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Monday, August 27, 2012

Guest Post: Two back to back write-ups on suicides and related issues in the defence services


Daily News and Analysis (DNA) had published a thought provoking OPed by former Vice Chief Lt Gen Vijay Oberoi titled ‘Take turbulence in the ranks seriously’.
Col Karan Kharab (Retd) responds and follows it up through his guest post ‘Suicides in the Army, diagnosis and remedy’.

The views expressed are not of this blogger. 

Take turbulence in the ranks seriously
Lt Gen Vijay Oberoi (Retd)

Three incidents of collective indiscipline by jawans in the last few months, reflecting a breakdown in the traditionally close officer-man relationship, are a cause for concern, especially as all three of them are related to combat units, where a stable and healthy officer-man relationship is an article of faith.
The Indian Army, with a justifiably proud record of service to the nation, has always placed officers-men bonding at the highest level.
In the past, the army has handled such incidents with compassion and firmness. Such incidents will no doubt happen again. However, there is need for comprehensive remedial actions. We must not succumb to a tendency of being simplistic, like attributing such incidents to recent cases of corruption amongst a few senior officers. Such attributions are obviously absurd, as these are two vastly different issues. The need is actually to focus on command and control, discipline and officer-man relationships.
In combat units, a thorough knowledge of jawans by their officers is a must. Included in this are the jawans’ capabilities and limitations; what enthuses or dampens their spirits; their backgrounds as well as of their families; and whether they are team persons or loners. Earlier, senior unit officers acted as guides and mentors in this respect. Unfortunately, on account of the huge shortage of officers in combat units today, as well as the large number of tasks assigned to the few available officers, it is virtually impossible for them to spare time to do so now.
The main reason for this state of affairs is the prolonged employment in fighting insurgents and terrorists over decades now, which have taken stress and fatigue to extremely high levels. These operations are extremely difficult and full of tension, especially on account of scrupulously adhering to human rights norms.
A major caveat of the army’s secondary role of assisting the civil administration is that it must be released as soon as the task is over, but in counter-insurgency operations there appears to be no end state! There has been no insurgency in the north eastern states for many years now, but neither the states concerned nor the central government want to release the army. In J&K, the situation has improved vastly, but the police forces are not in a position to assume control. The army’s reasoning that the situation will deteriorate rapidly if the army is de-inducted is sound, but why are the police forces not being made capable?
While the government must squarely take the blame for this state of affairs, the army hierarchy also needs to be blamed for not pursuing it relentlessly.
There are also three other issues that need to be tackled by the government. The first is deliberately downgrading the esteem and importance of the military by successive governments. This has resulted in our soldiers becoming greatly disillusioned not only with the government officials but, what is worse, also with their own officers, who are being viewed as devoid of any power, as civil and police officials studiously ignore requests from commanding officers relating to various problems of soldiers projected by them. This is in stark contrast to earlier times when the civil officials responded with alacrity when a commanding officer wrote to them about the personal or collective problems of his jawans. This aspect needs immediate improvement by good governance and by educating the officials.
Soldiers’ lay their lives on the line, not because of the pay or allowances that they get (which in any case are less than what the equivalent civil officials receive) but because of their self-esteem and military élan. These need to be nurtured by the civil administration.
The second and related issue is the military intake. Although recruitment rallies draw large numbers, the reason is no longer pride in joining the military but massive unemployment, resulting in inferior manpower joining the military. In the case of officers, young men from traditional military families are no longer enthused with the forces. The main reason is the decline of respect for the military.
The last point is the treatment of the veterans. The government needs to understand that the policy of ignoring those who have served the nation sacrificing their all will be a disaster in the long run. Future generations will not heed the call of the bugle when they see neither respect nor adequate financial benefits being given to the veterans. The present indifference and callousness must end.
Will Delhi wake up?
The writer is a former Vice Chief of Army Staff. 




Suicides in the Army – Diagnosis and Remedy

Col Karan Kharb (Retd)

Something very sinister is around.  Operational stress and official neglect are taking their toll in soldiers committing suicides and protesting in a mutinous manner. Whereas step-motherly treatment meted out by the Sixth Pay Commission to the Armed Forces is one of the reasons for the falling morale, persistent indifference shown by the Government has also added to the discontent. Even more saddening is the fact that the Military authorities too have been brushing aside the malaise within. Recently, Lt Gen Vijay Oberoi, former Vice Chief of Army Staff presented his diagnosis of the problem in an article.  Here are some additional inputs. 

Downgrading Esteem and Importance of Military
Halos are extinct and larger-than-life images have shrunk to real-life size everywhere in modern times. The so-called all-powerful bureaucrats are being shunted around from one post to another like shuttlecocks at the whims and fancies of political bosses. Their careers alternate between witch-hunt and reward depending upon what kind of political boss they get to serve under. Sunk in depravity, our politicians have suffered their loss of image and credibility too. Nobody now buys pictures of these leaders to display in homes or offices until official rules compel to do so. Within themselves too, the same chair brightens or dims differently under different occupants. World’s most qualified Prime Minister Manmohan Singh compares atrociously with under-matriculate Indira Gandhi. Time was when magnitudes of humanity poured to have glimpse of Nehru but not any longer.
What has survived, however, is people’s abiding love and respect for the sincere, able, honest and courageous leaders. They become icons of popular hope and respect. Oddly, some of them come from the same rotten environment that media and people – we included – hate and abuse for all our problems today – the bureaucracy. Agreed, those who choose to defy the Establishment and follow the dictates of their conscience are not many. Yet, we can see that those who did stood up and changed the course of things drew public applause like TN Sheshan, E Sreedharan, Vinod Rai, Kiran Bedi to name a few. In an even more degenerative field of politics too, we do have a crop, however miniscule, of off-beat progressive leaders like Narendra Modi and Nitish Kumar. 
Military in India has been somehow shy of public exposure – a mistake that held it back from joining, leave alone leading, the mainstream freedom struggle despite Netaji’s call for the INA. Such a stance of aloofness emboldened Nehru and Krishna Menon to treat the Military nothing more than a workforce that could be employed for constructing roads and canals even as they doubted its loyalty and feared coups. Field Marshal Manekshaw is perhaps the only Indian General who did make a difference in exalting the military reputation. Lately, Gen VK Singh did stand up boldly enough but the issue he took up first (date of birth) was unfortunately too small and personal for the position he held.  Later of course, he did write boldly to the Prime Minister and did not hesitate to apprise the people about essentials of national security.
Unfortunately, the inter-Services and intra-service feuds are doing the Military more damage than any politico-bureaucratic dispensation. The day the three Chiefs of Staff of the Armed Forces stand up jointly as custodians of national security to express their concern and advice, no Government will dare to brush it aside.  Also, taxpayers are entitled to know the state of their Armed Forces and, therefore, the Chiefs of the Armed Forces (sorry, I don’t call them ‘Services’) should be required to formally address the Parliament and inform the people on matters of national security and the state of defence preparedness. There can be debates and disagreements on the opinions they express but who, if not they, would be better qualified to speak about matters of national defence and security? Sadly though, it may be recalled how an Army Chief was ticked off by a former defence minister for his remark about the un-demarcated border in Arunachal Pradesh. Likewise, a Vice Chief of the Army Staff was snubbed by Shushma Swaraj so angrily that just the next day an apologetic general withdrew his fully justified and well informed opinion about the handicap of women joining the Army. Had they both reasserted their stand as professionals without giving in to the bully in the lobby, military’s image would have been fairly vindicated and credibility enhanced. Alas, that did not happen.
To sum up, I would reiterate the comment I made on an earlier occasion: The truth is that abstract decorations like esteem, image, honour and izzet abhor pleading, and are not available on request anywhere in the world. Being embellishments of power, these gems of credit can be only earned by merit or seized by force. Repeated pleadings will surely get us more sympathy, pity and merciful reportage though. 

‘Inferior Manpower Joining the Military’
Undoubtedly, the quality of officer intake has gone down. The quality of jawans, on the other hand should have only improved with more graduates and technically qualified youth joining the ranks. Perhaps the crux of the problem lies at the centre of this matrix where a subordinate views himself academically equal or better qualified than his boss. Don’t we see a shade of this attitude in the outbursts of our Olympian celebrity Sub Vijay Kumar? With an increasing number of officers now hailing from the same socio-economic milieu as their NCOs/OR, the tradition of officers being ‘friendly but not familiar’ with men stands diluted while the British legacy of ‘Koi haiy’ sahibs and servile, obsequious followers has continued despite noticeable resistance. It is good that the Army has decided to hire civilian sahayaks and other menials in place of combatants.    
I think time has come when officer-man relationship needs to be redefined so as to weave them into an integrated whole. Simplistic solutions based on traditional thinking will not do.  A paradigm shift is warranted to enable higher commanders to view the whole spectrum from a different angle and discover invisible challenges and opportunities. 

The Irony of ‘Shortage of Officers’
In the present scenario of military operations, maximum load comes on the unit where out of an average of 22 officers authorised, only 8-10 are posted. Considering those away on leave and courses out of these, it is 4-5 officers who share the load of 22. Obviously, these officers, already stressed, have neither time nor energy to inter-act with their men in sports, training, welfare and leisure time where they could detect and diffuse discontent, if any.
Oddly enough, above the unit level there is no deficiency of officers at any headquarters even though all field formations largely remain static and un-engaged in operations that are almost always limited to unit/sub-unit level actions. Higher the headquarters, more the unauthorised attachments! Why? Because the higher boss needs luxury and the attached finds his haven to the arduous unit tenure, and also earns a better ACR through influence. 
Despite deficiency of officers, which is alarming by any count, all the pressure of VIP visits (a euphemism for pleasure trips) comes to rest on the concerned units where officers and men frantically work round the clock only to earn a ‘shabash’ from the bara sahib. And imagine the height of hypocrisy displayed by a ‘punctilious’ GOC who, on his insistence, was presented a mess bill of Rs 45/- for three days of royal revelry organised by a unit for him and his entourage of personal guests. Clearing it for prompt payment, he said, “I have never left a guest room without paying the mess bill”. Higher commanders need to introspect earnestly and seek answers to some straight but pricky questions: Am I using more man-power and resources than authorised, like Flag Guard, sahayaks, drivers, vehicles etc?  Then follow your conscience, not necessarily the rulebook.
Also, the higher commanders need to restrain themselves from meddling in unit affairs.  Too much of curiosity and eagerness to address Durbars, meet individual officers and JCOs and listen to their problems is an intrusion into the CO’s domain which must be strengthened and never weakened at any cost. Remove and sack a CO, if required, but let the next one function with freedom and authority.  Likewise, within the unit, COs too have diluted the trust and bondage sub-unit commanders traditionally had with their JCOs and men. Build the sub-unit commanders into effective leaders. 
Lastly, a question: The Prime Minister warned the nation from the ramparts of the Red Fort on 15th August this year that the economic slowdown posed threats to national security. Should the custodians of National Security remain silent an inactive when such crisis is impending? There is risk involved in seeking answer to such grave questions. But should such risks deter them?
May they find right answers to mighty questions concerning National Security and move boldly and diligently in unison. I wish the Indian Armed Forces and the country glorious times ahead.

Col Karan Kharab was commissioned in the Bihar Regiment and commanded 21 BIHAR. He was also an instructor in the IMA and had a stint with the NSG. He can be reached at karankharab [at] gmail.com 

42 comments:

Anonymous said...

i hope the chiefs read this and do something about the sorry state of affairs.

Priyadarshi Ajeya Ex CPO said...

Sir, Apart from the reasons mentioned in the article for the increasing number of suicide by jawans, in my view the excessive use of mobiles is also one of the main cause. It may be difficult to restrict its use but none can deny that all the day today current home problems are shared in zero time, which increases the level of stress acquired through other means mentioned in the article. Counselling in this regard is must not only for the dressed men but also for their near and dears sitting at home through appropriate means i.e. documentaries, literature, conferences,letters etc.

Thanks,
Priyadarshi Ajeya
Ex.CPO (I.N.)
E.Mail: ajeya07@rediffmail.com

Chandra said...

Good comments by the Col. There have been a flurry of articles in recent times that make interesting reading. Unfortunately this task of correcting the faultlines has been thrust on the veterans so that the serving officers take notice. I wonder if a serving officer could have written this in an Armed Forces Journal ?
There is a similar hardhitting article on Canary Trap that I read over the weekend.

Anonymous said...

@ p.ajeya

technology will remain there.Mobiles & other things like internet are here to stay. what needs to be done is;
(a) better perks/ status
(b) understanding of human psych
(c) integrity of Top Mgmt
(d) assessment of fauji life by bureaucrats/ politicos & fine structuring their reqmt by them in everchanging social scenario

(e) faith of AF in their leaders incl MOD
(f) welfare of AF pers in civil adm back home


the social environment needs to take care of faujis as much as their own top mgmt cadre.

just think if reservation is there in Civil, why it's not there in fauj. kyonki sabki fat** hai..so government should keep defence away from all these socio changes.
they should be better treated socially due to their nature of work. Eg..all our ancilliary organisation such as DRDO, Ordanance factories pers ,civilians in defence est lead a better life, have fixed time , can educate their wards better due to long tenure. I am bringing this because he is their for these faujis.FAUJIS have at even lower level feel & compare thier lifestyle..committees have said that AF are captive customer of Ord Factories...why need them? especially the clothings,stores & B vehicles When better stuff is in market at cheaper price..today they are aware & don't have confidence in surroundings. they feel they can have better life can get better stuff & have right to question...TATRA/ BEML episode is an example....armed forces are not confident about thier Eqpt/leaders & so on

Dhoop said...

@Chandra: "..similar hardhitting article.." To put others abreast, it can be extremely helpful if links are provided in this manner.

Anonymous said...

The solutions lies with our esteemed seniors.

a Junior officer or pbor can do zilch.



wake ufff !!

PBOR said...

P Ajeya ji has elaborated a new reason why Jawans commit suicide which we Jawans don't understand. Please elaborate it. Increasing pressure to serve the nation can't be a cause to commit suicide. Forcing a human to satisfy fake ego and comfort of some superiors which has nothing to do to the interest of the country is the main reason why the Jawans get depressed and become irritates. Family problem just acts as catalyst, its not real cause. The word career does not belong to an individual once he become a Jawan; so need not to talk what Jawans get in lieu of his life long service to the nation.

Nadaan Parinda said...

I would request you to read and comment on this blog on similar issue. Specially the legal help which one can seek in such case.

http://indianfauj.blogspot.in/2012/08/the-real-issues1.html

Thanks & Regards

Anonymous said...



i still do not find any reason, why JAWANS are so depressed?, i served with Rs 250/=P.M + NO ESTABLISHMEN, so no CILQ,no CONSERVANCY, no ELECT,no WATER etc, only ration money.. JCOs & Officers, attitude was same as of now, but we served and enjoyed the Forces, what is bloody DEPRESSION??

SATISFIED SOLDIER

Anonymous said...

Point of reservation :

I dont know why Faujis act like half-cocked rifles when it comes to constituional issues.
most faujis incl senior officers have zero knowledge and even worse understanding of the polity, sociological factors and constitution.


reservation is not in army bcoz already regts were raised on " martial class" theories.

I think with having 50% col board ratio for infantry and 22 % for EME is good enof example that army also has its own reservation psyche and system.


and believe me, if we even have reservation nothing much worse will happen.
the army and its "IZZAT"" NAAM" NAMAK " AND NISHAN Will not be tarnished .




what an uneducated pathetic comment.

PBOR said...

Indiscipline By ‘Jawans’ This very first sentence say much about the military psyche, where only Jawans are at fault thereby receiving end too. Unlike earlier days, jawans are aware of it all. This makes the problem more complex.
True. An officer must have through knowledge of Jawans under him. Here the problem is market timings. This is the time when an officer can know about his Jawans. But you see, one has to keep a track of and maintain his portfolio too.
Employment of Army in fighting insurgents and terrorists re-imposes the relevance of AFs. Having said this, I am for a constitutional provision wherein the State Govt should resign before requesting employment of AFs as the concerned govt failed to perform its duties.
kkkk, Govts are deliberately downgrading the esteem of AFs . What about of down gradation of AFs by the AFs themselves. I am inclined to repeat the example of reducing JCOs and NCOs to PBOR and treatment to Sub. Vijay Kumar (some would call it ranting)
Mentioning E Sreedharan along with TN Sheshan, Vinod Rai and Ms Bedi sounds strange as Sreedharan has been a man of establishment whiles the trio been embarrassment to the establishment and to their own services. Going with the logic of applauses to which ‘defy the est and stood up’ I am afraid that some one can term indiscipline by jawans as courage to stood up.
Many of you must have notice that this ‘inferior manpower joining the military’ phrase is generally used by the retd ones. To my mind a basic human trait is behind this evergreen slogan, where every older generation thinks that the younger ones are Inferior. The fact is exactly ‘ulta’. Every younger generation is smarter and well informed than previous. Maj. Navdeep is the example.
Shortage of officers at unit level should be an advantage to the available ones as they have more manpower and resources at their disposal.
Jaate jaate, when we would learn to look within before blaming outsiders for our miseries and complaining what other GET. After all its “Veer Bhogya Vasundhara”

Anonymous said...

the comments of Lt Gen Oberai are toatlly away from reality . he has tried to pass on the buck to others .
find out the real cause . the comments of col karab are very near to reality . PBOR has outlined the real cause of pressure on jawans .

Anonymous said...

DENYING LEAVE TO MEET GENUINE AND URGENT COMMITMENTS AND ALSO AFTER SERVING FOR LONG DURATION WITHOUT LEAVE/WITHOUT FAMILY IS ONE OF THE PRIMARY CAUSES OF FRUSTRATION FOLLOWED BY SUICIDE OR ATTEMPTS TO SUICIDE. LET JAWAN GO HOME ON LEAVE FIRST AND IF REASONS QUOTED BY THE JAWAN FOR ASKING FOR LEAVE ARE FOUND FALSE, HAND OUT EXEMPLARY PUNISHMENTS.

MAKE IT MANDATORY FOR THOSE SELECTED FOR CIVIL SERVICES (ESPECIALLY CLASS I/II - BOTH CENTRAL AND STATE SERVICES) TO UNDERGO ATLEAST TWO YEARS OF MILITARY / PARAMILITARY / STATE POLICE TRAINING PRIOR TO THEIR OWN TRAINING/PROBATION. ALL WILL SEE THE RESULTS FOR THEMSELVES. JAWANS OF UNIFORMED SERVICES WILL CERTAINLY HAVE BETTER WELFARE AND SUPPORT/ASSISTANCE FOR THEIR NEEDS BACK HOME AND THIS SHOULD LESSEN THE STRESS/DISGRUNTLEMENT ETC AND OF COURSE SUICIDE CASES AMONG AF/CAF/PMF JAWANS.

ALL KNOW, SUICIDE CASES IN AIR FORCE ARE KNOWN TO BE MINIMUM. WHY DON'T REST OF UNIFORMED SERVICES FOLLOW WHAT AIR FORCE DOES TO KEEP SUCH INCIDENTS MOSTLY AT BAY?

PANKAJ SHARMA said...

The real issue which no one wishes to speak about the kind of life our Jawans are living in the defence forces. There is an urgent need to restore the self esteem of the Jawans.They should be removed from the jobs of Butmen and domestic help etc. Enhance the dignity and self respect of a fighting man then only you can expect something from him.

Anonymous said...

shotage of officers
one view point widespread .
in armed forces shortage of officers is kept deliberately to put pressure on government . A lot of rejection in selection on many grounds .

when people are lined up even for IAS why Afs cant get enough manpower. .

JUSTIN said...

a thought provoking write up by pbor irespective of class or creed a soldier is subjected to many type of pressure this is where a soldier is different from civilian as more mental pressure is definitely there as far as domestic front is concerned and that is why he should be supplied with proper infrastructure and he should be better compensated.
mod and other concern agencies should take a note of this.
if a soldier is unsatisfied as far as appraisal is concerned this sort of tragic incident will happen but on other hand if he is satisfied then he can counter the pressure and this sort of tragic incident will be minimum.

Anonymous said...

well commented by the colonel karan,has tried to touch upon the real problems of the jawans on whose name crores of rupees are siffoned off. Especially the living conditions are pathetic the MES facilities are for the name sake.Only senior offers bunglows is the priority.They are renovated every six months, but others are not even considered.

Anonymous said...

To my mind these are some of the causes for problems resulting in stress in not only PBORs but offrs too:

1. VIP Visits (fun trips)
2. Misuse of manpower/veh/privileges by Cdrs at all levels
3. Interference by Ladies(Welfare and ladies Club are to be banned)
4. Unit 'Tartib' has long been forgotten

I would like to info that offrs problems are not less. Just because we are educated and hold a higher status our pressing problems are brushed under the carpet by ourselves as well as the establishment.

Anonymous said...

I think that most of the suicides in army & navy are due to the unjust attitude & excess of the officers as these ppl try to take out their frustrations on Jawans. In Air force , the cause of suicides are socioeconomic reasons. I am sure the day army officers behave like Air force officers, the suicide rate of Jawans will reduce by 50%.

Dhoop said...

@ANONYMOUS:"...FOLLOW WHAT AIR FORCE DOES..."

Why not go one better and follow what, say, BSNL does, or Punjab Roadways, or Air India?

What the Indian Army does these organisations don't, won't and can't do. The reverse also applies.

The only solution is to analyse and rectify internal HRD processes of the Army.

Aping the IAF, IN or the Coast Guard is not what is required.

Anonymous said...

I am not a cynic. Nah, I was not a cynic! I still have some hope for this army, probably thatz why I keep coming back to this blog. But then, this blog has become more of a reassertion of my belief. and that belief is to "QUIT ARMY" and interesting, in my case too, it would be in "42". I still read all the entries, comments,rants, fights, sermonizing etc...from the owner of the blog to all the commentators, but then whatz the point?
Let me not sermonize too...and view the whole thing from only my perspective and i know i would only get brickbats for saying this...after all, when do i ever get anonymity to play with.

An an officer, I realise this nation doesnot give a fig to the army. The senior echelons of power donot even consider my senior most hierarchy, even for a place on the high table. My senior most hierarchy, do not consider my own corps superiors high enough to even meet them without an appointment.(A services DG CANNOT meet the chief. Period!) ok! fair enough. Then my own corps hierarchy treats anyone even one rank lower as a nobody. Great, they may be busy. and my immediate superiors think I do not exist and have no clue what I am doing or what am I supposed to be doing, except when it specifically enhances their own careers in some form or organising social events. No problem, they may have larger things to take care of. and then as i go down the ladder, i jes crossed my own self and realised that the one's below behave the same way. How? The jawans from the arms donot care for anyone, who is not from his unit. My own jawan thinks, iam there becoz of some serious luck or coincidence of fate or both. and above all....the civil world thinks I am a joke, an actual joke, when I wear a rank equivalent to a pretty senior official in the police force and been seen on the road , in my rather aging two wheeler or a military vehicle with thirteen people packed in or a load carrier modified into a troop carrier into a officer commute. worse off... the other cities are exploding and i now live within the city. Can't hide my agony in my deepest burrows. I just removed the sticker "army" on my car, coz I FEEL ASHAMED to be an army man. I fret and fume and count my "days left to go home" out of this organisation, so that I live in actual anonymity, but within a circle, however small it might be, but with some respect. I am tired of all the rants and cries I read here, for the last 5-6 years.. I do not like this army. I do not like my corps. I do not like what and how I live my daily life.I wish I was somewhere else. Alas! I have to wait for 4 years to be somewhere else. and in all this do I have a request ? Yes I have... and that is not to the bureaucrats or the politicians or senior officers or the nation at large... NO... IT IS TO MY FELLOW SERVING not-so-senior OFFICERS.... since no else cares a darn about us, why can't we take care of ourselves? plz be nice to ur fellow junior officers who come to u for any small or big thing. plz be empathetic to him, coz he is in exactly the same boat, only on the other side of the boat. plz do not take out ur frustration of being a nobody in society on ur own, coz the other guy is a nobody too. (AMC guys, u r one of the biggest culprits.. and I don't care if you accept it or not, coz I ain't gonna visit ECHS after quitting. I am not going to the CSD or play golf or go to the MH) I am done with this farce of a professional life!
Bharat Mata, plz give me the strength to endure this ignominy, till i earn my pension (coz, iam not stupid to let go off the only worthwhile thing out of this 20 years of agony) and plz let me fade away without a trace. But, will always be available to defend your honour, if the nation gets into trouble. but not for one more day than required. Jai Hind!

Harry said...

@ Anony

Sir,

I'm speechless !!! Trust me the feeling is WELL AND TRULY Shared.
But pls be warned, don't presume that you would be easily let out of the fishnet by the org after you cross Lakshman Rekha of 20 yrs Service. You may have to move heaven and earth to move out of org's clutches, even if, in MS parlance, you are R3! So pls don't rule out threatening to go on a shooting spree if denied honourable exit! :-p

Brotherly yours,
- Harry

Anonymous said...

Very well said Anon.


The fate of middle level offices is the worst... they are the bSafaiwalas of Fauj.
Clean the muck of both upper level & ensure cleaniness of lower level.


awesomeley said.

Its a very sad state !!

Spooky Gupta said...

Anonymous @September 2, 2012 9:17 AM. You are very interesting. If you like, you may join us. You seem to be disillusioned with the Service but in my case I never relished it as much as I now do. Don’t ever say “no one else cares a darn”. Didn’t you see our free obituary service.....? We relentlessly salute our soldiers. May not be as perfect salutes as you people do, but depending whichever limp is free we zzaroor give salutes.

PBOR said...

@Anonymous, quality you have got to express your inner feeling shows you need not worry for anything in rest of your life. What we conclude from debate/discussion in TV and other forum is that shortage of officers, non up-gradation of status of officers with increase in pay and privileges are the main reasons for deteriorating life of Jawans, many time to an extent that some not so lucky are forced to take the extreme step of their life. Its not understood how Jawans basic needs will be fulfilled with increase in Pay of officers. Again, what type of God like qualities the officers are having which are not found in the crores of youths of India so that the issue of shortage of officers can be overcome?

Anonymous said...

@PBOR
Hey PBOR, did u ever try to become an OFFICER, were u rejected, or they found out before you tried it that you were not officer material? Not all engineering students to to IIT, does it mean IIT is discriminating... having been seing your rants on these columns so much.... there still is a Law of the land,,,, and if you feel so aggrieved by YOUR officers why dont you name your perpetrators in a court and seek justice where you believe you will find it? Or is it the country itself is conniving against PBOR? You have categorized all officers in one class...does it mean the system of having officers to lead the army be done away with? Why not, go ahead and take the lead... call for a separate corps of PBOR to run the show all by yourself. Your rantings have started to bore us now.

Anonymous said...

Contd:
@ PBOR you are trying to show that the officers are ONLY fighting for their pay parity/enhancement, or parity in status.....what a facade you have created around yourself. I sometimes feel you are a mole, trying to gnaw away the fabric of the brotherhood that exists in the army (leave aside some aberrations, they are there in all corners of the world. . . yes they exist and people are trying to find a solution to that). Stop being the proverbial termite which eats away the house it lives in.... and if you strongly feel you have no future because of your leadership do seek justice elsewhere... and if you have already retired....then open a front against your own officers and come out in the open with whatever facts you have to share. . . most of all stop being cynical and blame all your ills on officers .. . . perhaps you were not cut out for this organization, perhaps your Training Centre failed to infuse the qualities of a soldier in you. . . forget the 'GOD' like qualities of officers. . .

Anonymous said...

PBOR :

i LIKED FEW OF YOUR POSTS.BUT YOU ARE RANTING ON AND ON ABOUT JAWAN AND OFFICER FOR EVERY ISSUE.

A JAWAN IS 10/12 PASS, BASIC QUALIFICATION. IF HE THINKS HE IS FIT. HE SHUD APPEAR FOR EXAM AND PASS AND BECOME OFFR.

ABOUT GODLIKE QUALITIES : EVEN OUR HON MINISTERS AND LEADERS DONT HAVE ANY GODLIKE QUALITIES. NEITHER DO IAS AND IPS OFFICERS, BUT THEY PASSES THE EXAM AND JOINED N GAINED KNOWLEDGE.


SUICIDE AMONG JAWANS IS UNFORTUNATE, BUT LOT OF JAWANS DO SUICDE DUE TO FAMILY, MONEY AND SOCIAL PROBLEMS AND NOT BCOZ OF FAUJ.

YES SENIOR OFFICERS ARE NOT TREATING JAWANS PROPRLY BUT THATS WHAT ANON IS TALKING BOUT.

HAR ISSUES MEI GHEE-GOBAR KARTA HAIN. STOP GETTING JAWAN IN EVERY ISSUE.

WHAT IS AN OFFR'S FAULT IF HE PASSED TOUGH UPSC EXAM AN GOT CHOSEN AMONG 3 LAKH PEOPLE, ONLY 300 GET SELECTED AND THEN PUT THROGH THIS FILTHY LIFE OF OFFR ??


HAS ISSUE MEI PBOR, ITS GETTING IRRITTAING NOW.

NOT EVERYTHING IS ABOUT JAWANS, JUNIOR AND MIDDLE LEVEL OFFICERS ARE ALSO THERE IN ARMY. THEY ALSO EXIST. STOP CRYING.



Anonymous said...

@anonymous!!! sir thank GOD u did it!!! PBOR has long been asking for it, its such a befitting reply i m so glad ,i request u to be kindly available for future shutting up also which i m sure will certainly be needed, thanks once again

GJD said...

The present system of ACR, I feel is responsible for COs having to look after their Bosses to move up the ladder and ensure their career. Unfortunately the Unit and the subordinates thus get neglected. After all they don't matter to a CO/ Seniors career.
The ACR system should be changed such that the Subordinates of the CO also have a say in his ACR. Then see how the CO will take care of the Unit and the subordinates therein.
Secondly Interaction with the men during PT and games is very important too. PT and games should be regularly held and made compulsory for all unit persons to attend daily. Then see how slim and healthy the Service pers will be. No service person who is overweight should be promoted. It is surprising to see so many fat persons, not only surviving but also getting regular promotions.
The autocratic functioning in the defence Forces and the Mil Law hanging over the head like the Sword of Damocles, renders the subordinates a docile and 'yes sir' lot....who are incapable of putting forth their legitimate requirements.

Anonymous said...

yes debate is going interesting .
both gen oberoi and col karab have concluded that quality of officers joining fauz has deteriorated . so there is a indiscipline in fauz .

PBOR is giving view point of jawans , and see the violent reaction from officers .

so unless u ask the view point of a jawan , how can u know real cause of sucides or indiscipline in the army .

Anonymous said...

HELLO GUYS,
ACTUALLY INSTEAD OF BLAMING EACH OTHER WE SHOULD AIM FOR CREATING HARMONY AND BROTHERHOOD IN AF'S..WHEN AN OFFICER TAKES OVER AS CO HE SHOULD BE A FATHER FIGURE TO HIS UNIT AND SIMILARLY JAWAN SHOULD GIVE HIM UTMOST RESPECT..FINALLY ITS THE INDIVIDUAL'S CALL...CAN'T BLAME THE ORGANISATION..
JAI HIND..

Arpit said...

greetings sir,
I have no hesitation in saying that what you have written is actually the state of affairs in every arm, service down to the unit level. But what makes me wonder is that ,is all this falling on deaf ears?If there are so many people sharing the same opinion then why is the same thing continuing everywhere.
sir, when a junior like me sees his commanding officer ,bossing around in the unit, being so ruthless with all the requests even the legitimate ones, become mute spectator in front of a higher commander and then demeaning him at his back, it really creates a bad impression of the way army is functioning these days. One should always support whats right not what pleases his senior. The discontentment increases further when the head from whom you have all the expectations is actually not bothered.
Where is the fault of civil bureaucrats when we have people holding each other back within? The emotional quotient of a leader needs to be thoroughly analyzed and improved and if need be taught!
Finally i'd like to say that this attitude needs to change if the armed forces are to perform with the same enthusiasm for which it has been known so far.

Anonymous said...

Good inputs...


dog fight dog world.

ARMY'S ENEMY IS ARMY.
BUREAUCRAT IS NOT THE ENEMY, THE ENEMY IS WITHIN !!

Anonymous said...

"PBOR is giving view point of jawans , and see the violent reaction from officers .

so unless u ask the view point of a jawan , how can u know real cause of sucides or indiscipline in the army "
THE VIOLENT REACTION IS BECAUSE PBOR IS GENERALIZING OR ACTUALLY MEANING TO SAY THAT ALL OFFICERS ARE TO BLAME FOR WHATEVER ILLS AFFLICT PBOR. PERHAPS YOU MAY LIKE TO ENQUIRE HOW THE VARIOUS STUDIES BY DIPR ARE CONDUCTED, WHETHER INPUTS FROM JAWANS FROM SUB-UNIT LEVELS ARE NOT SOUGHT THROUGH VARIOUS QUESTIONNAIRES, WHY EVEN DAY TO DAY THINGS LIKE HOW MANY TIMES A WEEK CHICKEN/MEAT IS TO BE ISSUED TO PBOR IS BEING IMPLEMENTED BASED ON FEEDBACKS....PERHAPS YOU ARE MISINFORMED HOW THE FAUJ WORKS OR YOU HAVE TAKEN A VOW TO SEE ALL FINGERS AS ONE. . . ANYWAYS ALL VALUABLE INPUTS ARE ALWAYS WELCOME FROM ANYONE INCLUDING PBOR, BUT I AM SURE HE WOULD HAVE DONE BETTER BY VOICING GRIEVANCES AGAINST THE OFFICERS WHO HAVE GIVEN HIM A REASON TO DISLIKE THEM, BY QUALLIFYING HIS REMARKS AS 'SOME OFFICERS' RATHER THAN SHOW HIS HATRED TO ALL .. . . AND IF THAT IS TRUE( HIS HATRED FOR ALL OFFICERS) IT JUST PROVES MY POINT.

PBOR said...

@Anonymous, I never directly or indirectly have shown any type of hatred/dislike to all officers. I focused on discussion/debate in TV and all officers doesn't take part there. Yes, I need not elaborate it, but its truth that the number of true capable leaders in the form of officers in armed forces is not less and thats why the each and every citizen feels proud to get one of the strongest armed forces in the world to safeguard the nation. At the same time there are problems/drawbacks either in the policies/rules or in their execution or in both and for that I feel there is no reasonable point to send the bug to the lower rank soldiers (not mentioning PBOR as you get irritate with it)who have no say on this issues. Yes, service is not responsible for all the suicides by Jawans, but in maximum cases domestic problems only act as catalyst to the depressed/disturbed Jawans and I don't think any true citizen will get disturbed/depressed by pressure to serve for the interest of nation. Just you google and you will find many of our retired bosses relate the suicide of Jawans to mainly to shortage of officers and they hardly show any interest to improve the basic needs of Jawans. Unlike your imagination, me, in fact, will always be happy if the pay/status of my commanders improve. But at the same time, I expect my officer speaks for improvement my basic needs, because, for this I am dependent only on him. Personally, I don't have any grievance against any of my superiors as they are one of the best and capable and they very well know how to handle each and every Jawan of my unit so that each of us can give maximum of our strength to the true cause of the nation/service. Thank you.

paa said...

I thank the General for a nice article . Very relevant and imporatant issues have been raised by the former VCOAS. Three issues that have been summarised by him need attention from the present leadership. I am convinced that he alongwith other veterans have rendered yeoman service to the nation and the services.But may i take the liberty of asking him as to what has been his contribution to personnel issues. Unfortunately every serving General/ Admiral ? Air Marshal , for some reason, consider the veterans as unwanted and dont even attend their calls .They are the ones who cause numerous unwanted litigations. But they doubtlessly write about P issues immediately after retirement. Why is this so

Anonymous said...

Dear paa, no serving Gen/Air Mshl/Adm reads these articles till one retires. He doesn't have time to these mundane issues as he is busy with doctrines and strategies. they cant understand the simple issues that truoble the lesser mortals. Yes they do read after retirement but they can't do any thing. So please don't ask any questions to them. Only thing that they can do is write . let them do so.

Anonymous said...

well respected sirs,
i am an airforce officer and an ex-nda. having done my initial training the army way, i can vouch for the fact that it is still helping me in my career in airforce. The principles ingrained were very nice but now all of us in airforce see a paradigm shift in reality. We do follow orders but not like `ki senior ne bol diya to bol diya`. Similar is the case with treatment of jawans or airmen as we call them in airforce. They do not follow you blindly. They do not follow orders blindly. They have questions which need to be answered.
And airforce is adapting to these changes. Army inherently due to its victorian nature is still stuck in a time warp. but it will change and will have to change. We all have to learn from changing times for everyone's gud.
regards

PANKAJ SHARMA said...

I agree with the remarks here. Same is the case with the Navy officers and sailors. They have changed a lot and Naval officers listen their subordinates and treat them in befitting manner but Army officers and not changing. May be with the removal of Butmen system will bring some change in their mentality.

Ashu said...

Sir, i want to know whether ssc also give pay protection to ex-servicemen. What is the policy of central govt. on this issue.

PANKAJ SHARMA said...

A good piece of news appeared in the Indian Express of 15 Oct 2012. An honest assessment of the Officers-men relations in the Armed forces. For the first time One Senior Army General shown the courage to speak the truth. Apart from Leave today's generation also wishes to be treated like a professional soldier and not just a helping hand to the officers. A big salute to Gen GD Singh.