Sam Manekshaw was a soldier of great repute, but he also built a reputation of being no respecter of men lacking integrity. Lt-General A.K. Kalkat, a former army commander in Manekshaw's regiment, remembers a conversation between Manekshaw and a general accused of misusing funds: "Sir, do you know what you are saying?" asked the general. "You are accusing a general of being dishonest." Replied Manekshaw: "Your chief is not only accusing you of being dishonest but also calling you a thief. If I were you I would go home and either shoot myself or resign. I am waiting to see what you will do." The general submitted his resignation. Sam Manekshaw lives on...... Sam Manekshaw: Tribute to the Eternal Soldier
Comment: Sam Manekshaw's wit and humour alone was enough to accomplish his mission. He hated Court of Inquiries, Court Cases, Procrastinated Bureaucratic Bungling, Career Opportunists and the like. He got rid of corrupt Officers in his own style instantaneously and silently. We need to learn lessons now that so many Officers are under wraps, under media glare, and taking advantage of the loop holes in the legal system.
We thank all the officers who have kindly sent us the media links and the responses that were generated. In the loss of our legendary hero Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw we have seen the Camaraderie of the Indian Armed Forces. We salute Sam Manekshaw, Eternal Soldier. Please visit: Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw: Tributes from Officers
1. The MILITARY VETERANS MARCHED FOR JUSTICE from Minsk Square (near Chinnaswamy Stadium), Bangalore, to the Vidhan Soudha, on morning of Sunday, 06 July 2008, where they met the Hon'ble Chief Minister of Karnataka, and submitted a MEMORANDUM addressed to the Hon'ble Prime minister of India.
2. Military Veterans numbering 500, from all parts of Karnataka, led by Gen Narahari, Admiral Adolf Britto, Air Marshal Keith Lewis, Gen Raghunath, Gen Nanjappa, Admiral Vasanth, Commander Radhakrishnan and Air Marshal Gupta marched to express their solidarity with Military Veterans all over the Country for drawing the attention of the Govt. of India to their problems relating to pension & resettlement.
3. The Hon'ble Chief Minister said that he was indeed happy to meet the Ex-Servicemen from Karnataka and to be in their midst and expressed his gratitude to the Ex-servicemen for their sacrifice, valour & yeoman service to the Country. He promised that he would take up strongly with the Central Government, for speedy amelioration of their problems relating to pension & resettlement, while forwarding their MEMORANDUM to the Hon'ble Prime minister of India.
4. The Hon'ble Chief Minister then announced that, a grand War Memorial would soon be constructed at Bangalore, to honour our Soldiers, Sailors & Airmen who have laid down their lives, in defence of our Nation.. This announcement was received with thunderous applause & cheers.
5. INDIA GATE at Delhi was constructed by the British in memory of those brave Indian Soldiers who fought & sacrificed their lives during the First World War. And it is indeed ironic that even after 60 years of Independence, no Govt. at the Centre has thought it fit to construct a Memorial in Memory of the Brave Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen who have fought and sacrificed their lives in the Wars against Pakistan and China.
6. As Convener of "Military Veterans Movement for Justice" (Bangalore Chapter), I wish to thank all Military Veterans at Bangalore and those who came from outstations, for their support, co-operation & participation in making this MARCH a grand success. I also wish to place on record on behalf of all Military Veterans, our gratitude to the following:
Air Marshal Keith Lewis, PVSM, AVSM, VM- for giving a big boost to this Movement and for his guidance & encouragement.
Maj Gen MC Nanjappa, AVSM**, YSM- for energizing the Movement and for rallying the Ex-Servicemen to join the March in large numbers.
Col GV Sreedhar- for having mooted the idea that we hand over the MEMORAMDUM to the Hon'ble CM of Karnataka; and for taking on the onerous responsibility to contact the Hon'ble CM and to get him to meet the Military Veterans. Three Cheers to Col GV Sreedhar.
Col CM Uthaiah, Director, Dept. of Sainik Welfare, Govt. of Karnataka - For his untiring efforts in projecting the requirement of a War Memorial.
Commander N Radhakrishnan, SC – a very senior Navy Veteran – for his wise counseling and advice.
Col Dr BTK Reddy- for having organized a very cordial & effective PRESS MEET.
Col Janakiraman- for meeting the Home Minister to ensure Military Veterans entry into Vidhan Soudha to meet the Hon'ble CM; and for arranging a meeting with Mr HT Sangliana, Member of Parliament, to request him to raise the Question of 'One Rank, One Pension' in the Lok Sabha, by way of Starred Question.
Sqn Ldr Mahender Singh- for his support in placing Advertisement in News Papers regarding the MARCH FOR JUSTICE.
Col AJ Bhandary and Gp Capt PS Mathur- for being ever ready to give a helping hand.
Some historical events of far reaching consequences, though widely separated by time and space, have striking similarities. Manekshaw’s refusal to be hustled into attacking East Pakistan during April-May 1971 bears a marked parallel with the refusal by Marshal Kutuzov, the commander-in-chief of Russian armies, to defend Moscow against Napoleon’s march on that city in 1812. Both came under increasing pressure, one from his government, the other from the Czar and his entourage. One refused to defend and the other declined to attack! By refusing to defend Moscow, Kutuzov saved the Russian armies from destruction by Napoleon which eventually saved Russia. Manekshaw by declining to attack East Pakistan in April-May, preserved India’s honour. Both resolutely held on to their professional assessment of the military situation and nothing could make them budge from that position.
A whispering campaign of calumny was mounted against both of them. Manekshaw, they said, had no stomach for a fight and had developed cold feet: such was the refrain of the chattering classes of Delhi’s cock-tail circuit. Kutuzov’s detractors whispered of his senility: he was then in his late seventies. Both ignored such barbs. Manekshaw was faced with the prospect of a war on two fronts with the possibility of the opening up of the third front as well. It was a problem, more complex than what had been the bane of the German General Staff for more than half a century, across two World Wars. He wanted the Himalayan winter to set in so that threat from the North gets recessed, and redeploy troops from that front, against East Pakistan.
Had it been a lesser army chief than Manekshaw, the government would have stampeded him into going over to the offensive in April/ May as it so easily did in the 1962 war against China (recall the order from Nehru to ‘throw the Chinese out’ ), operation Blue Star, misadventure in Sri Lanka and the suicidal frontal attacks at Kargil. Undoubtedly, had India attacked East Pakistan in April-May 1971, without the essential logistics build-up etc, it would have been an unmitigated disaster for the country.
Indian troops won their last great victory against a foreign army of importance in 303 BC, when Chandragupta Maurya’s army defeated Seleucus Nicator: Alexander's general. Now after a period of twenty three hundred years of unremitting defeats for the armies of India against every invading army, Manekshaw made the country experience the glow of a stunning victory. It was a victory worthy to rank amongst the great victories and a campaign as brilliant as any in history.
Magnanimous and forgiving of nature, he exuded captivating charm and his quick wit, light hearted banter and inimitable style of command endeared him to the rank and file and others who came in contact with him. He took seven bullets in his stomach from a Japanese machine gun at the Sittang Bridge and in a critical state was put on the last ship to leave Singapore before it fell to the Japanese. Twice destiny had intervened to pull him from the jaws of death, perhaps for fulfilling a larger mission in life.
Marshal Kutuzov, at the battle of Borodino, had madean unsuccessful attempt to halt the invader’s advance into Russia and had barely managed to save the Russian armies from being destroyed by Napoleon. His strategy, aided by the Russian winter, finally brought about the decimation of Napoleon’s ‘Grand Army’ without a battle. On any working day in Moscow the queue for entry into the cyclorama, depicting the battle of Borodino is half a kilometer long. Marshal Kutuzov is a great national hero to this day. Compare this to the way we dealt with Manekshaw, who had won a stunning victory for India.
The passing away of Manekshaw, a few days ago, was mourned by the nation and the press but ignored by the Government of India, the political class and the chiefs of Air Force and Navy. Earlier he was honoured with the rank of Field Marshal (though opposed by the bureaucracy), in a rather slip-shod manner, where army HQ had to over-night deploy workmen in Chandni Chowk to make the badges of rank and baton of a Field Marshal. His privileges and place in the scheme of things not determined. His pay was fixed at the level of pension of service chief with Rs 500 as additinal allowance!
Though omitted from the government’s Warrant of Precedence, is believed to be just above the service chiefs! Amendment to WoP issued by the Home Ministry in October 2007, lifts chairperson of UPSC from Article 17 (position) to article 9-A placing him above the three service chiefs (so also a Field Marshal) who are at article 12 (12th place). What is chairperson UPSC! Earlier he ranked even below an officiating army chief of the rank of Lt Gen. A Field Marshal continues to skip the WoP!
This warrant of precedence is periodically revised by a committee of three secretaries which is rubber-stamped by the supreme commander of Indian armed forces, who has, not even once, raised a query as to why, this sustained assault on the status of his/her service chiefs and his officers, and why no place for a Field Marshal on this list!
The media which is now so much in praise of the Field Marshal would not, as late as last year, accept an article suggesting the award of Bharat Ratna to him. When high achievers from every walk of life have been honoured with this award why, in this dispensation, is there no place for one of the most eminent soldiers in Indian history. An award given to him in his life time is quite apart from one that may come to him posthumously. Why this total lack of grace, gratitude and decorum on the part of the Government of India; firstly during his life time and now on his passing away. Credit for the only decisive victory in India’s military history still belongs to him!
The road to Tawang The only road available as line of communication for operations in Keming Division was road Tezpur-Misamari-Foot Hills-Rupa-Tenga valley and from there to Bomdila-Dirang Dzong upto Sela (4,198m) down to Nuranang-Jang and Towang. This was a fair weather class 9 road passing through some very difficult terrain. In the dry weather the road was dusty with sharp hairpin bends, steep inclines with overhanging rocks at many places. The culverts were un-metalled and in places half built with wooden trestles. In the rains the road quickly became a quagmire and deeply rutted; any vehicle having got into one of the ruts had to move in it for long distances before it could come out of it .The frame of the vehicle particularly the suspension and steering system were subjected to severe stress and strains.
Tenga valley On this line of communication it was not a question of steady climb in elevation but the road was like a roller coaster starting at an elevation of 305m at the Foot Hills, climbing up to Eagles Nest (2,837m) in a distance of 62 kms down to Tenga Valley (1,367m) over 39 kms. From here the road climbed to Bomdila (2,379m) over a distance of 21 kms. Bomdila to Sappers Camp (1,830m) a distance of 53 kms was comparatively easy except for land slides in places which made it difficult to negotiate without Engineer effort and assistance of dozers and recovery vehicles. Sapper Camp to Sela (4,198m) a distance of 41 kms was a hard climb with sharp bends some of which could only be negotiated by reversing the vehicle once or twice- a difficult operation even on best of the hill roads.
Approach to Sela The approach to Sela was under improvement and paved by boulders. From Sela the road dropped to Nuronang (4,117m) over a distance of 8 kms. From here, there was down hill drive to Jang (2,502m) with twenty-seven hairpin bends in about 9 kms requiring the reversing of vehicles to negotiate each bend. The road to Towang crossed Twang Chu (river) over a wooden bridge of 27m span. . From here onwards, the road to Towang a distance of nearly 37 kms, was over a mud flat deeply rutted; calling for considerable skill and patience on the part of the vehicle drivers as well necessitating assistance from dozers and recovery vehicles to force the passage. Many vehicles stalled and burnt their clutches on this stretch of the road.
Freezing cold Temperature varied from the very hot and humid climate of the tropical forests of the foothills to the freezing cold of Sela and the wind swept funnel of Nuranang where the wind chill factor constantly kept the temperature extremely low: a bottle of beer had to be thawed even at mid day with the sun shining bright overhead.
Mule pack In the plains the road meandered through paddy fields with extremely soft berms requiring constant maintenance. Due to narrow roads overtaking of vehicles was not possible except at a few places. Movement away from the centre of the road invariably resulted in vehicles getting in the slush and at places where the road was elevated called for recovery assistance. Movement beyond Tawang had to be on foot and mule pack. (Extract from History of Corps of EME)
Enclosing below a report from Lt Col Jairam about the "March for Justice" at Thanjavur (Tanjore)- Tamil Nadu, on 06 Jul 2008, for your information please. May I request its inclusion in your 'Report my Signals' please. Capt H Balakrishnan (Retd Indian Navy) Chennai
IESM RALLY, Thanjavur held on 06 July 2008
1. All retired veterans from the three services commenced mustering from 0900 onwards at Thillagar Thedal which is a routine SP for non- political processions. They came from far flung villages around Thanjavur Dist and Thanjavur Township. Some widows and wives of ex-servicemen also joined the procession. 2. The previous day before the commencement of the rally a large number of reporters from local dailies were briefed on the demands of ex-servicemen and the grave injustice done to men in uniform and retirees from the three services by SPC. All local newspapers published the event and also carried out editorials of the demands of ex-servicemen on the day of rally. The local cable TV’s and Sun news also mentioned the event and showed extracts of the rally in its evening and nighttime news coverage. 3. The strength of ex-servicemen and widows who gathered at the SP at Thillagar Thedal was about 200. The lining up for the procession commenced at 0930hrs. The banners and placards displaying various slogans were positioned at appropriate intervals. The procession were preceded by four motorcycle outriders carrying the ex-servicemen league flag. The procession was flagged off by the convener, Col CT Arasu precisely at 1000hrs. 4. Three officers, Col CT Arasu, Lt Col RR Jairam and Lt Cdr TM Vaganan moved with the rally.The entire route of the rally was videographed and photographed by local press.The procession covered the most crowded throughfares and shopping areas in Thanjavur township. 5. The rally concluded at 1130 hrs at the Annie Besant Lodge which has a spacious area and houses some of the collectorate offices.The convener addressed the rallyist and thence the office bearers went to the Collector’s Office to submit the memorandum to the Collector for onward submission to the Govt of Tamil Nadu. 6. The Veterans promised to return another day and gather in even larger numbers with their families to show their unflinching loyalty to the movement and present a united front if the need arose for a similar cause.
I would request serving officers not to follow these illegally issued Warrants since the Army is not obliged to concur with such illegalities being a Central force on the 'Union List' of the Constitution of India. The Union Ministry of Home Affairs has very clearly stated that below the rank of Maj Gen, the old Warrant of 1937 shall be taken as a guideline.
Officers need to be educated to Maintain Military Rank Status, which is otherwise being flouted or relegated by the bureaucrats.
My Dear Veterans, Today on 07 July 2008 our delegation comprising the following officers met the Governor of Tamilnadu at 1230 PM, at the Raj Bhavan. The Coordinator, Col(Retd) TN Raman, introduced Maj Gen(Retd) C Govindaswamy, Cmde (Retd) Susindranath,YSM, Wg Cdr(Retd) Ravimani & Lt Col(Retd) C Sundar, the members of the delegation to the Governor.
His excellency, the Governor received the members with warmth & said that he was aware of the All India Movement of the ESM. Col TN Raman then presented the Memorandum and apprised the Governor that the same had already been faxed to him on 01-07-08. The Governor said that he had gone through the same & evinced interest in knowing about our presentation to the Sri Krishna Committee (which was done by AFVOA). Col TN Raman requested Maj Gen C Govindaswamy to give a brief on the presentation, since he was involved in the preparation of the same.
Maj Gen C Govindaswamy, briefed the Governor and said that the committee had appreciated the excellent work done by our team in projecting the real issues affecting not only the pensioners but also the Serving personnel. But the recommendations of the SPC had been a big disappointment. He brought out that it had taken him 33 years to become a Maj Gen, but his counter parts in Civil Services had attained the same status both in rank & pay in just 14 years.
The SPC had not distinguished the service conditions of various trades. For example, a driver working in a Secretariat in New Delhi is at par with an Army driver, whereas, the former is entitled to over time & various other perks. The Governor concurred with the points.
Col TN Raman & Lt Col CR Sundar requested the Governor to kindly advise the State to appoint a serving officer of the Army as the Secretary of the State ESM Welfare, the post at present occupied by an IAS officer. The Governor said that he would consider the request and asked us to forward a Statement of Case.
Wg Cdr Ravimani also reiterated the points made by Maj Gen C Govindaswamy and also mentioned that the jawans retire at the age group of 35 to 40, when their family commitments are at the peak and should be considered for alternative Govt Employment where their technical skills can be fully exploited. The Governor then ordered for a group photograph with the delegation. The delegation took leave of his presence, after being assured of sympathetic consideration of our Memorandum & forwarding the same to the Central Govt with his recommendations.
Col TN Raman (Retd) Coordinator, All India ESM Movement, Chennai
Dear ESM, For those of you who attended- God bless you. For those of you who could have attended but chose not to- perhaps a little introspection would be in order.
Result- will be disseminated when we obtain information. The CM has announced that a war memorial would be built in Karnataka. If fructified, it will be the first of its kind in the Country.
Pointers- The CM has stated that he will consider our demands. Seperately, he has asked for a short draft/ summary of our demands and the same has been done. It is understood that serious efforts are in progress to ensure that our 4 demands are strongly reccomended by the CM and forwarded to the PM.
TRI CITY Report (CHANDIGARH, MOHALI and PANCHKULA)
Very large number of us, including number of senior Generals like Gen RS Gen Dyal, former Governor of Pondicherry , Andaman and Nocobar, Gen Harwant Singh, Gen Dhillon, Air Marshals RS Bedi and PK Jain, met Mr Bansal, MOS (Finance) around 11am as planned. He gave a very patient hearing. Since we were far too many, he requested to be briefed in detail at 4 PM.
Accordingly Gen Harwant Singh, Brig K Krishan (IESL rep from Haryana ), Col JS Mand, President IESL Punjab and Chandigarh, and Self met him. Gen Harwant Singh briefed him in detail. Session lasted over an hour. Mr Bansal promised to take up our case with the PM and Mrs Sonia Gandhi. He promised to give a copy of it to us. He is going aboad for about a fortnight and would give us feed back later.
At around 5.45PM we met Mrs RK Bhathal, Leader of Opposition, Punjab, gave her Memorandum and briefed her at length. She assured that she would take up the case with the PM and Mrs Sonia Gandhi.
Tomorrow (07 July) we are meeting CM Haryana (he was out of station to day) at 10.30 AM and if possible CM Punjab also to brief him/ them in detail.
Feed Back from Amritsar. An excellent Rally organised by Col GS Sandhu. Around 1000 veterans took part.
A self-fulfilling prophecy will be generated because a positive belief will build a more positive attitude that in turn leads to more positive expectations. You will start noticing when you behave more positively and so start to notice the little improvements in performance. The positive circle continues because more positive beliefs grow from noticing these improvements. Unfortunately it can work the opposite way too. This may be why if you fall off once you seem to fall off again soon afterwards - it's almost as if a part of you is looking for an opportunity or excuse to do it again.
The chemicals released into the body in the 'Fight, Flight or Freeze' response will determine to some extent which circle you are in . Our response will depend very much on our perception of the threat "the state arising when the individual perceives the demands placed on them exceed (or threaten to exceed) their capacity to cope".
Psychological stress that gives rise to the 'Fight, Flight or Freeze' response. We can therefore reduce the demands, increase the capacity to cope and we can work on an individual basis to change our perception of the threat. It has to be on an individual basis because everyone perceives threats differently. This is because we all have a different store of emotional memories to match them against.
The 'Fight, Flight or Freeze' response can sometimes be enjoyable because of the challenge it presents for us. "Perhaps one of the gifts a horse offers is a chance to explore constructive ways to meet danger and manage our private fears. Horses can give us confidence in our own innate resourcefulness, reminding us that we have the ability, intuition and flexibility to pass through challenging events".
Our perception of the challenge determines the cocktail of chemicals released into the body. These chemicals determine our emotional response. Noradrenaline (not adrenaline) gives rise to those good feelings of excitement, drive and physical strength, whereas the feelings and sensations associated with high levels of adrenaline are not pleasant and can lead to the need to flee, leaving us overwhelmed, inadequate and afraid.
Comment: One needs to cultivate the complete cycle of Positive Attitude if one intends to steer an Organisation to victory. This is an essential component to bring about Unity within the various Ex- Servicemen Oganisations and outfits. More, so as each Veteran presents himself as the enlightened Leader. The above articles surely enhances our perception and fine tunes our application of the concept in one's life.
This refers to the column by Saikat Datta. It is a shame that somebody who can write a column for Outlook cannot even exhibit the least common sense by acknowledging the fact that it is not the freedom of speech guaranteed by the Constitution that has enabled him to write such crap but the sweat and blood of the soldiers who have been guarding the borders of this land with such dedication and eternal vigilance. The Constitution will not be so much worth the paper it is written on had it not been for these simple, upright sons of the nation who have put their lives on the line in the line of their duty. Yes, there may be many who are dying in the line of their duty in other professions also but then there are so many dying daily on our roads also. Can they be compared with the soldier who dons his uniform? One can only pray like Jesus is supposed to have done on the cross- pardon them my Lord, for they do not know what they say or write.
Press Trust of India Sunday, July 6, 2008 (New Delhi)
Rejecting recommendations of the Sixth Pay Commission, nearly 200 ex-servicemen staged a demonstration at Jantar-Mantar on Sunday to protest against the "logically incorrect recommendations".
Alleging that the recommendations were insensitive of their needs, members of Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement (ESM) demanded sanction of 'One-Rank-One Pension' which was recommended by a parliamentary committee but was rejected by the Sixth Pay Commission.
"The recommendations of Sixth Pay Commission are logically incorrect to the service conditions that prevail in the Armed forces," a member of the ESM said.
The ESM has also written a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Defence Minister A K Antony on Sunday to press its demands.
"We will intensify our movement as per the democratic means of protest available to us and continue our movement till all our demands are met," said a member of the Ex-Servicemen Commission, Maj Gen Satbir Singh (Retd).
The ESM also condemned the poor representation of government members at the funeral of Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw, the 1971 war hero.
Participating in the protest wearing black arm bands, the ex-servicemen demanded constitution of a separate Pay Commission or Pay Review Board with statutory powers with serving and veteran members from defence services representing them.
The veterans demanded "assured job" for the retired army personnel till the age of 60 at par with other government employees.
"Since 90 per cent of defence personnel should retire compulsorily retirement in between the age of 35 and 45, they should be provided with assured jobs and if this is not possible they should be given 75 per cent of their salary," said a member of the group.
Forty people have received the Bharat Ratna since it was first awarded in 1954. By my count at least 22 are politicians. A further 13 intellectuals or artists, two social workers and an industrialist. There are also two foreigners. But in 54 years not a single armed forces officer has qualified. Surely Manekshaw should have? Was he less deserving than M. G. Ramachandran, Rajiv Gandhi, Aruna Asaf Ali, Gulzarilal Nanda, VV Giri, Gopinath Bordoloi and Chidambaram Subramaniam?
Actually, the discrimination against the armed forces is yet more inexplicable if you analyze how service officers are ranked alongside civilian bureaucrats. For instance, in the states a brigadier and a district collector are treated as equals although it takes 28 years for an officer to become a brigadier and just 8 for a bureaucrat to become a DC. Worse, the central government ranks the Army Chief below the Cabinet Secretary. Yet the IAS comprises 4671 members and the army over a million. Even members of the Planning Commission, Chairmen of the UPSC, the CAG, the Attorney General and every single foreign ambassador have precedence. Read the Full article: Unbelievable or deliberate
Three Veteran Organisations participated in the event under one banner– Indian Ex-Servicemen's Movement(IESM). No individual banners were put up.
The Veterans showed a lot of enthusiasm for a unified effort and they were very happy that the Coimbatore Retired Defence Officers Club was represented by many Veteran officers.
One Veteran suggested that we have a singular badge which distinguishes our identity. The idea was good and will be considered for implementation in Coimbatore.
It was also suggested that such Rallies be continued even after the finalization of the Pay commission to keep up the unity of the Veterans and to interact and solve common issues. The press release given to the media is as given below.
MILITARY VETERANS RALLY AT COIMBATORE ON 06TH JULY 2008 TO PROTEST THE RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE 6TH PAY COMMISSION
Veteran soldiers of the armed forces are holding rallies in Coimbatore and in all important cities across the country on Sunday 6th July, protesting against the ' grave injustice ' done to the serving and retired defence personnel by the Sixth Pay Commission. The Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement (IESM) is organising the 'March for Justice' in which 'thousands of former soldiers, many of them winners of gallantry awards', will participate. Our Armed Forces have fully honoured their part of the bargain. It is now time for the country to fulfill their side, and this includes showing and providing respect for those in, and, out of uniform. The Government must look into the repairing of their relationship between Veterans of the Armed Forces who fear they are becoming pariahs as a result of their alienation by the recommendations of past Pay Commissions. The recommendations of the 6th Pay Commission were a blow to the morale of the Armed Forces and now the review committee is dragging its feet to achieve another conundrum. The Indian Ex Servicemen were clear and concise in their demands and the availability of resources was also examined before putting up their demands so that they were reasonable and justified. However, the bureaucrats have been trying to create a caste system in the Government and have been aided by the 6th Pay Commission. They have of usurped the slot of the highest caste who supposedly deem themselves to deserve the icing on the Pay commission cake. India is not a banana republic and the Indian Armed Forces are not mercenaries. We are an Armed forces with time honoured values and traditions and have always performed. The erosion of these values and traditions is irreparable. The depletion of the Armed forces cannot be made up overnight by outsourcing the Defence of the country. It would thus be apt to recall Kautilya's sagely advice to Chandragupta on the Mauryan Soldier.
"If ever things come to a sordid pass when, on a given day, the Mauryan soldier has to LOOK BACK over his shoulder (simhawalokana) prompted by even a single worry about his and his family's material, physical and social well being, it should cause you and your Council the greatest concern and distress. I beseech you to take instant note and act with uncommon dispatch to address the soldier's anxiety. It is my bounden duty to assure you, My Lord that the day when the Mauryan soldier has to demand his dues or, worse, plead for them, will neither have arrived overnight nor in vain. It will also bode ill for Magadha. For then, on that day, you, My Lord, you will have lost all moral sanction to be King! It will also be the beginning of the end of the Mauryan Empire!"
The demands of the Ex Servicemen are:
One-Rank-One- Pension (OROP) this is a long pending demand aimed at protecting the interests of older pensioners. The issue has become very emotive with the Ex-Servicemen. OROP has been the stated policy of all mainstream political parties. Even the Congress party had included this point in their election manifesto by saying, "long-pending issue of One-Rank, One-Pension will once again be re examined and a satisfactory solution arrived at expeditiously".
A Guaranteed Government Employment. Every soldier and officer must be given assured employment till he attains the age of 60 years, which is the retiring age for all other Government employees.
Ex-Servicemen Commission. Constitution of an Ex Servicemen Commission with statutory powers to safeguard the genuine interests of the Ex-Servicemen.
Representation of Ex Servicemen. All committees/commissions and other government bodies where issues affecting the interests of Ex Servicemen are being considered, must have Ex-Servicemen representation.
The first ever Chennai "March for Justice" commenced at 9am on 06 July 2008 to protest against the Sixth Central Pay Commission. A two minute silence was observed in Memory of Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw. The March was conducted in a an orderly organised and dignified manner. Veterans of all ranks from Air force, Navy and Army and few accompanied by their families participated. The March started at Monroe Statue and terminated at Government Estate at about 11am. Click: Detailed Chennai Report by Brig VA Subramanyam Slideshow: Chennai March for Justice 06 July 2008 Photos
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