First among Equals

India Today - - MAIL -

The In­dian Army is fully tra­di­tion­al­ist, and there is no ques­tion of not re­spect­ing se­nior­ity, es­pe­cially when it comes to the army’s in­ter­nal hi­er­ar­chy (

How­ever, since the se­lec­tion process is the pre­rog­a­tive of the gov­ern­ment, one pre­sumes that all pa­ram­e­ters, in­clud­ing that of se­nior­ity in ser­vice, must have been con­sid­ered. LT COL. RAN­JIT SINHA, Kolkata

The choice of the next army chief has drawn a num­ber of re­sponses, both from the mil­i­tary fra­ter­nity and the pub­lic. How­ever, what no one seems to know is how such a big de­ci­sion is taken. Is it based on set pa­ram­e­ters? Or is it a com­par­a­tive ta­ble of per­for­mance of gen­er­als pre­pared by babus that forms the ba­sis of this ma­jor de­ci­sion by the cabi­net com­mit­tee? When no doc­trine on na­tional se­cu­rity is in place af­ter seven decades of In­de­pen­dence, I am sure that there are no poli­cies, di­rec­tives or in­struc­tions in place whereby a fool-proof pro­ce­dure can be in­voked to se­lect the next ser­vice chief. LT COL. SUSHIL CHILIMBI, Mumbai

The Op­po­si­tion, es­pe­cially the Congress, has no right to crit­i­cise the ap­point-ment of Lt Gen­eral Bipin Rawat as army chief. It was the Congress that first broke the tra­di­tion of fol­low­ing se­nior­ity, when then-prime min­is­ter Indira Gandhi chose to pro­mote an ad­mit­tedly de­serv­ing Lt Gen. S.K. Sinha to the post of army chief. The po­lit­i­cal squab-bling over this is­sue is against the na­tional in­ter-est, and should have been avoided. Post­ings in de-fence forces must not be made hostage to vote-bank pol­i­tics. MADHU AGRAWAL, Delhi

This is the sec­ond time in the past few months that pol­i­tics has af­fected the In­dian Army. How­ever, it is en­tirely the gov­ern­ment’s pre­rog­a­tive to choose the leader of the armed forces, and con­sid­er­ing that we have seen huge de­te­ri­o­ra­tion in our re­la­tion­ship with Pak­istan, it is crit­i­cal that some­one who has sig­nif­i­cant ex­pe­ri­ence in LoC op­er­a­tions leads the In­dian Army. In this con­text, Lt Gen. Bipin Rawat’s ex­pe­ri­ence will only be a positive. BAL GOVIND, Noida

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