Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Love and Loneliness in the November Twilight

A tree so overloaded with fruit, that it gave, and it gave.
Parents, brothers, sisters, wives, husbands, boyfriends and girlfriends, and other assorted lovers.
Circling around each other like satellites.
Close, far, and close, and far yet again.

November is always a pensive month.
Maybe, something to do with the diminutive light.
A time for renewal, and reflection, as autumn shrivels to winter.
Staring at nothing, as the afternoon sunshine, turns to an early darkness.

Dialectical transitions.
Leaking sands of delicious dichotomy.
History that forgot the present, racing mindlessly, into an imaginary future.

Lives, dreams, and meandering relationships.
Entwined in a spaghetti of hope, dread, and desire.
Waking up to the cold warmth of the winter sun.
Caring enough, might not be enough.

Perhaps, time will run away.
Perhaps time will stay.
Hiding turbulence in the bones.
Love and loneliness, in the November twilight.

Monday, 3 October 2016

Salaam Baalak Trust hosting a Special Screening of Mira Nair's latest film "Queen of Katwe"

Salaam Baalak Trust is delighted to be hosting a Special Screening of Mira Nair's latest film "Queen of Katwe"; produced by Disney Pictures.

A Biographical Sports Drama Film, "Queen of Katwe" is the True Story of the life journey of a little girl - from the slums of Katwe, Uganda; who eventually becomes a Woman Candidate Master at the World Chess Olympiads. Living in the slum of Katwe in Kampala, Uganda, is a constant struggle for 10-year-old Phiona (Madina Nalwanga) and her family. Her world changes one day when she meets Robert Katende (David Oyelowo), a missionary who teaches children how to play chess. Phiona becomes fascinated with the game and soon becomes a top player under Katende's guidance. Her success in local competitions and tournaments opens the door to a bright future and a golden chance to escape from a life of poverty.

Salaam Baalak Trust is especially proud to be part of this event - as this story resonates with that of many of our children.

Many of the friends of Salaam Baalak Trust being celebrities, as also other well known personalities, the Red Carpet Premiere-like feel to the Screening, would have a good mix of Society's A List joining in the celebration. Donors and Patrons would be happy to know that since operational costs are likely to be covered elsewhere; the entire proceeds raised from this charitable activity will be invested into Salaam Baalak Trust's various implementation programmes for the street children.

Donor Passes are available on request. It would be wonderful to have you and your colleagues join us for the Special Screening too.

Name of Film: Queen of Katwe
India Release: Walt Disney Pictures
Date of Special Screening: Thursday, October 6, 2016 @ 7.30 p.m.
Venue: INOX CR2 Nariman Point, Mumbai 400021

Contact:
Bhavesh Bhatt: +919819664322; Email: bhavesh.bhatt@salaamstreetkids.org
Milind Bidwai: +919324553972; Email: milindsbt@gmail.com

#UriAttack Fallguy: Lynch The Brigade Commander

Security Lapse! Why? Because you read it somewhere or saw it on TV?

Have you ever seen the LoC? Do you know the terrain?

Do you have any idea what deprivation of weapon, ammo, financial resources for building fences, concrete defences, lighting, thermal imaging these remote, godforsaken Units face?

No, you will come here and spew your conditioned vomit without having a clue. Big salutes and talk but nary a bloody clue.

Did you question Narendra Modi, Arun Jaitley, and Manohar Parrikar on the Defence Budget or the MoD Babudom for Defence Procurement, Production Kleptocracy, no?

Our troops don't have a Rifle since 1982, nor body armour, night vision or air support,did you remove the Defence Secretary, no!

The IB sends out non actionable alerts 365 days an year, was the Home Minister fired? Whar about Director IB, Secretary Internal Security, no!

Did Manohar Parrikar who promised mitigation after Pathankot Attack not fail at preventing recurrence? Did he offer to resign? Or is there no accountability for politicians and bureaucrats!

Did the Army Chief ready with twitching tail everytime Neta, Babu beckon take personal responsibility for Pathankot and Uri? So why only make the Unit, Brigade and Division cogs the fallguys for national failure!

So then why this selective morality attack only for a beggared soldier dying for you, with whatever shit you give him, cheat him on pay, pension, litigate him to death, literally!

So please don't spew lame regurgitated vomit. Thank you!

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

The Uri Fiasco

The Uri Fiasco
Shiv Kunal Verma is the author of 1962: The War That Wasn’t and The Long Road to Siachen: The Question Why


















The Uri Brigade, along with the one located at Poonch, are perhaps two of our most vulnerable formations simply because both these Bde HQs are directly under observation from Pakistani positions. Uri is where the Jhelum River and the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad Highway leave Indian territory and enter POK. 

The Uri bowl is dominated by features that are in the region of 1500 to 2000 mtrs and is clearly visible from Haji Pir (yes, the same Haji Pir that was handed 'back' to Pakistan in Tashkent in 1965) - if I'm not mistaken the distance between Uri town and the pass is barely 6 km as the crow flies. This does away with even the need for HUMINT, for the planners of any attack can literally see everything 'real time'. From the Indian perspective, the overall landscape is a defenders nightmare for the terrain along the LOC is such that there are many mountain streams in the region along which infiltration usually takes place. The noise of the water makes it impossible for ambush parties to detect movement.

Over the years, the Indian side has spent tons of money deploying specialized equipment like HHTI (Hand Held Thermal Imagers) and a variety of sophisticated equipment including ground sensors. The technology has helped in many ways, for the days when large parties of 100 to 120 men would infiltrate in the early 1990s is now history. However, new equipment means new equations in the changing dynamics of the LOC – for Pakistan then began to send in smaller parties of 10-12 men. This too soon became too large a group and today, the norm is to send in even smaller parties of 3 to 4 men along the traditional routes around Ghikote, Sahora Hathlanla and Gulmarg, which is further towards the north. The north bank of the Jhelum over the years has seen a large number of encounters in the areas of Lachchipura and Maiyan Baihak on the Kazi Nag Dar ridge. It is a well-known fact that Kamalkote, a village situated bang on the LOC, has been a smuggling village. This is also not the first time that the Brigade in Uri has been targeted…

There was definite Intelligence passed on to all formations in the Valley on 15 September that there was going to be a Fiyadeen attack. What exactly were the circumstances in Uri will only emerge later, but the commanders on the ground should have been aware that any change of guard would be known to the Pakistanis. The distinct difference in features between Dogra and Bihar troops is a dead give away, and if ones own past experience of having filmed with the Army and the Hizbul Mujahideen in the Valley is anything to go by, they would have even known the names of every officer in at least the out going unit. To me the most appalling aspect of the entire operation is the fact that troops should be billeted so close to a fuel dump… a stray beedi or a casually tossed cigarette would have had catastrophic results as well. While we must acknowledge that in any Fiyadeen attack, there will be casualties, to lose such a large number of men is simply not acceptable.

Let’s come back to the overall picture… the whys and ifs of the operation itself will sort themselves out, and hopefully the lessons will be learnt.

In the wake of the Uri attack, it is but natural for every Indian’s blood to reach boiling point. Mumbai, Samba, Pathankot… the list is endless, to say nothing of the events in 1947-48, 1965, 1971 and then again in 1999. However, all the sabre rattling (followed by a whimpish ‘run to America and complain’ routine) is not going to take us anywhere. I think its time for the rest of the country to sit up and speak up. If it sounds like the boy who eventually pointed out that the Emperor actually did not have any clothes on his being, so be it. The crux of the current problem has been the ruling party’s mad desire to form a Coalition Government in Jammu and Kashmir and get into bed with Mufti Sayeed’s PDP, a party with a dubious record in Governance in the Valley.

Talk to any Intelligence agency and the facts are startling… almost all stone-throwing ‘activists’ who have been apprehended are members of the PDP or the NC. So much so, by the time the troops who caught these guys return to their camps, these fellows have been released by the police under political pressure. When your own institutions and systems have thrown up such a subversive political hotch potch that is supposed to govern the state, it is but natural for Pakistan to start eying the low-hanging fruit. Hell no… that’s probably an overstatement… its more like apples rotting on the ground waiting to be picked up.

Before Omar Abdullah starts nodding in agreement with me and wringing his hands in delight, let me also add that the Abdullah’s over the years have done as much damage to the state as the PDP is doing now. Both these political parties have held the Indian Government and the People of India to ransom for far too long. The biggest let down however, has been towards the Kashmiri people themselves, be they the Pundits who had to flee from the Valley or the Muslims who stayed behind. It is no secret that corruption in Kashmir has always been the biggest cause of dissatisfaction – and in the ultimate analysis, the prevailing mayhem and chaos.

Having said that, let us now turn our attention towards what to do with Pakistan, the real reason for this essay. Much as I hate to say this, retaliatory strikes across the border are highly unlikely to serve any major purpose. Air strikes, however surgical against no matter how well documented terror camps will by their very nature create their own problems. By all means keep that option open, but do not unnecessarily get involved in actions where deniability becomes a problem. So what can we do, and what should we do? Sentiment in India is boiling over and a street fight with a bastard nation who has nothing going for it – economically or otherwise, will only hurt your own equilibrium and mental peace.

However, before we start examining our option/or options, as the case may be, let us first tarry a while and look at sorting out our own house a bit. If we take 1999 as the base year when we fought our last ‘war’, the civil-military equation in India has plummeted to a level where today we are actually in the doldrums. The tussle for supremacy between the babu log and the soldier in Independent India was a losing battle for the man in uniform, but of late, it has reached a level that now borders on the ludicrous. Pandit Nehru was India’s first Prime Minister, and his initial term in office was a nominated one, not an elected one. His own insecurities vis a vis the Indian Army may have led to his famously stating that we did not need an army, a police force would be more than adequate to handle ‘peace-loving India’s’ security concerns. Nehru only said this, and for this remark he has been lampooned, but today’s Government by its actions is actually doing what Nehru had suggested. 

Today, it is no secret that the entire security set up is manned by cops and ex Intelligence officers, who with due respect to them, are fairly clueless about what the armed forces are and are meant to be. 

If we look at the role played by BN Mullik (the Intelligence Chief who was the de facto NSA at the time) in the build up to the 1962 conflict with China, there is a tremendous feeling of deja vu. Systematic eroding of the Army/Air Force/Navy’s own leadership has today created a situation where frankly half the senior appointments are actually suspect. Just what the hell are we doing? And where are we headed?

When you had Army and Corps Commanders apologizing for soldiers having fired at a vehicle that ran a barricade, what message were we giving to the rank and file? By the same yardstick, what were the sentries in Uri expected to do? Perhaps, had they shot these Fidayeens just that bit early, they would have been ‘kicked in the butt’ by our own system that today has to keep a watchful eye on what goes down well with the electorate. When our boys had been beheaded on the LOC by Pakistani raiders (AK Antony’s famous infiltrators in Pakistani uniforms) I had then advocated telling all company and platoon commanders that they were the bosses of their terrain… under no circumstances need they look back and ask for permission… just do what they think is right and the system will hold their hand. However, to take a stand, you need Generals who are, well, Generals!

These issues have to be addressed… and the sooner the better. The first thing we need to do is stop the insane interference with senior appointments. This Army needs commanders with ammunition under the belt, not puffed up chests with rows of inane medals. You have a few good commanders at the helm, the bulk of your issues will go away and this Army will be a force to reckon with. Forget Pakistan, it’ll be able to handle China as well… but only if we as a people allow it to.

So let us look at our options. In my view, we have to stop thinking like a landlocked nation and look at our entire assets, and the gaze automatically travels towards the Navy. Head to head, the Army and the Air Force more or less balance themselves out, especially when we look at the possibility of a two front war in the event that China gets into the act as well. In the case of the Navy, the ratio is close to 8:1 or thereabouts.

The solution, therefore, seems obvious enough… just blockade the Pakistani harbours and stop all trade as part of an economic blockade. The Navy talks of Blue Water capabilities and frankly, it has never been tested. In Goa, the fight with the Portugese was a turkey shoot and in 1962 it had no role to play even though Sea hawks and Alizes had been moved up to Gorakhpur in anticipation of air strikes against the Chinese. In 1965 it did sweet nothing, while in 1971 it did set the cat among the pigeons by attacking Karachi with its missile boats while INS Vikrant played its part in the east. IPKF was when the Navy came into its own, and perhaps the time has now come for it to prove its mettle. An economic blockade will amount to grabbing Pakistan by the neck with our thumb on its wind pipe.

A Naval blockade of Pakistan will also force into the open the hand of the United States. Look at the irony of it… every time a Pathankot or an Uri happens, we run to the Yanks asking them to declare the Pakistanis a terrorist state or a rogue state or whatever the current term in vogue. Of all people the Yanks! We’ve got to be kidding, for all the big talk, the fact is that they continue to underwrite Pakistan’s defence bill, even though a majority of Americans feel they have been bitten by their pet cobra more than once. Today you have China propping up the Pakistani Armed Forces as well, but the bulk of their arms and mutions have traditionally been US. I don’t have a head for figures, but 50 billion dollars worth of handouts by way of military supplies is a lot of cash. India now signs a 15 billion dollar deal with the very same Uncle Sam, and like Maroof Raza says, you land up part financing the terrorists who regularly attack you in Pathankot or Uri.
So what do we have to lose? Pakistan is very much aware of the threat and impact of an economic blockade and they talk of a nuclear response should that happen. Well, they also talk of a nuclear response in the case of cross border raids or air strikes against terrorist camps… By its very nature, a Naval blockade is a measured and calculated step and the situation can be tweaked as events play themselves out. India played the Naval blockade card during the Kargil War and it had Bill Clinton sitting on top of Nawaz Sharif like a flash. This time too, it would be very interesting to see what happens… especially in light of all the bonhomie between the US and the Indian Government of late. One way or the other, India now simply has to act. Forget about what the world thinks of us, we as ourselves, will not be left with anything even remotely resembling self respect. More than anything, we owe it to the men who guard us…


Saturday, 10 September 2016

Noisy Bombay Bar

Long week.
Everyone has had enough!
Creaking into the weekend
Scratching your stubble as the second brew hits home.

People, eyes, motives, angles
Slowly the rain says goodbye
Lives, celebrations, sickness and dying
How do you feel today?

Somewhere the Jenga shatters too loud
Girls stroke their hair in anticipation
Boys quaff their beer too fast
Weekend dreams collide in credit card bills and white noise.

They look at themselves
Then they look at each other
The single, look at everyone else
Humidity meets industrial air-conditioning.

Who is too say what the future will bring?
Tonight it's soft, fuzzy in a happy din
Some look at you right now
Some just stare into the distance, future or past.

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Watching

No Yoga Today.
McDonald's breakfast from hell
Americano that turned into forced cappuccino
Laissez faire, today's title track!

Diagonally across, a rebel and his clerk friend share a chocolate pancake
People walking, hurried, or less strident.

Glass windows, outside the monsoon is nearly done
Midweek has an empty fervent optimism
The watchers look on.

Policeman pats his Browning
Adoring glances at a full magazine
Overcast days preparing for unknown
The city meanders to a subliminal rhythm.

Forms, silhouettes, and bodies in motion or sat still
Thin, fat, hairy, bald, anguished, and in glee
Gurgling sensuality of a fiery mountain stream
Watching, watching, gleaning insights.

Coffee that has run cold
Things done, boxes ticked
Not how this was supposed to be
But its done now!

The slacker looks on
Awaiting the next inspiration
Who to be, what to acquire
Dreams slithering in gentle curves.

Sunday, 10 July 2016

Burhan Wani Paradox: Civil Military Disconnect Under Modi Blunts India's Counter Terrorism War

Counterterrorism and Counterinsurgency are the two ongoing wars that the Indian Army fights. Islamist, Maoist and other Insurgencies are actively funded, aided and subconventional, or non-state fighters used for plausible denial,  trained by both Pakistan and China, against India. Although a conventional Military, the legacy Colonial structure of Police, Intelligence and a corrupt and incompetent, self serving Bureaucracy, has meant the subcontracting of Internal Security duties to the Army, for the most part except the Maoist Insurgency. The cadre based Bureaucracy, generalist and mediocre, have assumed the role of door keepers to politicians. Both with neither the competence nor, the experience, to run a nation's internal, and external Security function. The colonial dysfunction of Indian Military is further aggravated by its orphan status, where its Supreme Commander is not the Prime Minister of India, but a vestigial President. Essentially a replacement for the symbolic head of British Monarchy in the Viceroy Governor General of India that continued till India declared itself a Republic in 1950. Thereafter a placeholder for Monarch that changed to President of India, and his powers assumed by the Cabinet of the Union.The Commander-in-ChiefIndia was the supreme commander of the British Indian Army based at General Headquarters, India, and liaised with the civilian Governor-General of India

Following the Partition of India in 1947, and the creation of the independent dominion of India. It was briefly replaced by the Supreme Commander of India, before the role was abolished in November 1948. Subsequently, the role of Commander-in-Chief was merged into the offices of the Governors-General of India, before becoming part of the office of President of India from 1950. Prior to independence, the official residence was the Flagstaff House, which later became the residence of the first Prime Minister of India Nehru; who instead of locating his Office at President's Estate or Rashtrapati Bhawan, chose Teen Murti House. In converting Teen Murti House into what is now a museum, Nehru usurped the Office of the Supreme Commander of the Army. 

Nehru, was born into Congress palace intrigue and his Communist leanings made him trust men of questionable integrity, as key implementation bureaucracy. The Sarkari License Raj that yet ails Indian Economy, Foreign Policy and Manufacturing, besides of a plethora of associated systemic dysfunctions, including Police and Intelligence functions are a product of this legacy. It is here that Nehru's distrust of the Indian Army laid the poison seeds of India's continuing Civil Military Disconnect, a malaise that continues 6 decades on. Even after Nehru was shown to lack leadership, ending in the 1962 humiliation of India, the corrupt colonial bureaucracy continued, to consolidate this usurped power. 

From 1965 to Kargil, perhaps with the honourable exception of 1971, where Field Marshal Manekshaw, stood up to Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi, Military Reform is a can pushed down the road by successive generation of Politician, Bureaucrat, and sycophant Military brass. The current Chief of Army Staff, appointed under controversial circumstances by the current BJP Neta-Babu Kleptocracy, continues in this tradition of spineless obedience. The Army Chief has forsaken,  the interests of men under his command, the modernisation of the Army, as well as redressal of serious anomalies, in degraded equivalence in Rank, Status, Pay,  and Pension, for the Military.

Enter the majority BJP Government headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, voted into power with aplomb, great hope and aspiration, by the citizens of the Indian Republic. 2 years on there has been no movement on Military, Police or Intelligence Reform. To stick to Military Reform for the sake of this story, one must examine firstly examine the definition of the role and duties, of the Military in India. Its duties, and attendant rights. Flowing from that fundamental definition, establish its place among the Government of India matrix. The status of uniformed military, its pay, benefits and pension in accordance with the hardship and privation of the function it executes in the larger Government employee matrix. After this comes the conundrum of the structure of the Defence Bureaucracy, given its steady kingdom building, it has both encroached,  and imposed a non function,  generalist hegemony, employing Defence Finance, Procurement, and Manufacturing, to subvert the fighting arms, and their requirements.

The Narendra Modi report card on Defence Reform is of clear failure. From Pension Reform floundering in diluted One Rank One Pension (OROP) promises to Military Veterans, to the blindly unfair recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission,  without Military input on its committee, there is a sense of palpable anger at Defence mismanagement. The Bureaucracy rules the roost without accountability or competence and failure has no consequence under both the Modi PMO,  or Arun Jaitley, and Manohar Parrikar, as Defence Ministers! 

Make in India is a rancid old socialist wine earlier known as import substitution, sold to the Military. A phenomenon that cheapens soldiers lives, degrades defence preparedness, and destroys the righteous morale of the fighting man. From Jointness of the Armed Forces, to Special Forces Command, reorganisation of Military Intelligence, and Cyber Warfare, the Narendra Modi record is pathetic to say the least. In the classic guns vs butter, this BJP Government has abdicated its Internal,  and External Security mandate, mired in jingoistic rhetoric without teeth or method.

Burhan Wani killing and subsequent turbulence in Kashmir is a good example of the orphan state of Indian Military, as Modi does photo opportunities in Africa, and the Home Minister, Rajnath Singh prepares to go to America for a junket. The Defence Minister, far from praising the Indian Army psychological win in the counterinsurgency and counterterrorism war; the only war fought currently by the Indian Army, remains mute and incommunicado. Same Modi, Amit Shah, Arun Jaitley and RSS Ideologue,  turned BJP Politician, Ram Madhav, who besmirched the Indian Army and RR, in Machhil, are silent in praise for Indian Army for taking down Burhan Wani. The Home Minister is content to subcontract his Internal Security mandate to the Army, as long as someone else,  does the dying and fighting. The morale of the Army Officer and Soldier, his privation from family, inability to send his children to equal schools, housing and social status, all lead to malcontent and disaffection. The entire raison d' etre of the Military and its position within Government must be reexamined in the Republic. Its seat in Lutyens Delhi, a memorial to its martyrs, and facilities for men in uniform, are all in substandard shape.

The SC AFSPA strictures on the Army, doing the Home Ministry's  Internal Security job in Kashmir, and North Eas, t are yet another example of India's Civil Military Disconnect. Armchair jurists, incompetent Government Counsel, and bureaucratic stupidity, on AFSPA have seen the Army, hold the can every time the music stops in the abdication of Internal Security by Politicians and Babu musical chairs. Without legal cover, the Army should refuse to do the Neta-Babudom's dirty work in insurgency. The inability of General Suhag to protect RR in Machhil, from election populism of Narendra Modi, is another such example, which shows the current moral degradation of the Military by Politician, resulting in Civil Military disquiet.

Subsequent Army Chief's, with the exception of General VK Singh, who shut the door in Chidambaram's face on fighting in the Maoist Insurgency, are prone to accept any tasks given to them while wagging their tails, including current General Suhag. The Army is enmeshed in Internal Security, Disaster Relief, Environmental Mitigation, Law & Order, so much so that,  Training, R&R, War Exercises, are all suffering. To add insult to injury, both OROP and 7th Pay Commission have wronged the soldier. The Army Chief is neither seen nor heard. That is not Military leadership but pulling tenure in hope of a gubernatorial assignment, an unfortunate saga for the men he pretends to command.

India is under grave threat and the BJP leadership has largely been found wanting, for its excessive reliance on inertial babudom, unwilling and unable to bring Administrative Reform. The change, governance, and reform,  promised by the BJP, led by Narendra Modi are proving the election lie, of a wily Politician. All well-meaning Citizens must shame the BJP Government and keep it honest. We are a Republic,  after all and not some cult or Dynasty's slaves. The function of Democracy was seen by the Nehru Gandhi Kleptocracy, and if BJP does not perform, it too must be thrown out in the rubbish heap of history,  full of mediocre debris. Nation Building must continue, personalities and cults are dispensable. Jai Hind!




Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Gallantry Awards Republic Day 2016


The President of India,  Shri Pranab Mukherjee has approved the award of one Ashok Chakra, two Kirti Chakras and eight Shaurya Chakras to the Indian Army personnel on the occasion of Republic Day 2016 has been included in the list of citations.

Ashok Chakra

 

Lance Naik Mohan Nath Goswami(Posthumous), 9 PARA (Special Force)

 

Kirti Chakra

 

Subedar Mahendra Singh, Sena Medal, 9 PARA (Special Force)

Sepoy Jagdish Chand(Posthumous), 546 DSC Platoon

 

Shaurya Chakra

 

Colonel Santosh Yashwant Mahadik (Posthumous), Sena Medal,           41 Rashtriya Rifle (PARA)

     Major Praphul Kumar Bhardwaj, 12 PARA (Special Force)

     Major Anurag Kumar, 9 PARA (Special Force)

     Major Sandip Yadav, 55Rashtriya Rifle (Armed)

     Lieutenant Harjinder Singh,  3 KUMAON

     Naik Satish Kumar(Posthumous), 21 Rashtriya Rifle (Guards)

     Naik Kheem Singh Mehra, 21 KUMAON

Sepoy Dharma Ram(Posthumous), 1 Rashtriya Rifle (MAHAR)  

 

LANCE NAIK MOHAN NATH GOSWAMI, ASHOK CHAKRA, (POSTHUMOUS)

 
On the intervening night of 02/03 September 2015 Lance Naik Mohan Nath Goswami was part of an ambush in Haphruda forest at Kupwara district of Jammu & Kashmir. At about 2015hrs, there was a fierce encounter with four terrorists wherein two of his comrades were injured and pinned down. Lance Naik Mohan along with his buddy dashed forward to rescue their injured colleagues, knowing well the risks to their own lives. He first assisted in eliminating one terrorist. Sensing grave danger to three of his wounded colleagues, Lance Naik Mohan with utter disregard to his own personal safety, charged at the remaining terrorists drawing intense fire from them. He was hit in the thigh. Unmindful, he closed in and eliminated one terrorist, injured another and was again shot in the abdomen. Undeterred by his injuries, he hurled himself on the last terrorist and killed him at point blank range before succumbing to his wounds. Lance Naik Mohan not only killed two terrorists, but also assisted in neutralizing the other two and save the lives of three of his wounded colleagues.

 

          Thus, Lance Naik Mohan Nath Goswami exhibited most conspicuous gallantry in personally eliminating two terrorists and assisting in evacuation of his wounded colleagues and made supreme sacrifice in the highest traditions of the Indian Army. Lance Naik Mohan Nath Goswami is awarded “ASHOK CHAKRA (POSTHUMOUS)”.

 

SUBEDAR MAHENDRA SINGH, SENA MEDAL

 

          Subedar Mahendra Singh was a veteran of numerous firefights, where, time and again his inspiring leadership, resilience and courage resulted in outstanding successes. He had been awarded Sena Medal on the Line of Control for exemplary courage and initiative wherein he shot dead a Pakistan Regular Army in 2013.

          On 02 Sep 2015 at 2015 hours, contact was established with terrorists in Darel forest at Kupwara district of Jammu and Kashmir resulting in multiple splinter injuries to two comrades. Displaying exemplary leadership, the JCO moved with Lance Naik Mohan Nath Goswami to evacuate his comrades, drawing heavy fire in the process. Sensing the danger to his men, Subedar Mahendra immediately returned fire and displaying raw aggression charged and eliminated one terrorist at close quarters. His audaciousness startled the other terrorist who opened indiscriminate fire at him. Undeterred, he closed in with the terrorists when one terrorist rushed out firing and grievously wounded Subedar Mahendra in the abdomen. Despite his injury which paralysed him below the waist, he shot dead the terrorist at point blank range. Heedless of the threat posed by the terrorist fire and his incapacitating wound, he, in order to prevent any further casualties, forbade all attempts to evacuate him and endured tremendous pain to extricate himself.

          For his exemplary leadership, selflessness and courage beyond compare while eliminating two foreign terrorists and assisting in casualty evacuation despite being paralysed below the waist, Subedar Mahendra Singh, Sena Medal is awarded “KIRTI CHAKRA”.

SEPOY JAGDISH CHAND

 

          Sepoy Jagdish Chand was posted with 546 Defence Service Platoon attached with 18 Wing Air Force.  On the night 01/02 Jan 2016 at 0330 hr while the individual was working on bonafide military duty at Defence Service Corps lines, five to six heavily armed terrorists entered the lines and opened indiscriminate fire on the troops working in the said location.  The heavy firing resulted in two of his colleagues being fatally wounded.  Showing presence of mind and conspicuous bravery Sepoy Jagdish Chand unmindful of his own safety ran after the closest terrorist, chased and overpowered him.  Sepoy Jagdish Chand snatched the terrorist’s weapon to shoot him dead.  In the process two more terrorists in vicinity opened fire on SepoyJagdish Chand killing him on the spot.

          The great presence of mind, unmatched bravery and valour by Sepoy Jagdish Chand minimized further loss of lives and gave time for the quick reaction teams in the vicinity to react.  Sepoy Jagdish Chand’s actions was also a setback to the terrorists.  For his unparalled act of bravery Sepoy Jagdish Chand is awarded ‘KIRTI CHAKRA(POSTHUMOUS)’.

 

 

COLONEL SANTOSH YASHWANT MAHADIK, SENA MEDAL

 

                    Colonel Santosh Yashwant Mahadik, SM, a dynamic officer from the Parachute Regiment (Special Forces) was commanding 41 Rashtriya Rifles from July 2014. Col Santosh with his inspirational leadership and humane skills and altered the narrative of kupwara town through successful OP SADBHAVANA initiatives in education, sports and health care.

 

          Colonel Santosh was leading a search operation based on specific input about the likely presence of terrorists in general area Manigah Forest of Kupwara district of Jammu and Kashmir on 17 November 2015. At about 1215 hours, he received an input about the likely movement of terrorists in the forested area near Kashmiri Manigah. Always having led from the front, Colonel Santosh alongwith his Quick Reaction Team (QRT) expeditiously moved to the suspected site. As the team was deploying, they came under heavy and effective fire of terrorists hiding in the forest. Pinned down by the terrorists fire in the open, he immediately maneuvered to outflank the terrorists and engaged them from an advantageous position. Undeterred by the heavy volume of terrorists fire and with utter disregard to personal safety, Colonel Santosh provided his troops an opportunity to take cover. In the fire fight however, he suffered multiple gunshot wounds. Unmindful of his grievous injuries, Colonel Santosh kept the terrorists pinned down till he was evacuated. He later succumbed to his injuries and attained martyrdom.

 

          Colonel Santosh Y Mahadik made the supreme sacrifice in keeping with the highest traditions of the Indian Army while ensuring safety of the troops he commanded and personally led from the forefront.

 

          For this act of exemplary leadership, exceptional gallantry and utmost dedication to duty even at the peril of his own life, Colonel Santosh Yashwant Mahadik is awarded “Shaurya Chakra (POSTHUMOUS)

 

MAJOR PRAPHUL KUMAR BHARDWAJ

         

          Major Praphul Kumar Bhardwaj launched a special operation in Awankhu village in Phek district of Nagaland, 120 km from the closest existing Assam Rifles post on the night of 13 July 15. Negotiating thick forests and treacherous slopes in extreme and inclement weather, Major Praphul’s party reached the target at 2300 hours, 15 July 15.

 

          At 2345 hours, on observing some movement around a hut, Major Praphul along with a buddy pair closed in to ascertain the movement upon which they drew heavy volume of fire. Sensing danger to his party, in absence of any cover and accurate incoming fire, Major Praphul charged onto the hut and neutralized one terrorist at point blank range. During this action, he sustained Gun Shot Wound in his right elbow as also his weapon was hit by a bullet, thereby jamming it. Despite profusely bleeding, with his weapon now non functional and his party pinned down, Major Praphul, utterly disregarding his personal safety, crawled and lobbed two grenades in the hut and neutralized the second terrorist.

 

          For this conspicuous act of gallantry and acting beyond the call of duty, Major Praphul Kumar Bhardwaj is awarded “SHAURYA CHAKRA”.

 

 

MAJOR ANURAG KUMAR

 

          Major Anurag Kumar was leading a helicopter inserted 9 PARA (Special Forces) Team in Search and Destroy Operations in Lidder Panzal at Baramulla district of Jammu and Kashmir on 26/27 August 2015.

 

          Post insertion, Major Anurag led his squads to the location where terrorists were last seen and organized the search. At 1400 hours on 26 August 2015, the officer observed suspicious movement behind boulders and deployed his squads before shouting a challenge which drew indiscriminate terrorist fire.  Realising grave threat to his men from the ricocheting bullets, the officer risked his safety and under covering fire of Havildar Virender Singh and Naik Javid Ahmad Chopan closed in with and eliminated one terrorist.  Major Anurag then established a cordon to cut off escape of remaining terrorists.  At 1100 hours on 27 August 2015 one terrorist attempting to break cordon rushed out firing indiscriminately.  Unmindful of the heavy fire and displaying immense courage Major Anurag engaged and shot dead the terrorist at close quarters.  He further engaged one trappedterrorist in a conversation thereby assisting Naik Chopan in his apprehension.

 

          For his exceptional tactical acumen, selflessness, inspiring leadership and courage beyond compare while eliminating two foreign terrorists and assisting in the apprehension of the third terrorist, Major Anurag Kumar is awarded “SHAURYA CHAKRA”.

MAJOR SANDIP YADAV

 

          Major Sandip has been operating in Pulwama since Jul 2013 and his flair for generating intelligence and conduct of operations is exemplary.

 

          On 10 August, information was received about presence of terrorists in village Ratanpur at Pulwama district of Jammu and Kashmir. Major Sandip while moving cross country noticed a suspicious movement in a paddy field. The two terrorists immediately opened indiscriminate fire at the officer. Major Sandip stood his ground and retaliated the fire which pinned down the terrorists. Undeterred by heavy fire and showing exceptional presence of mind, the officer redeployed his team which prevented the escape of terrorists.  

 

          On 11 August, after a grueling eighteen hours of firefight, Major Sandip decided to crawl close to the terrorists in an open area without any cover.   As he was doing so, he came under heavy fire. Unmindful of the grave danger and showing raw courage under heavy fire with utter disregard to personal safety, he crawled close and eliminated both the terrorists.  The bold action ensured elimination of two Lashker tanzeem terrorists as well as no collateral damage.

 

          For displaying exemplary leadership, fearlessness in face of intense firing, gallantry and courage beyond the call of duty, Major Sandip Yadav is awarded “SHAURYA CHAKRA”.

 

 

 

LIEUTENANT HARJINDER SINGH

 

                   On 05 June 2015, Lieutenant Harjinder Singh was the Commander of an Ambush Point in Jammu and Kashmir. At 2230 hours, a group of three terrorists was spotted. Lieutenant Harjinder Singh continuously tracked the move of terrorists and immediately assessed the situation and brought down effective fire and engaged the infiltrators. The effective fire forced the terrorists to move along the Anti Infiltration Obstacle System to a higher ground . The terrorists split into two groups to divert attention and escape.  At 0500 hours the officer moved to engage the terrorists. Displaying exemplary courage, he accurately fired the Multi Grenade Launcher and neutralized the first terrorist. In the mean time the second terrorist opened with automatic fire. Undeterred by the terrorist fire, the officer closed in with the terrorist and neutralized him at close quarters. Despite grave danger to him, the officer continuously maintained contact with the terrorists and eliminated them in a surgical manner.

 

          For this act of conspicuous bravery under strenuous operational conditions and exhibition of raw courage and fortitude, Lieutenant Harjinder Singh is awarded“SHAURYA CHAKRA”.

 

           

 

NAIK SATISH KUMAR

 

Naik Satish Kumar was serving with 21 Rashtriya Rifles since 07 April 2015.

 

          On 04 December 2015, he was commanding a small team as part of search and destroyed operation in Boban Wastar Forest. Observing speed and stealth, he led his small team to the likely target area, searching the forest cautiously and deliberately. At 1305 hours, Naik Anil was suddenly fired upon by terrorists injuring him. Realising Naik Anil being hit, Nk Satish Kumar crawled ahead to a fallen tree, engaged and eliminated one terrorist at close range. He then provided Nk Anil first aid and ensured his timely evacuation. Simultaneously, the second hidden terrorist opened fire injuring him on his right leg. Unmindful of his injury, Nk Satish engaged this terrorist and despite profuse bleeding closed in, lobbing two hand grenade towards the terrorist who was still firing and killed him. However, during his assault towards the terrorist he suffered another gunshot wound and attained martyrdom.

 

          For displaying extraordinary courage, commitment beyond call of duty in eliminating two hardcore terrorists and making the ultimate sacrifice, Naik Satish Kumar is awarded “SHAURYA CHAKRA” (POSTHUMOUS).

 

 

NAIK KHEEM SINGH MEHRA

 

            On night 08 August 2015, three terrorists attempted infiltration in area Lara along Jumagund Nar on Line of Control at Jammu and Kashmir. Naik Kheem Singh Mehra was deployed as a part of ambush to prevent their escape.

 

          At 0530 hours, the terrorist group was spotted by Naik Kheem Singh moving in the jungle across Jumagund Nar towards Line of Control. Displaying tenacity, grit and total audacity, Naik Kheem Singh advanced across the Nala, climbed on opposite spur and engaged the terrorists at close range killing one terrorist on the spot and preventing their escape.

 

          Heavy exchange of fire commenced between terrorists, Naik Kheem Singh and balance of ambush party. Taking cover of boulder and trees, the terrorists maneuvered to flank the main ambush party. Sensing imminent danger to own party, Naik Kheem Singh with utter disregard to personal safety, broke cover and charged the terrorists killing another terrorist in close quarter fire fight.

 

          Naik Kheem Singh Mehra displayed raw courage, audacity in face of grave personal danger and an indomitable fighting spirit. For this act of fortitude and selfless bravery in which the NCO prevented harm to own troops and killed two foreign terrorists, Naik Kheem Singh Mehra is awarded “Shaurya Chakra”.

 

SEPOY DHARMA RAM

 

On 25 May 2015 Sepoy Dharma Ram was part of a patrol launched by Major Kobitirha Sanyal towards village Kanjikul at Kulgam district of Jammu and Kashmir. At 1300 hours the patrol came under sudden heavy volume of fire from a nearby house. Sepoy Dharma Ram exhibited exemplary presence of mind to warn his team of the direction of fire and encountered the terrorist fearlessly in a direct firefight. He selflessly put himself in the face of terrorist fire and fought with nerves of steel to prevent any team member from getting injured.

 

During the firefight the individual sustained two bullet wounds on his back and thigh. Unmindful and undeterred from the grave injury and although bleeding profusely the individual exhibited exemplary field craft to crawl to an appropriate position from where he brought accurate fire on the terrorist and injured him gravely. The terrorist was thus neutralized and identified as Lashkar-e-Toiba District Commander.

 

Sepoy Dharma Ram made supreme sacrifice of his life in true traditions of the Indian Army. For this act of courage beyond the call of duty, dogged determination and conspicuous gallantry Sepoy Dharma Ram is awarded “SHAURYA CHAKRA” (POSHTHUMOUS).

PIB Release URL:

http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=135802

Complete list of Gallantry Awards:

http://pibphoto.nic.in/documents/rlink/2016/jan/p201612505.pdf

Saturday, 16 January 2016

General Jacobs Last Letter to India’s Youth


To all my sons and daughters,

I am 93 now, a retired Army Lieutenant General, perhaps, still wearing the old world on my sleeves, on the last legs of life. I never married, I have no family. With me, the last trace of my bloodline will forever be washed away from the face of India and this earth. I have no son or daughter. But when I think of it, I see my son and daughter in every young face of this country. You are all my sons & daughters. And hence this letter, I write to you. While I am proud to be a Jew, I am an Indian through and through. And I ask you all, to make India our prime Identity.

Army life has taught me the importance of duty. Stand tall, resolve to serve the nation and never waver. Our duty is to serve. You need to do what you feel is right, and strive and seek and find and conquer. This is the only way to be true to your own self.

What worries me most is the swarming poor of our nation. The privileged youth of India should take ownership of the situation. I talk to the young of this nation. You are far better trained and far more professional than my generation. Sound economic and strategic planning will bring about the required change. Usher in your nation.

Sons, respect women. I don’t understand how crime against women can happen. I have no answers to them. I can only appeal to those willing to lend an ear.

I finished now. But you are only beginning. Begin with a difference. If I had married, I would have wanted my son or daughter to be an Army man! Army life is clean, disciplined and has purpose. Think about this career option, too, but also bear in mind, Army life is not just song, dance and a glass of scotch. Let me tell you, my favourite drink is water!

Over and Out!
Gen Jacob

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Letter from Veterans to Parliament on OROP

Dated: 11 Jan 2015

UNITED FRONT OF EX –SERVICEMEN (UFESM)

ONE RANK ONE PENSION (OROP)

Dear Members of Parliament,

You are all aware of the issue of One Rank One Pension of Armed Forces. This issue is being debated since 1984 and finally OROP was strongly recommended by Koshyari Committee in 2011

As per Koshyari Committee Report, and the deposition by Secretary (ESW), Ministry of Defence, before the Committee One Rank One Pension is defined as.

Definition

 "One Rank One Pension implies that uniform pension be paid to the Armed Forces Personnel retiring in the same rank with the same length of service irrespective of their date of retirement and any future enhancement in the rates of pension to be automatically passed on to the past pensioners”.

The above definition of OROP has been accepted by both houses of the Parliament. Honourable Supreme Court has also ruled in favour of OROP in many judgments. The same definition was included in the Executive Order of the Govt of India for the Implementation of OROP vide its letter No- 12(01)/2014-D (Pen/Pol) dated 26 Feb 2014 (Copy enclosed).

The One Rank One Pension which has been announced on Sep 5, 2015 and notified on Nov 7, 2015 is not the real OROP. It has many anomalies illustrated below which if not corrected will completely destroy the definition of OROP approved by the Parliament.

1.    Revision every 5 years instead of every year: This defeats the very concept and definition of OROP.

Illustration: 20 YEARS OF SERVICE FOR THE FOLLOWING 2 SEPOYS:

Sepoy A and Sepoy B join army on 1 July 1991

Sepoy A- retires in Nov 2011- Rs.4000/- as basic wage. Pension = Rs.2000/-.

Sepoy B - retires in March 2012- Rs 4500/- as basic wage (Increment as per Jan 1st). Pension = Rs. 2250/-

A is getting Rs 250+ DA = Rs. 600/- less than B and having served for the same length of service of 20 yrs.

Loss incurred - Rs.7200/- per year or Rs 36,000/- in 5 years.

2.   Govt has announced that Benefit of OROP will be effective with effect from 1.7.2014: Instead of 01 Apr 2014, thereby causing a loss to the ESM of 2100 Crores that is presuming annual expenditure of Rs 8400/ crore on OROP. 

Illustration: All articles approved in any budget are applicable from 1st April each year. Hence OROP should also be effective from 1st April 2014.

By making it effective from 1st July 2014 government is putting ESM at a loss of Rs.2100/-Crores for three months

3.  Govt has announced that Base year for award of OROP to be the calendar year of 2013 instead of Financial Year of 31 March 2014. This defeats the definition of OROP and puts the old pensioners at loss as compared to the present pensioners. This will also mean that a pensioner holding senior rank will get pension less than his junior rank.

Illustration: if Base year for pension is likely to be 2013 as against 31 Mar 2014 when OROP is applicable from 1st April 2014. This put a soldier behind by one year / annual increment which is Rs. 500/-. However if the effective date for implementation is planned to be 1 July 2014 then the pension should be based on 30 June 2014.

4.    Fixation of pension as the mean average of the pay band instead of the top level: This adds insult to injury and defeats the definition of OROP. Puts the old pensioners at loss as compared to the present pensioners.

Illustration: By making it the mean of the year 2013 the defence personnel retiring with pension above the mean will be at disadvantage.  This would require application of protection clause for a large number of retirees.

Supposing A soldier retires in 1980 on completion of 20 years of service.

OROP means his pension should be brought at par with the pension of the soldier retiring on 31st March 2014 with 20 years of service. By taking mean of min and max pension of 2013, the soldier will be put to financial loss. This loss can only be calculated once pension tables are declared by CGDA.

5. One person judicial committee instead of a five person committee: This commission will not have representative from ESM but will have a member from IAS as secretary. Hence, it is expected that the recommendations of the committee will be influenced by IAS lobby (based on inputs from the IAS lobby). Recommendations of 7 CPC are indications wherein Armed Forces have not been given due justice. However announcement of judicial committee by GOI along with the notification is a clear indication that GOI is sure that this notification is faulty and will not be accepted by the Defence Fraternity. 

In the age of smartphones and Social Media, no person is left unaware of the happenings in any part of the country. The serving members of the Armed forces are well aware of the acts of the government and the Protest Movement by the Ex-Servicemen at Jantar Mantar and across the country. The present Prime Minister made a promise to the Armed Forces at Rewari before the General Elections in 2014 that his Government will deliver OROP on taking oath of office if elected to form Govt.  Implementation of OROP was also included in the President address to both houses of Parliament when the NDA Govt took over. That promise has not been fulfilled by this Government even after one and half year.

It is a common knowledge that more than 70% of serving soldiers are relatives of the Ex-servicemen. Ill treatments of veterans will have direct de-motivating effect on the serving soldiers.

It is also noteworthy that there is shortage of 30% in the Armed Forces. Policies adopted by the government have led to a situation where the youth of today is de-motivated to join the Armed Forces. Clearly, this shall lead to more reduced number than existing today. These deficiencies are serious nature and have direct bearing on National Security.

May we request you to ponder over the situation and think about the security of India in coming years. May we also request you to ask for serious discussion in Parliament on National Security and nail the Government so that every Indian is educated about the fraud being played on the nation by the GOI. May we also ask you to raise questions in the Parliament and ask the government to Implement One Rank One Pension (OROP) after removal of the seven shortcomings pointed out and issue fresh Notification exactly as per approved definition of OROP.

 

With Regards

Maj Gen Satbir Singh, SM (Retd)                                                                   

Advisor United Front of ESM & Chairman IESM                                                    

Tele No : 0124-4110579,09312404269                                                         

Monday, 11 January 2016

Sadness of Being Doval, Parrikar, and Modi as Indian Subconventional Deterrence Fails in Pathankot Again

Prime Minister Narendra Mod, Army and Air Force Chief's and NSA at Pathankot Briefing

India awoke to the new year with Television sets that had caught on to a new cross border raid. Wait its Pathankot after Gurdaspur! 

The same spot has been hit by a Pakistan Army proxy in JeM. But an Airbase in peacetime? And not just any airbase! This is the Indian Air Force Airbase, Pathankot. Frontline and facing the Pakistan International Border. Future air arrowhead targeting the Chinese PLA in Ladakh, as key component of the since stillborn Mountain Strike Corps, crippled by bean counters and their, guns over butter, debate, that is the bane of India's security abdication, from conventional to subconventional deterrence
Defence Minister, Manohar Parrikar at Pathankot Op Briefing
 Wild comparisons to the global war on Terror. We are at war, we have been at war much before 9/11, in Parliament, Kaluchak, Samba, and in Gurdaspur. before Sydney, Ankara and Paris. The French have been colonisers and involved in active military acts unlike us. America has bombed Iraq and Afghanistan to hell, and let the Pakistan Army Jihadi genie out of the bottle.  Paris comparisons to 26/11 are faulty, what we suffered was far more devious. It was a cross border marine raid by a nation, not a non state actor, using the veil of LeT. To pretend that we are not at war is to lie to yourself and the memory of the men who died in Counterterrorism and counterinsurgency. And the men, women and children who died in even now regular terror attacks on our soil. 

Pakistan remains everybody's whore, America, Arab States and of India's other bete noire in China. That Pathankot, coincided with a similar Fidayeen hit on yet another Indian Consulate in Afghanistan, and Pakistan's disingenuous bid to incorporate Gilgit Baltistan aka PoK, into yet another province ready for gifting to the Chinese, PLA, surprised nobody.

India's dilemma of refusing America's embrace as a pivot against China, when it is being hit repeatedly by irregular warfare subcontracted out to Pakistan Army by the Chinese Army, and being armed and financed by the the same America is complete. The Narendra Modi led BJP Government's unilateral concessions to Obama State Department including Environmental hard lines at COP21 in Paris, Trade negotiations, favourable Military and Nuclear Sales, and a hands-off policy in Afghanistan had all tanked in Pathankot, Herat attacks. Whatever India received in return for this Faustian bargain looks worthless. 

The Chinese signal was clear, as America repeated its ambivalent equivalence of India and Pakistan, and Pakistan continued its Civil versus Military theatre in yet another episode of plausible denial and stalling maneuvers perfected ironically on the same State Department in Afghanistan, and the Chinese in Uyghur insurgency in Xinjiang.

The strategic myopia and turf wars that engender and exacerbate Civil and Military disconnect in India, did not help. The once righteous BJP was caught sitting on its hands on Security. Military Reform, Intelligence Reform, an orientation to including counterterrorism in internal security, and a lack of legal sanction and accountability of India's Intelligence agencies, is at a standstill. Today Narendra Modi, his entire Cabinet, including his Security Tzar in much feted and eulogised, NSA in Ajit Doval are in the cross hairs of the media, and strategic community. Even discounting the opposition, key votaries of Modi Government are today angry and humiliated, and the Army badly alienated in tactical choices of flying in a centrally located NSG instead of the sizeable local Army presence and its elite Special Forces, practiced in efficient Fidayeen killing and counterterrorism.

The inability of the NSA and Prime Minister's Office to act in cohesion to provide a unified Command and Control front led to a free for all. The media left to its own devices had a field day, often resorting to conjecture, speculation in response to paralysis of information dissemination and PsyOps cover. Much before the clearing operation ended in Pathankot, India had lost the Infowar, again, due to the silo mentality of its jealous, petty minded, and self serving bureaucracy. It took 4 days of blundering for the Doval micromanaged operation to get a joint Army, Airforce and NSG briefing going. Add to this silly statements by both Home Minister, Rajnath Singh, Defence Minister, Manohar Parrikar and Prime Minister, Narendra Modi and countless other luminaries including Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley, under a corruption scanner, resulted in a tragic musical chairs of disaster.

Command Confusion
The choice of NSG deployment and Command over Army of a what was a Counterterrorist operation including large territory best suited to Infantry cordon, search and destroy created a strategic stink. That a Home Ministry funded NSG, chaired by a policeman with no combat experience was in Command of a clearing operation at a Military installation, with the Army used at perimeter, was all the more galling because all its tactical assault units are drawn from the Army. That the NSG once envisaged as an elite unit on the lines of SAS and Delta Force has become a multi city behemoth with hundreds of personnel, another jobless kingdom of bureaucracy and babysitting politicians as bouncers has destroyed its raison d'etre, and diluted the quality of its efficacy as a crack tactical unit.

The Army and Air Chief tail wagging to political masters and bureaucracy has seen a loss of prestige in the men they command. The resulting demoralisation has no accurate measure but its presence will be felt years on. India misses the Military leadership of legendary Generals Manekshaw's and the Dayal's of 1971 and Haji Pir fame. The current crop of Military brass looking more and more like spineless bureaucrats and politicians themselves.
NSG SAG

Post operation heat in the media notwithstanding, the maturity of governance and prudence of statecraft remains absent. Repeated stupid and ill considered statements by the Defence Minister and NSA, Ajit Doval on threats of proxy war and preconditions to Pakistan remain unhelpful. The humiliation of continued loss of subconventional deterrence needs action not bluster and rhetoric. India is being seen as a power unable to secure its strategic military assets and its population, and no amount of talk will change that perception, unless consequences of retribution to irregular warfare assume certainty and disproportionate pain a constant.

The BJP spokespersons in media were in disarray. From denial to bizarre utterances, they made a complete hash of their recently and hard won credibility. Flush with the swagger of the righteousness, suddenly these men and women and their proxies in social media looked out of their depths. Many a respected journalists and analysts lost their credibility in carrying water for an indefensible BJP Government and its unusually social media oversharer, Prime Minister in Narendra Modi.

The BJP led by majority mandate crowned Narendra Modi has achieved the same in public ridicule, anger and disgust in 2 years what the Congress led by Manmohan Singh, proxy Prime Minister of Sonia Gandhi led UPA, took 9 years to achieve! The inability to tame babudom, press through legislation, or reform the economy, security, and provide reasonable governance, suddenly everything is under question. The Economy over Security chickens have come home to roost for the Narendra Modi led BJP Government. in less than a week, and one Pakistan Army crossborder raid, India's government has lost its prestige and the entire cabinet look like a bunch of pretenders, and amateurs. Do BJP and RSS supporters deserve this after the mandate they gave the BJP and Narendra Modi is the question on everyone's lips.

Ajit Doval has become the unnecessary cynosure of a lot of criticism, given there are many things in the security matrix rotten from a historical babudom intrigue and dysfunction. But excessive exposure brings excessive brickbats! It is sad to see a man of such achievement hold the can in Pathankot. Luckily, for him Pathankot is also a story that could be far worse. Hopefully lessons have been learnt and India will finally see emergency reform in Security and Intelligence stalled since Kargil. Hopefully, it will see joint command, and an integration of Special Forces in Special Forces Command, away from current jobless private militia of bureaucrats and turfs. Hopefully, the stalled Mountain Strike Corps will find money, as Chinese only understand strength. 

Ajit Doval may have become a spy from a policeman but he still needs the diplomats and the Special Forces General in his role as India's NSA. This must be formally institutionalised, so turf does not come in the way of the next counterterrorism operation or covert hit. The conventional media has long held an adversarial relationship with Narendra Modi and BJP, as have a plethora of think tank eagles and retired Generals that are situated in media debates. These have to be co-opted by the Government forthwith. The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and the Press Information Bureau are not only for defending Arun Jaitley and pushing dead press releases, use them to fight the Infowar and PsyOps in conjunction with Army SF. 

Army Special Forces
The answer to Proxy war is not in overt war with all the TNW pole dancing by Pakistan Army. The answer to proxy war lies in proactive Special Forces led subconventional operations based on Intelligence, targeting, harassing, men, planners, trainers and funding of all such ventures aimed at our populations and infrastructure. This has to be fought crossborder, covert and under the cover of deceit and plausible denial, employing proxies and deniable assets, exactly what is employed against us. 

India is at War. Either we go to it or it will find us in our kingdoms and cocoons.

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