Corruption, Infighting and Old Weapons: A Weakened Indian Army
Bangalore: A series of corruption scandals, severe infighting at the top order, weapons that date back to the Second World War; suddenly India’s defense establishment seems to be a house of cards for a common man, so fragile that it can collapse anytime. At least, that is what the Army chief’s recent exposures reflect.
Accepting that there are gaps in the capability of the armed forces, the Defence Ministry said that it will take cognizance of the concerns expressed by Army chief General VK Singh and will address those issues.
Defense Minister AK Antony said that India needs substantial step up in allocation for modernisation of defence forces. Commenting on the leaked letter, he said, “We will take strongest action under laws after going into the root of the leak of Army chief's letter to the Prime Minister."
Talking to reporters, the Minister of State for Defence MM Pallam Raju said the acquisition policy is also being changed to ensure faster procurement of the needs expressed by the forces. “Definitely gaps are there and government is serious in addressing them as quickly as possible. We are fine tuning the acquisition process to speed up the process and government has been very responsive to the needs of the armed forces,” he said.
On the controversial letter written by the Army chief to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh expressing concern over the state of preparedness of the Army and availability of ammunition, the minister said the government will take cognizance of it. “Whatever (Gen. Singh) has written, we will definitely take into cognizance and we will act on it,” he said.
“There are gaps in the capability and we are trying to bridge them by speeding up the acquisition process and by making it transparent, because in the past it has resulted in the cancellation of tenders,” he said.