Have we Indians, for a change, begun to toy with the idea of politicising the army in an irreversible way? India is one of those few developing nations in the world which have not seen the army dominating its political sphere because it had successfully alienated the army from politics. Now, with a big political fight breaking out over Gen Singh's revelations, there is no doubt that the army too is being made an object of sacrifice in the power game.
There is a competition to gain a moral high ground once Singh made the claims after reports accused him of trying to topple the Jammu and Kashmir government. The demand to name the ministers who took the money is nothing sort of an eyewash by the respective quarters for if such a practice is being pursued since the beginning, it doesn't make a difference if someone make an admission today. Anyways, that admission is never going to happen.
If it is ultimately a political battle, it should be limited to vote politics
If an army chief in India is capable of destabilising a state government at will, then something is very serious in our system. Such story could be served hot more in a country like Pakistan but the way the former army chief is being projected now, one may wonder whether our civilian administration has also started shaking at its feet.
The next concern is why there is no minimum application of judgment while dealing with an issue that involves question of national security? Statecraft always has top secrets and the army is a key constituent in such scheme of things. Do we start exposing the top state secrets about how the army and the intelligence operate just to make some narrow political gains? If the Indian State and its apparatus have used some means to keep Jammu and Kashmir closer to New Delhi, irrespective of the value judgment, it is because pragmatism demands so.
How suddenly we start questioning these today just after General V K Singh shared a platform with Narendra Modi, the biggest foe of the State insiders at the moment? If we think this is a major scandal, then every state secret makes up a story of scandal across the globe and they should have been questioned since time immemorial. If funds have been spent to maintain 'stability' in the state, what is the big fuss about it? New Delhi has always tried to win the Kashmiri heart through provision of funds and subsidies instead of settling problems politically. How do we make a value judgment all of a sudden?
The role of the media is no less startling either. There were reports a few years ago about the army moving for a coup, which is something inexplicable in country like India so far. And now, continuous coverage is going on over what Tom, Dick and Harry said over this. Can we just stop somewhere and restrain ourselves from taking limitless benefits offered by an unlimited democracy?
If the entire Gen VK Singh episode is ultimately reduced into a Congress versus Modi affair by the media, then there are millions of ways to engage in a political debate. Why drag the army and the classified aspects of the statecraft into the realm of petty politics? The hyperactive media is doing the nation a great disservice by overplaying this issue round the clock.
Hafiz Saeed won't be unhappy with our intellectual media.