Recently, a letter was shared by the media, as well the Congress party, which contained a list of armed forces veterans ‘concerned about politicization of the armed forces’. The letter soon came into controversy as many veterans listed in the letter flat out denied ever signing it, one veteran even terming it as fake news.
Major General Dhruv Katoch has also penned an open letter in response to the aforementioned call. Major General Dhruv Katoch writes:
Could the veterans who were the brains behind writing a letter to the President explain the following to me and the…
“Could the veterans who were the brains behind writing a letter to the President explain the following to me and the larger veteran community:
1. Are you aggrieved only at the comments made by some BJP leaders? If so, then the letter is well drafted.
2. Is it OK by you, to accept the vile abuse heaped on the Armed Forces by the Congress and other parties? Some examples: We want proof of Balakot strike and of the earlier surgical strike: IAF hit nothing but trees in Balokot: Army Chief is a ‘Sadak ka Gunda’ : People join the army because they have nothing to eat at home: If it is OK by you, then again the letter is well drafted.
3. While seeking consent to attach the names of veterans to the letter sent to the President, was a full copy of said letter also attached? If so, do you have email ID records of the same, with the attached letter?
4. Was approval obtained from all the 156 veterans, before affixing their name to the letter? Do you have a record of the same?
5. If the purpose of the letter was to seek Presidential support to prevent what was perceived to be politicisation of the Armed Forces, why was the letter released on social media and to the office of the Congress, before it was delivered to the President? As of writing this note, the President’s office has not yet received the letter.
6. As former Service Chiefs had purportedly given their permission to affix their names to the letter, would it not have been appropriate to take a delegation with prior appointment to meet the President, apprise the Supreme Commander of the concerns, and then hand over such letter personally to the President? Or do you hold that your Supreme Commander does not warrant such courtesies?
7. Should not at least one person have appended his signature to the letter?
8. By focusing on the perceived acts of omission or commission of only the ruling political dispensation, it is but obvious that the letter would lead to a political slugfest. Was this not thought of? Or was this a deliberate ploy to further politicise the Armed Forces, rather than seeking the reverse outcome as claimed by the letter?
9. The veterans are represented by a large number of bodies? Were their inputs sought? Or was the brainchild of a bunch of veterans, who took upon their broad shoulders the concerns of all the veterans, without the need to consult anyone? If so, it smacks of a dictatorial attitude.
Today is Ram Navami, the ninth day of the sacred Hindu Navratri festival, signifying the triumph of good over evil. It is but apt, that we ask these nine questions, which can clear the air and lead to greater unity amongst the veteran community.”