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Carting cash around

india Updated: Jul 12, 2009 23:07 IST
Hindustan Times
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What do you do when we want to pep up your boring life? Retail therapy is one option to get over those blues. So, why be angry with top bosses of the Indian Army for going down the same path — after all, times of peace could be quite boring for professional soldiers. But the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) is not so indulgent about such expenses: in a scathing report, the CAG has pulled up top generals for abusing their financial powers to buy golf carts in the guise of mechanised wheelchairs for Army hospitals and urgently required military equipment.

This kind of retail therapy must have given the generals a double high. Why, you ask. First, you get to buy something you always wanted, and second, someone else pays for it. Also, no credit card bills to deal with later. Isn’t that grand? The generals doled out Rs 1.17 crore taxpayers’ money (that sounds like our money, doesn’t it?) to buy these carts which were actually meant for another kind of war: not in the icy, treacherous slopes of Siachen but in the lush, undulating greens of their golf courses. But what takes the cake is the justification they’ve given: golf carts facilitated “noiseless reconnaissance in close proximity to the enemy and helped in quick laying of track material”. This is not all: the CAG found shortcomings in the 145 Advanced Light Helicopters being inducted in the Army and that the Army is saddled with 3,000 rounds of useless Krasnapool ammunition worth Rs 526 crore.

Well, we wonder, whether the Generals ever heard what Abraham Lincoln once said: You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time. But you cannot fool all the people all the time. In hope, we live.