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Anti-Corruption Stir: Nation In A 'Morass', Army Chief

PTI 25 Aug 2011, 20:55:43 IST

Mumbai, Aug 25: Stating that the nation was in a “morass”, Army Chief General V K Singh has said the support that the anti-corruption movement was getting was an indication of “power of democracy, power of people.”

The country, he said, was passing through “an interesting and turbulent period.

“Interesting in terms of how we are witnessing the power of democracy, the power of the people. Interesting in terms of how we are seeing our leadership cope up with these things,” Gen Singh said.

“A lot of things are happening, from Kashmir to Kanyakumari and from Gujarat to the most north-eastern part.  There is a certain amount of unrest in the country, for various reasons—some sponsored, some genuine (and) some which started with genuine thing and then got into something else.

“The theme is only one—how do we take the nation forward from the morass that we are in.... It is not who is leading the movement but it is why it has come to this stage,” he said.

The Army Chief was speaking at an interaction with members of the entertainment industry organised by former MP Santosh Bhartiya in suburban Juhu last night.

Gen Singh further said, “If the youth are channelised, if they are given the type of value system, I think we can get out of this great ‘daldal' (morass) that we are in.”

The situation that exists today seems disappointing making us wonder where have we come, he added.

The Army chief also equated corruption to a hydra-headed monster.

“Because we all are involved in its thriving. If we introspect, we will see that at one point or another, we are all involved in it,” he said.

“When the Naxalite movement (issue) was presented to us, we were very clear in our minds that it is a socio-economic problem, a problem created by bad governance,” Gen Singh said.

He further said, “Army is not the answer (to Naxal problem)... Army has a role in preventing external aggression.  Army has a role in assisting in humanitarian crisis.

“But beyond that, in our country, at least the way the Army has come up, we do not think that we have a role,” he said, adding, “the task we defined for ourselves after I took over as the Army chief was that we will restore the value system that we had.”

It is the values on which things can work, he said.

“Whenever values of a society, of a system, of an organisation get whittled away, then that institution suffers.  What is important for us is (to ensure) how can we revive these values,” he said.

When a filmmaker pointed out to the Army chief that a senior Army officer had allegedly demanded a Rs two-crore bribe when he was planning a film,  Gen Singh said, “I think, though the person (who asked for bribe) may have been wearing a uniform, he was not part of the traditions of the Army.” PTI