Saturday, December 26, 2009

Ten reasons why criminals in khaki get away

The Hindu 26 Dec 2009 by Siddharth Varadarajan
Behind every man like S.P.S. Rathore who abuses his authority stand the generals and footsoldiers who help and support him. We need to take them all down.

S.P.S. Rathore, the criminal former top cop of Haryana, may appear alone today but we must never forget that he was able to get away with the sexual molestation of a young child and the illegal harassment of her family for 19 years because he had hundreds of men who supported him in his effort to evade justice.

The fact that these men – fellow police officers, bureaucrats, politicians, lawyers, judges, school administrators – were willing to bend the system to accommodate a man accused of molesting a minor speaks volumes for the moral impoverishment of our establishment and country. Decent societies shun those involved in sexual offences against children. Even criminals jailed for ‘ordinary’ crimes like murder treat those serving time for molesting children as beyond the pale. But in India, men like Rathore have their uses for their masters, so the system circles its wagons and protects them.

The CBI’s appeal may lead to the enhancement of Rathore’s sentence and perhaps even the slapping of abetment to suicide charges, since his young victim killed herself to put an end to the criminal intimidation her family was being subjected to by Rathore and his men. But the systemic rot which the case has exposed will not be remedied unless sustained public pressure is put on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram, two men who have it in their power to push for simple remedies in the way the Indian law enforcement and justice delivery system works.

First, abolish the need for official, i.e. political sanction to prosecute bureaucrats, policemen and security forces personnel when they are accused of committing crimes. The original intent behind this built-in stay-out-of-jail card was to protect state functionaries from acts done in the course of discharging their duties in good faith. Somewhere along the line, this has come to mean protecting our custodians of law and order when they murder innocent civilians (eg. the infamous Panchalthan case in Kashmir where the trial of army men indicted by the CBI for murdering five villagers in 2000 still cannot take place because the Central government will not grant permission), or assault or molest women and children. No civilised, democratic society grants such impunity. It is disgusting to see former officials and bureaucrats from Haryana saying how they had wanted Rathore prosecuted but were prevented from doing so because of pressure. Such officials should either be made formally to testify in a criminal case against the politicians who so pressured them or they should themselves be hauled up for perverting the course of justice.

Second, stop talking about how making the police and army answerable to the law will somehow demoralise their morale. Does anybody care about the morale of ordinary citizens any more? Or the morale of upright police and army officers, who do not think it is right for their colleagues to be able to get away with criminal acts?

Third, bring an end to the cosy relationship between the police and politicians. Rathore was protected by four chief ministers of Haryana. He served them and they served him by ensuring his unfettered rise. It is absurd that the Indian Police is still governed by a colonial-era Act dating back to 1861. A number of commissions have made recommendations for reforming the police over the years; but no government or political party wants to give up its ability to use and misuse the police for their own benefit.

Fourth, ensure that police officers who abuse their authority and engage in mala fide prosecutions are dismissed from service and sentenced to jail for a long period of time. Mr. Chidambaram should use the considerable resources at his command to find out who were the policemen involved in filing 11 bogus cases against the teenaged brother of the young girl Rathore molested. He should then make sure criminal proceedings are initiated against all of them. The message must go out to every policeman in the country: If you abuse the law at the behest of a superior, you will suffer legal consequences.

Fifth, ensure that criminal charges against law enforcement personnel are fast-tracked as a matter of routine so that a powerful defendant is not able to use his position to delay proceedings the way Rathore did for years on end. The destruction or disappearance of material evidence in such cases must be treated as a grave offence with strict criminal liability imposed on the individual responsible for breaking the chain of custody.

Sixth, empower the National Human Rights Commission with teeth so that police departments and state governments cannot brush aside their orders as happened in the Rathore case. This would also require appointing to the NHRC women and men who have a proven record of defending human rights in their professional life, something that is done today only in the breach. The attitude of the Manmohan Singh government to this commission and others like the National Commission for Women (NCW) and National Commission for Minorities is shocking. Vacancies are not filled for months on end.

Seventh, ensure the early enactment of pending legislation broadening the ambit of sexual crimes, including sexual crimes against children. Between rape, defined as forced penetrative sex, and the vague, Victorian-era crime of ‘outraging the modesty of a woman’, the Indian Penal Code recognises no other form of sexual violence. As a result, all forms of sexual molestation and assault short of rape attract fairly lenient punishment, of the kind Rathore got. In his case, the judge did not even hand down the maximum sentence, citing concerns for the criminal’s age. Sadly, he did not take into account the age of the victim and neither does the IPC, which fails to distinguish between ‘outraging the modesty’ of an adult woman and a young child.

A draft law changing these provisions and bringing India into line with the rest of the modern world has been pending with the NCW and Law Ministry for years. Perhaps the government may now be shamed into pushing it through Parliament at the earliest.

Eighth, take steps to introduce a system of protection of witnesses and complainants. The fate that the family of Rathore’s young victim had to endure is testament to the fact that people who seek justice in India do so at their own peril.

Ninth, ensure that robust interrogation techniques like narco-analysis, which are routinely used against other alleged criminals, are also employed against police officers accused of crimes.

Tenth, the media and the higher judiciary must also turn the light inward and ask themselves whether they were also derelict in their duty. The Rathore case did not attract the kind of constant media attention it deserved, nor do other cases involving serving police officers accused of crimes against women, workers, peasants and minorities. As for the upper courts, their record is too patchy to inspire confidence. It was, after all, the high court which chose to disregard the CBI’s request for including abetment to suicide charges.
Ten reasons why criminals in khaki get away

"The Third Eye": Recollection of Bhutan

Dear friends,
No one seems to be talking about Lobsang Rampa now, and "The Third Eye" has long since been forgotten. It was considered a fantasy even when it was a best seller, fifty years ago. I was in Bhutan as a young officer in the early sixties. During that period, I wrote a piece which surfaced recently. A very brief excerpt from that some what long article is attached for those who care for the world of the Lamas.
What appeals to me is the last sentence of the piece. And it makes me chant:

"Buddham sharanam gachhami
Dhammam sharanam gachhami
Sangham sharanam gachhami"

Maj Gen Surjit Singh (Retd)

“THE THIRD EYE” By Lobsang Rampa
I beseech you to forgive me for my jaded memory. I am a senior citizen and no one is willing to hire me for even a worthless job. Here, I seek apology for a very minor offence: I have forgotten whether I read the captioned book before 1964 or after that. And the reason why I seek this concession is that I am not sure whether I read Lobsang’s book before I went to Bhutan or after that.

Be that as it may, there are two events which have left a profound influence on my psyche: reading the above book and my service in Bhutan during 1964-65 where I met a lot of thoroughbred Buddhists in Trashigong Dzongkhag. I was a little more that 22 years old then, and very impressionable. What I saw in that tiny Kingdom has left a lasting memory. I learnt a great deal from their unorthodox social order and it caused me to doubt the propriety of our social system.

Permit me to share something which I observed there. I was told that if a man was caught after having committed a crime in the Buddhist world, he was tried by the appropriate authority and, if found guilty, he was thrown into the prison cell. That is much the same as the rest of the world. The difference is that, in their system the term of the imprisonment was not specified. I was stupefied, and sought to know the reason for this. A learned Lama told me,

“A criminal is like a sick man. In the prison we ‘treat’ him. And as soon as he is ‘cured’ of his malaise, we let him go back to live with his people”

I probed further, and asked, “How do you find that?” and he said,

“Just like how you are able to discharge a patient from a hospital. Do you specify the period for which patients suffering from different ailments must stay in the wards?”

The argument makes a lot of sense to me. We human beings respond differently to treatment: some get cured early, others take time. If that be so, why should the prison term be specified?

I was also told that the condemned men were thrown into ill lit dudgeons and the ‘prisoners’ were made to undergo indignity. But in the evenings, they were allowed to take a stroll on the streets of the town, and breathe fresh air. The people are taught to look at them with a kindly eye, because, the Buddhists believe that, we would all be criminals, had we been caught!

Queen's Annual Christmas Message: Tribute to Armed Forces

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II delivers her annual Christmas message to the peoples of the Commonwealth.

Dear Friends,
Jai Hind.
As I was about to send this email BBC started showing the Queens Christmas speech on TV. The first few minutes of the speech are videos about the UK Armed Forces, very touching.
I just checked the BBC News on web the Queen’s speech video is there at and
You will like watching it.
In service of Indian Military Veterans
Chander Kamboj.

Friday, December 25, 2009

IESM: Seasons Greetings

24 Dec 2009
Dear Colleagues,
Here is wishing every ESM and every ESM family in India and abroad a merry Christmas. May we continue to be guided by the noble tenets of Christianity as of every other religion that teach us love, tolerance and respect for each other.
Best regards,
Lt Gen (Emeritus) Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
Chairman IESM

Vijay Diwas at Bangalore- Report

At the very outset, I wish to place on record my gratitude to Veteran Air Cmde MK Chandrsekhar and Veteran Capt Ganesh Karnik, Hon’ble Member of the Legislative Council of Karnataka, for their invaluable help, assistance & support in organizing VIJAY DIWAS at Bangalore; and, in making it a grand success. It was due to the indomitable spirit of Air Cmde MK Chandrasekhar that the statue of the Unknown Soldier, erected at Minsk Square by the British after the first World War, was shifted to the area of Rashtriya Sainika Smaraka, in time, for the Chief Minister to lay the wreath on 16 Dec. And, it was on account of Air Cmde MK Chandrasekhar speaking to the AOC-in-C Training Comd (IAF) that a contingent of 25 AF Officers & 150 Airmen in uniform came to Rashtriya Sainika Smaraka, in the morning of Vijay Diwas. The entire credit for the grand success of Vijay Diwas goes to Capt Ganesh Karnik; for it was he who was responsible in getting the Hon’ble Chief Minister to pay Homage to the Martyrs; and, also hosting of Tea & Lunch for the Ex-Servicemen, that too in the Banquet Hall of the Vidhan Soudha. It was an honour bestowed on the Ex-Servicemen. Three Cheers to Air Cmde MK Chandrasekhar. Three Cheers to Capt Ganesh Karnik. I also place on record my gratitude to Brig Parthasarathy and Wg Cdr Mohan Rao for taking pains to take photographs on Vijay Diwas and for posting them on the Net. I also wish to thank Col AJ Bhandary for his support and Sub N Balachandran, ASC, for all his help & assistance.
Col SS Rajan (Retd)
Detailed Report and Proceedings click link below
Report: Vijay Diwas at Bangalore- 16 Dec 2009

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Spice Jet announces special offer to mark Republic Day

Spice Jet announces special offer to mark Republic Day. 100% discount on base fare for defence personnel. Spice Jet , India ’s most preferred airline, announces a special 60 day promotion for Indian Armed Forces personnel on the occasion of our 60th Republic Day.
This special offer is available to all serving as well as retired defence, paramilitary personnel and their families and they will be given a 100% discount on base fare.
Tickets purchased are valid for travel from January 26th 2010 to March 26th 2010.
Check out more details:
Spice Jet concessions for Indian Armed Forces Personnel

IV Pay Commission Rank Pay Anomaly Case

Wed, 23 December, 2009 6:36:55 PM
Dear Sir,
The case has been listed for hearing on 04 Jan 2010 in the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India, in the court of Justice Mr Markandey Katju & Justice RM Lodha (Court No 8).

It is requested that this information be put on 'Report my Signals' for info of the environment. Case in brief is given as:
In the case of Maj AK Dhanapalan Vs Union of India in OP 2448/96, The Hon’ble High Court of Kerala allowed the plea of the officer and held that the deduction of the rank pay was not correct and directed to re fix the basic pay of the officer from 1.1.1986. Appeal filed by the Union of India before the larger bench of the High Court & SLP in the Hon’ble Supreme Court against the judgment was dismissed. Although Govt sanction to pay arrears to Maj AK Dhanapalan were issued, the benefit was not extended to similarly placed officers of the three Services.

Similar cases were filed by a large number of officers in various courts throughout the country. The Supreme Court of India directed that such of the cases be transferred to the apex court. Retired Defence Officers Association (RDOA) has been able to transfer one of the ‘lead cases’ from Kerala to the Supreme Court.
Col Satwant Singh (Retd)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

National Security: War on Terror

It is after one year in office that I have ventured to outline the new architecture for India’s security. There are two enemies of change. The first is ‘routine’. Routine is the enemy of innovation. Because we are immersed in routine tasks, we neglect the need for change and innovation. The second enemy is ‘complacency’. In a few days from today, 2009 will come to a close, and I sincerely hope that we may be able to claim that the year was free from terror attacks. However, there is the danger of a terror-free year inducing complacency, signs of which can be seen everywhere. A strange passivity seems to have descended upon the people: they are content to leave matters relating to security to a few people in the Government and not ask questions or make demands. I wish to raise my voice of caution and appeal to all of you assembled here, and to the people at large, that there is no time to be lost in making a thorough and radical departure from the present structure. If, as a nation, we must defend ourselves in the present day and prepare for the future, it is imperative that we put in place a new architecture for India’s security.

Read the full speech of Home Minister
Home minister proposes radical restructuring of security architecture

Sukhna Land Issue

16:55 IST
This with reference to the coverage by electronic and the print media about Sukhna land Case and the ongoing Court of Inquiry at Headquarters, Eastern Command.

The Court of Inquiry has been completed and received by Army HQ today. The proceedings of the Inquiry will now be analyzed as per the existing Standard Operating Procedures in accordance with the military law.

It is reiterated that, the Army is amongst the few organizations which is very sensitive to any irregularities and have proactively sought immediate and timely action against those indulging in any wrongs.
S Om Singh/Rajendra/Daleep
Sukhna land issue: 23 Dec 2009

Pre 2006 Pensioners: Implication of Annexure IV

Wednesday, December 23, 2009
So what is ‘Annexure-IV’ ? (Attention : Pre 01-01-2006 Pensioners)
In a welcome move, a joint public notice by the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Finance was published yesterday in many newspapers. The said notice called upon banks to provide ‘Annexure-IV’ to pre-01-01-2006 pensioners so that the correctness of pension and arrears could be ascertained.

So what is ‘Annexure-IV’?
‘Annexure-IV’ is a form which was annexed with Govt of India letter dated 11 Nov 2008 dealing with the revision of pension of pre-2006 pensioners. This annexure was supposed to be filled up and returned by the Pension Disbursing Agencies (PDAs), that is, banks, DPDOs etc to the office of PCDA(P) with a copy to the pensioner concerned. The said Annexure contains all details as to how pension has been calculated and the arrears thereon.

The public notice was necessitated by the situation that banks have not calculated pension of pre-06 pensioners correctly in many cases and neither have they returned Annexure-IV duly filled to the pensioners or the office of PCDA(P).

All pensioners have a right to demand a copy of Annexure-IV from their PDAs. Please exercise it. (link given in the Message Board of the blog)
Posted by Navdeep / Maj Navdeep Singh at 4:56 AM
Monday, December 21, 2009

Remembrance: Lt Col Nirmal Singh- Veteran and Social Worker

Great veteran Lt Col Nirmal Singh who rendered his entire retired life of more than two decades for the welfare of Ex-Servicemen of Doon Valley as a Vice President Dehradun Ex Services League, passed away on 18 Dec 09 at the age of 81 years at his residence, 267 Garhi Cantt. As per his real brother Col KS Kambo, Retd who met me this morning at IMA Golf Course, stated that before the last breath of his brother Lt Col Nirmal Singh, had said his prayers and mentioned leaving this world for ever so had a peaceful passing away.

Born in an affluent business family on 23 April 28 at Dakra, Dehradun. He earned his BA degree from the Lucknow University and was commissioned in Indian Army on 12 Jul 1950 and retired on 10 Apr 1979. During his illustrious career he completed his staff college successfully and participated in three wars ie 1962, 1965 and 1971. He commanded the 22 Mountain Regiment during the Indo Pak War of 1971.

After his retirement not only did he devote his entire life for the welfare of Ex-Servicemen but he also played a very active role in public social service constructing Tapkeshwar Cremation Ground and also started a charitable homoeopathic dispensary at Dakra Gurudwara Dehradun. He was a great sportsman and a great golfer with fairly good handicap. He used to coach many a golfer like me to make us better players on the field.

Lt Col B M Thapa, Retd,
Gen Secy DESL, Member IESM

Indo Pak 1971 War: "I will give you 30 minutes"

Thirty-eight years ago today, on a blustery late afternoon in Dhaka, the commander of the Pakistani forces in East Pakistan, General Amir Abdullah Khan Niazi publicly surrendered to the Indian Army, represented by Lieutenant General Jagjit Singh Aurora.

In that now famous picture of the surrender of December 16, 1971 at the Ramna Race Course, there is a man standing on the right, behind Niazi, with his head proudly up, gazing at something over the horizon. He was the man who had masterminded the public surrender.

I first met General Jacob-Farj-Rafael Jacob (Jake to his friends) in November 2006, at his tiny apartment in Som Vihar, New Delhi. I was trying to put together a series on the 13-day war.
Read the full account
1971 War: "I will give you 30 minutes"

General problem in Army

If the land scam was not trouble enough for Army Chief Gen Deepak Kapoor, it seems he is facing problems from among the top brass itself. At the heart of the matter is a crucial promotion board that will decide which officers would make it to the highest rank of Lt Gen. Besides the fact that the member secretary of the board is Lt Gen Avadhesh Prakash, who is under the scanner in the land scam case, it is learnt that as many as three army commanders have sent their objections to the board in writing. The argument being that the board should be held after the January 26 gallantry awards are announced as that may alter career profiles. However with the board expected to kick off on December 7, it seems sparks will fly when the top brass meets.
General problem in Army
Is upgradation of ranks leading to degradation of Command and Control?
Ajai Vikram Singh Committee Recomendations Implemented

Sack Military Secy, says Army court of inquiry into land scam

Sukhna Cantonment
Wednesday, Dec 23, 2009 at 0027 hrs New Delhi: Manu Pubby
An Army inquiry into the Darjeeling land scam, first reported by The Indian Express, has recommended “termination of services” of Lt Gen Avadhesh Prakash, Military Secretary at Army HQ and one of the seniormost Generals, and court martial proceedings against Lt Gen P K Rath whose appointment as Deputy Chief of Army Staff was later scrapped by the Ministry of Defence.
The inquiry also favoured disciplinary action and court martial against Major General P Sen and administrative action against
Lt Gen Ramesh Halgali, currently commanding the 11 Corps. A separate inquiry has also been recommended against a Colonel of the legal department for giving dubious advice regarding the land deal.
The inquiry found that Prakash was in constant touch with a Siliguri real estate developer, Dilip Agarwal, who brokered a controversial land deal in Darjeeling.

Through phone records, the inquiry established, that Agarwal, who inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to obtain no-objection certificates (NOCs) from the Army to purchase nearly 70 acres near the 33 Corps HQ in Sukna, was in constant touch with Prakash while the deal was being sealed. The NOCs were given after an institution claimed it was an affiliate of the Mayo College in Ajmer and would establish a branch in Sukna. Mayo College denied it had any affiliate.

Apart from establishing the connection between Prakash and Agarwal, the inquiry was also told by Rath, who as the then 33 Corps Commander authorised granting of NOCs, that Prakash used his influence to get the deal through.

Sources said the recommendation for termination of services of Prakash were given by Eastern Army Commander, Lt Gen V K Singh, on the basis of the court of inquiry findings and opinion by the Army’s legal department.

While the recommendations have been forwarded by the Eastern Army command, the onus for action against Prakash, who is one of the seven Principal Staff Officers (PSO) at Army HQ, now lies with Army Chief General Deepak Kapoor.

The Army Chief, sources said, now has the choice to accept the recommendations and terminate Prakash’s services or overrule the matter on sound legal grounds. If the recommendation is accepted, Prakash can either accept dismissal or face court martial proceedings where he can contest the charges against him.
Sack Military Secy, says Army court of inquiry into land scam
Army land scam spreads, from Bengal to Uttarakhand
Misuse of Defence Lands
Throughout the length and breadth of the nation there is blatant misuse of Cantonment Lands by way of consruction/ encroachment by civilians. The DEO (Defence Estate Officer) and CEO (Cantonment Executive officer) in connivance with civilians/ real estate agents close their eyes to the encroachment as black money is used to bribe the concerned defence officials. None of the civilian officials under the MoD ever get caught for Land Scams!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Soldiers' 2nd Innings

Dear friends,
Truncated career is a well known deprivation which the soldiers suffer. This inherent disadvantage is further compounded by the fact that a large number of officers and men are superseded at the first selection level when they are no more than forty years old. They are then faced with a Hobson’s choice of whether to stay on in service with the ignominy of moving from one lack luster appointment to another or quit.
I began to study the post retirement lives of military veterans about fifteen years ago. Later, while serving with Ashok Leyland, I conducted some courses on “Preparation for retirement” for service officers as well as the executives of the company. I came to the conclusion that with a bit of planning and preparation, it is possible to convert military experience into civilian success. I find many of my friends having done extremely well in their second innings. I discussed this with my esteemed friend Lt Col KD Singh who migrated to the USA in 1984 and has had an illustrious career there.
We decided to record our experiences and observations in the form of a book entitled, “The Soldiers’ 2nd Innings”
The result of our labor of love has been accepted for publication by Macmillan India Ltd and is likely to be released in January 2010. The summary of its contents is given below. Our pension is inadequate as well as iniquitous. But it is somewhat unlikely that OROP will be sanctioned. But if all of us brace ourselves up, there is nothing which prevents us from augmenting our income through socially useful and productive work.
The sum and substance of this book is that the veterans must learn to make good use of their time and energy. It is not frightfully difficult to earn money. The erudite amongst the retired officers should be going to the government with a solution, and not a begging bowl. In the words of the late president Kennedy, “Ask not what your country can do for you...”
With best wishes for a happy and prosperous New Year,
Maj Gen Surjit Singh (Retd)

Table of Contents- Chapter wise
I. With No Regrets- This is a personal testimony. It traces my journey through the life; in military service and after hanging up my uniform
II. Profile of Military Service in India- In this chapter, I have given a balanced picture of the military, as a career in India, and compared it with other services III. Angry Old Soldiers- During the last two years, veterans have been protesting against the government. Their grievances are analyzed in this part.
IV. In Search of a Solution to the Problem- An attempt has been made in this chapter to solve the complex problems associated with the rising pension bill and resettlement of veterans. An ‘out of the box’ solution has been offered.
V. Time to Part Ways- There comes a time in the life of every soldier, when he is faced with this difficult question, “Should I leave or stay on?” The pros and cons of seeking pre-mature release are discussed in this chapter.
VI. SWOT Analysis and Classification of Options- And a Word of Advice to those who choose to Stay Back in Military Service. Landing the right job is like a good marriage. It must suit both the parties equally, or else there will be a conflict situation. The ‘SWOT’ analysis is a good technique to assess one’s own prowess and limitations. This chapter also contains a brief advice for those who choose to stay on in the service even after being by-passed for promotion.
VII. Writing Resume or CV- Writing one’s CV is the first step in the process of seeking a job. Most soldiers do not know how to go about it correctly. Some tips on how to prepare a good Resume are given in this chapter.
VIII. The interview for a civilian job is quite different from the kinds of interviews which the soldiers are familiar with. Some tips on how to handle this process are given in this chapter.
IX. Salary Negotiations- Salary in the military is determined by Pay Commissions. The soldier does not have to even think about his remuneration. In the civil, the rules are very flexible. The veterans have to find their own place in the new environment. The nuances of this process are discussed at some length.
X. The Culture Shock- Military service is very different from the life on the civil street. The veteran has to adjust to his new environs, and that needs a lot of emotional resilience. This chapter prepares the man for his new life.
XI. My Second Innings at Ashok Leyland- This is based on my personal experience. It is actually a story of my service in the corporate world with special emphasis on the first few months, when I was trying to settle down in the new environment.
XII. Self Employment Avenues- For those who do not wish to take a nine-to-six job, there are other options available. This also needs some planning and fore-thought. Some ideas on this subject are given here.
XIII. Management of Personal finances- At the time of severance, soldiers receive some lump sum money. Many of them are not accustomed to handling this sort of cash. Some generic dictum on money management are discussed in this part.
XIV. Social Service- For those who are endowed with the spirit of ‘social service’ with no financial gains in view, this chapter contains some hints.
XV. Hobby Writing after Retirement- The likes of me, who like to record their experiences for the benefit of posterity this chapter has been written. It contains some rules for writers.
XVI. Growing Old Gracefully- This chapter touches on ‘relationships’ since these undergo a sea change. The elderly have to accept their new position in society.
XVII. Health Care- The geriatric problems are discussed in some detail in non- medical terms.
XVIII. A General Guide to Making Your Will- There comes a time in our lives, when it is necessary to ‘pass on the baton’ to the next generation. Some tips on writing one’s will are given here. This has been written by my advocate daughter-in-law.
XIX. The Immigration Option- By Lt Col (Retd) KD Singh, now settled in the USA- Immigration to a foreign country is an option these days. Col KD Singh who has made an indomitable success in the USA has written this chapter.
XX. Service in Education Institutions By Brig (Retd) Surinder Singh- Education in India has assumed the dimensions of an industry. Scores of military officers are working in these institutions. This piece has been written by a veteran who has made a successful career in the academia.
Readers Responses to Second Career
Suggestions from Readers: Second Career for ESM

Magnetic Hill, Ladakh- India

Bill-Board by Local Administration
Can anyone ever imagine the movement of a vehicle up a steep mountain, with its ignition off? Sounds quite unbelievable! Well, this magnet magic can be experienced while you are travelling to Leh-Ladakh. And we can say, amid all the Himalayan and colonial wonders, there’s one more wonder coming your way – the Magnetic Hill. The hill, located close to Leh, is known for its wonderful magnetic properties. Once here, you can see for yourself vehicles moving up at a speed of 20 km/ hour with the engines off.
Location of Magnetic Hill
To reach the Magnetic Hill, Ladakh, you need to take the Leh-Kargil-Baltic National Highway. The hill lies at a distance of 30 km from the town of Leh, at an elevation of around 14,000 feet above sea level. To the eastern side of the hill flows the Sindhu river, originating in Tibet. The local administration has also put up a bill board to help tourists recognize the Magnetic Hill. The board clearly states the whole phenomenon. So you can also enjoy a first hand experience as you reach the hill. Place your vehicle on a specific spot on the road with its engines off and you will soon notice the vehicle moving up at a speed of 20 km/hour. You will have the same results over and again as you redo the exercise.
Impact on Helicopters and Aircrafts
Not only vehicle, even helicopters and aircrafts feel the same magnetic impact. Locals and the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) personnel claim that the helicopters and aircrafts that pass through the area have to fly at a greater speed to avoid the magnetic impact of the hill. And if the aircraft comes within the radius of Magnetic Hill, it starts to jerk.
Other Attractions Around Magnetic Hill
Apart from the Magnetic Hill, you can also enjoy seeing a few other places that lie at a close distance from the hill. The Himalayan region here is truly worth exploring. Given below are a few attractions that you can see in this region.
Gurudwara Patthar Sahib
It is the auspicious place where Guru Gobind Singh, the 10th guru of the Sikhs, had spent time meditating in the 17th century. Locals, army personnel and tourists can be seen here often. Though not many Sikhs arrive here from different parts of the country, the reason perhaps being its remote location.
Colourful Hills & Mountains
While you are in this Himalayan region, you will also like seeing the hills and mountains. Here, the hills bear different colours. Some are white and snow-laden. Some are black or gray in colours while there are some that are green, red or orange in colour.
The drivers will inform you that Indian Air Force pilots always steer clear of the Magnetic Hill.
Magnetic Hill Ladakh

Monsoon Rains exposes underbelly of Chennai's poor quality infrastructure

— Photo: A. Muralitharan
Difficult trek: Not many people prefer using the subway in the face of water stagnation and safety issues.

CHENNAI: Pedestrians using the subway connecting Trisoolam railway station and the Chennai airport are facing problems because of lack of security and stagnating water. One can see a sheet of water on the ground soon after entering the subway from the station side. A ‘spring’ of water on the sides of the steps overflows on to the ground. Many passengers from the airport carrying heavy luggage, particularly those fitted with wheels, are put to lot of inconvenience.

People working in the airport lament that even after a short spell of rain, water stagnates in the subway. To avoid the water, some people take the risk of crossing the busy national highway to reach the airport or vice-versa with their luggage.

“Engineering marvel”
The subway was constructed at a cost of Rs.5 crore and inaugurated in April last year. National Highways Authorities of India (NHAI) officials had then termed the facility an engineering marvel, as it was constructed without any road cuts.

When contacted, NHAI officials said they had received complaints about water stagnation. Water from the Trisoolam station’s stormwater drains was seeping into the subway. The NHAI was pumping out the water. A meeting with the railway officials would be organised soon to sort out the issue. The officials said the maintenance of the subway had been handed over to a private contractor, who was baling out water during and after rain regularly.

Women harassed
Another major issue haunting the users was the lack of security and safety, particularly during late evening hours. This issue was raised at a recent meeting, in which the Airline Operators Committee (AOC) complained to the Airport Director that women working in airline counters and ground handling agencies at the airport had to encounter anti-social elements. They were being harassed by a group of autorickshaw drivers, who parked their vehicles near the subway. However, the victims had not filed any formal complaints with law-enforcing agencies. The AOC had requested the police to provide security at the subway during late evening hours, they added.
Stagnating water hits subway users

Chennai's Collapsing Infrastructure

Open storm drain converted to open raw sewage drain

Most of the subways and Road under Rail bridges are filled with water and not usable during monsoons. The quality of works is sub- standard and road surfaces do not last even 9 months. Add to this open storm drains turned into open sewage drains directly connected to sewer lines from houses and footpaths taken over by vendors and used as parking areas. There is no citizen safety in the streets of Chennai City for women as well as men.
Chennai Airport has become hotbed for con men, touts, beggars, scoundrels, and goons operating in the guise of travel agents or drivers freely operating in the International Airport car parking area. It seems that the local Police are in league with the hundreds of scoundrels operating 24x7 in the International Airport. The recent custom duty scam is also related to unauthorised touts operating in and around the Airport in connivance with the Authorities.

IESM: Call for "OROP" the just demand of the Ex- Servicemen

Mon, 21 December, 2009 9:05:51 PM
Dear Colleagues,
There had been complaints from ESM that banks are not playing fair and that in some cases they are underpaying the pensioners. It had been our effort to ask the government to issue instructions to banks and have these published in all major newspapers. Those who attended the AGM on 13 Dec 2009 would recall that I had made a mention of it. Happily, those instructions have been issued to the banks and this has appeared in English and vernacular press today. The instructions have been issued jointly by the Ministries of Defence and Finance leaving no doubt. This may kindly be given wide publicity and ESM advised to exercise their right to obtain Annexure IV and seek clarification from the banks in case of any doubt.
Despite our persistent efforts the government has not accepted the principle of OROP. As planned the next depositing of medals will take place on Sunday, 31 Jan 2010. Time of assembly at Jantar Mantar is at 1100 hours; detailed instructions on the subject will be issued separately. All State and District conveners are requested to further intensify efforts to spread the message so that we are able to deposit medals in massive numbers and pressurise the government into accepting our just demand of OROP.
Best regards,
Lt Gen (Emeritus) Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
Chairman IESM
Important Links for Pre 2006 Pensioners
GoI Notification
PPO_ Annexure IV
Media Report
Ex-servicemen blame babus for their plight by Umesh Dewan: Tribune News Service

IESM: Volunteers for ECHS

MD ECHS has formally recognised IESM for helping in functioning of ECHS.

IESM had approached ECHS Headquarters after very large number of ESM had expressed desire that ECHS should involve ESM in its current management and future plans so that we could jointly arrive at policies and procedures for better service by ECHS to its registered ESM members.

We received large number very long emails from ESM suggesting what should be done and how it should be done. Accordingly, IESM ECHS Division was created which in turn asked for volunteers from among the ESM to function as IESM’s ECHS Representatives at the Regional Level and Polyclinic Level.

Till date, very few volunteers’ name have been received. From these volunteers also many have not responded after forwarding their names. IESM once again appeals to all ESM to come forward and help in management of Polyclinics.

Ex-defence personnel want Govt to resolve pension issue

December 21, 2009
Members of the Indian ex-servicemen movement (IESM) held their first annual general meeting on December 13 at the community centre of Sector-37, Noida. Over 400 ex-servicemen and families from all over the country attended the first meeting of IESM.
The demand for one rank and one pension was raised vociferously by members and they resolved to continue their struggle till it was met.
Chairman of IESM, Lt Gen Raj Kadyan said, "The Central Government should not test our patience. So far thousands of former servicemen have returned medals to President and this will happen again in January and the number of medal returnees would be more than ever before".

"I strongly believe that ex-defence personnel are a rich national asset and the government should involve them in nation building activities like education, health and environment issues, especially in rural areas where we have a large number of them residing. IESM should also work towards this goal," said Commodore Lokesh K Batra. Col. Rajesh Kwatra said, "When we serve the country, the government assures us all basic facilities but after retirement it forgets even our basic needs."
- —Satya Prakash
Ex-defence personnel want Govt to resolve pension issue

Vijay Diwas 2009: Improved patronage at India Gate

Dear Colleagues,
As you would know from media reports, this year on Vijay Diwas, the gathering at India Gate included many that fall under the category of political who-is-who. In contrast last year Mr Dig Vijay Singh was the sole representative of the ruling Congress Party. All other things remaining the same, it would be correct to infer that the ESM as a community have come to be recognised. Credit goes to those whose struggle has got this recognition

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

CSD Canteens for ESM

Had a meeting with the QMG today. He is agreable to Exservicemen CSD canteens.
However there appear to be certain laid down conditions which have to be fulfilled:
  • The Station/ Area must have a minimum of 5000 Exservicemen card holders for an ESM CSD Canteen to come up.
  • As per govt orders ESM canteens cannot come up on A-1 Defence land. However if ESM get together and offer a room/ house/ any suitable place on their own, which they hire/purchase,then a case can be taken up for opening a ESM CSD canteen.
  • Regards honouring the smart cards is concerned , he has issued strict instructions that URC's not honouring the smart card will be cosidered for closure.
  • He has noted down the request for creating a site within the CSD website where CSD and DDGCS Army HQ can be contacted to record suggestions and complaints.
  • Also suggested to him to consider creating a site for helping CSD customers to buy AFD items online.
    Lt Gen Jagdish Chander(Retd)
    Head CSD Division IESM, Former DG ASC, Former Chairman CSD,INDIA)
  • Bangalore Command Hospital bags Defence Minister’s trophy

    NEW DELHI: The Command Hospital (Air Force) in Bangalore was on Monday presented the
    Defence Minister’s trophy for the Best Command Hospital for the year 2009. The trophy, along with a purse of Rs.5 lakh, was presented by Defence Minister A.K. Antony to Air Vice Marshal AK Behl, Commandant of the hospital, at a function here.
    The Command Hospital, Eastern Command, Kolkata, was adjudged the Second Best Command
    Hospital. Commandant of the Hospital Major General YS Sarma received the trophy.

    Monday, December 21, 2009

    Public Notice by GoI for information ESM

    click on image for enlarged view

    Dear Friends,
    Jai Hind.
    Today nearly all important newspapers carried a joint notice, concerning pension arrears of ESM, issued by two departments of Government of India:
    1. Deptt of Ex-servicemen Welfare (Ministry of Defence) and
    2. Deptt of Financial Services (Ministry of Finance).
    Hopefully this will partially wake up the banks.
    To fully awaken the banks, the ESM organisations should now chase the Corporate Offices of all the banks authorised to disburse pension to ESM, to issue Annexure IV to all ESM (or NoK) receiving pension, giving complete details of the arrears being paid and how that has been calculated.

    Needless to say that every ESM (and NoK) also need to chase his or her respective bank. Preferably, the ESM should go in groups and confront the branch managers in a peaceful manner. For your ready reference a copy of the Annexure IV, which is supposed to be issued by the pension disbursing bank of the ESM, is attached as link below.
    In Service of Indian Military Veterans
    Brig Chander Kamboj (Retd)

    FYI, today's newspaper has the following advertisement released by the GoI.
    Wg Cdr CK Sharma, Member IESM Governing Body

    In Hindustan Times epaper of 21 Dec 09, page 19 bottom right corner and The Hindu bottom left of page 8.


    1. The pension of pre 1-1-2006 ex-servicemen in implementation of the recent recommendations of the 6th CPC has to be revised as per MOD’s letter dated 11-11-2008 which is also available on the website www.cgda.nic. in, www.pcdapension. and www.mod.nic. in
    2. Annexure IV to MOD’s aforementioned letter which has 16 columns is required to be completed by all Pension Disbursing Authorities (PDAs) and given to the pensioners. In Column 12 of the Annexure IV details of of computation of revised pension/ family pension are to be indicated while in Column 13 arrears of pension/ family pension are to be mentioned by the Banks.
    3. Deptt of Financial Services have issued clear instructions to the Chief Executives pf all public sector banks to complete the task of revision of pension expeditiously and supply Annexure-IV duly filled in to the Ex-serviceman pensioners vide their letter F. no. 2/2/2008-BO. II dated 25th September 2009 and F. No. 2/2/2008-BO. II dated 15th December 2009.
    4. Therefore, the ex-servicemen pensioners should obtain a copy of Annexure IV from the respective Pension Disbursing banks. The concerned Banks are also requested to supply Annexure IV duly completed to all ESM pensioners so that correctness of entitlement of pension can be ascertained by them.
    This notice is being issued by the department of Financial Srvices (Ministry of Finance) and the Department of Ex-servicemen Welfare (Ministry of Defence) in public interest.
    GoI Notification
    Annex IV

    National Security: India clueless on top al-Qaeda leader’s visit

    Praveen Swami
  • Key foreign jihadists aided by systemic gaps in security
  • Mohammed’s visit to India has been public knowledge for several years
  • In Malaysia, he forged a pact that provided base for terror attacks across East Asia and the West

    NEW DELHI: Al-Qaeda operative Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who allegedly had tactical control of the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States, made at least one visit to India in 1996, documents show.

    But, The Hindu has found, India’s intelligence services made no effort to determine when he came, what travel documents he used, where he stayed and with whom he met with.

    The Union Home Ministry has blamed lax visa procedures for the clandestine reconnaissance by Pakistani-American jihadist David Headley prior to the November 2008 Lashkar-e-Taiba Mumbai terror attacks. But the poor investigative follow-up of Mohammed’s visit suggests there are serious systemic gaps in the country’s internal security.

    Mohammed’s visit to India has been public knowledge for several years. Following a meeting with Osama bin-Laden in mid-1996, the official Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States says, Mohammed “journeyed onward to India, Indonesia, and Malaysia.”

    Later, in the now-declassified testimony given to the Combatant Status Review Tribunal at Guantanamo Bay on March 10, 2007, Mohammed admitted he was “responsible for surveying and financing the destruction of the Israeli embassy in India, Azerbaijan, the Philippines and Indonesia.”

    In Malaysia, Mohammed met with Jemaah Islamiyyah chief Riduaan Islamuddin, forging an alliance that provided the foundation for several terrorist attacks across East Asia and the west. And in the Philippines, he set up “Operation Bojinka,” a plot to blow up 12 airliners carrying passengers from Asia to the U.S.

    But Indian investigators failed to explore evidence that corroborates Mohammed’s claims that al-Qaeda was engaged in targeting India prior to the September 11 attacks.

    Back in August 2001, the Delhi Police filed charges against Sudan national Abdul Raouf Hawas for conspiring to blow up the U.S. embassy in New Delhi. Hawas, the police claimed, was linked to al-Qaeda operative Muhammed Omar al-Harazi, also known as Abdul Rehman al-Safani.

    Pakistani Harkat-ul-Jihad-e-Islami operative Qamar Mohammad Ayub, held by the Jammu and Kashmir Police in December, 2001, was also alleged to have been working to facilitate an al-Qaeda attack on the Israeli mission in New Delhi.

    Many jihadist leaders in the past have escaped scrutiny by Indian immigration and internal security authorities.

    For example, Jaish-e-Mohammad leader Mohammad Masood Azhar arrived in New Delhi from Dhaka, using an illegally-obtained Portuguese passport, on January 29, 1994. “The duty officer at the Indira Gandhi airport,” he later told interrogators, “commented that I did not look Portuguese. However, when I told him I was Gujarati by birth, he did not hesitate to stamp my passport.”

    Lack of surveillance meant that no credible prosecution could be mounted against the jihadist leader, who was eventually released in a hostages-for-prisoners swap after the hijacking of an Indian Airlines jet in 1999.

    Lashkar-e-Taiba financier Mahmoud Mohammad Ahmed Bahaziq, a Saudi Arabia national, later sanctioned by the United Nations Security Council, also travelled in and out of India until at least 1999. He is known to have met with Lashkar clandestine operative Mohammad Ishtiq at the President Hotel in Mumbai. Precisely how Bahaziq obtained an Indian visa remains unknown.
    India clueless on top al-Qaeda leader’s visit
    The Hindu: India clueless on top al-Qaeda leader’s visit

    MEA staff dealing with issuance of Passports and Visa's must be brought into the National Security Loop. All those found taking bribes in India and Foreign countries must be reigned in and convicted under special and sterner laws governing Security of the Nation and counter- terrorism. There is urgent need to reduce clerical staff in all Indian Consulates and Passport Offices by use of modern digital paperless technologies and Officers solely made accountable for corruption and security lapses.
  • Colonel Sidhu who had raised the 18th Punjab Infantry cremated

    Tribune News Service Patiala, December 20
    Vir Chakra awardee Col (Retd) Joginder Singh Sidhu who passed away yesterday evening was cremated with full state honour at Daun farms near Bahadurgarh in Patiala this afternoon.

    Besides armed force personnel, cops, bureaucrats, representatives of various political parties and religious institutions, people from all walks of life were present at the funeral. Col (retd) Sidhu’s son-in-law IG Guriqbal Singh Bhullar lit the pyre.

    Notably, Colonel Sidhu, maternal grandfather of Mohali SSP Gurpreet Singh Bhullar, had died, following a prolonged illness in Patiala at the age of 95. Colonel Sidhu had raised the 18th Punjab Infantry in the Indian Army at the time of war against China. For his bravery and meritorious services, Colonel Sidhu was bestowed with Vir Chakra by the union government.

    Among those who paid tributes to the departed soul include chairman of District Planning Committee, Patiala and officer-bearers of the Ex-Servicemen Association.

    Sunday, December 20, 2009

    Seasons Greeting 2010

    Wishing U all Merry Christmas and a very HAPPY NEW YEAR & ALL the VERY BEST of EVERYTHING in '2010'.
    May the NEW YEAR bring all the HAPPINESS for EVERYONE -- Particularly the Soldiers of our Nation --- both Serving & Ex-Serviceman.
    JAI HIND !

    Report My Signal
    Blog Team

    National Security: Kashmir dispute

    Quick guide: Kashmir dispute
    Kashmir has been disputed by India and Pakistan since the partition of the subcontinent in 1947.

    The two neighbours, now nuclear powers, have twice waged war over Kashmir, which is over 60% Muslim. The mountainous region is divided by a Line of Control, often breached by separatist militants. The Indian side - Jammu and Kashmir state - is home to about nine million people. Some three million live in the northern part administered by Pakistan.

    Rival claims
    Islamabad said Kashmir should have become part of Pakistan in 1947 because of the province's Muslim majority. But Kashmir wanted to remain independent. In October 1947, Pakistani-backed tribesmen invaded Kashmir.

    The maharaja turned to India for help and agreed to sign over some of his powers in return for military support and a UN-supervised referendum or plebiscite.

    Line of Control
    India reneged on its promise and the plebiscite never happened. The first Indo-Pakistani war started with the October 1947 incursion and the arrival of Indian forces in Kashmir. The conflict ended in January 1949. A ceasefire line - now known as the Line of Control - was agreed and the UN recommended a referendum on accession.

    War broke out again in 1965 after a Pakistani offensive across the line. In 1999, fighting between Indian and Pakistani-backed forces in Indian Kashmir led to a new conflict but not full-scale war.

    Separatist movement
    Since 1989, Kashmir has seen a growing, and often violent, Muslim separatist movement against Indian rule. Some separatists favour independence, others would like Kashmir to be part of Pakistan. India says Pakistan gives the militants logistical and material support - a claim rejected by Islamabad. Years of separatist attacks and cross-border firing between the Indian and Pakistani armies have left tens of thousands of people dead.

    Peace talks
    In 2004 Pakistan and India embarked on a peace process, but major sticking points remain. Delhi would like the Line of Control to become an international border, while Islamabad would like Muslim-majority areas to become part of Pakistan.
    Quick Guide to Kashmir dispute: BBC
    Related news
    India withdraws 30,000 troops from Kashmir: Army

    IESM: Sustain the impact of the foundation

    18 December, 2009 2:52:42 PM
    Dear Veteran Brethren,
    May God continue to bless us all.
    We have to be grateful to the Governing Body for the wonderful work they have done to date. It has all been achieved on voluntary basis in a year and with no funds. The AGM rightly brought out that on the present basis, our ESM foundation won't last for long. How long do we expect the present members of the Governing Body to continue and incur all the expenses from their own pockets and and operate from their own homes? We therefore have THREE urgent problems to face.
    FIRSTLY: Must find some place from where the Foundation can operate and hand over the affairs to those who might be willing to take over in due course.
    SECOND: And of paramount importance, find some money. I must confess that even though I have some idea of keeping the books, I was not aware of the taxation problems etc. The Foundation can't use the money from the membership Fees for running the movement, even if it was enough !!
    THIRD: Must provide some help, even if only PART TIME, on paid basis to the TREASURER and Brig Kamboj.
    I have no doubt that the Chairman and his team of officers have been giving it a lot of thought. Thanks to the efforts of ESM, we have been fortunate to get some relief. For example, PB4 has been a great financial support. I therefore, request all of us, the recipients of the benefit of PB4, to donate an amount from it to the ESM. The increase because of age, of 10, 20,& 30 %, is really a real Bounty. At the ages of over 80 yrs or 85 yrs, we can't, in all honesty, claim that our family needs have correspondingly gone up. So we, the recipient of these increases should donate some of it to the ESM. Drop by drop it becomes an ocean. So it would all help and show our gratitude.
    With lots of blessings.
    Pran Parashar
    Cdr Pran Parashar, Commissioned in 1941, Founder Member of Naval Aviation

    Vijay Diwas at Bangalore

    Pictures of Vijay Diwas 16 DEC 2009 At Banquet Hall of Vidhan Soudha, Bangalore

    Dear IESM friend,
    It was, indeed, my greatest pleasure meeting you during 'VIJAY DIWAS' event @ B'Lore. The fact that we could share & exchange thoughts about our IESM Movement & the way 'Fwd' in it, has given me an all the more innate feeling of satisfaction.
    We do hope that we shall be able to remain in contact with each other & together work unceasingly for the betterment of our Ex-Serviceman & the success of our IESM Movement.
    With sincerely spirited & highly motivated people like Capt GANESH KARNIK - who is fortunately there at the helm of Governmental affairs, we can breathe a sigh of comfort. We can also feel proud that in KARNIK we have OUR 'Man Friday ' to assist us on the Political front. His inclination & indulgence is undaunting.
    As a Member of the Governing Body/ Steering Committee & Core Gp of the IESM, I seek your kind & personal indulgence in lending your fullest support to Col RAJAN who is working like a 'Missionary'- doing so much in every way to ammeliorate the problems of our ESM & working for their welfare. It is Only by enlarging our Membership of the IESM that we can develope a meaningfull 'Voice' & look fwd to achieving our AIM. Your willingness in this regard has been so very assuring.
    If ever I could do anything for YOU fm Delhi, do please let me know as it shall be our proudest pleasure.
    Above all, please remain in ' touch '
    Wishing U & your family a VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR & ALL the VERY BEST of EVERYTHING in 2010.
    Yours Affly
    Major General A.J.B.Jaini, AVSM
    Member Governing Body/Steering Committree & Core Gp of the IESM


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