But like the proverbial shape-memory tail of Indian folklore, the conclusion is all-too-predictably counter-productive:
So when we blame the GTRE, we are blaming those sometimes hardworking souls who could achieve something inspite of the system and the odds stacked against them.
Utterly wrong, disha. Your uncle and many others like him, give/gave their lives to moving forward with total determination despite the blighted buggers of the babucracy and mantricracy. No one here is dissing them. Far from it, you have the answer in front of your eyes: YOUR UNCLE WOULD NOT TALK MUCH ABOUT THE PROBLEMS. Because he was bound by an oath of secrecy. So people like him always reasoned that their Dharma was to do what they could, technically, and simply keep quiet about the obstacles.
YOU and I are not bound by any such secrecy, so why not do something positive using what you clearly know about the true state of affairs?
1. HOW can Indian defense developers get "DATA" if there is no production in good numbers to test systems under actual conditions? Your uncle is not the only expert to have recognized this fundamental obstacle.
2. WHY is it that 65 years after Independence, there is no systematic process for doing defense system development, where there are good middle-tier organizations that can parcel out the needed work to the academic institutions, AND GET RESULTS, without having to get security clearances for everyone? Even today, if a desi professor wants to work on stuff related to problems that the Defense ppl need solved, there is no standard process for communicating the needs, let alone making sure that relevant results get transferred back. Instead everyone runs around pretending to be an expert on Whether India Should Buy the F-18 or The Sopwith Camel.
Check into the true situation - not a few anecdotes of exception - and see what is the process for a PROBLEM to be communicated to those who can solve it, rather than cover it up until the relevant Babus retire. Why is there so little articulation of this in the Indian strategic analysis community?
3. GTRE, NAL, ADA, HAL etc. are nationally-mandated organizations to do specific things. The taxpayer cannot go and ask why the Handicrafts industry is not developing gas turbine engines - there is a GTRE that pretends to be doing this. So WHY is it not right to ask why GTRE has been such an abysmal failure for all these decades?
I note that Maruti Suzuki and Mahindra build cars/ SUVs that compete fairly well against Honda and Chevrolet in the Indian market, hey? They seem to be moving along a lot quicker than Hindustan Motors was doing with the Ambassador. Why is GTRE then still trying to impress us by failing to develop a 1975 jet engine in 2009? Why should Indians not demand some answers for this? Why is the response to such questions no brighter than this guilt-complex thing as in your post?
Indian Babus cannot be allowed to hide behind this Patriotism cra* when all they are doing is ripping off the nation and blocking key executive positions with their musharrafs. Those who know the problems, should feel emboldened to speak out.