The Hindustan Times carried an article that squarely held Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) responsible for making "huge plans" and achieving "nothing".
Surfers differ with the writer insisting the problem of DRDO, like so many other government organisations, is one of management. And they disagree that the defence set-up has not achieved anything at all. Besides, they slam the writer for dishing out a half-baked and ill-researched article.
Here's how the feedback went.
Jaypal from India said the writer needed to verify his facts first.
"The article is more to whip up sentiment than to show a balanced approach to the pros and cons of DRDO. The same kind of story started with Light Combat Aircraft project (LCA) as well. After Aerospace giant, Airbus, purchased its Fly-by wire system, did everyone start taking note of its development?"
"Just to compare, Chinese who have wider manufacturing base than India and are developing a fighter aircraft haven't produced a complete Fly-by wire system as it was developed for LCA."
"Does the author know the problems the T80UD tanks of Pakistan faced? Does the author have any idea of the range of shells the Arjun barrel can fire?"
"I'd request the author to be more balanced the next time and to verify the facts before publishing."
Sid from New York city, USA felt the article lacked research.
"Errr Mr Joshi… the main barrel gun of the Arjun cannot fire missiles? Are you a newbie journalist? How about writing your next article on how the Arjun is not a great tank because it does not have the capability to launch nuclear missiles? This whole article reeks of 'lack of research'."
Rahul from Kolkata, India too thought the article had many factual errors.
"I have been a fan of your coverage of defence issues over a period of about a decade, during which time you contributed to a variety of magazines, mainly Frontline. Unfortunately nowadays the number of articles written by you has dropped considerably and after reading this one I would say that there is a sharp fall in standards as well. Even if the value of your peculiar suggestions regarding the DRDO is ignored, the number of factual errors in this article is just too much."
"Let me point them out. You said: 'Yet there is not a single major or minor product, barring an excellent sonar system and the INSAS rifle, that has found usage in the armed forces'."
"Products that have been inducted: IAF a) avionics related—Tarang RWR for Su-30MKI, Tempest self-protection jammers for Su-30mki, Siva direction finding pod for use on all fighters, mission computers, display processors and radar computers under project vetrivale also for Su-30mki."
Aditya Bansal of New Delhi, India agreed with the writer as far as the larger picture was concerned. However, DRDO's problem was one of management, more than anything else, he said. He in fact suggested that the organisation should closely follow the US armament industry to be effective.
"Sir, whatever you have written is absolutely true... it is DRDO's culture that they make huge plans and achieve nothing. They just aim to fly their objects without aiming to produce them commercially with the industry."
"Actually the fault lies in the way it is managed. They do not evaluate the progress of their projects and never plan make mass production and high quality standards of their products. They can learn how to turnaround such organisations from the corporate world."
"Excellent management tools and techniques are available in today's management practices. The reason for exceptional growth of western arms industry is these finest management principles. Wake up DRDO! See how much the world has changed."
Adarsh of Syracuse, USA was in agreement with the writer.
"Great article! DRDO has been a curse to Indian armed forces. I completely agree with the editor. It's time for DRDO to get accountable and be frank about its capabilities. If it can't deliver it shouldn't promise to do so. People will die and that could prove catastrophic in war."
"The organisation should make practical bullet-proof jackets before promising spaceship kind of an enterprise. Politicians are to blame for this as they kept feeding DRDO. Now it's gotten so fat that its turned incompetent."
All views and opinions presented in this article are solely those of the surfer and do not necessarily represent those of HindustanTimes.com.