Assault on Merit: The Untold Story of Civil-Military Relations


by R. K. Anand, Inderjit Badhwar (Edited By), Kunal Verma (Contributed By)

In this fast-paced and highly relevant book, veteran lawyer R.K. Anand details case studies of Indian Generals decorated soldiers and men of exceptional conscience and integrity who fell prey to the whims and fancies of manipulative civilian bureaucrats intent on perverting the promotions system in order to favour a buddy or please a political master.

Stung by these injustices, and with no other recourse, these General Officers turned to the civilian courts for redressal, and to Anand to represent them. He did so, showing remarkable zeal and dexterity in taking on the Government on behalf of these officers, most of whom had no money to spare for protracted legal battles. In most cases, Anand represented them without charging a legal fee. And in this process many of them found succor and relief though some of them after retirement despite the bureaucracy's brazen attempts at misleading the various benches through subterfuge and legerdemain to cover up its own malafides.

These well-documented case histories go to the very heart of the controversy over the date of birth of General V.K. Singh, Chief of Army Staff, and are a must reading for all who wish to understand one of the main causes for the growing trust deficit between India's apolitical armed forces and the politicized bureaucracy.


About the Author
R.K. Anand one of India's top legal luminaries, joined the profession in the late 1960's. During his lengthy and hectic practice as lawyer he has defended three Prime Ministers of India while they were still in office, namely, Mrs Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi and P. V. Narasimha Rao. Anand is the only lawyer to have handled over ten air crash inquiries including the Kanishka air disaster.  Anand has been Chairman of the Delhi's Bar Council for two terms and was the Vice-President of the prestigious Indian Law Institute for more than five terms, each lasting three years. The institute is headed by the Chief Justice of India and two of its Vice-Presidents are India's Attorney General and Law Minister.  In his political avatar, Anand was a Member of Parliament from the state of Jharkhand between 2000 and 2006. He was President of the Jharkhand Olympic Association and succeeded in persuading the Indian sports bodies to allow Jharkhand to host the 34th National Games in Jharkhand. The games held in Jharkhand are considered as the best National Games held ever in this country.


Inderjit Badhwar is an award-winning author and journalist who has worked in the US and India on major publications and TV programmes. His 2004 novel, The Chamber of Perfumes (original title Sniffing Papa), won France's prestigious international award Le Prix Litterarire as the “best foreign debut novel,” an honour that went earlier to Salman Rushdie for Shame.  A graduate of the Columbia School of Journalism, New York, where he won the Henry Taylor recognition for “superior journalism,” Badhwar's last assignment in the US was as Senior Staff Associate for the “Washington Merrygoround” column with the legendary Jack Anderson, where Badhwar was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. After more than 20 years as a Washington journalist and TV correspondent (including ABC-TV), Badhwar returned to India as Editor of India Today, Asia's leading English news weekly, a post he held for 10 years, before becoming Executive Producer and news anchor of TV Today and Sahara TV.


Kunal Verma an alumnus of the Doon School, Dehradun and Madras Christian College, Tambaram, is a film-maker and a writer. He has been professionally associated with the Armed Forces for over two decades. He is also the author of Ocean to Sky: India from the Air and The Long Road to Siachen: The Question Why. Under the KaleidoIndia banner, he has authoured pictorials on the Military World Games, The Assam Rifles and more recently the three-part Northeast Trilogy that maps the entire peoples and the vast expanse of the entire Northeast.

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