Saturday, 30 September 2017

Defense Minister orders army to clean garbage!


  • In just three weeks, the new Raksha Mantri, Smt Nirmala Sitharaman, has moved from the top of the charts to below the mid-way point with her latest and only ridiculous order asking/ tasking the army to clean up garbage and litter in the high altitude areas, left behind by uncaring and uneducated tourists.
  • Unless she understands and applies her mind to the legitimate tasks of the armed forces and their pride and ethos, she is unlikely to be accepted fully and the charts will keep sliding south.
  • The recent cabinet reshuffle is the BJP plan for the 2019 General Elections and the appointment of the new Raksha Mantri (RM) is more in gender terms rather than abilities! There was a sense of relief that this government has stopped treating the Defense Portfolio as a temporary pastime for its cabinet ministers.
  • It seemed that after three years of governance, Modi had at last learnt that Defense was neither a part-time portfolio, nor one for a light-weight leader.
  • Modi rewarded a loser (Arun Jaitley) at the elections with the two most important portfolios, viz. Finance and Defense, possibly may be due to non availability of talent. He glossed over fact that the Jaitley did not like the military, as he blamed them for his losing the only election he fought in his long political career.
  • Modi might have realized that giving two major portfolios to one person are fraught with danger. 
  • Nirmala Sitharaman was a professional; was intelligent; dedicated; and possessed common sense. She had handled her commerce portfolio well but built up a positive reputation of a feisty lady who kept the rapacious bureaucracy in line and carried out her assignments quietly.
  • Apparently this was done at the behest of PMO to clean up garbage left by tourists in high altitude areas and other sundry instructions regarding cleaning up military stations, cantonments and bases. These orders are absurd, to put it mildly. 
  • The mandarins sitting in the PMO have issued a stupid and illogical order stating that the army will clean litter left behind by uncaring tourists in high altitude areas, obviously abandoning their operational tasks and training. It is the dumbest order in the last half a century, if not more. If you use the armed forces for carrying out non-military tasks, the result will be catastrophic.
  • Since the Swach Bharat Abhiyan has made little headway, the government wants to boast of at least cleaning up the litter of tourists so that their propaganda machinery can at least save face by tom-toming this!
  • Defence Minister, PMO and the MoD to rescind this absurd order immediately.

When you promote a good worker who turns out to be a bad supervisor, 
you end up losing a good worker and saddled with a bad supervisor.

Common sense tells us that there is no way 'Swach Bharat Abhiyan' in its present format can succeed despite a spend of Rs.200,000 crores between 2014-19 except that it provides a platform for massive publicity for Modi & BJP which anyway no one believes its tall claims. In the process degrading and demoralizing armed forces is unpardonable. Modi as Gujarat CM in his book 'Karmayog' of 2007 writes that scavenging was an 'experience in spirituality' for the Valmikis. Modi also describes scavengers assigned role in the caste order as a "job bestowed upon them by Gods" that outraged Dalit groups and Modi silently withdrew the book from circulation. Unless running water in taps provided, improved hygiene and drainage facilities created, solid waste management systems implemented, illiteracy eradicated, all sections of people brought above poverty line, the ills associated with poverty will continue to haunt us in some form or other. Until then reckless spending will only serve publicity and scandalous purposes. And Nirmala Sitharaman proved instantly unworthy of a ministerial position, not to talk of MoD, by signing that inapt order.

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