The Army cannot overrule the Govt, but the Indian bureaucracy has a powerful weapon at their disposal – the Whitehall system! One notesheet with a Part Case for the personal attention of the Raksha Mantri and the Pradhan Mantri giving out the misgiving of the Army along with the pros and cons, would give cold feet even to the most powerful!! And Chiefs cannot be dismissed so easily as would a peon be dismissed! An example – before the 1971 War, the Defence Ministry bureaucrats were dragging their feet over the buying of certain equipment. The notesheets went up and down. Sam Manekshaw in red ink (and I have seen the note) just wrote – you leave my army naked and marked it to Defence Minster! The equipment was bought! Therefore, to believe that the Ministers can get away with murder is another false notion that people have!
Therefore, the notesheet, call it shout, if you will, is an important instrument that can tone down the most imperious!
The "shout" in my post was clearly attributed to political parties in opposition in the Parliament, in this case in the context of BJP.
I am not sure that we are not mixing and comparing situations that are not miscible or comparable. It is possible as you say, for the Army showing its dissatisfaction to the way the military is put in trouble in the discharge of its duty, and shove it right into the face of senior cabinet ministers who are officially connected in capacity with defence. But can you give me any outline of a possible military reason that the COS can send as a note to the GOI that argues against the political decision to devolve greater power to a semi-independent J&K? If that political decision is made as a part of an international agreement mediated by current "global" powers, who also get involved directly or indirectly as "guarantors" of "good behaviour" from Jihadis in the newly independent state? Especially "good behaviour" as long as India "behaves"?
I am trying to draw attention to the fact that international pressures to "soft" governments can make overruling such political decisions a most difficult task for the army. At some stage, the army will have to cross a dangerously thin line, if it wants to continue to oppose such political decisions.
The "babus" in the admin side can help the army by facilitating such note-pushing, or they may oppose and sabotage. But the top "eyes and ears" for whom the note is meant, could find no way of resisting the pressures that have built up around from both internal and external factors. I am sure we have not forgotten that the most common excuses for the Partition given by the GOI and its leaders, was that "it was unavoidable" - "the situation was such that we could not do anything else but accept".
If the GOI, with its Parliamentary majority proposes withdrawal of the Army/giving up territory/ sharing power with TSP in which the Army's role is reduced, what makes one believe that there will be no ruckus in the media and the public? Who does the govt in power depend on? The public. Will any Opposition Party allow J&K to be bartered? Indeed, if it was feasible, then how come Siachen became a total non starter even though the PM wanted it to be ‘demilitarised’! It would have been a sell out to Musharraf, who tried to capture some parts of it when he was a Bde Cdr there and failed. Musharaff’s lifetime ambition would have been achieved without firing a shot and his shame wiped out! The PM also proposed reduction of troops in J&K. I am not aware of the figures, but could you or anyone else tell me that the figures have reduced?
There is theoretical power and there is practical power of the Govt.
Demilitarizing was a proposal that was not part of a comprehensive autonomy package that gave semi-independent status to a new entity of "J&K". It was a one-way offer and gesture that was given perhaps out of romanticism or hard calculation - we have no reasons to know for sure. If however an entirely comprehensive "semi-independence" package is proposed, where the IA has limited responsibility to defend the new "Indian borders" only, with a new security force raised locally and trained under joint as well as international supervision to guard the "Kashmir" borders - IA can protest. But will it be able to carry it in the face of such coordinated national and international pressure?
As far as French secularism, you raised it. What has it to do with the Indian context? We are nowhere near that type of secularism nor have we shown any inclination towards it. And most of us are aware of French secularism, which anyway has drawn flak from many quarters.
I would have much preferred the French version of equal intolerance, and the assertion of the rights of the state over claims of suprahuman authority spoken through "messengers" than tolerance for anything and everything because otherwise it might hurt sentiments of determined minorities who can then hold the entire society to ransom. Drawing flak from appropriate quarters might actually establish its merit.
Vedic secularism, for the want of a better expression, meant that India embraces all views and assimilates them and uses such an amalgam for its own good and destiny. Hinduism is a way of life and not a religion or so I learn from here. I presume that this tolerance to all views is but the sum and substance of the evolution in history to what is today, India!
The word India does not occur in the Vedas. Hinduism is neither a "religion" in the sense the word is used from the Abrahamic theology, nor is it just a "way of life". A "way of life" is whatever is practised by living human beings. By that token the Abrahamic is even more a "way of life", for they take great pains to ensure that only certain "ways of life" are practised forever into time. Do the Vedas go into a great detail as to how exactly people should live in their day to day life? Not really. We get a glimpse of certain "ways of life" but they are not claimed to be imposable forever into the future.
More importantly, tolerance of all possible views cannot be deduced from the "Vedas". As far as my reading goes, formal injunctions of "enjoying captured women even if they are married", violent jihad or ghazwa to loot and murder or rape, declaration of a never-ending struggle to fight militarily until all humanity submits to the theology, do not occur in the Vedas. Because such injunctions do not occur in the Vedas, does it mean that the Vedas teach us to tolerate "religions" that claim such injunctions as being divine revelation and therefore to be imposed on all humanity? Vedas, and the Upanishads hold many viewpoints that contradict the basic biological greed and violence expressed in the core texts of the earliest and the latest of the Abrahamic.
If the Indic viewpoint is to be tolerant of all possible viewpoints, should it then also tolerate the logic of Hitler and Himmler for extermination of "Jews" and what others they considered "non-human"? If the Indic viewpoint is so tolerant, then why cannot it tolerate the views of those who destroyed the so-called Babri mosque? Or those derided for their "Hindutva"? Surely tolerance of all viewpoints includes them? Or is it a selective "tolerance"? In that case can it be truly all-encompassing?
Tolerance has its limits. And this claim of "tolerance for everything and anything" has been shoved down the "Indic" mouth to emasculate any protests that can be problematic for the Abrahamic or colonial and western powers. It is not deducible from the core texts of Bharatyia philosophy. The Geeta itself is a very loud proponent of "intolerance" for what it considers "adharma", and sweeps away any hesitation on consideration of sympathies for the "adharmic", even "blood-relation".