It is aberrant and unprecedented that the age row involving the chief of the Army staff has reached the doors of the court. The decision of Army Chief General VK Singh to approach the court has baffled many of us as the government along with Singh had given an impression that the incident would be resolved amicably without spiralling out of control. When the Army chief welcomed the assurances given by Defence Minister AK Antony for a resolution to the matter, the cabinet too in consonance with the Defence Minister spoke in tandem for a peaceful settlement to the entire episode. But General VK Singh’s decision to approach the Supreme Court not only indicates the failure of the government to resolve the matter but has also exposed the government’s lackluster attitude of putting matters of importance on hold. No matter what decision the court takes on this issue, it is perceived that such an incident shouldn’t have arisen at the first place, if it has happened, it should have been tackled by the government thereafter. But the government’s failure to do so is disappointing.  It is highly unlikely that General VK Singh’s decision to approach the Supreme Court will be perceived as just another case filed by a citizen of the country though it has become a question of an army chief dragging the government to court, it is very unfortunate that such a trivial issue like the age row has brought the government and the army chief face to face. Though it may be observed that General Vk singh has approached the court like any ordinary citizen of the country, the fact remains that he is the supreme commander of a 13 lakh strong army.
This incident, in fact sends a message that the government couldn’t trust the claims made by its own army chief.  Though it is very difficult to analyse the correct date of birth of the army chief, is there any explanation of the dual entries for date of birth in the army records about him? It is more astonishing as to why the issue was not resolved in the last 36 years of the tenure of V K Singh. Wasn’t it the responsibility of the government to cross-check the date of birth of General VK Singh before making him the Army Chief?  If due to some reasons the government was unable to do so why didn’t it resolve the matter before his retirement date as per the records? Though VK Singh had brought this problem to the notice of the Centre prior to his appointment as the Army Chief, the government should have realised it and done something for its redressal instead of giving rise to a legal battle.