Noel Ellis's Official Blog

I wield the pen to explore the vastness of the human mind

Category: 7th Pay Commission

PAY COMMISSION AND ARREARS

Effects of the seventh pay commission have percolated to the political class. The pay of an Undersecretary may be more than the MP now. How can this be palatable to the Mantr ji? I heard one of the MPs saying that we have to maintain three houses, one at Delhi, one in the constituency and one own home. Government needs to pay us for the taam-jhaam therefore I need a pay hike. How is Jaitley ji going to get this money is his baby. Who all will be squeezed is the FMs problem? The FM is looking towards me, why me sir? Get hold of Malya and gang please.

Let me tell you how I felt after the implementation of various pay commissions. Initially, I felt elated and jumped up and down my bed on receiving my pay slip. This happiness used to last a very short while, around six to seven months. Then inflation used to catch up and we were back to square one. We turned back to looking at the prices in the menu card first and then deciding what to eat rather than the other way around. I remember I had to compromise while buying my first car. I was falling short by 25000 and had to pick up a non AC one. No regrets though, we drove it like hell and she was my darling for more than ten years.

I remember my rank pay got stuck as there was some issue way back in 1987. I had picked up as a Barsati Captain in 1987 with just two years of service. The rank pay then was 200 if I remember correctly. In those days mess gave us khana and mess was home so pay never bothered me. Later I got married and got posted to high altitude. There, food was plenty, expenditure was negligible and the bank used to be our unit Baniya and his famous note book in which he used to write every hisaab-kitab our pass book. I was in Ladakh then and baniya used to get us all what we needed. My only expenditure used to be on fags. In those days the DFR dollars used to come in handy. Another bank used to be the field cashier. I remember carrying lots of field cheques to Leh for many officers when on pay collection duty. I had to cross Changla pass many a times to get pay.

Soon I got posted to a place near Dehradun. One fine day accumulated arrears with pay around 40,000 got released in 1992. I almost jumped through the roof. I showed my pay slip to my wife, she too rubbed her eyes at least 20 times to see whether the figure had a comma or a full stop after 40. We started making plans as if we could buy the whole world. My wife said save half of it, so next day I went to the field cashier and withdrew the money. He gave me bundles of 10 rupee notes from the RTC. I rushed straight to the post office and bought NSC certificates worth 20000. In those day’s money used to double in five years. That was my first and last investment for more than 3/4th of my Army service.

I carried the rest of the bundles in my brown VIP briefcase, with a suspecting eye on everyone. I laid those 20 bundles in front of my wife on the small coffee table and asked her have you ever seen so much of cash in your life. I still remember I could hear her heartbeat sitting across the table. Well, like a chivalrous man I said all yours and she picked them and hid them in the cupboard under her third sari, well that was all she had then. We bought a new lock for that cupboard and watched it every night. We used to bring out the notes sometimes and count them and as luck would have it I always either counted one extra or one less. Then she used to recount it. I used be sent back from parties to go and see if the house was ok. I used to quietly go down to the bar. Refill my drink, come and say all is well. We were posted in such a remote place where leopards used to visit our quarter guard not far from our house quite often.

Well, next weekend I put my name on the bus to Dehradun and we had made up our mind to buy a VCR. I had just bought a BPL-Sanyo TV and this would compliment it. Moment we touched Doon we hired a taxi to Mussoorie. On our return we went to this big VCR/TV shop close to the famous “Moti-Mahal” restaurant. We picked up the best one which cost us around 14000. We asked for a guarantee, the shopkeeper said there is none on imported stuff. In case something goes wrong we shall repair it. I told my wife let us take a chance, she reluctantly agreed. From there we rushed to Kumar sweets at Ghanta Ghar and picked up “Ras Malai” and stick jaws. We were going to stay with one of our relatives. First thing I told them that tonight is movie night; get as many cassettes as you want to see. We finished dinner and inserted the first movie. My happiness knew no bounds as the clarity of the video was impressive. I told my wife to get the sweets to celebrate our moment of joy and we gave everyone a bowl of Ras Malai.

Believe you me my heart sank as the first spoon of the tasty Ras Malai went into my mouth. I saw smoke rising from the brand new VCR. I jumped and switched it off but by then it was too late. I looked at my wife who had turned into a statue. That night was the longest night for both of us. We would have kept awake watching movies with the family but that night we were consoling each other as tears of my wife were unstoppable. We had a quick breakfast and caught the first Vikram to Ghanta Ghar and by 9am we were at the shop. The assistant came at ten and half an hour later came the owner. He saw our faces and understood and I meekly said that the VCR got burnt. This man was cool and said chotu get another one from the attic. My wife said no we will take a VCP instead with a proper bill and guarantee. I had no choice but to agree and bought a KRISONS VCP. We were sceptic but it gave us fantastic service till the VCD mania took over.

Hard earned money can become hard burnt money in seconds. That was a lesson for me in life and I carry it with me still. Nothing without a bill otherwise be prepared to take a chill pill. Are you guys and gals listening, I wonder!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

IN CASH AND BODY BAGS A SOLDIER PAYS HIS TAXES

 

I was going through the summary of the GST bill sent to me on social media. I came to know that it has been tabled as a “money bill”. Well it is all about money going out of my pocket so I tried to find out what does it mean. Folks I gave up moment I saw the text of the money bill. I suggest don’t waste your time looking at it. The gist is that Rajya Sabha has just to go through certain paces for formality sake on such bills. People there may fret and fume and pick faults in the bill but the last laugh will be had by Sir Jaitley and his team in the Lok Sabha as they can show a “THENGA” to the upper house. What the states are going to do is obviously clear. Resistance might be there from only non BJP states, so dear common man will it be good, bad or ugly for you, time will tell.

Be that as it may. I would like to know, will there be only one tax on my Colgate and Thums up? Not that I use any. Will my carry home income increase with this bill? Will my income tax reduce? Will goods be cheaper? Will availability of items increase from the PM to my Bai who may prefer to use a “daatun” instead of paste. For PM Sahib it is herbal and natural besides Baba Ramdev recommends it and for my bai it’s free and readily available from the jungle. No VAT and this that needs to be paid.

FM Sahib, you pay me a pay/pension depending whether I am serving or retired and you tax it at source. I have no issues with that. Then you lay down how much will be tax free and how much won’t be. No issues with that too. Then you lay down income slabs on a sliding scale, I grant you that also. You also give me ways and means to save my money under 80-100cc category or whatever. Tell me one thing, if I have to earn to save why I earn in the first instant. If I have to earn and put it back in a scheme then why is my pay scale fixed? Why don’t you lay down that this much amount will be reduced, this will be put in compulsory saving till you retire, and this much I will take back for the government? Period! Why do you want me to fill forms and show you how much you gave me and how much I owe you and how much I have paid you back, and in case if I don’t pay by 31st March you further add a penalty to it. What nonsense this is! My pay scales are fixed by you, then why keep deducting. Do it once for all and save me this tension of filing returns. Half the times I am posted at places where you don’t provide me the net and most of the times how hard I try I can’t make out head or tail what to fill in where, though you claim filing is a cake walk. My foot! Please save me this agony also sir like you are doing for the GST. Tax me once and then let me relax for life time.

I have some more issues with you sir. OK fine you tax my pay, pension now you tax my pension plus pay as I am now working for a corporate. Firstly, you put me at a disadvantage when I come to the civil world as I am seen as a person with double income. They don’t realise I gave 25 years or more for this nation unflinchingly and earned my pension. Secondly, certain people don’t want to pay taxes as they say most of it goes in the pay and pensions of people like me and the balance goes to feed all “sarkari damads” like the parliamentarians. Out of every rupee only some part reaches the beneficiary rest is siphoned off due to your enacted laws and poor administrative controls. I can forgive them as they know not what they say about me but you all need to find answers for your part.

If I have paid you the tax which was due on my pay and say I save some of it which I put it in FD, you charge me tax on its interest also. What the hell? Then you add that interest to my rest of the income and tax it again. If the scale tips over to the next tax bracket there is a quantum jump on the tax which I have to dish out. I decide to buy a house from my savings. I pay you tax again including all swach bharat, beti parhao, kissan cess etc. The bank’s loan me the amount and charge me interest where as my pay comes in that bank only.  You give me a tax rebate equivalent to peanuts on housing loan, where do I go? When builders fund you and your parties then no one opens his mouth but the builder opens his mouth wide when he charges me with all taxes and cess’ and half the thing he wants under the table. I buy a vehicle and for that I pay registration fee, insurance, road tax, environment tax and you name it. I paid so much of income tax to built roads then you charge me road tax besides you don’t let me off without paying toll tax too. Is it right? I go to a dhaba I pay no taxes on what I eat. I go to a restaurant and the last five lines are taxes and charges for what I ate. Depending on the type of eatery, they charge many times the amount for the ambiance and a waiter and you want me to pay the government of India for giving my daughter a treat. Isn’t it ironical FM sahib? I don’t mind paying for a rail ticket as the railways have definitely improved; unfortunately there has been an accident today.

If you really see the soldiers, they actually are paying taxes to the nation by putting their lives at stake for you people who don’t understand their worth and treat them as cannon fodder. One political decision to sort out Kashmir has been delayed by you for donkey’s years. How many more body bags would be sufficient? How many lost legs and limbs do you want? How many widows and orphans do you want for this nation to run in terms of taxes my dear sirs? Don’t we protect you in the close cordons when you as MPs move around in bullet proof cars? A man hangs on to a modified footrest to protect you and still you want us to pay taxes. If you are the chosen one of the people why do you need any protection from your own people?

You have one rank called MP, with one pay and one pension. You thrive on our money and want us to pay you both in cash and body count, how sad! You keep getting paid as you never feel like retiring. We soldiers take oath to dedicate ourselves to the nation even at the peril of our lives and you people want us to perpetually remain in peril and continue to be martyred without you people being harmed. We obey the rules laid down by you and you snatch away what we earn. We are still magnanimous to give you back enough in taxes and personal sacrifices, which you mismanage for obvious reasons. Some of us luckily survived, we have grown old and weak and silently sit at Jantar Mantar peacefully to make you realise that it is high time you gave us our due sirs. Are you listening yea members of parliament? I wonder!!!!!!!!!!!!

REFLECTIONS ON THE YEAR GONE BY

 

As I reflect on my year gone by, I remember making no new year’s resolutions. The reason was simple, so that I don’t break any. But I promised to myself, that I will pursue my hobbies of writing and gardening. At the end of the year as I reflect on them you all will be surprised that I wrote about 70 articles and could not complete 25, they are half written and shall stay in my memoirs. By the way there are still 15 days for the year to end; I may land up writing a few more. On the gardening front my efforts have started paying me. All those who are connected to me on face book would know, and I feel satisfied and content. A few days back I remember promising to myself to start enjoying the sunrise and sunsets, the breeze, the moon, the sea basically nature and I feel that nothing else gives me more solace and peace. My thoughts are calm; my day starts with cheerfulness as my blooming flowers give me so much of tranquillity & peace of mind that words can’t express.

I remember last year, thanks to the social media and the mobile networks, I was flooded with New Year messages and blessings. I think the blessings have helped me and my family tremendously. As time went by came Holi, and the wishes of the festival of colours were galore. The colourful messages really cheered me up; the choice of words in all messages was amazing as if they all were meant for me personally. Time went by came Dussera and Diwali, and again the victory of good over evil messages helped me to kill the evil in me, the festival of lights lifted my spirits and of course there was Eid and Gur Purabs where the blessings of Allah and Waheguru touched my soul, and now comes Christmas again, the festival of peace, happiness & joy which will be followed by another new year. New resolutions, new reflections, new associations and everything new is about to start again. So let me now reflect on a few things gone by and yet to come. Maybe we all can draw our conclusions thereafter.  So let me wish you folks a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful new year in advance. God bless every friend of mine abundantly.

We have had the worst year as far as the Indo-Pak relations were concerned. With China too I would say has been a year of ups and downs. We had our share of martyrs’ and we too did the surgical strikes. Earth quakes, typhoons, plane crashes continued in various parts of the world. Our parliament went to a new low where all we saw was no business happening per se. Statistics can claim that X number of bills were passed but were passed with hardly any deliberations. A personal attack on each other, use of un-parliamentary language has become the name of the game. Demonetisation or remonetisation is a new thing which came to light after years. The valley saw its lowest ebb. Now with Mehbooba mufti giving 4 Lakhs to Burhan Wani’s kin was like adding salt to our wounds. Well, the dance of democracy continues and is slowly transformed into “Democrazy”, but this country moves on. Mamta has been in a fight with one and all, Kejriwal doesn’t know whom to fight with or what to fight for, Rahul baba is trying to become a leader, but fails to impress me by miles, Mayawati and her written speeches shows how well read she is, Jaitley ki kately is brewing lassi of a different kind instead of tea, Amma has left no one to take over her legacy. Even then we are firing rocket after rocket and sending satellites one after the other. Corruption continues, political mis-governance continues, gareeb remains gareeb, real estate bubble doesn’t burst, banking woes continue, ATTA BHI MEHNGA, CHEENI BHI MEHNGI, MEHNGA HAR SAAMAN, FIR BHI MERA BHARAT MAHAN.

OROP, has any one heard about it? I am sure we all must have, but PM Sahib, when will your good governance reflect on it? We have deposited our life certificates already. I dread if you push the dates to the next financial year for its implementation. We the ex-servicemen are still as disciplined as we were when we were in uniform in fact more disciplined now. We haven’t behaved like the gujjars or the jat agitation, though our forces have numerous people from that community. Hanumanthappa’s are still getting buried in avalanches while defending this country.  It is matter of shame for me to see an ex Air force Chief under CBI custody, well I feel a little taken aback. If he is involved, let him get a boot, but one has to set the system right once for all, but if he isn’t, how will his image be restored. I am also awaiting the 7th pay commission. Now that the sarkar has collected so much mullah in the banks, will it part with the booty? Hoping against hope to see that implemented too. I really want to see the ache din and soon. Dear Mr PM, are you listening?

This year has seen TATA in turmoil, a rarity of kinds. Such things can also happen, in fact in this country anything can happen. Rahul baba can trigger an earth quake in parliament if he is allowed to speak. Kejriwal can cure cough by coughing out scam after scam of all governments. I can put any allegation on you and get away scot free is the game of the day. The only positive note I find in all this mess is that I believe Arnab has left his job. What a relief it must be to the viewers! His fans must be now waiting for his channel to be launched. Hope he doesn’t. Mr PM why can’t there be a cap on news channels, like you have put a cap on withdrawal on cash from a bank. Why can’t there be a limit of words, and the correct decibel level laid down for these channels? Moment you exceed any of them CBI should take over the channel and Supreme Court should suo-motto charge the news anchor for “breaking the news”. Anyways, I don’t watch them anymore, and I don’t feel like reading the news paper also anymore, so no news is good news. Good riddance to bad rubbish I suppose.

I am also looking forward to something new on the social media. Except for posts of a very few people I don’t even care to open the attachments. My good morning list from people who never wished me earlier has gotten so long, that the morning doesn’t look as good any more. Whatsapp, has become such a nuisance that within minutes one finds 345 messages unread, imagine 345 notification bells are difficult to bear, yes I can understand I can silence my phone, or that particular group notifications, but then why do I keep a cell phone that too a smart one. Face book is also losing its relevance, except I get reminded of birthdays of my good friends. I made a blog noelellisblog.com but except for the first 8 comments which some genuine friends happened to see, I find only spammers on it trying to sell me porn or Viagra, or are willing to write stories for me. Well, that’s life. Twitter I don’t enjoy handling, so won’t comment. Mail has died its own death I suppose. Above all I find all those people who post internet links on mail or Whatsapp get no attention at all. I somehow do not like people who are just forwarders. Anyways, I have to bear with them in the coming years.

As a passing thought friends, let us unite to bring in positivity in our lives and all those who we come in contact with. The more we get embroiled in our mundane lives, the more we miss out on the little goodies that nature and God has showered upon us. Let us look after the environment, let us plant a tree and admire a flower, real flower not a flower on Whatsapp. Let us make someone whom we don’t know happy, let us just be good citizens, and in the bargain swach bharat etc will fall into place. I don’t know I may be sounding like a preacher all right, but I don’t preach through forwards, I tell you what I have decided to do, and I am going to spend time with my family and friends. I shall enjoy every moment of life. I shall try and become app savvy, well I now have to learn to pay through the paytm and other e-wallets to book an OLA cab, pay them through my mobile and carry on writing and improving my garden. Any suggestions friends, you are welcome to send them to me, but will you take my words positively, I wonder!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

OPEN LETTER TO GEN VK SINGH

Yes ladies and gentlemen, how could I have stayed back without airing my views on the suicide of our Ex-serviceman Subedar Grewal at Jantar-Mantar, and the political fiasco thereafter? I would say there has been a military disaster too from none other than our great General VK Singh. Sir, I generally avoid passing remarks about any senior officers, but when it comes to calling a spade a spade I do not spare anyone. I do maintain the thin veil of decency, and military decorum when it comes to such seniors who gave all of us a ray of hope that they have entered politics for the Ex Servicemen and servicemen fraternity per say. We rejoiced when you led by example to personally supervise airlifts of our countrymen. We were kind of dead sure that here is our person who has made inroads into a political party in power, and you shall act as a messiah for all of us in uniform, and especially those who have hung their uniform like you. It saddens me that the perception you give of working for Modiji is far-far away from what we thought you would do. Anyways Sir, this is not the first time that when you have opened your mouth and instead of pearls of wisdom, worms have fallen, is my view, like it or lump it.

Now, do not hide behind politically correct statements and maro smart acts. Sir, we are not Bachhas or second termers which you may understand better. We may be junior to you in rank, we may be lower than you in protocol, we may be inferior to you in qualification, but we are way ahead in common sense and wisdom. Reasons, I shall let you know as I write this piece. The trigger to pen my thoughts did not start when you commented about his mental state which needed to be checked, but when you emphatically stated that he had become a Sarpanch on a “Congress” ticket. You also became an MP on a BJP ticket, is it an offence to be of any party or associate oneself with any party? How distasteful sir, how mean of you. How can you make such comment for a soldier who protected your assets when you were growing in ranks and were climbing the stairs to reach the Chiefs office? Sir, his boots on ground secured the installation which he guarded so instead of being remorseful and thankful, you added the unnecessary political flavor to it.

I have understood one thing, moment a General becomes a politician, he changes his colours, and now your OG blood has become saffron. The reality is that when OG and saffron meet, it turns into the ugliest shade of blackish grey, which is not pleasing at all. How can you switch loyalties within two years sir? Or is it your compulsions which make you take such decisions and utter such uncouth comments. I have never seen a uniformed person deflecting, twisting, polarizing, and politicizing above all screwing issues. We are known for using all possible problem solving tools, and here you have messed up in one sentence by saying he was a congress worker. Sir, he was a Sarpanch of the village, he was working for the grassroots; he was toiling for people from where democracy starts. He may not have been decorated in army or DSC career, but was awarded twice by none other than the Presidents themselves as a Sarpanch, and not like you the way you would have got your AVSMs and VSMs, I don’t even know what you got, and don’t care if you had them also.

Sir, your words initiated the chain reaction of politicians lining up for his funeral. The Congi vice president, for whom I have a very low opinion, also scored brownie points, thanks to you. Rest of the parties I don’t even care. In fact all the dhotiwalas and their supporters had no business to be there. In this solemn occasion of grief, it should just have been the military fraternity and the village members, laying to rest this old veteran. The announcements of money being done by another party, looked so degrading and cheap, as if he was begging for money while agitating for the OROP and pay commission anomalies. Isn’t it what we deserve? Isn’t it what is our rightful right?  Imagine Sir, besides his primary task of working as a Sarpanch of the village, he chose to fight for his rights, which have been denied by all governments till date. He felt and considered it his moral duty to support the cause which the Ex Servicemen have been agitating for since the last 567 days and more. It’s a pity to see many of your course mates and seniors, sitting on durries, under a shamiyana all these days. Many seasons have changed since the agitation peacefully started, but you and your government has yet to implement it. I was dreading the day when an ex-serviceman dies at Jantar-Mantar, and it has started with a suicide, how unfortunate. How heartless your government can be sir!

Sir, why have you not commented on the OROP issue till date? Why haven’t you adorned the Ex serviceman’s cap and walked into the Rakshamantri’s office to get to know firsthand how and where is the damn implementation is stuck. If you are aware of what is happening in the corridors of the north and south block about this issue, why haven’t you stood and persuaded the agitating veterans and convinced them to go home, that friends, I shall look after what is pending, you go home and wait. Why could you not get a time frame from the Government, saying, sir, I don’t like my fraternity sitting on dharna and hunger strike, as if we are beggars and culprits who are delaying the process. Sir, have some consideration and pity on the oldies, many of whom are suffering from medical ailments, but with a never die spirit.

Can you share with us today, truthfully, why did you join politics? Can you tell us why did you accept a BJP ticket? Can you tell us, why you are not the Defence Minister of the country? Can you tell us what has been your achievement as a second rung minister in the foreign ministry? Can you tell us how many times have you spoken in parliament to project the OROP issue? How many times have you asked the Prime Minister to set up a separate pay commission for the uniformed personnel? How many times have you threatened or challenged the Modi government for causes that were so close to your heart as an Army Chief. Or are you avoiding “pangas”. I don’t think you have ever been seen speaking on these issues, except visiting the Pakistani embassy wearing a green kurta pyjama. Sir, I speak for the common ex serviceman, who has no pull-push-link-pink-Maibaap-father-in-law, nothing in fauj or otherwise. This is what I think of you and many people like me do. People may shoot me down, doesn’t matter.

Sir, diplomacy, politically correct statements, diversionary tactics, loose comments, degrading words, polarizing thought process are not expected out of a person of your stature and rank. I would rather write another article in your praise if I see you putting in extra efforts for the veterans. I am sure you have obligations to the people who sent you to the parliament, but your obligation to the servicemen of the nation, and all those who served the nation before you, with you and who are still sacrificing themselves, for our tomorrow, is your prime responsibility. Hiding behind your party ideology comes second, but the men and the welfare of the men comes first always and every time sir, I am reminding you of that quote which you would have by hearted in IMA. Sir, we expect a lot from you. This congress BJP, AAP, etc means nothing to me at least. Why we are apolitical is because we do not trust politicians and stay away from politics? But we trust our generals with our lives. Are you going to honour our trust sir, or hide behind the political cloak? Will you stop being a sissy wearing a BJP mask and be a “Tiger” for the armed forces fraternity? I wonder!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

7th PAY COMMISSION : JUSTICE DENIED

Friends, I think this discussion has gone far too long, that who deserves what, how much and why. While most people agree that the armed forces have always been on the wrong side of the receiving end though they deserve the best. However, when it comes to implementation of such commissions, it is Justice XYZ delivering his verdict. It is such honourable men like Justice Mathur who are ensuring that the future generation refrains from joining the Armed forces of India. Choice and justice delivered is yours dear sir, I wish you good luck. I will still like my child to adorn the Olive Greens, present controversy notwithstanding.

Well, justice sahib, we need real justice. Justice from this discrimination of pay parity, justice to get back our Izzat, justice to be able to serve this country longer, justice because we look after humanity during natural calamities and disasters, justice when it comes to looking after our families when we are at the borders, justice when we restore law and order due to the incompetence of the civil administration and mishandling by politicians, justice to deliver during war and bring victory to the nation, justice to live in peace, if there is peace.

Can justice be delivered to the armed forces fraternity by a person who has no clue which side should a rifle point if I use a term “Shikari” position? Can you do justice to the time spent without our families? Can you do justice to the ache in our hearts to meet and be with our better halves and children while you are with them every night? Can you do justice by depriving me of seeing my child take the first steps and walk for the first time? Or for that matter blabber the first words? Can you do justice, when I miss the funeral of my father as I missed my flight due to bad weather, and due to over congestion of troops at the airfield? Can you do justice by cutting short my leave as I am recalled to operational area for a call of duty? Can you do justice by not being there with my ailing parents and pregnant wife who has to go to hospital for her delivery, without my presence and moral support? Can you do justice to my children who go astray due to lack of supervision by the father? Can you do justice by guaranteeing me suitable re-employment when I have to leave the armed forces in the prime of my youth, without a secure future? I still guarantee you that you will find my shoes shining and my dress neat and crisp, an envy for many a civilian counter parts. I guarantee you I will work as hard and with as much dedication as I worked in the armed forces. I guarantee you that I shall prove to be an asset to the organization I get to serve in, by bringing in the best values taught to me. I assure you, still I shall make myself available for the country, whenever the need be, but do justice to my very existence while in service and after I am told to hang my uniform, PLEASE.

Can you justify giving me the disease called hypertension? As I always have the fear of the unknown while operating in tense insurgency areas? Can you justify the diseases I pick up like BP, diabetes, arthritis, high altitude pulmonary edema etc? Can you justify my lost hand, fingers, foot, leg eye, or scars which I get for no fault of mine? Can you justify not giving me the basic requirement of food in difficult terrain? Can you justify the vagaries of the inclement weather I have to face, which ranges from extreme cold, to extreme heat, to extreme humidity. Can you justify the leeches I have to pluck off my body at the end of the day? Can you justify plucking off the ticks which cling to my private parts during night patrols in the thick jungles of J&K? Can you justify to me why our letters should be censored and read by many before it reaches my wife? Can you justify not providing me a facility of a basic phone to speak to my beloved anytime I want? Can you justify my absence from birthdays, harvest and weddings in my own family? Where as you attend all. Can you justify presenting me with bullets from the enemy, and also from the unknown enemy which is within the country. Can you justify not catching and punishing the bribe takers & corrupt. Can you justify people who won’t sign the attestation of my child needing admission in college without greasing their palms? Can you justify not providing me proper accommodation in every military cantonment? Can you justify to me the availability of a sarkari vehicle with driver to you while you make me walk for miles on end where there are no roads and I have to make my own pathway to walk? Can you bring back my comrades who are still buried in deep snow due to avalanches? Can you bring back the prisoners of war who still rot in Paki jails?

I want to ask you Mr Justice that can you do justice by doing little something to keep my morale up. Can you define in any justice system the high degree of discipline we the armed forces have to maintain? Can your imagination fathom the way we bear loyalty and allegiance to the “Nishan” and the National flag, Can you justify the body which comes draped in the tri-colour? Will you do justice by giving glory and emoluments in time to the NOK of such deceased? Can you do justice to the thousands of young widows who could never imagine that the husbands shall never return? Can you do justice to the orphans of such martyrs? Can you do justice to the veterans, who till now are fighting valiantly, peacefully, in a disciplined manner for their rights which is being denied to them, courtesy insensitive, misinformed, Justice’ like you. You may deny it, but we know we deserve it and we shall get it. Period!

Mr Justice, come with us, sit behind in an Army truck, drive with us in a convoy from Jammu to Ladakh. Acclimatise, and stay at Bana top post for just 3 months, after your 3 months of induction training. Come down thereafter to base camp and stay for another 3 months. Believe you me on seeing the first carrot or cabbage in the market at Chandigarh you will run to touch it to see how it feels. Tell me the taste and smell of fresh chapattis and dal fry at the first dhaba that you come across. Tell me the taste and smell of “chai” at the railway station. Tell me how it feels to see the first good looking girl on the street when you have only seen bearded men, with stinky outfits all these days. Tell me how you react when the first smell of perfume hits your nostrils. Do tell me how it feels to hold a crisp news paper after ages, as you are used to reading such news papers in which you packed your chappals ages ago. Tell me how the first blast of FM radio echoes in your ears, after having heard the fauji radio sets constant whining and whistling. Tell me how the air feels in your lungs when you land at Delhi, It feels kind of heavy and smells like air. Tell me when you catch hold of someone’s mobile to call up your wife that darling I have landed and shall be home soon. Tell me when your little girl hugs you and screams on seeing you. Can you express the feelings that at times when she refused to recognise you when you came on leave? Tell me if your wife had to make up stories to reply to the child when the child would have asked that why papa has not come for my birthday. Tell me how it feels to see “I love you papa” scribbled in the corner of a letter written by your 5 year old daughter/son. Kindly also do justice to the soldier by just ensuring that he doesn’t go in an unreserved second class compartment packed like cattle. At least give him a berth in a 3rd AC as he would have descended from -20 to + 40.

These things are beyond imagination of yours Mr Justice. We don’t want to compare ourselves with any IAS, IPS, or IFS but we want justice to be delivered to us. Can you deliver it to the armed forces sir, I think you can, but with your mindset will you deliver the desired justice, I wonder!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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