Saturday, May 17, 2008

The Laws of the Navy

When I joined the Navy, I was given a printed card which gave us 'The Rules of the Navy', a poem written by Captain R A Hopwood RN way back in the year 1890. Over the years I lost my copy. I know that all cadets received their personal copies and many like me might have lost theirs. I just re- discovered it on the internet and it gives me a great pleasure to append the great poem.
Krishan Punchhi

The Laws of the Navy
by Admiral R. A. Hopwood, RN (Ret)

Now these are the laws of the Navy,
Unwritten and varied they be;
And he who is wise will observe them,
Going down in his ship to the sea.

As naught may outrun the destroyer,
So it is with the law and its grip,
For the strength of the ship is the service,
And the strength of the service the ship.

Take heed what you say of your seniors,
Be your words spoken softly or plain,
Lest a bird of the air tell the matter,
And so shall ye hear it again.

If you labor from morn until even,
And meet with reproof for your toil,
'Tis well, that the gun may be humbled
The compressor must check the recoil.

On the strength of one link in the cable,
Dependeth the might of the chain.
Who knows when thou may'st be tested?
So live that thou bearest the strain!

When a ship that is tired returneth,
With the signs of the sea showing plain;
Men place her in dock for a season,
And her speed she reneweth again.

So shall ye, if perchance ye grow weary,
In the uttermost parts of the sea;
Pray for leave for the good of the service,
As much and as oft as may be.

Count not upon certain promotion,
But rather to gain it aspire.
Though the sight line may end on the target,
There cometh perchance the miss-fire.

Can'st follow the track of the dolphin?
Or tell where the sea swallows roam?
Where Leviathan taketh his pastime?
What ocean he calleth his own?

So it is with the words of the rulers,
And the orders these words shall convey;
Every law is naught beside this one,
Thou shalt not criticize but obey.

Say the wise: How may I know their purpose?
Then acts without wherefore or why;
Stays the fool but one moment to question,
And the chance of his life passes by.

If ye win through an African jungle,
Unmentioned at home in the press,
Heed it not. No man seeth the piston
But it driveth the ship none the less.

Do they growl, it is well. Be thou silent,
So the work goeth forward amain.
Lo! the gun throws the shot to a hair's breadth
And shouteth, yet none shall complain.

Do they growl and the work be retarded?
It is ill; be whatever their rank.
The half loaded gun also shouteth
But can she pierce target with blank?

Doth the paint work make war with funnels
And the deck to the cannons complain?
Nay, they know that some soap and fresh water
Unites them as brothers again.

So ye, being heads of departments,
Do you growl with a smile on your lip
Lest ye strive and in anger be parted,
And lessen the might of your ship.

Dost deem that thy vessel needs gilding,
And the dockyard forbears to supply,
Put thy hand in thy pocket and gild her.
There are those who have risen thereby.

Dost think in a moment of anger
'Tis well with thy seniors to fight?
They prosper who burn in the morning
The letters they wrote overnight.

For many are shelved and forgotten
With nothing to thank for their fate,
But that which on a half sheet of foolscap
A fool 'Had the honour to state.'

Should the fairway be crowded with shipping
Beating homeward the harbour to win,
It is meet that lest any should suffer
The steamers pass cautiously in.

So thou when thou nearest promotion
And the peak that is gilded is nigh,
Give heed to words and thine actions
Lest others be wearied thereby.

It is ill for the winners to worry,
Take thy fate as it comes, with a smile,
And when thou art safe in the harbor
They my envy but will not revile.

Uncharted the rocks that surround thee,
Take heed that the channels thou learn,
Lest thy name serve to buoy for another
That shoal the 'Court Martial Return.'

Though a Harveyised belt may protect her,
The ship bears the scar in her side;
'Tis well if the Court should acquit thee,
'Twere best had'st thou never been tried.


As the sea rises clear at the hawse pipe,
Washes aft and is lost in the wake;
So shall thou drop astern all unheeded
Such time as these laws ye forsake.

Take heed in you manner of speaking
That the language ye use may be sound,
In the list of the words of your choosing
'Impossible' may not be found.

Now these are the Laws of the Navy
And many and varied are they.
but the hull and the deck and the keel
And the truck of the law is- OBEY.

SCPC: Suggestions for Protest Cards

With a view to keep our protest against the Pay Commission recommendations in focus at all times. It is suggested that all veterans, their spouses and their dependents, if they so desire, should wear a black and white protest card as shown above at all times. The word 'Military' may be replaced by 'Defence'. Either can be used, although perhaps military may be more focussed. This should be worn at all times, including on your T- shirt when you play golf or in your office if you have a job. This will soon become a talking point with whoever you meet in an office, shop, train, airline, cafe and so on.

These protest tags can made cheaply, resembling an Id tag one usually wears at conferences, seminars and of course in our formations and headquarters. The cost, for a plastic cover and a clip would be between Rs 5 to 10 and the text can be either got printed if it is a bulk demand, or printed on your printer.

A similar sticker can be pasted in the rear window of the four wheeler and suitably positioned in the two wheeler for maximum readability. The size of card and font size selected can add to readability.

Tsangdhar: Providing Communications 10 Oct 1962

The Thagla Ridge as seen from Tsangdhar

I had to provide the line communication irrespective of the fact that I had no dispenser packs hardly any cable and even the full contingent of linemen some of those still en route. Every one who was fit and some not so fit cook barber dhobi and available linemen were pressed into collecting the few drums of cable from the Dropping Zone and making coils of the cable for hand laying.

Maj Ram Singh
It was the first time that I saw the famous Assam Rifles post at
Dhola from where it all had started. I was not much impressed by the few huts for living and may be a few rifle and LMG posts surrounded by trees bushes and no view or field of fire. It is there that I met Maj Ram Singh who had been sent by the CO to contact Gen Kaul and had some how missed him. It was also the last time I saw him.

CO's Compassion
Having completed the task it was night time by now I wanted to return back to Tsangdhar but the Commander would have none of it he ordered me to stay put for the night. He was a worried man expecting a Chinese reaction to the clash earlier in the morning possibly the same night. However he still had time and compassion to worry about his young Signal officer's welfare and safety night had fallen and it would have been fool hardy of me to try moving up the trail back to the DZ at Tsangdhar.

Sharing Sleeping Bag
Interestingly there was no food or place for me to sleep. I shared the one- man sleeping bag that is how the bags are designed with Maj Kharbanda. A unique experience luckily both of us were on the thin side even then we had to synchronise between the two of us whenever we wanted to turn in the sleeping bag which was fairly frequent on the hard rocky ground. Turning and twisting both of us spent the night like this.

Escape to Bhutan
I came back to Tsangdhar leaving very early and reaching there by 9 am in the morning. I had no food now for about 24 hours. I have been talking about food all the time rather lack of it but it does give one an idea of our administrative back up during OP Leghorn as the operation was known. Missing meals which had become with us a rule rather than exception since we either had no time to eat or no meals were available due to administrative failure. Having got used to this helped us later when we had to be without food for days together on our escape via Bhutan to India.

Brig Lakshman Singh VSM (Retd)

Gathering at Noida

Gathering at Noida Shahid Samarak

Brig Lakshman Singh VSM (Retd)

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Professional Ethics

Revolt of the Generals: A Case Study in Professional Ethics

There is a very nice aricle by MARTIN L COOK on the above subject, in the US War College Quarterly.
Those interested may read it at
Revolt of Generals: A case Study in Professional Ethics

Monday, May 12, 2008

Standing Committee on Defence 2003

Presented to Lok Sabha on 19.8.2003
Laid in Rajya Sabha on 19.8.2003
August, 2003/Sravana, 1925 (Saka)

Read Full Report of 77 Pages (Pdf files takes a minute to load)

Sunday, May 11, 2008

All India Movement of Military Veterans Future Action Plans

Dear Friends,

1. Our Movement has taken forward strides and it is heartening to see the positive response from Veterans through out the country. The impact of the 6th PCR has been so harsh and intense that senior officers who hitherto had kept aloof, have joined the efforts with total sincerity. There is need to further strengthen our Movement through effective action plans. For the cause of ESM, we all veterans MUST Unite in thought and action and give a clear signal to the Govt that we will continue our Movement till such time our fair and genuine demands are met.

2. Rally at Jantar Mantar on 07 May 08 under the aegis of IESL was well attended with a clear message to the Govt that ESMs have got together for their just and fair cause and they are no more ready to accept exploitation by the bureaucracy. We request the IESL functionaries to reciprocate and join in the future action plans to intensify the Movement.

3. Gen Raj Kadyan through his email dated 04 May 08 has already informed you all that hunger strike by Military Veterans country wide has been planned to be held on 27 May 08. At Delhi it will be held at India Gate. All Military Veterans of NCR are requested to assemble near the Boat Club India Gate at 10 AM for the Hunger Strike. All Military Veterans organizations and individual veterans are requested to take part in large numbers to make a lightening effect. Besides participation at India Gate, all veterans organizations and individual veterans are requested to organize the hunger strike by assembling near the War Memorials or any other suitable place in various cities in the country. There is need to involve maximum number of veterans both officers and PBORs. All are requested to volunteer for this effort and organize the Hunger Strike in maximum number of cities. One/two locations in each district be identified depending upon the strength of veterans in the area. Please give wide publicity and take maximum assistance from Print and Electronic Media and have the event covered effectively. Brig CS Kamboj, Brig PT Gangadharan, Wg Cdr J Thomas, Col KK Khana and other recipients of this mail are requested to pass the information to maximum number of veterans on the Net. Message is also requested to be passed to PBOR veterans in villages across country. I don’t have the email IDs of all our former chiefs of staff of the three services. Any one who has their email IDs or addresses, please pass this information for their valuable participation.

4. All are requested to conduct the event peacefully and in a dignified manner. All should wear black arms/ head bands and display placards and Banners.

5. Lt Gen Raj Kadyan and Maj Gen Surjit Singh as Chairman of the Movement and expert on 6th PCR analysis respectively are doing their best to pass the maximum inputs on the subject and the event to you all. Their contributions are highly appreciated. We are also highly appreciative of the efforts of Admiral R H Tahiliani former CNS, Gen Roy Choudhary, Gen VP Malik, Gen NC Vij all former COAS, Lt Gen Harwant Singh, Lt Gen Vijay Oberoi, Brig Harwant Singh, Air Cmde Raghubir Singh, Brig CS Kamboj, Brig PT Gangadharan, Col RP Chaturvedi and Wg Cdr J Thomas for their active participation in our efforts. It is really very encouraging to see that very large number of senior officers are actively involved in the Movement. This trend needs to be further built up.

6. My visit to part of Punjab from 05 to 07 May 2008 in areas Patiala, Cheema Sahab, Sunam Udham Singh Nagar, Barnala, Bathinda, Mukatsar was a great success for our cause. Col PIS Phoolka organized the media both Print & Electronic exceedingly well and the Press Conference at Sunam was well covered. Seven lakhs Military Veterans of Punjab are actively participating.

7. We need to prepare ourselves for a long struggle to achieve our objectives. We need to execute effective action plans. A large number of suggestions are being shared. A federal structure to coordinate the Movement may be organized to get our rightful due which will give us a dignified and respectful life to play our role in the Nation Building.


With regards,
Jai Hind
Sincerely Yours’
Maj Gen Satbir Singh, SM (Retd)

Politics and History of One Rank One Pension

Promises to Keep

History and Politics of One Rank One Pension
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