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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Of lions, deer and military leadership : Ajai Shukla


Col Ajai Shukla speaks the cardinal truth in this piece. Truth we would not like to hear.


Of lions, deer and military leadership

Ajai Shukla


(Original text appears in ‘Business Standard’ and on Col Shukla’s blog.)

On Sunday the army chief, General V K Singh, raised an intriguing question while talking to schoolchildren in Jaipur. “An army of deer led by a lion is to be feared more than [an] army of lions led by a deer,” said the general.

My first thought as I mulled over this profundity was: can a deer that has served all his life in an army full of deer suddenly transform into a lion at the top? Alternatively, could a lion serving in an army full of deer be promoted somehow to the top slot?

Common sense would rule out both eventualities. An army full of deer would only promote a deer to the top, just as an army of lions would always have a lion in command. But the Indian Army presents a paradoxical third alternative. The numerous lions in this excellent army serve up to a certain rank. Then, around the time they become colonels or brigadiers, something strange happens: the lions start turning into deer!

The General V K Singh affair illuminates the generals in a harsh and unforgiving light. The generals emerge as riven with infighting; they undermine meritocracy by promoting loyalists; and, perhaps most worryingly, they compromise the army’s readiness for war by meekly acquiescing in crippling shortfalls of equipment and ammunition.

Over a drink, ask any junior or mid-ranking officer, and you will find disillusionment with senior commanders and with a working environment that rewards the safe and predictable rather than the bold and unexpected. Recent controversies have exacerbated murmurs that generals only think about themselves. Talk to the generals, on the other hand, and they express disappointment over the “poor quality” of young officers. There is a clear disconnect between the two ends of the rank pyramid, between the lions and the deer.

This observation is fraught with personal danger, since my army batch-mates have just been evaluated, and many of them cleared, for promotion to major general! Knowing these gentlemen as intimately as a course-mate, comrade and friend of many years does, I acknowledge with some satisfaction that the army has homed in on the high achievers. But identifying good lions is of little use if they begin turning into deer.

At a time when many soldiers – serving and retired – bitterly regard themselves as under attack from the defence ministry, the media, and even the judiciary, it is time for India’s finest and most resilient institution to look within rather than without. What are the systemic flaws in the army structure that disempowers its leaders and binds them in mental shackles?

The first is a growing culture of conformity: an intolerance of alternative viewpoints that is the natural attribute of under-confident commanders. This causes the boss’ viewpoint (itself springing from what he thinks his boss’ viewpoint might be) to become the viewpoint of everyone down the chain — effectively killing any prospect of internal reform. The system cannot be challenged from within, since any discussion about alternative leadership models presupposes that the existing model might be less than perfect.

It is nobody’s case that the army should encourage dissent; no military does. But great armies tolerate, and actively encourage, non-conformism. This is essential, not just for operational innovativeness that would keep the enemy guessing in war, but also for throwing up essential bottom-up challenges to the status quo. Totalitarian Conformism, as today’s army leadership style might be termed, reduces the landscape of professional and personal creativity to a dull wasteland where the fabled “dashing young officer” is marked not by flashes of innovative genius but by his quickness in agreeing with the boss.

Young officers allow themselves to be bound by these shackles because of the army’s insularity. Segregated from the world outside, and with little realisation of their actual worth, junior officers are reluctant to buck the system. Given the conviction that promotion is the only measure of success, they toe the line rather than risk professional hara-kiri by setting out to change the system. Their outlook can only change with exposure. Sending out junior officers on secondments and deputations – with academic institutions; successful government enterprises; media organisations; the police forces – will enrich the military’s bloodline with external leadership and decision-making cultures. It will also provide officers with the confidence that is required to challenge the status quo and to create a bottom-up dynamic that forces the generals to respond like lions rather than continue like deer.

Will the generals permit such a change? Most probably not since empowering junior officers and encouraging non-conformism are threatening prospects. Good reasons are ready at hand to shoot down such “unworkable” and “impractical” ideas: a shortage of officers; inter-se seniority issues during secondment; and so on. It would, therefore, be necessary for the government to intervene. We’re waiting for Godot.

Tailpiece: The phrase “lions led by donkeys” was used by the Germans to describe the British army during World War I. It encapsulated their impression of incompetent generals letting down the brave and dedicated British soldier.

35 comments:

raj said...

i fully agree wit the views of col ajai . we need to integrate with the rest of society ie civil orgs. we also need to take a look at our hr policies where 80 percent of offrs are so called superceded lots . what a org where u serve for 18 years to be told that u r worthless we need to atleast equate the army with the civil orgs leave aside better treatment

Anonymous said...

Col Shukla has nailed it better than a Gayle does to a pedestrian bowler in a T20.
He has chosen to risk irking his old coursemates but has stated his mind without fear. A lion he is, no doubt and a great loss to the Army since he has quit.

He has clearly pointed out that non - conformism is non encouraged. I remember a time when an officer who was a bachelor, fought against the rule that un-married officers had to stay in the shabby rooms (often sharing )at the officer's messes and put up with mess staff shortages etc. Why can't a bachelor stay out hiring a house like anyone else if he chooses to. Instead of realising that this was an issue rising out of poor conditions at the Mess, the poor guy was hounded till he begged and got a transfer out of the unit. It is necessary to understand that even a Group D/C employee can take HRA from the day he joins Govt Service even if he is only 18.
It is indeed shameful that a Class I Gazetted officer has no voice, authority and no promotion prospects by the time he is 38.

Murali Iyer said...

a deer doesn't become a lion overnight, but it is possible that a deer believes itself to have become a lion, wearing a lion's skin, I mean additional brass.

Anonymous said...

AWESOMMEEEEEEEE Col Ajai !!!

Indeed a loss of Army !

The recent IPS Limited comp exam fiasco shows clearly how desperately army is trying to stop offrs from applying for the exam ?

mind it, we dont even know, how many will clear the exams ?
Myopic view by Army... I even heard someone commenting ... saloon.. tum jaoge aur hum idhar hi rahenge ... aisa ho nahi sakta !!

Instead of coaching and motivating offrs, we are losing it to an ego-battle.

rightly said sir, Deficiency of offrs is a self-perpetuated myth !

Anonymous said...

Col (retd) Ajai Shukla, now a media commentator, could perhaps shed more light on the following: -
IAF, by tradition established some time in 1980s, ensures that only a fighter pilot can be AOC-in-C of the two Commands - WAC and SWAC. It was also ensured that after being AOC-in-C WAC/SWAC, the next step up was VCAS.

In 2007, a helicopter pilot would become the senior-most Air Mshl and hence be promoted CAS. A query was raised by Air HQ in 2006, as per media reports, whether that air marshal not having commanded WAC/SWAC and not appointed VCAS could become CAS as he did not fulfil requirements approved by MoD in 1986.Not many knew or know about that MoD approval till then or now.

Isn't this a "precedent" for the COAS to have established his thought process on the line of succession?
Would be interesting to know.

Raghubir said...

Our Lions of soldiers and young officers have always saved the day for India even when lead by dears if not deers as it happened in 1962.At the top they have always ensured meek,those who can fix their own ilk to bring bad name to the services,having least concern for jawan welfare( no accommodation/officers living in shanty 1/2 houses,itchy blankets,fishy meat,no worthwhile post retirement rehabilitation if their own dreams are fulfilled),caring little for dilution of protocol or OROP etc- if their own pecking order is not disturbed, regaining vocal chords after retirement slowly if nothing comes up.

Anonymous said...

I think this had to happen one day. The Armed Forces in general have preferred to choose Nehru's principle of promoting its officers. High tolerance for ambiguity and absolute loyalty to individuals who matter. The rest of the guys just fizzle out. Sometimes smart lions disguise as deers to reach the top to make a mark. As if they had persisted with lion, the would also have had fizzled out.

Anonymous said...

Dear all,
All individuals are unique and so are all army officers. Let us not stoop to so low levels to question your own identity.The quote by Gen VK Singh may be read as a personal remark in his capacity.I do agree with other desirable highlighted by Col Ajai less doubting his own colleagues who stand promoted to next higher rank.Remember we can bring changes in whatever capacity(rank including YO)and there is nothing to fear of lion as you are young and more fierce than other senior lion/deers.Lt Col Narender Singh Chhikara

Anonymous said...

The promotion system in Army is a Joke....

Loyalty, integrity etc... to whom ??

to ur Boss off course and not the nation.

what actually makes the matters worse is, it is always cloaked under unit izzat or regt espirit or tradition etc..
or fear of pathetic chit or worse... hounding out the voice !!


IA has a long way to go. it shud first introspect itself !!

jinjon said...

the situation is similar as follows :-

All participants sit for the same examination, the question paper is same (NOT OBJECTIVE TYPE). The evaluators are different. Thus markings are indifferent (AS PER WHIMS AND FANCIES OF EVALUATORS). end result is INCOMPETANCE resulting into selection of INDIFFERENT people to higher echelons and rewarding them. POOR competent, straight forwarded is WEEDED out.

rajaeat said...

An article good in English but lacking any substance.shows the typical traits of a retired fauji.hollow on substance

Anil Gupta said...

i fully agree wiyh Ajai Shukla. The prevalent system in the Army favours the mediocre and "play safe" types to rise in the hierarchy. honesty and plain-speaking are regarded as attributes of a rebel. Brig Anil Gupta (retd)

PBOR said...

I have only three words for this. Truest-relevant-excellent. As ‘yugas’ every great institution has four stages. Seems, Army entering in to its fourth stage

Anonymous said...

@ rajaeat said...

An article good in English but lacking any substance.shows the typical traits of a retired fauji.hollow on substance

- - - - - - - -- - - -- - - - -- -

Sorry to burst you bubble rajeat,

Ajai Shukla ( COL, Retd )took voluntary retirement after being approved for a so-called selection grade colonel.

he is widely seen on talk-shows and covering various issues live on TV. I respectfully apologize , if his "hollowness & lack of substance" has offended you in any way.. however, I would also suggest you to read the article before arriving at such a conclusion.

and yes, he is precisely addressing this hollowness in army ( in the article )

Kaps said...

Lions and Deers apart,off late a new breed has emerged, "jackal" and it is the jackal that is out to harm the AF. I don't think people whose names have come out in so many scams can be as innocent as deers or as ferocious as lions. They are cunning and scheming like a jackal and will stoop to any level. Little Red Riding Hood better watch out for the eyes and tail of such jackals.

Anonymous said...

Rules for for success ( essentially a good ACR)in today's Indian army

1. Rule # 1 - Keep your boss happy (even if amounts to swallowing your pride and doing the wrong thing and discrediting every tenet of integrity, honesty, loyalty and leadership that you were taught at the academy)
1. There is no rule # 2. When in doubt , refer to Rule # 1.

Lt Col (retd) Dr G Kameswara rao, Secunderabad said...

MY COMMENTS:
WAS COL SHUKLA A LION OR A DEER, WHEN IN SERVICE? !
REFORMS AND CHANGES – WHAT A HOPE! ARMY HAS BEEN RUNNING ON THREE PHRASES/STATEMENTS – “PAHLESE AISA HAI “, “ MAI AAJHI AAYA “, “MENNU PATA NAHI “—WHENEVER ANY ONE IS ASKED WHY SOMETHING IS DONE IN A PARTICULAR WAY INSTEAD OF A BETTER METHOD !
THAT IS THE WAY TO SQUEEZE OUT OF A TIGHT CORNER.

THERE ARE QUITE MANY JUNIORS WHO THINK AND GIVE CONCRETE SUGGESTIONS WHICH DO BRING ABOUT A CHANGE FOR THE BETTER IN THE DAY TO DAY FUNCTIONS. MANY SENIORS ACCEPT THE POSITIVE AND PRODUCTIVE IDEAS AND EVEN PASS ON TO THE HIGHER ECHELONS AND FINALLY THE EXISTING SYSTEM GETS MODIFIED TO THAT EXTENT WHEN THE APEX OF THE PYRAMID AGREES AND ORDERS THEIR IMPLEMENTATION.

LET US REMEMBER THAT IN THE ARMED FORCES COMMAND AND CONTROL PASSES FROM ABOVE DOWNWARDS ALONG THE LINE AND THE BASE OF THE PYRAMID IS THE ULTIMATE IMPLEMENTOR OF THE ORDERS EMANATING FROM ABOVE. OF COURSE AT EACH LEVEL THE METHODOLOGY TO BE FOLLOWED FOR CARRYING OUT THE ORDERS REST WITH THE COMMANDER OF THAT LEVEL, JUST BECAUSE THE BASE EXECUTES THE ORDERS THEY SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS DEER AND ONLY THE ORDER GIVERS ARE THE LIONS. EVERY MEMBER OF THE ARMED FORCES IRRESPECTIVE OF THE RANK AND APPOINTMENT IS A LION DOING THE JOB OF A LION IN HIS OWN SPHERE.

BUT , WHY DOES ONE THINK THAT A DEER IS INFERIOR TO A LION-- AN ANIMAL LOVER WOULD NOT AGREE TO SUCH A PROPOSITION!

COL SHUKLA’ S EXHORTATION THAT MEMBERS OF THE ARMED FORCES BE SECONDED TO OTHER ORGANISATIONS FOR GREATER EXPOSURE IS INAPPROPRIATE—ON THE OTHER HAND IT IS THE OTHERS WHO SHOULD BE SECONDED TO THE ARMED FORCES FOR LEARNING AND INCULCATING THE METHODOLOGY OF QUICK DECISION-MAKING, DISCIPLINE AND COMMAND AND CONTROL , FOR ACHIEVING THE SET OBJECTIVES.

I HAVE HAD PERSONAL EXPERINCE IN A PRIVATE ORGANISATION AS SOON AS I GRADUATED,THEN IN THE CIVL STATE GOVT SERVICE BEFORE ENTERING INTO THE PORTALS OF THE ARMED FORCES (ARMY), FOLLOWED BY , POST-RETIREMENT, A TENURE AGAIN IN A CENTRAL GOVT CIVIL ORGANISATION , AND COMPLETED MY CAREER IN DIFERENT PRIVATE INSTITUTIONS. I FIND THAT THE BEST PART OF MY PROFESSIONAL WORK WAS IN THE ARMY. AND I STILL FEEL THAT , WITH ALL THE WARTS IT HAS, ONE CAN’T COMPARE IT WITH ANY OF THE CIVIL ORGANISATIONS.

AS REGARDS PROMOTIONS AND KOWTOWING TO THE SENIORS—IT EXISTS EVERYWHERE IN ALL SPHERES. ANYONE NOT TOWING THE LINE WOULD BE A MISFIT IN THE TEAM AFTER A DECISION IS TAKEN—BUT BEFORE THAT EVERYONE HAS THE OPPORTUNITY TO PUT ACROSS THEIR POINT OF VIEW, IN THE ARMED FORCES. THE PROMOTIONS SYSTEM IN THE CIVIL GOVT ORGANISTIONS IS DIFFERENT FROM THAT OF THE ARMED FORCES. TO GIVE PROMOTION TO A PARTICULAR INDIVIDUAL A NEW POST/ APPOINMENT IS CREATED WITH THE QR BEING THOSE THAT THE SAID INDIVIDUAL POSSESSES ! CAN THAT BE DONE IN THE ARMED FORCES? WHEREVER IT IS, PERSONAL BIAS CAN NOT BE AVOIDED MOSTLY.

TO CUT A LONG HARANGUE SHORT, COL SHUKLA’S WRITE UP DOES NOT APPEAR TO BE AN APPROPRIATE ANALYSIS OF THE GROUND REALITIES AND POSSIBLY IT IS HIS OWN PERSONAL EXPERINCE THAT IS REFLECTED IN THE ARTICLE.

LT COL ( RETD) DR G KAMESWARA RAO, SECUNDERABAD

KAMU1932@GMAIL.COM

Anonymous said...

@ LT COL ( RETD) DR G KAMESWARA RAO, SECUNDERABAD


1. Firstly it 'Poor Internet Etiquette ' to use uppercase letters throughout. It is equivalent to shouting loudly.

2. I Humbly Think, You also are 'out of touch of the ground realities' in same degree, as you have accused Col Ajai of.

3. Kindly go through the blog and read the comments posted here, it will be a slight reflection of the disgruntlement & dissatisfaction of the 'Deers' with the Leadership.

4. Are you trying to suggest that sycophancy and yes-man-ship has reduced in army over the years ? On the other hand , it has increased manifold and to a level it has been institutionalized along with corruption/adjustment.

5. The author has made a succinct point of comparing the leadership with 'deers', please read the article once again.

6. The three typical answers given when in a tight spot are purely bcoz of the failure of the system and yes the " leadership " / " order givers " !!

7. Finally, inconsequential to whether col ajai was a lion, deer or donkey when he was in service, I think, it is in the finest traditions of both Journalism and Soldiering , that he has found it worthy to address the issue and taken some pains towards it.


PS : I have no prior acquaintance with the author, however, I happened once to spk to my ex-DQ, who was his unit offr in 2003, even then he had lot of gr8 words to say about him .

COL LAMBA said...

1.HOW LONG WE HAVE TO TOLERATE NON SENSE.IF ONE SAY’S TO HIM LION & ALL PERSON BELOW HIM ARE DEER IS INSULTING COMPLETE CHAIN [DEER]. DOES HE HAVE ANY OFFICER LIKE QUALITY.
2. WILL ANY LION HAVE ARMY OF DEERS? MAY BE IN FOOLS PARADISE
3.ENOUGH DAMAGE HAVE BEEN DONE. BE SILENT FOR HEAVEN SAKE

Lt Col ( retd) Dr G Kameswara Rao said...

Dear Anonymous
I am sorry that upper case was inadvertently used throughout-- there was some problem in the keyboard or so and it could not be rectified by me. Later on it got remedied by the efforts of my grand daughter --these youngsters know most of the technicalities and I am very poor in it. No offence meant at all- like shouting loudly.
This blog is a forum for discussions reflecting various view points on issues. You are right about my being out of touch with ground realities, as they exist today-- I was referring to the Armed Forces I knew in service- and that was three decades ago ! Do you mean to say that there has been such a lot of deterioration since then? If so each and every one who has served and is serving in the Armed Forces during the period since I shed uniform would be responsible for the sad state of affairs. After all today's YO becomes a senior officer tomorrow and why doesn't he change the system when he is in a position to do so and implement what he felt was better than the system with which he disagreed as a YO (refer to Anonymous dt 17-4-12 at 11-17am- "I remember a time when an officer who was a bachelor, fought against the rule that un-married officers had to stay in the shabby rooms (often sharing )at the officer's messes and put up with mess staff shortages etc. Why can't a bachelor stay out hiring a house like anyone else if he chooses to. Instead of realising that this was an issue rising out of poor conditions at the Mess, the poor guy was hounded till he begged and got a transfer out of the unit." Did that BO try to change that rule about accommodation for single officers as he went up the line?

There is a saying among the civil govt servants in the erstwhile Hyderabad State : First decade of service "GARAM"; second decade of service "NARAM"; and third decade of service " BESHARAM" ! Every time a new boss takes over he feels that his predecessor did not do what should have been done and so tries to modify the system as per his thinking, but in the final analysis fails in to do so mostly, but fur some cosmetic changes. The new broom tries to sweep better but gradually gets blunted leaving the dust 'as you were'!

Leadership ? What was today's leader yesterday?-- a follower! Why does he not change the system of sycophancy when he becomes a leader? It is easy to point out shortcomings/deficiencies but providing constructive solutions is not so. Every Chair of the Head at each echelon is a THRONE of THORNS- whosoever is not sitting on it does not feel the pricks of the thorns!
Let us not forget that the general deterioration in the standards as a whole in the country has its effect on the Armed Forces because the values have changed (? for the worse in generality) and the feeder of the material to the Armed Forces is from that general pool. I am sure that the Generals who refer to the POOR QUALITY YOs were also thought of similarly when they were YOs by their Generals !

Finally--a tidbit-- A British Army chief was visiting his counterpart in Russia. To his utter surprise he observed that the Russian Chief's orderly in the Chief's room was smoking right in front of the Chief. The Britisher expressed his amazement at the indiscipline of the soldier. His host told him-- "look here General- in the Russian Armed forces we give freedom to the other ranks to carry on their personal likes/habits wherever they are , which we do not question about-- BUT WHEN I order that orderly to go to that window in this high rise building and jump out of it he will simply obey and do so without questioning why and what for. It is not for him to think but to obey-- It is for me to think and order about!"
( this is the gist of what I read in some book a long way ago and I am sorry that I can't quote it verbatim or give its refernce, at this point of time.)
Lt Col ( retd) Dr G Kameswara rao, Secunderabad

Anonymous said...

Please discuss

NFFU

Rank pay case

One time increment for personnel whose yearly increment fell between feb and jun

OROP

and such other issues related to PBOR.

this is the time to discuss these things when Army is in the news.
Nothing will happen hereafter. There are so many anomalies that 'kya solve hua or kya nahi, ginte rah jayenge.

Please concentrate on the issues which our civilian counterparts have already got and we are trying to catch up whereas it should have been other way around. These issues matter to serving as well as ESM, kyon ki ye roti ka sawal hai. Izzat ke sawal ko har ros discuss karne se kya hoga.

Views and Opinions said...

@ Anonymous, Media persons like Gaurav Sawant, Ajai Shukla and Shiv Aroor know what would be of interest for TRPs - the current controversy concerning Armed Forces. Rank Pay Anomaly (1986 when it started, 2005 when Maj Dhanapalan was paid), OROP from 1984 are old and jurassic for media to dwell on and follow through. Even orgs like IESM have become quiet (maybe because the OROP is with a Parliamentary Committee)because all that returning medals and dharna has also died down.
Not being used to having associations (like the IAS officers protesting arrests of other IAS officers in AP and asking/demanding Govt funding for legal defence), retired Armed Forces personnel need to organise better, be better led and sustain the pressure till the matter achieves closure.
Jai Hind

ANIL said...

Jago FAUJIO JAGO

Please discuss & FIGHT for

NFFU

Rank pay case

Otherwise if U work like donkey then u will get the pay of same.

Anonymous said...

A lot of damage has been done and is being done by old fogies like Col Kameshwaran who dont know the ground realities of today in the Army. He left 30 years ago and still has no qualms about claiming that Col Shukla is wrong. While we dont want to comment on the Army of the 70s and 80s, things are quite bad today ( and not in comparison with any other era but in comparison with other Central Govt officers, IAS,IPS etc. 1996 batch officers in the IPS are all DIG ( Brig eqvt) for God's sake. Here 20 % make it to Col . The Navy is considering 1991 -92 batch officers this year September for Captain ( Col eqvt ). When will the Service officers who have sacrificed so much already ( their youth for one), going to get their due? And to think our oldies will do anything for the suffering junior and middle lot if really fanciful.
Only a total reform of the (H)armed Forces will restore the izzat of the uniform.

1. Revamp our rank structure; have only that many rungs in the Commissioned ranks as in the IAS, IPS. Remove vestigeal ranks like Lt Col and Brig. Commission as Capt, in 4 years Major, 12 years Col. 18 th year should be General officer Ranks as IPS is having these days.
2. Remove service officers and other ranks from all allied org like DRDO, MES, BSF and whatever.
3. Question the need for DRDO to be re-inventing mosquito repellents and dried food for Army.
4. Shut down DGQA, MES and offload inspection and maintenance to major companies on a Nation wide tender.
5. Let all officers and others who want to leave Service, give a 6 month notice aplication and leave on their chosen dates.
6. Reduce the intake of NDA and shut down all other academies like IMA, Naval Acy, AFA etc. Only entry thro NDA for graduates only for 18 month training ( included for pensionable service with full pay for PG entrant and 6 months pay for Grad entrants).
ANd lots morer on these lines

Swamy said...

Maj Navdeep Singh is doing great things in keeping all netizens updated with the latest informations regarding faujis, Kudos. But its seen that the comments being made on any articles are sometimes so harsh and majorly from the Retd personnel. However I would like to reiterate that we being men in uniform or was in uniform have the common etiquettes that bringing the rapport of a senior guy is unacceptable and intolerable. That goes to say that whatever our respected General has said, is said and this is not the actual fora to discuss on it. There are ante rooms everywhere.

Anonymous said...

In a organisation where every one just want to be COL or GEN so that he can misuse the public fund and harass the juniors on his whims and fancies no one can claim that he a loin or a deer. In all are just GEEDHAD and nothing else including those who can speak against the corruption but for minor gains opts to keep quit. More over what is the use of speaking just see the what happened about the latest case where a senior officer was blamed to buy personal items from public fund. rather he got promoted

kroy said...

Army Chief before he retires can take up the case of NFFU,DACP,pay parity which are long burning issue,otherwise sadly will be known as general who cared for his own izzat only and forgot the very men whom he is commanding.Right now the kettle is hot,and its the right time to hit out. So much of media coverage on army can be pulled to our advantage,to get things over due.

Lt Col (retd) Dr G Kameswara Rao, Secunderabad said...

Dear Anonymous
refer your comment dt 20 Apr 2012 at 12.33 pm.
Why is it that u r ANONYMOUS and You Do Not want your identity to be known? Long ago I had suggested to Maj Navdeep Singh that the choice of being anonymous in these discussions be deleted-- however it continues-- though I don't understand why a comment writer desires to be anonymous-- probably as a serving person who is not supposed to do such things and hence writes anonymously to get over the imposed constraints on such serving members of the Armed Forces.
The discussion / Col Shukla's write up has been about LIONS and DEERS and reforms/no-conformism etc - Not About OLD and Young Faujees (incidentally FOGEY /FOGY means an OLD person and so prefixing the word OLD to it is redundant!) and there was nothing in it regarding the issues brought out in your comments now,nor about any comparisons with the civilians.
What damage can a Veteran do to the serving soldiers? He is fighting for his own rights -- particularly when the serving authorities have ignored/not done/ could not do anything to set right the anomalies. There was no other go but to go public and raise a hue and cry to publicise the injustices toward the pensioners, and in the process also refer to the degradation of the soldiers vis-a- vis the civilian counterparts-- if you are referring to the agitations of the Veterans being the DAMAGE done and is being done by OLD FOGEYS ! The Old fogey/Faujee has no say now in the various points you have mentioned now. In-service chaps appear to be helpless against the BABUCRACY. I wish and hope that u r an IN- SERVICE person and if so you have the opportunity to put up the various aspects brought out by you now to the authorities and the
govt/ babus. Let me hope, wish and pray that u will succeed.

It is because I retired thirty years ago that I asked if there has been so much deterioration since I shed uniform and if so aren't the people who had been in service thereafter responsible for the various ills in the Armed Forces?

Last but NOT the least- please do not forget the Faujee etiquette of referring to a person by his correct name-- I am Lt Col(retd)Dr G Kameswara Rao and NOT "KAMESWARAN", please !
I would prefer not to prolong this dialogue and so request you -No reply comment please.
Lt Col( retd) Dr G Kameswara rao
21-April 2012

Anonymous said...

@ Swamy

very wrong approach to the problem.
we must discuss such issues everywhere incl ante-rooms,
Hope you are aware as per existing social norms of our esteemed generals, they dont even speak to young officers or superseded lt cols.
wishing Junior (Sic) Ladies has stopped from quite some time.

these people are selling the army, and you are saying ,
some general has said..let it be said..
he has the audacity to call the officers as deers(if offense taken )... he shud know what his tigers think of him.

Sr Offrs are requested to contribute and spare the preaching on virutes of respect , tradition and ethos of fauj.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous dt 12.13pm 20-4-12---
I was thinking so far that the Armed Forces' etiquette and culture gives respect and due regard to the elderly and seniors; that myth has been shattered by you, (expecting that you are a member of the Armed Forces) by the use of “OLD FOGIES” in your comments to refer to the Veterans. Please endeavour to continue to be young, to avoid being referred to in a similar manner by your juniors.
Another Anonymous (No.2)

Anonymous said...

Kindly stop this senior_junior respect/ego battle.

Gentleman ( incl senior Sirs and esteemeed ESM )...
This is a civil forum for people connected with fauj...

please stop asking for extra respect here, if you expect the service decorums and etiquesttes of yore...
the "ANTE-ROOMS" are always there !


having said that, No abusive language or insults must be hurled at each-other..


finally, YES....
ROT is there in Fauj... and it STINKS like hell...

we need to adress it, and yes the senior lot(sic) has "more" contribution in dwindling moral values and increasing attitude of self-aggrandisation.

Bala said...

My dear Anonymous,
1. Referring persons by their right name and rank is not just respect its the culture (culture is something concerned with ones up bringing) So next time plz refer with the right name and rank.
2. Wrongly writing the name and rank reflects you did.t read the comment fully and you ran thro it....may be because of lack of time or prejudice!!!!
3. lastly when there is a discussion try to put your point clearly and dont loose your senses by jumping into other topics....
God bless

sharma yogesh said...

Shuklaji

I served the Army for 30 years as an officer. Since the Chinese war in 1962 we had only one chief we could speak of and that was Manekshaw. Others like Candeth, Bhagat, Sinha were never allowed to come up. By a stroke of luck we got VK Singh- the incorruptible. We may never get one again. Not till the "LINE OF SUCCESSION" finishes. The corrupt system and people will not let that happen. You may have your ideas of Honour and 'Officer Like Qualities' but for God's sake do not try to down play this man just to please your masters. He has enough of enemies as it is. The country and the Army will feel the difference in just two months. Then Shuklaji, you can also book your flat in a Posh locality at the Army's expense!!

Anonymous said...

Dear Bala-jee

1. All 'anonymous' are not the same person, infact they are all people who want to express their individual opinion without being lectured on culture and home.

2. Bala, U must also skim through the definiation of culture... It has little to do with upbringing.. yours or any other members included.

3. dont jump the gun here, not everyone here is a serving soldier.. half are ESM, and few are dependents or army-aficionados.


Relax guys, its a discussion... dont show poor social traits and character by abusing, calling names, demanding spell-check on names and speaking of others upbringing.

This a BLOG... not a Sainik Sammelan. lets have a healthy discussion, as finally we all want the betterment of fauj ( self included )and own self.

Wg Cdr (Retd) Mohd Raj said...

"The Meek shall inherit the earth"
Haven't we all heard this biblical phrase? While Col Shukla has brought out the problem, his suggested solution of exposing officers to the civil leadership through deputations is naive to say the least. One needs to be exposed to the civil set up to realize that there is still some leadership left in the Fauj!!! The core issue here is "Integrity". Whether it is the military or the civil ,the deterioration of personal integrity has reached to such a low limit that we will have to find another word for integrity.
The bureaucrats are no lions. They are only lions when they are dealing with someone who cannot strike back.
Contrary to this the Private sector does merit and reward real lions, because there is a financial balance sheet at the end of every quarter.
Any thing to do with the government , anywhere whether civil or military is sub standard and at best mediocre because "Bhai yahaan sab naukri kar rahen hai, desh seva nahin"
Nobody cares here.. I have to just take care of my interests and I am ready to become meek and pliable because at the end " I ,The meek shall inherit the earth.