MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 12 JULY 2009
1. In the month of July there were two Meetings of ESM in Tamilnadu. The first was in Chennai, by the IESM. The second was by the IESL in Thanjavur.
2. I am forwarding the minutes of the IESM Meeting. In a couple of days I will forward a brief on Thanjavur Meet.
3. Contributions for the conduct of the Meet were received from the following Veterans:-
Cdr PV Francis, Col Ram Gulrajani, Lt Col N Padmanabiah, Col KV Balakrishnan, Lt Col R Rajakumar--- Rs 5,00/- each.
Lt Col C Sundaramurthy, Nb Sub(Hony) V Sitaram, Lt Col TPK Sundaram, Capt (Hony) R Ponnuraj----Rs 1,00/- each.
4. My sincere thanks to all the donors who volunteered to share the expenses of the Meeting.
5. The Meeting was chaired by Col (Retd) TN Raman, Convener IESM, Tamilnadu.
6. The Convener, at the outset clarified that the Meeting was organised to bring all the ESM of the State under one Umbrella & there was no tussle with the older organisations like IESL or FIESA. There definitely was a requirement to boost the membership of the IESM, since it was the only ESM Organisation, which took the Govt to task after the Sixth Pay Commission & focused the attention of the entire Nation on issues affecting the ESM Community. Though it spear headed the Movement, official recognition has been denied. The Govt’s announcement in the Parliament a few days back that the OROP issue has been resolved was far from the truth, which all ESM will realise sooner than later. He then requested the ESM from out stations to present their views.
7. JWO Kasi Viswanathan from Kunrakudi said that though he had been a member of FIESA affiliated ESM Association for more than a decade & half, this was the first time he found a credible leadership being provided for the ESM, in the form of IESM. His Association would always back the just cause of IESM. He thanked the IESM for giving an opportunity for airing his views.
8. W/O Shivraj from Coimbatore. (Chairman FIESA Tamilnadu). He said that he had already joined IESM as a member & many more like him from Coimbatore had done so, due to the efforts of Col A Sridharan. He pointed out the statement from Sgt Vasudevan who had exhorted the PBORs from accepting the increased pension unless the same was granted to the Officers also. He assured that the Officers need not take to the streets. They had to only guide from behind & all the PBORs would execute their orders. The Convener intervened at this stage to clarify that as per the ethos of Army, the Officers at the command level lead from the front. This was no different. All the agitations carried out so far by the IESM had full participation of the Officers, who led from the front. This was the main reason for the popularity of the IESM. At the same time, the contribution from the PBOR side had been overwhelming, which had left deep impression amongst all the Officers. As the time progresses, we would find all ranks of ESM of all the three Services, would be proud to call themselves simply as veterans.
9. Veteran Shivraj wanted to know whether IESM had any more agenda than the OROP. Similar query was also raised by ESM Sundarrajan, Secretary, Thiruvallur District ESM Association of FIESA. The Convener pointed out that there were four Core Issues including the OROP. Besides that, there were a number of side issues which had to be resolved. The IESM was here to stay on a permanent basis & had resolved to settle all the injustices & anomalies.
10. Then Sundarajan requested that the IESM should take up the following issues on Op Immediate basis.
a. Pay Disparity.
b. Pension Disparity.
c. Interpretation of Rules.
d. Improvement of the Morale of ESM & ECHS.
e. Lack of strength of ESM in an organised way.
11. The Convener assured the gathering that the following measures would be taken up forth with, by the IESM Tamilnadu.
a. A Pension Cell would be functional under Col N Viswanathan.
b. Cdr Vaidyanathan, from Trichy, volunteered to head the ECHS Cell.
c. The Convener pointed out that lack of resources would preclude opening of any Office at present. However, since most of the members know AWHO Parameswaran Vihar, an Office would be created in his own residence. The email ID & Phone Nos are already well known.
d. Regarding the strengthening of the Movement, the FIESA can help us out in a big way. The Core Group IESM had confirmed that the Associations forming part of FIESA could carry their own banners as well as operate with their own Office Bearers. They were requested to send Official Letters of confirmation for their support to IESM & also their affiliation.
12. Cdr Vaidyanathan brought out that FIESA had been in existence for more than 25 years & had 24 Associations affiliated to it in Tamilnadu. Similar was the case with IESL but none of them could make an impact at the Capitol. What Col Raman could achieve in a span of few months, others could not. Similar view was echoed by Nk JP Balakrishnan, from Thanjavur, who claimed that the IESL had nearly 15,000 members in Tamilnadu. Veteran Sundaramurthy also said that the FIESA did not enjoy the confidence of Delhi. The affiliation with IESM would prove beneficial for the ESM community.
13. Cdr Vaidyanathan stated that every Association must follow the democratic norms. Though the Agenda included the Election of New Office Bearers, considering the present strength of local members, he suggested that Col TN Raman to continue with his portfolio for the time being. Brig NL Narayanan supported the motion & the resolution was passed unanimously.
14. Then Col KS Chakravathy, effectively put across the points regarding the lack of unity amongst the ESM, which had encouraged the Govt to keep up their policy of divide & rule. He emphasized the need for IESM to be absolutely non political in its approach. He also brought out how disgraceful it was to read some Veterans casting aspersions on fellow veterans, just because they had different views. He emphasized that such unhealthy criticisms should cease forthwith.
15. Col P Radha Krishnan then summarised the decisions taken for the benefit of all:-
a. Increase the membership of IESM by fresh initiative.
b. All ESM should come under IESM either as members or by affiliation.
c. ECHS Cell & Pension Cell must be created.
d. The comments about the Budget & our Pensions must be made only after a careful study.
e. The present set up in Tamilnadu to continue.
16. The Convener in his closing remarks said that every nascent organization would have to go through the stages we were experiencing now. Inadequate resources or finance would not be a constraint to our growth. The very fact that representatives from far off Districts like Thanjavur, Trichy, Coimbatore & many places had come to attend the Meeting, spending from their own resources was a testimony to that fact. Unity of ESM was the crying need of the hour. IESM would not rest till every aspect of the ESM Welfare had been addressed to by the Govt & the results achieved.
17. He thanked the entire gathering for their cooperation & support.
18. There being no other points the Meeting was declared closed.
Col (Retd) TN Raman
Convener IESM Tamilnadu
E5/230, AWHO Parameswaran Vihar,
28, Arcot Road, Chennai- 600093
Ph: 044-42013210, 0 9840033326