(INCLUDING AS A FRESH POST... FOR EASE OF ACCESS)
Air Marshall Bhojwani's point is accepted without any contention.
The comparison of a multi-role aircraft with a hand-held device was a (admittedly simplistic) literary device used by me to convey to an audience of businessmen (Business Standard readership) the concept of a multi-role aircraft. Please do bear with me as I try and convey fairly complex military arguments in 850 words! Trust me folks, it's not easy...
But with due respect, I don't entirely agree with the argument about logistics being the prime reason behind multi-role capability. The cost of putting all those capabilities into one aircraft is far, far more than of building up separate logistical capabilities for different "types".
Most theoreticians who argue for multi-role capability cite operational flexibility (even though, as you say, it takes a few hours to switch an aircraft from one role to another) rather than logistical uniformity in favour of MRCA.
But the argument that I find most compelling against buying MRCA is one that I could barely accomodate in my article. And that is the one about directing spending towards the real threats. With peace processes galloping along with Pakistan and China on the one hand... and internal security going from bad to worse to uncontrollable on the other (I'm certain its only a matter of time before the army is called into counter-naxalite operations) we have to develop the high-tech, all-weather, day-night infantryman in preference to full-blown warfighting equipment.
This is a very unpopular argument, especially with my own ex-colleagues in the armoured corps, but as a man who has done counter-insurgency operations in J&K with the most primitive equipment (I didn't have a bullet-proof jacket for most of my tenures there, leave alone night vision devices). But it makes plain military sense.
Alas, there are very few kickbacks to be had in infantry contracts. You could perhaps fight a general election on the kickback from the MRCA contract. The kickback from an NVD contract would fund no more than a municipal election!!