Date :14-Apr-2019

THE allegation, even though from some Armed Forces veterans, that the Government is politicising the Armed Forces, is nothing but political fiction. For, the letter that is supposed to have been written to President Mr. Ram Nath Kovind, has not been received as yet by the Rashtrapati Bhavan. Despite this, it has been in circulation, having been written reportedly by some Armed Forces veterans. However, a few veterans whose names have been mentioned among the authors of the letter to the President, have termed the entire effort as fake and have denied having signed any such communication.
This makes it obvious that the letter reportedly containing the allegation about so-called politicisation of the Armed Forces, is unmitigated political fiction. Defence Minister Mrs. Nirmala Sitharaman was naturally prompt in describing the so-called letter as fake. Her condemnation of the effort is fully justified. It is more than obvious that some smart alec has done the job of propagating the so-called letter, with a view to heaping some disrepute on the Government when the nation is engaged in the electoral process. The charge about politicisation of the Armed Forces has been made several times recently by various leaders of Opposition parties.
These leaders have been claiming that the Government -- led by Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi -- has been abusing the Armed Forces for political purposes. They went to the extent of doubting the veracity of the Balakot airstrikes, now being acclaimed by the world for precision and proficiency of the fighter pilots of the Indian Air Force (IAF). Some Opposition leaders even raised various non-issues to cloud the people’s minds about the Pulwama terror strike that took away the lives of 40 CRPF jawans in the ill-fated convoy.
That their efforts did not succeed, is another matter, but their intentions became clear to the people. The so-called letter to the President appears to be part of the continuation of the effort to malign the Government at the peak of election times. By this standard, the obvious question is: Who is politicising the Armed Forces? Obviously, it is the Opposition that is trying to build a fake hype against the ruling party and by implication the Government. We condemn such attempts. We do realise that everything is fair in love and war, and that elections, too, assume a war-like persona in the peculiar socio-political environment in our country. Despite this, we cannot accept any attempts to foist falsehood on the people as part of political propaganda.
The purported letter to the President is part of such a propaganda and we condemn it without mincing of words and call it unmitigated political fiction dished out by vested interests. It is good that some Armed Forces veterans who have denied having signed any such communication have asserted that the Armed Forces have always been independent of political issues. This is a very authentic endorsement of the Government’s claim that it has never indulged in politicisation of the Armed Forces. With these realities to fore, the needle of suspicion now shifts to the Opposition parties whose political managers have indulged in falsehood for the past some time.