Tuesday, June 30, 2009

SCPC: OROP/ APIP is almost finalised

Dear Friends,

1. Thanx for sending cool showers to Tricity.

2. MOD Secy has submitted OROP/ PIP report to Govt on 29/6/09 & Govt may announce it any day for implementation.
3. Sources say that Report contains Recommendations very very near to OROP. This OROP is on the basis of an average of Min & Max pension of each serving pay band.
4. It is on the lines of recommendations given by IESL/ NFDC/ AF Assn & other ESM/ NGOs, ie on popular demand of ESM community.
5. More than 95% ESM looks to be much satisfied with this report. So this report will benefit 96% left over PBORs.
6. However, final & next course of action will depend on public reaction & response after seeing the final outcome of report. For more details, please contact Manmohan veer jee.
7. But certainly, we should go ahead with our pending 27 points/ problems, to make the ESM community comfortable in society.
With regards
Col SS Sohi(Retd)

Dear All,
Sending you the scales of revised pension given in link below, as recommended by the Committee Of Secretaries formed to remove anomalies in the pension structures of ex-serviceman. I understand the recommendations have been accepted by the Govt. The Notional pay recommended for each rank is more than 80% of the maximum scale of pay recommended by the 6th pay commission , indeed a very fair decision. Taking into account the 22 %DA , the present monthly pension of a Col & a Brig works out to be Rs 42761 & Rs 44259 respectively.
Ravi Mayor

Scales of Revised pension as recommended by CoS for Officers

Sadly the Recommended Revised Pension Tables of PBORs is not traceable

OROP IESL ..IESM...by Maj Gen Pk Renjen


Much has been expressed on the net by numerous officers on the preparation & presntation of the IESL paper, inadequacy of IESM paper, need for jointmanship (unity is a utopian idea, jointmanship should be immediate objective) between the ESM organisations - primarily IESL & IESM. Here is some info for you all.

True that IESM is not recognised by the GoI. Besides anything else, recognition demands a membership base of one lakh, spread across India. We were told by Secy ESW in our meeting with her a few days back that the GoI cannot consult all and sundry ESM orgs and has therefore invited only the recognised bodies for consultation. We have learnt that orgs like the AFA and the War Disabled Association, have been specifically exempted form the requirement of having one lakh members. IESL and these two were therefore invited.

Wishing that IESL should have insisted on IESM presence at the presentation/ discusion with the Cab Sec, for the sake of ESM solidarity is again a utopian wish under the present circumstances. IESL sub-committee tasked to prepare the paper was not ready to even discuss their thinking with us during the formulation stage, having been so instructed by the IESL. I had personally made a request to each member of the Committee. To be fair to AVM Mishra, he told me that we should send him our paper and that if necessary, he would ask for clarifications etc. I do wish that we had sat down across the table and discussed our views threadbare and then presented a paper acceptable to all.

In the event, however, IESL submitted a paper of their own. As already indicated by Maj Gen Satbir Singh in another mail, we learnt from extremely reliable sources that although a presentation had been sought by the Cab Sec, none was given by IESL on the pretext that their paper had conveyed all that they wished to. The IESL however, submitted the following four options to the Cab Sec;
1. Pensions to be based on 'top of the band'. However, if that cannot be given;
2. These may then be based on 'middle of the band'. If that was also not possible;
3. Convert our old pensions to the equivalent stage in the pay band. However, if that too was not possible;
4. Fix each rank's pension to the lowest level in the fixation tables for the rank, issued vide SAI/SNI/SAFI - 1 & 2 of 2008. (The source did not exactly remember this option but felt that it was as stated here).

To remove any misgivings about IESM 'non-paper', let me clarify that IESM too had prepared its paper. It, however, decided to only send the bare concept to the GoI rather than a full paper along with the tables. This was done by Lt Gen Kadyan in his letter to the RM, MoS (Defence), Cab Sec, Secy ESW amongst others (recently circulated by Maj Gen Satbir Singh via e mail to all). However, a presenatation was also prepared with complete details & tables, should we be called upon to discuss our proposal with the Cab Sec. We were never called!!

We are not aware how the IESM paper reached IESL but what they presented in the meeting of 15 jun to all attendees was the 'first draft' prepared by us, which underwent changes as the proposal finally took shape. Be it as it may, but the IESL proposal presented at this meeting did not meet the very stringent criteria that we had set for ourselves in evolving our paper. IESM has always stood for equity between all pensioners, irrespective of vintage, rather than seeking more for the sake of asking. In our judgement, therefore, we did not find that the IESL proposal was supported by logic and thus did not endorse it.

Please see the attachment for a very brief insight in to the making of the IESM proposal.

Best regards,

Maj Gen (Retd) PK Renjen, AVSM
Ph: 9810044542

Views of Gp Capt Vk Vidyadhar ..Australia


This is an invention of the babus. This is against natural justice. The govt. cannot lay down such an all-encompassing rule saying that for any organisation to be recognised they need to give such an undertaking (viz., they will never indulge in any form of agitation or protest against the govt.) Such a rule goes against the very foundation on which democratic institutions are based, viz., the “right to protest”

Does it mean that ALL organisations in India which are recognised by the govt. have given such an undertaking? Not likely.

This point needs more investigation and I feel is not likely to withstand close scrutiny. General Raj Kadyan may have said this, but I doubt if it entirely correct.

Someone else pointed out that the Naval Foundation has also not been recognised by the govt. Then how come THEY were called for discussion with the cabinet secretary?

If the cabinet secretary wanted to, he could have very easily invited the IESM to also come for the discussions. Nobody would hang him if he had. The babus don’t WANT to invite the IESM. Their attitude has been one of, “I am katti with you. So I won’t invite you for my party”.

The other point is, if the ESM community is keen on achieving unity (which in the long term is in our own interests) organisations like the IESL, AFA and NFDC (?) which are recognised by the govt. can always stand up to such a govt. directive and REFUSE to participate in any discussions with any committee, until and unless the IESM is also actively involved. But the problem is the people who head these organisations don’t take such a stand. “One Upmanship”, may the reason for this. Or what could be more likely is that the leaders of these of organisations are not really committed to achieving unity in the ESM community. They couldn’t care less about “unity”. Their “personal ego” and “self-importance” may be coming in the way.

IF the ESM community can put up a strong united front, if the leaders of these organisations put up a strong united front, we can move mountains. The problem is, these leaders are not willing to take such a firm stand. Infighting among themselves. That has been our problem all along. The 3 service chiefs fight with each other for their individual service gains (turf war). The babus have caught on to our weakness. That’s why they have not appointed a Chief of Defence Force. Divide and Rule policy.


Gp Capt VK Vidyadhar (Retd)
Tamworth, Australia

Views by Cdr R Pathak...On IESL

On Sun, 28 Jun 2009 17:41:05 +0530 wrote

Dear Sir

I hope atleast now people see the significance of the money given to
IESL.Please remember no one gives anyone anything for free.You will always
be the slave to the hand that feeds you.It is very clear from various mails
that IESL was not going to be with IESM and others and Brig Gulia had his
own agenda.
I think the mail about him inviting Inderjit Singh to a meeting speaks for
itself.The mail reproduced below for ready reading.

We now need to look at our options and to prepare a full fledged case.I am
not sure if IESM has a proper case made out beyond what Gen adiyan wrote to
the RM.If it is only what he has put down in his mail then no one is even
going to look at it.

Whilst one must give credit to IESM and its leadership on bringing the issue
of OROP to the boil i am sure many are wondering if IESM was actually
prepared with a proper case unlike the others.The mails dont give much
confidence on this issue.I hope we had something more than merely a concept
to put forward.

Any way let us wait what IESM has planned for the future if the government
does not give what IESM wanted.

A friend suggested that ESM should have called for tenders to prepare and
present our case to Government,May it would have been a worthwhile
option.Many IAS would have come onboard to give the consultancy for the
money we would offer.

R W Pathak

Views by Lt Col IS Gill..Mhow

2009/6/29 Lt Col Inderjit singh gill

Dear Sir,

Ref your mail and certain old emails from various quarters on actions by IESL / ESM with particular refrence to Brig Gulia and Lt Col Inderjit Singh(my name-sake) of AIEWA. Knowing the difference in basic approach to OROP and other issues, it was expected that IESL will not invite IESM / views from those who think different to what IESL thinks / subscribes. We should not be giving undue importance to them.

Agitational approach of IESM on 6 CPC has resulted in awakening in ESMs and the public all over the country. OROP issue can not be ignored now by the Spec committee. I am sure Govt is aware of it and will NOT play in the hands of hand-picked / hand-fed people !!!

While in Service, we all are used to do contingency planning. In the present case also, we must be prepared for the worst case scenario, so that should OROP not work out, IESM must move to 'courts' / petition to Supreme Cdr / resort to agitation etc.

The CORE Gp of IESM should try to include issues high lighted by various ESM like S Prabhjot Singh, Gen Radhakrishnan and others regarding status of PBOR (Hav in PB-2 / Sub Maj in next higher pay band etc), problems faced by ESM and their dependents in getting pension, harassment by Civil Authorities / Goonda elements etc. By this, we will be able to give genuine feeling to PBOR that IESM is not only officer oriented as Govt is trying project it. We may also like to impress upon our brothren in uniform to improve 'services' of RECORD offices / PCDA , making old DSS&A Boards more effective and forceful and so on.


Lt Col Inderjit Singh Gill, Veteran
41, Signals Vihar,

OROP IESM to into firefighting mode by cdr R Pathak ..Pune

From: Ravindra Pathak

Date: Mon, Jun 29, 2009 at 9:14 AM

Subject: Re: OROP IESM to into firefighting mode

To: Lt Col Inderjit singh gill
Cc: kamboj_cs@yahoo.co.in, satbirsm@yahoo.com, rajkadyan@yahoo.com, sadhusohi@gmail.com, prabhjot_singh0@yahoo.com, sunil_arya50@hotmail.com, narendra.talwar@gmail.com, ss_nayyar@yahoo.co.in

Dear Sir

Thanks.We seem to agree on this and hope some others also agree.

I agree with Gen Bahri when he says that IESM should be the Federation with the help of those who wish to join and then may be we can byepass the official body which the government tries to bee under control by various means.

Come on EVEN the gays have united and got Article 377 repealed.Surely we ESM are more Gay (cheery: bright and pleasant; promoting a feeling of cheer; "a cheery hello"; "a gay sunny room"; "a sunny smile").Let us unite and get our dues.

With malice towards none and no offence meant.All in good spirit and lighterside of life.

R W Pathak

Ravindra Waman Pathak(Mobile 919822329340)

Views by AVM RP Mishra on what all happened...??

From: RP Mishra

Sent: Monday, June 29, 2009 10:49 AM

Subject: Your Comments in MilitaryVeterans] Digest Number 403

Dear friends,

I am a member of IESM and had attended its first meeting when it was under conception. I had to opt out as I could not take very active part in its future activities. Later, I was asked by President IESL whether I would like to be a part of the committee formed by MoD for bridging the gap between pre and post 2006 pensioners. I agreed. While IESM peaceful demonstrations have forced Government to act, we now had to prepare a proper case to be put up to MoD.

We, myself, Lt General Radha Krishnan and Rear Admiral Ramsay and one PBOR as service members of the committee, made all efforts to get quantitative information about how OROP is to be implemented. We drew a blank. Then we evolved various formulae ourselves and decided that best option perceived by us should be projected. After this, IESL, who were providing secretariat to us, invited representatives of various ESM organizations to attend a presentation on our proposal. Here a Table (attached) showing comparison of proposed rank-wise pensions submitted by Major General Radha Krishnan (he mentioned during the presentation that figures shown against his proposal required to be amended in some cases), IESM( based on a paper written by Vice Admiral Ghose on behalf of IESM forwarded to us by an ESM, attached herewith)), and two options proposed by us, were presented and we said we were in favour of our option 2, tables
attached herewith.

Some very useful suggestions were given by Lt General Kadyan for improvement in the text of the paper which were incorporated. Lt
General Bahri suggested that JCOs be given 60% of pay as pension in stead of 50% we had recommended . This was incorporated as additional recommendation.
However, as the pensions recommended by IESL were less than those recommended by us, we stuck to our option. After the presentation, during discussions, I mentioned to Vice Admiral Ghose, IESM, that MoD may not invite them for discussions as they had given recognition to only IESL and Air Force Association and that IESM should make efforts to get MoD recognition. There are a large number of IESM organizations having their own points of view. In the discussions, Lt General Kadyan insisted that the Tables proposed by IESM, (which are less beneficial to pensioners), are more logical.These,as per our knowledge, are same as recommended by Services Headquarters. As an alternative, it was suggested that no Tables be sent, only principle of OROP projected and let MoD make Tables themselves. AFA Senior Vice President said that we must accept whatever Services Headquarters propose. Naval Foundation, in a brief prepared for their members, have recommended acceptance of pensions proposed by us. IESM have finally sent a concept paper to Authorities concerned without any proposed pensions but only the concept, and as Committee member, I would like to mention how difficult it was to quantify our demand.

I mentioned to Lt General Kadyan that he had mentioned in one of his sitreps that ex-service members of the Committee formed by MoD are pliable and may
agree to whatever Mod decides. I told him very clear language that we shall put a Note of dissent in the Committee recommendations rather than agreeing
to some thing which our conscience may not permit. He said he did not know who were the members of the Committee and that is why he wrote about
amenability of members nominated. He has, however not clarified it in any of his further sitreps. The result is that all comments on wrong information
are being circulated. It is the time we all forget our egos and unite.

It is unfortunate that a full Committee meeting, whose chairman was Secretary Ex-servicemen Welfare has never met, only Cabinet Secretary called
a meeting where he mentioned that all representations have been considered.

For Gp Capt Vidyadhar. Kindly let me know whether the opinion formed by you about IESL/Committee members based on wrong information fed to you through
mails is still valid.

For Parvez Jamasji. IESL stands for Indian Ex-Services League. It is one of the oldest Ex-servicemen organization founded in 1964 by Late Field Marshal
KM Cariappa and Late General KS Thimayya. It has been recognized by Government of India and is affiliated to numerous International ESM organizations. Presently Brigadier Gulia is its elected President. Before being nominated as Committee member, I had hardly any knowledge about it.
After going to its Headquarters a number of times in connection with Committee work, I have learnt more about it.
They are doing a very good job for ESM welfare.

(Comments -
If IESL has been doing such a fine job - why they did not succeed in getting OROP in last 25 years or so.
By saying that IESL was founded by Late Field Marshal KM Carriappa, it is not necessary that the present incumbents are also as sincere and efficient as the Founder of IESL.
Number of State Presidents of IESL and the immediate past President (who was President of IESL for eight continuous years before the present President) of IESL are in favour of the IESM MOVEMENT and they have disapproved the approach taken by the present President of IESL towards the movement started by IESM.
Readers of this email must analyse that in the past few months what moved the media, the public the politicians and the Govt that they felt convinced about the need of OROP? What united the ESM all over India and even the ESM abroad - it is the movement started by IESM that the whole country understood the need of OROP. Number of former Chiefs joined the movement of IESM. Large number of ESM from all over the world sent contributions for the IESM movement.
- Chander Kamboj)

As a policy, neither IESL, nor Air Force Association and Naval Foundation have taken part in demonstrations so far, but they have made it clear that members as individuals are free to act as they want.

(Comments -

If the AFA and Naval Foundation felt it was OK for the Air Force and Naval ESM to join IESM movement what is preventing these associations to join the movement enbloc.
Three Former Naval Chiefs joined the IESM movement and large number of Senior Air Force officers also joined the IESM movement.
Of course from the Army also Former Chiefs, large number of Army Commanders, VCOAS, DCOAS and other senior officers supported the IESM movement.
Large number of ESM from Air Force and Navy are doing their utmost to enroll members for IESM from all the three Services.
The success of IESM movement would have been much faster and more beneficial to all ESM if Naval Foundation and Air Force Association had joined the IESM movement enbloc.
All ESM should question the heads of Naval Foundation and Air Force Association as to why have they not supported the IESM MOVEMENT whole heartedly.
Why have these associations let down the ESM???
Is it because the heads of these association are already in receipt of OROP and because they are not aware as to how badly the PBOR of the three Services are affected by 6 CPC???
Please study the tables of 6 CPC - the PBOR have been dealt with most unfairly for their pension.
- Chander Kamboj)

For Brigadier Kamboj and Col Rajan. You may kindly bring my communication to all your members.

AVM RP Mishra

Monday, June 29, 2009

Views by General SK Bahri on ESM's

From: skbahri1@yahoo.com skbahri1@yahoo.com


Date: Sunday, 28 June, 2009, 10:02 PM

Lets not be too critical of each other. I was at the meeting at the IESL HQ a couple of weeks ago alongwith heads of a number of ESM organisations.

Though I have been a member of IESL since my retirement in 1990, I regret to say that I have not been aware if this org did any work that was helping exservicemen. So much for its ability to communicate with its members.

I heard Lt Col Inderjit Singh also,who seemed to have done wonders by being Advisor to Mr P Mukherjee's GOM and also meeting the RM and of course Mrs Sonia Gandhi to help our cause. He also claimed that "all the benefits we have been getting since the Vth Pay Commission" were due to his sole effort.
Fortunately, Brig Gulia cut short his bluster and the Col left.

Then it came to deciding the contents of the paper on OROP to be put up to the Committee under the Cabinet secretary. It was decided that Option 2 of the suggested pension scales put up by Rear Adm Ramsay ,be submitted. This was despite Lt Gen Raj Kadyan's objection that we should not give any scales as the Govt knows what the serving pers get on retirement. I however disagreed as I felt that it would be giving a handle to the Committee to fix the pensions as they felt like. I suggested that we should enclose a scale, which could be on the higher side, to have a bargaining posn. This was accepted.

However, on getting back to Som Vihar I showed the recommended scales to Lt Gen S Mehrotra, who has a great head for figs, which I dont have. He was extremely unhappy and felt that the tables needed to be corrected. With the help of Gulia a meeting was arranged between Mehrotra and Ramsay. Gen Mehrotra presented the scales worked out by him over two nights which gave PBOR about Rs 4000 pm extra and similarly for every one else. Ramsay was very receptive and took down all the figs. Mehrotra and I requested that the revised tables be sent to the Committee and the earlier ones withdrawn.

A couple of days ago Brig Gulia telephoned me and informed me about the meeting with the Cab Secs Committee which was attended by IESL, Air Mshl Chaturvedi of IAF Foundation and a rep from War Disabled Org. What surprised me was that IESM was not invited. Neither by the Govt or requested by IESL, to accompany their team. I wish we all were more big hearted and take help of all the ESM. I reiterate that no one is a repository of all the wisdom and help, where available, should be welcomed.

It has to be accepted by all it was the IESM which brought the problem of ESM pensions to the notice of the Govt, people and media as never done before by much older ESM orgs. (The bureaucrats are aware but do not want do any thing.)Be it due to the relay fast or the return of medals. Remember that the bureaucrats are nobody's friends and politicians only move when they are under threat, like the one UPA felt after the BJP promised us help.

Now let us plan what we have to do if the Govt once again lets us down. I think we should get all ESM politicians of all parties together, with the help of Rajeev Chandershekhar, and have a meeting under the IESM, invite IESL and other orgs and chalk out a course of action. This is urgent. lets forget our egos. We have to win this battle AND WE MUST UNITE.


Lt Gen SK Bahri (Retd)
E 403 Som Vihar Apts,
RK Puram
New Delhi 110022 - India
Tele +91 11 26102171
Mob +91 981000 2800


From: sateesh kuthiala
To: Kamboj Chander
Sent: Friday, June 26, 2009 8:42 PM
Subject: ECHS Seminar

Dear brig Kamboj,
I have been asked by MD ECHS to speak at an ECHS seminar in Chandimandir on 15-16 Jul.
Topic ESM's view of ECHS - wish list vs genuine aspirations.
I had written an article on the subject which was included in Report my signal but is being att again. Through your blog may i invite views of readers at the earliest.
I remember a team of offrs who were doing considerable good work on the subject I forget exactly who they were but inputs would be very useful thanx
Sateesh Kuthiala

In the early Fifties when the Central Govt Health Scheme (CGHS) was first conceived the armed forces were asked to join. Gen Carriappa the C in C declined stating that the Armed Forces were quite capable of looking after their retirees/dependants. This was a very noble thought then and should continue to be the guiding principle even today. However, we are now dealing with an unresponsive civil administration that would be perfectly willing to absolve themselves of any responsibility towards Ex Servicemen (ESM) who do not contribute to a vote bank.

Whereas the Armed Forces continued to care for their veterans for a considerable period the task became increasingly difficult because of the large gap between the AUTHORISED and ENTITLED persons availing medical facilities from Military Hospitals. Whereas the authorized manpower continued to remain static, person’s entitled treatment ie wives, children, dependant parents, ex servicemen, their wives/ dependants etc continued to increase. A study was done in 1996 (which I was privileged to head) wherein the ‘authorized to entitled’ ratio was found to be in the region of 1:16. That meant that for every one serving soldier on the authorized strength there were 16 entitled persons getting medical treatment for whom the Govt did not provide a budget. A hospital staffed and equipped for 100 serving personnel was actually providing medical services to1600 persons. The system was bound to collapse. This gap should have more than doubled since 1996.The study in 1996 also brought out very clearly that despite reservations by Ex Servicemen regarding the care provided to them in Military Hospitals NOT ONE respondent in the sample (which was very large) wanted to hand over this responsibility to the Central Govt. NOT ONE respondent wanted to join the CGHS. I am sure that a study today would only reconfirm our trust in the ECHS vis a vis the CGHS. This study was the first step towards creation of the ECHS.

This article is not intended to be a critique but a sincere effort to correct matters before they get out of hand. We are all interested in setting an example in health care for veterans since each one of us is either already there or will reach there shortly.

3. Having said that, I am constrained to point out that because of shortsighted knee jerk reactions at numerous levels the basic ethos is being violated. The ECHS is for the benefit of Ex Servicemen; not for the staff at various HQ’s handling this subject, from polyclinics right up to the AG; not for the medical staff in polyclinics and not for the Military Hospitals or empanelled hospitals. Every time a Commander or staff officer somewhere passes an order he needs to ask himself a few questions. Firstly, does it benefit Ex Servicemen, Secondly, can it be implemented by a widow in a remote village, Thirdly am I passing this order just to reduce my paperwork even if it increases the ground level problems faced by the lowest common denominator i.e. the jawan or his widow in a village, Fourthly will it be discriminatory in nature and Fifthly WILL IT STAND LEGAL SCRUTINY. The last question assumes importance because we in the Armed Forces are not trained to ask this question. The ECHS is NOT a Battalion Level institution where the Commanding Officers order is sacrosanct. Outside the Armed Forces discipline is not a “NOT TO REASON WHY” issue. You are not planning a military operation. ECHS is a Service and in the service industry discipline implies SERVICE TO THE CLIENT. A very difficult attitudinal change for any one in the Armed forces but something that will have to be learnt by the staff in the ECHS, otherwise, I suspect a whole range of RTI applications and litigation in the very near future.


5. The highlighted portion is familiar to all armed forces personnel. But passage of information within the Services and outside is a totally different matter. Would you be able to justify that Sep X in a village should know all orders pasted on the polyclinic notice board. Would you even be able to hold me guilty of not knowing the orders pasted on the polyclinic board in Noida. The above caveat is acceptable in the Army, nowhere else.

6. We are all aware that the ECHS was created to reduce the load on Military hospitals. Page 1 para 3 of the Brochure says “This in turn will reduce the load on Military Hospitals, since the exclusive Polyclinic facility will be located in nominated districts………………….” Page 2 para 5 lays down the Aim. “To provide comprehensive, quality and timely medical care………………………………………” through “out-patient” facilities at 227 all India Polyclinics, and “in patient” treatment through service hospitals and empanelled civil hospitals/facilities.

7. I have gone to some extent in elaborating that the whole purpose of the ECHS was to reduce the load on Service hospitals. The very inception of this scheme was to “enable the organization to commence sending ECHS members to empanelled diagnostic facilities, specialists and private hospitals” CHAPTER 3 PAGE 7 PARA 1 OF THE BROCHURE. And yet nearly all-good hospitals in the NCR are opting out of the Scheme. Apollo and Ganga Ram which were earlier on the panel opted out because they had no time to chase ECHS staff for clearance of their bills (running in to crores for very long periods) and Escorts has been removed for reasons and in a method that at best can be termed suspicious.

8. Now for the specifics. Since I am no longer in Service my views are obviously determined by my personal experiences in NOIDA.

9. ECHS members in NOIDA cannot be referred to hospitals in Delhi. On what basis has this demarcation been done? Is it for administrative control by the Station HQ or the convenience of patients? If it is okay for a Noida patient to travel to the RR then why the demarcation for empanelled hospitals? Is the intention to reduce the load on the better hospitals in Delhi or are ECHS members in Delhi a superior breed? Does this not amount to discrimination? Are you not violating your own rules? Page 45 answer to question 44 in the Brochure. “In case bed space is not available in the Service Hospital (in this case RR) the patient ONLY will decide the civil empanelled hospital of his choice, any where in India- cost of transportation of going there to be borne by him.” Why is a Noida ESM not referred to a hospital of his choice in Delhi? Annexure 1A to MOD/GOI letter No. 22D (14)/07/US (WE)/D (Res) of
18th September 2007 very clearly gives a common list of EMPANELLED HOSPITALS AND NURSING HOME FOR ECHS in DELHI/GURGAON/NOIDA. Further the Regional Centre for these three regions of the NCR is also common. The inter formation boundary is obviously for staff convenience.

A recent letter issued by Stn HQs Delhi Cantt (245/Accts/Gen/ECHS of 25 Jun 2008) which is on the Noida polyclinic notice board states that the Station Commander is not happy with the fact that a very large proportion of patients are being referred to Batra Hospital as against a few others also in Delhi. He desires that this imbalance be evened out by referring patients equally to all hospitals. Does the Station Commander realize what he is saying? Is it his job to influence such decisions? Page 14 para15 k of the Brochure states “The ECHS member alone will have the right to make the selection of desired civil empanelled hospital and will NOT be influenced by any doctor”

Another instance of mindless arbitrary decision-making is the recent case of disempanellment of Escorts. It is obvious that there is or are some disputed bills between Escorts and ECHS. The Authority concerned in this case presumably the Station Commander has decided to “sort out” Escorts (in standard military fashion) and has therefore arbitrarily shut off referral to Escorts by issuing a departmental order, in violation of Govt norms. To ensure that the action is adequately covered Station HQ has conveniently not renewed the MOA, which had become due for renewal. By this method they have skirted the issue of disempanellment, which would have created legal complications. Who suffers because of such shortsighted actions? Obviously not the ECHS. Escorts is a big successful corporate house and can handle such issues. The sufferer is quite clearly the ESM. Did whoever ordered non-referral ask himself the questions recommended in para 3 above?
The relevant para of Govt of India Ministry of Defence New Delhi letter No. 24(9)/03/US (WE)/D (Res) dated 16 Jun 2004 reads as follows: -
“In case of unsatisfactory performance, unethical practices or medical negligence by any empanelled Hospital, Nursing home and Diagnostic Centre, a show cause notice will be issued to concerned empanelled facility by the Station Commander. Agreement/contract of empanelment will be terminated if charges are established, on approval from Ministry of Defence i.e. the appointing authority.

Empanelled hospitals provide emergency treatment to ESM on production of the ECHS card. Thereafter “Empanelled hospital will inform the nearest ECHS Polyclinic. On learning about admission OIC Polyclinic will make arrangements for verification of the facts. The onus of informing the OIC Polyclinic within 48 hrs lies with the Empanelled Hospital and not with the ECHS member/patient. However, the ECHS member may also convey the information on his own to ensure action. Thereafter, the OIC Polyclinic will initiate an emergency referral after verifying the emergency. He will also ensure that the Emergency referral reaches the Empanelled Hospital in time and that the Empanelled Hospital does not charge the patient, inadvertently or otherwise.” Central Organisation (ECHS) letter No B/49774/AG/ECHS/Referral dated 01 Sep 04

A number of us have gone to empanelled hospitals in an emergency and recollect vividly the running around we have had to do on our own to get the referral from the Noida polyclinic. To resolve this issue all you have to see is the procedure followed by Third Party Administrators (TPA) of good insurance companies. The details are faxed by the empanelled hospital to the TPA who does a quick verification and faxes back an interim approval followed by a detailed approval later. Incidentally all good hospitals have a front desk dealing with corporate clients and TPAs. The Noida polyclinic does not even have a FAX machine. This also requires a change in mindset.

But what happens when an empanelled hospital is taken off the list without the Hospital or patients being informed and the Station Commander and OIC Polyclinic resort to Unit level modus operandii to place a shop out of bounds by a simple diktat.

We need to be aware that it is just these sort of actions that give rise to suspicions of mala-fide intentions on the part of ECHS staff involved with passage of Hospital and individual bills. One way of responding to this would be to state that it is just “loose talk” It may however be better to collect data on pending bills of hospitals in Noida and Delhi with amounts and periods thereof and carrying out a comparative study to determine which Hospitals are promptly paid and those whose bills are pending inordinately.

We have all been referred to RR on numerous occasions. We all know the number of visits a single referral means. First visit – Get Appointment, Second visit -Consultation, Third visit-Appointment for ordered investigation, Fourth visit- Collect investigation Reports etc etc. Now see the rules. “In Military Stations, ECHS members and their authorised dependents requiring hospital admission will, if the ECHS member desires, be referred to the Service hospital in the station. The Officer in Charge (OIC) Polyclinic will telephonically ascertain the availability of beds/facilities in the Service Hospital so as not to inconvenience the patients. When beds/facilities are NOT available in the Service hospital, this fact will be endorsed on the referral form, and the patient will be outsourced to an empanelled hospital of patients’ choice for admission. The patient shall have full freedom to decide on which empanelled hospital he/she desires to go – ECHS staff will only act in an advisory capacity”. Central Organisation (ECHS) letter No B/49774/AG/ECHS/Referral dated 01 Sep 04.

Polyclinics provide only “outpatient” treatment. But they also have very comfortable working hours. Authority: Central Org, ECHS letter No B/49760/AG/ECHS(R) dated 04 Jun 2007.
Broad guidelines for timings of ECHS Polyclinics have been laid in the referred letter. It states “It is reiterated that OPD registration in all polyclinics be stopped at 1430h daily. This would enable referrals to be generated up to 1500h. Thereafter the polyclinic would have one hour (i.e. from 1500h to 1600h) dedicated for its interior economy, which includes data entry, and processing of reimbursement bills submitted by hospitals and individuals. However all emergency cases will be handled till 1600h or till the polyclinic closes, whichever is later”. Under the circumstances after 1600 hrs “outpatient treatment” is NOT POSSIBLE under the rules since Polyclinics are closed and empanelled hospitals are not permitted to provide ‘out patient’ treatment. ESM can only proceed without reference to an empanelled hospital under MEDICALLY DEFINED emergencies. Just one example from the list of emergencies is - (c) Cerebro-Vascular Accidents including Strokes, Neurological Emergencies including coma, cerebro meningeal infections, convulsions, acute paralysis, acute visual loss. If I were to twist my ankle after 4 PM I cannot go to even an empanelled hospital because I must have a “Life threatening Injuries including Road traffic accidents, Head Injuries, Multiple Injuries, Crush Injuries and thermal injuries.” or “Any other condition in which delay could result in loss of life or limb.” Since at the NDA I was given first aid training “ In all cases of emergency the onus of proof (of the emergency) lies with the ECHS member.” If however I did go to an empanelled hospital the Dr would not give me “out patient” treatment since that cannot be claimed. If he were wise he would admit me, order an X-ray followed by a CAT scan, followed by xxxxxxxxxx, and present a bill for “inpatient” treatment under emergency. This I am sure is happening all the time. Inflation of hospital bills, which is a recognised malaise of the system, is actually the fallout of hare brained rules.

As I said at the outset the purpose here is to suggest improvements and not just make irresponsible criticism.
To my mind there is a very basic structural flaw in the concept.

ECHS has been designed to use the existing structure of the armed forces by augmentation of the Central organisation, Regional centres and 227 Polyclinics including 106 Military Polyclinics (Augmented Armed Forces Clinics). Entire manpower authorised to ECHS is contractual. Additional resources have NOT been authorised for ECHS purposes at MH (all types), Station HQs, Area HQs and Command HQs. Similarly additional resources for ECHS purposes have not been authorised for medical procurements including medicine at all levels of the logistics chain. The Scheme is running through essential supplements courtesy Army Welfare Funds and attachments/ postings of serving soldiers.
Army, Navy and Air Force are providing manpower and funds for these administrative organisations from within their existing resources.

Without going into too many details what this implies in a nutshell is as follows: -

MD ECHS is responsible for the functioning of the Polyclinics through the Regional centres; however the Regional Centres function under the Command/Area/Sub Area with which they are co located. Administrative control of funds, accounting/audit/passage of bills etc is through Station HQs, Area HQs etc WITHOUT ADDITIONAL MANPOWER AND IN ADDITION TO THEIR BASIC TASK. Medical cover is in the first instance through existing Services Hospitals without augmentation. Similarly additional resources for ECHS purposes have not been authorised for medical procurements including medicine at all levels of logistics chain.

Our Babus have again taken the gullible Services hierarchy for a ride. Our serving soldiers who are ever so keen to do good for their respected Veterans have accepted in true military style to continue to look after us from within their own resources including their welfare funds. A recent report on ‘Peripatetic Check and Review of the ECHS-May-Aug 2008 has this amazing Finding: -
“Xxxxxxxxx the clientele is very satisfied with the Scheme and considers it to be a boon from the Govt, which was long awaited. IT IS CONSIDEREDTHAT THE SCHEME WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN SO SUCCESSFUL UNTIL THE THREE SERVICES HAD NOT SUPPORTED WITH THE FOLLOWING”: - (SIC)

Additional Medical Officers and Specialists from welfare funds.
Huge clinical manpower which includes both the serving doctors and hired manpower from Regimental funds.
Patient comfort by providing amenities from its regimental funds and creation of additional space at the Polyclinics.

Does all this sound even remotely like a sincere effort to reduce the load on the Services medical facilities???? Just one small example of how expecting the Armed Forces to provide ECHS cover from within existing resources man power and funds affects the system will be enough. Currently, after a reimbursement bill has been passed the cheque has to be collected by the ESM personally from Station HQs Delhi Cantt. Reason. The Station HQs are not authorised funds and therefore service labels to stick on the envelopes forwarding the cheques to the individuals, which have to be sent through the mail.

Whereas we have generally got used to being taken for a ride by our worthy politicians and babus the question that needs an answer is - how was the existing structure of the ECHS conceived? It does not take a genius to comprehend that such multiple channels of command will be a non-starter. Is it any surprise that no matter how hard the MD ECHS tries he will not be able to push Station HQs Area HQS etc who neither report to him nor have dedicated staff for ECHS purposes. The MD ECHS and the Regional Centres lack authority for exercise of functional controls over the Polyclinics and also the Station HQS controlling the polyclinics. No wonder good hospitals refuse to waste their time chasing their claims and we are left with poor quality health care.

The Army has adequate experience in such Schemes in the shape of AGIF, AWES and AWHO. Though these schemes are pure Army schemes without Government resources did we need to make a hash of the Command and Control structure of the ECHS. Unified Command is a well-known and recognised tenet of management within the Armed forces. MD AGIF manages all AGIF functions, MD AWHO manages all AWHO functions, then why the mess in the ECHS. Is it any surprise that things are not settling down even five years after inception of the Scheme?

As I said at the beginning the purpose of the ECHS was to reduce the Ex Servicemen load on Services hospitals and resources. Somewhere along the line this main thought has been lost sight of and the ECHS has fallen prey to the standard “building of its own empire” syndrome. We therefore have a recommendation from the Review Committee, which states: -

Reduce referrals to civil empanelled facilities by augmenting Polyclinic/Service Hospital facilities by providing specialist cover within the authorised medical establishment
Improve the system of drugs procurement and management by improving the policy for drug procurements by DGAFMS and Polyclinics and by authorising contractual manpower for better drug management.

The ECHS in the absence of clarity of a strategic vision, which envisaged outsourcing of ESM patients to existing civil facilities, has embarked on a course of creating more polyclinics, more dependence on Armed Forces infrastructure and funds without insisting that the Govt ensure the desired standards. The report on Peripatetic Check and Review of The ECHS says it all in just one sentence “IT IS CONSIDERED THAT THE SCHEME WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN SO SUCCESSFUL UNTIL THE THREE SERVICES HAD NOT SUPPORTED WITH THE FOLLOWING.”

This is the philosophy that has prompted the ECHS to propose a shift of the Noida Polyclinic from its present location to Sector 52 in land owned by the Coast Guard (Defence Land) so as to raise a more spacious Polyclinic. The comfort and convenience of ESM “Comes Last Always and Every Time”. I am strongly of the opinion that in Noida where there is such a large concentration of ESM the Arun Vihar RWA must get actively involved in all ECHS matters not as an authority but in a supportive role.

Improvement in the functioning of the ECHS is a continuing subject. This article is intended to make ESM aware so that they can demand what is justifiably theirs by right; and to make the ECHS more responsive to ESM requirements. To summarise what is required is as follows: -
Refer patients to empanelled hospitals of the patient’s choice anywhere in the NCR.
Permit empanelled hospitals to undertake “out patient” treatment in emergencies to be determined by the Dr at the empanelled hospital.
Appointments in RR to be arranged by the OIC Polyclinic. A methodology can quite easily be worked out.
After investigation reports to be collected by OIC Polyclinic from the RR.
All paperwork required after emergency “in patient” and “outpatient treatment” at empanelled hospitals to be handled between OIC Polyclinic and the empanelled hospital.

OIC Polyclinic should keep a track of all individual reimbursement claims generated after emergency treatment at non-empanelled facilities, which should be cleared at various levels in a set time frame. Presently the ESM has to do the chasing of the claim after it leaves the Polyclinic.
Reimbursement claims of individuals be sent to the Noida polyclinic from where they can be collected.
The Polyclinic must continue in ArunVihar with the RWA getting more actively involved in its day-to-day problems without becoming a hindrance.
The Polyclinic should be the one point contact for ESM. There should be no need for him to contact anybody else in the ECHS chain.
Make arrangements despite staffing problems to ensure early clearance of pending bills of empanelled hospitals. This is the reason why all the good hospitals have delinked from the Scheme. An all out effort needs to be made to get the best hospitals on the ECHS panel.
Reference to empanelled hospitals should be the norm. More and more dependence on Army Hospitals is violative of the very basis on which the ECHS was created.


Friday, June 26, 2009

PM meets Secys over OROP for armed forces ...Zeenews Bureau

PM meets Secys over OROP for armed forces

Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi, June 25:

Moving closer on implementing the long-standing demand for one rank-one pension (OROP) for armed forces, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday chaired a meeting of Committee of Secretaries who made presentation to him.

The meeting was also attended by Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Union Defence Minister AK Antony and Union Minister Ashok Chavan.

Earlier, the UPA government had promised to resolve the contentious matter by this month-end.

In her address to the joint sitting of Parliament, President Pratibha Patil had said that the committee headed by Cabinet Secretary K M Chandrasekhar had "already commenced its work and expects to complete it by the end of June 2009''.

Just before the crucial fourth phase of polling on May 7, the Defence Ministry had declared that a high-level committee headed by the Cabinet Secretary had been constituted to "reduce the gap in the pensionary benefits to officers and jawans, bringing it as close to OROP as possible''.

But slapped with a notice from the Election Commission for violating the model code of conduct, the government had swiftly backtracked and denied that the government has constituted any special committee for the purpose.

The grouse of ex-servicemen is that all political parties have used OROP to garner votes but have never implemented it after coming to office. The government had obviously announced the setting up of the committee to counter the BJP's strong 'Jai Jawan' tune in its manifesto.

The defence community of 14 lakh serving and 23 lakh retired military personnel, after all, swells into a sizable votebank of around 1.5 crore people if family members are taken into account.

The UPA government, however, is promising only a partial implementation of OROP at best, with the Defence Ministry itself acknowledging that full implementation is simply not feasible "administratively''.

The Defence Ministry, however, admits that a case does exist for bringing the quantum of pension of pre-January 1996/October 1997 pensioners at par with post-January 1996/October 1997 and pre-January 2006 ones because the gap between the pensions of past and present retirees has considerably widened after the 6th Pay Commission.

This will entail an additional financial burden of only around Rs 500-600 crore annually, with the government keen to reduce the present four categories of pensioners to only two broad ones of pre and post January 2006 retirees.

"Full OROP implementation, in turn, could mean an annual outgo of around Rs 1,200-1,300 crore, apart from payment of arrears in the range of Rs 4,000 crore,'' said an official.

East Punjab , Wild West :::::

East Punjab , Wild West ::::: Must Read

Dear All,

This in continuation to keep you all updated , as how far wave of Sympathy and solidarity for Major GS Banipal is pouring in from all quarters of society,organisation,govt department . Details attached.
Must ensure that the point is raised on the issue in parliament if we claim to have contacts with PM in waiting and his team.


COl CJS Khera

Thursday, June 25, 2009


Dear All,

Find attached Newpaper reports under the following headings

****. PCS Officers Blames DC ludhiana Mr Vikas Garg. Tele No -941708002. an anti ESM DC
*****. Akali Councillor Bains dares Police.
*****. Karwal given VIP Treatment in Police Station.
******. Exposing stamp paper scam did him in i.e Major GS Bennipal.
1. All ESM organisation and members are requested to give wide publicity of New items to your dear and near in India and abroad to expose the atrocities on ESM in Punjab and to all the media in all the states.
2. Write to the MPs & MLA of the central and state Govt if you are close to them ,so that this becomes a feeler to all that ESM are united through out the INDIAi. At least this much can be contributed to convey our solidarity to Major GS Benipal.
3. The SSP and DC have become impotent in Punjab as Dy CM directly controls SHO's.

Col CJS Khera

The officer who lost an eye at The Oberoi.

A wounded soldier

Posted: 24 Jun 2009 05:20 AM PDT

The officer who lost an eye at The Oberoi.

Here is a heart-wrenching tale of Captain Amitendra Kumar Singh, a National Security Guard commando, who lost sight in his left eye while fighting the terrorists inside the Oberoi Hotel. While the apathy of the nation towards the war-heroes is an oft-repeated story, his angst-ridden bitterness towards the army is unusual, to say the least.
After shuttling back and forth between Lucknow’s Command Hospital, Chennai’s Sankara Netralaya Eye Hospital and Delhi’s R&R Hospital, Captain Singh was discharged a day before Holi and allowed to return to the NSG camp in Manesar, where he is posted.
“I was so sick of hospitals by then — they all said the same thing, that my eye was damaged beyond repair, and that I would have to get a glass eye, which I didn’t want to do.”
Once he was back at the NSG camp, Captain Singh realised that people have short memories, and if you are injured in the army, you are little more than a liability.
“People’s attitudes towards me have changed. Earlier, they had the utmost confidence in my abilities — I was given plum tasks to take care of. Now even though I can do everything, including driving, firing and physical tasks, all the meaty jobs go to others, and I am given things to do that are not in keeping with my rank. That makes me feel bad.”
“But what can I do? I have to serve here. Now I am doing a desk job — I take care of the administration and running of the camp. I’ll never be able to participate in operations again. It’s not like the US army where any capable person can serve. Serving in the army always been my dream, which is now shattered.”
He makes it clear that the Shaurya Chakra did not serve as salve to his wounds. “I don’t want the Shaurya Chakra. Take it back and return my eye to me. P V Manish (the other Shaurya Chakra awardee) and I were together at the Oberoi. I lost my eye and he was hit in the head by a grenade. The right side of his body was paralysed for some time, but is getting better now. In such operations, you should either die or come back safe and sound. If you come back injured, you don’t get any respect.”[Rediff]

SAD Dy CM goondas surrenders..Punjab

Governor seeks report on Tehsildar Case..Punjab

Srike by Revenue officers in entire Punjab State

Dear All,

Attached are the News Coverage about major GS Benipal
1. Revenue officials go on strike.
2. Revenue officers on indefinite strike
3.Revenue officials stage dharnas
4. Arrest all accused: revenue officers.
Please circulate to your known dear and ones including Politicians if known to you of all states to show solidarity to Major GS benipal
Our Aim is that some concern MP raises the Question on safety of ESM in the Parliament, so prove your worth for the cause of ESM struggle.


Col CJS Khera

Major GS Benipal dared to expose fake stamp papers used by Akali dal to register properties at Ludhiana

Jun 24, 2009 at 10:56 AM
Major GS Benipal dared to expose fake stamp papers used by Akali dal to register properties at Ludhiana

Dear All,*
1. All ESM organisation and members are requested to give wide publicity of these News items publised in Tribune & HT to your dear and near in India and abroad to expose the atrocities on ESM in Punjab and to all the media in all the states.
2. Write to the MPs & MLA of the central and state Govt if you are close to them ,so that this becomes a feeler to all that ESM are united through out the INDIA. At least this much can be contributed to convey our solidarity to Major GS Benipal.
3. The SSP and DC have become impotent in Punjab as Dy CM directly controls SHO's.
Col CJS Khera

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Our Expectation of OROP by Maj Gen RN Radha Krishnan

From: Radha Krishnan RN

Our Expectation of OROP

Date: Wednesday, 24 June, 2009, 7:24 PM

Dear Veterans,

Discussions on OROP seem to have diminished. IESL has consulted a few senior veterans -quite a few if I may add - and have concluded on what ought to be presented to the Government. But I do not understand the reason in not declaring their recommendations. Since I was also a party in the consultation I have a fair idea. I can only say it is a reasonably good proposal but yet not good enough from purely my point of view.

IESM has had a round of discussions with the Defence Minister and seems to be pleased with their interpretation of his vocal and body language. Yet will it be OROP, we will have to wait and see.

Col Inderjit Singh who has been at OROP since 1982 has declared in his recent mail:
“We have struggled for it for the past almost 30 years. No diluting of this concept will be acceptable. In the past 30 years we have always got everything through the Govt of the Ruling Party only.”
‘What he intends to do’, we will have to wait and see.

Let us speculate.. The Government has made up its mind. They have no intentions to consult any. We may propose or may not, they will dispose in any case. They are cornered by the Sep 2008 judgment. Hence the pension of ESM is likely to be based on the notional pay fixed in accordance with the fitment table of SAI 1 & 2/S/2008. This is in spirit of the ruling, but not in the spirit of OROP.

The pay of the serving personnel shall increase with annual increments and therefore the pension when they retire will be more than the ESM of the same rank and same service. In order that the demand OROP is honored, the government has to grant the ESM also annual increment of 3% on their basic pension less the MSP content till the maximum pension is not reached.

Will the Government do so, we will have to wait and see. United, I doubt, if we are ever going to fight for our rights. We may do perhaps in distant days. Meanwhile let me hope that the events of the country shapes up the thinking of the political leadership to recognize the importance of the soldier’s will..

Message attached as word document also

Regards RN Radhakrishnan (Retd Major General)

Ex-Major Stripped by Akali Workers at Ludhiana

From: prabhjot_singh0@yahoo.com

Subject: Ex-Major Stripped by Akali Workers at Ludhiana

To: kamboj_cs@yahoo.co.in
CC: prenjen@hotmail.com

Dear Veteran,
Consolidated and sincere efforts made by ex-services community in Punjab has brought the good results in the above case.
One of the main accessed, Simarjit Singh Bains has surrendered to Police after the police detained his elder brother Balwinder Singh Bains.
Governor Punjab, Gen. (Retd.) SF Rodrigues has also sought a detailed report on the above case from the State Govt. It is, reliably, learnt that the Governor has been asked to submit his report on this episode by the Home Deptt. Govt. of India on the instance of this organization's communiqué submitted to Secy. Home Deptt. with copy to Governor Punjab along with others. The same is on the net below.
But the battle is neither won nor over yet. Veterans have to keep their guns ready and powder dry till the justice is delivered to our brother veteran, Maj. G.S. Benipal.
With best regards.

(Sgt. Prabhjot Singh Chhatwal PLS Retd.)
Indian Ex-Services League, Punjab & Chandigarh.

SCPC: ESM cheated of entitled Pension by Banks: Highlights of sample cases

Dear Veterans,

In a reminder dated 23-06-2009 sent by Indian Ex-Services League, Punjab & Chandigarh to Deptt of Defence Welfare, Government of India, New Delhi, League has expressed its anguish over the delayed and faulty implementation of various orders and notifications regarding the pension benefits of veterans. They are being killed inch by inch by such bureaucratic muddles.
In a specific case of Pay fixation of Ex NK Janak Singh of Village Chamaru District, Patiala, Pension disbursing authority (Punjab National Bank Ghanaur) is paying him minimum pension instead of Nk's pension for the last about 15 years. After the implementation of recommendation of Sixth Central Pay Commission, he is being paid Rs. 66/- less than his actual pension which he should get as per his rank. He has written many request letters to his Records Office and PCDA (Pension), Allahabad but these seem to be fallen on deaf ears.
This is not a solitary case. But as per the survey conducted by the league's block level office bearers, about 20% PBORs, drawing pension directly from the banks, are not being paid correct amount of pension due to them. Most of the old veterans among the PBORs, being illiterate can not check their correct pension. Efforts made by Indian Ex-Services League in two such cases, Sub Sher Singh (Retd) of Patiala State Forces was found to have been paid Sepoy's Pension since the Fifth Pay Commission. The league got him correct pension of Subedar along with an arrears of Rs 2,65,000/- a year before his death in June 2006, where as in the other case, Smt Surinder Kaur, the widow of a Subedar of Amloh, was being paid the pension of Sepoy's widow. League got her also the correct pension along with an arrears of Rs. 85,000/- that too about a year before his death in Dec 2007. Both were drawing pension directly from the Branches of State Bank of Patiala in their respective place of residence and have been requesting the Pension Disbursing Authorities to pay them correct pension for so many years but in vain.
There are numerous such cases lying undetected/ unsolved and the authorities concerned are not taking any remedial measure to disburse the correct pension to the individuals. The Sixth Pay Commission has added more ambiguities to its recommendations and staff dealing with the disbursement of pension are not properly trained. In case of additional pension provisioned by the recommendation of Pay Commission, most of the veterans are not in a position to receive the correct pension since their Date of Birth is not mentioned in their PPOs. Their requests to the respective Records Offices to correct the entry of their Date of Birth are not being attended promptly as if the said Records Offices are waiting for the demise of old veterans so that they can close their cases.
We all have to take up such cases of delayed action on the part of PCDA (Pension), Allahabad and Record Offices sacredly to get the veterans their due amount.
Sgt Prabhjot Singh Chhatwal PLS, Retd
Indian Ex-Services League, Punjab & Chandigarh.

Views bY Col RP Chaturvedi

Rakesh Prasad Chaturvedi
toss sohi

Jun 24, 2009 at 1:31 AM

IESM- Attitude towards -- IESM[ Punjab] & Silence on Brutal attack on EXMAN-Maj G S BENIPAL

Col Sohi,
Let us move on. Dont you think enough has been said on both sides about the Advisory? One final time really, the advisory was meant for a purpose. Its purpose was met even before the elections were conducted. That remains our reason, despite how many times people keep repeating that they dont agree. How many more times does it really have to be stated?
IESM is really NOT NCR. WE all over India constitute IESM.
One question. As stated by you, the localized action by Punjab (IESM) has had the required effect. Yes, I for one have been confident that it indeed would have had the effect it has had. This is laudable and reinforces the belief that localized pressures will always bear results>>>>>>> and that too in real time. Compliments to all who made the event successful.

- Show quoted text -
On Wed, Jun 24, 2009 at 9:33 AM, ss sohi wrote:

Sir, we also feel that certain Offrs/ appt who fail to asses the grnd sit & took wrong decisions, need to be corrected publically like BJP. IESM is not the NCR only? Some appt created disunity with IESL when in crucial time to make up our value & dominations felt much more, thinking that they were the IESM. With result they got swayed away with BJP only & touched no return point, to any direction. None of our advise was taken positively, perhaps it was taken as not our prarogative to float advises. We expexted HQ to display maturity, experience & wisdom at certain places. No mid course correction was ever applied. The joint mtg to asses losses (like the BJP) have been avoided, intensionally? for future course of action. There is no need to feel shy & worry about. Unity is our weapon & must be handled & used with utmost care.
With Regards. Col Sohi. 9815107744.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: baldev dhillon
Date: Jun 23, 2009 10:38 PM
Subject: IESM- Attitude towards -- IESM[ Punjab] & Silence on Brutal attack on EXMAN-Maj G S BENIPAL
To: raj kadyan , CS Kamboj , satbirsm , CS Kamboj , P Renjen
Cc: ss sohi , bhinderjs@yahoo.co.in, prsingh_760@yahoo.com, jhandabrar@yahoo.com, js_kandah@hotmail.com

Dear Friends ,
1. I am pained at the lack of transparency in the working of the IESM Core Group and its total apathy at the events happening in PUNJAB against the exservicemen community.
2. You will appreciate that it was the Punjab [ Col SS Sohi ] unit ,which started the movement for JUSTICE much before the IESM came into existence and thereafter we have merged ourselves into the IESM. We have been taking part in all the major events with full force and unity towards a single goal set by the Core Group.
3. We had launched a major drive for enrolling members for the movement and sent the amount collected .Action was also taken to mobilise our members for the Relay Fast at JANTAR MANTAR ,so much so were fortunate to be given the privelage to man it for a number of days in continuation, which had been appreciated by all.
4. However some events of the last few months, especially after the elections were announced,, it is being felt that we ,THE MAJOR PORTION of the workers are being considered as impediments in the movement, an impression which is totally wrong ,misplaced and motivated by some persons who are out to sabotage the movement. We are committed to follow the thinking of the CORE GROUP.
5. The IESM Punjab is totally committed towards our FIGHT FOR JUSTICE and welfare of all Exservicemen and the families. We however need the full support & backing of the IESM for fulfilling the aspirations of the affected exservicemen.
6 The following points need immediate deliberations and action taken at the appropriate level--
[ a ] Our Request for the minutes of the Core Group deliberations held on 30-31 May have not forwarded inspite of repeated requests.Is it that we are being kept in the dark or there is some hidden agenda which you do not wish to disclose.Transparency is a must and will only strengthen our bonding towards our goal.
[ b ] A simple request to clear the outstanding transport-bus- charges bill pertaing to the rally of the 12 Apr 09 is still not cleared. Imagine lowering of our[IESM ] prestige for such a petty amount, reasons for not clearance are not justified and payment needs to be sent FORTHWITH.
[ c ] Exservicemen had taken out a rally to force FORTIS Hospital Mohali to release the dead body of an exserviceman , details were forwarded to you. It was expected that a firm letter for the IESM movement should have been sent to the Hospital not to harras the Exmen in future but there was silence on your side. Incidently because of the complaints taken up by the IESM[ Punjab] , the empanelment of FORTIS HOSPITAL, Mohali has been stopped wef 16 May 09 , till they change there attitude.There was no letter written to Fortis Hospital by you ,telling them not to harras the exservicemen/or a press release. This would have come on National TV, but you missed the chance.HOW & WHY - You would know. Kindly take action so that IESM remains in the news as the main body speaking for all the exservicemen of the country and not only for NCR.

[ d] ALL political parties/org/media look forward to highlight any incident, if it will help them to either increase there standing / embarras the govt / score points over others. The IESM- CORE GROUP did not react at all to the news item forwarded by IESM[ Punjab ], on the 22 Jun about the beating up and stripping of Ex - Major G S BENIPAL [ Retd] Exserviceman , working as a Revenue Officer[ Tehsildar ] in the office of the DC Ludhiana , Punjab. Newspaper cuttings as well as the dharna photos by IESM Punjab were forwarded but the silence on your part is not understood / appreciated. An Retired army offr assaulted and beaten up did not arouse any feelings at all ?? WHY ?? Because It did not happen in Delhi or Noida. The Core GROUP has abdicated from there responsibility . This matter should have been condemned by an immediate press release as well to the TV media-it was shown on national TV - The case should also have been taken up with Shri Prakash Singh Badal, the Chief Minister of Punjab.. But " NERO" was playing the fiddle when Rome was Burning . Have we become so obsessed with the OROP that we have forgotten all other issues. We had also suggested to set up a cell to take up cases with the concerned authorities /appointment of PRO to liaise with concerned HQ / Ministry , but we have not heard anything on this issue so far.. We need to deliberate on this seriously and see where have we gone wrong and time is still with us, to take centre stage for the cause of the Exservicemen.
[ e ] Kindly let us know about the Govt Orders issued for the grant of Disability Pension for the pre 96 retirees and 70% pensions for PBOR post 2006.
7 . These points may kindly be taken in the right spirit and discussed in the Core GROUP. We must remember that views of all will further strenghten our IESM movement.
With Warm Regards to all
Col B S Dhillon-- Chandigarh

With Warm Regards,
Col RP Chaturvedi,

Light a Candle on Kargil Divas: 26th July, 8 PM

brigadier ptgangadharan

dateTue, Jun 23, 2009 at 11:43 PM

Light a Candle on Kargil Divas: 26th July, 8 PM
As you are aware Kargil Divas - 26 July 2009 marks a decade since the Kargil war.

If it epiomized ONE thing, it is valour of the highest order. Plain and simple: valour and grit. We have the living brave amongst us, and we have those that did not make it back.

Let us pay a tribute to the bravehearts of those 'razor edge days'.

Please light a candle at your gate on 26 July at 8 PM, after a humble prayer for those who did not make it back. Place a rose / marigold (गैंदा) alongside.

Motivate your friends, relatives, neighbors and anyone you interact with, to do the same.

Talk about it.

Its something to be proud of.

For ALL of us Indians.

Brigadier PTGangadharan,Guards,
Tel:0495 2356863/9447766863

Views by cdr R pathak ..Pune

Ravindra Pathak

dateWed, Jun 24, 2009 at 12:02 AM

Killing the Veteran inch by inch

Dear Sir

The payment of pension is in a mess.Thanks to the fact that orders are not reaching the branches of banks particularly in remote areas.Also with no PPO in hand the ESM are not able to get the correct picture of what there pension is.
During my visit to remote areas where there is no internet use i found ESM were not having the government letter on implementation of 6PC nor did the local bank branches have it.The branch in many cases are 5 to 10 miles away and so ESM find it very difficult to go there often.

I feel the ESM Orgs should pressurise the PCDA of all three services to expedisiously issue PPO to all ESM.
ESM org can set up cells to receive complaints with regards to this matter and then it can be persued centrally.

An all India advert in all papers asking ESM to register complaints will have a very good effect not only on the ESM but even the banks will wake up.


R W Pathak
Ravindra Waman Pathak(Mobile 919822329340)
Warsha R Pathak(Mobile 919822329340)

Views by Lt Col IS Gill..Mhow

Lt Col Inderjit singh gill

dateTue, Jun 23, 2009 at 11:50 PM
Killing the Veteran inch by inch

Dear S Prabhjot Singh,

The issue mentioned in your mail gives prevailing situation of OLD pensioners and their families. The situation is worst for 'family pensioners' as they do not know, whom to contact. The dependants of FAMILY PENSIONERS are more concerned as to whatever they are getting without much efforts, is OK with them. It is GOOD LUCK of two ESM mentioned in your mail that they contacted your organisation and you did not give up till the dues were paid. I do not think, any punishment would have been given to PDA for giving less than entitlement for all those years.

PDA and our RECORD Offices / PCDA are responsible for this sorry state of affairs.There is NO set up at STATION HQ to assist the pensioners / their families. Added to that is 'could not care less' attitude of people in uniform.

With present day availability of computers, updation of records at PCDA / Record offices should not be a problem; provided they want to help the ESM and their families. Once fresh PPO are issued, there is NO scope of PDA / bankers paying less than entitled amount. Just because amended PPOs are delayed or NOT issued, all is left to PDA or banks, which should not be the case.

I feel, various Record Offices should carry out survey of their ESM at least once in 3 - 5 years to know the ground realities. A pre-printed letter with 'Reply Paid' envelop can be sent on postal address of ESM / their families in the local language. They should be intimated their correct entitlement of pension. Similarly, through banking channels, similar information should be asked.

Army HQ (rather SERVICES HQ) should also use their good offices to pressurise bankers (huge funds of AGIF/others are with some of the financial institutes) for giving dues to ESM / their families. I think there are special cells in Services HQ for ESM. They should be made more accountable.

The above being a genuine welfare activity of ESM and their families, a note should be taken by various ESM organisations to high light this in various forums as well as impress upon "ESM CELLS" in various Services HQ and RECORD OFFICES. Senior serving officers should make it a point to check on effectiveness of updation of pension records during their visits to various Training centres / record offices.

Brif CS Kamboj only.

Sir, you may like to include the above for 'brain storming' by our core group in IESM, as deemed fit. OROP is very important, but such issues are also important for the general well being of ESM and their families.

Warm Regards

Lt Col Inderjit Singh gill, Veteran
41, Signals Vihar,


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Killing the Veteran inch by inch by Veteran Prabhjot Singh

From: prabhjot singh

To: vk_gandhi@yahoo.com

Cc: kangdvs@yahoo.co.in

Sent: Tuesday, 23 June, 2009 1:57:01 PM

Subject: Killing the Veteran inch by inch

Dear Veterans,
In a reminder dt. 23-06-2009 sent by Indian Ex-Services League, Punjab & Chandigarh to Deptt. of Defence Welfare, Govt. of India, New Delhi , league has expressed its anguish over the delayed and faulty implementation of various orders and notifications regarding the pension benefits of veterans. They are being killed inch by inch by such bureaucratic muddles.
In a specific case of Pay fixation of Ex- NK Janak Singh of Vill. Chamaru Distt. Patiala , Pension disbursing authority (Punjab National Bank Ghanaur) is paying him minimum pension instead of Nk's pension for the last about 15 years. After the implementation of recommendation of Sixth Central Pay Commission, he is being paid Rs. 66/- less than his actual pension which he should get as per his rank. He has written many request letters to his Records Office and PCDA (Pension), Allahabad but these seem to be fallen on deaf ears.
This is not a solitary case. But as per the survey conducted by the league's block level office bearers, about 20% PBORs, drawing pension directly from the banks, are not being paid correct amount of pension due to them. Most of the old veterans among the PBORs, being illiterate can not check their correct pension. Efforts made by Indian Ex-Services League in two such cases, Sub. Sher Singh (Retd.) of Patiala State Forces was found to have been paid Sepoy's Pension since the Fifth Pay Commission. The league got him correct pension of Subedar along with an arrears of Rs. 2,65,000/- a year before his death in June 2006, where as in the other case, Smt. Surinder Kaur, the widow of a Subedar of Amloh, was being paid the pension of Sepoy's widow. League got her also the correct pension along with an arrears of Rs. 85,000/- that too about a year before his death in Dec. 2007. Both were drawing pension directly from the Branches of State Bank of Patiala in their respective place of residence and have been requesting the Pension Disbursing Authorities to pay them correct pension for so many years but in vain.
There are numerous such cases lying un-detected / un-solved and the authorities concerned are not taking any remedial measure to disburse the correct pension to the individuals. The Sixth Pay Commission has added more ambiguities to its recommendations and staff dealing with the disbursement of pension are not properly trained. In case of additional pension provisioned by the recommendation of Pay Commission, most of the veterans are not in a position to receive the correct pension since their Date of Birth is not mentioned in their PPOs. Their requests to the respective Records Offices to correct the entry of their Date of Birth are not being attended promptly as if the said Records Offices are waiting for the demise of old veterans so that they can close their cases.
We all have to take up such cases of delayed action on the part of PCDA (Pension), Allahabad and Record Offices sacredly to get the veterans their due amount.

(Sgt. Prabhjot Singh Chhatwal PLS, Retd.)
Indian Ex-Services League, Punjab & Chandigarh .

OROP Views by Vice Adm Barin Ghose

OROP Views by Vice Adm Barin Ghose

Sorry to dampen Jaini's enthu whilst abroad. But have you examined the logic of the tables. Why has mid point of the upper band and lower band been chosen. That the tables have not been given due attention is evident form the tables referring to Lt COl (select) & Lt Col (TS). Do these exist today.

There is a meeting currently on with the Cabinet Secretary to hear out this paper. Gullia of IESL is attending.
At the same time, I am informed that Dir (Pension) in MOD is also working on a paper perhaps PPOC

I would strongly urge that we insist with the RRM/DefSec/Secy(ESW) to abide by RMs decision that we must be heard and for which the prsentation of IESM is ready

Vice Admiral Barin Ghose (Retired)
Member Core Group IESM

B 449 Sushant Lok I
Gurgaon 122002 Haryana
Phone 124-4044069, Mobile 9871381479
E Mail bag1944@yahoo.co.in

Monday, June 22, 2009

Suspension of DC, SSP sought..Maj benipal's case

Suspension of DC, SSP sought

Kanchan Vasdev: Tribune News Service Ludhiana, June 22, 2009
Activists of the joint action committee set up to seek justice for tehsildar Major GS Benipal today demanded the suspension of the Ludhiana Deputy Commissioner and the Senior Superintendent of Police for not acting to protect the tehsildar despite repeatedly making urgent calls to administration officials.
The activists also demanded dissolution of a special investigation team formed to look into the fake stamp paper racket and handing the case over to the CBI. They sought the probe into the assault too be handed over to an independent agency.

After a four-hour-long meeting attended by employees and officials of various organisations, the committee’s spokesman, tehsildar KS Randhawa, demanded the immediate arrest of SAD councillor and Youth Akali Dal leader Simarjit Singh Bains. Noting the latter was a prime accused in the case, he said because of the police inefficiency and helplessness that he had yet not been arrested even though he was present at the DC's residence and also in Sadar police station premises. ‘‘This clearly shows their intention - they don’t have the guts to arrest him (Bains), ’’ he added.

Producing copies of six letters written to the DC by Benipal during the past seven months seeking protection, Randhawa said the committee members wanted to know why the DC had not done anything about the case.

Stating both Bains and SAD councillor and prime accused Kamaljit Singh Karwal had been booked by the police several times in the past, he said they were “roaming freely” and no action had yet been taken against them. ‘‘As many as four FIRs have been registered against Bains for threats and assault, besides three against Karwal, during the past five years.

The committee activists said they would go on leave en masse for an indefinite period. They added they would every day sit on ‘sharnas’ in front of the respective DCs’ offices from 11 am to 2 pm till they were “delivered justice”.
Attack on Tehsildar: Suspension of DC, SSP sought

Ex-servicemen to bear expenses on HC case by Benipal
Kanchan Vasdev Tribune News Service Ludhiana, June 22, 2009
The Punjab and Chandigarh Ex-servicemen League today announced to bear the expenses of a case to be filed by Major GS Benipal, tehsildar, in the High Court regarding the fake stamp paper racket.

Col Bhag Singh, an office-bearer of the league, said they would hire four award-winning lawyers of the High Court to fight this case and take it to its logical end.

The Tribune today highlighted in these columns the wish of Major Benipal to fight the case in the High Court and not bow to any pressure.

Col Bhag Singh said seven lakh ex-servicemen of the state were with Major Benipal.

“Though Major Benipal is very well off, we want to tell him that we stand by him,” he added.

A resident of Bathinda, Ravinder Singal, who is also a complainant in a similar stamp paper scam, said he, too, would fight for the cause along with Major Benipal.

“I have spoken to him today and I will also move the HC along with him,” he added.
Ex-servicemen to bear expenses on HC case by Benipal

ESM Pledge to hire 4 Lawyers for Bennipal :Rally Ludhiana 22/6/09

Dear All,

A seperate scanned Tribune Report attached regarding ESM offer to bear Expenses on HC Case by Benipal by hiring four award winning Lawyers of HC to fight his case and take to Logical end.
Col CJS Khera

Col Inderjit Singh's reply to Ludhiana Incident

Dear Col Khera,

Your views on the subject of helping a widow, who is being harrassed by Goondas, are very appreciative. Such cases, if NOT taken up by those who can stand up to challenge goondaim, is a real shame. "MAZLOOM DI MADAD KARNA" is charter given by our Gurus. Remember days of Nadir Shah and Ahmed Shah Abdali in 18 th century , when SIKH Missals used to attack returning armies of these looteras and get girls abducted from Mathura / Delhi / other areas freed in Punjab and had them sent back to their parents. In present day, scenario, we may replace word "SIKHs" with "ESM".

I feel, we are NOT deviating from the shown path, if we take up such cases and help the needy. This will increase acceptability and visibility of ESM in the society as a useful group. A victory in a few of such cases, the politicians will think twice, before venturing into areas, where ESM are strong. By this, we are also making a "BASE" for future political battle field (elections), where such ESM can be fielded as "CANDIDATES".

Such steps in a way are POSITIVE ways of helping the needy / MAZLOOMs in our society. Being a part of it, we ESM can not rather should NOT shy away from doing our duty towards society.

By the logic given by some in their mails, opposing help to this lady, even serving soldiers should not be concerned by the plight of ESM (incl Maj Benipal) as it does not concern them. Will that be right? Let us not be mute spectators to illd of society. We may like to remember Anna Hazare, who took up fight against the mighty in Mharashtra.

Last but not the least, let us not fight with each other. We must respect each other's view points, how so ever contrary they may be to our own ideas. Let us NOT put any one on sec 194E (!!) or try to dig up each other's "Record of Service". This is my humble request.

By Maj Gen pushpindra Singh

Taking care of security

Get priorities right to face challenges by Maj-Gen Pushpendra Singh (retd)

INDIA’s strategic environment has altered dramatically. In a perilous situation, we face three tough challenges (China has played a conspicuous role in two of them).

First, Pakistan has been adding quantitative and qualitative teeth to its nuclear arsenal with two Chinese supplied plutonium reactors in its Khushab facility, indicating success of its efforts to produce advanced compact warheads. A US Congressional research service report now credits Pakistan with developing parity with India, even as it continues expanding and accelerating its nuclear weapons programme.

The report says, Pakistan achieved this through concealed and hardened missile silos complemented by mobile missiles, all under upgraded air-defence shields. These revelations do have a ring of authenticity.
Meanwhile, North Korea called the West’s bluff to emerge from the nuclear closet as an overt Nuclear Weapon State (NWS) and exposed the West’s’ toothless threats. The efficacy of UN-imposed sanctions rests critically on Chinese enforcement – a doubtful proposition. Can Iran now be far behind, if Ahmadinejad’s resounding re-election gets confirmed?

The Asian landmass is fairly bristling with NWS actors. Our nine-year-old nuclear deterrent remains ‘work-in- progress’. Our Scud-type liquid-fuelled missiles can only reach Pakistan whose missiles of Chinese and North Korean origin are decidedly superior. China has stepped forward its India-targeted missiles to Tibet, minimising our reaction time for detection of launch and for taking defensive measures. In response, our retaliatory second strike cannot reach even close to China’s heartland.

A pre-requisite for a no-first-use policy – which we have declared – is a credible second-strike capability. This remains only a wish. Our nuclear submarine, the backbone of a second-strike against China, is still to undergo many months of sea trials. There is thus a definite urgency to rev up the induction of China-capable missiles and credible, SLBM-equipped nuclear submarines. Concomitantly, our recessed nuclear posture needs a review along with a reliable C4I2SR structure in place.

The second facet relates to the US policy in our region. Analysts consider that its Af-Pak policy has ignored India’s legitimate security concerns. The Bush Administration had reversed the traditional US tilt towards Pakistan and forged a closer relationship between the oldest and largest democracies. Now, the Obama-people seem to have reverted to type by blind-siding India’s legitimate security interests. While Obama meticulously avoided using the K-word in conjunction with its Af-Pak formulation, limiting the war on terror to Afghanistan and Pakistan while going soft on Pak-exported terror to India, is unlikely to succeed.

Then again, yielding to Pak pressure and giving it unconditional and substantial aid ignores the 40-year history of such aid being utilised against us. Therefore, UPA-II has its task cut out in placing our legitimate regional concerns on the US radar. No lasting solution to the ‘jihadi’-terror can ignore its Kashmir-centric facet.

Even as Pakistan grapples with its internal devils we need to remain alert to any attempts to divert public attention from its problems by raising the India-bogey and attempting yet another military misadventure against us. Ee must have contingency plans in place to preclude jihadis’ access to WMDs. This calls for enhanced intelligence efficacy and a plan for plugging gaps in our conventional capability.
The final facet concerns the newly revealed pugnacity in China’s gheraoing of India. In addition to the string-of-pearls naval bases designed to control Indian Ocean’s nodal sea-lanes, China has moved to undermine India’s ties with Nepal and Sri Lanka besides helping Pakistan enhance its nuclear weapons programme.

The articulation of its now-evident animosity results from success of sustained strategic efforts. The rail link to Lhasa (being extended to Kathmandu), support of Maoists in Nepal and emergence of a strong blue-ocean fleet with sophisticated SLBM-equipped nuclear submarines are all products of a decades-long strategic vision pursued with sustained and purposeful vigour. This is in such sharp contrast to MoD’s failure to produce even a single strategy paper in 62 years – or even to approve, comment on, or reject the 11th Defence Plan, three years after the clock for the Plan started ticking. Time and events do not await MoD’s convenience!

Consequently, India’s defence and strategic preparedness has been irresolute and patchy and simply unequal to the severe challenges confronting the nation.

Last week, China bared another of its fangs at the Asian Development Bank when it moved to block $2.9 billion credits to India ostensibly because they included development assistance for some Arunachal Pradesh projects. This recalled the relevance of Chanakya’s wisdomin Arthashastra: “it is the Mauryan soldier (read military strength) which alone enables the nation to prosper and grow economically”.
We can break the dragon’s gherao by now looking ahead and starting energetically to meet current challenges; assigning due priority to defence and strategic issues; and above all, reversing decades of sidelining professionals from strategy formulation.

There must be a subtle but sustained diplomatic effort with China’s other neighbours to assuage their nervousness at its Middle Kingdom syndrome. Central to this endeavour must be cementing deeper economic and strategic cooperation with Japan. Others would include Central Asian Republics and ASEAN, specially Vietnam, Indonesia and Philippines.

UPA-II should engage the Obama administration to regain some Bush-era warmth and attain some convergence between respective strategic perceptions. Given Clinton’s Indian friends, getting our message across would be simple but achieving a degree of congruity will need much hard work, considering the administration’s declared priorities. Some insurance will need to be taken out by fostering closer understanding with Russia, UK and EU countries.

While UPA-II sets its priorities in restoring double-digit growth and poverty alleviation, it would be fruitful to recall Chanakya’s ancient wisdom and also propel India to strategic security, militarily and diplomatically. But the big challenge may lie in finding the will to boldly confront strategic challenges facing the nation.

Kargil Veteran...Baldev singh

sunday pioneer
Cowards in a nation of braves

Kanchan Gupta

Kargil war veteran Baldev Singh was shot dead and robbed by three men in Bhajanpura, North-east District of Delhi. He was carrying Rs 8.45 lakh. The incident occurred around 10 am barely 50 metres from a police picket — reportedly manned by two personnel...” This is an excerpt from a story that appeared in last Tuesday’s newspapers. The incident had occurred the previous day. At a very superficial level, this story tells us about the appalling law and order situation that prevails in the nation’s capital city where policemen are deployed to protect the precious lives of ‘Very Very Important Persons’ who, by virtue of their status as Ministers, MPs and bureaucrats, are entitled to security while commoners who toil so that they can keep the VVIPs, their spouses and their progeny in comfort, find themselves at the mercy of gangsters, murderers and rapists. Lutyens’ Delhi is the modern day Diwan-i-Khaas while the rest of the metropolis, in large patches squalid, overcrowded and bereft of civic facilities, is the Diwan-i-Aam. The glittering chrome-and-glass malls, the multiplexes and the fancy restaurants with unhygienic kitchens — my companion is still recovering from the ravages of typhoid that went undetected for almost a fortnight at an upmarket hospital — and the perpetually under-construction flyovers help cover the ugly underbelly of life in Delhi. Living in the national capital is bad; living in the National Capital Region is worse.

But let’s get back to where we began: The murder of an Army veteran, a man who fought in the last war we faced, in, as media is fond of describing, broad daylight, a short distance from a police picket where two worthies in khaki were reportedly on duty. The police claim to have ‘cracked’ the case; four men have been arrested; the story has been duly published; and, that is the last we shall ever hear of this murder. It could be argued that the killers were ignorant of Baldev Singh’s background, that he had helped regain territory we almost lost to Pakistan in the summer of 1999. But that’s unlikely as they were aware of his responsibility of collecting cash from the petrol pump where he worked and depositing it in a bank. They would have also been told of who Baldev Singh was by their informers. So, here we have a shocking incident of Indians killing an Army veteran who had risked his life for the country’s defence and the nation’s territorial integrity. We haven’t heard a pip-squeak from our so-called ‘civil society’ which is prompt in holding candle light vigils for dubious causes or 24x7 news channel celebrities whose hearts bleed for the cherubic faced ‘Butcher of Mumbai’ — one of them recently wrote a touching article in a national daily whose sum and substance was: Look at this poor lad who should be playing football and cricket in Faridkot and returning home to the comforting arms of his mummy every evening; does he deserve to swing at the end of a rope? Yes he does. As do the four men who killed Baldev Singh.

The point, really, is not merely about our society grown callous and indifferent, or the rapidly diminishing sense of national pride. It is also about the Government choosing not to remember wars fought by our soldiers and honouring our heroes — those who lived to tell tales of valour and those who fell on the battlefield. We have an annual ceremony to honour the unknown soldier at Amar Jawan Jyoti, the memorial at India Gate, and that’s about all. We do not celebrate our spectacular military victory in 1971 lest Pakistanis are offended and reminded of Mrs Indira Gandhi’s audacious decision to rend asunder Mohammed Ali Jinnah’s “moth-eaten Pakistan” and deliver Bangladeshis from the rapacious tyranny of West Pakistan. There’s a sneaking suspicion that December 16 is studiously ignored by our politicians (including, and it must be noted, those of the BJP) because the observance of Victory Day could ‘hurt’ Islamist sentiments at home.

So, it is not entirely surprising that the Government should also ignore Vijay Diwas — July 26 — the day a defeated, devastated and demoralised Pakistani Army turned tail and fled from the heights of Kargil, more precisely, the few remaining bunkers in its control, leaving its dead to rot in the rocky wilderness of Drass, Kaksar and Mashkoh Valley. Nor should it be surprising if Indians who have come of age in this past decade — those who were eight years old in 1999 — are ignorant of the tumultuous events whose tremors were felt around the world and shook the US into taking, for the first (and only) time in six decades, a firm stand against Pakistan. In fact, a pop quiz would reveal very few of us remember the details of the Kargil war, as also the other wars that have been forced on us. When Tiger Hill was taken back from the Pakistani intruders, there were celebrations across the country. But how many of us remember that outpouring of national pride? Or, that 533 of our finest and bravest men died during Operation Vijay?

One story that should be remembered by us, and told to our children again and again lest future generations forget, is that of Captain Saurabh Kalia and his team of five soldiers who were on duty at Bajrang Post in the Kaksar area on May 15. Suddenly there was heavy firing from across the Line of Control; Captain Kalia and his men responded in full measure; tragically, they ran out of ammunition. Before they could send out an SOS (there have been suggestions that their communications equipment failed to work), Captain Kalia and his men were surrounded by Pakistani soldiers. Later, Skardu Radio reported that they had been taken alive. On June 7, 1999, their bodies were handed over by the Pakistani Army. For the 20-odd days that Captain Kalia and his men were alive, they were brutally tortured in captivity — their mutilated bodies bore the evidence of chilling inhumanity: Ear drums pierced with hot iron rods, eyeballs carved out with knives, genitals chopped off, every bone broken and splintered. And, after all this, they were shot in the head. No apology was offered, none was sought!

On the first anniversary of our victory in Kargil, there were official celebrations and the martyrs’ supreme sacrifice was recalled. By 2001, the then BJP-led NDA Government’s fervour had begun to taper off. A year later, July 26 was knocked off the calendar of national events as it was seen to be an obstacle on the path to peace! Since then, the day has come and gone, year after year, without the Government taking note of it in the mistaken notion that by doing so, it would keep the Pakistanis in good humour.

But even if cynical politicians and a callous Government fail to honour the memory of Captain Kalia and 532 other men who died in the Kargil war, should we the people of India forget them too? Think about this between now and July 26. Reflect, resolve and react