ANOTHER VIEW ON INDIAN ARMED FORCES
Date: 30 Apr 2008
THE LEARNED WRITER (BELOW) OUGHT TO KNOW THAT-
INDIA WAS MEANT TO BE REDUCED BY ONE THIRD IN TERRITORIAL SIZE IN 1947.
KASHMIR HAD HAD TO BE LEFT AS A JOB UNCOMPLETED AND UNDONE.
THE ARMY WAS MEANT TO CONQUER EAST BENGAL BUT THEN RETURN THE TERRITORY TO FUNDAMENTALIST MOHAMMEDS PROMPTLY.
THE INDIAN ARMY WAS MEANT TO RECEIVE A BLOODY NOSE IN SRI LANKA.
THE INDIAN ARMY IS MEANT TO BE DEGRADED, HUMILIATED, BETRAYED AND ULTIMATELY DESTROYED-
BECAUSE THEY ARE THE ONLY ONES WITH SELF ESTEEM, DIGNITY AND HONOUR WHO WILL NOT TOUCH THE FOOT OF THE WORTHLESS ITALIAN IMPORT OF BOFORS CHOR WHILE THE WHOLE NATION IS MOST WILLING TO LIE PROSTRATE IN FRONT OF HER IN A SECOND.
INDIAN ARMY IS MEANT TO BE DOOMED. THERE IS NOTHING INCOMPREHENSIBLE, IGNORANCE OR INNOCENCE ON THE PART OF THE TOP RULING ECHELON OF PARTITIONED INDIAN SECULAR STATE (P.I.S.S.) TODAY.
ONE CAN SEE THEROUGH THEIR DESIGNS CLEARLY. INDIA IS TRAPPED IN THE SUFFOCATING STRANGULATING GRIP OF AXIS POWERS THAT COMPRISE "ITALY, ISLAM & THE DAMN FOOL SUBSERVIENT HINDU".
A shattered army
Pay commission has ill-served the nation
by Lt. Gen. (retd) Vijay Oberoi
THE Indian army, used here generically to include the navy and the air force, has now reached the end of its tether, with the Sixth Pay Commission's recommendations for the defence forces. The citizens of our country have not really understood the magnitude of despair amongst the rank and file of the army. There is great anger and a high degree of frustration at every level, but particularly at the level of the PBORs (personnel below officers' rank) and the junior and middle level officers. Both constitute the 'cutting edge' of the defence forces.
India has a hundred per cent volunteer army. Officers and men have joined the army for a variety of reasons, the main ones being the honour that comes by wearing the uniform; a desire to serve the nation in the best way possible; family traditions; and of course, suitable remunerations that are compatible with the highly turbulent conditions of service.
Its ethos has been painfully nurtured by the hierarchy of the army for the last 60 years, despite major provocations from many quarters, especially the self-serving bureaucracy, which the country has to unfortunately endure. The latter has consistently prevailed on the political leadership and subtly instilled fear amongst them that the army needs to be kept down, lest it also follow what militaries in the immediate neighbourhood and in the extended region have done, in usurping power by force.
This is despite the unflinching loyalty the army has displayed in even the most difficult circumstances. It is surprising that our political leadership, which is so astute in politicking, nurturing vote banks and diffusing highly volatile situations of all types, has been unable to see through this game of the bureaucrats. Or is it that they deliberately do not want to understand it?
The institutions, structures, ethos and working environment built painstakingly and prevailing in the army, ensures that all ranks fully understand their duties, obligations and power-equations in a democracy like ours. In simple terms, it means that the nation has nothing to fear from the army. The earlier it is understood by the political leadership and all other instruments of the state, the better.
The defence forces came under the purview of pay commissions with the Third Pay Commission and since then every pay commission, loaded as it was by the bureaucracy, has worked very hard to ensure that there is a gradual decline in the pay, emoluments and the status of all military personnel.
All requests by the hierarchy of the defence forces to set up separate pay commissions for the military have been studiously ignored and at the behest of the bureaucracy, even a representative of the defence forces has not been permitted to form part of any of the pay commissions. This, when nearly 40 per cent of the government servants under the purview of the pay commission are defence forces personnel!
That the defence forces have tolerated this skewed arrangement speaks on one side of the perseverance, patience and discipline of the defence forces and, on the other, the utter insensitivity of the political leadership to the only institution that works effectively in our country. The Sixth Pay Commission has of course taken the cake for their utterly callous approach to the guardians of the nation.
There is no need to emphasise what has already been stated regarding the highly adverse effect the recommendations of the pay commission will have on the intake of officers in the defence forces, except to state that every middle level serving officer I have talked to has either already put in his papers or is planning to do so shortly.
The disastrous implications need not be amplified when it is well known that our fighting units are already functioning at 50 per cent strength of officers. The PBOR, unfortunately, do not have the option of leaving the service, because they will end up with no jobs, considering the present situation in the country of gross unemployment and under-employment. However, in the long run, the impact of the recommendations of the Sixth Pay Commission on the PBOR is bound to be a fall in standards of the recruits who will be willing to serve for the peanuts thrown at them by the Commission.
The government's response to the large-scale resentment has been the usual ploy of forming a committee! First, a committee of three bureaucrats was formed, but it was the Railway Minister, at whose behest an enlarged Review Committee has now been formed, while the Minister of Defence only repeated homilies and soothing words, as he had done in the past!
Even the Review Committee has no representative from the defence forces, while the railways, the postal department and sundry others not so well known, have found a place for themselves. So, we are back to square one. This committee will repeat, ad nauseum, what the Commission has stated, perhaps in more flowery language, except for some minimal tinkering that will satisfy no one in the defence forces.
A continuation of such inadequate and delaying tactics will slowly destroy a first rate army, which has served the nation with sacrifices and élan and has saved the nation umpteen times in these last 60 years. The political leadership is either unable or unwilling to ameliorate the genuine demands of the defence forces.
Under the circumstances, it may be best to disband the army and let the bureaucracy become 'pseudo soldiers' and look after the security of the nation. In the bargain, they will be able to further improve their cadre too! If the reader discerns a sense of cynicism, déjà vu and desperation, it is indeed intended. Sudden death would any day be a more satisfactory arrangement. The noble "profession of arms" is being turned into a "profession of alms"!
The writer is a former Vice Chief of Army Staff