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Eye of Siva

Ars longa, vita brevis

The larger defence scandal


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Shekhar Gupta writes an op-ed piece on the larger defence scandal. This is not the Finmeccanica bribery or the BEML-Tatra case or any one of these scandals in isolation. The fact is that the government has blacklisted so many firms and agents under the current defence minister that we cannot buy equipment any more.

The army’s desperate quest for modern artillery has stalled as almost all the key suppliers, from Germany to Israel to Singapore, have been blacklisted. Some key missile and radar programmes are stalled as some of the Israeli giants have been blacklisted. If the Guinness Book had an entry on the number of armament suppliers blacklisted, it will be UPA 2 forever.

What is worse is that the Indian government happily buys from foreign firms, but does not trust Indian companies to produce arms. We have among the world’s best engineering talent, so why are we so dependent on foreign arms suppliers? Is it because offshore bribery is easier to hide?

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