With the exit of Shri Manohar Parrikar, the Ministry of Defence has been reassigned to Shri Arun Jaitley who also heads the Finance Ministry. The ministry of defense along with home, finance and external affairs constitute the core of the cabinet. Being highly important ministries, these demand dedicated and highly efficient leaders to lead them that’s the reason why these are allotted to senior leaders who have proved their mettle over a long career and in different capacities. Another fact to be noted here is that both Ministers of defense and finance are part of the cabinet committee on security which deals with all the security matters of the country. As the single minister for both Defense and finance, it would be very difficult for Mr. Jaitley to manage both the ministries.
For a normal individual, it might seem that BJP doesn’t have a suitable person to whom it can give Ministry of Defense but I would say Modi cabinet does have a person who has the credentials to become the best defense minister India has had till now and the person is none other than Gen V.K Singh.
In an era when asymmetric warfare has replaced the traditional form of warfare and India is facing ever increasing threats ranging from immediate neighbors to Piracy in international waters and as India rises to take its rightful place as a superpower in the world many more threats will emerge and that’s why India needs a man who knows how to deal with security threats in the best way possible.
When we were facing a Financial crisis in 1991, the then PM P.V Narasimha Rao invited Shri Manmohan Singh to take up the role of Finance minister. When we are facing the threats of deceiving and belligerent neighbors, we need an expert to deal with them.
The Modi regime is lucky to have best man available within its ministry Gen VK Singh.
Although his credentials as a top serviceman are in the public domain but I Would still like to represent some of the achievements of General VK Singh.
Gen VK Singh fought in the 1971 Indo-Pak war and also was part of IPKF where he was awarded the Yudh Seva Medal, he is graduate of Rangers School, USA, the ranger school is said to be the most physically and mentally demanding leadership course in the world along with it, he is also a graduate of United States Army Infantry School, United States Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania and Defense Services Staff College. He is the recipient of Param Vishisht Seva Medal and Ati Vishisht Seva Medal as well. During his years of service, he held many important posts such as commander of victor force Rashtriya Rifles, Military operations directorate and Eastern Command. Gen Singh is the first Commando to become army general.
Years ago Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw had said: “I wonder whether those of our political masters who have been put in charge of the defense of the country can distinguish a mortar from a motor; a gun from a howitzer; a guerrilla from a gorilla, although a great many resemble the latter.”
From 1962 Sino-Indian War to Kargil conflict political leadership and civilian bureaucracy have never really understood to needs and demand of the defense forces. But for an Army general who has also been a commando the rapport with defense service would come from within. It would be easier for him to understand the operational requirements of the soldiers and easy for him to find solutions as compared to a civilian minister who has never been to the battlefield. Apart from all these it would be a great moral boost for our soldiers to see their general become Defense minister
In an era, defense acquisitions were mostly mired because of corruption allegations. Gen VK Singh has been an anti-corruption crusader since his Army days when he was chief of Eastern Command he initiated an enquiry into Sukna Land scam and after retirement was also part of Anna Hazare anti-corruption movement. So we can be sure that no corruption can take place under his tenure as defense minister.
As they say once a soldier always a soldier. Even after being appointed a Minister his working style hasn’t changed during operation Raahat to evacuate Indian nationals from Yemen Gen VK Singh being a minister himself went to Djibouti and commanded rescue operations. Even PM Modi lauded his efforts by saying “I believe this is the first time in the world that a government minister has stood on the battlefield like a soldier to do this work … I salute General VK Singh”
We as a nation would be fortunate to have Gen VK Singh as our Defense minister. Even though he is relatively political lightweight and PM Modi might face some dissent from within the party for making him Defense Minister but I believe our PM Modi has seen efficiency and dedication above political gains, if he would risk demonetization for the nation then the risk of allotting Defense portfolio to Gen VK Singh appears minuscule before it. I am sure our PM must have thought of it before and if he hasn’t then it’s time to think about it and act.