Saturday, September 4, 2010

Bureaucrats call the shots: Widows Pension remains Static

Dear Colleagues,
Regarding non-enhancement of widows’ pension. You may recall the reply I had received to my letter that I had written to the PM. The Adjutant General (PS-5) has also sent me a reply vides their letter B/39027/29(5)/MOD/AG/PS-5 dated 20 Aug 2010. It reads:
1. Reference your letter dated 15 Jul 10 addressed to Hon’ble Prime Minister of India with a copy to Hon’ble Defence Minister.
2. It is to intimate that Govt. letter dated 08 Mar 10 was issued implementing recommendation of the Cabinet Secretary’s Committee on ‘One Rank One Pension and Related Issues’. No recommendations in respect of family pensioners was made by the Committee.
(VK Gupta)
Dy Dir
For Adjutant General
Copy to:-
MOD/D/(PGS)- For Information wrt your ID No. 237/PMO/PGC/2010 dated 12 Aug 10.

It may be noted from the letter No quoted in ‘copy to’ that the contents have come down from the PMO. Interestingly, the political leadership willy-nilly accepts that the bureaucrats run the show and call the shots. What better proof of the tail wagging the tiger?
Best regards,
Lt Gen (Emeritus) Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
Chairman IESM

Friday, September 3, 2010

Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel's appreciation of dangers from China

Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel's letter to Jawaharlal Nehru on 7 November 1950 not only deploring Indian Ambassador KM Panikkar's action but also warning about dangers from China.
My dear Jawaharlal,
It is of course, impossible to be exhaustive in setting out all these problems. I am, however, giving below some of the problems which, in my opinion, require early solution and round which we have to build our administrative or military policies and measures to implement them.
  • A military and intelligence appreciation of the Chinese threat to India both on the frontier and to internal security.
  • An examination of military position and such redisposition of our forces as might be necessary, particularly with the idea of guarding important routes or areas which are likely to be the subject of dispute.
  • An appraisement of the strength of our forces and, if necessary, reconsideration of our retrenchment plans for the Army in the light of the new threat.
  • A long-term consideration of our defence needs. My own feeling is that, unless we assure our supplies of arms, ammunition and armour, we would be making our defence perpetually weak and we would not be able to stand up to the double threat of difficulties both from the west and north-west and north and north-east.
  • The question of China's entry into the UN. In view of the rebuff which China has given us and the method which it has followed in dealing with Tibet, I am doubtful whether we can advocate its claim any longer. There would probably be a threat in the UN virtually to outlaw China, in view of its active participation in the Korean war. We must determine our attitude on this question also.
  • The political and administrative steps which we should take to strengthen our northern and north-eastern frontier. This would include the whole of the border, ie. Nepal, Bhutan, Sikkim, Darjeeling and the tribal territory in Assam.
  • Measures of internal security in the border areas as well as the states flanking those areas such as Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Bengal and Assam.
  • Improvement of our communication, road, rail, air and wireless, in these areas and with the frontier outposts.
  • The future of our mission at Lhasa and the trade posts at Gyangtse and Yatung and the forces which we have in operation in Tibet to guard the trade routes.
  • The policy in regard to the McMahon Line.

    These are some of the questions which occur to my mind. It is possible that a consideration of these matters may lead us into wider question of our relationship with China, Russia, America, Britain and Burma. This, however, would be of a general nature, though some might be basically very important, e.g., we might have to consider whether we should not enter into closer association with Burma in order to strengthen the latter in its dealings with China. I do not rule out the possibility that, before applying pressure on us, China might apply pressure on Burma. With Burma, the frontier is entirely undefined and the Chinese territorial claims are more substantial. In its present position, Burma might offer an easier problem to China, and therefore, might claim its first attention.

    I suggest that we meet early to have a general discussion on these problems and decide on such steps as we might think to be immediately necessary and direct, quick examination of other problems with a view to taking early measures to deal with them.
    Vallabhbhai Patel,
    7th November 1950
    To read the full appreciation contained in the letter click link in red:
    Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel's letter to Jawaharlal Nehru wriiten 60 years ago is more relevant today

    Henderson Brooks–Bhagat Report of 1962 Indo China debacle
    The Henderson Brooks-Bhagat report, also referred to as the Henderson Brooks report, is the report of an analysis (Operations Review) of the Sino-Indian War of 1962. Its authors are officers of the Indian armed forces. They are Lieutenant-General Henderson Brooks and Brigadier P S Bhagat, commandant of the Indian Military Academy at the time.

    The report continues to be classified by the Indian Government, as of October 2006. In April 2010, India's Defence Minister A.K. Antony told Parliament that the report could not be declassified because its contents “are not only extremely sensitive but are of current operational value."

    The report is said to be openly critical of the Indian political and military structure of the time, as well as of the execution of operations.

    Author Neville Maxwell has published what he claims are summaries of the report. While this has not been verified by comparisons with the (still classified) text, it has been accepted as a reasonable summary by the Indian media. Another extract of Indo-China war makes interesting reading.

    As of Feb 2008, MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar has requested the report to be declassified in the National Security interest, This has been declined by the defense Minster A K Antony. He has quoted that the same would not be released "considering the sensitivity of information contained in the report and its security implications"
  • Farmers clarify meaning of Service to the Bureaucrats

    This will help you to clear any doubts...
    I became confused when I heard the word 'service' used with these agencies which are run by bureaucrats:
  • Indian Administrative 'Service'
  • Indian Police 'Service'
  • Civil 'Service'
  • Indian Revenue 'Service'
  • Indian Postal 'Service'
  • Telephone 'Service'
  • State, City, Public 'Service'
    This is not what I thought 'service' meant.

    But today, I overheard two farmers talking, and one of them said he had hired a bull to 'service' a few cows. BAM! It all came into focus. Now I understand what all those bureaucrats are doing to us.
    Now you are as enlightened as I am.
    Brig Vijai K Nair, VSM [Retd] PhD.
  • Meeting at ECHS HQ on 20 Aug 2010

    A meeting with ECHS users, chaired by the MD ECHS took place on 20 Aug 2010. Attendance included IESM reps (Gen Satbir and Col RP Chaturvedi), reps of Naval Hq,and Air Hq/ AFA. Dy MD ECHS was also present. Major updates that may be of interest to the ESM community are given below:
  • The MD appraised us about the refinements being planned in ECHS services. These had been also discussed in his recent meeting with the RM. A definitive time frame for implementation was not given out.
  • 199 additional ECHS Polyclinics, including 17 mobile ones, have been approved and would be set up gradually.
  • ECHS services are being extended to Gurkha pensioners. However NO polyclinics are planned in Nepal.
  • The LP limits of Polyclinics are being enhanced to Rs2 lac for Class A polyclinics and 1 lac for Class B.
  • Outsourcing of Pharmacy services is broadly acceptable. A pilot project would shortly be launched in Delhi, Pune, Hyderabad and Kochi.
  • Case for Outsourcing of Bills Clearance Processes is under consideration. In the meantime, simplifications including raising CFA powers at intervening Hq, are being adopted to speed up bill clearances.
  • Case for authorization of ECHS hospitals is being taken up.
    Funds allocated by the GOI, have so far been completely received by ECHS before end of the FY without cuts.
    Some points brought out by attendees are as under:
  • Gen Satbir while appreciating the fact that funds were being received in toto, suggested that it be ensured that MOD made these funds available in time, rather than at the eleventh hour, to ensure its optimal expenditure.
  • Col Chaturvedi enquired about the action taken on Military Tribunal verdict dated 9 Mar 2010, on grant of ECHS facilities to family members of recruits boarded out with disabiity pension (case #TA 653/2009 and TA 665/2009). Dy MD informed that it has been taken up with their legal cell to seek an opinion before issue of implementation instructions. An early action on this was requested to ECHS.
  • Cde Lakshminarayan, Naval HQ, brought out that while an impression existed that ECHS was not paying empaneled hospitals in time, resulting in their opting out of the scheme, in most such cases, the 'non- payment' referred to 'overcharges' by the hospitals. This none the less was giving ECHS a bad name.
    With Warm Regards,
    Col RP Chaturvedi (Retd)
  • The Smile of Gratitude

    The other day, while there to pick up my one litre of milk from the Mother Dairy booth, normally manned by a husband and wife team, I noticed the lady, alone and unsuccessfully trying to transfer a large number of Curd crates placed on the ground to the ice box.

    The door of the ice box would swing back every time she would lift a crate, leaving her helpless and frustrated. Noticing her dilemma, I walked the couple of steps to the box and held its door open. The crates safely in, the door closed, she moved back to man the booth and I too, ignoring the confused, amused looks of others, to my position in the Q.

    As she handed the milk sachet to me, I placed the notes of the requisite amount on the counter and an addition one rupee coin for the plastic carry bag. She, with half a smile on her lips, returned the coin and handed me the carry bag, gratis. The smile of gratitude was a more than a small gesture, in return for
    my very small gesture.
    Brig Lakshman Singh (Retd)

    Thursday, September 2, 2010

    Chinese Satellites: Close encounters

    For two years, the Chinese science satellite SJ-06F flew solo orbits around the Earth (or, as solo as a machine could be in the expanding haze of space junk in orbit). But now it has a partner: Last month China executed the delicate maneuver of aligning another satellite launched this year, SJ-12, with its older counterpart.
    Only the United States had executed such a satellite rendezvous before this, and it shows off China’s advancement in satellite sophistication. Three years ago the country blew one of its satellites to smithereens in a practice test—a test that created thousands of additional chunks of debris in orbit. The satellite meet-up is a more elegant trick, and one whose implications could be sinister or benign. Let’s explore both possibilities.
    Don’t Worry
    China’s game of catch-up, which has its space program closing in on America’s abilities in orbit, strikes fear into the hearts of some politicos. But malfeasance need not be the aim of the satellite maneuver.
    OK, Worry
    Whether or not China is pursuing space warfare in this instance, the country is certainly trying to measure up to whatever the United States can do.
    “The Chinese would be absolutely incompetent to not be trying to reduce U.S advantage in space,” James Oberg, a former NASA space engineer specializing in orbital rendezvous, tells Danger Room. “No potential adversary in their right mind would give us permanent advantage in space operations.” []
    China might not need rendezvous capability to tinker with another country’s satellites, but it would need that capability to spy on them—taking an up-close look at the competitor’s product. There may be no way to gauge true intentions. According to Oberg, the satellite meet-up occurred in an orbit almost exclusively devoted to earth observation — spy and weather satellites, for example — where “a potential adversary would be most interested in rendezvousing. On the other hand, it’s also where a satellite might need refueling,” he adds. “It’s like you could be changing a screwdriver for a hammer, or you could be turning a peaceful ‘bot into a killer one.”
    Close Encounters of the Worrisome Kind? Chinese Satellites Meet in Space

    Indian Generals of Character

    After getting freedom, a meeting was organized to select the first General of the Indian Army. Jawahar Lal Nehru was heading that meeting. Leaders and Army officers were discussing to whom this responsibility should be given. In between the discussion Nehru said, "I think we should appoint a British officer as a General of Indian Army as we don't have enough experience to lead the same."
    Everybody supported Nehru because if the PM was suggesting something, how could they not agree.
    But one of the army officers abruptly said, "I have a point, sir."
    Nehru said, "Yes, gentleman. You are free to speak."
    He said, "You see, sir, we don't have enough experience to lead a nation too, so shouldn't we appoint a British person as first PM of India?"
    The meeting hall suddenly went quiet.
    Then, Nehru said, "Are you ready to be the first General of the Indian Army." He got a golden chance to accept the offer but he refused the same and said, "Sir, we have a very talented army officer, my senior, Lt Gen Cariappa, who is the most deserving among us".
    The army officer who raised his voice against the PM was Lt Gen Nathu Singh Rathore, the 1st Lt Gen of the Indian Army.
    ... That is the professionalism and character the Indian Military is made of...
    Field Marshall Kodandera Madappa Cariappa

    President's Tribute to the Armed Forces who are admired by all citizens

    click Hindi text for readable version

    Speech by her Excellency the President of India, Shrimati Pratibha Devisingh Patil Addressing the Defence Personnel- Leh, 01 Sep 2010 PIB
    My dear soldiers,
    I have just visited a site affected by the cloudburst and the resultant flash floods in Ladakh, in which many lives were lost, many suffered injuries and a number of people went missing. There has been extensive damage to property. In this difficult hour all of us are with the people of Ladakh. My deepest sympathies go out to those who have lost their loved ones and to those including the uniformed personnel who have suffered during this calamity. The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh was here a few days earlier. I join him in assuring that no effort will be spared in relief and rehabilitation work.

    Natural calamities and disasters are a reminder of the forces of nature. I am proud that during these difficult times the Armed Forces acquitted themselves commendably and gave an account of unprecedented courage, selfless devotion and unparalleled dedication involving themselves in relief, rescue and re-construction efforts. My appreciation goes out to the doctors from the Army who responded whole heartedly, and treated casualties much beyond the normal handling capacity in the Army Hospital. I also commend the special efforts made to locate missing personnel and rescue of the stranded, including foreign tourists. Your hardwork and sustained efforts, undertaken in co-ordination with local authorities, have helped in the restoration of road and signal communications, electricity, water supply and other essential services. Every call for help by the locals was answered positively and admirably by our brave soldiers. You must continue with this work, as the damage has been widespread and, moreover before the onset of winter, much work needs to be done to help rebuild the homes and lives of the people of Ladakh.

    It gives me great satisfaction to see the confidence exuding in your faces, despite braving the fury of nature. Seeing your spirit, I am impressed with your determination and courage. It is commendable that under such trying circumstances, you have been able to maintain a high degree of morale and unblemished professionalism. All of you braving the extreme odds of nature, facing the vagaries of hostile weather and terrain conditions, are the sentinels of our country. The climatic and topographic conditions in this region are the most demanding in the world. However, you all brave soldiers have never dithered. The lofty heights in some places of 21,000 feet may appear daunting to the most daring mountaineers, but you are deployed in these high altitudes for prolonged periods without any fear, braving the hypoxic conditions and bearing physical, mental and psychological hardships.

    I feel proud to say that you have faced all wars in a commendable manner. Your acts of gallantry, courage and fortitude in Chushul, Rezangia, Siachen, Kargil and other areas are a testimony to the indomitable spirit of the brave Indian solider. I have no doubt that the security of the nation is safe in your capable hands, and you will guard the nation's frontiers under the most daunting conditions.

    The Armed Forces have always assured the citizens of their safety and security against internal as well as external threats. I wish to compliment each one of you and all of you for your sincerity, dedication, selflessness and enthusiasm shown each time you are called upon to do so by the nation. I exhort each one of you to always remain ready to deal with any challenge. Your work, your discipline and your high level of commitment are admired by all citizens of this country. I bring to you their good wishes as well as my own. I wish all of you and your families - happiness, well-being and the very best in life. *** AD/SKS
    Speech by her Excellency the President of India, Shrimati Pratibha Devisingh Patil Addressing the Defence Personnel

    SC sees no valid objections to the military war memorial

    Tuesday, August 31, 2010
    SC okays the military memorial
    Many of those who earlier vehemently opposed the project have since resigned to the construction activity within the park... Bosky Khanna
    The legal battle to protect an important and centrally-located park in the city from 'development' came to an end on Monday, as the Supreme Court dismissed the plea against the memorial filed by petitioner Dr Sudhir Pai, secretary of Krishna Apartments Association.
    The apex court upheld the decision of the Karnataka high court, which on June 4, had said that the construction of the National Military Memorial within the Indira Gandhi Musical Fountain Park would be in the interest of the general public, and a matter of pride for the city. The high court had also observed that the park would only lose about four eucalyptus trees.
    The petitioner had sought the intervention of the apex court against the June 4 ruling of the high court. The Supreme Court bench, comprising justices GS Singhvi and AK Ganguly dismissed the case on Monday. On July 26, the two judges had adjourned hearing of the case by four weeks as the respondents had said that they did not receive the court notice that sought details of the site map.
    Responding to the ruling of the Supreme Court, Dr Pai said, "If the court thinks that this is not a violation of the law, then what more can we do? We can do nothing but look on as the construction continues. We hope this won't set a precedent. After this, many other parks in the city could have construction approved for various issues, including emotional ones."
    Representing just the opposite viewpoint while reacting to the hearing, Major General MC Nanjappa, sub-committee member for the Rashtriya Sainik Smaraka, said that the ruling brought much joy. This is a national project, and this is one expression of gratitude to the martyrs, he said. "The cause of the construction of the Smaraka was not just an ex-servicemen's battle. It is also a victory for the state government. As ex-servicemen, we have a sentimental attachment to the project. We now hope that all, including the ones who went to court against the project, will now join hands in offering suggestions and seeing to the completion of the project," Major General Nanjappa said.
    With regard to the deadline set earlier for the completion of the project, Major General Nanjappa said, "We hope that the major symbolic portion of the proposed project would be completed by Vijay Diwas, December 16. We hope that the Veeragalu and flag post will be ready by then. Minor works like the motivation hall and landscaping could take more time."
    Subhashini Vasanth, founder-trustee of Vasantharatna Foundation for Art, also the wife of deceased Col Vasanth Venugopal, who died in 2007 fighting terrorists in Kashmir, said, "I am very happy for this judgment. It was beyond the power of any one person to do this, and there were certain delays, but I am hopeful that the construction of at least the basic structure would be done by Vijay Diwas. Else, it is likely that the project would be completed by Republic Day."
    Environmentalists, however, who had earlier opposed construction activity within the park, are now looking forward to the greening of the entire area. Dr AN Yellappa Reddy, a noted environmentalist, said, "Though in principle I was opposed to the construction, now I am resigned to it. I hope the whole area will be made a green space."
    What is heartening is that even those who earlier opposed the idea are now pitching in with suggestions. Yellappa said, "I was invited to visit the place a fortnight ago to offer suggestions on greening the area. I suggested that the six acres earmarked for the construction should be developed into a patriotic, spiritual garden."
    Chief minister BS Yeddyurappa, on July 1, faced with opposition to the project, had declared that construction of the memorial would be dropped; a fortnight later, in a volte-face, he had announced that construction would go ahead. The total cost of the project is estimated at Rs15 crore.
    SC okays the military memorial

    Wednesday, September 1, 2010

    Dragon spews fire and India feels the heat

    China's threat: India gets serious
    Nidhi Razdan,
    August 31, 2010 22:07 IST
    New Delhi: The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) met in New Delhi on Tuesday where top ministers and the PM discussed about the recent tension with China. India's envoy to Beijing S Jaishankar has also been called to give his inputs.

    There was consensus to act tough with the Chinese and show a firmness in approach while dealing with them.

    Earlier, a top Indian Army General was denied permission to visit China because he serves in what they call a "sensitive" state like Jammu and Kashmir.

    India and China certainly have their differences but this time Indian officials say Beijing has gone too far.

    Government sources have told NDTV they are mulling their options and much will depend on what Beijing now signals through a senior defence officer who is expected to come here soon.

    The latest worry for New Delhi are reports that 7,000 to 11,000 Chinese troops are here in Gilgit in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK), which the government is trying to verify. Some experts say that a more aggressive China needs a stronger response from India.

    "This is very serious, for the first time they have belatedly questioned the status of Jammu and Kashmir. We need to take strong political steps like stapling the visas of Tibetans and stressing on Tibet as an autonomous part of China not a militarised one as it is now," said Kanwal Sibal, former Foreign Secretary.

    India's China challenge
    China refuses to stamp the passports of Indians from Jammu and Kashmir instead giving them stapled visas on separate sheets of paper. Despite repeated protests by New Delhi for two years now the practice still goes on.
    Since they see Arunachal as a part of China, Beijing often denies visas to those from Arunachal saying they are from the same country!
    In 2007, a study tour to Beijing of over 100 IAS officers was cancelled after China refused to give a visa to an officer from Arunachal Pradesh even former Chief Minister Gegong Apang was not given a visa for the same reason.
    The Chinese have also angrily protested a meeting between the Dalai Lama and the PM earlier this month and even criticised the PM's visit to Arunachal evoking an angry reaction from Delhi.

    For now New Delhi is waiting and watching to see what Beijing signals but the shift in the public Chinese stance on Jammu and Kashmir has South Block officials very worried and they know they need to find a new way to deal with the problem.
    China's threat: India gets serious by Nidhi Razdan

    MPs: Crorepatis or underpaid public servants?

    New Delhi: A 300% salary hike plus doubling of generous allowances is in the offing for our MPs, never mind that the majority of them are 'crorepatis', or millionaires as revealed by their declared assets! The MPs, of course, insist what they get is woefully short of what is required to discharge their duties as people's representatives.

    According to available data, 315 of the 543 MPs in the current Lok Sabha are crorepatis. They include 275 male MPs and 40 women, as per data compiled by the Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR) and National Election Watch (NEW). There were 156 crorepatis in the 2004 Lok Sabha and the number increased by 102% in the present Lok Sabha.

    The average asset of an MP in the previous Lok Sabha was Rs.0.86 crore, which shot up to Rs.5.33 crore in the present house. Among MPs who contested both the 2004 and 2009 elections, the percentage growth in assets has been 289%.

    Among the 183 Rajya Sabha MPs whose asset details were analysed by ADR-NEW in April this year, 54% are millionaires. Most parties preferred nominating candidates with high assets during the June Rajya Sabha biennial elections, according to an analysis of the affidavits of 49 of 55 seats.

    Out of 54 contesting candidates, 43 (79.6%) were millionaires. Of the winners, 38 out of 49 (77.6%) had assets in millions of rupees. The average asset for the candidates was Rs.24.45 crore, and for the winners it was Rs.25.24 crore. This will cost the exchequer a recurring annual expenditure of Rs.103.76 crore, according to available figures and compiled data.

    Except for the Left parties, none of the political parties has voiced opposition to the salary hike. And what is more interesting: none of them has said their MPs will forgo the increase.

    A few MPs who spoke on condition of anonymity justified the hike in salaries and allowances saying what they got were far below what their counterparts got in other democracies. They said while it was easy for MPs with business backgrounds to serve their electorate and meet office expenses, it was difficult for members with limited means to do so.

    A Lok Sabha MP from Punjab said a parliamentarian has to maintain at least two offices- one at his home and other at his residence in Delhi. "Each of these offices requires staff of about four people- a cook, a driver and assistants. Their salaries are to be paid by the MP. Some MPs also maintain offices in different areas of the constituency," he said.

    An MP from Uttar Pradesh said they also have to attend to their electorate who visit their offices and incur fuel expenses on travel within the constituency. The Lok Sabha last week cleared the bill, seeking amendments to the Salaries and Allowances of Members of Parliament Act, 1954. It will now have to be cleared by the Rajya Sabha, the upper house.

    It seeks to hike MPs' salaries from Rs.16,000 to Rs.50,000 per month and double their daily allowance of Rs.1,000 for each day when parliament is in session or for taking part in house committee meetings.

    Besides, a constituency allowance of Rs.20,000 a month and an office expense allowance of Rs.20,000 each month has also been raised to Rs.45,000 per month. The MPs' conveyance allowance will now be Rs.4 lakh from Rs.1 lakh earlier. The legislation also enhances pension for former members from Rs.8,000 to Rs.20,000 per month.

    The increase will be given with retrospective effect since the beginning of the current Lok Sabha, the 15th, which means MPs will get arrears from May 2009. A one-time expenditure of Rs.118 crore would be incurred on account of the arrears of salary and pension from May last year to July this year. Jagdeep Chhokar, a founding member of ADR, suggested that the emoluments to MPs should be measured on "cost to nation" basis as is done in companies where the concept is of "cost to company".

    "After factoring in the cost of all the perquisites- including housing, travel, loans and allowances- it should be decided if there should be a hike in MPs' salary," Chhokar said. He said a commission with transparent and objective mechanism should be set up for the purpose.

    BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman said the hike was necessary but an index- based mechanism should be evolved to decide the quantum and timing of hike. Congress spokesman Shakeel Ahmed said the government had decided on a hike only after proper consultations with all parties.

    Communist Party of India-Marxist leader Basudeb Acharya said the party was against the hike as common people were already having to cope with the price rise and would find such demands from their political representatives unjustified. Source: IANS
    MPs: Crorepatis or underpaid public servants?

    Tuesday, August 31, 2010

    IESM: OROP outstanding issue stirs the conscience of MsP

    Respected Veteran Air Cmde MK Chandrasekhar,
    Jai Hind & my salute to you.
    1. At the very outset, I must thank Veteran Air Mshl Keith Lewis and Veteran Lt Col CR Sundar (of Jawan TV) for prompting me to talk to you on the subject.
    2. Rajeev Chandrasekhar’s letter to the Hon’ble PM on the issue of OROP; and, consequent to recent revision of pay in respect of Members of Parliament, his decision to voluntarily forego the increased emoluments due to a MP, till such time OROP is granted, has been greatly appreciated by one & all Veterans; so much so, he is being looked upon as a MESSIAH.
    3. Considering the fact that Rajeev Chandrasekhar has always extended his help, assistance & unstinted support to IESM in our crusade for Justice and grant of OROP, right from 27 Sep 2008, when he was very gracious to attend the first South Zone Military Veterans Meet at Bangalore; and ref our telecom on the subject, both yesterday and this morning, I wish to submit the following for your kind consideration:
    (a) Rajeev Chandrasekhar may please be requested to endorse copies of his letter to the Hon’ble PM to:
    (i) All Members of the Parliament (both Lok Sabha & Rajya Sabha).
    (ii) Governors of all States & Union Territories.
    (iii) Chief Ministers of all States & Union Territories.
    (b) Espouse grant of the following by way of an interview to all TV Channels at Delhi:
    (i) ONE RANK ONE PENSION. In case the Govt. still has doubts regarding the genuineness of the demand, despite grant of OROP being recommended time & again by the Parliamentary Standing Committee for Defence; the grant of ONE RANK ONE PENSION be examined ‘de novo’ by setting up a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC), at the earliest. The simmering discontentment amongst the Ex-Servicemen can not be allowed to fester any longer, in the interest of well-being of the Nation
    (ii) Payment of Rank Pay with effect from 1.1. 1986 as per ruling by the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India.
    (iii) Institution of an Ex-Servicemen Commission with a retired Chief of the Army / Navy /Air Force as the Chairman with Statutory Powers, on the lines of the Minorities Commission, the Womens Commission, etc.
    (iv) Immediate convening of a Pay Commission for the Defence Services (as already agreed upon by the Govt.) to do justice to the Defence Services and to set right the anomalies in pay & standing (IZZAT) of Soldiers that have crept in over the years.
    (c) Rajeev Chandrasekhar may please consider requesting the kind presence of the following senior Veterans, sympathetic to our cause, at the TV interview along with him:
    (i) Marshal of the Air Force Arjan Singh, Padma Vibhushan, PVSM, DFC.
    (ii) Admiral Madhvendra Singh, PVSM, AVSM, NM, VSM, Former Chief of Naval Staff.
    (iii) Admiral Arun Prakash, PVSM, AVSM, NM, VSM, Former Chief of Naval Staff.
    (iv) Lt Gen SK Bahri, PVSM, AVSM,VSM, former MGO Indian Army.
    (v) Maj Gen Satbir Singh, SM. Email: , Address: Residing at Gurgaon.
    4. If required, I shall be only too glad to be of assistance to Rajeev Chandrasekhar, by way of giving a small/ detailed write up on the aforementioned points to be discussed in the interview.
    Col Rajan Veteran

    IESM: Salary hike for MPs and the issue of ‘one rank one pension’

    From: President, Navy Foundation, Delhi
    To: Mr Rajeev Chandrasekhar, MP.
    Dear Mr Rajeev,
    On behalf of the Navy Foundation, whose members are all retired officers of the Indian Navy, I would like to express our heartfelt thanks and our great admiration for your frank letter of 25th August to the Prime Minister on the subject of Salary hike for MPs and the issue of ‘one rank one pension’ or OROP for ex-servicemen. If I may be permitted to say so, that the letter was a brilliant piece of analysis of decision making by the government. You have put forth in such a logical and succinct manner the double standards being followed. The recourse to refer any issue to a committee of bureaucrats when the government does not want to take a decision is what is affecting many issues of governance including OROP for ex-servicemen. As you have so rightly summed up ‘the bureaucrats have acquired great abilities for obstructive conduct’.

    We are grateful to you, Sir, for repeatedly taking up with the Prime Minister and at other fora the injustices to ex-servicemen and denial of OROP. Your decision to forego your salary hike as an MP till OROP is resolved has won our hearts and deepest gratitude. It is heartening to know that there is at least one MP, who has the welfare of those who have silently and selflessly served the nation in peace and in war and who now appear to have been conveniently forgotten. We believe in the power of one and even though you are an Independent, you are on so many Standing and Consultative Committees of the Parliament and we repose full faith in you..

    We once again thank you for taking up our cause and salute you for your ideals and principles in fighting the obvious double standards in governance. There are not many like you in the country.

    MP Chandrashekar supports IESM in its battle for OROP

    Date: Thu, 26 Aug 2010
    Dear Mr Chandrasekhar,
    It is, indeed, with our most innate gratitude, that we wish to convey our THANKFULLNESS to you for your unstinted support to our 'Cause' of ONE RANK ONE PENSION.
    Let me confide in you by saying that EVERYONE of us Ex-Servicman (ESM) have deeply appreciated your Letter to the Prime Minister on this issue. It is, indeed, so very noble & thoughtful of you to have written so forcefully as you have. We only hope that the Govt will now 'sit up' & grant us our legitimate dues which have been dragged into bureaucratic web for the past 26 yrs.

    Our 'Indian Ex-Serviceman Movement'- IESM has set out to 'stand up' & demand for Justice to ESM. Over the past 30 months of our existance we have succeeded in bringing the problems & injustices to centrestage. Now, with the support of 'right thinking' political sources of power like YOU, we do hope that we will be able to get what has been due to us since ages.

    THANK YOU, Sir, for all that YOU have done. The 30 Lakhs (+) of ESM in our country, as also their families, will forever remain indebted to you for your thoughtfull kindness. Your refusal to accept the amoluments increased for an MP, is something which we appreciate as a rare gesture on your part.

    The IESM Salutes you, Sir, for your indulgence in our 'Cause'. It will be our pleasure to meet & interact with you whenever you are in Delhi next.
    With Best Wishes fm us all
    Yours affly,
    Major General AJB Jaini, AVSM (Veteran)
    Member Governing Body- IESM

    One Rank One Pension- Press Release

    PRESS RELEASE ‘One Rank One Pension’
    A lot has been said about ‘One Rank One Pension’ in both houses of Parliament and in the electronic media and Press and nothing has crystallized except that Govt. may give it in long term and in stages. In Punjabi there is a saying “ Dud de gi per maingna paa ke” which means that they will give milk but spoil it with goat’s shit, so that it may stink and become beyond use. It is exactly being done in some of the cases like ‘Rank Pay’ inspite of the clear orders from Hon’ble Courts and same is the story with OROP. They, perhaps, do not know as to how many persons have passed away from 1.1.1986 without getting their due and now the benefits are being denying to their families.

    In my recent open letter to the Hon’ble Prime Minister I have pointed out as to how the Defence Personnel are being humiliated by the Ministry of Defence (MOD) who are working as per their whims and fancies instead of implementing orders as passed by Govt. in their Gazette notifications. It is pity that there is no one to check them and see what data they are submitting to various committees and commissions set up. It is happening because of absence of Armed Forces personnel at the decision making level, be it at the Pay Commissions, Govt. Defence committees or within the MOD, to pursue agenda and represent correct facts. This needs to be implemented forthwith like USA and other countries where Defence Officers are inducted in MOD and other decision taking committees / commissions, so that their problems could be projected correctly and justice could be done to them.

    I have also written to the Hon’ble P.M. that Govt. Orders are not being faithfully implemented by MOD and anomalies pointed out by competent people are either being ignored or swept under the carpet. MOD needs to be reoriented and told to act as per rules and not as per their whims and fancies. Surprisingly, no one is hauled up by Ministers for not taking actions or distorting orders, though the cases are self explanatory and need no other assistance, legal or otherwise. There are a number of cases where they have allowed payments to some individuals who raised those but though as per rules, they are denying others the same benefits. Once a mistake has been detected it should automatically be rectified in all similar cases without asking by other affected persons or Courts. It is pity that no such action is being taken to benefit other affected persons.

    They say ‘where there is will, there is a way.’ But if the MOD is bent upon doing such mischief and are not bothered even of Hon’ble Courts orders and the Ministers, what can one expect from the Govt. except requesting the Hon’ble PM to introduce necessary changes as suggested in our earlier letter and reiterated above. Setting up a separate Commission for Defence Forces to resolve the peace meal changes introduced which have made every thing topsy-turvy especially in Rank, Pay and status in grade.

    ‘One Rank One Pension’ is not a big issue as it has been projected by the MOD. As we all know that during 3rd CPC, all ranks, including officers, were being retired at the pension of 50% of the maximum Pay of the scale they held at the time of retirement, proportionate to the number of years of service one put in at that time, 30 years being the maximum to earn full pension at that time.. Some weightage was given for service to different ranks to get proportionately better pension since they retire at comparatively younger age. This weightage has now reached 30 years for all ranks, required to earn full pension. In case of other ranks too it would have reached 33 years had the data put up before the committee of secretaries constituted for considering this aspect, been put up by MOD to 33 years to earn full pension, instead of 30 years they considered. The 5th CPC had enhanced the weightage by two to three years vide para133.18 & 162.11. Anyhow, it is a minor issue and can be considered even now in that context and can be raised to 33 years.

    Once it is done and all are retired at the 50% of the maximum of the scale they held at the time of retirement, the problem of one rank one pension, automatically gets solved. It is compatible with civil too where practically every one retires at the maximum of the scale one holds at the time of retirement.

    It is thus a simple issue and will not require large funds as is being projected as most of the personnel are already getting big chunk of it which needs to be supplemented. It will not invite any repercussions from any where or have administrative problems as apprehended, as practically all retire at the maximum of the scale one holds at the time of retirement in civil.

    We once again request the Hon’ble Prime Minster to immediately intervene and provide justice to Armed Forces.
    Brig(Retd) KGBehl
    President Dehradun Ex Services League

    MsP fivefold salary hike illuminates injustice heaped on Ex Servicemen

    Dear Colleagues,
    The date of our rally on 22 August was decided mainly on the consideration that we wanted it while the Parliament was in session. That the MsP created a ruckus for their salary raise on the preceding days was a happenstance. It led to a good spin off, with support for OROP pouring in from various quarters. In the same vein I reproduce below a 23 Aug letter from Dr (Mrs) Mohini Giri, Chairperson War Widows Association addressed to me as Chairman IESM. Notably, in the last over 28 months that the IESM has been pursuing OROP through public platforms, this is the first communication from her.
    Best regards,
    Lt Gen (Emeritus) Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
    Chairman IESM

    Copy of Letter From Mrs Mohini Giri, Chairperson War Widows Association
    "With great anguish and pain we read and heard the news of the 5000 ex-servicemen return their gallantry medals to the President of India to express their disappointment and anger over the repeated hikes in the pay and allowances of the Member of Parliament while all their requests for a justified pay hike and other demands have fallen on deaf ears. At this juncture on behalf of the War Widows Association and my personal behalf I wish to convey our solidarity with you on this cause. May you all get strength to fight your battle and make the authorities see and deliver justice".
    Tribune Report
    One-rank, one-pension not so soon: Antony by Vibha Sharma/TNS

    IESM: Rally brings OROP to center stage

    Dear Brig Kamboj,
    Sending you pic album (worth seeing by every Veteran) of 22 Aug Rally. it is now 5 days since the Rally is over and the ripple effects are being seen and felt in the country on OROP.
    Play slideshow
    There are 3 types of Veterans today
  • Type I those who have volunturally become members of IESM since its inception + do take some interest in what is happening and then go to sleep.....why should i go to Jantar Mantar...?? Let the IESM Governing Body sweat it out....
  • Type II those who are wavering in their mind and body whether to become members now or later ...( by the time one is 80+ when wisdom will dawn)..they may not be able to sign a cheque since they would have forgotten where the cheque book is lying..
  • Type III the ones who want to know everything happening about OROP but would not shell a part of their mind or belongings (means Rs. 500.00) to become members... mostly belong to this category... seen all around us...

    What has given some jolt to everyone last week is The Times News debate and Marshall of the Air Arjun Singh also giving Thumbs Up to OROP and discussion in the Raja Sabha during zero hours where the RM says some thing other than what the Minister of State says.something else... all confusion in the govt camp... Is OROP coming of age?

    To cap it all the MP from Karnataka Mr Rajeev Chandrashekhar has shot a letter worth Gold to the PM and not accepting the increase in his salary till OROP is granted.

    No one (Veterans Type III) knows who is this MP and how dear is he to the IESM... it has not happened over night....the sweat of the IESM is probably not know to Type III veterans....IGNORANCE IS BLISS... and better they stay in their slumber... but for those who know some of the Veterans in the Album you can view like Col Papa Sekhri/ Col Kewal Malhotra and Maj Gen Praveen Janmeja giving blood on 22 Aug 2010 (incidentally Gen Janmeja had got his daughter and grand children with him to probably witness the once in life time scene enacted) it is some chemical coming out of the veins of these Veterans...? Capt P Davar knows that Veterans fight the war with chemicals since he left the field/ uniform after a short stint... how many years he served he only knows?

    Now coming to each and every picture of 22 Aug 2010... Look at the grit and honour written on every Veterans face... how come all are not Officers and still they have travelled from 100/200/300 odd KM from Punjab and Haryana... but what about the Officer cadre from NCR... Noida/ Delhi and Gurgaon... oh I forgot they are happy within their 4 walls... why waste a sunday morning at Jantar Mantar... well "All is Well" as per 3 Idiots movie... life moves on... let us see what next and the next Rally brings... OROP or no OROP... do we deserve it with thousand fence sitters... Type III Veterans?
    Regards to one and All and Malice to none,
    Cdr Sharan Ahuja (Retd)
    Member Governing Body IESM
  • Can selfish MsP ever ensure justice for its citizens?

    This refers to the report 'Implementation of panel suggestions on' in TNIE of 26 Aug 2010.
    Hope that Mr Clean, the Defence Minister has not forgotten the old dictum 'you cannot fool all the people for all the time'. We have seen how expeditiously this very government has exponentially increased the pay and perks of MPs. Even some known parliamentarians themselves have decried the way MPs had voted to increase their own pay and perks. But for the armed forces, the once-in-10-years pay commissions themselves have been nothing but farces, what with pay, perks and status being downgraded with each commission! Unfortunately for these poor souls who have been fed on the belief that they are doing a noble job worthy of sacrificing their lives, it has taken a bit too long to see through the fraud being played on them by the self-seeking politicians and the scheming bureaucrats. And ever since the 6th CPC awards were announced there have been regular protests from various ex-serviceman's organisations in Delhi as well as all over the country. Fasting, returning of medals and signing of petitions in blood have all been tried out without any worthwhile results.

    The unfortunate thing has been that the media has also been found playing to the tune of these very politicians and bureaucrats. The latest has been the publishing of a statement by a stooge of the Congress that the ex-servicemen have been returning fake medals and signing petitions in fake blood, without checking the reality. One wonders how somebody can so easily forget the fact that Indian bureaucracy is the worst in the world and is actually the impediment to progress here! (Look at how the bureaucracy had torpedoed the granting of an honorary doctorate to Chess maestro Viswanathan Anand leading to a shameful situation were a cabinet minister had to apologise! But in this case the concerned minister at least apologised promptly but did any one hear the "honourable' Prime Minister apologise to the nation for the lie he told in Parliament on 3 Mar 2010? Just to refresh the memory of those who have no time to remember these small little things- Dr Man Mohan Singh had on that black day lied to the parliament that the Rs 2200 crores earmarked in the budget for 2009-2010 for effecting a 'modified parity' in the pension between pre 2006 and post 2006 pensioners had been disbursed! And, shockingly, no heads have rolled till date!)

    To cut a long story short, it is becoming more and more clear that ex-servicemen will have no other go but to take the matter directly to the youth, especially those aspiring to join the armed forces, by staging protests at recruiting rally venues. They will have to be told that conservancy staff employed by local bodies are better off than soldiers, even while in service, but definitely so after retirement. As it is no intelligent youngster opts to join the armed forces as an officer (the shortage reported in the army is about 12,000 or about 25 percent of the authorisation!) Why would he? Once in, by clearing a meaning less competitive examination, he could easily go up the hierarchy in the IAS/IPS without any effort at all. (Meaning less exam because it has no relation whatsoever with the job content, which is only to write briefs and do some comprehension exercise like tasks, which are actually learnt in middle schools!) By being hand maidens of the decision makers they have ensured that all of them get in 14 years to where only 2.7 percent of the armed forces officers get to in 26 years! The cumulative loss to a soldier, joining and retiring at the lowest rank after 17 years of service, has been valued at Rs 30 lakhs compared to a person joining the govt service as a civilian at the lowest level and serving for well over 30 years!

    In conclusion, a word of caution: if the last bastion of national integrity is condemned, how long will we last as nation?
    Yours truly
    PM Ravindran Veteran

    Dear Veterans,
    Do not be fooled by the assurance of the Defence Minister in the Rajya Sabha that the govt is considering OROP and that the issue will take time to resolve (the news appeared in the Times of India, Mumbai edition too), which is utter nonsense. This is not such a complicated issue that it will need time to implement. Please note that he also never said explicitly that the govt has accepted OROP (as enumerated by Veterans organisations and NOT the govt version if there is any) in principle.
    It is a standard tactic by the govt to deflect the current onslaught by the opposition members and to buy time. It knows that after some period the issue will die its natural death as the MPs will have got instant publicity which is their main aim and NOT the welfare of Veterans. The minister obviously just read out a statement prepared by the Babus and the way it is crafted, it is clear that the minister was far from sincere about it.
    Shashank Bendre
    Wg Cdr (Retd)
    Member Pension Cell IESM

    IESM: Candle lit rally at Tricity

    Dear All,
    In the last two years it was first initiative to hold a rally at night that too candle night in the Tri City. Best feedback will be given by others, but we are very well satisfied with the response from Veterans of Tri City from Sepoy to Major Generals. In fact we had large number of gathering from officers. There were six electronic Media channels, 10 vernacular channels and six national papers. It was widely covered live by Day and Night channel and PTC.Others will relay tomorrow and I hope all appears will cover the event. There were almost 250 officers and their lady wives and children. Number was less, considering short notice and first time.In a very short time from 1930 to 2030h bonhomiewe established was really very heartening.In fact our ladies wer more enthuastic than Veterans.Many of them spoke to the media very well.Brig BS Gill,Vrc,Maj Gen Pushpinder Singh,Maj Gen RS Batra,Brig KK,Brig Opinder,Brig Harwnt,Brig Gill and there were far too many other senior officers whom I could not meet.
    Media gave full support, so was the support from Local citizens. Even Chandigarh Police was supportive, we did not know that we cannot hold rallies at sector 17 WO permission, but we did. Next time we will take advance permission.
    Yesterday, there was a rally at Patiala, today Chandigarh next week Monday at Gurdaspur.Then all over in all cities of Punjab. We will request to hold such rallies all over India. One it is easy to hold, second it is peaceful, third everyone including ladies feel happy to participate, four it is very low cost almost and last like insurgency it gives more dividends. It will generate a good pressure; fact that two channels covered live speaks for itself.
    I propose next one at war Memorial Chandigarh for Tri City again during Day on 16 December and again peaceful without speeches but, call all have picnic.We can interact amongst ourselves and media in small groups.Weather will be good we c Please give views.
    Lastly I express my thanks to all veterans and their lady wives for participation and please be part of the group in future too. It was again a very good experiment at Amalgamation of all ESM organisations which worked; everyone rose above party lines that IS what IESM must strive.
    On thankful note to all particularly, Brig KK. Sir, please send your feed honest feedback.
    Veteran Nawab
    Media Report
    Candle-lit vigil by ex-servicemen, Tribune News Service: Click here

    ESM delegates from Dehra Dun meet Chief Minister

    ESM Delegation met CM, UK on 26 Aug 2010 for resolving pending welfare issues of ESM, organised by MLA Shri Ganesh Joshi.

    Dear friends,
    Today our delegation with many Generals, Brigs, Cols met CM, UK for implementation of pending welfare issues of ESM. Details will follow. Photo taken by Lt Col BM Thapa, Veteran, Gen Secy, DESL.

    Monday, August 30, 2010

    Our petty little bureaucrats are a National shame

    By T J S George, 28/08/2010
    Our petty little bureaucrats
    It is strange that 5000 years of civilisation have left many of us uncivilised. Stranger still that most of the uncivilised end up as government bureaucrats. And because the bureaucrats – unseen, unobserved and always thinking small – manipulate most decisions on behalf of the country, the country is force-marched from one national shame to another.

    IESM: Bolster strategies for Pension Parity

    Dear All,
    Sitting 7 seas away from homeland, I have been reading with great enthusiasm all the e-mails circulated through RMS blog as also watching the news about IESM Rally on the Times-Now TV Channel here besides reading news in The Tribune & HT e-papers. Somehow I missed the the Discussion on DD ( Not Available here ) and Times Now and thus do not know much about the various views articulated by Members taking part in the discussion, except the ones mentioned in the various e-mails circulated through blog. Though I am not well familiar with the ground realities, it is a great morale boosting news that our senior most Veteran, Marshal of The Air Arjun Singh has emphatically supported our cause, the Leader of Opposition has once again raised the issue of OROP in the Rajya Sabha and that Brig Singh Deo has assured that he will look into the insidious facts being spread by Capt Dawar & Co. It is also heartening to see & read the change in the perception of ESM, Media ad the General Public about our cause. Also it is indeed a matter of great satisfaction that our Rally was an astounding success, in spite of various handicaps like logistics problems of assembling ESM from far off places, financial constraints, lack of empathy shown by some of our estranged brethren of some splinter ESM Orgs ( who only believe in self aggrandizement ) et al. It was undoubtedly a laudable show by IESM. Needless to stress that the entire credit goes to meticulously organised & managed arrangements and the untiring efforts put in by our Core Group for organising it, especially by Gens Kadyan & Satbir and unstinted support rendered by other members of the team, notwithstanding the various ibid handicaps. Even the media did its bit this time, specifically Times-Now. All said and done, so far so good.

    In retrospect, now let us bare our hearts and take a candid stock of events leading to the present state of consternation, as is obvious from indignation shown in some of the e-mails by our ESM and consider where we stand. The statement of RM in the Parliament in unequivocal /unambiguous terms that “OROP is not under consideration “ in his reply to a question in the Parliament recently, goes to show that all our efforts so far have not been able to bend the mentality of the unrepentant UPA Govt, in spite of oblique assurances by Smt Sonia Gandhi at her Rally in Chandigarh, by the President in her address to the opening joint session of the Parliament, by the PM in his address to the nation on Independence day from the ramparts of Red Fort and others. Obviously, all that was a sham. Intransigence appears to be writ large on the faces of our Netas in the Govt. Govt appears to be in a state of insomnia and our entreaties have borne negligible fruit amounting to naught. Barring half hearted limited benefits bestowed upon the JCOs (am I right?), NCOs and OR in the revised emoluments structure doled out after lot of pressure by the Chiefs and the ESM Orgs, the Govt has been adamant NOT to accept the plea for grant of OROP. So, it looks that our ostrich like mentality of sticking to our present concept of our peaceful and covert strategy has not shown tangible results, as we anticipated in the beginning. However, it will be wrong on my part to state the strategy adopted by our Core Group (i.e. Peaceful Gentlemanly sit- in Rallies, Return of Medals, writing to the President, PM & RM etc ) has been a failure. We have certainly and undoubtedly gone miles ahead in our movement and achieved some meaningful results. The mere fact that The Hon’ble President (our Supreme Cdr) was compelled to included OROP demand in her address to the Parliament, the partial improvement in the pensions of JCOs, NCOs & OR and the fact that some of the Senior Political Leaders hob-nobbling with us during the run up to last general election and highlighting our demand in various fora besides the bonhomie and awakening our Movement has created amongst ESM of all hues, is in itself a much vaunted achievement, though much less than what we had expected. But how long can we go on like this? But as it looks, I do not visualise OROP coming through in our life's time and is likely to remain indefinitely elusive like the Yeti, if we continue to adopt the present strategy.

    So at the end of the day, as I feel, that we find ourselves in a predicament as regards our strategy to achieve our aim of OROP. Even repeated recommendations by “All Party Parliament Committees on Defence” and rebuke by the Supreme Court, High Courts and now by the AFTs have had no effect on the Govt as regards OROP demand and the judgements pronounced so far. For our morbid Govt it appears to have become an enigmatic issue. Also as we all know the bureaucracy is a big impediment to our cause and more or less a thorn in the welfare of ESM and hence of zilch help to us. My personal view, as I expressed in some of my e-mails in yrs 2008-09, has always been that in our country the culture of peaceful non-violent agitation does not bear fruit. Take for example the case of reservation of jobs for SCs/STs/OBCs etc, it was only when “ Mandal “ happened the successive Govts relented, started giving it a thought and became pro-active ( of course, the political parties had their own axe to grind in that also, since they wanted take advantage of vote bank by granting reservation concession to these categories ). Similarly Col Bainsla’s aggressive Movement in Rajasthan ….., Farmers aggressive Movement in UP et al could only bring in the desired results. My intention of mentioning all this is not to adopt the theory propounded by Bolsheviks & Mao but to emphasize that we have to re-consider our strategy if we wish our demand for OROP to succeed sooner. I am of the firm view that “Jab Tak Bacha Rota Nahin, Maa Usey Doodh Nahin Deti“, meaning till we literally create a kind of ruckus, the Govt is not likely to pay much heed to our demand of OROP and concede easily to benefits pronounced in Courts/ AFT judgements. The Govts at the Centre (NDA, UPA as also earlier ones) did not show humane approach to our pain and with the current lot of powers that be, our strategy which has not caused any significant dent in their mentality, ipso facto amounts to hitting our head against stone wall. Thus, we have to consider modifying our strategy to a proactive, a bit aggressive and overt agitation. By aggressive agitation, I certainly do not mean that our agitation should be rowdy or violent or use foul language in slogans or resort to vandalism or resort to undignified coercive means or our stalwarts should deliver inflammatory and provocative speeches and so on, as done by the political parties and their leaders & farmers agitations etc. We could surely design suitable placards and rig up decent but pricking slogans e.g. “Jai Jawan, Jai Hindustan“, “Ham Ne Apni Jawani Ki Desh Ke Liye Qurbaan, Ab Aap Hamara Karo Dhiyan“, etc.

    I do appreciate that it is going to be long drawn and arduous Battle (or is it War?). Let us review our strategy and work out suitable aggressive and proactive methodology for future course of agitation. Few of my humble suggestions are as under:
  • As suggested in an earlier e-mail of mine that if all ESM orgs at Village, Block, Taluka, Tehsil , Distt Level and State level, keep a constant (and repeated) pressure on their respective elected MLAs & MPs both orally and in writing regarding OROP and other welfare measures like family pensions disparities, ECH Clinics & CSD outlets demands etc and keep on prodding them to take up these with the respective CMs, it will go a long way in achieving our goals. To help these orgs, IESM HQ may give them a suitable basic draft (both in English & Hindi or other local languages) giving glaring anomalies/ essential facts & figures (since some of them may not be aware of the exact details and may quote incorrect facts & figures), which they should include in their memorandum and present the same to these MLAs & MPs whenever they (ESM) meet them (ie MLAs/ MPs). If this has been done already, fine; but if it has not been done, it should be done now onwards. It is also suggested that whenever, they present such a memorandum, they should endorse a copy to IESM HQ. They should insist upon their MLAs /MPs to take up their representations with their respective CMs. They should also be advised to follow through their memorandum because most often, these MLAs/ MPs just consign such Memoranda to their trash baskets soon after receiving these. A follow up by these orgs and a feed back to IESM HQ, will go a long way in upward movement of out battle through state CMs to the Central Govt.
  • Unlike the last Rally, future Rallies should be held during fair weather ( neither rainy nor too hot or too cold) so as not to cause inconvenience either to outsiders ESMs attending the Rally at Delhi or to the organisers.
  • To me it looks inconceivable to arrange a massive gathering (say of about a Lakhs or above) at Delhi, obviously due not only to financial constraints but also due to logistics. One suggested way out is to gather as many ESM as possible at Delhi (the target could be in the range of at least above 10,000, inclusive of ladies) and hold simultaneous Rallies at respective State Capitals. The ESM Cells at the State Capitals could also take Delegations to the respective CMs and present Memorandum of OROP and other demand and later on follow through, keeping in mind that these Memoranda should be in conformity with the ones being preseted at Delhi by the Core Group. Depositing of Medals may, however, continue to be done centrally at Delhi.
  • We could highlight at future Rallies that the contention of Govt that it is not financially possible to grant OROP due to paucity of funds is incorrect. If the Govt can waive off Farmers' Loans to the tune of Rs 70,000 crores or more and enhance salaries and perks of MPs by more that 300%, there is no reason why OROP, which is likely to burden the country by comparatively a fraction of the aforesaid amount, cannot be granted.

    Apparently I have made my comments a bit lengthy. So, it is desirable that I stop here.I have penned these as they came to mind and have tried to express my feelings which may appear a bit disjointed at times and some of which may not be palatable to of some of our stalwarts. Also I might appear a bit pessimistic in my views, though I personally feel I am not. If felt so, kindly pardon me.
    With warm regards & best wishes for success of our Movement. God be with all of us. Amen!
    Bhupal Singh, Veteran
  • Sunday, August 29, 2010

    Spirit of Jawan: Life sans limbs

    Have a look at the above video clip. Hope it gets the message across.
    Fond regards,
    Col (Retd) Rakesh Sachdeva

    The Indian soldier who dies for you

    The Asian Age Aug 15th, 2010 - Kamal Davar.
    During the 175 years of British rule in India, many pan-India institutions were created by the British to serve their imperial interests in the subcontinent. These included the railways, police, the revenue, postal and telegraph departments, a sound judicial system, roads and bridges linking ports to the hinterland and, above all, the Indian Army, both for enforcing their writ within India and for operations in their overseas territories.
    Nearly 1.3 million Indian soldiers served in World War I (1914-1918) and over 2.58 million Indian soldiers fought for the Allies in World War II (1939-1945). During the latter period, under the leadership of the legendary Subhash Chandra Bose, an Indian National Army (INA) comprising deserters from the British Indian Army, was formed to fight the British to hasten the Independence of India. The INA, however, had no impact apart from cautioning the British Raj and re-kindling national awakening among some youth in India. But it is interesting to note that the decline of the British empire commenced with the Independence of India and its forfeiture and subsequent division of the formidable British Indian Army into the Indian and Pakistan armies.
    Homogenous units, some of them nearly 150-years-old, were bifurcated with Hindu and Sikh- majority units coming to India and Muslim troops dispatched to Pakistan. Little did these troops, who had lived and fought together for decades, know that Partition of India would soon, and thence frequently, bring to battle old comrades.
    British Viceroy Lord Wavell, prior to handing over charge in March 1947, outlined the centrality of the Indian Army to the about-to-be-formed new Indian nation-state in his farewell speech: “I believe that the stability of the Indian Army may perhaps be the deciding factor in the future of India”.
    The significance of the Indian Army (used generically to include the Indian Air Force and Indian Navy) and its contribution to the sacred concept of Indian nationhood cannot and must never be diluted. For all Indians, except a few cynics, the Indian armed forces symbolise not just blood and guts, fidelity and honour, but also “Loyalty unto Death” to the nation.
    Since Independence, the Indian Army has been involved in four wars against Pakistan and one with China in 1962, apart from other major operations like Operation Cactus Lily in April 1965 against Pakistan, Operation Meghdoot in 1986-88 in aid of Sri Lanka, Operation Prakaram (massive mobilisation against Pakistan after the terrorist attack on the Indian Parliament in 2001) and various counterinsurgency operations within the country. The 1971 operations against Pakistan, leading to the liberation of Bangladesh, will remain one of the major historic military victories in the annals of warfare.
    Apart from active conflicts, the Indian Army has also rendered matchless service in humanitarian activities during various natural calamities in the country, like currently in Leh. Its services in various United Nations peacekeeping missions has won it accolades all across the world.
    Immediately after Independence, the existence of the powerful Indian Army was a potent contributor in all but three states joining India of their own accord. The state of Hyderabad, under the rule of the Nizam, refused to join. In September 1948, the government ordered the Indian Army which launched Operation Polo led by Maj. Gen. J.N. Chaudhuri (later to be Army Chief) to secure the state. It took the Army just five days to amalgamate the state to the Indian Union. The tiny state of Junagadh too fell in line. However, the reluctance of Maharaja Hari Singh of the strategic state of Jammu and Kashmir to decide whether to join India or Pakistan led to Pakistan Army regulars and tribals invading parts of Kashmir to annex the state by force. As soon as the Maharaja signed the Instrument of Accession, Indian troops were airlifted to Srinagar airport. It was at Badgam, a few miles from the Srinagar airport, that the hastily-airlifted Maj. Somnath Sharma of 4 Kumaon became free India’s first Param Vir Chakra winner. The last wireless message of this daring soldier to his brigade commander was “…enemy are only 50 yards from us — we are heavily outnumbered. We are under devastating fire. I shall not withdraw but will fight to the last man and last round”. Three days later the badly mutilated body of this valiant soldier, alongwith bodies of his men, was found. It was identified only because of some pages of the Gita he used to keep in his pocket. The exemplary valour and sacrifice of these soldiers saved the Kashmir Valley from falling into Pakistan’s hands. The Pakistanis known for their unsoldierly traits, in similar fashion during the Kargil War in 1999 in the Ladakh sector, brutally tortured the young Lt. Hanifuddin before killing him. On the other hand, when the Pakistanis refused to take over their own dead soldiers’ bodies, the Indian Army gave them a proper burial with full religious rites.
    Can anyone forget the valiant Kumaoni company led by Maj. Shaitan Singh at Rezang La in eastern Ladakh in 1962 fighting against Chinese hordes in far greater numbers — the entire company of over a 100 men fought to the last man. Similar valour was displayed by the resolute Sikh platoon under Subedar Jogindar Singh at Bumla during the same 1962 operations.
    There are countless such soldiers in Indian Army’s battle histories. The nation must never forget the supreme sacrifice of thousands of others who have shed their blood for the nation’s integrity. India is powerful and resilient enough not to succumb to pressure from any quarter, for the last bastion of the state is always at the nation’s beck and call and will never be found wanting to confront any challenge to India.
    Lt Gen Kamal Davar (Retd) was the founder Director-General of the Defence Intelligence Agency
    The Indian soldier who dies for you


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