Dear and Respected Sirs and Colleagues,
A very happy Independence Day to all of you. And I think today is an appropriate day for this email.
I write to you in connection with the recent outstanding Defence Watch episode that was aired on DD News, the issues that it raised and some emails from respected members questioning any or all of achievements of IESM in the last 18 months or so. Also, the email also intends to answer the unwelcome allegations made on one of the most dedicated Fighters in this struggle for justice for defence forces -- Maj Gen Satbir Singh.
A lot has already been said about the Defence Watch program on DD News. How effective it was. How IESM and IESL were speaking on the same platform and were non-conflicting for the most part. How awesome the host was and how awesome everything went.
Hold on just a bit. Back up. Stop.
I want all of us to take a step back and analyze something very important and something that can so easily be overlooked. And the question is this:
WHY WAS SUCH A PROGRAM AIRED ON NATIONAL TV? WHY ARE PEOPLE WANTING TO TALK ABOUT IT? WHY IS OROP A WORD THAT MOST CITY DWELLERS ARE AWARE OF?
Why, I ask!
And you do not have to answer me. Or anyone else. Be honest and answer this question in your own heart and the answer is fairly simple and obvious.
If IESM, under the able leadership of Vice Chairman Maj Gen Satbir Singh and Chairman Lt Gen Raj Kadyan and other IESM founders, had not started this Mission Justice for Defence Forces, no one and make no mistake, no one would have been talking about OROP or military veterans or their challenges. Frankly once a service personnel puts down his cap and belt, the ordinary civilian (which includes the government and the bureaucracy) does not give a rat's a$$ (excuse my French, please) to what happens to that retired soldier. The ordinary civilian does not care if we live or die or simply rot away. They got what they wanted from us and we are useless for them now.
And this is what has changed. IESM has changed things. It has brought to surface and very effectively, the issues a military veteran faces after retirement. It has achieved what no other organization never achieved or even probably aimed to achieve -- putting military veterans back on the radar, in the limelight, right in the ordinary civilian's face.
Now OROP is a term most people have an idea about. It is discussed in the parliament by the president and the prime minister and others. It is discussed by politicians in their party meetings. It is discussed by the Toms and Janes and Rahuls and Sohans on their breakfast table. Some civilians say yes to it. some say no to it. But nearly all of them know about it. That, my friends, is the first step to our victory. IESM has made sure that we will not take invisibility for an answer. That we wont be left at the mercy of the nation we served and protected with everything we had. We will stand up and be counted. And we will get what is fair and what is right.
And how did all this occur? How did we accomplish this? We accomplished this because IESM happened. And IESM happened because some visionary people could identify this problem. That the military veterans deserve more. That change is needed.
So that's why the program happened. That's why newspapers carry these news items. That's why these rallies all across the country are thumping successes and that's why IESM will win this war for all military veterans all across the country. That's why the high offices and civilians with 'lal batti' on their cars look so shaken. That's why they want us divided. That's why they want us to fight. But that is ALSO why we must stick together. That is also why we need to be stronger than ever. That is why we can safely say that we are closer to winning this war than we ever were.
Now some people have a problem with this movement. Oh no I'm not talking about the civilians. I am talking about people from the military veteran community. They want us to stop. They want to protect the status quo. I thought of this as ridiculous and funny in the beginning and thought that these respected veterans would stop. But they are not. And its not funny anymore. Although all throughout this time I have been analyzing these certain 'elements'. And it is not difficult to crack their 'code'. There are two types of people who criticize IESM, its leadership, its operations and its mission.
1. Those who have vested interest in the status quo. Who are benefiting from the grief of millions of ESM. Those who have sold their souls for little pieces of gold, so to speak.
2. The second category are those addicted with inaction. They want to do nothing and that is reason enough for them to want no one to do anything. And in the words of a wise 'other's aliveness makes their deadness seem more real to them'. That's why they want everyone dead. They want no one to do anything so that they can lie to themselves and say 'oh hell, nothing can be done anyway so its not my fault you know!".
But both of these type of people cannot do it directly. Because anyone with brain even the size of a peanut will understand the logic in what IESM does and what its mandate is. So they do it by means of taking personal jibes at those who are working tirelessly for the cause of ESM under the IESM umbrella. They say we are cheating people. That we are schemers eating people's money away. And other things to the same effect.
To think that people can say such things about Gen Satbir and Brig Kamboj. Such humble, honest people who practically have no personal life because they have dedicated themselves to the ESM community and to IESM. Its just unacceptable.
Those who know Gen Kadyan, Gen Satbir, Brig Kamboj and the rest of the leadership of IESM as also dedicated senior veterans like Gen Jaini, Col Rajan, those who have spent time with them, those who have attended rallies with them, have worked with them closely, have been a part of the brainstorming sessions (and proudly I am one such person) who be able to understand, appreciate and thus respect the dedication, the passion that they have for this mission. They will understand how humble they are and how welcoming they are to constructive positive suggestions.
The recent email against Gen Satbir and his intentions for Leh relief was disappointing.
I understand that nothing I write today can be more vocal than the actions of Gen Satbir. But my fellow veterans and respected seniors, it is my duty to say it one more time that Gen Satbir is one of the strongest pillars of this movement.
In an organization there will always be certain differences of opinion pertaining to policies, functions, decisions and vision. But as leaders and as comrades in a mission the onus is on us to iron these out and to amicably work together and towards the mission. I firmly believe that there is a right way to put your point and there are other ways. I urge us to choose the right way. It is no secret that fragmentation will weaken us and unification will strengthen us. The choice is with us. Its that one last mile that remains gentlemen and we need to walk this mile together. As one.
On this Independence Day, let us all once again resolve to not stop, not quit and not give up until we win this war. And win we will.
I thank you all for taking the time to go through this rather lengthy email. I must apologize. But this was a subject very close to my heart. because it was about the organization that I am fully devoted to. It was about the people I have accepted as leaders and have come to respect them for their dedication and passion. It was about people whose humility and kindness is exemplary. And thus curbing the flow of emotions was rather difficult.
Thank you and Jai Hind.
Sub/Maj Hony Lt (Veteran)
Dear Satbir & Gulia,
I saw the the Programme on DD News on Wednesday AN and was a very happy man. The questions posed by Ashok Mehta were dealt with in a comprehensive manner and without any false rhetoric. Both of you speaking in the same voice was fantastic.Kudos to you both.
I was very pleased indeed Gulia, that you were backing the just demands of ESM strongly and not mincing any words.Your wanting the ESM dept in the MOD to be manned by ESM pers only, was a welcome change from your earlier stance of treating netas & babus with kid gloves. Bravo! Keep it up!
Satbir was once again precise and lucid in his poins and tried to cover all the issues in the limited time. Ashok was trying to keep his job by saying every now and then, that the ESM should be happy that the Govt has given the ESM a very good deal. I guess he had to play his cards right.
Bahri (Lt Gen SK Bahri, Former MGO, 1st JSW Course)
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