Monday, November 29, 2010


The damage is deep as the perpetrators are those in whom the nation had reposed faith. The soldiers would sacrifice their lives on the orders of these high & mighty of the Armed Forces. Chief can do no wrong . We learnt this early in our young days & were ready to ublinkingly follow their command what ever be the cost to ourselves. Moral values of the nation have been taking a beating for a long time, reaching a nadir in the prestigious Common Wealth LOOT. Cynicism, perhaps, has turned into indifference. The Armed Forces are the only beacons of hope, of morality & of ethics in the quagmire created by our politicians, bureaucrats & criminals. Our fellow country-men look up to us as saviours. That the edifice built so painstakingly over so many decades, was under constant attack, was known but we still had honourable men who could be trusted to steer the ship manfully with their moral-compasses in right direction. Alas, the last bastion is also under siege, or is it crumbling?
The three ex-Chiefs who can scarcely justify their involvement in ‘Adarsh Society' Scam, have hurt the Armed Forces as NO ENEMY could ever. Morale is affected, the despair is patent, anger is wide-spread. It will take Herculean effort to bring some semblance of hope & repair. It will also take time, no doubt. We have no choice except to help the three current Chiefs in their endeavour of damage- control. Onus is more on the Army Chief as the land in question was in the Army control & the ploy used was , Kargil Martyrs who belonged to the Army. It is , indeed , a challenge but also an opportunity for him to stem the rot .
If the machination hinged on Kargil Martyrs-Welfare, the highest in the Army HQ (Chief, Vice Chief & possibly Adjutant General) had to be part of this sordid welfare measure! Those of us who know how land is handled in the Army, would confirm that at the lowest rung stands the Station Commander, who in this case was the Sub Area Commander. GOC Maharashtra, Gujarat & Goa Area is next in the channel followed by the GOC-in–C Southern Command based in Pune. The over-seeing Deptt is Defence Estate, Min of Defence without whose knowledge & in cases like this , nothing can happen. Director Defence Estates reports to the GOC- in - C but also to his deptt-boss in Delhi. No GOC–in-C worth his salt, & one who knows his job, can plead ignorance. Hence, needle of suspicion should point to all those who held these appointments from the time the plot was hatched till the completion of the building. Even if their names do not appear in the list of allottees, the connections will have to be found out. For example , name of Maj Gen AR Kumar, ex M & G Area Commander, does not figure in the list but it is learnt that his son has been given a flat. There will be many more such cases & Benami deals. If rumours are to be believed, one Army Chief who could have nipped this plot in the bud instead of becoming its prime mover, is linked with the “Mumbai Real Estate Developers Mafia" along with one of the Area Commanders. They say the Chief would not have become a party if all he was to get was a flat! The pay-off is much bigger. By the way, in cinema halls, in Panchkula & Chandigarh & may be else where, we stand up when the national anthem is played with very moving & inspiring pictures of soldiers sacrificing their today for our tomorrow. The last shot shows the same Chief saluting the Tri-colour. Can this shot be excised till his name is cleared, hopefully!!
Whilst, the plotters would be few, most would be blamed for turning a blind eye for a consideration. The Inquiry is on & it is hoped that the inquirers are made of sterner stuff, will not pull punches, not be swayed by any ‘consideration’ & stand up to any pressure. That pressure from many quarters will come, must be accepted & catered for. There has been an intense debate in the media & amongst uniformed men, serving or retired. Many unsavoury things are being loosely said, suggesting a nexus between the same chief & the Area Commander with the former bestowing undue favours to his junior with regard to his postings, appointments, foreign jaunts, decorations & even post-retirement job. Most are hearsay & perhaps have no basis. If their stables are clean, they should put all facts on the table for public scrutiny & clear their names from the mud-slinging which is presently on. Similarly, the other two Chiefs & other high ranking officers who own flats in the Society ought to have known that the price they were paying was only a fraction of the market rate. Why were they given a winning lottery ticket? What price did they pay for this bonanza? They must explain the manner in which the flats were allotted to them. In fact, they ought to have done that by now.
In Gen VK Singh, we have a Chief who will certainly leave no stone unturned & take this FUNEREAL TALE to its logical conclusion. He has sounded wounded & sincere in inter-action with media. His reputation for integrity & probity is high more so after his stand on the Sukhana Land case. All high & mighty will be brought to book, if found guilty of commission, or omission. He has promised that to the Nation. A man of honour like him, will certainly keep that promise. It is hoped that the Govt will support him in this challenging task.
The stakes are, indeed,high. Any undue procrastination & unwarranted delay will further vitiate the atmosphere. A speedy inquiry & a fast trial will put to rest misgivings which many have. In any case the security parameters must be applied ruthlessly & the building brought to acceptable height if not totally demolished.
We must remember that the Institution of the Army is bigger than anyone, specially the petty criminals masquerading in uniform even if they rise to the highest RANK. It does not matter what happens or if nothing happens to politicians or bureaucrats whose names have figured in scam. They are, in any case, treated with utter disdain by our country-men who expect nothing better from them. State Ministers might be removed only to be accommodated as ministers in the centre. So how does it matter!! But men in uniform are different. They hold their seniors, especially chiefs, in high esteem, often idolizing them but cannot tolerate conspirators & corrupt. They want to see them punished fast & hard! The Armed Forces have always followed this dictum and that is why what ever a few black sheep might do, this great edifice of ours will not crumble easily for all honourable officers have Chetwode motto deeply ingrained in their heart & soul,
The Safety, honour and welfare of your country,
come First - always and every time!
The Safety, honour and welfare of the men you command,
come Next - always and every time!
Your own ease, comfort and safety,
come Last - always and every time!
By Lt Gen (Retired) DP Singh

1 comment:

  1. Dear Sir,
    Your esprit de corps is indeed commendable. But given the scams our senior officers have been involved in recently don't you think we need to introspect?

    Let us start with Adarsh. You are missing the bulls eye, the original sinner is Major General Tej Kaul,Thakur is a lowly DEO official who does odd jobs. The scam was conceived in 1999 when Tej Kaul was Sub Area Cdr Mumbai. The blue prints were drawn & he went to NDC. Given the huge spin offs of the project he came back to Mumbai on promotion.

    Has it ever happened before? NDC is meant to train gen officers for higher operational command not poodle fake in static formations. The powers to be obliged, later the then COAS lands a flat.

    The then VCAOS has a flat too, strange coincidence.

    Kaul lands back in Mumbai the project takes off at speed. Wanchoo becomes President, the GOC in C's SC gets a flat. Incidentally Moti Dar another GOC in C SC floated another similar society aptly called Rakshak (Do you see anything in common between these three?)

    All GOsC of Mumbai Area get flats, for what pray you? Kaul who serves in Mumbai from 1998 to 2005 gets all the freebie awards from VSM to PVSM there. What did he do to deserve this? Should we believe that these awards are given for apple polishing only? (Incidentally you also have all three)

    To top it all he is approved for promotion to Lt Gen in April 2005, providence saved us by his retiring in Aug 2005. This scamster has proved beyond reasonable doubt to us that all things dear to Army Officers ie., good postings, decorations & promotions can be bought if you have the resources.

    All the inquiries are about the land, no one is interested to know how the system was subverted.

    I will not bore you any further, how did our last Chief landed a flat in Adarash? Do you think it was by accident or design? He is a manipulator as some news paper said.

    Can you imagine the Indian Army had a differently abled Chief who was masquerading as fighting fit. He was deaf to the cries of his men, yet did not wear a hearing aid lest his looks be lost. But to get a disability pension he let the cat out of the bag a few months before he retired. That the able specialists of AMC were unable to detect this fraud for so long is another scam no one will bother for.

    That an obese Chief died of myocardial infraction while in office is a closed chapter.

    Let the law take its own course. We should not defend people who have brought shame on us.

    With warm regards,
    Col. Rajesh Mathews (Retd)