Date: 08/10/2014

Thank you for this MASTERPIECE of well researched scholarly write-up on India's "defence". (Below).

India's defence was "BLASTED" for good on August 15, 1947, when one third of her TERRITORY and POPULATION were WIPED OUT for ever.

There are FIVE FACTORS OF DEFENCE- as follows:

1. TERRITORY. Russia is so LARGE territorially that both Napoleon and Hitler PERISHED while trying to conquer her.

Our India did have BOTH the advantages till August 15, 1947, that is, TERRITORY AND POPULATION.

To destroy BOTH was masterpiece of Pandit NEHRU, MK GANDHI and all the other STOOGES who simply "went along" (yes, simply "went along", whistling and singing, or shedding crocodile tears!) with Partition, while insisting on retaining the ENEMY back.

2. MOTIVATION. This is the difference between the BRAVE and the COWARD. Those who overran, overwhelmed, defeated and conquered India umpteen times were BRAVE, and those who surrendered every time their territory, land and DAUGHTERS, were (and are) damn COWARDS.

With regard to motivation, guts and ZEAL in the "Battle for Bharat" in 1947 the Muslim MINORITY showed the ultimate motivation, spirit and guts while the Hindus not only surrendered FIVE provinces but also suffered total ETHNIC CLEANSING in Western and Eastern India (West Pakistan and East Pakistan, now Bangladesh).

3. Weaponry and armaments. In war a country needs the best, most effective and most advanced weapons.

The Japanese were among the bravest fighters but the American advance in weaponry (TWO ATOM BOMBS) forced them into unconditional surrender.

Moral: If the enemy comes with a dagger you need a sword to confront him (NOT "maala").

4. LEADERSHIP. Behind General Hari Singh Nalwa who conqueerd KHYBER PASS and General Zorawar Singh who conquered Gilgit, Chitral, Skardu and half of TIBET, there was a great leader called Maharaja Ranjit Singh.

In 1947 our top leader was the one whose statue is seen in the office of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

We cannot recall a single HINDU leader in recent decades whose oratory to rouse the JAWANS to fight till every inch of Jammu, Kashmir, Gilgit, Swat, Skardu and Baltistan is recovered.

Most of India's LEADERS have been a tragedy in themselves. MK Gandhi was a coward by his own admission and loathed the sight of a bomb. Nehru was the illegitimate (secret) son of a Musalmaan who was trusted with the post of prime minister of Hindusthan. He wanted to give maximum territory to Pakistan and KILL maximum number of Hindus!

Then the "Mother of All Treason"- we had MOHAMMEDAN Presidents like Zakir hussain, Mohammed hidayatullah, Fakhruddin Ahmed and Abdul Kalam (for want of a suitable Hindu incumbent).

It must be said that this Himalayan collapse of defence was after Partition that had clearly divided India between the MUSLIMS and The Rest (Permanent Partition of 1947).

5. COMMEMORATION of VICTORIES (even DEFEATS in order to learn a lesson). India officially celebrates the birthdays of Nehru, Gandhi, Maimoona and Rajiv with big publicity but not her MILITARY victories and illustrious generals and heroes in order to boost the morale of troops.

We could start with the victory of Pandavas in the battle of Kurukshetra. The Rashtrapati should say a few words to stress the morality of fighting quoting Sri Krishna's sermon to Arjun.

More recently we had the victory of Shivaji over Afzal Khan and the conquest of Khyber Pass and the victory over Pakistan in 1972.

Let us see other countries celebrating victories of their armed forces and be INSPIRED.

The defeats are also to be commemorated to LEARN LESSONS. The question must be asked, "WHY INDIA DOES NOT COMMEMORATE HER BLOODY PARTITION OFFICIALLY?" Are we terrified that it will embarrass the Indian Muslims?

The nation may celebrate Nehru and adore the biggest SECURITY RISK called Sonia Maino as much as we all wish but the fact remains that those who cannot put "Partition" in Constitution, are already defeated if not (yet) DEAD!

8 Oct 14.

Achilles’ Heel of Modi Government

by H.N. Bali

Worrisome Tinkering with Defense Portfolio – Part I

Yes, how many times can a man turn his head
Pretending he just doesn’t see?
The answer my friend is blowin’ in the wind
The answer is blowin’ in the wind. – Bob Dylon Lyric

Our pride in our cultural greatness and civilizational longevity persuades us to overlook our lamentable indifference to national security and strategic thinking. The famous observation of Talleyrand – Napoleon’s chief diplomatic aide – that they learnt nothing from history nor unlearnt a thing – is more applicable to us than to the Bourbons about whom he made this oft-quoted observation. What else – let’s candidly ask ourselves – is the explanation of our facing one foreign invasion after another, and not once or twice, but repeatedly, and for centuries? We seem to be endowed with the supreme gift of refusing to learn anything from history.

Allow me to cite another example. After repeated reverses in wars we continued all through our history to use elephant rather than the horse as a weapon of war? What is the explanation of our purblind faith in the delusive strength of the elephant which let us down with repeated regularity?

Forgetting Past

You forget at grievous cost the epic aphorism of George Santayana in Reason in Common Sense (p. 284, volume 1 of The Life of Reason) “Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Aren’t we a unique people who bitten not once – but for umpteen numbers of times – are not – forget what the adage has it, twice – even the least shy. We take each bite in our stride and move on as if nothing happened. If you you’ve any doubt, consider the following:

The most humiliating and disgraceful fact of our history is our steadfast refusal to learn from our humiliating past.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi hails from Gujarat. He should know how in the early eleventh century, Mahmud of Ghazni launched seventeen expeditions into South Asia and unfailingly plundered Somnath temple in every trip with immunity.

These days the inauguration of the Nalanda University is in the news. Do we remember how the Nalanda complex was completely destroyed in 1193 by Afghan Khilji Muslims under Bakhtiyar Khalji. Its world-renowned library, containing lakhs of books and manuscripts, was set ablaze because with the One Book around, was there any need for any other. The fire smoldered for months consuming our invaluable heritage. If we knew how to defend ourselves, Nalanda, today, would have ranked as the oldest university in the world. Yes, the oldest. University of Bologna, deemed to be the oldest existing university, dates back to 1088, and Oxford the oldest in the English speaking world, was established in 1096 and Cambridge, much later in 1206. Harvard came up only in 1636.

As the fourteenth century was drawing to a close, Timur continuing his relentless march to Delhi arrived in 1398 to combat the armies of Sultan Mehmud who was in the thick of royal pastime called internal battle for ascension. The Sultan’s army was easily vanquished. In December1398 Timur entered Delhi and the city was mercilessly sacked, destroyed, and left in ruins. Before the battle for Delhi, Timur, the marauder, indulged himself by executing more than a lakh of Hindu captives.

What lesson did we learn from all this to defend ourselves?

The decay of the Mughal power saw a series of brutal invasions by the Persian adventurer, Nadir Shah. After his death, his Royal Guardsman Ahmed Shah Abdali – a Pashtun – embarked on a similar spree and forged one of the largest Muslim empires of the 18th century. The high point of his conquests was his victory over the supposedly powerful Marathas in the third Battle of Panipat in 1761.

Silver Lining

The only freak silver lining in the ominously dark and dense clouds, is the Sikh empire founded by that great ruler, Maharaja Ranjit Singh. In 1819, Kashmir was conquered by Sikhs who registered another resounding victory over Afghan General Jabbar Khan. The Koh-i-Noor diamond was taken by Maharaja Ranjit Singh in 1814. In 1823 a Sikh Army routed Dost Mohammad Khan the Sultan of Afghanistan.

By 1834 the Sikh Empire extended up to the Khyber Pass. Hari Singh Nalwa the Sikh general remained the governor of Khyber Agency till his death in 1837. It was he who consolidated Sikh hold in tribal provinces. The northernmost Indian territories of Gilgit, Baltistan and Ladakh were annexed between 1831-1840. That’s something not just to be proud of but suitably commemorated so as to be remembered by generations to come.

Have we built a national memorial in honor of General Nalwa? He merely gets an obscure mention in tomes of history.

Dogra General Zorawar Singh Kahluria (1786-1841) was another great conqueror. He indeed left behind an enviable legacy of conquests in the Himalayas, including Ladakh, Tibet, Baltistan and Iskardu. Military historians have referred to him as “Conqueror of Ladakh” and the “Napoleon of India”.

To perpetuate the memory of the General Zorawar Singh’s association with Tibet, the Tibetans constructed a memorial in the shape of a chorten – equivalent of a Samadhi – wherein the remains of the dead General have been kept. Today, the Samadhi stands a mere heap of stones erected at a distance of a few kilometers from Taklakot in a secluded place. The Government, busy perpetuating the deeds of Nehru and his descendants had no time to get constructed a suitable memorial in the ever lasting memory of the great General, who created history.

How many of my readers are hearing the name of this great warrior who waged wars in high altitudes, for the first time? Somehow, we as a people have a notoriously short memory for those who did indeed do us proud in military history. I’ve run into a biographical account of the great warrior by a retired IAS officer, Sher Singh who wrote The Sikh Conquest of Ladakh and Tibet: 1834-40 A.D.

Shabby Treatment

Instead of honoring our military heroes we excel in treating them shabbily. Take the case of Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw. How disgracefully did we treat the only general who, in our chequered history, gave us, after a very long time, a decisive victory in the 1971 Bangladesh War? Every effort was made to deny the man what he was entitled to.

Yes, he was promoted to the rank of a Field Marshal. Though the Government could not take away his rank, it did take away everything else to treat him shabbily indeed. He retired in January 1973. Field Marshals get full pay and allowances till death. Manekshaw never got even the pension of the rank he held nor a house or a car to live after retirement. It took the Government of India – hold your breath tight – 36 years to decide his scale and entitlements. When he was in Military Hospital in June 2007 during his last illness suffering from complications of pneumonia, a babu from the Ministry of Defense called on him in the hospital to hand over a cheque of Rs. one crore sixty lakhs towards arrears of his entitlement. I don’t have the heart to print what he told the august functionary of a heartless system that presides over our destinies. Imagine, if you were Manekshaw how would have you reacted?

A few days later on June 27, 2007, he passed away. None of the VVIPs of Delhi – and India’s metropolis teems with them – was present at his funeral.

The custom has it that the ruling sovereign in England attends the funeral of every Field Marshal with the Prime Minister and Service Chiefs in tow. The President of India, the Prime Minister, the Defense Minister and the three Service Chiefs (obviously, on orders from above) were too busy to attend the last rites of India’s first Field Marshal. The Minister of State for Defense was the sole political representative. That’s how the political establishment chose to honor the victor of Bangladesh war – a great soldier who restored the ‘izzat’ of the Indian fauj after the debacle of the 1962 China war, and the honor of the motherland by instilling a sense of confidence in a de-moralized nation.

Wars Are Inevitable

Let’s not forget there have been wars and there will be wars. This was summed up in another memorable aphorism of Santayana: Only the dead have seen the end of the war. Three of the ten most costly wars, in terms of loss of life, have been waged in the last century. These are of course the two World Wars, followed by the Second Sino-Japanese War (which is sometimes considered part of World War II, or overlapping with that war). The death toll of World War II, being 60 million plus, surpasses all other war-death-tolls. (This is partly due to significant recent advances in weapons technologies.)

Since 1947, we have had three wars with Pakistan and one war with China. And today, what is happening on our northern borders may result in an armed conflict. Are we ready for it?

As a nation we should have turned a new leaf in 1947. Did we sit down to think afresh how to defend our territorial integrity after a hard-won freedom? Unfortunately, no. Not at all.

Most Casual Approach

Let us take the all-important issue of choosing Defense Ministers ever since Independence. Our overall approach can best be described by the term casual or perfunctory. The incumbent could be X or Y since it was a decorative position. Publicly iterating and reiterating its vital importance, we have all through been casual in our choice. No wonder therefore, the Narendra Modi government has conformed to the practice as it obtained over the years. In fact, he has gone too far. An ailing Arun Jaitley, in and out of hospital, has a dual charge: finance and defense. Can you imagine anything more weird than that? Each of his charges is more than full time assignment.

List of Incumbents

Here’s the updated list of all incumbents of our Defense Ministry before Prime Minister Modi allotted – supposedly for the time being – the all-important portfolio to Arun Jaitley which makes him the 35th incumbent to be followed shortly by the one likely to be announced sometime later. Heavens know, when? He will be our 36th Defense Minister. Thus we shall have 36 Defense Ministers in 66 years since Independence which yields an average tenure of 1.8 years per incumbent.

Incumbency Chart

The following is incumbency chart of India’s Defense Ministers which I’ve taken from the Defense Ministry’s official website.

Incumbency Chart of India’s Defense Ministers

1 Baldev Singh 15.08.1947 – 15.05. 1952
2 N. Gopal Swamy Ayangar 13.05.1952 – 10.02.1953
3 Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru 27.01.1953 – 10.01.1955
4 Dr. Kailash Nath Katjoo 10.01.1955 – 30.01.1957
5 Jawahar Lal Nehru 30.01.1957 – 17.04.1957
6 V.K. Krishan Menon 17.04.1957 – 01.11.1962
7 Jawahar Lal Nehru 01.11 1962 – 21.11.1962
8 Y.B. Chauhan 21.11.1962 –13.11.1966
9 Sardar Swarn Singh 13.11.1966 – 27.06.1970
10 Jagjivan Ram 27.06.1970 – 10.10 1974
11 Sardar Swarn Singh 10.10.1974 – 01.12.1975
12 Indira Gandhi 01.12.1975 – 21.12.1975
13 Bansi Lal 21.12.1975 – 24.03.1977
14 Jagjivan Ram 24.03.1977– 27.07.1979
15 Chidambaram Subramaniam 30.07.1979 – 14.01.1980
16 Indira Gandhi 14.01.1980 – 15.01.1982
17 R. Venketaraman 15.01.1982 – 01.08.1984
18 S. B. Chavan 01.08.1984 – 31.12.1984
19 P. V. Narasimha Rao 01.01.1985 – 24.09.1985
20 Rajiv Gandhi 24.09.1985 – 24.10.1987
21 V. P. Singh 24.01.1987 – 12.04.1987
22 K. C. Pant 18.06.1987 – 03.12.1989
23 V.P. Singh 06.12.89 – 10.11.1990
24 Chandra Shekhar 21.11.1990 – 20.06.1991
25 P. V. Narasimha Rao 21.06.1991 – 25.06.1991
26 Sharad Pawar 25.06.1991 – 05.03.1993
27 P.V. Narsimha Rao 05.03.1993 – 16.05.1996
28 Pramod Mahajan 17.05.1996 – 31.05.1996
29 Mulayam Singh Yadav 31.05.1996 – 19.03.1998
30 George Fernandes 19.03.1998 – 15.03.2001
31 Jaswant Singh 16.03.2001 – 14.10.2001
32 George Fernandes 15.10.2001 – 22.05.2004
33 Pranab Mukherjee 23.05.2004 – 24.10.2006
34 A.K. Antony 24.10.2006 – 26.05. 2014
35 Arun Jaitley 05.26.2014 – Temporary Charge

And here’s the list of Defense Ministers in China since mid-1950’s

List of Defense Minister in China

1 Marshal Peng Dehuai Sep 1954 – Apr 1959
2 Marshal Lin Biao Apr 1959 – Sep 1971
3 Marshal Ye Jianying Jan 1975 – Mar 1978
4 Marshal Xu Xiangqian Mar 1978 – Mar 1981
5 Geng Biao Mar 1981 – Jun 1983
6 General Zhang Aiping Jun 1983 – Mar 1988
7 General Qin Jiwei Mar 1988 – Mar 1993
8 General Chi Haotian Mar 1993 – Mar 2003
9 General Cao Gangchuan Mar 2003 – Mar 2008
10 General Liang Guanglie Mar 2008 – Mar 2013
11 General Chang Wanquan Mar 2013 – Incumbent

The average tenure of eleven incumbents works out 5.5 years against our 1.8 years. You draw your own conclusions how seriously defense-minded are we. Again, take the concept of defense diplomacy which broadly represent as the peaceful application of resources from across the spectrum of defense, to achieve positive outcomes in the development of a country’s bilateral and multilateral relationships. Even Pakistan is far ahead of us in this area.

To be Continued…


More by : H.N. Bali