The Agony, Anguish and Wailing of Defence Minister and the PM: The other aspect of URI


While most of the commentators and experts have opined about the strategy to take the revenge of 18 soldiers one aspect that has gone unnoticed is the defence ministry, its requirements, and how to strengthen it. Fortunately in Manohar Parrikar we have an able and competent defence minister who does not shies from calling a spade a spade and is honest to the inner most core of belonging.

As against the perception that Rafale deal happened due to PM Modi ( , the truth is it was Manohar Parrikkar who took the call for the deal and got it signed up with the full support of the PM on it and was able to outsmart the powerful defence deal lobbies and bureaucracy. (The ministry of defence is a bad organisation with no accountability’:Gen V P Malik ). Under the circumstances it is really a difficult task to accomplish defence deals in the country and the credit must certainly go to the teamwork of defence minister and the PM.

However as is known lobbies are just one aspect of this all important department ( ). The other being bureaucratic hurdles. Both these make the job of defence minister a horrible assignment.

After Uri, I had a dream where I saw the defence minister with unbearable anguish and despair.

The same holds for the PM. I could hear the wailing of the PM . I could feel the pressure and the restraint coming from the expectations of 1.2 billion people who want to take revenge with Pakistan. I realized how painful it is to be the defence minister or the Prime Minister of a country. Can we assess the agony, anguish, and the despair of them. No PM of any country would be able to tolerate such brutal and barbarous acts.

No doubt the country needs an appropriate strategy to take revenge for the martyrs of Uri.

But before that we also need to first bolster our forces and the system.For this to happen the hon’ble Prime Minister has to give more time for the MoD , take personal interest so that unnecessary hurdles and vested interests can be overridden and decisions can be fast. (

The country needs clear and defined competitive edge over its enemies. No one wants a nuclear war but unless we prove our supremacy in traditional warfare, the battle will inch and lead towards nuclear arsenals.

Uri happened for a multiple of reasons. While Pakistan based and backed jihadists were able to exploit the holes in the system we conveniently forget that our soldiers and the defence forces are still under served on various aspects. We overlooked some critical aspects of the system. Bureaucracy, corruption, lack of coordination and vested interest can weaken any defence force any where in the world.

The job of the defence minister is hard as he cannot talk or speak publicly about the problems nor can share his grief. To rub the wounds the media and the many experts and their self cooked stories, over CONFIDENT OF THEIR OWN ASSESSMENT at times. ( make things worse . Due to the technical complexities and nature of operations, the fact remains it is really difficult to evaluate any defence deal 100% fairly unless compromises are made openly and rules flouted. Still the media and its experts always try to project the working of defence ministry and minister as non professional. As a result Rafale deal was also tried to put in bad light and the minister was pooh poohed. Rafale is the best thing to happen for the country.

If the country and its respectable citizens do not want to forget the supreme sacrifice of 18 martyrs let us make the defence system of our country truly professional and keep it at the top of priority list.

It is for this reason that the indigenization and Make in India program of the MoD could not take off after initial success. OROP was delayed and got a final cut for some 600 crore for no good reason. (

There is no coordination between various arms of the MoD and government. As a result DRDO goes by its own yardsticks leaving many in chagrin ( ).

The country is lagging behind in almost all important research and development and procurement programs and it is high time the PM forms a committee to fast track the programs and speed up decisions. (

The defence minister must be empowered to take independent decisions and get past bureaucratic impasse. The anti corruption practices need to be encouraged and be made as part of the overall system. ( ).

Only when this is done we think justice can be made to the sacrifice of the 18 soldiers who got killed not only due to jihadist attack but also due to our negligence and procedural delays and corruption.


Asheesh Shah
Author: Asheesh Shah

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