Nehru had paranoia of military coup: Gen VK Singh

Last Updated: Friday, November 8, 2013 - 22:47

New Delhi: India`s first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru was paranoid about a military coup, and the country`s leadership failed to keep the army prepared in the eventuality of the Chinese attack in 1962, former army chief Gen. VK Singh has said.

VK Singh`s last few months in office saw him in a legal tussle with the government concerning his age.

In his autobiography "Courage and Conviction", which was released Friday, VK Singh said Nehru`s daughter Indira Gandhi not only inherited the leadership of the country from her father but also never stopped looking over her shoulder.

"Since independence, the top political leadership in the country has been haunted by the possibility of a military takeover. It is no secret that people around Nehru exploited his paranoia of a military coup and started chipping away at the army in an evolving civil-military relationship," Singh wrote in his book.

Singh has written the book with writer-filmmaker Kunal Verma.

He said the appointment of Sardar Baldev Singh as India`s "first defence minister - a man known for his political `fix it` ability rather than military acumen - set the tone for the future".

Singh also said that if Nehru had his way, Field Marshal K.M. Cariappa would never have been the army chief.

"(Gen K.S.) Thimayya`s popularity as an individual would give prime minister Nehru more nightmares than the Chinese on the border. When the attack did come in October 1962, the Indian Army was engaged in `Op Amar` where they were building houses while our ordnance factories were making coffee percolators," the book said.

"Thorat, Prem Bhagat, S.K. Sinha - they were all dumped by the wayside. Indira Gandhi not only inherited the leadership of the country from her father, she too never stopped looking over her shoulder.
"The examples are endless, the lesson the same. If you want to spook the system, raise the spectre of a military takeover. It always works," the book says.
The book has been published by Aleph book company.

IANS
First Published: Friday, November 8, 2013 - 22:47
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