There is an old saying “ Lightning does not strike the same place twice”. But the current NDA government being led so ably by one of our best prime minister, Sri Narendra Modi has proved it to be wrong.
“ LIGHTNING DOES STRIKE TWICE AT THE SAME PLACE”.
- NDA government led by one of the most outstanding statesman/politician of India Sri Atal Bihari Vajpayee had the dubious distinction of dismissing the then Naval Chief, Admiral Vishnu Bhagwat merely because the CNS had the guts to question the autocratic style of the then Defence Secretary. Indeed credit must be given to the government of the day because the then Defence Secretary too was punished. He was ‘punished’ by appointing him Secretary of yet another department.
- Current NDA government led by Mr Narendra Modi has gone a step further by arresting former Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal SP Tyagi, fondly known as ‘Bundle’ Tyagi to his colleagues in blue, white and olive green on charges of his role in Augusta Westland bribery scandal.
- Congress government, too, has not been far behind in this respect. Thimmy’s dressing down in parliament by Mr Nehru nearly 50 years back and nearer times hounding out of Admiral Joshi after a submarine blew up are feathers in their cap.
- ACM Tyagi has been charged under IPC 120B and 420. If the same logic was to be applied to politicians, a majority might land up in Tihar.
I write this piece not in anger but deep anguish. How could a man of unquestionable integrity and outstanding foresight like Mr Modi could commit such irrational act. Let it be categorically stated here that the current interim Director of CBI Rakesh Asthana cannot be faulted for this. He, obviously, had his task listed out by the powers that be. Alternatively he must be a God’s gift to mankind that within days of taking over, he unraveled the secrets of the said case in a few days.
It is nauseating to suggest (to put it politely) that ACM Tyagi altered the height parameters on his own to facilitate Agusta Westland to enter the fray. Were the then Raksha Mantri, Defence secretary, Head of SPG, NSA and many other functionaries behaving like ‘noddies’ and said ‘yes’ to whatever ACM Tyagi said.
Mr Modi let me share few things. After effect of Admiral Vishnu Bhagwat’s unceremonious removal resulted in subsequent Service Chiefs (most of them would decline to admit) declining to question the powers that be. Abysmal state of defence preparedness is the reward but the deaf, blind and mute politicians of this country cannot see that. Now you have gone a step further; let me forecast this day the 10th December, 2016 with 100% certainty that no future Service Chief is going to render an honest professional advice on any matter in future, lest he be targeted few years later. Let the ignorant politician and arrogant bureaucrat take all decisions with regard to defence procurement. National interests and security be damned.
You have erred Mr Modi. I tell you this without mincing any words because you are the hope of the nation.
As a soldier and an ordinary citizen I must be told as to where is the ‘MONEY-TRAIL’ that leads to ACM Tyagi? If it is so clear, should the nation not be told? Now a few things about statecraft, which you apparently do not know or is it that the political expediency blinds you and you are willing to sacrifice the INSTITUTION OF SERVICE CHIEF on the altar of party/political interests.
Every politician of this nation is corrupt, you included. Corruption does not mean that one has to be dishonest himself/herself. One is corrupt if he/she is in company of the corrupt persons. Can you vouch for honesty and integrity of every BJP member of Parliament and state assemblies? You cannot! Merely asking for their bank statement wef 08 November till date is not the answer. Would you like to also ask them as to how did they make their millions prior to 8th November, 2016? Before being elected to legislative assemblies and/or parliament quite a few of present millionaires/billionaire politicians were paupers ; a fact you cannot deny. Just look at what BJP has done in UP by admitting in BJP fold one of the most corrupt BSP legislature only recently for mere political gains. Having said that let me state that nation believes you to be an honest politician.
One of the most dishonest and inefficient Prime Minister/ politician of our time has been Dr Manmohan Singh. Individual honesty takes a back seat when you are heading a team as Prime Minister. It is the integrity that comes into play. Inefficiency cannot be cited as the reason for accepting/tolerating dishonest team members. I fully endorse your paradox “ NA KHAUNGA, NA KHANE DOONGA”. Dr Singh’s tenure is smeared with scams, scams and scams under his very nose ably supported by members of his team, who propagated ‘Zero Loss Theory’ in one of the largest financial scam this country has witnessed. As a leader one cannot say that ‘I am honest’ but I cannot do/say anything about my team members.
I must compliment you that in 30 months of your government rule not a single act of corruption has surfaced, at least as yet. But it does not behove a man of your character and integrity to look for and find a ‘scape goat’. Let me even more specific; Let us assume that ACM Tyagi did take illegal gratification (as believed by sleuths of ‘caged’ parrot) and irrefutable evidence exists, even then Mr Modi arresting him is not an option. Why?
Mr Modi, a Service Chief is an ‘INSTITUTION’ and must be protected. You have destroyed the ‘INSTITUTION’ of SERVICE CHIEF in the name of misplaced sense of honesty in public life. Your (not mine) minister was indeed right in calling and addressing ACM Tyagi in parliament on 4th May this year by addressing him as ‘CHOTE AADMI’. Are you trying to make a service chief stand in the same queue as the ‘street urchins’? Indeed the nation wants to see you arrest the ‘BIG FISH’ if you can. Political compulsions will never permit you to take that route because BJP cupboard too is full of skeletons.
My plea to you is not to protect/save an individual but the reputation and sanctity of an institution. Mr Modi an ordinary man on the street even today says “ Hindustani Fauj Cheen ki Fauj se Maat kha gai 1962 mein”. They do not say or remember that Pandit Nehru or Krishna Menon lost the 1962 war. No one remembers, rather cares to remember as to which minister or bureaucrat went to jail for corruption (if at all). But generations will remember you for sending a service chief to jail, not with pride but with scorn.
Too much of everything is bad Mr Modi. I will finish my ‘sermon’ by narrating what great saint Kabir Das said for people like you:-
“Ati ka bhala na barsana, Ati ki bhali na dhoop
Ati ka bhala no bolna ati ki bhali na choop”.
Translated into English it simply means “ EXCESS OF EVERYTHING IS BAD”.
Yajurveda mantra amplifies it further:-
“Satyam Bruyat priyam bruyat, na bruyat satyam apriyam”.
Translated into English it means “ Speak the truth, speak the pleasant truth. But do not speak unpleasant truth”.
I dare say even if irrefutable evidence suggests that ACM Tyagi accepted illegal gratification, he should be honourably acquitted not as SP TYAGI but as CHIEF OF AIR STAFF and allowed to fade away quietly. In the process ‘BIG FISH’ might also get away ; so be it. Your well being is of utmost concern to all of us for we hope to see emergence of a great nation under your leadership. You may like to consider my advice on a macro platform. Your advisers, most of them conformal thinkers, will not render you this advice.
“Nindak niyare rakhiye aangan kuti chavay,
Bin pani sabun bina nirmal karo subhay.”
I remain your most ardent admirer.
Gp Capt TP Srivastava
10th December, 2016