Saturday, April 18, 2009

National Defence Academy- childhood reflections

Being from a totally fauji background and having a dad who loved to tell stories, I grew up as familiar with NDA as if I had trained there myself. Then Daddy was posted there as OIC ATT and I cycled around everywhere from the stables to Peacock Bay. As a cadet, I could chat so comfortably with my ex-NDA coursemates about GFCL and FL and 'restrictions' and GCI and everything, that they made me an honorary ex-NDA (from Echo Sqn, in honour of Daddy). When my brother was training, I returned every term to that sacred institution more out of my reverence for the Academy than my desire to visit Nipun. I was an officer by then and could throw my weight around a bit. A couple of my coursemates were Div Os too, and that only added to the fun.
After such long association with NDA, it was only natural that when I began writing, one of my initial articles revolved around the Academy. I am attaching a copy of it for your amusement, Sir.
Thank you,
Sugandha Thakran

I have been surrounded by ex-NDA officers for as long as I can remember. My father, my brother, and now my husband and father-in-law too. All products of that fine establishment, the maker of men – the National Defence Academy. In the course of my life among these officers and gentlemen, I have come to some conclusions. Conclusions which could prove priceless advice for some naïve young thing about to get associated with a man from above said breed.

To start with, there’s the Squadron. One of the fifteen first alphabets expanded into their telegraphic full form, to which each ex-NDA swears undying loyalty. A fellow in arms who belonged to the same squadron at any point of time since the inception of the Academy is a buddy. Needless to say, the senior among the two ‘Squadron types’ is obliged to favour the junior with more liberty than he would have otherwise received. Always remember your ex-NDA’s squadron, it’s traditions, it’s strengths (it never had any weaknesses) and the names of his Divisional Officers or DivOs. Never, ever criticize anything even remotely connected with his squadron unless you want to earn an instant battle or frigid silence, depending on the temperament of the man. His squadron is the supreme body of the supreme establishment which made him a man.

Next is the matter of hierarchy. There are many approaches to establishing the pecking order, which is never vulgarly obvious, but sacred nonetheless. “He’s from the twentieth course, man! Way, way beyond our league.”, “Oh, he was just an OC”, “He’s a General- both times discipline”, “Swimming Blazer. Did the Peacock Bay on campfire night for the tipsy”, “Arrey yaar, he’s a RIMCO. He’ll get it done through his network.”. Make yourself familiar with the terminology and never get confused between a course and a term. Remember his place in the hierarchy and along with him, sneer at those below and display appropriate awe towards those above.

Of all the physical events at the NDA, the two most dissected and rehashed by all ex-NDAs nostalgically are the Cross Country race and Swimming. No matter if he was a cross country medalist or a dead sinker, your man will never tire of discussing each visit to the pool and the usual six cross country races in excruciating detail. Listen with wide eyed interest and remember the best enclosure he ever achieved. Never, ever, ever compare your Asian Games gold medal in decathalon with his cross country participation. Never. A cross country in which he participated was sacred and at least one cadet died in the race during at least one of his six terms. You could never have died doing a shitty decathalon.

Term privileges are hard won freedoms which differ from one ex-NDA to another, depending on his Squadron. He will often use the same principle in the disciplining of his children. If it worked for the kids there, why not for his own? And trust me, it usually does… So if the man doesn’t take you for that long awaited movie just because you sewed the button on the wrong side of the cuff, forgive him. That sort of logic is only his training speaking. Likewise, he will also understand the principle of extra privileges and withholding privileges in your dealing with him.

Like all establishments, the NDA has its own jargon. OC is not the Officer Commanding like you would imagine, and FL is not Fairy Lights. GCI is not General Cleanliness Inspection and Cabin Cupboard is not a piece of furniture in a cosy little cottage. Patti Parade is not first aid practice and Fall In is not the opposite of a Fall Out. Bewildering though this unique language of the Ex-NDA may seem to you, never display any sign of scorn or boredom. Unless you want to be left out at every occasion when he meets a brother, pick up the terminology as quickly as you can. It is not too difficult. Most Ex-NDAs only need subtle encouragement to start a class.

And last, but most important of all, never underestimate the power of ‘Tipsy Pudding’. This one sweet factor to the life of an Ex-NDA cadet is like ambrosia on a parched tongue. Don’t even think of trying to whip it up in your kitchen, and take comfort in the fact that even the Queen’s kitchen cannot produce the item which he will accept as the ‘real’ Tipsy Pudding. No. The only real Tipsy Pudding is the one he licked off his filthy fingers out of a half full ‘pateela’ in which one of his coursemates stood knee-deep in fruits, nuts, cream and rum soaked cake, ladling out the treasure with his bare hands. If you have understood the passion which drove those young boys trembling on the brink of manhood and accept with a philosophical shrug that somewhere deep down, that boy is crystallized in his Tipsy driven optimism, then you will have no problems. For only a man who can doggedly claw his way through three years of weathering will surely in the light of your acceptance, stay doggedly by your side.
Sugandha Thakran

IESM: Why no Pension Parity for our Jawans? Vote for OROP Victory

Photos courtesy: Brig C Kamboj
Lt Gen Raj Kadyan, discussing important issues with PBOR before his concluding talk at The Maha Rally on 12 Apr 09. The advisory on voting for Lok Sabha elections was issued after lot of deliberations.

Date: Friday, 17 April, 2009, 10:10 PM
Dear Colleagues,
The election advisory continues to be net-debated, which is a healthy sign. Those few who have disapproved of it are no doubt inspired by the value system that we all imbibed during our years in uniform. Their concern is not without basis; nor are we ourselves unaware or unmindful of it. However, such decisions are never based on a clear ‘black and white’ option. There is plenty of ‘grey’ in-between, where enough material can be found to support either side of the argument. Notably, while showing their disagreement with the advisory, none of the naysayers has offered any alternative that we could have followed. The PBOR continue to endorse the advice rendered on 12 Apr 2009.
Best regards,
Lt Gen (Emeritus) Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
Chairman IESM

Readers Responses
Dear Friends,
I have received the latest advisory to the ex-servicemen by the IESM. Here are my submissions for your kind consideration.

We have been witnessing over the past thirty years how some politically ambitious officers soon after retirement desperately trying to get for themselves some position and perks with the powers that be. They all start with taking up the cause of ex servicemen. Once their aim is achieved they are nowhere traceable.

Recently similar history is being repeated by the Netas of the so called Indian Ex servicemen Movement. This was nothing but a platform created to launch ambitious politically motivated self- serving individuals. About the movement part. It was nothing but moving the cause to the stage it was in in 1994 when we were fighting with the Pay Commission to have this concept of OROP accepted. They by exploiting the ex servicemen to the hilt have managed to get very near the political hierarchy of a political party. Now to make the final kill they are going around extolling the ex servicemen to vote for their mentors because they have put some of our demands in their Election Manifesto.

This party in their Election Manifesto for 1999 had also promised to give One Rank One Pension {OROP}. Once they came to power we went to them for fulfilling their promise. Their reply was a forthright rejection of our request. This happened at a time when 30 to 40 bodies of our valiant soldiers were coming down every day from the heights of Kargil. They did not care for even their sacrifices while giving a slap on our face. How can you trust them now.

I had in my earlier letter mentioned that putting this demand and more in the Manifesto is no problem for these Political leaders. If they do not come to power they say we cannot fulfill their promise and if they manage to squeeze into power then they couldn’t care less and have many excuses to refuse to do it.

In 2003 when the BJP gave a slap on our face by rejecting it, we called a rally at Ram Leela Ground and invited the Chairman of the Defense Committee of the Parliament. He incidentally was from the same Party. He on hearing us, promised to invite me for a hearing in the Parliament. After hearing me he made a very strong recommendation for granting us OROP. The strong recommendation was the result of our forceful presentation during which half of the members were moved to tears. Later during the tea break they promised that they would do their best to have our grievances redressed. The BJP Govt rejected their own Chairman’s report. Luckily for us the Govt changed and we got to the new Govt. They were kind to appoint a Group Of Ministers who gave full parity to PBORs with Fifth CPC on 26 Jan 2006. This in other words means OROP with Fifth CPC rates.

Now we were persuading the leadership to maintain this precedence and grant us full parity with Sixth CPC rates. Which in other words means OROP. The Hon’ble Raksha Mantri in my meeting with him on 14 Feb promised to do his best to get us full parity with Sixth CPC rates as soon as the PM was back in saddle.. He followed it up with his letter which was appended with my earlier mail to you all.

Before that could be achieved the political ambitions of the so called Netas had to take priority. Snubbed by the ruling Party after they burned the effigies of their top leaders they brought the opposition leader to plead their case in the Parliament. A leader who has been on various Committees with me and where he opposed the grant of OROP tooth and nail and later bringing another leader on their platform for making big promises, put the Govt off. No Govt can be brow beaten into doing what you want them to do for you.

Over the years if we were able to achieve any thing it was due to one single Mantra and that is go to the ruling party and not to the opposition and certainly not to the one which has hardly any chance of coming to power. Any body who does anything to the contrary is serving his own political ambitions and not the cause of the fraternity. This statement has been proved beyond any iota of doubt by the shenanigans of the Netas of the so called IESM.

Now a word about what you are being asked to do about your votes. Friends we are the only group of citizens of our great Nation who have had life times training for bringing about harmony and universal brotherhood in our Commands at whatever level. A training which is definitely required to bring about harmony amongst various religions to set our own Nation on the path for a glorious future. A Nation in which we say with pride that we are Indians first, a Hindu, Muslim, Sikh or a Christian later. Nation needs us to fight the forces which are out to divide the Nation on the basis of caste creed or religion and not side with them. You have been asked by these Netas to side with the forces who are the very epitome of communal forces out to destroy the Nation from within. Would you like to sacrifice all that at the behest of your self seeking Netas. Please ponder over this submission of mine and then vote.

I know we are very incensed with the non acceptance of our demands by the present Govt. I wish to vouch for the fact that over the last 30 years of my involvement with your cause it has always been the Congress which had considered our problems sympathetically and found acceptable solutions. This time was no exception till these Netas by their unacceptable conduct of this so called Movement spoiled the show.

My appeal to all the brethren to follow your own faith and belief and vote for whatever Party you wish to. Do not be carried away by the appeal to vote for the BJP for they have put your demand in their Manifesto. When they were in power they rejected it . Now they are out of power with hardly any chance of making to the top they can promise the moon. Do not therefore waste your precious vote at least on this count.

I appeal to all our friends to send this mail to all your friends and acquaintances so that they can make their choice based on facts and not on empty rhetoric being spread by the misguiding Movement. I say this as I do not expect Chander Kamboj to pick up courage to put it on his Blog.

With warm regards and best wishes
Your Sincerely
Inderjit Singh

Dear Colonel,
I have had the pleasure to have met you when you visited the Jantar Mantar stall of IESM. We all are aware of the yeomen service you have provided to the cause of ESM, and not just for the OROP. There is life beyond OROP and we share that thought process. In fact we were looking forward to your joining us on the fast. Maybe other commitments kept you from the end of 2008 plans we had together.
You have been AT IT for a long time and it would be wrong on ANY ones part to ascribe motives to your selfless work. Equally, I for one feel you are unfairly using clairvoyent tones in your periodic outbursts..............daring Kamboj to pubish you in Report My Signal.
We at IESM are very open to criticism and still take your views to seriously analyze if we are going wrong anywhere. We are equally open to discussing openly, voices of dissent such as yours, since they bring about a lot of honesty in our dealings.We dont see any DANGER per se, in NOT assisting reach of your mails, but that would be constrained perhaps by space and the need to disseminate more important and thought provoking communications.
You have been at it for a long time. For decades, yes. Where are we after all this? So near you say? But successful? Despite the brave hunger strike only people of devotion like you can undertake? Yes Sir, there is power in numbers and by your self, you simply cant. It is something we have to put our head and heart together. In our different ways.
Each time whatever has been done is under the congress???? you say this with full knowledge that they have ruled for 51 years out of 60. Is that ALL they could do? Fortunately they did not do what couple of PMs wanted to do. Disband the defence forces. India they felt could be run by police wielding lathis!!!!
I am not going to narrate all these since I am confident you know much more about that Sir. What I wish you do, is to see the manifestos of the major parties of India. I suspect you will have the answers, at least to yourself, what its all about.
BJP is no saints. They would have their shortcomings, but when you mention what they did not do during the last stint - nearly one term, you forget we have ECHS today,and a lot more done in housing measures. The former you will recall had been with the MAAI BAAPs for around 3 decades if not more. Can they do more? if every political party does only 25% of what they say, and going about only by manifestos, they would do the security of India a lot of good.
Every segment in the democratic process looks for what a party is going to do FOR them. Whose agenda are we on???? Have we ever been seriously on Congress'?
Sir, this bit about IESM Netas. You got it wrong. We are not Netas. We are leaders. That is something we have been on average 35 years, and are just doing our bit to start a long innings. We are aware that some will go away.........dead, sick, or perhaps as you say to party politic...........but what you definitely miss is the sheer size of the movement that has been created. You CANNOT do it alone. Now you must realize there is a movement that will carry on after you and I are gone. That's something to think about.
As for circulation. Don't worry. Independent of Report My Signal, I will help other veterans read this. There are merits to mature, informed judgements.
Looking forward to YOUR joining IESM, and putting YOUR shoulders in a final "ALL TOGETHER HEAVE !!:
With Warm Regards,
Col RP Chaturvedi

Comment: ESM organisations are akin to a bubble or a glass house. We need unity of purpose least we bring down the bubble or the glass house by throwing stones. There can be only be one leader who can lead us to victory....the rest need to fall in line. The movement flourishes/ fails because it is the will of the majority which is at stake in a democracy. ESM do not subscribe to "Cash for Vote" syndrome so rampant on the streets. Indian democracy is certainly at crossroads! We need to introspect and look forward to a CHANGE for better or worse. It is the BJP who are seeking us and in turn confirms the respect for our apolitical stance as they see strength in our movement.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Veterans’ protest

The Tribune Thursday, April 16, 2009, Chandigarh, India
It is true that the defence forces have their conduct rules and are known to those who intend to join the services (Letters to the Editor, “Veterans’ agitation” by Neeraj Kishore Sharma, April 7). But does it mean that the armed forces have to be mute spectators to their continuous degradation in status and pay vis-a-vis other government employees as has been happening in India over the past decades? The Sixth Pay Commission was the proverbial last straw on the camel’s back.
Serving in defence forces may not be mandatory but so is the case in other departments of the government. If the civilian employees can indulge in agitations on flimsy grounds, why can’t the retired defence personnel take recourse to peaceful protests to highlight the injustice and humiliation being routinely heaped on them? Are they bonded slaves or lumpen elements to be shooed and snubbed at will?
“One rank, one pension”, the main demand of the veterans, is a sensitive issue because of the specific ethos of the defence personnel and the very early age at which most of them are edged out and made to retire as compared to the civilians.
Frankly, a nation that ignores and insults its soldiers, sooner or later comes to grief. Do we want this to happen to India?
WG-CDR S C KAPOOR (retd), Noida
Veterans’ protest
Realted reading
Defending India: No Compromise, No Concession by NS Malik

IESM: Chairman Report and Readers Responses

April 16, 2009
Dear Colleagues,
List of new members: click me
The inflow of complimentary telephone calls from the PBOR continues. The most touching was from veteran Mohammad Toshi from Kashmir expressing gratitude of his colleagues for the noble work undertaken by the IESM. He expressed his somewhat helpless inability to organise an ESM gathering in that area due to the prevailing disturbed conditions.
Best regards,
Lt Gen (Emeritus) Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
Chairman IESM

IESM Directive for Voting for the Lok Sabha Election- Appeal.
Some of the members have been sending emails saying that IESM should not have issued an advisory for voting in favour of BJP or its allies, but all most all of them have failed to give any constructive advice as to what should have been done by IESM, when ESM from village after village were asking a directive as to what should they do when voting for the forthcoming elections for the Lok Sabha.

It is very easy to criticise what others do- giving a workable suggestion/ alternative is not that easy. Most of the veterans who are sending the emails criticising the IESM Advisory are taking the easy course only. While all most all the PBOR have highly appreciated the advisory issued IESM about Lok Sabha elections, it is some of the veteran officers who continue to harp on 'we should remain apolitical'.

The reason for this point of difference between some officers and all the PBOR is very simple- the officer cadre is least affected by the misdeeds of 6 CPC. It is the PBOR who are the worst affected. The PBOR want a definite advice that can give them some hope of justice.

I often meet officers in Noida who say "Oh Chhado yar- kuch nahin hona. Oh kafi chhangi pension aandi hai. Hor ki chaida he tanoo". (Forget friend. Nothing will happen. We are getting good pension, what else you want). It is such self-centered officers who are the main cause of all our troubles. I get about 15 to 20 telephone calls a day - which are almost 100 percent from officers; the duration of these calls ranges from 5 minutes to 20 minutes each. Most of the calls pertain to Lt Cols being granted PB4 status, some pertain to " I have not received correct arrears amount what should I do?"

Not one of these callers ever asked or knows how badly are the PBOR affected by 6 CPC. What a shame? Those of you who talk of Military ethos- was this the ethos in Services that we only bother about our own self and forget the Jawans? You should either give positive suggestions what IESM should have done when PBOR were asking about voting advisory on Lok Sabha elections or do not repeat those dogmatic views about being apolitical. It is these dogmatic views which have landed the Defence Services, in particular the ESM, in this pathetic condition. Yes, we must maintain the basic ethos of the Defence Services and must remain disciplined but do not remain "Lakir ke Fakir".

We must adapt to the changing times and changing situations. Unless we learn to use the power of politics- we can keep crying for justice- no one will give it to us.
Some of you are wrongly accusing IESM for having invited Shree LK Advani to Jantar Mantar. It is Shree Advani who sent a request to visit Jantar Mantar and meet the ESM present there. What did you expect IESM should have done? Should we have said "No Mr Advani you cannot meet ESM?"

Yes before Mr Advani visited Jantar Mantar, IESM leaders were invited to the BJP office, which was refused by IESM. So please do not pass comments when you do not know facts; and facts you cannot know by sitting at your home- come out and attend IESM rallies, visit the ESM in villages to know what they want. The ESM in villages are not interested in your and my emails; they want justice. Your emails and dogmatic views cannot fetch justice for them.

On 12 Apr 09, Shree VK Malhotra and few other BJP leaders came to Jantar Mantar while the IESM rally was on. They were categorically denied permission to come on to the stage or even in front of the stage. I am a witness to it. Another observation I have about the officers who are not happy about the IESM advisory regarding the voting for Lok Sabha- most of them never attended a single IESM rally (there are few exceptions) and have never interacted with PBOR; a few of them not even bothered to become members of IESM. Then what knowledge or right those ESM have to comment on the advisory issued by IESM?

My humble appeal to all those who are not happy with the IESM advisory on Lok Sabha elections is:

In Service of Indian Military Veterans
Chander Kamboj

Readers Mail and Responses
Date: Thursday, 16 April, 2009, 11:18 PM
Dear Raj,
I had written to you (via Indian Veterans) that we should approach other parties, big and small, to put forth our reasonong and get them to endorse our stand. No doubt some may agreed, some would have been ambivalent and some totally non committal. We are putting all our eggs in one shaky basket who have already stated that in the eventuality of a coalition Govt they will try and convince other partners to support their stand.

It is a foregone conclusion that there will be a coalition Govt. It would have been possible to get a few of its partners to support our stand in the parliament, which would have added muscle to our 25 year long standing demand. All these years we really had no one to espouse our cause relentlessly. Even now, notwithstanding the advisory, the IESM should try and approach other parties too and try and convince them to take a positive stand. This would be playing politics apolitically.
Warm regards,
Vivek Bopiah

Dear Brig Kamboj,
I have read the IESM advisory requesting veterans to vote for BJP. I was under the impression that IESM was apolitical in the electoral sense but evidently I was mistaken. My view is that IESM should remain apolitical because political parties will use veterans and IESM for their ends (and why not?!). But since IESM has already "tipped" in favour of BJP, there is little that can be done. However, I am giving (click on link), a short article titled "Thinking Through Support for BJP"- click me that I request you to post on REPORT MY SIGNALS because it gives a word of caution.
With best wishes,
Sudhir Vombatkere

Dear Vombatkere,
I appreciate your views. Do allow me to offer a few clarifications:
1. The IESM has nothing to do with demanding IT exemption, nor is the ESM a beneficiary. As known it applies only to the serving.
2. The IESM did not 'welcome' Advani in the manner your message seems to suggest. He came of his own volition; we merely agreed to meet him.
3. You have raised valid points against our advisory to vote for BJP. However, you have not suggested any alternative course we could have adopted in pursuit of OROP.
Best regards,
Lt Gen (Emeritus) Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM

Dear Brig Kamboj Sir,
I am in full agreement with every word keyed in by Sudhir Vombatkere.
At an election rally in Chandigarh, the president of the Congress, Ms Sonia Gandhi endorsed the ex-servicemens' quest for OROP , before the last election. Amongst the dignitaries present on the dais were Capt Amarinder Singh and a veteran who is now a Governor.
The manifesto was watered down in stages. First, the UPA did not agree with what the Congress had said. So the Common Minimum Programme was diluted. Then when the government was formed, there were other pressures on the polity. By the time it came down to the first parliament session, and the President's address, all we heard was, "The government will address the problems of the ex-servicemen"
To do that a Deptt of ESM Welfare was created with a Bureaucrat at its helm and one more Principle Secretary was appointed to 'assist' him. If there is any improvement in the well being of the veterans, it is not visible... In fact this is the first time in the history of India, that soldiers have been forced to come on the streets.
I suspect there is a need to introspect.
Maj Gen Surjit Singh (Retd)

Dear James Kanagaraj,
I am forwarding one sample of many emails being circulated by Raj Kadyan and P Renjen to the readers of the 'REPORT MY SIGNAL' blog. They are actively using the blog to canvass for the BJP and its allies. Its a gross abuse of the blog which is meant to be apolitical. Do you still claim the blog to be apolitical? I think we must stop such abuse of the blog forthwith.
MG Kapoor

Dear Kapoor,
You can be rest assured that our stance is apolitcal. We are publishing views of all veteran organisations. The voting advisory is only to project the IESM case for OROP. None of the veteran organisations are Political. It is because of the anti defence attitude of the present set up of bureaucrats and the medly of governance which is belittling the Soldiers at Large that we are publishing different views/ articles. We have also brought out the BJP let down when they were in power (and surely they are not going to keep their promises- NDA too is a Hotch Potch). We are publishing mixed reactions. Certainly "Report My Signal" is not canvassing for BJP. However, voices of various veteran organisations are being projected in the blog which does not mean that the forum has become POLITICAL.
Thanks, we will ensure the blog remains for all Veterans and their Voices- and at times speak of their frustration!
With regards,
Lt Col James Kanagaraj (Retd)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Ex- Servicemen group tells Army to vote for BJP

ARMED INTENT: India's sizeable military community has been openly asked to vote for a particular political party.

Vishal Thapar
New Delhi: BJP is gaining popularity with Army men. This has become obvious after an influential ex-servicemen's group has now publicly advised the military community to vote for the party. The advise sounds more like a fatwa. Former deputy chief of the Army, Lt General Raj Kadyan says, "It is in our interest that we should vote for the BJP."

For the first time ever, India's sizeable and well-regarded military community has been openly asked to vote for a particular political party. I am looking for the benefit of my community, my 24 lakh ex-servicemen. And their benefits, as the developments are today, lie with the BJP. They are better than the others," Lt General Kadyan states.

The ex-Servicemen's Group Lt General Kadyan heads has campaigned for a better pay and pension deal for the military and its views are thought to find resonance in the Armed Forces. Spurred by the success, it now seeks a bigger political voice for the men in uniform. This is the first time that discontent in the military is being expressed politically. The target of the anger is the ruling establishment. And the advisory to vote against the Government of the day is unprecedented.

The UPA Government, accused of being insensitive to the interests of soldiers, was demonised but former generals think that the use of political vocabulary to make their case is fair game. "We have realised that unless we have a political voice, the Government will not understand the value of our vote. The Government must realise that we have a vote too," says Major General (retd) AJB Jaini.
India has long held to the belief that its military is apolitical but democracy is clearly catching up with the men of arms.
Ex-servicemen group tells Army to vote for BJP
Related articles:
Soldiers must vote for their rights- Ashok Mehta
Disarming Charm by Karan Thapar
Congress created Pakistan, Pakistan created the BJP?

IESM: Election Advisory

Date: Wednesday, 15 April, 2009, 9:07 PM
Dear Colleagues,
New Members
We extend a heartful welcome to the following into the IESM family:
Mumbai– (Motivator Brig Dharam Prakash) Sgt Bhaurao Saraswat, IAF
NOIDA (Motivators Col Vijay Sekhri and Col SP Singh)
1. Nk Parmanand, GARH RIF
2. Mrs Kamla Malik, SIGS
3. Lt Col BL Gupta, SIGS
4. Col S C Grover, SIGS
5. Col Prabhu Ram, Gen Service
6. Lt Col Vinay Kr do
7. Hony Sub Maj T S Negi, ENGRS
8. Sub Dil Bahadur
9. Nb/Sub Sohan Singh Bandar, ORD
10. Hav Om Kumar, SIGS
11. Col Avtar Singh, RAJ RIF
12. Capt Iqbal Singh, ASC
13. Lt Col P N Maria, ORD
14. Brig S P Lamba, EME
Election Related News
There is a small doubt expressed by some ESM – whether we vote for parties that are allying with the BJP? It is clarified that the BJP has entered into pre-poll alliance with some political parties eg Akali Dal, Indian National Lok Dal, Rashtriya Lok Dal etc. Wherever there are candidates contesting from these ally parties, the BJP candidate would not be in the field. Therefore, voting for these parties is as good as voting for the BJP.
Our voting advisory fetched some comments, as was expected. A few officers have expressed apprehension in voting for the BJP on ideological and secular grounds. Their views deserve to be respected as these values have been imbibed by us during our long years in uniform. There are on the other hand also officers, and almost all PBOR that called up, who have expressed approval for the decision to go along with the BJP. Idealism sits better on a full stomach and expectedly has not found favour with the vast majority of PBOR who are living on tenuous budgets. For them survival takes priority over principles.
Best regards,
Lt Gen (Emeritus) Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
Chairman IESM

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

IESM: Election Related News

Date: Tuesday, 14 April, 2009, 10:47 PM
Dear Colleagues,
Election Related News
ESM from different parts of India have reported that the BJP candidates have expressed happiness, gratitude and relief that the ESM are supporting them. We do sincerely hope that we succeed in our mission of getting OROP.
Best regards,
Lt Gen (Emeritus) Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
Chairman IESM

Dear Friends from the Media,
On behalf of Indian Ex Servicemen Movement (IESM), I feel duty bound, to thank you for all your support in our campaign against injustice by the Government. Your presence at the Maha Rally today, was very encouraging to us. As you are aware, after lengthy confabulations at the rally, particularly on aspects related to manifestos of various political parties, it was decided by majority that ESM across the country will vote & support the BJP. Exception to the above will be in the following constituencies whereas Ex servicemen are being fielded by Ex servicemen parties supported by IESM:
Col Malkiat Singh- Hamirpur (H.P.)
Col Thakur Singh- Mandi (H.P.)
Dr Col Mathur- Lucknow (U.P.)
Brig Shivarama Subarmanium- Krishnagiri (TN)
Col Kuldeep Singh Grewal- Patiala (Punjab)
Col Bhag Singh- Ludhiana (Punjab)
Capt Budhram- Gurgaon (HR)
Sgt Subash Joshi- Faridabad (HR)
Maj Sangeeta Tomar- New Delhi
Gen G S Uban- South Delhi
And two Ex- servicemen from Rajasthan names later.
With Kind Regards,
Jai Hind
Yours Sincerely,
Maj Gen (Retd) Satbir Singh, SM,
Vice Chairman Indian ESM Movement.

Billion Votes- How Hawala money hots up election frenzy?

It’s raining currency notes in Andhra Pradesh
Hyderabad, April 1 (IANS) It may be a time of global recession but it’s raining money in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh as politicians use all means to woo voters. In ongoing search operations across the state, the police have seized cash worth over Rs.50 million during the last 10 days.

The police Wednesday seized Rs.4.1 million cash and 21 kg of silver from two cars in Nalgonda. They arrested 10 people in this connection and are investigating as to whom the money and silver was being transferred. They also seized Rs.3 million at different places including Mahbubnagar and Warangal districts.

The police have recovered wads of cash during search of vehicles in different places in the state. They have set up check posts to check illegal transfer of money, liquor, weapons and explosives before the simultaneous polls to the state assembly and the Lok Sabha on April 16 and April 23.

The police seized Rs.13.6 million in cash on a single day Tuesday. In a sensational development, police recovered Rs.1 million from three pastors who were staying in a lodge in Karimnagar district. They had come to attend a meeting of pastors addressed by Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy’s son-in-law and evangelist Anil Kumar.

The seizure came amid allegations by the opposition Telugu Desam Party that Anil Kumar was using religious meetings to campaign for the ruling Congress party. Four supporters of the Congress candidate from the Kollapur assembly constituency in Mahabubnagar district were arrested after police recovered Rs.185,000 from their vehicle. Police also seized Rs.250,000 in cash from the car belonging to a close friend of Congress candidate Shashidhar Reddy in Medak town.

The police also held a bank manager who was transferring Rs.3.6 million in cash from Palakole to Rajahmundry in East Godavari district. He could not give any satisfactory explanation as to why and for whom he was transferring the money. Earlier, the police had seized Rs.1 million from the vehicles of former minister and Praja Rajyam Party member T. Sitaram in East Godavari district.

Additional Director General of Police A.K. Khan said 431 check posts have been set up across the state including at the entry points where vehicles were being searched to prevent the illegal flow of money, liquor and smuggling of explosives and weapons ahead of elections.
It’s raining currency notes in Andhra Pradesh

Comments: Kudos to AP Police to nab Hawala money. The Police in other states should be active to unearth the Hawala cash flow. The Southern States are notorious for handing out cash to voters. Indian Democracy is a joke. Home Ministry should wake up to curb illegal money flow for elections. The culprits are more than terrorists!
The Hawala money translated to "Cash for Votes" is mind boggling. In AP alone it is projected as Rs 2000 crores of rupees. All India projection is a whopping 50,000 crores. This translates to Rs 1000 per vote (assuming only 50 crore population vote). The Hawala money trail will lead to terrorists. In fact it can be safely assumed that elections are conducted by terrorists speaking figuratively of course!

Who should I vote for?

Only two days are left for the first phase of the General Elections and a few Assembly level elections. People are being exhorted to vote and there are slogans of ‘need for change’. However, overshadowing these is the business of traditional elections, which seems to have changed little. Large processions; huge rallies; film stars dragged out for canvassing; large crowds of shouting supporters are all de rigueur, as are bands, flowers, paying obeisance to all deities in the surrounding areas and of course menacing looking guards surrounding the ‘netas’. Their protection ability may well be low but without them no ‘neta’ worth the name will step out of his house!

While this great election tamasha has commenced, do the voters know who to vote for? I am certainly clueless about who I should vote for.

The voters are by and large clear about what they want– good governance; strong action against terrorism; better law and order; jobs for everyone; eradication of poverty; no corruption; focus on environmental degradation; equitable distribution of wealth and status – all knowledgeable and correct aspirations. However, who out of the thousands in the election fray would actually give us these? The couple of thousand aspirants for the Lok Sabha are all tall on promises and high in rhetoric, but when you look at their background or record of governance and the kind of company they keep (their parties and their connections with criminals); there are major doubts whether they will be able to deliver and meet the voter’s aspirations. The question therefore remains – who should I vote for?

With a view to clear my mind, I carried out an appreciation of the situation, as we do in the army. Let me share the salient points with you. The first and obvious question which bugged me no end was whether one should vote for a party or an individual. After all, it is one of the parties that will eventually be called upon to form the government and our concerns and aspirations would have to be met by it. I therefore analysed each party.

The oldest party was first on the list, especially as it was the party in power, along with sundry smaller parties and individuals, which formed the coalition. I listed their past achievements, their current promises and other relevant points, especially how they had performed and delivered. Being an ardent secularist, it received a positive point. Other points in favour included the Indo-US nuclear deal; the economic growth; the opening up of the economy, despite being dragged down by their obdurate partners-the communists; and the fact that they had managed to last their full term. But there are many negatives too – weak-kneed response to terrorist attacks; choosing unprofessional and timid security advisors; relying solely on ‘soft power’ in foreign policy formulations; no control over the rapacious bureaucracy; little understanding of military power and consequent choking of funds for defence; and similar inadequacies that have made the nation a ‘soft state’.

Then I analysed the next biggest party, which was trying to make a comeback after losing out in the last hustings. Being a rightist party, it understands security issues better, but has been unable to take tough stands when it was in power. It has very few leaders of caliber and it is heavily influenced by the ideas of Hindu ideologues, something least desirable in a secular country; its partners are again steeped in narrow and sectarian issues and it has major internal dissentions, although the latter is not peculiar to this party only. Its biggest negative, in my view, is its hard-line Hindutva policy, which has produced rabble-rousers who can take to extreme violence to further their ends. In our multi-lingual and multi-religious country, which has been known for millennia as tolerant to all religions, there is no place for any party that spreads hatred in the name of religion. Although it is now trying to make amends by wooing military personnel, having understood that they are no longer in a state of somnolence, by making promises which the oldest party, in its vanity, has ignored, most military personnel are unlikely to be overly influenced, especially as the past record of the party does not inspire confidence.

Need I say anything about the third aspirant to power, the so-called ‘third front’ – a grouping of has-beens and opportunists? Can anyone trust them when they have abandoned their partners for dubious short-term gains? No one in his right mind should even think of supporting such a conglomerate of diverse parties, mostly small. How can such a coalition deliver when their focus is on petty local issues? Even the coalitions anchored in the major parties have found it difficult to govern. In any case, depending on the equations, when the results are announced, the bulk of these small parties will commence hobnobbing and horse trading with the major parties.

I am afraid space does not permit me to share my analyses of the other prominent but considerably smaller parties, except to highlight the perfidy and anti-national stances (since Independence) of the communists, who need to be boycotted by all thinking persons; the gross populism of the party in power in UP, where their latest promise is to further increase reservations and even in the army-God forbid! Power was known to corrupt, but this is a case of power making one insane!

Therefore, only a party approach is unlikely to lead the voter to the correct conclusions; it has to be modulated by a detailed look at individuals also. This is even more difficult. The candidates are as diverse as our society. There are criminals of various hues, who must be discarded immediately, irrespective of the party to which they belong. The same goes for the known-corrupt; the ultra-religious; and racial zealots. The bureaucrats turned politicians, whose ulterior motives have turned to power and pelf now, to safeguard their ill-gotten wealth, must on no account be supported. We next come to the category of entertainers, both of the Bollywood and the cricketing varieties, who have been dragged into the fray both by their personal motives as well as by the parties to add colour and oomph to their campaigns. What has been their contribution in the past to governance? Zilch in my view, except for displaying their ‘matkas’ and ‘jhatkas’! It would only be crazy fans and we do have a fair share, who will vote for them!

What about other independents then? They are of two varieties. The first are those who did not get a ticket from their party and are therefore so-called rebels. In my dictionary, they are highly untrustworthy and need to be discarded. That leaves a few independents, with a record of being straight, honest and efficient? It is no doubt difficult to identify them in a sea of opportunist rogues, but with effort a few, very few, can be found. There is Shiv Khera at Delhi and Arun Bhatia at Pune and there is a sprinkling of down-to-earth, honest and upright military veterans, whose only aim is to reform the system from within and they are undoubtedly capable of doing so.

I also considered casting the “I Vote Nobody” option, as enshrined in the constitution, but there is currently a lacuna in this also, as such votes are not counted as ‘minus votes’ for the winner, which was the intention of the framers of our constitution. So far, the wily politicians have stymied both the election commission and the Supreme Court.
So Sir, who should I vote for? Can someone help?

Lt Gen Vijay Oberoi (Retd)

Dear Gen Oberoi,
Your mail has your characteristic wit, and a philosophic touch. Many of us are faced with the same quandary and seek a prudent answer. You have, of course, analyzed the options in a very succinct manner.
Many years ago, our father was face with this problem. He found a way out of this quagmire. He voted for the party which he hated the least. Our mother was advised to cast her vote in favor of the nearest rival. And our servant was told to choose the "third" alternative.
This way, he was spared the guilt of not exercising his franchise and he was also able to tell the supporters of all the parties that he was sympathetic to them, without telling a lie.
Indeed, as a soldier, he disliked all politicians. And so if you have three votes in the house, this could be the DS solution to the question at the end of your mail.
Maj Gen Surjit Singh (Retd)

Dear General Oberoi,
I read your article with interest, I am also facing the same dilemma. Possibly the answer would be to change the system of polling' one votes for a party and not an individual. Depending on the no of votes polled by a party it could be allotted a certain number of seats in the Parliament and it then nominate its candidates.
Brig Lakshman Singh VSM (Retd)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

SCPC: Anomalies Aggregated by Successive Pay Commissions to Dupe the Defence Forces

Ex-Servicemen Being Denied their Rightful Pensions

There are three glaring omissions by the Ministry of Defence which affect a vast majority of Ex-Servicemen and others, which the Ministry is not prepared to listen.. Since these are detrimental to defence personnel and our representations to the all in the channel including our Hon’ble President the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces has not yielded any results, we have been compelled to air it through you to public so that they may know as to what treatment is being meted to the Defence Forces who give the best years of their life in service and security of the Nation and progressive development wherever called for and now even their genuine grievances are not being redressed.
The three points are as follows:
1. The 4th CPC granted Military Service Pay, called Rank Pay, over and above the normal Pay, for the peculiar Service conditions of Armed Forces and admitted in Govt. Resolution dated 13.3.87. To deny this extra payment to officers of defense forces, the financial experts of the Defense Ministry reduced the Basic Pay of all officers equivalent to the Rank Pay, and reflected Rank Pay separately in an additional column of the pay slips showing that the Rank Pay there as sanctioned by the Government and 4th CPC award was paid, though actually nothing extra was paid. The above discrepancy when raised by an officer with the MOD was not accepted by the authorities resulting in his filing a Writ in the Hon’ble Kerala High Court in 1995, who held the deduction as incorrect, which was later ratified by the full bench of the Court on appeal by the UOI vide their Judgment orders dated 05.10.1998 & 04.7.2003. The SLP filed was also rejected by the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India vide their order of 12.7.2005. Accordingly the officer who filed the case was paid the amount deducted from his Basic Pay The Hon’ble High Court of Kerala had declared Para 6 of MOD Instructions dated 26.5.1987, as invalid which was introduced without any substance or support, and thus annulled. The said MOD Instruction of 26 May 1987 should have been amended accordingly immediately after the final Judgment and benefit given to all others affected due to the said clause. The MOD did not correct this anomaly in violation of the rulings of the Honorable Supreme Court (AIR 1975-SC 538) and Article 14 of the Constitution. Writs filed by individual officers are others are pending in Supreme Court for decision but if the MOD amends their earlier wrong instructions, as ordered by the Kerala High Court, the case gets automatically solved and they can pay to all as required.
2. In addition to the above facts the Vth Pay Commission granted certain concessions to Armed Forces in their recommendations while allowing those concessions to the Civilian Counter Parts, which have been accepted and implemented in civil but the corresponding benefits have not been given to the Defence Forces because our financial Pundits did not bother to read those recommendations or purposely ignored them. There were ten such anomalies- giving 30% Disability Pay for 100% disability, weightage of two to three years for service from 30 to 33 years, using only Rank instead of Rank/ Post reducing pension of those who were serving in higher posts etc., the benefit of which should have been given to defence forces during the period but was denied. The Rank Pay sanctioned by the 4th CPC got doubled in 5th CPC which resulted in double loss as the Basic Pay got further reduced.
3. This reduced Basic Pay was given to the 6th CPC without telling them as to how it had been deduced by the Ministry of Defence as Armed Forces had no access to the 6th Pay Commission. Lower Basic Pay resulted in their classification into lower scales of pay and lower Grade Pay and correspondingly lowering their status in comparison to their civilian counterparts in other departments where they always enjoyed an edge over other services. On protests the MOD tried to increase Grade Pay etc or give benefits here and there, but did not rectify the basic cause of not giving Rank Pay, which they deducted from Basic Pay. It is still hanging fire and the problem cannot be resolved unless basic data is changed. Secondly in implementing the 6th CPC awards, the MOD made the instructions so complicated that some of the Ex-Servicemen are yet to get their revised pension and 40% arrears which they were supposed to get in Jan 2009 and are finding difficult to pay income Tax without proper figures which some of the banks, especially the branches where instructions have not yet reached, are still working. Moreover the 6th CPC has nowhere said about the minimum of the new scale but while working out the pay of regular serving officers has talked about the minimum of the grade in the new scale. If we work out with minimum of the new scale and minimum of the new Grade there is difference of Rs.600/- for PBOR to about Rs. 4000/- for officers, which practically nullifies the effect of MSP, the same way as they nullified the effect of payment of Rank Pay earlier during 4th and 5th CPC.
The supreme Court of India passed their Judgment more than three months back on the Pay Fixation of officers of the Rank of Maj Generals but it has not been implemented so far which is a matter of concern as they did not implement the Kerala High Court Judgment earlier. In both the cases it is a matter of contempt of the courts.
Similarly, the Prime Minister, approved the up gradation of Lt Colonels from PB-III to PB-IV. It is more than two months now but no action has been taken. It should not be allowed to be swept under the carpet or put in cold storage, or the dust bin.
Same is the case of PBORs where their pension at the time of retirement used to be 50% of the Pay they drew at the maximum of the scale in which they were working at the time of retirement but 6th CPC reduced it to 50% of the mean of pay the individual was drawing at the time of retirement for the last ten months. It became much less that earlier on the basis of wrong data fed to the commission and the authorities, it is learnt, on protest, agreed to raise pension from 50% to 70%. Though considerable time has elapsed, no orders have been received on the subject. Since it financially affects all PBORs it needs to be implemented soon. ‘One Rank One Pension’ case is already boiling and needs immediate attention and we the ex-Servicemen of Dehradun fully support ESM at Delhi.
This has serious implications for the morale of both serving and retired Defence Personnel. The Nation cannot continue to treat the prime disciplined segment of society with contempt. What is the just due of the Armed Forces must be given immediately.
Brig K G Behl Veteran
President Dehradun Ex-Services League

Discovery of a New Element

News has just come in from the scientific fraternity that can help us understand our world better.
The heaviest element known to science was recently discovered by investigators at a major U.S. research university. The element, tentatively named administratium, has no protons or electrons and thus has an atomic number of 0. However, it does have one neutron, 125 assistant neutrons, 75 vice neutrons and 111 assistant vice neutrons, which gives it an atomic mass of 312. These 312 particles are held together by a force that involves the continuous exchange of meson-like particles called morons.
Since it has no electrons, administratium is inert. However, it can be detected chemically as it impedes every reaction it comes in contact with. According to the discoverers, a minute amount of administratium causes one reaction to take over four days to complete when it would have normally occurred in less than a second.
Administratium has a normal half-life of approximately three years, at which time it does not decay, but instead undergoes a reorganization in which assistant neutrons, vice neutrons and assistant vice neutrons exchange places. Some studies have shown that the atomic mass actually increases after each reorganization.
Research at other laboratories indicates that administratium occurs naturally in the atmosphere. It tends to concentrate at certain points such as government agencies, large corporations, and universities. It can usually be found in the newest, best appointed, and best maintained buildings.
Scientists point out that administratium is known to be toxic at any level of concentration and can easily destroy any productive reaction where it is allowed to accumulate. Attempts are being made to determine how administratium can be controlled to prevent irreversible damage, but results to date are not promising.
The above piece is said to have won an ignonymous noble prize for the scientist(s) who discovered this element. Now, apply the tenets of the above fictitious discovery to our very own Indian Administrative Service, and you will find that description of its composition and the physical properties matches our government so well! The punch line is the most interesting "adiministratium is known to be toxic at any level of concentration and can easily destroy any productive reaction"
Since this "discovery" has come from the social scientists in the USA, we are assured that we are not the lone sufferers on the earth!
Maj Gen Surjit Singh (Retd)
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IESM: Fast for Justice Rally- hundred and eighteenth day

Photos courtesy Brig C Kamboj

Date: Monday, 13 April, 2009, 10:04 PM
Dear Colleagues,
Support to BJP
The advisory issued on 12 April must be given the widest and the fastest dissemination. All ESM must vote and must motivate their families, relatives and friends etc to do the same. It is even more important to vote than the party one votes for. In a democracy the voter’s day comes but just once in five years and ESM should form a tradition not to miss voting that day, this time as well as in future elections.
In the limited time available, the ESM must organize, form core committees/ group, contact the BJP candidate and offer all possible help even other than votes that he needs. The ESM have better organizational skills than anyone else. As a body the ESM must carry out door to door canvassing.
BJP victory is ESM victory.
IESM Core Gp Meeting
The Core Gp met 13 Apr. Following decisions were taken:
1. All out efforts would be made to ensure success of BJP candidates.
2. The BJP would be asked to categorically commit that should the form the government at the Centre they would implement OROP within 100 days of assuming office.
3. The Jantar Mantar venue will be wound up and the operations would henceforth be undertaken from the IESM office at 546, Sector-23, Gurgaon.
4. In view of the elections, next plan will be formulated after the new government is formed at the Centre.
5. The time interval will be utilised to increase membership, hold contact meetings with maximum ESM and build up the organisational structure down to Block level in each State.
6. A periodic newsletter in vernacular will be published in the form of a leaflet to reach out to the rank and file in the countryside.
7. The internal functioning of the Core Gp will be spruced up to improve speed of work.
Best regards,
Lt Gen (Emeritus) Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
Chairman IESM

दिनांक: सोमवार, 13 अप्रैल, 2009, 10:04
प्रिय साथियों,
भाजपा को समर्थन
इस सलाहकार 12 अप्रैल को जारी की है और सबसे तेजी से प्रसार व्यापकतम दी जानी चाहिए. सभी पूर्व सैनिकों और मतदान होगा वही करने के लिए उनके परिवारों, संबंधियों और मित्रों आदि को प्रेरित करना चाहिए. यह और भी पार्टी से ज्यादा वोट करने के लिए महत्वपूर्ण है के लिए एक वोट. मतदाता का दिन, लेकिन सिर्फ एक बार पाँच वर्षों में ESM और उस दिन, यह समय के साथ ही भविष्य के चुनावों में मतदान को याद करने के लिए एक परंपरा नहीं फार्म चाहिए आता है एक लोकतंत्र में.
सीमित समय उपलब्ध में, पूर्व सैनिक, मुख्य समितियों फार्म का आयोजन करना चाहिए / समूह, भाजपा उम्मीदवार से संपर्क करें और हर संभव मदद की जरूरत है कि वह भी वोट के अलावा अन्य प्रस्ताव. पूर्व सैनिकों और किसी से बेहतर संगठनात्मक कौशल है. पूर्व सैनिकों दरवाजे का दौरा दरवाज़े से बाहर ले जाना होगा और वोट मांगना एक शरीर के रूप में.
भाजपा की जीत भूतपूर्व सैनिक विजय है.
IESM कोर ग्रुप की बैठक
इस कोर ग्रुप ले गए थे 13 Apr. के बाद निर्णय मिले:
1. सब बाहर प्रयासों भाजपा उम्मीदवारों की सफलता सुनिश्चित करने के लिए किया जाएगा.
2. भाजपा ने स्पष्ट कहा कि केंद्र में वे पद संभालने के 100 दिनों के भीतर OROP लागू होता सरकार बनाने चाहिए प्रतिबद्ध करने के लिए कहा जाएगा.
3. इस स्थल Jantar Mantar और घाव हो जाएगा आपरेशन आगे भारतीय पूर्व से किया जाएगा-546 पर सैनिकों आंदोलन (IESM) कार्यालय, सेक्टर-23, गुड़गांव.
4. चुनावों को ध्यान में रखते हुए अगली योजना में नई सरकार केंद्र में गठित होने के बाद तैयार की जाएगी.
5. इस समय अंतराल, सदस्यता को बढ़ाने के लिए अधिक से अधिक पूर्व से संपर्क बैठक-सैनिकों और प्रत्येक राज्य में ब्लॉक स्तर पर संगठनात्मक संरचना को बनाने का उपयोग किया जाएगा.
6. स्थानीय भाषा में एक आवधिक न्यूज़लेटर एक पुस्तिका के रूप में इस पद तक पहुंचने के लिए और ग्रामीण इलाकों में फ़ाइल को प्रकाशित किया जाएगा.
7. इस कोर ग्रुप के आंतरिक कार्य कर कार्य की गति में सुधार करने के लिए ऊपर spruced हो जाएगा.
लेफ्टिनेंट जनरल (Emeritus) राज Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
अध्यक्ष IESM

Monday, April 13, 2009

Turning truncated Military Career into an opportunity

Dear Brig Kamboj and Gangadharan,
Early retirement is a well known irritant of military service. Most of us aspire to prepare ourselves for a second career in industry or a government job. But ever so often I come across a person who has been able to convert this threat into an opportunity. Last week, I saw one such success story. I thought I would share the experience with your readers.
I was invited to visit the chain of schools and a Management Institute established by Col Vinod Kumar and his wife Shubhra ji in Ahmedabad. What I saw there impelled me to record my impressions in the form of the attached paper entitled "Temples of Learning" To get a birds' eye view of the schools, you may visit their website
A word about Col Vinod Kumar
Vinod is from the 30th Regular course (Naushehra Coy, later, Staff Sgt Sinhgarh Coy) He had a brilliant career. He passed out as first amongst the GCs commissioned into the EME. After graduating from the Staff College, he was GSO-2 SD in Baramula, and later AQ, IMA during the golden jubilee of the Academy. He then went as CO of the EME Bn in Ahmedabad. And that is when he got a call from within to sign off. That is a story by itself. He and his wife started a nursery school with barely twenty students, and operating form a hired flat. From there they have come a long way.
Sometimes I wonder. Why can't we produce more such success stories. Military service will remain what it is: a truncated career for more than 99% officers and men. There is a limit to how much improvement can be made in our pensions. But there is no limit to how much we can gain through our own effort and enterprise. Can we have a dialogue on this on "Report my signal"?
Maj Gen Surjit Singh (Retd)

Ex- Servicemen stage protest for One Rank One Pension

New Delhi, Apr 12 : Retired personnel of Indian defence services on Sunday staged a massive protest rally here, to express their anguish over Central Government's delay over their long-pending demand for 'One Rank-One Pension'. Ex-servicemen of varying ranks also returned their medals to the government.

Their demand 'One Rank-One Pension' stipulates that irrespective of the date on which the soldier retires, he should get the same pension. The former defence personnel have cited that in absence of 'One Rank-One Pension', anomalies in the pension of two persons of same rank arise and also there are instances of hundreds of war veterans drawing lower amount of pension as compared to personnel who retired in the recent past.

"Government should have fulfilled our demands by now, but still these are not met. After trying whatever we can, we have been forced to put forth our demand in public. We want to show our unity to the country and secondly at the end of the rally we will give advice, to vote for what particular party," said Lieutenant General Raj Kadyan, Indian Ex- servicemen Movement (IESM) Chairman.

Capitalising on the demands voiced by the former uniformed personnel of defence forces, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has come forth to support their demand and in its election manifesto. The party has promised to implement the 'One Rank-One Pension' for ex-servicemen.

"We have promised in our manifesto that this pension will be tax free and the money that will be collected in the bank and the interest will have no income tax on it," said V. K. Malhotra, senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader. The movement has now intensified since the recommendations of the Sixth Pay Commission did not address the issue of 'One Rank-One Pension'.
Ex-servicemen stage protest for One Rank-One Pension

IESM: Fast for Justice Rally- hundred and seventeenth day

Photo courtesy Col TN Baba

Date: Sunday, 12 April, 2009, 10:11 PM
Dear Colleagues,
Maha Rally 12 April 09
The rally was held as scheduled. There was good attendance, estimated at nearly 8,000ESM including families. The heterogeneous mix was a notable feature. States represented were– Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, UP, Uttarkhand, HP, Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan. ESM belonging to different organisations had assembled. At the end, approximately 2000 medals were deposited with the President. Highlight of the day was the issue of voting advisory that the ESM had been persistently demanding. In this connection following points were made:
1. Voting is a constitutional right and everyone is free to vote as per his/her choice.
2. Vote is an important weapon in our armoury and must be used with great care and thought.
3. We must follow the principle, ‘we will help those who help us’.
4. OROP being 25 years old problem, national political parties that held power during the period were recalled – Some 11 years Congress, 5 years UPA with Congress as a dominant party and some six years NDA with the BJP as the dominant party. Neither of them sanctioned OROP.
5. Current situation is that the Congress has rejected the OROP in Dec 2008 and have made no mention of it in their new election manifesto. On the contrary, the BJP has made a specific mention in their manifesto to say that the principle of one rank one pension will be implemented. In addition their Prime Ministerial candidate Mr LK Advani visited Jantar Mantar and made a categorical commitment to implement OROP. No one from the Congress has established any contact.
6. Based on the above analysis, it seems logical that keeping in the mind the interests of the over two million Ex Servicemen vis-à-vis OROP, BJP is a better choice.
7. It was reiterated that this is only an advisory and everyone has a right vote as he/ she deems fit.
The message was generally well received.
Best regards,
Lt Gen (Emeritus) Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
Chairman IESM

तिथि: रविवार, 12 अप्रैल, 2009, 10:11
प्रिय साथियों,
महा रैली 12 अप्रैल 09.
इस रैली के रूप में अनुसूचित आयोजित किया गया. एक अच्छी उपस्थिति, लगभग 8000 के पूर्व का अनुमान-परिवारों सहित कर्मियों था. इस विषम मिश्रण एक प्रमुख विशेषता थी. राज्यों थे - तमिलनाडु, कर्नाटक, उत्तर प्रदेश का प्रतिनिधित्व उत्तराखंड, हिमाचल प्रदेश, पंजाब, हरियाणा, राजस्थान. पूर्व सैनिक विभिन्न संगठनों से संबंधित इकट्ठे थे. अंत में, लगभग 2000 पदक राष्ट्रपति के साथ जमा किए गए.
दिन के हाइलाइट सलाहकार मतदान का मुद्दा यह है कि पूर्व सैनिक लगातार मांग कर रहा था. इस संबंध में किए गए अंकों निम्नलिखित:
1. उसका / उसकी पसंद के अनुसार वोट करने के लिए स्वतंत्र है वोटिंग एक संवैधानिक अधिकार है और सभी को है.
2. वोट शस्त्रागार में हमारा एक महत्वपूर्ण हथियार है और महान देखभाल और सोच के साथ प्रयोग किया जाना चाहिए.
3. हम इस सिद्धांत का पालन करना चाहिए, 'हम जो हमें' की मदद करने में मदद मिलेगी.
4. एक रैंक एक पेंशन (OROP) 25 साल की समस्या, राष्ट्रीय राजनीतिक दलों है कि इस अवधि के दौरान आयोजित की शक्ति को याद किया गया पुराने किया जा रहा - कुछ 11 साल कांग्रेस, 5 साल यूपीए कांग्रेस के साथ एक प्रमुख पार्टी और कुछ छह साल राजग के रूप में भाजपा के साथ प्रमुख के रूप में दल. न ही उन्हें OROP मंजूर की.
5. वर्तमान स्थिति यह है कि कांग्रेस और OROP दिसंबर 2008 में रद्द कर दिया गया है अपने नए चुनाव घोषणा पत्र में इसका कोई उल्लेख नहीं किया है. इसके विपरीत, भाजपा को अपने घोषणा पत्र में कहने के लिए एक विशेष उल्लेख किया है कि एक एक पेंशन लागू किया जाएगा पद के सिद्धांत. इसके अलावा उनके प्रधानमंत्री पद का उम्मीदवार श्री लाल कृष्ण आडवाणी Jantar Mantar दौरा किया और एक स्पष्ट प्रतिबद्धता OROP को लागू करने के लिए बनाया है. कांग्रेस से कोई भी किसी भी संपर्क स्थापित किया है.
6. उपरोक्त विश्लेषण के आधार पर, यह तर्कसंगत लगता है कि दो लाख से अधिक पूर्व सैनिकों तुलना OROP के हितों, भाजपा को एक बेहतर विकल्प है को ध्यान में रखते.
7. कि यह केवल एक सलाहकार और सभी को है यह दोहराया गया था एक सही वोट के रूप में वह ठीक समझे है.
इस संदेश को आम तौर पर अच्छी तरह से स्वागत किया गया.
लेफ्टिनेंट जनरल (Emeritus) राज Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
अध्यक्ष IESM

SLIDESHOW: IESM Maha Rally at Jantar Mantar 12 April 2009 Photographs

Sunday, April 12, 2009

IESM: Fast for Justice- hundred and sixteenth day

Date: Saturday, 11 April, 2009, 9:55 PM
Dear Colleagues,
Jantar Mantar venue continues to remain active.
Maha Rally 12 April 09
Every Core Gp member has been working hard for the Maha Rally starting at 1100 hours, 12 April 2009 at Jantar Mantar. Today was the penultimate day, spent in proverbially dotting the ‘i’s and crossing the ‘t’s. There has been a continues inflow of calls from ESM all over India conveying their arrival details. This includes Thanjavur, Chennai, Lucknow, Bangalore and many places closer. Ahmadullah Khan and Rashid from LAC areas of J&K called up to express solidarity of all with the Movement and regretting that they cannot reach. From all indications it should a mammoth gathering. I am sure all those subscribing to the belief that the ESM have had an unfair deal, will be there.
Best regards,
Lt Gen (Emeritus) Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
Chairman IESM

तिथि: शनिवार, 11 अप्रैल, 2009, 9:55
प्रिय साथियों,
स्थल Jantar Mantar सक्रिय रहने के लिए जारी है.
महा रैली 12 अप्रैल 09.
हर कोर ग्रुप के सदस्य मेहनत की महा रैली 1100 घंटे, 12 अप्रैल 2009 Jantar Mantar पर शुरू करने के लिए काम कर रहा है. आज ढीला समाप्त होता है को बांधने का दिन था. एक भारत भर में उनके आगमन विवरण बताए पूर्व सैनिकों के फोन का प्रवाह जारी किया गया है. यह Thanjavur, चेन्नई, लखनऊ, बंगलौर और कई स्थानों पर करीब शामिल हैं. Ahmadullah खान और राशिद जम्मू और कश्मीर के एलएसी क्षेत्रों फोन से आंदोलन के साथ सभी की एकजुटता व्यक्त करने के लिए और कहा कि वे नहीं पहुँच सकते हैं पछता. यह चाहिए एक विशाल जनसमूह सभी संकेत से. मुझे यकीन है कि उन सभी को विश्वास है कि ESM एक अनुचित करार दिया है सदस्यता लेने, वहाँ होगा हूँ.
लेफ्टिनेंट जनरल (Emeritus) राज Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
अध्यक्ष IESM


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