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Saturday, June 27, 2009

Unfortunate and unfortunate....

The murderous assault on a Ludhiana Tehsildar, Maj G S Benipal who happens to be an ex-Commissioned Officer, was a deplorable incident which reflects the kind of jungle-raaj being perpetrated by small time politicians. The officer was beaten up and stripped resulting in fractures and injuries on his entire body. The dignity of the officer was violated since he refused to entertain certain unjust demands of local politicians of the ruling party. The upright officer was known to have recently unearthed a fake stamp paper scam too. We shall ensure that these street runners responsible for this incident are brought to book and justice prevails.

But the point I am trying to project through this post is different and in a sense unrelated to this deplorable incident. I personally feel that former officers of the military should not take up below-status jobs with the civil government. And if family or other circumstances force some to join junior appointments, then the usage of the military title before the name should be avoided. For instance, the former Major had joined as a Tehsildar with the Punjab Govt but the public at large would have no inkling that a Tehsildar is junior even to a Lieutenant of the Army in pay and status, ultimately resulting in the incorrect linkage of a Tehsildar with a Major of the Army in the public psyche. The upholding of decorum of the military rank should be our utmost responsibility and we should not let our private requirements or circumstances encumber its izzat.

Comments on this issue and welcome.


Col VT Venkatesh(retd) said...

I would not blame the officer for taking up the job.It is our system which has pushed officers to take up such jobs.The country/government has to realize that the dignity of Military profession directly depends on financial pay outs.
This is where the OROP needs to kick in & ensure that all ranks can lead a dignified life even after their retirement.
Otherwise we are going to have more such situations & we can keep on fire fighting.

Anonymous said...

Fully agree with Maj Navdeep.
Upholding the dignity of rank /uniform should be the responsibility of ESM too.

Anonymous said...

The fauzees must NOT be retired at lower age than civilians.
To keep the forces young, the government should transfer fauzees to other departments on age / health /qualifications/experience considerations.
All central government officers and employees must be retired at the same age.

sivaraman said...

I fully agree with you. You have also given the recourse to be adopted if an Officer has to accept a lower level job, should circumstances force it.
Brigadier S Sivaraman

Anonymous said...


I was astonished how can a major accept a post of Tahsildar. It is not that a Tahsildar is junior to Lt. He is just at par with a Nb Subedar (not even SM.

It is just the responsibilities that give these civil officials some importance. Otherwise these Tahsildars, Inspectors of Police etc are just equivalent to Nb Sub or Subedear not even SM. And if a Major accepts a post of Tahsildar who else to be blamed.

Anonymous said...

Totally disagree with Mr Navdeep.

Why should we be ever ashamed about work and the pettiness of it. It is a great evil in India where we give so much importance to 'STATUS', 'POSITION' and "DIGNITY OF LABOUR'.

This is one aspect we must outgrow and possibly pick up from the developed countries where no one bothers whether one is a 'plumber' or the 'Prime Minister' and all are looked upon with the same dignity and status


Lt Col(Retd) R S Dasila said...

I fully endorse the views of Maj Navdeep with regards to prefixing rank before one's name after retirement. If circumstances compel a retired officer to take up jobs lower than his military rank, he shouldn't use the rank before his name. For upholding the dignity and honour of
military rank/profession, it is adviseable that all brother offrs
retiring early in age should take the advisory as explained by Maj Navdeep sincerely. Notwithstanding
above, we all serving/retired FAUSEES must support Maj Benipal in order to get him justice.

Anonymous said...

"Dear Navdeep:
The point is well taken but then in the Army everyone readily accepts reemployment of a full Colonel in the post of a Captain. This situation may be termed as "in house" but the principle enunciated by you stands violated here too, and that too with the sanction of the the management and the managed.

Open ID: Col Sharad Paranjape, Retd."

Navdeep / Maj Navdeep Singh said...


That's the point I make. Do whatever you want but please do not use your military rank on an appointment which is junior to your erstwhile rank, especially in a govt set-up. Dignity of labour is perfectly fine, but tell me, to take a point out of your example in the western world, do you find officers joining as 'plumbers' and would it be prudent to do so ? Dignity of labour is directly linked to your experience, skills and educational background. While it may be perfectly normal for a college student to work as a waiter to earn his or her living, you cannot expect a military officer to work at that place in the name of 'dignity of labour'. These things look better on paper than in actual life.

@Col Paranjape

Yes. But the difference in Army is that you still wear the uniform of the rank that you retd in and your pay is protected. Moreover, people know your seniority and one is not taken for granted as far as the respect level is concerned. Now think of a Maj who joins as a Tehsildar who has to take directions from an SDM with a GP of 5400. Or think of a Maj who joins as a Tehsildar and who is made to sit behind Lieuts in a joint Civ-Military conf.

Col VT Venkatesh(retd) said...

Dear Maj Navdeep
I do feel that this is the first post of yours which i find to be a little hypocritical.
In Army itself we find that Officers are sent on deputation to a lower rank.Re empolyed officers are posted in lower grade appts with lower pay.I have seen Colonels in DRDO doing all kinds of Non Tech jobs while posted on Tech appts, to curry favors from the DRDO bosses.
Let us respect dignity of work & not rank alone.
If the person in question is doing a good job in civil & suffered because of it we all should condemn it & not ask him why he is doing the job.

Anonymous said...

@ Navdeep

Well, in Denmark I know of a Colnel who is working as a Cobbler! No one looks down upon him.

I remember in New Zealand their PM Mr John Key was standing in a queue to go to the toilet in a Rugby match.

In India we would have termed these people to mind their dignity and status while the public in those countries never bother!!

Anonymous said...

Our own MS branch issues postings of full Cols as Directors at various HQrs. I thought that Director was equal to Lt Col.

Kartik said...

An officer seeks a second job after retirement primarily because since he is retiring at say 54 yrs of age, he has yet to fulfill his major responsibilities such as paying off housing loans, marriages etc. Compounded with what he has been able to save during his service, he does not find himself financially secure. Most Govt employees in the officers cadre have double incomes where as this is not feasible in case of Army due to the frequency and place of postings. Hence a job is what he needs, most often, desperately.
The kind of job a person seeks and accepts depends upon his qualification, experience and self esteem.
Qualification and experience – Most individuals who retire at 54 are non-technical. Such an officer would not even get a job in HRM because he has always all his life he has been mis-managing human resource. Today HR is a field of expertise with few service personnel even aware of its nuances let alone qualified.
Self esteem – Army has failed miserably in management of superceded officers. While in the Army an officer who is superceded is seen as worthless because of the kind of appointments he is posted to. Since you are of no consequence to anyone no one really bothers. Not only does this lowers the morale of such officers it also gradually makes him disgruntled. He starts seeing everything in negative and by the time he retires he actually becomes a useless person who no one would want – even in civil. Such a person will then seek any job that comes his way. He is neither bothered about his own image nor of the organisation.
Army needs to firstly extend the service of officers at par with civilians so that they do not feel the pinch. The lack of officers will also be well taken care of. Young army? Well you need young officers in units who are involved in operations. Why should they be doing desk jobs at this age? Employ experienced staff in their place.

Navdeep / Maj Navdeep Singh said...

@anony at 2.53

You have just 'heard' about it. Mere heresay and totally unbelievable. And secondly, standing in a queue and respecting the law is not the same as joining a lower post and then flaunting your former military rank.

Anonymous said...

@ Col Venkatesh
@ Anonymous (2:53PM)

Navdeep's post is anything but hypocritical. It is 'in your face' and he has not tried to be politically correct or mild. Sending on deputation to posts tenable by lower ranks is not 'degradation' of military rank since one's rank while in service and the entitlements and respect attached with the rank remain the same. Even within the Army we have stroke appts which can be held by different ranks. But a Lt Col gets the entitlements of a Lt Col and if the post is held by a Maj or a junior civil officer, the entitlements also go down accordingly.

Think of it in your own words - Would you like a Col to start working as a cobbler (as per your example) and place a board telling the world that his is Colonel ABC (Retd) ???

When you reach a particular level in any organisation and acquire the skills or status of that particular rank, it is but natural for the world to expect you to take up a job at a similar level in a different organisation. Not just in the governmental world but also in the corporate world would you see a GM or a VP resigning from one corporate and joining another corporate as an Asst Manager or a Marketing executive ?

Similary, officers are expected to take up only those jobs which fit into the experience they have acquired. Yes, if you have no confidence, become a cobbler if you want but please do not use your rank if you become one.

Without fully understanding what Navdeep has said with maturity, all your talk of enhancement of status and Grade Pay etc, reaching PB-4 etc seems like a BIG JOKE. Wake up faujis!!!!!

Anonymous said...

While I completely agree with Maj Navdeep ,I also want to highlight so many other cases where the Govt jobs offerred and taken up by retd officers are much lower in status and pay.One such job in every state taken up by retd Lt Cols/Cols is Secretary Zila Sainik Board.Pay wise the job would be of Subedars status.
What can possibly be done is that the emoluments paid to retd officer in such jobs are counted as honorarium and not pay.
But who is bothered for status when after retirement at young age you need employment and are ready to take up whatever is offered.As it is no civilian is employed in Zila sainik jobs.

Col P B

Anonymous said...

I fully agree with Navdeep. As a matter of fact Punjab Government should not have appointed an ex-Major as Tehsildar. Here is a question of parity in Government employment.The real culprit is the Government. On the other hand doing one's own work or business is totally different and no body would make an issue of it.

Anonymous said...

We in the fouj, unfortunately have a hyperinflated ego and self esteem in a real good measure.After you quit service no one really bothers about you.(that includes the govt which gives you a meagre pension,) Rather living in misery with the pittance that you get as pension, why not go and do a job and earn a decent living? after all he is not going around with a begging bowl ! There is nothing wrong in that ex Maj having taken up a Tahsildar's job !and let me tell you a Tahsildar is quite a powerful guy...you would realise that after you enter the civvy street .

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous at 07 - 11

Well my dear friend, even the Head Clerk of a Bn is a very powerful guy. So is the Barrack and Stores Officer of your local cantonment. So is an AGE who can keep the entire city in spins. So taking up a job is not about power my dear.

NOw coming to the main point. If you read navdeep's blog post properly again, he is simply saying that if circumstances do force you to take up a lower status job then DO NOT USE YOUR MILITARY TITLE. Is there anything wrong in suggesting that ?. I'm sure now people in punjab would start comparing Majors with Tehsildars.


Dear Navdeep

I pronounce you as a mini research cell of self inflicted anomolies of Defence officers. Why should we accept much below status appointments so as to be in the deep well of embarassments to self and all Officers class. No job is too small or big, as long as dignity of labour and clean play is involved. But if somebody offers me a job of a peon to PM with ten figure emoluments I wll rather commit a notional suicide rather than accept it. Unfortunately this inflationary come down has started from higher Ranks than otherwise.
A Brigadier taking up a job of a Security Officer meant for a Capt and a Capt taking up a job meant for a JCO/OR equivalent. If one plans his future well and spreads his tentacles according to his background and resources. An officer can live reasonably OK after retirement. Health is the most important factor one should pray for after retirement.
Health is Wealth to go hand in hand with the status issue.Never the less we have to stand by the issue such as Maj Benipal or for that matter any law abiding Citizen.Self introspection by entire Defence Brotherhood is the need of the hour. After retirement try and get closer to the Civil brotherhood and learn to give and take honourably.We are all Indians and should learn to love and respect each other sentiments assets and liabilities. God Bless all Jai Hind
Col Dham

Anonymous said...

I agree that re-emp in the army is also not looked upon as a dignified job. Not only the pay even all his entitlement accept the accomodation become of a capt. Who says that last pay on re-emp is protected? Not in the army. The org saves a lot by paying less than half as pension and DA on it is substracted. Has anyone in the army realised that re-emp offr's pay has not been revised as per 6cpc till date. They are not even paid their salaries regularly. CDA has taken one year to start their pay that too as per 5cpc. What wiil he do of the money so called arrs which he require it right now. He requires it right now. Most of them have taken re-emp as they have grown up daughters to marry them and sons to settle them in life. Because they (offrs) have been taught to marry after 25yrs of age. Because they have been forced to retire before their children have settled down in life. Because they have to fulfil their responsibilities a moral as well as social obligation.

I request Maj Navdeep Singh who has always been helpful to the offrs class, to give his views through his blog.

Anonymous said...

@ Navdeep

Well, please grant the blogger some authenticity rather thn being presumptious

I am a retired Brig who is based in Denmark as a part of a MNC and the shop under reference is called Colonel's Cobbles. The photo of Mr John Key in the queue was splashed recently in the New Zealand Herald.

While we have some excellent aspects in India, this lack of giving due to dignity of labour and being very class conscious is a scourge which best needs to be knocked off, in my opinion.

Navdeep / Maj Navdeep Singh said...

@ASD/Anony 10.11

Firstly, I never disputed the news of the PM standing in a queue. I rather stated that it was good that the PM was following the law of the land and said that it was not the same as joining a lower post. To repeat what I said :

"And secondly, standing in a queue and respecting the law is not the same as joining a lower post and then flaunting your former military rank"

Even our PM stood in a queue to vote. This has nothing to do with the issue at hand.

Secondly, it is now that you have come up with the correct picture and have said that it is a shop known as Colonel's Cobbles. You had earlier given an impression to readers that a Col had become a cobbler in Denmark. This is what you said earlier :

"Well, in Denmark I know of a Colonel who is working as a Cobbler"

This is what you say now :

"I am a retired Brig who is based in Denmark as a part of a MNC and the shop under reference is called Colonel's Cobbles"

Now please tell us whether having a shoe shop is the same as being a cobbler. We have a shop called Colonel's Kebabs in the Defence Colony market in Delhi, do we go around town saying that a Colonel has become a road-side kebab maker ???

There is a subtle difference in how you portray things. I thought the same was reserved for lawyers though :-)

Anonymous said...


May I add a comment with an anecdote.

As a NRI , we observed someone had soiled a toilet. During the tea break the CEO wore gloves and went and cleaned up the toilet rather than waiting for a 'cleaner'

I know some of us in India may find this amusing or even ridiculous. But perhaps logically this may 'ring a bell' somewhere !

Anonymous said...

@ Navdeep

Thanks - surely I would not be able to 'legally' debate it with you :-)

Also, I understand that Indian resident friends will find these reportings being 'far fetched'. But let me add that in these countries most such shops are one man shows. Perhaps they don't have the population, so they really don't have managers and an employment force working under them.

Anyway, the circumstances here are different so may be a bit unfair to compare. The only point I am trying to make is that we are 'far too class conscious' and that is a considered personal opinion :-)


Anonymous said...

Roman empire and imperialistic British legacy was of past.In this age of people's democracy- it is equqlity.
Even after retirement,this rank conciousnes is a sort of sickness of mind . The way most retired officers behave and conduct themselve ,even among retired fraternity in clubs ,institutions,housing societies is testimony to this deep routed sickness.We are attaching too much to this practice of prefixing rk-retd .
In this instant case ; a Maj or a Gen beeing a tehsildar should bring in greater performence of efficiancy and integrity ,with all that skill and experiance of Mil svc .
We (citizens of this country incl retd officers ) should get out of this mental attitude of sitting tight in a arm chair with suit and boot and doing nothing .It is like some women wearing gold jewlary and then expect that people around should show importence to her for possesing so much gold.
The regard and respect from fellow citizens comes from individuals conduct,actions,wisdom...etc and not by some prefixed or suffixed retd rk/award .
Deteriorating standards and quality of Mil officers both serving and retd are glaringly visible .
It is time that we put effort in improving those ,rather than these infractious and small issues.
Blgger's views in this matter is contrary to what he has been .
This COUNTRY will be better if those former presidents,PMs,Min,G O I officers do behave and work like ordinary citizens-
Some of these former ministers incl PMs should work as village surpanchs and so these retd Mil officers-even as sepoys for an year or two to improve the deteriorating standards -lest we would be just ornamental with uncertain future.

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous @ 0359 hrs

What you say may be true in an 'ideal' society or an 'ideal' situation. But till that happens, we must agree with what Navdeep says.

If Military officers continue to take up jobs lower than their experience and / or status, it would definitely bring down the bar on which such officers are employed by PSUs, Government and Corporates. If you find one Colonel working on an entry level appointment in one organization, the others who are aware of this fact would also offer the same level of appointment to other Colonels. If one Major has joined as a Tehsildar, everybody would now start comparing Majors with that level. And then when one tells someone that the rank of a Major is equal to an SSP or a DC, people would simply term it as unbelievable since the memory of a Tehsildar-Major would rankle them.

Tell me, when Navdeep simply suggests that the rank should not be used with the name in such situations, how does it affect dignity of labour ?

I'm sure the ones who have not liked this idea are the ones who themselves are underemployed and are still using their military ranks. This surely makes a mockery of our military ranks. I fail to understand how this philosophical talk of dignity of labour can be equated with Navdeep's suggestion of leaving your rank behind if you take a job lower than your earned experience or stature. There is a system of strata of status and hierarchy in every country and people should not get fooled by the line 'it happens only in India'.

Col VT Venkatesh(retd) said...

I am very amused by all this 'Anonymous' posts.I hope people know they can put their names & ranks or they just want to be hiding perpetually.
Most of the people does not seem to realize that there are no suitable jobs for officers who are not technically qualified.The probelem is more compounded if they are Majs/Capts.
At least Cols & above have some command experience which is recognized in the civvy street.
Hence what does a Maj/Cap at the age of 52 do if he has still responsibilities.
If the officer has some pride he himself will not prefix his rank if he takes up lower grade appointments
The other side of the story is that many senior officers do not prefix their rank since they do not want to be known as ex army, even when they are holding senior posts.
Fancy designations in many cases do not tell the true story.
Economic realities force people to even commit suicide (as in the case of farmers).
We need to show sensitivity in such cases i.e. not pass judgments unilaterally.
One of the smartest JCO in my unit did not want to apply for Officer cadre(he could have easily become an offr)When asked the reason ,he said he did not want to put up a false front & become pretentious.

Anonymous said...

Col Venkatesh said "There are no suitable job for officers who are not technically qualified"

I have come across engineers who have found it difficult to get a job after retirement.About ten years back a Wg. Cdr. with a B.Tech. from one of the oldest IITs along with various other management qualifications didn't get a job after retiring at the the age of 52( He had two daughters in college & a son in 11th std. at that time).Then he went to a placement consultant & the only job the consultant could get him was of a security officer which obviously the officer refused.
He may not have regretted his decision when he chose to join IAF over an offer to go abroad after IIT but I am sure he did regret it at the time of his retirement when he couldn't get a job with all the family responsibilities still to be taken care of.
With loads of private airlines today, things may probably be different today for Aeronautical engineers.

MES Engineer said...

Two points -

Assault on a public servant doing his / her duty needs to be condemned equally whether the he / she is ex-military or not.

The fact that Tehisldar post is held by a Major reflects truly the free-market value of a Major - Major is really equivalent to Group B or at least the worth is Group B in today's conditions. Accept the reality and stop crying like babies. It just happens to be that serving army officers are way overpaid along with perks etc. not available to others - more than they deserve which they never appreciate and keep on asking for more and using blackmail etc. Once out of uniform - reality should sink in my friends and accept your true worth - that a Major is really a Group B post. Just because a Major is paid like a Group A or a Lt. Col in PB-4 does not mean they are worth that as this showed. Have you ever heard of an civilian Group A working as Group B or a lower post? The answer is NO. The technical officers are in fact paid way more than what they are paid by the Govt. and no true Group civilian officer would ever need take up a Group B job. We are never that desperate and know what our true market worth and status is - something which the army officers fail to comprehend and keep on crying like babies!

ANUPAM said...

1. These are pretty sensitive issues that have been seen on and off by everi one in his/her social environment

2. Of course Indians only rises to salute the fauj when country is at war or sometimes even they don't do then.Fauj never asks respect but it is left for the janta to realise what valuable thing they are to the nation.

3. To avoid such cases may be compulsory military service for 2 years may be made...but then our can of politicians are there who just want to make own statues and make janta salute those ones.

4. It is actually pitty for fauj personnels in our country.I have seen,read and inquired about how fauji's of other nations are treated amongst civilians....but then our own cream of hierarchy is responsible for the state we are in today.

5. We know what happened with the major saab is wrong and then we are blaming him also to have taken lowly appointment.What ever majboori might have forced him to take up the job...he is only wrong till there...beyond IT IS WE ALL WHO ARE DISCUSSING THIS IN OUR LAPS TOPS AND DESKTOPS...BUT NOT DOING ANYTHING....JUST BLAMING....SO TYPICAL IN A FAUJEE ENVIRONMENT...

6. Ideally some one in IHQ should take up a case to make a sample of those people involved who beat up that major....but no...then IHQ is busy with so many things..these being minor issues without realizing that they may face such beatings tomorrow!!!!who cares....JAANEY BHI DO YAROOON!!!

Navdeep / Maj Navdeep Singh said...

@MES Officer

This is the true worth of a Major :


A selection grade post in PB-4 with GP 8700 (pre revised 14300-18300)

So sorry to burst your bubble.
Keep your trap shut my friend.

Anonymous said...

Refer MES officer's comments-
My friend, civilian retire at a higher age and therefore are able to finish their responsibilities.
If you search your soul,believing that a service officer gets more pay than he / she really deserves; will you like your children to join the services ????
Be honest, is it not for the people who commit the blunder of joining the forces,that civilians are safe & comfortable ?

Col VT Venkatesh(retd) said...

@MES Engineer
With all the unofficial perks that you grab & your retirement age,you never need to take any post after retirement( & even while in services).
By the way my close relative was a MES officer with a M tech degree & I know the inside story of MES & their technical capabilities pretty well.


My Dear Major Navdeep,

I do agree with your feelings about Ex Army Officers joining below status civil jobs. I do remember once I visited a Tehsildar for mutation. Without any hesitation he asked me Major Sahib you have not given any thing at the time of registry, atleast give me now one hundred note. This shows what respect a Tehsildar enjoys. So I am also in agreement that if due to any reason we have to do such job we must NOT PREFIX military position which we enjoyed with our name.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Yes, I fully agree with you. The status and honours are most important for all defence officers. We shall avoid of accepting the civil appointments including central Govt. job, where status of a rank is compromised.
Cdr SK Sharma


Dear Friends
When you join the Armed Forces you are well aware of the Terms and Conditions in which you have to serve and survive and latter Retire.Comparing the values of some Foreign Lands with assorted services and serving conditions,we have to go by our National Character and pecularities. If we should not be Rank conscious while accepting Post retirement jobs than why are we cribbing and yearning for OROP/precedence status.When I joined Army mentally I had prepared myself, worst come worst, as a time scale Col.I had planned all my Family /Financial matters accordingly. A little spill over of problems can be tackled with the Brave Army Background and thats how you should groom your children/family.
Due to our short sighted policies/acceptance the precedence of Armed Forces have been degraded and the other day a politician addressing a General as a Mr. We have to maintain some sort of dignity/status not to show off or flaunt but to maintain the decorum.Some senior officers including Doctors have voluntarily worked for NGO organisations without any appointments or remunerations but never compromised their Rank Status.DONT FORGET THAT YOU HAVE TO GO BY JAISA DESH WAISA BHESH, THERE IS A LOT OF DIFFERENCE IN BEING A MODEST THAN GOING DOWN FOR CHEAP POPULARITY. One has to strike a dignified balance, because such degradations also effect Rank and File of serving personnel. You are the the best judge for every thing and if you think that I have expressed illogically than forget about it forgive me and bash on regardless Bhagwan Bhalli Karenge.
Jai Hind
Col Dham

Anonymous said...

I fully agree with Col VT Venkatesh(Retd).Firstly The Govt Of India/MOD should ensure that all ESM are ensured 100% resettlement immediatly when they Retired/Released before the age of 60/62 years, or else let the Govt come out with the Terms & condition while Enrolment/Commissiong that no job security/Resettlement in the same status after the Retirement/Release from Defence Services.

Anonymous said...

This is an incident of shri Benipal,tehsildar,Govt officer beaten by some indivduals-a crime to be dealt accordingly. Whereas ,Immeditely ,the opposition political party-the state cong jumped into action to create problem to party in power ,SAD .
Why this unrelated fauji reaction.Some heads of retd fauji gps,encouraged and prompted by that political party are making all sorts of noise just to curry for some favours . The political party is firing their guns using these esm gps as gun fodder.
It is time that we rest on this unrelated issue and go about on our real issues.
Dont be surprised if some of these Kalias ,are in the books of exp/favours of that po party. They are playing with these esm groups. Fauji is jumping into dirt .

Cdr (Retd) KK Chaudhary said...

I was not amazed to see the divergent views on Navdeep's comment. In fact, we the faujis, want everything to our advantage. When we get less salary than our civil counterparts, we prop our 'dignity of rank/service' to prove that we deserve more salary and when we accept lower-ranked jobs to survive our post retirement life, we prop the 'dignity of work' to our advantage. This is a selfish attitute. Whereas, we must protect our dignity of rank, it is important to work with the system (eg, DG re-settlement/IESL/Ex-Faujis etc) to see that all who retire (unvoluntarily) before 60/62 Yrs (as in case of civilians) must be helped to find a suitable job as per their rank/experience.
As far as possible, we should not accept the job lower than that equivalent to the rank held.

Anonymous said...

Could not have agreed more with Maj Navdeep.Excellent and thought provoking as ever

Beniwal said...

The degradation of uniform and ranks can be seen around south block and sena /vayusena bhavan where officers upto brig rank walk around in full uniform like peons/sales man carrying tiffins and files/breif cases in hand. what a shame. do you ever see even a police sub.inspector, leave aside gp A officers in ministries walking around. never, always in a car/jeep. my humble suggestion to stop wearing uniform when posted in sena/vayusena bhavan or south block except once a week. I hope HQs think about the izzat and iqbal of fauji in the eyes of general public. it is the duty of 3 and 4 star officers to look after the izzat of their officers. they do not care because they fly past in the their flag cars without looking out/ around. never go in uniform and meet your junior rank civilian for any damn work because public beleives what it sees and others also start treating you similarly.Go in civies and do as all civilian do. navdeep has rightly said do not use ranks when in civil job and you will not get hurt.

Ash said...

Dear Major,
I have been following your blog for sometime now. You have raised a very important issue by this post. I would like to state the following:
a) The attack on any officer has to condemned (ex-serviceman/ civilian).
b) The number of civil jobs with 'equivalent status as the army rank ' are very less (as of now) as compared to the number of retirements/ release every year.
c) The services need to address the issue of post retirement re-settlement of all ex - servicemen retiring at an early age.
d)Using/not using the rank is hardly an issue. Since selection to the army is made by UPSC (same agency as the IAS) in the gazetted cadre; and the officers give the golden years of their life serving the interests of the motherland and retire early due to the service conditions,does it not become the obligation on the part of the nation to look after them in all possible ways,employment being one of them.
Consider this, if in case, due to their service conditions, the IAS were made to retire at an early age, would they be given lower grade positions because they are generalists?
e)Army is the biggest corporate in the country and a person having an exposure of having worked in a big organisation as the army is as it is fit for taking any senior administrative job in the civil.

Mach22 said...

Very interesting article by Jug Suraiya, must read for all

Can India afford the luxury of its babus? In the past three and a half years, our bureaucrats - often accompanied by their spouses - travelled on international junkets to the collective tune of 5.65 crore km, which is equivalent to 70 round trips to the moon. Who paid for such high-flying extravagance? The taxpayer. Which means you.

If we want to make our babudom truly accountable, the public sector should also be made to adopt the CTC formula - cost to country. In the case of babus, CTC would include not just pay, DA, subsidised housing, etc, but also, and far more importantly, the costs incurred by the delays and time overruns caused by bureaucratic inertia or inefficiency.

Several years ago, a guesstimate exercise suggested that if the delays in all the country's public sector projects were to be added up, they'd total more than 500 years. Which means that, theoretically, we should all be living at the time of the emperor Akbar, or thereabouts. The fact that we are not might be attributed to the get-up-and-go of private enterprise. And, of course, to the efforts, against all odds, of the relatively few, dedicated, hard-working and incorruptible public servants the country can be proud of, and who are, sadly, the exceptions that prove the misrule.

The extent of this misrule - the result of an unholy nexus between an exploitative political class that patronises sycophancy and a complaisant bureaucracy - can be gauged by the fact that of a total of 890 central infrastructure projects (power, railways, petroleum), 267 are currently running between two months and 16 years behind schedule, at an estimated delay-cost to the exchequer (apart from the budgeted cost) of Rs 20,948.69 crore. While many of these delays can be attributed to problems like shortage of funds, land acquisitions, controversies and law and order issues, ultimately most of these bottlenecks can be traced back to a lack of anticipatory thinking and forward planning on the part of the administration.

Perhaps what we need now is a larger 'social audit' of our babudom - not just to affix blame, but, equally importantly, to identify and reward praiseworthy performance, using the cost to country rubric. The only problem is that the babu audit would be run by - who else? - babus. With the result that it might end up costing the country too much to figure out just how much our babus are costing the country.

Anonymous said...

People use their ranks to get the benifit and regards in civil service and also to get the advantage from Defense. Means they want to have ladoos in both the hands. And thats where actual problem lies. When we are in civil, forget about past and work as per the requiremnt, don't unnecessary show off your ranks. Follow Jaisa Desh Vaisa Bhesh These ranks has weight in defence only.

Anonymous said...

However ,the attack on Beniwal is serious and to be condemmed with not beacuse he is a fauji, but because he is human being. Any such assault on any human being should be severly dealt with by the concerned agency.

KB said...

Totally disagree with Maj Navdeep.

First, after my retirement i am entitled to put my rank before my name. Therefore i will, come what may.

Second, once a retire & there are no suitable jobs as per my erstwhile status, the options i have -

a) to rot in poverty, letting my ego of my erstwhile rank come in between me & my new job, or

b) to accept the acrid verity of life & join a job even if that means accepting terms lesser than what i was getting when previously employed.

Thirdly, if the nation is not providing enough lateral absorption, then the nation is to blame not me. The onus is on the nation to look after its soldiers. Yes, utopian thoughts. But true.

Fourthly, i guess it is your work which earns respect & not the rank that one puts on one's shoulders. Ergo, even if i am working in a capacity deemed lower than by many of my peers, at least i am working honestly & dilligently. Pls ref the two options stated above.

Fifthly, lets not get too "rank minded". Lets get "work minded". Lets not get our ranks & inflated egos come in between sincere work.

Sixthly, even if that common man knows that a Tehsildar is lesser in rank than a Lt, even then he will show more respect to the Tehsildar because in peace time the Tehsildar apparently is more imp functionary of the nation's administrative machinery.

Seventhly, where are the jobs suitable for retd army personnel? what are those jobs? Now should we have a list of jobs amenable to say a Maj, Lt Col, Col etc once he is in civil, huh? Should there be such lists now? And where will it all end? LOL.

Finally, in a democracy we have freedom of action. Let all decide what to do, rather than the state (or any such blog et al) tell the individual what to do.


Anonymous said...

Yes KB, go ahead become a sweeper and call yourself Major so and so, safaiwala in the name of 'dignity of labour'.

Please read the complete post before passing egoist comments. The post only says that if you happen to take up a job below your experience or status level then please do not use your rank, there is no ML calling for not taking up any job. Moreover, taking up an appt in the pvt sector does not result in any problem but taking it up in the govt sector does. Won't this tehsildar be reporting to and sirring his imdt boss - the SDM who happens to be equal to Lieut. On one side we faujis raise a storm over not getting due status and pay (so much for PB-4) and on the other some of us try to say that any job can be done by us and we will also use our rank while doing such jobs. Bullshit dichotomy this is.

KB, please read the comments of MES OFFICER ABOVE. See how they view us, only because of people and attitude like YOU.

Pied Piper said...

Certain things a civilian will never understand… let’s get quantative.

Most army officers will retire at 54 yrs of age. Many of these officers will not take/get a job after retirement. How much do they loose in monetary terms as a result of early retirement as compared to their civilian counterparts?
If the officer continues to serve till 60 yrs of age and spends every month an amt equivalent to the pension he would have received (had he retd at 54 yrs) and puts the differential amt in DSOP Fund – he would be richer by Rs 43,07,381/-. In certain Govt jobs the age limit is 62 yrs. Retiring at 62 Yrs would get him Rs 63,40,728/-

In reality the amt gained will be still greater because, at the age of 54 most army officers are still paying back their Housing Loan EMI’s and after retirement they have to occupy the house themselves foregoing the monthly rent.

Taking rough estimates/averages an officer looses around Rs 67.5 lakhs as a result of early retirement. That’s like getting a nice house after retirement with all the social obligations taken care off. That the cost most officers will pay to keep our army young!

Anonymous said...

Keeping Army "young' is a farce forced on the fauji. Why should the fauji have to bear the costs of keeping it young ? Why not keep the IAS cadre young too ?

Take up cudgels to increase retirement age for fauj NOW !!!

Rajinder said...

Could someone from Ludhiana tell us how is Maj Benipal. Does he need help. What is being done by Sainik Kalyan, Ludhiana and other ESM agencies to help. Why can't we through this form appoint a appoint a panel to ensure that justice is done to a comrade. Come on ESM ! Let us show a united front to ensure that justice is done and people do not take faujis lightly wether serving or retired.

Anonymous said...

@ Paed Piper. Do you think this sick society is bothered???

Anonymous said...


Really surprising the extremes that you have taken the analogy to. Imagine the discussion was on Tehsildar and taking the analogy to a sweeper.

Hats off really !!!

KB please don't get deterred with your freedom of speech


Pied Piper said...

@ anon

I believe the root cause of most problems is ‘lack of knowledge’ of Govt as well as in worldly affairs. We are isolated from society from the moment we join NDA, by segregated cantonments, policy of discouragement of interacting with civilian counterparts, our own ethos and keeping ourselves busy with… actually nothing!

All this was OK if the nation was really doing its bit to look after the interests of Services. But the way things are, the solution lies in Knowledge and be more Powerful.

Anonymous said...

To all those who have been opposing Maj Navdeep on this issue,plz understand what he is saying!!!!He is not bloody against dignity of labour.Yes,you can even do the work of a clerk......India after all is a democratic country.But when u do that plz understand that ur rank carries a certain dignity.......DO NOT LET THAT DOWN,,,,,,,,,,It does give an impression that all Majors are equivalent to tahsildars to the ignorant and uninitiated...So stop blaming Major navdeep and listen for once

Anonymous said...

I was anny com trying to be idealist.Arter reading that MES engr com,i feel i was absolutely wrong.Navdeep is 100% right and all those who agree with him are 200% correct.
I am an aged veteran and obviously I am out of touch with certain realities . I am happy the younger lot is aware and are active in right direction.
OH,this MES engr of some 4th grade (lower grade ) ,doing some arithmatic estimates and supervision of a head kuli; has the adocity of butting in and drawing conclusion of that type - market value.Probably he does not know that among Majs there are aeronautical,electronic,electrical, mechanical,marine.....engrs;graduates and post graduatess,.... etc.This MES engr witth some 5th grade civil engg deg feels that way . Therefore do sit tight in your arm chairs and keep demanding parity of pay with other equivalent G O I services and mil ser pay to the extent of even 50% over and above that pay at par.
Oh, these chaps make so much of money (under table) and therefore ,obviously they have no need to work after retirement.
TO Mes engr only -thank you for expressing your view.
We have ensured for decades that you all lived in peace and tranquility and enjoing the present level of freedom and prosperity at great suffering and sacrifices by mil veterans . . In future that sort of suffering and sacrifices may not come forward unless the NATION adequately compensate for Mil ser .Then you and your son will have to be draftwd into mil svc and keep standing at boder areas.
Thanks to blogger and all com.

Anonymous said...

If we do not understand this logic of Navdeep the next pay commission will say " there is Established Relativity Between a Major and Tehsildar" and these words will carry lot of weight

Anonymous said...

Earlier our CLUBs had Officers as members and civilians as managers. Today we have civilians as members and Retired Maj Gen/Brig as Managers. Thats the CHANGE.
Maybe we as a system can train and get our JCO's posted as Teshildars and our retired Gen as -------------, so that we, in between, can appropriate ourselves in position.

How about replacing our enlisted contractors with Ex-servicemen holding companies and dealing with them only.

Sanjeev said...

I agree with you Navdeep 100% on this issue, and as rightly suggested by you officers employed on lower grade jobs should not make use of their military/service titles,period.Also, I think service officers should refrain from writing 'ARMY' or 'AIRFORCE' on their private vehicles.

Sanjeev said...

Our friend Anonymous should be bold enough to come out with his true identity while giving out his at times weird views.Fauj mein Anonymous ko koi tavajo nahi dee jati.