The recent coldness between the army and the government is beginning to thaw with defence minister AK Antony calling for mending the civil-military ties and the entry of the new army chief, Gen Bikram Singh, on Thursday.
The new army chief made it clear on Friday that the army would continue to be secular and apolitical and both the army and the government possessed the “wisdom” to work together.
In his first public comments after taking over, Gen Bikram Singh said, “I am certain there will be no problems, given the wisdom and commitment on both sides.”
On Thursday, Antony asked his the top bureaucrats in the defence ministry to forget the past and remove any traces of bitterness that that had crept into the civil-military relationship last year after the row over former chief VK Singh’s age.
Gen Bikram Singh, too, wants to exorcise the ghosts of the past. “A car is driven by looking through the windscreen and not through the rear-view mirror. Whatever has happened should be left behind.”
This is Gen Bikram Singh’s sixth tenure in the army headquarters in Delhi. The army chief said that he had no problems in the past with the bureaucracy.