Siachen bluff

Elite units of the Indian army based on Siachen glacier faked encounters in order to claim credit and glory. By itself, that is a shameful act. The question that needs to be asked is whether real acts of bravery go unnoticed and unacknowledged because cameramen were unable to cover the scene.

In the days of media hypercoverage of battlefield action, its quite possible that some events are staged for the benefit of the viewers after the actual event has taken place. Such an explanation could mitigate but not excuse the army’s conduct.

The army top-brass and their civilian bosses have some explaining to do. To its credit, the army’s inquiry is in progress.

Related Link: The Daily Times writes that Pakistan has much to learn from the incident and credits the Indian army and press for not shying away from exposing the fraud.

Perhaps it is important to view this public relations embarrassment for the Indian army from another perspective: press freedom and how that impacts on other institutions, forcing them to clean up after themselves. The reporter of the Indian newspaper that broke the story has not been picked up by any intelligence agency. That’s the first plus and Indians should feel proud of that. The Indian army has, despite its bureaucratic tendency to hide the skeletons in the cupboard, been forced to come clean on the whole affair. That’s the second plus for India and, we must add, the Indian army itself. Both pluses are very important and would stand India in good stead as it strives to find its niche in the region and the world. Indeed, more than its military punch, it is this evolution towards a more mature persona that will redound to India’s advantage.[Daily Times]