Leading Crowds for arson is not leadership -The Hindu-27-12-2019-Page-12


Army chief: leading crowds for arson is not leadership.


The Constitution of India lays down the framework within which the Union, i.e. the Government of India, and the States are required to carry out their respective responsibilities. List 1 of the 7th Schedule of the Constitution of India enumerates the subjects which are to be dealt with by the Government of India. In this list, the Government of India has been assigned responsibility for ensuring the “Defence of India and every part thereof”.

The Supreme Command of the Armed Forces rests with the President.

The responsibility for national defence rests with the Cabinet.

This responsibility is discharged through the Ministry of Defence, which provides the policy framework and wherewithal to the Armed Forces to discharge their responsibilities in the context of the defence of the country.

The Raksha Mantri is the head of the Ministry of Defence.

The principal task of the Defence Ministry is to obtain policy directions of the Government on all defence- and security-related matters and see that these are implemented by the services headquarters, inter-service organisations, production establishments and research and development organisations.

As provided by the Constitution, the various subjects in List 1 are distributed among the different departments in accordance with the Government of India (Allocation of Business) Rules 1961. Under these Rules, the various matters relating to the Defence of India have been allocated to the Ministry of Defence, which comprises the Department of Defence, Department of Defence Production, Department of Defence Research and Development and the Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare.

What is CMR?

The term “Civil–Military Relations” refers broadly to the interaction between the armed force of a state as an institution, and the political class and its machinery.

How has it helped India?

As a young democracy that saw many surrounding nations succumb to military interventions, the initial political leadership was wary of the military and kept the armed forces at an arm’s length in national affairs.

The success of CMR in the Indian context is that we haven’t had a military takeover.

Unresolved issues

In India, the military has been kept away from the national strategic decision-making process, which has been dominated by civil services.

Using civilian control as a lever, the bureaucracy has arrogated to itself a massive role – one that is not practised around the globe. It has given a fillip to a bureaucratic system which seeks to exercise control over the military by isolating soldiers from their political masters through a layered tangle.

This has harmed the national cause in two respects –

Creation of a military leadership insular in its thought process and

Consequently a nation deficit in a strategic planning process.

The world over, national security strategic planning is the domain of the military under political leadership with the civilian bureaucracies participating and this can be recognized where the majority of people are with military background dominating the national security apparatus both in the west as well as in authoritarian regimes.


The military men, especially the officer corps, which is the soul of any military, is specially selected by psychological profiling and trained by a lifetime of submitting to military discipline.

Therefore senior military officers should be given exposure in government bureaucracies and be made a part of the strategic planning process.

A certain amount of tension between the principal (the political class) and the agent (the military) is inevitable; creative tensions, as evident in civil-military disputes across the globe, may be helpful in refining existing structures and responses.

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