Monday, July 25, 2016

Are all Patriotic Citizens of India Celebrating the Kargil Vijay Divas 26 July 2016?

An appeal to all citizens of India to join in commemorating the valour and bravery of India's invincible soldiers on the Kargil Vijay Divas on 26 Jul 2016.

Dear Citizens of India,

1.  We wish to remind the people of India that seventeen years back on 26 Jul 1999, demonstrating raw courage, indomitable valour, steely grit and unshakable determination, our Defence Forces recaptured every inch of our mother land and either killed or threw back every Pakistani infiltrator who had deceptively and treacherously occupied the heights in Kargil Region while our then Prime Minister Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee was extending his hands of friendship to Pakistan in Lahore. 

2.   During this War 527 Jawans, JCOs and Officers achieved martyrdom and over 1367 were seriously wounded and disabled.  This war was fought at the heights of over 16000 feet in the most inhospitable, rugged, tough and steep mountain ridges. Perhaps there is no parallel in world history where military operations were launched and victory gained in such a short span of time at such altitude on the lofty mountains.  To honour the bravery and valour of our soldiers “who sacrificed their today for your tomorrow” the President of India awarded four Pram Vir Chakra (PVC), Nine Maha Vir Chakras (MVC) and 55 Vir Chakras (VrC). Capt Vikram Batra, 13 JAK Rif (posthumas ), Lt Manoj Pandey 1/11 Gorkha Rifles (posthumous ), Grenadier Yogender Singh Yadav 18 Grenadiers and Rifleman Sanjay Kumar 13 JAK Rif were the recipients of highest Gallantry award of PVC.

3. Media coverage of the war was also of an exceptional standard as No of senior reporters now especially Barkha Dutt were in the Bunkers with the jawans where constant enemy shelling was being carried out. They also did not hesitate to put their life to great danger to give prompt and correct media coverage to one of the greatest Military Saga at such inhospitable heights.

4.   The Pakistani intruders had positioned themselves on Tololing Top, Tiger Hill, Pt 4875, Pt 4590, Pt 5100 and Pt 5140.  The names of these hilltops (points) became familiar to the people of India as these were getting reported in the Press and Electronic Media during successes of Indian Forces.  Capt Vikram Batra played a sterling role in the capture of feature Pt 5140, a critical peak from the point of view that it overlooked the Srinagar – Leh highway which was important for logistics and supply of reinforcements for the Indian Army.   Its capture facilitated in the subsequent capture of other hill tops ie Pt 4750, 4875 and Tiger Hill and finally led to an eventual victory of India.

5.   After the capture of pt 5140, Capt Vikram Batra radioed his commanding  officer and said the success signal “Yeh Dil Mange More” The words later went on to become a motivational slogan during the war and is used even today at various  occasions like the Vijay Divas. In a letter to his parents he had also written that “Ya to Tiranga Lehra ke Aaoonga, Nahi to is mein lipat ke Aaoonga

6.   The Defence Forces of India are the toughest and the most patriotic forces in the world.   They have always proved their worth during external and internal threats.   They are the strongest pillars of our democracy.   Indian Ex Servicemen Movement (IESM) working for the welfare of Defence Personnel requests all citizens of India to join in commemorating the valour and bravery of soldiers on the Kargil Vijay Divas on 26 Jul 2016.   All citizens are requested to light a candle at the main gate of their homes at 8 PM on 26 Jul 2016 and after saying a prayer for those brave hearts who never returned, place a marigold (Genda) or other flowers next to it as a silent tribute.

6.   At National Capital Region (NCR), the people are requested to reach JM at 5.30 PM from where we will march towards India Gate at 6 PM, reorganize and light candles there at 7.30 PM onwards as a mark of respect to the Martyrs. Kargil Vijay Divas is also being commemorated in others parts of the country.  All those who are unable to reach Jantar Mantar may do so directly at India Gate at 7 PM.

                “Lets us join hands to salute the brave soldiers of India”

“Jad Dulda Khoon Shaheedan da,
Taqdeer Badaldi kauman Di”

Above couplet in Punjabi written on the forts of PESHAWER and SRINAGAR during the Sikh Army Victories means when soldiers blood is shed it changes the future and fortune of the Nations for good

With regards,

Yours Sincerely,
Maj Gen Satbir Singh, SM (Retd)

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Centre to empower common man to punish corrupt babus

The move comes after a Supreme Court judgement said there is no provision in relevant laws which bars a citizen from filing a complaint for prosecution of a public servant who is alleged to have committed an offence
In a first, the Centre has decided to empower common man to seek prosecution of corrupt IAS officers.
The move comes after a Supreme Court judgement, in the case of Subramanian Swamy versus former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and others, saying there is no provision in relevant laws which bars a citizen from filing a complaint for prosecution of a public servant who is alleged to have committed an offence.
Following this verdict, the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) is in receipt of requests from private persons seeking sanction for prosecution in respect of IAS officers without any proper proposal and supporting documents. 
It is observed that such requests, as are received from citizens are more in the nature of complaints sans any supporting details, evidence, which can at best merit inquiry of substantial facts as are evidenced i.e such requests are without any proposal and supporting documents, the DoPT said in a draft guidelines issued today.
Keeping in view the basic parameters and requirements for cases received from investigating agencies, it has been decided to streamline the procedure for handling the requests for prosecution sanction received from the private person, it said.
"A proposal from a private individual seeking sanction for prosecution of an IAS officer serving in the state government may be routed through the concerned state government as such state government is best placed to provide basic inputs as regards the alleged misconduct of the concerned public servant who is or was working under its administrative control.
"In case a proposal is received directly by DoPT by such private individuals, will be forwarded to the state governments for the preliminary examination by such state government vis-a-vis the relevant records," it said. If there is a prima facie case against an IAS officer, the state government should prepare a detailed report and consider obtaining version of the concerned officer.
Such report alongwith all relevant records and evidence should be forwarded to DoPT (which is the cadre controlling authority for such officers) with the approval of the competent authority there, the proposed guidelines said. 
In case the concerned state government after examination of relevant records and other evidence is of the view that prima facie no case is made out of any alleged misconduct which may constitute an offence under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, it shall inform the person who has made the request for sanction for prosecution about it, the DOPT said. 
In case a prima facie case is made out, the same will be treated as a proposal as per existing procedures to initiate action for processing the matter for decision of the competent authority, it said. 
All state governments and central government ministries have been asked to provide their comments on the proposed guidelines by August 12.

"A period of three months for disposing of such proposals would commence from the date of receipt of complete proposal with all relevant material and the aforesaid report from the concerned state governments," the DoPT said.
A total of 4,926 IAS officers are working across the country as against its total sanctioned strength of 6,396.
The apex court had in its judgement given in 2012 observed that "if the competent authority is satisfied that the material placed before it is sufficient for prosecution of the public servant, then it is required to grant sanction. 

"If the satisfaction of the competent authority is otherwise, then it can refuse sanction. In either case, the decision taken on the complaint made by a citizen is required to be communicated to him and if he feels aggrieved by such decision, then he can avail appropriate legal remedy".

It was also observed by the Supreme Court that "At the same time, we deem it proper to observe that in future every competent authority shall take appropriate action on the representation made by a citizen for sanction of the prosecution of a public servant, so as to identify and obviate the areas causing delays in processing of such proposals ...".
In actual fact the move may never be successful due to hood winking and inordinately delayed action or no action at all, since the babus will themselves sit in justice of each case. So, a futile move by the government.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Havaldar Kirpa Ram, EBR, Vir Chakra, the hero of the battle of Walong

Credit : Lt Gen H S Panag / Newslaundry.

On the face of it, Kirpa Ram would have seemed like an ordinary man. In actuality, he was anything but that. He was an Equipment and Boot Repairer (EBR) in 4 Sikh and could handcraft shoes that would cost a fortune today. More importantly, he was the unit hockey team goalkeeper and had represented the Indian Army. Kirpa Ram was also the one who had tamed and looked after the unit mascot, Rani, a female panther. She followed him like a lamb and, if Kirpa Ram was to be believed, she was the reason 4 Sikh got the good grades it did in inspections.

As the unit mascot, Rani was always on parade along with the Officers and Junior Commissioned Officers for introduction to the visiting officer. She even had a military number, wore a coat with unit insignia, was given promotions like the soldiers and was even authorised rations. She used to shake hands with the VIPs and Kirpa Ram then made her do numerous other tricks. By the time, the VIP finished with Rani, there was little time left for the inspection. In the early 1970s, we repeated Kirpa’s stratagem, using Raja, a six-feet plus Himalayan Black Bear!

I met Havaldar Kirpa Ram as a seven year old and interacted with him for one year and a half, while my father was posted in 4 Sikh. The biggest gain of being an army brat is that one’s emotional quotient, or EQ, is shaped by one of the finest organisations of the nation, one that is manned by men of substance – men like Kirpa Ram. The leadership qualities of Kirpa Ram and his subsequent heroism remained permanently etched in my mind, and many a time, I’d recall them while exercising leadership over the largest military command in the world, the Northern Command.

All tradesmen like Kirpa Ram were enrolled under the category of Non Combatants Enrolled. Their task was restricted to their trade and they were not authorised weapons. However, Kirpa Ram voluntarily took part in all training. He was an ace shooter and master of basic infantry tactics. Extremely competitive and active, he was a man blessed with exceptional leadership qualities and these were particularly evident on the hockey field. The goal posts could not confine him. He would rush out to the top of the circle and even beyond to urge, coax and ‘order’ the other 10 to attack and, when chips were down, to counterattack. Under the posts, he was an acrobat who rarely conceded a goal. Once, when the team was looking down and out, he rushed forward, discarded his pads and scored a last minute winning goal!

Kirpa gave me lessons in leadership as experienced by him in life and on the hockey field. He said that in life, in battle, and on the playing field, the most important thing is “pehal-kadami“, or to seize and maintain the initiative through action and forcing the adversary to react. Do it as fast as you can and do it continuously, always faster than the enemy’s reaction, thus, rendering him psychologically helpless. “Inaction,” he said, “is the most serious crime against the spirit of 4 Sikh.” Then, he told me something in chaste Punjabi that has been said by many famous leadership gurus: “You can’t leave your footprints on the sands of time by sitting on your butt! ”

As he hammered the nails in the combat boots of the soldiers, (a combat boot had to have 13 nails), he would keep saying “hamla, hamla” (attack, attack). When a blow was mistimed, he would strike again and say “jawabi hamla” (counter attack). “When in doubt, attack; and when faced with a setback, counter attack.”

I last met Kirpa at Meerut in early 1962 when he came to play the inter-command hockey tournament.  Largely due to his heroics, his team won the tournament and he was selected as the deputy goalkeeper to the great Shankar Lakshman (a three-time Olympian) as part of the Army Team. In our last meeting, he advised me to join the army because of “saaf life (clean life), sports and adventure”. He also urged me to join 4 Sikh.

Kirpa’s unit – 4 Sikh – was inducted into Walong Sector in the Lohit Division, North-East Frontier Agency (present-day Arunachal Pradesh) in end-September and early-October of 1962. They flew in Otter aircraft, a section (10 men) at a time, from Tezu. The unit occupied a defensive position on either side of the Lohit river. At Walong, 4 Sikh, 6 Kumaon, 3/3 Gorkha Rifles and 4 Dogra under 11 Infantry Brigade fought the most heroic brigade level action of the 1962 War. The battle was waged continuously from October 18, 1962 to November 16, 1962. Initially, 6 Kumaon engaged the Chinese from October 18 to October 26, in the area of Kibithoo, 30 kilometres ahead of Walong and close to the McMahon Line. After delaying the Chinese, the unit fell back to Walong. Patrol clashes continued from October 27 to November 26, and the Chinese were given a bloody nose. The main battle was fought at Walong from November 13 to November 16. On either side of the Lohit river, 4 Sikh and 3/3 Gorkha Rifles were manning the defences. After the forward battle, 6 Kumaon was in depth (rear) defences while 4 Dogra was just fetching up from Tezu.

The Chinese launched a three-pronged attack. They attacked both sides of the river from the North and, as their main effort, also attacked from the Western flank by securing two higher tactical features, Green Pimple and Yellow Pimple, making our defences very vulnerable from the West. On November 14, 6 Kumaon launched the most valiant counter attack to capture Yellow Pimple from the direction of Tri Junction, a higher feature further to the west. This was done with the aim to foil the Chinese main attack from that direction. An intense battle took place and 6 Kumaon suffered heavy casualties. It fell back upon Tri Junction. One company of 4 Dogra led by Major (later Colonel) K J Singh, who was my uncle, was rushed to reinforce 6 Kumaon.  Only 33 men out of 100, including Major K J Singh, could break through the Chinese cordon. They reinforced 6 Kumaon at Tri Junction. However, the Chinese repeatedly counter attacked Tri Junction and forced a withdrawal of our troops due to heavy casualties.

The Chinese now focussed their full attention on to the main defences held by 4 Sikh and 3/3 Gorkha Rifles. The defences of 4 Sikh were attacked from higher ground to the west and south west, using Green Pimple and Yellow Pimple as firm bases, and also from the North. The forward companies were soon running out of ammunition, which had to be ferried from the logistics base. Earlier, anticipating this task, Havaldar Kirpa Ram had got weapons issued for the non combatants and had also organised training capsules for them. He led these non combatants-turned-into-soldiers to continuously supply ammunition to the forward companies. The battle was reaching its culmination and on the night of November 15, Kirpa Ram led another ammunition-ferrying column to one of the forward companies. This time they were ambushed by a Chinese patrol. Following his hockey field tactics, Kirpa Ram shouted “hamla” and with his team broke through the ambush, but in so doing was wounded.

Being a man of action, Kirpa, disregarding his wounds, pressed on and delivered the ammunition to the forward company where heavy fighting was taking place. Instead of falling back to the logistic base, he stayed back to fight the battle. Like on the hockey field, he took charge and fought like a man possessed.

The company suffered heavy casualties and a decision was taken to withdraw. Kirpa volunteered and stayed back with the rear party, mostly consisting of unit sportsmen, which was   tasked to cover the withdrawal. As the rear party came under pressure and was running short of ammunition, Kirpa did what he believed in — “jawabi hamla!” (counter attack). Led by him, the rear party came out of the trenches and engaged the Chinese with bayonets. But the odds were against them. The entire rear party including Kirpa was killed in action. This heroic action, enabled the rest of the survivors of the company to get away. In the battle of Walong, apart from Kirpa Ram, 4 Sikh sadly lost the crème of its sportsmen, which included five who had podium finishes at the national level.

Kirpa lived life on his own terms and died in action, again on his own terms, leading from the front. He was awarded the coveted Vir Chakra, a rare award for a non combatant. I passed out of Indian Military Academy, third in the order of merit and had the choice to join any unit or regiment. Unhesitatingly, I chose 4 Sikh. Apart from its illustrious history, to a great extent, my choice was influenced by the most unforgettable soldier I ever met: the great Havaldar Kirpa Ram!

Disclaimer : The information, ideas or opinions appearing in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the views of Newslaundry.com. Newslaundry.com does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same. If the article carries photographs or images, we do not vouch for their authenticity.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

A Bold letter from Mrs Kanta Singh of Dist. Jhajjar, Haryana to Shri Manohar Parrikar, Minister of Defence,

Mrs Kanta Singh C/O Smt. Shakuntala Devi,
V.PO Bhadani, Dist. Jhajjar,
Haryana – 124104
Shri Manohar Parrikar,
Minister of Defence, Government of India
Delhi - 110011
Respected Shri Parrikarji,
The Indian youth join Army for many reasons. Some are romantics filled with patriotism and altruistic concern for the welfare of country. Some are looking for a job to support their poverty ridden family and some just blunder in. But they serve unto death for a higher reason, that is, `Guardian Attitude’. The Guardian Attitude is generated through a regime of tough training and strict discipline and strengthened by camaraderie between soldiers and officers and shared sense of glorious past which are hallmark of Military.
Very idea of Guardianship has to be rooted in the concepts of honour, higher purpose, and belief that the soldier-citizen is a standard bearer, who embodies the superior virtues of men’ but are loath to self-publicise. Consequently `the military elite, like other leadership groups is inhibited in proclaiming its special virtues’. Resultantly Indian military leader ship has, perceptibly not, been able to match up the shenanigans of a bureaucracy steeped in traditions of Delhi Durbar and unable to safeguard organisational interests of the military. This leaves elected leaders with responsibility to ensure that fiscal pedantry and bureaucratic skulduggery do not kill Guardian Attitude of military by depriving or stealing the special affections showered on it by a grateful society through special pay and perks given to soldiers and officers.
Examples which highlight progressive degradation of military since 1947, denial of fair wages and reduction in pension and recent recommendation for mass punishment by 7th CPC on military because some senior officers allegedly abused provisions of disability pension are matters of history and enough is available in public domain hence not repeated here. However I am keen to know your response to the following issues:-
• One hears a common refrain from `interested’ elements, especially bureaucracy that Armed Forces are manpower happy. But it would come as surprise to you that while three services spend 37 per cent of their budget on `Revenue’ account while the figure for `Revenue’ expenditure of Civil Wing is massive 63 per cent! Do you have any plans to review the `Outcomes’ from this huge expenditure? 
• As per Report of 7th CPC the MoD has sanctioned posts of 5,85,000 civilians, which is nearly half the strength of three Services. In view of increased mechanisation and IT enabled offices has a review of their efficacy and efficiency been undertaken with a view to right-size it?
• Civil element of the MoD has higher ratio of Group A services at 4 per cent and Group B at 15 percent as against the Army, which has 3.79 per cent officer and 12 percent JCOs against 86 per cent Other Rank. Resultantly not only less hands are available for actual work on site by average expenditure on a civilian employee of MoD is higher.
• Please glance at page 28 of 7th CPC report and you will find that MoD grossly understated expenditure on its civilian staff. It will be worthwhile to know whether it was done intentionally.
• You may also wish to check as to how the MoD is spending more than Rs. 1000 Crore per annum on pay, allowances and establishment of Ministry of Finance personnel! Do you genuinely need such a large number of finance guys to manage MoD budget or is it a case of freeloading at the cost of soldiers? 
• No wonder MoD spent Rs. 1883 Crores on itself in last fiscal (Refer demand No. 21 of Union Budget 2015-16). This amount is more than combined total budget of MHA, MHRD, MEA and a few other ministries combined. Do you plan to undertake any measure to reduce this expenditure?
• There are 62 Cantonments in India. Each of these has a CEO and DEO. These two IDES officials, who are equal to Major/ Colonel, occupy large lavishly appointed bunglows which are maintained by a retinue of staff! Do you have any plans to find out as to how are these facilities funded?
• Military Engineering Service (MES) spends 60 per cent of its budget on Revenue account! Is that fair for an organisation which it only meant to supervise works to spend Rs. 7200 Crores on pay and allowances to supervise works worth Rs. 4800 Crores executed by contractors?
• DRDO, purportedly a `Research’ organisation spends 61 per cent of its budget on revenue account. Thus leaving only 39 per cent for `Research’!
• The Defence Minister and other ministers of MoD are entitled to civilian staff including civilian staff cars and civilian drivers. Do you plan to relieve Army drivers and any other combatants attached to your office to let them perform their primary duties in Army?
• As a CM you must have enjoyed facilities of having a Camp Office at home. Are there any plans to do away with this archaic concept which allows ministers and civil officials to garner staff and other resources like electricity for personal purpose at cost to public exchequer?
• Are there any plans to remove/ reduce MTS and telephone attendants from residences and offices of government officials and ministers of MoD?
I close with a fervent hope for a reply and positive reaction to issues raised.
Best regards

Kanta Singh

Inadequate Fitment of 7th CPC

“5.2.7 Fitment: The starting point of a Sepoy (and equivalent), the entry level personnel in the defence forces, has been fixed in the Defence Pay Matrix at 21,700. The starting point in the existing pay structure is 8,460 for a Sepoy/equivalent. The fitment in the new matrix is essentially a multiple factor of 2.57. This multiple is the ratio of the new minimum pay arrived at by the Commission (18,000) and the existing minimum pay (7,000). The fitment factor is being applied uniformly to all employees. It includes a factor of 2.25 to account for DA neutralisation, assuming that the rate of Dearness Allowance would be 125 percent at the time of implementation of the new pay as on 01.01.2016. The actual raise/fitment being Report of the Seventh CPC recommended by the Commission is 14.29 percent. An identical fitment of 2.57 has also been applied to the existing rates of Military Service Pay (MSP), applicable to defence forces personnel only.”

This provides only 14.29% rise in salary as well as in pension which is the historically lowest raise given by any govt in the past seventy years this has happened because of incorrect calculation of minimum revised salary resulted not only by adopting lower prices of commodities but also due to adoption of Aykroyd formula without updating it.

2. It is surprising as to how a gender biased formula of Dr Aykroyd adopted by ILC in 1957 is applied, without updating, in digital India of 2016. In today’s scenario how can Indian civil society accept a formula for minimum requirement including just 2700 fond calories for a family of four with moderate physical activities which treat the lady of the house as 0.80 compared to the adult mate of the house, further more so this formula does not at all take into consideration the minimum requirement of todays digital India i.e. smart mobile phone with an internet connection.

3. Considering wife to be 0.80 unit is nothing but gender bias indicating a colonial mindset of Dr. Arkroyd. In the present scenario a wife too puts in the same amount rather more of physical and intellectual work as compared to the husband she needs more nutrients & healthcare to keep herself fit to be a mother and as an educationist for her school going children. she needs more better clothing than 1957. A lady whether she is a wife of a labourer or of a secretary to govt. of India has a basic right to keep herself reasonably presentable for which she needs some minimum add-one. As such treating her to be less than a unit is gross injustice, gender bias and unconstitutional. Similarly growing children of less than 14 years need more of proteins, fats & carbohydrates, need to take sufficient exercise & field activities for healthy growth. Today they need much better and more clothing. better education & healthcare compared to 50s. The nation needs healthy & stout young citizens. It is against the National interest to restrict their need based minimum requirement to.6 unit.

4. In view of the facts enumerated in above mentioned paras. Minimum salary & consequently the fitment factor for both pensioners & employees need upwards revision.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Special Press Release 04 Jun, 2016 from Jantar Mantar

1.  Maj Gen Satbir Singh had one to one meeting with Justice Reddy on 03 Jun, 2016. Meeting was held in very cordial environment and it lasted for one hour instead of scheduled half an hour as Justice Reddy evinced keen interest in all the points put up by Maj Gen Satbir Singh. 
2. Gen Satbir explained in ample measures the four major anomalies viz firstly equalization of pension every year instead of every five years, secondly fixation of pension at top of the bracket instead the average, thirdly implementing it from 01 Apr 2014 instead of 01 Jul, 2014 and fourthly the base year to be top of financial year 2013-2014 instead average of calendar year 2013 thus unfairly denying one increment to soldiers. Changing the very definition of OROP to periodic intervals from passing on any future enhancements in pension to past pensioners thus killing the very soul of OROP was also a topic of keen discussion.
3.  Justice Reddy appeared to be so impressed by the discussion that he promised another meeting after he goes through all the representation received from other sources. He also said that he will be going to all the command HQ and other places where density of ESM is maximum.

4.  Justice Reddy further apprised that he will be asking for an extension of two to three months to do full justice to the subject. His younger brother has also served in the Army therefore we should expect full empathy. Over all Justice Reddy appeared to be down to earth noble soul and JM is fully hopeful and satisfied with the talk.
By the kind courtesy of Report My Signal