Feel free to contribute on burning issues concerning the armed forces. Contributions would be acknowledged - Use the 'Comments' tab or email navdeepsingh.india[at]gmail.com. No operational/business/commercial matters to be discussed please. Legal advice/litigation related issues would strictly NOT be published or discussed or entertained. Information on this blog is opinion based and is neither official nor in the form of an advice. This is a pro bono online journal in public service related to issues, policies and benefits, and the idea behind it is to educate and not to create controversy or to incite. Be soft in your language, respect Copyrights.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Is it all about the money, honey?

Some observations are painful. Some battles lonely.

It is particularly painful to observe how the military community raises a big hue and cry whenever there is a controversy related to a matter involving monetary benefits, but the guns fall silent when the issue is equally, or even more pertinent, important and urgent but then it does not affect people financially. These are insidious matters which affect the rights and privileges of the fauj as a whole but many of us are not bothered.

It is because of this very attitude, especially prevalent in the officer community, that we are where we are. We get what we deserve. To take an example, the recent post on the biggest blow to your fundamental rights since independence which is going to affect you for the rest of your lives resulted in only about 8 published comments on the blog but the pensionary arrears flowing out of the decision on the pension fixation arising out of the 6th Central Pay Commission evoked about 50 published comments. The op-ed on the way the system is shabbily treating our disabled soldiers, especially of the lower ranks, evoked just 4 comments but "One Rank One Pension" or the rank pay decision of the Supreme Court resulting in financial benefits to officers resulted in 125 comments.

The above is testimony enough that our priorities are aimed in the wrong direction and we are turning selfish by the day. From the thousands of emails I receive, rarely are there some that refer to or speak of or offer help in taming the malaise that has set in on a macro-level in some of these key issues. Mostly the calls and communications seek information on the amount that is due- nothing for others, everything for self.

I would request the defence community to wake up and move beyond wallets and purses. There is lot more to cover. You have to sensitize the society at large and stand up for those who do not have a voice, especially veterans of the lower ranks, disabled soldiers and military widows. You also have to sensitize the government and work hand in hand with the establishment to lift up the unsung and the unheard. YOU have to do it by rising above your own personal gains.

I hope we remember what Martin Niemöller said:

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out-
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out-
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out-
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me-
and there was no one left to speak for me.

Folks, come around....


Shashank said...


I am writing first time in this blog. What you said is absolutely true. We dont speak anything about lower rank veterans, disable soldiers and widows since we think that we or our beloved one will never fall in that category. It is completely selfish approach and we should get rid of this mentality ASAP. Officer community is lacking that bond and affection for the community what used to be earlier. Somebody told me sometime that if you have faced difficulties together then you will have better understanding for each other in comparison with passing good time together. Lets not wait for that hard time to come together.. God ! Give us some wisdom.

AviaScorp said...

Couldn't agree with you more, Navdeep.

Sad, but, sad.


dear maj navdeep, this army which i got commisioned in with lot of passion, is AN ARMY OF THE FREE, can we take up a case to stop exploitation of the so caleed BUDDIES,


Anonymous said...

Rightly said..

All the All in the services officers have associations to look after their collective service conditions. PBOR in armed forces have formed their own associations(both serving and retired)to fight cases of common interest. Ofcourse serving PBOR are maintaining associations unofficially.

High time officers have a forum with lawyers and intellectuals to fight out cases of common interest both for us and for our men.

rooy said...

Maj. Navdeep,

Your observation is absolutely right. We are a community of selfish money minded people, least bothered about the future of the Services and subordinates' welfare.Across the rank and files it's the same. What an abysmal depth we've fallen into. Who will take us out this morass? Need a visionary General/Air marshal/Admiral.

sharan said...

Navdeep, I think the reason is because most of us know little of disability issues since the majority leaves as Aye One, and honestly, most of us , atleast of the earlier gen, could never understand money... We accepted whatever came to the bank. Our saviours have been people like you .!

Avi Sud said...

Well said Maj Navdeep, this trampling of our fundamental Rights would need to be heard by the Govt and the judiciary alike. What is the way ahead when many of us may not have the right direction to get this anomaly corrected?

Does it call for a PIL or just some one to pick it up for review with the SC?
Do let this community know what are the ways to get this matter- the right attention from the Govt and the Judiciary?

avicat said...

Dear Navdeep,
I have always found you columns very insightful and enlightening. I do concur that it is very unfortunate that out brethern in uniform do not look beyong pecuniary gains and miss the larger picture of solidarity and comradeship with the entire community. But it anguishes me deeply to observe that you haven't utterd a single word on the recent AFT judgement on AV Singh committee recommendations and its unjust implementation. You must also rise above arms versus services debate and offer introspective thoughts. Looking forward to hearing from you on this. Jai Hind

sanjay gupta said...

u r right navdeep. The reason for this could b that most of faujis r ill educated about their rights & restrictions. Most of them do not understand impact of a particular piece of legislation. Faujis have been conditioned to live in stiffeled atmosphere therefore their only priority is money what they get.

dattatreyahg said...

Navdeep,You have really done a great service to the entire group of MEN IN UNIFORM by drawing their attention to bigger issues than just mundane monetary issues. The problem is that right from Day One in Uniform,our INDOCTRINATION has made us dumb & deaf to all other things except to follow the leader & go forward in the field without fear for achieving the given objective.We have also been led to believe , as an integral part of that INDOCTRINATION,that all our interests would be taken care of by someone in the hierarchy. While men in Uniform have discharged their duties and are continuing to do so, the other part of their interests being looked after by someone in the hierarchy has failed miserably.It is here that the need for men in uniform to become aware of Fundamental Rights & other important issues arises. This creates some inconvenient situations. For ex.,when I am asked to address a group of Job-seekers, Do I just give a glorifying account of the Uniformed Service suppressing the kind of problems being faced by them both during service as well as after retirement OR Do I tell the truth. These are important matters which need to be debated. I really don't know whether they should be debated in Public or In-camera. I leave it to you to take it forward.

Alok Asthana said...

Of course. Navdeep, we are to blame. Had we been any good, mere babus could not have kicked us around with impunity.

Anil Joshi said...

Dear Maj Navdeep,
What is the remedy? Is it possible to file an appeal or PIL? If so,I am ready to be a party to it by being a petitioner or contributor in form of money.Please advise.

KVS said...

Dear Maj Navdeep...You are cent percent right. Our Officers' Community is to be blamed. But what is the remedy? You are the one to guide us.

Please advise...Regards.....Lt Col Venkat Choudhary, Retd

sunlit said...

These are important issues, but we have to look at the whole matter in a holistic fashion. The money, rights, status, legal safeguards, parities benefits for non-officer cadre veterans or for officer cadre veterans, everything is tied together.

It can't be an argument that we need to focus on legal safeguards for the defence community more than on pensionary issues, or vice versa. Both are intimately connected.

It is just that greater sensitization is required amongst the veterans through dissemination, such as in the previous blog post, as to how, sometimes, the defence community lets go with its intellectual Gatlings with the barrels pointed squarely at its collective feet.

With active discussion, clarifications and regular updation, awareness of such issues is bound to grow. After all, even the Rank Pay matter and pensionary issues gathered momentum as issues in the minds of affected people, gradually.

But, as money relates to the individual directly and the mind needs time to absorb the implications of more indirect matters, I'm sure, following blogs such as this one is going to help percolate these realities down to all affected stake-holders.

Madhavan Viswanathan said...

The issue of pensionary arrears and OROP are common to all and the full details are known to us, So it evokes more comments.
But full details of the other specific issues are not known. So we are unable to comment on. But we are equally concerned about other issues also.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the observations. We really have to think beyond money.

Anonymous said...

No, Its not about money. It's about honour and prestige which we are losing so rapidly. It's about how we let ourselves treated outside the cantonments, and how we hold each other hands.

NS Gill said...

Major Navdeep Singh, A Bundle of thanks for highlighting the basic attitude of veterans. I agree with your good self. I want to clarify that large number of pensioners JCOs/OR do not understand this legal issue till then they face the particular problem when in their case Advocates educate them.Even officers retired cadre also may not have fully understood this issue except few working on computers and working with Ex-service men Unions and Associations. In my thinking all those Ex-servicemen organisations must be having their legal cells to take steps to file appeals and review of SC judgement by bigger Bench of SC to decide on Fundamental Right to justice to Armoured Forces personnel.IHQ Army,Air Force and Navy must wake up to this issue earliest.Thanking you, Yours sincerely,Major NS Gill

karunakaran a said...

Dear sir,
Helping other is an attitude comes from chromosomes which are inborn and inherent. people are always selfish. they do not bother about other. sir recently I took a veteren widow case of dual pension who is insane and bedridden for the past 10 years. I got her two pensions, cunningly MOD sanctioned the pension from the year 2012, later on because of supreme court direction she becomes eligible for family pension from the day she was widowed, but the bankers does not understand the english and they have kept the matter pending on filmsy causes. The case is being taken to ombudsman for redressal.

The only drawback I am not a convent school student poor academic qualification, still I am operating my gun

Lt Col G K Mohan Rao said...

Is it not wise to bring to the notice of RDOA or IESM if not already know about it to study it and if necessary to file a writ petition

ravimasaldan said...

Dear Navdeep
Could not agree with you more. The deterioration took place in my 35 years and has to with ongoing consumerism in the society at large. Chetwood saying is possibly forgotten after commisioning. You carry on with your selfless service and help out as many as possible.
Ravi Masaldan


Well,I feel this is because of we becoming more materialistic.The present day Officers are just on developing their career.Officers are not bothered about others whether its ex soldiers or his own buddies.On top of it the Senior officer VIP culture is becoming like a parasite.

Dhoop said...

@avicat: You could also clarify which judgment you are referring to. Can you provide a link or case reference?

Dayanidhi Patnaik said...

Dear Sir,
I hundred percent agree with your thoughts. May God give you more strength to enlighten us. Our integrity will definitely bring one day or the other day our dignity out side of our four frame and reestablish our fundamental rights, which is in fact most essential and more than money.

corona8 said...

@Lt Col G K Mohan Rao: "...if necessary to file a writ petition..."
A writ petition for waking up the defence brotherhood?

What are we talking about?

Anonymous said...

I have a different take on this. We do care. If the comments are analysed, it will be seen that most of the comments, especially on pensionary awards etc are from the veteran community. They have a lesser personal stake in the AFT issue hence the lesser comments. The personnel in service, generally do not comment or comment as 'anonymous' on this and other such blogs. This does not mean that they do not care.

The day we start dividing the defence personnel in terms of service, officers/WO/JCO/OR, serving/veterans etc will be a sad day for all of us. A house divided has no standing!

Please do not take comments as a measure of interest. We are and will remain interested.

Anonymous said...

I agree Maj Navdeep. The most imp thing for us is and should be, our pride and prestige.
The whole Army should be up in arms whenever that is threatened or tarnished by any civilian.
The recent shabby treatment given to 3 of our officers by Police in Mamun, at the behest of a local MLC, and the inability or lack of interest shown by local senior officers resulting in their being in lock up for 10 days on false charges, should shame us no end. Hwo dare the Police arrest a brig, a lt col and a maj. And no reaction from loacl army. I remember in our young days how we acted in belgaum and mhow when there was an incident of much smaller nature. Sad times indeed.

Anonymous said...

Truly our service conditions require improvement, but live in false illusions hence do not ask for legitimate dues. Although our service conditions are extremely tough, however benefits lesser. Some points to ponder are given below : - (1) Leave is non accumulative ie any leave accumulated over 300 days due to exigencies of service lapses, whereas in civil leave accumulates and employee has option of availing leave pending retirement. (2) Short Service Officers on release neither get pension nor ECHS medical cover.

BK said...

Truly our service conditions require improvement, but live in false illusions hence do not ask for legitimate dues. Although our service conditions are extremely tough, however benefits lesser. Some points to ponder are given below : - (1) Leave is non accumulative ie any leave accumulated over 300 days due to exigencies of service lapses, whereas in civil leave accumulates and employee has option of availing leave pending retirement. (2) Short Service Officers on release neither get pension nor ECHS medical cover.

akhil said...

you never publish comments which are balanced.

I have given my comments you never published.
Earlier also several times i have posted my comments ,it was never published.
Facts should be published.

Navdeep / Maj Navdeep Singh said...

@Akhil, or whatever your real name is.

Firstly, I do not see any of your comments on this post so the question of not publishing them does not arise. There are two comments that have not been posted since those are off-topic and do not pertain to the issue at hand.

Secondly, the tone and tenor of your above comment should give you hint enough of why any of your comments were not posted in the past, if that indeed did happen in reality.

Thirdly, I doubt your statement that earlier ‘several times’ your comments were not published, but if that be so, there must be something objectionable in your language or content.

Fourthly, if you still feel that your comment has not been published, you are free to resubmit it, preferably under your real identity.

Fifthly, I would like to reiterate to you the rules of comments which are as follows:

Leaving a comment on this blog-post is not a guarantee of it being published.

Comments would be strictly moderated and those with personal or generalised slants and harsh language would not be published.

You are requested to bear with the comment editors since the process is subjective and not always under the direct supervision of Maj Navdeep Singh.

Comments with proper identification are encouraged rather than anonymous posts.

Anonymous said...

Dear Navdeep Sir,
I agree and disagree both..
A) Yes the comments (or lack of ) are exactly what you have observed.
B) I believe that a great many serving personnel have not accessed or read the relevant posts in question. Also, as some ppl have said in their comments, Lack of legal knowledge and non understanding of consequences / disability issues/ etc.
c) moreover now with the new orgs like Dte of Air Veterans etc, some change will eventually come about.
D) Also, many times in units, especially in remote locations, knowledge base doesnt exist

So many issues..I beleive keep doing ur best and Best will come back to u


Anonymous said...

Dear Maj Navdeep,

1. The real reason i see is the fear of being targetted while in service, and off course post retirement you cant expect all oficers who have given their best during service, to be as energetic for social causes.....but not withstanding, there is certainly a requirement to rise above selfish causes.

2. But another important issue is the futility of all efforts to get rightful dues from successive goverments both for serving and retired officers. Even during service the armed forces are be treated as subservient officers.

Thank you

Anonymous said...

Dear Maj Navdeep,

A well thought out observation.

However I think the very fact that one has joined and serving the Armed Forces goes beyond the yearn for earning big money. Today one can easily earn this money in the civil street.

However, at the same breath I hope the organisation also ensures that all justified dues and claims are settled without the need for a person in uniform to unnecessarily 'sweat for the same'. Let us accept everything in life does need money !

Your thoughts about the PBORs welfare and ex-servicmen definitely warrants a merit, and should be seriously considered by all.

I addition, I wish many of the readers who have contributed their comments do take the initiative to shun the use (or abuse) of 'buddies' and unauthorised use of govt vehicles. I am sure the system looks after us well enough to pay for these amenities.

Thank you for doing a yeoman service to the services.


dev said...

If we peak in the history, we will find that only a few lead and struggle and many sheep benefit. That is the rule of the game....Lesser fortunate (brain Wise) keep counting pennies for self satisfaction but more resolute keep fighting for others. So Navdeep that is the way life is and will be.....can not change the realities. Kindly move on with your duties while having compassion for lesser fortunate. Thats why there are only 1% are leaders and 99% are leads in this world. Move on your honor...?

Patriot said...

Dear Maj Navdeep,

That's a very valid obs at least on the face of it but IMHO and sadly the root cause of such an attitude needs to be understood and addressed first.

1. All of us know and have given lip service to the degradation in the quality of intake of armed forces ever since Mr. Manmohan Singh introduced open MNC culture. The fatter pay packages have not only taken away the best but also existing elite of armed forces. It might hurt but the left overs are really left overs. Now the poor intake has really started hurting coz they are todays decision makers. Classic example is 6th CPC where Service chiefs pay increased 3 fold. Did they fight for same for those below them?
2. Bureaucracy especially at lower level has assumed virtually unchallenged powers during long stint of weak and corrupt coalition govts at center. They are doling out huge monetary and promotion benefits in self service.

All this needs to be undone and fast I hope those Ex Fauji Mantris are reading.

synapse said...

The self centricity of officers is a manifestation of how their priorities while in service. If you are rightious and look beyond yourself, the day to day experience in the army is so disgusting that there is hopelessness. It consumes a lot of energy to keep going when you see the tide is against your views. One often gives up and reduces his focus to oneself...Ignorance, then brings in a sense of happiness. Disgust is gone. The lobby of selfish is too large and strong.

So it is not that officers lack holistic outlook, it is a sence of hopelessness that holds them back.

Anonymous said...

dear navdeep your sentiments regarding jurisdiction of high courts on decisions rendered by tribunals is misplaced. imagine if the government is not happy with decision of a tribunal and first appeals in high court and then subsequently in supreme court, justice would be a distant dream. the correct approach is not in giving jurisdiction of HC over tribunals but rather that the tribunals are more empowered and that the decisions rendered by them do not become infructous due to sheer apathy and indifference of authorities.(old doc)

vinod rach said...

I am writing for the first time and i am in full consonance with the views expressed by you. Full faith in the system and our seniors always made us oblivious to the facts that are coming out now a days. Sometimes, I ponder on to the moral fabric of our organisation as a whole which is reflected in our great military leaders. The organisation always taught us to put service before self but we need to move ahead and concentrate our efforts to uphold the self esteem of all our brothers at arms including serving and retired. i certainly feel that the officer community to have that bond and affection towards the peers, subordinates and seniors.

Navdeep / Maj Navdeep Singh said...

@Olddoc/Anony at 4.20

Unfortunately, your appreciation of the system of judicial review is not apt.

Put yourself in the shoes of a losing litigant. Say you have a property case and your plea is rejected by the Court of a Civil Judge (Junior Division). Would you then say that an appeal to the District Judge should not be provided since it prolongs the process and that the court of Civil Judge should be made more potent and ‘empowered’?

Of course not!

The hallmark of any democracy is multi-tier judicial reviews/appeals- at least three. By adopting your logic, we would be giving an air of authoritarianism and finality to judicial bodies of the first instance which is not desirable in any balanced system. The check of a higher judicial body by way of a vested appeal/review is required to keep lower bodies in check.

This is India, a democracy, not Hitler's Germany!!!

akhil said...

@ Navdeep
In my earlier comment I have said three tier system in Civil tribunals that is what is advocated by Apex court. In AFT
TWO Tier system ( after Discussing all the points ) STRESSING ON ARTICLE 32.
Review may not suffice,only a CONSTITUTIONAL BENCH can decide or by way of constitutional amendment of article 32,by parliament.
2) Three tier system is time consuming
minimum three years in tribunals
5 in High court
3 in Apex court
total 11 ,if one wins and if implemented .OR review or curative petition few more years.
Two tier system (old system)
High court the first appeal,
SECOND in high court by Full bench(old system).SLP IN apex court.
Most of the cases get resolved at High court.
At least in High courts Most of the Judges are carrier oriented.
Tribunals have not served the purpose they have been created.
Bueracracts still have fear about High courts and NOT SO towards Tribunals.

Mukesh said...

Absolutely right

Anonymous said...

Dear Maj Navdeep, a very illuminating article but I would beg to disagree slightly.

The problem is not really that we are greedy. God only knows that I hardly ever spend more then 2 minutes on my payslip. And most officers are so busy at work that they are hardly aware whether what they are getting in their payslips is right or wrong.

The problem lies in our organisational culture and upbringing, wherein there is a blind faith that the organisation and seniors will look after welfare. There is also the inherent trait of not questioning the actions / decisions that come from top.

Unfortunately most of us never realise that the decisions are not in the hands of the Army hierarchy but those of the babus sitting in Delhi.

It is ignorance rather then greed therefore that is the reason I believe.

I don't know which is more dangerous. Perhaps it would be better if we all became greedy and money minded - that would in fact increase awareness of about our rights.

Lt Col Upendra Pal Singh said...

Nice one for a wake up call. That's the difference between us & the IAS. They guard the interest of the whole community. We are selfish (we may not like it but it is a fact). Give it a cool thought. I think our Rank prevails over our otherwise good intentions-Service Before Self & the famous Chetwood Building quote. Till we all look into the interests of the Services as a whole not much will change, because individual efforts like that of Maj Navdeep are not sufficient to remedy the malice.

Mohan Joseph said...

Dear Maj Navdeep,

This is the first time I am making a coment on your posts. Yes, I too have been feeling unhappy over the self centric approach of the respondents over many issues that you have been raising through this platform. It is quite sad that we, the officers, for whom the welfare of the men we commanded came before ourselves always and every time, tend to move away from that ethos once we hang up our uniform.

I think we as officers community have much to look inwards and make amends for the way we have been looking at issues. I agree with you totally on your observation, and stand by you in all your endeavours to speak for those veterans who do not have voices.
Thanks and regards,

Col Mohan joseph (RETD)

Anonymous said...

We who are serving, will one day retire.
We who have retired, were one day serving.
Whether serving or retired, the gene pool is same.
What affects one, will affect all.

One always took pride on the fairness of the Army's decisions, taking them in our stride. However, one realises now that many of these were probably influenced and biased. Sad. Tends to lower our faith in this system,

Actually there needs to be an org setup (four to five learned people - well read and well versed in policy and legal aspects) which can, I suggest, tongue in cheek, be paid from the Army's welfare fund because after all welfare of serving and retire offrs is at stake!
This org can analyse and see ramifications of govt and Army decisions and act on behalf of the Army's pers incl veterans. Welfare in the true sense.
Composn of org is open to debate. Needless to say, it needs to be men/women of very high moral fibre. And most importantly paid from the Army welfare funds. Serving and retd pers could all, also conribute Rs 1.00 per month from the salary/pension if funds fall short. Enough funds would be generated!
Any takers for the idea?
Just a suggestion from a recently retd offr.......

O'Neill Sagar said...

I am a serving AMC officer and have been dealing with perusal/approval of medical boards/fatal case documentation at intermediate formation HQ level for last 10 yrs.
I have faithfully and judiciously tried to implement all policies with regards to disability pension /special family pension by interpreting them for the benefit of the soldiers/officers and their families as far as possible by writing justification in detail and also asking specialists concerned who write the opinions to provide more details regarding the case. I have only tried to weed out cases which have no correlation/explanation in medical literature for grant of disability benefits or cases who have deliberately tried to garner disability benefits at fag end of career just to benefit from income tax relaxation purposes.
I have all along tried to advise my seniors also to adopt the same lenient approach as enough provisions exist in the Guide to Medical Officers (Mil Pensions), Entitlement Rules and other policy documents to interpret disability pension claim cases liberally if some empathy and due thought is given for the same. I was also slotted to be posted to the MA (pensions) Office in Delhi which did not materialise due to certain fallacies in our posting policy.
However I am writing this as I have been pained and seriously concerned with certain letters/DO letters etc emanating from the DGMS (Army) and lower formations which are aimed at pressurizing specialists and medical boards into not conceding attributability/aggravation for a vide variety of degenerative diseases and lifestyle diseases on the premise that these have no connection with Armed Forces. These letters/DO letters are directly in contravention of the provisions regarding attributability/aggravation for such diseases given in Guide to mEdical Offices (Mil Pensions) and other policy documents issued from time to time.
I tried conveying to people concerned that overruling/overriding established policies/guidelines issued by Min of Defence/Govt of India through DO letters/service letters without amending the existing policies by auth concerned will have no legal standing, but everybody seems hell bent on pleasing the whimsical dictats given by higher ups without applying their mind.
This is leading to all medical board proceedings like Re-Cl Med Bds & RMBs etc being repeatedly being shunted up and down.
Copies of the said letters can be fwd to you if you so desire.

Anonymous said...

no wonder the loyalty from the men is missing and u have cases of unit indiscipline in the nespapers. the maliase is not onlt between powerful officers and JCOs ORs but spreads to all ranks in the officer cadre wherin they wouldnt bother about the problems of the junior officers

Anonymous said...

Dear Maj Navdeep,

Its actually the system which is so complicated.

3 months ago I was walking for a meeting from Sena Bhawan to South Block when I was stopped by an old man who almost looked like a vagabond. He said that he stopped me because I was from the same Corps as him.

Thereafter he narrated how he had left Army and then joined Delhi Police and now his wife is suffering from ailments but he is being told that he is not eligible for treatment. He rattled out details of his Army service. He was carrying some tattered papers to prove his Army service and they were genuine. He questioned me as to why a soldier who has served the Army has been abandoned. He was crying and it was heart wrenching. He said I was a senior officer (Colonel is senior enough for a jawan) and I can help him. I frankly didn't know how to.

Eventually I consoled him and gave him my phone number and told him I would do whatever is required to help him get his entitlement (without the slightest clue as to how to go about it). I asked him for his mobile number but he said he doesn't have one.

Next day I tried to find out more about redressal mechanisms. I found there is an ESM Cell at AHQ which can handle his case. I was ready to fight for him.
Unfortunately he never called up again. Maybe he realised I was just as clueless as him.

Point is that neither this old desperate soldier nor me knew how to go about it.

Why must a retired soldier desperate about his wife's health be left in such dire strait as to ambush sundry officers walking from Sena Bhawan to South Block?

All that is perhaps required is a place where such persons can go and find answers - they maybe entitled or not - but can't AHQ / MOD provide a place somewhere around South Block where such veterans can find answers? And likewise at other locations?

We are not money minded really, its just that we officer class also don't have answers.

The only thing I could offer this veteran was to take his wife to a private doctor who was my relative and who would treat her for free or else I would pay from my own pocket. Pity he didn't call. It still haunts me.

Sorry for the long rambling post. But we officers are not really obsessed with money. Its that we ourselves don't know how to deal with such situtations.

Danny said...

That's precisely is what I implored in my own writing earlier when issue of OROP was raised ...
I pointed out the reason why fraternity is more aggressive towards OROP leaving aside other similar issues since many senior officers are directly involved with it..

Anonymous said...

Dear Maj Navdeep,
You hit the nail on the head when you correctly pointed out the symptoms of the disease that seems to be afflicting our armed forces in general. And this mind you is across the board seeping in very so slowly in all the three services.

But if you really look at it closely, the cause also lies within, some of them I feel are ;-
--- There seems to be a clear drop in quality in the higher mamangement of defence forces....reasons are many and all interconnected
--- Our penchant for pushing things under the carpet
--- Indifference at various levels and not having ear on the ground specially at troops level
--- At present there is seems to be very little/negligible effort from the those responsible for higher management of the forces to rectify the simmering discontment in the rks

Need of the hour is to lead from the front and the senior leadership now needs to speak up nd be counted.

Anonymous said...

@ O'Neill Sagar

We are serving the nation and our loyality must be towards the nation. If the superiors have the rightious values their directions would be consonence to Govt orders and not in contravention to them. And if they are the rightious way would be to stick to Govt rulings. It is very often said in Army "local orders superceed all orders"; unfortunately that is far from truth. The Govt rules can only be superceeded by them. The problem lies in the fact that most offrs have loyality to their boses rather than to the nation. After all the Govt rules represent the will of the nation.

Anonymous said...

Dear Major Navdeep,

The reason hat most of us do not comment is because we are in uniform.

But let me assure you that you have an ardent fan following.

You are rendering yeoman service

Pls keep it up


You guessed it - Anonymous

Anonymous said...

@Navdeep ,
Not being a career officer in the Armed Forces has perhaps not given you a very good perspective of the situation. Whilst in service, an officer is under tremendous pressure to follow diktats from above, however unreasonable they may be. If he does not have a conscience and follows orders without a pause, he stands some chance of making it to higher rank.
This sort of an officer never had time for his subordinates in service. To expect that man to take up issues of NCOs n JCOs after retirement would be poor judgement.
The ethical lot of officers who are a rare breed retire mostly disillusioned and dont see much point in fighting any more for such issues.
The entire lot of good and not so good officers are constantly shortchanged by the civilian BABUs thro their tampering of parity and sheer cheating like in the rank pay case.
It is only when they see that someone like Maj Dhanapalan, yourself or Air Marshal Savur taking up matters do they feel like chipping in with some comments.
To draw an inference from the retired officers' minor rants, that they are only after money and dont care for others, is not fair to their service to their nation.
Retired, they too have meagre resources and means. And they have lost a lot of status and money by way of not getting promotions , NFU or even their correct pay and rank pay.
Can you, dear Navdeep, ensure that they get all this before 01 Jan 16, so that their pay/ pension fixation in the new CPC is correct and not diminished ?
Let us not cast a stone ...

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous April 10, 2015 at 10:43 AM

While the fact you state is INDEED the fact... but then how does one hope for course corrections... betterment of the prevalent situation.?!?

No improvement ever happens without effort.. in this case, if we keep justifying our dispassion & disassociation on grounds of monetary, competitive or status, we sure an lie idle till eternity and complain to the world around us... but it will all only be, at best, 'crapping'..

Old VALUES of INTEGRTY, HONOUR, COURAGE were not called VALUES just so but because to possess (or seem to possess) these one must trade some valuables in barter..!!, be it the laziness & comforts of lying within ourselves - recluse & indifferent or reaping the easy benefits of cheap populism & UNDESERVING appraisals by being 'YES-men', just living away our lives (..whether in uniform or out of it.), so as not to rock the boat or upset the Apple-cart..!! Indeed, it may be compared to the price we choose to pay to acquire any other valuable(s)..
Hmmm...Come to think of it...

What an IRONY that many of us choose to trade our innate personal VALUES (of character- integrity, honour, loyalty, courage, honesty) for physical environmental VALUABLES (of career, money, luxury, pompous showing ..)

Indeed, Dispassion to community/ social/ national issues is the clear marker of degeneration of the community/ society/ nation and if not reversed it is bound to result in MUTUAL DOWNFALL...

High time we realised...
... AND CHOSE TO ACT... be it at-least within and about/around our Domains... though inter-domain action has become the need of the hour...



Jai said...

Powerful and compelling argument. The Tribunal are a good step in facilitating faster appeals but cannot replace benches.
Let us not publish for an audience.
Military Law has great scope to improve. Transparency and open data will help.
Why not place judgements and decisions on the web as Courts do. It would be interesting to see the disparity in punishment for the same offence merged out by a Summary Court and a Court of Peers and consequently ranks.
Let not I'll informed analysis destroy another great institution.

IndianACE said...

Then they came for me...

There is no 'they' out there. We are autovorous.:-)

Remember the Ten Little Niggers by Agatha Christie or Ten Little Indians of President Andrews Jackson...

.....And then there were none.

Kartik said...

Fully agree with your point - its a wake up call, a mirror showing us our true nature. We are largely selfish people - not looking beyond our own noses. Thanks for waking us up to this malice.I agree that the plight of many ex servicemen and widows is very bad, and unlike many of us they do not have ready access to the justice system on account of geographical location, financially weak situations and very often a simple lack of awareness.We do need to develop a sense of community and lend a helping hand in any which way we can. Count me in Navdeep - for any contribution that may further our collective cause.