We don’t need middlemen in
defence deals

The Prime Minister’s statement on the role of middlemen in defence deals is surprising. What is this super wonder which can hold even the government to ransom and without which the defence establishment cannot do its business? Obviously, the charm of arms bazaar is too luring, an easy route to dilute accountability and a pep up to consumer culture pledging our loyalty to the middlemen’s market.

Most middlemen deals compromise security as they are not answerable. This culture is bad for military institutions as this subverts it from within when codes and ethics are weak and flagging as in our case. We can be bought off for a dime. Worse, foreign deals also aim at capping our own R&D, the reason that the LCA, the AJT and the MBT programmes failed. Ulterior motives leave little will at the top to pursue any time-bound programmes.

There is always a design and method of scuttling indigenous production. In one case, the military brass became busy after retirement shuttling as middlemen to tie up defence deals with a favoured country. The LCA programme has lost a few scientists who were whisked away by a US firm on better wages. The middlemen culture is bound to lead to a full blown side business in the Services where the Navy already has a bad reputation.

As for the DRDO, unless it gets a firm direction and back up, it could end up using its vast resources on wasteful and unrealistically outlandish eye-catching programmes mismatched with our ground needs. The DRDO is now working on a robot for the infantry soldier. But our infantrymen do not need such devices as they are too wedded to the ground which they till and so long the peasants feed the Army, they will prove superior to any tech-heavy western counterpart. There should be no middlemen in defence deals.

Maj-Gen A.P.S. CHAUHAN (retd), Chandigarh


ATS’ tall claim

It is ludicrous that Mumbai’s Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) now says that it requires six weeks more to put together the bits and pieces of evidence collected by it to file the chargesheet in the 7/11 Mumbai blasts case. If this was the case then what was the need for it to make lofty claims that the blasts case had been cracked?

The ATS is in more of a soup now with seven of the accused retracting their confessions saying that it was taken under duress. And with their family members filing a sworn affidavit with the President that they had been harassed to extract the confessions from the so-called accused, the problems for the ATS seems to multiply.

It is highly foolish to make such statements and the ATS is really making a mockery of itself by making such claims that cannot be substantiated. And still they and our police force feel that investigation agencies from the UK have landed in Mumbai to have a look as to how the case had been cracked so early. This is nothing but wishful thinking.

SANDEEP GHIYA, Mulund (W), Mumbai

Long overdue

The Delimitation Commission headed by Justice Kuldip Singh has done well to de-reserve parliamentary and Assembly constituencies for rotation as was being done in case of panchayats and municipalities under Article 243 G of the Constitution. This was long overdue; Rotation once in 10 years is a must for social justice. In the interest of communal peace and harmony, the percentage of quotas in seats should be fixed on the basis of the strength of communities/ religious groups as it stood on Aug 15, 1947 or according the census figures of 1951. This will help check population control, poverty and curb all agitations against the government for increase in the quota system.

Lt-Col DAYA SINGH (retd), Chandigarh

Gandhiism is always relevant

Thanks to the movie, Lage Raho Munna Bhai, Gandhigiri has suddenly become a buzzword these days. People are suddenly asking, is Gandhism relevant today, and then why Gandhiism through Gandhigiri?

First, there is need for Gandhiism to descend to Gandhigiri. Because these days people have conveniently forgotten Gandhian values. Even most Congressmen have discarded the trademark Gandhi cap. The youth of today are so engrossed in Western lifestyle and Page 3 culture that talk of Gandhiism appears to them ridiculous. So, it required a movie and Sanjay Dutt to remind people that Gandhi is not “dead”.

Secondly, Gandhiism will always be relevant. Speak truth, love others, stand for the right — these are the traits of a good human being and a patriotic citizen. Gandhian values are basic human values. These values can be irrelevant only if humankind becomes irrelevant.

And thirdly, Gandhiism today stands masked with corruption, materialistic pursuits and selfishness. Let’s clean it up with Gandhigiri. If a movie can move the nation, it is definitely possible to revive Gandhiism.

Colonel R.D. SINGH,
213 Transit Camp,



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