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Monday, March 9, 2009

Oh oh Abhinav, wrong number !!

A young IPS Officer, Abhinav Kumar, wrote this for the Hindustan Times recently. While I let it pass in the first glance, on second thoughts I said what the heck ?!!. To begin with, I would be candid enough to admit that what he writes usually makes sense and as a fact I like what he writes. But I cannot say the same about these two fickle annotations in his write up :

“First of all, how fair and accurate is the comparison with the All-India Services ? The 5,400-strong IAS preside over roughly 15 million civil servants who work for the central and state governments, whereas the 3,800-strong IPS manages over 2.3 million central and state police personnel. Entry to the civil services is at four different levels. In contrast, our 1.4 million-strong armed forces have just two levels of entry with a combined sanctioned strength of 67,540 officers — with about 55,000 actually serving.”

“The military obsession with protocol and the exclusion of all other concerns is mystifying. Why should a Lieutenant Colonel, a rank that the army no longer allows to command its basic unit, a battalion, be superior in protocol to a district magistrate or a superintendent of police, officers entrusted with looking after the basic unit of our governance, the district ?.”

So Abhinav, it is only officers entrusted with districts who should be granted a superior protocol and not others eh ? So what do we do with those IAS and IPS officers who are not in districts ?, thrust on them a lower status and lower pay ? What about that SP who after his district tenure is posted as SP Computerisation or SP Litigation or SP Law & Order or SP xyz abc whatever. What about that DC who after finishing his tenure is posted as a Deputy Secretary of some non-descript department ?. Pay him or her less would you say ?. What about those multiple DsGP and Chief Secretary grade officers floating around in State Secretariats handling practically non-existent assignments ? Do we pay them on the basis of the number of people they have under their command ?. Things are not that simple. Your comment on the number of employees being ‘presided over’ or ‘managed’ is childish. Tomorrow you would say that a Professor of a University should be paid less than a Havaldar since he or she presides over or manages none whereas a Havaldar still has a Section serving under his Command. It’s laughable to say the least. A military officer from the very beginning is a judge, commander, manager, administrator all rolled into one. Being in charge of human life is the biggest responsibility, much more than managing thousands of acres. But this of course is not to belittle the IAS or the IPS who just like the military have their respective designated roles to play. Pay and status should be directly linked with rank, grade and length of service and not with any appointment that someone lucky may be holding on one particular day. The pitfalls of accepting your argument are many. For instance in the military context, a Major from the Corps of Engineers who is posted as a Garrison Engineer and who handles projects worth crores and enjoys a clout unmatchable in any other service cannot possibly claim better pay and status than that equivalent Major of the Infantry commanding a company somewhere in a godforsaken place just on the basis of the self-assumed so called 'importance' of appointment.

And Abhinav, by the way, a Lt Col does enjoy higher protocol than most DCs and SPs. And yes, by the way, it is Lt Cols (who are acting Cols) who command Battalions.


Anonymous said...

A Naik commanding one section of infantry on a long range patrol has more responsibility than a Supt of Police in charge of say Transport or an Adm job.
Hence comparisons in this manner are illogical and meaningless.
Mr.Abhinavkumar does not appear to have faced any such realty situation, else he would not belittle the Lt Col Rank . It is a pity that over a period of time,The ranks have become reduced in importance.Anyways as the saying goes "whats in a name" A rose by any other Name etc etc.
What is important is to give each person respect for whatever he does provided it is done Sincerely.

Anonymous said...

dear Navdeep,
well written and well replied. regards kds.

Anonymous said...

Your blog is the first site that I open to start my day, always makes me smile!
It has become a gold standard of informed, articulate observations, a much needed sounding board for all of us forced to serve with restraint.
May you always do well & prosper.


Anonymous said...

Well said Navdeep, we are grateful to people like you who can reply on behalf of us.

By the way is there no restn on serving IPS offrs shooting off their mouth in national dailies on issues of national importance under the garb of 'personal views'. I am sure we in OGs cant do that without getting a gag order in minutes.

thanks once again and keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

Dear Navdeep Sir,
A well researched and apt answer for what Abhinav has written. Actually its a dangerous mindset on part of our esteemed IAS and IPS fraternity towards the Armed Forces and that's the reason for what army gets after each pay commission.

There is certainly a requirement for some system to be formulated where there is a common platform evolved so that the Army , Para Military, IAS, IPS etc can interact with each other for better understanding

Anonymous said...

Letting it pass in the first glance is what this article by Mr Abhinav Kumar deserves. Yet, not allowing disinformation campaign lately undertaken by civilian/paramilitary/police organisations in maligning the AF, to achieve its sly purpose is a duty. And Maj Navdeep, I thank you again for carrying out this duty with a clear thought and wealth of correct information.

Mr Abhivav Kumar, in my view, appears to be person who feels wronged by the whole world. On publication of awards of 6CPC in 2006, he went about town how IAS was bringing every other service down. What has made him delve into this particular spleen venting, I am not sure of.

This is what he writes in conclusion

"In these difficult times, our military and civilian elites need to sacrifice outdated, self-serving and undemocratic modes of thought that have regrettably been expressed recently."

After reading the whole article, it left me wondering who was being self-serving and undemocratic! The paper in which this article was published has washed its hands off from the responsibility by saying that the views expressed are writer's own. So I do not see this article as anything more than a paid poster/advert for the sole purpose of maligning the AF and gaining some ill-devised sympathy for paramilitary forces in the light of BDR revolt. I think there are better ways of garnering sympathy, PERFORMANCE, for example.

Unknown said...

First of all this IPS officer has no shame to write like this in the environment where at the drop of hat army is being deployed this clearly shows what standard of IPS officers being recruited now these days.
Secondaly it seems the UPA govt agree with the baboo lobby as far as parity issue is concerned but this govt has no guts to clearly declare that as far as indian govt is concerned army officer is just a class two officer.
Thirdly the whole country must realise one fact that thousand years back kings used to keep elephant but those elephats were required only in war rest all the time they were just for show. similarly you can not raise a high standard and highly motivated army in one day befor war for that every govt must be care full that the NETAS and baboos must not humiliated GENs time and again.

Pokar Ram said...

Dear Major Navdeep sir,
An excellent articulaiton of views, to the point. Kudos to you.

Anonymous said...

Well said, you have hit the nail on the head.

Anonymous said...

when you fail we help you

Anonymous said...

Dear Maj Navdeep
Excellent write up and you caught him right by the Neck!!

Anonymous said...

This guy abhinav is factually wromng too.The number of Officers is wrong to begin with.He also goes to say sowmthing like"army gets 3 times what civilians get".Of course they have my dear!!!!!!

U clearly seem to think that u are GODS OWN GIFT TO MANKIND Mr abhinav kumar,,,,,,,,

Maj Navdeep,it was an excellent article

jas said...

Dear Navdeep,
It was a good rejoinder,do keep it up.Regards,jas

Anonymous said...

Anon (5:53 pm above)

Did u, by any chance, mean God's own S#!&? Cause that suits hin better.

Anonymous said...

I just want to remind Mr Abhinav Kumar that if the IPS passes through four tier process as he claims-WHY the hell they cannot handle their primary role of LAW AND ORDER.Why do they(I include the IAS also)have to rely on the defence forces for the jobs they r supposed to do-I mean they ask for the ARMY on the drop of a hat--by the way who is actually responsible for peace in J&K and the north east- MR ABHINAV-Please do your job efficiently than commenting on matters military-THT WHOLE NATION KNOWS ABOUT THE CREDIBILITY OF ALL THE FORCES-THANKS

Anonymous said...

Dear Maj Navdeep,
For once I have felt that the reasons/rebuttals given by you are not only very unconvincing but are also not sufficient.
Number of People you command is Definitely an Important Factor but NOT the Only Factor to be considered. Any rebuttal given must be detailed and with sound logic and precedence.

Anonymous said...

For that matter in IAF all the squadrons are still been commanded by Wg Cdrs. The Flight Commander is a Wg Cdr and holds the entire sqn aircraft on his inventory which values at some 100 crores multiplied by no of aircraft in the squadron. The Senior Engineering Officer is again a Wg commander who is responsible for the maintenance of the Inventory. By Mr Abhinav's logic they should be paid similar to a CEO or COO of a multi national company of equal value. Is in't it?

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

No No No,
What Abhinav actually meant was that the Flying Officer who actually took a 350 Crore Su-30 up should be paid as much as a CEO or COO of a multinational. Don't get him wrong! He is just a Greenhorn who has become too big for his Boots. Must be some _ _S. Talking out of their A** comes naturally to some of them. They don't know the first thing about anything but can spout wisdom.

Anonymous said...

My dear compatriots,

May the auspicious occasion of Milaad-Ul-Navi, Holy Flames of Holi Dahan and Flying Colours of Rang Holi cleanse the muck of disdain harbouring in the hearts and minds of some and result in all of us hug one another forever. Let's forget not that we are all working towards the singular and the same paramount cause of defending and developing our lovely INDIA. What we don and what we do to achieve that supreme objective is a secondary matter. And, by the way, the true equivalence begins only in the graveyards!

Yours......the son of a soldier, brother of a soldier, self a soldier.... and like you all and of course above all the proud son of our Great Motherland. Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan, Jai Nagrik Sevaks, Jai Hind & Jai Bharat

rajeev said...

1. I am presently serving in AR at Shillong.

2. Can you guide me about non applicability of SDA(special duty allowance) to army offrs in AR while being posted in NE region as applicable to CPMFs.I was comparing the pay being drawn by army offrs and AR cadre offrs here and to my horror i found that we are getting lesser allowances than them. No such order from MOD exists for applicability of SDA to army pers.

3. Loooking fwd for a positive reply.

with warm regards

Lt Col Rajeev Kumar


HQ DGAR Shillong

Anonymous said...

Dear anonymous

this is in context to ur comment that

" WHY the hell they cannot handle their primary role of LAW AND ORDER.Why do they(I include the IAS also)have to rely on the defence forces for the jobs they r supposed to do-I mean they ask for the ARMY on the drop of a hat--by the way who is actually responsible for peace in J&K and the north east- "

well dear here army officer commands a trained men (men although are less educated as there entry is matric mininmum or some time even less for trade ) , who just obey orders and also by virtue of being solider are provided with variety of weapons and they are in large numbers also as compared to police who have to control civilians with less manpower and are ill equipped.

i beleive its failure of govt not police, once govt start recruiting more men and providing latest weapon & Equipments ( Dont worry even police can handle all weapons ,if trained .if a Matric entry solider can handle then police constable can also do...no need to talk of IPS -every one knows how they are selected !!!! then no need will arise to call army for Law and order...

rest Maj navdeep singh u said what about Dc or IPS/IFS ...who are sitthing in some abc place ...should they be down garded or be paid less ---well i believe if so the same question is for all Lt col who are also doing Adm Job or sitting in plush offices in HQ,s or those who are from ASc, EME, SIGNALS, cavalry, Education branch, CBPO ...what u r going to do with them( Question is same )

Anonymous said...

Dear Navdeep
we need to give these rebutals in same newspapers where the article were published, and we need to educate the editor to know about right and wrong, as these articles have far too deep repurcussions on the young minds of newcomers.

Pokar Ram said...

Dear Rajiv,
The special duty allowance in NER and special island duty allowance in A&N +Lakshdweep &Min coy islands were authorised to Civilian central govt employees on 14 Dec 1983 and later. subsequently the island allowance was extended to armed forces personnel also on same terms and conditions as is applicable to civilian employees.But no orders exists for SDA to armed forces personnel.for further details please visit website-indianairforce.nic.in/RTI/compendium4.pdf. however only remote locality allowance is made applicable to AF personnel which in any case is additionally admissible to civilian employees. The reason for non-sanction to armed forces lies in the fact explained by maj Navdeep in his presentation as to how defence officers pay and status has been affected over a period since independence.

Anonymous said...

one year of compulsory attachment of IAS/IPS with Inf Bns in fd especially in IS/CI or Bns deployed along the Lc will clear doubts of people like Mr Abhinav Bharat.

Anonymous said...

Taliban are near by friend Abhinav unfortunately day is not far off when people like you will say a Hav should be senior to you when it comes to lay down for motherland

Anonymous said...

O God! Forgive him for he knows not, what is he saying!!

Anonymous said...

@annony at 5:55

I just ve one suggestion for you,

pl hurry up on trg and give us a break.

and dont hide ur cowardice under the garb of lack of equipment

and for ur own life & god sake next please get down from vehs when u reach the spot of action or better go on foot as v go miles and miles.

read the latest report of CAG ON ASSAM POLICE which purchased tyota qualis which they r not supposed to be buying and didn't bother to pursue the procurement of AK-47 AMMUNITION FOR 2 YRS.

friend dont worry, going by the situation in our neighborhood , police/pmf will get many more chances to prove their worth.

i wonder if it will be posted.!!!!

Anonymous said...

I feel anguish at the mindset of some of our writers like Abhinavs & so called "pragmatic blogger" who have misused the press/blog forum to spread hatred/malice against our military on the name of freedom of expression .One such proponent of freedom denied me the same by expunging my comments detailed below thus exposing his hypocrisy:
"I find that this blog is mainly used by you to encourage expression of anti military feelings by bloggers who have rancor for the military services. I am sure you would expunge my opinion like in the past under the garb of edit due to reason of NOT to your liking.
Whose interest do you serve by letting some bloggers to emit venom/poison against the military? You seem to be sowing the seeds of discontentment & division between military & non-military services by allowing prejudiced minds to ventilate their views just to gain monetary benefits at the cost of unity of the nation at large.
I feel dismayed at 72 & pray that sanity should prevail over passions generated while writing their comments against each other to prove oneself while down grading the wisdom of the opposing opinion of a well acknowledged/resputed lawyer like Navdeep Singh ,who has refuted so convincingly the absurd points raised in your blog."
I have restrained in directly naming the so called "pragmatic blogger" but hope it would still be identified by the readers who I imply.
Wg Cdr (Retd) Sushil Kumar Sudan

Anonymous said...

My dear friends,
The Taliban are at Peshawar, pretty soon they will most probably take over Pakistan, get the Nukes, then what? Our esteemed Diplomats will no doubt talk & maybe agree to Swat like terms ???? Wake up before that & get your AF geared up to talk to them in the only language they understand.

Anonymous said...

sir, comments on some statements:-
1."The fact remains that the All-India Services are recruited specifically for the purpose of manning the highest posts in the government, whereas in the armed forces the officers performs the function of leading right from the platoon level to commanding the Indian Army." This statement implies that the defence forces are not to man the posts in the government!!!. WHAT are WE MANNING???
2."but for any leader of a unit to knowingly put himself in harm’s way is also bravery in every sense of the word". Harm's Way also includes enduring TORTURE IF CAPTURED and MISSING BELIEVED KILLED conditions and implies beyond Bravery awards, IT IS PRESUMED.
3."IAS preside over & IPS manages over". DOES NOT THE DEFENCE FORCES SERVE in that the IAS can PRESIDE and IPS can MANAGE.
4."colonial relics". One Kettle calling another BLACK. And it will be worthwhile to learn as to how the others services are any more indiginesed than the ARMED forces.
5."Pride in the armed forces cannot be based on belittling the police or civil administration". On the contrary, the police or civil administration must realise that the armed forces does not distiguish one indian national from another when it comes to discharging their duty. And no wonder that their survival hinges in comparison to the armed forces and least otherwise.
Notes:- However it is indeed an eyeopener about our worth. In my personal opinion, the armed forces need to carry out serious introspection on these aspects:
(a) How to man relevant posts in the highest levels of the government?
(b) If indeed we are capable and professional about our awards, in that the armed forces be the last level of recommendation for such awards for one and all?
(c) How our retired senior officers are capable of receiving salaries worth 20L/annum or greater in the private sector OR man HAG appointments in the government (non-armed forces related sectors).
The above being necessarily a PEACE time AIM PLUS, Peace time real SACRIFICE will be necessary at appropriate service levels while the country "is maintained at PEACE by the combined ARMED forces".

Anonymous said...

While going through Mr Abhinav’s write up I did not find any factual error in his statements about the numbers of persons under various officers from different cadre viz IAS, IPS, and the armed forces. Only that his interpretation of these facts is absurd. I think it is because of Mr Abhinav’s problem with the English language that he has not been able to comprehend the import of these words. Let me quote his own write up. 5400 IAS officers “preside over” 15 million civil servants all over the country. 3800 IPS officers “manage” 2.3 million police personnel. 67000 odd army officers (authorised) “command” 1.1 million troops. Before I give my opinion, here are the exact dictionary (Websters) meanings of these terms.
Preside : To exercise guidance, direction or control over something.
Manage : To handle or direct with a degree of skill, to get a task accomplished.
Command : To direct and to exercise a dominating influence from a strategic position.

As is clear, an IAS or IPS officer only presides over his subordinates or manage their assigned tasks. Neither is he directly responsible nor accountable for their actions. If a tehsildar takes a bribe to give a certificate, and is caught, will the DM be taken to task for it? A police sub inspector deserted his police station in face of threat from naxalites in Chattisgarh. Will the SP get even a warning letter? A municipal class IV employee in a town meets with an accident and is admitted in a critical condition. Mr Abhinav, please tell me the chances that the DM who “presides over him” will go and look him up in the hospital. An army officer “commands” men under him and is directly responsible for their action. When a corrupt medical store Havildar in a peripheral military hospital pilfered some medicines in the civil market, it was the CO of that MH who got jacked. When a jawan is admitted for even fever or minor injury, his company commander makes ten enquiries from the treating doctor. For a serious injury or an accident not only the Commanding Officer of the unit gets personally involved, but in peace station even his wife calls up the family of the affected jawan.
So Mr Abhinav don’t just count the numbers of officers and the people under them, look at the nature of work assigned to a particular officer. It was the British who created this system we all have inherited. They administered the whole country with just about 1000 ICS officers, and at the same time authorised 21 officers to command an infantry battalion of 800 men.
The army officers with the men under their command are supposed to secure this country. The IAS and IPS officers with men under their control are supposed to govern this secured nation. Where is the confusion?

Anonymous said...

Looks like the IAS / IPS cannot digest the fact that they are considered the most corrupted and wasted of the lots and the respect for the armed forces is still intact in the hearts of most of the indians.

The IPS lot are incapable of operationally commanding a single section of troops. let alone a Platoon. They are trained to do only administrative duties.

The erstwhile Britishers wanted them to be managers what we have today in the civil world ( the IIM pass outs and all). But just look at the way it has turned out today. Most of the organisations ( most of them as I am not here to degrade the whole lot, some of them are good managers) presided over by the IAS are loss making entities. All police forces managed by the IPS are corrupt and the common public does not like to go to them because they are of no use.

The IAS/ IPS is a failed system and the faster this is realised, the better for the country. This is the age of specialisation. Hope sense prevails soon,.......

Anonymous said...

On Second Thoughts \
You know how much person a Offr of Secretary rank officer in the Govt machinery commands.. .guess
I read it once.. it is 800...

And in Armed forces A Colonel commands more than that.........

Please stop counting organisations with one IAS officer for calculating the total numbers. A IAS officer is a government servant first and not just a person sitting there. Please start doing your work first ( if you would have been doing it correctly , we would have had a better and developed india) and then if you have got time start thinking of other organisations.

prabhat said...

Dear sir,
I am ex Indian army and currently reside in USA Due to the personal reasons, it is not feasible to return to Nepal to collect my pension My period of stay can be extended more than 3 years.. My wife is with me as well.. In such an unavoidable situation, I am eager to know how difficult is the process to collect my pension from Indian after 3 years..Please let me know the ways to communicate with the central pension paying office in India/Nepal about my unavoidable circumstances. Don't we have any provision to switch our pension to other places rather than in Nepal? Plus how about direct deposit of pension to my bank account???
Amar Bhandari
EX- Army 39 GTC 5/9 GR

Anonymous said...

Hi Navdeep!

I wonder if anyone has tried posting their reply to Abhinav Kumar's article in the Comments section next to his article.
Well, I tried to do that a couple of times but Hindustan Times has not published those comments. In fact, Hindustan Times has not published even one comment till now on that article.
Smell something rotten there? Of course, they won't let anybody comment negatively on their "illustrious" author and all that article is getting is a well-deserved negative attention. I wonder if any of the people here have tried to post any comments on that article at HT website? At least rate that article on the website. I was successful in giving it a rating it deserves.


Anonymous said...

I have long interaction with police officer during my service, particularly in CI environement. I have very low opinion of them from all angles. Though they wear crisp uniform they are actually Babus in uniform and no soldierly virtues like chivalary or hounor or readiness to sacrifice should be accepted out of them. The article by Mr Abhinav truely reflects the minset of a plolice officer today who will go to any length to put down the services to score some silly browning points and that includes half truths and lies couched as intellectual garbage. He has the cheek and shamelessness to say that those police officers who innocently died in an ambush sitting crammed in a car deserve the highest gallantary award of the land reserved for the rarest of rare act of bravery. Then every soldier who dies on the border should be given an Ashok Chakra and we should open a special factory for mass making of these medals. Which word does he live in. He may not have shame or honour but what about some commonsense. Does he thinks we all are idiots to buy these silly arguemnts. And he says he has service officers in his family. Can we have thier names?? I have read all his writings till now but this one is below average. It has been my experience that in all army actions the polic people shamelessly try and put their names so that they can get medals and promotions. They have no sense of honour or shame and Abhinav's article is a proof of this. I have personal experiece. A DIG who followed us at a safe distance during an operation without a qualm made a report to his headquater that the whole operation was planned by him and conducted by him. Even when he was exposed he had no shame and acted very normal as if it was the done thing. So do not expect any thing great from these police officers.

Unknown said...

Dear Abhinav ,
A Nation who does not respect its army is condemned to respect its enemies army.
Is it not true that you as a nation were holding the Royal British Army in high esteem prior to your independance.

My course mate was selected in IAS and IAF he chose to stay in IAF. You may ask why? Name a single institution in democracy which has not been destroyed by the IAS beaureaucrats.
I joined Air Force due to various stories about valour and honour regarding the Army, one of them this.
The Soldier by Rupert Brooke
If I should die, think only this of me: 
That there's some corner of a foreign field 
That is forever England. There shall be 
In that rich earth a richer dust concealed; 
A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware, 
Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam; 
A body of England's, breathing English air, 
Washed by the rivers, blest by suns of home. 
And think, this heart, all evil shed away, 
A pulse in the eternal mind, no less 
Gives somewhere back the thoughts by England given; 
Her sights and sounds; dreams happy as her day; 
And laughter, learnt of friends; and gentleness, 
In hearts at peace, under an English heaven.

Would you like Padminis to burn on Pyre and then you worship them as Satis since you could not protect them . With due respects,Regarding your argument about Karkare and Company. Gen Patton said " No fool serves his country by dying for his Country, but killing the other fool who dies for his country.

Unknown said...

Abhinav kumar was a police officer in uttarakhand cadre but now he is just a Ps to shashitharoor.