Saturday, March 7, 2009

ESM Organisations are bound by Society Registration Act of 1860

Date: Thursday, 5 March, 2009, 11:03 AM
Brig C S Kamboj
1. Please refer to your email dt 28 Feb 2009 about Maj Gen Bikram Singh AVSM**, former President IESL joining IESM.
2. Copy of a letter received from the officer is forwarded herewith. May I request you to insert it on the Blog on priority as was done in the case of his joining IESM, thereby, removing the misconception from the minds of Defence Veterans. It should remove all misunderstanding/ disinformation/ celebrations campaigned.
Brig R K S Gulia (V) IA
Indian Ex-Services League
THE SOCIETIES REGISTRATION ACT, 1860 ACT NO. 21 OF 1860 [21st May, 1860.]
Society Act of 1860

Comments: ESM have the option of joining any Veteran Organisations. There is no restriction in being member of IESL, IESM or any other at the same time. No registered organisation can inihibit or limit a Veterans freedom to be member of multiple organisations as long its charter is within the Indian Society Act of 1860. If an ESM has opted to be member of IESM there is no necessity to give up membership of IESL (converse is also true) as both are Welfare Organistions with similar Bye- Laws contained in the Memorandum of Association. One does not see any conflict! There is urgent need for Veterans to work in unison.

Mumbai Mayhem: Attacks show rise of terror culture

The Mumbai terrorist attacks in India suggest the possibility of an escalating terrorist campaign in South Asia and the rise of a strategic terrorist culture, according to a study issued today by the RAND Corporation.

The RAND study identifies the operational and tactical features of the attack, evaluates the response of Indian security forces, and analyzes the implications for India, Pakistan and the United States.

“India will continue to face a serious jihadist threat from Pakistan-based terrorist groups, and neither Indian nor U.S. policy is likely to reduce that threat in the near future,” said Angel Rabasa, lead author of the study and a senior political scientist with RAND, a nonprofit research organization. “Other extremist groups in Pakistan likely will find inspiration in the Mumbai attacks, and we can expect more attacks with high body counts and symbolic targets.”

Mumbai is India's commercial and entertainment center, and the attacks on landmark properties amplified the psychological impact, according to the report. The selection of multiple targets — Americans, Britons and Jews, as well as Indians — suggests that the terrorists intended the attack to serve multiple objectives that extended beyond the terrorists' previous focus on Kashmir and India.

“The defining characteristic of the Mumbai attack, and what makes it so alarming, is not just the ruthless killing, but the meticulous planning and preparation that went into the operation,” said Brian Michael Jenkins, a leading terrorism expert and senior advisor at RAND.

“The goal was not only to slaughter as many people as possible, but to target specific groups of people and facilities with political, cultural and emotional value. This indicates a level of strategic thought — a strategic culture — that poses a difficult challenge: not whether we can outgun the terrorists, but can we outthink them?”

Other authors of the study are former U.S. Ambassador to India Robert Blackwill, now a senior fellow at RAND; Peter Chalk, Kim Cragin, C. Christine Fair, Seth Jones, Nathaniel Shestak, all of RAND, and Ashley Tellis, a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
Read more:
Mumbai Terrorist Attacks Show Rise of Strategic Terrorist Culture
Dear All
The above is an article on the study of Mumbai Attacks undertaken by RAND corporation. I dont know if some one will ever do such a study in India but may be someone who is likely to be an adviser on the future security set up can use this study.
Pathak (Veteran)

Women cadets win laurels at AFMC: Happy Womens Day

6 Mar 2009, 0458 hrs IST, Prasad Kulkarni, TNN
PUNE: Just two days before the International Women's Day, women officers in the passing out batch of the Armed Forces Medical College (AFMC) here on Thursday won accolades by bagging 26 of the 43 awards. In addition to this, woman cadet Harleen Chopra commanded the passing out parade for the first time in the history of the Indian armed forces, said AFMC spokesperson Lt Col Abhijeet Rudra.

According to Lt Col Rudra, the women bagged awards, including gold, silver and bronze medals, in various categories because of their performance. Some of the cadets won certificate of merit awards for their academic performance. The awards they won also include the President's Gold Medal for the best all-round outgoing medical cadet of the year 2008, maj gen kewal krishna memorial gold medal, Maj Gen pp chowdhary rolling trophy and silver medal, Kalinga Trophy and the Rao Sahab Itto Krishnaji Chavan memorial gold medal.

The President's Gold Medal was awarded to medical cadet Gurpreet Kaur. She will be doing her internship at the Military Hospital in Jalandhar. "I wanted to join the armed forces and my father wanted me to be a doctor. After getting selected in the AFMC and becoming an officer today, both these dreams have come true," said Kaur, who hails from Fazilka, a small village in Punjab. Kaur said she wants to work in the pediatric department.
Women cadets win laurels at AFMC

Mumbai Mayhem: How concerned are we about our Jawans?

Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan, Ashok Chakra

All Mumbai warriors, who fought the terrorists on 26 Nov 2008 have been allotted a CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) station each by the Petroleum Ministry. Maj Unni's father has donated the allotted CNG station to AWWA (Army Wives Welfare Association) for running and spending the profit on the welfare of Jawans..
Hats off to the great father- son duo for their sacrifice.
Brigadier PT Gangadharan, Guards (veteran)

Comment: AWWA will be doing a yeoman welfare service if more and more ESM are given employment in lieu of active serving personnel as Army has deserted AWWA click here. The aims and goals are:
AWWA is a cohesive, well-knit organisation moving steadily towards identified goals. It is a means and platform where collective energy of all members is channelised into achieving its set goals. AWWA reaches out to army personnel, their wives, widows and children in solving their problems in daily lives.
AWWA- a truly vibrant & active organisation, continuously involved in welfare activities, whether in time of war or peace.
Asha, Wishwas, Astha with the two doves is a significant symbol of AWWA. A ray of " Hope"- Asha" with unbound " Trust-Wishwas" together with a new "Confidence-Astha" for every member of this large Army Family.
AWWA Stands for Sharing and Caring with abundant " hope, trust and confidence". The logo - Two doves flying to meet the challenges was designed in 1998.
Army deserts AWWA

IESM: Fast for Justice Rally- seventy ninth day

IESM team enrolling members at ECHS Polyclinic, Noida on 06 Mar 2009

Col KK Malhotra, Cdr Sharan Ahuja and Col VK Sekhri

Date: Friday, 6 March, 2009, 10:00 PM
Dear Colleagues,
Jhajjar (Haryana) are in charge of the Jantar Mantar venue.
New Members
Thanks to the untiring efforts of Brig Kamboj, Col Vijay Sekhri, Col Kewal Malhotra, Maj Gen Kataria, Brig Kaul, Col RP Chaturvedi and Cdr Chopra, the following new members have enrolled themselves into the IESM family:
1. Col SK Nandrajog
2. Col Mohinder Singh
3. Col RN Sehgal
4. Col BD Bhanot
5. Maj Gen MR Sabharwal
6. Maj Gen Prithvi Raj Dhingra
7. Lt Col VB Arya
8. Lt Col GS Boparai
9. Brig KK Lakhanpal
10. Col Rajesh Kawatra
11. Brig JL Anand
12. Lt Col Raj KumarJetly
13. Brig AK Adlakha
14. Brig VK Mahajan
15. Hav Tej Bahadur
16. Brig SC Kuthiala
17. Col Ajai Kumar Dewan
18. Col JML Kapoor
19. Lt Col CS Sirohi
20. Veteran MC Arora
21. Veteran Harbindar Babbr
1. Vice Adm AR Tandon
2. Cmde Jankiraman Ganesh
Air Force
1. Wg cdr Reginald Mukha
We extend a hearty welcome to all of them.

I would like to offer an apology. The large and expanding IESM family is lucky to have members who are all known for original thinking, their perspicacity and analytical ability. We are greatly benefiting from their views and I am sure the inflow would continue. However, do allow me to make a submission. With so many incoming emails, the Core Group members are finding it difficult to cope with the load and devote the required time to all the emails. The problem gets sharpened when we travel out – which may further increase in the near future. It becomes a herculean task to catch up with the backlog. This is despite the fact that we have even been working on emails on laptops even while on the move. Kindly help us by:
1. Keeping the emails short (unlike this mail). Most contemporary topics have a clear pro and con stance. It is not necessary to support your views by lengthy arguments that have already been given by others, albeit in different words.
2. Clearly stating the subject. Quite often the subject remains the same even though the tenor of discussion has totally changed. After reading a few mails on a particular subject, in the rush of work one may have tendency to omit opening emails carrying the same heading. It would be preferable yo use subjects like, ‘Changing the term OROP - view for/ against’, ‘Depositing of medals – view for/against’ ‘Aligning with a political party - view for/against’, ‘Legal route - view for/against’ etc.
3. Showing Patience. Most of us do make it a point to send an ack to all relevant incoming emails. Since decisions are generally based on majority input, everyone’s views cannot be accommodated. If there is no further communication, it should be taken to mean the sender’s view has not found favour with the majority and not that it has been ignored.
4. Having Faith in the Core Group. It is not my contention that we do everything right. But we always try to act in the interest of the ESM. Our actions may be wrong, but our intentions should never be doubted.
5. Not being overly Sensitive. If a member thinks we have gone wrong by not responding to his email in time, he should tick us off but should avoid sulking.
Best regards,
Lt Gen (Emeritus) Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
Chairman IESM
Give us our due, say ex-servicemen

Comment by JP Singh
Friday, 27 February 2009 08:52:25
The Netas in our country, many with criminal backgrounds, are there only to promote themselves and their families. And of course amass ill-gotten wealth and properties. If we Veterans want to be heard, we have to adopt the methods used by these very same Netas, for that is the only language they understand. I leave it to our organizers to device stronger methods of driving their point home, and expand the ranks of our movement nationwide. As regards our bitter bureaucrats, the high flying Babus, NOTHING should ever be expected from them. They need a strong dose of their own medicine which We need to administer more forcefully. So let us ALL join together and strengthen the hands of our Veterans Organisations. (version slightly edited by deleting harsh language)
Ex-servicemen return medals over pension parity issue

Friday, March 6, 2009

IESM: Fast for Justice Rally- seventy eighth day

Pan Hybrid map to locate Rally site at Hamirpur
Date: Thursday, 5 March, 2009, 11:07 PM

Dear Colleagues,
Our ESM from Jhajjar (Haryana) are in charge of the Jantar Mantar venue.
Gen Satbir, Gen Renjen, Col Krit Joshipura, Col Kanwar Bhardwaj, Gen Jaini, Col Tyagi and self attended the ESM meet at Hamirpur in HP today. It was a huge gathering of 2000 including 300 families that had come from far and near. One has rarely seen a rally so well organised, so disciplined and so highly motivated. Our grateful thanks to Sqn Ldr Dhiman and his team for organising it. There was unanimous support fot the cause being pursued by the IESM.
A mobile telephone No 09313161596 with only incoming facility has been provided at Jantar Mantar. Subedar Suresh would attend calls.
Best regards,
Lt Gen (Emeritus) Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
Chairman IESM

Demands of Ex- Servicemen
  • One Rank One Pension (OROP)
  • Resettlement/ job guarantee till the age of sixty for Jawans
  • Welfare Commission headed by ESM
  • Services representation on all committees pertaining to ESM welfare.

    Why are Bureaucrats averse to providing a second career or even lateral induction of Jawans to Para Military Forces- for reasons click here
  • Thursday, March 5, 2009

    Army Commander releases a book 'Pension in the Defence Services' by Maj Navdeep Singh

    Army Commander releases a book 'Pension in the Defence Services' by Maj Navdeep Singh
    Punjab Newsline Network
    Wednesday, 04 March 2009
    CHANDIGARH: Calling it as a need of the hour for the officers and personnel of all the three Defence Services, Lt Gen TK Sapru GOC-in-C, Western Command released a book, written by Major Navdeep Singh, a High Court Advocate and also a decorated Territorial Army volunteer titled ‘Pension in the defence services’ Wednesday at Headquarters Western Command .

    The foreword of the book has been written by former Vice Chief of the Army Staff, Lt Gen S Pattabhiraman and retired Chief Justice of Delhi High Court, Justice R N Aggarwal.

    Major Navdeep Singh is a practicing Advocate in the Punjab and Haryana High Court and a decorated Territorial Army volunteer. The Territorial Army (TA) is a voluntary citizens’ army consisting of civil professionals from all walks of life who can be called out for national military service in times of wars and national emergencies. Many eminent personalities have been part of TA including sitting Ministers, MPs, Bureaucrats and Industrialists. Kapil Dev was also inducted into TA recently. Unknown to many, the Father of the nation, Mahatma Gandhi was also associated with an auxiliary organisation of the TA called the Ambulance Corps.

    Maj Navdeep singh is also credited with the execution of implementation of the Indian Tolls (Army & Air Force) Act, 1901 all over India and also effective implementation of entertainment tax exemption to serving defence personnel in cinemas and theatres. He has also worked for the benefit of WWII veterans and authored a book, "Soldiers Know Your Rights", which was released by General J J Singh, India’s former Chief of the Army Staff. An another book called "Fauj Hai Mauj", (Military is fun) is also written by him.
    Army Commander releases a book 'Pension in the Defence Services' by Maj Navdeep Singh
    Book on military pensions released

    Order the book “Pension in the Defence Services” authored by Major Navdeep Singh here.

    Dear Brig Kamboj and Gangadharan,
    Yesterday, I was present at the release ceremony of a book entitled, "Pension in the Defence Services" by Maj Navdeep Singh. Lt Gen Sapru, Army Cdr, Western Command, did the honours, and spoke in laudatory terms about the author and his service to the 'fauji' fraternity. Navdeep, as you may know is a TA officer and is a second generation soldier.

    I received a complimentary copy of the book and have browsed through it last night. I can say, without fear of contradiction, that Navdeep has done a thoroughly professional job. he has traced the history of pensions and all orders, instructions and court judgements on disputes related with pension of soldiers have been systematically chronicled. It is a 'single window' solution to any one who wishes to study the subject.

    We soldiers will again be faced with anomalies, and may have to consider the 'court option' We will be ill advised to do so without doing our home work properly. I think at that time, a book of this kind will be of great use.
    The book is published by Shree Ram Law House, Chandigarh and is priced at Rs 670/-
    Maj Gen Surjit Singh (Retd)

    "Report My Signal" forum congratulates Maj Navdeep for the stupendous and painstaking effort to put together coherently the Pension Regulations with overall aim of demystifying the Pension Matrix of Defence Services. Kudos for unearthing the plethora of orders which will prove invaluable to all Ex- Servicemen especially in debugging the anomalies.

    IESM: Fast for Justice Rally- seventy seventh day

    Date: Wednesday, 4 March, 2009, 10:59 PM
    Dear Colleagues,
    Our brave ESM from Jhajjar (Haryana) are in charge of the Jantar Mantar venue.
    Gen Satbir, Gen Renjen, Col Krit Joshipura, Col Kanwar Bhardwaj and self attended the ESM meet at Mohali today. It was a large gathering of over 300 veterans. It was a very animated exchange of views and everyone showed great keenness to pusue the cause. We arrived at Hamirpur in HP in the evening. The spirit and energy for the IESM and the cause here is infectious.
    Best regards,
    Lt Gen (Emeritus) Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
    Chairman IESM

    Government rejects ex-soldiers' 'one rank one pension' plea

    ECHS Chennai- located within the confines of Military Hospital

    The Medical services for ESM are deteriorating by the day. The most affected are the elderly veterans. The medical doctors do not arrive at specified time. ESM feel the heat for the time delay at getting registered which takes anywhere from two to three hours. The procedures smack efficiency. The civilians employed are those who are not trained and are clueless about their nature of tasks. Tokens are given to ESM and one gets a turn/ calling after a 3 to 5 hour wait.
    There is utter chaos in the clinic as there about 150 to 200 ESM and dependants found milling in a clinic trying to discover the procedures. The clinic has a space/ seating capacity for about 50 only- literally one has no breathing space- one is likely to get further ill trying to learn the red tape and bureaucracy style of functioning and ever changing set of rules. Many veterans are advised to come the next day. Re- employed administrative officers create more mess and confusion because they are ignorant about the Medical Procedures and sit tight to occupy the high chair and get paid for contributing nothing towards the Welfare of ESM!
    The scene depicts a civil Government Primary Health Centre- sans discipline. There is urgent need to set right the mess or else it will decay to a to a state of irretrievable morass. Let us not re-define the acronym ECHS to Enhanced Cargo Handling System!
    Report is based on two of my visits one in January and the second one on 04 March 2009.
    We request readers inputs regarding status of other ECHS Polyclinics- whether improving or services deteriorating?
    Lt Col Kanagaraj James (Retd)

    Tailpiece: Before the ECHS system was evolved, MH Chennai provided very efficient services to ESM and dependants without any confusion or complicated procedures. The waiting period for registration was less than 15 minutes in the worst cases. Truly somewhere the ECHS is clogged dispensing poor services to Veterans in their twilight years.

    Long live ECHS. The ECHS is dead, almost!
    The Army itself admits that the health scheme needs life support. It acknowledges that routine bills take two to three months for clearance. Bills over Rs 5 lakh require Defence Ministry’s approval, which takes a minimum of 6 months.

    “Hospitals have always been loathe to accept these rates. I can’t understand why army cant have its own rates,” says former MD, ECHS, Maj. Gen. Kuldip Sindhu.

    One doesn’t know whether the Army, which is responsible for running the scheme for the three services and has a serving two-star general heading it, can redeem the situation. It is a difficult task to combat the vested interests of the bureaucrats. Given the supine nature of the military top brass, the situation seems rather hopeless.
    ECHS is a disaster?

    Related Reading:
    ECHS- A Failed Concept A Point of View
    Special: Govt health scheme for ex-servicemen a dud: CNN- IBNlive report
    Pending bills: Ex-servicemen’s health scheme faces hurdles

    Wednesday, March 4, 2009

    Corps of Signals

    04 Mar 2009
    Dear Signallers,
    Lt Gen VK Sharma, Former CSO South-Western Command, has taken over as the Commandant of MCTE, wef 01 Mar 09. We wish Gen VK Sharma all the best for his new assignment.

    Lt Gen YS Panwar, retired from the post of Commandant MCTE on 28 Feb 09. On behalf of All Signallers and Report My Signal forum, we congratulate Gen Panwar for his excellent performance as the Commandant of a premier institution of the Indian Armed Forces. Lt Gen YS Panwar the Senior Colonel Commandant of the Corps of Signals was commissioned in the corps in 1968. He was awarded the COAS commendation card for his outstanding work at the MS Branch and Vishisht Seva Medal during his tenure as Commandant, MCTE. Besides his contributions in the instructional performance and general administration of MCTE, his contributions towards improving the contents and getup of the "The Signalman" are also commendable. Well done sir. We all are very proud of you.
    Knowing the high technical competence and dedication of Gen Panwar to the Corps of Signals, the Signals' Veterans now wait for Gen Panwar's activities to boost up the Signals Veterans Website and other welfare measures for the Signals Veterans of All Ranks. We wish Gen and Mrs Panwar a very comfortable and happy retired life (retired from the extremely busy schedule of the Army).

    Maj Gen NV Pande who is the 51st Colonel Commandant of the Corps of Signals was commissioned in the Corps on December 25, 1972. Maj Gen Pande has held a wide spectrum of staff and instructional assignments. He was awarded COAS commendation card and AOC-in-C, Western Air Command commendation card for his dedication and total devotion to service.

    An email received from Maj Gen NV Pande, CSO Eastern Command, is reproduced below for your information.

    Dear Brig Kamboj,
    Col Purandare was admitted in the Comd Hospital here just about a month plus ago. He complained of persistent fever at his place of duty and was transferred here. I must say he was most cheerful till the very last day and was willing to fight it out. Even while in the hospital he always spoke to the doctors most cheerfully, and with respect to the senior doctors when they met him.
    He had high fever in the last few days and passed away on the 26th evening. Mrs Purandare was with him throughout the hospital stay and so were his brother and and sisters who were here whenever they could. The family support system was most remarkable.
    Mrs Purandare was sad but most composed even during this phase. Purandare was a fine officer and will be missed by all of us. We extended all the support that we could while the family was here.
    May God rest his soul in peace.
    Maj Gen N V Pande

    In Service of Indian Military Veterans
    Chander Kamboj
    Report My Signal Forum

    Maj Gen SP Kochhar, is appointed as the 52nd Colonel Commandant of Corps of Signals
    Commissioned in Dec 1973, Maj Gen SP Kochhar has excelled in all courses of instruction and has to his credit two M.Phils, M.Tech from IIT Delhi and fellowships/membership of reputed national and international professional societies. He has also published many papers in professional journals and magazines.

    He has done all the mandatory courses and is an aluminous of the IAT, Higher Command Course and NDC and has tenanted various Command and Staff appointments. In all these appointments, he has left behind an immense contribution towards Information Technology and converged networks. He was associated with the trials of TacC networks and made many valuable contributions to these projects. His forte has been innovative thinking cum implementation and a very close team work. He is the designer and fielder of the now famous NOC vehicle. He has the unique distinction of having introduced smart cards and convergence into the Indian Army. His contributions have earned him the awards of a Sena Medal, a Vishist Sewa Medal and an Army Commander’s Commendation Card.
    Major General SP Kochhar appointed Colonel Commandant

    Rank Based Pension- Logic for replacing OROP by RBP

    Tough times Ex-servicemen and their kin gathered in large numbers for the protest Photo: TARUN SEHRAWAT
    Soldier’s Lament- click here

    Brig KP Singh Deo- Sitting extreme right
    A high powered committee in 1985 headed by Mr KP Singh Deo coined the term One Rank One Pension (OROP)
    Dear Raj and Friends,
    I am forwarding a mail from our esteemed senior veteran Gen Bahri. While I will have the issue researched by the officers currently dealing with the subject, the message set me thinking, and I am led to believe, that there is a need for us to change tack. The term OROP has become a red rag to the bull. Successive governments have grappled with it and given it up. I suggest we drop this term and replace it with a simpler term, "RANK BASED PENSION" (RBP)
    This will give us the following advantages;
    We will be reverting to a system which was in vogue for a long time. I know for sure that for each rank, a pension was specified (Maj Rs 550, Lt col Rs 675 and so on) and as long as an officer had put in a specified length of service, he was granted the pension specified for his rank. It was reduced for lesser service proportionately. The amounts specified for the various ranks were loosely derived from the pay of that rank. The pension had nothing to do with the pay actually drawn by the soldier at the time of retirement. This 'rank based system' is exclusive for the armed forces, and so the civilians can not claim this, ipso facto. The RBP format ensures that there can be no anomalies of the kind which the present system is riddled. It meets the two conditions, namely the length and quality of service as the determinants for pension. It is simple to implement and neither the banks nor the pensioners will have any difficulty in understanding the process. Maj Gen Renjen has also suggested that we choose another term, to show that we are neither rigid nor unreasonable. Let us give a ceremonial burial to OROP and seek the good old and time tested RBP. This might well turn out to be a 'win win' solution.
    Maj Gen Surjit Singh

    From: Satish Kumar Bahri
    Date: Feb 27, 2009 5:34 PM
    Subject: IAS Pensions in Late 50s
    To: Surjit Singh
    Dear Surjit,
    In connection with with the fixation of our pensions I would like you to do some research thru your contacts in the PC cell. As far as I remember in early 50s, soon after I was commissioned, new pension scales were fixed for the Army. There was tremendous jubilation as a Lt Cols pension was fixed at Rs 675 pm after 20 yrs service. This was equivalent to a serving substantive Capt's pay. In 1956 I met an IAS officer and he was surprised to hear what was drawn by a Lt Col. It was he who told me that the max pension that a civil servant can draw is Rs 800 pm. This was equal to a Brig's. It may be a useful bit of info to high light the point and show how we have been done down over the years.
    Lt Gen SK Bahri (Retd)
    Indian military: Nation owes you by Surjit Singh

    IESM: Fast for Justice Rally- seventy sixth day

    Date: Tuesday, 3 March, 2009, 8:34 PM
    Dear Colleagues,
    Our brave veterans from Sonipat (Haryana) continue to be in charge of the Jantar Mantar venue.
    Hamirpur Visit
    Gen Satbir, Gen Renjen, Gen Jaini, Col Krit Joshipura, Col Kanwar Bhardwaj and self are leaving early morning Mar 04 to participate in an ESM rally at Mohali (04 Mar) and Hamirpur (Mar 5). In case you do not get the sitrep March 4, it would be because of the indifferent internet coverage in Hamirpur.
    Best regards,
    Lt Gen (Emeritus) Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
    Chairman IESM

    Rank Based Pension (RBP)
    Date: Monday, 2 March, 2009, 10:10 PM
    Dear General Surjit and Other veterans,
    Yes the term OROP has been arousing obduracy in the govt, jealousy in civil employees and allergy among the judiciary. Our search for an alternative term should end at 'Rank Based Pension'. Barin Ghosh tells us that this system was in vogue till the III PC. Now that the govt has accepted a separate pay commission for the defence services, their resistance to RBP should be hopefully lower.
    Will replace OROP with RBP.
    Best regards,
    Lt Gen (Emeritus) Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
    Chairman IESM

    Fri, Feb 27, 2009 at 8:50 PM, Maj Gen Surjit Singh
    Dear Raj and Friends,
    I am forwarding a mail from our esteemed senior veteran Gen Bahri. While I will have the issue researched by the officers currently dealing with the subject, the message set me thinking, and I am led to believe, that there is a need for us to change tack. The term OROP has become a red rag to the bull. Successive governments have grappled with it and given it up. I suggest we drop this term and replace it with a simpler term, "RANK BASED PENSION" (RBP)
    This will give us the following advantages;
    We will be reverting to a system which was in vogue for a long time. I know for sure that for each rank, a pension was specified (Maj Rs 550, Lt col Rs 675 and so on) and as long as an officer had put in a specified length of service, he was granted the pension specified for his rank. It was reduced for lesser service proportionately. The amounts specified for the various ranks were loosely derived from the pay of that rank. The pension had nothing to do with the pay actually drawn by the soldier at the time of retirement. This 'rank based system' is exclusive for the armed forces, and so the civilians can not claim this, ipso facto. The RBP format ensures that there can be no anomalies of the kind which the present system is riddled. It meets the two conditions, namely the length and quality of service as the determinants for pension. It is simple to implement and neither the banks nor the pensioners will have any difficulty in understanding the process. Renjen has also suggested that we choose another term, to show that we are neither rigid nor unreasonable. Let us give a ceremonial burial to OROP and seek the good old and time tested RBP. This might well turn out to be a 'win win' solution.
    Maj Gen Surjit Singh (Retd)

    Tuesday, March 3, 2009

    'Unprecedented' shortage of officers in armed forces

    New Delhi A "perturbed" Parliamentary Committee has asked the Defence Ministry to immediately work out a plan to correct the "unprecedented" shortage of officers in the armed forces which has reached 23.8, 16.7 and 12.1 per cent in army, navy and air force respectively.

    The committee said that with growing security challenges, every Ministry should contribute its share in supporting the defence services.

    Saying that some of the recruitment procedures for officers in the armed forces were based on antiquated practices, the committee said "format of SSB tests has not undergone any major change in the last three decades".

    The Committee found out that the present selection system was examined by a Chiefs of Staff appointed committee which found the "procedures for selection extremely rigorous."

    It recommended that an exhaustive review of the selection procedures through SSBs be undertaken and the latest selection techniques be put in place.

    It also asked the Defence Ministry to ensure that candidates with rural backgrounds are not be subjected to language barriers while assessing them during selections.

    The committee asked the Ministry to ensure that "fair and transparent" systems are put in place for promotion of officers in the forces.
    'Unprecedented' shortage of officers in armed forces
    Statistical Analysis of Exodus of Officers from Indian Armed Forces

    Comment: All candidates who are selected for IAS should be screened for Potential career in the Armed Forces for at least 5 years and then revert to IAS with advantage of those who didn't qualify. This can be brought about by act of Parliament. Fair and transparent system of ACRs in the armed forces is an Utopian goal. For victory in warfare "9" point graded officers are not a sure shot for success. The units need a complex mix of graded officers for combat victory. Units comprising solely of officers graded "9" will spell disaster and certain failure in combat.

    A Dying Tradition

    Following an erosion of status and respect for the armed forces, officers want their children to look for greener pastures. SHOBHITA NAITHANI reports

    Photo: AP

    WHEN RAHUL Srivastava (name changed) was commissioned into the Indian Army in December 2000, he was overjoyed to be following in his father’s and brother’s footsteps. Money, Srivastava was clear, was not his priority. The army, he knew, was the wrong place for it anyway. “As army officers, our primary role is to prepare for a war. And I was ready to sweat it out for the nation,” he says. Seven years later, he had quit the service, discontented and ready for a corporate job.

    “I was doing the job of a police officer,” Srivastava says, looking back at what led to his personal tipping point of opting out. “The moment a situation got beyond what the police could handle (as happens in most cases), we were called in. I was caught up in flood relief and riot control. And, worse, my efforts weren’t even recognised.” The 32-year-old father of a four-year-old says he will never encourage his son to take up his former career.

    Disenchantment is an emotion shared by most officers who have opted for premature retirement. Srivastava touches on some of the other reasons he no longer finds the army an attractive prospect: poor promotional avenues owing to the army’s steep pyramidal structure, zero opportunity for lateral induction into other Central services, inadequate housing for family and insufficient educational facilities for the children as army personnel move across the country. As one retired Brigadier who spoke to TEHELKA on condition of anonymity said, “If a man agrees to risk his life for the nation, the government should assure him that it will look after his backyard. Otherwise we are in for tragedy.”

    The Indian Army is, at present, facing a shortage of about 11,200 officers — 24 percent of its sanctioned strength of 46,615 officers. The situation looks unlikely to improve in the foreseeable future — in 2007, 190 cadets signed up for the National Defence Academy as against the institution’s total strength of 300 seats. The Indian Military Academy (IMA) had only 86 enrolments the same year as against its allotted strength of 250. Meanwhile, as the need to tackle the acute shortage of officers becomes urgent, few miss the irony of talk of establishing a second Officers’ Training Academy, on the lines of the one in Chennai, for short-service commission officers.

    Another source of the officer shortage comes from the number of premature retirements. Between the years 2003-07, there were 3,474 officers applying for premature retirement, of whom 2,076 were released. There were 387 such applicants in 2003; by 2007, this figure had more than tripled, going up to 1,130.

    The Indian Army is facing a shortage of 11,200 officers
    The Indian Navy needs 1430 more officers
    The Indian Air Force has a shortfall of 1368 officers
    1130 Army officers applied for premature retirement in 2007
    284 Navy officers applied for premature retirement in 2007
    287 Air Force officers applied for premature retirement in 2007

    The hard fact the armed forces have been grappling with for years now is their diminishing appeal as a career option for the country’s young. Income issues in the services have been increasingly vocalised over the years — in February 2009, for instance, hundreds of ex-servicemen returned their medals to protest the government’s unresponsiveness to calls for pension parity among those of equal rank and length of service. While the Sixth Pay Commission last year made an unprecedented gesture at pay-scale revision, the forces’ dissatisfaction continues — the revisions have not gone far enough, they say. The Comptroller and Auditor General’s performance audit for 2008 has thrown stark highlight over the inefficiencies now systemic to the armed services — inadequacies in technology and arms capability, seemingly endless delays in delivery of indigenously-produced weapons systems and questionable procurement deals whose exposure stalls the expenditure of crores of budgetary allocations. None of these make a positive contribution to morale. Add now the rising incidence of suicide and nervous collapse among serving defence personnel and an already bleak picture of life in the forces is only further filled in.

    “In our time, one joined the army for the adventure and the lifestyle. But today, all you need to be is smart and fluent in English. When a person has this kind of exposure, he turns around and says, ‘Am I mad to go serve the nation in Siachen?’” points out a retired Brigadier, who requested anonymity. “Times are changing. You’ve got to change with the times. How long can you keep flogging the slogan of naam, namak, nishan (name, loyalty and brand),” he adds.

    But Major General (retired) Mrinal Suman argues that it is incorrect to claim that youth response to a career in the services is poor. “An adequate number of bright candidates still aspire for the services,” he says. “It is unfair to label them riff-raff (as some senior officers tend to do). It is our selection system that needs re-examining,” he says. Suman has been on the Union Public Service Commission’s Services Selection Board, which screens civil service aspirants, and says he has witnessed candidates for the defence services being rejected for little more than alleged angularities of personality. “A school captain of a famous public school was rejected when he stated that he disliked killing helpless animals for human consumption. The assessor thought he was soft and lacked the necessary killing instinct,” Suman says.

    Colonel Malhotra (name changed) has applied for retirement but is still serving because his orders haven’t come through. “I can’t wait to quit the army. It used to be such a noble profession, especially at a time when my father was an officer. However, today there has been an erosion of status, respect and self-esteem,” he says. Roma (name changed), his wife, who is a professor at a Roorkee college, and their three children have been living in Roorkee since the birth of the youngest, a boy, now 16 years old. “Roma stayed back because she had her career and the children’s education to take care of. I’m like a stranger to my son.,” Malhotra says. The 48-year-old says he will make sure his children have nothing to do with the army. “There’s no question. I don’t want them to endure the trauma and get nothing in return,” he says.

    From Tehelka Magazine, Vol 6, Issue 9, Dated Mar 07, 2009
    A Dying Tradition
    Statistical Analysis of Exodus of Officers from Indian Armed Forces

    Attacking the aam aadmi's swabhiman

    Sun, Mar 1 05:54 AM
    Sudheendra Kulkarni
    In a recent interaction with my party's young campaigners in the coming parliamentary elections, I asked them, "What is the first and foremost expectation of young people like you from the next government?" I was expecting them to say "employment", "better education" and so on. One of them, an alumnus of IIT Delhi who studied and worked abroad and has now taken to political activism, gave a one-word reply: "Swabhiman" (self-respect).

    My instinctive interpretation of his answer was that he was referring to India's honour and self-respect. "No, I am not talking about desh ka swabhiman and desh ka gaurav. Every patriotic Indian, belonging to any party, wants India to be heard, honoured and respected more by the international community. What I am referring to is the self-respect of ordinary citizens. When the aam aadmi deals with the government in his own country, why is his self-respect routinely bruised? Why do government officers and employees behave with citizens as if they are our masters and we their subjects? Why do they make us feel that they are doing us a favour when the service or information we are seeking is our right as citizens? And, often, the 'favour' is done to us only after we have met their demand for bribes."

    Why have we failed to make the system respect the citizens more? It's a complex problem, but some roots of it lie in the fact that the government has two parts-the democratically elected executive that is accountable to the people and has to seek their mandate; and the 'permanent government' of the bureaucracy that is largely unaccountable and remains unchanged even after Party A is voted out and Party B is voted in. It is high time the progressive section of our political class and leaders of civil society paid serious attention to reforming these "permanent rulers" to make them truly citizen-friendly. Good governance is being much talked about in the current election campaign. We can move towards this goal only by introducing radical citizen-centric reforms.

    Write to:
    Read more:Attacking the aam aadmi's swabhiman

    Soldier Vs Civilian- Garhwal Post

    Dear General Kadyan,
    While the "happening" place is 'Jantar Mantar' and Delhi, some debate goes on in small provincial outliers like Dehradun, as well!
    Here is an opinion piece (below as slideshow), by a senior IPS officer (of IG status, I think), giving his candid views, which was published in the 'Garhwal Post' of 22 Feb, 2009.
    In the 3rd photograph of the slideshow, there is a counter opinion-piece, which I sent to the 'Garhwal Post', and they kindly published it the next day (24 Feb, 2009).
    I think, it would be useful in our campaign for justice, if we keep looking at the 'other side of the hill' as well, so as to be able to keep evolving effective measures.
    May I take this opportunity, to applaud you and the IESM Core Group, for your brave endeavour, which by your sheer persistence, has been brought to a stage where it's impact is being felt, distinctly.
    With good wishes,
    Yours sincerely,
    Maj Gen Rajendra Prakash (Retd)
    Soldier and Civilian: Garhwal Post
    Note: The scanned copies have been placed as pictures in jpeg format. Slideshow takes time for loading.

    Pay Commissions: Supreme Court upholds decision in favour of Major Generals


    Dear "Report my Signal" (RMS),

    On 20 Jan, 2009, "Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare" (DESW) issued yet another amendment to their famous letter of 11/11/2008, eventually making some sense in the revised pensions of pre-2006 retired Maj Gens and Lt Gens.

    In RMS 085/2009 of 29 Jan, a distinguished comrade points out that it is his representation to the DESW which has done the trick, and he even goes on to thank the Additional Secretary, DESW for complying so very promptly with his suggestions. Then we have a recent note to RMS, from an eminent alumnus of even more eminent 1st JSW Course, informing us that it is the letter written by the '1st JSW Course Association', which has moved the powers that be, to do the right thing by the poor exploited Maj Gens and Lt Gens of pre-2006 vintage.

    Yet another version aloat is that the lawyers representing the 23 original + 67 interlocutory Maj Gens in their well-known Supreme Court case sent a notice of contempt to the Defence Secretary and Army HQ on 12 Jan, 2009, which made the DESW act double-quick (ie, by 20 Jan) in raising the General Officers' pension, from below Cols, to a little above Brigs, thus avoiding a blatant violation of Supreme Court orders !

    Well, take your choice of solutions to this 'whodunit' ! Someone could certainly say that " victory has a hundred fathers, but defeat is an orphan" !!! But I say, " many hands make light work" (pun intended) , as the Chinese lecturer said, once the hall lights came on again, after the audience clapped all together at his instance !

    Maj Gen Rajendra Prakash (Retd)

    IESM: Fast for Justice- seventy fifth day

    Date: Monday, 2 March, 2009, 10:16 PM
    Dear Colleagues,
    The Jantar Mantar venue continues to be under the charge of our brave veterans from Sonipat (Haryana).
    Maha Rally 12 April 2009
    Ball has been set rolling for the Maha ESM rally at Ram Leela Ground Delhi. The Municipal and police authorities have been informed. The Defence Minister is being kept informed. The strength at the rally will have a telling effect. We must mobilise maximum number of ESM and ensure a huge gathering. I have informed the authorities that we expect 80,000 to 100,000 participants.
    Best regards,
    Lt Gen (Emeritus) Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
    Chairman IESM

    IESM: Protest Rally at Mohali- Press Release

    Date: Sunday, 1 March, 2009, 9:21 PM
    Dear Friends,
    Press Release to be issued on 04 March during RALLY at Mohali is sent here with for your ACTION and info Please. ALL are requested to 'Trigger' their contacts in the media for maximum coverage of the event please.
    With Warm Regards,
    Brig Harwant Singh (Retd)


    1. As per Hon'ble Supreme Court’s ruling, “Pension is ‘Delayed Wages’ for the Services rendered”. Hence two persons who render same service, both ‘Quantum’ and ‘Quality’ wise should get same ‘Delayed wages’ (Pension). In the military ‘Quantum’ and ‘Quality’ of service are measured by length of service put in and ‘Rank’ held. Hence the concept of One Rank One Pension (OROP) as ‘Ranks’, the world over are only peculiar to ‘Military ‘alone and define the responsibilities held. With each ‘Pay Commission’, the pay of the serving Defence Personnel is revised upwards and accordingly those in the same rank who retired earlier get much less pension. Now, a Sepoy who retired on 31 December 1995 would get 82% less pension than a Sepoy who retired after 01 January 2006.

    2. The principle of OROP was accepted by many Govts. Some Presidents, Prime Ministers and Defence Ministers announced the same even on the floor of the Parliament. To counter other Govt employees asking for the same, Mr VP Singh, the then Prime Minister (1990) is on record having remarked , “Let them (the civilian employees) swap places with the Military”. Mrs Sonia Gandhi, the Congress President, in an Ex-Servicemen’s Rally at Chandigarh in November 2002 declared, “When we come to power, we will grant OROP”. The ‘Standing Committee on Defence’ in its ‘20th Report’ (2003), specifically recommended implementation of OROP and went to the extent of recommending it to be made a ‘precedent’. The Congress party’s Manifesto for last Lok Sabha election, says, “Long pending issue of One Rank One Pension will once again be re-examined and a satisfactory solution arrived at expeditiously”. The issue of welfare of Ex-Servicemen was also included in the President’s address to the Parliament in 2004. OROP thus is the declared policy of the Government and not just of any one political party. It is pertinent to mention that all MPs, MLAs, judges, freedom fighters, direct entry IAS and IPS officers are already given One Rank One Pension. Why deny it to the Defence Forces, who served in harshest, most exacting conditions and contributed the most in safe guarding the country, as compare to any civilian?

    3. Unfortunately , now the govt has rejected One Rank One Pension that it was not possible to implement this stated policy on financial and administrative grounds .What has changed after their promise of 2004 that granting of One Rank One Pension has suddenly become unfeasible NOW ? This has forced the Ex-Servicemen to go on ‘Relay Hunger Strike’ with effect from 16 December ’08. They had a huge “Protest Rally’ at Jantar Mantar Road on 08 February. It is matter of shame for India that about 300 of them who fought wars returned their most precious possession, their “Medals” to the President of India, who is their Supreme Commander, with a stipulation that they would gratefully accept their medals back when they were granted One Rank One Pension. An other lot of medals were returned on 21 February. This process of depositing the Medals will continue. The next installment of medals returning will be on 14 March 2009. There after they would be doing so every month till all the medals are returned.

    4. The apprehension of other govt employees demanding OROP is unfounded, because,” Like soldiers, based upon their ‘Rank’, civilians DO NOT start retiring at the age of 35? (All civilians serve up to 58/ 60 years of age) ; they Do NOT join the service with the condition that they would sacrifice their lives while performing service ; they have NOT been denied their fundamental rights by the Constitution of India and they Do NOT spend major portion of their young lives away from their families. That’s why when ‘One Time Increases’ was granted to the soldiers twice earlier, there was no reaction from the civilians.

    5. If after surrendering their Medals, the Ex-Servicemen do not get JUSTICE, they would be forced to intensify their agitation by other means, which may have negative effect on the serving Soldiers with disastrous consequences. The Ex-Servicemen , have formed themselves in to a “VOTE BANK” and in conjunction with serving Soldiers who have been given right to vote at their place of posting, they would vote for only those who commit, in writing, that they will get principle of ‘One Rank One Pension’ implemented . Implementing OROP will strengthen National Defence as it will raise the morale of the Serving Soldiers since they would know that they would be well cared for after retirement.

    Gallantary awards: Who Deserves A Medal?

    The attack on Mumbai on 26/11 is over, people have mourned their dead, central and state governments have made the right noises, medals have been awarded (deserved or not) and we, who were far away, are back to our daily routines. Then come visuals over the TV channels of CCTV grabs showing the Pakistani killers moving about casually in the two hotels and firing their weapons nonchalantly. Though no time is indicated on the CCTV visuals but it indicates it was much after the initial mayhem they created on entry into these hotels.

    What strikes me is that they did not appear to be worried about any retaliatory action by the security forces and were moving about together. They really must have had a field day shooting up the guests and staff at leisure. Despite having created so many senior appointments in a top heavy hierarchy there was no one to intercept them. The govt is lavish in creating Asst DGPs,Addl DGPs, Spl DGPs and DGPs but there are no officers to lead the policemen and fight the terrorists. Lets be honest, the police is now being lead by Inspectors and Sub Inspectors.

    The IPS officers have become pen pushers like the IAS Babus. If someone refutes it then let him account for the number of IPS officers who have died in action against either Naxalites or terrorists in Punjab, J&K, Mumbai or any state in NE India. I can declare as a soldier who has seen action in 1965 and 1971 that the only person in the Mumbai police who deserved a medal was Tuka Ram Omble, and none else. If the Army were to award gallantry medals like they were given to police officers and men, the Nashik Mint will have to work three shifts to produce enough of them!

    The sad part is that despite various organisations like ATS, Crime Branch, Encounter Specialists and so on, when it comes to a crunch, the police would like the Army to get their chestnuts out of the fire. What use are all these officers who go about sporting badges of ranks equivalent to Maj Gens and Lt Gens when they cannot even man the control room in a crisis and coordinate action to be taken against a threat. It is common knowledge that Mumbai Commissioner Police was sitting in his car outside Hotel Trident, instead of being at his post. I presume it is easier to dish out medals than sacking non performers.

    That brings me to the refusal of the MOD to place the NSG under the Army, as requested by the Chief of Army Staff. A legitimate request as the force is trained by the Army and its cutting edge is entirely officered and manned by the Army. I guess the bureaucrat and the politician is quite happy to have bumbling heads like DGP Roy & Commissioner Ghafoor. No wonder Mr Dutt did not raise hell when he had to let his men wait for an IAF aircraft coming from Chandigarh. Not realising that the delay would make the job of his men more difficult and give the terrorists time to kill many more of their hostages. Why don't the people of Mumbai raise their voices at being at the mercy of a badly led police force which, except for one man, just disappeared into thin air?
    Lt Gen SK Bahri (Retd)

    Retired and Forgotten: Readers Responses

    Dear Fellow Veterans, Mr. Thapar,
    I am truly grateful to Mr. Thapar for this exceptional piece that he has written for our mission. With great journalists such as Mr. Thapar we still have hope that journalism still remains a noble profession and that not the entire media has become a government propaganda. As also I am grateful to Brig Kamboj for 'reporting-the-signal' all across the mission and its members. I truly am.

    In this article by Mr. Thapar, the one point that I'd like to emphasize on is the rampant use of the word 'consider' by our politicians and bureaucrats. They have been 'considering' the OROP demand since the beginning of time. This 'consideration' has been a part of almost all parties' pre-election manifestos. And when they go up for re-elections, here it is again, the promise that they will 'consider' the OROP issue.

    The way I see it, it is not even an 'artful play of words' as Mr. Thapar puts it. This word 'consider' has become the symbol of the deaf ears of our cold hearted politicians- the politicians and governments who cannot, from their high offices, see the obvious and cannot hear the loudest of voices.

    But as determined as we all are, there is no rest until we can get these politicians and bureaucrats out of their high offices and and make them bite this word that they use so agonizingly often - 'consider'.

    As for me, I remain committed to this mission with everything that I have. We will win because we can and also because we must...
    Jai Hind.
    Kameshwar Pandey
    Sub/ Maj Hony Lt (Retd)

    Subject: Retired and forgotten...and CNBC TV 18.THANKS A TON..Mr.Karan Thapar
    Dear Mr. Karan,
    It was a wonderful article to read on a sunday morning coming from none other than our Old Comrade son's Karan Thapar son of one of the finest General's of the Indian Army. It was written with your heart felt feelings for the old Veterans.
    Also the interview aired on 20 Feb and 23 Feb 2009 on CNBC TV 18 was as interesting and motivating as it could be. The only difference was that there were 3 Generals in your group ....2 actually retired ones Kadyan and Surjit Singh and the 3rd was you even though you ant going to get OROP....your love and feelings for the uniform was as clear as sure your parents would be proud of what you are doing for us the Ex Service clan....
    You have infused fresh Oxygen into the movement and if at all one day some thing frutifies it would be because of your these 2 acts above.
    Am sure you would continue to give us the Ex Service men due media coverage as you are doing today which we require very much for the long battle ahead.
    Jai Hind
    Regards and Best Wishes
    Cdr Sharan Ahuja (Retd)
    Member Core Group IESM

    Dear Brigadier Kamboj,
    Thats an ecxellent article by Karan Thapar. He has won the hearts of us all. He has been crisp, to the point, precise and has hit the nail on the head. Last para is really hiting hard on Judiciary, legislature, Executive and the 'Babus'. Higher Judiciary decided our issue and was not able to see or intentionally did not see our view point - why because higher judiciary is itself not denied 'OROP'. They would brush aside us for the same reason - why because they have the power to do so. CJI YK Sabharwal rightly said "Not that the Apex Court is always right but that the Apex COurt is always final".

    Let's resolve today "NOT TO VOTE FOR ANY ONE" this General Elections as a mark of protest. At least I have so resolved. Not that it may matter. But it is to show my protest. Such protest would make a News and all and sundry in the Country would get to know why we are so protesting. Time and opportunity is right for "PROTEST" in such a manner. You may seek others views in this. If it is accepted we must act fast in spreading the message across.
    Please do convey my heartful thanks and appreciation to Karan.
    With kind regards,
    Lt Col MG Kapoor, Veteran, Advocate in Delhi High Court

    Monday, March 2, 2009

    IESM: Fast for Justice Rally- seventy fourth day

    Date: Sunday, 1 March, 2009, 11:17 PM
    Dear Colleagues,
    The Jantar Mantar venue is under the charge of our brave veterans from Sonipat (Haryana).
    Core Gp Meeting
    Was held 01 Mar 2009 at Delhi Cantt. Major decisions:
    1. A Maha Rally of the IESM will be held at Ram Lila Ground New Delhi at 1100 hours on Sunday, 12 April 2009. Aim is to gather a strength of one lakh ESM.
    2. There is an urgent need to strengthen the IESM organisation.
    Names of conveners from States/ metros/ districts/ towns must be sent at the earliest.
    3. Core Gp members must visit various places in the country to mobilise support for the IESM cause.
    4. Any legal option, if then needed, will be explored only after the elections are over and a new government is in place.
    5. There is some apprehension that in view of the President agreeing to meet us on 9 March, there may not be any depositing of medals on 14 March. This is not so. It is clarified that medals will be deposited at the Rashtrapati Bhawan on 14 March 2009 at 1530 hours as scheduled.
    6. Jantar Mantar will be retained as a node and will continue to serve the purpose of a rallying point.
    7. A video arrangement will be provided at Jantar Mantar where documentary of IESM and any other informational/motivational material will be availbale for viewing.

    Best regards,
    Lt Gen (Emeritus) Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
    Chairman IESM
    Jantar Mantar enlarged map

    Sunday, March 1, 2009

    Retired and Forgotten

    IF YOU live in Delhi you may have noticed a silent dignified protest at Jantar Mantar. It’s been on for over 70 days. If you read a nation al paper you may be aware that ex-servicemen have been returning their coveted medals to the President. Perhaps as many as 5,000 have been handed back. The story behind these developments is both shocking and shaming. It reveals how soldiers and officers, who are prepared to die for their country are forgotten, upon retirement, deceived by politicians and condemned to ever increasing deprivation. Once they were prepared to sacrifice their lives so we could live in security; now, in return, we’ve blighted their future.

    The problem is the pension policy of the Government of India. Rather than ensure that two individuals, who have rendered equal service to the nation, both in terms of duration and rank, get the same pension irrespective of their date of retirement, it creates illogical and humiliating differences. In a nut shell, there are three broad slabs– one for those who retired before 1996, another for those who retired before 2006 and a third for those who have or will retire thereafter. What this means is that people who retire earlier end up most disadvantaged even though they could be the most needy.

    Let me give you 3 illustrations. A Lt. General who retired in 1995, after commanding a corps of nearly 70,000 soldiers and almost 40 years of service, gets a pension that is 10 per cent less than a Colonel, who never commanded more than a 100 men and only managed 26 years of service, but had the good fortune to retire after 2006.

    Yet more bewildering are my next examples. A sepoy who retired in 1995 gets a pension 82 per cent smaller than his counterpart who retires after 2006. And even worse, a havildar, which is two ranks senior, who retired in 1995 gets a pension 37 per cent lower than a sepoy who retires in 2006.

    If this is not a kick in the teeth it is, at the least, betrayal and extreme disrespect. This is why the Ex-Servicemen’s Movement is demanding a one-rank one-pension policy. They’re doing so with respect and honour. But does any one care?

    Certainly not our politicians who play with emotion and promise only to deceive. In 2004 the Congress manifesto, on page 27, said: “The long pending issue of one-rank one-pension will once again be re-examined and a satisfactory solution arrived at expeditiously." Five years later the government is either confused or lying.

    Last week the Congress spokesman claimed the government was about to appoint a GOM to examine the matter. Except this is neither expeditious nor is there any time left before the elections. But in December PTI reported that the Defence Minister had told the Rajya Sabha: “Government has not found acceptable the demand of ex-servicemen for one-rank one-pension”. So who do we believe?

    The BJP is little better. According to The Pioneer, Rajnath Singh has said his party will “consider the issue seriously and include it in the NDA manifesto”. But what does consider seriously mean? Is it a commitment or an artful play with words? And why did the party not act during the six years it spent in office?

    As for the Left parties, who never forgo a chance to agitate for peasants and workers, they’re inexplicably silent about soldiers and officers. Why? Does this injustice not pain their conscience or are they unconcerned about the defence services?

    One explanation trotted out by successive governments for their reluctance to accept one-rank one-pension is that civil servants will demand the same. But the truth is civil servants cannot be equated with soldiers. The latter are on duty round the clock, they put their lives at risk and, most importantly they retire by rank and not at the , age of 60. Eighty five per cent of soldiers retire compulsorily between 35 and 40. 92 per cent of officers do so by the age of 54.

    The most bizarre part of this sorry tale is that secretaries to the government, judges, MPs and MLAs have been granted one-rank one-pension. That covers the full executive, legislature and top babus.

    Tell me, are you surprised our soldiers despise politicians and bureaucrats?
    Retired and Forgotten: Hindustan Times

    IESM: Fast for Justice Rally- seventy third day

    Date: Saturday, 28 February, 2009, 9:51 PM
    Dear Colleagues,
    The Jantar Mantar venue is under the charge of our brave veterans from Sonipat (Haryana).
    Court Case of Maj Gens
    Good news. The Supreme Court has rejected the government review petition in the case filed by our pre-1996 Maj Gens against their getting lower pension than the Brigadiers. (The SC had upheld the case of the veterans on 9 Sep 2008). We are very happy for them.
    Pad Yatra
    28 ESM under Hav Balwan Singh- a very active and committed IESM member– have started a pad yatra from Gurgaon to Sikar in Rajasthan. Enroute they will be spreading the message of the Movement.
    New Members
    We extend a heartful welcome to the following new members from Una District of HP:
    1. Maj Gen BS Kanwar(Bikram Singh) VSM ,AVSM**
    2. Brig Charan Singh
    3. Col TS Jaswal
    4 Lt Col Sat Dev
    5. Lt Col Ajmer Singh
    6. Lt Col T Datt
    7. Lt Col PS Rajput
    8. Lt Col Partap Singh
    Air Force
    9. Wg Comdr J Kumar
    10. MC OPGI OP Sharma

    We also thank Brig Charan Singh for playing the anchor role.
    Best regards,
    Lt Gen (Emeritus) Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
    Chairman IESM


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