In 1962 the mighty Himalayas resounded with echoes of gunfire as the Chinese to reinforce their territorial claims reacted to India's push forward. Nehru while proceeding on a visit to Ceylon had told the press that " I have ordered the army to throw the Chinese out."

 

The Chinese reacted by a military assault that made Nehru look like a novice. The Indian Army, under armed and under prepared received a severe beating. Nehru himself had his reputation as a world leader shattered and he died a short time later, a broken man.

However the seeds of this defeat were sown in 1947 itself, when Nehru became Prime Minister. He decided to downgrade the army. First he reduced the perks of the army and second denied modern equipment to it. He set in motion a vicious circle as he was scared of a army coup.Probably the military coups in Burma and pakistan unnerved him, but he failed to realise that conditions for a coup were nonexistent in India. The nation paid a heavy price for this idiocy of Nehru.

The wheel has now turned full circle and Nehru is history and Narendra Modi is Prime Minister. I am afraid he is indulging in the actions that brought Nehru to earth. Modi thinks by visiting foreign nations and projecting himself as a world leader, he is doing something great. This was exactly what Nehru did. One can remember and read about nehru when  he was in power. The book " Nehru the Years of Power" brings all this out. He was a star at the Bandung meet in 1955, yet he died a man scorned by most of the third world. The west and China in any case never saw him as a great leader.

Just like Nehru, Modi also is neglecting the army. One cannot understand how Modi can project a great power status without a strong army high on morale. The army morale has taken a beating with One Rank One Pension not sanctioned. One is aghast at this approach of the union cabinet, but Modi is the head. It is known that the finance minister Arun Jaitley is the one who doesn't want OROP approved. This after repeated announcements by Modi that OROP will be a reality. He has failed the man in uniform.There also seems to be some sort of power struggle in the BJP and that is holding up OROP. I wonder whether Modi realises the damage that will be done to morale if the issue is allowed to linger on.

In addition the Ministry of Defense is contesting over 2000 cases against its own personnel. The sad part is that cases of men who suffered battle causality and ask for proper assessment of disability are also contested by the MOD. Is this how morale is built?

The weaponry of the army also needs a revamp. The Air Force is without a third generation interceptor and the Rafael thrust on the IAF is not the best in its field. The army needs the mountain corps badly, but Modi has cut down its strength by 50%. the submarine force is obsolete and the IAF does not have 45 fully operational squadrons for combat( as sanctioned) One is aghast at the actions of Modi and one is reminded of Nehru.  People are talking of a great one year of Modi. In Nehru's case they sang of a decade of progress and all came crashing down like the house that Jack built. Narendra Modi, better watch out, his 9 lakh suit may not take him far.


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