Saturday, February 26, 2011

Kalmadi's team to study Beijing Olympics cost the exchequer Rs 8 Crore

CWG Scam: India Today Maneesh Pandey New Delhi, February 17, 2011 Updated 09:40 IST •Kalmadi, Bhanot sacked from CWG OC• Shunglu panel slams Kalmadi, Lalli• OC paid for Mrs Kalmadi's trip: CAG
The mystery of controversial Beijing trip of the Commonwealth Games Organising Committee (OC) - labelled the jumbo junket of Suresh Kalmadi - has been solved.

If the official reply to an RTI filed by Subhash Agrawal is to be believed, Kalmadi and his friends spent Rs 8.15 crore to take 166 people on board for this "study group and observer programme" to Beijing to learn "first-hand about the technical and logistics details of Olympics in August 2008".

MAIL TODAY was the first to report about the CWG junketeers, including those who made it to the Beijing Olympics as the observer group, and had pointed out that there were many in the trip who, sooner or later, had little role to play in the CWG preparations.

The RTI reply endorses this and hints further - " some of the names in the list were purely out of obligation".

For instance, Chhattisgarh governor Shekhar Dutt, then the deputy national security adviser.

What was his role in the OC? Sources in the government said that Dutt was on leave from office to enjoy Kalmadi's party.

He was, in fact, present at the sports presentation event at Hotel Guo Yi in Beijing on August 19. He had signed in the visitors' register as deputy NSA and member OC, CWG.

There were others like National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah and his son-inlaw and Congress leader Sachin Pilot, who had little connection with the sporting event.

Even the name of Nafisa Ali among the 166 Beijing junketeers raises question. There were some like Vijay Goel, who was later shown the door by Kalmadi.

The team also included four persons from Pune whose contributions to the OC are hard to assess.

However, they are being probed by the investigators. The trip, nevertheless, came at a cost of `8.15 crore, says the official reply.

It is anybody's guess what the group learnt in Beijing and how effectively it implemented the lessons back home.

The trip was meant to be a "learning experience to understand the physical environments of the Games being conducted there".

Also, the observer group was required to keep a record of processes, operational needs and policies which would have supported the organisation of the Games.

Interestingly, one of the key sessions, which the OC claimed to have been attended by the group, was related to ticketing, workforce and technology. The ticket distribution mess during the CWG, the accreditation and other technical glitches only explain what the group had actually learnt from the trip.
Suresh Kalmadi spent Rs 8 cr on his Beijing junket

Comment: Suresh Kalmadi's largesse to his Cronies and Sycophants down the drain. Had he only taken professional help from the Indian Armed Forces Kalmadi could have saved the Nation 8 Core Rupees!

Veterans Welfare Cell at the AHQ

Dear Colleagues,
I am happy to announce that under the directions of the COAS a Veterans Welfare Cell has been created at the Army Headquarters. It is headed by a retired Brigadier and will act as a single-point contact for all the veterans problems. Plans are afoot to give it a toll free telephone number that can be contacted round the clock by any veteran. This number will be widely publicized when allotted. Through the aegis of this Cell, the IESM plans to have institutionalized periodic interaction with various veteran-related departments.
There have been numerous complaints from veterans regarding lack of response from PCDA Allahabad on our pension problems. In this connection a letter dated 24 Feb 2011 written to the PCDA is as above for information of the environment.
Best regards,
Lt Gen (Emeritus) Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
Chairman IESM

Articles from Generals
  • Two Views on Corruption by Lt Gen Harwant Singh
  • Crime and Punishment Lt Gen Vijay Oberoi
  • Shooting Ourselves in the Foot Services Style by Maj Gen Mrinal Suman
  • Zoom upwards to affluence through moral vigilantism by Maj Gen NC Khanna
  • Friday, February 25, 2011

    Rank Pay and OROP - Obfuscated by Bureaucrats

    Click image for reading text
    Rank Pay Maj To Brigs
    Last year I had written to Mr Moily on 16 May 10, asking him as to why the govt was contesting the SC order of 8 Mar 10 when his declared policy was to reduce litigation by the govt. When he did not reply for about four weeks I wrote a letter Mrs Sonia Gandhi on 14 Jun 10 -Justice For Services, attached below- asking her why the government was shirking its obligation to pay an amount to officers who had been defrauded by it.

    Today, lo and behold, I received a reply from the JS (Pension) in reference to my letter to Mrs Gandhi, scanned copy attached above. The letter makes me laugh as it is the usual bureaucratic attempt to obfuscate the issue. The same way this government is trying to mislead the country on the various scams plaguing the country.

    I plan replying this letter through the RM with a copy to the JS and Mrs Gandhi. Telling them that we are not thumb sucking babes who can be fooled by babuisms. I would request you all to give me ammunition to answer this typical babu's foolishness.
    Lt Gen SK Bahri PVSM (Retd)
    1st JSW Course, Former MGO

    Justice And The Armed Forces: A Mirage
    I am writing to you about a subject which is becoming a rather touchy one both with the Government and the defence services, including the ex servicemen. The UPA II has just finished patting itself on its back for what it has done during the past 12 months. But one area where it has faltered is the redressal of grievances of serving and retired soldiers of the three defence services.

    The Services have been depended upon by the Nation for guarding it against both, external aggression and internal disorder. They have acquitted themselves well each time and have earned the respect of the nation. It is one organisation, which is looked upon in horror by the Nation if a misdemeanour by one of its members, is detected. Such aberrations not only make headlines but even the Services handle them like cancer, which need to be excised promptly.

    Can any other government wing be compared with the defence services? The morning newspaper seems incomplete if there is no news about a few lapses in one of the government’s arms eg., corruption, custodial killing, crores of intelligence funds meant for fighting Maoists being siphoned off by DGPs , selling land at throwaway prices to cronies, excise duty being evaded, continued rape of a subordinate’s wife, children being molested by people who are supposed to protect them and civil servants amassing wealth beyond their known sources of income. I could not believe when the press informed us that in Burail Jail in Punjab, there is a barrack only for convicted policemen!! (The only jail where a special barrack may be reserved for Indian soldiers must be in Pakistan!!) The world organisations have recently graded our civil services as the most inefficient. But we cannot do anything about it.

    The above is known to the Aam Admi, whose patience is running out. We should be prepared for the worst, as he knows what he deserves. We have created a Frankenstein in the form of the Maoist menace due to totally inadequate governance and, another monster is in the making. I guess the armed forces will be drafted once again, as they are being planned to deal with Frankenstein.

    But what is the morale and thinking of the soldiers? The PM will get reassuring reports from the Service Chiefs, as they cannot say otherwise. But believe me, Mrs Gandhi, there is a feeling amongst the soldiers that while they are protecting a beautiful nation, it is being eaten away internally by termites. Will they be asked to jeopardise their lives once again to remedy a self-created problem? They feel used and are resentful. The reasons are not too far to see, if one has the intention to see.

    After the 8 Mar 2010 judgement of the Supreme Court in favour of Defence Officers (who had been denied the benefit of Rank Pay in the 6th Pay Commission while fixing their emoluments), to set right a patently obvious fraud perpetrated on them by the bureaucracy, the government has filed an appeal against the implementation of the judgement. I then sent the attached email on 16 May 2010 to the Law Minister, Mr Veerappa Moily telling him that the action of the Government is against his own statement that the government should not be a persistent litigant. I, as is customary in todays government offices, have not received an acknowledgement so far. So it is possibly lying in the wastepaper basket next to his table or censored by his OSD, the bureaucratic representative who acts as the self appointed filter of “bad news” from the “master”!

    The soldiers, serving and retired, are a disillusioned lot. After your assurance in Amritsar, inclusion in the Congress manifesto, declaration by the President in her opening speech to Parliament, statement of the Finance Minister in the Budget speech and the proclamation by the PM from the ramparts of Red Fort, One Rank One Pension (OROP) remains a mirage. Rubbing salt in the wounds, directions of the highest court in the land are being contested, only because they are in favour of soldiers. (The bureaucracy had also appealed repeatedly against the judgement of the Supreme Court in favour of Maj Gens in 2008). Imagine a Committee of Secretaries met to consider the Judgement and within a week (a record of sorts!) decided to appeal against it, as it was financially unviable. Can a fraud detected by the Supreme Court be wished away due to its financial cost? Do you think the soldiers will swallow all this, and accept it happily? If your advisors say so then they are the same who have landed our Country in this sorry state of affairs, be it in the North East or in the 400 odd districts, with many more on the verge of joining them, affected by Maoism. They are the ones who are putting the fear in the politicians that the Defence Forces will take over the country if they are not kept under their thumb. A disastrous presumption.

    For the country’s sake, please do not push the soldiers over the precipice and make them behave like our huge police force, which wants a bribe for registering a FIR or a bureaucrat who does the same for putting his signatures on a piece of paper. Mrs Gandhi please look after the soldier, he is ironically defenceless in his own country.

    Mrs Sonia Gandhi
    Chairperson UPA
    10 Janpath
    New Delhi 110001

    Sordid affairs- Bureaucrats Rule the Roost
    Very simply, we are reaching a point of no return," says a critic. "It is up to the political leadership to decide if India is to be a just society or force its citizens to be party to crime."

    Lack of accountability and patronage of corrupt politicians and greedy businessmen have made the Indian bureaucracy a law unto itself. History says the Indian bureaucracy owes its origin to the colonial period when the British rule did not trust its Indian subjects and made rules for each eventuality. To create and administer such a regulatory regime, they created an all-pervasive bureaucracy that has survived even to today in all of its forms.

    Transparency International, a global watchdog body, ranked India at a lowest rung out of the 102 countries in its Corruption Perception Index, while the World Economic Forum ranked India top among 49 countries surveyed. One recent study by the Center for Media Studies, New Delhi, on corruption in urban services reveals that "Over half of those who avail the services of the most frequently-visited public departments of government in the country have had first hand experience of greasing palms at least once". It is this pervasiveness that has forced many to charge that bureaucrats have "created such a steel frame around them that even the might of the state can't dismantle it".

    It isn't that the Indian civil service has assumed new powers. Rather, post-liberalization government officers have realized that their decisions can make others rich. Their logic: If greedy Indian businessmen can evade taxes, influence policies and make money through devious means, why should not the government officer who moves their files get a share of the booty?

    It didn't come as much of a surprise therefore, when a recent secret survey conducted by a government agency found that over 200 very senior secretary-level government officials have joined, either as full-time executives or as board members, companies with whom they had done official business in the last 10 years. ISRO heads the sample...

    Can Dr Manmohan Singh dismantle the Citadel of Corruption perpetuated by Government Officials or remain a silent spectator- will the task of eliminating corruption remain a distant dream?
    Govt will do everything to clean public life: PM

    Thursday, February 24, 2011

    Revised Casualty, Disability and War Injury Awards

    Revised letter on casualty / disability / war-injury pensionary awards for pre-2006 retirees based on 6th CPC scales issued
    The letter on modified parity for casualty awards has finally been issued. Casualty awards from now onwards are to be calculated based on 6th CPC scales.
    The letter can be accessed and downloaded by clicking here. .
    In brief, this shall be the fresh entitlement with effect from 01-01-2006.
  • Special Family Pension: Would not be less than 60% of minimum of 6th CPC pay band + Grade Pay + Military Service Pay + X Group Pay (wherever applicable) corresponding to the rank held.
  • Liberalized Family Pension : Would not be less than the (100% of) minimum of 6th CPC pay band + Grade Pay + Military Service Pay + X Group Pay (wherever applicable).
  • Disability Element : Would not be less than 30% of the minimum of 6th CPC pay band + Grade Pay + Military Service Pay + X Group Pay (wherever applicable) for 100% disability, proportionately reduced for lesser disability.
  • War Injury Element : Would not be less than 60% of the minimum of 6th CPC pay band + Grade Pay + Military Service Pay + X Group Pay (wherever applicable) for 100% disability proportionately reduced for lesser disability in cases of retirement / discharge and 100% of the minimum of 6th CPC pay band + Grade Pay + Military Service Pay + X Group Pay (wherever applicable) for 100% disability proportionately reduced for lesser disability in cases of invalidment.

    Other finer modalities can be seen from the letter linked above.
    Posted by Navdeep / Maj Navdeep Singh at 5:44 PM
    Revised letter on casualty / disability / war-injury pensionary awards for pre-2006 retirees based on 6th CPC scales issued
  • Rank Pay and Time Scale Promotions

    Rank Pay
    Dear Sir,
    It is intimated that the case came up for hearing today ie 24 Feb 2011 in the Court of Justice Shri Aftab Alam & Justice Shri RM Lodha (Court No 12). There were partial arguments on the pay fixation done as per IV Pay Commission. The court has asked UOI to file an affadivit on the pay fixation of civilian officers who were drawing the same basic pay as that of army officers at the time of IV Pay commission. The next date of hearing has been fixed as 08 Mar 2011.
    It is requested that the info be put on RMS for information of all concerned.
    Thanking you
    Secy RDOA (Retired Defence Officers’ Association)

    Time Scale Promotions
    Dear Sir,
    I have been pursuing a case for effecting promotion to Cdr(TS) (and for other equivalents in the other two services) who have completed more than 20 years of Commissioned service as on 01 Jan'1997 but prematurely retired before 28 Feb'2000 without getting the Time Scale promotion with various authorities along with another like minded Officer. A letter sent to Defence secretary in MoD has been sent. I am now given to understand through reliable sources that the ministry has sent for comments on the points brought out to all the three service Hqs. (Kindly note the ref No.of MoD Lr 14(1)/98- D(AG) dated 02 feb'11)

    Sir, I feel that any Major or Sq Ldr or Lt Cdr affected by above conditions will benefit if all the three service chiefs concur to promote the effected Offrs with ante dated seniority for purposes of modifying the PPOs. If it comes through, the pension will go up to above Rs 20K. If any one can influence the three service chiefs, before it is too late, can benefit all affected party. Additional, the same can be expanded to cover all Offrs who retired prior to 01 Jan'1997 as well.

    Sir, would be grateful if this message is suitably worded and put in Blog so that some one or other will rise to the occasion (not necessarily Majors alone but senior veterans as well.
    With respectful regards,
    Lt Cdr(Retd) PS Nath
    40662 -N

    IESM Rally at Jantar Mantar on 06 Mar 2011

    Dear Veterans,
    1. Press release for 6 March 2011 rally at Jantar Mantar already sent to the press.
    2. All ESM and ESM organizations across the country are requested to attend the above Rally to send the right signal to the Govt, to accept our demands. We also request the member of the family of ESM and our supporters to attend the above rally. The dress for the Rally is uniform/ Mufti along with the Regimental Cap to clearly and visibly indicate our identity and emphasize that we are not happy. Remember, if we do not help ourselves, nobody else would, let us therefore put all our efforts and make the Rally a success.
    3. Conveners of IESM at all levels are requested to motivate ESM in their areas to voluntarily deposit their medals and sign memorandum in Blood for onward deposit with the President.
    4. Adm Arrangements, part reimbursement for transport and rail/bus fare will also be made by the IESM as hitherto. Conveners are requested to give maximum publicity for the event information may be published in various local newspapers.
    With Regards,
    Jai Hind
    Yours Sincerely,
    Maj Gen (Retd) Satbir Singh, SM
    Vice Chairman IESM

    Useful Information

    Kindly share this valuable information
    1. If you see children Begging anywhere in INDIA , please contact:
    "RED SOCIETY" at 9940217816. They will help the children for their studies.
    2. Where you can search for any BLOOD GROUP, you will get thousand's of donor address.
    3. Engineering Students can register in to attend Off Campus Interview for 40 Companies.
    4. Free Education and Free hostel for Handicapped/Physically Challenged children. Contact:- 9842062501 & 9894067506.
    5. If anyone meets with a fire accident or people born with problems in their ear, nose and mouth can get free PLASTIC SURGERY done by Kodaikanal PASAM Hospital. From 23rd March to 4th April by German Doctors. Everything is free. Contact : 045420-240668,245732. "Helping Hands are Better than Praying Lips"
    6. If you find any important documents like Driving license, Ration card, Passport, Bank Pass Book, etc., missed by someone, simply put them into any near by Post Boxes. They will automatically reach the owner and Fine will be collected from them.
    7. By the next 10 months, our earth will become 4 degrees hotter than what it is now. Our Himalayan glaciers are melting at rapid rate. So let all of us lend our hands to fight GLOBAL WARMING.
    -Plant more Trees.
    -Don't waste Water & Electricity.
    -Don't use or burn Plastics
    8. It costs 38 Trillion dollars to create OXYGEN for 6 months for all Human beings on earth. "TREES DO IT FOR FREE- Respect them and Save them"
    9. Special phone number for Eye bank and Eye donation: 04428281919 and 04428271616 (Sankara Nethralaya Eye Bank). For More information about how to donate eyes plz visit these sites.
    10. Heart Surgery free of cost for children (0-10 yr) Sri Valli Baba Institute Banglore. Contact : 9916737471
    11. Medicine for Blood Cancer! 'Imitinef Mercilet' is a medicine which cures blood cancer. Its available free of cost at "Adyar Cancer Institute in Chennai". Create Awareness. It might help someone.
    Cancer Institute in Adyar, Chennai
    Address: East Canal Bank Road , Gandhi Nagar, Adyar, Chennai -600020
    Phone: 044-24910754 044-24910754, 044-24911526 044-24911526, 044-22350241, 044-22350241
    If you have a function/ party at your home in India and food gets wasted, don't hesitate to call 1098 (only in India)- This is the number of Child helpline.
    They will come and collect the food.
    Please Save Our Mother Nature for "OUR FUTURE GENERATIONS"
    ... Forwarded by Lt Gen Yati Panwar (Retd)

    Comment: Internet forwarded message. Contents not verified. Information seems very useful.

    A letter to the Prime Minister -- Reflective of the mood of the nation

    May i as a citizen of this country kindly request you to quit for the following reasons:
    1. You are not an elected leader and hence have no right to be the Prime Minister of this country. You have made a backdoor entry... this is not democracy.
    2. You lack OLQ(Officer-like-Qualities)... i am not interseted in your personal honesty as Manmohan Singh... i am concerned regarding your integrity and moral courage as the Prime Minister... you have none.
    3. You do not have the guts to take responsibility on behalf of your subordinates... you pass the buck... you are a petty manager and not a leader.
    4. You are corrupt... corruption is not restricted to making monetary gains... you are devoid of innovative ideas to instil checks and balances in your governance, incapable of creating responsibility & accountability through various layers of the hierarchy.
    5. You are weak and refuse to acknowledge the mistakes you have made... awareness and acknowledgement are the first steps to change, followed by the desire and political will, the knowledge and ability and reinforce the commitment... you lack all these.
    6. You do not have the courage to take tough are a safe plodder... you are a survivour... you cannot take manageable risks.
    7. You lack vision... when you say that you are a victim of coalition compulsions and express helplessness with a remark that "every six months we shall have elections, if you act", you behave like a class monitor who indulges in cheap popularity....act and see the result... your party shall come back with a thumping majority.
    8. You lack loyalty to the hold your party interests above that of the country....completion of 5-year term is more vital to you rather than governance of the are a custodian of Sonia Gandhi's interests rather than growth of the underprivileged and the poor
    9. Blaming others is silly... let us never place the blame on others, but on our own attitudes... Small-minded people habitually reproach others for their own misfortunes... Average people reproach themselves... Those who are dedicated to a life of wisdom understand that the impulse to blame something or someone is foolishness, that there is nothing to be gained in blaming, whether it be others or
    10. India deserves a young dynamic leader, not a senile, subservient, sychophant... kindly do one last favour to this country... in your next cabinet reshuffle, hand in your resignation and things shall fall into place.
    Thank you , Mr Prime Minister!
    With best regards
    Colonel A J Bahadu (Retd)

    Dr Manmohan Singh is the best Prime Minster the country has had till today in spite of his old age. What we need to ponder about the past- how we as a Nation have survived with worse Politicians?

    Wednesday, February 23, 2011

    Captains: A lost Commodity

    THE LONG AWAITED FIFTH OF FEBRUARY 2011 soon came, a very special occasion, the 100th Anniversary of the Corps and award of the PVSM to the incumbent SO-in-C, and we the veteran Signallers of Greater Noida, piled into the hired cabs for the long journey to Vatika, Signals Enclave: the Dinner invitation in the pocket and the stickers on the windscreens.
    I take the front seat, assuming the onerous duty of the co-driver, isolated from the rest, those at the back and in jovial mood, exchanging anecdotes from the past and the woes of the recent move to the still evolving AWHO Township.
    We arrive at the venue with high hopes and are not disappointed, saved from the long walk from the parking, by the ferry service, adorned with the Jimmy lapel pin at the entrance, overwhelmed by the long receiving line, officers resplendent in the ceremonial blue patrols; the regimental ladies in colourful Saree's with welcoming handshakes and namastays with folded hands and what not.
    I shake hands with Lt Gen Mohapatra, greet him on the Corps Day and congratulate him on the award of PVSM, wish his lady wife and get amalgamated with the milling crowd: a sea of unknown faces.
    I pick a glass of Pepsi and start weaving, gingerly through the milling congregation of blue and green of the uniforms and the rainbow of the Saree's. I am confronted by a sea of red tabs: serving Generals, Brigadiers, Colonels, especially Colonels, looks like every one has been promoted to a Colonel, a sprinkling of Lt Cols, and here and there a few Majors. Surprisingly, no Captains, who used to be the bedrock of the corps in the days of yore, are nowhere in sight.
    With my random walk, I do come across a few faces from past, hand shake and ‘How are you?’ later, it is a short hi and bye as we part once again.
    Surprised by their absence I begin my quest for the Captains, hoping to exchange a few words with the young of the Corps, to get a feel of there aspirations, hopes and apprehensions, if any, share my own experiences of that rank, and get updated with the current Army life, especially Signals.
    It was becoming an exercise in futility; I address a nearby Colonel; he looked a bit amused by the query coming from someone out of uniform. ‘I have one back in the Regiment.’ He responded. To me it gave a feeling as if he was alluding to a museum piece and possibly that he was he was.
    Frustrated and in desperation I approach the So-in –C, him surrounded by an ever changing kaleidoscope of senior guests, their accompanying wives and senior officers in uniform, all the time trying to get in a word edge wise, getting a chance I manage to ask. ’Where are the Captains?’ ‘They are a lost commodity.’ Was his cryptic reply.
    I make a hasty retreat, leaving it at that and a bit more confused, I button hole a group of young Majors, so different from the dominating personalities of yore, whose presence even was enough to instill a feeling of fear in one, while a raised eyebrow, on the other hand could make us tremble, their forte, bereft of much technical knowledge or the science of propagation and the vagaries of ionosphere dependent on season or weather, was managing the communications with a bark and a stick, also blowing both hot and cold as the situation demanded.
    Looking amused at my ignorance, there is an effort to educate me, a long winded explanation later, the long and short of which is that Captain to Major was a short distance in time and the three pips of the Captain soon metamorphoses in to the Ashoka Pillar on the shoulder.
    Reminiscing with the group with some of my experiences as a Captain, during the 1962 Sino Indian conflict, I was left disappointed with their distorted impressions of the conflict in general and the lack of appreciation of how the insurmountable obstacles faced by the communicator, saddled, those days, with the ‘Second World War’ equipment, were surmounted.
    Weaving through and ahead, ‘low and behold’, what do I spy: a Captain and soon ambush the diminutive, apparition in olive green, obviously a SS officer. She equally surprised, is taken aback by my ‘Excuse me.’
    It transpires that she is the Adjutant of the Regiment, one of the prized jobs assigned to the senior captain or a major those days, the chair from which one learnt the ropes of how to run a regiment.
    Simple girls once married soon acquire the skill to keep the husbands on a short leash, so I presume be the case of female Adjutants: keeping the regiment on a tight leash. It appears to be well worn practice followed by the Regiment as even her predecessor was also an officer of the so called weaker Sex.
    Having found the proverbial needle in the haystack, I join the now milling crowed around the heavily laden dinner tables. Partaking the delicacies, satiated and satisfied, in an euphoric state as we prepare to leave, I cannot but help notice some diehards with glasses half full or half empty depending the current perception of the nearly sozzled, still lingering near the bar.
    With the ‘See-off’, once again with smiling faces, waiting for the lingering guest to depart, for their long delayed dinner, surely a bit hard on the ladies, shivering in the late night February cold, we set sail for the long journey back to Greater Noida.
    As we take the long road back, still suffused with the euphoria from the pleasant evening spent in the company of the old and the new, I could not help but lament for the’ Lost Commodity’.
    Brig Lakshman Singh (Retd)

    Rs 1300 Crore deficit for Commonwealth Games, taxpayers will Pay

    NDTV Sidharth Pandey, Updated: February 22, 2011 23:36 IST
    New Delhi: One crooked deal after another has revealed that the team that organised the Commonwealth Games in India was incorporated as the worst sort of Badmaash Company.
    Adding to the injury of the thousands of missing crores is the insult that the various deals were crassly crafted. But the corruption that became the currency of the Games is now going to hit India where it hurts.
    Some of the men who organised the Games have been arrested, interrogated and released. They have left behind a stack of unpaid bills. Bills that will be paid by you.
    NDTV used the Right to Information Act to get the financial big picture. The Games were held in October amid a series of media reports on how the Organising Committee for the event, headed by Suresh Kalmadi, had converted the Games into their financial fiefdom. The net result: a deficit of Rs 1500 crore...
    Rs1300 Crore deficit for Commonwealth Games, taxpayers will Pay
    Comment: Suresh Kalmadi as a Fighter Pilot has shamed the Indian Air Force.

    IESM: Defence Personnel have a 'Right to Vote'

    Registration of Defence Personnel as voters at the place of postings- ordinarily place of residence- being denied illegally.
    Dear Friends,
    Jai Hind.
    Unless the Armed Forces become a powerful vote bank for all type of elections in the country, these politicians are not going to care for us.
    Therefore, at all military stations, we need to make an all out effort to register our serving men and families as voters.
    Please try and convey the contents of the email below to the Formation HQs and Units, in and around your place of living.
    Most of us have our junior colleagues holding important posts in many Military stations. Let us call them on phones and make them aware of the provisions and ensure that all serving personnel get registered at the place of posting. Ring them frequently till you get confirmation that needful has been done.
    Each one of us can take very active and very useful part in this activity.
    Vande Matram
    In service of Indian Military Veterans
    Chander Kamboj.

    Dear Members of Parliament
    1. Right to Vote is a basic right in a democracy. This basic right to vote is being hindered and denied to the soldiers. All Indians above 18 years of age which also include Armed Forces Personnel have equal constitutional right to be registered in the Electoral Rolls as Ordinary Residents. However, suitable mechanism and provisions to register Armed Forces Personnel as voters at the place of their postings have not been put in place even after 63 years of Independence.
    2. There are over 60 large cantonments and over 250 medium and small military stations in the country. These cantonments and military stations are part of various constituencies of democratic elections in the country. It is therefore, legally and constitutionally correct to confer the rights to the soldiers to be registered as voters at the place of postings as Ordinary Residences of that place. The provisions of postal ballot or Proxy Voting are the other options which are allowed to the soldiers. 14 Assam Rifles (State Armed Police) deployed in Naga Land exercised franchise at their place of posting. It was challenged by the Candidate who lost election. Supreme Court AIR 1971 SC 2123 ruled “The Statutory fiction is intended to confer the right to be registered as elector at their home town or village but the fiction cannot take away right of persons possessing service qualification, to get themselves registered at a constituency in which they are ordinarily residing though such place happens to be their place of service”. This important ruling of the Supreme Court has not been implemented in letter and spirit in the country as far the Defence Personnel are concerned.
    Dear Members of Parliament

    1. Right to Vote is a basic right in a democracy. This basic right to vote is being hindered and denied to the soldiers. All Indians above 18 years of age which also include Armed Forces Personnel have equal constitutional right to be registered in the Electoral Rolls as Ordinary Residents. However, suitable mechanism and provisions to register Armed Forces Personnel as voters at the place of their postings have not been put in place even after 63 years of Independence.
    2. There are over 60 large cantonments and over 250 medium and small military stations in the country. These cantonments and military stations are part of various constituencies of democratic elections in the country. It is therefore, legally and constitutionally correct to confer the rights to the soldiers to be registered as voters at the place of postings as Ordinary Residences of that place. The provisions of postal ballot or Proxy Voting are the other options which are allowed to the soldiers. 14 Assam Rifles (State Armed Police) deployed in Naga Land exercised franchise at their place of posting. It was challenged by the Candidate who lost election. Supreme Court AIR 1971 SC 2123 ruled “The Statutory fiction is intended to confer the right to be registered as elector at their home town or village but the fiction cannot take away right of persons possessing service qualification, to get themselves registered at a constituency in which they are ordinarily residing though such place happens to be their place of service”. This important ruling of the Supreme Court has not been implemented in letter and spirit in the country as far the Defence Personnel are concerned.
    3. A Letter written to the Prime Minister by one of our Defence Veteran Organisation “All India Veterans Core Group NGO" is enclosed. As members Parliament, cutting across the Party Line, we the Defence Veterans request you to take up the issue with the Prime Minister and also discuss in the Parliament to get this important right of soldiers conferred on them and provisions put in place for the registration of Defence Personnel as voters at the place of posting.
    With Regards,
    Jai Hind
    Yours Sincerely,
    Maj Gen (Retd) Satbir Singh, SM
    Vice Chairman Indian ESM Movement

    Readers Letters

    First Woman Army Officer awarded Gallantry Medal
    Dear Brigadier Kamboj,
    Ref Blog Post: Major Mitali Madhumita, 34, of Army Education Corps- click here
    The first woman Army Officer to be awarded a medal for gallantry was Capt Leena Dadhwal, AMC for gallantry in the Valley while doing RMO with 3/5 Gorkha Rifles (FF). The Gazette Notification was published on 26 Jan 2004 and she was awarded the Sena Medal on 15 Jan 2005.
    This is just to set the record straight. Would be grateful if you could publish this in 'Report My Signal'.
    Ian Cardozo (Maj Gen)

    IESM Meet in Chennai
    Dear Veterans,
    1. The IESM, Tamilnadu will be holding a meeting on 27 Feb 2011(Sunday) as per programme appended.
    Venue: Community Hall, AWHO Parameswaran Vihar, 67 Arcot Road, Saligramam, Chennai– 600093
    Contact: 044-23652932/ 044-42048722 Email:pvma(at)
    Time: 9.00 A.M. to 1.00 P.M. (Lunch will be provided)
    2. All members of IESM and the Office bearers of other ESM Organisations are cordially invited to attend.
    3. Volunteers: We require volunteers to assume the responsibility at all Districts, Towns, Taluks and Villages level, as conveners /coordinators to spread the message of IESM.
    4. Kindly intimate your confirmation of attendance to enable us to tie up the administrative arrangements.
    Col(Retd) T N Raman

    Chief's Interview to NDTV
    My dear Brigadier Kamboj,
    The Army Chief’s well articulated interview to Ms Barkha Dutt was broadcast in the NDTV at 2200 hours on 14 Feb 2011. The Chief’s reply to a question on OROP however gave an impression that he was not well informed and perhaps to an extent ill informed on the issue. A great opportunity was missed out. The Chief’s words would have carried a lot of weight.
    The AG’s Branch, which deals with the subject, obviously has not briefed him appropriately. This may be due to lack of interest, knowledge and information or both. The Army Headquarters may therefore not be in a position to present a comprehensive and correct picture of the entire issue to the Government.
    I am therefore of the view that some of our retired senior officers need to meet the service chiefs, the AG and the officers dealing with the subject and their equivalent in the other services and brief them on the issue besides handing over a one page note in point form explaining the rationale.
    Brigadier V Mahalingam (Retired)

    ECHS: IESM addresses pressing teething problems

    Maj Gen A Srivastava, VSM Dated: 10th Feb 2011
    Central Organisation ECHS, Opposite
    AFMSD, Maude Line, Delhi Cantt

    1. This has reference to our tele conversation on the improvements required to make the ECHS more effective. Some of the issues are discussed in succeeding paras.
    2. Empanelment of Suitable Super Superspeciality Hospitals. As part of their social responsibility, Superspeciality Hospitals of repute across the country need to be asked by the Govt to offer themselves to be empanelled to the ECHS to enable the ESM to avail cashless health Care facility. A recent case came to our notice, where in, wife of Hony Capt S N Sharma residing at Kanpur suffered two severe Heart attacks. To his surprise, he found that there was no superspeciality hospital empanelled at Kanpur where Cardiac Health Care was available. The Hony Officer did not have the necessary funds with him to clear the hospital bills. I had personally spoken to you about this case. He is running from pillar to post to get the advance to pay the hospital dues. Many more such cases are likely to occur. There is therefore, immediate requirement to take up this issue on priority and to empanel such superspeciality Hospital across the country. A compendium of empanelled Hospitals may please be put on website and also made available at various ECHS, Distt Soldier Board HQs and all India ESM organizations like IESM for further dissemination.
    3. Construction of ECHS Polyclinic Buildings. There is requirement to construct suitable buildings catering for all modern healthcare facilities.The existing arrangements are inadequate and at many places ECHS are located at unsuitable rented accommodation. This is an important requirement for provision of efficient healthcare.
    4. Authorization of Additional medical Specialist and Medical Officers. This point has been put up a number of times and deliberated upon. However, on ground very little has improved. Regional Commanders of ECHS need to be authorized to sanction additional doctors based on the accepted scale of authorization. Not more than 40 and 25 patients can be effectively seen by one RMO and a specialist doctor in a day. The scale needs to be strictly adhered to.
    5. Availability of Medicines. There is need to expedite availability of prescribed medicines to the ESM. The existing system of the availability of medicines is unsatisfactory. We were informed that system of supply of medicines through empanelled civil pharmacies will be put in place. The same needs to be expedited.
    6. Local Purchase of Medicines. The enhancement of local purchase powers of various types of ECHS has not yet been carried out. There is need to expedite the same. In addition, provision needs to be made to reimburse the cost of medicines which are NA in the ECHS and the ESM be allowed to buy from the market.
    7. Processing of Hospital Bills. This has reference to the Govt plan to outsource processing of the Hospital Bills to ensure speedy clearance of bills. The same needs to be expedited.
    8. Authorisation of Private Wards to Hony Rank Officers. Govt of India Min of Health and Family Welfare Department of Health and Family vide their letter No. S.11011/23/2009-CGHS D.I/Hospital Cell (Part I) dated 17th August 2010 Para 4.1, has authorized Private Wards in the hospitals for Civilian Govt employees with Basic Pay (without grade pay) of Rs 19540/- and above. However all Hony rank officers whose basic pay (without grade pay) is Rs 19540/- per month are auth semi private ward. This disparity needs to be removed forthwith.
    9. Additional Servicing Points at the Reception and Registration and issue of Medicines in various ECHS. Over 500 ESM are visiting as OPD patients in Class ‘A’ ECHS. There is need to increase the servicing points for reception, Registration and issue of medicines. Two counters for other ranks and their families, One counter for JCOs and their families, one for officers and their families, one for Hony Officers and their families and for JCO/OR senior citizens and their families and one for senior citizens officers and their families are suggested.
    10. May we have regular meetings, updates and early actions please.
    With Regards,
    Jai Hind
    Yours Sincerely,
    Maj Gen (Retd) Satbir Singh, SM
    Vice Chairman Indian ESM Movement

    Request from a Signal Officer's Daughter

    Dear Signallers,
    An email received from Ms Charu Shankar, daughter of Late Maj R Thiagarajan, a very very well known and popular Signaller, is reproduced below. The email is self-explanatory.
    Maj R Thiagarajan was my instructor at MCTE (then School of Signals) when I did my degree course.
    Kindly do help Ms Charu and vote for her book.
    Please do share this email with your friends and request them also to vote.
    Thank you.
    Teevra Chaukas.
    In Service of The Corps of Signals
    Chander Kamboj.

    From: Charu Shankar
    Sent: 22 February 2011 02:53
    Subject: my book video, please vote

    Hi Ossie & Brig Kamboj,
    Just wanted to share I'm writing a book about dad's teachings-Major. R. Thiagarajan who served in the Corps of Signals with Ossie. To get my book published, I need your help to vote.
    Just go on this website
    1) register on this page by typing your email id & creating a password (I have attached what the pages look like to make it easy for you)
    2) then vote
    your vote will help me spread dad's teachings to everyone else.
    voting deadline is feb 28, so please vote now & let everyone else know in the Armed forces, everyone that dad touched in his work,
    warm regards

    Tuesday, February 22, 2011

    Decision on Adarsh demolition after CBI report: Antony

    January 20, 2011 20:52 IST
    After the Environment Ministry recommended demolition of the Adarsh Housing Society in Mumbai, Defence Minister A K Antony on Thursday said he would take a decision on the issue after getting the Central Bureau of Investigation report. "We will take a decision after the CBI inquiry is over," he told mediapersons in New Delhi.
    Antony was asked if the defence ministry had decided anything on the fate of the scam-tainted building in view of the recommendations made by the environment ministry and the army's southern command.
    The CBI, which is probing the scam, is also likely to give its recommendations as to whether the building constructed next to a sensitive naval base is a security threat and whether it should be demolished or given to the defence ministry for public use. The defence ministry had recommended a CBI probe after it emerged that flats were allotted to several senior serving and retired military personnel including three former service chiefs.
    On Sunday, the environment ministry recommended that the 31-storey building be demolished within three months as the project in Mumbai's upmarket Colaba was "unauthorised" and violated coastal regulations.
    Asked if the defence ministry had taken any decision on recommending a CBI probe in the Kandivli land scam, Antony said, "Not yet, because it has to be studied in detail. We don't want to jump to conclusions. After careful examination, wherever we find something, then only we will act."
    The land scam in Mumbai allegedly involves former minister of state for defence production Rao Inderjit Singh and former army chief General Deepak Kapoor.
    The two have been accused of facilitating the sale of land belonging to the Army in Mumbai's Kandivli-Malad area to a private builder. Southern Army Commander Lieutenant General Pradeep Khanna, in a report to Army Chief General V K Singh, has said that land which was under the defence ministry since 1942, has been "illegally" sold to private realtors.
    Commenting on the progress made in the issue related to a secret file, which was recovered from a roadside in New Delhi, Antony said, "I think within a few days we will finalise the report. The Indian Air Force feels that it has nothing to do with the process."
    The IAF had submitted its report with the defence ministry on Monday after completing its court of inquiry and had given a clean chit to its officials.
    Decision on Adarsh demolition after CBI report: Antony

    Related News
    HRD said no to IGNOU doctorate for Gen Kapoor
    Former Army chief General Deepak Kapoor, now in the dock over the Adarsh housing scam besides a series of other defence land scams, has been denied an honorary doctorate that a Central government-run university wanted to confer on him.
    A Right to Information (RTI) application filed by The Indian Express has revealed that while the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) had submitted a proposal seeking to confer an honorary doctorate on the former Army chief, the Union Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry in December last year shot down the proposal terming it inappropriate. The move comes even as a series of allegations have been surfacing against General Kapoor over the past few months questioning his role in the Kandivali land transfer scam, Sukna land scam and most notably in the Adarsh Housing Society scam.
    As per established procedures, Central universities have to route their proposals on conferring of honorary doctorates to the HRD Ministry with complete information on the proposed candidates. In case of any foreigner or a significant personality being considered for awarding a doctorate by a government institution, political clearance is also required. Once cleared by the government, the same proposal is sent to the President — who is Visitor to all Central universities — to be signed before the varsity is deemed to have been permitted to confer the said doctorate.
    HRD said no to IGNOU doctorate for Gen Kapoor

    ISRO’s new `satellite’ called `scam band’

    By R Shankar, India Syndicate, 08/02/2011
    India’s premier space organisation is in the eye of a storm over allocation of S band to a pvt company

    Bangalore-based Indian Space Research Organisation, that is busy planning to send another satellite to the moon and take a shot at Mars, is now caught in an orbit of a scam that is of astronomical proposition.

    In a season that has made scams highly infectious, the `virus' of scandals orbiting huge chunks of money has touched India's premier research organisation, once considered to be sanitised from the influence of politics or purse.

    The latest scam involves ISRO's deal with a Bangalore-based company called Devas Multimedia Private Ltd. This company got the scarce S-band spectrum for 20 years for a pittance. The company, not surprisingly, is owned by M G Chandrasekhar, a former scientific secretary at ISRO. Deutsche Telekom is a minority equity stakeholder.

    ISRO managed to hide the agreement entered into by the space agency's commercial arm Antrix Corporation Ltd and Devas for six long years until the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) smelt a rat and called for the files. The media then scooped it out into public space, forcing ISRO and the Prime Minister's Office scramble for an explanation.

    The estimated loss, according to The Hindu which exposed the deal, is a whopping Rs 2 lakh crore!! By comparison, the presumptive loss incurred in the allocation of 2G spectrum by the DoT, as estimated by the CAG, is Rs 1.76 lakh crore.
    ISRO’s new `satellite’ called `scam band’

    Spanner to Armed Forces Grievances Redressal Commission

    It may be recalled that the case ‘Pushpa Vanti Vs Union of India’ was fixed for 07 Feb 2011 before the Hon’ble Supreme Court. This is the case wherein directions were issued to the Central Govt to constitute an Armed Forces Grievances Redressal Commission (click here) and the Union was supposed to apprise the Court of the steps taken in the said direction.

    The Solicitor General however reportedly apprised the Court that the Central Govt was taking steps to bring justice to the ‘doorsteps’ of veterans and the Court adjourned the matter for 6 weeks asking the Govt to file an affidavit to the effect apprising the Court as to the details of the same.

    It does not seem that the Govt is quite conducive to the idea of giving full effect to the judgement though as on date the directions very much stand till the time modified by the Bench.

    The following order was passed by the Bench on 07 Feb 2011
    “List after six weeks and by the next date, Learned Solicitor General of India undertakes to file an affidavit stating the details about the machinery which the Central Government plans to improve for addressing the grievances in question. A copy of this order be given to the learned Solicitor General of India today itself.”

    Not much can be expected from the MoD's Department of Ex-Servicemen welfare though. The top brass of the said department does not know chalk from cheese and overly relies on the mid-level staff which is known to stone-wall any proactive or productive suggestion relating to the defence services. The pension wing of the department is in shambles, totally understaffed and mired in pessimism of the highest order, with their top man, an officer of the Central Secretariat Service who has remained posted in the MoD for an unusually long period, retiring in March with no replacement in sight (as if it matters !). The said wing also has the unique distinction of burdening the Services Headquarters and overloading the dockets of the Courts with the highest number of unwanted, uncalled for, hopeless litigation with a brazen non-committal attitude which is neither here nor there.
    Let us see what magic the Solicitor General comes up with on the next date.
    Posted by Navdeep / Maj Navdeep Singh at 5:31 AM
    Another Spanner to Armed Forces Grievances Redressal Commission

    Armed forces must stem corruption

    Dear Sir,
    I refer to your editorial The Tribune- Jail for a Lt-General- Armed forces must stem corruption dated 21 Feb 11.
    It is with utter shame that that we old soldiers watch senior officers being found guilty and being sentenced to rigorous imprisonment. Section 63 of the Army Act of 1950 is a very useful statute under which covers "an act prejudicial to good order and military discipline". Any misdemeanour can be charged under it eg., insolence, insubordination, stealing the affections of a brother officer's wife, being drunk or not being at an appointed place at the correct time etc.,. In fact Section 63 was the most used rule to discipline officers. With all round economic progress in the country, more and more cases of corruption are surfacing and more serious charges are being brought into use.
    However, I am satisfied that in most cases the Services themselves throw up such cases and deal with them post haste. Unlike our colleagues in the civil services and our political masters, who know what is wrong with their colleagues but seldom make out a case against them. Even if they are found out, the CBI has to obtain permission from the Govt to start the investigations. Which their colleagues take ages to give, so that the culprit can cover his tracks at leisure. In fact if somebody blows the whistle, they go after him.
    I was recently told by an IAS officer of MP cadre that every one knew about the corrupt ways of the Joshi couple who had amassed a fortune of a staggering Rs 360 crores. But no one had the gumption to give information about their misdeeds in writing, to a superior so that action could be taken against them. Look at the two consecutive Chief Secretaries of UP, who were voted as the most corrupt officers by the state IAS Association. But no one had the courage to supply the requisite information to prevent them from milking the state and its people of hundreds of crores.
    How is it then that the country and the press goes into a frenzy if a couple of officers out of 40,000 odd, have crossed the red line. Has a politician or any bureaucrat from the IAS, IPS, IAAS, Indian Forest Service, PWD, Electricity Dept, IRS ever been brought to book with such alacrity and severity? The only one I know of was punished in New York for having taken commissions for awarding contracts. But that gentleman from the Indian Defence Accounts Service was working in the UN and did not have the protection of his brother officers! The punishment given to Lt Gen Sahni will ensure that for at least 10 years senior officers will think twice before they try something similar. Unlike the civil servants the army will continue to take decisions promptly, and not seek protection like the joint secretary level officers enjoy in the govt. The self cleansing process in the services will ensure that they stay a notch above their civilian counterparts as far as honesty is concerned.
    What the govt and the people of India do not realise is that when you expect a defence officer to behave like Yudhishtra and be ready to bear the rigours of service life and fight like Bhim, he needs to be treated differently from the his civilian counterparts in the govt. They too have a desire to educate their children well and partake of the affluence the people around them are enjoying.( Remember when an IFS officer died, along with a Brigadier, in a bomb attack on Indian Embassy in Kabul his bereaved wife was visited by the PM personally and granted extraordinary compensation, while the Brigadier was ignored as he had only faced hazards of his service, for which he had signed up!)
    But the Cabinet Secretary and his august Committee feel otherwise. No wonder they pronounced that defence officers need not be treated differently from their civilian counterparts. In fact, it would be better if they could be brought down a notch or two further!
    Leadership in an officer is a prerequisite to be able to lead men in a critical situation and lack of probity in an officer is the antithesis of it. No soldier will follow an officer who has lost his respect. This does not matter in the civil services, but they do not want to accept this reality.
    The Defence Services are still proud of their distinctive character, culture and elan and will continue to perform well both in battle and in peace time. But for heaven's sake do not expect them to be super human. You want them to shoulder all the responsibilities due to the failure of the state but want them walk the straight and narrow line. Something is going to give way. I hope it is not the Army! God bless my beloved country.
    Lt Gen SK Bahri PVSM (Retd)

    Article by Veteran Colonel Shaitan Singh Rajan
    Democracy in India: A Farce and a Sham- The way out is to catch the bull by its horns

    Monday, February 21, 2011

    Black Money Mence

    DD News Monday 21 February, 2011
    Govt committed to tackling menace of black money: President
    With the issue of black money stashed abroad coming into focus, President Pratibha Patil said the government stood committed to tackling the menace frontally.

    "My government stands committed to tackling the menace frontally. It requires diligent, sustained effort by all law enforcement agencies including those of state governments," she said addressing a joint sitting of members of Parliament, marking the start of the budget session on Monday.

    She expressed concern over ill effects of black money, especially that was allegedly stashed away in foreign banks either through evasion of taxes on income earned legitimately or through illegal activities.

    Noting that the government has taken many steps to strengthen the legal framework, the President said a multi-disciplinary study has been commissioned to go into its ramifications for national security and recommend a suitable framework to tackle it.

    Declaring that the government would spare no effort in bringing back to India "what belongs to it and to bring the guilty to book, the President said the steps taken so far have led to additional collection of taxes of Rs 34,601 crore and detection of additional income of Rs 48,784 crore."
    Govt committed to tackling menace of black money: President

    OROP: Data required

    Flt Lt MP Anil Kumar, is a case of “Quadriplegic”, in Pune Hospital for past many years. He writes very well. You may have read his articles. He types with the help of a small stick held between his teeth! I request you to kindly help him with the required data.
    Chander Kamboj

    From: M P Anil Kumar
    Sent: 20 February 2011 12:03
    To: Brig Chander Kamboj
    Subject: OROP
    Dear Sir,
    Editor permitting, I want to write on OROP (before the March 6th rally).
    I wish to cite real pension figures as example in the piece, for which I approached few friends. Col Shyam Sunder suggested that I contact you, but I held back as I knew you're totally occupied - full to the brim. Since I couldn't the get figures, I thought of approaching you as last resort. If it isn't inconvenient, could you please help me with this?

    Here's the first scenario: A Major with 6 yrs and a Havildar with 14-15 yrs (but ineligible for pension) of service. Both medically boarded out of service in 2010 because of disability. Assume disability to be 100%. How much disability pension will both get (I need service element and disability element separately, no need for DR) today? Approximation, esp in the case of the Hav, will be fine.

    Second scenario: Consider the above Maj & Hav as battle casualties. What will be the war injury element of their pension?
    Hope I haven't added to your burden.
    Yours sincerely,
    MP Anil Kumar
    Please see his dedication to the cause of OROP!

    Safety Honour and Welfare of Soldiers

    Dear Brig Kamboj,
    An scanned copy of article under the caption "Safety Honour and Welfare of Soldiers: Lateral Absorption and OROP" published in Free Press the local Indore Daily on Sunday, 20 February 2011, is attached herewith. It seems the end portion has got omitted from the scan, as such I am also sending here with the MS Word version of the article, for the ease of reading. You may like to circulate, it since it concerns the ESM.
    Thanking you and with regards
    Col LK Anand (Retd).
    Please visit my blog at:

    Safety Honour and Welfare of Soldiers : Lateral Absorption and OROP
    “The safety honour and welfare of the country comes first always and every time” is a well known phrase and no one can deny it. The defence forces officers and soldiers abide by this dictum to the hilt.
    Why should this dictum not be so, for our leaders or for that matter for our bureaucrats, who are not too far behind them in the race for self aggrandisement and corrupt practices? And why not so many more categories, which could be added to the list? Even though, they all claim to have patriotic or nationalistic fervour, yet their acts prove otherwise and “Safety Honour and Welfare of the Nation comes last always and every time”. Supreme Court also rightly remarked for our leaders and bureaucrats that “God only can Save India” or words to that effect.
    In the light of the above, where does the safety honour and welfare of the soldiers or even veterans, who stand by this dictum throughout their life, lie in the eyes of the people who control their destiny. Due to their continued indifference towards these gallant men, there is a growing desperation in the minds of all categories of defence personnel, that the Nation has deliberately overlooked their feelings and values, to guard their future, knowing full well that they lay down their arms to retire, much earlier and at a much younger age, in comparison with their counterparts elsewhere.
    They are being left to sustain themselves on their meagre pensions, which have not kept pace with the overall increases being enjoyed by their serving brethrens. It implies that a person of a particular rank, who retired many years ago, gets much lesser pension, than the new retiree of the same rank, gets now. This demand of the veterans, termed as “One Rank One Pension” or (OROP), has been denied by the ruling governments for over two and a half decades. In these hard days of inflation how can it be expected that the old pensioners would be able to survive with dignity, as also make both ends meet. Government prefers deliberately, to be a mute spectator to this problem, universally faced by all the pre 2006 defence veterans, instead of finding a solution.
    It is a well known fact that average veteran officers, who retired prior to 2006 or before 1996 ie before the 5th Pay Commission hardly got a measly amount of Rs 2 to 3 lacs from commutation, gratuity and AGI besides about Rs 1500 to 1800 as un-commuted portion of pension. The case of the soldiers was even worse. No investments could have yielded sufficient returns for them to sustain themselves with dignity in today’s environment. On top of that, almost zero prospects of any further employment, meant nothing but more struggle for them, in the twilight years of their life. It amazes one to fathom, that even after seeing the miserable state of the veterans, why the attitude of a responsible and majority Government does not change favourably for the grant of OROP. There seems no justification for continuously ignoring this just demand.
    Unfortunately, the Armed Forces Law, does not permit its men to go on strikes, or to write to news papers or to protest in any form against the Government, as other government services or entities, like Gujjars under Kirori Mal Bhainsla and many more of their likes, who resort to violence, disrupting various activities, services and life of innocent citizens beyond limits, to bring the ministers/officials on their knees to go to them and accept their demands. But, a soldier is helpless, and at the mercy of the Government or the bureaucracy, and has to silently suffer by accepting everything doled out to him, whether fair or unfair. To their misery, even their own top brass remains mute and fails to take a stand, in front of the Government or the bureaucracy against the injustices being perpetrated upon them.
    The situation arose, ever since the announcement and implementation of the 6th Pay Commission, which has taken the cake amongst all the previous pay commissions, because it has performed the impossible. In that, it has not only literally closed the prospects of OROP for defence veterans but also has denigrated and degraded the high reputation of the Defence forces, which was intended to live for years and years to come, in a single go to their extreme detriment. The anomalies committee deliberately confused the issue more and did not act favourably for the soldier.
    It is an irony that the powers that be, are unwilling to look into the disparity, their degradation, their reputation (Izzat, which each and every soldier in the Armed Forces stands for, survives in deep crisis, and is ever prepared to lay down his life, for the safety, security, welfare and integrity of the Nation) and their financial means. Their indifferent attitude has not only totally demotivated and demoralised the veterans, but also has adversely affected the morale of many a classes of serving soldiers and officers, who are not only their sons, daughters or close relatives, but who would also be veterans after a while.
    In view of the continued injustices perpetrated upon them, the angry veterans are feeling highly insulted and are surrendering their medals, earned for gallantry and service in hostile areas, to their Supreme Commander and with extreme anguish and distress have even signed protests in their own blood. Unfortunately to the utter dismay of one and all, the Government and the Supreme Commander who should have had welfare and interests, of these gallant veterans, closest to their hearts, have ruthlessly failed to show any sympathy or inkling towards their cause whatsoever.
    The extent of painful and distressful agony, which the Armed Forces veterans, have suffered, in trying to persuade the Government to meet their genuinely justified demands, even conceded by the Supreme Court in a similar case for Major Generals during September 2008, is actually unparalleled in the history of Indian Veterans. It is unbelievable that the veterans, have been constrained to adopt such means first time ever, in the past six decades, post Independence and they have been compelled to do, what they never did in the past.
    It is indeed so pathetic, unthinkable or unimaginable that in spite of the recommendations of various high ranking committees, public representatives, as well as highest judiciary, the Defence minister, who should also have been most concerned about the welfare and well being of defence personnel including veterans, has been deliberately ignoring their grievances, by declaring, non feasibility of OROP at every possible occasion on most flimsy, frivolous and unjustified grounds. He has unfortunately, never given any heed to the much larger number of recommendations and decisions in favour of this demand.
    Our Netajis or bureaucrats, are unable to understand and appreciate the pride of the soldiers and officers in uniform, who are always prepared to face any eventuality or perform any service for which they may not even be trained, but have to, when the Nation calls upon them to do so. It happens so often, when other inefficient and incapable services, fail frequently in their own jobs and duties, or become ineffective and helpless. Just a lip service and passing remarks of “Jai Ho” for a soldier, when he performs others’ duty, does not solve his domestic and financial problems. He still has to look after his family and bring up his children to face this cruel world. However, at the time when he needs the Government’s help the most, the Government and its officials turn a Nelson’s eye towards him and leave the young retired/discharged soldier/veteran to fend for himself.
    It is well known that the soldiers retire much earlier than their counterparts elsewhere, and are losers in every respect including, their respect, their honour, financially, government facilities and worst of all many post retirement/re-employment benefits. The comparative financial loss due to early retirement as well as non sanction of OROP for each rank would be substantial, and may range in several lakhs for various ranks. Who in this world, would ever realise and evolve solutions for this malaise, if the Government does not? With the government’s known and available resources, there should be no difficulty in sanctioning at least the OROP, to nominally compensate the defence veterans.
    Nearly all the soldiers retire very young, usually in the age group of 35 to 42, are well disciplined and trained, physically and mentally strong and very fit. They can definitely form an effective nucleus for induction into most of the uniformed services like, BSF, ITBP, RPF, CRP, Home Guards, Coast Guards, Police and many such services whose men serve up to the age of 58 to 62. In the present environment, where the internal security has become a major cause of worry for the home minister, this trained manpower can provide yeoman’s service to the nation.
    At present nearly all the services are deficient of their authorised man power. Besides, the overall requirement of all such security related services has gone up manifolds, due to increase in population, crime rate, security threats and many related factors, but no departments have given it a serious thought, and the situation is becoming from bad to worse. There appears no tangible alternative in sight, to overcome such a situation. The government can certainly devise means and frame policies for induction of discharged/retired defence personnel into such services. This would partially help the defence veterans to start a second career, to compensate for their truncated service.
    With the advent of the year 2011, it can be hoped that the humble appeal and aspirations of over two million veterans would not fall on deaf ears and the stance of the Government would be more humane towards its brave soldiers. The Government should immediately formulate policies, to not only ensure lateral absorption of younger lot of defence personnel/veterans, into paramilitary and police services, but also ensure welfare of older ie pre 2006 veterans, by enhancing their pensionary benefits to as close to the level of “one rank one pension” as justifiably feasible.
    Col LK Anand Retd

    Will the Law ever take its own course in India?

    Dear Friends,
    I sent the article under caption "Will the Law ever take its own course in India?" during the last week, to a number of news papers. But so far there is no report or information about its publication. It appears the papers are either reluctant or not inclined to publish the contents of my article. I would like every one of my friends and colleagues it to go through it, and judge the dire necessity to adopt the course suggested in the article. I would certainly welcome frank views and suggestions on the article.
    Please try and convey the contents to as large a readership as possible, if you agree with my views. There has been some very positive discussion on the issue on the face book also.
    Col LK Anand

    Will the Law ever take its own course in India?
    With cases of high corruption and illegal acts of innumerable politicians in nearly all the states of the country emerging day after day, can anyone predict, what and when would be the final outcome in sight? The claims of the people in power, that the law will take its own course to bring the guilty to book, are bound to be belied, knowing the performance so far, of our tainted agencies like police, CBI and CVC. What then are the options to sort out the current mess, which seems to be heading upwards, unbridled, and towards gigantic proportions? Under the circumstances, does anyone in India believe, that there is still a scope for the success of the legal route adopted by this Government, to punish the guilty? This apparently is a ploy of the government to divert the peoples’ attention from the main issues, under which the government is reeling.
    Has our Government or bureaucracy ever lived upto the expectations of its people? Will judiciary come up with something unique to undo the prevailing trend, we all being aware of the delays caused, not in years but in decades, by the judicial process in India? Will there be a change in the fate, to which the Indian judiciary is being confined lately, by the lowly government functionaries? Past experiences show that, wherever, the state machinery fails to perform, due to gross mismanagement by the unaccountable bureaucracy, well known for not only misguiding the politicians, but also the entire Nation, by their misdeeds and corrupt practices, it is the Army, which invariably comes to the rescue of the Nation.
    Country’s population understands that, a few cases of corruption overly publicised by the media against the defence forces, do not adversely influence the image of the forces, which overall is still the cleanest amongst all government civil and commercial establishments. The cases highlighted though are miniscule but unpardonable and most probably been committed through pressures and pursuance of non military authorities. The defaulters amongst the military big wigs certainly should not be spared and deserve most stringent of punishments. The others would definitely jiggle out somehow. This certainly does not debar the army from taking up any role which the citizens expect it to perform.
    Unfortunately, the law enforcement agencies, not being autonomous, are working at the beck and call of a number of leaders, who could be classified as anti nationals, rogues and criminals and have literally become nonperforming assets of the Government. The authority of the Apex court has also become questionable under the hoodwinking approach and the attitude of the Attorney and Solicitor Generals of the UPA government. The President cum Supreme Commander of India, being in a rubber stamp position, apparently is incapable of any effective action for the cause of the Nation. So, what is the remedy to save this country? No one would like to opt for Egypt like situation in India, which eventually has been handed over to the Army to set things right.
    Since, the totally tainted, inefficient and indifferent machinery of the Government, seems to be failing on all fronts, as also may be deliberately unwilling, to sort out the mess and put its own house in order, it deserves to be replaced or refurbished with drastic changes, as soon as possible. Accordingly, it is strongly felt that a time has now come, for the Government to hand over country’s administration, to its most efficient and reliable constituent ie the Army. The Army would be more than willing and certainly have the determination, expertise, ability and resources to perform this honourable role of administering the country, if handed over to it. All the states and union territories should also function under the control and observation of the Army.
    Army, with the assistance and co-operation of other defence services, can certainly play a more than a major role, in combination with and advice of many top level experts in various fields, the really patriotic and enlightened citizens of India. Handing over administration to the Army should not be construed as a Martial Law. It is only for the purpose of setting the house in order, if required by the use of intimidatory tactics and use of force, to bring lawlessness to an end, as well as to apprehend and punish all criminals in all walks of life including the underworld, in the Army way of doing things. The Army has to be given complete control of the country, with a totally free hand, including putting all the services including bureaucracy, under its direct control. The functioning of the Government and the Ministers will have to remain suspended till the Army fulfils its task. The Judiciary should function as heretofore, must be kept independent and should assist the Army in fulfilling its renewed role, rather than acting as a spoke in the wheel.
    It can be expected that, the Army would strive to not only root out all the ills in the existing system and reform the country’s politicians and the bureaucracy, but also would set up a proper rule of law in the true sense, which has become a major casualty today. The forces will certainly compel all the government agencies to function in the manner they are designed to. This requirement would be there for may be two to three years or till the next general elections. There is thus an inescapable need to resort to a certain degree of ruthlessness now, to fulfil such ambitions and aspirations of the Indian citizens and to sort out the prevailing mess. It has to be done if not today, may be tomorrow or may be a day after, but we cannot delay it indefinitely to let the situation deteriorate further. A public debate and poll on the subject could also be held to get a majority view from the Indian population.
    Col LK Anand Retd

    What a fall was there, my countryman

    Dear Mr.Prime Minister,
    Like millions of ordinary Indians, I too watched from the beginning till the end your televised interaction with selected journalists from the electronic media on February 16,2011.

    You had never spoken to us, the ordinary people of India, on the various scams which have rocked the country one after another since August last year. Our only source of information has been the media.

    As the citizens of this country who put your party in power, we had a right to expect that you will talk to us and explain to us what is the truth and how you intend arresting and reversing the rot that has set in and the continuing decline in the credibility and image of India as a result of the stories of these scams .

    These stories---whether correct wholly or only partly--- have brought out one thing loud and clear--- the ineptitude and incompetence of your Government, the poor supervision which seems to prevail in many Ministries and offices, including the Prime Minister's Office, and the insensitivity of many senior members of your Cabinet to public concerns over these alleged scams.

    Corruption is nothing new, but the magnitude of it as seen since you came to power has been highly disturbing . What is new is the ineptitude, the incompetence and the lack of supervision which seem to prevail since you came to power--- the like of which one had not seen under any other Prime Minister of India since we became independent in 1947.

    You try to blame your difficulties and embarrassments on your having to run a coalition. You are not the first Prime Minister having to run the country at the head of a coalition. V.P.Singh, Chandrasekhar, Deve Gowda, Inder Gujral and Atal Behari Vajpayee headed coalitions too. Despite this, they gave us a government which worked as a team and which did not pull in different directions. I can't recall any instance under the previous coalitions where a Minister repeatedly circumvented the instructions of the Prime Minister, without fearing the consequences of his action.

    All the previous Prime Ministers, who headed coalition Cabinets, made it clear to their political associates who the boss was and who would take important decisions. They never tolerated anyone who sought to circumvent their instructions. They never let their political allies dictate terms to them.

    This is the first time we are seeing a Prime Minister, who tries to earn not the confidence of the people by projecting himself as a strong leader who will not tolerate any nonsense from his coalition partners, but the pity of the people by projecting himself as a helpless leader, who has nothing but to do what his coalition partners ask him to do.

    We watched in utter amazement for one hour on February 16 not the rallying cry of a leader, who has realised the magnitude of the rot and who is determined to set it right whatever be the consequences to his position as the Prime Minister, but an exercise in self-pity of a leader who is at the mercy of his coalition partners and does not have the courage to call them to order.

    This was the first time we had an opportunity of listening to you on the State of the country in the light of these scams. We were looking forward not to excuses and pretexts to explain away the sins of commission and omission of your government, but to a bold re-assertion of your leadership as the Prime Minister of this great country, who has the courage to face the people of this country in their eyes and reassure them: Thus far and no further.

    I have no doubt in my mind that many right-thinking people of India, like me, must have felt ashamed and enraged as they saw the Prime Minister of this country giving out one excuse after another for not being able to govern effectively and for not being able to prevent blatantly wrong decisions and corruption.
    You let us down badly, Mr Prime Minister. You let us down badly.
    Warm regards,
    Yours sincerely,
    B.Raman, Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi
    What a fall was there, my countryman

    Hero of Kabul attack is Army’s 1st woman Sena Medal winner

    Bhartesh Singh Thakur
    Posted: Sun Feb 20 2011, 00:59 hrs
    The Army has selected its first woman officer to be awarded with a gallantry award.
    Major Mitali Madhumita, 34, of Army Education Corps, would be awarded with Sena Medal during an investiture ceremony at Hisar Military Station on February 25 by Lieutenant General S K Singh, General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of South-Western Command.
    “Major Mitali displayed exemplary courage, grit, determination and valour beyond the call of duty during the attack on Indian Embassy in Kabul on February 26, 2010,” said Major Chetna Sharma, media officer of the South-Western Command, adding that she was “instrumental in saving lives of those grievously wounded in the attack”.
    “She was on a UN mission in Kabul. After the attack, she helped officers to come out. She saved a lot of lives. That is why she is selected for the Sena Medal. She will be the first lady officer of the Army to have been awarded a gallantry medal,” said Major Sharma.
    Interestingly, Major Mitali will be awarded the medal on the eve of the anniversary of the attack.
    Hailing from Orissa, Major Mitali is the eldest of three sisters. A post-graduate in English literature, she joined the Army as a Short Service Commissioned officer in September 2000. “She has done instructional appointments in the past. She has also served in Jammu and Kashmir,” said Major Sharma.
    She is currently posted as instructor in Army Education Corps School at Panchmari.
    Hero of Kabul attack is Army’s 1st woman Sena Medal winner
    Related Reading
    In a first, woman officer gets award for bravery overseas

    Corruption at top Level has Harmed Image of Army: Antony

    18-February, 2011 19:01 IST
    Antony asks Army to keep a Watchful Eye on Smallest Developments in Neighbourhood
    The Defence Minister Shri AK Antony today asked the Army to be ever vigilant and keep a watchful eye on the smallest developments in and around our neighbourhood. Addressing the officers and jawans at a Sainik Sammelan at the 3 Corps HQ at Ranga Pahar, Nagaland, Shri Antony said though maintaining peace and tranquility along the border is crucial, we have to ensure that our operational preparedness is of the highest level.

    The Chief of the Army Staff, Gen VK Singh, Defence Secretary Shri Pradeep Kumar, Eastern Army Commander Lt Gen Bikram Singh and the GOC 3 Corps Lt Gen NK Singh were present on the occasion.

    Shri Antony also asked the military personnel to establish a healthy relationship with the local populace, win the hearts and minds and to project the Army in a positive light.

    Describing honesty and loyalty as the basic traits of a Soldier, the Defence Minister Shri AK Antony conceded that some recent instances of corruption in high places in the Army have brought harm to its credibility and image. He urged the Army personnel to ensure that the sense of pride and dignity of the Army is maintained at all times.

    “I want to emphasise one issue for each one of you. A soldier is the pride of the nation. Honesty and loyalty are the basic traits of a soldier. Some recent instances of corruption in high places in the Army have brought some harm to its credibility and image. All of you must perform duties with sincerity and ensure that the sense of pride and dignity of the Army is maintained at all times. We will take very strict action whenever any case of corruption comes, or is brought to our natice”.

    The Defence Minister, who is on a two-day visit to the North East, mingled freely with the jawans and enquired about their difficulties. He agreed with the suggestion given by a number of Jawans for the issue of a pair of boots every 12 months instead of the issue of the same under current provision of 26 months and asked the MoD officials to bring about this change. The jawans expressed happiness over the improved supply of ration. They also requested Shri Antony for chartered air service to Delhi.

    Earlier, on arrival at the 3 Corps HQ, Shri Antony reviewed the security situation at the border and the progress made in the development of infrastructure in the North East region, with senior Army and MoD officials. Sitanshu Kar (Release ID :69907)
    Corruption at top Level has Harmed Image of Army: Antony

    KV school in AF Station, Thanjavur
    This would provide a conducive environment for effective teaching and learning and also increased educational opportunities for the children of both defence personnel and civilians in the area. click here to read more

    IESM Rally at Hissar

    20 Feb 2011
    Dear Colleagues,
    An IESM rally was held at Hisar today. It was organised by Sub Hari Singh and Hony Capt Chander Singh who had put in tremendous amount of hard work over the last few weeks. It was a gathering of over 200 ESM and Service families. Gen Adiya Jaini, Colonel Goyal and self attended from Delhi. 30 new members joined IESM during the event. The rain that started midway during the proceedings failed to dampen the enthusiasm of the participants.
    Preparations for the 6 March rally at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi are on track. We are extremely grateful to all the 61 contributors (IESM members, other ESM and civilians) for their generosity in sending money for the event. Our special gratitude to Brig Chander Kamboj for playing a pivotal role in this.
    Best regards,
    Lt Gen (Emeritus) Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
    Chairman IESM


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