L E T T E R S    T O    T H E    E D I T O R

Bureaucracy, Army need to work as a team

It is heartening to know that Defence Minister AK Antony and Army Chief Gen VK Singh, alongwith other senior Army officers and MoD officials, discussed proposals relating to weapon and equipment acquisition for the defence services.

The delay in procurement is not due to fewer powers of defence officers but mainly because the MoD and Service Headquarters are not functioning as a team. Recommendations made by Army headquarters are not fully understood by the ministry since defence officers are not part of decision-making committees. MoD officials are not conversant with defence matters and give priority to those weapons and equipment which they are able to fund from allotted sanctions. At times, they compromise with the recommendations and demands when items of slightly different variety are available at lower rates or where better commissions are offered by the company agents.

It is an open secret that up to 30% of the value of the order is offered as commission to agents.

Senior defence officers should be posted in the decision making bodies of the ministry in order to take quick decisions and make correct judgment.

Efforts should be made to get permission of the companies to manufacture ammunition, needed for the working of purchased weapons, in our own country or from other countries.

But the main grievance is that orders are not being faithfully implemented by MoD and anomalies pointed out by competent persons are either being ignored or swept under the carpet.

The ordinance factories in the country should be utilised to manufacture arm and ammunitions wherever the companies concerned have given consent for their production in the country.  Services of reliable private sector enterprises can be taken to supplement production.

Brig KG BEHL (retd), Dehradun


The successive governments and bureaucrats appear to have paid no serious attention towards modernising the army as is clear from the editorial "Chinks in the armour", April 4). The critical deficiencies in the equipment have accumulated over a period of time. Vested interests in Defence Ministry are busy creating a wedge between the army and the government. When the urgency on matters of national security is not given due importance, it reflects the level of concern of the authorities responsible for ensuring the safety of Indians from external and internal threats.

The suggestion of having India's own defence production industrial complex to achieve self-reliance is worth implementing to reduce our dependence on foreign countries for importing arms.

SC VAID, Greater Noida

Unethical marketing

The MNCs have simmered a marketing trick where customers are forced to feed on their products (“Mind your food”, April 4). The contents displayed on the packets are a mere travesty of facts which are craftily used as effective advertisement tools. The quality and quantity aspects of food are nowhere to be found.

The advent of marketing is such that a consumption pattern has been ingrained in the Indian psyche, so much so that it has spawned cognitive dissonance behaviour within masses. No matter how much you warn them, they won’t listen.

The errant MNCs diminish facts by rigging the research done by some of the world’s best food-testing laboratories.

Some years ago, there were reports of some beverages containing harmful pesticides and chemicals equivalent to toilet-cleaners. The matter reverbated in Parliament and an embargo on these products was demanded. It stirred a whole lot of a controversy but high-level of political perfidy made the MNCs escape easily. The matter was grounded with time and no action was taken. Those who bluff live to fly another day.

Concerned agencies must snoop down on food adulteration with adequate legal back-ups to abate illegal connivance of MNCs and government agencies. Consumers must be motivated to report any inadequacies in food content and agencies must be created to ink them and act efficiently.


Imagination leads the way

Whether it is a child’s fantasy or legends like Raj Kapoor, A R Rahman, Sachin Tendulkar, Kalpana Chawla, Bachendri Pal and Amrita Pritam who went on to fulfil their dreams, these play an important role in everyone’s life. (Bharat Hiteshi’s middle “Chasing dreams”, March 31). Nehru once said, “Thinking big itself makes a man big”.

Dreams are a driving force that motivate individuals to realise objectives. Movies, music, books, paintings, sports, etc, are a result of the vision of their creators. Imagination determines the course of life. Dreaming is a sign of sound mental health. Moreover, it doesn’t cost anything. You need only hard work, self-confidence and passion to realise them.

Charles Dickens in his book “Hard Times” has beautifully portrayed the fact that fantasies help children become better human beings. They can empathise and handle real-life situations deftly.




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