New chief promises secular, apolitical army

  • Chief General Bikram Singh

    New army chief General Bikram Singh pays homage at the Amar Jawan Jyoti in New Delhi. PTI/Vijay Kumar Joshi

  • Bikram Singh

    New army chief General Bikram Singh (R) inspects a guard of honour at the defence ministry in New Delhi. AFP/Prakash Singh

  • Army Staff, General Bikram Singh

    New chief of the army staff General Bikram Singh on his way to inspect a guard of honour prior to assuming office in New Delhi.

  • Bikram Singh

    Newly appointed army chief General Bikram Singh salutes as he inspects the guard of honour after taking over the charge in New Delhi. Reuters/B Mathur

  • Chief, General Bikram Singh

    New army chief, General Bikram Singh addresses the media at the defence ministry in New Delhi. AFP/Prakash Singh

  • Bikram Singh

    New army chief, General Bikram Singh arrrives to receive a guard of honour at the defence ministry in New Delhi. AFP/Prakash Singh

  • Army Chief General Bikram Singh

    New army chief General Bikram Singh addresses the media at the defence ministry in New Delhi. AFP/Prakash Singh

  • General Bikram Singh

    New army chief, General Bikram Singh inspects a guard of honour at the defence ministry in New Delhi. AFP/Prakash Singh

  • Bikram Singh

    New army chief, General Bikram Singh addresses the media at the defence ministry in New Delhi. AFP/Prakash Singh

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.

 

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Forget past, Antony tells army new chief

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