the fully loaded magazine
Your interview with General V.K. Singh (‘I won’t resign...’, Mar 12) and the accompanying report (A Creeping Barrage) left me confused. The general says he made an error in filling up the defence academy application form, and then says it was also corrected before he joined the academy. So what’s the fuss? And then, post-2005, he says there was a clerical error based on the form—which he himself said had been rectified! And then he says he “accepted” 1950 as the year of birth during dealings with his superiors, which are on record. If a general can be deceived into accepting a wrong date of birth as his own, it speaks of the abilities of our higher echelons.
G. Venkataraman, Mumbai
Why waste so much paper on General V.K. Singh? The whole problem is of his own making. And he would have us believe that he (or someone) filled in the wrong date of birth in the nda application form. Can anyone really believe one would fill in a wrong detail unless one is to benefit from it?
Peter S.C. Pothan, Bangalore
I can only conclude that Gen Singh is a victim of institutional anarchy bordering on tyranny.
Maj Gen N.B. Singh (retd), on e-mail
Two points regarding the general’s date of birth. First, there is no independent corroboration of his DoB. All we have is his claim that it is one date, and others saying it’s another. Second, the practice of using the IC number—the order of merit in which you pass out of ima—for promotions is a bit absurd. At the academy, your rank is dictated by your discipline and how you absorb the basics. It is hard to understand why, 40 years on, after learning strategy through experience and education, an officer’s merit is judged by what he was good at in the academy.
T.R. Ramaswami, Mumbai
Instead of calling them the army, the navy and the air force, and having different ranks, why don’t we create an Indian Defence Service, on the lines of the administrative service, and place them on par with other services? If a babu can function as a joint secretary, surely a major can do so too, and probably better.
Arun Sathaye, Indore
The SC has done nothing but blame both sides and then ask them to make up. In any other instance, it would have surely called for the school-leaving certificate and declare that the date of birth there be accepted as the correct one. An institutional bias here?
The facts brought out by the general show that the original error in his date of birth was immediately corrected. So the problem, it now becomes evident, was that there was a whole set of vested interests at work to ensure that the general retires early and a particular person takes office.
Lt Col S.P. Karir, on e-mail
How can anyone have two dates of birth? This is the privilege of dvijas! The SC essentially ‘approved’ two dates of birth for Gen V.K. Singh by not saying anything specific.
Col C.V. Venugopalan (retd), Palakkad
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