Saturday, January 24, 2009

IESM: Uniting all ex- servicemen organisations

Dear Colleagues,

We are a group of Ex-Servicemen from Mysore who have a website by name & style with manifold objectives. Primary aim is to project the problems of ex- defence officers, PBORs & Widows of Ex-Servicemen to respective authorities. A group of Ex-Servicemen who are legally qualified are advising us. We disseminate information through our website pertaining to Ex- Servicemen Affairs.

You are requested to visit our website & intervene to help ex-servicemen/ widows & dependants of deceased ex-servicemen and offer your suggestions to improve our website. Mail all your suggestions to e-mail ID

Thanking you,
PA Poovaiah,
Ex-Indian Navy.

India's might will be on display on R-Day

India will display its military might in front foreign diplomats and dignitaries and chief guest. Republic Day marks India’s adoption of the Constitution and the transition from a British dominion to a republic on Jan. 26, 1950. This year will also see unprecedented security.

Akash missiles are displayed at the Republic Day parade rehearsal

A Brahmos missile displayed at the rehearsal

New Delhi: To showcase India's military might, one mounted cavalry and seven mechanised columns, eight marching contingents, Advanced Light Helicopters along with 10 military bands and 13 pipes and drums of the army will participate at the Republic Day parade this year.

"The highlights of the parade from army would be the T-90 tanks, Brahmos supersonic cruise missiles, combat vehicles OSA -AK, infantry combat vehicle BMP-II, Takshak Striker bullet-proof vehicle and a motorcycle display by the 'Dare-devils' team of the Corps of Signals," Delhi Area General Officer Commanding and parade commander Maj Gen KJS Oberoi said.

Three Param Vir Chakra and seven Ashok Chakra- winning personnel would also be there at the parade.

The indigenously developed cruise missile Brahmos will be showcased twice during the annual parade. The army will be showing the land attack variant of the missile whereas the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) will display the naval variant of the missile on its tableau.

The other DRDO systems to be on display include the Advanced Air System (ADS), Akash missile and the long-range ballistic missile Agni III, he added.

The naval tableau will display its recently acquired amphibious warship INS Jalashwa, which was inducted in the Navy in 2007.

Indian Air Force will showcase its increasing reach and power with a model of its Airborne Early Warning and Control Aircraft (AWACS) and Hawk Advanced Jet Trainer at its tableau.

IAF's Su-30MKI, Jaguar and MiG-29 fighter aircraft along with Mi-17 IV and Mi-35 choppers will make a fly-past over the parade.
© Copyright 2008 PTI. All rights reserved.
India's might will be on display on R-Day

Indo- Pak War 1971: Public Memory is short

A Soldier's General: General Sam Manekshaw chats with Jawans about their war experiences. Circa Dec 1971.

16th December 1971 was a day to remember in more ways than one. The daybreak came not with bright sun-shine but with a severe storm raging in its full fury, it was more like a tornado with the corrugated tin- sheets from various structures around getting uprooted from their moorings by the force of the wind and flying around like unguided missiles.

Coming out of my hut I was buffeted by the strong gusts of the wind, crouching low and struggling against the wind force I slowly made my way to the mess for breakfast. However, the mess was in a mess with soot everywhere. No breakfast could be served that morning as the strong gusts of wind flowing in and out of the kitchen made it impossible to light the stove.

Down below in the planes of the then East Pakistan birth of BanglaDesh had taken place and the post- delivery calm prevailing. It was all quiet once again after days, months and years of killings of the locals prolonged fighting by the Mukti Bahini and a short fight with Indian forces when 90,000 odd of the Pakistani Army had surrendered to India Armed forces.

(Later while commanding the regiment at Ranchi, I had gone to Gaya, to visit the Brigade Signal Company located there and happened to visit the POW camp commanded by Lt Col Mahender Singh Tiawthia of Signals. I felt extremely sad to see the Pakistani young officers corralled behind the barbed wire fence)

The War of liberation over, the instrument of surrender having been signed at Dhaka and things returning to somewhat normal state, with my mother's demise at the back of my mind all the time I then requested and was granted a few days of leave.

Changing trains at Delhi Junction for Dehradun, I possibly one of the very few soldiers returning from the Eastern front was besieged by a welcoming party and escorted to a stall serving free Idli-Dosa and other South Indian delicacies.

Excitement of meeting Jeet and the children staying in separated family accommodation with many other families as neighbours was over-shadowed by once again the 'Survival's Feeling of Guilt' returning from the battle front, I was dreading of any bad news fortunately, all were safe.

The short leave over once again back at the Delhi Railway station I was looking for the stall dispensing free Dosas. However not only the welcome party was missing but the stall had also been wound-up. The fervour for the sacrifice by the Army made only a short time back was now History. Public memory is so short.

Brig Lakshman Singh, VSM (Retd)

Pay Panels and Teachers: Some Sage Advice

Dear Friend,
I have been teaching for so long (both in the service and after 'retiring') that I some times feel, I have only been teaching all through my life. However, my first instructional assignment was in 1972, at the MCEME, and like the first love, it was the most memorable. I was received at the railway station by some one who became my mentor. Before he began to tell me how to handle the class, he gave me two pieces of advice. So profound were his words, that they got etched in my mind. He summed it up with two pieces of advice. For some reasons, I wish to mention the second one first.

"Teaching is easy. Any one can do it. Marking assignments and answer sheets is tough. Because, there, you are 'grading' the students. You are picking good apples and segregating the bad ones. Take your time while doing so. But once you have awarded marks, do not change them. If you do it in one case, you will have a queue in front of you and you will never know, where to stop. Pressure might come to you from the boss, too".

I followed his advice, and declared that before showing the answer sheets. I did my home work properly, and refused to budge an inch when students came with requests for a review of the marks awarded to them. I was never sorry for that. Another colleague who had not received such sage advice, made the mistake of granting 'grace' marks once, and his office was forever full of student officers seeking more marks. He was pestered even at home.

The Pay Commission awards are similar. If you yield once, you are inundated with 'anomalies' and 'aberrations' . But to stand firm and hold your ground, you have to do your home-work properly. And the present pay commission has not done that. They have acted in haste, only to repent in leisure. I must also recount the other advice which he actually gave first.

"Never get angry on a student who asks a silly question. He might be the only one who is listening!"
Need I say that I found both the above 'sermons' worthy of mentioning after a lapse of 37 years? And now, I must also reveal the name of my guru. He is Maj Gen R Swaminathan. He went to the DRDO and was an advisor to Dr APJ Abdul Kalam in the Rashtrapati Bhawan all through the five years as his 'advisor' I salute him today.

Love and regards,
Maj Gen Surjit Singh (Retd)

I mentioned the second piece of advice before the first one for a very specific reason. I am often confronted with an awkward question by friends, who look at my youthful wife, and ask, "Is she you second wife?" And I, at once, say, "Yes" If they are so foolish as to probe further, and ask, "What happened to the first one?" I say, "I have not yet met her!"

IESM: Fast for Justice Rally Jantar Mantar- thirty eighth day

Date: Friday, 23 January, 2009, 7:30 PM
Dear Colleagues,

The relay fast continues. Hisar (Haryana) contingent under the command of Sub Hari Singh is holding fort for the day.

We extend a heartful welcome to the following new members and thank them for their generous contributions:

1. Maj Gen RK Dhawan, VSM
2. List of members from Punjab is being forwarded separately.

Summary of 39 Members from the Navy
1) Admiral Arun Prakash
2) Vice Admiral Harinder Singh
3) Vice Admiral AC Bhatia
4) Rear Adm KR Srinivasan
5) V Adm Britto
6) R Adm JJ Baxi
7) R Adm JMS Sodhi
8) R Adm S Ramsay
9) Hony Lt Ram Kumar, Haryana
10) CPO Pishwari Lal, Haryana
11) Cdr AK Jain, Noida
12) Cdr KDS Wadhera, Noida
13) Cdr Gyan sagar Gupta
14) Cdr Satbir SIngh Butalia, New delhi,
15) Cmde Ravi K Nair, Bangalore
16) Cdr A Bakshi, USA
17) Cmde HS Kang, Mumbai
18) Lt Cdr Balram
19) Cdr KPA Rauf, Cochin
20) Cdr DK Gupta, New Delhi
21) Cdr Narender Singh, New Delhi
22) Cdr JK Sharma, Faridabad
23) Cmde KC Chawla, New Delhi
24) Cmde Piyush Jha, Noida
25) Cmde PK Gupta, New Delhi
26) Cmde VK Thakur, Noida
27) Cmde A Dhir, Noida
28) Surg Capt Taneja, Noida
29) Surg Cdr Bhalla, New Delhi
30) Cdr Harpaul Singh, Canada
31) Cdr GS Gill, Seattle, USA
32) Cdr BB Tapuria, Noida
33) Capt NS Rawat, Pune
34) CPO Avinash Sharma (from Washington)
35) Cdr John, Cochin
36) Cdr Ajay Parmar
37) Cmde Satish Nair
38) Cdr NK Singla
39) Cdr P Prashar

Maj Gen Satbir Singh accompanied by Col Kanwar Bhardwaj, Hony Capt Bir Singh and Hav Balwan Singh visited Bawal and Rewari area of Haryana and interacted with the ESM. There were 200-300 veterans at each place. The response was very enthusiastic. They not only promised to come for the 8 Feb rally, but also promised to bring others from nearby villages.

08 Feb 2009, 1100 hours at Jantar Mantar. Detailed modalities of action are being firmed up and will follow. The only detail unambiguously clear is that we all must participate.

Best regards,
Lt Gen (Emeritus) Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
Chairman IESM

Letters from Members
Date: Friday, 23 January, 2009, 8:57 AM
Dear Chander,
It is heartening to note the growing membership numbers of IESM and the relay fast at Jantar Mantar. I also observe the mention of individual new members in your REPORT MY SIGNAL mails. I feel time has come to publish a consolidated list of members of IESM for information of all. Seeing names of their compatriots in the list will encourage non members to join and strenghthen the movement. They may then exhort others also to follow suit. Incidently I joined IESM a month ago and sent a cheque of Rs 2500 to Gen Satbir Singh.
Brig Harish C Malhotra (Retd)

Dear Chander,
There are no words to express the job being undertaken by all of you I know the job is tough as we are dealing with rather thick skinned people. Chandigarh chapter during the lunch on 22nd discussed the issue and decided that every one must become a member and try to visit Jantar mantar as and when possible. I have deposited a sum of Rs 2500 and Rs 1000 as per details given below:
Col Sukhinder Member 500 Donation 500
Col Mehndiratta Member 500 Donation 2000
The details of cheques are given below
Cheque No 176727 of HDFC dated 23 jan 09 Rs 2500 by me
Cheque no176728 Of HDFC dated 23 jan 09 Rs 1000 by Sukhinder
The member ship forms are being send separately. Mina I am sending membership form separately.
With Best Wishes
Col Ajya Mehndiratta, NDA/16 Baker Sqn (Retd)

Is Pay Fixation as complex as Rocket Science?

Dear Friend,
Given below is the dossier of the 6th Pay commission
  • 23 March 2008 The Pay Commission submits its report. The member secretary and all officers in the Secretariat of the commission are civil servants. No representative from the armed forces.
  • 22 Aug 2008 The Service Chiefs protest. A committee of 11 secretaries (all IAS) is constituted to look into the problem areas. The report of this committee is not made public. But the government issues the Gazette notification containing the resolution of the GoI, to implement the report of the Commission.
  • 30 Aug 2008 The service chiefs have reservations, and submit four 'core issues' and request the government to modify the resolution before issuing the Service Instructions.
  • 7 Oct 2008 The Service Chiefs are told that the Core issues are being 'examined' by the government and that the service instructions need not await their resolution. The press accuses the Services of being 'undisciplined' The Pay Cells are directed to send draft instructions to the government immediately. These are modified by the civil servants and issued on 11 and 14 Oct 2008.
  • 11 and 12 Nov 2008 The government orders relating to pensions are issued. These are not even shown to the Pay Cells before issue. The veterans protest through rallies and hunger strikes.
  • 11 Dec 2008 The first set of 'amendments' are issued. These confuse the issues further.
  • 20 Jan 2009 A second set of amendments are issued. By now, the banks are so confused that they admit whatever they think is right. And if an officer shouts, they yield. The letter dated 11 Nov has 80 pages of 'tables' but none which gives a summary of the amounts which must be paid as arrears or the revised pension. The present position is extremely interesting. It is a free for all. 'Might is right' Who ever can shout louder carries the day.

    During my long years in the South Block, I have never seen confusion so confounded. The civil servants used to proudly say, "Col sahib, we civil servants have passed an examination for which more than three lakh candidates apply. And less than a few hundred are finally selected". They gave me to believe that none of us was good enough to crack that test. And I believed them. But the proof of the pudding is in its eating. The kind of staff work they have produced this time is atrocious. Gen Sunderji would have said, "If you invite specialists from the Harvard Business School and ask them to produce a set of instructions more confusing or anomalous than these, and give them three years to do that, they may fail to do so!"

    On my part, I am willing to take a bet that if the job is given to one Col assisted by three majors, they will resolve the issue in two weeks flat. I am led to believe that even if we grant it to them that the entrance to the civil services is tough, the fact of the matter is that once they enter, it is cake walk thereafter. A very senior industrialist had mooted the following proposal,
    "Let the civil servants be selected as they are screened now. But the posts of Joint Secretaries and above should be thrown open to every one. Let there be another competitive examination for all Indians who have held responsible positions and let the best men and women be chosen for the higher government offices"

    Indeed, no one in the government took this suggestion seriously. In fact the civil servants are very possessive of their powers. They do not let any one else enter the special arena which they assiduously protect. Be it equipment procurement or financial control, they insist that the last word must be theirs. If the performance during the implementation of the Pay Commission is any indication, it needs no further proof as a testimony of their skills and prowess. With the computers at their disposal, could they not have issued comprehensive table to help the banks in crediting the right amounts for all pensioners? Is that some kind of a rocket science?

    I think time has come for the services to seek their rightful place in the decision making chains. And if the civil servants deny them that, they shall be doing so at their own peril, and the consequences could be disastrous for the nation.

    As for now, I say with firm conviction : There will be at least three more amendments to the pension orders during the next six months. And after that there will be court cases. This prophesy needs no crystal ball to gaze into.

    And, of course the issue of grade pays for relative seniority's will be referred to yet another 'high powered committee' Indeed, by now since they have run out of 'high powered men' they may have to seek help from 'experts' from another planet!

    Regards, and God save us!
    Maj Gen Surjit Singh (Retd)

    In the undivided Punjab there used to be ragamuffins who used to come over and say,
    "Na khedna e, na khedan dena e. Te khutti mal naal bhar devni e"
    (I am neither going to play; nor let you play. And I am going to soil the ground, so that no one can play.) The present situation is a lot like that...
  • Friday, January 23, 2009

    IESM: Fast for Justice and Media Publicity

    We are totally moved with the dedication, sincerity, and sacrifice being shown for the noble cause by the veterans of the organisation of IESM, especially during this inclement weather. We all stand by you even at the time of crisis to show our solidarity. Please accept my volunteer contribution of Rs 2500/- for the IESM fund at the discretion of IESM for its legitimate and timely use to fight for the rights of the Armed Forces Welfare. Bureaucrats may not need us surely the NATION needs our services.

    I fail to understand as to why we are unable to move masses and the media. The same people who talk and applaud clapping at the time crisis. I would request you earnestly to give email ID and mob/ tel nos DAILY at the bottom of every article for publicity point of view and general awareness of the public till it catches up at the national level and many more methods to be followed right up to district level.

    With warm regards
    Lt Col Bharpur Singh

    We thank Col Bharpur for sentiments expressed and for becoming an active member. IESM acknowledges the Volunteer contribution of Rs 2500. However, giving out email id and mob/ tel numbers in the weblog will only invite spam and spurious calls to the individuals concerned. Certainly all other means to enlarge publicity regarding the ESM fight for justice will be pursued.

    Mumbai Mayhem: Where are the real Leaders? Wednesday, 10 December , 2008, 12:33
    Major General Mrinal Suman, AVSM, VSM, PhD, commanded an Engineer Regiment on the Siachen Glacier, the most hostile battlefield in the world. A highly qualified officer (B Tech, MA (Public Administration), MSc (Defence Studies) and a Doctorate in Public Administration) he was also the Task Force Commander at Pokhran and was responsible for designing and sinking shafts for the nuclear tests of May 1998.

    Pokhran nuclear blast site 1998
    The recent terrorist attack on Mumbai has once again brought the issue of the quality of Indian political leadership in focus. Nearly 200 people lost their lives and left the nation humiliated.

    Yet, the Home Minister of the state, the man responsible for security, had the audacity to term it as a small incident. When people came out in the streets to give vent to their despair, the leader of a national party lampooned them and passed crude remarks.
    Click link to read more: Where are the real leaders?

    Articles by Maj Gen Mrinal Suman
    Did the British Really Divide India to Rule?
    Defence Finance: Authority sans Accountability
    When Indian Soldier Prays
    Defence procurements suffer due to staff inadequacies

    Mumbai Mayhem: Navy to commission first helicopter base in Mumbai

    Photo PIB

    The Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Sureesh Mehta inspecting the Guard of Honor during the commissioning ceremony of INS Shikra, at Naval Air Station, Mumbai on January 22, 2009.

    NEW DELHI: In a step towards strengthening surveillance and coastal security around Mumbai after 26/11, the Navy will commission its first helicopter base ‘INS Shikra’ in the metropolis on Thursday.

    Though the naval air station base in South Mumbai has been operating for some time, it will now act as a dedicated helicopter base, with choppers like Sea Kings, Kamov-28s, Kamov-31s and Chetaks being stationed there in larger numbers.

    "The air station's proximity to Mumbai High and the Saurashtra region on the west coast makes it the preferred site to provide effective air support for protection and security of national assets at short notice," an officer said.

    "The commissioning of INS Shikra by Admiral Sureesh Mehta on Thursday will provide a shot in the arm to naval aviation. It will provide maintenance and flying support to a diverse range of helicopters operating from naval ships in Mumbai," he added.

    The air station also provides air traffic control services to all civil and military helicopters operating in South Mumbai. Captain Philipose G Pynumootil will be the first commanding officer of INS Shikra, which takes its name from a small aggressive raptor with short wings and tall tail adapted for manoeuvrability, agility and speed.
    Navy to commission first helicopter base in Mumbai

    SCPC: Armed Forces Pay decision on pending issues soon

    Sincere efforts and genuine grieviances piling up- Bureaucrats seen bundling the anomalies, confusing the issues and frustrating the efforts

    New Delhi, January 20
    Asserting that “sincere” efforts to resolve pay anomalies were being made, the government today assured the armed forces that it would soon take a decision on the pending issues relating to the Sixth Pay Commission.

    The government has already taken decisions on the “genuine grievances” of the defence personnel “one after the other” even after the pay commission report was implemented, Defence Minister AK Antony told reporters.

    “Because, we are very clear and particular that we must give the best available equipment to the Armed forces on the one side, and regarding their welfare and their pay, whatever is their genuine demand, we are always willing to give,” he said. — PTI
    Armed Forces Pay:Decision on pending issues soon: Govt

    Dear friends,

    Please read what our right honourable Raksha Mantri has to say as reported in The Tribune, Chandigarh of 21 Jan 2009.

    I'll concede he has a sense of humour. I also think he takes us all for a bunch of buffoons. Well, we get an RM we deserve!

    I also wish to make it very clear that the third word of the report, namely sincere, has not been highlighted by me but by The Tribune. Ditto for genuine grievances and one after another. I must be blind not to have noticed that avalanche of favourable decisions our good government has taken. Some of you may be more observant in this regard.

    Cdr K K Punchhi (Retd)

    IESM: Fast for Justice Rally Jantar Mantar- thirty seventh day

    Date: Thursday, 22 January, 2009, 10:20 PM
    Dear Colleagues,

    The battlefront continues under the charge of Punjab.
    We extend a hearty welcome to the following new members and thank them for their generous contributions to the cause:

    (a) Lt Gen RIS Kahlon
    (b) Col MS Sodhi, SIGNALS
    (c) Col TN Mehrotra, ENGINEERS
    (d) Mrs Kanta Sikand w/o Late Lt Col SPS Sikand of SIGNALS

    (a) Cdr NS Chauhan
    (b) Cdr SD Sinha
    (c) Cdr JS Bhambra
    (d) Cdr KC Bansal
    (e) Rear Adm JMS Sodhi
    (f) Cdr VK Chawla
    (g) Cdr R Katarya
    (h) Cdr BB Tapuria

    Tally-ho 08 Feb 2009 at Jantar Mantar with medals. All must come.

    Best regards,
    Lt Gen (Emeritus) Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
    Chairman IESM

    SCPC: Yet another amendment to Pension Anomalies

    Dear Friend,
    Here is yet another amendment to the pension letter initially issued on the 11 Nov 2008. Through this the pension of the general officers has been stepped up, by granting them the benefit of MSP. Quite frankly, it is difficult to fathom why it took 70 days for the government to discover this anomaly. Administration is said to be the strong point of our civil servants. They have no other job!
    I do wish some one would tell us why they are confusing the pension disbursement organization in this manner.

    Maj Gen Surjit Singh (Retd)

    Pension Amendment/ Revision
    Government of India
    Ministry of Defence
    Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare New Delhi, 20th January, 2009


    This Ministry's letter No.17(4)/2008(2)/D(Pension/Policy) dated
    12.11.2008 amended vide this Ministry's letter No.17(4)/2008(2)/
    D(Pension/Policy) dated 27.11.2008 is further amended as follows:-

    i) Para 6.1(b) of this Ministry's letter dated 12.11.2008 may be
    substituted as under:-

    "6.1(b) Retiring pension to the Commissioned Officers retired/invalided out "during 1.1.2006 to 1.9.2008 will also be calculated at 50% of emoluments last drawn or average of reckonable emoluments drawn during the last 10 months whichever is more beneficial. The amount so determined will be the retiring pension for 33 years of reckonable qualifying service including weightage as defined in Para 5 of this Ministry's letter NO.1(6)/98/D(Pension/Services) dated 3.2.1998. For lesser period of reckonable qualifying service i.e. less than 33 years, this amount will be proportionately reduced."

    (ii) Annexure-II of this Ministry's letter dated 27.11.2008:-
    Words "do not" appearing in line 3 of the 2nd option for commutation of same percentage of additional pension, be deleted.

    2. "This issues with the concurrence of the Finance Division of this Ministry vide their U.O.No.157/DFA(P) dated 19.1.2009.
    3. Hindi version will follow.

    (Harbans Singh)
    Director (Pension/Policy)

    Thursday, January 22, 2009

    SCPC: Pension Anomaly of Generals Fixed

    Pension of Maj Gen and Lt Gen

    The pension of pre-2006 pensioners (according to the new scales) is being calculated at 50% of minimum of pay band + Grade Pay + MSP. Accordingly, the basic pension of Cols has been fixed at Rs 26,050 and Brigs at 26,150. The basic pension of Major Generals and Lieut Generals has been fixed lower than Cols and Brigs at 23,700 and 24,700 respectively since MSP is not admissible to Maj Gens and Lt Gens. However, the pension of these General ranks is to be stepped up to Rs 26,150 since a higher rank cannot be sanctioned a pension lower than an inferior rank. There is however a thought process in motion that an additional fitment of Rs 3000 (50% of MSP) may be granted to Major Generals and Lieut Generals since a fitment of Rs 6000 on account of MSP has already been granted to the said serving ranks on promotion from Brig to Maj Gen. While MSP as a separate element is not granted to serving Generals, a fitment jump in the pay itself amounting to Rs 6000 is sanctioned on promotion. This anomaly in pension fixation for Major Generals and Lieut Generals affects only the pre-2006 pensioners and not post-2006 pensioners since in the case of the latter, pension is fixed @ 50% of last drawn emoluments and not on the basis of the 50% of Minima+GP+MSP formula. A grant of such fitment in pension should ideally take care of this glaring anomaly. If implemented, it would raise the basic pension of pre-2006 Maj Generals to Rs 26,700 and Lieut Generals to Rs 27,700. Let’s hope for the best.

    Well there is good news. The above has been finally approved by the govt and the following shall now be the basic pension of pre-06 retired Brigs, Maj Gens and Lt Gens:
    Brig: 26150
    Maj Gen: 26700
    Lt Gen: 27700 (Army Cdrs/ Vice Chiefs and eqvt are already at 40000)

    Thanks for believing and remaining positive.
    Major Navdeep Singh

    IESM: Fast for Justice Rally Jantar Mantar- thirty sixth day

    Date: Wednesday, 21 January, 2009, 11:07 PM
    Dear Colleagues,

    The relay fast continues. Mohali Brigade is presently in command of the battlefront.
    We warmly welcome the following new members to the IESM and thank them for their generous contributions to the cause:
  • Lt Gen C Sundara Rao, PVSM- he is senior veteran. At 88, we wish him continued good health and long life.
  • Col Krishnaswami
  • Commodore VK Thakur, VSM.
  • Mr Anil Sharma, who heads a real estate company, made a contribution of Rs 10,000.00 to the IESM. We thank him.

    Mr Harish Rawat, MP, visited Jantar Mantar today. We are grateful to Maj Gen Manmohan Bhatia for his initiative in organising the visit and playing the link. The Hon’ble MP was given a backgrounder as well a rationale for our OROP demand. He has promised to actively support our demand. Efforts are on to organise similar visits by some more Members of Parliament.

    Best regards,
    Lt Gen (Emeritus) Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
    Chairman IESM

    Judical Rulings on OROP: Law of the Land Flouted by the Bureaucrats
    In this regard it is worth to discuss the rulings of the H’ble Supreme Court, which enjoy the status of LAW OF THE LAND. 6th Pay Commission has referred to the famous judgment in the case of D.S. Nakara Vs Union of India (AIR 1983, SC 130) vide Para 5.1.3 of its report. This Judgment pronounced by a Constitution Bench of Supreme Court is available at for the benefit of all who want to read it. The case dates back to 70s when the Government had introduced Liberalized Pension Scheme. Earlier pension was calculated based on the average salary of last 36 months. Under Liberalized Pension Scheme, the provisions were changed to calculate the pension based on the average salary of last 10 months. The case was file by one retired civil officer (subject to Central Civil Pension Rules 1972) and one retired defence officer (subject to Army Pension Regulations) and the third petitioner was a Registered Society. Only the following extracts of this judgment will clarify the LAW OF THE LAND:

    “Proceeding further, this Court observed that where all relevant considerations are the same, persons holding identical posts may not be treated differently in the matter of their pay merely because they belong to different departments. If that can't be done when they are in service, can that be done during their retirement? Expanding this principle, one can confidently say that if pensioners form a class, their computation cannot be by different formula affording unequal treatment solely on the ground that some retired earlier and some retired later.”

    “All pensioners whenever they retired would be covered by the liberalised pension scheme, because the scheme is a scheme for payment of pension to a pensioner governed by 1972 Rules. The date of retirement is
    irrelevant. But the revised scheme would be operative from the date mentioned in the scheme and would bring under its umbrella all existing pensioners and those who retired subsequent to that date. In case of pensioners who retired prior to the specified date, their pension would be computed afresh”

    Another recent Judgment pronounced by H’ble Supreme Court on 9th September 2008 is available at for the information. This case was originally filed by some Retired Major Generals of the Army with regard to fixation of their pension after implementation of 5th Pay Commission. Government of India filed an appeal in the Supreme Court against the judgment of Punjab High Court, (Civil Appeal No. 5566 of 2008, Special Leave Petition (Civil) No. 12357 of 2006 Union of India Vs. SPS Vains (Retd.) and others). In this case H’ble Supreme Court has directed as under:
    “ We, accordingly, dismiss the appeal and modify the order of the High Court by directing that the pay of all pensioners in the rank of Major General and its equivalent rank in the two other wings of the Defence Services be notionally fixed at the rate given to similar officers of the same rank after the revision of pay scales with effect from 1.1.1996, and, thereafter, to compute their pension benefits on such basis”

    It is abundantly clear from the above extracts that the H’ble Supreme Court has already accepted the principle of OROP and this enjoys the status of the LAW OF THE LAND. However, the implementing officials of 6CPC have not even followed the concept of Modified Parity while issuing clarification vide F No 38/37/08 P&PW (A) Pt I dated 3rd October 08. It is not possible for the pensioners, especially in their advanced age to approach Courts of Law to seek justice. All concerned authorities are requested to look into this matter and initiate suitable action. All readers, pre-2006 pensioners and their well-wishers are also requested to make public this issue so that our Political Leaders are aware of it and can take some action.

    Mr SK Jain
    One Rank One Pension
  • Wednesday, January 21, 2009

    Circular: Mercury Golf Tournament- 2009

    Open only for Golfers of Corps of Signals

    General: Mercury Golf Tournament will be played at Army Golf Course, Delhi Cantt.

    Date: 09 Feb 2009 (Monday)

    Handicap: Participants should indicate their handicap at the time of submission of entries. Proof of handicap would be crosschecked at the time of Tee Off. Minimum handicap will be considered at 18.

    Tee Off Details
    • 0700 hrs onwards from Tee No 1 and 10 simultaneously for below 65 yrs.
    • 0900 hrs from Tee No 1 for veterans above 65 yrs and ladies.
    • Officers are requested to check up exact Tee Off time on 09 Feb 09 either directly from Army Golf Course or on Tele 9910387517/9910387519.

    Conduct: The tournament will be played over 18 holes on stableford format. However, officers above 65 Yrs and ladies can play 18 holes but the score of front 9 holes will only be evaluated for the competition.

    Ladies Putting: To commence at 1130hrs. Ladies taking part in Putting Competition are requested to wear Flat heeled shoes to avoid damage to practice green.

    Reporting Time- 15 mins prior to Tee Off time for golfers - 1115 hrs for Ladies participating in Putting Competition.

    Scoring The scoring scheme for the competition is:
    • Net one over Par - 1 point
    • Net Par - 2 points
    • Net Birdie - 3 points
    • Net Eagle - 4 points

    Prizes: The following prizes would be awarded:
    Tournament for Players below 65 yrs
    • Winner Team (Net Score)
    • Runners Up Team (Net Score)
    • Best Gross Card (Card of golfer against the course rating)
    • Best Net Card (Gross card minus the handicap of the player against course rating)
    • Maximum Birdies
    • Maximum Pars
    • Nearest to Pin (Hole No 9)
    • Longest Drive (Hole No 8)
    Tournament for Players above 65 yrs and Ladies
    • Winner Team (Net Score)
    • Runners Up Team (Net Score)
    • Best Gross Card
    • Best Net Card
    • Nearest to Pin (Hole No 9)
    • Maximum Birdie
    Ladies Putting
    • First Prize
    • Second Prize
    • Third Prize

    Submission Of Entries: Members desirous of participating in the tournament are requested to intimate their handicap, residential telephone number, preference of four ball to the following: email–

    Maj Avinash Bhandare

    Punjab: War memorial alterations irk ex-servicemen

    Jalandhar, January 20
    The modern-day need for the railway overbridge across the Lyallpur Khalsa College crossing is leading to the squeezing up of the prestigious Punjab State War Memorial which stands up as an epitome of sacrifices laid down by the valiant soldiers of the region.

    Major-Gen G.S. Sohi (Retd) had suggested, “This war memorial is the pride of Punjab and it was not built in a day. It took 26 years to bring it to this level. These things cannot be recreated. So instead of disturbing the memorial, the PWD should look out for some engineering alternatives.”

    The plan to set up the Punjab State War Memorial was conceived in 1976 and it was raised in 1982. Though the site belongs to the Jalandhar improvement trust, its maintenance was handed over to the sainik welfare office in 1991 due to poor upkeep by the trust.

    However, PWD SE Ram Pal said, “No alternative plan is possible in this case. A portion of memorial has to be covered in the project.”
    War memorial alterations irk ex-servicemen

    "Bursting with pride" by Michelle Obama

    Exclusively for USA WEEKEND, America's new first lady shares what she believes her husband's inauguration means for her family -- and her country.

    I particularly cherished my visits with military families all across the country. I met so many strong and inspiring military spouses eager to share their stories, their dreams for the future and the unique challenges they face because of their families' selfless service to our country.

    And if there's one thing I learned, it's that when our servicemen and women go to war, their families go with them. I saw how they take care of each other, heard how they fill in whenever the system fails and discovered that the trials they faced always were matched by the hope they shared that better days are still ahead.

    The simple 35-word oath my husband will take and the peaceful transfer of power it completes makes it easy to forget that the great fortune of our citizenship isn't free at all. It's a responsibility inherited only because generations of Americans have fought and bled and died for it.

    So as I watch Barack take that oath, I'll be thinking especially about those members of our American family who stand guard across the world and the loved ones who await their safe return. Because even as we mark this moment in American history, there still will be empty seats at the dinner table; there still will be spouses struggling to juggle roles and responsibilities; there still will be children who mark the passing of a birthday without Mommy and toddlers who know their father only by a grainy video stream from a far-flung corner of the globe.

    My husband and I are deeply grateful for the sacrifices that these families make to protect all American families. And we join them -- today and every day -- in praying for their loved ones and their safety. They don't ask a lot in return, just a Washington that understands the challenges they face as part of their extraordinary commitment to our country.

    My husband understands that commitment, and he will ensure America lives up to its end. As military families join us on Tuesday, in person and in spirit, I want each and every one of them to know that for as long as I have the tremendous honor of being your first lady, your voices will be heard, you will have an advocate in the White House, and the American promise you preserve always will extend to you, too.

    All of us can learn a fundamental lesson from our military families: You don't need to wear a uniform to serve your country. We all have something to contribute to the life of this nation.

    On Tuesday night, my husband and I will tuck in our daughters like we always do. Their bedrooms will be different, their home unfamiliar. But they will drift off to sleep protected by that same sacrifice that has kept all of our families safe and safeguarded our freedom for generations -- the sacrifice of our men and women in uniform and their families. For that, we could not be more grateful -- or more proud.
    Read More: "Bursting with pride by Michelle Obama

    They have Leaders and we have Readers

    Barack Obama delivers his inaugural address after being sworn in as president of the United States. Photograph: Win McNamee/Getty Images

    In a bold and at times sombre 18-minute inaugural speech, Mr Obama pledged to rally Americans to a "new era of responsibility", lamenting a profound "sapping of confidence across our land – a nagging fear that America's decline is inevitable, and that the next generation must lower its sight".
    Barack Obama vows to rebuild America in inaugural address

    Dear Friend,
    Like millions, nay billions, of other mortals on this planet, I sat glued to the TV watching the 'coronation' of Obama yesterday. The speech of the President was, indeed, a befitting climax to the regal proceedings. Every word which he spoke came straight out of his heart and went where it was intended to go; deep into the souls of the listeners. I was moved to tears; not once, but several times. And I suspect, I was not alone.

    When I retired to the bed, a friend rang up and asked a rather innocent question. "When will we have a leader who can speak like this?" The candid answer is, "Never" Our leaders are not allowed to say what they please. They are required to read the speeches that are written out for them by people whom we shall never know. And therefore, even though our Rashtrapati Bhawan is quite comparable with the White House, and the Vijay Chowk complex can easily accommodate two million people, it is most unlikely that we shall ever have a Kennedy or an Obama to lift our spirits. And what our Presidents do is emulated by leaders down the line. Dignitaries at all levels read speeches.

    I once heard of a public figure who was invited to inaugurate an exchange. Since he knew nothing about telecommunications, he directed a specialist in his staff to write a 15 minute speech for the occasion. With due grace and dignity, he delivered his speech. The only 'f***up' was that the speech took 30 minutes, and the audience became restive. Some people were even yawning by the time he wound up. Upon his return to his office he asked why the script was so long. And prompt came the rather sheepish reply, "Sir, the speech was for only 15 minutes, but as per the office orders, I had attached a spare copy!"
    Long live, our 'readers' Republic!

    Maj Gen Surjit Singh (Retd)

    IESM: Tamilnadu

    Dear Veterans,
    On 18-01-09, IC 2556 Lt Gen C Sundara Rao, PVSM, an octogenarian with indominable spirit & Patron of the Armed Forces Veteran Officers Association (AFVOA) Chennai, had conveyed his blessings to our Movement & to further exhibit his solidarity has joined IESM as a member. Another highly respected Veteran, Col A Krishnaswami, VrC, VSM **, Founder Member of AFVOA, has also exhibited similar sentiments & joined us as a member.

    The details of all new members are given below. Our special appreciation to Lt Col T Arunagiri, Arty, who has mobilised the Veteran PBORs for our cause. On 18-01-09, the following Officers have become members of the IESM:-

    a. IC 2556 Lt Gen C Sundara Rao, PVSM 500/-
    b. Col A Krishnaswami, VrC, VSM** 1,500/-
    c. Brig SP Balachandran 500/-
    d. Col M Sambamurthy, SM 500/-
    e Lt Col Rangaraj Jairam (Thanjavur) 500/-
    Total Rs 3,500/

    In addition, Lt Col T Arunagiri had sent the following membership forms:-

    a. Lt Col T Arunagiri 500/-
    b. S/M V Sriramulu (Sigs) 100/-
    c. Sep M Arjunan 100/-
    d. Sep MSukumar 100/-
    e. Nk S Perumal 100/-
    f. SM (Hony Capt) R Ponnuraj 500/-
    g. Nk S Subramanian 100/-
    h. Hav S Seranthiyan 100/-
    j. Hav M Albert 100/-
    k. Hav P Karunanithi 100/-
    l. S/M G Mukundhan 100/-
    m. Hav Chandrasegaran 100/-
    n. Nk K Sivanandam 100/-
    o. Spr M Ramachandran 100/-
    Total Rs 2,200/-
    The amounts will be deposited in the acct of IESM in HDFC Bank, Chennai.

    With Regards
    Col TN Raman (Retd)
    IESM Covenor Tamil Nadu

    ESM Welfare Kohima

    Nagaland Governor Sankaranarayanan seen here at the Assam Rifles’ rally for ex-servicemen in Kohima

    Kohima : Pointing to the need to access all resources to ensure the welfare of ex-servicemen, Governor K. Sankaranarayanan today said there is no dearth of funds for them. “What we require is to ensure that all intended beneficiaries and their family members are made aware of the scheme and are proactively helped in all arenas,” the governor said while addressing the Assam Rifles ex-servicemen rally here today at the 26th Assam Rifles complex.
    Lt Gen K S Yadava, AVSM, SM, VSM, DGAR and Lt Gen Jai Prakash Nehra, IGAR (N) also spoke at the occasion. They expressed gratitude to the old hands of the force for their contribution and sheer hard work in bringing laurels to the force. Director General of Assam Rifles Lt. Gen. Karan Singh Yadava urged ex-servicemen from different districts to take advantage of such occasions and share their problems while asserting that the IGAR-N would try to address their grievances.
    The rally, organized under the aegis of HQ IGAR (North) was attended by a total 211 Ex-Servicemen (ESM), Veer Naris (widows) and others. Various stalls to provide advice on bank loans, medical and dental care, horticulture, and grievance resolution were made available to the ESM. Kamal Kumar, a senior retired solider of the Assam Rifles thanked the DGAR for organizing the ESM rally and looking into the grievances of the veterans. Following the programme, each ex-serviceman and Veer Nari was honored with a gift. Three disabled ESM were also gifted with cash of Rs 5000 each.
    Governor stresses on welfare of veterans

    IESM: Fast for Justice Rally Jantar Mantar- thirty fifth day

    Date: Tuesday, 20 January, 2009, 10:08 PM
    Dear Colleagues,
    The fast continues. Punjab remains in charge of the battlefront. We are happy to welcome the following new members in the IESM fold:
    Lt Gen YN Sharma– we have another retired Army Commander
    Lt Gen VK Madan– from Mhow.
    In addition members from Punjab to include:
    1. Maj Pritam Singh
    2. Lt Col BS Ghuman
    3. Nk Rulia Ram
    4. Lt Col PS Bajwa
    5. Lt Gen JS Gharaya
    6. Col SS Pathania
    7. Lt Col HS Dham
    8. Lt Col SS Sohi
    9. Brig Nawab Singh
    10. Maj Gen DP Singh
    11. Lt Col BS Dhillon
    12. Wg Cdr Arun Kumar
    13. Col GS Chhatwal
    14. Wg Cdr DS Chaudhry
    15. Lt Col RK Bawa
    16. Col GS Sandhu
    17. Lt Col CP Singh
    18. Col GS Tur
    19. Col Amrik Singh
    20. Brig Surinder Singh
    21. Col SS Sibia
    22. Lt Gen KS Gill
    23. Col NPS Sidhu
    24. Air Marshal Randhir Singh
    25. AVM Gautam Parihar

    Mr Harish Rawat, MP, Rajya Sabha is scheduled to visit Jantar Mantar on 21 Jan at 2:30 pm. We will utilise the occasion to educate him on OROP and seek his support.

    Tally-ho. 08 Feb 2009, 1100 hours at jantar Mantar. Let us not miss it.
    Best regards,
    Lt Gen (Emeritus) Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
    Chairman IESM
    Discussion Forum: One Rank One Pension
    OROP Forum: Must Read

    The instrumentality of the military

    Military Veterans
    Pension is based upon pay drawn at the time of retirement. Ex-servicemen have held a long-standing demand for “One-rank-one-pension” (OROP), which means that regardless of when a fauji retired, those who retired with the same rank and the same length of service should receive the same pension. This demand is based upon the fact that faujis who retired long ago draw much less pension and are in difficult economic circumstances than those who retired more recently. OROP had not been acceded to by successive CPCs, even though OROP had been agreed to in-principle by several elected representatives in various Union Governments. Faujis continue to believe that such refusal has been the unofficial stand of the bureaucracy. It is learnt that, while discussing the OROP issue recently, a senior official of Defence (Finance) has said, “Finances are not an issue” or words to that effect, since the amount in question may be a mere Rs.600 crores. This view from the Finance angle clearly reinforces the fauji's apprehension that the bureaucracy is at the root of consistent refusal.

    Hitherto, military veterans had always silently accepted whatever the CPCs have dispensed by way of pension and allowances over the decades. The CPCs have always been headed and dominated by bureaucrats, who have little idea of and even less interest in the working and living conditions of the fauji or the ex-fauji, and have made decisions for the single largest segment of central government servants without their representation in the CPCs. The unfairness of successive CPC dispensations was not lost on military veterans, but their long-ingrained habit of acceding to “superior authority” hitherto ended in simple grumbling, mostly at the personal level. It needs to be noted that the worst sufferers of the neglect of ex-servicemen are the Jawans who, after retirement at a young age, are too busy trying to reconstruct their lives to be able to afford time to join hands to make demands concerning their pensions.

    However in late 2008, following the 6CPC, military veterans have organised themselves to agitate vigorously and have taken the unprecedented step of offering satyagraha by relay fasting at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi since mid-December 2008, and also in metros, cities and towns elsewhere in India. Veterans' fasting unto death – recently withdrawn, though the relay fasts continue – has been kept out of the media possibly due to bureaucratic influence on government. Thus, Veterans' are even more disillusioned since nobody appears to care about them. Earlier, senior retired officers of general rank, demonstrating silently in the Boat Club area with prior intimation to the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Police, were arrested by the police and taken to the Tilak Marg Police Station. The continued stonewalling by government including the arrest of veterans mentioned above has turned the mood of military veterans from unwilling acceptance into one of disappointment and demanding anger. It may be argued that the voice of the military veterans is not important in the future of the country, but such an argument neglects the fact that the serving fauji is well aware of the socio-economic conditions of military veterans, and also knows all too well that he will one day join their ranks. Hence, today's neglect of military veterans is tomorrow's neglect of the serving fauji, and this is taking its toll on the morale of the fighting man.

    Maj Gen SG Vombatkere (Retd)
    To Read the full article click link: India at the crossroads

    THE TIME MACHINE: Musings of a Veteran

    Now on this morning, taking a flight from Delhi to Banglore as I strap myself in the not so comfortable seat of the economy class Air bus, though, far more comfortable than the hard wooden berth of the Third class railway compartment I traveled on for my earlier journey to Banglore that I am reminded of.

    It was some time in late 1952, then a student of MSc Final in Lucknow University, that I got a call from Army Headquarters to report to the Services Selection Board (South). The UPSC had been kind to me in that, for the combined written test, preceding the Board, I had been allotted Allahabad, not too far from Lucknow as the Exam Centre. Army HQ had no such, considerations and I was required to travel to Banglore, some where down South, just a spot, which I remembered on the map of India, in the Geography Class of yore as a student of Class X.

    Taking a rickshaw from the hostel, with just a hundred rupee note in my pocket, I arrived at the Charbagh railway station. Traveling third class, changing trains, at times near mid- night, finding a berth and managing the connections was in itself an adventure. As the trains sped south, the ever changing vista, unfolding and speeding backwards, had me riveted to the scene outside, it was the geography lesson coming alive. The aroma of the unfamiliar food items on the stations where the train halted, the cacophony of the un- understood combined gibbering of the hawkers, porters and the multitude of passengers all in a melee, did provide some diversion and mental relief from the long and tiring journey. Five days, four changes, Kanpur, Jhansi Secundrabad, Guntkul, later I arrived at Bangalore, having, in the process, acquired a stiff- neck from looking out of the window during the waking hours and a nagging pain in the back due tossing and turning that too with difficulty, on the narrow hard wooden berth. I was hungry but had no appetite for the Idli, Dosa and other fare, for which I had yet to acquire a taste, available en-route, which were as foreign to me as Banglore.

    Banglore, those days, was a retiree’s heaven, with a lay back life style, living in bungalows with large compounds, flowers and tall trees. It was a city full of greenery, clean and fresh air, with only a few vehicles plying on the wide roads that too under the strict and watchful eyes of the traffic cops. There were rows and rows of ice-cream parlors, coffee shops, and a multitude of cinema houses. sixty-four or so that I counted on the guide map, and the ubiquitous Uddapee restaurants, specialists in Idli, Dosa and coffee, the cup of tea that I was so used to sadly conspicuous by its absence.

    The aircraft door closes with its characteristic bang and whoosh, sealing us in the air-conditioned capsule After two hours plus of looking out, of and on, from the window with nothing much to see except some clouds floating down under, flicking through the newspaper, the Swagat in-flight IA magazine and pecking at the served snacks, drinking cups of coffee and water from a couple of miniature water bottles, I felt the plane letting its nose down and once again we were on mother earth. The Ac door opened, after a bit of ceremony by the cabin crew and we were in Banglore.

    The time machine of IA had taken just hours of so to bring me to Banglore of the day, a Banglore so different from that of yore, totally .unrecognizable- in a hurry, chaotic and moving at a snails pace. The high power cars crawling helplessly, the daredevil two wheelers sneaking through nonexistent openings, the ramshackle buses spewing black clouds of unburnt diesel, and gleaming High rises, replacing the earlier bungalows and the green trees, the hiding the sky, the price of progress, it was distressing to say the least, albeit with one saving grace; tea and North Indian food now available at every nook and corner.

    Alas the IA time machine which had so effortlessly compressed five days in hours cannot take me back to the Banglore that I had visited in 1952 that had captured the imagination of a young me. However, wonder of wonder what IA can’t do, the present Government of Karnatak has done with one single stroke and taken every one back way down the time by just adding a few letters to Banglore and making it Bengaloru, indeed really a Time machine.

    Brig Lakshman Singh (Retd)

    Need to to recognise Nursing Service in true perspective

    The members of Military Nursing Service (MNS) are of Commissioned rank appointed by a notification in the Gazette of India as Officers of MNS forming part of regular Army (Section 5 Military Nursing Service Ordinance 1943). As they are Officers holding a Commissioned rank, they are Commissioned Officers ranking equally with any other arm/service Officers of same titular rank [Defence Services Regulations (Army) Para 733 (b)]. As other Officers are not addressed as Members of EME or AMC, JAG etc. the increased tendency in the Army to refer the MNS Officers as Members of MNS is inappropriate and misleading.

    The sense of fairness of today's Officers has been seriously affected by the propaganda campaign unleashed by few of the AMC Officers or Commissioned Members of AMC (in their own language). The Members have convinced the entire Army and including the supposed to be wise Generals of other arms/ services that the MNS Officers are an out cast and shall be lowered from the Commissioned Officers Status. The proof is the Army Chiefs letter asking to lower the pay scales of MNS Officers. The Army Chief through his letter dated 20 Jun 2008 asked the Cabinet Secretary to lower the pay scales of MNS Officers to ensure patient care in armed forces hospitals!

    The army doctors like the army nurses, also does not undergo the Services Selection Board (SSB) interview to test their Officer Like Qualities (OLQs). The doctors, dentists and nurses are given Commission not because of their OLQs, but merely for their professional qualifications. Therefore the army Doctors supposed fears of 'nurses pay adversely affecting the patient care in the long run' should be correctly interpreted as their 'lack of leadership qualities adversely affecting the management of the medical establishments'. Due to their inferiority complexes, many of the doctors after wearing army officers uniform tries to become more officer like than the true Officers and end up being an 'Army Nurse Basher'. They have misplaced notions about officer like qualities. Such army doctors tries to vent their frustrations originated out of their professional inabilities and lack of leadership qualities by pulling down the Army Nurses. The survey conducted by the WHO in 2008, ranked the Indian Army Nurses as the best Nurses in the world.

    The USA became the first country in 1901, to constitute the Nursing Services as a Corps of its Army and placed all the Nursing Personnel under it. Now the Army Nurse Corps Officers (Nurses) are considered equally for even Command positions in their Army Medical Service (US Army Nurses routinely Commands Military Medical Establishments and Army Medical Commands). The logic is that, in a system when neither (doctor/nurse) is tested for OLQs, any one who has the requisite leadership abilities should be given the opportunity to Command. A Nurse can be a better Commander than a Doctor, because Command is a test of Leadership. Any army nurse is also equally qualified to perform in leadership positions like the doctors in the army, but both are not tested for OLQs. In India the Command of medical units is a sacred act performed only by the Doctors! Let it remain that way, I don't think any army nurse will demand for such posts due to our "caste- mindedness".

    In 1943, the Nursing Services of all the Imperial Forces (Armies of India, Canadian, Australian, South African and including British etc.) had the same status as 'auxiliary force of army'. After the war, all these Countries including Pakistan have formed Army Nurse Corps out of their own Military Nursing Service. The nursing personnel (Nursing Assistants/ Nursing Orderlies) previously part of Army Medical Corps were then transferred to the Nurse Corps for proper management by the professional Nurses. But in the Indian Army the Nursing Assistants are still part of AMC. Many of them are being misused as 'sahayaks' at the AMC Officers houses and Messes, whereas they are meant for assisting the Nurses in the medical units. Almost every country has constituted Army Nurse Corps in their Armies after the WW-II. However, the MNS still continues as an 'auxiliary force of Indian Army'.

    The Nurse to Doctor Ratio in Indian Army is 1:2 (3000 nurses and 6000 doctors). The ideal ratio is 4:1 as recommended by the Indian Nursing Council and being followed by Civil Hospitals. Such low ratio of Nurses is being justified by showing the 20000 strong Nursing Assistant tradesmen of AMC, as available for assisting the Nurses. This is theoretically true but practically exists only on paper. The Army manages by making the Nurses to work for 72 hours a week as against the 48 hours in Civil. The minimum hours of work to be performed by the Army personnel in a week are also 48 hours.

    The most of the Countries including Pakistan have Army Nurse Corps as part of their Army. In USA the Army Nurse Corps Officers (Nurses) even commands Army Hospitals and Medical Commands. Is the Patient Care in those Army's have been adversely affected due to this? The answer is no. The Indian Army Nurses are the best professionals in this field. The patient care in the Indian Army is better than the Civil. However, the Army's discriminatory attitude to the MNS Officers is going to adversely affect the patient care (if not already affected). It will further erode in the coming years unless immediate corrective steps are taken. The supposedly wise Generals will realize it only post retirement, when there is nobody else to look after them, other than an Army Nurse. Every General like the Deepak Kapoor should get an opportunity to point out to an Army Nurse while lying on a Military Hospital bed, that she is an 'inferior class of Officer as being from an auxiliary force'. He is assured of a good care from her.

    The need of the hour is to strengthen the Nursing Services by allowing it to be managed by the professional Nurses. Presently the Nursing Services in Army is managed by the Doctors. We shall follow in the steps of other nations by re designating the Military Nursing Service as a Corps of regular Army. And then transfer all the nursing personnel to the Nursing Corps for proper management of nursing resources. This is the only way the Nursing Services and thereby the Patient Care can be improved in the Indian Army.

    Col Mathew Thomas (Retd)
    Related: Need to reorganise the Nursing Services by by Brig (Dr) C P Joshi

    Tuesday, January 20, 2009

    IESM: 1971 Indo-Pak war veteran on the drive

    12 Jan 2009, 0217 hrs IST, TNN
    Bangalore : Colonel S S Rajan, 64, a veteran of the 1971 Indo-Pakistan war and convenor of the Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement (IESM), left Bangalore on January 11 for Himachal Pradesh to persuade young people to join the army, navy and air force. He'll travel by a van through Pune, Ahmedabad, Jaipur and Delhi.

    "There is a growing sense of resentment among ex-servicemen in India due to years of neglect and apathy by the government. The issues relate to pension and resettlement problems," Rajan said. "Seeing ex-servicemen lead a life of neglect and penury, youths think a career in the armed forces is hopeless."

    But in the backdrop of a sense of insecurity prevailing in the country, consequent to terrorist strikes, there is a need to motivate youths to join the force. Also, IESM has organized a relay hunger strike to support its long-standing demand for grant of `One Rank, One Pension' at Jantar Mantar, Delhi. The hunger strike entered the 25th day on Sunday.

    "Our country belongs to a young generation. We require more youths to join the armed forces," Rajan said.

    In November 2001, he had taken up a journey, accompanied by a van that had a TV set and VCD player. He visited villages, towns, marketplaces, and especially schools and colleges, where he showed video clips of army sky-divers to young people.

    He narrated adventure stories that form the core of the lives of army personnel. "I received an overwhelming response from students."

    Rajan will also undertake a `padayatra' of approximately 500 km in Himachal Pradesh in March to ask ex-servicemen to join IESM.
    1971 Indo-Pak war veteran on the drive

    IAF officers call for war memorial at Gandhinagar

    Gandhinagar, named after the Father of the Nation
    Express News Service
    Posted: Jan 19, 2009 at 0118 hrs IST

    The state capital my soon get a war memorial in memory of the martyrs of the 1971 Indo-Pak war. The Indian Air Force (IAF) officers called for this at the annual meeting of the Ex-Servicemen Welfare Association held at Gandhinagar on Sunday.

    Air Marshal K D Singh, AOC-in-C, South Western Air Command (SWAC), said the war memorial would remind of the sacrifices made by the IAF during the 1971 war.

    The Air Marshal emphasised on the need for spreading awareness about the activities of the IAF. “Like the Army, which regularly conducts the Know Your Army campaign, the IAF also has been undertaking Surya Kiran aerobatic shows for public awareness. Ex-servicemen must also educate the public about the Armed Forces,” he said.

    He released a souvenir and honoured mother of (late) Major Joje Joseph, a martyr from Gandhinagar, on the occasion. War widows, widows of Armed Forces veterans and meritorious children of the servicemen were also honoured.

    Among others present at the function were Lieutenant General (retd) Mahipatsinhji, president, Gujarat Ex-servicemen League, Air Marshal (retd) P K Desai, president Air Force Association, Lieutenant Colonel (retd) M S Pannu, Lieutenant Colonel Kishore Sinh Gohil, Director Rajya Sainik Welfare and Resettlement Board, KG Vanzara, Director, Developing Caste Welfare-Gujarat, D C Joshi, GM IDEA Cellular, and B P Prajapati, president Gandhinagar Ex-servicemen Association.
    IAF officers call for war memorial at Gandhinagar

    New nuclear-capable BrahMos version test fired

    Jaisalmer, Jan 20 (PTI) India today successfully test-fired a new version of the nuclear-capable BrahMos missile at Pokhran in Rajasthan's desert. The test comes in the midst of heightened tension between India and Pakistan following the Mumbai terror attacks.

    Defence Minister A K Antony, however, told reporters in New Delhi that the test was pre-planned and not directed against any country. "It (BrahMos test) is a normal thing. The test was pre-planned...BrahMos (is part of the arsenal) of the Navy and the Army. Decision (to test) was taken much earlier. We are continuing with that," Antony said in reply to queries.

    The missile, with a 290-km range and capable of touching a speed 2.8 times that of sound, was launched during the trial in its vertical mode, DRDO officials told PTI.

    The present round of trials was earlier scheduled for January 17 but was postponed till today. However, the DRDO sources did not specify any reasons for the delay. BrahMos is a missile that India is developing in collaboration with Russia and is named after the river Brahmputra and Moscow.

    During the visit of Russian Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov to India late last year, an agreement was reached between the two countries for development of a hyper-sonic BrahMos missile, an improvement on the already-developed supersonic missile, termed as "the most advanced" in its category. PTI
    New nuclear-capable BrahMos version test-fired

    Satyam Scam: Now, hit Raju with rotten eggs, virtually!

    Nail The Thief

    After making Ramalinga Raju and the iconic IT firm he founded the butt of jokes, a bunch of trigger-happy IT whiz-kids have created a game "Nail The Thief" where players are asked to hit the tainted Satyam founder with rotten eggs and win an iPod!

    Within days of its launch, the game has already been played more than 100,000 times, with a few playing it over and over again, as per the information on the website of the game.

    In the game, available on the website, NailTheThief.Com, a player is given a chance to hit Raju's face with rotten eggs as many times possible within 30 seconds.
    Now, hit Raju with rotten eggs, virtually!
    Nail The Thief

    IESM: Fast for Justice Rally- thirty fourth day

    Jantar Mantar: 20th NDA/ 29th DE Course

    Dear Colleagues,

    Cpl Kumbra and his team from Punjab continue to hold the Jantar Mantar battlefront.

    We have in Colonel AK Rohilla, the first serving officer to contribute Rs 10,000.00 for the IESM cause. We all salute him for his generosity as well as his ability, unlike most of us, to see beyond the uniform.

    Some members have pointed out the non- availability of IESM membership forms. I am attaching the form again to this sitrep. ESM are requested to send the draft/cheque etc to Maj Gen Satbir Singh at the address given in the form ie The General Secretary, Indian Ex Servicemen Movement, 543, Sector 23, Gurgaon– 122017, Haryana. Those sending cheques are requested to write their rank, name and address on the reverse of the cheque.

    Contributions by cheques from the following ESM have been received at my address; the same are ack with grateful thanks:

    -Lt Gen Sher Amir Singh
    -CPO Avinash Sharma (from Washington)
    -AVM ES Lala
    -Maj Gen JS Talwar

    A photo taken during the Jantar Mantar visit of 20th NDA/29th DE Course is attached. Tally-ho 8 Feb 2009 is an important day. Let us make it big too.

    Best regards,
    Lt Gen (Emeritus) Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
    Chairman IESM
    IESM Membership Form

    Monday, January 19, 2009

    Indian Army Fully Prepared For Tasks Assigned to it

    New Delhi | Jan 17, 2009
    The Army today said it was fully prepared to execute any task entrusted by the nation and dismissed reports that it had opposed a military strike against Pakistan following the Mumbai terror attacks citing ill-preparedness.

    "I think you can bank upon an Army, which is prepared for the tasks given to it by the nation and the leadership," Army chief General Deepak Kapoor told reporters during a visit to the National Cadets Corps (NCC) camp here.

    "I do not know from where you (media) got those reports of Army not being prepared," Gen Kapoor said, reacting to reports of Army differing with the Air Force and Navy on going in for a military strikes against terror camps inside Pakistan territory.

    The reports had suggested that the Army faced shortage of equipment and systems, and had thus opposed carrying out attacks against selective Pakistani targets, while the IAF and the Navy were eager to strike.

    Earlier, General Kapoor said the Army was planning to increase the intake of the NCC cadets in the force as officers.

    The Army is facing a shortage of about 11,300 officers and is now planning to start another Officers Training Academy (OTA) on the lines of its Chennai-based training institution.

    Moreover, the Army provides for 10 per cent reserved seats annually in its officers training institutions, the IMA and the OTA, for cadets from the 13-lakh-strong NCC.
    'Indian Army Fully Prepared For Tasks Assigned to it'

    Haryana leads the Nation in its anti- corruption drive

    Published on 1/8/2009 12:01:33 PM
    Panchkula (Haryana): Corruption in the government offices of Haryana is highly institutionalised and everyone here is shielding one another, a top anti-corruption official said on Wednesday.

    "The cases of corruption that we are dealing with in the state are just the tip of an iceberg. Conviction rate is also very abysmal here, only about 30 per cent," State Vigilance Bureau (SVB) Director General SC Sinha said.

    "Moreover, whenever we go for raiding some office, it is mandatory for us to take prior permission from the department head. This leads to the leakage of our secret information many times and all our efforts go futile," Sinha stated.

    To streamline its working, the SVB has decided to impart training to its officials in collaboration with Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Academy to help them crack the cases of corruption and other white-collar crimes, reports IANS.

    "In our drive to check corruption in the state, the SVB conducted 184 raids in 2008 and registered 222 criminal cases against guilty. We caught 39 gazetted officers, 162 non-gazetted officers and eight others red-handed while accepting bribe in 2008," Sinha said.

    Cases have also been registered against an IAS officer, an IPS officer, 10 officers of Haryana Police Service and Haryana civil service, the SVB Director General said.

    In its drive against corruption, the SVB registered 435 source reports in 2008 as compared to only 147 in 2007 and 138 in 2006.

    Sinha added, "People can lodge their grievances at our website. A toll free number, 1800-80-2022 has been set up at the headquarters of the SVB at Panchkula to facilitate people in lodging their complaints or providing any information about the corrupt official."
    Corruption in Haryana is highly institutionalised
    Comment: We need a similar drive/campaign in the most instutitionalised, state- of- the- art corrupt states like UP, Bihar, Tamilnadu, Andhra, Karnataka, and so forth.

    Army Day in Pictures: 15 Jan 2009

    Indian Army Chief General Deepak Kapoor is showered with rose petals from a helicopter during Army Day celebrations in New Delhi, India, Thursday, January 15, 2009. (AP)

    Army chief General Deepak Kapoor takes the salute at a parade showcasing the technological prowess and achievements of the 1.1 million-strong Indian Army. (PTI)

    Indian Army officers look on at a display of Brahmos missiles during Army Day parade in New Delhi, India, Thursday, Jan. 15, 2009.

    The Indian Army's Bheeshma T-90 S/SK tank is displayed during the Army Day parade in New Delhi January 15, 2009. India on Thursday celebrated the 61st anniversary of the formation of its national army with soldiers from various regiments and artillery on display. (Reuters)

    Military Photos

    IESM: Fast for Justice Rally- thirty third day

    Dear Colleagues,
    Cpl Kumbra and his team from Punjab are manning the battlefront at Jantar Mantar.
    Membership: Filled membership forms are flowing in fast. We welcome the following new members in our fold:
    1. Army.
    · Lt Gen KS Gill
    · Maj Gen JS Talwar
    · Brig Surinder Singh
    · Col SS Sibia
    · Col NPS Sidhu
    · Col Amrik Singh
    · Col GS Toor
    2. Navy. The Navy is moving full sail ahead. Following have joined.
    · Chief Petty Officer Avinash- called me up from Washington. He has despatched a donation of Rs5,000.00. We thank him for his spirit.
    · Hony Lt Ram Kumar, Haryana
    · CPO Pishwari Lal, Haryana
    · Cdr AK Jain, NOIDA
    · Cdr KDS Wadhera, NOIDA
    · Cdr Gyan Sagar Gupta
    · Cdr Satbir SIngh Butalia, New delhi,
    · Cmde Ravi K Nair, Bangalore
    · Cdr A Bkashi, USA
    · Cmde HS Kang, Mumbai
    · Lt Cdr Balram
    · Cdr KPA Rauf, Cochin
    · Cdr DK Gupta, New Delhi
    3. Air Force.
    · Air Marshal PK Jain
    · Air Marshal RS Bedi
    · Air Marshal Randhir Singh
    · AVM ES Lala

    We extend a heartful welcome to all the new members and thank all of them for their generous contributions to the cause.

    Interaction with ESM
    Accompanied by Col Kanwar Bhardwaj (Gen Secy and Haryana Convener of IESM) and Major IS Jakhar, I visited Village Lala Roi in Rewari District of South Haryana. Interaction with the ESM was, as always, inspiring. The gathering was not large but their eager enthusiasm was infectious. The membership forms were demanded and distributed. They all promised to come to Jantar Mantar on 8 Feb and to bring along others.

    Tally-ho 8 Feb 2009 at Jantar Mantar at 1100 hours. Do ink it in your calendar.
    Best regards,
    Lt Gen (Emeritus) Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
    Chairman IESM

    Sunday, January 18, 2009

    Defence Lands allotted to Satyam

    Satyam Bay View proposed

    A 50-acre land, "allotted" to Satyam Computers for setting up an IT Park at Kapuluppada village near Visakhapatnam, is now being handed over back to the Indian Navy. (after the scam bust- Bureaucrats playing safe)

    Visakhapatnam District Collector Sanjay Kumar, however, wrote to the state government after the Satyam scandal broke out, stating that the said land at Kapuluppada, located on the Visakhapatnam-Bheemunipatnam beach road was required for use by the Navy and the land available be allotted to it.
    Land 'allotted' to Satyam now being handed over to Navy
    Blog Links:
    Indian Military: Wasteful effort
    Where has Satyam funds migrated?

    Indian Military: Be fast and precise

    India Today Bureau January 9, 2009
    The Indian armed forces must plan to take on potential adversaries
    The problems of the Indian armed forces are in all three areas— organisation, equipment and doctrine, and, the joker in the pack—political direction.
    In the early 1980s, the political directive to the three services was that they were to maintain “dissuasive deterrence” vis-à-vis Pakistan and “defensive deterrence” in relation to China. This meant that they had to have the capability of undertaking a deep offensive into Pakistan, but with regard to China the policy was to have the kind of defensive strength that would dissuade Beijing from a military strike. Factor in nuclear capability and the doctrine itself changes as was clear in the Kargil war when India insisted in limiting it to the incursion area. There have been several efforts to amend it—the “limited war” idea during General V.P. Malik’s time and the “cold start” doctrine during General S. Padmanabhan’s tenure.

    Whenever political direction has been clear—1947, 1971, 1999—the armed forces have performed well. Whenever it has been confused or absent, there is frustration and disaster—1965 and 1962. The armed forces are treated as an ancillary department of the Government. They are consulted, but do not form the part of decision-making. The armed forces should become part of the national security decision making process and should be given clear politico-military directives.
    Extracted from: Be fast and precise

    Census of Registered ESM statewise

    ESM statewise population

    Ser. RSB/ZSB-------------------ARMY ---AF ---NAVY -TOTAL
    01. ANDHRA PRADESH--------055954 09793 04061 069808
    02. ARUNACHAL PRADESH---000284 00000 00000 000284
    03. ASSAM---------------------023819 01869 00421 026109
    04. BIHAR----------------------060323 02788 01382 064493
    05. CHATTISGARH------------003849 00272 00138 004259
    06. GOA------------------------001118 00198 00595 001911
    07. GUJARAT-------------------015881 02268 01703 019852
    08. HIMACHAL PRADESH-----090009 01913 03029 094951
    09. HARYANA------------------198446 12287 10003 220736
    10. JAMMU & KASHMIR-------063229 00516 00417 064162
    11. JHARKHAND----------------015755 00901 00745 017401
    12. KARNATAKA----------------051082 08577 01947 061606
    13. KERALA---------------------119642 18320 10282 148244
    14. MADHYA PRADESH--------032326 01638 01152 035116
    15. MAHARASHTRA------------132967 12757 13954 159678
    16. MANIPUR--------------------005534 00061 00029 005624
    17. MEGHALAYA----------------002004 00081 00051 002136
    18. MIZORAM-------------------004455 00020 00020 004495
    19. NAGALAND------------------002425 00008 00021 002454
    20. ORISSA----------------------019089 03968 01861 024918
    21. PUNJAB----------------------238205 07984 03834 250023
    22. RAJASTHAN-----------------124673 05723 03236 133632
    23. SIKKIM-----------------------001138 00002 00007 001147
    24. TAMIL NADU----------------102927 09986 03029 115942
    25. TRIPURA--------------------001932 00097 00049 002078
    26. UTTAR PRADESH-----------208054 18971 10257 237282
    27. UTTARANCHAL-------------112919 01871 01961 116751
    28. WEST BENGAL--------------044329 08442 03221 055992
    29. A & N ISLANDS--------------000368 00092 00123 000583
    30. CHANDIGARH---------------005418 02129 00293 007840
    31. DELHI------------------------026797 05699 02618 035114
    32. PONDICHERRY--------------001210 00282 00078 001570
    TOTAL--------------------------1766161 139513 80517 1986191

    Note: Figures for the states of Arunachal Pradesh, Bihar, Meghalaya, Rajasthan, Chandigarh, and Pondicherry are provisional.
    Authority: Census of Ex- Servicemen

    Comment: The above statistics are from DGR, MOD. Input obviously not updated for the last 2 years. Some figures are provisional! Wonder why? If basic inputs are not correct can welfare measures be effected seriously. The statistics department need to be abandoned and savings credited to the defence budget.

    Mumbai Mayhem: Was the army ready for war?

    Manoj Joshi
    New Delhi, January 17, 2009

    The Indian Air Force and the Indian Navy were ready to strike almost immediately after the Mumbai carnage on November 26 — the former activating its forward bases and the latter fuelling its anti-ship missiles.

    But, the government stayed its hand when the Indian Army apparently indicated to the government that it might take it several weeks before it could prudently begin the operations.

    In September 2002, after the crisis that developed following the December 2001 attack on Parliament had waned, President Pervez Musharraf travelled to the US and in an interview with the Christian Science Monitor , had this to say: “…my military judgment was that they [Indians] would not attack us… Militarily… there is a certain ratio required for an offensive force to succeed. The ratios that we maintain are far above that — far above what a defensive force requires to defend itself...”

    Cocky Musharraf was not wrong. Fireeaters across the country have been egging the government to go to war with Pakistan over the Mumbai massacre. But could it be that India have an Army that is simply not ready for one? Who is responsible for this? Everyone, from the generals who have become progressively bureaucratised, to the bureaucrats whose only concern is over their empanelment and time- scales. And, above all, their political bosses, who are content to let things be the way they are and allow hundreds of thousands of crores of rupees to be spent for an armed force that is not ready when needed.
    Extracts from: Was the army ready for war?

    Give us our due, say ex-servicemen

    17 Jan 2009, 2122 hrs IST, TNN
    KANPUR: “A servicemen is always a serviceman- today, tomorrow and forever, this spirit was palpable at the Cavalry Ground of Kanpur, where ex-servicemen had assembled and took out a rally. Demanding dignity, love and adequate support from the society, a rally of ex-servicemen, ESM Rally -2009, was organized in city on Saturday.

    Under the shamiyaana, ex-servicemen, widows of soldiers and dependents of retired army personnel came from several districts of UP, and told moving tales of troubles and ignominies they face in lives.

    The biggest concern of these men was the humiliation they immediately confront after retirement. A soldier said, "We retire at a very young age. And who will like to serve as security-guards and who wants to fill petrol in vehicles after leading such a privileged life. But we are forced to do so to run our lives."

    Each one had his tale to tell. A son of an ex-serviceman who served Indian Army during the Second World War said that her two sister aged 35 and 40 remain unmarried due to lack of funds.

    A widow's words whose husband died while serving in Arunachal Pradesh made the eyes moist of those present. She said, "The pension I get is too less to fulfil the daily needs of me and my three children. For past three years, in-laws are forcing me to commit suicide and trying to declare me a mentally-disturbed person to get rid of my family."

    The other prominent concerns discussed in the meet were problem in railway reservation, lack of medical facilities and rude treatment at the hand of policemen. Handling of 'Jila Sainik Board' who looks after the needs of retired army personnel in each district by civilian officers, who are uninterested about the concerns of service personnel, was discussed.

    Replying to the queries and concerns, senior officers said that a helpline has been in operation from 2007 which has been very effective in solving their problems. A reservation counter will soon function in Cantt to avoid troubles at railway counters. Treatment will be provided to servicemen in Cantt hospitals for initial 48 to 72 hours.

    Adding weightage to the concerns of army-personnel, Brigadier PC Roy said, "Army personnel retire at much younger age compared to other civilian job-working force. So they have right to ask for facilities. And after giving their best to the nation by serving in remotest of places in world and putting your life at stake, one deserves it."

    He also added that it feels bad that DM who is head of ex-servicemen board and other civil officials, who were given invitation to attend the function, did not turn up at function.
    Give us our due, say ex-servicemen
    Comment: Everywhere the same state of Affairs "woes of ESM remain unaddressed". The Zilla Sainik Board is an extension of Bureaucracy- Red Tape. What can one expect from a corruption riddled MOD Sainik Boards, employing civilians to benefit themselves! The ESM is degraded all the time and projected as a shabbily clad security guard. All ESM welfare organisations must fight against this malaise of falsely projecting a Jawan as a lowly paid security guard. A Jawan is a specialist and his salary must be in consonance/ commensurate with his expertise and not equate him with a sundry sentinel with a peanut pay packet!

    IESM: Fast for Justice Rally Jantar Mantar- thirty second day

    Dear Colleagues,

    The Jantar Mantar (Relay) Fast continues. I spent the day among ESM of Jhajjar Distict in village Majra (Dubaldhan) approximately 100 km from Delhi. There were about 250 ESM who had assembled, hailing from different villages. It was good plain speaking. I updated all on the developments on OROP. I told them OROP was a long battle and no one should expect quick results. It would also need hard work and sacrifice from us all.

    During discussion I also informed them that depending upon response of the present regime, prior to the General Elections we would be sending out an advisory on the voting choice of the ESM. This was enthusiastically received; some even called it a 'fatwa' and insisted that it must be done and promised to abide by it.

    Everyone was charged up and decided to come to Delhi for the 08 Feb rally. I advised them to nominate Coordinators at Village, Block, Tehsil and District level and forward the names and contact details to us. I was happy to learn that some villages (like Siwana, thanks to Capt Om Prakash) have already done so. There was a great demand for IESM membership forms. This is being arranged.

    The fast at Navi Mumbai went as scheduled. An email from Brig Dharam Prakash is reproduced below: Quote

    Dear General,
    As planned, Ex servicemen of NAVI MUMBAI were on DHARNA on 15 & 16 Jan 2009 at CBD Belapur railway station in sympathy with our fasting Veterans at Delhi.

    Ex servicemen response was very good, we had Veterans coming from far places like Ratnagiri,Nava Shiva Port, and others from anvel, Kharghar, CBD Belapur, Nerul, Vashi, Airoli, Thane. Arrangements had to be doubled midway due to response. Briefing on IESM and OROP was done. Veterans were happy with steps being taken for OROP. Membership forms of IESM were distributed, till today about 25 completed forms with cheque have been received, more are expected in few days time. All completed forms will be couriered in few days. Some forms are likely to be sent directly to Gurgoan.

    Above event was very well covered by print and electronic media. On 15 Jan 2009 we had 5 TV channels and 6/7 press reporters who attended press briefing by Brig Dharam Prakash and Lt Col DP Singh. Dharna is being shown on local/Regional channels like DRISHTI, NMTV, A PLUS, KARNALA TV and local cable network. Some news papers (Hindi, Marathi & English) are likely cover it shortly.

    As venue was at public place, lot of general public enquired about OROP and were very sympathetic with the cause.Senior citizens association at Belapur was represented by its President and All India Senior Citizens Confederation(AISCON), General Secretary also joined the Veterans in expressing their solidarity with the cause.
    Brigadier Dharam Prakash (Retd) Unquote

    Well done Mumbai.
    See all of you in Delhi on 08 Feb, 1100 hours at Jantar Mantar.
    Best regards,
    Lt Gen (Emeritus) Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
    Chairman IESM
    View Photo Slideshow: IESM, Jantar Mantar


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