Saturday, July 26, 2008

Symbol of our Soldier we honour him?

Guarding Kargil

It aroused neither curiosity nor intrigue
When you saw him in his crumpled fatigue
On railway platforms, slurping his tea
Hurriedly from his saucer, and then flee
Shouldering his bag and tromping his feet
To catch his rum-reserved seat.
Seldom in your mind a moment you spared
Even knowing he was ill-paid and uncared.
You gave him no more thought than you may
To a light a candle at mid day.
Then one day on the border the guns boomed
Suddenly on your TV screen he loomed
Humping his load, climbing, metre by metre
Along with Pritam, Purohit, Parvez and Peter
A silent symbol of India, a true secularist
He marched ahead to keep a tryst.

Cold and wet, poorly garbed
Unmindful, his face gritty and barbed
Never the one to question or ask

Armed Forces Tribunal: Non Starter?

Armed Forces Tribunal Bill, 2005 was introduced in the Rajya Sabha in September 2005. The Standing Committee of Parliament on Defence examined the Bill and gave its recommendations in May 2006. The Ministry considered the recommendations and moved certain amendments in the Rajya Sabha in December 2007. Both the Houses have passed the Bill in the Winter Session of the Parliament in December 2007. The Armed Forces Tribunal Act, 2007 has been notified on 28 th December 2007. Necessary follow up action is being taken on priority to set up the Principal Bench of the Armed Forces Tribunal in New Delhi.

If all goes well, this Independence Day may see the inauguration of the Principal Bench of the Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT) at Delhi. The notification for the formation of the AFT has already been issued. Under the authority of Section 5 (4) of the Act, the govt can establish benches at other places too.
Cabinet nod to Armed Forces Tribunal
Armed Forces Tribunal: Present Status

Comment: Can one expect accelerated dispensation of Justice? Will the backlog be cleared expeditiously. The expectations are running high!

Joint Training Indian Army Vs Chinese Army

This video is an eye opener. We need a younger Army with younger officers to Command. There is urgent need for all Sainik Schools to be training Soldiers and not churning out Bureaucrats, Businessmen, Engineers, Doctors or Politicians. The country needs top class leaders. Talent from Sainik Schools should be solely utilised for the Armed Forces.

High Court issues notice to Centre on ESM pension

ESM assisted by their kin to reach the venue of war veteran meet

Chandigarh, March 24 The Punjab & Haryana High Court today issued notices to the Centre on a petition filed by a 90-year-old World War-II veteran’s widow. Subedar Narayan Singh of Samrala had served in the Indian Army. The widow has moved the High Court for fixation of his pension of the rank of naib subedar from July 10, 1947 onward instead of sepoy that he had been getting till date.

The petition was filed through the Legal Aid Cell of the All India Ex-servicemen Welfare Association at Chandigarh.

Bhim Sen Sehgal, Chairman of the All India Ex-servicemen Welfare, taking up the case, stated that the petitioner whose date of birth is August 21,1918, was enrolled in the Indian Army on August 21,1936, as a sepoy. He served during World War-II at Burma Front from July 25,1943 to August 22, 1946. He was promoted to the rank of Jemadar (now called naib subedar).

He was injured in action and declared as battle casualty. He was out of service from July 9, 1947 due to injuries after rendering 10 years, 10 months and 19 days of service and was granted disability pension by the CMA(P) Lahore from July 10, 1947 for life for which he was getting Rs 42 per month.

Sehgal further said after attaining the independence, the Government of India introduced new pension regulations called pension regulations for the Army 1961, which were to be effective from June 1, 1953, onwards and was made applicable to all the then existing pensioners.

However, the disability pension scales of the petitioner were not revised and the petitioner who was holding the rank of naib subedar was drawing total pension of Rs 182 per month only as on December 31, 1985. Sehgal further submitted that the petitioner is eligible and entitled to draw the pension for the rank of Naib Subedar which comes to Rs 637 per month from January 1, 1986 and Rs 2,016 from January 1, 1996 onward.

HC issues notice to Centre on ex-serviceman’s pension issue

Comment: War veterans still hope for pension. Many who have sacrificed their youth fighting wars in the pre- Independence era, have still not lost hope for their pension. Even at the ripe age, in their twilight years, of over 90 years age, they are fighting legal battles for pension which is their right. A very sad commentry on the functioning of our Bureaucracy. The "One Rank One Pension" demanded by the ESM should be implented forthwith to reduce burgeoning civil cases causing untold agony to the affected ESM. Another sample of apathy read the link: Travails of a ESM widow: Forwarded by Lt Col Pritam Singh Jauhal (Retd) World War II Veteran

Friday, July 25, 2008

Veteran Proactive Signal Officer

Please click the selected article for reading:

Prince of a Soldier
Canada: Community Building Workshop
Luncheon with Governor General of Canada
Battle 1948 Jammu and Kashmir
India's Independence

Lt Col Pritam Singh Jauhal (Retd) World War II Veteran
Founding President Indian Ex-Servicemen Society British Columbia

We thank Lt Col Pritham Singh for sharing valuable information and also his contributions towards the Welfare of Ex- Serviceman.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

ESM Welfare: Indian Air Force Launch Placement Cell

Year 2007 was declared as the ‘Year of Placement for Ex-servicemen’, by the Hon’ble Raksha Mantri. In order to create maximum placements for the Ex-Air Warriors, IAF has established IAF Placement Cell at Delhi and Regional Placement cells and various Command HQ IAF Placement Fairs have been conducted at Delhi and Kolkata to expand its reach to regional companies. An overwhelming response was experienced both from corporate world and the retired Air Warriors. Large number of personnel were employed by the participating companies. Next two placement Fairs for the year are scheduled to be held at Bangalore and Pune in September and December respectively.

While most of the job of the IAF Placement Cell is through the Internet, need was always felt for an independent website. IAF Placement Cell would be launching its website on 22 Jul 08 at 1100 hrs, at the Air Force Auditorium. The Chief of the Air Staff would inaugurate the same.

The website which is made by ICICI Group would be dedicated to the Ex-Air Warriors by ICICI Bank’s JMD, MS Kochhar. The website will have separate log-ins for the employers and the job seekers. It will have a knowledge zone with tips on attending interviews / resume writing and a host of e-learning courses offered by ICICI Bank.

In all, it will add up to efforts of IAF in providing good second career opportunities to its Ex-Air Warriors.
Indian Air Force Launch Independent Website
IAF: Placement Cell

TATA Motors: Amazing Car Powered by Compressed Air

The Compressed Air Car, developed by Motor Development International (MDI) Founder Guy Negre, might be the best thing to happen to the motor engine, and people all over the world.

The $12,700 CityCAT, one of the planned Air Car models, reaches 68 mph, goes for a range of 125 miles. It will take only a few minutes for the CityCAT to refuel at gas stations equipped with custom air compressor units. MDI says it should cost only around $2 to fill the car up with 340 liters of air!

The Air Car will be starting production soon, thanks to India 's TATA Motors. This car is being produced by the same company which a few months back invented a car named NANO that costs only $2500. Forget corn! That's a joke. There's fuel, user friendly, pocketbook friendly fuel! What can be better than air? Cool Concept!
Amazing Car Powered by Compressed Air!

SCPC: Can the Armed Forces trust Bureaucrats?

A majority of all loss making PSUs in country are managed by IAS officers and now they have become parking slots for bureaucrats waiting to find a berth in various ministries.

It is time to question the very relevance of All India Services like the IAS, IPS and IFS. Have they contributed towards national integration? No! Bollywood has done a better job. In any case states like J&K and the North-East are too eager that their cadre officers from outside serve in Delhi. North Indians don’t want to serve in the South and vice-versa. The local officers are much more influential in their own state and the state Governments function in whatsoever manner despite the presence of so called IAS and IPS officers. Today the country needs more Bhabhas, Sarabhais, Kalams, Swaminathans, Pitrodas, Gills, Gare Khans, Ratan Tatas, Monteks and Manmohans at the helm of affairs than the bureaucrats. It is time to signal a goodbye to them altogether or reduce their intake to the very minimum for regulation and induct technocrats/ specialists from outside for the thrust areas like telecom, finance, commerce, and defence.

Dr Manmohan Singh as a disciplinarian and an eminent economist has rightly focused on the need to reform the bureaucracy which has outlived its use. The country is waiting eagerly to see the outcome.

Can Bureaucracy be reformed?
Fight Corruption Now: JN Jayashree

Extract: PM's reply to Vote of Confidence 22July 2008, assurance

"Equally important is the effective implementation of the Right to Information Act to impart utmost transparency to processes of governance. The Administrative Reforms Commission has made valuable suggestions to streamline the functioning of our public administration."

Ex- Servicemen Plea: Dr Manmohan Singh has won the vote of confidence in the Parliament and has the active support of the vast majority of Indian population. We the Defence Forces of India repose hope and faith that the Sixth Central Pay Commission Report will deliver Justice to Defenders of the Nation.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Prime Minister: Governance of the largest Democracy is the greatest challenge

The Management and governance of the world’s largest, most diverse and most vibrant democracy is the greatest challenge any person can be entrusted with, in this world. It has been my good fortune that I was entrusted with this challenge over four years ago. I thank with all sincerity the Chairperson of the UPA, the leaders of the Constituent Parties of the UPA and every member of my Party for the faith and trust they reposed in me. I once again recall with gratitude the guidance and support I have received from Shri Jyoti Basu and Sardar Harkishen Singh Surjeet.

I have often said that I am a politician by accident. I have held many diverse responsibilities. I have been a teacher, I have been an official of the Government of India, I have been a member of this greatest of Parliaments, but I have never forgotten my life as a young boy in a distant village.

Every day that I have been Prime Minister of India I have tried to remember that the first ten years of my life were spent in a village with no drinking water supply, no electricity, no hospital, no roads and nothing that we today associate with modern living. I had to walk miles to school, I had to study in the dim light of a kerosene oil lamp. This nation gave me the opportunity to ensure that such would not be the life of our children in the foreseeable future.

Sir, my conscience is clear that on every day that I have occupied this high office, I have tried to fulfill the dream of that young boy from that distant village.

The greatness of democracy is that we are all birds of passage! We are here today, gone tomorrow! But in the brief time that the people of India entrust us with this responsibility, it is our duty to be honest and sincere in the discharge of these responsibilities. As it is said in our sacred texts, we are responsible for our actions and we must act without coveting the rewards of such action. Whatever I have done in this high office I have done so with a clear conscience and the best interests of my country and our people at heart. I have no other claims to make.

Prime Minister’s Reply to the Debate on the Motion of Confidence in Lok Sabha on 22nd July, 2008

Comment: The world's greatest economist Dr Manmohan Singh pleads for Nuclear Power for the Nation to fulfil the dreams of millions of rural Indians who still do not have adequate uninterrupted Electric Power in their homes and farms. The Nation is with him and we applaud his vision for India.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Brig KS Chandpuri shares battle experience: Indo Pak War 1971

Indo Pak war 1971: Indian soldiers, along with Maj KS Chandpuri (Right) in front of a bombed Pakistani Jeep

Kuldip Singh Chandpuri (3rd from left) with his company

Mohali, November 23, 2004
Students of the local Government College had an interesting interaction with Brigadiar Kuldeep Singh Chandpuri (Retd), a Mahavir Chakra winner and the hero of the Battle of Longewala of 1971.

While giving details of the battle at the Longewala post in Rajasthan, Brigadier Chandpuri told the students that the battle could not be won just because he fought bravely at the front but due the bravery shown by jawans of the Punjab Regiment during the war.

They fought fearlessly and that was how a company comprising nearly 90 jawans, headed by him, defeated a Pakistan division, comprising 3,500 jawans and fully armed.

He said the Punjab Regiment had lost 16 jawans in the war at the Longowala post and another 16 got injured. He also got an injury while fighting the enemy. The casualties on the Pakistan side were much higher and number of officials were sacked by the Pakistan Government for giving a poor performance on the Rajasthan border.

While addressing students, most of whom came from rural areas, the Longewala hero said he, too, was from a rural background. He said 90 per cent of those serving in the defence forces had a rural background and they were always considered better fighters than those coming from urban areas.
Brig KS Chandpuri, MVC speaks to school children
Brigadier sues Air-Marshal, Maj-Gen for disputing history Seeks damages of just Rs 1
Battle of Laungewala (Longewala) - latest developments

I had the privilege of serving in HQ 15 Corps when Brig KS Chandpuri was the Assistant Adjutant-General (AAG) tasks involved personnel management, financial management, general administration, military education, legal services, and provost (military policing) services. He was a thorough professional, a gentleman to the core and with simple tastes. He respected his Juniors and never threw his weight around. I had close association with him for nearly one year. He is symbol of a great soldier and approachable by one and all. An edifice of impeccable Integrity and Honesty. The bravest of the brave.

Controversy Why?
There has been some doubt about the heroism of valour by Brig K S Chandpuri, MVC and his team. In recent times this seems to be part of journalistic investigation. The reason is easy to fathom because no one individual can recreate the battle field in totality. Hence the real hero who braved the enemy is likely to be sidelined to other glamorous events of the supporting arms and services. No one is qualified to comment on the Heroic Deeds of Brig KS Chandpuri except by those who fought with him and survived to tell the tale.

Lt Col James Kanagaraj (Retd)
Moderator, Report My Signal Blog

To recapitulate the Battle
The Battle of Longewala December5 - December6, 1971 was one of the first major battles in the Western Sector during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971, fought between assaulting Pakistani forces and Indian defences at the Indian border post of Longewala, in Thar Desert of the Rajasthan state in India. It is generally regarded to be one of the decisive battles in the two week long war.

The Indian 'A' company of 120 odd soldiers of the 23rd Bn, Punjab Regiment, managed to hold a 2000-3000 strong assault force of the 51st Infantry Brigade of the Pakistani Army, backed by the 22nd Armoured Regiment, for two days, until the Indian Air Force would arrive to thwart the Pakistani assault. The Indian victory in this battle ensured that Pakistan had no way of countering the Indian Army in the west and eventually succumbed to a swift defeat in the war.

For his part, the Indian company commander Major (later Brigadier) Kuldip Singh Chandpuri was decorated with India's second highest gallantry award, the Maha Vir Chakra. Several other awards were earned by members of the defending battalion. On the other hand, the Pakistani Divisional Commander was sacked. However the commander of the Pakistani 51 Brigade who mounted the daring attack and crossed into Indian territory was later awarded Pakistan's high award of the Sitara-e-Imtiaz.

What is Red Tape? Is the Military Affected?

Red tape is a derisive term for excessive regulation or rigid conformity to formal rules that is considered redundant or bureaucratic and hinders or prevents action or decision-making. It is usually applied to government, but can also be applied to other organisations including Ex Servicemen or Veteran Organisations.

It generally includes the filling out of seemingly unnecessary paperwork, obtaining of unnecessary licenses, having multiple people or committees approve a decision and various low-level rules that make conducting one’s affairs slower and/ or more difficult.

Where did it originate from?
The origins of the term are somewhat obscure, but it is first noted in historical records in the 16th century, when Henry VIII besieged Pope Clement VII with around eighty or so petitions for the annulment of his marriage to Catherine of Aragon. The pile of documents were rolled and stacked in original condition, each one sealed and bound with the obligatory red tape, as was the custom. The tradition continued through to the 17th and 18th century.

The English practice of binding documents and official papers with red tape was popularised in the writings of Thomas Carlyle protesting against official inertia with expressions like "Little other than a red tape Talking-machine, and unhappy Bag of Parliamentary Eloquence." To this day most barristers’ briefs are tied in a pink coloured ribbon known as red tape.

Why was it termed red-tape?
The colorful term used to refer to the seemingly endless parade of paperwork that accompanies many official matters got its start back in old England. Thick legal documents were bound or tied with red cloth tape. So when someone spoke of cutting through the red tape, they meant it in a very literal sense.

By the 19th century, however, the term had become much more figurative in meaning and referred to "any official routine or procedure marked by excessive complexity which results in delay or inaction." Governments are notorious for excessive red tape.

IAS: Indian Asphyxiated Service
Clearly, the Indian bureaucracy seems to have emerged as the single biggest obstacle to India achieving the twin goals of prosperity and social welfare. Not only are bureaucrats arrogant, they are so full of themselves that they stubbornly remain oblivious to what India needs.

How did the steel frame of India descend and fall into such disgraceful disrepute? Dozens of Commissions and Committees have been formed over the years and decades to look into the issue. Their conclusions lie forlorn in forgotten cabinets and almirahs in dusty offices, with not a hope in hell of being implemented.
IAS: Indian Asphyxiated Service

SCPC: Does the SCPC Empowered Committee and the Anomalies Committee foot the bill of Red Tape? Have any of our ESM/ Veteran organisations ever championed for the Cause of Veterans or initiated a libel suit in court to fight for a Soldiers Right?

Monday, July 21, 2008

Recruit more women: Reduce sexual harassment

PTI Photo

Captain Poonam Kaur’s allegations of sexual harassment have clouded the Indian army’s reputation, the fact remains that as long as women are barely tolerated in the military and unable to wield real power, such instances will recur. The Indian army has been recruiting women for the last 15 years, initially to fill up junior slots that were falling vacant. In their 10 years of work, women officers can rise only up to the level of a major, so their male colleagues have no fear of reprisal.

Antony orders inquiry into woman officer's allegations
Recruit more women: Else, power differentials in the army are bound to be abused

Last Meeting in Mhow

I met him in a bookshop in Mhow. It was an accidental meeting. I had not recognized him. It was he who came forward and asked me shyly, "Excuse me, but aren't you Mukesh who was in Army School Mhow, Class XII, 1997 batch?" "Yes, are you Vikrant?" I had asked. "Yeah man," he had grinned as he shook my hand with vigour. "And what are you doing nowadays?" he had asked. "Oh, I am working with a software company in Bangalore," I had replied. "And you?" I had asked, "I heard that you had joined the Army". "That's right," he had replied, "I have come to Mhow for a three month course". "Listen Vicky," I had told him, "I am here only for two days. And tomorrow is Holi. So I will be busy visiting relatives and getting all laal-peela. But why don't we meet here in the evening? We can spend some time together and remember old times." "Done,” he had replied in his usual cheerful manner.

The next day I was busy visiting relatives, playing Holi and enjoying myself. In the evening I went to the bookshop. Vicky arrived there a bit later. We decided to go for a walk the way we used to when we were in school. Vicky had joined the National Defence Academy in Pune after finishing school and I had joined an engineering course in nearby Indore. We had lost touch with each other. That evening we walked all the way from the Garrison Ground to the Infantry School and then past the Ambedkar Memorial on the AB road and the golf course and came back to town. We bought four bottles of beer and some snacks and went and sat on the grass in the Garrison ground. It would have been embarrassing for Vicky if we had got caught by the Military Police but he was past caring.

He told me about his days at the NDA and the Indian Military Academy. His battalion was posted in the Kashmir Valley and they were having a tough time fighting the Islamic fundamentalists that Pakistan was pushing across the border. He told me that he had already killed eight such terrorists. Was this the same old Vicky who had fainted when he saw Ramesh and his bleeding nose on the cricket field? Vicky had changed. He had become tougher.

He told me that he and our ex-classmate Sunita were engaged to be married. He had met her by chance at a wedding in Delhi. She was working with an MNC. They were intending to get married once Vicky had finished his Kashmir posting. He planned to leave the Army and then both of them would migrate to the West. "Will the Army let you go?" I had asked him. "Yes, that's going to be the difficult part," Vicky had replied, "It is going to be tough to make my commanding officer move the papers forward. The old man is a real grumpy character." "Be careful Vicky," I had told him, "you need all the luck you have and more to survive Kashmir." "Oh, I am not worried," he had replied, "there is only one bullet with my name on it." "What do you mean?" I had asked him, "Do you believe in that shit?" "Believe?" he had shouted, "It is true man, do you know how many times I have been close to death? No bullet in Kashmir has my name on it."

We had got up and walked towards the club. But it was closed. "Oh shit, I wanted to have dinner here," said Vicky with irritation in his voice. "It is okay we will check some civilian restaurants," I had told him. "No, I wanted to eat here,” said Vicky sulking like a child. The club was deserted and we were standing on its lawns under the huge baobab tree. "Hey, have you ever pissed on a lawn?" Vicky asked me with a naughty smile. "Come on Vicky," I had protested, "somebody may see us." In reply, he had unzipped his fly and had started pissing on the green lawn. "Come on!" he had shouted at me "you want a f***ing invitation?" I was reluctant but my bladder was full. I unzipped my fly nervously, but once I started I knew that I wouldn't stop even if a general came and tapped me on the shoulder. The armed guard who stood at the gate pretended he hadn't seen us. We went to the town after that but all the restaurants were closed. So we decided to eat ice cream. I have never seen a grown up man eat as much ice cream as Vicky ate that day. Even the shopkeeper who had seen many a hungry subaltern was taken aback. After the ice cream session Vicky had left for his room. We promised to keep in touch through email. And he promised to send me an invitation for his marriage. I told him to be careful while he was in Kashmir. He had merely grinned in reply.

A few months later I was in New York when I happened to see Sunita at a party. She was happy to see me. But she was not the cheerful person I knew. Before I could ask her about her marriage somebody whisked her away for a dance. I stood there looking at her dance, her heart did not seem to be in it. "Poor girl," said the host as he stood next to me, "she is my niece. Was supposed to marry an Army officer last month. But he got killed in a bomb blast in a Delhi market. He had just finished a tough two year stint in Kashmir. She was supposed to be with him that day but she got delayed. She blames herself for his death. We are trying to keep her here permanently so that her scars heal properly. God help her. She is heartbroken."

Dev Kumar Vasudevan
A Meeting in Mhow

Bomb blast victim Delhi: What a tragic end to a brave Officer! Will he or his family be ever compensated. Dreams of Sunita shattered forever.

Indian Soldier honoured by Queen Elizabeth

Lt Col Pritam Singh Jauhal meeting Queen Elizabeth II

Read the three articles linked below:
Correspondence with Queen Elizabeth=II
Audience with Her Majesty
Soldier and His Queen

Lt Col Pritam Singh Jauhal (Retd) World War II Veteran
Founding President Indian Ex-Servicemen Society British Columbia

Acknowledgement: We thank Lt Col Pritham Singh, who is over 80 years old, to give us such fascinating insight of being a proactive Soldier and the Respect earned and bestowed by the World Community at large. An eye opener for our Bureaucracy and Politicians in India.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Dilute Standards: Ministry of Defence to Army

Photo courtesy The Hindu

The bureaucrats in the Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Finance having failed either to improve the Defence Forces Rank Status (WoP) or enhance its salary structure for middle rung Officers are desperately trying to dilute standards and norms of selecting Officers for the Armed Forces. The Sixth Empowered Pay Panel Report bereft of representation from the Defence Forces, is stuck due to uncertain Political Climate and the confusion created by the Bureaucrats of both the ministries working in tandem. Employing Retired Officers is increasing the liabilities and creating more administrative problems than addressing the shortages. The articles linked below highlights the flip flops and gauge for oneself the confusion created and the mindset of the bureaucrats. We only hope, that a day comes when the children of IAS Officers and Politicians opt to join the Armed Forces in increasing numbers to Defend the Nation.

Defence Ministry suggests standards’ dilution for officers
No dilution of standards for officers: defence ministry

Battle of Longewala 1971 Honouring Heros

We all know what happened in the Longewala area during the '71 war. And I'm not talking of the movie 'Border' here. My Battalion was close to where Brig KS Chandpuri (then Maj) was, and he and his men took the term 'holding the fort' to new heights. With sheer grit and determination, this company of Punjab Regt held on and being in the area, we knew it was no easy task.

The controversy emerged after the release of 'Border' where Sunny Deol played the role of Chandpuri. Certain people started comparing reel with real life. Chandpuri never claimed the movie to be a true depiction of what actually happened, in fact if I remember correctly, the movie contained a disclaimer that it was inspired by the events at Laugewala and was not a true blow by blow account. Of course there had to be exaggeration of facts if the movie was to become a hit.

That we all know that in the movie the Army had a centre stage and this rankled certain Air Force and Air OP officers but the mudslinging campaign against the gallant men of 23 PUNJAB in Hindustan Times (by Rahul Singh of HT) and certain other media orgs recently was uncalled for. They in 2008 called the battle a 'fake' and claimed that not even a single round was fired in Longewala. Nothing could have been more untrue and they have done disservice to the lives lost in the area buckling down to the greed of sensationalism. Many men were lost in Longewala and here were people saying that there was no evidence of fire in the area ! The least they could have done was consult people who had served in the region during those times. I met Brig CHandpuri - he may not remember me, but I've never seen a war hero more humble in my life. The man is a grounded person and son of the soil and it pained me and the defence community a great deal to see his humiliation in the media whereas he maintained a dignified silence. It was also unfortunate that the Army did not come to his rescue by issuing any official media statement.

But now, when I opened my paper this morning, I felt very happy and relieved. The humble farmer- soldier has decided to fight a war again after 37 years. He has filed a case in a Chandigarh Court for redeeming his honour and you know how much he has sought as damages – Rupee 1/-. A great man and a great step. May the Lord be with him and the souls that were lost that night in Longewala.

Brig Chander Bhanot (Retd)
Battle of Longewala

I had stood watching ahead at the Lngewala post, it was some time in 1986. There was a burnt-out tank, obviously, a casualty of a R C L round, its gun pointing out straight at me. I could see rightin it's barrel: even in a burnt state the sight of the tank so near, was frightening. there was also a burnt out tank recovery vehicle just behind it. Unfortunately, fifteen years past there were no empties for me to count. My heart goes to those brave solders who stood ground and died there.

Brig Lakshman Singh, VSM (Retd)


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