FROM THE EDITOR’S DESK
While it is certainly urgent and necessary to equip our soldiers with the latest of equipment, it is equally important to ensure that the soldiers are in the right frame of mind and also of good health. Yoga and meditation are major de-stressers. Yoga goes beyond religion and has therapeutic value, particularly to a soldier whose work environment, invariably, is harsh.
When the country celebrated June 21 as the International Yoga Day, personnel of the armed forces participated in large numbers, indicating that yoga and meditation have enormous health benefits. The rallying force behind International Yoga day was the Prime Minister Modi who performed asanas at a huge gathering in New Delhi.
Even as the government takes such a holistic approach to health related issues, the media is now obsessed with the news of possibility of Modi meeting his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif on the sidelines of the annual summit of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in Russia next month. The expectations are hyped because of Modi’s recent telephonic call to Nawaz Sharif extending best wishes on the occasion of Ramzan while noting that there was a need for having ‘peaceful’ and ‘friendly’ bilateral ties between the two countries. Lt General P.C. Katoch (Retd) makes his observation on the possible talks.
In another viewpoint Lt General Katoch talks about China’s support to Nepalese and Indian Maoists, PLA in Manipur, hobnobbing with Naga insurgents, support to ULFA, creation of the United Liberation Front of West, South, East Asia (WSEA) and lethal arming of personnel.
The recent visit by the National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval to Myanmar to tie up joint Indo-Myanmar operations against the Naga and other insurgents lodged inside Myanmar territory did not get the expected response from the Myanmar Government. Myanmar authorities reportedly told the NSA that while NSCN was confined to border areas, the hot pursuit by the Indian Army forced them to move further inside the country, which affected Myanmar security, writes Lt General Katoch.
Air Marshal B.K. Pandey (Retd) states that cancellation of the contract on account of misdemeanour on the part of individuals is counter productive as it would adversely affect the modern is at ion programme of the armed forces.
A court in Italy that was dealing with the allegations of wrongdoing by senior functionaries of Finmeccanica in the execution of the ` 3,600-crore contract signed with the Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD) for the supply of 12 AW-101 Agusta-Westland helicopters for VVIP travel has delivered its final judgement in the case. The Italian court has stated unequivocally that no corruption was found in Italian company Agusta-Westland’s chopper deal with the Indian Air Force. Specifically, the court has found no evidence of any corruption by Air Chief Marshal S.P. Tyagi (Retd), the former Chief of the Air Staff, writes Air Marshal B.K. Pandey.
The Indian army requires bullet proof jackets. The delay is causing all the harm. Red tape and lack of accountability of the MoD that even with Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar himself announcing in 2014 that 50,000 bullet proof jackets would be procured as ‘emergency procurement’, it does not appear materialising for another six months.
We also have some interesting coverage of the Paris Air Show in this issue.