Saturday, February 14, 2009

Navy Foundation Delhi Chapter

Cdr S S Ahuja (Retd) Treasurer: Setting Trends

On the Deck: AGM in Progress

Dear Members,
Explore the uncharted world of the INDIAN NAVY
National Geographic channel takes you inside a never seen journey before. It will take you inside the INDIAN NAVY. Starting 02 FEB 2009, Every Monday 9 PM only on the National Geographic Channel.
Cdr SS Ahuja (Retd)
Navy Foundation Delhi Chapter

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

Date: Friday, 13 February, 2009, 11:49 PM
Dear Colleagues,
Our Hisar (Haryana) heroes continue to be in charge of the Jantar Mantar venue.
Return of Medals
There is encouraging news from other towns of ESM wanting to return their medals to the President. I will urge hurry. To get maximum visibility at the correct time, we wish to return the next lot of medals on 21 Feb 2009, when the Parliamentary session is in progress.
Mail from Overseas
Veteran Kanwal Dev Singh is 19th NDA Course. Being a term senior to us and being in the same Squadron, we looked up to him as an icon. Apart from his prowess in the sports field (Athletics Blue-discus throw and 440 yards), he fully justified our awe of him when he passed out of NDA with the coveted Gold Medal. He joined EME and having shed the uniform early, migrated to the US. His heart continues to remain in India, as is evident from his email reproduced below:

“Dear Raj,
You and your team are truly performing an unprecedented service to the entire Armed Forces– I do not believe such bold and disciplined action at this level has ever been attempted in the past. Your leadership and eventual success will touch and benefit each and every member of our services community and the credit will go not only to you personally but the IESM, our Government and the entire Nation– it will be a historic success!
From various emails that I have received it was so encouraging and heartwarming to note that folks from 1st JSW rendered their support and so did several senior officers including Gen Ved Malik etc. I would like to echo the sentiments expressed by some of my course folks like Surjit Singh, Joseph Thomas, Amar Jit Behl, Inder Kashyap and others.
Raj, with the greatest of humility, I am making a contribution of Rs15,000.00 towards this noble effort. You will be receiving the check in the next few days.
Regards and the best of luck,
KD Singh, 19 NDA”

On behalf of you all I thank KD for his kind thoughts and generous contribution.
Best regards,
Lt Gen (Emeritus) Raj Kadyan

Return of Medals to the President

Dear Friends,
Rally at Jantar Mantar New Delhi on 8th Feb 2009 was a grand success. ESM across the country have resolved to continue their protests till One Rank One Pension is granted. The most valuable possession of the soldiers, their medals were returned to the President. While some ESM returned their medals, there were large number who could not bring these with them when they came for the Rally & a very large number residing in NCR and near by locations could not attend the Rally. We have received queries from a large number of veterans across country if they could return their medals now. Steering Committee on 12 Feb 2009 during their meeting has decided that all ESM who could not return their medals on 8th Feb 2009 could do so now as per the following schedule & plan:

(a) All ESM residing in & around NCR could return their medals at Jantar Mantar site of our Relay Hunger Strike from 9 AM to 6 PM everyday starting with immediate effect. Representatives from different locations can also collect centrally and deposit the medals at Jantar Mantar. Arrangements have been made to receive these. The ESM can pack their medals in polythene envelops with name, address, telephone numbers & the number of medals written on a slip & placed inside the polythene envelop.
(b) All ESM Residing in various cities, Areas, States outside NCR. State convener, ESM organizations & individuals can collect the medals at various cities, areas, States centrally at one location, pack these in polythene envelop with details as per Para 2(a) above & through personal courier send these at Jantar Mantar with the nominal roll of the ESM.
(c) All medals received till 21 Feb 2009 will be returned to the President on 21 Feb. Arrangements are being made at the Rashtarpati Bhawan for receiving the medals.
(d) The collection of medals will continue and the next instalment of medals will be returned to the President on 28 Feb 2009.
(e) This exercise will continue.

All ESM receiving this information are requested to circulate the same to the maximum ESM in the country. Wide publicity may please be given in local languages and circulated to the maximum number of ESM. ESM across the Country are requested to volunteer for the collection of medals and sending these to the Relay Hunger Strike site at Jantar Mantar New Delhi. Govt, needs to be woken from the slumber to ensure that they accept our genuine demand of One Rank One Pension. Our Movement will be further intensified. Our Relay Hunger Strike at Jantar Mantar will continue till our demand is met. Future plans have been conceived and are being planned which include:

(a) IESM Yatras Starting from various states & converging on Delhi.
(b) Another mammoth Rally at Delhi Ram Lila ground, strength over one lakh.
(c) Dharnas & Rallies across country.
(d) In case the present Govt does not grant One Rank One Pension, Blitzkrieg campaigns by all ESM & their members of the family to ensure that the leaders in the forth coming election are those who will fulfil the demands of the Ex Servicemen.
(e) Extensive Media campaigns to inform the people of India about the true facts of our demands & injustices done to the Defence Forces.
(f) To enlist support from various Political Parties, MPs, MLAs, organizations & various segments of the society for our Cause.
(g) Preparation for legal option & at appropriate time exercise the legal option.

It is the duty of every ESM to join the struggle. All ESM are requested to become members of IESM and whole heartedly take part in the Movement to ensure Justice is done to the Defence Forces.
Jai Hind
With regards,
Yours Sincerely,
Maj Gen (Retd) Satbir Singh, SM
Vice Chairman Indian ESM Movement

Friday, February 13, 2009

IESM: Fast for Justice Rally Jantar Mantar- 08 Feb 2009

Spectacular Photographs of the IESM Rally Jantar Mantar captured on 08 Feb 2009 by Maj Gen Sat Pal Aul

Move to slideshow: 39 photos click here

Mumbai terror attack planned in Pakistan, top official admits

• Statement reverses earlier denials by Islamabad
• India welcomes arrests of six militant suspects
Saeed Shah in Islamabad The Guardian, Friday 13 February 2009

Last November's terrorist attack on Mumbai was planned and launched from Pakistan, authorities in Islamabad said for the first time yesterday, as they revealed they were holding six suspects in connection with the assault.

Pakistan's interior ministry accused eight people of masterminding the atrocity in which 170 people were killed. Six of those are in custody and cases against all the accused were filed yesterday. The ministry said most, possibly all, belonged to Lashkar-e-Taiba, a Pakistan-based militant group which India had accused of carrying out the attack.

Never before has Pakistan appeared to take such action against a significant jihadist outfit in the country. It had been unclear until yesterday whether there was a serious investigation going on in Pakistan, amid Islamabad's denials that there was any proof its citizens were involved. The outcome was welcomed in India as a "positive development".

"Some part of the conspiracy has taken place in Pakistan," Rehman Malik, the prime minister's adviser on internal affairs said yesterday. "I want to assure the international community, I want to assure all those who have been victims of terrorism, that we mean business."
Read more:
Mumbai terror attack planned in Pakistan, top official admits:

Respect for a Fallen Hero: American Style

Will we ever see this degree of respect for our Military Heroes in India? The Nation requires to honour our heros. A National War Memorial as a tribute to fallen heros, is a Cry of all the Armed Forces Personnel!

In Tennessee, USA we really do pull off the road and stop for funerals...nobody moves until the last car has gone by. What follows is a message from Vicki Pierce about her nephew James' funeral (he was serving in Iraq):

However, the most incredible thing was what happened following the service on the way to the cemetery. We went to our cars and drove to the cemetery escorted by at least 10 police cars with lights flashing and some other emergency vehicles, with Tennessee police handling traffic. Everyone on the road who was not in the procession, pulled over, got out of their cars, and stood silently and respectfully, some put their hands over their hearts.

When we turned off the highway suddenly there were teenage boys along both sides of the street about every 20 feet or so, all holding large American flags on long flag poles, and again with their hands on their hearts. We thought at first it was the Boy Scouts or 4H club or something, but it continued for two and a half miles. Hundreds of young people, standing silently on the side of the road with flags. At one point we passed an elementary school, and all the children were outside, shoulder to shoulder holding flags kindergartners, handicapped, teachers, staff, everyone. Some held signs of love and support. Then came teenage girls; and younger boys, all holding flags. Then adults. Then families. All standing silently on the side of the road. No one spoke, not even the very young children.

The military presence, at least two generals, a fist full of colonels, and representatives from every branch of the service, plus the color guard who attended James, and some who served with him , was very impressive and respectful, but the love and pride from this community who had lost one of their own was the most amazing thing I've ever been privileged to witness.

I've attached some pictures, some are blurry (we were moving), but you can get a small idea of what this was like. These photos are awesome!!

IESM: Fast for Justice Rally- more congratulatory messages

12 February, 2009
Dear friends,
I have been comparing our movement with a mighty river called Ganga. We started with humble beginnings, like a mighty river that starts as a tiny spring. Our movement gathered strength as it moved on. This, despite the media gag imposed by the wily babus on our relay hunger strike which was started on 16 Dec 2008.

Then came the return of medals on 08 Feb 2009 and the media covered it very well. The gag lifted off like the safety valve of a pressure cooker. Our Ganga has gone past Haridwar. It has spread out. More and more veterans are becoming aware of our movement and are enrolling as members. Media coverage has made the general public also aware of our struggle.

I think we should now have a biggish get together at Janta Mantar on 16 Feb 2009 and tell everyone thru media that the callous politicos and babus have gagged the media from the day our relay hunger strike started on 16 Dec 2009, the date of our victory in East Pakistan. The gag lifted only on 08 Feb 2009. Even then it was a different story when our senior and patriotic reps went to Rashtrapati Bhavan to deposit the medals. They were treated with utmost suspicion and were not even allowed to take photos when a very junior minion received the medals. All this was done because of 'orders from above'. This kind of sly attitude must be exposed through the media.

I think the time has come to stake our claim as the sole and the biggest body representing ex servicemen. IESL should now become a part of IESM. Of course there will be resistance by the vested interests; we just have to persevere. My heartiest congrats on the effort and the results. All of you have been contributing very well in your own ways -- website, fine articles, ideas and physical effort. Brig Harwant's idea about blacklisting Ind Express merits serious consideration.

Best of luck, warm regards
K K Punchhi
Cdr KK Punchhi, 7 JSW Course Veteran
Naval Aviation, settled in Canada

Dear Chander,
... edited ... I could not revert to you after attending 8th Feb rally at Jantar Mantar which was a grand success by all standards. Though 16NDA/25 IMA Course was in dismal strength, I was able to convince and take along my G-5 (group of five in my vicinity-Ansals Palam Vihar) in my car for the rally.All of them became members of the IESM on the spot and they are: Lt Gen Vijay Jetely, Maj Gen CS Brar,Maj Gen ND Jetli and Maj Gen VK Singh in company of yours truely.

..... edited .... untiring efforts and devotion to this noble cause stood the test of time and what we saw and later read, speaks for itself.
Well done.
Long live the IESM.
Kuldip Malik



Date: Thursday, 12 February, 2009, 8:45 PM
Dear Raj,
You and your team are truly performing an unprecedented service to the entire Armed Forces – I do not believe such bold and disciplined action at this level has ever been attempted in the past. Your leadership and eventual success will touch and benefit each and every member of our services community and the credit will go not only to you personally but the IESM, our Government and the entire Nation – it will be a historic success! From various emails that I have received it was so encouraging and heartwarming to note that folks from 1st JSW rendered their support and so did several senior officers including Gen Ved Malik etc. I would like to echo the sentiments expressed by some of my course folks like Surjit Singh, Joseph Thomas, Amar Jit Behl, Inder Kashyap and others.

Raj, with the greatest of humility, I am making a contribution of Rs 15,000.00 towards this noble effort. You will be receiving the check in the next few days.

Regards and the best of luck,
KD Singh

Defence Talk: Engaging Pakistan

SO MANY women, who were either wives or mothers of soldiers who laid down their lives receiving posthumous award of Ashok Chakra on Republic Day, is a grim reminder of what India is up against vis-a-vis Pakistan.

Only a couple of months after its creation in August 1947, Pakistan masterminded the invasion of Jammu and Kashmir. Since then, for the past over 60 years, there have been three wars, any number of acts of terrorism, and Pakistan Intelligence agencies supporting and fomenting internal troubles in India. The ongoing campaign to bleed India through terrorism has gone on for too long and its intensity and daring, as shown by attacks in Mumbai on November 26, 2008, should convince the Indian leadership and the people that this will not end by mere talk and diplomacy . The reason is very simple and basic. The Pakistan establishment and in particular the military and ISI are rightly or wrongly convinced that India is a soft state. That its leaders lack the guts to take tough choices and Indian society has become highly self-centered, money minded and corrupt. They can therefore take liberties with India at will.

What the Indian leadership has to examine and take a long-term strategic view is how long can the country accept the hostile actions and violence from Pakistan and to what extent. India cannot go on from one crisis to another as a result of acts of terrorism, violence and threat to its national security and life, forever. India has to plan bold and strategic steps to stop this menace. Actions like striking at bases of terrorists will not bring any worthwhile results. India cannot afford to keep approaching other nations to caution Pakistan and act in a weak manner to each violent incident. The whole world is watching how weak India is in safeguarding its interests.

The Indian political leadership, bureaucracy and the Foreign Service lack bold strategic vision. The Defence Forces are the only organisation, which are trained and remain focused and updated on security and strategic matters. But sadly, they are kept out of the loop in making national policies. India has never had a General/Admiral/Air Marshal as National Security Adviser. India’s top military brass must be the most worthless in the world even in matters of national security, so this would indicate! Militarily, Pakistan has always somehow managed to receive military aid and latest weapons systems. The nuclear arsenal has emboldened its military leadership in raising the threshold for India. Indian military though outnumbers Pakistan, is relatively lowly equipped, mostly due to redtape and bureaucratic ambivalence in getting new weapons and equipment. Defence manpower is poorly paid and does not attract the right material.

However, now the strategic interests of USA and other Western nations are converging with India, due to Pakistan being accepted as an epicentre of terrorism and to checkmate China, which is having tremendous growth as an economic and military power. India needs to exploit this opportunity to tackle Pakistan on a long-term basis. However, there are no free lunches, as the saying goes. India will have to tilt towards USA and get closer to Western powers strategically. Also, India will have to modernise its Defence Forces on a fast-track basis.

India has some of the following strategic options:
  • On its own steam, conduct covert ‘tit for tat’ operations against Pakistan-sponsored acts of violence, as an immediate measure.
  • Reducing the economic and cultural relations with Pakistan to minimal.
  • Isolate Pakistan diplomatically .
  • As long-term measures, ensure neutralisation of Pakistan’s nuclear capability . The actual military/technological action may be taken by Israel and USA.
  • Also fomenting trouble in Sind and Baluchistan and facilitate their breaking away from the rest of Pakistan.
  • Caution Pakistan that if its behaviour does not improve, the Indus water treaty will have to be reconsidered.

    The above measures are inevitable as Pakistan is unlikely to mend ways otherwise. India needs to set these strategic and bold goals and work towards achieving these in concert with friendly nations, as a long-term measure.

    Lt Gen Harbhajan Singh (Retd)
    Former Signal Officer in Chief
    The writer is a security analyst
    Courtesy Hindustan Times, Chandigarh Edition
    Defence Talk: Engaging Pakistan
  • Thursday, February 12, 2009

    Shameful neglect: Former servicemen deserve better

    The Pioneer Edit Desk- 12 Feb 2009

    If we thought that we were a nation that respected our armed forces, what happened last Sunday should force us to introspect. On that day, more than 300 retired soldiers marched to Rashtrapati Bhavan and returned their medals of honour to the President as a mark of protest. Their demand: One rank, one pension. Asserting that they had been given a ‘raw deal’ by the Sixth Pay Commission — which is a fact — the retired servicemen said they were left with no option but to take this drastic step. They blamed successive Governments for ignoring their demand and threatened to emerge as a potential vote-bank and contest elections to teach politicians and bureaucrats — the main beneficiaries of pay commissions — a fitting lesson. The Sixth pay Commission has given rise to four classes of defence pensioners: Pre-1996, post-1996 to December 2005, post-January 2006 to September 2008 and post-October 2008. What this means is that a Havaldar or a Lt General who retired before 1996 will draw less pension than a Sepoy or a Lt Colonel who retired after 2006. Needless to say that such disparities in pension, crafted by bureaucrats to ensure they alone get the best deal, are totally unjust and need to be immediately rectified. The UPA Government has feebly argued that implementing the ‘one rank, one pension’ policy will entail an expenditure of Rs 3,500 crore. However, given that the Government did not hesitate in announcing the directionless Rs 60,000 crore farm loan waiver last year to cover up its failure to give the agriculture sector a much-needed boost, financial costs can hardly be a valid argument.

    There can be no denying that the armed forces comprise a vital institution of our country. The sacrifices that our defence servicemen have rendered to this nation can never be computed or compensated. It is a matter of shame that things should have been allowed to come to such a pass, for which politicians and bureaucrats are entirely to blame. Just how callous Government is can be gauged from the fact several recommendations of parliamentary committees to resolve disparities in pensionary benefits of ex-servicemen have been ignored while babus have been pampered. The failure to protect their interests ultimately lie with the political class — before every election, politicians and their parties promise to solve the grievances of ex-servicemen; after the elections, our veterans are forgotten. Surely, those who have given the best years of their lives protecting the nation deserve far better. This on-going spat between the Government and the babus on one hand and the defence personnel — retired or serving — does not bode well. Clearly, the Government has gone wrong somewhere if our defence officers have to take to the streets in protest.
    Shameful neglect- Former servicemen deserve better

    Mumbai Mayhem
    Armed Forces blow holes in Govt plan for NSG hubs across India

    IESM: Fast for Justice Jantar Mantar- fifty sixth day

    Date: Wednesday, 11 February, 2009, 10:46 PM
    Dear colleagues,
    The Jantar Mantar venue continues to be under the charge of Gurgaon braves.

    Rally report from Vadodra
    Posted as a separate entity in the weblog
    Well done Vadodra!

    Medal Return
    The return of medals has had a good visibility. There are reports of ESM from other towns wanting to surrender their medals to the President à la Delhi. That is a good development. We can fix a day, preferably during the progress of the ongoing Parliamentary session. Can we fix Saturday, 21 Feb? If this is acceptable, the medals will have to reach Delhi post haste. We also will need to approach the Rashtrapati Bhawan at least a week in advance.

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

    Picasa Slideshow of the IESM Rally
    1.Photographs taken by Colonel (Retd) A Sridharan during IESM Rally in New Delhi on 8 Feb 2009.
    2. About 10000 veterans got together to support the Relay Hunger strike going on for the last two months for the implementation of ONE RANK ONE PENSION demand from government...Do join the movement. Please share the scenes captured. Regards,
    Col Anil Singhal

    We thank Col A Sridharan and Col Anil Singhal for sharing the captivating photographs of the IESM Rally

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

    Date: Wednesday, 11 February, 2009, 12:26 AM
    Dear colleagues,
    ESM from Uttarkhand, assisted by Gurgaon braves, are operating the Jantar Mantar venue.

    Foundation Stone of Bangalore War Memorial
    I write this from Bangalore. The Governor of Karnataka laid the foundation stone of the National Military War Memorial this evening. Credit goes to Rajiv Chandrasekhar, MP (Indep) who really has been pushing the project. In addition, our compliments to the following members for their immense contribution:
  • Air Commodore Chandrasekhar
  • Col Vivek Bopiah
  • Lt Col Sreedhar

    In his remarks, Rajiv Chandrasekhar had highlighted the point about the need to look after the Ex Servicemen and touched upon the surrendering of medals two days ago. Later in his remarks, the MOS for Defence Mr Pallam Raju recounted the related ‘great contribution’ made by Manmohan Singh govt in that they have created an Ex Servicemen Welfare Department in the Ministry. I heard someone in the row behind mutter 'amen'!

    Rally Report Dehra Dun
    Posted as separate entity in the weblog

    Had a great gathering of eight course mates plus seven spouses at Vivek and Tina Bopiah’s house. Every one had brought the potluck. I was the only one who did not carry a pot and had all the luck.

    Core Gp Meeting
    The Core Gp meets at 1500 hours Feb 12 for a what next?

    Best regards,
    Lt Gen (Emeritus) Raj Kadyan
    Chairman IESM
  • Wednesday, February 11, 2009

    IESM: Rally in Gujarat- 08 Feb 2009

    Date: Wednesday, 11 February, 2009, 4:31 PM
    About 150 veterans gathered near the statue of Gandhiji near Gandhi Gruh in the heart of Vadodara. Vaterans were of Ranks of Major Genarals/ Air Vice Marshal to Naik and euivalent and widow of two army officers. All assembled at 1030 hrs on Sunday 08-02-09. Large number of media rep were there. They interviewed Maj Gen Randhir Sinh who briefed them about OROP. They also intervied AVM NC Shah some other officers and the PBORs.

    At 1115hrs all marched in twos in pin drop silence from Gandhigruh to the District Collectors office located about one km away. Rally used Main road and was escorted by the police. Few banners were prepared and carried. At the District Collectors office special officer on duty was requested to to receive memorandum on behalf in the absence of DC. The memorandum was read in front of gathering and handed over for forwarding it to the Prime Minister.

    Rally report was given by the local channels few times during the day. It was also covered by E Gujarati channel in their afternoon news. All local news papers of Vadodara published photos and report of the rally fairly well. Almost all the news papers of Gujarat has given the photographs of medals being collected for handing over to the President. Some did give brief report about the event at New Delhi. Initial reaction has been good.

    Suggestions received for future:
  • A cycle rally/ two wheeler rally in all District HQS organised simultaneously all over India.
    2) Motorcycle rally from all Districts converging in State Capital and culminating in a mass rally.

    Sqn Ldr BD Sutaria
    IESM Coordinator
  • Armymen Take Pay Battle to the Streets

    Sunday, February 08, 2009 10:58 PM
    (Source: The Times of India)By Medha Chaturvedi

    NEW DELHI: They've won many a wars, but on Sunday morning their battle cry had undertones of anguish. "Jis desh ke sainik sadkon pe, us desh ka durbhagya hai" With this slogan, hundreds of Armymen and retired personnel of all ranks gathered at Jantar Mantar to protest against the unfair treatment meted out to them in the Sixth Pay Commission.

    The soldiers marched up to the Rashtrapati Bhavan to surrender their medals and gallantry awards which were once handed to them for their exemplary service to the nation.

    The country's bureaucracy came in for some serious attacks. "This is all a dirty game by the Indian bureaucracy, who have always left the Army out in the cold," said Maj Gen (retd) Satbir Singh. Col (retd) M S Krishna Moorthy, who had served in the World War-II, Burma and Indian mission to Nepal and Congo stressed that the Army should have a bigger say when the problems of armed forces are discussed as the bureaucracy didn't know much about it.

    "We are also demanding 'one rank one pension'," said Lt. Gen (retd) Raj Kadyan, former Army deputy chief and chairman of the Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement, which organised this protest. This principle ensures that irrespective of the date on which a soldier retires, he or she would get the same pension. In the Sixth Pay Commission, government rejected the 'one rank one pension' demand citing that it will incur huge financial costs.

    Kadyan himself is the recipient of Param Vishisht Seva Medal (PVSM), Ati-Vishisht Seva Medal (AVSM) and the Vishisht Seva Medal (VSM), all of which he handed over to the President's representative.

    "A soldier devotes the best years of his life to the country. When he retires, his medals are his most prized possession. However, due to the government's callous attitude, we are left with no choice," said Kadyan. He added that a services commission must be constituted with equal representation from all forces to restore their interests.

    As per the present pension scheme, two soldiers who have served in the same capacity but at different times are put in two separate pension brackets for no apparent reason. "If they compute this calculation according to prevalent inflation rate, then they should realize that we too are living in the same world, suffering the same rate of inflation as the people who retired much later," said a senior official.

    "This system is already enjoyed by many IAS officers, judges, governors, MPs and even the President, then why are we not entitled?" asked a senior retired officer. "The government has equated the salaries and pensions of an Army jawan with that of a clerk in Central government. How can they equate the pay of a person who is willing to sacrifice his life for the country with that of a clerk or a peon? With this kind of attitude, no wonder the armed forces face such a shortage of soldiers," the officer added.

    More than 300 retired soldiers from different states marched under the banner of Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement and surrendered thousands of their medals. Shiksha Bharadwaj, mother of Captain Umang Bharadwaj, who died in action after killing several terrorists in Kashmir valley in 2002, led the march, and surrendered the Shurya Chakra that her son was awarded posthumously.

    Her husband, Col (retd) Kanwar Bharadwaj also surrendered his own Sena Medal. "A medal does not feed you and neither does pride. The government did not pay any heed to our demand, so we had to take this step. I don't like giving up my or my son's award, but no one listens until you shout in this country. Successive governments have failed us, so we are ensuring that now they take note," Bharadwaj said.

    The Times of India. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All rights Reserved.
    Armymen Take Pay Battle to the Streets
    Armymen Take Pay Battle to the Streets
    We have been pushed to the wall: Ex-armymen

    IESM: Mysore- Silent Rally wakes up dormant Sainik Board

    February 8th, 2009
    About 300 Ex-Servicemen of city accompanied by a few of their family members took out a silent procession from Town Hall to Deputy Commissioner’s office here this morning and presented a charter of demands. Earlier to that, they had a meeting at Town Hall.

    Addressing the gathering at the Meet, Major General C.K. Karumbaya (retd.) announced that an All India Campaign has been launched today to highlight the woes of Ex-servicemen and serving defence personnel (See page 7 for full text of his speech).

    The participants of the Meet later marched in total silence to the DC’s office carrying placards which read ‘One rank - One pension, Respect Veterans, Remove Injustice of 6th Pay Commission’ and such. They submitted a charter of demands to the DC. Receiving the memorandum, DC P. Manivannan assured the exservicemen that he would forward the charter of demands to the concerned persons. He reassured that the District Sainik Board, headed by himself, which had remained dormant of late would resume its monthly meetings on the 4th Saturday of every month soon. Available land for distribution to Ex-servicemen would be identified soon, he assured. Ex-servicemen Maj. Gen. Subba Rao, Maj. Gen. S.G. Vombatkere, Sergeants M.N. Subramanya, Suresh, G.T. Bhat and others led the procession.
    EX-SERVICEMEN Defence services TAKE OUT SILENT MARCH - Sixth pay commisssion

    ‘Military personnel want restoration of parity of status with civil officials’
    Following is the text of the speech made by Maj. Gen. C.K. Karumbaya, SM (retd.) at the meeting of ex-servicemen at the Town Hall today before the silent march:
    I welcome you veterans, family members and our well-wishers from the civil fraternity who have assembled here for our historic protest march today. It is perhaps for the first time in the history of Independent India that Ex-Servicemen from all over the country have been constrained to unite and protest like other civilian bodies to get our grievances redressed.

    “We would have been spared from resorting to this unpleasant means, had the political authority and the Ministry of Defence (wholly staffed by civilian bureaucrats unlike most countries where Defence Service personnel are also included in the staff) had shown understanding of the peculiarities of the Defence Services vis-a-vis other civil services.

    “It is most unfortunate that in India, the political authority advised by civilian bureaucrats, in spite of insincere words of praise uttered periodically, have failed to recognise the contributions made by the Defence Services. Instead, they have been continually lowering the status of military personnel vis-a-vis their civilian counterparts. The Sixth Pay Commission which has no representative from Defence Services have inflicted body blow to whatever left of the prestige and honour of Defence Services personnel by lowering their status much below that of even the Police! It seems that our politicians in power are only bothered about pleasing civil officials with selfish motives at the cost of Defence Service personnel who sacrifice so much for the Nation.

    IESM: Fast for Justice Rally 08 Feb 2009- Congratulatory messages

    Date: Tuesday, 10 February, 2009, 4:27 PM
    Dear Sir,
    I wish to share my thoughts with you on the 8th February rally. I wish to address this letter to Lt. Gen Raj Kadiyan, Maj Gen Satbir and Brig Kamboj as also the rest of the leadership of this mission.

    Before I begin, I take this opportunity to congratulate the entire mission team on behalf of my wife, kids and everyone present at Jantar Mantar on the 8th of February for the rally.

    Sir, on December 17, 2008 I took an oath at Jantar Mantar that I will give my heart and soul to this great cause and will continue this fight for justice until we win. I am and always will be a soldier and in my opinion it is every soldier's duty to fight for justice and stand for what is right until his last breath. I am committed to do just that. I will be with this mission until victory is ours.

    Since that day, I have given my heart and soul to the mission and have had many sleepless nights. But rest assured I will not stop until we accomplish what we have set out to achieve.

    During the course of this mission I have had the opportunity to meet all kinds of people including officers, JCOs and jawans of all arms. All of them had something to add to the mission. I chose to listen to the positive and constructive comments and suggestions and ignored the rest. And though many had doubts about the rally, I always knew that together we can and we will make it a grand success that it eventually turned out to be. Faith, as they say, is believing in something that we cannot see.

    February 8th, 2009 was a black day in my life as also in the lives of thousands of other officers, JCOs and jawans fighting this battle. Personally, those awards and medals meant more to me than any other thing in this world. Having to give them up was very emotional for me and I have been greatly disturbed. That has been the reason why I have been unable to even come to Jantar Mantar for the last two days. At this point I must thank Brig Kamboj for the amazing blog that he maintains and the emails he sent. It has immensely helped me regain my composure and lift my morale.

    As I said, I am a soldier and I must keep fighting. And I will, for there is no rest for me till this battle is over. At this point, I only wish to say the following line - aap aagey badho, hum aapkey saath hain...Once again, I thank Lt Gen Kadyan, Maj Gen Satbir, Brig Kamboj and the entire leadership of this mission for putting together this Rally and guiding it to success.
    Thank you.
    Yours truly,
    Kameshwar Pandey
    Hony Lt/Sub Maj (Retd)

    Date: Tuesday, 10 February, 2009, 2:04 AM
    Sqn Ldr IS Loughran, UK

    Brig MK Jain, EME

    Dear Kamboj Sir,
    It is heartening to note how military Veterans from different walks of life got galvanized to carry the movement to its ecstacy. I am recouping from viral and was unable to join the rally on 8th Feb 2009 but did follow the proceedings thru TV telecasts and news paper reportings (Sunday TOI & HT on 8th) and TOI on 9th Feb.
    It appears that media is now backing our movement but Govt. reaction is not forthcoming. Please convey my best regards to Gen Satbir & Gen Kadiyan.
    Best regards
    Col JL Chatterji

    Dear Sir,
    Well Done!! Keep it up. We are proud of you.
    With regards.
    Lt Gen KK Khanna

    Dear Brigadier Kamboj,
    Bravado. You have done it. Your untiring efforts are all aspiring. You are rendering yeoman service to the cause, as I have always maintained and also that personally I won't have been able to do that. Much that I wanted to myself participate in the rally on the 8th, my slip disc prevents me as I cannot walk long distance. Also, since I had been writing some mails opposing 'OROP' in the earlier form when Lt Col rank was placed in Pay Band 3, going even to the extent of criticizing Raj Kadyan, and giving my 'Legal Opinion' with regard to 'OROP' concept succeeding in the Courts of law, I thought I may give rise to unnecessary controversy if I visited the site. But, nonetheless I have been keeping in touch with the developments. I remained glued to the TV in the evening on 8th to look for rally's coverage by the media. Your untiring efforts, I am sure, are bound to succeed.
    With kind regards,
    Lt Col MG Kapoor, New Delhi
    Practising Law in Delhi HC

    Hi Satbir,
    Great job done. The rally was a grand success - the coverage by all national dailies and video channels speaks for itself. I am sure this will motivate our course mates, to whom a copy of this mail is marked, not only to become IESM members, but also contribute additional amount as they consider appropriate. I am sorry that I could not hand over my cheque to you in person at the rally, being late could not reach you. Same has since been sent by courier today (9th Feb 09), along with application. Copy of application (in word format) and XL sheet giving details of contribution are attached
    ........... edited ...........
    Brig Vijay Raheja, Gurgaon

    Date: Tuesday, 10 February, 2009, 10:39 AM
    Dear Brigadier,
    My heartiest congratulations to you and the rest of the core group who are doing a great job in highlighting the ex-servicemen issues. May God bless you all.
    with best regards
    Brig Chaitanya Prakash (Retd)
    Corps of Signals

    IESM: Rally Report from Dehra Dun

    Photos: Lt Col BM Thapa

    Dear Brig Kamboj,
    Cordial regards.
    Hearty congratulations for excellent performance & sacrifice by all ESM in all over India. Major credit goes to you, Gen Raj Kadyan, Gen Satbir Singh, Cdr Sharan Ahuja & others who had had sleepless nights even before and after the Rally as I see timings always from your e-mails which shows you are always working round the clock and no sleep for you all till 1 or 2 am. Your team's motivation to all of us was indeed a boon. Thanks for the ack of our seven photos of rally and few more I am attaching here with copy of our memorandum in Hindi and as well in English which has been sent today to all concerned authorities by Brig K G Behl, President Dehradun Ex-Services League. Many thanks for sending upto date all info of activities so promptly through Report My Signal.

    Brief Report of ESM Rally at Dehradun
    More than 500 ESM and families assembled at Kargil War Memorial on 8th Feb 09 at 1100 hrs. As per the scheduled programme, National songs were sung and followed by detail speech about One Rank One Pension by Brig K G Behl, President Dehradun Ex-Servicemen. There after National anthem was sung and all veteran and families proceeded to Kargil War Memorial for paying homage to Martyrs and placed flower petals on War Memorial. Most of the media person eg Times of India, Hindustan Times, Garhwal post, dainik Jagaran, Rashtriya Sahara, Amar Ujjala, I Next, Tribune, E TV, Sahara TV, Ajak, Zee News, TV 100 etc were present, who not only telecasted but also published in all daily News papers. Scanned copies of few news papers are being attached here along with snaps of Rally. Memorandum of Veterans of Dehradun is also enclosed herewith.
    Lt Col B M Thapa, Retd
    Gen Secy, Dehradun Ex-Services League
    Memorandum by Veterans of Dehradun

    Ex- Servicemen return their medals: Un-Patriotic Alliance

    News Today
    Mon, 09 Feb, 2009,03:24 PM
    Thousands of Military Veterans including former Generals and other high ranking officers have returned their medals to the government protesting the non-implementation of their main demand ‘one rank; one pension’ (OROP).

    The Armed Forces and the Military Veterans have been conveying their grievances through all sorts of democratic means, ever since the Sixth Pay Commission submitted its recommendations to the government.

    While the Military Veterans formed a forum called ‘Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement’ (IESM) and took to the streets, the Armed Forces remained disciplined and focused on their job, despite the raw deal given by the government.

    The IESM has been conducting nationwide protest demonstrations such as sit-in fasts, protest marches, rallies, etc for almost two years now and all those demos have been extensively reported by the media, both print and electronic.

    The Armed Forces and Veterans have had very reasonable demands such as One Rank One Pension, Resettlement of Veterans, Representation of Soldiers on Premier committees, Inequities in the sixth pay commission, formation of a separate commission for the defence forces, compensation for war-disabled and early retirements, etc.

    Compared with the civil & paramilitary services, the military services have been blatantly discriminated against with regards to service recognition as well as pay packages.

    The Military establishment has objected on the grounds of ‘Disparity in Pay Bands’ and it took several representations and meetings for the government to finally accept only a few demands.

    As the Armed Forces are a disciplined lot, they waited patiently before accepting the revised pay structures, which were offered by the government after consistent pressure heaped on it by the military.

    But then, the demands made by the veterans have not been met and they were indeed shown scant regard by the government. Visibly upset by the government’s disregard, the military veterans have been on a relay fast at the capital (Jantar Mantar, New Delhi) since 16 December (2008), the day symbolising the surrender of the Pakistan Army in Dhaka in 1971.

    Veterans representing all the states from throughout the country have been taking part in the relay fast non-stop. The government with utmost contempt ignored even this and ultimately the veterans decided to return their medals even while continuing their relay fast.

    They took out a huge rally, which was attended by more than ten thousand ex-servicemen yesterday, and went to Rashtrapathi Bhavan and handed over thousands of medals.

    None of the cabinet ministers or higher officials from the government have bothered to meet the protesting veterans and the Honourable President too didn’t have the magnanimity to meet them, but simply deputed an officer in the rank of a Deputy Secretary to accept the medals.

    This is the second time such an instance of returning the medals has happened during this UPA government’s tenure. First, the family of martyrs of Parliament attack returned their medals in protest against the government’s refusal to hang the dreaded terrorist Afzal Guru.

    Now, thousands of military veterans have returned their hard earned medals protesting against the government’s total disregard for their noble sacrifices.

    This government’s lackadaisical attitude towards the modernisation of armed forces and taking care of their welfare has directly affected their operational preparedness.

    When the military is sadly not in a position to conduct operations even against terrorists, what will happen in the event of a conventional war is anybody’s guess. This is quite evident from the fact that the defence ministry has returned a whopping Rs 16,000 crores to the centre without spending it.

    The government has the mind to waive thousands of crores of loans of farmers and others and it has the mind to throwaway thousands of crores on freebies, but it doesn’t have the required responsibility to address the genuine grievances of the veterans thereby allocating a few hundred crores, which is a pittance when compared with the huge funds allocated to other services.

    No nation in the world insults its soldiers, but the UPA government has earned the infamy of doing precisely that. It has not only insulted the soldiers, but also brought shame to the nation itself.

    The civil and paramilitary departments are given a better deal than the military, which is doing a great service of taking care of the nation’s security and protecting its people in the toughest of environment. Patriotism is needed to respect, honour and treat the military well and the UPA government doesn’t have it.
    Un-Patriotic Alliance

    Tuesday, February 10, 2009

    IESM: 08 Feb 2009 Rally- Congratulatory Messages

    Respected Chairman & IESM Core members,
    Congratulations. The IESM has done a marvelous job. Myself and my family members moved in tears to see the surrendering of medals by our beloved senior officers and men. The IESM has really made a history. This is the first time a clear and detailed memorandum/ demands has been submitted to the Government with full justification.

    I, on behalf of the exservicemen in Tamilnadu, salute to the entire team of the IESM lead by Lt.Gen.(Emeritus)Raj Kadyan. Long Live IESM. May God bless all with good health and happiness with their families.

    Best Wishes,
    Thank u Sir,
    Yours Sincerely,
    C.Muthukrishnan (Ex Sgt)
    Former Gen Secy. Tirunelveli Dist.Exsm. Wel.Assn.
    Tirunelveli Tamilnadu and Author of One famous Pension Guide Book in Tamil named "Pension Ungal Nanban".

    Dear Chander and the rest,
    My heartiest congratulations and compliments to Raj Kadyan, Satbir ,Renjen, you(Chander) and all Members of the Core Team and all Others who contributed to the success of this Rally and the Movement so far. I salute you all.

    This has been a brilliant display of tenacity of purpose, perseverence, good tactics and 'missionary' leadership.

    Bravo. Still a long road ahead but you have shown that the 'argumentative Indian Veterans' can be galvanized into action. Keep up the 'fight for justice' in a sensible soldierly way, as hitherto. May God bless you all.
    Yoginder Sharma
    Lt Gen YN Sharma, Former Army Commander

    Lt Gen Sher Amir Singh, Former QMG, Mhow

    Dear Friends,
    You all have earned the credit of this ''Grand Rally'' due to your hard work, dedication, motivation and team work. You have also been successful in motivating large number of veterans to join this great movement/ rally, inspite of all odds, without which this great show would not have been possible.
    Well done and keep it up.
    Gp Capt Jaspal Bhinder

    Dear General,
    Heartiest congratulations for the grand success of the IESM Rally at Jantar Mantar on 08 Feb 09. It was also heartening to know that finally IESL too agreed to extend their support. This success will convince all that united they can galvanise a groundswell that will hard for the media and government to ignore.

    Brig Kamboj has been assiduoulsy doing a great mobilising effort and our combined congratulations and thanks are due to him as well. A great job well accomplished. Much more is yet to be done but now you are on the fast track and destination is in sight. Carry on regardless!
    Wishing you continued success.
    Col Karan Kharb

    Dear IESM Core Members,
    Congratulations. IESM has created history- a date an imprint a footstep which will remain forever etched in our mind. We have seen what unity of purpose can achieve.

    One is really moved to tears about the surrender of medals... Our dream and hope is that the Nation redeems and restores honour and diginity to a soldier.

    We and our families are extremely proud of IESM and what it has achieved in such a short span of time. God bless.
    James Kanagaraj
    Moderator Report My Signal Blog

    Ex-serviceman files RTI plea over 'one rank one pension' issue

    Dear all,
    Indo-Asian News Service (IANS) has released following RTI story this eveining that has been picked up by many news websites. Will have to wait and see if any Print Media picks it up. Please read link below.
    Cmde LK Batra
    Click Link: Ex-serviceman files RTI plea over 'one rank one pension' issue

    New Delhi, Feb 9, 2009
    Disillusioned with the system, a former naval officer Monday filed an application under Right to Information (RTI) Act asking the government on what basis was the demand for 'one rank one pension' overlooked. 'In 2008, the defence minister in a written reply to a question told parliament that the government has not found acceptable the demand of ex-servicemen for one rank one pension. Through RTI Act, I want to get the details as to how the government reached the decision,' Commodore (retired) Lokesh K. Batra told IANS.

    'I want to know the replies of the senior officials of Indian forces on the question. I also want to inspect the files concerned with the said parliament 'question' and follow-up actions taken,' Batra said.

    More than 300 retired soldiers of varying ranks Sunday marched to Rashtrapati Bhavan and returned medals won in combat and for distinguished service as they sought equal pension for each rank. Earlier in the day, they had gathered at the Jantar Mantar observatory in the heart of New delhi to protest, which some even termed as a black day for the Indian armed forces.

    President Pratibha Patil did not personally receive the medals, which were collected by some of her officials. The soldiers, who also included three-star generals, marched under the banner of the Indian Ex-servicemen's Movement (IEM).

    The main demand of the protesters is that irrespective of the date on which a soldier retires, he or she should get the same pension.

    An army sepoy who retired before 1996 gets a monthly pension of Rs.3,670. But one who retired between 1996 and December 2005 gets Rs.4,680. A sepoy who retired after January 2006 gets Rs.8,700.

    Effectively then, an army havildar, who retired earlier, gets pension money that is less than that of a sepoy retiring after January 2006 though the havildar enjoys a higher rank. The mismatch applies to all ranks.

    'Most IAS (Indian Administrative Service) officers, judges, governors, MPs and even the president enjoy this right (of one rank one pension),' pointed out one retired soldier.

    The government has rejected the 'one rank one pension' demand, saying that it will entail huge financial costs. --- IANS

    IESM: Surrender of Medals- Bureaucracy shrouded in mystery and secrecy

    Having been one of the three people who had done the job of putting addresses and name slips in the plastic bags, bagging the medals being returned and logging the name and address of the veteran in a register, I was asked to be one of the eight persons asked to escort the Medals Carton to the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

    We loaded the carton in a Police Gypsy and the eight of us nominated to escort the carton got in the two Gypsies that were to take us there, unfortunately, one Veteran – name unknown, but who had identified himself as being ex-Bombay Sappers – also got into the Gypsy when his name was not there! It took a considerable amount of cajoling, requesting and persuasion to convince him that only those so nominated would be allowed inside the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

    Once that was sorted out, we proceeded to Gate No 2 of the Rashtrapati Bhavan. After the carton had been removed from the Gypsy, we were told that it would need to be Security checked and cleared. We informed the Security people there that it was, obviously, full of metals since all the medals were there! So, they promptly summoned a 'sniffer' who carried a rather sophisticated looking sensing machine on his shoulder. The gentleman rubbed a small round piece of paper on the sides of the carton and then offered it for a 'sniff' to the machine. Almost instantly, he declared that the carton was 'safe' and did not carry any explosives. My mutter "Just some explosive emotions" did not elicit a smile, unfortunately!

    We then trooped into the Reception, where we were duly met by the Deputy Secretary to the President, Mr Rana, his assistant and the person Incharge of Security. We requested this latter gentleman permission to take a photograph or two of the handing over of the medals. This was firmly refused. I then requested that we be allowed to take a picture of the eight escorts with the carton outside the reception, at least. This permission too was refused, with the Security gent unwittingly telling me that he has clear instructions to not let that happen. We then requested them to kindly call their in-house security cleared photographer so that we could request him for a picture or two. At this, we were informed that as today was a Sunday, there was no photographer available. Mind you, this when there were at the very least about fifteen other Rashtrapati Bhavan staff floating about!

    We were then offered a cup of tea and some snacks – which we courteously refused to partake, informing Mr Rana that this was not a moment of celebration for us Veterans but rather a very solemn and unhappy moment, akin to us being at the Nigambodh Ghats for our last rites as that is how much these medals mean to a Veteran or a serving person!

    We all sipped a glass of water that was then offered to us and after making a detailed list of the eight escorts, we were ferried back to the Jantar Mantar site by the Police Gypsies. The people who escorted the Medals Carton were:
    1. Mrs Shiksha Bhardwaj, mother of Shaheed Capt Umang Bhardwaj, Shaurya Chakra
    2. Col Kirit Joshi
    3. Wg Cdr CK Sharma
    4. Col Kanwar Bhardwaj, SM
    5. Lt Col AK Saxena, Vice President IESM
    6. Capt Om Prakash
    7. CPO RS Chauhan
    8. Cpl Jaswant Singh Kumbra

    Warm Regards
    CK Sharma
    Wg Cdr CK Sharma, Member Steering Committee, IESM

    IESM: Fast for Justice Rally- fifty fourth day

    Dear Colleagues,
    The Jantar Mantar effort continues. Local Gurgaon ESM are holding the reins today.
    Media Coverage
    The print media covered the rally extensively today. It may be rare to see all the mainstream dailies – Times of India, HT, Indian Express, Statesman – give prominent coverage to the event. This is of course in addition to The Tribune, Navbharat Times, Dainik Jagran, Delhi Jagran, Hari Bhoomi and many others. I do hope the authorities take heed. The visual media continues to show-case our demands. In fact I am on my way back from Sahara studio and am sending this from the car. General PN Hoon was holding court at Mumbai and I was hooked on from here. It is heartening to see total support for us from the public. Farukhabad in UP held a similar rally on 8th Feb where threy surrendered hundreds of medals and handed these over to the DC. Well done!
    IESM Organisational Structure
    We need to build up the structure at State and Distt level so that we can pursue ESM matters more comprehensively. I suggest ESM send names of consensus candidates of State/Distt conveners to enable us to weave the structure.
    I am off to Bangalore 10 Feb 2009 to attend the inauguration of the war memorial. Later in the evening the batchmates are having a gathering hosted by Vivek Bopiah at his abode – God bless the military culture. This is what sets us apart from others.
    Best regards,

    Lt Gen (Emeritus) Raj Kadyan
    Chairman IESM


    1. The protest rally by Ex Servicemen around Thanjavur was organized in support of our veteran bretherens on relay fast at Jantar Mantar,New Delhi for One Rank One Pension.The protest rally was organized on 7 Feb 09 instead of 8 Feb 09 because maximum Ex-Servicemen could be mustered on a working day and media coverage could be organized accordingly.

    2. The timings of the event was from 1030 hrs to 1300 hrs as there were a number of protest rally by other political parties
    in support of Srilankan Tamils..

    3. The protest rally was organized in the heart of the town at a prominent market place and maximum weekend crowd was present during rally. By 1100 hrs most Ex-Servicemem had reached the venue and members of the press and media were briefed on the adverse effect of non grant of OROP and anomalies in Sixth Pay Commision.The office bearers addressed the gathering and explained to them on the contents of the e-mails received from IESM organization from time to time. The protest rally was very peaceful and no loud speakers were used. The ex-servicemen disbursed to their villages and homes with a faint hope that their genuine demand of OROP will soon see some light.

    Lt Col(Retd)Ranga Raj Jairam.

    Photographs Farukhabad ESM

    Monday, February 9, 2009

    Counter Terrorism for the common man

    Dear Friends,

    I have been writing for the Garhwal Post, a local daily. This is my third on the subject of Counter Terrorism for the Common Man. This was published last Sunday, 08 Feb 2009. You may like to glance through it. Kindly click here

    Thought I will share it with you.

    With regards.
    Lt Gen KK Khanna
    Former Commandant IMA and Former MGGS and COS Northern Command

    Army an unattractive career option: Kapoor

    Press Trust of India
    Monday, February 09, 2009, (New Delhi)
    Army Chief General Deepak Kapoor feels the armed forces are an "unattractive" career option for the country's youth and is looking at steps to counter that image.

    "It does worry the Army chief....very much," he said when asked about the Army's plans to fill up the 11,000-odd vacancies in the officer cadre and the dwindling number of youth wanting to join the armed forces.

    "The armed forces have, after a study, come to the conclusion that the army is not too attractive as a career for a young man, who is looking for employment...for good productive life," Kapoor said in an interview.

    To reach out to the youth, the Army has in the recent times proposed to make the Short Service Commission (SSC) an attractive option for the youth by encouraging them to go for additional qualification such as a Doctorate or an MBA to enhance opportunities in the private sector when they leave the force.

    It had also moved another proposal to send the SSC officers for higher command courses to enable them to continue as permanent officers. These courses were hitherto offered only to regular officers.

    Another plan was to provide the SSC officers 'gratuity' for the 14-year service in the Army that would make some funds available to them as a buffer when they left the service.

    Patriotism as a motivation for the youth is not so strong today as it was soon after the country's independence, Kapoor said, pointing out that priorities of the youth were very different now.
    More: Army an unattractive career option: Kapoor

    Gallantry Awards - sans bravery

    This years’ Republic Day awards have diluted and corrupted the system. We are being carried away by the media. I am confident that none of the defence personnel both serving and retired would approve dishing out these to policemen. We have forgotten the Defence Services Regulation.

    How about the men of Border Roads Organisation who worked under the constant threat of Taliban and completed one of the most challenging tasks in Afghanistan? Every day soldiers are doing some of the most challenging tasks which a normal human being will never even think of attempting because of the risk involved. A patrol in mountains during a blizzard, demining, removal of blind bombs, clearance of landslides, rescue of flood marooned- the list goes on. The system has done great injustice to all those people who have displayed courage.

    In Mumbai, a NSG commando to clear a terrorist enters the hotel room knowing fully well that he is going to be shot at. When he is faster than the terrorist and shoots him down, his courage as per the system is less than the one who gets shot in a similar situation. How can one compare? One fails to understand! The martyred gets the highest award and the courageous and fast commando will have to wait for the next opportunity to be martyred to receive such an award posthumously.

    Lt Gen (Retd)KS Rao,PVSM,SC,SM
    Arjuna Awardee
    Controversy hits awards for 26/11 cops

    Army Veterans to Return Medals Over Pension Row

    PTI Photo/ Manvender Vashist
    Lt Gen Raj Kalyan shows his gallantry medals before returning them to the President Pratibha Patil demanding the implementation of 'one-rank-one-payment'

    Outlook India, New Delhi | Feb 08, 2009

    After the government rejected the ex-servicemen's demand of 'One Rank One Pension', several retired officers and jawans have decided to return their gallantry medals to the President on Sunday.

    "Over 300 general rank officers along with 10,000 officers and jawans have decided to return their medals to the Government. Why should we keep our medals with us when the establishment does not have any respect for us?" said Vice Chairman of the Indian Ex servicemen Movement (IESM) Maj (Gen retd) Satbir Singh said.

    He said the protesting ex-servicemen will gather at Jantar Mantar here and pack their medals in sacks and surrender them to the President.

    Since the President is not in the capital, the medals would be handed over to a senior officer at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, Singh said.

    Beside the mass-surrender of medals, the veterans would take out a three-kilometre-long protest march starting and terminating at Jantar Mantar.

    Members of IESM has been sitting on a relay hunger strike at Jantar Mantar since December 16 last year.

    During the last Parliament session, Government had stated that it was not contemplating providing 'One rank, One pension' to similarly placed officers and jawans after their retirement.

    With the pay commissions increasing the pay of armed forces and security personnel every 10 years, the gap between the pension received by those who retired before the implementation of the respective commissions widened.

    Similarly placed retired officers (with same ranks and number of years of service) were receiving different amounts as pension, which has been opposed by lakhs of ex-servicemen all across the country.
    Army Veterans to Return Medals Over Pension Row, New Delhi

    Soldiers protest pension anomaly, return medals

    Devashree Mahajan / CNN-IBN

    ON WARPATH: Veteran soldiers gathered in New Delhi on Sunday to protest government's apathy.

    New Delhi: Retired defence services personnel held a protest in New Delhi demanding equal pension. The veteran soldiers are so tired with the government's apathy that they are marched to the Rashtrapati Bhavan to return their bravery medals to President Pratibha Devisingh Patil.
    "With every pay commission the salaries and pension keeps going up. But they are not given to past pensioners," said Lieutenant General Raj Kadyan, chairman of the Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement.
    Lieutenant General (retired) Kadyan was just one of the many ex-servicemen present at the protest march angered at the pay disparity in the armed forces
    And as a sign of protest, the pensioners parted with their most prized possession - the gallantry award presented to them for their bravery and selfless service.
    It was done to demand the implementation of the "one rank one pension" scheme.
    "This is what makes us feel frustrated. It is time we want to tell the government that enough is enough," said Wing Commander (retired) Chandrashekhar.
    "I joined Navy and after that my son refused to join after seeing all this," said a former Navy official GS Beniwal.
    The ex-servicemen, including all ranks from the armed forces took out a protest rally at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi and then collected their medals and sent it to the President.
    "This is not for myself or for my wife or my son who was sacrificed for the nation. It is for my brothers," said Colonel (retired) Kanwal Bharadwaj, a Sena Medal winner whose son Captain Umang Bharadwaj fell to terrorists' bullets in Kashmir in 2002 and was posthumously awarded Shaurya Chakra.
    The demand of the ex-servicemen is almost 25 years old but there is no conclusion in sight yet.
    With elections round the corner, the officers are hoping the government will dissolve the disparity existing at various levels.
    The ex-servicemen returned their medals to the President and pledged that they would not take them back till their demands are met. One rank one pension is what they had been demanding for a long time now.
    Soldiers protest pension anomaly, return medals

    Report from Mysore
    Maj. Gen. Vombatkere pointed out that Defence personnel, who are under the Military Law, cannot have an association or a union for collective bargaining, but since the veterans are not under the law it becomes their bounden duty to highlight the injustices meted out to serving personnel as well. The demonstration will also serve to highlight the status and salary of the serving military personnel in comparison to their counterparts in the civil services.
    Click here to read more: Demand for one rank one pension- Mysore

    IESM: Fast for Justice Rally- Congratulatory Message

    Congratulations to all the organizers of the rally at Jantar Mantar on 8 Feb 2009. It was indeed a great success as a result of meticulous planing and execution.

    I would also like to congratulate all those veterans who came to participate in the Rally from far off places and Delhi. You all took so much trouble in the cold weather. It just shows that we all believe in the cause and feel so strongly about the high handedness of the bureaucrats, who have been misleading the Ministers.



    Let us flood the media with Letters to the Editors and write ups bringing out the machinations of the bureaucracy in order to remain supreme but not be accountable. All so called SYSTEMIC Failures like the one in Mumbai in Nov Terrorist attacks are due to their inefficient ways of working and not being punished for such glaring lapses..

    One such letter addressed to some Editors is posted below.

    Harbhajan Singh
    Lt Gen (PVSM) Signal Officer-in-Chief 1988-91

    Letter to the Editors


    The readers would have by now come to know about the mess created by the bureaucracy as regards the pays and pensions of the Defence Services. As a result the Defence Services Chiefs did not implement the Government Orders immediately and had to instead refer these back to the Government a number of times for issuing amendments and modifications. This has resulted in creating a sense of mutual distrust between the bureaucracy/ political leaders in power and the Defence Services hierarchy. Ex Servicemen have been thoroughly disappointed and angered. They have been on fast near Jantar Mantar for over 6 weeks. On 8 Feb 2009, a big rally was held in New Delhi, in which nearly 10,000 Ex Servicemen from a number of states participated. They returned their Medals to the Supreme Commander, President of India as a mark of protest. This does not bode well for the Nation and guardians of the Nation’s Security.

    One of the glaring anomalies/ omissions contained in the orders issued by the Government was that a pre 2006 retiree Jawan gets more pension than a Non Commissioned Officer and Lt Gen, Maj Gen and Brigadier gets lesser pension than a Colonel!! Can there be a more absurd and laughable decision and order issued by the Ministry of Defence run by bureaucrats!! How can any sane person think that a senior person will get lesser pension than a junior!!

    The worry is, how can the Nation leave the control and running of the three Defence Services as also other matters dealing with National security in the hands of such incompetent bureaucrats, who ultimately advise the Ministers and work out nitty gritty of orders to be issued!! No wonder there are glaring deficiencies in the main equipments and weapon platforms and systems in the Army, Navy and the Air Force, jeopardizing the security of the nation.

    There is a dire need to change the system of bureaucratic functioning and making them more responsive to the departments they deal with and accountable for deficiencies in these departments, otherwise India’s survival and progress is at stake. Unfortunately, they act more as a hindrance than facilitators for departments they control.

    A Commission of Enquiry needs to be set up to investigate why the 6th Pay Commission Report was so lop sided in favor of the IAS and how glaring anomalies were introduced by the bureaucrats in the orders issued which have generated so much dissatisfaction.

    Jai Hind
    Lt Gen Harbhajan Singh, PVSM (Retd)
    (Former Signal Officer in Chief)


    Mumbai Mayhem: Response to terror would be swift

    Press Trust of India

    Sunday, February 08, 2009 9:16 PM (New Delhi)
    "Zero tolerance" policy would be pursued in tackling terrorism and our response to any terror attack would be "swift, decisive, determined and strong", Home Minister P Chidambaram said on Sunday.

    "We have set for ourselves two goals. To raise the level of preparedness to meet any terror attack and our response should be strong, swift, determined and decisive to any such act," Chidambaram said addressing the Block and District Congress Presidents' convention in New Delhi.

    He said, "our policy towards terror is of zero tolerance and we will pursue this policy till we wipe out this menace".

    Referring to the various kinds of terror threats the country was facing, Chidambaram said, "We face terror from groups that seek to profess Jihadi terror. We face terror threats from groups that seek support in religion. There are militants who claim that Hindu militancy is a way to go and way to defend India."

    "Let me make it clear that there is no stigma being a Hindu, Sikh, Christian, Muslim or even a non-believer but irrespective of religion, whoever takes to the gun, the path of terror, is an enemy of the state and he or she has to be met squarely." The minister referred to three kinds of threats to internal security of the country.
    Response to terror would be swift: India

    IESM: Fast for Justice Rally Jantar Mantar- fifty third day

    Photos by Col TN Baba

    Date: Sunday, 8 February, 2009, 8:16 PM

    Dear All,
    It was a bright sunny day, one could see the smile of confidence, and we shall succeed attitude on all the old horses of The Valiant Indian Armed Forces with their medals speaking for the person adorning them.

    Probably very few who were to attend the rally could have slept the night before and when I reached the venue early morning at 8 AM was surprised to see the place full of Veterans from The Valley Dehra Dun led by Lt Gen Rawat in 3 bus loads already sitting gracefully.

    Slowly and gradually the place was becoming a colourful parade of old soldiers from all states making the entry into the arena and taking the rightful place on the daris in front of the Dias........ ....Much before the start time of 11 AM it looked that the entire area would be swept by the soldiers of the past. I soon lost count of which state reps were making the colourful entry with full throttled Jai Hinds....there were soon thousands of ex-service men in the area by 12 noon.

    The media was present in full strength as early as 8 AM and each trying to broadcast max news of the event as to what has led the disciplined ex uniformed men to this state.

    We had the 90 yrs old young agile World War II veteran Col MS Krishnamoorthy and the old horse Gen Cardozo pumping in the old josh with many 3 stars from the 3 services joining in. There was a lady a daughter of Brig Lahri VrC ex 1st Garhwal who had come all the way from a remote corner of Delhi to be with the ex service men. There were many such unsung participants. Thanks to them all.

    One could see old comrades exchanging notes and the grit written on every ones face...the air was time and again filled with Jai Hinds and Jai Bharat...which eye was not moist when mother of Late Capt Umesh Bhardwaj the Shaurya Chakra awardee spoke and showed the coveted medal she was about to part with...must be real tragic after giving the son to the nation and now the only memory of the medal..../ Son.

    There after it was a chain of ex service men marching along the 3 km route as orderly as one could imagine from the discipline in our blood led by all the Veterans as graceful as ever led by Gen Kadyan.

    Some of the senior veterans went off to the Rashtrapati Bhawan to return the medals which we so dearly love with tears in our eyes.

    To those who stayed at home and missed the moment which cannot be described and only felt there will always be a next be on the look out....and come next time... as it is a long journey... till we achieve our AIM... OROP.

    Cdr Sharan Ahuja (Retd)
    Member Core Group IESM

    Ex-servicemen return medals to President

    Photos by Col TN Baba

    BS Reporter / New Delhi February 09, 2009, 0:57 IST
    An ex-serviceman, who once served in the Dogra Regiment and retired as a Subedar of the Indian Army, walked up to a “collection box” placed at the capital’s Jantar Mantar, and deposited his prized possessions — his military medals. And he was not alone. Around 250 soldiers, including officers, deposited their military medals as a mark of protest against pension anomalies. The medals, were returned to President Pratibha Patil, the commander-in-chief of the Indian armed forces, at Rashtrapati Bhavan today.

    Gathering under the aegis of the Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement (IESM), the ex-servicemen are disillusioned since their demand for “one-rank, one-pension” (OROP) has not been implemented by the government. The ex-soldiers’ demand under the OROP is: “Two individuals retiring after equal length of service and from the same rank must get equal pension.”

    The Pay Commission’s recommendations for a hike in pension for retiring armed forces personnel did not have retrospective effect. The IESM said that a Havildar who retired before January 1, 2006 would receive Rs 5,239 as pension, but a Havildar retiring in 2006 or thereafter would receive Rs 8,030. Similarly, a Brigadier’s pension would be Rs 26,150 or Rs 31,170 depending on whether he retired before or during/after 2006.

    The disparity manifests not just between pensioners of the same rank, but between pensioners of different ranks. For example, a Havildar, who is of a higher rank than a Sepoy, would draw Rs 5,008 pension if he retired before 1996. His pension would be 37 per cent lesser than the pension of a Sepoy (Rs 6,860) who retired in 2006.

    Wing Commander (retired) C K Sharma, who was overseeing the collection of the returned medals, said the IESM had been holding a hunger strike since December 16, 2008, but the government had been indifferent to its views.

    Speakers who addressed the hundreds of soldiers at the IESM rally today, said ex-servicemen had been given a raw deal, considering that the OROP's equivalent principle was applicable to parliamentarians, members of the state legislators and judges. Civil servants with designations of secretaries, special secretaries and other senior posts were also beneficiaries under the provision of 'fixed salaries', said an IESM statement.

    Political parties have taken note of the demands made by ex-servicemen, but it has remained in the election manifestos only. The Congress, too, listed OROP in its manifesto for the 2004 elections, but the United Progressive Alliance government has not addressed this issue, said a retired Army officer. Highlighting the plight of jawans, he said a recommendation that jawans, who usually retire in their mid-30s, could be given lateral entry into the paramilitary forces or the police has also been rejected by the Centre.
    Ex-servicemen return medals to President

    New Delhi, Feb 8 (IANS) More than 300 retired soldiers of varying ranks Sunday marched to the Rashtrapati Bhavan and returned medals won in combat and for distinguished service as they sought equal pension for each rank. The veterans were among the thousands who had gathered earlier in the day at the Jantar Mantar observatory in the heart of the capital for a protest that some said marked a black day for the Indian armed forces.

    President Pratibha Patil did not personally receive the medals, which were collected by some of her officials.

    “Our main demand is ‘one rank one pension’. As a mark of protest we are returning the medals to the president. A soldier wears his medal with pride but we are left with no choice,” former army deputy chief Lt. Gen. Raj Kadyan told IANS. The president is supreme commander of the armed forces.

    Kadyan held the Param Vishisht Seva Medal, the Ati-Vishisht Seva Medal and the Vishisht Seva Medal — all of which he surrendered Sunday.

    The soldiers, who also included three-star generals, marched under the banner of the Indian Ex-servicemen’s Movement (IEM).

    The march was led by Shiksha Bharadwaj, mother of Captain Umang Bharadwaj. Her son was killed by terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir in 2002 and he was posthumously awarded Shaurya Chakra.

    Umang’s father, Col Kanwal Bharadwaj, a Sena Medal winner, accompanied her and other former soldiers.

    “When you are not able to meet two ends, the medal is of no consequence,” Col Bharadwaj said. “The government did not pay any heed to our demand. We had to take this step.”

    The main demand of the protestors is that irrespective of the date on which a soldier retires, he or she should get the same pension.

    An army sepoy who retired before 1996 gets a monthly pension of Rs.3,670. But one who retired between 1996 and December 2005 gets Rs.4,680. A sepoy who retired after January 2006 gets Rs.8,700.

    Effectively then, an army havildar, who retired earlier, gets pension money that is less than that of a sepoy retiring after January 2006 though the havildar enjoys a higher rank. The mismatch applies to all ranks.

    “Most IAS (Indian Administrative Service) officers, judges, governors, MPs and even the president enjoy this right (of one rank one pension),” pointed out one retired soldier.

    The government has rejected the ‘one rank one pension’ demand, saying that it will entail huge financial costs.
    Ex-servicemen return gallantry medals over pension: The Hindu

    Related news
    Ex-servicemen return gallantry medals over pension
    Ex-servicemen protest over pension parity; return medals
    Ex-armymen protest over pension parity, return medals


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