NEW DELHI: Boss is always right. A top officer in the Indian Army learnt this rule after he ‘dared’ to question his senior in public, who had accused him of indulging in playing golf rather than focusing on duty.
The corridors of Army Headquarters in Delhi are abuzz over the “unceremonious departure” of Lieutenant General R Ravindran, General Officer Commanding (GoC) Delhi Area, after he “corrected” his senior Lieutenant General K J Singh, Western Army Commander.
The incident took place last week, when Singh and Ravindran were involved in a verbal spat at a gathering at an officer’s mess in Delhi cantonment. Singh reportedly questioned the functioning of the GoC and accused his officers of ‘playing golf’, instead of focusing on duty. Upset over the comments, Ravindran used a microphone to correct his senior. The GoC listed development works carried out by his officers. “Mr. Commander, my unit does not only play golf. We do many other things as well, which you are ignoring,” Ravindran, according to an eyewitness, said. An embarrassed Singh left the venue soon.
Next day, Singh reportedly warned the officers at a conference and said, “The GoC will not speak a word until he is asked to do so.” Following this rap, Ravindran left the conference hall immediately.
But this was not the end of the trouble for Ravindran. He received the marching order to Lucknow, two days after the incident. The order came within seven months of his posting in Delhi. The Army Headquarters, however, downplayed the order by calling it a routine issue.
Sources said the spat and the transfer orders are interlinked. No officer is moved out or transferred before completing one year at a posting, they said.
The tiff between two officers was simmering for the past two-three months over several issues, especially on financial matters. Ravindran, whose integrity is beyond doubt in Army circles, refused to buckle under pressure from the top officers, according to an officer of the Delhi Area.
Notably, Ravindran was awarded Commendation Cards for his service on the Republic Day this year.