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Thursday, April 1, 2010

So did we inherit this from the British ?

“Our first class army, ordered to travel second class by a third-rate government”

The above was a comment on this article in a mainstream British newspaper.

While you are at it, please do not forget to read all comments on the said news-report.

Déjà vu, eh ???


mbsg said...

It seems they are learning from us

Anonymous said...

@ All

Seeing no response to my earlier comment I'm constrained to give out another call :-(

@ Maj Navdeep/ Other Brothers


I was posted in Delhi and thereafter got posted to Valley (in RR) and was SOS from last Unit on 18 Sep 09. After reaching my new place of posting (being CI) I applied for extn of then occupied qtr in Delhi for two months (as is permitted under rules) i.e till 17 Nov 09. Thereafter I applied for SF in Delhi and sought retention of occupied accn till allotment of SF in Delhi. Stn HQ, Delhi accepted my request and waitlisted me for SF allotment. I went on lve in end Feb 10 and checked out my seniority for SF allotment and I was told that I may be able to get SF only by Jul 10 or so. Since I would not have got lve so easily again in Jul 10 and it would have been a hassle to shift family at that time w/o assurance of lve, I decided to vacate my qtr on 13 Mar 10 and shift my family on HRA in Delhi. Now to my horror, Stn HQ has written to BSO and DEO to charge me damage rent from 18 Nov 09 onwards, consequent to my qtr occupation being declared unauth wef 18 Nov 09.

What I fail to understand is when I was permitted to retain occupied accn till SF allotment by same Stn HQ itself, in first place, so how can they now, all of a sudden, declare me unauth occupant and recommend damage rent to be levied? On one hand Delhi being high pressure stn, has always had a long waiting time for accn allotment and when someone vacates his accn voluntarily,rather than being happy about it('cos next in waiting gets it sooner), he is harassed and penalised with damage rent charges! This action of powers that be totally defies logic.

If anybody can pls guide me out of this mess I shall be grateful.

Ringo5 said...

@Anonymous at 8-53AM:

Please peruse this judgement of the Honble Armed Forces Tribunal, Chennai Bench, in a very similar (though not precisely identical) case:


I hope it helps, and I am sure others on this fora will be able to guide you more capably. Good luck!

JB Singh said...

Well, the Caucasians will always lead us in the race to egalitarianism. But if general officers have to travel standard class, so should the others. That's true egalitarianism. Otherwise, it is just playing to the gallery.

'Box-wallahs' can travel business class because their company can afford to send them in it. Generals can not, because THEIR company can not afford to do it - not only for them but for everybody.

JB Singh said...

One important point illuminated by this report is that frisson between civil and military exists in all societies. The sad part is that societies, where the military has had an upper hand, have always underperformed vis-a-vis civilian governance. And people have always preferred the lesser evil.
Therefore civil governance and superiority will always trump every other type.

The aam junta does not want any thing to with 'fauji types' as caricatured in hindi films - handle-bar mustaches, golf cap, cigar, swagger stick, anglicised accents, whisky glass in hand et al. They feel more at home with a guy who wears a dhoti because that is what they wear.
Food for thought - maybe these traditions (good and bad)while upholding our image are also somehow responsible for the alienation.

Pramod said...

I always thought that :
"We were more British than the British"

thankfully :
" We are as British as the British"


Anonymous said...

Nonsense. The govt of UK treated its soldiers with the greatest of respect, until the advent of the current New Labour government. And who says that societies where civilians are on the ascendant have been better off? The British loved the "Tommy", and by god, they built the empire, and are remembered for it!

sudhanshu said...

we are ffrom the same society..so if the generals have to travel..there shouldnt be any hassles

Anonymous said...

To "Sudhanshu":

Saying that "we all come from the same society", while factually true, means nothing.

In fact, it is nonsensical prose, just like saying:

"all bananas are fruits, therefore, apple". :D

To each, according to his contribution. I think (and so does the general public), that the armed forces contribute far more than several other members of "society".

Rajababu said...

I feel that the so called Iron curtain separating most militaries from civilians is a cause for all the praise and brickbats.

The fact that the aam admi in any country is not in touch with most aspects of the military, he/she will either blindfoldedly support or be against the lilitary establishments based on some news reports.

After having said so u cant have contact programs with the civil soceity from the security/secrecy angle also. So the armed forces cant have a clear cut public sympathy or opinions and may have to live with criticisms and priase in equal measure.

Furthermore, we are not profitmaking establishments(only outgo but no income generation) but living on taxpayers expense. so a bit of austerity on every government servant should not be viewed as a shame but taken in stride. The applicability should be to all concerned and not selective.


So defintley there should be no problem to travel in the famous "CATTLE CLASS" if it helps the country. only thing is it should be applicable to everybody in the government.

Anonymous said...

anon @ 8.53. They cannot do it to you. Walk up to the staniton commander and explain the thing to him. If they have given you permission they cannot charge you rent

JB Singh said...

re Anonymous@8.15

You do really need to read your history more closely.
'Tommy's' were always answerable to the cabinet in London. Please also refer to to the Lord Kitchener's episode in India before independence. That stemmed from the fact that civilians were loath to surrender their supremacy. And the ripples still travel down the ages.

sikiş said...

anyone pls guide me out of this mess I would be grateful if you will.
Thank you!

Kaps said...

With the amount of service associated perks and privileges come along. As someone pointed out, rule has to be same for everyone. If a country's economic system is feeling the crunch, let the pinch be felt by one and all. Targeting a group of employees because that group will accept whatever is given is worst form of caste system.

Anyone who has power will never want to see that power slip from his hands. This is true with all classes of society. Jiski laathi usski bhains. However, these are the very practices that need to be culled in a fair democratic system.

Anonymous said...

JB Singh!!! And what is the definition of "civilian" Even a peon or pan munching babu in some civil department??? What constitute a civilian authority to which soldiers are subordinate?? Is anybody important enough to ride rough shod over them?? If answer to this is yes then you do not want soldiers; what you want is sissies and in time to come you will get them . Then why should someone become a soldier. All will prefer to become a babu or a neta.

Anonymous said...

JB Singh, Bacche, I meant that England used to treat her soldiers well, and she was a first rate power. Now she treats her soldiers badly, and she is a third rate power. Baaki sab bakwas!

JB Singh said...


Faulty logic.
Military might is no longer the only way a nation projects its influence. I agree, soldiers deserve a better deal from society but as the world today moves away from conflict (at a scale it was known earlier) it is but natural that there will be a degradation in that status.
The need of the hour is to understand a situation in its broader societal context and then argue ones point. Sweeping and illogical generalizations as adopted by your ilk weaken our case when it is argued in fora that matter, because such statements are trotted out to show the immaturity built in into the organisation.

JB Singh said...


To equate 'civilian' in the context I have used with 'paan' chewing babu is taking things to absurd lengths.
Civilian governance is political control - and as we progress we find that the calibre of civilians in governance is actually improving eg the present PM.
And Yes, the cabinet is important enough a body for the armed services to be subordinate to it.