Source: The Hitavada      Date: 09 Aug 2018 11:34:32











AFTER achieving a splendid diplomatic victory over China while resolving the Doka La stand-off last year, defence experts had pressed for an urgent need to spruce up forces in case of further provocations of similar nature. While the armed forces proclaimed their readiness to fight a war on “two-and-half fronts” the ground level preparations betray this confidence. Inadequate equipment and glaring shortcomings in frontline airfields highlighted by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) in its scathing report present a gaping hole in India’s preparedness to deal with any possible security challenge. Measures suggested over a decade ago are yet to be put in place in the Indian Air Force which is a dangerous portend in present circumstances where national security needs to be at its best. The vital role Air Force plays during a conflict makes it imperative for the Defence Ministry to ensure its operational readiness. There is a deplorable lethargy on this front as the huge gap in requirement and procurement suggests. India cannot afford to keep its forces ill-quipped.


WHILE delivering the Cowdrey lecture at MCC, Mr. David Richardson, the Chief Executive of the International Cricket Council (ICC), expressed anguish over the on-field boorish behaviour of players. His concern is quite understandable as such behaviour has resulted in avoidable acrimony between individual players and teams. That robs the game of the spirit of sportsmanship and bonhomie between competing teams. Instead of fun, entertainment and showcasing of talent it degenerates into some kind of tug-of-war. Such incidents have occurred between teams on a number of occasions. An atmosphere of animosity, instead of spirit of healthy competition, is created, leading to ugly spat. But no one team or a player can be singled out for discourteous behaviour. It is all pervasive. Abuse, send-offs, obnoxious gestures have become the norm. Mr. Richardson has fervently appealed to the players, teams and their coaches to extend all courteous treatment to a visiting team as if it is their guest at home.