The Contemporary Discourse on Civil–Military Relations
This chapter discusses contemporary civil–military relations in India, engaging with, and occasionally refuting, a number of narratives. It begins with an overview of four main controversies—the dispute about withdrawal of troops from the Siachen glacier, the contrasting views over the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), the tenure of General V. K. Singh (chief of army staff from 2010 to 2012), and issues arising from pay commission reports and the equivalence between civilians and the military. These issues highlight the overall theme of this book—that there is considerable distrust and tension between civilians and the military. Next, it briefly discusses civil–military relations under the Modi government. Thereafter, it examines the issue of defense reforms, considered by many as a panacea to overcoming these difficulties. This is followed by an analysis of the divergence in the positions typically taken across all three levels—political, bureaucratic, and the military leaders.
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