Sunday, 30 August 2015
समान पद समान लाच Posted: 8:23 PM, August 25, 2015 bhupali भारतातल्या चांगल्या गोष्टींचे इतर देश अनेकदा अनुकरण करतात. कधी कधी आपली एखादी चांगली गोष्ट पाहून त्यांना भलतेच काहीतरी चुकीचे सुचते. आपल्याकडील एखाद्या चांगल्या संकल्पनेचा विदेशी लोक नेहमीच विपर्यास करतात. नुकतीच आटपाट नगरातल्या सर्वपक्षीय पुढाऱयांनी आणि सर्व विभागातल्या सनदी अधिकाऱयांनी ‘समान पद समान लाच’ अशी विचित्र मागणी लावून धरली आहे. त्यासाठी त्यांनी त्यांच्या संसदेत आणि संसदेबाहेर आंदोलन चालू केले आहे. त्यांच्या मागण्यांचे काही तपशील असे- नगरसेवक, आमदार, खासदार वगैरे लोकप्रतिनिधी कोणत्याही पक्षाचे-सरकारी किंवा विरोधी किंवा बाहेरून पाठिंबा देणारे किंवा अपक्ष-असले तरी वॉर्डस्तरीय निधीतून विकासाची कामे करताना त्यांना त्यांच्या पदानुसार ठेकेदाराकडून किती टक्के लाच खाता येईल याची मर्यादा सरकारने निश्चित करून द्यावी. तेवढी लाच खाणे कायदेशीर मानले जावे. त्या मर्यादेपेक्षा जास्त लाच खाल्ली तरच तो फौजदारी गुन्हा समजण्यात यावा. प्रत्येक पोलिसाचा किंवा इतर विभागातील सरकारी कर्मचाऱयांना नोकरीच्या काळात दरवर्षी किमान चार आठवडे ‘चांगल्या मलईदार ठिकाणी’ पोस्टिंग मिळावे. अशा पोस्टिंगसाठी वेटिंग लिस्ट/रोस्टरची योजना असावी. ज्यांना या ठिकाणी पोस्टिंग मिळू शकणार नाही त्यांना भरपाई भत्ता मिळावा. सरकारी खात्यात अति विशेष मलई कमाईचे जे विभाग असतील त्या विभागातील पोस्टिंग्ज लिलाव पद्धतीने जाहीर करावेत. लिलावासाठी वर्तमानपत्रात, रेडिओवर, टीव्हीवर आणि सोशल साईट्सवर जाहिराती देऊन ऑनलाईन निविदा मागवाव्यात. ही प्रक्रिया पूर्णपणे पारदर्शक असावी. अनेकदा विरोधी पक्ष सरकारवर आरोप करतात. मांडवली झाल्यावर गप्प बसतात. नंतर रिकामटेकडे मीडियावाले अशी प्रकरणे उकरून काढतात. मीडियावाल्यांना आणि आरटीआय कार्यकर्त्यांना देशात कायमची बंदी घालावी. पेट्रोल पंप, सरकारी खाणी, इ.चे वाटप करताना विरोधी पक्षातल्या पुढाऱयांना देखील टक्केवारी निश्चित करून द्यावी. नवे महामार्ग ठेकेदारांमार्फत बांधताना त्यावर आकारलेल्या टोलमधून मिळणारा मलिदा सर्व पक्षीय नेत्यांना समान पद समान मलिदा या तत्त्वावर वाटून द्यावा. स्विस बँकेतील कृष्णधन परत आणणे शक्य नाही. त्याऐवजी स्विस बँकांना आटपाटनगरात शाखा उघडण्यास प्रोत्साहन द्यावे. पुढारी व बाबू लोकांसाठी स्विस बँकांच्या स्थानिक शाखांमध्ये कृष्णधनयोजनेच्या अंतर्गत खाती उघडून द्यावीत. म्हणजे कृष्णधन व त्यावरील परतावा देशातच राहील
Saturday, 29 August 2015
धोक्याची घंटा-2001 ते 2011 या दहा वर्षात देशातल्या मुस्लीम धर्मीयांच्या संख्येत 0.8 टक्के झालेली वाढ आणि याच कालखंडात हिंदूंच्या लोकसंख्येत 0.7 टक्के घट
धोक्याची घंटा-2001 ते 2011 या दहा वर्षात देशातल्या मुस्लीम धर्मीयांच्या संख्येत 0.8 टक्के झालेली वाढ आणि याच कालखंडात हिंदूंच्या लोकसंख्येत 0.7 टक्के घट vasudeo kulkarni 2001 ते 2011 या दहा वर्षात देशातल्या मुस्लीम धर्मीयांच्या संख्येत 0.8 टक्के झालेली वाढ आणि याच कालखंडात हिंदूंच्या लोकसंख्येत 0.7 टक्के घट झाल्याचे वास्तव देशाच्या एकता आणि अखंडतेसाठी धोक्याची घंटा आहे, याचा गंभीर विचार केंद्र आणि राज्य सरकारांनी, राजकीय पक्षांनी करायला हवा. 2011 मध्ये झालेल्या जनगणनेतील धर्मावर आधारित लोकसंख्येचा तपशील आणि आकडेवारी केंद्र सरकारने जाहीर केल्यामुळे, हिंदूंच्या लोकसंख्येत टक्केवारीने घट आणि मुस्लिमांच्या लोकसंख्येत वाढ झाल्याचे उघड झाले आहे. बिहार विधानसभा निवडणुकीच्या पार्श्वभूमीवर जातीनिहाय जनगणनेचा तपशील जाहीर करावा, अशी मागणी समाजवादी पक्ष, द्रविड मुनेत्र कळघम, राष्ट्रीय लोकशाही दल आणि संयुक्त जनता दलाने केली होती. पण सरकारने ती मान्य केलेली नाही. या आधी 3 जुलै रोजी जनगणनेतील सामाजिक आणि आर्थिक पहाणीचे निष्कर्ष सरकारने जाहीर केले होते. आता जनगणना आयुक्तांनी धर्मानुसार जाहीर केलेल्या लोकसंख्येच्या तपशिलानुसार देशाची एकूण लोकसंख्या 121 कोटी तर हिंदूंची 96 कोटी 63 लाख (79.8 टक्के), मुस्लीम 17 कोटी 22 लाख (14.2 टक्के), ख्रिश्चन 2 कोटी 78 लाख (2.3 टक्के) शीख 2 कोटी 8 लाख (1.7 टक्के), जैन 45 लाख (0.4 टक्के) बौद्ध 84 लाख (0.7 टक्के) अशी आहे. 2001 ते 2011 या दशकात हिंदूंच्या लोकसंख्या वाढीच्या दरात 0.7 टक्क्यांची घट होऊन तो 16.8 टक्के असा झाला तर याच काळात मुस्लिमांची लोकसंख्या मात्र 0.8 टक्क्यांनी वाढून लोकसंख्या वाढीचा दर 24.6 टक्क्यावर गेला. 2001 मध्ये झालेल्या जनगणनेच्यावेळी हिंदूंची लोकसंख्या 80.45 टक्के म्हणजे 82 कोटी 75 लाख आणि मुस्लिमांची लोकसंख्या 13.4 टक्के म्हणजे 13 कोटी 80 लाख होती. मुस्लिमांची लोकसंख्येच्या टक्केवारीतही आणि लोकसंख्येतही याच कालखंडात अशी भरीव वाढ झाली आहे. लोकसंख्या वाढीवर नियंत्रण आणायसाठी केंद्र सरकारने अनेक लोककल्याणकारी योजना अंमलात आणल्या. संतती नियमनाच्या शस्त्रक्रियांसह कुटुंब नियोजनाची साधनेही जनतेपर्यंत सरकारने पोहोचवली. ग्रामीण भागापर्यंत लोकजागरणही घडवले. हिंदू आणि अन्य धर्मीय समाजाने लोकसंंख्या वाढीवर नियंत्रण आणायसाठी सरकारने अंमलात आणलेल्या विविध उपाययोजनांना प्रतिसादही दिला. परिणामी हिंदू आणि अन्य धर्मीयांच्या लोकसंख्येवर नियंत्रणही आल्याचा निष्कर्ष जनगणना विभागाने काढला आहे. ग्रामीण भागातल्या हिंदू आणि अन्य धर्मीय अशिक्षित कुटुंबांनी, शेतकर्यांनी, शेतमजुरांना, गरिबांनाही कुटुंब नियोजनाचे महत्त्व पटले आहे. पण मुस्लीम धर्मीय संघटना आणि मुल्ला मौलवींनी मात्र कुटुंब नियोजनाच्या योजनांना सातत्याने कडाडून विरोधच केला. तो विरोध अद्यापही संपलेला नाही. आपल्या धर्मात कुटुंब नियोजन नसल्याचे कारण दाखवत, मुस्लीम धर्मीयांच्या राजकीय पक्षांनी आणि धार्मिक नेत्यांनी सरकारचे आदेश थेट धुडकावून लावले. या आधीच्या केंद्रात आणि राज्यात सत्तेवर असलेल्या सरकारांनीही मुस्लीम हे अल्पसंख्याक असल्यामुळे त्यांचे प्रबोधन केल्याशिवाय त्यांच्यावर कुटुंब नियोजनाची सक्ती होऊ नये, असे धोरण स्वीकारले. ते सत्तेच्या राजकारणासाठीच होते. सत्ता मिळवायसाठी अल्पसंख्याकांचे लाड करायच्या सरकारच्या या धोरणामुळेच स्वातंत्र्यानंतरच्या 69 वर्षात सातत्याने मुस्लिमांच्या संख्येत वाढ होत आहे आणि आता तर 24 टक्क्यांवर ही लोकसंख्या गेली आहे. समान नागरी कायदा हवाच राज्यघटनेनेच सर्व धर्मीयांसाठी समान नागरी कायदा अंमलात आणावा, अशी शिफारस केली असली, तरी केंद्र सरकारने मात्र ती अंमलात आणलेली नाही. समान नागरी कायद्याला मुस्लीम संघटना आणि धर्मगुरूंनी कडाडून विरोध तर केलाच, पण त्यांची पाठराखण करायसाठी काँग्रेससह भारतीय जनता पक्ष वगळता, अन्य सर्व पक्ष एकवटले होते. मुस्लीम हे अल्पसंख्याक असल्याने त्यांच्या धार्मिक बाबीत हस्तक्षेप करू नये, अशी कोल्हेकुई या पक्षांनी सातत्याने केली. समान नागरी कायदा अंमलात आणायसाठी केंद्र सरकारने पावले उचलावीत असा आदेश सर्वोच्च न्यायालयाने दिला असतानाही, तो अंमलात आणायला केंद्र सरकारने नकार दिला होता. माजी पंतप्रधान पी. व्ही. नरसिंहराव यांच्या कारकिर्दीत, मुस्लीम आणि अन्य धर्मीयांसाठी सध्याच्या काळात असा कायदा लागू करणे शक्य होणार नाही, असे प्रतिज्ञापत्र सर्वोच्च न्यायालयात दाखल केले होते. शहाबानो पोटगीच्या खटल्यात सर्वोच्च न्यायालयाने मुस्लीम घटस्फोटित महिलांना पोटगी मिळवायचा हक्क असल्याचा आणि फौजदारी संहितेनुसार तसा खटला दाखल करता येईल, असा निर्णय दिला होता. समान नागरी कायद्याच्या दिशेने पाऊल उचलायची संधी केंद्र सरकारला मिळाली होती. पण माजी पंतप्रधान राजीव गांधी यांच्या सरकारने धर्मांध मुस्लिमांच्या आंदोलनासमोर गुडघे टेकत, घटना दुरुस्ती करून सर्वोच्च न्यायालयाचा हा निर्णय रद्दबातल ठरवला होता. केंद्र सरकारने माघार घेतल्यामुळे धर्मांध मुस्लीम संघटना अधिकच शेफारल्या आणि त्यांनी समान नागरी कायद्याला कडाडून विरोध सुरूच ठेवला. समान नागरी कायदा अंमलात आला नसल्यानेच, मुस्लीम धर्मीयांना बहुपत्नीत्वाची मोकळीक आहे. बहुतांश मुस्लीम समाज गरीब आणि अशिक्षित असल्यामुळेच मुल्ला मौलवींचे धार्मिक वर्चस्व त्यांच्यावर आहे. अधिक मुलांना जन्म घालणे, हे धर्माचे (कौम का काम) कार्य असल्याचे मुल्ला मौलवींनी या समाजावर ठसवले आहे. त्यामुळेच गरीब मुस्लिमांच्या कुटुंबातही सरासरी पाच ते दहा मुले आहेतच. या मुलांना योग्य ते शिक्षणही मिळत नाही. मदरशातल्या शिक्षणाचा काहीही लाभ, नोकरी मिळवायसाठी आणि उद्योगात होत नाही. तरीही आपले अलगपण कायम टिकवायसाठी मुस्लीम धर्मीयांना मुल्लामौलवी चिथावणी देतात. त्यांना धर्माच्या नावाखाली भडकवतात. त्यात या गरीब मुस्लीम धर्मीयांचेच नुकसान होत असले, तरी ते त्यांना समजत नाही. गेल्या पन्नास वर्षात असामात बांगला देशातून मोठ्या प्रमाणात मुस्लिमांची घुसखोरी झाली. या राज्याच्या सीमावर्ती जिल्ह्यातल्या घुसखोरांची नावे सत्ताधारी राजकीय पक्षांने-काँग्रेसनेच मतदार याद्यात घुसडली. घुसखोरांचा शोध घेऊन त्यांना त्यांच्या मायदेशी पाठवावे, या मागणीसाठी आसाम गण संग्राम परिषदेसह भाजपने उग्र आंदोलने करूनही उपयोग झालेला नाही. आता 2011 च्या जनगणनेनुसार या राज्यातली मुस्लीम धर्मीयांची लोकसंख्या 31 टक्क्यावरून 34 टक्क्यांवर गेली आहे. या आधी सहा जिल्ह्यात मुस्लीम मतदार बहुसंख्य होते. आता 9 जिल्ह्यात मुस्लीम बहुसंख्याक झाले आहेत. उत्तर प्रदेश, केरळ आणि पश्चिम बंगालमध्येही मुस्लिमांच्या लोकसंख्येत भरीव वाढ झाली आहे. आता तरी केंद्र सरकारला आणि राजकीय पक्षाला जाग येते का, हे दिसेलच!
Wednesday, 26 August 2015
SOLDIER’S PRIDE IS NATION’S SECURITY By Lt Gen PG Kamath (Veteran) It was post 1971 and the nation was euphoric. Our countrymen were lauding the Indian Armed Forces for a spectacular victory that had changed the geography of the sub-continent. The nation was savouring the victory and more than 97,368 prisoners were in our Prisoners of War Camps. It was the second largest surrender in the Military History; second only to the surrender of Gen Von Paulus, German, 6th Army at Stalingrad in the Second World War. The Armed Forces were feted everywhere for its courage and the people were convinced that it was one instrument that would never let the country down. Amidst this euphoria there were 4000 families, who had lost their fathers/sons/husbands in the war. Another 10,000 were wounded and maimed for life. They were picking up the lost threads of life to continue their journey in the forbidding world. However their sorrow was lost amidst the mirth, laughter and jubilation of victory. Unknown to the services a band of bureaucrats were conspiring as to how to cut the Armed Forces to size. Defence Secretary was Mr K B Lal, who was literally there for the entire duration of the Third Pay Commission. He was the one, who provided the inputs to the Third Pay Commission. The Commission was constituted a year before the war and concluded two years after the war. It’s final recommendation marginalising the Armed Forces was made public two months after Fd Marshal Manekshaw relinquished the post of Chief. Indeed it was a clever move as the most popular person in the country was not able to take cudgels against the government. This Pay Commission cut the Armed Forces to size for winning the war for the country. Even Fd Mshl Manekshaw was not spared; more of it later. ‘Ingratitude unkinder than the winters wind’ to adopt Shakespearean phrase to an ungrateful government. How did the Government go about the act? Firstly they abolished a separate Pay Commission for the Armed Forces and formulated an equivalence between the Armed Forces and Civilians. It was here that the Pay Commission struck its vilest blow when they considered that ‘a trained infantry soldier with three years of service is below a skilled labour. Little do they know that it is the infantry soldier who does the actual fighting and charges the enemy with naked bayonet literally on the very front edge of the battle and makes eye and steel contact with the enemy. He is the one who bears the brunt of more than 90% of casualty in all wars and yet he was considered the lowest strata to base their comparison. It also means that the infantry soldier with less than three years’ service was considered an semi-skilled/unskilled labour? Just mark the irony of the sinister and ignorant move? Rest of the soldiers were equated based on this preposterous formulae? Next step was to reduce the percentage of pension for the Armed Forces. The OROP that was effective till 1972, was annulled after the third pay commission. A soldier then served only for 15 years and went on pension at the ages ranging from 33 years to 36 years of age. In view of this, his pension was 70% of his basic pay and an officers pension was 50% of his basic pay as the bulk of them retired at 50 years of age. The civilian counterparts were getting only 30% of their basic pay as pension. Please note they served till they were 58 years of age (now 60 years) and the soldiers retired a quarter century earlier. The wretched Third Pay Commission did not consider the additional 25 years of service his civilian counterpart served and raised their pension to 50% and reduced a soldiers pension from 70% to 50% in order to achieve the so-called parity. Further the government put mandatory 33 years of service for full pension fully knowing that the soldier then retired after 15 years of service. They further as a largesse made a seemingly generous gesture to the Armed Forces by pegging the mandatory service for full pension (50%) to 25 years. Just look at the clever move; fully knowing that the soldier retired after 15 years of service. Thus the soldier in effect got only 30% of pay after 15 years of service, as extrapolated from full pension of 50% of pay with 25 years of service. Thus the Government ingeniously cut a soldiers pension from 70% to 30% of pay at the same time enhancing the civilian pension from 30% to 50%. Look at the perfidy; how can possibly a Government run down her own Armed Forces? It is indeed a remarkable feat from a nation that was a slave nation for over two centuries, yet disregards her Armed Forces who ensure her hard earned freedom? Our Defence Ministry were hand in glove with the proposals. There was not a whimper of protest to set right the injustice. The soldiers had to pay heavily for having won the war for the country. Their travails were not over; more was yet to come! One would wonder why the soldiers did not protest against the brash injustice perpetrated on them? It would be difficult to believe, as those were the times the officers in particular were told that politics and pay were not to be discussed. They were naïve and had full faith in the government that in the long run; no injustice would be done to them? The disarming naivety of our officers appear incomprehensible now; but it was true then. Hence the entire master stroke of cutting the armed forces to size by impoverishing them was done with so much of dexterity, it took us couple of decades to realise its negative impact. Mrs Gandhi was feted and was called ‘Durga’ and she basked in the limelight of victory and self-adulation. However, she proved to be the daughter of her illustrious father by sharing the same antipathy and disdain towards the Armed Forces. She was a smart women hence concealed it to a great extent with outer façade of support and derived maximum political mileage of the victory. The running down of the Armed Forces in the Third Pay Commission could not have been done without her active and positive consent? Their next target was the most popular figure in the country Fd Marshal Manekshaw. He was made a Field Marshall and the appointment is active for life, though ceremonial in nature. A Field Marshall does not retire and continues to wear his five star rank for life. He was entitled to Pay and Allowances for life. The bureaucrats who were literally jealous of his popularity ensured that he did not get his pay and allowances; low and behold! for the next 36 years, and finally a lump sum of ₹ 1.60 crore of arrears was released to him on intervention by then President Abdul Kalam. A non-descript bureaucrat gave him his pension dues on his deathbed in Jun 2007 a few days before he breathed his last. Isn’t it a national tragedy? Don’t you sometimes feel whether the country deserves selfless service from its soldiers? Can any country on this earth be more ungrateful towards her soldiers than ‘Mother India? What a great victory for the MOD for destroying the soldiers pride? Let us now analyse as to why a soldier fights? Why does he give his life for a cause? What makes him charge through a fusillade of bullets and splinters against sure death and injury overcoming the instinct of self-preservation? Why is he prepared to make his ultimate sacrifice and bid goodbye to the world? Why does he not think of his loving wife, his innocent children, his aged parents and the living world of mirth and bliss; knowing he has not even spent a quarter of his life? Why all his near and dear ones pale in to insignificance and he sees only his mission like Arjuna only seeing the eye of the bird? All these questions can be answered in two words; His Pride. It is his professional pride that make him a hero. He wants to be a hero before his comrades; before his superiors, in his unit and in his country. He is a hero of his village and hero in front of his parents. He is a hero to his wife and a super hero to his children. He also knows he is the last bastion of the nation and he is the last trump card in the hands of his nation. He knows that if he fails the nation fails. It is this emotion that drives him towards mission accomplishment. It is all the way Pride! Pride! And Pride. It is nothing else but ‘Pride’. Sad to say; it is exactly that the Governments of his own country wants to deprive him of? He has been badgered, humiliated, impoverished and made a laughing stock in all the successive pay commissions. His status has been lowered time and again by an insensitive government. How can noble thoughts like sacrifice, mission, cause, patriotism and pride be ever understood by self-serving, sly and scheming bureaucracy? A soldiers pride has taken a beating and believe me sir! It would be a long and painful time to build it again? Mr Prime Minister! Before you forget history; In Jun 1932 President Herbert Hoover, the 31st President of US ordered firing on the veterans of First World War for demanding the promised bonus. Two veterans were killed and several injured. Herbart Hoover lost the election with a devastating defeat and has gone down in history as a lack lustre President. The Great Depression may have contributed to his rout but the firing on veterans brought him great disrepute. Mr Prime Minister! You are certainly made of a better stuff than Herbert Hoover? Enough has been said of ‘OROP’ and nothing more needs to be said about it. Supreme court has granted it and parliamentary committee has approved it. Not a single political party has opposed it but it is still undone? For the past 70 days agitation is on and brute force of police has been unleashed on them. Dear Prime Minister! I hope you have seen the sad picture of a proud veteran trying to fight his tears and another veteran whose shirt with medals torn asunder withstands the criminal use of force against him with quiet dignity and equanimity. It is still not too late to make amends. Reminds me the words of Edmond Burke “ Invention is exhausted, Reason is fatigued, Experience has given its judgement but Obstinacy remains unconquered”. Mr Prime Minister ! I believe you have still the ability to overrule small minions around you, who do not have the nation in their heart and are bent upon the murdering the ‘ Pride in a Soldier’. Remember ‘Soldiers’ Pride is Nation’s Security’. You kill his pride; you endanger the nation’s security
सलाम शूरवीरांना महाराष्ट्रातील अतिशय दुर्गम भाग असलेल्या गडचिरोली येथे पोलीस खडतर आव्हान पेलत आणि प्रसंगी आपल्या जिवाची बाजी लावत नक्षलवाद्यांशी कसा सामना करतात त्याची कहाणी.. नक्षलवादी हालचालींची गोपनीय माहिती साहाय्यक समादेशक जोशी यांना १९ ऑगस्ट २०११ रोजी मिळाली. कोतेगाव पोलीस ठाण्याच्या घनदाट जंगलात रात्री साडेतीन वाजण्याच्या सुमारास नक्षलविरोधी पथकाची गस्त सुरू झाली. सुमारे तीन तासांनंतर हे पथक मकडचुवाच्या एका गावानजीक पोहोचले. त्याच वेळी 'सीआरपीएफ'चे साहाय्यक समादेशक जोशी यांना झाडामागे काही संशयास्पद हालचाल सुरू असल्याची शंका आली. त्यांनी तात्काळ आपल्या चमूला सावधान राहण्याचा आदेश दिला आणि नक्षलवाद्यांना शरण येण्याचे आवाहन केले. पण या आवाहनाला न जुमानता नक्षलवाद्यांनी अंदाधुंद गोळीबार सुरू केला.पोलीस हवालदार देवांगण सुकुजी परदेशी हे 'फ्रंट पोझिशन'वर होते. नक्षलवाद्यांनी केलेल्या गोळीबाराला प्रत्युत्तर म्हणून त्यांनीही गोळीबार सुरू केला. नक्षलविरोधी पथकाने आखलेल्या धोरणानुसार साहाय्यक समादेशक जोशी हे त्यांच्या चमूसह उजव्या बाजूने नक्षलवाद्यांना घेरणार होते. त्यांना नक्षलवाद्यांपर्यंत पोहोचणे सोपे व्हावे म्हणून पुढे असणारे पोलीस हवालदार परदेशी आणि त्यांचे सहकारी 'कव्हर फायर' करणार होते. या गदारोळात साहाय्यक समादेशक जोशी यांच्या पथकातील चंदन नाथ यांना गोळी लागली आणि ते गंभीर जखमी झाले. जोशी व त्यांचा चमू यांचा जीव वाचविण्यासाठी पोलीस हवालदार परदेशी यांनी पुढे येऊन नक्षलवाद्यांवर गोळीबार सुरू केला. त्याच्या या आक्रमक पवित्र्यामुळे नक्षलवादी जखमी झाले. परदेशी यांनी निधडय़ा छातीने नक्षलवाद्यांना कंठस्नान घातले. पण याच वेळी नक्षलवाद्यांच्या एका गोळीने परदेशी यांच्या छातीचा वेध घेतला आणि एका शूर पोलीस जवानाने आपले प्राण गमावले. गोळीबारात जखमी झालेल्या चंदन नाथ या जवानाला तातडीची वैद्यकीय मदत मिळावी म्हणून हेलिकॉप्टर पाठविण्यात आले होते. 'कोब्रा' २०६ बटालियनचे पोलीस उपनिरीक्षक विठ्ठल शंकर पवार यांच्यावर चंदन नाथ यांना हेलिकॉप्टपर्यंत पोहोचविण्याची जबाबदारी सोपविण्यात आली होती. नक्षलवाद्यांचा गोळीबार सुरू असतानाही पोलीस उपनिरीक्षक पवार यांनी स्वत:च्या सहकाऱ्यांना प्रोत्साहन दिले आणि त्यांचे धैर्य कायम ठेवून त्यांना आत्मविश्वास दिला. या वेळी पवार यांच्या पायाला गोळी लागली होती, पण आपण खचलो तर आपले सहकारी पोलीसही खचतील आणि त्यांचे धैर्य संपेल हा विचार करून पवार यांनी धाडसाने परिस्थितीचा सामना केला. नक्षलवाद्यांवर सातत्याने 'कव्हर फायर' करून 'सीआरपीएफ'चा जखमी जवान चंदन नाथ याला सुरक्षितपणे हेलिकॉप्टरने सुरक्षितस्थळी नेले आणि त्याचे प्राण वाचविले. विठ्ठल शंकर पवार व देवांगण सुकुजी परदेशी (मरणोत्तर) यांच्या या शौर्याकरिता त्यांना राष्ट्रपती शौर्यपदकाने गौरविण्यात येत आहे. देवांगण सुकुजी परदेशी हे या चकमकीत शहीद झाले. त्यांच्या वीरपत्नी लक्ष्मी परदेशी या हा सन्मान स्वीकारणार आहेत. पोलीस उपनिरीक्षक विठ्ठल पवार आणि देवांगण सुकुजी परदेशी यांच्या शौर्याला सलाम! डॉ. रश्मी करंदीकर,पोलीस उपायुक्त, ठाणे
Sunday, 23 August 2015
FIELD MARSHALL MANEKSHAW’S LECTURE AT DEFENSE SERVICES COLLEGE, WELLINGTON ON LEADERSHIP AND DISCIPLINE,-long but worth reading
FIELD MARSHALL MANEKSHAW’S LECTURE AT DEFENSE SERVICES COLLEGE, WELLINGTON ON LEADERSHIP AND DISCIPLINE, NOVEMBER 1998 Although it’s been 14 years since he spoke these words, it still holds true. Commandant, Ladies and Gentlemen, I am fully conscious of the privilege, which is mine, to have been invited here to address the college. A while ago, I was invited to a seminar where the subject was youth, and people said that the youth of this country was not pulling its weight, that generally was not satisfied with how the young were functioning. When I was asked what I thought about it, I said that the youngsters of this country are disappointed, disturbed and confused. They cannot understand why all these untoward things are happening in this country. They want to know who is to blame. Not them. If they want to study at night and there is no power, they want to know who is to blame. Not them. If they want to have a bath, there is no water; they want to know who is to blame. Not them. They want to go to college and university and they are told there are not any vacancies; they want to know who is to blame. Not them. They say – here is a country which was considered the brightest jewel in the British Crown. What has happened to this Bright Jewel? No longer are there excuses with the old political masters saying that the reason why we are in this state is because we were under colonial rule for 250 years. They turn around and say that the British left us almost fifty years ago. What have you done? They point to Singapore, they point to Malaysia, they point to Indonesia, and they point to Hong Kong. They say that they were also under colonial rule and look at the progress those countries have made. They point to Germany and to Japan who fought a war for four and a half years- whose youth was decimated and industry was destroyed. They were occupied, and they had to pay reparations; Look at the progress those countries have made. The youngsters want an answer. So, Ladies and Gentlemen, I thought I should give you the answer. The problem with us is the lack of leadership. Commandant, Ladies and Gentlemen, do not misunderstand me, when I say lack of political leadership. I do not mean just political leadership. Of course, there is lack of leadership, but also there is lack of leadership in every walk of life, whether it is political, administrative, in our educational institutions, or whether it is our sports organizations. Wherever you look, there is lack of leadership. I do not know whether leaders are born or made. There is a school of thought that thinks that leaders are born. Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a population of 960 million people and we procreate at the rate of 17 million-equaling the total population of Australia-each year, and yet there is a dearth of leadership. So, those of you who still contribute to the fact that leaders are born, may I suggest you throw away your family planning, throw away the pill,throw away any inhibiting factor and make it free for all. Then perhaps someday a leader may be born. So, if leaders are not born, can leaders be made? My answer is yes. Give me a man or a woman with a common sense and decency, and I can make a leader out of him or her. That is the subject which I am going to discuss with you this morning. What are the attributes of leadership? The first, the primary, indeed the cardinal attribute of leadership is professional knowledge and professional competence. Now you will agree with me that you cannot be born with professional knowledge and professional competence even if you are a child of Prime Minister, or the son of an industrialist, or the progeny of a Field Marshal. Professional knowledge and professional competence have to be acquired by hard work and by constant study. In this fast- moving technologically developing world, you can never acquire sufficient professional knowledge. You have to keep at it, and at it, and at it. Can those of our political masters who are responsible for the security and defense of this country cross their hearts and say they have ever read a book on military history, on strategy, on weapons developments. Can they distinguish a mortar from a motor, a gun from a howitzer, a guerrilla from a gorilla, though a vast majority of them resemble the latter. Ladies and Gentlemen, professional knowledge and professional competence are a sine qua non of leadership. Unless you know what you are talking about, unless you understand your profession, you can never be a leader. Now some of you must be wondering why the Field Marshal is saying this, every time you go round somewhere, you see one of our leaders walking around, roads being blocked, transport being provided for them. Those, ladies and gentlemen, are not leaders. They are just men and women going about disguised as leaders – and they ought to be ashamed of themselves! What is the next thing you need for leadership? It is the ability to make up your mind to make a decision and accept full responsibility for that decision. Have you ever wondered why people do not make a decision? The answer is quite simple. It is because they lack professional competence, or they are worried that their decision may be wrong and they will have to carry the can. Ladies and Gentlemen, according to the law of averages, if you take ten decisions, five ought to be right. If you have professional knowledge and professional competence, nine will be right, and the one that might not be correct will probably be put right by a subordinate officer or a colleague. But if you do not take a decision, you are doing something wrong. An act of omission is much worse than an act of commission. An act of commission can be put right. An act of omission cannot. Take the example of the time when the Babri Masjid was about to be destroyed. If the Prime Minister, at that stage, had taken a decision to stop it, a whole community – 180 million would not have been harmed. But, because he did not take a decision, you have at least 180 million people in this country alone who do not like us. When I was the Army Chief, I would go along to a formation, ask the fellow what have you done about this and I normally got an answer, “Sir, I have been thinking… I have not yet made up my mind,” and I coined a Manekshawism. If the girls will excuse my language, it was ‘if you must be a bloody fool – be one quickly’. So remember that you are the ones who are going to be the future senior staff officers, the future commanders. Make a decision and having made it, accept full responsibility for it. Do not pass it on to a colleague or subordinate. xt for leadership? Absolute Honesty, fairness and justice – we are dealing with people. Those of us who have had the good fortune of commanding hundreds and thousands of men know this. No man likes to be punished, and yet a man will accept punishment stoically if he knows that the punishment meted out to him will be identical to the punishment meted out to another person who has some Godfather somewhere. This is very, very important. No man likes to be superseded, and yet men will accept super cession if they know that they are being superseded, under the rules, by somebody who is better then they are but not just somebody who happens to be related to the Commandant of the staff college or to a Cabinet Minister or by the Field Marshal’s wife’s current boyfriend. This is extremely important, Ladies and Gentlemen. We in India have tremendous pressures- pressures from the Government, pressures from superior officers, pressures from families, pressures from wives, uncles, aunts, nieces, nephews and girlfriends, and we lack the courage to withstand those pressures. That takes me to the next attribute of Leadership- Moral and Physical Courage. Ladies and Gentlemen, I do not know which of these is more important. When I am talking to young officers and young soldiers, I should place emphasis on physical courage. But since I am talking to this gathering, I will lay emphasis on Moral Courage. What is moral courage? Moral courage is the ability to distinguish right from wrong and having done so, say so when asked, irrespective of what your superiors might think or what your colleagues or your subordinates might want. A ‘yes man’ is a dangerous man. He may rise very high, he might even become the Managing Director of a company. He may do anything but he can never make a leader because he will be used by his superiors, disliked by his colleagues and despised by his subordinates. So shallow– the ‘yes man’. I am going to illustrate from my own life an example of moral courage. In 1971, when Pakistan clamped down on its province, East Pakistan, hundreds and thousands of refugees started pouring into India. The Prime Minister, Mrs. Gandhi had a cabinet meeting at ten o’clock in the morning. The following attended: the Foreign Minister, Sardar Swaran Singh, the Defence Minister, Mr. Jagjivan Ram, the Agriculture Minister, Mr. Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed, the Finance Minister, Mr. Yashwant Rao, and I was also ordered to be present. Ladies and Gentlemen, there is a very thin line between becoming a Field Marshal and being dismissed. A very angry Prime Minister read out messages from Chief Ministers of West Bengal, Assam and Tripura. All of them saying that hundreds of thousands of refugees had poured into their states and they did not know what to do. So the Prime Minister turned round to me and said: “I want you to do something”. I said, “What do you want me to do?” She said, “I want you to enter East Pakistan”. I said, “Do you know that that means War?” She said, “I do not mind if it is war”. I, in my usual stupid way said, “Prime Minister, have you read the Bible? ”And the Foreign Minister, Sardar Swaran Singh (a Punjabi Sikh), in his Punjabi accent said, “What has Bible got to do with this?”, and I said, “the first book, the first chapter, the first paragraph, the first sentence, God said, ‘let there be light’’ and there was light. You turn this round and say ‘let there be war’ and there will be war. What do you think? Are you ready for a war? Let me tell you –“it’s 28th April, the Himalayan passes are opening now, and if the Chinese gave us an ultimatum, I will have to fight on two fronts”. Again Sardar Swaran Singh turned round and in his Punjabi English said, “Will China give ultimatum?” I said, “You are the Foreign Minister. You tell me”. Then I turned to the Prime Minister and said, “Prime Minister, last year you wanted elections in West Bengal and you did not want the communists to win, so you asked me to deploy my soldiers in penny pockets in every village, in every little township in West Bengal. I have two divisions thus deployed in sections and platoons without their heavy weapons. It will take me at least a month to get them back to their units and to their formations. Further, I have a division in the Assam area, another division in Andhra Pradesh and the Armoured Division in the Jhansi-Babina area. It will take me at least a month to get them back and put them in their correct positions. I will require every road, every railway train, every truck, every wagon to move them. We are harvesting in the Punjab, and we are harvesting in Haryana; we are also harvesting in Uttar Pradesh. And you will not be able to move your harvest. I turned to the Agriculture Minister, Mr. Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed, “If there is a famine in the country afterwards, it will be you to blame, not me.” Then I said, “My Armoured Division has only got thirteen tanks which are functioning.” The Finance Minister, Mr. Chawan, a friend of mine, said, “Sam, why only thirteen?” “Because you are the Finance Minister. I have been asking for money for the last year and a half, and you keep saying there is no money. That is why.” Then I turned to the Prime Minister and said, “Prime Minister, it is the end of April. By the time I am ready to operate, the monsoon will have broken in that East Pakistan area. When it rains, it does not just rain, it pours. Rivers become like oceans. If you stand on one bank, you cannot see the other and the whole countryside is flooded. My movement will be confined to roads, the Air Force will not be able to support me, and, if you wish me to enter East Pakistan, I guarantee you a hundred percent defeat.” “You are the Government”, I said turning to the Prime Minister, “Now will you give me your orders?”Ladies and Gentlemen, I have seldom seen a woman so angry, and I am including my wife in that. She was red in the face and I said, “Let us see what happens”. She turned round and said, “The cabinet will meet four o’clock in the evening”. Everyone walked out. I being the junior most man was the last to leave. As I was leaving, she said, “Chief, please will you stay behind?” I looked at her. I said, “Prime Minister, before you open your mouth, would you like me to send in my resignation on grounds of health, mental or physical?” “No, sit down, Sam. Was everything you told me the truth?” “Yes, it is my job to tell you the truth. It is my job to fight and win, not to lose.” She smiled at me and said, “All right, Sam. You know what I want. When will you be ready?” “I cannot tell you now, Prime Minister”, I said, but let me guarantee you this that if you leave me alone, allow me to plan, make my arrangements, and fix a date, I guarantee you a hundred percent victory”. So, Ladies and Gentlemen, as I told you, there is a very thin line between becoming a Field Marshal and being dismissed. Just an example of moral courage. Now, those of you who remembered what happened in 1962, when the Chinese occupied the Thag-la ridge and Mr. Nehru, the Prime Minister, sent for the Army Chief, in the month of December and said, “I want you to throw the Chinese out”. That Army Chief did not have the Moral courage to stand up to him and say, “I am not ready, my troops are not acclimatized, I haven’t the ammunition, or indeed anything”. But he accepted the Prime Minister’s instructions, with the result that the Army was beaten and the country humiliated. Remember, moral courage. You, the future senior staff officers and commanders will be faced with many problems. People will want all sorts of things. You have got to have the moral courage to stand up and tell them the facts. Again, as I told you before, a ‘yes man’ is a despicable man. This takes me to the next attribute: Physical courage. Fear, like hunger and sex, is a natural phenomenon. Any man who says he is not frightened is a liar or a Gorkha. It is one thing to be frightened. It is quite another to show fear. If you once show fear in front of your men, you will never be able to command. It is when your teeth are chattering, your knees are knocking and you are about to make your own geography- that is when the true leader comes out! I am sorry but I am going to illustrate this with another example from my own life. I am not a brave man. In fact, I am a terribly frightened man. My wife and I do not share the same bedroom. “Why?” you will ask. Because she says I snore. Although I have told her, No, I don’t. No other woman has ever complained”. I am not a brave man. If I am frightened, I am frightened of wild animals, I am frightened of ghosts and spirits and so on. If my wife tells me a ghost story after dinner, I cannot sleep in my room, and I have to go to her room. I have often wondered why she tells me these ghost stories periodically. In World War II, my battalion, which is now in Pakistan, was fighting the Japanese. We had a great many casualties. I was commanding Charlie Company, which was a Sikh Company. The Frontier Force Regiment in those days had Pathan companies. I was commanding the Sikh Company, young Major Manekshaw. As we were having too many casualties, we had pulled back to reorganize, re-group, make up our casualties and promotions. The Commanding Officer had a promotion conference. He turned to me and said, “Sam, we have to make lots of promotions. In your Sikh company, you have had a lot of casualties. Surat Singh is a senior man. Should we promote him to the rank of Naik?” Now, Surat Singh was the biggest Badmaash in my company. He had been promoted twice or three times and each time he had to be marched up in front of the Colonel for his stripes to be taken off. So I said, “No use, Sir, promoting Surat Singh. You promote him today and the day after tomorrow, I will have to march him in front of you to take his stripes off”. So, Surat Singh was passed over. The promotion conference was over, I had lunch in the Mess and I came back to my company lines. Now, those of you who have served with Sikhs will know that they are very cheerful lot- always laughing, joking and doing something. When I arrived at my company lines that day, it was quite different, everybody was quiet. When my second-in-command, Subedar Balwant Singh, met me I asked him, “What has happened, Subedar Sahib?” He said, “Sahib, something terrible has happened. Surat Singh felt slighted and has told everybody that he is going to shoot you today”. Surat Singh was a light machine gunner, and was armed with a pistol. His pistol had been taken away, and Surat Singh has been put under close arrest. I said, “All right, Sahib. Put up a table, a soap box, march Surat Singh in front of me”. So he was marched up. The charge was read out- ‘threatening to shoot his Commanding officer whilst on active service in the theatre of war’. That carries the death penalty. The witnesses gave their evidence. I asked for Surat Singh’s pistol which was handed to me. I loaded it, rose from my soap box, walked up to Surat Singh, handed the pistol to him then turned round and told him, “You said you will shoot me”. I spoke to him in Punjabi naturally. I told him, “Have you got the guts to shoot me? Here, shoot me”. He looked at me stupidly and said, “Nahin, Sahib, galtee ho gayaa”. I gave him a tight slap and said, “Go out, case dismissed”. I went around the company lines, the whole company watching what was happening. I walked around, chatted to the people, went to the Mess in the evening to have a drink, and have my dinner, but when I came back again Sardar Balwant Singh said, “Nahin Sahib, you have made a great mistake. Surat Singh will shoot you tonight”. I said, “Bulao Surat Singh ko”. He came along. I said, “Surat Singh, aj rat ko mere tambu par tu pehra dega, or kal subah 6 bjay, mere liye aik mug chai aur aik mug shaving water lana”. Then I walked into my little tent. Ladies and Gentlemen, I did not sleep the whole night. Next morning, at six o’clock, Surat Singh brought me a mug of tea and a mug of shaving water, thereafter, throughout the war, Surat Singh followed me like a puppy. If I had shown fear in front of my men, I should never have been able to command. I was frightened, terribly frightened, but I dared not show fear in front of them. Those of you, who are going to command soldiers, remember that. You must never show fear.So much for physical courage, but, please believe me, I am still a very frightened man. I am not a brave man. What comes next? The next attribute of leadership is loyalty. Ladies and Gentlemen, you all expect loyalty. Do we give loyalty? Do we give loyalty to our subordinates, to our colleagues? Loyalty is a three way thing. You expect loyalty, you must therefore, give loyalty to your colleagues and to your subordinates. Men and women in large numbers can be very difficult, they can cause many problems and a leader must deal with them immediately and firmly. Do not allow any non sense, but remember that men and women have many problems. They get easily despondent, they have problems of debt, they have problems of infidelity- wives have run away or somebody has an affair with somebody. They get easily crestfallen, and a leader must have the gift of the gab with a sense of humor to shake them out of their despondence. Our leaders, unfortunately, our “so-called” leaders, definitely have the gift of the gab, but they have no sense of humor. So, remember that. Finally, for leadership; men and women like their leader to be a man, with all the manly qualities or virtues. The man who says, “I do not smoke, I do not drink, I do not (No, I will not say it)’, does not make a leader. Let me illustrate this from examples from the past. You will agree that Julius Caesar was a great leader- he had his Calphurnia, he had his Antonia, he also had an affair with Cleopatra and, when Caesar used to come to Rome, the Senators locked up their wives. And you will agree that he was a great leader. He was known in Rome as every woman’s husband and he was a great leader. Take Napoleon, he had his Josephine, he had his Marie Walewska, he had his Antoinette and Georgettes and Paulettes. And you will agree he was a great leader. Take the Duke of Wellington- do you know that the night before the battle of Waterloo, there were more Countesses, Marchionesses and other women in his ante-chamber than staff officers and Commanders. And you will agree he was a great leader. Do you know, Ladies and Gentlemen, a thought has just struck me. All these leaders- Caesar, Napoleon and the Duke of Wellington- they had one facial feature in common, all had long noses. So much, Ladies and Gentlemen, for leadership, but no amount of leadership will do this country much good. Yes, it will improve things, but what this country needs is discipline. We are the most ill-disciplined people in the world. You see what is happening- you go down the road, and you see people relieving themselves by the roadside. You go into town, and people are walking up and down the highway, while vehicles are discharging all sorts of muck. Every time you pick up a newspaper, you read of a scam or you read of some other silly thing. As we are the most ill-disciplined people in the world, we must do something about discipline. What is discipline? Please, when I talk of discipline, do not think of military discipline. That is quite different. Discipline can be defined as conduct and behavior for living decently with one another in society. Who lays down the code of conduct for that? Not the Prime Minister, not the Cabinet, nor superior officers. It is enshrined in our holy books; it is in the Bible, the Torah and in the Vedas, it is in the teachings of Nanak and Mohammad. It has come down to us from time immemorial, from father to son, from mother to child. Nowhere is it laid down, except in the Armed Forces, that lack of punctuality is conduct prejudicial to discipline and decent living. I will again tell you a little story about that. Some years ago, my wife and I were invited to convocation at a university. I was asked to be there at four o’clock. I got into the staff car with my wife, having chased her from about eleven o’clock in the morning. Don’t forget, darling, you have got to be on time. Get properly dressed; you have to leave at such and such time’. Eventually, I got her into the car. I told the driver, “Thoda aayisthe, thoda jaldi”, but we got to the university and the convocation address place at four o’clock. We were received by the Vice Chancellor and his Lady. We were taken into the convocation hall, and the Vice Chancellor asked me to get on the platform, asking my wife to do so, too. She gracefully declined, and said she much rather sit down below as she seldom had an opportunity of looking up to her husband. Anyway, on the platform, the Vice Chancellor sang my praises. As usual there were 2000 boys and girls who had come for the convocation. There were deans of university, and professors and lecturers. Then he asked me to go to the lectern and address the gathering. I rose to do so and he said (sotto voce), Field Marshal, a fortnight ago we invited a VIP from Delhi for the same function. He was allowed to stand on the same lectern for exactly twenty seconds. I wish you luck. “I said to myself, had the Vice Chancellor mentioned this in his letter of invitation, I wonder, if I should have accepted. Anyway, I reached the lectern, and I addressed the gathering for my allotted time of forty minutes. I was heard in pin drop silence, and at the end of my talk, was given terrific ovation. The Vice Chancellor and his lady, the Dean, the professors and lecturers, the boys and girls, and even my own wife, standing up and giving me an ovation. After the convocation was over, we walked into the gardens to have refreshments. And I, having an eye for pretty girls, walked up to a pert little thing wearing a pair of tight fitting jeans and a body hugging blouse, and I started a conversation with her. I said, “My dear, why were you so kind to me, I not being an orator nor having the looks of Amitabh Bachhan, when only the other day you treated a VIP from Delhi so shamefully”. This pert little thing had no inhibitions. She turned round and said, and I quote, “Oh, that a dreadful man! We asked him to come at four o’clock. He came much later and that too accompanied with a boy and a girl, probably his grand children. He was received by the Vice Chancellor and his lady and taken to the platform. He was garlanded by the Student Union President, and he demanded garlands for those brats too. So, the Union President diverged with the garland that was meant for the Vice Chancellor and gave it to the brats. Then the Vice Chancellor started singing the worthy’s praises. Whilst he was doing so, this man hitched up his dhoti, exposing his dirty thighs, and scratched away. Then the Vice Chancellor said, “This man has done so much for the country, he has even been to jail”. And I nearly shouted out, ‘He should be there now’. Anyway, when the Vice Chancellor asked him to come to the lectern and address the convocation, he got up, walked to the lectern and addressed us thus, ‘Boys and girls, I am a very busy man. I have not had time to prepare my speech but, I will now read out the speech my secretary has written’. We did not let him stand there. Without exception, the whole lot of us stood and booed him off the stage.” Now, you see, Ladies and Gentleman, what I mean by discipline. Had this man as his position warranted come on time at four o’clock, fully prepared and properly turned out, can you imagine the good it would have done to these 2000 young girls and boys? Instead of that, his act of indiscipline engendered further indiscipline. I thanked my lucky stars, having been in the Army for so many years, that I arrived there on time, that I had come properly dressed, that I didn’t wear a dhoti to show my lovely legs, that I didn’t exacerbate an itch or eczema, to hurt the susceptibilities of my audience, by indulging in the scratching of the unmentionables. Now, Ladies and Gentleman, you understand what I mean by discipline. We are the most ill-disciplined people in the world. So far, all of you have been very, very disciplined. Will you bear with me for another two minutes? Having talked about leadership, having talked about discipline, I want to mention something about Character. We Indians also lack character. Do not misunderstand me, when I talk of character. I don’t mean just being honest, truthful, and religious, I mean something more- Knowing yourself, knowing your own faults, knowing your own weaknesses and what little character that we have, our friends, our fans, the ‘yes-men’ around us and the sycophants, help us reduce that character as well. Let me illustrate this by an example: Some years ago, Hollywood decided to put up the picture of great violinist and composer, Paganini. The part of Paganini was given to a young actor who was conversant, somewhat, with the violin. He was drilled and tutored to such an extent that when the little piece, the Cadenza, was filmed, it was perfect. When the film was shown, the papers raved about it, and the critics raved about it. And this man’s fans, ‘yes-men’, sycophants, kept on telling him that he was as good a violinist as Heifetz or Menuhin. And do you know that I took eight months in a psychiatric home to rid him of his delusion? Do you know, Commandant, that the same thing happened to me? After the 1971 conflict with Pakistan, which ended in thirteen days and I took 93000 prisoners, my fans, the ‘yes-men’ around me, the sycophants, kept on comparing me to Rommel, to Field Marshal Alexander, to Field Marshal Auchinleck, and just as I was beginning to believe it, the Prime Minister created me a Field Marshal and sent me packing to the Nilgiris. A hard-headed, non-nonsense wife deprived a psychiatric home (what we in India call a lunatic asylum), of one more inmate. I thank you very much indeed. Thank you. Question: In 1962 war, what was your appointment, were you in a position to do something about the situation? FM: In the 1962 war, I was disgrace. I was a Commandant of this Institution. Mr. Krishna Menon, the Defence Minister, disliked me intensely. General Kaul, who was Chief of General Staff at the time, and the budding man for the next higher appointment, disliked me intensely. So, I was in disgrace at the Staff College. There were charges against me – I will enumerate some of them – all engineered by Mr. Krishna Menon. I do not know if you remember that in 1961 or 1960, General Thimayya was the Army Chief. He had fallen out with Mr. Krishna Menon and had sent him his resignation. The Prime Minister, Mr. Nehru, persuaded General Thimayya to withdraw his resignation. The members of Parliament also disliked Mr. Krishna Menon, and they went hammer and tongs for the Prime Minister in Parliament. The Prime Minister made the following statement, “I cannot understand why General Thimayya is saying that the Defence Ministry interferes with the working of the Army. Take the case of General Manekshaw. The Selection Board has approved his promotion to Lieutenant General, over the heads of 23 other officers. The Government has accepted that.” I was the Commandant of the Staff College. I had been approved for promotion to Lieutenant General. Instead of making me the Lieutenant General, Mr. Krishna Menon levied charges against me. There were ten charges, I will enumerate only one or two of them – that I am more loyal to the Queen of England than to the President of India, that I am more British than Indian. That I have been alleged to have said that I will have no instructor in the Staff College whose wife looks like an ayah. These were the sort of charges against me. For eighteen months my promotion was held back. An enquiry was made. Three Lieutenant Generals, including an Army Commander, sat at the inquiry. I was exonerated on every charge. The file went up to the Prime Minister who sent it up to the Cabinet Secretary, who wrote on the file, ‘if anything happens to General Manekshaw, this case will go will down as the Dreyfus case.’ So the file came back to the Prime Minister. He wrote on it, “Orders may now issue”, meaning I will now become a Lieutenant General. Instead of that, Ladies and Gentleman, I received a letter from the Adjutant General saying that the Defence Minister, Mr. Krishna Menon, has sent his severe displeasure to General Manekshaw, to be recorded. I had it in the office where the Commandant now sits. I sent that letter back to the Adjutant General saying what Mr. Krishna Menon could do with his displeasure, very vulgarly stated. It is still in my dossier. Then the Chinese came to my help. Krishna Menon was sacked, Kaul was sacked and Nehru sent for me. He said, “General, I have a vigorous enemy. I find out that you are a vigorous General. Will you go and take over?” I said, “I have been waiting eighteen months for this opportunity,” and I went and took over. So, your question was 1962, and what part did I play, none whatsoever, none whatsoever. I was here for eighteen months, persecuted, inquisitions against me but we survive….I rather like the Chinese. Question: The Army has changed and progressed. Do you find any difference in the mental makeup of the young officers compared to your time? FM: Over the years, things have changed…… there is a lot of difference, dear. In my time, my father used to support me until I became a Lieutenant Colonel. I used to get an allowance to be able to live. Today, the young officer has not only to keep himself but has to send money home. In my time, we did not have all these courses. The only course I ever did, (of course, we had the four rounds of courses that every officer had to do), but we had mules there so I had to do a course in training mountain mules. Today the young officer hardly stays in his regiment. He is sent from one place to another to do this course and that course, and he does not get a chance of knowing his men.We knew our men. Also there wasn’t so much work in those days. We got up in the mornings, did Physical Training for half an hour , came back ,dressed, had breakfast , then went to our company lines and spent all our time avoiding the Commanding Officer. Those Commanding Officers were nasty chaps. They did not give a damn for anybody. I will give an example of the Commanding Officer. I was made quartermaster of my battalion. The Commanding Officer sent for the Adjutant and myself. He said, I want to take the battalion out tomorrow morning for an exercise. “We did not have motor cars, we had to indent for mules, so, I as quartermaster intended for a company of mules. He said we were going to leave for the exercise at 6:30, so I ordered the company of mules to arrive at six. At eleven o’clock at night, the commanding officer changed his mind. He said, “I will not go at 6:30, we will go at nine o’clock. “There was nothing I could do. I got on my bicycle, went off to the lines, where the mules had arrived. I told them to unsaddle, and go into the shade, when who should arrive on a horse but the Cavalry Officer with his daughter! I touched my hat. He said, “What are those animals doing here, young man?” I said that we were going out on an exercise. “When are you going?” “Nine o’clock.” He tore strips off me – “going at nine o’clock and you have the animals waiting here at six o’clock”. He was riding with his daughter on a horse. What could I say to a General officer, I had two pips on my shoulder. Suddenly, who should be coming on a bicycle, but the Commanding Officer! He touched his hat, said, “Morning, General.” Turning to me, he said, “What is the matter, Sam?” I said, “Sir, the General is angry with me because we are going out at nine o’clock and the mules are here at six.” He turned round to face the General, and said, I will thank you General to know who commands this regiment. Me, and not this young man. I will not have you ticketing him off in front of your daughter.” He turned back to me and said, “Have you had your breakfast, Sam?” “No.” “Go along. Have your breakfast.” I was delighted to go off. But when we came back from the exercise, at about eight o’clock in the evening, in my letter rack, was a letter from the General’s wife, inviting me to tea the next day. Now, I did not want to have tea with the General’s wife! But that’s the sort of thing that happens. When I became the Field Marshal, I was the guest of her majesty in England. I had given a reception at India House, where the Commanding Officer with his wife were also invited. He came in, shook hands with my wife, shook hands with me, and walked off. Everybody was drinking. After about half an hour, when everybody had arrived, I walked up tohim with a glass of whisky in my hand, and he turned round to me, “May I call you Sam?” “Please do, Sir. You used to call me ‘bloody fool’ before. I thought that was my Christian name!” The difference between the officer now and then – my first confidential report written by him. Before you went in to sign your confidential report, you had to go in front of the Adjutant, beautifully turned out. We did not have any medals in those days. We had to have a sword to go into the CO’s office then. I walked in there, saluted the Adjutant, he looked me up and down and said, “You are going to see the Colonel, now? Look at you! Your bloody strap is filthy dirty, look at your belt, it is disgusting. Go on, go and get dressed.” I walked out, waited for five minutes and came back. He looked me up and down, “Much better.” Then he said, “You are going in there. Do you have a fountain pen?” I said, “Yes.” “The CO will read your report. You will initial on the left hand corner. Is that understood?” “Yes.” I walked in there, saluted the Colonel, “Mr. Manekshaw reporting, Sir.” He looked me up and down, thrust the report on me online – “This officer, I beg his pardon, this man, may someday become an officer.” I initialed it and walked out. Khalid Sheikh, another officer from my regiment, who became the Foreign Minister of Pakistan and a Governor there, came out. “Khalid, what report have you got?” I said. He said “This officer tends to be irresponsible”. I said, “That’s a bad report, Khalid.” He said, Uh! Last year the bugger said I was irresponsible.” But we did not mind. Today, if the Commanding Officer writes and says this officer is irresponsible, the officer wants to appeal to the President of India saying he is more responsible than the Commanding Officer. That was the difference, dear. We simply did not give a cuss. Anything else? Thank you Gentlemen, thank you for your kindness. Thank you for your patience and your discipline. I am delighted to see you all here.
Thursday, 20 August 2015
You thought Pakistani support for terrorism was buoyed by that country's poverty, with poor, unemployed youths joining terrorist groups? Wrong! Pakistan's poor people oppose terrorism far more forcefully than the country's growing middle class. And you thought promoting democracy in Pakistan was the way to snuff out terrorism since terrorism is the antithesis of democracy? Wrong! When it comes to Kashmir, democrats see the insurgency as a struggle for azadi or freedom, warranting armed struggle, even jihad. Were you under the impression Pakistani jihadi groups were recruiting mainly from madrassahs (religious seminaries) that churn out radicalised youth? Wrong again! Most jihadis are reasonably educated, while less than one per cent of Pakistani youth get their education exclusively from a madrassah. These were some of the common perceptions of Pakistan that C Christine Fair, an acclaimed Pakistan expert who teaches at Georgetown University rebutted on Thursday in Delhi. Fair was speaking at a think tank, Observer Research Foundation, on: "Violence in Pakistan: who supports it? Rebutting conventional wisdom". Fair is the darling of Pakistan critics worldwide, after an acclaimed book this year - entitled 'Fighting to the end: the Pakistan Army's way of war' - which quoted extensively from the writings of Pakistani officers to argue they placed the army's interests far above those of Pakistan. Deploying meticulous quantitative research to support unconventional conclusions, Fair argued that the Lashkar-e-Toiba's (LeT's) rank and file consists of reasonably well-educated youth, 60 per cent of whom had passed their matriculation and even intermediate examinations. This conclusion is based on a study of 1,000 LeT fighters who were killed, mostly fighting in Kashmir. Research associates visited the homes of each of the dead jihadis to record their qualifications and motivations. "More than 60 per cent of them were matriculates or above, while only about 23 per cent of Pakistani, and Punjabi, males above the age of 10 have similar qualifications. And just 1.13% of the Laskhar fighters were illiterate, compared to more than 30 per cent of the broader population", said Fair. The reason for that, she explained, is that the LeT recruits like most regular armies, turning away the uneducated and the unintelligent. "Even after they're recruited, these Lashkar guys have to constantly prove themselves. They have to constantly lobby to be picked up for the next round of training. So Pakistan's better lot are being killed [by Indian security forces] while fighting in Kashmir", says Fair. Fair says the Pakistan Army and the LeT recruit most of their fighters from the same few districts in Punjab. The army gets the pick of the youth, while the Lashkar chooses from those remaining. She also rebutted Pakistan's frequent complaint that supporting the US war on terror after the 9/11 attacks in 2001 had unleashed the monster of terrorism upon the country. Fair proves that terror-related violence was entrenched before 2001. Differentiating between terror-related violence and political violence (see chart), Fair points out that terror-related incidents rose somewhat from 2,087 in the 14-year period from 1988-2001; to 3,721 in the decade between 2002-2011. In these same periods, incidents of political violence rose from 11,340 to 12,820. "But if you talk to Pakistanis, they would like you to believe that everything was fine before 9/11", she says. Her conclusions are based on a rich database on terrorist-related and political violence in Pakistan, painstakingly compiled by Fair and her associates during a 24-year period from January 1, 1988 through May 2011. These were first published online last year in a paper entitled "Measuring political violence in Pakistan: Insights from the BFSR Dataset", co-authored by Fair. Fair explains why Pakistan's poor, particularly urban poor, do not support terrorism. She points out that most terrorists are from the Deobandi sect, which is responsible for practically all terror-related violence in Pakistan, including sectarian violence against Shias, Barelvis or Ahmedis, or anti-minority violence directed at Christians and Hindus. "These target groups, and their shrines that are often hit, are located in the poorest parts of the towns and cities. These people are actually the immediate victims of terror. They are potential allies (for counter-terrorism officials)", she says. Fair's extensive research on madrassahs suggests they are not the factories of jihad. What they do engender is a mindset that supports jihad. "Kids don't make the decision to join a madrassah; their parents do. And parents who put their kid into a madrassah are more likely to approve of youngsters taking up jihad. While a madrassah education seldom leads to a youngster taking up jihad, there is a correlation between the two
Wednesday, 19 August 2015
Recycle The Soldier Col TS Dalal (Retd ) The Veterans of Armed Forces and the Govt are at loggerhead, on One Rank One Pension (OROP) demand. The issue has its genesis from early retirement of soldiers and their non re-employment by the Govt. Almost 80% of the Armed Forces personnel retire between 35 to 37 yrs of age and are left to fend for themselves. Is it not the concern of the Central Government to ensure that these retiring soldiers, who have given their youth in the service to the Nation, be suitably rehabilitated ? Ironically, the Finance Minister now feels, after their services have been utilized, that they are becoming financial burden to the State. It is also paradoxical, that the Govt opts to let these trained young soldiers retire and then carries out fresh recruitment, for Police and Para Military Forces, train them and pay them as well as pension to those soldiers who it has sent on early retirement . It defies all rational thinking as to why this trained force should not be directly absorbed against the new recruitment for the PMFs/Police. Are there covert reasons not to think for simple solutions ? The menace of the Naxels / Maoists and other anti-national elements is increasing day by day and the State Police Forces are unable to deal with them effectively. The primary reason is the lack of proper training in the Police Forces. A terrorist trains in the worst of conditions yet he over runs police stations at will, highjack trains and roams freely in the jurisdiction of the State machinery. After almost every terrorist attack , any where in the country, a special Force gets raised. But, they do not send shivers down the spine of the terrorists. This ad-hoc reaction is not a solution to counter terrorism but only to pacify / placate the agitated public, (now that I have this, next time you will see how I decimate him). It is not the numbers but the quality of training and dedication which will ultimately decide the winner. Numbers only help in normal policing duties like dealing with criminals or traffic duties. For anti terrorist operations and guarding the borders, we need very well trained and motivated men, with matching equipment. It is ultimately the machine (weapons) and the man behind the machine which counts. A soldier must be trained, equipped and motivated to handle most eventualities related to security. This trained and disciplined manpower is already available, with almost 15 yrs of experience. Yet, we waste them, in thousands, each year. A man serving in the Para Military Force (PMF) and the Police serves up to 60 yrs of age. Therefore, absorbing the retiring young and fully trained soldiers of the Armed Forces, would solve the problems of both PMFs and the Armed Forces. Government provision already exists for such absorption. In the last year of their service a retiring soldier can be employed against an existing vacancy and later, on retirement, gets absorbed against the same post. In 1985, the Department of Personnel & Training (DOP&T) issued direction, to all Ministries / Departments that they all should examine and identify posts in which military experience would be of distinct advantage and incorporate necessary provisions in the Recruitment Rules (RR) for lateral induction. These provisions are also included in Swamy’s office pamphlet on ‘Establishment and Administration for Central Government Offices’. Why these Instructions are not being implemented must be examined and if required, revised to absorb the retiring Armed Forces personnel. Similarly, officers can be absorbed in Police / PMF, to serve up to 60 years of age, as was done in 60s and 70s. They can also be absorbed in various Headquarters, Training Institutions, and Disaster Management and so on. Their utilization / recycling into our security forces will not only be of national interest but save ‘crores’ to the Government, in the form of training expenditure, additional recruitments and ever increasing pension bills.
I WOULD REQUEST EVERY NETA-BUREAUCRAT AND OTHERS TO PLEASE READ THIS. THIS IS WHAT THE INDIAN SOLDIER IS. SOME OF US HAVE BEEN THROUGH MORE THAN TWO WARS AND KNOW WHAT IT IS LIKE. THE INDIAN SOLDIER IS THE BEST IN THE WORLD; YES, THE BEST. TOI Blogs “Beti our work is not finished. When can we go back to the front?” July 6, 2015, 4:12 PM IST Ashali Varma in No Free Lunch | India | TOI It was 1971 and we were at war with Pakistan. I was a teenager — an army brat. One night my father told me that we were all going to the Lucknow station to meet a train full of troops from the front; most of them would be wounded men and we going to give them food and boost their morale. They were on their way to military hospitals to be healed. I recall it was nighttime and at the station food and water had been organized by the army. The train rolled slowly to the platform. I was nervous. What could I say to badly wounded men groaning in pain? Why was my father insisting I should go? I might not be able to take it and disappoint my father. My mother was also going along with other officers and their wives, so I felt a little braver.When the train came to a stop I was handed some food and water and told to go into a compartment. Inside there were men of all ages and some boys a year or two older than me but there was no groaning even though some had shattered limbs and bandaged heads and faces. I stammered out how I valued their sacrifice and they were heroes. They smiled back and said: “Beti our work is not finished. When can we go back to the front?” I was stunned. I had never expected this reply. Not from badly wounded men who had been patched up in field hospitals and were now going for treatment to command hospitals. Some would have their limbs amputated, others would need months of operations to repair the deadly damage done by bombs and bullets and yet they wanted to go back to complete the job! The enemy had broken their bodies but not their spirit. Next day, my father asked me to start going to the hospital to write letters for those who could not write home because of their wounds. In one part of the hospital in intensive care I saw a young officer whose spine had been shattered and he was clinging onto life. He died a few days later. My parents and his parents were with him. He told them he had no regrets. Though he was completely paralyzed, for me he died standing up in his boots saluting the flag of our country. In another room there were rows of beds with jawans who told me what to write to their young wives and parents. There letters home were upbeat and again the theme was; “We are being taken care off very well. But don’t expect us back soon as we have to go back and defeat the enemy.” As days passed some of them got impatient and started asking me to talk to the doctors to give them clearance to go back to the front. Their zeal and patriotism was stunning. I felt ashamed to be so whole and well and useless. When I asked the doctors about their queries, they told me that none of the men I was writing for would ever fight again they would have to be pensioned off. “But they are so young, I would argue. And you will make them fighting fit soon.” Not fit enough to be soldiers I was told. And here my wounded heroes were thinking they were going back to the army where they most wanted to be. What would the future hold for these men with their amazing spirit? Their life was the armed forces and they were wounded protecting us. What could the government do to make it alright? In another room that was separated from the rest was a badly burnt young officer. His letters to his fiancé told her to forget about him as he was not the man she had known. He would be scarred for life. He never complained and was always grateful for my help in writing for him. His fiancé would write back and say she would marry him and no one else. That brought a smile to his face and I told him his scars would heal and he would be fit soon. I can’t find a word adequate enough to describe the kind of courage and their love for India, I saw day after day. All I knew was that I had grown up overnight and I would never forget the experience. I felt humbled and proud that we had men of such caliber defending our country. Can our Prime Minister and our bureaucrats still debate One Rank One Pension? Author Ashali Varma Freelance journalist Ashali Varma has authored the biography of her father late Lt. Gen. PS Bhagat — ‘The Victoria Cross: A Love Story
Tuesday, 18 August 2015
The current LoC narrative and India’s response Posted on 19/08/2015 by Dailyexcelsior Lt Gen Syed Ata Hasnain (Retd) In conventional warfare command decisions are based on a range of options, the escalation matrix is well understood and risk is quite easily calculated on the basis of resources, surprise and leadership. However, in irregular warfare the challenge of decision making is sometimes of a higher order. Keeping the threshold low and escalation within control is difficult. The situation on the LoC in J&K is tricky and quite unlike situations which present themselves in conventional operations. However, a non-military mind may not fully grasp this as common perception prevails that there is nothing more to ceasefire violations than simply kinetic responses, the tit for tat concept. The ‘force on force’ approach has never found winners and is considered the unprofessional way of tackling an adversary. However, India’s military leadership which is quite capable of ‘indirect approach’ is yet to fully exploit the chinks in Pakistan’s armor. Has the time come for ratcheting our response by many notches? The situation which presents itself needs a brief reiteration. The Valley and its LoC segment is comparatively quiet and even in the hinterland only small scale militant actions are taking place; mainly by our proactive search for contact. South of PirPanjal the LoC is active both in the Poonch-Rajouri segment and the Jammu IB sector. Large scale terrorist actions have not been attempted although the Udhampur ambush, Gurdaspur strike and the earlier actions at Samba and Kathua severely tested India’s will and tolerance despite being classified as small scale in nature, in the comparison of terror related events. Infiltration which can never be zero is down to very low levels although Naveed, the young Pakistani terrorist captured at Udhampur has confirmed his route of infiltration in Gulmarg sector. It may be incorrect to dismiss the ceasefire violations in passing; these are assuming dimensions larger than witnessed for many years. In pre-2003 daysthe exchanges were far heavier but they could still be accepted. In today’s world of televised news they form a breaking news story every day, hurting the sensitivities of the public. This in turn is putting pressure on the Government and much more on the Army which is required to respond and put an end to this. Armies are not very good at calibrated responses; they prefer a no holds barred engagement. In trans LoC exchanges of fire there can only be temporary victories between armies; the effect on troops is marginal but the civil population in the vicinity suffers immensely. We are apparently still in the mode of counting the number of violations by Pakistan Army without realizing that the ceasefire in the South of Pir Panjal is as good as dead. It continues to hold in the Valley’s LoC segment. Can we declare boldly that the ceasefire has ceased to exist and India reserves the right to use its weaponry and manpower at place and time of choosing? There never was a formal ceasefire agreement, just a declaration by both sides with Pakistan no doubt taking the lead. Pakistan is firm of the belief that India is too obsessed with her economic growth and development to risk a full scale conflict. It is calculating its risks very carefully so as not to breach the limit of tolerance or the proverbial ‘tipping point’. The nuclear capability is an artificial protection which Pakistan’s military leadership considers its trump card and which it assesses will keep India acting rationally. Its leaders give veiled threats of the use of the nuclear option if India responds conventionally. With this assessment Pakistan feels emboldened to play the J&K card even as it is embroiled in bitter and violent turbulence brought on by home grown terror. It is also seeking to enhance its strategic hold over Afghanistan. Having sensed J&K slipping from its control it has gone into an overdrive which it feels it can calibrate. Given the analysis above it is clear that the nexus of the Deep State is completely outside the ambit of political control in Pakistan and it can act irrationally to the extreme without considering the impact or outcome of its actions. Pakistan’s recent foreign policy successes with different international players, has added to this confidence. The bottom line seems to be that India will not risk conflict, it will respond in kind on the LoC and this will help in sensitizing the international community on the potential of war in a nuclear environment. From the utterances on media there seems to be a tutored line to demand investigation by a neutral agency recommended to be UNMOGIP, in order to revive the UN resolutions. As a result of its actions Pakistan is attempting to brow beat India militarily, diplomatically and most important psychologically. In the season of the run up to the Golden Jubilee of the 1965 Indo Pak Conflict, Pakistan realizes that there is considerable research going on in India and the celebratory events will project the defeat of the Pakistan Armed Forces. By upping the ante through LoC exchanges it hopes to retain the self-image of being the victor of the 1965 conflict. What are India’s options? This question a week before the slated NSA level talks does appear strange and puts the Government under pressure. Through history nations have often remained engaged in discussions even as armies fought on the battlefield. It is a part of the comprehensive narrative of war that whatever be the level of engagement the last edge of the war spectrum is never reached; a miniscule window is always open for reason or conveyance of messages. The Indian Government need never be under pressure on the issue of talks and engagement and can adopt other proactive measures which continue to counter the adversary’s intent. We too have a perception of an escalation matrix and can work within its parameters. What would this involve? Firstly, public perception cannot be wished away. It cannot lose its confidence in the capability of its armed forces. Therefore a response in kind along the LoC is an absolute necessity. It needs to be to a plan and not just a shell for shell and bomb for bomb response. There are many areas in which we hold a major terrain advantage. In 2011 the J&K media would recall reports from PoK of a segment of people there who held a demonstration before the office of the local DC demanding that Jihadi terrorists be evicted from their area as the people did not wish to see the triggering of exchanges of shelling along the LoC. There are many such locations along the LoC where we hold a major advantage towards hurting the logistics of the Pakistan Army and imposing a time and financial penalty. These are well known within the Army. The transLoC small pin prick actions can be responded in kind quite easily as was done prior to 2003. These are just the first baby steps in response and we need not even be in denial mode on these as Pakistan is. Pakistan can escalate in response, by expanding the ambit to Ladakh; it is not as if we have not lived with this in the past. It is just the quest for rationalism and better sense which has dictated our response discourse. In the bargain a perception has been built within the Deep State that we will not defend our honor because we are obsessed with our growth process. This perception has to be firmly put down through an escalatory ladder of response. Secondly, the openness of media and the free discussion on India’s military capabilities in the true democratic spirit may have hurt us in terms of a negative perception. This perception appears to have seeped into Pakistan’s thinking. The lack of modernization of artillery and air defence, the inability to induct helicopters and the MMRCA as also aspects such as insufficient ammunition holdings are no doubt issues of concern. However, many of these problems have existed and it is not as if the Pakistan Armed Forces are equipped optimally. India’s Armed Forces need to shed their reticence, speak up and demonstrate. They cannot be perceived to be defensive when offensive nature of conflict forms the cornerstone of their doctrine. The message should be clear; we are prepared always, the gaps are work in progress. In recent years the Indian Armed Forces have taken a psychological beating due to being embroiled in nonprofessional issues. They are tied in thousands of legal cases involving personnel, pensions, land etc which dilutes the perception of their professionalism. This appears to be sending home incorrect messages to our adversaries. It is a world of perception and psychological warfare has never been our strongest point. The recent OROP controversy needs to be placed at rest the earliest as it is harming our national image. Pakistan must be under no delusion that this has affected our war fighting capability. Only a few aspects of escalation have been explained above due to space constraints. Our professional warriors know the game well and need to demand their space from the Government. At the Government level my only recommendation is the early conception of psychological warfare machinery. It can start with the MoD loosening the ropes on the public information system of the three Services,in which strides are being made but only gingerly. Half the problem on the LoC is because of incorrect perception that the Deep State holds. Time we gave the perception that we can be even more irrational than what Pakistan is. Who better than the NSA to convey that message and leave the spectrum of response open as per our choic
Monday, 17 August 2015
ज्यांनी देशासाठी गोळ्या झेलल्या त्यांचे काय हे हाल! Monday, August 17th, 2015 सियाचीन आणि कारगीलच्या बर्फाळ शिखरांवर, राजस्थानच्या तप्त वाळवंटात, लेह-लडाखच्या विचित्र हवामानात, चीनच्या सीमेवर, कश्मीरातील सतत गोळीबार सुरू असणार्या चौक्यांवर कर्तव्य बजावणार्या सैनिकांच्या न्याय्य मागण्यांवर विचार करण्याऐवजी चालढकल केली जात आहे. सीमेवर लढणार्या जवानांना निवृत्तीनंतर आपल्याच सरकारशी लढावे लागते. पाकड्यांच्या गोळ्या ज्यांनी झेलल्या त्यांना स्वराज्यातील पोलिसी दंडुके झेलून अपमानित व्हावे लागते. हे क्लेशदायक आहे. वन रँक वन पेन्शन ज्यांनी देशासाठी गोळ्या झेलल्या त्यांचे काय हे हाल! ‘‘एकतर मी तिरंगा फडकवून परत येईन नाहीतर तिरंग्यात लपेटलेला माझा देह परत येईल, पण मी परत येणार हे मात्र निश्चित’’ – शहीद कॅप्टन विक्रम बात्रा ज्यांनी स्वातंत्र्य मिळवले व ते राखण्यासाठी बलिदान दिले त्यांनाच स्वातंत्र्य दिनी धक्काबुक्की झाली तर ते बरोबर नाही. ज्यांनी देशाच्या सीमांचे रक्षण केले अशा निवृत्त जवानांची लढाई सध्या दिल्लीच्या ‘जंतरमंतर’वर सुरू आहे. ‘वन रँक वन पेन्शन’च्या मागणीसाठी ‘जंतरमंतर’वर आंदोलन करणार्या निवृत्त सैनिकांना सुरक्षेच्या कारणावरून हुसकावण्याचा प्रयत्न झाला. स्वातंत्र्य दिनाच्या पूर्वसंध्येस दिल्ली पोलीस ‘जंतरमंतर’वर घुसले व निवृत्त सैनिकांचा अपमान करून त्यांना तेथून पळवून लावण्याचा प्रयत्न केला, निवृत्त जवानांचे तंबू उखडले. पोस्टर्स व बॅनर्सची फाडाफाड केली. दिल्ली पोलिसांनी आव तर असा आणला होता की, ‘जंतरमंतर’वरून निघून जाता की तुमच्या कमरेत लाथा घालू? देशाच्या स्वातंत्र्य दिनाच्या पूर्वसंध्येला दिल्लीत घडलेला हा प्रकार लज्जास्पद व चिंताजनक होता. रामलीला मैदानावर आंदोलनास बसलेल्या रामदेवबाबांच्या तंबूत पोलीस घुसले तेव्हा रामदेवबाबा स्त्रीवेशात पळून गेले. त्या पोलीस कारवाईवर जबरदस्त टीकेची झोड उठवून मनमोहन सिंग यांना आरोपीच्या पिंजर्यात उभे करणारेच आज सत्ताधारी आहेत व त्यांचे दंडुके हिंदुस्थानच्या जवानांवर उगारले जात आहेत. पुन्हा जंतरमंतरवर न्याय्य हक्कासाठी आंदोलन करणार्यांना निवृत्त सैनिक कसे म्हणायचे? कारण सैनिक हा अखेरच्या श्वासापर्यंत फक्त सैनिकच असतो. त्यामुळे ‘जंतरमंतर’वर आपल्या मागण्यांसाठी धरणे धरून बसलेले लष्करी अधिकारी व जवान हे आजही लढवय्याच्या भूमिकेत आहेत. जवानांची मागणी एकदम सिधीसाधी आहे. सैन्यातून प्रथम निवृत्त होणार्या जवान व अधिकार्यांना जे पेन्शन दिले जाते ते त्यांच्यानंतर अनेक वर्षांनी त्याच पदावरून निवृत्त होणार्यांच्या तुलनेत खूपच कमी आहे. हा विरोधाभास आहे. जर ‘रँक’ सारखी असेल तर पेन्शनसुद्धा सारखेच मिळावे हा निसर्गाचा नियम आहे. पण ‘वन रँक वन पेन्शन’साठी जवानांना रस्त्यावर उतरावे लागते व आपल्याच सरकारविरुद्ध पोटापाण्याची लढाई करावी लागते. अनेक वर्षांपासून ही मागणी सुरू आहे व न्यायाची मागणी असूनही ती लाल फितीत गुंडाळून केराच्या टोपलीत फेकली जात आहे. खासदार व आमदार विधान मंडळात एकमताने आपले वेतन आणि भत्ते वाढवून घेतात. सरकारी कर्मचारी स्वत:साठी महागाई भत्ते वाढवून घेतात व नव्या वेतन आयोगाच्या नेमणुका करून घेतात, पण सियाचीन आणि कारगीलच्या बर्फाळ शिखरांवर, राजस्थानच्या तप्त वाळवंटात, लेह-लडाखच्या विचित्र हवामानात, चीनच्या सीमेवर, नथुला खिंडीत, कश्मीरातील सतत गोळीबार सुरू असणार्या चौक्यांवर कर्तव्य बजावणार्या सैनिकांच्या न्याय्य मागण्यांवर विचार करण्याऐवजी फक्त चालढकल केली जात आहे. जवानांनी देशासाठी मरायचे, रक्त सांडायचे, कायमचे जायबंदी होऊन विकलांग जीवन जगायचे व देशासाठी रक्ताचा एकही थेंब न सांडणार्यांनी याच जवानांवर अन्याय करायचा, हे थांबणार आहे की नाही? मोदी सरकारची ही जबाबदारी आहे. कॉंग्रेसचे राज्य घालवून मोदींचे राज्य आणण्यासाठी लाखो निवृत्त सैनिकांनी जी प्रचारकाची जबाबदारी निभावली त्याचे मोल मोठेच आहे. मोदी यांची पंतप्रधानपदाचे उमेदवार म्हणून घोषणा केल्यानंतर १५ सप्टेंबर २०१३ रोजी त्यांची जाहीर सभा हरयाणाच्या रेवडी येथे झाली. ‘तुम्ही मला सत्ता द्या, अनेक वर्षांपासून प्रलंबित असलेल्या ‘वन रँक वन पेन्शन’चा निर्णय अमलात आणू’, असे वचन तेव्हा मोदी यांनी दिले होते. केंद्रात मोदी सरकार येऊन सवा वर्ष झाले व त्याच मागणीसाठी लष्करी अधिकारी व जवान दिल्लीत आंदोलनासाठी बसले आहेत. अण्णा हजारे याच मागणीसाठी दिल्लीत कडाकडा बोटे मोडून गेले. राहुल गांधीही ‘जंतरमंतर’वर गेले तेव्हा जवानांनी त्यांची हुर्यो उडवून त्यांना परत पाठवले. कारण मागील दहा वर्षे मनमोहन सिंगांचे राज्य होते तेव्हा ‘वन रँक वन पेन्शन’चा प्रश्न का सोडवला नाही? असा त्यांचा रास्त सवाल आहे. सीमेवर लढणार्या जवानांना निवृत्तीनंतर आपल्याच सरकारशी लढावे लागते. पाकड्यांच्या गोळ्या ज्यांनी झेलल्या त्यांना स्वराज्यातील पोलिसी दंडुके झेलून अपमानित व्हावे लागते. हे क्लेशदायक आहे. केंद्र सरकारने ‘वन रँक वन पेन्शन’बाबत तातडीने पावले उचलायलाच हवीत
Sunday, 16 August 2015
प्रसन्न जोशी नागालँडमधील उखरुल जिल्ह्यात ‘तांगखुल नागा’ समाजात एका मराठी माणसाला आजही देवाचा दर्जा दिला जातो. त्या थोर सेवाभावीचे नाव आहे, शंकर दिनकर ऊर्फ भय्याजी काणे. रत्नागिरीच्या वरवडे येथे जन्मलेले भय्याजी प.पू. गोळवलकर गुरुजींच्या बौद्धिकाने प्रभावित होऊन, १९५९ साली रा. स्व. संघाचे पूर्णवेळ प्रचारक बनले. १९५९ ते १९७१ या काळात त्यांनी प्रचारकपदी राहून महाराष्ट्र आणि कर्नाटकात संघ कार्याच्या विस्तारात महत्त्वाची भूमिका बजावली. १९७१ साली संघ प्रचारकाचे कार्य थांबविल्यानंतर ते नागालँडमध्ये स्थायिक झाले. उदरनिर्वाहासाठी तेथील एका महाविद्यालयात शिक्षक म्हणून त्यांनी नोकरी पत्करली, पण त्यांच्यातील एक खंदा कार्यकर्ता आणि कुशल संघटक अजूनही जागरूक होता. भारतातील ईशान्य पूर्वकडील राज्ये चीन, म्यानमार आणि बांगलादेश यांनी वेढलेले आहेत. या वेढ्यात आसाम, नागालँड, मणिपूर, अरुणाचल प्रदेश मिझोराम, त्रिपुरा आणि सिक्कीम आदी राज्ये आहेत. हा भाग भय्याजींनी संघकार्यासाठी पिंजून काढला. त्यावेळी या भागात ख्रिस्ती मिशनर्यांनी आपल्या सेवाकार्याच्या नावाने चांगलेच हातपाय पसरले होते. तेथील भाबड्या जनतेच्या गरिबीचा गैरफायदा घेऊन धर्मांतरणाची मोहीमच नागालँड आणि आसपासच्या परिसरात राबवली जात होती. समाजसेवेच्या पडद्याआड शाळा, रुग्णालये सुरू करून मिशनर्यांनी नागांचे मोठ्या चलाखीने धर्मांतरण घडवले. याचे प्रतिबिंब आजही नागालँडमध्ये पाहावयास मिळते. येथील स्युई, अंगामी, आअ, कुबई, कचा, लेंगमी, कोन्याक, लेथा, रेंगमा, जेलियांग या नागा समूहांपैकी बहुसंख्य नागरिक हे ख्रिस्ती धर्मीय आहेत. भय्याजी प्राथमिक शाळेत शिक्षक म्हणून काम करीत असताना, ते विद्यार्थ्यांचे परमस्नेही बनले होते. मिशनर्यांच्या धर्मांतरणाच्या कारवाया पाहून अस्वस्थ झालेल्या भय्याजींना, नव्या पिढीला या चक्रव्यूहातून वाचवले पाहिजे, असे नेहमी वाटायचे. त्यासाठी नागा विद्यार्थ्यांना इतर प्रांतात पाठवून मिशनर्यांच्या ख्रिस्तीकरणाच्या छुप्या कारवाया हाणून पाडण्याचा प्रयत्न भय्याजी करीत होते. त्यावेळी त्यांनी नागांना ‘‘तुमच्या मुलांना मी इतर राज्यांमध्ये नेऊन शिकवेन,’’ असे सांगितले, पण मिशनर्यांच्या प्रभावामुळे त्यांच्याकडे संशयाने पाहिले जात होते. यातूनच नागांनी त्यांना अनेकदा मारहाणही केली, पण त्यानंतरही भय्याजींनी आपला घेतलेला वसा खाली ठेवला नाही आणि सातत्याने विद्यार्थ्यांना शिक्षित करण्याचे महत् प्रयत्न करीतच राहिले. भय्याजींची जिद्द पाहून नागांनीच अखेर माघार घेतली अन् ‘‘तुम्ही तुमचा मुलगा ओलीस ठेवत असाल, तर आमच्या मुलांना पाठवू,’’ अशी अट भय्याजींना घातली. यानंतर भय्याजींनी सुरुवातीला डोंबिवलीतल्या कुटुंबाला राजी केले. त्यांचा एक मुलगा मणिपुरात ठेवला. असे करत भय्याजींनी पाचशेच्या वर पूर्वांचलच्या विद्यार्थ्यांना देशभर पाठवले. हे विद्यार्थी जेव्हा शिकून स्वगृही परतले, तेव्हा भय्याजी इथल्या लोकांचे देवच बनले. हा सर्व उल्लेख करण्याचे कारण म्हणजे, भय्याजींच्या या व्यापक कार्यामुळे आज नागा लोक भारताशी, भारतीयांशी एकरूप होऊ लागले आहेत. स्वातंत्र्यप्राप्तीनंतर स्वतंत्र नागालँडची मागणी करणार्या ‘नागा नॅशनल काऊंन्सिल’ (एन.एन.सी) या फुटीरतावादी संघटनेलादेखील आता आपली स्वतंत्र देशाची मागणी थंड्या बस्त्यात टाकून, भारत सरकारसोबत सामंजस्य करार करावा लागला. एखाद्या चांगल्या गोष्टीची सुरुवात व्हायची असेल, तर त्यासाठी जो संवाद अपेक्षित असतो, तो संवाद भय्याजींनी त्या काळी सुरू केला अन् आज त्याचे मूर्त रूप आकारास येताना दिसत आहे. स्वातंत्र्यप्राप्तीनंतर आंगाम फिजो यांनी ‘नागा नॅशनल काऊंन्सिल’ (एन.एन.सी) ही संघटना स्थापन करून, स्वतंत्र नागालँड देशाची मागणी केली. यावेळी त्यांना तत्कालिन ख्रिस्ती मिशनर्यांनी आणि त्याचबरोबर चीननेदेखील खतपाणी घातले. एन.एन.सी.ने प्रस्तावित ग्रेटर नागालँडमध्ये उखरुल, सेनापती, तामेनलॉंग, चंदेल या नागाबहुल असलेल्या जिल्ह्यांना स्वतंत्र करण्याची मागणी केली. यासाठी फिजोंनी आपले स्वतंत्र सैन्यदलच उभारून, भारत सरकारला आव्हान दिले. भारत सरकारने हे आव्हान मोडून काढण्यासाठी १९५२ साली मोठी कारवाई हाती घेतली. या कारवाईत बंडखोरांना पिंजून पिंजून संपवले, पण तरीही फिजो शांत झाले नव्हते. त्यांनी स्वतंत्र नागालँड देशाची मागणी लावूनच धरली. त्यावर तोडगा काढण्यासाठी १९६३ साली जयप्रकाश नारायण यांच्या पुढाकारातून एक शांती करार करण्यात आला. त्यानुसार आसाम राज्यातील नागाबहुल डोंगराळ प्रदेशांना ’स्वतंत्र राज्य’ म्हणून घोषित करण्यात आले. यातून भारतीय संघराज्याच्या नव्या राज्याची निर्मिती झाली, तेच आजचे ‘नागालँड’. फिजोंना राज्य नकोच होते, त्यांना हवा होता एक स्वतंत्र, सार्वभौम नागाबहुल देश! त्यासाठी फिजोंनी भारताविरुद्ध आपले छुपे युद्ध सुरूच ठेवले. १९९० साली फिजोंच्या मृत्यूनंतर एन.एन.सी.चे नेतृत्व मुईवाह, आयझॅक, खापलँग व खोले कोन्याक या त्यांच्या अनुयायांकडे आले. १९७५ साली झालेला शिलॉंग करार मुईवाह गटाला मान्य नव्हता. त्यामुळे त्यांनी वेगळी चूल मांडून ३० जानेवारी, १९८० रोजी ‘नॅशनल सोशलिस्ट काऊंन्सिल ऑफ नागालँड’ ही स्वतंत्र संघटना स्थापन केली, तर सी. एस. आयॅझक यांच्या गटाने नुकताच मणिपूरमध्ये भारतीय लष्करावर हल्ला चढवला. ते खापलँग मुईवाह यांच्यासोबत होते. खापलँग आणि मुईवाह यांच्यात नेतृत्वावरून मतभेद झाल्याने खापलांग १९८८ साली बाहेर पडले आणि त्यांनी ‘नॅशनल सोशलिस्ट काऊंन्सिल ऑफ नागालँड, खापलँग (एनएससीएन-के) ही स्वतंत्र संघटना काढली. तेव्हापासून नागलँडमध्ये हिंसात्मक कारवाया वाढल्या अन् हे नवे राज्य सातत्याने धुमसतच राहिले. १९९८ साली सत्तेत आलेल्या वाजपेयी सरकारनेदेखील एनएससीएनशी चर्चा सुरू केली आणि त्यामुळे इतर नागावादी संघटनांनी मणिपूर पेटवून दिले. एकीकडे नागालँडशी मणिपूरचा सीमावाद सुरू असताना, राज्यात ‘मैतेयी विरुद्ध जनजाती’ या स्थानिक जमातींमध्ये संघर्ष सुरू होता. मैतेयींचा सरकारवर वरचष्मा असल्यामुळे सरकारी फायदे त्यांनीच लाटले. परिणामी, जनजातींचा मैतेयींशी संघर्ष सुरू झाला आणि याच मुद्द्यावर मैतेयीतल्या काही गटांनी केंद्र सरकारशी शड्डू ठोकला. मणिपूरचा भारताशी संबंध नसल्याचा दावा करून येथील कांग्लैपाक कम्युनिस्ट पार्टी, पीपल्स युनायटेड लिबरेशन फ्रण्ट, एनएससीएनच्या दोन्ही गटांनी राज्यात सशस्त्र बंड पुकारले. याला तेथील मुस्लीम गटांचेही पाठबळ लाभले. ३३ गटांनी पूर्वांचल सतत धुमसत ठेवले आणि याला चीनने आणि बांगलादेशने रसद पुरवण्याचे काम सातत्याने केले. कारण १९१७ मध्ये इंग्रजांच्या मॅकमोहन रेषेने भारत आणि चीन यांच्यातील सीमारेषा निश्चित झाल्या. त्याला आज ‘सिमला अकोर्ड’ म्हणतात. १९३८ मध्ये स्वातंत्र्यपूर्व काळातील भारतीय सैन्याने तवांगचा ताबा घेतला. त्यानंतर तो भारताचा भाग बनला. त्यापूर्वी तो तिबेटचा भाग म्हणून ओळखला जात होता. तिबेट चीनचा भाग म्हणून ओळखला जात असे. १९४१ मध्ये जपान युद्धानंतर तत्कालीन आसाम सरकारने अनेक हालचाली केल्या आणि त्यावेळच्या नॉर्थ इस्ट फ्रन्टीयर एजन्सी (एन.ई.एफ.ए.)च्या माध्यमातून तवांगचा शासकीय कब्जा मिळविला. आज याच एनईएफएचे नामकरण अरुणाचल प्रदेश असे झाले आहे. १९५१ पूर्वी या भागातील काही ठिकाणी चिनी लोकांच्या वसाहती होत्या. त्यामुळे आजही चिनी त्यावर आपला हक्क सांगतात. याच काळात चीनने तिबेटला घशात घातल्यामुळे, तवांगवरदेखील चीन आपला हक्क सांगतो. १९६२ च्या युद्धात फार थोड्या काळाकरिता तवांगवर चीनने कब्जा मिळवला होता. २० नोव्हेंबर रोजी युद्धविरामाच्या घोषणेनंतर चिनी सैनिक माघारी गेले, परंतु आजही चीनने आपला हेका सोडला नाहीय. सातत्याने तवांग हा आपलाच भाग असल्याचे सांगत आहेत. २००३ मध्ये तिबेटीयन बौद्ध धर्मगुरू दलाई लामा यांनी अरुणाचल हा तिबेटचा भाग आहे, असे वादग्रस्त विधान केले होते. यानंतर २००८ मध्ये त्यांना साक्षात्कार झाला आणि त्यांनी मॅकमोहन रेषा मान्य करून, तवांग भारताचाच भाग असल्याचे जाहीर केले, पण यावेळी चीन आणि तिबेटमध्ये घडलेल्या काही घडामोडींमुळे ड्रॅगनची वक्रदृष्टी तिबेटसोबतच दलाई लामांवर पडली अन् दलाई लामांना भारतात पळ काढावा लागला. तेजपूरमार्गे ते भारतात पोहोचले. आजही चीनला दलाई लामा हवे आहेत, पण ते भारतात आहेत. त्यामुळेच चीन भारतीय सीमेवर अस्वस्थता निर्माण करत आहे, शिवाय चीनला आपल्या साम्राज्यवाढीसाठी ‘स्ट्रिंग ऑफ पर्ल्स’चा फास आवळण्यासाठी भारतीय भूमीचाच वापर करायचा होता. कॉंग्रेस सरकारच्या उदासिनतेमुळे चीनच्या या मनसुब्यांना पोषक वातावरण नागालँडमध्ये मिळत गेले आणि दहशतवाद अधिकच बोकाळला. नरेंद्र मोदी पंतप्रधान झाल्यापासून चीनचे हे मनसुबे धुळीस मिळवण्यास सुरुवात झाली. सर्वप्रथम त्यांनी नेपाळला जवळ केले, त्याचबरोबर बांगलादेशसोबतचे जुने प्रश्न निकाली काढून त्या देशालाही आपल्या बाजूने केले. आता मोदींनी भारतातील फुटीरतावाद्यांशी चर्चा करण्यास सुरुवात केली आहे. या प्रयत्नातीलच पहिला भाग म्हणून फुटीरतावाद्यांची मुख्य टोळी, मुईवाहची एनएससीएन या संघटनेला सोबत घेऊन नागालँडमध्ये शांतता प्रस्थापित करण्यासाठी पावले उचललेली आहेत. या ऐतिहासिक करारानंतर सोनिया गांधींनी टीका करण्यास सुरुवात केली. ‘सबका साथ, सबका विकास’ म्हणणार्या मोदींनी नागालँडमधील प्रश्नाच्या या करारावेळी त्या राज्याच्या मुख्यमंत्र्यांना विश्वासात घेतले नाही, पण वास्तविक, नागालँडचे मुख्यमंत्री झेलिंग हेच फुटीरवाद्यांचे हस्तक असल्याचा आरोप त्यांच्यावर होत आला आहे. त्यामुळेच त्यांना या करारावेळी चार हात लांब ठेऊन, करार करण्यात आल्याचे या भागाचा अभ्यास करणार्या जाणकरांचे मत आहे. सध्या एनएससीएन आणि भारत सरकार यांच्यातील सामंजस्य करारातील कोणत्याही बाबी उघड झाल्या नसल्या, तरी एनएससीएनसारख्या संघटनेला आपली स्वतंत्र राष्ट्राची मागणी बासनात गुंडाळून ठेवावी लागली आहे. त्यामुळेच आता इतर संघटनांनादेखील आपले बंडाचे अस्त्र म्यान करावेच लागणार आहे. कॉंग्रेसने पूर्वोत्तर राज्यांकडे सातत्याने दुर्लक्ष केल्याने, येथील जनता विकासाच्या मुख्य प्रवाहापासून कोसो दूर राहिलेली आहे. त्यांना आता विकासाच्या मुख्य प्रवाहात आणण्यासाठी पंतप्रधान मोदींनी उचललेले हे पाऊल, त्या भागाच्या सर्वांगीण विकासासाठी महत्त्वाचे ठरणारे आहे. यामुळे नागालँडची संस्कृती, तेथील सभ्यता, कलागुणांना वाव मिळणार आहे. नागा समाजाचे प्रश्न सोडवण्यासाठी केंद्र सरकारने या कराराआधीच तब्बल १० कोटी रुपये राज्य सरकारला देऊ केले होते. आता या करारामुळे या प्रदेशात शांतता आणि सुव्यवस्था बळकट होऊन, दिलेला पैसे हे विकास कामांसाठीच खर्च केले जातील. भय्याजींनी येथील जनतेला विकासाच्या मुख्य प्रवाहात आणण्यासाठी जे प्रयत्न सुरू केले होते, त्याला आता खर्या अर्थाने सुरुवात झाली आहे.
Saturday, 15 August 2015
विद्याधर वैद्य इंटेलिजन्स ब्यूरोचे माजी उपसंचालक अशोक कर्णिक यांचे गुरुवारी सकाळी निधन झाले. ते ८३ वर्षांचे होते. त्यांच्या आठवणींना उजाळा देणारा इंटेलिजन्स ब्यूरोचे निवृत्त डायरेक्टर विद्याधर वैद्य यांचा हा विशेष लेख... गुप्तहेर व्यवसायात अख्खी कारकीर्द घालवलेल्या व्यक्तीबद्दल गोपनीयतेचे उल्लंघन न करता, लिहायचे तरी कसे? आणि ती व्यक्ती जवळचा मित्रच असेल, तर हा प्रश्न तसा कठीणच आहे; परंतु भावना व्यक्त केल्याशिवाय राहवत पण नाही. माझी नेमकी हीच अवस्था झाली आहे. एका दिवसाआड तरी कर्णिकांशी माझा दीर्घ वार्तालाप होत असे. आता हे सर्व संपले, ही कल्पनाच सहन होत नाही. अशोक कर्णिक यांचे व्यक्तिमत्त्व हे या सर्व वस्तुस्थितीहून पलीकडचे होते. जुन्या पिढीतील नावाजलेले साहित्यिक वा. भ. कर्णिक यांचे अशोक हे चिरंजीव. इतका दुर्मिळ साहित्यिक वारसा त्यांनी केवळ जपला नाही, तर पुढे उत्तम चालवला. त्याला गमतीदार विरोधाभास असा की, सार्वजनिक मंडळींसाठी लिहिणार्या एका लेखकाच्या या चिरंजीवांनी आपली संपूर्ण कारकीर्द भारताच्या प्रमुख गुप्तहेर संस्था, इंटेलिजन्स ब्यूरो (आय.बी.)साठी मलिक गोपनीय अहवाल लिहिण्यात घालविली. अशा व्यक्तीचा चेहरा, ओळख समाजाला कशी होणार? पण ही कसर त्यांनी १९९० साली निवृत्तीनंतर आपला लेखनाचा व्यासंग तितक्याच उत्साहाने पुढे चालू ठेवून, भरून काढली हे नक्की. सरकारी नोकरीतले गोपनीयतेचे साखळदंड गुप्तहेर अधिकार्यांवर जरा जास्तच आवळलेले असतात, हे मी स्वानुभवाने सांगतो, कारण मी स्वत: अडीच वर्षे आय.बी.चा प्रमुख राहून निवृत्त झालो. नोकरीदरम्यान देश हिताशी निगडित अनेक घटनांचे साक्षीदार असणार्या व्यक्तीस ही बंधने पाळत सभोवतालच्या सामाजिक घडामोडींवर निष्पक्ष भाष्य करताना ही कसरत करावी लागते. हे येरा गबाळ्याचे काम नव्हे. कर्णिकांच्या ठायी ते सर्व गुण होते. चालू घटनांवर घडतील, तसे लेख लिहिणे हा छंद त्यांनी निवृत्तीनंतरची २५ वर्षे अव्याहत चालू ठेवला. त्या क्रमाने त्या लेखांचे वाचन म्हणजे वाचकाला गेल्या पाव शतकाचा सरकता देखावाच अनुभवल्याचा भास होई, असे म्हटल्यास वावगे होणार नाही. ही गरज त्यांनी नुकतीच भरून काढली. आपल्या सर्व लेखांचे संकलन केलेले पुस्तकच चौकस व चोखंदळ वाचकांपुढे त्यांनी ठेवले. समीक्षकांनी या प्रयत्नाचे साहजिकच कौतुक केले. टी.व्ही.च्या वृत्तवाहिन्यांवर राजकीय घडामोडींवर होणार्या चर्चासत्रांत त्यांचा आवर्जून सहभाग असे. त्यात त्यांनी व्यक्त केलेले विचार सर्वांनाच प्रभावित करत. मी आणि कर्णिक एकाच व्यवसायातील, आय.बी.मधील अधिकारी. ३० वर्षांपेक्षा जास्त काळ आम्ही त्या संस्थेत घालवला. ते माझ्यापेक्षा वयाने व अनुभवाने चार वर्षे ज्येष्ठ. त्यांची व्यावसायिक परिपक्वता व कसब पाहता, मी त्यांना ज्येष्ठ बंधूच मानत असे. उमदे व्यक्तिमत्त्व, निगर्वी, मोकळा स्वभाव व माणसे जोडण्याची वृत्ती यामुळे त्यांचा मित्रपरिवार पण विस्तृत होता. सुविद्य पत्नी, दोन्ही मुली सुस्थळी पडल्याचे, नातवंडे पाहण्याचे समाधान त्यांना मिळाले. एक परिपूर्ण समृद्ध जीवन ते जगले. वयाची ८३ वर्षे ओलांडली, तरी त्यांचा उत्साह वाखाणण्याजोगा होता. म्हणून त्यांना जायलाच पाहिजे, हा काय नियम झाला? पण अशा व्यक्तीचे यश नियतीला पाहवत नसावे की काय, ती काही तरी निमित्ताच्या शोधातच असते. राहत्या घरीच घडलेला एक अनपेक्षित अपघात हेच ते निमित्त, त्यांच्या शेवटास कारणीभूत झाले. कुटुंबीयांच्या, माझ्या आणि विशाल मित्र समुदायाच्या मनात न भरून येणारी पोकळी निर्माण झाली. शेवटी एक गोष्ट, तर राहूनच गेली. सभोवतालच्या घडामोडींवर भाष्य करणारे लेख मी प्रथम कर्णिकांना पाठवत असे. त्यांवर त्यांच्या सूचना व अभिप्राय मला गरजेचा वाटे. त्यानंतरच सदर लेख प्रसिद्धीस धाडले जात. आता त्यांच्यावरच लिहिलेला हा लेख तसाच राहील आणि या पुढील लिखाणावर त्यांची नजर पडणार नाही, या विचाराने मन विषण्ण होते.
Why Bollywood doesn't salute Indian Army anymore Had our cinema treated the soldier better, perhaps public perception would have been slightly different. ART & CULTURE | Long-form | 14-08-2015 Gautam Chintamani Gautam Chintamani @GChintamani 7.01k Total Shares For a nation that won two major wars between 1971 and 1999, which also included the liberation of a nation, Bangladesh, in addition to participating in military operations in Sri Lanka, Maldives and providing one of the largest UN peace contingents across the world, the response of popular culture, especially Hindi cinema, to the armed forces has been abysmal. It's not like Hindi cinema doesn't have military or war based films every now and then, but it has largely failed to look at the soldier beyond the perfunctory. Even with India's armed forces having been more active during peace than war, popular Hindi cinema doesn't think beyond war films when it thinks of the soldier. It's inability to celebrate the soldier other than being a rabble-rousing patriot has somewhere ensured that men and women in uniform can't be seen as regular characters. This is also one of the major reasons why there has been a decline in the number of films being made with military themes. kargil-loc_081415122412.jpg LOC:Kargil (2003) In spite of films such as Haqeeqat (1964) and Upkar (1967) that explored varying sentiments of the Indian soldier from valour to despair to exhilaration during two different wars (1963 Sino-India and 1965 Indo-Pak respectively) the genre never really came into itself. With Upkar, Manoj Kumar not only answered the then Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri's clarion call of "Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan (Hail the Soldier, Hail the Farmer)" but also humanised the soldier. Despite that the onscreen soldier never really transcended certain boundaries that refuse to see him/her as a rounded entity. Films such as Chetan Anand's Hindustan Ki Kasam (1973) that highlighted the IAF's important role in the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation war portrayed a bit of the personal lives of Air Force officers but the mainstay of the film was still the war. Surprisingly even the years immediate to the success of the 1971 war didn't influence more films feting the soldier. It was almost a decade later that a standout film about the armed forces came along in Shashi Kapoor's Vijeta (1982). An unlikely star son debut, the film written by Dilip Chitre and Pandit Satyadev Dubey had an unusually layered narrative where Angad (Kunal Kapoor), a regular "unsure-of-his-future" middle class Indian youth, who also happens to be troubled by the marital discord between his parents (Rekha and Shashi Kapoor), joins the Air Force. Raised as a Sikh in the tradition of Punjabi Hindu families raising the elder son as Sikhs, Angad falls in love with his Christian flying instructor's (Amrish Puri) daughter (Supriya Pathak) and following an outbreak of war comes of age in the face of insurmountable odds. Directed by Govind Nahilani Vijeta remains one of the best films to explore the complexities of becoming a soldier and, in a sense, it wouldn't be incorrect to call it Top Gun before Top Gun (1986). sarfarosh_081415122541.jpg Sarfarosh (1999) Post Border (1997), the film industry viewed armed forces in a different light. Perhaps it had more to do with faces such as Sunny Deol, Akshaye Kumar, Sunil Shetty and Jackie Shroff attached to the soldier and the success of the film made the prospect of films based on the soldier a viable proposition. The dash of realism that JP Dutta's Border used in depicting the battle of Longewala probably inspired films such as Sarfarosh (1999) that talked about Pakistan-aided infiltration. Sarfarosh, interestingly enough, was released just about a month before the outbreak of the Kargil war. The spate of military-based films that followed the Kargil war, for instance, Pukar (2000) and Maa Tujhe Salaam (2002), traded the studied nuance of Sarfarosh and once again went back to defining a soldier in terms of war. In fact, a dialogue referring to Kargil was inserted into Pukar a few days after it was released to possibly ride the wave. The manner in which the Kargil war was telecast into our living rooms one would have thought that the heartfelt stories of gallantry on part of young heroes such as Captain Vikram Batra, PVC (Posthumous), Captain Anuj Nayyar MVC (Posthumous), Lt Manoj Pandey, PVC (Posthumous) and Grenadier Yogendra Singh Yadav, PVC would finally change the way Bollywood treated soldiers. The stories of the men who fought India's first televised war were perfect to introduce a new microcosm for the hero in Hindi cinema. Many of the valiant individuals hailed from regular backgrounds and across the length and breadth of the nation. And, what could have been better than the story being told by JP Dutta, the very man who changed the way Bollywood looked at the armed forces. Unfortunately, it was Dutta's LOC: Kargil (2003) that ended up practically killing any chance of treating the soldier as the hero next door. While LOC: Kargil's narrative covers the stories of the individuals such as the young man of 24, Captain Vikram Batra, who made the supreme sacrifice for his nation and even in the face of death he mock the enemy that as Madhuri Dixit was busy he decided to come over. The Param Veer Chakra awardee, Captain Batra, had promised his family to return from the war for sure, but he wasn't certain if he would come hoisting the tricolor or wrapped in it. He captured a strategic point and even though gravely injured while fighting three enemy soldiers in hand-to-hand combat, he decided to lead the next mission nudging his Subedar sahab at the last moment to come in front because the man had a wife and children back home. Like in life, Captain Batra's death, too, inspired his men and they charged with rage towards the enemy. When asked why did he want to join the Army, Lt Manoj Pandey replied "I want to win the Param Veer Chakra" and he kept his word. Given the task to clear enemy positions in the night so that daylight wouldn't make his battalion vulnerable the next morning, Lt Pandey moved his men in two groups under intense firing. He led the charge from one side and killed two enemy soldiers on the first bunker position that he cleared, moved to the second where he killed two more before he was fired upon his shoulders and legs while he attacked the third bunker yet he carried on. He threw a grenade and was fatally shot on his forehead but even in his final words "Na chhodnu (Don't spare' in Nepalese as he was in Gorkha Rifles)", Lt Pandey never gave up. Delhi boy Captain Anuj Nayyar led the charge on Pimple Complex once he saw his company commander get injured. He stormed the enemy bunkers and braved enemy fire to silence a machine gun that had almost halted Indian troops. Captain Nayyar had written many letters to his family and in one of them the 23-year old promised that till the last enemy was there he'd keep breathing and not die without fulfilling his duties for the country. Among the heroes, the story of Grenadier Yogendra Singh Yadav is a moving heroic tale beyond the description of words and perhaps an entire film unto itself. He volunteered to scale a 16,500-foot high cliff that housed an enemy bunker in the face of bullets and climbed the last 60 feet even after being hit by three bullets. Once he reached the top he threw the rope for the rest of the men, crawled to the bunker and hurled a grenade that made it possible for the rest of the platoon to climb up. Later Grenadier Yadav charged to the second bunker and in a hand-to-hand combat killed four Pakistani soldiers and made it possible for Tiger Hill to be captured by India. What's more, believed to be dead for no one could possibly sustain such injuries, Grenadier Yadav was conferred the Param Vir Chakra, the highest Indian military honour, posthumously but was later, in fact, found to be alive as it was the death of his namesake that cause the confusion. But by the time Dutta's four-hours and 15-minute long film ended much of the humane aspect of these young men got lost in the crowd. The mega-budgeted spectacle had big stars portraying the men - Ajay Devgan (Lt Manoj Pandey), Abhishek Bachchan (Captain Vikram Batra), Saif Ali Khan (Captain Anuj Nayyar) - but the bevy of names that accompanied and the collective narratives took away the emotion even though Dutta showed bits of their backstories. The trouble with Bollywood while looking at the soldier is that it tends to view at them only in the context of war but when a man or woman joins the armed forces they don't cease to be the person they were before donning the uniform. They have full-blown lives with homes, families, friends, and neighbors and there is an entire world that exists, which a film like LOC: Kargil tried to pack into a few songs and set pieces. Captain Batra or Captain Anuj Nayyar or Lt Manoj Pandey were of the same age as Saheed Bhagat Singh and perhaps had the same love for their motherland but look at the difference with which the two stories are approached. The failure of LOC: Kargil distanced mainstream Hindi cinema from the armed forces and since then most films on the subject have been war films and such. The continual portrayal of the soldier as someone extraordinary has in turn distanced the average Indian citizen from seeing men and women in the armed forces as ordinary people with a beating heart. Most contemporary non-fiction literature that explores them usually sees them as unnecessary accessories to life in places such as J&K or the Northeast. Juxtapose this with the politicians beginning with Pt Jawaharlal Nehru who merrily downgraded the status of the armed forces including the service chiefs where, as early as 1951 they became junior to the chief ministers. Today, the three chiefs are placed at the 12th slot, which is lower than a nameless cabinet secretary. What explains the armed forces' selfless dedication to the nation when post-1971 the then PM Indira Gandhi didn't think twice before releasing over 90,000 Pakistani prisoners of war along with returning more than 13,000sqkm of land that Indian troops had seized as soon as the signing of the Simla Agreement, which many believed to be far too lenient to Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. There are stories in the newspapers about the serving Chief of Army Staff planning a "coup" and the onus is on the armed forces to "clear" the air instead of the journalists presenting evidence. When it comes to armed forces, it's their depiction in popular culture of the nation that gives the populace a chance to understand them. But in India most of it isn't bothered about chronicling the nameless soldier's contribution and, in certain cases even questioning some of their rights such as the One Rank One Pension (OROP). Very simply, OROP implies equal amount of pension for having served in the same rank and also having rendered the same length of service. This used to be the basis for determining pensions and benefits till 1973 when the then Congress government headed by Indira Gandhi terminated it following the third pay commission. The armed forces have been protesting ever since against the discrepancy but following the sixth pay commission it became glaring - a sepoy retired prior to 1996 got 82 per cent lower pension than a counterpart who retired post-2006 and a Major got 53 per cent lower pension than one who retired post 2006. In the heart of the national capital, soldiers who gave the best years of their lives for the nation are agitating for the implementation of OROP that has been granted to them by a ruling of the Supreme Court. Instead of seeing it as an ode to the unknown soldier, who has ensured our safety ever since the birth of the modern republic of India, we couldn't be bothered less. It's not only war that armed forces fight for our safety, but also rescue missions they undertake during natural disasters or any national emergency. But when was the last time you saw a film where an army man or woman was doing something as normal as enjoying a cappuccino? While it would be stupid to put the blame squarely on Bollywood, but had our cinema treated the soldier better perhaps the common perception would have been slightly different. At least, no one would have had a problem with the soldier getting a little respect without pleading for it.