Date: 28 Feb 2009


V Sundaram, IAS [Emeritus]



`A country that refuses to respect its Armed Forces will eventually end up getting forces that will not respect the nation's aspirations'. 

— Dr.Harsh V. Pant 

Let us salute our Armed Forces

Armed forces are vital for the defence of any country that wants to survive as an independent nation. Our disgraceful and anti-national UPA Rulers in New Delhi do not seem to realize this basic fact and are politically keen on once again inviting the yoke of slavery besides surrender of territory. After our Independence, we expected the rulers of India to realize one patent fact that our country holds a world record in slavery that lasted for centuries, not just a few decades as in the case of Russians in the Soviet Union after the Russian Revolution of 1917. Obviously, though unknown to the gullible and simple people of India, our rulers seem to be in an unspoken collusion with the enemy and actually wish to rundown, weaken, ruin, destroy and finally see the same flag flying over Delhi that flies over Lahore and Karachi today. All this is being done under the electoral vote bank political flag of pluralistic pseudo-secularism, which in actual practice only means State Promotion of Islam at the expense of Hinduism and Hindus in absolute majority in India. 

Most people in India {more particularly our Union Cabinet Ministers and their servile Civil Servants (often Serpents!)} are not aware of simple statistics relating to BATTLE CASUALTIES. I am presenting below the essential data in this regard.

1.Indo-Pakistani War of 1948: 21 October, 1947 _ 31 December, 1948 
1,104 killed & 3,152 wounded 
2. Sino-Indian War 1962: 10 October _ 21 November, 1962 
    Killed 3,128 & Wounded 1,697 
3.Indo-Pakistani War of 1965: 5 August - September 21, 1965 
3,264 killed & 8,623 wounded 
4.Indo-Pakistani War of 1971: December 3-December 16, 1971 
3,843 killed & 9,851 wounded 
5. Kargil War: May-July 1999 
527 killed & 1,363 wounded 

1,104 killed & 3,152 wounded 
3,128 killed & 1,697 wounded 
3,264 killed & 8,623 wounded 
3,843 killed & 9,851 wounded 
527 killed & 1,363 wounded 
11,866 killed & 24,684 wounded

The total number of soldiers killed in all Operations since 15 Aug 1947, including the present Operations to contain and eliminate terrorism in Kashmir is 22,869 and the total number of wounded soldiers is over 50,000. Every soldier dead leaves behind: (i) Heart broken & grieving parents. (ii) A young aged widow, with a bleak future and the heavy responsibility of taking care of her aged in-laws and her orphaned young children without any resources. The Question is: Who cares? The answer is: Nobody. Rather sad. Why? Perhaps not one soldier who has sacrificed his life for the Country is the son of a Politician or an IAS officer or an IPS officer. Indeed Shameful. 

The levels of degradation and demoralization of the armed forces of India today have become total. This process was initiated by that arch coward Pandit Nehru who was more afraid of Muslims than death itself. That is why he used the might of his transitory Prime Ministerial Office to hold back the Armed Forces on August 15, 1947, denying them their first victory by repulsing the savage Islamic attack on our secular ethos, ideology and territory. That is why the Armed Forces of India found themselves submerged in shame overnight, even while Jawaharlal Nehru was happy with his `Tryst with Destiny' speech on the midnight of August 14-15, 1947. For the common people of India — more particularly the Hindus of India—it was indeed a `Tryst with Treachery'. He was not the First Prime Minister of India; he was indeed the First Prime Disaster of India! Immediately thereafter, the Armed Forces were withheld in the cruelest manner in 1948 just when they were advancing and recovering our own territory in Kashmir. It was the second major step taken towards their demoralization. The same story was repeated in 1965 and 1971 when we returned to Pakistan the conquered territories and the captured Pakistan prisoners of war (94000 in 1971).

The Military Veterans of Karnataka, the Ex-Servicemen consisting of the Retired Officers of the Army, Navy & Air Force and Personnel below officer rank (PBOR), i.e. JCOs, NCOs & OR (and their equivalents) in the Army, Navy & Air Force have sent a petition to SHRI BS YEDDIYURAPPA, THE HON'BLE CHIEF MINISTER OF KARNATAKA. I am quoting some relevant excerpts from this petition: 

1.   There is a growing sense of resentment amongst the MILITARY VETERANS, on account of their pain and anguish brought about by years of neglect and apathy by the government of the India, in not addressing the various issues relating to their pension and resettlement. 

2.    In order to seek redressal of their grievances by the government of India, the MILITARY VETERANS have launched a movement: MILITARY VETERANS MOVEMENT FOR JUSTICE to invite the attention of the government of India for the amelioration of their grievances relating to pension and resettlement. 

3.   The Hon'ble Prime Minister and the Defence Minister of India have been made fully aware of the fact that the recommendations of the Sixth Central Pay Commission are grossly unfair to the personnel of the Defence Services and that it would adversely impact the morale of the Defence Services; which the Nation can ill afford and ignore at its own peril. 

4.  The MILITARY VETERANS have decided to carry out a silent MARCH FOR JUSTICE on Sunday, 06 July 2008, in over 500 cities and towns all over the Country. Against this background, The MILITARY VETERANS have placed the following proposals for immediate acceptance and implementation. 

         (i) `One Rank, One Pension' [OROP] be sanctioned IMMEDIATELY. (For purposes of `Pension' the term MILITARY VETERANS shall include: widows/ parents /next of kin of soldiers who were killed in battle and also those who died in peace time, and in receipt of pension from Defense Dept.) 

         (ii)  Institution of adequate welfare measures for proper resettlement of MILITARY VETERANS and lateral induction of Officers and PBOR into Central and State Services and PSUs, at appropriate levels, so that MILITARY VETERANS too have just, fair and equal opportunities to upgrade themselves and retire at the age of 60 years, at higher levels and appointments. 

         (iii)  Reconstitution of the Pay Review Committee headed by the Cabinet Secretary by way of inclusion of serving Armed Forces personnel of the three Services and a MILITARY VETERAN; 

5.   In case, the government of India still continue to turn a deaf ear to the pleadings of the Military Veterans, the War Heroes and Widows of War Heroes of the 1948 J & K Operations against Pakistan, the 1962 War against China, the 1965 War and the 1971 War against Pakistan and the 1999 Kargil Operations against Pakistan and those who fought and still are fighting against the Pakistan backed Militants in Kashmir; honoured and decorated for their supreme sacrifice and bravery with gallantry medals, viz. Param Vir Chakra (PVC), Ashok Chakra (AC), Maha Vir Chakra (MVC) and Vir Chakra (VrC) have resolved to return their gallantry medals to the President of India on 15 Aug 2008. What a SHAME and A SAD DAY that would be in the Annals of Indian History, exposing the ingratitude of the Nation towards its Military Veterans. 

6.     I am of the view that the effete Indian government is fooling itself if it thinks that by dragging its feet on the issue of the Armed Forces' dissatisfaction with the recommendations of the Sixth Pay Commission, it can make the issue go away. 

7.    To conclude in the brilliant words of Lt Gen (retd) Vijay Oberoi: 

`Under the circumstances, it may be best to disband the army and let the bureaucracy become `pseudo soldiers' and look after the security of the nation. In the bargain, they will be able to further improve their cadre too! If the reader discerns a sense of cynicism, déjà vu and desperation, it is indeed intended. Sudden death would any day be a more satisfactory arrangement. The noble `profession of arms' is being turned into a `profession of alms''!

8.      Laurence Binyon (1869-1943), in a famous poem, paid his great tribute to the Armed Forces of Britain during the I World War (1914-1919).Those deathless words of Laurence Binyon are no less applicable to the glorious record of heroism and self-sacrifice of the Armed Forces of India after our Independence on August 15, 1947.

With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children, 
England mourns for her dead across the sea. 
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit, 
Fallen in the cause of the free. 
Solemn the drums thrill; Death august and royal 
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres, 
There is music in the midst of desolation 
And a glory that shines upon our tears. 
They went with songs to the battle, they were young, 
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds 
They fell with their faces to the foe.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old: 
Age shall not weary them, nor the years contemn. 
At the going down of the sun and in the morning 
We will remember them. 
They mingle not with their laughing comrades again; 
They sit no more at familiar tables of home;They have no lot in our labour of the day-time; 
They sleep beyond England's foam. 
But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight, 
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the Night; 
As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust, 
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain; 

The great misfortune of India is that we don't have a single poet like Laurence Binyon to capture the gleaming and glowing deeds of our Armed Forces in War and Peace in immortal verse today.