and create a financially independent body to achieve it’s goals in a time bound manner.  I will bring army discipline and ethos of an organization to achieve our targets. 
Siddheshwar Shukla

Siddheshwar Shukla

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