, by KS Ramaswamy

Indian Military Veterans

Dear All veterans,
1.         Disclaimer. I am not a Congress or BJP Bhakt though I voted for BJP in 2014 general elections. I am as apolitical as you are.
2.         Your suggestion to TSEWA to lead ESMs to get our grievances resolved is welcome. But you have to understand for this, the first and foremost requirement is unity amongst ESM community if we have to succeed.
3.         As on date, the Armed Forces pensioners are 24.50 lakhs and I presume there are another 10 lakh non pensioners. Serving soldiers are about 16 lakhs. Each of them can get minimum 20 to 40 votes from his or her own side and of the side of his or her spouse for elections. When elections are held in future and all the faujis vote for a party that does not degrade them the way the BJP did in the last four years, then you will get everything you deserve. The most important loss to the faujis is systematic degradation of ijjat.
4.         What is required to be told to all political parties in no uncertain terms is “ If you ignore and ill treat faujis like BJP did since 2014, we will ensure your party does not come to power now and ever. We have 50 lakh faujis and each of us is capable of getting 20 to 40 votes. We are as solid as Dalits and OBCs”. Political parties only fear votes in elections and we have that weapon. If you have Brahmastra and do not use it to protect your own interests then you are the biggest fool. Don’t cry thereafter and no politician is bothered about your tears. Therefore realize your power and use it for our benefit in 2019. Vote for any party and not for BJP in State Elections in Rajasthan, Chattisgarh and MP in 2018 and Lok Sabha electtions in 2019. It is not because BJP is bad and others are good. It is only to prove a point that if any political party ignores and ill treats faujis then they cannot come to power in next elections. Let me illustrate few insults NDA Govt led by BJP heaped on  Armed Forces and its pensioners since 2014. You can add some more which I might have missed out. These are not in any order of importance but came to my mind randomly. Look at that Shri Amit Shah, President, BJP  cultivating Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag (Rtd) former Army Chief with a promise to give a ticket in 2019 general elections. It is to tell faujis “ See your own Senior Officers have joined BJP because only we can look after you”. I shall narrate in next few paras, how this very BJP looked after us, the faujis since 26 May 2014. If the faujis forget their differences and vote en-masse to any non - BJP party in state elections of Rajasthan, MP and Chattisgarh all our demands will be met in Jan 2019 by this very BJP as they will realize that faujis can cook them properly in the next elections. You know why Mr Aurn Jaitely is against faujis? Simply because faujis in Amritsar voted for Capt Amarinder Singh in 2014 general elections.  If faujis vote for BJP in these three state elections in 2018 like we foolishly did in Uttarkhand and Himachal Pradesh in 2017, we will get only abuses from BJP led central Govt in 2019.
5.         Independence Day Function. All these years since 1947, the Independence day is organized by Armed Forces at Red Fort, Delhi. It is totally show of Armed Forces like in Republic Day of 26 Jan. Now after NDA – II came to power the role of the Armed Forces has been downgraded slowly but steadily. Now the GOC Delhi Area is made to stand far away from the Hon’ble PM. Civilians have taken that place earlier occupied by GOC, Delhi Area.
6.         Republic Day Celebrations. On 30 Jan every year, the Armed Forces bands play maritial music in front of Rashtrapati Bhavan. Now it has been replaced by folk music.
7.         Truncated OROP. The NDA – II government gives truncated OROP by diluting its definition accepted by BJP Govt on the floor of the Parliament. The Hon’ble PM goes to Punjab for State election meeting and tells “ We have diverted funds meant for farmers to OROP”.
8.         Defence Ministry Has Lost its Importance.  Since the last four years, the Min of Def has been downgraded systematically. Firstly the hon’ble Finance Minister is made to officiate as Defence Minister. Then you get Mr Manohar Parrika, a fly weight junior leader of BJP from Goa to head such an important ministry. By using the rule of 75 years, the hon’ble PM discarded Maj Gen BC Khanduri (Rtd) who should have been appointed as Raksha Mantri. Now you have a Raksha Mantri who has to approach hon’ble Finance Minister for sanction of any project worth Rs 200 crores.
9.         WWR. Our reserve stocks have fallen below 10 day of intense fighting if war were to take place tomorrow. But none in PMO or Min of Def have bothered as to how to equip Armed Forces to fight a battle if it is forced on us. We are  back to 1962 as far as defence preparedness goes.
10.      Defence Budget. It is not covered in Union Budget of 2018-19. This is the importance the hon’ble PM and Finance Minister have for Defence Forces. The budget has been lowest at 1.58% of GDP since 1947. We are heading towards repeat of 1962 when China consistently upgrades their military muscle.
11.      Absence of AT HOME in Army House.  Traditionally Hon’ble PM and RM attend AT HOME hosted by Army Chief on Army Day on 15 Jan of every year. This time Hon’ble RM and Hon’ble PM consider it a waste of time and did not attend the AT HOME in Army House on 15 Jan 2018.
12.      Opening of Cantonment Roads. The severest blow to ijjat of Armed Forces is mindless order of Min of Def on Army to open all Cant roads to civilians. No barricades at all. No checking of civilians at the entry points. Polite behavior of Armed Forces personnel with unruly civilians. Posing grave threat to military installations does not worry in Ministry of Defence. Not learnt any lesson from Pathankot, Samba and many other places. Well maintained defence roads by MES and Cantonment boards are being damaged by heavy civilian traffic already.
13.      Dilution of AFT Act 2007. The Tribunals are under the control of Min of Law and Justice. But AFT is under Min of Def who is the biggest litigant. Now the administrative member can be any civilian due to recent amendment to the AFT Act 2007. Systematic of down gradation of AFTs by not appointing the members of AFT thereby making then non – functional and not allotting the required budget.
14.      Litigation Against its Own Soldiers. India is the only country which fights its own soldiers. Min of Def challenges all most all favourable orders of AFTs given to faujis by appealing against them in Hon’ble Supreme Court. Hon’ble Supreme Court has to levy fine of Rs 1 lakh on Min of Def for appealing shamelessly and repeatedly  when the legal case  is well settled by hon’ble Supreme Court in earlier instances. Min of Def employs 10 advocates to argue case in Hon’ble Supreme Court which has already gone in favour of faujis by the Apex court. This is to deny small benefit to disabled soldier.
15.      7th CPC. The benefit of entitled ration to Officers in peace stations has been withdrawn based on silly recommendation of 7th CPC who did not go into details as to why Smt Indira Gandhi as hon’ble PM sanctioned it in 1983.
16.      Anomalies in CPCs since 3rd CPC. A number of anomalies have crept in since 1976 in pay & allowances, pensions, status of Armed Forces vis – a – vis Civilian Central Govt employees. In spite of repeated requests by the three Service HQs no committee has been constituted by the Min of Def. If the same thing happens in Min of Railways, the negotiations with Railway Unions start at the earliest and all their demands are met in no time. It is same in any other Ministry of Central Govt.
17.      Replacement of SAI with Gazette Notification. When CNS refuses to implement orders of 7th CPC, the NDA – II Govt issues Gazette Notification replacing traditional SAI listing out pay and allowances of serving soldiers.
18.      Accept Govt Orders on 7th CPC First and Anomalies will be Looked into Later.  When Service Chiefs remonstrate that they are not in a position to implement Govt orders on 7th CPC due to many anomalies, Mr Manohar Parrikar former Raksha mantra, has the audacity to instruct them in writing to implement the orders of the Govt and anomalies will be looked into later. Like all previous anomalies these in 7th CPC also will see same fate.
19.      NFU.  In spite of Delhi High Court and AFT Delhi having given judgment for grant of NFU to the Defence Services, the same has been challenged in the hon’ble Supreme Court shamelessly.
20.      Report of Anomalies of OROP of Justice L Narasimah Reddy NOT Yet Implemented. Though Justice L Narasimha Reddy has submitted his report on anomalies of OROP to hon’ble Raksham Matri on 26 Oct 2016, yet the same has not been implemented on the ground that Govt of India does not have funds. Because faujis can do nothing. They will continue to vote for BJP in next elections and then why give them anything?
21.      Surgical Strikes. It appears to me now that the surgical strikes have been ordered only to win UP State elections. Has terrorism stopped after these surgincal strikes. Now even school children and civilians started protecting terrorists openly when Armed Forces go on anti – terrorist operations.  Immediately after the surgical stike, BJP went to town in UP showing how they defend our country and got land slide majority in the UP State elections in 2017. Use Armed Forces wherever for political gains of BJP and then kick them as hard as they can. Faujis cannot utter a word even when they are treated shabbily.
22.      Construction of Bridges in Mumbai Railway Stations. Army was ordered to construct bridges in Railway stations in Mumbai when the old bridges collapsed killing many people. The bridges had to be transported from Doklam with no free hand given to Army. The bridges were forced to be constructed in the night time. When Railway engineering division is available why Army is to be employed? Has anyone in Railways held responsible for causing death when these rail bridges collapsed? Had this happened in Army few officers, JCOs and OR would have been court-martialed and sent home by now.
23.      International Yoga Day. The private contractor does not carry out job of placing yoga mats. Immediately Army was asked to do the job. It is a non-military job thrust on Army with full knowledge that COAS will not object to use of Army on non – military tasks. Has any IAS officer or even a chaprasi in the Ministry responsible to organize Yoga day been taken to task for sheer and gross irresponsibility.
24.      Clearance of Waste in Mountaineering Routes in Himalayan Mountains.  Army has been ordered to collect garbage thrown by the mountaineers. Porters could have been employed by the State Governments to do the same job. Army has become safaiwala organization.
25.      ECHS 64 KB Smart Card. The Min of Def without consulting MD, ECHS has negotiated for issue of 64 KB card to all 52 lakh members of ECHS with a private software company. Even though 16 kb and 32 kb cards are functioning well, the on line submission of data to get 64 kb card has forced large number of members of ECHS to shell out large amount of money to the computer centers. Information sought in on - line data submission is in no way connected with medical history of the ECHS member like bank account, specimen signature which are personal data. The Min of Def is hell bent on passing sensitive personal data of members to a private company when data already available with Server of ECHS should have been used to replace 16 kb and 32 kb cards. One page data from all those who were not issued smart cards since Jun 20185 could have been asked instead of forcing them to submit their personal data on line. I am told the server of ECHS is held in Singapore and is owned by an American company but I am not sure of authenticity of this information. So much care is given by Min of Def of protecting personal data of 52 lakh ECHS members.
26.      Defence Planning Committee. Now all service chiefs are subservient to a low grade intelligence guy from IPS who is called National Security Advisor. He is in effect the CDS. The Service chiefs now have to report to him and not to Hon’ble PM once a month which used to be the norm when Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee was PM from 1999 to 2004.
27.      Lowering of Status of Armed Forces Vis-a – Vis CAPFs.  The CAPFs  are 1.10 million strong and get whatever they want unlike Armed Forces who have to beg even for a pencil or a nail.
28.      Intergrated Financial Advisor System. The Integrated Financial Advisors from DAD are supposed to be advisors to military commanders but they have become bosses. They contemptuously turn down proposals of GOC of Sub Areas for utilizing funds for special repairs, purchase of animal feed for military farms, construction of infrastructure which has been sanctioned etc without giving any reasons for not giving their concurrance.
29.      Non Allotment of Funds to ECHS to Clear Outstanding Bills of Empanelled Hospitals.The Ministry of Defence deliberately delays releasing funds to ECHS. Crores of rupees are outstanding to be paid to the empanelled hospitals for treating members of ECHS who were recommended by MHs to go for treatment. Hundreds of hospitals all over the country have not accepted ECHS patients as their outstanding bills have not been cleared. Coimbatore has large number of corporate hospitals but none is willing to be empanelled as ECHS is known for not clearing their bills over two to three years. Those who were empanelled have asked for de-empanelment.
30.      Non Implementation of Promises Made by BJP in 2014 in their Manifesto.  Experts tell us that not even one promise made in the manifesto of BJP in 2014 has been implemented till date.
31.      Hard Area Allowance of Bureaucrats in Shillong and Leh. Living in secure environment in Shillong and Leh with plethora of policemen guarding these IAS walas and other bureaucrats, they get Rs 54,000 pm or more as hard area allowance where as a commissioned officer of the rank of Col gets only Rs 29,500 in Siachen.
32.      Pathankot Air Force Station. Pathankot has a large number of Defence formations and units. When the Pak sponsored terrorists breached the defence of the Air Force Station and attacked and killed few Air Warriors, who do you think should take charge? AOC – in C, Western Air Command or CAS or CAS in consultation with COAS. The defence forces should have carried out necessary anti – terrorist operations as part of sector defence in peace stations. But it is NSA who has no idea of how defence forces operate was made in – charge as if CAS and COAS do not exist. We all know that in peace time we have sector defence procedures and we do carry out regularly how units and formations should come to rescue of neighbouring units in times of crisis. An Inf Div and (I) Armd Bde located in Pathankot and nearby areas could have been charged to take on the terrorists. IAF has Garud commandos. The action of BJP Govt is to show that Defence forces are incapable of defending themselves and a retired IPS guy known as NSA has the knowledge to tackle such terrorist attacks in the Defence formations and units. Shamelessly this very BJP Govt permits Pakis to visit Pathankot as if they will certify that in fact a terrorist operation has been carried out. Has any Government in Centre since 1990 till May 2014 ever allowed Pakis to come to India to see the effect of terrorist operation?
33.      Subramanyam Committee and Naresh Chandra Committee Report on Reorganization of Higher Defence. In spite of the civilian committees post Op – VIJAYA on how to re- organize Defence forces especially in higher defence management, the BJP Govt which promised to make Defence forces more effective have given responsibility of running of Min of Def to civilians under the pretext of Civilian control over Defence Forces. There is no integration of three Services HQ with Min of Def. The IAS walas are hell bent not to allow the Service Chiefs to set their foot in hallowed precincts of Min of Def.
34.      Division of Pensioners into Various Classes.  The Hon’ble Supreme court in their judgment of 53 Maj Gens and equivalents filed by Maj Gen SPS Vains in AFT Chandigarh in 2010 approved the favourable judgment of AFT Chandigarh that pre – 2006  Maj Gens should be fixed pension in Jan 2006 not corresponding to minimum of pay but corresponding to the pay at which they retired. In simple terms a Maj Gen who does not earn even one increment should get minimum pension of Rs 30,350 in Jan 2006 which is equal to 50% of Last pay drawn by a Maj Gen who retired in Jan 2006 with no increment. But a Pre – 2006 Maj Gen who gets more increments should get higher pension than Rs 30,350 pm. But the Govt of India issued a policy letter fixing pension of all Maj Gens in pursuance of judgment of Hon’ble Supreme Court. The judgment of Hon’ble Supreme Court is not REM judgment i.e. it is not universally applicable to all  Maj Gens i.e. Rem judgment means whether Maj Gen has gone to AFT or Hon’ble Surpeme court also will get the benefit like the petitioners who actually went to hon’ble Supreme Court. But this benefit of higher pension corresponding to the last pay drawn has not been given to other pensioners i.e. Sepoys to Brigadiers. This is the way the BJP Govt divides pensioners into two classes by keeping the higher ranked officers happy and ignoring the lower ranked pensioners.
35.      Judgments Reached Finality in Hon’ble Supreme Court are NOT made Applicable to Similarly Placed Pensioners or Serving Soldiers.  The Government of India implemented benefit of MACP to Sepoys to Nb Subs (RT) from Sep 2008 and denied the same for all those who retired in the period Jan 2006 to Aug 2008 based on the silly argument that MACP being an allowance is authorized only from Sep 2008. MACP gives pay of Havildar to a Sepoy who puts in 16 years’ service and on retirement he draws pension of Havildar though he retires in the rank of Sepoy. Sepoys of Administrative trades who put in 24 years’ service gets pay of Nb Sub and pension of Nb Sub on retirement. Similarly Hav (AEC) gets pension of three ranks higher i.e. Sub Maj if he puts in 24 years’ service and JCOs (Religious Teacher) gets pension of Hony Lt if he puts in 24 years’ service. AFT dismissed the argument of Union of India and ruled the benefit of MACP be given to eligible personnel from Jan 2006. Aggrieved by this just judgment of AFT, the Union of India appealed against the judgment of AFT in the hon’ble Supreme Court and the Apex court was pleased to dismiss the appeal of Union of India. Thus all Sepoys to Nb Sub (RT) are to be given benefit of MACP from Jan 2006.  There are about 2 lakh  Sepoys to Nb Sub (RT) who retired in the period Jan 2006 to Aug 2008 who are not given benefit of pension of Havildar and three ranks higher. The Govt of India wants all such similarly placed Sepoys to Nb Sub (RT) who were in service in the period Jan 2006 to Aug 2008 to go to AFT, incur expenditure to an extent of Rs 50,000 to 75,000 per person, win the case in the AFT and then only get benefit of MACP by which they will get pension of Havildar to Hony Lt from Jan 2006. Govt of India wants even AFTs to be busy with legal cases even after Hon’b le Supreme Court gave a judgment in favour of faujis.
36.      BJP is Totally Dependent upon IAS. Gen VK Singh as Army Chief sent a true state of Army and how our Nation will fare if war is thrust on us to PMO and urged hon’ble PM to take immediate action to make up for the shortages of critical equipment and ammunition to then PM of UPA – II Govt. This Top Secret letter was leaked out to press by a joint secretary in PMO who was a lady.  No action as expected was taken against the lady officer by then PMO  of UPA – II for leaking the top secret letter. Now that Gen VK Singh (Rtd) is a Minister of State of External Affairs, cannot BJP Govt order an inquiry and take disciplinary action on the lady IAS officer? She was just shunted out to UP Cadre. This is how BJP treats Armed Forces. They can kick Armed forces but has to molly coddle IAS walas on whom the present BJP Govt is desperately dependent to win elections by the so called implementation of welfare schemes to come to power again in 2019 general elections.
37.      Cadre Review Every 5 Years but not for Armed Forces. The Central Govt employees get cadre review every five years and the same post is upgraded and the same employee gets higher pay and allowances doing the same job hitherto fore. A civilian who was equated to a Sepoy few years  back now draws pay of Nb Sub today due to five year cadre review. Now the same benefit is denied to Armed Forces personnel on silly pretext that ranks cannot be downgraded.
38.      White Elephants. Britishers found faujis are very costly. So they employed civilians as support cadre in MES, Def Estates, Cantt boards, Ordnance factories, DAD etc to cut down on defence expenditure. Now with NFU this support cadre get more pay and allowances per person than any Army officer. The pension bill is 55% for defence civilians compared to 45% for Armed Forces when faujis are 24.50 lakhs whereas defence civilians are only 5 lakhs.
39.      In spite of BJP Govt making it very clear how they regard Armed Forces with nothing but contempt, if the faujis both – serving and retired – want to vote for BJP in 2019, then you expect more insults to come our way till 2024. The faujis can bring the BJP to its knees if they all decide to vote out BJP in 2018 State elections in the Rajasthan, MP and Chattisgarh. If BJP comes to power in these three states then fuajis can forget to get any benefit from BJP Govt now or after 2019 general elections. If you do not know your own vote power then even God Almighty cannot help faujis.
40.      I would like to be enlightened by BJP bhakts what is that this NDA – II government did to fauj in the last four years?
Warm Regards,
Brig CS Vidyasagar (Rtd)
TSEWA- 140
9493191380 (Mobile connectivity is very poor in my residential complex)
Whatsapp: 7799645973
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