September 25, 2017
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Long wait
Effective assault rifle and gun requirements

The tactic that helped the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance gain political ascendancy during and after the Rajiv Gandhi involvement in the Bofors howitzer scandal appears set to haunt the Narendra Modi-led NDA in its attempts to buy assault rifles for the Indian Army. Both episodes have but one fatal consequence for the Indian Army and the nation-self-inflicted delays in acquisition.

From the un-thought-through advice of then Army Chief Gen KrishnaswamiSundarji to scrap the Bofors deal in the late 80s, the nation has been plagued by the stasis that this advice generated that came to be known of the Bofors Syndrome-the refusal by the political hierarchy and the Defence bureaucracy to take any decisions that could have a future backlash of the Bofors kind. Much the same syndrome could happen in the case of acquisition of assault rifles for the Indian Army. Accusations have already begun to fly in a manner that could scare away decision-making as happened after the allegations of kickbacks surfaced in the Bofors deal.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi h
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