Without a shadow of doubt, the relationship between the armed forces and the civilian administration is going through its most testing time in the history of post-independent India.
What started off as a simple issue over Army chief General V.K. Singh‘s date of birth has spiralled out of control into a disgraceful bushfire of scams and scandals—all being played through the media without consummate ease, and neither side emerges smelling of roses.
In the middle of all this is Arackaparambil Kurien Antony, India’s defence minister for the last seven-and-a-half years.
Like the other “Mr Clean”, prime minister Manmohan Singh, the taciturn and incomprehensible Kerala politician chose silence while the Sukna land scam was raging and while the Adarsh housing scam was unravelling. Little wonder, when General Singh says he brought the issue of a Rs 14 crore bribe offer to his notice, Antony’s reaction, on available evidence, was neither here nor there.
Now, after Gen Singh’s letter to the PM on the state of India’s defences has become public (and enemy) knowledge, after Parliament has been stalled two days in a row, the focus on Antony is getting even more intense. And questions are being asked if personal integrity is a much-overvalued commodity in our polity.
So, what is the one question you would like to ask A.K. Antony?
Like, has he ever considered resigning from his job?
Like, does he understand the situation in Pakistan better?
Keep your queries short, civil and simble.
Photograph: courtesy India Today