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Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Kind Attention for the veterans

Dear VSS Sir,
1.     Disclaimer. I am not a BJP Bhakt though I voted for it in 2014 general elections.
2. Your suggestion to TSEWA to lead ESMs 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 lakh and I presume there are another 10 lakh non pensioners. Each of them can get minimum 20 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. Let me illustrate few insults NDA Govt led by BJP heaped on  Armed Forces and its pensioners. 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.
5. Independence Day Function. All these years since 1947, the Independence day is organized by Armed Forces at Red Fort, Delhi. Now after NDA – II came to power the role of the Armed Forces has been fully erased. 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. Repulic Day Celebrations. On 30 Jan every year, the Armed Forces bands play marital 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 Now it has been replaced by folk music.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 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 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 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 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 upgrading 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. Openinog 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.
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 downgradation 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 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 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.
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 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.
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, Mr Manohar Parrikar 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 has given judgment for grant of NFU to the Defence Services the same has been challenged in the hon’ble Supreme Court.
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 Raksham Matri in Oct 2016, yet the same has not been implemented on the ground that Govt of India does not have funds.
21. Surgical Strikes. It appears to me now that the surgical strikes have been ordered only to win UP State elections. 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.
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?
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.
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 could have been asked in stead of forcing them to submit their personal data on line.
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 CAPS 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 advisor 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.
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 hosptials 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 as hard area allowance where as a commissioned offcer of the rank of Col gets only Rs 29,500 in Siachen.
32. 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 2019 like they did Congress party in 2014. If you do not know you own vote power then even God Almighty cannot help faujis.
33. 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)
040-48540895

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