Thursday, July 28, 2011

Kargil Vijay Diwas- Regional Roundup

Dear Colleagues,
Here is some regional round up.
The Kargil Divas has been celebrated with great enthusiasm across many cities in the country. It had been a forgotten event till three years ago when the IESM took up the issue. Today not only the ESM community but also the civil institutions as well as the media have started recognizing the importance of paying homage to our martyrs. Heartiest compliments to Colonel Rakesh Chaturvedi who as an IESM Governing Body member has been the pushing hand in this regard.
Havildar Gurmel Singh from Dera Baba Nanak (Punjab) controls three Blocks where ESM density is high. With the political activity building up in Punjab they have told the politicians that they will attend rallies of only those aspirants who arrange for the OROP issue to be taken up in the Parliament. Colonel Balbir Parmar, a premature retiree from AEC, has started a political outfit named Sainik Samaj Party in Dehradun. He is the President and the Party has received recognition of the Election Commission on 25 July 2011. He is mailing his manifesto, after which he has requested a meeting with the IESM leadership. Among other things they seek Presidential form of government in the country.
These may be mere fledgling steps. But these leave no doubt there is a stirring and the ESM have begun to realise their own strength and potential. As they say even Henry Ford started as a workshop hand.
Best regards,
Lt Gen (Emeritus) Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
Chairman IESM

Dear Kamboj,
On 27 Jul 2011 at Navi Mumbai, Kharghar we celebrated Kargil Divas. A brief report is attached. Item was covered by print/electronic media
Brigadier Dharam Prakash (Retd)

Kargil Vijay Diwas was organized on 26 July 2011 by the Faculty and students of the ITM Business School, Khargar in the College premises. Senior Citizens Leagues of Navi Mumbai nodes, Ex-Servicemen’s League and the Rotary Club Kharghar, sponsored the event. The function was held at the initiative of the students. More than 200 people participated in the function.
Dr C S Adhikari, Director of the School presided over the function which started at 1630 hours in the auditorium. Dr Adhikari was happy to narrate that the students approached him to organize the event to commemorate the sacrifices of the Armed Forces. Brig S C Sharma [R etd]narrated the rugged features of Kargil terrain. The temperature dips down to minus 60 degrees celus. Both, India and Pakistan, followed the practice of vacating some of the posts in winter and rely on patrols. Pakistan surreptiously occupied the posts over 200 square kms. The intrusion was reported by a shepherd on 3 May 1999. Pakistan’s hopes of taking parts of Kashmir or Internationalizing the issue were belied by the valour, grit and determination of our Armed Forces. He recounted the deeds of some of the bravehearts.
Brig Atma Ram [Retd] gave the background of planning for tackling intrusions and hostile acts of Pakistan. The Commander at Kargil had warned of likely intrusion but no timely action was taken. His warning was ignored. He had served in that area till February 1999. Pakistan had destroyed supplies stores through observed artillery fire. There was a failure of Intelligence.
Lt Col [Retd] Dr Shiv Shankar had served in Kargil prior to the war. He displayed slides to explain the difficulties of living, fighting and providing medical help. The operating theatre had to be heated to bring the temperature to 10 degrees before an operation. He was providing medical help to civilians as well.Young students showed keen interest in the Operations and valor of the Armed Forces Mr K N Sharma, President Senior Citizens League, Khargar proposed a vote of thanks. The meeting ended with the national anthem.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Kargil war hero waits for govt to fulfill promise

A brave soldier, who was disabled while fighting in the Kargil war, is still waiting for the government's promised help even as the country is observing the 12th anniversary of the victory.
Kargil war hero waits for govt to fulfill promise

Dear Veterans,
1. On the occasion of 12th Anniversary Nation Salutes the martyrs of Kargil War, who laid down “THEIR TODAY FOR OUR TOMORROW”, organized by Dr TC Rao, Veteran, Chairman Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee, Ex-Servicemen Department.
2. On 26 Jul 2011, a large number of Ex-Servicemen, & War widows gathered at Rajiv Gandhi Bhawan, Deen Dayal Upadhyay Marg, New Delhi to pay homage to War martyrs of Kargil.
3. The function started with two minutes silence in the memory of martyrs.
4. It was a touching seene to meet 53 War Widows of Kargil, staying at Delhi, Noida & Gurgaon.
5. Sh JP Agarwal, Hon’ble Member of Parliament & President of Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee, Sh Mahabal Mishra, Hon’ble Member of Parliament, Mrs Nafisa Ali Sodhi, Social Activist, Maj Ved Prakash, Secretary AICC, Capt Praveen Davar, Secretary AICC Ex-Servicemen, Brig DN Yadav, SM, who commanded Regiment during Kargil operation. Approx 600 Ex- Servicemen participated in the memorial meeting.
6. Sh JP Agarwal assured the War widows that he is always on call to them to solve their problems faced by them. He further mentioned that Govt is proud of our Armed forces and we are duty bound to look after the War Widows and Ex-Servicemen. He said that the govt keeps martyrs families in high esteem and all possible help would be extended to them.
7. Sh Mahabal Mishra who is also an Ex-Servicemen said he feels the pain of War widows & assured that he is always approachable to War Widows & Ex-Servicemen to solve their problems.
8. Mrs Nafisa Ali Sodhi, said that Govt should take special care for War widows in allotting petrol pumps, gas agencies and other planned rehabilitation schemes for War Widows as they have to look after their small children in the absence of their husband.
9. Maj Ved Prakash, said that he is concerned for War widows & Ex-Servicemen & said that UPA Govt will always keep in mind the sacrifice made by our defence personnel.
10. Capt Praveen Davar, narrated as to how Kargil War was conducted & what difficulties were faced by our troops. He assured that Ex-Servicemen cell of AICC is aware of problems faced by our War Widows.
11. Dr TC Rao Veteran, who organized the function expressed his gratitude to War Veterans, Retd Officers, JCOs & Other ranks who had came to participate in the memorial service. He high lighted the problems of War Widows & Ex-servicemen staying at Delhi & assured them that he is always approachable for their problems.
12. Dr TC Rao, Veteran is also founder of Gramin Uthaan – Bharat Nirman, presented shawls to war Widows present in the function. Brig DN Yadav,SM & Sub Mohamad Khan, SM were also honoured with shawl having participated in the Kargil War & decorated for their bravery.
13. Dr Rao assured every one that Smt Sonia Gandhi, Chairperson UPA, Dr Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister & Defence Minister are considerable to the problems & welfare of Ex-Servicemen.
Jai Hind.
Yours Sincerely,
Dr TC Rao, Veteran

Firstly, congratulations on having organized the function yesterday. I had been out of town and could not attend. Would have liked to. Reference Ms Nafisa Ali's suggestion about the Petrol Pump allocation. Kindly see Mail Today 27 July ("Kargil Hero waits for govt to come good on promise") regarding Veteran Mohd Rafiq not having YET been given the petrol pump promised to him. I feel this may be a good opportunity for you to have the necessary follow up done.
With Warm Regards,
Col RP Chaturvedi,

Indian Army's 'Adopt a Hero' project

Indian Army's 'Adopt a Hero' project launched in Mumbai- Mumbai/ July 25, 2011
Lt Gen Sanjeev Chopra, GOC, Maharashtra, Goa and Gujarat Area launched a programme ‘Adopt A Hero’ by releasing posters of our war heroes who fought valiantly for the country and have been decorated with the highest Gallantry Award ‘Param Vir Chakra (PVC)’.
These posters- clcik here are brought out by an NGO ‘NCC Alumni and National Welfare Trust’. The concept of this programme is that schools and colleges who would like to participate will be provided these posters free of cost, for display at prominent places in their Institution.
Keeping the contemporary situation in view it is important that the youth are made aware of the importance of being ever vigilant and are given a fair idea about our heroes who have ‘Given their today for our better tomorrow’.
This project has now been launched in Mumbai in order to inculcate a sense of patriotism and awareness among the students.
NCC Alumni and Welfare Trust has been carrying out the activities of inculcating a sense of patriotism and service to the country and encouraging the youth specially the NCC Cadets and erstwhile NCC Cadets to the Armed Forces.
PIB Release/MH/121

Appeal to All: Anti- Corruption Campaign

My dear friend, It is more than evident that our Government and all the political parties are unwilling to enact a strong law against corruption. Because if they did so, many of them would face imprisonment. There is a serious conflict of interest. None of the large scams like the Adarsh Housing scam, the Commonwealth Games scam, the Reddy brothers scam, Fodder scam, Health mission scam of UP, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha scam, Cash for vote scam are covered by government.s Lokpal. What use is such a Lokpal Bill? It is weak and ineffective. It has a very narrow jurisdiction. None of the corruption faced by a common man is covered under it either. Please refer to my recent article click here on this issue for more specifics on why we think the government draft is not serious about tackling corruption.
Anna's fast from 16th August is our last hope. We can't afford to fail this time. For if we fail, we may never get another chance. Its now or never.
A number of people across the country are planning various protest activities. You can organize your own or or you can participate in any manner possible.
1st August to 9th August: Many people across the country are forming small teams and undertaking short and long padyatras. They would talk to people on their way, hold meetings, distribute pamphlets download pamphlet from download pamphlet- click here and show Jan Lokpal film. Would you like to plan a Yatra with your friends?
From 9th August: Mass burning/tearing of government's Bill as a mark of non-violent protest. Anna will start it most likely from Delhi or Mumbai.
From 9th August to 15th August: People in villages, towns and mohallas will form teams and go for prabhat pheri in mornings singing patriotic songs and educating people about corruption and Jan Lokpal Bill. In the evening, there would be candle light and mashal marches.
15th August: Switch off lights from 8 pm to 9 pm on independence day as a mark of support for the anti-corruption movement.
Fast starts from 16th August: Government says they would crush Anna's fast the way they crushed Baba Ramdev's movement. We are ready for that. We will offer ourselves for arrest if the government decides to arrest us. We are ready to face their batons and bullets. But we will not move from there. We will not retaliate. It will be a completely non-violent movement.
But if the people take a week off from their work from 16th August and take to the streets- in front of their house, on the crossings, in parks, everywhere, with a tricolor in their hands, raise slogans against corruption - Government can crush one Anna, but it won't be able to crush 120 crore Annas. Government could impose section 144 on one Jantar mantar. But will it impose curfew on the whole country?
If the whole country takes to streets for a week from 16th August, WE, THE PEOPLE OF INDIA, can force the government to enact a strong Jan Lokpal Bill.
Will you be there? Can we count on your support and active participation?
Jai Hind!
Arvind Kejriwal
Veteran Major P M Ravindran

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Kargil Diwas: Remembering the Heroes

Respected Sir/Ma'am,
The following report -- released by the United News of India news agency on July 25, 2011 -- is for your kind perusal.
With regards
Kargil anniv eve: Nation readies to remember the martyrs

Bhopal, July 25 (UNI) The worst fallout of war is that it reverses the course of nature, as fathers bury sons, and the heaviest burden in this world is a young man's corpse on an old father's shoulder.
On the occasion of Kargil Vijay Diwas tomorrow, tributes will be paid at the District Sainik Board premises here to the indomitable courage of the nation's military officers and men who made the supreme sacrifice during the 1999 Kargil conflict.
The District Ex-Servicemen's Welfare Officer has appealed to all ESM to take part in this function in large numbers. The programme will commence at 1130 hrs sharp.
Amongst all military actions since Independence, this conflict was not only the longest but the ferociousness brought about heavy casualties. As many as 527 personnel were martyred and 1,363 severely wounded. Four Param Vir Chakras were awarded, two posthumously and nine Maha Vir Chakras were awarded, six posthumously besides 55 Vir Chakras.
Operation Safed Sagar was the codename assigned to the Indian Air Force's sorties to support the ground troops during Op Vijay -- which witnessed successful dislodging of a well-entrenched enemy that had the tactical advantage of higher ground -- while Op Talwar referred to deployment of the Indian Navy in the Arabian Sea.
Among the lasting images of the conflict is the photograph of Army Medical Corps Captain Rajshree Gupta saluting the Tricolour-draped coffin of her husband Major Vivek Gupta, 2 Raj Rif (the Second Battalion of the Rajputana Rifles Regiment).
On May 19, 1999, Mechanised Infantry officer Maj Ajay Prasad -- who was from the Madhya Pradesh capital -- fell fighting Pakistani regulars in Avantipur area of Kargil Sector. A local park was named after the martyr. Several households -- both military and non-military ones -- have appreciatively adopted the poignant ceremony of lighting candles at home in the past two years.
Citizens across India are requested to light a candle each at their residences' entrances and lay a marigold each by its side at 2000 hrs tomorrow after saying a prayer for those who did not come back. This may additionally be done at offices.
The Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement appeals to media and the people of India to join in commemorating Kargil Vijay Diwas to generate the spirit of Bharat. Chief ministers of all states and lieutenant-governors of Union territories are requested to observe the anniversary in a fitting manner.
"An anti-India strategy is an indelible part of the Pakistani mindset and generations of that country's military officers and civilians alike have been raised with it. At any point in the future, Pakistan will never stop short of exploiting any chink in the Indian armour to stage a Kargil-type offensive," a veteran told UNI.
The Kargil intrusion was "tactical lunacy but a strategic masterstroke" for Pakistan's General, later President, Pervez Musharraf as it brought the Kashmir issue centrestage with the backdrop of two South Asian nuclear neighbours.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Kargil Diwas- Noida

Dear Friends,
Jai Hind.
In keeping with its traditions, IESM organised the Kargil Diwas at Noida on Sunday, 24 Jul 11. While all members of the IESM Governing Body and many volunteers from Noida helped in organising the function, main credit for its grand success goes to Col RP Chaturvedi, Member Governing Body IESM.
Every detail was well thought off, very well planned and executed with perfection. RP – great as always. Heartiest congratulations.
Photographs were taken by me today at the Noida War Memorial.
Vande Matram
In service of Indian Military Veterans
Chander Kamboj.
slideshow click here for enlarged photos

Kargil Vijay Diwas Celebrations, New Delhi

Kargil Vijay Diwas Celebrations 25 Jul 2011
Dear Friends,
Kargil Vijay Diwas (26 Jul) is here, We celebrate on 25 Jul (as hall available that day). You are all requested to come and pay homage to our defenders of Motherland (martyrs and living), in this case on the icy and daunting heights of Kargil.
This was a task of such magnitude that the world held its breath when we battled the Pakis, and perhaps few believed that we would be able to achieve this, but the indomitable spirit and valour of the Indian soldier led by the best trained cadre of NCOs, JCOs and Officers made it look so easy.
We need to bring this feat home to the nation every year in the same way we do for the glorious victory of 1971 when Indian arms carved out a new nation in just 14 days.
Both these victories stand out as the great feat of our arms and national victories uncomparable to any in the past 2 millenium. So as inheritors of that glory, let us celebrate these two in big way, and bring these home to our youth so taht they emulate these feats of valour in whatever field they be engaged.
We look forward to welcome you at the Deputy Speaker hall Constitution Club Rafi Marg, New Delhi on Monday, the 25th July 2011 at 3.30 pm. Gen KM Seth, Gen Chandra Shekhar and Shri Jaswant Singh will be speaking on this occasion to bring home the military, political and diplomatic efforts behind the victory.
We have requested Gen Mohinder Puri, then GOC 8 Mtn Div that broke the back of the enemy and fought the hardest battles of Tololing and Tiger Hill to give us his thoughts, worries, grief and happiness in those momentous days. But even more important, 'can we be warned and prepared for another Kargil in one form or the other to our coming generation and leadership' that is the challenge.
So COME ONE , COME ALL. LET US CELEBRATE OUR GREAT VICTORY OF KARGIL. 25 Jul 2011 3.30 pm at Deputy Speaker Hall Constitution Club Rafi Marg New Delhi. Constitution Club is just 200 M away from the Patel Chowk metro station on the Rajiv Chowk- Gurgaon Metro line.
PS It would be wonderful if we can all be in our uniform, with a side cap, regimental tie or cumerband or any regimental or military signia.
Niranjan Malik
Lt Gen NS Malik, PVSM

Secretary ESW: Mirror of Bureaucratic Arrogance

Dear Colleagues,
1. In the continuing efforts by IESM in pursuing ESM welfare measures, I had a one-to-one meeting with the Defence Minister on 18 June 2011. Inter alia he mentioned:
a) The govt is moving towards OROP step by step. There was no firm commitment when/ if full OROP will come through.
b) The bureaucracy was opposed to grant of OROP to Defence personnel. The Finance Ministry also puts spokes with regard to sparing money for OROP.
c) On the subject of non grant of enhancement of pension to the widows, he sounded sympathetic and wanted a Note from me that I submitted.
2. Based on his directions, I received a call for a meeting with Secretary ESW and I met her on 15 July 2011, again a one-to-one meeting. Unlike the Minister, her attitude was more hardened and bureaucratic. The gist of what transpired was:
a) With reference to OROP she asserted that the JCO and OR pensioners were happy with the enhancement. On being questioned on the source of her information she disclosed that some ESM organizations and individuals keep interacting with her and have told her so. I challenged her to produce even one individual among the over two million pensioners who opposes OROP.
b) She maintained that there was only a minor difference in the pension of pre and post 1.1.2006 pensioners. I maintained that for a Sepoy of Gp ‘Y’ with 17 years service the difference in basic pension was 42% and gave her a copy of the table showing figures for various ranks.
c) She elaborated the difficulty in implementing OROP since ‘many pensioners have moved residence’, ‘records prior to 1989 are not computerized’ and ‘there are too many categories and groups’ etc. I pointed out that same difficulties would have been faced when they equated the pre and post 10.10.1997 pensions - highlighting that in fact relatively more records of that period were manual – and adding that on similar lines why cannot the pre and post 1.1.2006 pensions be equated. I further offered to help with whatever technology assistance was needed but she declined the offer.
d) On the legal problem in OROP, she read out from a DOPT circular that had quoted some SC judgment to the effect that the govt had a right to fix any cut-off date for fixing salaries and pensions and that it did not violate the spirit of Article 14 of the Constitution. I pointed out the negative side of it in that the govt wants to fix a cut-off date detrimental to ESM interests and then takes shelter behind the law. Conversely, if govt wants to fix a pro-OROP cut-off date, the law will not interfere with it.
e) On the issue of revised PPOs, she mentioned that the CGDA and PCDA Allahabad had raised their hands in undertaking the massive work. I mentioned that the Army have told us they would help and we have been assured that the first PPOs will start rolling out in three months. She was skeptical and remarked ‘we will see’.
f) On the non-enhancement of widows’ pension along with others she mentioned that the pension is related to last pay drawn and hence cannot apply to widows. I pointed that even in case of surviving pensioners the enhanced pension is not based on their actual last salary but a notional one and the widows could be similarly treated. She did not give any counter argument.
g) On ECHS I had sought clarification on the following three points: i. Empanelment of TPAs. She disclosed that a Cabinet Note had already been prepared and that this was about to come through.
ii. Empanelment of Pharmacies. She disclosed that the DGAFMS and the Service HQ were opposing it.
iii. Making up of Staff Shortages. She mentioned that this was an ongoing process and deficiencies are being made up.
3. In the end I told the Secy EWS that all eyes were on the Rajya Sabha Petitions Committee and during our presentations they gave all indications that they would recommend grant of OROP. I further added that in case the govt did not accept the recommendations of the Petitions Committee, the struggle by the ESM will further intensify.
Best regards,
Lt Gen (Emeritus) Raj Kadyan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM

Press On Regardless IESM. We have tolerated enough nonsense from the so called Ex-Servicemen Welfare Section (ESW) of the Government of India. Not a single serving or retired Defence Person is part of this organisation. They do not know the ABC of the Defence Services. They are totally clueless about the problems of Defence pensioners.They are the maximum trouble creators for the Defence Services Ex-Servicemen of India, Defence Services widows and families.– We will tolerate NO MORE nonsense from ESW. I know many members of the Parliament are monitoring our sentiments. May I request you to kindly send a copy of this email to Secy ESW. Also many of you, receiving our views, have close relatives in IAS; please forward a copy of this to them also, provided of course if you have some loyalty to us. Many of you have been promising to send articles on the attitude of IAS towards Defence Services; probably you could not gather enough courage to do so – or can we say that you lack loyalty to Defence Service in spite of having spent best part of your life with Defence Services.
Thank you. –
Chander Kamboj
In the Service of Veterans
Related Reading: DGR Perpetuates Corruption


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