Archive for September, 2015

Awake! Mr MODI – AWAKE!

Posted on September 30, 2015. Filed under: From a Services Career, Indian Thought |

From SMITA BHATNAGAR SAHAY –

I was travelling by train from Indore to Mumbai. The coach was an AC 2 tier, and the four passengers in the coupe were already in their seats.. One of the men had a face which was lopsided, with the symmetry askew.

Three well built young men came and parked themselves on my seat and one pointed to a notice that said that passengers could lie down only after 9 p.m. Until then everyone had to sit. Before I could reply, the young man with the lop sided face, in a very soft, calm manner but with a cold gaze, asked the three to get up and move to the next coupe. The three men looked at the young man’s eyes, and quietly moved out. I turned around to thank the young man, and his “Not at all, Ma’am”, gave away his profession. “Are you in the services?” “Yes, Ma’am. Infantry.”

By now our co passengers joined in. None of them had ever been north of Delhi, and they more than I, wanted to get a firsthand account of how bad things were in the valley. The Army Major held us spell bound with his experiences.

His first day in the unit was also the first time he killed a militant at close range. It was care and counseling that brought him out of depression. He spoke of the trust and camaraderie which was more valuable than money because that was what their lives depended on.

During the Kargil war, his unit captured a post after a fierce fight. The Pak soldiers were in mufti but wearing their medals so they could die proudly. After war they were identified and a letter was sent to their unit in Pakistan acknowledging their bravery.

His face was lop sided because it had been shattered by shrapnel during the Kargil conflict. He had a rod in his back and legs and was full of praise for the Army doctors, who hadreconstructed his face, and “made it almost as good as new”..

He said the toughest job was to flush out militants holed up in houses in villages. “It’s a game of extreme patience and vigilance. The action takes place mostly at night and entire villages are searched and the militants try to kill by surprise”.

I asked about gallantry awards and his response was that if the Army had to give awards to everyone then, they would soon run out of awards. What we thought of as extraordinary bravery in fact it was an everyday and routine affair for most Army personnel in Kashmir and other insurgency-hit areas.

One of the co passengers asked, “What motivates you people?” and the response, “Love for our country, its people, and pride in being an Indian.” This simple statement thrilled me and I remembered how as a child whenever we went to see a movie, the National Anthem would be played at the end and we all would stand up to attention.

Independence Day and the Republic Day were never holidays meant to sit at home, but to go out and march and hoist the national flag. “Jai Jawan Jai Kisan”, was the slogan that was almost everywhere -, worshiping the two different kinds of people who protected and respected Mother India. “Love for our country, its people, and pride in being an Indian.”

I’m sure each one of us has the same pride buried somewhere deep down inside. Its been in the attic of our minds for far too long. It’s time we brought it out, dusted it, and displayed it proudly on the mantelpiece of our hearts, so we can see and feel it with every beat, and have our actions governed by it on a daily basis.

Forcing such people to ask for what is due to them and entitled to them and then make them run to courts for their rightful allowances is the most shameful thing which we have done.

Where has the National Conscience gone?

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OMAR SHARIF is a Winner all the Way …

Posted on September 21, 2015. Filed under: Movies |

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Nelson n Trafalgar in 21st Century …

Posted on September 18, 2015. Filed under: Light plus Weighty, The English |

Nelson: “Order the signal, Hardy.” Hardy: “Aye, aye sir.”

Nelson: “Hold on, this isn’t what I dictated to Flags. What’s the meaning of this?” Hardy: “Sorry sir?”

Nelson (reading aloud): “England expects every person to do his or her duty, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, religious persuasion or disability.’ – What gobbledygook is this for God’s sake?”
Hardy: “Admiralty policy, I’m afraid, sir. We’re an equal opportunities employer now. We had the devil’s own job getting “ England ” past the censors, lest it be considered racist.”

Nelson: “Gadzooks, Hardy. Hand me my pipe and tobacco.” Hardy: “Sorry sir. All naval vessels have now been designated smoke-free working environments.”

Nelson: “In that case, break open the rum ration. Let us splice the main brace to steel the men before battle.” Hardy: “The rum ration has been abolished, Admiral. It’s part of the Government’s policy on binge drinking.”

Nelson: “Damn it man! We are on the eve of the greatest sea battle in history. We must advance with all dispatch. Report from the crow’s nest, please.” Hardy: “That won’t be possible, sir.” Nelson: “What?” Hardy: “Health and Safety have closed the crow’s nest, sir. No harness; and they said that rope ladders don’t meet regulations. They won’t let anyone up there until proper scaffolding can be erected.”

Nelson: “Then get me the ship’s carpenter without delay, Hardy.” Hardy:”He’s busy knocking up a wheelchair access to the foredeck Admiral.” Nelson: “Wheelchair access? I’ve never heard anything so absurd.” Hardy: “Health and safety again, sir. We have to provide a barrier- free environment for the differently abled.”

Nelson: “Differently abled? I’ve only one arm and one eye and I refuse even to hear mention of the word. I didn’t rise to the rank of admiral by playing the disability card.” Hardy: ” Actually, sir, you did. The Royal Navy is under- represented in the areas of visual impairment and limb deficiency.”

Nelson: “I’ve never heard such infamy. Break out the cannon and tell the men to stand by to engage the enemy” Hardy: “The men are a bit worried about shooting at anyone, Admiral.” Nelson: “What? This is mutiny!” Hardy: “It’s not that, sir. It’s just that they’re afraid of being charged with murder if they actually kill anyone. There are a couple of legal-aid lawyers on board, watching everyone like hawks.”

Nelson: “Then how are we to sink the Frenchies and the Spanish?” Hardy: “Actually, sir, we’re not.”  Nelson: “We’re not?” Hardy: “No, sir. The French and the Spanish are our European partners now. According to the Common Fisheries Policy. Nelson: “But you must hate a Frenchman as you hate the devil.” Hardy: “I wouldn’t let the ship’s diversity coordinator hear you saying that sir. You’ll be up on disciplinary report.”e shouldn’t even be in this stretch of water. We could get hit with a claim for compensation.”                                                                                

Nelson: “You must consider every man an enemy, who speaks ill of your King.” Hardy: “Not any more, sir. We must be inclusive in this multicultural age. Now put on your Kevlar vest; it’s the rules. It could save your life”

Nelson: “Don’t tell me – Health and Safety. Whatever happened to rum, sodomy and the lash?” Hardy: As I explained, sir, rum is off the menu! And there’s a ban on corporal punishment. “Nelson: “What about sodomy?” Hardy: “I believe that is now legal, sir.”              

Nelson: “In that case – Kiss me, Hardy.”

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What exactly is OROP!

Posted on September 16, 2015. Filed under: Uncategorized |

The Koshyari Committee of Parliament constituted in March 2011 to go into the  ONE RANK ONE PENSION (OROP) recommended its grant to Ex-Servicemen; and, in Para 3 of its Report submitted to the Parliament on 19 Dec 2011, it has unambiguously defined One Rank One Pension (OROP) as:

One Rank One Pension.
Ø One Rank One Pension (OROP) implies that uniform pension be paid to the Armed Forces Personnel retiring in the same rank with the same length of service, irrespective of their date of retirement; and, any future enhancement in the rates of pension to be automatically passed on to the past pensioners.
Ø This implies bridging the gap between the rate of pension of the current pensioners and the past pensioners, and also future enhancements in the rate of pension to be automatically passed on to the past pensioners.
Ø In armed forces, equality in service has two components, namely, rank and length of service. The importance of rank is inherent in armed forces as it has been granted by the President of India and signifies command, control and responsibility in consonance with ethos of service. These ranks are even allowed to be retained by the individual concerned after his/her retirement.
Ø Hence, two armed forces personnel in the same rank and equal length of service should get same pension, irrespective of date of retirement; and, any future enhancement in rates of pension be automatically passed on to the past pensioners.

FINDINGS.
2. Findings.
Para 10.2 &10.3 of the Report
Ø The Committee observes that One Rank One Pension was in vogue till 1973 when the Third Central Pay Commission took an ex-parte decision against the One Rank One Pension formula. If this formula was working satisfactorily for more than 26 years after the country’s Independence what was the harm in continuing this formula? The same procedure could very well be followed even though this demand is accepted by the Government.
Ø The Ministries of Defence (Dept. of Ex-Servicemen Welfare) and Finance (Dept. of Expenditure)] in their submissions have attempted to draw a rosy
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picture about the pension being given to the Armed Forces personnel according to length of service. If this is beneficial to them then why are the Ex-Servicemen consistently demanding for One Rank One Pension Formula? Why they are agitated? They serve the nation with utmost devotion and selflessness but their demands are consistently being ignored, not by the heads of Armed Forces, but by the Bureaucrats. It’s a typical example of Bureaucratic apathy.
Ø To continue this apathy, the Ministries apprised the Committee that if OROP is to be implemented for the armed forces personnel, similar demands may be raised from the civilian Government employees. To this argument, the Committee finds that it is a baseless apprehension of the Government as soldiering is a different profession and they retire by rank while civilian Government employee retired by age.
Ø The terms and conditions of armed forces are tougher and harsher than the civilian Government employee. There are restrictions of fundamental rights to the armed forces. Risk to life of a soldier is always higher as they work under severe strain and sense of insecurity with undefined and unlimited working hours. Transfers and dislocation alongwith bleak career prospects are other disadvantages attached with the Armed Forces. Their family life is also non-comparable with that of civilian Government employee.
Ø The Armed Forces are also subjected to Court Martial system for the sake of military discipline. In view of aforesaid uniqueness of Armed Forces it can not be equated with a civilian Government employee.

Para 10.4 of the Report.
Ø The Committee is distressed to note that the Defence personnel of our country have returned their service medals to the President of India in view of theGovernments’ apathetic attitude towards their demand of grant of OROP.

OBSERVATIONS.
3. Observations.
Para 9 (i) of the Report.
Ø The Armed Forces of the Union are ‘rank based structure’ organisations. The Ex-Servicemen are associated with their rank even after their retirement and death. There is strong bondage between Serving and Ex-Servicemen community, as in most cases the siblings of Ex-Servicemen join the Defence services as a matter of honour and pride. Their mindset, attitude, commitment and dedication to the Nation do not change even after their retirement.
Ø Till 1950, Armed Forces were enjoying an edge over their civilian counterparts in respect of pay and pension. The pension for armed forces was almost 90 percent of their last pay drawn, which was gradually reduced to 50 percent of their last pay drawn; whereas, the pension of civilian employees was enhanced from 33 percent to 50 percent of their last pay drawn in due course.
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Para 9 (ii) of the Report.
Ø Pay and pension of Armed Forces personnel was governed by separate Pay Commission which was substituted with Common Pay Commission for both Civilian and Defence personnel w.e.f. Third Pay Commission.

Para 9 (iii) of the Report.
Ø Armed forces have to retire early as a matter of policy of Government which
causes loss of earnings to them because the benefits given by successive Pay Commissions which could have accrued to them if they were made to retire at the normal retirement age of sixty. They are made to retire at a point of time when they have maximum liability of their family on them; nearly eighty five percent of armed forces retire at the age of 38; ten percent retirements take place at the age of 46; and remaining 5 percent retirements happen at the age of 56 to 58;

Para 9 (iv) of the Report.
Ø The demand for One Rank One Pension has its basis in the past precedence as well as truncated service career of the Armed Forces which causes loss of earning to them. Furthermore, armed forces personnel are deployed in toughest terrain and roughest weather including Siachin Glacier during their service career.

Para 11.2 of the Report.
Ø The Committee is not convinced with the version of the Ministry of Finance that the grant of OROP to the Defence personnel would eventually generate similar requests from the civilian work force of the country under the Central Government and the State Governments.
Ø The Committee would not like this argument or apprehension to stand in the way of the legitimate and fair demand of the Defence personnel.
Ø The Committee feels so because of the quite different terms and conditions of service of the two different categories of employments. The terms and conditions of armed forces are tougher and harsher than the civilian Government employee.
Ø Risk to life of a soldier is always higher as they work under severe strain and sense of insecurity with undefined and unlimited working hours.
Ø There are restrictions of fundamental rights to the armed forces.
Ø Transfers and dislocation alongwith bleak career prospects are other disadvantages attached with the armed forces.
Ø Their family life is also noncomparable with that of civilian Government employee.
Ø The Armed Forces are also subjected to Court Martial system for the sake of military discipline.
Ø In view of aforesaid uniqueness of Armed Forces it can not be equated with a civilian Government employee.

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Ø On the issue of returning of service medals by the Defence personnel of our country to the President of India in view of the Governments’ apathetic attitude towards their demand of grant of OROP, the Committee is of the view that our Defence personnel should not feel alienated to this extent again and they are not forced to surrender their hard earned service medals in this manner to exhibit their discontent with the government policies.

Para 11.3of the Report.
Ø There is another dimension of the issue under consideration, i.e., the necessity and justification for bringing about the change through the Third Central Pay Commission. Nothing has been brought before the Committee which could explain or justify the circumstances in which the Defence personnel were
applied the same criteria as applicable to the country’s civilian work force under the Central Government for the purpose of determining their pay, allowances, pension, family pension, etc. It is quite obvious that the terms and conditions of service, more particularly their span of service, i.e., the age at which they enter service and the age at which they become due to retire, vary drastically from the civilian work force. There is no doubt that the span of service of the armed forces is much-much less as compared to the civilians. The defence personnel in the PBOR category retire when they are around 35-40 years of age. Even the officers retire when they are around 55 years of age. That is the time when they have lot of family and social responsibility to discharge for which they need a sound financial support. This is certainly not the case with the civilian work force where the age of retirement is 60 uniformly. Further, under the rules governing pension/ family pension of the civilians, the longer a person serves, the more pay he gets and consequently he becomes entitled for higher pension / family pension. This being so, our Defence personnel are bound to remain at a disadvantageous position since the period for which they serve is definitely much less. On top of this, the fact that they retire at a younger age aggravates their hardship.

Para 11.4 of the Report
Ø In the above situation, the Committee feels that the decision of the Government to bring our Defence personnel on the pattern of the civilians with regard to their pay, pension, etc. (from Third Central Pay Commission onwards) is not a considered decision which has caused hardship to the Defence personnel and has given birth to their demand for OROP. The Committee understands that before the Third Central Pay Commission, the Defence personnel were getting their pay/pension on the basis of a separate criteria, unconnected with the criteria devised for the civilian work force. That criteria acknowledged and covered the concept of OROP which has been given up after the Third Central Pay Commission.

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Para 11.5 of the Report.
Ø The Committee is not convinced with the hurdles projected by the Ministry of Defence (Dept of Ex-Servicemen Welfare) in implementing of OROP for Defence personnel. They have categorized the hurdles into administrative, legal and financial.
Ø The financial aspect has already been dealt with by the Committee. So far as the administrative angle is concerned, the Committee is given to understand that all the existing pensioners/ family pensioners are still drawing their pension/family pension based upon the lawfully determined pension / family pension. In that case, revision of their pension / family pension, prospectively, as a one time measure should not pose any administrative hurdle.
Ø So far as the legal aspect is concerned, the Committee is not convinced by the argument put forth against the implementation of OROP because the pension / family pension is based upon the service rendered by personnel while in service and comparison of services rendered during two sets of periods does not seem to be of much relevance. If seen from a strict angle, in each set of periods, the army officer performed the duties attached to his post and it may not be proper to infer that the officers who served at a later period performed more compared to the officers of earlier period. On the contrary, facts tilt towards treating past pensioners/family pensioners at par with the more recent ones.

RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE KOSHYARI COMMITTEE

4. Recommendations
Para 11.6 of the Report.
Ø Government should implement OROP in the Defence forces across the board at the earliest; and,
Ø Further that for future, the pay, allowances, pension, family pension, etc. in respect of the Defence personnel should be determined by a separate Pay Commission so that their peculiar terms and conditions of service, the nature of duties they are required to perform, etc., which are quite different from the civilian work force, are duly taken into account while taking decision on the same.
(Point to note: Here the word ‘separate pay commission’ means a Pay Commission exclusively for the Defence Services; and not combined with Pay Commission meant for the Civilian Govt servants.

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The OROP imbroglio …

Posted on September 16, 2015. Filed under: From a Services Career |

Excerpted from Ajay Shukla.

The unresolved, “one rank, one pension” (OROP) agitation has exacerbated the lack of trust between the military and politiciansp/bureaucrats. Yet it is only the tip of an ice berg.

Veterans would gladly accept the status quo on pensions, provided OROP benefits are also withdrawn from the IAS and IFS. Incidentally to justify this, OROP benefits are already in vogue for the top ranks of the Forces.

Already another morally and logically justifiable demand is taking shape with armed forces discussion groups buzzing with “non-functional upgradation”. NFU, which the government has denied the military but which was granted to numerous Group-A central services like the DRD, Border Roads, Ordnance Factory and the like. In simple terms, NFU means that when an IAS officer from a particular batch is promoted to a certain rank all her batch mates from Group-A central services automatically start drawing the pay scale of deputy secretary two years after the first promotion.

This continues all the way up the line. The term NFU implies that, even as those officials continue to discharge their earlier functions, they are upgraded to the higher pay grade of their IAS batch mate.

Effectively this means that every central services officer makes it to top pay grades, albeit with a two-year time lag behind the IAS.
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The IAS does not need it as every IAS officer reaches the government’s highest grade of pay, called the “apex scale”, which brings in a salary of Rs 80,000 a month. Even when an IAS officer fails to get empaneled for promotion, time-scale promotions continue and when the rank of “additional chief secretary” in the state cadre is reached – all automatically enter the apex scale.

The Armed Forces deeply resent the fact that the IAS and IFS keep getting promoted, regardless of merit and performance. Furthermore, the IAS after the 6th Pay Commission that those drawing salaries in the apex scale would be automatically entitled to OROP.

This means that, as successive pay commissions revise the apex scale,, their pensions would rise in sync.

However less than one percent of officers of the Armed Forces make it to the apex scale. For the remainder, each pay commission would separately determine smaller pension raises.

The double benefit to the IAS/IFS – i.e., apex scale salaries for all, and OROP for all – is doubly infuriating to the Armed Forces, whose exceptionally steep promotion pyramid allows only a minuscule percentage of officers to reach the apex scale.

Of a hundred army, navy or air force officers in a batch, only 30-40 are selected for promotion to colonel (or equivalent rank, Ten to Twelve of those go on to become brigadiers and four – five become major generals and just one or two make lieutenant general, where apex scales apply.

While the military deems this rank hierarchy essential, officers believe they must be covered by NFU, so that those who lose out on promotion do not simultaneously lose out on salaries and pension.

There are significant and obvious disadvantages in being excluded from NFU.

A major general posted to army headquarters as an additional director general draws a significantly lower salary than a civilian director serving directly under him. If the major general were to retire in his present rank, his pension would be Rs 5,000 lower than his civilian subordinate, even were the latter to retire on the same date with less service than the general.

Every Group-A central service officer is assured of retiring in at least the “higher administrative grade” pay scale, equivalent to the pay grade of a lieutenant general. In comparison, just one per cent of army officers reach that pay grade.

The defense ministry has flatly turned down NFU for the armed forces, after the military demanded it in 2009-10.

The detailed and convincing case mentioned a range of employment-related hardships the military faced, including: legally binding curbs on their fundamental rights, strict disciplinary codes, long separation from families, truncated careers, stringent promotion criteria, continuous hazards and threats to life. Furthermore, the grant of NFU to the IPS but not to the military disturbed the principle of parity between the two that the 3rd, 4th and 5th Pay Commissions had established.

The defense ministry peremptorily rejected this demand in a one-page note on July 15, 2010. This said the military’s service conditions were different from those of civilians (hardly news to the military, which had citing harsher working conditions in their demand).

The ministry argued that the services already got “military service pay” as compensation for difficult working conditions. Finally, the ministry declared that NFU was for organised Group-A services, which the military was not.

A right-to-information petition later revealed that no civil servant higher than a joint secretary had considered this demand, which three service chiefs had vetted and cleared.

As with OROP, the system seems not to be correcting itself until it is pushed to the wall. The 7th Pay Commission is unlikely to extend NFU to the armed forces, since members are protesting that it makes poor economic sense.

The army, navy and air force know that is true but will not countenance everybody getting the benefit except for the one that deserves it most, by virtue of having by far the highest percentage of superseded personnel.

The big political question is: what form will the demand for NFU take? OROP was a pension issue, so pensioners did the heavy lifting at Jantar Mantar, the protest site in New Delhi. How will serving officers demand NFU?

The Country can only blame the IAS for creating a situation so complex that only an Alexander can resolve by slicing the Gordian Knot

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Self Inflicted Injury – Shame of Army Leadership…

Posted on September 6, 2015. Filed under: From a Services Career |

This is from a post of Feb 20 by AJIT K DUBEY – “When elephants fight, the grass is crushed”. The Swahili proverb has come painfully true for half a dozen officers who were part of the Indian Army’s top covert operations unit.

They were recruited in the wake of the 26/11 attacks in Mumbai in 2008. But, they were soon caught in the crossfire between the Army’s top brass, which included three chiefs.

Today, the super spies who sneaked into terrorist hideouts, blasted their depots and did such covert jobs are counting blankets, checking accounts, overseeing repair work.

The story of the top-secret spy unit, officially the Technical Support Division, goes back to the days after 26/11. Rattled by the audacity of the attack, the then National Security Adviser, M.K Narayanan, met heads of all spy and security agencies individually to find out if they had the capability to attack home bases of terror groups.

None had. Narayanan asked them to raise a team, if they could. Sources said that neither the heads of agencies nor the director-general of military operations went back to the NSA on this issue. Then Army chief General Deepak Kapoor also did not give much thought to the idea.

In March 2010 the DG Military Intelligence, approached the new chief, General V.K. Singh, saying that he could raise and train a special ops team. Singh gave his go-ahead.

The DMI hand picked one of his finest spies, Colonel A to raise and train the unit. While serving in Jammu and Kashmir he had risked his life to save a Brigadier ambushed by terrorists.

A’s first pick was B. who had served in RAW. He was the point man against terrorist groups in the NE and J and K. C was the second man to be picked and had commanded a company during the Kargil War. Later, he was part of a special action group of the NSG. During a counter-terrorist operation in J&K, C sensed that his men were in danger and barged into a house where Afghan terrorists were holed up. He killed them all.

No 3 was D, a seasoned negotiator, who had created assets in the dreaded ULFA. These assets were later used to persuade ULFA leadership to come to a truce with the Army – ensuring peace in Assam for quite a while

E was the fourth. Known for his wide network among terror groups in the northeast, he had brought about the cease-fire deal with the DHD ultras of Assam and played a key role in the arrest of some of their leaders. He gathered crucial intelligence on arms trafficking into India from Myanmar and helped intercept consignments.

The best pick was possibly F who was naughty. diabetic and overweight and looked quite unlike an Army type. An injury meant that he could not work out and he gained weight. Many laughed when he was picked but he could walk miles cross country over hill and dale.. A master in cultivating assets among terrorist groups, it was he who helped the Army identify the real troublemakers during the stone-pelting protests in the summer of 2010.

The going was good for a short while. The team was following the likes of Syed Salahuddin, the Hizb-ul-Mujahideen chief, in occupied Kashmir. A confidential report confirmed this to the defense ministry. The report also mentioned operations in the northeast and Pakistan – specially one in an ISI office in Faisalabad.The report read, “The unit is an asset for the country”.

While the group was running like a well oiled machine, things were becoming murky at the top with the Chief and the Minister slugging it out. The ministry started questioning V.K. Singh’s initiatives, and top among them was the TSD.

VK Singh’s detractors alleged that TSD was snooping on Antony and defense ministry officials. Bikram Singh on becoming Chief ordered a probe into TSD and suspended its operations and virtually disbanded it. In the free for all some alleged that auditors had found Rs 8 crore missing from TSD accounts and said V.K. Singh used the money to bribe ministers and destabilize the Omar Abdullah government.

As the fight intensified, allegations and counter allegations were leaked to the media, and names of TSD officers bandied about.
The covert team got more bad press when General Tejinder Singh, who was facing a CBI probe, allegedly barged into the TSD premises in Delhi cantonment area for “collecting evidence”. Strangely, instead of moving against Tejinder Singh, the Army moved against the officiating commander of the TSD. A court of inquiry was set up to look into the team leaking a sensitive document. (The document was a questionnaire sent by a TV channel to the Army’s public relations wing, seeking information about the TSD).

Officers and troops of the TSD have since been subjected to several inquiries. Nothing unlawful has been established but the officers have been shunted to nondescript jobs and their ill-treatment continues. V.K. Singh has since joined politics, contested polls, and is now a minister but these men continue to suffer the indignities heaped on them.

The leader of the team is with a unit in Ladakh, where his job is to count snow-jackets and shoes being stocked for the winter. Despite being a super spy he has no role in monitoring activities of Chinese troops. Shattered by the hostility shown to him by army colleagues and seniors he is a shattered man. His wife has written to the Prime Minister seeking justice for her husband – saying that he has been subjected to extreme humiliation, indignity and fear by the top-most hierarchy of the Army.

All other top guns of the TSD are in the same shoes. One is with the MES in Shillong overseeing plumbers and masons.The skydiver maintains land records in Jharkhand. Another manages a poly-clinic in Deolali. Two more manage similar facilities.

What should alarm the country is that the Army and the nation have no capability for covert ops. Covert capability is supposed to be covert and there is always the factor of deniability. But, if our own people start documenting and feeding the media, then we are destroying ourselves.

Covert units were earlier shut down in the 1977-1979 Janata period, and during the 1996-1998 United Front period, when all covert operations were called off. Sadly this time they have suffered due to internal rivalry in the Army compromising the country’s integrity and safety.

Our foes must be laughing all the way to the Bank.

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