Saturday, March 14, 2009

IESM: Surrender of Medals to President on 14 March 2009 Photographs

Photographs courtesy- Col T N Baba (Veteran)

IESM: Surrender of Medals to President on 14 March 2009

Press Release, 14 March 2009

Ex Servicemen across the country return their medals to the Supreme Commander for the third time today. The Govt has not shown any concern to their genuine demand of Pension Parity. By pension parity it is implied that a past defence pensioner must get the same pension as a new pensioner, irrespective of their individual dates of retirement, provided they both have rendered equal length of service and have retired from the same rank. This has been sloganised One Rank One Pension (OROP).

It is also imperative that the above principle and formula be adopted as a permanent measure and applied to pensioners of all ranks, from the lowest to the highest, in the future too.

This is an old demand. Several political parties have promised to grant it but all such promises remain unfulfilled. In their election manifesto in the last Parliamentary elections, the Congress Party had said, 'The long pending issue of one-rank one-pension will once again be re-examined and the satisfactory solution arrived at expeditiously'. Earlier, in November 2002, The Congress President Mrs Sonia Gandhi herself had 'endorsed the demand for one- rank-one pension', as reported in The Times of India, Chandigarh, 23 November 2002. However, the government has now rejected the demand citing administrative, financial and legal difficulties.

The first is possibly born out of a perceived apprehension that in case OROP was granted to the military pensioners, it could raise similar demand from other civilian employees. This amounts to ignoring the uniqueness of the military service. For one, it is only the military person who retires by rank, with nearly 85% being sent on pension between 35 and 42 years of age, whereas all other employees superannuate by age of 60 years.

The demand for OROP is neither unique nor extraordinary. This provision is already applicable to the President, the Vice President, the Governors, the judges, the Members of Parliament/Legislative Assemblies, Secretaries and Special Secretaries to the Government of India and several others. We are only demanding to be treated equal. Inequity hurts more than inadequacy.

On declassification of the Sixth Pay Commission recommendations, where the gap between the old and new pensions became even wider, we tried to seek redress from the political leadership, through representations and personal meetings. When these methods did not succeed, we were compelled to take our case to the public. It was not something we liked or like doing; it has been a compulsion. The Ex Servicemen have been observing a relay fast at Jantar Mantar since the 16th of December 2008. When even this failed to move the decision makers, we had to take the painful decision of depositing our medals with the

Supreme Commander. A soldier has a very emotional attachment to his medals and guards these jealously throughout his life. The fact that the Ex Servicemen have decided to deposit their most prized possession, shows the depth of despair and the degree of hUl1 they feel at being denied justice. The medals have already been deposited twice, on 8th and 21st February, and a repeat is scheduled for today 14th March 2009.

There may be possibility of an unfortunate fallout the continued rejection of the military veterans demand might have. In the prevailing milieu, it is mainly the wards of the Ex Servicemen themselves, who are joining the armed forces. Though we sincerely hope and wish it does not happen, but when a soldier sees his family elder being treated with such indifference by the authorities, then being a future pensioner himself, he may get adversely affected. One shudders to think of the consequences if that feeling took root.

We earnestly appeal to the Govt that the demand of OROP be sanctioned immediately. The term per se is not important. It may be called a 'military service pension' or 'military pension' or by any other appropriate name. What is important is to establish full parity between the old and new pensioners. And this should be done as a permanent arrangement so that in future the Ex Servicemen do not ever need to take recourse to such forms of protests.

With Kind Regards,
Jai Hind
Yours Sincerely,
Maj Gen (Retd) Satbir Singh, SM.
Vice Chairman Indian ESM Movement

IESM: Maj Gens Pension Parity still denied by MOD

Dear Brigadier Kamboj,
Gen Roy Chowdhury wrote a very fine article recently titled "For ex-servicemen, parity in rank, pension long over due". I completely agree with conclusive intonations in the piece. However, my other reaction to his article is given at the attachment.
K Khorana
For ex-servicemen, parity in rank, pension long over due- February 25th, 2009
By Shankar Roychowdhury

Recently, a retired COAS talked of the umbilical relationship between serving and retired soldiers but unfortunately realisation of that relationship came to him somewhat late in the day. It is not my purpose to castigate any ex chief or the institution of COAS but to highlight the damage done by them to their umbilical kin. Over six decades they have become used to maintaining deafening silence when it comes to army’s retired and elder community – some two and a half million or so. It is due to that umbilical relationship that a soldier is a soldier whether serving or retired.

Let it be emphatically said that it is due to the abandonment by the serving hierarchy that today there are myriad ESM organizations looking to find justice from ‘civilian leaders’ of the country. They feel failed at the hands of their serving umbilical kin.

It is amazing, that, all the while Maj Gens were ‘fighting’ their case in the law courts, the serving hierarchy was not only quiet but actively opposing the judgement and directions of the Punajab and Haryana High Court (in favour of the generals), as part of the government (MOD) contingent. It is even more amazing that while the above case seeking relief against gross injustice was being actively waged by a handful, a serving chief soon to retire was in the process of obtaining government’s nod for additional perks and privileges for all Chiefs in retirement, in the form of “Chiefs’ Conclave”. Somewhere along the line the second stanza of Chetwode edict stood obliterated.

Lastly, it is a fact that retired soldiers are a difficult and a disparate lot. Each one considers himself the tallest of military leader. For all that he could not achieve while in service he tries to notionally achieve when retired. Their attitude is most conducive to disunity on all issues and most conducive for authorities, who have to deal with them, for their further marginalisation. OROP has achieved some unity and sense of purpose. It needs to be built upon and not frittered away in turf wars within ESM organizations.

IESM: Fast for Justice Rally- eighty sixth day

Date: Friday, 13 March, 2009, 8:50 PM
Dear Colleagues,
Gurgaon contingent is looking after the Jantar mantar venue.
Spread of Awareness
It is heartening to know that the cause being pursued by the IESM has aroused great awareness. Many ESM (and even others) in gatherings mention the subject talk of the effort in appreciative terms. Credit goes to all members of the team that have been working relentlessly on the issue, as well as to all other well-wisher ESM colleagues who bless us with support, advice and guidance. History is in the making. We are only seeing the beginning of the great wave. It is destined to turn into a tsunami.
Return of Medals
All is buttoned up for the return of the third trannche of medals on March 14. The President is out to Varanasi and the staff would receive the medals on her behalf. Police escort to take the team to Rashtrapati Bhawan is lined up. Press is aware and is expected to cover the event like before.
Best regards,
Lt Gen (Emeritus) Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
Chairman IESM

Dear All,
The editors of the Navbharat Times/ Amar Ujala and Dainik Jagran have all confirmed being present at ECHS Sec 37 at 1100 hrs tomorrow 14 March to cover the packing of the Medals to be returned to the President tomorrow at 1530 hrs via Jantar Mantar. Thanks to Cmde Batra for organising the same. All veterans from Noida and Greater noida are requested to come in large numbers at the ECHS Sec 37 and make it a big success.
Cdr Sharan Ahuja (Retd)
Member Core Group IESM

Golf is deceptively simple and endlessly complicated

In My Hand I Hold A Ball,
White And Dimpled, Rather Small.
Oh, How Bland It Does Appear,
This Harmless Looking Little Sphere.
By It’s Size I Could Not Guess,
The Awesome Strength It Does Possess.
But Since I Fell Beneath Its Spell,
I’ve Wandered Through The Fires Of Hell.
My Life Has Not Been Quite The Same,
Since I Chose To Play This Stupid Game.
It Rules My Mind For Hours On End,
A Fortune It Has Made Me Spend.
It Has Made Me Yell, Curse And Cry,
I Hate Myself And Want To Die.
It Promises A Thing Called Par,
If I Can Hit It Straight And Far.
To Master Such A Tiny Ball,
Should Not Be Very Hard At All.
But My Desires The Ball Refuses,
And Does Exactly As It Chooses.
It Hooks And Slices, Dribbles And Dies,
And Even Disappears Before My Eyes.
Often It Will Have A Whim,
To Hit A Tree Or Take A Swim.
With Miles Of Grass On Which To Land,
It Finds A Tiny Patch Of Sand.
Then Has Me Offering Up My Soul,
If Only It Would Find The Hole.
It’s Made Me Whimper Like A Pup,
And Swear That I Will Give It Up.
And Take To Drink To Ease My Sorrow,
But The Ball Knows … I’ll Be Back Tomorrow.

Stand proud you noble swingers of clubs and losers of balls….
A recent study found the average golfer walks about 1450 Kms a year.
Another study found golfers drink, on average, 70 litres of alcohol a Year.
That means, on average, golfers get about 20 Kms to a litre of spirit. Kind of makes you proud. Almost feel like a hybrid.

A Golf Poem

Friday, March 13, 2009

IESM: Pension Parity for Maj Gens- MOD hesitates to issue orders!

Dear Friends,
Jai Hind.
Vice Admiral Harinder Singh, President Naval Foundation, Delhi Chapter, on 11 Mar 09 sent letters to The Raksha Mantri and CNS.
Very kindly he has sent copy of those letters for your information. The letters are attached to links below.
On behalf of YOU ALL, 'i' thank Vice Admiral Harinder Singh, President NFDC and Cdr Sharan Ahuja, Web Master NFDC, for sending the copy of these letters to us.
In Service of Indian Military Veterans
Chander Kamboj.
PS - Remember the function of depositing of medals at Jantar Mantar, on 14 Mar 09, from 11.00 to 15.30 hours. Even if you have already deposited your medals, please be there with family and friends help us.

IESM: Ex-servicemen meet president, demand pension parity

New Delhi, March 10 (IANS) Continuing their long-running fight for “one rank, one pension”, ex-soldiers have met President Pratibha Patil, the supreme commander of the armed forces, and reiterated their demand for pension parity. A seven-member delegation of the Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement (IESM) submitted a memorandum in this regard to Patil late Monday evening.

“The president patiently listened to the delegation’s briefing on the demand and reasons behind it. We presented the memorandum requesting her intervention in the matter,” Maj Gen (Retd) Satbir Singh, who is vice chairman of IESM, told IANS Tuesday.

Several soldiers earlier returned their gallantry and distinguished services medals to the president to register their protest against the government’s continued apathy to their demand.

IESM is demanding that irrespective of the date on which a soldier retires, he should get equal pension at each rank for the same length of service with the amount rising every time there is a wage revision.

The ex-servicemen are upset at the recommendations of the Sixth Pay Commission, which did not address the “one rank, one pension” issue.

The government continues to reject the demand on administrative and financial grounds.
Ex-servicemen meet president, demand pension parity

Shortage of officers in Indian Army 'scary'

"Lateral induction is the only way to attract the young but savvy population to the toughest profession where risk-to-life factor is an everyday affair. Once they (army officers) know that after a short and demanding tenure they have an assured career elsewhere, with seniority of service intact, and their family will not be on the roads, the deficit in officer cadre will disappear," he said.

"Similarly, a jawan after ten-year tenure must be laterally inducted into paramilitary, coast guard, marine police and the central and state police set-ups. It is necessary to create that we create and maintain a lean and mean fighting machine," the strategic expert said.

Modernisation of the armed forces required not only induction of sophisticated weapons, equipment and systems, but also infusion of fresh manpower so as to retain the requisite youthful zeal - a key determinant of military prowess, Verma said, adding that among the advantages would be the transfer of disciplined, trained and skilled manpower to the civil set-up.

Pointing to the strange mindset that guarding the borders was the sole responsibility of the security forces, which had little relevance to the civil society and other professions, he said leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Nehru, Subhash Chandra Bose and Morarji Desai were among several leaders who had flirtations with the uniform while being part of the British Ambulance Corps, the University Corps or the Training Corps.

"Awareness and appreciation of military matters among Indians is imperative if India is to become a key player in Asia. It would also serve as an antidote to casteism and communalism," Verma said.
Read more:
Shortage of officers in Indian Army 'scary': Expert

IESM: Return of Gallantry Awards on 14th March 2009

Dated: 12 Mar 2009
Return of Medals to the President by Ex Servicemen
Third Instalment on 14 Mar 2009 at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi

Dear Friends,
1. Third Installment of Return of Medals to President will be carried out on 14 Mar 09 at 3.30 PM. All Ex Servicemen who have not yet returned their Medals are requested to deposit the same duly packed in small polythene bag alongwith full address (Tele number and details of medals.
2. Reminder/ Press Invitation for return of medals to the President on 14 Mar 09 is attached for your information please.
3. All veteran organizations & veterans who have any contract with the media are requested to kindly assist the organizing maximum media coverage of the event at Jantar Mantar on 14 Mar 09 from 11 AM to 3.30 PM.
With regards,
Jai Hind
Yours Sincerely,
Maj Gen (Retd) Satbir Singh, SM
Vice Chairman Indian ESM Movement

Reminder: Invitation
Dated: 12 Mar2009
Return of Medals to the President by Ex Servicemen
Third Instalment on 14 Mar 2009 at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi

Dear Members of the Media,
1. Please refer to our mail dated 08 Mar 2009 regarding return of medals on 14 Mar 2009 (copy att).

2. This is to remind about return of medals on 14 Mar 2009 (Third Instalment) to the President at 3.30 PM on 14 March 2009. The medals collected from various cities of the country are reaching at Jantar Mantar New Delhi. Ex-Servicemen in NCR and nearby locations who have not yet returned their medals will do so at Jantar Mantar from 11 AM to 2.30 PM on 14 Mar 2009.

3. You are invited to cover the event on 14 mar 2009 from 11 AM to 3.30 PM at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi..
With regards,
Jai Hind
Yours Sincerely,
Maj Gen (Retd) Satbir Singh, SM
Vice Chairman Indian ESM Movement
Mobile: 9312404269, 0124-4110570

Copy: Please see given below:
Ex Servicemen will Return Medals to President
for the Third Time on 14th Mar 2009

Dear Members of the Media,
The Government continues to ignore the demand of Ex Servicemen of equity & justice for grant of pensions. The Ex Servicemen are seeking Pension Parity for the same rank and same length of service irrespective of the date of retirement. This just, fair & genuine demand has not been accepted by the Government. This unreasonable & unjust attitude of the Government has triggered an unprecedents wave across the entire Armed forces particularly the Ex Servicemen who have been compelled to start country wide protest Movement in the name Indian Ex Servicemen Movement (IESM).
As announced earlier the IESM will continue to intensify their Movement till such time their demand of Pension parity is met. Accordingly, the Third Instalment of return of Medals to the President will be carried out on 14 March 09 at 3.30 PM at Rashtrapati Bhawan. The medals from various parts of the country are being received at Jantar Mantar New Delhi the place where Ex Servicemen are on Relay Hunger Strike since 16 Dec 2008. The Ex Servicemen from the NCR will also be depositing their medals at Jantar Mantar between 11.00 Am to 2.30 PM on 14 March 2009. The delegation of Ex Servicemen will take the medals to Rastrapati Bhawan for handing over to the President, the Supreme Commander of Armed Forces at 3.30 PM.
You are invited to cover the event on 14 mar 2009 from 11 AM to 3.30 PM at Jantar Mantar.
With regards,
Jai Hind
Yours Sincerely,
Maj Gen (Retd) Satbir Singh, SM
Vice Chairman Indian ESM Movement

SCPC: Will increase in the pay of officers encourage youngsters to join armed forces?

Prior to about three decades ago, it was considered most prestigious to get a commission in the Armed forces, even more than joining the IAS or the IPS. That is why the toppers and higher ups in the Sainik Schools and Military Schools, which were then considered as one of the best sets of schools in the country, used to scramble to join the prestigious National Defence Academy. Even most of the senior lot of the IAS and the IPS would have tried to join the NDA, but rejected, and they now thank God that they were rejected! Over the years, due to deterioration in standards of pay and perks in the Defence forces vis-a-vis their counter parts in the Civil services, most toppers at school level are disinclined to join the armed forces. Even the children of the Defence forces are advised by their parents not to join the forces to suffer ungrateful treatment meted out by the Govt, which continues to degrade them by the passing day.
Cdr BB Khilari (Retd)
Will increase in the pay of officers encourage youngsters to join armed forces?

Dear moderator,
I am thankful to General Kadyan for reminding us the good old Chetwode motto. However I consider it unnecessary baggage we are burdened with. Reasons are as follows:
1 -- only fools lay down their lives for the sake of their motherland. But let me hasten to add that sensible and professional soldier makes the enemy die for his motherland and remains alive to fight another battle.
2 --"had we served our interests with half the zeal we served our country we would not have been betrayed by our decision makers"

Gentlemen, volumes can be written on such subjects without shouting hoarse" koi hai, hai koi- listen to veterans.

Having served in army and air force at various levels as also presently in corporate sector for nearly two decades I am of the firm opinion that we should continue our peaceful protest.
Col Indarpal (Signals)

SCPC: Sheer windfall for Bureaucrats without accountability! Will salary hike improve efficiency? See it all in the video clip.

Ratify UN Convention Against Corruption

Dear Friend,
Below is the link to an online petition to the Prime Minister to ratify the UN Convention Against Corruption; please sign the petition to lend your invaluable support to the country's fight against 'grand corruption'.
Please also forward this link to all your relatives and friends requesting them to sign the online petition.
Kanan V Jaswal

To: Dr. Manmoahn Singh, Prime Minister of India, New Delhi
Petition for Ratification of UN Convention Against Corruption

Dear Dr. Singh,
On one hand, as per the United Nations Food Program’s recent findings, India has half the world’s hungry and 47% of its children below five years suffer from malnutrition, on the other the country’s corrupt and criminals have reportedly stashed more than a trillion US dollars in banks in Switzerland, Channel islands, Singapore, Hong Kong, and other tax havens. Recovery of those stolen assets is absolutely essential if our otherwise resource-starved country has to launch a comprehensive poverty removal campaign and make an unqualified success of it. Here, the U.N. Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC), which, for the first time in the history, provides for an international legal framework for cross- border recovery of stolen assets, would have helped.

Quite inexplicably, however, the Indian government has not yet ratified the Convention, though it signed it way back on the 9th December 2005. We request you to please now make amends by ratifying the UNCAC immediately. Under the Indian Constitution, the executive can ratify the international treaties and conventions without taking the matter to Parliament, the Lok Sabha’s not being in session, therefore, should not come in the way.
Thanking you and with best regards,

IESM: Fast for Justice Rally- eighty fifth day

Date: Thursday, 12 March, 2009, 7:56 PM
Dear Colleagues,
Jantar mantar is being manned by a mix of Delhi and Gurgaon ESM.
New Members
We extend a hearty welcome to the following members who have joined the IESM family:
Lt Gen Natarajan N – Infantry
Lt Gen Kaul - ASC
Col Rai - Signals
Lt Col Rahul Kumar - Signals
Capt NS Rawat, IN – we thank him for his generous contribution
‘OROP’ stays
Some members have expressed apprehension that we may be giving up the term OROP for some other phrase and have objected to it. While respecting members’ emotional ties to OROP, it is confirmed that the term OROP will continue to be used for all interaction with the ESM and media. There will be no change. However, if the government wants to give full OROP benefits under another disguise, the option will remain open.
Letters Sent Out
Copies of the following two letters, sent out on 12 March 2009, are attached:
Letter to the secretary to the President.
Letter to Raksha Mantri.
Best regards,
Lt Gen (Emeritus) Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
Chairman IESM

Lt Gen Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
Chairman IESM
IESM/OROP/RM/2009 March 12, 2009

Dear Hon’ble Defence Minister,
The long-pending demand of the Ex Servicemen of one-rank-one-pension (OROP) continues to remain in limbo.
Kindly refer to your letter dated 16th December 2009 (copy attached for ready reference) wherein you had mentioned consideration of ‘certain improvements’ for old pensioners. You had written a similar letter to the Vice President of India on 16th Feb 2009, which was read out by the Congress spokesman Mr Manish Tewari during a TV debate recorded on 18th Feb 2009.
There is a doubt whether with the announcement of elections, and with the model code of conduct having been imposed, those ‘certain improvements’ can still be announced. If yes, then we eagerly await and hope that the improvements actually amount to sanctioning OROP, in whatever disguise. If, however, there is a ban on announcing the improvements, then it is cause for concern. In that situation, since the ban was easily foreseen, it would be difficult to avoid the inference that the Government promise was merely a delaying ploy and was not backed by sincerity to grant justice to the over two million Ex-Servicemen.
May I request you to kindly clarify the current status of the promised improvements vis-à-vis the impending elections, so that the environment can be informed.
With regards,
Yours sincerely,
Lt Gen Raj Kadyan

Shri AK Antony
Hon’ble Minister of Defence
South Block
New Delhi – 110 011

Lt Gen Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
Chairman IESM
IESM/Medals/2009 12 Mar 2009

Dr Christy Fernandez
Secretary to the President
Rashtrapati Bhawan
New Delhi – 110 011

Dear Sir,
During our meeting on 09 March 2009, the President mentioned that she had not been informed about the Ex Servicemen depositing their medals on 8 February and again on 22 February 2009. Further, she was also unaware of my request for an audience, sent vide my letter dated 24 November 2008.

It is not for me to comment whether in a democracy, the People’s President should be kept insulated from people’s requests that merit her attention.

In view of paragraph 1 above, I will request you to kindly inform the President that our next schedule of depositing the medals is at 1530 hours on Saturday, 14th March 2009.
With regards,
Yours sincerely,
Lt Gen Raj Kadyan

Copy to:
Shri AK Antony
Hon’ble Minister of Defence
South Block
New Delhi-110 011

Lt Cols- A Rank debased by Bureaucracy

Dear Friends,
Our friends in IAS think they are the last word in manipulation. When they did not like the hue and cry raised over downgradation of Lt Cols to PB3, they brought out the bogey of Lt Cols in operational and non operational role as also on deputation. This they did knowing full well that IAS and IPS indulge in this all the time. Did they not realise that they'll be exposed some day? Did they not know that those who live in glass houses...?

I have cut and pasted below the views of Maj Navpdeep from his blog. In reply to a young IPS man he comes out with certain views and facts. I think we should expand on this and get more similar facts out. They have been cheating the nation and pontificating to others in order to hide their misdeeds. Attack being the best form of defence? We should ask for all the info under RTI Act and confront them with these facts.

In a recent posting on his blog, Pragmatic says
"All India Services: Though it is our most persistent and glaring colonial hangover, it is accepted that the AIS is recruited to man only the highest levels of the civil services. The point not mentioned is that the highest level of the IPS (barring a few at the centre) was the lone head of police in the state (then equivalent to an Area Commander/ Maj Gen). Now every entrant to IPS reaches that pay grade in less than 20 years. For the armed forces it remains a miniscule fraction in over 30 years. The highest level of the IAS was a Secretary (incl Cabinet Secretary) equivalent to the Vice-Chiefs. A number of civil responsibilities since then have been taken over by elected/ political officials, but the Civil service personnel have moved higher in protocol. And it is not only the military that is upset; every professional service in the country has been downgraded to the benefit of the AIS. The tragedy is that only the military seems to be in a position to speak out. We even have career bureaucrats as Vice-Chancellors of universities. Instead of selecting the qualified person for any job, what we have through the AIS is an ‘institutionalized cronyism’."

The point to note is that these IAS walas have subjugated all except the military, and we must turn the tide here. They are very fond of raising the bogey of a colonial military. This is plain and simple fear mongering to fool the incompetent politician and to grind their axe.

It is time the Services and Veterans put up a united strong front and put them in their place. Could someone please forward this mail to the three Chiefs, I do not have their email ids.
Kind regards
Cdr K K Punchhi

Oh oh Abhinav, wrong number !!
A young IPS Officer, Abhinav Kumar, wrote this for the Hindustan Times recently. While I let it pass in the first glance, on second thoughts I said what the heck ?!!. To begin with, I would be candid enough to admit that what he writes usually makes sense and as a fact I like what he writes. But I cannot say the same about these two fickle annotations in his write up :

“First of all, how fair and accurate is the comparison with the All-India Services ? The 5,400-strong IAS preside over roughly 15 million civil servants who work for the central and state governments, whereas the 3,800-strong IPS manages over 2.3 million central and state police personnel. Entry to the civil services is at four different levels. In contrast, our 1.4 million-strong armed forces have just two levels of entry with a combined sanctioned strength of 67,540 officers — with about 55,000 actually serving.”

“The military obsession with protocol and the exclusion of all other concerns is mystifying. Why should a Lieutenant Colonel, a rank that the army no longer allows to command its basic unit, a battalion, be superior in protocol to a district magistrate or a superintendent of police, officers entrusted with looking after the basic unit of our governance, the district ?.”

So Abhinav, it is only officers entrusted with districts who should be granted a superior protocol and not others eh ? So what do we do with those IAS and IPS officers who are not in districts ?, thrust on them a lower status and lower pay ? What about that SP who after his district tenure is posted as SP Computerisation or SP Litigation or SP Law & Order or SP xyz abc whatever. What about that DC who after finishing his tenure is posted as a Deputy Secretary of some non-descript department ?. Pay him or her less would you say ?. What about those multiple DsGP and Chief Secretary grade officers floating around in State Secretariats handling practically non-existent assignments ? Do we pay them on the basis of the number of people they have under their command ?. Things are not that simple. Your comment on the number of employees being ‘presided over’ or ‘managed’ is childish. Tomorrow you would say that a Professor of a University should be paid less than a Havaldar since he or she presides over or manages none whereas a Havaldar still has a Section serving under his Command. It’s laughable to say the least. A military officer from the very beginning is a judge, commander, manager, administrator all rolled into one. Being in charge of human life is the biggest responsibility, much more than managing thousands of acres. But this of course is not to belittle the IAS or the IPS who just like the military have their respective designated roles to play. Pay and status should be directly linked with rank, grade and length of service and not with any appointment that someone lucky may be holding on one particular day. The pitfalls of accepting your argument are many. For instance in the military context, a Major from the Corps of Engineers who is posted as a Garrison Engineer and who handles projects worth crores and enjoys a clout unmatchable in any other service cannot possibly claim better pay and status than that equivalent Major of the Infantry commanding a company somewhere in a godforsaken place just on the basis of the self-assumed so called 'importance' of appointment.

And Abhinav, by the way, a Lt Col does enjoy higher protocol than most DCs and SPs. And yes, by the way, it is Lt Cols (who are acting Cols) who command Battalions.
Oh oh Abhinav, wrong number!!
Posted by Navdeep / Maj Navdeep

Thursday, March 12, 2009

IESM: Fast for Justice Rally- eighty fourth day

Date: Wednesday, 11 March, 2009, 10:19 PM
Dear Colleagues,
Jantar Mantar is being manned by a mix of Delhi and Gurgaon ESM.
New Members
We extend a heartful welcome to the following into the IESM family:
1. Lt Col RL Chopra, RAJ RIF
2. Col SB Khanna, MLI
That is How we are Different
I am attaching a photo of a police officer, who for his own comfort is shoulder- riding a constable. This is Chetwode motto being made to stand on its head. No hard feelings against the individual involved, just to show the cultural difference between the military and others. Please send it to all the politicians that you can.
Best regards,
Lt Gen (Emeritus) Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
Chairman IESM

Chetwode Motto
"The safety, honour and welfare of your country come first, always and every time. The honour, welfare and comfort of the men you command come next. Your own ease, comfort and safety come last, always and every time."

Bureaucracy as one understands?
One man's red-tape is another man's system~ D. Waldo
The problem with a bureaucracy is that it can't respond rapidly to change. Its motto is 'Ready, aim, aim, aim...', it just can't pull the trigger~ Anon.
When you encounter the word `bureaucracy', is your first reaction anger (or even rage) or disgust? What do you associate `bureaucracy' with? delay? officiousness? questions? more questions? inaction? apathy? indifference? or plain fatuousness?

Mumbai Mayhem: Al-Qaeda leader warns India of more attacks

Hasan Suroor: The Hindu 11 Feb 2009
“Don’t try to harm Pakistan. The Mujahideen will sunder your armies into the ground”.
Pakistani military had said he might have been killed in a tribal region.
LONDON: A senior Al-Qaeda leader has threatened India with more Mumbai- style terror bombings if it attacks Pakistan, the BBC reported on Tuesday. He is thought to have been killed by the Pakistani military last summer. In a video message, Mustafa Abu al-Yazid, believed to be Al-Qaeda’s military commander in Afghanistan, warned India that it would pay a “heavy price” if it tried to harm Pakistan.

“India’s humiliation”
Referring to what he called “India’s humiliation” over the Mumbai attacks, he said: “India should know that it will have to pay a heavy price if it attacks Pakistan. The Mujahideen will sunder your armies into the ground, like they did to the Russians in Afghanistan.” He also reportedly called on the people of Pakistan to rise up and overthrow the government and its President.

Brain behind attacks
Yazid is said to have been involved in a number of terror attacks in Pakistan, including last year’s Danish Embassy bombings in Islamabad and the assassination of the former Prime Minister, Benazir Bhutto, in December 2007. Last August, the Pakistani military claimed that he might have been killed in fighting in the Bajaur tribal region bordering Afghanistan. The BBC said he was last heard in August 2008 when he confirmed the death of Al-Qaeda chemical-weapons expert, Midhat Mursi al-Sayid Umar. But according to the U.S.-based Long War Journal, which specialises in terror issues, Yazid has “appeared in at least four other Al-Qaeda propaganda tapes” since last August.

We can handle any threat: Antony- Thiruvananthapuram Special Correspondent reports:
Defence Minister A.K. Antony said in Thiruvananthapuram that India had the full capability to handle any threat to its national security. From whichever quarter was the threat, the Indian armed forces were fully equipped to deal with it. Mr. Antony was responding to questions from journalists about the reported Al-Qaeda’s threat to India. He, however, said that he had not come across the report about the warning, telecast by various channels on Tuesday. “Developments in the neighbourhood are not good. We have to be in full preparedness and we are,” the Minister said.
Al-Qaeda leader warns India of more attacks

Comment: Taliban, LTTE, The Mujahideen and Al Qaeda- This is a formidable enemy. To dismiss it as a bunch of 'cowards' perpetuating 'senseless acts of violence' is complacent nonsense. People willing to kill thousands of innocents while they kill themselves are not cowards. They are deadly vicious warriors and need to be treated as such.” ~ Charles Krauthammer quote

Contrast Planet Earth: Sunita Williams said that the earth is a borderless unit, and experiencing it could alter people perceptual knowledge. “When you are in space, what hits you is the futility of drawing maps and marking boundaries. This also helps you understand there are no barriers like different nations as outside the Earth our identity is that of a human.”
Slideshow of Planet Earth- One sees no national boundaries

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Country’s first military memorial in Bangalore

Indira Gandhi Musical Fountain, Vasanth Nagar, Bengaluru, Karnataka
The memorial, which is being constructed by the State Government at a cost of Rs. 10 crore, will come up on a seven-acre plot located beside the Indira Gandhi Musical Fountain at T. Chowdiah Road, in Bangalore. The memorial will be ready by January 26, 2010.
Foundation stone laid for National Military Memorial

Parents of the slain NSG commando Sandeep Unnikrishnan offering flowers at the newly inaugurated National Military Memorial

Bangalore : In a show of reverence for martyrs and respect to soldiers in the armed forces, the Karnataka government on Tuesday became the first state to have a national military memorial, the first in the country after Independence. The monument, beside the Indira Gandhi musical fountain in the city, represents the spirit and valour of the forces.

Laying the foundation stone, governor Rameshwar Thakur said such memorials were needed to recognise the service of men and women who, despite personal discomfort, relentlessly maintain a vigil. "I have no doubt this memorial will become an inspiration for thousands of young boys, girls, men and women to become committed citizens," he added.

The memorial, to be maintained by a trust set up by the state government, will have a landscape where the only visible elements will be the three displays from the Army, Navy and Air Force. An interior symbolic walk will begin with the Veera-Gallu monument. It will also have an amphitheatre and a museum where film documentaries will be screened, a Hall of Fame, reference material and a memorabilia section. It could be ready by January 26, 2010.

Chief minister B S Yeddyurappa, Union minister of state for defence M M Pallam Raju, Air Chief Marshal Fali Homi Major, Admiral Sureesh Mehta, Lieut. Gen. A K Lamba, members of Parliament Ananth Kumar, Rajeev Chandrashekar and several ex-servicemen and serving officials attended the ceremony.
TOI- Military memorial ready by Jan next
Express Buzz- Country’s first military memorial in Bangalore

Comments: Cdr Krishnan Punchhi
It is even more significant because this Bengaluru Memorial will be the first instance of a Military memorial being built in Independent India - a fact that sometimes surprises many, given the many conflicts fought by our forces and the many lives laid down and sacrifices made.

The Armed forces are one of them - and the men and women who make up the forces. I strongly believe and have always believed that the forces are the last of the few professional, secular institutions that are still driven by a sense of nationalism and duty and live and die by the simple idea of Nation First! - Values that unfortunately have disappeared or are disappearing from almost all other areas of public service.

I believe that we don't value enough - our living soldiers, serving or retired. You need to only look at the protesting Ex-servicemen in Jantar Mantar, Delhi and see how little the media and civil society has bothered to question, why men of such great honor and record of service, are being forced to return their medals. It's a sign that as a nation we are not caring enough or valuing their service enough. I consider it our duty to protect and nurture the forces and personnel and their families and have worked to the best of my ability in my few years of public service for this and I hope many- many more in civil society and media will be motivated by this memorial to do so today and in the future.

Mumbai Mayhem: Revamp and Restructure Special Forces

The SF needs to be structured comprehensively for a full spectrum capability, trained and ready for victory, or in other words— a total force of quality officers and soldiers.

The November 26 terrorist attack in Mumbai and related events have brought into sharp focus the Special Forces (SF) of the nation. India fields a variety of SF, of which two— the Marine Commandos (MARCOS) of the Indian Navy and the National Security Guards (NSG) of the Cabinet Secretariat— operated against the terrorists at Mumbai. While the personnel of both the forces displayed exceptional bravery in tackling the terrorists, lacunae in the deployment and employment of these forces need early rectification in order for the SF to respond with alacrity the next time a similar situation arises. Details of what needs to be done to increase the efficiency of these forces must necessarily be preceded by an elucidation of what the SF are all about.

Most professional militaries field special units, with specialised, highly focused capabilities. Known as SF, these are small, elite military units, with special training and equipment, capable of conducting a variety of operations. SF personnel undergo rigorous selection and lengthy, specialised training. SF are the nation’s penetration and strike forces that respond to extraordinary contingencies across the conflict spectrum, with stealth, speed and precision. Their operations differ from conventional operations in the degree of physical and political risk, operational techniques, mode of employment, independence from friendly support and dependence on detailed operational intelligence of a very high order. SF may be used against a wide range of adversaries, including terrorists, insurgents, guerrillas, or regular combatants. SF can also be used to support insurgents, guerrillas, or regular conventional operations.

In our country, a proliferation of SF types reduces focus on certain essential tasks, undermines cost-effectiveness and sullies accountability. Weaknesses and chinks in the system need to be identified and highlighted while deliberating on the changes needed to evolve the nation’s SF structure of the future.

Changing nature of threats
Ambiguity and a marked divergence from traditional risks characterise security challenges today and in the future. Consequently, military contingencies require multi-faceted forces, like the SF, as they are able to respond to a wider spectrum of crises. Terrorism, subversion, insurgency and proxy war by neighbouring countries or by non-state actors from their soil, will continue to be major security challenges for India. The recent terrorist strike at Mumbai is an appropriate example. In this type of proxy war environment, the SF, given its low profile, may well be the force of choice for conducting operations, including across the border, without inviting the political, economic and military risks of war. SF can also assist in deterring, destroying or defending against attempts aimed at nuclear or radiological material or weapons of mass destruction, especially from non-state actors.

Several constraints impede employment of conventional forces to resolve security issues. With asymmetric opponents such as terrorists, insurgents and rebel groups increasingly holding the nation to ransom, dealing with them in a conventional manner has many pitfalls. In such an environment, SF becomes even more important. SF are also necessary to meet transnational threats resulting from the diminished authority and capacity of governments beleaguered by social, political and cultural unrest and inadequate governance. Asymmetric opponents do not attack the strengths of the nation, but target its vulnerabilities, with unorthodox measures. Such attacks can be best tackled by the SF.

Preparing for the conflicts of the next decade and beyond, we need to invest heavily in the right kind of SF, which has the agility to perform a task, disengage, regroup and be ready for the next mission. SF to tackle low intensity conflicts of the future must be purpose-filled organisations, possessing both human intelligence and signals intelligence capabilities; scientific and analytical skills; and ability to use information technology optimally. They must also possess language skills and knowledge of the cultural, social and behaviour patterns of the adversary.

In future, SF will become more relevant because they can respond to a wider spectrum of crises than conventional forces. The 2002 operations in Afghanistan by the Coalition Forces, for instance, were brought to a dramatic and early conclusion because the SF managed to bring in the forces of the Northern Alliance for the dénouement. They turned the Northern Alliance into a conquering army. Unfortunately, the SF of the Indian Army, as structured at present, are not capable of doing this. However, if restructuring is carried out with vision and all likely contingencies are catered for, no reason why our SF cannot meet such challenges.
Lt General (Retd) Vijay Oberoi
Revamp & Restructure

IESM: Fast for Justice Rally- eighty third day

Dear Colleagues,
Jantar Mantar continues to be manned by the Delhi-Gurgaon mix.
New Members
We extend a heartful welcome to the new members from NOIDA.
Thanks to Col Sekhri / Cdr DD Chopra and Maj Gen Kataria for their efforts in motivating them.
Here is wishing all veterans and their families a very happy and festive holi.
Best regards,
Lt Gen (Emeritus) Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
Chairman IESM

Dear Sir,
It was shocking to know that our supreme commander was not aware of the struggle we put up for our genuine demands or she was not informed. This reminds me of a news that the then president of Pakistan was not aware of the intrusion of pak soldiers at Kargil planned by their military. The Indian bureaucrats are acting like the western culture now being adopted by our young generation that our parents are becoming a burden after they spend everything towards the well- being their children and now fully used up. The feeling of a soldier who is forced to surrender his medals which is always kept close to his heart is beyond words. while he is serving the nation he is ready to sacrifice even his life and now a situation arises- a heart broken soldier has to to tear his heart and surrender for justice- is disappointing. If the bureaucrats think that patriotism is something that one can buy from Chandni Chowk .....God save India.
Ex Sgt Mathew Augustine

Happy Holi to all our Readers

IESM: Rally at Jantar Mantar- eerie silence is deafening

Dear Raj and Friends,
I was rather disconcerted to learn that till date, no official communication has been sent by the Service Chiefs to the government on the case pertaining to the past pensioners. The issue has been occasionally raised at the working level but COSC has apparently chosen to keep away from the conflict.
The first letter on pensions was issued four months ago on 11 Nov 2008 , and the veterans have been on the streets for nearly three months. I think, it is imperative on part of the chiefs to say some thing. Their silence is eerie and deafening.
I could hold myself no longer. And sent identical letters (below) to the CNS as the head of the COSC and the COAS.
Maj Gen Surjit Singh (Retd)

Gen Deepak Kapoor, PVSM,AVSM,SM,VSM,ADC
COAS,South Block, DHQ PO, NEW DELHI 110011

There are only two possible explanations for the dogged persistence of the recent stir: either the ex-servicemen are making unreasonable demands, or the government is insensitive to the anguish of the ‘retired and forgotten’. This impasse can only end if some one mediates and in my humble opinion, that role has to be played by you.

As far as we know, the service headquarters have so far chosen to not to intervene, and leave it for the past pensioners to fight their own battle. This, I find, is unfair, because it is an unequal contest. With very little bargaining power, the old soldiers are forever at the receiving end of the stick.

We are hard put to tell the past pensioners that for most of them, the government has only granted a multiplicand of 2.26 while for certain ranks the improvement factor is 3.00, or more. That this is because those fortunate ranks are on ‘fixed’ salaries or are covered by the ‘protection clause’ does not convince them, since it is not a cogent justification. They also find it hard to digest that a mere difference of one month in the date of retirement should make so much difference in their pensions for the rest of their lives.

At the end of the day, these protest rallies can only result in a further decline in the attractiveness of military service, which has already plummeted to an abysmally low level. I beseech you to take such steps as you deem fit, to resolve this issue.

I am sanguine that as the incumbent Army Chief, you would not like to be remembered as a bystander in this ‘battle royal’ And if, on the other hand, you believe that we, the veterans, have crossed the Laxman Rekha, then we must be told so, but with good reason.
Maj Gen Surjit Singh (Retd)

General Shankar Roychowdhury writes...
Whatever dissatisfactions on these and other aspects may have been expressed within the services, they did not find their way into the public domain, and the service chiefs too maintained a stiff upper lip, though they were undoubtedly concerned about its effects on their respective forces and with good reason. They jointly chose to highlight their unhappiness with stunning and totally unprecedented gesture of not accepting the new pay scales until anomalies had been looked into and ironed out and chose to continue with the existing pay scales in the interim period, a unique “Gandhigiri” in uniform, something unheard of earlier, which must have caused a flutter in the bureaucratic and ministerial dovecotes of South Block. Some in the print media, and at least, one irascible former diplomat were perhaps nudged to fume and splutter that it was really uppity for the services to “demand” pay scales, parity of service and protocol with the civil servants and all that — bad for discipline, don’t you know! Better keep these soldierwallahs at heel!
For ex-servicemen, parity in rank, pension long overdue

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

IESM: Fast for Justice Rally- eighty second day

Date: Monday, 9 March, 2009, 11:51 PM
Dear Colleagues,
Jantar mantar is under the charge of a mixed force from Delhi and Gurgaon.
New Members
We extend a hearty welcome to Lt Gen SS Grewal as a new member of the IESM family. Thank you Sarabjit for joining the cause and for your generous contribution.
Meeting with the President
The meeting took place on 9 March as scheduled. As reported earlier, the delegation of seven, included officers and PBOR, representatives of all three Services and widow of Naik Jai Bhagwan Yadav. It lasted over 15 minutes. She gave us a patient hearing. During the briefing, she only asked how much it would cost the government. This was answered with whatever details were available with us, while highlighting that money should not be an inhibiting factor when working out the remuneration of defence forces. The President’s body language appeared sympathetic. It seems certain she would send the memorandum to the government. How much effect it would have, only time will tell? A copy of the memorandum submitted given in link below.
Best regards,
Lt Gen (Emeritus) Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
Chairman IESM
IESM Memorandum to President of India

IESM Memorandum- Salient Points
This is a memorandum on behalf of the two million Ex Servicemen of India. The following facts may help in understanding their problem:
  • The defence personnel give the best years of their life in the service of the nation.
  • They live under conditions of extreme hardship and operate in an environment of perpetual danger to their life and limb.
  • Most of the defence personnel stay separated from their families during their entire service and are not able to meet the usual family obligations expected of them. They do not see their children grow up.
  • Nearly 85% of defence personnel are compulsarily retired at 35-42 years of age when their financial needs are at their peak. They are the only ones who retire by rank, while all other government employees retire by age.
  • There is no provision for a second career for the early retirees.
  • Since the pension is related to last pay drawn, those who retire early– and at a relatively lower salary– are granted a meagre pension. Thus, not only do they lose the earnings that would have accrued if they were to serve upto the age if sixty like others, they also get a lower pension. They suffer a double disadvantage.
  • Every time the salaries (and consequently the pensions) are hiked by the pay commissiones, these are made applicable prospectively and older pensioners are left out.
  • Since pension is a reward for services rendered, it is reasonable and logical that two individuals who have rendered equal service to the nation (length of service) and have handled the same level of responsibility (rank) should be given equal pension irrespective of their date of retirement. This is the basis of ‘One Rank One Pension’ concept, which implies ‘Equal service, same rank, equal pension’. Its acceptance has been long overdue despite promises by successive governments.
  • The demand for ‘one rank one pension’ is a demand for equity and justice and not merely for more money.

    Dear All,
    The 3rd day at ECHS on 09 March 2009 was once again a successful day in enrolling the following members into the IESM family. We Thank all those who have enrolled today and would request them to spread the word to other neighbours as well. Thanks to Col Sekhri/ Cdr DD Chopra and Maj Gen Kataria for helping us again today.
    1. Col VK Sood
    2. Col BM Vohra
    3. Lt Gen AK Sengupta
    4. Col Harsaran
    5. Brig SP Malhotra
    6. Brig DP Dhillon
    7. Lt Col Prem Nath Kapoor
    8. Sub Trilok Chand
    9. Sepoy Ashok Kumar
    10.Sub SK Malik
    11.Nb Sub Om Prakash Sharma
    12. Col Khurana
    1. Cdr DK Chowdhury
    2. Cdr SS Kandal
    1. Sqd Ldr KK Sood
    2. Wg Cdr MC Srivastava
    3. Air Cmde Daljit singh
    4. Air Cmde AK Bhardwaj
    5. Cpl KJ Singh
    We shall be again having the camp at ECHS Sector 37 on Thurday 12 March at 0800 hrs and would request all those who have been helping us to come once again at whatever time convenient to them.
    Cdr Sharan Ahuja (Retd)
    Member Core Group IESM
  • IESM: Exploring Legality of OROP

    Dear Sir,
    It is a very enlightening to read about the legality of OROP. Fortunately, I am no legal person. But listening to Law Luminaries at the Indian Society of International Law since 1998 to this day and off the hall, I have learnt how a law is conceived and how it is framed. It would surprise quite a few.

    I have never found a single legal entity having something favourable to say about the Armed Forces at these Seminars. In fact they speak aggressively against Defence Forces. Please check with JAGs who attend at times. They are not even allowed to raise any point. It is only persons like me or RADM VK Malohtra and few other ex-servicemen who take up cudgels for the Armed Forces. Not only that, the Students who come from various Universities for moot courts competitions are fed with ant-services scenarios. It is no different than what happens in schools that we read about in papers. But when officers who were in uniform from US Pacific Command who came for putting their points on explaining the Right to Preemptive Strike, the ISIL were stupmed and were looking for people like me.

    Now a days many a prospective legislation are assigned to them for evolving a draft through Seminars, etc., and then put on the Ministry's Website for eliciting public views. Very few of those interested or affected even come to know of it. They make studies of other countries legislation or international documents and write their papers Besides the Indian ones.

    They evolve or find the concept and then frame it out with some riders and on known accepted or established legal positions.

    But they always keep all powers and benefits reserved for the Government. And even if they do not, the Government rewords them. Sometimes all give and take takes place at the Parliament Committees. Rarely an amendment is accepted in the Parliament.

    I have been enlightened that most of the new thinking's in orders are verbatim copies of Judgments in USA or UK, not withstanding the copy rights? The Judges also have the biases. So they do take help of close ones for literally writing their judgments. That includes the Law Commission. Rarely will they go against the Government. If they do, they reserve the Judgment which is to give the Government time to plead their case in private about the extent of repercussions! Simple knowledge of Law is not good enough for putting our case before the Courts.

    I would have liked to believe that IESM would have studies done as to how other democracies and countries inimical to us and those in Asia are doing in this regards. Chinese I think are way ahead. Pakistan data theirs may not be accepted. SAARC Countries, EU Countries and USA, even Russia, Australia, Canada, etc., the data should be collected about them. Why only weapons are considered by the think tanks for buying weapons; why not the men behind the guns and how they are treated post retirement. They should be forth coming on this vital aspect too.

    Sir, I would like to believe a much wider debate is called for. There must be something at the back of the mind of the Government to deny something which should have been done without allowing things to go this far.

    With best regards,
    Cdr Prem P Batra IN Retd.

    Prudent Quotes- Bureaucrats can twist the Law of the Land out off Shape
    Our government... teaches the whole people by its example. If the government becomes the lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for law; it invites every man to become a law unto himself; it invites anarchy. ~Louis Dembitz Brandeis

    Law is nothing unless close behind it stands a warm living public opinion. ~Wendell Phillips

    It is the spirit and not the form of law that keeps justice alive. ~Earl Warren

    Many laws as certainly make bad men, as bad men make many laws. ~Walter Savage Landor, Imaginary Conversations

    The trouble with the laws these days is that criminals know their rights better than their wrongs. ~Author Unknown

    IESM: Delegation meets President, the Supreme Commander

    Dear Friends
    Press Release dated 09 Mar 2009 is circulated herewith.
    With Kind Regards,
    Jai Hind
    Yours Sincerely,
    Maj Gen Satbir Singh, SM (Retd)
    Vice Chairman Indian ESM Movement

    Press Release
    Indian Ex Servicemen Movement (IESM) Delegation Meets President on 09 Mar 2009

    Dear Members of the Media

    1. IESM delegation consisting of Lt Gen Raj Kadyan, Chairman IESM, Maj Gen Satbir Singh, Vice Chairman, Maj Gen PK Renjan, Commander Sharan Ahuja(IN), Colonel Kanwar Bhardwaj, Warrant Officer PR Balathilakan, Smt Krishna Yadav widow of Late Naik Jai Bhagwan Yadav met President, the Supreme Commander of Defence Forces in connection with their demand of Pension Parity. The delegation was surprised to know from the President that she was not informed of our requests for an audience on three earlier occasions. IESM had sent letters addressed to the President three times ie in Nov 2008, Jan 2009 & Feb 2009 requesting her for audience at the time of handing over of Medals on 08 Feb 2009 & 21 Feb 2009. Obviously, the bureaucrats at Rashtrapati Bhavan had not apprised the President regarding our requests. This is how the bureaucracy has treated the sentiments of soldiers who wanted to handover their most valued possession to the Supreme Commander.
    2. The President listened patiently to the briefing by the delegation on their demands and reasons thereof. The delegation presented the Memorandum to the President requesting her for her intervention in the matter. Photo of the event is as above.

    With Kind Regards,
    Jai Hind
    Yours Sincerely,
    Maj Gen (Retd) Satbir Singh, SM
    Vice Chairman Indian ESM Movement

    Comment: Bureaucrats obviously and truly an impediment to cordial relations between Supreme Commander and her Soldiers and Veterans!

    Monday, March 9, 2009

    Mumbai Mayhem: Is the Nation geared to combat terrorists?

    Assam cops have AK-47s to fight, but no bullets: CAG 8 Mar 2009, 2040 hrs IST, TNN

    GUWAHATI: At least 2,000 Assam Police personnel, who were engaged in fighting militancy, carried their AK-47s without ammunition for nearly two years. The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) in its 2007-08 report revealed the Assam Police did not receive the ammunition till March last year.

    The CAG report tabled in the state legislative assembly on Saturday stated that during 2004-05, the ministry of home affairs supplied 2,000 AK-47s at a cost of Rs 1.60 crore without any ammunition. The police department, after a lapse of nearly two years, placed an order for the supply of 3,25,976 rounds of 7.62 mm x 39 ball ammunition for the AK-47s valued at Rs 96 lakh with the Ordinance Factory at Bharangaon.

    But the ammunition was not received till March, 2008. The report further said that in September 2008, the DGP said the ammunition could not be collected due to non-receipt of delivery and non-availability of railway wagons.

    The CAG report also revealed that the state police's preparedness and striking capability with sophisticated weaponry was not adequately addressed as the force is short of the required sophisticated arms, including AK-47s, SLRs, LMGs, carbines, pistols and rifle grenades, by varying figures of 23% to 100%.

    The CAG pointed out that the detection of bombs and explosives decreased by 30% in 2007-08 compared to 2003-04, while cases of police casualties and bomb blasts increased by 42% in 2007-08 compared to 2003-04. It also observed that short procurement of bomb detectors and inadequate procurement of bullet-proof jackets could be among the factors that contributed towards the increase in bomb blasts and police deaths.

    Assam Police, under the modernization of police force (MPF) schemes, got 5200 INSAS rifles worth Rs 13.06 crore from MHA, 1680 of which were withdrawn in December 2007 as the district police were not specially trained to handle the INSAS rifles.

    These rifles are now lying unused at the district police headquarters, the CAG reported. Apart from these, the Assam Police also procured a Mahindra Scorpio and Tata Indigo, which are actually not allowed under the MPF scheme.

    Not only that, the CAG found that 75 police stations and 55 police outposts are insecure because of a lack of boundary walls. Fifteen of these vulnerable police stations are in Guwahati.
    Assam cops have AK-47s to fight, but no bullets: CAG

    Comment: Other States cannot be different. The sad situation needs to be redeemed by regular rehearsals and training and properly equipping the Policemen.

    IESM: Fast for Justice Rally- eighty first day

    Date: Monday, 08 Mar 2009
    Dear Colleagues,
    Jantar Mantar venue is manned by Jhajjar and Gurgaon ESM jointly.
    Meeting the President
    Meeting with the President is scheduled tomorrow 09 March 2009. We have selected a balanced delegation to represent us. It comprises officers and PBOR, representatives of the three Services and an OR widow. We will project our demand with clarity and emphasis. Let us hope the meeting with the Supreme Commander proves fruitful and satisfying.
    Best regards,
    Lt Gen (Emeritus) Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
    Chairman IESM

    Dear Brig Kamboj,
    I had accompanied Gen Satinder Singh to Jantar Mantar on 21 Jan 2009.I had taken a few pictures of IESM meeting with Lok Sabha MP from Uttrakhand on that day. I had also become a member of IESM on that day, handing over the form and cheque to Sharan Ahuja. Regards,
    Col T R Bhatia
    12 NDA/21 IMA.
    Jantar Matar IESM Rally- Slideshow

    Archives: OROP
    Dear Brigadier,
    For Circulation please- forwarding some interesting links to articles/ views from Archives.
    'GoM On One-Rank One Pension Issue': 15 may 2005
    Commitment made in NCMP: Tribune Dec 26, 2005
    Sonia calls for one-rank-one-pension: TOI 24 Nov 2002
    28 August 1991: In parliament 05 Feb 2003
    The Hindu: 25 Nov 2004 05 Feb 2003 'One-rank one-pension' likely for ex-servicemen'
    Important Letter dated 01 Feb 2006, concerning PBOR based on the Group of Minister's recommendations
    5th Pay Commission: Definitions
    FAQs- Pension
    GoM considering one rank, one pension demand- TOI 4 Aug 2005
    Tehelka exposes Soldiers lament
    A Dying Tradition - Mar 07, 2009
    'If My Son Said He Wanted To Join The Army, I Would Have Shot Him'
    ‘My Sons Will Not Follow In My Footsteps’
    Soldiers lament
    Commodore Lokesh K Batra (Retd)
    Social & RTI Activist
    Webpage: OUTREACH

    ESM: Brief on legal issues affecting Veterans

    1. There appear to be some doubts and lack of information on the Legal aspects of our case for enhanced pensions and a large number of us are not aware of the important judgments and the prevailing law in the matter. I had received several queries at the AGM and thereafter. I have therefore prepared this brief for the guidance and information of interested members. I may mention that there have been umpteen judgments dealing with pensions (both civil and military) but the three landmark judgments by the Supreme Court, the 1982 Nakra case, the 1991 in the case filed by the IESL and the Sep 2008 judgment in the Maj Gen Vains case.

    2. What are we seeking and what is OROP? OROP is a generic term for Pension Parity for the same rank and same Length of Service and this terminology has to be carefully articulated and used. As you will see later, in the 1991 judgment, the SC has turned down OROP as everyone in the same rank with different lengths of service and different ages of retirement cannot be logically equated and the parity it had sought with the serving community with back emoluments was also not agreed to. As a matter of interest, the financial effect of Pension Parity (OROP) was officially estimated at Rs 600 crores per annum in 2004, as per the records of a parliamentary committee which examined the issue. This figure would have increased due to inflation during the last four years but is not that exorbitant.

    3. It may also be mentioned that, as communicated to the members earlier, the SC has dismissed the appeal filed by the Government in the Maj Gens Case and Government response to the directions in the final judgment is awaited. Further, some members felt that the MOD/GOI will take shelter behind the matter being subjudice if we went to the SC at this stage. It may be mentioned the did not take shelter behind the Maj Generals case being in the SC, whilst examining and rejecting our request for Pension Parity (OROP) and this is a red herring in our quest for legal redressal. The 1991 judgment was wrongly quoted, out of context, in the recent TV program and has often been used against us by interested parties and it is far from the truth that the SC has turned down what we are seeking.

    4. I have been interacting with other stake holders including IESL, IESM and the Airforce Association to get them on board a common platform and present a common public front. Of these IESL apparently wants to fight the court case on its own and does not want the resurgent IESM to figure on the same platform and has also informed that it has commenced preparation of the case. The 1991 case was filed by IESL and did a major damage to our cause. The past and the current Presidents of the Airforce Association, all of them are retired Chiefs, considered my proposal but declined to join in, apparently they are satiated as they are OROP compliant and don’t have the stomach for a fight and left it to the individual Air Force officers to independently fight their case. The task of jointly fighting our case therefore rests between IESM and the Navy Foundation and we will go ahead with it as agreed at the AGM of NFDC.


    Sunday, March 8, 2009

    Ex-servicemen want pension parity

    To vote for those who care for them
    Anjali Singh Deswal
    Tribune News Service

    Bathinda, March 1
    The issue of 'one rank, one pension' has been brought to the notice of the government every now and then. To highlight the isue again, a meeting of ex-servicemen organisations was organised at the Teachers' Home today. Many senior leaders of the All-India Ex-servicemen League, All-India Ex-servicemen Movement, Ex-services League, Punjab, and Ex-services War Veterans Movement, attended the meeting.

    The ex-servicemen said two persons, who render same service, both in terms of quantum and qualit, should get the same pension irrespective of their date of retirement. The Sixth Pay Commission (SPC) has not bothered much for those who retired early, they said, pointing out that a sepoy who retired on December 31, 1996, would get 82 per cent less pension than a sepoy who retired after January 1, 2006. According to ex-servicemen, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, at a rally of ex-servicemen in Chandigarh in November 2002, had said that when the Congress comes to power, one rank, one pension would be granted. Unfortunately, the government said it was not possible due to financial and administrative crisis.

    This decision had forced ex-servicemen to go on a relay hunger strike from December 16, 2008 and they held a huge protest at Jantar Mantar in Delhi on February 8. Around 300 of them returned their medals to the President of India, another lot of medals was returned on February 21 and the next lot would be returned on March 14. "Most ESMs get exploited for a meagre sum in security jobs," Lt Col S.S. Sohi said.

    The ex-servicemen also added that the civilian employees get one rank, one pension. Politicians also increase their pay. The ex-servicemen also declared that they have formed themselves into a vote bank and would vote only for those who look after their interests.

    Those who spoke at the meeting were Capt B.S. Bhatti, Sub Balbir Singh Sidhu, Hav Maj S. Brar, Hav Bhola Singh Maur, Sub Nand Singh, Sub Babu Singh, Capt J. Singh, Brig Harwant Singh, Col Sohi, Col Bhinder, Lt Col Daya Singh, Maj Dhillon and CPL Jaswant Kumar.
    Ex-servicemen want pension parity

    One rank, one pension is a fair demand

    I do not know who in the establishment is to blame for the mess in the case of the armed forces’ salaries and pensions. Of course, the IAS officers have processed the demand and they are the twice-born service, always ensuring that they remain on top. They knit a net of procedures and precedents so skilfully that others give up in exasperation. But why do our political masters play into their hands? There must be an equation between the two, the reason why Ministers allow the IAS set-up to maul or mutilate any proposal if they decide to do so. In this case, their action is horrifying.

    When ordinary soldiers and officers of the rank of lieutenant general want to return their medals won for bravery, they prove that a point has arrived where they have abandoned the hope of getting justice. It is time the nation realised that something is drastically wrong. Something has happened to push them into the domain of despair.

    The establishment was not able to belittle the dignity with which hundreds of men from the armed forces surrendered their medals of individual bravery. They assembled at Delhi’s Jantar Mantar to express their protest. All that they wanted was one rank, one pension. It was a fair demand which, surprisingly, the Government had spurned.

    The other Sunday, the day of Sabbath, as many as 200 retired armymen packed their medals in transparent plastic bags, with their names written on them, put them in three cardboard boxes and sent them to the President of India. They wanted to meet President Pratibha Patil, but she was away in Mumbai. They were not satisfied meeting a deputy secretary. They want to meet the President who, after all, gives away the medals for extraordinary courage and bravery.

    I do not think there is anything wrong in the demand for one rank, one pension. A lieutenant general who retired in January 2005 gets a pension of Rs 27,700. An officer holding the same rank but retiring after a year gets Rs 10,000 more — Rs 37,700. For brigadiers, there is a similar anomaly, in this case, Rs 5,000.

    I believe that the Congress’ election manifesto in 2004 acknowledged the demand for one rank, one pension. Former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee too promised to remove such anomalies. Still, over the years, the disparity has grown. One officer contends that the gap has grown by 82%. The matter came up before Parliament’s Standing Committee when I was retiring from the Rajya Sabha in 2003. I am told that the committee recommended the provision of one rank, one pension. But the Government refused to act. On the one hand, we say the country is safe in the hands of the defence forces and on the other we treat them poorly.

    My query to official quarters reveals that the Government is afraid to implement the demand because it may trigger similar claims from other public sector employees. This is not a fair comparison. The armed forces do a hazardous and life-threatening job. Those sitting in secure, cushy seats in air-conditioned rooms cannot even imagine what the front means, whether at peacetime or during war. I do not want to introduce emotional arguments like defence of the motherland etc. Yet, the fact remains that those in the armed forces give their life to help us live in peace. To deny them their due is not right.

    I take this opportunity to point to the serious disparities within the defence services. Some 85% of the personnel are from the category that comprises Persons Below Officer Ranks [PBOR]. They are the most neglected lot, because they have preferred not to raise their voice. Rations are free for officers and jawans. But there is a disparity in the quantum. For example, an officer gets 260 gm of meat, while a soldier gets only 110 gm. The Government can at least end such disparities.

    The Government has no defence because grievances over salaries, pensions and the armed forces' place in the protocol hierarchy have been piling up for years. Instead of improving their lot, it, or for that matter, the IAS officers have been downgrading them, emolument-wise and status-wise. The last Pay Commission’s recommendations were the proverbial straw on the camel’s back and hence the medals were returned.

    One rank, one pension is a fair demand.
    Kuldip Nayar is an author and human rights activist

    IESM: Return of Medals on 14 March 2009- Press Release

    Dear Friends,
    Press Invitation for return of medals to the President on 14 Mar 09 is attached for your information please. All veteran organizations & veterans who have any contract with the media are requested to kindly assist the organizing maximum media coverage of the event at Jantar Mantar on 14 Mar 09 from 11 AM to 3.30 PM. All veterans who have not yet deposited the medals are requested to do so at Jantar Mantar on any day between 9 AM to 5 PM & on 14 March 09 from 11 AM to 2.30 PM.
    With regards,
    Maj Gen (Retd) Satbir Singh, SM
    Vice Chairman Indian ESM Movement

    Ex Servicemen will Return Medals to President for the Third Time on 14th Mar 2009

    Dear Members of the Media,
    The Government continues to ignore the demand of Ex Servicemen of equity & justice for grant of pensions. The Ex Servicemen are seeking Pension Parity for the same rank and same length of service irrespective of the date of retirement. This just, fair & genuine demand has not been accepted by the Government. This unreasonable & unjust attitude of the Government has triggered an unprecedented wave across the entire Armed forces particularly the Ex Servicemen who have been compelled to start country wide protest Movement in the name Indian Ex Servicemen Movement (IESM).
    As announced earlier the IESM will continue to intensify their Movement till such time their demand of Pension parity is met. Accordingly, the Third Installment of return of Medals to the President will be carried out on 14 March 2009 at 3.30 PM at Rashtrapati Bhawan. The medals from various parts of the country are being received at Jantar Mantar New Delhi the place where Ex Servicemen are on Relay Hunger Strike since 16 Dec 2008. The Ex Servicemen from the NCR will also be depositing their medals at Jantar Mantar between 11.00 Am to 2.30 PM on 14 March 2009. The delegation of Ex Servicemen will take the medals to Rastrapati Bhawan for handing over to the President, the Supreme Commander of Armed Forces at 3.30 PM.
    You are invited to cover the event on 14 mar 2009 from 11 AM to 3.30 PM at Jantar Mantar.
    With regards,

    Jai Hind
    Yours Sincerely,
    Maj Gen (Retd) Satbir Singh, SM
    Vice Chairman Indian ESM Movement

    IESM: Rally report from Hamirpur and Tricity



    Date: Thursday, 5 March, 2009, 10:34 AM
    1. Gathering, Rally fetched more than 550+ ESM from all over Punjab, max 250 Offrs from tricity (1st time) most encouraging due to 4 Generals from HQ IESM and JCOs & NCOs. All appreciated efforts of IESM & its fast progress in so short a time.
    2. Publicity Media coverage- HT coverd well & local papers & 3 local TV Channels.
    3. Medals depositing by 161 incl AVSM & VSMs.
    4. Membership. Lot many joined contributing/ donating Rs 17400. Awareness & support is on increase. Absentees missed some thing great today.
    5. We thank all for their cooperation & support. God bless.
    with regards.
    Col S Sohi (Retd)

    Subject: IESM Punjab Handing Over Medals to Gen Kadyan for surrender to President of India
    Date: Friday, 6 March, 2009, 9:34 AM
    167 medals were handed over to Gen Kadyan & his IESM team on 05 Mar 2009 at Chandigarh for handing over to the President of India on 14 Mar 2009, with a heavy heart. Photo as above.
    with regards,
    Col S Sohi (Retd)

    2009 General Elections: Are You A Good Citizen?

    Date: Thursday, 5 March, 2009, 2:55 PM
    As educated citizens of this great country of ours, this is our best chance to take India to its rightful place in the world, as the bell for elections 2009 has tolled. History will not forgive us if we fail. Election day is not a holiday to enjoy but a day to do your solemn duty which is to vote for the right candidate. Here is what we earnestly implore you to do.
    DON'T Vote for a party but for an individual who:
  • has no criminal record past or present even where the judicial system has kept an appeal pending
  • is neither a fundamentalist nor a communalist. Anyone playing vote bank politics should be shunned
  • declares in public domain his/her assets including those of immediate family as also IT returns for the past 3 years
  • signs an affidavit that should he/ she, if elected, fail to fulfill the poll promises then voters can recall him
  • has the minimum basic education- a graduate. Protagonists of the Aam Aadmi will say that their problems are not understood by the well-off. Sorry, they have got it wrong. The constitution had enshrined that reservations etc would be done away after 25 years but the interested have seen that poverty and uneducated masses remain as they are their best vote bank.
  • pledges not to interfere with independent bodies like Police force, judiciary, election commission and appoint people to these bodies in a transparent manner based purely on merit.
  • implement affirmative action rather than caste and creed politics
  • If an ex serviceman is standing, give him/ her preference above all other candidates and all things being equal- vote the ex serviceman in!!
  • If an ex-MP, should have atleast 75% attendance, participated in 50% of debates and usefully spent atleast 90% of development fund in his/ her constituency
    Come May 16th we should sing Jai Ho! for a job well done!!
    Warm Regards!
    CK Sharma
    Wg Cdr CK Sharma, Member IESM Steering Committee,New Delhi
  • Mumbai Mayhem: Musharraf confirms Pakistan is cash starved speaking on the "Challenge of Change" at the India Today conclave

    Pakistan has admitted that a part of the Mumbai conspiracy was hatched on its soil. While six Pakistanis have been arrested for the attacks, Islamabad says it is waiting for more evidence from India before starting their trial.

    Musharraf's presidential tenure saw the December 13, 2001, attack on the Indian Parliament that brought the two countries to the brink of war. However, the second half of his tenure saw the resumption of the peace process and the launch of new cross-border bus and train links.
    Musharraf to check out Delhi restaurants, keen to meet Vajpayee

    Comment: When quizzed by the Russian chess player as to why, "cash and sophisticated arms supply to terrorists was not cut off." Musharraf confirmed Pakistan has neither money nor cash, but it comes from Afghanistan druglords. Dawood who is most the wanted in India is also a warlord fuelling terror... source of money is from smuggling and hawala transanctions in India. Jaswant Singh handed over in a platter millions of dollars to Taliban openly. What goes on behind the scenes covertly will be mind boggling to conceive! If the money trail from India is snapped, terrorism will die!

    IESM: Fast for Justice Rally- eightieth day

    Date: Saturday, 7 March, 2009, 11:07 PM
    Dear Colleagues,
    Jantar Mantar continues to remain active. We extend a hearty welcome to Lt Gen Prakash Gokaran, SIGNALS, as a new member of our IESM family.
    Best regards,
    Lt Gen (Emeritus) Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
    Chairman IESM

    Dear All,
    The 2nd day at ECHS today 07 March 2009 was once again successful and we were again able to muster the undermentioned Veterans into the IESM family. We welcome all and thank you for your support.
    1. Col DS Sangwan
    2. Col HC Chopra
    3. Col Satendrapal Singh Sidhu
    4. Maj Gen Deepak Varma
    5. Lt Col Tej K Tikoo
    6. Lt Col MS Gill
    7. Nb sub bS Gurung
    8. Brig JK Bahl
    9. Brig SK Dubey
    10. Lt Col KK Aggarwal
    11. Lt Col KC Nanda
    12. Sub Maj CS Dangwal
    13. Dr (Capt) AR Joshi
    14. Lt Col Surindar Singh
    15. Brig GS Sirohi
    16. Lt Col Rajnath Kumar
    17. Brig VK Seith
    1. Cdr Vk Nagpal 9811109798
    2. LA Met MC Arora
    Air Force
    1. Sgt Chandra Shekhar Vats

    We are once again thankful to Col Kewal Malhotra / Col Sekhri / Brig Kaul / Maj Gen Kataria / Col Kartar/ Col RP Chaturvedi / Mrs P Bhagat and Cdr Chopra in manning the station from 0800 hrs to 1330 hrs. Withour their efforts it is not possible to garner the support. Hope they will be again with us on Monday 09 Mar 2009 as covenient. We shall be again at the same place at 0800 hrs on Monday 09 March 2009 to continue our efforts to make more members of the movement "IESM". We request all those who have collected the forms may please submit any time on Monday/ Tuesday at ECHS sec 37 and also pass the message to other service friends.
    Cdr Sharan Ahuja (Retd)
    Member Core Group IESM

    Dear Sirs,
    Blessings. For God sake don't even think of changing any thing at this stage. It would indicate that we are giving up!! Already there is talk that they are tired of it. Some of the wives of the Babus have been carrying out such a disgusting canard against the services that it is unbelievable that any educated person could descend to making such statements. Let us stick to our plans and name and not play up to any one's efforts to divert our attention.
    May God be with us!
    Best regards.
    Pran Parashar

    Discord in uniform

    An unfortunate fallout of the Mumbai 26/11 terrorist attack has been that various points of friction between different government agencies, including security forces, that have been festering for long have come into the open. These range from functional issues of command and control to after-effects of the sordid incident in form of awards and rewards. At the same time, old issues of turf, pay and allowances have also come to the fore. A number of retired Army officers have openly aired their views on these issues in the media and also taken to holding protests and rallies. The civilian officers too are angry at efforts to belittle their contribution. All this points to increasing differences between the Army and civilians. Since both sides accuse the other of seeking their own advantage, the issues ought to be discussed threadbare at the highest forums of the government. The alarming security environment around us underlines the need to act quickly.

    Being the nation's last resort, the armed forces have to be "empowered" to deal with any eventuality. To do so, the old thumb rule as penned down by Lord Tennyson in "The Charge of the Light Brigade" still hold good ("Their's not to reason why; Their's but to do and die"). Of course, this "empowerment" ought to be subject to certain foolproof in-built checks, lest some overzealous elements in uniform resort of adventurism. But, this abundant caution should not result in their neglect. Since the Army rank and file is feeling belittled, this is rife with serious implications. It could invite an angry and violent reaction from within its rank and file. Fortunately, the apolitical nature of the Army and the service ethos is holding up. But, at the same time, it could result in demoralization. Either way, the nation would be the loser. If egalitarian values and civilian functioning have to take precedence over somewhat archaic and chivalric values of the military, the military usage has to be minimized not only in dealing with neighbours but also internal disturbances. The only way to "cut the military to size" is to strengthen the democratic value system of equality and social justice. Till such time the armed forces remain fundamental to the nation's entity, they have to be cared for.
    Discord in uniform


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