Guest post by T.R.Ramaswami
Apropos several loose cannons on the so-called coup in January 2012, there is a precedent going back to 1964. Field Marshal Maneckshaw, who was then the Western Army Commander was given instructions by Gen. Chaudhuri, the then chief, to move with troops into Delhi, in case Nehru died, which he did under protest. Chaudhuri did not back Maneckshaw and Maneckshaw was then shifted to Eastern Command. The explanations were given later. This and the so-called “coup scoop” supposed to have taken place in January 2012 have created enough debate.
Many believe that a coup is impossible in India because you need all the army, navy, air-force and the strategic forces commanders. This is amateurish – the more the accomplices, the greater the chances of leaks. All you need is a brigade (50 companies of 100) armed to the teeth. In an urban jungle planes and tanks and even jeeps are useless against foot soldiers as three top Mumbai policemen realised too late against the terrorists. First, electronically and physically isolate Delhi – telecommunications, TV, radio stations, internet gateway, media offices, airports/ road/railway routes. Coup timed when Parliament has full attendance – forthcoming Presidential elections. Just one company can take all MPs. Recall what five men did in Delhi in 2001 and ten did in Mumbai in 2008.
The remaining seal Rashtrapathi Bhavan, North & South Blocks, Supreme Court, IB & RAW HQs, Delhi Police, BSF/CRPF HQs, foreign diplomats and top corporate honchos. With MPs, babus, IB, etc in custody, all other commanders, police and para-military will be only too happy to join the coup. Initial tipping-point success within 24 hours is essential to bring all on board. Since no Lieutenant-General / Major-General or their equivalents need be initially involved things will look normal. Assuming this plan does not work and the other forces mount a counter attack on Delhi – all VVIP hostages will be shot dead by the coup group before they too perish. Delhi will be rubble. As far as the people are concerned, either way it does not matter! Right? Anyone want to be my 2i/c?