Why india is not a great nation!

bengalraider

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This article i am posting has been written by
Major General Mrinal Suman, AVSM, VSM, PhD, commanded an Engineer Regiment on the Siachen Glacier, the most hostile battlefield in the world. A highly qualified officer (B Tech, MA (Public Administration), MSc (Defence Studies) and a Doctorate in Public Administration) he was also the Task Force Commander at Pokhran and was responsible for designing and sinking shafts for the nuclear tests of May 1998.

As India celebrates 62 years of Independence, one tends to wonder: what makes nations great? Why is the US an undisputed world power? Why has Britain remained undefeated for centuries? Why has India succumbed to foreign rule so often? Why is India still struggling with internal dissensions and fissiparous forces? What does India lack?

A chance meeting with a British army veteran in a train from Edinburgh to London proved highly revealing. According to him, the secret of British success lies in the public support and respect extended to the soldiers.

`Soldiers` loyalty to the nation and readiness for the supreme sacrifice are driven less by material considerations and more by an overwhelming urge to earn love and respect of their countrymen. A grateful nation`s recognition of their contribution to national security acts as the strongest motivator,` he declared.

`Britain never forgets its war heroes. Every major landmark in London is named after distinguished soldiers and not politicians,` he pointed out proudly. To prove his point further, he recalled, `Before World War II, it was not uncommon to see placards hanging outside some restaurants in Paris which read `Dogs, lackeys and soldiers not allowed`. On the other hand, even pregnant women used to get up and offer seats to soldiers in London buses. When the war broke out, France capitulated in no time while Britain remained undefeated.`

In an article written two days before the swearing-in of US President Barack Obama, his wife Michelle devoted 515 out of 863 words to the soldiers and their families. `So as I watch Barack take that oath, I`ll be thinking especially about those members of our American family who stand guard across the world and the loved ones who await their safe return... My husband and I are deeply grateful for the sacrifices that these families make to protect all American families. And we join them -- today and every day -- in praying for their loved ones and their safety. They don`t ask a lot in return, just a Washington that understands the challenges they face as part of their extraordinary commitment to our country... My husband understands that commitment, and he will ensure America lives up to its end,` she wrote.

`On Tuesday night, my husband and I will tuck in our daughters like we always do. Their bedrooms will be different, their home unfamiliar. But they will drift off to sleep protected by that same sacrifice that has kept all of our families safe and safeguarded our freedom for generations -- the sacrifice of our men and women in uniform and their families...For that, we could not be more grateful -- or more proud,` she added.

Now let us compare the above with the state of affairs in India. Can anyone recall a similar expression of sentiments by a national figure? Except for perfunctory platitudes on Independence Day, the Government has singularly failed to show compassion for the soldiers or tried to redress their genuine grievances. Apathetic political leadership and bureaucracy have made no attempt to understand the intensity of sense of hurt of the soldiers at their continued neglect and deliberate degradation.

Despite repeated representations, India still does not have a war memorial in the capital to honour independent India`s martyrs. India wants to ape the West in all sundry aspects, but not in matters that affect the well-being and morale of the armed forces. The Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington in Washington, the Arc de Triomphe in Paris and the Cenotaph in London are admired by all Indian visitors. Yet the absence of a suitable war memorial in New Delhi does not appear odd to them. Surprisingly, it does not even hurt the conscience of the nation. There is no other country that can be so apathetic to the memory of thousands of soldiers who have laid down their lives for its security.

Our Urban Development Ministry is more concerned with the vestiges of the British rule, and opposes a war memorial near India Gate in the name of preserving heritage. India Gate was built in the memory of soldiers who died in World War I during the British rule. India has fought five wars since Independence and over 40,000 soldiers have made the supreme sacrifice. Opposition to a war memorial on frivolous grounds is an affront to the memory of martyrs and displays shameless insensitivity to the feelings of those who have lost their family members. But then, no political leader or bureaucrat can be faulted for their inability to appreciate these issues as they never send their progeny to the military.

Look at the treatment meted out to India`s tallest military leader, Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw, the architect of India`s greatest victory ever. It took the Government decades to determine and release his dues. India has not found him worthy of its highest national honour, the `Bharat Ratna`. No political leader thought it necessary to attend his funeral.

In Britain and the US, heads of the State with full national leadership would have made it a point to be present to pay a nation`s grateful respects.

Nelson`s Column at Trafalgar Square occupies the pride of place in London. London boasts of numerous statues of military heroes. No statues of political leaders are seen in the developed countries. India, on the contrary, has not found it necessary to honour Field Marshal Manekshaw`s memory whereas statues of political leaders (many with dubious credentials) dot New Delhi.

It will not be out of place here to recall the speech of President Obama at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Convention at the Phoenix Convention Center on 17 August 2009. He said, `You have fulfilled your responsibilities. And now a grateful nation must fulfill ours. Whether you've left the service in 2009 or 1949, we will fulfill our responsibility to deliver the benefits and care that you earned.` He described America`s commitment to its veterans as sacred bonds and a sacred trust Americans are honour bound to uphold.

`You have done your duty - to your fallen comrades, to your communities, to your country. You have always fulfilled your responsibilities to America. And so long as I am President of the United States, America will always fulfill its responsibilities to you`, he declared.

Contrast the above pledge and assurance with the apathetic treatment meted out to the ex-servicemen in India. In the recent past, India was witness to the most unfortunate sight of numerous military veterans returning their medals to the President to register their protest against the Government`s indifference to their pleas. Medals earned during active service are the proudest possession of soldiers, and their being driven to surrender them should have made the Government sit up and take note.

But true to its wont, it remained totally unconcerned and unmoved. Not a single Government leader or official has considered it necessary to talk to the protesting veterans to resolve the issues. This episode will certainly go down as a dark chapter in the history of Independent India.

India won the Kargil War of 1999 at a huge cost -- 527 officers and soldiers sacrificed their lives while over a 1,000 sustained battle injuries, many maimed forever. Yet, a senior Congress leader, Mr Rashid Alvi, had the impudence to state that commemoration was not warranted as the war took place due to an intelligence failure of the BJP Government. Every Indian soldier, both serving and retired, was aghast at the brazenness of the logic.

A notion has been deliberately perpetuated that the military must be kept under control through the bureaucracy lest it acquires political ambitions. Examples of Pakistan and Bangladesh are quoted to implant the fear of a military takeover in the minds of gullible and ignorant political leadership. A systematic and well planned strategy has been orchestrated to downgrade the military`s standing. The Sixth Central Pay Commission was the latest master stroke.

Although the public at large still holds the military in high esteem, a deliberate media campaign is being orchestrated by some elements with vested interests to show the military in a poor light. Instead of appreciating the military for initiating prompt disciplinary action against defaulters -- handful acts of misdemeanor and indiscretion in a 1.3 million strong organisation -- such cases are sensationalised to paint a negative picture of the services.

Historically, India does not have a culture of valuing its military. That is the reason that every invader succeeded in defeating and enslaving the sub-continent. If India survives today despite inept political leadership and the self-serving bureaucracy, it is only due to the unquestioned loyalty of the military and enormous sacrifices made by the soldiers.

Denigration of the military always proves fatal in the long run. Any country that discredits the status of its soldiers loses the moral right to expect them to die for its security. Great nations are distinguished by the esteem in which they hold their military.

No nation that stubbornly declines to honour the martyrs, respect the soldiers and care for the veterans can ever aspire to be counted amongst the great nations, slogans like `Mera Bharat Mahan` not withstanding.
India as a nation has collective amnesia we tend to remember our soldiers only when we are in the midst of conflict,even though as a nation we have immense respect for the jawan . i have never seen anybody who did not look upon an armyman without a sense of brotherly love and respect. This is a beautiful article one of the best i have ever read.
 

sky

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Here in britian newspaper's play a very good role in there constant support for our armed forces and produce great articles written about them.They then take that to a higher level by supporting charities that help service men ,like help for heroes and the poppie day appeal.India is a very patriotic county and may be a indian version of help for heroes would not only support injured service men,who have made a big sacrafice serving there country but also panit the armed forces in a better light.
:india:
 

sky

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Both these countries have a long and proud military history,one was and the other is a super power.both are developed where by india is not,give it 20 years and and lets see if things change.I say this because if your struggling to just get by,your only focus is you and your family.you dont have the luxury of taking time out to help some one or support charities.
 

arya

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hi

no one and nothing is above the nation

nation proud is more important then any one i mean any one

jai hind
 

bengalraider

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another good article in the same vein!

Where have all our heroes gone?
By Ramananda Sengupta
Tuesday, 11 December , 2007, 21:07

Do you remember Dinesh Raghuraman? Or K P Vinay Kumar?

Unless they were your friends or family members, chances are that the names of these two army majors mean nothing to you.

Both of them died early October, fighting terrorists in Kashmir. Read story.

Both are now mere statistics: according to the South Asia Terrorism Portal or South Asia Terrorism Portal, 62 members of our security forces made the ultimate sacrifice till November 21 this year.

Men in uniform, sworn to protect and to defend. And if needed, to die for the country.

I know that this is the season of goodwill and cheer, and perhaps not the time to discuss this. But then again, the officers and men protecting our borders are probably missing their families too, even as they battle terrorists and inclement weather.

I have always wondered what it takes for a person to be willing to die for the flag.

I have also wondered how the families of these usually young people react to the event. Was the sacrifice by their loved one worth it? Is their obvious grief and sorrow tinged with pride? Or is there only regret, and the obvious question: Why?

Let me come at this from another way: Do we, as a nation, understand and appreciate these sacrifices? Do we honour and cherish our heroes, for that is what they are? or do we take them for granted?

Is the token annual ceremonial salute at the Amar Jawan Jyoti all that we have for them? Is a pension and perhaps a medal all that we can offer them?

Forget the dead: do we even honour our living heroes?

This December 16 marks the 36th anniversary of the liberation of Bangladesh. On that day in 1971, the Pakistani army ate crow by publicly surrendering the East to General Jagjit Singh Aurora. It is often described as the Indian Army's finest hour.

But today, how many of us are aware, or even care, that the then Eastern Command chief, General JFR Jacob, the man who actually negotiated the surrender of East Pakistan in 1971, lives in a small apartment in New Delhi's Som Vihar? Today, he is not even invited for official events to commemorate the occasion.

How many of us have even heard of General Ian Cardozo, who used his khukri to sever his left foot, which was turning gangrenous after being wounded in East Pakistan during the last days of that war?

That did not stop him from becoming the first disabled officer to command an infantry battalion, when he was appointed a Colonel of the Regiment of 5 GR (FF). And subsequently commanding a brigade and a division, encouraging and setting a precedent for other war-disabled officers.

General Cardozo, who was commissioned into 1/5 Gorkha Rifles in June 1958, had also taken part in the Sino-Indian War of 1962 and the war with Pakistan in 1965.

Does the loss of a foot stop him from walking ramrod straight, from regularly writing, or indulge daily in his passion, swimming, even though he is in his early eighties? No sir.

But what have we, as a nation, done for him? Zero. Zilch.

Speaking of khukris, how many of us know about Captain Mahendra Nath Mulla, who in true naval tradition, went down on December 9, 1971, with the INS Khukri, the only ship we ever lost in war?

Till the very end, he was seen frantically helping his crew to escape from the torpedoed vessel before it was swallowed by the sea.

It took a General Cardozo to write a book about this act which "upholds the highest traditions of the armed forces and exemplifies the upper limits of cold courage."

In my book, these are Our Heroes. In my book, these are the people we need to cherish, remember and salute.

Yet it took national outrage before our Service Chiefs were exempted from frisking at our airports. While our politicians (most of whom have mile-long criminal chargesheets against them), and in some cases even their distant relatives, gleefully enjoy such privileges.

What message are we sending out to our men in uniform? That the people who head our armed forces pose a security risk? While our politicians, many of whom can be compared unfavorably with the north end of south-bound cows, leave alone headless chickens, do not?

Villagers return the body of a BSF jawan killed during clashes with the Bangladesh Rifles (AP)

My blood still boils each time I recall the picture of our BSF jawans, killed by the Bangladesh Rifles during a border skirmish in April 2001, being returned trussed up on poles, as if they were animal carcasses.

But how did we, as a nation, react to this barbaric act by a small nation that we can flood at will by just opening up the sluice gates at the Farakka Barrage? Was there even a muted protest from our leaders? Not that I recall.
Because our politicians were far too concerned about the implications this would have on their vote banks. Who cares about our armed forces losing face?

Speaking at the release of his book on INS Khukri on a cold Delhi evening, General Cardozo, flanked by Captain Mulla's wife and daughter, declared: "It is sad that while the armed forces and these women lose their husbands in battle, we do not have a national war memorial. India Gate is a memorial built by the British for those who died in World War I and II.

"What have we done as a nation? We have fought wars in 1947-48, 1962, 1965 and 1971- but what do we have? An upturned rifle with a helmet on top, with Amar Jawan written on it. Is that all we can do? I believe that a nation which does not honour its war dead dishonours itself."

As we enter another year, it is important to remember that message. Otherwise, we might not remain a country worth dying for.

The author is the Chief Editor of Sify.com. The views expressed here are his own.
 

Vladimir79

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Coming from a country that worships our war heroes, has celebrations for the most inane minutia, and places memorials and placards for anything --- coming from this culture I can say government honourings for the military is not the most important factor. What matters is how the government treats the soldiers and veterans in its charge. There is a culture that has arisen since the fall of the CCCP that military service is not only demeaning, but deadly. The only way in the past 10 years has been to keep people in service is to promise them stationing in the North Caucasian Military District where they can get decent combat pay and housing for their families. While pay and housing are being increased across the board while abuse is drastically reduced, the mentatility that military service is the path to an early grave is still prevalent throughout our youth. Our veterans pensions still do not catch up with inflation and many of them are in poverty. All the memorials, parades, and celebrations aren't doing a damned thing to change the perception of the military. The only thing that does is real institutional reform. Now that salaries are going to be tripled, dedovshina is down 1500%, and families will be allowed to house with their fathers --- things are looking up.

How does Indian MoD treat her soldiers? Is pay good? Do based troops get housing with their families? Are pensions enough to live good retirement? These are the core questions you should really be focusing on.
 

bengalraider

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@VLAD
As far as housing and other benefits are concerned the Indian miltary takes care of it's own , the indian soldier has access to good housing and healthcare without restriction on rank. however the pay issue has raised it's head once again after the 6th pay commision recommendations, these recommendations hurt the morale of our forces more than anything else!Pension disparties between the armed forces and other government departments led to several protest letters aby the service heads, the veterans were given a even worse deal their remuneration was way below their expectations and led to ex-servicemen surrendering their medals to the president.

Read:
New Delhi, March 14 (IANS) In pursuit of their demand for ‘one rank one pension’, retired soldiers of varying ranks here Saturday returned 7,500 medals won in combat and for distinguished service.
Thousands of veterans gathered earlier in the day at the Jantar Mantar observatory in the heart of the national capital for the protest.

“This is for the third time that we collected the medals from across the country and returned them to the president. A 10-member team including two widows went to the President House and returned the medals,” commodore (retd) Lokesh Batra said.

On the first occasion, the ex-soldiers had returned 2,500 medals to a representative of the president. On the second occasion, over 3,000 medals were returned.

The veterans under the aegis of the Indian Ex-servicemen Movement are demanding that irrespective of the date on which the soldier retires, he or she should get the same pension, which rises every time there is a wage revision.

The demand has now arisen because of the recommendations of the Sixth Pay Commission, which did not address the ‘one rank one pension’ issue. The government has rejected the demand on administrative and financial grounds.



Read more: Ex-servicemen return 7,500 gallantry medals over pension spat
 

Vladimir79

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Just found the pay grade for commissioned officers... Sepoys make Rs. 3050.

Lt. Rs. 8250--10050
Capt. Rs. 9600--11400
Major Rs. 11600--14850
Lt. Col. Rs. 13500--17100
Col. Rs. 15100--17350
Brig. Rs. 16700--18050
Maj. Gen. Rs. 18400--22400
Lt. Gen. Rs. 22400--24500
Vice Chief of the Army staff and Army Cards-Rs. 26000/- (Fixed)
Chief of the Army Staff-Rs. 30000/- (Fixed)

Sheesh, our newly minted professional sergeants are making twice as much as your Army Chief of Staff. That is ridiculous.
 

Singh

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No wonder Indian Services suffer from an acute shortage of competent people. But to be fair one needs to factor in perks, allowances, pensions and retirement bonuses.
 

bengalraider

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Just found the pay grade for commissioned officers... Sepoys make Rs. 3050.

Lt. Rs. 8250--10050
Capt. Rs. 9600--11400
Major Rs. 11600--14850
Lt. Col. Rs. 13500--17100
Col. Rs. 15100--17350
Brig. Rs. 16700--18050
Maj. Gen. Rs. 18400--22400
Lt. Gen. Rs. 22400--24500
Vice Chief of the Army staff and Army Cards-Rs. 26000/- (Fixed)
Chief of the Army Staff-Rs. 30000/- (Fixed)

Sheesh, our newly minted professional sergeants are making twice as much as your Army Chief of Staff. That is ridiculous.
That is the old scale i am posting the link to the new revised payscales(6th pay commision)



Press Information Bureau
Government of India


Monday, September 01, 2008
Ministry of Defence

NEW PAY SCALES OF DEFENCE FORCES OFFICERS
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

19:33 IST

The Ministry of Defence has notified the new paybands along with grade-pay and Military Service Pay for Defence Forces Officers following the recommendations of the Sixth Central Pay Commission.

(in Rs.)

Post
Pay Band
Grade Pay
Military Service Pay #

Lieutenant / equivalent
15600-39100
5400
6000

Capt / equivalent
15600-39100
6100
6000

Major / equivalent
15600-39100
6600
6000

Lt. Col / equivalent
15600-39100
7600
6000

Colonel/equivalent @
37400-67000
8700
6000

Brigadier/equivalent @
37400-67000
8900
6000

Major Gen/equivalent
37400-67000
10000
Nil*

Lt Gen / equivalent
37400-67000
12000
Nil

Vice Chiefs and Army Cdr / equivalent
80000

(fixed)
Nil
Nil

Service Chiefs
90000

(fixed)
Nil
Nil




# No arears on account of Military Service Pay shall be payable.

* The element of Military Service Pay shall be taken on account for purposes of fitment at the time of promotion from Brigadier/equivalent to Major General / equivalent.

@ Colonels and Brigadiers to be placed in the Revised Pay Band IV (Rs. 37400-67000/-)


Linl:http://pib.nic.in/release/rel_print_page1.asp?relid=42155
 

Vladimir79

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Has military service pay been notified by 6th pay commission yet? Those numbers seem uncertain in actual pay.
 

p2prada

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Just found the pay grade for commissioned officers... Sepoys make Rs. 3050.

Lt. Rs. 8250--10050
Capt. Rs. 9600--11400
Major Rs. 11600--14850
Lt. Col. Rs. 13500--17100
Col. Rs. 15100--17350
Brig. Rs. 16700--18050
Maj. Gen. Rs. 18400--22400
Lt. Gen. Rs. 22400--24500
Vice Chief of the Army staff and Army Cards-Rs. 26000/- (Fixed)
Chief of the Army Staff-Rs. 30000/- (Fixed)

Sheesh, our newly minted professional sergeants are making twice as much as your Army Chief of Staff. That is ridiculous.
Pay and perks. These are not the revised pay from the sixth pay commission. The revised salary will start from April next year.

Indian Air Force : Career Opportunities

The revised pay will be far greater, by as much as 40%.
 

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