Brig M.G.Devasahayam ‘s write up – given below-is brilliant as well as to the point. It is my opinion that Shekhar Gupta has not analyzed the matter in its correct perspective. He should have known more of the Army matters as well as its structured scenario in Indian context.

2, The fear or anxiety of a Mil coup d’état in India is baseless and far from reality as would be seen from the following factors:
• 2 Bns moving at a dark hours in or around N.Delhi was observed on 16 the Jan 12 morning. That was the point of worry .The COAS [Chief Of Army Staff] cannot order directly any troops anywhere in his Army. There is a chain of command. The General does not order,” ok you Battalion Commander , move your Bn from Meerut to New Delhi tomorrow morning. You should reach at Red fort at 0800 hrs sharp. And thereafter you report to me” . The Army Chief has his 5 PSOs [ Principal staff officers] and all heads of Arms & services there. He has 7 commands – [their Heads are called Army Commanders] -responsible for respective territory under their jurisdiction and all 7 encompasses the entire India. Under Army Commaders (Lt.Generals), there are Corps Commanders, they tpp are headed by Lt.Generals. They are the Fighting Formations. Under them, there are Divisions- Infantry Divs/Armed Div/Mechanised Inf Divs/Mountain Divs etc. Under Divisions there are Brigades, under whom Battalions are formed. Under battalion you have Companies;Platoons or Batteries,sections etc. This way the chain of Command goes. Even a section Commander is a Commander {Naik} and he is a responsible soldier fully aware of HIS ROLE.
• Any movement has to be under proper order from the proper authority in the chain of command. A written Op. Order will be there.
• Besides we have Intelligence Wing both in the Civil & Army. They keep on sniffing. Any untoward incidence or observations are reported to the top echelons!
• The COAS if had got all the PSOs & All Army Commanders of All 7 Commands, at his N.Delhi HQ, and if any lurking troops showed in the vicinity, then it could have been surmised so by Shekhar that way. But That had not taken place.
• The Coup takes place in a small country where the Army Chief is all alone, powerful and enjoys the complete control in his person and HE IS VERY YOUNG IN AGE. Our GEN VK is just 60 + and almost spent force so far health is concerned. He is matured enough and fully vested with patriotic devotion towards HIS Country. He might or Will have all the ailments in the coming years due to aging factors and devastating stress factors that one under goes in the Army.
• India has BSF etc and various other forceful FORCES ; besides they are under Home Ministry and not Defence Ministry.
• Such varied bifurcation as also the AIR FORCE & INDIAN NAVY with equal Ranking Chiefs ; all of them cannot get , in any circumstances. to unified command!
3. So the fear is invented one or imaginary. It would serve to cast aspersions about Army and its Chief and nothing else. Think of the joke, that 2 Bns took over the Country as great as India! in a winter morning!! Just like that. And all the ministers and Baboos are intact in the south block in a larger room!! Fully packed and without water, tea, or breakfast!! POOR chaps! Morning PATRA VAARTHA [News in the PAPER]: GREAT INDIAN COUP. AT THE DAWN, UNDER HEAVY SNOW, TWO BATTALIONS HAVE MOVED IN TO THE PARLIAMENT AND TOOK OVER INDIAN GOVERNMENT IN A BLOODLESS COUP!! a STRAIGHT DRIVE.WHAT A SMOOTH OPERATION!

4. I feel like laughing! Though it is not funny! I would simply say one thing: You Press fellows, please don’t be so cheap and sell out you to any one for money. You need only ” do vakth kaa roti , and what will you do with the so called undeservedly amassed money? Arey uthnaa hii apne chonch mein le lo, jithna uTaa sakthaa hai! Jyaada udaavO TO bhaarii hO jaavEgaa aur poorE kE poorE niche girEgaa hee!!
5. These people made a hash of HIS prestige: the Supreme Court did not accept his Date Of Birth certificate which was issued by Military Hospital Pune back in 51. But took it as correct what was written in a simple form of an application without any supporting documents! This is what I understood from reading the papers! The rest of arguments are BUNKUM!!They fooled the country and the ARMY.
6. If this is the case with Chief of Army Staff, what would be the condition of ordinary JAWANS? HIS- the jawans-morale is in boots!!!
7. The HONOUR, safety security and integrity of the country is supreme , first always and every time; the honour ,safety, security and welfare of the men under you come next always and every time. Your own honour, safety and welfare comes last always and every time! That is the learning by an OFFICER right from the day he joins the Military Academy. Because in Army one has always someone on top and your welfare etc are assured. So The CHIEF’s welfare and HONOUR should have been the matter of CONCERN of the MOD or Defence Minister or the supreme Commander ie. The President Of India!! NOBODY BOTHERED ABOUT IT. HE HAD TO FIGHT IT OUT AND MISERABLY BLED AND STILL BLEEDING!! And they say, he is sulking!! A big JOKE!!
8. Military is a very important wing of the country. Please politicians and bureaucrats do not under estimate it. Give the Military its due respect and honour it deserve, they would defend the country and the subjects! The military had gone through the MILL in 1962,1965 ,1971 and at KARGIL etc .
9. I have taken part in first 3 of them. Kerala Government does not offer us free parking facility even at Rail/airport or anywhere. Governor never called us veterans for a get together at his HOUSE during 15 Aug , which is a practice in other states!! This is KERALA!!!
—————————————————————
On Sun, Apr 8, 2012 at 9:42 AM, VRU Menon sent the write up by Devasahayam to me for reading.
———————————–
Dear Shekhar Gupta,

I recall the days when I was the District Commissioner of Chandigarh in the mid-seventies and you were a cub reporter with THE TRIBUNE. You then had idealism with fire in your belly. I had taken you as my younger brother and had presided over your registered marriage, the only time I performed this duty which is delegated to Executive Magistrates. You then rose fast and became a clebrity in the media. Except for odd telephonic conversations there was no contact between us. Even this contact was lost when you became a super-celebrity and I could not even reach you over phone.

Be that as it may, after reading the special story written by you in today’s Indian Express insinuating coup attempt by the Indian Army led by a fine soldier called VK Singh all I can say is that I am ashamed of having ever known you. I would not depart without reproducing a brief passage below:
The critical role played by the Indian Army in protecting and defending India’s democracy during the dark days of Emergency (26th June, 1975 – 21st March, 1977) has been candidly brought out in the Book “’JP Movement, Emergency and India’s Second Freedom’: (Publisher VITASTA, ISBN 978-93-80828-61-9, October 2011 – Author M.G.Devasahayam)”, which was written in the context of the National Emergency and the role played by ayaprakash Narayan (who was my prisoner for nearly six months) in restoring democracy. Herewith are some of the extracts:
“During the 20 months of active Emergency, people moved in hushed silence, stunned and traumatised by the draconian goings on. Across the nation, grovelling academicians, advocates and accountants vied with each other to sing paeans of glory to the Emergency rulers, some signing pledges of loyalty and servitude in blood! Whisky-swilling and pipe-smoking social climbers and sycophants chanted in unison, “Discipline is preferable to democracy,” just because trains were running on time and they got a parking lot at the Connaught Place! The bulk of the civil service crawled when asked to bend. The higher echelons of the judiciary bowed to the dust and decreed that under the Emergency regime, citizens did not even have the “right to life”. Politicians of all hue and colour, barring honourable exceptions, lay supine and prostrate. There was gloom all around and it looked as if every thing was over and the world’s largest democracy was slowly but surely drifting into dictatorship. ”
What changed the tide is best described in a long investigative article titled “Ruler of 600 million and alone – Indira Gandhi is unmaking a democracy ‘to save it’ and looking to exchange moral authority for bread” in the TIME magazine of August 11, written by Claire Sterling, regular columnist for Atlantic Monthly, Washington Post and International Herald Tribune, who had recently visited India.
“Indira Gandhi is perhaps more powerful than ever before, but she is also more alone. There is no one left to share with her the blame of the regime’s failings, no one of any stature to partake with her the task of running her vast benighted nation.
So desperately isolated has she become, so driven into new repressions that cut off her line of retreat, that the dynamics of staying on top may well push her into becoming a real dictator. And, though she is not the woman to make India anyone’s satellite if she can help it, her increasing dependence on Moscow and the Communists could send the country lurching into the Soviet orbit. Neither development is likely to leave the Indian Army unmoved. And that is perhaps the crux of the situation.
India’s standing Army of nearly a million men has been resolutely non-political since Independence. But it is also sensitive to the smallest slight to its honour, dignity and military independence, not to mention the nation’s sovereignty; and it is steeped in loyalty to constitutional principles. It was altogether her Army when she enjoyed unquestioned legitimacy of constitutional rule. It may not be should its ranking officers conclude that she has become something else. More than ever now her fate hangs on the Army’s loyalty.”
Taking a direct hit at Indira, the author concludes: “Someone once told me, as I was traveling around India, that the one thing worse than trying to govern the country by democratic persuasion would be trying to govern it by force. Yet that is how Indira is trying to do it now. Depending on how fast and how far she goes in changing from a traditional Prime Minister to the one-woman ruler of a police state, the Indian Army – the one group with the power to stop the process – could intervene. If it were to do so, it would almost certainly be not to replace her with a military dictator, but to restore the institutions (of democracy) it has been drilled into defending since birth.”
You have insinuated that such an Army had attempted a coup. Can there be a worse form of betrayal? God alone knows what your motives are? Yet may God bless you.
With anguish in my heart, I am copying this to some of your colleagues and some others for whatever it is worth.
M.G.Devasahayam

Advertisements