Tuesday, January 29, 2002, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi



Will they feel proud of defending this nation?

The removal of General Vij as Corps Commander again proves that the Army is as insipid as it has been all along. I have been a part of that corps, which is a huge organisation and the decisive force in any future operations. Areas of operations and deployment are predetermined and approved. He could not have deployed his divisions there without the knowledge of the Army Commander and Army Headquarters. Even if the deployment were too close to the border, it was in no way the end of the world and he could have been instructed to pull back. In any case, wasn’t it the intention of the government to show Pakistan it means business and as long as he was within the recognised borders of India, it did not need such reaction.

In contrast, the Pakistan army hits out in so many sectors and yet we do not hear of even a junior officer being sacked or posted. Would the government have moved out a politician or a civil servant for much graver mistakes? And would not have Powell been satisfied enough, if there was such a need to please him, by asking 2 Corps to pull back a little? What does the country expect from an Army whose senior staff is treated like garbage and the remaining do not have the self-esteem or the morale to feel proud of defending this nation?

If it was such a serious blunder, why did not the Chief of Army Staff take the responsibility and resign for he is as much responsible for this deployment as General Vij and should have known about it well before Gen Powell brought in the information?

MAJOR H.S. SIDHU (retd), by e-mail


SHOCKING: Removing Lt. Gen. Kapil Vij, suddenly and unceremoniously from the command of 2 Corps, a strike force, has sent shock waves throughout the serving soldiers as well as war veterans alike.

It is quite apparent that the General has been removed from the command of the strike force due to reasons other than professional misconduct. Reasons for such a drastic action have not been spelt out.

Gen Kapil Vij couldn’t have done anything on the ground without the tacit approval of higher commanders. Pakistan may have been rubbed on the wrong side, hence Gen Powell had to seek the removal of Gen Kapil Vij. Let’s not make the General a scape-goat. We need bold field commanders and “doers”.

COL AMRIK SINGH (retd), Mohali

US DOUBLE STANDARDS: Were US spy satellites suffering from some kind of technical snag when Pakistan was pushing its army regulars across the LoC in the Kargil area in 1999? Why was India not informed and alerted by Pentagon at that time? Why was Pakistan not advised to observe caution?

It is becoming increasingly clear that like the Indian cricket team, which cannot withstand pressure in the crunch overs, the Indian establishment, too, tends to buckle in crunch situations and that certainly does not augur well for the Indian State which boasts of having the fourth largest army in the world.

DR M.K. BAJAJ, Yamunanagar

US PRESSURE: In BBC series “Yes Minister” the minister says: “Do not believe unless it is officially denied”. Now it has been denied officially that Gen Vij was not removed under US pressure, one can believe that he is removed under US pressure. But the worrying thing is if Powell showed photographs of Indian Army formations to Musharraf, as reported, then what other information is the USA giving to Pakistan? Food for thought.


APJ Abul Kalam

Your paper has been unfair in its comments on the decision taken by Indian Institute of Science [IISc] on the appointment of Prof APJ Abul Kalam on their faculty [“In the News”, January 24]. Abul Kalam has made a name for himself as a science administrator. He would, therefore, be more suited to guiding science policy rather than leading a team of scientists, in their quest for new knowledge. The IISc needs to be congratulated, and not condemned, for demanding that its Professors, minimally, be competent scientists, whatever their other achievements might be.

Readers of The Tribune would recall that many years ago Panjab University had refused to appoint a “sarkari” economist after his retirement from the service of the Central Government because he had not made much contribution to the discipline of economics. The argument given out then was that the university could not be used as a post-retirement pasturage for those who have made little contribution to the knowledge.


MISTREATED: I was saddened to read about the treatment meted out to Prof APJ Abul Kalam, the Bharat Ratna, by the academia at IISc. in Bangalore.

I once read about him that he is a very simple man, vegetarian and himself goes to the market on foot to buy his vegetables. Although this fact is besides the point of his accomplishments that hardly anyone can match in India.

Has the Indian Government forgotten the case of Dr Hargovind Khorana who in frustration left India and went to the USA and won the Nobel Prize in Medicine?

America has always welcomed the best brains from other countries and Prof Kalam would be no exception. Let no one then complain of brain drain.

ASHOK MALIK, Mission College, Santa Clara, CA, USATop

Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | In Spotlight | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
121 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |