From the Viewsroom

Remember your oath, Minister!

NS Vageesh | Updated on January 11, 2018

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Manohar Parrikar can’t loudmouth on national security

All ministers, either belonging to the State or central government, when they are sworn in take a 60-word oath of secrecy that runs: “I, …..,do swear in the name of God/solemnly affirm that I will not directly or indirectly communicate or reveal to any person or persons any matter which shall be brought under my consideration or shall become known to me as a Minister for the Union except as may be required for the due discharge of my duties as such Minister.”

The idea behind this constitutional requirement is that ministers should not disclose anything that is repugnant to national security or national/ public interest while talking to the public. When a former defence minister, Manohar Parrikar, discloses too many details — and entirely unnecessary operational ones at that — about the surgical strike that was executed against our recalcitrant neighbour, isn’t he violating the oath of secrecy that he took? What is the need for him to say the planning for the strike began 15 months before and all the pre-conditions that triggered it?

Won’t this go against the Government narrative that the strike was in retaliation to a more recent provocation?

Ministers must learn to sing the same song or they will just feed the army cabals in the neighbouring country that are sustained on being a victim to ‘our conspiracies’. The deed has been done and those in authority must stop gloating about the ‘strike’ again and again in what seems like a desperate attempt to whip up patriotic sentiment. Army officers live by retelling old stories with embellishments. Leave the stories to them. Don’t confer legitimacy, especially as a former defence minister, to any of the stories associated with those missions. Parrikar must stop being a loose cannon. Or he risks damaging the country’s cause more.

Associate Editor

Published on July 09, 2017

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