What's new

That inept 'Saint Antony'

jetray

SENIOR MEMBER
Jan 23, 2016
2,719
-7
2,378
Country
India
Location
India
'It was almost as though there was widespread relief that the defence bureaucracy, and the minister, could find someone willing to shoulder the blame for everything that had gone wrong with the services under Antony's charge -- the poor preparedness of the forces, slow acquisitions caused by indecision, cancellation of contracts and whimsical blacklisting of defence contractors over the tiniest suspicion that they may have paid speed money or kickbacks.'

Ravi Velloor, associate editor at Singapore's Straits Times, reveals what went on at the defence ministry under A K Antony's watch in his riveting new book, India Rising: Fresh Hopes New Fear.
An exclusive excerpt from the must-read book.




IMAGE: Admiral D K Joshi, then Chief of the Naval Staff, briefs then Defence Minister A K Antony about the sinking of the INS Sindhurakshak submarine following an explosion, in Mumbai on August 14, 2013. Photograph: Press Information Bureau
On the morning of February 26,2014, Admiral Devendra Kumar Joshi was in his Rajaji Road bungalow scanning the morning newspapers when he got first word -- signal, in navy parlance -- of an accident on board the submarine, Sindhuratna, while it was being put through trials in the Arabian Sea.

It was the second accident on a Kilo Class sub in eight months for a navy that had been going through an unprecedented and breathless expansion for the past decade.

As he digested the news, he thought back on a 40-year naval career where he had excelled in every command. The first of those commands was on a guided missile Corvette, his second a guided missile Destroyer, and his sailing days had ended on a high, on the aircraft carrier Viraat.

Joshi, the son of a top forest conservator with roots among the hill folk of the lower Himalayas -- the Army's Kumaon Regiment, which comprise men drawn from these parts, is the highest decorated -- was the first in seven generations of his family to choose the Navy or even the military, as a career.

He was also the first to rise so high from the Indian Naval Academy in Kochi, which has since relocated to Goa; previous chiefs had all come through the National Defence Academy near Pune.

To the surprise of his peers, "Joe" had always managed to speak truth to power, and gotten away with it. An impressive list of decorations had come his way, testimony to his professionalism, patriotism and integrity.



IMAGE: The INS Sindhuratna's was the second accident on a Kilo Class sub in eight months for a navy that had been going through an unprecedented and breathless expansion for the past decade. Photograph: Sahil Salvi
A little after he reached his office two hours later, the vice chief of the Navy, Vice Admiral Robin Dhowan, came to brief him on the accident at sea.

While the submarine was underwater, there had been a fire, three decks above where the submarine batteries -- initially thought of as the equipment that had malfunctioned -- were located.

To save the men trapped in the chamber, the sub's commanding officer had bravely entered the place but, in his haste, had forgotten the standard operating procedure of donning a gas mask.

In seconds, the fumes had overwhelmed the man and he now lay gasping for life in a Mumbai hospital where a Navy helicopter had ferried him from the stricken submarine. Two officers were dead and several sailors were injured.

It was just awful. "You have to brief the RM, sir," Dhowan told him, using the abbreviation for Raksha Mantri, or defence minister.

Joshi nodded, and dismissed his deputy.

Unknown to Dhowan at the time, the chief's mind was already made up.

Strict observance of standard operating procedures is imperative in any high technology environment, and it was clear, even without the routine board of inquiry that would doubtless follow, that the submarine's officers had been imprudent, even as they had shown exemplary courage.

In the past year, Joshi had ordered nearly a dozen officers stripped of their command over a series of accidents, some trivial, as he sought to crack down on indiscipline and poor leadership.



IMAGE: As much as he had tried to defend the Indian Navy from criticism, Admiral Joshi knew that the buck rested on his desk. Photograph: Ministry of Defence
Not having fought a real war in more than four decades, military standards had been slipping, including that in the Navy.

In early 2008, the troop landing ship, Jalashwa, the former USS Trenton, acquired only the previous year, had suffered an accident at sea, with the loss of five lives.

In January 2011, 18 months before Joshi was elevated as chief, the frigate Vindhyagiri had slammed into a box carrier at the mouth of Bombay Harbour, and sunk to the ocean floor.

A year into his charge, the Sindhurakshak, a Kilo Class submarine that was being loaded up with torpedoes and missiles for a regular patrol mission off Karachi, suffered fatal explosions and sank at the pier of the naval docks, embarrassing the armed forces.

Eighteen people died in the Sindhurakshak, which had just returned from an expensive refit in Russia, meant to prolong its service life.

Those in the Navy knew that poor observance of missile handling protocols had caused the blast.

There had also been a series of smaller incidents, including a fire on board the aircraft carrier, Viraat.

As much as he had tried to defend the service from criticism, Joshi knew that the buck rested on his desk.



IMAGE: Admiral Joshi knew fully well that Antony would not have dared to use phrases like "fritter away resources" with the Army chief. Photograph: Press Information Bureau
While no service chief would admit it, backroom duels to seek parity with the civil service -- promotions to the level of commander today are timescale-bound with merit-based promotions only kicking in for selections for captain and higher -- had worked against the quality of officers in each of the services.

The aggravation had been mounting after a series of pinpricks from the Ministry of Defence: The previous November, he had been stung by Defence Minister A K Antony's comment at a naval commanders meeting, that the Navy ought not to 'fritter away valuable national resources.'

Senior ministry bureaucrats had worked in that line to slight the forthright naval chief, knowing an alert media would pick it up and go to town with it after the series of accidents involving naval assets.

Some of the 'accidents' were trivial, and in some cases, the fault, if any, had to be laid at the door of the government, not the Navy.

For instance, in early February, the landing ship tank, Airawat, a frontline warship used to land troops on beachheads, suffered damage to its propellers because of inadequate dredging of the Visakhapatnam harbour.

The plain-spoken Joshi had not helped his cause by staying aloof from journalists -- indeed, there were official instructions from his office to the Navy to avoid contact with a top correspondent from a television news channel known for its aggressive and sensationalist reporting style.

The defence correspondent of The Indian Express, who had run a series of negative stories on the Navy, had not been invited to that year's Navy Day soiree.

Just days before, the paper had run a big story listing the naval accidents.

With little sympathy for the Navy chief, the media thus feasted on every misfortune suffered by the Navy, sometimes failing to add perspective by comparing it with the service record of the other arms, particularly IAF, which had a longer list of expensive accidents.

What's more, Joshi knew full well that Antony would not have dared to use phrases like "fritter away resources" with the Army chief.

Indeed, Antony had abjectly swallowed a series of provocations from General V K Singh, who had even moved the Supreme Court to take on the MoD, which had resisted his attempt to alter his official date of birth in a poorly disguised effort to delay his retirement.



IMAGE: Too honest to ignore the wider circumstances, Admiral Joshi knew it was time to go. Photograph: Press Information Bureau
All these factors played in Joshi's mind as he contemplated the step he was about to take and weighed its consequences.

On the one hand, he still had 18 months left to finish his tenure in a national capital where bureaucrats and military wheels cling on to office until the last day, hoping to be extended in service or be thrown crumbs like a post-retirement governorship or ambassadorial posting.

His daughters, Pallavi and Purba, had not been settled yet. There was also the strain he would put on his wife, Chitra, if he decided to leave suddenly.

Yet his entire training pointed him in another direction.

In his junior years as a midshipman and lieutenant, he had seen heroic captains protect their juniors from the wrath of senior brass.

When a particularly tough admiral cracked the whip, the captain would step in to take the blame for the younger men's lapses.

The Navy knew that if youngsters didn't make mistakes, they would never learn. That is how his seniors had raised him in the service. Too honest to ignore the wider circumstances, he knew it was time to go.

Joshi asked his secretary to connect him to Chitra, who just then was preparing to receive more than 200 wives of retired senior naval officers at a lunch she was hosting in the Navy House garden.

He described the situation, explained the need to take moral responsibility, and added a final word -- do not speak to anyone about this until the official announcement is made.

Late that night, the women who had enjoyed Chitra Joshi's hospitality that pleasant afternoon would marvel at this no-nonsense woman's composure -- she was smiling through the afternoon as she looked after her guests, even as her mind was in torment for her husband and the step he was taking.



IMAGE: Admiral Joshi's resignation letter sped through the bureaucracy and the PMO. Photograph: Press Information Bureau
Joshi next summoned Jayashree, the woman who had served as personal secretary to four Navy chiefs, and dictated a three-paragraph letter of resignation.

Ignoring her tears and her entreaties that previous chiefs had gone through worse without quitting, he ordered her to type it up and make copies.

A few minutes later, he walked into Defence Minister A K Antony's room and briefed him on the accident. At the end of the briefing, Joshi took out the letter and handed it to the minister, who sat back stunned, as though Joshi had struck him.

"You don't have to do this, Admiral," Antony whispered.

What followed in the next few hours would seal Antony's reputation as India's 'worst defence minister ever,' the headline of a special report on Antony's record in the March 17 edition of India Today, the nation's most widely-read news weekly.

Joshi's resignation letter sped through the bureaucracy and the PMO.

President Pranab Mukherjee, himself a former defence minister and now the nation's titular commander-in-chief, was informed.

There was no attempt to convince the gallant and upright officer to withdraw his resignation.

Yet, eight years earlier, when Mukherjee himself held the defence portfolio, then Navy chief Arun Prakash had offered to quit over a far more serious issue -- the War Room Leak scandal where Prakash's nephew, a former naval officer, was accused of illegally procuring naval secrets, including details of plans to make Scorpene submarines, on behalf of arms companies.

At the time, Mukherjee and then national security adviser M K Narayanan had firmly rejected the offer, saying Prakash had no culpability in the matter and should continue.

Indeed, Vice Admiral Sureesh 'Faggy' Mehta, then deputy chief of naval staff and the officer directly in charge of the War Room, suffered no damage to his career, eventually succeeding Prakash when the latter was superannuated.



IMAGE: The Indian government moved with unseemly -- and unusual -- alacrity to accept the Admiral's resignation. Photograph: Press Information Bureau
Joshi's resignation, and its hasty acceptance, would have been justified if the poor record on accidents was unique to the Navy.

According to MoD figures given to Parliament, no less than 28 planes and 14 helicopters of the IAF had crashed since the start of 2011, by no means a small number. Half the IAF crashes involved MiG aircraft and the causes were depressingly similar to the Navy's accident record; outdated equipment, poor quality of spares and fuel, and, of course, human error.

Yet, the Navy chief was left spinning in the wind. Many people in top positions simply looked away.

Shivshankar Menon, the NSA, did not ask Joshi to see him nor did he pick up the telephone for a farewell chat, either on the day of the resignation itself or in the weeks to come.

Instead, the Indian government moved with unseemly -- and unusual -- alacrity to accept the resignation.

It was almost as though there was widespread relief that the defence bureaucracy, and the minister, could find someone willing to shoulder the blame for everything that had gone wrong with the services under Antony's charge -- the poor preparedness of the forces, slow acquisitions caused by indecision, cancellation of contracts and whimsical blacklisting of defence contractors over the tiniest suspicion that they may have paid speed money or kickbacks.



IMAGE: Indian Air Force Jaguars flying in formation besides a pair of Indian Navy Sea Harriers and a pair of US Navy F/A-18 Super Hornets, flying over the Indian Navy aircraft carrier INS Viraat during Exercise Malabar 2007. Photograph: US Navy
In 2007, the first time the Navy announced plans to hold Exercise Malabar with the US and other friendly navies in the Bay of Bengal, Antony hit the roof, recalled a three-star admiral, now retired.

Left parties led by the CPM, always sympathetic to China, were supporting the Manmohan Singh government in New Delhi at the time.

Coming from Kerala, where the principal opposition to the Congress party came from the CPM, Antony was hugely sensitive to their politics.

CPM chief Prakash Karat was threatening to march from Kolkata to Visakhapatnam, the Bay of Bengal port city that is home to the Eastern Fleet, if Exercise Malabar went through. Antony was shaken.

"Malabar is an area in Kerala, which is off the Arabian Sea coast. How can we hold Exercise Malabar on the other side of the peninsula, in the Bay of Bengal?" he demanded of Admiral Mehta. "Have you thought through how the Chinese are going to react to all this?"

Mehta stood his ground. He countered that Exercise Malabar 2007 was too far gone in the planning to be pulled back and Antony had to relent. And thus, the exercise went through.



IMAGE: Antony's troubles with General V K Singh would not end with the Supreme Court chiding the general into withdrawing his case against the government. Photograph: Press Information Bureau
What explains Antony's behaviour?

As he increasingly took on the tag of 'Saint Antony,' particularly in Manmohan's second term, some saw lurking ambition in the diminutive figure from Kerala.

Perhaps, he secretly longed to be prime minister. Antony had stood in for Manmohan at the January 2009 Republic Day parade, when the prime minister was recuperating after tricky heart surgery, and he seemed to have enjoyed the moment.

Given the prime minister's thin skin, there was a good chance that the man, fearful of losing his own reputation for probity amid the scandals that engulfed his second term, might quit office abruptly.

Should that come to pass, who more politically acceptable in a time of widespread scandal than super-clean Antony, never mind that he did not speak the national language, Hindi, or that his English was not easy to follow?

Hence, the more defence contractors blacklisted for seedy doings, the better for him.

What about his soft-gloved approach to General V K Singh, the Army chief? Antony's troubles with General Singh would not end with the Supreme Court chiding the general into withdrawing his case against the government.

The vitiated atmosphere in New Delhi between the military and the civilian administration was probably best exemplified by a news report in The Indian Express in April 2012, which suggested that in January that year, on the night that General Singh approached the Supreme Court over the issue of his age, the establishment had been spooked by the mysterious movement of two Army units towards the national capital.

The Indian Express report carried the bylines of its then editor in chief, Shekhar Gupta, and two other top writers, Pranab Dhal Samanta and Ritu Sarin. The report could not be dismissed lightly. Sarin, particularly, was renowned for her diligent fact-checking.

Since loyalties run deep in the Army, the suggestion was that General Singh had enough senior officers around him who would follow instructions unquestioningly, should he have wanted to do mischief.



IMAGE: The Congress-led government would handle General Singh with kid gloves. It did not have the nerve to call the soldier's bluff, or warn him to stop leaking to the media. Photograph: Press Information Bureau
Even so, the story did not make sense on two counts, as a serving chief of staff, who is no friend of General Singh's, explained to me at the time.

Firstly, if General Singh had been trying to pressure New Delhi over the issue of his age, he had chosen the wrong time -- the matter had gone to the Supreme Court and was well out of the hands of the civilian establishment. Surely, he wasn't attempting to spook the judges!

Secondly, if General Singh needed to sound a warning rattle, he didn't need to move troops from so far away. There were plenty of infantry and mechanised units already in the capital, preparing for the Republic Day parade on January 26.

Publicly, Antony dismissed the speculation that followed the report, describing the movements as a 'routine training exercise.'

He then waited for General Singh to retire, choosing not to confront the Army chief while he still held the post.

In those final months of his tenure, the General prepared his launch into politics, giving media interviews critical of the administration and building up his base among the warrior caste of Rajputs. It was as though he was taunting the civilian administration to fire him.

The Congress-led government would handle General Singh with kid gloves. It did not have the nerve to call the soldier's bluff, or warn him to stop leaking to the media. On the sidelines of the annual Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore that year, I asked Antony why he had been so timid around General Singh.

"Don't you think that was the least painful way to deal with the nuisance?" he responded. Perhaps, the course he adopted was indeed the right one at the time, although there were many who thought he should have made a firmer point.



IMAGE: Antony's signal failing was that he was overawed -- and overwhelmed -- by the civilian bureaucracy. Photograph: PTI Photo
A year later, Antony's response to another incident left the nation and its entire armed forces heavily incensed.

This was the brutal killing of five Indian soldiers along the Line of Control with Pakistan, authorised at the highest levels of the Pakistani army, as reliable Pakistani sources told me later.

The bodies of the soldiers from India's Bihar Regiment had been beheaded when rescue parties along the Line found them on the morning of August 6, 2013. It was an act of barbarity calculated to shock the Indians.

The Indian Army issued a statement through its Northern Command in Jammu that the ambush on the Indians had been carried out by members of the Pakistani Border Action Team, aided by the Pakistani army.

That statement was hurriedly withdrawn a few hours later on orders from New Delhi. Antony went before Parliament the following day to say that '20 heavily-armed terrorists along with persons in Pakistani army uniform' were responsible for the killings.

The phrasing appeared deliberately vague in order to offer the Pakistanis an element of deniability. To most Indians, it appeared that their defence minister simply did not have the nerve to confront his enemy. There could not have been a bigger let-down for the forces.

In the event, a high-ranking delegation of the BJP met prime minister Manmohan Singh to register their protest over Antony's soft approach.

Cornered, Antony went before both Houses of Parliament to issue a fresh statement clarifying that a specialist group of the Pakistani army was involved in the attack and that ties with Islamabad would be reviewed. He justified his earlier statement by saying that the incident had happened early in the day and he had not wished to 'jump to conclusions.'



IMAGE: India's biggest curse, where defence preparedness goes, is the excessive civilian dominance over military planning. Photograph: Press Information Bureau
It is possible that Antony, already under pressure from aggressive Chinese patrolling along that disputed frontier, didn't want to open a tricky second, Pakistani, front.

Also, Nawaz Sharif had just been elected prime minister and New Delhi may have wanted to keep open nascent peace initiatives with a Pakistani leader who seemed to want to improve ties, even as his military remained deeply suspicious of India and would have liked to thwart any conciliatory moves.

Whatever the reason, it was one more nail in Antony's reputation as the premier guardian of India's national security.

Antony's signal failing was that he was overawed -- and overwhelmed -- by the civilian bureaucracy.

Unlike Mukherjee, who was wise to the wiles of the bureaucrats and knew how to assert himself, Antony was far less successful in curbing their manipulative ways.

India's biggest curse, where defence preparedness goes, is the excessive civilian dominance over military planning.

In fact, parallel bureaucracies in the defence forces and the MoD complicate matters because of a lack of confidence in one another.

That is a real pity. In my interactions with the higher command across the three sword arms of the Indian military, I have always found the military men better informed, more globally aware, more amenable to trying new things, and strategically more acute than their counterparts in the civil service who dominate the MoD.

Yet, in India, the bureaucrats rule. Ministers are unable to check them because, for the most part, they are poorly informed and often have little experience in military matters when handed the portfolio. Even better if the minister is corrupt; the bureaucracy, with its ability to leak, has a real handle on the man.

Antony was not corrupt. He was just inept.

Excerpted from India Rising, Fresh Hopes, New Fears, by Ravi Velloor, Konark Publishers, 2016, Rs 695, with the publisher's kind permission
 

livingdead

ELITE MEMBER
Oct 25, 2011
22,953
0
21,537
Country
India
Location
United Kingdom
too long so did not read.. but will give my worthless opinion anyway..
joshi saw too many accidents.. had to go.. now dont blame DM for that..
 

PARIKRAMA

SENIOR MEMBER
Jan 5, 2014
4,873
185
17,211
Country
India
Location
India
History will show A K Antony on a scale of 1-10 as 5 for keeping MOD clean and doing limited modernization

History will also show M Parrikar on a scale of 1-10 as 5.01 (yes a .01 better) for keeping MOD clean, saying we did lots of deals for modernization , signing no contracts and scrapping lots of tenders with no solution for urgent procurement /modernization. Also the loudmouth quips in media makes it difficult to take him seriously.

Unless Mr Parrikar does a course correction, there wont be much difference between him and A K Anthony.

A word of small praise: MP is trying surely but results matter a lot more in history then mere efforts. He can reach 7.5+ if he makes MII dreams true for our rapid modernization efforts. and a 9 if he can understand that potentially tehre are other areas outside IN, IA and IAF which needs attention too like tri services command, cyber warfare, integrated command for BMD/Airspace control etc.

@Abingdonboy @anant_s
 

Joe Shearer

PROFESSIONAL
Apr 19, 2009
24,205
143
40,053
Country
India
Location
India
too long so did not read.. but will give my worthless opinion anyway..
joshi saw too many accidents.. had to go.. now dont blame DM for that..
I don't agree.

Everyone will have seen my post responding to @DesiGuy 1403 asking him to explain the continued failures of the Defence Ministry. I am no fan of Parrikar.

But what Antony brought to the table during his singularly unfortunate tenure was criminal negligence. The OP is mild; there are many more incidents that could have been cited, all consistent with the picture of a figure completely out of his depth, manipulated at every turn by the civilian bureaucracy, and dancing to the strings pulled by them.

I don't want to go on; the man makes me furious.

History will show A K Antony on a scale of 1-10 as 5 for keeping MOD clean and doing limited modernization

History will also show M Parrikar on a scale of 1-10 as 5.01 (yes a .01 better) for keeping MOD clean, saying we did lots of deals for modernization , signing no contracts and scrapping lots of tenders with no solution for urgent procurement /modernization. Also the loudmouth quips in media makes it difficult to take him seriously.

Unless Mr Parrikar does a course correction, there wont be much difference between him and A K Anthony.

A word of small praise: MP is trying surely but results matter a lot more in history then mere efforts. He can reach 7.5+ if he makes MII dreams true for our rapid modernization efforts. and a 9 if he can understand that potentially tehre are other areas outside IN, IA and IAF which needs attention too like tri services command, cyber warfare, integrated command for BMD/Airspace control etc.

@Abingdonboy @anant_s
I would rate A. K. Antony on 3 or less, and Parrikar on 5.
 

livingdead

ELITE MEMBER
Oct 25, 2011
22,953
0
21,537
Country
India
Location
United Kingdom
I don't agree.

Everyone will have seen my post responding to @DesiGuy 1403 asking him to explain the continued failures of the Defence Ministry. I am no fan of Parrikar.

But what Antony brought to the table during his singularly unfortunate tenure was criminal negligence. The OP is mild; there are many more incidents that could have been cited, all consistent with the picture of a figure completely out of his depth, manipulated at every turn by the civilian bureaucracy, and dancing to the strings pulled by them.

I don't want to go on; the man makes me furious.



I would rate A. K. Antony on 3 or less, and Parrikar on 5.
I dont know internal working of defense ministry... may be some news agency can rate the efficiency of the ministry during AK's tenure and Parrikar's... I find it problematic to rate ministers based on public perception alone...
no wonder Parrikar feels the need be 'seen' to be doing 'something'....
 

PARIKRAMA

SENIOR MEMBER
Jan 5, 2014
4,873
185
17,211
Country
India
Location
India
I would rate A. K. Antony on 3 or less, and Parrikar on 5.
You may be correct sir.. its a very big topic of debate. I gave him 5 for few things like FMS deal with US for P8Is, GSAT 7 satellite for Indian Navy use, C130s and C17 jet deals, AWACS deal, Pilatus trainer, etc.

But yes his staunch silence in deep modernization implementation plans & schedules and inability to address our maritime security aspect especially in sub surface fleet to Mountain Strike Corps fiasco of no proper allocation to pending contracts which we should have signed but he chose to ignore. He was negligent surely.

Perhaps a lower score would have been better but yes atm DM MP is not very far away from AKA in terms of Defence portfolio performance. That is something we all may spin and say no he is very good but we have to understand if his tenure works out really good for our nation or another effort to make us a paper tiger only.
 

Dem!god

SENIOR MEMBER
Jan 14, 2014
4,548
-31
11,131
Country
India
Location
India
UPA II was nothing short of a disgrace to the democratic regime of india, to it's people, armed forces and it's jawans.
Such learned economist becoming chamcha of italian waitress is nothing short of disgusting. Have manmohan shown some balls we would have seen some real results on ground.
 

Joe Shearer

PROFESSIONAL
Apr 19, 2009
24,205
143
40,053
Country
India
Location
India
I dont know internal working of defense ministry... may be some news agency can rate the efficiency of the ministry during AK's tenure and Parrikar's... I find it problematic to rate ministers based on public perception alone...
no wonder Parrikar feels the need be 'seen' to be doing 'something'....
List the incidents: don't bother about why they happened, just treat the internal workings of the ministry as a black box and list the events and incidents.

Nothing happened.

Critical equipment tenders were cancelled, often on the complaints and newspapers releases of frustrated competitors.

The state of the Army, Navy and Air Force are in woeful disarray.

Everyone hoped that a technically competent person, one, in addition (@jbgt90 ), known to be simple, down to earth and without airs, so not vulnerable to flattery and influences of that nature, would bring in a fresh new outlook and pro-active decision making. And what happened?

Nothing happened.

You may be correct sir.. its a very big topic of debate. I gave him 5 for few things like FMS deal with US for P8Is, GSAT 7 satellite for Indian Navy use, C130s and C17 jet deals, AWACS deal, Pilatus trainer, etc.

But yes his staunch silence in deep modernization implementation plans & schedules and inability to address our maritime security aspect especially in sub surface fleet to Mountain Strike Corps fiasco of no proper allocation to pending contracts which we should have signed but he chose to ignore. He was negligent surely.

Perhaps a lower score would have been better but yes atm DM MP is not very far away from AKA in terms of Defence portfolio performance. That is something we all may spin and say no he is very good but we have to understand if his tenure works out really good for our nation or another effort to make us a paper tiger only.
Pray.

I can't. I'm atheist.
 

Star Wars

BANNED
Jan 7, 2013
12,451
-14
19,016
Country
India
Location
India
History will show A K Antony on a scale of 1-10 as 5 for keeping MOD clean and doing limited modernization

History will also show M Parrikar on a scale of 1-10 as 5.01 (yes a .01 better) for keeping MOD clean, saying we did lots of deals for modernization , signing no contracts and scrapping lots of tenders with no solution for urgent procurement /modernization. Also the loudmouth quips in media makes it difficult to take him seriously.

Unless Mr Parrikar does a course correction, there wont be much difference between him and A K Anthony.

A word of small praise: MP is trying surely but results matter a lot more in history then mere efforts. He can reach 7.5+ if he makes MII dreams true for our rapid modernization efforts. and a 9 if he can understand that potentially tehre are other areas outside IN, IA and IAF which needs attention too like tri services command, cyber warfare, integrated command for BMD/Airspace control etc.

@Abingdonboy @anant_s
I think 5:00 and 5:01 is just troll level...no offence, give the man 5 years to finish his work. Within 10 years if his vision goes as planned then the forces will be in far far better shape with indigenous equipment, considering Army has been given the freedom in directly dealing with MSME and big businesses to convey their needs.
 

livingdead

ELITE MEMBER
Oct 25, 2011
22,953
0
21,537
Country
India
Location
United Kingdom
I think 5:00 and 5:01 is just troll level...no offence, give the man 5 years to finish his work. Within 10 years if his vision goes as planned then the forces will be in far far better shape with indigenous equipment, considering Army has been given the freedom in directly dealing with MSME and big businesses to convey their needs.
what exactly job of def min... just boost troop morale from time to time.. cut ribbon.. and may be fight with fin min for more money..
I mean is not every major decision is taken by cabinet comittee?
its one of the lightweight ministry compared to finance, industry, foreign or even railway...
and after series of corruption scandals in procurement and lies about them(bofors accused of being inferior is prime example).. govt felt to have a guy with clean image and amicable personality in that chair...
 

anant_s

SENIOR MEMBER
Aug 21, 2012
5,602
92
16,702
Country
India
Location
India
History will show A K Antony on a scale of 1-10 as 5 for keeping MOD clean and doing limited modernization

History will also show M Parrikar on a scale of 1-10 as 5.01 (yes a .01 better) for keeping MOD clean, saying we did lots of deals for modernization , signing no contracts and scrapping lots of tenders with no solution for urgent procurement /modernization. Also the loudmouth quips in media makes it difficult to take him seriously.
@Abingdonboy @anant_s
Before i say anything, i want to raise one question: It looks like our system is person dependent (two gentlemen in debate). Does someone else too believe that it is our system that has failed and not the person? In other words, shouldn't the two governments be answerable to the mess our defence procurement establishment finds itself in?


Two distinct and equally independent things needs to be reviewed.
  1. Please go back to late 80s, when Bofors scandal happened and that curse is still present on us. We forgot how to purchase a material from open market (embarrassing considering Indian's pride themselves as some of the shrewdest and most cunning customers). Every proposal of getting new hardware brought an automatic side order of noises that something is fishy. We started to treat business agents (middlemen) as Taboo. So apart from Sukhoi deal and a few minor deals here and there, we lost entire 90s, despite the fact that Indian economy improved leaps and bounds and opening of Indian economy brought a new qualitative change and advantage to diplomatic relationships as well.In a scenario where witch hunting after any proposal for CAPEX was moved, made it perhaps easier for DM to simply sit tight and take morally correct line (read as do little or nothing) and pass on the buck. We saw how badly this hit us, when Kargil happened in 99 and we found how woefully short we were even on some extremely basic fronts.
  2. After 123 agreement, we found that now our choices have expanded and we can now start to move away from Russia at some points. Then arrived this new philosophy of Make in India and the possibility that things can be made in India and you have people ready for it.
So far so good, but what is the reflection on ground? Yes there is movement but it is too slow and i don't know if that is in right direction. Thus far as we have seen, old ideology of direct purchase is now being rejected in favor of making indigenously, but what about our actual preparedness!
Army can't fight or operate on promise that they'll get Indian made hardware. All they want is hardware and perhaps the last thing on a soldier's mind while in a fight is the origin tag on his gun or bullets.

Let us get ourselves in a comfortable position where a General doesn't have to think about his ammunition stock or an Air Marshal about the oil filter for hydraulic system of his fighters and concentrate on getting his operational preparedness ready and fine tune strategies. Let bureaucracy take care of their justified needs.
Let us know what we can do on our own and where we need to take help from outside.
& Above all let system be independent of ideology of government and Person sitting in chair of DM. I know it is a big ask but like certain aspects of foreign policies, let some aspects be, a line cast in Stone.


@PARIKRAMA @MilSpec @Joe Shearer @Abingdonboy @Levina @jbgt90 @hellfire
 
Last edited:

Stephen Cohen

BANNED
Nov 21, 2014
8,458
-37
10,821
Country
India
Location
India
History will show A K Antony on a scale of 1-10 as 5 for keeping MOD clean and doing limited modernization

History will also show M Parrikar on a scale of 1-10 as 5.01 (yes a .01 better) for keeping MOD clean, saying we did lots of deals for modernization , signing no contracts and scrapping lots of tenders with no solution for urgent procurement /modernization. Also the loudmouth quips in media makes it difficult to take him seriously.

Unless Mr Parrikar does a course correction, there wont be much difference between him and A K Anthony.

A word of small praise: MP is trying surely but results matter a lot more in history then mere efforts. He can reach 7.5+ if he makes MII dreams true for our rapid modernization efforts. and a 9 if he can understand that potentially tehre are other areas outside IN, IA and IAF which needs attention too like tri services command, cyber warfare, integrated command for BMD/Airspace control etc.

@Abingdonboy @anant_s
You are being very harsh to Parrikar and very generous to Antony

If Antony has created a huge mess by blacklisting ; refusing to allow deals to move forward
by just sitting on them

How can you blame Parrikar for it

The resources returned by MOD are lost for ever and they have to start from the beginning next year

At least Antony could have created a non lapsable fund so that decisions could be taken
up later without loss of Resources

What did Antony do for MII ; LCA ; DRDO

He just followed the path of least resistance by placing follow on orders

No initiative for any thing ; just play safe

The Import cabal was STRINGING him all along and he in turn was supplying commission
to the Congress party

Then they cancelled deals when exposed like the Augusta and the Antrix deal
for which we are being dragged to courts by foreigners

Any way he is an incoherent idiot ; listen to him speak in Parliament

The BACKLOG of The Acceptance of Necessity was 360 when Parrikar came

He has reduced it to less than 200

The Arms dealers had a free run in the Ministry

Whether it was Ravi Shankaran ; Abhishek Verma ; Tyagis ; Bhandaris ; Tejinder Singh
and others who we will never know ; all were running the show
 

PARIKRAMA

SENIOR MEMBER
Jan 5, 2014
4,873
185
17,211
Country
India
Location
India
You are being very harsh to Parrikar and very generous to Antony

If Antony has created a huge mess by blacklisting ; refusing to allow deals to move forward
by just sitting on them

How can you blame Parrikar for it

The resources returned by MOD are lost for ever and they have to start from the beginning next year

At least Antony could have created a non lapsable fund so that decisions could be taken
up later without loss of Resources

What did Antony do for MII ; LCA ; DRDO

He just followed the path of least resistance by placing follow on orders

No initiative for any thing ; just play safe

The Import cabal was STRINGING him all along and he in turn was supplying commission
to the Congress party

Then they cancelled deals when exposed like the Augusta and the Antrix deal
for which we are being dragged to courts by foreigners

Any way he is an incoherent idiot ; listen to him speak in Parliament

The BACKLOG of The Acceptance of Necessity was 360 when Parrikar came

He has reduced it to less than 200

The Arms dealers had a free run in the Ministry

Whether it was Ravi Shankaran ; Abhishek Verma ; Tyagis ; Bhandaris ; Tejinder Singh
and others we will never know all were running the show
Let me give you a smart statistic.
From the point of DAC approval to contract signing and finally money being released the average time taken is between 48-60 months and median is 54.
Thus what MP talks now about so called approvals, all are meaningless unless such contracts are signed and a suitable signing amount is paid by GOI.

Pls do check what industry was reacting to our MP over the so called orders to boost local industry over last 3 months. The industry particularly MSME folks have been crying hoarse over where are the orders to show such DAC approvals as well as so called so many AONs.

That's why for limited period of time he is in the hot seat, I am reacting harshly. Let's see what he does in rest of his tenure..

PS- I also said how he can reach higher score.
 

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Total: 1, Members: 0, Guests: 1)

Top