The current Chief of the Indian Army, Gen. VK Singh has filed a petition in the Supreme Court to declare that he was born in 1951. Of course he has every right to take such an action as a citizen of India.
It is said that Gen. Singh, in his application for admission to the National Defence Academy, has written in his own handwriting that his date of birth is May 10, 1950. Well, it could have been a mistake. In 2006 when his promotion to Corps Commander came up and for subsequent promotions, 1950 was accepted as his year of birth though it seems that in the Adjutant General Branch there is some paper which mentions 1951. Is the large Indian Army (1.13 million?) in the arms of a man who does not know his own date of birth?
But Gen. Singh reportedly says that the issue is one of integrity and honour and that he is tackling the matter in organisational interest. Can we blame citizens if they doubt that the reputation of this great army is safe in the hands of the man who ignores his own handwriting? (That is, if the report and Army records are right.) Or does he want one more year in service?
For determining age there are several ways which includes inspection of teeth. We can be sure that the Supreme Court would decide on the appropriate method. There would be an acceptable and unquestionable verdict.
But what would happen if the decision is that Gen. Singh was born in 1951 and not 1950? Nothing alarming. His appointment as Army Chief was based on the date of birth of 10/5/1950. That tenure ends on May 31, 2012. If the Supreme Court finds that Gen. Singh was born in 1951, the man can be posted for the rest of his service in the Ministry of Defence to recommend a plan for the future of the Indian Army. Or something of that sort.
The honour of the Indian Army cannot be compromised by one man though he has taken part in the 1971 War.
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