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The Great Indian Dream

The Great Indian Dream

It’s that time of the year when dreams of a few thousand are realized. And those of a few hundred thousand shattered. Declaration of results – from the Class XII boards to competitive exams like IIT-JEE and CPMT invariably throws up two types of stories in newspapers. First are the exhilarating success stories of toppers – images of garlanded youngsters being fed sweets by beaming parents. The second are heart rending tales of suicides by … Read entire article »

Filed under: Education

Join the army – and die!

Foot in the mouth disease is a common affliction of the Indian politician. It comes in two basic forms – the ‘shoot and claim misquote’ and ‘shoot and apologize’. Dr Bhim Singh, the minister from Bihar was struck down by the latter when he asserted quite indignantly that “people join the army to die”. Of course, he duly expressed remorse and apologized following a media driven outrage. But the truth is that one is not surprised to hear the attitude displayed by his remarks. Possibly in the throes of the virulent affliction mentioned earlier, Bhim Singh voiced his opinion on the role of the soldiers – that of cannon fodder, paid to lay down their lives for the great nation that the likes of him govern. And while he was … Read entire article »

Filed under: Blogitorial, Boundary Dispute, Military, Politics, Values

Bara Khana Limerick

Cribbing is a part of everyday life in every organization – a healthy way for people to let off steam. It often prevents pent up emotions from being vented in a more dangerous or harmful manner. We have all grown up in service listening to humorous satirical ditties, songs and skits by Jawans at Bara Khanas. In one’s experience, these have been good natured attempts at pulling the legs of officers and JCOs. They are tongue in cheek efforts to put across a point, request or complaint that can’t probably be raised in more formal fora like the Sainik Sammelan. They are generally witty, very entertaining and full of earthy humour – and they rarely miss the point. One expected something similar when a file titled Barakhana_Limerick landed as an email … Read entire article »

Filed under: Military, Regimental spirit, Traditions, Welfare

An Officer and a Gentleman

An Officer and a Gentleman

Recent cases of mutinous behaviour by troops, including increasing incidences of assault on their own officers, have caused much comment in the media and within the circle of observers of military affairs. Much has been written about the possible causes. Growing chasm between officers and troops, caused by a shortage of officers, has been pegged as a major reason. The growing aspirations of the Jawans in the changed socio-economic environment is another. While all that … Read entire article »

Filed under: Blogitorial, Military, Shortage of officers, Traditions, Values

Mediocrity Rules

Mediocrity Rules

Now we Indians have yet another dubious distinction. We can boast of the largest ever power blackout in human history. Ironically, this took place at the time when one of the greatest festivals of human endeavour, the Olympics are on in another part of the world. In the games we, a nation of 1.2 billion have managed only a fraction of the medals won by even a tiny country like South Korea. Whether it is … Read entire article »

Filed under: Blogitorial, Common man, Military, National Issues, Ponderings, Values

Morale of the story

Morale of the story

Just like honour, morale is a word that has been bandied about a lot in the recent past. Specially in context of the age row that has been dominating the front pages and prime time slots for an unbearably long time. It even prompted a leading national daily to commission a survey to gauge whether the morale of the armed forces has actually been impacted by the shenanigans of the very people charged with preserving … Read entire article »

Filed under: Blogitorial, COAS, Media, Military, Values

Sab theek hai sahib

Sab theek hai sahib

The Indian soldier, or Jawan as he is affectionately called, is known for not cribbing under the most adverse circumstances. If you ask your driver who has been waiting well past his lunch time for you to emerge from a long conference in the formation headquarters, “Khana Khaya?”, he is sure to say “Haan Sahib”. Of course, when you question him closely he might confess that he hasn’t. But he will also hasten to assure … Read entire article »

Filed under: Blogitorial, Civil Military Relations, Equipment, Military, Politics, Values

Casus Belli Aching

Just when commentators were concluding that Gen VK Singh will be remembered for posterity as the Chief who went to court for getting ten more months in office, the General has yet again managed to spring a surprise. Going public with allegations that he was offered Rs 14 Crore as bribe for accepting sub-standard vehicles for the army, he is back in headlines. While he did not go as far as naming the perpetuators of the tantalizing offer, a recent official press release by the Army claimed that the offer was made by a retired Lt Gen on behalf of a PSU and a foreign firm. The release also claimed that the recent stories about communication interception equipment being used without authorization by the Army in the capital have been … Read entire article »

Filed under: Blogitorial, Civil Military Relations, COAS, Military, Values

What I would do if I were Kiran Bedi or Om Puri

Here is a excellent piece – not written by me, something I received on mail. But I do echo the sentiments. Details of the author / originator are given at the bottom. Even though I have least interest in politics and social service, I somehow feel compelled to express what I am going to express below. If I were Om Puri or Kiran Bedi, I would have been so happy to be summoned for the breach of parliamentarians privileges. I would have made the following assertion while availing of the opportunity to defend my utterances. Madam Speaker, I have been called here to speak and explain why I said what I said about the members of this house. First of all I would like to thank you for having invited me to speak … Read entire article »

Filed under: Common man, Corruption, National Issues, Politics, Ponderings, Values

Individual Vs Institution

One pitfall of achieving high office is that you cease to be an individual. Like it or not, you become an institution. Every move you make, every action of yours is weighed and viewed accordingly. To quote Spiderman comics – “with great power comes great responsibility”.  History is not known to treat very kindly those who choose to exercise the power while failing to discharge the responsibility to the hilt. Unquestionably, that responsibility includes maintaining the sanctity and dignity of the office according the power. Undoubtedly, the correct date of birth of the Chief of Army Staff is the one being quoted by him in his Statutory Complaint. But let us look at other facts – as reported by the press. Firstly – the Chief’s year of birth as recorded in his … Read entire article »

Filed under: Blogitorial, COAS, Military, Values