Archive for June, 2017

On Speech and Silence …

Posted on June 30, 2017. Filed under: Quotes, The Grand Scots |

On Speech, Silence; – Thomas Carlyle ….

Silence is the element in which great things fashion themselves. Silence is more eloquent than words. It is as deep as eternity. Secrecy is the element of all goodness; even virtue, even beauty is mysterious.

Speech is as shallow as time. Speech is human, Silence is divine – yet also brutish and dead. Therefore we must learn both arts.

Humor has justly been regarded as the finest perfection of poetic genius.
Music is well said to be the speech of angels. In fact, nothing among the utterances allowed to man, is felt to be so divine – it brings us near to the Infinite.

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IMPORTANT TAX CHANGES 2017/18

Posted on June 30, 2017. Filed under: Indian Thought, Uncategorized |

For lakhs of employees working in government organisations and private entities, the dawn of the new financial year (2017-18) beginning on 1 April marks the changes to personal income tax slabs the government had introduced during the Union Budget

Here are the 12 important income-tax changes that tax payers need to take note of for this financial year:

Reuters

1) To put more money into the hands of employees, the government has cut tax rate by half to 5 percent from 10 percent for employees in the yearly income group between Rs 2.5 and Rs 5 lakh.

The move is expected to help them save tax of up to Rs 12,500 a year, according to The Economic Times.

A tax saving of Rs 14,806 a year, including surcharge and cess, will be available for income above Rs 1 crore a year. And for people whose taxable income is between Rs 5 lakh and Rs 50 lakh, tax savings amount to Rs 12,900.

2) A simple one page form will be introduced for filing tax returns to tax payers with income up to Rs 5 lakh and excluding any business income. The I-T department will not scrutinize those who are filing their tax returns for the first time in this category.

3) Delay in filing tax return for this financial year (2017-18) will attract a penalty of Rs 5,000, if filed by 31 December, 2018, and the penalty will be higher if filed beyond this date. However, for small tax payers with income up to Rs five lakh, the penalty has been restricted to Rs 1,000.

4) For investment under Rajiv Gandhi Equity Saving Scheme, no deduction will be available from the assessment year 2018-19. The previous UPA government had introduced this tax-saving scheme in the Union Budget for financial year 2012-13 with an aim to encourage first-time investors in the securities market.

5) Long-term holding period for an immovable property has been reduced to two years from three earlier. Hence, the new law coming in place will ensure that an immovable property held over for two years will be taxed at a reduced rate of 20 percent, with various exemptions eligible on reinvestment, the ET report said.

6) Looking to cash in on long term capital gains tax may not be fruitfull as beneficial amaentments would result in lower profits on sales. The goverment has changed the base year for indexation of cost to 1 April, 2001 from 1 April, 1981.

7) Tax exemption on reinvestment of capital gains in notified redeemable bonds will be available for individuals in addition to investment in NHAI and REC bonds.

8) For rental payments in excess of Rs 50,000 a month, individuals will have to deduct a five percent TDS (tax deducted at source). According to tax experts, this move will enable the government to bring people with large rental income into the tax net. This will come into effect from 1 June, 2017.

9) The government has also made Aadhaar compulsory while applying for PAN and filing income tax returns from 1 July. In fact, the Centre in a bid to curb black money from the system has limited cash transactions at Rs two lakh against the originally proposed cap at Rs three lakh.

10) Individuals will not have to pay any tax in case of partial withdrawals from National Pension System (NPS). The proposed changes allows NPS subscribers to withdraw 25 percent of their contribution to the corpus for emergencies before retirement. Remember that withdrawal of 40 percent of the corpus is tax-free on retirement, the NDTVreport says.

11) Apart from the changes to income tax rates, individuals will also have to brace for higher insurance premium starting today on cars, motorcycles and health insurance beginning this financial year, as the regulator IRDAI has given its nod for insurers to revise commission of the agents. The change in premium after modification will be limited to +/- 5 per cent of the existing rates. The increase will be in addition to the enhanced third party motor insurance rates, which too will come into effect beginning this month.

12) For lakhs of customers of India’s largest commercial bank State Bank of India, penalty will be charged starting today, if a minimum balance of Rs 5,000 is not maintained every month. In metropolitan areas, there will be a charge of Rs 100 plus service tax, if the balance falls below 75 percent of the MAB of Rs 5,000. If the shortfall is 50 percent or less of the MAB, then the bank will charge Rs 50 plus service tax.

Looking to quickly calculate your tax, please try it out with our tax calculator below.

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FB Post re Islamization of the World …

Posted on June 21, 2017. Filed under: Personalities |

FB Post – “With an Honors degree in History and a lifelong student of the subject, I smell a rat”.
Syria has had a civil war for almost 5 YEARS. Why all “refugees” NOW and why all of a SUDDEN and why in such VAST NUMBERS? 

This is a highly organized, well oiled, mobilized invasion into the Western World. It’s been a plan for a long time. Momar Gadhafi predicted and explicitly stated that Muslim domination of Europe would happen without a conventional war and he said it 30 years ago.

Ninety Five per cent of these economic “refugees” many whom have cell-phones are men between the fighting ages of 20 and 40. Very few women and children from everything I’ve seen.

Odd that the 5 wealthiest Arab States including Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain and Kuwait are taking “no refugees” and feel quite self-righteous about it. No guilt what so ever? They are even laughing at us for doing so.

Ask yourself, why would Germany Belgium, Holland, France, Sweden and others want to destroy their own cultures from within? It doesn’t make any sense? If this keeps up Europe will be burning daily within a very short few years if not months. Civil war in the streets between civilizations. Muslims vs Kafirs, that is to say, everyone who is not a Muslim.

Unfortunately, the reality is that Muslims are just not like any other immigrants. They don’t want to assimilate, they want to set up separate enclaves and implement Sharia Law. Another problem is that while the civilized West rightly abhors violence, conversely Muslims daily display their love of violence. They live it and embrace it. In many Muslim countries public beheadings and stoning to death for adultery for example.

Islam is a supremacist, totalitarian, bigoted, fascist political ideology masquerading as a religion. It literally means “submission”. The Quran MANDATES death for blasphemy, for adultery, for apostasy, for family honour, for being gay, Jewish or a Kafir as well as ten other “crimes” many not even considered to be so in the West. Death for drinking alcohol or taking illegal drugs for example.

Why let in vast numbers of these brainwashed people especially men of that age when past experience has already demonstrated the tragedy, not to mention the financial, social, and political costs of rampant multiculturalism in Europe. Ordinary citizens are against this immigration but strangely, their governments are not?

Someone or some organization is pulling some strings here. Is this invasion part of the New World Order’s plan to depopulate the planet? Maybe there’s not even any such an organization but it’s all over U-tube and other social media.

The major media are implicit in selling gullible citizens of the West the righteousness of the “refugees” cause and openly siding against Western culture.One drowned child’s picture in the right places sparks outrage and sympathy worldwide for the movement and resettlement of vast numbers of Muslims.

However the implementation of Sharia Law, No Go Zone ghettos in most countries in Europe and Muslim rape gangs go unreported. In radical Islamist countries honour killings, beheadings, stoning’s, cutting off limbs, whipping and torture, paedophilia, child bride marriages, rape and misogyny go unreported DAILY and are dismissed as culturally ingrained.
         
Where is the indignity and the outrage over people doing this every day to their own populations? Yet a staged picture a drowned baby on a beach sparks a world outcry?

Muslim birth-rates are 8 children per family while Europeans average 1.4. When these current millions bring in their multiple wives, children and extended families 85% of whom live on state benefits (England’s experience) you can multiply their number by at least 10x, maybe 20x or even more.

By 2050 Europe will be Muslim dominated just by demographics alone. When their numbers are sufficient they will legally vote in their own kind and then Sharia Law.

Europe as we know it will be lost forever. Two thousand years of civilization will be destroyed by the same fanatical bearded, bigoted, brutal, boneheaded, belligerent bastards who are now slaughtering their own kind and blowing up ancient and irreplaceable world heritage buildings, monuments, books, manuscripts and other historically significant art treasures in Iraq, Syria and other conquered territories.


        
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The Indian Agriculture Problem …

Posted on June 19, 2017. Filed under: Indian Thought |

Mohan Guruswamy – India’s Agriculture: Failure of Success

Total food grains production in India reached an all-time high of 251.12 million tonnes (MT) in FY15. Rice and wheat production in the country stood at 102.54 MT and 90.78 MT, respectively. India is among the 15 leading exporters of agricultural products in the world.  The value of which was Rs.1.31 lakh crores in FY15.
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Despite its falling share of GDP, agriculture plays a vital role in India’s economy. Over 58 per cent of the rural households depend on agriculture as their principal means of livelihood.
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Census 2011 says there are 118.9 million cultivators across the country or 24.6 per cent of the total workforce of over 481 million. In addition there are 144 million persons employed as agricultural laborers.  If we add the number of cultivators and agricultural laborers, it would be around 263 million or 22 percent of the population.
As per estimates by the Central Statistics Office (CSO), the share of agriculture and allied sectors (including agriculture, livestock, forestry and fishery) was 16.1 per cent of the Gross Value Added (GVA) during 2014–15 at 2011–12 prices.
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 This about sums up what ails our Agriculture- its contribution to the GDP is fast dwindling, now about 13.7 per cent, and it still sustains almost 60 per cent of the population.
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With 157.35 million hectares, India holds the world’s second largest agricultural land area. India has about 20 agro-climatic regions, and all 15 major climates in the world exist here.
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Consequently it is a large producer of a wide variety of foods. India is the world’s largest producer of spices, pulses, milk, tea, cashew and jute; and the second largest producer of wheat, rice, fruits and vegetables, sugarcane, cotton and oilseeds.
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Further, India is 2nd in global production of fruits and vegetables, and is the largest producer of mango and banana. It also has the highest productivity of grapes in the world. Agricultural export constitutes 10 per cent of the country’s exports and is the fourth-largest exported principal commodity.
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According to the Agriculture Census, only 58.1 million hectares of land was actually irrigated in India. Of this 38 percent was from surface water and 62 per cent was from groundwater. India has the world’s largest groundwater well equipped irrigation system.
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There is a flipside to this great Indian agriculture story.
The Indian subcontinent boasts nearly half the world’s hungry people. Half of all children under five years of age in South Asia are malnourished, which is more than even sub-Saharan Africa.
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More than 65 per cent of the farmland consists of marginal and small farms less than one hectare in size. Moreover, because of population growth, the average farm size has been decreasing.  The average size of operational holdings has almost halved since 1970 to 1.05 ha..
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Approximately 92 million households or 490 million people are dependent on marginal or small farm holdings as per the 2001 census. This translates into 60 per cent of rural population or 42 per cent of total population.
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About 70 per cent of India lives in rural areas and all-weather roads do not connect about 40 per cent of rural habitations. Lack of proper transport facility and inadequate post harvesting methods, food processing and transportation of foodstuffs has meant an annual wastage of Rs. 50,000 crores, out of an out of about Rs.370, 000 crores.
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There is a pronounced bias in the government’s procurement policy, with Punjab, Haryana, coastal AP and western UP accounting for the bulk (83.51 per cent) of the procurement. The food subsidy bill has increased from Rs. 24500 crores in 1990-91 to Rs. 1.75 lakh crores in 2001-02 to Rs. 2.31 lakh crores in 2016.
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Instead of being the buyer of last resort FCI has become the preferred buyer for the farmers. The government policy has resulted in mountains of food-grains coinciding with starvation deaths. A few regions of concentrated rural prosperity.
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The total subsidy provided to agricultural consumers by way of fertilizers and free power has quadrupled from Rs. 73000 crores in 1992-93, to Rs. 3.04 lakh crores now. While the subsidy was launched to reach the lower rung farmers, it has mostly benefited the well-off farmers. Free power has also meant a huge pressure on depleting groundwater resources.
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These huge subsidies come at a cost. Thus, public investment in agriculture, in real terms, had witnessed a steady decline from the Sixth Five-Year Plan onwards.
 With the exception of the Tenth Plan, public investment has consistently declined in real terms (at 1999-2000 prices) from Rs.64, 012 crores during the Sixth Plan (1980-85) to Rs 52,107 crores during the Seventh Plan (1985-90), Rs 45,565 crores during the Eighth Plan (1992-97) and about Rs 42,226 crores during Ninth Plan (1997-2002).
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Share of agriculture in total Gross Capital Formation (GCF) at 93-94 prices has halved from 15.44 per cent to 7.0 per cent in 2000-01. In 2001-02 almost half of the amount allocated to irrigation was actually spent on power generation. While it makes more economic sense to focus on minor irrigation schemes, major and medium irrigation projects have accounted for more than three fourth of the planned funds.
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By 2050, India’s population is expected to reach 1.7 billion, which will then be equivalent to nearly that of China and the US combined.
 A fundamental question then is can India feed 1.7 billion people properly? 
In the four decades starting 1965-66, wheat production in Punjab and Haryana has risen nine-fold, while rice production increased by more than 30 times. These two states and parts of Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh now not only produce enough to feed the country but to leave a significant surplus for export.
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Farm outputs in India in recent years have been setting new records. It has gone up from 208 MT in 2005-06 to an estimated 251 MT in 2014-15. Even accounting for population growth during this period, the country would need probably around 225 to 230 MT to feed its people.
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There is one huge paradox implicit in this. Record food production is depressing prices. No wonder farmers with marketable surpluses are restive
 India is producing enough food to feed its people, now and in the foreseeable future.   Since food production is no longer the issue, putting economic power into the hands of the vast rural poor becomes the issue.
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The first focus should be on separating them from their smallholdings by offering more gainful vocations. With the level of skills prevailing, only the construction sector can immediately absorb the tens of millions that will be released.  Government must step up its expenditures for infrastructure and habitations to create a demand for labor. The land released can be consolidated into larger holdings by easy credit to facilitate accumulation of smaller holdings to create more productive farms.
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Finally the entire government machinery geared to controlling food prices to satisfy the urban population should be dismantled. If a farmer has to buy a motorcycle or even a tractor he pays globally comparative prices, so why should he make food available to the modern and industrial sector at the worlds lowest prices?
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Why should Bharat have to feed India at its cost?
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1962 War – the Gen Thorat Plan …

Posted on June 17, 2017. Filed under: From a Services Career, Indian Thought, Personalities |

Until 1959 the Defence of NEFA, now Arunachal Pradesh, was the responsibility of the Ministry of External Affairs and its borders were manned by personnel of the Assam Rifles under the Home Ministry.

 In 1957 Lt. Gen. SPP Thorat took over command of the Eastern Command then with its HQ at Lucknow, his area of responsibility stretched to the Eastern end of India’s borders but NEFA was not included until 1959 when Gen Thimayya was having serious differences with the Defense Minister VK Krishna Menon who had the backing of PM Nehru.
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After he had visited his command, Thorat was asked by Gen Thimayya to make an Appreciation for Defence of NEFA against an attack by CHINA. Gen Thorat, a thorough bred professional, made his detailed appreciation.
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Gen Thorat assessed that there were at least six major ingress routes through passes in NEFA by which large organised enemy forces with heavy equipment and transport could enter India. The terrain favoured the Chinese because the landscape across the border was a plateau and posed no problems for China to bring in troops, guns and heavy equipment and ammunition and supplies needed for the maintenance of a large attacking force.
However once in our territory they would need to make roads and tracks for the maintenance of their forces. And winter would restrict the time available for operations.
 
In Thorat’s assessment, a minimum of 70 platoons, with 20 more in reserve, were needed for the defence screen positions of Northern NEFA. The Assam Rifles then had only 36 platoons. This amounted to some ten battalions with 12 platoons each tko monitor any  ingress by the Chinese.
The need for additional troops, guns and heavy equipment and transport for the main defence positions on each axis of enemy advance was also listed.
The  in depth defence positions could be a strong defence because the terrain would now favour the defender. These positions were roughly half way between the McMahon Line and the foothills.
Thorat also underscored the urgent need to develop roads and surface infrastructure in the area to support the movement of large bodies of own troops.
Earlier, in 1950-51, a committee led by Deputy Defence Minister Maj. Gen. Himmatsinghji had toured the area extensively and submitted a similar requirement for the development of the surface infrastructure.
The lack of any progress was well known. Both GB Pant, the then Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh and later Union Home Minister and Dr. Sampurnanand, Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, had directly complained to Nehru.
 
In 1959, 4 Division moved to the East after completing the famous Op. Amar Housing Project at Ambala under the ‘dynamic’ leadership of Lt. Gen. BM Kaul who was awarded India’s first PVSM.
7 Brigade under Brig DK (Monty) Palit (VrC 1947-48 War, a horseman, shikari and mountain trekker) walked to Tawang, as there was not even a jeep-able road in the West Kameng Division of NEFA. He chose Se La for a main brigade defence.
By the time the war started, a jeep-able road linking Tezpur to Tawang had come up but beyond that the 30 odd kilometres to the border was still a hard slogging march. A helipad and some logistics areas were also established in the Tawang area. 
 
On 8 October 1959, the Thorat plan was sent to Army Headquarters where General Thimayya approved it and personally showed i and the requirements to Defence Minister VK Krishna Menon. But Menon dismissed them as alarmist and unnecessary and boasted that he was confident of stopping the Chinese on his own with diplomacy.
Another reason for the rejection of the Army Plan was that Nehru had boasted in Parliament that he would defend every inch of Indian Territory. So how could India defend every inch of her sacred land against the enemy if the army envisaged siting its main defences half way back from the Border?
Thorat retired in May 1961 but was called to Delhi by Nehru after the 1962 debacle. Nehru asked as to why he was not shown the Thorat Plan? But ala Menon he lacked the RealPolitik of a Vallabhai Patel who had warned Nehru of all this way back in 1950.
Lt Gen SPP Thorat, “From Reveille to Retreat”, Allied Publishers, New Delhi, 1986, pp. 189-203, 212-217.
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General SPP Thorat …

Posted on June 17, 2017. Filed under: From a Services Career, Personalities |

Gen KM Bhimaya writes about Gen SPP Thorat, the General recommended by General Thimayya to take over as Chief after he retired. Gen Thorat had made an Appreciation on how best NEFA could be defended in view of the imminent Chinese Threat.

The piece I read about Gen SPP Thorat  sparked singular interest in me because of the fortuitous circumstances that brought me face to face with this great Gentleman and Officer.

First, he as GOC- in-C, Eastern Command, reviewed the Passing out Parade of my Course at the IMA in 1957. Second, I as a very nervous LO, met him at Fort William, Calcutta, on the eve of his retirement.

Third, as the Army Member of the Inter Service Study Team, tasked to compile the Official History of the 1962, 65, and 71 wars with Pakistan, I had visited with him in Kolhapur and had the opportunity of studying his unique personality –  an embodiment of  self-effacing humility, deep erudition and understanding of human behavior, particularly under battlefield conditions. 

He was a leader with a nimble presence of mind, underpinned by unfailing emotional control — all hallmarks of outstanding leadership in any walk of life.

The First Arakan Campaign, mounted prematurely in 1943, was an unmitigated disaster. Contrary to what is asserted in the article sent to me, the tide was not turned until the Battle of Adm Box in mid 1944. Even this was touch and go, with such famous generals as Messervy barely escaping capture.

Gen Thorat seems to have served both in 4/14 and 9/14 Punjab (Pathans, PMs, Sikhs, Dogras) before being promoted in command of the famous and one of the oldest infantry battalions: 2/2 Punjab (Later 1 GUARDS).

This was the Battalion in which he earned his name and fame. And this was fought in January 1945, and not 1944, as mentioned in the article.

Unfortunately, the British historians identify the 3rd British Commando Brigade with the glory of the Battle of Pt 170. Melrose, according to them, was a small part of this Battle in which only 2/2 Punjab achieved some partial success.

This is understandable because of the encrusted prejudice against the Indian soldiers of the British Indian Formations. Of course, there were notable exceptions, such as FM Slim and Lt Gen Heath (GOC III Corps, Malaya, 1941) who had identified and admired the fighting prowess of the Indian soldiers, after having commanded them in the North African campaign.  (For other versions of the Battle of Pt.170, please see

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Hill_170, and https://www.burmastar.org.uk/stories/the-battle-for-hill-170/)

These versions in no way militate against the glorious record of the 51 Indian Infantry Brigade (2/2 Punjab, 16/10 Baluch, and 8/19 Hyderabad (under then Cols Thorat, Sen and Thimayya respectively).

All the three Battalion commanders (Thorat, Sen, and Thimayya) were awarded DSOs. Thimayya became the first Indian to command (officiating) an active Brigade in combat (December 1944 – January 1945). Although FM Cariappa had been promoted as Brigadier in November 1944, he got command of an active Brigade (Bannu) only in November 1945).

Later Lt Gen Thorat handled potentially an explosive situation while commanding the Custodial Force in Korea (1952). Cornered and outnumbered in the POW camp, Gen Thorat appealed to the good nature and hospitality of the Chinese PsOW. Thus he not only defused a tense situation, but permanently earned the once – hostile prisoners’ respect and goodwill. He was awarded KC for this amazing  action.

At Kolhapur, Gen Thorat briefed us in detail about the lessons of EX- LAL QUILA and how it was discarded by the then – Government. Since this is public knowledge now, I do not wish to discuss it further.

 

 

 

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The Ladakh Scouts Story …

Posted on June 14, 2017. Filed under: From a Services Career, Personalities |

By Ajai Shukla – Business Standard, 3rd June 17

A crisis occurred in May 1948, when the capture of Kargil by tribal lashkars left the routes to Leh open.

Defending Ladakh against the tribal hordes were 33 men of the J&K State Forces. Reinforcing the tiny Leh garrison were 20 volunteers, led by Lt Col Prithi Singh – the legendary “X Force” that dragged itself heroically over the wind-swept Zoji La pass. 

But, with the snows melting and passes opening, hundreds of Pakistani tribal fighters converged on Leh, driven by the promise of monasteries groaning with wealth, salacious dreams of unprotected women, and the belief that Ladakh’s Buddhist men knew little of fighting.
 
“Cometh the hour, cometh the man”, it is said. On May 13, 1948, as Lt Col Prithi Singh raised the tricolour in Leh and called for volunteers to fight the tribals, the first hand to go up was that of Chewang Rinchen, a 17-year-old schoolboy from Nubra.
 
For the next two months, until the first Indian Army troops were airlifted to Leh and built up into a viable force, Rinchen and a band of youngsters that he formed into the Nubra Guards, confronted and thwarted the battle-hardened tribals. For his heroic defence of Ladakh and the leadership he displayed, Rinchen was appointed a junior commissioned officer in the Indian Army and awarded the Mahavir Chakra, the army’s second-highest gallantry award. 
 
Not content with being the youngest-ever winner of that award, Rinchen went on to win a Sena Medal in the 1962 war with China; and then a second Mahavir Chakra in 1971 for capturing over 800 square kilometres of territory from Pakistan, including the strategically vital village of Turtok. Eventually retiring as colonel, Rinchen is one of the army’s greatest legends.
 
Rinchen and the Nubra Guards are also the progenitors of today’s Ladakh Scouts – a regiment so distinguished in war and peace that President Pranab Mukherjee will travel to Leh this month to present it the coveted President’s Colours. 
 
The Ladakh Scouts became a regular army regiment only in June 2001, after their stunning performance in the Kargil conflict. No sooner than the Pakistani intrusions across the Line of Control were detected in May 1999, the Ladakh Scouts swung into action, reconnoitring routes, fixing ropes and enabling the initial successes of regular Indian battalions. 
 
The Ladakh Scouts were also instrumental in exposing the role of regular Pakistani soldiers in the intrusions, which Islamabad was flatly denying.
 
Embroiled in the fighting at Kargil, the Ladakh Scouts lost 31 men and were awarded 55 gallantry awards, more than any other army unit in per capita terms.
 
 Major Sonam Wangchuk, who led his Ladakh Scouts men to the capture of Chorbat La, was awarded a Mahavir Chakra.
 
 In recognition of their valour, the chief of army staff (COAS) awarded the Ladakh Scouts the COAS Banner – the only such award ever given. They were also conferred with a Battle Honour for Batalik and Theatre Honour for Kargil.
 
The army quickly saw the benefit of converting the Ladakh Scouts into a full-fledged infantry group, on the lines of the Gurkhas, Dogras, Garhwalis and so on.
 
Unlike other infantry groups, which alternated between peacetime and field deployments, the Ladakh Scouts would remain in high-altitude field postings in the vicinity of their homes – the Kargil and Leh districts of Ladakh ala the Garhwal Scouts.
 
For an army that has so many soldiers committed on its Himalayan frontier, mountain men like the Ladakh Scouts are a godsend. Genetically conditioned for high altitudes, with physiological advantages like larger lungs, Ladakhis seldom suffer from mountain sickness. 
 
Regular army units, manned by plainsmen or mountain folk from lower altitudes, require up to a week of acclimatization before they can survive at altitudes of 15,000 feet. Ladakhis, however, can be deployed above 15,000 feet without acclimatization.
 
Ladakh Scouts are also adept at operating “self sustained” for up to ten days in extreme altitudes – on supplies in their backpacks.
 
A display of this unique ability came in February 2016, when an army post called Sonam, almost 20,000 feet high on the Siachen Glacier, was buried by a collapsed ice wall along with ten soldiers from the Madras regiment who manned it.
 
 With sensors indicating signs of life, survivors needed to be dug out quickly. Ordinary soldiers would be breathless at those heights, so Ladakh Scouts were brought in, without acclimatization, from an altitude of 12,000 feet – something not possible with non high altitude soldiers.
 
 The Ladakh Scouts, working non-stop at Sonam, extricated Lance Naik Hanumanthappa Koppad alive but sadly he did not survive for long.
 
Since Kargil, the Ladakh Scouts have been built up to five battalions, each one with some 850 soldiers. At any time, two battalions are operationally deployed in extreme high altitudes, including one in the Siachen Glacier. Two more are stationed in Ladakh, with just one in a peace location in Chandimandir. There are plans to raise another two battalions.
 
With only a limited populace to recruit from, soldiers may also be drawn from Lahaul and Spiti, in Himachal Pradesh.
 
At a recruiting rally at the Ladakh Scouts Regimental Centre, however, it does not seem as if the regiment wants for recruits. Defying the cold that has us wrapped in parkas, a crowd of youngsters stand in their underwear, readying for a medical examination followed by a two-mile run. 
 
The candidates are well-built, but short, which is not a deterrent since the army has relaxed height requirements for Ladakhis.
 
Mohammed Abdullah, a recruit from Phyang, near Leh, tells us frankly that young men in Ladakh have only two career choices: joining the Ladakh Scouts or driving a taxi for tourists.  Another recruit, Thinless Norbu, from Chuchot village tells us that soldiers are held in high esteem by local people, and most educated girls would choose to marry a Ladakh Scout.
 
Even so, the changing values of Ladakhi society are evident from the controversy over the memorial to Colonel Rinchen. After he died in 1997, the spot in Leh where he was cremated was transformed into a public park. On his death anniversary, the army officials and prominent citizens would lay wreaths in his memory.
 
No sadly the local administration is moving to transform most of Colonel Rinchen Park into a memorial for the local police. 
 
Rinchen’s family is protesting this initiative but, with powerful administration officials backing the police, one of India’s most captivating war heroes will soon find his memory slighted.
 
Says one of the local officials, responding to a query on how local police in an entirely peaceful and crime-free district can be compared with a national hero like Rinchen: “Why should there be any comparison? After all, whenever anyone salutes the police memorial, they will also be saluting Colonel Rinchen.”
 

Really sad. that Rinchen Memorial is being converted into a police Memorial. The police in Ladakh have no great history primarily because Ladakhis are law abiding with hardly any crime history. I do hope that the GOC 3 Div and the top brass takes it up with the state and central Govt’s.

Just a coupla days ago NewsX covered the apathy of the Siddaramaiah Govt for not completing the nearly completed National War Memorial. It was started by  the BJP and so Siddu is just not interested.  Politicians have always paid lip service to all Armed Forces issues.
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The NDTV Story …

Posted on June 13, 2017. Filed under: Personalities |

By S Gurumurthy  –   Published: 06th June 2017

It all started in 2006 — when UPA which was the ladder on which NDTV climbed to great heights. An honest and courageous tax official, S.K Srivastava happened to stumble on some crucial tips linking NDTV and P Chidambaram who was then the finance minister.

He sought to investigate the intelligence which he had received to the effect that there was a payoff of Rs 5000 crore involving finance minister Chidambaram himself! Some unintelligent officer put it on record to recommend action against Srivastava. But they soon realised that if that were put on record then the officer could not be proceeded against.
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Therefore they suppressed or destroyed that file and created another file in which action was recommended against S K Srivastava for alleged misbehaviour with his colleagues. But the officer was a tough nut to crack and he took on the most vindictive finance minster of India, perhaps of all time.
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He also found that a lady Income Tax official who was assessing NDTV had been in collusion with the TV channel, which employed her husband from 2003 to 2007 and provided pleasure trips to her and her husband.
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This later became a subject of assessment of the lady officer and a reference to CBI for action.
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Srivastava also unearthed evidence pointing to huge tax frauds by NDTV. He moved to make a fresh assessment on NDTV, which led to the discovery of tax fraud of Rs 300 crore for six years. On 7.3.2007, S K Srivastava raised the Inspection Note setting out the details of the tax fraud, sent it to CCIT on 07.03.2007, who passed it on to the CIT on 13.03.2007.
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The CIT issued notice on 17.3.2007, set aside the assessments giving illegal benefit to NDTV on 29.3.2007 and the very next day, 30.9.2007, S K Srivastava was shocked to know that he was suspended by the finance minister Chidambaram himself instead of being rewarded for tracking and taxing a huge tax fraud by NDTV.
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This was how S K Srivastava’s unprecedented battle against the most powerful finance minister of UPA began. From then on it was a lonely battle by the tax official.
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During the next few years Srivastava had to face the worst harassment: a series of change sheets, suspensions, transfer, false allegations of sexual harassment by lady tax officials known to have the favour of the finance minister, corrupt attempts to get him declared as insane and what not.
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He battled all this alone till he happened to meet me in 2013. In this six-year period, despite all the harassment and persecution, Srivastava helped the tax department to fix the NDTV fraud worth hundreds of millions of dollars abroad – which the tax department began taxing even before the Modi government came to power.
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This is what the tax authorities said while taxing the fraudulent monies: “In view of the above facts and circumstance of the case, involving round tripping, involving such large variations in rates without any basis or valuation, the transaction lacks economic substance and commercial purpose and necessitates piercing the corporate veil.”
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While the tax officer proposed to tax Rs 642.54 crore, NDTV’s protest against it raised it to Rs 1406.25 crore. This was in 2013, when the UPA was in power, when NDTV’s freedom to defraud was safe.
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When Sanjay Srivastava explained and showed the documents to me, I wrote a note to Ram Jethmalani and explained the entire case against NDTV. Jethmalani then wrote a stinging charge sheet on the NDTV fraud to P Chidambaram in December 2013, also charging him with offences under various sections of the penal and anti-corruption laws for protecting NDTV and punishing Srivastava.
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Jethmalani had sent a copy of my note to Mr Prannoy Roy who contacted me through an editor friend and said that he would like to respond to that with documents. When his response came I found that the documents he had enclosed in support of the investments were not reliable. I gave detailed reasons for rejecting the documents and standing by my letter to Ram Jethmalani.
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Falling in Love …

Posted on June 12, 2017. Filed under: Guide Posts, Mars & Venus, Searching for Success |

During a seminar, a woman asks, “How do I know if I married the right person?” There was this guy sitting next to her, so the guy asks, “Is that your husband?” Taken aback she asks, “How did you guess?” He goes onto explain.

’Every relationship has a cycle. In the beginning, you fell in love with your spouse. You anticipated their call, wanted their touch, and liked their idiosyncrasies.

Falling in love with your spouse wasn’t hard. In fact, it was a completely natural and spontaneous experience. You didn’t have to DO anything. That’s why it’s called “falling” in love. Because it’s happening TO YOU.

People in love sometimes say, “I was swept off my feet.” Think about the imagery of that expression. It implies that you were just standing there; doing nothing, and then something came along and happened TO YOU.

Falling in love is easy. It’s a passive and spontaneous experience.

But after a few years of marriage, the euphoria of love fades. It’s the natural cycle of EVERY relationship. Slowly but surely, phone calls become a bother (if they come at all), touch is not always welcome (when it happens) and your spouse’s idiosyncrasies, instead of being cute, drive you nuts.

The symptoms of this stage vary with every relationship but if you think about your marriage you will notice a dramatic difference between the initial stage when you were in love and a much duller or even angrier subsequent stage. At this point, you or your spouse might start asking, “Did I marry the right person?”

As you and your spouse reflect on the euphoria of the love you once had, you may begin to desire that experience with someone else. This is when marriages breakdown.

People blame their spouse for their unhappiness and look outside their marriage for fulfillment. Extramarital fulfillment comes in all shapes and sizes. Infidelity is the most obvious. But sometimes people turn to work, a hobby, a friendship, excessive TV or abusive substances.

But the answer to this dilemma does NOT lie outside your marriage. It lies within it. I’m not saying that you couldn’t fall in love with someone else. You could. And TEMPORARILY you’d feel better.

But you’d be in the same situation a few years later. Because, THE KEY TO SUCCEEDING IN MARRIAGE IS NOT FINDING THE RIGHT PERSON IT’S LEARNING TO LOVE THE PERSON YOU FOUND.

SUSTAINING love is not a passive or spontaneous experience. It’ll NEVER just happen to you. You can’t “find” LASTING love. You have to “make” it day in and day out.

That’s why we have the expression “the labor of love.” Because it takes time, effort, and energy. And most importantly, it takes WISDOM.

You have to know WHAT TO DO to make your marriage work. Make no mistake about it. Love is NOT a mystery. There are specific things you can do (with or without your spouse) to succeed with your marriage.

Just as there are physical laws of the universe (such as gravity), there are also laws for relationships. Just as the right diet and exercise program makes you physically stronger, certain habits in your relationship WILL make your marriage stronger. It’s  direct cause and effect.

If you know and apply the laws, the results are predictable. You can “make” love. Love in marriage is indeed a “decision”. Not just a feeling. “No one falls in love by choice, it is by CHANCE. No one stays in love by chance, it is by CHOICE.’

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Heinz Guderian …

Posted on June 11, 2017. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Guderian came out clean after having been kept in custody under investigation for years by the US. Such an investigation had besmirched Erich von Manstein.

Rommel had this to say about Guderian – “In Germany the elements of modern armored warfare had crystallized into a doctrine before the war — thanks to General Guderian — and had found practical expression in the organization and training of armored formations.”

Guderian was a strong commander. This is how someone described him. “Guderian was always in conflict and was very difficult to get along with. It is a tribute indeed to the German Army and to Guderian’s remarkable abilities that he rose to such commanding heights.”

Already famous Guderian had demonstrated his blazing ‘Blitzkrieg’ when it pulverized Poland and then flattened France in four weeks while they had fought for four years and beaten the Germans in WWI.

And at Dunkirk when suddenly, out of the blue, his swoop on the defenceless BEF gathered for evacuation was suddenly halted, Churchill murmured, “We must not give to this Deliverance, the attributes of a Victory!”.

In Russia in 1941, Panzer Group Guderian smashed its way to the outskirts of Moscow from where the spires of the Kremlin could be seen. But it was much too late since Guderian’s Blitz had been, time and time again, halted not by the Enemy but by his own High Command which deprived the Germans the advantages of the Blitz as the most severe Winter of a Century began to set in.

The German High Command ordered Guderian to hold fast and stay put but as this would jeopardize the safety of his Panzers, Guderian wanted to pull back so as to retain  mobility and avoid the danger of static stagnation. In fact this situation was the fore runner of next years Stalingrad. Any way on being over ruled, he requested to be relieved of of his Command.

Never did he command troops again as Hitler made him Boss of Tank Production – the result was the ‘Tiger’ tank. Towards the end of the War, Hitler made him CDS but by then Hitler was his own CDS.

Guderian’s  practical ‘Good Sense’ is shown in this exchange with Hitler when he is trying to dissuade Hitler from committing Hara Kiri by attacking fixed defenses with Panzers –

 ‘On 14 May 1943 Guderian pointed out the futility of the operation, asking: “My Führer, why do you want to attack in the East at all this year?” To which Hitler responded: “You are quite right. Whenever I think of this attack my stomach turns over.” Guderian concluded, “In that case your reaction to the problem is the correct one. Leave it alone”

And when the head of the OKW General Keitel explained the political importance of the offensive, Guderian remarked, “How many people do you think even know where Kursk is? It’s a matter of profound indifference to the world whether we hold Kursk or not.” 

The disaster of Operation ‘Citadel’ was the beginning of the end for Nazi Germany. The fatal casualties for this War are calculated at 70 to 80 Million.

Who says its not War which kills people? 

 

 

 

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