MEMORY OF FIELD MARSHAL CHETWODE INSULTED
On December 10, 1932 Field Marshal Sir Philip Chetwode addressed the officers and gentlemen cadets at the Indian Military Academy in Dehra Dun. The invaluable three-point advice given to all the rank and file in the armed forces is summarised below.
First, the safety, honour and welfare of your country come first, always and every time.
Second, the honour, welfare and comfort of the men you command come next.
Third, your own ease, comfort and safety come last, always and every time.
Those were the days of glory, gallantry and HONOUR for the Indian armed forces (led by British officers) who were put to test seven years later when World War 2 began in 1939.
However the very FIRST advice was dumped at the very second the British abandoned India to the natives. They, too, in turn, abandoned the "COUNTRY" like a dirty rag at the same time!
The Indian ARMY vacated all those cantonments and surrendered vast TERRITORIES that they were supposed to defend till last round, last man. History has hardly ever seen such a large scale ROUT of the entire armed forces of a country. Worst of all, the territories were surrendered WITHOUT A SINGLE CONDITION being imposed on the ENEMY.
The SECOND advice was also totally ignored when the MEN were sent to fight the vastly superior CHINESE army in the North in 1962. Fingers, thumbs and toes of countless men had to be amputated due to snow bite and the lack of warm gloves and woollen socks. Bare fingers STUCK to extremely cold “frozen” triggers that caused flakes of skin to be torn off. Gangrene set in the toes and fingers that had to be amputated. The top generals stayed in warm bunkers while one fell ill and was flown back to his family in New Delhi. An entire Infantry brigade was wiped out. It lost all the heavy equipment like vehicles, tanks, heavy mortars and guns plus hundreds of prisoners to the Chinese. Indian Army was “fighting fit” 15 years earlier when fighting the Japanese in Burma and the Germans in North Africa, Italy and France. But now under NATIVE commanders they acted miserably.
That was 1962 when the "gangrene" had spread. But just look back to October 1947 when the British trained Indian Army was still in their own elements. They confronted the Pakistani troops who invaded the Kashmir Valley in the garb of irregulars and "wild tribesmen", and were PUSHING THEM BACK rapidly when Jawaharlal NEHRU, a secret enemy agent, ordered cease fire, putting the troops to SHAME and DISHONOUR.
His aim was two-fold. Firstly, not to recover all the territory from the enemy and secondly, not to give the thrill and joy of victory to his own troops. The very successful army advance suddenly ended in a CEASE FIRE. That is where the Indian Army is still stuck, nearly seven decades on!
Now we come to the THIRD piece of advice by Field Marshal Chetwode. Today it is not only the SERVING soldiers who are crying for better equipment, training & pay and allowances but also the EX SERVICEMEN & WOMEN. Their demand for improved pension rates is being ignored by the “Gandhian” Supreme Commander, the Defence Minister, and the “First Lady” from ITALY, despite the appeals, prayers and petitions by senior retired generals, admirals and air marshals.
There is the Controller, Defence Accounts, (CDA), who insists on making the old veterans shed "sweat and blood" before their pension is paid and increments adjusted. For some it is a big time and effort wasting struggle and sacrifice even to get the pension paid.
All hopes are now pinned on the new man, Narendra Modi, who “relates” to the citizens and soldiers alike unlike the “bandits, thieves and traitors” who have been plundering the nation so far, remitting trillions of public money to secret accounts abroad.