Saturday, September 18, 2010

CWG: Kalmadi Kaleidoscope

Deccan Herald: Saturday 18 September 2010
CWG scam: A mirror to official sloth, corruption and opacity by Rajdeep Sardesai

Mani Shankar Aiyar has probably not read Dale Carnegie’s best-seller, ‘How to win friends and influence people’. A few years ago, in a St Stephen’s alumni book, former external affairs minister Natwar Singh wrote, "I am what I am because of the college." Prompt came Aiyar’s rejoinder: "Why blame the college!"

Politics though is not a college campus. The ready wit and pungent sarcasm which might earn applause in a debating society is deemed as offensive in the real world. Lost in the process is the bank of knowledge that often informs Aiyar’s writings and speeches. Which is why when he chose last week to express the hope that the Commonwealth Games would collapse with the rains, there was instant anger at what was deemed as an ‘anti-national’ remark, especially coming from an MP who is still a member of the ruling party and was sports minister not too long ago.

Ironically, a few days later, the tables have rather dramatically turned. Aiyar is now a chuckling soothsayer, Suresh Kalmadi is seen as a bumbling villain. As a slew of corruption allegations hit the Games, there is almost a self-congratulatory note among the Commonwealth nay-sayers for whom the event is a waste of tax-payers’ money.
That with less than 60 days to go for India’s biggest sports competition, there is still a fierce debate over the necessity for it to be held in the first place only confirms our status as the world’s premier squabbling democracy. Could anyone imagine a similar debate in China ahead of the Beijing 2008 Olympics?

Unfortunately, the debate itself has been wrongly posited as ‘national pride’ versus ‘national shame.’ Tying up the successful organisation of a sports event to ‘nationalism’ has a distinct Soviet-style ring to it. Cold war Soviet Union could see staging the Moscow Olympics in 1980 as symbolic of their ‘superior’ ideological system. Communist China perhaps viewed the Beijing Olympics as a ‘coming of age’ party.

Even South Africa, a republic which is still less than two decades old, could view the soccer World Cup as an opportunity to parade its credentials as a ‘rainbow nation’.

The Commonwealth debate needs to be shorn of the ‘Games as nationalism’ tag. A high-pitched battle between those who see every stadium leak as a disgrace and those who believe that a beautified national capital will be a source of pride will serve little purpose. Instead, we need to focus on what is really the root of the present controversy: a prevailing culture which is rooted in sloth, corruption and opacity. The Commonwealth Games are not the problem; they are only a symptom of the wider crisis that confronts new India.

Unrealistic expectation
In the euphoria of over 8 per cent growth, we sometimes forget that we are still ranked a lowly 84th in the transparency international corruption index. When a society is steeped in corruption, it would be unrealistic to expect that a Rs 40,000 crore event will be above it all, especially when its organisational set-up is a hydra-headed monster led by an army of babus and multiple authorities.

Moreover, the belief that the end of the licence-permit raj would usher in transparent procedures has long since been proven bogus. Instead, it has only bred a form of crony capitalism that revolves around handing out largesse to friends and relatives. Sports has been a particular sufferer in this regard.

Every sports federation is run like a mini-empire by warlords and their henchmen, with virtually no checks and balances. Kalmadi has been heading the athletics federation for more than 20 years, the Indian Olympic association for 14 years. In the process, Olympic sport in this country has become Kalmadi’s playground, an event like the Commonwealth Games providing the perfect stage for him to distribute patronage to the chosen few.

But why single out Kalmadi? What is the accountability of the government of India whose senior bureaucrats are on various Commonwealth committees? The prime minister appointed a core group of ministers to supervise the games, should they not take some responsibility? The CVC report is a damning indictment of every civic authority in the urban development ministry and Delhi government, should they not be also brought under the scanner?

In a sense, the parallels between the Commonwealth Games and that other sporting circus, the IPL, are uncanny. In the IPL, the sleaze showed up the frailties of corporate India which tried to run the event like a private members club. In the Commonwealth Games, it’s the soft underbelly of the Indian state which is being exposed.

In the IPL, a single individual, Lalit Modi has been held responsible for the corruption even as the other board and governing council members appear to have got away. In the Commonwealth Games too, the focus seems to be on Kalmadi when it should be on every government department that has benefited from the bonanza. Maybe, that’s why its called the Commonwealth games: the wealth has been commonly shared!
(The writer is editor-in-chief, IBN 18 network)
CWG scam: A mirror to official sloth, corruption and opacity by Rajdeep Sardesai

Military World Games
MWG were hosted by Indian armed forces under the aegis of International Military Sports Council (CISM) in Hyderabad and Mumbai from October 14-21. Of the 6,000 athletes who participated in the Games from more than 100 countries in 17 disciplines, 25% were Olympic medal winners. The Andhra Pradesh government, the army’s Pune-based Southern Command and the Mumbai-based Western Naval Command were also in charge of the event.

CAG pointed out that the ministry of defence (MoD) had sanctioned Rs50 crore by March 2007 to Services Sports Control Board (SSCB), which sought Rs19 crore more. This money was made available by defence public sector units on the direction of the department of defence production. As per rules, projects exceeding an outlay of Rs100 crore need cabinet approval, but in this case sanctions for Rs138 crore were granted at the ministry level.

The Andhra government was paid in advance with no formal agreement and could not provide bills or details of services provided. CAG observes that Rs4.76 crore received on account of charges realised from extra CISM contingents was diverted to non-public funds between September 2007 and June 2008.

MWG estimated cost Rs 138 crores Vs CWG Games anticipated cost Rs 40,000 crores: Degree of corruption in 2 years escalates four hundredfold!
Commonwealth Games corruption has a rival

Chennai Girl from OTA becomes first woman to raise sword of honour

Divya Ajithkumar of Chennai made all women proud by being the parade commander. She is the first lady cadet to receive the "sword of Honour" from the Army chief

Chennai woman officer to get top honour at OTA
Express News Service First Published : 17 Sep 2010
CHENNAI: Chennaiite Divya Ajithkumar will receive the Sword of Honour, the first-ever woman to snaffle the laurel, awarded to the best trainee at the Officers’ Training Academy, ever since they started commissioning lady officers in 1992.

Army Chief Gen V K Singh, who will review the passing out parade of 244 cadets at the OTA in Chennai on Saturday, would decorate her with the Sword of Honour.

Divya, who also claimed three gold medals in academics at OTA, said the award would prod her to reach more milestones. 'Receiving the award from Army chief himself is an honour. It should inspire me for bigger feats,' she told Express on Thursday.

The 21-year-old felt the strenuous training at the OTA had toughened her up, mentally and physically. 'We were not exempted from any routines during the 11 months of training and treated on par with our male counterparts. The training has enabled us to take up more responsibilities in future,' she said.

The youngest daughter of Ajithkumar and Beena, the Choolaimedu resident completed her schooling from Good Shepherd Convent and BCom from Stella Maris College. An elated Ajithkumar said: 'She was always an outdoor person. She is sincere in whatever she does.' Her parents never imposed their will on her. 'She sets her goal and we encourage her to achieve it. As I was mostly away, my wife groomed her,' he said.

Apart from academics, in which she has an impressive record, she represented her school basketball team at various levels.

She was also into athletics, such as marathon and discus throw. A Taekwon-Do (she started practicing at the age of two) black belt (second Dan), she is a national-level bronze medallist.

Besides martial arts, she learnt performing arts. Divya practised Bharatanatyam and Carnatic music, apart from being an accomplished drummer.

She had represented Tamil Nadu in the Republic Day Parade 2008 and had the rare double honour of being awarded both the All India Best Cadet and All India Best Parade Commander for leading the parade of NCC cadets. She got a commendation from the then Chief of Army Staff.
Chennai Woman Officer to get top honour at OTA
Slideshow: Passing out Parade OTA- Signs of Change

Why I Still Serve to Defend the Nation: A Soldier's Lament

The poem below amply, subtly and truly portrays the predicament of ESM battling for Pension Parity and campaigning for One Rank One Pension... equity, honour and justice for the Retired Military Personnel.

Major Gaurav Arya said...
Dear Bandita,
Thank you for your kind words. I wrote this a long, long time back... and got into a lot of trouble with the army top brass for my sins. I read your blog too... you write very well, I must say. Do keep it up.
I have given up writing... actually I pledged my soul to the devil. I would give up what I enjoyed and he would give me money. As with all deals with the devil, this one fell through... too. So, I dont write and the promised gold is nowhere in sight.
Best wishes... and keep writing,
Gaurav Arya
Randomised Rainbow: click here to read the original post

Why Do I still Serve You? ... Please read it and ponder...
How you play with us, did you ever see?
At Seven, I had decided what I wanted to be;
I would serve you to the end,
All these boundaries I would defend.
Now you make me look like a fool,
When at Seventeen and just out of school;
Went to the place where they made ‘men out of boys’
Lived a tough life …sacrificed a few joys…
In those days, I would see my ‘civilian’ friends,
Living a life with the fashion trends;
Enjoying their so called ‘College Days’
While I sweated and bled in the sun and haze…
But I never thought twice about what where or why
All I knew was when the time came, I’d be ready to do or die.
At 21 and with my commission in hand,
Under the glory of the parade and the band,
I took the oath to protect you over land, air or sea,
And make the supreme sacrifice when the need came to be.
I stood there with a sense of recognition,
But on that day I never had the premonition,
that when the time came to give me my due,
You’d just say,’ What is so great that you do?’
Long back you promised a well to do life;
And when I’m away, take care of my wife.
You came and saw the hardships I live through,
And I saw you make a note or two,
And I hoped you would realise the worth of me;
but now I know you’ll never be able to see,
Because you only see the glorified life of mine,
Did you see the place where death looms all the time?
Did you meet the man standing guard in the snow?
The name of his newborn he does not know...
Did you meet the man whose father breathed his last?
While the sailor patrolled our seas so vast?
You still know I’ll not be the one to raise my voice
I will stand tall and protect you in Punjab Himachal and Thois.
But that’s just me you have in the sun and rain,
For now at Twenty Four, you make me think again;
About the decision I made, Seven years back;
Should I have chosen another life, some other track?
Will I tell my son to follow my lead?
Will I tell my son, you’ll get all that you need?
This is the country you will serve
This country will give you all that you deserve?
I heard you tell the world ‘India is shining’
I told my men, that’s a reason for us to be smiling
This is the India you and I will defend!
But tell me how long will you be able to pretend?
You go on promise all that you may,
But it’s the souls of your own men you betray.
Did you read how some of our eminent citizens
Write about me and ridicule my very existence?
I ask you to please come and see what I do,
Come and have a look at what I go through
Live my life just for a day
Maybe you’ll have something else to say?
I will still risk my life without a sigh
To keep your flag flying high
but today I ask myself a question or two...
Oh India... Why do I still serve you?

Photographs for Corps History

Dear Brigadier Kamboj,
Volume II of the Corps History covering the period 1947-72 has been completed. The only thing we lack is photographs. I request veterans to kndly help. I am sure there must be many who have personal albums. The photos can be scanned and sent to us by e mail. Alternately, they can be delivered to the Corps History Cell, in Signals Enclave, They will be returned after scanning.
We need photos of the following:
  • J&K ops in 1947-48
  • Sino-Indian conflict, 1962.
  • Bangladesh ops, 1971.
  • Training activity in MCTE, STC and units.
    I would be grateful if this can be circulated. This will probably be the last appeal for help with the Corps History.
    Maj Gen VK Singh (Retd)
    Corps of Signals History Cell
  • Pension of a Major's Widow: Rs 70 per month

    Dear Friends,
    Jai Hind.
    Please read the email and its enclosure below.
    I think it is not only a shame for the GoI but the Army HQ has to be held equally responsible for it. If any ESM knows a serving senior officer in Army HQ, kindly do pass on this email to him.
    While in service, if we had taken more care of our ESM, and we had the guts to stand up to the nonsense of GoI, we would not be in this terrible state.
    How can we blame the present serving officers alone!
    In service of Indian Military Veterans
    Chander Kamboj.

    From: Krishan K Punchhi
    Sent: 17 September 2010 16:44
    R Sedhuraman, Legal Correspondent, The Tribune
    New Delhi, September 17, 2010
    Expressing shock over the payment of a monthly pension of Rs 70 to a 90-year-old widow of an Army officer, the Supreme Court today issued notice to the Centre and the Army seeking its response to a PIL filed by her.
    “What is this? You are paying her just Rs 70 a month. Even a kilo of arhar dal costs around Rs 80,” a Bench of Justices Markandeya Katju and TS Thakur observed while passing the order.
    The petitioner’s husband, Major Dharam Chand, had died in 1967 after a heart attack. The petitioner, Pushpa Vanti, said her husband could not get regular medical treatment due to the 1962 and 1965 wars. She had written to the government several times demanding higher pension so that she could bring up her two children.
    According to her, she is entitled to a pension of about Rs 27,000 a month. She feels ashamed and humiliated to receive Rs 70 as pension when families of sepoys get more than Rs 150 a month. Her husband was a recipient of 14 medals.

    Cabinet approves additional 10% DA increase from July 2010

    Cabinet today clears the order for Dearness allowance (DA) and Dearness Relief (DR) increase for Central Govt employees. The increase in DA is 10 %. The decision will benefit about 90 lakhs of Government employees and pensioners.

    Now the DA will be increased to 45%.

    The decision to provide higher DA to employees will cost the exchequer an additional Rs. 9,303.2 crore per annum for the government.

    Official Press release of Finance Ministry:
    Release of additional instalment of dearness allowance to Central Government employees and dearness relief to Pensioners due from 1.7.2010 to compensate for price rise The Union Cabinet today decided to release an additional instalment of Dearness Allowance (DA) to Central Government employees and Dearness Relief (DR) to pensioners w.e.f. 1.7.2010 representing an increase of 10% over the existing rate of 35% of the Basic Pay/Pension, to compensate for price rise.

    The increase is in accordance with the accepted formula, which is based on the recommendations of the 6th Central Pay Commission.

    The combined impact on the exchequer on account of both Dearness Allowance and Dearness Relief will be of the order of Rs. 9303.2 crore per annum and Rs. 6202.1 crore in the financial year 2010-2011 (for a period of 8 months from July, 2010 to February, 2011).

    click here to visit earlier blog post
    Keep visiting to download the latest DA Order 2010. The order will be published soon in our website.

    Friday, September 17, 2010

    ECHS: Reduce your visits to the Doctor

    If you remember only 5 things for good health...
    Given all the uncertainties of ECHS- their attended constraints and teething problems, it makes sense to make personal health maintenance a high priority. So here are some tips to remember:

  • Health is your responsibility. It is not the doctor's job, the hospital's job, your spouse's job or the government's job to keep you healthy — it's up to you. We suffer from chronic diseases that are too often the result of poor habits. The choices you make today usually determine the health you have tomorrow.

  • Stay active. If you're looking for the fountain of youth, look no further than that pair of shorts/ sneakers in your closet. A daily “dose” of 30 minutes of moderately intense exercise will go a long way toward keeping you healthy as you age.

  • You are what you eat. Diets high in saturated fats and refined sugars provide lots of calories and little nutrition. Imagine your plate in four quadrants; three of them should be filled with colorful fruits and vegetables. This is a simple but very important image to maintain whether you're at home or eating out.

  • Stop smoking. Smoking is the greatest modifiable health risk facing our nation. For people who want to try to kick the habit on their own and for those who need an extra push, professional help can be found with the help of your local doctor. However you do it, live smoke-free.

  • Keep a healthy emotional outlook. Life has ups and downs for all of us, but how we react to adversity influences not only our own psychological health but also the quality of life of those who live and work with us. It's like Grandma Moses said: “Life is what we make it — always has been, always will be.”
    ... courtesy Dr Tedd Mitchell
  • CSD Canteen at Vijay Nagar, Ghaziabad to continue functioning

    Dear Friends,
    Jai Hind.
    The closure of the ESM CSD Canteen at Vijay Nagar Ghaziabad (UP), has been halted.
    The DO letter received from present Army Commander Central Command, Gen VK Ahluwalia, is as above.
    On behalf of YOU ALL, ‘i’ thank Gen Ahluwalia and Gen Sharma for stopping the closure of the said ESM CSD Canteen.
    In service of Indian Military Veterans
    Chander Kamboj.

    The Army Wife

    The good Lord was creating
    A model for military wives
    and was into his sixth day of overtime
    when an angel appeared.
    She said, “Lord, you seem to be having
    a lot of trouble with this one
    What’s wrong with the standard model?”
    The Lord replied,
    “Have you seen the specs of this order?
    She has to be completely independent,
    possess the qualities of both mother and father
    be a perfect hostess for four to forty
    with a hours notice, run on black coffee
    handle every imaginable without a manual
    be able to carry on cheerfully,
    even if she is pregnant and has the flu,
    and she must have six pair of hands.”
    The angel shook her head
    “Six pair of hands? No way!”
    The Lord continued, “Don’t worry,
    we will make other military wives to help her
    And we will give her an unusually strong heart
    so it can swell with pride
    in husbands achievements,
    sustain the pain of separation
    beat soundly when it is overworked and tired
    and be large enough to say
    “I understand” when she doesn’t
    and “I love you” regardless
    “Lord”, said the angel, touching his arm gently,
    “Go to bed and get some rest,
    You can finish this tomorrow”
    “I can’t stop now,” Said the Lord
    I’m so close to creating something unique
    Already this model heals herself when she is sick
    can put up six unexpected guest for the weekend
    wave good-bye to her husband from a pier
    a runway or depot and understand
    why it’s important the he leave
    The angel circled the model of the military wife
    looked at it closely and sighed
    “It looks fine, but it’s too soft”
    “She may look soft”, replied the Lord
    “but she has the strength of a lion
    you would not believe what she can endure”
    Finally, the angel bent over and ran her fingers
    across the cheek of the Lord’s creation
    “There’s a leak,” she announced
    “Something is wrong with the construction
    I’m not surprised that it has cracked.
    “You are trying to put too much into this model”
    The Lord appeared offended
    at the angel’s lack of confidence
    “What you see is not a leak,” he said,
    “It’s a tear”
    A tear” What is it here for?” asked the angel
    The Lord replied, “It’s for joy, sadness, pain
    disappointment, loneliness, pride and dedication
    to all the values that she
    and her husband hold dear.”
    click here to read more inspiring Military Poems

    IESM General Body Meeting held on 16 Sep 2010

    Dear Colleagues,
    The IESM Governing body had a meeting this evening from 1730 to 2030 hours. It was attended by CK Sharma, Vinod Gandhi, Parvesh Renjen, Aditya Jaini, Sharan Ahuja, Rakesh Chaturvedi and self. Minutes will be prepared and disseminated shortly. Gist of major decisions is:
  • The existing methods have shown positive results and should continue
  • In view of the government having conceded our demand for a separate pay commission, the PM should be approached to constitute the pay commission at the earliest without waiting for the Seventh Pay Commission
  • Support of maximum Number of MsP should be garnered before the winter session of the Parliament.
    We welcome the following members into the IESM fold: -
    1. Rear Admiral Ravi Kshetrapal
    2. Air Cmde Badhwar
    3. Cmde MR Khan
    4. AVM JS Sisodia
    5. Shri Gulshan Kalra – supporter
    We also compliment Aditya Jaini for being the motivator.
    Best regards,
    Lt Gen (Emeritus) Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
    Chairman IESM

    OROP Campaign
    We acknowledge that the IESM has a difficult campaign (OROP) ahead, but if it can continue to develop its membership – and we know the cause is popular and just – then it stands a far better chance of quick success. Presently it is run by people who recognize that, and are prepared to work at it, and certainly IESM will go from strength to strength. The NDTV OROP Program is an eye opener and one perceives the hurdles one need to surmount before Rank, Honour, Status and Equitable Pension are granted to all Retired Military Personnel. The alternative is a continuation of the steady decline as we have seen other Ex Servicemen Organisations who have a great structure but no substance! Therefore it is imperative all ESM join hands to espouse for a common cause to benefit every stream of our fraternity.
  • Thursday, September 16, 2010

    Barkha Dutt's way to trail a blaze

    Barkha Dutt, the best-known face of NDTV, has attained iconic status as a reporter. A role model for the young, her appeal cuts across all age groups. Barkha has pushed the limits of intrepid news reporting far beyond the conventional. In an exclusive interview to Nirupama Dutt, Barkha talks of her life and work.

    She has been given the title of Indian Christiane Amanpour for bringing home war on the television sets. Many are the appellations that young Barkha Dutt has earned in her career as a reporter and now senior editor with New Delhi Television, the country’s biggest private TV company. She is an unmistakable icon for the young. A Miss India 2002 contestant called out from the stage that among the women who inspired her were "Winfrey Oprah, Barkha Dutt and Sushmita Sen".

    Young Barkha has earned four journalism awards and the Inlaks Scholarship (1997), which sends six Indians abroad annually for graduate work. Numerous are the positive reviews that her reports have been given in Indian print media. Recently, bubbly Bollywood actress Preity Zinta donned the Barkha Dutt look with cropped hair and no make-up except for kajal as she played Romila Dutta, a war reporter, in Lakshya. All this would be enough to turn any head, young or old. But not Barkha’s for she is a young professional woman with a sensible head on her shoulders.

    Meeting Barkha, one thinks she is indeed her mother’s daughter. Her mother’s story of war reporting begins years before Barkha was born. At the time of the Indo-Pak war in 1965, Prabha Behl, a bright young reporter with the Hindustan Times, sought permission to cover the war for her newspaper. Those were the subdued sixties and women were still struggling hard to make a place for themselves in a man’s world. The editor said a firm "No" to Prabha. "We don’t send women reporters to the war front." But Prabha was a competent reporter and she found a way out for herself. She took leave from office and went to stay with her grandparents in Amritsar. Recounting this, Barkha says: "There, she made contacts and went to the front on her own. She started sending news dispatches from there. And these were so good that the newspaper had no choice but to use them." There is pride in the daughter’s voice as she tells this.

    Extracts from... Dutt’s way to blaze a trail
    Barkha Dutt has extensively reported on Kargil war, Kashmir, The Mumbai Mayhem- the Pak terror attack and Moderator cum Anchor for "We The People" A NDTV Presentation.

    Lt Gen Nathu Singh's Appreciation of Land Forces for Defence of India in 1948

    From: vinay singh
    Sent: 14 September 2010 09:58
    Subject: GEN NATHU SINGH
    Dear Brigadier Kamboj,
    Thank you for posting Sarojini Naidu’s letter to Nathu Singh. Here is something else on the same lines, which is as relevant today as it was then. In January 1948, soon after taking over as GOC UP Area in Lucknow, Gen Nathu Singh wrote an Appreciation on the Defence of India, and forwarded it to Army HQ. He was greatly perturbed by a directive issued from the office of the C-in-C, which sought to reduce the size of the Regular Army to 150,000 - during World War II, it had risen to 2.5 million - with an annual budget allocation of 45 crore rupees for the next three years.

    In the preamble, he wrote:
    "We as soldiers must approach our leaders and submit our minimum requirements and make it clear that if funds are not provided for such a force, the responsibility will be upon them. A soldier is but a servant of the State. He must however, point out any weaknesses in the defensive structure of the country with all the emphasis at his command. In order to arrive at a correct appreciation, we must consider both military and allied factors and not be swayed by any notions of idealism or allow political considerations to affect our judgment...
    ...We must NOT decide on the size of our Defence Service on what we can financially afford but on what we need in the form of a Modern Defence based on the following considerations:
    (a) What is the strength and armament of present and potential enemies of India?
    (b) What is the force required by India to meet this threat
    (c) What will be the cost of maintaining such a force?
    (d) What is the maximum amount the country can afford to pay for its Defence Forces?
    (e) To arrive at a compromise between (b), (c) and (do above, consistent with the safety of our land.
    Keeping the above in view, the Land Forces which India should maintain are given in the enclosed appreciation. They are only my first thoughts."

    Nathu Singh proceeded to list out the frame work of the Indian Army, for the future. By present standards, he was extremely conservative - he asked for one corps headquarters, one armoured division, two infantry divisions, one parachute brigade, one armoured brigade, and the associated complement of Artillery, Engineers and Signals. The number of infantry battalions was only 28. However, he advocated a large complement of territorial army, which would provide the second line of defence, and boost the resources of the regular army, during war.
    In April 1948, Nathu Singh was promoted to the rank of Lt Gen and appointed GOC-in-C Eastern Command, at Ranchi. He continued his efforts to convince the political and military leadership of the necessity of maintaining a strong Army. When asked for a run-down of the Army, he wrote to Army HQ on 24 October 1950:
    "...The situation facing the country from the military point of view is today virtually the same if not worse because, although Pakistan outwardly appears to be fraternising with our country, recent speeches of their leaders leave no room for doubt that they are preparing for a show-down with our country over the KASHMIR issue.
    ...Communist China's complete success over the KUOMINTANG and the establishment of the Peoples' Government, their recent activities, their declared policy towards liberation of Tibet, and the recent Mission from the latter country clearly indicate the writing on the wall. The Communist menace is gradually spreading towards the very borders of India.
    ...To ensure the security of our borders and our State, the Defence service ratio between INDIA and PAKISTAN should be two to one . If this is reduced, we will be laying our country open to an ever present danger of a major war."

    Nathu Singh's remarks, especially with reference to Pakistan and China, display an insight of international affairs which very few Indians had, at that time. Even Nehru, who orchestrated India's foreign policy for almost two decades following Independence, failed to grasp the nuances which Nathu Singh had perceived. As a result, the Defence Forces were neglected, with disastrous results in 1962. An intimate knowledge of military affairs is important for those who decide the fate of peoples, and nations. Among his contemporaries, such as Churchill, Stalin, Chiang Kai Shek, Roosevelt, Eisenhower, Tito, and Nasser, Nehru was one of the few who had never worn an uniform.

    This applies even to our present day political masters. Not one of our Prime Ministers or Defence Ministers, from 1947 till now, has ever worn an uniform.
    Maj Gen VK Singh

    IESM: Let us be prudent in our observations

    Dear Friends,
    Jai Hind.
    Ms Barkha Dutt, daughter of a Defence Service Officer, is like our own daughter. We have seen her bloom from the days of Kargil War. Without saying so, she has undoubtedly demonstrated it many times that Defence personnel, serving and retired and their families have a very special place in her heart. Majority of Defence Services personnel, serving and retired, and their families, and majority of NDTV viewers in India and abroad adore and respect her.
    Now read and re-read the email below received from Ms Barkha Dutt. Feel the deep hurt we have caused her. Are we being fair to Ms Barkha Dutt– our own daughter?
    Those of you who still feel that the NDTV show on OROP, organised (telecast) with so much pains by Barkha, on 12 Sep 10, was not good – are over estimating their own capabilities. Please come down to mother earth – or accept the challenge and produce something better.
    ‘i’ appeal to YOU ALL, to kindly stop sending those rude emails to Ms Barkha Dutt– The Beloved Daughter of All Defence Personnel.
    In service of Indian Military Veterans
    Chander Kamboj.

    Copy to Ms Barkha Dutt
    Dear Barkha,
    ‘i’ suggest you should forgive and forget those who are sending those rude emails to you. ‘i’ feel they neither know their own capabilities nor depth of your love for Defence Services. May God also forgive them for their follies.
    With very fond regards and wishing you further grand success in every task you undertake.
    God be with you.
    Chander Kamboj

    From: Barkha Dutt []
    Sent: 16 September 2010 01:20
    With all due respect, the levels of cynicism in this group.. are truly outstanding. A tv show may never meet the exact specifications of everyone who has a view on the subject... but .. the team did the best job it could to highlight a crucial national issue.
    Im extremly disappointed now to ... be at the receiving end.. of mails that question our intentions.. and look for conspiracy theories... ?

    From: Barkha Dutt
    Sent: 16 September 2010 08:53
    Thanks sir.. for this..
    Its been rather bewildering to see some of the responses.. despite us doing our best.. to highlight this cause...
    Im very touched by your mail
    warmest wishes

    NDTV OROP: The backstage story and its significance


    The NDTV Programme of 12 Sep 10, on OROP. “Rajeev speaks for One Rank, One Pension on "We The People" programme on NDTV - September 12, 2010 - Watch video clips below. Total duration 49 minutes.

    I watched the programme with great expectations and they were not belied.
    Kameshwar Sahib has given a very good account of what happened before the show and the long term benefits of preparation of an audience which is not exposed to the Services.
    I have also had interaction with civilians who had watched the show and found that they were aghast at the injustice meted out to soldiers.
    I must say that we were lucky that we had MPs Rajeev Chandershekhar and Manvendra Singh to support us. They will be a great help when the Parliament discusses the matter.
    Now as regards our servicemen's contribution, I felt there was a deficiency. Had it not been for Capt Sidhu's and Hony Lt Kameshwar Pandey's forceful contributions the impact would have been minimal. Sidhu's assertion brought tears to my wife's and my eyes. While Pandey Sahib's threat and warning that if the govt thinks that it can divide officers, JCOs and men the result could be drastic, was potent. Also that the soldiers will not brook delay any longer.
    I regret the senior officers present acted as gentlemen to a fault. This has been the bane of the Services and the bureaucrats have ridden roughshod over us for all these years. Its time we put our gloves on and vehemently expose lies and subterfuges of the govt/ bureaucarcy.
    Why didnt we expose the way every civil service has upgraded its appointments and ours have been downgraded? How a Chief Secretary who was junior to a Brig is now senior to an Army Cdr in his own state. The senior most police officer in a state, who used to get less pay than a brig now gets a salary equivalent to an Army Cdr.
    Have the IAS and IPS done something special to deserve this special treatment? This is how honour is affected! In fact the IAS & IPS are responsible for keeping the Army and all the paramilitary forces busy during peacetime, due to bad governance on their part.
    I presume a TV programme has time limitations but we should have brain stormed and identified our bullet points for emphasis. Such opportunities do not come our way very often. Anyway, there hopefully will be an another occasion soon as other TV cahnnels will be wanting to have a similar programme.
    I hope I have not trod on too many toes and my opinion is taken in the correct spirit.
    Bahri (Lt Gen SK Bahri)

    Readers Responses and Comments
    Click here to read more comments from Readers

    Wednesday, September 15, 2010

    Tendulkar can’t make the uniform aspirational

    Anshul Chaturvedi, Times of India 07 September 2010, 06:30 PM IST
    Sachin Tendulkar being conferred an honorary IAF rank, one must assume, is at its core, an effort to gain greater visibility and aspirational status for the Air Force among the country’s youth. The IAF as such can surely have no agenda to promote or reward cricketing legends – God knows there is no deficit of agencies keen to felicitate Sachin – and the reality, unfortunate or otherwise, is that it needs the positive rub-off of an idol sporting an IAF uniform more than the cricketing maestro needs any recognition from the uniformed services.

    The fact that all the three services in the Indian armed forces are facing a shortage of officers for several years is no breaking news. Now, we are hardly a nation facing a numerical deficiency of young men – and women, since the uniform is hardly an exclusively male domain any more – but we never seem to have enough good enough ones in this context. There are many professional domains where the demand of people good enough to get in far exceeds the supply of available slots, but the defence services are not quite there. Have not been quite there, for quite a while, actually....

    And it is the adding together of all such perceptions that makes us resort to having to find a star batsman – with absolutely no offence to Sachin’s stature – to pitch the IAF’s profile. Because, frankly, as a country, we don’t really value the fundamentals that make a job that’s about defending or policing the country, quite worth it. We will come out on the streets during Kargil, applaud the NSG during 26/11, and tsk-tsk when we read that 76 CRPF men are slaughtered – but that’s about it.
    Mr 210-crores-in-three-years Dhoni required to pitch for the Army now, anyone?
    Read the full article:
    Even Tendulkar can’t make the uniform aspirational

    Comment by sharan: September 08,2010 at 08:27 AM IST
    Anshul, you are writing about symptoms, not the real problems here. The real problems are that as a race of people we are weak in mind, body and character, and we always choose to do what is convenient for ourselves rather than what is right.
    The symptoms of this attitude show themselves in different ways, depending on where we are. As leaders and politicians, we resort to large-scale looting without contributing anything useful. As policemen we take sides with criminals and harass the innocent, in exchange for "supari". As soldiers, we cringe before our superior officers like cowards, but in the presence of unarmed civilians we turn into bullies. As Class 4 workers we hold the country to ransom, expecting more and more for doing less and less. It doesn't matter where we are; we will find a way to sabotage the system. What we need is to find a way to strengthen ourselves mentally and acquire the right character as humans.

    NDTV OROP Debate: Readers Responses and feedback

    Ref: NDTV Video on OROP Debate- click here

    Dear Gen Kadyan and Gen Satbir,
    First of all please accept my compliments for leading a great campaign unparalleled in the history of serving and veteran soldiers and building up the crescendo. You are doing a wonderful job. Objective is within sight. Please keep it up. Secondly I wish to caution you against a pitfall trap of the IAS lobby. They are too cunning and clever. Watch out your flanks and the hidden trap. Slowly and methodically they are trying to turn the civilian and by implication the general public against the veterans, by pitching the comparison of civilian professional with the Army like that of paramilitary forces, railways, firefighters, relief and rescue workers and so on. My suggestion is -- please do not get drawn to this argument as and when a civilian profession is compared with Army. Simply stick to our stand of equal pension for equal amount of service and the post held at the time of retirement. If government is convinced let them give OROP to all civilians. Why should we have objection? You may like to issue an advisory on these lines. In the NDTV programme one veteran was trying to justify the risk to life of a fire fighter vis a vis a soldier. This sort of discussion even if true does not go well with civilians. Regards,
    Brig CL Lakhanpal (Retd)

    I saw the NDTV program & was aghast at the hypocrisy and duplicity two female lawyers who were making out as if there was no legal basis for equal rank , equal pension. They did not seem to notice how come the MPS & most IAS retire with it . And what big fees they charge to open their mouths in court.
    The treatment meted out to Army is no different than to others serving the nation, and is meted out by the selfish & corrupt IAS & MP combine.

    They have the easiest of jobs, are arrogant to the core, zero accountability , have routinely filled their own pockets & consider themselves indispensable to the nation, while for the most part they are corrupt, inefficient & a burden to the nation.

    Army needs to be treated as special service as we live in a hostile neighborhood & face threats from within too. The nation has to face ignominies & is unable to talk up to China & punish Pakistan for its open use of terrorism . Rather we offer Pak aid on their own terms.

    In the face of reality around us we need to give the army the best of equipment & service & retirement terms to attract & retain the best . Those who suffer disabilities need our special care & consideration . Their families need our full support to lead a proud decent life. Their children should be eligible for 100% free education where ever they want to study.

    The high morale of our Army is our best protection. In a country where corruption & inefficiency costs us lacs of crores per annum, where food grains rot, development money is routinely siphoned off, crores are siphoned off wasted on some stupid games, money is never a consideration & never will be.
    Ajay S Hooda

    Read more Comments and Suggestions
    Readers Responses to NDTV Debate on OROP

    Time to Plan and Act: Ex Servicemen Barakhana at Bangalore

    An Officer’s responsibility towards his Men does not end with his retirement; it is a lifelong commitment. We, Officers, owe it our Men, whom we had the honour & privilege to lead, while in service.
    Respected Veterans,
    Jai Hind.
    1. We, the Veteran community in Bangalore, had been organizing various Veterans’ activities & events, since April 2008, showcasing the strength of Gaurav Senanis (Ex-Servicemen) by reaching out to our retired JCOs, NCOs & OR and families, enabling their participation in large numbers. With this in mind I had been hosting Lunch for retired JCOs, NCOs & ORs during the last two years at my residence, on 2 Oct. They in return had expressed their happiness and gratitude in being so honoured. Witness to such sincere sentiments, I decided that through the rest of my life, on 2 Oct, I would invite them to participate in lunch at my home.
    2. After seventeen Gaurav Senanis, a few of them with their spouses, participated in lunch at my home on 2 oct 2009, such involvements have become routine every two or three months, strengthening our bonds of brotherhood & camaraderie. In reciprocation, when Gaurav Senani L/Nk Naidu suggested a couple of months ago, that we have a luncheon meeting at his residence, we all agreed; and seventeen of us incl Brig Reddy & myself had lunch at Naidu’s residence; with positive impact on bonhomie and mutual respect & regards amongst the retired veteran community.
    3. Come 02 Oct 2010. We, the retired Officers at Bangalore, plan to host a lunch for all retired JCOs, NCOs & OR of the Army and their equivalents in the Navy & Air Force and Defence Family Pensioners at the Rashtriya Sainika Smaraka site, Bangalore. The Barakhana with 1000 Gaurav Senanis participating is to be a great event; further strengthening bonds of brotherhood & camaraderie amongst retired Defence community. We plan to invite the local Fmn Commanders of the Army, Navy & Air Force, the CDA (Pension), Defence Pension Disbursing Officer (DPDO) and a few Civilian Dignitaries; to thank them for their assistance & unstinted support to the community.
    4. I now appeal to all Veteran Officers across Bharatvarsh, from Kashmir to Kanyakumari and from Arunachal, Nagaland & Manipur to Punjab, Rajasthan & Gujarat to PLEASE consider hosting a Barakhana for all retired JCOs, NCOs & OR of the Army and their equivalents in the Navy & Air Force, at their respective cities, towns & villages on 2 Oct every year. The impact of such yearly activity, would strengthen the bonds of brotherhood & camaraderie within the veteran community and enable rendering a helping hand to the needy and not so fortunate ones.
    Col Shaitan Singh Rajan of Jingergacha
    A son of an Infantryman (a Garhwali) and A Bombay Sapper

    Retired Officers of the Army, Navy & Air Force at Bangalore cordially invite retired JCOs, NCOs & OR of the Army, Navy & Air Force and Defence Family Pensioners for BARAKHANA (Lunch) at 12 Noon on Saturday, 02 October 2010 at the RASHTRIYA SAINIKA SMARAKA site, Bangalore adjacent to Indira Gandhi Musical Fountain on Chowdaiah Road
    Opposite Nehru Planetarium, near Raj Bhawan, Bangalore.
    Please confirm your participation by Post Card or Email
    Veteran Col SS Rajan, IESM Convenor Karnataka & South Zone
    77, 1st Cross Shankarpuram, Opp. Shankar Mutt, Basavanagudi – 560 004

    From: yoginder sharma
    Date: 15 September 2010 18:04
    To: Colonelrajan Srinivas
    Dear Rajan,
    What a noble, admirable and thoughtful initiative!
    My congratulations- Bless you, Sir.
    We talk; you act and how!!!
    Am not in Bangalore or else would have joined up.
    Will anyone take up the 'challenge' here (Hyderabad/ Secunderabad).
    Don't know; not likely if 'past' is an indicator?
    Let hope run eternal in human heart-some 'selfless- live-wire' may yet emerge!
    Compliments and best wishes.
    Lt Gen YN Sharma, Former Army Commander

    Majors Pension Enhanced: AFT

    Maj Navdeep Singh is a serving Territorial Army Officer.
    He is a devoted soldier and takes very keen interest in the rules and regulations concerning the Defence Services, which are applicable to serving and retired Defence Personnel. He is a Lawyer in the Haryana and Punjab High Court at Chandigarh.
    In service of Indian Military Veterans
    Chander Kamboj.

    From: Navdeep Singh
    Sent: 14 September 2010 08:58
    Tuesday, September 14, 2010
    Pension shall not be less than 50% of minimum of pay within the pay- band corresponding to the pre-revised scale of a retiree : AFT
    As most of you would be aware, the 6th CPC had recommended that the revised pension shall not be less than 50% of the sum of the minimum of pay in the pay band + the grade pay (+MSP in case of defence personnel) thereon corresponding to the pre-revised pay scale from which the pensioner had retired. The minimum of pay within the pay band was notified by way of a fitment formula of Old Scale X 1.86 on the basis of which fitment tables were published by the govt. For example, in case of a Major, the pay band applicable was Pay Band-3, that is, Rs 15600 – 39100 and the minimum of pay within the pay band was Rs 12,800 (minimum of old scale) X 1.86 which came to Rs 23,810. Hence the pension fixation could not be less than 50% of Rs 23,810 + Rs 6600 (Grade Pay) + Rs 6000 (MSP), that is, 50% of 36410 = Rs 18,205.

    The above formula was accepted by the government through a gazette notification. However, later a clarification was issued in which it was stated that it is not the minimum of pay in the pay band that shall be taken into consideration but the minimum of the pay band itself irrespective of the pre-revised scale of pay. Meaning thereby that the pension of all the three ranks - Lieutenants, Captains and Majors, was to be fixed by taking the minimum of Rs 15600 which happened to be the lowest point of the Pay Band itself and essentially the starting pay of a Lieutenant. This meant that the minimum possible pension of a Major was to be fixed at Rs 14,100 rather than Rs 18,205.

    To be fair to the Department of Pensions and Pensioners’ Welfare, they tried their best to reason out with the Department of Expenditure that their (DOE's) interpretation of pension fixation for pre-2006 retirees was not right and that it needed to be corrected and the clarification revised. But despite the fact that the Ministers (MoS) of both the Finance and the Personnel Ministries were in favour of the correction in the right spirit of the 6th CPC recommendations, it was ensured by the lower level babus at the Ministry of Finance that it did not happen. The case was taken up time and again by the DoP&PW but was always rejected by the DoE.

    The first correction now comes from the Hon’ble Principal Bench of the AFT which has rightly interpreted the term ‘minimum of pay’ as being the minimum of pay within the pay band and not the minimum of pay band itself. Hopefully the DoE shall see reason and ensure that the dockets of Hon’ble Courts and Tribunals are not burdened with unnecessary litigation on the same point and also see that pre-2006 retirees, both civilian and defence, are ensured equity.

    The havoc that the incorrect interpretation had led to can be fathomed by the fact that while the difference between the minimum possible pension of a Captain and a Major was Rs 875 till the 5th CPC, it went down to Rs 250 after the 6th CPC rather than escalating with the increased scales. While on the other hand, the difference of pension between a Major and a Time Scale Lt Col was only Rs 950 till the 5th CPC era and today it has gone up to Rs 11,600 after the 6th CPC. And this my friends had been termed as ‘parity’ by the mandarins at the Finance Ministry !
    Posted by Navdeep / Maj Navdeep Singh at 5:09 PM

    OROP- NDTV Debate

    Dear Sir,
    The "We the people" episode on OROP on 12th Sep 2010 left me a little disappointed. The subject of discussions was OROP but drifted somewhat. I am not too sure if it was by design or not. Far too many issues were brought up. Inequality, injustice, Service conditions, disability pension, litigations, etc. are all valid but general in nature. Only General Kadyan mentioned that OROP would bring honour & equity amongst the ranks.

    Ms. Libheran's point was essentially legal. If OROP was legally untenable for people serving in different eras with different pay scales, it was equally untenable for people with fixed but different salaries, like the Secretaries, Service Chiefs, Army Commanders, MP's , et al.

    Prof. Shah's point of 65 year old parents living in the same house with son earning more being life's reality, though true, is debatable. The majority of the 65 year old parents he was talking about would have served till the age of 60 before retiring. In our case, it is not so.

    As for Ms. Anand, her take on all jobs not being equal is also debatable. Someone did mention that guarding the border in 1948 & in 2010 did not entail much difference in job specification.

    Lastly, the Financial burden brought up by a panelist. I wish he could have been reminded of reports of hordes of Civil servants drawing wages while not in service. Or of Rajiv Gandhi's reported view that of every Rupee spent on welfare, only 17 Paise went to the intended beneficiary.

    There would have been no need for any debate if we had a system where all youth had to undergo a compulsory Military Service, even if for no more than 2 years' duration. That would bring about the necessary understanding of the Military so passionately expressed in Uday's concluding remark.
    Yours Sincerely,
    Veteran, MB Ghosh
    Vice Admiral

    Honour and Equity
    We need to continuously strive to urge our MPs to provide the benefits and recognition, namely One Rank One Pension, to our deserving Ex Servicmen (veterans) through an Act of Parliament. Honour and equity benefits to include ESM health care, service- connected disability compensation, non- service connected disability compensation, dependent indemnity compensations, death pension (full pension to family as if he would have served his full term in that rank) and pension. One Rank One Pension (OROP) embraces honour, equity and justice for all Retired Military Personnel.

    The creeping menace versus talkative generals

    Ref article by Maj Gen Rajendra Prakash, VSM, dated 13 Sep 10 click here. The concluding sentence of AG Noorani’s article, ‘Only the moral and intellectual authority of the political leadership can nip the creeping menace in the bud’ is indeed a profound statement and deserves serious consideration, both in letter and spirit. He must have implicitly meant it and has offered this as solution/conclusion/recommendation- any or all of these. This last sentence, however, has rubbished his entire article completely. Let me explain how. The ‘menace’ is creeping, as per him, for the last several decades. Thus, by now this poisonous creeper should have entangled and immobilized anything and everything including Noorani. That has not happened. So it is not a menace at all. And where is the bud (to nip) if the off shoot is creeping for tens of years. So much for the snide remark about ‘pious’ and ‘holy’. Next, let us examine the ‘moral’ and ‘intellectual’ ‘authority’ of the ‘political leadership’. Authority is there and is being used with impunity and gay abandon. As for the qualifying attributes of authority, those are conspicuous by their absence as portrayed in TV and newspapers daily. Their ‘intellect’ is confined to the first letter of the word and does not go further, though, mind you, many of them are very well qualified educationally, but ‘morally’? No, sir. For proof refer to TV and newspapers. So, Nooraniji may like to withdraw the last sentence, or better still, the whole article. Therefore, ‘the creeping menace’ is neither creeping nor is a menace. There is no bud to nip. And, of course, there is no political authority with ‘moral’ and (even or) ‘intellectual’ attributes. ‘Mera Bharat’ is really ‘Mahan’.
    Veteran Col BN Ratha
    14 Sep 10

    IESM: NDTV Debate on Pension for ex- Armymen- A question of equality

    14 September 2010 10:30
    Subject: NDTV Pension for ex-Armymen: A question of equality?
    Published On: September 12, 2010 | Duration: 49 min, 46 sec
    Video: click here

    Dear Colleagues,
    The NDTV programme ‘We the People’ that was aired Sep 12, 2010 has attracted wide comments. These include both compliments and criticism. This is how it should be and these are all welcome. The participants in such programmes invariably come away somewhat dissatisfied at what they could not convey or rebut mostly due to lack of time. However, without going into details of individual comments, suffice it to say that in sum the programme was a great positive for OROP. The issue today has countrywide recognition and, as was evident from the reactions of the participants, even support. The public supports OROP, the courts are speaking of it favourably and the MsP, so ably provided the lead by Rajiv Chandrasekhar, are likely to rally behind the demand. None of us has a doubt that despite such support the government is likely to keep dithering as they are wont (accustomed) to do. We have to keep the heat on.
    I spoke to Brig KP Singhdeo Sep 13 and told him of the falsehoods stated by Capt Praveen Davar. The Brig had not watched the programme and was not even aware of what Davar had said. When informed, he clearly stated that these are Davar’s individual views and not of the Party. I advised him to apprise the Party hierarchy that viewers are likely to construe these as official stand of the Party.
    Best regards,
    Lt Gen (Emeritus) Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
    Chairman IESM

    NDTV: OROP- Feedback from Readers- Compliments and Suggestions
  • We the People: Pension for ex Armymen a question of equality: click here for readers responses
  • NDTV: OROP- The backstage story
  • NDTV: OROP and Rank Injustice- Responses
  • Overwhelming responses to NDTV Programme on OROP
  • Tuesday, September 14, 2010

    Enhanced Pension for all Majors and Equivalents: AFT Verdict

    Dear Friends,
    Jai Hind.
    Kindly read the emails appended below.
    On behalf of YOU ALL, ‘i’ congratulate Lt Cdr Avtar Singh and his team for their victory in the pension case of Majors and Equivalents.
    Cdr Avtar and his team has put one more stamp of “BIG SHAME” on the face of MoD and that gang, called “Babus”, who have been shamelessly and deliberately doing injustice to the ESM.
    Jai Ho ESM Unity.
    I request all ESM to give widest possible publicity to the contents of this email.
    Please also print relevant portions of this email put on notice boards in Officers Clubs, Community Centres, CSD and ECHS Poly Clinics.
    In service of Indian Military Veterans
    Chander Kamboj.

    From: avtar singh
    Subject: Major Case with AFT Delhi
    Date: Tuesday, 14 September, 2010, 1:48 PM
    Dear All,
    I am pleased to inform you that we have won the case filed with AFT Delhi
    Avtar Singh

    From: CDR BALAJI
    Sent: 14 September 2010 03:31
    To: avtar singh
    Subject: Re: Major Case with AFT Delhi
    Dear Sir,
    Good News and Heartiest Congratulations to your goodself for spearheading the same on behalf of Majors and Eqv. I do understand that the Judgement Copy would take some time. However, in the interim if you could enlighten us on the main issues on which the AFT has passed the Judgement, we would indeed be obliged.
    Needless, to state that the GOI would appeal against the Judgement in the Supreme Court, but I am positive we would win the case, as it is indeed a case of blatant injustice.
    L/Cdr GK Balaji
    Member, Pension Cell IESM

    Dear Members,
    We are pleased to inform that we have won the case for the enhanced Pension payable to Lt Cdrs, filed by Cdr Avtar Singh and well fought by Cmde Skhjinder Singh. The judgment was pronounced this morning by the tribunal bench headed by Justice Mathur and Lt Gen M Naidu. Copy of the judgment will be available only in a couple of days and the same will also be promulgated for your information.
    The Lt Commanders will now be entitled to a pension of 50% of what the serving Lt Commander in service are drawing. It may make a difference of about Rs 4000 in their pensions.
    We were awaiting the outcome of this case to file the Case for the Cmdes/ Brigs etc and the needful will be done shortly. Cmde Sukhjinder will be steering this case and NFDC will also be a litigant.
    This is another battle won for the Veterans with the help of the judicial process but there are good reasons to believe that as is now the norm, the MOD will file an SLP.
    Vice Admiral Harinder Singh (Retd)

    NDTV: OROP- The backstage story

    Please click here to view the NDTV OROP Telecast as you read the backstage story

    My Dear Respected Sirs and Colleagues,
    In my opinion, the recent NDTV show on OROP was a success in many ways. Thanks to the internet, mostly everyone on RMS has been able to see the recording of the show which was finally aired after significant edit. The show has been already discussed, criticized, appreciated and everything in between. We should, however, realize that the show was conducted by NDTV (a standard sponsor funded and government pleasing TV News Channel) and not by IESM. So the participants had little control on the way it was being conducted, IESM included.

    What I wanted to draw everybody's attention to is the real scenario at the studio while the said program was being recorded. I would also mention why the knowledge of the studio environment is important for everyone to know.

    There is a very specific term in the media fraternity known as 'Sensitization'. What it means is that a certain group of people is 'sensitized' or made aware of the issues, problems and challenges faced by another community/group/part of the public. NGOs, corporations and even governments spend significant sums of money to mould the opinion of the target masses in their favor by doing such campaigns.

    Now at the NDTV studio, something similar to that, on a smaller scale, was carried out by Col Joshipura Sir and self before the program started. We made small huddles of other participants of the discussion and told them what OROP really is and why its such a gross injustice towards our veterans. Especially the younger lot in the audiences seemed to understand this concept very easily. Probably because they have an open mind and do not have any vested interests in actions against the defence forces.

    What we were able to accomplish by this, even before the program started, was that almost everyone in the studio (minus the vested interests) was already on our side. You had to see it to believe it. One word, and I mean one word, against OROP or the veterans was not tolerated by the crowd. This was primarily the reason why Capt. Davar was unable to complete even one single sentence properly. And why the others (the lady IAS and others) were scared to say anything against us. They were making attempts but they were scared. You can see it on their faces.

    The environment in the studio was mostly split in two emotions -- Anger and Disappointment. Disappointment that the government which is supposed to take care of the military that takes care of the nation is so brutally ignoring the very men and women that gave the nation the best years of their lives. Anger - because if something is not done soon, something is got to give...

    Gen Kadyan and Sh. Uday Bhaskar as well as Sh. Rajeev Chandrashekhar were calm, composed and organized like they always are and put forward the points in an effective way despite provocation by the bureaucrats and co. Self, with help from the audience, provided some artillery fire!

    What you all must also know and understand is the fact that since certain of the panel's individuals were direct representatives of the government (Capt Davar included) and so they were being given a LOT LOT LOT of footage. It was easily visible. On the contrary when our people were speaking, they were getting the mic literally for seconds! It was frustrating but hey, you have to make the best of what you have, right!

    Now you can ask me why is this important at all? When it was not captured by the cameras and not aired on television why is this even worth talking about.

    To answer that, I will have to direct your attention to another specific term used in advertising. Its called 'viral marketing'. This is a well known fact that viral marketing is on of the most effective and fastest spreading modes of publicity. What it means is that news/opinion is spread virally from one person to another then to another then to another. Also known as word of mouth publicity.

    Now NDTV can edit out the conversations which were taking place in the background and through the microphone. They can choose to not air the parts many of us spoke. But what they cannot take away from us is the stir we created in those 50 or so people present in that room. They cannot take away the fresh and new perspective and knowledge that they now have about the armed forces, the government, how we are being treated and the white lies the government sells. especially the younger people and other ESM not yet associated with IESM.

    And guess what, this is going to spread virally. From one person to another from one mouth to another. From a youth to another youth. And while this might seem or sound insignificant at this time, this will go a long way in strengthening our movement from the inside. To strengthen the roots of this mission. To connect with the youth and the general public.

    Speaking to people at the studio was specially effective because they were all well educated and well connected people and probably keep interacting with many people. So that will help.

    Once again the program, in my opinion was very successful. Of course, as with everything, it could have been better as some have pointed out. But I think it was good and I think the message was sent across. I do hope that such programs keep happening and that we reach our goal at the earliest.

    I thank you for taking the time to go through this email. Much appreciated.
    Yours truly,
    Kameshwar Pandey
    Sub/Maj Hony Lt (Veteran)

    NDTV: OROP Program Feedback from Readers and Suggestions
    We the People: Pension for ex Armymen a question of equality: click here for more readers responses

    An Appeal to Mrs Sonia Gandhi to Grant Justice to Defence Personnel

    Dear Friends,
    Letter to Smt. Sonia Gandhi, Congress President dated 14 Sep 2010 and copy endorsed to PM, RM and three chiefs is circulated herewith. click here to read the letter
    With Kind Regards,
    Jai Hind
    Yours Sincerely,
    Maj Gen (Retd) Satbir Singh, SM,
    Vice Chairman Indian ESM Movement

    Monday, September 13, 2010

    A befitting rejoinder to AG Noorani's "Talkative Generals"

    Dear Brigadier Kamboj,
    A fine example of "Propaganda, with an Agenda" was published in weekly "FRONTLINE"(13 August), in an eight-page "essay" by AG Noorani, indiscriminately castigating some of our soldier-icons! As such inchoate outpourings against our Armed Forces cannot be allowed to go unchallenged, I made a rejoinder which has already been published in the September issues of the "FORCE" and "DEFENCE WATCH" magazines (in "FORCE", a truncated version of the inevitably long rejoinder).
    I am attaching click here a full version of my piece, in case you feel that it may be of some interest to the readers of "Report my Signal". I am afraid it is over-long, but Mr Noorani, a lawyer-cum-journalist, needed to be answered in full.
    For members who may NOT be able to get to the Site for Noorani's article, here is the Link: just click here
    With regards,
    Major General Rajendra Prakash, VSM

    Democracy and Military
    In India armed forces have played a role in both democratising and anti- democratic transitions. Political tendency here is to emulate bygone rulers (Politicians) tending towards authoritarianism. Patterns of civil-military relations and degrees of authoritarianism/ democracy in governance have varied widely. Any attempt at understanding this variety must begin with an appreciation of the particular historical and cultural circumstances under which credited apolitical military involvement in politics is developing in our country. I am sure AG Noorani understands that Insurgency, Naxalism and Maoist threats are outcome of poor governance, inept bureaucrats and self- centered Politicians rather than the "Talkative Generals". The author certainly will get focused and enlightened reading the essay "Democracy and Military" (click title). A cocky General is certainly a successful battle winner in comparison to a cunning Bureaucrat who is more often careful to preserve his own career rather than work for citizens welfare.

    War widow pension restored after 30 years

    Tribune News Service Chandigarh, September 12, 2010
    Thirty years after the family pension of a soldier’s widow was abruptly stopped, it has now been restored. Ordering release of the pension, the Armed Forces Tribunal has directed that the widow should also be paid arrears for three years preceding the date of her petition along with 12 per cent interest within 90 days.
    Kamla Devi’s husband, Nk Sis Ram was enrolled in the Army as a combatant from June 1963 and had died in service in July 1968. After his death, she was granted family pension, but suddenly in 1980 the pension, according to the petitioner, was discontinued without any process of law.She made representations from time to time, but without any result. In November 2009, she served a legal notice on the pension authorities and was informed that she was disqualified for family pension because she had remarried. Thereafter, she approached the Tribunal.The respondents, in reply before the Tribunal, stated that Kamla Devi was in receipt of ordinary family pension, but consequent to her remarriage with her real brother-in-law, she was disqualified to receive the ordinary family pension and same was accordingly discontinued. It was also submitted by the respondents that Sis Ram, while serving with 259 Coy ASC (Supply), had committed suicide. Special family pension claim by his widow was adjudicated by the Principal Controller of Defence Account (Pensions), Allahabad, and rejected as the death was due to suicide, which was neither attributable nor aggravated by military service. The Tribunal observed that the when the family pension was discontinued in 1980, at least she should have been served with a notice in this regard, but it seemed to have not been done and suddenly family pension was discontinued on the ground that she has remarried. Further, a circular issued by the government in November 2008 for implementation of the Sixth Pay Commission’s recommendations clearly mentioned that remarriage was no more a disqualification for family pension.
    War widow pension restored after 30 years

    NDTV: OROP and Rank Injustice- Responses

    Very well expressed!
    The observations/ points made by Generals Oberoi and Kadyan were absolutely correct and good. Lt Pande came across correctly, too, regarding the demeaning term "PBOR".
    Whilst Gen Kadyan did make a point that what Sh Davar said was not true about all the JCOs, NCOs and ORs having been virtually been given OROP, just the one aspect of what is the pensions of pre and post Sepoy today would have brought out his lie more clearly!
    I thought one of the most important point that emerged tonight was made by Commodore Uday Bhaskar: when he was the person in-charge of making the minutes of a meeting back in 1984, where Indira Gandhi herself had conceded that this aspect needs to be addressed by the government and yet, when he made the minutes, he was told to remove this aspect!
    Overall, I felt that the entire programme was very much a positive boost for OROP.
    Sunshine & Blue Skies!
    CK Sharma
    Wg Cdr CK Sharma, Treasurer IESM

    The much awaited & much heralded NDTV programme on OROP was telecast to the satisfaction of the ESM, on schedule.
    We were fortunate to have all the high ranking Veteran Officers, who are deeply involved with the issue, taking part in the debate. Of course, Rajeev Chandra Sekhar, MP, who is more dedicated than some of the ESM themselves for the cause, was on Video Conference mode. His contribution to the debate, having established his moral superiority in refusing the Pay Hike, was in full view. All the participants did a commendable job.
    Barkha Datt, played the role of third umpire to full satisfaction, steering the debate away from the emotional plane, to the path of sensibility.
    Davar was true to his political masters. He never wavered. His contention that the Govt has already brought the pre 2006 retiree PBOR at par with the post 2006, was straight away rejected by Gen Oberoi, who pointed out the actual pensions of sepoys of both the categories. Though the usage of the term PBOR was objected to by (Hony) Lt Pandey, for ease of progressing the debate, the anchor suggested that they continue with the term. Davar also explained that the RM has said that the issue could be resolved over a period of time. “Why not now” was the chorus of protest from the Veterans. He also highlighted that the Separate Pay Commission will be formed in next four years, when issue of OROP to Veteran Officers will also be resolved. Shri Chandra Sekhar promptly cautioned him NOT to create rift between the Officers & PBOR. The Officers form not more than 2 % of the Veterans.
    At the outset, Lt Gen Raj Kadyan explained that “the demand for OROP is not new. It was in vogue earlier. From 1982, this has been our consistent demand. It is not for extra emoluments alone, as being interpreted by some people. It is for the restoration of honour & equity amongst the ranks, irrespective of their dates of retirement.
    The former Defence Secretary, Indu Libheran was the first to express her reservations. In her opinion, the demand of OROP will create more problems, than solving a few anomalies. Asking for better compensation package for the early retirement, for the risk factor & hazardous service conditions, may well be within the cards. OROP per se may not be legally tenable.
    Prof (Dr) Ajay Shah also echoed the same sentiment. He said that in the present day conditions, a son drawing more pay than his father, for the same employment, is quite usual. However, his comparison of a Fire Fighter from a Fire Brigade facing similar risk of a soldier, was laughable. He was also put down effectively by Veteran Manavendra Singh, stating that the Fire Man has a choice in entering a burning building. But a soldier, in action always enters the burning building, because it is his duty. (My Comment- If that was the comparison, we could never have captured the lofty heights in Kargil. Officers & men literally went into battle with death staring at them, at every step- Bharka Datt was an eye witness-)
    Capt Siddhu’s introduction into the debate, though well received on the emotional plane, could not add weight to the issue of OROP. Gen Oberoi did clarify the plight of disabled Veterans like him, explaining that their pension has two components- the service & percentage of disability. One young girl pointed out that how could a disabled Soldier look after his family when the pension was not even sufficient to maintain himself. Siddhu made a pertinent point about how the IAS & IPS officers make rules only to safe guard their interests & protect OROP for their cadres. Indu Libheran pointed out that all IAS & IPS Officers do not retire with OROP. Where ever the Pay Scales are fixed they retire at a particular level, within the scale.
    Cmde Udai Bhaskar mentioned about his experience with Indra Gandhi, where she initially agreed to discuss the issue of OROP within the Cabinet but could not do so. He also mentioned that the increase in the Pay of MPs was not resented to, but the manner in which they enforced it was deplorable.
    Ms Pinky Anand, Senior Lawyer of SC, cautioned that if OROP is implemented, there is likely to be a spate of litigations. She also questioned as to how we can have OROP, when the jobs performed are not equal?
    Prof Ajai also was of the same opinion. He further refined it by stating that how the honour component fit in, when what the Veterans are asking really means better compensation for the reasons they have brought out.
    My own assessment of the debate.
    Dear Veterans, the debate was well received by the ESM community. More than 95 % of the audience present were Veterans or their dependents. Very few from outside our fraternity would have watched the show. However, it was a grand success. Barkha Datt palmed it off to the Parliament, for more serious discussion & decision.
    Without getting emotional, we have to further stream line our next encounter.
    Questions raised by the Civilian Dignitaries who were present.
    a. All Civilian Cadre Officers do not get OROP. Apart from a few categories of Judiciary, Central Govt employees, MPs, Defence Service Officers & the likes, others are not covered by this criterion.
    b. There was no qualm on seeking better compensation package to off set early retirement, hazards of service, difficulty due to weather & climatic conditions, separation from the family et al. But seeking OROP & liking honour as a factor, was not understood by them.
    c. As the Lawyer raised the query, how can OROP demanded for all even though the jobs performed are not equal. She was of the opinion that it was not legally tenable.
    These questions may be repeated in future also. The study team may consider these aspects & prepare for suitable clarifications.
    Regards & Best Wishes,
    Veteran Raman
    Col (Retd) TN Raman

    My dear Brig,
    It was an eye opener not only to us the Armed Forces Veteran but for the people of India. Our representatives did a wonderful discussion and rebuffed Capt Dawar's claims.
    i feel that we need to find answers to the following points to push our case through:-
  • legal tenability of OROP as the Govt is harping on it.
  • Answer to the proposal that give greater compensation rather than asking for OROP
  • counter the argument of the Prof... that under one roof, son and father will have different pensions. it is law of nature.
    I saw the programme on internet. I feel that this was the only correct point spoken by Professor Shaw.
    Rest whatever he spoke- were statements by a heartless and brainless person.
    I guess he is employed by the Babus as a financial adviser and is on their pay roll.
    All the speakers for Armed Forces case need congratulations.
    Sh Chandrashekhar, MP needs special appreciation.
    Col D P Gupta
  • Overwhelming responses to NDTV Programme on OROP

    Dear Chander,
    After listening to "We the People" this evening two brief points that our movement could make as the struggle continues.
    First every direct entry IAS and IPS officer goes home as secretary to GOI or equivalent. If he or she does not get the rank at the center they get it in their respective states. We all know the number of DGs and principle secretaries that each has. A little research may establish that this is true for even Defense accounts and for that matter all other Class 1 services. The exceptions could be only those who enter service at ages beyond 26 years or thereabouts. An RTI could prove my point. And this also explains why only the defense services are agitating.
    Second is the uniqueness of our service (a point adequately emphasized). Everyone else is a mister or Mrs during service and after retirement. The defense services have been given the privilege to carry their rank till the last post is blown and after. So comparisons should be avoided.
    A big hand to all those who spoke on our behalf.
    Warm regards
    Lt Gen Vinay Shankar, Former DG Arty

    NDTV 24X7, OROP
    Dear Sir.
    Watched the show at NDTV 24x7 by me and many of the ESM and the civilians whom I informed on phone.
    Flooded with thanks for informing them for a wonderful show. Sir, OROP is no more the concern of only the ESM but it has taken the shape of the NATIONAL MOVEMENT.
    My kudos to Barkha Dutt for having so beautifully conducted the entire show. She was in complete control of the entire proceedings and her reviewing of all the speakers and final summing up was worth watching. Special thanks to all the speakers on behalf of ESM fraternity and specially Mr Rajeev Chandeshekher, MP Parliament for his forceful support to the cause of ONE RANK ONE PENSION.
    Ferreting out all facts and acting on them with an iron hand is the only way to ensure that the ESM fraternity doesn’t suffer at the hands of a few power-drunk fiends, the one exam Babus. Some of the speakers opposing our legitimate right did fumble out their reasons to the contrary.
    It is really important that now we work as hard as we can with each other and that any kind of the Babus accusation and some of the PSEUDO ESM finger need not be worried. IT’S NOW OR NEVER and that shows that when the opposing forces get worse, that’s not the reason to slink away. On the contrary it’s a reason to work harder and aim higher.
    Credentials of Mr. Davar to be ascertained of his being Capt and the ESM from the Armed Forces.
    Best regards
    Lt Col H S Kaushal
    Member IESM

    Rank Injustice: One Rank, One Pension
    I happened to watch the program 'Rank Injustice: One Rank, One pension' on NDTV today. I am sorry to say that it was rank injustice to conclude the program by stating that it requires a more serious debate in Parliament. A debate in parliament will of course be needed for anything tangible to happen but a right conclusion to this debate itself was necesary for this program to have acted like a catalyst for that.
    That aside, the discussion did expose how illiterates about matters military confound and confuse the issues. Firstly there was the former defence secretary who spoke like a typical bureaucrat- ignorant and arrogant (call it condescending, if you will) to boot! No, it is not OROP or the emotion that goes with it that has made me use these dscreptions. If the RTI Act has succeeded in any way till date, it has been only in exposing the fraud being perpetuated by the bureaucracy. And I dare say, given their job description and the competence with which they are seen doing it, the bureaucrats deserves to be paid less than sepoys of the army! Then there was the professor who was claiming that it was natural for the younger generation to earn more than their predecessors! The advocate who spoke seemed to be interested only in the court cases! (Natural there, isn't it? For, without litigation, where will she get her moolah from?) The youngsters who participated in the show did look better informed and more rational in their expressions.
    Now to present my take on the issue. OROP is definitely not a matter of honour. It is just about bare minimum justice. Real justice would need not only OROP but also lateral/ re-employment till 60 years of age. On Maslow's heirarchy of needs, it will be just amoung the basic needs. Honour comes much higher up. One doubts whether the sycophants, court jestors et al who overlord our systems can even imagine such needs! Capt Sidhu really did express the frustration that has afflicted the armed forces community as a whole, veterans in particular. Let the nation be aware (beware)! There need not be any doubt that the idea of the nation itself is sustained by none other than the members of the armed forces!
    Yours truly
    Veteran Major P M Ravindran

    Rights under our constitution have been extended in application throughout the Nation and States and even to non-citizens and entities such as corporations and trusts. However, and surprisingly to many, the same rights afforded under due process are not necessarily extended to one deserving group— our Nation’s Ex Servicemen (Veterans). This is in spite of the special provisions. privileges and benefits that are specified in the Army Act of 1950 and revised thereafter... click here
    The legal cases pending in various courts and non- implementation of the court rulings and orders are a testimony to the injustices heaped on ESM. Can the Bureaucrats get away scot free from their misdeeds? One example is the Rank Pay hanging fire since 1986. Will anyone be made accountable?
    Ms Indu Libermamn who is a bureaucrat and a assumed legal expert did display her craft in tandem with Davar to rubbish the honour, status and rank of the Military Personnel by terming OROP as impractical, implausible, intangible and untenable.

    Pension for ex-Armymen: A question of equality? NDTV

    Video Snapshots: This week on We The People, we debate the issue of pension plans for the ex-Armymen. Is better compensation the answer?

    NDTV Video Link
    Pension for ex-Armymen: A question of equality?

    Sunday, September 12, 2010

    Chinese smart diplomatic tantrums raises India's emotional decibel level

    By TJS George, 05/09/2010
    Options we have; have we the will?
    Another war with India is unlikely to be on China's agenda. But menacing military build-up and other needling tactics to divert India's energies and attention is central to its agenda. It’s an old ploy. But the level of aggressiveness is new.
    India's politicians, the TV channels in particular, have a way of reacting to such unfriendly actions in an emotional, high-decibel style. Which is reminiscent of the Nehru-era cries like "we won't let them get one inch of Indian territory". If anything, such declamatory posturings only reduce our own ability to work out counter-strategies in a cool and calculating manner.

    Actually, we should learn from the Chinese how to be calculating. With a hundred-year perspective, they planned the strategic encirclement of India, with bases in Burma, Sri Lanka and Pakistan - even as we steadily lost our influence in neighbouring countries.

    With the same long-term view of history, they built up their road and rail networks in the Tibetan territory previously considered inhospitable to such transportation facilities. Recently they successfully tested their strategic airlift capability, an area where they have advanced very far with 450 high-capacity military cargo planes.

    India is famous for dithering when it comes to military acquisition. Unseen middlemen still controlling the bulk of the transactions is only half the problem. The other half is our insistence of all kinds of special provisions, from incorporating systems still on the drawing board to establishing joint venture facilities. The result is that in all three wings of the defence forces, our strike capacity is well below the required level.
    Options we have; have we the will? click here to read more
    Related Reading
    The writer is a former Director General, Defence Planning Staff
    South Asian security: India faces a major challenge by Air Marshal R.S.Bedi (retd)


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