Friday, October 12, 2012

Chetwode Motto: Back to Basics

An Officer’s responsibility towards his Men does NOT end with his retirement; it is a lifelong commitment.
We, Officers, owe it to our Men; for having had the honour & privilege of leading them, while in service.

Lunch with Ex-Servicemen on Tuesday, 2 Oct 2012
1. With a view to reach out to Ex-Servicemen at Bangalore, I had most cordially invited a few Ex-Servicemen for lunch at my place on 2 Oct 2008. And it was gratifying that 11 Ex-Servicemen came over, couple of them with their spouses. 2. On arrival, the Ex-Servicemen mentioned, “Saab, hame retire hokar 10 saal ya 15 saal ho gaya. Hamaare puraane saab log kabhi kabhi CSD canteen me milthe hain. Thodaa saa Hello, Hello baath- cheeth hothaa hai. Bus uthnaa hi. Yeh pahli baar hai ki, ek Afsar saahibaanne, hame apne ghar me khaane ke liye bulaayaa hai”. I could see that the Ex-Servicemen were profoundly touched by my simple gesture of inviting them for lunch at my place. And so was I touched. And that day, I decided that, as long as I live, 2 Oct every year shall be the day when Ex-Servicemen shall be cordially invited to join me for lunch at my place.
3. On 2 Oct 2009, 17 Ex-Servicemen, a few of them with their families were gracious to join me for lunch at my place.
4. On 2 Oct 2010, over 100 Veteran Officers of the Army, Navy & Air Force joined hands and hosted a lunch for approximately 400 Ex-Servicemen, their families and Defence Family Pensioners. It was gratifying to see a galaxy of Generals, Admirals & Air Marshals present as hosts and talking to Ex-Servicemen, their families and Defence Family pensioners. A large number of Ex-Servicemen and Veteran Officers recalled their days together, with nostalgia.
5. Unfortunately, on account of my ill-health and personal commitments, I could not organize hosting of a station lunch for Ex-Servicemen on 2 Oct 2011 and 2 Oct 2012. All the same, lunch for Ex-Servicemen was hosted by me at my place on 2 Oct 2011 and on 2 Oct 2012.
6. Point for kind consideration by Veteran Officers. I suggest that 2 Oct every year should be a day when Veteran Officers host lunch for Ex-Servicemen, their families & Defence Family Pensioners, either individually at their place or collectively at a central location in all stations. The local mil Fmn Cdr or Station Cdr may be invited for Lunch. A small gesture as hosting of a lunch for Ex-Servicemen by Veteran Officers on 2 Oct every year would go a long way in strengthening the bonds of kinship, brotherhood & camaraderie amongst the Ex-Servicemen fraternity.
Col Shaitan Singh Rajan of Jikargacha

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