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TEHELKA: Please, fifty thousand is there.
BRIG. IQBAL SINGH: What I'm saying…

LT. COL. SAYAL: Sir, it's like this, introduce the MGO to us. Oh sorry, introduce Choudary and then we will look around.

Lt. Colonel Sayal also takes us to Major General Manjit Singh Ahluwalia,
Director General Quality Assurance. Gen. Ahluwalia starts off cautiously,
then in no time is swinging deep in it. Though Ahluwalia's role kicks
in a little later, he advises West End on the matter.

MAJ. GEN. MANJIT SINGH AHLUWALIA: Currently they are taking from a French company already.
TEHELKA: CSF-Thomson.

MAJ. GEN. AHLUWALIA: See what happens is, understand the systems. Before we start procuring, you carry out user trials. Having done the user trial, we start the procurement process, which has started. There is already a linkage. If you think anybody is doing it without linkages, it is stupid to believe. The linkage is there. It has started, it has been trial evaluated, found successful, it's been booked. Now why should that man put in a new bloody spoke?

[Long pause]

MAJ. GEN. AHLUWALIA: It's already coming in. I doubt it, you can try it. Gen. P.S.K. Choudary is the person. Why should he do it, tell me?

[Long pause]

MAJ. GEN. AHLUWALIA: See, it's already started.

*  *  *

MAJ. GEN. AHLUWALIA: Fine, no problem, I'm dealing with it in the sense…. You see, I don't do this procurement ex-import. That is capital work that is done by the ADG, W.E. Once it is introduced item, then we will place the indents. Then we will do it. Even if it is imported it will be done by PPO. If it is indigenous, we will do it here. As of now, it is still a W.E. item, and it is not likely. And at this juncture…let me tell you… Organisationally, not talking of the other benefits which you are suggesting for that person which he would also be getting from the other person. Even organisationally, they would not go about this task. It doesn't suit the organisation.

*  *  *

MAJ. GEN. AHLUWALIA: You have to create a network and let me tell you it has got, you know, because the carrot at the other end is big for everybody. You need very deep pockets. Let's be very clear about it.
LT. COL. SAYAL: No, that is understood. That is the first step.

MAJ. GEN. AHLUWALIA: So if you want it, if you have that type of a thing only then venture into it…because you know why? Now understand, if you are talking about a deal which is 20 crore here, 60 crore there, make a profit of 5 crore, saala, if you come to my house to meet me on Diwali, you can't talk without bringing Blue Label. If you are talking of bloody making a couple of crores of rupees, you can't give me bloody Black Label also? Isn't it? Let's be very clear about it.
TEHELKA: True fact, sir.

MAJ. GEN. AHLUWALIA: So, if, when you are talking big, you got to also project big. You have had access to me because you know me [pointing towards Sayal]. If under normal circumstances you want to meet with me tomorrow, you say…you are talking in terms of making a deal of a couple of crores, you can't tell me to come and have a meal with you at bloody DSOI.
LT. COL. SAYAL: That's right, very right.

MAJ. GEN. AHLUWALIA: Then you have to say, "Sir, if you want that person…want to meet Gen. P.S.K. Choudary…" you say, "Sir, can we have dinner at Maurya Sheraton?"

MAJ. GEN. AHLUWALIA (continuing): I am talking of the bare minimum. I am talking about when you come for Diwali, you come and say, "Sir, good evening, sir." Then you give me bottle of fucking…bloody…
LT. COL. SAYAL: RC…Hundred Pipers...

MAJ. GEN. AHLUWALIA: You know, be clear about it. And it's going on for donkey's years. And you're getting bloody small bits of information out of that chap. For…in two years, three years, a chap wants to know bloody up from there, "Yaar, I've already invested you so much. You tell me where is the file?" Now just to find out where the file is, and what is the position about it, it would have cost you easily 25-30 thousand rupees.
TEHELKA: Barabar.

*  *  *

MAJ. GEN. AHLUWALIA: I've been here now two years, I must have met at least 35-40 people. Every other fucker knows bloody Putin. Everybody knows George Fernandes. Everybody knows bloody Putin, everybody knows bloody Saddam. Then they say "get this done for me now."

[Pause]

MAJ. GEN. AHLUWALIA: And that…"here is a letter. I have got agency from bloody exports." There are 25 buggers who are carrying a letter from exports. This is big. The carrot at the other end is one bloody deal. This Kaun Banega Crorepati will go into fuckin' bloody… (all laugh) So, therefore, unless you are big…people are happy…that is what I am trying to explain.

MAJ. GEN. AHLUWALIA: See it's a…it's a massive bloody system, there is no place for friends. There is no place for singleton. It requires very deep pockets. Nobody talks small. I'm being very honest with you. Every single person is…name dropping is the smallest part of the whole bloody transaction. And I also ended up with bottles of Black Label, Blue Label in this bloody business. Because it is easier to come and bloody talk; as I said, if you're going to talk about a couple of crores, even to say "good evening", you have to present that bloody "good evening" properly.
TEHELKA: That's true, very true.

MAJ. GEN. AHLUWALIA: So it's not small; you are doing nothing, just to keep the contact alive. What do you achieve? Nothing. Because the time spent is three years. And the moment you show certain stinginess, that indicates that the bloody joker doesn't have any strength in him. The bloody contact breaks. Please understand one thing, there is a network in the whole thing. There are 20 different people who have got decision-making power at Stage Two can say at that particular point in time recommend or not recommend to a particular thing. Right? That is his authority at that stage. That authority is two years before the final deal is struck. Okay? Today I say I am that man. I have to say today whether I should say "Let me…let us trial and evaluate this thing." That's all my decision-making. That I have to say…suggest that we include this firm for trial evaluation. Once I have included it in trial evaluation, my utility is lost. I have no power after this. If it is found fit or not, somebody else down the ladder will take the decision. Now I have done my work today. My work is done, whether you have succeeded or not succeeded. You are telling me to write on a file "recommended firm A, B included in the list" for some reasons which I have to justify and do my work for a deal which is…40-50-60 crores, now how much will you give me today to do this? After which I have no role to play. If I have written 'yes', I have written 'yes'…you get your 60-crore deal…I want it upfront today.

MAJ. GEN. AHLUWALIA: It's a Rs. 60 crore deal and it's a very important line I have to write there. My line is written today…I take that line…so it's a 60 crore deal, I'm giving you a hypothetical figure, it's a 60 crore deal. How much will you say that you have to take now, tell me? Or for what amount should I put my neck out to write that important line? So it's not a Maurya Sheraton dinner (all laugh). Please understand… It can't happen as an individual with one item. It just can't…. I am trying to tell you why it can't happen. So you give me 10 lakh rupees. I don't know whether you get the order or not, I am not concerned. I have done my bit and there are 20 people in the chain like this. There is a man who has to go and do a certain evaluation. You have to feed him there. He does it, he doesn't do it, he writes 'no'. He screws up the whole bloody deal. He screws up everything what has happened up till now.

MAJ. GEN. AHLUWALIA: So where do you go? Everybody wants to aim big. You have to assess it. This is how it is. Your organisation can do it…then go ahead but then as I told you where it stands. And when I say deep pockets that means bloody deep pockets. Please let's be very clear. When I say deep pockets I mean deep pockets… It is not chicken feed, I'm telling you at different stages, different fellows will come into in…and a lot of people have nuisance value. I may not be able to do anything. I might not be able to help you, but I can ruin it. That man has got a nuisance value. That nuisance value has to be compensated.

Our next meeting with General Ahluwalia takes place 10 days later. Here he accepts a token bribe of Rs. 50,000, which is never delivered to him.

MAJ. GEN. AHLUWALIA: General Choudary nor myself, Dhillon, Mehta, would be…want to be seen there, just to eat food. We go five times a week to the bloody hotels in any case. Why should we be seen with Mr. Mathew? I don't know from before who is the representative of X company and 10 people walking outside seeing me.
TEHELKA: Exactly. That is a true fact.

MAJ. GEN. AHLUWALIA: It doesn't happen like that; it's unlikely to happen. That's what I was trying to explain. It doesn't happen like that, and those people they are big players in this damn thing. They are...they are hosting parties every day, not for them; there are 20 different items in the singles…in the pipes.
TEHELKA: Okay.

MAJ. GEN. AHLUWALIA: There is a famous bloody arms dealer called Mr. Chaudhary. You must have heard of him. Bloody everywhere he roams around in a 500 SEL Mercedes. Okay?
TEHELKA: He is a retired general?

MAJ. GEN. AHLUWALIA: No, no, his claim to fame was that his brother-in-law was a chairman of HAL...

MAJ. GEN. AHLUWALIA: …So he got into…so he got into the all-important MiG deal. So from the MiG deal he got into other deals. So it is a big…big game, each of these order is worth thousands. They have people representative sitting and just waiting. So it is a big group.

   
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