Monday, June 30, 2014

Opinion- Air India is not India's military keeper

Neelam Mathews
June 30, 2014

Air Indias B-777s and crew put on standby to fly to Iraq to bring stranded Indian citizens back home, is a misplaced decision. Simultaneously, the government has released a tender on June 26 for a wet lease charter to fly to Iraq. While it is still not clear whether any response has been received to the tender  ( which we have viewed, it was clearly urgent. Questions come to the fore as to why a commercial national carrier is carrying out a role meant for the Air Force and Indian Navy.

"Clearly India has no military clout and political leaders need to address this. Indian military aircraft will not be allowed in the war zone," said a former Indian Air Force official. After all, we did get the C-17s. It is clear that more needs to be done on the strategic front.” Recently a C-130J transporter of the IAF crashed. The investigation results have not been released.

Returning to AI, has anybody given a thought for the crew? Recently, a ministry official half jokingly said if anything were to happen, the crew would get an insurance of 5 lakhs each! Really, Mr Bureaucrat- the cost of a first class ticket to the US?  That's how we value lives in India.

Hopefully the new government will realize the amount of work to be done on the strategic front to make India a blimp on the world radar.

No comments:

Post a Comment