Tuesday, December 4, 2012

People misled into believing corruption in defence services is endemic..posted by Brig V Mahalingam (Retired)

People misled into believing corruption in defence services is endemic

Dear All,

Kindly go through my article titled "People misled into believing corruption in defence services is endemic...
" in the Times of India Blogs at the following link.


I would request you all to kindly put down your comments under the Blog as I believe it would add value to what I have written.


Brigadier V Mahalingam (Retired)

Sunday, November 25, 2012


Dear Veterans                                  Dated : 23 Nov 2012
Invitation letter to Media regarding Vishal Ex Servicemen Rally at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi on 01 Dec 2012 from 10 AM to 3 PM  dated 23 Nov 2012 is enclosed herewith for your information and wide circulation/publication please.
Jai Hind!!
With Warm Regards,
 Yours Sincerely,
Maj Gen (Retd) Satbir Singh, SM
Vice Chairman Indian Ex Servicemen Movement
 Mobile: 9312404269, 0124-411057       

Dated: 23 Nov 201
Dear Members of the Media,
1.       Peeved by continued apathy of the Government towards their genuine demands, the Defence Veterans plan to continue their protests across the country.  As part of it, an Ex Servicemen Rally will be held at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi on 01 Dec 2012 from 10 AM to 3 PM.
2.       One Rank One Pension (OROP) is a four decades old demand of Defence Veterans. It implies “Defence Personnel with the same rank and same length of service must draw the same pension irrespective of the date of retirement”.  However despite most political parties declaring support for it, and despite many Committees on Defence recommending implementation of OROP for Defence Veterans, the Government has not implemented it.
3.       Unfortunately this is not an isolated case of neglect of Defence veterans’ interests. Many Governmental actions relating to Veteran affairs indicate an institutional indifference and perhaps willful design that is both alarming and demotivating. Consider the following:
a.       The ridiculous situation wherein a Major General draws a pension lower than that of a Lieutenant Colonel- three ranks lower in the hierarchy.
b.      A Havildar drawing a pension less than that of a Sepoy, which is a much junior rank?
c.       A Lieutenant General drawing almost the same pension as a Colonel or a Brigadier, ranks that are junior.  
d.      While all Central Govt employees have been given three Assured Career Progressions by the 6th CPC, the same has been denied to the “Sepoy” who is compulsorily retired after 15 – 17 years of service and the Assured Career progression to Defence persons are authorized after 8, 16, 24 years of service.  Is it not Gross injustice that a Sepoy is not granted the financial benefit of 3rd Career Progression before retirement to enable him to get the pension accordingly?   
e.      Non-inclusion of Defence Services in even benefits like Non Functional Upgrades, made applicable to all other Government services EXCEPT Defence Services.
f.        Widows of Defence personnel are invariably left out of accretions in Pensions announced for JCO/OR.
g.       An amazing 39 serious anomalies have arisen in the implementation of even the 6th Central Pay Commission, causing grave injustice to the Defence Personnel in their status and thus inter-se equation with other Central Services, pay and pensions.
h.      Non implementation of the ‘Rank Pay’ awarded holistically by the Fourth Pay Commission, despite a recent court order.
i.         Periodically falsely claiming grants and benefits to Defence Veterans, without them being granted.
j.        Contesting all judicial orders / rulings favoring Defence Veterans.
k.       Non-inclusion of Uniformed fraternity even in committees set up over matters directly affecting them.
4.       It appears that our Government does not respect the sacrifices made by a soldier-who does not think twice before making the supreme sacrifice. This is a very unfortunate state of affairs.  
5.       As you are aware, Defence Veterans have been depositing their medals with the President to protest the Government’s apathy towards them. 22000 medals have already been thus deposited. Following the Rally on 1 December, the next tranche’ of approximately ten thousand medals will first be taken around to various locations in NCR before being taken to Rashtrapati Bhawan, to make our countrymen aware of the injustice meted out to Defence Veterans.
6.       IESM has great pleasure in inviting you to please attend the rally on 1 Dec 2012 from 10 AM on, and experience firsthand, the angst of the Defence Veterans community.
Jai Hind!!
With Warm Regards,                                                       
 Yours Sincerely,
Maj Gen (Retd) Satbir Singh, SM                                                                      
Vice Chairman Indian Ex Servicemen Movement
 Mobile: 9312404269, 0124-411057       

Friday, October 26, 2012


Dear Veterans ,                                                                       Dated: 25 Oct 2012
      Letter to RM, three Chiefs and MD ECHS regarding Health Care Ex Servicemen : ECHS problems needing immediate redressal is circulated herewith for further circulation please.
With Regards,
Yours Sincerely,
Maj Gen (Retd) Satbir Singh, SM
Vice Chairman Indian ESM Movement
Mobile: 9312404269, 0124-4110570
                                                                        Email: satbirsm@gmail.com
Shri A.K.  Antony                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                
 Defence    Minister
                                                                                                                         Date: 25 Oct 2012

Dear Shri A K Antony,
1.  The ex servicemen contributory health scheme (ECHS) has been in existence for a decade. While it has to an extent ameliorated the healthcare problems of defence veterans, some glaring shortcomings exist. Indian Ex Servicemen Movement (IESM) has been actively interacting with defence veterans across India to gain first hand inputs of their experience with ECHS. By now we have enough inputs about these shortcomings, which have been brought to the notice of the Govt, the three Chiefs, AG and MD ECHS on numerous occasions.  Assurances have been given a number of times for redressal of the problems but most of the cases under process which will address some of the inadequacies are still lying in various offices. If expeditious actions are taken to accord the required sanctions, the ECHS health care of its members will see a quantum improvement.  Some of the issues needing immediate redressal are discussed in succeeding paragraphs.
Inadequacy of Funds 
2.  There are approx 35 lacs dependent member of ECHS.  Even if Rs 27000 per member is scaled (as is presently known) the annual budget should be approx 9400 crores.  As against this amount, it is understood that merely Rs 1600 crores have been planned for this year.  This amount is too inadequate to service the ECHS satisfactorily.  Since large numbers of polyclinics are not yet operational and a large number of ECHS members are unable to avail of the facility, and to meet the existing requirements of ECHS, there is an immediate need to bring up allocations to satisfactory levels.
Withdrawal of Empanelled Hospitals Due to Non Clearance of Bills

3. Non availability of funds with the MD ECHS has had a cascading adverse effect on planning and execution of healthcare of ECHS members. Super Specialty Hospitals and other good hospitals are not offering themselves to be empanelled because of the non clearance of their bills in time.  Suggestion was given by IESM to MD ECHS to clear 50 percent of the hospital bills within one week of receipt of the bills and remaining 50 percent be cleared within 30 days, after due evaluation, analysis and verification.  We are told that such a proposal is lying with Secy DESW for a considerable time for approval.  You would appreciate that delays in clearance of such important proposals adversely affect functionality. The same needs to be sanctioned immediately to assist MD ECHS to clear outstanding hospital bills.
4.  A large number of good Super Specialty Hospitals initially empanelled with ECHS, have withdrawn for want of clearance of their bills and the remaining empanelled hospitals are also under financial stress and on the verge of discontinuing empanelment.  Two hospitals in Ludhiana stopped accepting ECHS members.  With personal intervention of MD ECHS they have restarted their service.  Medanta Hospital Gurgaon, an empanelled hospital has also stopped accepting ECHS members because, out of their bills of Rs 5 crores already lying with MD ECHS, only 2 lacs and 15 thousand have been paid.  All hospitals in Mysore and Nagpur had withdrawn their empanelment for nonpayment of their bills.  Life of Lt Gen Raj Kadyan was saved, again with concerted efforts by IESM, MD ECHS and personal indulgence of Dr. Trehan that he was moved to Medanta hospital Gurgaon where his serious condition with 17000 platelet counts and Dengue Fever was managed effectively. Likewise two ECHS members who were to be operated for cancer at Medanta were initially refused admission but finally accepted by the hospital with personal intervention and assurance of MD ECHS for early clearance of their bills.  Why should such a situation be allowed to occur?
5.  The required funds need to be released well in time to ensure smooth execution ECHS.
Listed and Unlisted Procedures
6.  Medical Science has improved considerably and new procedures are introduced to improve the quality of medical care.  These procedures are adopted by various super specialty hospitals.  In order to provide the best available medical care to ex servicemen, there is need to review the listed/unlisted procedures at regular intervals.  It is strongly recommended that any unlisted procedure which has been introduced in the country in the last six months should automatically be included in the listed procedures.  This will enable the ECHS members to avail of the improved medical care. Following examples illustrate this:-

(a)       Robotic surgery has been introduced in our country in many hospitals for many years.  However, the same has not yet been included in the listed procedures of ECHS.   Two cases of cancer patients, one with breast cancer and other with prostate cancer, who were to be operated at Medanta Super Specialty Hospital at Gurgaon (Hr), an empanelled hospital,illustrate the harassment of patients, by not implementing this.  In case of both, undue delay in treatment was caused since the robotics methodology of treatment is not included in Medanta’s contract.  Once Medanta has been empanelled with ECHS, all procedures and specializations being carried out there should automatically be included in the listed procedures. ECHS members should not be harassed and made to run around to get the necessary sanctions.  The ECHS structure and systems should be so improved to automatically include improvements in medical science and technology. Necessary changes in the rates should be regularly incorporated by ECHS every six months.
(b)      Injection Avastin for eye ailment ARMD has been introduced in our country for over a decade.  However, the same is not included in the listed procedures.
Suggested Improvement in Provision of medical Care to ESM
7.  Single window super specialty medical care must be made available to ECHS members.   The referral to the empanelled hospital should be for consultation, investigation, treatment and follow up and there should be no need for the patient to run around to get administrative sanctions.  Checks and audits may be introduced at the time of empanelling the hospital and subsequently by audit teams to ensure no malpractices are allowed to happen.
8.   Some suggestions are made as under:-
(a) Emergency Treatment in Civil Hospital: The Govt. while sanctioning License/ Registration to hospitals should have a clause that defence personnel and ECHS members would be attended to in an emergency at ECHS rates.  The concerned hospital should inform the closest ECHS Clinic/ECHS helpline about the patient.  The designated team of doctors should visit the hospital within 24hrs to assess the condition of the patient. If the patient is in a state to be moved to an empanelled Hospital, the same may be carried out under ECHS arrangements.  If he is not in a position to be moved out of the hospital, then he /she should continue to get treatment at the same hospital and the ECHS should make direct payment to the hospital at ECHS rates.  If any extra charges are to be paid to the hospital, the same should be done by the ECHS and not the patient.  The patient should not have to arrange and pay dues to the hospital.  The case of Brig Mahajan who was, in an emergency, taken to Madanta Gurgaon by his son & was kept in ICU for more than 15 days, is illustrative.  His son had to raise private loans to pay bill of Rs 5, 60,841.09 and only Rs 3, 62,882/- have been reimbursed to him.   He or his son is not in a position to bear the loan amount.  As per terms and conditions of service, a soldier, his/her spouse and dependents are to be given free medical care for life. 
(b) MD ECHS should be the authority to operationalise the scheme.  He can seek assistance of any military hospital nearby and other controlling authorities should be done away with.
(c) The budget provisions for the ECHS must be made available in the beginning of the year.  Additional projections may be made based on the requirement and sanctioned on Priority.
(d) ECHS member should not have to spend money from his/her pocket to get any special   consultation, investigation, treatment and follow up. ECHS should take care of the same.
(e)     The facilities at   military medical establishments should be made available to the ECHS members who should have a choice to go to any one of these  in addition to the empanelled hospitals
Command and Control of ECHS
9.   ECHS should function under the overall Control of AG of Integrated HQ (ARMY) and not under Secy DESW.  All financial and administrative powers be vested with the AG who should be held accountable and answerable to RM & RRM through joint Chief of Staff Committee.
10. All Operational Control (Adm& Financial) of ECHS should be with MD ECHS and he should be accountable to the joint Chiefs of Staff Committee integrated HQ.
11. Technical support on as required basis be provided by  Armed Forces Medical set up at appropriate level.
Obligation of Private Hospitals towards Ex Servicemen
12. Through Govt orders/institutions, it should be obligatory for any private hospital to offer themselves for ECHS empanelment.   This should be incorporated in licence policy.
Review of Authorization  of Medical Specialist Medical Officer and ECHS Polyclinic Staff and their Emoluments
13.  There is need to review the authorizations of Medical Specialists, medical officers and other polyclinic staff and their emoluments.  The existing authorization and their emoluments are inadequate.  We are told that the proposal is awaiting sanction for a long time.  The same must be sanctioned expeditiously.
Availability of Medicines
14. Proposal to procure medicines through civil pharmacy is  reportedly at final stges of implementation. same must be  sanctioned at the earliest.
Enhancement of Financial Powers
15.  The existing financial powers at various levels are too inadequate.   A proposal to enhance these powers is also awaiting sanction for a long time.  The same needs to be sanctioned at the earliest.
Local Purchase of Medicines
16.  All ECHS members need to be authorized to local procure NA medicine from the market and claim funds for the same.   This will greatly improve availability of all prescribed medicines.
17.   May we request you to on priority consider our above suggestions to improve the Healthcare of Ex Servicemen through ECHS.
        With Regards,                                                        Yours Sincerely,
Jai Hind
Maj Gen (Retd) Satbir Singh, SM                                     
Vice Chairman Indian Ex Servicemen Movement
 Mobile: 9312404269, 0124-411057      

Email:satbirsm@yahoo.com,                                                                    satbirsm@gmail.com
Copy to :-
Gen Bikram Singh, PVSM, UYSM, AVSM, SM, VSM, ADC     - With request to                                                          Chief of the Army Staff                                                                      take up the issue with the                                         Integrated HQs of Armed Forces (Army)                                         Govt                                                            
South Block, New Delhi-110011                                                                                                       

Admiral Devendra Kumar Joshi, PVSMAVSMYSMNMVSMADC              -do-                                        Chief of the Naval Staff                                                                                                         
Integrated HQs of Armed Forces (Navy)                                                                                      
South Block, New Delhi-110011

Air Chief Marshal Norman Anil Kumar Browne, PVSM, AVSM, VM                    -do-   
Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee and                                                                                       
Chief of the Air Staff                                                                                                               
Integrated HQs of Armed Forces (Air Force)                                                                              
Vayu Bhawan, New Delhi-110011

Maj Gen J George                                                                                                                                                         MD ECHS                                                                                                                                                                   
Central Org ECHS                                                                                                                                                     Mod Lines Delhi Cantt-10

Tuesday, October 23, 2012




Dear Veterans,                                                                                    Dated : 28 Sep 2012

1. The Govt has not only not resolved 39 serious anomalies in Pay & Pension of Defence Personnel, it has not implemented the judgements of Armed Forces Tribunal & Supreme Court given in favour of Defence Personnel. Recommendations of Rajya Sabha Petition Committee on OROP strongly recommending OROP to Defence Personnel have not been implemented.

OROP issue which has been duly analysed for over 7 months by members of parliament, was assigned to a Committee of secretaries who had earlier given evidence to Rajya Sabha Committee against the grant of OROP. What could be expected from them? PM, RM and the three Chiefs were apprised of it. On 24th Sep 2012 (Evening) the Govt misled the soldiers and the Nation when they announced that OROP has been approved. Infact the approval is nowhere close to the OROP. 

They have removed a serious anomaly of 6th CPC where the bureaucracy had manipulated the recommendation of 6 CPC i.e “minimum of pay of the Rank in the Pay band was changed to Minimum pay of the Pay Band”. For Sepoy to Hav, they have given two years additional weightage which means an increase of only Rs 400 per month. The demand of three Chiefs to include members from the serving and retired Defence personnel in the Committee was not accepted.

2. Our struggle to get Justice therefore, will be continued with increased intensity.

With the above in mind, a Rally has been planned to be held at Jantar Mantar New Delhi on 01 Dec 2012 from 1030 – 1530hrs. All ESM who have not deposited their medals are requested to do so in large numbers. 

Medals can be collected area wise and brought to the Rally or individual ESM may deposit their medals at the rally site.

3. Future course of action and resolutions will be collectively passed at the Rally to ensure that we get our due Justice.

This Rally in Delhi is being held to showcase the continued apathy and mistreatment to the military and to impress upon the Government to see the writings on the wall and act fast to address all grievances of Defence personnel expeditiously.

4. In last ten years, the Defence Forces have suffered a lot of ignomies and humiliations due to apathetic attitude of the Govt. and the bureaucracy. The government is mistaken if it thinks that by dragging its feet on the issue of the armed forces dissatisfaction with the recommendations of the Sixth Pay Commission, it can make the issue go away.

5. A country that refuses to respect its armed forces will eventually end up getting forces that will not respect the nations' aspirations. A country makes a sacred contract with its soldiers that while he/she will lay down his/her life when called upon to do so, the nation will take good care of his/her and his/her family's needs to the extent its resources would permit.

6. Besides the Rally schedule, it is proposed to take out a March of 3 – 4 Kms on a designated route. It is also planned to prepare a vehicle platform on which gallantry and Distinguished Service Medals number approx 10 thousand which have already been deposited with us by volunteer ESM and a large number which will be deposited on the day of the Rally will be respectfully placed in a “Show Case” separately made for the purpose. This will be placed at the Rally Site and moved along with scheduled March during the Rally. Subsequently, it is planned to move the vehicle alongwith the “Show Cased Medals” at various locations in the NCR for a period of 5 – 7 days. Four volunteer ESM will always escort the medals on the vehicle.

7. IESM Conveners in nearby states i.e. Haryana, Rajasthan, Punjab, Himachal, Uttrakhand, UP who desire to parade the vehicle with Medals in their States may write to IESM HQ, at 543 Sector 23, Gurgaon (Haryana) on mail ID : satbirsm@gmail.com The vehicle would be planned to be dispatched to the volunteer states for a period of 3-4 days.

8. Veterans, their family members and supporters in large numbers are requested to attend the above Rally. As hither to, part reimbursement of transport will be made by IESM. All administrative arrangements will be tied up. All ESM who have uniforms with them are requested to come in uniform, others may wear Mufti Dress with Regimental tie and cap. All those who don’t have Mufti may wear Shirt & trouser.

9. ESM across the country and abroad are requested to send donations with a big heart for logistic management for the above Maha Rally. Cheques may either be deposited in our Bank, HDFC Bank A/C No 06162000001330 or be sent at 543 Sector 23 Gurgaon (Haryana), India 122017.

10. Plan now to keep 01 Dec 2012 free for yourself and the family members and make sure that you all attend the above Rally in large numbers. Your participation is essential to Show Case the collective strength of Defence Veterans to get our due Justice.

11. MUST join the rally to ensure “sure win” against the Injustice. “Manjle Bahut Hongi, Karvan Bahut Honge, Bhirh Wahan Hogi, Jhan Sikandar Honge”

With Regards,

Jai Hind Yours Sincerely,

Maj Gen (Retd) Satbir Singh, SM

Vice Chairman Indian ESM Movement

Mobile: 9312404269, 0124-4110570 Email: satbirsm@gmail.com

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


On 15 July 2012 18:50, Sailesh Ranade wrote:

Dear Veterans,

1. I have been closely following the situation with regard to OROP. I feel disgusted that veterans are crying like spoilt children for some fancy toy. This Tamasha has been going on for a few years now with no end in sight. In fact, we have brought this upon ourselves.

2. Now let us come to the main point. Veterans are not children. So stop behaving like children. If you think that the government (politicians and bureaucrats) is going to listen to you, forget it. Have you noticed that the government will notice you only if you do dharnas, hunger strikes, rallies and resort to things like rasta / rail roko. See how every other department is holding the government to ransom. 3. So what needs to be done? Get your butts off the ground and pull your finger out. Following points come to my mind readily.

•Bring in a Tall and Clean Leader. Only one relevant present day ICON comes to my mind.

Gen VK Singh. He has no financial historical baggage.

•If you cannot muster VKS, bring in Anna Hazare.

•Join Forces. Today we have all sorts of Brigadiers, Major Gen, Lt Gen and even a Major who run different types of organisation. Come together, but keep the tainted out. I used to see a lot of Generals on TV in the last 6 months. Dump them. Also dump all the military Governors and High Commissioners. They were all corrupt.

•Form a Political Party. Call it the “Patriotic Front“. I guarantee, at least 100 seats in Parliament if there are clean candidates. The number of ex-servicemen and servicemen is easily close to 4 million. There is no bigger homogenous force in the world. If you include the paramilitary, it will easily touch 10 million. When in Parliament, make your own laws. Pass any bill in favour of the veterans.

•The statement that “we will play by the rules” needs to be discarded. When your future is being decided by corrupt politicians, bureaucrats and judiciary, there is simply no future. Hold rallies, strikes, rasta roko etc. I am sure Delhi and surrounding areas can easily muster more people than what Anna Hazare and Ramdev could organise. And these two gentlemen brought the government on its knees.

•As military veterans, we should consider all means. All is fair in love and war. The result will be quick and the lesson will sink in once and for all. We don’t need cry babies on TV. Act now. The mood is against the government. India desperately needs a revolution. A minor storm by military veterans will be enough.

S Ranade
An excellent idea. Implementable.
l Rajan Comment: Why are IESM and IESL the two large Veteran organisations losing steam? Is it because their primary aim is now refocussed on collection of funds and spending more and doing less for the Veteran community? What has happened to improvement of ECHS, CSD and Resettlement? We hear nothing on ground.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

IESM Pune team visit to Shegaon in Sangli district

rom: Ravindra Pathak Date: Sun, Jul 15, 2012 at 9:17 AM Subject: [IESM_GovBody] Rally At Shegaon 13 Jul 2012 To: gove body IESM Dear Sir

The Pune Team of

Brig Luktuke

Dr Mrs Sardesai

Gp Capt S S Phatak

Wg Cdr Kalavar


visited Shegaon in Sangli district at the invitation of the local ESM.

The meetting was attended by about 75 people and we were able to enroll 37 members(5 JCO,17 Jawans and 15 widows.)

We were able to solve two pension cases on the spot and they received their dues immediately as the bank was on the ground floor of the place where meeting was held.

We were also able to convince them to form an association which they have agreed.Importance of joining ECHS was also explained to them.Their problems with ECHS were the same that are known to us.

Wg Cdr Kalavar is requested to upload the photos of the visit to me for sending to GB. Brgds


Cdr Ravindra Waman Pathak I.N. (Retd) 1 Surashri,1146 Lakaki Road Shivajinagar

Thursday, July 12, 2012


To Date: 12 July 2012 Maj Gen J George MD ECHS Central Org ECHS Mod Lines Delhi Cantt-10


Dear General George 1. We just spoke about empanelled hospitals at Nagpur. Mail received from veteran Ramesh Bora is enclosed.

2. There is need to get Super Specialty Hospitals empanelled to ECHS. I looked at the list of CGHS empanelment and I found there are 36 hospitals on the list. I am enclosing the same for your information. You may like to get approval of the Govt. for all CGHS empanelled hospitals deemed to be empanelled to ECHS. Simultaneously, we should either outsource the processing of Bills or introduce automation at more locations and in due course cover the entire country. You are aware that good super specialty hospitals are withdrawing from the ECHS for delay in clearance of their bills.

3. In the mean time local formation i.e. HQ MAINT COMMD IAF may be asked to play an active role in getting the local hospitals to opt for ECHS.

With Regards,

Jai Hind Yours Sincerely,

Maj Gen (Retd) Satbir Singh, SM

Vice Chairman Indian ESM Movement Mobile: 9312404269, 0124-4110570 Email : satbirsm@yahoo.com

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Kargil replied, Mumbai remains by Col Karan Kharb

Dear All,

A nice article reflecting the sentiments of every Indian Citizen from Karan.


Brigadier V Mahalingam

Kargil replied, Mumbai remains

India’s response to Mumbai 26/11 attacks has been nothing more than whining and complaining as a hapless victim which neither deters future attacks nor does it inspire confidence in her own security apparatus.

Karan Kharb

Mumbai 26/11 was an aggression that had all the ingredients of a ‘covert military operation’ innovatively planned, meticulously coordinated and audaciously executed through un-uniformed Pakistani ‘soldiers’ – call them mercenaries if euphemism be so necessary for those un-enrolled combatants trained and motivated under the aegis of Pakistan Army, Navy and ISI. Quite understandably, it comforts Pakistan to disown these ‘soldiers’ and label them as ‘non-state actors’ absolving itself of any involvement in the anti-India crusade. Pakistan’s mask of innocence has, however, been ripped off by confessions made by Kassab – the pawn in the forefront on 26 November 2008 and other irrefutable evidence already aplenty. More revelations from David Headley and Rana picked up by the FBI in the US have added more substance to it. If more was still needed, it is now overflowing from Syed Zabiuddin Ansari alias Abu Jundal whose depositions have now exposed how the entire operation was being remotely guided and controlled from the ‘Control Room’ in Karachi.

Somehow, India’s response has been embarrassingly feeble despite overwhelming evidence. We started by sending lists of Pakistani individuals identified as culprits in the episode to the Pakistan Government and quite naively expected them to punish them. On which principles of statecraft do we expect that the Pakistan Government (read ‘Army’) would ever admit its complicity in the crime and proceed against those it hired, trained and sent to do what they did? ‘Patriots all, they deserved highest of the awards on earth and zannat in the heavens’ - that’s how their masters in Karachi and Islamabad would seem to think. Little wonder that every piece of evidence supplied by India has been trashed by Pakistan. Surely, there must be better ways to deal with aggressions like these.

Every sovereign state is entitled to defend itself against all kinds of aggression or inimical actions with all its might. India too must act in a manner that Pakistan is made to genuinely believe that the retaliation to any misadventure originating from her territory would be sure, swift and severe. Look how we have decimated our own credibility in the recent past. After the attack on our Parliament in December 2001, the Army was mobilised and deployed all along Indo-Pak border – but only to return home empty handed after nearly a year of un-fought Op Parakram. Registering our protest against Pak sponsored terror attacks, we have frequently disrupted the summit meetings and Samjhauta bus service only to resume again without extracting much from our protests. We have created enough precedence on the basis of which India’s response to future such attacks can be foreseen and predicted.

The world, however, has better models and precedents to go by in dealing with such hostile acts by rogue states. Israel, for example, has developed her model of credible deterrence and frequently demonstrated her resolve through severest counter-blows to the originators of crime, no matter where they hid. Fear of hostile international opinion has not discouraged her bold initiatives and in preserving her sovereignty Israel has never shied away from delivering crippling blows often to the consternation of even her trusted ally, the United States. Now, compare ‘Operation Entebbe’ with India’s response to India’s shameful ‘Operation Kandahar’ in December 1999.

Another model is the United States of America. Whole world watched how the US responded to the al Qaeda terror attack on her vital installations on 11 September 2001. The US carried the war to the land from where it had originated and not only wrested Afghanistan from al Qaeda-Taliban clutches but continued the pursuit until Osama bin Laden was raided and killed in his den deep inside Pakistan. China, Russia, France, Germany, UK and many others have often carried out swift surgical operations by mobilising their Special Forces and striking cross border targets leaving the harbouring country under awe. Even countries like North Korea and South Africa have clearly defined and unambiguously declared policies which have been reinforced by their actions. India too has a highly trained set up of Special Forces with capabilities to swiftly move and strike anywhere across the globe. What we do not yet have is an unambiguous national policy to deal with acts of terror and covert attacks like Mumbai, Red Fort, Parliament et al.

The Pak doctrine of covert military operations is not new. It dates back to 1948 and has been resorted to nearly in all conflicts between the two neighbours since then. What could be more shocking than the fact that Pakistani soldiers were infiltrating in the guise of local shepherds to occupy heights in Kargil at a time when the two Prime Ministers, Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Nawaz Sharif, were signing the Lahore Declaration in Feb 1999 promising to find solutions to problems through peaceful means with mutual cooperation. The Indian Army had to fight a limited war and sacrificed precious lives to beat back this military adventurism of Pakistan. Nawaz Sharif is on record having admitted that he was kept in the darkness by his Army Chief, Gen Parvez Musharraf and the Army’s Kargil misadventure did not have his Government’s approval. Going by the post-Mumbai official posturing, how ridiculous would it seem if India were to despatch nominal roll and proofs of the Pakistani soldiers killed at Batalik, Tiger Hill and other Kargil heights requiring their commanders including Gen Parvez Musharraf to be prosecuted for their misdeeds?

If the Army could ignore their Prime Minister in 1999, the Pak Government is in far worse disarray today and, therefore, there is every likelihood of the Army/ISI having acted on their own in planning and deciding Mumbai 26/11. Remember President Zardari had offered to send the ISI Chief to Delhi soon after the Mumbai attacks. Next morning he was over ruled by the Army Chief, Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani who said there was no question of the ISI Chief or any other official going to Delhi to assist in investigations or give clarifications. Imagine a Government having to maintain its sober countenance with such an over assertive and insolent Army on one side, hard-core Islamists and pro-Taliban maulvis on the other, and a hyper-active Supreme Court gunning for the President from the top. Logically prudence suggests that while meaningful negotiations would run through complexities in such a chaotic environment, lightning commando strikes on pre-selected targets like the ‘Control Room’ complex in Karachi and Terrorist training camps deep inside Pakistan could have achieved better results with stunning effect.

Sadly, however, India’s response to Mumbai 26/11 attacks has been nothing more than whining and complaining as a hapless victim which neither deters future attacks nor does it inspire confidence in her own security apparatus. Anyway, the time and opportunity for quick and meaningful retaliation has been lost long ago. Asking and expecting the Pak Government to prosecute Pak citizens found involved in the Mumbai attacks is too much. But not all is over yet. At this belated stage too, India can still proceed decisively in a manner that would display her resolve and competence to deal with the guilty – be it the state or individuals – effectively. There is an immediate need for India’s top politico-bureaucratic policy makers to make themselves abreast with the capabilities and limitations of the Armed Forces and other security agencies. Integrating them in the process of decision making, planning future safeguards, pre-empting enemy plans and delivering a swift and decisive retaliatory blow in the event of any future attack can go a long way not only in fine-tuning our response system but also in building up our credibility as an emerging global power. Likewise, even as we move ahead in the now-on now-off Indo-Pak confidence building parleys, it is strategically vital to introduce there an implicit suspicion – rather, belief – that India can choose any means of reprisal to avenge any recurrence of Pak exported or assisted attack. Alongside, Pakistan must also be made to visualise two aspects very clearly: One, Pakistan stands to gain far more from peace, friendship and cooperation with India in revitalising her economy through trade agreements and cheaper transit costs. Two, her policy of unleashing terrorism on India will hereafter become dangerously disadvantageous and highly unaffordable to it. These two aspects should be highlighted and projected to Pakistan and the world in absolute unambiguous terms sooner than later.

Kargil Divas on 22 Jul 2012 at Noida Sec 29 ...11AM-1 PM...High Tea for all...

Monday, July 9, 2012




Press Release about functioning of the CSD is appended below for publication in your Most Esteemed Paper please .

With Warm Regards,

Your Sincerely,

Brig Harwant Singh (Retd) President , The All Defence Brotherhood (Regd) ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ PRESS RELEASE


1. Control of the CSD .Under the garb of ‘Welfare’ , the MOD has reportedly taken over control of the CSD and put it under the Department of the Ex-Servicemen Welfare (DESW) . The Defence Services would have hardly any say in policy formulation . It is one of the MOST unfortunate blow to the welfare of the serving and the retired soldiers (term includes Sailors and Airmen) and is an utterly negative step. It violates the time tested principle that ‘The USER must have a say and stake in running of any organisation’. It is pertinent to mention that the DESW is staffed purely by the civilians who at best are apathetic to the welfare of the Defence Services who may be deprived of the major portion of the of canteen profits which was used for the welfare of the soldiers .Takeover of the CSD by MOD must be resisted forcefully and status quo ante restored.

2. Availability of Cars and items Against Firm Demand (AFD) . For the last about two years supply of Cars and two wheelers through the CSD had been very meager and most erratic . Severe unrealistic restrictions have been put on the sale of the same , e.g. the NCOs and Jawans can buy a car once only in their life time . It is most unfair. Even the registration of a car is valid only for 15 years on the premise that by then it would be too old for use. When new and more fuel efficient models are coming up frequently , it is most unfortunate to put such restrictions . Release of funds to the CSD has also been reduced . When the consumers ‘Pay in Advance’, it is NOT understood why should the MOD not release funds IMMEDIATELY to the dealers . Non release of funds has resulted in the serving and retired soldiers being put to great inconvenience .

3. Range and Quality . Latest models of house hold goods and all ‘variants’ of automobiles are not available in CSD. Only those models are sold , which do not sell well in the market .The CSD, being a captive market, appears to have become a ‘Dumping Ground’ for less popular items . The CSD is being perceived to benefit the manufacturers more than the Services.

4. Procedures . Procedures to get AFD items are cumbersome . At present , apart from completing many formalities, the Serving and retired Defence personnel have to go to CSD depots like Ambala, Bhatinda, Jalandhar, etc, (in Punjab , Haryana and Chandigarh ), to deposit their bank drafts to get AFD items and then get the authorization slip for the dealer to provide them . For doing so the serving personnel have to get leave for a day or more . It is suggested that the procedures be simplified and arrangements be made that the bank drafts are deposited either with the local canteen of CSD or with the local dealers. Incase of cars/ scooters after taking delivery, they again have to go to CSD Depot again for its verification before the same are registered by the registration authorities . With today’s advance in electronics , including communications, it should be possible to simplify the procedures.

5. “Customer Satisfaction Survey” . To fulfill its stated role, the CSD should remain under the Army control . It should not only simplify its procedures but must provide all the household items, which are available in the market. Finally , let the MOD carry out a “Customer Satisfaction Survey” and find out the views of the Serving and Retired Soldiers whether they are happy with the functioning of CSD, along with the ‘Range’ and ‘Quality’ of the items supplied . This survey might be an eye opener.


{Brig Harwant Singh (Retd)} ,

Mohali (Punjab). President

09 July 2012

The All India Defence Brotherhood (Regd)

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Politico-military interface in India Does it meet the challenges of future armed conflicts?

by Gen V P Malik (retd)

ONE of the cornerstones of a democracy is a healthy politico-military relationship. But what has been witnessed in the recent past is an unhealthy row over the age of the last Army Chief, the attempted bribe to purchase Tatra vehicles from BEML, a public sector undertaking, deliberate leakage of a classified letter to the Prime Minister on defence preparedness, and the deep suspicion over the movement of Army units on training near Delhi.

There is also deep discontent among the armed forces veterans and widows who retain an umbilical connection with serving soldiers and maintain traditional camaraderie and kinship. They feel cheated over pension disparities and anomalies by the civilian bureaucracy and an unsympathetic political leadership. As a result, they have been organising rallies, fast unto death agitations, and surrender of war and gallantry medals to the President to draw public and political attention. The general impression is that the political leadership takes little or no interest in the armed forces’ advice to protect their hierarchal status in the government and society. The relationship is far from healthy.

A major cause for the fragility of politico-military relationship is that instead of maintaining ‘political control’, India practices a unique system of ‘bureaucratic control’ over the military. There is hardly any discourse between the political and military leaders on geo-political and security-related environment, strategies and defence planning for conflict contingencies. My aim here is to draw attention to these strategic aspects.

Over the last few decades, with greater focus on peace and economic development, the approach to security has become more liberal. There is greater consciousness of the comprehensive nature of security. That includes the traditional defence-related threats as well as societal, economic and environmental challenges. Globalisation and regional cooperation are the buzz words in international relations.

Prevention of collateral damage in conflicts and violation of human rights have become matters of serious global concern. A war as an instrument of foreign policy has become increasingly unviable due to international pressures, very high costs and casualties. Sub-conventional conflicts and armed violence have become more prevalent.

Although there is a greater likelihood of limited conventional wars than all-out wars, the armed forces cannot afford to take any chance. They have to be prepared for an elongated spectrum of conflicts, ranging from aid to civil authority, counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism to conventional and nuclear wars. They require careful prioritising of roles and missions. Forces require greater versatility and flexibility. These strategic and technology-driven considerations impact the decision-making apparatus and conduct of warfare.

For example, separation between the tactical, operational and strategic levels of warfare is blurring. Enhanced mobility, long reaches in targeting, improved communications and more intrusive command and control have obscured tactical and strategic boundaries. It is a situation where a junior military officer is expected to understand political considerations and the political leader to know the tactical and operational considerations.

We need more integrated command and control systems for quick decision-making at all levels of command. The cycle of collection, collation, synthesis and dissemination of information needs to be speeded up, as also the subsequent actions and feedback.

War fighting has to be conducted in a more integrated manner. Integration has two aspects: greater and faster politico-military interaction and coordination, and integration of the three armed forces verticals at the top for the purpose of defence planning and force structuring, operational planning, integrated advice for budgetary economy and common personnel and logistics-related policies.

In any future conflict, there would have to be complete understanding between the political and military leaderships on the political and military objectives and the time available to the armed forces to execute their missions. That would be crucial for planning and conduct of operations. We can also expect fairly rigid political terms of reference as were given during the Kargil war.

There are some other challenges likely to be encountered. The military would be required to react quickly to an evolving crisis which may erupt with surprise. It would be expected to arrest deterioration of the situation on the ground and regain the initiative without any loss of time.

Domestic and international political support for a military operation will depend upon its ability to operate in a manner that conforms to political legitimacy —- avoidance of civilian casualties, minimisation of collateral damage. This will require careful and calibrated orchestration of military operations, diplomacy and the political environment. Continuous control of the escalatory ladder will require close political-military interaction.

Militarily, the greatest challenge could be in the political reluctance to commit a pro-active engagement and its insistence to retain the authority for approving not just key military moves but also many operational decisions.

There would be heavy reliance on intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance by political and military leaderships before committing optimal resources. Drones and surgical strikes would be a common option. Employment of ground forces across the borders could be discouraged or delayed due to fear of casualties and difficulty in disengagement.

Information operation is already important. The requirement to achieve and retain the moral high ground and deny that to the adversary would need a comprehensive and sophisticated media, public affairs and information campaign.

As the size and complexity of nuclear arsenal in the region increases, different kinds of complications would emerge. The armed forces would have to remain in the decision-making loop.

Such a strategic scenario demands (a) keeping the military leadership in the security and strategic decision-making loop, and (b) closer direct politico-military interface in war and peace (when we must prepare for war contingencies), and not the ‘bureaucratic control’ kind that exists today. This leads me to ask certain questions.

Does our political leadership have critical understanding of security-related strategic issues and implications of military employment and institutional conduct? Are they adequately conversant with military purposes, capabilities, constraints and effects? If not, should they depend more on military or the generalist bureaucratic advice?

Why do our armed forces continue to suffer serious shortage of weapons and equipment year after year? Why does India after 65 years of Independence and fighting so many wars have to import over 70 per cent of its defence equipment from abroad?

War as Clausewitz noted is continuation of politics by other means. Recent conflicts have involved a much greater level of integration of politics, diplomacy and military planning and execution than in the past. Even when a decision to employ the military is made, the political leadership has to monitor its escalatory ladder. In practice, there is continuing erosion of the dividing lines between war and politics.

Unlike other democracies of the world, the political leadership in India has managed to sideline the military leadership except when faced with an imminent conflict or a crisis situation. There is no politico-military interface; interaction is mostly through civilian bureaucracy. The national security framework is not in sync with the needs of new security challenges or healthy civil-military relations. There is an urgent need, therefore, to re-engineer our national security paradigm and defence management structure. The writer is a former Chief of Army Staff.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Views of Brig Paranjape ..an insight into ECHS problems..

On Mon, Jun 25, 2012 at 11:48 AM, Diwakar Paranjape wrote:
Brig D A Paranjape,VrC Retired] J-22,Salunke Vihar, Phone - [020]26853531 Pune. 411022. Email : 25 Jun 2012. paranjapediwakar@yahoo.co.in
To, ECHS- Over Sight Committee. Sir, E C H S – FUNCTIONING :OVER VIEW.

At the out- set, let me congratulate all the members of the committee for having been nominated on this committee. You have an enormous task ahead of you and only sky will be the limiting factor for your services to the august body of veterans.

I wish to present two events before you. Please draw your own inferences for the betterment of the medical services being provided to veterans.

Event -1.

It was the year of 1980–81. I was posted as DS [Lt Col] at Senior Command Wing of College of Combat, Mhow. My wife was losing weight. [15kg in three months.] We went MH, Mhow where only services of Med Specialists were available. His medicines brought us not much of a relief. So with some civilian doctor friends, we went to Indore to learn that the investigation & treatment would cost us approx R. 40 to 50 thousands. I showed those papers to the Med Specialists at MH, Mhow. He said at best, he could refer us to Army Hospital, Delhi or Comd Hospital, Pune. We opted for Pune as we are from Pune where, support of relatives and friends is available.

At Comd Hospital, Pune we came across Lt Col Shetty [Endowcrinologist, who later retired as Maj Gen] who advised for a blood test [T-3 / T-4/ TSH]. This facility was not available at Comd Hospital, Pune. He gave a chit and suggested that we go to KEM Hospital, Pune. When we went KEM Hospital, Pune, the concerned Doctor said that it is a great honour to receive a request from an Army Doctor. I told him that the patient is also an Army Offr’s wife. That Doctor stated that normally, they take blood samples once a week, and give the report in the following week. Since it is request from an Army Doctor, for Army Offr’s wife, the blood sample will be collected immediately and the report was handed over on the following day. All of us appreciated the respect shown by a civilian Doctor to a note from Army Doctor and the concern shown to the family of an Army Offr.

Later, this facility of blood test [T -3/ T -4 /TSH] has also been made available at Comd Hospital, Pune.


I retired from Army service in 1994. As at present my wife is under treatment at CTC, Pune. The other day, the Doctor [Cardiologist] suggested blood test [T3/T4/TSH] to confirm his opinion / observations . With his chit, we went to a Mini Lab co-located with Endocrinology Dept, MH Pune. We were directed to go to OPD for Civilians where blood samples are collected.[ Incidently,on numerous earlier occasions, we have also been going to this Mini Lab, co-located with Endocrinology Dept, as and when the Doctors asked for this [T3 /T4 /TSH] blood test.] When we went to OPD for giving blood sample, we were told that veterans cannot be entertained there, and we should go to ECHS. So we went to ECHS, showed the chit given by the Cardiologist at CTC, Pune. We were then refered to Medinova Diagnostics Centre, Pune. The necessary blood tests were done, report obtained and shown to the concerned Doctor for further treatment.


You may please appreciate the concern and the respect shown by a Civilian Doctor for a Chit of an Army Doctor and the family of an Army Offr , in Event-1. Compare this with the treatment meted to a Veterans’ family by an Army Doctors, in Event – 2. You may be knowing that by virtue of co-location of AFMC with Comd Hospital, Pune, draws huge civilian crowd seeking medical attention but the same is denied to veterans.

By the Grace of God Almighty, I am still hale and hearty, so I could drive my wife from CTC, Pune -to Endocrinology Dept of MH Pune, - to Civil OPD Dept & their Blood sample collection Centre, -to ECHS, and to Medinova Diagnostics Centre. Then Collect the report on a specified day and go back to CTC Hospital, Pune. What will be the plight of a family of an OR / widows/ handicapped person ?

I was happy as blood- tests for my family were done, not withstanding that it was ECHS that has paid for these tests. I am not aware of the Fund Position of ECHS, but Iam aware that there are lot many pending bills at your end, perhaps, for the want of funds. Under these circumstances, it is imperative to use these meager funds judiciously. We should use facilities available with Army Hospitals.


In a place like Pune, all the specialist facilities are available in Command Hospital. Pune. Pune is also a fairly big station. [I think it is- a class-II station]. There is a large no of veteran population in and around Pune. So one of the pattern that I would like to suggest is to have three to four polyclinics in the suburbs who could dispense standard medicines for routine ailments. You will agree with me that with age, BP / sugar/ Arthritis etc are comman ailments and routine check-up with routine medicines would suffice. Various Specialists can visit the polyclinics on fixed days. In emergency and complicated cases will have to go to Command Hospital, Pune.

This type of a model was introduced By Lieut Gen Harwant Singh, when he was GOC, 16 Corps, as there was far too much of a load on MH Jammu. So he established Poly-Clinics at four suburbs of Jammu where there is a large population of veterans. Since I was a Station Commander and a Brigade Commander, I am aware that this system worked extremely well. While creating ECHS, this model was later attempted to be copied by Lt Gen S Mehta [Retired as GOC-in C, Western Comd] when he was with AG’s Branch, Army Hq. I am certain, that now that a Special Committee has been set-up, we can improve on this model.


These are some of the thoughts that came to my mind. I am certain with this newly formed committee will deliberate and bring forward a model to the satisfaction of all veterans. Our best wishes will always be there with you in all your endeavours.


Sincerely Yours , Brigadier D A Paranjape,VrC [Retired]

ECHS..Mumbai problems...

trilok kamlesh wrote:

Dear Col Chaturvedi,

I am forwarding copy of the mail received from Daljeet Anand. Although I do not know Daljeet personally but I wish to second his concern for veterans like us residing in Thane(Maharashtra). The nearest Poly Clinic is in Kanjur Marg, a distance od approx 15 kms( time taken approx one to one and a half hours depending upon transport/traffic) and Asvini Hospital approx 40 kms (time approx two and a half to three hours or maybe more). Hence there is a need to have a Poly Clinic in Thane and empanelled Hospital like Jupiter Hospital in Thane or Fortis Hospital in Mulund.

I hope you will take up this matter with the concerned authorities. Regards

Col Trilok Rawal

Date: Fri, 22 Jun 2012 02:59:08 +0800 From: a_daljet@yahoo.co.in Subject: [IESM-1669] Fwd: Impalnt Hospital for Mumbai/Thane & Navi mumbai To: rajkadyan@yahoo.com

Reminder...........General Kadiya Sir..........Please listen to Mumbaikar Veterans

Subject: Re: [indianveterans] Fwd: Referred from Epaper.timesofindia.com To: indianveterans@yahoogroups.com, rajkadyan@yahoo.com, rajkadyan8@gmail.com, iesm-pune-@googlegroups.com


Dear Pathak / General Sir,

We in Mumbai do not have any implant Hospital from where ECHS card holders can get emergency treatment in the event of emergency. The Aswini hospital is 40 to 60 kms away from Nevi Mumbai/Thane & Virar.

The Fortis Hospital & Heernandani hospitals were in list of implant hospital for ECHS card holders till March end 1012.

The marketing staff from Fortis Hospital has informed that the ECHS service is withdrawn the treatment for the ECHS Card holder from April 2012 as Rs. 50 lacks is to be paid to Fortis from MOD for the services rendered to ECHS Card holder for the year 2010 & 11.The deposit of 10L is yet to receive by the said hospital.

Hope the situation here in Mumbai to reach Ashwini hospital from suburbs in case of emergency is known to every one.

I request IESM to take up this matter urgently with MOD & resolve. The average Ex. from Forces in Mumbai are settled and are within the age of 60+ to 75+ . These nos. are in thousands.

If we Mumbaikar need to approach any forum , please advice.

Waiting for your reply with action from IESM end. Regards,

Daljeet Anand 9323942820 .