You know the background by now, but we’ll repeat in brief for those who have been living under a rock anyway: the Indian Express did a major story on how the Indian Army may have tried to spook the Government by moving some military units from Haryana toward Delhi, on the same night that Army Chief V.K. Singh approach the SC on his age issue. The Army didn’t follow “protocol”, the article stated, because it hadn’t informed the MoD of this move. When pre-set alerts were triggered, a “spooked” ministry called back the Defence Secretary Shashi Kant Sharma from Malaysia, and instructed the Army to call off this movement.
Since the report came out, all of the involved parties have vehemently trashed it – including the Prime Minister himself. It doesn’t appear that any of the facts are incorrect. The Army says it was a regular exercise to test the viability of some units in the fog; the Defense Ministry said the report was trash, and the PM has also called for everyone to maintain the dignity of the office of the army.
The Indian Express has said that it stands by its report. Based on what we read, it appears that a set of facts have been linked together to form a weak hypothesis of a coup. It seems that the reality is far simpler – some unusual Army activity was tracked, a few people were alerted, and when everyone realized it was all usual anyway, everyone forgot about it and went back to work the next day.
Surprisingly, IE has stated over and over again that it took six weeks of reporting to produce this story — but in reality, is a six week investigation with some loose plot really a valid enough story to put out on a national daily that questions one of the most revered institutions in the country? The Army and Government, while they may have their tensions recently, have maintained a strong relationship over many decades, and it seems irresponsible of Gupta and the team at IE to put this report out there that challenges this relationship.