If you think this is an overture to a funny article, you are quite clearly mistaken because the man I am going to discuss is Shri A.K Antony, The defense minister of India. Shri A.K Antony in my honest opinion is one of the weakest defense ministers India ever had. Another one that I can recall is legendary Mr. V.K Krishna Menon who in his time shut down many artillery factories across the country and established coffee shops and crockery factories in place of them. Mr. Antony has been the longest serving defense minister of India. And here are some of his achievements:
- Pakistani aggression on Line of Control – 5 Indian soldiers were killed and before anyone could have batted an eyelid, Mr. Antony claimed that “20 heavily-armed terrorists dressed in Pakistan army uniforms killed our soldiers”. When he was criticized by media and was mocked at on Social media, he changed his statement to “Specialist troop of Pakistan did the ghastly attack”
- Chinese Incursions – Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) troops encroached 19 km into Indian Territory across the line of actual control (LAC) on April 15. They went ahead and set up tents in the Daulat Beg Oldi sector. Everyone expected the defense minister to come up with some warnings or even an advice to the Chinese, he chose to follow the Prime Minister’s policy (silence on important matters) instead. Chinese stayed there for three weeks and then moved away. He was the first one to celebrate the victory of diplomacy though.
- General V K Singh – Gen V K Singh targeted Antony and his people in corruption cases. Antony’s ministry came up with some records that suggested that Singh was born in 1950. However, Gen VK Singh matriculation certificate suggested that he was born on 10 May 1951. The tussle turned ugly, reached no amicable solution and Singh was denied a graceful exit.
- Agusta helicopter deal- There was a deal of 12 Agusta Westland-101 helicopters for a price of Rs 4,600 crore. An Italian investigation found out that bribes amounting to Rs. 427 Crore could have been paid to middlemen. It beats my logic completely, how can such a massive scam happen without the Defense Minister being notified?
- Tatra Army truck – General V K Singh claimed that he was offered a bribe of 14 Crore to approve the deal. He notified Antony and Antony did nothing. Why? No ideas.
- IAF Aircraft accidents –over 100 accidents in the Indian Air Force took place in his tenure. Was he held accountable? No
- Imaginary Military Coup – Maj. Gen. (Retd) Bhuwan Chandra Khanduri said that there is no trust between the defense ministry and defense services. He agreed when Khanduri came up with this statement but he ‘intelligently’ fantasized about an imaginary Military coup. Why? No ideas again.
- INS Sindhuratna – A naval mishap took place which claimed the lives of two officers. He again wasn’t held accountable.
- Navy Chief Admiral DK Joshi – The Sindhuratna episode saw the exit of DK Joshi, he again stayed away from taking any moral responsibilities.
So we see how Antony Sahab plays the honesty card to suit his needs. His reign saw incursions, attacks, cease fire violations, scams, exit of military chiefs and deaths of officers but he was never held accountable. He never showed an iota of guilt or compassion. I would like to blame BJP here for playing a very weak opposition in his case. A strong opposition could have choke slammed a very obvious offender like Antony in any of the aforementioned cases. He has evaded the criticism of people for long. Not anymore!
With inputs from a Firstpost and a Hindu article