At a time when everyone in India had stopped thinking about anyone who will relinquish his post on moral the high ground , Chief of Naval Staff Admiral D K Joshi thrown his papers on the face of the Defence Minister A K Antony, shaking the core of the nation and its conscious. We, witnessed some days ago Arvind kejariwal sacrificing his chief ministerial post and the government in the name of wiping out corruption, but nobody in this country was ever in doubt that he is not doing it on any moral ground but to attract more votes he was eyeing for, for his political ambitions.

But when Admiral Joshi did this countrymen stood up and wondered that even today there are people left in the age of thick-skinned democracy who can take the extreme step of quitting their high position taking moral responsibility of “accidents/incidents” that had happened under his leadership in the navy.

And to whom he submitted his resignation? To a person who was famous for his resignation habits and before becoming the Defence Minister, never completed his tenure in any post he was given by his party bosses. But of late, even Antony had become so rhino skinned that he never thought of resigning although circumstances provided him many a reasons for repeating his past practice. Under his nose, VVIP chopper scam happened, Chines forces intruded 19 km inside the Indian territory about which he used to say that he will safeguard every inch of the land of mother India, a Chief of Army reported to him that he was being offered a bribe of crores of rupees in return of a favour and Mr clean kept mum. He never thought of taking moral high ground for any of these and many other countless incidences. Off course this is completely his choice to take or not take “moral” responsibility, but what surprising and intriguing is that the same person in his capacity of the custodian of the Defence Force didn’t blink before accepting the resignation of the Navy Chief. Was it not prudent for him to keep the resignation in abeyance and ask Admiral Joshi to continue and not to take any decision in haste?

Mr Antony and the bureaucrats sitting under him gleefully accepted the resignation “with immediate effect”, it was officially announce by the ministry, the moment Admiral Joshi put in his papers hours after “one more accident” occurred as many of us would be reporting the next morning with juicy words as if accidents were being fostered on navy by some design hatch at the top. The haste in which the resignation was accepted shows that everything was not right, so far as the relationship between the Navy Chief and the political leadership of the ministry is concerned. Mr Antony, in his press conference at the time of defencexpo answering a barrage of questions about the accidents involving navy ships was sounding to be impartial and his responses were measured. But his response to the resignation of Admiral was contrary to his spoken words.

Was Admiral Joshi forced to resign? Yes. He was put under tremendous moral pressure by MoD bosses with no safety valve left and when the accident of INS Sinduratna occurred, Admiral could not withstood that and resign, becoming the only the military leader taking such extreme step. Scams worth thousands of crores have been reported in the past but the moral of our leaders never pushed them to take responsibility. Norms of the society had come to such a pass that resigning on the moral ground may even be termed as stupidity. Admiral Joshi, whose tenure as navy chief was to end well after 18 months, took the bold step and shown a mirror to his boss that look what morality means.

And finally few words about we, the watch ‘dog’ of this great democracy. If not all of us, but surely some of us are culprit in this whole episode of “accidents in Indian Navy”. No doubt, there were some accidents happening but many of the other non-incidences were projected as serious accidents wilfully with obvious mlafide. These elements were being supported by the MoD bosses. Even if a screw of any warship was loose, these watchdogs were sniffing around and making it into a big picture story after adding past “as many accidents in the navy”.  And the pressure continued to build up. Headlines go on screaming-“Navy Chief pulled up by Antony”, “MoD asks explanation from Navy Chief”etc. Nobody from this lot may have ever thought that somebody even today has some moral left to tender his resignation. If these people are happy about the impact of their stories, so be it but many of us in media feel pity on their brazen acts. We tender our apologies to Admiral on behalf of the rest of media. And we salute to his moral courage. He may not have completed his term as navy chief, but he surely has secured a place in the history as a Man who tried to shake up and woke the dying moral of our national leaders.   



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