defence

Discontent in green

The last time Samba was in the national headlines was when the Delhi High Court acquitted some of the accused officers from the infamous Samba spy case of the 1970s with full honours. That case is still being fought in the Supreme Court but for no fault of its own, this cantonment town near Jammu […..]

Less Bofors hypocrisy please

The Bofors case has been compared to Banquo’s ghost in Macbeth, a symbolic returning embodiment of downfall and guilt, and also to the Terminator series, with its ability to constantly startle even when you think the tale has ended. If it is a returning ghost, it actually seems more akin to the pantomimic creatures of […..]

GENERAL OPPORTUNITY

Much has been written about the Shakespearian pantomime of the honest general seething with petty resentments and the honest minister, redolent in repose; both seemingly self-obsessed with their own imagery even as their institutions drift into dangerous waters. Despite recent efforts to cool tempers a little, the byzantine intrigue, the calculated media leaks, the bruising […..]

GENERAL DISARRAY

Honour is a funny word, an abstract concept that can mean anything based on the context. Old soldiers will tell you that when it really comes down to it, they fight and die more for the honour of their regiment or unit than for other highfalutin ideals such as mere patriotism. Other men also kill […..]

THE GENERAL’S BIRTHDAY

Absurdness comes in various forms. In the stratified levels of the uniformed bureaucracy it seems to come in the form of a birth day, or more accurately, birth year. Decorated soldiers are usually expected to know when they were born so when the Army Chief thought his real birth day was on 10 May 1951, […..]

IF GI JANE CAN, WHY NOT MAJOR SEEMA?

At a time when the Army is being accused of a gender bias in denying permanent commissions to women officers, two stories have symbolised the debate this week: Major Mitali Madhusmita becoming the first Indian woman soldier awarded a gallantry award (Sena Medal) for saving lives after the bombing of the Indian embassy in Kabul […..]

CLUELESS IN SOUTH BLOCK

Beijing passed a message last week when it tested the J-20, its new generation locally produced stealth fighter, from an airbase in Sichuan on the day US Defence Secretary Robert Gates landed in China to discuss resumption of defence ties. Intended as a direct threat to US carrier fleets in the region, the J-20 is […..]