Monday, August 23, 2010

Mail from Col BK Rai

From: Bhanu Kumar Rai []
Sent: 21 August 2010 02:45
To: Kamboj Chander

(The email below pertains to the article by Gen Jacob – Chander Kamboj)

I, as a young Signals Officer was sent to Wellington to provide communications for 'Telephone Battle' excercises in 1952. For a month or so I was put up in the Nilgiri Bungalow, where the other occupants (all singles) were then Majors Jacob, Furtado, and Munshi. Gen Jacob commanded the Arty School during partition, was it then a Major's Command?

I was in Calcutta till Dec 70 and was in regular touch with Gen JS Arora, the Army Commander, who used to go round to the Quality Assurance detachments under my command at Philips, Union Carbide, Fort Gloster, J Stone & Co. etc. His visits to my unit every alternate Saturday had become a ritual.

I opted for premature retirement, which was first refused and later arranged by Gen Arora. During that time Brig Bhasin was the CSO. Gen Jacob himself drafted my application for premature retirement as requested by Gen Arora. I often met ran into him at shops dealing in second hand goods and antiques around Russel Street; I was looking for furniture and he for antiques. He may not remember me because I became acivilian when the war was being fought in Bangla Desh. I ran into him a few times at the India International Centre and at Som Vihar and he did not place me. I would seek his pardon for my impertinence.
I was privy to few things during informal chats with Gen Arora, which do not quite tally with Gen jacob's account as given by him in the interview with Karan Thapar a few months back. It is intriguing that in the inteview with Karan Thapar, there was hardly any mention of Gen Arora and an impression was created that he was getting orders from Field Marshal Maneckshaw and did all the stategic planning and took all crucial decisions resulting in the historic victory. A replay of the interview would probably show this.

I am a small fry and was hesitant to raise these doubts. Perhaps Gen Jacob may be requested to throw some light on these ponts to shut up doubting Thomases like me.

_BK Rai
(Col BK Rai, Former Secretary to Government of India, 3rd Graduates Course of the IMA, Premature Retirement in 1970, B Tech from IT BHU, Post Gradute from IISc Bangalore, Founder Chairman of UPTRON Group, Founder Chairman of HCL and over 20 other companies, Distinguished Fellow and Former President of IETE, Former Treasurer and a Fellow of the Indian National Academy of Engineering, For ten years Advisor electronics to RP Goenka, Hari Shankar Singhania, MH Dalmia and others. For a dozen years Member of the Task Force of the Dept of Public Enterprises and Chairman of the Electronics Group (BEL, ITI, MTNL, BSNL, ECIL , CMC etc.), For seven years Chairman of the Services Group (STC, MMTC, PEC, ITPO, ITDC etc.),Director of the HOTLINE Group Companies for 16 years. Now settled in Bangalore.)

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