Monday, March 21, 2011

Readers Responses to Injustice to Ex Servicemen and Cancerous Corruption

Dear Colleagues,
This evening I was interacting with a senior serving officer during a social do. He mentioned that for JCOs and Other Ranks the OROP is ‘almost’ granted. The conviction with which he spoke left no doubt that he fully believed in what he had stated. When the Government representative makes such a statement on TV, we can assume he has a stake and motivation in saying so, but the serving personnel thinking on these lines is only out of ignorance, which is most unfortunate.
Take an example of the lowest rank of a Sepoy of Group ‘Y’ who retires after 17 Years of service. The figure for pre-2006 pension (after the enhancement of 08.03.2010 has been factored in) is Rs 4971.00 while for his counterpart who retired on 31.01.2006 the figure is Rs 6850.00 which is 38% higher. This is just the basic pension without taking the ever increasing DA into account.
It will be good that we pass this around and inform maximum number of ESM and our uniformed brethren.
Best regards,
Lt Gen (Emeritus) Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
Chairman IESM

Sh Anna Hazare is one of us - A VETERAN - we must do everything possible to support his cause. Those in NCR must make it a point to sit with him for sometime on fast under the banner of IESM as our organisation is supporting the `fight against corruption`. Infact we must support all such movements, whether they are by Baba Ramdev/Kiran Bedi/etc as it will bring our movement under the public eye. Let us be apolitical for a change !!!
Brig SS Jaswal, Veteran Madras Sapper

Brig Kamboj,
We congratulate Anna Hazare for his commitment "unto death" that the Lok Pal Bill is correctly worded and implemented by the Government.
His life is as precious as that of the Supreme Commander or the Prime Minister In Waiting, Mr Rahul Gandhi, MP. Why should the rulers, the cabinet, the Clergy (i.e., "sadhus, sants, gurus, swamys & preachers"), the ex servicemen & women, and the whole nation watch the tragedy helplessly with apathy?
Higher powers have their own agenda and permanent interests. They have made a rich life of comfort and luxury for themselves and love status quo and inertia. They want none to "wake up the sleeping dogs" and they want nothing to"rock the boat". They will persist in their ways,
In the political climate, as "callous & corrupt" as in Bharat, they will be asking themselves the question, "Will two million citizens gather to protest in anger after his death?"
If the answer is "YES", they will take note and act quickly in order to save the Bhawan and Secretariate from going up in flames. Gandhiji was not sure of even half a million men gathering anywhere to back his cry for Akhand Bharat. So he did not undertake "fast unto death" even for the highest ideal of keeping India united!
63 years after Independence the "Sarkar" still seems to think of Anna Hazare what the British thought of Gandhiji.
RS Rajput veteran (UK)

Dear Friends,
Jai Hind.
There is need for all of us to write letters as suggested by Gen Bahri.
Do not be a silent spectator to this All India Movement by Indian Military Veterans.
Take active part. Each one of you is an important member.
Unless WE ALL stand shoulder to shoulder, these incompetent and self- centred Politicians and Babus will keep dodging us and will deny justice to us.
Vande Matram
In service of Indian Military Veterans
Chander Kamboj.

Dear Chander and fellow Veterans,
Gen Bahri's letter has been 'universally' acclaimed, on its merits. I too had joined the chorus and applauded his courage and the 'energy' level of his thrust- had even agreed to follow up?
No question therefore of any 'namby-pamby' dumbing down of the vigour or rigour of the Movement; as implied by some (expat) friends.
My 'post' on the topic, however, had an aim-plus - reflecting some nuanced and targetted implications for the leaders. Am not surprised, therefore, that some Veterans have misperceived those, due to the unfamiliar narrative.
I respect everyone's right to hold and express any views - hence am generally averse to 'clarifications'. Am making an exception to obviate distorted perception of two substantive issues(incl one red-flag):
  • The imperative need for a 'strategised bundle' of weighted thrusts for a successful outcome. This must be part of a dynamic process/mechanism. No amount of stand-alone or randomly coordinated, fitful/ repeated aggressive rallies or bunch of ex-VIP letters can be a substitute. To illustrate; even if all the former chiefs/ vices/ army cdrs represented, most vociferously and in unison, it may make no more than a little/ no dent! If there are 'limits' to the serving Chiefs powers/ influence ability; whither the Retired? Am I just nit-picking? No, Sir. Have offered constructive suggestions on this aspect, from time to time to the Core Gp(kind attn:Veteran Bhupal).
  • It would be fatal for IESM to fall prey to 'extremist/ agitational chatter' eg let us consider Bainsla model or immature/ abusive net- discourse. There is a perceptible increase in this- hence my sharpish remark of 'undignified immaturity';, which my old friend Bhimmy (Gen Bhimayya) totally misconstrued in the US.
    Indeed, the present Leadership is categorically committed to avoid this 'red- flag' and to maintain discipline and decorum. Yet, the chatter itself is disconcerting to many, who have the Chetwodian values embedded. The 'put-offing' remark was in this context.
    I am happy that Raj Kadyan in his Sitrep has clearly disparaged this trend. Am also delighted about Hon'ble MP Chandra Shekar's recourse to the Appeals Committee of the Parliament. Augurs well; yet be prepared for a very long haul.
    With best wishes.
    Yoginder Sharma (Lt Gen YN Sharma, Former Army Commander)

    I would like to submit a few points, from personal experience.
    Firstly, there is nothing called the 'government', at least from the point of view of getting after you. Yes there are various groups, or 'mafias'. There is one of senior babus, another of spooks (IB, RAW etc), another one of cops (Special Cell) and so on. But none of them can get after you.
    After RAW launched the prosecution against me for writing a book that revealed corruption and indiscipline in that organsiation, they did get after me. They tried to plant documents, manufacture witnessess and so on. But they did not succeed. each time I got wind of it, I would shoot off a letter to the PM and the UPA Chairperson.
    Ultimately, they gave up, though the case is still in court my phones are still tapped and so is my Internet. But I am keeping them busy. I have lodged several cases of my own against various agencies, for singling me out, while people who have written similar books and articles - mostly ex spooks - are not touched. Also, the corrupt officers I have named remain untouched.
    Coming to the writng of letters to Ministers and MPs, it is a wasteful exercise. I wrote to almost every MP, giving them a gist of my case and asking for their help and support, as they did for Iftikhar Gilani (he was released after spending 5 months in jail for a fabricated case, after the Home Minister ordered the case to be dropped, thanks to the intervention of the then Defence Minister, George Fernandes, and pressure form the media and MPs). You know how many replies I got? Just two. They expressed sympathy, but that was all. I have met various other people, such as KP Singh Deo, Veerappa Moily etc. All to no avail.
    I understand tht the UPA will give us OROP just before the next election, when they can get some mileage out of it. Till then, there is little chance. Of course, we must not give up, lest the campaign loses steam.
    Maj Gen VK Singh Veteran
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