Opportunism is defined as the conscious policy and practice of taking selfish advantage of circumstances – with little regards for principles, or with what the consequences are for others. Opportunist actions are expedient actions guided primarily by self-interested motives. The term can be applied to individual humans, groups, organizations, parties, government and opposition, their styles, their behaviors as well as their trends.
Here is a latest example of rank opportunism that the BJP government had exhibited about the release of Classified Henderson Report:
Henderson Brooks-Bhagat report is authored by Lieutenant-General T. B. Henderson Brooks & Brigadier Permindra Singh Bhagat. It is an analysis and operational review of the Sino-Indian War of 1962. The two gentlemen – authors were officers of the Indian Armed Forces. This report remains classified by the Government of India even after the lapse of more than 50 years of its creation.
In April 2010, India’s Defense Minister A.K Antony told Parliament that the report could not be de-classified because its contents “are not only extremely sensitive but are of current operational value.” The report is said to be openly critical of the Indian political and military structure of the time, as well as of the execution of operations.
Australian journalist author Neville Maxwelll, who made some contents of the report public, described that the Indian government was keen to recover territory and so it advocated a cautious policy, whilst the Army Headquarters dictated a policy that was militarily unsound.
The statement of the Defense Minister was criticized by opposition parties as an attempt to hide major policy failures made by the then-prime minister Nehru. Now, it is the same opposition in power and how ironic it is to see that that – It is making a U turn from its earlier stand. The government of Narendra Modi is ruling out its release that analyses the causes of India’s humiliating failure at war front against China in 1962.
The Two-in-One Defense and Finance Minister has to take a strange position on the issue that negates his own party’s belligerent stand before election. “This (Henderson Brooks report) is a top-secret document and has not been declassified so far. Release of this report, fully or partially, or disclosure of any information related to this report, would not be in national interest.”
The salient features of the secret report ware made public in last March by 87-year-old Neville Maxwell. The then opposition and now in-position of power, BJP, had promptly attacked the Congress for compromising the country’s military preparedness in the past as well as the present.
The party had demanded the report’s release on the ground that the country should know how the Nehru government had pushed the military into a war, it could only lose. It was no other than Mr Arun Jaitely himself who maintained in his blog which was not in larger public interest, to keep documents “top-secret” indefinitely.
Let us quote from this blog: “Any society is entitled to learn from the past mistakes and take remedial action. With the wisdom of hindsight, I am of the opinion that the report’s content could have been made public some decades ago … Was the Himalayan blunder of 1962 in fact a Nehruvian blunder?
Should we believe that Nehru was not singularly responsible for that great fiasco of 1962 ? Were there many other characters also involved to whom this Government wants to protect? It was so keen to malign Congress and PM Jawahar Lal Nehru that time but where the zest and zing is now gone?
By: Naim Naqvi
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