Saturday, August 25, 2012

The Army officer who wouldn't retire hurt

Pune: The Army officer who wouldn't retire hurt
Pune: In the summer of 1999, Lt Col (Dr) Samir Rawat was injured in the right leg while fighting against the Pakistan Army in Ladakh during the Kargil war. It was a serious knee injury that put an end to his active soldiering career, but the die-hard Rawat never let his spirits sag. The former tank trooper, who was still in service, started studying psychology. He acquired global certification in neuro-linguistic programming (NLP), transactional analysis, advanced hypnotherapy, wellness and health management, rehabilitation, psychological assessment and testing, and went on to become the first psychologist at the National Defence Academy (NDA).
He retired a week ago. His posting as a psychologist in a premier category (A) cadet training institution of the Indian Army meant he was involved in training, counselling and mentoring, besides which he used to conduct classes on leadership, moderation, stress management, resilience building and gender sensitivity for instructors and personnel below officer rank of the entire Indian Army who came to the NDA.
“I still remember the day of June 21, 1999, when I was posted in Ladakh Scouts in 5230 Batalik Sector, where even after ceasefire shelling was continued by the Pakistan Army,” Rawat says, adding, “During the shelling, shrapnel entered my right leg and I became unconscious.”
He was shifted by helicopter to a hospital nearly a month after he got injured. “I was operated in Command Hospital in Chandigarh and was on a wheelchair for nearly five months,” he says. “I was so passionate about the army and that I channelised my energies and opened a new window for myself — of scholarly pursuit.”
The officer then took study leave for two years and completed his PhD in psychology. His studies completed, he spent the last decade and more counselling the cadets in NDA. “These cadets have many problems; the first, immediate problem they face after entering NDA is that they become homesick,” Rawat says. “Many of them come from rural parts of the country, and so my first duty is to make them realised that irrespective of their social background their status in the academy is only of cadet.”
He says many times he had to go for personal counselling in the case of cadets who were unable to perform certain tasks or who had a phobia about such tasks during their training. “I remember a cadet who could not jump from a height of 10 metres into a swimming pool,” he says. “He was about to be removed from the academy when he came to me. I told him just one thing, that it was not a fear he had but an irrational belief that if he jumped he would die.”
He says the cadet was finally convinced to take the jump after he was told the army worked on trust and that he should have faith in his instructor. “I told the cadet to trust his instructor as the army is all about trusting others,” Rawat says. “Later he not only jumped from 10 metres, but also told me it was an amazing experience and that he would like to do it again. That was the moment of greatest satisfaction for me.”
Rawat says he has no regrets and it does not bother him that had it not been for his injury he might have reached a higher rank. “The army is a way of life,” he says. “How you contribute to it is more important than getting a higher rank. When I look back, I get great satisfaction that I didn’t lose the opportunity to serve the nation even after getting injured in the war. I was, in fact, fortunate enough to get an opportunity to see and take part in the Kargil operation.”
The Army officer who wouldn't retire hurt

Fighting Insurgency and Terrorists Reducing Army to Policemen and Indiscipline

Take turbulence in the ranks seriously
Lt Gen Vijay Oberoi | Agency: DNA | Thursday, August 23, 2012
Three incidents of collective indiscipline by jawans in the last few months, reflecting a breakdown in the traditionally close officer-man relationship, are a cause for concern, especially as all three of them are related to combat units, where a stable and healthy officer-man relationship is an article of faith.
The Indian Army, with a justifiably proud record of service to the nation, has always placed officers-men bonding at the highest level.
In the past, the army has handled such incidents with compassion and firmness. Such incidents will no doubt happen again. However, there is need for comprehensive remedial actions. We must not succumb to a tendency of being simplistic, like attributing such incidents to recent cases of corruption amongst a few senior officers. Such attributions are obviously absurd, as these are two vastly different issues. The need is actually to focus on command and control, discipline and officer-man relationships.
In combat units, a thorough knowledge of jawans by their officers is a must. Included in this are the jawans’ capabilities and limitations; what enthuses or dampens their spirits; their backgrounds as well as of their families; and whether they are team persons or loners. Earlier, senior unit officers acted as guides and mentors in this respect. Unfortunately, on account of the huge shortage of officers in combat units today, as well as the large number of tasks assigned to the few available officers, it is virtually impossible for them to spare time to do so now.
The main reason for this state of affairs is the prolonged employment in fighting insurgents and terrorists over decades now, which have taken stress and fatigue to extremely high levels. These operations are extremely difficult and full of tension, especially on account of scrupulously adhering to human rights norms.
A major caveat of the army’s secondary role of assisting the civil administration is that it must be released as soon as the task is over, but in counter-insurgency operations there appears to be no end state! There has been no insurgency in the north eastern states for many years now, but neither the states concerned nor the central government want to release the army. In J&K, the situation has improved vastly, but the police forces are not in a position to assume control. The army’s reasoning that the situation will deteriorate rapidly if the army is de-inducted is sound, but why are the police forces not being made capable?
While the government must squarely take the blame for this state of affairs, the army hierarchy also needs to be blamed for not pursuing it relentlessly.
There are also three other issues that need to be tackled by the government. The first is deliberately downgrading the esteem and importance of the military by successive governments. This has resulted in our soldiers becoming greatly disillusioned not only with the government officials but, what is worse, also with their own officers, who are being viewed as devoid of any power, as civil and police officials studiously ignore requests from commanding officers relating to various problems of soldiers projected by them. This is in stark contrast to earlier times when the civil officials responded with alacrity when a commanding officer wrote to them about the personal or collective problems of his jawans. This aspect needs immediate improvement by good governance and by educating the officials.
Soldiers’ lay their lives on the line, not because of the pay or allowances that they get (which in any case are less than what the equivalent civil officials receive) but because of their self-esteem and military √©lan. These need to be nurtured by the civil administration.
The second and related issue is the military intake. Although recruitment rallies draw large numbers, the reason is no longer pride in joining the military but massive unemployment, resulting in inferior manpower joining the military. In the case of officers, young men from traditional military families are no longer enthused with the forces. The main reason is the decline of respect for the military.
The last point is the treatment of the veterans. The government needs to understand that the policy of ignoring those who have served the nation sacrificing their all will be a disaster in the long run. Future generations will not heed the call of the bugle when they see neither respect nor adequate financial benefits being given to the veterans. The present indifference and callousness must end.
Will Delhi wake up?
The writer is a former Vice Chief of Army Staff.
Take turbulence in the ranks seriously

Graft flourishing in defence CSD Stores

Graft flourishing in defence canteen stores: Official Himanshi Dhawan, TNN Aug 21, 2012, 03.15AM IST
NEW DELHI: The defense personnel standing guard at the country's border deserve the best. But not everyone appears to agree. The canteen stores department (CSD) run by the defence ministry could be embroiled in gross irregularities in procurement of material that could compromise the health of the armed forces.
Describing CSD as a "labyrinth of corruption" the controller of defense accounts and integrated financial advisor (principal controller) Savitur Prasad has called the procurement system in CSD as "highly opaque, discretionary and providing a high degree of arbitrariness". Through a series of communications the financial advisor has highlighted that procurement and financial norms are being flouted to provide poor quality products to the armed forces. The letters have been accessed through an RTI in response to an application filed by activist Subhash Agrawal.
CSD is the largest supplier of consumer goods and edible products, notably alcohol, for serving and retired defense personnel and their families across the country. The government purchases Rs 10,000 crore worth of material every year and runs about 3,500 units of canteen stores and shops with various military units attached to CSD.
The communication comes to light at a time when the defense establishment is reeling under the impact of last month's CBI raids at its stores in Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Chandigarh following allegations of irregularities in purchases and distribution.
Prasad in a letter dated May 16 has brought to the attention of the defense ministry, including defense secretary, that of the 600 firms supplying more than 4,000 items to CSD almost 200-300 firms do not have established credentials in the market. The letter lists over 80 companies that are little known in the Indian market but supply their products to the armed forces.
He also points at a system of "introducing" items and then deleting them arbitrarily from the system. In the letter he says, "more number of items have been introduced and deleted than the total number of days available in the last three years." According to the data available, 1,844 items have been introduced in the last three years, while 1,288 have been deleted hinting at irregularities in including and excluding products eligible for procurement arbitrarily.
The letter also indicates that a rule that allows the procurement board to disqualify any firm if it makes sales lower than 2% of its value and volume makes it vulnerable for deletion from the eligible list has been misused.
The executive and financial powers exercised by the CSD unit's general manager in placing orders under the category of special and supplementary orders, "reflects mockery of transparency in procurement process" because the orders are made without approval from financial authorities. This, according to Prasad, is in violation of government orders and guidelines issued by CVC.
Graft flourishing in defence canteen stores: Official

Adarsh Scam: Army Chief's spin the Judicial Commission

Another ex-Army Chief Gen Vij says Adarsh no security threat
Published: Wednesday, Aug 22, 2012, 21:22 IST
Place: Mumbai | Agency: PTI
After Deepak Kapoor, another former Army Chief NC Vij today took a stand at variance with the defence ministry when he said he did not see the controversial Adarsh Society building here as a security threat.
Gen Vij told a judicial panel that what mattered was credentials of occupants, not the 31-storey building itself.
"I visited Adarsh building only for a few minutes. I did not consider the security aspect....it is not the building but the occupants who have to be scrutinised from security angle. If the occupants are trustworthy and dependable, then there is no question of security threat," Vij told the two-member commission set up by Maharashtra government to probe the Adarsh scam.
Earlier, Gen Kapoor had told the commission that he did not consider Adarsh -- which stands very close to a Defence premises -- as security threat, because there were several other high-rises in the area.
The stand taken by Vij and Kapoor is in sharp contrast to Ministry of Defence's claim that the highrise building in upscale Colaba is a security threat, and should be pulled down.
"As far as security threat aspect is concerned, it requires detailed appreciation of a number of factors like the population profile of cantonment, how many civilians and military personnel are there, the layout of the general area, the vulnerable targets and the surrounding area profile. This has to be done by the Local Military Authority," said Vij.
Soon after the scam broke, he learnt that several personnel of Local Military Authority and Southern Command were members of Adarsh Society, Vij said.
Both Kapoor and Vij were members of the society, and later sought to surrender their flats when allegations about illegal permissions granted to Adarsh by civic/state authorities cropped up.
"I have written letters to the society and Collector of Mumbai seeking to surrender my flat, but I have not got any reply," Vij said.
Another ex-Army Chief Gen Vij says Adarsh no security threat

Friday, August 24, 2012

Spurious Stuff from CSD: Health and medical safety of defense forces compromised!

Irregularities in CSD buys under scrutiny by Himanshi Dhawan.
  • Hi-tech floor wiper is categorized as a manufacturer, which also supplies thandai as brand owner
  • An “importer” supplying ayurvedic hair oil morphs as a manufacturer supplying ginger cough drops
  • The Board of Administration cleared 17 food and beverage items for sale at the defense canteen stores without receiving hygiene inspection reports to certify the products
    These are just some of the irregularities pointed out by the controller of defense accounts and integrated financial advisor (principal controller) Savitur Prasad to the defense establishment. The communication accessed through an RTI filed by activist Subhash Agrawal indicates blatant violation of the rules and regulations framed for procurement of supplies through the canteen stores department (CSD) that has put the health and lives of millions of defense personnel at risk.
    CSD caters to the daily requirements of the armed forces personnel and their families and is expected to provide consumer goods of high quality to the troops at a price cheaper than the prevailing market rates. In order to ensure that service personnel get the maximum range of necessary items with best quality, the Board of Administration (BOA) meets every month to approve items keeping in view the troops’ needs. The annual spending of the public exchequer for these products amounts to Rs 10,000 crore.
    Prasad, in a letter in April 19, 2012, has pointed out that the exact opposite of these intentions was happening. As financial advisor he received no communication regarding the factory inspections and hygiene checks for 589 products, which had been cleared by five previous BOAs between December, 2010 and December, 2011.
    Referring to the BOA held in March, 2012, Prasad said that 91 items were introduced from 45 firms. Of these, 17 items were in the category of edible, beverage and liquor. “Hygiene reports for none of these reports have been received,” he wrote a month after the BOA had cleared them. Pointing out that a company, S.A.I Brushes, supplied hi-tech floor wiper was categorized as a manufacturer in one section, while the same firm was described as a brand owner supplying thandai, Prasad said, “It is incomprehensible how a wiper manufacturer is also accepted for supply of thandai (which is an edible item), to CSD, that too without factory inspection and hygiene report.”
    Citing other examples, the letter said, “It is not clear whether the mandatory condition of hygiene certificate are being fulfilled by obtaining the same from Army Medical Authorities before placing the order, for cases approved in earlier BOAs.”
    Recommending a review of all BOA decisions, Prasad wrote that procurement without fulfilling the condition of mandatory hygiene certification was a “serious violation” and could jeopardize the “health and medical safety of defense forces.”
    In his defense, BOA chairman and general manager admitted that hygiene inspection reports are delayed. In response to Prasad’s letter Major General R Suresh replied that since the hygiene inspection was a multi-stage process and there were delays it had been decided in a meeting in 1999 that all cases of new introduction, where initial orders had not been placed beyond three months after the date of approval of an item by BOA, would be reviewed by the Board with related reports including factory inspection and hygiene reports. -via The Times of India.
    Irregularities in CSD buys under scrutiny
  • The English have gone, the feudal mindset remains

    The English have gone, the mindset remains
    This refers to the statement made by Army Chief General Bikram Singh in which he said, “We will provide all help to Olympian Vijay Kumar to become an officer. He is very capable, he talks in English.”
    Though General Singh may have made the statement casually, the remark reflects the mindset of not just the Army Chief but also the Armed Force’s definite ‘language bias’. It seems English is the major criterion in the selection of officers. Can those who study in non-English medium get through NDA/CDS examinations? If yes, then I suppose that 90 per cent of the effort at the training colleges must be going to teach them English than making them skilled Armed Forces personnel.
    The statement made me feel as though the Indian Army is controlling the Hindustani Fauj. This may perhaps be one of the reasons why we see lot more confrontations these days between officers and jawans. -via The Pioneer
    The English have gone, the mindset remains

    Tuesday, August 21, 2012

    ESM: Choice is unity or spinning money

    Dear Mrinal ji
    Thanks for your kind words. I have all along tried to bring in unity to live by the Charter we laid for ourselves way back in 1981. All these efforts have been frustrated despite the fact that we always offered to follow rather than want to lead. The minimal requirement of working out a common agenda has also been frustrated.
    Today in my mail I only sought honesty in actions and deeds by suggesting a course of action i.e the IESM amending their Bye laws to stop direct enrollment and transferring their membership to an existing Society or registering another one. Whatever that is, it joins the IESM which would only enroll Organizations and not individuals. This new outfit then joins the IESM.
    To prove our commitment to the unity I offer my Association to the IESM to transfer their Membership and then join the IESM a true Confederation. This way we will have a huge membership, besides The Cooperative Society for running business enterprises, the Trust to do the Social work, a ready made Web site www.aiewa.org with a running blog spot and a huge Cooperative Bank to back up. More than anything else it would give the name of the Association which has achieved name and fame for its efforts in the last 30 years of its existence.
    More than anything else it would give me the opportunity for basking in the glory of achievements of the generation next unitedly.
    I have gone through your wonderful article, very clearly bringing out the perennial problems faced by our people in trying to maintain unity. I entirely agree with you. I only hope these people see the logic in what I have tried to say and do the right thing.
    Regards
    Inderjit Singh

    Dear Sir,
    I am not at all surprised to read your account of failed efforts to forge unity. Shame on all of us, the so-called selfless and sincere veterans. Please do not get disheartened. Disunity is in our blood and the whole body-system. May like to peruse the article given below. It may spur some to rise above personal interests.
    Warm regards,
    Mrinal
    Disunity is in our blood by Major General Mrinal Suman

    Senior army officers become stooges or sycophants

    Delhi | Posted on Aug 20, 2012 at 08:07pm IST
    Delhi: Armyman atop tower since 72 hours, remains defiant
    New Delhi: Seventy-two hours have passed but an armyman, who climbed a 200 ft mobile tower in the national capital four days back alleging harassment, remained defiant on Monday as he refused to come down insisting he should be allowed to meet Defence Minister A K Antony.
    K Muthu, who is attached with Engineers Regiment, climbed the tower at Ajmeri Gate at around 1 pm on Friday and refused to come down despite appeals by police and Army officials over the past four days.
    The 35-year-old sepoy, hailing from Tuticorin district of Tamil Nadu, alleged that he was transferred five times in five years and wants to meet the Defence Minister with his complaints.
    olleagues from his unit are taking turns to be with him atop the tower and trying to convince him but in vain.
    On Friday, he had thrown a bunch of papers and in one of the letters, he demanded his discharge from service due to alleged harassment by seniors. He had also requested the commanding officer in the letter to get his salary of the last eight months cleared.
    Armyman atop tower since 72 hours, remains defiant
    Comment: The senior officers who have given a go by to Chetwode Motto are solely responsible for such a pass- the welfare of troops is last and their own money making ventures take precedence. The ACR system encourages stooges and sycophancy- the fault lies with 9 pointers. The Army Chief is immersed in his own post career prospects!

    Monday, August 20, 2012

    Feudal Culture Promoting Suicides: Army chief plays it down

    Jawan ends life, Army chief plays it down
    TNN Aug 17, 2012, 03.09AM IST
    NEW DELHI: Even as another soldier took his life on Thursday, Army chief General Bikram Singh said the recent cases of suicide and stand-offs between officers and jawans were "isolated incidents'' in the 1.13-million strong force.
    Asked about the ugly face-off between officers and jawans of an armoured corps unit at Samba in J&K after a soldier committed suicide on August 8, Gen Singh said, "We have instituted two separate courts of inquiry. There was no connection between the suicide and the incident.''
    "Let me tell you that the situation is not that bad... these are isolated incidents. As far as the atmosphere in battalions is concerned, we are looking into them and trying to correct them. We have been trying to address these issues,'' he said. "I have been addressing the troops and officers, and I will be going to Siachen (and eastern Ladakh) tomorrow and there also, I will do the same thing.''
    The remarks came even as another soldier, Bhup Singh of the 72nd Armoured Regiment, committed suicide at his unit residential quarter in Hisar. "He hanged himself from the ceiling fan after his wife left to drop their two children to school at about 7.30 am,'' said an officer.
    As many as 1,018 soldiers have committed suicide since 2003, with the yearly toll regularly crossing the 100-mark every year, as reported by TOI earlier. Three face-offs between officers and jawans have also been reported in the Army over the last one year.
    Among them was the one in Nyoma sector of eastern Ladakh in May that ended in a violent clash between officers and jawans of the 226 Field Artillery Regiment, leaving the unit commanding officer, two majors and two jawans hospitalized with limb fractures, bruises and other injuries. The three incidents are a clear indicator of the declining standards of leadership and discipline in the Army, where jawans are no longer willing to be humiliated by their officers.
    "The feudal culture which still persists in the Army is causing the problem. While the educational levels and aspirations of jawans has gone up, there is still too much disparity between them and the officers in terms of accommodation, salary and other perks,'' admitted a senior officer.
    In fact, a parliamentary report had even castigated the defence ministry for failing to deal with the malaise of stress-related deaths in the Army. It had called for a total revamp of the existing mechanisms to deal with stress and other problems faced by soldiers.
    Jawan ends life, Army chief plays it down
    Related Reading
    Indian Army is fat not fit, says internal audit
    Comment: Top heavy Army needs surgical cleansing. This has to be got done by MOD and not by the Army. This feudal culture will carry on and the victims will be the Jawans and their families. A sordid state of affairs indeed. The present set up is aggravating the situation.

    Sunday, August 19, 2012

    NDA Scam: Poor villagers were made to pay bribes

    NDA recruitment scam: Most candidates who paid were from around Khadakwasla
    SushantKulkarni : Fri Jul 27 2012, 03:50 hrs
    The CBI investigation of the alleged recruitment scam at NDA has revealed that the almost all candidates who had paid money for securing the job were youths from in and around Khadakwasla and were tapped through the arrested agents.
    The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) of the CBI, Pune, has so far arrested two colonels with the NDA, Kulbir Singh and A K Singh, a civilian staffer with the establishment division of the NDA and five others from Khadakwasla who worked as agents and were instrumental in getting in touch with the candidates for Class IV and lower divisional clerk posts.
    A senior officer with the CBI said, “We got the list of candidates who had paid up from the a pen drive seized from A K Singh. Most of them are from areas near Khadakwasla. Only a few are from outside Pune. The candidates told us that they paid these agents as they were residents of these villages and the candidates knew them personally or got acquainted with them through someone else.”
    Superintendent of police with the CBI ACB Rajkumar Vhatkar confirmed that most of the candidates are local residents and were contacted through acquaintances. Another senior officer said, “All the candidates we spoke to wanted to get into NDA due to the perks and salary the academy offers. Most of them have someone from their family or neighbourhood working as a class IV employee at the academy. NDA draws most of its class IV employees from villages around Khadakwasla.”
    The officer added, “One of the agents, Balkrishna Kanojia, was a caterer while Vishnu Prasad Sharma, another agent, ran a small shop on NDA campus. After the advertisement appeared in the newspapers, many youths from Khadakwasla applied for the posts. Kanojia knew some of them and got in touch with them. In some cases, candidates got in touch with Kanojia or Sharma as they knew recruitment could be fixed. Money was paid through Dattatreya Shitkal, Manoj Shitkal and Ramesh Gaikwad, who had their relatives in NDA.”
    NDA recruitment scam: Most candidates who paid were from around Khadakwasla
    ACB seeks court nod for narco analysis of 8 accused
    Comment: Army officers involved in taking bribes from poor villagers need to be court marshalled and imprisoned for life. Only severe punishment will yield results and improve the image of the Military.

    Adarsh scam: Former Army chief under scanner

    Former Army Chief Gen Deepak Kapoor was on Thursday (July 19) quizzed in connection to the Kargil for profit scam. Gen Kapoor today deposed before judicial commission probing the scam. The former army chief was quizzed on writing personal letters to politicians on letter heads. When asked by the commission, "Do army rules permit army personnel using of letter head to write personal letters to politicians?", Gen Deepak Kapoor is said to have replied, "I am not aware of any rule which prohibits doing so."
    Contradicting Ashok Chavan, the promoter of scam-tainted Adarsh Society today said the former Maharashtra chief minister had suggested increase in the number of civilians in the Society, essentially meant for defence personnel.
    Adarsh scam: Former Army chief under scanner
    Comment: Exemplary punishment must be given to guilty Army Chief's who have proved to be cheaters and corrupt. Otherwise the morale of the Military will continue to sink.

    Veteran Unity: Call for Truce

    Dear Veterans,
    I am pleased to learn that some friends who earlier destroyed a very serious effort to bring about a Common Agenda as opposed to unity, have again woken up to the need for unity through our friend Gen Bahri a respected member of the IESM. In Oct 2010, after reading my posts on our efforts for the last thirty yeas, many Veterans desired that I took the initiative to work out unity amongst us all. Moved by similar sentiments I relented and took up the Challenge. What happened then I am sure you would like to know before you tread on this dangerous and unachievable course again without taking appropriate measures if you really can, for avoiding repetition of such a disaster. Here is what happened. This was written in response to a friends mail to me recently, who accused me recently of destroying the unity of Veterans.
    UNITY
    In 2010 I had received a lot of mails for initiating the process of unity amongst us all the ESM Orgs. Moved by these sentiments I invited all the orgs for working out a Common Agenda and not Unity on 21 Oct 2010, which all could present to the leadership when they got the opportunity to meet them. This primarily because having failed twice earlier in trying to get the best I wanted to work for what we could all bite and sustain. (What happened to it, read on.) I had been given an appointment by the RM and I thought if we could work out this Common Agenda we could all go together and present the same to the RM on 23 Oct 2010. What all happened to that initiative is given below in brief just to refresh your memory.
    THE SEQUENCE OF EVENTS
    1) MOVED BY THE SENTIMENTS EXPRESSED BY YOU ALL I TOOK UP THE INITIATIVE TO INVITE ALL ORGANIZATIONS FOR WORKING OUT A JOINT MEMO ON 21 OCT.
    2) THE IESM PROMPTLY REJECTED THE INVITATION ON ACCOUNT OF SHORT NOTICE. GP CAPT VK GANDHI, WHO HAS NOW COME OUT WITH THIS IDEA, WAS THE ONE WHO SENT THAT MAIL I THEN SOUGHT FROM THEM THEIR INPUTS SO THAT THESE COULD BE INCORPORATED..BRIG CHANDER KAMBOJH INFORMED THAT HE WOULD BE ATTENDING IN INDIVIDUAL CAPACITY.
    3) SUDDENLY I GOT ANOTHER MAIL THAT IESM WOULD COME AND GEN SATBIR, BRIG KAMBOJH AND COL JOSHIPURA WOULD ATTEND. THEY INCLUDED BRIG KAMBOJH IN THEIR LIST EVEN THOUGH HE SAID THAT HE WOULD ATTEND IN HIS INDIVIDUAL CAPACITY.
    4) MEETING WAS HELD AS SCHEDULED. THE DRAFT MEMO PREPARED BY US WAS DISCUSSED IN DETAIL AND LOT OF GOOD SUGGESTIONS WERE GIVEN BY THEM ALL.
    5) AFTER THE MEETING ALL SUGGESTIONS WERE INCORPORATED AND FRESH DRAFT CIRCULATED TO ALL FOR APPROVAL SO THAT IT COULD BE GIVEN TO THE DEFENCE MINISTER JOINTLY ON 23 OCT. DURING MY ALREADY SCHEDULED MEETING WITH HIM. COL JOSHIPURA SHOWED KEENNESS TO ACCOMPANY. THE PERMISSION FOR HIM WAS ACCORDINGLY OBTAINED TO INCLUDE HIM IN THE DELEGATION.
    6) ON 22 OCT GOT A MAIL FROM GEN SATBIR THAT THE MEMO SHOULD NOT BE PRESENTED YET. IT WAS THEREFORE HELD BACK.
    7) ON 23 OCT WHEN COL JOSHIPURA WAS CONTACTED TO COME HE SAID THAT HE WAS TOLD THAT THE IESM HAD NOT YET TAKEN THE DECISION SO HE COULD NOT COME. HE DID NOT GET BACK. OBVIOUSLY THEY DECIDED AGAINST GOING TO THE RM WITH US. BRIG KAMBOJH IN HIS INDIVIDUAL CAPACITY WENT ALONG.
    8) THE ENTIRE INFORMATION ALONG WITH THE LETTERS GIVEN TO THE RM WERE PUT ON THE INTERNET FOR YOU TO KNOW. IN RESPONSE TO THAT MAIL THE IESM CHAIRMAN SENT ME A MAIL ASKING ME TO COME TO THEM ON 16 NOV FOR WORKING OUT THE COMMON STAND.
    By this move they had first stalled the move forward from where we left on 21 Oct and then destroyed the work put in by so many including himself and his other companions. Having destroyed it then in their desperation to take all the credit they called a meeting for working out a common stand afresh. The Chairman IESM had personally addressed this mail to me and also sought my views.There was no mention at all of what had already been done on 21 Oct 2010. Had their mail said that we meet to finalize the draft already worked out I would have gladly participated. I also told him to correct their bye laws for no direct enrollment of individual members and show honest intentions before seeking unity. There was no response to that.
    But NO. Why should they,when they had different agenda.That could happen only if their intentions were honest. The only sane person in that team was my old friend Chander who also accompanied us to the Meeting with the RM on 23 Oct 2010.
    EARLIER UNITY EFFORTS
    FIRST INITIATIVE -1982
    When we raised the Association one of the Charters was that we should bring all Veterans Organizations under one flag. In 1982 we decided that we should form a Confederation under Trade Unions Act if we want to make the best of the privileges. We got every thing ready. The basic requirement of a Confederation of no individual members of it was ensured. All existing major Organizations came forward except the IESL. On the eve of clinching the matter, some of us were bought off by politicians and the initiative fizzled out. Its aims and ideals were basically similar to those proposed by Gp Capt VK Gandhi with definite clause for no direct individual membership for ensuring practice of what we professed and instilling confidence in smaller organizations that they would not be swallowed up after we get going with their support.
    SECOND INITIATIVE - 1997
    We lost the first battle, but never gave up. There arose another opportunity to motivate Organizations to work in unison for common case by forming a Confederation after the Fifth CPC report came out. We were successful in bringing all seven major recognized organizations together into a Confederation. We were successful in getting the IESL also that time. We started meetings regularly. The bye laws were got readied by us. When we got to setting it up, this time personal egos played havoc. Despite the breakup we managed to have a common memorandum signed by all except a few. On the basis of that Memorandum we were able to successfully get three of our seven submissions accepted from the Prime Minister during our Meeting with him on 26 July 2001. For other four he appointed a Committee under RM, which was to give its report in three months. What report it gave is a separate story.
    Can you achieve even a semblance of unity with such politically motivated and self seeking friends? You will all agree with me if I said NO. All this is a big tamasha which ultimately ends up in dividing us all even more unless we eliminate our NETAS from the proposed exercise. They should however be assured that we would help them achieve their political ambitions once we have achieved the basic goals. And why not? After all they are our kins.
    The IESM that has initiated this effort must first display its honest intentions by stopping direct enrollment of members. Whatever membership they have can be transferred to another set up under Societies Registeration Act. What ever Organization they then form or join, seeks membership of this Confederation that is formed ultimately.
    Let the IESM and IESL first put this basic rule right before any thought can be spared for working out any unity with them.
    Regards
    Inderjit Singh

    IESM: Call for Unity

    18 Aug 12.
    Dear Veterans of Indian Armed Forces in India and abroad,
    Reference trailing emails from:
    1. Lt Gen SK Bahri, Former MGO.
    2. Gp Capt VK Gandhi, Secy Gen IESM.
    Gen Bahri has very kindly consented to make all out efforts to bring unity among ALL THE ESM ORGANISATION of the Indian Armed Forces. It is need of the hour but it is not an easy task.
    Therefore, for the benefit of us all, each one us, in particular the Heads of All ESM ORGANISATIONS within India and also abroad, have to extend a helping hand to Gen Bahri.
    Gen Bahri has asked me to give him the email IDs and other essential data of all the ESM Organisations that I may have. Unfortunately, due to my bad health, for last one year I am out of touch with the ESM World. I do not think I have the latest data of all ESM Organisations.
    Therefore, I request help from all of you to gather data of all ESM Organisations within India and abroad.
    Please send me the following data with copy to Gen Bahri:
    1. Name of the ESM Organisation.
    2. Name of the Head of the Organisation.
    3. Email ID. And if convenient also the following:
    4. Phone and Mobile Numbers
    5. Postal Address.
    6. Any other information considered useful by you.
    It is quite possible that many of you receiving this email are yourself the Head of an ESM Organisation, in India or abroad – so respond accordingly to Gen Bahri. If convenient endorse copy of your email to me also for record.
    In addition to the above information which is urgently required by Gen Bahri for direct communication with the Heads of All ESM Organisations, I think it is the proper time to also have an updated list of all the ESM Email Groups. That will help us all for quick broadcast of important information to all the ESM having an email ID. Therefore, I also request you to send me the details of the various Email Groups of Indian Military Veterans operating in India and abroad. I am attaching a separate MS Word table for this purpose.
    I ASSURE YOU THAT ALL THE ABOVE EMAIL IDs THAT I MAY RECEIVE SHALL BE USED PURELY FOR BROADCASTING INFORMATION PERTAINING TO OUR STRUGLE AGAINST INJUSTICE TO MILITARY VETERANS OR WIDOWS OF ARMED FORCES PERSONNEL, PENSION & RELATED ALLOWANCES, CSD, ECHS AND IMPORTANT ARTICLES RELATED TO THESE.
    FRIENDS IT IS HIGH TIME THAT ALL INDIAN MILITARY VETERANS JOIN HANDS AND STAND SHOULDER TO SHOULDER TO FIGHT AGAINST INJUSTICE TO US AND WIDOWS OF ARMED FORCES.
    WE HAVE TOLERATED ENOUGH – NO MORE. OF COURSE THE STRUGGLE MUST CONTINUE TO BE PEACEFUL AND ACCORDING OUR MILITARY ETHICS.
    IT IS NOW OR NEVER SO PLEASE DO RESPOND
    In Service of the Indian Military Veterans
    Chander Kamboj
    PS – Due to my indifferent health, I shall be able to devote only limited time to run the “REPORT MY SIGNAL” . Please do not feel offended if I do not respond to some emails.

    From: Satish Kumar Bahri
    Sent: 17 August 2012 09:09
    To: Chander Kamboj
    Cc: Satbir Singh
    Subject: UNITY AMONG ALL ESM AND ESM ORGANISATIONS
    Dear Chander,
    Ref the trailing mail.
    In the interest of our common cause I have agreed to do whatever little I can do. In order to contact all the known ESM organisations I had asked for their email IDs from Satbir. He advised that I contact you as you would have them in the contact list of RMS.
    Can I request tou to kindly do the needful. Would be grateful. Hope the clean environment and good weather has helped you recoup your health. Would wish you are back with us to steer RMS.
    Regards
    Satish Bahri

    Date: 13 August 2012 17:24
    Subject: IESM UNITY
    Dear veterans
    Veterans’ unity is most important for the welfare of veterans. This is the right time for some neutral, senior veterans to take lead and call for a meeting of like minded groups. The starting point could be:
  • That all groups will honour the Minimum Action Program (MAP) as agreed by all.
  • That all groups can keep their freedom to operate.
  • That any one group will not criticize other groups.
  • That all groups will not do any activity or issue statements contrary to MAP.
  • That as far as possible, groups will support each other in their programs.
  • That as far as possible, groups will participate in other groups’ programs like rallies and meetings and exchange ideas.
    These could be the starting points and we can always put our minds together and make a MAP. We can also decide the do’s and dont's by the veterans' associations for veterans unity.
    Gen SK Bahiri AVSM, VSM is requested to coordinate the effort of unity and make a sincere effort to bring all organisations together for the purpose of putting up a united fight for OROP.
    We must not forget that together, veterans control about 4.5 crore votes and can influence the result of about 50 Members of Parliament and many more MsLA. Individually, we are nothing and we will keep getting beaten by the politicians and bureaucrats combine. United we can improve our Izzat and status. But if we work as individual groups, we will keep getting downgraded in our izzat and status by politicians and bureaucrats combine. General Elections of India are only two years away, the right time to act is now and show the country that veterans can rise above individual aspirations and local issues and forge unity for the welfare of veterans’ family pan India and create a lobby for themselves. Numbers are in favour of veterans but despite that, veterans have no say in policy formulation of the nation because of disunity. THIS IS THE MOST APPROPRIATE TIME TO FORGE UNITY AND DEMAND A RESPECTABLE PLACE FOR VETERANS IN SOCIETY. TO GIVE US A NAME, LET US CALL THE UNITED VETERANS AS THE UNIFIED VETERANS FORUM (UVF). This name is not final and would be decided during the joint proposed meeting of all organisations.
    Soldiers in uniform are also looking towards United Veterans Forum (UVF) and expect the forum to look after their welfare. Let us live up to soldiers’ expectation and forge unity among all veteran organisations.
    All organisations are requested to consider the proposal seriously and give their view point. It is suggested that this should be given due importance and a first meeting be held by 15 Sep 12. All organisations are requested to respond and give their views to Gen SK Bahiri. IESM would be happy to receive a copy of your response.
    IESM will be too happy to provide the platform for veterans unity.
    Regards
    Gp Capt VK Gandhi VSM
    Gen Sec IESM

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