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July 22, 2012 - Log in to Reply
Brig L D Sharma,JaipurTo expect a decision from a paralyzed person is illogical and expecting miracles to happen
The govt has failed in all fronts and they wish to salvage what little they can . This is one way they can . With the date of 8th Aug as a dead line it is apparent that something is in the offing , in spite of the committee being packed with only IAS cadre officers. I am optimistic that good sense will prevail.
June 29, 2012 - Log in to Reply
The best bet is to be strong enough to atleast face your own challenges. For SLOC, with China so aggressive in the South China Sea, strong partnerships, both dependable and sustainabl,e are required.SK Chatterji
May 21, 2012 - Log in to Reply
Dear General Oberoi and Nitin,My compliments for giving such a wonderful overview of the Army' ecosystem w/o falling in the trap of a particular section of media.Nitin, in your own humble way, you have done it again.Kudos Brother. I still remember your simplistic attitude and great reporting from Dras.Lt Col (Retd) Vijay Batra, SM, Ex-PRO, Srinagar
May 18, 2012 - Log in to Reply
The last two lines say it all. Most such outfits fail to graduate from guerrilla tactics to conventional linear battle. It is common for the leadership to fail to observe the principles of war. Once the aim changes, a different strat needs to be employed. The Sri Lankan army forced LTTE to fight a conventional battle. LTTE had expanded and was perhaps unable to opt out.
May 10, 2012 - Log in to Reply
Good start and hope will be taken to logical completion!
October 18, 2012 - Log in to Reply
My cousin recommended this blog and she was totally right keep up the fantastic work!Embedded System Projects
May 25, 2012 - Log in to Reply
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December 13, 2012 - Log in to Reply
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April 19, 2012 - Log in to Reply
I like your stand and agree with this. India's national interest are prime, not to be compared with what other countries are doing or trying to achieve.
Hi Nitin. Nice post.While this is a great dev, I think this proces is not complete until naval/SSN version of this are developed, and the Arihant is fully operationalized, as only then is the strategic triad complete. I also feel that we need at least 3 Arihants (one as a stand-by and one on each seaboard), as well as 3 aircraft carriers (same logic), before we can actually say we are secure.We do not covet any other country's lands, but have to recover our lands from China (Aksai Chin) and Pak (POK), sometime in the future. We need a strong deterrence, as the next war, if ever it happens (god forbid), will be a two-front war with Pak and China.
Hi Nitin,Agree with overall approach.But belligerent China must be put in its pace. It is easy for China to BULLY Asean nations but India is a GREAT POWER in its own right and Indian Democracy must give back as good as it gets as we are not a VASSAL of china. How the Indian AFs and GOI under PM Singh downplay China's remarks are sickening and capitulation at drop of hat and is not advisable too you will surely agree! For the matter China's ruling establishment arrogance shows in official and unofficial media attacks on Indian democracy. A LION always behaves like a lion and will never eat grass. This policy of Nehru-Gandhi led Congress party in particular and followed by BJP under Vajpayee has caused untold harm to India's standing. Always I remember from history 1 Prithviraj Chauhan is enough for centuries we ned leaders of calibre to lead like Rana Pratap, Chattrapati Shivaji not hyaenas like Indian ministers who can enrich themselves in SCAMS but do not defend the country without getting pound of flesh whether in kickbacks or honest at expense of nation's defence prepardness! Honest BUT inefficient PM,HM and RM have done great disservice to NATION for which I hope we do not continue to pay heavy price in terms of loss of innocent Indian lives!!!RegardsRamSingapore
April 20, 2012 - Log in to Reply
Thanks Anish. Yes, the test on Thursday is but a first step. A credible N-triad is still not on the horizon.
I too am hoping that we come out our current thinking. Thanks for your comments.
April 27, 2012 - Log in to Reply
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April 12, 2012 - Log in to Reply
Reacting to this blog entry, a friend in the Army–a serving officer–who has had three long stints in JK sent this reaction. For obvious reasons his identity will remain concealed.Proposed Amendments to AFSPA1.Responding to UN Rapporteur Christof Heyns' suggestion to repeal the Armed Forces Special PowersAct (AFSPA), the Home Minister Mr Chidambaram said that the ministry had taken note of this view and addedthat his ministry had proposed three changes to this law. .2.While Chidambaram did not spell the amendments, sources in the Ministry said the amendments includetaking arrests warrants in advance, taking away the power of the armed forces to open fire causing death andsetting up of a grievance redress cell.The following issues related to the proposed amendments to AFSPA merit consideration:-Advance Warrant for Arrest.(i)Circumstances of arrest are entirely different in law and order situations dealt with bypolice and counter terrorist operations or public order situations for which Army is employed.(ii)Secrecy and speed of operation is paramount if arrest of dreaded terrorists and antinational elements is to be successfully executed. Seeking arrest warrant imposes time delay andmay compromise security.(iii) Armed Forces operate 24×7. Magistrates are generally not available on Sundays / publicholidays or during off duty hours.(iv)Arrests may need to be affected on LC/uninhabited jungles. Availability of magistrate insuch areas is questionable.(v)In any case under section 6 of AFSPA, arrested person are required to be handed over topolice at the earliest by not later than 24 hrs(vi) Adequate safeguards exist in the form of COAS Ten Commandments and Do’s andDon’ts to ensure no misuse of powers of arrest and detention.Taking Away Powers to use Force even to the extent of causing death(i)Powers given by Act of Parliament are keeping in view the nature of threat likely to befaced by Armed Forces in disturbed areas.(ii)Use of maximum force Not mandatory to meet all situations. Training and leadership ofArmed forces ensure moderation and use of minimum force.Such powers available to all armed forces employed in insurgency/terrorist environment.(iv)Removal of power to open fire causing death will make armed forces impotent andineffective,No instance of excess use of force by Army in last five yrs.Civilian causalities will occur due to error of judgment. Collateral damage is a cost thenation has to accept.Grievance Redressal Mechanism.Redressal Mechanism already exists in the form of Army and civil Courts and NHRC.Persons found guilty of excesses have been punished by the Army.(iii)Procedures laid down with respect to jurisdiction of Courts and for obtaining sanction forprosecution needs to be followed.(iv)Conflict of jurisdiction with Courts and NHRC likely if new statutory Body establishedfor grievance redressal.
Just read today that CBI has appointed two Colonels to help them Interpret the Tatra Deal. Wonder how unbiased would these Serving Colonels be…. They should have appointed any retired JAG officer who has experience in Corporate Contracts and is currently working in any Corporate Legal Department.
April 6, 2012 - Log in to Reply
great and sane thoughts in these trying times…..well written sir
superb in one word.
It is one sane piece on the subject read in the last three months. The rot in journalistic ethos at the top echelons is more disturbing. You don't need to fight cases in PCI to kill the nation's last institution standing – the damage is done.Your story needs wider circulation and be carried in the MSM. Sure you can swing that so that the common people don't lose faith in the military.
A thought-provoking piece indeed! Because you need courage to call a spade a spade – clearly understanding the fallacies of present-day media and asking for sanity to prevail at the most basic level, is what this piece is all about. It is high-time our media & its atrocious anchors realized the sanctity of some institutions…
Superb thoughts. Hope Karan Thapars, Shekhar Guptas, the Mishievous Babus and others of their ilk read and comprehend.Nation building is driven through synergy in thought and actions of 'visionary leader' and 'intellectual strategist'. Chandragupta Maurya and Kautilya together made such a team. Where is that team now? Can anyone from the current political class claim to be donning the mantle of Chandragupta? Or for that matter, anyone from bureaucratic class compare Kautilya? These, the politico-bureaucratic class have all tended to become 'mercenaries' who treat India as a 'bottomless gold mine' to be plundered, and even competitively scrape at the pillars which prevent the mine from caving in. They are not 'philosophers' nor 'visionaries' nor 'leaders' nor 'intellectuals' nor 'strategists' though frequently they do attempt to don either of these mantles, not to act the role but simply to hide behind the most convenient one to seek 'respectability' and evade accountability. They are a bunch of 'gold diggers' and their 'paid employees – mercenaries' perpetually seeking 'return on investment' in form of power and pelf. The media, which frequently displayed a propensity to challenge the status quo and periodically made feeble attempts to pull the nation out of the morass and hold the institutions of leadership & governance accountable, have finally exposed its soft underbelly too – that it, either out of ineptitude, gullibility, unprofessional competitiveness or sheer lure of commercial viability through govt doles, is more than ready to sell its soul and its core purpose.The military is not a 'pillar of democracy'. It is an 'instrument of democratic state'. The 'pillars of democracy' seem to be working on most convoluted assumption that while the 'pillars' chip at their own steel and mortar, it is the onus of the military to uphold and promote democratic values, national integration and national interests. A surely disgusting state of affairs which calls for major awakening and overhaul.
April 7, 2012 - Log in to Reply
Every Patriotic Indian subscribes to your view.more power to your pen my friend!
Thanks very much Jagmohan
Ajay,Thanks very much. I wrote what I thought was right. Many people may not agree though.
Thanks Kamal. You have already circulated it and put up on your website.I will not be true to myself, if I can't be critical of myself and my profession
Raja,Thanks for the support. I have always gone with my heart even if some times it means going against the established convention
Hi Ajay,To be honest your angry and passionate arguments and missives to some of my esteemed colleagues in the profession inspired me to look within and come up with this. Unfortunately, as Adm Vishnu Bhagwat said in the reply to my piece: “Kautilya’s Senapati met the Mauryan King morning and evening ….now all those who are running us down sup with him and fill his ears…”
Thanks very much
April 8, 2012 - Log in to Reply
As always – superbly written Sir !
Mr Nitin, an excellent article which definitely needs more circulation. When will people realise that India is ours to build and protect…..and that whichever job one is entrusted with, at the end of the day we are all on the same team! kautilya….oh how we need you today! regards.
Dear Nitin…well written…I think this time Indian Express has gone just too far…I have completely lost respect for Shekhar Gupta and his cronies who are responsible for the mischief…the IE coverage only goes to show that these people belong to the category of journalists who will sensationalise at any cost…what a shame to have senior editors of our national media doing such damage to the country…there are many others as well…wolves in sheeps' clothing…you know the people I am alluding to…Anyway, continue the good work…we need patriotism everywhere…not just in the Armed Forces…Best… Biswajit..
Dear Biswajit,Thanks very much. I wrote it more in anguish than anger. I am increasingly disillussioned by some of my professional collegues and their attitude. I know who you are talking about. Keep doing your job. Despite these opportunists, the majority fully supports our military.Thanks for your support.Take careNitin
Dear Zahl and Zubin,Thanks very much.
This is very well written. Unfortunately, (I think) the situation will get worse, before it gets better for the Armed Forces. As for Shekar Gupta and IE – They have undermined their credibility and judgment for ever
April 9, 2012 - Log in to Reply
Brilliantly put forth! And your pain comes through stark and clear. Thanks.Best regards.Ashutosh
Well, no space to go down any further, I guess. It has to be only up here after
April 18, 2012 - Log in to Reply
This is such an important message! Can I please share it on my blog? Need your permission!
Thank you! Here is the link http://speakingupforunsungheroes.blogspot.in/2012/04/soldier-state-and-media-nitin-gokhale.html
May 4, 2012 - Log in to Reply
Dear Nitin,An excellent piece. And there are still lower depths for the Army, nay, the Armed Forces to plumb; they have the most powerful enemies in the land. I shudder to think what will happen in the years ahead.
October 6, 2013 - Log in to Reply
Dear Nitin,Your quote from Kautilya is incomplete. Trust an Army Veteran to add on the IMPORTANT parts……….Regards Brig (Retd) Ajit Nair”To this man, O Rajadhiraja, you owe a debt for that very guarantee which is the vital key-stone of our nationhood arch. Please, therefore, see to it, suo motu, that you are constantly alive and sensitive to the soldier’s legitimate dues in every form and respect, be those his needs or his wants, including his place in the social order. Do thereafter (‘tadanantara’) ensure that he receives these in time or preferably ahead of time, in full measure, for he is NOT likely to ask for them himself. This is so because before getting so completely wrapped up in his onerous, harsh and exalted charge, the soldier has assumed with good reason that the State, in return for his extraordinary burden and services, has freed him from all responsibility towards his own present and future welfare as also that of his family back home in the hinterland. He is thus very clear in his mind when deployed at a distant border outpost, fighting lumpen groups within Magadha or when campaigning in far away lands that he need only look out in FRONT for the enemy of the State and concentrate only on his MILITARY ONUS and aim (‘shatrunjaya’), completely free of all temporal worries. This assumption is a holy sacrament and an unwritten covenant that exists between him and the State. And rightly so! If ever things come to a sordid pass, O King, when, on a given day, the Mauryan soldier has to LOOK BACK over his shoulder (‘Simhawalokana’) prompted by even a single nagging worry about his and his family’s material, physical and social well being, it should cause you and your Council the greatest concern and distress! I beseech you to take instant note and act with uncommon dispatch to address the soldier’s anxiety. It could be on account of harsh living conditions, inequitable material compensation or asymmetric Court or societal dispensations affecting either his self respect or his family’s material welfare, or both. If any in your household, in your Council or among your courtiers is/ are responsible for allowing matters to come to such a pass, punish him/ them exemplarily without loss of time and send him/ them to serve for four cycles of seasons (‘Chaturrutuchakre’) alongside the soldiers, on the border outposts. If they perish, those would be their just desserts. If they survive, they will return wiser and wizened, more responsive to and with greater empathy for the soldier’s cause. If you first learn of your soldiers’ problems and needs from your own trusted informers (‘gupt doota’) and NOT from the Commander-in-Chief (‘Senapati’) himself, relieve him of his charge and retain him not for another day. No matter how good a horseman (‘Ashwarohi’), a swordsman (‘Khadgaveera’), a wrestler (‘Malla’), an archer (Dhanurdhara) or a tactician (‘Rana neetigya’) he is, dismiss him (‘ardha chandra prayoga’) for failing to keep his ear close to the military ground. Dismiss him also for not having the gumption and courage to be the first to tell you of the soldiers’ anxiety and needs before the others do. The Senapati owes a downward loyalty and sensitivity to his troops in much the same way and measure as he owes these upwards to you, for this is a unique and age-old essential feature of sound military leadership and an article of faith between the troops and the General! It is my bounden duty to caution you, My Lord, that the day when the Mauryan soldier has to demand his dues or, worse, plead for them, will neither have arrived suddenly, overnight nor in vain. It will also bode ill for Magadha. For then, on that day, you, My Lord, will have lost all moral sanction to be Rajadhiraja ! It will also mark the beginning of the end of the Mauryan Empire!!”
April 5, 2012 - Log in to Reply
The alarming part of this is the way Govt reacted which depicts the total trust deficit between Govt and Army. This indeed is a dangerous trend. For Armed forces it is izzat and Iqbal which motivates them to lay their lives in battle, but alas the successive Govts in order to project the supremacy of civilan over the army has played havoc with this resulting in trust deficit. Both serving and retired defense forces personnel feel neglected and let down. Urgent measures are needed to restore their dignity and solving of their outstanding problems .
With the condition of present day Govt, there are many citizens in this country who will be happy to believe the coup story to be true!
April 2, 2012 - Log in to Reply
Late, but welcome step. Transparency in lying down the qualitative requirements, and streamlining the trial procedures also very essential.
December 1, 2012 - Log in to Reply
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April 4, 2013 - Log in to Reply
In depth analysis, Interesting story
March 18, 2012 - Log in to Reply
There is a slight error at para 3 of the letter written by Lt Gen (Retd) SK Bahri. The pay commission affected is the 4th, and not the fifth. Officers affected are Captains and senior ranks, not Majors to Brigadiers.
April 28, 2012 - Log in to Reply
Hi,It is quite interesting you brought up the story about Prakram. Personally I agree that there is nothing called “winnable nuke war” and nuke weapons are useless battlefield weapons.Howevere the is one major differences in terms of tactical weapons usuage by Pakistan compared to say between US & USSR. Between US and USSR if they use tact. weapons they would be open about it.However in case of Pakistan, they can actually get away with it by not disclosing that they have used tact nukes. Say for example Pak use tact weapon on one the Indian formation. India announces to the world that Pak has used nuke, Pak denies it. Will India be then able to convince the world? No one will believe it until countries like US confirms it.However will US agree with India? thereby indirectly giving a green light for Indian strategic strike? US will never want any one use stragetic nukes , thereby shaking the “nuclear apple cart” .India by itself will never resort to full fledge response, until it has convinced the world. We are “whiter than white”! Despite this loop hole, there is a silver lining. As I said tact nukes are useless. You would need quite a number of tact nukes to seriously degrade a Indian invasion force. 1/2 kt wil probably kill off 3-4 tanks at once. Nothing more. They just don't have the bang. Plus there is also the question of when Pakistan can use it. Will Pakistan use tact nukes if India is on the doors of Lahore? Can Pakistan take the risk of flying it' s tact nuke missiles over Lahore to reach IA divisions?Not a easy choice.
February 10, 2012 - Log in to Reply
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February 12, 2012 - Log in to Reply
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January 22, 2012 - Log in to Reply
Just hated to read one of the writers above alluding to the threat of 'withdrawal of President's pleasure' option.How low can a former three star stoop?Does he have an idea of what damage it would do to the Military of the country?
January 23, 2012 - Log in to Reply
Agree. Personal prejudices and bias often comes into play when former armed forces officers start expressing opinions about sensitive matters.
January 18, 2012 - Log in to Reply
Why item 46 and 47 are missing? Is it typing mistake? What does his passport show?Sundararajan
October 13, 2012 - Log in to Reply
This article is really good, I like it so much, there are some nice things you share in your blog.russian marriage
December 11, 2011 - Log in to Reply
you rummaged though the papers upstairs??? well done dad.. also I didn't know, that you didn't like Yusuf Khan then… any pieces you wrote when Md. Rafi or Kishore Kumar passed away? Put that up as well
Oh yes, I did. Well, with tend to become wiser with age isn't it? And yes I did write on Kishore Kumar. Will put up some time.
December 4, 2011 - Log in to Reply
A NICE TRIBUTE TO A LEGEND OF INDIAN CINEMA. MAY HIS SOUL REST IN PEACE.
Nitin, if you replaced Pune with Bangalore of the 80s, my story and those of my friends would just be the same. Dev Anand will always be a hero in our hearts, and for ever…Tarun Singha
Dev Anand's portrayal in Guide's angst in love and life is immortalized not only by the songs but also the way they were inextricably woven in teh very fabric of the movie. Sheer Brilliance.
I agree Tarun and Nishit. All of us will have personalised memories about Dev Anand.
Though my movie watching life started when the B&W movies were literally being forced on us by the life-saver “Doordarshan” and its sunday evening slot for a weekly movie bonanza, but Dev Anand movies always made sure that it never got bored…either on sunday “movie” time or Wednesday's “chitrahaar”….He was everywhere…everlasting…evergreen…
December 1, 2011 - Log in to Reply
please put up your blog link on your FB profile!!
December 7, 2011 - Log in to Reply
Dear Nitin,Great to read about this wonderful reunion. Would've been truly memorable and a real privilege for you! I know Gen Batoo and Brig RE Williams personally (the latter from the same regt as mine) and was good to catch up in the third person…How goes life with you?Col PK Mishra
November 28, 2011 - Log in to Reply
May God Bless you for such an honest brief. It conveys much more than what you had desired to convey. Thank you.
Thanks very much Col. Kurup
December 3, 2011 - Log in to Reply
A very inspirational piece..esp to be reiterated by the ones donning the uniform today!
December 5, 2011 - Log in to Reply
A true picture of a fauji and the trouble the children undertake to complete their education with frequent transfers of faujis as per the operational requiremets is unimaginable during those difficult times when communication facilities were limited. But yes the values you imbibed or emulated will certainly hold you at high esteem at this time when the present day enviorn has no values in their actof commission and omissions.Any way good luck my dear.Keep on doing the good work and of course remember fuaujis and do whatever little good you can do towardss them.ThanksVelayudhan
Thank You Unknown and Velayudhan!!
A very inspiring and motivating brief .Strongly recommended to be read by all donning uniform as well as dependents of all Soldiers.Your parents have given you good values for excelling in life
Thanks to articles like yours, we feel the acknowledgement of our duty & sacrifices made. If only the Government could acknowledge the same and utilise the services of ex Servicemen in policing, administration, education and other areas of governance, similar values of discipline, punctuality, honour, teamwork, professionalism, ethics and camaraderie could be incucated in government service & society.
I am overawed by your simplicity. And, yet so true rings each word that I am compelled to compliment you Sir – had you joined u'd have been senior to me ! and you not joining does'nt relegate the seniority ! Profound regards
Nitin,I would like to circulate this to all those fauji kids who are yet to realise what life in the defence forces has made them, if its OK with you. As for me, I feel that a fauji off spring, thrown on the street, will always land on his/ her feet, in any situation. I am happy to have come across your article.Regards,Group Capt. (Retd.) Shashi Nair
After a long,long time it was great to read such a true account of faujis life, which can be only understood by the people who have lived such a life. Please keep doing the great job so that the country and the government realise the importance of our defence forces. God forbid if the prsent state of affairs regarding the promotions, pay and parity continues, the day is not far when the country have to outsource for the defence of the country.
December 6, 2011 - Log in to Reply
well said Nitin …but we must help in restoring the honour back to services…slowly but steadily taken away by the babus… hope Maj Dhanapalan judgement will be the beginning…tc
Inspirational article written with a rare sense of honesty.
It was a pleasure read about you. It would be great to know of the Bombay Sapper influence in your experiences. Regards Email1970@yahoo.co.in
It was a pleasure to read about you. It would be great to know of the Bombay Sapper influence in your experiences. Regards Email1970@yahoo.co.in
it was really pleasure to read this article & being a ward of defense personnel i do understand the importance of fauji background in each step of my life…
December 8, 2011 - Log in to Reply
a true and great article on defense forces after many years……no wonder…..only someone who has experienced it can write…..congratulations……tapan
Want to thank all of you–Tapan, Tina Mukherjee, Davinder, Rajeev Verma, Mike.
Great write up.I want to congratulate and thank you for covering life of a fauji and its family through this write up. Since you are part of the big fauji family please do write on the changing environments and why todays youth is not so keen in coming to forces… Maj Narendra Tripathi
Mr.Gokhale as someone who is married to an Army officer I relate to your each and every word although one can not overlook the fact that Army as an organisation and people who form it have undergone tremendous changes since the time of your father and sadly some of those changes are not good.Nevertheless I still feel extremly honoured to be a part of it and wouldnt change this life for anything..
Nitin Gokhale….u will always remain a true fauji…so what if you have'nt donned the uniform….keep up the good workwith best wishes from an ex faujiKaran sampathHyderabadMob 8297968687
Nitin,Your article brought back nostalgic memories, memories from the day my Dad took me to Khadakwasla to watch West Indies play the Services, 1958-59, when I was in Class VIII in St Vincent's, a day that made me decide to join the NDA till my last day in uniform, covering the many postings, courses, difficult times as well as all the fun and frolic. And what I liked most about your article was how succinctly you brought out the charater building values of life in the fauj!Thank you and hats off to you.Ashim ChoudhuryP.S. I am proud my grandson is named Nitin
Nitin,May God bless you and familyWg Cdr J Thomas (Retd)
Tina Mukherjee, Tapan, Narendra, Priyanka, Sampath, Asim Choudhury and J. Thomas.I want to thank all of you from the bottom of my heart. Never expected such positive reactions from all of you who have written in and all those who have read this blog post.
December 12, 2011 - Log in to Reply
Dear Nitin,One is so proud of maitaining the values generated by your parents.Service before self in not only the army's motto but the same is mentioned in chapter 11 and 12 of the Bhagwad Geeta.Lord Krishna says ….if you want me then think of me and do service to me…..ie others as I'm in everyone.I retired as a Maj Gen and you had cocktails in my house.Rest whenever we meet.Unfortunately, my father who was a second world war vetern and was in the same unit as Gen SK Sinha passed away a few months back.I woould love to meet you and inter-act on many issues.RegardsANIL LAL/DR/Maj Gen(retd)
hi Nitin, i must have by now been a forgotten memory in your never ending list of servicemen u meet in the course of your profession. well I was commanding the 25 sector of the Assam Rifles in lekhapani in 2003/05 when we met and interacted. i was in touch with you for sometime thereafter.but like all things in the service we have moved on and drifted. I retd in 2008 fm pune and am settled down in Belgaum. my son is now a commissioned officer in the bn I served ie 12 MARATHAS and is currently posted in IMA after a tenure in manipur where he won a Sena Medal for gallentry. it would be nice to reest contact. do get in touch. Regards. Brig M R Pattar. cell no 9449221641
December 13, 2011 - Log in to Reply
From one army kid to another. It's an explicable bond that transcends caste, community, profession and much else. Having been born, brought up and married into the army, I know no other life. My profession as a journalist gives me a window to other worlds and brings home to me each day, the blessing that I have to be born in this one. It's a life like no other.Where old world values still survive, where people still teach their children the virtues of honesty and hardwork, where the rough life is not something to whine but to celebrate. I, like many others identify with many things said in your blog post. The army brat can survive and flourish almost anywhere. May the tribe live long and hard !Chander Suta DograBureau Chief -NorthOutlook newsmagazine
December 15, 2011 - Log in to Reply
Thanks Chander Suta. May there be many more like us!!
Gen Lal,Yes of course I remember having met you in Leh. Thank You for your remarks
December 26, 2011 - Log in to Reply
Thanks for such a wonderful write-up Nitin. Having served in the IAF as an airman for 21 years and having got posted to 7 units throughout the length and breadth of our nation, I nostalgically recollect those journeys now. There are so many funny, mischievous and sometimes painful anecdotes that I can relate to your sentence ” reservations were never confirmed”. Thanks again, and may God bless you and your family. Here's wishing you all a very happy and prosperous new year, too.Achuthan (Sgt – Retd)
December 28, 2011 - Log in to Reply
Thanks for an excellent write up for this has not only made me proud of my service in Indian Air Force but also I could show you as an example to my son, Prashanth, who is a software engineer and does not respect my service. I wish all the servicemen should have a child like you so that we feel proud of our service in the past. We are disrespected by the society after leaving the service and are considered fit for only security jobs even though we can do better than anybody else. May God bless you and your family members.
Hari! Om! Wonderful anecdote Nitin Ji. I must say you have kept up to your fauji spirits in your present profession & life. I happen to getyour link from an ex-serviceman relative.The narration is something of an out of the world experience for me & my siblings too. I am totally moved and am horipilating.I see signs of nostalgia, of my good olden days that we experienced in the Air Force Camps, all across, India.I suggest & hope everyone should read your Salutation to the Warrior Clan.To conclude my comment, Hats' Off to your narrative capabilities & journalistic professionalism. JAI! HIND! Vedam ChandrasekharIndependent Engineering Professional
DEAR NITIN,YOUR BLOG WAS PASSED ONTO ME BY AN ARMY BRIGADIER FRIEND OF MINE. THE VALUES THAT YOU EXEMPLIFY ARE THE HIGHEST VALUES ANY ONE WOULD WANT TO ESPOUSE AND INCULCATE. IT REQUIRES SELF REMEMBRANCE AND DEEP CONVICTION TO TREAD A LONE PATH. BRAVO AND HATS OFF TO YOU. GOD BLESS YOU AND YOUR FAMILY. WITH BEST WISHES. ANAND GUNE
Dear Anand Gune, Vedam Chandrashekhar, Sgt. Achutan, Thanks for your compliments. I write from the heart and that has perhaps touched a chord in all of you somewhere.God Bless.
April 17, 2012 - Log in to Reply
Wow! This piece makes me nostalgic! Dad was an officer and we travelled to see him only in the summers. I have had it better than most officer's kids I know, but that doesn't mean the army has not had an influence in my life. Today, as a media professional, I think my father's constant reiterations on life and living have rubbed off on me, in some small degree.And yes, despite all the issues surrounding the army, I am extremely proud of this country's soldiers. Fantastic piece! And salute to you! 🙂
salute to you sir for pouring your heart out on this piece ,it can only be done by the journalist of your caliber hats off to you sir and proud to be born in to this family..
Dear Nitin, I happen to see this piece today only on net and you should believe me it hit me instantly. Being part of the Indian Armed Forces gives you a real kick to be candid and honest. There is no two way about it. You have put the words the way I am seeing it like on celluloid. I left IAF in 1998 as a Sergeant after I got a chance. Without any doubt I can vouch that Air Force has been like a second mother to me. I joined as a matriculate and when left I had an MBA (marketing) A grade degree from the University of Pune. I vividly remember when my children were younger, they used to feel very happy whenever we had to shift our house hold. It was very frequent. Those days (80s-90s) Air Force Station Lohegaon had tremendous housing scarcity. The biggest gift Air Force has given is that my children can cohabit and coexist with anyone without any air or rancor. The biggest value Forces teach is being rooted and grounded. May god bless you for a candid admission and it should be able to impart some education to our young countrymen.
Nostalgic for any army brat. We have huge hopes on you, as much as on ourselves!
Shruthi,Coming from another fauji kid, priceless!Thanks
Thanks a lot Rishesh
Thanks for your kind words, Amar Prasad
Well, I hope I will be able to live upto those hopes. The attempt will always be there.
August 17, 2012 - Log in to Reply
Nitin.. I still remember the short, yet memorable meeting I had with you in Jun/Jul 99… OP VIJAY. I was the Detachment Commander of the Helicopter Detachment at Kargil. Though you may not place me … since you would have met and interacted with so many like me then and since then to now…. but for me it was a very very memorable interaction. The depth of your research and study even then was what left a mark on me. If I remember correctly, you worked for theOutlook group then… I still have your visiting card that you gave me…. :). I was then Major Prashant Oak… now at Mumbai as Col(Retd) Prashant Oak, taken up commercial aviation as my second profession, flying for Deccan Charters. Would love to meet you again and hear out your experiences during your years as a Defence Journalist….YOU ARE BEST DEFENCE JOURNALIST of our country. Regards, Good Luck and God Spede.
You are an inspiration to ordinary people like us.It's great that you have given here such a true and open picture of how Fauj is such an integral part of your life.
August 19, 2012 - Log in to Reply
Maj Gen Manmohan, Singh email@example.com to read excellent piece , my dear Nitinyou will recall that i had invited you to Army school , Shankar Vihar delhi and we also shared a stage at Devlali.I was MD of army welfare education society from jan 2004 to dec 2010. now settled at Mohali.will be a pleasure to meet you whenever u come this side.
August 21, 2012 - Log in to Reply
Dear Prashant,Sorry for the late reply. Was away in Assam.You are very kind. Your words embarrass me no end! One has learnt to try and do the job at hand to the best of one's ability. The results would come.I really haven't done anything extraordinary, just remained true to my calling.I will be frank. I remember our meeting in Kargil only vaguely. But now that I see your picture, I do recall it a bit.Good to know you have made a successful transition to a second career. Whenever I come to Mumbai will get in touch. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org.Please do get in touch whenever possible.Warm RegardsNitin
Yes Gen Manmohan,I do remember our meetings.Thank you very much for your kind words.
September 2, 2012 - Log in to Reply
Hi Nitin, Cam to your blogspot through a forward by Ajith Chauhan email@example.com, who forward interesting fauji articles. As an exNDa who left the fauj early, I got to see the best of fauj before the internet and cell phones started affecting the Ethos. As I struggle to convince my son to join the NCC, many of my EX Fauji friends and colleagues who are themselves fauji children and who have seen the services from their birth don't want their children to join the fauj. In some cases they are going to extreme lengths to even discourage those children who are keen. Earlier I used to blame them. However a recent visit to a few army and navy messes and officer's accommodation helped me to see the real picture. These degradation in these institutions tell both the story and also provide the reason about where its all headed.
September 5, 2012 - Log in to Reply
I wanted but unfortunately could not join Army.But the circular world made my son to become a Fouji and thus fulfilling my hidden desire in some form. You are right when you said that the SANSKAR of Fouj are great and mould the children to be in similar culture of discipline & meticulousness. I am of the opinion that if the NATION has to become worthy of proud,at least one person from each family should be in FOUJ. This venture will make every citizen like you and our country as we desire.
September 11, 2012 - Log in to Reply
December 11, 2012 - Log in to Reply
Nitin,Please send in your email ID. I want your feedback on starting an all India magazine for ex-servicemen. I am already publishing two newspapers in Mumbai. I am an ex-army officer. Please reply at firstname.lastname@example.org
January 3, 2013 - Log in to Reply
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January 15, 2013 - Log in to Reply
Nitin,I can so much relate to what you say, being a fauji child. For whatever I have in life today, I thank my fauji upbringing more than anything else. Its a way to live!Thanks for putting it in words so well. I can now very well explain to people what I exactly mean by adaptability being my strength..:)-Prerana
January 30, 2013 - Log in to Reply
October 2, 2013 - Log in to Reply
Well Nitin your article proves that you r a winner for life with the values,principles and scruples (sanskaras as we know them) that have been programmed into your DNA. You do not need to be in uniform to be a soldier, every body is one in the battle of life unfortunately only very few live upto it. We r proud of you.
January 31, 2014 - Log in to Reply
well as they say once a fauji always a fauji!!!! being a fauji kid n a fauji, can completely relate to each n every word of wat you have said….
March 13, 2014 - Log in to Reply
Nitin, Thanks for putting into words all that most of us believe in……that it all starts at home…..an Army Brat and now raising two of my own this gypsy life is now in my blood.I thank you for all that you do, to make it all seem Real.Most people I know cannot connect to the job that my husband and his brothers -in -arms do. For them…Army life is nothing more than one big party. Not many understand the tough times the children and the wives face….. they are the Silent Ranks.But your words do give us Hope…..that whatever may happen there are people who believe stillin this beautiful organization
February 19, 2020 - Log in to Reply
It's so very interesting to read. Almost a decade after your episode with AF, I faced a similar situation, albeit , I succeeded in joining the IMA instead of my dream to be in the AFA. Very much explains your love for the NE and those many journalist accounts you shared I'm various talks.
November 24, 2011 - Log in to Reply
Welcome onboard, Nithin. Tarmak007
November 26, 2011 - Log in to Reply
Good one, Nitin! I also remember 1971 war with a different context but most of us from our generation have exciting memories of those days filled with passion and nationalistic fervor! And then you came to Jalgaon where we spent next three years together – I also have fond memories of that time and so do you…!Write on, man…!!!
Raja,Does age make us more nostalgic? So many memories come flooding back when I think of those days in Jalgaon and before that in Misa!!Thanks for being a steadfast friend!!
December 16, 2011 - Log in to Reply
Nicely woven experiences of a young mind. Our generation has similar experiences with variations depending on the proximity to the two fronts or distance from either.
November 23, 2011 - Log in to Reply
A good informative article
A well researched article and content, tone & tenor befitting the performance of R R . Felt proud of the management expertise of our Generals and leadership of officers and the above all the Bravery,courage commitiment and a zillion other encomiums of our son of soil soldiers.
Fantastic dad. On the right track…
November 25, 2011 - Log in to Reply
Nitin, Let me be the second to comment. We have now worked together for some years. I continue to admire your steadfastness and sense of balance. Also your passion for doing what you feel strongly about. I see myself in that mould albeit still quite stilted. Great to see you on your own Blog. I for one will be a regular commentator, so you have to tolerate me. Ata Hasnain
Gen. Hasnain,thanks for your observation. I 100 per cent agree on the traits that we seem to share!! Please continue to comment whenever you get time. I will try and contribute as much as I can.
August 19, 2013 - Log in to Reply
India is not impressed by truth, logic, integrity or competence. It is a slave of bollywood and the Neta-Babu Quota-Corruption Raj culture. It needs a palatable, sugar coated placebo. Or, did you, after 66 years, still hope otherwise?
August 8, 2013 - Log in to Reply
I have numerous questions:1: The inability of local commanders in retaliating is a sign of diminishing autonomy?2: What restricts India from taking a tough and immediate symmetrical action?3: In the track II circuit, there are repeated and consensual recommendation to start talking to the Pakistani Army, for the obvious reasons. What stops India from adopting practical strategies? 4: Is it really difficult for India to have an iron fist in a velvet glove vis-a-vis Pakistan?5: If GOI has any political inhibitions to take strong action against Pakistan, who is responsible for these? Is there no consensus on perception of Pakistan among domestic constituencies?
One of the best summations of the Poonch Ambush. Reckoning must not victimise or result in blamestorming. Sub-area commanders dont live in a vacuum. Overall top class work!
Very well written.
August 10, 2013 - Log in to Reply
1. Very well written post, feeling the pulse of the matter.2. Question No 5 of Amruta K is very pertinent. It is well known that Terrorist infrastructure and training camps are intact across the LOC and no talks can dismantle it. Unless there is major upheaval of change in the Army and ISI of Pak,terrorism against India will continue.In my opinion, talk to Pak whenever they want but continue with our proactive counter terrorism and cross border terrorism operations, ten Pak heads for one Indian Head. This is the only way to deal with Pak. Please learn good lessons from Israel, USA and so many other countries who hold their National Interest at all cost. We need to be “strong and good neighbor” not “weak and good neighbor”.
August 11, 2013 - Log in to Reply
Well analysed article.Is it an OLQ problem? Young officers seem to lack initiative and leadership qualities.
Additionally, there may well be a need to dispel any perception of antagonism or lack of trust between the political, bureaucratic and uniform'd components of our defence structure as all external hostile entities need to be disabused of any notions to the contrary.
August 1, 2013 - Log in to Reply
Very well articulated point of view. It is high time the Indian defence pundits, I mean the Govt machinery who deals with matters of Perspective planning of modernisation of Indian Armed forces understand Strategic Planning for long term defence of the country lest we land up in a crisis management situation always.Myopic control regims will land the country in difficult position in future due to the Pandits failing in forecasting the course of events & the options to deal with for which preparations have to be undertaken now & it has to be a continuous process. Environment ministry & state ministries cannot be in stand alone mode without considering the importance of integrity of our Civilisation( Country). as far as the ITBP issue is or for that matter BSF on other borders, the Govt has to take a long term view rather than making it as a turf domination matter.If external security is the primary task of the armed Forces all other organisations helping them in peace situations will have to be reporting to the armed forces & not to anybody else. This is called SYNERGY, which is essential. Next is the reqmt of CDS/ permanent Chairman of the Chiefs of staff committee as a single point adviser to the head of the Govt & The President. Rather than taking shelter of difference of opinion within the Armed Forces The Govt should order it like USA had done.The post Kargil commission had also emphasised on the need of such an arrangement.I also take liberty to repeat your words I quote “” Policy makers in India must be mindful of the fact that military preparedness and trying to improve diplomatic relations are not necessarily mutually exclusive.”” Sandeep
July 18, 2013 - Log in to Reply
War is already on the door step.This is do or die now. Defense sector is already open for FDI but we should make it at least 51%. This will enable us to have local supplies and R&D. Nation should put together highly skilled broad based procurement teams to cut the red tape.
Comment by Maj Gen Krishen Khorana (retd)@nitingokhale. Unfortunately, the nation has no knowledge on such subjects. The govt plays the fool and keeps the public in dark about real state of national security.A simple example. It would be revealing to take account of arty/armour gun QFCs, residual engine hrs of tank engines and other tracked vehicles; to arrive at army's capability to remain battle worthy beyond first seven days of being fielded in battle. That may give one some idea of entire army's capability for a sustained war beyond 48 hrs!!No service chief has had the courage to inform his client nation the actual 'on ground' capability to fight India's war with the force he commands. It isn't without reason that Gen Ved Malik told his Prime Minister “we'll fight with whatever we have” or for Gen V K Singh to impress on his Prime Minister about operational “hollowness” of Indian Army.V K Singh may be faulted for inappropriate, motivated and ill timing of his assertions. BUT he is the only COAS post 1947 who put his 'butt on the line' by stating a 100% Truth, to the greatest discomfort of ruling politicians and their IAS advisers. Of course V K SIngh's pounds of flesh were relished by the political rulers, bureaucrats, paid media and some in the military too
Well written (as always!). But I wonder if articles such as these actually reach the people who need to read it the most!Other than the points you have covered, i think that reorganisation of the Higher Defence Organisation is the one thing that can get the security consciousness of this nation on track. As of now, the CCS has bureaucrats and politicians. I am not really sure that either have a clear idea on the application of military power as a tool of national power and so, the policies regarding military power are mere expressions of intent as opposed to actual manifestation of national power.
July 14, 2013 - Log in to Reply
I am proud to say that my father Lt Gen Mike Lahiri, PVSM commanded this formidable Division just before it was moved to Kashmir. Chandan Lahiri
July 15, 2013 - Log in to Reply
When does this air? And when will it be on the net?
July 9, 2013 - Log in to Reply
Wonderfully detailed account of the rescue effort by IAF.In case it is feasible, you may, one day, touch upon the heroic efforts of the technical crews and their Officers of the AE branch who must have slaved round the clock in their hangars, away from the limelight and all the glory, to maintain serviceability of aircraft and associated systems and enable them to be airborne to meet operational requirements.
June 23, 2013 - Log in to Reply
Hearing of this remarkable feat of the IAF. I am very proud of being an Ex- IAF veteran aviator. I wish I could have participated in these relief operations today in rescuing so many of our countrymen and foreign tourists.
Very interested in knowing how the new Army Aviation birds, besides the trusted old alouettes, performed at altitude in Uttarakhand.
June 24, 2013 - Log in to Reply
Nice write up…Nitin. The An-32s…way back during Op Pawan…. also did something similar by carrying fuel in flexible tanks positioned in the cargo compt for replenishing the stock at either Jaffna or Trinco…. I forget where. We took of from the main land…..this is also a regularly done by the IL76 at Leh during winters when the road are closed and fuel stocks touch red levels.
July 5, 2013 - Log in to Reply
Well written, but didn't you highlighted the wrong aircraft for the refuelling missions? The C130J might have brought the fuel at the end, but it wasn't cleared for landing in the effected areas during the first days, that's why IAF used in recon roles only.It was the Mi 26 instead, that transported 30 barrels of fuel to Dharasu at first and kept the helicopter operations going on. Moreover, without the Mi 26 carrying the fuel bowser's to the air strips later, the C130J wouldn't be able to divert the fuel either! Both actually showed the importance of the Mi 26 for IAF's logistical roles in these mountain areas, because whenever there is a need of heavy lift capacity, but a lack of suitable airstrips for fixed winged aircraft's, it is the “only” option to transport such cargo or vehicles. For some reasons however it was just mentioned as a side note, while the C130J got the credit in the media.Regards
June 22, 2013 - Log in to Reply
Salute to indian army! This is the time when even Gods have left this Devbhumi!
June 20, 2013 - Log in to Reply
And to think that these simple and dedicated human beings have to fight the entrenched corrupt system for their legitimate dues like pay and pension.Where pray was the all powerful and all knowing CIVIL administration?
Civil administration? They are the best brains of India, they sustain and run the Country. They have made themselves indispensible in the art and craft of keeping Political masters happy and comfortable. Poverty, indignity, hardships, suffering at the mercy of nature's fury,,,,et all is beyond the ambit of Civil administration. These administrators and the political class know that this is only a passing phase, and will be forgotten. They are never affected, their heart and mind is else where!Sreedhar Chandan
June 30, 2013 - Log in to Reply
The juniour officers always look up to him as their role model.General has lived up to all the values we prey for in NDA every morning before starting our day. And may I also add , he has always put Service Before Self
June 16, 2013 - Log in to Reply
While I tend to agree with all that has been said, the moot question is whether these ideas will ever get executed. A case in point is the border management along the line of actual control with China. The ITBP continues to be deployed along certain very sensitive areas, but has not been placed under the overall Operational control of the army. The reactions and operating procedures of both the Army and the ITBP are different. This is leading to tremendous ambiguity and confusion due to the differing chains of command and control. It may lead to many more incursions and such like incidents in the future as the one that we witnessed at Depsang La recently. Its high time that the 'Turf Wars' that are being played out in the corridors of power are curtailed and a National Security Perspective is given primacy.
June 18, 2013 - Log in to Reply
An important point that comes to my mind is that, some say the Service Chiefs were given the option of taking over secretarial powers thereby changing the GoI TOB rules during the deliberations of the Naresh Chandra Committee. However, it seems the chiefs themselves were not really in favor of taking on secretarial powers. Hence, the Services themselves are to a certain extent responsible for the mess we find ourselves in!
June 29, 2013 - Log in to Reply
Why were the men and women of Azad Hind Fauj or Indian National Army not absorbed in the post-independence Indian Army? Were they any less patriotic than the British Indian Army?Why did the Indian Army stop at present LOC and not proceed to get back the entire POK in 1947 or 1965 or 1971?What would you do to a corrupt Chief like Kapoor who has all the powers?
July 4, 2013 - Log in to Reply
this piece is blowing services' trumpet as done by every member of services. let them first clear their own stables where many General ranking officers are being dismissed/court martialled on weekly basis for corruption.and it is also a fact that even though armed forces of india are best paid they left no stone turned to suck more money frm 6th pay comm by putting the entire discipline i jeopardy, this too in a poor country like India.it is nothing but an attempt to get more promotions, money or power. (as usual)
June 10, 2013 - Log in to Reply
The problem lies in ability to match the evolving threats. The basic question of governance and accountability is lacking as there are fiefdoms in the political and bureaucratic arena. This is of course manifested by vote bank politics. Unless these basic issues are addressed no amount of restructuring is likely to help.
HAS MMS AND HM READ IT.
June 9, 2013 - Log in to Reply
Not fair and correct understanding of facts and warfare. In case the than Chief of Air Force disagree with act of Civilian Government in running of war, he must had resigned atonce. Such act would had caused no loss to his pension but only loss of bribes in defence procurement. Corruption induced + HR Abuser defence forces are no guarantee for any safety + protection. This is fact of present day India life.
November 7, 2013 - Log in to Reply
Be clear about one thing–in times of war it Is the military and the political hierarchy which takes decisions as to the conduct of all defensive and offensive operations .No outsiders are involved unless the Nation is either on the brink of defeat ,or is not sure of its own military and diplomatic strength against an enemy who has proved itself to be stronger. Whether use of offensive air power would have tilted the balance in favour of India , at a time when the Army and the Nation were not giving a very good account of of itself , is a moot point and we can make all sorts of conjectures now. May be if we had used the Indian Navy to seal the SLOC's Westwards from the Malacca Straits onwards , the Chinese may have sued for peace!! But we did not use the Navy aggressively!Viewed pragmatically , the Country was not only militarily unprepared to fight a war but frankly speaking the National will and resolve was also lacking. As Indians , it was definitely not our finest hour–we were ready to buckle to soon. England,under the leadership of Churchill fought for more than a year against vastly superior forces –all alone. Sorry , but I disagree if now it is being said that the 'Government/Nehru' did not approve the ' use of the IAF '.http://papyrustony.blogspot.in/2013/11/much-ado-about-nothing-1962-and-beyond.html
November 17, 2013 - Log in to Reply
I do not mean to denigrate any one or belittle the sacrifices done by the brave men of the Indian Army and the IAF, but it is important to put on record certain unpleasant facts.Viewed pragmatically , the Country was not only militarily unprepared to fight a war but frankly speaking the National will and resolve was also lacking. As Indians , it was definitely not our finest hour–we were ready to buckle to soon. England,under the leadership of Churchill fought for more than a year against vastly superior forces –all alone. Sorry , but I disagree if now it is being said that the 'Government/Nehru' did not approve the ' use of the IAF '.By no means am I disparaging the valiant effort of the soldiers and the airmen who did what they did to the extent possible.—Viewed pragmatically , the Country was not only militarily unprepared to fight a war but frankly speaking the National will and resolve was also lacking. As Indians , it was definitely not our finest hour–we were ready to buckle to soon. England,under the leadership of Churchill fought for more than a year against vastly superior forces –all alone. Sorry , but I disagree if now it is being said that the 'Government/Nehru' did not approve the ' use of the IAF '.By no means am I disparaging the valiant effort of the soldiers and the airmen who did what they did to the extent possible.—http://papyrustony.blogspot.in/2013/11/much-ado-about-nothing-1962-and-beyond.html
June 7, 2013 - Log in to Reply
Dear Sir,I liked the piece. Just want to ask three questions..1. Is it possible to institutionalize some arrangement where National Media's responsible players will send their journalists for regular interaction with armed forces? 2. Is it possible for Military to have orientation programmes-not just for journos but also for bureacracy (something like NDC courses)? Where stakeholders including politicians can come and discuss freely. 3. Do you see any role for Indian National Defence University in bridging the gap between armed forces and civilian expertise (researchers, scientists, journalists)? Sankalp Gurjar. Mob-88266 email@example.com
July 2, 2013 - Log in to Reply
Nice,Thanks for your greatful informations, working in, ASIAN AFFAIRS MAGAZINE.Try to post best informations like this always Indo-Pak relations : Can Sharif keep his word?
May 26, 2013 - Log in to Reply
Perhaps the best summarization of the Dispute and the way to cut the Gordian knot.It requires:A balanced understanding between the Civil and Military leadership so that effective measures can be taken; andEducating the Indian public not to get hysterical in its reaction to the ups and downs in India-China negotiations.Lastly, understand that it may take time to come to a mutually satisfactory agreement.
May 1, 2013 - Log in to Reply
My Best Wishes & Congratulations
Restores my faith in journalism. Power to you! May your tribe grow and prosper.
May 2, 2013 - Log in to Reply
Wish more power to your mature, competent and earnest pen.
Dear Nitin,We need more people like you in the tribe. I am an opposite of you. Wanted to be a journalist, but ended up being an Army Officer. But thoroughly enjoyed my career(left prematurely). Wishing you all the best for the future.Col(Retd) K R Sivaraman
Sanarjeet, Shael, Kuraikose, Sivaraman,Many thanks.
May 2, 2015 - Log in to Reply
It was lovely going through those three decades. There is a book in this, Nitin. Write it soon.
Wonderful Informative Post
May 10, 2013 - Log in to Reply
After 50 years of the incident, it is really very interesting to navigate into the issue again. Wonderful story
April 18, 2013 - Log in to Reply
This may sound an old grouse, but is not. Needs to be pointed out that a soldier has been systematically and consciously degraded in the eyes of civilians. Time was when a General was respected universally. A few years ago, a small time industrialist once boasted to me “Oh I get 5 Generals in my visitors room on any one day, looking for jobs. I let them wait!” How and why has this stage been reached?, if anyone can get to the bottom of this, it would give the answer to why soldiers to-day feel demoralised.Time also was when if a jawan/sailor/airman had problems at home regarding land, family disputes etc, Commanding Officers would write to the District Administration. Action would be taken and even a reply would be received at the unit. To-day nobody cares. They have enough problems on their hands to deal with than to look after welfare of a simple soldier who isn't even on the horizon. I wonder if those letters are even filed.To empathise with the Officer class, it is in large measure they who have to deal with the fall out of this neglect. This is not absolve officers of their own shortcomings in dealing with sub-ordinates, yet, it does add to their burden. There could perhaps be nothing more frustrating for them than to have to listen to problems effecting morale which are totally beyond their control yet which have a direct bearing on their own Officer – jawan relationship.DK Cooper
April 19, 2013 - Log in to Reply
May wish to see another article on similar themehttp://www.usiofindia.org/Article/?pub=Journal&pubno=579&ano=702
It is a very deeply studied write up from a different perspective.Probably, Indian middle class no longer cares about the day to day affair of ordinary soldier and the changing economic system has fueled in the situation.
April 22, 2013 - Log in to Reply
How true. Despite St Antony attempting to maintain his lily white image by now recusing himself from approving deviations from defence purchase procedures , there is no going back on the facts that stare one in the face – St Antony has been Defence Minister since 2006 -long enough for him to have galvanized the domestic defence production industry and long enough for the blame for the lack of it today to be laid squarely at his door.
April 26, 2013 - Log in to Reply
Great to see a creative commons image from Flickr on this blog post.Perhaps the blog owner could consider re-embedding the image by clicking on the “Share”—-> Grab HTML (of appropriate size) links on top of the Flickr photo so as to meet Flickr TOS.Regards.
April 12, 2013 - Log in to Reply
Nice read. However, how I wish that the process could be made faster! One must however realise the complexities of a deal such as this, and this article is a move in that direction. However, I wonder why is it that the government is insisting on HAL being the lead contractor. If we want to make the defence manufacturing sector competitive, the only way is to allow private players to join the fray. And if indigenisation is our final goal, I don't think that HAL will get us there going by their past and present track record!
Thanks. The Government's hands are tied as far as HAL is concerned since the RFP clearly mentions HAL as the lead integrator!. You are right about private sector. Think it is starting to happen
April 10, 2013 - Log in to Reply
March 3, 2013 - Log in to Reply
Wonderful human face to a legendary hero through eyes of a close associate. Thanks for this interesting read.
Loved the piece NG. Great story.
good one sir, i believe this incident happened with you when u went to DSSC to deliver lecture two three days back.
nice article!!!! from a different perspective..
Wonderful blog post. Many thanks.
Perhaps you could do a story on the many such “Kennedy”s that are there in the various stations. They are a treasure house of the history of our forces. Unfortunately, we don't look after them as we should.Nandi(Angry Goswami)
March 4, 2013 - Log in to Reply
Indeed. Thanks Ajay!
Many Thanks Avatar
Good suggestion, Angry Goswami!
Hello Sir, I am a Parsi. And I love anything to do with our dear “Sam Bahadur”. I would love to share this article on my blog – http://4ms.in.I seek your permission to do so. Please let me know if it is ok with you.Thanks & Regards,Porus D. Tavadia
Wonderful article. Please could you included your contact details in your profile, as I wish to write to you.Thanks and regards,Lakshmi Nair
wonderful article. can't help than to agree with Kennedy abt the governments treatment of the HERO. especially in his death. even the services bungled. boond se gayee woh houd se nahi aati. no use now to repair damage by some lectures, events…
Excellent article sir. Some good reminisence of a repectable and honourable soldier.
March 6, 2013 - Log in to Reply
Thanks for this excellent article!
March 7, 2013 - Log in to Reply
the article was a wonderful read Nitin…Howsoever hard I had tried to meet Gen Sam while I was undergoing the Staff Course in 2005-06, I was never lucky, since he was sick for a long time. A grear soldier and a great Hero…wish the country had treated him well, at least in his death!!Nischal Sood
March 13, 2013 - Log in to Reply
A lovely read … I miss the old days of the uniforms and mess and batmen etc… also miss the quiet, damp solitude of hills in the rains…
April 17, 2013 - Log in to Reply
a fascinating story…..loved a lot Sir
September 26, 2013 - Log in to Reply
I happen to listen to his famous lectures twice, once at IMA in 1984, and second time during my YO's course at School of Arty Devlali in 1986. Both times i spoke to him one on one after the lecture during lunch and was totally humbled by his simplicity as he could relate to a 2nd Lt also while talking about the profession of being a soldier. Never mind the Govt's apathy towards him as he does not need any recognition from fools of today who pass as leaders.
March 9, 2013 - Log in to Reply
What a analysis sir.. thanks for sharing such a wonderful thing…Indian defense equipment market
February 15, 2013 - Log in to Reply
Thanks for the clarity on facts….
February 16, 2013 - Log in to Reply
I may have missed due to Age but I distinctly remember during Jaguar Deal,name of Top Politician who was sr min in the Cabinet (of Nehru era) was doing Rounds that Precious Gifts/Stones were deposited in Paris Bank Lockers
February 23, 2013 - Log in to Reply
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March 14, 2013 - Log in to Reply
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January 22, 2013 - Log in to Reply
A chronological listing of the events and the way they panned out. Isn't it ironic that today the electronic media bemoans the freedom and speed of the social media, when just a few years back, the print media was saying the same things about electronic media. Times do change. Surprised to see a mention about “fauji wives” more than once, as being reliable sources of info. Are they ?
January 25, 2013 - Log in to Reply
in this case it was felt that indian media went ballistic, more than pak media.
March 12, 2013 - Log in to Reply
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June 16, 2015 - Log in to Reply
Wow…it was a wonderful read. The way you have put it, makes the reader look forward to next paragraph. I was hoping to read the interview too.
December 22, 2012 - Log in to Reply
People overcome such great adversity in the armed forces and it will never come out in the open. In the open, civilian sector, a little short of breath while doing one's chore will exult the 'one' to a higher acknowledged status.The armed forces need to stop acting noble and start celebrating acts of bravery. Vociferously at that.This is a good beginning. Need to publicize it.
December 16, 2012 - Log in to Reply
A nation that loses its military values threatens its very existence and our people unfortunately can't see beyond votes and green-bucks.
June 9, 2014 - Log in to Reply
“The day the soldier has to demand his dues, will be a sad day” thankfully we now have a government where this is not true anymore
This should have been done long ago. Its indeed sad that army has been pleading since 1960. If we cannot respect our soldiers how do we expect them to be loyal to the nation?
December 6, 2012 - Log in to Reply
Funny how none of the indiscipline in the IPKF is being mentioned anywhere by any Indian! For things to improve, we first have to face realities.
December 15, 2012 - Log in to Reply
Wonderful review. But the part which reads, “..there was not a single official or citizen to receive or welcome the disembarking men at Madras when they returned home..” needs a bit of an amendment.A posse of customs officials were specially deputed to greet the returning soldiers, to inspect their baggage and to confiscate or tax items such as video cassette players that the troops had picked up to take home to their families after a prolonged, dangerous and far from pleasant tour of duty.There was a legend about a JCO who, in his frustration and dismay, picked up the VCR he had purchased as a gift for his daughter's wedding and smashed it on the desk of a customs inspector with a gruff request to forward the pieces as a gift to the General the JCO had served.
January 2, 2013 - Log in to Reply
Brig Palsokar has written a highly detailed, factual and very honest review of the events in IPKF war. This book is a must read for any follower of military history especially related to Indian army. The book has valuable lessons for not just serving, retired or aspiring Armed forces officers and soldiers but also civilians who can draw on these lessons (leadership, values, courage, integrity, importance of planning) and apply them in business and other spheres.
February 24, 2013 - Log in to Reply
Judge : DON'T HANG R Gandhi's killers: R Gandhi WAS EXECUTED-NOT ASSASINATED-FOR MASS DEATHS CAUSED IN SRI LANKA, THANKS to the “”super”” babu's duper advise !INDIRA another “victim” of babu's advise. . .Lessons from the infamous Nuremberg Trials, IPKF FIASCO & OPS BLUE STAR : CARING OUT “ILLEGAL ORERS” EVEN DURING WAR,IS A HANGING OFFENSE !
December 4, 2012 - Log in to Reply
Excellent, informative analysis.
November 23, 2012 - Log in to Reply
Your blog reminded me of my trip to S 21. Could not gather myself to click even one photo at S21 or any other such site. How can some one do this to another human being. A good report.
September 25, 2012 - Log in to Reply
Thank you for this much needed up-date.The blog post includes the text,“..These are expected to largely meet the demands of the defence pensioners on one rank one pension…”.Not in all the cases. There are glaring anomalies in respect of some issues that appear not to have been addressed at all, even within the constraints of this very limited review of pensions.
I hope media takes up the issue on behalf of defence fraternity. It is really very insulting to defence services the way the issue has been handled even after directions of PMO. Or was it to be this way only? I hope not.
Recently dgr reduced wages for esm security guards deployed at psu.the loss is about 1500 per month.what a welfare by dgr
does govt is actually aware of the hard core anamolies to be removed for implementation of orop ????? or is it a another political gimmick????????
The PIB release mentions “decisions to narrow the gap between the present and past pensioners”.But they could not even narrow the gap between the respective pensions of one set of PC Officers with 26 years of service retiring on 30 Nov 2004 and another set of PC Officers with the same service retiring a month later on 31 Dec 2004, all within the time span of a single CPC, viz. the Fifth, as outlined in this blog-post
January 28, 2013 - Log in to Reply
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September 21, 2012 - Log in to Reply
superb one sir, you really reminded me of my days at tenga. of course it was way back in 1991-92. even then the conditions were equally bad and the worst part was that i did not posses camera at that time. it really took me back to those days.
September 22, 2012 - Log in to Reply
Sir, its brought back a rush of memories. I made a log hut at the bend short of Jung as you approach it from Sela . On the way back from Tawang it'll be on the left . Pristine waterfalls and immensely cheerful people …. Thank You ever so much
October 16, 2012 - Log in to Reply
Nostalgic !!! the days of Tezpur (1987-1988) and Tawang when my dad was posted there in 1988-90, I had trekked down to Bumla, Khinzamanee and Zimmithang. My father would want me to trek down to all the posts and become rugged and tough. I had just appeared for my 10th board then. I still cherish that time. Thanks sir to bring back the time.
October 20, 2012 - Log in to Reply
Dear Nitin,Please refer Photo No. 18. Is it Nukmadong ?Thanks to Govt. which is awaken after 50 years of war and felt that we should remember our martyrs who gave their lives for our tomorrow.I had been to Tawang in May 2008, but that time, this memorial was in primitive stage. Now there seems at least an Arch!-Alhad Godbole
March 4, 2019 - Log in to Reply
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September 3, 2012 - Log in to Reply
As I said in the morning, this sparked off the memory of your grandpa sitting in the arm-chair in the enclosed veranda and making sure that you did your 'surya-namaskar' before you were allowed to play tennis-ball cricket in that by-lane with the rest of us. I, unfortunately, have not had the benefit of having a real grandpa around as my grandpops (both maternal & paternal) had passed away much before my parents got married. But all the same, never felt deprived of the grandfatherly guidance/support (as you have rightly put) because there were other grandfathers, like yours, around who staked a collective parental claim to all of us kids and ensured that we got the right inputs. Those days certainly moulded our minds/psyche (so to say) and gave us sound footing to lead our lives on. I, for sure, firmly believe that grandparents have a more lasting impact on children's lives than the parents themselves!
” A quick evening prayer followed by mandatory recitation of mathematical tables and a couple of Sankrit shlokas”Nostalgicly familiar to a fellow maharashtrian.What a lovely tribute.
September 4, 2012 - Log in to Reply
A touching heartfelt memoir.
Raja,How I hated that ritual at that point! You guys waiting for me to join for a game of cricket, and here I was told to do Surya namaskars! But all for the good, one realises now isn't it. Also that collective affection no longer exists, or does it?
In today's INDIA there are still elders blaming young generatiions? Kudos to you Nitin Sir for remembering fathers/mothers fathers today.
If only there was a 'Like' button here… 🙂
September 9, 2012 - Log in to Reply
Happy 50th Birthday, Nitin.Such an amazing description of men of great character – your grand fathers, who in a a way are responsible for us to celebrate your 50th birthday.Such men, who with their collective sense of belonging, affection and wisdom, do not exist, anymore and you were lucky to have benefited from their love,guidance and wisdom.Pad up for your next innings – as a Grand Pa !
September 16, 2012 - Log in to Reply
Thought provoking. It's of relevance to all who have been grand-children themselves and are grandparents, or will be some day.
January 21, 2014 - Log in to Reply
Hello Sir,This is such a typical behaviour exhibited by all grandparents. You know sir, i find a common link to my grandparents trait of being strict disciplinarians too. Adding to that, i have something common with you – iam a koknastha and hailing form Pune region. This said, it is a topic to write by itself 🙂 . But, today when i am 33 yrs old and look back i too appreciate my grandparents for leading a life which i wish to emulate. Now, i am a wife and a mother to a 4 yr old, and unknowingly i try to bring in some form of discipline which has percolated into my personality. thanks to them. Sir, we shud honour their 'pidhi' (not getting the right word )as we would not have achieved whatever we are.thanks for this thoughtful write up.
August 29, 2012 - Log in to Reply
“Paying up at Gunpoint' – Its all in plain sight all the issues you've highlighted above but the inertia is incredible to get up & make a change. Today I cant voice my opinion publicly for fear of the repercussion it can have on my family back home but i totally agree about the situation in Manipur where politicians are filling their pockets & breeding the insurgents who have now lost their original cause(if there was any) & have become extortionists. Not a single family apart from the politicians perhaps have been spared from it. Too much time is wasted on the blame games & while those are on, nothing develops in these regions. Funny part is though everyone from the region will agree to all you pointed out, none of them will speak out. Short term money making is all that these groups can think about. no one wants to work & they expect 6 figured salaries without the effort. im sure if one works hard in the near future that will become a possibility. Its such a waste of a region. i dont live there anymore & even though i want to help in some way or other, the thought of the 'demanding' people puts me off completely. WHat the politicians dont see is that if they quit filling their pockets & start working towards the betterment & development of the region, there will be plenty to not only fill their pockets but everybody else's too with hard earned money. Thank you for putting this article back on your post. I for one will share it with all i know. Cheers
August 28, 2012 - Log in to Reply
The article is so crisp and lucid, it makes one go through it without stopping.
August 20, 2012 - Log in to Reply
So much so for Merit and continuity being the prime consideration for key appointments as DG MO and DG Infantry.As rightly said in the blog, DG MOs retire and are never downgraded and DG Infantry is a key appointment in view of the F INSAS program..What do we read out of this?Just a new team in place – for pliable decisions or do the proposed 3 Star officers have greater merit and integrity than the incumbents?One would dare say, Gen BS may be setting a rather tricky precedence.God Bless the Indian Army
August 24, 2012 - Log in to Reply
The current DGMO has been viewed very much as a VK man and though nothing has been proved in the public domain, there is a cloud of suspicion regarding his role in the troop movements of 16/17th Jan.Every COAS likes to have his own men in key positions and more so in the DGMO position. So in moving Lt Gen Chowdhary, I dont think Gen BS is doing anything his predecessors havnt done. However the DGMO is a PSO -a quasi official level in between corps commanders in the field/DG's at AHQ and the Army Commanders. I could well understand him moving to another not so prominent a PSO position like QMG/MGO. But as your report says he's most likely heading East to take over an area- what are the options …101 Com Zone , Goc Bengal Area – the rest of the Army will see it as a demotion and a slap in the face of the General Officer.Maybe Gen BS knows more than us about Gen Choudhary and has got him by the short and curlies. Maybe he doesnt want to rake up the whole VK issue again and is putting Lt Gen Choudhary out to pasture. Otherwise any self respecting General Officer in this situation would resign.Look at the case of Lt Gen RK Kochhar who was a PSO as QMG in the late sixties and put in his papers when he was being posted as Corps Commander.There is definitely more than what meets the eye and we ,the public, look to investigative journalists like you to get us the answers.
So, the army is again in the news? Or as my friends would tritely say; when did it ever move out of the horizon? Either way, our so called investigative journalists never seem to tire of our soldiers. I guess, where else would you get juicy gossip. For a long time the military was pasted on the TV screens virtually on a daily basis – DOB controversy, state of weapons, information leaks, lands scams and lately – suicides and mobile tower activists – the list goes on! whew! And now, here we are, trying to smell a rat in placement of senior level officers! Come to think of it folks, isn’t three months a fairly long time, Am sure BS knows what he’s doing. Let’s grant some wisdom to our military hierarchy! If someone moves out, is n’t it only too logical for someone else to move in? But I guess there is no end to our appetite for speculation; for isn’t there a Sherlock Holmes lurking in each one of us? There are far more cataclysmic events happening in India and the world – shouldn’t you shift gear and offer wisdom on those issues – what say?
Sunder,Since you know the military better than me, please tell me an instance where a senior officer in important posts such as DGMO, DGMI, Vice Chief or even QMG, or MGO been moved out barely eight months into their job?I can recall Lt. Gen DH Summanwar, then DGMI, being unceremoniously being packed off to Pune after then then Chief Gen JJ Singh refused to hold his hand over a trivial incident that had a verbal sanction from him. That time, the media had gone to town. Now, one factual report by me (without any garnishing) has got many veterans and serving officers upset. But I urge you to read the complete blog, particularly this portion:”While eyebrows may be raised over the downgrading of the current DGMO–if that happens–the Army Chief is well within his rights to choose his own team.Past Chiefs have brought in their own choices in crucial appointments.”Nowhere have I questioned the new chief's right to appoint his own men. So why this angst?I have said this earlier: I will fight the injustice meted out to the armed forces to the best of my ability but don't take away my right to question or comment on the armed forces.
August 25, 2012 - Log in to Reply
Nitin bhai,Nice discussion up there. While all of you have valid points, the wrong part is that your blog entry, which as per you is 'factual', has left a lot of things up for discussion. no one writes such 'facts' when the Babu mandali changes staff under them, or when the Neta party churns up their entire departments. Its all well till the time it becomes news and the wise men discuss it at night at 9 pm and make much about nothing. I am sure there is a lot to report out there besides in-consequential 'tabadle'.Rajeev.
August 26, 2012 - Log in to Reply
Dear Nitin, I am a student from North East, passout of Sainik School and only recently gave up on my dreams and aspirations of joining Army, after not making the cut in NDA & IMA. I am dissapointed on not being able to join Army, however, my love for uniformed services has however not diminshed. I am part of modern youth, who are in touch with the world through news and analysis, available through many sites and blogs on net. I am now based in Delhi. What has hurt me based on the content of your blog is invocation of “Trivia” into the administration and postings of senior army officers. After going through your blog, it makes me wonder, if the reportage is a result of lack of juicy and spicy news. Well, what then is the “investigative journalist” left to report on, other than come out on stories trivialising the institution of army chief. Is the chief an interior designer, who is left with no other job but “re arrange the furniture” and interiors of his office after becoming chief? I am exasperated by such reports. I have always followed your blogs and articles. I also admired your reports on NDTV as balanced. You did a gr8 job during the General V K Singh's tenure. But now I am left to wonder, if it is “nostalgia” or the affliction of “stockholme syndrome” vis-a-vis your balanced reportage during general singh's period? A journalist should never be seen as part of any particular “camp”. This sort of below the belt reporting, suggests very much the same. It is difficult to comment on general Bikram's actions as he seems more focussed on running the army rather than addressing his army through media. The contrast of his tenure vis-a-vis his predecessor, in terms of media srutiny is quite distinct. Why not give the present chief a chance to function in the way he seems appropriate rather than functiong the way you deem fit, with the officers you think are right. Leprom Arobindo
Dear Rajeev,Its not my remit to write about what happens outside my 'beat.' That having said I can cite at least half a dozen detailed analyses/news items when Pulok Chatterjee took over as Principal Secy to PM. Or when Chidambaram took over as finance minister and changed the entire team of bureaucrats. Or more recently when Arup Patnaik was kicked upstairs as DGP in Maharashtra.The problem with members of armed forces is that most want write ups about themselves all right but only if they are flattering.So when we write about changes made by Chief XYZ in policy matters, nobody seems to mind since it shows the particular chief in good light. But the moment a write up like this appears, people close to the powers that be are up in arms!Please learn to accept praise and criticism in equal measure
Dear Arobindo,I am glad some one as young as you is keeping track of the goings on in the armed forces. That having said, I am afraid you haven't fully understood the function of the media. I am, by no stretch of imagination, an “investigative journalist,” as you seem to think. By nature, journalism is all about digging out facts and interpreting them and therefore has an in-built element of investigation.I want to ask: Why do you think this is “below the belt” reporting.” A DGMO is not an ordinary position. How many times have you heard DGMOs or for that matter PSOs being changed? There have been objections from Army HQ too to my report. But when I ask them to refute factual points in my blog, there is none forthcoming. If the Chief has the right to reshuffle his pack–as I have acknowledged in the blog itself–than don't take away my right to interpret the moves at the highest level.As for Stockholm syndrome vis-a-vis VK Singh, you will have to go back a little and realise that I have interviewed, written about and commented upon at least seven Chiefs across three services since 2006. If I was seen as part of one camp alone, as you seem to suggest, then as diverse personalities as Gens JJ Singh Deepak Kapoor and VK Singh, Adm Nirmal Verma, ACM SP Tyagi, FH Major and PV Naik would not have granted me interviews, not once but at least twice. Also when Gen VK Singh showed undue favours to his Rajput Regiment officers, I was the first one to point that out, for your information.The problem is: Armed Forces are too thin skinned and want only positive coverage ALL the time, which is not possible.That having said I can cite at least half a dozen detailed analyses/news items when Pulok Chatterjee took over as Principal Secy to PM. Or when Chidambaram took over as finance minister and changed the entire team of bureaucrats. Or more recently when Arup Patnaik was kicked upstairs as DGP in Maharashtra.The problem with members of armed forces is that most want write ups about themselves all right but only if they are flattering.So when we write about changes made by Chief XYZ in policy matters, nobody seems to mind since it shows the particular chief in good light. None of you commented when I took up the issue of OROP and NFU not even a month ago?But the moment a write up like this appears, people close to the powers that be are up in arms!Please learn to accept praise and criticism in equal measure.At the end of the day, postings of DGs in Army or the other two services is “not a matter of rearranging furniture,” as you seem to suggest. I will be happy to hear from you.Best
August 11, 2012 - Log in to Reply
I do not agree. Career offrs have always been there.ACR consciousness existed before also.So what has changed. Status n respect in society. Degradation of pay, pension.Deaf adminis.Apathy towards men on leave to resolve their probs.Insensitive bureaucracy. These have weakened his tenacity and need immediate resolution.
Received immediate reaction on email from a friend who knows Army intimately. Here it is: Dear NitinApropos your article.The major reason for suicides in army is the detachment of offrs and JCOs from the affairs of the men in a steep hierarchy. Firstly there is acute shortage of offrs at the bottom of the pyramid. Next the lowering of age of COs has resulted in fewer offrs available in the unit. The steep chart to promotion to Colonels has resulted in stiff competition at the junior levels where people are more interested in ensuring safety of their careers based on getting good ACRs. The combined result makes them risk averse sycophants who put career interests above organisational goals thus marginalising the leadership module – something the army prided itself in.The AVSC report has done great injustice by lowering age of COs thereby putting immature and career oriented offrs at the helm. This is accentuated by acute shortages in unit. Together the two have vitiated the leadership environment in the units – the cutting edge. There are many more mutinies waiting to happen as the leadership paradigms are heavily stacked in favour of careerism rather than genuine leadership. This will adversely affect the warfighting potential of the army – when needed.
Nitin,Well written as usual..you have tried to explore various aspects of this phenomenon.Do we have enough data on the suicides to segregate / classify them on the basis of various parameters and perform root cause analysis? Am saying this because we have a pretty large number of incidents – avg 100 per year since 2003 – to find trends.Parameters can be -1. Geographical posting and duty assigned at the time of Suicide / Fragging2. Unit to which the soldier was assigned to alongwith name of CO- To find any linkage with the leadership abilities of the COs3. Rank of the soldier – Can we get financial health on that basis?4. Home state of the soldier / State in which the immediate family members of the soldier reside – Can be linked to specific situation in the state.5. Time between suicide and last visit to family – further any linkages to phone calls made just before suicide. – that can be the trigger while the overall frustration must have been building up since long.I hv tried to jot down whatever came to my mind..but would really like to know whether this can lead to better analysis of such unfortunate incidents.Trushant
August 12, 2012 - Log in to Reply
Dear Trushant,Agreed that I do not have enough data but the Defence Institute of Psychological Research has done a lot of work on this since 2007. And most of their findings suggest that domestic stress followed by humiliation some times heaped upon soldiers by officers are the main triggers for suicides. But you are right. This needs a lot of better analysis is needed on this vital issue.
August 13, 2012 - Log in to Reply
Another point out of view by my elder cousin retired Brigadier Sunil Gokhale who spent more than 35 years in the Army. His father too retired as a brigadier.Here is his response:Suicides in the Armed ForcesThe above mentioned problem has got considerable media attention, recently a newspaper gave out an agregate figure of suicides exceeding over one thousand in the last decade. An incident of a Jawan's suicide in one of the oldest and most decorated armoured regiment is also in the news. Suicides are a universal phenonmenon, . Suicides are caused by psychological stress, officers undergo a psychological test at the point of selection at the SSB, even then some officers have commited suicide (your mother's cousin brother late Maj Mukund Kanhere a paratrooper also commited suicide sometime around 1964 in Agra). As for jawans, they do not undergo psychological tests like officer candidates, thus the possibility of persons who may not be able to sustain psychological rigours of military life getting recruited is a certainity. Such persons may be more prone to be driven to this extyreme step.Suicides are generally attributable to failure of command and leadership, I feel this is not entirely correct, I have seen a jawan who came from a farmer family commit suicide after he came to know he had inherited a burden of agrarian debt exceeding Rs 6 lakh from his father who died of over consumption of alcohol. The jawan got himself insured from an unscrupolous insurance agent in his home town, reported back to unit and pulled the plug on his life, probably thinking his mother could claim insurance and clear the debt, this cannot be attributed to command failure. What I am trying to say is that suicides should be not hastily reported by the media for the sake of sensational news. Also the lack of psychological screening of jawans need to be addressed by the armed forces.
August 9, 2012 - Log in to Reply
NFU status is affecting within the uniformed community itself. Coast Guard offrs who are part of Armed Forces are getting NFU status already.How can we have such a disparity within the uniformed class???
Equating pensions merely on the basis of Rank may not really address the issue. In view of shortened time-spans now required for attaining equivalent ranks, the past retirees would still be at a dis-advantage compared to current retirees. For implementing OROP, the length of service of a retiree too needs to be considered.
The training period of Army officers should be counted for NFFU, as it is counted in case of Group A officers, at least to begin with for parity.
August 1, 2012 - Log in to Reply
December 10, 2012 - Log in to Reply
Wonderful article and Eye Opener. Thanks
July 20, 2012 - Log in to Reply
Please do not compare Army/Navy/Air Force with CRPF or anyone else. There is absolutely no comparison. Defence Forces does not claim or demand anything just because someone else is treated better. On the other hand others are bidding for everything the defence forces get more than others. Govt should give the Defence Forces what they deserve.
It really pains at this callousness. The comparison is also with Central Govt civilian employees. So argument of Col Kurup on comparison with para is not correct
July 21, 2012 - Log in to Reply
PMO has already instructed MOD to form a committee for reviewing all the issues related to pay and allowances of serving and retired defence personnel. However MOD babus under a strategic policy to gradually suppress armed forces in status coupled with their awareness of colonial attitude of serving Army Generals towards their own officers & subordinates , are just sitting on it. PMO desired to announce the outcomes on 15th Aug but till date, no committee has been announced by MOD. I request if Mr Ghokhale can help out the nation and the Army by telecasting the topic on NDTV.
@yogesh, The last HPC stated and it has been quoted by the UoI/MoD that it cannot agree with the Supreme Court judgment of 8/3/2010 because it will mean a payment of Rs 1623 crores as arrears to the Armed Forces officers. But the Govt paid Rs 50, 000 crores as loan waivers for farmers; Rs 600 to 5000 crores to Kalmadi and his cohorts; Rs 1,76, 000 crores of thereabouts to Karunanidhi and family; Rs 8000 crores to Kingfisher as equity from PSU banks.This HPC has only bureaucrats (people like Expenditure Secy who will not give a penny to the Armed Forces and will be supported by the Def secy) whereas they will gibe NFU just because one IAS officer is promoted as Jt Secy etc. There isn't a single Armed Forces officer on the Committee. So what justice does one expect?
A good piece of write up but will anyone bothered about logic in this country.
I agree that the committee does not have a military rep but the service chiefs have pushed for one and hopefully when they meet next (most probably on 24th July) the chiefs will be more forceful.
SHOULD A COMMITTEE OF SECRETARIES (BUREAUCRATS) SIT IN JUDGEMENT TO CONSIDER THE RECOMMENDATIONS OF PARLIAMENTARY COMMITTEE(ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES )FOR ANNA HAZARE AND BABA RAMDEV THE PARLIAMENT IS SUPREME BUT FOR DEFENCE FORCES THE BUREAUCRATS ARE SUPREME— THIS HAPPENS ONLY IN INDIA !!!!!!
May be we are missing bigger picture. Refer as under1. The Indian freedom in 1947 was a harbinger for a much bigger change. We saw three very big developmentsa) First time in the history of the last more than a thousand years, India got a predominantly Hindu Armed Force, as almost all Muslim soldiers of British Indian Armed Forces opted for Pakistan and the British soldiers went back to Britain. b) India became one big country, big enough to be pushed around. c) India embraced democracy2. Was it a just coincidence, or a Divine Intervention for a new beginning? The enemy sensed the trouble. The Islamic and Christian world could not accept the freedom to Hindus. They knew the predominantly Hindu “Indian Armed Forces” will be their biggest hurdle. 3. The marginalization of Indian Armed Forces since then can be easily concluded to be a part of some global conspiracy. Following may be relevanta) Indian Military Industrial Complex was never allowed to grow. We were only allowed to import weapons and not allowed to export.b) Indian military requirement was conveniently equated to Pakistan, so that we never prepare to counter bigger threats like China and remain small.c) What ever meager military strength we had, we were stretched to the limits in the name of “Aid to Civil Administration”d) Our Defence budget was kept well below even the minimum of 3% of GDP, especially when our immediate adversaries were spending more than 6% of their GDPs.e) Till date we do not have a proper “National Security Policy” document in place. f) Following figures reflect ratio of soldiers to the population for a few of the major countries. We need to augment our military strength at least three times. Shall we assume some powers want to keep it that way for their strange reasonsCountry No. of persons per soldierUSA 100Pakistan 200Russia 150China 300Sri Lanka 250India 1000g) The serving soldiers have been denied their fundamental right to vote since independence by creating bureaucratic hurdles.4. But bad luck to our enemies. The 9/11 attack on USA was the final game changer in favour of India. Before 9/11, Islamic terrorism was only targeted against India and Israel and rest of the world was not much concerned. The 9/11 attacks have brought in the specter of civilisational Conflict. Two most powerful religions, Islam and Christianity have come face to face, but should we breathe easy?
July 24, 2012 - Log in to Reply
very true, treat with dignity
July 27, 2012 - Log in to Reply
I agree with Mr Gokhale that we have deep grouse against these discrepancies and its TIME it is addressed as my own experience is the uniformed forces are the ultimate glue to keep the indian social fabric together against all odds otherwise coupled with Maoist menace disgruntlement in the Armed forces can put India to rupture. But want to assure everyone that there will be soldiers as in India it is better to be a soldier than to be a Beggar.
August 5, 2012 - Log in to Reply
I don't agree with you.. it is this false ego which is killing us now.. why shouldn't u compare, if I may ask u sir? The matter is much beyond this.. Pl try to understand..
August 6, 2012 - Log in to Reply
I agree with you absolutely.I hope corrective steps are taken
August 14, 2012 - Log in to Reply
The MoD and the services are always at war with each other, the former wanting to show the latter “their place” in the bureaucratic heirarchy. This is one good way that the babus in the MoD consistently do by keeping the soldier below his counterparts in other central paramilitary forces. WHO IS BOTHERED ABOUT THE RIGHT OR WRONGDOING OF SUCH BABUS. MANTRIS ARE TOO BUSY CHASING THEIR OWN PERSONAL AGENDA AND DON'T HAVE TIME FOR MINOR ISSUES LIKE SECURITY INTERESTS OF THE COUNTRY OR THE INTERESTS OF THE SOLDIER WHO ARE PRIMARILY RESPONSIBLE FOR THE SECURITY OF THE COUNTRY. I would request Mr Gokhale to get in touch with Mr Amir Khan and explore the possiblity of Vande Mataram-II to highlight such and other security related issues. Our people need to be woken out of their slumber.
Thanks for this post. However, you have missed the biggest disparity between the defence and armed police forces. The latter are allowed to resign at any time they choose. Not so the defence forces.Secondly, prior to 1939, two thirds of the foreign service officers were taken from the military and one third from the ICS. The world war created a shortage of military officers and this practice was stopped. It is time such a system is reintroduced.
March 31, 2013 - Log in to Reply
Well I guess our first Prime Minister was absolutely right…. This country must not have armed forced because the same kind of a job can be done by police and CPMFs. Guess the time has come that the country must take a decision to wind up the institution of Armed Forces for some basic reasons:-They indulge into corruption in defence purchases.They do not anything productive and are a massive drain on the exchequer.They enjoy some meaningless benifits which are not required to be given in a modern and a democratic peace loving India.and many many more….
October 1, 2013 - Log in to Reply
commonwealth games….. get army. earthquakes…. get army. floods ….get army. PAY COMMISSION…… FORGET ARMY.
July 15, 2012 - Log in to Reply
Dear Nitin, i fully agree with what u have narrated above.See, we are living in such a scenario where a ruling party MLA is reportedly beaten in a circuit house, members of Public Accounts committtee beaten in another circuit house, a young girl is molested in presence of the so called FOURTH PILLAR OF DEMOCRACY… all such shameful acts are now happening in our guwahati………sometimes i feel that the intelectuals have miserably failed to guide our upcoming youth society, and above all, no one is controlling the self made custodians of Morality…..
February 12, 2013 - Log in to Reply
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July 13, 2012 - Log in to Reply
Its definitely an idea that needs to be pursued. The structure and leadership needs some informed debating in the MoD, IDS and Service HQ. Three additional commands may be one too many, however, with up-gradation we have underutilized flag rank officers available for the top leadership, though the mid-rung will eat into a more limited talent pool of high profile officers. Further, the areas that the commands would address e.g., Cyber, being common domains of concern for all, the leadership can be rotational. However, whatever be the model we execute, it does not debar us from some tweaking based on experience gained as we go along.Brig SK Chatterji
July 10, 2012 - Log in to Reply
Old Humint maxim: When cover is blown, disown your agent. All are XPD.
July 11, 2012 - Log in to Reply
I agree but still doesn't absolve the Army of its responsibilities
Kaziranga National Park has more than 75% of the entire global population of one-horned rhinos… Bharat Yatra Online
May 15, 2014 - Log in to Reply
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December 24, 2014 - Log in to Reply
Its very fantastic blog post about Kaziranga National Park!regards,united-21 resort kaziranga
July 9, 2012 - Log in to Reply
Thanks for the sharing information……..de rayos-x de seguridad
February 11, 2013 - Log in to Reply
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February 18, 2013 - Log in to Reply
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June 30, 2012 - Log in to Reply
I do not know Lt Col S Purohit, but i have a fair idea on how an intelligence organisation should function. The testimony of various senior officers on Col Purohit accessed by NDTV goes on to clearly bring out the fact that the officer indeed had the capability and inclination to undertake covert intelligence operation. Two disturbing issues emerge; firstly, how is it that a sensitive intelligence operation like penetrating hostile organisation can be undertaken without sufficient documentation so that when the cover is blown up by national level investigations there is no record with the MI hierarchy to establish the fact that the involvement emerging is indeed a deliberate one. secondly, if this is not true then how distanced the appraisal system is from ground realities where what is recorded in the appraisal process has no relevance toi the actual traits possessed by the officer??
July 1, 2012 - Log in to Reply
True. Many unanswered questions remain. Will the full truth ever come out?
But what was Lt Col Purohit upto by infiltrating home grown terrorist organisations? Is it a part of Army's role to attempt to thwart terrorists attempts by organisations like SIMI or Abhinav bharat? isn't that the RAW's job?
July 3, 2012 - Log in to Reply
Intelligence operations are not somethings that can be kept isolated in water tight compartments. penetration in to a hostile organisation is an integral part of the charter of every counter intelligence organisations (R&AW is not the only one). Army may also be required to undertake such tasks to understand the focus and targets of hostile intelligence organisations.
January 4, 2015 - Log in to Reply
CG may have followed the SOP but what is intriguing is that there is no sign or talk of any debris. Can a boat with 4 men disappear without any trace? Nothing in/on the boat was buoyant? Not easy to digest.
January 5, 2015 - Log in to Reply
I dont understand why congress is defending these terrorists by raising questions on the credibility of Coast gaurd… When it comes to National Interest political parties should forget party differences.Congress doesn't have a opposition leader like Vajpayee..
January 17, 2015 - Log in to Reply
Just out of curiosity, the Navy vessel took 8 hours to reach the spot. I understand the vessel was in a different sea/mission…but is this usual? wouldn't there be any other vessel closer? 8 hours appear long but I am may be wrong…
December 26, 2014 - Log in to Reply
Amazing… there are so many stories out there, when it comes to the armed forces…
December 8, 2014 - Log in to Reply
It is war as you have said, but is it really a war? If I may correct your statement, it is actually a War+. The enemy is well defined in a war and his direction of arrival is generally known. The tempo of War permits some time to let down the guard and relax. In this war plus the enemy appears with full surprise and there is no let tie-down of guard. .It is indeed tougher than war
Guilty should be punished why the exception
November 17, 2014 - Log in to Reply
A CASE FOR AFSPAAFSPA is at the centre of a lot of debate with politicians (wanting to get votes from where ever they can ) and the bleeding heart liberals demanding it be amended / repealed . I served in the army from 1972 to 1992 . I was never posted in any of the areas which had a high level of insurgency so I cannot claim to have any knowledge of counter insurgency operations first hand. However I did get to see what a jawan has to go through as a member of the public. During the insurgency days in Punjab I had gone on leave and one day was travelling by bus from Barnala to Chandigarh with my father (a retired Lt Col) in the winter. The bus was halted just when it was about to enter Chandigarh and two armed CRPF jawans came into the bus looking for suspected terrorists, from their accent one could make out that they were South Indian boys . Now please put yourself in the shoes of those boys , you are entering a bus loaded with people who have covered themselves with blankets or quilts to protect themselves (jackets those days were not so common ), you do not know anyone in the bus and you do not understand their language . Any normal human in their position would be scared yet they searched everyone and most of the bags / suitcases, I too was searched so was my suitcase (I did not want to throw my rank so I did not reveal my identity to get exemption from the search). Now any of the passengers in the bus could have been a terrorist with a pistol concealed inside his blanket he could have shot both of them before either of them could have reacted as they were carrying SLRs, we all know how slow ones reaction can be with an SLR inside a crowded bus . Even if one of them had reacted the chances of someone other than the terrorists getting injured were quite bright. We send our jawans into areas where they know no one, do not understand the language with mostly obsolete weapons expect them to restore peace where the politicians have messed up but remove AFSPA and tie their hands behind their backs. I know collateral damage is a word that has been used so often that it sounds cruel and impersonal but in counterinsurgency it is a REALITY. The army and para military forces can only provide a semblance of peace for which they need the cover of AFSPA lasting peace is only possible when the politicians pull up their socks .If the politicians want the forces to clean up the mess they created stop this AFSPA debate else pull us out of the area and clear the mess yourself . We joined the army to fight the enemy not our own countrymen who have become misguided/disgruntled due to the acts of omission/ commission of the politicians . This Abdullah family has been power for most of the time in J&K and now at the time of elections the only issue that Omar can think of is AFSPA what about issues that are in his domain like communal harmony , education, corruption & development .
You nailed it. This is are only last resort. Without the AFSPA, we will handicap ourselves specially in today's times of terrorism & continuing insurgency.
India dare not repeal AFSPA until it has a fit for purpose Police, Administration, Constitution and laws. i.e. never.
October 25, 2014 - Log in to Reply
Well written piece. Walking the talk would be the key. Some how you did not mention Non Functional Upgrade (NFU) for Defence Officers (As for Jawans, Sailors and Airmen the Assured Career Progression (ACP) scheme is already implemented).
If the civilian bureaucracy has indeed started calling for files from service officers, it is a welcome change from our times when we were constrained to chase them down to desk officers. But true empowerment will only come if authority and accountability come together with the services and separate 'silos' vanish once for all. But the big question is, will the affected bureaucracy really permit such changes? A case in point is OROP. After months of approval by the government, it still awaits implementation and the notification is nowhere on the horizon.Maj Gen SS Chohan (Retd)
October 26, 2014 - Log in to Reply
“…these two totally contradictory views…” One can't, of course, make a case for the need for denunciation of falsehoods, but a slightly clearer view could be considered on the distinction between “views” and “facts”.
October 27, 2014 - Log in to Reply
PROXIMTY OF CHINESE ROADS NEAR OUR BORDERS INDICATES THEIR INTENTION. THEIR BONHOMIE WITH PAKISTAN, PERHAPS INDICATES THEIR INTENTION TO HAND OVER KASHMIR TO THEM AFTER INVASION. BUREAUCRATS DURING THE YEARS FRO 1971 TILL DATE WHO HAVE BLOCKED EQUIPPING THE SERVICES SHOULD BE HANGED IN CASE of this EVENTUALITY, AS WELL AS THE NETAs
October 30, 2014 - Log in to Reply
A strong economy is the requirement of the hour. A country which has a strong economy can raise a strong military at any time, but a country which has a a poor economy cannot afford a strong military or a strong military does not assure a strong economy. What is important is that the military starts to regulate waistefull expenditure in the name of operations and stop hyping up threat environment. Every amount of national exchequer spent on having a stringer military than required is an opportunity lost in developing the country. No amount of weapons can satisfy the military or give confidence of a strong military. Even numbers in themselves don't project anything. Military should first be realistic in its demands and next reduces day to day expenditure by following alternate better means than medieval practices. The revenue saved will be sufficient to keep it up to date than only be looking for an increase in budgets. Indian military does not believe in lean and mean concept. The slowly increasing numbers is only becoming a liability like a white elephant. The answer lies somewhere else as various committees have failed to identify the real problem and have busy in cut, copy and paste.
November 14, 2014 - Log in to Reply
I only hope Mr Rajat understands the meaning of “lean and mean”. It implies a far bigger defence budget in respect of arms, ammunition and equipment for at least a decade before the country can even contemplate reduction in man power. And who is there to answer for making India eternally import dependent if not the cosy club of politicians and bureaucrats who have allowed the DRDO to continue digesting big budgets without showing any results? China started far behind but is now an emerging leader in defence equipment as well.Armed forces are the instruments of last resort for this country. They have been consistently used to plug the crises created through policy mis-handling and non accountability that defines all spheres of functionality in this country. So please think twice before you blame the brass for demanding ever bigger budgets without restructuring to cut down on man power that is employed in every corner of India to bridge the gaping non-functionality gaps of other organs of the state.
October 12, 2014 - Log in to Reply
Good analysis That seems to be the reason.
Very well summarised article with Pakistan having been 'spoiled' by the last Indian governments since 1989 Kashmir insurgency, especially after the UPA regimes where MMS has little or no idea on the historical or political backgrounds between India-Pakistan, as rightly pointed out, Pakistan had taken India, not only for granted but humiliatingly infringing regular set of moral and physical injuries with impunity. Narendra Modi has certainly reversed it without fail. MMS caused the maximum damage with a last knell and it made the task of Modi more difficult. But Modi has still done his best master stroke and has silenced even his worst critics with few exceptions to the rule. Unfortunately, Pakistan is totally converted into a fully mini-ISIS State that has many Islamists backing her. Hence it's going to take a bit of time before Pak comes to terms wioth the changing scenario. Last word, monster is a monster and its treachery can only be expected to end with it. Long term prospects of Pakistan and with no malice but with a calculated prediction, the next WW III is going to usher in soon. It will or may be fought on the coffin of aggressive religion button.
October 14, 2014 - Log in to Reply
The relevance of Both military depends on an unstable and weak political leadership. Most importantly how true are the two military about the ground situation to its bureaucratic and political leadership in the country to develop faith. Both countries military are way from achieving reasonable trust from the bureaucratic and political leadership of the country. Unlike the political representatives the military leadership across the borders had friends in the others military after partition, this was again a cause of lack of trust. First the two military have to gain trust and confidence of there bureaucratic and political leaders and follow there instructions then only can we see stability in the region.
October 9, 2014 - Log in to Reply
Indeed a great man. RIP.
A very well conceived article. Enjoyed reading
September 20, 2014 - Log in to Reply
Nitin…appreciate your correct spelling and thereby pronunciation of Chumur. Incorrect spelling doesn’t just make reporters look sloppy, it also raises doubts about the accuracy of the other information in the report. I know there are bigger issues of concern right now in Chumur and Demchok but at least its a breath of fresh air knowing that a major Indian news media has got it right compared to others.
September 26, 2014 - Log in to Reply
Surprised that no one commented on this post which talked about landmark change in Indian attitude to China's antics. Your analysis is on the spot and we will see impact of the changed stand, from earlier “what to do” kind, in days to come,Only caution is, it may de-escaleate or can even escalate the situation The guard must not be lowered till clear indications are received. And even then there is that thing called surprise.
August 22, 2014 - Log in to Reply
leh and laddak has long been neglected by the state and central govt. its high time both the govt give what is due to the docile and honest people of this region.
August 13, 2014 - Log in to Reply
It appears that none in his family have ever worn the uniform to understand the sacrifices made by men in uniform. It is such men who sit in AC rooms and hsve no understanding of the ground realities who write such cheap articles.
Mr Bhatia there are memorials of many politicians who have looted the country first ask for their demolition . Too scared, so easy to go after the soldier who can not harm you .
It was the ilk of Mr Bhatia whose psyche and thinking kept Bharat under the shadow of slavery for hundred of years. He is an educated man but does not seem to learned. I suggest he should visit British war memorials and cemeteries all over the world to get an answer why Britain has been a great power. He should see how various US Presidents have been receiving the soldiers from Iraq and Afghanistan.I am ashamed of Mr Bhatia's so called intellectual thinking and psyche. May God Give him prudence to think straight!
Well articulated. Many including civilians have called me to say Bhatia's piece was resentful, blasphemous and anti-national. You would be able to say why TOI should have published it without a counter view. If you permit we will publish yours in IMR.
Excellent blog Nitin! But the problem is whether Bhatia and his ilk will ever set eyes on it? There needs to be a paradigm shift in the psyche of the politicians and especially the bureaucrats who 'advise' the clueless politicians in how they need to deal with the armed forces.But that's easier said than done. And that is the tragedy. But what's most laughable is that a secretary in the Agriculture ministry or Minority Affairs can become a Defence secretary who is responsible for national defense as well as conduct of war!! What can be more nonsensical and hilarious? This can only happen in India.
This is an unfortunate fallout of a Nation engaged in making money, secure in its security. We are three generation soldiers and have been content that the children who gambol on Rajpath swards do so because of the soldier's steadfastness
Thankfully Nitin, there are others who aren't so blinkered as Mr Bhatia…..I quote from the PMO's website on the Prime Minister's address to the troops at Leh….'In an emotional vein, Shri Narendra Modi said soldiers remain undeterred in spite of the many negatives and struggles that their families face in day-to-day life. The Prime Minister said that this energy and sense of duty inspires him and therefore, he keeps visiting jawans on the border to seek inspiration.'
August 14, 2014 - Log in to Reply
This Mr Bhatia should be made Home Guard for couple of dys and made to stand at Chauraha to realise the value of Uniformed people. And if he is detailed to spend couple of days along the borders of country, he will keep leaking in his pants for life time and collapse due to dehydration.
I thank the author for his reply to Mr Bhatia n I will circulate this article to as many readers as possible.
August 16, 2014 - Log in to Reply
Mr Bhatia, take a walk & in case you have some courage spend a week (not more) in any field location and share some “quality” time with the men. Unfortunate that so called “educated” people, arm chair journos pen crap and get media bytes.Mr Bhatia I pity you!Nitin you did a wonderful job of penning the angst and issues that plague the men in uniform today. Well written and articulate.Having donned the uniform for over 25 years I proudly proclaim “privileged to have served the nation”. As for Mr Bhatia – he forgets “the nation that does not respect its men in uniform; soon ceases to be a nation”
August 18, 2014 - Log in to Reply
The nation treats soldiers as mercenaries or indentured labor. They should be thankful for providing them employment. Death and injury are their occupational hazards! They joined the forces by choice!
If there is wrong thinking intellectual but there are right thinking intellectual too is distinctly visible form the above review article-Thanks to Mr Nitin for his in-depth clear review of the article of senseless written by Mr Bhatia who should not withdraw his article but tender a public apology to the hurt soldiers.
August 19, 2014 - Log in to Reply
There are many like him in this nation who think soldiers are a liability on the tax payers and the nation. This has not happened overnight but is the result of years of conditioning by the govt and babus. A nation which is so much in awe of its politicians give no significance to the soldier. Even history of India and that includes even educational books in this country have no mention of the valour of the Indian soldier. If the citizens has no idea what the military does they will definitely never care. Armed forces are also to be blamed as personnel posted in areas like Delhi have let the value of defence service go down by below par behaviour and indulgence in non military like activities which show the armed forces in poor light, Exposure of corruption, misuse of the establishment and ill treatment of own personnel. The citizen cannot alone be blamed if he is not made aware that they need to respect the forces by the govt of India.
Well written. Hope BJP govt gives Indian army its due
August 9, 2014 - Log in to Reply
Also why is the navy denying time scale capt,s rank to all offrs on completing 26 yrs service ,as is the case with army & airforce?It is blatant disregard of GOI policy on the issue.
August 4, 2014 - Log in to Reply
Wonderful write up, sir. Looking forward to the programme on TV.
Nitin…Chumur is actually spelt as ChumUr with a U and not ChumAr and it has been pronounced and spelt that way for ages. I don't know why media got it wrong. Maybe when few years ago media started reporting these incursions one of the first few journalists got the spelling wrong and from then onwards it has been picked up that way by others? They did not even bother to check with the local authorities in Leh. Do you know something about it which I don't like maybe the Indian govt wanted it to be spelt that way for some reason and not taking into account the local historical name? It reminds me of Sakti village before Changla pass and BRO named it Shakti on all their milestones even though locals tried to correct them. Below is the link I found of the head of Chumur monastery https://padmasambhavameditationcenter.org/projects/chumur-monastery/
August 5, 2014 - Log in to Reply
Nice, evocative blog posting..it's coincidental that you posted this on the exact anniversary of Rezang La (5th Aug)
June 28, 2014 - Log in to Reply
well Written sir!!! although – the time you are describing i wasn't born even, but surely I do get lost in Pancham Da's music, whenever I hear.. one of My Personal Favorite “RImjhim Gire Sawan and Tum Bin Jaoo Kaha” 🙂 🙂 :)He will Alws be Living in our heart….
Awesome. Nitin, last night Sony ran a feature on the genius of RD.. it was a great tribute.Also, we got some of the most memorable numbers from the combination of RD and Gulzar..
December 7, 2014 - Log in to Reply
Are these those gun brands that deliver their guns to army? As these guns have maximum effective range so I think Army and special forces would be using them. Is it true?
July 1, 2014 - Log in to Reply
India's INS vikramaditya is really a powerful gem for Indian Navy, was really felt happy when it was included into the navy in Jan'14, Indians must be proud of INS Vikramaditya. I read here that it is equipped with 234 new hull sections constructed using 2,500t of steel. It has an overall length of 284m, a maximum beam of 60m, height of about 60m and a displacement of 44,500t. Go Indian Navy Go … I hope Indian Navy will get more these kind of Aircraft carriers in coming Future ….
May 18, 2014 - Log in to Reply
Missed Opportunities by India.Amitabha
May 13, 2014 - Log in to Reply
ultimate pics and energetic moments
April 13, 2014 - Log in to Reply
Enjoyed every moment of the function and meeting old friends. Met you too. Am on the first chapter but will really plough through when on a flight to Bangalore on Tuesday.
March 24, 2014 - Log in to Reply
Great job Nitin Gokhale, even though I have not read the book.
March 29, 2014 - Log in to Reply
Thanks. NG. I can't wait to relive a bit of my past there through your words! Eagerly waiting for the release.
February 26, 2014 - Log in to Reply
In the interest of the navy, will senior naval officers put aside their personal ambitions and convince the government not to accept the resignation of Admiral DK Joshi?Will Army Chief and Air Force Chief show camaraderie and spirit of jointmanship and request the PM and RM not to accept resignation of Navy Chief Were they not cadets together at the National Defence Academy (NDA)? Or have they all forgotten the spirit of jointmanship?
February 27, 2014 - Log in to Reply
Ditto that. Also, will this not set a precedence for the other and future Chiefs while the babus remain unaccountable.
politicians and bureaucrats would take responsibility only if they are forced to. Soldiers take responsibility because they feel they should, because they are true leaders and because the force ethos is to stand up for what is right.
In complete agreement with Vikram Karve.
atleast army chief doesn't know jointmanship…he will never do anything for anybody…!!!
What Admiral Joshi has displayed is actual courage of conviction expected out of true leader. Though, not directly involved the Naval Chief has taken upon himself the responsibility of mishaps as head of Indian Navy. I salute such leaders and wish our Armed forces are able to groom, nurture and promote such officers to higher ranks. In sharp contrast, Kargil happened a Brigadier was fixed, and very recently the beheading of soldiers on the LC did not draw similar response from military leadership. This only raises questions on the ability of senior hierarchy to share responsibility rather than making junior commanders the scapegoat. In the instant incident, why is the Western naval Command head continues to watch the show, hoping like hell that his seniority will automatically push him up? Politicians and bureaucrats are the way they are because of inadequacies in higher defence management and the meekness with which the military hierarchy deals with them. Till the time the military hierarchy learns to stand up and confront politicians and bureaucrats the situation albeit will remain the same. The kid glove handling of bureaucrats by military hierarchy under the garb of civilian control has got stretched to far. What stops a Chief to seek regular meetings and attention from the so called Political Masters for the sake of forces and go down fighting, if needed? The problem lies within. Its fine to cry out loud after demitting office, but not do so, while in office is the biggest dis-service senior defence hierarchy can also be accused of? Indian Defence hierarchy probably needs many Admiral DK Joshi's to clean up the mess our politician + bureaucrat's and successive Govts have created in the management of Defence Forces.
The self-serving and dirigiste Indian bureaucracy, until fundamentally restructured, is an insurance against fruition of the idea of a resurgent India. It has mastered the art of rule by stealth at the cost of the country and its people.
February 28, 2014 - Log in to Reply
As brought out by Nitin, the Defence Secretary is responsible for the defence of India. He has “outsourced” that responsibility to the three Chief's. So if anything goes wrong blame it on the Service Chief's, 'cause the Def Secy is only distributing responsibility – not taking on any responsibility. So convenient.
As incisively observed by Nitin, the responsibility of the defence of INDIA is entrusted on the Def Secy. He, in turn, has “outsourced” that task to the three Service Chief's. Consequently, any omission or lapse is deftly deflected on to the Service heads. Thus the teflon coated bureaucrat escapes all responsibility.
February 25, 2014 - Log in to Reply
NFFU is the essence of things if OROP is to be implemented in totality.there are other issues that should crop up: (a) inclusion of training period as service (b) enhancement of retiring ageIn fact Armed Forces community should be treated at par with Minority Community & given due benefits
Very true sir… very nuanced.
This blog post is one of the most incisive write-ups on the subject that one has come across over the years.OROP goes well beyond a lay-person's simplistic understanding of the term. It needs to be comprehended in all it's dimensions and layers on the lines this blog-post has explained.Perhaps all sections of society and stake-holders would stand to benefit from more of such analysis aimed at bringing out all the facets of the issue that have been merely touched upon in the past.
February 9, 2014 - Log in to Reply
Looking forward to this book!
Awaiting entry in flipkart
March 15, 2014 - Log in to Reply
I hope the feedback and inputs have been obtained from the people who scaled the glacier through heavy fire of enemies. Some of those brave soldiers and the officers are still around though not known by anyone
some of our blackest days……
February 1, 2014 - Log in to Reply
What a mad time it was. The Nation in frenzy against the most loyal and patriotic community. Mine is a divided family which saw the madness of Partition; yet both my father and me have had the greatest friends from the Sikh community and I continue to value their friendship to the day. There cannot be more loyal and loving friends. Yet, what madness befell that they of all people had to be victimized. Army officers every where made valiant efforts to save their Sikh friends. Our regrets and misfortune that so many of them suffered. What satisfaction rioters get from targeting innocent people not remotely connected with any act of violence is something no psychologist appears to be able to explain.
I too was in Delhi during the 1984 riots. It was mindless act of brutal killing and ruthless violence by people living in nearby hamlets. Delhi has several hamlets in an around colonies. And here mostly are people who have been living here for generations and less fortunate migrants. I would not like to name any particular community, but this was done out of hatred and bitterness for all the terrorism that had been plaguing few northern states. It was a time-bomb that exploded and there is no justification for it. Hooligans and looters made things worse by spreading arson with a sole purpose of plundering. While many people in the neighborhood protected the vulnerable, there were some who turned a blind eye to the killing. This showed that there is a devil lurking inside many of us waiting to pounce. Yes there were politicians involved in inciting the violence and there was the government that stepped in and contained the violence by bringing in the army. It was the darkest day for Delhi. The Mumbai riots and the Gujarat riots were not sporadic when compared to Delhi riots. While one was a communal clash the other was a planned backlash. All three riots have shown that we have evil residing within us and whatever religion we may follow needs spiritual retrospection
Anti Sikh Riots were worse than Godhra
February 2, 2014 - Log in to Reply
Being disabled in war, I was in Delhi, living in Saket at that Time. The crowds reached Saket at approx 9 AM and were only going to houses of Sikhs living in the Area. Gp Capt Lakhanpal and a few of us, Serving and retired Officers, got our hockey sticks and whatever weapons we had and stood by the houses of the Sikhs, preventing any harm coming to them. Unfortunately some immediate neighbours of these Sikh families looted the houses. The Head Priest of the Gurudwara in Saket was attacked and badly injured. I saw him lying in front of the Gurudwara on the road. I picked him up much to the chagrin of a few so called Hindus, living in front of the Gurudwara and took him to AIIMS for treatment. I was warned that I would be attacked. On returning home, I rang up Brig Brar, my coursemate commanding Rajputana Rifles and asked for a few men and gave him the address where they should meet me. He sent them to Lajpat Nagar, where I could place them in houses of Sikh friends and those known to me. At the same time, my wife and I learnt that our daughter, with a few female students, studying in NID Ahmedabad, had left for Delhi, without telling the NID Authorities. Immediately, with the help of Army Headquarters, duty officer, I contacted the then Corp Commander of X Corps at Mathura, then Lt Gen V N Sharma (Later General and COAS), who immediately sent a party to the Mathura Railway Station to intercept these young girl students.Unfortunately the train in which they were travelling had left for Delhi. The Girls narrated the horrors they witnessed and how they had locked their compartment from the inside. Early the next morning, around 4 AM, I received a phone call from a Major, who was at Nizamuddin Railway station that a young girl, professing to me my daughter was at the station with a group of girls. I told him to keep them safe and though there was a Curfew then, I drove to the station and was able to take all the girls to their homes and brought back my daughter. These were horrific days.
February 7, 2014 - Log in to Reply
That year was one of the darkest in our history. In Oct-Nov 1984 I was attending the Senior Command course at College of Combat in Mhow. After Indira Gandhi's assassination we were quarantined within the premises and Mhow town was placed out of bounds. On 31Oct-01Nov, in the immediate aftermath of the assassination, we all could sense a distinct chasm within the Officers Mess. While most of us somberly watched Doordarshan, which was ceaselessly beaming visuals of the late PM's funeral arrangements, her role in creation of Bangladesh etc, there was a smaller group at the Bar, seemingly unconcerned and even boisterous that is so typical at any Fauji Bar. Around 02 Nov onwards when news started trickling in through BBC and other channels, the mood turned gloomy all around. Lack of any authentic news was exacerbating our anguish and helplessness. There was a sullen silence all around, with everyone keeping one's thoughts to oneself in that hyper-sensitive situation. Many of us actually wept that night with a mixed feeling of pain, anger, and disgust at the turn of events and their far-reaching consequences for the country. That night I penned the following few lines, which reflected my anguish, confusion, and despair. I must be too naïve, Not to understand,Why a mother must die, For reproaching an errant child.I must be too naïve, Not to realize,Each era leads its Christ to the Cross, Or a Socrates to the hemlock,Always they have paid the price, In trying to reform the misguided, By shedding their very lifeblood. I must be too naïve,Not to appreciate,Adorning of a mother’s bier, With many an innocent’s severed head.Offerings of their tears and blood, Like incense on the funeral fire.Tribute of her zealous sons, To her cherished ideals. I must be too naïve, Not to know,That religions get sustenance, Through narrow beliefs and hatred.How else can they flourish? Save by turning the sane into fanatic zealots. How many more, How much longer,Must we endure these Holy wars?If religion itself has turned a curse,Then into the Heaven of atheism, Father,Let our country awake.
February 10, 2014 - Log in to Reply
The mob ruled and continues to rule. India is a majoritarian, sociometric kleptocracy without equity, equality under law, rule of law or even universal primary and secondary education. Sixty Six Years of Neta-Babu Quota-Corruption Raj!
February 15, 2014 - Log in to Reply
Tragic reckless and inhumane reaction .
January 30, 2014 - Log in to Reply
The debate over giving awards has to be linked to the benefits these awards bring with them. The day benefits attached to each award get detached from the awards the clamor for the same will automatically disappear.
I think a lot has been written about the awards. But hardly anyone talked about the honorary ranks given to JCOs and NCOs. That is also a reward for distinguished service and these are also awarded on Republic Day and Independence Day. I think given a chance to choose, JCOs and NCOs will choose honorary commissions in place of distinguished medals because of monetary benefits. Hence it is wrong to say that only officers are awarded. As for as distinguished medals for senior officers are concerned, in my opinion they should not be given to army commanders and PSOs at Army HQ.
The problem of giving the distinguished medals not only lies with Army but also with other two services i.e Air force and Navy . The so called top brass literary gives these to each other at highest level i.e if you scratch my back , I scratch yours. Also, there is monopoly of certain branches in claiming. If you analyse the awards given in 2014 for Air Force for Instance, you will notice that the top brass from Fighter stream has taken almost 90% of awards. Technical branch is give remaining 8% and rest to Admn branch. The officers given these awards same not seen back of a ac since decades & employed in Administrative tasks. Certain branches as choppers, transport, logistics, accounts, Met , Education totally ignored.. Though there is a Committee of top brass for naming these awards, but mostly they look after their own people by branch, arm or race. So it is high time that these awards be banned for top brasses and be given maximum up to Col and equivalent level.Further, some corps or branch should not make a 'loot' of these award just because they are from elite branch i.e infantry or artillary, Fighters or executive branch of a particular service.
There are two issues here1. Awards being related to rank – Why should PBOR be limited to commendation cards and hony commissions. Also why should an act of exceptional service in peace time by say a Maj not be considered for an AVSM? The 3 examples quoted by Col Prakash are the exceptions rather than the rule. If wartime decorations are open to all ranks then shouldnt also peace time decorations ?2. If 63% of serving Lt Gens were awarded the PVSM/AVSM/UYSM, that means they delivered service of a “most exceptional/exceptional order”. Either the qualifying criteria for these awards is too low if over 60% were the exceptions (sic) or these awards are just being distributed as “retirement gongs” -the latter being the most likely. In fact today if by the time you retire as a Lt Gen and you don’t have a PVSM behind your name ,you in all probability would have rubbed up the COAS /Army Commander the wrong way somewhere down the line.We need a review of the whole system of peacetime decorations for all ranks.
Nitin,There is a prevailing view among professional militaries that the “banana ness” of a country can be judged by the amount of useless paraphernalia on the uniforms of its armies. The US is a notable exception, although they do wear most of their crap only on their Class As, and the BDUs are normally unadorned.With the amount of zari based poorly embroidered muck on our uniforms growing by the day, we seem to be heading into monkey land at a rapid rate. The malaise is not confined to the Army, but the Air Force seems to be following suit with collar dogs and the recent folly of silver buttons on summer uniform. The Navy, bless them, seems relatively unscathed so far.A point to ponder, both the AF and the Army field uniforms (combats) also are being enhanced by more and more bling, which is probably an indicator that our senior brass are getting more and more averse to getting anywhere near visual range of the enemy. Not a good thing….
January 27, 2014 - Log in to Reply
I think a very legitimate point has been made by the gentleman concerned and Nitin. It is extremely funny that every CinC and Chief gets a distinguished service award and there are no cribs and murmurs since every senior officer knows that his turn will come! And MoD and hierarchy uses these to keep the tongues hanging out for those in the queue. The same thing applies for Senior guys taking diplomatic assignments after retirement-those are nothing but sinecures for questions not asked and for being compliant with various schemes of MoD! Navy seems to specialise in these.And the shame of it all is these gentlemen are most vocal in Services get together about bureaucrats cornering post retirement assignment without looking inward.I THINK THAT TIME HAS COME TO STOP THESE AWARDS TO THREE STARS AND ABOVE. THAT WILL ACT TO STOP THIS SHAM.
In the eyes of lower Ranks of Army, Navy & AF, the awards given to senior Offrs are #Rubbish. They have no true value in the eyes of general public at large. Armed Forces are losing the respect in civilian society very rapidly due to mistakes committed at the top hierarchy.
Dear Nitin,First let me complement you on picking up yet another cause that is inflicting heavy penalty on our defence forces. I am equally anguished at the trend that has crept into our Armed Forces, which seem to have been borrowed straight from our inept politicians. Though I tend to agree with the views of XXXX, a retired senior officer, but am little perplexed at his reasons to remain anonymous. The retired senior officer precisely reflects the problem of Indian Defence Forces.. While in service the senior officers never oppose, resist or give a counterview, but once out of the service they are the first one's to red flag all the ills. Why this malice is not seen or experienced by them while in service? The issue seem to be bigger. Maybe, the right potential based on merit is not being allowed to grow within the defence forces? The weakest link in the defence forces today is lack of right and competent generalship. If the leadership is strong/competent such incidents can never happen after all every senior officer was once the junior most also.
I personally feel distinguished awards need a major overhaul. I have seen two star Gens vying for commendation cards, forget about vsm series awards. And if that is not enough it is being given to one and two star dignitaries! Actually, I recommend the following:- a. GOC IN C CC to be given only uoto LtCols. b. Chiefs CC not beyond Cols. c. VSM n AVSM upto Brigs. d. PVSM not beyond Maj Gen. Also non of these shud be given to ppl posted in army hq and comd hqs.
Dear Nitin,A point to be highlighted here is that of the Five Soldiers who died in South SUdan in Ambush but were not awarded with anything at All…
Generalisations for awards to be based on ranks and postings are belittling to the concept of awards and reflect a poor understanding of the system. We need to acknowledge that award winning contributions can be made by anyone (senior officers included) and award winning work can also be done anywhere (behind desks inclusive). having been at both ends of the sword I would like to speak metaphorically … it is easy to forget the hilt that drives the blade in does as much work in making the kill , of course the bloodied sharp edge gets all the glory and the care. So lets say that everyone is equally deserving of awards….let us apply more exacting standards to what we consider achievements and yes there I will have to say that one must measure accomplishments in proportion to the power…But hey if we cannot even get awards then whats going to be the incentives for the poor sods who dont get periodic promotions or pay hikes and are still expected to give 200%. I have always believed that the best schemes can be sullied by bad intent so there is nothing wrong with the system of awards…let us get honest and professional and become true leaders where we give our team and subordinates more credit and take less ourselves….
January 28, 2014 - Log in to Reply
Dear Nitin,Relax and do and say what you think is right. It is not for nothing that as a rule we are best described as the “Argumentative Indian”!! With warm regards, G Parthasarathy
Dear Nitin,Dear Nitin,Super piece and dialogue – it does seem so meaningless now! Don't they get retirement benefits because of some of these awards? Col (retd) Gopal Karunakaran
THIS IS FROM A SERVING YOUNGER OFFICER. SO NO NAMESMost of these awards(non-gallantry) are given to people who are quitesenior in service and have demonstrated extraordinary commitment.Compare the numbers with the total strength of personnel the Service-it may make more sense. These are unusual times for the Services,where expansion and modernisation plans are on the roll. Exceptionalwork requires recognition, to keep motivational culture intact. Unlikein the private sector, there are no bonuses , special increments orprize holiday packages that can be given in the Services. Awards arethe only carrots, which have substantial value in accordingrecognition for special contributions.Nevertheless, there is a danger in trivialising the innate value ofawards. Long back, in 2001-02, Adm Nadkarni had written a criticalarticle (Asian Age?)on what he perceived as the de-glamourisation ofgallantry awards, following Kargil and Op Parakram. It may be worth adig.
ANOTHER ONE FROM RECENTLY RETIRED TWO-STAR OFFICERIs Army being served by only senior officers, from air conditioned rooms or by all ranks of units deployed for various tasks. Names in the list of Honours and Awards every year, give a total different perspective on this issue. Are the senior officers awarding each other for covering each other or make internal environment to eliminate resistance?No doubt it is not so at the rank of Colonel and below. In fact very many deserving cases are left out at each level of command. Why PVSM, AVSM are only meant for General Officer's? Army needs to examine these issues and correct itself. But Will it do it?
Dear Nitin,My views on getting an award is slightly different — but more on that later.Yes, there is a quota system in place, and unfortunately, some do not put that to use with true selections. This raises the question – -should there be a quota system. Unfortunately, due the huge size of our forces, there has to be one, for the simple reason that even a guy doing a desk job is doing work – eg, someone in the procurement or plans branch – without him burning the midnight oil the people on the front line will not get equipment. Same goes of all such appointments. So people getting in peace postings is correct, AS LONG AS THE WORK IS GENUINE and DESERVING.Now comes the question of top brass – – yes, there is an issue that if I am a SASO or SOA or C-in-C am I doing anything extra ordinary by just administering my charge? If there is no war or a catastrophe that requires my extra attention, then why should I get one? And is there any harm that a C-in-C retires without an award against his name? Doesn't lower his standing. Actually, due our miss-managing the awards, he will be looked up to and the juniors will say that,” here is a genuine chap who went up without an award.”This brings me to my personal view on getting am award. When I was a youngster, someone told me that there was an AOC-in-C (a technical officer) who retired without an award against his name, and in the same breadth, the narrator said, ' what a great guy he was!' That stuck to me, and i wanted to retire without an award against my name. When a VM came my way and the Chief's letter came to my office, I was actually not happy and did not tell my wife and kids about it – – others rang up to tell them. But that's, my personal view. Did I not recommend my juniors for awards? I did, but I made sure that only genuine names went up – – you see, there are marks for awards in the promotion boards up to the Gp Capt level (I do not know abt other Services), and so good people must be acknowledged. But if the quota for say WAC is 10 and there are 11 guys who really deserve – one guy loses out. And if for SAC it is 5 but truly only 3 deserve it – 2 extra undeserving guys will still get it and the 11th WAC guy will still not.We HAVE diluted our awards – – there is no question about it. Otherwise you remember the PVC fiasco of Kargil, when the Army announced a posthumous PVC only to find him in a military hospital? That means it was done with no checking and possibly was not deserving — it could be to just to get a PVC for the paltan. But then it is a self-goal, as it becomes routine. In the US, if a service person is put up for a Medal of Honour, a special board is constituted to go into all aspects of the citation. They go and visit the scene of action and re-verify and cross check, and only if they are satisfied is the Medal of Honour given. What would they have done in our PVC case?AND YES, OUR MEN DESERVE TO BE MORE IN THE AWARDS LIST.With regards – -and it is good that you have got this debate going. If you want, you can put my comments on your blog.Air Vice Marshal Manmohan Bahadur VM (retd)Distinguished FellowCentre for Air Power StudiesSubroto Park, New Delhi 110010
Every Commander should ensure that his subordinate is rewarded for their exceptional work.That should be his ultimate award.
Dear Sir,Your point is well taken. However despite or perhaps due to the above Commendation Cards are often given more for psychophancy than any thing else. Lately an Army Commander has give a CC to a retired officer for conducting a fashion show! That too not for the benefit of troops but for the entertainment of officers and their wives. Is there a need for a review? Not to withdraw the award but to have a more balanced view on awards.While on the subject, the CC are represented by large shining badges on the uniform while mentioned in dispatches, often for gallantry, is depicted by a small black lotus leaf on the ribbon. Could we have a sense of proportion?
January 17, 2014 - Log in to Reply
Disband AFs and let these services find a solution to tje security of the nation.
January 18, 2014 - Log in to Reply
Nice to see a detailed article on nffu from someone who understands defence services. I wish that people like yourself do this timely snd more often to force those who matter to take a realistic view. It is surprising that there is no transparency even in the matters of pay as regards defence services.
Nitin….. why dont you write an article depicting a scenario……see all govt depts like railways, PWD, Central govt ministerial staff etc get what they want by threatening to strike……. Y dont you paint a scenario… wn the soldiers are finally fed up with the raw deal they always get and say… they would leave the borders to the politicians and bureaucrats.. and come down….. then what would happen to the country…..
September 8, 2014 - Log in to Reply
The Day is coming Pak Army have no choice but to go on Offensive against US NATO thugs Killers Terrorist as they are Financing Pakistani Tehreik -e- Taliban and BLA Baluchistan Liberation ArmyWhite KKK Imperialist Crusaders are on Rampage against Muslims of Pakistan, Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine and soon IranMuslims must realize that American KKK Nazi Imperialist Crusaders and their Black House Niggers Liars e.g. Obama Liar have only one solution…….Hard Ball Pak fauj with them as If they Live with Sword so they Die with Sword, today saying will be if you finance Terrorism then you die with Terrorist Bombs!
December 23, 2013 - Log in to Reply
Mian Manmohan G Singh Saheb is reputed to have offered Ladakh to China in exchange for Arunachal. China might be responding actively to Manmohan G's invitation vis a vis Ladakh, and may take Arunachal later at their leisure after India's Armed Forces have been further ground down by corruption and Neta -Babu rule.. Having already handed over Tibet and Nepal (by supporting the Maoists and interceding on the their behalf with the US and UK) to China, it is quite likely that the Mandarins of the India International Center as well as South and North Block and the inflation defying Circular Canteen are mulling the possibility of a few decades of peace where an even larger proportion of the defence budget can be deployed on money changing hands to personal profit by offering Gujarat to Pakistan in exchange for Kashmir, Orissa to Male in exchange for the Andamans, Tamilnadu to Srilanka in exchange for Kerala and Goa to the US in exchange for Diego Garcia. While this may not be possible during the brief remaining tenure of the You Pay Too coalition, this will probably form the rump of the most secular You Pay Three and You Pay Four foreign policy. Exchanging Goa for Diego Garcia might set the strategic tone. As for tactics, how about edging out Saab with HAL's LCA to Dilma Roussef? Surely a contemporary 6th generation fighter like the LCA on a shoe string budget with more than a million man years of Research and Development should do the trick?
India's relationship with US is More of a Buyer-Seller than of a Strategic One..What I perceived is over last 10 years all the energy of New Delhi was to Chase an not so sure Relationship with US..than to strengthen & develop its Foreign policy . In hurry to Pacify US led western Community india had done many strategic blunders that is costing & will cost India Dearer in near future…a Country craving for Regional Power status should first of all Bring Clarity it's Foreign policy..but India's foreign policy is more on Whims & Charms of Politicians and Political parties than on Facts & ground Realities..India virtually gave up its firm hold on SriLanka,Maldives,Bhutan,Nepal,Bangladesh & Myanmar……..Coming years it will be very difficult to sense the direction of Moves made by these Countries …For or against India..One thing is for Sure…China was Millitarily out of Sight of in Indian Ocean region ..but with the sell of Submarines to Bangladesh & further high tech weapons to IOR countries & Significantly funding vital Projects there..never expect any strong Anti China Move from these states…They rather prefer to stay neutral anyway…US will not confront China because majority of US market depends on China for its cheap delivery of Products……any off with China will create substantial loss to US economically…So Pivot Asia was only to keep track on China’s Military Move. .While using India as a Pawn…..
December 4, 2013 - Log in to Reply
Absolute hog wash, PRC just needs a pretext to change the status quo here, why should identification be given in first place when PRC lived with out it for all these years. Contesting sea lanes, now air space god knows what in future. US-Japan-India need to be together to contest this hegemon. The recent example of PLA Navy passing through first chain of Japanese islands to go east of Taiwan and then using the route in routine is not forgotten.
November 20, 2013 - Log in to Reply
indian political class has been reluctant to give indian armed forces its due share,sometimes making a dent in its prestige.NEED of the hour is better co-ordination among political executive,civilian officers and military staff.excellent piece,hope to see many more
November 16, 2013 - Log in to Reply
Good thing is that after years of lethargy things are changing. .India along with talks should continue building infrastructure and military deterrence.It will deter China in getting very aggressive.China has border dispute with almost every neighbour in South East Asia (also Japan). India should use this to its advantage and try cosying up .with them We should escalate the cost for China to be aggressive. The only thing Chinese respect is power. We can negotiate only from a position of power (I mean a credible deterrence here).
The Indian government has never understood the importance of a strong defence force. We have lost precious years in making up our minds to equip our forces. It has not only cost the nation dearly but we have lagged behind. Any two penny student of Military History will tell you that with one strike corps you stand No chance of posing a threat, given the length of the IB with China or LC with PAK,How does this give us more than one option? How does this help us to tackle both Pak & China? We must feel proud that a new corps is being raised, but we must unerstand , since it is too late it is too little!
October 19, 2013 - Log in to Reply
well d above observations by the officer r pretty much true n to b honest media writtin something pro army is actually a morale boosting factor and vice versa…
TOO GOOD , WE NEED TO LET ARMY DO ITS JOB , THEY CANNOT GIVE RUNNING COMMENTARY . MEDIA CANNOT UNDERSTAND WHAT IS ARMYS WORK ON GROUND AND THERE DAY TO DAY ISSUES AND CHHALLENGES
October 20, 2013 - Log in to Reply
I agree 100%. Let us not forget that during 26/11 more damage was caused by media with their live telecast. It seems that the media has not yet learnt.
October 21, 2013 - Log in to Reply
Eloquent, to say the least. SO glad that its a media person who has echoed almost every soldier's ardent wish and woe.
Could not agree more, Nitin. A badly needed counter point to the half baked analysis by pseudo defence know alls and the more sinister – deliberately inserted – canards floating around. Nicely put.
October 23, 2013 - Log in to Reply
Good article. I hope our media lets the army be.
October 24, 2013 - Log in to Reply
Dear Nitin,If I am not wrong, your father too has served in the forces. As far my family is concerned, we have 4th generation serving Indian Army. Greatest regret my father carried of 1962 war was that he could not die with his men. That war & reports later jolted his conscience. In Indian army's greatest moment of glory at Haji Peer, he felt the same disgust towards peaceniks & chatteratti who ignore the sacrifices made to secure Indians.Same journos never have questioned the logic of returning Haji peer or not altering the LOC to suit ourselves at the bare minimum in 1971.Thank you for humane coverage. My two brothers and a nephew guards the borders of this country.
October 26, 2013 - Log in to Reply
4th generation soldier can be understood , but not the 4th generation Indian army soldier , how can it be.. One or two of them surely must be in British Army. About the Indian Armed Forces, they can't be treated as holy cows now, after the corruption, indiscipline, doubtful Keran sector operations, etc making inroads in the forces. Soldiers must know they are also under the public gaze. Once you have chose the profession of soldier, they why to cry. If you want to cry, please come back, we do not need such soldiers to serve us.
The solution here too is to to make a Military Confrontation in this sector Internationally and Domestically untenable…….Unfortunately Indian National Policy makers need to understand it and act in Sync with the Def Est in the area. The mil equation is skewed in favour of the stronger mil – in this case China. So the answer lies in answering the question ` How do we make an Offensive in this sector (which is devoid of Insurgency and Terrorist activity) Internationally ad Domestically Untenable? There are a number of alternatives…….again it is not Rocket Science…….the real test is whether we can think them through, act them quick and execute them well. the answer to `Hide your Strength, Bide your Time' lies in another saying `Show your strength, Time your Tide'…!
October 13, 2013 - Log in to Reply
I am positive that when you release the book Sir , I shall drive down to meet you and get my copy autographed by you to retain as a heirloom !
I will be honoured Zahl! Look Forward!
Just got a message from Air Vice Marshal Manmohan Bahadur, one of the two pilots to first land on the galcier way back in 1978: He writes”Breathtakingly lovely and lonely place made sacred with the exploits of the Indian Army and the IAF. WIll try a get a photo of the SNOUT, as it existed in 1978, when I first landed there. Waiting for your book Nitin!”
LOOK FORWARD FOR THE BOOK. PLEASE CHOOSE PUNE FOR THE BOOK RELEASE.
October 12, 2013 - Log in to Reply
Why these problems are more in Army than in Navy & AF ?? These people have also same problem at home, the rot lies in the British era attitude of Army Offrs, which they are not giving up. They must change now, see the other modern Armies across the world.
well in d case of navy or d AF offr men interaction is very limited.. u meet over work n dats it.. whereas in d army u r wid your boys 24*7.. u live wid them, eat wid them b out on ambushes n patrols wid dem.. wen u spend so much time together sometimes difference of opinion is bound 2 b there… but overall d offr n men relation is great.. in fact this is something wich AF and navy offrs r even jealous of 🙂
October 18, 2013 - Log in to Reply
The gap between the led and those who lead is reducing. The officers who lead come from a part of society where finding that they can order around men and get any work done gets them to be ruthless while dealing with the men and demanding menial work from them. They want to project a higher level as officers in the society however the men are not so far behind in status. Also officers now are more pushy to get the next rank or appointment at any cost for which they are ready to sacrifice the welfare of there men, in fact they see the manpower as a source to please the higher ups. This is basically due to lack in training of officers how to deal with the men, how to look after welfare etc., this was somehow overcome by earlier children of officers joining the services and passing there experiences of what they saw to other newcomers. With children of service officer now choosing other lucrative jobs or not reaching higher position in service the guidance is lacking in the new breed of officers. It is like the saying if you give a knife to a monkey he is going to shave your head, that's what exactly majority of the new breed of officers are doing. Suddenly they have large men under them and authority to order them to do everything obediently like a slave. A slave also looks for a chance to get free or strike back, thats what the men are doing when treated like one.
After independence Army has not changed ,it is following old British customs and traditions we need to transform our Army to a national army imbibing our culture and our values.With the explosion of human consciousness ,Jawans are more aware and enlightened. Thr calibre of officers is steadily going down,they are career oriented, materialistic and nurse a feeling that they are shoddily treated by government as compared to bureaucrats .Yes, the family problems of officers and Jawans are the same now, Jaeans by virtue of being posted away are handicapped in protecting their rights back at home . Life styles have undergone a change too, all these factors create a feeling of inadequacy among Jwans which result in such behavior . Plight of veterans too is disheartening factor for the serving soldiers.
Duniya mein yaa to paisa bolta hai ya izzat (clout) bolti hai.Unfortunately, fauj mein paisa bhi nahi hai aur izzat bhi khatam ho rahi hai.Governors banao, aur fauj ko lutao.The new mantra.Everything percolates from the top, so does rot.
Media in consultation with Army can play a big role in restoring respect for the soldier in the society as they have to pick the blame for spoiling it due to their “breaking news” hungry attitude which has damaged both the social and emotional aspects of a soldiers life.This must be controlled even if it means taming the media under the rule of law.
Thanks Gokhale saheb,Have taken liberty of not only Tweeting the total passage but have tweeted your selected portions also.A very good article & army/Min of dense can Learn some Imp lessons from here. samarjeet narayan
to say that ther is a lack in trainin wud b incorrect however the fact is dat wid d society changing ther is bound to b a change in the army as well.. n this is taking place.. give it some time… but the core values of the army r still emphasised on during trainin n even after dat… that is d main reason army still gets d job done even under harsh conditions and high pressure situations…..
An old soldier once quipped “I am comfortable with Fore-Sight and Backsight of my gun………so do not bother me with Insight and Hindsight….!”The genesis of these turn of events lie in three issues – none of which are being given more than lip service . The first is following laid down and traditional Unit Routine & Trg. The sys as a whole has got so used to attempting to impress everyone by doing Abnormal Things (…and rewarding those who do everything other than their job!) that it has forgotten that True Professionalism is “Doing Normal Things…. Abnormally Well”. What is probably more worrying is that the trend continues………The second issue is the shortage of `Good' Officers. We are so engrossed with the issue of shortage of Officers that we have chosen to side-step the core issue – the shortage of `Good' Officers. So systemic changes and actions which would ensure that atleast the existing officers get groomed & trained to be `Good' has been consistently been overlooked. What we have instead done is outsourced the task to the CO – who w/o adequate offrs of the requisite seniority and capability (remember all the competent, qualified offrs of worthwhile seniority are sitting in fmns pushing files) can actually do little. Imagine our plight where we feel a competent offr is by Qr more essential in the fmn then in the unit. What is surprising is that systemically it has been covered up by stating that it is for optimum career growth of offrs. Can one think of another org that places indl growth above Org well being? …..and would it not be right if this message that indl growth is more imp that Org well being is absorbed & Digested by all offrs in the sys! …..Then why blame them if the thirst after coveted appts and promotions…..that is what you taught them is'nt it!The third is the inability to select and train Junior Leaders – and then to instill responsibility and accountability in them – to make up for the shortfall of Offrs. It would not require rocket science to understand that QR and Seniority (the present mode of selecting Junior leaders) only leads to re-inforcing mediocrity. The failure to change to Merit-cum-seniority at least at the point of selection to JCO rank is most intriguing. How could you have a bulk of your Jr Ldrs selected on such mediocre criterea and expect them to suddenly become responsible and accountable – once again leaving the CO to do the grooming?Unfortunately these things require 'real work' to get done – who has the time or the inclination when i am only interested in my tenure…..?
September 17, 2013 - Log in to Reply
well documented Nitin…having served in all the areas you travelled….it was a trip down the memory lane for me !!!….Hope your pgme conveys the right msg to the countrymen and specially bureaucrats and politicians and they sanction some well deserved goodies for the armed forces….OROP, NFU etc….else the BJP govt under NaMo will do it next year when they are in power (surely) !!!
September 6, 2013 - Log in to Reply
Dear Nitin,Great article which puts things in perspective.Just my two cents – (a) Depsang Plains extend to both side of LAC. And PLA infrastructure is on Depsang Plains on their side of LAC. (b) There is a larger threat at play here – position of PLA 'incursion' not only threatens Indian access to Depsang Plains, they also threatens the surface link to DBO via Depsang La. PLA incursion is like a wedge which has the potential to interdicts the surface link from Burtse to DBO. This point needs to be highlighted. The inputs from IB officer in your article touch on this aspect. PLA managing to reach Shyok means DBO gone as well threat to Siachen from eastern flank via Saser La pass.Regards,
September 8, 2013 - Log in to Reply
When will our Babus and policy makers realise that jiski lathi uski bhains. The Chinese, over decades, have always maintained a posture and position of strength on the Indian borders. The Indian military today is much better equipped than it was in 1962 with Nehru in his own dreamland and Krishna Menon in his ivory tower! However, it is once again falling behind, with slow modernisation due to a Defence Minister who only knows how to smile like a half-wit and kow-tow to the powers that be to maintain his own position and welfare. His attitude towards all efforts at modernisation and/or procurement of new equipment is totally averse to fast moving and rapid modern day technological advances. His play-safe attitude is doing immense harm to the military preparedness, of all the three wings of the Indian Armed Forces. To make matters worse we have a weak and incompetent leadership of the Army, where positions have been gained more through manipulations than through sheer merit.
There is no explanation for arriving at this particular number. It could have been top 50 or even 100 but that's theadvantage of coming up with issues like this. Completely subjective. Beat.pk – Free Mp3 Download
August 15, 2013 - Log in to Reply
The article reflects sad state of affairs today. The soldier who should be beaming with pride is today desperate and fed up with I'll treatment metted out to him. This certainly doesn't auger well for the nation.
August 16, 2013 - Log in to Reply
There is also a need for the top echelons of the brass to introspect whether internal processes and mindsets have unintentionally aided and abetted the insincere and inimical machinations of outsiders in diluting the status of those in uniform.
March 18, 2019 - Log in to Reply
It's amazing to read about the man who in my view was the most effective defence minister, India ever had. May his aatma achieve sadgati. On Shanti.
Sad we have lost an honest, sincere and upright man in the prime of his life. He tried his best to get a good deal for the armed forces as regards OROP but was short changed by AJ. Nitin you are doing a great job by representing the Services view point in various fora. God bless Manohar Parrikar.
He indeed made his share of contribution to India for which the country will stay eternally grateful. May his soul rest in peace
After reading ur article I feel even more sad that India has lost such a leader who had so much more to offer. Tragedy for our country. Om Shanti Parrikarji
After reading I feel even more sad that India lost such a leader too soon. He had so much more to offer Om Shanti Parrikarji
Great captivating TRIBUTE I would say.
I didn't want your bolg to end.
Great humble human.
Very touchy blog.What a huge still grounded person he was! As you have spent discussing future of Indian armed forces with him and have seen many of your suggestions being implemented by him, it's truly your person loss as well a great loss to the nation. Thanks for sharing.May his soul get Sadgati 🙏
Beautifully written, Nitin. I had just one chance to meet Parrikar ji in South Block and i have detailed that out on my FB last night. Few men make their impressions that stand the test of time. Manohar ji was one.
an excellent tribute.
What a heart-warming write-up. Just the kind of shraddhanjali such a great, yet humble, soul deserves!
You are lucky to vzve known him so closely.The moment I read the 60-65 books part my eyes were in tears too. I have never met him and knowing him through this article makes me miss him even badly.Thabkfor sharing this side of him Nitin Sir. God boess him.
Huge fan of Mr Parrikar and I always read Nitin's columns and books and never miss his comments. Excellent tribute to a great man above all else the humility part.
Sir Nitin ji it is really nice to read that you met and got yourself associated with a person who was not only a dedicated politician but also a great human being.you are really lucky sir and after reading to your blog I can say that our nation has lost a great leader RIP Manohar sir u will remain an inspiration for us
One of the most heartfelt condolences one has read. You made me cry.
Thanks for portraying multi faceted personality in so simple way. India will miss you Manohar Parrikar.
March 19, 2019 - Log in to Reply
Sir envy the fact that you had an opportunity to interact and work with Parrikarji so closely. If a commoner like me who has never met him can feel remorse and void,can only imagine how you may feel.
Hello Nitin, you've captured the essence of the man beautifully – his impeccable character.Lt. Col. Sumant Khare
A most befitting and worthy tribute to a unique personality whose outstanding intellectual and professional qualities were augmented by his amazing humility, humanity and patriotism.
I feel very sorry for respected Parrikar sir demise.The nation needs his like people to serve the nation.Everyone can get an inspiration to serve our society, nation.We will always remember him for his good services to the country.A wise and nationalist one can keep Sri Parrikar Sir as Role model for himself.May his soul rest in peace and may God bless us , giving him rebirth in our own country, Bharat.
Beautifully written… Can really salute enough the humility of Mr. Parrikar.
Nicely written! A gem of a person, indeed! I was fortunate to know him since his IIT days, as we were in the same Hostel.-Shyam Thosar
Manohar's sad demise is indeed a great loss for all of us. He was in touch with people from all walks of life. And this piece gives a good understanding and insight about a gentleman whom we seemed to known for years. Very well written!!!
Wish we write good things about the people we like or admire whike they are alive..I am sure it will give them lots of happinness…I never knew much of him and now it's too late..but I am sure he can see my salute to him..wish they make more like him🙏🙏
Well said. Manohar Ji was very conscious of his responsibilities to the nation that he always wanted to deliver efficiently. He grew up in RSS and his nationalism was very deep. An honest RSS worker always keeps people's or nation's interest about all other interests.
Wonderful tribute to a great man sir. Thank you for that
March 20, 2019 - Log in to Reply
Exceedingly well written article. Gives a glimpse of what India as a nation will miss out on going forward. IndiaI is so terribly infested by indiscipline at every level, Parrikar should have been active for at least a decade longer to try and straighten things. Now that he is gone, I worry about my country.
INDIA HAS LOST A GREAT DEFENCE MINISTER..ITS A TREMENDOUS LOSS FIR YEARS TO COME.ह्या देशाची शोकांतीका आहे.बे टाइम आपण असे हीरे गमावून जातो.
Beautifully expressed. India really needs Leaders like him. Thank you for the insight.
March 21, 2019 - Log in to Reply
I can understand that feeling. I knew it will come to this. But there was an undying hope that he will live. His departure has created a void that cannot be filled. I held him atop as my role model. Now it looks just empty.
March 26, 2019 - Log in to Reply
Sounds like my kind of man. Both of you. Much good can be achieved in this land of immeasurable talent if the right voices are allowed to speak, to write, to work their magic.Unfortunately, corridors of power in Delhi/MoD has a culture totally contrary to that. Here's hoping that will change. More power to you, Nitin. Parrikar is gone. Lot of work remains to be done.Please visit me @ https://kaypius.com. we can work out the rest.
November 30, 2016 - Log in to Reply
Short and incisive. Armed forces need third party audit to remove flab and ineffective / inefficient leadership. NaMo Gov must take lead in this matter and establish long-term policy.
To the point
Nitin despite our not so frequent interaction, I follow you with an eagle eye. Whether you follow me I have no idea. As regards audit, that youngster is correct. And that's it. Methodology apart facts must never be brushed under the carpet. I know old collegues will rip me apart but truth always hurts. Period. Cheers
Absolutely agree… I say this after having served in the military & now in an MNC. Even as I write this I have just concluded an audit of my team by an external team of auditors who do this for a living. Audits are a very effective method to review systems & the military needs one YESTERDAY
This man is not the first n won't be last to raise what is a long felt requirement. Many (self included) have done so and suffered. But the question is why those are never held responsible who use AFs as a political tool for political advantage but steer clear when faced with a crisis. Heads must roll everywhere, be it higher military leadership or the damn netas.
Nitin,I think the issue is being appreciated incorrectly by you and the youngster, in its entirety . Are you really holding the military heirarchy responsible for these terrorist strikes? What makes you think that their neutralization could have been done without any casualties. And, I am aghast that you mention some sort of an Audit? By whom–a mil court? the NSA ? a board of officers?? a parliamentary committee? an analytics Company? Is there a fault of military leadership that terrorist attacks take place or is it a national failure of our policies? Is the military having a free hand to retaliate across the border with the quantum of force to deter further such future misadventures?? Do you really think that there is a lack of good leadership in the military as compared to the 'good old days'?? I find it amazing that you say, “We knew that this Will happen” – – – of course we knew, the entire nation knew. So what do we do: have battalions, divisions and brigades lined up along a porous border line abreast?? A small band of determined suicide fiyadeen cannot be stopped. What can be done, is to ensure that they don't escape. Own casualties will be there and remember that the element of surprise is always with them.
I am a serving Offr of Indian army. Firstly let it be very clear to all of you who r master in just commenting by sitting in AC offices without having any idea of combat and aware of ABCD of security. I m sure that each individual of Indian army is a professional and committed to serve the nation till last drop of blood. Let us don't equate soldiery with accounts by auditing it. I respect Nitin Gokhle but don't agree with you at all and raising such nonsense issue of auditing Indian army professionalism.
December 1, 2016 - Log in to Reply
well said. in today's scenario of ppl savy for social media can pick up his mobile and type anything. the guerilla warfare needs guerilla tac for success.
Nitin there you are the feelings of three colleagues. The former two are very dear friends. And now that you have spoken and I have done what is called , “the first DAK reaction,” then let us add just a few words to their views. The word audit is WRONG. Maybe you needed to use inquiry. And maybe as DS Sarao says why not start with the lopsided Govt policies. Let's audit their philosophy. With people like you and apologies my friend, the Press and TV media has ruined the very core of the Armed Forces.
July 25, 2016 - Log in to Reply
Timely and Apt. Read and Introspect. Particularly us veterans. There is a lot we don't always know.
what responsibility serving fraternity has to clear the air? if they remain silent spectators and mute witnesses to whatever harm being done to the national interests by ruling govt, then it is required that those issues be raised by veterans. Remember, veterans can do nothing more that that, so there is a need for the service chiefs to rise and show visible actions and such actions be disseminated to all in real time.
Great push towards reason and wisdom, Nitin. I am myself fed up repudiating the rumour mongers. My c0mpliments. Gautam Banerjee
July 26, 2016 - Log in to Reply
Indian Army has stood the test of times in bringing the levels of insurgency down in J & K and North East. We need to understand the difficult circumstances under which in operates and be supportive. I agree totally with the author that the criticism needs to be based on facts, be constructive and not on hearsay.
July 7, 2016 - Log in to Reply
This clear understanding and command over operations both at strategic and tactical level can come only to people like Nitin who take pains to be in ground zero understanding the soldier,nuances of terrain,the enemy and the soldier.
June 25, 2015 - Log in to Reply
one question that also needs an answer shud the exservicemen be agitating when a first serious & gunine attempt is being made to address their legitimate demands ?shud not they have waited a little longer for the govt to work it out.
one question that begs an answer this agitation is it really justified. when a genuine serious attempt at addressing their legitimate denmand is being made, shud they have not displayed more maturity &waited say 30 or60days? this demeans them & gives a feel of politicking.
A nation aspiring to advance economically by accelerating production, by improving manpower utilisation,and by advancing in commerce and so on, a highly agile defence with morale is necessary!
Great & hats off to you.Hope some one from PMO reads this & put it up to the PM 🙂
In depth task of analysis and synthesis to quell the myth about and bogey of rise in pension bill of the defense veterans is highly appreciated. I wish it somehow reaches the concerned ministers.
we have been told this for 40 years
June 26, 2015 - Log in to Reply
The Veterans wanted that some date should be announced. For which the Govt was not prepared.This creates the doubts in everybody's mind about the “INTENTIONS” of the Govt.Earlier also Honourable Raksha Mantri had announced the dates (31 Mar15 or Latest by end of Apr15).later on the Govt back tracked. Do you not think that at this stage the “CREDIBILITY” of the Govt is at stake????
Eyeopening article. Plse send it to IESM which will provide them ammuntion to fight the Babus on MoD
The Retd, Army officers are using words like “ supreme sacrifice” to get the support from the general public. This is a word used by foreign Armies. Their line of thinking is different from us. They think that Army job is the toughest and most risky .as compared to any other jobs. But Indian conditions are entirely different. This is a country of Mahatmas like Mahatma Gandhi. Swami Vivekananda and others..We have been taught in the younger age that a person should serve the country and the people without expecting anything in return.” Nishkam Karma, or self-less or desireless action is an action performed without any expectation of fruits or results, and the central tenet of Karma Yoga path to Liberation”. Along with Gandhi ji all freedom followed this without ant hesitation.. So they have done the Supreme Sacrifice not the Indian Army. Army people are getting remuneration for their work. Only thing is that they are not getting same pay as IAS officers, So let the Army people understand this and behave like a responsible citizens.Freed fighters got the pension after 50 years.
You have studied the issue in depth. And those who have been examining it for all these years could not be too oblivious. After all, as you quote, CGDA ( which should know what it is talking about) has estimated only 0.85 increase annually. But CGDA has only limited role in implementation. The Babus in Finance ministry are smart, Why did Mr Jaitley, earmark such a small amount in previous budget ( was he sleep or did he prefer to be sleep) ?. It was all a game plan to engineer an argument of financial difficulty. And remember, this incremental Jaitley is there to stay – at least till Mr Modi had enough of him. So wait.
June 28, 2015 - Log in to Reply
Mr. Anil Kohli is, obviously, a civilian.Maturity to wait 30 – 60 days? Are you not aware that this legitimate demand has been made since the last 4 years ? Does patience have no limits? Successive politicians pay mere lip service, and then see that bureaucrats have them under their grip.
May 10, 2015 - Log in to Reply
Thanks for writing the article with factual details. Why Modi government in centre or state government in Maharashtra is silent? Both belong to the same party. Why Shiv Sena, who otherwise vociferous in most of the matters is also silent? Their silence is intriguing.
May 16, 2015 - Log in to Reply
God bless you!Immanuel
April 10, 2015 - Log in to Reply
A Win – Win solution to a knotty problem. IAF gets quality aircrafts in quicker time frame. Government gets to save money and block probability of corruption and MoD bureaucracy and HAL stymied. Great
Great !!!!! 🙂 A very positive sign seeing things move fast and decisions being taken. Hats off to the government. At the moment we jst need to plug deficiencies. In future INDIA without anybodys help will make the worlds best aircraft wait n watch
Agree absolutely. In the meantime go for upgraded Sukhois Su -35
April 5, 2015 - Log in to Reply
Dear Nitin, Your opinion indicate that you feel that the Infantry and Arty should be given exclusive considerations for promotions. Therefore it also implies that other combat support arms and services are not so critical in ensuring operational efficiency. If this be so then officers through Short Service Commission should only be recruited in the Infantry. This will solve all the problems. Why commission an officer say in the ASC attach him to Infantry for the first three years of service, then send him to an RR of AR Bn for cross attachment and then tell him he cannot be made a Colonel because an Infantry officer is required to be made a COLONEL Quatermaster subsequent to his command. I am sure you are aware of something called Core Competency. Similarly what logic states that an Infantry officer is more suitable as Colonel Info Warfare or Colonel Intelligence than a signals or intelligence officers? The only logic is that Infantry wants to grab the vacancies by making a backdoor entry into the higher echelons of the pyramidal structure. This what the AFT has detected and therefore given a correct judgement. As regards the physical fitness of an Infantry CO tell me how an infantry Platoon Commander who is a JCO of around 40 yrs of age maintain his physical fitness and physically lead his platoon whereas the CO is unable to do so?
April 14, 2015 - Log in to Reply
Do you know that Air Ch Mshl I H Latif started an insidious reservation policy in the IAF in 1978? Only Air Ch Mshl Fali Major has breached that reservation policy which states that to be appointed CAS you need to be AOC-in-C of WAC or SWAC or VCAS. No transport pilot or helicopter pilot is EVER appointed AOC-in-C WAC or SWAC. Today one Navigator air marshal has approached the AFT for justice as he has been denied promotion as AOC-in-C because he is well, a Navigator. Never mind his service record.Would you do an expose on this?
April 3, 2015 - Log in to Reply
Dear Nitin,Your examples don't stand to any logic. Army is going through worst kind of parochialism and reservation. When an officer becomes Brigadier he stops wearing regimental badge on cap because he a General officer . Take entire organisations along . Sadly from Gen Vij onwards we started getting Chiefs who were from Dogra Sikhli or Gurkha and so on. No body disputes the fact that Army should be young for that today an Infantry officer becomes Col three years Prior to a service officer. Sad part is Indian Army hasn't fought a conventional war after 71. Present generation only knows and talks of CI operations. They don't understand the logistics. Even MGO Branch and QMG branch is headed by Arms. Tell me why should an officer who is equally or better qualified from other arms and services should not become a Brigadier. Today drunkards from Infantry and Arty and Infantry who have been even Court Martialed Are becoming Bde Cdrs where As service officer who is much better Qualified has no chance if he does not get outstanding report through out. There is no case whatsoever to make an Idiot a Bde Cdr just because he is from Infantry or Arty. Nobody less than last MS has endorsed this policy is flawed and has no logic.
Totally disagree with your opinion. You have given wrong example of IAS/IPS/IRS. Tell me can you differentiate between IAS cadre of different state based on their nature of job or risk factor one posted in J&K and NE state with respect to other. Answer will be NO because both have same entry, same training. similarly all army officers have gone through same exam, same training in IMA/OTA. So they get equal opportunity. If you feel so strongly about so called fighting arms, then make separate entry and separate training for them. Then give whatever advantages you want to give. We all deviated from core issue that it should be given on pro rata basis without fighting who is more important than others. Else implement NFFU to all officers like IAS so that at least monetary all will be benefited if not given command or promotion. Its all about narrow mindset of selected arms.
Your argument is not only logical but also in keeping with practice prevalent in all professional armies. In fact Armies like UK, Malasia, Singapore as also bigger ones like USA give a definite edge to its Infantry soldier in X-Factor Pay, called Military Service Pay (MSP) in India. Sadly in Indian Army everyone from clerk, computer operator and store keepers to staff car driver in Delhi get same MSP as an Infantry soldier. Some even get it while posted to MES which is MoD equal of CPWD.
Agree with Yogi. Inf and Arty should ask for additional allowances in name of risk involves. You will be surprise that every unit of Inf have 3-4 Offr from services in fd area as attachment.
Reporting against verdict of judiciary like AFT is not advisable till the matter in SC. We all should respect verdict of AFT followed by SC.
The Price of Inequality ! Those who frame policies must read !If you sweep everything under the carpet, how long will it take for the carpet to be consumed by the girth ? Those who choose to make a portion of their family out of place shud not feel offended if it's no more referred to as HOME. The Inf has no qualms in handing over its men to a Services Officer in Battle Scenarios who has not even qualifies at the basic YOs course, today, it's crying over vacancies it usurped.You can't have it both ways.The Army Ord Corps tody has more number of Ashok Chakras than any Inf Regt.The essence of the anger and frustration of officers manning logistics and others lies in this 'Inequality'. Has our own Generals been mature enough, they wud have read the last 4 lines of Judgement which indicated that case should not have gone to SC. It's misplaced trust if u still trust these guys who have no qualms in treating their own creed differently.Why not simply ask for a Cadre-Restructure and make the services units like CMP, maint core-competence at the level of men, and 'spirit of inf' at the level of officers.Mark those words, if not for enough pressure, these guys will start going in for 'Regt-Wise' parchi.Much many than ordinary Rajput Bns were moved to a particular Comd just to ensure HC to their COs, not to mention small favors like Demo-Bn at AWC where they improve course-Gradings. In SiaChen, the Inf only provides 10 offrs, rest 17,14,12 (Northern,Central and Southern Glacier) comes from OAS.50% of the officers in Northern Comd carrying out duties of Inf Offrs in Inf Units/ RR Bns and fmns are OAS offrs.Kengurese, Kalia and Saurabh were all ASC Officers, who laid down their life in Op Vijay.Ata Hasnain has made a few noises, he has a habit of toying the middle-path est his credence as a man with solutions, he ain't bad but better than most other inf-lot who feel they are the first and last of Mohicans to fight on behalf of Countrymen 24*7.Since he has spoken of Tral, let's go by data. Tral is with 42 RR which lost a CO, the prev 2 Offr-casualities were Capt Sharma (Fatal-Signals), Maj Anil Gulia (Non-Fatal; Head Shot GSW).Now is that Inf officer's 'singular' contribution !The disparity doesn't end here !Why shud a section of officers wait for 3 yrs ?Why shud a section usurp 80% of UN Vacancies ? Why shudnt 'logistics cadre officers' get 'logistics' vacancies in UN ?Why shudnt you take an MTO to UN just like in RR, both are peace-keeping operations.Why is inf using OAS Offrs in inf ops then ?That too to the extent of 50% in Northern Comd where the entire action is, and then eat-away their vacancies in promotions, UN and Staff ?The attachment of officers, which began as a method to sensitise the Services Offrs about the needs of frontline, is now a mechanism to park vacancies for inf.If you need more in Inf, put them in Inf, why recall an Offr from Mid-Career when you made him undergo his YOs at 3.5 yrs of service, then you recall him for an RR tenure again at 7-9 yrs o service.As of now, an ASC officer is the most 'Fired-Upon' officer of 98 batch, ranging from bullets experienced on LC and RR, then you tell him that he will have to wait for 3 yrs and with 21% chances for next rank ? The Original Favouritism was obviously promulgated by The Armd Corps, whereby a GOC declared that all YOs will be graded 'Outstandig'. it's now paying all price with most of them fearing their own men.'The Price of InEquality' is too huge !Will the Paidal Sainiks please understand ?
Poor show nitin.Very lame article.Looks like a sponsered one to please your contacts in the army.Don't even feel like commenting on content.
Agree with the author. Inf Offr and OAS offrs cannot ask for equal perks and privileges. Inf offr fights ahead and rest others are to support Inf. Hence Inf should get more perks and privileges and hence OAS officers should not do inf attachment, should not do RR/AR and should always support Inf and not fight from front. In a media house a technician is never asked to do makeup and stand in front of the camera. If that is the Army we want then I fully agree with the author.
February 15, 2016 - Log in to Reply
your comments on Supreme Court verdict please
March 18, 2015 - Log in to Reply
A very pertinent analysis
November 25, 2015 - Log in to Reply
This is first time a defence minister is talking about Indigenous procurement and we are seeing a long term strategy. He is very much clear that no product development can give a perfect product and he is creating a positive pressure on armed forces to involve in the product development.
Just in a short period of 1 year, Govt had created an industry with a potential turnover of USD 60-70 billion in next 10 years.This potential doesn’t consider the export potential and how with that export we cement our strategic ties. For example, by exporting Brahmos missiles to Vietnam, we are creating a stumbling block to China. We shall also think about exporting the same to other East-Asian countries and especially Taiwan.
We should understand that most of the technologies on the basis of which USA is an economic super-power is, were created for military and thereafter came to civilian use, be it internet, nano technology or drones.
Congratulations on starting – BharatShakti.in. The issues you have raised with Hon’ble RM are of priority concern. We are happy to note that he has addressed them with vision, clarity, time bound priority and achievable action plan. Now all the stake holders have to operate with transparency and accountability. We sincerely hope they do! RM certainly needs periodical feed back on performers and bottlenecks.
May I suggest the following for consideration by your portal in your future interactions;
1. Restructuring MoD with Serving Officers from three services integral for policy and decision making!
2. Permanent inclusion of Security experts and NSA representatives in the Niti Ayog Planning cell.
3. Revisit Arms & Ammo production policies to include – Exporting of combat and non combat equipment to other countries .
Lt Gen V M Patil( Retired)
Thanks for a very detailed interview. Love the way the questions are structured and awestruck with Raksha Mantri’s understanding of issues…..
November 26, 2015 - Log in to Reply
Congratulations Nitin. Your interview with the RM has focused on all relevant issues and I am very impressed by his clarity and understanding of the complex acquisition process. Lets hope he is successful in streamlining the Defense acquisition procedure and manages to fill existing voids at the earliest. My best wishes to you and your team at BharatShakti.in.
Hearty congratulations Nitin and BharatShakti. Loved the structuring of the interview and the clarity with which the RM has addressed issues that haven’t been addressed for years. In the next part, could we also understand from him his views on cyber security, cyber intelligence in the Indian armed forces & strengthening our military diplomacy.
All the best to Team BharatShakti.
Firstly, congratulations to Mr. Gokhale on his exclusive interview with our Raksha Mantri, Mr. Parrikar. The interview indeed made for fascinating reading and it is heartening to note that we finally have a Defence Minister who has got his priorities right .
As a concerned citizen, one was alarmed by the almost unending reports in the media on the gaping holes in India’s defence preparedness during the UPA government’s (and Mr. Antony’s!) infamous tenure.
In contrast, Mr. Parrikar’s well-articulated plans to plug these gaps are very reassuring.
Notwithstanding his plans for big ticket acquisitions like the Rafale, submarines etc. I’d be very interested to know why the Indian Army has cancelled trials for assault rifles and gone back to testing the DRDO’s Excalibur. According to the information available in the public domain, some of the biggest gun manufacturers like Beretta, SIG Sauer, Ceska were in the race. The DRDO hasn’t exactly covered itself with glory with the INSAS series. So, this cancellation appears to be a very retrograde step. The most affected will be the infantry soldier, who is the country’s first line of defence, and the most neglected. Planes and submarines come much later in the event of a conflict!
November 27, 2015 - Log in to Reply
Congratulations on this fantastic endeavour.
I have only recently started taking interest in matters related to defence and security and a site like this is a huge help to me and huge credit to you.
May I make a suggestion:
I know it would be very taxing initially, in terms of demands on your patience and time, but it would.increase effectiveness of the site many folds if there could be preface written for newbies like myself about the terms used, existing procedures and issues with them and the implications of new procedures.
Understanding of defence matters and challenges is very limited in our mainstream discourse and i really think that if we make it more accessible, we would see a very vigorous and much needed participation from public at large.
November 28, 2015 - Log in to Reply
Greetings to Bharatshakti! Kudos for the RM interview.
I have been reading for long that the acquisition process is too complex for layperson to understand etc.
The RM instead has been able to set an outline of how the whole system operates within the MoD without resorting to cover of “secrecy” that was used earlier to serve petty interests. Thank you!
Congrats Nitin for starting Bharat Shakti portal
Your interview with RM has brought out the steps taken by the government. Suggestions given by Gen Patil are highly relevant and timely and should be taken up vigorously.
Wishing u all the best
November 29, 2015 - Log in to Reply
I am not too sure whether an interview on burning issues alone would contribute to increasing the knowledge of informed readers. For instance, CDS has been under active consideration from the early stages of Parrikars tenure. Timelines have changed but not the content of his statement. What would be more pertinent is the trend on ongoing debates on the actual terms of reference of the role of CDS. By just adopting the solution given by the Naresh Chandra Committee we are unlikely to see any major improvements in structural solutions. Integrating MOD , changing the operational profile of the armed forces etc are burning issues. Going back to the Arun Singh committee report may yield better solutions.
A Very good beginning.This interview with the RM should be a periodic exercise, may be once a year so that we can learn what progress has been made on the issues taken up for implementation by the Defence Ministry. Well done Mr. Nitin Gokhale.
a very penetrating Q&A session which is informative and will address many apprehensions of all persons with an interest in matters militery
December 8, 2015 - Log in to Reply
As it appears, the CDS will be just a little more than the present CISC. AS the Chairman of the COSC, he may wield some authority, but if he primus inter pares, that too will be marginal. Creating a CDS to just look at what the HQ IDS does presently, would devalue that designation – if the CDS is to be what he should be, he has to be the single-point operational authority which means that the Int and Ops functions of all there services should be placed under him. I don’t see any of the Chiefs allowing that to happen – one way of getting that done is through legislation but that in our case seems highly unlikely. It would also require a thorough re-structuring of th MoD which the bureaucrats wont let happen. Hence creating a CDS will yield little usefulness other than one more 4-star vacancy getting created. If he is designated the permanent Chairman COSC with no authority over operations or readiness or intelligence, how would that change the current structure in any way ?
While agreeing to the sentiments expressed in the article, i would also like to add that time tested war machinery _ The Indian Army- is made to die a slow but a sure professional death .Working against politically created difficult situations, the young leaders are at loss when they find them selves working in deviation to the laid down procedures while dealing with CI operations specially with regards ‘minimum Forces’ concept.
Wherein do we have so much of avoidable Human Rights issues for the terrorists or their active sympathisers always willing to inflict physical casualties on the forces operating in the affected areas.Incidentally the issue of Human Rights of the man in uniform is often conveniently over looked.
Lastly good initiative by ‘Bharat Shakti’
August 1, 2016 - Log in to Reply
Excellent piece Nitin!
September 22, 2016 - Log in to Reply
The India team seem to have done lot of studies and research before stating negotiations. No wonder they could put tough questions to french team and get the results. It is possibly the way to go.
September 23, 2016 - Log in to Reply
I can see that you mentioned missiles package of Meteor and Scalp and also mention in one of your tweets that the tital weapons package is 750 million Euro. Can you add any details on the number of these missiles and apart from these two missiles is there any thing else that comes in weapons package?
December 18, 2016 - Log in to Reply
But sir, this opens the door wide for intense lobbying for the top post amongst the senior three or four officers. Now the politicians are free to choose the officer who promises them the most, or agrees to bend the maximum. The issue of merit is moot. All that gets sorted out before the rank of army commander. In fact, the CinC is the actual field commander and the COAS is a staff officer. The advantage of the seniority system was that there is no political interference, unlike the police. Now, the politicians have made inroads into the last apolitical organisation. God help thus country.
December 19, 2016 - Log in to Reply
all these logics are nothing but garbage.lt general bakshi was the senior most and should have been made the army chief.
December 22, 2016 - Log in to Reply
Nicely put Nitin sir.
Seniority was one of the cardinal principles followed till Mrs. Gandhi hijacked it in 1983 and the price the country had to pay everybody knows i.e. the Punjab problem. Once the contenders for the top post comes to know that seniority is not the criteria, then they will also lobby with the powers to be and our Army which till is apolitical will see a sea change which will have a direct impact on the fighting spirit. At least from our past mistakes we should learn. Had Lt. Gen. Sinha been appointed the COAS he had advocated a political solution to the Punjab issue.
January 17, 2017 - Log in to Reply
Yes whilst I agree with you that some sections of the media have gone ballistic re their “ill informed/uneducated” comments on this issue I dont think you can ignore the fact that where there is smoke there must be a fire. I come from an army family and I can tell you the whole system of sahayaks/batmen is being abused left right and centre especially by star officers. Go to to any Command/Flagstaff house and you will see plenty of batmen serving drinks in the drawing room, serving food at the dining table , walking the dogs, watering the lawns ,tending to the vegetable gardens -there is no shortage of manpower- the abuse takes place mainly at the Flag rank, and to a lesser extent at the regt /battalion level. Yes maybe on the front line the buddy system works well and is needed but why in peace stations and esp at Command /Flagstaff houses. Mr Gokhale, please use your contacts and get an invitation to spend a night at a Command House and you will see what i am talking about. Jai Hind !
March 14, 2017 - Log in to Reply
Nitin nothing can be more nearer to the truth as brought out clearly in ur article. The article is very thorough and dispassionately brings out all that has been done by Mr Parrikar in his short but qualitative tenure.
Very good article. The standards he set in MOD will have to be followed. Hope that the next Raksha Mantri is equal to the task.
I’m sure Nitin, you are doing great justice to all your new avataar as an author and a trainer, both are impossible without being a good researcher. Looking forward to many such articles from you. Congratulations and good luck
March 15, 2017 - Log in to Reply
EXCELLENT STORY ABOUT MANOHAR PARRIKER JI . MOST ADMIRABLE MOD IN LAST 45 YEAR, PEOPLE OF INDIA LOVE HIM. GADKARI JI AND PARRIKAR JI ARE TWO HANDS OF NARENDER MODI. WE ARE ALSO THANKFUL TO YOU PROVIDING SUCH INFORMATION. ONCE AGAIN THANKS
Dignity for veterans – forget it!
This is a seriously good article, well written and to the point bringing out what ails the MoD and what Mr. Parrikar did to make things better. Completely agree that it will be a hard act to follow.
Higher defence management and restructuring MoD to integrate much better with service HQs is a pressing need as is urgently filling critical gaps in the IN and IAF.
Making MoD fleet of foot is perhaps a pipe dream but we should surely strive towards that goal.
July 2, 2017 - Log in to Reply
In the shrill debates of the TV the reality is the casualty. This article has brought out the reality of the ground situation into public domain by the brilliance of its analysis and the depth of coverage
Very well written. In fact the appropriate and timely military action has provided the firm base to build upon further with diplomatic activity.
July 5, 2017 - Log in to Reply
Excellent analysis, thanks
July 13, 2017 - Log in to Reply
China often spends all its energy on issues that drains it’s powers. It is an arrogant nation which is currently riding high on its huge cash reserves and practically bribing it’s way into the power circles. Wouldn’t last beyond short or medium term.
March 23, 2018 - Log in to Reply
Agree that govt wants to be among top five defence n space manufacturers and the policy (draft) is a leap of faith. How will govt turnaround the mindset well entrenched in OFBs, DPS Us and mainly HAL (Who is defaulting on a simple Tejas delivery despite best efforts fm govt) will be the key.
Also there are committed people in DRDO but not all are that way. If defence R & D is going to be purely DRDO baby and that R & Dis the feeder for Defence production, except few labs who can deliver, govt should forget its target date.
Overall, with new policy, new strategy and a brand new set up for production, may be with private sector, seem to be a way out is 2025 is sacrosanct.
However, one should be always optimistic despite overall pessimism around you. Let’s hope we meet the ambitious target.
Unless the MoD gets rid of Department of Defence Production (DDP) each Defence Procurement Procedure released will end up as ‘audacity of delusion’. It is a case of ‘conflict of interest’ with the seller (DDP) also being the buyer (DoD).
April 27, 2018 - Log in to Reply
The government of Seychelles is a minority government and the agreement was voted against by the majority opposition party in Parliament. The people of Seychelles is demanding a referendum on this issue of Assumption Indian Military Base under the guise of a Seychelles Coast Guard Base. The people of Seychelles is well aware of this guise. The government is playing deaf because they know it will lose in a vote by the people on the issue.
July 20, 2018 - Log in to Reply
Won’t it be more or less advantage Rafale? And why not?!!
The focus obviously probably on integration of the fighters with other assets of IAF including S400, (a big advantage for Dassault) , additional technology (only Gripen appears to have significantly upgraded .. With radars) and tech xfer. Gripen offered everything they own..(but they actually don’t “own” much),
US has declined, Russians are not sure and the Euro fighter had to check with 6 countries for every nut and bolt.
That leaves France to decide.
August 20, 2018 - Log in to Reply
Govt down to jco rank in India army only one rank sepoy , nk , Hav, chm,,bhm not rank require jco
All very well. But what about the restructuring of services and promotion prospects vis a vis the Arms.
Army med corps amongst the services is most neglected as at present. For them even to become a Col is a very difficult proposition. Whether in field or peace, the AMC is always on the job. A service hospital is busy on all days of the week.
At many a places doctors don’t even get to eat their lunch before 4 PM.
It is therefore expected that they too get rewarded. And in the Army reward means Promotions and not money.
I expect a reply.
August 21, 2018 - Log in to Reply
Any foreign military sales policy will have to contend with the notorious NEGATIVE LIST of countries barred from Indian defence equipment sales
August 27, 2018 - Log in to Reply
As far as, I am agree with the issue of enhancing pensions of JCOs and OR from 55 to 75 % of their last pay drawn involving their age factor with their civil counterpart. However, there is no need to restructure the ranks of officers rather than making it well equipped and modernised in consonance with JCOs and OR. The rank structure of the officers in the Army should be quo in status. However, if the responsibilities and status of the JCOs improve in the Army, there will be a drastic step to strengthen the Indian Army. Selection of JCOs must be revised. Where there is a need to appoint an officer upto the rank of Captain, a sophisticated and efficient combetant as JCO can be devolved the responsibilities. A serving person having practical knowledge in field and have some OLQ (Officers Like Quality) only be selected as JCO. JCOs promotion cadre of such combetants should be conducted centrally at IMA Dehradun and OTA Chennai categorised in Arms and Services. Subsequently, revision of Pay and allowances should also be carried out to enhance their status which would be a great inspirations to OR to join the Army and achieve this rank during their service career. Making JCO by ascertaining physical tests and length of service of OR can formally fulfill the strength of a contingent only. Due to this, it is observed that pay and allowances of the JCOs have been highly ignored in the 7th pay commission, resulting in, most of JCOs and OR are drawing pay and allowances in equity to each other. Due to this, OR started seeking premature discharge as early as possible as they have no future career. Althought, it might have the proposal of high officials of the forces that somehow the JCOs category should be vanished gradually from the Indian Army thus OR should serve upto their young stage. Since our Army is known for her discipline and bravery for over a period,there is a need to formulate the rank structure of only JCOs and OR.
August 29, 2018 - Log in to Reply
Have no comments for weird, hare-brained schemes, which work against the high-values & traditions of the hallowed institution of the Army; built over centuries and eventually against the defence & security of our nation!
Better abolish rank of General & Post of Army Chief!
November 18, 2018 - Log in to Reply
how the goverment to this?
July 7, 2019 - Log in to Reply
The info provided by you is classified and not supposed to be put on open media. You can be charged under official secret act for putting detail orbat of Indian army. I am sure eyohr source must be some irresponsible, corrupt army man who gave you these classified info in return of few bucks. Your source should be tried for TREASON and you for abetting it.
July 8, 2019 - Log in to Reply
col R kumar retd
August 17, 2019 - Log in to Reply
A very crisp and insightful write up on CDS. It was a long time requirement of the armed forces and for a militarily strong nation which hopefully will be met now. Kudos to Nitin A Gokhale for well analysed article
There are many loose ends which are to be sorted out. There will be a crib about loss of civil supremacy to some extent and leafs to bickerings from civil servants. As it is services are invariably in internal conflict whenever a new chif is appointed. CDS will add to it
August 18, 2019 - Log in to Reply
The post of CDS is unlikely to have a major strategic paradigm shift in the functioning of three services. The foundations of tri services cooperation &synergy are laid at the NDA during training & the Services Chiefs are all ex NDA officers who as it is enjoy a comraedire resulting in full tri service cooperation during an external or internal conflict as was evident in Kargil War & recent Balakote strike.
The creation of CDS will bring in its wake only an increased inter service rivalry & respective Chiefs are not likely to brook any interference in their functioning. Besides the all pervading mistrust &rivalry between the Services & the bureaucracy is likely to further increase giving rise to functional & administrative difficulties. The Govt seems to be taking hasty decisions with an eye on political dividends rather on the efficacy & desirability of its actions in a true & logical manner.
August 30, 2019 - Log in to Reply
A copy paste study. Writer is definitely not aware of ground realities of defence production .
Private sector is being given licences for defence items for the last ten years or so. But nobody could come up. Probably they were relying on experts writer Mr Gokhale.
Nitin ji , would wish you do some more research on the subject . Would invite you to detailed discussions as I have dealt this very closely to bring defence Production in India to a global player while persuing MPhil at NDC
सर, तुम्ही या कर्मचाऱ्यांचा सुध्दा point of view लक्षात घ्यायला हवा, आता पर्यंत जे ख काम मिळाले आहे ते पूर्ण प्रामाणिक पणे त्यांनी केलेले आहे, त्यांच्या समस्या सुध्दा लक्षात घ्यायला हव्यात, तुम्ही गुणवत्तेबद्दल बोललात पण आधुनिकीकरण करणे हे कोणी करायला पाहिजे अधिकारी वर्गाने जर आधुनिकीकरण केले तसे काम कामगार कडे येईल तसे तो करेल जर आधुनिक आले तर आधुनिक ही, इतिहास जर पहिला तर ordnance factoryच्या कर्मचाऱ्यांनी तसे केलेले सुध्दा आहे.
August 31, 2019 - Log in to Reply
Monopoly Supply:- Normal products available in market should not be compared to defence products. OFB is special establishment for exclusively manufacturing defence products. So, Monopoly word should never be used.
High cost:- There is one more establishment called CFA( finance and accounts division). If cost is more this establsiment should be closed first before Ordnance factories as they are not properly auditing and not implementing cost cutting measures.
Quality Issues: CQA is the establishment responsible for Quality. Make them responsible for low quality and close it first.
Lack of Innovation: what CVRDE and DRDO are doing? OFB is a manufacturing unit asper proved design and model. Whether OFB is responsible for Innovation? how? It is to be noted that scientists are not recruited in OFB.
Low productivity : Delay in placing of Indents on OFB by MoD. MoD should be blamed for this. With out production plan what one can do?
1. For increase in productivity Indents for production should be placed by MOD in advance. Revision of all labour estimates with external agency is required so that machinery and manpower can be used to the optimum.
2. For high cost. If production increases cost on individual item reduces. Supervisory and managerial cadres should be pruned to the optimum. Indirect labour should be outsourced. Overtime to supervisors including MCM should be stopped.
3. For quality instead of procuring from cheap L1, some products like rubbers, gaskets, hoses should be procured from high quality source only. It should not be used after shelf-life. CQA should’ve very strict and should not give I note without complying to quality.
Nitin Ji, you have covered the past, present & future of the eminent defense establishment called OFB.
In my view also, by this decision of corporate, Ordnance Factories will survive & prosper .
The fear of job security and loosing the tags of government servant is prevailing among employees. Kindly suggest, how to motivate the employees to accept this challenge.
Rajendra Singh ,president
Sir, please visit any Ord fy convenient to you. Some of final product factories are OF Medak, HVF Avadi, GCF Jabalpur, OF Amajhari, OF Khamaria, OF Varangaon,OF Bolangir. You will find the reassurance that OFs are quite capable to meet the present and future challenges. OF role in all wars India won, is unforgettable, yet occasionally some irresponsible criticism comes from some quarters, mainly due to lack of familiarisation and insufficient communication from OFB. OFB also serves as war reserve capacity. It is scaled to breakeven at minimum 15000 Crores per year. Any thing less, will have higher cost due to Operating below breakeven. Unlike auto sector OFB can not shake off manpower, since that is the strength of OFB. OFB has accepted DGQA as the User’s representative to prove and accept the final product. OF can offer under any third party inspection arrangement also. Recently OFB exported Gun barrel to largest Gun manufacturer for proof purpose, obviously as per European Specification. OFB produced the finest indigenous Artillery Gun Dhanush completely on its own, yet its Capability is doubted. Pevelence of frozen Specification is major hurdle to introduce advanced materials. There is room for any organisation to improve itself provided there is positive environment and protection against organized misinformation campaign. External committee, as they have no stake, so far could not correctly prescribe the right improvements needed. Solution will come from within. But there should be will to accept the suggestion and give a try. We cannot disown the OFB at any level. We should not throw baby along with bath water. Institutional knowledge and assets takes years to build. Recent Budgetary support was needed only when army procurement budget reduced drastically over last two years. In any case, OFB is a strategic institution, a home kitchen, a reserve in difficult time! You can’t always complain about higher cost of running on commercial basis. Yet OFB bagged some critical orders of Indian Army of new weapons against global competition. I wish the best to OFB in time to come.
If goverment of India wants to make any changes on ordnance factory why should not change in under goverment there is no need to change into corporation because in war time ofb is reserved force behind war support so don’t see loss or profit if goverment make it accountable or modernisation do it in under ofb recruit best engineers in factory bring new technology which make it better
Very appreciable writing . I am in this organisation. Plese keep writing on this subject so that young employee like me can get clear picture what is going to happen in future. Thank you.
unqualified people like this guy making claims senselessly
September 1, 2019 - Log in to Reply
Ordnance ministry of defence h ye sahi hai isko private nhi krna chhaiye agar duniya mein sb kuch private hi Krna h to minister ko bhi private kro unki bhi ek sima banaye jay .
Isro ko bhi private kr dijiye drdo ko bhi aisa h to sirf ordnance ko q krna ye zrur kuch aur bt lagta h hame .Sarkar ko bhi private kr dijiye qki sarkar bhi koi kam time pr nhi krta h .Aisa agar hua to sbse phle sarkar ko private kro dekho himmAt h .Minister sb paise khane mein lge rhte h kuch minister hi kam krte h sb to. Aise hi faltu ke baithe h .
Minister ko bullet proof aur commando chahiye aur hamre desh ke jawan. Jaise army ,navy , airforce ke sabhi sainik ko bullet proof q nhi milta h iska jabab sarkar q nhi deti bs jo saheed hote unke arthi pr bhi nhi ye nikammi sarkar sirf hate krti h bari bari .
Government job dene chahiye ek students ko ye nhi ki sirf gov. Ko private krne mein time pass kre .
Naval dockyard se civilian technician kK vaccency hi nhi aati aUr bolte. H sarkar hm ye karenge wo krenge akhir krte q nhi h .Isliye phle sarkar ko sarkari se private kiya jay .
September 10, 2019 - Log in to Reply
Hi. I wonder how much those who criticizing Nitin know about intelligence? Having been in the game myself, please let me assure than Nitin has revealed no secrets which are not known to the major military forces worldwide and are kept secret only from us, the general public.
Personally. if the div HQs are to be abolished, I think that is about the dumbest idea I’ve heard since 1960, when I first started following India. That’s nothing I am prepared to argue because it will be a waste of my time. Our COAS has becoming infected with the American Disease: whenever US Army runs out if ideas, it reorganizes. In my time I’ve seen triangular, pentomic, ROAD, XX Century based on independent brigade groups under a div HQ (probably the best idea they’ve come up with. And they’re changing everything again (will take some time)
I have a list of 95%+ of Pakistani brigades which Rohit Vats has kindly updated for me; as of pre-IBG I had 94% of all Indian brigades. And I’m just an amateur, not a professional. My Chinese brigade list is 85% complete (the new one)
August 4, 2021 - Log in to Reply
How are you Mr. Ravi Rikhye
October 7, 2019 - Log in to Reply
I had recently posted a comment that the pilot ( Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman) who lost his plane, his pride and traded his uniform for a new British suit was awarded the Vir Chakra whereas the pilots who claim to have killed 300 terrorists were not even given an omelette egg. Seems this has reached the corridors of the pride of the Indian Airforce. Now they have announced a citation and NO medal for those who killed a Pakistani crow and four trees in their surgical strike at Balakot. Indian Airforce also made another cover up of this brilliant fuck up, they awarded a medal to the ground controller who got Abhinandan shot down and also the helicopter with an Su30.
On February 27, a Mi-17 V-5 chopper of the Srinagar-based 154 Helicopter Unit crashed within 10 minutes of taking off even as a dogfight raged over 100 km away between intruding Pakistani jets and the IAF, in which Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman was involved. Six IAF personnel on board and a civilian on the ground had lost their lives in the crash.
The inquiry into the Budgam incident, in which a Mi-17 V-5 helicopter of the Indian Air Force crashed close to the Srinagar airfield on February 27, is believed to have revealed several violations of standard operating procedures and the the role of a senior officer who ordered a ground-based missile to be fired causing death of Indian Army officers and soldiers. A formal court martial should have been held in which officers, if found guilty, should face termination of service and rigorous imprisonment. The most devastating effect of this would be that the morale of the Indian Army and Air force would have fallen down to their ankles . Mr.Narendra Damodar Das Modi came up with a brilliant Idea and forcefully suggested that instead of courtmartialling the Officers for the fuckup, medals of honour be awarded to them for warding off the Pakistani airstrike and claim shooting down an F-16 also. The blunder that he made in this was that he formally complained to the Americans that their provided F-16 had shot down their plane and that IAF had shot down the F16. The Americans were no doubt concerned so they quickly and promptly carried out a stock check and confirmed that none of the Pakistani F16s had been shot down. With this the entire edifice of the Indian Air war came crashing down to earth. So did the Military ethos on which the traditions of the Indian Airforce were built. This was the second divine inspiration to Mr.Narendra Damodar Das Modi after the earlier one where he ordered the Air force much against its will to attack Balakot in the cloudy weather because Pakistani radars would not detect them !!!!!
May 4, 2021 - Log in to Reply
Puki your frustration and desperation shows through your posting. Frankly you ce from fucked up state which goes around begging for funds repay debt. The lies told by thd likes of you have no equal. Tell us how does an allegedly islamic state get into bed with a godless khinzir eating Commie state.
January 18, 2020 - Log in to Reply
Good analysis. As a first step also I feel the Peninsula Command should be in two parts ie Western and Eastern seaboards with the air and army assets suitably orbatted. ANC can form part of the Eastern seaboard. Land borders as a start seem workable but the western front also needs to be separately factored in.
Very good interview.