Saturday, July 25, 2009

SCPC: OROP- Pension Parity, Bridging the Gap?

One rank one pension issue not addressed, anomalies continues: Ex-servicemen
New Delhi; 08 July 2009
The Indian Ex-servicemen's Association on Wednesday said that Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee had 'not even remotely addressed' the issue of One Rank One Pension (OROP) in the budget. The finance minister had effectively created three distinct classes of pensioners instead of the prevalent two.

In a media statement, the IESM, the umbrella body for ex-servicemen in the country, said that ' a skilfully crafted statement by the Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on the long standing demand of the Defence Forces for OROP while presenting the 2009-10 budget, has created an erroneous impression that OROP has finally been granted by the Govt. "Nothing could be further from the truth," said Major General Satbir Singh, Vice Chairman of the IESM.

By bringing pre-1996 pensioners at par with the post -1996 pensioners, the Finance Minister had only rectified a 13-year- old anomaly, which should have been done long ago, Major General Singh said. Revised pensions announced after the Sixth Pay Commission had created three distinct classes of pensioners; pre-1996 retirees, Jan 1, 1996 to Dec 31, 2005 retirees and post Jan 1, 2006 retirees. As a result, similar personnel in each class received widely differing pensions.

The IESM has been agitating for OROP or that all retiring military personnel get the same pension irrespective of the year of retirement.

Equity and natural justice demanded that these artificial distinctions should have been removed whenever pensions were revised. In a litigation relating to equity between pre and post 1996 defence pensioners, even the Supreme Court had ruled in Sept 2008 that such distinctions violated Article 14 of our Constitution.

Importantly, the distinction between pre and post 2006 pensioners remains unaddressed. The IESM says that the OROP demand was, only for removal of this distinction. "Such indifference of the government towards the defence forces and veterans is all the more galling, when viewed against the President's statement, assuring early resolution of OROP, at the recent combined session of the Parliament. And, what is one to make of repeated statements of the MoD and the Raksha Mantri that the gap in pensions between the old and new pensioners will be substantially reduced and pensionery benefits of officers and jawans brought as close to OROP as possible?" Major General Singh said.
One rank one pension issue not addressed, anomalies continues: Ex-servicemen

One rank, one pension
A skilfully crafted statement of the Union Finance Minister, Mr Pranab Mukherjee, on the long-standing demand of the defence forces for one rank, one pension has created a wholly erroneous impression that the demand has finally been granted by the government. In fact, the available information indicates that the issue has not been even remotely addressed.

By bringing pre-1996 pensioners on a par with the post-1996 pensioners, the Finance Minister has only removed a 13-year-old anomaly, which should have been done long ago. Revised pensions announced after the Sixth Pay Commission had created three distinct classes of pensioners. As a result, similar personnel in each class received widely differing pensions. Equity and natural justice demanded that these artificial distinctions should have been removed whenever pensions were revised. Importantly, the distinction between pre-and post-2006 pensioners remains un-addressed. It needs reminding that the demand of the defence forces and defence pensioners for one rank, one pension was, in fact, only for the removal of this distinction. Such indifference of the government for the defence forces and veterans is galling.
Maj-Gen SATBIR SINGH (retd), Vice-Chairman, Indian ESM Movement
Letter to Editor: The Tribune

PC takes salute from 1st batch of women BSF recruits

First batch of women recruits join BSF STAFF WRITER 16:40 HRS IST
Hoshiarpur, Jul 25 (PTI) Complimenting women for doing a commendable job in civil services as well as in the Army, Union Home minister P Chidambaram today said they have now been assigned to work in para-military forces too.

He was speaking after taking the salute from the passing out parade of the first batch of 178 women recruits at the Subsidiary Training Centre of the Border Security Force (BSF) at Kharkan, 10 kms from here.

BSF Director General M L Kumawat said that the first ever recruitment of mahila constable in North-West India was conducted at its Headquarters at Jalandhar on June 11, 2008.

As many as 640 women were selected totally out of approximately 8,500 applicants. The newly passed out mahila constables will be deployed at Border Out Posts (BOPs) for search and frisking of women crossing fencing gates, he said.
First batch of women recruits join BSF

PC takes salute from 1st batch of women BSF recruits

Union Home Minister P Chidambaram took the salute from the passing out parade of the first batch of 178 women recruits at the Subsidiary Training Centre of the at Kharkan on Saturday. Addressing a gathering after the ceremony, he said that women are not less then men as they are progressive in all fields and are contributing their share in the development of country. He also said that women of the country had a great strength and could play their role more effectively to make the nation rich and prosperous. They had already doing commendable job in civil as well as in Army sector, he said. He said that keeping in view their successful role in Army, women had been assigned to work in paramilitary forces and their recruitment had been started.
PC takes salute from 1st batch of women BSF recruits

IESM: Press Release

My Dear Friends,
Press Release dated 24 Jul 2009 is as given below.
With Kind Regards,
Jai Hind
Yours Sincerely,
Maj Gen (Retd) Satbir Singh, SM
Vice Chairman Indian ESM Movement

PRESS RELEASE Dated: 24 Jul 2009

Dear Members of the Media,
1. The Government has finally accepted and issued orders for implementation of the Supreme Court Judgment in respect of Major Generals who retired prior to 01 Jan 96. This judgment grants the same pension to pre 96 retirees as their counterparts who retired after 01 Jan 96 in the case of implementation of 5th Pay Commission award. This was an ideal opportunity for the Government to apply the same concept in case of 6th Pay Commission pre and post 2006 defence retirees. This action of the Government would have not only done due justice to the Ex Servicemen but would have earned their good will who had been agitating for over an year for the same.
2. The reasons for the Govt dragging its feet and announcing reliefs piecemeal is beyond comprehension as this is leading to frustration and anger amongst the Defence fraternity. This indirectly leads to adversely affecting the serving Defence Personnel as well since today’s serving soldier is an Ex servicemen of tomorrow and also the wards and other family members of Ex Servicemen are presently serving defence personnel.
3. The Government needs to realize that it cannot and should not divorce the serving soldiers from the retired ones as dissatisfaction of one will lead to the dissatisfaction of the other. The Govt should now be magnanimous enough to implement the spirit of SC judgment by granting the same pensions to pre and post 2006 defence retirees for all ranks. What better day to make such announcement than the 10th anniversary of the Kargil War ie 26 Jul 2006?
With regards,
Jai Hind
Yours Sincerely,
Maj Gen (Retd) Satbir Singh, SM
Vice Chairman Indian ESM Movement

E Governance- Will ESM Grieviences Get the C-in-C attention?

Now, your complaint will reach President at the click of a mouse by Smriti Kak Ramachandran: : The Hindu
Rashtrapati Bhavan gets over 400 mails every day
— Photo: PTI
GOVERNANCE: President Pratibha Patil inaugurates the helpline portal at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi on Friday.

NEW DELHI: With the click of a few buttons, complaints, petitions and prayers will now swiftly reach the President’s Office, find their way to the departments concerned, get tracked as they are processed and the information stored for later use.

With the launch of a new website on Friday, reaching out to the President has become easier. Launched by President Pratibha Patil at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, the website has been designed to simplify the process of grievance redress.

“The Rashtrapati Bhavan mail box receives over 400 mails every day. The portal is expected to reduce the time taken to dispatch the mail to the Central and State government departments concerned, following up on the action taken and finally maintaining the record,” said Secretary to the President Cristy Fernandes.

“We hope to process the applications within seven days of receiving them. And everybody who sends us a mail will be provided a unique registration number (URN), which will help them keep track of their application,” he said.

The portal, Mr. Fernandes said, was the President’s idea. “On assuming office, the President expressed the wish to modernise everything possible, from infrastructure to the style of working.”

The portal offers citizens a platform to voice their grievances. Of the total applications that the President’s Office receives, 70 per cent are through snail mail and the rest electronically.

“People who are left with no options write to the President. There are some limitations that the office faces as far as keeping track of these applications, updating their status and preserving these applications is concerned. But with the launch of this portal, we hope to address these issues,” said Mr. Fernandes.

The new system is being integrated with the Centralised Public Grievance Redress and Monitoring System which will monitor the progress of the petition.

The portal, currently available in English, will gradually be available in Indian languages as well. It will allow lodging of lengthy e-petitions and enable supplementary attachment of scanned documents.
Now, your complaint will reach President at the click of a mouse
President Helpline: click me

Army Recruitment Drive: The Tip of the Iceberg

Jodhpur | Jul 18, 2009
Around eight touts and six Army personnel have been picked up so far as part of a drive to clean the recruitment process in the armed forces.

"We have been able to get hold of 8 touts and 6 Army personnel, including 3 Majors and 3 Junior Commissioned Officers (Subedar Majors). They are being handed over to police for interrogation," said Col Bharat Kumar, Director (Recruitment) of Army Recruitment Office, Jodhpur.

The Zonal Recruitment Office had launched a drive in May with a view to break the nexus between the touts and Army officers, he said. Six agents were arrested on July 13 and two on July 14.

They allegedly charged Rs 1.5 lakh from each candidate for their selection in the Army.
Army Recruitment Scam: 8 Touts, 6 Army Officers Held
Blog related news
Army Recuitment Drive or Firing Range

SCPC: One Rank One Pension

Express News Service
Posted: Jul 07, 2009 at 0320 hrs IST

Thousands of Ex servicemen - Retired Army Jawans and Commission officers will now have reasons to feel happy about. They will benefit from the recent announcement made by the Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, about a One Rank One Pension scheme. It will come as a big bonanza for the retired army jawans. As per Express India, Pranab Mukherjee had said the government had accepted recommendations to improve the pension prior to January 1, 2006, and have defence pensioners below officer rank and bring pre-October 10, 1997, pensioners on par with those who followed.

Few questions answered
1. How many officers and jawans will benefit from this announcement for the One Rank One Pension scheme for Sixth Pay Commission?
Around 12 lakh Jawans and JCOs (Junior Commissioned Officers) are expected to benefit from this latest announcment.
2. By which date will the the One Rank One Pension scheme for Sixth Pay Commission be implemented?
It is reported that the scheme will be implemented from July 1.
3. Any details about the designation or posts for which people will benefit?
Yes. Officers at the ranks of jawan, naik, havildar, naik subedar and subedar major are learnt to benefit from this scheme.

The biggest cause of concern for these officers was that there was a big differene or gap in the pensions of past and present retirees. October 1997 post and pre were affected by the Fifth pay Commission.

Any other details available regarding the salary?
Yes. As per the reports, OROP scales should come around Rs 14,000 for all. "It would benefit all ranks." Now there are three bands of payment, to be now merged. The first band features sepoy to havildar at Rs 4,500 basic pension, the second band includes naik subedars and subedar majors at Rs 9,300, while the third band pays Rs 13,750 after the Sixth Pay Commission.
Ex-servicemen: benefits from pension

Friday, July 24, 2009

No more VIP duty please: NSG

Sudhi Ranjan Sen, Thursday July 23, 2009, New Delhi
Parliament could not function properly on Thursday because UP Chief Minister Mayawati's partymen were enraged at the thought of their leader's security being scaled down. Maya's MPs disrupted both the Houses to such an extent that they had to be adjourned twice.

But could VIP security change altogether?
NDTV has learnt that the elite National Security Guards (NSG), used for special operations like 26/11, wants to wash its hands of guarding VIPs altogether; they'd rather focus on terror entirely but will the government agree?
The NSG wants to re-deploy the commandos for anti-terror operations, what they were originally intended for, and after 26/11 it believes they have a stronger case.

The NSG has told the Union Home Ministry:
  • It cannot protect any more people as it is short of hands
  • That affects operational capabilities
  • The NSG wants most of the 3000 or so commandos on VIP guard duty to be redeployed in the four new hubs set up after the Mumbai attacks
  • This itself could fill as many as half the vacancies

    But will the government be politically brave and at least reduce the number of VIPs protected by black cats?

    On Thursday, when BSP MPs disrupted the House opposing any cut in Mayawatis security the government quickly clarified.

    "Government is deeply concerned about the security of all political leaders who have been given security. I want to assure the House that security will not be reduced," said Prithiviraj Chavan, Minister of State, PMO.

    The Home Ministry hasn't agreed to the NSG pull out yet but sources say the government could keep its promise and free NSG commandoes and give VIPs commandos from other central forces.

    The big question is whether the home minister who has set an example himself go by political compulsion or national security.

    Even if that means withdrawing the NSG cover of people like Bhajan Lal and Buta Singh who got these guards at the height of their power years ago when their threat perception was higher.
    No more VIP duty please: NSG

    Comments on VIP Terror
    Posted by murthy on Jul 24, 2009
    Security forces are for the protection of people. Politicians are because of us, we are not because of politicians. SC itself had commented once "Politicians are not national asset that need protection".

    Posted by suparna on Jul 24, 2009
    it is time that india asks its politicians to pay for their own security, if they think they need it. why should the tax payer bear the brunt of megalomania??
  • Indo- China war 1962: Battle of Namkachu

    Why we forget the heroes of the Battle of Namkachu at the tri junction of INDIA, BHUTAN and TIBET October 20, 1962? Question still lingers... bureaucrats enlightened... the Military remain confused...

    Down Memory Lane
    Sometime earlier, Mangat had written a letter to Ian Cardozo, his erstwhile roommate at IMA, that aptly describes the situation prevailing and the spirit and morale of the officers and men of 2 Rajput deployed in the valley.
    He wrote:
    My dear Cardi It looks like it is I who will go first into battle. I am not able to tell you where I am but we are just short of the McMahon Line. The Chinese hold the high ground and seem to be in great strength. Should they attack we will defend our territory to our very last breath. It is very cold out here and we do not have snow clothing but we will give the Chinese a hot reception if they dare to attack. Will tell you all about it, IF and WHEN we meet again, I don't know where you are but I wish we were better prepared.
    With regards and best wishes,

    His room mate, Cardozo, after the war was inspired to write a poem about his friend Mangat.

    Prelude to the Battle of Namkachu– 1962
    Do not wait for me when I am gone
    Duty calls and I must go
    For this last battle was I born
    When our great country’s friend has turned a foe
    Much has happened in recent times gone by
    Blinkered vision blinds our leader’s eyes
    They fail to heed our army’s desperate cry
    Disabled minds prefer our neighbour’s lies
    To understand our Army’s basic need
    Our leaders do not even seem to try
    To do or die has been our basic creed
    And not to question how or when or why
    This brigade is tasked to face first blow
    We fight with old and antiquated arms
    We’re up against a far superior foe
    On ground dictated by their forceful terms
    This battleground in which we now are placed
    Below the enemy’s dominating ground
    A malignant Chinese force is what we face
    With all advantage in their favour found
    Wars only start when leaders fail
    When armies are allowed to lose their strength
    When governance permits itself to become frail
    And fails to execute the role for which it’s meant
    We know that we are in a desperate state
    There is no way that we can save the day
    Leaders far away decide our fate
    Ignorant of the need for better ways
    To further complicate the game
    The enemy continues to call the shots
    And to our everlasting shame
    We have no game, no plan, no plot
    Daily we see the Chinese army grow
    They now have massed on Upper Thagla hill
    We’re badly placed in positions down below
    No mines, no guns no winter clothing still
    Winter’s cold and icy hand of death.
    Has announced its presence in skies no longer blue
    And all we do is wait with baited breath
    For death to strike across the Namkachu
    When we are gone it’s only this we ask
    A chance to snatch fair victory from the jaws of death
    To give our sons the means so they can do their task
    In defending freedom with every mortal breath.

    - Maj Gen Cardozo

    Brig lakshman Singh VSM (Retd)

    Kargil Diwas: Homage to Kargil Martyrs

    "Citizens’ Society of India"
    Kargil Vijay Shradhanjali Kalash started moving from Kanyakumari, Southern tip of India, on 21st July 09 on its journey to Delhi by road and rail on the shoulders of Volunteers of "Citizens’ Society of India" as a mark of True Salute and Respect to our Great Soldiers martyred in Kargil War. Volunteers are true Indians drawn from various walks of life, their only concern being Nation, and Love to the Great Nation. They had keenly been celebrating Kargil Divas for the last nine years; and this, the 10th anniversary of Kargil War, an occasion to specially remind the people of the Country. The Kalash contains waters from twenty one holy Rivers of India from North to South. At Delhi, the Kalash is to be handed over to the Chief of the Army Staff on 26th July. By then the Kalash would have traversed the country though Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Maharastra, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Haryana & Delhi. There after the Team of Kargil Kalash will move to Drass Sector and, at the Kargil Memorial, the Kalash will rest.

    National Spirit, enthusiasm & get going attitude of this Organization would/ should inspire thousands from among the communities throughout the journey of the Kalash.

    On 22nd of July, at their Bangalore HQ (Citizens’ Society of India), thousands thronged to pay tributes. A total surprise to the Sub Committee of Rastriya Sainik Smaraka, we quickly arranged a function at the Smaraka Site to felicitate the Kalasha and participants. Kalash was brought in, duly escorted by service motorcycle outriders, ( thanks to the local Army & Air Force Commanders ) into a freshly erected, flower bedecked, canopy over the foundation stone. Past Loka Ayukta, Justice (retd) Venkatachalaiah, Soldiers, Airmen & Sailors (who carried the Kalash), President and officials of the Society (Citizens’ Society of India) and all present (including veterans Air Cmde Chandrasekhar, Brig Rangachary, Col Rajan) offered floral tributes. The function was well covered by the Press. Then the Convoy moved to Vidhana Soudha (seat of power) where Cabinet Ministers and other dignitaries offered tributes to the Kalasha. A short speech by Air Cmde Chandrasekhar (retd) emphasizing the need to enthuse/involve the community and youth on such occasions, followed by chanting of the National Anthem added value to the ceremony. Military precision glorified the proceedings.

    Kalasha moved thereafter to their HQ (Citizens’ Society of India). Functions continued till 8 PM with effective participation of the smaraka sub-committee, at Bangalore City Railway Station where thousands had gathered to see off the Kalasha.
    A short notice call alone could be made to local ESM community of Bangalore.

    It is hoped at Delhi and at other places ESM community would join and encourage the Organization in spreading awareness among the People of India on their " Debt of Honor ". Nodal Members of IESM are being informed by Col (retd) SS Rajan to lend support to this August Movement and add / derive strength from people of the country, the community who are not yet adequately exposed to National Security Psyche, sans age old emotional sentiments. The veterans, the Militarized segment of the Community, does seem to have a role to enthuse and indoctrinate our country men.
    Jai Hind.
    Veteran Sreedhar.
    Lt Col GV Sreedhar (Retd)

    Pakistan State Terror diluted by Joint Statement

    click picture for readable version
    Dear All,
    My article, "CHECKMATED AGAIN" is placed below. It has been published in the 'Mail Today' of 23 July 09; a few portions have been edited. Copy of the Mail Today piece is as above.
    sd/... Vijay Oberoi

    CHECKMATED AGAIN By Lt Gen Vijay Oberoi
    Pakistan has a knack of ensuring that joint statements or other formal documents signed between India and Pakistan are favourable to its interests. Either our diplomats are no match to their Pakistani counterparts or the other influential members of the PM core group (I nearly wrote coterie!) are over-ruling them. Some say it is the PM himself who forces the issue, but I have my doubts on this score. Whoever may be responsible for the major faux pas of Sharm el-Sheikh, one thing is certain; Pakistan has again got the better of India, by ensuring the inclusion of at least three issues, which are contrary to our long standing policies vis-à-vis that country. It is no wonder that now the PM as well as the government are on the defensive in India, while the equivalent of the ‘bubbly’ is being savoured in Pakistan.

    Comparisons they say are odious, but one does get a sense of déjà vu, as a similar blunder was committed at Shimla in 1972, the consequences of which are still haunting us. In Shimla, we succumbed to the promises and blandishments of the senior Bhutto, although the then PM, Indira Gandhi, was not naïve in any sense. Passage of time will no doubt tell us who or who all were responsible for the disastrous joint statement this time. However, one is tempted to state that if ‘war is too important a matter to be left to the military’, as Georges Clemenceau had said, any discussion with Pakistan is also ‘too important to be left to our diplomats and pseudo security experts’, while the military is kept out of the loop. Indira Gandhi made the same mistake and before her that capable PM, Lal Bahadur Shastri at Tashkent and lost out to the wily Pakistanis’. Successive governments, irrespective of their political affiliations, have followed this, much to the disadvantage of the nation.

    There are three obvious blunders in the joint statement......
    to continue reading click on image above.

    Kargil War Heros: Tribute

    Bachchan pays tribute to heros of Kargil War

    Abhishek Bachchan pays tribute to the heroes of Kargil War
    July 23rd, 2009 - 10:28 am ICT by sampurn
    July 26th is Kargil Vijay Diwas, the day our Jawans defeated the Pakistani infiltrators after fighting for over 40 days at the heights of Kargil and Drass, in the process, sacrificing their lives. 10 years hence the war is over but for our soldiers who are guarding these borders, the battle is still on. Living in harsh climates and inhospitable conditions, their lives are hard, lonely and cut off from the outside world as they guard our borders.
    To salute these unsung heroes of Indians, Bollywood star, Abhishek Bachchan travels to some of the locations where Kargil war was fought and interacts with them.
    In this special episode of Jai Jawan, Abhishek visits a bunker at Sando top, and even tries his hand at firing a few rounds with them at the training centre and recounts his experiences while shooting for LOC Kargil. He also visits Vijay Gallery and meets two people associated with the Kargil War- Colonel YK Joshi, the then commanding officer of 13 JAK rifles and Barkha Dutt, who closely reported on the war from the border.
    Abhishek responds to the warm hospitality exhibited by the jawans by offering Gajar Ka Halwa and Aam Ras especially made by Aishwarya Rai and Jaya Bachchan. The day is wrapped on an emotional note as Abhishek reads out a beautiful poem “Agnipath’ written by his grandfather Harivansh Rai Bachchan along with a message from his father.
    Watch Abhishek Bachchan as he strikes a heartening camaraderie with our jawans only on Jai Jawan on Saturday, 25th July, 12.00 pm with a repeat on Sunday, 26th July, 11.30am and 9.30pm on NDTV 24×7. Also watch it on NDTV India on Saturday, 25th July, 9.30pm with a repeat on Sunday, 26th July at 9.30am and 10.30pm. - Sampurn Media
    Abhishek Bachchan pays tribute to the heroes of Kargil War

    Capt Saurabh Kalia: Remembering Kargil war hero

    Dated: 26 Nov 2007
    And they who for their country die
    Shall fill an honoured grave,
    For glory lights the soldier’s tomb
    And beauty weeps the brave.
    - Joseph Rodman Brake
    “A glorious death is his
    Who for his country falls”
    - Homer in his "Iliad’ in 1000 B.C.

    When I spoke over the phone this morning to Dr N K Kalia (living in Saurabh Nagar, Palampur- 176061 in Himachal Pradesh), father of Martyr Capt Saurabh Kalia who was brutally tortured and murdered following his capture by Pakistani Army in Kargil War in May 1999, I was moved to inconsolable tears.

    Capt Saurabh Kalia laid down his life in Kargil war at the prime age of 22; serving for a very short period of less than 5 months. His title to eternal fame and glory lies in the fact that he was the first officer to detect and inform about Pakistani intrusion in Kargil area while doing his patrols in the first fortnight of May, 99.

    Pakistani army captured Capt Saurabh Kalia and his patrol alive on 15th May, 99 from the Indian side of Line Of Control (LOC) perhaps after an encounter. They were in Pakistani custody and captivity for about 3 weeks and subjected to unprecedented brutal torture as evident from the condition of their bodies when they were handed over by the Pakistan Army on 9 June, 1999.

    The Preliminary Death Certificate shown below and issued on 9th June 1999 is self-explanatory. The Pakistani Army Officers and Soldiers, with their Islamic commitment to compassionate Islam (which seems to have caused no loss of sleep to our ever vigilant Prime Minister!), indulged in the most dastardly acts of burning his body with cigarettes, removing his eyes before puncturing them, breaking most of the bones of his battered body and teeth.

    Capt Kalia along with Sq Ldr Ahuja and four others fought the real battle of Kargil unarmed for 22 days undergoing the worst kind of physical torture known in post-war Indian Military History. In a savage and cowardly manner, the Pakistan Army shot them dead ultimately. These irrefutable facts were brought to light following a detailed post-mortem conducted later at New Delhi. Thus, Pakistan army dared to flout all international cannons of War Law and Justice incorporated in the Geneva Convention to which both India and Pakistan are signatories.

    I have seen the detailed autopsy report and am convinced that Capt Kalia Sq Ldr Ahuja and their men were subjected to the most heinous form of brutal torture by the Pakistani Army before they were shot dead.

    Pakistan Government denied and dismissed these allegations arguing that it was the handiwork of Mujaheedins and Pakistan army or Government had nothing to do with this incident. The Skardu Radio in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir broke the news of their capture but the Director General Military Operations of Pakistan Army denied when repeatedly contacted by the Indian counterpart.

    Interestingly, Pakistan showed scant concern for their own men and even refused to take back the bodies of their own soldiers numbering in hundreds and Indian army had to bury them with due honours during Kargil war. One wonders what prompted the Pakistan army to risk their men to pull back the bodies of ONLY THESE SIX INDIAN SOLDIERS from gorges several hundred feet deep? The autopsy reports of these soldiers confirmed that the injuries were inflicted ante-mortem as published in the entire Indian press.

    Having lost badly in the military sphere, Pakistan outsmarted India in the diplomatic sphere by releasing the captured Flt Lt Nachiketa before the world media even while India, in a shamelessly routine manner, took over from Pakistan army the immensely tortured bodies of Sq Ldr Ahuja, Capt Kalia and other soldiers quietly without a fuss. When Capt Kalia’s body was flown from Kargil to New Delhi for detailed autopsy to determine the extent of torture and mutilation, Government could not garner the support of any foreign media or international human rights organizations during the examination.

    Referring to the irresponsible and indifferent attitude of mass media, Dr. N K Kalia told me: A few high profile editors from Indian press tried to disparage this incident. When a rejoinder was sent by me, only Shri Vinod Mehta (The Outlook) kindly replied that the Pakistan Foreign Minister had mentioned about the extreme torture not mutilation of the body and Mr Praful Bidwai (The Mid-day) published my letter while some others did not have the courtesy to acknowledge my letter; leave alone replying or publishing mine rejoinder.

    Perhaps those who were present while the autopsy was conducted in Delhi, found only torturing and wrote to denigrate the Indian Government, and as if torturing of Prisoners Of War (POWs) was sanctified in their opinion. Sadly, army’s spokesperson did not send any rejoinder to National Human Rights Commission. Remarked that it cannot handle this case on account of some technicalities.

    Most of the Indian Human Rights organizations did not raise this issue on any platform. We are, however, overwhelmed by the unprecedented public support. The love, respect, honour and a deep sense of belonging showered on us by innumerable persons during the last over seven years through their deeply felt sentiments have been extraordinary. Over 1.25 lac e-mails and over 40,000 written letters apart from several persons visiting or calling from India or abroad vouch for that.....

    Destiny played a cruel joke on Capt Sarabh Kalia— great believer in LORD BAJRANG BALI (HANUMAN JI) — and incidentally he got captured at the BAJRANG POST and laid down his life in the "OPERATION VIJAY’, the name of his mother being, Mrs Vijay Kalia. Last words of this valiant soldier to his mother before going to Kargil were "MAA, TUM DEKHNA EK DIN AISA KAAM KARUNGA KI SAARI DUNIA MEIN MERA NAAM HOGA’ (Mother, you will see one day I will do such a deed that the whole world will acknowledge that).

    The whole nation offered its salutation to this heroic and selfless son of Bharat Matha.

    The Himachal Pradesh Government, as a mark of respect, has raised "SAURABH VAN VIHAR’ in a sprawling area of 35 acres in Palampur Town, in addition to renaming the road to Dr Kalia’s house as CAPT SAURABH KALIA MARG and the area, SAURABH NAGAR (earlier known as Sugghar). Besides, a Nursing College in the proposed Vivekanand Hospital, Palampur is being raised, at the cost of 80 crores in Capt Saurabh Kalia’s fond memory.

    Crooked and corrupt Indian Politicians (mostly belonging to the Congress Party) have been constructing innumerable statues and memorials at public cost to perpetuate their dastardly public deeds of crime and infamy. They have no time or grace or heart for the unmourned and unsung heroes of our Armed Forces who have laid down their lives for the safety and integrity of our Motherland. Thousands of Indian Soldiers have died fighting for our Country after our independence. No memorial has been raised for them. All the War Memorials in India were raised during the days of British Raj.

    Every war after independence has been viewed as a SKIRMISH from the point of view of the Armed Forces and as great WARS for National Liberation from the point of view of our wicked unpatriotic politicians. That is how Nehru became the Hero of the Kashmir War in 1947, and the Chinese War in 1962; Lal Bahadur Shastri in the Indo-Pakistan War of 1965; and Indira Gadhi in the Indo-Pakistan War of 1971. That is why 93,000 Pakistan Soldiers taken as prisoners by the Great General Arora and his heroic men, were returned in a shamelessly submissive manner to Pakistan by Indira Gandhi.

    Her egoism was such that whenever she was attending a wedding, she wanted to replace the bride; and whenever she was attending a funeral she wanted to replace the corpse. All our politicians (particularly Congress) are mortally scared of Muslims of India and Pakistan. That is the reason they always fight shy of declaring our Martyrs from the Armed Forces of India as War Heroes and build memorials for them.

    Any act of Islamic Terrorism – either in India or outside – is viewed by them as acts of grace and compassion.

    The I World War inspired many patriotic poets to come out with immortal lines of poetry. Laurence Binyon (1869 -1 943), the poet and art critic, wrote the greatest war poem called For The Fallen (1914) which was first published in The Times in September, 1914. I would like to pay tribute to Capt Saurabh Kalia in the deathless words of Laurence Binyon:

    With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
    England mourns for her dead across the sea.
    Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,
    Fallen in the cause of the free.
    Solemn the drums thrill; Death august and royal
    Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres,
    There is music in the midst of desolation
    And a glory that shines upon our tears.
    They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
    Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
    They were staunch to the end against odds
    They fell with their faces to the foe.
    They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
    Age shall not weary them, nor the years contemn.
    At the going down of the sun and in the morning
    We will remember them.
    They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
    They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
    They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
    They sleep beyond England’s foam.
    But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
    Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
    To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
    As the stars are known to the Night;
    As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
    Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain;
    As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
    To the end, to the end, they remain.
    V Sundaram, IAS, Retd
    Capt Saurabh Kalia: Remembering Kargil war hero

    Thursday, July 23, 2009

    Do we care for our soldiers? CNN-IBN Program

    Dear all,
    A program has been recorded by CNN-IBN on 21 July the subject is 'DO WE CARE FOR INDIAN SOLDIER'. The program would be aired on CNN-IBN on FRIDAY 24 JULY AT 2030H, SATURDAY 25 JULY AT 2000H and SUNDAY 26 JULY AT 1200H. All those interested may tune and watch the show.
    Gp Capt VK Gandhi VSM
    Gen Sec IESM

    Kargil War: Captured in Poetry

    Date: Thursday, 23 July, 2009, 3:01 PM
    My Dear Friends,
    A Letter addressed to PM, RM, Smt. Sonia Gandhi and Sh. LK Advani is circulated herewith.
    With Kind Regards,
    Jai Hind
    Yours Sincerely,
    Maj Gen (Retd) Satbir Singh, SM
    Vice Chairman Indian ESM Movement

    Date: 22 Jul 2009
    1. I am enclosing a poem “Kargil” by Ms Shyam Kumari. The feelings expressed in the poem are the feelings of the entire nation towards our soldieries, martyrs and the valiant Defence Forces of India.
    2. Sir, I wish to highlight that feelings of patriotism and love for the Defence Forces are today at its peak when we commemorate the completion of 10 years of “Kargil War”.
    3. It is with a heavy heart that I as Vice Chairman of Indian Ex Servicemen Movement have to convey these feelings of the Nation and the Defence Forces to you as we are deeply anguished by the total apathy shown by the Govt in honoring the martyrs of Kargil and others who fought and survived. The Govt should have celebrated this hard toiled victory in an appropriate and dignified manner not with standing the views of Mr. Rashid Alvi.
    With Kind Regards,
    Jai Hind
    Yours Sincerely,
    Maj Gen (Retd) Satbir Singh, SM
    Vice Chairman Indian ESM Movement

    Kargil is not the name of a far-off place,
    Kargil is not the name of a high mountain ridge,
    Kargil is a place of pilgrimage
    Where wooing death as one would a sweetheart,
    With the laughter of Rudra in their eyes,
    Ever ready to fling their lives, gnawing hunger
    And biting cold, they faced with a smile,
    Where to defend Mother India, her brave sons die.
    A cluster of grenades to their waists they tie
    As they struggle for a toe-hold,
    Crawling up the sheer slopes
    Of those snow-covered harsh ranges.
    To lighten their load they throw away their daily meal,
    To be able to carry some more ammunition
    And extra grenades to blow up those enemy bunkers,
    Which stealthily Pakistan had made
    And thus had our trust been sorely betrayed.
    For he went to them -- Atal of India, the past to forgive
    And forget with hands outstretched to embrace and befriend.
    While they prepared to stab us in the back,
    To wound our trust with a forward thrust in India .
    Will Gods ever pardon what they have done?

    Today to the Indian annals of sacrifice and self-immolation,
    Are added new chapters, as our brave soldiers
    Lay mutilated by their inhuman captors.

    Today, the Tricolour of India
    Flies again from those peaks snow-bound
    And the full-throated war-cry of India 's hero-warriors
    On those ranges will always reverberate and rebound.

    Then hundreds of pilgrim feet will brave the arduous way
    To light incense and to lay wreaths on the sacred spots
    Where they fell, the valiant sons of Mother India.
    Kargil has become a hallowed name, etched in pain
    Spoken with pride, by patriots India-wide.
    After Kargil India will always be wary
    The torch of constant vigil will it carry.
    Kargil has ignited a new fire
    In our hearts an ardent desire
    To wager all for the Mother's defense
    Petty living no more makes any sense.
    Today we need to answer the call of the Mother
    All else will come thereafter.

    Now the youth of India vie with each-other
    As to who will fling first one's life on India 's altar
    And who will first have the honour Of being a martyr?
    Many try to be the first to die for the country.

    O Kargil! thanks to you, a new spirit has been kindled
    In state after state in person after person;
    Love for the country, which had alas grown dim
    Now burns bright and the Rajputs' ideal
    In India 's daughters and sons is once more alight.
    Be wary, O enemy! Indians arise,
    India will not be beguiled again
    It will never be taken in again.

    Kargil reminds us of dark perfidy and of sombre sacrifice.
    The nation pays homage to the Indian army
    To its brave way of life, to its readiness to die.

    Ms Shyam Kumari
    Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry
    June 30 1999

    Homage to Kargil Heros: Pune

    Sent: Thursday, July 23, 2009 3:31 PM
    Subject: Pay homage to the martyrs of the Kargil War
    Dear All,
    Following message received from Ms Vinita from Pune. I have downloaded the well designed 'Invite' and attached with this msg. Suggest post this on 'Report my Signal' that has a worldwide coverage among faujis. Please do circulate among your friends in Pune and around.
    Thank you Pune for this initiative.
    Commodore Lokesh K Batra Retd)
    Social & RTI Activist

    click image for readable and print version
    Dear Friends,
    On the occassion of the 10th Kargil War anniversary, citizens of Pune have taken the initiative to pay homage to the martyrs of the Kargil War. The above is the invite and please BE THERE. Please do not mind if it rains and pours for our brave soldiers never complain of fighting in the most treacherous terrain, braving biting cold and other weather conditions. Let us remember our heroes this Sunday. Please forward this to as many and upload on groups.
    cheers and warm regards.

    Kargil Diwas: Tenth Anniversary

    Date: Thursday, 23 July, 2009, 1:03 PM
    Dear All,
    My following article would be appearing in the forthcoming issue of SALUTE Magazine.
    Vijay Oberoi
    Lt Gen Vijay Oberoi, Former VCOAS

    The Government Remains Unconcerned
    Lt Gen Vijay Oberoi
    This year’s Kargil Diwas, on 26 July, is special as it is the 10th anniversary of the day when the last of the Pakistani intruders were killed or chased out of the Kargil Sector, by the doughty brave hearts of the Indian Army and Air Force. The Kargil Sector is actually a swathe of real estate along the Line of Control (LC) in J&K, stretching north east from the steep glaciated heights north of Drass and extending to the general area of Turtok, just short of the Siachin Glacier.

    I do not intend to cover the factual details of the various battles fought in the sector, but will highlight some nuances. Kargil had caught the imagination of every citizen of our country during those tumultuous summer months of 1999, from the time the intrusion was first discovered in early May, till the last of the Pakistani soldiers were neutralized and the entire area on our side of the LC was sanitized by 26 July.

    The various battles fought in the sector were a series of tactical level offensive operations, conducted at battalion and brigade levels. These were essentially marked by two important features - the formidable nature of the terrain and the sheer bravery of the officers and men of the Indian Army, who scaled those formidable and razor sharp sheer heights, unmindful of their lives and limbs. They did so in many a hand to hand battle and won victories on the high peaks, where the defenders-the Pakistani troops, had all the advantages. The nation lost 527 valuable lives, all brave young men, who sacrificed themselves, with grit written large on their determined visages and a fierce fire burning strong in their bellies.

    Why is such unparalleled bravery forgotten by our countrymen within a span of a mere 10 years? Have our nationalistic feelings atrophied that we have no time to remember the sacrifices of our brave soldiers and airmen, who fought so valiantly to restore the sanctity of the motherland? Is it the government, which needs to be reminded to take the lead, or the military or the people?

    I recall, with a great deal of nostalgia, the Vijay Diwas of 2000, one year after the Kargil operations. It was an event to remember. I was then commanding the Western Army at Chandimandir. At my instance, an extremely well attended remembrance cum homage function was organized by the army at Chandigarh. Governors and Chief Ministers of both Punjab and Haryana had led the people in paying tributes to the Kargil warriors. The inhabitants of Chandigarh, Panchkula and Mohali came in their thousands to pay homage and to remember the warriors, who had fought and conquered both the hazardous terrain and the well-entrenched enemy. As the ceremony ended, thousands of candles lit the entire ground; it was a sight that set the adrenalin pumping. Sadly, in the years that followed, Kargil disappeared from the radar screens of the government, the people and sadly even the media. Only the military remembered their comrades and held ceremonies and commemoration events, but only within the confines of their cantonments!

    The media and the ex-servicemen (ESM) have taken a lead this time in generating enthusiasm for the 10th anniversary of the Kargil Diwas, but alas there is not even a squeak from the government so far. On 26 July, a ritual and token ceremony will no doubt be held at the India Gate, with the Raksha Mantri and the three service chiefs laying wreaths and only a few media cameras in attendance. In our democratic country, the ‘Aam Aadmi’, whose paeans we sing these days, is not even permitted to come within 100 metres of such ceremonies. At best, they can view them on TV, but only fleetingly as the electronic media is stingy in airing such bytes! This must change, not only in the case of the Kargil Diwas, but on the few commemorative military events we still observe, even perfunctorily.

    Ours must be the only country in the world where decisions to commemorate military events are based on which political party is in power! One national political party celebrates Kargil Diwas because that military victory took place when theirs was the ruling party. The other does not, but celebrates Vijay Diwas instead, as it was their party which was in power when the Indian Military did the country proud by their resounding victory over Pakistan in 1971. A third category popular with the government is when no event is celebrated on the specious plea that it may adversely affect the peace process with a particular country! The end result of such a lackadaisical attitude on the part of the government is that the military, which is proud of its brave military heritage, is forced to have such celebrations and remembrances in the confines of their military stations and cantonments, with no participation by the civil populace, the political leaders or the government. What a dismal and farcical situation?

    The present government, in accordance with their party’s election pledge, had carved out the Department of Ex-servicemen Welfare from within the Ministry of Defence in 2004. It is this Department that should take a lead in celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Kargil victory in a befitting manner, but it seems to be wallowing in indecision, waiting for a cue from the political leaders. Despite its existence for almost five years now, no worthwhile welfare measures have been instituted by this organization. The reason is simple. This organization, from its inception, should have been manned by military officers who understand the problems of serving personnel and ESM, as well as their ethos and culture. The result of such pusillanimous behaviour by this organization is further disillusionment of the military.

    The government would do well to keep in mind what the famous military strategist, Carl von Clausewitz, had expounded on the remarkable ‘trinity’ of the government, the military and the people, that is essential for victory for a nation. It is equally applicable to the nation even in non-war situations. Will the government take a lead and bring them together?

    IESM: Chairman's Desk

    Date: Wednesday, 22 July, 2009, 10:44 PM
    Dear Colleagues,
    An audience has been sought with the President to apprise her that ‘one rank one pension’ (a term she herself had used) is not likely to be granted by the government. The environment will be kept informed when/if the audience is granted.
    Best regards,
    Lt Gen (Emeritus) Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
    Chairman IESM

    Click link below to read the APPEAL to enhance our cause
    Gp Capt VK Gandhi VSM, Gen Sec IESM

    PCDA(P) spins verdict of Hon'ble SC on Maj Gens' pension case

    The rider
    "All retired Major Generals and equivalent in Navy and Air Force who were in receipt of pension as on 1st October 2001 are required to apply to their respective Pension Disbursing Agency for revision of his/ her pension in terms of these orders in the prescribed form as per Annexure-I attached with Govt. letter dated 15.07.2009 immediately but latest within one month from the date of issue of the Government letter i.e. by 14.08.2009 positively. Affected pensioners not applying within stipulated time will not be entitled to interest @ 10% per annum for the period by which submission of application beyond the stipulated period is delayed."
    Access non- Printable Prescribed Forms:
    Maj Gen Pension SC Judgement: PCPDA(P)) Implementation Order: click me
    Maj Gen Pre- 2006 Pension Printable Form: click me

    Wednesday, July 22, 2009

    IESM: Chairman's Desk

    Date: Tuesday, 21 July, 2009, 10:21 PM
    Dear Colleagues,
    Confusion on what is planned to be sanctioned by the government for different ranks continues. A letter has been sent to the Defence Minister on 16 Jul 2009 seeking clarifications.
    Best regards,
    Lt Gen (Emeritus) Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
    Chairman IESM

    Vijay Diwas: PM to launch indigenously-built nuclear submarine on July 26

    Hyderabad: The Eastern Naval Command at Visakhapatnam is gearing up for a unique milestone in India's defence history on July 26 wherein Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will launch the indigenously-built nuclear-powered submarine that is tentatively named 'INS Arihant'.

    July 26 is celebrated as 'Vijay Diwas' which marks India's triumph over Pakistani intruders in Kargil. Launch of the indigenously-built nuclear-powered submarine has been planned for July 26 to coincide with Vijay Diwas. A host of Navy and defence officials are expected to grace the occasion.

    Though the Navy authorities haven't yet officially confirmed the programme, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy announced the Prime Minister's visit to Visakhapatnam after a meeting with the latter in New Delhi late last week. A senior Navy official told PTI over phone from Visakhapatnam that everything related to the event was being taken care of by Navy higher officials in New Delhi.

    "Right now we have no information about the event as such," the Navy official added. Said to be built under the Advanced Technology Vessels (ATV) Programme at a cost of 2.9 billion USD at the Naval Dockyard in Visakha patnam, the 6,000-tonne submarine will be put on sea trials for two years before being commissioned into full service. In the two years, the submarine will also undergo harbour trials of its nuclear reactor and other systems.
    Source: PTI
    PM to launch indigenously-built nuclear submarine on July 26

    Kargil Divas: Tribute to the Indian Soldier

    From: Brig Suryanarayanan
    Subject: Tribute to the Indian Soldier (Kargil)
    Date: Tuesday, 21 July, 2009, 5:31 PM
    Hi Veterans,
    It is once again a Kerala Magazine that has devoted almost 60% of the latest issue to Kargil. Please access and read all relevant articles click me
    Brig AN Suryanarayanan (Retd)

    The week Cover Story: Letter from the managing editor
    Dear Reader,
    The yak probably rebelled against the routine. Or perhaps it was the food that shepherd Tashi Namgyal dished out. On May Day, ten summers ago, it quietly walked out of Garkon, a village close to the LoC. A distraught Tashi followed its trail up the snow-clad mountain. Suddenly, he stopped in his tracks: six men hunkered ahead, building a stone bunker. He had not seen them around before—these men were not from the Army, nor from nearby villages. He raced back, still not realising the import of being the first to sight intruders from across the border. At the local Army unit "they thought I was lying", Tashi recalled the pulse-pounding moments to THE WEEK's Special Correspondent Tariq Bhat last week.

    Ten years later, the father of four children is soaking in the adulation. He is a hero all right—the plucky shepherd was rewarded Rs 50,000 by the Army and a telephone installed in his home, the only one in the village. It was a small gesture of thanksgiving to a man whose chance discovery helped the nation avert disaster. Had the strategic heights fallen into hostile hands in the summer of 1999, an ominous grip would soon have tightened around the nation's neck.
    It took three months, and the lives of 474 of our bravest sons, to breathe free again.

    Kargil today is no longer just an icy outpost where men find frostbite as insidious a companion as the enemy's intent. It has become a scaffolding of steel for the idea of India. That idea glows brighter than ever before in the eyes of Lance Naik Jaswant Singh of the 18 Garhwal Rifles. Assigned the task of reclaiming the crucial Point 4700 in Kargil, Singh and his companions charged against the enemy "even as one intruder kept firing at me from as close as 10 metres". Years later, prodded by his mates, he turned around and showed the bullet wound on the back of his neck, said Principal Correspondent Nikita Doval, who visited them at their post in Banbasa, near the Nepal border. These men crave mere minutes with their children, sometimes just a warm meal served by a loved one. Instead they keep the heart's desire on hold. Amid the white wasteland where temperatures plummet to minus 40°C in severe winters, men from across India stand guard, eyeballs scanning the thin air for a hint of hostility. They know they could be buried under an avalanche the next minute, or fall to fatal high altitude pulmonary oedema that causes accumulation of fluid in the lungs.

    This issue of THE WEEK is dedicated to these heroes who stand guard so that we can sleep safe. On the following pages we present an array of stories on 10 years after Kargil. Experts explain various facets of the war and its lessons—Gen. (retd) V.P Malik, who was chief of army staff during the conflict; K. Subrahmanyam, who headed the Kargil review committee; Air Marshal (retd) Vinod Patney, commanding-in-chief of Western Air Command that was active in the war; and, from across the border, Hamid Mir, chief of Geo TV, who chronicles the changes in his country since the Kargil War.

    Over the last many days our reporters gained intimate insights into the lives and loss of soldiers in Kargil and combatants now posted elsewhere. On Sando Top at Dras (16,000 ft), Tariq Bhat gasped at the grit of our jawans. He gasped for breath, too: “We traversed miles of desolate stretches with an unending array of snow-capped mountains that gleam in the morning sunlight…. My headache was peaking and I tied my handkerchief tightly around my head but the nausea wouldn’t subside. By the time we reached Point 4812, I was panting. A soldier stopped the colonel I was travelling with and insisted on tea with grenades. Grenades! I was taken aback. ‘Oh they are choormas, a sweet like the ladoo that they make here with atta, ghee, sugar and dry fruit,’ the colonel explained. ‘The grenadiers call it grenade!’ he laughed. I marvelled at their mettle and the ability to view the lighter side of high-altitude life.”

    It is time we paused to marvel at these incredible Indians. It is time we told our children that their modern-day heroes must include not only T20 thrillers and Bollywood badshahs, but also men like Captain Vikram Batra who is fabled for his exploits on Point 5140. It is time to take the family to a new destination like Palampur—just once at least—where Dr N.K. Kalia’s home has become a cenotaph of Kargil’s first war hero, his son Saurabh, as Senior Correspondent Neha Bajpai records in the cover story. “We must have done countless good deeds in our previous birth to have been blessed with a son like him,” said Dr Kalia, who has converted the first floor of his house into a beautiful memorial.

    It is time to remember.
    And time to restore the honour of men like Rangappa Alur, who was felled by a missile in the aftermath of the war. He lost both hands, and a leg. Which means he cannot run around to get the land promised to him almost a decade ago by the Karnataka government, or lobby the Army to get his meagre pension hiked. It is time to honour our men.
    Philip Mathew
    Read more thrilling accounts from battle front of Kargil
    The week Cover Story: Kargil battle accounts: Click me

    SCPC: Promotion stagnation of PBORs

    Copy of the letter IESL/13/2009 Dt. 18 May 2009 shot by this organization to Sh. S.M. Acharya, Secretary (Ex-Servicemen Affairs) & Chairman, High Powered Committee, Ministry of Defence, Sena Bhawan, New Delhi – 11 0011.
    IESL/13/2009 Dt 18 May, 2009
    Sh. S.M. Acharya,
    Secretary (Ex-Servicemen Affairs) & Chairman
    High Powered Committee, Ministry of Defence
    Sena Bhawan, New Delhi – 11 0011.
    Sub: Post Sixth Central Pay Commission Demands.
    Dear Sir,
    Kindly allow the undersigned to add a supplement to our memorandum dated 12 May, 2009, submitted to you in above connection.
    2. Inadequate promotion among the PBORs (Personnel below officers Rank), specially up to the rank of Havildhar (Hav) and equivalent in other forces, is one of the major factors causing frustration among the soldiers, during both pre and post retirement periods. 'Stress Management in Armed Forces' a report prepared and presented in the Parliament, recently by a Parliament Committee, appointed by the UPA Govt. prior to this election, has expressed its concern over the 635 suicide causes and 67 fratricidal killings in the ranks during the last 5 years. The major cause behind the mounting stress is inadequate promotion which must be checked by implementing the 'Assured Career Progression Scheme' among the ranks up to Havildar as recommended by Ajay Vikram Singh Committee and implemented by the govt. in case of Lt Cols. Presently most of the PBORs retire in the rank of Hav and below during the life span of 35 to 40 years. This must be corrected at the earliest.
    3. Similarly additional conditions imposed on the post retirement canteen benefits of PBORs also be done away. At present, short service commissioned officers, with five or less years of services and no pension are allowed to purchase a car of any capacity from CSD after every two years where as PBORs, who have been doled this benefit recently, can purchase the car up to 1300CC only and that too after a gap of 7 years only if they have served for 15 years and draw service pension, after producing valid Driving License. Officers are not required to fulfill the above conditions.
    These irritants, if removed, will go a long way in removing the basic cause leading the frustration among the PBORs. Hoping a favourable response from your end.
    Yours Sincerely,
    Sgt Prabhjot Singh Chhatwal PLS Retd

    PBOR denied justice: The endless litigation endures

    Dear Brig Kamboj,
    May I request you to put the following in "REPORT MY SIGNALS" blog to show to the readers apathy on the part of our serving officers and the COAS concerning PBOR:

    "A Havildar filed a writ petition in 1990 in the Delhi High Court wherein he challenged the ACR of 1987 (wherein he was graded "High Average") on the ground that the same could not be considered for his promotion to Naib Subedar as he had not completed 90 days under the IO. The last five ACRs considered were of 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988 and 1989. In these five ACRs he had two "Above Average" and three "High Average" reports. In 1984 ACR as well as in 1990 ACR the Havildar had been graded "Above Average". San 1987 A.C.R. the Havildar met the criteria of "Three Above Average and Two High Average reports" in the last five years whether the 1984 or the 1990 report is considered.

    In reply, with a view to prove that the NCO did put in 90 days under the I.O., the Record Officer forged the entry relating to the "Period of Service" under the I.O. and produced the ACR in the Court. However, the High Court found the entry relating the period of service under the I.O. had been tampered/ forged. The writ petition was admitted on this ground alone way back in 1990.

    The writ was finally decided in November 2008 in favour of the NCO. The High Court held that the "period of service" in 1987 report was in fact tampered and struck down the 1987 ACR. The High Court directed the COAS and others to reconsider the Havildar for promotion to Naib Subedar in 1990 sans the 1987 report.

    However, the COAS instead of considering either of 1984 or 1990 report (both "Above Average") chose to consider 1983 report (a "High Average Report") just to deny the promotion to the NCO! What will be the result? Another writ petition will have to be filed. This is how the Courts get flooded with avoidable litigation.

    I ask myself a question "can an NCO afford to file yet another writ petition" and more importantly, the earlier case having taken 19 years to decide, can he wait or even live till he gets justice.

    While we criticize the Government for its apathy, is there no apathy nearer home? Was the COAS not obliged to proceed against the forger of the ACR entry (Record Officer) and punish him for his misdemeanour? Was he not required to do justice by considering 1984 report? Why did he choose 1983 report when it did not fall within the "Last Five Years" by any standard? Was it just to deny a promotion to a poor Havildar? It is time we carry out introspection.
    Lt Col MG Kapoor, Veteran
    Practicing Law in Delhi High Court

    Tuesday, July 21, 2009

    IESM: RTI Cell- Volunteers

    Very Important Announcement and Request for Veterans in NCR
    There is an urgent need to create an RTI Cell by IESM. We have a highly experienced leader to head this Cell, Commodore LK Batra, who has wide experience in the field of RTI. Very successfully he is supporting number of NGOs for RTI activities. What we need now is a few volunteer veterans at Noida and New Delhi to help Commodore LK Batra to file very large number of applications under the RTI Act to extract useful information from the Government files, which is required to support our case in the Courts.
    We must create this cell without further delay. Please volunteer or suggest suitable names. Please pass on this information to veterans who are not available on email.
    The names may kindly forwarded to "Report My Signal".
    In the mean time, veterans in other cities are requested to think and advise what are the subjects on which applications under RTI should be filed. As it appears from the expertise available, Naval Foundation is going to be the nucleus for the filing of Court Case (as and when filed), they are also requested to suggest topics for application under RTI Act.
    The ideal thing would be that the Naval Foundation, who have a proper office and administrative support, should kindly provide the support to this RTI Cell being created. Needless to say that veterans from All Three Services will assist the functioning of this cell, and will kindly operate under the Naval Foundation.
    In Service of Indian Military Veterans,
    Chander Kamboj

    Immediate Challenges
    The RTI cell should debug the Kendriya, Rajya and Zilla Sainik Boards which are in hibernation and ensure Ex Servicemen friendly and honourable service is rendered to all. There is no feedback system or audit of services in the Sainik Boards. Should they not be made accountable?
    The Pension Grievance Cell should ensure all arrears to ESM/ widows are paid without delay. They should be made to interact with banks and resolve the pension related issues which is affecting a great majority of PBORS and their families.
    Long term measures
    The Ministry of Defence needs to publish a Green Paper, “The Nation’s Commitment to the Armed Forces Community: Consistent and Enduring Support”, which will look at how to prevent Service personnel and their families being disadvantaged due to their unique circumstances in accessing public services such as assured government/ civil employment of PBORs and Short Service Commissioned Officers, land ownership, legal assistance, litigation, housing, education and healthcare. It will also look to provide them with tailored routes through which to address complaints which should be permanently upheld across all levels of central and state Governments.

    IESM: Good Health Care is more precious than a few extra pension bucks

    Date: Monday, 20 July, 2009, 7:57 AM
    Dear Brig Kamboj,
    Two articles sent by "Report My Signal", highlighted, what has been happening since independence. The law makers can make better laws for themselves. Our elders, in the name of IZZAT, always gave in. But for the brave Serving Admiral, we would not have got, whatever has been given so far.

    I have to add
  • Health care means different at different ages. A time comes when money or cars cannot help you. It has to be the system.
  • The men in uniform did not understand what the ECHS would deliver. Why to blame Babu every time? A few individuals saw some post retirement jobs for themselves.
  • The serving officers in Sta HQ and Hospitals feel, the ESMs emit foul smell. You are better off in any MH, if you son or a friend is a Doctor there. It is still better if you are related to a medical service Havildar. This net works equally fast.
  • Please do not think of "Col and below" and "Above Cols". We are in the same boat.

    About two years ago, I had suggested to the IESM Core group, to take up PENSION as well as ECHS matters. Little extra money is less important than good heath care service.
    Maj Gen Satish Chandra(Retd)

    ECHS flip side
    Truly the Station Headquarters is filled with re employed Officers to manage the ECHS affairs. This noble employment concept is at the expense of efficient functioning of ECHS. The health care of ESM in general is likely to get sick.
  • Honouring Kargil Martyrs

    Date: Sunday, 19 July, 2009, 1:32 PM
    May I request ALL OF YOU Editors to publish this letter in honour of the Kargil Martyrs
    Dear Sir,
    It is politics of the lowest lowest kind. Mr Rashid Alvi, Congress stated that there was no need to commemorate India's victory in Kargil on 26 Jul 09 as it was an intelligence failure of the BJP Govt which resulted in the battle. Mr Alvi needs to remember that every war can be traced to a failure of intelligence or govt policy. The UK govt under Mr Chamberlain in the late 1930's was responsible for the start of World War II, due to its weak kneed policy of condoning of Hitler's annexation of smaller European countries. But it does not stop the successive govts in UK from celebrating the sacrifices of its soldiers, be it through the annual commemoration of Normandy Landings or VE Day.

    Soldiers do not think who is running the country's govt when going to battle. Their only concern is to destroy the intruder in our homeland.. For heaven's sake keep the simple soldier out of your competitive politics. Imagine a country not celebrating its greatest miltary victory in East Pakistan in 1971, because it will annoy Pakistan! The WW II Allies have still not stopped celebrating their victory over Germany, despite the fact that they are friends now.

    Come on Congress Party keep us soldiers out of your petty politics and give a public rap to Rashid Alvi.
    Lt Gen SK Bahri (Retd)

    IESM: Kargil Divas

    Dear Friends,
    Cdr Sharan Ahuja accompanied me to Accenture and assisted initial settling down. Col BK Kailash, a social worker and a Rotarian himself, relieved us and held fort for the latter part. Thanks Kailash. The Blood Donation camp at Accenture went very well. We collected 57 units of blood from eager donors. Pamphlets were distributed and perused by the visitors to the camp. Above photographs tell the story.
    Thanks to Kailash. Congratulations IESM!
    With Warm Regards,
    Col RP Chaturvedi (Retd)

    IESM: Chairman's Desk

    Date: Monday, 20 July, 2009, 10:55 PM
    Dear Colleagues,
    Telephonic inputs from various ESM continue. The general mood appears to favour continuance of the efforts/struggle till full OROP is granted, irrespective of what the government offers by way of enhancement in pensions.
    Best regards,
    Lt Gen (Emeritus) Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
    Chairman IESM

    The Military Mirror
    The strongest message on what ails the services is given by the service officers themselves, when they do not want their children to join the services. These officers are the loudest messengers for the military. Their actions speak louder than their words. Rank, Status and Honour of Military Services has been degraded and derated by Bureaucrats in the last 6 decades- that the downslide cannot be redeemed in the forseeable future. The military has to survive sans sound junior leadership. Restructuring and padding and short term measures are not likely to succeed unless the MOD wakes upto the realities of Soldiering in the Military.
    Related articles
    Sixth Pay Commission: Disadvantage armed forces by Lt-Gen Harwant Singh (retd)
    Who will soldier for India
    Heed the cry of the armed forces
    An Army of Occupation: A Bureaucratic View of the Military

    Monday, July 20, 2009

    SCPC: Indian Military downgrades MNS Pay Band

    Dear Colonel,
    Let me express my heart felt thanks to you, for publishing the articles submitted by my team members. We the MNS Veterans, have also started a blog, the title is 'Indian Army Military Nursing Service'. The URL is

    The reason for starting this forum is to spread awareness among the armed forces personnel about the 'Military Nursing Services' in India as well as abroad. Due to the general lack of understanding about 'army nurses', there is always a reluctance from the authorities side, for any progressive change to our Nursing Services.

    Any attempt for the upliftment of the Nursing Services are being projected as an attempt by the Nursing Officers to claim equality with the AMC Doctors. Let me borrow the words of an anonymous reader, "There is no such thing as 'Nurse-Doctor equality'. It exists only in the 'wildest imaginations of some AMC Doctors'. The only real issue is the 'integration of Military Nursing Service as a Corps of regular Army'; not imaginably equating Nurses with the Doctors". It is being made out that the army nurses are plotting to take over the Armed Forces Medical Services. But on our part, we just want to nurse our soldiers and families as we did for the past 121 years; but with a little more pride. Presently, we are nothing but aliens in the Army, being treated as mere scum on which anybody can ride over.

    Just one example. The 6th Pay Commission recommended the MNS cadre the same pay band and grade pay as other officers. However, the COAS and CNS had written to the RM to reduce the MNS Officers pay. The govt. had succumbed to their pressure tactics and now we are placed on a lower grade pay and even pay band for certain rank.

    There is no one in the Army who is willing to listen to our problems. They all claim that, the Nurses are given Commissioned Officer rank only in the Indian Army, no where else in the world the Nurses are Commissioned Officers! We don't want to prove anybody wrong. Our aim is let everyone knows the truth and the change will come gradually.

    I request your help in educating the armed forces personnel about the Nursing Services.
    Thank you, with regards
    Brig Jasbeer Kaur (Retd)
    MNS Blog

    Why should Director General Medical Services downgrade the MNS Pay Band which has been recommended by the Sixth Central Pay Commission and approved by the Government? This seems to be an self inflicted injury of the Military Services, the scars of which will remain scathed forever. ESM fighting for Pension Parity and Armed Forces Medical Services cutting their own feet. Let the Armed Forces upgrade not degrade themselves- Ajai Vikram Singh Committee recommendations in reverse gear. A sad commentary indeed!

    Retired MNS Officers are ideally suited for manning ECHS Polyclinics
    MNS Officers are truly dedicated, technically sound and Nursing professionals. They are the most competent to provide health care for all veterans. I am yet to see a single retired MNS officer employed by ECHS!

    CGHS modernises and ECHS struggles

    Dear Sirs,
    1. We are aware that Full Bench of Consumer Court Of India have elevated Medicare to be part of Pension and other post retirement benefits. Still further Pension being deferred wages for services already rendered is a Right and not gratis under the Constitution. The Government is obliged to meet all expenses as authorised for Civil Hospitals including the difference between the CGHS rates and market rates.

    2. I recall 1st MD/ECHS telling the audience at USI a few years back that IAS cannot countenance ECHS providing superior medical facilities than CGHS. The Senior Officers also wanted ECHS to be Army backed provider. CGHS has been already revamped majorly. Now as per news item reproduced below in full it would be seen that CGHS is gal lopping ahead to even better provider than in the West and the other developed countries. Of course Health Insurance Sector also seems to nudging Government in this direction.

    3. If one were to take what the ECHS professes that the Government is not favourably disposed to ECHS being made full scope health provider to Ex-Servicemen, then there seems to be gap between the two positions. Air Marshal Retired [Medical Services] who ushered in ECHS believed that the MOD if it accepted to services being provided as per the stated aim it would take 10 years to restructure but CGHS is already there in 5 years.

    4. I would like to think that IESM which is tackling the anomalies of the 6th Pay Commission should also look into ECHS along with OROP! The question arises as to why DESA is permitting exploitation of Ex-servicemen particularly Cols and below and PBORs at ECHS Clinics and R&R Hospital. Why they should be saying this and that and be judgemental. If during 5 yearly review it was noticed that lot of undesirable things happening, then how come CGHS which had greater leaks is being revamped successfully. In fact ECHS Dispensaries in some areas provide Ayurvedic and Homeopathic treatment under the same roof in Delhi?

    5. The Doctors and the Staff openly state that their first priority is to take care of serving personnel and rightly so. Till such times additional infrastructure is in place, some temporary measure can be adopted. Diagnostics can be done outside R&R. Medicines can be outsourced. R&R can function in multiple shifts like AIIMS. It can hire temporary Civil Professionals. In fact AIIMS biggest asset is number of PhDs undergoing training who not only assist the Professors majorly but also go down and man personally diagnostic centres and how knowledgeable they are in getting down to the bottom of things. Because in the evening they have to face the whole department and colleagues and no complaint of the patient is swept under the table.

    6. It is sincerely hoped that all efforts would be made by those who can make a difference both on account of recommendations of 6th Pay commission and otherwise to benefit the Ex-Servicemen under the original objective of providing timely and comprehensive medical care would to all Ex-Servicemen.
    With best regards,
    Commander Prem P Batra (Retd)
    Centre Plans To Revamp CGHS Soon by Teena Thacker: Indian Express 17 July 2009

    Sunday, July 19, 2009

    Army Recruitment drive or a firing range?

    Sunday 19, July 2009
    An 18-year-old youth has been killed and three persons were injured as armymen opened fire on irate aspirants who went on a rampage during an army recruitment drive alleging irregularities in the process in Chandauli district of Uttar Pradesh.

    The violence spread to other part of Chandauli city, 300 kms from Lucknow, with irate protesters torching vehicles and attacking the circle officer's office and the district court, prompting the state government to order a magisterial inquiry into the incident.

    "One person was killed and three others were injured during firing by armymen after the aspirants went on rampage alleging irregularity in recruitment process," Additional Director General of Police (law and order) Brij Lal said.

    Two companies of para-military Provincial Armed Constabulary comprising 200 personnel have been dispatched to maintain law and order. "The situation is now under control and senior officials are camping in Chandauli," he said.

    Superintendent of Police, Chandauli, Laxminarayan claimed that police were not informed about the recruitment rally at a local polytechnic. Nearly 2,000 youths, including many from Bihar, had gathered for the recruitment drive.

    "There were scuffles between the youths and armymen and later the situation went out of control," he said, adding an 18-year-old unidentified boy was killed in the firing and three others injured, including a local Jitendra Prasad.

    Cabinet Secretary Shashank Shekhar Singh told reporters in Lucknow that the government has ordered a magisterial inquiry in the incident.(AKS-19/07)
    One killed in Army firing during recruitment drive in UP

    Recruitment Rallies
    There is increase in violence in conducting periodical Mela's cum rallies for recruitment. The staff and personnel posted to recruitment directorates/ zonal and branch offices must be of impeccable calibre and free from corrupt activities. They should refrain from from trading with touts and illegal agents who have political links and generate black money during all recruitment drives. The CBI should play a important role in apprehending these touts and agents who receive bribes from potential candidates.
    Backlash in units
    A signalman in my Company during my command was caught red- handed selling Rations and POL in the civil market and he was charge sheeted for the Offence. Out of curiosity I enquired why he engaged in stealing and selling Government stores. What he said stunned me. He said his parents had borrowed Rs 10,000 to pay as bribe to touts for recruitment and now they have no money to pay back the loan, therefore, out of sheer necessity he was forced to steal and send money home.....truly a shocker commonly faced by many unit commanders.
    Lt Col James Kanagaraj (Retd)

    SCPC: Debugging ESM Pension Anomalies

    Date: Sunday, 19 July, 2009, 7:49 AM
    Dear Chander,
    Please go through the excerpt from the news published in today's Tribune, which I have cut and pasted below...

    The minister said: “Since the issue on which they were agitating has been adequately addressed by the committee, the government expects them to honour their hard earned medals”. He was pointing out to the fact that several officers and jawans had handed over their gallantry medals to President Pratibha Patil.

    The minister in question is Sh MM Pallam Raju, Union Minister of State for Defence.

    I have following comments:
  • It is a pity that the Hon'ble minister still thinks that the faujis will be taken in by some half hearted, half baked, belated sops accompanied by sweet talk. Them days are gone forever. He and his ministry must shed their old thinking. Now the fauji wants justice and no half measures. For the first time, all ESMs and ESM orgs have decided to unite and put up a united front. It is time for the ministry to give a very serious thought to the demands of the services and the ESMs.
  • It is nice that the hon'ble minister has described the medals as hard earned and wants the ESM to take them back. Thank God for little mercies and a belated acknowledgement. There is no doubt that the agitation and return of medals by IESM has had a tremendous effect. A united ESM fraternity will now be able to achieve full justice for the veterans.
  • Since anomalies to the detriment of the services as well as ESM have increased with each central pay commission and also since the govt has conceded that we all will have a separate pay commission, the govt should form a special pay commission for the armed forces right now. Serving and retired personnel should be on this commission and sort out hundreds of anomalies. Needless to say, the bureaucrats should be kept away from it. The decision making should be between the services and the politicians.
    Kind regards,
    K K Punchhi
    (Cdr KK Punchhi, Baker Sqn - 7th JSW Course, Founder Member of Naval Aviation and Pride of Naval Aviation, settled in Canada. He was among the first few members of IESM who sent Rs 50,000.00 as contributions for IESM.)
    Classification allowance for jawans from Jan 2006: Tribune News Service
    Lieutenant-generals to get higher pay scales by Vijay Mohan: Tribune News Service
  • Candle Light for Kargil Martyrs

    LETTER TO EDITOR By Maj Gen (Retd) Satbir Singh, SM
    Dated: 18 Jul 2009
    Dear Editor in Chief ..... ,
    1. Rashid Ali, a congress MP, has made a statement on 15 Jul 2009 out side Parliament that Kargil War was the BJP War and therefore, BJP can celebrate it. Congress is not going to participate in it. It is a shocking statement which reveals a total bankruptcy of a feeling of National pride and what India stands for. 527 soldiers who sacrificed their lives besides 1000 who were seriously injured, did not do so for a particular political party. They did it for the Nation. Such an irresponsible statement from an elected representative of the people tantamounts to denigrating the Defence Forces and the sprit of sacrifice of a soldier for his Nation. Not only the Armed Forces but the Nation as a whole stands humiliated.

    2. The erring MP owes an apology to the Nation for making such a damaging statement which carries seeds of nation’s doom. UPA Govt should automatically take it upon itself to reprimand its MP and to assure the nation that there is no such anti- national feeling taking roots in its constituents.

    3. It is pertinent to mention that in the recent past there have been attempts willfully or otherwise to show the Defence Forces in poor light. It is difficult to fathom the reasons for this unless this is the handiwork of elements inimical to the interest of the country. We appeal to all political parties to refrain from any action or statement which is likely to affect the morale of the Defence Forces and harm National Interest.
    With Kind Regards,
    Jai Hind
    Yours Sincerely,
    Maj Gen (Retd) Satbir Singh, SM
    Vice Chairman Indian ESM Movement
    Kargil victory doesn’t enthuse govt a decade on

    Candle for Kargil Martyrs
    26 July is the ‘Tenth Anniversary’ of Kargil War, where in 527 officers and men, many in their early twenties, performed the supreme sacrifice, and 1363 were wounded, some crippled for life. The nation lionised them for a short time but, alas there after they were almost forgotten.
    On Kargil Vijay Divas, a grateful nation must salute these heroes and remind itself that the Indian Military have unfailingly risen to the challenges each and every time, including natural and man-made calamities, yet remaining least demanding. The Ex-Servicemen will be paying their homage to the Martyrs, holding medical and dental camps , pledging their organs and donating blood at various War Memorials across the country from 10 AM onwards on Kargil Divas (for Tricity of Chandigarh the event will be observed at Major Sankla War Memorial, Panchklula). Patriotic citizens must join the Veterans in doing the same. They must light a candle at their homes in the memory of those ‘who gave their yesterday for our tomorrow’.
    Brig Harwant Singh (Retd)
    Member Steering Committee,
    Indian Ex-Servicemen’s Movement

    IESM: Chairman's Desk- Lt Gen revised pension

    Sunday, July 19, 2009Dear Colleagues,
    There have been some queries on the revised pension of Lt Gens as reported in the 17 Jul sitrep. It is clarified that the pension for pre 2006 Lt Gens would be Rs 67000÷2=33500. For calculation of pension, there is no Grade Pay or MSP to be added to the figure of Rs 67000/-, which is the base of the new pay band for this rank. This Rs 67000 – 79000 pay band would also apply to Additional Secretaries in the IAS. Possibly this might have been the reason for it to be announced with speed; within 24 hours of its clearance by the Ministry of Finance, Department of Expenditure.
    Best regards,
    Lt Gen (Emeritus) Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
    Chairman IESM


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