RESPONSE TO HINDUSTAN TIMES EDITOR MR. VINOD SHARMA’S FACEBOOK POST ON SUICIDE MARTYRS, POLITICIANS & GEN VK SINGH 

1.  ​I have read the comments on Mr. Vinod Sharma’s Facebook page and heard the news over the last two days. As an ex-Army Officer I would like to make the following points:

(a) Any soldier who commits suicide, irrespective of his reasons, is NOT honoured to send a clear message to others on the same circumstances, that it is only one who fights his circumstance or dies doing so is worthy of martyrdom & respect else he is a coward.

(b) This is the ethos that has kept our Army & soldiery  vibrant for the last 200+ years.

(c) This ethos has tremendous value to the organisational structure of all organisations, including Newspaper houses like HT and Armies of the World including ours, for command & control of the individual selves of its staffers, as well as the subunits and units, even under the severest conditions as POWs under torture, both mental and physical.

(d) This ethos has been struck down by some extremely petty politicians to give their own careers a boost by romanticising suicide.

(e) None of these IDIOTS (Meaning-Lacking sufficient intellect and knowledge) have known or taken time to know the basics of the Army ethos, leave alone ask questions.

(f) By calling this Subedar a martyr & promising 1-Cr to his kin these IDIOTS are hitting the very ethos and the quality of Indian Soldiering which is seeing very tough times due to the failure of the Indian Polity, IAS, IPS & regional administration in insurgency hit areas and other geographical challenging areas of deployment where leave is a problem and the pay and perks sent home are a problem. 

(g)These IDIOTS are abetting suicides of soldiers, who are already working in circumstances of extremely tough combat situations at work & a lack of apathy, honour, pay & pension policies for their home and hearth, just because the JCO wrote his reasons to be OROP, which struck a chord with some political ambitions?

(h) All Armies have suicides. Developed Nations have more due to the difference in the std of living and greater expectations. Have you Mr. Vinod in your entire career as a journalist seen any suicide being romanced by any politician around the Globe? Please name one. There can be none.

(j) Now, Gen VK Singh. This gentleman is NOT a politician. At least not a glib one we are used to seeing on TV, like a Manish Tiwari, Prakash Jawdekar, Sitaram Ventury or Gaurav Bhatia, etc. In this case probably he spoke his heart out as a soldier. He definitely would have done well to shut up.

(k) The virulent media has further fermented the situation. What should we call press reporters, editors, chief editors, who have not done the necessary fact and wisdom checks, but have chosen to report the sensationalist at a very  superficial level alone, Mr. Vinod Sharma?

(l) Would correct organisational attitude to suicides and balance have made a better story, that could be better milked for business and better circulation or hits by clients, rather than twisting the nonsense perpetuated by IDIOTS  into Pro- Congress, BJP, AAP camp reporting and showing a very weak yellow underbelly?

2. It would be OK by me and 90% of other Indians who are fed up by these Politician-Media-Bureaucratic nonsense “ruling us” if the Government of the day is to bring in an ordinance to declare such actions as “Anti-National” and send any one how so ever high and mighty to jail for treason without as much as an apology or trial even if that means high-handedness, dictatorship or any other synonyms rather than break down our institutions and the Nation.

3. OROP, “Dilution or Ranks”, “Pay and Pensions” not withstanding, these IDIOTS have started hitting the very structure of the Indian Army, that other countries UK, France, Canada, Australia are celebrating in gratitude, for OUR Army’s contributions in WW-II, even today.

4. Indian Politicians in the last two days have proved and confirmed definitely that they DO NOT have ANY RESPECT OR LOVE for the Nation, the Geography nor the defenders of these two things that make India the country that it is.

5. All Indians MUST note this, read news between the lines and then alone make an opinion, to vote accordingly.

~•~

Vinod Sharma’s Reply:

 I respect your right to your views. But most respectfully disagree with your defence of the General. By the way, how many chiefs around the world have moved courts over the issue that he did? And how many ex chiefs who became minister’s had their successor calling them conspirators and liars in an affidavit before the highest court. He has lost the right to be shown the deference that’s due to an ex chief. Moreover, if he isn’t a politician what the heck is he doing in the BJP? I often wonder what Gen Shewag must be doing when coming face to face with his senior, now a minister. Doesn’t this kind of edgy relationship not impact the morale of soldiers, dear Colonel Sharma. And what’s your take on scores of other retired generals doing TV time politicking in the name of our faujis? Is it a good trend in a democracy? Litigating, debating frothing at the mouth generals.

~•~

My Response:

Lets not shift goal posts, Mr. Vinod Sharma.

The issues of debate are –

 1.”Gen VK Singh’s ill timed, I’ll placed comments to the Media about the suicide issue currently in news”.

2. “The Political Drama on the Suicide of the Subedar”

On the first – 

I call a spade just that and will not defend the indefensible at all.

Gen VK Singh, I have already said and maintain, “…he should have just shut up…” and I stand by that. He was, as has been more than once, “foot in the mouth” when he misjudged the time and the sentiment unlike the hardened politicians I mentioned earlier. I shudder to think of the times to come when he will actually join the ranks of other hardened bigots.

However, you seem to want a clear position, so here it is, I have no political affiliations at all hence can see all politicians very clearly without any biases or qualms, Gen VK Singh is “bad as politicians go or come or are”, yet only a bit lesser, else you would not have caught him off balance so often.

The second issue –

The point I do make about the core issue of the debate that is, the drama after the suicide of the Subedar, I maintain what I have said, that the drama is the saddest page and a disservice to the Nation by the polity, beurocracy and the media. The whole issue has been twisted and presented wrong.

Now the other issues you have raised, I feel to side line the exposure.

– The present chief Gen Sehwag and the Gen VK Singh crossing paths. One is in uniform and I see him behaved as his duty and the Nation expects him to. He will I know be unmoving by any politician including Gen VK Singh, as far as his job is concerned, just as you and I will despite this.

Many have many opinions about him as I too do about him or you and vis-a-versa with all civilities. I feel he has a very tough job and can do without criticism unless he is directly involved in an inappropriate decision or behaviour after facts are analysed.

-Gen VK Singh’s courting of the courts – A sad and sordid drama India and the Indian Army could have done without.

– Impact of politics on soldiers morale –

The soldier is also as informed a person as any voter is. He is disgusted by all politicians including the”Foot in the Mouth” ones.

The crux of the matter that the Nation should know and you should highlight in the media is that HE STILL FIGHTS ON AND DOES HIS DUTY and that is because of the buddies and officers WITH HIM in the same circumstances, who have decided to fight on for their invaluable values, spirit and passions they share and NOT because of some utopian “Leaders” sitting in Delhi give a fearfully quivering or fancy bombastic speech from the Red Fort.

That Sir are the “ETHOS” the organisation Indian Army, has built within itself that is now being chipped away by knaves in such far too often incidents for Electorate/LS/RS politics & projected coloured in different hues by the media. 

– The “Frothing Generals” on TV.

I do notice you have chosen more docile TV channels like the RS TV over the boiling cauldron!  

But that Sir, is a compliment. I am a fan of that channel only because of the calm manner the debates are conducted and differences aired civilly enough to make comprehensive sense sans emotions.

However the “Frothing Generals” Are they not citizens enough to do exactly what they would want to even as you chose to move away from the froth, fury, emotion, sound and the churning?

‘I rest my case’!

On a more serious note beyond the competitive arguments, I have just one observation to make Mr. Vinod Sharma, we seem to have gone very wrong collectively in service of the Nation, of Ourselves and are breaking up even the institutions that have remained fairly above board and this Sir, is not lost on the intelligence agencies wanting to give us a “Thousand Cuts”. We have exposed yet another weak spot to such people, who in any case have come as close to us as in the JNU Campus, in the offices of MP and God knows where else.

~•~•~•~ 

 Vinod Sharma last reply :

I’ve said what I wanted to. The issue is the man’ s approach.

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