March 20, 2011

Justice And Armed Forces ??

hide details 10:10 AM (3 hours ago)

Brigadier CS Kamboj, VSM., VETERAN,
Email ID –
Dear Friends,
Jai Hind.
I am sure that the latest letter from Gen SK Bahri to Mrs Sonia Gandhi and copy to others, appended below, will not only disturb the peace of mind of Government of India, but also the three Services Chiefs. Whether they all will act on this letter or not – your guess is as good as mine. If they do not act – situation on ground will turn from bad to worse.
There are fairly large number of Former Chiefs, Vice Chiefs, Army Commanders and equivalents of the Three Services and other senior officers on the direct emailing list of "Report My Signal".
Through this email I appeal to all the Former Chiefs, Vice Chiefs, Army Commanders and Equivalents of the Three Services and other former senior officers, to pay heed to the rapidly growing unrest among the Indian Military Veterans because of the gross injustice by Government of India to Defence Services.
While IESM leaders, we the ground workers of IESM and many other military veterans are trying their utmost to maintain military discipline and advising the veterans not to resort to any acts which can be termed as against military ethics, gradually more and more veterans are losing patience and wanting to take stern action against the Government of India to force them to respond to military veterans’ demands for justice.
Just remember – one former soldier in Rajasthan made the Government of Rajasthan and the Central Government to come down on their knees.
If 24 lakh Indian Military Veterans spread all over India lose their patience – what will happen?

It is high time that the Former Chiefs of the Three Services and other senior Veteran officers of the Three Services, should meet and discuss as to how to make the Government listen to the demands of the Defence Services.
Sirs, if you do not act jointly now to support the Indian Military Veterans – day is not far off when the Government of India will call you all at one place and ask you to speak to the Indian Military Veterans and ask the Veterans not to resort to ways which are against the basic ethics of Military Discipline.
Military Veterans are now getting desperate to get justice – if the Government does not listen to their legitimate demands being put up according to the military ethics and even through Supreme Court and Armed Forces Tribunals – the Veterans will not hesitate to change their tack.
Dear Former Chiefs of the Three Services and other senior military veterans – it is because of our loyalty and our sacrifices that you attained those high posts. Now - it is time for you all to show your loyalty to your subordinates and work according to the basic ethics of Military.
Dear Former Chiefs and other senior Military Veterans - if you do not wish to follow the Military Ethics of showing your loyalty to Indian Military Veterans who gave best years of their lives to the nation – how can you or the Government of India expect the other military veterans to follow military ethics???
Dear Sirs – come out of the comforts of your bungalows and meet some military veterans who are now on streets to demand justice.
We are running from pillar to post for justice – and you all keeping quiet - does not speak high about you.
If you wish to save yours and Indian Military Veterans prestige being tarnished because of actions which may not be in keeping with military traditions - you should act fast. Do not keep waiting for an invitation to you but invite others to discuss this burning military issue.
What is written above is based on regular inputs from military veterans through emails, phone calls and discussions at veterans’ rallies.
Vande Matram
In service of Indian Military Veterans
Chander Kamboj.
PS – Two emails received in response to Gen Bahri’s letter to Mrs Sonia Gandhi, are also reproduced below. I am sure many more such emails will follow soon.
From: Satish Kumar Bahri []
Sent: 13 March 2011 11:44
To: Satish Bahri

I enclose herewith a copy of the letter I have sent to Mrs Sonia Gandhi, with copies to the RM, Mr Antony and Chairman, Chiefs' of Staff Committee, ACM Naik.
I doubt if any earthshaking effect will come out of this letter but we have to keep on chipping at this boulder till it is a pebble and can be disregarded!
Wish more of us were to do it.
Lt Gen SK Bahri
(1st JSW Course, Former MGO)
Lt Gen SK Bahri PVSM (Retd) A3/502 World Spa East
Sector 30/41
Gurgaon 122001
Tele 0124 4143180/181
Mar 2011

Justice And The Armed Forces: A Mirage

I had written a letter to you on 14 Jun 10 on the above subject and was hoping that you as Head of The National Advisory Committee, a body which is trying to give justice to people who have long been denied it, will respond favourably to the request of the Armed Forces. You passed my letter on to the Ministry of Defence for necessary action. To my surprise I got a reply from JS (Pension) dated 11 Feb 11 (copy attached).
The JS could not have replied in a more bureaucratic manner. Wasted a whole sheet of paper telling half truths and provides garbled information, taking me to be an ignoramus who can be fooled, just as this babudom has been doing to our hapless country for the last 60 years. Not realising that I served my last four years in Army HQ and am quite aware of bureaucratic subterfuges. No wonder the Services chafe against such Joint Secretaries, who consider themselves equal to a Major General but we would be loathe to equate him to a Major!
Firstly, he talks about the Govt having filed an appeal (IA No 9/2010) seeking modification of the Supreme Court order dated 8 Mar 2010. He talks as though it affects the pay and allowances of many serving/retired officers favourably and, so asks us to await the Court’s order that will be delivered on 24 Feb 11. He does not reveal that his Ministry is fighting tooth and nail the Supreme Court order of 8 Mar 2010, only because it is favourable to the Officers. During the hearing on 24 Feb 11 the Supreme Court termed the affidavit filed by the MOD as contemptuous and disregarded it. The typical attitude of the Govt, about which I had complained to you and Mr Veerappa Moily. I have a feeling that when the matter is heard in 8 Mar 11, the Supreme Court will flay the Govt with full fury for prevaricating against soldiers who are defenceless in their own country.
I can understand the bureaucracy being jealous of the Services (despite the babus and some of the the media trying to run them down) but it seems the political masters (including the Supreme Commander), despite pronouncements to the contrary, think on the same lines. An organisation which binds the country together, works selflessly in extreme conditions and maintains high standards of probity amidst the all pervading corruption, is being singled out for denying its legitimate dues. Is it because the Services do not form a vote bank?
Secondly, the JS is miserly with truth when he says that Cabinet Secretary’s Committee although “did not recommend One Rank One Pension, substantial improvement in the pension of Commissioned Officers and PBORs have been recommended”. Whereas the Committee flatly recommended that there is no need to treat the Armed Forces officers differently from the civilian officers. The JS then goes on to quote letters which have no relevance to the Committee’s recommendations on officers’ pensions. I would recommend to the Minister of Defence that action should be taken against this civil servant for not giving answers based on facts.
Lastly, I have a question on the staffing pattern of the MOD. Why is it that the Department of Ex Servicemen Welfare and the Department Of Pensions under it, do not have any representatives of the Services? In our Country the heads of the Minority & SC/ST Commissions or the Minister of Minority Affairs is always from the affected parties, but the Department of Ex Sevicemen Welfare is headed by an IAS officer and there is not a single defence officer in the Pension Department. Do you believe that Armed Forces officers cannot be relied upon to do a job honestly, impartially and diligently? Or is the IAS the only service which produces honest, impartial and diligent officers? It is this unwillingness to hear the affected parties which is responsible for the governance deficit in our country.
The Armed Forces need answers and they will not be fobbed off by bureaucratic shenanigans as attempted by Mr Harbans Singh, JS (Pension).
With warm regards.
Yours sincerely
(Lt Gen SK Bahri)
Mrs Sonia Gandhi
Chairperson UPA
10 Janpath
New Delhi 110001
Copy to:
Mr AK Antony
Honourable Minister of Defence
9 Krishna Menon Marg
New Delhi 110011
Mr Harbans Singh
Joint Secretary (Pension)
Ministry of Defence
Dept of Ex Servicemen Welfare
New Delhi 110011
Not On Original:
Air Chief Marshal PV Naik PVSM, VSM, ADC
Chair Chiefs Of Staff Committee
Chief of Air Staff
Air HQVayu Bhavan
New Delhi 110011
From: [] On Behalf Of Rakesh Prasad Chaturvedi
Sent: 13 March 2011 12:45
To: Satish Kumar Bahri

Dear General,
Thanks and my compliments on a very precise statement. Hope this 'chipping' has the desired effect. It is my personal view that multi directional methodologies will create the desired environment, though in recent times I have been seeing mails propounding the age old 'Lets be nice to maai baap" approach, which to my mind has actually caused this state of affairs. Cudos therefore, for this excellent plain-speak.
With Warm Regards,
Col RP Chaturvedi,
A-35, Sector 36, Noida 201303.
Mob: +919891279035
Skype: rakesh.prasad.chaturvedi

From: Ram Gulrajani []
Sent: 13 March 2011 22:45
To: IESM Bahri SK, Lt Gen; IESM Kamboj CS, Brig

Dear General
Your letter to Mrs. Sonia Gandhi is both to the point and daring. But what is the use? This letter too will be read and answered by one more Joker Secretary (JS) as all these political leaders are fire-walled by such jokers. Mrs. Gandhi must be getting thousands of such letter every day and she has (like all other political leaders) no time to read such letters. Leaders depend upon the gist of communications put up to them, and this gist is again prepared by these jokers in a manner that suits them. In short, nothing is read or understood by leaders except what is put up to them by babus or when there is an emergency situation where their survival is at stake.
What is the way to break out of this curse? The only way is for serving Generals to 'jago'. If they can acquire a little bit of your daring, things will begin to change. The Chiefs need to meet the top leadership without going through jokers, Secretaries, intermediaries, pseudo leaders and junior leaders. First and foremost the Chiefs must learn to bracket themselves with the top leadership of the country in matters of strategy, governance and politics. FM Sam Manekshaw came up only to the level of national strategy when he dared to tell Mrs. Indira Gandhi to fall in line with his views. We now need someone to go a step further and give his views on governance and political chaos. If someone can do it, we will have a better India in all departments. Time has come when the Defence Forces need not be watch dogs against external threat and internal security matters. Time has come when Defence Forces need not be used by babus and politicians as watchmen for them to loot the country. Time has come to step in to give firm and sanguine advice to powers going stray. Time has come to show that Defence forces are not sheep to be herded around by babus. Babus have covered us in sheep clothes and themselves in lion's attire and both have started acting as such. This realisation must come and come fast before jokers start herding us even more.
I am sure one broad independent statement from the Chiefs on the state of affairs prevailing in the country will tune everyone to the needs of soldiers and veterans. It will be like one roar from a lion making sheep run for cover.
It's another story if a lion has a carrot stuck in his throat!!!
Veteran Ram Gulrajani

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