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New Pension Tables

Posted on: January 21st, 2013 by ivoana

The new pension will be applicable from 24 Sep 12 and NOT (NOT) 1/1/2006
Tables for max Pension with 30 Years of Service From Subaltern to Maj General is given below

No difference between Selection Grade & TS Ranks at 30 Years

Sub Capt Major Lt Col Col Brigs Maj Gen
New 15465 16145 18205 26265 27795 29145 30350
Existing 13500 13850 14100 25700 26050 26150 26700
Increase 1965 2295 4105 565 1745 2995 3650
DA @72% 1415 1652 2956 407 1256 2156 2628
Net Increase 3380 3947 7061 972 3001 5151 6278

Family Pension
Sub Capt Major Lt Col Col Brig Maj Gen Lt Gen* VCOAS/ Army Cdr* COAS*
New 9279 9687 10293 15759 16677 17487 18210 21900 24000 27000
Existing 8100 8310 8460 15420 15630 15690 16020 21900 24000 27000
Increase 1179 1377 1833 339 1047 1797 2190 0 0 0
DA @ 72% 6681 6975 7411 11346 12007 12591 13111 15768 17280 19440
Net to Bank 15960 16662 17704 27105 28684 30078 31321 37668 41280 46440

* No Change
Above does not include Enhanced Family Pension & Special Family Pension and Liberalised Family Pension

Dept of Ex Ser Welfare link: http://desw.gov.in/circulars
On this link, further links are available for circulars pertaining pension revision of various categories of All Ranks and Families.
You may down load all circulars one by one or download the one you need.


Action For Getting Arrears due to Govt Notice on Rank Pay

Posted on: January 7th, 2013 by ivoana

Dear Veterans,

The Government of India orders issued today is attached.

Please read the attachments carefully, and send documented to respective CDAs to get the arrears in time. Document to be sent to CDAO Pune for Army Offices is also attached.

1. Those in service on 01 Jan 1986, will get benefit of full rank pay till the date of retirement (corresponding to their rank on various dates) and half of the rank pay from the date of retirement till 31 Dec 2006.

2. The officers who retired before 01 Jan 1986, will get half of the rank pay as addition to their earlier pension, starting from 01 Jan 1986, till 31 Dec 2006.

3. For the revised pay in both cases the additional DA will also be added.

4. Interest will be given only with effect from 01 Jan 1986. Rate of interest has not been defined in the Supreme Court order. It may be defined in the subsequent letter by the Government.

5. Whether the income tax due will be deducted at source or you will have to pay later is not known at present.

Thank you Pay Cells of The Three Service Headquarters.

Of course the MoD deserves NO THANKS.

GOD will suitably look after all the Babus who are responsible for this gross cheating with the Defense Officers in the case of Rank Pay.

 

Format for Army Offrs to Submit to CDA

Final Govt orders on Rank Pay of 4 th CPC

(Contributed by Commodore Bhim Uppal)


Occasions to wear full/ miniature medals

Posted on: November 26th, 2012 by ivoana

Members:
Here are occasions to wear medals, or miniature medals.

Wearing Full Medals:

01 Republic Day Parade.
02 Independence Day Function.
03 Serving Day.
04 Vijay Diwas.
05 Wreath Laying.
06 Reception at Rashtrapati Bhawan and Governor’s House.
07 Standard/Colour Presentation Parade/Functions.
08 Passing Out Parade.
09 Anniversary/Reunion Functions.
10 State of MilitaryFunerals.
11 When invited to any official function by any Embassy of High Commission.
12 At all Armed Forces functions including ex servicemen’s rallies or reunions.
13 When visiting any Military Headquarters on duty.

Wearing of Miniature Medals

1 While attending official and private functions such as Dinner, Cocktails, Lunches, Tea parties, Receptions etc.
2 Functions held in the Messes, Regimental Institutions in connections with Serving Day, Unit Anniversary andReunion.
3 When invited to any official function by any Embassy or High Commission.
4 Functions pertaining to Services including Ex-servicemen’s Rallies or Reunions.

 

(Contributed by Commodore Bhim Uppal, President IVOANA)


RANK PAY CASE OFFICERS

Posted on: November 26th, 2012 by ivoana

Dear Veterans,

The Government of India orders issued today is attached.

Those who retired before 01 Jan 1986, should read the letter carefully.

For grant of Rank Pay arrears the order does not make any distinction among officers who retired before or after 01 Jan 1986 – SO PLEASE RELAX.

Salary of all officers whether they retired before 01 Jan 1986 or after that date, will be revised upwards.

1. Those in service on 01 Jan 1986, will get benefit of full rank pay till the date of retirement (corresponding to their rank on various dates) and half of the rank pay from the date of retirement till 31 Dec 2006.

2. The officers who retired before 01 Jan 1986, will get half of the rank pay as addition to their earlier pension, starting from 01 Jan 1986, till 31 Dec 2006.

3. For the revised pay in both cases the additional DA will also be added.

4. Interest will be given only with effect from 01 Jan 1986. Rate of interest has not been defined in the Supreme Court order. It may be defined in the subsequent letter by the Government.

5. Whether the income tax due will be deducted at source or you will have to pay later is not known at present.

For the well drafted GoI letter we need to once again thank Lt Col BK Sharma President RDOA and his Team Members of Retired Defence Officers Association.

Of course the credit also goes to the Three Service Headquarters who took Colonel Sharma in confidence while drafting this letter.

Thank you Col Sharma and all members of the Executive Committee of the RDOA.

Thank you Pay Cells of The Three Service Headquarters.

Of course the MoD deserves NO THANKS.

GOD will suitably look after all the Babus who are responsible for this gross cheating with the Defence Officers in the case of Rank Pay.

(Contributed by Commodore Bhim Uppal)


Why Does India Tend to Collapse So Often?

Posted on: July 2nd, 2012 by ivoana

Why Does India Tend to Collapse So Often?


Editor’s Note: We feel a sense of deep sadness in writing this article. It is likely to anger almost everyone of Indian origin regardless of where they live or what they do. We sincerely hope that, after their initial burst of anger, they take the time to think about our points and analyze themselves. We also hope they begin learning about the time when India was a winner, a society that believed in conquests, in eradicating evil by terminating it.  At the very least, we hope that some of the readers think about their decisions before they “give up”. 

Some time ago we spoke to an Indian-American professor, an economist with a sterling record of success, an adviser to global organizations and a professor at a prestigious American University . He had appeared on a major Financial TV network and in that interview, the European-American anchor mangled his simple name. This professor did not correct the anchor’s pronunciation, he simply went on with the interview. We asked him why he chose to accept the indignity silently. He said softly, “I have given up“. He is not unique. This is probably true of every single Indian guest who appears on American TV. 

 
Then there was our conversation with a Professor who runs India Studies at another prestigious American University , a man with a distinguished academic record. Another unit in the same University had made awful comments about Indian Religion & Culture. We asked this Professor, this Head of India Center at the same University, why he didn’t write a rebuttal or make s strong protest within that University. In a tired, disgusted voice he told us “I have given up“. 

In January 2012, the Indian cricket team simply collapsed against the Australian cricket team in every single match of that series. Brad Haddin, an Australian player, said of the Indian players:
  •  “they break quicker than any one in the world”…..”…this side can be as fragile as any in the world if things aren’t going their way…”.
  •  
Any one who has watched Indian teams play cricket over the past few decades knows this to be true. Unfortunately, this is true of Indians in just about every sphere. They celebrate wildly when things are going their way and then totally fall apart when the momentum changes. 

This is exactly what happened to the Indian Rupee last November and to the Indian economy this May. Indians were celebrating their status as a shining star in the Emerging markets space. The Indian Rupee was strong at around Rs. 44 to the U.S. Dollar. Then in one single month, the Indian Rupee simply collapsed. It fell vertically from Rs. 44 to the Dollar to 54.  

The story was repeated this May. This time, the collapse wasn’t vertical. It was an unrelenting, steady fall that happened every day. The Indian media, the Indian Government and all of India were bewildered and helpless just like the Indian Cricket team was in Australia in January.

This seems to be the story of India and Indians – no tenacity, no backbone, no gritty determination to make a stand. Instead, as Brad Haddin said, in almost every sphere India and Indians seem to break when things turn against them. They simply give up, just like the professors above.

Why do Indians give up so easily, so soon without a fight? Why has this tendency worsened after India ‘s Independence ? Below we lay out our views.

The last 1,000 years of India

The reality is India has been a defeated, occupied society for the past 1,000 years. From about 1,000 CE to 1761 CE, invaders from Afghanistan . Tajikistan & Uzbekistan invaded India with regularity. The invaders always managed to surprise the Indian kingdoms who were never prepared for the invasions. The invaders always had better technology, better weapons and they always won over larger Indian armies. 

India was probably the richest country in the world at that time. So first the raids were simply intended to plunder and take the loot back. Then the invaders began staying back and occupying Indian territory . In a series of dynasties, the invaders from the northwest ruled Delhi . In 1300, Allah-ud-Din Khilji, the Turko-Afghan ruler, invaded and plundered south India . The subjugation of India was completed by Akbar, the 3rd Moghul in late 1500s.  

It is not that Indians were not brave. There are tales of extraordinary bravery by Indian men and women over the past 10 centuries. It is just that, baring a couple of exceptions, barring a 150-year interlude, Indians were never winners. They almost always lost, despite bravery, despite greater numbers, despite fighting on their own terrain.

By late 1500, it had become clear to India ‘s local kingdoms that fighting and resisting the invaders meant destruction while a surrender allowed survival. Akbar achieved this psychological supremacy by brilliantly adding carrots to the heavy stick. The local kings who surrendered and cooperated were treated with semi-respect and allowed to keep their kingdoms. Virtually, all kings in the northwest and the north surrendered. Akbar gave glorious titles to the kings who accepted his sovereign rule, titles that these Indian kings wore with pride. These kings began giving their daughters to the Delhi rulers in marriage, a traditional gift from a defeated king. 

The one valiant exception in north India was Chittod. When it finally fell to Akbar, Akbar reportedly ordered a general carnage. That battle was the end of Chittod and today, it lies in ruins. This destruction taught North Indian Kings that that those who surrender become rich & elite, while those who fight are ruined. The descendents of these Kings remain rich to this day. 

The British did exactly what Akbar had done. They had it easier. For 700 years before them, north India had become accustomed to surrender and acceptance of the dominant military. The British persuaded weaker Kings to outsource their military to the British. With their superior technology, the British used the Indian armies to defeat the rivals of their allied kings. Slowly the British took over the weaker kingdoms one by one. The Akbar story was repeated. The kings who surrendered to the British remain rich to this day. Their descendants own opulent palaces and some of them are ministers in today’s Indian cabinet. The British followed Akbar’s tactic of showering titles on important Indians who expressed loyalty to them. To this day, even after 60 years of independence, Indians proudly display their British-given titles. 

But those who fought the British for their country, their palaces, their forts, their homes, their businesses were destroyed by the British and no trace can be found of their descendants.

  
 
(palace in Jaipur – surrendered to Akbar)                     (palace in Jaipur – surrendered to Akbar)

     
      (palace in Jodhpur – surrendered to Akbar)                (Fort in Jaipur – surrendered to Akbar)

   
      (palace in Gwalior – surrendered to British)             (palace in Jaipur – surrendered to Akbar)

    
       (ruins of Chittod - Fought Khilji to Akbar)            (Shaniwar Vada - Palace of Maratha PM)
                                                                   (Fought the British till the end)
                                                              (palace burned to the ground in 1828)


When you look at the pictures above, you understand why Indians prefer to surrender than to fight and why they simply give up when the going gets tough. It has been bred into them for the past 1,000 years.

This posture, imbibed over centuries of foreign subjugation, was vividly described by Greg Chappell, ex-captain of Australian cricket team & ex-coach of Indian cricket team:
  • “The culture of India is such that, if you put your head above the parapet someone will shoot it. Knock your head off. So they learn to keep their head down and not take responsibility…”
  • “The Poms (British) taught them really well to keep their head down. For if someone was deemed to be responsible, they’d get punished. So the Indians have learned to avoid responsibility. So before taking responsibility for any decisions, they prefer not to…”
  •  
The above might explain why Indian TV guests refuse to protest when their names are mangled by European-American anchors. They are afraid that such defiance might lead to their banishment from  American TV networks. So better to suffer the indignity than give up the honor of being seen on National TV.  

Violence Directed Inwards

India always was and remains a violent society. When Indian Kings surrendered to foreign invaders, they didn’t give up their competitive spirit, they simply redirected it inwards towards other Indians Kings. The Mughal rulers of Delhi encouraged this attitude and practice by constantly playing off one Indian King against the other. These warring Kings would take their quarrel to Delhi and Mughal ruler would decide the winner. 

This attitude and tendency was the principal medium for the British conquest. They used the warring Kings to their advantage, selected the winner and then in a few years, took over both the kingdoms. The British were much smaller in number than the Afghan invaders. So they maximized the various internal fissures within India and constantly manufactured fights that they then would adjudicate. 

This attitude continues to this day. In 1948, Nehru was persuaded by Louis Mountbatten to not take back Pakistani-occupied Kashmir by force but instead to take the dispute to the UN. To this day, Indian Prime Ministers publicly beg the World to do something about Pakistan , even though India is much bigger and militarily much stronger than Pakistan . The old Indian desire to invade and capture territory was totally vanquished first by Akbar and then by the British. 

You can see this attitude of servility towards winner foreigners and arrogance towards fellow Indians in just about every sphere. Just observe, for example, how Indians behave differently on Air India flights and United-Continental flights to New York . You saw this attitude during and after the disastrous cricket series against Australia in January 2012. Instead of summoning their collective resolve and battling against the Australian team, the stars of the Indian team simply gave up against Australians and then began fighting with each other to become the next captain.  

The Post-Independence Deterioration

The revolt against the British was led not by the north or northwest but by other states like Maharashtra, Gujarat and Bengal . The early fight for Independence was launched by Lokmanya Tilak in Pune, the capital of the Maratha Empire, the last Indian regime. There were many others who fought along side Tilak in Maharashtra . After Tilak, the leadership of the Independence movement went to Mahatma Gandhi from Gujarat . The state of Bengal on the northeastern coast was also the seat of freedom struggle. Subhash Chandra Bose was the most prominent leader from Bengal . He escaped from the British, went to Germany, then to Japan to raise a Free India Army from the Indian soldiers captured by the Japanese. He & his Free India army did more to make the British leave than just about anyone else. 

India became a one-person, one-vote electocracy after independence in 1947. In such a system, the states with the largest populations win. And so in Independent India the winners are the northern states, the same states that never won a victory against any invader, the same states that were the first to surrender to foreigners, the same states that have lived supinely under foreign occupation for 1,000 years. 

Slowly and surely, their influence has grown in India . Their language is gaining in use nationwide. They are being catered to by India ‘s media, by Bollywood as well as Television soaps. And states like Maharashtra, Gujarat and Bengal . the stalwarts in the fight against the British, are slowly succumbing to the influence of north-Indian customs and culture. 

As a result, instead of becoming mentally stronger, instead of inculcating tenacity, instead of building an aggressive fighting spirit, India is becoming more prone to giving up and breaking down. 

An exercise for readers

If you are of Indian origin, close your eyes and think of a conqueror, a victor from your province, someone who fought an invader and won, . Think of an inspirational, stirring victory of  your community, one that can inspire in you the tenacity, the sheer indomitable will to fight hard when your back is against the wall. If you can, you are one of the very few and fortunate Indians.

If you are not of Indian origin, ask an Indian friend, an Indian acquaintance to tell you about an Indian conquest, an Indian victory, one that touches them, one that lights up their soul. 

This simple exercise will tell you why fighting when their backs are to the wall, resisting indignities, standing up for their rights, is almost foreign to today’s Indians. You will see why, just like our professors above,  Indians tend to just give up despite their success, wealth or achievements. That is why today’s India tends to collapse so often and in so many areas.

Real India & Real Indian Culture 

What we discussed above is the culture of loser India , the India subjugated by the Muslims & British. That is not real India or Indian culture. The word ” India ” is derived from the culture developed on the banks of the Sindhu (or Indus ) river at the beginning of known time. India became and remained one of the most powerful and richest countries in the world. This was over a period of about 3,000 years from about 2,000 BCE to about 1,000 CE. This era is broadly divided into 3 main periods – the Vedic Age, the Imperial Unity Age that encompasses the first example below and the Classic Age, the Golden Age of India, that encompasses the second example below. 

India peaked as a strong, cohesive and aggressive society between 700-800 CE. India was probably the richest country in the world both because of its global trade and because of its internal vibrancy. Rome , at its glory, had an annual trade deficit of about 50 million sesteces with India . China ‘s Dynasties sent emissaries and scholars to Indian courts and Indian Universities. This India was backed by a massive military machine and India ‘s strength in metallurgy ensured an edge in weapons over invaders. 

This was the Indian society that marched into the territories of potential invaders and killed them in their own countries rather than wait for them to attack. Invaders considered great by outsiders were made to flee, routed and sometimes massacred. Allow us to mention just two invaders who are well known to European culture. 

Robert Kaplan mentions Alexander’s “disastrous retreat from India in 325 BCE” in his book “Monsoon”. Alexander had such a hard time defeating a mere satellite king of today’s Peshawar that his troops rebelled at the thought of facing the real Indian armies. His successor, the famous Selecus I 
(mural of whose reign adorns the lobby of Harvard Business School ) was routed by Chandra-Gupt Maurya and gave his daughter in marriage to Chandra-Gupt. 

Let us jump to the menace of Huns who ravaged Europe and brought the Roman empire to its knees. Their armies caused havoc and spread terror wherever they went. After destroying Persia , they turned to attack India around 450 CE. That was not today’s India . Crown Prince Skand-Gupt took an army from the capital in northeastern India to today’s Af-Pak area to engage the Huns. The battle was decisive and the Huns were massacred. Indian rule over Af-Pak was reestablished.

Between 700-900 CE, India became softer and turned its focus inward. The thirst of conquest metamorphosed into the thirst for eternal salvation of the soul. The glory of renunciation became the preferred trait. Invasions and conquests were considered passe and immoral. India slowly turned into a soft, nonbelligerent, rich society that was ripe for plucking. And by 1000 CE, the raids began. 

If modern India wants to get back to even a semblance of the ‘winner’ India , it basically has to go back to its roots. It has to reject what happened during the Muslim, Portuguese and British invasions. It may even have to embrace its attacking spirit once again. 

If you look closely, that is what Secretary Hillary Clinton seems to be urging. She spoke in Chennai, the seat of old Indian forays into South East Asia , and urged greater Indian involvement in ASEAN. She visited Kolkatta and urged both Indian Bengal & Bangladesh to build a highway from India across Bangladesh into Myanmar and then to Thailand . This would expand India ‘s scope into South East Asia . But today’s ‘educated’ Indians remain oblivious to Secretary Clinton’s message. 

Getting back to the old ‘winner’ India is not an impossible task. India is not old Babylon , old Egypt , old Greece . India is unique in that the old history, the old winning tradition is alive in the hearts of most core Indians. We are beginning to see Indians hark back to their real roots in small steps all over India . The only people who stand in the way are the two sets of ‘educated’ Indians and the Indian Government they influence. But more on that in another article.

Road map for Afghanistan; Pakistan left with limited options

Posted on: June 7th, 2012 by ivoana

by G Parthasarathy

MEETING officials and academics in Washington just prior to the Chicago Summit gave me an interesting insight into the mood in Washington, even as the “end game” in Afghanistan gets under way. Amidst much fanfare, President Obama administered two direct snubs to the Head of State of “major non-NATO ally,” Pakistan. After making it clear that he had no intention of meeting President Zardari unless the supply routes to Afghanistan from Pakistan were reopened, President Obama chose to conclude the Chicago Summit by paying handsome tribute to Russia and Central Asian countries, which had facilitated the transit of American supplies to Afghanistan, while pointedly excluding any mention of Pakistan.

Even American journalists and academics, who have for years been apologists for Pakistan’s military, now fret and fume at the very mention of its name. It is a pity that it was the affable President Zardari, and not the crusty and jihadi-oriented General Kayani, who was to be the Pakistani recipient of this American dressing down.

Nothing surprising emerged from the Chicago Summit, with NATO members falling in line for an extended commitment of assistance to Afghanistan, well beyond the day they would end combat operations. NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen averred: “We will stay committed and see it to a successful end”.

Standing beside President Obama, President Karzai made it clear that Afghanistan intends to do its best to ensure that it “is no longer a burden on the shoulders of our friends in the international community”.

There is little doubt that if allowed to determine their own destiny, free from Pakistani malevolence, Afghanistan, which has huge natural resources of coal, copper, iron ore, cobalt, gold and lithium, estimated to be worth $1 trillion, can become an economically vibrant country. It could serve as a conduit for Central Asia’s natural gas to India. And, it has substantial potential for the export of agricultural products. But, will the Generals in Rawalpindi, blinded by their quest for “strategic depth” and “jihad” against India, even as their own country is consumed by extremist violence, have the good sense to allow this to happen?

The road map for future American policies was set out in the Strategic Partnership Agreement that President Obama signed with his Afghan counterpart of May 2, the first anniversary of the day the American Special Force targeted Osama bin Laden in Abbotabad and exposed to the world (but evidently not to our “romanticists” in Pakistan), the duplicity that characterises the policies of General Kayani and his cohorts. This agreement is valid till 2024.The Strategic Partnership Agreement confirms that American combat operations in Afghanistan will end in December 2014.

The US has, however, pledged to provide military assistance to Afghanistan “so that Afghanistan can independently secure and defend itself against internal and external threats, and help ensure that terrorists never again encroach on Afghan soil and threaten Afghanistan, the region and the world”. The assurance is, therefore, that Afghanistan will be assisted to deal not only with threats to its security, but also to eliminate terrorists who operate across international borders.

While the lead role for counter-insurgency operations will be handed over to the Afghans next May, after substantial reduction in force levels, the US and Afghanistan will have to negotiate a Bilateral Status of Forces Security Agreement in the next year to provide the framework for a continued presence of US forces in a counter terrorism role beyond December 2004.

Clearly recognising Russian and Iranian anxieties, the agreement stipulates that Afghan soil will not be used against any third country and includes an American assurance that it does not seek permanent facilities in Afghanistan.

Alluding to efforts for dialogue with the Taliban, the Afghan Government has pledged that any agreement reached with the Taliban “shall uphold the values of the Afghan Constitution”. While these affirmations may appear reassuring to some, one has to carefully see how the situation plays out in Afghanistan.

While American officials proclaim that the US will not leave Afghanistan till their task is completed, there is a body of Americans who feel that what happened following American military interventions in Vietnam, Lebanon and Somali could well be repeated. There is, however, realisation that an ignominious withdrawal from Afghanistan will only embolden radical Islamists to target American interests across the world.

While the Americans and their NATO partners have been able to hold firm in rejecting Pakistani conditions and extortionist demands for reopening of supply lines to Afghanistan, it is evident that the process of American and NATO engagement with Pakistan will continue.

In the meantime, Pakistan’s economic woes are mounting as its internal debt reaches 65% of GDP and its external debt exceeds $60 billion. Pakistan has already defaulted on payments to foreign power producers. While General Kayani and his colleagues know that their grandiose plans for military modernisation will suffer grievously as the US Congress places tight conditions for further American assistance, the civilian government will have to face the public backlash, should it choose to reopen supply routes for the Americans. But it does appear a face-saving way will be found in course of time for reopening NATO supply routes in Pakistan, whose air space remains open for such supplies.

The focus of attention in the coming years is thus going to be on whether the Afghan forces will be able to hold major towns in Southern Afghanistan like Kandahar and Jalalabad in the face of Taliban attacks. It appears unlikely that the Afghan National Army (ANA) will be able to hold rural and mountainous areas near the Durand Line, particularly in South-Eastern Afghanistan. This will necessitate a continuing “counter-terrorism” role for the Americans.

There are, however, doubts if the war-weary American public will relish this. So an important question which remains is whether the Americans will fulfill their commitment to ensure that “terrorists never again encroach on Afghan soil and threaten Afghanistan, the region and the world”.

Pakistan has two alternatives to choose from. The first will be to join the international community and regional powers in building a stable and self-reliant Afghanistan through regional trade, oil and gas pipelines and development of Afghanistan’s vast resources of gold, copper, lithium, coal and iron ore. India and China are already in the process of investment in resources like iron ore, coal and copper and in oil exploration and steel. Alternatively, General Kayani can continue on the present path of jihad and “strategic depth,” unleashing more destruction and misery on the hapless people of Afghanistan and Pakistan.


THE MAN ON HORSEBACK – by Lt Gen SK Sinha

Posted on: June 3rd, 2012 by ivoana

During the controversy over the Joint Parliamentary Committee in Parliament, Union finance minister Pranab Mukherjee stated on February 21, 2011, “Parliament cannot be mortgaged to the conceding of a demand”, warning that if “hatred for the parliamentary institution was generated, it will lead to the rise of extra-constitutional authority as in the neighbouring country in 1958 when martial law was declared”. It is indeed surprising that 63 years after Independence, and in spite of the Indian Army’s proven apolitical record, a senior and experienced political leader should fear a military coup. No responsible leader in the West would express such a fear, even though the UK had a Cromwell and France a Napoleon.

Supremacy of the civil over the military is an imperative for a functioning democracy. Even in colonial India, the Viceroy, representing civil authority, was supreme. The Curzon-Kitchener dispute did not question this. It was related to organisational matters and functioning procedures. Till Independence, the Commander-in-Chief in India also held political authority in his additional capacity as War Member and senior member of the Viceroy’s Executive Council. Thus, in a way, he was both the Defence Minister and the deputy Prime Minister. The Defence Secretary was his subordinate. Till 1920 this appointment was held by a major general, but thereafter a civil servant started holding this office. Before Independence, the role of the Defence Secretary was limited to issuing government letters, as worked out by military officers with military finance, answering questions in the Central Legislative Assembly, interacting with other ministries and provincial governments, and looking after Defence lands. He hardly had any say in decisions pertaining to military matters. After Independence, a radical change took place. The Defence Minister now controlled the Defence Services and the Defence Secretary, as his staff officer, became a key functionary. The civil service lobby tried to get a higher protocol status for the Defence Secretary than the Service Chiefs on the analogy of other ministries in which departmental heads are subordinated to their concerned secretary. Mountbatten, the last Viceroy of India, torpedoed this and the Service Chiefs retained their higher status vis-à-vis the Defence Secretary. This continues to be so but the latter has acquired a higher functional status. Service Chiefs have to put up papers to the Defence Minister through the Defence Secretary. In 1962, when the appointment of Cabinet Secretary was introduced, a higher protocol status was accorded to him than the Service Chiefs. As secretary-general in the 1940, Sir Girja Shankar Bajpai did not have this high status. When General Manekshaw was promoted Field Marshal, a unique ceremonial rank, his protocol status was kept lower than the Cabinet Secretary. No wonder the funeral of the military leader, under whom we achieved the greatest victory of Indian arms of the last millennium, was a tame affair. The Government of India was represented by a minister of state at his funeral. The funeral of the Duke of Wellington was not only attended by the head of state and head of government of his country, but of several European countries. The colonial pattern of administration, in which the generalist civil servant exercises authority over the specialist professional, obtains in ministries of Government of India like health, home, transport, agriculture and so on. This pattern was now introduced in the Defence Ministry. The Railway Ministry has been an exception. The Railway Board, comprising specialists, interacts directly with the minister. This is like the service councils in Defence ministries of democracies in the West. In our higher Defence Organisation, the civilian bureaucrat has a complete stranglehold. The supremacy of the civil has come to mean the supremacy of the civil servant.

As per our Constitution, the Supreme Commander of the Defence Forces is the President, like the US President is the Commander-in-Chief of American Defence Forces. In 1955, our Commanders-in-Chief were designated Chiefs of Staff. This has been a misnomer as they continue to function as before. They are separate entities from the ministry. They cannot take any governmental decisions nor do they have direct functional access to the minister. The committee system introduced after Independence at the instance of Lord Ismay, the great expert on higher Defence organisation, provided for participation of Defence officers in decision-making. This has been gradually scuttled. The Defence Services have been increasingly isolated from the process of decision-making in military matters. In 1962, Jawaharlal Nehru, on his way to Sri Lanka, told the press that he had ordered the Army to throw out the Chinese from the Himalayas. The Army Chief was reduced to asking a joint secretary in the Defence Ministry to give him that order in writing. The latter promptly obliged. The rest is history. This incident shows that the Army Chief had not been consulted before that grave decision was taken. After the 1962 war, I was sent on battlefield tour from the Staff College to formulate our training doctrine on mountain warfare. I came to the conclusion that our debacle in the Himalayas was largely due to our faulty higher Defence Organisation.

The reports of several parliamentary committees urging organisational reforms were ignored. On March 25, 1955, addressing Parliament about designating the Service Chiefs as Chiefs of Staff, Nehru stated that Service Headquarters will be integrated with the ministry of defence and gradually the council system will be introduced.The civil bureaucracy has been much too entrenched in seats of power to allow this to happen. After the Kargil war, the Kargil Review Committee set up a working group on Defence under former union Minister of state for Defence Arun Singh. He requested me for a draft on our higher Defence Organisation. I was then governor of Assam. I made out a draft recommending introduction of the appointment of Chief of Defence Staff and integration of Services Headquarters with the Defence Ministry. My draft and recommendations were incorporated by him in his report. The Group of Ministers approved these recommendations but the entrenched bureaucracy derailed them. A headless Integrated Defence Staff without a Chief of Defence Staff was set up, defeating its very purpose. A meaningless cosmetic integration of Services Headquarters with the MoD has been carried out. The civilian bureaucracy has been playing on the fears of the political leadership of the man on horseback, and with the latter’s lack of knowledge and interest in matters military, has managed to have its way. Our national interests and Defence functioning continue to suffer. The Defence Services receive step-motherly treatment. India is the only country in the world without a Chief of Defence Staff or equivalent and with a MoD working on a “we and they” syndrome, rather than an “us” outlook. This gravely undermines our Defence preparedness and our ability to face the current very serious national security challenges.

Veteran Lt Gen SK Sinha, was Vice-Chief of Army Staff and has served as Governor of Assam and Jammu & Kashmir


Ethics, Ethos and the New Chief

Posted on: June 1st, 2012 by ivoana

By Lt. Gen. S.K. Sinha

Lt. Gen. Bikram Singh takes over as the new Chief of the Indian Army on May 31, 2012, succeeding Gen. V.K. Singh. Both these officers were commissioned almost three decades after me in the Army.
I first met them when I was the governor of Jammu and Kashmir and found them doing well as divisional commanders in counter-insurgency operations. I was particularly impressed by Bikram Singh, who was commanding the same division which I had commanded 30 years earlier.


The last one year has been a dark patch in the history of the Indian Army. Gen. V.K. Singh’s tenure as Chief started with a blaze of a self-created controversy compounded by the shenanigans of a few others.


He has now said that the year of birth controversy was avoidable. His last week in office is ending with another controversy that smacks of personal vendetta. He has projected himself as a knight in shining armour, as a lone crusader against corruption casting aspersions all round.


Never before has any Chief in this country or any democracy in the world, filed a statutory complaint or gone to court. This lowered the dignity of that high office. Matters were compounded by the caste factor being brought in.


Members of Parliament of his caste sought the Prime Minister’s intervention in his favour and his brother-in-law organised a public rally in his support in Delhi. Instead of distancing himself from all this, he as a serving Chief went to unveil the statue of a former Prime Minister belonging to his caste.


All this sent a wrong message. Caste or communal considerations may play a role in politics but they have no place in the Army, where our officers and men have always maintained a totally national outlook. In the wake of the adverse verdict of the Supreme Court in March, it’s been a long, murky night of generals which has continued to his last days in office. The ethos and ethics of the Army have taken a tremendous beating, as well as the image of the Army.


Anyway let us now bury the past and let the Army bid farewell to Gen. V.K. Singh, wishing him happiness and prosperity in his post-Army life.


The new Chief faces a whole lot of challenges. He must restore the dignity of the high office of the Chief, and equally important, must revive the ethics and ethos of the Army. In a democracy, a Chief must unquestioningly accept the supremacy of the civil and must be totally loyal to the latter.


Civil stands for the political executive and not for civil servants. Subordination of the military to the civil should not mean subservience or servility. There may be occasions when a Chief may have serious differences with the government on policy matters of national importance. In that event, he must resign and not promote public controversy while still in service.


Napoleon’s advice about military operations is relevant: “Every General-in-Chief when given orders that he feels are wrong must represent and get them changed. If this is not done, then he must resign.”


Two past instances reflect the ethics and ethos of the Army. Gen. Thimayya had differences with
Krishna Menon, the defence minister. He tendered his resignation. Jawaharlal Nehru sent for him and urged him to withdraw his resignation in national interest, assuring him of resolving matters. Thimayya withdrew his resignation. He never went public on why he had resigned and, of course, did not go to court to seek justice. The other example pertains to my generation of officers in 1947.


New pay scales were introduced after Independence for both civil and military officers. Pre-Independence civil officers were allowed to retain their old, higher scales and the new scales applied to their post-Independence colleagues. In the case of Army officers, those serving from before Independence were also brought on the new scales.


This meant an overnight reduction of about 30 per cent in our salary. No one went to court seeking justice. We accepted the unfair decision with a stiff upper lip. The steep reduction in our salary coincided with operations in Kashmir. The unjustly treated officers fought loyally; some even making the supreme sacrifice.


A malicious rumour is doing the rounds that the new Chief is being brought in so that he can tow the government line on withdrawing troops from Siachen. I dismiss this out of hand. I am confident that Lt. Gen. Bikram Singh or any Army Chief will always tender his honest professional advice; not doing so will be betraying the nation. The government may take any decision it likes.


Ensuring high degree of war preparedness through expeditious acquisition of modern weapons, new raisings and improving defence infrastructure on a war footing, is an overriding requirement.
Simultaneously, there should be no compromise in combating corruption. Prompt and exemplary action must be taken to root out this menace.


To achieve these goals, the Army Chief should regularly be interacting directly with the Prime Minister and the defence minister. The political executives must ensure that the civil servants do not act as a barrier between them and the Army Chief. Service Chiefs must function as Chiefs of Staff and not as heads of department attached to the ministry.


Pending restructuring of higher defense organisation, committee system of joint functioning as recommended by Lord Ismay in 1947, should be revived.


Relying solely on file-based decision making must be given up. We have the most irrational higher defence organisation in the world with stifling bureaucratic stranglehold.


The recent controversies have shown how deep-rooted distrust and antagonism is between Army officers and civil servants in the ministry of defence. They need to work as a team pursuing a common goal.


The sooner our higher defence mechanism starts working on the same lines as in the UK and other democracies the better. Appointment of Chief of Defence Staff and meaningful integration of services headquarters with the ministry of defence, are immediate imperatives. Recommendations of the Kargil Review Committee were cleverly derailed by the bureaucrats.


There is little hope that the ongoing Naresh Chandra Committee, headed by a former defence secretary, from which former Army Chief has been kept out while including former Navy and Air Chiefs, does not inspire confidence.


The new Army Chief should give top priority to rectifying the grave infirmities in defence functioning, enlisting the support of the Prime Minister and the defence minister.


Gen. Bikram Singh has to lead and inspire our one million-plus Army by his personal example. Heavy responsibility rests on his shoulders. From what I have known of him, I am sanguine that he will be successful in carrying his daunting responsibilities.


The author, a retired lieutenant-general, was Vice-Chief of Army Staff and has served as governor of Assam and Jammu and Kashmir



Revitalising the Repressed Defense Industry

Posted on: June 1st, 2012 by ivoana

Inefficiency and corruption in government-run agencies and strong lobbying by foreign vendors have shackled the defence industry. Clear policy directions with embedded accountability, swift action against the corrupt and encouragement to the industry is required

Maj Gen J.S. Kataria (Retd)
A CONFIDENTIAL letter written by Chief of the Army Staff Gen VK Singh on March 12 to the Prime Minister, highlighting the glaring weaknesses in India’s defence preparedness on account of obsolescence of 97 per cent of air defence equipment and a void in critical tank ammunition, came into the public domain, sixteen days later. The very next day the General clarified that the Indian Army was ready to take on any contingency, since the defence preparedness is a large field that comprises of training and morale besides the equipment and allied resources. Is that enough?

 

The 1962 Indo-China war was fought by our troops with .303 bolt action rifles, the 1965 Indo-Pak war was fought with weapon systems of the Second World War vintage. The situation was only a shade better during the 1971 Indo-Pak War and even during the 1999 Kargil confict. Today, the Indian Armed Forces are rated amongst the best in the world, making us to believe that “its the man behind the machine that matters”. True, but it would be naive to believe that troops armed with high morale would continue to deliver with obsolete or inferior weapons when pitched against superior technology. This is so, when India became the largest defence importer during 2007-2011, overtaking China, as affirmed in a report published by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute in 2011.
The Indian defence outlay in 2011 was 46.8 billion dollars – 30 per cent of China’s outlay of 143 billion dollars. The defence minister told Parliament on May 8, 2012 that India spent 2.35 per cent of the GDP on defence in 2011, lower than the world average of 2.6 per cent. Clearly, India is lagging in indigenisation. The malaise impeding indigenisation of weapon systems is deeper than that meets the eye.
At Independence, there were 16 ordnance factories, largely meant for repair and overhaul. Till the DRDO came up in 1958, defence remained a forgotten subject. The policy makers failed to realise that defence is a highly specialised sector, requiring long gestation periods and high levels of commitment. It was after the 1962 debacle that India created the Department of Defence Production and Supplies (DDPS) and started building up the DRDO, ordnance factories and defence public sector undertakings (DPSUs). But, even thereafter, the nation’s weapon systems largely came from the erstwhile USSR.

 

India felt the urgency of indigenisation after the disintegration of the USSR in 1989. Today, there is DRDO with 50 laboratories, 39 ordnance factories and 8 DPSUs. The tight bureaucratic control, lack of any accountability in perspective planning, absence of time schedule for development/ production, poor transparency in financial dealings, labour unions, red tapism and blame game amongst the multiple agencies have kept these organisations at the lowest ebb of their performance. Except for the development of Agni, Prithvi and a couple of other systems, most of the projects like MBT Arjun, INSAS family of weapons, tactical missiles and many more are a testimony to time slippages and second grade quality. The life cycle of a weapon system, generally deemed as 30 years, makes it imperative that the replacement system is put into trials when the equipment has reached half of its life i.e. 15 years. By the time it reaches obsolescence, the new equipment should start reaching the user units. We cannot wait for the Chief’s letter to come into the public domain to realise that we are burdened with equipment that is reaching obsolescence, if not already obsolete, or wait for the war drums to roll and run into procurement frenzy as was the case during the Kargil conflict.

 

Acquisition of Bofors artillery guns has been an important landmark in the history of Indian defence acquisitions. A gun that was best in the world got embroiled in irregularities and kickbacks. It is after 25 years that the nation is getting ready to exorcise the ghost of Bofors by signing a government-to-government deal to procure 145 M-777 ultra light howitzers from the US. Even in the aftermath of the Kargil conflict, there were echoes of graft in acquisitions to support the war. Now we have the TATRA truck’s bribe case doing the rounds. It is emerging that Bharat Earth Movers Limited, a defence PSU, overcharged the Army not for trucks alone but also for the WZT-3 Armoured Recovery Vehicle and its spares procured from Poland. It is a case of the guardian becoming the swindler! There could be many more skeletons in the cupboard.

 

Cases of bribery and lack of transparency have had a direct impact on the nation’s defence preparedness and security. There is a crying need to book the corrupt expeditiously. A holistic review of the situation indicates that apparently the PSUs and ordnance factories have become corruption centers through which the middle men operate. They are known to hire senior retired officers as consultants to keep some of the projects alive or push second grade systems into service. The episode involving the purported bribe to the Army Chief involving a retired lieutenant general seems to have generated the proposal to debar service officers from taking assignments for five years after retirement. It should be applicable to all government officials across the board and not to defence officers alone. There cannot be double standards!

 

In 2001, Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) allowed participation of the private sector in defence production. Since then, 155 letters of intent have been issued but only a few companies have entered the fray. The new DPP of 2011 permits 100 per cent investment by Indian private sector and 26 per cent through foreign direct investment, subject to licensing permission. The latest provision of 30 per cent offset is designed to improve employment and upgrade technology in the country. Whether these initiatives pave the way for indigenisation, reduce the import bill and improve our economy, only time will tell. Besides, India is expected to spend approximately 125-150 billion dollars on defence procurement in the coming decade. The strong lobby of foreign vendors sees this as an opportunity and would endeavour to slow down indigenisation by keeping the PSUs and ordnance factories in the acquisition mode under the garb of “Buy and Make Policy”. Can India break their shackles and become self reliant in defence? We have the scientific base and the will that we have displayed when denied the cryogenic technology. Given the governmental support, resources, clear policy directions with embedded accountability to DPSUs and ordnance factories, swift action against the corrupt and encouragement to the industry; yes we can!
The author has served with the Special Forces and commanded a division in a strike corps

(Contributed by Wg Cdr Madan)


Memorial Day for Indian Americans

Posted on: May 29th, 2012 by ivoana


On this day, all Indian Americans should remember and pay tribute to the Indians who went back from the US and other countries to fight for the freedom of their motherland. The centennial of the Gadar movement should be commemorated



Ithe United States, the last Monday of May is observed annually as Memorial Day – a day of national awareness and reverence, honouring those Americans who died while defending the American nation and its values. Memorial Day parades and memorial services are held to remember, reflect and honour those who have given their all in service to their country. It was first observed on May 30, 1868 and became an official federal holiday in 1971.


Many Indian Americans may not know the historical background of Memorial Day. However, like Americans, several Indians hold gatherings of family and friends for parties and barbecues. Most of the Indians in America may also not know their own day of reverence. Between 1913-15, as many as 6,000 overseas Indians went back to India to fight and free their motherland from British slavery. Some paid the ultimate price with their lives, hundereds were jailed, some for life. It is such a pity that there is no memorial day for them.


Indian emigrants started coming to the United States in the beginning of the 20th century. Most of them were unskilled workers and found work in lumber mills or as farm hands. The employers preferred Indian workers as they worked hard and accepted lower wages. White labourers, fearing displacement from their jobs, demanded exclusionary laws against the cheap Indian workers. The festering hostility and pent-up frustrations of American workers manifested in violence against the Indian immigrants at several places. Americans pressured their elected officials to pass exclusionary and other laws against the Asians. As a result, in 1917, Asian emigration to the United States was stopped.


At that time, higher education in the American universities was also a powerful magnet for young people. Several Indian students had joined various universities in the United States. However, upon graduation, they were not able to get jobs commensurate with their qualifications. They attributed American employers’ discriminatory practices to their being nationals of a subjugated country.

Har Dyal who had come from England and had been a faculty member at Stanford University for some time, was identified with nationalist activities in the United States. He inspired many students studying at the University of California at Berkeley and channelised their pro-Indian, anti-British sentiment for the independence of India. Dyal’s fervour for India’s freedom spread beyond the university campuses to Punjabi farmers and labourers who had already been victim of racial attacks, discrimination and repression from the host community.


In May, 1913, at a meeting of some patriotic and enlightened Indians in Astoria, Oregon, Hindustan Association of the Pacific Coast was formed, with a major objective to liberate India from British colonialism. Sohan Singh Bhakna, a lumber mill worker in Oregon, was elected president, Har Dayal, as general secretary and Kanshi Ram as treasurer. Har Dayal provided leadership for the newly formed association and was the central figure and the force behind the new organisation.


The headquarters of the association was established in San Francisco and named Yugantar (new age) Ashram. Later, a building was purchased with the funds raised from the community. The association began publishing a magazine, named Gadar after the 1857 Gadar Movement (mutiny) in India. Every issue of Gadar exposed the British imperialism and called upon the Indian people to unite and rise up against the British rule. It carried articles on the conditions of the people of India under British Rule and also on problems of racial attacks and discrimination against Indians in the USA and Canada. The publication Gadar, over a period of time, became well known among Indians and the Hindustan Association of the Pacific Coast itself became known as the Gadar party.


Gadar literature was sent to Indian revolutionaries in India, Europe, Canada and several other countries. The magazine, being the principal patriotic literature, reached many people; even if one copy reached a fellow revolutionary anywhere, multiple copies were made for circulation. The British government used various means to stop the circulation of Gadar and other such publications, particularly in India.


In August 1914, about a year after the formation of the Hindustan Association, World War I broke out in which Germany fought against England. The German government and the Gadarites had the British as common enemy. So, Germany offered the Gadarites financial aid to buy arms and ammunitions to expel the British from India, while the British Indian troops were busy fighting war at the front. The Gadarites started a vigorous campaign to exhort the overseas Indians to join the freedom movement and encouraged them to go to India to launch a revolution. They drew plans to infiltrate the Indian army and incite the soldiers to fight against the British Empire and free India from the shackles of British imperialism. With funding from the German government, several ships were chartered to carry arms and ammunition to India. About 6,000 overseas Indians hurried homeward to liberate their motherland.

Unfortunately, the traitors of the movement leaked out the secret plan to the British spies. The ships carrying arms and ammunition never reached India. Many Gadarites and revolutionaries were taken captive upon reaching India. Forty-six Gadarites were hanged to death, over two hundred were imprisoned, 69 for life. In the United States too, several Gadarites and their German supporters, were prosecuted in the San Francisco Hindu German Conspiracy Trial (1917-18). Twenty-nine “Hindus” and Germans were convicted for varying terms of imprisonment for violating the American Neutrality Laws.


The Gadarites had a flame of liberty lit in their hearts, and made sacrifices for the cause of freedom and liberty of their motherland. Although the movement did not achieve its stated objective, but it awakened the sleeping India and had a major impact on India’s struggle for freedom. The heroism, courage and sacrifices of the Gadarites inspired many freedom fighters who eventually saw India freed in 1947 from the British imperialism

.

The Indian American community, at least on Memorial Day, should remember the sacrifices of Gadarites and pay tribute to them. The 100th anniversary of Gadar Movement is falling next year. All Indian Americans should seriously consider commemorating the centennial and pay a well-deserved tribute to Gadarites and Gadar martyrs.

 

The writer : Inder Singh , is Chairman, Global Organisation of People of Indian Origin, New York, NY, USA.

(Contributed by Wg. Cdr Narinder Madan)

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