According to the Press Trust of India copy, Minister of State, Information & Broadcasting, Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, has clarified on the clamour and crisis over ‘covert operation’ on India’s surgical attack on terror camps inside Myanmar on June 9 in response to the terrorists attack on a convoy of Indian Army on June 4 morning that left 18 soldiers dead and many injured.

He said it was not a ‘covert operation’. He said, “Experts who discussed and made objections to it did not know the difference between overt and covert operation. It was purely a special operation of army in Indian uniform against militants.”

According to him, it was an overt operation carried out by the Indian Army in ‘army fatigues’. According him, it was a ‘special operation’ in the circumstances then and announced the new, tough approach of India to tackle insurgency.

So, what is a covert operation involving security force of a country (obviously, opposite to it would be minus -c, i.e., overt).

The US defines the covert action (operation) as, “According to National Security Act Sec. 503 (e), covert action is, “An activity or activities of the United States Government to influence political, economic, or military conditions abroad, where it is intended that the role of the United States Government will not be apparent or acknowledged publicly.” Proper covert actions are undertaken because policymakers—not the intelligence agencies—believe that secret means are the best way to achieve a desired end or a specific policy goal.”

It further categorizes it in propaganda, political/economic action, paramilitary operations and lethal action.

“Propaganda: Intelligence agencies covertly disseminate specific information to advance foreign policy goals. United States law prohibits, however, the use of intelligence agencies to influence domestic media and opinion.”

“Political/Economic Action: Intelligence agencies covertly influence the political or economic workings of a foreign nation.”

“Paramilitary Operations: Intelligence agencies covertly train and equip personnel to attack an adversary or to conduct intelligence operations. These operations normally do not involve the use of uniformed military personnel as combatants.”

“Lethal Action: During times of war or armed conflict, the U.S. may need to use covert lethal force against enemies who pose a threat. The U.S. formally banned the use of political assassinations in 1976.”

And it differentiates a ‘covert operation’ from an ‘overt operation’ as:

“One distinction between covert action and other overt activities, such as traditional diplomatic or military operations, is that U.S. officials could plausibly deny involvement in the activity. This “plausible deniability,” however, is predicated upon the covert action remaining secret.”

So, our MoS thinks on this line, a line taken by the world’s strongest military – from the United States of America.

Indian action in Myanmar on June 9 was a military operation carried by Army personnel in full ‘army fatigue’ and some in the ruling political establishment in India, including Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and Mr. Rathore, are taking claim of the operation from the beginning. And Mr. Rathore is right if we see ‘overt and covert operations’ as the National Security Act of the US defines.

Further, according to Wikipedia, that also quotes the US (the U.S. Department of Defense Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms), main elements of a ‘covert operation’ are ‘identity secrecy and plausible deniability. It says, “A covert operation (also as CoveOps or covert ops) is “an operation that is so planned and executed as to conceal the identity of or permit plausible denial by the sponsor.”

Wikipedia further elaborates, “It is intended to create a political effect which can have implications in the military, intelligence or law enforcement arenas. Covert operations aim to fulfil their mission objectives without any parties knowing who sponsored or carried out the operation.”

So, that is in line with the stated policy of the government of India on ‘hot-pursuit’ in Myanmar even if some political opponents (and opponents) it could not be termed a ‘hot pursuit’ operation.

What is a ‘hot pursuit’ in ‘military terms’ then?

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey –


Reports say Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar may be inducted as the next Defence Minister of India.

If that indeed happens, as the Narendra Modi Cabinet expansion is due and is expected to take place during July 9-11, that would indeed by a heartening news.

Though Manohar Parrikar denied it just now and even said that it was a dead news after he came out of the meeting with the prime minister, there are grounds to think so.

The five most important ministries, Home, Defence, External Affairs, Finance and Railways, need five men of highest integrity and credibility in a country like India where much of the social fabric depends on how these ministries function or how the prime minister gets these ministries to task.

Obviously, all the prime minister’s men including the prime minister himself are supposed to following the values reflecting utmost integrity and honesty while running the government. But, we know, practically, that is not possible.

Now, to be frank, we cannot rely on the absolute degrees of these two modes of functioning – how these ministries function – and – how the prime minister gets these ministries to task. For the best case scenario on functional parameters, it has to be the best possible mix of these two.

And induction of a man of personal integrity and honesty like Manohar Parrikar would help Modi in delivering better. This we can say on assessing Modi as the taskmaster, the administrator while discharging his governance related duties. Politics aside, he has established his reputation as a development oriented politician who has delivered.

And Manohar Parrikar is a person like him. If assessed on the overall parameters, he is even better than him. And he can deliver efficiently and effectively, in a ministry that has been riddled with mammoth corruption. The deals have been so murky and controversial that India’s defence preparedness has been effectively pushed back by years. High level officials including at ‘chief level’ are facing probe.

A person like Manohar Parrikar can certainly be the answer to the questions that would be in Narendra Modi’s mind while he would be thinking of reducing Arun Jaitley’s workload who is currently holding the additional charge of the Defence Ministry.

Let’s see how valid this sources based news comes out to be – on Sunday – or on any day during July 9-11. Narendra Modi is in Varanasi November 7-8 and he is leaving for Myanmar on November 12 for a long foreign trip. So, November 9-11 are the ideal days to zero on and the ‘sources’ say it’s going to happen on Sunday.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey –


Going by the reports, the Goa government junket (of ministers and MLAs) to the FIFA World Cup is no more the Goa government ‘junket’. It stands cancelled / modified now.

Cancelled, as the trip will be funded by the ministers and the members of the Goa legislative assembly (MLAs) now in their personal capacity! Modified, as the trip is still on. But, anyway, that is just playing around the words.

The baseline is, the taxpayers’ money is not going to be wasted on this ‘pathetically’ conceived ‘exploratory study’ sort of tour.

Obviously, it came after its due share of humiliation and political manifestation that could have been easily avoided.

But given the past track record, and his good name (with the legend of being a chief minister who still drives his scooter), Mr. Manohar Parrikar should be given the benefit of doubt and should be duly thanked for listening to the voices and taking this ‘in time’ decision.

Yes, the trip is still on, but the Goa sports minister has withdrawn his name and four other BJP members and one independent MLA will pay from their pocket to enjoy the Brazilian hospitality.

So, we can say the junket has been junked, rightly and in time.

Whatever went into – the delayed conscience of a good human being-cum-politician-turned-chief minister Manohar Parrikar – or the BJP central leadership pressure with Narendra Modi on a ‘cleanliness’ drive – or the pressure of mounting criticism by media, social media, civil society and political opposition – the decision or the ‘U-turn’ by the Goa government after the strong defense by Mr. Parrikar came just a day later, yesterday – and therefore, Mr. Parrikar deserves to be thanked, even if he doesn’t come forward to clear his position.

I have been an admirer of him and was feeling bad while writing the satirical piece* on the junket day before yesterday. And therefore this decision just in a day has come as a personal relief.

Every prime minister is not as strong by his position as Narendra Modi is. Same can be said about chief ministers.

Manohar Parrikar is not as strong a chief minister by his position as J Jayalalitha or Mamata Banarjee or Naveen Patnaik is. And we should not be surprised if this whole ‘FIFA junket’ exercise was an imposed idea sort of thing that Mr. Parrikar could not ‘junk initially’.

But, ‘all’s that ends well’! It’s clear now.

And thanks for that Mr. Parrikar!


©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey –


“Goa wants to promote football in the state. These ministers will see what are the infrastructure is required, how crowd is controlled. Government considers this as an investment.”
Manohar Parrikar, Chief Minister, Goa

Great! Bingo!

After all, our dear beloved, frugal-styled IIT educated engineer-turned-politician, is an Indian politicians.

So, today, he took on the ‘irrelevant’ opposition bravely and came out strongly in the support of his government’s trip (tour/study tour/junket/business tour – whatever you want to term it) to the FIFA World Cup in Brazil. Junket sounds good and is in vogue, so let’s use junket here.

Well done, Mr. Chief Minister of the state where Football has been declared the state game.

The eminent members of the group are a good mix to draw the maximum mileage out of the junket so as to ‘convert/modify’ the Football culture into a Brazilian extravaganza pepped up with a Brazilian version of the Rio Carnival.

The six members of the group include Goa’s Sports Minister, Fisheries Minister and Power Minister and three other members of the legislative assembly. The group composition has been formulated after much deliberation keeping in mind the intended outcomes.

The Fisheries Minister has been tasked to suggest fish types and other sea-foods to be included in the dietary regime of Goa soccer players to make them stronger and agile in order to make them globally competitive.

The Power Minister would come with a report on how to infuse more power into the playing style of Goa soccer players on the line of the Brazilian football culture, something that runs in every Brazilian’s vein.

Both of them would work in consultation with the Goa Sports Minister.

The other three members have been tasked to assess the cultural aspects like the craze for Football in Brazil’s popular culture and the associated liberating song and dance events.

Whom the report will finally be addressed was doubtful until now, but given his strong support today, the chief minister is going to the chief examiner of the report.

What a grand plan and in just Rs. 89 Lakh! Frugal! Sincere!

What a vision for a country that consistently ranks among the lowest in the FIFA ranking (146, the latest one) – a country that, going by its present state of affairs of Football, cannot, for decades, even think of qualifying for the main draw of the FIFA World Cup!

From the abyss to the Zenith – only a visionary can dare to scale directly from the low of Indian Football to the high of FIFA World Cup – and Indian Football has found that visionary in the Goa chief minister.

The task of the highly qualified members of the group who have been rightly given preference over sports professionals and administrative members of Goa’s sports fraternity is demanding we need to accept as they have just a week or so (10 days probably) to carry out visits, collect data, watching soccer in action, analysing the crowd management (as the CM says), analysing the Brazilian Football culture and ‘observing and assessing’ the associated cultural aspects.


What is heartening and encouraging is that an ‘alleged’ past failure on this line did not deter the chief minister. According to a report in the Times of India (June 12, 2014), a 2012 junket to England, with four members of Brazil group, sent to study the FIM World Motocross Championship to “explore the possibility of introducing motocross in Goa in a big way and also explore the possibility of hosting international motocross events in Goa in the future” (as the report says), has failed to produce any ‘tangible’ outcome with the state even losing the contract of hosting one round of FIM Motocross World Championship (as the report says).

But what a fighting spirit! The criticism didn’t discourage him. Mr. Chief Minister is back. And he would have certainly incorporated the elements from the learning into planning this one, as the available details (so far) tell us.

Bravo! Mr. Chief Minister! Keep it up!

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey –