By Nupur Dogra:
A public interest litigation (PIL) has been filed in the Supreme Court which claims that it is because of a “communal conspiracy” against the Army Chief General V.K. Singh, which ultimately led to rejection of his plea to revise his date of birth. The name of ex -army chief , who is currently the “serving governor” of the state of Arunachal Pradesh J.J. Singh, has been taken specifically as the main conspirator behind “the communal conspiracy” who according to the petitioners enjoy support from a very high level source .
Before questioning the validity of this PIL, following is the quick revision of some antecedent conditions.
Defense minister announced the retirement date for Chief General V.K. Singh in May 2012. He appealed for the revision of his date of birth from 10th May, 1950 to 10th May, 1951 in the army records which would give him 10 more months before retirement. The government denied it and Singh took the government to the Supreme Court. Supreme Court also refrained from intervening and thus he had to withdraw his case gracefully (as said by many).
Singh argues that he has his date of birth proof in his matriculation certificate which shows him as a 1951 born .The government on the other hand says that granting chief’s wish would disturb the process of succession. Also they say that the Chief General should have claimed for it before accepting various promotions or at that very time when he spotted the error.
This dispute between government and the Army Chief General has lead to various stunning disclosures upon worsening conditions of military, numerous speculations about coup, and what not.
There seems to be no visible end to this controversy on age row. Just when one thinks that this controversy is over with, their pops up another unexpected branch to this never ending problem. The latest is this communal angle.
There could be two possible sides to it:
One, that yes there’s likely a communal angle to this , as retirement of Chief General V.K. Singh in 2012 would ensure this post going to Lt. General Bikram Singh , who is a Sikh, and close to the former army general and current governor J.J. Singh who is said to be close to PMO. Also, retirement of chief in May 2012 would ensure Lt. General Bikram Singh the post of next chief general in army. This is what the petitioners of this PIL have to say in their argument. Surprisingly so many people are also readily buying this argument.
But, also in India it is a well accepted fact about the power of our Prime Minister (irony anyone). Still people think that he has the spine to do communal favors for a post as high as of Chief General of Â the Indian army.Â Secondly, it has more to do with corruption than with a communal conspiracy. It is our politicians who after polluting and corrupting their own legislature want no other institution untouched. So, they are keen on appointing people like Bikram Singh (who is charged with cases such as fake encounters and lack of control over peace keeping force sent in Congo) to do the task. It’s his background that interests them rather than his surname. Anyone who is more submissive or cooperative to their misdeeds or scams would do, be it a Khan, Sharma, or Singh.
Some people think that it’s both of the above mentioned cases, working together to worsen the situation, but whatever it might be this PIL has sparked altogether a different set of debates all over the country amongst various religious sects (which is not a good indication for a diverse, culturally, and religion sensitive country like India). We as country need to learn and tackle such situations in a mature way and make sure not to get driven by such communal feelings against each other which we may have to regret in the long run.
Image courtesy:Â http://globalspin.blogs.time.com/2012/01/17/not-just-a-pakistani-problem-indias-army-chief-challenges-his-own-government/