Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Ex Servicemen have a right to protest against injustices

Congratulations to Gen K M Bhimaya,(Retd) for his brilliant article,sent from USA, which I hope will be read by our politicians, Babus and our own detractors. This is a view from an officer and a gentleman and is a vindication of what our IESM with excellent leadership is doing. Let us wholeheartedly join the Movement not only to project our demands; but join the people like Anna Hazare, to get freedom from the unscrupulous , corrupt and inept leadership provided by nexus between politicians, bureaucrats, criminals which are now joined by religious fanatics and a section of the media . Present leadership of our Defence Services barring a few, have been rendered impotent and made too subservient to their Netas and Babus and it is time for we the serving and retired Veterans in a concerted manner, strive to bring about a change, in National interest. In the process we should never lose our professionalism, apolitical nature and our strong bonds with the common people of India which sustain our Defence Services. The scams involving some of our senior officers and their wives have brought shame and sense of anger among our veterans especially among junior ranks, which is bound to erupt one day, if we continue our apathy towards them. Serving officers in responsible positions must take note of this and make the politicians and Government officials at every level with whom they deal with, to realize the long term adverse implications of this disturbing trend.

The rank and file of Veterans are getting angry with serving and retired officers particularly the senior ranking ones, for not doing enough to ensure their welfare and restore their izzat. Sainik Welfare organizations are now staffed by officers with no dedication to their jobs and getting ineffective and redundant. Even though it is grandly declared by the Karnataka Government that 10% of the government jobs are reserved in Gp A, B, C and D for ESM, not even one job has been given to ESM for several years now and who is there to protest?! The result is that there is no one in the Government, to know and honour their sacred and national duty to look after the welfare of ESM. None of the relatives of politicians and officials are in the Defence Services to know their needs. Why should they care, when someone else is there to make all the sacrifice to keep our Nation secure, so that they can live in comfort?!

Our worthy Chief Minister has enough time to visit many temples/ Mutts/ Religious institutions at public cost and dole out tax-payers money on vote catching gimmick: but he has had no time till now to chair even a single Rajya Sainik Board Meeting as its President, which is supposed to be held at least once a year. Who is there to protest?! At district levels our Deputy Commissioners do not even know that they are Presidents of Zilla Sainik Boards and they are supposed to hold meetings every quarter and supervise the work of Deputy Director in Sainik Welfare Office. They have no time for ESM and all the time for politicians and those who can offer favours. No meetings/ Sainik Rallies are being held in recent years, as in the past even though, funds are earmarked every year. Who is to protest? Who is to question?

Since 2004, some of us because of the apathy of Sainik Welfare Department took the initiative and relentlessly have been trying our very best to get 14 guntas of vacant revenue land covered with lantana bushes near our Sainik Welfare Office to build our ECHS Polyclinic and ESM canteen without success so far. All our letters/ appeals/visits/ Memorandum to the successive Deputy Commissioners/ Chief Ministers/ Governors/ Defence Ministers etc signed by hundreds of local ESM ,have landed up in desk officers’ files gathering dust without any progress. We have met these Deputy Commissioners, Governors, ministers and concerned principal secretaries in their air- conditioned offices. They all speak nicely and give assurances,( probably to get rid of us); but nothing happens thereafter! We do not as per our ethos give Bribe, Beg or Agitate. Are we being side lined because of the virtues we have been displaying as opposed to our civilian counter parts!? Yet the very same government officials sanctioned( as per newspaper reports) a much larger, prime de-notified pieces of land at throw away prizes to the Chief Minister’s and a Cabinet Minister’s sons within a fortnight ! Thank God their political rivals (who are no better) and the Press got together to expose the scam and the injustice was set right; but the said Ministers are firm in their seats.

We had defended the borders of the Country during wars and intervening disturbed peace with tremendous sacrifice. Is it too much to ask for measly 14 Guntas of land for welfare of ESM?! Has our civilian brothers have no sense of gratitude and patriotic feelings? I know, due to rampant divisiveness, this Country of ours will fall like a ton of bricks, if the Defence Services do not perform their duties with much more discipline and dedication than our civilian counterparts. In India, the much hyped pillars of democracy like the Legislature, Executive and Judiciary are becoming very brittle, which will crumble without active interest from the people who are sovereign.

Let us join forces with IESM and well meaning people of India to toil till justice is done and Country is saved from utter chaos.
Yours Sincerely,
Maj Gen C K Karumbaya, SM(Retd)

Brilliantly argued and very persuasively projected.
Heartiest compliments to Gen Bhimayya. He should now take it up to the 'next level' with the IESM Leadership to evolve strategic thrusts and the Movement's plans.
Lt Gen YN Sharma, Former Army Commander

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