THE RAKSHA MANTRI OF INDIAs JOB IS FOR ME
LT COL NOEL ELLIS (RETD)
Rumours were one thing which we were told to stay away from while in the forces. Now that I am a veteran, I can at least hear rumours and get carried away by them. I saw RM becoming the CM and another CM being considered to become the RM. Well, Mr Parrikar is already on his Goan beaches but who will fill his void is the rumour. Personally, I have nothing against anyone but technically I can guarantee, if a person of non defence background can do the job of the RM then I definitely can do it 439.09% better. If not then Ghasita Ram Halwai will also fit into the job. The PM is now pushing this country’s luck too far to dream of the unthinkable. My apprehensions will be confirmed that “andha bante rewri apne apne ko de”. Irony is that my armed forces will now have to “reinvent” warfare once again if this rumour is anywhere near to be true.
As a CM of a state he may be doing wonders but at the national level if the PM is seeing the potential of putting some CM as the RM then there must be something in him. My issue is not with this person, but what I am going to ask the PM is that he has a few well trained armed forces veterans, duly elected and rearing to go to do something for the armed forces. Then why has he not thought about them. I talk of Ex Army Chief, Gen VK Singh and Maj Gen BC Khanduri. Gen VKS is looking after foreign affairs well and Gen Khanduri has been a CM of a state, with an illustrious Army career, as also a fruitful political tenure in his kitty. With their experience as ground soldiers could there be a better choice to be RM of this country. Many veterans also wear the political caps, so if the cabinet of ministers could be shuffled sometime back, why can’t RM be a veteran that too with firsthand experience?
I can understand that the parliamentary committee decides who gets which portfolio but may I know from the PM what the criterion is for RM? Who decides such an important appointment? The RM is virtually on the mat answering for all shady defence deals. He is fighting war, terrorism, insurgency, shortages of men, material, equipment and ammunition from the deserts of Rajasthan to the icy heights of Siachen? Well, I won’t quote Field Marshal Sam Bahdur here who knew that they don’t know the difference between a guerrilla and a gorilla, a magazine and a magazine, a gun and a howitzer. Will a netaji know the difference between a phased array radar and an over the horizon radar, the difference between LC and LoC? He won’t know the difference between the Radcliff line and the McMahon line. He might know the actor Mac Mohan as Samba of Sholay fame. He won’t know the difference between the hitch knot and a reef knot and he would be dealing with submarines of the nuclear kinds. Will he know hand and flag signals? I am sure he would know light signals as was done in the movie Titanic. Would he know that there is something called a rotor down wash or nape of earth flying? Will he know that the most important nut in a helicopter is called the Jesus nut?
My questions continue. Will he explain the difference between a two men trench and an LMG trench? Will he understand a crow bar, of course he would know of a crow and a bar girl. Will he know the difference between a safety catch and a safety match, Shikari position and dhava position? Will he know chizen 6-S aur ek-M ki vajah se dikhti hain? Will he know what a bridge head is? He may know an ex girlfriend called Bridgett all right. Will he be able to pronounce Taknakpaktso? Will he know the difference between “tashi dileg” and “julle”? I am sure he must have seen this movie called Julie 100 times. Navy guys you better avoid saying “aye-aye” sir, or it may be misconstrued as saying something about his mom in Marathi.
He might be navigating on the GPS of his mobile phone alright, but can he indicate targets seeing through his Eye ball Mark-II. Can he tell me as to how many degrees are there in his hands? I hope he doesn’t refer this to his geometry teacher or a palmist? In defence there is no politics. Things are either black or white. We don’t like the shades of grey. We identify friends from foe. We love our friends and eliminate our foes. Yes, the only thing we don’t know is politics of any kind.
If the qualification of the defence minister is to sit in south block and just sign deals, then I am the best person. I can assure you, the Finance Minister will dread coming in front of me because I shall sit right in front of his office till he gives me funds. The transport minister will have to stop all projects and work on the border roads till the time I am satisfied that all posts and my last man is well connected. Pakistan will tremble because they shall be getting 10 times the dose of each cease fire violation. All the fodder that the media gets about food not being good, shahayaks etc will be sorted out within days of my taking over. All welfare schemes for the ex-servicemen would be implemented within the first year. War widows and orphans would be my personal responsibility for which I shall create a special wing in my ministry. All cases in any courts pending will be sorted out on priority and no one will be begging for his rights. Yes Mr PM, all my manpower in terms of officers and men will be made up even if I have to make another Indian Military Academy and National Defence Academy or both. Defence of my country and morale of my men will be my first priority always and every time. There will be no income tax for any fauji, serving or retired whatsoever. If kissans and doctors have this privilege so will we have it? If you won’t listen to me, I will sit in front of your office Mr PM till you condescend to the needs of this RM. Do you have the guts to take me?
I know the answers to all questions I asked above. Be rest assured Mr PM I will do it if I have said it provided you give me a chance. We are waiting for the promised ache din. Sir, you have qualified manpower for the most coveted post. If you don’t appoint them, then I am available. They chose to become dhotiwalas to understand the political system and are now waiting for you to give a nod. If you don’t appoint veterans, then may I request all veterans in the present cabinet to resign? Will they? I wonder!!!!!!!!!!!