Deaf, Blind…. and Dumb?

Blogitorial Military Ponderings Values


Age catches up with all of us. And it is ruthless. It wreaks havoc on our systems and faculties, tormenting us with numerous afflictions. One used to believe that Father Time is by and large fair and unbiased, in that he is uniformly harsh with all. But events of recent past have left us wondering whether he picks out a few people for being especially nasty to. Some people whom he repeatedly tortures. First it was the case of sudden deafness due to exposure to loud noises. Obviously it had something to do with age catching up. Someone who would have spent at least 10-15 years of his early service in the close vicinity of guns firing during practice camps can’t go deaf all of a sudden after hearing a few booms from the grandstand while witnessing a demonstration – unless it has something to do with geriatrics.

As if loss of hearing wasn’t enough, vision was clouded too. What else could be the reason for attempting to summarily dispose-off a case of alleged impropriety by the senior-most of subordinates, when the court of inquiry recommended further investigations. And then having to face the ignominy of eating humble pie and rescinding this decision on being given a rap on the knuckles. Of course, a lesser man might have handed in his resignation at this stage. After all, going back on this decision meant one of three things. Either the earlier decision was wrong – which indicated incompetence, for taking such a critical decision without due diligence. Or that the original decision right – in which case changing it amounted to acting against a subordinate, whom one considered innocent, under pressure from higher authority. This would indicate lack of moral courage. Third alternative – the decision was taken due to ulterior motives – which would indicate lack of morals. But no resignation was forthcoming. Apparently the thickening of the epidermis was another unfair hand dealt by time.

And now one gets to read of fresh ways in which age and time has been particularly unkind to some. It apparently led to senility and impairment of judgement in addition to the audio-visual setbacks. Even if you are paying only about ten per cent of the true market value – assuming that you are paying, and even that token amount has not got waived off due to services rendered or favours granted – eighty odd lakh rupees are no mean amount for a serviceman. It represented about 20 years’ salary of the average service officer in the pre sixth pay commission era. Would anyone with all six cylinders of their mental engine firing properly invest this kind of money in an enterprise without going into great amounts of details about the project itself? Who are the promoters, what are their antecedents, have they got the requisite clearances and so on. Obviously, these details were glossed over – some of the cylinders must be misfiring. No wonder such an investment was made without the foggiest idea about the fact that the project was purportedly intended for the kin of those who had shed blood in the battlefield.

But what if Father Time is not to blame? Could it be that the deafness existed all along, but would have prevented ascent up the greasy pole and was disregarded?  Till the liability could be converted into an asset by adding thirty per cent of disability pension?  Could it be that vision and judgement were sound, but everything else failed? The values and the ethics, the codes by which we were supposed to live. The espirit-de-corps and camaraderie.

I wonder.

10 thoughts on “Deaf, Blind…. and Dumb?

  1. Agro, words fail me in penning down my comments. This piece was like readin an editorial in India Today. The language is flawless, expression is handsome and the sarcasm bloody sharp. Keep it up boss, sky is the limt for your pen.

  2. Agro the piece is sharp and accurate , I think you could add to its ambit the other stalwarts that have been making the army “proud”, making it a comprehensive statement on the matter.

  3. Nice Article, Agro. Makes a good read with serious impact. Really compels one to introspect. Keep it up and hope to see many more such gems from you !!!!!!!!

  4. Nice article Aggie. Wonder if you have you jumped on the bandwagon of castigating the services sans proof. Take my case. Advise me on what am I supposed to do- I have been offered a plot of land which is not on Govt records (illegal?), but cannot take on the perpetuators of a multicrore scam that is going on here. I infact have only an inkling of a brewing scam but no proof. Do I take on a corrupt system or do I take a plot for 10 Lakhs which will be worth a few crores by the time I retire. If I don’t somebody else will. Please advise me. Owing to the extigencies of service I have just two months to make the decision. The last flat I took from AFNHB was quite a dud, next to a Gunda Nallah which stinks in Summer. I being a deaf, dumb and silly fauji brought it without having visited the site. Do you think a Chief of Army Staff has the time to go into details of a flat he is buying because he is offerred a golden oppurtunity? And which flat will sell if it is offered at the “Market Value”. Zilch. Brand new flats are sold at their fair value, not at the market value.

  5. Agro Sir,
    It is liking hitting the nail just not on the head but on the bullseye of the head(if one exists). Great piece of artcile(or work!!!!). Nice going

  6. Agro,
    It could not be more to the point. The article is clairvoyant to the minds of some of us who fail this gr8 org and our colleagues. Anyone who claims he invested our valued and very hard earned money without going through the fine print-he deserves to be kicked/get a kick. Made gr8 read. all the best always.

  7. @ Sudhakar and Hemanth – thanks.
    @Rajan – In the absence of a DNA test, even paternity is sans proof. But since this is a blog representing personal opinion and not a court of law, license to interpret events and actions in light of commonsense can definitely be taken.

    Also – we MUST make the distinction between individuals and the organisation very clear. Talking / speculating about an individual’s actions or omissions does NOT amount to castigating the organisation he belongs to.
    I am not anti-establishment, I am anti people who subvert the establishment.

    As for your predicament – its a call that you and only you can take. Of course, having taken the call, you are fully responsible for any and all of the consequences. You can not subsequently plead lack of knowledge or any such thing as an excuse. Remember what we were repeatedly told in NDA – Ignorance of orders is no excuse. Neither is ignorance of the law.

    As regards the market savviness of the person you refer to, there are a couple of items in today’s Jottings about the property holdings and wheeling dealings, waivers and special allotments applied for and so on. I wonder why the media is singling him out in particular?

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