Explained National

The False Alarm of Attempted Coup: Seven Instances That Define Congress’ Relationship with Army

coup attempt

Did UPA-2 leaders try to jeopardize national security interests to score their political goals? This question has been triggered in the public discourse with The Sunday Guardian publishing a report titled  ‘UPA-2 top leaders wanted coup attempt by Army proved’. In April 2012, The Indian Express had published a report about the suspected coup attempt. At that time, the Indian Army had denied the report categorically declaring that it was a normal military exercise which the newspaper had presented as a coup attempt. Now, The Sunday Guardian report which is quoting the sources at the Intelligence Bureau, says, “the top leadership of the UPA 2 government, in the last few months of 2011 and early 2012, had informally indicated to the Intelligence Bureau (IB) to try and establish that the Army, under its chief, General V.K. Singh, was attempting a coup to topple the government.”

Congress’ Insult to Army: The Seven Instances
  1. Can you imagine a government blowing the cover of its own army’s secret missions that are crucial to safeguarding the country’s security interests? The UPA-2 had done exactlyThe Congress had even alleged that the Technical Support Division (TSD), a secretive military intelligence unit, which was set up in 2010 under former army chief General VK Singh, had been involved in misappropriation of funds. This led to its being disbanded subsequently. However, this allegation had failed to stick in course of time.
  2. Under UPA government, charges were framed against Col. Hunny Bakshi, a former commanding officer of the TSD. Later, even if the charges were dropped, it did hit the morale of those who carry out secret operations for the nation.
  3. Adarsh housing society scamhad happened under UPA-2. It has proved that Congress politicians don’t hesitate to loot even from what is due to a soldier’s widow. A 31-storey apartment complex, called the Adarsh Housing Society, was built in Colaba in South Mumbai for Kargil war heroes and war widows. But the politicians, bureaucrats, and some military officials had grabbed the flats for themselves and for their relatives.
  4. In January 2017, Congress leader Sandeep Dikshithad used the phrase “Sadak ka Gunda” for the Army chief. His words: “Army chief General Bipin Rawat was making public statements like a “sadak ka gunda.”
  5. The evidence suggests that there is a deep-seated resentment of Congress towards the Indian Army. The Independent India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru saying “We can scrap the army…,” is well documented. In September 1947, he had directed for reducing the strength of army from 2,80,000 to 1,50,000. In the fiscal year of 1950-51, 50,000 army personnel were sent home.
  6. The Jeep scandal, infamously remembered as Independent India’s first scam, had denied the army from having quality jeeps. The then PM Nehru not only declined any probe into it, but also made the person involved in the scam – V Krishna Menon – a defence minister. As this article documents, V K Menon had a great disregard for the opinions of Army Chiefs.
  7. Field Marshal K. M. Cariappa’s biography written by his son Air Marshal K. C. Cariappa recounts how the successive Congress governments since Nehru had an element of distrust over the Army. Some of the instances from the book are quoted in this article. One example that reflects the attitude of Congress on army can be cited here. When Gen. Cariappa had cautioned Nehru of the likely attack by China in 1951, Nehru had ridiculed him by saying, “It is not for the Army to decide who the nation’s enemies would be.”