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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Sad Sign of the Times !

Things have come to a dangerous pass.

Appalling already was the scheme of events in our nation, with veterans and the government in a logjam and protests related to pensionary anomalies reaching the streets.

As most of us know, the Supreme Court had recently recalled its orders related to the constitution of the Armed Forces Grievances Redressal Commission. What follows is this official press release by the Ministry of Defence almost celebrating the recalling of the orders, commemorating the victory of the Ministry of Defence over veterans and stating that the poor widow in the case had ‘incorrectly represented’ facts before the Court, while actually there was no such observation of ‘incorrect representation’ by the Hon’ble Apex Court itself in its orders.

Does an official press release such as this behove a government agency ? Is the recalling of a judicial order official-news material, if that be so, then all departments should regularly issue press releases every single day on the hundreds of cases decided daily involving them, this way or that way.

While on the surface, this press release may seem to be innocuous, but lying beneath is a thought process that is thoroughly and distastefully disgusting – the thought process that defence veterans are adversaries of the MoD. It is an MoD Vs Veterans state of mind. Otherwise, why would there be a celebratory official PIB press release on the recalling of an order that was so dear to the hearts of the defence community ? Can this be expected in any developed democracy ? Can we imagine the Department of Defence of the US or the Ministry of Defence of the UK issuing a press release celebrating the recalling of a Court order favouring veterans ?

This simply shows that the Department of Ex-Servicemen (sic) welfare (sic again) is on an auto-pilot mode with no control of the political executive. A celebration like this shows the sick minds working overtime deriving sadistic pleasure every time a veteran suffers. Though not in favour of the commission from the outset, the Defence Minister would never have allowed a press release like this, even the Secretary Ms Neelam Nath would not allow this – but in all probability they do not know what is happening under their noses since running the roost are lower level officials who continue to be jealous of the Re 1/- discount availed by defence personnel on each Hamam Sabun ki tikki from the CSD. And these are the people who remain faceless but dangerously venomous scuttling each and every move made for the welfare of serving and retired personnel – including ones initiated and approved in principle by the top brass of the Ministry.

Once again, Hail the note maker. Hail the reverse pay commission.

28 comments:

Anonymous said...

ITs HIGH TIME THE GENERALS STOOD UP

Anonymous said...

Sad satae of affairs.Wonder if things will ever improve.
Ab Tak Hum Rote The Marnewalon Par,
Par Ab Hum Ro Diye Jab kisi ko (Veterns ) Jeete Dekha.
They say prayers are always heard, but if there is someone to hear!.
Babus are sleeping and celebrating the plight of ESM.They have time only to put spokes in every judgement of AFT and Supreme Court.
BB of disability is one of them which although already given to civilians is eagerly awaited ? by ESM .
GURDEEP SINGH
GROUP CAPTAIN (Retd )

Anonymous said...

Can they ?
Wish they may !

S.Kanthiah said...

Dear Sir,

It is a sad news. Let us hope that some thing comes in favour of veterans. It is high time our Top fficers including the serving ones shoud raise a voice against such act.

Sgt.S.kanthiah,
Exwe Trust, Tirunelveli-Dist.TN.

Anonymous said...

Dear Maj Navdeep, your write up very aptly sums up the actual mindset of our government people like Manmohan Singh,Antony,Nath may have a different mind set but they are pawns in the hands of "babus"

WG.CDR.V.SUNDARESAN(RETD) said...

A very sad news. this shows the sick and ........ mind of the babus.
I do not know the reasons but one thing is sure: ie, SO LONG AS "THEY WILL GET ON MY DEAD BODY ONLY"syndrome is prevailing, nothing can be expected.
how the top is so the bottom are.
v.sundaresan

B P SINGH said...

Dear Navjot,
It is not correct, and should be opposed tooth and nail.However all theses so called veterans did toe the same line when they were in service.
Most of the remarks/comments in your blog are anonymous, and they want Generals to stand up ?.
Pls wake and speak your self why else should do your job.
BPSingh
www.indiancpmf.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

what ever happened to us ok but we all must ensure that life of our own young generation is not spoiled. so we must brief them propely before they even think of joining army. so that after 20 years they need not curse anyone otherthan self.that inspite of knowing all they joined army

Anonymous said...

If the officer cadre does not stand up for itself, NOONE will stand up for them. It is HIGH TIME that the Apex officers of the armed forces stood up for their officers and men, and refused to take such mistreatment. Officers of the police stand up for their subordinates. Officers of the IAS stand up for their bretheren. Has the motto of Chetwode completely been forgotten? It is time that these officers earned their pay, and ensured that our national security is not toyed with by feckless idiots, when the armed forces are a role model to the entire nation.

Col D Roy(Retd) said...

Write readable by all and needs to be mailed to people who are indulging in such things due to ignorance and lack of education....responsibility is Ours...

Col D Roy(Retd)

Anonymous said...

GROSSLY UNFORTUNATE!
The attitude of the bureaucrats of MOD need an in-depth scanning to ascertain as to whether they are in the process of destabilizing the cool temperaments of the veterans who are,with 'Disciplined Representations',trying to achieve their legitimate goal!It is not only shameful on the part of bureaucracy as a whole,quite unbecoming of any office of reputation and should immediately be taken care of by some empowered responsible official of the TOP HIERARCHY and in the event of need,the matter may well be looked into personally by Honorable Defense Minister to bring an end to this long running as well as undesirable episode.
Bureaucrats in MOD should very well understand that the Armed Forces Veterans are, in no way, slaves and deserve the highest degree of regard and respect from the nation which is being denied to them and absolutely unhealthy a concept!While we talk so much 'ornamental' about the Senior Citizens,it will be wise not to mutilate their image in this fashion and the same is requested for.

Anonymous said...

Dear Navdeep,
I think it is time that we formed a body to fight for the rights, priveleges and the restoration of parity of status of Defence Officers and Men. If someone with legal knowhow, like you of course, could head this body, and petition the Govt/Hon'ble Courts on each and every issue faced by the Serving personnel, there would be a deluge of litigation facing the MoD. The snowballing effect of the petitions, RTI applications etc would attract so much media coverage that soon the issues would have to be addressed directly by the Defence Minister or his 2 i/c. Once the Minister is involved , the media will give more coverage necessitating more clarifications from the Def Min and so on. The result of all this would be tremendous attention on the MoD babus which the RM would have to douse by giving answers to each issue. This could trickle and then pour down to the issues of Retd Personnel. What say?

Aditya said...

Commandant BP Singh makes a valid point. The change must come from existing officers in the system, and at least the small wrongs which can be corrected by them, should be. As for anonymity, I dont agree with him. Most people are writing without aliases. Major Navdeep has been fearless in writing about wrongs which should legitimately be corrected. It is only when all oppose such wrongs, that they will be righted. And as the senior representatives of the services at the policymaking level, the General Staff, Air Staff, and Naval staff leadership should take a stand to arrest the trends prevailing within the Ministry of Defence. It wouldnt just "be nice" if people would listen to the armed forces. It is the duty of the senior leadership to make the professional views of the armed forces known.

Anonymous said...

Dear Navdeep,

With Me kar, an allied cadre officer of PIB being at the helm of affiars in MoD, the pay commission fame / notority kind of attidunal problem, how can one expect better treatment of a press release.

Day by day it is becoming frustrating for the more informed and better spiring Armed Forces officers (serving or retired) to tolerate all this nonsense. It is neither good for the health of society nor for the affairs of the Nation.

Anonymous said...

A lot many exchange of dialogues and discussions on various outstanding issues of rights and benefits of Armed Forces Veterans have taken place in the last couple of years and the outcome so far is far behind the basic objectives.
Awfully bad intention of the bureaucrats in the MOD is an Open Secret now and before the situation aggravates any further,
intervention of Her Highness, the Supreme Commander of The Armed Forces and Honorable Defense Minister is considered inevitable to resolve the issues as these are legitimate and adequately sensitive
in nature.

Harry said...

@All

Perpetual cribbing and whining never resulted in any revolution, in any part of the World. So expect no change until and unless Top Brass thumped the table a little harder and yelled... ENOUGH!!!

corona8 said...

Would it be of some use to take specific instances of how the precious "elaborate mechanism for welfare and resettlement of Ex-servicemen and their dependent(sic)" fails to meet its obligations and to go back to the Hon'ble court with a case of 'misleading through a false affidavit'?

Anonymous said...

Dear Maj Navdeep- You must allow tough and sarcastic comments by viewers. When Politicians can talk C**P in public against opposing parties/individuals, why not we be able to vent our anger against this thankless GOVT and MOST thankless BABUS.
Why should the MOD not be run by a mix of serving and retd officers and JCO's headed by a politician?
Till the time these Babus are there, they will try and rub down the Armed Forces day in and day out!
Time has come that our silent Chiefs should rise and firmly support the cause of the Veterans.
Every Babu must be sent for one year Army attachment before he gets his wings of power.Only then he will have some consideration before they folly.

sunlit said...

This also calls for a bit of objective analysis. Objectivity is essential if water tight representations have to be prepared for just causes. Anything which compromises principles in a case eventually serves like a hidden flaw in a structure with the attendant potential for catastrophe.
In this case, did the counsel for the petitoner not plead for an award by the Hon'ble Supreme Court on account of the non-payment of the pension due? How did the discrepancy between the pension paid and the submission of non-payment arise?
Could that have weakened the case?

Anonymous said...

Its so sad to read all the comments of this blog as this is filled totally with a mindset of people who is against the present system. Whereas, PIB has brought out the fact about Madhuvanti's case where she had raised a false case by claiming of receipt of Rs 80/- as pension but was actually receiving Rs 16360/-. The apex court has rightly passed it's verdict by recalling its order passed on earlier date.
In this the court could have had used it's clauses of claiming false and punishing the claimant.
But it hasn't done it considering the fact of ESM.
The lesson is no one is above law and everyone ought to understand that.

Anonymous said...

Dear Navdeep,

I am sorry to correct you the civilian staff at MOD is fully entitled to all canteen facilities till retirement. They also manage to collect liquor from uniformed colleagues. They are jealous of the facilities after retirement. To put down the officers of equal grade they have managed also a comparative higher grade pay. thanks to their Bosses.

Anonymous said...

very well written .....keep it up

Col NR Kurup said...

The Supreme Court has recalled its order given on 15 November 2010 in which it had directed MoD to set up a Commission to look into the grievances of serving and former soldiers of the Armed Forces. In the same order, the Apex Court had made a mention of Smt PushpaVanti’s case, a widow whose husband was an Army Major. The petitioner Smt Pushpa Vanti had claimed that she was getting only a meager amount of Rs.80/- per month as pension since the death of her husband in 1967 and her pension had not been revised since then. In the said order, the Supreme Court also alluded to the discontent among the serving and former members Armed Forces and their widows and family member regarding their service condition i.e. Pay Scales,anomalies
regarding pension, inadequate pension etc. and directed the Central Government to set up a Commission called Armed Forces Grievances Redressal Commission to look into the grievances of serving and former members of the Armed Forces and their dependents.

Subsequently, the Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare of MoD depossed or given affidavit before the Supreme Court that they have verified the facts regarding actual pension drawn by Smt Pushpa Vanti and also considered the implications of setting up of such a Commission given the fact that an elaborate mechanism for welfare and resettlement of Ex-servicemen and their dependent already exists under the aegis of Department of Ex-servicemen Welfare.

The government also submitted that on verification of facts it was found that Smt Pushpa Vanti is actually drawing a family pension of Rs.16360 and not Rs.80/- as incorrectly represented before the Apex Court. No government can ever cause such an atrocity towards its soldiers. We all know that the poor widow has been fighting for her pension since 43 (Forty three) years with no avail. The government claim that she has been drawing Rs.16030 is only recently and thoo after 6th Pay commission when her case is brought up before the SC and the whole nation. The plea of government that her claims was wrong is highest atrocity beyond imagination.The fabricated falsehood was brought before the Supreme Court on 05 July 2011 by the Department of Ex-servicemen Welfare through the Solicitor General of India who also submitted before the Supreme Court that for looking after the welfare and resettlement of Ex-servicemen a comprehensive mechanism is already in place.

We all know how the Sainik Welfare Department of the MoD functions. It just functions as a badly run post Office. I got evidence. If any soldier submit his grievence, the Department just sent it to the Department or State concerned and that delinquent department furnish back the same reply they have been furnishing to the complainant all those years. They do not make any effort to contact the complainant and ask what is his problem.The Sainik Welfare Department sent the same reply to the Complainant soldier and closes the case. They do not entertain any query from the complainant soldier. Pushpa Vanti also might have experienced the same faite all these years. How can the government report to our Hon'ble Supreme Court that approppriate mechanish to redress a soldiers grievence exist. Atrocious Department exist is the right word.

Following this, the Supreme Court recalled its order given on 15 November 2010. Will any Nation will ever treat its soldiers like this ? What happened to Justice Katju's staatement of Koutilya telling Raja Bhoj "Oh Kind please don't make the soldiers ask for their pay ?

Bagalur Blogger said...

@ Col Kurup - Kautilya advised Raja Bhoj? Thought it was Chandra Gupt Maurya.

In all the righteous indignition, none has mentioned whether Smt Pushpvanti was really drawing Rs 80/- when she filed the case or was her pension already increased by some date earlier to the UoI/MoD's case that the figure was incorrect in the original place?

Generals/Admirals/Air Chief Marshals cannot and will not stand up because retired defence forces officers and personnel have their respective Associations of which the most recently retired COAS/CNS/CAS is the President. These Associations must take up cases on behalf of retired personnel since we have all paid for "LIfe time" membership. What are these Associations doing? Why have they abdicated their responsibilities to organisations set up by some retired officers?
Why isn't some one who knows the law, file a case in the Supreme Court to expose the MoD?

There are more questions but we fret and fume and go back to playing golf! That is why the MoD does what it has with impunity and immunity!!

Balbir Singh said...

First of all Maj Navdeep deserves a loud applause for raising the various important issues which were earlier never known or lesser known to our ESM fraternity(except some netsavvy ESM or persons dealing the ESM matters/pension policy/legalmatters b4
he started his blog in 2008. Heartiest thanks to him for spreading awareness thru his blog. In my opinion This is the need of hour.

Secondly Col Kurup's detailed comment, Wg.Cdr Sundaresan's well thought short & sweet comment,Mr. BP Singh's comment (full of determination) and Mr. Aditya's nice analysis touched my bottom of the heart.

A big thanks to all of them too.

Lastly if there is elaborate mechanism for welfare and resettlement of ESMs then why these so many cases being filed in various courts (which are already overflowing with the cases) and peoples are taking to the streets for their just right due.

Balbir Singh
From Mumbai

Col NR Kurup said...

Dear Bagalur Blogger,

Firstly I hate addressing someone by their assumed name. I myself in person never write anything anonymous. Anyway that is beside the issue. Since you have brought in our Unions, I think I should explain to you their ineffectiveness due to reasons not known. It is a shame that we carry in our back the so called Associations of ours. Myself too is a life member of an Exservicemen organisation unfortunately. I stopped associating with them on seeing their complete inaction. Let me quote my latest experience.

Here in Kerala Govt had declared that Exservicemen's house is exempted from Municipal tax. In Kerala, due to peculiar necessity most of the JCOs/Ors houses are in the name of their Spouse. So they did not benefit by this order. All my effort to chase our Union-walahs and even a Senior Union-wallah colonel Saab did not make a dent. All that our Union-wallahs at Trivandrum has to do is to go to Secretariat and convince the Minister. But none of them budged. My local IESL Preseident appraised me the latest postion . Immediately (5 years back)I rang the Hon'ble CM Spoke to the CM and convinced him. Believe it or not we got the govt.order including houses in the name of spouse also in the exempted category within a month. This is not a case in isolation.There are innumerable incidences. My appreciation is that our Exservicemen Unions are not doing anything productive.

Anonymous said...

hi,
I just wonder why Maj Navdeep is not representing RDOA in rank pay case?. i am sure the case would have come through by now?

any guesses?

Anonymous said...

Sir, there was a rumour for increase of 2 yrs age for army offrs. Later on o4 May 11 it was seen on u r blog "it is really going to happen". Thereafter, nothing has been heard. May I requst to info about latest posn.


Lt Col BP Singh