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Saturday, September 13, 2008

A letter by a retired Chief Justice : 'Why this bias against the Army ?'

Why this bias against the Army?
Justice Rajinder Sachar
(The following is a reproduction of Justice Sachar's own views. This blog may not necessarily agree with comments passed on any particular service. Nevertheless it is heartening to know that people from various walks of life are aware of the issue at hand)

Recently an inspired news-item appeared in the Press (obviously at the instance of the IAS bureaucracy) ridiculing the Service Chiefs’ claim not to deflate the parity of the Army officials vis-a-vis the civil servants. The Army’s request is more than genuine. One fails to understand the IAS lobby’s blatant partisanship. The late Cabinet Secretary Nirmal Mukerjee, one of the best of the lot, described the IAS as an anachronism in post-1947 Independent India and recommended its abolition and substitution by expert technocrats as in the rest of the world.

I am surprised at the bureaucracy’s partisan, one-sided criticism of the Army. It ignores the harsh reality like the non-family period being half of their service period. This partiality may be due to what is called in journalist jargon “ debt to repay” for some special scoop having been passed on to the paper (nothing wrong of course in a free Press — the only objection is why make the Army the whipping boy).

It is still more surprising that the Army’s case is being deflated deliberately by ignoring the shocking facts disclosed, namely that all DGPs (which are state-related posts) are placed above the Lieutenant-General. By what reasoning is the demand to put the Generals in the same grade as the civilian DGP described as spurious?

More serious, Lieutenant-Colonel had earlier the same pay as IAS Director (an officer between Deputy Secretary and Joint Secretary). But the revised scale now gives IAS Director Rs 14,000 more and even a non-IAS Director Rs 11,000 more than Lieutenant-Colonel.

Is the Army demand to keep the parity as earlier fanciful? Will the government have a second look at the claim of the Army which has genuineness written all over? Let us not forget that in our feudal setup, hierarchy sometimes carries more weight. That is why sometimes a Deputy Secretary would carry more clout than a university professor. Will the Centre ignore the babus and give the Army its well deserved pay and rank?

Justice RAJINDER SACHAR (retd), New Delhi



Anonymous said...

Now that babooze have done it, why not post commandant and other paramilitary honchos to places like siachen, north east and other fronts where border defence matters? Since it has been decreed by the baboozedom that this country needs just police and paramilitary forces, Chiefs should withdraw from all sensitive borders and invite paramilitary to take over. Since this is what country wants, let it be so.

It is good to see that saner voices like Justice Sachar still persist in this cacophony of a democracy like ours where crying baby gets the milk always and forever.

Anonymous said...

Ba-booze is a very apt description for these clerks drunk on booze of power.

Anonymous said...

Its heatening to see support coming from an unexpected corner.
Sooner or later we will be able to expose this unholy nexus of babus-politicians-media.Do not worry for the masses because they know our true worth.
Where this Burkha Rani(of dil mange more fame)hiding.Next time she visit our fwd posts in look out for some sensational story to inhance her channel's TRP,give a kick on her back instead of offering roasted kajus.
Stop appeasing these media bastards for a small coverage which will fetch you a commendation.
We and only we are responsible for all our plights.
Stop listening to bosses who go overboard to ensure a ceromonial welcome for any Tom,Dick and Harry visiting our cantts.
Let the environment know that we have had enough and No more nonsense.

Anonymous said...

Dear Navdeep sir,
Request have alook on the following link.
We keep talking of WoP and protocol,look at the way Army Commader Central Command has been reffered in the press release.Even his complete name has not been mentioned forget about protocol and so called WoP.
This has happened when Army has proved to be saviours for marooned Bihar.
These ommissins are not ignorance but are being done deliberately.I have brought the issue to the notice of CM,Bihar through a mail, on behalf of staff officer to the Genral.
This is in response to your mail on Pragmatic.

Anonymous said...

The down gradation of Lt Col rank was never the logic of the SPC but has been the doing of the government/committee of secretaries(COS).

What the COS has overlooked is the huge degradation of grades/ranks on the civil side over the years. Where you had one IG you now see dozens of IGs in states of ages which one saw in districts (police officers of this age ought to have been there at the cutting edge of policing especially in the present times----this is another subject , but in the ultimate analysis has something to do with the aims and objectives of the civil services in India vis-à-vis the military). A DIG earlier and not long ago looked after a range which now is being handled by a young IG.

Also the way a SAG (Maj Gen/IG/Jt Secy) grade is being given to all MBBS doctors after 20 yrs and specialists after 13yrs service by the COS in these days of privatization /outsourcing of healthcare speaks volumes of the degradation of civil grades. Now the head of an armoured/infantry division continues and would always remain a Maj Gen and likewise a Lt Gen that of a Corps. And since the defence services would not upgrade this and also cannot endlessly increase non-command/staff posts to match the degradation in the equivalent or near equivalent civilian posts ( ‘competitive degradation’) a NEW EQUIVALENCE/PARITY is needed. This is what should be addressed now.

The govt (it was never the intent of SPC I repeat) cannot selectively talk of the logic of downgradation of Lt Col rank while continuously having the senior military commanders equated with degraded civil ranks(effectively downgrading them). Is it not appropriate now to have a Divisional Cdr now equated with addl secy(HAG) and Corps Cdr with HAG plus grade which has been given to DGPs in staes(below the police head) and to Special DGPs in CPMFs---a wholly funny sounding designation, but who cares.

The armed forces have been loathe to ape the civil services for whom it is just a job. For the military it is the belief and knowledge that there are no runners up in war and the continued assurance of ‘izzat’/dignity that should allow them to keep their rank structure grossly intact and functional. We should not be forced to make dysfunctional changes in our structure under provocation from or even suggestion of the civil establishment.

The way the govt(COS) has modified the SPC recommendations in a one sided manner (with for example only a rupees 200 salary gap between a Colonel and a Brigadier) is something that cannot just be accepted .The brigadier is perceived by them as a short transitory post like the IPS has made it for themselves or an addl DIG of the CPMFs who have been upgraded to DIG rank! The logic of the latter upgradation has been that there are no analogous grades/ranks in the defence services. Somehow this logic did not occur to the COS in respect of Lt Gens and police grade in HAG plus scale.

What surprises me is the ‘quality’of the end result of deliberations of the COS which included the expenditure secy who has been part of the SPC since inception. I think it is reflected in the quality of governance that prevails in India and vice-versa.

Anonymous said...

Write up by doc just confirms the belief that civil services can't look beyond their own interests. An interesting point is brought regarding "aims" of IAS.

In present circumstances, IAS is acting no less than an enemy to the Indian state. It is worthwhile to know about your enemy. How they are filled with this feeling of superiority and how they dig rat holes into each and every territory that is up for grabs.

Doc has brought up some serious discrepancies in the parity structure that armed forces need to take up in entirety. If tomorrow's India needs soldiers, who can lead men, then the present system needs to be overhauled. There is an inherent problem in this though. Those who can bring about a change in the system have risen to top because of present system and for them, this system is perfect. This thinking needs to change. Since last three pay commissions, defence services have allowed the parity to be degraded by turning a blind eye to changes taking place in the immediate strata of govt services.

It is true that defence services are a vertically specialised vocation for all men and women; this needs to be translated to related benefits for such specialisations. Chairman, chiefs of staff committee has already taken a bold stand that needs to be solidified and translated into an attractive option for tomorrow's soldier.

Anonymous said...

here is a press release from the Govt which accepts the ability of the forces but is not ready to understand the equation :-

Monday, September 15, 2008
Ministry of Defence

Indian Armed Forces ready to shoulder regional and global peace efforts, says Antony

13:46 IST
Following is the extract of the Keynote Address delivered by the Defence Minister Shri AK Antony to the seminar on ‘Indian experience in force projection,’ organized by the Centre for Joint Warfare Studies (CENJOWS) here today:

The term 'Force projection' provides an interesting context to the role of all the three wings of the Armed Forces in furtherance of National aims. Let me congratulate CENJOWS for choosing such a significant and relevant topic.

The world has changed drastically in the last century, living as we do, in a more integrated and globalised world. The comfort offered by national boundaries no longer constitute effective defence. On the other hand the quality of life is visibly improving, poverty rates have declined. Regional and international cooperation have grown, the benefits of technology are increasingly enjoyed by many, and a sense of global norms and interdependence has taken root.

India and Indians are increasingly becoming drivers of the global change and prosperity. Our exposure to external world trade has tripled in the last few years, as have our investments abroad. The Indian Diaspora who live and work abroad has also grown significantly. We find there is a new interest on the part of many countries in partnering India on security cooperation.

With its vibrant democracy and strong individualism, India has a natural ability to relate across cultures. We have developed the need and a legitimate interest and capability in securing our supplies of external natural and energy resources. An India specific waiver from NSG is a recognition of India's relevance and profile in world affairs.

For its further growth and prosperity, India clearly needs a secure and peaceful periphery and unrestrained sources of energy. India is strategically located, overlooking the important sea lanes and in a very unstable region of the continent. We have unsettled territorial disputes with our largest neighbours. Some of them are seriously afflicted by terrorism, itself a cause for our concern as a neighbour. This is further aggravated when that terrorism spills over into India, through state sponsorship or otherwise.

A large number of non-state armed groups have sanctuaries in our neighbouring states who use these bases and resources to carry out acts of terrorism across India. The combination of these and other issues such as nuclear weapons proliferation compel us to be on constant vigil and preparedness to defend our vital interests and values. Even at a global level though the situation appears stable and tension free it is intricately complicated with divergent ideological beliefs, competing demands for scarce resources and conflicting goals which can become a basis for differences and burst into a conflict.

The real threats to international security would arise from states that would avoid interdependence, particularly with neighbours, and from non-state actors like the Taliban and LTTE.

India's growing integration with the world economy imposes its own responsibilities on our defence forces. The long-term challenge for India, as indeed for every other major nation, is its ability and willingness to contribute to international peace and stability. With a long and distinguished record in UN peace-keeping operations to our credit India has demonstrated her commitment and willingness.

Our quick response to the Asian Tsunami, the Myanmar earthquake and evacuation of Indians from Lebanon and other parts of Middle East, demonstrated India's ability to respond to a crisis anywhere in the world across the spectrum of emergencies, thereby raising the world's expectation from us. This ability will, no doubt, rise with time and with our own economic growth. I would also like to congratulate the armed forces for their role during the initial stages of rescue and relief in flood-hit Bihar.

All operations of this nature would require greatest coordination between the three services and there can be no better forum than the CENJOWS to consolidate the lessons learnt and, as always, useful lessons can be drawn from the presence of distinguished soldiers who have been on the forefront in managing these operations.

Anonymous said...

WHY CRIB ON CIVILIANS when there is no unity among sevices .Each service thinks it is superior to other .Each arm thinks it is superior to other. IN INDIA military service is not a compulsary service .we have come on our own accord. why crib on doctors if they are given SAG .As a parent what is our first choice for our children medicine or B.tech. HOW MANY CAN GETinto medicine. After long struggle do you expect docs to retire in the same scale he joined.AT the same time with our basic degree we must get pb4or even higher scale. we with our govt .jobs can take treament at corporate hospitals ,how about the millions of not so fortunate .THEY have to depend on govt .hospitals.Does govt. just run on army, who will collect taxes , who will do administation , maintain law ,order. BASIC DUTY of govt .is health ,sanitation,potabale water ,electricity. HOW MANY years back we fought war -37 years .Kargil is limited ops. IF GO DOWN south they are not even concerened. That does not mean we should not have Army /navy /air force .all are required. FOR A GOVT TO RUN ALL dept are required.NO service is superior all are equal. If we are so much concerened will we leave forego pension and other retire ment benefits.we want one rank one pension even after 15 or 20 years of retirement also ,is it justfyable.ASK the comman man he will tell you. we are not concerned about his opnion. why sould we. So friend lets not compere with others lets ask what we want.

Anonymous said...

DIVS ARE COMMANDED BY OFFICERS WHO HAVE NOT PARTICIPATED /SEEN WARS. FEW YEARS FROM NOW WE WILL HAVE CHIEFS WHO HAVE NOT SEEN WARS.WE ARE remembered in war only. ours is a peace loving country.BRAVO SOLDIER.WE have taken up this profession for valour,izzat.lets be diciplined. lets us close the dicussion on pay commission.

Anonymous said...

@ Vetran
Nice idea.



Anonymous said...

Like mentioned elsewhere in this blog
Who is this Veteran? MES??
Track him down, capture him, destroy him.

Anonymous said...

@ vetran
your comments remind of the feedback reports after any course in which students make sure that for the next course life become hell so give the points accordingly.
as you are out of army and and none of your ward is in army so you do'nt any soldier to get any thing it is because of you people a col saheb was beaten up in by a SI in meerut and when col saheb approached SSP he was directed to meet the same SI to lodge the FIR and you can well understand the result.
it happened because of the vetrans like you.

Anonymous said...

@ war veteran 9.10pm .&kartikey --you have not read in been teenlines .we are raised to heights in hour of need. After wards you are forgotten.who is to be blamed.AS a diciplined solider we take all instructions. fewyears back a ssp mis behaved with a col. helodged a written complaint with higher ups of police. the incident was brought to the notice of GOC of div &brought to the notice of chief .There was hot discus sion among officers . net result nil .NO ACTION AGAINST SSP. BUT our COL.was adviced to low lie by higher ups.who is to be blamed. - KARTIKEY WHO SAID MY WARDS are not therein army. what I SAID ITIS WASTE of raising these issues.IF YOU get pb4 ,advance congratulations .AT war vetran why you waste your time tracking me tellme were you stay iwill knock at your door.TRY to guide youngsters in right path.

Anonymous said...

and sir what is that right path.
is it to remain bonded labour for this thankless country and useless Generals who are more bothered for themselves just because by mistake somebody joined army?

Anonymous said...

@ans ---.Ican reply back in the same language , but then whatis the differance between you and me.what was my advice ihave clarified.

Anonymous said...

You have got what you deserved for your unsolicited advice.No regrets.
I am always ready for unkind words for the cause we are fighting.Go ahead.

ragini said...

I feel it should come through fast and the defence forces should not be made to beg literally
read my article here and the comments by some senior generals






Anonymous said...

I dont' understand why we (in army) expect from a system which is the legacy of a crook like Nehru who once told to Gen Lockhart (Then C-in-C) "Scrap Army ! We don't need them. Police is good enough to protect us". Our gens also have been selected and appointed so far who didn't have their balls. So we need to suffer.