Letter from Brig C S Vidyasagar, Sir

, by indianmilitaryveterans

Dear Veterans,
1.    I do not have time to comment on issues other than grievances of ESMs and veernaris. Yet seeing the views and anguish of many veterans in the social media, I am tempted to give my views. You may not accept them. I have tried to find out why we cannot exploit our potential to our advantage. I come to some conclusions based on my observations how Armed Forces and veterans are being treated after BJP came to power in the Centre in May 2014. I could be totally wrong in my deductions.

I find the main reason for not achieving unity amongst the veteran community is : We, the officer cadre, underestimate the potential of our JCOs and OR. Let me illustrate with live examples in T SEWA.

2.   Our Vice – President is Sgt Lawrence Joseph. He carries out his duties very well. He needs a bit of guidance and has been helping in growth of T SEWA through his IAF connections.

3.   Hav Harish Asthana from Corps of Signals is President, T SEWA, UP. He got many ESMs and veer naris their pensionary benefits by interacting with banks, CPPCs and Record Offices. Even some of our senior officers cannot do what Hav Harish is doing.

4.   JWO Milan Das is our President, T SEWA, CPENGRAMS. What a Lt Gen cannot get his Corr PPO in four years, JWO Milan Das gets it in just three weeks’ time is spite of doctors advising him not to use his fingers.

5.   WO Thiru Chelvam is our President, T SEWA, Tamilnadu. In spite of his hearing deficiency and eye problem he works so hard to get relief to many ESMs and veernaris of their legitimate entitlements.

6.   HFO Annapureddy Venkata Reddy resolves many of grievances of ESMs and veernaris by liaising with many agencies.

7.   Sgt RR Unni, President, T SEWA, Palakkad Dist of Kerala is a live wire. You have to see him to believe what he can achieve.

8.  Nk M Reddappa Reddy is President, T SEWA, Chittoor Dist of Andhra Pradesh. He spent his own money to get uniforms made for Ex-Servicemen for Republic Day parade 2017 in Tirupati and his Ex-Servicemen contingent got the Second Prize in the entire Andhra Pradhesh and proved that ESM at their advancing age can beat many marching contingents of various police and other organisations.

9.  If we are able to accept these JCOs and NCOs as our leaders and forget of their ranks, then and then only ESMs can be brought under one umbrella.

10.   History proved no political party can survive on old antics. See the Congress today. The fate of BJP will  be similar to Congress in the days to come. Mr Narendra Modi ran Gujrat with help of few IAS offices and disregarded his council of ministers. He is an autocrat. None can dissent with him.
Look at his achievements. 
(a) Reduction of interest rate on small savings hitting the middle class badly
(b)  High fuel prices compared to our neighbouring countries in spite of fuel prices coming down in international market.
(c )  Helping Adanis and Ambanis to build their empire. Recently TRAI, a Govt controlled organization reduced the interconnect charges on mobile communications benefitting Reliance’s JIO. This means AirTel and Vodafone spend thousands of crores on infrastructrure such as towers etc and Reliance without spending any money gets use of their network by paying pittance of interconnect charges.
(d) Demonetisatoin did not get any black money but only put to 130 crores Indians to untold misery for almost one year.
(e)  28% tax in the form GST on certain items thereby pushing prices of many items.
(f)  Banks are burdened with NPA thanks to corporates not returning loans taken and BJP Govt does nothing to penalize such loan defaulters.
(g)  Lowering status of group A Armed Forces officers vis – a – vis Group B Inter Service HQ cadre personnel. It is like making officers junior to JCOs.
(h)   Taking away entitled rations from Officers in peace stations which was in vogue for the last three decades.
(j)   Equating a Maj Gen of Armed Forces with Group B Principal Director in Min of Def.
(k)  NFU approved on the plea of bureaucrats that they have acute stagnation when 100% IAS officers become Joint Secretary to Govt of India at 17 years of service where as 0.6% Armed Forces officers to become Maj Gen at 30 years’ service. But Mr Modi does not find it fit to give NFU to Armed Forces where there is terrible stagnation in higher ranks.
(l)  Every ministry gets cadre review every 5 years upgrading their posts but in Armed Forces in last 70 years only three cadre reviews have taken place.
(m)   All these political parties and bureaucrats have exploited the inability to voice the grievances of Armed Forces as they cannot form association. Try and do these with Civilian Grade four employees.
(n)  Not even examining recommendations of Justice L Naraimha Reddy committee on resolving anomalies in OROP even though report is gathering dust since Sep 2016.
(o)   Not involving pay commission cells whenever any benefit is to be given but unilateral orders are issued by Min of Def. Anomalies from 3rd CPC are getting piled up with anomalies in 4th CPC, 5th CPC, 6th CPC and now 7th CPC. When Armed Forces have demanded that anomalies of previous CPCs be looked into the Min of Def issues gazette notification and not Special Army / Navy /Air Force Instructions which has been the norm all these years.
(p) Do you want me list out insults being heaped on Armed Forces by Modi ji and his chosen bureaucrats?
(q)   Mr Modi has perfected the photo ops of going on Diwali to remote areas, meet the Armed Foces personnel, have a cup of tea, distribute sweets and next day Min of Def lowers staus of Military.

11.   Very sad to see many senior Officers have become modi bhakts. They chant slogan that there is no alternative to Mr Modi. But my conviction is you will get nothing from BJP now or in future if our ESMs in Himachal vote for this party in the 2017 State elections.
12.   Is laying mats for International Yoga day, constructing bridges for Sri Sri Ravi Shankar event at Jamuna River bank against orders of National Green Tribunal, collecting garbage of tourists in high Himalayas and constructing three foot over bridges in Mumbai jobs of Armed Forces?
13.    They selected third senior most Army Cdr as Chief and what do you expect this worthy to protect his own service?
14.   Unless we scrutinize every action of BJP govt and how they systematically trample Armed Forces in a pre-planned manner and sensitize our community, we will blindly vote for BJP and then cry that we have been degraded and downgraded. Do not forget sir, BJP and Congress are two sides of the same coin who depend upon bureaucrats to run the country. They have the highest degree of antipathy and distrust of Armed Forces. But they know how to use Armed Forces to bail out civic administration from nonperformance and irresponsibility. Col Ajit Rana graphically described Panchukula Marathon where DM climbed a fence and ran away from rampaging devotees of Ram Rahim. DGPs, Addl DGPs, DIGs and Superintendents of Police who draw NFU ran away from scene. It is only one Major and 120 infantry men saved Pachkula.
15.   Let me assure you, Sir, if all ESMs forget their rank and treat everyone whether he is an Army Cdr or a Sepoy as his equal and come under one banner, faujis can come to power in 2019 on their own steam or with support from like minded parties. As per figures of Kendriya Sanik Board of Min of Def the population of ESM and Veeraris are 31 lakhs. 13.5 lakhs are serving soldiers. In 10 states ESM are the predominant electorate. They can form Government in their states without any support from anyone. But when will faujis realize their vote power?
16.    I doubt very much whether this is feasible in next 100 years.
17.    That is the reason T SEWA adopts other route of AFTs to get our legitimate demands through.

Warm regards,

Brig CS Vidyasagar (Rtd)


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