22 August 2010 06:53
Subject: JANTAR MANTAR 22 AUG 10
I had planned this opening line as I answered queries from some veterans and some civil sympathizers on Saturday, as to whether the medal deposit scheduled for Sunday 22nd was STILL ON, despite the heavy downpour that the NCR had been expecting. Intuition told me it won't rain Sunday forenoon, as even God would be looking down appreciatively at the IESM event.
Sure. It did not. Cloudy. Nearly there. But not really. It was a pleasant day... some poetic sorts even sang 'kitna haseen hai mausam' as part of their speech. Rally commenced bang on at 1100, preceded by some warm up speeches by early arrivals.
Attended by 1500-1800 veterans from Punjab, Haryana, HP and Delhi, A total of 30 speakers addressed the rally in addition to the Chairman and Vice Chairman. Their angst at the insensitivity of the GOI and the President- the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces was all too visible and audible. Also the disgust,about the GOI on the one hand manipulating a three fold increase in the legislators salaries in three days of parliamentary disruptions, and on the other offering paucity of funds as an excuse against granting OROP. Yes, disgusting indeed.
Approximately 100 veterans signed up as members during the rally. Other interesting developments are- The IESL Yamuna Nagar joining IESM enmasse with 3500 members has joined IESM. The All India ESM Association JCO/OR led by Hav Pyara Singh, with 15000 members has joined IESM. Eleven Hundred Signatures in Blood were taken on site. Such signatures also came from other parts of the country, including one lac from Punjab. A total of 1.25 lac signatures in blood were thus available to take to the Rashtrapati Bhawan.
The event was covered by media. TV Today has covered the event well. Including 500 medals collected during the rally, and the medals carried forward since last rally, 6000 medals were taken to the Rashtrapati Bhavan by a delegation led by the Chairman Gen Raj Kadyan, and including the Vice Chairman Gen Satbir Singh. Disappointingly, the President once again did not grant an audience.
It is surprising that while tenets of leadership, even in corporate demand of leaders that they maintain a contact with their team/ subordinates/ people dependent on them for support, such empathy and leadership is unfortunately not displayed in the highest office in the country.
Not one to take it JUST lying down, the Vice Chairman gave out his mind to the (poor) SO Mr Jai Ram, in attendance at the President's office. I wonder how much of that the latter could convey to Madam Prez, even after sugar coating.
Due to vendor problem we had a situation that Lunch packets were not available for attendees, at reasonable cost till Saturday morning. With a crisis brewing, Mrs Satbir Singh organized the cooking and provisioning personally from home. Those of us who can visualize 1500 packets, each of six poories and sabzi, would gasp in appreciation. And tasty ones. We all loved the food. Thanks Maa'm.
With Warm Regards,
Col RP Chaturvedi (Retd)
(Member IESM Governing Body)