General (Retd) Vijay Kumar Singh, who retired in May this year as Chief of Army Staff following a controversial tenure that was marked by a legal war he fought against the government over his age, was conspicuous by his absence today from the annual Army Chief's Conclave, a meeting of all former Chiefs of Army Staff. The meeting, a prestigious part of the Army's ceremonial calendar, is usually a reunion of sorts where the elder Generals usually speak on issues they think the Army should pay attention to. General Singh is widely reported to have had an uneasy relationship with his successor, present Army chief General Bikram Singh. It is not clear what reason he supplied to the Army (or if he did at all) for not being able to attend. Two days ago, General Singh sat in protest with hundreds of farmers outside India's Parliament in an effort to force the government's hand on a sugar pricing policy issue.