Monday, March 15, 2010

Welfare ....Defence Forces by Wg Cdr S Bendre

From: Shashank Bendre
Sent: 12 March 2010 11:26
Subject: Prime Minister Misguides Parliament


On the 3rd of March 2010, in response to the query by the opposition MP Mr. L.K. Advani, no less a person than the Prime Minister of India, declared in the Lok Sabha that instructions to implement the recommendations of the committee headed by the Cabinet Secretary, formed to study OROP, had been issued. The IESM and all the veterans knew that this was not true since none of the affected veterans had received any benefits recommended by the committee. At the time, there was no concrete proof to refute the PM's statement though the IESM contradicted the PM's statement through a Press Note.

But now the cat is out of the bag. The Times of India of March 12, 2010 (and may be other newspapers too) carries a Public Notice issued by Ministry of Defence, Department of Ex-servicemen Welfare, detailing the recommendations accepted by the government. The department says that this is issued in public interest since queries continue to be received by them. But importantly, the notice also records that "By issue of Governments' letter on the recommendations on 08-03-2010, all the recommendations stand implemented."

All of us would have noticed the discrepancy of dates that the Government letter is dated four days later than the date on which the PM made the statement in the Lok Sabha. Mr. Manmohan Singh, as the Prime Minister, would not knowingly make a false statement in the Lok Sabha it being a matter of privilege, so it is apparent that he was fed with wrong information ( given Duff Gen, as we say in the services' language) by the Ministry of Defence. The question is whether the guilty person- the Secretary, Ministry of Defence-, will be punished (dismissed?) for the extremely grave offence of knowingly giving wrong information to the Prime Minister of the country? And what about the honourable Defence Minister, who leaves no opportunity of saying how much he cares for the Armed Forces? If such persons of doubtful integrity are at the helm of a ministry controlling the military forces tasked with the external security of the country, it is doubtful if India can secure its interests and territory against its foes! This matter needs to be thoroughly investigated as the all powerful Babu lobby would certainly try to sweep it under the carpet.

I am sure the will IESM issue a Press Note to point out the discrepancy and also inform Mr. Advani about the same.

Shashank Bendre
Wg.Cdr. (Retd)

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